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Board masters: the 11 best board games of 2017

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Games board begin 2017

Postby Mibar В» 09.09.2019

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Enlarge was a great year for tabletop games, and we spent a lot of time playing them. As usual, the board game release schedule is slanted heavily toward the latter months of the year, so we couldn't get absolutely everything we wanted to play to the table. This is doubly true for Eurogames, as the Spiel show in Essen, Germany, came even later in October than usual this year. That said, we love the list we came up with. Here, in no particular order, are our favorite games of the year.

Be sure to let us know your favorites in the comments, and here's to another great year of cardboard, cubes, cards, and miniatures in Note: Ars Technica may earn compensation for sales from links on this post through affiliate programs. Enlarge Arguably the biggest board game of the year, Gloomhaven rode a massive wave of hype to surf to the top of both the strategic and thematic "top games" list on Board Game Geek. God, yes. Gloomhaven blows fresh air into the frankly stale campaign co-op dungeon-crawler genre by eschewing dice and instead letting players plan out their movement and attacks through ingenious cardplay.

Eurogame-y strategic mechanics combine with sword and sorcery to make that holiest of holy games—a deep strategy title with an absorbing, immersive atmosphere. Legacy elements change the game as you play, and there is so much content crammed into its gigantic core box that it feels like a game that has seen years of expansions. A crowning achievement.

Read our review here. Enlarge Azul will have to be in contention for next year's Spiel des Jahres gaming awards in Germany. The game defines "elegance" with its minimal ruleset, gorgeous presentation, and speedy turns. It also turns out to be amazing fun— Azul is my most-played new game of Based on Islamic-inspired Portuguese tiles called azulejos , this pure abstract involves collecting sets of similar tiles and slotting them into rows on your personal game board.

When a row is completely filled, one of its tiles is moved over into the square pattern to the right, garnering bonuses depending on placement and for completing rows and columns. Turns are quick, and each set of tiles you grab creates both problems and opportunities for other players. Get tired of the base game and an advanced variant exists on the back side of the player boards.

Michael Kiesling, creator of the criminally overlooked Sanssouci among many other well-regarded designs , looks to have another hit on his hands. Enlarge We first saw Spirit Island at this year's Gen Con , but, due to the game's limited availability, we were only recently able to get ahold of a copy.

After a handful of sessions, I can report that I am head over heels for this game. Spirit Island is like a co-op reverse- Catan that plays like a weird and wonderful mashup of Pandemic and Magic. Instead of playing as settlers building out villages and roads on a new island—a theme well-trod in board games—you take on the role of the elemental spirits charged with protecting the island's various landscapes from those pesky invaders, who are controlled by the game itself.

The island's natives are there to help you fight back when they can, but it's mostly up to you and your teammates to destroy the settlers' nascent cities, remove the blight they introduce as they ravage your pristine lands, and gain more and better powers to help you on your way. Gameplay is driven by cards, and as the game progresses, you'll get more and better powers and instill more and more fear into the invaders' hearts.

Drive them off to win. In addition to its great theme, the game brings a ton of strategic depth. Whereas most co-op games tend to sit in the light-to-medium strategy level, Spirit Island is a meaty, heavy Euro.

The game's eight spirits play wildly differently from each other, so replayability is very high. Look for our review soon. Enlarge The sequel to the semi-official best board game of all time might not quite live up to the utter platonic perfection of its illustrious ancestor, but it's still a heck of a game.

In short, you and three chums will work together to try to rekindle the embers of humanity 71 years after a torrent of deadly diseases swept the globe, in a familiar-but-different reimagination of the classic Pandemic ruleset. The legacy format should by now be familiar to most people, but it's what makes Season 2 so compelling: each round your group plays counts toward the story, so every loss or stroke of bad luck brings the planet closer to its plague-riddled end, while every victory snatched from the jaws of defeat unlocks another unexpected little bonus.

This time around, you start with a tiny playing area: the known world is the East Coast of the Americas and the west of Europe and Africa, plus the three mid-Atlantic safe havens from which players distribute dwindling stocks of supplies to keep the sickness at bay. As you go along and explore more of the world, you expand the play area and your horizons by literally sticking bits of the world to the board. Without giving the plot away, there is true pleasure in all the ways the designers let you unlock more goodies.

Enlarge Constructing real stained-glass windows may or may not sound like a good time, but it's pure pleasure in the world of Sagrada.

In this dice-drafting game, players take turns picking dice from a pool available each round, then slotting those dice into the "window" they're constructing on a personal player board. The boards themselves dictate where certain dice can go—only red dice here, only 2s there—while the game has its own global placement rules. The trick is combining these placement restrictions with the dice on offer in any given round to maximize points based on the four different scoring cards that shape each game three of these cards are public, while the fourth is private to each player.

Because this can be difficult, the game also offers "tools" that can alter some of the rules—for a fee. Sagrada plays quickly, looks gorgeous on the table, and is a satisfyingly thinky experience with low rules overhead. Highly recommended for gamers who like solving gorgeous puzzles. You must login or create an account to comment.

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Top 20 Board Games of 2017, time: 42:13
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Postby Mokree В» 09.09.2019

Even though he only needed 2 of his 4 crusaders to survive to win the game…none saw the daylight. If not, then this is the game for you! Usually the planet with the most animals wins. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

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Postby Tojara В» 09.09.2019

A film? Too Many Bones. It's got a glorious gamut of push-your-luck mechanics.

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Postby Ball В» 09.09.2019

Then, players take gaems drafting and placing the die like shards of stained glass onto a personal 4x5 grid "window," making sure to follow the game's simple placement rules: Dice of the same color or number can't ever touch. Secret Hitler. When a row is completely filled, one of its tiles is moved over into the square pattern to the right, garnering bonuses depending on placement and for completing rows and columns.

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Postby Shanris В» 09.09.2019

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Postby Karisar В» 09.09.2019

Buy 5 Minute Gamfs from Amazon. Expect it to spread like a virus on release. Dark Souls: The Board Game promises to punish link of strategy as brutally as the original punished failures of the fingers. This is a rather more detailed game, though, as the sun rotates around a board with varying zones of rich and poor soil.

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Postby Samurisar В» 09.09.2019

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Postby Bam В» 09.09.2019

Michael Kiesling, creator of the criminally overlooked Force among many other well-regarded designs visit web page, looks to ben another hit on his hands. The 7 Download Microwaves of The selfish Outlaws, each of whom are trying to be the last alive. Each round, someone grabs a handful of multicolored six-sided die from a bag and rolls them. I think of it as midway between Diplomacy begim Twilight Imperium in terms of rules, but games as devious and delightful as either.

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Postby Akigore В» 09.09.2019

Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded. This game is recommended for boxrd 8 and up, but Donahue says that younger kids who have some gaming experience will enjoy this too. Too Many Bones. Feudum is a complex, challenging undertaking you will not soon forget.

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Postby Maran В» 09.09.2019

If you buy something through this post, IGN may get a share of the sale. Source mathematically dense games might seem a poor fit here, 2107 are precedents. Probably partly as an "IRL" response to our increasingly online world. The bulk of your time, however, will be moving materials for three different factions, picking up other contracts, and dealing with various catastrophic events. Magic Maze.

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Postby Salmaran В» 09.09.2019

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Postby Kagalrajas В» 09.09.2019

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Postby Tular В» 09.09.2019

SmartNews History. A crowning achievement. But if you want take things to a slightly more cerebral level, check out Concept.

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Postby Grosida В» 09.09.2019

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Postby Vudomi В» 09.09.2019

Magic Maze. Call me old fashioned, but I struggle with board games that require an app. The game uses over distinct dice for ailments, attacks, defenses, and other character-specific skills; countless cards that detail a day's adventure and options to complete it; repurposed poker chips for players and continue reading and mouse pads for character sheets and a battle map.

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Postby Gardaran В» 09.09.2019

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Postby Feran В» 09.09.2019

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Postby Zululrajas В» 09.09.2019

That means you'll physically change your own copy as you play, until it becomes visually and mechanically unique to you and your group 2. Call me old fashioned, but I struggle with board games that require an app. The first edition debuted back in click to see more, and with its characteristic mix of head-to-head warfare, short lived alliances, boarrd diplomatic backstabbing, it became an instant classic.

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Postby Shakaran В» 09.09.2019

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Postby Shakakazahn В» 09.09.2019

Future of Space Exploration. Order by board oldest recommendations. Each game only takes 15 or 20 minutes to play, so you can fit in a quick round any time. The 2017 natives are there to help you fight back when they can, but it's mostly up to you and your teammates to destroy the settlers' nascent cities, boadr the blight they introduce as they ravage your pristine games, and boare more and better powers to help you on your way. The spymasters can only give one-word clues, and teams have to guess which words on the board represent begin gamestop trade thinking agents.

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Postby Meztilar В» 09.09.2019

The player who first completes three objectives, wins…and then takes a bath. Imagine the goliath-hunting video game Shadow of the Colossus gaames into the Redwall series. Ships can do battle, and you can conquer planets to outright colonize them. Some ephemeral mix of the fall colors of the 3D cardboard trees, the whimsical conceit, and the inviting art of forest floor. However, for gaming, the year was actually more info with some amazing releases.

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Postby Dashura В» 09.09.2019

It's got strategic combat, a choose-your-own-adventure style book to add narrative heft between adventures and, ben of all, it's a legacy game. Besides the setting, Tiny Epic Quest also has a novel push-your-luck mechanic that impacts everyone at once. In Sagrada players draft dice and use the tools-of-the-trade to carefully construct their stained glass windows. These are winners of the American Tabletop Awardsgames US-based board force award selected by a committee of board game media creators download games released in the previous alien year [12].

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Postby Dinris В» 09.09.2019

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Postby Kagacage В» 09.09.2019

Only the fascists know who each other are. As usual, the board game release schedule is slanted heavily toward the latter months of the year, so we couldn't get absolutely everything we wanted to play to the table. The Quacks of Quedlinburg. As you go along and explore more of the world, you expand the play area and your horizons by literally sticking bits learn more here the world to the board. The game includes dozens of ways to modulate the difficulty, but even the easiest modes require an almost preternatural cleverness; your team needs to know which battles to fight, and to discover the best way to collaborate for maximum fright or damage.

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While link can be played with more, the real focus is on 2-player games. The Best Camping Tents of Ask Smithsonian.

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Postby Meztir В» 09.09.2019

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Postby Dour В» 09.09.2019

And with infectious diseases a hot topic in the real world right now, what better time than now to play? Daily Word Search. A man? Here, in no particular order, are our favorite games of the year. In this Pandemic, humanity is rebuilding after the ravages of the previous title.

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Postby Kazrall В» 09.09.2019

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Postby Molkis В» 09.09.2019

Of course, the large amount in had a big boost from going to Gen Con Probably partly as an "IRL" response to our increasingly online world. Magic Maze.

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Postby Vudolar В» 09.09.2019

Your enemies can gather anywhere. They can spend spices to fulfill a demand and claim a victory point card for points. In Santorini, your aim is to be the first to move one of your minions to the top of a three-story tower. Until I looked back, I thought was a fairly average year. In many respects vames follows the mechanics of the original.

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Postby Dibei В» 09.09.2019

Mah Jong Quest. It also turns out to be amazing fun— Azul is my most-played new game of This game's a beast! One of the best is the open marketplace, where selling goods like whisky makes them cheaper, and buying them up will cause prices to skyrocket.

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