So this is a new series of posts that is going to happen when I sell off a game, or get rid of a game. It is hard to get rid of games, if a game has stuck on my shelf to now, that means …
Tag: Pandemic Legacy
I’ve done a competitive person games list for that person who might be just a bit too competitive. Yesterday I did a stocking stuffer list. Today I’m looking at games for that person who loves to work together and like cooperative games. Dead of Winter …
Last night I kicked off a new Live Stream series playing Pandemic Legacy Season 2. This is the follow-up to Pandemic Legacy Season 1 that I’ve previously streamed. I talk a little about the differences that we’ll see going forward and I play through the prologue in this stream, the prologue is 100% spoiler free for Pandemic Legacy Season 2, so you can see if it’s a game for you.
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I noticed while watching through it that there seems to be some issues with the video at the start, which I kind of have noticed, and I know there was a hiccup mid stream as well when the connection dropped for a moment to the streaming software. I’m going to be working on getting a better and more consistent experience for the stream over time as I try and debug what might be going on. But thank you for checking out the video.
Last nights beer was Maroon and Bold 2020 by Bent Brewstillery. They are a brewery and distillery located out of Roseville, MN. Maroon and Bold is a collaboration with the University of Minnesota in that Bent Brewstillery gets the hops for his DDH DIPA (Double Dry Hopped Double India Pale Ale) from the college, so every year the flavor is different on this beer. The 2020 version has a nice flavor to it, good hop forward while not being exceedingly bitter.
So last week Amazon did their Prime Days, and like normal, the board game sales were suspect at best. While Amazon can be a decent spot to find a smaller business selling stuff through Amazon to get good board games, Amazon’s selection and sales are …
We’re back with the next ten, a bullet point of what I said in the first part (which you can find 100 through 91). If you aren’t caught up, you can find yesterdays 90 through 81 to see as well. But we’re back for the next 10 games.
- 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
This game has the honor of being the first game that I backed on Kickstarter. When I backed it, I did so without really having the gaming collection that I have no or the experience gaming, I just thought that the game looked fun, and, well, I was right. This game is pretty simple, you move around aliens to get them off the planet, but there is some challenge, because you need the right stuff to get them off the planet, and you need the moon to be in the right phase to get them off the planet at certain locations. So while the game is simple and very cute, there is some strategy, there is some timing, because if you don’t have enough resources placed at the right time for the launch, you might have to wait for the moon to travel around again. The game looks great on the table, and while it’s not one that I pull out and play a ton, it is a fun one to play.
Last Year: Not Ranked
Now, you will not see Codenames on the list, I’ve come around on it a little bit, but I don’t enjoy Codenames that much. Linking the words can be done, but there are some issues with it, people need to know all the words and all the possible meanings/slang for the words to really make it work. With Codenames: Pictures, there are just a whole lot more interesting ways to connect the pictures. It makes the game faster, a bit easier, but also has more memorable moments and memorable clues where you can get a lot of answers. Codenames: Pictures just has more of the party feel to the game for the weight that it’s at and I like it for that.
Last Year: 75
I’m a big fan of cooperative games, and Dead Men Tell No Tales is a fun pirate themed one where you are going onto a cursed and burning pirate ship to try and grab all the treasure and leave before the ship burns and you get cut off from either the treasure or your escape. The game can get to you in a lot of ways with the fire, the guardians, the skeletal crew and just a nice challenging feel that has a bit more going on than base Pandemic, so is a bit less of a gateway game. But if you have someone in your life who likes games and pirates, and is even just familiar with modern gaming, this is a really enjoyable game. Not one of the cooperative games that gets played most often, but one I like quite well.
Last Year: 81
77. King of Tokyo
When we talk about gateway games, King of Tokyo has to be one of them that comes up. It uses a Yahtzee style dice rolling in a fun way as you all take on the roll of monsters who are battling it out over Tokyo. The game plays fast and you can either win by knocking out all the other monsters (the most fun way), or by getting points (also fun, but less punching). You can improve what you do by getting power and buying cards. And you can go into Tokyo where you can punch everyone, but the issue is everyone can then punch you. The game is fast, it’s pretty silly, and while there is player elimination, that rarely happens and then the game continues for a long time. Overall, just a fun gateway game that works best at the higher player counts.
Last Year: 37
76. Sword & Sorcery
I promise you this isn’t the only dungeon crawler on the list. It’s the first just because compared to some of the others on the list, the story isn’t as interesting. But there are some parts of the game that I really like. I like the leveling up mechanic and I like that you have two sides to each character. It makes the game feel like I could play it again with the same characters and it would play differently. And this is a true Amerithrash game where you have a big handful of dice for an attack or defense and you better roll well or you might be in trouble. And while the game has a massive rulebook and a few trickier rule things, like who a boss monster might target and how that changes, the game is actually pretty easy, you just move, explore, and fight basically, and fighting is done with the dice. I wish the story felt like it had more choices to it, but that’s about my only knock on it.
Last Year: 25
A very different type of game than most on my list, this is a push your luck bluffing game. Each player has a hand full of cards, a bunch of roses and a skull. Players take turns putting down a card in their own stack, face down, until someone bids on how many cards they can flip over without hitting a skull. The trick to it is that you have to flip over all of your own cards first. So if you’ve placed your skull in your stack, can you bid, just to push someone else’s bid higher so that they’ll hit yours and bust, or will you bust yourself because you’ll be stuck flipping over your own skull. There’s some interesting strategy in how you play and how you bid, but really it’s about reading the other players at the table to figure out what they’ve done.
Last Year: 99
74. Risk Legacy
First Legacy game on the list and just first overall legacy game in the hobby. While this game doesn’t have the story that the more modern ones do or try to have, the game play is still a lot of fun. It’s risk, but there’s more, you aren’t just fighting over the world, you’re fighting over bases and you’re trying to complete missions and if you can pull them off, you get victory points and the first person to hit the victory point threshold wins. Plus, all of the factions are different. And you get to decide how they are different as you add stickers to them, so you can make them better at attacking or better at defending, or maybe you get more troops to start. There’s all sorts of different strategies that you can take, but it still feels like classic Risk for the most part, it just goes much faster. Overall a fun time especially if you like Risk but can’t play it too often because it lasts too long.
Last Year: 79
Back to back legacy games, Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 is a bit further down on my list than Pandemic Legacy Season 1. I think that it tries to do a lot of new and different things, and while I think it does most of them well, it bogs down a little bit with all the new things you need to learn. That said, for being quite different than Season 1 and base Pandemic in what you’re trying to do, the mechanics seem really familiar and can get going on the base game quickly, there’s just a twist on to everything. So if you haven’t just gone from one type of Pandemic to the other, you’ll probably be able to pick up on those changes quickly. The story is very interesting, and there is a lot of legacy content in the game.
Last Year: 84
I like all of the Betrayal games, this one is just a bit further down on the list, because while I like the D&D theme to the game, it just doesn’t seem as epic and as good a thematic fit as horror does. This one does have some cool features though, class powers are awesome. I like that about 1/5 of the scenarios have no betrayer, there is just some monster or something that you have to do as a group, that makes it easier to keep track off since some of the haunts (betrayals) can be a bit tricky to understand and if you’re the betrayer you don’t have anyone to ask. They also fix an issue that can arise in the regular game where the haunt happens too fast. It’s still swingy and tricky to understand all the haunts, but I like it a lot and I like the silly random moments that you can have in the game, and the great rolls or the horrible rolls you can have.
Last Year: 35
By far the biggest game on the list, and actually a game that I have sold most of what I have for it, because I don’t have a consistent group to play with for the past few years. But I still really like the game. I especially like playing EDH (Commander). I never got into the competitive magic scene, but for more casual play and people not busting the bank buying stuff, I think it’s a lot of fun. I really can get into the deck building because you can come up with all sorts of odd and interesting combos and for me coming up with something odd and seeing if it can work is a blast. I like to try strange strategies and see if they’ll work or build a whole deck off of the concept of flipping and coin and see what happens with that and how well that’ll work. A few years ago this would have been higher, it’s just not one that I’m sure I’ll get to play that often anymore.
Last Year: 60
A whole lot of moving and shaking on my list. I think some of that is because, or the ones that are dropping, I like another game that does something similar that much better so it takes a bit of a hit. At least that is what I’m guessing. Still, I was a bit surprised to see a few of the games having dropped as far as they did from the 20’s and 30’s. Still really enjoy those games, just might not be the ones I pull off the shelf to scratch that game playing itch.
What is your favorite from this part of the list?
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It’s that time of year again, and I’m going to talk a little bit about what I’m doing and when I’m going to try and consistently do it from here on out. We’re doing my Top 100 Board Games of ALL TIME! Now, this is …
It might be kind of the wrong time to talk about this, we’re in the middle of the Covid-19 Pandemic, however, I think with that, for some, comes more time to delve into more story, including that of the Apocalypse/Post-Apocalyptic in nature. This is one of those genres that can tell a lot of interesting things because you can look at the struggle of man to overcome, the in ability of humanity to stop their own doom, or the breakdown of society and how it could fall apart and rebuild.
This is building off of my articles on where to start in comics and the article on zombies in pop culture. The format is going to continue to be a little bit different every time, mainly because it can be, but I want to talk about some things that have worked well and some that don’t work as well.
I think that we can all think of a lot of apocalyptic or post apocalyptic stories out there. About 5 years ago we had a lot of them being taken on in the Young Adult style with books series like The Hunger Games, Divergent, and Maze Runner. Some of these worked better and some were disappointments, at least for myself. Since then, the genre hasn’t really died off, we have Netflix putting out shows like Daybreak and The Rain where things are going horribly wrong or have gone horribly wrong in the world. The genre as a whole has kind of been all over the map though with a lot of goofy stories as well as many very serious takes on the genre as well.
Now, I’m not sure that any particular take is going to be always the right one. Some that take themselves too seriously become overwrought and melodramatic, while others can try and do a humorous take on it that just ends up being hit or miss. And there’s also an element where some authors are trying too hard to be profound on a topic that is going to lend itself to a lot of speculation.
Just to talk about speculation, I feel like there are two that I can kind of compare as to how one does it decently and the other does it poorly. In The Hunger Games, we have this idea of spectacle, and that humans, even when things are going poorly are going to want spectacle and probably even want more and greater spectacle, especially if they are at the top of the food chain. This is something that we can see already in our society where people love things like Survivor, or even before our time with the shows in the Roman Colosseum, so The Hunger Games has a feeling of something that is grounded and truthful to it. Compare that to Divergent. The issue with Divergent, besides that the story just takes a left turn that everyone saw coming is that they split up humanity and society in a way that doesn’t make any sense. At no point in time before has society split itself along those lines in such a way or tested people so that they would be split that way. It feels like an illogical jump for a society to make and one that doesn’t really aid the society in the long run. So even though, I would say, there is some overlap, the speculation and the ability for a post apocalyptic story to have a ring of truth to it makes a big difference.
Now, I feel like I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about how it’s moved into other mediums. It’s easy to think of books, films and TV shows, but in many ways it’s just as easy to think of video games. The Last of Us is a prime example of a post-apocalyptic game, and the Resident Evil games take place during or after the apocalypse. But probably less known to some, though obviously something I like, is how it’s made it’s way into board games. Pandemic Legacy Season 1 and Season 2 are basically board games about the apocalypse and the fallout from that. And it gives you an interestingly written story. Even a game like Dead of Winter, which I’ve mentioned in the zombie article, is definitely about survival after the apocalypse. While I don’t have a ton of post-apocalyptic games on my shelf, I have a lot that are about thwarting that great disaster from happening, basically all of the Lovecraft Mythos investigative games from Fantasy Flight fall into that category. In those games, Arkham Horror, Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition, Eldritch Horror, Elder Signs, you’re always trying to stop a great old one from coming through, or something along those lines. Even fantasy games like Gloomhaven, Sword & Sorcery, and Aeon’s End: War Eternal, while maybe not as heavily apocalyptic as some, have bits and pieces of that thrown in, especially if you fail the campaign.
Finally, there are RPG’s, and I think when it comes to a medium that is built for the apocalypse, RPG’s are that medium. Even if it hasn’t happened, the fact that you’re going on an adventure to do something, it’s going to be to stop something bad, and generally that’s some form the of the apocalypse for at least part of the world. And if you make it up to level 20, it’s probably for the whole world. In fact, one of the campaign books for Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition is Princes of the Apocalypse. There’s just something about the story of an malevolent god trying to destroy humanity and the player characters becoming humanities champions that just works well for a story. It’s one of those things where you can joke that it’s a story as old as time, but it works for so many reasons as it gives you that heroes journey and that final thing for them to overcome.
Well, that was kind of rambling, I had a lot that I wanted to talk about what I like from apocalyptic stories and why some of them don’t work as well if they ring a little hollow. Plus, I couldn’t go an article without talking about how it has flowed into the RPG and Board Game mediums. What are some of your favorite apocalyptic stories from whatever medium it might be?
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