Friday, January 9, 2015

Obligatory End of 2014 Post Part I: Top Interests of 2014 - Honorable Mentions

Another year has passed us by and, with that, it is time to roll out “best of 2014” lists. Instead of doing a “best games of 2014” list I have decided to go another way with my next series of posts. The first will be three part series focusing on games that came out in 2014 that I still really want to play and/or own! Almost all of these games have been mentioned at some point during my Gen Con and Essen Spiel posts, but there are a few that have jumped up and become more interesting over the past few months! The second series will focus on games that will/may be released in 2015 that I am most interested. Finally, I will probably do a final wrap up post making seven in all. The final post will cover the entire year and also will cover what my first “real” year of gaming was like!

Before going on I will explain how I separated the 2014 release dates from the 2015 release dates. Some of you may be thinking as I go over my 2014’s, “where is so-and-so game?” If a really good-sounding game isn’t on the 2014 list it may yet show up on the 2015 list. This is because I am separating games by English distribution. For instance, a game may have made a showing at Essen, but if it doesn’t have an easily obtainable English version through an American distributor, then I am putting it on the 2015 list as it will probably be released widely this year at some point. As an example, Viceroy, a game released overseas by Hobby World, will be release in the first or second quarter of 2015 in America by Mayday Games. I hope this clears up my decision-making somewhat. That being said, on with the honorable mentions of my top interests of 2014!

The first game to slide its way onto my most interesting games of 2014 honorable mention list is Doomtown: Reloaded, designed by Mark Wootton and Dave Williams and distributed by Alderac Entertainment Group in the United States. This is a card-driven game in the style of Fantasy Flight’s Living Card Games or LCG’s for short. These LCG’s (which is technically a trademark by Fantasy Flight Games) are games which are released as a base set and then have regular expansion packs to add onto the number of cards in the game. These games are widely used as tournament style games as they usually focus heavily on a 2-player, combat-heavy style of play. Doomtown: Reloaded, while not technically an LCG, holds true to this type of game as they have already released two expansions with many more on the way. This game looks like a ton of fun and the deck building in it actually interests me. If anyone is curious, The Fourth Ring would be my faction of choice!

The next game to be mentioned is Kingsport Festival, designed by Andrea Chiarveslo and Gianluca Santopietro and distributed by Passport Game Studios in the United States. This is a re-implement of Chairveslo’s 2007 hit Kingsburg. This is one of the first games to really use dice as the “workers” in a worker-placement style game. Kingsport Festival uses the same basic game-play mechanic of Kingsburg but themes it in the Lovecraftian mythos. Instead of being heroes protecting a city from attacking monsters, you are a cultist attempting to raise the elder gods from their slumber in order to destroy the world. While it is a darker theme, there are a few mechanics that are most interesting and cement it as an honorable mention in my 2014 interests list.

The third game to make its way onto this list is Arcadia Quest, designed by Thiago Aranha, Guilherme Goulart, Eric M. Lang, and Fred Perret and distributed by Cool Mini Or Not in the United States. This game didn’t really hit my radar or even crack it until after Gen Con. Even then, it took seeing quite a few reviews and video play-through’s until I became somewhat interested in the game. Arcadia Quest takes chibi-styled characters and throws them into a 2-player game where each person takes a guild and attempts to move through campaigns while getting more points/honor/gold than the other player. While appearing to be a dungeon-delver, this is actually quite a different game altogether. The two players go through campaigns using their guild characters against each other to complete missions and win the round. When complete the players take the same characters and are able to get them better equipment and spells and such before they go into another round of the game. Each campaign has roughly six rounds in it and the character progression goes the whole way throughout. A very interesting idea that appears to be good dice-chucking fun!

The fourth game on the list is Battle Merchants, designed by Gil Hova and distributed by Minion Games in the United States. This is probably my biggest surprise for the list as I didn’t know much about this game at all when I did my Gen Con and Essen Spiel posts. Battle Merchants is an area-control and card drafting game where you take on the role of weapons crafters/dealers who are selling to different fantasy races in order for them to wage their wars. You are able to create stronger weapons and sell to the different races in order to gain their favor during the war. It appears to be quite an interesting game and nothing that like other games I currently have in my collection.

The final game and the one I’m most interested in on my honorable mentions list is Hyperborea, designed by Andrea Chiarvesio and Pierluca Zizzi and distributed by Asmodee in the United States. This game has been on my radar for some time and it just continues to interest me. I so badly want to try this game out! It uses a “bag-building” mechanic where you pull your cubes out of the bag pool you are building and thus make your particular race/civilization stronger and more able to take over the kingdom of Hyperborea. This is another wonderful idea of a mixture of the European-style and American-style of games that is become more popular. Can’t wait to try this one!

This concludes my honorable mentions for the games released in 2014. Stay tuned to my page during the next week to two weeks as I will be doing my top ten interests of 2014 and then my top ten interests of 2015. Enjoy the gaming goodness and as usual let me know here or on the same post in BoardGameGeek if you have any questions or comments! Until next time, game on!

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