2023 Games of the year - cutlassboardgame.com

2023 Games of the year

3 Minute Board Games
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  1. A big thank you to the 3 minute board game patrons for making another year of making content possible. It really helps keep the channel honest that we can be customer driven and sponsored rather than doing ads for publishers and games. Help keep these awards and many other things "unpaid for" by supporting us on patreon. I can think of 7500 reasons to keep your board game media independent of asking for money from publishers, heres hoping some folks who read this agree with this philosophy and come support us on patreon. It's always appreciated.

  2. Bang on with GOTY – also refreshing to not arbitrarily say you can't give the same game multiple awards.

    Really think that HEAT does something special. The base game is good and so much more accessible and "grokable" to non gamers thanks to the theme. But that advanced game is mind blowing. Truly Days of Wonder back to (and beyond?) their best.

  3. Do the advanced rules in Heat make a big improvement? I've only played the intro version and enjoyed it, but was a bit underwhelmed. Keen to give it another go sometime with the advanced rules, or the three game series.

  4. You either have a big influence on me, or we have a similar taste. Three games mentioned here are in my tiny collection.

    Thank you for your work in 2023.

    This year you can review The last Kingdom. I think it's pretty intresting boardgame.

  5. Enjoyed the vid. Looking forward to the new award in Feb 2025 ‘Best game I invented’ as long as GMT pull their finger out.

  6. I think that mine are
    Knarr – small box game, Viking themed engine building and engine breaking. Neat package all round.
    Perspectives – innovative co-op deduction game, maximises player communication and eliminates alpha-gaming by spiltting the info (provided on very nicely illustrated cards) between the players. People who enjoy stuff like Chronicles of Crime should like this.
    Hegemony – it’s really too much game for me and I may never get to play it again, but it does such a good job of nailing its hugely ambitious scope, mechanisms and theme.

  7. Heat is fantastic. I played it with my wife, which turned out in a tense duel. I also played with four players and added the car upgrades, which massively changed the experience. Can't wait to organise a championship.

  8. heat was my best acquisition in recent years.

  9. Nice! I’ve been excited to see what your top games were for the year

  10. I agree Star Wars Deck Builder is a solid little game. I feel Bonsai is a great foundation game that came out late in the year.

  11. If you liked Libertalia have you played Oriflamme? Does a somewhat similar limited cards and those cards activate down a track type thing. Think I prefer it to Libertalia a bit but I've only played Libertalia the once.

  12. I would have liked to have 2 honorable mentions at least mentioned for every category.

  13. As someone who recently started buying board games (Azul and Lost Cities) and played about 30 of them (most of them only once) and watched too many YT videos about this hobby, I have to ask you all some questions:
    1. How often do you play board games (in person, online, on your phone…)?
    2. How many hours a week do you spend playig?
    3. How many new (for you) games you try out in a months time?
    I'm just curious, so thank you for your time!

    P.S. And thank you, 3MBG, for making really good instruction/review videos! Cheers! =)

  14. Three minute board games? You must play them incredibly fast!

  15. I discovered Heat at the beginning of this year and it clicked really hard for me. Was happy to see so many people liking it as well as upcoming expansions.
    Used to hate racing board games because they were turn based, but this game is so much more dynamic than the ones I've played. Also inspired to make a tournament at my local game club.

    …Now I'm surprised I didn't see Arkham in the list, but considering you made entire extended videos about that, all is forgiven.

  16. Sorry, but the champion for late arrivals is Brazil 😫 (and when they arrive, we have translation issues). Great video!

  17. Have you had the chance to play Stationfall? I love nemesis and stationfall might just replace it because of how chaotic and fun it is.

  18. great video, great games. I’ve got another category: Best Small Table Game. A game that fits on a regular table. ☺️

  19. Thanks for making the video. Had not heard of Akropolis, so will check it out. Do want to also try circadians and Star Wars deck building game. From 20222023 have really enjoyed Beast, Deliverance, Distilled, Scout and Splendor Duel. With all that, picked up a used copy of Le Harve and ot lives up to the expectations set bu your better half😅

  20. First of all, a great set of games! I have Heat: Pedal to the Metal in shrink, ready to open, which is exciting.

    Second, thank you thank you thank you for saying aloud what I have said hundreds of times in my mind over the years when reviewers and content creators almost always forget to credit Sam Macdonald for the games he designed with Shem Phillips. They're BOTH great and they make terrific games TOGETHER, as well as apart. Your shout out to Sam is so well deserved and you made me so happy that someone else gets it. Cheers!

  21. The sickening thing about both Shem and Sam is they are also really nice. They are a scourge and must be stopped.😂😂😂

  22. Motorsport and motorsport games are my thing. I have a very large collection missing only Formula 90 of all the must have games.
    Chris Amon like Dan Gurney was always at the wrong place at the wrong time. Always going to a good team just as they faded to a mid pack status.

  23. Top games for me have been Heat, Guild of Merchant Explorers, Distilled, Ark Nova, Cubed, and Castles of Burgundy.

  24. I’ve purchased a number of games during the past year. Heat Pedal to the Metal is the game that keeps coming back to the table on game night! Our game group has grown larger with a variety of player abilities, so up to 6 players works great for us. A race car theme wouldn’t normally be my theme of choice but the theme fits the game really well, and it’s a fun game! Other contenders Beer and Bread (a great 2 player game), Planet Unknown (might be a 2022 game), and Earth are great games I got this past year too.

  25. i have always felt like i play heat wrong. I played two games with the standard/basic rules without the competition or extra cards, and it felt very "meh", play some cards, move the car, repeat. I also read the rules for the extra cards/deck building aspect, but that didnt feel like a real deck builder but more like 3 random upgrades

  26. Star Wars TDG is great. The Leaders unofficial solo variant is the best automata I’ve experienced.

    Ark Nova is my best new-to-me game. The official solo mode is so smooth. I didn’t think a long multiplayer euro could have a quick engaging solo mode.

    Heat is good, but the Legends cars are all over the place. They are so much faster in the straights (move 19) that it’s like racing heavy 1000hp muscle cars against a Mazda Miata/MX-5. We average the same number of turns per lap, but get there very differently. I probably just need to play more of the campaign. I’ve only finished the 1961 season.

  27. I love the risk/reward push-your-luck aspect of USING Heat cards. that element alone is what makes the game great to me

  28. Love that you have categories….thanks for the vid!

  29. I enjoyed Akropolis, but do retain reservations about games that encourage hate drafting to block the strategy of others / as a way of balancing unbalanced approaches (c.f. harbour building in Quadropolis). I much prefer better balance, where it's how well you execute it, not how much others block it. If Planet Unknown squeezes into this category, I'd probably have that as my suggestion.

    I love that you've recognised the innovation in books of time, despite having issues with the actual game. I definitely value innovation, and conversely can get turned off a game if it feels like a bit of game A, a bit of game B, plus the rest from game C, all finished off with a generic or recently trendy theme… even if by borrowing so much, it plays very solidly. For me I'd choose Kutna Hora with its cardboard calculators. A solid attempt to represent a bi-dimensional economy. CGE put out a recent video that shows the original mad prototype attempt. Interesting insight into game design iterations.

    Small box game for me this year would be the viking see-saw in the Itten fun brick series. Nothing innovative, but it absolutely shines for the quality of the components, usually inviting mocking comments about the cubes vs. those in terraforming mars.

    Re: the chaos order comments, whilst I might bemoan the transient nature of boardgame hype/hotness, amongst content creators and boardgamers alike, I'm finding another influence personally that steers me away from games that come to life after repeated plays. Our gaming group is large and never pre-arranges games (to stop cliques building up). As a result we're invariably playing different games each week, with different players. Gone are the days where I'd meet with the same circle of friends every weekend. With such a transient grouping, it becomes a negative where prior experience gives a huge advantage. I've not played Scholars, but it definitely appeals more than Wayfarers, so I am looking forward to playing it.

    Libertalia I'm reasonably ambivalent about. Not exciting, but I'd not turn down a game of it. One minor gripe was that the game is somewhat dependent on good combinations of crew coming out, as it's possible for dull combinations to come out (most notable in the 1st round).

    Re: heat, my biggest gripe is that players can get shafted in the corners, and despite the catchup mechanism, can lead to players being dropped off the back. I though formula D handled that a little better, and kudos to it for making roll to move still work in the modern era.

    One final honourable mention from me: Nova Roma. On one hand a points salad with a well-worn and light theme, but it's rock-solid as a game, with an appealingly different action selection mechanism (grid where you do the row and column heading actions). The icing on the cake being the clearest on board graphical design summary boxes for the actions. An absolute dream to teach (and learn).

  30. So interesting… I totally get why people dig the theme (especially racing fans), but I bounced quite hard off Heat. Realjon has a review that pretty much echoes my feelings about it. Felt like the choices are pretty lacking, and most of the game feels like it plays itself.

  31. Circadians: Chaos Order is a masterpiece. It came to me as a huge surprise, I never expected a game from eurogame designers to challenge the supreme state of Dune (2019) and Kemet on the area control side. The game has crisp mechanisms, rock-solid gameplay, limited loss factor (far easier to come back than in Dune), clear (if complicated) rules, a very good amount of asymmetry and a simply genius mechanic with Relic board control (built-in round timer, game-ending condition, objective worth fighting for from the first turn to the last all in one). Game plays equally challenging with 3, 4 or 5 players, every decision counts, every part of the round counts, resources matter, placement matters.

    This game for me personally came out of nowhere. I ordered it just because I liked the both the North Sea and Western Kingdoms trilogies, but it skyrocketed in my top 5 of all time. It was very favorably accepted by our small community of area-control junkies, who are always keen on playing games like Dune, Kemet, Inis, Ankh, Mezo, Blood Rage etc, and it's always a delight to play. The only drawback is pretty wild color scheme and questionable art, which repels some random people from even trying it, but for us it's just a masterpiece; maybe not TI4 or Rebellion level, but right below them.

  32. I got myself out of the rush for the newest games so this list resonates with me. I think Oath was the last hyped game I backed and really didn't enjoy- it is the board game craze, but really good games will always find a way to shine no matter what year they were published.

    I'm always excited for something new for the Arkham Horror LCG and Detective: City of Angels. And there's a couple of games on my radar like In The Shadows (GMT) or Night Witches that are still to come probably next year. Still curious about Halls of Hegra for example, but glad I broke the board game spell so to speak lol

  33. Your comments about Circadians: Chaos Order are spot on Jay, especially as someone who played the original Dune to death b/c we only had a handful of decent games. I so want a few people in my group to take to this one and play it through on a regular basis, that means having time I just don't have.

    It is a freaking legend of a game. No doubt about it.

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