Opinionated Gamers Spiel Want List Part 5

Jonathan F.: Other than Arnak (CGE) and CloudAge (Capstone), if Spiel were happening and I were going, these are the eight 2020 games I would be sure to look at. This list excludes popular US domestic releases because they will be easy to get any time as well as those with a 2021 or 2022 release date because those are likely prototypes to be crowd-funded and will evolve between now and their release date. Just so you know, since the pandemic started I have tended towards clever shorter games like Hadara, Res Arcana, Habitats, St. Petersburg, Race for the Galaxy, and Die Crew as well as deduction (not social deduction) and trick-taking games.

Cafe (Pythagoras) – Card patching, slight engine building, and coffee theme – looks light but not dumb. I like shorter engine builders and this has enough going on to make it interesting unless you don’t like the spatial manipulation of overlapping cards to make a larger machine.

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/284936/cafe

Dwergar (Granna) – Worker placement, delayed gratification, and clever way you get new workers that might give you bonuses on subsequent actions.  Multiple decks where you use one each game. This might be a fine game in the vein of Raiders of the North Sea, or something special. 

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/291874/dwergar

Faza (self-published) – Review coming in the next month.  As a family, we have been playing quite a bit of Ghost Stories/Lost Bastion and Atlantis Rising (1st & 2nd eds.), so this looks like a natural.

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/230860/faza

Influentia (Ludonova) – Trick-taker where the card you play may be the one you get, which affects your action in the other part of the game (shades of S-Evolution – which still interests me as an idea). I am curious to try it to see how it feels given that some hands will inherently be better than others. Ludonova’s other 2020 releases, Sumatra and Polynesia, look good too!

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/311191/influentia

Merv (Osprey) – It will have a domestic release, but I am listing it because it feels under the radar.  It is by the designer of Calimala and is not area majority, so on my list.  I also have a weakness for modular boards.

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/306040/merv-heart-silk-road

My Farm Shop (Pegasus) – Goa is a wonderful game and I like several other Rudiger Dorn games.  This might be a good game, or a simple one with lots of chrome.  I have no idea, but would check it out because of the designer and the dice manipulation plus shorter playtime. If this is more Machi Koro/Space Base, it is not really in my sweet spot.

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/270636/my-farm-shop

Neko Harbor: the Card Game (The Wood Games) – I enjoyed its big brother, A Pleasant Journey to Neko, but it was a bit long for me. If this has a streamlined system and retains the hard choices of the original, it could be great.

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/290768/neko-harbour-card-game

Paleo (HiG) – A modular co-op from a publisher that always smooths the edges of design until they are silky smooth.  Sounds up my alley as the goal is to paint a mammoth on a cave wall so those in the future will remember you once existed. This is coming from Z-Man, so it might come and go in a blink.

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/300531/paleo

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