Favorite Board Games – “New To Us” Games from 2018 (Stasia’s First Five)

2018 was a good year for us as far as board games go – seems like that can be said about pretty much every year lately, which just goes to show how wonderful this hobby is and how much it is growing!  There were 25 games that qualified for this list of “new to us” games for the year.  The first requirement was that we had to have played the game for the first time in 2018. The second requirement is that we had to have played it at least twice for it to qualify.  Here are my first five games from the list. . .

Number 10 – Bastion

Bastion Cover

Bastion was originally published in 2015 by Hobby World. It was published here in the United States by Fantasy Flight Games. The games designers are Evgeny Nikitin and Nicolay Pegasov. The artwork for the game was provided by Sergey Dulin.

I am not sure why I have not heard more about this game. I find it to be an excellent tower defense game in which the players are playing together cooperatively to keep hoards of monsters from destroying their castle. Along the way, the characters will get special abilities to help them defeat the monsters. The game can be made easier or harder, depending on the players. The game can also be played solo. I first learned of this game through Rahdo’s runthrough of it. For those interested, you can check it out here: https://boardgamegeek.com/video/113604/bastion/rahdo-runs-through-bastion

 

Number 9 – The Game

The Game Cover

The Game, which in my opinion has to be the stupidest name ever for a game, was published in 2015 by Nurnberger-Spielkarten-Verlag.  The games was designed by Steffen Benndorf and features artwork by Oliver Freudenreich, Sandra Freudenreich, and Kwanchai Moriya.  There have been a couple versions of the game published.  I have the original English  version.

The premise of The Game is simple: everyone has a hand of cards that they must play.  The cards must be played to the table in front of them where there are two stacks of cards beginning with the number 1 and another two stacks of cards beginning with the number 100.  On the stacks of cards beginning with the number 1, you want to build upwards.  On the stacks of cards beginning with the number 100, you want to build downwards.  The players win if they can get down to 10 cards or less combined in their hands.  This is another cooperative game my family enjoys, even my casual gaming husband.  It is a whole lot hard to win than it sounds!

Number 8 – First Class: All Aboard the Orient Express

First Class Cover

First Class: All Aboard the Orient Express was originally published by Hans im Gluck.  It was published here in the United States by Z-Man Games.  The game was designed by Helmet Ohley with artwork provided by the always excellent Michael Menzel.

First Class: All Aboard the Orient Express is an excellent card drafting game.  One of the things that I like most about it is the fact that you can play the game differently every time should you so choose.  There are multiple modules that can be added to the game to vary the players’ experiences each time that they play.  There is even a module that introduces a murder mystery to the Orient Express.  I love variability in my games and this game has it in spades.

Number 7 – Keyper

Keyper Cover

Keyper was published in 2017 by R & D Games.  The game was designed by Richard Breese and is another title in his line of “Key” games, that include such games as Keyflower and Key Market.  The artwork for the game was done by Vicki Dalton.

I freely admit that one of the draws to this game for me is the player boards.  I could probably sit around and mess with them for hours at a time, but then, I am easily amused.  However, behind the gimmick of the player boards is a very good game.  Keyper is a worker placement game in which the players are trying to build up their villages by establishing farms, putting in buildings, and attending the local fairs, among other things.  All of this is done by placing your worker on a space, collecting the resources of that space or performing the action that the space directs.

Keyper Multifold Player Boards
The player boards that I am so fascinated by. . .

Number 6 – Village

Village Cover

Village was originally published in 2011 by eggertspiele and has the distinction of being the oldest title on my list.  It was published here in the United States by Stronghold Games.  The game was designed by the husband and wife design team of Markus and Inka Brand.  The artwork for the game was done by Dennis Lohausen.

There are few board games that cover the subject matter of death and this is one of them.  Now, there is no in-depth analysis of death or anything, but it is there.  You are following your family in a small village from generation to generation, trying to improve the family’s lot in life.  You can have your family go heavily into crafting, or trading, or the church and in each succeeding generation that path may change.  Beth and I both love this game for the storytelling that we can do when playing it.

2018 – A Great Year for Gaming?

I have no idea how 2018 matches up in the history of board games as far as good years go, but judging by the games that we got to the table in 2018, it was a great year!  This list was hard to make, although my top 3 were easy to pick.  The rest of the list, I have to be honest, I struggled with.  So, how was 2018 in gaming for you?  As you can see from my list thus far, some of the games did not come out in 2018.  Even so, they were new to us.  Do you have games that first saw your table in 2018?  If so, what were they and how were they for you?  Please comment and let us know!

As always, please check Board Game Geek (www.boardgamegeek.com) for information on these and thousands of other games!

Stasia

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