Friday 6 February 2015

2013 games eagerness ranking

This is one of those things I do roughly once a year. I list down games published within a particular calendar year which I have played, and rank them according to how much I feel like playing them at that moment. Usually I do this just short of one year after the particular year has passed, but for year 2013, I'm doing it more than one year later. I am no longer at the forefront of playing all the hot new games. There are still a number of widely acclaimed 2013 games I have not tried. So my list is in no way authoritative. It's just one gamer's fun exercise of stringing together 2013 games. When I play a game I don't take note of the year of publication. When I put together this list, it was interesting to discover which games were from the same batch, like meeting co-workers who went to the same primary school (elementary school).

    Keen To Play

    None. No particular game that I am itching to play.

    Happy To Play

  1. Axis & Allies: WWI 1914 - Played once, and I quite enjoyed it. It's not the type of game that I feel like playing all the time. It's an event game, something you need to plan for and arrange early. This is the first game in the Axis & Allies series that uses World War I as the backdrop. There are some changes to fit the system to better reflect warfare of that age, but the overall structure is still familiar.

    Axis & Allies: WWI 1914

  2. Impulse - This is a Carl Chudyk design (Innovation, Glory to Rome). It is interstellar exploration, colonisation and warfare via a clever card mechanism. It has Carl Chudyk's signature all over it. I wonder why it is rarely discussed and seems to be not very popular. In contrast Red7 is getting tons of attention.


  3. Nations - A card-based civ game with no map element, but it has many differences from Through the Ages.


  4. Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy - A game in which you build your family tree. I really enjoy building the tree, and making combos of all the sons- and daughters-in-law which I'm marrying to my children and grandchildren. Other aspects of the game are rather pedestrian though. I wonder whether its star will drop significantly after the lustre of the family tree mechanism wears off, if it does wear off.
  5. Cuba Libre - A complex game with lots of story and history. I think this is best played with exactly four. Two players each controlling two factions is tough to play.

    Cuba Libre

  6. Glass Road - The two key ideas are identifying strong building power combos, and correctly guessing your opponents' intended actions.
  7. Ascension: Rise of Vigil, Ascension: Darkness Unleashed - Other than categorising these Ascension expansions under the Happy To Play category, I struggle to actually rank them. I am playing Ascension every day and I don't think about whether I want to play it. It's like breathing.
  8. Race for the Galaxy: Alien Artifacts - I didn't like the Alien Orb module, and by itself it would be Rather Not Play. However I do play this expansion with just the new cards, and I feel right at home with it.
  9. Level 7 [Omega Protocol] - I probably won't play as the dungeon master, because I'm too lazy to read the rules and manage the scenarios. Playing as a soldier? Count me in! I'm happy to shoot some monsters.
  10. UGO - An unusual trick-taking game with a little board element.


  11. The Builders: Middle Ages - A light card game in which you recruit and manage a team of builders and race to construct buildings worth a certain number of victory points.


  12. Wildcatters - I truly like 90% of it, but can't stand the area majority scoring mechanism.


  13. Kashgar - It has an interesting deck-building mechanism, but the rest of the game is nothing special.
  14. Concordia - The rules are very different from Navegador, but they feel similar, because in both games you score in an AxB way, where you try to specialise and focus on your specific A's and B's.


  15. Cappuccino - An abstract game for 2 to 4. It reminds me of DVONN, but it is simpler.
  16. Rialto - Area majority competition, where the values of the areas you are fighting for only get determined bit by bit during the course of the game.
  17. Bremerhaven - The blind bidding is brutal because losers get nothing (other than frustration and a sense of impending doom). This can be good or bad. Some like the ruthlessness and find it exciting. Some can't handle the truth (Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men). Other elements of the game like receiving ships and sending goods off are OK but not particularly memorable.

    Rather Not Play

  18. Duel of Ages II - A squad-level battle game. I generally don't like this genre. This game has a sci-fi setting, which gives the designer an excuse to pit characters from the past, the present and the future against one another.

    Duel of Ages II

  19. Eight-Minute Empire: Legends - A highly-simplified and streamlined dudes-on-a-map game on the surface, an area majority game under the hood. I don't think dudes-on-a-map games need to be streamlined. They are more fun when they are epic.
  20. Coin Age - I still don't get this microgame. It has a clever mechanism, which is equivalent to flipping multiple coins at the same time to determine what action you get to do. I feel there is still some strategy or some tactics which I have not fully grasped, but at the moment I've lost interest to continue to probe.
  21. Stone & Relic - I only remember it's a card game and I didn't enjoy it.

Have Not Played

Here are some which I have heard of but have not played.

  1. Caverna - I do like Agricola a lot, but I'm not particularly keen to see what Agricola 2 is like. What's wrong with Agricola?
  2. Eldritch Horror - I've read good things.
  3. Russian Railroads - Won many awards. I'm interested to try this.
  4. Legendary: Dark City
  5. Lewis & Clark - Another one I'm interested to try.
  6. Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords
  7. Bora Bora
  8. Bruges
  9. BattleCON
  10. Battlelore (2nd edition)
  11. Forbidden Desert - I should try this, since I liked Forbidden Island and found it different enough from Pandemic.
  12. Pandemic: In the Lab
  13. Bruxelles 1893 - I like the artwork.
  14. 1775: Rebellion - Interested to try.
  15. Amerigo
  16. Euphoria - Allen has this.
  17. Rococo
  18. Francis Drake
  19. Spyrium
  20. Viticulture - Allen has this too.
  21. Quantum
  22. Madeira
  23. Sushi Go!
  24. A Study in Emerald - Martin Wallace design.
  25. Terror in Meeple City / Rampage
  26. Tash-kalar - Vlaada Chvatil design, but it seems rather abstract, so my interest level is low.
  27. Coal Baron
  28. Star Trek: Attack Wing
  29. Mysterium - Interesting idea, something like a more advanced version of Dixit. One player is a ghost trying to give clues to the others to help them solve a mystery.
  30. Augustus
  31. Concept
  32. Patchistory
  33. Space Cadet: Dice Duel
  34. Nothing Personal
  35. Mascarade
  36. Ticket To Ride: Netherlands - I have collected quite many Ticket To Ride maps, but I don't have this one yet.
  37. A Distant Plain
  38. Robinson Crusoe: Voyage of the Beagle - I have not tried all the scenarios in the base game yet. I should bring out this game again. I quite like it.
  39. Compounded - Allen's copy is on my shelf, but I still have not read the rules.
  40. Relic Runners
  41. Innovation: Figures in the Sand - Innovation is one of my favourite games, but I don't own any of the expansions. Maybe I should consider this.
  42. Cinque Terre
  43. Power Grid: Australia and Indian Subcontinent - I own many Power Grid expansion maps too, but not this one yet.
  44. Kohle & Kolonie
  45. Bioshock Infinite: The Siege of Columbia
  46. Canterbury - I think Allen has this one too.
  47. Origin - Very good-looking game. Impressive components.
  48. Lost Legacy - A descendant of Love Letter. I'm interested.
  49. Dark Darker Darkest - I have read the rules and made a rule summary, but I still haven't played it.
  50. Field of Glory: The Card Game - Martin Wallace design.
  51. Kobayakawa - Microgame. Interested.
  52. Corto
  53. The Hobbit: An unexpected Journey
  54. Gear & Piston
  55. Mars Needs Mechanics
  56. Cafe Melange - Great artwork.

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