Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Games of 2011

As the year is coming towards its end I thought I would post about the top 5 games that I have played this year. 2011 has been a cracking year for games, there have been so many good ones but these are my top 5.

1 A Few Acres of Snow - (My best 2 Player Game of the Year)
This has been my favorite game of 2011. I like most of Martin Wallace games and this one could be his best in my mind. Its a 2 player game that uses deck building mechanics and has a play time of about an hour. For me it fills the gap when there are 2 players who haven't got teh time for a game of Twilight Struggle.
I have played it quite a few times now and although its a little unbalanced for new players its definitely one that been asked for repeated plays.

2 Lord of the Rings the LCG - (Best Card Game of the Year)
Production and support on this one is great, which is understandable as its a Fantasy Flight Game. Its a solo or 2 player card game where you are trying to win an encounter by using a deck of cards. The game plays very well and you feel like you are actually controlling the characters from Middle Earth as you are trying to complete your chosen adventure.
Its been heavily expanded with monthly packs of cards. I don't have all of them but the ones I have picked up have added to the game.
I am now attempting to create some custom decks with the cards I have so there is still plenty of game here for me.

3 Quarriors - (Best light and Dice Game of the Year)
Mix up a deck building game with dice and you get Quarriors. Its a light game that plays very quickly. A 2 player game can take around 10 minutes. There is a high degree of luck in the game, but another game can be setup really quickly. It's probably the lightest game I have played this year but its short playing time has meant its been played the most.

4 Mansions of Madness - (Best production of the Year)
As far a box size goes this is the biggest I bought this year and for good reason. I love this game, its a Cthulu Mythos inspired game similar to descent. The boards and minis are brilliant and I have enjoyed every game of it. My biggest gripe with the game is the setup time. There are so many cards and counters this can take a while and you have to make sure you do it perfectly otherwise you will break the game. I haven't played this enough mainly for this reason. I like to set up the game ahead of time and I don't always get the time.
Expansions for this have started to appear and I expect to see a big box with more minis is in the pipeline.

5 Troyes - (Best Heavy Game of the Year)
I like dice games and this one get you rolling them quite a bit. But the luck factor is taken away as you can use other players dice for a cost. This is quite a heavy game and it takes a few plays for it to sink in. But once it does you will be playing a fantastic game.

Biggest disappointment of the year, generally I will play any game and see some good in it. The designer has put the time in to create the game and a publisher has invested in getting the final product to market. That said my biggest disappointment this year has been Barons. I liked Glory to Rome and expected something as good but the game just didn't work for me. It seemed a little too easy and would quickly end once players built churches. The cards and artwork seemed a bit too harsh and it came in once of CCG's trademark plastic boxes.