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Your Board Gaming Year in Review- 2018


#1

Hey folks,

2018 has been a great year for me with board gaming. Almost entirely consumed by one game. Even so, I have managed to find and play a bunch of games that have just been amazing.

I thought it might be nice to share a bit of our own year in review type topic. Highlighting your personal highs and lows with games and gaming.

If anyone has been seeing my posts in the “Your Last Played Game” thread you know it’s like 99% Gloomhaven . But have played some really fun games other than that.
Gloomhaven has been everything I wanted and needed it to be in a board game. It was a collection of ideas and mechanics and storytelling and decisions that means a new playthrough will feel different. The hand management and action selection is just fantastic. Even with 4 players I’ve rarely felt useless or had turns be a complete waste. Maybe 3 times in over 55 scenarios. Gloomhaven is how I imagined a dungeon Crawler could be and it delivered. For me at least. The hype was real and remains that way.
my Group has decided to shelve the game for the new year after 11 months of continuous weekly sessions. Because in March/April the expansion should be arriving so we will pick it up for that mini campaign.

Terraforming Mars : This game just works for me. It’s quiet contemplative turns, with the random card draw can keep you on your toes generation after generation. It’s a game that I will play 2 or 3 times in a row happily. Even Solo this game is wonderful, and with the Expansions it becomes even more fun. I’ve yet to bring out Prelude yet and have yet to purchase Colonies. But Venux: Next is definitely the weakest expansion I feel. That could have been like an Expandalone spin off of Terraforming Mars. I feel Venus should have just been a part of Colonies from what I understand of it.

Great Western Trail : uhg this game and its Shit Cows ™. I love it. But I am so bad at it. I have tried multiple strategies, and nothing has worked yet. I mean, I’m getting there, but dayum I suck. But I love being bad at this game. It’s really fun and you never really know how well you are tracking until the end of the game using the “Fun repellent” score sheet.

This War of Mine : this game. I’ve never won it. I’m not sure I will. Game is hard. Very hard. I love it. The theme is really quite harsh and sobering.

Twilight Imperium 4thEdition : oh god this game is a monster. It’s fantastic but I need a day off afterwards to chill out. I think we all know what TI can be like and how expansive it is. The board felt cramped with 4 players, not sure 5 or 6 would be better, but it would certainly make combat happen sooner. I think we are playing it this weekend.

Root : Only played the other night once. I played as the Vagabond for the first game and I loved it. I should have been more aggressive, but I was the tinkerer, thinking the other two players would be more cutthroat so I could swoop in and kill some units and help bring the lagging player closer to the front. Act as a balancing character for the game. It was amazing fun, definitely want to play it again.

Nemesis : This game came out of nowhere for me, and I love the theme, I love how desperate it can be, and how pear-shaped it can go quite quickly, it’s definitely a 4 character game, and definitely a full co-op game for me. I will play the “semi” co-op a couple of times but it just feels like that’s against how I imagine that setting and theme works. But then I didn’t get any Story before the game started, just rules.

Arkham Horror - LCG : Solid fun game that does away with the board for location cards which allows for a more varied story and locations. And allows the introduction of mechanics, like being on a train and carriages at the end of the train falling off, so there is a chance to be eliminated by bad decisions.

And now for a couple of disappointments:

Scythe : it just doesn’t live up to the hype for me. It’s a solid 6.5/10. It’s fine. I guess. The art is amazing as we all know, but it feels like it’s about an inch deep when it looks bottomless. I realise that’s pretty scathing but even though I’ve won two games, I never really feel like I’m doing much or creating an amazing economic engine. It’s like I’m just going through the motions. “It’s Fine.”

Zombicide : I’m still on the fence about this one, it could just be the timing of when I bought it. But it lacks something, sure it’s a fun dice chucker, and nice and light but feels like there was a missed chance for variety with a lot of the item cards. “Beer and pretzels gaming.”

The highlight for me though is gathering a few like-minded people that are into both Board Games and pen & paper RPGs into a regular gaming group. Now that Gloomhaven is put to rest for a while we can get on with RPGs and other boardgames, which excites me no end.

And into the future…

I’ve shelved Gloomhaven, not an easy task,
I have the entire 7th Continent game (all expansions and promos) due in April/May. 1 big box and 6 or 7 small box expansions. oh lawd!
I orders the solo game Black Sonata from Kickstarter as a bit of a filler game for quiet evenings.
Gen7. My group loves hard co-op games and the 7 session campaign will do nicely to play through 3 or 4 times this year.

What have been your years highlights and lowlights of gaming for 2018?
What are you looking forward to in 2019?


#2

The tldr version
Highlights: SHUX (so mostly Sideral Confluence and meeing peeps), TI4 and Aeon’s End.
Lowlights: Life stuff making it really hard to play games on a regular basis since, basically August.

The long version
I got technically Twilight Imperum 4th Edition in 2017, but didn’t really play it until 2018. The game is a beast. It’s long, complex and not for everyone. But, it is for me. It might be my favorite game now, even though I am reasonably bad at the game.

Between Table Top Simulator (2 games) and in-person (6 games) I actually manged to play it 8 times last year. My goal is to get at least a game a month in in 2019, ideally with a dedicated crew in a “league” sort of setting so I can track wins and such.

My brother-in-law got me Aeon’s End: War Eternal for my birthday in March and I immediately fell in love. At this point I have all the content and just got my copy of Aeon’s End Legacy so you can tell I’ve fallen hard for the game.

I love co-op games and I love deckbuilders and this scratches both itches. It’s completely replaced Sentinels of the Multiverse in my group for our card-based co-op monster bashing. I’ve still got room for other deckbuilders, especially Trains, when we want something a little less unforgiving, but I highly recommend trying the game out.

And probably the biggest highlight of my year was going to SHUX and meeting new people and playing new games. My standout game was Sideral Confluence, actually played it twice and had a blast each time. I need to play some of my backlog of games before buying anything new, but it’s a blast.


#3

Twilight Imperium 4thEdition : oh god this game is a monster. It’s fantastic but I need a day off afterwards to chill out. I think we all know what TI can be like and how expansive it is. The board felt cramped with 4 players, not sure 5 or 6 would be better, but it would certainly make combat happen sooner. I think we are playing it this weekend.

IMO 4 players is the absolute worst player count for TI4, because every strategy card gets picked. It takes a lot of meaningful decisions out of the game when you know every secondary is going to get played. It also makes it harder to play against The Hacan or Jol-Nar by making them pick Trade and Technology, since they benefit more if other people take them.

Combat can happen sooner in 5-6 player games, they also force people to interact more, as it’s way too easy for someone to just turtle and collect easy VPs in 4-player games. They are longer, though, and 4-players games are a good teaching count since every action happens every round.

Zombicide : I’m still on the fence about this one, it could just be the timing of when I bought it. But it lacks something, sure it’s a fun dice chucker, and nice and light but feels like there was a missed chance for variety with a lot of the item cards. “Beer and pretzels gaming.”

I just played this, and I’m in agreement with you. Especially since I already own Last Night on Earth, which while not fully co-op (one or two pllayers always has to play the Zombies) it offers pretty much the same experience. Just not as pretty.


#4

2018 was the year that we got into board games in a real way.

I made fairly common mistakes; bought too many games early on/all year, got sucked into KS a bit more than planned, etc. Fortunately, I used BGG early on, and found SU&SD not long after, the latter of which has been a big help (even if I dont always agree). Lucky, in the end I can’t say I have many I actually regret, even if I plan to purge a few of them eventually.

Some highlights;
Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle - not my favorite game, but our first coop. It was a big factor in my son amd I getting so into the hobby. Also made me realize I live deck builders (and led me to grab Aeon’s End and Clank! In! Space! both of which I love.

Pandemic Rising Tide - despite being my least favorite version I’ve played, it was our second coop, and further solidified how much fun we could have working together.

Pandemic the Cure - easily one of our most played games. Its super quick to setup, and we can play in 20-30 minutes. One of the few coops that can hit the table on a weeknight (Tiny Epic Defenders 2nd Edition gets an honorable mention for the same reasons).

Stuffed Fables - while far from my favorite game, it’s incredibly charming; between the theme and story, it feels like you’re playing through a Pixar movie. Yes, it can be frustrating a times, but my son really enjoys it. Its Also a learning experience for me; becoming better at enjoying the game becase of the people in playing with, even if I don’t love the game itself.

A number of quick/light games have been a big part of the year. Mostly these are played with my GF which has a) given us things to do during the week besides plant our butts in front of the TV, and b) slowly opened her up to slightly heavier games. The biggest hits would probably be; Century Golem Edition, Quests of Valeria, Carcasonne (new to her), and Fairy Tale.

There are also a coupke of late year purchases that have made great impressions.

Junk Art - this has hit the table a LOT! I grabbed the wood version on sale, which unfortunately has a number of warped pieces, but we make do. Still a ton of fun, and it will lead to many more dexterity games being added to our collection (my son is fully on board for Men At Work).

Just One - purchased this at a FLGS on a whim for a few holiday get togethers, and its been a hit each time. Sure, we skip a few rules by the end, but everyone has a blast, and that’s whats important.

I’m sure there are others I’m missing, but those are the ones that stick out. In the end, the biggest part that board games played this year, was giving me and my son (and me and my GF) something that we can really do together, and that’s something I’ll cherish forever. In the words of my sons aunt, regarding the way we play together “board games are our love language”, and I couldn’t put it better myself.

Heres hoping for even more great moments and memories in 2019!


#5

I think 4 players was ok for our first game, obviously 5 would have been preferable, but we had a last minute withdrawal. we all turtled a bit and yeah then once the Battles began it was quite hilarious.

Zombicide is fine, its just not a very involved game. its great for newbies to the board game scene though.

I know the feeling of buying too many, I underestimated Gloomhavens pull. I have 6 games unplayed Including A Feast for Odin!
And I love the SUSD community, one of the most welcoming and friendly places to be.


#6

What have been your years highlights

2018 is when our gaming group took flight and kept flying. We also manage to branch out to a second location because the pub owner likes games. This is also the year where I went overdrive on gaming, lots of acquisitions and gaming sessions that it becomes unsustainable.

Went to Dragonmeet and Tabletop Live for the first time. The latter is excellent and had a great time trying new games that will go to Essen the next month (because I didn’t prep for Essen :stuck_out_tongue: ).

I’m late on the Kickstarter crowd and so I am completely unaware of the existence of Root until someone in the games club I frequent in brought it in. I guess that’s good news that I was totally not on the supersonic hype train of Root and then end up with high expectations. I was meh at my first game, but end up loving it after my 2nd game. I think it’s my game of 2018.

The Mind was a pleasant surprise when it was introduced to me. For a tenner, this game have made us frustrated, ecstatic, and other sort of emotions. Anecdote: when my friend climbed Mount Everest’s Base Camp, he brought the Mind along and introduced it to other people there.

Shameless plug: you can see my post below in the self promotion thread, where I post about my “Top 10 Games of 2018” in my blog. :stuck_out_tongue:

What have been your years lowlights of gaming for 2018?

A bad year for dice games for me. Teotihuacan, Coimbra, etc are all a disappointment to me. The Voyage of Marco Polo remains my Doge of Dice Games.

Reef - I would just buy and play Azul.

I love Blue Lagoon’s art and theme, but it wasn’t as good as I expected. Still on the fence if I’m selling it off or not.

What are you looking forward to in 2019?

Reprint of Root :stuck_out_tongue: Also, see if Bargain Quest is excellent, when it gets in front of my door. Also, see if Tidal Blades is really good (in my subjective opinion) or is it just hype.

Also, 2019 will be a year of respite. More games that I love to play, and more purges.


#7

I completely understand where you are coming from. However, you might want to give the game another chance with this variant (no expansions required): Scythe: how to turn up excitement and make players care more

This is basically the way we have been playing Scythe (with a little additional tweak to monuments and armories) after a somewhat underwhelming first session with regular rules, and so far everyone I’ve played with has really liked the game and appreciated the changes to rules.

As for 2018, it has been a year where my boardgaming hobby to really get its start properly. I’ve always liked board games ever since I was a kid (Hero Quest era!), but for some reason the hobby kind of fell off, with a few exceptions here and there, such as getting into Game of Thrones boardgame a few years ago.

However, somewhat by a chance discussion with a friend, I started looking into boardgames again this year, and also acquiring more of them. Perhaps a bit too many, if my wife is to be believed. I also managed to start a group that gets together every two weeks to play, and it has been very consistent throughout the entire second half of the year.

Hits include Scythe, Inis, Dead of Winter (long night), Tash-Kalar, Cutthroat Caverns, Tales of Arabian Nights (really looking forward to playing this with my daughter when she’s a bit older!), and Imperial Settlers.

The biggest miss was Bioshock Infinite boardgame. It has many good ideas, but feels a bit too random for my tastes (Got it for sale, if someone wants it. Pretty much pristine condition.). I was also somewhat disappointed with The Metagame, and sold Fog of Love after playing it once.

In 2019 I’m looking forward to continuing the bi-weekly gaming and hopefully adding some additional ad-hoc gaming sessions here and there. Games-wise I’m looking forward to playing Pandemic Legacy Season 1 with my wife, hopefully getting into Arkham Horror LCG after finishing Pandemic. A friend has TI 3rd edition, Conan, and Gloomhaven, which are all games I’d like to try. The local library has an epic collection of games, including Middle-Earth Quest and Forbidden Stars, which I hope to put on the table at some point.

Other than those, I’m expecting to finally get my copy of Bargain Quest and reaaaally looking forward to the first expansion of Inis :slight_smile: Oh, and I did buy Kemet and Battle for Rokugan before Christmas, which I’ve yet to play.


#8

2018 was the year of campaign games for me.

I played so many games of Gloomhaven. We have a rotating party of 6 characters so we didn’t have the scheduling problem of someone missing a game and having to cancel the whole session. The lack of a compelling story and mostly static rules definitely helps in this respect. At $100 (including the solo scenarios), this is probably the game I’ve gotten the most value out of (besides party games).

Towards the end of the year, Arkham Horror LCG sort of took over. I have a “relaxed” 2P campaign going with a friend. We play on easy and 1-2 games every session. The rulebook says this is the mode to play if you want to enjoy the story, and I’ve been able to really enjoy the narrative this way.

I also introduced the game to a couple of friends at Kublacon and they also loved it! Subsequently, we’ve had a few marathon weekends of playing through a 3P campaign together! Best slumber party ever! These games are more focused on deck construction and optimal strategies (as 2 of the 3 of us have generally played through the campaign once already) played on standard and they’re also very fun. I had thought the game was optimized for 2P and higher player counts would be lacking, but it’s actually been great! Our next marathon will be Return to Dunwich Legacy. :squid:

I’ve also been playing an on-and-off campaign of Pandemic Legacy: S2. Hey, it’s tough to schedule 4 people. We’ve failed our first game of September, but it was a very productive failure :stuck_out_tongue: and we’re definitely set up for our second attempt. I play tested the game, but it was around 1.5 years between that and starting our campaign, so I’ve forgotten the details. I think as a game I like S2 more than S1 for the story, and also that it’s less linear.

I started DMing my first D&D5e campaign! It’s very erratic because I’m playing with my friend and his 6-year-old kid and I only see them around once a month but I’m having so much fun, mostly because his kid’s character is a crazy sociopath and a cross between Leeroy Jenkins and Gir from Invader Zim.

While not campaigns, I did get to play some epic games of Twilight Imperium 4 and Fury of Dracula. I really love long games. If I have to choose between playing 10 different half-hour games and 1 5-hour game, I would choose the 5-hour game every time (provided I like it).

I hosted my first (and hopefully not last) Maecon in early August. My friend graciously offered up his place in beautiful Truckee (near Lake Tahoe) for a weekend of gaming! I’d like to do it again this year, but probably have people show up Thursday night instead because the traffic is ridiculous on Friday evenings and a 3 hour drive ends up taking 5 hours.

SHUX was great! I played games with old friends and new friends, got to meet Nikki Valens (one of my favorite designers!), the Boards Alive peeps, and played an epic 12P game of the Labyrinths of Lunacy scenario for Arkham Horror LCG. My best con experience ever! Everyone was a great sport and persevered (even as it got late and we were all hungry) to a sweet, sweet victory.

Unfortunately, Euros have been somewhat neglected this year. I really like them, but they tend to be a bit harder of a sell to the people I play with regularly. I did get to play The Gallerist a couple of times though, and really like that game and want to play it more. Ditto for Altiplano, especially now that I have the expansion, which should make movement more meaningful in the game.

Finally, I’ve also had fun with games I’ll describe as single-play puzzle/mystery games; e.g. T.I.M.E Stories, Unlock, Exit, Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective. I picked up Detective but haven’t played it yet. Will probably do that one next.


#9

Like many on here, I played a lot of Gloomhaven. I own 2 copies to run to campaigns depending on who’s available. pushing 200 plays including some randoms I’m close to maxing out legal story arcs and scenarios for both. I love this game, it’s one of the few that’s brought my ameritrash friend and one of my more euro friends closer together game wise. The depth of decision coupled with character progression and achievements has enthralled me.

Some highlights:
Train games started to get played after me bludgeoning people in to it. Chicago Express was a good way in. The auctions are tense and the no permanence to your pieces plus cash value victory condition was the start of a new type of game for me. It’s lead on to Poseidon as an 18xx intro, and the world seems fascinating to me. A level of player driven interaction and narrative arc in a cutthroat mathematical quagmire is so up my alley. I however won’t jump any further in with my current games group. I think only 1 would enjoy going further, so that’ll rest.

Burano continues to be my favourite game. I like the colours and the tension of the tactical fights over points efficiency. It looks like it should be a game of engine and positional development, but it’s an exercise in calculating values in a changing landscape and I love it for that. For a Feld inspired euro, it shines for me as something different, interactive and gives plenty of reason to keep playing throughout a game as you can always push for points.

Finally getting Liberte to the table has been fun. Thematic and chaotic and always provoking laughter and fun at the table. I enjoy the sheer historicity of the design and never play with the Dagger Variant.

Indonesia Following on from Food Chain Magnate for me, I can safely say I’m a Splotter fan. I really like The Great Zimbabwe and Antiquity, but Indonesia holds a special place in my heart. Deep and interactive.

First Class is sharp, fun and really bright for a quick game. There is something delightful about getting your combos going and the drafting for some tension and interaction is so dense.

Betrayal Legacy blew me away. For some one going so hard for the euro and the heavy over the last few years, this has been a breath of fresh. Really highlights to me what I dislike about so many story games. I like the atmosphere, the arc and the sense of experience from the game. Not sure I’d play past the legacy campaign, but more out of a sense of keeping it self contained.

Agra is a highlight of euros for me this year. I like the chance to feel creative in how I go about my goals. It’s got levers to pull that can lead to the same outcomes or different outcomes. I enjoy having this freedom and feel open. Instead of working out which road is the shortest road, I decide which materials to build my bridge from with a little input from what my opponents do. Plus a beautiful game with beautiful pieces on top of a beautiful board. Wonderful.

Some misses: Argent: The Consortium played it twice and moved it on. It’s OK, and has some good bits and ideas. I just didn’t want to play it enough to justify it’s variability and get the skills up to a point where it would be a knife fight, if it ever would. Maybe for me a sign how many good games exist now.

Gnomes of Zavandor I really enjoyed the first 4 games, the 5th game where we’d all seen through the puzzle it fell flatter than a plaice stamped on by clowns big shoe. What a great collection of ideas built on sand.

Potato Pirates backed this for it’s learning programming pitch. What a turd of nothing made by people who’ve never played a game before. Hopefully someone could do something good with the idea of using bits of loops and functions, just not this team. They did spend a lot of time making sure the black printing was just the right black.

As touched on in another thread, I stopped tracking my plays. I’m glad I did and it’s really relaxed me in to just playing whatever, whenever. It’s kind of silly that I wanted to keep up the numbers, but it happened. Having noticed, I stopped and feel better for it. An interesting side note, having been the curator of games by being the person who buys too many, having tried to stop suggesting games at all, it’s amazing how hard the decisions then become to get to. After 2 months of not even hinting at what I’d like to play, I’ve just resumed offering a choice of 3 to get things going. I think it’s knocked 10 minutes off choosing games.

I hope next year to expand my group and enjoy my life more so I play less. I still want to play lots of games, I just want it to be a part of a whole, and less of a focus.


#10

You put my thoughts of this game in words. I love how you can’t beeline on one single strategy as well, based on the worker placement rules.


#11

This year I’ve realised how little I’ve been playing. Carried on PanLegS1 for the year, and that’s accounted for most my plays. Small games here and there, but I’m really missing regular play. Over the summer I bumped into an old game buddy so we’ve started a semi-regular game night that’s been fun. Only had 3 or 4 nights from our planned ‘every 2 weeks’, but it’s showing promise. But lots of one plays.

Think Root has been my most popular game - the hype has really carried it. I really enjoy it, but do find it frustrating how there is so much interaction that there feels to be reduced individual agency. I’m not sure if that’s fun or just interesting.

Decided I’m going to try and reduce my collection in 2019. If I’m not playing, there’s not much point in 90 games. Hopefully I can get regular play together, but we’ll see. I’ve struggled to find any gamers I have much in common with to be honest.


#12

As usual, 99% of my gaming has been at the monthly meets at a community centre - so maybe 10 days of gaming, about 11 hours each.

A good chunk of that time was spent playing Gloomhaven, which continues to entertain.

Other than that, all the usual suspects from my collection: Innovation, Through the Ages, Galaxy Trucker, Twilight Struggle, Kingdom Builder, Tigris and Euphrates, Dungeon Lords, Race for the Galaxy, High Society, The Mind, Condottierre, Decrypto, and more … plus a heap of utterly forgettable games that other people introduced me to and I never played again.

This was the first year my daughter graduated from My first Orchard, Zitternix, and other Haba staples to requesting and enjoying Outfoxed and (decision-free) Flamme Rouge.

My wife’s favourites last year were The Mind and Fugitive.

In 2019 I can look forward to zero free time but I got what might be my last day of gaming for a very long time last Sunday. Babies, babies, all I see in my future are babies (two of them, at once!)


#13

I recently discovered a board game cafe about 10-15 minutes drive form where I live (Adelaide, Australia) so I’m keen to go past there today, and have a look see.

It might make my board gaming year a bit more exciting. they also have a really good level of stock from what I could see.