My Top 100 Board Games: 60 to 51
We’re done with the bottom half of my top 100 after today’s post. That’s awesome, there are some games that I really enjoy on this section of the list, I feel like some of them should be higher, then I see what is coming up, and there are so many tough choices.
These rankings are the opinion of yours truly, and if you don’t like them, that’s okay. We all have different tastes in games and that is great. There are some games that I’ve only played as a demo, and I felt like I got enough of a feel to put them on the list, thanks GenCon for all the demos. These are living rankings so next year I’m sure that things will change, so I’ll probably be doing another one next year. Thanks to Board Game Geek for letting me enter/rate my collection and games I’ve played. Thanks to Pub Meeple for creating a tool that pulls in those games that I’ve rated and creating a ranking tool. Again, the numbers and names will be linked to Cool Stuff Inc and Amazon if you’re interested in the games.
60 – Magic: The Gathering
Magic: The Gathering is the only collectible card game on the list (CCG), and one of the oldest and definitely the most well known. In this game you are playing one of several formats, but in each of them, your opponent(s) have a life total and you are trying to get that to zero before they get yours to zero. You do this by putting creatures into play that can attack them, use enchantments to make their creatures worse or to improve yours or cast spells that temporarily buff your characters, stop your opponent, or many other things. There is so much Magic to dig into that it can feel overwhelming, but the prebuilt decks are fun and a good spot to jump in. Once you jump in there, the deckbuilding aspect, setting up your deck with certain combinations or things that you want to do is a ton of fun. I could write a whole lot more about it, but that would be several articles by itself.
59 – Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle
Another deck building game, but this one is different. In Magic: The Gathering, you build your deck ahead of time, that’s not what most people mean by deck builders. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle, you start with a small deck, and you buy things to improve your deck while dealing with something else, mainly the villains from the Harry Potter series. You play as some of the main characters and cast spells, use items, and call on allies to defeat the various book villains all the while, darkness is building up, and that’s the timer that you have to beat all the villains. The game starts out as a simple deck builder, but as you go along, you add in more things that makes the game trickier and make your characters feel more unique, like they do in the books. It’s a very fun game with a fun theme that a lot of people are going to enjoy because of the theme. I’d say it’s a good introductory deck builder, because it is cooperative.
58 – Captain Sonar
Captain Sonar is not a deck builder, in fact there are no cards at all in Captain Sonar. You take on various roles on two different submarines and in real time (though you can play turn based which isn’t as good), you navigate around, try and keep your ship running, all while your sonar operator is trying to figure out where the enemy is going so that you can sink them before they can sink you. This game is fun because it plays up to eight players, but it isn’t a party game. Sometimes you want something that’s a bit more meaty, and Captain Sonar does a great job of that with a lot of people. The real time aspect isn’t going to be something that everyone loves, but I do think the game shines best as that. Are you going to rush across the board or are you going to stay in a smaller area to make it harder to find. This is going to be a different sort of game for a lot of people, so it’s fun to introduce people to it.
57 – Roll Player
Now, I love D&D, and I love rolling up characters. Roll Player is a game that I didn’t love at first, because it seemed like it was only rolling up characters and the mechanics weren’t all that thrilling. But as I’ve gotten to see more of it and realized a rule we made a mistake on, it’s been a game that has grown on me. Yes, in the base game, you are only rolling up a character, but it’s fun to see if you can manipulate the dice in such as way that you get an awesome character who is clearly way to good to be an actual D&D character or a first level character. I haven’t played the expansions yet, but I like the idea of fighting with that character, or stacking them up against a monster in some way, which the first expansion adds. I don’t think it’ll ever stop me from wanting to play D&D and instead, but it is a lot of fun.
56 – Galaxy Trucker
Sometimes you just need to get goods from one side of the galaxy to another and you just don’t have the right ship for it. In Galaxy Trucker you throw together a ship by flipping tiles and if you want them putting them into your ship, but eventually, everyone is going to have a ship that is hopefully connected well and defended, because the next part you fly across the galaxy, and you’re taking the fastest route, which means that you hope your ship is good enough to deal with asteroids and space pirates and whatever else might show up. This game has to be looked at as silly fun, because that’s what it is. Your ship is probably going to get blown apart and you’ll come in with half the ship that you had when you started out, but that might be enough to win a round. The game plays quickly for being something that looks large, so that’s nice and while there are a lot of expansions, just the base game is a lot of fun.
55 – Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game
When BSG was redone, I watched a good chunk of it, before it started to feel like it was repeating itself and I gave up on it. Then apparently the last season was good, but I was out at that point and I haven’t gone back to it. In the show there are Cylons, some of them just look like robots, but some look like you and me and might not even realize that they are Cylons. The game takes this and makes it into a massive social deduction game where the humans are trying to find Earth, but there are Cylons on the ship and sleeper agent Cylons possibly. So they are trying to stop your giant ship, the Battlestar Galactica and the humans are trying to deduce who the Cylons are and get them off the ship prior to things going too poorly. This is a big game that offers some interesting choices, and unlike so many games with a traitor or social deduction aspect to it which are pretty fast, BSG takes a long time to get through. And you feel like what you are doing matters and you can start to figure out if someone might be a Cylon through what they choose to do. It’s really fun, but a hard game to get to the table all the time because of set-up and because of how long the game is. Also, it’s out of print and it isn’t cheap.
54 – Cat Cafe
This is the first roll and write game on the list, and it’s one that I wanted to check out just because of the theme. Now, I will say, the theme doesn’t make a ton of sense when you think about it, you are basically creating your ideal set of cat towers to get the cats to come and visit you in a cat cafe, seems like that would already be set, but the game itself is a good time. In it you are trying to complete towers, which give you points. But you can also get points depending on what you’ve put on the towers. Maybe you have a lot of mouse shaped toys or food dishes, you decide. This decision is made based off of what dice are rolled. But, be careful that you can place the die, because the one you draft is either the item that you get or the level of the cat tree you put it on, and there is one die left over that determines the other part. If you aren’t careful, you might end up filling up only the middle of rows of trees. The game offers a good amount of luck and a good amount of strategy that makes it easy enough for most people to play. The dice in the game are terrible, but you can find thematic dice with cats on them if you want, like I did, and they are offering to replace dice at the conventions that they are at, which is good of them.
53 – Dice Forge
This game has an awesome toy factor to it, because you are building better dice. Everyone starts out with the same dice, that you roll on every turn, but as time goes by and you get money and gems, you use those to get better faces on your dice as well as cards that give you points. The game goes a number of rounds, and the person with the most points from card and other things wins. This game should play fast, but there are a lot of options, so analysis paralysis players, please realize you could slow down this game and try and play fast with it. The strategy in this game can be varied which is nice, because it could easily just come down only getting money or only getting gems. Both options can be very strong depending on the set of cards available. The game works well, and while it isn’t in my collection, I’ve considered it because it’s a nice mid weight game with a little bit of strategy through the options you have, but depending on what you roll and what you add to your dice can really help focus down your strategy onto a few things. This game looks cool and is definitely a lot of fun.
52 – Cry Havoc
An asymmetrical game where players take on different factions who want to get crystals on an alien planet. This game has some very interesting things going on with it. Some factions want to grow as many crystals are possible, many want to harvest them to get as many crystals or have more territories or many other things that will give them points. Cry Havoc is definitely an area control game with some interesting ways of getting points and how much area you need to control and be determined by your faction. One thing that is very unique about this game is the combat where you have three different areas, one for controlling the area, one is for taking prisoners, and one is for killing the enemy and you can split up your troops between that and then manipulate that. The combat will not be for everyone because of that combat, but I really enjoyed it, and I like how different every faction felt. The game has a bit of a lead in for teaching it because the factions are different, so learning how to play them all can take a bit of time, or getting good at them can do that. The game is also surprisingly fast, though, once you start playing. You want another round or two to really get everything working.
51 – Ice Cool 2
No, 50 is not Ice Cool. Ice Cool 2 is just basically the same game as Ice Cool. In it, you are flicking penguins around a school. If you have the first, you don’t need this one, if you have this one, you don’t need the first. But the game is a lot of silly fun as one person is the hall monitor who is trying to catch penguins who are playing hooky from class because they got hungry and wanted a fish snack. This game offers so many great moments as you get an amazing shot or a shot that just misses or maybe you bounce through an extra door that you hadn’t planned on going through. The main reason that I even have Ice Cool 2 is that you can play 8 players when you combine both sets, so an eight player game is just crazy fun as you go around this massive board. Also, one last cool thing (I’ll talk more about it with Ice Cool as well), is that the box itself is the board, you have five different parts that all piece together that you can shoot your penguins around, banking them off the walls and through doors cut in the boxes. This is just so much fun.
Alright, there are the next 10 games on my list. It’s an interesting collection from massive games like Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game to a small roll and write to two games with real time in them to the biggest card game ever in Magic, and then you can flick penguins around. Hopefully there is something that looks cool, but I really enjoy all of these games, and after writing about them, I want to play them again. That’s one thing that this list keeps making me think, that I need to play more of these gain.
What is a game that stands out to you as a game that you want to play? Or is there one on the list that you already love?
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