As some folks know, I don a little mini-con around superbowl weekend and around Cinqo de Mayo every year (just some close friends taking over my house for three days, with my kids out of the house). In the spirit of preparedness, I spent some quality time researching and playing some of the new hotness, and plan on trying a bunch more of the next week. Here are a few thoughts (and the boardgame geek links to learn more).
Fairly simple bidding mechanics (I'll pay 10 to build a skyscraper here), but with a really cool twist -- you're on a territorial map and the bidding snakes around. You're never competing to build on the same space as the guy to your right, you're bidding to build next to whatever he just bid on. This leads to wierd snaking bidding lines across a city map. Several interesting scoring mechanics makign it better for you to build one place than another, and a nice "hidden goals" mechanic.
Pieces are butt ugly, but the game is a TON of fun, and quite hard to play well.
Current big thing out in geekland, and completely deserving. Really interesting "build the best deck" game, which feels entirely unique. Magic players will love it, because it has all the "I don't want too much mana (gold) and I need to make sure I spend enough time attacking (buying land)" features of CCG deck building. The card pool everyone is building from can be different for every game based on obvious, synergistic sets or random selection. Depending on the cards used, the game can be full of conflict, interupts, and screw your neighbor, or it can be very much multiplayer solitaire. It takes very very little time to teach, rewards complex combo schemes, and would seemingly present a large, large number of variants that would keep you busy for a long time.
I only played a few games, all four player. Not sure how it would play with two, but I imagine pretty well (and very quickly).
The game screams expansions. Super recommended.
A cooperative game, in the vein of Arkham Horror. The difference is this is surprisingly abstract, and from what I can tell, can be very difficult. I didn't play it, but I listened as someone spent 45 minutes explaining the fairly finicky rules (to my ears) and a decent slog of gameplay. Really don't think this one's for me, but then, I don't like coop games in general. I know there are many out there fawning all over this game, but it seems an unlikely one for me to sit down and play. Caveat emptor.
Anyone else play anything new and fun lately?