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 all the 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 paint the set, adding the Ambull expansion, a foam insert, and collected White Dwarf articles. This game has hogged the hobby side of my time this year but i am not sure i will get everything being released.
3. Sine Tempore – since its arrival in July this has become the co-operative game of the year for our group. We completed the core set campaign which is really well thought out, and missions provide enough strategic challenge and player interaction to keep everyone engaged and interested, and players liked 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.
4. City of Kings – continued to be a popular game this year, played both solo and the story campaign with my brother, it retains its high status for table time with its fairly simple rulebook 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. Everdell – is a new favourite, with the core game and pearlbrook arriving in September, i have been playing a lot of solo games, plus it has seen group play as well via a friends copy. I have backed the 2019 expansion kickstarter and it has become a new collectable game for me, with some of the best artwork around, and is one of the highlights of the year.
6. Tainted Grail – this years late arrival one month before the year end, just as Nemesis was last year by the same company. An excellent storytelling game with amazing components and some of the best models seen in a game. The story campaign has already 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. Likely to have had a higher place if it had come earlier this year.
7. Thunderstone Quest – has seen more play this year with the arrival of the new barricades solo and co-op content in May and has been another highlight of the year becoming another collectable set for me with all the quest expansion content. Yet another expansion kickstarter with more new quests was backed in June and will be arriving next year.
8. Nemesis – back for more group play sessions with more friendly co-operative events, we worked through the short branching path campaign book which was great fun, and for us the best way to play the game. Wave 2 new content arrived in the autumn, although i do not really feel any particular need for it to be honest as the main game is so good.