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2012 Holiday Gift Guide: Top 10 Games for Gamers

Here at GameHead, we know that buying the right gift for the right person can be tricky, and that's especially true when you're buying for a Gamer. The 2012 Holiday Gift Guide is here to help. We've put together a total of 40 games that bring you a huge variety of gaming experiences. Please read our introduction for more details.

Welcome back to the 2012 Holiday Gift Guide! In case you missed it, we posted our Top 10 Games for Anyone on Monday. It's got everything from modern classics to some hot new board games, often focusing on the fact that simple can be fun and deep at the same time.

Today, we're going to take a look at our picks for the Top 10 Games for Gamers. These games turn the dials up, offering great gaming experiences that the experienced gamer can immerse themselves in. For some, games aren't just a hobby; they are a lifestyle, and our selections would make great picks for those gamers on your shopping list.

HORDES Two-Player Battle Box by Privateer Press

Today, we start off with some miniatures action. HORDES by Privateer Press takes place in the Iron Kingdoms, a combination of traditional and modern fantasy settings, where warlocks command one of five clans of ravenous beasts and fight each other for supremacy. This fast-paced miniatures game has plenty of excitement and a large line-up of miniature figures for players to collect and send into battle.

The two-player battle box, which just came out earlier this year featuring the Legion of Everblight and the Circle Orboros, is the perfect present for a miniatures fan who is looking for an easy way to get started with a two-player game. This includes 20 plastic figures complete with stat cards, a rulebook, a ruler, and a die: everything you need to play a game! This makes the two-player Battle Box one of our top picks for the holiday season if you're shopping for a miniatures fan.

Ascension: Immortal Heroes by Gary Games

The latest expansion for the popular Ascension series, Immortal Heroes was recently released by Gary Games. It is a continuation of the Storm of Souls story, with Kythis attempting to use the souls of the departed to become a God in the fallen Samael's place. Players can take advantage of the new Soul Gem mechanic, harnessing the power of powerful heroes from the previous expansions, in order to build up their deck and eventually slay Kythis before he achieves his goal.

Immortal Heroes can be played as a stand-alone two player game right out of the box, but it can also be combined with the Storm of Souls set to create a new experience for up to six players. Immortal Heroes also comes with a play variant on the Event mechanic which was introduced last year, allowing players to enhance whatever expansion they wish to use. This makes Immortal Heroes a real deal for any deck-building game fan on your shopping list.

Marvel Legendary by Upper Deck

Speaking of deck-building games, there are two new games coming out this holiday season that will be a slam dunk gift for the comic loving gamers that you're shopping for. The first of these games is Marvel Legendary by Upper Deck, a game we have been excited to see released since we saw it back in August. Recruit powerful heroes from the Marvel universe to aid in your cause, defeat dastardly villains before they make their getaway, and build your deck up so that you can topple the evil mastermind before their nefarious scheme takes flight.

Marvel Legendary combines some of the best qualities of a variety of deck-building games, leading to an innovative and rich gaming experience for any deck-building enthusiast. This game has already generated a lot of buzz in the gaming community, and is sure to be a hit with any gamer that you are shopping for.

DC Comics Deck-Building Game by Cryptozoic Entertainment

On the other side of the comics universe is the DC Comics Deck-Building Game from Cryptozoic Entertainment. In this game, players take on the identities of the Justice League, as they purchase new cards out of a line-up of heroes, villains, super powers, and equipment in order to strengthen their deck. Once they're ready, players can start taking down super-villains, which reward lots of victory points and also have incredible effects when played. But players have to be careful, as when one super-villain is taken down, another takes its place, and super-villains tend to be brutal to players when they first appear.

This game is due out in December, right on time for the holidays, although some have gotten a chance to try it out already as it was available for demos at multiple conventions over the summer. This deck-building game makes a great gift for DC Comics and deck-building enthusiasts alike.

Dungeon Command: Curse of Undeath by Wizards of the Coast

Dungeon Command: Curse of Undeath by Wizards of the Coast, the latest in the Dungeons & Dragons board games, released just yesterday. This head-to-head skirmish game allows two to four players to battle in a skill-based fun-filled adventure that combines miniatures, cards, and tiles. The best part about Curse of Undeath is that, like the other Dungeon Command games, the pieces can be used as an expansion for the Adventure System board games like The Legend of Drizzt Board Game, as well as other Dungeon Command games to create new and exciting experiences.

The latest in the Dungeon Command series is a great way for a gamer to get introduced to a new board game series, and for veteran D&D fans, it will also serve them well with their other products. For more information on great D&D gifts, Wizards has compiled a gift guide of their own featuring the latest D&D products.

Mage Wars by Arcane Wonder

One of the breakout games during the convention season, including Gen Con where we didn't witness a moment of downtime at the demo tables or where the game could be kept in stock at their booth, Mage Wars by Arcane Wonders pits two players against each other in one magical and explosive showdown. This two-player game lets players represent mages as they go against each other using one of four different schools of magic, and to create the feel of being a mage, players will select their spell cards that they have access to from a spellbook, which contains everything they can use in a game.

Mage Wars was one of the real treats from convention season earlier this year, and it's sure to put a smile on any veteran gamer's face this holiday season. Given the success it saw in 2012, it would not be surprising to see Mage Wars around for years to come.

Android: Netrunner by Fantasy Flight Games

It's men versus The Man in one of the most anticipated games of 2012, and one that we could not stop hearing about during convention season. Android: Netrunner by Fantasy Flight Games is a living card game that is set in the world of Android. In this two-player game, two players go at it, with one representing the mega corporations of the future and the other player representing the lone runners who are set to take down the establishment. The game was designed and released with Richard Garfield, the man of Magic: The Gathering, and his seal of approval.

What more can we say about this game? It's a gamer's dream. Garfield has brought forth some of the greatest games in the business, and this one is no exception. If there's anything your loving gamer would be most happy to see as a gift for the holiday season, it's this one.

Agricola by Z-Man Games

GameHead writer Ray Fong has quite the love for games from Uwe Rosenberg, and it's understandable as to why. Agricola from Z-Man Games puts players in the farmer's seat, as players play as farmer and wife in this agricultural resource game. Maintain a farm, prepare for the harvesting turns, start a family and raise some kids to become more farm hands, and outpace your opponents in the end to win.

With plenty of actions, cards, and assorted effects that can influence the outcome of the game, Argicola is truly a game for gamers, and will take many plays through to find all kinds of strategies. And, if that's enough, there is a heaping helping of expansions available for the game, making the Agricola series a great choice for gamers looking for some serious substance in their gaming experience.

Seasons by Asmodee

Mystical spells, shifting times, and some brilliantly stunning artwork come together in Seasons by Asmodee. In this game, 2-4 players gather together as mages for one part card drafting, one part spell playing, and plenty of parts that involve adapting to the correct season. Players must pick the proper cards and play them at the right points in this game in order to amass prestige and crystals, and the player with the most points at the end of the will be crowned the victor.

With jaw-dropping presentation and plenty of important tactical decisions that must be made at every point, Seasons is one of our top recommendations for gamers, and by far one of the most beautiful games to come out this year.

San Juan by Rio by Rio Grande Games

And we end our look at the top 10 games for gamers for the 2012 Holiday Gift Guide with a look back into gaming history. San Juan by Rio Grande Games offers card-game style fun that is based on Puerto Rico, one of the modern classics of the board game industry. Players use cards that they draw and an assortment of roles in order to construct buildings and commodities in order to earn points needed to win the game, which ends once a player has constructed twelve buildings.

With plenty of key decision making needed in each turn and multiple strategies to adapt to depending on how the cards fall, San Juan offers fun for the avid gamer that won't die off even after hours of gameplay. It's an oldie, and still one of the best.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is our pick for the Top 10 Games for Gamers for the 2012 Holiday Gift Guide. With Black Friday fast approaching, we wish you best of luck in finding the perfect holiday deals.

But never fear! As next week, the 2012 Holiday Gift Guide continues with a look at the Top 5 Games for Families, and we will conclude our guide for your game shopping needs with the Top 5 Games for Tech Gamers. Until then, happy holidays, and happy gaming!


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