This has been, without a doubt, one of the most exciting years for tabletop gaming we've seen in a long time. While the industry suffered from a lack of in-person events and the global shipping crisis threatened stock and production, the hobby still saw an explosion of interest across all of its many facets. We're taking a look back at our favorite games of the year, which comprise tabletop wargames, traditional board games, and tabletop RPG's.
Our nominees (all other award categories can be found here):
- Against the Darkmaster (Our Review)
- Conquest: Last Argument of Kings Core Set (Our Review)
- D&D: Fizban's Treasury of Dragons (Our Review)
- Lost Cities: Roll and Write (Our Review)
- Necromolds (Our Review)
- Age of Sigmar Dominion Box Set (Our Preview)
Readers' Choice Winner - Against The Darkmaster
It's rare these days for a new RPG, especially one inspired by RPGs of old, makes big waves and really snaps us to attention, but Against The Darkmaster, a new tabletop roleplaying game by Open Ended Games did just that. This core book is a hulking monster of a tome, filled to the brim with charts and tables to satisfy even the oldest of old school gamer. Where Against The Darkmaster really shines, however, is in its ability to still keep the focus on the characters, the choices they make, and who they are in this dark and foreboding world.
Third Place - Age Of Sigmar: Dominion Launch Box
Aimed more toward veterans of the hobby than newcomers, 2021's tentpole big box release for Warhammer: Age of Sigmar (that's their fantasy setting, as opposed to the futuristic Warhammer 40,000, if you're not in the know) was an absolute triumph all around. Containing enough models to get started with the two factions at war in this box (Stormcast Eternals and Kruleboyz Orruks), Warscroll stat cards for all the miniatures in the box, a collectors edition of the rulebook, and more, this is one of the biggest set releases they've ever put together. We loved the look of the models, the refinement of the rules that ushered in the game's third edition, and the buckets of lore they dropped. To learn more, check out our Dominion starter guides.
Second Place - Dungeons & Dragons: Fizban's Treasury Of Dragons
Wizards of the Coast is no slouch at releasing amazing content for Dungeons & Dragons, and perhaps our favorite book of the year was this dragon-centric sourcebook which totally blew us away with a great blast of fire. As our writer Andrew Stretch wrote in his review of Fizban's, "The tools that are offered to DMs to create a world filled to the brim with dragons are absolutely staggering. The book also does a fantastic job forcing the DM not just to think of dragons in the traditional sense guarding their treasures against adventurers, but also how they might lead others benevolently." Of all the adventure modules and sourcebooks they've released, this stands as one of the best we've seen from D&D.
First Place - Lost Cities: Roll & Write
Stepping into the role of Tabletop Editor here at TechRaptor has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my professional career, and that's thanks largely because of discoveries like Lost Cities: Roll & Write. Based on a two-player card game from 1999, Lost Cities: Roll & Write took the theme of its core game and turned it into a dice-rolling game the whole family can get behind. In it, players roll custom dice, choose specific numbers and symbols, and mark their choices on sheets of paper Yahtzee-style, but the game perfectly balances those simple mechanics with thrilling decision points and a fun race to the finish. While we absolutely adored all the finalists on this list, the simple fact is Lost Cities: Roll & Write hit the table night after night after night. What better criteria for game of the year could we find than that?
Honorable mention goes to the other games on this list, including Conquest: Last Argument of Kings for its innovative breath of fresh air into the wargaming hobby and Necromolds for its smash and smush approachability. What were your top tabletop games of the year? Let us know in the comments below!