By Rick Teverbaugh
The Herald Bulletin
— For those who want some real variety out of a single stop at GenCon, the Wishing Tree booth (#1939) would be a very good option.
Wishing Tree will not only be the home of its own engaging Seven Sisters game, but also Uncle Chestnut's Table Gype (licensed from Eternal Revolution, $30) and Raiding Parties (licensed from Nick Pace Entertainment, $20) will be available.
But first to Seven Sisters, which is both a card-management and worker placement game for 3-6 players. The he players take the roles of wealthy aristocrats who are trying to gain the favor of the king's seven daughters, who happen to be named after the seven deadly sins: Wrath, Greed, Gluttony, Lust, Sloth, Pride, and Envy.
The game consists of four rounds, with the players being dealt six cards each round. Using five of the six cards, players influence the sisters by sending servants to do the sisters' bidding. Multiple options when playing each card create opportunities for players to use both strategic and tactical play to influence the sisters more than their opponents do.
Brent Cunningham, of Wishing Tree Games, tells, “Brad Champeny, the designer, found the prototype artwork while browsing www.deviantart.com. He loved the art, and actually designed the game completely around the art, using the seven sins as the theme. He also liked the game Louis XIV, but felt that it had a couple of flaws. In designing and testing Seven Sisters, one of his main goals was to fix the flaws that he saw in Louis XIV.”
Champeny and the artist, Andrea Mutsch, will be around on the weekend to sign copies. There will also be a playable version of Zombiepocalypse: NYC at the booth, which is currently gaining steam on kickstarter.
Raiding Parties is a card game out of the Pirate genre.
“Pirates of the Caribbean was a classic movie, and pirate battles are always so epic,” said Pace. “They have the coolest weapons, ships, pets, and lingo out of any genre in my opinion.”
The first set has been out a while and an expansion has just recently hit kickstarter. The randomizer for the battles is a deck of cards, which is included with the game and has Pirate artwork.
“Pirates and playing cards go together like fish n' chips,” said Pace. “I also watched a lot of people get sucked into the poker lifestyle so it really got me thinking. Instead of rolling a six sided dice where your odds are fairly limited, a deck of playing cards seemed to be a lot more versatile and artistic.”
Althought there is no collectible aspect to the game, the cards that come with it are used to develop a player deck for each player so pre-game deck construction plays a big role.
“Honestly Magic: the Gathering was inspirational,” said Pace. Picking various Pirates to include in your party just sounded like so much fun.”
The goal in the game is to destroy every card in an opponent’s deck. This is done my melee attacks or by using projectile weapons. Players draw three cards to start the game and then use the playing card deck to use those cards. There is a lot of flavor, much mayhem and several layers of strategy. Players will draw one card from the deck each turn and must play one, so eventually they will all hit the battlefield and either be on the winning side.... or end up in Davy Jones's Locker.
The final offering of this trio may very will be the most unique.
In Uncle Chestnut’s Table Gype, players try to move their pieces from their home row to the row directly opposite. They may jump their own pieces or those of their opponents, but every jump randomizes the playing pieces that were jumped over.
The game is played with a cloth game board and 32 playing pieces in 4 colors. Each piece, a six-sided die, can represent any of six shapes that move differently.
Designer Paul Edward Nowak said he has no fondness for checkers or chess, even though that is what most gamers will feel when they first play it.
How long is the game time once the playders learn the ropes? “About 30 minutes,” said Nowak. “Depending on the group, it can even be faster to play with more players as there are more jump opportunities and pieces move faster.
The choice of materials in this game is interesting and yet made sense to the designer.
“I have a commercial heat press in my home office for making t-shirts,” he said. “(That) led me to do the cloth board and packaging. The wood has a great traditional feel, and we found wood-burning to be the most efficient way of putting the symbols on the dice.”
Both Pace and Nowak are excited to have their games sharing space in the Wishing Tree booth. Stop by and check them out.