2015 Board Games – The Good, The Awesome, and the Still-To-Come!

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Posted July 17, 2015 by Crystal Pisano in Nerdy Bits

Half of 2015 has now come and gone, so I wanted to talk about what new games I’ve discovered (either newly published or simply new-to-me) along with what upcoming releases I am most looking forward to. Make sure to comment on this article with what games you’ve been loving so far in 2015 and which upcoming releases you are most looking forward to!

As a preface, 2015 has been a spectacular year for me personally as a gamer. I attended my first board game convention (shoutout to MeepleCon), I’ve been regularly gaming at least once a week, I’ve gotten to know lot of awesome gamers in the Las Vegas area, and I’ve been steadily growing my collection of games.

But enough about me, let’s move on to my favorite games I played for the very first time in 2015 in no particular order.

Note: I won’t be describing in-depth gameplay for any of the games below, so check out their pages on Board Game Geek to learn more about them (links in the titles of each game).

Roll For The Galaxy

When a friend of mine introduced me to modern board games back in 2007, he owned Race For The Galaxy and I absolutely loved playing it. I bought my own copy of that game a number of years ago and when I heard that a dice-rolling version of this game was coming out, I was simultaneously excited and scared. Could dice capture that same magic contained within the card game I already loved? The answer was a resounding yes. I haven’t bought my own copy of this game yet, but it will definitely be added to my collection soon. I believe that both games are worth owning, but the dice version is a little more accessible to new players.

Star Wars: Imperial Assault

A few people from my weekly Meetup group wanted to run a campaign of this game and I volunteered immediately. I’ve played Descent (first edition) before and loved it, despite that game’s numerous flaws. As a young girl, I spent many a family road trip watching the VHS set of the original three Star Wars movies so I was excited to dive into a game where I would be immersed in that magical universe. Between regular and side missions, we completed 11 missions including the finale. I have to give props to my friend Joe who ran the Imperial Side. He did a great job of challenging us while also making the game exciting. Also, his painted miniatures look great.

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Seriously, check out that paint job!

The game seemed well balanced between the two sides, threw us for a loop a number of times, and was truly a ton of fun. I’m interested in buying this one and running things on the Imperial Side in the future. As a side note, I’m a bit worried I’ll never want to play Descent again because I liked this game so much more.

Welcome to the Dungeon

I generally appreciate games that come in small boxes because they are easier to carry around in my purse and foist onto unsuspecting friends when we meet for dinner or drinks (MUA HA HA). This game packs a lot of fun into a very small package. Interestingly enough, I’m often a wuss when it comes to push-your-luck style games, I don’t take big risks, and this game is essentially a dungeon crawl game of “chicken” which pushes me to make decisions that I’m not entirely comfortable with. Yet, I love it. I love it SO MUCH. I love having to take the hero into the dungeon myself to see if I can survive and I really love watching someone else do it, especially when they fail miserably. This game changes a lot based on who I play it with which makes it that much more exciting.

March of the Ants

One of the regulars in my meetup brought this to our weekly game night and truthfully, I was immediately turned off. I hate bugs, so a game about ants kind of gave me the creeps and I wasn’t amped to play it. I powered past my initial impression and decided to play and I am so glad I did. This little game was a ton of fun and it didn’t hurt that I kicked ass the first time I played it (I am very used to losing most new games by a landslide).

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Photo from WeirdCityGames.com

The battles seemed a little too intense for my liking; you could easily eliminate a player from contention with a single battle. Other than that one flaw, I loved everything else. Evolving my ant’s body, fighting centipedes, and loading up my tiles with lots of little ants so no one would even THINK about messing with them. I was like the ant godfather. It was beautiful.

Suspend & Dungeon Fighter

My collection had a notable lack of dexterity games at the beginning of the year and these two were great ways to fill that void. Suspend was a shockingly fun and simple game that I was able to introduce to a lot of people who had never heard of it. I generally described it as “jenga, kind of, but with metal wires instead of blocks!” Even though it was simple, it has been a great filler game.

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Things get pretty tangled by the end of the game!

Dungeon Fighter had been on my radar for awhile as a result of some old Dice Tower videos and after I heard it had been reprinted I grabbed a copy. A dungeon crawl game where you have to throw dice at a target in silly ways? Count me in! I was surprised to find that throwing a die normally and actually hitting the target was nearly impossible for me to do. I won’t lie, it was embarrassing. But when I picked up a weapon that required I throw the die under my leg? I became a gorram killing machine. Those monsters never stood a chance.

Camel Up

I played this game at a friend’s house and was immediately enamored with it. I can see why some people aren’t big fans because of the level of luck involved in the gameplay, but playing this game just makes me happy. I was told by the friend who taught this game to me that it is best with four or five players and I’ve never played it with more than five.

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These are our “serious” Camel Up faces

I do have fears that the full complement of eight players would make things a little less fun because each player would get to do less actions during each leg of the race. I know the upcoming Super Cup expansion will allow for up to 10 players which sounds like pure nonsense to me, but I’m not against trying it out and seeing how it goes.

Red 7

This game looked less than impressive at first glance but I happily discovered it is a great little card game. I’m actually kind of surprised I haven’t seen more people with this game, but I imagine that might change. I believe this game is perfect for your “non-gaming friends” who always want to play Uno. I bought my copy soon after I was introduced to it and the only downside for me is that my husband beats me EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. WE. PLAY. One of these days, I’ll figure out some way to beat him. *shakes fist*

Five Tribes

When I was a kid, I played a LOT of Mancala with my younger sister. When I heard this game had a Mancala-like mechanic, my interest was definitely piqued. I was able to play it for the first time on International Tabletop Day and despite being not very good at it (at first), I loved it. The puzzle of trying to figure out the best move, the multiple ways to obtain points, the WilWit promo Djinn (I <3 Wil Wheaton and don’t care who knows it)—it was all awesome. I am definitely planning on picking up the new expansion that is coming out soon even though I do think it is silly that a game called “Five Tribes” will now have six tribes and only allow four players.

So that’s some of what I’ve already enjoyed in 2015, but there are a number of games coming later this year that I have my eyes on.

Pandemic: Legacy

I love Pandemic and although I’ve never played Risk: Legacy, the idea of a Legacy game is very intriguing to me. I’ve already pre-ordered a copy of this game and will likely play through the campaign with the same guys I played Imperial Assault with.

Flick ‘Em Up

Keeping in the vein of “I need more dexterity games”, I am fully planning on grabbing this game soon after it releases. I get to flick things at people and be an outlaw in the wild west? Heck yeah! It looks like a ton of fun.

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Photo from PretzelGames.com

I was super pleased to see that Tom Vasel has already reviewed it and loved it. Here’s hoping my flicking skills are better than my “throwing dice at a target” skills!

Mysterium

I enjoy games with some mystery and intrigue. This one has been on my radar since I watched the Rahdo Runs Through video where Richard played the Polish version back in December. I honestly am not sure how much I will like this game, but I am very interested in trying it out once the English version is released.

Portal: The Uncooperative Cake Acquisition Game

I love Portal more than most things in life. This game’s release date has gotten pushed back multiple times (supposedly caused by Valve, not Cryptozoic) and it might not even see a release this year but I’m still holding out hope that it will come sooner rather than later and that it won’t suck. I’ve gotten to the point in my game collecting that I typically won’t buy a game until I’ve played it or have read/seen multiple reviews that clearly show the gameplay and I’m certain I’ll like it. That being said, I’m probably buying this game no matter what even though I know next to nothing about the gameplay as of now.

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I’ve got just a tiny obsession with Portal.

I’d love to hear what games you’ve played in 2015, both new and new-to-you, and what games you are looking forward to in the upcoming months! Comment below and let me know!


About the Author

Crystal Pisano