2015 was the year that I really got into board games with going to NoBoG on a regular basis, competing in tournaments and even buying a few things to add to my own collection. It is also the year that I went to the Uk Games Expo for the first time which was a really good experience and I even got a few games as presents this year which was very cool.
So what better than to start the year than by celebrating the best games that I have been lucky enough to have a go at in 2015.
The first game on my list is actually an expansion to one of my favourite games of all time Ticket to Ride and is something I had been looking forward to for absolutely ages. The UK/Pennsylvania map collection is the 5th in the series and introduces two new maps with two very different mechanics to learn, the UK side of the board has technology cards while Pennsylvania sees you dealing in stocks and shares. With two maps, two very different additions and its own set of train cards, this expansion is definitely good value for money.
Being able to play a game of Ticket to Ride that is based on the country that I grew up in is very exciting and I really like the strategy that comes hand in hand with the technology cards on the UK map. However out of all the games that I have played of this map collection I think I am starting to favour the Pennsylvania side as I really like the system of shares as it adds another layer to the game and can see some pretty big point shifts at the end of the game. If you are a fan of Ticket to Ride or you are just looking for a great game to play with the family then I would highly recommend getting this expansion.
Codenames is next on my list because it is an incredibly well produced game that is easy to learn and quick to play. I first played this back in November at an Athena Monthly Board Game Evening and I have brought it to pretty much every social gathering since as my friends and I have really enjoyed playing it. Essentially the game sees you form into two teams with one person on each team becoming a spymaster, to win the game they have to get their teammates to correctly guess when their team’s spies are but the only way they can communicate this is through a single codeword and a number of words that it relates too.
Spymasters can only give the one word clues plus a number and nothing else and the fun comes from trying to decide what words your spymasters are trying to get you to guess as you also have to avoid the enemy team, innocent civilians and the dreaded assassin. Let me tell you, being a spymaster is no easy task but it can also be very satisfying when your team guesses correctly and with the words being double sided alongside a wide variety of spy positions there is an absolute ton of re playability in this game plus I managed to pick it up for around £13 so if you are looking for value for money then look no further.
I can’t remember exactly when or who first introduced me to the wonderful game that is Castles of Mad King Ludwig but I really must thank them for it as it truly is an exceptionally well made and well designed game that is a lot of fun to play.
Every player builds their own castles as they attempt to win favours from mad king ludwig which are rewards for building various types of rooms or for meeting certain objectives which change from game to game. On a players turn they take the master builder token and set the prices of the rooms on offer, to which they are payed by the other players before paying the bank for the rooms that they want to buy.
What I love about this game is the theme and that every player has their own secret objectives as well as the open favours that everyone might be going for which means their is also a lot of re playability in this game. The artwork on the rooms are nice to look at without being to distracting as they contain information such as how many points they are worth and how many points you may get by placing one type of room next to another. Castles of Mad King Ludwig is a very good four player game that also has an interesting single player mode that challenges to score as many points as possible. The game also has an expansion called Secrets which adds moats, swans and secret passages which adds another level of strategy at the cost of additional set up time but that is not really a downside as this is such a great game.
Sushi Go is a brilliant set collection game with a really lovely theme and it is also the second filler type game that is on my list of top games for 2015. This game is a little similar to 7 wonders in that each player picks a card from their hand to play before passing the hand to a player on their left with the idea being to have the most points at the end of three rounds.
In this game you get points for collecting sets of cards such as Maki Rolls, Sashimi and Dumplings but you have to remember your pudding as the person with the most gets an additional 6 points at the end of the game while the one with the least losses 6.
This game is very easy to pick up and play as it is only three rounds long and it is perfect for when you go travelling as you don’t need a lot of room to have a game or two. Sushi Go has been a popular game at NoBoG over the last few months with several copies in circulation and it is very easy to see why it has become so in demand. If you are looking for a fun little game to fill the time at the end of a long session of games or just want something for travelling then I would highly recommend getting Sushi Go.
The 5th and final game is One Night Ultimate Werewolf/Daybreak/Vampire and while I own none of these versions myself I have enjoyed playing them immensely as there is usually something hilarious or unexpected going on. As the name suggests it is set over one night that sees all manner of things happening with roles and allegiances being shifted around as well as various marks and knowledgeable people all claiming to be certain characters.
One Night games are an interesting puzzle to work out and it gets even more interesting when you play regularly with people as you become aware of how each other plays the game and it is often a lot of fun, well as long as you remember to do your role that is. The most unexpected thing for me was The Dunk Tanner incident but I will let you read all about that for yourselves and there is just so much to this game that I like.
We even once played it for an entire evening, some three hours with various combinations of roles and like pretty much every game on this list it has a ton of re playability. One NightUltimate Werewolf is chiefly owned by my good friend Lewis and I may even pick up my own copy some day but I will say that if you are looking for a fun party game that doesn’t take to long to learn but does take a while to master then you are looking in the right place.
I hope you have all enjoyed this list of my favourite games of 2015 and I want to thank you all for checking out my blog posts this year. Leave me a comment with some of your favourites from 2015 and I hope that you all have a wonderful year and that you play lots of games.