IT’S BACK! My journey through games from the BGG Top 100 (and beyond) that I have not played. Last time, I made it up to #90 – or, what WAS #90. Grand Austria Hotel is now #93, which means three games have passed it. I haven’t played any of them, so I’m heading backwards a bit to catch up.
Maracaibo (Alexander Pfister, Game’s Up/Capstone Games, 2019, #81) is the latest game from Pfister. This one is a game of sailing around the Caribbean. On your turn, you can move up to seven spaces, then take the action of the space you land in. It’s all about generating resources that will help you gain influence in different imperialist nations, and then leveraging that influence to get you a lot of points. Looks like fun, albeit with a lot going on. There’s an optional campaign mode with it too.
On Mars (Vital Lacerda, Eagle-Gryphone Games, 2020, #88) is the only 2020 game to have so far cracked the Top 100. It’s by Vital Lacerda, whom I have said previously is a designer whose games I have not yet played. It’s about the creation of the first colonies on Mars, and the attempts to make the world habitable. Lacerda is well known for having pretty deep themes that are extremely well integrated into his mechanics, and this is another of his that I look forward to trying out.
Paladins of the West Kingdom (Shem Phillips/SJ MacDonald, Garphill Games, 2019, #92) is the second game of the West Kingdom trilogy, following Architects (also in the Top 100). It’s another unique take on the worker placement genre as players try to send their people out to increase your faith, strength, and influence. As I’ve also said, I haven’t played any of the North Kingdom games, but I have played and enjoyed Raiders of the North Sea, and all of Garphill’s games have looked cool, so I’m very interested in this one.
Champions of Midgard (Ole Steiness, Grey Fox Games, 2015, #94) is a Viking themed worker placement game. Basically, you’re defending a town against all kinds of monsters from Norse mythology. You’re earning glory, building ships, carving runes, feeding your followers, fighting – it’s very Vikingy. I have heard about this game for years, but have never really sought out any information about it. My expectation was more a Blood Rage all out fighting type game, so this looks more interesting to me.
Lorenzo il Magnifico (Flaminia Brasini/Virginio Gigli/Simone Luciani, Cranio Creations, 2016, #96) is a worker placement game set in the Italian Renaissance. Your goal is to gain prestige and fame, which sounds really boring. This is another game I haven’t really investigated that much, partly because the theme doesn’t draw me in at all. I do like Euros, but I haven’t heard anything about this that has grabbed me and made me feel like I’m dying to play. But I have heard that people like it, and it is in the BGG Top 100, so that’s saying something.
Yokohama (Hisashi Hayashi, OKAZU Brand/Tasty Minstrel Games, 2016, #97) is an economic game set in Japan. You’re sending assistants around a modular board to different areas, and moving your president around to take advantage of actions with your assistants. This is a game I am very interested in trying out. It looks like a really cool game with unique takes on worker placement. And I tend to like the Eurostyle games coming out of Japan, so that’s another thing this one has going for it in my book.
The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-earth (Nathan I. Hajek/Grace Holdinghaus, Fantasy Flight Games, 2019, #98) is a cooperative campaign-based adventure set in the world created by JRR Tolkien. Players are completing quests with the assistance of an app, and creating your own adventures in Middle-earth. Fantasy Flight has done a lot of work in creating these app supported games, and I’ve yet to try any of them. I wouldn’t say I’m the world’s biggest Tolkien fan, but I do enjoy the lore and think I would probably enjoy this game.
Forbidden Stars (Samuel Bailey/James Kniffen/Corey Konieczka, Fantasy Flight Games, 2015, #99) is a reimplementation of StarCraft: The Board Game from 2007. It’s a space conquest game set in the Warhammer 40K universe. Each player is one of four different factions trying to complete their own set of objectives. I’ve heard really good things about this, though the theme and concept kind of turn me off. The irony of this game is that it was created after FFG lost the license for StarCraft, and now they’ve also lost the license for Warhammer 40K. So it’s unknown if this will ever get another run.
Clank! In! Space! (Paul Dennen, Renegade Game Studios, 2017, #102) is the follow up game to the highly successful Clank! deck building adventure game. In this one, players are moving through a spaceship, trying to collect artifacts and get out with their lives. Players acquire cards and try to avoid making too much noise. I love the original Clank! (which won the prestigious Spiel des Jesse in 2017. I’ve heard some people like this better.
Inis (Christian Martinez, Matagot, 2016, #104) is a Celtic game where players a trying to gain control of territories containing their opponents, have presence in lots of territories, or be present where there are lots of sanctuaries. It’s kind of in the same mythological trio of games that also includes Cyclades and Kemet. I don’t know how interested I am in it, but I do like the art.
Decrypto (Thomas Dagenais-Lespérance, Le Scorpion Masqué, 2018, #107) is a party word game where players are trying to crack the codes from their teammates as well as codes they intercept from the other team. I don’t really like party games, but I do like the ones in the same vein as Codenames – not super casual, but actually challenging you. I would give this a try, and might even like it.
From the range today, I have played Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game (#95), Stone Age (#100), Alchemists (#101), Descent 2nd Edition (#103), Dead of Winter (#105), Star Realms (#106), and Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game (#108). This means I’ve played a grand total of 37 of the top 100, and 42 of the top 108. This brings a close to my original vision for this series. I might return to it and keep going at some point, but for now, that’s it! Thanks for reading!