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Best Games of 2019
For my part, I did a best new-to-me list and posted it over on BGG: Dave's Top 10 New-to-Me Games for 2019 .
Here's the list if you don't feel like clicking, but I go into a little more detail over there:
Shards of Infinity
Trade on the Tigris
Deep Sea Adventure
The Quacks of Quedlinburg
It's a Wonderful World
Xia: Legends of a Drift System
In 2019 I had 353 logged gameplays (164 new to me) and played 199 unique games (88 new to me). My most-played game was The City (10 plays).
Lords of Hellas
Both from Awaken Realms, both Kickstarters. I will be the first to say that I don't particularly care for the way they do their KS promotions, but usually if you are discerning, you can tell if the underlying game is worth your time and money.
But it kinda went off the rails as I got rid of (or just didn't play) some games as new (more enticing) ones arrived - new ones marked with a *.
Additional to this there would have been about 30 other games with one or two plays with my different groups.
All up 240 plays over about 70 games - I had two months off with a neck/shoulder injury so could have hit 300, which would have been very good for me (240 plays still a decent year for me).
Favourites for 2019 - easily Sword & Sorcery, Nemesis, Lords of Hellas and Legendary Encounters: Firefly.
5 x 10 -------- Descent 2E 26 Legendary Encounters: Firefly 22 * Sword & Sorcery 13 * Runebound 2E 10 Legendary Encounters: Aliens 10 BANG! The Dice Game 10 * Nemesis/Lords of Hellas 9 * DC Comics Deck-Building Game: Heroes Unite 8 Warhammer Underworlds/Railways of the World/City of Remnants 8 Legendary Encounters: X-Files 7 * The Lord of the Rings: TCG 6 * Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice 5 * Risk: Legacy 2 10 x 5 -------- Gears of War 11 Western Legends 6 * Marvel Heroes/World of Warcraft/Middle Earth Quest/Eldritch Horror/Doom 6 Judge Dredd: Helter Skelter 5 * Mansions of Madness 1E 4 * Secrets of the Lost Tomb 3 Defenders of the Last Stand 3 Forbidden Stars/Runewars/Firefly 3 Sid Meier's Civilization/TI4/Warrior Knights/Age of Conan 3 Conan 3 * Space Cadets: Away Missions 2 Star Trek: Fleet Captains/Star Trek: Ascendancy 2 Spartacus/Cosmic Encounter 2
TOP 5 GAMES I ENJOYED PLAYING THIS YEAR:
Roll for the Galaxy
Eldritch Horror (A kind hearted donor here shipped this to me and I got a bunch of non gamers into playing this a couple of times a month and now they are gamers. Also played an epic 5 player game with non gaming brothers in law over Christmas.)
Top 5 Games that I am hoping don't hit the table on game meet up nights:
Target/Walmart Board games (Cataan, Carcassone. Ticket to ride, etc)
T/W crap card / games (exploding kittens, bears vs babies, etc.)
The latest Kickstarter
Gloomhaven I logged 40 plays and it just came off the table a few weeks ago, we started playing it right after Christmas last year. We took a break, I had retired two characters and my friend had retired three I think. I still have a Lvl 9 Vermling Beast Tamer and a Lvl 4 Bladeswarm.
Combat Commander - old by today standards to be sure, but got in a dozen plays all in a short period between WBC and late fall. The Random Scenario generator kicks ass and is often overlooked.
Pax Pamir . The original edition left me sort of meh, but the new one, coupled with more experience with the Pax series brought me a new appreciation for this game. Throw in the improvements to game play and well executed components in the new edition, its a great game ( There is another game called The Great Game on the subject that should be avoided at all costs - it fucking blows ) .
John Company. Wehrle gets a double play and deservedly so. He takes the basic concept of the old Republic of Rome, streamlines it, makes it much faster and much better as a result.
Nemesis. This snuck in at the buzzer, as I got it just before Christmas and have already played it several times. It even inspired me to write my first ever review/submission for this website. Stay tuned !
And while we are at it, a Razzie of sorts for TAPESTRY. Easily the worst game I played this year. Its the poster child for over produced underwhelming Euro bait. Between this and SCYTHE it has resulted in me giving anything Stonemaier makes a very wide berth.
Western Legends - We have talked about this one a bunch. It just goes down smooth like good bourbon. Seems like everyone knows the rules and is always up for a game.
Monster Slaughter - We did not talk about this game much here. I don't think many people have played it mostly due to it's price. It was way overproduced and therefore was just too expensive for a light game (although right now it is less expensive than Quacks of of Quedlinburg so I could be wrong). I love it and the minis are adorable, but I feel like it should have been released with standees at about half the price.
Carnival of Monsters - It's just a fast, fun card drafting game. I just really enjoy it.
Sabotage - This is a maybe. I have only played it once. It's a stylish, hidden movement/deductive reasoning game, set in the Burgle Bros universe. I'll have to pop back in here after I've played it a couple of more times to decide if it actually should stay on my Best of 2019 list.
I'm hoping to finally get Lifeform out soon so I can get the comparison done, I'm pretty sure Nemesis will be on top (from reading the Lifeform rules and watching the designer play) but hope that Lifeform plays well enough to stay on my shelves. Actually had a couple of good (i.e. close losses ) games of Legendary Encounters: Aliens this week, 2-player and that seems to be the best player count to have a good chance with this series, so will be happy to have three different Aliens games to choose from.
Zombie Kidz Evolution - 37 times
Chronicles of Crime - 18 times (across expansions)
Hellapagos - 16 times
Machi Koro Legacy - 10 times
There's a Moose in the House - 9 times
I like the top three of those (eagerly awaiting the followup to ZKE), but Machi Koro Legacy and There's A Moose in the House I could totally do without. I never have to play MKL again, but my daughter will probably want to play Moose in the House a million more times.
Top 5 games played in 2019:
Combat Commander: Europe
D-Day at Omaha Beach
Near and Far
Red Winter: The Soviet Attack at Tolvajärvi, Finland – 8-12 December 1939
Three war games and two games I can play with my spouse. CC:E is my favorite game of all time, so it will always appear on these lists. Red Winter was an excellent game using a simple system to generate an interesting conflict on an odd battle. D-Day at Omaha Beach is the best solo game I have ever played as the system feels way less mechanical than solo games usually do. Near and Far is an excellent euro optimization game spliced with the adventure book to add some variety and flavor. Wildlands is the simplest skirmish game I have played, but it still allows for excellent strategy and tactics.
Best games this year
ARKHAM HORROR: I'm sorry! I know! It's still so good. Is anything like this? Before you say "yes," is anything like this that I already know the rules to? I didn't think so. We played games with KINGSPORT, DUNWICH, KING IN YELLOW, INNSMOUTH expansions, with Relationships, losses to early Innsmouth Looks, Act III of KiY, wins by gate trophies and Seals. Game is stellar.
TERRAFORMING MARS: Play with PRELUDE. It makes a pretty good game a really good game. All the other stuff is take it or leave it, but PRELUDE needs to be there. Fake it if you don't have it.
OUTER RIM: Only played it twice so far, but this game is solid as a damn rock. Plenty of stuff to experience, a very light haha-gotcha low-stakes hostility, dripping with theme. I'm loving it. Even folks losing by a lot are still having fun.
SEAL TEAM FUX: Worth tracking down—there is nothing like it. Love this game, and wish I could play it more. I wish I knew the rules to this like I know those for AH.
jeb wrote: SEAL TEAM FUX: Worth tracking down—there is nothing like it. Love this game, and wish I could play it more. I wish I knew the rules to this like I know those for AH.
Glad you are enjoying it! A better rule book is one of the goals for the next project.
Still dominated my game playing. It hasn't gotten old at all. We're now at difficulty 8, still haven't gotten the wave 1 promo Spirits and are eagerly, eagerly anticipating the expansion.
Pax Pamir 2nd edition
I still don't know if this is better than Pax Renaissance, I'm not sure if it is. It certainly offers something different that I appreciate.
Roll for the Galaxy
Conitnues to kill it in our house, played it with three a couple times too and that was great. Got the 2nd expansion and the dice building module is excellent and extends the game longer.
Next War: India Pakistan
I played the basic rule scenarios about 4 times and I had a good time with it---extremely decisive battles and CRT and a reasonable comprehensible system. No real interest in the heavy navy special rule ones.
Fields of Arle
Got the expansion into play this year and it refreshed the game and opened up lots of fun new options. Good core building game.
Top 5 games I desperately want to play on my shelf in 2020 I stared at all 2019 in envy ("The Toad")
1) John Company
2) Sidereal Confluence
4) Great Campaigns of the American Civil War series
5) Star Wars: Armada
Hope this coming year is a much richer gaming year for me. I finally ended my nightmare commuting in August so fingers crossed.
I also got Clank! this year and I've really enjoyed it a lot.
Everything else I played was either already familiar, or D&D.
I played a lot of 51st State which has a couple expansions from 2019. Star Trek: Ascendancy also has 2019 expansions. Cthulhu Wars does, too, but I don't own them. Villainous! No. 2018. Both expansions are 2019, though. I own Gandhi from GMT, but didn't get a chance to play it. Inis had an expansion in 2019 (finally.) Neuroshima Hex had the Sand Runners in 2019. They're very cool. War Chest had a cool expansion in 2019, too.
Carnival of Monsters! Definitely 2019. Was OK. Res Arcana! Was also OK. Tiny Epic Mechs and Tiny Epic Tactics were also both in 2019. Have really enjoyed those (just played a solo TET tonight.)
So, yeah. I guess my "favorite" games from 2019 were Tiny Epic Mechs and Tiny Epic Tactics. I'm just not at the forefront of the gaming curve.