Played GI JOE. They’re only running a kind of abbreviated game here – character cards only, with no way to bring new ones out – but that’s enough to get a taste of combat. You trade off hand-to-hand attacks, using the Boost values on the bottom of a couple of cards pulled from the deck – then you pull more cards off the deck to use the Bullet values on their sides to do the firefight. Not too many of these people who are close enough to one another to fight hand-to-hand die in the firefights, which fits nicely with the series, wherein nobody seemed able to hit the broad side of a barn with their weapons. (Sadly, I lack any information on air units, but hopefully the rules specifically state that the pilot parachutes out automatically when the plane blows up.) So this game feels almost like the old 40K CCG, and not so much like any other Wizards game. I enjoyed it.
Played Call of Cthulhu at long last, and it’s really strong. Fans of A Game of Thrones will see things they recognize, but this game definitely feels like its own thing. It’s also over a lot faster than I thought, so the four-stage resolution of conflicts over the central Story cards doesn’t get as convoluted as I feared. You’ll probably only have to deal with battles over one or two of the four icons the Story specifies, and it goes quite quickly. Check the icons, check special rules, somebody goes insane, and boom! You’re done. This should be big fun – I love the flavor, especially of the evil folks’ cards – and it should be at Gen Con.