Tag: Gateway Game

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 

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

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: Board Game Geek

70. Marrying Mr Darcy

This is a smaller and less known game than a lot on the list, but I like it because it is pretty simple and quirky fun. At the heart it’s a set collection game as you collect different skills so that when the first part of the game is done, you can get your ideal suitor and marry them. But because it has a Price and Prejudice theme to it, and because the theme itself is just a little bit goofy, the game is a lot of fun and the set collection almost becomes a background to the randomness of everything else. This is not a highly strategic game, but it is fun. I do think that while the game needs a lot of cards just so you can build up your wit and cunning and other skills, it does overstay a little bit for a game where most of the fun comes from the silly randomness. If there was more variety in the parties and how those worked, it might be higher on my list as well.

Last Year: 98

Image Source: Fantasy Flight

69. Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game

Battlestar Galactica is a massive hidden traitor, hidden role game. The theme works amazing in this game as you are trying to escape the Cylons and get to Earth, but you’re not sure that you can trust everyone and who might be a Cylon and who might not be. So you’re pushing forward, you’re seeing who might be doing something suspicious and there are times when you just can’t help either, so that makes you look suspicious. This is a long game and a big game, but it feels tense the whole time you’re playing, and eve if you can figure out who the Cylon’s on board are, will that help you enough? Does knowing the show help for this game, most certainly, but it’s still an extremely well built game so it’ll still be fun even if you don’t.

Last Year: 55

Image Credit: Wikipedia

68. Carcassonne

Another one of those modern classic games and gateway games to make the list. Carcasone probably introduced a lot of people into modern board gaming as you placed tiles down, used your meeples smartly to score, and built out a nice looking map on the table. This game plays fast, and it is still fun to play even though it’s a little bit older at this point. The only negative I have with the game is the farm scoring just because that can be a bit odd, so it’s a bit harder to teach that. Even with that, I like the building of the landscape and I think that the scoring is interesting as you can lock up a meeple to score points in a bigger thing, but that might mean you don’t have enough meeples to score something else. So there’s a balancing act with that and then with making sure you have all your meeples out at the end for scoring then as well.

Last Year: 90

Image Source: Renegade

67. Clank! A Deck-Building Adventure

Won’t be the only Clank! on my list, but one that’s a good time. This is the fantasy themed game where you are going down into a dungeon, trying not to disturb the dragon and make too much noise as you go around in your armor, fighting goblins, and then eventually grabbing a treasure and racing out of there. All of this while you are making noise which might attracts the dragon to you and if you take too much damage you’re done. So there’s a push your luck element to the game as you push further into the depth of the dungeon to grab a better treasure. And you do this with deck building, which is fun as you can be risky and get better cards but it might cause you to clank more. I love deck building and I like this game a lot, the only issue I have is that the end game message is a bit abrupt and can punish players for trying to push too deep if someone barely goes into the dungeon and gets out with the cheapest treasure they might be able to screw everyone else over. But if people don’t try and play that way but play more in the spirit of the game, I think that the game works well.

Last Year: Not Ranked

Image Source: Board Game Geek

66. Dice Forge

Dice Forge is an interesting dice construction game where you are rolling dice and getting resources to buy cards and buy more dice faces to put on your dice. I think that the game is really interesting that way because you are literally changing up the dice. The different combinations of cards and how you build your dice can really change the strategy of the game as you play. You can go for buying tons of cards, you can go for getting the best dice possible in terms of coins or resources, and you can just go and get victory points from the the cards and dice. There’s one thing that really makes this game work. On your turn you roll your dice, get resources and can buy cards and dice face, but not on your turn, you still roll your dice and get resources.

Last Year: 53

Image Source: Fantasy Flight

65. Cosmic Encounter

This game is hard to explain but it’s a lot of fun. People could take this game seriously, but the game is best when it’s played in a silly way. Cosmic Encounter is all about getting your bases onto various planets, but to do this, on your turn, you pick a planet to attack and you and the person you attack can play cards to augment how much your attack/defense are. But, there’s more, you can get people to help you and add their ships into their attack, so they can get onto the planet with you as well. But the numbers the players can play can change up the attack greatly, so you can negotiate with the person you’re fighting, maybe if they play a low card for you, you’ll give them a good card, or something like that, so you can really work together for the best of everyone, but of course, you can also lie. But that might not work out, because you might owe someone something, or they might have a special alien power where they win with a lower number than a higher. The game should be played really goofy and with lots of negotiation, so won’t be for every table, but for me, it’s a lot of fun.

Last Year: 49

Image Source: Z-Man Games

64. Parade

This game has an Alice in Wonderland theme, but really it’s a abstract game. In this you are trying to get the fewest points and you do that by playing down cards into a line, you look at the number of cards equal to what you put down and you get the cards that match the color or are a lower number, so you can potentially get none, but you might get a lot and they might be high points. If anyone ever gets all the colors, that ends the game and you score, or if you run out of cards in the deck to draw from. The scoring is simple, it’s the total of the numbers of your cards, unless, of course, you have the most of a color. If you have 4 green cards and that’s the most in everyone, you get 1 point per card, so you can push for a lot of a single color or you can try and only get low number cards not really caring about the color. I like how the different in strategies work and it makes for an interesting game.

Last Year: 62

Image Source: The Op

63. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle

As I’ve said many a time, I really like deck building games, and this one is a pretty straight forward game, but has a theme that I like with Harry Potter. I think this game does a good job with some nods to the books and movies and I like how this game builds over time and becomes harder but offers more specialization and diversity in what the characters can do. Between the theme and difficulty of the game and this is actually a decent gateway deck building game especially if you have more complex ones you want people to learn. Overall, just a fun game and a good straight forward and cooperative deck building game.

Last Year: 59

Image Source: CGE

62. Galaxy Trucker

I’ve talked about a few goofier games in this section, and I think this qualifies as one as well. In this game you are trying to build a space “truck” and get enough crew and enough cargo spots so you can go fly around the galaxy, get the most money at the end of the flight. But the goofy parts are, first, that you build your ship in real time, so you’re going nice and fast as you’re trying to get everything built and you have to think about the weapons, shields, and engines on your ship. Because if you’re the fastest you can get to planets first and get the stuff you want, but if you add in too many engines or too much energy to fire your engines, you might not have enough to deal with asteroids and pirates. And the asteroids can just blow up part of your ship if you can’t shoot it down or you don’t have a shield that can stop it. After a few different builds and runs to get and deliver cargo, the person with the most money wins. It’s a game that is quite random, but it plays pretty fast and is just good fun.

Last Year: 56

61. Fruit Picking

This one for sure is new to the list because I just got it recently and I played it for GenCon online, but I really like this game already. The game has some very fun things in it. I like how you move the seeds around and how you store the seeds so that you can purchase fruit cards. And you just use those cards to complete sets, like a full house, three pairs, four of a kind, or one of each and once someone has one of those, the game is over and that person won. But to get the seeds, you move them around in a circle, Mancala style, banking seeds but where you end, that’s what you can buy and it gets you more seeds. Just a lot of fun and very much a gateway game. The game is also interesting because it’s from Korea as well, and I don’t know much about the Korean board game scene, but this one was a lot of fun. If you’re in search of a new gateway game, this one works well, though it’s only available via BGG in the US.

Last Year: Not Ranked

What’s your favorite from this section? Any that stand out, any based off of my taste that you think I should try or you think will be higher on the list?

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My Top 100 Board Games 2020 Edition – 90 through 81

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 

Back or Brick: Die of the Dead

Back or Brick: Die of the Dead

Who will be the first to build a path for their ancestors to travel in the dice placement, push your luck style game? Pros Look of the game Weight of the Game Price Pretty Pretty Dice Cons Luck factor The Page This is a company 

Point of Order – New Board Games (#1)

Point of Order – New Board Games (#1)

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.

Image Source: Bezier Games

Silver
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.

Cartographers
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.

Ascension: Delirium
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.

Image Source: Board Game Geek

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.

Forgotten Waters
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.

Image Source: Board Game Geek

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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Top 10 – Gateway Games

Top 10 – Gateway Games

First, what’s a gateway game, before I get into my list? These can also be call introductory games or family weight games. Basically, these are games that you can pull out and play with mom and dad or your cousins or anyone who isn’t that 

TableTopTakes: Marrying Mr. Darcy

TableTopTakes: Marrying Mr. Darcy

Join us for a fancy party at the Netherfield Estate and try and find the most eligible most eligible bachelor and get married in the end. Marrying Mr. Darcy is a quick card game set in the world that Jane Austen created, and it can 

TableTopTakes: Small World

TableTopTakes: Small World

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.

Image Source: Gamer Geoff

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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TableTopTakes: Sushi Go Party!

TableTopTakes: Sushi Go Party!

There are times when you want to play games with a larger group of people and you don’t want to play a party game. Now, there are starting to become more with social deduction games, or games like Tsuro, but how about games that allow