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 …
Tag: Gateway Game
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 …
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 …
So, this won’t be my main article for a day normally, but I’m going to have a little bit of fun with this and start up a new series of articles for when I order a new board game. Now, this will exclude Kickstarter board games, look for those in Back or Brick articles every Wednesday.
Point of Order is going to be me running down the game(s) that I ordered and why I picked them up. The reason for doing this is kind of a sneak preview as to what’s going to be coming for reviews in the future, but also help show why I thought some games might be a good fit for me and maybe, give you some insight if into if they might be a good fit for you.
So let’s run them now, it’s a bigger order this time, so it’ll be a bit of reading to get through it, but hopefully enlightening.
So, this is one that I got a chance to play at GenCon and since it was such a small game, it kind if paled in comparison to some of the other games I played there, and I thought it was just okay. But then I downloaded it to my phone, and I’ve had a lot of fun just knocking out a fast game of it against the computer. What keeps drawing me back to it is the simplicity of the game. In Silver, you are trying to get your village to score the fewest points, there are werewolves because it’s Bezier Games, but that’s a mute point to the game. You do this by swapping cards out from your face down group of five cards. However, you don’t know what all your cards are. At the start of each round, there are four, you look at two of your cards. Then on your turn you look at the top card and either swap it with a card in your five or use it’s power, or you can use the top card of the deck to swap into your row. Now, the swap is 1 for 1, unless, you have two of the same card from the five in front of you that you can swap. So if I had two sixes, I could swap it for a five, now I’d have four cards in front of me and be scoring 7 less points. Once you have less than four cards, you can call for a vote if you want, and if you have the fewest points on your villagers, you get 0 points, but if you’re wrong or you didn’t call for the vote, you get the points on your villagers, and plus 10 if you were wrong when calling for the vote. It’s a push your luck, bluffing (kind of), and memory game. It plays fast over four rounds and because of enjoying it more on my phone, I decided to pick it up.
This one one will be way shorter to write about, because I’ve already don’t a TableTopTakes review of it. This is a flip and write map making game with some fun scoring. The map making part is pretty loosely themed on there, but the scoring puzzle is a lot of fun, and the fact that it’s an interactive flip and write is great. So for the scoring, you have four different scoring things, A, B, C, D. And you score two each season, for A & B, then B & C, C & D, and eventually D & A. So you have to think about both short turn and long term scoring. Plus, then, you have your own board, but if a monster comes up (and they will) you have to pass your board to the left or right and that player will put a monster somewhere on your board in spot that’ll surely mess things up for you. I really enjoy roll/flip and writes, and this one stands up as one that has a fun theme and some more interactivity going on.
Now, some of why I got this was because I needed to make it to $100 for free shipping and nothing was jumping out at me. But I really love Ascension, in my Top 10 Gateway game list, it was #10, because for me it’s an ideal introduction to deckbuilding for the base game. And the expansions add more and can be combined with it. So I’m excited to try out this one and to try out Dreamscape the other expansion that I have. I’m curious to see how the strategies might change, and sometime play a massive six player game with one of the expansions mixed in. This is one where I know I’ll enjoy the expansions, and even if they don’t come off the shelf a lot, I’ll still get them played once and a while.
Silver & Gold
So, this isn’t related to Silver. Instead it’s a flip and write game where you are drafting island cards and trying to fill them in, which scores you points, and combing covering up palm trees, treasures, and I think more to allow you to cover up more things. This game was interesting to me after I watched Board Game Geeks Game Night Youtube Show with it. What was interesting about it was that you don’t have your own play sheet that you’re filling in. You are drafting/taking island cards and actually writing on those cards. The cards are dry erase so that you can play, score, erase, and play again. That just seems like a novel idea and I’ve really been digging roll or flip and write games recently.
Clank! Acquisitions Inc Legacy
Multiple things drew me to this game, first it’s a legacy game. I think I own, have owned, or have played most legacy games out there. They are just a blast generally in my opinion, and are very fascinating to see how they end up working. With Clank! Legacy, I already know that I like Clank! In! Space! and while this is fantasy themed, that’s fine because I love Acquisitions Inc. podcast/video series that Penny Arcade does at their #PAX conventions. From what I’ve heard about this, it implements it really well and creates an interesting story throughout while being a really fun game to play. And while none of the others take themselves seriously in the Clank! line of games, this one I’ll get more of the in jokes because I’ve watched all of Acquisitions Inc. And easy purchase, just was waiting to have a group to play it, but it was on sale, so I decided to pick it up anyways even before having a group lined up.
This one I’m really excited for, but it’s a pre-order. So one of my favorite games is Dead of Winter. And what makes it a lot of fun is that it uses crossroads cards. These cards get triggered sometimes where you go some play, do some action and all of a sudden you’re interrupted because you triggered this crossroads event where you have to make a decision that will affect the game in some way, but you don’t know how. Forgotten Waters is a pirate themed game that uses that, plus it has an app that tells you things to do and helps you set-up scenarios, plus you’re using a storybook type thing, similar to Mice and Mystics, Aftermath, and Stuffed Fables. I think all of that combined together sounds really cool, and I’ve been looking for a cool pirate themed game that is a bit more tongue in cheek than something like Merchants and Marauders which is a fun game, but a bit heavier.
Marvel Champions Neoprene Playmat
Final item on the list, and it’s not a game. There are several reasons that I wanted to get this, the first is that it looks cool, and it’s big so you can play with a bunch of people using mat. The other is that whenever I cut my finger nails, I can never pick up cards. So on a neoprene mat which I’d be able to use for other games as well, though it does have a layout for Marvel Champions, I won’t be trying multiple times to pick them up or scooting them to the edge of the table so I can grab them. I won’t say that this really makes Marvel Champions that much easier to play, but it can help keep the table neater, plus easier to pick up cards.
So, that’s the order that I have coming in. I’d say that some of that is thanks to Covid-19 because I’m bored and I think that some of these games will be good ones that I can play with my wife while waiting for board game nights to happen again.
Are there any of the games that seem the most interesting to you? Any that you’ve picked up or want to pick up?
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When people think of area control games, they think of games like Risk as the classic one. Risk can be a very long game and a very swingy game that someone could be knocked out of early. Even with all of that, I liked Risk growing up because it was something different than rolling and moving around the board, and there seemed to be more strategy in the game. But as I got older I stopped appreciating the game as much for the issues that the dice rolling is so random and that the games went on forever, and that sometimes, someone just got knocked out early.
That’s when I met a game called Small World.
In Small World, you are pushed into battle with various fantasy races and powers in your attempt to control territories, collect coins, and be the richest at the end of the game. To do this, you select your fantasy race and get the power that is paired up with it. That means that you might get seafaring elves one time, stout halflings, or flying dwarves, and the combinations will probably be different in future games, so that you can’t plan a perfect strategy every time. You take over territories not by rolling dice, but simply be placing down two more cardboard tokens than the number of pieces of cardboard that are there on the board. You can push your luck at the end, but there is no defense roll, unless, you have something like halflings who can’t be knocked out of their first location. Then, once you’ve done all that you can with a race, you put them into decline and you pick another combination that is out there and begin again.
Small World really forces you into conflict, in fact, Small World comes with two double sided boards, for player counts from 2 to 5 players so that the boards are just big enough that you don’t have to fight right away, but you will end up fighting quickly. And that’s just part of the game. In Risk, you would fight and if you did poorly, you’d get knocked out of the game. In Small World, while you lose troops, you can always go into decline when your race isn’t making you enough money and pick another one to come onto the board with and wipe out your enemies. And because of this constant cycling or races and tokens on the board, you don’t feel bad and you don’t feel like people are just ganging up on your troops, because you’ll get them back soon, then they’ll get someone else, and that person will get you and the cycle will repeat.
Small World also has a better time length for the game than something like Risk did. Small World says 40-80 minutes, and I think that’s pretty accurate, with higher player counts the game might go longer, and at two players it might go slightly shorter if both people know the game well. But it isn’t a game that overstays it’s welcome, and that’s what you really want at the table. If it was much longer, it would seem too long because it isn’t that complex a game.
I can actually see the complexity of the game being an issue for some people. This isn’t a highly strategic area control game. It is meant to be a light and fun game and with the art and the race and power combos, that is pretty obvious. You are going to have some tactical decisions to make, but not that many because if you make a mistake and leave an area open, it isn’t the end of the world. That’s good, because the player elimination is another part that isn’t great in some games like Risk. And I keep on comparing this to Risk, because the complexity level is probably less, so it’s a great way to bring people who like Risk or like the idea of Risk into a more modern style of game.
But let’s talk about the one thing that makes this a game that I get back to the table a few times a year, even with all the games that I have, and that’s the race and power combinations. That keeps Small World feeling fresh and unique each game. Plus, it’s something that they can expand, and in fact have expanded upon nicely. I don’t have all the expansions, and I kind of want to get more of them, but it’s fun to have a lot of different races and powers so that you don’t see the same combinations, and even when you do see one repeat from a previous game, you have a whole lot more that are new for you. And sometimes you get really funny combinations that might actually be surprisingly good. Flying Dwarves just sounds funny, but it can actually be good, because you don’t get many dwarves and getting them around to a bunch of mines would give you a lot of points, and that’s easier then spreading them out marching normally. Plus, having your own race and power makes you feel unique, and you get that feeling multiple times during a game.
Overall, Small World is a great introductory game, and even with expansions in there, it’s not too much for players who aren’t board gamers to play. Now, it is probably going to be too simple for some people who have been in the hobby for a long time, and it probably isn’t going to be for the Euro gamer, but for that fun game you can pull out and have a silly good time, Small World does a great job of that. It’s a gateway/entry level game that I would highly recommend for people who are looking to bring those older gamers into a more modern style of board gaming.
Overall Grade: B+
Gamer Grade: B-
Casual Grade: A+
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