Game of the Year…

So I’m back after two weeks off and plenty of game playing. Next week will see the first review of the new year but this week I want to talk about the games I’ve added to my collection this year and which have stood out above the rest.

Bargain of the Year

The cheapest game I bought this year was Munchkin 3: Cleric Errors, which I picked up on Ebay for just £6 inc. P&P. M3 is certainly the funniest expansion for Munchkin I own so far and the fact that I got it dirt cheap makes me love it all the more.

Best Expansion of the Year

Obviously, these categories are awarded to the games I personally purchased this year, they are not based on what year the game was actually released. So expansion of the year has to go to….

Seafarers of Catan. Why? Because we play Catan a lot and the addition of Seafarers has really helped keep the game fresh, unlike T&B or C&K Seafarers does not add complex rules so it is the easiest way to keep the game new and interesting and different every time, without the headache of constantly explaining rules.

Best Small Box Game of the Year

Being able to transport games is quite important so this award goes to the best game with the smallest footprint. If I were judging the award on which game I would take with me when playing with my main gaming buddy, it would be Settlers of Catan the Card Game. However, If I were to judge the award on which I would take to a gathering of friends or a family holiday then Citadels would win hands down.

Not only is the box small enough to fit in the pocket of a pair of combat trousers, but the game is simple enough to pick up and understand within two or three rounds of playing, without ever having read the rulebook. 

Best Two Player Game of the Year

Hands down, without a doubt, it really couldn’t be anything else, the best Two Player Game of the Year is Warhammer: Invasion! Why? Skip to the Game of the Year Award to find out… Oooops… Did I just give away what won Game of the Year?

Best RPG Book of the Year

Every year my collection of RPG books expands and this year was no exception. However, if I had to pick my favourite, which I do to award the category, it has to be 3.5e’s Dungeonscape. Technically I’m only two chapters in but the amount of inspiration I’ve found just in those first couple of pages has been staggering.

Let Down of the Year

Sometimes I get over excited about things and then they cannot hope to live upto my expectations. Those are the games that are nominated for this category. They are not necessarily bad games, just not as great as I made them out to be in my head. I could easily name Need for Steed or Demented Dungeons here or Runebound, but oddly the award goes instead to Pandemic.

WHAT??? This may be because the family refuses to play anything but the introductory level (4 epidemic cards and all hands visible) but for some reason the game just doesn’t feel as awesome as it sounded in all those reviews I read. So unfortunately it gets the rather unprestigious title of Let Down of the Year… but on the upside it did win something.

The “If Only…” of the Year

The winner of this award is the game that I really wished I could have fitted into my budget but just couldn’t. The nominees are many, including Stone Age, Descent, Twilight Imperium, Dust, Tide of Iron, Agricola and quite a few others, but in the end the award goes to Battlestar Galatica.

Game of the Year

Yup… You guessed it… The best game I bought this year is…. Warhammer: Invasion! Why? Firstly I got £14 off at IGUK using my rewards, so it was cheap! Secondly the game comes with 4 factions meaning that even if you only play each possible combination of armies once you could play the game 12 times, multiply that by the possible combinations of cards and the game becomes replayable to the nth degree. It’s Fantasy Flight, a name now synonymous with quality and components. It’s expandable too. But what really makes it game of the year is that I played it for five hours straight with my gaming buddy last week and not once did we think “We could be playing Settlers instead!”

So I hope you’ve enjoyed my mini award ceremony. Obviously I still have plenty to say about the games I’ve talked about here, so join me again next week for a brand new review. On what? Who knows…