Favorite Board Games

2012 was a pretty good year for board games. We’ve seen a lot of new releases and some great re-releases. So I decided that a good way to start 2013 was to take one last look at 2012 and see what really stood out in the world of board games. So I present to you my 5 favorite games that will be released in 2012.

Let me favor this by saying that these lists will be very subjective. I’m just adding games that have really allowed me to play (see the notable games section below for some board games that I’ve heard are great but haven’t personally tried). The list will also include only full games released last year, no expansions, no games from 2011 or earlier.

Honorable Mention: City of Horror

city of Horror is actually a remake of an old game called Mall of Horror. City of Horror is the recent game that takes advantage of the current craze for “zombie games”. However, where it differs from the competition is that most zombie games are about preparing and shooting some zombies (read: tactical game), City of Horror is about surviving through your wits and diplomatic skills. In this game you have to negotiate with your teammates to keep your team of 3 people alive. Almost every round someone is fed to the zombie horde. Keep your people alive longer and you will be the winner.

I liked City of Horror because it was different from most of the current zombie games. It’s about negotiations, betrayal, diplomacy and survival. The rules are simple, the game is fast and with the right group it’s an absolute boom.

Descent: Journeys in the Dark (second edition)

Fantasy Flight came out with a great game many year ago called Descent: Journeys in the Dark. It was one of the best dungeon crawling board games for many year. However, the game was not without its flaws. The main one of which, in my opinion, was the duration of the game. With 5 people, you were looking at about 3-4 hour of game time. It was too much for a dungeon crawler. There were other problems I had with the game, but this was my main complaint.

Well Descent: Second Edition solved a lot of that. Now you can participate in 2-3 games in the same amount of time. The heroes have been upgraded to be more powerful and unique. The game is also now more adapted to the campaign and the mission game. You’re no longer doing a generic dungeon crawl where your main goal is to kill stuff and find conquest tokens. In the 2nd edition, each game will have the player embarking on a quest with its own unique objective. While the second edition isn’t without its flaws either, I think the improvements went far enough to crown Descent king of the dungeon crawlers again.