Bart's 2018 watchlist (mainly euro)
Bartosz Popow
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I am primarily a euro game fan.
I don't like direct, negative interaction. The only exceptions are 2-player games, in those anything can happen.
I don't like auction/bidding games.
You will see hardly any party games around here, typical American-style games, negotiation, miniature games or cooperative games.
I will not put expansions on this geeklist.

As soon as games have rulebooks out, I will post my impressions after reading them.
I will try to limit myself only to games that have some real info on them, the ones boding well to come out in 2018.
You can check out my previous lists to see what I'm about:
2015 list
2016 list
2017 list

I'm not particularly focused on Essen Spiel, as I don't attend it, so I will focus on the year as a whole.

1. Will buy:
- Century: Eastern Wonders
- Coimbra
- Way of Panda

2. Already have / pre-ordered:
- Duelosaur Island
- Founders of Gloomhaven
- Hannibal & Hamilcar
- Moa
- Prehistory
- Rise to Nobility
- Sorcerer
- Temporal Odyssey

3. Nice to have if reviews are good / price is right:
- Gizmos
- Jurassic Snack
- Micropolis
- Wonderland
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1. Board Game: Alubari: A Nice Cup of Tea [Average Rating:8.42 Unranked]
Bartosz Popow
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Gdynia
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Awaiting more details, although I'm not eager to read prototype rules just yet.

Upcoming game by Tony Boydell, most known from Snowdonia, Guilds of London, Fzzzt! and Paperclip Railways. I very much enjoy Snowdonia and this one has numerous similarities, it's said to be in the same family of games. I need to check whether new rules make it worth owning together with the older sister.
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2. Board Game: Architects of the West Kingdom [Average Rating:8.07 Unranked]
Bartosz Popow
Poland
Gdynia
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Off the radar for now. I think it's not the type of game my group and I would enjoy.

A game by Shem Phillips (known primarily for his The North Sea Trilogy) and S J Macdonald (debuting). The main concept of this worker placement game is that the more often you pick a given action the stronger it is for you. But then there's a mechanism that lets other players capture all your workers from a given action space, if they feel you're getting too powerful. Those can be later cashed in for money. Since this is most probably the main thing over here, I must firstly understand how it works in detail. If such "grab workers" actions are directed at one player only, then... I probably will not like it. I don't know, you probably want your workers back at some point. Them being grabbed by other players - is it the only way for it to happen? All in all, I want no take that and no kingmaking in my games.

13.03.2018: The KS campaign is live. I will watch the videos later on, but so far I'm in ;]. Great thing about KS is that you can always back out.

15.03.2018: I decided not to back after all. I watched Rahdo's runthrough and there's too big emphasis on a solo optimization. Interaction is too limited in my opinion, and the thing about taking somebody's workers out is negative in my eyes, something that my group would not appreciate, because you are after all destroying something somebody has already built (workforce at a given action place). Artwork is great though. Off the radar for now.
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3. Board Game: Artificial Intelligence [Average Rating:7.97 Unranked]
Bartosz Popow
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Gdynia
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Awaiting more details.

Second, after Brasil, What's Your Game? title scheduled for 2018, and also the second game by Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro and Paulo Soledade duo. Nothing more known thus far unfortunately.
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4. Board Game: Black Angel [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked]
Bartosz Popow
Poland
Gdynia
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Awaiting more details.

Gets a free pass on the list due to designers' pedigree. It's done by Sébastien Dujardin, Xavier Georges and Alain Orban who have such titles as Troyes, Tournay, Ginkgopolis or Deus under their belts.
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5. Board Game: Brasil [Average Rating:7.50 Unranked]
Bartosz Popow
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Gdynia
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Dropout from my 2017 list. Looks promising, although I'm not a big fan of deck-building games, so we shall see.

What's Your Game? title for 2018, yet again from the the same team (Paulo Soledade and Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro) that brought you Madeira, Panamax and Nippon. Out of those I've only had a chance to play Madeira thus far, but I wasn't enjoying it that much. Too many rules and too long for my taste. I know these guys do have neat ideas though, so I'm always putting their work on my radar.
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6. Board Game: Carpe Diem [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Bartosz Popow
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Gdynia
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Awaiting more details.

Second game by Stefan Feld scheduled for 2018 (after Forum Trajanum). I can already feel the hate unleashing on the game's cover . I don't care that much about the graphics though. So far close to nothing is known other than the Roman theme and the fact that it includes tile placement. I stay tuned for more info.
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7. Board Game: Century: Eastern Wonders [Average Rating:8.14 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.14 Unranked]
Bartosz Popow
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Gdynia
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On my radar!

A follow-up to Century: Spice Road, the second game in the trilogy, designed again by Emerson Matsuuchi and published by Plan B Games. This game is a tad more complicated than the first one, but they did their best to compile the rules to 2 pages only. Mechanically speaking we have a modular board on which we move our ship to gather goods which we finally deliver to ports demanding certain sets of them.

You may always move your ship by 1 for free, every additional movement makes you move a cube from your hold and place it on the spot you're leaving. What is more, if you decide to visit a spot with other players' ships you also need to pay all of them a cube. You may build outposts on islands you land on (which get progressively more expensive, as players build them), which gives you both victory points and special abilities in the long run. You may simply decide to take 2 yellow cubes. Or you may decide to trade in that island by giving out certain combination of cubes in return for another one. As in the predecessor you may perform the trade as many times as you wish.

In the four corners of the map there are ports which demand certain combination of goods. Once you finish your move on one of them you may trade in the required set of spices for a hefty VP price. There are more intricacies to the game, but that's the gist of it.

It all sounds good to me. It's a light pick up and deliver type of game with nice interactions. It's definitely on my wantlist. On top of that there's a way to combine 2 games. From the Spice Road you take just the cards. Now instead of just moving and acting in the location, you have more actions to choose from (which are almost identical to the ones from the original game): you may buy new cards, play cards for their effects or rest to retrieve the cards. You no longer pay cubes to move your ship, instead you have to pay with cards. However you still have to pay cubes to players whose ships are on your way. There are slight differences to the normal Eastern Wonders (fewer outposts, lesser range of VP tiles), so overall one might say that a bit of both games has been removed, but 3/4s of both were combined to create a medium-weight euro. I like that!
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8. Board Game: Coimbra [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:6841]
Bartosz Popow
Poland
Gdynia
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On my wantlist!

Dice drafting game by a known Italian duo: Flaminia Brasini and Virginio Gigli. They have already brought you such titles as Lorenzo il Magnifico or Egizia (both of which I like). Gigli has also worked on Grand Austria Hotel. Overall a very solid pedigree.

Not much is known at this point. Multiple uses of dice, card drafting, set collection, that sort of euro goodies set in XV-XVI century Portugal.

14.02.2018: I watched an overview. I don't see the full picture obviously, but the main mechanism revolves around dice drafting and card drafting. Dice of 4 colors are rolled and players start drafting them. When you take a die you put it in a base of your color and place it in one of 3 card drafting spaces, arranging dice by the number of pips. Each card drafting space features a set of cards that can be later taken. Once all dice are taken each card drafting space is resolved. Whoever placed a die with the most pips gets to choose the card first. However that player needs to pay [pips] money or defense (there are 2 currencies for buying and the card dictates which one must be used) for it. So obviously whoever placed a "one" will have the cheapest pick, but will choose as the last one. Dice colors matter, because they return to your player board and based on a color you will be able to take a corresponding bonus (money/VP/defense/movement on another board). There are also some end goals that I missed, but overall I like the main mechanism, it feels novel. Definitely on my radar!
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9. Board Game: Commands & Colors: Medieval [Average Rating:7.83 Unranked]
Bartosz Popow
Poland
Gdynia
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Awaiting initial reviews.

I like Memoir '44 and love Battles of Westeros. I even own Commands & Colors: Napoleonics and The Great War, but haven't yet had a chance to play them. I can welcome another game from C&C system into my collection, but I'd rather hear more about it before I decide to purchase. I know the drill, I more or less know how C&C games play, so rulebook won't help me much, I'm interested in people's impressions.
 
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10. Board Game: Derelict [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Bartosz Popow
Poland
Gdynia
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Shows up on the list, because it's an Eagle-Gryphon Games title.

It's an asymmetrical team game by a debuting Doug W. Scott. It's got SF/horror theme to it, with one player running away from all other players impersonating infected crew that turned into nightmare creatures. We've got obviously grid movement, variable player powers, action point allowance system. It's more on a thematic end of games, not your typical euro that I usually play, but it piqued my interest. Awaiting more details.
 
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11. Board Game: Duelosaur Island [Average Rating:8.21 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.21 Unranked]
Bartosz Popow
Poland
Gdynia
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I'm supporting it on KS.

It is a 2p spin-off of Dinosaur Island, which I have not played yet. This is a dinosaur park (tableau) building game. You acquire dinosaurs to your park, build attractions that attract customers who leave money. More dinosaurs mean more danger, so you need to up your security. In order to get more dinosaurs you need to get proper DNA first. Mechanically it's card drafting and dice drafting. Looks solid.
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12. Board Game: Embark [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Bartosz Popow
Poland
Gdynia
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Awaiting a rulebook or initial reviews/playthroughs.

This is another game in Tasty Minstrel Games' series of small box games sharing the same universe, after Harbour and Harvest. I own both of them, but sadly played neither yet. This one - at least superficially - seems to share some concepts with Imhotep. Players simultaneously assign their voyagers to boats. Once a boat is full it will sail away to an island, where voyagers will carry out tasks of their profession. Some will get you resources, others victory points, contribute to majority scoring. The only thing I'm unsure of are warriors who displace other players' voyagers and take over their tasks. I need to check out how it's implemented, because it sounds like a negative interaction to me, and it's not welcome in my euro games.
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13. Board Game: Escape Plan [Average Rating:7.57 Unranked]
Bartosz Popow
Poland
Gdynia
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Awaiting more details.

Another co-operation between Vital Lacerda (designer), Ian O'Toole (artist) and Eagle-Gryphon Games. It has an interesting theme. Players are bank robbers who robber a lot of money and now try to flee the town, with police and SWAT on their toes. Each player tries to escape on their own, spending money on bribing local gangs or even the police. Whoever escapes with the most money is the winner. Unlike other games by the same designer, this one is said to be quick, easier to learn and more tactical than strategic. Great news, as I find some Lacerda's games to be overly complicated. Looking forward to seeing more details.
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Bartosz Popow
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Gdynia
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I don't want to flood this list with escape room games entries, so I decided to make a joint entry for all games from this family. My wife and I got fond of these riddles/games and we'll try to get in hold of everything that comes our way ;].

Definite picks:
- Exit: The Game – Dead Man on the Orient Express
- Exit: The Game – The Sunken Treasure
- Exit: The Game – The Sinister Mansion
- Exit: The Game – The Mysterious Museum
- Unlock! Secret Adventures
- Deckscape: Heist in Venice
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15. Board Game: The Forbidden City [Average Rating:8.67 Unranked]
Bartosz Popow
Poland
Gdynia
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Awaiting a rulebook.

After a 4-year hiatus Andreas Steding brings (at least) two games in 2018: War of the Buttons and the hereby Forbidden City. Not much is known at this point, other than the Chinese theme and a list of mechanisms: worker placement, set collection, hand management, pool building, programming and betting. I'm looking forward to hearing more, the artwork suggests a thoroughbred euro game.
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16. Board Game: Forum Trajanum [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
Bartosz Popow
Poland
Gdynia
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Awaiting more details.

A second collabo by Stefan Feld and Michael Rieneck. Not much is known about the game, but thanks to designers' pedigree it gets an instant place on my watchlist.
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17. Board Game: Founders of Gloomhaven [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:6245]
Bartosz Popow
Poland
Gdynia
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Dropout from my 2017 list.

Yeah yeah yeah, I back the KS ;].

Interestingly, this is (hopefully!) a euro game. With emphasis on worker placement and route building, from what I see. The description also speaks about bidding/voting. I'd need to learn more to see whether this is something up my alley, but I'm optimistic. It would be great if this game brought as much to the euro world as its predecessor brought to the american one.

I read the draft rulebook. I like the overall idea, but it seems like there are many small weird rules which makes it seem far from streamlined. I might be wrong, as the current rulebook is pretty rough, I think one of the examples is wrong (or I missed a rule). This is a euro game that combines a few mechanisms, maybe they make a coherent entity. Action selection is via cards and resembles the one from Concordia, because you either play a card for its action or refill your hand. New cards may also be purchased. What's interesting, all other players may follow your action, so you're always involved in the game (Puerto Rico, Glory to Rome, Ark & Noah style). Actions lead to strategic tile placement on the board. You control two different resources in the game and you try to place buildings that require them adjacent to places that provide those resources. Those new building may in turn produce enhanced materials that are required elsewhere. Roads (tiles) must be built to provide those resources in yet different places. This also leads to getting victory points, but more often than not you'll have share what you get with other players; those whose resources are used earlier in the production chain).
There's a lot going on. I hope it's all clear and sound, because at the moment rules leave a lot to be desired. At the moment it's not an auto buy, I have certain doubts, but I still remain interested.

I ended up supporting the KS campaign. It's got very affordable $7 EU shipping. Previous titles by Isaac Childres didn't get Polish distribution, so this might end up being a good deal for $56. It will be a complex game, no doubt about that, but - even despite my reservations - it bodes well.
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18. Board Game: Gizmos [Average Rating:9.40 Unranked]
Bartosz Popow
Poland
Gdynia
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Tentatively on my wantlist based on one presentation.

A family-level game by Phil Walker-Harding and CMON Limited. The game has a nice gimmick, a 3D marble dispenser, but overall mechanically it boils down to drafting resources from the common pool, collecting sets to buy cards for them, those cards in turn giving you special abilities and points. I trust Phil; big credit after Cacao, Imhotep, and Sushi Go Party!, so this immediately jumped on the radar.
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19. Board Game: Hannibal & Hamilcar [Average Rating:8.77 Overall Rank:2357]
Bartosz Popow
Poland
Gdynia
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Dropout from my 2017 list. Kickstarted in 2017, will be delivered in 2018.

Pre-ordered via KS.

I have a soft spot in my heart for short, accessible war games. I buy them and do not have a regular partner to plat them with :/. But I'm not giving up. I've heard a lot of good things about this classic game and the 20th anniversary edition seems like a solid opportunity to get in hold of it.

26.02.2018: KS game has just reached me.
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20. Board Game: Haven [Average Rating:7.56 Unranked]
Bartosz Popow
Poland
Gdynia
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Dropout from my 2017 geeklist.
Awaiting a rulebook.

2-player only game with a lot of mechanisms listed: area control, hand management, pick up and delivery, set collection and variable player powers. Designed by Alf Seegert. Unfortunately I have not yet had a chance to play any of his designs (I own Bridge Troll though). It's said to last 30 - 45 minutes, which sounds like a lighter head to head, tug of war type of game.
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21. Board Game: Huns [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:7887]
Bartosz Popow
Poland
Gdynia
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I read the rules, not my cup of tea.

Dice drafting, card drafting game by a debuting designer. There is some resource collection, a bit of comboing, but overall on the lighter and quicker end (45 minutes). The description is rather extensive, but it will be easier for me to grasp if I can lay my hands on the rulebook.

19.01.2018: I've just read the rules and it's definitely not my cup of tea. It's got "take that" in a form of curse cards and various abilities that may trigger a single opponent. I don't like such mechanisms in my games. Off the radar.
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22. Board Game: Immortal 8 [Average Rating:8.71 Unranked]
Bartosz Popow
Poland
Gdynia
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Awaiting a rulebook or more details.

This is primarily a simultaneous drafting type of game. Unlike 7 Wonders though drafting is only half the work, you then activate certain cards, use abilities, overall perform stuff with the drafted cards. What is more, it is said to be more interactive, but at the same time it doesn't feature any negative interaction. Damn, it all sounds good, I like peacefully interactive euros, and I like drafting! On the radar!

13.03.2018: The KS campaign is live. It is said that the game won't be available in retail and the only way to secure a copy is by participating in this crowdfunding. Sadly, I won't back it, as I find it too expensive, game + shipping. I hope it makes retail. If not, oh well.
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23. Board Game: Journey Through the Renaissance [Average Rating:9.00 Unranked]
Bartosz Popow
Poland
Gdynia
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Awaiting more details.

A game by Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro and Paulo Soledade (a duo known for Madeira, Nippon and Panamax) as well as Quined Games. This one is on the lighter side of gaming spectrum (60 minutes play time indicates it). Mechanisms list area movement and set collection. Theme involves renaissance, art, discoveries, culture, education; enlightenment overall, I guess ;].
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24. Board Game: Jurassic Snack [Average Rating:8.22 Unranked]
Bartosz Popow
Poland
Gdynia
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On my radar, but not necessarily a must have.

Light, 2-player, almost abstract game by Bruno Cathala. Each player has 5 diplos (dinos) on a 6x6 savanna type of grid. All other squares are covered with randomly placed grass tiles. On your turn you have 2 actions. The most typical way to spend an action is to move one of your diplos orthogonally in a straight line until it hits another diplo, a grass tile or the edge of the board. You want to hit a grass tile, because you then take it and place your diplo where it used to be. Grass tiles typically are worth 1 point at the end of the game + a special ability that needs to be resolved immediately. For example place a new diplo of yours on the board, peak at other grass tiles, teleport, no special ability but 2 points. There are 2 grass tiles that make you lose your diplo, gain 3 points and place a T.Rex on the board. T.Rex is a neutral piece that anybody may move as an action. It moves like diplos do, but they do not eat grass, they prefer diplos (or they scare them away), anyway you want to move the T.Rex onto a square with opponent's diplo to make it disappear. Towards the end of the game there will be 2 T.Rexes wreaking havoc on the board.

You win the game if all opponents' diplos are gone. Probably difficult to pull it off. When all grass tiles are gone, whoever has more points among the collected grass tiles wins. Movement is definitely abstract, but overall it's pretty thematic I've got to say ;]. It's labeled as a 15-minute game, it doesn't pretend to be anything more than it most probably is. I like those brisk yet non-trivial 2-player games. I hope it's going to have a nice price point.
 
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25. Board Game: Lincoln [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Bartosz Popow
Poland
Gdynia
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Awaiting a rulebook.

Card-driven, point-to-point, not overly complicated war game for 2 players by Martin Wallace. Sign me up! It's said to play for up to 2 hours, covers the American Civil War period and features distinct decks for the Union and Confederates.
 
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