So last week Amazon did their Prime Days, and like normal, the board game sales were suspect at best. While Amazon can be a decent spot to find a smaller business selling stuff through Amazon to get good board games, Amazon’s selection and sales are …
Tag: Pandemic Legacy Season 2
We’re back with the next ten, a bullet point of what I said in the first part (which you can find 100 through 91). If you aren’t caught up, you can find yesterdays 90 through 81 to see as well. But we’re back for the next 10 games.
- 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
This game has the honor of being the first game that I backed on Kickstarter. When I backed it, I did so without really having the gaming collection that I have no or the experience gaming, I just thought that the game looked fun, and, well, I was right. This game is pretty simple, you move around aliens to get them off the planet, but there is some challenge, because you need the right stuff to get them off the planet, and you need the moon to be in the right phase to get them off the planet at certain locations. So while the game is simple and very cute, there is some strategy, there is some timing, because if you don’t have enough resources placed at the right time for the launch, you might have to wait for the moon to travel around again. The game looks great on the table, and while it’s not one that I pull out and play a ton, it is a fun one to play.
Last Year: Not Ranked
Now, you will not see Codenames on the list, I’ve come around on it a little bit, but I don’t enjoy Codenames that much. Linking the words can be done, but there are some issues with it, people need to know all the words and all the possible meanings/slang for the words to really make it work. With Codenames: Pictures, there are just a whole lot more interesting ways to connect the pictures. It makes the game faster, a bit easier, but also has more memorable moments and memorable clues where you can get a lot of answers. Codenames: Pictures just has more of the party feel to the game for the weight that it’s at and I like it for that.
Last Year: 75
I’m a big fan of cooperative games, and Dead Men Tell No Tales is a fun pirate themed one where you are going onto a cursed and burning pirate ship to try and grab all the treasure and leave before the ship burns and you get cut off from either the treasure or your escape. The game can get to you in a lot of ways with the fire, the guardians, the skeletal crew and just a nice challenging feel that has a bit more going on than base Pandemic, so is a bit less of a gateway game. But if you have someone in your life who likes games and pirates, and is even just familiar with modern gaming, this is a really enjoyable game. Not one of the cooperative games that gets played most often, but one I like quite well.
Last Year: 81
77. King of Tokyo
When we talk about gateway games, King of Tokyo has to be one of them that comes up. It uses a Yahtzee style dice rolling in a fun way as you all take on the roll of monsters who are battling it out over Tokyo. The game plays fast and you can either win by knocking out all the other monsters (the most fun way), or by getting points (also fun, but less punching). You can improve what you do by getting power and buying cards. And you can go into Tokyo where you can punch everyone, but the issue is everyone can then punch you. The game is fast, it’s pretty silly, and while there is player elimination, that rarely happens and then the game continues for a long time. Overall, just a fun gateway game that works best at the higher player counts.
Last Year: 37
76. Sword & Sorcery
I promise you this isn’t the only dungeon crawler on the list. It’s the first just because compared to some of the others on the list, the story isn’t as interesting. But there are some parts of the game that I really like. I like the leveling up mechanic and I like that you have two sides to each character. It makes the game feel like I could play it again with the same characters and it would play differently. And this is a true Amerithrash game where you have a big handful of dice for an attack or defense and you better roll well or you might be in trouble. And while the game has a massive rulebook and a few trickier rule things, like who a boss monster might target and how that changes, the game is actually pretty easy, you just move, explore, and fight basically, and fighting is done with the dice. I wish the story felt like it had more choices to it, but that’s about my only knock on it.
Last Year: 25
A very different type of game than most on my list, this is a push your luck bluffing game. Each player has a hand full of cards, a bunch of roses and a skull. Players take turns putting down a card in their own stack, face down, until someone bids on how many cards they can flip over without hitting a skull. The trick to it is that you have to flip over all of your own cards first. So if you’ve placed your skull in your stack, can you bid, just to push someone else’s bid higher so that they’ll hit yours and bust, or will you bust yourself because you’ll be stuck flipping over your own skull. There’s some interesting strategy in how you play and how you bid, but really it’s about reading the other players at the table to figure out what they’ve done.
Last Year: 99
74. Risk Legacy
First Legacy game on the list and just first overall legacy game in the hobby. While this game doesn’t have the story that the more modern ones do or try to have, the game play is still a lot of fun. It’s risk, but there’s more, you aren’t just fighting over the world, you’re fighting over bases and you’re trying to complete missions and if you can pull them off, you get victory points and the first person to hit the victory point threshold wins. Plus, all of the factions are different. And you get to decide how they are different as you add stickers to them, so you can make them better at attacking or better at defending, or maybe you get more troops to start. There’s all sorts of different strategies that you can take, but it still feels like classic Risk for the most part, it just goes much faster. Overall a fun time especially if you like Risk but can’t play it too often because it lasts too long.
Last Year: 79
Back to back legacy games, Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 is a bit further down on my list than Pandemic Legacy Season 1. I think that it tries to do a lot of new and different things, and while I think it does most of them well, it bogs down a little bit with all the new things you need to learn. That said, for being quite different than Season 1 and base Pandemic in what you’re trying to do, the mechanics seem really familiar and can get going on the base game quickly, there’s just a twist on to everything. So if you haven’t just gone from one type of Pandemic to the other, you’ll probably be able to pick up on those changes quickly. The story is very interesting, and there is a lot of legacy content in the game.
Last Year: 84
I like all of the Betrayal games, this one is just a bit further down on the list, because while I like the D&D theme to the game, it just doesn’t seem as epic and as good a thematic fit as horror does. This one does have some cool features though, class powers are awesome. I like that about 1/5 of the scenarios have no betrayer, there is just some monster or something that you have to do as a group, that makes it easier to keep track off since some of the haunts (betrayals) can be a bit tricky to understand and if you’re the betrayer you don’t have anyone to ask. They also fix an issue that can arise in the regular game where the haunt happens too fast. It’s still swingy and tricky to understand all the haunts, but I like it a lot and I like the silly random moments that you can have in the game, and the great rolls or the horrible rolls you can have.
Last Year: 35
By far the biggest game on the list, and actually a game that I have sold most of what I have for it, because I don’t have a consistent group to play with for the past few years. But I still really like the game. I especially like playing EDH (Commander). I never got into the competitive magic scene, but for more casual play and people not busting the bank buying stuff, I think it’s a lot of fun. I really can get into the deck building because you can come up with all sorts of odd and interesting combos and for me coming up with something odd and seeing if it can work is a blast. I like to try strange strategies and see if they’ll work or build a whole deck off of the concept of flipping and coin and see what happens with that and how well that’ll work. A few years ago this would have been higher, it’s just not one that I’m sure I’ll get to play that often anymore.
Last Year: 60
A whole lot of moving and shaking on my list. I think some of that is because, or the ones that are dropping, I like another game that does something similar that much better so it takes a bit of a hit. At least that is what I’m guessing. Still, I was a bit surprised to see a few of the games having dropped as far as they did from the 20’s and 30’s. Still really enjoy those games, just might not be the ones I pull off the shelf to scratch that game playing itch.
What is your favorite from this part of the list?
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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 …
It might be kind of the wrong time to talk about this, we’re in the middle of the Covid-19 Pandemic, however, I think with that, for some, comes more time to delve into more story, including that of the Apocalypse/Post-Apocalyptic in nature. This is one of those genres that can tell a lot of interesting things because you can look at the struggle of man to overcome, the in ability of humanity to stop their own doom, or the breakdown of society and how it could fall apart and rebuild.
This is building off of my articles on where to start in comics and the article on zombies in pop culture. The format is going to continue to be a little bit different every time, mainly because it can be, but I want to talk about some things that have worked well and some that don’t work as well.
I think that we can all think of a lot of apocalyptic or post apocalyptic stories out there. About 5 years ago we had a lot of them being taken on in the Young Adult style with books series like The Hunger Games, Divergent, and Maze Runner. Some of these worked better and some were disappointments, at least for myself. Since then, the genre hasn’t really died off, we have Netflix putting out shows like Daybreak and The Rain where things are going horribly wrong or have gone horribly wrong in the world. The genre as a whole has kind of been all over the map though with a lot of goofy stories as well as many very serious takes on the genre as well.
Now, I’m not sure that any particular take is going to be always the right one. Some that take themselves too seriously become overwrought and melodramatic, while others can try and do a humorous take on it that just ends up being hit or miss. And there’s also an element where some authors are trying too hard to be profound on a topic that is going to lend itself to a lot of speculation.
Just to talk about speculation, I feel like there are two that I can kind of compare as to how one does it decently and the other does it poorly. In The Hunger Games, we have this idea of spectacle, and that humans, even when things are going poorly are going to want spectacle and probably even want more and greater spectacle, especially if they are at the top of the food chain. This is something that we can see already in our society where people love things like Survivor, or even before our time with the shows in the Roman Colosseum, so The Hunger Games has a feeling of something that is grounded and truthful to it. Compare that to Divergent. The issue with Divergent, besides that the story just takes a left turn that everyone saw coming is that they split up humanity and society in a way that doesn’t make any sense. At no point in time before has society split itself along those lines in such a way or tested people so that they would be split that way. It feels like an illogical jump for a society to make and one that doesn’t really aid the society in the long run. So even though, I would say, there is some overlap, the speculation and the ability for a post apocalyptic story to have a ring of truth to it makes a big difference.
Now, I feel like I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about how it’s moved into other mediums. It’s easy to think of books, films and TV shows, but in many ways it’s just as easy to think of video games. The Last of Us is a prime example of a post-apocalyptic game, and the Resident Evil games take place during or after the apocalypse. But probably less known to some, though obviously something I like, is how it’s made it’s way into board games. Pandemic Legacy Season 1 and Season 2 are basically board games about the apocalypse and the fallout from that. And it gives you an interestingly written story. Even a game like Dead of Winter, which I’ve mentioned in the zombie article, is definitely about survival after the apocalypse. While I don’t have a ton of post-apocalyptic games on my shelf, I have a lot that are about thwarting that great disaster from happening, basically all of the Lovecraft Mythos investigative games from Fantasy Flight fall into that category. In those games, Arkham Horror, Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition, Eldritch Horror, Elder Signs, you’re always trying to stop a great old one from coming through, or something along those lines. Even fantasy games like Gloomhaven, Sword & Sorcery, and Aeon’s End: War Eternal, while maybe not as heavily apocalyptic as some, have bits and pieces of that thrown in, especially if you fail the campaign.
Finally, there are RPG’s, and I think when it comes to a medium that is built for the apocalypse, RPG’s are that medium. Even if it hasn’t happened, the fact that you’re going on an adventure to do something, it’s going to be to stop something bad, and generally that’s some form the of the apocalypse for at least part of the world. And if you make it up to level 20, it’s probably for the whole world. In fact, one of the campaign books for Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition is Princes of the Apocalypse. There’s just something about the story of an malevolent god trying to destroy humanity and the player characters becoming humanities champions that just works well for a story. It’s one of those things where you can joke that it’s a story as old as time, but it works for so many reasons as it gives you that heroes journey and that final thing for them to overcome.
Well, that was kind of rambling, I had a lot that I wanted to talk about what I like from apocalyptic stories and why some of them don’t work as well if they ring a little hollow. Plus, I couldn’t go an article without talking about how it has flowed into the RPG and Board Game mediums. What are some of your favorite apocalyptic stories from whatever medium it might be?
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It’s that time of year, with Black Friday and Holiday Shopping nearly upon us. That means that people are starting to think about the gifts that they’ll be getting for others or what they might want to ask for themselves. This list is basically the …
We’re back again, now time for the disclaimer text.
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.
90 – Carcassonne
First classic game on the list, I’d say. This is a tile laying game that has been around for a long time, though, not as long as games like Clue and Monopoly that didn’t make my top 100. In Carcassone, you are trying to connect roads together and build cities, monasteries, and farms. All of these things give you points and when all the tiles have been played you tally up any final scoring and the person with the most points wins. What’s interesting about this game is that as you complete cities and roads where you have placed a knight or a robber, which are just meeples, you get those meeples back, so you are trying to balance getting a lot of points in a single road or city, and not having all your meeples on the board so you miss scoring.
89 – Dead of Winter: The Long Night
So, this is technically an expansion. But it’s also technically stand alone, so I’m placing it on my list because you don’t need Dead of Winter to play it. In this game, like Dead of Winter, you are protecting your base against zombies, however, they add in a few things, like a bandit module, a building module, and a Umbrella Corporation, I mean Raxxon, expansion. This game adds more to a game that already has a bunch of stuff going on in it, hence why it’s a bunch lower than the original, plus, it’s just hard to beat the original. I’d definitely play with any of the expansions though.
88 – Splendor
We’re going away from a more thematic game and going into a game that is purely tableau building. The “theme” of this game is that you are a gem merchant who is buying single use gems to get other gems that you have all the time, okay, that doesn’t make sense. But that’s what you’re doing in the game. Some of the gem cards that you’ll buy will have points on them, and the first person to 15 points wins. This is a great introductory tableau game that looks nice on the table. The game comes with a bunch of cards but what most people notice are the power chips that represent the single use gems that you’ll be getting early in the game. They are nice and weighty and give the game a good tactile feel. This is game that I’ll always play and have a good time with, there are other games higher on the list that fit a similar niche that I prefer though.
87 – Stuffed Fables
Your girl has had her favorite blanket stolen, and as her fearless stuffed animals, you are going to go into the depths of the world under the bed to get back that blanket without waking up the girl. This is a very cute game with cute stuffed animal minis. It’s what is known as a storybook game where you flip to different pages in the book, depending on what you do, and play through different chapters of an adventure by playing through the little scene that is in the book. Stuffed Fables definitely is focused for children, though feels like it’s a bit too complex for most younger children that the story targets more so. The game looks great though, and because it’s cooperative, you can work together as a group, which would be how you can get younger gamers to play and understand what is going on. Eventually this will be something that I play through with our baby.
86 – Legends of Andor
We’re into one of the first story driven fantasy games on the list. I’ve played this one a few times, and what is interesting about this game is that killing monsters causes the story to progress faster. Each round advances, and eventually you run out of turns, and you’d lose the game, but if too many monsters get to the castle, you lose the game, if you kill too many monsters and use up the rounds, you lose the game. This is a fun fantasy puzzle story game, because beating the monsters isn’t always hard, but knowing when to beat the monsters and when to focus on story elements, it’s a challenge. There are a bunch of different scenarios in the game, all of which seem interesting, and there are a bunch of expansions for it. It’s a big fantasy game, but at the same time, it’s not a complex fantasy game, so it’s a good introductory one for younger gamers.
85 – Lord of the Rings
This is the classic Fantasy Flight game where you play as up to five Hobbits traveling to Mount Doom to throw the one ring in. Yes, you read that correctly up to five Hobbits. If you have five players, one person can play as Fatty Bolger. Who is Fatty Bolger, he’s the hobbit who they invite along after add in Merry and Pippin but who declines, if you’ve read the books you’re apt to remember him. This game feels fairly thematic, but mainly feels like a puzzle as you try and play combinations of cards to advance through different locations before time runs out. It’s not a very heavy game, but there are interesting choices, and anyone can hold the ring, so Sam does, always, because he’s steadfast and hard to move. They made a lot of expansions for it as well. If you don’t want a big card game or a big minis game for Lord of the Rings, this is a fun option.
84 – Pandemic Legacy Season 2
We’ll see Season 1 higher on the list, but I did enjoy my playthrough, just not as much as the first season. I won’t go into spoilers, because this is a legacy game, but Pandemic Legacy Season 2 has a bit less direction while having a few clear things to do as well. It’s confusing with how I wrote it, but it still tells a good story. I feel like with the story, though, you’re waiting for the twist to happen like there was at some point in time in season one. What is cool about this one is that the mechanics are different, but they still feel like Pandemic. I’ll be playing through this at some point in time on Malts and Meeples, so if you want spoilers, that’s where it’ll be. Even though it’s a story driven legacy game, I feel like there’s plenty that you can play again with it after a bit of time. Downside is that to do that, you need a new version of the game.
83 – Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game
This is a massively bloated game at this point with 20000000000000 different expansions, and that is only using half the characters that Marvel has. In this game there is a villain whom a group of players with hero cards are going to attempt to defeat. It’s pretty standard in how you deck build with a changing market, but it gives you some interesting things like trying to build up enough damage to take out the villain enough times, while also trying to keep a handle on the different henchmen that are coming out. What makes this game tricky is that there are literally too many options now for the game. If you just pick what Marvel superheroes you like, you might end up with a group of heroes that don’t synergize at all, and then the game is going to take way longer than it should be build up the combos that you’re generally looking for in deck building games. However, if you just have the base game, you have enough to keep yourself busy for a while. This is a game that I’ve grown to like more as I’ve played more deck building games.
82 – Arkham Horror 2nd Edition
Yes, this is not the new edition, in fact, the new edition that I’m stoked to try, it’s not on my list, because I haven’t tried it yet. It’s sitting on my shelf just waiting to get played. But this is the massive older version where you are going around Arkham and adventuring and closing gates, fighting monsters, and then probably losing for up to six hours. Like I said, it’s a massive game and that’s without any of the expansions. I’ve really only played this once, and not even my copy, but it was blast, it’s just hard to carve out that much time. I am probably going to keep this game, because it’s the first massive epic game I bought, but also because it seems different enough from the 3rd edition that I probably have room on my self for both. If you like that older grind of a game, this one still holds up well, and there are tons of expansions for it, but you’ll also need a giant table for it.
81 – Dead Men Tell No Tales
I was hoping that this game would replace Pandemic in some ways or be another cooperative option, and I think that it almost does that, but you’ll see where Pandemic falls on my list. In Dead Men Tell No Tales, you are a group of pirates who are going onto a ship that is haunted by ghosts, on fire, and has a skeleton crew, but you’re willing to brave all of that, because the captain will make you walk the plank, and there’s treasure on this burning ship. You take your turn, dealing with fire, taking out those skeletons, trying to build up so you can fight the ghosts, but doing all of that while the ship continues to burn, and you hope that it doesn’t get too bad so that you can’t get to where you need to. It’s like Pandemic in that you have a ton of things that you can do and you never feel like you have enough actions. Or that your actions won’t do anything, and that’s one cool thing about the game, if you only have two useful actions out of your four or five, you can pass your unused ones to the next player so that they can get more done. If you want something that’s cooperative and the theme seems more interesting than Pandemic, I think you’d enjoy Dead Men Tell No Tales.
We’re through another ten, I’m planning that next week, besides Wednesday which will be Halloween focused, I’m going to continue going through my top 100, otherwise it could take a while.
What game from this section looks the most interesting to you? Is there one that you’ve wanted to play? Is there one that would be higher on your own list?
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