Hello, and welcome to our countdown of the most popular board games as of December, 2017. We’re listing ten board games that have been getting the most attention this past month, based on the daily averages of BoardGameGeek.com’s “Hottest Games” list over the past 30 days. Basically, these are the games that people are looking at and talking about the most, on the internet’s largest board game database website. Hopefully, this countdown may help you find some new games that you may not have known about yet. And if there’s a game on the list that you’d like more information about, let me know in the comments below, and I’ll see what we can do about highlighting it either in a future episode, or perhaps even in its own, separate video. But for now, let’s get started!
Slipping five spots this month from number five down to number ten is Arkham Horror: The Card game. Arkham Horror: The Card Game seeks to blur the line between traditional roleplaying and card games. Each character’s strengths and weaknesses are reflected in their customizable deck of cards. But, are some characters more powerful than others? To help answer this question, Board Game Geek user B.D. Flory created an online Arkham Community Stats tracker, which records and reports statistics from hundreds of Arkham Horror card games, including the win/loss ratios for games and campaigns, the characters played the most, the least, and with the most wins, and more. If you play the Arkham Horror card game, it’s an interesting place where you can check your own performance against the community averages.
The biggest drop on this month’s list is for the game in the ninth position, The 7th Continent, which was at spot number two last month. The 7th Continent is an epic, story driven, choose your own adventure type adventure game which has reached over a combined 55,000 backers over the course of two Kickstarter campaigns. And running two successful Kickstarter campaigns to finance print runs of the game raises the question of whether or not its designers would be running a third one. Well, as reported on a forum for the 7th Continent, the designers recently confirmed on a French podcast that they have no plans for a third Kickstarter campaign for another print run of the game. Now, that doesn’t mean that the authors, Serious Poulp, won’t be incorporating a similar story telling mechanism in future games. But, it looks like, when it comes to The 7th Continent, they’ve now told the tale they want to tell.
Scythe digs in and holds its position at spot number eight this month. As a result of Scythe’s popularity, it has appeared on the countdown more months than not this year. In fact, Scythe was recently voted as number one game of all time in The Dice Tower’s People’s Choice survey. I’ll add a link to that in this video’s description, so you can check out all of the picks on The People’s Choice list. Now, I’m wondering if this recognition help give Scythe a boost back up the list in the months to come? We’ll find out, but for now, let’s move on to the spot number seven.
Making its debut on the countdown this month in spot number seven is Pandemic Legacy: Season 2. In Pandemic Legacy: Season 2, the world has been ravaged by a virulent plague and humanity's very survival hangs in the balance. Players must work together against the game to get the world’s last remaining cities the supplies they need while unraveling the mysteries of the plague that has afflicted them. And, in the typical legacy game fashion, each step the players take leaves a permanent mark on the game world, changing the course of history, and resulting in a unique gaming experience. Now, it’s really difficult to talk about a legacy game without giving away spoilers, so, instead of saying anything else about this second entry in the Pandemic Legacy series, I’ll mention that the game’s designer, Rob Daviau, recently confirmed in an interview that there will eventually be a third and final Pandemic Legacy game in the series. So, proceed cautiously while playing Pandemic Legacy Season 2, because we don’t yet know how those decisions will affect what’s still to come in Season 3.
The Gaia Project climbs four spots to settle in at number six this month. The Gaia Project is a reimplementation of Terra Mystica. As in Terra Mystica, players will be able to choose from fourteen different factions to develop and grow a myriad of different planets. Players will need to use their wits and talents to terraform neighboring planets into environments suited for their faction. I personally have had The Gaia Project on my wish list for several months. And, while the game has started shipping to some parts of the world, I believe it should become available in north american retailers around December 14th. Here’s hoping this game will be an out of this world experience.
Speaking of release dates, the next expansion for Terraforming Mars, the game in spot number five on this month’s countdown, will be Venus Next, which is currently estimated to be released on December 27th. In this second expansion for the game, players will construct flying cities while working to make the Venusian atmosphere hospitable to human life. This expansion adds around 50 project cards, 5 corporations, and a new resource, milestone, award, and a new terraforming parameter. All of which introduce more paths to victory. But, will this expansion also result in a victory for Terraforming Mars on our monthly countdown? We’ll see, in the weeks to come.
The highest-debuting game on this month’s list is Azul, in spot number four. In Azul, players take on the role of craftsmen working on the King’s palace, and take turns drafting colored tiles. As a tile-laying artist, you have been challenged to embellish the walls of the Royal Palace of Evora. They will then score points based on how they've used the tiles they’ve selected to decorate the palace. Extra points are scored for specific patterns and completing sets, and wasted supplies harm their score. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins. Is Azul a work of art? Enough people thought so, to launch this game into slot number four on this month’s list.
As we are about to enter this month’s top three, it’s a good spot to remind everyone to be sure to subscribe and click the notification bell icon so you don’t miss out on any of the videos posted on the channel. And speaking of videos, videos like this are made possible by viewers like you who are donating to Pair Of Dice Paradise’s 2018 fundraising campaign. Thank you for supporting the channel. Every pledge helps and is appreciated. And now, this month’s top three games!
Kingdom Death: Monster continues clawing its way up the list to reach spot number three this month. Kingdom Death: Monster is a massive, cooperative adventure RPG style game, set in a unique, nightmarish world. The game includes a lot of scenarios to explore, minis to assemble, and character traits to track. It can certainly be overwhelming to the uninitiated. To help assist with the game’s bookkeeping, Board Game Geek user Gyorgy Boda has created a series of documents and custom component plans to help streamline the game. His list of customizations includes storage solutions, control panels to manage character stats, and other player aids. If you’re looking for a way to make Kingdom Death: Monster a little more hands-off, so you can focus more on the adventure and less on the recordkeeping, then Gyrogy’s tutorials may be worth checking out. A link to them is included in the video’s description.
Inching up two more spots this month to land in spot number two is Clans Of Caledonia. One of the primary concerns when designing an in-depth economic strategy game like this is ensuring that each different faction that the players can use is fairly balanced. It’s only natural for players to speculate whether one faction is stronger than the others, giving it a natural advantage. To help address this concern, the Board Game Geek user Andrew Watson has started compiling results from over 100 Clans Of Caledonia sessions, comparing which factions have been used, and have won, most often. You’ll also find a link to Andrew’s research in this video’s description, where you can compare the results he’s compared, to your own experience with the game.
And finally, back in the number one spot for a second month in a row is the euro-inspired tactical combat game set in a persistent world of shifting motives, Gloomhaven. Gloomhaven has been mentioned so often in our Top 10 list that it doesn’t even set off my spell checker anymore. Continuing on the theme of community-built game add-ons, Board Game Geek user Toy Goncalves has developed a Gloomhaven scenario viewer app for both iOS and Android. The scenario viewer app displays maps of the official scenarios from the game, but hides any unopened rooms, monsters, special sections and conclusions until the players reveal them. A link to more information to this fantastic companion tool will also be included in this video’s increasingly-crowded description.
Well, there you go, there is your list of the ten most popular board games as of December, 2017. And for countdowns, check out this playlist, and remember to subscribe for more board game news, reviews and commentary. Until next time, I’ve been Chaz Marler, and take care.