It’s that time of year. Board game deals abound! With so many great games and so little time to play, you want to be spend savvy so they avoid your shelf of shame. You might also be looking to get that next great game for a board gamer in your life. How do you sort through the massive catalog of games out there?
To help you narrow the list, we’ve also made a ranking of great, rare board games. Some of these are games we’ve played. Others are games on our wish list that we’re really excited about!
At the top of our list is V-Commandos. It’s on our shelf and something we play. There is a lot for us to love about this game.
It’s Canadian Made -- publisher Triton Noir and designer Thibaud de la Touanne are based in Montreal. We even got a rare chance to play it with him at Breakout convention in Toronto a few years ago.
It also has a modular board. We love modular boards as much as Kickstarter games love including minis! They add replayability and fresh dynamics to each play.
Each mission tells a deep story. We heard Thibaud spent time researching World War II missions to recreate game versions.
V-Commandos is the epitome of co-op. You play and work as a team, discussing and planning your strategy. Everyone moves together. Then the enemy reacts based on your move. There’s a lot to get into with this game and lots of gamers we talk to haven’t heard about it or played it before.
Undervalued with a BoardGameGeek rank of 7.9
Gamers who would like it may also have This War of Mine, 7th Continent or Nero’s War on their shelves.
Deets: 1-4 players, 30-180 mins playing time, suggested gamers 12+, medium complexity/learning curve
Our favourite Kickstarter to get delivered this year is Mysthea.
This game has depth. The lore, the storyline, the artwork - all clearly created with a passion. It drew us in from the minute it started funding.
Mysthea also offers depth of strategy. It’s partly an area control game, however, the map moves and shifts during game play, meaning you have to be flexible in your strategy and always be ready for change.
The game is filled with make-your-choice encounters that offer a lot of variety in play style. They can also help create or hinder cooperation, which becomes key as Monsters appear on the map. Typically the monsters are strong enough to require multiple players to work together in defeating.
Probably the most unique thing about Mysthea is how the publisher has expanded the world. By combining Mysthea and their latest game Icaion, you can make a third game - Mysthea: the Fall.
Popular on BoardGameGeek with a rating of 8.0
Gamers who would like it may also have Lords of Hellas, Vindication or Western Legends on their shelves.
Deets: 2-4 players, ~90mins playing time, suggested for gamers 14+, medium complexity/learning curve
The newest game on our list is Dune. This is the 40th anniversary reprint of the original 1979 version. This is one on our board game wish list. The reprint has already jumped to 8.4 on BoardGameGeek.
Imagine you can rewrite the script for one of the most famous science fiction books of all time. Welcome to the acclaimed 40-year-old board game which allows you to recreate the incredible world of Frank Herbert’s DUNE.
This game combines area control/influence, with an auction system, bribes and battles!
Gamers who would like it may also have Twilight Imperium, Star Wars Rebellion or Wasteland Express on their shelves.
Deets: 2-6 players, 120mins playing time, suggested for gamers 14+, fairly complexity/ steeper learning curve than most games
Rounding out our list is Wildlands. The game launched last year just before the holidays. Created by award-winning game designer Martin Wallace.
An easy to learn skirmish style board game with depth that offers players some great battles without hefty rules of a typical tabletop miniature skirmish game.
Players control rival factions, each with a unique deck of cards dictating their abilities across the battlefield. Some focus on ranged prowess, some on raw strength, and others on the bond between characters, offering a wide range of playstyles to explore.
Players explore through ruins to grab crystals while fighting for survival and maybe even glory.
With a double sided board for added replayability and a roughly 45 minute play time it can fit almost any game night.
Undervalued on BoardGameGeek with a rating of 7.4
Gamers who would like it may also have Blood Rage, Cry Havoc or Roll Player on their shelves.
Deets: 2-4 players, 30-60mins playing time, suggested for gamers 14+, fairly easy learning curve than most games