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?