Star Wars Legion - Rex
Board Games

Board Games – The Year Ahead: What to expect in 2021

What are we up to on the board over the next year?

Nevi: I wasn’t sure about doing this article. I don’t want to commit to a lot of board game coverage. Given the state of the world, the best by board game group can do it is play things over Discord, and I’m really bad at setting aside time for that. That means that I barely played a board game in 2020, so things are not looking bright for this year.

Nevi: Having said that, I did play the first two months of Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 over the holiday period. My partner and I started our journey of saving the world from a microscopic menace, and we loved it. Hopefully, we’ll continue to the end and I’ll be able to talk all about it (spoiler free of course). Beyond that, I keep meaning to try out Flipships with my partner as well so maybe that too? Honestly, though with the renewed lockdown in England I’m going to struggle to play anything. And I was hyped to start a Warhammer 40,000 Crusade campaign as well. I’ll keep my fingers crossed but maybe someone else will have something to add.

Alpha Legion - Army
Image Credit: WarheadsByLink

Gav: Remind me again, what is a board game? Is when you go on holiday and play chess? Or is that an abroad game? Nevermind, I think I’ve worked it out.

George: *Stares blankly* Moving on. Last year I finally managed to get Nevi and Gav to play Tabletop Simulator. Hopefully, we can continue that into the New Year. We’re literally half way through a game of Donning the Purple and I think I’m winning. Or Losing? Trying to cling to power in the Roman empire is a chaotic business.

Gav: I’m being serious about the chess. Not about the holiday, though. Like a lot of people, I enjoyed the chess explosion during the pandemic, through Twitch tournaments like PogChamps and later The Queen’s Gambit. I also accidentally let my Chess.com Diamond membership trial renew for a year, so I guess I’m a chess player now. Here’s hoping I can get into other board-related activities – maybe even in real life – at some point this year.

George: The Queen’s Gambit was definitely my TV highlight of 2020 and like Gav it resulted in me signing up to Chess.com to try and learn a little more strategy beyond blindly moving pieces and hoping for the best.

George: I’m honestly not certain what board games I should be looking forward to at this point. 2021 for me is not so much waiting for releases but waiting to play what’s already been released. Dune: Imperium managed to sneak past me and release itself without me noticing. After 2 games played, I’m liking the spicy mix of deckbuilding and working placement. There’s a broad number of options for what to do on any given turn, though I’m not yet sure if the number of viable strategies quite matches this apparent bredth.

George: Another Sci-Fi epic, Twilight Imperium 4th Edition, got its first expansion Prophecy of Kings, I’ve played a handful of 3 and 4 player games but yet to enjoy the proper TI experience of 5 and 6 players. On first impression, I love all the new mechanics but I think there’s a risk this expansion is too much of a good thing and 6p games might begin to drag.

George: Hobby wise, I started armies for two different miniature systems last year. After knocking out a small force of Clone Troopers for Star Wars Legion, I succumbed to temptation and started a Warhammer 40k army after some friends indicated they were getting back into it for 9th edition. It’s been 6 months (fuck, has it?) and my Stygies VIII splinter force of the Adeptus Mechanicus working with radical cell of the Ordo Xenos is taking shape nicely. In 2021, who knows? I might actually get to play them.

Nevi: Also on the hobby note, for those of you who follow our Instagram you’ll have seen that I’ve painted the core set for Marvel Crisis Protocol. While I’m down a willing opponent, I’m hoping to get in at least one game of it in 2021. My other obsession is the Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game and I’m making serious progress on the Pelennor Fields box as well. Again, I’m lacking someone to play with but my partner is an avid Tolkien fan so I might have better luck with this than other titles.

George: There’s a few Kickstarter projects on the horizon that I’m waiting for. Generally I’m fairly averse to the big kickstarter model of things but somehow these projects got the better of me. Oath has been pretty progressing pretty briskly and seems like it might actually arrive in the first half of this year. Air Flix (One of my highlights from UKGE 2018) and Blood on the Clocktower however have suffered delay after delay and made me pretty wary of backing anything again. BotC, for all the fun I had fun playing it at UKGE, feels especially cursed as I don’t expect to be able to get 10+ people in a room together for a long time.

UKGE 2020 would have been the first time the three of us all met up. Enjoy this artist’s rendering of what might have been.

Nevi: I should stress that while the other two year ahead articles (bookclubbing and video games) are sort of road maps of what’s almost definitely coming, this one is tenuous maybe. We might cover all or none of the above. However, watch this space as we might surprise ourselves.


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