Simon’s Christmas Wishlist 2018

Simon's Christmas Wishlist

Here are the board games that I hope to receive from Father Christmas this year:

1) Gloomhaven

There was a posse, a dozen in number wanting to be on the ‘wishlist’ of the player who bought a copy of the game last Christmas with his work bonus (along with Pandemic and Scythe). Whilst some of us managed to play it once, others have been missing at someone’s house weekly for the past year. My thoughts are that, now I have more space in my place, I can set-up and unpack the 10kg box and dip in and out of it as I please in a solo mode.

I’ve enjoyed the speed of solo play, something I hadn’t considered with board games before (Chess against yourself works, but wasn’t sure how it would work in a game with more than two players). Like Axio, Saboteur and Noch Mal!, there is an escapism there and let’s you be in control, whilst still facing your ultimate adversary, you!

2) Architects of the West Kingdom

My Game of the Month for November would be one of my picks of the game I was happiest playing and that is due to the innovative nature of play. I’ve only seen the game turn up at one group (Wednesday) so this is a must have to enjoy the range of play (strategy etc) that comes with the game.

The innovation for me keeps me hooked all the way through, like a sheptone, a never ending cliff hanger. The innovation? A one round game. You have one action per turn and that is playing or removing one of your Vikings (yes a Viking placement game) and you work towards obtaining the most points in the game. Whilst already owning Stone Age, this is a faster game, smaller box, no luck and no calculations (just counting).

3) Fleet

A game I have played also at the Wednesday group would be Fleet. This has been on my wishlist more of the year. The reason it’s on there is partially the name, as I used to visit the town of Fleet (like the game it is highly rated!).

In Fleet, you build up your nautical fishing ‘Fleet’ in the northwest corner of Canada (that cold thematic theme would work well for Christmas), trapped in an inset, a dense pocket of various fish and ripe for the catch! Using the card, your bid and auction, managing your hand depending on the rarity available to ultimately aim to return home with the best haul.  A fun and strategic game, originally from Kickstarter.  I haven’t tried the expansion so that is also on the wishlist, but I need to get this game first!

4) Sleeves and Boxes

One item on my wishlist isn’t a game, but a tool. It’s a card protector. I have played various games with sleeves before, personally thinking they were to protect from spillages. However, I found, whilst I hold anyone’s cards very carefully (in a pinching technique) I do fear when I see others crush them round their hands. As such I have even made a list of those I wouldn’t play games with cards in.

For such people I obtained sleeves. I thought they would lead to them releasing you can’t easily curve the cards round when sleeved. But, for these few people, they still managed it (I have silently banned them for this reason). They also struggled to pickup the cards, sleeved or unsleeved when flush on the table, leading to nail marks and bends. Sleeving, for some, is considered harder to shuffle. I think the cards are marginally thicker but I felt shuffling rather cathartic as I passed the cards over each other.

Indeed, the process of sleeving/de-sleeving is rather quick. 100 cards in a matter of minutes. I am sticking to sleeving as I believe it adds to longevity and belief that others will consider the cards.  Something else I have on my wishlist is the deck protectors, whilst not a Magic fan, I like the portability of deck boxes as some games have larger boxes for a stack of cards.  An addition to the wish list would be a playmat to enable faster pickup of cards….and it also keeps the components clean, so no eating on the play mat!

5) Ticket to Ride

My final addition would be a game I have played more this year than any other combined. I do not own any of the games and would like to. It’s a series of games but I would prefer the original and that is Ticket to Ride. Whilst it wouldn’t get play in my household, I have fewest attracted the interest of others to partake in a quick game before the end of the next.  Even at the Thursday group, we were playing Shakespeare, a fun/quirky worker placement, which you aim to dress and present your actors, utilise craftsman and gain the favour of Elizabeth I via objectives.

Like Ticket to Ride, getting objectives early allows you to consider what to do. In Ticket to Ride you will be penalised for not completing your objectives/tickets.  The simplicity of the game, the journey element/route building and the comfort of set collection are traits are something I’ve come to enjoy in games.