Top 100 List (2020 edition) – Games 20 through 17

December 21st. It might be a Monday, but hey! It’s the Monday of Christmas week!! And for you fellow board gamers, this is your chance to figure out where you are going to put your new Christmas-present-board-games (should you get any). Time to build some new shelving?!?

Games 20 through 17 –> let’s go!!

Links to prior posts:

Top 100 games lists

#20 – 7 Wonders Duel (Repos Productions, designed by Antoine Bauza and Bruno Cathala) [#13 in 2019]

This year, 7 Wonders Duel made its move on my list to advance beyond its predecessor, 7 Wonders. The more I have played of each game, the more I find that my favorite version is Duel. The pyramid/revealed/unrevealed drafting system works so well — especially with the peripheral threats of Military and Science victories that have to be defended against.

While the system is essentially the same, in Duel I really like that you can focus in on your game…and your opponents. I would also like to highlight the online play I have been able to get of 7 Wonders Duel on BoardGameArena this year. While I am not a fan of 7 Wonders on BGA — the games feel very hurried and I finish not really having any idea of what was going on in the game. But, Duel on BGA feels like an almost identical version of the game, with a better head-to-head pacing. That engagement I love in the physical version of Duel translates well into the BGA version. (Plus, the math is done for you!)

I’m really enjoying this game (my #2 head-to-head title) and I’ve yet to even explore the first expansion, Pantheon!

#19 – Obsession (Kayenta Games, designed by Dan Hallagan) [new to the list]

I bought Obsession (during the expansion Upstairs, Downstairs Kickstarter campaign) on the basis that I “thought” I would enjoy the gameplay PLUS I was really hoping that my wife would enjoy the theme and it could be a good two-player game for us.

Obsession definitely overperformed my expectations. Between the highly thematic gameplay, the puzzle of trying to keep your service timed so that you can continually perform useful events, and the “resource” management of reputation, guests, and money –> I’ve quickly fallen in love with this game by Dan Hallagan.

On top of that, Dan is such a cool guy and one I am glad to support with my purchase of Obsession, a game you can tell he has poured his heart into. Oh and I haven’t mentioned the solo mode. Obsession has a Very Fun solo mode in which you play the game as normal, but you are competing against the round-end and game-end scoring of various “families” (of differing difficulty levels). My two favorite competitive-game, solo modes are featured in my top 20. Obsession is one of them –> the other will show up at the #13 spot.

#18 – Charterstone (Stonemaier Games, designed by Jamey Stegmaier) [#1 in 2019; #4 in 2018]

My former #1, Charterstone has slipped down to the 18 spot this year. It’s slipping because I’ve yet to get it back to the table since completing the Super Fun campaign experience. The game looks like it should continue to be interesting and fun in its ‘final form’ with continued gameplay. It is a goal to get some plays in during 2021, which will allow Charterstone to better determine where it will solidify on my list.

I also have a Recharge Pack and would really like to flip the board over and try another campaign, see how it feels at a lower player count. Regardless, Charterstone (and it’s initial 12-game campaign) will stick around as one of my favorite board game experiences.

#17 – Orléans (Tasty Minstrel Games, designed by Reiner Stockhausen) [new to the list]

I had a chance to first play Orléans this January. My friend Brock brought it over for game night — and he has the nice ‘geeked up’ tokens. I’ve really been enjoying the deckbuilding genre and ended up highly impressed by this ‘bag-building’ title. In many deckbuilding games, it is important to figure out how to “cull” your deck. In Orléans, you have so much control over your bag –> you take the actions to add the desired individuals to your bag. Then, you can decide when and who will go to permanent spots, leaving your bag for good.

As I’ve played the game more, the aspect of the game I am coming to enjoy and appreciate the most, though, is the opportunity to build your own action spots [a mechanism I appreciated from Anachrony #58 and Endangered #70].


That’s numbers 20 through 17. 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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