Board Games I Played in 2021
It’s almost the end of 2022 so I know what you’re all thinking: what did Mac play in 2021? Well, here you are, here’s the list.
We played Wingspan online while we couldn’t meet in person. I don’t think it deserves the hype it got but I do enjoy it very much. It’s very relaxed, the player interaction is subtle and the theme is really unique. It’s a shame the online version doesn’t include the expansions, I really want to try them out.
We also played Terraforming Mars online. It’s very popular for a reason, but I think it has 2 key problems. Firstly, skill in this game seems largely based around knowing the cards: a great deal of the gameplay is understanding what remains in the card pool and what your opponents have. Secondly, knowing the rules of this game doesn’t really give you any idea how to get a high score. These two things don’t ruin the game, they just make it require a depth of knowledge and a lot of patience, which reduces who I’d recommend it to.
Race for the Galaxy
This game is maybe a bit dated now, but I really like it. The use of one stack of cards as resources and tableau for everyone is really neat, I’m quite surprised we don’t see this more.
This continues to be a very pretty game that is also a lot of fun. Very worthy of many plays.
We played this on Tabletop Simulator and it works pretty well there.
Aquatica is a deck builder of sorts, with a very cool mechanic of cards rising up through the water to give you powers. You have to allow the card to bubble all the way up before you can score it, and they give you bonuses along the way. It’s unique and there’s a lot to think about.
A friend of mine got this on Kickstarter, but we played it on Tabletop Simulator. It shares a bit of hand management and deck building with Aquatica, but uses them to support a rocket building system which creates a really cool problem: putting cards into your rocket builds it, but until it launches they’re out of play so your resources become more limited. Your deck never gets particularly big - it’s always very tight. Balancing launching rockets with building your deck is a constant challenge. I really enjoyed this, I would play it a lot.
Beyond The Sun
I liked this, but I wanted to like this a lot more than I did. The game puts a messive tech tree in the middle of the table and a tiny galaxy on the side, and then a huge part of the game happens in the galaxy bit. I love the idea of a game focused on the tech tree but I didn’t really feel like this game actually did that.
I love Viticulture. It’s got loads going on and the theme is wonderful. I wish I got to play it more.
This was the first game I played in person in 2021. It was great to be back at the table!
Flamme Rouge is cool. The theme is great, the racing is usually pretty tense, the mechanics are simple and very deep at the same time. I am now starting to get an idea of how you are supposed to win this game, but I still always lose.
This remains the most thinky game I’ve played that you can get through in 15 minutes. It’s wonderfully easy to understand and hard to master.
I love this game so much. I loved it for its artwork to begin with, and I was a bit worried that it would lack longevity, but I keep coming back to it and enjoying it more and more. I haven’t even played with the expansions yet, even though I own them, because it just doesn’t need them.
Meh, 7 Wonders is one of the most overrated games. It’s fine, just not that great.
Between Two Cities
I have played this more than almost any other game I own, purely because it is so easy to teach, it’s short, and it gets people talking. It’s the best game I own for getting a board game club going. It continues to be interesting, too: I still find it to be full of difficult decisions many years on.
Coup only gets better the more you play it. The more plays you see, the more combinations you get dealt, the more strategies you come up with. Pretty much everyone at my board game club has played Coup at least once because I won’t shut up about it.
King of Tokyo
I’m warming up to this, you know. For a while I dismissed it as lacking in strategy, but you know what? Push your luck dice rolls are fun. It’s a great entry level game.
Now Sol is something different! It’s a 2 team capture the flag kind of game - we played it 3v3. You have to go searching an island, trying to find the treasure before the other team before getting back to your boat to get off the island. You get hidden clues that reveal the location as you go. If you meet the other team along the way you have to fight. It was cool, I’d play it again.