A tabletop game renaissance is upon us. With the success of the Unrivaled Tournament Series in Las Vegas this past November, many tabletop gamers have been left to their corner of the table eagerly anticipating the 2018 game lineup. Last year’s smash hit titles ranged from household favorites Ascension, Munchkin, and King of Tokyo to games of lesser-known popularity with Epic Spell Wars 2, Nevermore, and Villager & Villains. As the 2018 series looks to begin with finals taking place this August in Chicago, gamers from around the country are eagerly anticipating word on what games could help them win eternal glory (and a sweet payday). Now we can all just sit here and count our meeples, but I’ve compiled a list of the top five games I’d love to see in this year’s Unrivaled Tournament Series:
Settlers of Catan
Are you secretly still playing FarmVille but are tired of getting invites from your Aunt Deborah on Facebook? Then Settlers of Catan is the game for you. This game is a worldwide phenomenon and would certain to bring some attention to the UTS.
Settlers of Catan places you in a settler’s position poised to build and collect resources such as brick, lumber, wool, grain, and ore. Using a hexagonal board, players choose resources and roll dice attempting to earn their resources and use them to build or trade for items they don’t have. While Settlers already has its own international tournament, an Unrivaled appearance would be a great place to settle.
Ever want to play one of those deck building games, but have no idea what anyone’s doing? Well, this is definitely like one of those games, only less elitist. Smash Up is a shufflebuilding game that asks its opponents to ‘smash’ two twenty-card themed decks together to ‘smash’ up more bases than your opponents (that’s a lot of smashing). The themed decks range from pirates to dinosaurs to ninjas and more! While the base set offers eight different themed decks to choose from, the multitude of expansions could be a smash for the UTS (see what I did there?). This is an easy game to learn and a hard game to master, making it a perfect choice for competition.
Ever wonder what the ancient world would have been like with you in charge? Hold onto your Pyramids of Giza because 7 Wonders is the game for you (does that work? It feels like it works…). Played in three “ages”, 7 Wonders is a card development strategy game of building up resources and military power. Players choose a card from a dealt hand, then pass along the hands to choose another card to use along the way, in somewhat of a draft-style of play. The goal is to earn more victory points and prepare your city for the future to come. 7 Wonders is among the highest-rated tabletop games according to BoardGameGeek, so a UTS showing could be quite the fan favorite.
Remember the days of thinking how great America could be as you spent every penny you earned into dominating the real estate market only to have grandma land on it and having her dip into her pink fifties retirement fund? Monopoly is not a game many take lightly (friendships are lost over table-flipping of Monopoly. I’m looking at you, John.) The world’s most popular board game should make an appearance if the UTS wants to be the greatest ever. I mean, come on, who wouldn’t want to watch people greedily tax and rent their opponents into oblivion? Since the Unrivaled social media team has posted multiple facts about this household favorite over the last several weeks, I wouldn’t be surprised if they try to pass Go and collect on its popularity.
Liked kicking down doors looking for monsters and loot last year as much as I did? Well, then Munchkin is an absolute MUST for this year’s Unrivaled Tournament Series again. I repeat this game for one simple reason: there are SO MANY MUNCHKIN GAMES. While playing the basic ‘vanilla’ game last year was fun, not including all the different versions of Munchkin does the game and it’s developers a disservice. Other tabletop tournaments (such as the PAX Munchkathalon) hold Munchkin tournaments with at least ten different versions of the game. Hell, if they want, they can borrow some of my copies. I think I’m up to nine, myself.
And those are my top choices for the Unrivaled Tournament Series for 2018. But tell me, what tabletop Game do you think should be used to compete for a large cash prize? Give me your choices in the comments below, and stay tuned here for updates on tabletop gaming from me again in the near future. Until next time, happy gaming.