Spiel des Jahres 2017

Is it really that time of the year again already? I could swear we just had an Essen fair, and suddenly the jury is announcing Spiel des Jahres nominees. Time does fly when you’re having more new boardgame releases than anyone could ever play. But here it is, and so we’re going to do what I guess most of you want: tell you about the nominees!

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Arkham Horror: The Card Game

Arkham Horror: The Card Game

I’ve been a long-time sufferer from collectible card games, buying way too many booster packs to find that one card I really wanted. I’m out of that now, but I’ve been reluctant to get into Fantasy Flight’s Living Card Games because of it. They are much nicer than CCGs, of course. There are no booster packs that always have the same worthless cards. But their business model is still to keep you buying cards to remain competitive every time a new expansion comes out. But that’s not a concern with Arkham Horror: The Card Game. It’s a cooperative game, so no one has to buy cards just to be able to compete. You just buy an expansion when you want more story to experience.

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Betrayal at House on the Hill – Widow’s Walk

Betrayal at House on the Hill – Widow’s Walk

When we did the nostalgia piece about Betrayal at House on the Hill last week, there was one thing we didn’t mention: there is an expansion. The 2016 release Widow’s Walk was created after years and years of fans asking for more haunts. An understandable request since playing the same haunts again and again loses its appeal as well as some of its challenge when you know the other side’s secret rules. And so a monumental nine people design team was put together to give us fresh haunts. And that’s exactly what they did.

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Betrayal at House on the Hill

Betrayal at House on the Hill

Why did I want this game so badly? Mainly because I am a huge horror movie geek, especially for haunted house movies, and Betrayal at House on the Hill lets you play through exactly that kind of story. It is also a classic American style boardgame, so it focuses strongly on narrative over mechanics. It’s halfway to a role-playing game, really, exactly what I would want from this experience. And I’d been wanting it for a long time before I finally got it.

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Clans of Caledonia

Clans of Caledonia

Here’s another first for us: we’re doing a review of a game that doesn’t exist yet. At least, not really. Clans of Caledonia only just started it’s run on Kickstarter, but thanks to Tabletopia we already had the chance to test it extensively.

Clans of Caledonia is the new game by Juma Al-JouJou and Karma Games, previously presented here with Green Deal. Clans of Caledonia is a very different game from that one. Both are heavier games with a strong economic component, but that’s where it ends. Instead of a tidy, modern office Clans of Caledonia sets you down smack in the middle of the Scottish highlands some time in the 19th century. No, it’s not Outlander – The Boardgame.

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