Farewell 2020 – Non-Historical Board Games

Sure, this blog is all about games and history. But in the end, most of us gamers are happy with whatever gaming we get to do (there are always more games we are interested in than opportunities to play), and this is especially true in this year of limited social interaction. So, without further ado, here are my top 3 non-historical games I played this year!

I was a dumbass and did not take any pictures playing Just One, so you’ll have to make do with the box cover. Not that Just One is a very visual game anyway. Image ©Repos Production.

Just One (Ludovic Roudy/Bruno Sautter, Repos Production)

The winner of the New-to-Me category makes its comeback! As I’ve already put my thoughts on how the game plays and why I like it there, let’s talk about party games here instead.

It’s no secret that like to sit down for a long, involved game. Party games are not my favorite kind of games. Yet I still play them, and enjoy them. Why? – Because the best of them understand what they are and are perfectly tailored for that – games which turn parties into gaming gatherings (I feel so nerdy saying this as if this is an improvement). Just One is such a game. I played it at a birthday party hosted an avid board gamer whose guests were, say, a mixed crowd in that regard. Just One worked for them and everyone had a good time – including the one guy who’d told a story about how he’d been invited to another party once only to find out that people wanted to play A Game of Thrones before the more relaxed part would begin.

Looks like a steamy romance, but Mark Harrigan is not in the lovin’ business. He’s in the shootin’ business. And business is a-boomin’.

Eldritch Horror (Corey Konieczka/Nikki Valens, Fantasy Flight Games)

After two consecutive years on the top of the list (check out the 2018 and 2019 posts), Eldritch Horror falls back to the rank of nominees. Is that testament to its descent? – Au contraire! To me, it proves the longevity of this design that it makes its appearance for a third time in a row. This year, I’ve added the Forsaken Lore (Nikki Valens, Fantasy Flight Games) expansion to the game, which, after the first 15 plays with just the base game added some welcome freshness to it.

More on that matter: Eldritch Horror might just have convinced me, the expansion grinch, that expansions can be a good thing! At least in this particular case where the base game has been thoroughly explored. And thus, I’m already eyeing the next expansion – Mountains of Madness (Nikki Valens, Fantasy Flight Games). The Eldritch Horror train moves on!

Both good games! However, the non-historical game with which I had the most fun this year is…

The Woodland Alliance (or, as I call them, the terror rabbits) have put down two bases, torching my peaceful recruiters in the center of the map. Screenshot from the Root app, ©Direwolf Games.

Root (Cole Wehrle, Leder Games)

I’ve played Root once last year (at the Essen game fair), was intrigued by it, and then forgot about it again. Being unable to meet with people for gaming helped. Then, however, Root made a comeback in my mind when the digital adaptation was released by Direwolf Games. That proved to be the perfect form in these times. I got together my blogger friends Dave from Dude! Take Your Turn and Michal from The Boardgames Chronicle and we went straight at it. Since then, it’s been a joyful few months of economical exploitation of the forest (Cats), dreams of recovering lost grandeur (birds), revolutionary terror sprees (Woodland Alliance), and looking like a nice, harmless, solitary creature until you come out of the woodwork to punch everybody (Vagabond). Those are very different experiences interwoven in a larger whole, and that makes me certain that Root with its immense replayability has come to stay.

Which non-historical games did you enjoy this year? Let me know in the comments!


4 thoughts on “Farewell 2020 – Non-Historical Board Games

  1. Pingback: Farewell 2020 – The Best on the Blog | Clio's Board Games

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