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The Missile's Anticpation List
Ian Kissell
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My ongoing anticipation list, with periodic updated comments.

Games that have come out and I have played are moved to the bottom.

Games releasing next year are moved below the current year regardless of stars.

Anticipation High, Plan on buying (hint, I don't buy a lot of games)
Peaked Interest. "Try before I buy," but optimistic
Waning Interest. "Try before I buy," but skeptical.
No Longer really interested, but will try to play eventually
No interest to even try anymore.

E.G.
Means it has dropped from 3 to 2 Stars
: Raised from 2 to 3 stars.

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1. Board Game: Warhammer 40,000 Dice Masters: Battle for Ultramar Campaign Box [Average Rating:6.62 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.62 Unranked]
Ian Kissell
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July 2018

I had D&D Dicemasters at one point, and while I liked the game, I ultimately sold my stuff off as I didn't like the collectible model and I'm not the biggest D&D fan. I like the 40K universe, but don't have a game of it I can get into. I like that they are going with the Quarriors model of boxed sets, so maybe this will draw me back into the game.

Update: The more I think about this, the more anticipation I have. Dice masters has done the best job of filling the "quick to team draft" 1v1 game I have played (Ashes recently failed again for me). I am hoping by removing the conductibility, this will be a game that fills that niche.

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2. Board Game: Brass: Birmingham [Average Rating:8.67 Overall Rank:41]
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Kickstarted the deluxe edition from Roxley games. I'm hoping that the rules overhead does not prohibit me from playing too much. I like the original Brass okay, but I am hoping the extra stuff here elevates it. Fingers crossed.

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3. Board Game: Endeavor: Age of Sail [Average Rating:8.25 Overall Rank:351]
Ian Kissell
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Still thinking about Kickstarting this one. The first edition always seemed a bit bland to me, but it is very popular at DGM.

Update: Caved and jumped on the Kickstarter. My hope is the new 3 player game will allow it to play well a that count. I'd like to try randomizing which of the higher level buildings are available in each game to give even more variability.

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4. Board Game: Dunkirk: France 1940 [Average Rating:8.47 Unranked]
Ian Kissell
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I really like 2-2.5 hour block war games. They hit the complexity sweet spot for me, and I like how blocks create some uncertainty. Dunkirk is a battle I have a lot of interest in, so I want to follow this one when the KIS hits in a week or so.

One of the cool aspects is the German player gets a set of objectives that are different for each game. That way, the allied player doesn't know exactly what the German player is going for. This sounds pretty neat. The biggest hesitation is the price tag, which is fairly high for Worthington, since they are such a small company.

 
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5. Board Game: Lincoln [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:4371]
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Wallace can be hit or miss for me, but I have liked the direction he has been going since he ditched his company to focus more on game design.

I love strategic level card driven war games, and have wanted a Civil War game for a while. As long as this one is not too light, which I am doubtful it would be if Wallace is at the reign, this could be my favorite game of the year.

EDIT: The game has a really cool deck deconstruction aspect, where you start with your full deck, and can burn cards out of it to get a special action. The game has some interesting pressure points too, with the union being able to lose if they don't get enough victory points between shuffles, but being able to blockade the south to reduce their hand size. Looks like a cool system, although I think I will be skipping the Kickstarter.

Update: There are some questions about game balance, and the publisher is assuring everyone that the rules are being tweaked. Personally, this makes me a little nervous, first because this is not a good sign after a KS is almost done, and second because, while Wallace has some classics, he has a fair number of games with rules problems or that needed second editions.

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6. Board Game: Architects of the West Kingdom [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:563]
Ian Kissell
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Love Shem's games. Excited to see what this one is all about.

UPDATE: On the one had, this is a standard worker placement game. You collect some resources, get some contracts (buildings), hire some people for special abilities, and you help build a cathedral. The WP is cool, in that there are no rounds. You have a supply of 20 workers, and as you put workers in spots, what you get scales with how many you put there (almost like Stone Age, except you place one then take the action based on how many you have there). Other players can capture workers if they think you are getting too powerful. There is also a virtue system a little like the Scoundrels expansion for Lords of Waterdeep.

I don't think I will back the Kickstarter. I have Raiders and Viticulture, which pretty much covers my Worker Placement Needs, so unless it looks like it would be great with 2 (neither of those two are best at 2) I think I may end up passing.

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7. Board Game: Critical Mass: Patriot vs Iron Curtain [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:5553] [Average Rating:7.11 Unranked]
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I'm of the opinion that MechWarrior 3 is one of the best video games of all times. I'd love to have a really good mech game, and so far I have at least enjoyed the Dice Tower Essentials line, so this one could be it.



Verdict: I've been looking for a long time for a two player dueling card game with some easy customization and not a lot of keywords, and I think this might be it. Mech customization is easy, and I think it will get better with more sets. The gameplay is maybe a little more bluffing than I would like, but overall it is an excellent two player tactical card game with a good depth to rules ratio.

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8. Board Game: Franchise [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:7352]
Ian Kissell
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I always wanted to try Medieval Merchant, but it is hard to find, and super dry. I want a route building game where positioning matters as much as in Power Grid, but without auctions. Could this be it?



Verdict: Demoed this maybe 15 times at Origins and played twice. It is a neat network building game. Everyone starts out as a small-town fast food franchise trying to expand across the country. On your turn, you will
1. Get money
2. Open new franchises in cities you are already in (max 1 per city)
3. Expand to a new city

That is is, so turns go pretty fast. What you are trying to do is get more than half the capacity of of franchises in a city, which then closes the city and scores you points. Additionally, the cities are grouped by region, which is another area majority scoring. There are some interesting decisions, such as:
1. More franchises in a city decreases your income, but you need to get get a majority to score it. When do you flip from money to points?
2. When a city closes, no one can expand through it (expansion is always adjacent, unlike in power grid). By closing a city early you can make other parts of the map harder to get to.
3. To score a region, all the cities have to be full, even the small towns. Small towns don't get a lot of points, but are cheaper to connect through.

I am most excited about the "advanced game," where the cities are shuffled and dealt out by relative size and the region scoring is randomized. I think this could make for a unique puzzle (and a fun situation where Billings might be bigger than Dallas). All this in a 60 minute 5 player game that is not hard to teach is a nice package I think.

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9. Board Game: Rising Sun [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:51]
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Passed on the Kickstarter, which I am a little sad about now as people get their copies in. Oh well, I have friends who are getting it, so I at least get to try it.



Verdict: Played a four player game that was largely the retail version. Really fun game that plays surprisingly fast; in fact, I think I wished it were longer. I think I would like it best at 5 then 3 players. I think that will dial up the negotiations as one player will for sure be left out. It is a really clever design with a neat combat system, cool monsters, and a good form of negotiation. However, I'm not sad I pulled out of the Kickstarter, although I'd play at any time. I'd love to try the Kami unbound expansion.

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10. Board Game: Escape Plan [Average Rating:7.95 Overall Rank:6108]
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1. What a cool theme.

2. Will EG price me out of the game? Probably.

3. Will this finally be the Lacerda game I like?

4. How will Lacerda integrate an awkward grid this time?



Verdict:
1. Theme is cool, and well integrated.
2. $94 shipped has indeed priced me out of it.
3. This is a Lacerda game I like.
4. No awkward grids!

Escape plan is a slightly above medium weight Euro game by Lacerda. At the start of the game, every player gets a card with how much money they will get by going to the three Safe Houses and 6 businesses during the game (three giving cash now and 6 giving end game money/points). Each round, four new tiles are put out that have new locations to visit (including said safe houses and businesses), as well as police officers on each tile. On your turn you travel to a new location and do whatever that location does, including getting equipment, contacts with special abilities, etc. The trick is you have to avoid the police officers on each tile, or deal with the consequences.

Overall, I liked the game. There is plenty to do, and moving around the map makes a nice puzzle. Money is also super tight, making for tough choices. The downside is you will only have 9-15 actions for the whole game, which I feel is not a lot. Overall, I liked it, but think it really only shines with 4-5 players, and not really at 2. If you wanted a more complex Euro for 5 players you could play in 2 hours, it would be a good option.

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11. Board Game: Century: Eastern Wonders [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:622] [Average Rating:7.48 Unranked]
Ian Kissell
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Origins 2018

I think Century: Spice Road is okay. I like the card buying mechanism (paying with cubes), and the engine building is fun. My two main complaints is every time I have lost, I have never felt like I knew what I could have done better. Also, it annoys me a little when I know the next five cards I want to play, but I have to wait 15 minutes to complete that combination.

The concept of Eastern Wonders moving to a spatial action selection mechanism is intriguing. However, what really interests me is Century: Sands to Sea, the combined ruleset that uses Eastern Wonders and Spice Road. It allows players to do a combination of moving and area control on the board with the card buying and play of Spice Road. It sounds interesting, so much so I'm on the lookout for a copy of Spice Road in the meantime.



Verdict: Played a game at Origins. Imagine spreading the upgrade cards from Spice Road out into a map, and then sailing your boat around to use them.

The map is made up of islands which allow for a conversion of goods. On your turn, you sail to an adjacent island for free. To sail further, you have to drop cubes on the islands which can be grabbed by players later. To use the island, you need to build a trading post. The first person on the island is free, and each trading post after costs a cube. Dropping trading posts can give you points, and for every set of one of each type of good, you get a special power.

The game has neat decisions, and I think I like it better than Spice Road. That said, I am going to rate it the same, as Spice Road has the advantage of being to easy to teach. I am not really sure how much I am interested in playing both games together. Essentially, you can use the cards to make trades without visiting the islands, which is easier, but gives fewer points. Not sure if that adds much to the game.

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