Favourite New Boardgames Retrospective

2009 was the year when I first picked up modern boardgames. Though everything was new and shiny, my favourites from that year have endured: Race for the Galaxy and Dominion, both combo games that require some experience to appreciate, both impeccably designed and extremely thoroughly playtested. Additionally I picked up Go again due to my smartphone, having skimmed an online tutorial sometime in the past. I only really pushed the game in 2010 onwards, and haven’t played since early 2012.

My favourites of 2010 included Homesteaders and Hansa Teutonica; these games too have remained favourites, though I’ve been able to play Hansa Teutonica more consistently and its depth has allowed it to rise as a result. While Homesteaders is just a very compact engine-Euro, Hansa Teutonica provokes a more combative style, and changes dramatically based on groupthink. Container didn’t rate so highly in that year (which also featured excellent expansions to RftG and Dominion), but I grew to appreciate the game’s unusual style (a true economy, where players are better served cooperating) and depth with more plays. I still enjoy Space Alert, but it’s a very difficult game to get to the table, as there’s always someone who vetoes it.

So far 2011 received the biggest shake-out; I only played Troyes once more, and it was incredibly fiddly face-to-face. I had trouble following what was happening and what I could do. Caylus Magna Carta and Navegador remain favourites, while I’ve never played Chicago Express against a human and may not… That year I also played Marracash for the first time, which turned out to be my first (proper) re-bought game… The Horned Rat expansion to Chaos in the Old World was a big hit, but its flaws undid it and my interest lapsed.

2012 wasn’t very exciting for me, partly because I didn’t play much. Many of the new games were played (once) at BGGCon. Suburbia hit the mark but remains under my other preferred games, and while I’ve enjoyed Mage Knight, it’s too fiddly and long to play spontaneously.

Looking over the years, there’s a clear trend towards decreased novelty; it says something that I’m still playing Hansa Teutonica (and want to play Container), and I have little interest in the hot new games Terra Mystica and Tzolk’in. I had trouble believing that HT was actually a game from 2009, and I’ve barely played the expansion.


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