This is a summary of the board games that saw my most interest, investment, hobby time and enjoyment in 2019. It is not necessarily a direct reflection of my all time favourite games, but shows where i have putting most resource, hobby interest and funding this year. This year i have been working through playing many games i own, working out which to keep and which to trade.
1. Lord of the Rings LCG – regularly playing solo particularly in the first half of the year, i bought more expansions completing the final two packs from the Angmar cycle, added some gencon packs, and the saga boxes of The Road Darkens and Land of Shadow. I have been playing through the Wilds of Rhovanion expansions. This remains my main solo game, and I am still slowly hunting down missing packs to complete my collection.
2. Blackstone Fortress – after 2 years of owning Hammerhal, i finally finished painting acolytes to complete that set, a celebratory moment. Despite my original intentions, i bought Blackstone Fortress this year and in June started a summer project to completely paint the set, adding the Ambull expansion, a foam insert, and collected White Dwarf articles. This game has hogged the painting side of my time, but i am not sure if i will get everything being released.
3. Sine Tempore – since its July arrival this became the regular co-operative game this year for our group. We completed the core set campaign which is well designed with missions providing enough strategic challenge and player interaction to keep everyone interested, with players liking their characters. The dice rolling with all its various symbols has proven to be quite an engaging engine, and all the other components are excellent. However it is unlikely to return as much interest next year.
4. City of Kings – continued to be a popular two player game this year, it retains its high status for table time with fairly simple rules and quick set up, and providing a mix of character development, exploration and strategy. The new expansions also arrived early on in the year, although admittedly we are still playing the core box.
5. Nemesis – group play sessions with more friendly co-operative events as we worked through the short branching path campaign book which was great fun. Wave 2 new content arrived in the autumn, although it so far has not been incorporated into the main games we play. An excellent and thematic game, still very popular with the group.
6. Everdell – a beautiful looking game with a mix of worker placement and card drafting. The core game and pearlbrook arrived in September, and has seen a lot of group and also solo play. I backed this years expansion kickstarter too, it has become a collectable game for me with some of the best artwork around.
7. Thunderstone Quest – with the arrival of the new barricades solo and co-op content in May it has lifted this game again, turning into a collectable set with all it’s quest expansion content. This game is great now both competitive or co-operative, and yet another quest expansion kickstarter was backed in June and will be arriving next year.
8. Tainted Grail – this years late arrival one month before the year end, an excellent storytelling game with amazing components and some of the best models seen in a game. The story campaign has begun, and it will be interesting to see how well this fares over time, as it seems to be a great game design and ideal for solo or two players.