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  • Nothing screams amateur hour on a KS campaign like terrible writing and grammar. Poor attention to spelling, clunky descriptions, or misuse of its/it’s, your/you’re, etc make me assume the same sloppy work went into the design and implementation of the game. An unfair leap? Maybe, but for me a KS has to overcome the fact that I’ve never set eyes on the game, let alone played it, so it has to broadcast its quality in other ways. “Your going to love this fast-paced game” doesn’t quite do that : )

  • Thanks for this article! War games are an area of board gaming I’m getting more interested in (had my first couple of games of Twilight Struggle recently and have a copy of Labyrinth that I’m looking forward to trying soon). Really appreciate the overview and thoughts on where I might go from there!

  • Other popular miniature war games include: Infinity, Bolt Action, Flames of War, Dropzone Commander, Frostgrave… the list goes on. But they require a bit of investment as most need you to model and paint an army in addition to terrain and a large tabletop.

    Dropzone Commander was lauded when they released a 2 player box set a couple years back as it came with units, simplified riles, a fold out city map and all the scatter terrain (skyscrapers) you’d need to enjoy the game out of the box. Overall pretty “turn-key” from a tabletop miniatures wargame prospective. You still needed to build the models, though nothing a little superglue cannot handle.

    Most of what Fantasy Flight Games is doing with Star Wars: Imperial Assault, XWing, Armada… is a lot more accessible too, as those games come with pre assembled and even painted miniatures in some cases. Not to mention that the IP appeals to a large audience.

    Don’t forget Devil Pig Games, their Heroes line of games doesn’t quite fall into the Hex-and-Counter catagory, but is it fun, and no modeling required.

  • While I understand why block games are often recommended as beginner wargames (Rally in The Valley did the same), I somewhat disagree. The “hidden” element of the block games makes it somewhat more difficult for newbies (especially if both players are new to the hobby) to learn the game and help each other as every player is missing important information about the other side and cannot correct mistakes or point out alternatives. Also, block games are more or less impossible to solo, so there is no way for a newcomer to play again on his/her own after trying it for the first time

  • More people should play board games about history, including wargames. While the article is a good introduction to the genre, I disagree that block games are the best choice of the game types. I agree that the lack of information may not work for some gamers who are unfamiliar with that mechanic.

    The best way to introduce someone to a different game type, this applies to any game genre, is to suggest a game that has a theme (or historical period) that interests them.

    Chose a game that is easy to comprehend, and that you can teach well. It may be a block game, if that game choice is BEST for the audience. Just because YOU like a game, that does not mean that OTHER people will like it. Introducing new people to a new side of the board gaming hobby is a loss leader. The key is to play fun, and engaging games.

    Last night I taught ‘Black Orchestra’. A fully co-operative game with a heavy ww2 theme. Later I taught Table Battles to an ex-military guy. Last week I introduced a group of euro-gamers to ‘Wings For The Baron’, a cut-throat game of profiteering in ww1 Germany.

    There are many great wargames that can introduce new people to a new aspect of the hobby. Choose the best wargame for your audience. Choose one of the many crossover games. Think about the game choice that suits your audience.

    Teach them the game well. Give them good advice. Warn them of mistakes. Don’t cream them to show that you know the game better than them. Let them win or lose fairly.

    My recommendations is based on the following background; I have been a gamer for over 35 years, I run several game groups, and I have been a game teacher at the Wargame Bootcamp in the Los Angeles area for almost 10 years.

  • Great group of suggestions!
    I have many of these.

    Not a fan of Sagrada, it is very “same-y” to me.

    Bought Circle the wagons based on a previous recommendation from MM.

    These are some fabulous games!

    Thank you Meeple Mountain

  • I had similar feelings about Dragon Canyon seeming like just another resource collecting game, but ended up really enjoying it.
    Take a look at the 3 key concepts they list in the rules. If you are ever out of cards, you take your discard into your hand. Perhaps not the most logical place to have it in the rules, but hopefully that helps you.

  • Ha! Munchkin’s comparison was spot on. Good stuff. And yes…it would have been dubious to say anything other than The Beatles for Ticket to Ride.

  • Brilliant!
    How about Apples to Apples – REM
    Indie phenomenon picked up by a major label and became a global powerhouse before everyone seemed to get sick of it at exactly the same time. More fun when the word combinations make no sense.

  • I would say Catan is a gateway game to other games certainly not Creed. Yes, most will say they don’t Catan anymore, but I look it as introdicing them to other games. So if I had to compare them to bands. I would day 2 country bands, Lady Antebellum or Florida Georgia Line.

  • Hey your sign up for details form above isn’t working. After filling out info and hitting subscribe, nothing happens. Might just be my computer but not sure….

    • Hrm. I just tested the form and it works. It unfortunately doesn’t show a confirmation message (so that’s a bug), but it took the email I used to subscribe. Try again maybe? We’ll take a look at it regardless.

  • Great review! Love the pros and the cons. Just a quick question if I was playing this solo or 2 player which characters would you suggest?

    Thanks,

    Nathan B.

    • In theory any 2 characters will work, but there are some suggestions “out there” based on how the classes play. I’ll try to some up some thoughts without giving too much away.

      First, of the starting six characters, they are first most easily grouped by their starting hit points.

      Brute, Cragheart= 10 HP
      Tinkerer, Scoundrel= 8 HP
      Spellweaver, Mindthief= 6 HP

      So right out the gate, many people suggest you do not play a Spellweaver/Mindthief combo because they have the lowest HP in the game. A couple good critical attacks from the enemy will doom the party.

      You can then roughly group them by melee-oriented and ranged-oriented. Just know that all classes might have a ranged attack even though they primarily melee, or a melee attack even though they are primarily ranged. With that said, what you’ll primarily be doing is…

      Brute, Mindthief= Melee
      Spellweaver, Tinkerer= Ranged
      Cragheart, Scoundrel= Mix of both.

      The Cragheart has a lot of ranged attacks and high HP which makes him a versatile character. However, his downside is he sometimes deals splash damage, which can affect adjacent heroes too.

      When playing 2p you also want to take into account your healing… and the Tinkerer and Cragheart both have decent healing options. The Tinkerer is the best of the starting 6.

      With that said… I find the Cragheart and Tinkerer a great combo to have lots of ranged attack, some tanking when needed with the Crag, healing with the Tinkerer.

      The Spellweaver would work well with either the Cragheart or the Brute. The Mindthief likewise should work with a Cragheart, Scoundrel or Brute.

      At the end of the day it comes down to the style you want to play. And then tune your items and equipment accordingly to make up for your deficits.

  • Snakes & Lattes Annexks wall plus its Archives alone have over 2,000 titles. Add College and Midtown and we are closer to 3,600-4,000 games.
    It was nice to meet you and the gang!

    • Steve, noted and updated. I totally meant to get a picture with you. It was a delight meeting you in person and I wish I would have gotten to say goodbye in person. Next time though right? 😀

  • Great article!! As a board gamer and local Torontonian, it was interesting to hear about your experience from the lens of a visitor and serves as a reminder that we’re pretty lucky to have a great game cafe scene and amazing retailers. I wish you the best for your cafe and will be sure to visit if I ever make my way through Nashville, cheers!!

  • Looking forward to Part 2, but one quick question… why don’t you use flat rate shipping? I am new to this and really want to purge my collection.

    Thanks for this!

    • Charles, flat rate shipping is easy for the seller but generally costs more than if you priced out the shipping on a case by case basis. Find the smallest box possible, make it light, and you can get it cheaper. The cheaper the shipping, the more likely someone is to buy more than one game…especially since ganging up shipping together saves even more money.

  • Thanks for a great overview of your Canadian tour experience and your research into Snakes & Lattes. I am very interested to hear how you take what you learned and apply it to your project in Nashville. You aren’t so far away I can’t make a trip of it to visit your cafe.

  • Thanks for the great review! If you’re still answering questions, do you know if the game allows new players to easily join after starting a campaign? Say in the example of two players already having finished several scenarios together before finding a 3rd or 4th person interested in joining

    • Gloomhaven does allow for players to drop in and drop out. In fact, I think it’s actually more fun for new players to join after the original group has already done some scenarios, particularly if they’ve gotten to the point where new characters can automatically start at a higher level. The game really shines at higher levels once you can customize your player and attack decks.

  • I really enjoyed this article. A lot of times you see posts about games to play with 4+ people and that is not always the case. I love reading your blog and am looking forward to checking out some of your recommendations. 🙂

    • Hi Christi!

      I have played this too many times to count, I’ve had the PnP almost since Artem first released it. If I had to venture a guess I’d say I win about 30-35% of the time.

      Hope this helps!

  • Andy, I agree with much of your review. Ironically, in campaign mode, I decided to not pay a bribe and have been disallowed from hitting the last three regions. I have tried playing multiple games in adjacent regions thinking that perhaps I could lay the bribe when going to the region. Nope.

    I wish there was a ‘ramped up’ bribe that would clear the way. Like in real life. Don’t pay, you don’t get to play. Make it painful enough and eventually, the bribe gets paid.

    Overall, it’s a nice diversion of a game. I do play on silent as the marketplace sound is somewhat irritating to me.

  • Really appreciate this article, Wendy. Overall, I am in the same boat here. While there are a few family members and friends that would want to try a game or two, location is a bit of a factor (i.e. living miles apart). And truthfully, mutual interest in the games would be a barrier. When I recently started on my love of tabletop, and realized that solo games are a thing, I was thrilled. Problem I have now is to actually get the time to play them all. Oh well. At least I’m enjoying this hobby we all love. Take care!

  • Picked up this game because of it being mentioned on Penny Arcade. I watched Jerry Holkins play through a round on Youtube and immediately saw the potential. It has since become a favorite. My only regret is not buying directly from Brett, as I’m sure the folks at PA have taken a hefty cut, hence the steep price tag.

    Brett Picotte himself is nothing short of an absolute gentleman, responding to feedback, questions, and any comments on his Pushfight FB page. I wish I knew how to blow this up for him, because the game is absolutely brilliant.

    • Brett is excellent, although I think the Penny Arcade marriage wasn’t the best. Especially in this day and age, I think that he could do much better partnering with a different publisher who could prioritize the game a little more and give it the love and marketing it deserves/needs.

    • My first real, brain-burning games as a kid were abstract strategy games like this one. Stuff like Pente and Quarto that I could learn at the age of 7, but would challenge me no matter how old I got.

  • This is a great tutorial! While I could have done most of this myself, sometimes BGG can be a perilous place to wander without directions. Thanks for doing this!

  • Hi, Jonathan! What a great write-up! Thanks for sharing it.

    I just started what I hope will be a campaign for my grandson and his friend, both 7 years old. I’m wondering about the huge Storia map on the table. I don’t recall seeing one that size and the boys would love it! Did you purchase it and, if so, where?

    Thanks again.

    Dan

  • This is yet another game on my list of games I own, haven’t played and have no idea how to (yet) lol

  • I have many board games and learning games. They are all brand new. How do I start an auction.? I want to sell all of them. There is probably 30 games or more. Marlene

  • While I hear what you are saying, in the 20 or so plays I have gotten in so far, I have won most of them, by only focusing on my pattern. The only time I ever worried about my opponent was when we were getting towards the end of the round. Doing the math to determine who is most likely to get stuck with extra tiles becomes important then. Otherwise, I really never paid attention to my opponents.

  • I really wish there were more games like Fog of Love. As the first of its kind (that I know of, anyway), it’s frustrating to deal with its inherently heteronormatove genre premise. It makes SENSE for the game to have sexist options, especially with some of the character-defining cards; it’s an unfortunate reality of relationships. I don’t even disagree with it as an inclusion and can imagine a couple having their preconceptions challenged by the multiple choice format. But it’s… exhausting? Both for “ugh, sexism is still a thing?!” reasons, and to always feel like recognition of my sexuality as a neat bonus feature instead of a thorough consideration. GAY, the new expansion pack for STRAIGHT, offering hours of extra gameplay!

    I hope there’s a sequel or spiritual successor that focuses on being a relationship sim instead of a romcom sim.

  • Great review! Only played twice, once without the Inn, and once with, but it’s quickly becoming a top favorite of mine.

  • Fantastic article. It’s nice to hear that you and your daughter were embraced by the industry. It sounds like a great con and I hope to make it there some day.

  • If there are 5 characters to choose from, why is it only a 4 player game? Could we go ahead and allow a 5th player?

  • Love hearing about your experience! It was my first DTC as well and I was nervous about all of the same things I had been hearing, just as you. I was pleasantly surprised at how welcoming everyone there was and I instantly felt comfortable. My daughter is only 3 now but already beyond her years when it comes to gaming. She absolutely loves it. I hope we can have the same adventures as you and your daughter one day too 🙂 thank you so much for sharing!

  • Thank you for this wonderful article! I’m a firm believer that, while it is essential for us to discuss concerns in our hobby such as harassment and exclusion, is is just as important to celebrate successful examples of kindness and inclusion that are the reason so many of us love board gaming in the first place.

    • Thanks for reading Dylan. I agree 100%, that is why i thought it was so important for me to write this article. Everyone should feel welcome, and to have the wonderful experience that we had!

  • Very refreshing post. If all that was posted and shared was a positive as this blog, those unwanted and probably rarely occurring events and mentality would become but an unspoken thing of the past. Of course, also bringing more and more female gamers (of any ages) into the community will also gradually make the male nerd stigma associated with this domain a thing of the past.

    I could only which the same for my own daughter (and wife, although she’s not a gamer. I need you to convince her).

    Good for you…!! and us all..

    Thank you for sharing.

  • I love your reviews, they always do a great job at explaining the gane mechanics and rules while still discussing what makes the game fun and why. This one looks fun and a little less intimidating than Gloomhaven.

  • I’m on the fence about Thunderstone. I played the first edition of it way back and interested in the new version (especially after this review). I’ve been playing Gloomhaven with my son and he really enjoys it. I’d like to introduce him to deck builders and this one seems like a good fit. If the Kickstarter wasn’t 100 (or 150) this would be an easy choice…

  • Very good review! I’m quite interested in trying this game. I may back it now that it is on KS again!

  • Thanks Gary! I appreciate the encouragement. I generally do try to mix both rules explanation with my own impressions; pros and cons. It’s also way less intimidating than Gloomhaven, but it does somewhat require familiarity with deck-building games. It takes a few plays to figure out how to optimize your deck. I really butchered my deck the first play through. 🙂

  • What did you think of the deck thinning options? That’s always my pet peeve when it comes to deck builders.

  • Wow that took some time to write up well done! Thanks for the great review and the nice pics. I saw some new cards I haven’t seen yet. Love the art work.

  • Appreciate the review. I’m backing this game but the shipping cost to get everything is ridiculously high. Thanks for that contesthe, good luck everyone.

  • Super excited about this Kickstarter – your post gave me many more reasons to finally get jazzed about playing the Champions set!

  • My family really enjoys Valeria Card Kingdoms and we quickly became huge fans of The Mico! As soon as I saw he and David Turczi were creating Dice Settlers, I was in.

    • Thanks for reading my article!

      I agree. The Mico is fantastic and not just as an artist, but as a person. He’s very interactive with his fan base and super friendly.

      • There are a handful of games with such great mechanics that even a blah aesthetic doesn’t diminish the game play (looking at you Castles of Burgundy). But some of these illustrators have the incredible ability to enhance the experience. It’s an amazing talent.

        Good article!

  • Great interviews with these wonderful talented illustrators. Their styles are unique and differ but they all bring the game to life. Wonderful piece, well written. I hope you can follow this up with more illustrators being interviewed.
    Thanks for a great piece.

  • Your experience closely mirrors my own. Everywhere I have brought my kids for gaming (our largest con has been PAX Unplugged), they have been welcomed to the hobby. Thanks for writing this!

  • This is hands down the best overview of Gloomhaven that I’ve ever read. My wife and I have just taken the plunge and we have a friend with less gaming experience than we have who is planning to join us. She asked me to send her a good overview of the game and this is the one. Very clear description of the game, realistic set of expectations, and outstanding photography that really captures the essence of the game environment. Great job!

  • How does this work?

    I have a written blog and youtube channel.
    You can check me on youtube: angrod vardamir.

    Most of my videos are not in English (its Indonesian), I do a game review, how to play and some paid review for my local game store. But my written reviews are all in English. Let me know if you think we can work something out.

  • Have you played New Angeles yet? I am curious as to how the negotiation portion compares to this. I have heard this can be a beast at larger play counts, but also quite the experience. What was the highest player count you managed here?

  • There is a fairly major rules error in this review:
    In the “Execution” section here, you say “Each converter can only be run once, but they can be run in any sequence so you don’t need all of the resources at the beginning of the execution phase.”
    While in the rulebook: “Economic converters are run simultaneously. As such, the output of one converter cannot be used as the input for another.” (Under Economy Phase on page 6)

    This is important as trading for the resources you need is the core of the game. Having to run the converters simultaneously means you have to get everything you would want to use during the trade phase.

  • great article. i am another solo gamer. i live in a place with no gaming community at all. my friends and family have 0 interest in tabletop games . its good to see other people share my problem. if only bgg would add a search by player count feature our lives would be so much easier

  • For TM the Broken Token insert and mats fixes the issue and makes the gameplay better, due to no need to worry about bumping the boards constantly being on your mind!

  • Great list of iconic games that represent huge shifts in the gaming hobby. I think one you could have added was Exploding Kittens which exemplifies how a massive following on a different media can create a massive customer base for a game leading to a massively successful game.

    I feel in ten years we will be discussing the impact of games like Codenames and its growth as an evergreen game, Target exclusive games and their impact on the hobby, and budget busting games like Kingdom Death: Monster 1.5 and how they have altered our view of the cost of games.

    • Ahh great call with Exploding Kittens. I also would have considered either Agricola or Pillars of the Earth as both were quite pioneers!

  • I’ve not been too interested in the Tiny Epic games so far, but this one looks great. It’s a theme I can get into, and the weapon carrying meeples look awesome.

  • Excellent and informative review. I already wanted it but now I want it more! I actually love games with lots of little bits if it enhances the theme which in this case I think even the unnecessary bits do.
    All the descriptions of the difference game play modes make is sound super fun, challenging, and of course what all zombie games should feel like, TENSE!
    I can’t wait to add this to my collection.

  • I tried the print and play during the Kickstarter and was intrigued but decided to wait until retail. Definitely need to check this one out!

  • Thank you for your review! This is my first time here, I’m going to have to wonder about this site looking for more great things to read.

  • This was the Tiny Epic game which brought me into the franchise, at least as far as being interested in them, but oddly I never ended up buying it, or any of the other ones till Mechs. I think it is probably because up till then I was living near friends who owned all of them.

  • Two of my favorite to play, but least favorite to look at, made the list: Castles of Burgundy and Ethnos. It pains me to know that some people won’t even play them because of their…unfortunate…appearances.

    In this age of Hotness, where games come and go like summer blockbusters I’m not holding my breath for makeovers, but if they ever warrant a deluxification I hope the publishers take your suggestions to heart!

  • So cool of y’all to do a giveaway, and you’re including a mat! I wish there was a “chain” weapon to use while riding around on the motorcycle.

  • I was happy to get the whole collection pledged on this Kickstarter. Looks like a deck builder that is fun and based on art and theme, one my wife would enjoy playing with me as well.

  • I see a couple comments from people bummed they missed the Kickstarter, but right now you can order the TEZ Deluxe Edition from Gamelyn’s website which has all of the KS goodies: https://www.gamelyngames.com/tiny-epic/tiny-epic-zombies-deluxe

    I was thoroughly entertained by this game after one playthrough with friends last Friday (we love Tiny Epic Defenders & its Dark War expansion). I just ordered TEZ and a mat last Sunday and it arrived today (four days later). It also inspired a re-watch of Dawn of the Dead.

    • I do. The replayability is great because there are so many different characters to play, the different play modes, and the mall is always different with different goals and room locations.

  • I think you summed it fairly well actually. Some games have the instant classic feel to them, while other are simply great in the moment. Will people play Century Spice Road a decade from now? I doubt it. Splendor, I think will last the test, as it is just great at what it does. Scythe has great strategies and enough that can be different just via the modules available and player count.

    I feel like Terraforming Mars will not last as long as others, but they sure keep cranking out expansions. Azul….I. On the fence about, but given how accessible it is and pretty to look at, it may have legs. I may not want to play Azul all the time, but I will not back if somebody brings it out and I still enjoy it.

    • I’ll admit that I’m curious where Century Spice Road will be in a decade especially with Eastern Wonders coming out this year and I believe they have another addition coming out next year as well. Will that keep people playing Century? Will be interesting to see where that lands.

      Terraforming Mars is one of my favorites, but if they had kept just the base game, I agree that it probably wouldn’t have too much staying power, but those expansions… man, I want to play it now!!

      I agree with you fully on Azul. Great game, but not one I will pick unless it is to new players or as maybe something to start a game night with since it can be quick. As I mentioned in the article I introduced it to my Mom and she loved it. She liked figuring out the different strategies and the prettiness of it was also a draw too 🙂

      Thanks for the feedback!!

  • Yesterday I found an amazing castle at Michael’s Craft Store and the perfect little saloon for $10, both made of a thin wood. I’ve painted them up and they are amazing. The castle was $25 but was damaged slightly so they gave it to me for $10.55 and the saloon I used a 40% off coupon and so it came to $6.

    The castle I spray painted black and then sprayed with stone texture spray paint. Looks pretty good I think. The castle is hinged in the middle and opens to a playable area with stairs and everything but I also think it would make a cool DM screen. Michael’s has a lot of other buildings that I’ll be getting soon.

  • This is great advice! I am DMing for the first time, and I’ve thus far taken on the daunting task of writing it myself.

    It’s a challenge for sure! I have some loose ideas of how I want the campaign to go but I’d love for some feedback on my story. The reason why I haven’t used a module is that I wanted the campaign to feel personal, and special. I wanted my big bad that the characters face to feel like a real threat and some of the modules felt too sandboxey and kind of all over the place.

    Do you think I could email you some info about my story so I can get some advice and feedback on it?

  • Subjective Guess Who is the best! Although Taboo is also one of my all time favs. Great list and very well-written article. “I’m looking at you, Clue” and your other funny remarks made me laugh out loud!

  • I agree that wearing out the newness is a problem in this hobby. I think a lot of it stems from the depth (and lack thereof) that most games have. This is especially common in light/gateway games. I thoroughly enjoy Sushi Go, Kingdomino, and Guillotine etc and will play them if someone requests them, but I don’t think about them otherwise. A few plays in and you’ve seen what there is to see.

    The true draw from a game is when you play it and then the next day you’re walking around thinking about what you could’ve done differently and what strategies you want to try the next time you play. You can feel yourself learning from mistakes and actually improving at the game. I think Scythe and Terraforming Mars both have that, which is why you keep bringing them out. Century Spice simply doesn’t.

    If you look at older games that are still highly regarded today, like my favorites Tigris and Euphrates, Caylus, El Grande, and Puerto Rico, they all have a simple ruleset that lends itself to a lot of freedom in how you play. The players keep the game interesting because they can bring different strategies that must be dealt with. As great as Azul and Splendor are, I don’t think they have that.

    Games get stale eventually, some faster than others. When people play a game a lot of the enjoyment comes from the act of learning. Games with a steep learning curve, while intimidating, will ultimately offer a deeper more rewarding experience. Consider the fact that people have been playing Go and Chess for centuries.

    In conclusion, I didn’t proofread this so hopefully you can make some sense of my ramblings.

  • Dear Mr. Matthews,
    I’m desperately looking for a wheelchair character. Luckily I found your game “topiary” on the internet.
    Is it possible that you will sell me some of your meeple in wheelchair?
    I’m from Germany and it is still not a matter of course with people with disabilities to deal normally. For this reason, there is little in the area of games with themes for the disabled. I develop games for people with disabilities and I just lack the matching pieces.
    I sincerely ask you for help.
    best regards
    Sabine Rückert
    PS: The translation was done by Google-Translater. So I apologize if there are mistakes in this text.
    I hope the meaning is still there for you.

  • Very interesting article as always Miss Gariepy 🙂

    monopoly and cards are always fun ….

    i can add Chess and battleship too ! 😀

    • Hey. Thank you for the compliment and thank you for taking the time to read what I wrote. I’m pleased that you enjoyed it.

      I also suspect that you’ll be pleased with this game if you happen to back it on Kickstarter. It is easily one of the best games that I have played all year.

      • Great write up. I’ve been following this since it was first mentioned by Heavy Cardboard. Can’t wait to try it. I posted this on BGG, but can you say how long game time is?

  • Than, is the 1991 actually a reconciliation of the two? If you were to buy the most up to date version, it would be the 1991 over the Advanced? The naming back to BASIC is confusing

  • This article was fantastic! Thank you!

    As a Solo Boardgamer and professional historian, I’m looking to make the jump into wargames, especially simpler block games. Are there any that have an official solo mode or are easily adapted to solo play?

  • I have rally enjoyed my plays thus far and have already won thanks to other players playing the wrong game. I constantly see folks fighting when they should be reaping. I cannot wait to get time with all of my decks and see how they play.

  • I think cards should be bagged but most other components can be sorted as needed. If you have a pile of cubes and need a green one. Pull it from the pile. It is a waste of time to sort the piles into bags.

  • Great choices! Really like Codenames but not so much the Harry Potter theme and haven’t tried Pandemic: Fall of Rome yet. Pandemic is top of my list though.

  • Agree that it would be great to sort conventions by date. It is still, though, very useful as it is. I would say it is the best calendar for 2019 out there. Thank you so much, Elijah!

    • Thanks Stan. We’re slowly working through arranging conventions by date. I’ve gone through and done all of the countries but the US, and I’ll update the US over the next week or two.

  • There is a photo at yhe top of this article depicting a game i don’t see in the article.
    Square tiles on round coasters, a multi grid board in the background: what game is in this photo.
    Please and thank you!

  • Hi Andy
    Thanks for your great work and specifically for your critique of Fog of Love. It was one of the reasons we chose to update the game for the reprint, inviting Nikki Valens in to help us.

  • I fondly remember my friends and I ditching zero period in 9th grade to play MSH in the cafeteria. Eventually we formed an school sanctioned Fantasy Role Playing Club after getting booted from the cafeteria. I still have dreams of those wonderful multicolored spreadsheets.

  • Interesting list. I do wonder about the games that get sacrificed because their theme or mechanics are covered by the games on the list. Would be cool to see a few alongside each choice (Ex: PitchCar covers Flick Em Up, Formula D, etc.)

  • Interesting list Andrew. I really like that Roads & Boats is on your list. It’s one of my grail games. Hopefully it will get a reprint someday.

    Here’s my list:

    1846 – infinitely re-playable, deep crazy fun
    Brass – tight, unforgiving, joyful
    Terra Mystica – 16 player races of weird and wonderful asymmetrical euro-goodness
    Madeira – perhaps the most profoundly interactive heavy euro out there
    Concordia – pure genius, elegant design, fun to play with an excellent end-game
    High Society – fast, easy-to-teach, pure auction battle
    Kashgar – best deck-builder I’ve ever played, solid gold!
    Empires of the Void II – super fun euro-style space opera, a beauty to behold
    Mombasa – I love the card play system and area control… for stock value!
    De Vulgari Eloquentia – it’s the strange one on the list, an exotic, medieval euro mashup

  • No no, I saw that… but I am always flabbergasted to read such articles… and religion truly always looks out for *something* that is to blame for… well anything bad in their mind. It happens in Europe, too, but what’s going on in the States sometimes is in my opinion just crazy… 😀 I’ve read very little about Canada, though…

    That’s the beauty of good satire… it could be true…

    • As a bible believing Christian I found this article hilarious; in part because it hits so close to home. If it makes you uncomfortable, it’s probably because you might know people who could believe this. For example my own mother, also a Christian, refuses to read Harry Potter because it’s about wizards and witches.

  • I was suspecting this to be some kind of hoax while reading the article but the #satire is easy to miss after being severly disturbed by the content of this article.

  • I wish there were more games that were gender and sexuality neatural where I live. I basically live in the middle of nowhere in a town no one knows. Maybe I could get this for Christmas. Anyways, amazing game!

  • Thanks for the review! I am a backer of the game. Which races were your favorites besides the 4 base game ones? Which ones would you recommend if you had to pick only a few more, like 4-6 more?

    • Michel,

      Thanks for commenting! I only was able to play the four base races in the test pilot edition but with that experience let me speak to some races that seemed interesting to me.

      I personally would recommend:
      The Thoth: Their weakness and victory condition are really fascinating and force you to play in a different way. Their super unit has some really neat abilities.

      The Old ones: again they seem to play very “differently” which would give you some nice variety in your faction options.

      The collectors: Their extra victory track seems like a very fun mini game that ads a fun “incentive” to mess with other players.

      The Salps: They have a very “planet heavy” approach to the game which again feels unique.

      The Yaddith: They have some fun free battle incentives that would spice up the gameplay for you.

      And of course the Starspawn: because if you dont have Cthulhu in your game that would be sad. lol.

      These are of course just my opinions but I hope you really enjoy the game as much as I did.

      Happy gaming!

  • I don’t find Dragonsgate College to be fun with 4 players. In my experience towards the end of the game you’ve swapped out all the white dice, so every action comes with a secondary action and the last couple rounds are like 2 rounds each. It can get tiring. And there’s a limited number of times most actions can be taken, so by halfway through our last round in the game I played there were no actions of value worth doing. I would not play this with 4 players again.

    My experiences with 2 or 3 players was much better and very enjoyable.

  • Having read the previous article about Keyforge, I quickly figured out this entry was a spoof (biggest hint- #satire). However, given the intermittently sordid history or KS and some high profile failures/scams, this came off as less humorous than I found comfortable. Unfortunately, there are “creators” out there who really have no business taking people’s money, and KS wants nothing to do with vetting them as long as they collect their 10%.

    Five years on and I’m still waiting on the fulfillment for a project similar to the one described above.

    Yep, definitely less funny after the first read.

  • -trade victory points
    You can never trade victory points, its the one thing in the game that is kept secret and never touched
    – 3 to 8 players
    The game plays up to 9, and recomends beginners start with at least 4 players as 3 player games can be excessively cut throat.

    Good review, just a couple minor things that may throw some new players off when they open the box.

    • If you read carefully the author refers to you and 3-8 friends so it is correct even if easily mistaken. Also Tauceti deichman says that the game can be played in 3 players but it is more ruthless

  • There is definitely some good stuff here. Just a few thoughts. The first, is that games like X-wing are easy games to start since they tend to have only a handful of units play. For those of a more historical bent Wings of Glory (Previously Wings of War) does something similar with WWI and WWII, with the WWI version probably being the easiest of all of these sorts of games.

    Most historical miniatures games tend to published by relatively small groups and are more likely to keep the rules reasonably simple since paper is the only way to keep track of things like damage. Neil Thomas wrote a book called “Wargaming An Introduction” that provides all the basics for getting started in historical miniature wargaming.

  • Terribly hard to order via kickstarter -> van ryder games. And even more terrible to communicate with the dealer -> van ryder. Also the kickstarter prices are not real and the dealer prices are more expensive. Van Ryder did not answered why is that and ignored my questions. I am sad and dissapointed. Wanted those books badly, but not possible to order it.

  • Our most famous convention in Brazil is Diversão Offline (translation: Offline Fun), which is also considered by some the biggest in Latin America. It´s a weekend of convention and right now it happens twice a year: one in São Paulo, in the first semester, and the other in Rio de Janeiro, in the second.
    Diversão Offline is one of the best weekends in the year for me! 🙂

  • Great article!! Board games are a wonderfully fun & stimulating way to spend time with your significant other, especially when you time is limited. Thanks for the recommendations!

  • Thank you for this. I lost my mom back in October 2018 to cancer. I mourned her almost from the time I got the call that she was diagnosed, so I understand the long waiting game watching our loved ones disappear. Mom always suggested board games on rainy or snowy weekend afternoons. “Invite Christopher over and play a game”. She rarely played with us, but on occasion she did. She really loved Cribbage and Mancala (nothing too intricate), and loved seeing us on the floor with HeroQuest all set up, making a big bowl of popcorn.
    I am using a number of different coping mechanisms, work, working out in the gym, video games, talking with my wife, and also board games. Coming up on what would have been her 67th birthday this month she’s very much in my mind. Again, thank you for this.

  • Hello Andy. My name is Mónica and I live in South América. I worked during the past 5 years in the invention of a boardgame that has to do with geo-politics (WWII). Fun for all the family, ages 8 to 100. The boardgame has awaken the interest of schools and without having it produced yet (it´s still a model), I already have a few orders. I please need some advice of how can I enter this Meeple Mountain contest. Thank you very much.

    • Greetings Mónica, the only way to enter is to publish a great quality game. Our writing team plays lots of games throughout the year, and the Diamond Climber awards are given to a game that we’ve played, that we think is worthy of the name.

  • “And Fiscally Flush Games aren’t afraid of adult themes either, the ‘Boats & Beer’ starter set includes the Viking-themed ‘Odin’s Staff’ and a monastic game of forbidden passion called ‘Monk & Mindy’. Other games are said to feature stock market manipulation, zombies and post-apocalyptic locomotives.”

    none of that sounds interesting to a 36 year old male ccg vet born on Thanksgiving day even. Creatures and spells! Not beer and locomotives. Just seems too light hearted to be a ccg. This is not Sparta…

  • Thank You Gary. This is a great article with solid advice and useful links and information. I really appreciate your comments on building a good network as well as instructions on how to go from pieces of paper to prototype. Very Helpful !!

  • Never have I been more disappointed by the #satire tag. This (these?) may not be the game(s) we want, but it’s the CC-LCGG that we deserve.

  • Hey there, Wellycon in New Zealand is held Queens Birthday weekend (holiday in NZ) in June each year 🙂 Not October

  • That was a great review. Was playing it today and really enjoying but was keen to see what a proper hardcore Carcassonne fan would say. Seems the main improvement was mainly the ability or speed it up! Clearly this is what good app adaptations look like.

  • Great observations. But none are my own biggest disappointment, and that is the AI. Having owned the physical tabletop version for less than a month, I’m by no means anything close to an expert at the game. End yet having played the app multiple dozens of times in the last week vs the AI, at all player counts, with a mix of AI strengths but always including one at the strongest Level 3, I remain undefeated, and most games aren’t even close, with a spread of 30-40 points. I was hoping it would offer more of a challenge. As it is, it really just useful as a tool to learn the game and not much more.

  • What a great guide! I’ve been thinking about getting The Mind for my mom as she enjoys quicker card games that play well at 2 or 4. It’s a great game that deserves its popularity.

    I wouldn’t have thought to buy game apps as a gift, either. I’m glad to know that Cat Lady has an app. I might need to get that for myself soon!

    • Cat Lady is a great card game, and the app is a perfect translation to digital form. In fact it’s even better than the card game because it offers fun achievements, and some buttery smooth animations.

  • The Turner Public Library in Turner, Maine is having a gaming convention this year as a non-profit fundraiser. “Book Stacks and Boss Fights” will be held on October 5&6, 2019 at the Turner public library. We will have a large selection of board games as well as RPGs, board game designers, local RPG authors, CCGs, minis, movies and more.

    People can visit turnerpubliclibrary.org/bossfights beginning June 1 to register and find updated information and events, or they can contact me at bookstacksNbossfights@outlook.com

    I hope you will be willing to add this to your list!

    Thank you!

    Sherri Talbot, Convention Head

  • As the designer of King’s Forge: Gold, it’s such a pleasure to read a review that really gets what we were attempting to achieve with our design goals; accessible but interesting, faster but kinder, blinged out but smooth, …and affordable enough to be a “no brainer” for people who appreciate King’s Forge.

    Thanks for enjoying what we did with Gold and for communicating my own goals even better than I could have! I was a fan and Kickstarter backer of King’s Forge in 2013 and Gold—my first formal design credit—was a dream come true. It was really rewarding and affirming for me to read this review. Cheers!

    I hope you’ll find that our final King’s Forge expansion coming out later this year, MASTERWORKS, does challenge you to strategize in all new ways. That design is my love letter to the world of King’s Forge (bigger art and deeper theme) and lovers of dice (multi-use dice).

  • This was hilarious. It would have been even funnier if the sentence “Everything in his house is sleeved; his games, his furniture, his houseplants, even himself” was omitted and the picture at the top didn’t spoil it. That would have made the part where he’s standing at the door sleeved hilarious. The whole thing written in such a way that I couldn’t help but laugh. Well done. If only there was no need to attract readers to the article with what would have made a great punchline.

  • That was fun. I am a fan of any article that uses the term cathartic correctly.

    It just made me think of the ridiculousness of his sleeved blankets.

    • When I was a kid, I had a friend whose mom covered all of their couches. It was always really uncomfortable going to his house because it felt like we could never have fun.

  • While I don’t know if the designers of Pente knew about them, the game is actually more a derivative of Go-Moku and Renju (Both variations of the same game, the latter being more balanced between the first and second players). Both of those games are played on Go boards with Go pieces and the object of the game is to get five of your pieces lined up in a row.

  • I believe that you are undervaluing the power of the Attack action for Dynasty. In the game, both players have tho Option of drawing a card at the start of their turn. As the dynasty, If you choose to draw a card every turn, there is a 50/50 chance that you will draw the city card that you need or that the liberation player will. However, the liberation has the ability to keep you from drawing 4 specific cards by keeping those cards in their hand at all times (4th card being secret base). The liberation player can effectively “Blockade” Dynasty early game by holding necessary cards in hand.

    When I play as Dynasty, I try to draw as little as possible. This not only extends the length of the game, but forces all the cards in the deck to filter through the hand of the Liberation.
    I then use my initial action to unexploited a city, the main action exploit city to attack adjacent city.
    By the end of the first “era” this should have allowed me to expand to the point where I am unable to be blockaded (this depends heavily on map setup and positioning).

    Remember that this is only necessary if the Early game expansion is limited. Hopefully this should fix the balance issues and allow for enjoyment of this game once again.

    • Yeah…I mean no offense to the writer of the article (would this be considered an article?) but I don’t get the point of just posting something like this not as an April fool’s joke. Sure…ha-ha I guess, but why?

      • To keep sharp, perhaps? Sometimes writing a bunch of nonsense helps alleviate writer’s block or generates new ideas. Idk I found the article amusing so I’m not looking for a deeper meaning.

      • Because satire doesn’t need a specific day out of the year to be showcased. So stupid. Why do you butt hurt morons keep bringing up April Fools day? Is it because your brain is too feeble to tell it’s satire and at least on that day you have a lot of help since you can assume everything is fake? Satire and jokes don’t need to be told on the specific day you want them told, dumbass. Grade A Retard.

        • Your comment gave me diabetes. I actually cringed when you said “feeble”. Go get a life, buddy, outside of being hostile online. You’re actual trash for talking to people that way

      • It’s satire and things of this nature have been published for hundreds of years. It helps if you have a sense of humor.

      • Wow, Chris… Just all through the comments being an elitist nerd. The only bad kind of nerd, aside from the poor hygiene ones… But let’s face it, the two are mutually inclusive. Would suck if I showed your friends and family what you say when you think you’re anonymous. Bet your special needs relatives would love hearing you call people “retarded”.

        Just a point, Chris Telep throws “hard R”s. Let’s leave that there so if you’re ever googled, it’ll show up.

  • haha, april fools. you got me. you can delete the article now. haha, very funny. why isnt everyone laughing. why is nobody laughing. ha…ha….wow this sounds like something someone who rolled a 6 for WIS and a 4 for INT would do.

    guess dungeon masters are gonna have to change their names.

    Also, What asshole populates entire dungeons with nothing but cubes and rust monsters, and actually survived the resulting asskicking

  • You had me, I’ll admit. I thought, dear God D&D is getting woke, the heat death of the solar system shall now commence. Thank you for making my ulcer open back up.

  • That just seems like a poorly thought out situation, as any game comes down to the individual DM, so if people aren’t happy with the campaign they just need to talk to their DM. Dungeons and Dragons has been an iconic name for so long and rolls off the tongue, where Dungeons and\or Dragons just doesn’t have near the ring to it. Some games even don’t even have dungeons or dragons, so under that logic they would still be in danger of legal allegations. The better solution would just to begin putting a statement at the beginning of the books. “Wizards is not responsible for the game experience of the individual, we provide the tools and materials to run worlds at the dungeon master’s discretion. If you are unsatisfied please consult your Dungeon Master.”

    • If you knew how to actually read you would’ve gotten that it was satire. Really dumb and lame satire, but satire nonetheless.

  • This was the stupidest, poorly written, and lamest article I have read. It legal crap to continue to hold the market place hostage.

    • Wow, this is the most moronic, deficiently, and feeble comment I have read. It is comments like this that make me question the human experience.

    • Buddy. It states it as SATIRE. You know what that mean? Its a joke, nothing more. This isn’t really going to happen. at the bottom of the article it states in bold “This is satire. Please make an Insight check”
      Quite clearly a joke.

    • It’s a joke. They added “This is satire. Please make an Insight check.” in bold at the bottom because people cant seem to take a joke…

  • I’m worried for the human race all the people who were like oh you got me I was suspicious of the veracity of this at d&/d looking for a 4/1 published date and by the time I was at legal reasons I knew it was a joke

  • I guess anyone who got angry with the writer must have missed the bold black letters at the end of the article “This is satire. Please make an Insight check”.

  • Odd coincidence that this exact same joke was in the most recently released episode of Hello From the Magic Tavern…

      • EDITOR: I reviewed the relevant podcast episode from “Hello From the Magic Tavern” (first I’ve heard of it), and while there’s certainly overlap, I doubt that they’re the first ones to make that joke either; D&D has been around since 1974 after all.

  • Dragon Quest should be renamed because you aren’t going on a quest to kill the dragon lord. That’s the logic they’re going by.

    • My thoughts, exactly. I must be making some very bad choices in what I click on, this being the most recent example.

  • Hahahaha the article was funny but the amount of comments being so angry about something obviously a joke is even funnier!

    • Hands down. Nerd rage is hilarious. Now they are demanding no satirical articles outside of one day of the year. Hahaha

  • Welp my hats off to you sir you had me going there for a hot second. It’s sad that we live in world right now that that seems plausible

  • By about the third or fourth sentence I was smiling then I got down to the comments and I started really laughing. Kudos to the author. Well played. Very well played.

    • This should be 80% of the comments here but everyone who got fooled is now trying to make a case that satirical articles shouldn’t exist outside of one day of the year. These guys are pretty dumb for being nerds.

    • As is ALL satire and comedy. Pointless. Yet, they all still hold greater value than you. You’re just a worthless human being. Made obvious by the amount of butt hurt words have caused you.

  • I especially liked this nice touch: “John DiBragio, Associate Vice Executive of Branding and/or Licensing for Hasbro.” I was amused and/or tickled. Not necessarily both, of course.

      • Thank you JTMoney for all of your post and responses. I was so frustrated or angry or just wanted to smile at several post. But each time you had the response I would write myself roughly! So 👍🏼 On saving me some typing and just allowing me to continue laughing after reading the article. Ignorance is everywhere these days and as you point out even satire is now under attack I guess womp womp.

  • Dear Sir/Madam,

    Re: Concerning construction of the term D and/or D (“concerning term”).

    We refer to the above issue and wish to notify you of the following concerns with relation to a narrow interpretation and reading of above-mentioned Concerning Term:

    1. Any argument or implied assertion to suggest that a Games Master (“GM”) or associated adventuring constituents (“Adventurers”) should be bound to any implied ratio of any one type of adventuring event (“Dungeon”), or any one type of opposing force, not limited to; goblins, orcs, drow, gelatinous villains, dragons or any other form of opossing creature, entity, spiritual being or otherwise (“Mobs”), it is a direct breach of the Golden Rule of gaming. Whereby this rule operates, as mandate of the furtherance of fun, creativity and leisure, it is in direct contradiction of said Golden Rule.

    2. Pursuant to point 1. herein it is therefore necessary to maintain a wider reading of the term D&D in respect of the implied rights of all Dungeon Masters (“GM”), which is so enlived to allow a consumer based veto rights against any purported naming rights.

    3. Furthermore, the term DnD may also be reasonably construed as “Development and Design” (Alternative Definition) which imports a wider reaching connation in allowing creation via Any design and development, not limited to any singularity of Mobs or Dungeon. Additionally, it adds weight to the wider construction of the Concerned Term. Accordingly, where the Alternative definition is read in line with the Concerned Term the proper construction of DnD must be read down to allow for a reasonable GMs purpose. No GM may or will be held liable for any apparent lack of a dungeon or a dragon whereby such a wide construction of the term does not expressly necessitate that either of those events are to occur in any given adventure.

    BE ON NOTICE:

    We, as GMs or as associated adventuring constituents accept no liability, responsibility or otherwise, at law or or under contract, to perform any DnD game within any confines of the Concerned Term.

    We reserve our rights under contract law, the common law and by way of the golden rule implied into all games to any damages associated with any narrowing construction of the Concerned Term.

    Kind Regards

    Serriph GM

    ( Roll insight and then intelligence at a disadvantage with a -4 penalty to legalese with respect to the aforementioned letter)

  • I got to admit, before I got to the end and saw the disclaimer, I was on the verge of losing my $#!%. In this day and age, I can see a company easily doing such an idiotic move.

    Good joke, guys. You got me there!

  • Gotta say, you got me good. I was seriously considering running to the nearest Barnes & Noble to have a box before they changed the labeling, haha. Nice one, mate!

  • What got me is, with all the monumental stupidity going on, I can see someone being this stupid. Until I saw the satire note, I was trying to figure if this was real. I couldn’t see Wizards doing anything that dumb.

  • Even better, since dungeons & dragons represents the breadth of what is possible in that game world that it should be renamed dungeons TO dragons or D2D.

  • Oh, I get it!!!! They messed up and forgot to make this come out on March 32nd. Because NO ONE intentionally posts jokes like this this so close to 2nd fiscal quarter. Without serious risk to the financial health of the company being adversely affected, and thus being a duche of untold magnitude. ** as the author sits around a tavern with his friends talking about the good joke he pulled on a bunch of unsuspecting socially inept nerds, his table is suddenly surrounded by a slew of Black suited Lawyer Orc’s that proceed to eviscerate him at the table serving his raw innards to the no longer chortling comrades.

    • Lmfao Why are the nerds so butt hurt they were fooled? You guys are literally making an argument that you can’t make satirical article outside of a specified time period. So fucking MORONIC! Hahahahaha

  • Thank you for this. Though they are not all my choices, I enjoyed thinking through each of the categories and seeing reasoned results.

  • Great list! My wife and I love Near and Far, and I’m excited to check out Sleeping Gods from Red Raven games later this year. Another game I’d recommend similar to Mice and Mystics, which I’ve heard has a lower bar to entry than M&M is Stuffed Fables. We’ve played that with our kids and they have enjoyed it.

    • Our daughter is going through a lot of those Stuffed Fables moments right now, and it’s at the top of my list of games to get. She’s even getting her own bed soon, gonna be some emotions there. I just wish she cared about stuffies at all 😀

      Sleeping Gods looks awesome. We also just recently got Above and Below and are eager to try it out.

  • I must say that I got pretty damned pissed and blamed the millennials for being the ones who prompted this name change and was about to write a scathing email to WoC about their over abundance of pussies running the company until I got to the end and saw it was just a joke. Bravo for getting my blood pumping.

  • Comedy isnt pointless, its needed for mental health, well maybe on comedy specificly, everyone has different tastes, but i didnt find this one offensive or funny, after seeing the hint at the end i was relieved. However it totally broke my focus on making an over powered barbarian.

  • What is the difference it is still D&D you play by the same rules you play it all the same why change it?

  • This is completely rediculous and/or hilariously pointless. It would be like going to a used car dealer and calling it a used car and/or other vehicles dealer…and having to actually SAY that every time!! Ludicrous. And the cost of rebranding for something that will make no difference to new players and, probably, piss off those who have been playing and/or DMing this game and/or RPG for so long is likely not worth it (probably being passed on to the consumer and/or players). I’m laughing at this and will NEVER refer to it by the new branding and I’ll laugh in the face of those who do!

  • Given that Google.com recommended this to me on the search engine page as (presumably) a news article, there are more problems with this than a missed hashtag or a comment in bold added after the fact.

    Is all of “Meeple Mountain” satire? The url places this in the “news” section. I don’t know if I’ve ever read anything on meeplemountain.com before, but this sort of article rightfully leads people to conclude the site is misleading at best and fake at worst.

    A better way to handle this would be to introduce the article as satire and tie the content of the article to a problem currently facing tabletop gaming. Use satire to make a point rather than a click-bait title to spread false, potentially inflammatory, information.

    • EDITOR: David, this is an excellent and reasoned response. Meeple Mountain is a tabletop gaming website featuring content about board games and RPG. Most of the “News” section is news in the same way that The Onion is news.

  • This is just stupid. You can’t just change the name because a bunch of bitches. Seriously same people probably complained about GOT ending and Drew up a petition to get the producer to rewrite the ending. You get what you get. Quit whining about things that bother your fragile sense of being. Or get a DM that puts you in a dungeon with a freaking dragon. Better yet give me a perception roll. Everyone sees you as a gelatinous cube of butthurt emotions. You don’t seem to grasp who you really are.

  • We have moved to Hong Kong from UK – any idea of conventions in Asia? – Say within 3 hrs flight time from HK?

    • Excellent question George. Asian events, other than Tokyo Game Market, aren’t as well known over here. That said I’m happy to reach out and solicit input from any followers we might have in those countries!

  • It’s interesting how at the end of that journey exploring stereotypes and Us vs. Them mentality, you arrived at playing Peyo, an unrepentant racist on a vendetta against an entire race because of the behaviors of a few members.

  • The Following are Active Con’s in the Nashville/Chatt area FYI……
    Hypericon… was 7/5-7, 2020 in Murphresboro, tn…http://hypericon.net/
    Connooga…. is in Feb, 2020…in Chattanooga…..https://www.facebook.com/con.nooga/
    Chattacon… is in Jan, 2020 ..in Chattanooga……https://www.facebook.com/Chattacon/
    Chattanooga state Tabletop Game Festival is going to be late 2019…and is in chatt..https://www.facebook.com/chattstatetabletopfest/
    and Chattanooga Tabletop Game Fest is a one day event in chatt in June..https://www.facebook.com/chattanoogatabletopgamefest/

  • I agree with pretty much everything you said here, though I thought the theme was rather strong (and it’ll be made a bit stronger with the expansions). As you noted, there may be people who use this to build a character and write stories beyond – well, I’m that sort of person for sure! Character creation and world building are among my favorite activities. As for the multi-player solo (or MP Solitaire as I like to call it) the fun aspect for me is just seeing how other people’s characters develop.

    I have to agree, too, that there are some aspects that seem to be a bit under-thought (like the experience tokens) and I found myself poring over the rule book far more often than actually making moves in my first play through (solo mode) because there were a handful of things that didn’t seem to make sense. I flat out forgot about the Rival and its actions for most of the game. I had suggested to BrotherWise to put out a one-sheet ’round summary’ type thing, maybe even on a tarot-sized card, but I think the fan community would be faster to make such a thing.

    On to BrotherWise themselves – I’m a huge supporter of theirs and have nearly everything they’ve ever made (Boss Monster 1 & 2 and all expansions + Unearth). I think they do a great job on their products. For this game I went for the top-tier Kickstarter, and when it arrived I had a few card sleeves with a strange puncture mark. I contacted BrotherWise about it purely as a heads-up that there might be an issue and they sent me a completely new set of that specific sleeve. Excellent customer service!

  • This review of Escape Tales: The Awakening is magnificent, and I am glad that I read this today. One of my close friends recommended me to read this, and I am delighted that I took his advice. I learned a valuable lesson from this.

  • I’m really into the Pax games and the way they make tableau building even more interconnected. I’m not as big on Innovation, but I know that many people are big fans. I’m really enjoying The Bloody Inn right now, that’s another fun little tableau builder.

  • I personaly think this man simply had an unlucky run with Catan, and find the game to be both brillent in it’s mechanics, and it’s game play. Catan truly does deserve the board game of the year award, and sore loosers need simply to rethink their strategy while playing.
    One may also prefer to use house rules whilst playing a game such as Catan, to avoid elements that may upset sensitive players.
    All in all, if you dislike the fact that a game may have lost it’s touch, you may simply consider purchasing an expansion to the game; rather than denouncing a designer’s masterpiece.

  • I think this guy needs to go back to playing card games. I can’t understand how one person that doesn’t have the intelligence to read the rules of a game convinced the judges to revoke the award. One person has a problem out of how many millions of players? He also needs to leave Ticket to Ride alone. I hope Days of Wonder stands up against this ding dong.

  • Uh, what? The guy plays less than a full game and deems it horribly broken. Then does the exact same thing with another game.

    How does the jury unanimously agree with him based on such flimsy “testing”?

    Both games are hugely popular for a reason. They won this award for a reason. Don’t cowtow to this snowflake man child.

  • Thank you so much for this guide! we were looking desperately for a good game to ship to our Croatian friends who are very passionate about board games, shipping was a whole different problem, but this article gave us some great ideas to follow!

  • I really enjoyed this excellently written review.

    PP2E is likely to attract anyone who is a fan of John Company, An Infamous Traffic or some of GMT’s COIN series. Although I’ve never played the first edition, apparently there are some definitive improvements with this edition that let the game shine.

  • Okay, so let’s talk about conventions. I’ve been to Gen Con a couple times, but I’m not sure I want to go back.

    I’ve reached a point with my games where buying the latest and greatest is not what I want anymore.

    I want to play games. Lots of games, and I don’t get to do it often at home, so conventions are a great choice for that.

    Which conventions are best for playing games?

    • Howdy Daniel, thanks for asking. Smaller cons are usually going to be your best bet there. BGG.con, Dice Tower East (and West), or regional cons are what should look for. What city are you in and I might be able to point you in the right direction. It’ll also depend on if you want to stay local, or if you’re willing to travel.

  • There is a new one that is up and coming from a group called “Game and Party”. They sound pretty good. GameandParty.com

    • Thanks Will, very kind of you to say. It is an odd behaviour, I thought it was important to discuss the arguments around it and the wider impacts that it has. I’m glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

  • Boardgaming is niche because it requires patience and intelligence to enjoy. Many demographics have lower amounts of patience and intelligence than others, and dumbing down boardgames to ‘Welcome’ them seems like cutting off the nose to save the face.

  • Old post.

    I won’t let that stop me.

    A lot of Actual Play podcasts put me off by being… over-produced? They don’t feel like an actual game. Their momentum is too undeniable, the GM/DMing to railroaded to Keep!Things!Going!

    There are a couple ‘casts out there that *feel* like actual games to me:

    RPPR Actual Play: Mostly One Shots, some ongoing, lots of different systems! Rotating and varied cast/GMs!

    No Rangers Allowed: Apparently heavily house-ruled 5E heavy on character interaction, low on murder-hoboing. Friends fucking around at the (virtual?) table! Nice folks. Weird folks. Relaxed pacing. Feels extremely off the rails at the best of times in the best of ways.

    http://norangersallowed.libsyn.com

  • I assume this is satire since I can’t find anything else on the web. But you never can tell these days with the social justice types!

  • I have the distinct feeling that the reviewer didn’t actually try to play the game. The system is a distinct step down from previous editions, even the much (and rightly so) maligned fourth edition ruleset. The beginner box comes with zero, read ’em, zero character sheets, only the ones in the booklets which are clearly not meant to be written upon, and there is no option to print them on the Catalyst website. Moreover, the box is riddled with typos, math errors, and an entire section of each character (qualities) were simply not finished in time for them to be defined in game terms.

    I led my group, who has played every version of Shadowrun since third edition (I myself cut my teeth on the original FASA first edition ruleset, and each to come after) and we didn’t even finish the first encounter. We didn’t want to. It was that clunky, slow, and frustrating. And this coming from people who know their Shadowrun. It’s been rumored that Catalyst takes their design talent from their Shadowrun: Missions designers, and they aren’t paid for their work in Missions. Now I believe it. A group of design professionals would know that the first step in streamlining notoriously clunky mechanics is NOT adding an entire new subset of rules to every encounter.

  • Excellent review, I have enjoyed this game so far. I agree with you that some of the aesthetic choices are problematic, but I think this is a case where all of the good choices outweigh the bad by a wide margin. I am happy with it, and I feel the KS campaign was well-run.

    P.S. – I don’t know if I imagined that this was in the rulebook, but we have been playing that you cannot take a spent wild from another player. It makes the bump action seem a little more balanced.

  • Great list, but I think your Nevada section is off. Gaming Hoopla is in IL and Origins is in Ohio. I think you’ve got some cons listed for other states (WA, LA, DE) too.

  • I think you should add Box Throne storage as one of the best ways to keep board games from not scuffing each other in a stack on the shelf.

  • Just built a charlatan Goblin named Crink who pulls his oversized ears back behind his head, puts on makeup and a wig made from a scalped gnome. Now he calls himself “Pluck the Locksmith” (though he’s better at picking them than fixing them) and masquerades among ‘civilized’ races because he’s found the thrill of hiding in cultures that would otherwise kill him to be far more rewarding than simply being a bounty hunter for the goblin horde in their endless feud with the gnomes.

  • Enjoyed your Article …Sadly my wife is like 10% social , 80% cognitive ….10% competitive so she is not much of a gamer….:( I am more like 40%/30%/30%….

  • This is a great topic and I think your broad strokes have things pretty well covered. However(isn’t there always an however?), there often seems to be a split in the Cognitive Reward, depending on people’s preferences. I’m tempted to break it into Cognitive-interactive and Cognitive-mechanism.

    It’s probably easiest to explain with some examples. Cognitive-interactive games involve a large degree of working against or trying to gain some benefit off other players; Hansa Teutonica is a good example. Cognitive-mechanism games are those where your primary focus is making the game’s mechanisms work for you and interacting with other players is often secondary – COB is an example here, or Lacerda games(gross generalisation, I know). Obviously, there are games with a foot in both camps, Brass Birmingham is one that seems to cut both ways.

    I probably haven’t explained this well, but it’s something I’ve noticed in the local game group. Some people have a strong preference for player-vs-player and others prefer player-vs-mechanisms-vs-player, yet both styles of play offer up cognitive rewards for a move well played.

    Cheers

  • MacGyver movie is a nice one to watch with your spouse, and when I did that with my spouse, we had a lovely time together. It was cool seeing this guy solve puzzles to get out of escape rooms. We knew all the answers.

  • Hi,

    I live in NJ and was excited to see that a couple of gaming conventions were coming up. However, my hopes were soon dashed when I found that you have listed a couple of cities incorrectly. I guess no gaming cons anytime soon 🙁

    MACE West – Asheville, NJ – Feb. 28 – Mar. 1, 2020 (Asheville, NC)
    GameholeCon – Madison, NJ – Oct. 31 – Nov. 3, 2019 (Madison, WI)

    • So sad

      So sorry about that. We had a formatting issue a few weeks ago that offset some cities into other states. It looks like some got missed. I’ll move them to where they belong, but I wish I could put something in their place for you!

  • Twilight Imperium (any version) is on my bucket list. Whenever I see it being pkayed, I keep thinking “someday”. It’s just such an epic game. Great job capturing its “epic-ness” in your review!

  • Dylan, thank you for providing an overview of a twenty-plus year old game that has earned its reputation for an epic experience. I’ve played third edition and will say that TI4 is a thoughtful iteration which has preserved most of the positive elements while streamlining the more sketchy bits that had accumulated through two expansions. The rule system has also been refined with some superlative tweaks (commodities, trade goods and the Agenda Phase), and continues to be actively supported with a “living reference” last updated in June of this year (thank you, Dane!).

    CTP has said several times that he could have modified the game to be shorter, but chose not to to because he wanted to create a specific user experience. Those players who make the six hour commitment (average time for a mix of old and new players guided by an seasoned hand to keep the turns on schedule) will find themselves in possession of a unique narrative that they will talk about for months or years to come. You could do far worse for the $125 price tag.

    Now for the BIG question…

    Where did you get the gray player pieces I see in these photos? Did you just paint them for an 8-player option or did you 3D print them? I presume that there not from a super-secret advance prototype of the long-suspected first expansion…

    Are they? 🤫

    • Red purple black green yellow blue, I had to check, but yeah, these are the standard colours. Definitely an intergalactic conspiracy going on right before our eyes!

  • Have you by chance played Barenpark? I am curious as to whether this one scratches the same itch or if it stands on its own as an experience.

    • I actually haven’t, but I reached out to a friend who has played both and here is her answer: “From what I remember, I would say The Grand Carnival stands on its own and is maybe a step more complex than Barenpark, even with the advanced rules”. She’s only played Barenpark once so she’s not an expert, but from our conversation it does seem like The Grand Carnival has some main differences such as having to build the foundations for your attractions and also the action selection mechanism. Hope that helps.

  • While what you describe is a really interesting experience, I’m not sure how that sense of novelty will translate into a broader commercial success (even among early adopters).

    The few examples of digital integration into boardgames have tried to ease the administrative burden on players (First Martians- problematic to say the least), add tension or atmosphere (XCOM- pretty decent for what it does) or create an option for a co-op experience with an AI assistant (updates to Imperial Assault & Mansions of Madness 2nd edition). But they all still require players to manipulate physical pieces on the board and adjust various status markers.

    BHC seems to be a under-developed computer sim that still uses tokens to document the board state. When the actual colony can be built from inter-connected modules that link together and so much information can be relayed via each players iPhone via the app, why does this game need any cardboard or tokens at all? All of that can be represented and manipulated digitally by each player, with the only required physical interface being the colony components themselves and an app device. That’s a little novel, but is that enough to draw an audience for a successful game? I don’t know, especially when dedicated PC platforms do all of this much better.

    Games that rely on digital integration need good support from the publishers in the form of patches and updates- a sketchy long-term liability for small companies. Will be curious to see the ultimate price-point when this project attempts to launch on KS.

  • I had no idea that something like this exists. Sounds very interesting, but I don’t know if it’s any good for my increasing amount of games. I would rather buy a game that I am sure will be played than get a random game that might not be what I actually want.

  • Very good game for adults and children (from 6 years old)

    Any expansion for 2020? PLEASEEEE…
    We want more.

    😉

    Seb

    • Maryanne, the difficulty levels are printed on the boxes, ranging from 1 to 3 stars; the higher the star the more difficult. I’ve played 4 or 5 of these with my kids (6 and up) and we’ve been able to do all three levels. Admittedly we didn’t bother paying attention to the time, but they were still able to work things out.

      I’ve played The Formula and Squeek and Sausage, and I most enjoyed Squeek and Sausage.

    • As Andy mentioned, you probably want to start with a lower difficulty level as a beginner. Squeek and Sausage is an excellent one to kickstart your Unlock! gaming experience, as is the newer Unlock game, The Night of the Boogeymen.

  • A quick update.

    The game launched on KS and is fully funded (~150% at this early point). However, the pledge cost for the core box is $225. That’s likely to give a lot of early adopters pause. CMON may be able to coax that kind of money out of die-hard fans, but these are first-time creators that still have a lot of detail polishing ahead them to make a viable product.

    It’ll be an interesting experiment, and I wish them well.

    No, I won’t be pledging.

    • While this article is published by Meeple Mountain, the podcasts mentioned here are the preference of the author. It’s possible the author hasn’t heard of that podcast, or doesn’t like it. There are literally hundreds upon hundreds of podcasts that could have been mentioned that weren’t, so leaving out one shouldn’t be taken as significant.

    • Great question Hamed. If you’re looking for a larger show, then PAX Unplugged is going to be your best bet. It’s the largest show right after Essen and it’s going to be great. In fact almost a dozen Meeple Mountain team members will be there, so I’d be happy to chat.

  • Hello Andy again. The festival you mentioned is very popular but I live in Iran and find it difficult to get there. can you please introduce another prestigious festival closer to my country?very very thank you andy.

    • Ah, sorry about that Hamed. It looks like there’s only two events near you. One in the UAE, the other in Israel. If you’re willing to travel into Europe then there are a number of events in France, Spain, Germany, and the UK.

      • Thank you Andy.Unfortunately the Emirates Festival is over and I can’t travel to Israel according to the rules of my country. Maybe India is suitable for the board game I have designed with the grace of God and thank you again Andy Dear

    • Amy, that’s a great question; I didn’t notice that. I suppose it’s possible that some of the music included could have questionable lyrics? In all the times I’ve played it though I’ve never heard anything that bothered me. I played it with my 5 year old son and never had a problem.

    • Amy, I never actually noticed that age restriction. I suppose it’s possible some of the sound clips have questionable lyrics, although I’ve never heard anything. I’ve routinely played this with my 7 year old (who was 5 at the time) and he does just fine.

  • I wanted to contact you as one of the creators of BFGcon to see if we could get our 2020 information posted on your convention calendar. Below are the relevant details.

    BFGcon 2020
    The Big Frederick Gaming Convention
    March 13-15, 2020

    Thank you for your time!
    Heather

  • I thought about going to Chinatown for dim sum this weekend but now realize how much I’ve been relying on, and perpetuating, offensive racist tropes. Thank you.

  • Thank you for your beautiful, simply written article. I teach board games to juveniles (not a simple word?) in senior High, in Kalamata, Greece.
    At times, I have to persuade them to play. Most times, they simply want to play.
    You are a simple, big inspiration.

    • Turns out we were a little aggressive in linking to the “old” version of this page. We’re in the middle of building out the newest version of the guide for this holiday season. Thanks for letting us know Taylor.

  • Wooowww, I was browsing the web searching for some inspiration as I am going to make a podcast on boardgames and movies, and I bumped into this post.
    My list is completely different, but I appreciated yours a LOT!

  • Nicely put.

    I especially liked . . . This means that I am not allowed to tell the story about my cat again, which my friends have heard many times already. . . This rings so true, as hanging out with friends can mean a lot of recycled conversations. Yes, that can be comforting, but the interactions and narrative that are generated by playing games brings a certain amount of freshness to the table.

    I also find that games are a great icebreaker. I help out with International Students at a local high school. Twice a year there’s an orientation week with about 25 students turning up from all over the world. They can be nervous, many have limited english and could be the only student from a particular country. Among all the boring admin that has to be completed, I mix it up with games, particularly those that are low on language dependency.
    Out of interest, the German students are the most likely to have played games at home and it seems that Germany really does have a strong culture of playing board games.

    Cheers

    • Have you played the Exit games just released that are not included in this review (The Haunted Roller Coaster, House of Riddles, or The Catacombs of Horror)? If not, they are worth checking out. Haunted Roller Coaster and House of Riddles are on the easier side, but Catacombs of Horror is quite difficult.

      Also it looks like there are 3 new Exits that released in German and, in the past, they’ve usually been translated and brought to the English market around Origins (May/June).

  • Nothing like a ton of WHITE GUILT to add to an otherwise pleasant evening. How about you just review the board game, and spare us your delicate and feeble moral judgement, eh?

    • Howdy, Andy Matthews, I’m the editor for Meeple Mountain. It’s pretty clear that you have strong opinions about the game so I wanted to take a minute to respond to your comment directly. FWIW I attempted to email you directly about your previous insulting comment, but the email you provided bounced; so I deleted it. The fact you posted about it again means you _really_ have something to say, so let’s chat.

      I re-read Thomas’ interview and he makes it clear he thinks the game is “fine” and has a number of unique and interesting mechanisms. The reason he panned Papua is one directly of the designer and publisher’s choosing. The game might have used any number of themes, but they opted to use one of expansion and colonialism; and by doing so opened themselves up to criticism of not only the game’s mechanisms. but of the theme.

      Thomas doesn’t bash it, but instead takes the time to explain the reasons for his dislike of the game. While I don’t think we should avoid a part of our collective history because something distasteful occurred, I do think that publishers have a responsibility to represent it with respect and honesty. For example Mombasa covers many of the same underlying issues, but Alexander Pfister and R&R Games opted to face it head on by referencing the primary issues with expansion in Africa in the rulebook. Also worth mentioning is An Infamous Traffic by Hollandspiele which while not the same theme, still discusses and portrays a distasteful subject with authenticity.

      I also think it’s important to state that Thomas did exactly what he was expected to do; he reviewed the game. If he finds the subject matter distasteful, I expect him to be honest about it. If he thinks the game is sub par I expect him to say that as well. I’m sorry if you think “reviews” are just about covering gameplay, but that’s simply not what Meeple Mountain strives to be.

      In any case, you’re welcome to your opinions and as long as you can remain civil you’re welcome to debate the merits of Papua here. Thanks for reading Meeple Mountain.

    • The rat isn’t removed from the game once it’s used, but it will “reset” (taken out of your potion) at the end of every round.

      At the beginning of each round, you count to see how many rat tails there are between you and the leading player. You then move your rat token ahead that many spaces. If there are 2 rat tails between you and the first (leading) player, for example, you move your rat token 2 spaces ahead. At the end of that round, the rat token comes off your board (but could still be used in future rounds).

      The next round, do the same again and count the rat tails. Let’s say there are now 3 tails between you and the first player. You would then place your rat token 3 spaces ahead for that round.

      The rat tails aren’t cumulative. So let’s say in round three you had a rat 2 spaces ahead and then in round four, you had a rat 3 spaces ahead. Your token would *not* be 5 spaces ahead; it would only be 3 because the rat token resets/comes off your board at the end of every round.

      Hope that makes sense : )

  • With nary a mention of any of GMT Games’ COIN series, this list is a complete farcical disaster.
    That series created an entirely new crossover category of wargames that have bridged the divide between Eurogamers, wargamers, and the professional military, appeared in The Washington Post, and many are on their 4th and 5th printings.
    Andean Abyss
    Cuba Libre
    A Distant Plain
    Fire in the Lake
    Liberty or Death
    Falling Sky
    Colonial Twilight
    Pendragon
    Ghandi
    have all turned wargaming into a multi-player sport where the war isn’t necessarily the only way to win, and captured thousands of fans along the way. They’ve been many of GMT’s best sellers and they’ve created a whole new category of wargames in a table genre long considered to be stale and over-wrought with complexity.

    Wargamers are used to the rest of the world ignoring what they’re doing (hell, they were crowdsourcing print runs back in the mid-1990s, when Kickstarter’s founders were still in high school) but if you’re going to run a site claiming to talk about board games, maybe try not to ignore a significant and smart segment of it.

    • “A complete farcical disaster” seems a bit strong don’t you think? We’ve made no secret about our focus on light to heavy weight board games. In fact the author is discussing this very lack of wargames on Reddit.

      Editor’s note: FWIW we have an article about war games from a board gamers perspective, that has been very well received. I’d love to cover more wargames on Meeple Mountain because I recognize they’re an important part of the hobby. However finding people to contribute those pieces has been challenging. Perhaps you can offer some recommendations?

      • Probably some hyperbole on my part, but it’s amazing (and frustrating) that an entire segment of the tabletop hobby that full of some of the smartest and most innovative designers consistently gets short shrift from the rest of the tabletop world.

        And no offense, but if I knew some guys looking to do more writing about wargames, I’d snatch them up to write for us over at the Armchair Dragoons! 😀

        • Brant,

          Thanks for following up. Yes, wargaming is all the things you mentioned, but it’s also a niche within a niche which makes it really tough to write about and engage in. Your average board gamer likely isn’t even aware of wargames, much less having the chance to play them. Tabletop gaming in general is growing in popularity and I think that’s going to increase exposure to wargaming by association; especially with the success of titles like Root and it’s connection to COIN.

          I won’t apologize for the contents of this list (well, except for Speak Out…🤣), but I will promise that we’ll do our best to increase our coverage of every aspect of gaming, and not just the middle.

    • As someone who board games weekly, goes to 3 conventions a year, and is involved in the development side of things.

      I have played about 50 games on this list, and was aware of about 90 of them.

      I have never heard of any of the games you’ve listed.

      You may need to accept that your hobby is separate and distinct from the one being discussed here

  • Although it’s not my favorite, I am surprised you didn’t include the game that introduced modern board gaming to America… Settlers of Catan. It’s what I and many others started with and you should give nods to the game that brought modern gaming to the states.

  • Missing the COIN series is is huge. I kept waiting for it, assuming the author was bumping it closer and closer to number one, until it became obvious it wasn’t going to be there at all.

    It’s not just about including a token wargame: If the list aspires to represent innovation and impact in the world of tabletop gaming it’s a real oversight, for all the reasons Brant mentions.

  • Sure, there are no COIN games on this list, but there’s one which was directly inspired by the series and introduced the idea of an assymetrical ‘Eurowargame’ to a much broader audience, namely – Root. Sure, it is not a COIN game per se (and its description should refer to the series in my opinion), but I’d argue that it rightfully features here instead of that series.

    • That the author specifically seeks to track “importance” is its own best argument for including the acknowledged progenitor.

      It’s an oversight by any measure, and a glaring one. I did enjoy the rest of the list.

    • about 3 comments below this (as of this writing), Chris Braun said
      “Blood Rage begat Rising Sun, as the author mentions in the article, which is why Blood Rage is there and Sun isn’t. One led to the other and they are similar in many ways, so there only needs to be one of them on the list.”

      So that standard gets applied to Blood Rage/Rising Sun, but not COIN/Root?

  • Fun stuff…I can see that you’ve put a lot of thought into this list. I’m interested to hear why a game like Mysterium would be left off? I know that it’s popularity has waned a little, but I would think for it’s updated approach to the “Clue experience”, or giving more context to the “Dixit experience,” or for several other reasons, it could have found a spot. Maybe in place of one of the Vast/Root series games…Inclusion of both seems a bit superfluous.

  • Where is Rising Sun? You mention it in the Blood Rage entry, but leave it off the list.

    Love Letter in the top 10???? I recently played it and found it to be tedious and one dimensional. The ‘story’ has nothing to do with the actual gameplay and comes down to a memory game of remembering who has the highest number card. With the number of swap hands cards, and only ever having a choice of two cards to play, it doesn’t even leave any room for limited strategy.

    • Blood Rage begat Rising Sun, as the author mentions in the article, which is why Blood Rage is there and Sun isn’t. One led to the other and they are similar in many ways, so there only needs to be one of them on the list.

      And Love Letter, love it or hate it, was a massively popular series of games, selling incredible amounts of copies. That you don’t like it doesn’t preclude its importance to the revitalization of the micro-game concept.

  • Excellent read. I’m glad that lists like this exist, to see a different perspective on the influence games have had on other games as well as the gaming culture: it’s more than just a ‘these are fun games’ list. And it’s always nice to see games you own pop up on the list.

  • Overall, a pretty good list (not a wargamer, so I can’t speak to some of the other comments about omissions). I can’t argue with the importance of many of the top games on the list, even if I’m not a fan of a couple of them.

    Lots of games that are on my shelves or that I’ve played and even more that I need to check out! Thanks to the author for all the hard work!

    • Howdy Brad,

      It seems like some of our recent content has struck a nerve in the wargaming community. I’m sorry that you’re feeling left out of the rise in popularity of gaming. For the past 2 years we’ve been looking for contributors who might be interested in covering war games, and we’ve only gotten 2 submissions. One gentleman penned one of the most popular pieces on our site, a board gamers guide to war games, and the other person never contributed anything.

      I’ll be honest and say that the reactions we’ve gotten to seem to reinforce the stereotype of wargamers that many people have. I don’t believe that stereotype to be accurate, but instead of griping about a lack of content and representation, why not suggest some ways we can address the lack? Since this is the fan voting page, would you suggest a new category for wargames? Would a single category be sufficient or would it require multiple categories to cover the gamut? The problem we’re going to run into is that none of our writing team members has any sort of expertise in that area which could lead to our coverage feeling disingenuous.

      So I’m asking what specifically you’re expecting?

      • Oh I totally understand where you are coming from and I’m sorry if my comment came off as a complaint about what you are doing, it wasn’t meant to be, it’s more of a feeling of disappointment. I’ve never really played much other than wargames or games produced by wargame companies all my life. It’s interesting that the vendor areas of conventions like the WBC seem to have more wargame content yet the gaming areas are populated with an equal mix of wargames and non-wargames. Sadly I am not a writer or I would be more than happy to provide some content for you. I guess a generic wargame category would be a nice touch.I do enjoy seeing all of the other games that are out there.

        • Brad, apology not needed, but happily accepted.

          I’ll be honest and say that I eventually aim to have Meeple Mountain become a force in gaming along the lines of The Dice Tower, GeekDad, or Geek & Sundry. And with that admission I understand that there’s a lot of surface area that we need to address. 😀

          The goal is to spread out where it makes sense for us. For example, we’re starting to cover much more RPG content because one of our writers is a big fan. I’m hoping to find a team member who has that same degree of passion for wargames. Once that happens you might get more than you asked for. 😀

          Fair enough?

  • Excellent list! I’ve always loved playing board games, but have only gotten heavily into it in the past 14 months. Almost every game I own it want to own is in this list, including Scythe. I was surprised that Scythe made the top spot though. I was expecting a game like Gloomhaven, Pandemic legacy, or Seven wonders.

    I guess Scythe got the top spot because it was a combination of things. Great art, high quality, great theming, and high popularity. I’m still wondering why it is the most important, other games have sold many copies and have many expansions (Terraforming Mars comes to mind). I would have expected the most important game to be more of a pioneer.

  • My only question is where is twilight Imperium? Was it not included as it is the 4th edition? Confused as that game is certainly one of the best out there? Thanks, great article

  • Excellent list! Very much enjoyed the read. Not going to complain about which games are not on the list because it is your list. Mine would be different as would anyone else who would make such a list. What I liked most of all was that you recognized the importance of some games that weren’t popular or were controversial (Exploding Kittens, SeaFall, Cards Against Humanity). I particularly enjoyed your comments on SeaFall, a game I happen to rank highly on my list of all-time favorites. I agree that it is flawed, but a much better game than many have said, being a victim of Daviau’s previous successes. Had that one come out first, things may have been different.

  • Here’s an important game that didn’t make the list.

    Super Dungeon Explore (2011)

    – SDE was the first board game made by CMON, and it remained one of their top sellers until they split with Soda Pop Miniatures. As such, it represents CMON’s move away from a producer boutique miniatures (and Dark Age) to board games.

    It was also how they learned to always have pre-assembled miniatures, and it is the first CMON game to be infinitely expandable by swapping out monster groups (something that is huge in most big box Kickstarter games now).

    – It represented a big crossover point for a lot of tabletop wargamers who started playing board games, which has been a driving force in board games this decade.

    – SDE was also at the very beginning of the current wave of Dungeon Crawlers, which is a genre that has since thrived. Its’ own mechanical contributions were in updating the genre into the more current meta.

    – It also represented a massive departure from the two traditional styles of miniatures sculpting with chibi miniatures.

    For people who haven’t followed miniatures very closely, this has been HUGE. Prior to this decade, gaming miniatures offered a fairly narrow set of styles which could mostly be played together without any trouble. After the way SDE has changed things, there are many varied styles for sculpting in gaming miniatures.

    Games like Stuffed Fables, Myth, Masque of the Red Death, Middara, My Little Scythe, Mice and Mystics, The Faceless, etc. have all benefited from this move.

    If you don’t think that diversifying miniatures art was a significant change, imagine that every board game used realistic Renaissance art, then sudently the impressionist movement happened, immediately followed by an exploration of every possible style in between.

    – In addition, it was at the forefront of the move toward digital sculpting in board games, something that has become the industry standard.