RECAP: Catalyst Game Labs At GAMA Trade Show

Catalyst Game Labs had a great 2009 GTS experience and the Catalyst booth was constantly busy both days. Most importantly, however, is that all of the retailers stopping at the booth asked pertinent, intelligent questions and were expressing interest not only in the staples of BattleTech and Shadowrun but showed interest for everything that Catalyst Game Labs has to offer in the coming year.

Undoubtedly it was the coming release of Catalyst Game Labs’ casual game line (comprised of board and card games) that was the star of the show. Three card games—Paparazzi, High School Drama and Merchants (a Reiner Knizia game)—will be part of that launch, each with a fun, quick play style. The unique packaging for all three designs garnered a host of attention.


At the end of the day, however, Balance of Power, Catalyst Game Labs’ first casual board game, walked away with the most buzz. Set in the Napoleonic era, it has easy to learn rules. As several self-proclaimed “board game snobs” attending stated, “the depth of play for Balance of Power is subtle but huge, with a lot of strategy and great re-playability”. And if that weren’t enough, the map is an eye-catching, beautiful piece of graphic design; perfect for snagging new players’ attention at a table.

The digital proofs of the anniversary edition of Shadowrun Fourth Edition caught a lot of attention, as did the nearly three foot panoramic illustration of Seattle for the new Shadowrun Gamemaster screen found in the Runner’s Toolkit. The coming of a new series of linked adventures, and a deluxe full-color Seattle 2072 hardcover book also generated a lot of eager comments.

The massive stack of digital proofs that was Strategic Operations elicited a lot of retailer questions, mainly from their customers: where’s the book?!  Strategic Operations—along with all of Catalyst operations—ran afoul of the closing of WizKids and ended up stuck for several months. It’s been completely unstuck and the printer is hard at work on getting this one out. Talk of the 25 Years of Art & Fiction deluxe coffee table book, along with a 25th anniversary Introduction Box Set with new cover art and high quality board-game style playing maps in place of the current paper sheets also had retailers excited.

With two supporting products out for the CthulhuTech RPG (Vade Mecum and Dark Passions) and digital proofs of Damnation View—the third release beyond the core rulebook—for retailers to flip through, the game line is continuing to pick up speed and a lot of interest.

Catalyst Game Labs was also excited to talk about our new immersive universe and all-new roleplaying game, Eclipse Phase. This transhuman conspiracy and horror setting spiked a lot of interest, especially in the more unusual roleplaying aspects that bring a unique flavor to this hard science fiction RPG.

Leviathans—an alternate history miniatures game of air fleet battles set in 1910—also had a lot of retailers excited. While there were no game mechanics to show off, a folder with a dozen concept illustrations and a box cover illustration from Doug Chaffee got high marks across the board.

Catalyst would like to extend a giant round of thanks to all those retailers that swung by the booth and kept us so busy with your interest and superb questions. We hope to see you next year (as well as any that weren’t able to make it to our booth this year)!

In the coming days Catalyst Game Labs will release more in-depth reviews and information focused on various aspects of our game lines described in short above.

11 thoughts on “RECAP: Catalyst Game Labs At GAMA Trade Show

  1. I would especially love if you could show us some of the art for Leviathans soon. The setting definitely sounds interesting, and art from Doug Chaffee is always great :)

  2. Hmm, they went with Sunward. I forget the choices, but I have a feeling that this was one of the less lame ones. ;)

  3. Leviathans seems to be a worthy replacement for the old FASA Crimson Skies. Of course, armoured Iron Grip-style airships are cooler than the usual fighter.

  4. Indeed, Leviathans has piqued my interest as I love CS – probably the coolest Fasa setting (not game), and this setting sounds like it might be similar :)

  5. The things I am most interested in(outside the Battletech and Shadowrun stuff) is Leviathans and Eclipse Phase.

    But….OOOO! Are those actual NOVELS on the battletech table? And what is that box on the SR table?

    Biggest thing I am hoping for from Battletech, of course, is a re-release of all the maps, so I can order more of them!

  6. Oh yeah, I picked this video up some time ago and it has two of Doug Chaffee’s concept illustrations shown.

  7. You know, this gets kinda old:

    In the coming days Catalyst Game Labs will release more in-depth reviews and information focused on various aspects of our game lines described in short above.

    We had the same thing at Gen Con last year, where the promised covergae also never quite materialized…

  8. I hope Leviathans! comes out with some more info on how the game played. It looks like it has alog potiential!

  9. Loved what I saw on the video for Leviathans. I’m dying to know the scale and publish date!

  10. If you really want more information, Randall has a blog up for Leviathans at

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