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10 of Our Favorite Tabletop Games & RPGs of 2018 (So Far)

10 of Our Favorite Tabletop Games & RPGs of 2018 (So Far)

With the plethora of releases in the year so far, it’s been a busy year of playing games as we’ve sorted through the new hotness that 2018 has offered. To help you filter through all the titles out there, the Geek & Sundry editorial team has put together a list of the 10 games released this year that continue to hit our tables and are all contenders for 2018’s best game of the year.

Heroes of Land, Air & Sea – Gamelyn Games

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Charlie Theel described Heroes of Land, Air & Sea as “a big ‘ol game. This is, of course, ironic because it’s the latest project from Scott Almes, the man behind the Tiny Epic series. Here, we have scads of miniatures, a huge board, tons of cards, and of course 3D airships and boats and castles for those vehicles to assault. All of this fuels Orcs, Elves, Dwarves, and Humans throwing down in the name of lord victory point. On the whole, it’s impressive and provides a great deal of personality.”

Read how Heroes of Land, Air & Sea mega-sized fun despite its tiny epic heritage in the full overview.

Rising Sun – CMON Games

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To say CMON Games’ Rising Sun was one of the most hotly anticipated releases for 2018 is a bit of an understatement. Given how many hit games designer Eric Lang has had a hand in creating over consistently over his career and how this game was billed as the spiritual successor to the beloved Blood Rage, expectations for Rising Sun were quite high.  But as Ruel Gaviola put it in his overview, “Rising Sun is not the streamlined dudes-on-a-map experience of Blood Rage. It’s a longer and much deeper game, with several factors influencing your overall strategy. […] This is an epic experience, best shared by your favorite gaming partners, especially those who aren’t going to be upset when you betray them to further your clan’s objectives.”

Find out how Rising Sun rose to our expectations in our full overview.

Stars Without Number 2nd Edition – Sine Nomine Publishing

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Yes, this RPG was technically released in 2017 but as Ian Williams put it, “The masterpiece of sandbox gaming released in late 2017, late enough that it was hours from being 2018. Stars Without Number Revised Edition, a snazzy update of a nearly decade-old work by its author, Kevin Crawford (Sine Nomine Publishing), is like a shot across the bow of what we think of as sandbox gaming. It’s both deeply traditional and wildly new. It should be reckoned with as one of the best games of the year.”

Learn about the innovations and refinements Stars Without Numbers 2nd Edition brings to the RPG genre in our overview.

Dinosaur Island – Pandasaurus Games

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With a dash of nostalgia and a fantastic theme, this strategy game was one we kept pulling off our shelf to play. As Jessica Fisher put it, “Just like an Argentinosaurus (one of the biggest dinosaurs ever discovered), Dinosaur Island is huge and intimidating at first glance, but the designers, Jonathan Gilmour and Brian Lewis have excelled at making a cohesive and well flowing game that I keep going back to play again and again. Dinosaur Island truly captures the spirit of Jurassic Park and provides deeply strategic gameplay while maintaining a level of accessibility in the way it separates out the different types of choices you have to make.”

Find out why Dinosaur Island stomped its way onto this list in our overview.

Dusk City Outlaws – Scratchpad Publishing

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We have a soft spot for RPGs that are accessible and light, while still being fun and immersive, and that’s what Dusk City Outlaws offers in putting players in the role of thieves. As Rob Wieland described the game, “The rules and setting are light, allowing for games that feel like a mixture of Lord of the Rings and Ocean’s Eleven right up until the Heat comes down. […] Dusk City Outlaws may have come together to steal jewels or gold, but it would not be a crime to let it steal some time at your table this year.”

Check out the reasons Dusk City outlaws stole our hearts and attention in this feature.

Azul – Plan B Game

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A beautiful game with stunning components doesn’t have to rely on its looks alone. As Raf Cordero described the game, “Azul is one of those wonderful games that can be played as casually or aggressively as you like. You can take the time to examine everyone’s board, draft aggressively, and drive the game to end when it works best for you. You can also play lighter, focusing only on building up your mosaic and planning out your own strategy. ”

Learn why this fantastic gateway game is compelling for seasoned and new gamers in our overview.

Stuffed Fables – Plaid Hat Games

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Designed by Jerry Hawthorne, who also designed Mice & Mystics, the story-driven game has accessible themes that draw players into a beautiful and compelling world while being family-friendly. As Raf Cordero put it, “It’s a tale of friendship, adventure, and overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds.”

Check out why Stuffed Fables is a dream game for families in our overview.

Space Base – Alderac Entertainment Group

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Engine-building games often have the players’ eyes locked on their own tableaus, minimizing player interaction and often feeling as though you’re playing a game of solitare alongside your opponents. That isn’t the case for Space Base, as Shea Parker described the game as “a wonderful engine building experience that does something that many similar games struggle with. Whereas a lot of economic strategy games have players eyes’ locked on their own player board, Space Base has you watching each roll of the dice like you’re at a Craps table in Vegas.”

Find out why we keep on customizing spaceships with this game in our overview.

Street Masters – Blacklist Games

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Charlie Theel mused that while some games, “feature poetic commentary on culture and the human condition. Other games simply let you beat the hell out of some bad dudes. Street Masters from Blacklist Games is comfortable in that latter category, offering a high octane beat ’em up full of aggression and a sense of cleverness. It’s smooth and burly and it knows how to execute a roundhouse. […] This is a remarkable experience. It’s physically a looker and mechanically a beast. It maintains a high velocity throughout play and clocks in at a comfortable 60 minutes. Hell, it even warms the belly as a solitary endeavor. Street Masters is a fantastic release that’s willing to fight for its top-shelf status.”

Learn more about how Street Masters brings that Double Dragon action to the tabletop in the full overview.

The Fall of Delta Green – Pelgrane Press

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There are some RPGs that make us want to keep the nightlight on when it’s bedtime, and The Fall of Delta Green is one such RPG, but is also a masterwork. As Ben Riggs put it, “Fall is a game you need to try because it is one of the greatest settings of all-time, uses a system that perfectly matches the investigative genre, is produced by a team of publishers, designers, and artists all working at the height of their powers to produce what may prove to be an iconic product of this current golden age of role-playing.”

Learn more about The Fall of Delta Green in our overview. 

What games released this year are your favorites? Tell us in the comments!

More Board Game Goodness!

Image Credits; Raf Cordero, Charlie Theel, Jessica Fisher, Sine Nomine Publishing, Scratchpad Publishing, Ruel Gaviola, Shea Parker, Pelgrane Press

Teri Litorco is the contributing editor of Geek & Sundry. She’s also a gaming nerd who wrote The Civilized Guide to Tabletop Gaming, a survival and ettiquite guide for gamers. She’s on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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