A new year means new games! Time clear space on your shelves and get ready for another 12 months of gaming madness! Here are the Top 5 games were are looking forward to in 2019!
5. Paladins of the West Kingdom
Paladins of the West Kingdom is set at a turbulent time of West Francia’s story, circa 900 AD. Despite recent efforts to develop the city, outlying townships are still under threat from outsiders. Saracens scout the borders, while Vikings plunder wealth and livestock. Even the Byzantines from the east have shown their darker side. As noblemen and women, players must gather workers from the city to defend against enemies, build fortifications and spread faith throughout the land. Fortunately, you are not alone. In his great wisdom, the King has sent his finest knights to help aid in our efforts. So ready the horses and sharpen the swords. The Paladins are approaching.
We are massive fans of Shem Phillips here and we are super hyped for the second game in the West Kingdom Trilogy. In the first game, Architects of the West Kingdom, we were tasked with building the city. In Paladins of the West Kingdom, we are tasked to defend the city we lovingly built!
The aim of Paladins of the West Kingdom is to be the player with the most victory points (VP) at game’s end. Points are gained by building outposts and fortifications, commissioning monks and confronting outsiders. Each round, players will enlist the help of a specific Paladin and gather workers to carry out tasks. As the game progresses, players will slowly increase their faith, strength and influence. Not only will these affect their final score, but they will also determine the significance of their actions.
We like the sound of it. Garphill Games haven’t let us down yet and we don’t think they will with this one. What gets us even more excited for this title is the fact the designer has said it’s his heaviest designed game to date. Excited! Kickstarter is due to commence in March. Watch out for it!
4. Black Angel
Humanity, through its irresponsible behaviour, has exhausted the natural resources of Earth, making it almost uninhabitable. In a burst of lucidity, pressed by the irreversible degradation of your planet, the great nations are forced to put aside their differences and share their knowledge in order to create the most vast spacecraft ever constructed. Thus, the BLACK ANGEL project is launched. The Black Angel, the first intergalactic frigate in history, must transport the genetic heritage of humanity beyond known worlds, over a journey that is likely to last several thousand years. Her crew will be composed of only robots. Because no nation is willing to trust creation of the AI (artificial intelligence) that will control this crew to any other nation, a compromise is found: The Black Angel will be co-managed by several AIs, and the utility of each decision will be evaluated in VP (Validation Process). At the completion of this long and perilous voyage, when a new inhabitable planet has been reached, the AI that has earned the most VP will be entrusted with reawakening Humanity and overseeing its new start…
Wow! This has taken an age to arrive. Finally another game from the design team of Troyes! Troyes is a bonafide classic and if you haven’t played it…go and do so! This looks all kind of awesome. Neon colours. Spaceships. Robots. What more could you want? From looking at the components, this is looking to be in the same vein as Troyes with a central area where you place items that dictate what actions you can take. If this really turns out to be Troyes in Space then we are gonna be super happy! Releasing July/August. Uh Oh..Is this going to be the must-have GenCon 2019 game?
3. On Mars
In 2025, the first settlers arrived on Mars! The base camp was already settled and now, during the next fifty years, a group of very brave people from private space exploration companies are establishing a major colony ruled by a terrestrial organization, the OMDE (Organization for Mars Development and Exploration).
As a chief astronaut from a private space exploration company, you want to be a pioneer in developing the biggest, most advanced colony on Mars, achieving the OMDE mission goals as well as your company’s hidden agenda. By bringing in and managing settlers, you can explore, mine, build, power, and upgrade buildings. You will lead the construction and assembly of greenhouse farms, water compounds, O₂ factories, power generators, and mines. The goal of humanity on this new planet is to learn how to value water, air and the things we need to live more than money — and in the end, become a self-sufficient colony independent of any terrestrial organization. Do you dare to take part in mankind’s next biggest conquest?
Vital Lacerda designs heavy games. Complex and thick with strategy. Vinhos. The Gallerist. Lisboa. All fantastic. Now he heads to Mars. will this turn out to be the best Mars board game ever? Probably! We can’t wait. Why? It’s a super heavy resource management game. Your actions take the form of worker placement, cards in buildings, scientists tokens, or tech tiles. All actions have an energy cost, so upgrading the generators and the existing power grid is very important. At the same time, most of the buildings need ore to be built, plus energy, people, and O₂ to run. Settlers need food, water, and shelter to be able to survive. Food, water, and O₂ needs to be stored. If you can’t store enough resources, the population will not grow…Oh boy. We want this now!
2. Alubari: A Nice Cup of Tea
Darjeeling is a town and a municipality in the Indian state of West Bengal. It is located in the Lesser Himalayas and is noted for its tea industry, the spectacular views of Kangchenjunga, the world’s third-highest mountain, and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. Tea planting in Darjeeling began in 1841 using seeds of the Chinese tea plant (Camellia sinensis); the British government also established tea nurseries, during the period, and the Alubari tea garden was opened by the Kurseong and Darjeeling Tea company in 1856 to be quickly followed by more than 80 Tea Estates.
Tony Boydell. Snowdonia. Enough said. Alubari is his new game and its all about tea cultivation and it contains some of the most exquisite art we have seen in a board game for a long time. In A Nice Cup of Tea, players compete to cultivate and harvest their own Tea Estates and assist in the building of the Darjeeling and Himalayan Railway, from Siliguri Town to ‘the summit’ at Ghum. Guided by the placement actions of their labourers, players can also use their harvested tea leaves to make Chai for their thirsty workforce to boost their actions even more! When the railway is completed, the player who has contributed the most to the railway, the building of the towns along the way and the most auspicious Tea gardens will be declared the winner. It looks beautiful and sounds like a really fun worker placement game. Due Summer 2019.
1. Reavers of Midgard
In Champions of Midgard, your quest was to become Jarl. You battled back the trolls, draugr and some of the epic monsters that once threatened the sanctity of your humble port town. Now it’s time to go on the offensive.
In Reavers of Midgard, you’ll be looking to gain glory by raiding nearby villages for their riches, sacking well-fortified castles and battling both man and monster on the open seas. You’ll not only need to take your rowdy crew of Vikings and the food needed to keep them happy along for the ride but you’ll also have to recruit a crew of elite warriors – the Reavers.
Reavers can be used in three different ways. They can be made your ship’s leader, earning you a one-time bonus and enabling your warriors to be more versatile in combat. They can also be used to rally more warriors to your cause, filling your ship to the brim with the right fighters for the right situations. Finally, they can also be used to help your crew specialize, earning you a bonus every time your crew sails into battle.
Champions of Midgard is one of our favourite all-time games here. Easily in our Top 3. Yes, it’s that good. Well, here comes the sequel. Will it be as good? Better? From the looks of it, yes and yes. With a bigger emphasis on combat and resource management this time around and the complexity getting a bump up, Reavers is looking amazing! This will hit our table a lot in 2019! You just can’t beat Viking themed games, can you? The Kickstarter was a massive success and the regular retail edition will hit sometime in 2019. We just don’t know when. GenCon maybe? Fingers crossed.
Special Mention – Pandemic Legacy: Season 3
Ok. If this gets announced for this year, then it automatically goes to number one on our list. Season 1 and 2 were the best tabletop experiences we have ever had and we just cannot wait for the final chapter. Nothing is known about the game other than it is coming. November 2019 maybe. Please. Please. Please.