Couldn't make it out to Indianapolis for the "Best Four Days in Gaming?" No sweat! While Gen Con may be kicking off as you read this, publisher Fantasy Flight Games has made sure you can enjoy the fun from afar. Their two games, "Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game" and "Android: Netrunner," are among the most anticipated releases of the con, and you can download .pdf of versions of the full rule book for each.
"X-Wing" was at the center of some gamer controversy this time last year, when the designer of the "Wings of War" dogfighting miniatures game made claims his mechanics were being lifted without credit. Fantasy Flight CEO Christian Peterson came to "X-Wing's" defense, and when we spoke to the publisher at Toy Fair, they revealed that the game had undergone a significant rules overhaul. Instead of what was originally demoed at Gen Con 2011, "X-Wing" was modified to use a D8-based system. Want to see how the game plays? Go read the rules for yourself!
Gamers are also eager to see what has changed since the classic '90s CCG "Netrunner" got a re-theming and a shift to the Living Card Game format with "Android: Netrunner." Original designer Richard Garfield (of "Magic: The Gathering" fame) was on board to help produce the new version, so "Netrunner" has been in good hands. Read the full rules to see how this one plays as well.
Of course, by time you are reading this, Fantasy Flight could have much bigger news for Gen Con attendees. The publisher is famous for its surprise Gen Con announcements, most notably last year's reveal of the "Star Wars" license and an unexpected "Descent" revision.
The title to watch out for this year is a potential appearance by "Merchants of Venus," a highly-anticipated revised edition of a long-out-of-print title. "Merchants of Venus" was until recently stuck in legal turmoil with Stronghold Games, who was working with the game's original designer to create their own reprint.
However, we already know that "Merchants of Venus" exists. It's what's behind the curtain that the Gen Con crowds will thirst to see. Instead of booking a last minute flight, enjoy the new "X-Wing" and "Netrunner" rule books, and read about the Gen Con news here on MTV Geek!