Two games on my Christmas wishlist - we'll see if I get either.
However, since I didn't play those and since I didn't get into the playtest for John Company so I won't get it until it ships in 2018, I'm going to go with...
Top Game of 2017
Leaving Earth: Stations - Yes, an expansion is my top game of the year because it is a game changer. With Stations, you get all new mission victory point cards to use, you get reusable rockets, supplies get broken into 4 types (food, parts, medicine, and science experiments), new location cards, a new mechanism to explore "features" (each location will have a number of features and a mini deck of features to draw), rovers, habitats (space and ground), modules, and scientific astronauts to hire. I mean wow do you get a lot in this small box!
The Game Take Top Spot In The Next 10 Days
Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain - I'm a sucker for the COIN series, and this is a COIN game like no other. It is a COIN wargame where you have the Britons facing growing chaos and decay, where 3 factions have not only a Battle command but a second command that lets them move and start a battle, and where combat is a complex multi-step process of conducting a field battle followed by possibly assaulting one and then maybe another stronghold (or engaging in a long siege). I can't wait to actually play this one, even though I was sad that there were no embossed irregular pieces (I would have used them as raiders to show when they were carrying plunder to reduce board clutter... oh well). Looking foward to playing this at least twice before the year is out.
Honorable Mentions and "In the Top" Games
High Frontier 3rd Edition (Not top because too similar to previous edition and thus not really a "new" game.) - finally shipped in this year, but not so drastically different from 2nd edition to really be considered a new game. Well worth $200 for the used market as it contains a lot of stuff... but it was a total bargain for the $70 kickstarter and $100 retail price (2E with all the same stuff costs somewhere around $120 to $150 new when you order the poster maps you would need, and this game uses two 2' x 3' mountain map boards that can become a giant 3' x 4' non-Interstellar game board).
Arquebus: Men of Iron IV (Not top because unplayed.) - Fourth in a series I enjoy but haven't had much time to play, can't wait to get to it but I have other things to get to (like Pendragon).
Battles of the American Revolution Tri-Pack (Not top because unplayed.) - Wanted this one ever since COIN's Liberty or Death made me interested in the conflict. Its going to have to wait, however, because I'm going through Men of Iron and The Great Battles of History series first.
This War of Mine (Not top because it isn't really a game in my eyes.) - A wonderful experience, and while technically a game it is not one I play as a game. It is a simulator of emotions - confusion, hopelessness, powerlessnes - that I suspect someone in a modern siege would undergo.
Deadline (Not top because I like really heavy, long games; its fun, but too like and suffers the same issues as Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective.) - 12 Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective styled question-and-answer-based-on-clues cases to solve, but instead of adventure book style you "earn" clues by succeeding at a mini-game of cards that uses the same silence and dropping out as in The Grizzled (but is about building a tableau of symbols rather than getting to many symbols). It suffers the same issues as SHCD: cases have some odd leaps of logic, sometimes they have insufficient clues, and the scoring system is wonky given the amount of information you have to solve the case.
Nice video. I remember finding your podcast when I was looking for Essen preview stuff, and then I listened to the top 50 as well. It's nice to put faces to the voices.
Anyway, at this point my favorite game of 2017 is either Lisboa or Lignum (second edition) (although arguably the latter doesn't change enough to warrant being called a new game (though it has its own entry)). But I haven't played anything from Essen yet, so who knows (though, it seems like it would be tough to top Lisboa, even though I still prefer both Kanban and CO_2 to it). Of the Essen crop I think I'm most looking forward to Heaven & Ale at this point.