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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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1. Board Game: Caverna: The Cave Farmers [Average Rating:8.31 Overall Rank:4]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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Okay, Agricola with dwarves going on quests, and pet dogs??? Blargh! My wife's favourite game, by far, is Agricola, so this is a must buy. My only hope is that it won't be coming out in 2012 at all (no release date known yet), since of course, there's another stand alone Agricola game coming out this year as well!

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2. Board Game: Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:106]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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ANOTHER Agricola title? Another must have. Boy, this "be more frugal" list isn't starting off very well. A streamlined version of the game, for 2p only, focusing on the animal husbandry elements, and a 30 minute playing time?

Yeah, we'll be getting that. Damn you Rosenberg!!!!

Update: Shipping in April! Woot!
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3. Board Game: Rialto [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:514]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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Continuing on my "must buy, no questions about it" train of thought, of course if the latest from Stephen Feld comes out this year, I'll be there day one. As far as I'm concerned, he's the best euro designer working today, and his output is tremendous. 2011 gave us Castles of Burgundy and Trajan (and Strasbourg, but 3p minimum? Blech)

The merchants in Venice theme is sure to get Tom Vasel complaining, but it sounds great (one of our fav holidays ever was a week we spent in Venice). I read somewhere that this is potentially a bit lighter than Feld's usual, but that's great too, since one doesn't always have time for his usual epic head scratchiness.

edit: finally! boxart! nice!
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4. Board Game: Thunderstone Advance: Towers of Ruin [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:163]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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I'm really torn on this. I've got every Thunderstone box set that's come out so far, and I'm really not keen on mixing and matching designs, let alone dealing with the question of whether to use the standard starter cards or the "new and improved" ones. I figure I've got more than enough cards to keep us busy for a long time, and the cool new ideas like assigning monster levels, the prepare phase, etc. are backwards compatible, so will probably pass on this in the short term.

Campaign play does beckon though... But I can't buy EVERYTHING that comes out, can I?
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5. Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:28]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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A fantasy themed Caylus style city builder? This sounds very nice, and the board looks great, and the previews all sound fantastic. Will have to give this some serious thought.
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6. Board Game: Escape: The Curse of the Temple [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:266]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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Queen games are always very nicely produced, and I LOVE the idea of realtime boardgames. And this sounds very interesting, building and traveling through a temple maze in real time, co-operatively trying to escape. Ticks a lot of boxes.

But now Queen is offering it through Kickstarter, with Kickstarter-only promos??? Don't know how I feel about that, because I don't want to have to import this game from the states and face the insane import taxes. This has now thoroughly put me of two minds on this.
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7. Board Game: Fleet [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:466]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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Speaking of Kickstarter, let's talk about some of the more promising titles. This one I've already backed. Not only does it look solid, and offer a fresh and unique theme, but they are also offering international-buyer friend group packages, which makes the sting of international shipping (and potential duty fees) much more palitable. Bravo! Very excited about this.

Update: my game walkthrough vid, for those still wondering if the game is for them - http://www.boardgamegeek.com/video/20957/fleet/fleet-gamepla...
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8. Board Game: Legacy: Gears of Time [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:976]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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Another kickstarter cardgame that looks great. My wife LOVES time travel fiction, and we've tried a few different boardgames with this theme, but none of them clicked with us. But I've got a good feeling about this one.

I only found out about it this morning, and as of now, there's only 40 hours left before it closes. Hopefully I can find 3 more people interested in going in on a group purchase. Fingers crossed!

edit: Got the order in! Woot!!
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9. Board Game: Massilia [Average Rating:5.45 Overall Rank:8984]
 
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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This one is being offered through a Ulule instead of Kickstarter, which makes it more attractive, since there won't be any shipping from the US issues. But unfortunately, the developers have been slow to make information about the game available in English, and €50 to get the promos they're offering is a bit steep. Last year, I wouldn't have blinked, bought it on the spot, just for the fantastic looking art and the opportunity to support some geek's dream of publishing their game, but this year, I've got to be more careful. Looking forward to checking out the rules and a gameplay video... in english s'il vous plait!
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10. Board Game: Di Renjie [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:5099]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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Another interesting looking Kickstarter project, with a nice international group shipping option. I really like the idea of having a super portable deduction game to carry around. But none of the incentives are particularly interesting, which leaves me thinking that I might not kickstart and instead wait to pick it up later on down the road. Hmm...

Update: so glad this made its funding goals. Can't wait to play!
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11. Board Game: Briefcase [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:2299]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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I've been waiting for this game for over a year, so when it finally came up on Indiegogo I backed it immediately. Price be damned! Love deckbuilders when they offer something new, and this definitely seems to fit the bill. And since Drum Roll was such a quality production, I know this will be too. Can't wait!
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12. Board Game: Agents of SMERSH [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:840]
 
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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I'm betting this will be the biggest success on Kickstarter of the year. It's such a solid concept for a game, with seemingly great production values and solid gameplay. Who knew there would be so much demand for a 70s Spy Themed version of Arabian Nights with a real game driving the action?

Some complain about the typos shown on some early prototype cards, but honestly, considering how much text there's going to be in this game, I'm willing to cut the designer some slack.

Can't wait for this to show up... very expensive, but I'm confident this will be a worthwhile purchase on my limited budget.
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13. Board Game: Aeroplanes: Aviation Ascendant [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:1665]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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The latest from Martin Wallace, and a return to his heavy economic titles like Brass and Automobile. That's enough to cinch it right there, and considering Treefrog always does special limited deluxe editions, I'm afraid I have no choice. BUT, once again, no 2p support out of the box!!!!! NOOOO!!!!

So the gamble is: do I buy now to get my precious limited edition, hoping that somewhere down the line the players will finish what Martin started and come up with good 2p rules, or do I not gamble and pass. Decisions decisions...

Oh wait, it's published by Mayfair, so there won't be a deluxe edition. Hurrah!
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14. Board Game: Africana [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:1243]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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Wonderful looking board, and seemingly nice solid light expedition/adventure game. Seems like a very solid pick, though I'd love to see a video of it before making the final decision. Why don't publishers put gameplay vids on youtube??? Seems crazy not to!
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15. Board Game: Saint Malo [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:1577]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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Sounds like a lovely, light, dice rolling economic town building sort of game, with the fun twist of you using dry erase markers to draw your town directly on your player mat. While some may complain about this as a cost cutting measure and demand more wooden cubes, I think it sounds like a fresh way to add a little personal flair to a game, and also a nice idea to make for a more portable game...
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16. Board Game: Zooloretto: The Dice Game [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:1336]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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Okay, so I'm already pretty excited for Saint Malo, and I already enjoy Roll through the Ages and Dadu Dadu. So do I really need ANOTHER themed dice rolling game? Could be. I am a sucker for them, so this is on the radar as well.
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17. Board Game: D-Day Dice [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:575]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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MORE DICE CHUCKING GOODNESS??? Missed the kickstarter wave on this, but I'm sure it will eventually go wide to tempt me.
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18. Board Game: Garden Dice [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:1337]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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This one is very likely a getter, amongst all the dice games this year, both because of tile laying and the theme (my wife is an avid gardener). I am slightly hesitant though, because of the "take that" elements of gameplay. Why do designers of gardening games think their target audience wants to have a ruthless conflict? First Flower Power and now this? Geez, talk about a mismatch between theme and gameplay...
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19. Board Game: Roll to the South Pole [Average Rating:6.12 Overall Rank:5659]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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Here's what I'm hoping for: K2 with dice! If that's what they give me, I'll be there with bells on!
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20. Board Game: Würfel Bohnanza [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:1345]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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Hmm, replacing trading cards with dice that benefit all players might finally make Bohnanza a viable 2p experience!
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21. Board Game: DiceAFARI [Average Rating:5.76 Overall Rank:7985]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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I have no idea how I'm going to choose between all these dicers this year! Now this one sounds very similar to Dadu Dadu, so maybe this one will get a pass based on that?
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22. Board Game: Thebes: The Tomb Raiders [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:1505]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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My wife and I very much enjoy the original board game, so do we really need this? Or might this replace the full game? I dunno... drawing blind off a deck to dig for treasures can't possibly compare to the tactile delight of rooting around in a bag of chits, can it?
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23. Board Game: Dominant Species: The Card Game [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:2234]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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We REALLY wanted to like the full board game, but it just felt overwrought with all the persnickity calculations you had to make every turn. Hopefully this will streamline the game down to something more engaging for us.
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24. Board Game: Infiltration [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:844]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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Haven't tried Donald's two 2011 games yet (Nefarious and Kingdom Builder), but very much want to. And since Dominion has given us so much joy, I have no choice but to add his latest game to the "must pay attention to" list.

Back in the day, my wife and I LOVED Netrunner, and while I'm sure this won't hold a candle to that fine fine title, maybe it will evoke some small twinge of cyberpunk nostalga?
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25. Board Game: Snowdonia [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:275]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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CLICK THIS BEAGLE if you're looking for in-depth gameplay video run-throughs! :)
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I'm definitely interested in this. Great great art, positive pre-release buzz, and coming off the greatness that is Paperclips Railways. Plus, I love the idea of making an entire game out of what would be placing down a single tile in Railways of the World! Talk about adding a sense of scale!

Update: just adding nicer box art
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