Board Game Lists · Board Gaming · Top Ten List · Wish List

Ten Games I Want to Play in 2018

Last year I made a list of a ton of games I wanted to be sure to play in 2017. Overall I did a respectable job at trying most of those games, although I did miss a few of them. I thought I would make the same approach this year, but going with ten games to fit into ten different “categories” of my choosing. There are so many great games out there, but these are the ones highest on my list to try right now.

Maybe, just maybe, I’ll get to go to HeavyCon and knock a few of these off my list…

1. A Capstone Games game – Three Kingdoms Redux

This game intrigues me so much. A heavy game for exactly three players. Asymmetric sides. Shifting of power over the course of the game. A dynamic tension that will come from having the presence of three sides vying for power over the course of the game. This is a game that is likely to be difficult to bring and play at a random game night, but is the perfect game to coordinate a play. It is a Capstone title, which means I already am inclined to give it a try (thus the category for a Capstone game!) I definitely hope to play all of the Capstone games out there, but this one stands at the top of my list of their games I hope to play.

Which of the Capstone Games titles do you enjoy the most?

2. A Top 10 Game – Terra Mystica

As of this writing I have played only four of the top 10 games listed on BGG. I definitely want to try a few of the others in there, but the one that stands out most is Terra Mystica. It is that game I hear talked about so often, yet I am lacking a play of the game. It sounds like my type of game, one that I think my wife would enjoy playing as well. I know the new hotness is Gaia Project, but I would rather start with the game which paved the way for some of the other current games.

Which group should I play as for my first game? Let me know in the comments below!

3. A Train Game – Age of Steam

Hoo boy, I know I need to eventually tackle a train game. As in an 18XX game, not just Ticket to Ride or Whistle Stop. Before plunging into the deep end, I think it’d be beneficial to visit this classic in the genre. It is long out of print, but hopefully someone local has a copy that they’d be willing to pull out and teach. With around 160 maps to choose from, this is the ultimate game for variety out there.

Let me know which map(s) are best to learn on for each player count! I’m sure the teacher will already have an idea in mind, but if I could only play one map at __ player count, what should it be?

4. An Uwe Rosenburg Game – Ora et Labora

There are a handful of Rosenburg big-box games I haven’t played yet: Fields of Arle, Glass Roads, Le Havre. But the one game I want to try more than any other right now would be this out of print classic. I fully blame Edward and Amanda at Heavy Cardboard for this one, as their review of the game last year sucked me in and made me want to play this. The opportunity never came up last year, but I am going to work hard to get a chance to try it this year. I know at least one local player has a copy, which means there is a chance.

Let me know which Rosenburg game is YOUR favorite!

5. A COIN Game – Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain

Like the train games, this will be the year I try out a COIN game. There are plenty of them to choose from at this point, although only two of them have a strong theme appeal to me (Pendragon & Falling Sky). I was so excited about the release of Pendragon when I heard about it last year, and this one has a strong appeal with both a solo mode and what should be a great 2-player experience. I’m a huge Arthurian/Middle Ages fan, and that makes this the ideal game to reel me into the COIN system. I’m letting myself buy at most two games this year. This one has a very high chance of being one of those two purchases.

Which COIN game in the series is your favorite so far?

6. A Filler Game – Arboretum

Let’s go ahead and blame Heavy Cardboard for this one as well. Out of print? Check. Thinky filler? Check. You can never have, or play, too many fillers, especially of the variety which engage your brain. I’ve heard nothing but strong responses about this one, and I can’t wait to try this out. There were a few others that came close to stealing this spot, especially after watching a little of Heavy Cardboard’s live stream of Iron Curtain last night. But I decided to stick with my initial resolution of seeking a play or two of Arboretum. Maybe this will be a game that Capstone can bring back into print on their Simply Complex line…

What are some of your favorite filler games? Let me know in the comments below!

7. Golden Elephant Winner – Food Chain Magnate

This game was going to make the list already, but I decided to shift it here in order to open #9 for a different title. I have heard a ton of great things about this game, and I know of a few locals who own the game and at least one person who proclaims it as their favorite game. This might be among the easiest games on this list to get a chance to play. This is one of those games that, initially, I had no interest in playing when I heard about it. Thankfully, my tastes and interests have grown over time and now this game easily makes my list of ones I can’t wait to try out.

Let’s have some fun with this spot…2017 is in the books and soon we’ll learn the games Edward & Amanda will be nominating for their Golden Elephant awards. Any guesses on what games we might see as finalists for the award?

8. A Vital Lacerda Game – Vinhos

I played my first Lacerda game last year when I tried out Lisboa. I still crave a second play of that game. I’ve heard mixed opinions on which of his games are the best, but the one that seems to be universally proclaimed as being good is Vinhos. I really enjoyed playing Viticulture, which is that other wine-making game out there. And yes, I know the two games are as different as can be. This game will probably melt my brain, much like did during Lisboa, and I can’t wait to experience the game that kicked off Vital’s career as a designer. I am reasonably certain this should be an easy game to find a willing teacher for, and I have a feeling that 2018 might turn into a quest to try all of Vital’s games so far.

Which Lacerda game is your favorite? There seems to be a great divide over this question, so I am curious which one you love most and why!

9. A Splotter Game – Antiquity

Splotter is a company that holds a high reputation for games in the industry. I haven’t played a single one yet, and if this list works out I will have played at least two when I finish these ten games. It was a struggle to decide between this, The Great Zimbabwe, and Roads & Boats for the spot. TGZ was just mentioned by Edward as a Gateway to Heavier Games. Travis at Low Player Count sings the praises for Roads & Boats on pretty much every other episode of their podcast. At least it feels that way! But I think the recent reprint of Antiquity signals a good time to try this one out. I’ve seen a few locals posting about the game, which means it is being purchased and has people who would likely want to play the game. The theme grabs me more than any other Splotter title, as well, so I’ll be looking forward to trying this one out.

You know the drill by now: which is your favorite Splotter title?

10. People’s Choice – Keyflower

Yesterday I created a poll with ten games. Essentially, the next ten in consideration for this list. The ones that didn’t quite make the cut. What I didn’t expect was for one of the games on that list to win by a landslide. It was an overwhelming majority voting for Keyflower, which was a game I hoped to play in 2017 (it made honorable mention on my list) but the one time I cam closest to playing the game, it didn’t pan out. Too many people wanted to play a game and, rather than splitting into two groups, we played Bohnanza with 7 players. Oh, how I wish it had been Keyflower instead. This is one I know my wife would enjoy, too, as it is a unique worker placement game. What better way to hook her onto the Key-series, just like she’s hooked onto Rosenburg, than by playing this title with her?

Wide open question on this one: if someone said you could play only one game this year, which would you pick and why? It could be a new game, something new to you, or your overall favorite game!

The next 10

Here’s the next ten that would make the list, not sorted in order or by category:

11. Twilight Struggle
12. Caylus
13. Le Havre
14. Rococo
15. Dominant Species
16. Trick of the Rails
17. Iron Curtain
18. 1846: The Race for the Midwest
19. An Infamous Traffic
20. Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia

7 thoughts on “Ten Games I Want to Play in 2018

  1. Terra Mystica is an absolutely brilliant game, my other half loves it and we often play it. The witches and Merfolk are my favourites, or the Chaos Magians, or the giants. Ah, man! They’re all so good!
    Food Chain Magnet is one I’m keeping an eye on to pick up as soon as I can and Arboretum is also one I definitely want to try my hand at!
    Good luck getting through this list pal!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is not your typical top 10 list, that’s for sure! I haven’t heard of many of these games, designers or publishers.

    In answer to your last question, if I could only play one game this year, it’d probably be Valeria Card Kingdoms. Just can’t get enough of it at the moment. I’m hoping that ‘one game’ could include expansions though! 😁

    Good luck with your list!


  3. Lots of good games on this list!

    Terra Mystica faction: I love the Nomads and they’re pretty straightforward. A good one to start with.

    Favorite Rosenburg game: Agricola, for sure!

    Favorite COIN game: Falling Sky, which is also a great one to start with. Don’t begin with Fire in the Lake like I did.

    Favorite Lacerda game…..probably the one I played most recently, which is Lisboa. SO good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I played as the Alchemists for my Terra Mystica play. Let’s just say that my own misunderstanding of one critical thing soured the end of my play of TM. I’d probably try it again, but it definitely left me disheartened. Worse was that I knew it was my own fault, too.

      Agricola, huh? I’m a fan of Caverna, and don’t count out Patchwork! His classics like Le Havre and Ora et Labora are ones I still need to play. And Glass Road. And the newer Fields of Arle.

      I want to start with Falling Sky or Pendragon. Those are really the only two that, thematically, appeal to me.

      Lisboa IS soooo good. But hey, I’m getting Vinhos this weekend in a math trade so I am pretty stoked for that!


      1. Alchemists are a TOUGH one to start out with. Whew! What did you miss?

        Haven’t played most of the newer Rosenburgs, but between Caverna and Agricola, I absolutely prefer the latter. I love how difficult and claustrophobic it is. Basically all the things people complain about it, I love.


      2. Yeah, all I heard was “they’re really powerful” and yes, it was nice always being able to have money to fuel what I wanted to accomplish but I don’t know that they were necessarily a good starting race. But the other new player was using Yetis, so I still think I had the better one. The misplay was 100% on me, as I thought building my ___ unlocked the ability for me to always make a city with 3 tiles rather than 4. Obviously, it only applied to where that particular building was placed. That misplay ruined my entire final round, forcing me to overspend to actually terraform and build on a 4th tile.

        My wife is a huge Rosenburg fan. I have only played a few of the titles, but I do prefer Caverna over Agricola. For me, it is the sending dwarves out questing that hooks me on that one. It is just pure fun!


  4. Just now seeing your blog. As for games, classics like Caylus and Le Harve should be done sooner rather than later (and Puerto Rico).

    Age of Steam is fantastic – for the right crowd. And don’t let people con you into Railways of the World, or Steam – stick with the best 🙂
    That said, it’s not really a 2p game. Best is 4-5, and there are many maps for those counts.

    AoS is different enough from 18xx that you don’t need to go from one to the other. Much of AoS is route building, delivery, and auctions, 18xx is stock manipulation and sometimes route building.

    Anyway, a great game that scales well for 2,3, or 4 not on your radar is Myrmes. No randomness, your planning and actions are important – not some point salad luck fest.

    Have fun gaming!


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