Okay.... enough of the non-gaming related stuff and onto this list. While I was away, I still played lots of games. I have amounted quite a few games in my collection that were collecting dust and had never been played. Still are a bunch that need to get played. This list is 8 of the best games that I played for the first time during my year long hiatus. They are in no particular order and some have been around for over 5 years. I hope you enjoy the list and stick with me as I try to bring out regular content.
Published by: Czech Games Edition
Pulsar 2849 is a module space game. There is a lot going on during each game. Players are taking 2 dice from a set number of dice that were rolled. These dice are used for your actions during your turns. Even selecting which dice will manipulate something in the game that can have consequences in later rounds. Players have a wide amount of options on how they may try to win the game. There is a technology path that will help out actions during the game or give victory points from certain actions. The middle of the table is a galaxy full of planets and stars. You have a ship that will be traveling the map discovering planets and creating gyros in pulsars. Players will also have the option to build a space station that will give points and bonuses. Pulsar 2849 comes with a variety of options for each module that make each game unique. While looking complicated at first, Pulsar 2849 will grab your attention and you will come back wanting more.
Published by: Libellud and Asmodee NA
Dice Forge is probably one of the most unique games I have played recently due to the dice crafting mechanism. Dice Forge is all about creating a smooth engine by putting the right faces on your dice to minimize risk to get what you want out of each turn. You will use your dice to get resources to help complete ordeals to lead to your victory. The artwork is superb and the fun of building your dice will keep you coming many times to play more.
Published by: Grand Gamers Guild
Endeavor Age of Sail is an updated version of Endeavor with updated rules and new content. Also a beautiful insert from Game Trayz. Players each round are adding a new building to their area. They will use workers to use the ability of the buildings they own. The various actions can be settling towns, claiming sea paths and trying to gain influence to open up new areas. You will also be able to attack your opponent and steal their settlements or sea paths. Doing these various actions will also increase your various technology/people. This controls how many workers, money, cards and level of building you can take at the start of a round. Endeavor takes worker placement and area control and makes them flow smoothly while maintaining theme. The new version was treated with respect with a well written rule book and quality components. Glad a friend picked this up and I gave it a try.
Published by: Fantasy Flight Games/Asmodee NA
I have never played Twilight Imperium despite one friend who loves the game and tries to get a game in every 3 months or so. Twilight Imperium is an epic space movie series that is similar in length in time. While that is a negative it is also a positive. Any shorter of a game time would be a disservice to this game. Twilight Imperium is a 4x game with each player taking control of a unique race. Players each round will choose a role/action similar to Puerto Rico. Most of the time, players will be performing other player's actions as well. A combination of resources, building up a flight, managing technologies, and exploring various planets will be your path to victory. Forming alliances will help you, but other alliances can also leave you lonely surrounded by enemies. Strategies change and you can never know what surprises your opponents will throw your way. If you enjoy games like Exodus and Eclipse, then you will love Twilight Imperium. Any big tabletop gaming fan should play at least one game of Twilight Imperium for the experience alone. You will probably end up enjoying it along the way.
Published by: Wizard of the Coast
If you asked me a year ago that I would be playing a trading card game, I would have told you that you were insane. They are a big investment and hard to keep up with. Well here I am saying I love the Transformers TCG. Players will choose 25 stars worth of transformers to field in front of them and a deck of at least 40 battle cards. During you turn you will be able to transform one of your transformers by flipping the card. Each card has different stats and abilities on each side. You can equip upgrades and play an action to help you during your battle. During a battle a player will combine their strength with orange pips on 2 battle cards you will flip during the battle. (note: you will flip more battle cards due to actions or Bold abilities) Take out a Transformer's health and they are sent to the scrap yard. Wave 2 added Combiners, which allow you to form giant Transformers from sets of certain Transformers. Everyone remembers Devastator but there are many awesome looking Combiners. This is a great TCG for young and old. It has not gotten as much attention as it deserves due to Keyforge coming out at the same time. Transformers TCG made me eat my words and I am addicted. My bank account cries from the pain.
Published by: Roxley Games
If I had to explain Dice Throne in 2 words it would be PVP Yahtzee. (may be cheating with PVP as 1 word) Dice Throne has each player taking the role of a specific class and fighting 1 player or 2 v 2, 3 v 3, or 1 v 1 v1. When you have multiple opponents and using an attack, a die roll will decide who you attack. This prevents players picking on one player. Each player has a set of 5 dice with icons on each side. They have a player board with abilities unique to their class, along with a deck of cards that will be used during the game to either upgrade abilities or perform actions. Players will roll dice up to 3 times, Yahtzee style and will use those dice to match up with dice required to perform an ability. Most of the abilities will be matching same icons, full house, or straights. Getting 5 of a specific icon will activate an ultimate ability that is almost sure to give your opponent a bad day. Each class feels completely different and feel like the class they represent. This may be my favorite game I played last year. Highly recommend this to anyone.
Published by: Splotter Spiel
Indonesia is a heavier economic game that involves trade routes and owning resource companies. You will spread your resource companies growth into adjoining territories, while shippers will try to expand their routes to as many cities as possible. Resource companies are forced to use shippers to sell their goods to as many cities as possible and will pay a flat rate to ship a good to each spot on the map. By the end of the route, they may make little to no profit while the shipper makes a pretty penny. If you are the only one selling a high value good, you could make a killing even using a long route. Sometimes it is best to focus on selling goods or shipping, and other times it may be a winner by a balancing the two. A lot depends on what other players will do. During each round players may have the opportunity to perform a merger of two companies that any player/s own and create an auction to purchase the newly formed merger company/shipper. This makes that company stronger and may sway the momentum of the game in a large way. There is a lot going on, but also a simplicity to it once you know what you are doing. Lots of strategy and player interaction make this a keeper for me.
Published by: Plan B Games
Azul is beautiful tile drafting game. Each player will be taking turns drafting tiles of the same face from either one of the several areas in a circle or from the center of the area. This will keep happening till all the tiles run out. Here is the catch, you are designing a 5 by 5 tile floor. Each row and column can only have 1 of each face. While drafting tiles, you will be placing them in planing rows that will hold 1 to 5 tiles (top holds 1 and bottom holds 5, middle ones are 2,3,4). When you pick up all the tiles of a certain face, you will place them all in one of the planning rows. Any overfill will be destroyed and cost you points. When placing tiles in a row, they all must be the same face. You can place 3 of a face in the 5 area of planning and then try to get 2 from another draft to place in the same row. You can not split tiles from a draft into separate rows. After all the tiles have been drafted, you will add a tile to your floor when a row is completed. Points will be given out in various ways and the game can end fairly fast. The tiles for Azul are amazing and high quality. The game plays fairly fast and can be played by gamer and non-gamer alike. One of my favorite drafting games and that is saying a lot.