Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Obligatory “What I Played In…” Post Part XI: May 2016

Hey all, welcome to another edition of “What I Played In…” for the month of May.  It was another great month of gameplays and I’m excited to write up this month’s post about them!  We aren’t quite hitting the numbers of a couple months ago in plays as it has been a busy month, but we were still able to hit 70 plays.  There are some new ones to hit the table and one that blew all others out of the water!  Sit back, read on, and enjoy!  Thanks for your time!

Total plays in May 2016 – 74
Total unique games played in May 2016 – 23
New games played in May 2016 – 4
New games acquired in May 2016 – 1
New expansions acquired in May 2016 – N/A
Most plays of a single game in May 2016 – 34

Designer – Kane Klenko
Publisher – Renegade Game Studios
New to me
First play – 5/2/16
Total plays in May 2016 – 34

Okay, so this is the game that crushed the numbers of all other plays this month.  As a matter of fact, our plays of FUSE were almost more than all of our other plays combined.  This is a small, quick, dice drafting, real time game that is just fun and tense.  Em and I don’t really tend to like super tense games but this one really hits a sweet spot with us and has become out go-to filler game!  Love to roll those dice!

Designer – Fabien Riffaud/Juan Rodriguez
Publisher – Cool Mini or Not
New to me
First play – 5/5/16
Total plays in May 2016 – 5

Here is another new game for us and in second place!  This is a co-operative, hand management card game where you are playing as a group of World War I soldiers who have promised to make it through the war alive and get back together as a group of friends.  This is a fairly mean co-op (although it’s not quite as punishing at two players) that is a ton of fun.  I have always loved a good card game and this is definitely one.

Designer – Ignacy Trzewiczek
Publisher – Portal Games
New to me
First play – 5/10/16
Total plays in May 2016 – 4

Well, the top three games are all new to me!  This is a game that I’ve been looking forward to for quite some time.  Ignacy mentioned last year that he was going to rework his games 51st State and The New Era into one new master set.  This got me very interested as I love post-apocalyptic settings and Imperial Settlers is one of my favorite games.  When the pre-order went up I jumped at it and we just received it this past month.  I love it.  This game will go up on my list of favorite games with more plays, of that I have no doubt.  It also has beautiful art and amazing components.  Bravo Ignacy, bravo!

Designer – Rob Daviau/Matt Leacock
Publisher – Z-man Games
Last play before May 2016 – 4/20/16
Total plays in May 2016 – 4

Oh man do I love this game!  We have fought through the epic scope and grandiose nature of this game and have completed the epic narrative journey.  We were able to do really well during our journey and had twelve wins to only three losses.  Our final score was 755 points and we were quite proud of it.  Lainey was actually the only one in our group who had previously played Pandemic so we were quite happy with our final score…although we were only on destroyed military base away from scoring over 800 points!  I highly recommend this game…it is just amazing!

Designer – Carl Chudyk/Chris Cieslik
Publisher – Asmadi Games
Last play before May 2016 – 4/20/16
Total plays in May 2016 – 3

We only got three plays of this game in the month of May.  That just goes to show how popular FUSE was with Em and I this past month.  While we tended toward FUSE where we would have previously played Red7, that in no means lowers the game in our estimation.  We still love this one and pretty much carry it wherever we go as it is so quick to play and just a lot of quick, card-based fun.

Designer – Mike Fitzgerald
Publisher – Eagle-Gryphon Games
Last play before May 2016 – 4/18/16
Total plays in May 2016 – 2

Oh man do we ever love this game.  I could definitely see this one rising up further on our personal top 10 lists.  We love theme, the mechanics, and the look of the game.  It certainly doesn’t hurt that we are huge baseball fans!  Also, as an interesting note, this is probably the game that frustrates Em and I the most out of all of our games!  I just think it is because we enjoy it so much and really want to win!  This is an amazing game and we’ll end up getting all of the expansions that come out for it.

Designer – Vangelis Bagiartakis
Publisher – Alderac Entertainment Group/Artipia Games
Last play before May 2016 – 4/9/16
Total plays in May 2016 – 2

We were able to get two plays of this fun dice-placement game in May.  We brought it out with a couple of friends of ours and played a four player game.  This was a lot of fun although I do think the downtime may be a little high at four players.  We didn’t mind too much however as we just hung out and drank and chatted during the downtime.  The second game was a super-quick two player match between Em and I and she took me out with a heavy trade ship strategy.  This is becoming a go-to for dice rolling games.

Designer – Carl Chudyk
Publisher – Asmadi Games
Last play before May 2016 – 4/27/16
Total plays in May 2016 – 2

We got two plays of this brilliantly designed, multi-use card game by the fantastic Chudyk.  This is the spiritual successor to Glory to Rome and I find it to be an amazing game.  This is one of the go to games on our Wednesday coffee/breakfast dates and it is awesome!  We had our second play of the month on the final day of May and I was able to win with a Haniwa strategy where my most played helper type scored me three points for every individual helper.  This got me the win 24-23 and was an amazing game!

Designer – Alexander Pfister
Publisher – Lookout Games
Last play before May 2016 – 4/27/16
Total plays in May 2016 – 2

No surprise here.  We got a couple more plays of this wonderful little, multi-use card game and they were awesome!  Em is really good at this game and tends to win it more often than not and this month’s plays were no different as she won both of them!  This is a go-to, filler length game that we have over twenty plays in already in about four months.

Designer - François Gandon
Publisher – Days of Wonder
New to me
First play – 5/2/16
Total plays in May 2016 – 2

Another “new to us” game played this past month was Quadropolis.  This is a Days of Wonder production (actually, my first Days of Wonder game) and it has an absolutely wonderful table presence.  We have only played it twice so far but I’ll admit that it is one of those that I consciously want to bring to the table.  I loved my first couple of plays and hope to play it a bunch more!

Designer – Thomas Lehmann/Wei-Hwa Huang
Publisher – Rio Grande Games
Last play before May 2016 – 1/28/16
Total plays in May 2016 – 2

No!  I realized that it had been since January since we broke this game out and that is sad.  Roll for the Galaxy is such an absolutely amazing game and it is a bummer that it took us over three months to get another couple of plays in.  I hope to get the Ambition expansion sometime in the next couple of months and I think that will get this game back to the table more often!

Designer – Antoine Bauza/Bruno Cathala
Publisher – Repos Production/Asmodee
Last play before May 2016 – 4/6/16
Total plays in May 2016 – 1

We got one play of this game in during May and it was a super close one.  Em and I are very equally matched in this wonderful take on its big brother, 7 Wonders, and this one was no exception.  I was able to just barely edge her out by three points.  This is an amazing two player experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone!  I’ve heard they are working on the first expansion and it possibly has god powers in it.  I can’t wait!

Designer – Isaac Vega
Publisher – Plaid Hat Games
Last play before May 2016 – 4/27/16
Total plays in May 2016 – 1

Em and I got in a play of Ashes this month with the two new characters, Rin Northfell and Brennen Blackcloud.  This game wasn’t even close!  She drew into her best cards (as Rin) and I just couldn’t get the allies that I needed to start a good combo going with Brennen.  Em made pretty short work of me…but that is totally cool because I adore this game!

Designer – Maxime Rambourg
Publisher – IELLO
Last play before May 2016 – 3/30/16
Total plays in May 2016 – 1

Em and I were foolish young magic users and we decided to pop down into the bottom floors of our magic school in order to open The Big Book of Madness.  Mistake!  Actually, it was totally okay because we crushed it!  We moved on to a medium difficulty and opened the book.  The evocative art of Naiade popped off the cards as we flipped each page of the fearsome book.  We really built our decks and spell books well in this round as we were able to beat the dragon on our final round and third turn.  It was an awesome game and I can’t wait to play again!  I am really starting to love this co-op!

Designer – Marco Pozzi
Publisher – Placentia Games/Post Scriptum
Last play before May 2016 – 1/25/16
Total plays in May 2016 – 1

Em suggested we pull Bretagne off the shelf to play it for the second time.  I was all about it!  We played it and I realize how much I enjoy this form of worker placement.  You will place your workers right away and then decide if you want to pull them right off and score some small points or leave them on to possibly score a large amount of points later.  This is another game where Em and I seem to be very evenly matched as I beat her only by one point.  This is a fun game, but I could see it being punishing if you make a wrong move, so be careful!

Designer – Filip Głowacz/Ireneusz Huszcza
Publisher – Board&Dice/Stuntkite Publishing
Last play before May 2016 – 11/11/15
Total plays in May 2016 – 1

We pulled this fun dice-chucker out and had a good play.  We always enjoy our plays of this one but I definitely seem to have Em’s number in this one.  It is funny that Em usually takes me down in Oh My Goods! when multi-use cards is one of my favorite mechanisms and I usually take her down in Dice Brewing when dice-chucking is one of her favorites!  We always like chucking the dice and brewing some beer.  I would love to get the upgrade kit but still haven’t been able to get my hands on it.  I also look forward to the expansion that the designers have spoken about a few times.  On a side note, I would love to get Board&Dice's new game, Multiuniversum, but don't know if that will happen any time soon!  Sad Face!

Designer – Uwe Rosenberg
Publisher – Z-Man Games
Last play before May 2016 – 2/10/16
Total plays in May 2016 – 1

This is a game that we need to get to the table more often!  I absolutely love the sandbox nature of this game.  It is a ton of fun to play this with my wife and see what different paths we choose.  It is a game that I love winning but honestly don’t really mind if I lose because you get to look over what you’ve done and it is awesome!  Fields of Arle is a GREAT two player game and I’d highly recommend it!

Designer – Uwe Rosenberg
Publisher – Lookout Games/Mayfair Games
Last play before May 2016 – 4/27/16
Total plays in May 2016 – 1

Yay for getting in another play of Patchwork!  This is definitely one of our favorite two player games.  This is one of those perfect amalgams of a simple rule set and deep decisions.  We bought this game in October of last year and have played at least one game of it every month since.  This is a game I would buy for anyone as it is super simple to teach and anyone could enjoy it.

Designer – Hisashi Hayashi
Publisher – Gamewright
Last play before May 2016 – 3/12/16
Total plays in May 2016 – 1

Em randomly wanted to play this fun little dice game the other night so we pulled it out.  I quite enjoy a puzzle and that is what this game basically is.  You roll the dice and put the numbers on your little “board” in an attempt to completely cover the boxes with numbers and no “x’s”.  It is a super simple game but nonetheless quite fun.  Em and I tied on our play!

Designer – Régis Bonnessée
Publisher – Libellud/Asmodee
Last play before May 2016 – 2/8/16
Total plays in May 2016 – 1

Em and I pulled out Seasons to play a round in May.  This is still one of my favorite games and I don’t think I’d ever turn down a game of it.  This was an odd round as I had a really good card engine rolling and was able to beat Em 189-127.  It isn’t very often that our games are this big of a difference but it was nice to win as she had been on quite a game winning roll!

Designer – Christopher Badell/Paul Bender/Adam Rebottaro
Publisher – Greater Than Games/Sentinel Comics
Last play before May 2016 – 2/10/16
Total plays in May 2016 – 1

I pulled this game out for a solo play and used The Scholar, Guise, Fanatic, Chrono-Ranger, and Absolute Zero against Wager Master in Insula Primalis.  This was a super odd game and I completely loved it!  Wager Master is a somewhat complicated villain but he has some really cool gameplay involved in playing him.  I also chose some of the more difficult heroes and was able to beat up on Wager Master before he sent the world in disarray!

Designer – Helmut Ohley
Publisher – Lookout Games/Mayfair Games
Last play before May 2016 – 3/30/16
Total plays in May 2016 – 1

We were able to pull this little, two-player card game in May and as always it was a great time!  This is one of our go to games when we just want a card game.  This uses one of my favorite game mechanisms, multi-use cards!  Ohley did a great job with this design and I hope he does future, small card games to add to his design credits!

Designer – Masato Uesugi
Publisher – IELLO
Last play before May 2016 – 11/23/15
Total plays in May 2016 – 1

Technically this wasn’t a complete play as we were interrupted while we were in the middle of it.  We had gotten to a point that I had a point and a wound and so did Em.  Sadly we needed to leave before we saw who ended up winning but that’s okay, we’ll pull it out sometime in June to make up for the incomplete play!

New game acquisitions in May 2016:
51st State: Master Set

Well, there you have it.  It was a pretty packed and very fun month of gaming for Em and I.  As you can see we only had one new acquisition in 51st State: Master Set.  We are pretty much out of high numbers of gaming additions until Gen Con and Essen Spiel games really start hitting the market.  There are a few I’d like to pick up but nothing that is pre-ordered.  I do have a couple of Kickstarter games that I hope to see in the next month or two.  The two that should be here by Gen Con at the latest are New Bedford and The Networks.  Both are very high on my interest list and I look forward to them getting here.  Keep your eyes on the blog as my next series will be Em and my top games list revisited.  We did this last year and are looking forward to the exercise this year to see what stayed on the list and what is new.  As always, thanks so much for reading!  I always love to see that people are enjoying the blog!  I think that is all for now.  Until next time, game on!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Obligatory 2016 Origins Game Fair Post Part III: Top 5 Games At Origins Game Fair Not Available For Purchase

With Origins Game Fair 2016 now in the rearview mirror, I just wanted to get out my final post of my Origins series.  This particular post will be about my top 5 games interests that were being demoed but not for purchase at the convention.  Just as an aside, these are the games that I know were at Origins in a demo-able form but were not yet available to buy.  There may have been other games that were able to be demoed there that I am more interested in but I didn’t know about them since I didn’t attend the convention.  Before we get into these games feel free to read my previous two posts that tackle my top 10 game interests that were for purchase at this year’s Origins.  Just click on the links below!

Alright, with those links posted, let’s go ahead and move on to the games that weren’t available for purchase but were demo-able that I’m most interested in.  As always, if you have anything interesting I missed feel free to comment below and thanks for reading!

#5 – Defenders of the Last Stand (8th Summit)

Defenders of the Last Stand is a co-operative, action point, dice-rolling game designed by Richard Launius and published by 8thSummit.  This game is a play on Launius’ previous game, Defenders of the Realm but includes some more mechanisms and gameplay features.  This game finds you taking on the role of a defender of the last known haven for humanity, The Last Stand.  You must fight four outside clan leaders in order to fend them off and protect The Last Stand.  This game also adds in mutations.  The character you have may travel into an irradiated area and start to gain mutations.  These can be good until you’ve gone too far and have too many mutations.  You will use your actions and dice-rolling in order to protect the final bastion of humanity.  I was slightly interested in the previous iteration of this system, but I find myself much more drawn to this one.  I think it’s the post-apocalyptic theme that is used along with the fun looking co-operative gameplay.  I’m looking forward to trying this one out as I think it will be a hit with me, my wife, and those we play game with!

#4 – Yokohama (Tasty Minstrel Games/Okazu Brand)

Yokohama is a card-drafting, set-collecting, route-building game designed by Hisashi Hayashi and published in the United States by Tasty Minstrel Games in conjunction with Japanese publisher OkazuBrand.  This is by famous designer Hisashi Hayashi (Trains, Minerva, Rolling Japan, Sail to India) and appears to be his biggest and most “epic” game to date.  Just one look at the modular board setup and you’ll see that there are a ton of spaces and actions that you are able to partake in giving each player a bunch of decision points.  In this game you will play a merchant in the village of Yokohama as it grows.  You will attempt to gain fame by using the game’s mechanisms to create a successful business.  It looks big and it looks great!  It is also in Tasty Minstrel’s hands and they do a great job with re-releasing foreign titles to look even better than their initial run!

#3 – Heroes of Land, Air & Sea (Gamelyn Games)

Heroes of Land, Air & Sea is a 4x, area-control, worker-placement, action point system game designed by Scott Almes and published by Gamelyn Games.  This is an epic game by the creator of the “Tiny Epic” series also released by Gamelyn Games that they will be putting up on Kickstarter in January of 2017.  This game was at Origins this year in the form of a demo-able copy that was being shown around the convention by Michael Coe.  I think a large part of my excitement is the talent that Coe has for showing off his line of games.  He is obviously excited about this release and he is great at drumming up excitement in others.  That being said, this still looks to be a really interesting game and thus has creeped its way onto my list.  I like the idea that Almes is taking on such a large scale game as he is quite solid in his design credentials and it was just a matter of time before he created a game that was not “tiny” but was still “epic!”  Being that it’s from a solid designer and publisher I’m sure it will do really well and be a good game.

#2 – Cry Havoc (Portal Games)

Cry Havoc is an asymmetrical, area-control, hand management game designed by Grant Rodiek, Michal Oracz and Michal Walczak and published by Portal Games.  This game is another in the recent trend of “Euro-trash” style games where there is a cool mixture of Euro-style elements and American-style interactions.  These games include things like Kemet, Cyclades, and the upcoming Scythe just to name a few and this game seems to really take and run with the idea.  I love the idea of being able to use your unit and build up your faction and occasionally have run-in combats with other players and I hope that this is exactly what this game provides.  I hope that this game is good with 2-players as that is my primary player count, but it will, by no means, be a deal breaker if not.  This game has risen by my estimation the closer it comes to release and the more I read stuff by the originator of the game (Grant Rodiek) as he continues to put out designer diaries about the project.  Plus, it’s a Portal Games release and I’m a Portal Games fanboy!

#1 – Mystic Vale (Alderac Entertainment Group)

Mystic Vale is a card-building, push-your-luck game designed by John D. Clair and released by Alderac Entertainment Group.  This game is hot right now as it is may be the first time that clear cards are used in an entertaining way that creates a system that AEG plans to release more games with.  You start with a deck of sleeved cards that you will add clear cards to in order to create more powerful, higher scoring cards.  I’ve seen some of the gameplay videos of this one and it actually looks like a really fun game.  I generally like deck-building games and this is a riff on that but creating the cards instead of creating a deck.  It is just another way of realizing that deck-building mechanism and I think it looks like an incredibly interesting way of doing it.  Because of these reasons, Mystic Vale moves to the top of the list!

Other games that just missed the list were Aeon’s End, Dreamwell, Fate of the Elder Gods, Fight for Olympus, and ManaSurge.

Well, that does it for my Origins Game Fair 2016 series.  I hope you enjoyed the read and hope you’ll come back for more.  My next post will be my gameplays from May.  I know it’s a little late but I wanted to make sure to get the Origins posts up in a timely manner.  After my May post I’ll start working on my top 10 list and also get a jump on my Gen Con 2016 series as it’s going to be here soon!  Again, thanks so much for reading and please leave any comments down below!  Until next time, game on!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Obligatory 2016 Origins Game Fair Post Part II: Top 10 List (Games 1-5)

Alright, games 6-10 are posted and now we move on to my top 5 game interests that are coming out at this year’s Origins Game Fair. This will be the second post in my Origins 2016 series and it is going to be on the games that I’m most interested that are seeing a release during this five day convention. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, please feel free to head on over to my first post and see what five games were in spots 6-10 on the top 10 list.

Origins Game Fair 2016 Post Part I: Top 10 List (Games 6-10)

Well, with all of that out of the way I suppose we can start up on the main event. What follows will be the top 5 games I’ve been looking forward to that are seeing their “debut” at Origins 2016. Of these games I have one already pre-ordered, one that I’m definitely getting, and the other three have a good chance of making into the collection as well. Enjoy the read!

#5 – Tyrants of the Underdark (Gale Force Nine, LLC/Wizards of the Coast)

Tyrants of the Underdark is a deck-building and area control game designed by Peter Lee, Rodney Thompson, and Andrew Veen and released by Game Force Nine and Wizards of the Coast. This game, set in the Dungeons and Dragons universe, is one that really only jumped on my radar recently and seems to be making its way up the list. I wasn’t even sure that they would be debuting at Origins but heard at the last minute that they’d probably have it there so I added it on to the list. This is an interesting twist on the deck-building mechanism because they have also added a level of area control. You’ll be buying cards from the central marketplace and them manipulating the deck and gaining influence to control sites. This looks like a cool twist on some classic mechanisms and the Underdark theme is very cool. I’m looking forward to this one and hope that Gale Force Nine continues their trend of making good, licensed games.

#4 – Imhotep (KOSMOS)

Imhotep is a Spiel des Jahres nominee designed by Phil Walker-Harding and released by KOSMOS. This game has had a large uptick since it was nominated for the Spiel des Jahres. It has actually been on my radar for some time as I thought it looked beautiful and the designer has some good credentials. This game uses some action selection and a hefty portion of take-that as you are trying to score the most points by placing your cubes on different Egyptians buildings as if you were the builder. The mechanisms and the components come together in what is a beautiful looking game with some very good, simple looking gameplay. I hope to be able to play this one and I think it will be very cool with a bunch of players fighting over their place on the buildings.

#3 – My Village (Stronghold Games)

My Village is a re-imagining of Village designed by Markus and Inka Brand and released in America by Stronghold Games. While this game came out during Essen Spiel 2015, it is only now seeing a proper release in America and man am I ever glad someone picked this one up! This game takes on the new and hot mechanism of dice-drafting and from everything I’ve seen it appears to do it amazingly well. I love the decision space that dice-drafting allows as there is a healthy amount of change with the roll of the dice. While it has dice in it, don’t think of this as a lighter game, but rather a good dice-chucker with some meat on the bone! This game will probably be in my collection at some point this year as I’ve been trying to pick it up in some way since Essen. I’m highly looking forward to trying this one out!

#2 – The Networks (Format Ferret Games)

The Networks is a card drafting game designed by Gil Hova and released by his own publishing company, Formal Ferret Games. This game just looks amazing. It puts the player in the shoes of a television company who is trying to get the most viewers for their station. To do this they must draft cards which represent different shows, stars, and ads that will get them the most viewership possible. This game Kickstarted last year and it was run very well by Gil. They are shipping soon and I can’t wait to get my copy as I think it will become a favorite of my wife and me. To be honest, this game probably would have been first if I hadn’t already backed it on Kickstarter. As another interesting aside, one of Hova’s previous games, Battle Merchants, was one of my highest interests of 2014. Sadly, with the glut of releases we were never able to get it. So, Gil, if you see this and want a review of Battle Merchants and its expansion just send me a copy and I’ll work on it! ;-)

#1 – Guilds of London (Tasty Minstrel Games)

Guilds of London is a hand-management and area control game designed by Tony Boydell and released by Tasty Minstrel Games. Boydell has been working on this game for what seems like a very, very long time. Finally, it sees the light of day! This game takes on one of my very favorite game mechanisms, multiuse cards. In this game you can use your cards for a power, to place meeples on certain areas of the board, or you can use them as currency for your powers. This game looks to be just a perfect game for me. There is absolutely nothing about this game that I don’t like the idea of. There is a healthy dose of “screwage” but I that doesn’t usually ruin a game experience for me. A friend of mine is at Origins and he is going to look for a copy for me. I doubt he’ll find any due to its recent release and popularity and I think it would be awesome if he got lucky and found a copy. This isn’t just one of my biggest interests of Origins, but of the entire year! I can’t wait for this game and hope it lives up to what I think it could be!

Well, there it is. These were my top 5 games that are being released at this year’s Origins and they are all amazing looking games. I have copy of The Networks which should be in my hands soon and Guilds of London also has a good chance of being on my shelf within a few months. I am looking forward to all these releases and think they’ll be great! Thanks for much for reading everyone, I really appreciate it. Come on back in the next couple of days when I put up the final post in my Origins Game Fair 2016 series. As always thank a ton for taking the time to read! Until next time, game on!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Obligatory 2016 Origins Game Fair Post Part I: Top 10 List (Games 6-10)

Hey all, I’m back and “better” than ever! What I have here is the first post in a three part series focusing on the upcoming Origins Game Fair 2016. Origins seems to be getter even bigger every year and with that there seem to be a lot more game releases happening at the convention. This year is no exception as there are a few games that are very exciting to me. This post will start my top 10 games that I’m interested in from the game fair. This particular post will take on my games 6-10 of the top 10, the next will be games 1-5, and then the final will be the top 5 games that I’m interested in that are demo only. First of all, if you want to read my Origins post from last year feel free to click on the link below.

Origins Game Fair 2015 Top 5 Games

Alright, with that out of the way I feel like it is time to move on the list itself. What follows will be the games 6-10 on my list and the next post should be in the next couple of days. Enjoy the read and let me know if you have any questions!

#10 – Junk Art (Pretzel Games)

Junk Art is a dexterity game designed by the duo of Jay Cormier and Sen-Foong Lim and released by Pretzel Games. This game is actually a bit of an anomaly for this list and I’m not generally the biggest dexterity game fan. However, this one just really seemed to jump out at me with its theme and components. This game has a bit of a hand management feature as you are placing the cards and will then take those pieces off the pile and create your junk art. I really like the look of the amazing wooden components and how you stack them upon each other to create your works of art. Pretzel Games really has an amazing eye for the wooden components of this game as they just look incredible. This is one of the few dexterity games that you’ll ever find my top 10 lists and thus it is a rarity for the dexterity games when it comes to my personal tastes!

#9 – Beyond Baker Street (Z-Man Games)

Beyond Baker Street is a co-operative, deduction, and hand-management style game designed by Robin Lees and Steve Mackenzie and released by Z-Man Games. This game is a very interesting looking deduction and co-operative game where you have a hand of cards that are five clues. The twist in this game is the Hanabi twist. This basically means that you are able to see everyone else’s cards but are unable to see your own. This makes the game an interesting play as the players must really work together in order to solve the case before Sherlock Holmes does so himself. While this seems to be an ungraded Hanabi, I don’t care! I love Hanabi and thus am really looking forward to see what this particular game does with the mechanisms.

#8 – Bear Valley (Stronghold Games)

Bear Valley is a push-your-luck card game designed by Carl Chudyk and released by Stronghold Games. This is another game by the fantastic Carl Chudyk but it appears to be a very different beast than what I’m used to from him. Most of his games have a fairly complex ruleset to get used to (i.e. Mottainai, Glory to Rome, Innovation) but a ton of deep gameplay with cards that have multiple uses. This game is a somewhat quick and apparently simple (although maybe not the best rulebook) push-your-luck game. I actually really like the look of this game and think that it could be an interesting game to add into the collection. Here’s to hoping that this is another Carl Chudyk winner!

#7 – Animals on Board (Stronghold Games)

Animals on Board is a set collection and “I split, you choose” style game designed by Wolfgang Sentker and Ralf zur Linde and released by Stronghold Games. This is an interesting game with “I split, you choose” as its primary mechanism. The basic premise of this game is that you are taking animal cards and doing one of a couple actions during your turn. Either you will split up a pile of cards any way you choose or you’ll spend food and take one of the sections of cards. You want to have either one or more than two animals on your ark and then you’ll be able to score them. However, if you end up stuck with only two of a certain animal then you won’t received any points for them. It looks fun and simple and like a game that will go over really well with a large number of different people. I look forward to trying this one.

#6 – Simurgh (NSKN Games)

Simurgh is a worker placement and tile laying game that is designed by Pierluca Zizzi and released by NSKN Games. This is one of the many games this year that are coming out in English even though it was released overseas last year. This is a game that was on my Essen list for 2015 and I am still very much interested in it. I’m hoping that it will have a decent release distribution so that I’ll finally be able to get my grubby hands on a copy! Also, they’ve finished the Kickstarter and funded an expansion (Call of the Dragonlord) that will also come out this year. This is a gorgeous game and appears to be an interesting use of worker placement and tile laying as you have to build the placement spots as you go. I can’t wait to play this one!

There you have it my wonderful readers, games 6-10 of my top 10 game interests of this year’s Origins Game Fair. Stay tuned to the blog for the next couple of days as I’ll have up my games 1-5 that will see their release at Origins and then my games 1-5 of games that will be for demo only. I am hoping that one day I’ll get to go to Origins, but until that time I’ll be doing my research by watching the live feeds to see what I’m missing. Well, again, you all are awesome and thanks a ton for reading! I’ll be back soon with some more Origins fun. Until then, game on!