gotylogo2015Happy New Year, dear readers! It’s officially 2016, but no journey forward for us would be complete without our traditional look back at the gaming past. It has been an incredible year here at Dice Hate Me HQ with the Dice Hate Me Games/Greater Than Games merger, a wonderful Kickstarter campaign/ subsequent fall delivery of Bottom of the 9th, and a successful reboot of New Bedford! And, of course, who could forget the meta gaming goodness of Deck Building: The Deckbuilding Game and Unpub: The Unpublished Card Game? It has been a full and bright 2015!

And now it’s time on Dice Hate Me to look back at some of the best and brightest board games from 2015. There were a lot of fascinating board games released this year, and it was a difficult decision, as always. To clarify the process of selection, the Game of the Year Award is open only to those games that were published and distributed for retail openly in the United States in 2015, and no Dice Hate Me Games titles are eligible. But, in order to honor those games that graced the gaming table for the first time this year but were published before 2015, I am continuing to announce the Dice Hate Me Discovery of the Year Award – and it’s an old classic first published in 1981. It has certainly stood the test of time!

 

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stateofgameslogonewIt’s that time of the year again – time to look forward by looking back! Yes, a new year is upon us but before we settle into the games of 2016, it’s best that we talk about what we loved about 2015. It was an interesting year; some gamers complained that there were few stand-out titles as in years’ past; to that I can only say it was tough for all of us not to have a list of honorable mentions a mile long that we wanted to honor! So settle in, listen up, and let us regale you with our best of 2015, and the holidays!

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stateofgameslogonewSometimes a podcast member goes AWOL – this time it was TC Petty, even though we told him where and when we’d be recording. That’s ok, because Darrell, Jessica and I had even more opportunity to get a word in edgewise! This was a fun one with a rapid fire session, and lots of discussion about time and space. It’s almost as if we had a Time Lord present!

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2015holidaybannerTis the season to be gaming… and I’m here to help. That’s right, it’s time for my favorite annual tradition, The Dice Hate Me Holiday Gift Guide! In this year’s guide I’ve carefully selected an assortment of titles that will satisfy a particular appetite of just about everyone special in your life – whether they’re a veteran gamer or novice. Remember, the best part about giving the gift of a game is that you get to play it after they unwrap it! It feels almost like cheating, but it’s not!

So stoke the fire, grab some hot cocoa, and start your holiday shopping list with these great games. May all your rolls be sixes and your resource cubes plentiful. Happy Holidays and Happy Gaming!

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stateofgameslogonewAs the year winds to a close, we focus on the last of the big shows – BGGCon, in Dallas, TX. Every hardcore gamer that has a forum handle in the hobby shows up for this particular convention, which always makes for an interesting time. This go-round, the whole core DHMG crew was here and Darrell, TC, and myself got a chance to experience the show together. This is our story. Dun Dun!

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Greetings, dear readers! It’s been quite awhile since we’ve gathered around The Crowded Table, but thanks as always for stopping in! In this edition, I take a quick look at a few games that we played at The Gamers for Cures 24-hour Marathon at The Gamer’s Armory in Cary, NC. For those not familiar with the marathon and its excellent cause of raising money for The Turner Syndrome Society, check out gamersforcures.com and consider contributing to the cause next year!

marathoners

 Just a small note: Many of these titles are recent Essen releases, but they’ll be headed into U.S. circulation before too long.

Antarctica

antarcticaSometime in the not too distant future, Antarctica has become a hot bed of scientific activity, and several nationalities have started to mine resources, build kelp farms and power turbines, and just generally try to save mankind by monetizing the ice caps. You know, like you do. At its core, Antarctica is essentially an area control Euro but with a fairly interesting turn order mechanism that is a bit reminiscent of Expedition: Northwest Passage. Each round, the “sun” progresses counter-clockwise around the board, thawing ships that might lie in port and letting the player first in line there move their ship somewhere else to take an action. At that port, the ship will head to the back of the line (if any ships are there) and won’t be able to move again until it’s first in line and the sun has made its way back around again. This creates some extremely interesting placement decisions, as the more popular spots tend to score a bit higher because of all the scientists and buildings congregating there, but heading to a more open spot might allow you more actions and consecutive turns. Because of the variable turn sequence, downtime can be a bit unpredictable, so some gamers who like patterns and control might end up flipping the table. I quite enjoyed Antarctica, but I thought the end scoring was a bit crazy, with fairly large disparities between first and second place players in each area.

Impression score: 4 out of 6

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stateofgameslogonewOver the years we’ve had many great guests on The State of Games, and we’ve been lucky to have become friends with pretty much all of them. Such is the case with Matt & Ben, designers of Dice Hate Me Game of the Year title Fleet. If any of you dear listeners get a chance to meet and hang out with these guys at a convention go for it – they are not only great designers, they’re also amazing and fun people.

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