I realized this morning that it's a bit weird for me to not even mention Origins when it's going on. And I didn't. I didn't mention the convention or the awards. Which is very unusual for me.
I was busy. And, in fact, I'm still busy. I have a couple of deadlines I'm chasing for things that are due for GenCon and/or Essens Preview and/or Release.
I almost got to go to Origins this year, too. Almost. Asmodee asked me if I could, and (for the first time in a very long time) I had to turn them down because I don't have enough vacation time.
It sounds like the Asmodee booth was a good one, though. That "not forcing specific games down peoples' throats" has always been a strength of Asmodee's selection. A lot of publishers go to conventions only with the HOT NEW GAME - and that's what their demo teams push. And push. And push. I feel bad for the demo team members who are stuck pushing One Game that they don't like.
While Asmodee does usually have one or two "focus" games, they have historically made sure that they have other games, including a few old standbys in the booth, too. Like, for example, Jungle Speed, a game which has been refreshed every few years - but which has been in the booth for more than a decade in one form or another.
And the broad base of games means that there is something there for nearly everyone. Seriously. Poke around a bit. You'll see more games in more categories ...
Want an introductory-level strategy game? They have done a great job of making sure that there is something at or around that complexity level available. Currently, the Timeline series of games fills that "introductory" niche - but it's not alone. Rise of Augustus is also relatively light (and won't bore many of the hardcore, either).
Want a party game? Check out Concept (a Spiel des Jahres nominee this year). Or Mascarade (which has an expansion that's coming).
Dexterity? I already mentioned Jungle Speed. But there's also Rampage (which is undergoing a title change to Terror in Meeple City).
Medium-weight strategy? Spyrium was one of our focus games last year. In my opinion, it hasn't received nearly enough attention. Splendor is another Spiel des Jahres nominee this year. Both are excellent choices.
Want something beefier? Eclipse and Nations are both pretty beefy games that are well worth looking at.
Seriously: Look at this page. There are 294 results on that page. Yes, there are duplicates there. Yes, there are games that are French versions of other favorites. Yes, there are games that never saw an English release. And there are games coming that aren't on that list, yet.
I honestly think that this diversity of product part of what makes Asmodee one of the best booths at GenCon. But only part.
There's a lot that goes into a good convention booth. Maybe I should talk more about that at some point ...