Hey y’all! Scott here to talk about my Top 10! A lot has changed in the last year, both in terms of new games played and, surprisingly for me when I got the results of my ranking, my tastes in what I like. There are a lot fewer cooperative games on my list than last year, shocking I know! Let’s dive in!
10. Mage Knight: Ultimate Edition
Several games that I’ve only played once made it into my top 20, just instant favorites for me. Mage Knight was the only one to break into my top 10 and it’s likely because it has so many things I like in a game. Deck building, exploration, activities to complete for victory points; there’s so much to do and it all works together to make a really satisfying experience. I also like that most of the scenarios (in the base game at least) have both competitive and cooperative options, so you can play them whichever way you and your gaming group desire. There are a good amount of heroes to choose from, and the Ultimate Edition includes all the expansion content, so you’ve got extra baddies and market cards and heroes from those as well, leaving you with a wealth of content. I’ve only played the intro scenario, but if that was enough to have it make #10, then that just makes me all the more excited to continue into other scenarios!
9. Detective: City of Angels
I love story games, I love the roller coaster ride through the ups and downs and twists and turns of a well-written story, I love getting to the end and feeling the satisfaction of the experience. TIME Stories fell out of my top 10 (it fell a long way down, actually, but check out my Aftermath article in a couple days for more on that) so I’m really glad I received Detective and was able to keep a mainly story-based game up there, since it is one of my favorites types of games. I love the theme, and the gameplay is great, but my favorite thing about Detective are the multiple modes of play. You can play Detective fully competitive, semi-cooperative, or even fully cooperative and you can even play solo using the fully cooperative rules. I really like being the Chisel, as it’s fun to be sneaky and bluff.
8. Too Many Bones
Too Many Bones was going to be another only-played-once game in my top 10, but the meeples of OSG managed to get a 3-player game in before we needed to start doing social distancing and such due to COVID-19. That game took a LONG time (a lot longer than my previous solo game) but it was such a fun experience that it solidified TMB’s place in my top 10. It’s such a clever board game implementation of an RPG with character talent trees that’s really meaty, and they did a great job of giving you character build advice if you’re new to the game or to that character. There’s a wealth of content in the game (haven’t even touched any of the content in Undertow yet, and Splice & Dice is due to arrive sometime this year with even more content) and it’s not afraid to be silly as often as serious, which is the perfect kind of story style for me and the other OSG meeples.
7. The Taverns of Tiefenthal
Oh look, another deck builder, LOL. Deck building is, hands down, my favorite tabletop gaming mechanic. I especially love when they have something in addition to the deck building, which all the deck builders on my Top 10 do very well. Taverns of Tiefenthal, in addition to being a deck builder that has tableau building/updating on top of it, is one of those builders that adds a twist (like Aeon’s End, which I’ll talk about in my Top 5 article). Cards you purchase go on top of your deck, instead of to your discard pile, which means they’re the first card(s) you’ll draw on your next turn. It also means you have to plan the order you purchase cards so that you can use or combo them effectively. It’s a lovely game and the modules make it really in-depth and thinky.
6. Thunderstone Quest
Every time we get Thunderstone Quest to the table (which isn’t as often as I’d like, but that’s the case with every game I think, haha) I keep being reminded how much I love this game. As I said above, I love deck builders, and this one is no exception. Dungeon delving with a deck building twist to it is just so satisfying. Alternating village and dungeon turns to build up your deck and then take it for a spin, finding treasure that could change your entire playstyle, having your end of turn hand refresh size be based on how much damage you’ve taken; it all works together to create a really neat experience. Also there’s SO MUCH content for this game. We’ve only played through the first quest’s content, and I think there’s 9 or 10 total quests now (though I think that’s including the expansion on KS last year that hasn’t fulfilled yet), and even beyond the quests you can do random setups, or choose as you want, without playing the story-related setups.
Check back tomorrow to see what my Top 5 are! #1 likely won’t be surprising, but there was definitely a shakeup in the rankings below that!
Scott – The Solitary Meeple