PAX East 2017 – Greenbrier Games

Greenbrier always has an impressive showing in a small space at every PAX I’ve been to. This year they were showing off Z-Pocalypse 2: Defend the Burbs, Grimslingers: The Northern Territory, Of Dreams and Shadows, and Thundergryph Games’ Overseers.

I had a chance to see Z-Pocalypse 2: Defend the Burbs and Of Dreams and Shadows and I’m very excited about both games. Z-Poc 2 has more of a tower defense feel than the previous game and also has a lot more stuff. Mechanics have also been streamlined. You can find the full list of changes here.

Of Dreams and Shadows is a cooperative, narrative RPG board game for up to 6 players. Choices made by the players in the game can greatly affect the outcome for both good or ill. The artwork is amazing, along with the plethora of heroes to choose from and villains to fight against.

The new Grimslingers is currently up on Kickstarter with streamlined rules, a new campaign featuring the Northern Territory of the Forgotten West. Also, a new Fate deck has been introduced for various events, card effects and most importantly, procedurally generated area exploration.

Greenbrier never fails to excite, and this year was no different.

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Second Look—Grimslingers

Second Look - Boardgame reviews in depth. Check out that cat.Grimslingers may come in a small box, but there’s a lot of game packed in there. Not packed well, but packed all the same.

Inside said box is two games. A dueling game, and a cooperative adventure. Both share some cards, but there’s also cards that are pretty much used in one or the other. Everything is kind of just tossed into the box when you’re done, so you’re doing to have to find your own solution for keeping things organized.

Does that in any way, shape, or form diminish the game? No. Not at all.

In Grimslingers, the rules have you starting off with a simple duel. No extra cards, no fancy rules You choose your character, anima, and get a hand of spell cards. The character and anima you choose are just polish, as there’s no player powers or the like. At that point it’s setup your turn, play a spell, resolve for damage. Certain spells trump other ones, but there’s a deck of numbered cards to use if neither spell trumps the other. Then it’s taking turns drawing these cards trying to get as close to 11 as possible without going over. The person that does has their spell resolve.

GrimslingersDuels then get a bit more complicated from there as you add in the advanced rules, and more cards. All of this is really just to prepare you for the co-op adventure mode which has it’s own story book for playing through various scenarios. Does it all pull together in the end?

Yes. An overwhelming yes.

While there’s a lot to take in, the game plays wonderfully, and drips with theme. The duels are great for a quick play, but the game really shines in co-op. The game sessions are longer, but there’s monsters to beat, treasure to take, and you can level your character over the course of play. It’s pushing into RPG territory at that point.

While it may be a bit harder to get this to the table with my kids, it’s one that I’m going to make sure I make time to sit down and play. There’s a story to finish, and I want to finish it!

Grimslingers is currently available for pre-order for $29.95, and will ship September 1st. You can also buy just the Duels version for $9.95. While it’s nice that you can buy the stripped down version, the full deal is the way to go.

A copy of Grimslingers was provided free for review by Greenbrier Games.

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