Recommended 2015…er…16 – Advanced Games

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Christmas is over and the New Year has begun! Oh God you haven’t bought your geeky relative a present! YOU MONSTER! What is wrong with you? Every year you leave it to the last minute and end up getting something crap for them from Waterstones! Fear not dear reader I am here to help you with a “definitive” list of recommended tabletop games that you can buy to make up for being a terrible person.

These Advanced Games will more than make up for you missing the Christmas boat. Just insist that they are special and that the extra wait will be worth it! Or you could just buy them for yourself…

I have already covered Casual & Family, Introductory Games and Intermediate Games in previous posts if you are feeling extra guilty and want to buy more things.

The criteria for these lists is: If I own it, I can include it. So if I have missed out on your favourite game it probably means that I do not own it…..yet.

Advanced Games are the sorts of things that make people run away in fear when they look at all the components laid out on the table. They take a long time to play and their rulesets are dense with information. They also tend to be on the component rich side of things so they can get quite pricey. Thankfully they are totally worth the investment due to being some of the best games I have had the pleasure of playing. Seriously if you are looking to buy someone a meaty gift or want to step things up a notch in your board game collection, any of the following games are worth the money.

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Recommended 2015 – Intermediate Games

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Christmas draws closer and closer so I am jumping on the listicle bandwagon and have put together a “definitive” list of recommended tabletop games that you can buy for loved ones, ask for as presents or you know just buy for yourself as a “you deserve this” purchase.

These recommendations are broken up into several posts each one covering a different category of games. Each list includes a varied selection of games for you to buy and enjoy.

I have already covered Casual & Family and Introductory Games this week I am covering Intermediate Games.

The criteria for these lists is: If I own it, I can include it. So if I have missed out on your favourite game it probably means that I do not own it…..yet.

Intermediate Games are perfect if you want to push things a bit further in terms of complexity and depth. These games either have some complex mechanics or webs of systems you have to navigate to achieve victory. These are the sorts of games I tend to gravitate to aside from Advanced Games. (More on them next time!) Most of these games will take up a good chunk of an evening so there is an element of time investment into playing them. However the end result is always rewarding.

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Recommended 2015 – Introductory Games

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As it is approaching Christmas I am jumping on the listicle bandwagon and have put together a “definitive” list of recommended tabletop games that you can buy for loved ones, ask for as presents or you know just buy for yourself as a “you deserve this” purchase.

These recommendations are broken up into several posts each one covering a different category of games. Each list includes a varied selection of games for you to buy and enjoy.

Last week I covered Casual & Family Games this week I am covering Introductory Games.

The criteria for these lists is: If I own it, I can include it. So if I have missed out on your favourite game it probably means that I do not own it…..yet.

Introductory Games is a selection of games for people who are just getting into the hobby or want a solid tabletop experience that is not overly complex. I find these games are also great to play with people of the older generations who only know Monopoly, Risk, Uno and their ilk. You know the types, your grandparent who looks at the box for Ticket to Ride and scoffs that it is not Ludo or a chess set. I guarantee that if you sit them down and explain how to play one of these games you will have some fun!

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Recommended 2015 – Casual & Family Games

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As it is approaching Christmas I thought it would be a good idea to jump on the listicle bandwagon and put together a “definitive” list of recommended tabletop games that you can buy for loved ones, ask for as presents or you know just buy for yourself as a “you deserve this” purchase.

I’m going to break things up into several posts covering different categories of games. In the hope of making life easy for all types of gamers wether you are new to the hobby or not. Each category has five games and I have tried my best to make the selections varied. You can also use these lists as a good starting point to build out the core of your own games collection.

The criteria for this list is: If I own it, I can include it. So while I have played many other great games that are not included in this list I feel I cannot fully recommend them, mainly because I have only played them a couple of times at most. However I have played the games I own many times so I have a level of authority when it comes to recommending them.

Lets get the ball rolling with Casual & Family Games!

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Throwing My Money Away – October Edition

gt01-box-leftIt has been a relatively restrained month of games purchases for me. The purchases I have made have been focused on mainly one thing, A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Second Edition.

At first I just got the initial Core Set. Then I got a bunch of card sleeves and a deck box. Then I got a second Core Set and some more sleeves. I “need” a third Core Set then I will be fully tricked out AGoT wise until the first Chapter Pack is released sometime next month. Like I said in my review the initial cost to A Game of Thrones: The Card Game is somewhat prohibitive. Also while having two Core Sets is perfectly fine my competitive decks are nowhere near as strong as they could be. So I am currently in the process of budgeting that in for next month if I can.

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The Boardover – 28th October

Cyclades

The past week has been a very Game of Thrones: The Card Game heavy one for me. This is in part because I wanted to write a semi-in-depth review of it but also because I am now fully committed to playing it for the foreseeable future. It has worked its way into my life so much that I am listening to podcasts about it on my commute to try and improve my game. I also got up early this during the week to make a new deck so I would be ready to play a few games at Dark Sphere that evening. What is happening to me?!

I don’t know how long this period of obsession will last but for now at least I am loving it.

Putting my AGoT cards to one side I did also manage to squeeze in a couple of other games last Wednesday.

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A Game of Thrones: The Card Game 2nd Edition – Core Set Review

Game of Thrones

When I finally received my copy of A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Second Edition I was excited. On my train ride home, not being able to stop myself I opened the box, flicked through the rules and sifted through the cards. This prompted a few strange looks from one contingent of the commuters around me. However I noticed second contingent. The, “try not to look to interested but be interested” crowd was around me. Drawn to this strange box of cards I was routing through and smiling lovingly at. The main reason it drew this interest is mainly down to the now considerable brand name that was plastered on the side of the box, A Game of Thrones.

It is a name that has weight to it in pretty much every medium of entertainment. It is the default modern fantasy classic for many people and it demands your attention when you see something related to it. It is also a brand that I personally associate a certain level of quality to. So this new edition of the Living Card Game version of it is something that I have been anticipating.

So far I have found it to be a deep but initially confusing experience. One that I can see myself getting heavily into when I become more accustomed to its style of play. There is a lot of enjoyment to be had from this one box but there is also an element of the Core Set feeling incomplete. This Core Set of the AGoT 2nd Edition is just the start, things could get better, they could get worse. Only time will tell.

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The Boardover – 16th October

Blood Bowl Team Manager

This week has been a very game filled one for me. So let’s get down to business!

Sunday had me sitting down to a two player game of Blood Bowl: Team Manager. The card based reimagining of one of my favourite Games Workshop properties. I really enjoy Team Manager it has that right mix of randomness and tactical play that I like about Blood Bowl. It also does a really good job of translating the key mechanics, abilities and Star Players of the full game into card form. It plays out as a representation of a whole season of a league so you also see your team and staff improve over the length of the game. Something that in proper Blood Bowl takes multiple games. I’ve never played it with two players before and found the quicker change of pace refreshing. When playing with a full five people the game can drag on a bit but on Sunday we were done in under 45mins and had a good time in the process.

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The Boardover – 24th September

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This week’s gaming session wasn’t as packed with games as last week but I still enjoyed myself. Once again I was late due to train problems, so when me and Kim arrived the guys where latter stages of a game of Skull. Once that was over with we divided up into two tables of three. One to play Five Tribes, their other Cyclades.

Both were mine and Kim’s games and while I love Cyclades I elected to play the equally good Five Tribes. I think the reason I enjoy Five Tribes is that there is a lot going on at a given moment yet it never gets overwhelming. In fact the longer the game goes on the simpler things tend to get as the possible moves players can make dwindles down to nothing. Another reason is that there are multiple paths to victory. Even though the collecting of sets of cards from the market is a tad unbalanced the other paths make up for it. To play the market you need a lot of luck. While the other paths tend to be about seizing opportunities as they arise.

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Throwing My Money Away – September Edition

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This month has been an expensive one when it comes to my tabletop gaming habits.

First of all it started with Amazon Prime Now giving me an offer I couldn’t refuse and offering £20 off your first £50 purchase. So naturally I hurriedly browsed Prime Now’s limited selection of products for Board Games and ended up ordering and receiving Dead of Winter and Carcassonne within two hours. They came in a big brown paper bag and I felt awesome for bending the limitations of posting things in the UK to my will. MWHAHAHAHA!

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