Board 8 > a short ranking of the tabletop games i played in 2021

Topic List
Page List: 1, 2, 3
SeabassDebeste
12/29/21 10:33:38 AM
#1:


Before COVID shut the world down, I played a ton of tabletop games every year - between meetups in my city and game nights with various different friend groups. Since the pandemic hit, meetups have become a lot rarer, friends have moved out of town, and group get-togethers have also become more infrequent. As a result, my plays of everything have gone down - both new games, of which I used to try about 60 per year, and of the games I generally consider to be my favorite. One area where gaming has exploded for me is online; I now play pretty much constantly on boardgamearena.com, mostly with randoms but occasionally with friends.

I've done a board games ranking three times on B8. The first time, I hopped to write up the first 100 games I'd played the moment I'd crossed that marker, regardless of how many times I'd played them. The next two times I performed this exercise, I was more discerning, choosing only games I'd played on at least two separate occasions - those resulted in lists of 80 and 134 games, respectively.

This time, I'm going back to the "if I'd played it once, it's on" method - but I'm only including games that I've actually played in the calendar year of 2021. For the most part, these rankings reflect games I have played in person this year, with one notable exception. This will actually exclude many of my sentimental favorite games, but it's made actually ranking the list easier, since I need to worry less about how my taste might have changed over time and weighting the ranking categories.

Rankings as always will be based on an inconsistent combination of the following, roughly in descending order of importance:
- how much fun I've had specifically in the past year with them
- how much fun I've had in the past with them, i.e. their sentimental value
- how much I enjoy/admire/respect their game design
- how much I anticipate/dread getting it to the table again

Game #69 (nice) will be up shortly.

---
yet all azuarc of all sorts are more or less capricious and unreliable - they live in the varying outer weather, and they inhale its fickleness
... Copied to Clipboard!
HanOfTheNekos
12/29/21 10:38:46 AM
#2:


I've only played 4 tabletop games in 2021

---
"Bordate is a pretty shady place, what with the gangs, casinos, evil corporations and water park." - FAHtastic
... Copied to Clipboard!
SeabassDebeste
12/29/21 10:54:08 AM
#3:


69. MicroMacro: Crime City

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/318977/micromacro-crime-city

Category: Cooperative
Key mechanics: Novelty, mystery-solving, art-parsing, campaign-based
Rules complexity (0 to 7): 0
Game length: 5-20 minutes
First played: 2021
Experience: 1 play, 3 players
Previous ranks: N/A

So, this is a really fascinating game. It's more actually a piece of flat artwork than a straight-up game - you've got this massive, massive sheet of paper, illustrated with a really minutely drawn map of a city, including the activities of its residents - think Where's Waldo. The catch is that the map doesn't show the city at one point in time; instead, you can find one character walking down the street, then getting ice cream, etc.

The "game" doesn't really consist of any mechanics. It has you draw a card with a scenario on it. In our case, for example, it said something to the effect of "please locate Mrs. Fritz, who is dead in someone's front yard." It then asks you to piece together what happened to cause this situation, with a series of questions that you should follow only once you've answered the previous questions. For example, in this case, we were supposed to discern how she was killed (poison), then where she ate at that day, then who poisoned her, and why. You solve the case by basically going over the character's footsteps; shortly up the street from our hero's dead body is her a few minutes before keeling over, walking up the street to this spot.

The difficulty of the game comes from just how much stuff is going on in the city. There are hundreds of illustrated people across a truly massive map (one that you need to be very careful not to tear). Lighting is key, since the drawings are simple black lines on white paper, and you'll need to squint or stare really hard to focus your eyes on the character you want. Stepping backward in their footsteps is pretty fun and satisfying.

That said, while we were able to find basically the entire route that Mrs. Fritz took that day, we were still relatively blindsided by the conclusion of who the murderer was. We inferred a motive, but even then, it felt a little unsatisfying to be unable to solve the case when we'd figured out where she actually came from. I don't think this is particularly a sign of the failure of the game; maybe you just need to be better at mystery-solving to appreciate it. After all, another mystery-solving game will be on the list.

Hint for 68 - hope you've brushed up on muppets and fruit

---
yet all azuarc of all sorts are more or less capricious and unreliable - they live in the varying outer weather, and they inhale its fickleness
... Copied to Clipboard!
SeabassDebeste
12/29/21 10:54:38 AM
#4:


HanOfTheNekos posted...
I've only played 4 tabletop games in 2021

that's fair, i've probably only played four video games or so in 2021

---
yet all azuarc of all sorts are more or less capricious and unreliable - they live in the varying outer weather, and they inhale its fickleness
... Copied to Clipboard!
HanOfTheNekos
12/29/21 10:55:28 AM
#5:


I played:

Smash-Up
Red Dragon Inn
Gloomhaven
IDW's Batman: The Animated Series

---
"Bordate is a pretty shady place, what with the gangs, casinos, evil corporations and water park." - FAHtastic
... Copied to Clipboard!
SeabassDebeste
12/29/21 11:04:44 AM
#6:


have tried three of those, but only one this year!

---
yet all azuarc of all sorts are more or less capricious and unreliable - they live in the varying outer weather, and they inhale its fickleness
... Copied to Clipboard!
SeabassDebeste
12/29/21 11:08:45 AM
#7:


68. Hues and Cues

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/302520/hues-and-cues

Category: Player vs Player
Key mechanics: Clue-giving, novelty
Rules complexity (0 to 7): 0
Game length: 10-20 minutes
First played: 2021
Experience: 1 play, 6 players
Previous ranks: N/A

So... in this game, you've got a grid of colors, on a gradient. The active player draws a card that tells them their secret color and its position on this grid. They then have to give a clue to the players to have them guess that color by placing their pawns on the grid. After seeing initial guesses, the cluegiver gets to give one more clue to let people adjust their guesses. Cluegivers get points for the number of successful guessers; guessers get points for successful guesses.

That's... that's pretty much it. The fun factor on this is pretty good; it's funny to watch people struggle to decide whether the correction from "ocean" to "storm" means their initial blue guess should become greyer or whiter. You'll find yourself giving clues like "banana" or "Kermit" a lot, if you're anything like my group. And that's all pretty good for a laugh, but there's not a whole lot to this design, or a whole lot of replayability in my eyes.

Hint for 67 - the second-most cynical view of art collection in 2021

---
yet all azuarc of all sorts are more or less capricious and unreliable - they live in the varying outer weather, and they inhale its fickleness
... Copied to Clipboard!
KommunistKoala
12/29/21 11:36:20 AM
#8:


tag

---
does anyone even read this
... Copied to Clipboard!
TomNook
12/29/21 12:16:46 PM
#9:


Tag. Always like reading these.

---
Bells, bells, bells!
... Copied to Clipboard!
Raka_Putra
12/29/21 12:48:28 PM
#10:


TomNook posted...
Tag. Always like reading these.


---
"So much love in his words."
- RIP Stephen Sondheim, 1930-2021
... Copied to Clipboard!
masterplum
12/29/21 12:54:00 PM
#11:


Oh man

lets see

  1. Isle of cats
  2. Seven Wonders Duel
  3. Splendor Expansion
  4. Libertalia
  5. Vast the crystal caverns


Probably my top 5 of the year but thats off the top of my head and Im sure Im missing some

---
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BdWiElvIQAAQpBt.jpg
... Copied to Clipboard!
SeabassDebeste
12/29/21 1:07:52 PM
#12:


67. The Gallerist

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/125153/gallerist

Category: Player vs Player
Key mechanics: Action selection, set collection, economic
Rules complexity (0 to 7): 7
Game length: 2-3 hours
First played: 2021
Experience: 1 play, 4 players
Previous ranks: N/A

Vital Lacerda, the designer of The Gallerist, has a James Joyce-esque reputation among board gamers - extremely dense, hard to grasp, intricate, rewarding, etc.

The Gallerist is the second Lacerda game I've played. In it you run an art gallery, and on your turn you take one of a wide variety of actions, including commissioning art, trying to buy art, attracting visitors to your gallery, competing for an endgame international auction, selling art out of your gallery, hiring your assistants to do your dirty work, and the like. There are several trackers that show you positioning that you've earned or how famous an artist has become or what your piece of art is currently worth.

The Gallerist is the first of many eurogames to appear on this list, in which your form of competition is primarily to occupy action spaces, collect resources, or fulfill orders *before* or *better* your opponent can, attempting to maximize efficiency. Lacerda makes his game slightly interactive by allowing you the power of displacement; your primary action selection is done using a player pawn that goes into one of four areas, and if anyone else on their turn chooses to go to the area to which you've gone, you get a "kickout" action on your opponent's turn, allowing you to get extra efficiency. Additionally, you've got special actions you can also take on your turn outside of your primary action. It's all very neat and intricate.

It's also fiddly and possibly overly complex. The theoretical elegance of a "one-action turn" is somewhat undermined by the fact that that single action can result in many bookkeeping steps (i.e. buying art increases that artist's fame, thus increasing the price of artist's works for everyone involved; this also for some reason triggers new visitors to arrive in the common area), but that even then you still have so many actions before you can accomplish your goals (but you need two special movements to get those visitors into your own gallery, which you need to do in order to sell stuff, but only if you have the special order that lets you sell them...) Add other players taking extra actions and actions out of the flow of normal turns thanks to the kickout mechanism, and you've got a game that doesn't really flow.

I admire the system that has gone into it and would play again, as it does feel like the type of game that needs repeated plays in order for it to flow nicely. Maybe I can seek it out again at the meetup, if again it has experienced players.

Hint for 66 - not that often you feel this gassy on another planet

---
yet all azuarc of all sorts are more or less capricious and unreliable - they live in the varying outer weather, and they inhale its fickleness
... Copied to Clipboard!
Bospsychopaat
12/29/21 3:38:26 PM
#13:


I've played 48 different board games this year (also a lot less than other years), so I'm curious to see how many will feature on this list. So far zero!

---
Currently contemplating cinnamon
... Copied to Clipboard!
Bospsychopaat
01/04/22 5:15:25 PM
#14:


Bump

---
Currently contemplating cinnamon
... Copied to Clipboard!
Drakeryn
01/04/22 5:40:14 PM
#15:


tag

---
another place and time, without a great divide, and we could be flying deadly high
... Copied to Clipboard!
SeabassDebeste
01/07/22 1:54:15 PM
#16:


66. Unsettled

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/290484/unsettled

Category: Cooperative
Key mechanics: Set collection, point-to-point movement, exploration, scenario-based
Rules complexity (0 to 7): 6
Game length: 60-120 minutes
First played: 2021
Experience: 1 play, 3 players
Previous ranks: N/A

Unsettled is probably the single game that most needs a replay on this list. It's a scenario-based game co-op, where the general principle of it is that each scenario can be wildly different.

At the heart of the game is a Pandemic-like engine where you take up to four actions on your turn and then the game makes its moves. Your abilities including moving your character to new tiles to open, mining for gems, picking up gems, and moving the machine. But the game adds a layer of complexity to your action selection by having your action board with moving pieces that you need to manage as well, boosting and restricting your abilities, and occasionally causing you to rest and trigger the game events.

Our scenario had a lot of exploration to it. Our scenario involved constructing pylons to get a spaceship off the ground. But the way it's structured, the first time you go through the scenario, you don't actually find out the next goal until you've achieved the first goal. Unfortunately, the teach, setup, and first run together ran over two hours, and we lost. Over a long gaming weekend already, that easily prevented us from giving it a second go now knowing what we needed to prep for. It's a fiddly game and one where you need to learn customized rules each scenario - I think there's a lot of potential, but this run just didn't bring it out for me.

---
yet all azuarc of all sorts are more or less capricious and unreliable - they live in the varying outer weather, and they inhale its fickleness
... Copied to Clipboard!
pezzicle
01/07/22 2:28:04 PM
#17:


tag

---
stop victory lapping around your desk, your chair has rollers, it's not even really exercise
Currently Playing: Subnautica Below Zero
... Copied to Clipboard!
KommunistKoala
01/07/22 2:30:13 PM
#18:


haven't played any so far

---
does anyone even read this
... Copied to Clipboard!
SeabassDebeste
01/07/22 3:08:08 PM
#19:


here's one people might have played

65. Sushi Roll

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/271869/sushi-roll

Category: Player vs player
Key mechanics: Set collection, drafting
Rules complexity (0 to 7): 2
Game length: 20-30 minutes
First played: 2021
Experience: 1 play, 5 players
Previous ranks: N/A

Sushi Roll logically follows Sushi Go, a game in which you draft cards, 7 Wonders-style, and assemble the best meal you can. The game is played over the course of three rounds during which you draft a handful of dice, one by one, each of a different food type - sashimi, nigiri, dumplings, and the like. Your meal is scored depending on how many of each you got.

It's really hard to talk about Sushi Roll without comparing it to its predecessor, Sushi Go. It borrows essentially the exact same template - and it's fun to try to go for safe strategies (i.e. the food items that score rather consistently) or the risky strategies (i.e. ones that will score explosively but *only* if you've got a lot of them). Sushi Roll also introduces a neat mechanism where you can "steal" other people's dice. The dice themselves are super-cute - arguably cuter than the cards - and I love the little conveyor belt cardboard tokens that you use to pass the dice on after you've made your selections. They even introduce a mechanism by which you can "steal" someone else's food item right off their conveyor belt!

The issue with Sushi Roll, then, is that the action isn't simultaneous. One of the coolest parts of Sushi Go is that this lightweight game has you making your decision while everyone else is making theirs. Therefore, it scales absolutely seamlessly. Sushi Roll gets rid of arguably its parent game's best feature, instead making things turn-based. You have to keep track of start player and then remember when you hit start player so you can rotate the belts. That layer of fiddliness means that the game will take more time with more players and that you need to keep track of more options (as you can steal other people's dice).

I think in a vacuum, Sushi Roll is pretty good - and probably better with three or four players for quickness. I was a little surprised at how long it took to play Roll, but it's still a neat game where you score points for eating dumplings and adding nigiri to your nigiri, which honestly is all that you really want out of a game anyway.

---
yet all azuarc of all sorts are more or less capricious and unreliable - they live in the varying outer weather, and they inhale its fickleness
... Copied to Clipboard!
KommunistKoala
01/07/22 3:15:29 PM
#20:


played Sushi Go (and Party) but not Roll. Would almost certainly not enjoy it as much if it's no longer simultaneous

---
does anyone even read this
... Copied to Clipboard!
NBIceman
01/07/22 3:35:09 PM
#21:


Only one I've played so far is Hues and Cues, which was a fun little time for a little while but I agree there's not a whole lot there for replays.

Looking forward to seeing more. I didn't get a whole lot of variety with my board gaming in 2021 because I really don't like playing online.

---
Chilly McFreeze
https://i.imgur.com/UYamul2.gif
... Copied to Clipboard!
KommunistKoala
01/14/22 10:56:01 AM
#22:


Quick List of Games I played in 2021 for the first time in no particular order aside from my favorite one at the very top:

Dune: Imperium
Brass: Birmingham
Dwellings of Eldervale
Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition
Concordia
Crokinole
Moonrakers
Pax Pamir 2nd Edition
Space Base
Sidereal Confluence
Titans
Nemesis
7 Wonders Duel
Azul
Can't Stop
6 nimmt

Last 4 were on BoardGameArena. Also started playing Gloomhaven through the digital version like 2 weeks ago. There was also some smaller game about planting trees and everyone had a squirrel I think but can't remember the name.

---
does anyone even read this
... Copied to Clipboard!
Big Bob
01/14/22 12:16:34 PM
#23:


I quit playing board games because I could never get people to show up.

---
Come watch me on Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/gameryogi
azuarc beat me.
... Copied to Clipboard!
SeabassDebeste
01/21/22 11:37:46 PM
#24:


lacking motivation lately, but will get some up tomorrow!

---
yet all azuarc of all sorts are more or less capricious and unreliable - they live in the varying outer weather, and they inhale its fickleness
... Copied to Clipboard!
Not Dave
01/22/22 12:51:48 AM
#25:


tag

one of the best and most informative topic series on here

---
ND
... Copied to Clipboard!
SeabassDebeste
01/27/22 11:32:36 AM
#26:


64. Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/2511/sherlock-holmes-consulting-detective-thames-murder

Category: Cooperative
Key mechanics: Narrative, deduction, campaign
Rules complexity (0 to 7): 2
Game length: 60-120+ minutes
First played: 2021
Experience: 1 play, 2 players (over multiple sessions)
Previous ranks: N/A

My sister got me this game for Christmas, and we played case 1 over the course of two days. This is a fully narrative experience, where you're given a newspaper and a scenario book, and based on your decisions, you flip to different areas of the book and read the clues there. Once you feel like you've gathered enough intel to solve whatever mystery was presented, you open the exam book, where you're presented with the key questions - and finally, Sherlock's conclusions.

There's always a risk of tedium in games like this - lots of pointing at spots on the map and navigating through the scenario book and trying not to read anything by accident. The mystery is all the more difficult/tedious because you don't know what questions are actually going to be asked. My sister and I laughed when there was a question that we had no idea would even be a thing appeared during the case summary.

The game also has a scoring system, by which you're rewarded for answering more questions with fewer leads followed up on. This goes against my every Phoenix Wright instinct. And the fact that you don't know what the questions are ahead of time seems to run counter to this as well. We had a lot of fun reading through the clues nad investigating every last nook and cranny - tawdry affairs! espionage! - but it was incredibly anticlimactic when we realized Sherlock deduced the solution in like four clues, didn't follow up on basically any lead that even possibly seemed irrelevant, and made some logical leaps that would leave him unable to answer some of the side questions.

So I think the ruleset of this game hampers it, as well as its cumbersome physical navigation. That said, actually trying to figure out the mystery was a good time. It'll be a long time before this hits the table again, but when it does, I think I'm prepared to have fun again, and perhaps disregard scoring entirely. (Though maybe the scoring is a good idea to prevent us from searching for four hours?)

---
yet all azuarc of all sorts are more or less capricious and unreliable - they live in the varying outer weather, and they inhale its fickleness
... Copied to Clipboard!
MikeTavish
01/27/22 12:58:18 PM
#27:


Tag

---
Formerly ff6man.
Azuarc won the guru! Congrats!
... Copied to Clipboard!
KommunistKoala
01/27/22 2:08:46 PM
#28:


campaigns are hard for me to play as is, a deduction campaign sounds like one of the last things I'd be able to personally experience

---
does anyone even read this
... Copied to Clipboard!
SeabassDebeste
01/27/22 2:53:43 PM
#29:


to be fair cases are independent of each other - no legacy/trackable elements - but yeah, i think to get the full value of the game you want to play all the 10? cases

---
yet all azuarc of all sorts are more or less capricious and unreliable - they live in the varying outer weather, and they inhale its fickleness
... Copied to Clipboard!
cyko
01/28/22 7:19:55 AM
#30:


Ugh. The scoring in Sherlock Holmes is absolutely worthless. It doesn't help that Sherlock talks down to you about how obvious the incredibly obscure leaps of logic were to him. It's as if the game itself is mocking you for trying to explore it. It can be kind of fun when approached more as a Tabletop RPG. Trying to use the scoring, though, just produces leaves a really bad taste in your mouth and left me not wanting to play again.

---
Yay - azuarc is the guru champion of awesomeness.
... Copied to Clipboard!
masterplum
01/28/22 7:51:46 AM
#31:


SeabassDebeste posted...
64. Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/2511/sherlock-holmes-consulting-detective-thames-murder

Category: Cooperative
Key mechanics: Narrative, deduction, campaign
Rules complexity (0 to 7): 2
Game length: 60-120+ minutes
First played: 2021
Experience: 1 play, 2 players (over multiple sessions)
Previous ranks: N/A

My sister got me this game for Christmas, and we played case 1 over the course of two days. This is a fully narrative experience, where you're given a newspaper and a scenario book, and based on your decisions, you flip to different areas of the book and read the clues there. Once you feel like you've gathered enough intel to solve whatever mystery was presented, you open the exam book, where you're presented with the key questions - and finally, Sherlock's conclusions.

There's always a risk of tedium in games like this - lots of pointing at spots on the map and navigating through the scenario book and trying not to read anything by accident. The mystery is all the more difficult/tedious because you don't know what questions are actually going to be asked. My sister and I laughed when there was a question that we had no idea would even be a thing appeared during the case summary.

The game also has a scoring system, by which you're rewarded for answering more questions with fewer leads followed up on. This goes against my every Phoenix Wright instinct. And the fact that you don't know what the questions are ahead of time seems to run counter to this as well. We had a lot of fun reading through the clues nad investigating every last nook and cranny - tawdry affairs! espionage! - but it was incredibly anticlimactic when we realized Sherlock deduced the solution in like four clues, didn't follow up on basically any lead that even possibly seemed irrelevant, and made some logical leaps that would leave him unable to answer some of the side questions.

So I think the ruleset of this game hampers it, as well as its cumbersome physical navigation. That said, actually trying to figure out the mystery was a good time. It'll be a long time before this hits the table again, but when it does, I think I'm prepared to have fun again, and perhaps disregard scoring entirely. (Though maybe the scoring is a good idea to prevent us from searching for four hours?)

So I have this game (or perhaps the second one?) and played with my mother once. For background we have escaped medium level escape rooms together just the two of us.

We read every damn entry on one of those cases and had zero idea what the solution was, and it turned out to be some off the wall inference of how an unrelated news story could be related.

really soured me on the game

---
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BdWiElvIQAAQpBt.jpg
... Copied to Clipboard!
cyko
01/29/22 8:14:37 AM
#32:


masterplum posted...
So I have this game (or perhaps the second one?) and played with my mother once. For background we have escaped medium level escape rooms together just the two of us.

We read every damn entry on one of those cases and had zero idea what the solution was, and it turned out to be some off the wall inference of how an unrelated news story could be related.

really soured me on the game

I don't think every case is that obscure, but yes - that's a big part of what I didn't like. Some of the leaps in logic to reach the conclusion made absolutely no sense. Supposedly, the more recent cases aren't nearly as bad with the lack of logical conclusions.

---
Yay - azuarc is the guru champion of awesomeness.
... Copied to Clipboard!
SeabassDebeste
01/29/22 8:42:42 AM
#33:


63. SET

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/1198/set

Category: Player vs player
Key mechanics: Pattern-recognition, real-time, repeated hands
Rules complexity (0 to 7): 1
Game length: 5-20 minutes
First played: 2015
Experience: 5+ plays with 3+ players (over multiple sessions)
Previous ranks: 88/100 (2016)

SET didn't make it onto my 2018 or 2019 rankings, for a fairly sensible reason - it's kind of iffy in its status as a "hobby game." The principle of it is that twelve abstract cards are laid on the table, and you search for a set among the three based on different attributes of those cards. It's a pure pattern-recognition game that can really twist the mind to pieces, which gives it more of an "activity" feel than a "game" feel. Combine that with the fact that the card design isn't graphically interesting (unlike SET's younger but more enjoyable cousin, Ghost Blitz) - and the fact that it looks rather mass-marketed - and there are lots of reasons I didn't include it in those lists.

Well, SET does make it onto this list, and it's... fine. It's not an amazing game, but if you like doing pattern recognition, logical puzzles, and the like, then you may like it. As a kid I played twenty-four with my dad, where you'd flip four numeric cards and then try to use them arithmetically to make 24 - but as a race. That's what SET is, and while that is intrinsically fun, there are two main issues with it: first, that each round exists purely independently of other rounds - i.e. there's no story arc at all - and second, that the more skilled player has a high chance of outsourcing the rest very dramatically. As in, shut-outs are entirely possible if everyone is playing to the best of their ability and there's a skill gap. Even in extremely cutthroat eurogames, that wouldn't necessarily happen. It can be punishing and negative and unengaging as a result.

---
yet all azuarc of all sorts are more or less capricious and unreliable - they live in the varying outer weather, and they inhale its fickleness
... Copied to Clipboard!
Tom Bombadil
01/29/22 9:37:17 AM
#34:


Set's a good brain game, if nothing else! I played a bunch growing up, and used a knockoff version with students at one of my jobs.

---
pretend there is a trans flag emoji here
... Copied to Clipboard!
banananor
01/29/22 9:41:47 AM
#35:


i haven't played any new board games since the start of covid- do you have any quick recommendations?

---
You did indeed stab me in the back. However, you are only level one, whilst I am level 50. That means I should remain uninjured.
... Copied to Clipboard!
SeabassDebeste
01/29/22 9:44:40 AM
#36:


Tom Bombadil posted...
Set's a good brain game, if nothing else! I played a bunch growing up, and used a knockoff version with students at one of my jobs.

you're not wrong - it just is better as an "exercise" than as a "game," imo.

banananor posted...
i haven't played any new board games since the start of covid- do you have any quick recommendations?

honestly, i've played almost no new games here. my friends who bought the most new games moved out of town and the pandemic shut down meetups for quite some time.

---
yet all azuarc of all sorts are more or less capricious and unreliable - they live in the varying outer weather, and they inhale its fickleness
... Copied to Clipboard!
SeabassDebeste
02/06/22 1:55:34 PM
#37:


62. Everdell

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/1198/set

Category: Player vs player
Key mechanics: Resource management, worker placement, tableau-building
Rules complexity (0 to 7): 5
Game length: 60-120 minutes
First played: 2021
Experience: 1 play with 3 players
Previous ranks: N/A

Everdell is probably one of the top 10 table presence games on this list. The game is themed after woodland animals gathering materials to survive winter, and the central worker placement area is a three-dimensional tree. It's a gorgeous production.

Through the game, you get cards into your hand, play them onto your tableau, place workers onto the board, collect resources, and ultimately try to score victory points. The game occurs over the course of four seasons as you move from spring into winter, with each player moving onto the next season independently when they've exhausted their legal or willing moves in their current season.

My main issue with Everdell is that it doesn't have a single cool mechanic linking things together. On your turn, you either place a worker or play a card from your hand or activate a card in your tableau. With tableaux capable of exploding in size and complexity, it's the opposite of the elegant, simple decision spaces that characterize most of my personal favorite games. Worker placement usually points you toward a focused sort of game, but instead your opponents could be either taking the contested spots or playing a totally heads down game.

The fact that different players can be in different seasons is also a little awkward. Leads to cleanup phases not really being a group activity, but a solitary thing that happens kind of randomly. Which is... okay, in and of itself, but it's just a little weird. The bottom line mostly is that Everdell, while pleasant to look at, does a few too many things, and none of them quite well enough. At least so I found in my one time playing it.

---
yet all azuarc of all sorts are more or less capricious and unreliable - they live in the varying outer weather, and they inhale its fickleness
... Copied to Clipboard!
KommunistKoala
02/06/22 2:19:28 PM
#38:


your bgg link is for set, not everdell

definitely a game i hear a lot about and seems pretty popular, but it also has pretty vocal haters. need to play it once to see which side of the fence i'm on.

there's also so many expansions

---
does anyone even read this
... Copied to Clipboard!
SeabassDebeste
02/06/22 5:00:41 PM
#39:


thanks for catching the error

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/199792/everdell

i'm not a hater of everdell. it didn't do me any wrong. but it isn't the type of game that really captivates me - at least based on one play. that could always change if i got more into it, and to be fair - i don't have the ability to give every game that much attention!

---
yet all azuarc of all sorts are more or less capricious and unreliable - they live in the varying outer weather, and they inhale its fickleness
... Copied to Clipboard!
NBIceman
02/06/22 5:13:39 PM
#40:


Everdell is a big favorite of my group, even though I'm generally not someone who loves the sort of standard, non-gimmicky worker placement that it utilizes. Something about it just feels very pleasant to play, even beyond the great art. Surprised to see it so low.

---
Chilly McFreeze
https://i.imgur.com/UYamul2.gif
... Copied to Clipboard!
cyko
02/06/22 10:58:40 PM
#41:


NBIceman posted...
Everdell is a big favorite of my group, even though I'm generally not someone who loves the sort of standard, non-gimmicky worker placement that it utilizes. Something about it just feels very pleasant to play, even beyond the great art. Surprised to see it so low.

Yeah, I agree. Everdell was my favorite new to me game of 2020. It's a solid worker placement game with fantastic components and theme. My only minor complaint is that the random card draw can occasionally work against you, but the game just feels pleasant all around. I'm also surprised to see it this low.

---
Yay - azuarc is the guru champion of awesomeness.
... Copied to Clipboard!
th3l3fty
02/06/22 11:45:05 PM
#42:


Everdell is nice to look at, but I've never once had a choice between games where it's the one I'd actually prefer playing

something about it just feels... dull? not sure if that's the right word for it, but I just don't care for it at all

---
thelefty for analysis crew 2008 imo -transience
I have a third degree burn in flame-o-nomics -Sir Chris
... Copied to Clipboard!
SeabassDebeste
02/07/22 12:22:27 PM
#43:


61. Lost Ruins of Arnak

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/312484/lost-ruins-arnak

Category: Player vs player
Key mechanics: Resource management, worker placement, deck-building
Rules complexity (0 to 7): 5
Game length: 60-120 minutes
First played: 2021
Experience: 1 play with 3 players
Previous ranks: N/A

Oh hey, it's another game following... well, following almost exactly the same principles of the previous game. Lost Ruins of Arnak is nominally a worker placement game, played over five rounds, where you mostly are gathering resources to trade them up for better resources, and eventually win victory points. To help make your actions more efficient, you can buy and play cards, which enter a deck as in a deck-builder. The theme of the game is an archeological exploration, where you get to explore some ruins and pursue knowledge and research.

Like Everdell, Lost Ruins of Arnak mishmashes mechanics together that aren't always found in the same game. Worker placement games are often determined most by how you place your workers; deck-building games are often determined by how efficiently you run your engine (and they compensate the randomness for you by letting you repeatedly draw through your deck many times). Arnak contains both mechanics, but it kneecaps both - you only have two workers to place per round, meaning that the vast majority of your actions are instead just spending resources to move up the track, or buying and playing cards. On the deckbuilding side, the card-cycling is such a minor part of the game that you don't really use this mechanic to build a real engine. As a result the game gives neither the feeling of excelling at something crunchy nor the flow-state of streamlined design.

The coolest thing about Arnak is probably encountering monsters. You can send a worker to a dig site, and you'll uncover a random enemy monster there. Defeating the monster (by assembling the resources you need) will give you some benefits, while not defeating it will give you a very mild punishment. In practice this just gives you a different way to spend resources, but thematically it's at least interesting and visually appealing.

I have Arnak slightly above Everdell because it feels slightly less necessary to keep track of your and others' tableaux. That's one plus-side of deck-building versus permanently played cards.

---
yet all azuarc of all sorts are more or less capricious and unreliable - they live in the varying outer weather, and they inhale its fickleness
... Copied to Clipboard!
SeabassDebeste
02/14/22 11:35:22 PM
#44:


more soon

---
yet all azuarc of all sorts are more or less capricious and unreliable - they live in the varying outer weather, and they inhale its fickleness
... Copied to Clipboard!
KommunistKoala
02/14/22 11:42:19 PM
#45:


still need to play arnak

---
does anyone even read this
... Copied to Clipboard!
Tom Bombadil
02/22/22 6:23:41 AM
#46:


up

---
pretend there is a trans flag emoji here
... Copied to Clipboard!
SeabassDebeste
02/23/22 5:12:22 PM
#47:


60. Circadians: First Light

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/264052/circadians-first-light

Category: Player vs player
Key mechanics: Resource management, worker placement, point-to-point movement, point salad
Rules complexity (0 to 7): 6
Game length: 90-120 minutes
First played: 2021
Experience: 1 play with 3 players
Previous ranks: N/A

Set in space, Circadians: First Light has you trying ot make contact with an alien race and exploring for minerals or some such stuff. In practice this feels a lot like gathering resources and trading them for more resources and VP - using them to gain favor with aliens, or power your little exploration rover that gathers more resources.

I don't remember a ton about Circadians. It has a ton of different areas where you can choose to do stuff, and it didn't feel super-cohesive. Though that said, I've played many games online with the designer of the game, SJ MacDonald (who also designed Architects of the West Kingdom), so I still encourage everyone to go and check it out!

---
yet all azuarc of all sorts are more or less capricious and unreliable - they live in the varying outer weather, and they inhale its fickleness
... Copied to Clipboard!
SeabassDebeste
02/24/22 11:45:06 AM
#48:


59. Valiant Wars

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/285110/valiant-wars

Category: Player vs player
Key mechanics: Deck-building, push-your-luck
Rules complexity (0 to 7): 3
Game length: 15-20 minutes
First played: 2021
Experience: 2 plays with 3-4 players
Previous ranks: N/A

Valiant Wars is a push-your-luck, deck-building game. On your turn you play cards off the top of your deck, with the ability to stop at any time. The more of the cards you've put into your deck, the better; these will enable you to buy new cards and gain VP. However, your deck also has Dark Omen cards. If you hit upon two of those, you're done.

If you've ever played Quacks of Quedlinberg, this game should feel quite similar - it's a push-your-luck game where you're pushing your luck based off your own built pool. As a matter of preference, I'm never big on the constantly dynamic marketplaces like in Ascension - means more reading cards, and an extra element of luck in an already luck-driven game. This game has some cute stuff going for it and plays pretty quickly, so it's worth a look - just didn't grip me a ton.

---
yet all azuarc of all sorts are more or less capricious and unreliable - they live in the varying outer weather, and they inhale its fickleness
... Copied to Clipboard!
KommunistKoala
02/24/22 11:49:13 AM
#49:


still need to play at least one of the west kingdom games AND quacks. needless to say haven't played the games actually listed but valiant wars at least sounds like a quick entertaining thing as push your luck tends to be

---
does anyone even read this
... Copied to Clipboard!
SeabassDebeste
02/24/22 11:59:33 AM
#50:


I've only played Architects among that set myself (and Raiders of the North Sea). They're nice, competent light/mid-weight euros that I think go down really smoothly, though I wouldn't rank them among ones that truly gripped me.

Quacks of course is pretty different.

---
yet all azuarc of all sorts are more or less capricious and unreliable - they live in the varying outer weather, and they inhale its fickleness
... Copied to Clipboard!
Topic List
Page List: 1, 2, 3