“Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess” – Oscar Wilde
This past weekend was pretty fantastic. I took my daughter to a boardgame event where she played her first game of Settlers of Catan. After establishing her dominance several times at Catan Junior, I felt it was time she graduated to the big leagues. She kept up with it pretty well and is excited to play again. I attended the birthday party of a friend’s daughter where we managed to sneak in a few games of Straw and Dungeon Roll.
As we were leaving, my friend surprised me with a birthday present (it’s next week) in the form of Spartacus: A Game of Blood and Treachery with an expansion to it. He’s been geeking out about this game for a while and gleefully refers to it as “a friendship ender.” After reading about it, I’m very excited to play it.
This unexpected addition to my hoard, my upcoming birthday and the holiday season in general got me thinking about games I want to add to my collection. I’m posting them here not just to start conversation, but to remind myself of what they are because I routinely forget what they are.
I’ve had my eye on Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small for a while. It was advertised as a lighter two player version of the game, and it’s no secret that I am a huge fan of the full version. Honestly, I really love Agricola as a two player game. Does this have anything more to offer me? Is it worth me picking up? I do like having a good stable of two player specific games. In addition to any number of other activities, I enjoy playing games with my partner, and eventually, I’m going to get one of those.
I saw Click Clack Lumberjack being played at the same event I referenced earlier. I didn’t get to play (as I was too busy Nurgling it up Chaos-style at another table) but watching it being played looked like a lot of fun. And how many dexterity-based games become more fun when drinking? Well, probably all of them, but this one looked extra fantastic.
Two games in, neither one played, both I am chomping at the bit to own. Addiction much?
Make that three. While I was teaching my daughter how not to trade with every offer made to her, I overheard people at another table playing Bang! The Dice Game. I’ve never played Bang! in any variant, but I am a fan of the hidden role/social deduction genre. This one comes in at a pretty reasonable price point too, and talking to the players was very well received.
Speaking of games very well received, let’s discuss the white whale, Terra Mystica. I’ve been (un)fortunate enough to SEE this game played a few times, and every opportunity to play myself has seen cruel fate and circumstance intervene. Well, no worries, I’ll just go get myself a copy and make it happen, right? Oh no, how very very wrong. This game is harder to find than a geek who doesn’t like Firefly. Harder to find than a competitive level Magic player who isn’t a complete douche. Harder to find than the ending credits of Battletoads. You get the point. A resource management/territory building game with heavy fantasy elements, asymmetrical player abilities and multiple paths to gain victory points. Yum. Honestly, this game had me at asymmetrical.
Between a review by one of the slave writers here and hearing people talk about it, I need to get on board with King of Tokyo. I hear it’s light, fun, and “Yahtzee for gamers” which makes it a good call for the kid. I’ve never heard anyone speak badly about this game. Not every game needs to be heavy.
I witnessed Rise of Augustus played at GenCon, which my friend Curt described as light, fun and “Bingo for Gamers”. It’s picked up a number of awards, and while I refrained from playing that night, reading up on it, I wish I would have.
Do I actually want any games that I actually have played? Absolutely.
Scoundrels of Skullport is the expansion to a game I talked about a million years ago, Lords of Waterdeep I’ve gotten to play with this a few times, and I think it added a lot to the game. I enjoyed the game before, and seeing as one of my game groups is not Agricola-friendly but IS Lords of Waterdeep friendly (I guess theme really does matter, I guess, even though Agricola is the superior game in my estimation) I guess I should get it. The risk/reward elements of Corruption are fun, and the super quests of Undermountain cause for some big dramatic swings.
I got off on a bad foot with 7 Wonders, but after a few more games, I really understand the hype surrounding this fantastic game. However, I don’t own the Cities or Leaders expansions, and after playing with them, I have to have them. They are exemplary expansions to an exemplary game. How can you go back to the farm after seeing the lights of the big city?
I had the good fortune to play Hanabi, a curious little deduction game where you have to build specifically ordered color sets of cards, but you have to do so never seeing the cards in your hand. Fortunately, everyone else can. They can give you somewhat helpful clues as to the contents of your hand, but the availability of these clues are in short supply. It’s engaging, fun, and good for non-gamers, which makes it a total gem to have in your collection. Totally worth the hype.
Tzolkin: The Mayan Calendar had me the first time I saw the board. That’s all it took. Yes, there’s a lot going on to keep track of, and while learning to play the game isn’t overly difficult, I think learning to play it well will be. I’ve only played once, which was enough to get me hooked, and I won my first game (with a little help) so maybe I should retire and claim that I have never lost a game of Tzolkin and change the subject as soon as it turns to how many games I have played.
Lastly, my appreciation for game masochism is well documented by my love for Agricola, Robinson Crusoe and most recently Ghost Stories, so it only makes sense that I add the delightful Pandemic to my collection. This is another game that I’ve only played once and got to see how awesome it is and won. From what I read and discuss with other enthusiasts of the game, this is not typical, the winning of the game.
I have not been back to Kickstarter in a while, but the games I have backed are rolling in. I backed a project a while ago, simply as a thank you to Daniel Solis, as a thank you for his insightful design blog. Hopefully his game Belle of the Ball is good times. Compounded showed up last week, and some time in my future comes Euphoria, Machine of Death, Democracy, Coup, Archon, Xia: Legends of a Drift System, Sentinels of the Multiverse: Vengeance, Gear & Piston and The Great Fire of London. I managed to curb my lust for Cthulhu Wars, and I’m not even sure how.
Jeez. Maybe I should develop a heroin habit to save money.
What games are on your wishlist? Any recommendations? PLEASE DON’T MAKE THEM I HAVE A PROBLEM.