As far as summary of previous year is concerned, I had a chance to present to the Dear Readers The Boardgames Chronicle 2021 most often played games as well as My blog in 2021 – analysis. My blog colleagues often share the new games they had a chance to play and familiarize with so taking this great example I would like to have a look what new positions hit my table in 2021 (for reference, see the cult of new to my by Dave).
My statistics show that in 2021 of 67 games played, 37were new to me. That is definitely one of the best years for me as far as discovering the new titles is concerned. To get this in perspective, only 19 out of 61 positions in 2020 were new – but this was initial year of pandemic, and there was not so many chances to bring something new to the table.
Let me focus on some most prominent and impactful new titles of 2021 for The Boardgames Chronicle. I will do a brief intro to the title, under which circumstances I had chance to get the game plus my impressions. As I already had a chance to extensively write a lot about two first places – C&C Samurai Battles and Atlantic Chase in my Most Often Played Games article – I will purposefully omit those two.
At the end you will find the list of all novelties on my shelf 🙂
“The Mission” from White Dog Games
That was a true and great discovery for me: both as far as publisher is concerned – White Dog Games as well as designer – Ben Madison. The game, while utilizing standard tower-defense mechanics, is very refreshing and innovative piece of work. Its greatest strength lays in individual approach to each of six epoch in the first 1200 years of Christianity – you play completely differently during Pax Romana and have significantly different problems in times of Abbasid Caliphate.
I love how thematic it is, the neat components as well as rulebook written in a very interesting way, with tons of designer notes. I know there are many more titles from this author – rest assured you will see them on my blog!
More about game:
“Bayonets & Tomahawks” from GMT Games
I acquired quite a bunch of games on the GMT Summer Sale, and only in last months of the year unpacked and brought to the table this title. Again, what a wonderful design which completely took me by surprise! Bayonets & Tomahawks is a 2-player strategic game focusing on the French & Indian War 1755-1760 – colonial part of European 7-Years War. One player controls the British while the other leads the French and most of Indians.
Again, as fan of history, the theme is very, very important for me – and it is so deep here! The gradual story of escalating conflict – which you can play via many scenarios or a full campaign, using top-notch components while wrapping your head around best troops compositions to win battles. You cannot win here with one stroke – a meticulously planned and detailed long-term strategy is needed. You will for sure enjoy it!
More about game:
“Nidavellir” from GRRRE Games
This time not a wargame, but a very friendly card-based EURO – well, your wife has her limits as far as all those counter games are concerned, doesn’t she? 🙂 Nidavellir, the Dwarf Kingdom, is threatened by the dragon Fafnir. As a venerable Elvaland, you have been appointed by the King. Search through every tavern in the kingdom, hire the most skillful dwarves, recruit the most prestigious heroes, and build the best battalion you can to defeat your mortal enemy!
This is the game where there is not one, winning strategy; you can achieve the dominance using various approaches or their combination and with each play you can test a new one. That means a really good replayability! The components and graphics are perfect for the Scandinavian mythology theme, the game is pretty fast while requires from you decent amount of thinking / planning. If you look for a good, light card-based game I strongly recommend that one.
More about game:
“Pax Pamir” from Wehrlegig Games
You might be surprised that this was my first contact with Pax Pamir but I somehow missed that game. What is it about? In the game we assume the role of nineteenth century Afghan leaders attempting to forge a new state after the collapse of the Durrani Empire. It can be done by allying with British, Russians or going independent path, working with other Afghan tribes.
Once again, the game is deeply rooted in history, the part I was not too much aware of but thanks to it quickly caught up. I also appreciate the mechanic of switching the loyalty. In wargames or conflict driven titles you are usually attached to some faction(s), leading it through the whole game. Not here! Changing the allegiance might prove to be one of the most beneficial actions for your clan. Last but not least, just have a look at the superb components. Truly, this is not only very intriguing but most beautiful games I have ever played!
More about game:
Below table presents full set of new-to-me games in 2021, which I played at least twice. Except for the mentioned above, I really enjoyed my favorite D-Day series title – Tarawa, one of the all-time classics which I did not have chance to play earlier – Field Commander Alexander or one of the best simulation of tactical warfare – Fields of Fire.
|Game||Publisher||# of plays|
|“C&C Samurai Battles”||GMT Games||31|
|“Atlantic Chase”||GMT Games||20|
|“Pax Pamir”||Wehrlegig Games||8|
|“Under Falling Skies”||Czech Games Edition||6|
|“D-Day at Tarawa”||Decision Games||5|
|“Field Commander Alexander”||DVG||5|
|“Agricola, Family Edition”||Lookout Games||4|
|“Great Plains”||Lookout Games||4|
|“La Resistance”||Flying Pig Games||4|
|“The Mission”||White Dog Games||3|
|“Combat Commander Pacific”||GMT Games||3|
|“Fields of Fire”||GMT Games||2|
|“Soldiers in Postmen Uniforms”||DVG||2|
|“Bayonets & Tomahawks”||GMT Games||2|
I hope to play many more new, interesting games in 2022. An article about it is already being prepared!