#1 = TITAN
This is Valley Games new version of the classic Avalon Hill title from the early 1980's. In this epic multi-player fantasy wargame, you're a mighty titan in command of a colorful army comprised of mythical beasts and monsters, duking it out for supremacy of the land.
The new artwork by Mike Doyle looks quite beautiful. And who can resist taking on the role of monsters and kicking ass on behalf of your mighty god!
Titan is one of those highly esteemed classics that was just begging for a face-lift and re-print so that gamers of the new millenium can enjoy it. Despite its long playing time (multi-player games generally last 2.5 to 4 hours), this is a Must-Buy on my boardgames wishlist.
#2 = COSMIC ENCOUNTER
Everything old is new again, or so it seems. Much like Titan, the upcoming edition of Cosmic Encounter is a fresh take on an old, beloved classic.
Slated for a midsummer release by Fantasy Flight Games, Cosmic Encounter is a chaotic game of galactic negotiation and conquest. You command one of many alien races, each of which has its own unique special power. The interaction of these varied alien races and their special powers, plus the fun negotiation aspect of the game, means that Cosmic Encounter has tremendous variety, replayability, and a high fun factor.
Since FFG is known for its fantastic art and components, I can't wait to see what they do to shine up the chrome on this old favorite (I've got the West End Games version from back in the '80's). Miniature aliens perhaps? Another Must-Buy, which means I'll be putting up my old copy on eBay later this year.
#3 = AGE OF CONAN
Crom! When I think of "classic fantasy", my mind immediately turns to three things:
- The Lord of the Rings
- King Arthur & The Knights of the Round Table
- Conan the Barbarian
Oh sure, there are other fantasy greats that are close on their heels, like the Elric saga, Fritz Leiber's terrific stories about Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, and the hilarious Discworld novels by British author Terry Pratchett. But when it comes to the ultimate fantasy hero, Conan has no equal.
So it was with much delight that I learned of the upcoming game, Age of Conan, from Nexus. This is the same game company that brought us the excellent War of the Ring and Wings of War, both published in the USA by Fantasy Flight Games.
Although details of the game play are still a little sketchy at this time, the feeling I'm getting is that this game is basically going to be very similar in style to the highly acclaimed War of the Ring game. Instead of the hobbits, Fellowship, and free peoples facing off against the forces of Sauron in battles across Middle Earth, it will be Conan leading his legions against the sorcerers and barbaric nations of Hyboria. And it will be loaded with plastic miniatures. Even Arnold would be proud. Crom!
#4 = PIZZA BOX BASEBALL
It has been awhile since a true sports game has caught my eye. I grew up during the 1970's playing a heavy diet of Sports Illustrated Baseball, SI Football, Bowl Bound, Statis Pro Baseball, NHL Strategy, Coleco Rod Hockey, and Strat-O-Matic Hockey. Many of those are among my favorite games of all time (in fact, I've rated Statis Pro Baseball a perfect 10 on BoardGameGeek).
While Pizza Box Baseball is not a statistical simulation game along the lines of my old favorites, it still sounds interesting. It's really a pure strategy baseball game, with the essence of the game being batter vs. pitcher matchups and trying to out-think your opponent. The fact that it plays fast and takes a different approach than more traditional baseball games is what really appeals to me. I'm not 100% sure that I'll love it and can't ever see it beating Statis Pro Baseball in my personal pantheon of great games, but I'm certainly willing to give it a try.
#5 = WORLD TANK CAMPAIGNS
What is World Tank Campaigns about? Battles involving pre-painted, miniature model tanks. I mean really, what more needs to be said.
Okay okay. For those of you who need a little more convincing, I'll say these three things. First, the game is being produced by Fantasy Flight Games, makers of so many highly thematic and outstanding board games that I don't have time to list them all here. They've already got the new edition of Cosmic Encounter in the works and will probably be publishing the Age of Conan game as well, so why not add another game to their impressive pedigree?
Secondly, I've seen some of the tanks in the flesh as the game was playtested at some HMGS East miniature wargaming conventions last year. The tanks are small, very pretty, and affordable. I'm not a huge World War II buff like it seems so many wargamers are nowadays. In terms of that famous historical period, my boardgame collection features Tide of Iron and not much else (although I've got a strong hankering to add Combat Commander Europe to the mix). But tanks... I've always loved tanks.
And thirdly, did I mention there were miniature tanks!
This was only supposed to be a Top 5 games list, so I'm not going to cheat and list a whole bunch of other stuff. But I will include one honorable mention on my new games wishlist. That game is Monster Liner by Z-Man games (makers of Duel in the Dark, Saboteur, Prophecy, and 1960: The Making of the President, among others).
The premise behind Monster Liner is really cool, and not one that I've heard of being done in a game before. You are on a luxury liner containing some of the world's greatest monsters (captured and put on display as entertainment to the passengers). Unfortunately, your ship hits an iceberg, starts to sink, and all hell breaks loose. Sounds kinda like the Titanic meets the famous monsters of Hollywood. Tasty! I just hope that the actual game play comes as close to being as engaging as the innovative theme.
That's all for now.. until next time, this is Sevy signing off.