20 Most Anticipated Games of 2020 --- 11th Year --- Nominations are CLOSED --- Final Voting is CLOSED
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Back for the eleventh year...

Nominations are CLOSED

20 Most Anticipated Board Games of 2020 --- (8900+ votes) --- FINAL VOTING IS CLOSED


A rough version of the 10 minute updates are live here:
http://rvinyard.com/20most/2020/nominations.html

Well, this is a bit later than I'd like to open nominations, but life has been hectic... to say the least. But, it seems that even with the late start there is interest in this little annual competition (after 11 years I think it now qualifies as an annual event).

To that end, we'll shorten the timelines a bit on nominations and voting (see schedule below).

We're getting a bit of a late start, so we'll have to adjust the nominations a bit. Traditionally, our cut off date for eligibility was January 1st, even though nominations were kept open a bit later and voting typically ran through January.

For this year's competition, we'll use today, January 27th, as the cut off date for eligibility, so any game released on or after January 27th is eligible.

The nature of the competition has continued to change quite a bit as well. Gone are the days where I could seed the list with Z-Man's planned release schedule, although GMT's P500 schedule continues to fill that role. Today's speculative releases, for better or worse (mostly better I think) are dominated by Kickstarter, while the big companies seem to rely less and less on advance announcements. Mayfair, Lookout, and Rio Grande used to fill out the now dwindling Euro category.

But, enough of nostalgia... let's look forward to the coming year!!!

The competition through the years

Starting with the first nominations in 2010, this geeklist has all the past winners:

20 Most Anticipated Games of 20xx

Anyone want 1350 Geek Gold???

30 Chances to Win Geek Gold!!!

100 Geek Gold to the person that nominates the Most Anticipated Game of 2020.
50 Geek Gold to each person that nominates Overall Most Anticipated positions 2-10.
25 Geek Gold to each person that nominates Overall Most Anticipated positions 11-20.
100 Geek Gold to the person that nominates the game with the most votes at the end of the nomination phase.
50 Geek Gold to the person that nominates the games in positions 2-5 of the Overall at the end of the nomination phase.
25 Geek Gold to the person that nominates the games in positions 6-10 of the Overall category at the end of the nomination phase.


In the event that one of my nominations wins the Most Anticipated or most nominations, we'll move down the list to the Most Anticipated or most nominated game by someone that isn't me. Someone other than me is getting the .

Status updates:
The status updates aren't running yet. Hopefully I'll have time to set things up by the end of the 28th.

As the nominations proceed, I would ask that everyone try and improve BGG as well by creating and/or updating game pages as appropriate. One particular aspect that I often see in need of correction are the release year and categories.

Without further ado nominations are once again open in this very in-formal and un-official contest to determine the 20 Most Anticipated Games of 2020.

Key Dates:
Nominations Open: Monday, January 27, 2020
Nominations Close: Sunday, February 16, 2020
Voting Begins: Monday, February 17, 2020
Voting Ends: Saturday, February 29, 2020

Bribing Voters
Bribes during the nomination and voting stage are allowed.

In short, if a bribe doesn't run afoul of BGG's policies it is fair game.

In the past, publishers and designers have offered web released scenarios, special cards, etc. as bribes to voters if they make it through the nominations phase or achieve a certain position in the final voting. This is completely acceptable as it drives anticipation, which is the point of this contest.

Don't forget that all bribes need to comply with BGG's policies on contests and promotions. General guidance is that whatever bribe is offered needs to be available to everyone. Therefore a contest for a copy of your game would not comply with BGG's policies because the copy would only be available to the winners, even if entry is available to everyone.

In the end, the intent of the bribes is just to have fun and allow publishers/designers to give a nod to all their anticipant fans. [As an aside... the real point of this is that I don't want to get into deciding what forms of promotion are acceptable or not.]

If you want to report an improper bribe, or if you have any questions regarding whether a bribe you're contemplating runs contrary to BGG rules I would suggest sending a geekmail to Octavian or Chad.

Nominating your most anticipated.
As always, if a game you're anticipating the release in 2020 is not on the list feel free to add it. Game designers and publishers are encouraged to nominate their own games by adding them to the list. Don't be humble and wait for someone else to do it. See the notes below for adding games.

As in past years, this will be a two-stage process... a nominations phase and a final voting phase.

Adding category nominations.
If you think a game should be in a category not already listed, you can add it in a comment using the notation [category]wargame[/category]. If your comment has 5 or more thumbs the category will be added to the nomination subject to the category limit.

Removing category nominations.
If you think a game should not be in a category, you can suggest removal using the notation [rmcategory]wargame[/rmcategory].

Campaigning for your favorites
Go for it. If you're a publisher, designer, or designer's mom don't hesitate to campaign for your favorites. Bribing voters is fine too. Pretty much anything goes as long as kittens, puppies and small children aren't injured. We have to draw the line somewhere.

Nominations
To nominate a game add it to this geeklist with one or more categories using the category tags below. Please add a short note stating why it is anticipated that the game will ship in 2020. Feel free to suggest new categories.

Nomination name
Nominations may not have a BGG entry yet, or you may want to change the nomination name to indicate a specific edition.

To do so, put the nomination name inside of altname tags such as:
[altname]Favorite game - Unnamed expansion[/altname]

To second a nomination thumb its entry.

The top 50 nominations will be entered into the final vote for the top 20.


Nomination Categories:
Categories will be changed based on the nominations, but tentatively these are the categories I expect us to have, roughly based on 2018 entries. Feel free to nominate a game for multiple categories. Some of the categories may be combined or eliminated if there aren't enough nominations in the category.

The restrictions below all refer to the official BGG entry for the nomination.

* Reprint [category]reprint[/category]
* Expansion [category]expansion[/category] : Must be categorized as "Expands"
* Non-Crowd Funded [category]nocrowd[/category] : GMT P500 is in this category
* Cooperative [category]cooperative[/category] : Must have mechanism "Cooperative Play"
* Solitaire [category]solitaire[/category] : Min players = 1
* Strategy [category]strategy[/category] : Type must be "Strategy"
* Euro [category]euro[/category]
* Thematic [category]thematic[/category] : Type must be "Thematic"
* Wargame [category]wargame[/category] : Type must be "Wargames"
* Grognard [category]grognard[/category] : You call that a "Wargame". I'll show you a real wargame.
* Abstract [category]abstract[/category] : Type must be "Abstract Strategy Games"
* Family [category]family[/category] : Type must be "Family", or min age 6-10 and max players >= 4
* Children's [category]children[/category] : Type must be "Children's" or min age <= 6
* Party [category]party[/category] : Max players >= 7
* Train [category]train[/category] : Category must include "Trains"
* Economic [category]economic[/category] : Category must include "Economic"
* Dice [category]dice[/category] : Category must include "Dice"
* Historical [category]historical[/category] : Category must include one of "Age of Reason", "Ancient", "Medieval", "Napoleonic", "Post-Napoleonic", "Renaissance", "American Indian Wars", "American Civil War", "American Revolutionary War", "Civil War", "World War I", "World War II", "Korean War", "Vietnam War", "Wargame"
* Science Fiction [category]scifi[/category] : Category must include "Science Fiction"
* Science - No science-fiction here, there must be a preponderance of science-fact! (but perhaps a smidgen of sci-fi) [category]science[/category]
* Horror [category]horror[/category] : Category must include "Horror"
* Fantasy [category]fantasy[/category] : Category must include "Fantasy"
* Sports [category]sports[/category] : Category must include "Sports"
* Repeat Offender [category]repeat[/category] : Must have already participated in a previous Most Anticipated competition
* Short Game [category]short[/category] : Maximum playing time 30 minutes or less.
* Miniatures [category]miniatures[/category] : This category isn't just for games with masses of plastic or metal. This category is for games with miniature works of artistic sculpture in plastic, metal or other other media.
* Artistic [category]artistic[/category] : All games have artwork. Some are works of art.

Category Order and Limit:
Although a nomination may have unlimited categories, the categories on the voting poll are size limited and an entry will be placed in at most two categories plus the overall vote if qualified. The order of the nomination categories will be used as a suggestion of category preference.

The not-crowd-funded and repeat offender categories won't count against an entry.

Category Restrictions:
Some categories now have restrictions. Since this is new, I expect the restrictions to evolve over the course of the competition.

Note that meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee entry in the category. An alternate history game set in World War I would not qualify for historical.

The BGG entry restrictions do not have to be met at the time of nomination, but they will need to be met at the end of the nomination period. It is ok to add a nomination category now and submit the correction to BGG.

Games that do not yet have a BGG entry will have flexibility in the restrictions.

Eligibility
Any newly available game or expansion is eligible if it is reasonably expected to ship in 2020. I know, "reasonably" is a fuzzy word... c'est la vie.

Nominations available at retail prior to January 27th will be disqualified, even if all retail stock was allocated to pre-orders and it is now sold out. This also applies to crowdfunded or GMT P500 projects where backers begin receiving copies before the 27th. This does not apply to projects that offered early Essen pickup or early airfreight copies.

Voting
At the conclusion of nominations I will create a poll with the top 50 nominations.

Reprints vs. new editions
Reprints of already released games are not eligible, but new editions are. As with many things in the gaming industry this isn't a crisp line as to how many changes are necessary to distinguish a reprint from a new edition, but several factors to consider are artwork and components.

When nominating a new edition, mention why you think this one is different from the previous edition (not necessarily in detail, something as short as "new components" is sufficient).

Long out-of-print reprints
I would prefer to include games that have been generally unavailable for several years and are receiving a reprint. Again, this is a bit of a fuzzy area, but as an example, if Space Crusade or Hero Quest were to be reprinted without changes they would be eligible.

Limited initial release
I would also prefer to include games that had a limited initial release and are preparing for a full re-release. Again, this will be a grey area, but one example I would point to is the approach that GMT and other publishers take with typically small pre-order releases that sell out quickly and receive a reprint if they perceive that the game was well received.

What is a small or limited release? Again, another gray area that we'll have to deal with as it comes up, as I'm sure a small release for Hasbro is quite different for a small release from most publishers here on BoardGameGeek. However, if it was a general Kickstarter project it will not count as a limited release even if it gained a significant following with a massively successful second Kickstarter (such as 7th Continent, Gloomhaven, et. al.).

This would also include games that might have had reviewer copies released, but are not yet generally available for purchase.

Multiple Nominations for the same game
Games with multiple expansions released in 2020 should be combined into one entry. Additionally, a Kickstarter or similar project that has both the base game and expansions should be combined into one entry.

Other
If there isn't any justification for why a particular game is anticipated to ship in 2020 I may remove it from final voting. The only reason I state this is to separate anticipated 2020 releases from wishlist items. Yes, it would be nice if Hasbro/Avalon Hill reprinted Star Wars: The Queen's Gambit but at this point I don't believe there is any reason to anticipate a 2020 release.

However, in this respect I would prefer to be inclusive rather than exclusive.

Anything else??? We'll wing it... After all, this is just for fun.
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1. Board Game: Return to Dark Tower [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:9826]
Board Game: Return to Dark Tower
Rick Vinyard
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[category]fantasy[category]
[disqualified/]
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2. Board Game: 1861/1867 [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked]
Board Game: 1861/1867
Rick Vinyard
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[category]train[/category]
[category]economic[/category]
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3. Board Game: 18Chesapeake [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:1628]
Board Game: 18Chesapeake
Rick Vinyard
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4. Board Game: Cthulhu Wars: Daemon Sultan [Average Rating:8.70 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.70 Unranked]
Board Game: Cthulhu Wars: Daemon Sultan
Rick Vinyard
United States
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[category]horror[/category]
[category]strategy[/category]
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5. Board Game: Ankh: Gods of Egypt [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:5531]
Board Game: Ankh: Gods of Egypt
Rick Vinyard
United States
Albuquerque
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[category]fantasy[/category]
[category]strategy[/category]
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6. Board Game: 1848: Australia [Average Rating:8.00 Overall Rank:3360]
Board Game: 1848: Australia
Rick Vinyard
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[category]train[/category]
[category]reprint[/category]
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7. Board Game: Mind MGMT: The Psychic Espionage "Game." [Average Rating:7.86 Unranked]
Board Game: Mind MGMT: The Psychic Espionage "Game."
Rebodaxa Carnivatana
United States
Da Burbz
DC METRO
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* Strategy [category]strategy[/category]
* Thematic [category]thematic[/category]
* Science Fiction [category]scifi[/category]
* Horror [category]horror[/category]
* Fantasy [category]fantasy[/category]
* Artistic [category]artistic[/category]

Based around Matt Kindt's most excellent MIND MGMT comicbook from Dark Horse, a team based hidden movement game with hints of Scotland Yard.
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8. Board Game: Rome, Inc.: From Augustus to Diocletian [Average Rating:7.33 Unranked]
Board Game: Rome, Inc.: From Augustus to Diocletian
Rebodaxa Carnivatana
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* Solitaire [category]solitaire[/category]
* Strategy [category]strategy[/category]
* Euro [category]euro[/category]
* Thematic [category]thematic[/category]
* Economic [category]economic[/category]
* Historical [category]historical[/category]

ROME, INC. by designer Philip Jelley is a solitaire game of the Roman Empire from Augustus in 27 BCE to Diocletian in 286 CE. The player (as CEO of this vast corporate empire), appoints consuls and governors, raises taxes, deploys legions, fleets and auxiliaries to garrison provinces, and fights wars to expand the prestige and power of Rome.

There is a PNP version of this game available, or at least some derivation thereof.

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9. Board Game: Jurassic World Miniature Game [Average Rating:9.03 Overall Rank:15792]
 Missing Image
Rebodaxa Carnivatana
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* Strategy [category]strategy[/category]
* Euro [category]euro[/category]
* Thematic [category]thematic[/category]
* Science Fiction [category]scifi[/category]
* Miniatures [category]miniatures[/category]
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10. Board Game: Ride the Rails [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:3317]
Board Game: Ride the Rails
Rebodaxa Carnivatana
United States
Da Burbz
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* Reprint [category]reprint[/category]
* Strategy [category]strategy[/category]
* Euro [category]euro[/category]
* Train [category]train[/category]
* Economic [category]economic[/category]

Pre-orders open.
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11. Board Game: Cosmic Frog [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:11511]
Board Game: Cosmic Frog
Rebodaxa Carnivatana
United States
Da Burbz
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* Strategy [category]strategy[/category]
* Thematic [category]thematic[/category]
* Family [category]family[/category]
* Science Fiction [category]scifi[/category]
* Fantasy [category]fantasy[/category]
* Artistic [category]artistic[/category]

Not not licking toads.
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12. Board Game: Pax Renaissance [Average Rating:8.08 Overall Rank:502]
Board Game: Pax Renaissance
Rebodaxa Carnivatana
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* Reprint [category]reprint[/category]
* Strategy [category]strategy[/category]
* Thematic [category]thematic[/category]
* Economic [category]economic[/category]
* Historical [category]historical[/category]

Reprint announced crowd funding at the end of March, along with a "surprise" for the Pax series.
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13. Board Game: Trans-Siberian Railroad [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:8568]
Board Game: Trans-Siberian Railroad
Rebodaxa Carnivatana
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* Reprint [category]reprint[/category]
* Strategy [category]strategy[/category]
* Euro [category]euro[/category]
* Train [category]train[/category]
* Economic [category]economic[/category]

Rumored reprint from Rio Grande Games in 2020.
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14. Board Game: Gulf, Mobile & Ohio [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:4827]
Board Game: Gulf, Mobile & Ohio
Rebodaxa Carnivatana
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* Reprint [category]reprint[/category]
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* Euro [category]euro[/category]
* Train [category]train[/category]
* Economic [category]economic[/category]

Getting through that Winsome Catalogue lickity split. Where's the 1836 reprint already?
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15. Board Game: Wonderland's War [Average Rating:8.49 Overall Rank:8680]
Board Game: Wonderland's War
Chris Meeusen

Belmont
Michigan
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[category]thematic[/category]
[category]strategy[/category]
[category]fantasy[/category]
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16. Board Game: Beyond Humanity: Colonies [Average Rating:8.61 Overall Rank:14399]
Board Game: Beyond Humanity: Colonies
Rebodaxa Carnivatana
United States
Da Burbz
DC METRO
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Oh, you can stand it alright.
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Microbadge: Lexicon RPG fanMicrobadge: High Frontier fan - Your trip ends here!Microbadge: Labyrinth Lord RPG fan
* Strategy [category]strategy[/category] : Type must be "Strategy"
* Euro [category]euro[/category]
* Thematic [category]thematic[/category] : Type must be "Thematic"
* Science Fiction [category]scifi[/category] : Category must include "Science Fiction"

Pros - teeny RFID light up buildings for the board
Cons - boardgaming tracked via RFID by BB

also requires a smertfone.
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17. Board Game: Seventh Cross [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Seventh Cross
Chris Meeusen

Belmont
Michigan
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[category]thematic[/category]
[category]strategy[/category]
[category]fantasy[/category]
[category]repeat[/category]
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18. Board Game: Tidal Blades: Heroes of the Reef [Average Rating:8.46 Overall Rank:6786]
Board Game: Tidal Blades: Heroes of the Reef
Chris Meeusen

Belmont
Michigan
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Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level I - One small step for geek... One giant leap for geek-kind!Microbadge: Wheaton's LawMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level III - Are we geeks because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at them because we are geeks?
[category]thematic[/category]
[category]strategy[/category]
[category]fantasy[/category]
[category]artistic[/category]
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19. Board Game: Dead Reckoning [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:12039]
Board Game: Dead Reckoning
Chris Meeusen

Belmont
Michigan
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Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level I - One small step for geek... One giant leap for geek-kind!Microbadge: Wheaton's LawMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level III - Are we geeks because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at them because we are geeks?
[category]thematic[/category]
[category]strategy[/category]
[category]fantasy[/category]
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20. Board Game: Dice Realms [Average Rating:8.64 Unranked]
Board Game: Dice Realms
Chris Meeusen

Belmont
Michigan
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Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level I - One small step for geek... One giant leap for geek-kind!Microbadge: Wheaton's LawMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level III - Are we geeks because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at them because we are geeks?
[category]nocrowd[/category]
[category]strategy[/category]
[category]dice[/category]
[category]fantasy[/category]
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21. Board Game: Tellstones: King's Gambit [Average Rating:5.33 Overall Rank:17808]
From gallery of BoardGameGeek
Chris Meeusen

Belmont
Michigan
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Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level I - One small step for geek... One giant leap for geek-kind!Microbadge: Wheaton's LawMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level III - Are we geeks because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at them because we are geeks?
[category]thematic[/category]
[category]strategy[/category]
[category]fantasy[/category]
[category]abstract[/category]

By the creators of Mechs vs Minions
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22. Board Game: Bloodborne: The Board Game [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:9800]
Board Game: Bloodborne: The Board Game
Chris Meeusen

Belmont
Michigan
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[category]thematic[/category]
[category]strategy[/category]
[category]fantasy[/category]
[category]miniatures[/category]
[category]cooperative[/category]
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23. Board Game: Unsettled [Average Rating:9.06 Unranked]
Board Game: Unsettled
Chris Meeusen

Belmont
Michigan
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Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level I - One small step for geek... One giant leap for geek-kind!Microbadge: Wheaton's LawMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level III - Are we geeks because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at them because we are geeks?
[category]thematic[/category]
[category]scifi[/category]
[category]science[/category]
[category]fantasy[/category]
[category]strategy[/category]
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24. Board Game: Dwellings of Eldervale [Average Rating:8.44 Overall Rank:5841]
Board Game: Dwellings of Eldervale
Chris Meeusen

Belmont
Michigan
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Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level I - One small step for geek... One giant leap for geek-kind!Microbadge: Wheaton's LawMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level III - Are we geeks because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at them because we are geeks?
[category]thematic[/category]
[category]strategy[/category]
[category]fantasy[/category]
[category]solitaire[/category]
[category]miniatures[/category]
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25. Board Game: Kemet: Blood and Sand [Average Rating:8.43 Overall Rank:8034]
Board Game: Kemet: Blood and Sand
Chris Meeusen

Belmont
Michigan
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Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level I - One small step for geek... One giant leap for geek-kind!Microbadge: Wheaton's LawMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level III - Are we geeks because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at them because we are geeks?
[category]thematic[/category]
[category]strategy[/category]
[category]fantasy[/category]
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