All I want for Christmas isssssssssssssss YOU! And about a million board games. But which ones are front and centre of my thoughts and dreams? They aren't all new games and pre orders though! Here's my eclectic top 10 Christmas wants:
10 - Isle of Skye - I've always kept half an eye on Isle of Skye, looking out for good deals, but never pulled the trigger. I recently got the chance to try it and fell in love. Full of clever decisions about how to price tiles and then the actual building of your Isle. It's one I think I could convince my wife to play and she would enjoy it!
9 - GKR: Heavy Hitters - I ummed and erred about backing this so many times and eventually passed, despite the game looking right up my street. With film studio Weta involved the mechs look incredible and the gameplay seems to involve more that just knocking each other about.
8 - Inis - Kemet is one of my favourite games and Cyclades is ready on my shelf to be played. Inis combines area control and card drafting and unique art. I love the unique shape of the tiles and Matagot's approach to components. Can't wait to get this one.
7 - Otys - The theme is what attracted me initially, but early indications are a solid game behind this. Players are tasked with staying above sea level by diving down to retrieve debris from past civilisations to build for the future. This works through optimisation and action selection. It looks phenomenal too.
6 - Tournament at Camelot - I love a trick taking game, especially ones with a bit more theme and mechanics. Skull King is an awesome example of this. Tournament at Camelot adds player powers to the mix and sets the whole game within Arthur's Kingdom. This game has reviewed incredibly well seems like it could be an easy one to teach too.
5 - Abyss - Abyss is a beautiful game of card drafting and set collection, set in an underwater city. Often highly praised and sometimes hard to get hold of, it's a game that has the great mechanism where cards that give you powers in your tableau lose that ability once placed else where. Meaning timing is absolutely crucial.
4 - Meeple Circus - Regular readers will know I love a good dexterity game and so does my son. I was really looking forward to Coaster Park but then some less than great reviews put me off. Thankfully Meeple Circus stepped into the gap. You will be creating towers out of wooden meeples and animals and other circus props, but with very specific ways of scoring. I think this is going to be a Christmas Day hit!
3 - Viticulture with Tuscany Essential Editions - Viticulture EE was good, but when combined with Tuscany EE it might just be the greatest worker placement game ever. As a vineyard owner you place out your workers a season at a time in an attempt to grow grapes and produce wine to fulfil contracts. Tuscany only adds more options and chances to score points. The whole game makes sense and despite it's depth, it is straight forward to play and explain. Even though plenty of my friends own it, it is a game I will still consider worthy to add to my personal collection.
2 - Grand Austria Hotel - Another older game that I have just not quite got around to buying. Using one of my favourite mechanics of dice placement to build up their hotel and prepare for guests. The clever use of dice, and the fact that you can potentially choose an action with lots of dice for bonus actions. This means the actions get weaker further away you are in turn order. This is balanced by the first player also being the last player and so on!
1 - Photosynthesis - One of the hot games from Essen, Photosynthesis stood out mainly due to the 3D aspect of the board. Punchboard trees adorn play as you seek to grow your trees with the power of the sun and over shadow your opponents to slow their progress. Sun gives you light points which allows you to plant more trees, which can block more people! But you also have to choose when to harvest your trees for points! Technically it is an abstract game but one that is dripping theme. Me wants it!
So there we have it. Bear in mind this list will probably change by tomorrow! Happy Christmas!
Nick can also be found at Board, Deck & Dice