Most Anticipated Games of 2018:
Folklore Samurai area control game with a heavy emphasis on diplomacy? Yes, please! It's like someone tapped into my brain and asked what my idea "minis on a map" game would be.
2. 7th Continent
This looks like a roguelike distilled into a board game and I want to see how it works. I know a lot of people complained that the actual writing of the story wasn't great, but I hope it's able to capture the experience of swapping stories with people about the unique situation you encountered and how you dealt with it.
If you want to play something different, I'd tell you to play Orelans, a game where you build your resources but draw them blindly from a bag. It's a super fun system, but with enough depth that you've almost always got two or three interesting choices to make. Altiplano is the followup to Orelans, but instead of boring trade in medieval France you're breeding alpacas in the Andes! Now that sounds like a fun theme.
4. Gloomhaven (Retail Release)
As legacy games become more of a thing, I think the initial sheen is going to wear off and we're going to have to deal with whether or not the systems are good. Gloomhaven looks like the core dungeon crawl combat campain I wanted out of Star Wars: Imperial Assault. The fact it's also an evolving legacy game is just the cherry on top. The only problem is going to be selling people on committing to a campaign of this.
5. Hunt for the Ring
I love War of the Ring, but it only plays two and is a beast of a game as it can easily reach 4 hours of playtime. This looks to add in more players and distill the hidden movement mechanic of War of the Ring into something I could play with my family. Unless this one ends up being a dud, I feel like this might be the hidden movement game for my collection.
6. Batman: Gotham City Chronicles
Conan looked like an interesting combat campaign system but the theme is so off-putting that I have no interest in playing it. The idea of wrapping those mechanics into a Batman game--meaning it's also something I could probably convince family and hardcore tabletop gamers to play--makes it a perfect way for me to finally experience a game I'd love to play but with a theme/aesthetic that won't make me squirm.
Going forward, I'm definitely diverting more money to board games and less to video games. I've got a hefty collection of video games I still haven't played and I think once we get past the holidays and settle into routine, video gaming will naturally happen less for me. I subscribed to Humble Monthly Bundle and figure I'll just settle for what's in there and PS+ for new games and then get whatever big releases I feel like playing physically and sell them back as soon as I finish them. I still expect to pick up an odd indie game here and there but I'm really going to cut back spending in that area.