After three weeks or so, it’s time for another entry in the BGG Top 200!
We’re almost done, which you would think would mean that I could actually get these done in a timely manner.
But, you know, COVID and everything.
Yeah, I do have swings where I feel so energized to write and post one week and then the next week I just want to sit here and play Trials of Fire on my computer (which is so good! You should check it out. Really scratches that Slay the Spire itch.)
Anyway, maybe I’ll do a review of that one day.
In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the latest round of the Top 200 games on BGG!
Oh, before I forget, this list is taken from the BGG Top 200 as of September 20 the order may have changed since I did this. I’ve made note of the changes.
Designer: Andreas Steiger
Artists: Taira Akitsu, Franz Vohwinkel
Sweet Jesus, this has jumped all the way up to #122!
Targi is a 2-player game that I’ve heard so much about (I know Kiki really likes it). I actually did play it a bit on Boardgame Arena with a friend and really enjoyed it.
However, I’ve never played it on the table.
It’s a really interesting game where you have to plan each of your moves based on the rows and columns of the cards that are on the table in order to get resources or perhaps play one of the cards to your tableau.
Let’s blurb this because it’s been a very long while since I’ve actually played it:
“The board consists of a 5×5 grid: a border of 16 squares with printed action symbols and then 9 blank squares in the centre onto which cards are dealt. Meeples are placed one at a time on the spaces at the edges of the board (not including corner squares). You cannot place a meeple on a square the opponent has a meeple on already, nor on a square facing opponent’s meeple. Once all meeples are placed, players then execute the actions on the border squares the meeples are on and also take the cards from the centre that match the row and column of the border meeples.
The game is predominantly scored and won by playing tribal cards to your display. These give advantages during the game and victory points at the end. Usually cards are played (or discarded) immediately once drawn. A single card can be kept in hand but then requires a special action to play it (or to discard it to free the hand spot for another card). Each card has a cost in goods to play. Goods are obtained either from border spaces or from goods cards.”
As cards are taken from the 9 square centre area, they are replaced with a different type of card (either a goods card or a tribal card). Thus you have an ever-changing strategy as to where to place your pieces.
I really do enjoy this game and I think I should play it again on BGA soon.
Maybe instead of my ongoing game of Innovation with my friend John.
What say you, John?
Oh, I guess I should probably message him because I doubt he will read this.
Anyway, this is an enjoyable game that I would really love to play on the table.
Watching Kiki play it at Dice Tower West made me want to try it even more.
Designers: Richard Amann, Viktor Peter
Artists: Villő Farkas, László Fejes
This one has moved up slightly to #127.
Trickerion is a worker placement game that seems to be very complex. I know Edward from Heavy Cardboard does really like this game and I think I’ll watch their playthrough of the game one of these days (at least I think they have a playthrough…what, me do research before posting? Perish the thought).
I have played this one time but it was a 2-player game where my opponent had just received the game so didn’t know it very well.
We muddled through it, but it wasn’t that fun.
I’d love to try it again with somebody who knows what they’re doing (and maybe with a higher player count).
In the game, players are magicians who are trying to gain prestige by performing tricks at a magic show.
Since my only play of this game was in 2016, let’s blurb this sucker.
“Using worker placement and simultaneous action selection mechanisms, the Illusionists and their teams of helpers — the Engineer, the Assistant, the Manager, and a handful of Apprentices – obtain blueprints and components for increasingly complex magic tricks, expand the team and set up performances by visiting the Downtown, Dark Alley, Market Row and Theater locations on the main game board depicting a late 19th century cityscape.
The tricks are stored and prepared on the Magician’s own Workshop game board, while the performances themselves take place at the Theater in the form of a tile placement mini-game with lots of player interaction. The performances yield Fame points and Coins to their owners based on the tricks they consist of. Fame points have multiple uses, but they also serve as a win condition – After turn 7, when the last Performance card is revealed, the game ends and the illusionist with the most Fame points wins.”
I’ve heard many people say (including Edward) that this game really needs the Dark Alley expansion to really shine, but it seems to be included in the game so I don’t know why you would ever play the game without it.
Maybe I’m just ignorant?
Don’t answer that.
My memory of this game isn’t very clear, so I can’t give you any actual impressions of it.
However, I just remember having trouble getting going and then just when we were about to do so, the game was over.
I really need to play this game with somebody who knows it. My first play really soured me on it but so many of the people I respect who play heavy games really love it, so I want to try it again.
Of course, they could be wrong (well, actually, it just may not be to my taste), but I’d like to give it a fair shot.
Hopefully soon! If anybody in my game group actually has this game.
And we can actually, you know, go to a game day or something.
Designer: Ted Alspach
Artists: Keith Curtis, Agnieszka Dabrowiecka, Ollin Timm
Finally a game that I’ve not only played, but played a bunch!
In fact, so many games that I have a ton of pictures for it.
So let’s have some!
Castles of Mad King Ludwig is a tile-laying game where you are trying to create a castle that rivals the madness of an old German king that the Disney castle that’s shown in a lot of pictures is based on.
Yes, he was truly mad.
Where else could you have some kind of kitchen room next to an outdoor room of some kind?
A big part of the game is the “Master Builder” mechanic, where room are placed in certain price ranges and then the other players get to buy them (or do something else instead). The Master Builder gets to choose rooms last, so they have to try and price rooms so they will get some money (the other players pay the Master Builder instead of the bank for rooms) but also so that they can actually get the room that they want.
It’s an ingenious mechanic, almost like the “I split, you choose” mechanic that’s used in New York Slice. But instead of splitting, instead you are dictating the price and then the other players have to deal with that.
Maybe they don’t want to pay any of that and will just buy a hallway instead of giving you money?
Rooms give you points based on what rooms you put them next to (or what rooms you put next to them) and with the end-game goals the game becomes a bit of chicken as you decide what the price of a room that you desperately want should be to prevent them from taking it but also not making you pay a buttload of money for it.
The Secrets expansion adds Moats as well as small hallways that let you do special things with the rooms you’ve already placed. (like the little hallway joining the two yellow rooms at the top of the above picture).
Even though I haven’t played this game in a long while (almost a year), I still really do enjoy this one.
I love the tile-laying aspect, the Master Builder part of the game is ok (it makes for some interesting decisions) and it’s just neat to see what combinations people come up with for their castles!
Sometimes you get something pretty cool.
I really enjoy this game and would never turn it down if it were offered, though I haven’t brought my copy out for a while. Still, considering COVID hit in March and we’ve been isolated ever since, not having played it since July 2019 isn’t really that bad.
Hopefully when the restrictions lift, I’ll get this one to the table again!
Designers: Jonathan Gilmour, Brian Lewis
Artists: Kwanchai Moriya, Peter Wocken, Anthony Wocken
This one has fallen a bit to #130, but it was actually up a couple when I was actually working on this post (yes, it’s taken me at least 2 weeks and the game has moved bunches since then!). It’s sadly fallen since, but I don’t really know why (other than maybe everything in this range is just really close so that a few votes will change the ratings).
This could almost be called Jurassic Park: the Board Game if they had the license.
Since they don’t, this is a game where players are collecting dinosaur DNA, resequencing it, and creating new dinosaurs in order to thrill and entertain all of the guests to their park.
Until the dinosaurs start rampaging, anyway.
Since I’ve never played this one (not for lack of desire!), let’s blurb this:
“In Dinosaur Island, players will have to collect DNA, research the DNA sequences of extinct dinosaur species, and then combine the ancient DNA in the correct sequence to bring these prehistoric creatures back to life. Dino cooking! All players will compete to build the most thrilling park each season, and then work to attract (and keep alive!) the most visitors each season that the park opens.
Do you go big and create a pack of Velociraptors? They’ll definitely excite potential visitors, but you’d better make a large enough enclosure for them. And maybe hire some (read: a lot of) security. Or they WILL break out and start eating your visitors, and we all know how that ends. You could play it safe and grow a bunch of herbivores, but then you aren’t going to have the most exciting park in the world (sad face). So maybe buy a roller coaster or two to attract visitors to your park the good old-fashioned way?”
Doesn’t that sound cool? I think it sounds cool.
Even cooler if you could play Chris Pratt, but you have to settle for me.
Really, don’t cry. It’s ok.
You’re trying to make the most attractive park possible so that the public will be entertained, but also safe.
Sometimes you can only have one of those.
I love that the dinosaurs you’ve created and curated may end up eating your visitors if you’re not careful!
How could this not be a good game?
Sadly, I haven’t had the chance to play this one. It came out once or twice at our game days but I was busy playing something else.
And then it disappeared.
Not sure why, but I hope to get a chance to play it once we get back to normal.
Or maybe at a convention (has it really been 4 entries before me saying that?).
Maybe I’ll buy it. I have spent so much money this year on games, I’m almost ashamed.
Designer: David Cicurel
Artists: David Cicurel, Matijos Gebreselassie, Mateusz Komada, Katarzyna Kosobucka
This one has fallen all the way to #136 by now.
It’s another game I’ve never played.
Chronicles of Crime is a deduction game where you are trying to solve a mystery. This is done with the aid of an app that will help players with the scenario that’s been chosen.
You load up the app with the scenario and then, when you’re interviewing witnesses or examining the crime scene, you can scan the location/witness and the app will tell you what you discover.
Let’s blurb this before the vodka really sets in.
“Using the Scan&Play technology, each component (locations, characters, items, etc.) has a unique QR code, which, depending on the scenario selected, will activate and trigger different clues and stories. That means players will be able to get new stories way after the game is released simply by downloading the app’s updates, without any shipping of new physical components involved.
The VR experience only requires a mobile phone. Players simply put the VR glasses (optional buy) onto their mobile device, and put the VR glasses on their nose, holding their mobile device in front of their eyes, to immerse themselves in the game’s universe and search for clues in a virtual world.
The game comes with 1 tutorial and 5 scenarios, but more can be downloaded directly inside the app!
Each session last around 1h to 1h30 minutes and many scenarios are connected to each others in order to tell a much bigger story.”
This does sound like an interesting game. Just recently, an expansion of sorts came out with crimes from the far reaches of history (1400, 1900, 2400 so I guess even the future!). That shows that it’s a popular game.
But it’s not something I have any familiarity with.
Each scenario you have a crime to solve. You’ll be checking the scene, interviewing witnesses, and trying to figure out just what happened.
I’ve heard some complaints about how the people are the same but they’re just differently involved depending on what the scenario is.
That actually gives me fond memories of the old theater casts where the people were always the same but many of them played different characters. The A&E Nero Wolfe series really brought that back a few years ago with a cast that played different characters.
Some people complained about this but I find that it’s a feature!
I’d love to give this a try, though Deduction games are not among my strong suit.
That’s why I don’t want to actually buy it. I’m not sure how much I would enjoy it.
But I’d love to find out!
Designers: Glenn Drover, Martin Wallace
Artists: Kurt Miller, Paul Niemeyer, David Oram
This is a train game in kind of the same way that Steam (also designed by Wallace) is.
This is a new edition (2009) of the 2005 game that was part of the Railways of the World series. In fact, I had one of the more recent additions to the series, Railways of Nippon, in my possession after having won it in a Twitter contest. Of course, I knew I would never get it to the table, so I left it in shrink and traded it for a new-in-shrink copy of GMT Games’ Thunder Alley. A game that, sure, I still haven’t gotten to the table either, but I have played!
Anyway, since I’ve never played any of these games (and only played Steam once), let’s blurb this thing.
“Revisit the early days of the Age of Steam as you begin with a locomotive (the venerable John Bull, the first locomotive to run in North America) and a vision (your Tycoon “mission” card). From there, build your budding railroad network into a vast empire. Connect New York to Chicago, earn the most money, develop bigger and faster locomotives and maybe even span North America and build the Transcontinental Railway!
Multiple expansions featuring different maps are available. Railways of the World is the new base game for the system and includes the engine placards, railroad tiles, train tokens, money, bonds, and other items that are needed in almost all the Railways of the World series. A gameboard depicting the eastern half of the United States is included in the base game, as well as a mounted map of Mexico.”
In the game, you are trying to build your network to be able to trade goods from one city to another.
Unfortunately, that’s the extent of my knowledge about the game, so let’s just leave it at that and let me say that this is probably not a game that I will ever have the opportunity to play (no matter what expansion/iteration it is).
But I might be interested if it ever pops up at a convention.
Anybody who has played it, can you let me know in the comments how this one works?
I’m kind of intrigued.
Designers: Peggy Chassenet, Manuel Rozoy
Artists: Ben Carre, David Lecossu, Pascal Quidault
This one has now fallen to #134! Must be all the negative hype about the last chapter like Tom Vassal has complained about.
T.I.M.E. Stories is a multi-scenario game where you players are trying to protect humanity by fixing problems with the timeline.
Since you are all temporal agents, you can try multiple times to succeed in your mission, whatever it might be. In other words, if you fail the game, you can replay it with no worries.
Each scenario pack is sold separately but the original game comes with the system itself that you will be using through multiple scenarios (at least it’s not just the rulebook, like some games I could mention! *cough* Advanced Squad Leader).
Since I have never even seen this game on the table before, let’s blurb it.
“At the beginning of the game, the players are at their home base and receive their mission briefing. The object is then to complete it in as few attempts as possible. The actions and movements of the players will use Temporal Units (TU), the quantity of which depend on the scenario and the number of players. Each attempt is called a “run”; one run equals the use of all of the Temporal Units at the players’ disposal. When the TU reach zero, the agents are recalled to the agency, and restart the scenario from the beginning, armed with their experience. The object of the game is to make the perfect run, while solving all of the puzzles and overcoming all of a scenario’s obstacles.
The base box contains the entirety of the T.I.M.E Stories system and allows players to play all of the scenarios, the first of which — Asylum — is included. During a scenario, which consists of a deck of 120+ cards, each player explores cards, presented most often in the form of a panorama. Access to some cards require the possession of the proper item or items, while others present surprises, enemies, riddles, clues, and other dangers.”
I know this is getting monotonous. In fact, I’m wondering why it’s taking so long to write these posts when half of them are blurbs from BGG!
Anyway, this is definitely one I would like to try, at least the first scenario. I think a couple of my friends have played this, but they’ve done it on separate game days or when I was playing something else.
Or maybe that was one or two of the Unlock games.
I’m not sure.
Designer: Christian T. Petersen
Artists: Tomasz Jedruszek, Henning Ludvigsen
This one has fallen to #126.
It’s a bit surprising because there is a brand new app version of the game! At least on Steam.
Sadly, I haven’t had a chance to play it. Partially because it’s put out by Asmodee Digital and some of their asynchronous multiplayer options leave a lot to be desired.
The other part is because it’s a big negotiation game and I’m not really big on negotiation games.
And I really can’t see how this would be implemented in a solo app.
Thus, we’re stuck with an app that doesn’t really help you play the game very well (unless you do manage to get a bunch of players online at the same time) or something that is just really weird.
But this isn’t about apps, it’s about the game!
So what’s the game about?
I’m sure you’ve heard of Game of Thrones, the book series.
No? You just know the TV series?
Ok, this game may not give you what you want, as it’s surprisingly based on the books and not the show!
This is a game that I would love to play on the table but I’m a bit hesitant because of how much negotiation is involved.
Let’s blurb this thing so that I don’t have to tax my drunken mind anymore than it already is.
“In the second edition of A Game of Thrones: The Board Game, three to six players take on the roles of the great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, as they vie for control of the Iron Throne through the use of diplomacy and warfare. Based on the best-selling A Song of Ice and Fire series of fantasy novels by George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones is an epic board game in which it will take more than military might to win. Will you take power through force, use honeyed words to coerce your way onto the throne, or rally the townsfolk to your side? Through strategic planning, masterful diplomacy, and clever card play, spread your influence over Westeros!”
Yep, honeyed words. The perfect indication of negotiation!
Still, I love the books (though I am not masochistic enough to reread all of the previous books when the next book finally comes out in, oh, say, 2030 or something) so this game is kind of right up my alley.
However, you have to be cagey, you have to negotiate, you may have to backstab.
I’m not sure that’s for me.
Which is too bad, because this game sounds amazing!
Maybe at a con sometime.
I know that’s getting old hat, but what else can we do in these COVID times?
Designer: Don Eskridge
Artists: Luis Francisco, George Patsouras, Nan Sumana, Rafał Szyma
Another game I’ve never played. I have played The Resistance once or twice though, and this is kind of based on that!
This one has fallen to #124 unfortunately.
In a very cool way , while this is a standalone game, it’s compatible with The Resistance. I’m not sure how that would work, but I’m sure it’s explained in the rules somewhere.
How does the game work?
I know you’ve heard this before…let’s blurb it!
“The Resistance: Avalon pits the forces of Good and Evil in a battle to control the future of civilization. Arthur represents the future of Britain, a promise of prosperity and honor, yet hidden among his brave warriors are Mordred’s unscrupulous minions. These forces of evil are few in number but have knowledge of each other and remain hidden from all but one of Arthur’s servants. Merlin alone knows the agents of evil, but he must speak of this only in riddles. If his true identity is discovered, all will be lost.”
I love the Arthurian mythos, so this game is kind of right up my alley.
This is a deduction game, but instead of just “who are the bad guys” like in The Resistance, this is a bit more nuanced.
Yes, you are trying to figure out Mordred’s minions who have infiltrated Arthur’s knights, but you’re also trying to figure out Merlin as well.
This sounds really cool. My two plays of The Resistance were so far in the past that I would happy to try this one out.
Many say this one surpasses its predecessor, and I’d like to see if I agree!
(You know, if I meet any of you at a convention, feel free to suggest one of these games…you know I’d love to do it.)
Designer: Benoit Turpin
Artist: Anne Heidsieck
Finally something I’ve played!
And it’s also fallen to #123. It could be worse, though! That ranking isn’t so bad.
Welcome To… is a kind of roll and write (though this is more of a “flip and write”) game where you are trying to build housing estates to get the most points.
There are 3 stacks of cards and you flip over the top card of each one. The number on the flipped card combined with the type of card that’s on the back of the top card of the deck constitutes what you will be doing on your turn.
So it’s possible you will have a 3 with a Pool, or maybe an 11 and a “Real Estate Agent” which will let you adjust the value of the house that you’re going to place.
The numbers on each house in the three developments on your sheet must go left to right in numerical order, but you can enter the value onto any available house as long as it meets the “numerical order” restriction. So if one of the numbers is the highest available, you could put it all the way to the right to keep it out of the way.
As time goes on, it may be possible that none of the three options will work for you. In that case, you can scratch off the “Building Permit Refusal” area. Each one will lose you points, but if you can’t do it, you can’t do it.
I’m not a huge fan of the Roll and Write genre, but Welcome To… really works for me. Now that it’s on Boardgame Arena, I think I’m going to be playing more of it.
It plays from two to 100 people, so you could get a really huge game going!
Or, you know, you could play by yourself.
But where’s the fun in that?
I didn’t get a picture of the bonus cards that you are going for, but the “Housing Estate Plans” are basically looking for subdivisions of your board of a certain type. They may be looking for five 2-space” subdivisions, or maybe a four and a five space or something like that.
If you’re the first to do a Housing Estate Plan, then you get the highest number of points. That doesn’t lock out others, though. They can satisfy the same condition for a fewer number of points.
Welcome To.. is a really interesting game and it’s one that I would love to play again.
I have a game going on Boardgame Arena right now and it’s really fun!
It’s a nice filler if you have a bunch of people waiting for others to arrive, or maybe a palate-cleanser at the end of the night.
Highly recommended, even if it is only after one play.
So there you have it. After a couple weeks of delay (though at least I posted some things!), the latest in the Top 200 BGG list and whether or not I’ve played them.
Sadly, this was a piss-poor week with only 3 games played and one electronic only.
I hope to do better with the last two entries in the series.
Whenever the posts actually come out, of course.
It’s funny how much movement there is in the Top 100-200 on BGG. There wasn’t a lot in the Top 100, but there is so much in these entries that I have to keep track of them and say that this list is only from the Top 200 taken from back in September.
I wonder how much movement there will be in the last two posts?
Let’s find out!
Hopefully before Christmas…
I will endeavour to make that happen.
Have you played these? What do you think of them? Anything you really want to play? Or have played and find not worth the time that you spent?
Let me know in the comments.
Posts in this Series
Category: Board Games, Top 10Tags: 2-Player Games, A Game of Thrones: the Board Game (2nd Edition), Action Selection, Andreas Steiger, Area Movement, Auction Games, Benoit Turpin, Bezier Games, Brian Lewis, Castles of Mad King Ludwig, Christian T. Petersen, Chronicles of Crime, Cooperative Games, David Cicurel, Deduction, Deep Water Games, Dinosaur Island, Don Eskridge, Eagle-Gryphon Games, Fantasy Flight Games, Glenn Drover, GMT Games, Indie Boards & Cards, Jonathan Gilmour, Kosmos, Lucky Duck Games, Manuel Rozoy, Martin Wallace, Mindclash Games, Multi-Man Publishing, Negotiation Games, Pandasaurus Games, Peggy Chassenet, Railways of the World, Richard Amann, Roll and Write, Set Collection Games, Social Deduction Games, Space Cowboys, Storytelling Games, T.I.M.E. Stories, Targi, Ted Alspach, The Resistance: Avalon, Tile-Laying Games, Train Games, Trickerion, Viktor Peter, Welcome To..., Worker Placement Games
This is a blog about board games, with the occasional other post for a bit of spice.