Max JamelliUnited States
There's a new entree to the top 20. Coming in at #16 - 1989: Dawn of Freedom.
I have always liked card driven games. I've enjoyed 1960: The Making of the President and Founding Fathers immensely and I tried to learn Twilight Struggle but never really got the grasp of it. I read about 1989 over the summer and watched a few review videos enough to realize that I wanted to at least try to play it. It took until WBC week in August for me to get a chance to play, and even at that I was only able to demo it for a few turns.
I liked it enough to pick up a copy at the GMT Booth before leaving. I've been able to play a couple games on the table and that's been enough for me to examine my top 20 and see where this game may fit. For me, I would still have Notre Dame just above it, but for me it slots pretty safely above Havana.
What I really like about the game is the idea of "leaders" - political, student, journalist, etc. That idea comes into play with the power struggle - which I've been told is a mechanic "borrowed" from Hannibal (A game I've never played). I like that even the player with the most area controlled may lose a power struggle - but the stronger a player's position, the less likely that truly is.
I also like the fact that there are no headline events and there is no DEFCON chart. The one thing that I wish I was stronger at was geography. I'm in the first stages of an online game currently and it does take me a while to figure out where my opponent is placing influence.
I'll probably not get to play this enough to become a master at it, but I do plan on introducing it to a friend of mine who is a big history buff. I hope it's not too complex for him as he's not a gamer. I think he'll appreciate the work that's gone into the events though.