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Our Top 20 Tabletop Games of 2018 (Part 2)

Our Top 20 Tabletop Games of 2018 (Part 2)

Every year, the fantastic team of Geek & Sundry contributors come together to figure out which games released over the course of the year we couldn’t get enough of. Before digging into the list, there’s a few things you should know:

  • We only considered games released between Essen Spiel 2017 through until Essen Spiel 2018 (which occurred this year at the end of October), simply because we wanted to make sure the games included on the list were truly great, and to do that we needed more than a handful of plays with them.
  • We didn’t rank the 20 games  – these are all games we highly recommend as best representing what tabletop gaming can be. As such, the games are presented in alphabetical order.
  • No, there are no RPGs on this list – we have an entirely separate list for that (three parts actually, covering prestige gamesindie games, and supplements & add-ons).

We’ve already posted the first 10 titles of the list, so here are the final ten titles on the list:

2x1 G&S Approved GOTY

Rising Sun – CMON Games

Rising Sun had big shoes to fill, especially since it was billed as the spiritual successor to CMON’s much-beloved 2015 title, Blood Rage, as both titles were designed by Eric Lang. It didn’t disappoint, despite it being a very different experience, as Ruel Gaviola put it: “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. From who to form alliances with to the perfect timing for a betrayal, your ability to adapt to constantly changing conditions will determine whether or not your clan is worthy of victory. ”

$99.99 MSRP – CMON Games

Root – Leder Games

Root may be cute on the outside, but at its core, it’s a hardened wargame-style area control game. Rob Wieland described it thusly: “Root features a forest full of anthropomorphic creatures at odds with each other in an adorable but tense Game of Thrones–styled setup. Unlike Everdell [ another 2018 Best Of Tabletop title]which features a mellow backstory of preparing for winter, the animals of Root have war on their mind. […] Gamers looking for a game that rewards replay with a great theme should dig into Root”.  Read his full overview here.

$60.00 MSRP – Leder Games

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Seal Team Flix – Wizkids

Charlie Theel summarizes this cooperative dexterity game best: “If a title determines a game’s worth, Wizkids’ Seal Team Flix is a baller. Pun enthusiasts aside, that’s simply not the case, and for good reason. A game’s quality is intrinsically tied to the experience it creates at the table. Each roll of the dice, cataclysmic shift in board position, and dramatic flick form the bones of engaging and memorable play. Seal Team Flix has bones for days.” Check out his overview here.

$59.99 MSRP – Wizkids

Street Masters – Blacklist Games

When you just want to satisfy the desire to beat up bad guys, Street Masters delivers the experience with gusto. Charlie Theel described the game as Double Dragon on the tabletop: “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.” Read his full overview here!

$109.00 via late pledge on Kickstarter – Blacklist Games

Welcome To… – Deep Water Games

Ruel Gaviola described this diceless roll-and-write game as an instant classic in the genre, innovating by moving away from dice and fixing the probability curve through cards. As he put it, “Welcome To … is the rare roll-and-write game that actually has a theme, with a ’50s American suburb shaping up on your score sheet. Best of all, there are several paths to victory in this city-building game. ”

$24.95 MSRP – Deep Water Games

Western Legends – Kolossal Games

Sandbox games are tricky to design – finding the balance between structure and freedom on the tabletop while making the experience fun and fulfilling isn’t an easy thing to execute well, but Western Legend rides in on its high horse and proves it’s got the chops to be among the best. Raf Cordero sums up why this game is among this year’s best: “It’s not often that a sandbox game manages to give you as much freedom as this one does, while still managing to pack your 2 hours of play with this much interaction and tension. Nothing drags, but you feel invested and like there’s time to find your place and explore it. ” Read his hands-on overview here.

$75.00 MSRP – Kolossal Games

Wildlands – Osprey Games

Wildlands came at the very end of our eligibility period, sneaking in at the end of October, and captured our attention with its compelling design and interesting approach to skirmish miniature games, with a variety of playable factions and a gameplay experience centered around strategic responsiveness. As Raf Cordero summed it up in his overview: “Wildlands accomplishes the difficult feat of being both simple to teach yet deeply nuanced. Strategy and tactics evolve slowly and emerge as a direct reaction to the players at the table. The same players can play with the same factions twice in a row and have games that vary markedly in approach and execution of gameplans.” Read his full overview here.

$80.00 MSRP – Osprey Games

Warhammer 40K Kill Team – Games Workshop

Warhammer 40,000 is one of the most expansive science-fiction universes, but getting into it can be overwhelming and intimidating. The return of Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team gives both veteran and new gamers a way to jump into the Warhammer 40K universe in a more manageable way. As Charlie Theel put it, “You play through a number of narrative or competitive scenarios in this small yet airy battlefield that works wondrously. The ability for this game to compact the 40K experience into this half-square block is remarkable and a huge asset to this design. It makes for a quick setup and a fully realized experience straight out of the box.” Read his overview of the game here.

Sets start at $50.00 MSRP – Games Workshop

Warhammer Age of Sigmar (2nd Edition) – Games Workshop

This year saw an updated edition to Games Workshop’s large-scale fantasy game, Warhammer Age of Sigmar and the release of its new core box, Soul Wars. Ian Williams lauded the new release and edition,: “It is a game marked by maturity of writing, aesthetics, thought, and rules design. […] It exceeds every expectation and then some, clear proof that Games Workshop’s new golden age shows no sign of abating.” Read his full review of it here.

Soul Wars Starter Set: $160.00 MSRP – Games Workshop

Warhammer: Age of Sigmar Champions – PlayFusion

It’s a remarkable thing that one of our favorite Warhammer tabletop games this year had no miniatures. Games Workshop has often done partnership deals with board game partners in the past, but their partnership with PlayFusion this year has yielded a surprise hit in Warhammer: Age of Sigmar Champions: a physical and virtual card game that remarkably captures its fantasy universe namesake in a card collecting game (CCG). As Charlie Theel put it: “Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions is a marvel. It offers a unique system that repeatedly pulls you into its depths through clever interlocking systems. This isn’t just a very solid card game, it’s one of the best in recent years.” Read his full overview. 

Starter Decks $15.00 MSRP – PlayFusion

What was the best game you played this year? Tell us in the comments!

Image Credits: Charlie Theel, Ruel Gaviola, Rob Wieland, Games Workshop, Raf Cordero


Teri Litorco is the contributing editor of Geek & Sundry, author of The Civilized Guide to Tabletop Gaming, a YouTuber, and a social media oversharer: TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

 

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