My Top 100 Board Games 2020 Edition – 90 through 81
We’re back with the next ten, a bullet point of what I said in the first part (which you can find here):
- 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
Now, I like Small World of all varieties so the other might be higher on the list, but Small World Underground does a lot of fun things. Mainly, I like that it adds in some new combinations and it adds in landmarks or buildings that if you control the area, you get a certain added power. It encourages even more fighting but also keeps it from picking on a player. If you aren’t familiar with Small World, it’s a nice introductory style area control game, I like to call it Risk but fun, it doesn’t overstay it’s welcome, you have fun and goofy combinations and you still get all of that in this version as well, it just adds in a little bit more, which is a lot of fun.
Last Year: 65
First party game on the list, and as a spoiler, there aren’t a ton of party games. But this one is a classic party game that I think works well still. What I like is that with the randomness of picking different lists and rolling to see what letter you get, and just playing with a different group, you can really see a wide variety of answers. I also like this one because it’s extremely easy to play on Zoom or over video chat. You just need one person with the game and everyone else with paper and pencil. You just show off the list and the letter each time and let people work off of that, it makes it a lot of fun and works extremely smoothly.
Last Year: 69
88. The Hobbit
This game is a pretty simple game, but one that I think is pretty fun, what I like about it is that it’s a semi-cooperative game and I think one that works. You are trying to collect the most gems possible, all while getting to the end before Smaug comes out of the Lonely Mountain and makes it to Lake Town, but the member of the party who has the most gems and money is the winner of the game. So you’re leveling up and then facing off against challenges, but if everyone can’t handle the challenges, that means that Smaug is going to advance and you don’t want that happening. So it’s trying to help people level up their skills enough, but also making sure that you’re in position to get the most and the best gems. I think the combination works and the game plays pretty fast for looking like it has a pretty big board.
Last Year: Not Ranked
Some games are extremely challenging and have a lot of moving parts, this is one of those games, in fact it can feel like there is more going on with upkeep throughout the game than playing the game, for some people, but I like it, not the upkeep, but the game in general, as it’s my number 87. In this game you can play through a series of tied together campaign story as you try and survive in a habitation station on Mars, which The Martian, or you can play one off scenarios that are focused on different things, getting the habitation station up and running or you can go out and explore the planet. The variety of the game works nicely and it feels like there is always more to do than you can. reasonably get done. It’s a good challenging game that might not be for everyone, but is a lot of fun.
Last Year: 72
So just higher than a big heavy game, we have a small little abstract game. This one is a lot of fun because of how simple it is. You want to get to the opposite side of the board. To do that, you move your pawn one space in any direction on your turn, or you place a wall that creates a blocker for your opponent. And that’s the game, but there’s more to the game than that, as you try and set-up traps and let the other person get close and then make them back track a long ways, it’s a very interesting game and one that plays quite quickly. I think it works good at two, but I like it at four because there’s a bit more randomness to the game as you have to plan and keep track of more, but there’s also more teamwork that needs to happen as you need to work to stop people at times.
Last Year: 73
Now we’re back into bigger games with Root, an asymmetrical war game, basically, with different factions of woodland creatures vying to complete their goals in order to win the game. I like how the different factions play, the cats are all about building up and out, the woodland creatures need to take over areas and don’t start really with a board presence, the birds follow a very specific pecking order (all puns intended) of actions that build up over time. And the Vagabond just builds up their own things and can ally with people or become enemies of them. The game has an extremely long teach as you need to explain how each faction works, and that’s definitely a negative for it, but the actual actions and how to play each faction is pretty straight forward. It’s a big game but one that’s very cute on the table and doesn’t bog itself down when it comes to game play, which is a lot of fun.
Last Year: 70
84. Age of War
Age of War is a small little dice game where you are trying to get the correct combinations on your dice in order to get control of castles, creating sets of them, and scoring points. It’s basically a luck based dice rolling game, but there’s something about it that just works for me. First, the game doesn’t generally take too long. If everyone is unlucky, getting the last castle could take a bit, but I haven’t really seen that happen and turns are very fast. What I like about this as compared to just a random die rolling game like a Farkle or something along those lines is that when you get a castle, it isn’t yours, it could be stolen from you, but it’ll cost just a bit more in terms of dice that you need than it did to take it from the middle. But if you get a full set of the yellow, or grey, or whatever color castles, they flip over and give you a few more points and are locked in for you and can’t be stolen. So if you see someone getting close to a set, it could be worth it to steal from them. That just gives the game a little bit more strategy which is a lot of fun.
Last Year: Not Ranks
If you want to play a Star Wars dungeon crawl, this is the game. You play through as heroes adjacent to the main story of the original movies, at least out of the core box, as you can be a Jedi in training, a wookie, or one of several other characters and you face off against the Empire. This game can be played with someone running the Empire side or, which I’ve done, there is an app that works well with a good tutorial that walks you through everything so you can play solo. I like that flexibility for the game play, and I like that it feels like Star Wars without it being so closely tied to the main characters or feel like you’re changing the movies, but it still gives you an engaging story. Overall, this is one that I want to play more of.
Last Year: 30
82. Ticket to Ride
Dropping down a bit this year, I still like Ticket to Ride a lot, it is just a bit lower on the gateway game list. This is one of my preferred gateway games, though, and it gives a lot of options for play. I think that it works well for introducing people and while there is some to keep track of in the game as you are planning and building your routes, what you are doing on a given turn is extremely simple and that makes it very accessible. In terms of truly simple gateway games, this one takes the crown for me as the best of them that people have heard of and I can pull out with basically any group. It’s hard to say more about this one, most people know it, and it’s a fun time. Plus there are lots of different maps if you get board with the base game.
Last Year: 38
So, this one is higher than Star Wars: Imperial Assault, but it feels a bit like a sequel to it or one that is built upon it, and it has smoother game play, but it does one thing I don’t love. Just to quickly talk about it, you can play major characters from Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, it doesn’t make a ton of sense thematically, in my opinion, I wish they had gone with the archetypes like Imperial Assault did. That said, I like the game play, I like the card play and the deck construction and upgrading it gets that feels like it’s borrowed from Arkham Horror LCG, I think that the combat works well, and overall, it’s just a fun time. The story is cool, and while I haven’t beat it yet, I need to go back and start again and enjoy. I also like that there is part of the game that is on a bigger exploration map and you get to explore new areas, find clues, and things like that as well as fighting, but then there are tactical battles as well in between the explorations. The game feels like there is a ton it can do, so I want to play more. And it has an app that works very nicely.
Last Year: 94
As always, what is your favorite out of this group? I have quite a variety, we have some big games, some small games, party games, and gateway games. So possibly, a little bit of something for everyone.
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