Tag: Star Wars

Skywalker Saga – The Best to the Worst

Skywalker Saga – The Best to the Worst

Star Wars, it’s a controversial topic, especially when it comes to some of the new movies. Some people have hated all of them, some people have loved all of them, and some people, it’s a mixed bag, but everyone, almost, is willing to give you…

TelevisionTalks: The Mandalorian

TelevisionTalks: The Mandalorian

The shows been out for a little while now with the final episode coming out at the end of 2019. I considered doing episode by episode reviews, but because the first season was so short, I felt like it would be easier to wait. And…

Revisit Rewatch Review: Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker – Spoiler Review

Revisit Rewatch Review: Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker – Spoiler Review

I’m going to spend a little bit of time here creating a buffer so that people who don’t want spoilers don’t need spoilers for the Rise of Skywalker.

So, without any spoilers, the Rise of Skywalker is the 9th Star Wars film. George Lucas had originally planned on doing nine films in the 1980’s and had it plotted out, but due to the stress of making the original trilogy and the following that he had, he held off for a long time, until he made The Phantom Menace and then Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, which were not that well received. He then later sold the rights to Star Wars to Disney who with JJ Abram at the helm for the first film, The Force Awakens, started a new trilogy.

Now that we have a proper spoiler buffer, let’s talk about Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker. This, like I said, is the ninth film in the Skywalker Saga, and the end of the Skywalker Saga (theoretically). After The Last Jedi, which was half of a good film and some other characters being taken in a direction that they weren’t set-up for in The Force Awakens, JJ Abrams came back in to wrap up the story that he had laid out for Rian Johnson, which had then been promptly thrown away. Abrams then had to try and cut down and cram what he had laid out previously into a single film. That might sound like a bad thing, but I think that it worked for this film.

In the Rise of Skywalker, we start out by getting a pretty heavy information dump about how the Emperor has been broadcasting his return from somewhere deep in space. Kylo Ren, with the First Order, has been trying to track down this signal, but they need an old Sith map to be able to do so. Finding one, he goes to the Emperor. In the mean time, Finn, Poe, and Chewbacca chasing down leads to the First Orders plans and what is happening with their search for the Emperor and plans for domination. Rey is back with the resistance training to become a Jedi. She leaves her training when they get wind that Kylo has found the Emperor, and they go searching for a map of their own. This leads them into a handful of adventures where they run across someone who Poe used to run with and run spice with and they end up wiping out C3PO’s memory in order to translate where the map is hidden. Rey, during this time, becomes more and more obsessed with finding and defeating the Emperor. This leads to her going to a moon of Endor where they come across more Stormtroopers who have rebelled against the First Order. Meanwhile, Kylo is able to track down Rey and they fight on the destroyed Death Star with Kylo getting the upper hand on Rey, but then Leia, feeling the anger and disturbance from her son, used the last of her energy to stop Kylo. In a fit of rage, Rey strikes Kylo who has lowered all defenses and dropped his lightsaber, realizing, though that her anger has taken over, she uses the force to heal him. She runs away, in Kylo’s ship, to the planet where Luke had hid away, and there, meeting the force ghost of Luke, he convinces her that she needs to go and confront her grandfather, Palpatine. The rest of the resistance tracks her flying through a gravitational field, which is why the map was needed and goes to aid her. However, things look bleak until Lando Calrissian manages to gather up the support of people who are willing to stand up to the First Order and they join the fight. During this time, Kylo (Ben), sees a vision of Han Solo who talks to him and gets him to give up his lightsaber, returning back to being Ben Solo. He flies to the Emperor and joins Rey as they stand against the Emperor’s plan to return. The Emperor again gets the upper hand, but what Rey wasn’t able to do in her training earlier in the film, connect with the spirit of the Jedi, she was able to do in that moment and with the power of them behind her, she is able to get back up and defeat the Emperor. There is much celebrating, and Rey goes and leaves both Luke and Leia’s lightsabers back at the moisture farm (what’s left of it) where Luke grew up.

Image Source: Disney

There’s just a little bit of story there, and I normally wouldn’t write out the whole thing, but this is a spoiler episode and I wanted to demonstrate how much was packed into this movie. Now, do I think that it probably would have been better split into two movies and we just lose The Last Jedi? Probably, but does that make Rise of Skywalker a bad movie? I don’t think so. I really enjoyed it in the theater and I thought that it did a good job of wrapping up the Skywalker Saga. Before going to see the movie, my hope was that it was going to wrap up the Skywalker Saga and then we wouldn’t have any more movies with Rey, Finn, Poe or Kylo. And I feel like it did that, now if Disney decides it was popular enough with those characters, they might bring them back again, but I personally don’t want it. With have a massive world, and with the great work that the Mandalorian has been doing, there is clearly room for stories that aren’t focused only around the Empire and the Skywalkers.

For me, one of the things that this film does impressively is wrap up the storylines for the original trilogy characters. We get more of a send off for Han Solo and he gets to deliver a famous line in a meaningful way. We get another send off for Luke. And we get, kind of, a send off for Leia. I feel like hers was the most lacking, which makes sense with Carrie Fishers passing. Her passing in the film is really the start of a turning point for both Kylo and Rey, and then Han and Luke, respectively, finish bringing both of the characters back around.

What might bother some people about this film, and I hinted at it in the paragraph above, with Han delivering a famous line, but there is a feeling to this film that it’s kind of a Star Wars greatest hits. We get lines, we get callbacks, Chewie finally gets his medal. This will definitely be an issue for some people who don’t know what they want, probably just to watch the original trilogy and repeat, but for me, it was what I was looking for when wrapping up the Skywalker Saga. It gave the main characters a send off that they needed and it kind of showed that the story has always been about them, even with the new cast of characters, it was still about Luke, Leia, Han, and the Emperor. For some people, that’s not going to be enjoyable, but it wrapped up the saga.

Image Source: Disney

I think, it’s also fair, as this wrapped up the last trilogy in the saga, to look at this as part of the whole trilogy. I think that you’d be able to watch The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker without watching The Last Jedi and have a pretty complete film. And if someone were to create a cut of The Last Jedi that dropped out the whole gambling planet and Finn and Poe becoming whiny for no reason, you could then add back in the Luke, Rey, and Kylo story. But, I feel like Rise of Skywalker did a good job of recapping some of that information in a meaningful way. Now, yes, you would miss a little bit by skipping The Last Jedi, but less than you’d think. So as a trilogy, that’s definitely a downside for it. I don’t think that Rian Johnson set out to change it so much, but it felt like he didn’t have a full understanding of the characters. I hope that he gets a Star Wars film with his own characters, because I felt like it was interesting in concept, but overall it wasn’t set-up like it should be to continue to tell a cohesive story. But this is a considerably better trilogy than the Phantom Menace trilogy.

Overall, this was a really fun film. I think that it wrapped up stories really well, I think it was decently well acted, and I feel like the saga was completed. Now, don’t ever show me any of these characters as main characters on the big screen again, maybe in the background 10 years down the line would be fine, but even that’s questionable. Or maybe a plaque with Rey’s face on it. I’m ready for more new Star Wars, but I’m also glad to see this finish the way that it did. I hope that Disney and Kathleen Kennedy can get a better, more clear, direction for Star Wars and really be able to build off some of what Marvel has done for Disney but also to then create a more developed universe. I will also wrap this up by saying that I’m not someone who knows the extended universe stuff, but I know there were a lot of references to the stuff that I only vaguely knew about.

So, what were your thoughts on Rise of Skywalker. But, as much as that, stepping back and looking at this as the Skywalker Saga, what are your thoughts on the nine movies put together as a whole?

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Christmas Ideas – The Grab Bag

Christmas Ideas – The Grab Bag

Last list post, I considered doing a couple more for things like Sci-Fi and Anime, but there are so many specific things, like with Fantasy in both of those, that I thought, let’s wrap it up with a nerdy grab bag of ideas. This list…

Christmas Ideas: RPG’s

Christmas Ideas: RPG’s

So, I had thought of splitting it into two parts, one for the players and for the DM/GM. But that felt a little bit silly, and I want to encourage more players to become DM/GM’s, so if you have a player in your life who…

Christmas Ideas: Solo Board Games

Christmas Ideas: Solo Board Games

After a busy Thanksgiving with a fair amount of driving, I’m back to posting. We’re onto Cyber Monday, but I don’t have anything that I’m really looking for, so let’s talk about some games that you can give to that solo gamer in your life, or possibly some games you can ask for if you are the solo gamer.

Aeon’s End: War Eternal – This one showed up on the epic list as well, but it works in both spots. I’ve actually only played this one solo, and I had a lot of fun with it. In this game you are playing as one or more breach mages (I’d recommend more as it’s easy to play multiple), who are defending the town of Gravehold from the monsters that are attacking it. It’s a cooperative deck building game with an interesting mechanic where you don’t shuffle your cards, so if you are smart, you can set-up a good turn. I’m not to that point yet.

Arkham Horror: The Card Game – While I think that Mansions of Madness can be good solo as well, it’s a big game, so it’s nice to have multiple players for helping track everything. Arkham Horror: The Card Game is a smaller footprint of a game and really plays well solo. In multiplayer, between book keeping and turn down time, it might be a little bit slow, but as a solo game, you can go through the story fast. The story in this game works well, the only downside is that it’s a living card game, which means they are coming out with new story packs often.

Image Source: Zman Games

Choose Your Own Adventure: House of Danger – Hence forth this game will be known as CYOA:HoD. But this is a really fun game and one that you can easily play solo. Now, with solo play, I think you lose some of the laughing around the table, but if you want to get through a game quickly, solo play is going to be great as you make choices going through the story and push your luck rolling the die. This game is really just a CYOA book with a little bit added to it, so you could just check out the book, but it’s a good time and works well in game form.

The Dresden Files: Cooperative Card Game – So many long names of board games to type out, but The Dresden Files is worth putting on the list as it’s a fun and challenging puzzle. This one is definitely for a fan of the series, though I do know of someone who played the game first and then read the series because of the game. It’s challenging to solve enough cases while beating enough bad guys, but if you have to come down to a roll at the end, it is every more tough. A well balanced game that does a good job of setting up different player counts and works well as a solo game.

Image Source: Board Game Geek

Gloomhaven – Now, to be fair, I haven’t played this solo and I’ve loved it at a three player count. But I know of a lot of people who have played it solo and like it. This is a massive story driven dungeon crawl style game that plays a bit like a video game. It’s challenging, it’s grand, and to me, that’s probably the downside of solo. We just started using the app, but I can’t imagine not using the app if you are playing solo. There’s so much set-up and tear down, that without the app, it would be hard to manage everything, with the app, which is free, it shouldn’t be too bad. This is the spendiest game of the list, so just be aware of that if it sounds interesting.

Onirim – After the biggest game on the list, we have the smallest on my list. This game technically can play two, but it’s really a solo game. It’s a fun solitaire puzzle as you are playing down cards trying to find doors in your dreams, while also hoping not to pull a nightmare. If you do get a nightmare, you have a few choices of what to do, but none of them are good. It’s an abstract game, but it’s one that works well and it’s small so it’s easy to play solo in a lot of different settings. The version I got of the same comes with “expansions” as well, though I’d more call them modules that you can either add to your game or take out. They give a few new things that add to the challenge. Definitely a good small one for someone who might be interested in solo gaming.

Image Source: Z-Man

Star Wars: Imperial Assault – Now, maybe you have someone who prefers Star Wars or at least Sci-Fi to fantasy, Imperial Assault is the game that they can solo. It’s a bigger game where you take your group of heroes through an app driven story. It’s a good dungeon crawl game, just with a fantasy setting, and it feels like Star Wars. In it, you are playing adjacent to the main storyline of the original trilogy, but it works well that way. What’s nice as well is that the app has a tutorial that gets you up and running also. Overall, it’s a fun dungeon crawl style game and for someone who doesn’t like fantasy, it’s going to be a great option.

Sword and Sorcery – But, maybe they do like fantasy, but Gloomhaven is just too much to jump into. Sword and Sorcery provides a good option for slaying monsters in this story driven dungeon crawl game. It has a good challenge level, though the treasures that you find can swing it to your advantage as time goes on. Definitely has a bit of a video game feel to it, and the death mechanic, in particular, works really well. This game offers a more limited campaign than Gloomhaven does, but at a much lower price, and it has monster minis as compared to cardboard standees like Gloomhaven. Definitely a fun, dice chucking, dungeon crawl game.

Image Source: Board Game Geek

Unlock/Exit/Escape Room Games – I am basically putting a category here, but I believe that all of them can be played solo, I’d just double check on the box. Any of the escape room style games works well, because you are racing against a clock trying to solve a puzzle to escape a room, but instead of it costing $20 per person to go and play in a group in a physical location, you can get the same thing through Unlock or Exit for around $15. The games are challenging and a good time as you try and puzzle through how you can combine items to get what you want. I really like the Unlock games because they are non-destructive, which means that you can pass them on once you are done.

Village Attacks – Those pesky villagers are at it again, attacking you “peaceful” monsters with their pitchforks and torches. It’s your job to drive them back in this cooperative game. I had a lot of fun with this game in a group, but I think it’s going to be strong as a solo game as well, either controlling multiple monsters up against the villagers, since turns are pretty simple, or one monster holding them all off. It’s a bigger game again that requires some set-up, but once you get going, the game moves along nicely and offers a really good challenge.

Welcome To… – It’s hard to create a list without putting a roll and write on it as they generally offer you a chance to hit a certain score total. Welcome To… for me is the best solo play as it offers a good limited time crunch in the game, and forces you to make some tough decisions about what you’re going to do. The game also has more depth to it, which I think a lot of solo players will like as compared to some simpler roll and write games. The theming works in the game, but mainly it’s a fun puzzle to crack as you try and get your houses into order and build your perfect neighborhood.

There are a ton more games out there. Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle Earth, I’ve heard is a good solo experience. I know that Mage Knight is a game that people love to play solo, and I have several others sitting on my shelf that I haven’t gotten to yet, such as Tainted Grail. It’s a good time for solo gaming, and if you have someone who likes to relax and unwind with board games, some of these might be great options for them.

What is a solo game that you like? Are there any that I haven’t played or don’t have on my list that you think I should check out?

Share questions, ideas for articles, or comments with us!

Email us at nerdologists@gmail.com
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Christmas Ideas – Epic Board Games

Christmas Ideas – Epic Board Games

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…

10 Minute Marvel Episode 18 – Disney Plus Plus Plus

10 Minute Marvel Episode 18 – Disney Plus Plus Plus

Back for another episode, just me talking about Disney+ that came out today with a ton of Marvel content on there. I look at what MCU movies are there at the very start and what shows are coming. Plus, there’s a ton of animated content,…

My Top 100 Board Games – 20 to 11

My Top 100 Board Games – 20 to 11

Normally, this would be another Halloween article, because I’ve been doing those every Wednesday, tomorrow, since it is actually Halloween will be my Halloween themed article. Instead, you are getting more of my top 100 board games, which will wrap up on Friday.

***Disclaimer***
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.

Image Source: Shut Up and Sit Down

20 – Sagrada
Sagrada is a very pretty game in which you are drafting dice in order to create the most beautiful stained glass window out there. However, you have certain rules as to how you can place those dice, such as certain colors being required in spots or certain numbers being required. To make it even trickier, you can’t have the same number or the same color orthogonally adjacent to one another. So, your stained glass window soon becomes a puzzle. To add to that, you are also looking at scoring in four different areas. Each player has a private objective that they are trying to score, but there are also three more public objectives that players are trying to get as many points from. That seems like a lot of things to stay on top of, and it is, thankfully, the game gives you ways to move or manipulate dice, so hopefully you can fill in your whole stained glass window. Sagrada is a pretty game on the table with the translucent dice, and a fun game to play. it is definitely lighter, but there is enough going on that I feel engaged throughout the game, and I’m always hoping people won’t draft that one die that I really need. They normally do, but I’m hoping that they won’t. The game also scales up well, so it’s fun with two players and it’s fun with four players. There is an expansion that takes it up to six, but I haven’t tried that yet.

19 – Dice Throne: Season One
Alright, here it is, the first season of Dice Throne. As compared to the other ones, which in the future might just be Dice Throne Season Two when I finish getting all the characters, Dice Throne: Season One comes with six different characters that all play in fun and different ways. The game is still a yahtzee style dice rolling battle where you are trying to knock down your opponent before they can take you down. But characters like the Paladin can heal more and has buff abilities, whereas the Pyromancer is just about doing damage and doesn’t really do defense. This is fun, because it makes you adjust how you are going to play the game. The Shadow Thief for example, is all about getting combat points to put cards into play, but the more combat points they have, the more damage that they can do on some attacks. I think technically you could play this as a three versus three game with each team facing off against the other, but I prefer the game as a one versus one game. All the characters feel pretty balanced and it seems to be a luck of the roll as to who wins but there is enough dice manipulation that you feel like you can go for your ultimate ability if possible. I haven’t done this yet, but this game seems like ti would be amazing in a tournament format, so I’m hoping to get one of those done this winter. I really love all the Dice Throne stuff, and some of the Season Two characters are more interesting, but with what I got for Season One, I got more characters, so that’s why it’s higher.

Image Source; Geek Alert

18 – Dead of Winter
It’s zombie time, and Christmas. You and your group of survivors are huddled in your base in the town VFW (not part of the game, but I gave it a location), you’ve barricaded the doors off but the zombies keep coming, and you’re going to need to get food eventually. Dead of Winter is a zombie survival game where each player has their own objective as to what they want to do, or have in their hand, by the end of the scenario in order to win the game. However, the scenario has things you need to do as well, and there keep on being crisis that happen. And then you need to feed the colony as well. So life is tough for you as players as you run around to various locations, searching for what you need, and hoping not to get bitten by a zombie or get frost bite (bitten by a cold zombie). To make matters worse, you’re beginning to suspect that there might be a traitor in your midst. That’s Dead of Winter in a nutshell, a semi-cooperative game where each player has a secret objective that they need to complete, and there might be a traitor in the game. The odds of their being one are fairly low, because you mix it into 2 x [The Number of Players] cards, but most of the time there is one. Everyone is suspicious of everyone else, and then there are crossroads cards. These are cards that have you make tough decisions in the zombie filled world, like, do you let in some strangers to your group, you get more actions, but more mouths to feed as well. This is a big game with a lot of decisions to make in it, and if the scenarios weren’t hard enough, the daily crisis and personal objectives make the whole game even harder.

17 – Deranged
This game isn’t even out yet, how do I have it on my list so high? Because that’s how awesome the long demo at GenCon was. In Deranged you are stuck in a small town, because you are cursed, and you only have a limited amount of time before you can escape. But in order to escape you have to get rid of your curses. And if that wasn’t hard enough, there are monsters floating about down there that want to try and kill you. And then, if you die, you come back, because you know you’re in a cursed town that never wants you to leave, and you are cursed again. Plus, it’s possible at night time that you are going to become a deranged monster who has lost their humanity and then you can’t escape, but don’t worry, you can get your humanity back, you just have to kill another character, which will cause them to come back with another curse. This game is a ton of fun as you play cards that might advance time to the point where you hit night and become deranged. This game feels like a lighter horror game that offers a lot of decisions and plays pretty quickly with teaching the game and playing through it. The demo I played wasn’t the full game, but I got a really good taste of it going through a day. The aesthetic on this game is great as it has not a Lovecraftian feel, but definitely an early 1900’s feel. The game play is slick as you use cards for their abilities, but you have to weigh the choice of a good power or keeping back a card to play on defense if a monster is going to attack you or maybe a deranged is in your area. It’s coming to the US in Quarter One of 2020, I believe, and I’m waiting excitedly to be able to get my hands on it.

Image Source: Board Game Geek

16 – Aeon’s End: War Eternal
I’m a big fan of deck building games that have theme, aka. not Dominion. And though I did have Ascension on the list that doesn’t have theme, the ones higher than it definitely do. In Aeon’s End: War Eternal, the standalone expansion to Aeon’s End a game I haven’t played, you are taking on the role of various breach mages who are trying to stop the town of Gravehold from being destroyed by one of several monsters that might be after it. You have the power, and you can acquire and gain more power to deal damage, cast more spells, and get more powerful spells throughout the game. Aeon’s End: War Eternal at it’s heart is like most deck building games where you have a market of cards where you can spend your money to buy either attack spells, artifacts that do something, or buy better and more money. But the way you cast your attack spells is unique because you have breaches that you have to cast your spells through, and depending on your character, you might have more breaches available to start than another player. However, the biggest difference from this game as compared to other deck building games is that you don’t shuffle your deck. When you play your cards on your turn, you play as many of them as you want at and then you sort how they go into the discard pile. So if I want, I can clump a group of money together in hopes that when I draw my hand after going through the deck, I’ll be able to get a hand with a lot of money in it. So you there is another area to strategize in this game as compared to a normal deck building game. The theme comes through well, and I like that the different giant monsters you are fighting have different goals. One of them is trying not to do direct damage to the player or the town of Gravehold, but is trying to dig under the city so that it collapses. This is a game that feels like it has a ton of replayability, and it has a legacy version that I really need to play.

15 – Second Chance
Another flip and write (roll and write) game, they are so popular right now, and I do like them quite well for a relaxing game to sit back and play. In Second Chance, you are flipping two shape cards every turn, and players pick one of the shapes and can rotate it, flip it, mirror it, whatever they want to put that shape somewhere on their board as long as it touches another shape they’ve put in play. The goal of the game is to fill in as many of the squares in as possible in this Tetris like puzzle. But sometimes you really need a specific shape and you get two shapes that you can’t use. In that case, you get a, you guessed it, second chance. A single card flip that has a shape that only you can use. If you can use it, you are still in the game, if you can’t, you are out and you can start counting up your open spaces. Second Chance is a fun game and a very relaxing game to play. I like to doodle as I fill in the shapes so that each section looks different than other ones do. Kristen likes to do specific patterns in how she fills in her shapes. The game plays fast, and because everyone is using the shapes, though with a unique starting shape, there is no downtime for anyone in the game. Like Criss Cross before, Second Chance is a game that people will play once and then want to play again. If you’re looking for a very accessible roll and write (flip and write) game, Second Chance is definitely that.

Image Source: Stronghold Games

14 – The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game
When I started ranking everything, I thought that this game was going to be higher on my list. But it dropped, I like this game a lot as 14 is really good. I think the reason is that while this game offers a lot of interesting choices, it doesn’t have the same weight of decision making that some of the other games do. In this game you take on the roll of Harry Dresden and other characters from The Dresden File books as you work through a book to try and solve the mystery that is going on. You can focus on two areas, the first is solving cases with your investigation cards. These cards have a cost and then they put clues on a case according to various rules on the card. The other is attack, which works like the investigate cards, but goes on the bad guys instead of the cases. Your goal, at the end of the game is to have more cases solved than there are bad guys left on the board. It’s tricky though, because everything costs something, and you have a limited amount of fate points (as they are called) to spend. But you can get them back by discarding a card and getting back the cards cost in fate points. That works well as a mechanic, but can lead to someone having to discard several turns in a row, which can be boring. Thankfully, discarding does a bit more than that, it also has another action that it triggers for the players. For someone characters it might be adding in damage to a certain bad guy, either the nearest or farthest, or do the same thing with a case. Plus, each character has a one time ability that feels like them. This game, while being a big puzzle, is very thematic and a lot of fun as you try and recreate the book on the table.

13 – Hanamikoji
This is the first of two two player games on the list. Technically the other can be played with four, but it’s a two player game. Hanamikoji is, however, only a two player game. In this game you are trying to win favor of various Geisha by giving them gifts. Each Geisha is worth a certain number of points and wants a certain type of gift. If you have more gifts in front of that Geisha at the end of the round, you win their favor. How you get gifts in front of them is where the meat of this game is, though. It is actually only just cards, but you have four different ways you can play down cards. You can discard two that won’t be used for winning a Geisha’s favor, you can play one face down that will be used, you can play down three cards, your opponent picks one that they get and you get the other two to use for winning favor, and finally, you can put down two groups of two, and your opponent picks one of them. The trick of this game is that you want to keep everything and often times you are helping your opponent. Can you manipulate things to where you’ve gotten enough favor points from the Geisha or have won the favor of enough Geisha? I feel like most of the time the game is over in two rounds of the four actions, but it’s always a struggle. And you really want your opponent making the hard decisions for you. This is a fast game that is abstract, but it looks good on the table, and because of it’s speed, you generally want to play multiple times. There is also enough hidden information that you can never fully solve the puzzle of how to play it.

Image Source: Board Game Geek

12 – Welcome To…
The last roll (flip) and write on the list. This is my favorite of that genre because there is a bit more to sink your teeth into. In the game you are building your perfect 1950’s neighborhood so that people come to your development over that Stepford neighborhood over there. And of course, to do that, you need to set-up your neighborhood correctly. Do you go for a lot of parks, do you try and build swimming pools, are you advertising your neighborhood? But most importantly, are you building those white picket fences, because a neighborhood isn’t a neighborhood without them. This is another one of these roll (flip) and write games that everyone is using the same resources. Everyone gets to pick which one of three combinations of an action and a house number to use each turn, so the game can play up to 100 out of the box, since there are 100 sheets with the game. This game still plays fast, but I like it since it gives you more options as to what you can do and how you want to try and get your scoring as compared to games like Second Chance and Criss Cross. I also like it, because I can quickly tell people what the game is about with that 1950’s neighborhood reference, and everyone gets an idea. There are also expansions that I haven’t played yet, but I have the spring one and a fallout, I mean, bomb shelter, one ready to try. I’m excited to get those to the table soon as they add in a few new things to the game which seem fun.

Image Source: Fantasy Flight Games

11 – Star Wars: Rebellion
This is the other two player game, though technically it can be played with four people, basically just splitting up the two sides of the Empire and Rebels. I wouldn’t do that. In this game if you are the Empire, you are trying to build up enough troops and search the galaxy for the rebel base. You get some help from that with your probe droids, plus you are trying to mess over the rebels in whatever ways you can. The Rebels are trying to create unrest in the empire and complete missions to undermine the empire. If they can complete a certain number of them for points before the empire can find them and wipe them out, they win the game. Of course, you can also build Death Stars and blow up planets if you want as well. This game is described by the Dice Tower as Star Wars in a box. And I have to agree with them, it is only the original trilogy, but that’s all I want to play. I don’t need to have mechanics for a romance subplot between Hayden Christenson and Natalie Portman. It’s a game of cat and mouse as both sides try and disrupt the other, but both sides ultimately have bigger goals that they are working towards. Plus, you can customize the characters you are playing with as you go along. Maybe you get Chewie but not Han, or who needs the Emperor when you have Grand Moff Tarkin? But each of them brings an ability that they are better at, so you have to balance that. Along with that, you get to have epic space battles and ground battles that take place on and around these planets which can swing who is leading. Star Wars: Rebellion is a big, long, and thematic game that I’d recommend to Star Wars fans who like to board game. I’ve enjoyed playing both sides as well, though I’ve had better luck as the Empire, just made one mistake as the Rebels, though, and I could have won.

Man, there is so much to say about these games. I really do love them all and I want to sit down and play them all. I’m excited to do my top 10, because I had a game in there that surprised me after I had done all of the sorting. But you’ll have to wait for Friday for that game.

If you have a game that you like out of this section of the list, let me know what it is. Or what game do you want to try?

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My Top 100 Board Games – 30 to 21

My Top 100 Board Games – 30 to 21

It’s getting so close to the end of this board game list. I’ve had a ton of fun writing it and I’m curious to see how much it’ll change next year, as I’m planning on doing this every October now that I’ve done it once.…