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Gen Con So Cal 2004 - Day Two

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3 December 2004page first published

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Personal logo Wyatt the Odd Supporting Member of TMP Fezian continues:

A bit depressing, since I was hoping to track down a few Flames of War 15mm armored vehicles. On the fantasy side, Brookhurst Hobbies has Adiken & Confrontation miniatures, Privateer Press was showing off its new resin models along with the rest of its current Warmachine range, and Mongoose had the previously-mentioned Starship Troopers figures (along with its Babylon 5 ship miniatures) on display. However, Wizards of the Coast was featuring both its D&D range and its Star Wars range of pre-painted plastic figures.

WotC Star Wars figures - About this time, Jar Jar realized he was in 'Beega troubles'...

A surprising miniature-related game manufacturer is Bandai. Their booth features a game called Navia Drapt - which is described as similar to chess, but with magic. The goal of the game is to acquire gems and use those to power up - or drapt - the character pieces and either force your opponent's navia figure (a female nature elemental, by the looks of things) into checkmate or to power your own navia with 60 points of gems. Gems can be aquired by moving your basic (pawn) pieces. There are two red pieces which have improved attack abilities, as well as providing more gems from each movement. Taking an opponent's piece generates gem income as well. However, drapting a piece requires one to spend gem points, which varies by figure, but allows the piece to gain improved movement or other abilities (such as being able to resurrect a lost piece). Each character piece differs in both appearance and abilities. Expansion packs will contain three random figures.

Navia Drapt - Here the Navia (the white figure) is in check from the figure three spaces to the left

I tried the game and, after figuring out the abilities and limits, I was able to come up with a half-baked strategy that still managed to cause a victorious checkmate. It's an interesting concept, and it could serve not only to bridge the gap between younger relations addicted to anime card games, but to serve as a enjoyable, brief break from "more serious" gaming.