Making a list, checking it twice

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and I hope that Santa was good to you. Towards the end of last year I started writing a series called ‘The Purge’ where I went through my collection one by one and decided whether it would stay or go. On reflection that was a bit long winded but it was a useful tool to have a look at my games and see what gap they fill. I thought I would do it in a big list this year and then maybe you fine folks can point out where I am missing things.
Here we go, in no particular order other than this is how they are on my shelves at the moment.

Lords of Waterdeep – The only pure worker placement game I own, along with it’s expansion. This is just about as much pure Euro style game as my group will take so probably don’t need to consider any other.

Spyfall – An awesome little game that takes up to 8 players and is very easy to teach. Excellent party game.

Castle of Burgundy – A firm favourite of my wife and I, I still need to play this with a larger group. Actually this is probably closer to a pure Euro than Lords of Waterdeep coming to think about it.

Settlers – Haven’t actually played this in ages but it has a nostalgia factor for me, and this particular copy has been with me for years.

Eminent Domain – Stupid name, great game. A great little sci-fi deckbuilder.

Blood Bowl Team Manager – This is teetering on the edge of being sold. We enjoyed it at first but it’s just a little bit too long for what it is.

King of Tokyo – Fantastic filler that I own everything for. Interested in picking up King of New York which is meant to add a more tactical element to the game.

Shadows of Brimstone – Big, clumsy but charming as all hell, this is a great western themed Dungeon Crawler that reminds me of Warhammer Quest. I might pick up Catacombs or Dungeon Saga but I want to try out the later as I’ve heard very mixed things.

Ascending Empires – A really interesting 4x with a Subbuteo like element for movement of ships. Great fun and one of the only dexterity games I own.

Imperial Settlers – Was looking to get a 4x game of some description so picked this up second hand, only played once so far but only got it last month. Needs a few more plays before I judge.

X-Com – Really like the implementation of the App into the boardgame and I’m excited to see what companies will do with this kind of integration in the future.

Kemet – A really fast 4x/man on maps game that is horribly brutal. Love it, though I need to print out some new cheat sheets for it.

Lords of vegas – love this game to bits and is one of my go to games for introducing people to games beyond the traditional selection, picked up the expansion at Games expo as well so I could play it with a larger group.

Game of Thrones – Just a beautiful piece of design, it’s a shame I don’t get it to the table more often
Smallworld – Haven’t played this in ages but I do love Smallworld. Simple in concept, but quite deep in execution.

Escape: Curse of the Temple – A real time, high stress game of getting out before it all collapses around you. Played quite a bit but not sure the expansions would see it come back to the table. Might get cut.

Dead of Winter –  Only played this a couple of times and I’m not sure it really sat well with my group. May sell and see about picking up Dark Moon instead for a traitor mechanic game.

Deadzone – Awesome Necromunda replacement from Mantic that I haven’t played nearly enough of. Hope to rectify that next year.

Suburbia – An absolutely fantastic game of building your own little city district. I’ve played a load of this and I love the little stories that emerge from people’s creations.

Eldritch Horror – A grand, messy, world spanning coop adventure that I have played a ton of. A massive improvement on it’s grand old predecessor. This one will likely be around for a long time and is my favourite co-op at the moment.

Mage Knight – Ah Vlaada you crazy designer. I really like Mage Knight but it is very much a ‘throw ideas at the wall and see what sticks’ kind of design. Surprisingly it does all come together and is a pretty awesome fantasy adventure game.

Firefly – This is another huge adventure game but this time in space. Haven’t played this much yet but it is a clumsy if very thematic game with more decks of cards than a casino.

Twilight Struggle – A very interesting, extremely well designed two player game of the cold war struggle. Really need to get a few more plays in of this over the course of the year.

Trains – Only bought this recently and haven’t gotten it to the table yet. I’m hoping that it will be an interesting deck builder.

Yomi – An excellent two player brawler that emulates the play in 2d fighters. Really quite keen to pick up the second edition.

Puzzle Strike – An excellent deck builder/brawler, that I still haven’t wrapped my brain around.

Mysterium – A reasonably new addition I haven’t played a lot yet, but it is so gorgeous.

Death Angel – A really hard coop in a tiny box, this hasn’t seen as much play recently with Eldritch Horror being about, but it is a nice thing to pack in a bag to take to a con.

Pentago – One of the few abstracts that I own and a beautifully put together product. I’m not a fan of the new plastic version but it’s still a great game, that my wife kicks my ass at, regardless.

Citadels – Great little game and the daddy of hidden role games. Simple enough to explain with a good amount of depth and is another one of those ‘just chuck it in a bag’ games.

Dobble – If Codenames hadn’t come along this would have been my game of the year. Fast, fun, mega simple to explain and hilarious to boot.

Condotiere – An interesting territory control game that I would really like to get to the table more often.

Love Letter – Played a lot of this over the year, fantastic little game.

So I think that is it, though I am finishing this off in my favourite game cafe in Edinburgh so it’s possible I might have missed one.

I think I cover quite a lot of bases in this collection. True I don’t have much in the way of euro games but I have just found they don’t really suit me or my group, though I am eyeing up backing Tiny Epic Western as an addition to the worker placement genre.

Who knows what the next year will bring but I can tell you that I have already picked up some x-wing and that Doomtown and Netrunner will take up quite a lot of my gaming budget over the year. As has been the case for a while I’ll be mostly allowing ShutUpAndSitDown to guide my buying along with the recommendations of friends whom I trust. I’ll be visiting Games Expo this year again and hope to find some interesting games, I didn’t try nearly enough things that I hadn’t heard of and I hope to rectify that this year.

I’ve started recording all my plays as well so by the end of the year I should know precisely what has been played and what hasn’t. Should hopefully make for some interesting reading.


Iain McAllister

Tabletop games reviewer and podcaster based in Dalkeith, Scotland.

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