Cass’s Christmas Wish List

December 29, 2018 by cassn

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I love this point in the festive season - the stress of Christmas is over, and there’s nothing to do but open gadgets and play with toys until the new year arrives. But this time of the festive season also leaves me pretty reflective - after all, 2018 has been an often difficult year.

Still, I have high hopes for 2019 - not least because I’ve already eyed-up a few attractive board games, which I hope to be bringing back to my place for a few fevered roll-arounds in 2019 (that’s dice rolls, of course). I am admittedly a fickle games lover so, although they will no doubt have changed by January 2nd, here are my top games picks (so far) for 2019.

Happy Holidays!

- Cass x

  1. Wingspan

There was always going to be a Stonemaier game on this list. I fell in love with the company back in 2013, when I backed my first ever Kickstarter - Euphoria: Build A Better Dystopia. Despite not being a fan of worker placement games, the quality of the components and the intricacy of the mechanic left me ravenous for more.

Since then, I have been an utter fangirl of Alan Stone and Jamey Stegmaier, and the work they do. Between Two Cities made me breathless, and Scythe left me weak and the knees. But now I’m ready to be swept off my feet, as Wingspan puts my head firmly into the clouds and makes my heart soar.

Wingspan is a card-driven engine-builder game in which you and your friends are bird enthusiasts, seeking to attract the best birds you can to your aviary. With beautiful artwork and quality components, Wingspan is set to only increase my Stonemaier Games addiction further. Pre-orders release on January 2nd through their website.

  1. Tsuro: Phoenix Rising

I love Tsuro - there’s something really satisfying about creating a seemingly abstract picture of interconnecting lines through tile-placement.

Despite this, however, I don’t see vast amounts of strategic potential in the game and, as such, it’s rarely my first pick on a games night, unless I’m specifically looking for something non-taxing. However, that changed when I played Tsuro of the Seas. The mechanic of the dragons added an element of luck, strategy, and excitement which I hadn’t seen in the game before.

Now, in 2019, Tsuro: Phoenix Rising is set to once again reignite my joy in this series of games. Move from lantern to lantern, trying to create a new constellation of seven stars. With lantern tokens, phoenix miniatures, and double-sided tiles, Tsuro: Phoenix Rising is set to be something utterly, utterly beautiful. There’s no set launch date yet, but it featured at PAX Unplugged in December, so I’m hoping it will be earlier in the year, rather than later.

  1. Oceans: An Evolution Game

From the skies to the water, Oceans: An Evolution Game is an engine-builder designed for serious gamers. Created by Nick Bentley, Brian O'Neill, and Dominic Crapuchettes, the game has been in development with North Star for several years. Mimicking an oceanic evolutionary system, players must develop and adapt their system to a wealth of events and occurrences which happen in the sea.

Players may also incorporate The Deep expansion, which will leave players contending with the evolutionary tracks of Krackens and Leviathans alongside Blue Whales. In an environment which is constantly subject to change, players must ensure their ecosystem can thrive among the chaos of the ocean.

This is perhaps the game I’m most excited about, not least because of the stunning artwork by Guillaume Ducos and Catherine Hamilton. Oceans: An Evolution Game will launch on Kickstarter in February 2019.

So that's it - my top picks for 2019. And while I can't be sure of everything 2019 will bring, I can be sure that I will spend it trying to sate an insatiable gamer lust, and already that makes the year worthwhile. While the world deals with politics and strife, I'll be ruling the skies or mastering the ocean.

I can't wait.

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