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…
Tag: Pandemic Legacy
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?
Share questions, ideas for articles, or comments with us!
So, recently, as I’ve been posting out, I’ve finished a playthrough of Pandemic Legacy Season 1 solo on Youtube. You can find that on Youtube at Malts and Meeples or on the Nerdologists. But, I wanted to go back to this game and write an…
After an exciting run of games, I am wrapping up Pandemic Legacy Season 1. See how it all ends and find out how well I did in the game. Pandemic Legacy is a Cooperative board game that I’m playing as a solo game where you…
After a week off, I was back at it with Pandemic Legacy Season 1. How did I fair this time as I tried to save the world from diseases and drink a beer? Spoiler, the beer was drank.
Pandemic is a game where you are trying to cure the world of various diseases. However, in the Legacy version of the game, things are turned on their head, and you have to deal with even more problems. You can find out more of a description in the first Pandemic Legacy video on Malts and Meeples, or over on Board Game Geek.
Yesterday’s beer was from Destihl Brewery out of Normal Illinois. It was a blonde ale with a lot of fruits called Hawaii Five Ale. It’s a solid beer, but the peach in there is the most prominent fruit flavor and the others are kind of lost in there. I wish the flavors would be more distinct, or that the peach was balanced better with the rest of the flavors, or maybe not even there.
I’m back again with game 14 of Pandemic Legacy Season 1. If you know how Pandemic Legacy works, you know that I’ve had at least a couple of losses in there. But join me to see how the game has been going overall. Pandemic Legacy…
We’re back, the break was a little longer than I had planned, but with the 4th it made it hard to stream. So how is our game of Pandemic Legacy Season 1 going to go this time? And what is Pandemic Legacy? In the game,…
Now, there are a lot of ways I could go with this. I could literally be talking about how heavy some games are, such as Gloomhaven which is over 20 pounds. I could be talking about how emotionally heavy a video game is like Life is Strange. But instead, I’m talking about the “weight” of a board game as to how complex it is. In particular, I’m going to talk about the different weights and what that generally means when someone talks about it.
Games can be split into four different categories in my opinion. There are light weight, family weight, medium weight, and heavy weight games. And for me, that goes from the least complex to the most complex games. I am sure that other people might have an extra category at the end of super heavy weight games for the 18XX games and Train Games (not Ticket to Ride), where you playing in a very heavy economic game and you might actually need a calculator to figure out what is going on, on your turn, not just to add up scores at the end of a game.
Let’s first talk about why games are split into these categories. There are a ton of ways to sort or categorize games such as by some mechanic in the game or the theme of the game, but where those tell you some about the game, the weight of a game is really to help you determine the complexity of the game. The heavier a game is, the more complex that it’s going to be, and the more time commitment is going to be needed for learning the game and possibly for playing the game. However, not all games that have a lot of rules have a high weight to the game. Gloomhaven, for example, on Board Game Geek, is rated at a 3.79 out of 5 for weight, which puts it at a medium heavy, and it has a pretty hefty rule book.
What is a Light Weight game?
A light weight game is going to be those filler sorts of games. Something Tsuro, is a light weight game because the rules are simple to teach and the game is easy to play. Party games also fall into this category as you can generally pull them out and get them taught and to the table in five minutes. People aren’t likely to have many questions either about them when you are playing them. And if there is a question that comes up, the rules are likely so simple that you don’t need to look up anything and can just answer it. Kids games would also fall into this category, though, not all of them. But simple games like Chutes (Snakes) and Ladders or Candyland, that people normally think of, are so simple that you really just do what the game tells you, versus make any decision in the game. That’s another area where the complexity of the game is pretty low, even in Tsuro, you have three tiles and while you have some choice at the start of the game, the choice doesn’t matter much then. And in the later part of the game, the choice matters, but you have an obvious choice so you don’t have to think about it much.
What is a Family Weight Game?
So just by thinking what is a bit more complex than the light weight games, you can start to figure out what family weight games are. The best way to describe it is that these are the games that you play with your parents if they aren’t board gamers growing up. Or growing up only played a few like Skip-Bo, Uno, Rummikub, and Yahtzee. The latter two would actually probably fall into the family weight category. But more modern games that are family weight would be things like Carcassone, Ticket to Ride, and Catan. These games have more complex rules than light games, but generally there aren’t edge cases where you have to remember that something only happens in a specific situation. These games also start to offer meaningful decisions. Yes, they are generally not that complex, but Carcassone gives you choices when you place figures like knights, farmers, thieves, and monks (if I have the terms correct). In Catan you determine where you start and where you build towards, and in Ticket to Ride, do you take those train cars you want or do you play a route before someone else can get it? But the decisions are still pretty simple and you can probably do either option and end up being fine in the game. These games also can still end up with a run away winner. Other games would something like Sushi Go! Party, Pandemic, Dominion or Welcome To…
What are Medium Weight Games?
Again, we’re taking it up in complexity of game play and learning. These games still aren’t too difficult to learn, but there are going to be more moving parts. Xenoshyft: Onslaught would be a good example of this. Where Dominion is just a deck builder that is pretty easy to each, Xenoshyft actually has you doing something more in the game, and you are faced with more decisions than just buying a card worth points, a card worth money, or a card that draws you more cards. Another game that would fit into this category is Seven Wonders. Much like Xenoshyft builds upon the fundamentals and adds in more to deck building, Seven Wonders is a more complex card drafting game as compared to Sushi Go! Party. You also start to get edge cases in the games where certain cards together interact in a way that you can’t just naturally figure out. But there aren’t so many of these that once you’ve played the game a few times that you won’t know what is going. I actually think that Gloomhaven falls into the heavier side of Medium Weight games. There are certainly a good number of rules, but once you know them, you can play without looking things up, and it doesn’t take too long to know the rules once you start playing. I’d also put a game like Pandemic Legacy in a medium weight game. The rules don’t vary greatly from base Pandemic, but since the rules are changing, you need to remember everything that is going on.
Finally, What are Heavy Weight Games?
Again, not too difficult to figure out, but these are the games that you have a lot of text on a lot of cards, there is a lot of complexity in these games. I would put games like Cry Havoc and Root into this category where you have asymmetrical powers. Because of this, each person has edge cases that are different than other people at the table. And you need to teach each character separately. These games also have a lot of what I’d call book keeping. That doesn’t always mean taking notes, but it means that there are a lot of phases and some of the phases are resetting things to a starting turn point. Two good examples of this are a couple of cooperative games from Portal Games, First Martian and Robinson Crusoe. In these games, there are certain game events that happen at the end of every turn or end of every round that you need to do. Star Wars: Rebellion is also a heavy game with asymmetrical goals going on, though the actions of the players are pretty similar. But there are a lot of decisions that you have to make in the game, and if you mess up a single decision that can cost you the game. Even a game that is generally panned like SeaFall can fall into this category because the rules are complex (some do to poor writing), but the game offers a ton of tactical decisions that you have to think about.
Finally, let’s talk about what this means for your gaming collection. Do you need a game(s) of each type? I don’t think that you do, if you know your gaming group will never want to play a light filler game, why do you have one of those in your collection or go out of your way to buy one? The same goes for very heavy games, if I know that I don’t want to play a highly tactical war game, I don’t need one in my collection just so I have one just in case. That said, I would try and keep a good variety in your collection that makes sense for the gaming group that you have. For example, according to Board Game Geek, out of the 253 games that I’ve rated on the site (or own), 3 of them are over 4 for weight, so pretty heavy. 23 of them are at 1.25 or lower (1 is the lowest possible number) and all of those are extremely light. That means that I have a lot in the middle, though I tend to skew lighter as those games are easier to get to the table with my gaming group.
So, what does your collection look like? What’s the average weight of the games that you like, do you skew more towards heavy games or do you find your collection to have a lot of filler and party games you can pull out any time?
Share questions, ideas for articles, or comments with us!
How did the latest game in Pandemic Legacy go? As we get closer to the end game, has anything new been revealed that will change the game going forward? Pandemic Legacy Season 1 is a board game where you are trying to cure diseases. But…