Boardgame Geek Top 300 – Play or Played – #220-211

We’re heading into the home stretch with our look at the Top 300 games on Boardgame Geek.

I may even finish before October!

Wouldn’t that be a hoot?

I’ve actually really enjoyed doing this list, even as I stated last week that it just started as a way to get some content up here during the pandemic.

It’s exposed me to many games that I may have heard of but really had no concept about.

It’s shown me that I haven’t played as many games as I would like to have done. Something I need to improve on!

One more week after this one, so why don’t we get started?

Before we do, just a note to say that the list I’m basing these posts on was downloaded on February 8 (yes, it’s taken that long to finish this). I’ve noted the changes for each game.

#220 – Modern Art (CMON) – 1992

Designer: Reiner Knizia

Artists: Lots! (depends on the version)

This one is now #222. Not much change. It’s been hovering near the same spot for almost 9 months now! Even with multiple games vaulting past it.

Obviously that means something, but I don’t know what.

I really don’t like auction games that much. Some of them are fun (Power Grid to name one, though that’s kind of an auction/financial game as you’re trying to figure out the best way to spread your power stations around the board) but most aren’t.

However, for some reason, Modern Art just works for me.

It’s a pure auction game with no other mechanisms in it.

But for some reason, it just sings.

I did a first impressions post on it after I played it for the first time.

I’ve played it three more times since then and nothing in that post has really changed.

(Also see that post for how to play the game).

I really can’t explain why I like it so much.

I suck at it! I have a terrible time determining the right value for these paintings.

The five different artists

Do I keep bidding to get the price up? What if nobody else offers a piece of art from the same artist this round. It will be worth nothing! Should I buy the painting I’m offering up?

Note that while this game first came out in 1992, I have (and have played) only the CMON version that came out a few years ago (maybe 2016?).

There are tons of editions of these, some international, some with a big gavel (ok, maybe it just seems big).

Gameplay should be the same regardless.

I haven’t played this one since 2018. May be time to bring it out again.

#219 – Fury of Dracula – 3rd/4th Edition (Fantasy Flight Games) – 2015

Designers: Frank Brooks, Stephen Hand, Kevin Wilson

Artists: Chris Beck, Samuel R. Shimota

This one has fallen to #234. Obviously Dracula’s plan is coming to fruition! Though you’d think he’d want his game to succeed.

Fury of Dracula is another one of those hidden movement, one vs many games where up to 4 players are trying to find Dracula (the additional player) as he wanders around Europe bringing darkness to it.

I have never played the board game, but I have played the app version (solo only) and it’s pretty good.

Not to my taste as far as apps go, but it does make me interested in trying the board game on the table one day.

The app makes it look pretty good though I don’t know how it actually looks on the table either.

Maybe at a convention?

Hmm, have I said that before?

I can’t remember.

#218 – Space Alert (Czech Games Edition) – 2008

Designer: Vlaada Chvátil

Artists: Radim Pech, Milan Vavroň

This one has fallen to #233. Too many alien infiltrators.

The first Czech Games Edition game on this post!

I have never even seen Space Alert in the wild, much less played it.

Was it out of print even before I became a gamer?

I have no idea.

Wow, we’re three games in before my first blurb!!!

Space Alert is a cooperative team survival game. Players become crew members of a small spaceship scanning dangerous sectors of the galaxy. The missions last just 10 real-time minutes (hyperspace jump, sector scan, hyperspace jump back) and the only task the players have is to protect their ship.

During play, the central computer will announce the presence of various threats on one the supplied 10 minute soundtracks that also acts as a game timer. The threats vary from space battleships and interceptors to different interstellar monsters and abominations, asteroids or even intruders and malfunctions on the spaceship. Players have to agree who will take care of which task and coordinate their actions (moving around the ship, firing weapons, distributing energy, using battlebots to deal with intruders, launching guided missiles, etc.) in real time to defend the ship. Only a well-working team can survive 10 minutes and make the jump back to safety.

The game offers several difficulty levels, huge variability and a unique experience for one to five player teams. One mission lasts only about 30 minutes, including setup and evaluation.”

It does sound interesting.

However, real-time games are not my cup of tea.

I just don’t think that fast.

Playing Captain Sonar with Suzanne as my captain almost gave me a nervous breakdown! (Though we did win, so that helped).

Given that, I’m not sure how willing I would be to play it.

But it would be fun to watch!

#217 – Lords of Hellas (Awaken Realms) – 2018

Designer: Adam Kwapiński

Artist: Piotr Gacek

This game has fallen to #237. Zeus is obviously losing his charm.

Another game I haven’t played (that’s becoming all too common, but this week won’t be as bad as last week!)

And we have our first miniatures game of the week!

This looks like a really cool game and it has a glorious table presence.

This amazing picture is from Alexander on BGG. (I doubt the mat’s included in the game, though)

It does sound like it would be a fun time.

But since I’ve never played it, let’s blurb.

“In Lords of Hellas, you control an asymmetric hero, developed by increasing his 3 basic statistics and gathering artifacts.

Through the game you can choose from various actions and influence the game thanks to the mighty monuments of base Gods: Zeus, Athena, and Hermes. You need to strategically move your armies and hero as well as manage your actions in order to win.

Players can win in various ways: by controlling area, temples, or slaying monsters that are wandering through the map and interfere in various ways. Once any victory condition is met, the game ends (there is no point system).”

Asymmetry! Multiple avenues of winning!

What could go wrong?

#216 – Kingdomino (Blue Orange Games) – 2016


Designer: Bruno Cathala

Artist: Cyril Bouquet

This has fallen to #228. Too many taxes, king! Get with the plan.

Kingdomino looks like it’s a great entry-level boardgame and I’m sure it is.

However, I haven’t played it.

I have played its sequel (and more complicated version), Queendomino. I think I’ve also played both of them combined once, but I couldn’t really tell the difference between that and Queendomino.

Let’s blurb this since I technically haven’t played it.

“In Kingdomino, you are a lord seeking new lands in which to expand your kingdom. You must explore all the lands, including wheat fields, lakes, and mountains, in order to spot the best plots, while competing with other lords to acquire them first.

The game uses tiles with two sections, similar to Dominoes. Each turn, each player will select a new domino to connect to their existing kingdom, making sure at least one of its sides connects to a matching terrain type already in play. The order of who picks first depends on which tile was previously chosen, with better tiles forcing players to pick later in the next round. The game ends when each player has completed a 5×5 grid (or failed to do so), and points are counted based on number of connecting tiles and valuable crown symbols.”

The concept is the same as Queendomino, but that game adds a bunch of other options that this basic version doesn’t have.

Would I try this one?

I really enjoyed Queendomino, so this one might be too simple for me.

But if I was playing with somebody completely unfamiliar with board games, I might do so.

#215 – Space Base (AEG) – 2018

Designer: John D. Clair

Artist: Chris Walton

This has jumped to #201 since February. Well-deserved!!! Obviously some really intelligent people have now rated it.

And here we get to something that not only have I played, but I have both expansions and I love this one to death! It’s definitely in my Top 25 games played of all time.

So much so that I actually reviewed it.

The “how to play” is in the review so I won’t repeat it here.

However, suffice to say that I love the dice-rolling and buying ships that will improve your board’s options for dice.

And unlike Machi Koro (which I liked but now really dislike), there are things you can do every turn.

There’s a closeup!!!

Not only that, but as the game goes on, you can do stuff on other players’ turns too!

The Command Station expansion adds cards and abilities to make the player count go up to 7 players, which is almost unfathomable.

That being said, there are cards in the expansion that will greatly help with that.

I haven’t tried it yet, but maybe I will one of these days.

In the meantime, this game is a classic and I will play it anytime, anywhere.

And probably lose.

But that’s ok!

This one is a favourite and I doubt it will ever go out of my Top 25.

#214 – Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery (Tropical Games) – 2007

Designer: Glenn Drover

Artists: Paul Niemeyer, James Provenzale

This has fallen to #231, probably because nobody knew exactly which game they were playing.

Another civilization game that I’ve never played!

I think there’s a pattern here…

Anyway, as the BGG page indicates, this game should not be confused with Age of Discovery, which is very easy to do because it has a lot of commonalities…like me not having played either one of them.

Oh, and I guess having very similar names might be another issue.

Anyway, let’s blurb this because I don’t know anything about it (other than I believe it has nothing to do with the video game):

Designed by Glenn Drover, this boardgame allows you to revisit the age of exploration and discovery. Take on the role of a colonial power seeking fame, glory, and riches in the New World. As you proceed through three ages, you can launch expeditions of discovery, colonize regions, expand your merchant fleet, build capitol buildings that give your nation distinct advantages, develop your economy, and, if necessary, declare war.

Though originally published for 5 players, the game is playable by 6 with the original components and board configuration with addition of a set of figures in another color. This was originally offered as an “expansion” and an incentive to pre-order the game. A 6 player expansion is also in the Glenn Drover’s Empires: Builder Expansion, along with new capital buildings and National Advantage tiles.

Not to be confused with Age of Discovery.

See? It says it right there!

I wouldn’t mind giving this one a try if anybody I ever saw had it. I assume it’s long out of print, though.

The 90-120 minute play time does sound attractive, though!

#213 – Pulsar 2849 (Czech Games Edition) – 2017

Designer: Vladimír Suchý

Artist: Sören Meding

This has fallen a small distance, to #219. Space games will do that to you, right Mandi?

Now we get our second Czech Games Edition game on this list! And it’s another one I haven’t played.

But wow does it look attractive. When it first came out in 2017, I did almost get it.

Then I saw it on the table and realized there was no way in Hell that I was going to have the table space for it.

Still, it is a game I’ve very much wanted to play for a long time.

Since I haven’t, though, let me blurb it:

It is the year 2849, and humanity has harnessed the power of the pulsars. Now we must find a way to distribute this power throughout the stars.

Draft dice to explore the universe in Pulsar 2849. Game is only 8 rounds long.

Each round, roll dice based on the number of players, sort them based on their values, then draft dice to take actions.

You get points every turn based on what you’ve discovered. There are also common goals that everybody is going for that will get you points as well.

I’m excited to play it! Maybe at a convention?

Because…can you say “table hog?”

This pic is from BGG, posted by Robin Yoon

I knew you could.

#212 – Dixit: Odyssey (Libellud) – 2011

Designer: Jean-Louis Roubira

Artists: Marie Cardouat, Pierô

This has fallen to #226, probably because too many people couldn’t figure out your damned clue!

Dixit: Odyssey is a standalone expansion to Dixit, a game that I actually have played once.

I’ve never played the expansion and, since it’s also stand-alone, I assume that’s why it has its own entry.

Anyway, the gameplay is exactly the same, but there are a bunch of new cards (84) with more gorgeous artwork.

If you’re not good at interpreting and creatively coming up with a description of the weird scenes depicted on the cards, then you’re not going to enjoy this game.

Essentially, on your turn, you choose one of your cards and describe it with a word or a sentence/phrase. Then you lay it face-down and everybody else chooses one of their cards that might fit your clue. The cards are shuffled together, laid out, and everybody guesses which card was yours.

If everybody gets it, that’s bad. You were too obvious and you lose. If nobody gets it, you were too vague and you lose. But if only some of the players guessed it, then you and they get three points. Also, each other player gets one point for each person who guessed their card instead of yours.

It’s definitely interesting, but it bends my brain in weird directions.

Still, I wouldn’t be averse to playing it again (either version)

#211 – Imperial Settlers (Portal Games) – 2014

Designer: Ignacy Trzewiczek

Artists: Mateusz Bielski, Tomasz Jedruszek, Jarosław Marcinek, Rafał Szyma

This has fallen to #230. It’s gotta be the Barbarians, am I right?

Imperial Settlers is a game I loved the first couple times I played it. Loved it so much that I bought it and all of the expansions.

And then for some reason it just never got to the table. The expansions seemed (in my mind, since I obviously hadn’t played them) to bloat the game. The adjustments you had to make to the deck of cards to accommodate the new cards and factions for some reason just intimidated me.

So I traded them all away.

And then I played 51st State: Master Set and fell in love with that game. It seems to be an improvement on this one, though I played somebody else’s copy so didn’t have the expansion issues.

Anyway, that’s just to say why I haven’t played it since 2015.

It looks really cool on the table.

The artwork is really cool.

It’s kind of a mini civilization-builder as you are one of four civilizations trying to build up your empire (and perhaps do nasty things to an opponent).

I love the three-tiered card play where you are you can either build a production card, a “feature” card or an action card.

You send workers to do an action from one of your actions cards as well.

Another cool aspect is that there are generic cards from a generic deck that everybody draws from and can build from, and then each empire has its own deck with specialized buildings that will really help your empire grow and build and conquer.

Hell, I think I’ve talked myself into trying to play this again.

Maybe at a convention!

Though there are many games in the “universe” of Imperial Settlers that I would like to try as well.

There we go. I’ve played many more of these than I had played of last week’s entry.

Not nearly enough, though.

Have you played any of these?

Love ’em? Hate ’em? Want to conquer them?

Let me know in the comments.

Posts in this Series


10 Comments on “Boardgame Geek Top 300 – Play or Played – #220-211

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  9. Pingback: Boardgame Geek Top 300 – Play or Played – #210-201 – Dude! Take Your Turn!

  10. Now, finally a better performance: 4/10. Fury of Dracula (only as App), Space Alert (what a crazy game, love the innovative approach), Kingdomino (that I played with children), Age of Empires (one of my first exploration games, spent a lot of time with it and of course, with computer version)

    Liked by 1 person

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