You Are What You Play - State of the Collection 2019
A Brief Synopsis
I've always loved gaming - though, in the days past, it was games of the digital format that I enjoyed. Only ever playing anything of an analogue nature when my great-grandmother insisted (side note: she always won, and usually cheated to get there. But, memories of chocolate covered graham crackers, and card games with her will always be cherished).
So, a few years ago, I shifted into a career that requires me to stare at a screen all day. That fact, combined with other external forces of life, began to cause my enjoyment of video games to diminish. I then picked up Yo-Yoing (or 'Throwing' as it were) as a hobby for a while. Yeah, seriously, it's a thing. And it's really cool! Check out r/Throwers on Reddit if you're interested!
Then, about a year ago, a coworker introduced me to designer board games in the form of Tiny Epic Galaxies. It was confusing, and I had no idea what I was doing, but I was intrigued nonetheless. I began to research games, watch how to play videos, and so on. This led to the purchase of my first modern board game (which I'll reveal in the list below); and from that point on, there was no turning back.
All of the being said, I play mostly solo. Though, my wife greatly enjoys gaming when our girls give us the time :). My tastes lean towards the (quite) heavy euro end of the spectrum, with a couple of notable exceptions.
Now then, without further ado, and in no particular order...
2. Above and Below
Above and Below is a neat little "worker placement" game; where you are able to send your workers off on adventures that are randomly selected from an encounter book. This game was added to the collection primarily for our 5 year old daughter.
Another Ryan Laukat title; this one I picked up just a week or two ago during a sale at Target. A light, push your luck game, with great art and an interesting theme. This is our aforementioned 5 year old's new favorite game.
4. My Little Scythe
Another game for the 5 year old. This one though, is really a great simplification of the Scythe formula, and is great fun for both young and old.
5. Robinson Crusoe
This doesn't hit the table terribly often. And, when it does, the game usually ends in loss ha! But, that doesn't really matter; the stories this game can tell are fantastic. A brutal, narrative masterpiece.
6. Spirit Island
One of my wife's favorites. An extraordinarily thematic, brain-burning co-op, with a massive amount of replayability.
7. Teotihuacan City of Gods
I've only played this a few times solo at this point, but there's something about this game that I greatly enjoy. An unwind with a cup of coffee type game for me.
8. A Distant Plain
My first foray into the beloved COIN series - A Distant Plain is a thought provoking look at one of the more controversial wars of our time. One of my favorites, and surely not the last COIN that will land on my shelf.
9. Brass: Lancashire
Brilliant; Highly interactive; with an excellent unofficial solo bot. Plus, the Roxley reprint art and components are lovely.
10. Gaia Project
The art here is not my favorite, and the graphic design leaves one wanting, but this is still one of the greatest games I've played. Also, it includes quite possibly the best solo implementation in any game, ever; Automa Factory knocked it out of the park with this one.
A very heavy, rough around the edges game. With quite a few questionable design/graphic design choices. That being said, I still adore this game. The barrier to entry is rather high, but worth it, in my humble opinion.
What can I say about Root, that hasn't been said before? A cutthroat strategy game wrapped in great art. 10/10 would revolt again.
This game is still a masterpiece after all these years.
14. The Gallerist
One of Lacerda's 'lighter' games. Mechanically simple; strategically brutal; just one more reason he's my favorite designer.
Lisboa has you interacting with the nobles of the time, to rebuild Lisbon Portugal after an earthquake, tsunami, and fires ravage the city in the late 1700's. This game is my #2 of all time. Only slightly trailing Scythe.
16. Too Many Bones: Undertow
I acquired this only a week ago, and have played it > 5 times so far. A fantastically fun adventure with the best components I've seen in a game. Now I just need the rest of the Too Many Bones collection...
17. The Coin Tribes' Revolt: Boudica's Rebellion Against Rome
A COIN type game in micro form. Currently only available as a print and play - it does sounds as though it may get published at some point. Highly recommend for fans of the COIN series looking for something similar, that plays in a much shorter time.
18. Not Pictured
- Sushi GO!
- Machi Koro: Bright Lights, Big City
- Deep Sea Adventure