Top 100 List (2020 edition) – Games 88 through 85

December 4th. The first Friday in December is upon us…and more importantly, the 6th episode of The Mandalorian comes out today. What a great way to start a weekend πŸ™‚

Now, let’s get on with the next 4 games in the Top 100 list, where Rio Grande Games will be taking a strong stance…

Links to prior posts:

Games 100-97Games 96-93Games 92-89

#88 – El Grande (Rio Grande Games, designed by Wolfgang Kramer and Richard Ulrich) [new to the list]

Area control is not always my jam, but maybe I enjoy El Grande because that’s completely what the game is about. The key is properly utilizing the abilities that are available each round. When do you make a play for drafting early vs. when can you sit back and settle for a later pick? Or is there a scoring card whose timing works perfectly for your current state on the board? If I am looking for some area control in my life, El Grande is….well…..Grande!

#87 – Cartographers: A Roll Player Tale (Thunderworks Games, designed by Jordy Adan) [new to the list]

The #4 “blank-and-write” game on my Top 100 is Cartographers from Thunderworks Games. In this genre of games, one of the options I enjoy best is getting to create a map. Now, in this game, you aren’t necessarily creating a map of routes…thematically, you are a cartographer, thus you are revealing the world as it exists, via exploration.

Of course, from a gameplay standpoint, you get control of what this world looks like –> because a world with lots of water near trees might be a scoring option. So, in terms of labels…you are a world creator as much as you are a cartographer. Many “-and-write” games lack player interaction, but you get a little bit of it with monsters, which I think is a neat element. When a monster appears — for just a moment — you get to put on a “bad guy” hat and send some monsters into your neighbors world to try and mess with their plans.

I look forward to getting into some of the expansion content (new maps!) in 2021.

#86 – Fantastic Factories (Metafactory Games, designed by Joseph Z Chen and Justin Faulkner) [#87 in 2019]

Hey look! It’s the Giveaway game πŸ™‚

With all of the new games I managed to play in 2020, Fantastic Factories holds steady (even moving up one slot) at 86. Fantastic Factories combines two elements I generally enjoy –> engine building and dice placement. Now, if this game were a bit deeper, it might rank higher on my list….but I appreciate the game for its role in the 30-45 minute gameplay arena.

The game provides good variety in the options you can take towards winning –> personally, I love when I can get a good engine created where I can use a die to get x resource, which I can then convert at another building into y resource, which allows me to use a couple other dice to convert y into Points! And some helpers / buildings can let you roll more dice!! (who doesn’t want more workers in a worker placement game!?!)

#85 – Dominion (Rio Grande Games, designed by Donald X. Vaccarino) [new to the list]

In March of this year, I finally had the opportunity to play this Grandfather of Deck-Building. And I really liked it! Deck-building is a mechanism that I particularly enjoy and I like getting to utilize it in competitive play. I have played both online and in-person and definitely prefer in-person…because I feel like awareness of your opponent’s deck can be so important –> I like that interactivity, the need to stay aware of your opponents and the market-state throughout the game.

And of course, I just drool at the variability of play provided by countless decks of cards thanks to numerous expansions. Dominion is a great classic that I’m happy to see in my top 100.


That’s numbers 88 through 85. Let me know what your thoughts and/or feedback are for these titles. Furthermore, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @boardgamecrock1 and Retweet the Top 100 posts to earn entries into the Fantastic Factories giveaway.

See you tomorrow for the next 4.

6 thoughts on “Top 100 List (2020 edition) – Games 88 through 85

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