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Popular Drafting Board Games (Mechanic)

These are the board games with the Drafting mechanic.
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Finished up a few games online. #Draftosaurus on BGA with , , and . The more I play this, the more I want to play it. So of course I started a second game on BGA which we finished yesterday with Sarah, , , and a friend of mine. Pretty close game in both instances which I think is a major selling point for me.

Also finished another 3 player game of #The Castles of Burgundy with and on Yucata. I continue to enjoy playing this game despite all my losing efforts lol. Maybe I'll have more luck in our upcoming 4 player game.

In real life, Sarah and I were on vacation this week in Texas. We met up with some friends of hers in Houston before driving to Dallas and finally ending our trip in Denton. Somewhere in Dallas we stopped at a couple game stores and picked up some games. We got #Exit: The Game - The House of Riddles and #Barenpark. The former we have yet to play, but we did manage to get in a game of Barenpark at the Airbnb. We played with the beginner rules (not adding in the achievements) and had a lot of fun.

When we got into Denton, we had a brewpub/downtown tour courtesy of . If anyone's ever in the Denton area, I would highly recommend tracking down Wade for a tour. We had such an awesome time. And of course no trip is complete without an entire day of board gaming. Wade hosted us in his garage where we played 5 different games throughout the day:

#Clans of Caledonia - I was the most interested in giving this a go in real life. I'm in the middle of a game on BGA and have absolutely no idea what I'm doing. After Wade's teach, I think I'm a bit more prepared to end the game on a high note (but will likely lose so we'll have to play again :P). Sarah actually enjoyed it which is always a good thing.

#Maracaibo - When Wade suggested we play this, I knew right away that Sarah wouldn't like it lol. She was a good sport about it and actually did pretty well if you ask me - though I have no frame of reference for what constitutes a "good score." I had a great time playing and will definitely look to play this one again at some point down the road.

#Barenpark - Played with the achievements this time which added quite a bit of strategy in terms of tile placement. We all accidentally cheated our first game so of course we had to play it twice lol. Sarah wants to play more without the achievements so she can get back to her winning ways. I think this one's a winner for us.

#Rococo: Deluxe Edition - Sarah was gamed out at this point so I suggested we play something Wade likes that he can't ever convince his wife to play lol. He settled on Rococo and man did I do terribly at this one lol. I still really really enjoyed it, probably my favorite game we played of the day - besides Wingspan of course. I actually think Sarah could like it too..she later admitted the theme sounded interesting so that's a start!

#Wingspan - Wade's wife Becky joined us for this one and we played with all of their house rules. Drafting your starting hand, starting the game with all 5 birds and 1 of each resource, and having 6 face up birds in the display. Wade and Becky absolutely demolished us. I personally feel hustled by Wade because he said Becky always wins lol. We had a great time and appreciate their hospitality letting us hang out and play games all day!

  1. #Dune: Imperium - this is such a fun game. There are tough decisions on every single turn, and the interactions are really engaging and thematic, in my opinion. The level of hidden information is perfect for my liking, and also fits well with the theme. It doesn't hurt that I won this game. All that being said, this would probably be my #2 were it not for player count situations. I played this game at 3 players, which is fantastic...
  2. #Inis ...and I played this one at 2 players. It is still excellent at 2, but I think if I had played this at 3 or more, this would have topped the list. Still learning the game, of course, and I know that there are people who actually prefer it at 2. I could see getting there with this one, but the drafting and the clever interactions are just so satisfying, and I want to play it more at a higher player count, since I've only played once at 3, and twice at 2 players.
  3. #7 Wonders Duel - always fun. Touch choices on most turns, and this was a nail-biter.
  4. #The Isle of Cats - such a charming game. Played this with my wife and she surprised me with a victory. I thought I had it in the bag!
  5. #Kingdomino - always solid, quick game.

I got way too much stuff. A lot of it Kickstarter deliveries, as a lot of stuff got backloaded between last month and this month because of *waves hands* all of this going on. Not as many retail purchases this month. Unless you count all the Warhammer 40K stuff I have bought... *whistles* Anyway...

  1. #Alice is Missing: A Silent Role Playing Game - Backed on KS. Sounded like a fun game I could use to introduce non-RPG people to them. 
  2. #Aliens: Another Glorious Day in the Corps - I played this at Origins 2019 and instantly loved it. (the GF9 guy running said we were the first table to get everyone out alive) I have been waiting forever it feels like for this to come out.
  3. #B-29 Superfortress - A secret santa gift. I have a deep love of solo aviation war games ever since I bought B-17 Queen of the Skies on a whim as a kid. This and #Target for Today: Bombers over the Reich, 1942-1945 keep that game's tradition alive in an updated format. 
  4. #Black Rose Wars: Sator Box - Bought it off someone who backed the Kickstarter. As muh as I back on Kickstarter, I somehow missed the BRW campaign and have been gettng all its stuff piecemeal. 
  5. #Dark Rituals: Malleus Maleficarum - Backed on KS. See my Warhammer comment above? Mounds of miniatures get me all hot and bothered.
  6. #Dawn of the Zeds (Third Edition) - Always on the lookout for good solo experiences. 
  7. #Dice Hospital: Community Care - Backed on KS. Have Dice Hospital. Haven't played it yet, but I love Dice based games (drafting, placement, etc.) so I went ahead and backed the expansion.
  8. #Dune: Imperium - I'm not even a big Dune fan, but this looked fun.
  9. #Dwellings of Eldervale - Backed on KS. How could I pass up such a gorgeous production? The aesthetics just add to the fact that it's a great game.
  10. #Eclipse: Second Dawn for the Galaxy - I needed a big 4x game. I got a big 4x game. And it's gorgeous. I wanted to back this on KS, but didn't have the money at the time. Fortunately I found out that Lautepelit was selling extra US stock through their website and picked it all up.
  11. #HEXplore It: The Sands of Shurax - Backed on KS. I love adventure/exploration games with story. 
  12. #Hornet Leader: The Cthulhu Conflict - Black Friday sale. I love the leader series and the price was right no get this cheeky expansion.
  13. #Picket Duty: Kamikaze Attacks against U.S. Destroyers – Okinawa, 1945 - More solo war game goodness.
  14. #Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island - Treasure Chest - See the comment on 13 above. ;)
  15. #Tidal Blades: Heroes of the Reef - Angler's Cove - When I late backed Tidal Blades, apparently I didn't add on the expansion. No idea why. I rectified that on Black Friday.
  16. #Tumble Town: the Dice Stacking Spatial Puzzle Game - Backed on KS. More dice game goodness. I think I can get the family to play this.
  17. #Tungaru - Backed on KS. All the playthroughs I saw during the KS looked like fun. 
  18. #Unmatched: Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Unmatched never really interested me all that much, except for the Bruce Lee expansion. Why get that when the rest didn't interest me? This set got me interested. And of course now they announced forthcoming sets with Marvel characters, so of course I will have to get those. 
  19. #Waste Knights: Second Edition - Late backed. Never even knew about the campaign until I started maintaining a Late Pledge list over on Board Game Geek. It's the kind of game that's right up my alley.
  20. #Trick Shot - Backed on KS. I looooove hockey. Just received it today, actually. 
  21. #It's A Wonderful World: Corruption & Ascension - Backed on KS. Just arrived today. 

The irony in making this list now is I expect to receive the #Anachrony: Infinity Box on Wednesday from the last KS. I got it through The Game Steward. So 22 new things this month. Whew.

My most memorable game moments definitely come from the games that have high player interaction and the opportunity for "dynamic" plays. That doesn't necessarily mean I enjoy games that don't have those things less, but this style of game just tends to create strong impressions, even though the enjoyment level in other styles of games can still be quite high. That being said, here are 3 games that are in my top 8, lol.

  • #Dune - of course this one is on here. Lots of memorable things can happen in this game, so I'll just give a few examples.
    • Tense battles where you don't know the outcome. What leader will they play? Do they have a poison weapon to kill my leader? How much spice can I afford to spend on this battle? Then the reveal happens, and sometimes...
    • TRAITOR! Revealing a traitor card to absolutely devastate your opponent in battle is an amazing feeling. On the flip side, it's definitely a feel-bad moment for the victim, but the possibility is part of what makes battles so nerve-wracking
    • Generally executing on a strategy to take strongholds. Winning this game via strongholds is always exciting, because it always comes down to at least one battle on that turn.
  • #Western Legends - this game just kind of lets you tell a western story that you want to tell.
    • Becoming a legend at the poker table - definitely seen some wins this way!
    • Become an infamous outlaw - rob the bank, rustle cattle, whatever you want! This is a fun path, but risky!
  • #Inis - this one is about clever drafting and timing, but there can definitely be some memorable swings throughout the game!
    • Efficient usage of the Geis card (cancel another player's action) is crucial to foiling your opponent's plans
    • Collaborating to stop the current leader from winning, just so the rest of you have the chance to grab the victory the next round

Abstract strategy games tend to fit this description, but I recognize that that's probably against the spirit of the question. Still, I'll list some of those in case anyone else is interested. #Chess (duh), #Go, #Santorini, #Hive, #Tak, and to a certain extent, #War Chest.

Other games I own that can fit this: #Innovation, #Concordia, and (much to my delight), #Baseball Highlights: 2045. One that I think fits especially well that may not come to mind immediately for this is #Inis. The rules are fairly simple, but the strategy around drafting and timing seems very deep after my few plays so far.

Started off the week with a play of #Trajan, as we continued our attempt to play our newer, unplayed games. I mentioned in another post on here that we played incorrectly (as seems to be our normal for first plays). Instead of going around the time track 4 times for each quarter year, we stopped after the 3rd time around for the first half of the game. Aside from that making the game feel super quick, we had a great time playing it. Can't wait to get it out again!

Sarah's birthday was Friday, and she shockingly agreed to play games with me haha. Her request was #It's a Wonderful World which I have brought up on here before as one of her most requested games. I got some real lucky draws and was able to win pretty easily as her cards didn't quite work together like mine seemed to. Instead of a rematch of that, we settled on #The Quacks of Quedlinburg. I'm really glad we picked this one up as I could see it becoming another game she requests to play often. I beat her there too but don't worry she'd get me back.

As her birthday weekend continued, we went down to her parents to celebrate. Her dad had picked me up #Codenames: Disney Family Edition as a late Christmas gift so we gave it a try with them. Usually we have 6 of us, but this time we only had 5, so we had a designated codemaster to keep the teams even. Sarah and I played against her parents and despite my clear lack of Disney knowledge, we split the two games we played.

Sunday we went over to my parents to celebrate with them and my brother and sister in law. I finally broke out my copy of #Secret Hitler. Sarah managed to convince us she wasn't Hitler, mostly because my dad was acting sus lol. Not entirely sure if he knew what he was doing as we later learned he was on the liberal team haha. I definitely prefer playing with more people but with 6 of us it wasn't that bad.

Afterwards we played a game of #Speculation. I bought this awhile ago thinking Sarah's cutthroat siblings would like manipulating the market to screw over everyone else. Turns out the game rarely plays out that way so it only went over so so with them. My family seemed to enjoy it a bit more, but not enough to convince them that they needed to play again, so it's probably safe to throw on the trade pile. Sarah ended up crushing us, proving she is the Wolf of Wall Street.

Wrapped up the weekend watching the Super Bowl with my cousins. Before the game, we played a game of #Cat Lady: Premium Edition with the #Cat Lady: Box of Treats expansion. Super simple drafting game that I'm excited to play more of! Sarah beat me in a close game while my cousins didn't do so hot. They picked it up quickly though so I think next time they'll do a lot better.

I really like these things..don't know how I missed it when you first posted! All but one brand new game (to me) in my most recent 5 plays!

1) #Darwin's Journey - I really enjoyed my play of this, though I will say it helps that it's being compared to the games I've recently played and not my top 10. More plays will be necessary to see where it ranks for me all time. 

2) #Trajan - We played this last night for the first time and as usual with our first plays of new to us games we messed up a rule until about half way through. After the 3rd turn around the time track, we'd go into quarter year clean up. Really we should have waited until the 4th time around. I wondered why the game felt so quick! If not for that, I think I would have enjoyed this more than Darwin's Journey.

3) #That's Pretty Clever - I just love the comboing this game can offer if you plan it correctly. Would love to try it out with more that just Sarah and myself someday as I'd imagine it would just add more strategy.

4) #Cat Lady: Premium Edition - I was so excited to pick this one up and it did not disappoint. It's a fun little drafting game about cats. Despite having 2 cats, we previously did not have any cat themed games. I considered putting it above That's Pretty Clever, but the end of the game was a little wonky. We ended up with only 2 cards to refill the row of 3, but the rules state the game ends if you have no cards remaining..I tried looking for clarification online but it doesn't seem to exist. At any rate, I'm thinking about using the included stickers to put our own cats in the game :D

5) #Calimala - Rating this so low out of my last 5 is certainly not an indictment on this game. I really enjoyed the back and forth nature, but it really suffered from just having the 2 of us playing. There's a reason the box says 3-5 haha

I still have a self published copy of #Arctic Scavengers . I did get rid of the very flimsy box. I played with Gabhart at GenCon the day he signed with Rio Grande. I really dig it though it can have a runaway leader issue. 

#Valley of the Kings and its sequels are an interesting take on deckbuilding with only cards entombed score. The pyramid is the market, with only the bottom available. Good play is a balance of keeping and ridding your deck of good cards.

#The Taverns of Tiefenthal is really cool, and the least pure deckbuilder. Your deck is only a small part of your play, and it's rolled off the top. You have tavern upgrades to buy in addition, and there's dice rolling and drafting as well in the mix.

Lots of different games played last week!  Might be a review or two in the works!

  • #Marvel Champions: The Card Game (physical, solo) x13:  Yup. 13 plays. Really enjoying this one solo!  Already picked up some expansions for it. I’m enjoying the deck building without spending tons of cash like I did on #Magic: The Gathering when I was younger. Without kids.  Or a mortgage!
  • #Caylus (boardgame arena, multiplayer): Second time playing this. I can see why it’s a classic. I quite enjoy the provost that adds a dollop of mean in to worker placement. Might have to pick this one up at some point!  
  • #Hadara (yucata, multiplayer):  Played this one a few times now and I enjoy it for what it is: a quick drafting game with a fun theme on it.  
  • #Civilization: A New Dawn (TTS, multiplayer): Really enjoy this version of the beloved game franchise.  We had to play without the new expansion as one player was having trouble getting textures to load. He’s got it fixed and we’re on again next weekend!
  • #Heroes of Land, Air, & Sea (physical, solo): Picked this game up for a song at a christmas sale. I’ve played it online several times but nothing is as nice as handling the bits and pieces. Unfortunately solo mode was a bit easy against one opponent so I’m going to try it against a couple next weekend.  Fun to play though and was quite quick too!

Good week!


Pretty busy weekend actually:

Yesterday tried #Res Arcana on Board game arena for the first time and was pleasantly surprised. Looking forward to trying it with the drafting aspect added in.

Today had a D&D session for the campaign I am running via discord for some friends. So far two PC's have died, both at the hands of the other players... It's amazing.

Tomorrow we will probably try to fit in a game, haven't decided what yet but I will be advocating for #Spirit Island.

Wrapped up yet another game of #Teotihuacan: City of Gods on BGA. I have created some Teo monsters. absolutely killed and myself. I came in 4th...used to think I was alright at this game haha.

Speaking of games I thought I was good at, also handed me another loss in #The Castles of Burgundy on Yucata. This is one of my top 5 games so I have no problems playing it over and over.

Tried out #Darwin's Journey on Tabletop Simulator with a friend from my group. Mainly was looking to see if I really wanted to back it and oh boy did I. Can't wait to play this game again both on TTS and when it arrives in real life. Maybe I can get to join my next game.

#Cat Lady: Premium Edition arrived this week in the mail so Sarah and I tried it out. It's a cute little drafting game that I could see being a big hit with our families. Waiting impatiently for the expansion to arrive from GameNerdz..

Ended the week with a play of #Calimala with Sarah using a 2 player variant I found on BGG put out by the designer. She really enjoyed it which is always a plus, particularly with games that can be a little brutal in terms of level of competition. I liked it too but obviously it isn't made for 2 so having more players would be ideal for our next play.

Also convinced her to play #That's Pretty Clever right after Calimala. Had some real satisfying combos but did terrible on the purple track which hurt me in the end.

I think that almost any game can be a gateway game for people if they're invested in learning it, but in general, I'd say that a key is showing them something they've never seen before in a game they've played before. For me, that was drafting and sort of engine building in #7 Wonders.

  1. Very interested, and probably yes.
  2. #The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine, lots of laughs, it's quick whereby you can play ten rounds in a row
  3. #Shogun no Katana, lovely theme, great gameplay, positive player interaction, brain burning puzzle on your player board.
  4. (I) #The Search for Planet X (logical deduction done right, love the theme as well), (II) #Viscounts of the West Kingdom (Shem continues to innovate with seemingly basic mechanism, love how you slide the characters across your board plus the light deck-building aspect, the castle and scribing mini-games are also fun), (III) #On Mars (love me some brain burning Vital Lacerda euro-goodness, love the theme, great artwork, and the level of planning that goes into it as well as the positive player interaction of using other players' tech), (IV) #Merv: The Heart of the Silk Road (plays quick, straightforward rules, positive player interaction, and again great artwork by Ian), (V) #Tekhenu: Obelisk of the Sun (love me some dice drafting. Tascini and Turczi have created something special with the dice availabilities: pure, tainted, forbidden. The mini-games around the board are fantastic and the need to balance your die is a genius idea.