So, I’m in a bit of a rut creatively lately. This whole pandemic thing is keeping me from thinking about too many other things. So this is a post about what I haven’t played. I’ll actually be going straight down the BGG Top 100 list. And, since my lists tend to be 11 at a time, I’ll be talking today about the first 11 games from the Top 100 that I haven’t played. Here we go.
Gloomhaven (Isaac Childres, Cephalofair Games, 2017) is the #1 game on BGG. It’s a massive campaign style game, where you are working together to complete quests. There’s a legacy aspect to the game, and some interesting card combo mechanisms as well. I have not played a FULL game of this – I have a friend who owns it, and one of my tasks when I was house sitting for them a few months ago was to learn it so I could teach it when we actually do play. So I played a few solo hands to get a feel for it, but I am not counting it as a full play yet. Hopefully when this who COVID-19 thing is over, we’ll finally get to it.
Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 (Matt Leacock/Rob Daviau, Z-Man Games, 2015, #2 on BGG) was the second major legacy game, following Daviau’s Risk Legacy in 2011. It was based on Pandemic (2008), and transformed it into an experience where the game changed from session to session. I actually own this, but have not played yet. It’s been difficult to get a group together. My wife and I have talked about just playing it ourselves, especially during this time of an ACTUAL pandemic, but I haven’t quite talked her into it yet.
Terraforming Mars (Jacob Fryxelius, FryxGames/Stronghold, 2016, #3 on BGG) is a game about the transforming of the planet Mars so it is suitable for human habitation. The game has been incredibly popular since it came out, with people lauding it for its structure and the strategic choices it contains. I have not played it because my playing time has been generally reduced over the last few years, and no one I play with regularly owns it. There’s a local game group I’m able to attend from time to time where it gets played a fair bit. However, the one time I was there and it was an option, people decided to play Great Western Trail instead. So, this one remains on my unplayed list.
Brass: Birmingham (Gavan Brown/Matt Tolman/Martin Wallace, Roxley Games, 2018, #4 on BGG) was a sequel to Roxley’s reprint of Brass (2007, now known as Brass: Lancashire). It’s a game about the Industrial Revolution, and has been nearly universally praised by people who have played it, and especially by fans of the original game. I haven’t played because I honestly haven’t seen it in the wild. It does look beautiful, and my interest is high. To be fair, I haven’t played the original game either, and I feel like I might want to play that one first.
Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization (Vlaada Chvátil, Czech Games Edition, 2015, #5 on BGG) is the second, reworked edition of one of Vlaada’s first big games, Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization (2006). This new one streamlined the system a bit, reworked some rules, and generally made the game a lot better (from what I hear). I have not played this, though I have played the original edition once. It didn’t go particularly well, though a four-player game on an extremely narrow table in a coffee shop was probably not the best first learning experience. I have seen this game on the shelf at my local library – I need to check it out sometime.
Twilight Imperium (Fourth Edition) (Dane Beltrami/Corey Konieczka/Christian T. Petersen, Fantasy Flight Games, 2017, #6 on BGG) follows edition one (1997), two (2000), and three (2005). It’s a massive galactic conquest game that plays in 4-8 hours, and that right there is the main reason I haven’t played it. I have a friend who has third edition, and he’s constantly trying to get a game together. But it’s just such a commitment. People who like this system REALLY like it.
Star Wars: Rebellion (Corey Konieczka, Fantasy Flight Games, 2016, #8 on BGG) was an attempt to translate A New Hope into a board game. One player acts as the Empire, trying to hunt down and destroy the rebels. The Rebel player is attempting to survive long enough to bring the Empire down. I haven’t played this one mostly because I haven’t had any sort of opportunity. I’ve played and enjoyed X-Wing, and I would probably like this one as well (which, it should be noted, is completely different from X-Wing).
Gaia Project (Jens Drögemüller/Helge Ostertag, Feuerland Spiele, 2017, #9 on BGG) is a space-themed version of the game Terra Mystica (2012). Players are different races that are trying to expand into neighboring planets by making them habitable. I haven’t played this, or Terra Mystica for that matter. It seems very interesting, and of course has quite a bit of buzz going for it. I’ve just never had the chance.
Scythe (Jamey Stegmaier, Stonemaier Games, 2016, #11 on BGG) is set in an alternative post-World War I Europa. It’s an engine building game where players are different Eastern European factions who are trying to rebuild in the shadow of leftover mechs. I haven’t played this, again, because I haven’t had the opportunity. I’ve seen it played a few times, but it’s been by people who were already playing or already halfway through teaching, so I haven’t been able to jump in.
War of the Ring (Second Edition) (Roberto di Meglio/Marco Maggi/Francesco Nepitello, Ares Games, 2012, #12 on BGG) is a game concerning the conflict between the Free Peoples and the forces of Sauron in Middle-earth. Mostly, the Free Peoples want the Ringbearer to make it to Mordor and destroy the One Ring, while Sauron wants to return to power. I haven’t played this one because, well, I haven’t really had the inclination. I got invited to a game once, but wasn’t terribly interested. I like Tolkien’s work, but this game just has never grabbed my attention. I would play sometime, but it’s not really my kind of thing.
Spirit Island (R. Eric Reuss, Greater Than Games, 2017, #13 on BGG) is a cooperative game where you are the spirits of an island being overrun by colonists, and you’re fighting back. It’s sort of the anti-Catan, thematically. I haven’t played it simply because I haven’t seen it. I’ve heard about it a lot, but I’ve never seen anyone playing, and I don’t have my own copy. It does look like a very good game, and I would like to try sometime.
For those keeping score at home, that means I’ve only played two games out of the Top Ten – Twilight Struggle and Great Western Trail. I’ve played more from the next set, but you’ll have to find out more about that next time I can’t figure out what to write about. Thanks for reading!