A hand of first edition "A Few Acres of Snow" cards. Image by Ivan Dostál used under Creative Commons license.

One of the best games of 2011 is about to get a better. That's more truth than hyperbole, as "A Few Acres of Snow" was named the #4 best game of 2011 here on MTV Geek, and one year later, the game is about to receive an improved second edition printing. There's also a switch at the publishing helm, with game designer Martin Wallace moving his business from Mayfair Games to Asmodée Editions.

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Last time around, we rounded up games #10-6 on our list of the top 10 board games of 2011. With the new year upon us, it's time to look at what other top-of-the-class titles from last year should be hitting your table in 2012. Hopefully you've got a reliable gaming partner, as the one most noticeable trend in this top 5 is that 2011 was a fantastic year for 2-player games.

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For those geeks who consider board gaming their number one hobby, holiday gifts can be a minefield. Once someone is labeled as a hobby gamer, they become numb to the endless march of strange licensed Monopoly games thrown their way. But how can you blame the gift givers when the desirable games are so removed from mainstream consciousness? Strategy board games are a booming industry, but not one exactly at the peak of pop culture  they're not even stocked on the shelves at most stores.

If you're in the position of buying for a gamer friend (and you yourself are geeky enough to be reading MTV Geek) then you are that individuals's last hope to deliver the goods this holiday season. Read on, and I'll tell you exactly what is hot with the hardcore hobby gaming crowd this year.

Thematic Strategy Games:Game of Thrones andThe Walking Dead

Nothing is hotter than these two properties right now, making them both great themes for board games. It should be fairly easy to find out if your gamer friend is a fan, and If so, then these games will form the perfect intersection of geekdoms.

The Game of Thones board game is a timely choice, as the second edition just hit store shelves this week. In this new version, Fantasy Flight Games has completely re-done the graphic design as well as incorporating two existing expansions and some brand new content all in one box.

If your gift target is a big Walking Dead fan, then that poses a tough decision, albeit one that should not deter you. There are competing games published by Z-Man Games (based on the comic book, pictured above) and Cryptozoic Entertainment (based on the television show). Let your friend's preferred media format guide your choice.

Runners up: Discworld games (Ankh Morpork or Guards! Guards!), Penny Arcade the Card Game: Gamers vs. Evil

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