Aggressive Comix was lucky enough to get a small view of the DEXCON 16 experience the early this month. DEXCON had taken up its usual place in one of the leading gaming conventions in the country at Hyatt Morristown Hotel & Conference Center in Morristown, NJ where we met a charismatic and creative game designer by the name of David Simpson, founder of Knighthawk Games. In addition to testing out his latest inventions, we had the delighted pleasure of catching up with him about what he plans to do next with his impressive tabletops!
Simpson was all smiles as he showed off his two babies Dragon Chess and Rampaging Titan which he co-created. Aggressive Comix had the pleasure of a full demonstration and multiple playthroughs. Both games ended up being complex and engaging tabletops, which offer layers of full replay value! With the help of game designer Matthias Bonnici, Creative Director and Art Director for Knighthawk Games, and some stellar artists Simpson and his team really crafted unique board games that set his titles apart on the DEXCON floors.
Dragon Chess was by far the most striking of the games on display at Simpson’s table. Brittany Pezzillo illustrated the artwork on the game, uder the direction of Bonnici. Pezzillo is an alumni of the esteemed Kubert School, and is surely showing promise having produced a fantastic vision for the creatures of Dragon Chess’ beautiful and dark fantasy aesthetic.
Mechanically, Dragon Chess is hardly chess at all! It takes the skeleton of the age-old classic and adds an alluring metagaming twist, with the added perk of allowing up to 4 players whom can engage separately or as teams. The objectives in Dragon Chess go beyond a one-way-to-win mentality, instead of checkmates there are three alternative strategies the players can call upon for victory. One can wipe out the opponent’s side, land on and hold the 5 arcane circles on the middle of the board, preventing the opponent from taking his or her turn at all. Dragon Chess also employs the use of cards, dice, and characters with a plethora of movements spells and abilities. This adds further replay value, as well as the ability to utilize your pieces in a plethora of strategies.
The second game at Simpson’s table, hosted by a lovely assistant, was Rampaging Titan. By far the most fun of all the games I had played at the convention. The basic concept is that the player wants to end up being the last village on the board. As a viking, you plan attacks on your opponent’s villages with the aid of two armies and a brainless brutish Titan. Both of which must battle a variety of terrain and are controlled by a deck of cards. Titan’s stomp the villages and the troops and are only weak to volcanoes, which reset them back to starting position. Armies can challenge each other, the outcome of which is decided by the luck of the dice. The player who roles the highest number through their die wins and the defeated army leaves the board, only to be brought back with an Army Resurrection card or by sacrificing three cards in your deck of 5.
Rampaging Titan was co-created by Simpson and his Art Director Bonnici. The game saw a lot of play from both Curt Covert of Smirk and Dagger and Steve Jackson of Steve Jackson Games. Simpson was very pleased with the warm reception to his games, and looks forward to seeing the support translate into his future Kickstarter, giving and opportunity for these gems to hit the market as soon as possible!