It’s been a couple years so I thought I’d share a couple of my favorite games from last year, like I did in 2016. I’m still playing weekly campaign style games with friends. Tonight we’ll finish Pandemic Legacy: Season 2. The year before we tackled Mechs vs. Minions. I’m also running Board Game Night at Two Bit Circus on Tuesday every fortnight in Downtown LA too. Email me to join in.
Terraforming Mars puts each player in charge of a corporation trying to make Mars livable. Each turn represents one generation of people you put to work on Mars development projects. What I like about this and other games is when you get to the end you’ve really built something unique together. The game also has a interesting end game trigger. There are three tracks monitoring how Mars is doing: oxygen percentage, surface water, and temperature. When they’re maxed, the game ends. Certain cards can only be played when these reach specific levels. But every game plays differently. One might complete the oxygen track quickly meaning more animals are introduced earlier than a game where oxygen finishes last. Although a rarity last year, you can buy the game right now on Amazon.
Azul came out near the end of the year. It’s a colorful tile placement game. Players take turns selecting tiles and placing them on their tableau. There are specific rules for how the tiles can be placed and you’re rewarded for chaining them together. But other players can sabotage you by forcing you to pick up tiles that you can’t legally place which are worth negative points. The first run is out of stock but you can backorder it from one of my favorite online retailers: Funagain Games. It’s listed at a very high price on Amazon because it’s not always obvious when something is temporarily only offered by scalpers.
Scythe was a huge smash on Kickstarter. I wasn’t a backer because I was tired of getting burned in the early days (had I played the designer’s awesome Viticulture at that point I would have). Scythe is a an area control game with a lot of fun mechanics. You always feel like you’re accomplishing something and the game is good about making things easier as you progress. It does take a while to teach, but is a fun system when it is running. I’ve bought every expansion for this and should probably have played it more by now.
I bought some shelving to organize my collection which is now ~50 games. It’s made the living room a lot cozier. European board games often come in 300mm square boxes and fit well (like records) in shelving like IKEA’s KALLAX. That standard sizing also makes it easy for people to design custom board game bags for Kickstarter … or you could buy a bag intended for a box drum like I did. Finally, if you’d like to research any of these games, I’ve always trusted the opinions of The Dice Tower.