Friday, July 19, 2013

DexCon Recap Part Three: Battle Merchants and The Resistance

Part One of my DexCon recap can be found here:

Part Two of my DexCon recap can be found here:

As my one day at DexCon was winding down, I had the opportunity to play a few more games before hitting the long road home. 

One of them was Battle Merchants, which is currently on Kickstarter and the other was The Resistance, a game that's becoming a new classic. More on both after the break!


Designer Gil Hova mentioned his game Battle Merchants earlier in the day, and I wanted to try it out. I saw it on Kickstarter earlier in the week and I never pass up the opportunity to try something before its release. I didn't know a lot about the game other than it was being published by Minion Games, which is led by James Mathe, a key person in the gaming industry. He's very active and very open with new designers. Just take a look at one of his Facebook groups and you'll see exactly what I'm talking about. Kickstarter Best Practices is one that has taken over my Facebook feed in a wonderful way. 

Gil is also very active and open. A recent interview and geeklist both explain (in fine detail) the process of creating Battle Merchants. Both are great reads and highly suggested for anyone interested in the design and development process of board games.

Onto Battle Merchants. It's an economic game, underneath a fantasy battle theme. Players are weapon salesmen, pushing their weapons on the Dwarves and Orcs for maximum profit. Depending on when and where you go to sell, will determine if you leave with a profit. Even if it's a small profit, the player with the most money at the end of the game wins. There are many ways to attack this goal, and one of them is the Kingdom Cards.

The Kingdom Cards remind me of the Alien Tech Cards in Alien Frontiers. They provide great ongoing or game end abilities, at the cost of sacrificing a turn. They also add a lot of luck to the game, which I love. There are some very good cards in there, and when they pop up, it throws a wrench in your plan because you will need to stop what you're doing and spend a turn obtaining the card.
Final Art
Battle Merchants is a solid medium weight game with about an hour game length. I lost terribly, but I felt like I had a chance the whole time. If you want a break from all the battle, and want to get down to the nitty gritty side of selling goods, check it out. It's on Kickstarter now and needs support to reach its funding goal:


It was late and we were on our way out the door when Michael Keller busted out The Resistance. Having played the social deduction game with Michael before, I knew this was an opportunity that could not be missed. He is intense, ruthless, and extremely enjoyable to play along with (or against, depending on the scenario).

If you've ever heard of Werewolf, The Resistance builds on that style of gameplay. Secret role cards are randomly given out at the beginning of the game. A small group of players are dealt spy cards, and the majority will receive Resistance Operative cards. The goal of the game depends on the card that you are given. The Resistance Operatives need to get through 5 rounds of missions without having 3 of them foiled by the spies. The spies foil a round by getting voted onto the mission team and failing the mission, which then sends the whole table into accusations and theories.

This is a game that really depends on your group. I've had dead silent awful games that just go through the motions, and then I've had intensely debated games like this one at DexCon. It was an absolute blast.

And that concludes my trip to DexCon. It was late, I was tired, but had a great time with great people. If you are within a few hours of North/Central Jersey, check out the Double Exposure cons. They have yet to disappoint.


1 comment:

  1. a note. I lost more terribly at Battle Merchants than you did. So...put it in perspective bro. :) Still had a good time.