Saturday, December 26, 2020

Cavalock and The Pixie Cup Reveal

Merry Christmas Everybody! 

We finished opening our Nespresso Advert Calendar on Christmas Eve, with two metal Pixie espresso cups in the final slot! Yah, we already knew what's in the final Christmas Eve slot back in October but we just didn't know what colour the cups were gonna be.  Too bad I had to pass on the decaf capsules cos I kinda react badly to them, if you know what I mean. 

Well, it's that time of the year again when do a look back at some of the new games that I played and loved in 2020! Granted I haven't played as many new games as I wanted to since the Lockdown earlier this year prevented me and my friends from meeting up. Most of the games were released this year but there are a couple that were released in 2019 and 2018 but they are all new to me. I don't own every single game here but I have played them all and enjoyed every single one immensely. If anyone is interested, here's my 2019 list. So this year, we'll be going from left to right, top to bottom. 

Top left corner, number 10 was released last year, it's Abomination: The Heir of Frankenstein which I have already mentioned briefly here. I haven't played it for several months now so that's why it's at number 10. Still a good worker placement game with a truly unique and rather macabre theme where you are gathering body parts across Paris to build another Frankenstein's monster. 

Number 9 is The Search For Planet X. A pure logic deduction game. We are all astronomers looking through our telescopes, searching for Planet X. You'll need to download an app that'll give you all the clues as to where it is, like it's in one of the 12 sectors on the board and each sector has different conditions that you need to use logic and clues to find out where Planet X is. This is one of those where if you can't find out where the Planet X is but someone else can, it simply means you are STUPID OR AT LEAST DUMBER THAN YOUR FRIENDS! Hah! At least that's how I usually end up feeling cos everyone more or less gets the same clues after awhile but they managed to utilise their superior brain powers to solve it but you can't! This is a real brain burner. But it's still fun and that's why it's in the Top 10 for the year.

Number 8 is Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion. This is kinda like a smaller or shorter sequel to the mega hit of 2017, Gloomhaven. Me and my friends played that one and it's a co-operative tactical fantasy game of storytelling and killing monsters using miniatures as well as card management. That original game took us a whole year to finish it and we played it every week for that entire freakin' year. Anyway, this is shorter but just as fun sequel with lots of co-operative play. Like the first one, there's quite a bit of book-keeping involved which is why it's not higher up on my list. 

Number 7 is one of the most complex games in my collection, Tekhenu: Obelisk of the Sun. The players are all Pharaohs (yes, I suppose for the sake of this game, there's more than one Pharaoh ruling the same time period) in ancient Egypt, and we are building temples, statures and workshops as well as organising festivals across the land. And everything you do, earns you points. You decide what you want to do by drafting dice in the middle of the board but every turn the dice changes, so it's all about making the right decisions, maximising your actions and getting the most points. The huge play board is really eye-catching especially with an actual obelisk in the middle and the dice surrounding it, and lots of components all over the board.

Number 6 and 5 are pretty much the same and could be in either position. Call to Adventure was released last year and comes in at number 6. The game lets you create a fantasy hero and then decide on his or her destiny by drawing, playing cards and tossing runes! Yes, you toss ancient runes instead of rolling dice, like in most other games. Every game is remarkably different as there are just so many different challenges as your hero grows in ability and experience. Plus amazing fantasy art on each card.

Gosh, I just wanna say 'thank you' if you have come this far reading about me and my boardgames. Sorta figured most folks would stop reading them walls of gaming text by now cos not many people in this here parts play boardgames. Philistines! :)

Dwellings of Eldervale is at number 5, another fantasy adventure game using worker placement and area control mechanics. Depending on your unique fantasy race, your worker units come with an array of different abilities to choose from, and you start placing your workers such as wizards and knights in areas around the board to complete quests or control the realms. Like Call to Adventure, this is another game with so many story or ability choices that I have to play and I'm really looking forward to seeing what else is in the box.

At number 4 is Parks, one of the most beautiful games I have seen this year. The game features unique art from Fifty-Nine Parks depicting the US National Parks. This is a set collection game where players are hikers trekking through the many different National Parks and collecting 'memories' of them by trading in resource tokens you collect along the way.

Number 3 is Durian, a very little Japanese fun party game. Yes, even though we don't get to go to Tokyo this year, I still managed to sneak in a game form Japan. Another game that I have already mentioned here. Simple rules that you can explain in a minute or two. Brought it to house party couple days ago and it was really fun. 

The game system of Unmatched comes in at number 2. There are already several expansions to this game and although it was released last year, I only got into the game this year and I pretty much bought every expansion set once I fell in love with it. So this is an asymmetrical miniature fighting game for two or four players. Each hero is represented by a unique card deck designed to evoke their style and legend. Says 'legends' cos the characters or heroes in each boxed set are drawn from pop culture, mythologies, literature etc. You got guys like Sherlock Holmes, King Arthur, Big Foot, Dracula, Alice from Alice in Wonderland, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and even Bruce Lee! Every expansion adds two to four new heroes and the art is simply gorgeous too.

The number 1 game of the year is Carpe Diem which came out in 2018. Heard bout how great it was but only bought it this year when it was super cheap on Amazon. This is another strategy game that I have blogged about before and the reason it's my favourite game of the year is cos I played it solo at least 8 times already. Had so much fun playing it, with friends as well as with the solo variant rules. The rules aren't that complicated so I can play solo without having to refer to the rules every 10 seconds. 

Whew! That's it for now although I do have a few more thoughts bout analog gaming this year. Thanks again for reading till the end! 

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