a PO Girl's 2018's Most Anticipated Games & Expansions
Shanda Hoover
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If there is one thing that is evident as I head into 2018 is that I need to drastically reduce the number of games coming into my collection. I just don't have room to store ALL the games I have and that is NOT a state that has any chance of changing.

In addition, I cannot continue to spend the sums of money I have in the past on games because I need that money for other pursuits, like funding trips to conventions including my upcoming BGG@SEA cruise in June 2018.

So I have been putting the blinders on as much as possible and trying to avoid staying dialed into every new game that is being published or launching on Kickstarter. It isn't as easy as I would hope to stay "uninformed" as I have a lot of friends who keep sucking me back in with news of yet more amazing games.

Despite my best efforts to "know nothing and see nothing" I still found it quite easy to make a list of 10 games and 10 expansions that I am hotly anticipating in the coming year. But I will note, with relief, that my knowledge did not extend much beyond that 10 in each category and I am going to try and keep it that way. I will further note, that I have intentionally not mentioned or included any of the reprints that I am ecstatic to hear are coming in 2018—it is best not to think about those.

I am sure a few other games will blindside me as the year unfolds, but I swear my intentions are to play more and buy less.

In the meantime, below is the list of games that have captivated me enough to make me abandon my concerns about space constraints and finances in the coming year—

my top 10 most anticipated games
and top 10 most anticipated expansions of 2018!
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1. Board Game: Barker's Row [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:7589]
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#10 Game

As an artist unique artwork is one of the first things I notice when looking at a game. Barker's Row has a very unusual aesthetic that appealed to me. Beyond that I think is was the way they involved potential backers during their Kickstarter campaign that drew me and made me feel invested. The project funded in May 2017 and is finally nearing completion and I am excited to get my finished copy with all those custom meeples and I am eager to see if the gameplay lives up to my expectations.

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2. Board Game: Kingdomino: Age of Giants [Average Rating:8.25 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.25 Unranked]
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#10 Expansion

I have really enjoyed my many plays of Kingdomino over the past year and so I was intrigued when I saw the sequel Queendomino come out. Since that release I have been deliberating whether I should purchase Queendomino and replace the original, and something has held me back. Then I heard that there was an expansion for Kingdomino and I had a new conundrum. In a lot of ways I really like the idea of adding something to my original game versus replacing that game. So I am very eager to see and hear all about this expansion and how it compares to the variant that is Queendomino.
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3. Board Game: Edge of Darkness [Average Rating:8.14 Overall Rank:6328]
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#9 Game

I've been hearing snippets and talk about Edge of Darkness the original complex meaty euro by designer John D. Clair, that spawned the card-crafting system that has been used in Mystic Vale and then Custom Heroes, and now finally this game is showing up on Kickstarter of February of this year.

I was fortunate to get to play this game as a prototype in January of this year at OrcaCon and I was very impressed with the use of the card-crafting system in conjunction with card-drafting, deck-building, worker placement, and a cube tower. It is truly a unique combination of mechanics that seemed to work extremely well. It will be great to see the final production of what already look to be a stunning game.
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4. Board Game: Mystic Vale: Conclave [Average Rating:7.72 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.72 Unranked]
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#9 Expansion

As a fan of the base game, Mystic Vale and of the card-crafting mechanic I am automatically inclined to look favorably on every new expansion that comes along. More content, yeah!
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5. Board Game: Century: Eastern Wonders [Average Rating:8.08 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.08 Unranked]
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#8 Game

Century: Spice Road was an unexpected hit for me in 2017. I just really enjoy the casual gameplay but without giving up on satisfying decision-making. Then Plan B Games came along with Azul and that game I just fell in love with. So how could I not look at this game with ardent enthusiasm?
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6. Board Game: Clank!: The Mummy's Curse [Average Rating:7.95 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.95 Unranked]
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#8 Expansion

My friend and game group buddy owns Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure and taught our game group to play last year and while I am generally guarded when it comes to deck-building games Clank! did a good job of winning me over. Although I enjoyed playing I wasn't exactly hot to put it into my collection as I am already burgeoning. That is until now... this expansion with its Egyptian theme has tapped into my mania about that particular theme.
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7. Board Game: Sailing Toward Osiris [Average Rating:7.34 Unranked]
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#7 Game

Speaking of tapping into my mania about Egyptian-themed games, Sailing Toward Osiris had my attention from day one when it hit Kickstarter last year. With each project update my anticipation grows to get my hands on all the wonderful wooden bits in this fabulous production.
 
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8. Board Game: Beasts of Balance: Battles [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
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#7 Expansion

I picked up the original Beasts of Balance game in a math trade last summer and it immediately became a big hit with all my different gaming groups. Everyone was very excited to hear about this expansion including myself and I know that now that it isn't just a cooperative game it is about to get serious.
 
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9. Board Game: Founders of Gloomhaven [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:6253]
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#6 Game

What can you say about a game by the designer of the #1 game on BoardGameGeek? Well, you can start by saying "you've got my attention."

In truth, designer Isaac Childres has always had my attention. I backed his first game Forge War and from that first Kickstarter campaign he has just really impressed me.

I am VERY clear that Founders of Gloomhaven is a BIG departure from Gloomhaven and that is just fine with me. I love worker placement and the artwork is awesome so I am stoked about adding this one to my collection.

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10. Board Game: The 7th Continent: What Goes Up, Must Come Down [Average Rating:9.27 Unranked] [Average Rating:9.27 Unranked]
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#6 Expansion

As insane as it may be with ALL the content I have from the first Kickstarter campaign I am still super excited to be getting more STUFF for The 7th Continent. Even though I have barely scratched the surface of this monster of a game it gives me a thrill to know that I will have tons (like years) of gameplay ahead.
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11. Board Game: Dwarven Smithy [Average Rating:8.92 Unranked]
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#5 Game

I admit that I seem to have a thing for dwarves, I have a few other "dwarf" themed games. This one I think is one of the prettiest, the coins in this game alone are a exciting inducement to acquire it. However, I also think that the game mechanics are really interesting and more of at a level of complexity that suits my taste. I suspect that once I have this game in my collection that Dwarven Miner may be exiled.
 
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12. Board Game: Valeria: Card Kingdoms – Shadowvale [Average Rating:9.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:9.00 Unranked]
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#5 Expansion

I pretty much have EVERYTHING Valeria, but that alone is not the reason I am excited for another expansion for Valeria: Card Kingdoms. The reason I am excited is because VCK is a very fun game and simply put... more content!!!
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13. Board Game: The Grimm Forest [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:1232]
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#4 Game

I have been adding a lot more gateway or family weight games to my collection over the past year, but while The Grimm Forest falls into this category that is not the main reason I have backed it on Kickstarter. It was the phenomenal artwork that originally caught my eye, but not even that is the primary reason I am anxiously awaiting fulfillment.

What really has be excited about this game is the miniatures. They are some of the best and biggest miniatures of any game I have in my collection. AND so much are they inspiring in their quality, they just may be the minis that convince me to take up my brush and paint them.
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14. Board Game: Sagrada: 5 & 6 Player Expansion [Average Rating:2.39 Unranked] [Average Rating:2.39 Unranked]
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#4 Expansion

I really like Sagrada and although many folks compare it to Azul and have found it lacking, I could not disagree more. I thoroughly enjoy both games and find them to be differentiated enough to warrant having both in my collection.

I find Sagrada an enjoyable game at 4-players, but my game group is often 5 players and sometimes 6 players. I am hopeful that the game still works at these higher player counts. I expect I will find out.
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15. Board Game: Stuffed Fables [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:1072]
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#3 Game

I have no words really, the concept of this game is just so cool and so captivating. The cooperative world it creates combined with the incredible miniatures. Everything about it just has me absolutely agog with anticipation.
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16. Board Game: Roll Player: Monsters & Minions [Average Rating:8.41 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.41 Unranked]
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#3 Expansion

I was really impressed with the gameplay and production of Roll Player. I love the dice and the puzzle element of gameplay and was very satisfied with the game as it was, but when I heard about the way the expansion will change the game I knew this was what the game needed to kick it up a notch from a good game to an excellent game.
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17. Board Game: Everdell [Average Rating:8.51 Unranked]
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#2 Game

I am a fan girl of the Redwall series by Brian Jacques. I have the complete Redwall series in hardback including some signed first editions. So when I saw the campaign for Everdell it really spoke to me—I had to know more.

After checking out the Kickstarter page and seeing the amazing 3D board design, the cool bits for the resources, and the amazing card art I was already on board, but after watching a run through of the gameplay I was in hook, line, and sinker. I am really looking forward to playing this game.
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18. Board Game: Abyss: Leviathan [Average Rating:8.19 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.19 Unranked]
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#2 Expansion

I continue to have a love affair with the art style of Abyss. The colors and aesthetic of the game are both so pleasing that they add an extra level of enjoyment to a truly excellent game. I am more than happy that this awesome game is getting new life with an expansion in 2018.
 
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19. Board Game: Western Legends [Average Rating:8.37 Overall Rank:5755]
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#1 Game

I have never been specifically drawn to games described as "sandbox games" but I am exceedingly keen on games with a western theme. Western Legends looks like a combination of mechanics and player actions that really has a lot of appeal and that gameplay combined with the stunning artwork and production has put this one at the top of my list of games that I am looking forward to playing.
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20. Board Game: Near and Far: Amber Mines [Average Rating:9.27 Unranked] [Average Rating:9.27 Unranked]
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#1 Expansion

Near and Far is one of my favorite games of 2017 and so I would be psyched for an expansion on that basis alone, but the new content includes a way to play the game cooperatively and that has me over the moon excited for this to show up. I have high expectations that with the cooperative mode of play that my love for this game will reach new heights.

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