Tag: Top 100 Board Games

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 – 20 THROUGH 11

MY TOP 100 BOARD GAMES 2020 EDITION – 20 THROUGH 11

This is it, the penultimate list in my Top 100 games. What will have risen, what might have dropped out of my Top 10, you’ll have to see. If you need to catch-up, I have links below. 100 to 91 90 to 81 80 to 

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 10 are, and what you think my Top 10 might contain.

100 to 91

90 to 81

80 to 71

70 to 61

60 to 51

50 to 41

40 to 31

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

30. Homebrewers

This is one that I think is going to climb higher and higher over time because of how simple but fun the game is. And I have to say, I really like the theme of brewing beer. This game is basically an engine builder where you are trying to be the best at brewing beer and to do that you need to brew, and hone your recipes so that you can place well at Summerfest and Oktoberfest. To do this you get cards that are ingredients which you can use for a one time affect, like if you need an influx of money, get one that gives you some money, or you can add the ingredients to a beer, so maybe every time I brew my porter now it has oyster in it which gives me $1 versus a one time cash thing of $5. You can create some fun and crazy combinations, and in all honesty, I’d probably try them. I also like that in this game each character as a special power, so you can decide how you want to play the game and can do something different than everyone else. This is a fast engine building game, and definitely one that can work as an introduction to engine building.

Last Year: 45

Image Source: Board Game Geek

29. Zona: The Secret of Chernobyl

This is a game that I need to play more, but it is a big game, so it’s hard to get to the table all that often. In Zona, you are trying to get into the vault at the heart of Chernobyl, but to do that you need to brave the wasted lands surrounding it where few go and where mutated monsters roam. You can play this game solo, or you can play it competitively, which I think is really interesting. So you are exploring, finding what you need to get to get into lesser locations and then fight monsters, survive, and get into these locations, get out with some new very useful cards and get into the heart of Chernobyl before everything falls apart and the game wins. I find that interesting where the game has a timer where it can itself win, in a competitive game, so it is possible that all the players will lose.

Last Year: 34

Just One Game Box
Image Source: Board Game Geek

28. Just One

Just One is the top party game on the list, and I think that it’ll hold that spot for a while. The game is just clever and enjoyable to play. In this game one person is “it” like in so many party games, and they, instead of trying to get people to guess a word are trying to guess a word. Everyone else is putting down clues for them, one word clues, hence Just One. And everyone needs to write down a unique clue. If people cross over with each other, those clues are cancelled out. Again, hence why this is called Just One. The game works really well and it is a lot of fun. I also like that like Cross Clues, Just One is a cooperative party game. Most party games are meant to be silly, but if you are out of the game part of the party game, it just becomes purely silly, and for a game night, I like party games that can keep people in the game itself, and Just One does a great job of that.

Last Year: 22

Image Source: Board Game Geek

27. Say Bye to the Villains

This game my record is probably 0-15, maybe 0-20 at this point, and it’s a cooperative game. This is not a game where you win 50% of time like a lot of cooperative games try to be, it is a game that is extremely hard to win, but clearly I still love it. In this game you are Samurai who are taking on villains. You are fighting honorably, so you know when the fight is going to happen, so you prepare. You do this by researching the villains, by increasing your stats and then eventually once you’ve used up all of your time, you select the villain who you are facing off against. The issue is that you need everyone to beat the villain they are facing off against, and you basically never have the time needed to completely research the villains or to get yourself completely prepared to fight. The concept just works really well for me, and the game play is very smooth. My only knock is that this game can play a lot of people, but it probably should max out at four or five, because otherwise it is a bit long.

Last Year: 43

Image Source: Board Game Geek

26. Hats

I love this game as a different feeling card puzzle game. Like Parade, this game has been randomly given the theme of Alice in Wonderland. It could have been anything or nothing. In it you are trying to score the most points by having the best collection of hats. These hats have numbers, and you start out with a hand of them as well as some that are going to be determining what is scored on the table. The trick to this game, and I think what I like about it so much, is that you are trying to manipulate the table in such a way by playing down cards and then using the ones for scoring that you place in front of you, that when all is said and done the colors you have are scoring and they are scoring well and that whatever you opponent(s) were collecting doesn’t score well. It just feels like a twist as you have a set hand of cards and while you can change them up a little, it might not be enough to get it set-up as you want. This game plays fast and is a good thinky filler.

Last Year: 26

Image Source: AEG

25. Point Salad

Another filler on the list up quite high. This must have just gotten played after I made the list last year, but Point Salad has been a game that has consistently gotten to the table and even 4-5 times in the past week. In this game you are building up the best salad possible to score as many points as possible. And that’s the joke, in a point salad style game, everything you do is going to give you some points, so AEG created a game where you are building up salads and everything might give you points. What determines if something gives you points though is based off of the scoring cards you draft. So this is an extremely simple game, you either take vegetables for your salad or you take a scoring card. But you have to pay attention to what is scoring for you and how. Maybe you have a card that gives you 4 points per tomato, but it probably also gives you -2 points per onion and carrot, so you need to build your salad right so that you scoring as many points as possible. The game is so simple and turns are fast, and while there is less depth than Hats, this is still a great filler with a bit of depth.

Last Year: Not Ranked

Image Source: Board Game Geek

24. Aeon’s End: War Eternal

I love deck building games, and Aeon’s End: War Eternal is a very good one, in my opinion. And I would hazard to say, had I played more of the Aeon’s End games, I’d say all are great deck building games. Now, there are a ton of deck building games, so what makes this stand out. I like that you are facing off against a big boss, which isn’t unique, but you can start to whittle them down right away if you want, which isn’t always the norm. I like the breach system for casting spells. You can open up more breaches for your character and cast more spells per turn when you do that. And what really makes this different is that you don’t shuffle your deck. This is the only deck building game that I know of that you don’t shuffle. What happens when you run out of cards, well, you just flip your discard pile and you have your deck again. This means, if you are counting cards, you can set-up turns for yourself. You might want a turn with no spells just because with a lot of purchase power you can buy a better spell, or maybe you want a good mix so that you never have a turn where nothing happens. What also is interesting is that turn order isn’t set. The nemesis, monster you’re fighting, will have 2 turns for every six player turns. But you have a turn order deck that is shuffled, and in a two player game where are two player one cards, two player two cards and two nemesis cards. So the nemesis could go twice in a row at the start, then four player turns, you just don’t know. It makes the puzzle feel harder that way, but also can set-up some moments of calm.

Last Year: 16

Image Source: Grail Games

23. Criss Cross

One of my top roll and write games. Criss Cross is very simple but so much fun. In this game everyone is playing at once, trying to place symbols rolled on dice adjacent to each other in rows and columns on a 5 x 5 grid. That doesn’t sound too bad, but you need to treat the two dice rolled each round as a domino, basically. That means if the symbols rolled are a circle and a triangle you need to place the circle and the triangle adjacent to each other on the grid. You need to also make sure that you don’t leave yourself with a single spot separated from everything else because it means you won’t be able to fill that spot. The game is super fast and very fun. Scores can and will vary wildly based off of how things are rolled, but it is fun crossing your fingers hoping that the write combo is rolled. I like that you are scoring both the rows and columns too, and in the expert version the diagonal, so you can’t just focus on rows or columns and expect it to go extremely well.

Last Year: 23

Image Source: Board Game Geek

22. Deranged

This game, why isn’t this game out yet. It was so amazing playing at GenCon last year that it is on my list because I got the full game experience there. It should, fingers crossed be coming out yet this year, I have a preorder in for it, and it might, just might, be coming out this month, October, still. Which would be perfect because this is a horror adjacent game. In this game you are spending time and moving around trying to get rid of your curses and be the first player to get out of the town. The issue is the town is keeping you trapped in as long as you are cursed and there are monsters roaming around. Plus, the other players, they don’t mind if you get attacked so they might be encouraging that. And they might be deranged and attacking you themselves. This game has nice card play for determining what actions you are doing and how good they are. And then if you’re deranged, you flip the card upside down and use a similar but different set of actions. The game is just clever and while not short, turns play pretty fast. So much fun in this game and has a good theme that I like.

Last Year: 17

Image Source: Board Game Geek

21. The Lost Expedition

Some games have a fair amount of alpha gaming in them if they are a cooperative game. That is to say that one person tells everyone what to do on their turn. The Lost Expedition is a game that has, built into it’s mechanics, ways to prevent that from happening. Players, without communicating, place down cards for both a daytime and evening hike as they work their way toward the lost city of Z, so no one knows what the other people are going to play. In the day, the cards are then sorted into numerical order and you’ll have to navigate them, and even the evening, they are played in whatever order they come out. And most of these cards don’t do good things. So no one can tell other people what to play, then collectively as a group, you decide how to spend resources and what actions to take, of the optional actions on a card. Sometimes it’ll be good like giving you more food or bullets, but most of the time you are hurting yourself as spending resources from your guides, from your food supply, or bullets, and if you run out of life on your guides you lose the game. The game is very clever and plays very fast. There’s always discussion around the table as you try and map out the best route of using and gaining resources and advancing closer to the Lost City of Z.

Last Year: 32

This is an odd section of the list because two of these games are still really high after mainly just playing them at GenCon last year. Deranged isn’t out yet in the US, I believe mainly because of Covid delays, but I had so much fun with it, I had to make the list when I have played it. I have it preordered, I’m just waiting for it to eventually come, I suspect that Deranged will end up moving higher the more I play it.

What is your favorite from this section of the list?

MY TOP 100 BOARD GAMES 2020 EDITION – 40 THROUGH 31

MY TOP 100 BOARD GAMES 2020 EDITION – 40 THROUGH 31

Getting close to the end, the top 100 are all games that I really do love and would want to play basically whenever someone asks but as we get higher in the list, and I think about and write up about these games, I always 

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 – 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 

My Top 100 Games – The Full List

My Top 100 Games – The Full List

No, I’m not putting the whole thing in one single article, I’m sharing the links to the whole thing in one article. It would be way too long if it was all the text. So many games, with so much to say about them and 

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?

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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