Ric's Christmas Wishlist 2023

Ric’s 2023 Christmas Wishlist

Let’s start this with a confession.

I’ve done much less writing for One Board Family in the past few years. It turns out that when you have younger kids, you have less free time. Who knew? I mean, they’re four and two. Shouldn’t they be taking care of themselves by now?

But as I sit here and type this article, everyone else in the house is asleep, football is on, and I’m a little delirious from exhaustion and a head cold. Are there better conditions for writing a holiday wishlist? I think not.

It’s been a while, but the format continues. I’ve got a few games that I’ve got my eye on, and maybe they’ll interest you, too. If you buy a game for me, I’ll be your friend. Like on Facebook, or in real life… whatever your preference / tolerance of me allows for.

Editors note: The images in this article are from the publishers and not our photography.

Tranquility

Publisher: Lucky Duck Games
Number of Players: 1 – 5 
Purchase on Amazon

Tranquility from Lucky Duck Games

I was first introduced to this at one of our Refuge Coffee board game meetups. It’s built around such a simple concept that you’ve seen played out before – everyone has a bunch of numbered cards, and you’ve got to work together to play them at the right time. And, like in The Mind, you’re playing without talking. 

But this game differentiates itself in a few interesting ways. You play on a grid, which means you don’t have to just go from lowest to highest number, but instead can spread yourself out. This allows for more strategy, but can add a little more risk. There are also some interesting rules for discarding that help keep everyone involved in the game. The artwork also just looks great.

For $15, you’re getting a really solid title. It’s a small little box, so it would fit perfectly in my stocking… or a tiny gift bag… or you could just hand it to me. I’m not picky.

Other games that will look really cool on the table?

The Princess Bride Adventure Book Game

Publisher: Ravensburger
Number of Players: 1 – 4
Purchase on Amazon

The Princess Bride from Ravensburger

The Princess Bride isn’t a movie that I grew up with, but I definitely have grown to appreciate it with each viewing since college. I’m not quite as obsessed as many others I have met, but I can appreciate the humor, the adventure, and how insanely quotable it is.

But even if I don’t think it’s the greatest movie ever, I am very intrigued by the storybook style game that was released by Ravensburger a few years ago. It’s got the feel of a legacy or campaign game, where each level takes place on different pages of a book. You know, like how the whole movie is a story that Grandpa is reading when you’re sick in bed? Yeah?!?

I’ve spent the past 5 years trying to get my wife to finish our Pandemic: Legacy campaign with me, and I’ve not gotten it to the table in about 2 years. I feel like this one might be a little bit easier to get her to play more frequently. Maybe she’ll even ask to play, and I’ll say, “As you wish…”, and I’ll look super cool.

Or really corny and predictable. I’m not sure which one.

Other movie-based games that catch my eye? 

Namiji

Publisher: Funforge
Number of Players: 2 – 5
Purchase on Amazon

Namiji from Funforge

Wil Wheaton’s Tabletop show on YouTube was a major influence on my journey into hobby board gaming. The episode that stood out most to me from way back then featured the game Tokaido. I had never seen a game that established its own vibe so well, with mechanics and artwork that made for such a relaxing experience. I asked for the game for my birthday, and it was the most money we had ever spent on a game. And the rest is history…

I only recently became aware of Namiji, which seems like a bit of a Tokaido sequel. This time, we’re a little more water-based with our activities, but many of the gameplay mechanics still show up.

Tokaido remains one of my top 10 games of all time, so I’m excited to try out this new spin on those mechanics. 

Other hobby games I’m checking out that cost a little more?

The Initiative

Publisher: Unexpected Games
Number of Players: 1 – 4
Purchase on Amazon

The Initiative from Unexpected Games

I’m a big fan of the idea of campaign games. But as I said in the Princess Bride description, I don’t really have time for them. That won’t stop me from unnecessarily stocking my shelves with them and hoping that we find a miraculous amount of time together to play the game.

I’m very intrigued by The Initiative as a campaign game. I like the idea of working together in the 90s to solve puzzles. I’m a fan of the fact that you progress even if you lose, though you might not get a benefit later on. This seems like one that could hold our attention well… maybe even get us to finish it in less than 5 years time?

Probably not. But I’d still like to give it a try!

Other campaigns that I want but definitely don’t have time for

Anything that I missed? What titles are you hoping to see under the tree? Let us know in the comments!

Ric White

I teach math for a living and enjoy time with my super awesome wife, awesome kids and almost as awesome dog. I like card and board games, and I truly enjoy learning and experiencing new games whenever I can.

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