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Posted on Dec 21, 2018 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Best Games of 2018!  Holiday Buyers’ Guide

Best Games of 2018! Holiday Buyers’ Guide

Rick Martin

Gaming Holiday Buyers’ Guide 2018

2018 has been an amazing year for gaming!  In 2017, we said that “maybe” we were in a second Golden Age of Gaming.  Well after 2018, if anyone doubts that we are in a second Golden Age of Games then they haven’t been paying attention.  Let me reiterate – WE ARE IN A SECOND GOLDEN AGE OF GAMING!  This year has had some fun surprises.  From the adventure, tactical combat, puzzle solving Big Trouble in Little China the Board Game to fantastic games playable on your cell phone such as Mideast 67 to some great ancients and aviation games to Martian invasions of the Earth, 2018 had it all!  And while we at Armchair General are still playing catch up on some games that came out in 2018 and have gone unreviewed (shame on us), we hit a good selection of game genres in our reviews this year.  But wait my friends, there’s more!  2019 will be positively smashing so look out! There is more goodness to come in a few weeks!


So whether you need a good game for a late Hanukkah gift, or Christmas, or Kwanzaa or what-ever- get one of these fine games and you can’t go wrong!  All you need do is search on our site for these full reviews!

Sherman Leader   96% Ray – “Sherman Leader is a fun game. And it does a good job presenting a narrative of battling the Axis in World War II.”

The Invincible Armada – 94% Rick – “Small footprint, simple to learn but dynamic to play, great    value    for the price, exciting, plays perfectly well solo. Also a great educational experience.”

878 Vikings – 98% Rick – “This game is simply fantastic.  The design captures the ebb and flow     of the   warfare during this time period.  The event cards add randomness which keeps replay value high.  The components are all top notch and beautifully designed.”

Sword and Sorcery – 95% Rick – “‘Sword and Sorcery” has become my new “go to” game when I want do some fantasy role playing either solo or with a few friends.  The realistic tactical combat system combined with immersive, dynamic scenarios makes this game highly addictive and fun.”

Skies Above the Reich – 98% Ray – “Skies Above the Reich also represents great tool through which players gain an insight in the danger the Allied bomber crews faced. Instead of viewing it from the perspective of the bomber crew, you view this through the lens of the German pilots. “

Big Trouble in Little China the Board Game -  99% Rick – “Everything Epic has released a massive board game based on the film!  Big Trouble in Little China the Board Game perfectly captures the feel and design aesthetics of the movie and draws the players in to a tactical struggle against the forces of Lo Pan and his Kung Fu thugs!”

Blood on the Ohio  -  93% Ray – “Under the banner of ‘Manifest Destiny’ the Americans would wage a series of wars against the native peoples, continually displacing them from their lands. Blood on the Ohio puts you on the starting line of these events and provides a view into the shape of things to come.”

Battlestar Galactica Starship Battles – 97% Rick – “the Battlestar Galactica Starship Battles starter set is amazing!  It perfectly captures the frantic star fighter combat from the TV series!  If you are a science fiction fan, get this game!  By My Command!”

New York 1901 – 95% Rick – “New York 1901 abstractly simulates the sky scraper building boom of early 20th Century New York. New York 1901 stretches your strategic thinking in to the abstraction of territory pattern matching.”

Corsair Leader – 98% Rick – “Dan Verssen Games gives you the opportunity to release your own Black Sheep and play in the cockpit of the famous Corsair fighter as you battle the famed Japanese Zero”

For the People – 98% Ray – “It’s a well-executed game that has stood the test of time. Even the most knowledgeable student of civil war games will find something familiar as well as something new across the span of the event cards.”

Night Fighter Ace – 95% Rick – “Night Fighter Ace puts you in the cockpit of one German fighter as you try and survive the war.  It’s this intimacy which really draws the player in.”

Gone to Pieces The Battle of Binh Gia – 95% Rick –“ Gone to Pieces covers the Battle of Binh Gia which lasted from December 28, 1964 to January 1st, 1965.  If you are interested in the Vietnam War or just want a cracking good war game for a few hours of play, Gone to Pieces will be your cup of tea and for less than $20, you really can’t go wrong with this one!”

The War of the Worlds – 93% Rick – “The collaboration between designers Seiga and Verssen has resulted in a truly unique and fun game which captures the tension of Wells’ novel.”

And here are some of the other fine games we’ve reviewed this year with their percentage grade:

The Sadowa Campaign – 96% Rick

BAOR and FRG – Expansions to MBT – 99% Rick

Arquebus – 97%  Rick

John Tiller’s Modern Campaign – Mideast 67 for Andriod – 93% Rick

Clash of Giants: Civil War – 95% Ray

But Not in Vain: The Siege of Calais – 95% Rick

Hastings 1066 – 90% Rick

Israeli Air Force Leader – 96% Rick

Fortress Sevastopol   92% Rick

Fort Sumter -  95% Ray

Down in Flames: Locked On – 93% Rick

Wing Leader: Supremacy and Wing Leader: Blitz  -  96% Rick

Next War Poland – 96% Rick

Honorable Mention – GMT’s Hitler’s Reich – 90% – Great game let down by overly dense rule layouts.  Rumor has it that rewritten rules are coming out. If they are easily approachable, this game could become a must have for World War 2 gamers.

Card Game Honorable Mention (See pictures)– we didn’t review these but they are a blast to play if you want card games!  Key Forge by Fantasy Flight Games is a deck collecting fantasy and science fiction card game that is easy to play but very addictive.  Christmas Lights is by 25th Century Games and is the perfect game to play with the entire family during the holidays!  In Christmas Lights you are given rules to 12 different card games that utilize beautifully designed cards representing Christmas lights, power cords, plugs and such.  You have to make your light design the most beautiful at the table – its fun, simple and very addictive!