Top 100 List (2020 edition) – Games 32 through 29

December 18th. Today marks 14 days left in this year. The final two weeks of 2020. How are you looking to end the year? Are you wanting to just RACE to the finish line? Maybe FLY straight to the end? Or perhaps, you want to ROLL right through the holidays and get to the New Year.

Some of you may be REBELS, though, who have embraced the madness of 2020 and aren’t ready to see it close out. Regardless, I’m hoping you’ll find some enjoyment in today’s discussion of Games 32 through 29 on my top 100 list.

Links to prior posts:

Top 100 games lists

#32 – Downforce (Restoration Games, designed by Rob Daviau, Justin D. Jacobson, and Wolfgang Kramer) [#7 in 2019]

Downforce is such a wonderful racing game. One of the few games I’ve managed to play with a dozen or more people — it is appealing to most and the gameplay is easy to pick-up on. Plus, I think most players get joy out of simply “racing cars around a board.” I picked up the newest board this fall (which includes animals and ramps) which is a great addition to the game. With 3 boards and 6 total maps at this point, so much replayability with this great family-weight game.

#31 – Roll to the Top! (Cwali, designed by Peter Joustra and Corne van Moorsel) [#55 in 2019]

And…here we go –> my #1 Roll-and-Write game is Roll to the Top!, which has climbed 24 spots (1 of only 6 games that climbed 20+ spots on this year’s list). I have a dozen different templates to play with, each providing a slight twist on how to play this simple game –> roll dice, input numbers on your sheet starting at the bottom. Each number going up must be > or = the number(s) it sits above. Can you create a good strategy…how do you handle high numbers? Get risky and use them…stay conservative and leave them be?

This is a favorite, quick game for my wife and I play –> we’ve introduced our own “variant-style” of play in which we don’t let each other see our cards during the game. Normally, you can look around, which might impact how aggressive/conservative you can be late in the game (like a football team playing prevent-defense in the final minutes). With this method, you have the tension of not knowing how well your opponent is doing until that gut-wrenching moment when she pulls down her screen and shows-off her win –> even though I just need a couple more numbers!!! [Aaargh — why did I use that 7 so early on!?!]

#30 – Wingspan (Stonemaier Games, designed by Elizabeth Hargrave) [#25 in 2019]

Wingspan staying strong in my top 30. While there may be “better” engine-building games, the total package that is Wingspan beats most of those other games. The artwork is outstanding, production is top-notch, interesting flavor text, and the European Birds expansion adds the round-end scoring — giving the game just one more strategic option to consider.

Note to game designers/publishers: birdhouse-themed dice towers are really fun! I’m just sayin’.

#29 – Star Wars: Rebellion (Fantasy Flight Games, designed by Corey Konieczka) [new to the list]

Star Wars: Rebellion. Even after having played this game, it presents itself as a burdensome thought to get to the table. Nevertheless, it is such a great experience. It has been dubbed “Star Wars in a Box” for a good reason. One of the compelling things Rebellion does is provide each player (in this 2-player game) with the appropriate mental mood. As the rebellion, you are going to feel overwhelmed and about ready to abandon…Hope…which if you can survive some narrow escapes will start to ignite as you begin to believe that pulling off victory may just still happen.

For the Empire, you know you are stronger. You know you should win. And it can become frustrating to have to chase around this rag-tag bunch of rebels who just won’t quit…or stay still. How can they accomplish so much with so little!?

I’ve yet to play War of the Ring, but until then…Star Wars: Rebellion wins my award for best “Movie Franchise as a Board Game experience.”

That’s numbers 32 through 29. Let me know what your thoughts and/or feedback are for these titles. Furthermore, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @boardgamecrock1 and Retweet the Top 100 posts to earn entries into the Fantastic Factories giveaway.

See you tomorrow for the next 4.

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