For the Top 10 2010 Christmas Board Game Gifts; we have focused our list on games that have already been released this year and are readily available at Starlit Citadel or at your local games retailer. All of these are great board games with a range of prices that will suit any budget.
1) Battles of Westeros
We start the list with a tactical war game based on George R. Martin's popular Game of Thrones series of novels. In the Battles of Westeros, players take command of the armies of Westeros, writing the history of the continent in blood and steel. Using the time-tested Command & Colors gaming system with the addition of generals as units to the game and high quality components and graphics; Battles of Westeros is the definite war game gift of 2010.
2) Castle Ravenloft: A Dungeons & Dragons Board Game
Castle Ravenloft: A Dungeons & Dragons Board Game is a major hit this year, with sales out-stripping most of our other games. A fun, easy to learn light adventure game; Castle Ravenloft has players take on the roles of one of five adventurers attempting to solve a quest together. Random tiles and monster generation and multiple skills allows the game a huge replay value, while the high quality miniatures and great graphics makes it a joy to look and play with. A great game for those looking for a fast, easy to learn and teach adventuring game.
3) Betrayal at the House on the Hill
Betrayal at the House on the Hill is a reprint of the classic board game. A (mostly) pure co-operative game, Betrayal has randomised tiles; multiple characters, a ton of scenarios and new, updated rules that clarifies many of the previous questions. This game is a classic of its genre and will satisfy any horror lover.
4) Carcassonne Big Box 3
Carcassonne Big Box 3 is the latest compilation of the many Carcassonne expansions and base game. The Big Box 3 removes the Tower expansion but adds in the more recent and popular Cult, Siege & Creativity expansion. A tile-laying game for the family, Carcassonne has continued to be a classic gateway game with its easy to learn rules but deep strategy.
5) Forbidden Island
Forbidden Island is a family friendly co-operative board game that has players on a sinking island in search of five treasures. You'll have to work together, attempting to stop the flooding of terrain tiles and find the treasures before time runs out; all the while as the tiles continue to sink deeper and deeper into the ocean. Forbidden Island is a light co-operative board game that is cheap, fun and has immense replay value created by the award-winning designer of Pandemic.
6) Summoner Wars: Phoenix Elves vs Tundra Orcs / Summoner Wars: Guild Dwarves vs Cave Goblins
Summoner Wars is a 2 player tactical card game where players maneuver their forces on a board in an attempt to defeat their opponent's army. Using one of the races provided in the base game; players square off against each other and must attempt to not only position their characters on the board but consider which pieces to bring in. A cross between Chess and Battleships; Summoner Wars is a fun 2 player card game for all.
7) Ascension: Chronicles of the Godslayer
Ascension: Chronicles of the Godslayer rides the wave of deck-building games and comes out with something new and interesting. Stripped down of the many complexities involved in deck building games like Dominion or Thunderstone, Ascension is easy to learn and fun to play; with an ever-evolving mix of cards appearing in its central row. Players have to stay on their toes throughout the game, changing tactics as available cards alter and the rounds rush past. A definite must have for those into deck builders or looking for a quick deck-builder.
8) Power Grid: Factory Manager
A personal favourite; Power Grid Factory Manager has players attempting to improve their factory and supply as much power as possible whilst attempting to keep costs down. That means managing their workers, purchasing new generators and additional storage for the current they produce while keeping an eye on the ever-increasing price of electricity. A pure auction game; Power Grid Factory Manager plays within an hour with experienced players while offering a good challenge for all levels.
Last year's Spiel des Jahres winner (the prestigious German board game award); Fresko has players attempting to be the first to build and complete a fresco for their patrons. However, you'll need to not only buy your paints and manage your apprentices but attempt to appease your patrons when they come by whilst actually getting some work done. Worker placement and management has never been so fun than with Fresko.
10) Gold Mine
For those looking for a family game; Gold Mine is it. Featuring entirely too cute miniature miners and a modular board; players attempt to find gold nuggets in the mine and escape with their loot before it's lost or stolen. Cute, good-natured fun that can involve the whole family with dice rolls and groans as miners face horrible perils like puddles and secret passages.
Designed by popular game designer Chad Jensen; Dominant Species recreates the battle for dominance by six major animal classes – mammal, reptile, bird, amphibian, arachnid or insect – just before the last Ice Age. To win, players will need to evolve, propagate and dominate the earth just before the Ice Age appears. The only reason it's not higher on the list is the higher than normal price for a Eurogame.
Sid Meier's Civilization the Board Game
Civilization the Board Game is not on the list is because it's yet to be released and might just miss this Christmas. We're hoping not, but this is probably the most interesting Civilisation building board game to come out in years. Delivered by the award-winning design team at Fantasy Flight; Civilization is bound to be a hit when it does release.