Nasir’s Top Board Games in 2013
Hello and welcome to what I hope will be the first in an annual tradition: our top games lists. This particular list is not the best games that came out in 2013, but rather the games I enjoyed playing most in 2013. Also, this list is in no particular order. So let’s get to it.
Parade is a game that works well in almost any situation. I’ve played with my friends, with my parents, with strangers, and at our events, and had fun each time. High quality cards, wonderful artwork, and excellent mechanics that work well with two to six players.
A very solid pick up and play game, that you can teach to anyone in under 5 minutes. Works wonderfully with almost any age group (my favourite memory of this game was when my 6 year old cousin asked if we could play the monster game, and this was months after her first play). This also a great game to play at cons, due it to it’s easy to jump into and leave nature. Highly recommended.
You get a big enough group of my family together, and inevitably someone is going to ask when we’re breaking out werewolf. I think I’ve played this game more this year that all other games put together, mostly because we never just played one game of it. And all the roles in the game are as fun as you make them, so it’s always a blast, whether you’re the last werewolf desperately trying to avoid being found out, or one of the dead, laughing your head off as the remaining villagers lynch their seer, or the moderator trying to keep everything in line and offer a great night of entertainment.
I’m not doing a ranked list this year, but if I was, Dominion would be in the top three somewhere. It has that extremely easy teachablitiy that I love; by the second turn everyone just gets the mechanics, and by the second game have already figured out how to chain cards together to build an amazing deck. With all the expansions, this game is nearly infinitely replayable.
I didn’t get a chance to play this game as much as I would have liked this year, but what I did play I highly enjoyed. Great mechanics, wonderful theme (especially if you’re into classic sci-fi), and wonderful components and art. Once I get my hand on some of the expansions, I expect this to be higher in my ranking.
This quick to teach, trick taking game is also in my top three this year. Having only one choice to make, which of two cards to put down, each round seems overly simple, but that simplicity hides a deep game of bluffs, risk management, and card counting. Fun with the family, at a table waiting for your meal, or almost anywhere else, from 2-4 players.
This is another game I didn’t get to play as much as I would have liked to. This is a role deduction game, similar to Werewolf or Resistance, but it adds in mechanics to help you achieve your goal, as well as try and figure out who’s who. I definitely recommend playing with 5 players, as the addition of a neutral character changes the dynamics drastically, but it’s still fun with only 4 players.
Who will win? Pirate or Ninja’s? Smash Up’s answer is Pirate Ninja’s, of course; Or any other wacky combination you can create, from Alien Robots, to Zombie Dinosaurs, or Armored Bear Mages. Definitely recommend picking up the “Awesome Level 9000” expansion if this game looks interesting to you. Just crazy fun.
Defenders of the Realm
I like Pandemic, but I love Defenders of the Realm. Maybe it’s the fantasy setting, maybe it’s the quests that give you tasks to accomplish besides clearing the board of minions and facing down the generals, maybe it’s all of it, but I will almost never turn down an opportunity to play Defenders of the Realm.
I used to play Magic: The Gathering back in high school, and have recently gotten back into LCG’s thanks to the Duels of the Planeswalkers video games. So when I heard the original creator of Magic had designed a new game, I was immediately interested. And boy, does Android: Netrunner deliver. A superbly designed two player LCG, with each side playing so asymmetrically, but still balanced. All my games of Netrunner have come down to the wire, with either the Netrunner or the Corp within turns of winning. I’m really looking forward to adding more expansions, and getting even more play time with this game.