Naked Anticipation 2015
Jason Paterson
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This is a list of games that have captured my attention and imagination. I'm writing the list in 2015, but this will include games that were announced in 2014 and haven't shipped yet, as well as games that likely won't see daylight until 2016. Easy. That's how I roll.

Also, this list is comprised mostly of games that support two players, or solitaire mode. My primary gaming partner is my wife. We don't have a gaming group, so though we occasionally get to play lighter games with more people, we typically play at the heavier stuff at the 2-player count.

I'll continue adding and modifying the list as time goes on, details are released, new titles are announced, etc.

Follow me on Twitter @nakedmeeple.
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1. Board Game: Bios: Genesis [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:1670] [Average Rating:7.20 Unranked]
Jason Paterson
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I missed out on Origins: How We Became Human, but I recently acquired Bios: Megafauna, and loved my first handful of plays of that game. Bios: Genesis is a game about the evolution of life, with players starting out in the primordial soup, specializing themselves in cellular, metabolism, reproduction, or energy management. It sounds tantalizing and fantastic.

I suspect the game will be in an early prototype form at Essen 2015, but I'd love to be surprised and discover it's further along than expected.
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2. Board Game: The Bloody Inn [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:742]
Jason Paterson
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I mostly added this because of the coverage I've heard from podcasts and vlogs like Shut Up & Sit Down. The game sounds interesting mechanically and I really like the artwork. The subject matter is enough to turn off the more sensitive players in my group, but they're in the minority. Players are robbing the guests at their Inn, but only after murdering them... and then figuring out what to do with all the bodies.

...this will make a great Halloween game, but probably not in time for 2015.
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3. Board Game: Burano [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:2232]
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Burano is an area control game which focuses on building the city of Burano, a center of fishing and lace production. It's played over 4 seasons. Each turn a player may take up to 4 actions if they can afford it, by using a cube pyramid made up of different coloured cubes... which allow you to perform different types of actions.

It's an interesting concept, and looks like it might end up being a nice crunchy game.
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4. Board Game: Carson City: Big Box [Average Rating:8.09 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.09 Unranked]
Jason Paterson
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I love Xavier Georges as a designer. Troyes and Ginkgopolis are two of my all time favourite games, and Carson City is a brilliantly thematic worker placement game with an area control aspect, and a mechanic that lets you amass "Gangs" of workers to try and defend a worker spot, or have "Duels" if someone wants to fight you for it. So cool.

This "big box" is about the size of Caverna, and includes the base game, the Gold & Guns expansion, and a new Horses & Heroes expansion. Plus, there's a bunch of little Kickstarter goodies.
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5. Board Game: Catacombs [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:826]
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Designers: Ryan Amos, Marc Kelsey, Aron West

Catacombs was a 2010 dexterity game that was well received by gamers, but I never cared for the artwork in that early version. Last year, the Catacombs folks ran a kickstarter to revitalize and reprint the game with gorgeous new artwork. I can't wait to get this in my hands, so I can fling around some spells and arrows other dungeon flicking shenanigans.
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6. Board Game: Colonial Twilight: The French-Algerian War, 1954-62 [Average Rating:7.85 Overall Rank:1528]
Jason Paterson
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From designer Brian Train (A Distant Plain) comes the 7th COIN game, this time during the French-Algerian war in North Africa from 1954-62. Players will "enter the heart of darkness” as they use military, political, and economic actions and exploit events to build and maneuver forces to influence or control the population or otherwise achieve their aims along the twisting route to independence.
 
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7. Board Game: Dawn of the Zeds (Third edition) [Average Rating:8.25 Overall Rank:990]
Jason Paterson
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I've just recently become acquainted with tbe awesome folks over at Victory Point Games, and all they do. During the past year, after having a kid, I learned about their "States Of Siege" line of games, which are solo games (or support solitaire play). Ottoman Sunset, Zulus On The Ramparts, Hapsburg Eclipse, and Cruel Necessity all entered my collection.

Dawn Of The Zeds has been out for a while, but this third edition is being printed by an outside printer... which is atypical for Victory Point, who are notable for doing all their own printing (their laser cut token boards are lovely, giving every game box a campfire smell).

Zeds is also a States Of Siege game, so supports single player (up to four) and looks incredible. Despite the fact that I don't really need another zombie game, I may need to acquiesce to this one.
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8. Board Game: Dilluvia Project [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:2282]
Jason Paterson
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Designer: Alexandre Garcia

This Spielworxx title was previously supposed to come out in 2016, but BGG News has said it should be out for Essen 2015. That's still a little ways off (from this writing) but squares it right in the sights of this geeklist. A 2-4 player tile-laying/worker placement title about building an underwater city (called 'The Dilluvia Project') to escape from the drowning world above.

The theme and mechanics have got me intrigued, though I've read that the theme may be reworked (perhaps a little too reminiscent of AquaSphere? I don't know).
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9. Board Game: Discoveries: The Journals of Lewis and Clark [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:662]
Jason Paterson
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Designer: Cédrick Chaboussit

The new game from the designer of Lewis & Clark, which extends that theme into new territory.
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10. Board Game: DRCongo [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:3864]
Jason Paterson
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Designers: Gary Dicken, Steve Kendall, Phil Kendall

Quote:
DRCongo explores a hopeful hypothesis that if enlightened industrialists worked to develop the economy of this mighty country, then it would escape the clutches of a crippling insurgency.

Players build industries and expand a transport network of river, rail and roads. Oil, minerals and crops are produced and if sold via the Atlantic port of Matadi, players reap rich rewards. Players develop their own cities and hydroelectricity can be sold to these.

From the Ragnar Brothers comes this medium weight economic euro game set in the Democratic Republic Of Congo (The DRC) and it looks fascinating. I love the artwork, and the theme. There are a variety of difficulty settings, allowing players to set a variety of complexity levels of the game. There's also a solo mode!
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11. Board Game: Escape from the Aliens in Outer Space [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:955]
Jason Paterson
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Designers: Mario Porpora, Pietro Righi Riva, Luca Francesco Rossi, Nicolò Tedeschi

This 2010 game seemed to have a pretty limited print run, though it did have two different editions (Black Edition and White Edition) and it was printed in several languages. Since the release, it's kind of built up a cult following through word of mouth, and earlier this year, they announced a new "Ultimate Edition" printing coming in 2015, with improved components. Based on the buzz that's been bestowed on this title from the likes of Tom Vasel and SUSD... it's gone right on my must-have list.
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12. Board Game: Falling Sky: The Gallic Revolt Against Caesar [Average Rating:7.97 Overall Rank:806]
Jason Paterson
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Falling Sky takes 1-4 players into the Roman occupied region of Gaul, where Caesar is tending to the uprising of unsubdued tribes through military actions and politics. Though the Romans are more powerful than the local tribes, they're spread thin, and will need to enlist the help of the allied Gallic forces.

This is the fifth in the COIN series of games, designed by VVolko Ruhnke and Andrew Ruhnke.
 
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13. Board Game: Far Space Foundry [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:3429]
Jason Paterson
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Designer: Dan Manfredini

An interesting sounding deep space mining game. Players will play cards to mine blue and red ore and process them into a refined purple material, which they can then take (in a kind of second phase of the game) to their local galaxy and use to produce goods, buy upgrades, or hire some help from the cantina.

It sounds intriguing, and plays 1-4. I don't know why, but I get a kind of Starflight vibe from the description, even though Starflight was a lot more involved. I guess I spent a lot of time mining and gathering resources in that game.
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14. Board Game Designer: Stefan Feld
Jason Paterson
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Mr. Feld has a handful of interesting projects brewing, by the sounds of it. None of them have game pages as of this writing, so I'll lump them here.

Castles Of Burgundy Dice & Cards

Over here there's some chatter about some new games based on Castles Of Burgundy. One sounds like a dice game (though to be honest, I thought CoB was already a dice game!) and the other sounds like a card version, a-la San Juan. Doesn't really matter what they are, if they're based on Castles Of Burgundy (one of my favourite games) I'm eager to learn more.

The Oracle Of Delphi

The second new concept is Oracle Of Delphi, which is a brand new title that looks like a dice rolling, tile laying game, where you play a Greek demigod - building temples and fighting monsters. Greek mythology seems to be popular for theme these days.
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15. Board Game: Fief: France 1429 [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:856]
Jason Paterson
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Designer: Philippe Mouchebeuf

The rebuild of Fief from Philippe Mouchebeuf and Academy Games looks gorgeous and should be shipped out to Kickstarter backers pretty soon. You control a family in medieval France, and are vying for power and glory in the fiefdom. I like that you win the game at 3 VP's, which makes it sound pretty simple and straightforward, but I suspect this area control game, which relies pretty heavily on negotiation, trading, and relationships, won't be that easy.

Officially a 3-6 player game, but there's talk about an official 2p variant.
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16. Board Game: Florenza [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:1363]
Jason Paterson
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Designer: Stefano Groppi

A rebuild of a slightly older game from Groppi from 2010. This 2nd Edition was vaulted into reality via Kickstarter in 2014, but is making it into peoples hands through the KS fulfillment and through retail early this year, which is when I grabbed a copy. What I love about it, aside from the fantastic production quality and artwork, is how the characters and buildings are all based on real life people and places, and a lot of effort went in to this historical accuracy.
 
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17. Board Game: Food Chain Magnate [Average Rating:8.19 Overall Rank:28]
Jason Paterson
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I don't have much experience with Splotter. The only Splotter game I own is Roads & Boats, which I'm enamoured with. Though I've had my eye on The Great Zimbabwe and Indonesia for a while, the high prices these titles command make acquiring them a challenge.

...but when I heard that Splotter was doing a new game about running a 50's style fast food chain, I knew I was going to jump on it early. I'm not too crazy about the title they landed on, but the graphics for this game look gorgeous and authentic.
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18. Board Game: Forge War [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:1115]
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Designer: Isaac Childres

Duelling blacksmiths, the game. Players (1-4) will utilize their resources to forge weapons for adventurers that will venture forth and do battle with the evil that plagues the land. If they return, they'll do so with more resources to help feed your forge, and more riches to purchase your wares. It's a worker placement game with some resource management that happens by moving cubes around a hex map. It sounds unique, and fresh.
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19. Board Game: The Gallerist [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:59]
Jason Paterson
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Designer: Vital Lacerda

A new game from Vital Lacerda (Vinhos, CO2, Kanban), who has become a hot designer amongst those folks who like really heavy, crunchy boardgames. This one is more medium weight, and may have a solo mode, so I'm anxious to know more.
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20. Board Game: La Granja [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:141]
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Designers: Michael Keller, Andreas "ode." Odendahl

One of the big sleeper hits of 2014 was Spielworxx's pleasantly mediterranean La Granja, where 1-4 players farm using dice and cards. Though this is a 2014 game, I'm adding it because (like many) I won't see a copy until Stronghold's 2015 release of this title.
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21. Board Game: The Grizzled [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:331]
Jason Paterson
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A co-operative game from first time French designers Fabien Riffaud and Juan Rodriguez about life in the trenches during WWI. The fabuluous artwork is from Bernard Verlhac (aka Tignous), one of the artists who was murdered during the horrific shooting at the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in early 2015.
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22. Board Game: Guilds of London [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:1271]
Jason Paterson
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Designer: Tony Boydell

Tony Boydell, the creator of Snowdonia, has my unwavering attention when he puts out a new game. His sensibilities as a game designer are just naturally sharp, and his thematic appreciation is one I feel akin to, especially after he introduced me to Ivor The Engine.

This time, it's an area control game set in medieval London, where players are vying to control the Guilds... the groups of power that control the city.
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23. Board Game: Haithabu [Average Rating:6.28 Overall Rank:7528]
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Designers: Wolfgang Heidenheim, Andreas Molter

A new Spielworxx 2-4 player game where you take the role of Vikings living and trading up and down the Jutland Peninsula in the 11th century.
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24. Board Game: Haspelknecht [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:1018]
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Designer: Thomas Spitzer

Thomas Spitzer's third entry to the Coal trilogy of games following Ruhrschifffahrt 1769-1890 and Kohle & Kolonie, and this one will support 2-4 players. Unfortunately, due to some apparent differences with Spielworxx, Spitzer is looking for a new publisher... so depending on how that pans out, this title may not end up in our hands in 2015.
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25. Board Game: High Frontier (Third Edition) [Average Rating:8.40 Overall Rank:1257] [Average Rating:8.40 Unranked]
Jason Paterson
Canada
Georgetown
ON
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I'm a little late to the Phil Eklund fandom, but I really dig what he does. While most designers struggle to find balance and harmony in their games, working meticulously to hone in on a core mechanism that drives their competitive (or cooperative) game, Phil instead focuses on the experience of parlaying a piece of culture or history into game form.

High Frontier is notoriously complex, but most of that complexity seems to come from the variety of things you can do. It's a sandbox game about getting a flight into space, and making some points by hitting prestigious targets.

This third edition hit Kickstarter a week ago, and will finally get this game into my hands. It has all the expansions, and rewritten rules.
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