Hey there Vaulters! Welcome to 2016! We made it here. So now it’s my turn to look back on 2015 and let you know what I think you should be playing this coming year.
Codenames, the guessing game of word association. If you ever wanted to learn how someone communicates, get them to play this. The mechanicals are simple: A spymaster knows what words on the 5x5 grid in front of everyone belongs to their team, and has to get his or her team to point to the right ones by just saying one word. This game is just fun. Codenames is so simple to play, that it has replaced Sushi Go! as my go-to game for new tabletoppers. If you haven’t played Codenames yet, you’re missing out.
Those who know me, know that I have two simple loves, Star Wars and 80’s Sci-fi. So when Legendary: Encounters - An Alien Deck-Building Game around this time last year, I geeked the hell out. But I wasn’t prepared for what crept out of the jungles of Val Verde. The Predator version of Legendary: Encounters is ridiculous. Not only is it just as hard to beat as the Aliens version, it is essentially two games in one. You can play cooperatively against the game through the two original films from the late-80’s/early-90’s as The Hunted, or you can flip the tables and play as The Hunters, competing against your fellow predators for trophy kills. If cult sci-fi is your thing, then this game is one you absolutely must play in 2016.
Aaaaaaah… Star Wars. Don’t you go changing. Imperial Assault has been my obsession throughout 205. With each figure pack, new missions are added to the game, meaning the campaign is constantly changing. With the addition of the Twin Shadows expansion in 2015, Imperial Assault hit a whole new level for me. Two new player characters, a few new tiles and a bunch of new missions? yes please! This game is constantly evolving and the miniatures continue to look stunning, particularly when you take the time to paint them. I’m looking forward to what Fantasy Flight gives us this year with the Return to Hoth expansion.
I’m not usually a fan of 2-player games, they lock out the social aspect of gaming that I enjoy so much, but for some reason One Zero One has me hooked. It’s a super-simple, area control game that pulls its mechanics from basic coding functions. Seeing as I am a web coder by day, this little theme spoke not only to me, but also the fellow coders I work with. With the combination of end of turn card draw and the placement of cards affecting their abilities, One Zero One has a great mix of luck and strategy that can while away some time with a friend while you’re waiting for everyone else to arrive or just have a few minutes spare.
Never has thievery been so much fun… wait. That sounded bad. Anyway, Colt Express is what you get when you take action selection mechanics and throw them into a western train robbery. Players each select their actions in turn that could see them stealing from the passengers, or each other. There’s no wonder this game won the Spiel des Jahres last year. It is just pure and simple fun. With the addition of the new Horses & Stagecoach expansion, the game is twisted on its head as there’s more chances to make away with the loot, but also more chances to get caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. I would love to play this with the Time Travel Car promo expansion though, so if anyone has that floating around, let me know.