2016 was not just a strong year for Vault, but also for tabletop in general. Despite everything going on, I did manage to play a few games last year and most of the time, these games were great. So, without further ado, here are my top 5 games of 2016.
Yeah I get it, Pedro had this on his list too, but, as a long-time Warhammer 40,000 player, Warmahordes has changed my world-view of miniature wargaming. I dabbled in Hordes a long time ago and it never amounted to much but now, oh my god. The stat cards look like a lot of information but, in reality, it’s a lot less than info than my previous wargaming addiction, Warhammer just hides it well by splitting up the information across 3 different chapters.
With a simple dice boosting system, and a surprisingly deep resource or risk management element to the game, Warmachine and Hordes are fast becoming my go-to minis game.
I’m not a big fan of Co-op games, probably because I have troubles letting other people play the game :/ but last year, I made a conscious effort to let other people play games as well. And that started with Big Book of Madness. Now, admittedly, my first playthrough was a .little controlling, but once I let go and let everyone play their own turns, this game was so much fun. Just watching everyone’s eyes light up as they realise just how much they can combo through the game and give everyone else a turn out of order.
This game is ridiculous fun and probably better encapsulates what it is like to be a student at Hogwarts, complete with the magical hijinks.
I had a lot of trouble giving this game the time of day when it was first announced. What self-respecting gamer will drop $170 on a two-player game?! Turns out, I was wrong. Star Wars: Rebellion has not only become one of the highest selling games of 2016, but also one of my favourites. When Pedro and I went head-to-head in early 2016, I fell in love with it. It’s gaudy, over-the-top, and, sometimes, needlessly complex, but it is pure, strategic fun, and a must-have for any Star Wars fan.
I’m sure this game has appeared on a lot of top games of 2016 lists. Scythe has a lot going on but, being a 4x game, it’s no surprise. The hype for this game was immense and, even more so for the expansion, Invaders from Afar.
There are a few tricks to maximise your end-scoring but there’s just enough interaction going on to make it difficult to actually succeed with those tricks. My only gripe is the extreme simplification of the game’s symbols. It’s like trying to learn a new language. Once you’ve gotten past the translation, the game is incredibly simple to play.
Ok. I get it. This game has been out since 2011. But last year was the first time I got to play it. Being a bit of a Game of Thrones tragic may have influenced my decision here but seriously, this game captures the essence of Game of Thrones. You can try and take the Iron Throne hard and fast but it will leave you open on a front, and an opponent will take advantage of that. And, once you run out of steam, it’s someone else’s turn to attempt a strong takeover, and back and forth the game goes until someone finally claims a seventh castle or the ten rounds are over and the end game is scored.
With the constant threat of the wildlings in the north, and the houses competing not only amongst themselves for supremacy, but also together against the game, it’s a must-have for any fan of the series.