December 8th. Ten years ago today, the second launch of SpaceX Dragon marked SpaceX as the first privately held company to successfully launch, orbit, and recover a spacecraft. Good job, Elon!
Let’s celebrate his accomplishment with a few “E” games in this next group of four from the BoardGameCrockPot’s Top 100.
Links to prior posts:
#72 – Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia (Stonemaier Games, designed by Jamey Stegmaier and Alan Stone) [new to the list]
Thanks to 2020 conditions and gaining some personal experience with Tabletopia, I was able to get this early Stonemaier “to the table” this year and was surprised with how delighted I found the game. The theme is lightheartedly dark and the utilization of dice is quirky, but entertaining. There is a nice balance of risk/reward between high and low dice rolls.
And while most information is public, you get to keep a little bit of your goals private as you work towards getting to 10 stars first. This is a delightful game and I’d really like the opportunity to play in physical form.
#71 – Extraordinary Adventures: Pirates (Forbidden Games, designed by Don Beyer and Glenn Drover) [#43 in 2019]
I feel like this is a game that after its successful Kickstarter campaign got lost in the shuffle once it actually released, but it is a delightful, family-weight deckbuilder + pick-up-and-deliver + race game.
First off, the map artwork is beautiful and the colored ship pieces are fun to move along the board. Gameplay-wise, Extraordinary Adventures: Pirates is a game that can easily be played just for the fun of building your deck, racing your ships along three tracks, and picking up colorful crates –> and on that note, it’s the game that I’ve been able to use to introduce deck-building to my 8-year old son. If looking for more competitive play, though, this game can handle that as well. Fighting over ports, positions on tracks, trading for treasures can start to get cutthroat in true pirate style.
#70 – Endangered (Grand Gamers Guild, designed by Joe Hopkins) [new to the list]
Looking through my notes, there are 11 games on my Top 100 that are cooperative games (generally, I prefer competitive play). So, essentially, for a cooperative game to make my list, it needs something special –> I’ve already talked about Chronicles of Crime and Marvel United, so #9 in my cooperative rankings is Endangered. This game grabbed my notice for several great reasons: A) the theme/production value. I really enjoy the animal conservation theme of this game and that each animal is its own scenario essentially, B) dice worker placement! I already enjoy that mechanism and Endangered makes it more interesting with the cooperative aspect of those placements. I can put a dice on an action, but is that an important action our group wants to take again…am I playing a low enough value to give my teammate(s) a chance to also use that action?, C) which leads into this is a cooperative game that really requires great communication. Here’s what I’m thinking and what I want to do, how does that work with your plans/thoughts…do I need to shift my plans…which area do we need to focus on right now, building up actions, stopping poachers, the political sphere?
D) Build your action space. Game #58 on my list (which we will discuss on Friday) probably does this the best, but Endangered does a great job as well. I love that you start with a few actions available and your ability to take new actions is up to you…you build up your cooperative action space, and E) The win-system. Like most cooperative games, there are plenty of ways to lose, but in Endangered the win comes from garnering enough U.N. support “to start making real change.” Each nation is persuaded by their own criteria and the work put into figuring out their agenda and then how to work towards that is a fresh concept that makes Endangered sing.
#69 – Master of Wills (Stormcrest Games, designed by Randy Van Gelder) [new to the list]
This is a game I first played in March of this year and it really caught me by surprise. There are tons and tons of options in the head-to-head battle gaming arena. Master of Wills has some familiar tropes — factions, build your own deck — but the special nuance is from its push/pull battle system. The goal is not to wipe out your opponent’s health, but get to an end-game state where you have created more value on your side than you have allowed your opponent to pull in their direction. Along the way, you can plan some traps or special cards that could have a huge impact…but if your opponent smells the right fish coming, they can leave that bomb impotent at the scene.
I find Master of Wills to be a breath of fresh air in this sphere of board and card-gaming.
That’s numbers 72 through 69. 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.