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Gloomhaven board game
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Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island board game
Mansions of Madness: Second Edition board game
Deception: Murder in Hong Kong board game
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The 7th Continent board game
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Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases board game
Above and Below board game
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Pax Pamir (Second Edition) board game
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Chronicles of Crime board game
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Fog of Love board game
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That's actually a thing! (somewhat)

Some facebook groups and big content creators do sponsored giveaways where the publisher gives away a pledge (sometimes the dexluxe pledge) to promote their Kickstarter. I'm actually going to do some of them in the future.

As for past Kickstarters, I actually late pledged for a copy of #Pax Pamir (Second Edition) so that we can give it a way one it fulfills.

I love this list and agree with the vast majority if not all of it.  I am not a huge fan of games based on luck and so #Candy Land Game, #Yahtzee, or even #Dice Throne do not peak my interest much or my interest (say as in Dice Throne) is tempered somewhat.  

Games with luck that allow you to push your luck #Diamant, #The Quacks of Quedlinburg, or such I am a little more ok with but they still aren't my favorite games.  Those a more of a controlled adjustment strategy #Orléans or #Dice Forge I enjoy a bit more.

Other games such as the luck involved in drawing cards in #Gloomhaven or #Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island that mimic the randomness of battle or wildlife are great and in both those cases the random nature impacts everyone (seeing as they are co-op games).  Even the luck of a drawn encounter card in #Scythe is mitigated by the balance across all encounter cards.

There are several games where I have felt that luck was not necessary and house ruled something to remove it. #Everdell: Spirecrest allows you to draw three cards from a seasonal deck at the end of each season and place them randomly at the bottom of the board with the first being free, the second costing a little more, and the third costing the most.  This seems arbitrary to me and so the last play we drew five, pick one, and place the others on the bottom of the deck.  In #Maracaibo is makes more sense to reveal all the privilege buildings at the beginning because there are 8, you randomly draw 4, and there's already enough luck with card draw throughout the game that revealing one each decade seems unnecessary. 

Two other games I've found luck workarounds are #Wingspan and #The Isle of Cats.  In Wingspan we draft cards at the beginning of the game with each player starting with 7 cards, drafting until necessary and discarding down to 5 (at least) by drafts end.  This gives everyone a fair shot at a solid opening hand and not ending up with 5 birds that don't play well in the first couple turns.  In Isle of Cats I divide the cards into green cards (baskets), purple, brown, and yellow cards, and blue card (lessons) stacks and each round we start the draft with each player getting three green, and choosing two or three from each of the other stacks.  THEN we draft.  This eliminates a whole round with NO extra baskets (unless you draft them away...in that case your loss).  

Great topic/mechanic choice!

I love this list and agree with the vast majority if not all of it.  I am not a huge fan of games based on luck and so #Candy Land Game, #Yahtzee, or even #Dice Throne do not peak my interest much or my interest (say as in Dice Throne) is tempered somewhat.  

Games with luck that allow you to push your luck #Diamant, #The Quacks of Quedlinburg, or such I am a little more ok with but they still aren't my favorite games.  Those a more of a controlled adjustment strategy #Orléans or #Dice Forge I enjoy a bit more.

Other games such as the luck involved in drawing cards in #Gloomhaven or #Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island that mimic the randomness of battle or wildlife are great and in both those cases the random nature impacts everyone (seeing as they are co-op games).  Even the luck of a drawn encounter card in #Scythe is mitigated by the balance across all encounter cards.

There are several games where I have felt that luck was not necessary and house ruled something to remove it. #Everdell: Spirecrest allows you to draw three cards from a seasonal deck at the end of each season and place them randomly at the bottom of the board with the first being free, the second costing a little more, and the third costing the most.  This seems arbitrary to me and so the last play we drew five, pick one, and place the others on the bottom of the deck.  In #Maracaibo is makes more sense to reveal all the privilege buildings at the beginning because there are 8, you randomly draw 4, and there's already enough luck with card draw throughout the game that revealing one each decade seems unnecessary. 

Two other games I've found luck workarounds are #Wingspan and #The Isle of Cats.  In Wingspan we draft cards at the beginning of the game with each player starting with 7 cards, drafting until necessary and discarding down to 5 (at least) by drafts end.  This gives everyone a fair shot at a solid opening hand and not ending up with 5 birds that don't play well in the first couple turns.  In Isle of Cats I divide the cards into green cards (baskets), purple, brown, and yellow cards, and blue card (lessons) stacks and each round we start the draft with each player getting three green, and choosing two or three from each of the other stacks.  THEN we draft.  This eliminates a whole round with NO extra baskets (unless you draft them away...in that case your loss).  

Great topic/mechanic choice!

#Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 currently sits on my shelf as I got it at a discount and look forward to playing it but have to wait for the right timing because I'd like to play it with my family or Becky at least.

I've played most of #Scythe: The Rise of Fenris and it is a great legacy experience (though somewhat short) and the best experience when you have a great grasp of all the factions and the basic gameplay (I wouldn't recommend starting out with Fenris)

#Gloomhaven was my first legacy experience and broke me through the wall of thinking I'd just prefer a one-and-done game.  I went into playing it not being 100% sure how much I'd like it.  The consequences from one game to the next are nearly as complex and weighty as in Pandemic (from what I understand) but the layered choices from which quest path to choice, to which cards to add as you level up, to the diversity of characters to choice from and the variability between characters make every session unique.  Not to mention that each scenario seems to have it's own unique twists.

#Charterstone is another legacy game sitting on my shelf waiting to be played.  I just have to wait for the right timing. #Sword & Sorcery: Immortal Souls was another legacy game I nearly forgot about.  I enjoyed it but the story and development of characters are limited compared to Gloomhaven and so it got traded some time ago.

I actually don't need to accommodate that many different types of groups, so I think I have it easier. I mainly need to cover solo, 2p games with my wife, and family game nights. And it sure helps a lot that my favorite games to play with my wife have great solo modes and that my mom is interested in trying them out too!

#Clans of Caledonia - Fantastic 2p game with my wife. It'll be relatively easy for my mom to pick up on too. And while it's not my absolute favorite for solo, I do like it a lot.

#Concordia - Another great 2p game with my wife. To be honest though, I think I should go with #Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated instead. We just like the thrill factor when pulling the Clank! cubes out of the bag. I just don't know how much we'll like the game once we're done with the legacy portion.

#Pax Pamir (Second Edition) - My favorite to solo so far.

#Camel Up (second edition) - Silly random fun for the family and I just love it. Easy to add in more people if we had guests over.

#Just One - It was either this or #Welcome to... It's another fantastic game for the family or with guests, and this one gets a plus for being the only co-op in this list.

#Pax Pamir (Second Edition) - Just about every component in this game is premium. I especially love placing down these blocks

#Clans of Caledonia - Love the wooden bits in this game. It's so satisfying to have loads of them on the map and producing so much resource for you during the production phase

#Root - The screen printing on meeples adds so much to their personality

#Camel Up (second edition) - Chunky camels with a rubbery plastic kind of feel. My favorite family game so far and these camels add a lot to the silly lighthearted vibe to the game

#Viticulture: Essential Edition - The wooden bits in this game have a smooth finish and I really like the shape of the meeple workers. But the glass grape beads are the absolute best

#Atlantis Rising (second edition) - Honorable mention. The selection of material type and color is so well done and makes you think, "oh wow, how did they afford this at this price point?" It just seems like an overall high production value compared to other games in the same price range

I have to check out #Underwater Cities.  That wasn't even on my radar.  I like your list.  Would love to play #Star Wars: Rebellion and #Mage Knight someday but one is huge and the other would probably take up #Gloomhaven plays.  Nice to have such a tough issue though for sure :)

I generally rules out upgrades save for the last one here:

Everdell has some great resources (I have the collector's edition which could make a difference) and nice meeples in general.  One of the reasons my family loves this game is for the parts and pieces.

 

#Tapestry has a nice array of components from the common income buildings to the special buildings obtained from cards and racing up the tracts.

#Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island has several great components and while they could be better it came out in 2012 toward the front end of better parts in a boardgame being as big a deal.

 

#Architects of the West Kingdom is my cheat because the parts are upgraded but they are fantastic...

all of the Architect parts have some heft to them :)

Ouch! That would be a dang hard choice!  Here's what I think off the cuff:

#Paladins of the West Kingdom - great solo experience and my wife plays and I think I can get the kids to play one day.  Possibly my favorite game to play solo.

#Gloomhaven - with so many quests to play I feel like if I only had five games I'd be able to get my family to play this.  The solo experience is great and I will probably play through the entire campaign solo at some point.

#Wingspan - One of our top played games and a favorite for Becky and I.  I enjoy the solo experiece with this game as well.

#Heaven & Ale - fantastic games and one of my hidden gems.  Not a lot of folks in the states play this one or have it high on their list as far as I can tell.  Becky will play this with me too.

#Scythe - The last game is tough to choose but Scythe has to me it because I have every expansion and it is great to play.  I've only soloed a few times but it is fun and it is my absolute favorite game with 6-7 player counts.  It's also blinged out pretty good, so this would be a tough one to pass on.

Runner Up - #Clans of Caledonia - could potentially replace Heaven & Ale but a tough call.  I think it would see slightly fewer plays than the others but the solo experience is solid.  

Nice, I've got one of the #Unlock! Escape adventures boxes and #Chronicles of Crime still waiting to be played, but if I enjoy those, might give these a look!

When I think of table presence, I think of quality components and board, board state that can tell a story (this goes with each component on the board having a significant purpose), and an overall joy to look at. Hmmm this is reallllly tough.... but I think this would be my current list:

5. #Camel Up (second edition) - This is a really strange pick, but I love seeing the stacked camels, the camels that are behind, the camels on the crazy camel's back, all of the tokens trying to derails the camels, the stacks of betting tickets or predictions of winners/losers, etc

4. #Root - This would be #1 if I actually got in plays with more than 2p this year haha

3. #Clans of Caledonia - My wife and I still really really like this game. It just has the perfect vibe and gameplay that blends so well together. The map and the components are wonderful to play with

2. #Pax Pamir (Second Edition) - Recent addition that I'm liking a lot. The selection of components on this game are brilliant. The kind of story it tells resembles Root a bit

1. #Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated - It's so fun to see the map on this one. It's a vertical rectangular map and it's an adventure down into the dungeon. I love that the board alone gives you a sense of exploration.

When I first saw #Gloomhaven I thought there was no way I would ever spend $100 on a game.  It took playing other games of a similar genre ( #Descent: Journeys in the Dark 2nd Edition, #Sword & Sorcery: Immortal Souls) I changed my tune.

#Scythe was another game that I never thought I'd like because it looked too "Risky" (bah dum dum) for me to feel like I would enjoy.  

In both cases these turned out to be my top two games. 

What was your top instant regret? lol

#Pax Pamir (Second Edition)? (before you backed the reprint Kickstarter?)

Nice! I'm curious where your list will stand once those games head home :)

Hmmm with every list I make, I wonder how many times I've contradicted myself by now haha

Here's mine:

1. #Pax Pamir (Second Edition)

2. #Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion - I'm honestly not sure about this yet but I'm pretty sure it's at least #3

3. #Root

4. #Architects of the West Kingdom

5. #Clans of Caledonia

For a solo game to be attractive, I like to see:

  • Low setup time
  • Not a table hogger
  • Streamlined AI opponent
  • AI that feels like an opponent rather than just an obstacle
  • Plenty of interesting tactical/strategic decisions to make
  • Fun tactile experience
  • Creates memorable/storyworthy moments
  • Less than 2 hrs of playtime

It doesn't need to have all of those parts, but the more the better and a game that excels in some of those elements will help me look over a part that it lacks in.

Well that's good to hear! I'm guessing #Too Many Bones will happen for me within a year from now haha

With Cephalofair beginning to develop a Jaws of the Lion-like scenario book for both #Gloomhaven and #Frosthaven, is that a likely buy for you so that you can reduce the amount of setup/teardown time?

I'm pretty much 100% with you on your list except for #War of the Ring (Second Edition)--only because I'm not all that familiar with that universe so there's little interest.

Hmmm for #Pax Pamir (Second Edition), it's interesting. I didn't expect to like it so much but it became my favorite solo game after just a single play. Time will tell, but it's been on my mind to get back into it and that's a good sign for now. It's odd, because my first session was filled with referencing the rulebook constantly, but I still really enjoyed it and it gave me everything I want in a solo game--plenty of tactical/strategic decision-making, not too many moving parts/components, super satisfying tactile experience, smooth AI implementation (this takes the most amount of time to get used to actually), and the AI felt like a super aggressive opponent that you're seriously trying to compete against.

Oh for sure #Pax Pamir (Second Edition) for me.  I don't know if it'd get to table a lot, but considering it's not supposed to hit retail...

I've only played Gloomhaven from your list.  My top 5 would be:

1. #Gloomhaven - for all the reasons you mentioned.  I think i did my 50+ scenarios in like 2 months.  I was a little obsessed.

2. #This War Of Mine: The Board Game - So hard with gut wrenching decisions but so good. 

3. #Dinosaur Island - Similar to TWoM I would play more often if setup wasn't such a pain.

4. #Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age - When in the mood for a quick solo play. 

5. #Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game - I have a couple of expansions as well which help to extend the replayability of this deckbuilder.

Honorable Mentions: #Paladins of the West Kingdom , #Wingspan, #The Manhattan Project: Energy Empire, #Terraforming Mars, #The Isle of Cats, #Aeon's End, #Sagrada

That is an impressive list and lots of heavy games!  I fully agree with #Gloomhaven and would add #Paladins of the West Kingdom to the list of heavy games with a good solo experience.  After playing a couple rounds of #Teotihuacan: City of Gods I might consider adding that to the mix after a few more play throughs. #Marvel Champions: The Card Game and #Clans of Caledonia also have excellent solos.  

As for smaller and less expansive solo experiences I think Wingspan, PARKS, and Lewis & Clark offer less intense but fun options. 

Both of your descriptions make a lot of sense now that I've played #Pax Pamir (Second Edition). I really liked the idea of how spies can move around the tableau and how the number of movement is dependent on the distance between the cards. It's abstracted, but it's very easy to make the thematic connections and those little details really set this game apart. Oh, and I absolutely love playing with the blocks!