2020 11x Best of Three Challenge

Once more Jobby and Sarah release the dogs of war and bring battle unto each other. Here’s their choice of weapons for this year…

The Games Are Chosen!

It’s a the start of another year so once again Sarah and I find ourselves putting together a list of games to challenge each other to during the year.

This will be the fifth year we’ve done this. We’ve both won two challenges previously so this is for the best of five! For those not familiar, the rules to the challenge are this:

  1. Between us we select 11 games.
  2. We play each game once, recording the results.
  3. We play each game again, recording the results.
  4. Games where each player has won once are played again to determine the winner.
  5. Whoever wins the most matches is bought lunch by the loser!

Jobby’s List

I seemed to have gone very Japanese for our 2020 challenge (and one Viking game).

1. Pagoda

Jobby: I’ll start my list with 2-player only game. This is a lovely looking game where players build up pagodas with wooden columns and card ‘roofs’. To be honest, I always lose badly at this so I really don’t know why I chose it! 😉

2. Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan

Jobby: Sarah has never really played any wargames (unless you count Small World, Kings ‘n’ Things and Ants!) so I want to introduce her to some real, harcore, card-driven, block wargaming! Plus, I really like this game so I hope she can learn to like it, too.

3. Tokaido

Jobby: In direct contrast to Sekigahara I thought it would be nice to include a game that has a reputation in my gaming groups for being calm and peaceful. Let’s see how calm and peaceful it is when Sarah and I ramp up the competitiveness and a burger is on the line! 😈

4. Vikings on Board

Jobby: Frankly, I’ve included this game because it doesn’t get played very often and it is a really nice looking game. It can also be played in a suitably mean way so should be perfect for this challenge!

Sarah’s List

Exploring, diving, bicycle racing and… rain-clouds? Sarah’s choices four our 2020 challenge.

1. Lost Cities the Board Game

Sarah: The two-player card game, Lost Cities, can be found in our bag on all weekends away and random pub visits! Maybe this is why its big brother, Lost Cities: The Board Game,doesn’t get played very often. I remember not being too crazy about this game the first time I played it, but then really enjoying subsequent plays. It’ll be interesting to see what we make of it this year, especially with only two players. I also think the race element will make this a really fun challenge game.

2. Flamme Rouge (including Peloton and Meteo expansions)

Sarah: Speaking of racing, is there a better race game than Flamme Rouge? This is one of my all-time favourite games, and although it probably gets plenty of table time, I’ll never turn down an opportunity to play it more often! I’ve chosen to add the Peloton and Meteo expansions, as these don’t get included if we are showing the game to new players. I can’t wait to play this as a challenge game – it’s going to be tense!

3. Oceanos

Sarah: A water / diving game by Antoine Bauza? Yes please to both! This game went straight on my wishlist as soon as I heard about it and it did not disappoint! We’ve played it quite a bit over the years, but not so much recently, so I’m looking forward to the games. It will also provide a little light relief from some of our heavier challenge games!

4. Petrichor

Sarah: This a game we were lucky enough to demo at the UK Games Expo. It is absolutely beautiful and we purchased a copy there and then! However, it really hasn’t been played very often – the rules don’t seem to stick in my brain and I cannot wrap my head around it, so every play feels like the first. I chose this game to hopefully change that this year, even though I am not confident about a victory match here!

Jointly Chosen

Fishing, railway building and dice curing. Our joint choice for our 2020 challenge

1. Dice Hosptial

Jobby: I have a real thing about this game (see my Top 10 of 2019) and I think I love everything about it. The idea of sick dice is hilarious (I know you’re not really treating dice but that’s what is going on in my head!). The nice art, chunky ambulances and thinky-puzzly nature of the rules suit me fine. Yup, definitely a game for this challenge.

Sarah: We’ve only had a few games so far, so I’m looking forward to getting this to the table more this year. I’m not hugely confident when it comes to players carrying out their actions simultaneously, so I’m hoping that will change with a few more plays.

2. Foothills

Jobby: We’ve only recently acquired this game and are still getting to grips with it. It does tend to play longer than on the box but that’s fine. The action selection where players select an action card, do it and then flip the card, is quite different to other games. The varying value of things keeps you thinking and it’s just a nice head-to-head experience.

Sarah: This was one of our last purchases of 2019, so it’s no surprise that it ended up on both of our lists! We’ve only had a couple of plays so far, but both really enjoyed it. The race for victory points and the ability to end the game when you choose should make this a fun challenge game.

3. Nusfjord

Jobby: Lastly, another from my Top 10 of 2019 and an Uwe Rosenberg game, to boot! Funny how these challenges normally involve and Uwe game. 😊. We do both love this game and it works lovely at two players. I’m sure this will get played early, possibly setting the tone of the challenge.

Sarah: A surprise 2019 highlight for me! This was a game I played once and instantly wanted to play again, so I can’t wait to play this more this year. I love the addition of shares to a worker placement game!

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