Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Obligatory Favorite Games 2015 Edition Post Part V: Games That May Crack My Top 10

This is the fifth and final post in my “Obligatory Favorite Games 2015 Edition” series.  Check the links after this paragraph to find the previous four posts.  The first was of my wife, Em’s, top 5 games.  The second post was of my honorable mentions while the third and fourth posts were of my top 10 games.  Check these out at the follow links:

Now we move on to the fifth and final post of the series.  This will be different from the previous posts because this is a speculation post.  What I mean is that these games that I list in the post are games that I think could crack my top 10. 

Understand that I haven’t played any of these games as of yet but I have done my research on all of them including rules reading, video watching, and forum searching.  These are all games that have been released in some form and thus have plenty of support from online reviewers and other boardgame community members.  These are unnumbered and in alphabetical order as they are just possibilities at this point!  Also, I probably won’t go into a ton of detail about them and I’ve mentioned some of these on previous posts and again, just speculations...enjoy!

Argent: The Consortium (Level 99 Games)

Argent: The Consortium is a worker placement style game released by Level 99 Games and designed by Trey Chambers.  Argent focuses on worker placement where the workers each have a special power.  It also holds the distinction of the first game by Level 99 that wasn’t designed by D. Brad Talton, Jr.

Brew Crafters (Dice Hate Me Games)

Brew Crafters is a worker placement style game released by Dice Hate Me Games and designed by Ben Rosset.  This game has often been touted as an Agricola-light game with the (in my humble opinion) far superior theme of running a micro-brewery.  I have this game on pre-order and can’t wait until I get it!

Castles of Mad King Ludwig (Bezier Games, Inc.)

Castle of Mad King Ludwig is a tile placement game released by Bezier Games and designed by Ted Alspach.  This is a very cool looking game where you place your tiles and score points depending on certain goals that you get and that are put out for the public.  I love games where you have a finished product that you can look at and say, “Hey, I built that and even if I lost, it still looks really cool!”

Dice Brewing (StuntKite Publishing / Board&Dice)

Dice Brewing is a dice game will be released in America by StuntKite Publishing and was designed by Filip Glowacz and Ireneusz Huszcza.  This game just looks fun.  I love the theme and I love rolling dice.  I also enjoy when there are things in the game where you can manipulate the dice rolls and this game has that as well.  This is another game that I have on pre-order and hope to get it soon!

Fields of Arle (Z-Man Games)

Fields of Arle is an economic, worker-placement, farm simulation released by Z-Man Games and designed by the proficient Uwe Rosenberg.  This game intrigues me over Uwe’s other games for some reason, and I don’t really know why.  Something about the look and play of this game has made it extremely interesting to me and I am fairly positive it will be my first Uwe game.

Mysterium (Libellud/Portal Games)

Mysterium (Tajemnicze Domostwo in Poland) is an asymmetrical co-operative game that will be released in America by Libellud and was designed by Oleksandr Nevskiy and Oleg Sidorenko.  This is a very cool looking game that mixes mechanics from Clue and Dixit to make a game where one person plays a ghost giving clues while everyone else plays the roles of investigators.  Beautiful art in this game!

Nations: The Dice Game (Asmodee)

Nations: The Dice Game is a dice-rolling, civilization game that will be released in America by Asmodee and was designed by Rustan Hakansson.  This is a reimplementation of the game 2013 hit Nations and seems to really hold to the theme while streamlining the gameplay into a fun, succinct package.

Roll for the Galaxy (Rio Grande Games)

Roll for the Galaxy is a dice-rolling, tableau-building game released by Rio Grande Games and designed by Thomas Lehmann and Wei-Hwa Huang.  This game had been in development and rumored for many years before it was finally released late in 2014.  It is a reimplementation of the popular and greatly loved, Race for the Galaxy.  I have this one and plan on getting it to the table soon!

Russian Railroads (Z-Man Games)

Russian Railroads is a worker-placement game released by Z-Man Games and designed by Helmut Ohley and Leonhard Orgler.  This is a 2013 release that was nominated and won a few awards.  It is heavy on worker-placement and industry building.  I’m not quite sure why I’m so interested in this one, but everything I’ve watched makes me even more excited to play it.

Viceroy (Mayday Games/Hobby World)

Viceroy is a tableau-building, set-collecting game that will be released in American by Mayday Games and was designed by Yuri Zhuravlev.  This game was incredibly hot at 2014 Essen Spiel and was picked up by Mayday Games for a Kickstarter pre-order.  This may be the game most likely to crack my top 10 on this list as it is right up my alley.  I pre-ordered this game and hope to see it by July.

Well, there we go!  These are all games that I am incredibly interested in.  Roll for the Galaxy is currently in my possession and Brew Crafters, Dice Brewing, and Viceroy are all pre-ordered.   

Thanks for reading this series!  If you have any other games I should be checking out just let me know in the comments.  My next post will probably be an unboxing of either Roll for the Galaxy or Super Dungeon Explore: Forgotten King (it should be here tomorrow) and after that, who knows?  Until next time, game on!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Obligatory Favorite Games 2015 Edition Post Part IV: My Favorite Games: Top 10 List (Part II)

And now for the big payoff!  This is the fourth post in my “Obligatory Favorite Games 2015 Edition” series.  Before reading this post, feel free to check out the first three.  The first post is a guest blog from my wife who counts down her top 5 games.  The second post is my first favorite games post, my honorable mentions.  Finally, the third post is the bottom half of my top 10 games list.  Check those posts out at the following links:

Also, I love to pimp my wife’s blog at www.tastymess.org.  There you’ll find her wonderful writing with a foodie/recipe-sharing theme.  Also, she blogs about the appetizer recipes she uses at our game nights.  Now, shameless plugs aside, on to the top 5 games on my favorite games list! 

#5 – Robinson Crusoe: Adventure on the Cursed Island (Z-Man Games)

The first game to be mentioned is an incredibly thematic, co-operative game called Robinson Crusoe: Adventure on the Cursed Island.  This game was designed by Ignacy Trzewiczek and is (spoiler alert!) one of two games he has designed on my top 5 list.  I think this game does a great job in mixing the thematic flavor of Ameritrash-styled games with the mechanics of a Euro-styled game. This game does a fantastic job in immersing you in the theme.  Every time I play Robinson Crusoe I feel the tension as I’m trying to survive on an island that I’ve been stranded on.  This is a common idea in Trzewiczek’s games as he tends to start with the themes and build upon them.  This is why he has many successful games, and Robinson Crusoe is just one of his great designs!  On another note, this game now has an awesome looking expansion by the title of Voyage of the Beagle.  This is a five scenario expansion that places you on the ship with Charles Darwin as he researches flora and fauna.  I own it but haven’t gotten this expansion to the table yet but I can’t wait!

#4 – 7 Wonders (Repos Production/Asmodee)

7 Wonders is a game by the consistently great designer Antoine Bauza.  This game really helped to push the game mechanic of card-drafting into major game design.  Now, card-drafting is a common mechanism and it is one of my favorites.  This is the first “card-game” in my top 5 and you will find that it is a common theme.  I absolutely love card-driven games and really love it when I get to build a tableau with them!  This is the first of three (spoiler-alert!) games with the tableau-building mechanic and this is one that I’ve played a ton and it never gets old!  You get three ages with six rounds each where you draft a card and place it into your tableau.  I love that this game is winnable with whatever route you take.  I’ve won with military, sciences, public buildings, and guilds!  This is a great game with three expansions thus far, Leaders, Cities, and Babel.  The latest expansion, Babel, looks awesome and I hope to obtain it relatively soon to add it to our games!

#3 – Mage Knight Board Game (WizKids Games)

Mage Knight Board Game is a board game by the fantastic Vlaada Chvatil.  This is an implement of the miniatures-styled game Mage Knight also released by WizKids in 2000.  Chvatil created such an incredible game with this IP!  It is somewhat hard to really describe what this game is/does as it has a bunch of different mechanics that just come together is such a beautiful way!  This game is another that melds Ameritrash with Eurogame so well!  The theme is there and it has beautiful card-driven mechanics.  You use these cards to does movements, attacks, blocks, spells, and other cool things.  I think that this game would probably be higher but it is a very lengthy game and takes a long time to set it up and tear it down.  There are two expansions out for it now, The Lost Legion and the Krang Character Expansion.  There has just been a third expansion that has been announced and should be out this summer or by GenCon at the latest!

#2 – Imperial Settlers (Portal Games)

Imperial Settlers is the second game by the fantastic Ignacy Trzewiczek that makes its way into my top 5 list. This is a re-implementation of Trzewiczek’s engine building games, 51st State and New Era.  He took the ideas that he created in these games and really streamlined the mechanics into this wonderful game!  This is another tableau-building game that has a minor civilization building theme.  You have a deck of common cards as well as a desk of faction specific cards.  These faction specific cards really give flavor and replayability to this game.  Each of the four factions, Egyptions, Romans, Barbarians, and Japanese, has a very different feel to them and I love playing each one of them!  As well as being a super-fun game, this game also has beautifully fun art by Tomasz Jedruszek.  There is already a small pack expansion entitled, Why Can’t We Be Friends, out now and Trzewiczek has stated that there will probably be one more small pack expansion and one large expansion with a new faction coming out this year.  I can’t wait for more cards and more factions for this game!  It can only improve an already amazing game!

#1 – Seasons (Libellud/Asmodee)

And my current, favorite game is Seasons by Regis Bonnessee.  This is just an awesome game.  Spoiler alert!  If you haven’t check out my wife’s top 5 games list, this is her number 1 game too.  We both absolutely love this game.  It is the third game on my top 5 that is a tabeau-building game that is card-driven.  But, unlike the other two games, this one also has a very important dice-drafting mechanic.  You roll these big, chunky, absolutely beautiful dice and then each player drafts which die they would like during their turn.  You use these die to do your actions each turn and then use resources (called energy in this game) to put out the magical items and the magical familiars that you drafted in the beginning of the game.  This game just hits all of the great things that I love in gaming!  For those who love expansions (like me!), this game also has two already out.  The first was Enchanted Kingdom and the second was Path of Destiny.  The best thing these expansions do is adding more cards (and thus more replayability) to the game while also have some new mechanics if you choose to use them.  Seasons is a great game with absolutely gorgeous art by Naiade.

And there you have it, my top 5 games!  I will always leave this list with a caveat; it could change at any time.  There are so many great games that I have never played and so many great ones that I would love to play!   

I may do one more post in the series of some games that I think could crack the top 10 list.  Other than that post, I have some unboxing posts that will be coming soon of some games that should be in my possession soon.  Until next time, game on!