Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Golden Geeks

Every year, BoardGameGeek.com (the website for board game reference material) compiles a list of the best of the year for board games, with a number of different categories of games, as well as the best podcasts. All of the nominees are chosen by the users of BGG, and winners are chosen the same way.

The nominees for 2016 were announced this morning, and looking over the list, it made me look back at the last year and realize how great a year was. There are some amazing games on the list, and a lot that Rob and I haven't had a chance to try yet. I'm going to go over some of my favorites that were nominated, and maybe we can coax Rob into doing the same. You can find the list here.

Board Game of the Year - Of the fifteen nominees, I've played Captain Sonar, Quadropolis, Scythe, Star Wars: Rebellion and Terraforming Mars. This one is a really tough choice for me. Scythe and Terraforming Mars are two of the best games I've ever played. I think that I'm going to give the edge to Scythe. There's a ton of depth to the game, lots of variability in strategy. I've played it more than 10 times and each time, the game plays out differently. Plus the game is gorgeous. The artwork by Jakub Rozalski is awe-inspiring (Scythe was also nominated in the Artwork & Presentation section).
Look at this-I want this on my wall!
Terraforming Mars is nearly as good, which made it a tough call. It's a solid a game as I've ever played, with lots of interesting card interactions. The fact that the card art is all from NASA photos is such a cherry on top of a really good sundae. It's amazing, it's great, but it's just not quite as good as Scythe for me.

Innovative Game - I've played a few on this list too - Nominees that I have experience with include Adrenaline, Captain Sonar, Fabled Fruit, Mystic Vale, and Scythe. We've already talked about Scythe, so let's go with Captain Sonar and Fabled Fruit. Captain Sonar is a great game for this category. If you haven't played or heard of it - you're basically playing submarine crews trying to hunt each other down. There's a Captain, 1st Mate, Engineer, and Radio Operator on each side, each with a different job. It's a blast to play, but it really shines with the full player count of 8, which can be tricky.
Captain Sonar!

Fabled Fruit is going to be my choice for this category. It's a very simple card game to learn and teach, and it evolves as you play it, adding rules as it goes along. Fabled Fruit is sort of a campaign style game, where you can save your spot and come back to it in subsequent plays. I've played it with three people and five people, and it's solid with either. This one hasn't made it to our collection yet, as it sold out quickly but Rob is supposed to be picking up a copy from an auction soon, so I'm really looking forward to playing it again. Fabled Fruit would be a great addition to a family game night, since it's very easy to start and evolves slowly enough for kids and non-gamers to understand it.


Fabled Fruit. It has anima-meeples too!

Those are just a few of my favorites from the year. Take a look at the BGG list and let us know in the comments what some of your choices on the nominees are!

-Jamison

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