Boardgame Geek Top 200 – Play or Played – #110-101

After months of waiting (I hope you weren’t holding your breath), we have reached the end of the line (for the second time).

Yes, we are at the end of the Top 200 BGG games, and it’s been an interesting ride.

I’ve really discovered how few games I’ve played!

Excuse me a moment…

Sorry, I just had to get that out.

Anyway, that will hopefully change when we can get back to some semblance of normal. Maybe we’ll even see a convention in 2021?

We’ll have to see.

In the meantime, you’re stuck with me and my lists.

So why don’t we see what the last bit of the Top 200 are?

I don’t know…maybe you’ll have feelings too.

#110 – Descent: Journeys in the Dark (2nd Edition) – (Fantasy Flight Games) – 2012

Designers: Daniel Clark, Corey Konieczka, Adam Sadler, Kevin Wilson

Artists: A lot!

This one has fallen a bit to #114. Oh no! It’s sinking below the earth!!

Another Fantasy Flight Games dungeon-crawl, one vs many game, though I assume it’s fallen a bit because Imperial Assault became so much more popular. Too bad BGG doesn’t have a “historical rankings” chart! (This is where somebody points out that there is such a thing and I should, you know, do research or something).

While I have played that one, I haven’t seen Descent in the wild at all, so I probably will never play it.

Let’s blurb this one so you have an idea of what I’m talking about:

“In Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition), one player takes on the role of the treacherous overlord, and up to four other players take on the roles of courageous heroes. During each game, the heroes embark on quests and venture into dangerous caves, ancient ruins, dark dungeons, and cursed forests to battle monsters, earn riches, and attempt to stop the overlord from carrying out his vile plot.

With danger lurking in every shadow, combat is a necessity. For such times, Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) uses a unique dice-based system. Players build their dice pools according to their character’s abilities and weapons, and each die in the pool contributes to an attack in different ways. Surges, special symbols that appear on most dice, also let you trigger special effects to make the most of your attacks. And with the horrors awaiting you beneath the surface, you’ll need every advantage you can take…”

It sounds pretty cool, with double-sided modular board pieces to set up the dungeon and the dice sound really cool (just like Imperial Assault).

It’s another campaign game, so even if we did track it down, we’d have to devote some time to it.

I know there are some stand-alone fight scenarios for Imperial Assault. I don’t know if there are for Descent or not, but isn’t the appeal of these games the campaign anyway?

If I ever get a weekly game group that’s into something like this, I wouldn’t be opposed, though.

#109 – Decrypto (Portal Games) – 2018

Designer: Thomas Dagenais-Lespérance

Artists: Fabien Fulchiron, NILS, Manuel Sanchez

This one, on the other hand, has jumped 5 places to #104! It must be popular.

Decrypto is a deduction party game that has seemed to be all the rage, at least when it came out in 2018. I was hearing about it all the time.

I still see the occasional post about it.

It’s also one that I’ve never played, which is a shame as it sounds kind of interesting.

Even though I know I would suck at it.

Here’s a quarter. Buy yourself a blurb.

“Players compete in two teams in Decrypto, with each trying to correctly interpret the coded messages presented to them by their teammates while cracking the codes they intercept from the opposing team.

In more detail, each team has their own screen, and in this screen they tuck four cards in pockets numbered 1-4, letting everyone on the same team see the words on these cards while hiding the words from the opposing team. In the first round, each team does the following: One team member takes a code card that shows three of the digits 1-4 in some order, e.g., 4-2-1. They then give a coded message that their teammates must use to guess this code. For example, if the team’s four words are “pig”, “candy”, “tent”, and “son”, then I might say “Sam-striped-pink” and hope that my teammates can correctly map those words to 4-2-1. If they guess correctly, great; if not, we receive a black mark of failure.”

Play continues from there for up to 7 rounds (though if you get two white marks of success, you win and if you get two black marks of failure, you lose).

I think I would have to see it in action, but I think I would enjoy it.

Maybe at a convention where I’m socializing with all of my blogging buddies (who I know will be beating down my door wanting to play a game with me, right?)

#108 – Inis (Matagot) – 2016

Designer: Christian Martinez

Artists: Dimitri Bielak, Jim Fitzpatrick

Inis has now crawled up to #107, which is cool!

Finally, a game I’ve played! Though only once.

It received a very favourable review from Shup Up & Sit Down, whose review video of it made me kind of intrigued by it.

Those blue clans are just living peacefully in the Meadows, waiting for somebody to come and try to move them out.

It’s been almost 3 years since I’ve played it, though, so I can’t really say much about it.

You can actually check that post for information on how to play the game, but essentially it is an area control game where you play cards that will let you do things. You are Celtic clans trying to become Inis (king) of the land.

Essentially, you are trying to place your clans (you have 12) to assert dominance in enough areas of the map to win. Or, perhaps, you just want to have clans in territories that have six sanctuaries in them.

I actually really did like the push-pull mechanic in that you have to spend a turn declaring yourself Inis and then it has to get back around to you again. Somebody else may end up being more qualified for it, robbing you of sweet victory.

I also liked how the land keeps growing, so the board is never the same from game to game.

It did go on a bit too long, but that may have been inexperience.

I’d like to try it again to make sure.

#107 – Alchemists (Czech Games Edition) – 2014

Designer: Matúš Kotry

Artist: David Cochard

This one has fallen to #110, probably because of that explosion I accidentally caused when mixing those two ingredients together.

Who knew?

Anyway, Alchemists is a deduction game where players are alchemists (duh) trying to get the most prestige by making potions and figuring out what ingredients make what potions.

I have actually only played this on, but I have played it many times and I do really like it.

Alchemists Board
Pictures for this game are from the BJX site.

The player board gives you all of the spaces to put your workers. You can get an ingredient, sell one, maybe sell a potion? You can also buy stuff, publish a theory or you can even try to prove an already published theory wrong. Finally, you can test your potion, either on a student or on yourself!

It’s funny how the first potion to give the student a bad reaction makes further alchemists have to pay a gold coin that turn to test a potion on the student.

I’d say the student ain’t no dummy, but he does keep on coming back on the next turn, so maybe he is?

The really cool thing is the deduction board, though.

When you mix a potion, you put the ingredients into the app (if you’re playing on the table) and it will tell you what kind of potion you get. It could be one of six, or it may be indeterminate. It could be either positive or negative and one of three different colours.

This will tell you a bit about the aspect of the two ingredients. If you put the bird’s food and the scorpion together and get a blue plus sign, then you know each of those ingredients has a blue aspect that’s positive.

Each ingredient has either a positive or negative aspect for all three colours. The combination of the three, however, is unique. Thus, there are eight different ingredients and eight different combinations.

You’re trying to figure out the combination for each one.

I really do love this game and would like to get it to the table at some point so I can see how it plays in person. It may be a little too fiddly for me when the computer isn’t doing everything for me (though how different it would be from the online game, I don’t know).

But I’d love to try!

#106 – Stone Age (Z-Man Games) – 2008

Designer: Bernd Brunnhofer

Artist: Michael Menzel

Another game that’s fallen a bit, this time to #109. I wonder what could have happened to cause this much of a downturn?

Stone Age is also a game I’ve only played in app form (and a couple of games on Boardgame Arena). It’s the classic worker placement game with just a little bit of randomness as you do have to roll dice for most resources (but the the most common resources don’t require dice rolls quite as high.

Since it’s been so long since I’ve played it, let’s do a blurb instead.

“Players use up to ten tribe members each in three phases. In the first phase, players place their men in regions of the board that they think will benefit them, including the hunt, the trading center, or the quarry. In the second phase, the starting player activates each of his staffed areas in whatever sequence he chooses, followed in turn by the other players. In the third phase, players must have enough food available to feed their populations, or they face losing resources or points.”

(You can tell this blurb was written a while ago.)

This is a game that I’ve never been any good at. You can send as many meeples to the resource places as you want (though there is a limit in total so maybe not quite as many as you would like) to get resources where it’s increasingly difficult to get them (you roll one die per meeple, but for one resource you may get one of that resource for each 2 pips on the dice but for another resource it may be one for every 4 pips on the dice).

You can also spend resources to get boats that are coming in for trade. These can give you technologies, resources, or other things.

Finally, you can spend resources for buildings that will get you victory points.

It’s all kind of interesting and I’d like to play it on the table once just to say I did, but I got a little bored with it on the app and on Boardgame Arena.

Worker Placement games have grown leaps and bounds since this one, so it’s showing its age.

Ask me again if I ever actually sit down to it, though.

#105 – Tainted Grail: the Fall of Avalon (Awaken Realms) – 2019

Designers: Krzysztof Piskorski, Marcin Świerkot

Artists: Piotr Foksowicz, Ewa Labak, Piotr Gacek

In a sign of how the new hotness can affect things, this is up to #84!

Oh yeah, this is what probably happened to cause such a downturn for the other games.

Tainted Grail: the Fall of Avalon is a game I know nothing about. I tried to play the Steam app, but my computer wasn’t robust enough for it so I gave up on that.

Let’s not even pretend I’m going to know what I’m talking about, but instead do a blurb.

Tainted Grail: the Fall of Avalon is an unforgettable, solo or cooperative adventure experience for 1-4 players. Blending Arthurian legends and Celtic mythology with a unique vision, it allows you to impact the game world in deep and meaningful ways. A deep, branching storyline allows you to tackle problems in different ways, ensuring no two games play alike. Difficult decisions or harrowing choices wait behind every corner and seemingly minor tasks may reverberate with major long-term consequences.

In a land slowly sinking into the Wyrdness and torn apart by conflict; surviving each day is a challenge on its own. Starvation, sickness, violent weather, and random incidents all conspire to end your journey. Guardian Menhirs, that ensured safe travel throughout the realm, are slowly going dark turning simple logistics into an involving puzzle. To overcome these challenges, your character develops along several conflicting lines, such as Brutality / Empathy or Practicality / Spirituality. These traits unlock a rich choice of mutually exclusive skills and lead to different deck-building strategies, making character advancement meaningful and deep.”

It sounds like this is a campaign game, though it’s not 100% clear (other than the “Campaign” entry in the “Mechanisms” portion of the BGG entry, of course).

The game has a branching storyline with a non-linear narrative where you are developing your character and discovering new adventures behind every stone.

It kind of sounds like a structured role-playing game, which may have been the goal.

If I had the right play group, this sounds like a very cool game.

Sadly, I don’t really (maybe after COVID as I branch out again), so it’s probably something I’ll never get to play.

It appears to be very fun, though!

#104 – Barrage (Cranio Creations) – 2019

Designers: Tommaso Battista, Simone Luciani

Artist: Antonio De Luca

More new hotness! This has jumped all the way to #71!

No wonder some of those other games fell a couple of spaces.

Believe it or not, this is a new hotness that I’ve actually played!

Don’t all faint at once.

I’ve only played it once and I sucked terribly at it (that could have been because I was playing with Cal, though) but it was a fun game that I’d like to explore more.

(side note, that post about Barrage has one of my best puns…sorry, Suzanne)

I got my one play in right before COVID, in February 2020, and I really enjoyed it.

This is a game of water power, where you are building dams and power stations to harness the awesome power of running water.

The game takes place in a “dystopic 1930s” Europe, with countries trying to monopolize power production as much as they can.

It has a couple of really interesting mechanisms.

First, your action tokens and resources are stored on a production wheel. Once you’ve done that, you can’t use that action or those resources again until the wheel goes all the way around. One of the things you have to do to maximize is get free turns of the wheel so you’re not waiting for it all to come back to you.

The second thing that’s very attractive is the shared board. You are building your dams to take advantage of the water flow, but if you’re not careful somebody may build a dam upstream of you and thus the water flowing through your dam is very much lessened! Plus, you could build the dam but then somebody else builds the power station.

It’s very possible that somebody could divert the water away from your dams, which would really piss you off.

The resource management element along with the actions and how you perform them (and how much you have to wait to perform them again) really makes your brain burn.

When I was playing, I could see the necessary patterns out of the corner of my eye, but needless to say Cal just ran roughshod over us, making his wheel turn what seemed like 10 times a turn so he got his actions and resources back again.

I’d like to try this one again, very much so.

This is, by definition, a heavy game, and thus will not be played by me until the COVID restrictions are lifted.

#103 – Clank! In! Space! (Renegade Game Studios/Dire Wolf Digital) – 2017

Designer: Paul Dennen

Artists: Rayph Beisner, Raul Ramos, Rastislav Le, Nate Storm, Franz Vohwinkel

This has fallen to #106, but considering the jumps that two of the games behind it took, it’s not surprising.

This is also a game I did a review for (as well as the first expansion), so for a detailed description of how to play, please go there.

This game is easily in my Top 10 of all time (and my Top 5 games played last year, considering the fact that I didn’t play that many).

I just love the deck-building aspect along with the movement along the board, trying to move around the ship to get a juicy artifact and then making it off while still alive.

Whenever I mention this game, of course, I have to mention how some people don’t like spending 2 hours playing just for no points.

These are from the Cyberstation 11 expansion

I love the graphic design of the game, I don’t even mind the player elimination, mainly because if players are eliminated, they are still contributing to making the lives of everyone else still alive Hell.

The expansions just add interesting stuff to the game. They’re not necessary, but they make it more appealing to me. I can’t really comment too much on the second expansion since I’ve played it once, but the first expansion is definitely one I will always play with if at all possible.

It can get a bit long sometimes, and I can see why some people wouldn’t like that.

For me, it’s a great game that I am always willing to play (though setup can be a bitch).

#102 – Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game (Fantasy Flight Games) – 2012

Designer: Jason Little

Artists: Lots!

This has now fallen to #108, which is probably because the Falcon hasn’t come to save the day yet.

I remember first seeing Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game on the table at one of the V-Con conventions I went to a few years ago.

It definitely has an interesting table presence.

However, it is yet another game I haven’t played yet and I’m not sure if I will.

It’s certainly not a game I’m really that interested in investing time and money in. I know it won’t get played much if at all by me or my game group. It requires a lot of table space, which is not a luxury I have either at home or out with my group.

Let’s blurb this since I can’t really comment on the game play:

“Whatever your chosen vessel, the rules of X-Wing facilitate fast and visceral gameplay that puts you in the middle of Star Wars fiercest firefights. Each ship type has its own unique piloting dial, which is used to secretly select a speed and maneuver each turn. After planning maneuvers, each ship’s dial is revealed and executed (starting with the lowest skilled pilot). So whether you rush headlong toward your enemy showering his forward deflectors in laser fire, or dance away from him as you attempt to acquire a targeting lock, you’ll be in total control throughout all the tense dogfighting action.

Star Wars: X-Wing features (three) unique missions, and each has its own set of victory conditions and special rules; with such a broad selection of missions, only clever and versatile pilots employing a range of tactics will emerge victorious. What’s more, no mission will ever play the same way twice, thanks to a range of customization options, varied maneuvers, and possible combat outcomes. Damage, for example, is determined through dice and applied in the form of a shuffled Damage Deck. For some hits your fighter sustains, you’ll draw a card that assigns a special handicap. Was your targeting computer damaged, affecting your ability to acquire a lock on the enemy? Perhaps an ill-timed weapon malfunction will limit your offensive capabilities. Or worse yet, your pilot could be injured, compromising his ability to focus on the life-and-death struggle in which he is engaged…”

It sounds like a fun game and I wouldn’t mind trying a scenario out at a con or something, but for the most part miniatures games aren’t my cup of tea.

#101 – Forbidden Stars (Fantasy Flight Games) – 2015

Designers: Samuel Bailey, James Kniffen, Corey Konieczka

Artists: N/A

This has dropped to #105 now.

I know some people who really love Forbidden Stars and it’s a shame that Fantasy Flight has lost the license to Warhammer games so it will never be reprinted.

What’s that in the distance? That’s right, it’s another blurb!

Forbidden Stars challenges you and up to three other players to take command of a mighty fighting force: the Ultramarines chapter of Space Marines, the Eldar of Craftworld Iyanden, the Evil Sunz Ork clan, or the World Eaters Warband of the Chaos Space Marines. Each faction offers unique armies and play styles, but your goal remains the same — to claim the key objectives selected for your faction. These objective tokens are scattered throughout the Herakon Cluster, but your opponents are sure to defend your objectives against you. You need to build massive armies and command them in unending war to best your enemies and claim your objectives. The fight for the Herakon Cluster is brutal and bloody, and either you will stride triumphant over the bodies of your fallen foes — or they will do the same to you.”

It looks really fascinating and I wish I knew somebody who had this game! I would love to try it.

Heavy Cardboard does have a playthrough of it if you want to see it in action.

We fans of Blood Bowl: Team Manager are also very upset that Fantasy Flight lost the Warhammer license.

Now that was a game that needed even more expansions.

Oh well, what can you do?

And that’s it! We’ve reached the end of the Top 200 games on BGG.

What’s next?

I think it’s obvious, isn’t it? As long as we’re stuck at home due to COVID, anyway?

Yes, let’s do the BGG Top 300, counting down from 300 to 201.

Look for that in the near future.

Then we can reach the end of the line for the 3rd time, sometime, oh, maybe 6 months from now.

So what do you think of these 10 games? Big fan? Hate with a passion? Did you lose your license to feel one way or the other?

Let me know in the comments.

Posts in this Series


14 Comments on “Boardgame Geek Top 200 – Play or Played – #110-101

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  10. Thanks for another post in one of my favorite series. I have 4/10 (Descent, Decrypto, Alchemists, Star Wars) plus I played base version of Clank 🙂 Out of those, I regret I have not finished the whole Descent campaign – it is really very interesting game.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you! I’m glad you like the series.

    Are you excited about the top 300? 🙂

    Have you played Imperial Assault? If so, how does it compare to Descent?

    Liked by 1 person

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