My Top 3
Nick from @boardgamerdad
Hi all, here are my top 3 games. It was fun to take the time to decide on them and think about what it is that I love so much about them.
I love resource management, worker placement and engine building in games. When I found out Everdell had all of that as well as the adorable artwork and critter meeples, I knew I was going to thoroughly enjoy it.
There are so many neat card interactions, and the engine building ramps up very quickly because of it. The card effects are all very thematic too. My favourite are the Husband and Wife cards - they can share a space in your tableau, and each card's abilities are enhanced by the other, representing the way their shared lives bring out the best in each other (like any healthy marriage should).
The first time I played the game, I couldn't stop smiling at how cool the gameplay was. I've thoroughly enjoyed playing the game both solo and multiplayer. I suspect I may start to get tired of it after several more plays, but for now I feel like it deserves a place in my top 3.
2. Formula D
Formula D takes all the fun of top-tier motor racing and packages it in a cardboard box. You get to switch gears, race through corners, run your car to its limits and hope it doesn’t all end in a spectacular crash. The only thing the box doesn’t include is sound effects, but I often end up adding those myself!
Each turn you’ll be choosing which gear to use – you can shift up or down one gear, or stay in the one you’re in – and then you’ll pick up the corresponding die and roll it to see how far you move this turn. Higher gears have dice with higher numbers, and lower gears have lower numbers. It’s a nice touch that the higher gear dice are larger and thus more fun to pick up and roll across the table.
Despite being essentially a roll-and-move game, there's quite a bit of strategy involved since you have to manage your speed around the corners and avoid wearing out your car. If you're going to fast you can slam on the breaks leading up to a corner, which will also cause a bit of wear and tear. The variance in the die values creates some great push-your-luck moments that can be really thrilling.
I've played this game many times on a few different tracks with many different people and it just never gets old. I suspect this will remain one of my favourites for a long time.
There's so much I like about this game, it's hard to know where to start. The Lord of the Rings is my favourite piece of fiction which certainly has an influence on my opinion of the game, but there's more to it than just a love of the source material. The artwork is great and has a really cohesive feel despite being produced by a whole raft of artists. I love the flavour text from the novels, and I also appreciate how faithful everything is to the spirit of Tolkien's vision, both thematically and mechanically. I also love that it is a really enjoyable solo game, as well as being fantastic with two or more.
The mechanics encourage you to give each of your characters different roles, each using their unique strengths to work as a fellowship of adventurers to complete the quest. I really like that aspect of the game, not only because of the obvious parallels with the source material, but because it provides a wealth of interesting gameplay choices.
Being a customisable game, there are so many options for building decks, so there's a whole lot of strategising and decision-making you can enjoy even when you're not actually playing the game. The game does have a fairly steep learning curve, so it takes a bit of practice for everything to click. Once you've got it down though, the game flows really easily and intuitively - at least that's been my experience.
This is the game that really drew me into the hobby nearly 10 years ago now. In all that time, my love for the game hasn't waned, so it deserves the top spot in my collection.