Nad’s Intriguing 14 in ’14

February 3, 2014
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The last 2 years have been extremely strong for the hobby board game world.  2014 has a lot to live up to but, judging by the releases on tap this year, could prove equally impressive.  Here is a list of games that have peaked my interest for 2014.  This list could easily have been larger but I didn’t want to bore the 3 readers we have.  (Note:  This list is based off of US street dates.  Not all of us were lucky enough to attend Essen and grab the pre-releases.)


Brew Crafters

Designer:  Ben Rossett
Publisher:   Dice Hate Me Games
Expected Release Date:  July 2014

Beer and board games; quite possibly my two favorite words beginning with “B.”  Boobs may be the third.  How can you not be intrigued by building a brewery and crafting beer?


The Battle of Five Armies

Designers:  Roberto Di Meglio, Marco Maggi, Francesco Nepitello
Publisher: Ares Games
Expected Release Date: May 2014

A “sequel” to War of the Ring focusing on the smaller climatic battle of The Hobbit.  Elves, Dwarves and Dudes versus Wolves, Goblins and Bats…oh my!


Marvel Dice Masters

Designer:  Mike Elliot, Eric M. Lang
Publisher:  WizKids Games
Expected Release Date:  March 2014

Wiz Kids…hmm.  Quarriors…boo!  Marvel anything….yay!  I know I will probably kick myself for purchasing this when it arrives but I can’t help, as a huge comics fan, being excited for anything with a Marvel license.  The head-to-head aspect of the game appears to offer a twist on the “Quarriors formula.”  Let’s just hope it’s not Quarriors.


Shadowrun: Crossfire

Designer:  Mike Elliot, Rob Heinsoo, Jim Lin, Gregory Marques, Rob Watkins
Publisher:   Catalyst Game Labs
Expected Release Date:  March 2014

2013 – The Year of Shadowrun?  Nope!  Catalyst’s ambitious plan to release not one but five new Shadowrun titles failed miserably.  Only the Shadowrun 5th Edition RPG book and Shadowrun Returns PC game actually made it to stores before the end of the year.  Shadowrun: Crossfire sadly did not and this is possibly my most anticipated game (so far) for the new year.  That being said, I would rather they take their time and put out quality product than rush through some poopie.  While I am nearing my limit with the whole deckbuilding genre, building a character deck that players can carry forward and utilize for multiple gaming sessions (similar to Pathfinder the card game) is awesome.  And so is the Shadowrun universe. I pray that together they make for an amazing game.  The previews until now have been great and I hope this one delivers.  Please, please, please don’t suck.


Rogue Agent

Designer:  David Ausloos
Publisher:  Stronghold  Games (USA)
Expected Release Date:  March 2014

The cyberpunk setting/theme is slowly becoming one of my favorites and  Stronghold is slowly becoming one of my favorite publishers.  Things with me happen slowly…


Seafall

Designer:  Rob Daviau
Publisher:  Iron Wall Games, Plaid Hat Games
Expected Release Date:  2014 (Plaid Hat has said this will be delivered by Gencon this year…smart)

Plaid Hat Games has teamed up with the designer of Risk: Legacy for the next title in the “Legacy” series.  Not much is known on this title other than there is water.  Risk: Legacy brought an innovative spin on a classic board game but at its core it was still Risk; a game that I have grown to hate over the years.  I cannot wait to see the Legacy concept applied to a brand new setting.


Xia:  Legends of a Drift System

Designer:  Cody Miller
Publisher:  Far Off Games
Expected Release Date:  April 2014

Fly pretty customized ships around the galaxy, complete missions and fight other players.   Not to mention its really pretty.  Sounds like every other space game on the market.  Sign me up!


Heroes of Normandie

Designer:   Yann et Clem
Publisher:  Devil Pig Games, IELLO
Expected Release Date:  March/April 2014

I followed Heroes of Normandie through their entire Kickstarter campaign and went back and forth in my head on whether or not I should throw money at it.  As a British Kickstarter, the currency conversion was just too rich for my tastes at the time.  Thankfully IELLO will be distributing this in the US and I can get my hands on it.  I love the art style and I have been looking for a war game that isn’t too complex and isn’t named Memoir ’44 (although I do enjoy Memoir ’44).


Sangoku

Designer:  Mike Elliot
Publisher:  Game Salute
Expected Release Date:  June 2014

My brothers often joke that I will buy anything with Asian art.  Throw in a unique twist on poker hand mechanics and I’m sold on this design by the creator of Thunderstone.


Tiny Epic Kingdoms

Designer:  Scott Almes
Publisher:  Gamelyn Games
Expected Release Date:  September 2014

Microgames made a huge step forward in 2013, capturing the attention of casual and hardcore gamers alike.  This one attempts to cram a 4x game into 30 minutes and your pants.  Not to mention it has been upgraded to the max thanks to the backer support and stretch goals.   Check out our Kickstarter Spotlight of this “little” game here.  (Update:  Apparently a few other people are on to this game as it just broke in to the Top 10 most funded board games on Kickstarter.)


Panamax

Designers:  Gil d’Orey, Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro, Paulo Soledade
Publisher: Heidelberger Spieleverlag, MESAboardgames
Expected Release Date:  2014

This game looks beautiful!  A unique dice mechanic thrown into an economic game with ships, contracts and water.  That’s all I know about this one at the moment.


Lagoon: Land of Druids

Designers:  David Chott
Publisher: Three Hares Games
Expected Release Date: August 2014

This UnPub gem was a big hit at the most recent BGG.Con receiving high praise for its strategic depth and beautiful artwork.  A pretty brain burner?  Sold!   The game hit Kickstarter (check out our Kickstarter Spotlight) this past week and was funded within 3 days.  The rulebook and print and play are available on the designer’s site if your interest is piqued.


The Witcher Adventure Game

Designers:  Ignacy Trzewiczek
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
Expected Release Date: 2014

FFG has team with CD Projekt RED, the creator of the Witcher video game franchise, to produce a new board game adventure centered on four of the franchise’s most beloved characters:  Geralt of Rivia; Dandelion; Triss Merigold; and Yarpen Zigrin.  With FFG at the helm, you can be sure that the production value of this title will be top notch and I have no doubts that Mr. Trzewiczek (Robinson Crusoe, Stronghold) will deliver a worthy experience rich in theme and mechanics to immerse you fully.


Quantum

Designers:  Eric Zimmerman
Publisher: Passport Game Studios
Expected Release Date: Out Now

Quantum is a game about constructing cubes of energy and utilizing ship cubes (dice) to traverse and conquer square sectors of space.  Needless to say, there is a lot of love for cubes and squares in this game.


Evil Intent

Designer:  Erin McDonald, Christian Strain
Publisher:  Kraken Games
Expected Release Date:  January 2014

I love the idea of playing an evil mastermind attempting to hatch his or her ultimate plan for world domination.  This game was a successful Kickstarter that I didn’t find out about until it was too late (I was admittedly a bit late to the whole Kickstarter craze).  Here’s hoping the gameplay brings out the theme.


Stay tuned for my list of highly anticipated expansions in 2014.  I know you’re excited!

 

Dan H. (Nad)

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF/PODCAST CO-HOST : Allow myself, to introduce myself. Boardgaming since the womb, I have an unsound infatuation with buying, playing, discussing, photographing, and writing about boardgames. As a boardgame aesthetics enthusiast (say that 5 times fast) you'll typically find that I spend a large majority of the game examining the design, art, and components. I prefer strategic eurogames but will play just about anything these days (except Arkham Horror). And I love Pearl Jam.

  • Kelly B!

    With regard to Marvel Dice Masters, I would like to let everyone know that I love Quarriors.