It is hard to believe that over a year ago we took over 2D6.org. It has been an exciting time and we know that the best is still to come. Well, we thought what would be better for a celebration then to give back to the readers that have been a big part of 2D6. We wanted to introduce the new members of the crew, and share the joy of what is the community of 2D6. So, were giving away a $100 gift certificate from Game Salute.com and Myriad Games to the lucky winner of this newest giveaway. Just in case you’re not sure what games to buy the crew has put together a list of suggestions that you can choose from if you find yourself to be the lucky winner.
So here is what you have to do to enter!
- Go to Game Salute Facebook page and “like” it and comment on one of their posts.
- Come back here and just mention in the forum connected to this post what you commented on and the date so we can find it!
That’s it and you will be registered for the contest! You can entry once a week for all six weeks of the contest from February 1st to March 14th. The winner will be announced on the 15th of March before Midnight. Best of luck to everyone and in the meantime keep reading all the new reviews, and keep playing!
I had many “favorite” games of 2011. My “Top 10 of 2011” video highlighting most of these. But, I want to single out one game in particular for this article: Airlines Europe.
Airlines Europe is hands down the best Gateway Game on the market today. The design of this game is absolutely brilliant. If Stone Age should replace Catan (and it should), then Airlines Europe should replace Ticket to Ride as one of your “Go To” Gateway Games.
There are a large variety of strategies and tatical decsions available at every step, but all of the players’ options are refined into exquisite bite-sized pieces. New gamers can easily jump into a game and feel involved after a single round of play. And, it’s extremely easy to teach! On your turn, you have one of four possible actions you can take. Each action is extremely straight forward. You can either put money into an airline, play shares, trade for shares, or take money. That’s it. However, there are no meaningless decisions in this game. As players take their turns, even novice gamers will pick up on the possible strategies that are available to them.
This is a Gateway Game for adults who like to use their brain when they play. Leave Catan and Ticket to Ride as the Gateway Games for kids!
Growing up I played all your typical mainstream games. Unfortunately, it was difficult to find others in my family that wanted to play. Most of my time was spent playing Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit or Risk. Then in college, my group of friends got into weekly party game nights, playing things like Scattergories, Taboo, and Cranium. But there was always a longing for something more. One day after graduating college, I was in the mood to play something so I went to the game shelf. After staring for a few moments at the stack of sheer boredom in front of me I decided that there had to be something better. I had heard of this crazy complicated game in college called Axis and Allies so I knew there was a gaming underground out there. After some internet research, I ordered Carcassonne and Ticket to Ride, and with that, the floodgates were opened.
2011 was a great year for gaming with many many new games in every genre and style you can think of. I have singled out 2 of my favorites published this year: The Castles of Burgundy and Eminent Domain.
The Castles of Burgundy
The Castles of Burgundy is a great medium weight dice rolling euro with some neat mechanics in which you are building an estate in medieval France. In the vein of Troyes and Alien Frontiers, it mitigates the luck of the dice by providing a multitude of choices no matter what you roll. The addition of several different player boards as well as seemingly endless ways to score victory points helps keep things fresh and unique each time you play.
Eminent Domain is a sci-fi themed galactic civilization building card game that draws heavily from 2 other fantastic games: Glory to Rome and Race for the Galaxy, and tosses in a deck building mechanic for good measure. The rules are easy to pick up, there is little downtime, and has great components and artwork. I highly recommend giving it a play.
I don’t have many “favorite” games, as I am willing to pretty much play anything with anyone at any time. My tastes are as varied as the number of gray hairs in my beard – but every once in awhile a game or two will come around and knock me on my butt and make me take note of its awesomeness. One such game is Dominant Species.
Dominant Species is not a game for the light hearted, or for someone who has somewhere they need to be in the next 3 hours. It is engrossing, challenging, and a test of your mind at every turn. At the end of a session you will think back on each and every turn and wonder where you went wrong, and you will already be planning on how you are going to get your revenge on your friends the next time you sit at the table. I often hear that this game is “not for everyone”, and maybe they are right, but if this game isn’t right for you, then you are REALLY missing out.
The best game to come out in years. Period!
Defenders of the Realm
So pick something lighter for my second game? OK fine. I hate most co-ops. Hate them. Something about sitting down to a game of Pandemic makes my skin crawl, so when someone suggested that I give Defenders of the Realm a chance, I scoffed and waved away their pitiable request. They countered with the “what happened to you playing any game with anyone at any time?” comment I have made several times, and so I ate my humble pie and sat down to play.
I don’t know what it is about this game that intrigues me. I don’t see it as being anything new. Move around the board, control the chaos as best as you can, hope for some good cards, and try to avoid being destroyed – simple…but oh so much fun. I think this game works best when you are getting 6 different kinds of dog crap being kicked out of you, and the fate of the world comes down to a single die roll, and whether you win or lose, the story about how you got there is so, so epic.
If you are a fan of co-ops or fantasy themed games, this has to be in your collection.
My tastes are pretty deep rooted in the euro-space. Low luck, no dice, and excruciating decisions are what makes Mr. Keller happiest at the table. Fantasy/D&D themes are virtual poison to me. Amazingly Quarriors, which represents almost all of my gaming dislikes, instantly became one of my favorite games of 2011. I’m not sure what exactly it is but the zesty combination of dice building (deck building with dice) with all these other unsatiable elements frothed into my first major hit of 2011.
Amazingly this even appealed to my girlfriend who is far less forgiving of the fantasy genre. She usually doesn’t have specific leanings for which games we play in a particular night but Quarriors was requested numerous times. Quarriors is just fun, fast, and always begging for an immediate second play.
This falls squarely in the category of “last but not least”. This is the last new game that I played in 2011. Dungeon Petz just completely blew me away by it’s amazingly engaging theme and really streamlined play. Yes, the rules are a hurdle to get past but once the game was unlocked it was pure bliss for me. Worker Placement combined with some really difficult puzzly decisions combined with incredible art and story made this my favorite game of 2011 without question. Because general retail availability didn’t occur until the final days of December I may be able to cheat and save this for my 2012 list as well. Regardless, Dungeon Petz hit a spectacular high bar in gaming for me because of it’s imagery and finely implemented theme – and poo.
I’ve burned more than my fair share of the proverbial midnight oil playing Twilight Imperium into the wee hours. The group that I play most with tends to use lots of house rules, developed over time with great care to make a great game all the more replayable. I bring this up because this ia group that takes it’s galactic domination very seriously – and we’ve now become obsessed with Eclipse. If you are a fan of grand galactic conquest and you haven’t already given it a try then do so now!
The system is very slick with good mix of interesting and yet not overly flashy mechanics. Two of the high points for me are the variable tech tree (fixed techs but randomness in their availability) and great action/passing system that is tied into the overall economy. Every turn you have interesting choices to make and – perhaps best of all – you might be able to get in two games in a night if everyone knows what they are doing!
A Few Acres of Snow
Is a great introductory war game for people that want to experience a gateway into wargaming.
There have been a lot of great games last year, but out of all the games I played I most happily recommend Disc World: Ankh Morpork. I have been playing it a lot and been working on the review.