Hello and welcome to Big Boss Battle’s ‘2018 Best 50 Board Games We’ve Ever Reviewed’ list. It may not be as definitive an opinion as suggesting that these games are the best we’ve ever played, but it is a list of the best games that we’ve played through in detail, more than four or five times and in most cases, still return to when the fancy takes us.
Here’s rank 40 through to 31 in our countdown. You can find buttons to navigate to other pages at the bottom of the article.
Game: Bunny Kingdom
In brief: There’s always room at B3 Towers for a anthropomorphic drafting and area control game from the creator of Magic: The Gathering, but even if that weren’t true, then Bunny Kingdom would have a pass just for being so darn cute. As it happens, Bunny Kingdom is more than just a pretty face — it’s a tight, fast paced and beautiful looking game that is sure to appeal to a wide range of players. Read more about it, here.
In brief: Although the last few years have seen a strong resurgence in arena based tabletop blood sports, it’s been a while since I saw such a game that truly innovated. Aristeia! does exactly that, delivering a tight, team based miniatures game that uses highly individual personalities and card driven gameplay to excite players of all abilities and ages. Here’s our original review.
In brief: We’ve had deck building games, drafting games and hand management games, but what about caravan building games? In Kashgar, the players must fill out three separate caravans filled with character cards, all of whom have a role to play in trading spices and fulfilling orders. This excellent card game is compact, fast and fun, so check out our detailed write up.
Game: Chronicles of Crime
In brief: A few of the games on this list feature integration with mobile apps and other technology, but Chronicles of Crime is the only one to use augmented reality that simply requires the players to have a modern smartphone. On top of that, it’s a clever, attractive and very, very enjoyable detective mystery that innovates in all the right ways without losing sight of what makes a good tabletop game. We reviewed it here.
Game: 1066: Tears to Many Mothers
In brief: Historic card games come around relatively infrequently and when they do, they never look as incredible as 1066. A one or two player game that recreates the most pivotal battle in English history in glorious technicolour, 1066 is fast paced, straightforward and fiercely competitive. Fans of history or head to head games should check out our review, here.
Game: Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective
In brief: The very first “proper” board game that BigBossBattle reviewed still has a place in our hearts, thanks in no small part to the fact that our resident Editor in Chief and the Head of Tabletop actually played a number of the games running up to this review remotely via Skype. Traditionally, Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective is a deep, immersive scenario based mystery game that also happens to be a ton of fun.
Game: Axis and Allies: Anniversary Edition
In brief: Perhaps the most logical step after mastering Risk for many players, Axis and Allies has been a household name for over thirty years. The version we reviewed earlier this year was the Anniversary Edition, which supports six players and is played on three mounted boards. This mammoth undertaking replicates World War II on an epic, global scale. Our review is not to be missed.
In brief: Taking a deserved seat at the table is the zen-like racing game Tokaido, which has players making a pilgrimage across middle-ages Japan. Collect trinkets, visit temples and assemble in inns to share meals — however you choose to do it, this victory point collection game uses an unusual movement mechanic to force clever decision making without sacrificing speed of play. Here’s our review.
Game: Red Dragon Inn 7
In brief: Perhaps a surprise to some (but not to those who’ve played it) Red Dragon Inn 7 is a rip-roaring game about drinking, betting and brawling in any tavern you can imagine set in any fantasy universe. Slugfest Games wisely chose to build their flagship hand management game around interesting and unique characters that are interchangeable from one game to the next. Read more about this unique series in our piece, here.
Game: Seize the Bean
In brief: Whilst still not readily available, this 2018 Kickstarter warmed us with its delightful artwork and fast paced, fun gameplay. Each player must build their own thematic coffee shop, with the aim being to attract the most valuable custom. Do you invest in potted plants or better barista’s? The choice is yours. Here’s our preview of the unfinished version.