Update: the listing is now gone, thanks to everyone for their help.
The listing does several eyebrow-raising things:
- hyphenates Azul
- says the tiles are not included
- has pictures of two different Azul games
Reads like a counterfeit of the cardboard bits.
I reported it to Amazon. Beware, and if anyone else could help by reporting it as well, that would be appreciated.
Numenera Discovery and Destiny ~$78 at Amazon, save 35%
Pass the Pigs: Big Pigs ~$12 at Amazon, save 36%
Sorcerer City ~$32 at Amazon, save 46% off retail. Showing as historic low on BGA.
Star Wars: Armada ~$69 at Amazon, save 30%
Star Wars: Armada - Imperial Assault Carriers ~$12 at Amazon, save 40%
More great deals still available:
Azul ~$23 at Amazon, save 42%
Food Chain Magnate: The Ketchup Mechanism and Other Ideas Expansion Set ~$80 at Amazon, save 35%
Lewis & Clark is the Boardlandia Deal of the Week, save 36% (add to cart to see discount)
The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-Earth ~$71 at Amazon, save 29%
Azul is ~$23 at Amazon, save 42%.
Everdell: Spirecrest is $27.99 as the CardHaus Games Daily Deal, save 44%.
Noria is $24 as the Miniature Market Daily Deal, save 70%.
Tapestry is $44.97 as the Game Nerdz Deal of the Day, save 55%.
Deals you may have missed:
Gobblet Gobblers, ~$18 at Amazon, save 38%
Ishtar: Gardens of Babylon ~$30 at Amazon, save 39%
The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-Earth ~$71 at Amazon, save 29%
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There's something wonderful in the physicality of board games, so here are my favourite components from games I own (just so I can take pictures of them):
5) Raven Meeples from #Odin's Ravens: A Mythical Race Game for Two Players:
This is one of the most beautiful games I own, the mechanics aren't anything special but it is always enjoyable. The meeples for the birds are well made nice to move about.
4) Tiles from #Azul:
A classic but they really are great! So enjoyable to pick up and slide about the place, they are a big part of what makes the game so much fun.
3) Dice from #878: Vikings - Invasions of England:
No secret that I love this game, but the dice are a great part of it. They are satisfying to hold and you get to roll them often. The engravings are great and the colours and symbols make results easy to understand.
2) Rides from #Steam Park:
These are great, they serve all kinds of mechanical purposes for the game really elegantly and by being cardboard they get to show the wonderful art that this game has.
1) The gelatenous blob from #Catacombs 3rd Edition:
This game has some really great components but the Cube is a brilliant touch, it is significantly larger than all the other 'creatures', and while they could have just made it a flat square, by making it a cube it has so much more presence on the board. It also means when you flick it it is less predictable but much more forceful which is pretty thematic.
That's the best of my collection. What are your favourites?
For a long time I had no particular interest in 2 player games. I come from a fairly large family so we always had plenty of people to play and games were always something done in a group setting. However, over the last couple of years have introduced my partner to board games and while they aren't her favourite thing in the world she enjoys them. As such I am often on the hunt for games that she will enjoy playing with me. This has opened up a whole world of dedicated or two-player modes for games which has been a bunch of fun to explore.
My partner and I don't play a tonne of games together so I decided to keep the list relatively short so as not just list every game we play 😄 also these are our top games to play together, there are other 2 player games like #War of the Ring (Second Edition) which I think are amazing but I do not own and would be too heavy for my partner to enjoy at the moment.
5) #Odin's Ravens: A Mythical Race Game for Two Players - A very simple racing game designed for two, the artwork is some of the most stunning I have seen. We like to take this one on picnics and chat while we play. The game mechanics aren't anything to write home about but it is fairly relaxed and you can do some fun things.
4) #Azul - playing this at two makes it incredibly intense: anything you don't take your opponent will. There is also a lot of scope for being very mean, although as is often the case with 2P it feels less personal than being mean in a 4P game. It is a fun puzzle and the tiles are just a delight to handle and move.
3) #The Fox in the Forest Duet - a co-operative trick taking game. Again, the artwork is gorgeous (my partner really enjoys artwork and collecting things) and it is not too heavy tactically but a very pleasurable way to cooperate with a friend or loved one.
2) #878: Vikings - Invasions of England - dang do I adore this game. We've only played it twice so far much each time has been hilarious and enjoyable. It is a lightweight wargame, with plenty of dice-rolling. The randomness of turn order/dice/card draw makes it impossible to work out the 'best' move so you have to go with your gut which prevents any AP. However, that doesn't mean you can't have strategy. In the last game I built a Viking minefield to prevent English counter-attacks: the fact that can happen (and work!) is excellent in and of itself. Also, the shear quantity of 'predicatble randomness' (i.e. you know what will be random and what won't be) means one bad role is unlikely to decide a whole game and whoever played best will tend to come out on top. While I have really enjoyed this at two-player I cannot wait to play it with four players in two teams.
1) #13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis - This is such a good two player game in my mind. It is like #Twilight Struggle but in 45 minutes. You each take on the role of a super power during the cold war. You use multi-use cards (which have events and 'command points' on them, if a card has an event for your opponent they get to use it when you play the card) to spread influence in one of nine 'battle grounds' (3 each of political, military and world opinion) to try and claim you secret objective for each round. However, your opponent knows your objective is one of three and can score it if they beat you to it, so there is a fair amount of bluffing. The best mechanic in my mind is that if you raise your influence in a battleground too fast you raise your defcon in the corresponding catergory: get one catergory too high or all three a little high then you trigger nuclear war and immediately lose the game. As such the whole game is a balancing act as you have to reduce you influence in other battlegrounds to reduce your defcon. In summary I think this game is so elegantly put together, all the mechanics are smoothly interlocked so every move has ramifications but in a very intuitive way and plays in a reasonable time. Cannot recommend it enough.
There you go, hope this gives you some ideas of what to look into.
An honourable mention should go to Jigsaw puzzles, we have done 3 so far in lockdown and they are such a surprisingly enjoyable way to spend and afternoon/evening. Get one in your life!
Here is our list of the 10 best abstract strategy board games. Defining this category is tough because it is, well, abstract. These games are usually not theme heavy and are about overtaking your opponent with various markets using the strategic information of the situation or putting complex puzzles together using that same information. Ancient games like Chess and Go are the ultimate abstract strategy games. We generally leave the ancient classics off these lists but they deserve a shout out.
What do you think? Do you have any favorite abstract strategy games?
We have all been there, you are new to the board game hobby, you have discovered Catan, you have played it hundreds of times and now you need to know what to do next. Follow the link to find out before it is too late and your post-Catan lust destroys you.
What do you think? Anyone have any fond memories of this time in your board game career?
One of the hottest topics in the upcoming months will be the Spiel des Jahres 2020. If you're not familiar with this, here's an excellent article by user Isaiah Kim that will quickly get you up to date.
Widely regarded as the most prestigious award in the board game industry, this annual German award actually encompasses three separate categories:
- Spiel des Jahres: "Family-style" Game of the Year
- Kennerspiel des Jahres: Connoisseur-Enthusiast Game of the Year
- Kinderspiel des Jahres: Children's Game of the Year
The nominees for each of these categories are typically announced in May. And soon enough, you'll notice discussion threads popping up all over the various online board game communities, covering topics such as speculations of the nominees, predictions on which games will win it all, and possibly some complaints voiced here and there.
But in the end, the significance of this award is not just in the prestige. It's one of the major drivers in a game's number of sales, and a nomination alone can boost sales from a typical 500-3000 copies to 10,000 copies. A winner can even expect additional sales in the 100,000's.
With this in mind, here's a look at the Spiel's impact on the amount of exposure to its associated games. My method is identical to the one I used in my article A Look at the History of Shut Up & Sit Down's Impact on Board Game Trends, where I compared the number of views on a game page a week before vs. a week after SU&SD's review, and presented the % increase in traffic after looking into their 100+ reviews. (Note: I will only cover the winners starting from year 2014, as our database can't go as far back. I'm also leaving out Kinderspiel des Jahres, as I found it more difficult to see a significant impact on traffic to the game pages).
SDJ Winner - Camel Up (+640%)
Chaotic camel racing game where the players aren't the camels, but are the bidders in the race. On top of the camels' bizarre tendency to carry each other on their backs when they land on the same space, each player has a stake in the race and will do their best to intervene with the outcome. In the words of user nealkfrank, the ending of this game is like "Mario Kart of the board gaming world" in its unpredictability till its last moment. And the 2nd edition from Eggertspiele only adds onto this chaos by introducing "crazy camels" that run backward.
Rank: (2nd edition) #93 Family on BGG
KDJ Winner - Istanbul (+82%)
In Istanbul, players are merchants weaving around the alleys of the bazaar collecting rubies by delivering as many goods with their assistants. It will test your ability to efficiently manage your assistants to do your bidding while you go off to take care of bigger items. Of the games listed in this article, it has the highest complexity rating on BGG (2.59).
If you've never tried, you can find the digital adaptation on numerous platforms including iOS, Android, Steam, and even the Nintendo Switch.
Rank: #90 Strategy and #105 Overall on BGG
SDJ Winner - Colt Express (+1020%)
In Colt Express, players are bandits competing to become the richest outlaw in the Old West. All players are on a 3-D train and start out the Schemin' phase by "programming" a number of actions they will take for the round. Once the Stealin' phase commences, you can sit back and watch how everyone's best laid plans are soon foiled as the silly antics take place.
Rank: #81 Family on BGG
KDJ Winner - Broom Service (+300%)
As witches, players manage a handful of cards to gather potions and deliver them throughout the magical realm.
Rank: #91 Family, #290 Strategy, #459 Overall
SDJ Winner - Codenames (+29%)
This is a competitive word game where two opposing teams compete to get in contact with all of their secret agents first by discovering their codenames. Each team has an assigned Spymaster who possesses a key card that reveals the location of all of the team's agents, and he/she must give a one word clue to help the team discover their agents. Take a risk by offering a clue that will point to as many of the secret agents, but you may unintentionally alert the assassin instead.
Undoubtedly the most commercially successful game in this list, the simplicity of Codenames' formula has produced 10 different sequels and variations over the years, featuring themes such as Harry Potter, Disney, Marvel, and others.
Rank: #2 Party and #75 Overall on BGG
KDJ Winner - Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King (+196%)
As chieftains of famous clans, players compete to build the best kingdom by laying tiles of different terrains.
Rank: #23 Family, #138 Strategy, and #177 Overall on BGG
SDJ Winner - Kingdomino (+180%)
In Kingdomino, players compete as lords trying to acquire the best plot of land/terrain to expand their kingdom. Each additional land is represented by domino-like tiles with two sections, which can be added onto the kingdom by laying the tile so that at least one of the sections is adjacent to an existing, matching terrain. Players can't expand past a size of a 5x5 grid. Quick, simple, but satisfying puzzle game for the family with expansions and variants to increase difficulty and complexity.
Rank: #33 Family and #211 Overall
KDJ Winner - Exit: The Game (+167%)
Escape room experience in a box. Players work cooperatively to solve numerous puzzles by gathering different clues and objects. The award was given to three different Exit games at the time.
Rank: #19 Family, #42 Thematic, #195 Overall on BGG
SDJ Winner - Azul (+168%)
In Azul, players are tile-laying artists who draft various colored tiles from a shared supply to decorate their walls. Grab as many tiles as possible to make the best patterns and combos, but take too much and you will pay a heavy price for any wasted tiles.
Like many other Spiel des Jahres winners, Azul is a family classic with great staying power. It may not be for everyone though, because it does invite some potential for mean plays. And lastly, the starburst-like tiles provide some of the best tactile experiences you'll find in board games.
Rank: #1 Abstract, #2 Family, and #42 Overall on BGG
KDJ Winner - The Quacks of Quedlinburg (+2391%)
In Quacks, each player takes on the role of a charlatan trying to make money by selling off your other worldly potions. Players will simultaneously draw one ingredient from their bag and throw it into the their own pot, and the more ingredients you manage to fit into your cauldron, the higher its value. Be careful though, because if you draw one too many cherry bombs, your pot will explode and set you back for the round. Will you take the risk and keep brewing your mixture to experience the thrill of drawing those perfect ingredients? or bust and have less money to spend on quality ingredients to help your next batch?
This game introduced me to the bag-building mechanic and I immediately fell in love. It's a nice balance that satisfies the thrill seekers and those who love engine-building. This one was almost completely off the map on our 2018 google analytics until the Spiel announcement.
Rank: #7 Family and #83 Overall on BGG
SDJ Winner - Just One (+259%)
Just One is a cooperative word game where you and your team will take turns to help each other guess 13 different words. The catch is that the guesser will only have unique clues to go by, so before the big reveal of the clues, the teammates have to throw out all identical ones. So if the word is "Alcatraz" and the clues were "SF," "island," "prison," and "SF," you will have to guess the word based on the remaining clues "island" and "prison". That's on the tame side though—would you be able to guess "Mario" based on "red" after the clue "plumber" is thrown out?
I love the simplicity of Just One, and like many other word games, it immediately gets everyone trying to read each others' minds and anticipate their every move. And with only 13 word cards for the round, your group will likely want to go for another round right away to challenge your high score.
It's a great sign for success if it continues to sell out every time it comes back on the shelf at Target.
Rank: #3 Party and #182 Overall on BGG
KDJ Winner - Wingspan (+43%)
Wingspan was the talk of 2019. Contrary to its charming and harmless theme, it was a subject of extreme controversy but also adoration, and perhaps the most influential board game of 2019 in its ability to draw in an entirely new group of people into the hobby. It was featured across numerous non-board game media and sparked the interest of those in the sectors of science, nature studies, bird enthusiasts, and more.
It's a brilliant package that gets the details just right. It may not be the best game, or the most innovative, but Wingspan is proof that attention to the small details go a long way. Plus, it comes with a great story of Elizabeth Hargrave and her advocacy for more female presence in the industry, as well as the friendship of the two international artists who have known each other since school years.
Rank: #1 Family, #22 Strategy, and #20 Overall on BGG
[Sorcerer City, Pass the Pigs, Numenera Discovery and Destiny, Azul, Star Wars Armada: Imperial Assault Carriers, Star Wars Armada]
[Everdell: Spirecrest, Tapestry, Azul, Noria]
[878: Vikings - Invasions of England, Catacombs 3rd Edition, Odin's Ravens: A Mythical Race Game for Two Players, Azul, Steam Park]
[878: Vikings - Invasions of England, Odin's Ravens: A Mythical Race Game for Two Players, Azul, 13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis, The Fox in the Fore...]
[Patchwork, Ingenious, Hive, Yinsh Board Game, Santorini, Azul, Tiny Towns, Torres, Photosynthesis, Onitama]
[Pandemic, Dominion: Second Edition, Ticket To Ride, Stone Age, Splendor, 7 Wonders, Catan, Terraforming Mars, Azul, Puerto Rico, Carcassonne]
[Wingspan, Kingdomino, Codenames, The Quacks of Quedlinburg, Just One, Istanbul, Broom Service, Exit: The Abandoned Cabin, Colt Express, Azul, Exit: Th...]
$178,428 / $6,479
Table Breaking Metal Polyhedral Designer Dice Set for DND, Pathfinder, Call of Cthulu and Tabletop RPGs. Extra Large & Extra Heavy!
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