Top 100 List (2020 edition) – Games 48 through 45

December 14th. And back to Monday, but don’t be stressed about another work week. Don’t be stressed about the ticking clock until Christmas and having to figure out plans with where you will be and who you will/won’t be able to see…let’s take a deep breath…be thankful for our blessings…and talk about 4 more great games!!

Links to prior posts: Top 100 List

#48 – The Stygian Society (APE Games, designed by Kevin Wilson) [new to the list]

One of my most anticipated games of 2020, The Stygian Society finally arrived after a 13-month delay from its original Kickstarter fulfillment date. So, while I have only had a few plays with this cooperative tower-crawler, I’m a big fan of the experiences I’ve had thus far.

You enter a floor of the tower, flip over a card, and find out what baddies await you. Then, a character takes a turn by selecting one of their available actions — that action will call for certain cubes to get dropped in the tower. You drop and see what falls through and where they land. At this point, baddies may activate and then you see how much your hero can achieve.

This game starts hard because your heroes really don’t have much going for them yet and so baddies tend to take the upper-hand. But, if you can survive…start earning some XP….and start leveling up, your character growth will kick into gear –> and I think the game sings in how you gain new hero cards, with new abilities. Combine that with treasures you may come across during the game and a skilled player can start to take advantage of some great team/cooperative combinations.

There are plenty of mid-bosses and end-bosses to keep this game fresh every time through, plus I have two expansions just waiting to be explored as well. It would not surprise me to see The Stygian Society locked into the top 100 for quite some time.

#47 – The Reckoners (Nauvoo Games, designed by Brett Sobol and Seth Van Orden) [new to the list]

Back-to-back cooperative games. For you cooperative fans…I’ll warn you, though, this list stays competitive for the next 42 slots.

You can indirectly thank Brotherwise Games for my enjoyment of The Reckoners. They made Call to Adventure –> announced a Stormlight Archive expansion –> so I read the series –> Loved it! –> heard about The Reckoners game –> decided I like Brandon Sanderson, so I’ll read Steelheart –> really liked it –> bought this game.

Thematically, the gameplay really puts you into the storyline –> you’re a few freedom fighters outnumbered by powerful “Supers” with morality issues, but you’ve got some cool tech. Figure out weaknesses, take out bad guys, learn more about Steelheart…survive constant bad stuff, buy some more cool tech to give you more actions/combos/abilities and maybe, just maybe…take out Steelheart before the collateral damage gets too high.

Simply put, this is a cooperative game with dice-rolling for actions, but a Roll-Three-Times method to the chucking…abilities that can let you mitigate dice or make them more powerful. And throughout all of that is constant calculating! (I’m a math/logic guy, so I love that). Between the villain presence on the board and the moving logic puzzles, there’s definitely a sense of Overwhelming — and that’s exactly what you should feel as a Reckoner. But stay calm, make good choices, survive…what I believe to be a top-notch gaming experience!

#46 – Ecos: First Continent (Alderac Entertainment Group, designed by John D. Clair) [new to the list]

Game #2 of 4 from John D. Clair is Ecos: First Continent. I think one of the things I enjoy about his games — they are hard to compare with other games –> they really stand out on their own. Ecos takes the BINGO mechanism and ties it to strategic planning and tactical timing based on the current state of a world that not only you, but your competitors are creating together.

When you can get the world state just right to trigger one of your big-point cards…so Nice!

#45 – Star Wars: Destiny (Fantasy Flight Games, designed by Corey Konieczka and Lukas Litzsinger) [#34 in 2019; #6 in 2018]

Star Wars: Destiny has slipped, but I still absolutely love the way this game works. Build your deck, pay-to-play cards to build up your battle tableau, roll dice to trigger abilities — and all with wonderful Star Wars characters. I’ve yet to get into one of the big FFG Star Wars miniatures games (which look awesome) but the variety of weapons, vehicles, side characters that can be utilized in Destiny creates its own great story.

That’s numbers 48 through 45. 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.

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