Two more days has passed, so it is time to present two more games in the countdown… (For methodology and introduction, please see the first post in the series.)

3. Ark Nova (2022)

Ark Nova shot into number 3 after it was finally released in France earlier this year. I had been looking forward to it since I heard about it around Essen last year. A friend of mine gave us a teach and we played a game Monday after it was out and, lo and behold it did live up to the hype! I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so, since it was still not sold out at my friendly local board game store, I invested in it the very next weekend. What an amazing puzzle of a game! So many excruciating decision points! (What card don’t you upgrade? Do you perform an action suboptimally now, or wait for it to get stronger?) I guess the only slight downside to it is that it can take quite a bit of time, so, sadly, it is difficult to get to the table often enough… (Maybe it can benefit from a ‘Terraforming Mars: Prelude’ style expansion?) Luckily the solitaire mode is great out of the box. (I have heard good things about a certain automata circulating on boardgamegeek, but I have yet to try it.)

Game Ark Nova
What Plan and build a modern, scientifically managed zoo to support conservation projects.
How open drafting, worker placement, hexagonal tetrominoes, …
Playtime 3 hours
BGG Weight 3.70

2. Brass: Birmingham (2018)

Brass: Birmingham credited to Gavan Brown and Matt Tolman along with original Brass (Lancashire) designer Martin Wallace was my number one game last time around. It dropped one spot here for some reason. I must admit it was a close call. The artwork from Lina Cossette, David Forest and Damien Mammoliti and the production from Roxley are stellar. The rules are tight and the game is packed with interesting decisions. It is more open than it’s older sister Lancashire, but I really appreciate that there are more ways to win, that the game is ever so slightly more forgiving, and has variable setup. (Also, I like that the weird random export marked is removed. (And that they have added beer!)) The second best game in the whole world, then! Brass: Birmingham!

Game Brass: Birmingham
What Build networks, grow industries, and navigate the world of the Industrial Revolution.
How hand management, network building, market, economy, …
Playtime 2 hours
BGG Weight 3.91


So, there you have it, 2-3, or rather 3-2 of my countdown. In table form it would look something like this:

Rank Item Change
2 Brass: Birmingham (2018) ↓1
3 Ark Nova (2022) NEW

And as a diptych it looks something like this:


Tomorrow I’ll reveal my number one game! Teh suspense!