Vincent's Top 100 Tabletop Games of All Time – 2016
The Games that Should Make the List but Cant
Have you ever thought about which games are your favourite? Trust me, it's harder than you think. Over the past few weeks I have been ordering my favourite games. Truth be told I had intended on stopping at 50 games but I kept going. For the sake of you and the other readers I settled on 100 (a nice round number). I compiled this list for three reasons: to identify the games I think are amazing, to talk about some games you may not have heard about and to allow readers like you the opportunity to see games that I like that you may be interested in yourself.
There are a few caveats to this list however. Firstly, I have not played every game in the world (that is what this article will address), I play games that interest me in either theme, mechanics or art. The second is that I have played well over 100 games, these are my favourite so you can rest assured that I believe that all of these are worth owning. The final point to note is that, for the most part, the numbers are essentially arbitrary. In general the closer a game is to 1, the more I like it and the most fun I believe it brings to the table (for me), however, a lot of these games can jump around from day to day, week to week.
Now, with that all out of the way, I present to you my 100 favourite games of all time as of the 18th of November, 2016. To begin I would like to draw attention to the games that I think would make the list, but, I haven't played enough to warrant them making my list.
Scythe is a 1 to 5 player 4X game, designed by Jamey Steamier and published by Stonemaier Games in 2016. A 4X game is an open game that allows players to explore, expand, exploit and exterminate. In Scythe players will take control of a unique faction in an alternate 1920's world were people utilise the power of mechs to assist them in their daily lives. Players will tussle for most money by increasing their production and popularity.
Scythe made my list thanks to its: art – Jakub Rozalski has done an amazing job, this is quite possibly the most beautiful game I have seen, the designer – Jamey has never done me wrong, I have enjoyed his other games and he has proven he has great potential and its gameplay – the game has an interesting take on Terra Mystica meets Kemet. A unique worker placement mechanic combined with a simple yet deep combat system. For those reasons and more Scythe should be on my top 100 list after a few more plays, it's more of a matter of where it will land.
2. Twilight Struggle
Twilight Struggle is designed by Ananda Gupta and Jason Matthews, published by GMT Games that takes players through a back and forth game of influence during the Cold War. The rules are simple but the gameplay is rich. The cards are all based on real life occurrences that either benefit the USSR or the US, the challenge is: how to best use one’s cards and units given consistently limited resources. The game is an interesting tug of war as players attempt to overwhelm their opponent with subsystems of the space race and the possibility of a game ending nuclear war.
This is a game that will take many plays to break through to the true strategy of the game, beyond that it is just exciting to learn so much about an often over looked period. I've learnt more about the Cold War in a play of Twilight Struggle than I did during school, which speaks a great deal for the historical background of the game.
3. Food Chain Magnate
A quick note: Food Chain Magnate is hard to get, if you think you would like it and see it… Buy it. Food Chain Magnate is a heavy strategy game for 2-5 players. It is published by Splotter Spellen and designed by Jeroen Doumen and Joris Wiersinga in 2015. By creating a chain of command, workers work for you, the CEO. You and your opposing CEO's will build fast food chains, competing to have the best deals on food and drink. By providing ads all around the map, people from near and far will go to your restaurant for pizza and lemonade as long as you are selling it for the right price.
This is a very thinky – brain burner. There are multiple paths to victory but one subpar turn could result in a loss. The theme pulls through and the components are nice. Some dislike the bland look of the board but it is just a reflection of the time portrayed in the game. Give this one a play if you have 2-4 hours available.
4. Blood Rage
Blood Rage is a thematic, Euro, drafting, combat, everything game for 2-4 players. Designed by the rockstar of gaming, Eric Lang and the kings of production CMON in 2015. This game has beautiful miniatures, amazing artwork and screams epic at the top of its Nordic lungs. You and your fellow Vikings will compete to have the most glory by dying gloriously in battle or from Ragnarok.
Blood Rage can be attacked with many different strategies and feels like a meaty game but plays in about 90 minutes which works out perfectly. This has quickly become a favourite of the board game community and I'm sure with a few more plays, Blood Rage will definitely be on the list.
5. The Others
The Others is a thematic beat em up game for 2-5 players. Add this to the list of games from Eric Lang and CMON (released in 2016). I was fortunate enough to back this one on Kickstarter earlier this year. It arrived in a large box with expansion box after expansion box, unfortunately I am yet to play this one vs. all game, with amazingly horrifying miniatures. All I can do is hope that my investment was a good decision.
Concordia is a peaceful strategy game for 2-5 players. Designed by Mac Gerdts and published by Rio Grande Games in 2013. Players have decks of cards, these cards allow players to choose an action and provide victory points at the end of the game. Nominated for many awards, Concordia is a deceptively simple game that combines a simple ruleset with a depth of strategy. The game is all about managing your turns to provide a maximum benefit, this puzzle continues to intrigue me and I am very excited to see where this one falls on the list after several more plays.
7. Fury of Dracula
Fury of Dracula is a search and find, hidden movement game for 2-5 players. Designed by Frank Brooks, Stephen Hand and Kevin Wilson and published by Fantasy Flight Games in 2015. One player is the great, Count Dracula and the other players are hunting him. This is another game that I am yet to play, it sits on my shelf staring at me. This is due to its 3 hour play time, there are few willing to commit 3 plus hours to such a game but, when they do, hopefully you will see Fury of Dracula on the list.
Note: The game just ceased printing from FFG so get it before its gone (or incredibly expensive on Ebay).
Viticulture is a worker placement game of making wine and selling it for 2-6 players. Designed by Jamey Stegmaier and Alan Stone, published by Stonemaier Games in 2013. This is a very clever game of worker placement, where timing and placement is key. However, unlike other games of its ilk, Viticulture provides you with a Grande worker, a worker that is never restricted by another player. This interesting mechanic along with a very tasteful theme encourages me to get this one to the table more and hopefully appear on my top 100 list.
Kemet is a combat strategy game with different powers and a cool Egyptian theme for 2-5 players. Designed by Jacques Bariot and Guillaume Montiage and published by Matagot Publishing in 2012. Kemet is a very tight area control style game that encourages players to fight. Another player is always within reach and winning in a battle only matters if you were attacking. Not only does this prevent turtling but allows for many exciting battles from the get go. The art, miniatures and available powers in the game calls to me to come back for more. I'm sure Kemet will eventually stumble onto my list, the question is, where?
K2 is a mountain climbing game for 1-5 players. It is designed by Adam Kauza and published by REBEL.pl in 2010. A hidden gem for many, K2 is a very thematic game where players battle the weather and try to acclimatise to different levels of the mountain. The game has a similar tension to relentless co-ops like Pandemic but is by no means co-operative. The thing that holds this game back from hitting the table is the play time, 60 minutes. That may not seem like much but I worry that the game lasts a little longer than it should. Regardless, once I have a few more games under my belt, it will be on the list.
So there you have it! Those are my top 10 games that should be in my top 100 but aren't. Keep an eye out for my top 100-91. Have you played any of these games, what are your thought? Let us know on our social channels.