Tag: Board Game Top 100

MY TOP 100 BOARD GAMES 2020 EDITION – 10 THROUGH 1

MY TOP 100 BOARD GAMES 2020 EDITION – 10 THROUGH 1

We’ve made it through another list this year. No spoilers as to what’s to come, what might have moved up, what might just be a new game on the list, so let’s get into this. 100 to 91 90 to 81 80 to 71 70 

MY TOP 100 BOARD GAMES 2020 EDITION – 30 THROUGH 21

MY TOP 100 BOARD GAMES 2020 EDITION – 30 THROUGH 21

We’re getting down to it, getting close to the Top 10 games, only a few more of these lists. It’s been a blast as always putting these out and I’m glad that people are enjoying them. I’d be very curious to know what your top 

MY TOP 100 BOARD GAMES 2020 EDITION – 50 THROUGH 41

MY TOP 100 BOARD GAMES 2020 EDITION – 50 THROUGH 41

We’re onto the top half of my Top 100 games. We’ve seen a number of games drop out of the top 50 so far, that means we’re either going to have new games or games that have rise, you’ll have to find out. You can find links to the previous parts below:

100 to 91

90 to 81

80 to 71

70 to 61

60 to 51

Plus a few notes on how I’ve put together the list:

  • 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
Image Source: Z-Man

50. Onirim

I think this is the purely solo game on the list and it’s dropped a little bit, but I’m still enjoying it a lot. The app is great for playing this game, but I do like the physical one as well. In this game you are trapped in a nightmare and trying to escape, to do this you are trying to find eight doors. This is done by playing down cards in a row where you are trying to get three cards of the same color in a row, when you do you find a door. But there are nightmares in the deck that are trying to stop you, you have a few different ways you can deal with them. I think that’s where the game really is interesting, because there are powerful key cards that can just get a door in without any hassle, but they are also be used to deal with a nightmare. Or you could discard cards off the top of the deck, but that might get rid of a key. Or you can discard your hand or put a door back into a deck. There’s a good amount of strategy in what seems like a small and random card game.

Last Year: 36

Image Source: Board Game Geek

49. Stipulations

One of my top party games, this is one that I’m glad I backed on Kickstarter, but glad that I didn’t back the “adult” version of it. In this game a person picks from four different categories, you might have a superpower, an occupation, lifetime supply of something, or a fulfilled dream, but then, everyone writes a stipulation for it, and you pick your favorite. This game works really well because you can tailor it for your group. If it’s a bunch of college friends drinking, you can make it as adult or dirty as you want, if it’s Christmas with your great aunt and 10 year old cousin, you can make it clean. And it can just get silly, like most party games and eventually people end up writing down weird stuff or reoccurring jokes. It’s really the same concept as a Cards Against Humanity or Apples to Apples, but it’s much more replayable because you aren’t using cards to answer/fulfill the prompt, which means you can change up your answer for a stipulation for the superpower of flight from “But only when you fart” to “But never more than 6 inches off the ground.” and the prompt will feel different when you play.

Last Year: 42

Image Source: Bezier Games

48. Silver

This one wasn’t ranked last year because I hadn’t played it much, it was just one time at GenCon where I kind of got the rules. But I’ve played it a lot since, I’ve probably played the physical game 10-15 times this year, and Silver Bullet expansion 3 times, and the app who knows how many times, but a lot. I am really enjoying this game now and the standalone expansion(s) – I have two, but only played one. In this game you are trying to get your village of 5 cards down to the fewest points possible. The trick is your cards are face down and you only know at the start of a round what two of them are. Cards have values from 0 to 12 and each card has a special power. You can use them for a power, or you can swap out cards with what you’ve drawn or is on top of the deck. If you have two of the same number you can trade in those two for one card, which allows you to get down in cards and lower the number of points you can possibly have. There’s some luck with the game for sure, but overall it’s a very fast and fun game that is a bit mean with a bunch of take that cards, especially in the Silver Bullet expansion, but still a lot of fun.

Last Year: Not Ranked

Image Source: Board Game Geek

47. Wits & Wagers

Another party game on the list, this time it’s Wits & Wagers which is a classic party game at this point. In Wits and Wagers you are putting down a best guess or a random number, so some trivia question, it might be something like “How many goals did Pele have in his professional career?” Everyone writes down a number, you sort the numbers and then you bet on who you think was the closest without going over. If you’re right you get more chips to bet or to save because however much money you have at the end is your score. This game works well because you don’t need to know anything about soccer. I know a fair amount, so if you’re playing with me and know that, you can bet on my guess even if you guessed either 10 or 10 million for your number. So you get to play the people and think about who might know an answer, or at least have a better clue than you. The answer, by the way, is over 1,000 for goals by Pele, just in case you get that question sometime.

Last Year: 68

Image Source; Geek Alert

46. Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game

This one has dropped a bit for me as you can see. I do really enjoy this game a lot, and I would gladly play it, the only reason I don’t play it more is because it’s a bit of a longer game. This is a game about surviving the zombie apocalypse, for a scenario, with everyone having their own goals, and potentially having a traitor in your midst. This is one of those semi-cooperative games where it tries to make everyone look guilty to help hide the traitor. That is one slightly issue that I have with the game, if you beat the scenario, and a lot of them are hard just purely cooperative, you still don’t win unless you get your secret objective. But the rest of the game works really well, and I consider it a half win if you beat the the scenario. This game also has a thing called Crossroads cards, which is why it has crossroads in the name. These cards offer you tough choices that you’ll have to make during the game and are one of the highlights of the game. We have a house rule for them where instead of drawing one and seeing if it happens on someone’s turn, you draw two and if one of them happens, you do the crossroads event. It just highlights that fun part of the game more. Overall, a really enjoyable game that is just tricky to get to the table all the time because of it’s length.

Last Year: 18

Image Source: Board Game Geek

45. Ascension: Deckbuilding Game

For a lot of people Dominion is their gateway or introduction to deckbuilding, but I don’t like Dominion, so for me, Ascension is the one that I’d use. This is a pure deck building game where you are getting cards and adding them to your deck to buy more cards and fight monsters. Why I like this one so much better than Dominion is that Dominion has a fixed Market, so if someone can spot the ideal combo before the game starts, they’ve probably already won. Whereas Ascension has an ever changing market. Whenever a card is bought or a monster is killed in the market row, a new card is flipped out, and it might be the perfect card for you, or it might be another monster, or who knows what. So you have to be able to adjust a bit more on the fly and you can pick some really good strategies and just stick with them, but depending on how the cards come out, you might have to still adjust even if you have you ideal strategy started. For me, that’s what I like in a game and why I am less of a Euro gamer and more of a Amerithrash gamer, which Ascension feels like compared to Dominion.

Last Year: 46

Image Source: Portal Games

44. Cry Havoc

Cry Havoc is an asymmetrical game where the players have different ways of building up their point totals. And it’s also a unique game with a bit of deck building and some really interesting combat. I like this game as it has some area control, some diceless combat, and really different strategies for the different factions. In this game you’re trying to control crystals which will give you points at the end of a round, to do that you need to take over areas, battling for the crystals there. The combat is diceless as I said, but it has an interesting flow to it, first the attacker will place their troops on the area majority, kill, or capture spots. Then the defender will, and it basically goes along the lines of, check majority, check kills, check captures, and if you kill someone who would capture one of your pieces that won’t happen. But you have cards in your hand that you use both to do actions, but that can influence combat as well. So maybe it’s a close fight and we’re tied for majority in area control, I could play a card to move someone up there if I’m the attacker so I can take the area, but maybe my opponent will do something to change that. The combat is different but really enjoyable.

Last Year: 52

Image Source: Plan B Games

43. Century: Golem Edition

This, for me, is a Splendor killer, though, I still have both in my collection. Century: Golem Edition, is a fun hand building game where you are trying to create an engine of cards that is going to get your gems, and trade gems in such a way that you can score golem cards. The first person to five golems triggers end game. But where the game works, besides the amazing components and artwork, is the card play. You can build up a combo that might start by giving you three yellows, which you can turn into two greens, which maybe you can turn into a pink, which can be turned into a blue and two greens, and you can really find interesting ways to manipulate the gems that you have. The game plays extremely fast with either playing a card and doing it’s action, getting a golem, or picking back up your hand of cards being all that you do on a turn. It really does have a good amount of strategy to it, but it’s still easy to teach and to score so it might be just slightly too much for a complete game novice, but someone who has something like Ticket to Ride or Catan under their belt will be able to learn it.

Last Year: 33

Image Source: Geek Attitude Games

42. Not Alone

There have been a number of party games on the list thus far, and while Not Alone isn’t a party game, it is one that can play a larger player count. This is a one versus all game where the all are playing crew of a spaceship who have crashed onto a planet and are waiting rescue. However, the planet and the monster on the planet are not happy that they are there. So the planet is trying to take everyone out before the rescue ship can get there. It’s an interesting game of cat and mouse, because the crew can strategize amongst themselves as much as they want, but they have to do it so that the monster can listen. So do they try and send him down a false path, or can they split things up in such a way to be able to do most of what they want. This is another hand management style game for the crew as they have various locations that they can go to, but they discard it to their own, visible, discard pile and the monster has powers that it can use throughout the game. The game has basically always been close when we play it, and it’s a pretty easy game to play, but one that has a nice tension. Probably, actually, a pretty good Halloween game as it has some horror elements to it.

Last Year: 41

Image Source: Blue Orange

41. Cross Clues

This apparently was the party game section. Not ranked last year because it came out this year, Cross Clues is a fun and challenging party game where people are giving clues so that other players can determine the intersection point between two things. To put this better, you have a spread sheet that is 5 by 5, each row and column has a header of a word, so A might be stick and 1 might be wind. If I have the card that has A1 denoted on it, I have to give a clue that will get the other players to guess A1, maybe I go with something like Kite. But maybe C is tail, now kites have tails as well as sticks as structure on them, so which do I mean. So maybe that’s not the best clue, maybe for rustle, but maybe D is cattle, so wind and cattle might make sense for that. So you have to be clever with your clues, and you are trying to get as many done in five minutes as you can, or since we’ve played it across Zoom, just seeing how many out of the 25 on a 5 by 5 grid or 16 for a medium challenge, we can get and score that. It’s a clever game that works really well, and I’m not sure how many word cards there are, but depending on how they intersect the game has a ton of replayability. Definitely a party game that everyone should checkout, in my opinion, and probably one that’d be really popular now, if it wasn’t for the pandemic.

Last Year: Not Ranked

So what from this part of the list, the beginning of the Top 50, looks most interesting to you? Any you’d put higher in your own Top 100?

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My Top 100 Board Games 2020 Edition – 60 through 51

My Top 100 Board Games 2020 Edition – 60 through 51

We’re back for more of my Top 100 games, this is the fourth part of it, and second year that I’ve been doing a Top 100 list. You can find links to the previous parts below: 100 to 91 90 to 81 80 to 71 

My Top 100 Board Games 2020 Edition – 70 through 61

My Top 100 Board Games 2020 Edition – 70 through 61

We’re back for more of my Top 100 games, this is the fourth part of it, and second year that I’ve been doing a Top 100 list. You can find links to the previous parts below: 100 to 91 90 to 81 80 to 71 

My Top 100 Board Games – 10 to 1

My Top 100 Board Games – 10 to 1

We’re down to the top 10 of My Top 100 Board Games, it’s been quite a ride. If you want to see them all in order, I will be posting an article that links to each of these other articles so you can run through them faster and not have to try and find them all. Just in case you are jumping in now at 10 to 1.

***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

10 – Deception: Murder in Hong Kong
I am not that much of a fan of hidden role games like Werewolf, Mafia, Secret Hitler. I don’t mind playing them, but for the most part, it feels like randomly guessing with no real information to go on. Deception: Murder in Hong Kong is not like that. What makes this game seem different is that you have way more information to go on because of the role of the forensic scientist. They are handing up reports from the basement where they have their lab, unfortunately their reports are a bit generic. So you are having to guess a clue and murder weapon by the end of the game that the killer has in front of them. However, the murder has a an accomplice who is trying to help throw everyone off the trail, but without making it too obvious. Then there was a witness to the crime who wants to get people on the right track, they know who the murder is but not the clue and murder weapon, but not too obviously, because if the murder and accomplice can pin point the witness at the end of the game, they still win. The game is a ton of fun and it comes with a ton of different content. There is always a “How” and “Where” report that the forensic scientist sends up, but the rest of the reports can be the state of dress of the murder victim to being if there was noise made during the murder. It’s a really fun deduction game that has a ton of talking to it and people declaring that they couldn’t possibly be the murder. It’s a game that you generally sit down and play two or more times in a game night because it goes over so well, and it plays a large group.

Image Source: Renegade Games

9 – Clank! In! Space!
This one surprised me a little by being so high, but I do really enjoy the game. In Clank! In! Space!, you are racing around the spaceship of an evil alien overlord who has a ton of trophies in his compartments on the ship. And, as an adventurer, you want to liberate a trophy so that you can become famous. Now, you do this by building up a deck of cards that allows you to purchase better cards for the deck and move and fight things. Plus, you have to get a key code from the ship to be able to get into the trophy room. So there is a bunch going on in this game, but it’s basically a deck building game. What works well for me is that it has more going than that, and the clank mechanic. The clank mechanic is basically you making noise as you stumble around the ship trying to find your way to the treasures and this evil alien is paying attention to that. So you want to make as little noise as possible, because you make too much, he’ll get you and you’ll be out of the game. But if you don’t make much clank, you can possibly get in to the good treasure, but it also might take a lot longer and then there is a higher chance that your clank (cubes) will be drawn from a bag, the few that are put in there. The game has a nice push your luck element to go with the deck building aspect, and I basically always want to push my luck. The game also isn’t a serious game, the cards riff off of various sci-fi films, TV shows, and stories. I don’t know that this game would work with a more serious theme. It’s a bit longer of a game than some deck builders, but the rest of the game play doesn’t cause it to overstay it’s welcome.

Image Source: Board Game Geek

8 – Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition
Yes, 2nd Edition is important here as that is the game with the app that allows you to play through the scenario without someone having to run the scenario. This is a Lovecraftian themed game where you take on the role of investigators in the 1920’s. You’re called to a mansion or some location to investigate something strange that is going on. And whatever it is, it’s strange. Maybe it’s a town that is controlled by deep ones, maybe it’s a ritual that is meant to summon an elder god, or maybe it’s time travel plus probably everything else mentioned. With the app, there are a lot of scenarios that you can play through, and because the app knows what expansions you have for the game, it can change up how the mansion you are exploring or whatever the location is, looks and move rooms around. In the game, you are fighting monsters, investigating the case, solving puzzle, and probably going insane. It’s like a lot of Fantasy Flight Games Lovecraftian games that way, but this game has so much to it that you feel like you can play a scenario a couple of times, and even if the overall story doesn’t change, your experience with it will. And with the app, there are a lot of scenarios, some that require expansions, and some that don’t. This game really gives you a nice feeling of tension as you have to balance investigating with fighting. The game is also nice, because it offers different scenarios of differing length, so if you want to play for an hour and a half, you can do that, but if you want to play a longer game, you can do that as well. I believe that the app even lets you save, though, I haven’t used that feature yet, because we’ve always played through a scenario. This game uses the app well in that it doesn’t take over the game, but it makes the game easier to play.

Image Source: CMON

7 – XenoShyft: Onslaught
The highest deck building game on the list, XenoShyft is a deck building game that has more than just the deck building aspect. It is Starship Troopers the board game where you are on a mining planet dealing with a bug infestation. But the bugs aren’t little or medium sized cockroaches, these are giant bugs who are going to destroy your base. The base has more health with more players, but with more players, you are going to be dealing with more monsters in each wave. Each player has their own side of the base to defend. However, you can aid other people. So if I am in charge of the med bay, I can heal your troops, but I only have a limited number of cards, and each player can have up to four characters to defend their base per round, and there are four bugs coming to get them each round. While this game has a deck building aspect to it, I feel like it’s also just as much a tower defense game as you watch the bugs slowly whittle away the bases hit points. This game has a good amount of pressure to it, and while it feels like it shouldn’t be impossibly hard, I don’t have a high win percentage. In whatever player count you’re playing at, you feel like you never have enough things to deal with each players side of the base. And I really like challenging cooperative games. This game as a lot of things going for it, and the cooperative nature of the deck building and being able to build up your deck and what you are getting, but then being able to sh are that with others makes this game feel unique compared to most others.

Image Source: Fantasy Flight

6 – Arkham Horror: The Card Game
I really like my Lovecraft board games, and this one really has a lot of story to it. You take one or two characters on an adventure as you try and solve the weird things that are happening in your town. This game, I guess, could technically be consider a deck builder, but you build the deck prior to the actual game. But each investigator has a unique deck of items. So the waitress, she might have a knife or something like that, but she’s not going to be as well armed as the FBI agent. In this game, which is a living card game, you are playing as a character or two and using resources to get cards and abilities into play, discarding cards to help you make checks to fight a monster or to investigate and gather clues while you are watching the bad guys schemes also count up until the point where you might have lost the game. One of the cool things about this game is that you have the ability to upgrade your deck in between games. You get experience points that you can spend, so maybe you have a decent revolver that has four bullets, you can get a six shooter that has six bullets now to replace it, so you can use it longer (that is a made up example). Along with that, this is a living card game, what that means is that there are more scenarios that can be made, and it is just more cards that are added to your game. You can play the game multiple times, though, through a story because you have different choices you can make as a group, and you have to decide which one is better. I like this game solo and I like it two players as well. I think that the living card game aspect could be a barrier of entry for some people, but the games aren’t long and you don’t have to play more than the base game if you don’t want to. And I realized I forgot one thing, in this game, you are trying to defeat challenges with various skills, pretty normal stuff for all the Fantasy Flight Arkham games, but in this one, instead of rolling dice, you are pulling tokens from a bag that can modify your result. It’s a fun twist that works like a die roll, but if you want to play a story focused game, you can make the bag easier, less negative numbers, or if you want to change yourself, you can make it harder. That ability to scale difficulty is really fun and make plays seem different.

Image Source: Space Cowboys

5 – T.I.M.E. Stories
And now for something completely different, though still story driven. In T.I.M.E. Stories you are from an agency that is worried about the time stream and what might be happening and how people can use it for evil (I suspect I’m actually a bad guy or at least my boss is). You play through different scenarios that challenge you to explore locations, find clues, and solve the mystery that is happening. To do that, your consciousness is sent back into a vessel which can and probably will die or you’ll run out of time. But the good thing is, you can be sent back again and your boss will only be somewhat mad at you. T.I.M.E. Stories is a really cool game where you get little hints, from time to time, of a story that is going on that’s larger. And all the scenarios I’ve played thus far have felt different. The first one we were trying to stop something from happening in an Asylum. The next one we were trying to rescue someone during a zombie outbreak, and the final one we were in an alternate dimension in a fantasy world. And there was way more stories and locations than that, that I haven’t played yet. This game, is so much fun, the downside is that you can’t replay it once you’ve solved it, at least not for a while. You’ll probably always generally remember the puzzles, but the scenarios aren’t too expensive, you can play with up to four people, and you get more playing time out of each scenario than you would watching a movie, or at least we have. There are red herrings in there too that make the game harder as you are racing against a clock, time track, to be able to get everything solved before time runs out, and generally you have to reset at least once. I love this game, and I have the next scenario waiting for me, just need to schedule a time to play it.

Betrayal Characters
Image Source: IGN.com

4 – Betrayal at House on the Hill
I’m going to have this game higher than a lot of people, because there are some issues with the game. Mainly, when reading through a scenario for the haunting, which is the second half of the game, the betrayer or the other group, might have some issues clearly understanding their goal. Or their goal might be super easy. But that’s just part of the game and actually feels fairly thematic when it’s easy or when it’s hard. In this game, you are a rag tag group of ghost hunters, or thrill seekers, or just there because some dared you to, or a creepy child, who are investigating a creepy haunted house. You are finding rooms, finding items in rooms, and dealing with the creepy things that are going on. Eventually, you’ll have found a number of omen cards and a roll will happen and you might have a haunt happen. If it doesn’t, you continue until the haunt does happen because someone has found an omen card and failed their roll. Then you look up a scenario based on the omen and the room it was found in, and you play through that as the second half of the game, each side with a semi secret way to win. This game just drips theme for me and while it can be a bit stressful being the betrayer figuring out what you need to do by yourself, the game generally works. Each haunt feels different, and that’s some of the reason it doesn’t always feel balanced. The fact that a haunt can happen early in the game as only a little bit of the house has been explore or late in the game after almost everything is found is fun as well. This is a really good horror themed game for me, though I know it won’t be for everyone. I’d recommend you give it a try and try to get immersed in the story and feeling of the game, versus seeing if everything is fair and balanced.

Image Source: Polygon

3 – Pandemic Legacy Season 1
It was going to be on the list, and I’ve loved my experience with the game. I won’t go into too much on how it works, but as a legacy game, you are finding out new bits of story, new mechanics, and tearing up things as you go along. Pandemic is a game where you are part of a team trying to cure diseases and uncover what is going on in the world because there are those diseases spreading. The game is a ton of fun, and I’ve played it through twice. The story is linear and simple, but there is enough to it that it’s compelling. It’s also compelling, because Pandemic isn’t that easy a game as a the base game, and Pandemic Legacy Season 1 isn’t that easy a game either, plus you soon have to start balancing new things against the normal win condition which is just curing all four diseases. When I played through it a second time, a few years later, I played it solo on Malts and Meeples and I certainly didn’t remember everything for the game, though, I remembered the big plot points fairly well, just not when they would come up in the game. Each character that is played has their own abilities and you can improve them as time goes on, but you can also lose them if they get stuck in too many bad situations. The game really works well, and now it’s come down in price some. If you haven’t played this game, I’d highly recommend it, because there was a reason it was #1 on Board Game Geek for a while.

Image Source: Board Game Geek

2 – Blood Rage
Most of the games in my top 10 have some story driven aspect to it. This game does not. However, this game has so many cool things about it. It has a great Norse theme to it as you are a Viking clan who are fighting for control over Yggdrasil and other sections of the nine realms. You start out in each age by drafting cards that help you with your strategy. Maybe you look to upgrade your clan leader so that they are more powerful. Or maybe you make it so that you get more glory if your clan members die in battle. Maybe you focus on being strong in battle or recruiting monsters. The drafting part of the game, while quick, really helps shape how you play the game. Then you try and take over areas of the map in order to improve your abilities, such as action points so you can take more actions, how many points you get for winning a battle or how many troops you can have on the board. Once everyone is out of action points, one of the realms is lost and you start again. Blood Rage plays fairly quickly for a game with a lot of minis and a lot going on in it. And the game feels different each time you play, because the cards that you draft are going to change up your strategy, and if you go too much into one strategy in an early age, players can block you from that strategy in later ages. And if you can focus on a single strategy, it might allow you to win the game, but there isn’t a strategy that seems too much stronger, whether your are fighting or peaceful. This game is just a ton of fun to play, and I finally got a copy, because right now it’s hard to find.

Image Source: Cephalofair Games

1 – Gloomhaven
My #1 game matches up with Board Game Geeks #1 game overall. Gloomhaven is a massive dungeon crawl game where you and a group of adventurers go through and fight monsters trying to figure out what is happening in the city of Gloomhaven and the lands surrounding it. This game is so much fun, because it’s a massive campaign game that has some legacy style aspects to it, mainly putting stickers on cards to improve them, but you can play it again completely. The combat and movement in this game are fun as well, as you play cards, picking them based on abilities, but also number at the top of one of them, because that determines how fast you act, and possibly if you are ahead of the monsters. Plus, with that, you get experience points which allows you to put in better cards, but the higher level you get and the better cards you have in there, the harder that the monsters get as well. You also have a goal that your character is going for, both overall and in each scenario. The scenario ones help you improve your character even more, but the overall one, that one causes you to retire and unlock a new character. Then you get to pick from all the unlocked characters and join the party again as a new character. There are a ton of scenarios in the game, as I’ve been playing it with a group of three of us and it’s taken us playing almost every other week for three hours in an evening, and it’s almost been two years. The game is amazing, it’s massive, and I think it’s going to scratch the itch for ameritrash players because it is so story driven, but the combat actually has a bit of a more strategic feel because you are playing cards and modifying with more cards, so it’s less random than rolling dice. I also think that, even though Gloomhaven is a massive game, it’s pretty straight forward once you have a few core concepts down, so while it might be intimidating to start, if you have someone who knows the game well, I think that more casual gamers would be able to join in the game and have a blast. This was an easy #1 game for me and as I was sorting I knew there wasn’t a chance anything would be higher.

So there it is, my top 100 games. I know that I’ve played a game since this started or since they were ranked that would probably be on the list. So this is definitely a living list. Thanks for coming along on this ride with me.

Let me know what games in the top 10 and top 100 look cool to you. Are there any that you love as well or love more than I do? Are there any that you really want to try?

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

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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 

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. 

My Top 100 Board Games – 40 to 31

My Top 100 Board Games – 40 to 31

Starting the week off again with even more board games in my top 100 list. I only got to play one board game this weekend, my #96, Qwirkle. It was fun to play that game again. Definitely has some good things about it still and was a fun puzzle to figure out my best options with what I had available, but enough about that, onto the list.

***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: Zman Games

40 – Choose Your Own Adventure: House of Danger
If you remember the silly choose your own adventures from the 90’s and earlier, that’s what this game is. You Read a bit of text, come to a decision point, and you hope to make the right decision so that you don’t die. But unlike the books, unless you kept your fingers stuck in spots to remember where you were, this is more forgiving and tells you where to go back to and try again. The game play for this is very simple, there are a few things besides making a decision that require a die roll, and if you do poorly, you can generally try to roll the die again, but it might be harder to get the roll you need. So, if you want something with decisions that really matter and are tough to make, House of Danger isn’t for you. If you want a silly fun time with your friends, House of Danger is a ton of fun with a completely absurd story. That’s what I was looking for, and I’m excited to play the second one sometime as it seems absurd as well. The simplicity of this game also makes it easier to play with non-gamers who might know the books, because this plays like the books.

39 – Cartographers: A Roll Player Tale
Is this connected to Roll Player which was down further on the list, technically yes. However, beyond the artwork that is similar, I don’t think there’s much of a connection, just the game developers wanting to keep their games in the same world. That said, Cartographers is a fun flip and write (roll and write) game where you are either placing one type of land in one of two shapes or one of two types of land in one shape. There are a lot of roll and write or flip and write games that have that put a shape on the board mechanic, but what makes Cartographers different? First, there are monsters, and when there are monsters, you pass your sheet to another player and they put the monster onto the sheet for you, and monsters can give you negative points if you aren’t careful. There’s some more player interaction in the game because of that. You also have interesting scoring which makes it feel different, instead of just scoring at the end of the game, you score 4 seasons, and instead of scoring everything in each season, you score two objectives (A & B) in spring, B & C in summer, C & D in fall and finally D & A in winter. So each objective gets scored twice, so you can’t just plan on one type of scoring, but if you want, you can lean into only a couple of them. Catographers while really being a little abstract game that doesn’t need to be a Roll Player Tale remains a lot of fun.

38 – Ticket to Ride
A classic game, Ticket to Ride as well as Catan are the two games that I would say got me into modern gaming. In Ticket to Ride you are trying to build routes between specific locations that you have on route cards. To do that, you need to take specific colored train cards to complete sections, get points, and get points for completing the routes. Ticket to Ride is a pretty simple game, but it’s a fun one as you try and figure out ways to get all your routes to stick together so you can get the bonus for a longest collection of trains in a row. This is very much a gateway game that a lot of people have seen, even if they haven’t played it. And the rules are simple, but there is a bit of strategy to it, to determine what routes you keep, to try and figure out where other people are going so that you know if you have to get ahead of them so that you can complete a route as efficiently as possible. This isn’t a big and thinky game, but it works really well at what it’s supposed to be, that game that almost anyone can sit down and play.

37 – King of Tokyo
Another gateway game, I’d say, is King of Tokyo. This game is all about giant, generic, monsters fighting in Tokyo and punching each other, who will be the last monster standing. Now, there is another way to win, by getting points, but most of the games of King of Tokyo that I’ve played, it’s been the last monster standing who won. The game is pretty simple as you are rolling dice Yahtzee style, so re-roll up to three times, to get things like fists for punching, energy to buy cards that give you a special power or points, hearts to heal, or just generic numbers that can maybe get you points. The trick of the game is that when you are in Tokyo, you can punch all the rest of the monsters around Tokyo with a single fist, but you can’t heal, so you have to decide how long you’ll stay in Tokyo, because you do get points for being there as well. The game is simple, it’s fast, and there is plenty of variety in the power cards that you can buy. All the monsters in the base game are generic monsters that a number of them are clearly riffing off of some other monsters like King Kong or Godzilla, but they didn’t get the rights to them. I wish each monster had their own powers, out of the box, but it is an expansion you can buy, if you have the 2nd edition of the base game, which I don’t. This really is one of those games, though, because of the simplicity that most people will enjoy, and because it’s rolling dice, it’s going to feel familiar, even though there’s more going on than a lot of old dice games.

Image Source: Z-Man

36 – Onirim
This is the only purely solo game on my list, but one that I really enjoying playing with the cards and playing on the app. I think I like the physical copy more, just because I like to have the cards in my hand. But with digital one is nice since you shuffle cards a lot in the game. In the game, which is very abstract, you are in a dream world looking for doors to escape and trying to avoid nightmares. In reality, you are playing down groups of three cards, one at a time, in order to play doors, or getting them into play other ways and then discarding cards when nightmares come up, or spending keys that make it easier to put doors into play, but can also cancel a nightmare. If you get all the doors in play before the deck runs out, you escape the dream, if you don’t, you lose the game. I think I win just over 50% of the time. You can see a playthrough of this game on the Malts and Meeples YouTube channel. What I like about this game is that it is simple and fast, and you don’t need a ton of room to play it. I’ve been able to play the game while watching TV shows that I don’t need to fully pay attention to, because while there is a lot of good depth to the game, the decisions end up being somewhat clear, except when the nightmares come up, so you can play it fast with only paying some attention. If you are looking for a solo game to try, I’d highly recommend Onirim.

35 – Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate
The other Betrayal game that I’ve played will be much higher on the list. But Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate is a ton of fun as well and I like the Dungeons and Dragons setting. In it, you are a group of adventurers who are back in town and just going around, finding things in the town, however, there are horrible things lurking in the town waiting for one of you to betray your friends. To do this, you are finding omens, and if a roll happens where you don’t get a high enough result, the haunt happens. In the haunt, the betrayer has a secret objective and the rest of the players have their objective, and they know generally what the other persons is, so they are trying to stop them and complete their own objective. Or sometimes, it might be something like a dragon attack so everyone works together, which is fun as well. Then, whatever side gets their objective done wins. The game really plays in two different parts, and I think it works well. I like playing as a character with a unique power, and while the theme doesn’t quite fit the mechanics like the other Betrayal game, this one is still a lot of fun to play, and feels like they’ve improved some of the balancing of the game that the other Betrayal had. If you think Betrayal sounds interesting but don’t like horror, Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate does a good job with it’s fantasy Dungeons and Dragons theme.

34 – Zona: The Secret of Chernobyl
This game isn’t even out yet, I think they were selling copies at Essen Spiel in Germany this past week, but I got to play a good demo of it at GenCon, and I feel in love with it immediately. The aesthetic is very fun with the fallout of Chernobyl having caused mutated monsters to show up, plus there might be magic now. In the game you are looking for artifacts that you can use to get into the main vault at Chernobyl and probably unleash a horrible monsters, but theoretically it’s some treasure worth having. The game is challenging as it’s competitive and you’re racing your other players, fighting these mutants and dealing with events in the world. But you are finding gear that’s still left around, and it can be what you needed to take care of a monster. This seemed like it would be a pretty long game, but the aesthetic is great and what you are doing seems challenging enough, plus, you have a countdown before the treasure is lost forever, so you can’t spend too much time. I’m really waiting for this game to be for sale in the US, because I want to get to play it more and fight more monsters in hopes of finding out the secrets. The characters felt cool and different, the monsters were different, and how you fought them was cool. Definitely a bigger game than some of the previous ones on the list.

Image Source: Board Game Geeks

33 – Century: Golem Edition
This is another very pretty game, while Zona was very monster filled and post apocalyptic, Century is very cute with some very pretty gems. In this game, you are buying cards for your hand in order to improve the gems that you have, so you can get the right collection of gems so you can power up various golems which give you points. This is very much an engine building game where you are looking to get the right cards so that you can turn gems into various types easily. This game plays fast because you are either paying for a golem, trading gems, or getting a card. But for being a fairly simple and fast game, you definitely have a good amount of decisions to make as to how you build up your engine. The draw for people who might not be gamers with this game, because I could see using this as a gateway game, is that the pieces are amazing. There are so many pretty gems, the golems look amazing, and there are metal coins that are fun to hold and mess with. There is another version of Century, Century Spice Road that came out first, but the Golem Edition definitely looks better and will have a broader appeal.

32 – The Lost Expedition
You are walking through the jungles of South America, and you are searching for the fabled lost city of Z, will you be able to find it before all of your guides die? That’s what this cooperative game asks of it’s players as you spend resources like bullets and food to navigate cards as well as the various skills in survival, tracking, and nature that your guides have. I’m really noticing that the game higher on the list all really have very nice aesthetics, as this game has great artwork that looks like Tintin by Herge comic art. But, beyond that, this game does a cool thing where it is cooperative, but players have a hand of cards which is for creating a path for the morning and evening walks, but you can’t tell people what is in your hand, so you have to decide what to play down yourself, and you lose a bit of the alpha gamer. Then, as a group, you go down the path you laid out for the day in hopes to get closer to the lost city of Z, while keeping your guides in good shape. The thing is, you never will, but that’s just part of the game, the question is, can you rush along fast enough but not do too dangerously. The game makes you make tough decisions on when to play certain cards and you hope that you get the good cards when you need them, because, not enough food, a guide loses a health, or no bullet, might be a worse option instead that you have to do on a card with a jaguar. I think I have over a 50% win total, but it’s generally close and a lot of fun as you’re worried about it.

Image Source: Board Game Geek

31 – Sushi Go Party!
Final game in this section of my top 100. This game is another good looking game, though less on the table, and more with the cute artwork on the cards. A lot of people will prefer 7 Wonders as a card drafting game, but for me, Sushi Go Party! is the better of the two games because the artwork is cute anthropomorphized little Japanese foods like nigiri, sashimi, or pudding. In this game, you are trying to gets sets of different types of cards to get you more points. To do this, you are taking one card from your hand of cards and playing that, then you pass your cards either to the left or to the right and the take a card from the hand of cards that is passed to you. But you are looking at a lot of different things to determine how you want to get points. If you get nigiri they are guaranteed points, but they aren’t a ton of points, and sashimi can be ten points, but only if you have three of them. And tofu is worth five points if you have two of them, but if you get a third, they are worth zero points, because you don’t want to fill up on tofu. This game has variable different scoring, so you can play it over and over again with different scoring and what you’ll be drafting will change up. It’s also a game that is pretty easy to teach, even with having that out there, and the cute looks helps make it interesting to more people.

Alright, another ten done, we’re getting close to the end, if I’m right, we’ll finish on Friday, which will be exciting. I’m glad that I have a board game night coming up soon so that I can get some of these games to the table again.

What are some games that look like fun from this part of the list. This is definitely a section of my top 100 where the games are a lot lighter, but definitely a good time to play. Are there any that you love? Are there any that you want to play?

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

Email us at nerdologists@gmail.com
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My Top 100 Board Games – 70 to 61

My Top 100 Board Games – 70 to 61

***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