End of Year & Top 100

60 – Yokohama

It might be a lot to take in visually and a bear to set up, but it has such a satisfying rhythm once you get the hang of it. Tech cards that create a growing asymmetry show up again, a sure way to get me to like a game. Throw in a tight economy, careful timing, and bonus actions; Yokohama hits a lot of notes I enjoy. Still kind of a nightmare to set up though.

59 – 7 Wonders Duel

This got played several times on BGA, but we recently played it in person (with metal coins!). This game can be savage, but it’s so fast and engaging. The expansions are really good too. The mind games you can do here when drafting remind me of Hanamikoji.

58 – Near and Far

I’m a sucker for adventure games, and I don’t mind if they get a bit Euro-y. We never did finish our campaign of NaF, but the system was a lot of fun. The writing was… okay. But every now and then I still think about this game, especially the cards and the sense of building your character and party up. The rulebook was not great though.

57 – Yamataï

I’m still not sure why this one fell below the radar for a Days of Wonder game. It looks insanely good on the table, especially by the end of the game. The decisions are tough but the rules are smooth. The only problem is that it can be long and a bit analysis-paralysis-inducing, especially for what’s not a heavy game.

56 – Wingspan

Another game we were late to the party with. I was interested in trying it out, but my friend was pretty lukewarm, and even sold the unplayed copy he bought when this first sold out and was hard to find until it was reprinted. When we finally got it to the table, it made for such an easygoing experience with fun combos and low-stakes interaction. The main issue for me is fixed (so I hear) in the Asia expansion, that being the last couple of turns or so where everyone just spams eggs for points. I’ll have to get the app at some point, too.

55 – Marvel Champions LCG

This looked pretty cool, but I kept waiting for the X-Men to get added before investing a hefty sum into the core box (a lot more expensive than other LCG core boxes). But my brother ended up buying a copy shortly after X-Men were announced. I think this does the CCG-style card play better than the LotR LCG, and unlike LotR, it doesn’t pretend to be something else. It’s really just a card game where you look at combos and think about efficiency. There’s no story, really, but good card interactions still shape a kind of narrative. I look forward to seeing what characters are added in the future.

54 – Rivals for Catan

I bought this years ago when we didn’t really have much in the way of Euros. It was inexpensive and seemed better than its board game origins. While it’s been a while since it last came out, I enjoyed our games of it. Plays quickly, has some light engine building, and the decks offer a lot of replayability. This will definitely come out again for one of our 2-player days.

53 – Race for the Galaxy

It might have a high learning curve, but I think learning the cards and what kinds of combos you can do is the main part, not the iconography. For a game that doesn’t take too long to play and is basically just a deck of cards, there are definitely a lot of difficult decisions. Maybe we don’t play at a high enough level, but the goods strategy seems a bit too slow compared to other strategies. I don’t think it’s ever won in our games. But we also haven’t bought any expansions yet. This is also another game with a good app that I recommend.

52 – Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions TCG

This was a really solid game with a good app. And the fact that your physical cards could be scanned and played online was great. I’m still not sure what happened to this short-lived TCG, though I suspect a lack of marketing might have been an issue. But what a clean, unique system (based on Lightseekers). RIP.

51 – London (Second Edition)

I seem to have a thing for Martin Wallace games. This isn’t the last one. But I also enjoy really tight, challenging economic games, and London is very focused on economy. And I really like card systems where you pay for cards with other cards. The second edition’s production is also really good (the rulebook could have been a little better). I haven’t tried the fan-made solo mode yet.

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