He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake, he knows when you've been strategically trying to annihilate those closest to you in a game of Imperial Settleeeers! But Board Game Santa doesn't judge you for that. In fact, he's partial to the occasional lightweight strategy game himself! So together we've come up with some more recommendations for those gamer groups that need more meat on the bone than a game of Carcassonne can offer. Munch away, my friends!
2-4 players, 60-90 minutes, age 13+
A Great Time To Play Is: directly after you've finished the Christmas decorating/Christmas shopping/any other mammoth task that's made you feel almighty and powerful. Unleash your godliness with Deus!
So you want to develop your own civilization. Yay! Unfortunately, the bloke at the council messed it up and now you're sharing land with the other players. Boo! But it's okay - you've got gods on your side! Use one of your initial five coloured cards to construct a building, then activate the power of the cards in that same colour. You can gain victory points, money, build resources, attack your neighbours (tempting...), and more! Or you can make an offering to a god by discarding their associated cards and asking really, really nicely - they might just help you out! The game ends when all the temples are constructed or when all the barbarian villages have been attacked, and the player with the most points (and who sucked up to the gods the most!!!) is the winner!
2-4 players, 60 minutes, age 12+
A Great Time To Play Is: when the snow starts to fall. It'll feel twice as magical when you're sat inside playing this, all cosy and warm!
You're masters of magic! Summoners, if you will. Take turns placing your pieces in patterns on the board - if you match the pattern on the card in your hand, you finally live up to your name and summon a particular magical being! These, being magical 'n all, can do all kinds of cool things, based on the kind of beastie they are - giants destroy your opponents' pieces, knights move through enemy pieces, warlords make the pieces move and fight, enchantresses take others' pieces for yourself and so forth. Then the beastie freezes and becomes a playing piece themselves - but will you awaken them later to fight on your behalf?! The game has two modes: the 'standard' which has been just described, and the 'melee', in which you shamelessly exploit the beasties to entertain the crowd. Look, there's a dragon! Look, it's big and angry! Tut tut. You should be ashamed!