This list was initially in no particular order, but the number one and number two games here are literally my number one and two most anticipated games of 2019. Any guesses as to what they might be? Here we go. . .
Number 5 – Sierra West
Sierra West is being published by Board & Dice. The designer of the game is Jonny Pac Cantin, with artwork provided by Jakub Fajtanowski. This game is set in the Old West, a setting that is almost always a draw for me, and features hand management, set collection, and worker placement as some of its mechanics.
According to the Board & Dice website (https://boardanddice.com/our-games/sierra-west/), “In the late 1840s, thousands of pioneers headed west to seek wealth and opportunity. Many of these brave souls traveled by wagon over the Sierra Nevada mountain range, into what would soon become the Golden State of California. In Sierra West, you are an expedition leader who must guide a party of rough-and-ready pioneers, employing a clever mix of strategy and tactics with each step.”
One of the most intriguing things about this game to me is that there are four modules which can be mixed and matched to vary the game every time that you play – I love this idea in the game First Class. I think it is an awesome idea and would love to see how this is implemented into the game. This game also features a solo game that was designed by David Turczi, one of the designers of my much-loved Anachrony. According to the Board and Dice website, the game will be available at Essen this year, although I am not sure when it will make its way to the States.
Number 4 – Carnival of Monsters
Carnival of Monsters is being published by AMIGO. The game designed by Richard Garfield. Beth and I have only ever played one of Mr Garfield’s games and it wasn’t Magic: The Gathering, the game he is probably most famous for. The game of his that we have played is Bunny Kingdom, and both of us enjoyed it. The artwork for the game is being done by several artists including Loic Billiau, Martin Hoffmann, Dennis Lohausen, Michael Menzel, Oliver Schlemmern, Claus Stephan, and Franz Vohwinkel. Whew!
Per the game’s entry on Board Game Geek (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/231484/carnival-monsters), “Richard Garfield’s Carnival of Monsters is a card-drafting and set-collecting game for 2 to 5 players, ages 10 and up. In this approximately 45-minute game, players draft cards from their hands, trying to collect sets of matching lands so they can capture and display exotic creatures to earn victory points. Along the way, they can hire talented staff to aid their efforts, pursue their own secret goals, or take advantage of fortuitous events. At the end of each season, they must make sure that none of their monsters escape, while the player who can best meet the demands of the audience will be awarded with a bonus!”
I love both card drafting and set collection mechanics in games, so this game is right up my alley. I also love fantasy-themed games, although I do hope this one goes beyond just generic fantasy. I do worry about the potential for ‘take that’ elements among the “staff” that can be hired, but since the game seems to be a family game, I would hope that if there are those elements in the game, they would be negligible.
Number 3 – Roll Player Adventures
Roll Player Adventures is being published Thunderworks Games. The designers include Keith Matejka, the man responsible for the original Roll Player, Peter Andrew Ryan, and James William Ryan. The artists for the game include Luis Francisco, Damien Mammoliti, Rainer Petter, Lucas Ribiero, Kim Robinson, and ShenFei. This game is not an expansion to Roll Player as I had originally thought, but is a stand alone game set in that same universe. There is not a lot known about this game and even the cover of the game is not available at this time.
According to the game’s entry on Board Game Geek (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/254708/roll-player-adventures), “Roll Player Adventures is a cooperative storybook game for 1-5 players set in the world of Roll Player. Players inhabit characters and go on exciting adventures in which the players make the decisions and the story changes based on how they approach the challenges along the way. Players can import characters they build in Roll Player and play them in this game. Otherwise, players may use pre-generated characters or build new characters using a new character creation system in Roll Player Adventures.”
Beth and I both love Roll Player, but the expansion that came out for it just did not appeal to us. However, this game, with the ability to take our characters from Roll Player and then play them in Roll Player Adventures?! That I love. I also love that it is both a cooperative game and a storybook game. I cannot wait to give this one a try!
Number 2 – Alubari: A Nice Cup of Tea
Alubari: A Nice Cup of Tea is being published by Matagot. The designer of the game is Tony Boydell, who published the highly regarded Snowdonia several years ago. This game is reported to be in the Snowdonia family of games. The artwork for Alubari is uncredited at the present time.
The game’s description, as given on the Board Game Geek’s page for it (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/228959/alubari-nice-cup-tea), reads as follows: “In Alubari:A Nice Cup of Tea, players compete to cultivate and harvest their own Tea Estates and assist in the building of the Darjeeling and Himalayan Railway, from Siliguri Town to ‘the summit’ at Ghum. Guided by the placement actions of their laborers, players can also use their harvested tea leaves to make Chai for their thirsty workforce to boost their actions even more! When the railway is completed, the player who has contributed the most to the railway, the building of the towns along the way and the most auspicious Tea gardens will be declared the winner.”
Not only is this game on my list, it is on Beth’s list as well. This game was probably my most anticipated game for 2018 and then it did not get published last year. Of course, that meant it had to be on this year’s list, but it has been bumped down from the number one position. Everything about this game speaks to me. It is absolutely a must-have as far as I am concerned.
Number 1 – Sleeping Gods
Sleeping Gods is being published by Red Raven Games. The designer and artist are the amazing Ryan Laukat.
The description from Boardgame Geek (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/255984/sleeping-gods) reads: “In Sleeping Gods, you and a friend become Captain Sofi Odessa and her crew, lost in a strange world in 1929 on your steamship, the Manticore. You must work together to survive, exploring exotic islands, meeting new characters, and seeking out the totems of the gods so that you can return home.”
This game was also on Beth’s list. There are several reasons why the game made my list: 1) I think that this is a game that appeals to everyone in my family, my casual gamer husband included; 2) Storytelling!; 3) Cooperative. These elements all combine to make Sleeping Gods my number one anticipated game of 2019.
2019 Here We Come!
Convention season is heating up and although we cannot attend any conventions this year, we certainly can look forward to the amazing games that will be debuted and displayed at them. I cannot wait to see what gems come out in 2019!