All posts by Darren

My Top 100 Games ’17: 30 – 21

That final post in this series is getting closer.

I really am making a rod for my own back with these posts. Next year not only will I have to comment about where they were this year, but also if their BGG ranking also changed! This is starting to sound like hard work. OMG what have I done?

On a more positive note I don’t have much to say about this part of the countdown. Which is good news for you. About all I could think of to say is this…

I’m surprised that The Others is so high. I enjoy the game, but wow! But then it is Mr Lang’s take on Zombicide. And I do enjoy that game.

Ok here are the all important placings…
21 Run, Fight, or Die! (BGG Ranking: 1059 )
22 Simurgh (BGG Ranking: 1915 )
23 A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition) (BGG Ranking: 71 )
24 Adrenaline (BGG Ranking: 536 )
25 Cry Havoc (BGG Ranking:  304)
26 The Others (BGG Ranking:  570)
27 Roll for the Galaxy (BGG Ranking: 49 )
28 Hero Realms (BGG Ranking: 288 )
29 51st State: Master Set (BGG Ranking: 284 )
30 Imhotep (BGG Ranking: 358 )

The next post in this series is the penultimate one, it’s getting exciting now (potentially, if I redefine the meaning of exciting to include my boring lists)…

My Top 100 Games ’17: 40 – 31

You really will be glad to see the end of these posts. But the end is near, so let’s push on and get across that finish line.

Three of these games I backed on Kickstarter (Mint WorksTiny Epic Galaxies, and The Manhattan Project: Chain Reaction) which is pretty good if you ask me. Mint Works really is the gem out of these. A small independent game publisher, who managed to create a successful Kickstarter, deliver it, and then get it distributed (it was pushed out to stores by the Asmodee Borg Cube member Esdevium here in the UK). That is a real success story. And goes to disprove the image that some naysayers like to put out their about Kickstarter projects. This is what Kickstarter is all about for me. Not the massive pre-order system that CMoN use it for.

Ok lets cut to the chase and look at how things worked out position wise…


31 Mint Works (BGG Ranking: 769 )
32 Tiny Epic Galaxies (BGG Ranking: 246  )
33 Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game (BGG Ranking: 43  )
34 Tokaido (BGG Ranking: 408 )
35 Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game (BGG Ranking: 108 )
36 The Manhattan Project: Chain Reaction (BGG Ranking: 1698 )
37 Pandemic Iberia (BGG Ranking: 154 )
38 Star Wars: Imperial Assault (BGG Ranking: 18 )
39 Lost Cities (BGG Ranking: 276 )
40 King of Tokyo (BGG Ranking: 187 )

Entering the Top 30 next. Things are getting exciting.

My Top 100 Games ’17: 50 – 41

Here we are. Top 50 games.

Considering how popular Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 is on BGG, am I out of sync with the majority of the BGG community with it’s position in my list? Well I certainly enjoy the legacy version more than the “classic”. I think what sways it for the legacy version is the story element, the plot twists, the legacy side with your decisions having an impact that will come back and bite you possibly in future plays. But does it deserve to be the number one game? Obviously not in my opinion. But I would have said that before this exercise.

7 Wonders I don’t think that the BGG hive mind and myself are too out of sink. The rest of the list I seem to like the games more then they do.

Right lets get this party started and look at the games that just made it into the Top 50…
41 Castle Panic (BGG Ranking: 749 )
42 Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 (BGG Ranking: 1 )
43 Splendor (BGG Ranking: 96  )
44 StarCraft: The Board Game (BGG Ranking: 307 )
45 7 Wonders (BGG Ranking: 37 )
46 BattleLore (Second Edition) (BGG Ranking: 115 )
47 Guilds of London (BGG Ranking: 1081 )
48 Epic Card Game (BGG Ranking: 1238  )
49 The Great Heartland Hauling Co. (BGG Ranking: 913 )
50 Dice City (BGG Ranking:  812 )

The finish line is getting nearer…

My Top 100 Games ’17: 60 – 51

Wow in this latest episode in my Top 100 games, we get to the half way point.

Not any waffle this time let’s just get to the games and their position in my Top 100.

51 Nations: The Dice Game (BGG Ranking: 740 )
52 Hit Z Road (BGG Ranking: 1314 )
53 Seasons (BGG Ranking: 133  )
54 Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn (BGG Ranking: 313  )
55 Carcassonne (BGG Ranking: 129 )
56 Formula D (BGG Ranking: 404  )
57 Harbour (BGG Ranking:  1168 )
58 Love Letter: Batman (BGG Ranking: 388 )
59 Alien Frontiers (BGG Ranking: 130 )
60 Covert (BGG Ranking: 1254 )

Good grief we are in the Top 50 from the next post in this series!!!

My Top 100 Games ’17: 70 – 61

Welcome to the fourth installment of my Top 100 games 2017 edition. That makes it sound like I’ve done this before but I haven’t. This is the inaugural Top 100 list.

Looking at this list apart from one game (Inis) the rest are what would be considered to be on the lighter scale of the gaming spectrum.

As regular readers (must come up with a group name for you) will know I recently sold Inis. I like the game. I think it’s position mid table reflects that I do indeed like the game. However there are other games that are similar and higher up the table that I like more, and would hit the table before Inis. Hence why I got rid of it. I know it has gone to a good home and will get played (in fact it was played the night I sold it I believe).

Ok let’s get to the bit you are really interested in…
61 – Inis (BGG Ranking: 196 )
62 – Odin’s Ravens (second edition) (BGG Ranking: 1326 )
63 – Archer: Once You Go Blackmail… (BGG Ranking: 2049 )
64 – Pandemic: The Cure (BGG Ranking: 231 )
65 – Qwixx (BGG Ranking: 640 )
66 – Age of War (BGG Ranking: 1435 )
67 – Liar’s Dice (BGG Ranking: 517 )
68 – Colt Express (BGG Ranking: 264 )
69 – Qwirkle (BGG Ranking: 598 )
70 – Braggart (BGG Ranking: 2451 )

See you back here for 60 – 51.

My Top 100 Games ’17: 80 – 71

Welcome to the third post in my Top 100 Games. I’ve changed the ordering of the list below (for better or worse).

There is only one game in this lot that I backed on Kickstarter (Starving Artists). Looking at the list there are three “small box” games for sure (Council of Verona (second edition), Isle of Trains, Bomb Squad Academy) and one that could be argued is border line “small box” (Traders of Osaka). I don’t think any of these games would be considered heavy games, and would probably be considered ranging from light to light/medium weight. I thought Council of Verona might have been higher up in the rankings. So I am a little surprised by that.

So this is how 80 to 71 shaped out.

71 – Porta Nigra (BGG Ranking: 964)
72 – Starving Artists (BGG Ranking: 3329 )
73 – Council of Verona (second edition) (BGG Ranking: 1738 )
74 – Elder Sign (BGG Ranking: 438 )
75 – Traders of Osaka (BGG Ranking: 863)
76 – Small World (BGG Ranking: 153)
77 – Isle of Trains (BGG Ranking: 1568 )
78 – D-Day Dice (BGG Ranking: 785)
79 – Keyflower (BGG Ranking: 36)
80 – Bomb Squad Academy (BGG Ranking: 3411)

Bet you can’t guess the next post in this series.

So long, farewell 

Last night saw the Fenland Gamers say “so long and thanks for all the fish” to the venue of our monthly meet ups and other gaming sessions for the last two years. For the next three or four months the monthly meet up will be at our Friday evening venue The White Lion. But hopefully by Christmas a new home will have been found for the monthly meet up.

Earlier in the day Gavin had posted on the clubs Facebook page that he was going to bring along Clank. Which I was really happy about. I’d wanted to try it. There has been a buzz about the game since it came out. Deckbuilder, push your luck, fantasy theme, what more could you want?

So our evening started off with Clank. This really is like Deep Sea Adventure but with a deckbuilding mechanic instead of the dice rolling. It has that feel to it.

Now I enjoyed this game. I liked the deckbuilding aspect, the push your luck of how deep do you go to get that treasure. Just like Deep Sea Adventure while you are trying to get deeper to get higher value loot, another player maybe playing the game as a quickly get in and get out, leaving you a mad rush to get out to safety with whatever loot you have managed to grab. I liked the idea of clank, and pulling cubes from the bag to deal damage.

It’s a nice game, that I’d happily play again. Does it live up to the hype? Not really. It’s a nice combination of mechanics. Its a good game, not a great game.

It would have been even better in our game if I’d managed to kill some-one off by making that early dash for the exit.

Despite not being a deckbuilder fan, or big on fantasy, Jonathan took the win.

Our second game of the evening was Barenpark. This game had a lot of buzz pre and during the expo. I don’t know why. I wasn’t struck with the game when it was explained to me at the expo. I’m sad to say that the game didn’t do anything to dispel my initial feelings about the game.Barenpark sucks. In fact I’d go as far as to say it is in fact a big pile of steaming bear poo. It’s as if the designer Phil Walker-Harding looked at Uwe Rosenberg’s work and thought “I know, I’ll remove all the stuff that makes this game a game and fun”. Rosenberg has used the main mechanic of placing polyomino tiles on a grid, trying to fill it up in several of his games. But he adds another layer to that like an economic layer and tile denial in Patchwork. Walker-Harding decided that just placing tiles on a board is game enough in itself. This has more in common with a jigsaw puzzle than a boardgame.

Now I can see why Jonathan likes this game. But it’s not because the game is any good. It’s not. There are other reasons. And to some extent yes this game is definitely not aimed at “gamers” but I’m loath to say it’s a gateway game. I think it’s far far simpler than that. Possibly a warm up to a gateway game.

Jonathan has decided to build an extension to his Nantucket Wing of Shame, by building the Barenpark cellar of over hyped games. Yes the “game” is that bad.

Oh for the record I won the game. I won at a game that I hate. I feel so proud of myself.

This is how I felt after the playing Barenpark. I just wanted to take my anger out on a bear!

That’s me in the bear outfit by the way. I was at a gaming expo a few years back now helping promote an idea game called Fist of Awesome. Which was a really nice 8 bit style graphics Streets of Rage type game. At the expo myself and a photographer would go round getting people to have their photo taken beating up the bear (me). Except the mature gamer podcast guys took it literally and actually did beat me up.

After my victory we had a discussion about the merits of the Barenpark, and some other gaming stuff. The usual boardgaming banter.

A great evening gaming despite Barenpark to say good bye to this great venue.

We do not have an addiction

Looking on the stats app I have on my iPhone, that is used to record all my game plays on. So far for June I have played Star Wars: Destiny 31 times. Taking into account the four games I played at the UK Games Expo, that means this month alone I have been battling it out with Dale over 27 games.

The app tells me that Dale and I have played 51 times so far. With the edge currently being with me. I have 29 wins to Dale’s 22.

Dale and I both hold the longest win streak, which is currently at 5 games long.

Dale does have a bigger card pool than myself, having bought a booster box more than me. We are currently playing with both starter sets each, and half a booster box of a Spirit of Rebellion, plus 10 addition booster packs, plus some targeted buys. While Dale has 1.5 booster boxes worth of cards, plus 5 booster packs plus targeted buys. Which by any standards is not a massive investment. We are eagerly awaiting the reprinting of the first set Awakenings.

The games have on a whole been so so close, often turning on a single key moment. Like during one of today’s games when Dale avoid 6 ranged damage on his ePalpatine by discarding this annoying upgrade Force Illusion. Ok it got rid of 6 cards from the top of his deck. But I’m not playing a milling game with my Sing/Bala-Tik/Tie Pilot deck. I’m going for maximum carnage. That bought Dale enough time to kill me off.

It’s great having some-one to play with. We are able to lend each other dice (if we have them). For instance Dale borrows my Palpatine die to play the elite version. Where I need to borrow a Tie Pilot die from him when I play Training.

I have to admit this is a great two player game that we can play during our lunch break. We can often get three games in. It hits all the buttons for me, deck construction, theme, dice. Yes it is collectible and the boosters are random. But I can over look that for such a great game. We are having a blast with not a massive pool to build from. The release schedule also seems a lot less crippling than the mess that is/was Dicemasters. That was madness due to poor scheduling you’d end up with nearly a new set a month! The only big drawback on that front is supply. Destiny is a popular game at the moment. FFG seemed to have improved it for the current set Spirit of Rebellion. They grossly under estimated it on the initial Awakenings set. Luckily we have the one off reprint at the end of the month. So being able to buy product is important. It’s what helped kill Ashes for me. Didn’t matter if I could get some-one into playing it, they couldn’t buy it.

It’s great to have some-one to play with, and who is into as much as I am. That was one of the downsides of Netrunner and Ashes for me.

I like the to and fro Dale and I have with our decks. His Palpatine was trashing decks. My mill deck could win just on the odd occasion. But now my Sing/Bala-Tik/Tie Pilot aggro deck has the upper hand. However Dale has by the sounds of an email I’ve just received identified some cards to add to his deck that I won’t like. Shame they are not in stock at the moment.

For better or worse we are also thinking about maybe going to a store championship or game night. I think the nearest one I have seen so far is Lincoln at the start of July. Then we will see how poor our deck construction skills are. I think we will get our butts handed to us. It’s a shame we don’t have anything nearer.

I’ve added a new page

I’ve added a new page that just lists the cards I have collected for the game Star Wars: Destiny.

It’s mainly been created so that when I do the deck posts for the game on here people can look on that page and see why possibly I haven’t included a certain card or a second copy. The usual response most of the time is either I don’t have the card or if I do just the one copy.

But this page will allow visitors to check out for themselves whether I have the card or not. The we can proceed to discussing the merits of the card if I have it and why I should that one instead of another. Or consider the card I don’t have. 

You can view it HERE or use the link above.

My Top 100 Games ’17: 90 – 81

Here we are with the second post covering my Top 100 Games. This time covering entries 91 – 80.

What’s interesting for me about this list is that three of them are games I backed on Kickstarter. There are five or six more games I think that I counted further up the list that I backed on Kickstarter. Plus there are others further up the list that had Kickstarter campaigns that I missed for some reason (probably money or I didn’t know about it at the time).

I might go back and add this next bit to the first post, but I am now also including the BGG Ranking for the game as well. Remember these rankings are the ranking of the game at the time the post was written. So if at some point in the future you read this post or the following ones and the ranking has changed, that’s why. The ranking was accurate at the time of writing.

Obviously there are a couple of games below where the BGG community like the games more than I do at this point in time.

Ok I can’t bore you anymore, here is the reason you are reading this post. Here are my Top 100 games for 2017 positions 90 to 81.

This is the ordering of the games:

90 – Thief’s Market (BGG Ranking: 1862)

89 – Pandemic (BGG Ranking: 62)

88 – Saloon Tycoon (BGG Ranking: 2004)

87 – House of Borgia (BGG Ranking: 4454)

86 – Tsuro (BGG Ranking: 720)

85 – Machi Koro (BGG Ranking: 639)

84 – Alhambra (BGG Ranking: 369)

83 – Eminent Domain (BGG Ranking: 377)

82 – Specter Ops (BGG Ranking: 328)

81 – Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island (BGG Ranking: 25)

There you go that was 90-81, next post in the series will be 80 – 71.