Best Boardgame of 2018


Played Decrypto just this past weekend. The concept is a bit of a mindbender at first, especially if you’re carrying preconceptions from Codenames, but it’s a lot of fun.


I didn’t even know SEAL Team Flix existed (and, until I typed it, didn’t even get the gag in the name!). I love “flicky games,” as my group calls them, although I don’t get my current stash–Flick Em Up, Catacombs, Ascending Empires–out often enough. Typically because one or another player isn’t so into them. But one reason I do love them is because I actually think they are (or can be) highly tactical. SEAL Team sounds promising!


BGG did most of the hard work, I just copy + pasted the stuff I’d entered throughout the year ;) I’m surprised I’ve played that many 2018 releases, tbh!

But the word is the hidden bit! Surely that’s what we’re guessing??? :)

This one is quite tactical. Your troops position, noise, and turn-sequencing make or break the mission! Imagine nu-XCOM, or Invisible Inc! (or something with a ‘cover system’), but instead of clicking on baddies to shoot them you flick little disks instead!

The Wizkid stand at UKGE was right infront of the entrance, so it was one of the first places I went . I’d heard nothing about this game it until I accidentally walked into a copy sticking out from a shelf – the game has a humongous box. It’s like 2 Ticket-To-Ride’s in length. They had a copy set up, so I strolled over and took a glance. I pulled a rep over to ask them to explain, and when they were done I thought it was a godly mix of all of my favourite gaming aspects.

When I went back to the stand at the end of the day I got the last copy left. This was in June, and it wasn’t in the shops until September or so. I’m surprised I bought it: Even though Catacombs 2e is one of my favourite games* I never managed to get it to the table.

So I’m also really surprised that I went for the top tier of the Catacombs 3e playmat kickstarter from a few months ago. I seem to have a soft spot for tactical dexterity games that no-one wants to play with me :(

I didn’t get the gag until I was at home reading the manual, and thought to myself “why did the manual call them sailors? Are they normal navy. or something?”. The pun stuck as I typed in “Are SEAL Team Six called sailors?” into google…

* I think it’s it’s such a phenomenal idea! It’s such an obvious and natural extension of a dungeon crawler – what better way to show fireball spells than to flick them, or axe attacks by flicking your
barbarian into the fray! I had the exact same thought when I saw SEAL Team Flix.


I mean, you kind of have to guess the word, or at least it’s general semantic area, to get the code. What threw me when the rules were being explained was that you can see your own team’s words.


Yeah it looks like you have to be explicit enough that your own team can guess which word is which, but cryptic enough that the other team can’t figure it out from context.


Right - knowing the word is key. But you don’t get points for knowing the word, or instantly win the game as soon as you do. You get points for exploiting your knowledge of the word, as its still possible to not “intercept” the other teams message even if you know the word, e.g. if they’re tricky enough.

It just seems like people new to the game (including me) instantly think that discovering the hidden word is the be-all and end-all of the game :) And, like you say, are a bit surprised that everyone on a team can see their blurry words.


Kick Cataclysm off the list and move Gettysburg to #5. Lincoln is the third-best boardgame of 2018.


Isn’t Marco out there assuring the world that Lincoln is horribly broken, or something? Of course, I remember the Few Acres of Snow controversy and not being bothered by that at all. I still very much enjoy the game regardless of those claims.

Oh and i also played Root twice over the weekend and really liked it. When the say its a COIN game I see where they’re coming from, but the asymmetry is much more severe in Root. Not a hit as far as I’m concerned but it does make learning the game a little rougher. I don’t have the expansion but if this keeps up I may soon.


He had a pre-production copy which highlighted a legitimate problem which was that an early invasion of Washington had an excellent chance of success. The production version does not have this issue due to an increased terrain modifier if you attack Washington from the Manassas box.


So you didn’t like it? Was it a hit with your group?


Sorry, that is a confusing statement there.

The Asymmetry being more severe than a COIN series game didnt bother me. I was meaning to state that the somewhat steeper curve wasn’t a hit against the game.

I did like the game. My group did to but I could see the shift in their expressions when we got into the game and it went from “look at these cute animal pieces,” to, “dear God what is going on in this game?”


The rulebook is, I think, very bad for learning the game. The Woodland Alliance in particular is written very confusingly.


Have all the rules queries been clarified yet? I really enjoyed playing it one time, but we had to guess the intention of so much of that game.


There is a pretty robust Q&A on BGG. None of it is official, but it seems reasonable.

I agree that the rules are an abomination.


I’m pleased with Lincoln, after fearing it was going to be a mess. I can’t speak to balance, but they fixed the Manassas Mace, or whatever you want to call it. Very tense. The rules are typical Wallace, which is to say full of holes. The game is straightforward enough that you can soldier through.


Thanks, I’ll give it a read.


I’m seeing Root quite a bit in this thread and wondered if people here agree with some criticism I’ve heard about the game that has ultimately pushed me into the not-buy side, even if I liked the asymetric mechanics and production value.

Apparently, once one of the players can jump ahead of the rest in the victory track (if two other players just fight each other for instance) it will be very easy for him/her to get away with the game.

Have any of you guys noticed this?


I have only played it 2-player so far, sadly.


There’s a learning guide that’s not the rulebook, seemed to work for me playing woodland as the first time.

One easily missed rule, you can’t place influence tokens in the cat keep. You can, however, move pieces INTO it (such as armies) I believe.


Sort of? There’s a lot of momentum in the game and if someone establishes their momentum enough, other players will have a lot of trouble stopping them. But once you get a hang of the game, you can absolutely see it coming and take down players before they build up that momentum towards victory. Mostly, this isn’t true in my experience. If players gang up on a player, they can deal with a runaway leader unless you’re 3/4th of the way through the score track.