The Christmas time is quickly approaching – it is less then a month away now. That great period of the year will be different this time due to the widespread pandemic and the restrictions which will severely impact the possibility to see and visit our closest ones – at least it seems this will be the case here in Poland.
Still, this is fantastic opportunity to do a great present to our closest ones and I would not be myself if I would not have couple of suggestions connected to my greatest hobby – boardgames.
What I am going to present here is a selection based on the games released in 2020 and only those I had chance to play. There are tons of other war- and political themed titles which can be recommended, but as I did not have chance to play them all – there are simply too many releases! – I thought it unfair to just copy-paste them to my article.
So, without further delay, let us look at the selection!
Definitely my Top 1 recommendation. Fantastic game, very thematic, with great map and components. There are so many variable elements – Award Tiles, Global Demand, chosen Ministry Cards, Events – that each session is different and the title is very replayable. Also, there is no fixed opening and the process of learning the game is a fantastic journey through the history.
What is more, the second reprint is on its way, with the cards and rulebook errata, so you would really get a quality product, at good price, giving you tons of fun for many, many tears to come! Strongly recommended!
More about the game – tons of articles where you can see the components, read the review, check the play options, etc.:
- What is in the box?
- Very early review and first impressions
- Online play options – Vassal vs. Tabletop Simulator
- Initial strategic considerations
- Game set-up strategic analysis
- 2020 Imperial Struggle VASSAL Tournament
Versailles 1919 from GMT Games
A long awaited game from Mark Herman and Geoff Engelstein. Probably not necessarily a pure war-game (although BGG defines that title as such) but rather a fantastic politically-themed negotiations game. The third installment in The Great Statesmen series – after Churchill and Pericles – takes us to Paris in 1919. The peace conference after the War to end all wars is taking place there and four politicians – Woodrow Wilson (United States), David Lloyd George (United Kingdom), Vittorio Orlando (Italy) – decides about the fate of the world.
We have here a top quality product, with fantastic, thematic and beautiful components (just have a look at the map), tons of negotiations possibilities, violent uprisings and interventions to crush them, famous personalities influencing the outcome or even trying to overthrow what is being agreed. The game is multi-later and you really need couple of games to grasp its nuances. But the discovering of those is also a great experience!
If there is one thing which in my humble opinion might increase the fun factor from the game, would be some kind of depiction how the final treaty influenced the world – maybe in shape of map where all decisions might be marked. I am not sure if doing it as a part of the box game would be a good idea – but an computer application sounds like a great solution! We shall see!
More about the game:
- Versailles 1919 – first impressions – multiplayer mode
- Versailles 1919 – first impressions – solo variant
Hollandspiele is gradually becoming one of my favorite, small scale wargames publisher with great quality games. There are many titles which were released this year – like Stilicho: Last of the Romans or Aurelian, Restorer of the World – but I would not be myself recommending anything else then the title close to my heart – White Eagle Defiant, a great follow-up game to the bestselling Brave Little Belgium.
This title tells the story of the first days of World War II and the combined Nazi-Soviet invasion of Poland. The game is a strategy scale design, with chit-pull mechanics (I love that element!), allowing one player to lead the defending Polish forces while the other to command combined armies of invaders – Germans, Russians and Slovaks.
We have here race against time, a variable Soviet entry, forts, panzers, cavalry plus special events possible to be used by both sides. The games is fast, tense and very well suited to play in solo mode.
More about the game:
I hope that my small selection above will be at least some form of inspiration to the Dear Readers regarding what great present you could prepare for your bellowed ones. I focused here on 2020 new releases, but rest assured, there will be a second article, covering all time classics – games published before 2020, which never ages and are giving fun to thousands of players. Stay tuned!