So, there was one final order in 2020, as Miniature Market did an end of year sale on their sale items. Now, I will say, I didn’t only pick up sale items, but I did pick up two games that I’ve been looking at for …
Tag: Area Influence
What, that seems wrong, how are there no games? No, it’s just that there aren’t that many games out there. So instead I’m looking at games with the Letters N, O, and P. The Collection Numbers A’s – B’s – C’s – D’s – E and F’s – G and H’s – I, J and K’s – L’s – …
We’re onto the letter C, and I was surprised with the number of games I had with the letter C. I thought that it might be one of the lower letters, but instead it is one of the higher numbers in terms of how many games I have in it, so let’s get started.
This is a game that I kickstarted last year after seeing it, not really demoing it though, at GenCon. The creator had a very little table set-up that was piggybacking off of another booth, and this game was there and it just looked so cute. In this game you are drafting tiles and playing tiles onto your quilt. If you get certain color or patterns you score points, there are some that are shared objectives, like different cats will want different patterns by each other, and if you can do that, you’ll attract that cat, or there are ways to get buttons which give points as well. The game should be a really good puzzle but not a game that you have a ton of rules to teach.
Status: To Be Played
I’ve wanted a racing game for a while, and while I do have another one that will show up in a little bit, that one is a longer and bigger game, I wanted one that could handle a number of players and play fast and silly, and Camel Up does that. You are betting on what camel is going to be in the lead on various legs of the race. What makes it even sillier is that the camels stack. So you don’t have a particular camel that is yours but you are petting on the camel you want to win. If you for example, roll the red die and the red camel has the blue camel on top of it, so you roll a two, that red camel will move with the blue camel on it two spaces forward. And the camel on top is in the lead. Once in a while I’ve seen this game fall flat, but more often than not it is that silly stand-up moment of what die will come out, what camel will move forward, because the more you win on your bets, the more points that you’ll have.
Status: To Be Played
This is another big group game, but it pits two teams against each other in submarine warfare in real time. You have tow teams with a captain a sonar operator, first mate, and engineer. Each of them is doing something different. The sonar operator is listening to the other teams captain to try and map out their path and figure out where they are on the board, the engineer is keeping the ship running the best that they can, and the first mate is prepping systems to be ready for use. If you figure out where a ship is and are close enough you can fire off a torpedo to try and hit them. The game is interesting, it has more strategy and the fact you can play it with eight and it’s not just a party game is so much fun.
This is one of those classic gateway games up there with the likes of Ticket to Ride and Catan that people might have heard of. It’s on the shelves in Target with them. This is a tile placement game as you build out a board collectively building farm area, roads, and towns. You score points for placing out meeples into roads, but you only have a limited supply of them, and most of the time you can get them back, but you might not be able to, so you have hold some meeples back. When a meeple comes off the board for a completed town or a completed road, you get points, at the end of the game you get points for them if things aren’t completed as well, so you are trying to have enough meeples to put them down to score if you need, but not too many so you don’t end up with leftover meeples at the end of the game. It’s easy to teach and play.
Another game in that roll or flip and write category. In this one you are making a map set in the fantasy world of Roll Player games. You’ve been sent out to be a royal cartographer, and are mapping the villages, farm lands, rivers, and forest while also mapping out where the monsters are. The big thing that this game does, which I really like, is that you score things by season. So if I were scoring in the first season I’d score cards A and B, next season B and C, and then in the fourth season D and A again. So you have to balance your scoring and think about what will help you now and help in the future, or what doesn’t matter, because after the second season you won’t score B again. The game is fast and fun, and I’m excited for more stuff that I have coming from their latest Kickstarter.
This one I’m a little bit surprised it’s still on my shelf and that I haven’t sold it, but it is such a good and simple cooperative game. I like that everything is played open, you have very simple zones for everything and where damage can be done. I don’t play this one often anymore, but I’m keeping it around because when the toddler is older it’ll be a nice simple game to play with them and something that we can play as a whole family, but I’ve had fun with it before, and there is a nice little bit of tension too it though you win more often than you lose.
This one is a true roll and write game, with a little bit of dice drafting. In this you are trying to make your best cat cafe. And you are scoring points off of certain things that the cats like, such as food dishes or toy mice. You also score points by filling up cat trees, the first person to get one filled in scores more points than the next person. There is some strategy in the dice drafting and the game works well. The game has a cute theme which was the big selling point, and some of the worst dice I’ve seen, but I replaced them with dice with cats on it, so it’s all better. Definitely a fun one that I need to play again.
Century Golem Edition
If I were to have a go to engine building game, Century: Golem Edition would probably be it. This is a fast and fun game where you are getting gems to collect golems. You do that by either taking a card to add to your hand on your turn, playing a card to get gems or upgrade gems, spending gems to get a golem, or picking back up all your cards. The game is simple and fast, but you can create some really powerful engines that will turn out a lot of gems fast if you can, and the game has great components, a great carrier for the gems, the gems themselves are cool, overall, such a fun and fast engine builder with a table presence that really sells the game.
Champions of Hara
I picked this one up after watching a playthrough on the Gloryhoundd YouTube channel. This seems like a fun game with a lot of depth of story to it without really being a story game. And the game components just look amazing. The modular board is cool, the areas of the world are very interesting, and the fact that you upgrade your character as you go throughout the game also helps sell it for me. Finally, the aesthetic of this game is just amazing, really a huge selling point when a game looks good and looks good.
Status: To Be Played
I still need to finish this one, there were several children that were born which derailed the game, and I think we have one or two games left of it, we’ll see if we get back to it, or I might buy a refresh pack and play it with another group. This is a simple worker placement legacy game that builds over time. It pretends like it has some story, but really it’s just a fun worker placement game, and I’m not always the biggest fan of worker placement. The rules do grow into more, but there are a lot of nice things about the game, and you won’t really be able to have a runaway leader through the game since it is competitive with how it’s balanced. Overall, this game is slipping for me a little bit, just because I can’t play it until we’ve finished it or I spend money to refresh it, and I need to group to play with then.
Choose Your Own Adventure: House of Danger
If you liked the goofy Choose Your Own Adventure books growing up, this game fits that perfectly. It’s a light silly and fun game, which doesn’t have you start over when you die thankfully. If you want something that feels like nostalgia, this is a good one, and I think that it goes over well with most groups. Definitely more of an experience than a game, but that’s what I waned from a game with Choose Your Own Adventure in the title.
Chronicles of Crime
Another one that I got to demo a little bit at GenCon in 2019, this one is an interesting tech assisted crime game. You use that feels like VR on your phone to look around a crime scene, you scan QR codes to investigate things, question people, take stuff to the lab and more all as you try and solve the case. I love the idea of this game as I really do love deduction games (keep in mind I said deduction not social deduction). This one is a bit lighter and simpler than some deduction games that might show up in different letters, but still such a good concept and excution from what I saw.
Status: To Be Played
Clank! In! Space! and Clank Legacy
I like deck building games, that’s why I have multiple versions of Clank. I don’t have the original version though where it is dungeon delving in a fantasy setting. Instead I went with the space version which has a lot of fun and silly sci-fi references sprinkles across the cards. And I knew when Clank! Legacy was announced with an Acquisitions Inc theme on it I was going to get that as well. The space game does enough more than just deck building to make it an interesting challenge and I like the push your luck in the game, even if I don’t always do the best at it.
Clank! In! Space! Status: Played
Clank! Legacy Status: To Be Played
A classic, but a good one. This is another simple deduction game that I mainly keep on my shelf because it is such a classic. I think that my copy of the game has been played maybe twice in about a decade. It does have roll and move which generally I don’t like in a game and only kind of works in this game because you basically always want to make an guess on something to see what information you can get. But if you already know everything you want from one room and roll poorly, you might just be stuck out in the middle. Still for a simple deduction game, it isn’t bad at all.
This is an abstract game that I picked up a while ago. It’s all about manipulating/flipping tiles in order to try and complete patterns on cards. The first person to complete a certain number wins. I like the simple concept of the game, though the round cards are a bit weird. It falls into that category of a game that is simple to teach but could have some turns where you really have to think about what you’re going to do.
Status: To Be Played
This was a game that I bought because it was 50% off, I wasn’t sure when I’d get to play it I know that the rule book is very bad. But I liked the idea of this game. In it you are taking Conan and some other characters up against another person who is running the bad guys for the scenario. What is so interesting is the gaining and spending of energy and activating certain troops might be what you want to do, but when you do, you push them further down the river so it’ll cost more to do so again as the person playing the bad guys. Definitely a really interesting concept with a lot of cool looking minis and a Conan theme that is pretty fun.
Status: To Be Played
This is an old board game that plays a lot like a new board game. In Cosmic you are a wheeling and dealing alien race who is trying to colonize a certain number of planets. Now, you do that by on you turn picking what planet you’re going after, how many ship you’re sending, and then the fun starts. You can recruit other people to help you and you also spend cards to improve your total. You can negotiate with the person you’re going against to maybe go for a draw and getting something else in return besides knocking them off the planet, it’s a really fun idea. This game does depend on the group some, but when I have played it, I like it. Oh, and the alien powers can mess everything up.
Cowboy Bebop: Boardgame Boogie
This game caught my eye as Cowboy Bebop is one of my favorite anime, so I thought I’d give the game a whirl. Another one that I saw and purchased at GenCon. This is a cooperative game where you play as crew members and work your way through their story arcs, dealing with obstacles, having to bring in bounties and things like that. I like the theme and the game play while it doesn’t seem complex definitely seems like it should be thematic fun.
Status: To Be Played
The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine
This game has been on fire, figuratively, this year. It’s a trick taking game oddly enough, but it is a cooperative trick taking game where you are trying to get certain players to take certain tricks to get a card of a certain color or number, or someone might not want to win a trick, otherwise you’ll lose that level. It limits communication like most trick taking games do, but just seems like such a fun game and one that you can sit down, set-up a mission, play, and do another mission if you want or two even and be done within an hour at most.
Status: To Be Played
A classic game for a reason, I like Cribbage quite well, especially as a bar game. It’s so small you can pull it out at a brewery, throw it onto the table and play a few games while having some beers, it works really well. I like the card play and the scoring for it that you’re always thinking about. It’s a classic, don’t need to say much more than that.
Another roll and write on the list, the smallest roll and write that I have. I really like this one because of how fast and tricky it is. Now this one has more luck than some because guessing right on what die face might randomly show up, is helpful, but how you place in the dice faces on your sheet is even more important. And how you place the dice is interesting. You need to use them almost as a domino so that they are touching, you can orient them however you want, but they need to be touching like the two halves of a domino. Then you score both vertical and horizontal by how many adjacent symbols you have in the row or column. Good, little, and fast.
Status: Played (a lot)
I picked this one up for playing on digital board game nights. Cross Clues is a fun game where you have a grid. You might have in row A the word stick, and in column 4 the word witch. So if you have the A4 card in your hand, you have to give a clue to get people to guess it, it might be something like broom. Broom handles are sticks and witches ride on brooms. But if the word in row B was clean, now that clue isn’t as good. So you’re trying to find that clue that works for that one right spot for the card you have. You can play it with a timer, which I think would work well in person, but digitally we play without.
This is a game that I really do want to play more. It’s an interesting area control and fighting game all at the same time. Like Blood Rage, but also really not like Blood Rage in a lot of other ways. You are coming to an alien planet to get a resource, it’s a very classic movie trope, and there are natives there. What is really interesting is how the different factions play. There are mechs, humans, pilgrims, and the natives, and the natives start out with the best board presence and will score more gems, the pilgrims are trying to just collect gems and create their own pool of scoring that no one can take away, humans and mechs need to spread out and win more battles. The combat is interesting as well with how you allocate your troops to different areas of majority control, killing, and capturing.
If you want to find a version of Fluxx on any topic, IP, anything, you basically can. Fluxx is what you hope will be a fast little filler card game where you are trying to get the right set-up of cards in front of you to win the game. And the rules are always changing. The game can be a bit of a mess to keep track of the rules, but that’s part of the silly fun of it. Definitely doesn’t get played all that often, because while it should be a short filler it can sometimes run long.
Final one that starts with the letter C, Cyclades is another area control, influence game where you are fighting to build and control a number of a cities. All of this while bidding for your power and turn order as to what god will shine their face on you that round and what actions you can take. It’s an interesting idea and I think one that I’d really enjoy, however, it hasn’t hit the table after quite some time. I’m not ready to get rid of it though because it does seem like a really good game.
Status: To Be Played
That was a lot of C’s, what is your favorite game that starts with the Letter C? Is there one based off of my list thus far of what I own that you think I should get for hte letter C?
Will you be able to outmaneuver your rival gods and get your worshippers in this area influence game? Pros Looks amazing with the minis and the map Elements make sense in what they do Price Established company Solo Play Cons Abstract in nature Confrontational The …
I started doing Top 10 Lists last week to talk about my top 10 deck building/deck construction games. This time, I’m continuing that with some area control. I like area control games and I think that there are some good ones out there, but there are also some old ones, that you’ll have to see if they make my list.
While putting together this list, I found it more challenging than putting together the deck building/deck construction list. I think that while I enjoy area control or area influence, given their more confrontational nature, they don’t tend to get to the table as often so it’s harder for me to come up with them off of the top of my head. And toward the bottom of the list are games that I’ve enjoyed, but might not be in my collection anymore.
10 – Smash Up
This is a game that I actually dropped from my collection for a few different reasons, but I don’t think that it’s a bad area control game. The idea of pairing two random factions together, finding their synergies, and creating a strategy to get points and have the control of these locations when the score works really well. And the game play itself is simple which made it pretty easy to get to the table quite often. It’s a good sort of game for people who are intimidated by the bigger games later on in the list, but want more than just a simple take that style game.
9 – Carcassone
Yes, technically there is area control, and it’s in two parts. First it’s for a city, if you are in a city and someone places down a connecting piece, they can’t also place in that city. But the farmers are also area control for scoring at the end of the game. While I don’t think the area control comes across heavily in the game, there is a bit of that, especially with the farmers, that can make a difference in end game scoring. But when most people thing for Carcassone, they rightfully so consider it more of a tile laying game. Did I mention this was a harder list to make?
8 – Risk Legacy
I don’t have regular Risk on here, pure control all the areas for the game to end is not enjoyable to me. But with Risk Legacy you still get more resources for controlling more areas. And by controlling your opponents HQ, that also brings you closer to victory. The legacy nature of the game is fun as well, while it isn’t as heavily a story as some of the more modern board games, it does provide enough to open up and the games are fast enough that it’s a good time. If you want to play the first (or at least one of the first) legacy games, Risk Legacy is really enjoyable.
7 – Root
There is one major downside to Root, and that is that teaching it takes a while, won’t be the last with that, because each faction plays asymmetrically. But it’s a good area control game where you are fighting over the woodlands, but that isn’t purely how everyone wins. The different factions get points by doing different things, all the while needing to keep the cats in check who are really about area control. Each faction plays so differently that without playing it often you’ll need to do the teaching of the rules, but if you can get it to the table, it is really interesting and lots of interesting options
6 – Cry Havoc
The other game that can take a bit longer to teach. This game is also asymmetrical, so you need to explain some of the players what their factions are best at. But this game is all about controlling games, and the more that you control on the alien planet, the more points that you get. It makes an interesting game because while the faction that’s the Pilgrims doesn’t care much about having many areas, they still need a few to be able to produce games to score points, but they can bunker down. The combat in this game is interesting as well and actually has a tiny bit of deck building to it. While it has some of the looks of a dudes on a map games, it also has some strong euro style mechanics.
5 – Small World
This is the intro to area control game. I like this game for it way better than Risk because Risk can go on a long time, Small World plays fast and is a lot of fun. In it you mash up a race and power combo and start taking over the lands. However, the board is small enough for each player count that soon people will start attacking you, so you need to put your race into decline, the next turn grab another race and start attacking with that one. This game is a ton of fun and simple to teach because you aren’t counting up troops, building a die pool, playing cards, and rolling dice to determine a winner, it’s just if you can put down two more pieces of cardboard than area already in that space. It works well, it’s a lot of fun, and while the game can last a little while if you’re playing more than three, turns are still pretty fast, it’s just that there are more of them, and it’s not a heavy strategy game, so the time goes faster because you can chat.
4 – Lords of Hellas
So, this one wasn’t in my top 100 when I did that at the end of last year because I hadn’t played it yet. It was a bit of a trick to figure out where I wanted to slot it, but this seemed like the best spot. Lords of Hellas has a bunch of different ways to win, but two of them deal with area control. First you can control two regions which can be up to eight smaller areas, or you can control five temples. There’s some interesting combat in this that is done through card play, and while there are other ways that you can win, you definitely need to be paying attention to areas that you are controlling or other people are gathering up, because when various events happen in the game, you can really benefit from controlling temples. This is again a dudes on a map game, but one that doesn’t have all the ameritrash feeling to it with dice chucking.
3 – Star Wars: Rebellion
Probably the most ameritrash game I have on the list, besides Risk Legacy. It’s a two player game where one side is the Empire trying to find the Rebels base, and the Rebels are trying to do missions to subvert the Empire’s control and if they can weaken it enough they win. But a lot of the game is big land and space battles for areas where you are trying to wrest control of a planet from the other side so that they aren’t able to produce as many ships and troops. The game has a good cat and mouse feel to it as the Empire spreads out trying to find the Rebels, and it feels like Star Wars original trilogy. Just the pieces that we weren’t seeing because the movies are so focused on a handful of characters, this is the stuff that was going around that.
2 – Hanamikoji
Another two player game, that surprised me, and I was also surprised when I realized that this is definitely an area influence game. In Hanamikoji you are trying to put influence over various Geisha and win their favor by giving them gifts. If you can get either four to your side or eleven points worth of Geisha you win the game. It’s a fast game and an interesting game because it’s played with a small deck of cards. And each player only doe four actions per round, and the same as the other people. You either pick a card to keep face down, discard two face down, put out three and your opponent picks one, or put down two sets of two and your opponent picks one. It is interesting because in some ways you’re forcing your opponent early to make decisions for you because there’s enough hidden information to make a fully puzzled out decision.
1 – Blood Rage
I think that this game would top a number of peoples lists, as it’s been a game that’s been hard to find for a while. In this game you are fighting over and around the world tree to improve how many action points you get, how much glory you get in battle, and how many troops you can have on the board. The game does a whole lot more than that as well because you are also upgrading your troops and drafting cards at the start of each age. So it might be possible that you don’t want to actually have any of the areas with a Loki strategy, but you do want to bump up some stats, probably, because that gives you points as well, so there is a good reason to do some area control.
Looking at the list, I think that Small World is the only one that is purely area control, though I should say as people will think of it. I think that Hanamikoji is also basically just area control. Looking at what Board Game Geek has for area control, I know that there are some more that I want to try. Twilight Imperium is a massive game with a lot of area control in it, though not just that, that feels like something that I’d like. I also have Scythe on my shelf that I haven’t played yet which seems like a fun game with some area control in it as well. Same with Cyclades, a game that I picked up a while ago but haven’t been able to get to the table yet.
What are some of your favorite area control games? Based off of the ones that I’ve rated in my Top 10, what are some that I should checkout?
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