It has taken me the whole of 2015 to come up with what I think are my top five games of the year. In all of 2015 I had played hundreds of games ranging from the 1930’s up to the release of some of the most talked about games of the year.

So here goes my top five games of 2015 are:

#5. Viceroy

Viceroy

Viceroy had original been a Kickstarter project at the end of 2014. Published by Mayday Games & Hobby World the first edition was released in the United States in March of 2015 & later a second edition was released in the summer of 2015.  It is a game of card drafting game with aspects of hand management & resource management.

Set in a world of fantasy each turn players bid on cards that if won will be added to their hands. After the bidding process players build onto their ever growing pyramid of specialized character & law cards.

Each player must be careful. Managing the gems in your resource pool is key to building level after level on their pyramid. Each card allows for a lot of decision making.

#4. Magic: The Gathering: Arena of the Planeswalker

AotP

In 2015 Hasbro has released a plethora of games that surprised the whole of the gaming world. Hasbro was able to use one of the resting IPs & combined it with one of their current running IPs. With the combination of Heroscape & Magic: The Gathering their new game proved to be a viable way to introduce the Magic card players with miniatures.

Arena of the Planeswalker is considered as Heroscape 2.0 for the maps & game pieces are on par with the original system. Some of the rules we re-written to make it a little more simpler.

Set in the Magic universe players take control of one of the five most known Planewalkers: Jace, Chandra, Nissa, Gideon, & Liliana. Each of the five Planeswalkers are equipped with their own spells & squads of creatures to cast.  Each player with fight for supremacy over the terrain & the last one standing wins.

#3: The Grizzled

grizzled

Cool Mini or Not published several good games in 2015 but nothing, in my opinion, as good as their card game The Grizzled.

Set in the first World War each player must try to cooperate in order to find peace. But things like threats, weapons & weather conditions & negative personality traits such as being frightened by certain things will hamper each players ability to make certain decisions each turn.

If things fall apart quickly then the game will end in chaos as the war rages on. But if you are lucky enough to have great cooperation between players then success will be made with peace to end the game.

#2: Cacao

cacao

Z-man Games publishes some of the most interesting games I have ever played. Formerly a Rio Grande game Carcassonne has been a favorite of mine for several years & I love playing the stand-alone sets that have been published over the years. Well in 2015 Z-Man Games released the game of Cacao.

Similar to Carcassonne players lay down tiles with market places, temples, & trading posts. These same tiles contain a number of Meeples that represent members of that player’s tribe. When the tile is placed the number of Meeples on that tile allow that player to take the action of the adjacent tile that many times.

Players must collect & trade cacao fruit to earn points. Controlling the temples in the jungle can boost ones point advantage at the end of the game. Or maxing out one the water chart can give that extra helping hand.

Collecting & trading cacao fruit is not necessarily the key to winning the game. Many times I have lost just buy a point or two if my opponents have more control of temples or they have moved higher on the water track.

#1: Risk: Star Wars Edition

RiskSW3

Again a surprise from Hasbro Games in 2015. With the impending release of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens Hasbro released a line of Star Wars games. From Loopin’ Chewie to a new Star Wars version of Risk.

However this time this game would just be Risk in name sake only. For this version of Risk plays out like a shorter simpler version of Avalon Hills Star Wars: Queen’s Gambit.

This two player game with a board shaped like an Imperial Tie Fighter allows one player to be the mighty Empire fighting back the forces of the opposing player as they control the Rebellion.

On one side of the board on Death Star II Luke will duel with his father, the ever powerful Sith Lord Darth Vader while the hideous Emperor looks on. On the opposite side of the board the Rebel forces must make their way through the forest moon of Endor as the Imperial Stormtroopers blockade their way to the shield generators. All this happens while Rebel & Imperial fleets battle it out in the sector around Death Star II.

The Rebels can only win if they bring down the shield generators & destroy the Death Star. The evil Empire can only win if they destroy every capital ship & every fighter on the board. This is all done by commands given by playing cards & the roll of the dice. 

These games made it to my list because of how many times I have played them this year. With Risk: Star Wars alone I have played ten times in just a few weeks of its release. I know not everyone will agree with me on all the picks.

Now I must sit & look ahead at 2016 & play as many new games as possible. For it is a new year with new games to learn, teach, & conquer. May your new year bring you new games to try out & enjoy.

I looking forward to informing you, the reader, of my many misadventures as I play & learn. Here’s to a new year of gaming!

-Christopher Richter

Twitter: Boardgaming_FTW

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