Tag: deck building

MY TOP 100 BOARD GAMES 2020 EDITION – 20 THROUGH 11

MY TOP 100 BOARD GAMES 2020 EDITION – 20 THROUGH 11

This is it, the penultimate list in my Top 100 games. What will have risen, what might have dropped out of my Top 10, you’ll have to see. If you need to catch-up, I have links below. 100 to 91 90 to 81 80 to 

MY TOP 100 BOARD GAMES 2020 EDITION – 30 THROUGH 21

MY TOP 100 BOARD GAMES 2020 EDITION – 30 THROUGH 21

We’re getting down to it, getting close to the Top 10 games, only a few more of these lists. It’s been a blast as always putting these out and I’m glad that people are enjoying them. I’d be very curious to know what your top 

My Top 100 Board Games 2020 Edition – 70 through 61

My Top 100 Board Games 2020 Edition – 70 through 61

We’re back for more of my Top 100 games, this is the fourth part of it, and second year that I’ve been doing a Top 100 list. You can find links to the previous parts below:

100 to 91

90 to 81

80 to 71

Plus a few notes on how I’ve put together the list:

  • These are my favorite, you want what people consider best, see the Board Game Geek Top 100
  • If a game you love isn’t on the list, it might be be coming, I might not have played it, and if I have, it’s 101
  • If a game looks cool, I have links to buy it from CoolStuffInc or Amazon, or you can grab most at your FLGS
  • There are a few games, Destiny 2 Player versus regular Destiny where if they are basically the same thing, I only do one of them
Image Source: Board Game Geek

70. Marrying Mr Darcy

This is a smaller and less known game than a lot on the list, but I like it because it is pretty simple and quirky fun. At the heart it’s a set collection game as you collect different skills so that when the first part of the game is done, you can get your ideal suitor and marry them. But because it has a Price and Prejudice theme to it, and because the theme itself is just a little bit goofy, the game is a lot of fun and the set collection almost becomes a background to the randomness of everything else. This is not a highly strategic game, but it is fun. I do think that while the game needs a lot of cards just so you can build up your wit and cunning and other skills, it does overstay a little bit for a game where most of the fun comes from the silly randomness. If there was more variety in the parties and how those worked, it might be higher on my list as well.

Last Year: 98

Image Source: Fantasy Flight

69. Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game

Battlestar Galactica is a massive hidden traitor, hidden role game. The theme works amazing in this game as you are trying to escape the Cylons and get to Earth, but you’re not sure that you can trust everyone and who might be a Cylon and who might not be. So you’re pushing forward, you’re seeing who might be doing something suspicious and there are times when you just can’t help either, so that makes you look suspicious. This is a long game and a big game, but it feels tense the whole time you’re playing, and eve if you can figure out who the Cylon’s on board are, will that help you enough? Does knowing the show help for this game, most certainly, but it’s still an extremely well built game so it’ll still be fun even if you don’t.

Last Year: 55

Image Credit: Wikipedia

68. Carcassonne

Another one of those modern classic games and gateway games to make the list. Carcasone probably introduced a lot of people into modern board gaming as you placed tiles down, used your meeples smartly to score, and built out a nice looking map on the table. This game plays fast, and it is still fun to play even though it’s a little bit older at this point. The only negative I have with the game is the farm scoring just because that can be a bit odd, so it’s a bit harder to teach that. Even with that, I like the building of the landscape and I think that the scoring is interesting as you can lock up a meeple to score points in a bigger thing, but that might mean you don’t have enough meeples to score something else. So there’s a balancing act with that and then with making sure you have all your meeples out at the end for scoring then as well.

Last Year: 90

Image Source: Renegade

67. Clank! A Deck-Building Adventure

Won’t be the only Clank! on my list, but one that’s a good time. This is the fantasy themed game where you are going down into a dungeon, trying not to disturb the dragon and make too much noise as you go around in your armor, fighting goblins, and then eventually grabbing a treasure and racing out of there. All of this while you are making noise which might attracts the dragon to you and if you take too much damage you’re done. So there’s a push your luck element to the game as you push further into the depth of the dungeon to grab a better treasure. And you do this with deck building, which is fun as you can be risky and get better cards but it might cause you to clank more. I love deck building and I like this game a lot, the only issue I have is that the end game message is a bit abrupt and can punish players for trying to push too deep if someone barely goes into the dungeon and gets out with the cheapest treasure they might be able to screw everyone else over. But if people don’t try and play that way but play more in the spirit of the game, I think that the game works well.

Last Year: Not Ranked

Image Source: Board Game Geek

66. Dice Forge

Dice Forge is an interesting dice construction game where you are rolling dice and getting resources to buy cards and buy more dice faces to put on your dice. I think that the game is really interesting that way because you are literally changing up the dice. The different combinations of cards and how you build your dice can really change the strategy of the game as you play. You can go for buying tons of cards, you can go for getting the best dice possible in terms of coins or resources, and you can just go and get victory points from the the cards and dice. There’s one thing that really makes this game work. On your turn you roll your dice, get resources and can buy cards and dice face, but not on your turn, you still roll your dice and get resources.

Last Year: 53

Image Source: Fantasy Flight

65. Cosmic Encounter

This game is hard to explain but it’s a lot of fun. People could take this game seriously, but the game is best when it’s played in a silly way. Cosmic Encounter is all about getting your bases onto various planets, but to do this, on your turn, you pick a planet to attack and you and the person you attack can play cards to augment how much your attack/defense are. But, there’s more, you can get people to help you and add their ships into their attack, so they can get onto the planet with you as well. But the numbers the players can play can change up the attack greatly, so you can negotiate with the person you’re fighting, maybe if they play a low card for you, you’ll give them a good card, or something like that, so you can really work together for the best of everyone, but of course, you can also lie. But that might not work out, because you might owe someone something, or they might have a special alien power where they win with a lower number than a higher. The game should be played really goofy and with lots of negotiation, so won’t be for every table, but for me, it’s a lot of fun.

Last Year: 49

Image Source: Z-Man Games

64. Parade

This game has an Alice in Wonderland theme, but really it’s a abstract game. In this you are trying to get the fewest points and you do that by playing down cards into a line, you look at the number of cards equal to what you put down and you get the cards that match the color or are a lower number, so you can potentially get none, but you might get a lot and they might be high points. If anyone ever gets all the colors, that ends the game and you score, or if you run out of cards in the deck to draw from. The scoring is simple, it’s the total of the numbers of your cards, unless, of course, you have the most of a color. If you have 4 green cards and that’s the most in everyone, you get 1 point per card, so you can push for a lot of a single color or you can try and only get low number cards not really caring about the color. I like how the different in strategies work and it makes for an interesting game.

Last Year: 62

Image Source: The Op

63. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle

As I’ve said many a time, I really like deck building games, and this one is a pretty straight forward game, but has a theme that I like with Harry Potter. I think this game does a good job with some nods to the books and movies and I like how this game builds over time and becomes harder but offers more specialization and diversity in what the characters can do. Between the theme and difficulty of the game and this is actually a decent gateway deck building game especially if you have more complex ones you want people to learn. Overall, just a fun game and a good straight forward and cooperative deck building game.

Last Year: 59

Image Source: CGE

62. Galaxy Trucker

I’ve talked about a few goofier games in this section, and I think this qualifies as one as well. In this game you are trying to build a space “truck” and get enough crew and enough cargo spots so you can go fly around the galaxy, get the most money at the end of the flight. But the goofy parts are, first, that you build your ship in real time, so you’re going nice and fast as you’re trying to get everything built and you have to think about the weapons, shields, and engines on your ship. Because if you’re the fastest you can get to planets first and get the stuff you want, but if you add in too many engines or too much energy to fire your engines, you might not have enough to deal with asteroids and pirates. And the asteroids can just blow up part of your ship if you can’t shoot it down or you don’t have a shield that can stop it. After a few different builds and runs to get and deliver cargo, the person with the most money wins. It’s a game that is quite random, but it plays pretty fast and is just good fun.

Last Year: 56

61. Fruit Picking

This one for sure is new to the list because I just got it recently and I played it for GenCon online, but I really like this game already. The game has some very fun things in it. I like how you move the seeds around and how you store the seeds so that you can purchase fruit cards. And you just use those cards to complete sets, like a full house, three pairs, four of a kind, or one of each and once someone has one of those, the game is over and that person won. But to get the seeds, you move them around in a circle, Mancala style, banking seeds but where you end, that’s what you can buy and it gets you more seeds. Just a lot of fun and very much a gateway game. The game is also interesting because it’s from Korea as well, and I don’t know much about the Korean board game scene, but this one was a lot of fun. If you’re in search of a new gateway game, this one works well, though it’s only available via BGG in the US.

Last Year: Not Ranked

What’s your favorite from this section? Any that stand out, any based off of my taste that you think I should try or you think will be higher on the list?

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My Top 100 Board Games 2020 Edition – 100 through 91

My Top 100 Board Games 2020 Edition – 100 through 91

It’s that time of year again, and I’m going to talk a little bit about what I’m doing and when I’m going to try and consistently do it from here on out. We’re doing my Top 100 Board Games of ALL TIME! Now, this is 

Expansion vs New Game

Expansion vs New Game

So, when building up your board game collection, it can at times reach the point where you have so many games that you just don’t play them all that often, and that you have a core few favorites that you play all of the time, 

Waiting on Kickstarter Vol 5: Stormsunder and HEL

Waiting on Kickstarter Vol 5: Stormsunder and HEL

We’re getting down there for the Kickstarters that I’m still waiting on. In fact, I got one that was delivered a few days ago with Calico, a game about quilting and cats. I’m sure I’ll be talking about that more coming up. But today’s games are interesting, mainly because Stormsunder: Heirs of Ruin, right now I’m only backing it for $1, let’s see why.

Stormsunder: Heirs of Ruin

As we’ve talked about before, I like big epic campaign games, however, I have quite a number of them coming. I held off on Stormsunder for a few different reasons, first it was in between two big projects, Marvel United and Frosthaven, but also because it was by a company I wasn’t as familiar with, but I still couldn’t quite walk away from it.

What kept and keeps drawing me to it is that this is a deck building/deck construction game. So while in Gloomhaven you have your hand of cards, this one allows you to upgrade a changing hand of cards as your character levels up. In this one you’re adding those cards, and your character is growing and developing and unlocking new skills, and that system for leveling up your character just makes a lot of sense to me.

One thing that has kept me on the fence, besides the price, it’s a big campaign game so it’s going to be expensive, but also just the amount of game play. It boasts 300 hours of content, and that’s a lot. In fact, that might be too much. I love epic story campaign games, but when do I have too many that I won’t ever get to them all? Plus there are more coming out and more that I’m going to be talking about. I can play them solo, and I want to do that more, but if I play for two hours twice a week, let’s say, just Stormsunder: Heir of Ruins would take me 75 weeks to get through. Now, I could make that go faster, or I could take breaks, but it’s a lot of time.

So, no real excitement meter to do on this one. The pledge manager is opening up soon, theoretically, and I have to decide if this is one that I want to get the game or not. I’m looking at it and seeing so many things that sound cool that I really want to back it, but it isn’t cheap and there’s so much content. So, will I back it, that’s up in the air.

Image Source: Mythic Games

HEL: The Last Saga

I like games that have a bit of a dark feel to them. Tainted Grail is a great example of this, there’s something about a darker story that you just kind of feel, or at least I do, that I can get pulled more into the theme by the game itself. And this one has a Norse theme wrapped around it as you lead a second team into an unknown land to look for those who have gone before you, and no, I’m not talking about Tainted Grail again, though it does sound like it.

This game gives you more dice chucking, and almost randomness in the game play than Tainted Grail does, but still seems to be heavy with story. You go to various points on the map in the game and you find out what has happened to your clansmen who have gone before.

There were several things that drew me to the game besides the theme, first there is the religion mechanic. And different characters in your clan, they might be druidic, Norse, or Christian and depending on which they are, they can tap into their religion to unlock powers that you can use. I also like how the different member of the clans play differently. Not only do they have a different religion potentially but also they different powers beyond that.

I’m still really excited for this one. I can see it getting to the table pretty fast when it shows up. I like the theme, I like the setting, and the game play has looked good from what I’ve seen of it being demoed.

Excitement Meter: 8/10

Did you back either of these? What sold you or didn’t sell you on Stormsunder: Heir of Ruins? Should I back it when the pledge manager opens?

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Waiting on Kickstarter Vol 1: Middara and Etherfields

Waiting on Kickstarter Vol 1: Middara and Etherfields

New series of posts, when I get stuck on what to write about, I’m going to go through and see what Kickstarters I’m waiting on, talk about why I backed them, and if I’m still excited for them, or what makes me excited about them. 

Would Be GenCon – Games List

Would Be GenCon – Games List

So last year in the lead-up to GenCon, I did lists of things that I was excited to see, games and expansions I was interested in demoing. Now, this year GenCon clearly isn’t happening, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t still some GenCon related 

Board Game Mechanics – Engine Building

Board Game Mechanics – Engine Building

Continuing on my series of board game mechanics, we’re going to be looking at Engine Building games. This has nothing to do with motor vehicles but it is building together pieces to make it work. Engine building games can be fun because they are games that ramp up, but let’s look into more detail what they are.

In an engine building game there is some part of the mechanic that is going to make your game work more efficiently, effectively, and consistently. Deck building could be considered a weaker form of engine building as you are trying to build combos together. But Engine Building generally is going to be more specific than that. You’re going to be collecting the pieces so that you can do something that is going to give you a better chance of winning the game, and so that you can consistently do it over and over again. And each time you run the engine it should be running more efficiently and powerfully.

Your engine can do a lot of different things, it might generate resources of some sort, from goods in euro games to money, or it could just give you the points you need to win the game, or it could power up your attacks and the combat in a game. But as you go you’ll be able to generate more of what you need more consistently and possibly more efficiently. This can be done through acquiring new cards or abilities or upgrading abilities that you already have.

Image Source: Board Game Geek

An example of this is Splendor where you are trying to buy gem cards for points and fulfill the wishes of wealthy nobles who are looking for specific combinations of gem cards. To get a gem card you have to spend gems, so at the start you inefficiently collect gems on your turn to get gem cards that don’t give you any points but do give you a permanent gem of one of the colors that you put on the table in front of you. So the more of the cards you can get, the more permanent gems you can get. And you can use the permanent gems to help you get more cards, so eventually the cheap cards that don’t get you any points, you’ll be able to get for free, and maybe even some of the medium level cards that give you a few points. Towards the end of the game you are spending only a gem or maybe two to get another gem card that is giving you a bunch of points. So the game has a building action to being able to do greater things, getting expensive gem cards. And the gem cards you have collected are your engine for getting more gem cards in the future more efficiently.

Let’s talk about some interesting engine building games.

Gateway/Intro Game

Homebrewers – I could have gone with Splendor here and it isn’t a bad choice, but I prefer Homebrewers because I prefer beer to gems (not a great investment strategy), but also because of how fast Homebrewers is to play. In Homebrewers you are a homebrewer who is trying to brew the best beer for Summerfest and then Oktoberfest. To do that, you need to sanitize your equipment, get grain, and brew. It’s very simple, but where the engine building comes in is that you can add in ingredients to your beer. So I am going to brew my IPA, I can add in something like oyster (don’t ask me why), and that might move up another one of my brews on the scoring track, or it might then give me money, or straight up victory points. And each time I brew that beer I’ll get more of whatever oyster gives me, and I can add more ingredients as well to IPA, or maybe my IPA’s are plenty good for scoring, I could add it to my Stout or Porter to build up that engine. So you can create combos that allow you brew more and get more points across the board.

Medium Weight Game

Photosynthesis – Now, let me preface by saying, I don’t have a lot of medium to heavy weight engine building games in my collection. While I enjoy good engine building, I get that most of the time through deck building which is a more random version of engine building. But I really like Photosynthesis, not because it’s overly complex, but because it has some thinky decisions in it. You’re trying to plant trees in the right spots at the right times, growing them so they will get you sun points, while trying to minimize the number of sun points your opponent gets. There’s a lot of thought that goes into where you are going to be placing the trees, where the sun is going to be located on the board and what trees might be getting blocked from sunlight in upcoming turns. This game definitely has more take that than the other two where you are a building your engine and you can block other people from getting sun points with the trees that they have just by planting close to them and casting a shadow that blocks their tree. Plus the game looks beautiful.

Image Source: Stonemaier Games

Heavy/Complex Game

Charterstone – Now, I haven’t beat all of Charterstone, but it’s a fun euro legacy game where you unlock things from game to game to make your engine more efficient, but also you can improve your engine in the game by getting more helper workers, friends, guests, items and more. So you can pick various strategies to help you score points, but it’s fun because it’s an engine building game that builds up not only throughout the game but also between games with the legacy aspect. So while the core concept of the game place your worker, take the action is very simple as time goes on and with the right guests, friends, workers, etc. you can build up a pretty complex engine that’ll allow you to do multiple things on a given turn. And that grows a lot throughout the game with a wide variety of things to do and utilize.

Now, I know my heavy/complex engine builder is nothing compared to a lot of them out there. Charterstone on Board Game Geek (BGG) is a 2.8 out of 5 in terms of weight, there are games like Food Chain Magnate or Terraforming Mars that are much higher with Food Chain Magnate over 4. I am interested in trying some of those games, but they tend to be less interesting to me because they are often longer. What I really like about Homebrewers is that it backings in some engine building in a package that can be taught and played in forty-five minutes.

What are some of your favorite engine building games? Is it a mechanic that you like or that sounds interesting to you?

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Back or Brick: Ascension Tactics

Back or Brick: Ascension Tactics

The heroes of Ascension come to the board as miniatures in this new tactical fighting game. Pros Based off of a proven system Company has Kickstarter track record Deck building Cool looking minis Demo on Tabletop Simulator Cons Complexity versus simplicity of Deck Building game