I hope you all have been enjoying a restful and fun break spent playing lots of games with your nearest and dearest. And now in these last few days left to this year lets stretch out on the sofa to pick over the turkey carcass of 2013, whilst sorting through the tin of Quality Street possibility’s of 2014 (that was a stretch I’ll admit). Its been a pretty manic year for me both on the table and off and the gaming scene has been just as hectic.
So pull up a chair and grab a fine Brandy and let us have a whirlwind tour of some of my favorite remembrances, think of this like a naff Boxing Day special that would presided over by a z-grade celebrity. Apparently Barry from EastEnders was too busy to return my call.
We’ve seen some astounding new games this year and I hope to compile a top ten of my picks very soon, just thinking about it 2013 was a pretty damned good year for gaming. We saw a slew of great releases including Terra Mystica, Trains, Caverna, Eldritch Horror, X-wing Minitures, Firefly, Robinson Crusoe more Cosmic Encounter to name but a few. And that really is the tip of the iceberg, I’ll need a second mortgage just to catch up on all of the great stuff we’ve seen this year.
As well as the highs there were some low’s – The Doom That Came to Atlantic City Kickstarter disaster is probably the most widely discussed, just where did that 120K go to? Hats off to Cryptozoic for jumping in and standing by the backers and saving the day but a cautionary tale for all. Personally I’m still baffled how that project amassed the backing it did, but as with Zombies apparently slapping Cthulhu onto something gaurantees that pay day. Anyone for my new Cthulhu Zombie game?
GenCon 2013 was huge and saw our little hobby hit some record numbers swiftly followed by Essen in November.
And of course 2013 saw the release of my very own site which you are reading now. I have some big plans in the coming year both for this site and other stuff that are secret secret, 2014 will see some very cool and exciting announcements.
And looking forward to the slate for 2014 things are not slowing down. I’m very excited at the prospect of just what is coming to name a few of the games I’ll be taking a special interest, in no particular order.
Seafall – The next Legacy game from Rob Daviau coming from Plaid Hat – this one is an inst-buy for me. Risk Legacy was a cracking game and this is looking to be astounding. If you’ve not played Risk Legacy then check out our review HERE. Well this time Rob’s created the entire game system so he hasn’t been limited by the Risk mechanics, this is set to be one the games of 2014.
Dead Of Winter – Another one from Plaid Hat and again this is sounding better and better. Its a co-op game set in a Zombie outbreak and you and your friends play as survivors trying to make it through a harsh winter. This is as much about man’s inhumanity to man than the dead at the door. Its the first game in their crossroads line and the focus is on players having to make hard decisions and being faced with choices of either the good of the team or looking after your own skin. It will possibly tell you a lot about the people sat around the table with you. This has gone up for pre-order on the Plaid Hat web site and is a great deal at the mo – mines booked, jump on now and nab yourself some exclusives and a decent discount.
Marvel Dice – From the designer of Quarriors (Which i quite like) this is another game chock full of dice. Think of a dice deck builder. This has the marvel license and most interestingly the price for jumping is looking to be very cheap around £14.00 for a starter set and a couple a quid for subsequent dice sets. That alone along with the Marvel license could make this huge. The price model for this if successful could shake up the CCG market.
Android Netrunner – FFG will keep pushing this amazing game next year and its set to get even more exciting. They will soon be offering blind decks, which will surely open up this for proper tournament play. Loving this and can’t wait to see what they have planned.
Race for the galaxy – Alien Artifacts – Years (and I do mean years) in the making this is a sort of reboot for this grand old space card game. Expectation is high hopefully we will see this before 2015.
Legendary Encounters-The Alien Deck Building Game – Who doesn’t want an Alien licensed deck builder? Based off the excellent Marvel legendary format, this could be geek nirvana. I’m stoked and will buy it day one just for the license, here’s hoping this is as great as it should be.
X-Wing Miniatures – Man there are some amazing things planned for this. I don’t own nearly enough miniatures to really play it as much as I would like. Hopefully I get the time (and funds) to indulge myself in the new year.
King Of New York – A sequel to King Of Tokyo (yes please) very little is known at the moment other than a teaser card slipped in the recent Halloween expansion. The original game is becoming something of a entry game for many and is in my opinion a great place to start. Hopefully this will be more than just a simple re-skin and knowing Richard Garfield’s design history we’re in for a treat.
Pandemic Dice – Another one a bit sparse on the details front. But its Pandemic and dice – I’m sold. Hopefully more details will emerge soon.
In addition to all of that there are a bunch of expansions due including Firefly (they recently announced the pirates & bounty hunters) Trains is due an expansion, more Smash Up, Eldritch Horror I will be amazed if we don’t see some more of this new beasty very soon. And a bunch of stuff I don’t even know about yet!
So the future for our hobby is looking very exciting. But despite all of this we’ve still to go truly mainstream. Competition is still pretty harsh from the new generation of games consoles, hopefully more high street retailers will begin to stock larger ranges of this brilliant stuff, and just maybe 2014 will be the year we finally become a recognized force in legitimate home entertainment. Unfortunately for many board games still mean Monopoly and Buckroo so we’ve still a way to go.
We also have a the UK Games Expo in June – I can’t wait to get along to this and hope to see some of you there. This is a great chance for gamer’s to meet designers and fellow enthusiasts and get their hands on some early plays of goodies. If you are a board game fan in the UK this is the must own ticket for 2014. Tickets go on sale Easter 2014.
I hope you enjoy whatever remains of your holidays, have a cracking new year and let’s catch up soon and see what exciting adventures our amazing hobby will take us next.