It’s the end of the year, and everybody in the boardgaming world is doing their “top picks of 2017” or some other variation of that.
However, I don’t play enough brand new games to make a list like that. This year was a record-breaking year with me playing 18 games that came out in 2017. Given that, though, over half of the games would be on the top ten list, and that really isn’t that interesting of a list, is it?
So instead, just like last year (on a different blog than this one), I’m going to do the “Top 10 Games Played in 2017” instead. I played a grand total of 101 games, so I think this can be a pretty good list.
This does not include any games that I only played online or in app form, so games like Race for the Galaxy and the like won’t be there (even though that app is killer and you should definitely buy it).
To prevent a too-long post, I’m splitting the list in two, and I had enough games that I was considering for my top 10 that I may even do an appendix as well.
Designed by Paul Peterson, with artwork by Dave Allsop, Bruno Balixa, Conceptopolis, and Francisco Rico Torres, this 2012 game lets you “smash up” (Ha! I see what you did there) two classic factions into a deck of cards that you will use to stomp your opponents.
“Crafting” cards is becoming a new fad in boardgaming, though I think it’s mainly AEG who are doing it.
Games like Mystic Vale, where you can gain cards and then improve them, are starting to become more prominent.
Last night, I got the chance to try one of the latest card-crafting games, Custom Heroes. The game is designed by John D. Clair with art by Matt Paquette and the game is published by AEG.
This is more like a normal trick-taking game than most others in the same genre, in that you are playing cards to the table and trying to “win” the pile (not quite a trick, but I’ll explain), all the while buffing up cards with improvements that will change how they act.
In Ancient Egypt, the land of the Pharaohs where whoever died and built the best pyramid was seen to be the most dope ruler in all the land, sometimes it wasn’t just what was buried with you that made the difference.
Sometimes it was who you were buried with.
And these people didn’t have to be dead ahead of you either.
(I’ll stop and let you think about that for a moment)
It’s definitely not something you want to think too hard about when you’re playing the latest version of Tom Cleaver’s Valley of the Kings.
I didn’t realize this until just now, but I seem to have a thing for Ancient Egypt.
Nothing too untoward, don’t get me wrong. But with my love of the (soon to be reviewed) Imhotep and for Favor of the Pharaoh, and now this review for the wonderful deckbuilding card game Valley of the Kings: Afterlife, I might as well get my own Nemes.
But that’s very expensive, much more expensive than what this card game will set you back.
So why don’t we talk about that instead?
Valley of the Kings: Afterlife is another deckbuilding card game. Designed by Tom Cleaver (who is wonderfully responsive on Boardgame Geek for any issues regarding these games) with art by Banu Andaru and published by AEG, this game is simply phenomenal.
The game plays 2-4 players, and is very good with two. Scores will be lower in a 4-player game as the cards will be more spread around.
I saw a post on Boardgame Geek talking about the Big in Japan expansion for the card game Smash Up, and for some reason I thought it was talking about how the game itself is quite big in Japan.
I didn’t even realize that’s the new expansion!
After quickly realizing my mistake, I went to AEG’s web site and saw all the juicy information regarding the new expansion, supposedly coming in August. This includes a link to the rulebook, which is great (though the pictures of the cards have all the wording on them smashed together, so I hope they fix that)
It looks like a really excellent expansion, along the same lines as all the other ones, of course. Fans of the game will love it, I’m sure.