When it came time to do a ‘Top-5’ of 2020, the lists compiled by participating ‘guilders’ ranges from games reviewed in the last year, with a few games first played but not yet reviewed sprinkled in, but ultimately the games are all fun, so enjoy the list and keep gaming as best you can.
Without further explanations our #1s:
Trevor Lyons - Pandemic Legacy – As Pandemic is in my top games played, this has to be there too. This is a “one choice” play through game, although you can continue to play the game with all of the changes made during the original play through.
This game is broken in 12 months, and you have two chances to complete each objective. Completing and failing objectives have effects in this game, stickers that are revealed and added to or change rules in rulebook. Characters can gain skills and become more effective, or even die and be out of the game completely. This is a fun twist on the original game and I can’t wait to try season two and season 0 to complete the Legacy trilogy.
Calvin Daniels - Paiko - Paiko is a pure abstract strategy game and a very nice looking one too.
The board is nice with koi and lotus blossom art, is not exceptional as it is just typical cardboard-construction.
The pieces remind of checkers, and are a nice material that reminds of bake-lite.
There are eight different pieces, swords, fire, earth, water, etc., each with colourful art on the pieces.
The game is about area control, getting enough pieces into scoring position to have 10-points on your turn;
• Two points for each of your tiles currently on your opponent’s home ground.
• One point for each of your tiles currently on middle ground.
On your turn you may deploy tiles from your hand onto the board. You can deploy tiles on your home ground, or you can also deploy a tile on squares you ‘threaten’.
With eight pieces, each with its unique threat or cover patterns, there is some learning here. Of course the same can be said of chess with its six different pieces. I recommend putting the pieces on the coffee table and when your TV show goes to advertising grab a couple, and try to recall what they do. Have the rulebook handy with its nice patterns section, and you will learn them rather quickly.
This game was an instant favourite for me. There are lots of potential strategy and piece synergies to explore, and it looks great while you do it.
It’s an easy top reviewed game from 2020.
Adam Daniels - Battle Drill – Of all the games the Meeple Guild played this year, Battle Drill was the one I enjoyed the most. In other years it’s been more difficult to come up with the number one game. However 2020 was not the typical year, and we took chances to game whenever we could have them. So while Battle Drill might have earned this spot by default, it does not detract that I had a fun time playing it.