Wow, it’s been over a month since the last edition of the Top 300 boardgames on Boardgame Geek.
I think that’s a bad sign.
Is it a bad sign?
Is it because of the funk I’ve been in over the last month or so?
Not sure what it is about these posts that I find so difficult.
I get the administrative work for the post done (listing the games, linking the BGG page, listing the publisher, designers, artists, etc) but then I just kind of fall away from it.
Speaking of mentioning the designers, this news comment thread on BGG has reinforced why I like listing the designers on all of these posts.
It never even occurred to me that reviews wouldn’t mention the designer!
But apparently that’s kind of rare.
I’m proud to say I’ve done it for quite a while, if not from the very beginning.
Since I can’t come up with a good picture to reflect that point, have some cats.
Even though the slowness of these posts may tell you something different, I do enjoy these. I like going through a bunch of games, some of which I’ve played, some that I would like to, and some that I wouldn’t touch with a bargepole.
That being said, let’s get this one started so I can blurb like I’ve never blurbed before!
(Yes, I like to make up words)
Here we go!
Designer: Antoine Bauza
Artists: Nicolas Fructus, Picksel, Yuio
This one has fallen to #282, probably because people are pissed off that the panda keeps eating all the bamboo!
Starting this one off with a game I’ve played!
In Takenoko, you are attempting to fulfill objectives by creating a Japanese garden, growing bamboo on the various tiles, and having the panda (a gift from the Chinese emperor) move around eating the bamboo stalks.
This is one of the most peaceful games I’ve played.
So peaceful that I’ve even reviewed it! (Editor: “What the heck does that even mean?”)
A new 2nd edition has just come out in the last couple of weeks. This edition tweaks some of the objective cards, changes a few of the rules that will affect your strategies (like not being able to collect irrigation channels) and updates the iconography a little bit. I think it makes the game a bit more colourblind-friendly.
Overall, I do really enjoy this game. It’s not my go-to game or anything, but my wife does enjoy it and my 1st edition has had many plays because of that.
It’s just very Zen…
And that’s a good thing!
(I’m not sure what to make of the recent changes that are on Boardgame Arena and will be in the “2nd edition” of the game. I know it’s changing my strategies, but is it for the good? Did it need these changes? I’m not really sure yet)
Designer: Ed Beach
Artists: Rodger B. MacGowan, Mark Simonitch
This game has fallen to #287, though that could be because this is the original version and not the 2017 update (which is currently at #1396 and rising)
Kismet? Is it the result of Queen Elizabeth not marrying?
This is a game that intrigues me a lot but also greatly intimidates me.
The history buff in me wants to play it so bad.
The gamer in me who hates negotiation games because I suck at them will never want to play it.
But it looks so cool!
Since I’ve never played it, let’s blurb it:
“Here I Stand: Wars of the Reformation 1517-1555 is the first game in over 25 years to cover the political and religious conflicts of early 16th Century Europe. Few realize that the greatest feats of Martin Luther, John Calvin, Ignatius of Loyola, Henry VIII, Charles V, Francis I, Suleiman the Magnificent, Ferdinand Magellan, Hernán Cortés, and Nicolaus Copernicus all fall within this narrow 40-year period of history. This game covers all the action of the period using a unique card-driven game system that models both the political and religious conflicts of the period on a single point-to-point map.”
There’s something to be said about a game that starts with Martin Luther nailing the 95 points to the wall to begin the Protestant revolution against the Catholic Church.
And then brings in numerous other European powers that will be trying to make their own way through the political quagmire of the 16th century in Europe.
My friend Clio has done a number of posts on the game. You can start here and just click through.
The game could take up to 12 hours, which is another reason I haven’t ventured to play it at a convention.
But man, it sounds so cool.
I want to.
But I can’t.
We’ll see if I ever do sit down to play it at some point.
Designer: Uwe Rosenberg
Artist: Klemens Franz
This game has fallen to #286. Is that because there are too many sheep or cows?
Or just because it’s a 2-player game?
I’ve played this game as an app but never against another player (or if I did, I did so badly that I’ve blocked it out of my mind).
Digidiced has done a great app adaptation of it!
As for the game itself, I quickly grew tired of it but that may be because I was playing the AI the entire time.
Whether it’s the original Agricola or this 2-player light version, I just kind of bounce off of Rosenberg’s “create a farm, feed your people” games.
Granted, in this one you’re not feeding your people so maybe it’s not as big of an issue.
But I played the app version a couple of times and I just wasn’t that interested in further plays.
I’ve heard good things about this one, and knowing that you’re not feeding your workers is definitely a step up!
Let’s blurb this before I say too much more.
“In Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small, you become an animal breeder of horses, cows, sheep and pigs and try to make the most of your pastures. Players start with a 3×2 game board that can be expanded during play to give more room for players to grow and animals to run free. Sixteen possible actions are available for players to take, with each player taking three actions total in each of the eight rounds.
The player who amasses the most victory points through enclosing space with fences and acquiring the largest number and variety of animals and victory point-generating buildings will be the winner.”
It doesn’t sound that interesting, but I can definitely tell you that I’m more interested in playing this one than its parent, Agricola.
I wouldn’t mind giving it a try on the table. Or maybe I’ll try the app again.
But for now, my reaction is a big and basic “eh.”
Designer: Jean-Louis Roubira
Artist: Marie Cardouat
Dixit has fallen to #281, probably because people are weirded out by the art.
I have actually played Dixit only twice, many years ago. The second time was at a game night where my wife joined me and was roped into this game as well.
It’s not a bad game, but if your brain isn’t built to interpret weird drawings in a way to score points, you won’t do very well with it.
In the game, each player is dealt a series of cards with a bunch of very weird artwork.
On your turn, you will create a phrase or word that will be associated with one of your cards. Other players will put cards down that are related to what you said.
After all players have done so, all cards are revealed and all other players will vote on which card they think is yours.
You get points if only a few people (or even only one!) vote on your card. If everybody votes on yours, then you suck and don’t get anything. If somebody votes on another player’s card, they get points as well.
I have to say I really suck at this game and it’s not that enjoyable for me. Not because it’s a bad game, but because it’s not in my wheelhouse.
It’s a cool game in its own right, and there are tons of expansions (which I think just add cards, but maybe they also add new rules? I don’t know).
It could be a cool party game, or as a test to see if your date is worth going on a second date with. Really, if they can’t understand what you’re doing in Dixit, maybe it’s not worth dating them again.
But that’s up to you.
Designer: Sid Sackson
Artists: Scott Okumura, Peter Whitley
This game is now #280, probably because of a bad corporate merger.
I haven’t played Acquire in a number of years. On one of my game nights many eons ago (like, 8 years), somebody brought it out and since there were only 3 of us and nobody had any better alternatives, we said “sure!” (this is so long ago that I don’t even have pictures)
Acquire is a business game where you are buying stocks, investing in businesses and trying to make sure that you have stock in the businesses that are doing the best. Businesses start merging, giving shareholders big bonuses as well.
There are other cool things that the part of me who is nowhere near a business mogul has no idea what’s going on.
It’s a really old game and a classic, so I would never denigrate the game.
But it’s not something I really want to play again.
So let’s blurb it! (That’s my default blurb when I want to
pad out blog posts talk about games that I don’t know)
“In Acquire, each player strategically invests in businesses, trying to retain a majority of stock. As the businesses grow with tile placements, they also start merging, giving the majority stockholders of the acquired business sizable bonuses, which can then be used to reinvest into other chains. All of the investors in the acquired company can then cash in their stocks for current value or trade them 2-for-1 for shares of the newer, larger business. The game is a race to acquire the greatest wealth.”
Doesn’t that sound enticing?
I didn’t think so.
Then again, if you’re a businessman, maybe it does!
Designers: Bruno Cathala, Bruno Faidutti
Artists: Andrew Bosley, Samuel Shimota, Alyn Spiller
This has fallen to #276, probably because of the increased time it takes Mars to go around the Sun.
I’ve seen this Fantasy Flight game available in a number of different areas but I’ve just never pulled the trigger on buying it.
I think I got burned by Planet Steam (also a game by Fantasy Flight) where I bought it and then it never got played. I didn’t want to make that kind of investment again.
Much like Planet Steam, Mission: Red Planet is a steampunk game where Victorian-era people are trying to do something that, in reality, we can’t even do now.
In this case, it’s colonize and explore Mars.
Let’s blurb this because, you know, the Martians would want us to.
“As the head of a mining corporation, these minerals and ice found on Mars could make you unfathomably wealthy – if you can reach them before your competitors. You have ten rounds to send your astronauts into space, occupy the planet’s most resource-rich zones, and harvest as much celerium, sylvanite, and ice as possible. At your command is a team of nine professionals. Each has a unique skill set, from helping your astronauts traverse the Red Planet to blowing up spaceships before they launch.
In each round in Mission: Red Planet, players start by secretly deploying one of their character cards, with this card determining both when they place astronauts on the spaceships awaiting launch to Mars and which special action they take during the round. Each spaceship has a specified destination, and until an astronaut sets foot in a region, no one knows which resource they’ll find. Players collect resources (worth points) three times during the game, and they each have a secret mission card that might grant them additional points at game’s end. During the game, players might acquire an additional mission or a research card that changes the value of what awaits on Mars.”
Yep, resources and mining, developing an economy of some kind.
Still, there is the exploration aspect of the game that sounds kind of intriguing. The secret mission card is cool, and the fact that you can get additional missions or research cards is pretty nice too.
I just couldn’t bring myself to pull the trigger. I want to try this game. It’s obviously fairly highly respected if it’s in the Top 300.
I want to play it first, though.
Maybe at a convention?
Yeah, probably not. I rarely hear about this game any more, really.
Which is a shame, as it seems like it might be fun?
Anybody reading this have any input on the quality?
Designer: Trevor Benjamin, David Thompson
Artist: Brigette Indelicato
This one has jumped to #244! Wow, it’s almost like the game went to war against the games in front of it…
War Chest is a 2-player bag-building wargame that has become immensely popular. I see tweets about it all the time.
Designed by the same duo that did Undaunted: Normandy (a game that I still haven’t gotten despite being excited when it came out…but maybe one day!), this one is a bit more abstract than that one is.
I haven’t bought this one yet or played it, mainly because my main 2-player opponent is my wife and it doesn’t seem up her alley (though I should probably stop saying that since I have actually bought a wargame or two now).
Since I haven’t played it, let’s blurb! (That’s kind of like “Let’s Fondue.”)
“Each round you draw three unit coins from your bag, then take turns using them to perform actions. Each coin shows a military unit on one side and can be used for one of several actions. The game ends when one player — or one team in the case of a four-player game — has placed all of their control markers. That player or team wins!”
It does say that this is a 2-4 player game, which makes me wonder. I didn’t realize that!
Maybe I will check it out one of these days.
Because it sounds pretty cool!
Designer: Antoine Bauza
This one has fallen to #279, probably because of the annoying ghosts (and the fact that it’s almost impossible to win)
Another Bauza game, which is pretty cool.
This one is a cooperative game and it’s supposedly incredibly hard.
There was an app of this and I think I bought it, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t work anymore so I haven’t even played it in that form (I bought it, but never actually tried it).
What’s this one about?
Let’s blurb (because, you know, that’s what I do).
“To exorcise a ghost, the Taoist rolls three Tao dice with different colors: red, blue, green, yellow, black, and white. If the result of the roll matches the color(s) of the ghost or incarnation of Wu-Feng, the exorcism succeeds. The white result is a wild color that can be used as any color. For example, to exorcise a green ghost with 3 resistance, you need to roll three green, three white, or a combination of both. If your die rolls fall short, you can also use Tao tokens that match the color in addition to your roll. You may choose to use these after your roll. Taoists gain these tokens by using certain village tiles or by exorcising certain ghosts. One of the Taoists has a power that allows him to receive such a token once per turn.
To win, the players must defeat the incarnation of Wu-Feng, a boss who arrives at the end of the game. There are also harder difficulty levels that add more incarnations of Wu-Feng, in which to win, you must defeat all of them.
There are many more ways to lose, however. The players lose if three of the village’s tiles are haunted, if the draw pile is emptied while the incarnation of Wu-Feng is still in play, or if all the priests are dead.”
Because we all know that a cooperative game has to have one way to win and many ways to lose.
The game hates you! You know that.
Yet you still play it.
I think we are all masochists.
I’ve heard Tom Vassel say good things about the game so I wouldn’t mind trying it once.
But I’m getting tired of having my ass kicked!
Maybe Tom can introduce me to it at a convention.
Designers: James Kniffen, Christian T. Petersen
Artist: Ben Zweifel
This one has fallen to #283, probably because the Imperials suck.
Another miniatures game similar to Star Wars: X-Wing (which is more popular, I believe), this one has Star Wars capital ships fighting it out.
Much the same as with that one, miniatures just don’t really do much for me and this game isn’t really something that I’m interested in.
However, in the interest of maybe getting you fascinated with it, let’s blurb it to see if you might like it!
“Massive Star Destroyers fly to battle against Rebel corvettes and frigates. Banks of turbolasers unleash torrential volleys of fire against squadrons of X-wing and TIEs. Engineering teams race to route additional power to failing shields. Laser blasts and explosions flare across the battlefield. Even a single ship can change the tide of battle.
In Star Wars: Armada, you assume the role of fleet admiral, serving with either the Imperial Navy or Rebel Alliance. You assemble your fleet and engage the enemy. Using the game’s unique maneuver tool, you steer your capital ships across the battlefield, even while squadrons of starfighters buzz around them. Then, as these ships exchange fire, it’s your job to issue the tactical commands that will decide the course of battle and, perhaps, the fate of the galaxy.”
It all looks cool on the table, but again, not really something for me.
I’ll gladly watch you play for a bit, though!
Designers: Hal Duncan, Ruth Veevers
Artist: Kwanchai Moriya
I actually kind of like deduction games.
I enjoyed my one play of Tobago (and am now enjoying our turn-based games on Boardgame Arena).
I just bought The Search for Planet X, which is another deduction game where you are searching for a missing planet.
However, this one I haven’t had the chance to play. I’m not even sure it showed up at a game day (pre-COVID, of course). It may have, but I don’t remember.
It does sound really intriguing.
This appears to be a deduction game with a twist, as players can do their part to throw other players off the scent of finding the monster (or creature, or maybe Mrs Wiggins…).
I’m not even going to tell you that next will come a blurb…(damn, I guess that did actually tell you. One day, I will surprise you!)
“Cryptid is a unique deduction game of honest misdirection in which players must try to uncover information about their opponents’ clues while throwing them off the scent of their own. Each player holds one piece of evidence to help them find the creature, and on their turn they can try to gain more information from their opponents. Be warned; give too much away and your opponents might beat you to the mysterious animal and claim the glory for themselves!
The game includes a modular board, five clue books, and a deck of set-up cards with hundreds of possible set-ups across two difficulty levels. It is also supported by an entirely optional digital companion, allowing for faster game set-up and a near-infinite range of puzzles.”
Some of these deduction games are entirely app-driven (like Search for Planet X, which sounds so cool and I hope I get to play my copy one of these days!). Cryptid appears to be “app-optional,” (that sounds like a social construct).
Anyway, Cryptid is a game that I would love to play, though I’m sure I would suck at it. Deduction games aren’t my forte, but unlike dexterity games, I actually enjoy them (though maybe not social deduction games as much).
Hell, who am I kidding? I suck at all games.
So there you have it.
Finally, after many weeks, the next installment in the Top 300 boardgames list!
How many of these have you played? How many do you want to play?
How many do you wish would just go away and stop bothering you?
It was not a good entry for me, with three games played and one in app form only.
Let me know in the comments what you think of these.
Category: Board Games, Top 10Tags: 2-Player Games, Abstract Games, Acquire, AEG, Agricola: All Creatures Big & Small, Antoine Bauza, Avalon Hill, Bruno Cathala, Bruno Faidutti, Christian T. Petersen, Cooperative Games, Cryptid, David Thompson, Deduction, Dixit, Economic Games, Ed Beach, Fantasy Flight Games, Ghost Stories, GMT Games, Hal Duncan, Here I Stand, James Kniffen, Jean-Louis Roubira, Libellud, Lunch Time Games, Matagot, Miniatures, Mission: Red Planet - 2nd Edition, Osprey Games, Repos Games, Ruth Veevers, Sid Sackson, Star Wars: Armada, Takenoko, Tile-Laying Games, Trevor Benjamin, Uwe Rosenberg, War Chest, Wargames, Z-Man Games
This is a blog about board games, with the occasional other post for a bit of spice.