My Top 10 Games of 2014
Nick Hurzeler
United States
West Jordan
Utah
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This has been the year where I have been most involved in the hobby board gaming industry. I played the most games this year I have ever played and as such I thought as many others are doing to make a top ten list of 2014 games. This list only includes games that came out this year and not games that I played this year as that would be a much different list, and I believe most are just looking for a ranking of this year’s games, I will not be giving an explanation of how to play the mentioned games, but I will let you know what it is I like about them so let’s get started with number 10.


10) King of New York



King of New York is essentially King of Tokyo 2.0. King of Tokyo is one of the best, if not the best dice game out there, so King of New York has big shoes to fill. King of New York succeeds at adding a little bit more depth of strategy to the game system, and with that comes also a stronger theme as well. Your now able to destroy buildings and military will come and fight you when you do its great! You also now get energy for being in Manhattan (the equivalent of Tokyo) and that is rather nice as well. King of New York accomplished what it set out to do a “gamer” version of King of Tokyo, but if you asked me what one I liked more I would have to say the jury is still out on that one. Never the less great game and fits into my number 10 slot of 2014.

9) Colt Express



When I first saw the idea of a 3D board I was intrigued, so I gave the game a shot. The game itself is really fun family type of game. The feel that the game gives me is one like king of Tokyo/New York, as at times it can be really chaotic as it is a programming game, but it very fun and thematic as you would expect a train robbery to be fairly chaotic. You get a lot of laughs this is definitely not a deep strategic game it’s more of a gamers party game, one down side is that sometimes if you have the train in the right spot on the table it gets hard for some to see the game and sometimes its hard to move the pieces that are inside the train, but it really is a great fun, and just for that fun factor fits into my number 9 slot.

8) Splendor



Splendor is an amazing engine building game with great components from space cowboy games. Your trying to gain 15 fame by buying mines and trade routes to become the most famous gem merchant once someone reaches 15 points everyone gets an equal amount of turns then the game is over whoever has the most points wins. I have played this game 20 or 30 times it’s a great game and really should have been the game to win the spiel des Jaures but I’m not one of the judges so my vote did not count. This game is simple yet there is a depth there if you look for it, simply amazing and fits into my number 8 slot.

7) Black Fleet



Black Fleet is a very fun pick-up and delivery type of game. it has the twist of you also controlling a pirate ship and try to steal from and sink the other players merchant ships. The goal of the game is to buy all your cards and each time you buy a card you get a new ability like your merchant ship may attack other merchant ships it’s a great game fun sinking ships easy card play for movement high quality components and also form space cowboy games, I look very forward to seeing this new company grow as there first two games for me just hit it right out of the park. Black fleet fun easy great family type game slot number 7.

6) Star Realms



When I first heard about star realms I was not supper existed as it was just another deck builder, generally I am not too keen on the whole deck building type of game, not sure why; but I wanted to give this game a shot as it promised more player interaction and oh boy did it deliver. It’s a head to head game were you are trying to get the other player down to 0 life points essentially crushing there space empire. With that new twist on deck building this game really changed my opinion on deck builders and led me to try a few others, this is really my default 2 player filler game great card game Star Realms number 6.

5) Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game



As I mentioned before I am not super keen on the idea of deck builders, so when in one of my gaming groups this was brought out I was a little worried I was not going to like it, but then I heard it was going to be a co-op and I love co-ops so my interest went up. This game is one of the best co-ops I have played, now with that said it is the only game I will probably never have in my collection on this list for one simple fact set up and tear down is just so involved and I really find it more frustrating than anything even in a game of descent set up is involved, but I enjoy making a game map with this keeping the cards all organized as they need to be is frustrating, but with that set back this game is amazing and I would play it almost any time someone wanted to, if it were not for the set up and take down and just over all game maintenance this game would be much higher on my list, but as it stands great co-op so fits in at number 5 for me.

4) Castles of Mad King Ludwig



This game reminds me of another game I really like among the stars in among the stars your drafting rooms, to build a space station in this game you are buying rooms from whom ever is the master artifact that round and that is one of the coolest things about this game whoever is the master arctic sets the prices of the room, but is the last to buy everyone pays him the price he listed so you need to set the rooms people need at a price so you can buy the rooms you need until you set the room prices again but if you set prices to high people may not buy and you will not have much money to work with it’s a great give and take in the game, also building a castle is just so cool and to see what you end up with in the end is great, Even if the castle is a little wacky. During the game there are also very strategic choices to be made as well weather you complete a room now or wait for a better time; there is really a lot of depth to the game great game hitting number 4 on my list.

3) Lords of Xidit



In lords of Xidit you take on the role of a leader in the land of Xidit trying to rally forces to fight off monsters that have made their way into the land. It’s mostly a pick up and deliver type of game but the theme really takes it up for me not to mention the quality of the components WOW! The programming movement is fun and you can mess with others plans it really makes you think ahead and that is great. The end game scoring is really cool as well there are 3 scoring rounds and if you are knocked out of one of them then you are eliminated from the scoring so it really makes you forces on all aspects of the game gold, mage towers, and fame. Really great game the best pick up and deliver style game I have ever played!

2) Imperial Settlers



This is a light civilization building game, the reason it is so high for me is that it reminds me of one of my favorite games Through the Ages. This for me is Through the Ages lite is an engine building game just like thought the ages, resources management, and card drafting, it also has some military conflict to a degree. I love civilization games and this captures that experience is a short amount of time if I wanted to introduce someone to a civilization type game I would start with this, great into to civilization building, and am looking so forward to all the explanations that should come out for this game. So my go to lite civilization game takes my number 2 spot.

1) Battle of the Five Armies



War of the Ring is by far my favorite game of all time and growing up The Hobbit was my favorite story to read as a young kid, and long story short I have dyslexia, and I really wanted to overcome the struggles of reading so as a kid I read and reread the Hobbit and it really helped me to some degree overcome some of the struggles of dyslexia help train myself, so it has a special place in my heart, but enough of the mushy stuff this game is amazing! As a fan of Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit this was a insta buy, and after I played it I was in awe it is a medium weight game and light as war games go but deep tactical choices occur on every turn of the game and the story and event cards make it true to the battle and provided a different experience every time you play. It is such a great and wonderful game it stays true to the book wonderful accomplishment and I enjoyed the game much more so than the Petter Jackson film the game has the same elegant and beautiful design of war of the ring but plays in about half the time, I hope that Ares games will bring out battles of the third age with helms deep, and the siege of Gondor and all the great battles throughout the Lord of the Ring Trilogy so existed for what may come because of this games success. Battle of the Five Armies takes the cake this year easily theme, game play wonderful, wonderful game takes the number one seat on my list for 2014!


I hope y’all enjoyed this I had fun making my first to ten list and diving deeper into the hobby I can’t wait for 2015 and all the wonderful games coming out then thank you for reading have a happy new year!
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