December 20th. Christmas is SO close! and so is the very top of this list. From this point on, though, everyone of these games “Feels” like a Top 10 game. Unfortunately, a top 10 only fits ten games, so….here we are.
Note about the top 25 games from my top 100 –> I personally own 20 of the top 25. Of the 5 games I don’t own, three of them are on today’s grouping. So, here we go!
Links to prior posts:
#24 – Rajas of the Ganges (R&R Games, designed by Inka Brand and Markus Brand) [#57 in 2019]
Colorful dice that can be used for a multitude of actions — building a small map of tiles — the potential to combo rewards (especially on the river) — worker placement (and worker unlocks). The diversity of mechanisms and how they come together in such a beautiful package –> had me falling in love with this game after the first play and successive plays have only deepened that enjoyment.
It looks like there’s a roll-and-write version of Rajas out now (Dice Charmers). Maybe I’ll have to give it a try in 2021.
#23 – PARKS (Keymaster Games, designed by Henry Audobon) [#47 in 2019]
I will admit –> I backed this game on Kickstarter during its February 2019 campaign because it looked like a fun, family game…but heavily on just how beautiful the card art and components looked. When the game came in and I got a chance to play it…WOW! I was highly impressed with the strategic gameplay that can be discovered.
PARKS is a great example of a board game with simple enough actions that a new gamer or kid can pick up on and easily play….but also has deep enough decision-making, positioning, tactics…to make it a fun, competitive game for heavier gamers. As you can see, the jump from #47 to #23 highlights my increasing apprecation for PARKS and with the expansion Nightfall having recently arrived, I foresee plenty more plays in 2021.
#22 – Pulsar 2849 (Czech Games Edition, designed by Vladimir Suchy) [#4 in 2019]
The only reason Pulsar has slipped from my #4 last year is accessibility. I had a chance to get a few plays in with my friend recently, helping confirm my memories of how much I enjoy this Suchy design. If I were able to get some more table time, 2849 would sneak back up these rankings.
The dice draft — and its negative/positive consequences — is so brilliant. And the game really pulls at two things I really want to do. On one hand, I love earning new techs / abilities in games. But, I also love the map movement and exploration. Especially when spinning pulsars can start giving me points every round. It’s amazing just how much you end up able to accomplish in this game with so few dice/actions.
Pulsar 2849 is my #1 space-themed game.
#21 – Feudum (Odd Bird Games, designed by Mark K. Swanson) [new to the list]
If you were to talk about my most Unanticipated new play of 2020, it would have to be Feudum. At the beginning of the year, all I knew about Feudum –> it had been on Kickstarter, it looked really nice, but seemed confusing and probably not for me. Thus, I had no expectation of playing it. Well, my friend Brock (of Pulsar 2849 and Rajas of the Ganges-ownership) has Feudum on his game shelf. He mentioned it a few months back as a game for me to try and I jumped on it.
And as you can tell by its #21 ranking, it was immediately a huge hit in my books. Feudum has the distinction of being the heaviest game that I have played (sitting at a whopping 4.58 on BGG’s weight scale). My next heaviest is Spirit Island 4.00 even.
Since the end of July, I have managed to play Feudum four times, with the average game length coming in at 4 hours and 20 minutes (making Feudum my 7th most-played game of the year, in game time). And I’ve loved all 17 hours. The true heart and anguish of Feudum’s game play is in the action selection phase at the beginning of each round. You have 11 actions to choose from. Each round, there are 7 or 8 that you will really want to play. You get 4…maybe 5 if you have some saltpeter. How successfully can you plan out a sequence of events for the next round that advance your strategy? How well can you predict the movements/actions/machinations of your opponents who may negate one of your actions as useless if you aren’t prepared?
You HAVE to be flexible. You have to be ready to adjust. And you better not forget to feed your pawns!! Feudum can be a beast of a game to learn, but the Reward is very high once you get into it.
That’s numbers 24 through 21. 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.