Typically when you see a pile of chits on a game table that means you’re going to be in for a long and boring night, but with Shipyard you’re going to find the most joyous use of chits possible. Utilizing multiple roundales and especially my favorite paring down of your own victory point condition lends itself to a eurogamer’s dream game come true.
49. Fields of Arle
The sandbox of sandboxes, Fields of Arle has dozens of placement spots with a season-based system for 1 or 2 players. Even with limited variability, there are so many options here, every game will feel unique.
There is an overwhelming joy to Mombasa when you realize that not only have you properly picked up, played, but then later retrieved your needed cards at the right time this unique rotating-display hand-mechanism is amazing. The game has multiple tracks to move up, areas to control, and worker placement spots to choose and yet, the game does it so elegantly that you never feel overwhelmed.
47. A Feast for Odin
Uwe Rosenberg goes full Rosenberg with his biggest, most component-packed game yet. A Feast for Odin integrates the polyomino placement of his recent small games and sandbox worker placement of Fields of Arle and Caverna into a streamlined puzzle-focused experience that I cannot resist.
While the AEG’s Tempest universe is best known for Love Letter, Dominare is a worthy successor is many ways. Employing numerous character cards that activate on different turns allows for cutthroat area control that is more fun then it has any right to be. This is not a game to miss out on.
45. Mechs vs. Minions
Cooperative programming? It shouldn’t work, but somehow Riot Games created their very first board game and managed to make it better than most other programming games on the market, and a spectacularly pretty production that few can compete with.
Bruges is Feld’s love letter to multi-use cards and the proper migration of an unlucky dice role. It isn’t easy dealing with all the tragedy that can befall you in Bruges, but utilizing the cards that are houses, character cards and a host of other options makes this a game that will return again and again to the table. The expansion completes this great game.
Mindclash’s weird and wild take on worker placement has a strong narrative throughout and an aesthetic that is fully integrated into every component in the box. It’s big, it’s bold, and it’s a prime example of what Kickstarter can allow game designers to accomplish.
Roll your dice, control the characters, and build your defenses against the coming darkness. This game is straight forward enough to get gateway gamers to the table, but complex enough with the expansion to bring heavy gamers to the table.
41. Arkham Horror: Card Game
Where Lord of the Rings LCG reinvented how to build a narrative experience in a card game, Arkham Horror: The Card Game has worked tirelessly to perfect it. This is a game full of new ideas, a clear narrative, and natural single-player support, making it a perennial at my table.