Boardgame Geek Top 200 – Play or Played – #170-161

Yes, there is a shower of toads raining down on Vancouver right now. Yes, Hell has frozen over and the devil is ice skating.

Sorry, fans, I don’t have any pictures of Tom Ellis on skates, but that looks like it could be ice if you squint and stuff!

That’s right, this post is actually coming out a week after the last post!

I know you’re all amazed, right?

I know I am.

As I stated last week, this list is locked as of September 20, but thankfully nothing changed anyway. These 10 are in the same position now as they were when I started this last week.

Maybe that says something about doing these in a timely manner?


Or maybe not.

Anyway, I know you’re probably bored by now so let’s get into the next batch of 10!

And find out just how lame I am because I have not played many of these.

#170 – The Princes of Florence (Rio Grande Games) – 2000

Designers: Wolfgang Kramer, Richard Ulrich, Jens Christopher Ulrich

Artists: Lots!

This is an old game (it’s 20 years old!) and I have to say that I’ve never even heard of it much less played it.

Let’s blurb it so maybe I have an actual idea of what it’s about?

“Players attract artists and scholars trying to become the most prestigious family in Florence. Each player is given a palace grid and reference chart and attempts to gain the most victory points after seven rounds. Scoring victory points can be done in a variety of ways although most will be earned by playing profession cards to generate work points. There are a variety of professions such as astronomers, organists and architects. Each is attracted to a particular combination of building, landscape feature, and social freedom. The more the player can match these preferences then the more work points are generated. If a player satisfies the minimum requirement of work points, which increases each round, then the work can be created and the player can then trade the work points for cash and/or victory points.”

Nope, that doesn’t help.

Has anybody actually played this game recently?

Can you explain what it’s about?

Because I have no clue.

I’m seriously looking for help here. Not being facetious at all. This one does nothing for me.

I’m sure it’s also way out of print, so there is that.

At 20 years old, is anybody playing this any more? It’s #170, so somebody must be.

It does have a good pedigree, though. Wolfgang Kramer and Richard Ulrich are names I know. Not familiar with Jens Christopher Ulrich, but I’m sure he’s good too.

Wow, a lot of typing to basically say “what the hell?”

I’d appreciate any comments from somebody who’s played it.

#169 – Coimbra (Eggertspiele) – 2018

Designers: Flaminia Brasini, Virginio Gigli

Artist: Chris Quilliams

This is a game that’s appeared at game day a few times but never when I’m not actually engaged with another game.

It sounds really fascinating, though!

I’m going completely by memory here, so correct me if I’m wrong, but this is a dice drafting game where it changes things whether you draft a high-numbered die or a low-numbered die, and you get different options depending on the number that it is.

Let’s blurb this thing because I’ve had way too many shots of vodka.

Coimbra introduces an innovative new dice mechanism in which the dice players draft each round are used in multiple different ways and have an impact on many aspects of their decision making. While there are many paths to victory, players should always seek to optimize their opportunities with every roll of the dice. Combined with ever-changing synergies of the citizens, expeditions, and monasteries, no two games of Coimbra will ever be the same!”

That doesn’t really say much, but I seem to recall that you get certain benefits if the die you draft is high-numbered but if it’s low-numbered you get certain other benefits and you have to decide which benefits are more important to you.

I have no idea how this game works, but I know that a number of people were crowing about it when it first came out and I’d really like to play it.

Would anybody in Vancouver like to include me in your bubble and play this with me?

Because I’d love to try it out!

Then again, there is this 1-star rating on BGG:

“Beautiful art and theme. The idea of a dice-drafting + card-drafting combo sounds good, but the execution is poor. 2 hour solitary game. No player interaction. No passive tension associated with solitaire Euro games. Doesn’t scale well. One of the dullest games I’ve ever played.”

Even so, I’d love to see what all the hype was about.

Won’t somebody take pity on me? Maybe at a convention, which probably won’t be until late 2021 at the earliest?

Damn COVID…this sucks.

#168 – Zombicide: Black Plague (Cool Mini or Not) – 2015

Designers: Raphaël Guiton, Jean-Baptiste Lullien, Nicolas Raoult

Artists: Nicolas Fructus, Jérémy Masson

Minis! Cool minis! Or not…maybe they aren’t cool (that’s actually kind of a weird company name…what if the choice is “not cool minis?”)

I’ve never actually played any of the Zombicide games (except the app which really doesn’t give you the feel of the game, I don’t think) but this one does sound kind of cool.

Unlike previous Zombicide games, this one is placed in a medieval setting.

Let’s blurb this! (Really, it’s amazing how many of my blog posts are pretty much written by BGG):

“Zombicide: Black Plague allows you take control of paladins, dwarves, knights, and magicians, wielding powerful swords, crossbows, and even magic spells to defeat the zombie hordes and its Necromancer overlords. The classic Zombicide rules have been revamped for this new incarnation of the game, while still retaining the nonstop action, tense atmosphere and easy-to-learn rules that made Zombicide a classic. Equip your survivor with equipment like chainmail armor or shields to defend against the undead, pick up spell books to perform fantastic enchantments, or light up a pool of dragon bile to create an all-consuming inferno of dragon fire!

Take on the zombie invasion from the medieval streets to secret vaults that create quick passages through the citadel (and often hold special artifacts). Chase down the elusive Necromancers to keep them from multiplying the zombie masses. And tackle a whole new set of missions through which your group of survivors will become the heroes of the land (or the last victims of the zombie massacre).”

Just from what I’ve seen, this is a game where there is a lot of stuff on the table, including some cool miniatures (or maybe not cool, I don’t know) and you will be killing a lot of zombies.

This seems to be a kind of classic franchise, and it’s cool that they took it to a medieval setting.

Is it so cool that you must play it?

I wouldn’t know, not having played it myself.

But I’d love to try!

#167 – Ticket to Ride (Days of Wonder) – 2004

Designer: Alan R. Moon

Artists: Cyrille Daujean, Cyrille Deaujean, Julien Delval

There is something to be said about classic games.

A lot of people dismiss Ticket to Ride because it is pretty basic.

But that’s the beauty of it! It’s a great introductory game to the “real games” that we all play.

Ticket to Ride is pretty basic, but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun.

How do you play?

Even though I haven’t played it since 2013, I can probably explain it (that’s how basic it is, though sadly no pictures)

Essentially, depending on the map you play (basic is United States, but there are also tons of variations like Europe, Asia, Africa, Nordic Countries, etc), you are collecting cards to try and place you trains on various routes around the board. If a route requires 6 of one colour card, then you can play 6 white cards or 6 green cards and place 6 of your trains on that route that is connecting two different cities on the map.

If somebody else gets the route before you, oh well!

You have a number of goal cards that have you wanting to complete routes from (for instance) San Francisco to New York. If you have an unbroken chain of your trains from between your two cities (no matter how convoluted the route), then you get the points for it!

In addition, whenever you lay a set of trains, you get points based how long the route is (1-6 trains).

Thus, while you have an idea of who’s winning based on who has the most points at any give time, you don’t know how many points their secret route cards will give them.

It’s not a really hard game, but it is fun enough for gamers while also letting you play with your grandma who’s never played a “real” game before.

I’d definitely willingly play this one again, though I’m not sure of the likelihood of it getting to the table again based on the people I usually play with (though maybe one of the “new” expansions will!).

#166 – Kanban: Driver’s Edition (Stronghold Games) – 2014

Designer: Vital Lacerda

Artists: Naomi Robinson, William Bricker, Vital Lacerda

This is the new edition of the classic Vital Lacerda game where you are basically manufacturing cars in your Detroit motor plant (or wherever you may be manufacturing cars, maybe in your living room?”)

This is the ultimate in corporate games as you are trying to make your car assembly line as efficient as possible all while you are trying to satisfy Sandra, the efficiency expert that wants to make sure everything is running to top specifications.

You can play with “nice” Sandra or “mean” Sandra, which basically determines whether you lose points for being inefficient or whether you gain points for being efficient.

Let’s blurb this because I’ve actually only played the original edition on and never played this edition (much less played either edition on the table).

“The setting for the game Kanban: Automotive Revolution is an assembly line. The players are ambitious managers who are trying to impress the board of directors in order to achieve as high a position as possible in the company and secure their careers. With promotions come advantages at the factory, such as more space to store precious materials and greater prestige to accelerate your ascent. Through solid management, you must strive to shine next to your peers. You need to manage suppliers and supplies, improve automobile parts, innovate — anything to stay on the cutting edge, or getting your hands greasy on the assembly line in order to boost production. You must exercise wisdom in choosing which projects you should start, selecting only those that will give you the upper hand and shunning those that will bog you down or cause the unthinkable — failure — which would diminish you in the eyes of the board.

Over the course of the game, you persuade the board and the factory tender to help you develop and improve automobile parts. You make shrewd use of the outside suppliers and the limited factory supplies in order to appropriate needed part when the suppliers come up short. Because the factory must run at optimum efficiency, production doesn’t wait for you or for mistakes.”

This is a game, much like other Lacerda games, where you are trying to optimize your engine to make sure that it runs at peak efficiency. You can get a lot of points, but if you’re engine isn’t running smoothly, those points will be haphazard and you will fall far behind everyone else (unless they’re being inefficient too, of course).

Surprisingly I kind of “got” this just playing on BJX without having had it on the table. That being said, I still didn’t really know what I was doing and if I’d played anybody who actually knew what they were doing, I would have been toast (Editor: Like normal games, then).

Despite that, the game on BJX intrigued me enough that I’d love to play this one on the table.

I really have enjoyed the Lacerda games I’ve played (even though I suck at them) and this is one I’d love to see in action.

Maybe it would be a newfound love for me (Editor: there’s that game masochism streak showing itself again)

I’m hoping that one of my game group actually has this new edition (which is supposed to streamline things a bit) and we’ll get to play it once we can actually meet people in person again.

#165 – Goa (Z-Man Games) – 2004

Designer: Rüdiger Dorn

Artist: Oliver Freudenreich

Sorry, this one I have no idea about. I’ve basically heard of it but never seen it and don’t know anything about it.

The designer has a great pedigree, though! So I’d love to try it just so I can say that I have (though that’s not happening anytime soon, since it’s probably out of print and there’s no way the wife would play it anyway).

Let’s blurb this thing!

“Each turn begins with an auction phase, where each player gets to auction one item (and the starting player two items). The first item being auctioned gives the right to go first the next turn (along with a card that gives an extra action). If you buy your own item, you pay it to the bank. If someone else buys the item you sell, they pay you. Items include plantations complete with crops, income tiles (income in money, ships, plantation refills each turn etc.), ships, settlers, and later on tiles that score points for certain achievements.

After the auction, players get three actions to either improve their technologies or produce things such as spices on plantations, ships, money or build more plantations. Each player has a board showing their advancement for various things: getting ships, planting new spices, getting colonists, etc. The more a player advances along one track, the better one is doing that particular action. The further you get along a certain track, the more points that track is worth at the end, and there are also rewards to the first player who reaches the last two levels along each track. On the other hand, each player normally needs to perform the actions for all the tracks at some point, so it’s not necessarily a good idea to concentrate on just a couple of them. Goa is a game that gives plenty of opportunity for tough decisions, since a player always has at least one action too few.”

Ooooo auctions!

And tough decisions as there are multiple things you need to concentrate on and you can’t choose just a couple or you will be left out in the cold.

I’m there!

I don’t even know if anybody I game with has played this, much less me. It does sound intriguing, though auctions are not my favourite mechanism.

I’d still play it, though.

It’s a 2004 game, so my Cult of the New to Me brethren would love that.

A “new” game that’s old? They’d be in heaven!

#164 – Legendary: A Marvel Deckbuilding Game (Upper Deck Entertainment) – 2012

Designer: Devin Low

Artists: Lots!

Finally, a game I’ve played!

This has been a rough list for that sort of thing.

Even though I haven’t bought an expansion in ages, this deck-builder where you are basically playing heroes in the Marvel Universe and trying to stop an evil mastermind from completing their scheme is a classic that I really love.

Marvel Legendary
Marvel Legendary game board – Complete with Deadpool!

In the game, you start out with a sucky deck of cards that are basically minor agents of SHIELD. You will be recruiting hero cards from the HQ that will increase the power of your deck. Meanwhile, villains will be entering the city and if they escape from it, bad things will happen!

Each game, you will choose a Mastermind, a scheme, and a number of heroes for the hero deck depending on how many people are playing.

You could have Cable and Deadpool in the hero deck, with cards available for you to recruit. You could have Sentinels and Hydra agents in the villain deck, or maybe Masters of Evil.

Each turn, you turn over a card from the Villain deck and it enters the first space of the City (unless it’s a Scheme Twist or a Master Strike, in which case something else bad happens).

Basically, you are attempting to defeat the Mastermind a number of times before either the scheme is successfully completed or one of the decks runs out (Villain deck or Hero deck).

This is a semi-cooperative game that can also be played cooperatively.

Each villain defeated is worth points, and if the players win (defeating the Mastermind), then whoever has the most points is the ultimate winner. However, if the Mastermind wins, nobody wins.

Some people hate the “semi-coop” aspect of this (and other) game and they just play for fun.

Which is all fine and dandy, but some of the hero cards are actually meant to derail your fellow players a little bit. Some of them have the other players discard a card, for instance.

You have to decide how you want to play it, and maybe not play with those heroes if you want a true cooperative experience.

Or you could play the game how it was intended and just have fun with it.

There is always that.

#163 – Rajas of the Ganges (Huch!) – 2017

Designers: Inka Brand, Markus Brand

Artist: Dennis Lohausen

Rajas of the Ganges is a game I’ve been interested in for a long time, but have never had the chance to get it to the table. When it has come out to game day, I’ve always been busy with another game (probably Terraforming Mars).

Thus, it’s another game on this list that I haven’t played (this week is really bad for that!).

I don’t know much about the game, so let’s blurb it (really, I think this post may be more blurb than original writing…so why did it take so long to do?)

“In 16th century India, the powerful empire of the Great Moguls rises between the Indus and the Ganges rivers. Taking on the role of rajas and ranis – the country’s influential nobles – players in Rajas of the Ganges race against each other in support of the empire by developing their estates into wealthy and magnificent provinces. Players must use their dice wisely and carefully plot where to place their workers, while never underestimating the benefits of good karma. Success will bring them great riches and fame in their quest to become legendary rulers.”

It seems to be a nice mix of dice rolling, placing those dice to do stuff, and tile-laying.

I have to say I’m intrigued!

Anybody play this one?

I’ve heard good things about it, but I don’t know anything.

(Editor: When has that ever stopped you before?)

I’d really like to know, and maybe get a chance to play this some time?

It’s calling to me!

#162 – Go (Public Domain) – who knows?

Designer: Who knows?

Artist: Who knows?

Can we get any more classic than Go?

Not really.

This is probably the oldest game on this list (since I’m not sure Chess is in the top 200, and besides this might be older anyway!)

BGG says that the year this was created is -2200. I’m not sure if that’s a computer error for “unknown date” or whether it literally is 4000 years old.

But suffice to say, it’s old!

And funnily enough, a game I’ve never played.

Let’s blurb this thing…my “copy/paste” keys are getting worn out!

“By all appearances, it’s just two players taking turns laying stones on a 19×19 (or smaller) grid of intersections. But once its basic rules are understood, Go shows its staggering depth. One can see why many people say it’s one of the most elegant brain-burning abstract games in history, with players trying to claim territory by walling off sections of the board and surrounding each other’s stones. The game doesn’t end until the board fills up, or, more often, when both players agree to end it, at which time whoever controls the most territory wins.”

How many games created in this day and age can you say that they may end “when both players agree to it.”

Is it because they’re getting tired after 24 hours of playing and nobody winning?

If somebody brought a game to (name your favourite publisher) and said “more often than not, this game only ends because both players agree to end it.”

Would it sell?

Somehow I doubt it.

Yet this is a classic!

Obviously people back in those times didn’t know a good game when they saw one.

(I am being facetious…don’t hurt me please)

#161 – Star Realms: Colony Wars (White Wizard Games) – 2015

Designers: Robert Dougherty, Darwin Kastle

Artist: Vito Gesualdi

Finally, we get to yet another game that I’ve never played on the table. In fact, this is a standalone expansion to the classic (not as classic as Go!) deckbuilder Star Realms and thus it gets its own entry.

Not sure how that happens, but I have played this (combined with most of the other expansions) on the app version also produced by White Wizard Games!

I really do love this deckbuilder. It was the first “attack your opponent” deckbuilder that I had played, even in app form, and it still holds a soft spot in my heart (though it has been overtaken by others in a similar vein, like Shards of Infinity).

Apparently Colony Wars allows you to play Star Realms with up to 4 players when on the table. The app doesn’t allow that, though.

In Star Realms (and thus in Star Realms: Colony Wars), you start with a fleet of 10 ships. Eight of them will give you one money to buy more cards and two of them will give you some fight to attack your enemy (or their bases).

As your deck gets stronger, you may want to weed out some of those starter cards. Soon you’ll be whaling on your opponent with 25 attack and beating them into sobbing submission (Note: this may not be based on actual events).

From the app, of course, but this is one of the Colony Wars new ships

You are trying to defeat the other player by bringing their Authority down to zero .

I really do like this game on the app. Also the game Hero Realms is based on this so I’ve already kind of commented on the whole thing.

I’d always be up for a game of this, though I do prefer the app.

It saves these 50-year-old hands (as of September 9!) some shuffling.

But it’s a great game! You should give it a try.

So there you go, another 10 in the Top 200 games on Boardgame Geek.

This week was really bad, with only two games played and two played digitally only.

Yes, I suck at this.

But hopefully the next round will be better!

Have you played any of these games? Any of them make you want to get into a space battleship and blow everything to Kingdom Come? (No, I’m not talking about politics here).

Anything you want to play?

Let me know in the comments.

Posts in this Series


12 Comments on “Boardgame Geek Top 200 – Play or Played – #170-161

  1. Pingback: Boardgame Geek Top 200 – Play or Played – 180-171 – Dude! Take Your Turn!

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    • I have played just those two as well! TtR left me unimpressed (in my opinion, too long for a simple game, and in the later stages, not much to do but derail other people’s plans).
      Go left me utterly befuddled. As they say, the best first step to Go mastery is to lose the first 100 games as quickly as possible 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yeah, hopefully this week’s (if I get it done on time) will be better. I like Ticket to Ride, but it’s not something I’m eager to play or anything.

        And I had not heard that about Go! Interesting.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Boardgame Geek Top 200 – Play or Played – #160-151 – Dude! Take Your Turn!

  5. Pingback: Boardgame Geek Top 200 – Play or Played – #150-141 – Dude! Take Your Turn!

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