We were a band of feared Viking warriors of Borg on the Lofoten islands. Our chieftain had tasked us with assembling a cunning and mighty crew, collecting provisions and journeying north to plunder gold, iron and livestock from foreign lands. We would find glory in battle and the Valkyrie would lead the fallen to Odin's Valhalla. We were the Raiders of the North Sea by Shem Phillips from Renegade Games Studios.
In the Qing dynasty, camels were one of the main means of transport. People would travel for days to cross deserts, wilderness and plains to reach the city of Pingyao, where they would trade their wares to increase their wealth. So an agency of bankers was established to help grow the economy and slowly build up a financial network. Soon, wealth began to accumulate in the city of Pingyao: First Banks of China by Wu Shuang from Jing Studio.
It was hard to get the favour of the Emperor. Many noble houses were vying for their attention by offering their resources and manual labour to help restore the Emperor's wonderful monuments. As a way to remember the work everyone did and to honour the grace and power of the Emperor, artists were commissioned to create beautiful paintings. It was your hope to catch the Emperor's eye and receive the ultimate recognition: being invited as a guest at the Eternal Palace by Steven Aramini from Alley Cat Games.
Sending someone a letter seems to have become a thing of the past and sending people postcards is mostly restricted to when you've gone away on holiday - but it's been ages since many of us have done that. However, many of us love sharing games with others, so it would be amazing if you could send someone a card that's also a game and even add a little message. Well, that's exactly what Six Greetings Card Games by Ellie Dix from The Dark Imp does.
We were still trying to understand the special powers of the 8 elemental realms and how our dragon, wizard and warriors could take advantage of each and how we could impose our dominance over the other factions in this growing world. Each realm also had a giant monster that would wreak death and cause havoc amongst us, if we couldn't work out how to defeat it first or control it and steer it in our favour. We didn't have much time to build our Dwellings of Eldervale by Luke Laurie from Breaking Games.
Around sixty million years ago on Earth, dinosaurs reigned supreme on land, but at sea, a giant struggle was still unfolding. Creatures were slowly adapting to the changes in their watery habitat and hoping to be victors in this fight for survival. The threat of a giant meteor striking the Earth was increasing all the time, so it was a race to become the Dominant Species: Marine by Chad Jensen from GMT Games.
Yes, it's the time of year again where I list the 5 board games that I think were the best in 2021. The games don't necessarily have to have been published this year, but as long as I have played them in 2021, they qualify to appear on this list. Of course, as is now custom on the Tabletop Games Blog, the #1 game will receive the exclusive and prestigious Top Table Award. I know you're already at the edge of your seat to find out who got the coveted trophy, but let me list the top 5 board games of 2021 in reverse order, to raise the excitement even further and make you wait a little bit longer.
Progress was slow, but it was very satisfying seeing the little pea seedlings grow and then, eventually, flower before finally producing pods that slowly swelled up to bursting with new peas inside. We carefully crossed different plants in the hope that they would create new varieties and over time we were able to predict the height of the plant, its flower colour, the pod colour as well as whether the peas were smooth or wrinkly based on their parentage. We were finally ready to work out each plant's Genotype by Genius Games.
We had been growing tea for generations on our large plantation. We knew everything there was to know about the cultivation of the plants, the best time and method of harvesting the leaves and how to treat them to turn them into wonderfully aromatic tea, ready to be steeped and drunk. We even had ships waiting for our teas to take them out into the world. But for the moment, it was time to relax and enjoy a nice cup of Chai: Tea for 2 by Steeped Games.
As a board game reviewer, you need to have access to board games. That's obvious. Some reviewers rely solely on games they bought themselves, maybe got as presents or borrowed from friends, while others will only review games sent to them by the publisher or even the designer. Many reviewers will rely on a mix of both. What I want to look at in this article is how review copies, which are (usually) free, may influence a review and what the relationship between publishers, or designers, and reviewers may look like and how it can also play a part in how a review is written.