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    Modern board gaming is a term that generally refers to the period in the 90’s when the internet became a thing right through to the present day. As a revolutionary technology, the internet allowed gamers to connect and meet up to play much more easily. Online games forum BoardGameGeek.com launched in January 2000 and many consider this the genesis of modern tabletop gaming. By 2010, the growth of the industry was so exponential it led to many considering it the “Golden Age” of gaming. Yet since then, year-on-year we have witnessed massive increases across the board (pun intended!) The amount of people engaged, the amount of publishers around, and the emergence of passionate, inventive designers has paved the way for the industry to prosper, with annual sales estimated between 25-40%. No one could have predicted it and even though I think we have a long way to go before we see any kind of peak, this so called “geek” hobby has now established itself in the massive Chinese market. The sky really is the limit.

    2016 was another benchmark in board gaming as we were showered with countless wonderful titles, with four of the games from the past 12 months finding a home in BoardGameGeek’s top 50 rankings –  two of which currently occupy top 10 spots; Star Wars: Rebellion in 5th and Scythe in 6th. It will be a tough act to follow.

    However, with 420 games and expansions currently nominated on the 20 Most Anticipated Games of 2017 forum on BoardGameGeek, it looks like 2017 will be going all out to continue the trend of year-on-year improvement.

    For the first Tabletop Tales on the year, I shall be doing my own preview of the games that releasing in 2017 that excite me  – mentioning a total of more than 60 games! In aiming to wet all appetites, I shall be breaking them into 12 completely made up categories that should help you digest and keep it as easy to navigate as possible, with links to BoardGameGeek.com for more info on games should you wish.

    I have also given each game mentioned a score out of five in the Totally Infallible Tabletop Tales Indexed Excitement Score (or TITTIES for short) to reflect my own personal level of hype for each game:

    • 1 = Will get round to it at some point
    • 2 = Looking forward to playing it
    • 3 = Will be wanting this in my collection
    • 4 = Will buy as soon as it comes out
    • 5 = Hurry up and be released dammit, I want it now!

    WARNING – this is very much pushing into the TL;DR realms as is by some distance That’s Not Currents largest ever article! I just didn’t want to leave any stone unturned and this feature took many (MANY!) hours to create, in a bid to provide the definitive 2017 preview.  Hence why this is a “gimongous” preview and not just a “really big” preview.

    Now let us begin.

    And I want to start with a little bit of fun by looking at…

    GAMES THAT ARE GOOD FUN AND CAN GET THE PARTY STARTED

    I love a party game, and there are a few interesting titles on the cards (more puns!) for 2017. No better place to start in my gimongous preview…

    Some of the causes of disease in Death Wish.

    Awful Fantasy: The Card Game is a storytelling game born from a social media account obsessed with sci-fi, fantasy and parody. Players compete to build the most awful story through the collection of wonderfully illustrated cards. Not only will this be a joy to look at, I think this will be a surprise hit of 2017. (TITTIES = 3)

    Death Wish is yet another game brought to life through crowd-funding. The twisted goal of the game is to craft a fictional disease and then succumb to it. This is achieved by combining various symptom, affliction and evolution. A game I’ve very much looking forward to getting my hands on, I predict this will be a the perfect medicine for folk with a dark sense of humour. (TITTIES = 4)

    Spoils of War is a game about vikings who have returned from a successful raid and now face the fretful task of dividing the prize. Built with a well established combination of betting and dice rolling mechanics, this game promises to be a fun party game of deceit. (TITTIES = 2)

    Spyfall 2 is the follow up expansion/stand-alone sequel to my favourite party game as revealed in my 12 Board Games of Christmas article. As a social deduction/hidden identity game played against an eight-minute timer, this stand-alone expansion introduces more locations and allows for more players. Massive anticipation from me for this one. (TITTIES = 5)

    Bears vs Babies is from the same team behind the massively popular Exploding Kittens. Taking over $3.2 million in a successful Kickstarter campaign, it sees players build their bears to fight off the hoard of deadly babies. Undeniably silly, but I’m sure it will be good fun even though it has little depth. (TITTIES = 1)

    Spyfall 2 will be arriving by the end of January.

    And as the insane amounts of funding in Kickstarter has shown, board games are now big business. So much so we now have…

    GAMES THAT ONLY EXIST ‘CAUSE BOARD GAMES NOW MAKE TONNES OF MONEY

    Naturally when something gains popularity with the masses, all the established mediums sit-up and take notice and look at how they can get a piece of the action. While licensed board games are certainly not a new thing, they have dramatically increased during the Golden Age with massive franchises keen to milk their intellectual property as much as possible. In bygone days film and TV tie-ins never quite hit the right note, but with three board game adaptations making it into my top 10 games ever, that is no longer the case. While many titles basically use the name and fail to capture the essence of the source material, even more nail it. This coming year we have some behemoth of movie/TV shows getting brought to the table…

    The character card for Ash in The Evil Dead game.

    The Terminator: The Official Board Game is the latest, and dare I say most exciting sounding, game to use the iconic James Cameron franchise. This is a strategic war game that plays over two separate boards, one set in 1984 the other in 2029, with one player in charge of the machines and all other working together as the humans. You can read our preview HERE as well. (TITTIES = 3)

    The Walking Dead: No Sanctuary promises to eclipse the boredom of the TV show and surpass the horde6 of Walking Dead franchise games already out there. No Sanctuary sounds very much like a hybrid of two of the best zombie games on the market – Zombicide and Dead of Winter – with all your favourite characters from the AMC show. Another one that I’m eager to see up close. (TITTIES = 3)

    Warehouse 13: The Board Game brings Syfy’s cult show to the table and it will be hitting Kickstarter in Q1 2017. It’s designed to follow the format of an episode, with players assuming the role of a Warehouse agent where they must gather clues, neutralise and retrieve artefacts. Definitely of interest. (TITTIES = 2)

    Evil Dead 2: The Official Board Game was successfully Kickstarted late last year and has been featured by Kieran previously on That’s Not Current. Up to six players join forces to collect the pages of the Necronomicon, but should any player suffer a case of death they then become Deadites and must work to stop the players. A really cool concept from a cult fantastic franchise. (TITTIES = 2)

    Ghostbusters: The Board Game II will be coming to Kickstarter this year and is a follow up to the very successful 2015 campaign that birthed the original game. The game is an episodic co-op game set on a dungeon crawler-esque map, where the players – as the Ghostbusters – must investigate the supernatural, fighting off ghosts and ghouls as they go. This version promises to improve on some of the originals shortcomings, so could be worth checking out. (TITTIES = 1)

    Doctor Who: Time of the Daleks is a game I’m massively excited about. It’s from Gale Force Nine who have excelled with licensed versions of Firefly, Spartacus, Star Trek, Sons of Anarchy and Homeland. Very little information is available for a game originally expected in 2016 other than it will see players assume the role of various incarnation of the Doctor in a co-op game. With the help of classic companions, they must race the Daleks to Gallifrey. One thing is for sure given their previous, this will be bursting with theme and feature fantastic components. Can’t wait for it! (TITTIES = 5)

    The Godfather: The Board Game is a confrontational worker placement game set in Mario Puzo’s mafioso world. Competing as rival families in New York who all want to get to the top by any means possible, it sounds very much like a tabletop version of the classic PC game Gangsters: Organised Crime. And there is another reason to be very excited about this game – it’s from legendary game designer Eric M. Lang. (TITTIES = 5)

    GF9 have a track record of solid licensed games. Can Time of the Daleks follows suit?

    Which take us quite beautifully onto…

    GAMES FOR THE ERIC LANG APPRECIATION CLUB

    Known for his “dudes on a board” games, Lang has been responsible for many hugely popular and downright fantastic games over the years, including Blood Rage, Arcadia Quest, Chaos in the Old World, Marvel Dice Masters and Bloodborne: The Card Game. He is widely regarded as one of the most prominent designers around, and this year he has an incredible five games slated for release. As well as The Godfather: The Board Game, he is working on a collectable Munchkin card game and the following gems…

    Lang & Bauza working hand in hand – this greatly excites me.

    Secrets is the second collaboration between Lang and Bruno Faidutti following last years HMS Dolores. It is a hidden role party game where players are assigned to either the CIA, KGB or the anti-establishment Hippies. On a players turn, they offer cards to their neighbouring player who can either accept or refuse, with different cards having different actions and values depending on your role. Sounds very much like a quick-to-play social interaction game. (TITTIES = 2)

    Victorian Masterminds is another collaboration, this time with another one of my favourites in Antoine Bauza, designer of 7 Wonders. Set in the Sherlock Holmes universe following his sudden death, players take on the roles of villainous masterminds out to wreck havoc in the absence of the great detective. This is achieved through assigning five different henchmen to destroy buildings, kidnap scientists, complete missions or collect resources to build your own personal doomsday device. Sounds intriguing, and with involvement of two of the very best designers at the top of their game, this could be something very special! (TITTIES = 5)

    Rising Sun is the Lang game that comes with the most hype for 2017, and rightly so. Set in feudal Japan where the Kami have returned to rebuild their empires. The game is enriched in honour and draws inspiration from the classic game Diplomacy in the way the it deals with war and the politics that surrounds it. This will be very special and from the images released so far, this game looks unbelievably beautiful with mesmerising miniatures. (TITTIES = 4)

    Now that is what you call a very cool miniature!

    The little plastic moulds are really in vogue, and as such we now have…

    GAMES THAT ARE GREAT ‘CAUSE THEY HAVE COOL MINIATURES FOLK WANT TO PAINT

    It’s universal knowledge that board gamers love miniatures. Some more so than others. While I would never buy a game on the strength of the miniatures alone, there is no denying that having them over little wooden tokens or pawns just create so much awe and fuel the theme. Due to the increasing standing and financial performance of the industry, we are now seeing a boost in production values with more and more games coming with original little figures that can be customised as you see fit before playing out your game. And 2017 will see a lot of games with applicable uber-cool miniature…

    The miniatures for Massive Darkness are straight out of a nightmare

    Massive Darkness comes from the wonderful folks at Cool Mini or Not who are responsible for the Zomicide series. Gathering a ridiculous $3.5 million, this is a classic dungeon crawler game set in a fantasy world of swords and sorcery that is spliced with RPG elements. Players choose their character, spend their skill points and journey into the dungeon to face untold horrors, improving and levelling up their character as they go. It all sounds as exceptional as the multiple miniatures it contains, but it will come with a monster RRP that could put a lot of people off. (TITTIES = 3)

    Vampire Hunters is an adventure miniature game pertaining to the lore of vampires. Playing as a fledgling vampire hunter, up to four players must work together to clear out a deadly den of the blood crazed creatures, using stakes, crossbows, holy water and anything they can piece together. Players must always be mindful of time, ’cause when the sun goes down, the creatures of the night will come out to play and the hunters become the prey. Fans of the genre will adore this, regardless of the miniatures. (TITTIES = 3)

    Folklore: The Affliction is an expandable horror RPG that sounds utterly engrossing. Players work together to track down and destroy the source of evil plaguing the land. Rich in narrative and featuring complex strategic combat, character customisation and development and truly wonderful production values, reflected with outstanding miniatures. (TITTIES = 2)

    Deep Madness draws inspiration from the films Alien and The Abyss and smashes it together with a bit of Lovecraft. A deep sea mining station has uncovered a mysterious “sphere” that is dragging all into madness and spawning creatures of their worst imaginations. Up to six players players work together as investigators trying to get to the bottom of this crisis while doing all they can to maintain their own sanity. (TITTIES = 2)

    RuneWars: The Miniatures Game has the potential to be a revolution in the gaming industry more than any other game on this list. Following the break-up of Games Workshop and Fantasy Flight Games, we now have a potential battle of the miniatures war games. RuneWars is the first release from Fantasy Flight Games and is set to challenge Warhammer’s monopoly on the war-gaming sub-genre. And while I’m not a massive war game fan, this is exciting. Watch this space. (TITTIES = 1)

    More gorgeous miniatures at the heart of Folklore: The Affliction

    Yet arguably for me, the most awesome miniatures coming in 2017 falls into the category of…

    GAMES THAT USED TO BE ON A COMPUTER BUT ARE NOW ON A TABLE

    Since the boom of home consoles in the late 80’s, video gaming has become the bigger, bolder, brasher brother to classic gaming. Yet the influence tabletop games has had on video games is found in multiple titles and genres. The demand for virtual versions of tabletop games has been constant over the past few years, with a huge increase in mobile app versions of popular games and the rise of Tabletop Simulator for PC. Yet in a buck of the trend, we now have a drip of popular video games being adapted as classic board games. We have seen acclaimed tabletop versions of XCOM, Bloodborne, Portal, Starcraft and Bioshock to name a few. This year we have three successful Kickstarter games coming to retail, all promising to be something special:

    We are now only a few months away from the Darks Souls board game! Prepare to die.

    Dark Souls: The Board Game broke the mould for successful Kickstarter campaigns and then some. Carefully crafted to recreate the menace and despair of the iconic video game franchise, this game has an abundance of pressure on it to deliver given its £3,771,474 funding on a £50,000 target. The mechanics of the game have been well-documented and it all sounds utterly compelling, and like its source of inspiration, also promises to be enormously enraging and devilishly difficult. Either way, this is simply one of the most anticipated board games on the planet and if it fails to live up to the hype, at least we will have the absolutely delicious miniatures! (TITTIES = 5)

    This War of Mine: The Board Game brings the award winning war survival game to the table. Set during the harsh brutality of the mid-90’s Bosnian War, this is a story-driven co-op game about the struggle for civilians to survive during conflict. Very much carrying the style and presentation of the video game, the challenge is in porting the tension and drama of the video game to the board game. Potentially spectacular. (TITTIES = 4)

    Mortal Kombat X: The Miniature Game, Street Figher: The Miniature Game and Dragon Ball Z: The Miniature Game are three scheduled releases from Jasco Games. It is a player duel with all characters interchangeable – meaning the dream stand-off of Scorpion vs Guile is now possible. Normally I wouldn’t be overly excited about this type of miniature game, but legendaru pioneer Rob Daviau is involved so I will be checking it out. (TITTIES = 1)

    Vikings Gone Wild proves that it’s not just established video games that are open for board game adaptations, with this based on a  hugely popular freemium mobile game. At it’s heart it is a deck-building resource management game and despite my personal disdain for pay-to-play games, in theory the concept of these games does translate quite well to the table. If Vikings Gone Wild performs well, expect to see multiple more mobile games licensed for board gaming. (TITTIES = 3)

    Plague Inc: The Board Game is unique in that it is a board game based on a video game that was heavily influenced by a board game. Drawing inspiration from the Pandemic series, Plague Inc flips the game-play by charging players with global extinction at the hands of an ever evolving and mutating virus. It captures the essence of an evil Pandemic very well and I predict this will be a big hit when released to retail. I already have this game and will be reviewing it in coming weeks once I get some more game time, having only had a go at the fantastic solitaire mode so far. (TITTIES = 4)

    Flipping Pandemic on its head, you are now the virus in Plague Inc.

    And while a game with a solo mode is now common practise, the polar opposite is…

    GAMES THAT YOU WILL HAVE TO PLAY WITH THE SAME FOLK EVERY TIME

    It’s no secret I absolutely love the legacy system. I said as much in the second ever Tabletop Tales feature back in August 2016. Following on from the delayed general release of Seafall, 2017 promises to be the year that legacy games are taken to a whole new level with multiple titles all teasing the promise of a completely unique adventure to each group of players, tailored and driven by the consequences of your decisions. By design, they are supposed to be a shared journey by a consistent group of players for the entire duration of the game’s narrative – or until all the secret compartments are open! Just previewing these games has me drooling…

    The art style of Charterstone looks so pretty

    Chronicles 1: Origins is the debut entry in a very ambitious series that will allow players to build a new version of the world. Origins is set in the Stone Age, with each player in charge of an emerging tribe. This is a truly bold and brave gaming experience, taking the basis of Sid Meier’s Civilisation and splitting it up into multiple progressive board games that are all linked. Sounds truly legacy, and will be interesting to see how the first instalment fares, with the second episode also in the works for a potential Q4 2017 release. (TITTIES = 4)

    Charterstone is getting a lot of hype at the dawn of the New Year and it is easy to see why. It brings the legacy model to the worker placement game and, over 12 games, players will combine to build their own village that will shape the game. The artwork looks delightful and this should be a massive success upon release. It is also the first legacy game to feature a solo mode. (TITTIES = 4)

    Android: Netrunner – Terminal Directive is the only expansion that will feature on this list, and for the simple reason it is basically a mod for the well established Android: Netrunner and will convert it into a legacy game. Given the possibilities this could bring to the industry, this is arguably one of the most important releases of 2017. If it works, expect many more legacy expansions for established games to follow in 2018! (TITTIES = 2)

    Gloomhaven is the result of a coming together of four current ‘in’ trends:’; legacy, Euro-games, co-op dungeon crawler and choose-your-own-adventure. Taking on the role of an adventurer, each player gets to evolve their character and the world by the actions they take. They must work with fellow players to clear out the dungeons of Gloomhaven of their foul creatures. This promises to be one of the games of 2017. (TITTIES = 3)

    Ultimate Werewolf Legacy sees Rob Daviau himself apply his legacy model to the immensely popular social deduction game. In this version, decisions made in the first game could have repercussions for later games. Broken into chapters of three games each, it is designed as an adventure through the joys of the party game. I’m pretty confident that this will be one of the most fun and engaging games from 2017. (TITTIES = 4)

    Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 is the hugely anticipated sequel to the number one game on BoardGameGeek. Details are so scarce on this one that it doesn’t even have it’s own BGG page as yet, but a 2017 release date is very much planned for this sequel. It is a game that is all about working together to fight of four ever adapting viruses. It teases it will pick up where Season 1 concluded, with decisions in that game carrying over. Basically, SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!! (TITTIES = 5)

    Pandemic Legacy is the No.1 game on BBG.com. Pressure is on for Season 2.

    Yet despite the ingenuity of legacy games, they can hardly be classed in the category of…

    GAMES THAT WHEN I REVIEW THEM, I WILL CALL “AN ACCESSIBLE BY ALL FAMILY GAME”

    Such a terrible habit I have is lauding games for being “accessible by all” – yet I make no apology for it. For me, part of the strength and allure of board games is that they can be shared and enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds. It is a fantastic social platform to bring people together. Many times before Tabletop Tales I have waxed lyrical about fantastic, yet simple, fun for all the family games – Camel Up, Loony Quest, King of Tokyo, Terror in Meeple City, and so on. As the industry continues its exponential growth, it is now appealing to a global market and family games are king in terms of potential revenue. Here are my ones to watch for 2017 that will appeal to all the family…

    Gadgeteers is one of two invention themed games coming in 2017 that have piqued my interest

    Gondola is a game all about the famed Regata Storica di Venezia gondola race held in Venice. A tile laying and racing game with a decent depth of strategy – appearing very easy to learn – this should appeal to all ages and be a light, fun game with excellent production values. (TITTIES = 3)

    Gadgeteers sees up to four players compete as rival inventors trying to build outrageous inventions. Players secretly bid on the parts they require for there contraptions with completed inventions providing bonuses. With a really cute art style, this promises to be fantastic family fun. (TITTIES = 4)

    Nerdy Inventions also uses a theme of competing inventors, but this time with a dice rolling mechanic. Players roll dice and then try and build inventions, with each successful creation bringing an extra resource to assist with more extravagant builds. Each invention provides points that will determine the winner. With a play time of 20 minutes, this is sounds a great little filler. (TITTIES = 3)

    Mystic ScROLLS is a real-time dice rolling game for up to four players who must roll and re-roll their dice as quickly as possible in order to cast all the spells needed to claim the scroll. Such a frantically brilliant idea that should appeal to all ages, bringing something a little different to the table. (TITTIES = 3)

    The Lords of Rock sees the gods of old take to the stage in a battle of the bands. Players must assemble their band and gather a set list to play the different venues and score enough points (or souls of the devout fans in this case) to be crowned winner. With hand management and take that mechanics, this appears to be a real bundle of joy. With wonderful art and quick to learn approach, this could be a real chart topper in 2017. (TITTIES = 3)

    Word Domination supports my belief that board games can be fantastic educational tools. Putting a fun spin on the Scrabble idea, Word Domination sees up to four players take it in turns to spell a word from any of the face up letters cards and claiming them for your own. However, opponents can steal those letters and its not necessarily about the largest vocabulary but the most strategic words. Not only does this look great fun, it is littered with educational benefits for children. One of my most anticipated games of 2017. (TITTIES = 5)

    Pyramid Arcade was successfully Kickstartered in 2016 and is one of the most igneous board game ever to exist. It is a box with 90 little coloured pyramids that become the components for a total of 22 different games included in the box, with the required dice, boards and rules for each game also included. With the variation in games, there truly is something for everyone and I firmly believe Looney Labs wonderful creation will be a another benchmark and source of great inspiration for the industry. (TITTIES = 4)

    Pyramid Arcade is a whopping 22 games in one.

    Games like this are at the forefront of invention in the industry, likewise are…

    GAMES THAT COME IN A LITTLE BOX

    The micro-game sub genre was all about little quick filler games that came with limited packaging and could fit in your pocket. Now, the micro-game has evolved into fitting as much game as possible into a little box with more and more ingenious designs being birthed. Not only do I predict that 2017 will continue with this trend, it will also set new benchmarks. Here are some big games in little boxes coming your way…

    Such a simple design, but Package is rich in strategy.

    Package is a beautiful little abstract game that can be played in five minutes. Players are tasked with delivering packages to five locations with points scored for packages delivered with multiplier conditions. Actions are controlled by a dice roll that determines what options are open to you on your turn. Such a clever little concept from first time designer Chris Shepperson – very much looking forward to it. (TITTIES = 4)

    Mint Works is a worker placement game in a little tin no bigger than a mint box – hence the name. With beautifully simple rules, this micro-game could also work as a perfect gateway game to the wildly popular mechanic, and with it playing in around 10 minutes this ticks every single box of what you would expect from a micro-game. Over 6500 backers on Kickstarter brought it too life, but I expect this will do exceedingly well once it hits retail. (TITTIES = 3)

    5 Minute Dungeon is another game that puts a bold claim in its name – a game that can play in only five minutes?! Immediately I’m intrigued by this co-op hand management game. Played against a five minute timer, this is a fast and frantic card game where players works together to battle through a dungeon littered with monsters. Anyone can play a card to defeat a monster, with the requirement being to play cards with matching symbols. Yet, the managing of hands independently under the pressure of a timer is the game’s true strength. (TITTIES = 2)

    Deathbot Derby is a card game version of Robot Wars where players build their battle-bot through card drafting and do battle in an arena that can change at any minute. They must not only defeat their opponents, but also avoid the many traps and pitfalls of the arena. A fun dual game that plays in 20 minutes or so, and all in a small little box. (TITTIES = 4)

    Dice of Crowns is basically the die version of Game of Thrones in a box not much bigger than a matchbox! Using seven dice with various symbols, players roll (and re-roll) to get the actions they want to either propel their claim to the crown or hamper others. Each symbol has varying outcomes, both good and bad, and pushing your luck could backfire. I just received my Kickstarter copy and can’t wait to try it. It’s right up my street as a take-that crowd pleaser and I predict big things for this little game! (TITTIES = 4)

    Tiny Epic Quest is the next big game in a little box from Gamelyn Games. This one tackles the classic fantasy adventure game with a sandbox element of play to it. In typical Gamelyn fashion, it has multiple rich mechanics folded together to bring a surprisingly heavy game. Broken into two phases; the day phase sees players travel and explore the world, gathering equipment and quests as they go; while the night phase allows for resolution of any quests. This could be a good as their fantastic Tiny Epic Galaxy. Not only that, it comes with revolutionary customisable meeples! Such a massive game in a tiny box and I predict this will be a massive hit! (TITTIES = 5)

    The Tiny Epic series is at the forefront of big games in little boxes

    And as a nod to Tiny Epic Galaxy we now have a whole category dedicated to…

    GAMES SET IN THE FINAL FRONTIER

    When researching and compiling this 2017 preview, two things immediately became clear. Firstly, it was going to be a gimongous list and not just a really big list as mentioned previously. Secondly, I discovered that there was a pretty extensive list of games set in space planned for 2017. So much so, that despite having largely varying mechanics it would fitting to have a category of space age games…

    Abstract Sci-Fi space games like Sol:Last Days of a Star seem all the rage for 2017

    Sol: Last Days of a Star is a game about the death of our Sun, with up to five players taking on the role of a different planet colony who must harvest as much power from the Sun to power their Ark ships before the Sun explodes. With multiple levels of strategy, this promises to be a very rich game that offers multiple paths to victory. Most definitely worthy of your attention when it’s released. (TITTIES = 3)

    Hexpanse is live on Kickstarter at time of writing and is a tactical game of planetary conquest for up to four players, who all assume the roles of unique factions. With two paths to victory, players must manage their resources and armies, recruiting and deploying them onto the battlefield. There are also unique mercenary fighters that potentially hold the key to victory. A very interesting conquest strategy game not weighed down by the luck of dice. Check out their campaing page(TITTIES = 3)

    Galatic Debate is a party game where players debate the absolute absurdities that plague the multiple races of the Galaxy.  A series of cards are drawn to set the current dilemma and then players must debate it before a vote for or against the proposal. What makes this party game stand out is that anything claimed by any player becomes absolute fact for the remainder of the game – which is a touch of genius sure to increase the hilarity factor. (TITTIES = 3)

    HOPE is a game all about terraforming planets to sustain the human race. Up to four players work together to achieve the goals of the game, yet one player is potentially a traitor with ulterior motives. Despite the co-op, only one player can win the game outright, so its a cool twist on the popular mechanic. Packaged well and looking really great, this looks like a game where trust and motives hold the key to success. (TITTIES = 2)

    Mothership: Tabletop Combat is basically an all out space battle for up to six players. Built on very basic war game rules, players must move their various fleet of ships around the grid and engage in combat with rival players. On top of this, players must manage their system resources, deciding where to focus power; engine, shields or weapons. A very easy to digest game that looks like it will be great fun. (TITTIES = 4)

    Planetarium is all about a newly-formed star and sees players compete to combine elements together to create planets to their own secret agenda. The game is ingrained in factual science with input from NASA scientists and is presented quite beautifully. A game for the science geeks, it also teases an engaging strategic game-play. (TITTIES = 2)

    Sector 6 is another one that, at time of writing, is live on Kickstarter and already funded and then some. Set aboard a failing space prison, up to four players control two inmates who must navigate their labyrinth-like holdings. Played over two unique phases; the first is the construction of the prison maze with boundless possibilities ensuring each game in different; and the second is trying to escape as the maze moves around you. The twist comes with oxygen being at a premium, players have to ensure they don’t suffocate, collecting vital oxygen supplies as they go. This will be special – have a look at their campaign page for more info. (TITTIES = 4)

    Sector 6: build and maze and then race to escape it, while making sure you can breath. Sold.

    And a game where oxygen is a premium could also fall into the category of…

    GAMES SET IN A WORLD WHERE DONALD TRUMP IS PRESIDENT

    So yeah, 2017 isn’t all great. We will shortly have an orange President of America in form of Donald Trump. Yet, the industry has reacted to this news with many parody games hitting Kickstarter during the election campaign last year, most unsuccessful such as a few Top Trumps type games – pun very much the point. The irony is that these concept games poked fun at the sheer insanity of having Trump as President, and now it is going to be reality. However, some games have made it into production with a good few predicting what the world we will find ourselves living in during his (hopefully only four year) term in charge…

    This isn’t actually a game out this year, but one out in 1989. It’s terrible.

    Mr. President should probably be the first thing president-elect Trump gets. It is a ingenious solitaire game that allows the player to step into the shoes of the POTUS and see what it’s all about. Wonderfully crafted into a rich narrative, it’s all about juggling the many policies while dealing with any unfolding situations, using allies and fending off political enemies. It promises to give you a glimpse into what the Oval Office faces, and sounds truly fascinating. For someone like Tump with no political experience, it could be an invaluable guide. (TITTIES = 2)

    Outlive is a management game set in post-apocalyptic world that may or may not have been created by Trump. Players must send their workers out to explore and gather invaluable resources to maintain their underground shelters, including feeding their survivors. Quite spectacular looking, Outlive has so many layers to it that it should prove to be a very deep and engaging game. (TITTIES = 4)

    The Pioneers Program is another post-apocalyptic management game, with the focus switched to building up a new town to be the beacon on civilisation. Players must explore, build, research and recruit to their town, carefully deciding where to focus their limited time and resources. Getting to big too quickly could see envious eyes turn on your town, so the key is all about finding balance. Another one of my most anticipated games of 2017. (TITTIES = 5)

    The Pioneers Program seems to have captured all the best bits of post-apocalyptic worlds.

    And in a world where folk are scavenging for everything thanks to the terror of a President Trump, naturally folk will turn to theft. Taking us nicely onto…

    GAMES THAT ARE BAD FOR KIDS AS THEY ARE ALL ABOUT STEALING

    There is something quite scrumptiously sadistic about games where the purpose is to act out grand heists, undertake general thievery or get sticky fingered with your friends. Yet when these mechanics appear in family-friendly games, surely there is a question of suitability for kids given the very questionable morals of rewarding players for being the prime pincher? Well 2017 doesn’t seem to think so, with four very different games rejoicing in robbery…

    The concept for No Honor Among Thieves is very cool.

    No Honor Among Thieves is a semi-co-op about for up to five player who must assemble a crew to steal from the wealthy of the kingdom. Players must complete heists using their crew deck, while opponents can foil their attempts with scheme cards. Alternatively, you can team up with a fellow player to take on a heist, but beware of betrayal. The many aspects of this game are really enticing and I’m eager to see how it works. (TITTIES = 4)

    10 Minute Heist: The Wizards Tower is a quick to learn, quick-to-play filler game that tasks 2-5 players with escaping the feared wizard’s tower with as much loot as they can carry. Bonus points are rewarded for specific sets, with some cards potentially cursed and causing penalty. The game ends when the first player reaches the exit for a bonus score, but it’s points that will win it. Another fun sounding filler game all about thievery! (TITTIES = 3)

    Dwarves in Trouble is a game all about plundering dwarves who have decided to raid the dragon’s cave while it is out. The goal of the game is not to steal though, it is to pass on any loot to fellow players so when the dragon returns its wrath will focus on who has the most gold first. A simple take-that hand management game, this looks like it could be a decent little filler. (TITTIES = 2)

    Perfect Crime is a bank robbery game that pits one player against all others in a tower defence style game. The bank player builds up their security system on the blueprint board and plans security patrols. All other players assemble a team to beat the system, equipping crew members with all the tools they require. However, all players must keep one eye on their fellow robbers as a double-cross is always on the cards. All things considered, this sounds potentially superb, perfectly using a one versus many game-play for engrossing effect. (TITTIES = 4)

    The art for Perfect Crime is a very cool neo-noir comic book style

    While Perfect Crime is technically a game about robbing a bank, it’s also a beautifully unique creation that it could have easily joined the list of…

    GAMES THAT ARE SO COOL THEY DON’T FIT INTO ANY OF THE OTHER CATEGORIES

    It’s not uncommon for a game to come along that has an air of originality that makes everyone sit up and take note. Regardless of genre, these games usually have either a distinctive visual design, an evolution of a gaming mechanic or are utterly enriched in a wondrous theme. Every now and then you will get a game that is all three. When a game is so unique that it is hard to truly define it, other than by its mechanics, it becomes worthy of attention and subsequently becomes hard to categorise. Also, as far as my groups on my gimongous preview list goes, these enticing sounding games just didn’t quite fit into any of the other 11…

    Even if Dice Forge is only half as good as Libellud’s Loony Quest, it will still be superb.

    Unfair is  a hand management game all about building the perfect theme park. Mixing a range of vibrantly illustrated theme cards, players must build the biggest and best attractions while trying to hamper the progress of your rivals by sending hooligans to vandalise the park, or paying off health inspectors. It gives the impression of a very twisted Rollercoaster Tycoon in a card game format and looks like it will be extremely enjoyable with high replay-ability. (TITTIES = 3)

    Vengeance sees the tortured heroes rise up against the oppressive gangs through a very unique dice based combat. Played over two phases; the montage phase is the time to heal, upgrade and scout out the bad guys; followed by the fight phase, where “vengeance” is dealt by defeating bosses and ultimately scoring points. A very unique sounding game that appeals as much as a solitaire game as a four player. (TITTIES = 4)

    Dice Forge is such an awesome sounding concept that I already know I’m gonna love it when it appears. From the same publishers as the most spectacular Loony Quest, Dice Forge is for up to four players who each start with two dice that they can customise with different symbols to suit their strategy. They then use these dice throughout the game to gather resources, fight monsters and gain victory points. And the art style looks fantastic to boot! Simple, inventive, fun…I’m sold. (TITTIES = 5)

    Chimera Station is a worker placement game where the USP is the awesome little alien meeples that feature full customisation options. Each player must deploy their workers to gather resources so they can upgrade and expand their space station. The end result is something that looks engaging without being too heavy. (TITTIES = 2)

    Endangered Orphans of Condyle Cove is summed up superbly by their designers: “a deplorable tabletop game devoid of joy, hope, or humour; which, regrettably, is also far more awesome than it has any right to be“. It is a tragically grim tale of orphans trying desperately to avoid the boogeymen, enshrined in a wickedly dark sense of humour. The hugely successful Kickstarter campaign that brought it to life was made by the tone and delivery of the sales pitch. With deliciously lovely art, this is a game I know I will treasure being part of my collection. (TITTIES = 4)

    7th Continent is a solo/co-op “choose-your-own-adventure” game where you chose a character and set out to explore the fabled 7th continent, overcoming the dark dangers it contains. It will take countless hours of a single game to achieve the goal of lifting the curse, with a revolutionary “save game” mechanic. Merging elements of legacy with a T.I.M.E Stories level narrative, this promises to be a blindingly unique experience. Furthermore, this looks like it is going to be a hell of a lot of game. And if it can get it right, this could quite easily be the game of the year. (TITTIES = 4)

    The various decks of cards for 7th Continent. This game is nearly as big as this article!

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    So there we have it. My gimongous preview of the year ahead.

    And this is only my taste, games that have piqued my interest. As the hobby continues to shine bright in an unrivalled Golden Age, there will be countless more releases in 2017 that are worthy of our excitement – and even more that will come from left field and surprise everyone. And I haven’t mentioned the countless exciting expansions for many well-established games or indeed the raft of iconic games getting reprints or new edition, many of which will be spellbinding!

    Tabletop gaming is in such fantastic shape, with genuine excitement and anticipation for upcoming titles this year. If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, maybe 2017 is the year you finally dip your toe in the water. Not only am I sure you will enjoy it, this year you really are completely and utterly spoiled for choice.

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    NEXT WEEK: I’m going to tell you all about a lovely little game I got from Santa that finds a new purpose for the books on your shelf.

    Jamie Glasgow
    Jamie likes stuff. He also like talking nonsense about said stuff. Said stuff includes, but is not limited to, board games, video games, film, TV, music, football, LEGO, books, cooking, politics, red wine, onesies and novelty hats. This proud Scotsman is the evil mastermind behind Tabletop Tales and Retro Requisition.

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