Best 5 Board Games of 2018

I’m lazy. Which means instead of writing a news article, or figuring out which of these board games came out in 2018. I’m instead quantifying this list by saying that these board games were all new to me last year.


5. Arkham Horror 3rd Edition

Arkham Horror is becoming the village bicycle.

Everyone has ridden it. Or one of its offshoots. I own Eldritch Horror, and I like it well enough. But it suffers from the same randomness and a disjointed story beats that I criticised Tales of the Arabian Nights over.

The 3rd Edition of Arkham Horror does a lot of unique things that ties the overarching story together. Making this the first game that actually has me invested in the narrative outcome of the game.

I haven’t played it enough to review it. But I’ve played it enough to know that this is one to look out for.

Dale of Merchants box cover - features a hiker overlooking a small town by a waterfall

4. Dale of Merchants

One of the best experiences of this hobby. Or any hobby that involves collecting. Is finding that diamond in the rough.

In 2018 that was Dale of Merchants.

I came across the game in an unassuming reddit comment with two upvotes. That was enough to take the chance. And it paid off. Big time.

I love this game.

Read my review.

3. Azul

Last year introduced me to a lot of abstract games.

Turns out they’re awesome.

One stood out among the rest. Santorini. But my wife still won’t play with me since the last crushing defeat.

However, she will play Azul. And playability is one quality of board games that can’t be ignored. It’s also a fantastic game at two players and easily ranks as my number 3 game of 2018.

Read my review.

2. Terraforming Mars

It isn’t a best board games list without some controversy. So here:

I’ve only played Terraforming Mars once.

This isn’t enough to provide one of my patented in depth reviews. It is enough to leave a long lasting impression. That one play has been on my mind since August. And I’ve been looking to repeat since.

Even at one play. You immediately realise how deep the game is. You immerse yourself in choice and strategies. You build an incredibly robust and satisfying engine. And most importantly, you flip the bird at Elon Musk and say this is how you do it.

1. Spirit Island

This should be no surprise.

I bought this game early in the year. January, or maybe February. It was my first “heavy” game. It took me so long to get around to reviewing it. Not because I didn’t want to or had nothing to say. But because I didn’t want to stop playing it. I didn’t want to move onto the next game.

Which is why it’s my most played game of 2018, and also the one that I’d recommend to everyone!

Read my review.

Five, four, three, two, one! We’ve done the countdown. I hope you’ve enjoyed the content from 2018, and look for more this coming year. In the meantime. What are you thoughts? Are these games all worthy? What were your top 5 of 2018?

Answer in the comments below.

Board Game News! – 20/11/2018

A bunch of grumpy looking men from the 1820s

Did you get to Essen? Or BGG con? After these two big exhibitions the board game news has all but dried up. Leaving this fortnight so quiet it’s like the night before Christmas – or is it too early to make Christmas related metaphors? Despite all that, I’ve done my digging and come up with more than enough excitement to see you through the week.

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Board Game News! – 06/11/2018

Reavers of Midgard box cover. Vikings, lot's of vikings.

This week marks my 1st full year as a board game blogger, and the existence of Roll to Review. It’s been an exciting journey, both in my real life, and in my writing on this blog. Like most I’ve had my doubts on continuing at points, especially when work picked up, but I kept on going because I enjoy writing, and enjoy reviewing, and enjoy the support this community has given me. Here’s to another year of WordPress subscription, and Roll to Review.

Cutest corgi you've ever seen


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Board Game News! – 23/10/18

Tidal blades box art. Two figures stand at edge of pier, behind them sunny skies, and island village.

We begin today’s news on a sad note: Paul Dean is leaving Shut Up and Sit Down. No one can deny the influence the guys at SUSD have had on board games and their reviewers, and Paul has been a huge part of that. So it’s sad to see him go, but with the best wishes from myself and the rest of the board game community I’m sure.

Moment of silence….

Now, time for games. This week there’s a slew of Kickstarter board games to get through, but before that we’ll look at some other news around the industry. Res Arcana is a new Tom Lehmann game. If you’re wondering why that sounds so weird, it’s because it’s not prefixed or suffixed by Race for the Galaxy. Tom has won me over with the way he designs engine building within that franchise, so I’m looking forward to what he can do with a new theme.

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Board Game News – 9/10/2018

Blackout Board Game Cover. Black city scape with lights from cars and torches.

Blackout Board Game Cover. Black city scape with lights from cars and torches.The most exciting news this week is the late addition to the Essen SPIEL line up: Blackout: Hong Kong. Designed by Alexander Pfister – known for the two well regarded games Broom Service and Great Western Trail. Player’s attempt to regain control of their lives after a blackout within Hong Kong leaves everyone powerless. It’s an interesting enough concept, and with a great designer backing it up – I’m in!

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Board Game News! – 23/09/2018

Arkham Horror box art - adventures chased by tentacles in a 1950's buggy

Arkham Horror box art - adventures chased by tentacles in a 1950's buggyThis week there have been a few big game announcements I’ve been dying to talk about. The first, and most important, is Arkham Horror 3rd Edition from Fantasy Flight Games.  I’ve played a lot of Eldritch Horror, and while it’s a great game, it loses something being a world wide affair. I’m really looking forward to them bringing back the intimacy of Arkham Horror. They’re also reducing it from being a 4-6 hour affair to 2-3, and made a swathe of other changes. If it’s anything else like FFG’s other recently updated games, it’s going to be a slam dunk.

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