Rahdo Runs Through►►► The 2012 Games of Interest
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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2012 should be an interesting year for us. I've just entered semi-retirement, so I've now got a strict budget about how much I can spend every month on games. This coming after 2011, where I went crazy and bought probably close to 100 games... a last hurrah, as it were

So this year, I intend to be more frugal and selective, but time will tell. First step on this new path of game purchasing enlightenment: map out all the games that I'm really interested in, and solicit feedback where possible.

So, here we go! Would love to hear what others are thinking about these titles, or if I've missed any worthy contenders, bearing in mind that if it ain't 2p, we ain't buying
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76. Board Game: Kingdom of Solomon [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:1379]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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Imagine my surprise to discover that KoS is actually a 2012 published game! Okay, I guess I can see that, in which case, it definitely belongs on this list! I can't say that I care about the biblical elements of it at all, and in fact will be inclined to ignore them, but supposedly it's a rock solid worker placement game, though honestly I'm not sure what's special about it. Must investigate further.
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77. Board Game: Eaten By Zombies!: In Cahoots [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:3992]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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My wife and I really enjoyed the first EbZ as a small, fast and brutal deckbuilder alternative to Dominion, and are very much looking forward to this release. Apparently it's an expansion but also functions as a stand alone game for 2p... wonder if that means any additional rules for 2p specifically?

Update: aparently not. New cards, but no new rules to change up the game (I had hoped that the zombie side of the game might make it in to 2p somehow, but I guess not - still, I kickstarted it and can't wait for the new cards!)
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78. Board Game: Murder! Mystery! Mastermind! [Average Rating:6.76 Unranked]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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This sounds really really interesting: a strongly thematic murder investigation deduction game that's more Euro than Ameritrash, with heavy gameplay, and the opportunity to interrogate other players about what evidence they've collected! I am in love with this game in theory!

Whether it plays well with 2 is unknown at this point, but I sure hope it does!
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79. Board Game: Wilderness [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:2638]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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An extremely limited, hand crafted run of this came out at Essen 2011, but it's being crowd-sourced for a major release right now on indiegogo.com, so I reckon it's reasonable to call this a 2012 game!

It certainly sounds good: equal parts survival-strategy and press your luck, you play as a poor sod marooned in the wilderness, struggling to find your way to civilization while trying to stay alive. Fatigue, hunger, thirst, predators galore! Sounds very cool for the closet survivalist in all of us!
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80. Board Game: Farmerama [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:4376]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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One might think this is a cheap cash-in based on a mega-popular computer videogame, BUT... designed by Uwe Rosenberg? Designer of Agricola? Tell me more!

Seriously... TELL ME MORE!
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81. Board Game: Keyflower [Average Rating:7.96 Overall Rank:29]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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Make no mistake, I will be picking this one up, if for no other reason than if I don't, I likely won't be able to in the future. The amount of money people are asking for for Key Market is obscene, and I don't want to take a chance of that happening with this game, which sounds like a delightful colony building game.

Plus, Juliette Breese's art is always wonderful!

edit: box art!
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82. Board Game: Robinson Crusoe: Adventure on the Cursed Island [Average Rating:8.13 Overall Rank:12]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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First Castaways and now this? Maybe Wilderness should retheme itself and we can have a 2012 Crusoe trifecta going (shame Friday came out last year). Regardless, I really like Stronghold and LOVE Prêt-à-Porter (both by the same designer), and this features solo play, which for me is a good indicator that the game won't feature overly aggressive or nasty tactics, which is a plus. Will keep my eye on this.

re-edit: box art!
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83. Board Game: Bronze [Average Rating:7.92 Unranked]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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Tile laying area control game for 2 players only, set in ancient Mesopotamia with 6 races to choose from? Sounds interesting, unfortunately, there's very little info... not even a designer or an image of the game laied out. Still, will keep an eye peeled, because the promise is there...
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84. Board Game: Anchorage [Average Rating:7.06 Unranked]
 
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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Economic shipping simulation for 2 (or 3) players. Modular board with unique setup every time, variable weather and ocean effects, shipping lines, warehouse building. These are a few of my favourite things...
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85. Board Game: Countdown: Special Ops [Average Rating:5.45 Overall Rank:8954]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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Hmm, I know my wife will have zero interest in the counter-terrorism theme, and I have to admit I'm a bit burnt out on it after years in the videogame industry myself. BUT, building up characters over multiple-game campaigns, modular map setups, co-op/competetive/team v team/hidden traitor options, these all sound very interesting!
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86. Board Game: Lands Unknown [Average Rating:8.75 Unranked]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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This looks very very nice. Gorgeous art, and gameplay that sounds similar to Odin's Ravens or Balloon Cup, but with actual complexity and depth. On indiegogo, and I bet it will get funded!
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87. Board Game: Merchant of Venus [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:411]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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I forgot that the big reprint of this classic intergalactic delivery game is coming out this year. I suppose it'll be interesting, but I have to admit every description of it I've ever read makes it sound to me like it won't be so hot 2p. Would love to hear from those in the know who would say otherwise...

Update: now that FFG won the publishing battle and have stated that you can play with the classic rules on one side of the board, or a new "updated" version of the rules on the other side, I'm 10x more interested. Hopefully the new updates to the rules will show some 2p love!
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88. Board Game: Courtier [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:1493]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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Hmm, to read the description of this title's gameplay, you'd think you're reading a description of Louis XIV, which is not a bad thing, necessarily. Not much info otherwise, except it's another new game coming from the designer of the well liked Kingdom of Solomon, so I guess we'll find out more about it soon.
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89. Board Game: Dominare [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:1384]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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One of several games that Alderac is publishing this year set in their fantasy world of Tempest (another being the above mentioned Courtier). And ironically, like Courtier, the description of its gameplay reads as if it's another game, this time Citadels. I'm sure gameplay will be different... time will tell
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90. Board Game: Scripts and Scribes: The Dice Game [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:2351]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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Biblios is a WONDERFUL set collection/auction/card game, and now there's a dice version coming. Color me interested, though TBH, the card game is so perfect, I wonder what dice can bring to it. We shall see!
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91. Board Game: Samurai Battles [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:2472]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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Richard Borg's latest wargame. Hmm, normally Jen and I don't go for tactical mini war games, though we do like BattleLore. But we've got Battlelore, so we don't really feel the need to own Memoir '44 or Commands & Colors: Ancients or the new Abaddon (also new in 2012), but this one is different. Sure, it's got the same card driven command system, but there's an alternate way to play where players issue orders in secret and reveal simultaneously. That sounds very cool, so consider me interested!
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92. Board Game: The Manhattan Project [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:146]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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Apparently a very good worker placement game with a fresh way to handle worker management. But unfortunately, it's apparently very aggressive, with bomb strikes to destroy your opponent's buildings, espionage, etc. So probably not for us, unfortunately
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93. Board Game: Four Taverns [Average Rating:5.75 Overall Rank:8180]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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This sounds like an excellent idea for a card game, where you sponsor adventuring parties who are about to go on epic quests so that your tavern can benefit from their successes. Sounds like an wonderful conceit for card hand management, and I can't wait to hear more! Hopefully the art will be up to snuff
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94. Board Game: Go Goblin, Go! [Average Rating:5.96 Overall Rank:7722]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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So this sounds like the same basic conceit as a standard horse racing/gambling game, with a comical fantasy theme. I've always wanted to try a horse betting game, but my understanding is these always seem to not play well with only 2p. Here's hoping this title bucks the trend!
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95. Board Game: Expedite [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:5447]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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Players try to complex routes across the world map by playing cards. Sounds kind of similar to the 10 Days series and others, but the cool thing is that you can pay other players to use their waypoints for your own routes. Could be very cool for that reason alone, though I wonder if that feature makes it shine more as a 3+ game?
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96. Board Game: The Mystery of the Templars [Average Rating:6.13 Overall Rank:6679]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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This sounds very cool! Maintain a stable of knights to build a strong economic engine through resource management and trade, have adventuresome elements of battle has you fend off pirates and thieves, and as the game draws to a close, go on the run to prevent the Spanish (or French, I suppose) Inquisition from stealing all your stuff and killing you! VERY VERY COOL!
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97. Board Game: Uncharted: The Board Game [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:2189]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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As one of the only videogames of the last several years that I've really loved (other than my own, of course ), Uncharted the boardgame would naturally catch my interest, but one would also naturally assume it'd be a cheap roll & move cash in as is so often the case. But the designer behind it actually has an interesting track record, so maybe this'll be worthy of the license!

update: some info surfaces about the game, making it look like a tableau building game ala Race for the Galaxy where you use collected inventory to go on available encounters in the center of the board. My interest has risen, now that it looks like there may be some meat!
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98. Board Game: Suburbia [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:44]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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Almost nothing known about this one other than it's another city building game. What new does it bring to the table? Watch this space!
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99. Board Game: Antike Duellum [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:643]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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This wasn't originally on my 2012 list because it "kind of" came out at essen 2011, sort of. But now it's been renamed, and the rondel has been dropped!!! Dun dun DUUUUUNNNNNN! (dramatic music flourish) A Mac Gerdts games without a rondel? This I gotta see!

update: wrong!!! it's some future game where he'll eschew the rondel. see below
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100. Board Game: Sky Traders [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:3081]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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I'm not really a fan of steampunk setting, honestly, and would be more interested in this if they'd just stuck to straight 7 seas merchant seaman setting. But I understand the urge to stand out, so more power to them.

The art is certainly gorgeous, and I love the idea of player negotiation to fix the prices of resources. I wonder if that will work well with 2 players though...
 
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