Monday, December 24, 2018

Cavalock and The Top 20 Boardgame List

Happy Holidays everyone! 

It's the end to another year of ups-and-downs including some eye-opening travels for me and The Baker-at-Home. We are extremely fortunate to have time to be gallivanting to Japan not once but twice and then to the U.K. this year, as well as a jaunt to Kuala Lumpur.  If I had to pick my favourite trip or the one that was the most fun or memorable and unique, it would have to be London. Probably cos its been almost a decade since we were in the Old Country so everything was like a breath of fresh air unlike Japan. Anyway, with all the Brexit shit hitting the fan, I really don't know when we'll be heading there again.

Sea urchin snack at Borough's Market! 
Well, I kinda wish I kept a list of all the nice food I had this year but I didn't instead I kept a list of all the tabletop or boardgames I played. As of this writing, I have played 364 games this year, just one game short of my target for the year. Here are my Top 20 game titles of the year, these are the analog or tabletop games that I played this year, that I had the most fun with and want to play again.

20. Istanbul The Dice Game
19. Architects of the West Kingdom
18. Roll Player with Monsters and Minions expansion
17. Viticulture Tuscany Essential
16. Richard the Lionheart
15. Tulip Bubble
14. Orbis
13. Root
12. Sagrada
11. Gizmos

More than a few of the games like Viticulture, Richard the Lionheart and Tulip Bubble were released before 2018 but I only got to play them this year. Tulip Bubble is the only auction game on the list and it's based on the real-life speculative bubble crisis of 1637. Sagrada is perhaps the most attractive game on the list as you get to roll dozens of colourful little dice and then display them in a grid to earn points.

Viticulture is a sprawling worker placement game about producing wine in Italy. Each player only has a limited number of workers to use every turn and has to make sure he or she puts them out at the right spots, like building structures, planting vines or fulfilling wine orders. Make and sell the most wine, to be the first to hit 20 points wins the game.

Root is a rather complex but cute-looking game as we are adorable little forest animals fighting to gain control of the wilderness. The gameplay is asymmetric as in every player plays differently, each player is a different animal and follows a unique set of rules. It's not easy and can be pretty cutthroat.

I don't own all those games but the ones I have like Viticulture and Sagrada are always ready to hit the table. I realise that all this game stuff may be too much for non-gamers so I'll continue my Top 10 list in my next post. :)

Oh, and speaking of games and London, here are game-related pix I took outside The National Gallery in London. You got folks scribbling and drawing on the wide open steps outside the Gallery every day. Sometimes you'll spot beautifully drawn chalk portraits, other days you'll get intrinsic puzzles that'll stop you in your tracks, and make you almost miss your dinner reservation.

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