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User Info: SeabassDebeste

SeabassDebeste
1 month ago#1
So I've done this a few times already. In 2016, I ranked the first 100 tabletop games I felt qualified for a list. In around April 2018, I was a little more discerning, choosing 80 games that I'd played more than once and that I felt were interesting enough from a hobbyist's perspective to rank. This time I'm going to use similar criteria to last year's ranking. That game count is now up to 133, with that increase representing mainly games that I've . The list is a little less coherently ranked this time, having been ranked using this site: https://www.pubmeeple.com/introducing-ranking-engine-2-0/ - since several preferences are kind of hazy, the rankings came out a mess, and I didn't spend quite as much time adjusting the rankings as you might hope.

Preference criteria is roughly judged on:

  • Past experiences/memories - what impression did this game leave on me? Did I have any "aha" moments? What was the best thing that happened while I played this game?
  • Design principles - without playing the game and just looking at its components and ruleset and place in history, how much do I admire/disdain this game?
  • Future outlook - how much is there left to explore? How do I look forward to getting this to the table? Am I still excited to play it, and with which people can I look forward to playing it?


Notably, my gaming habits have shifted this year, which changes #3 greatly. Some games will be largely propped up by #1 as I look forward to playing them less in the future; other games will vary slightly in ranking as my last memory becomes more and more distant.

As usual, game 133 of 133 will be up soon.
yet all sailors of all sorts are more or less capricious and unreliable - they live in the varying outer weather, and they inhale its fickleness

User Info: SeabassDebeste

SeabassDebeste
1 month ago#2
133. Secret Hitler (2015)

Category: Team vs Team
Genres: Party, social deduction, hidden roles
Rules complexity (0 to 7): 3
Game length: 25-45 minutes
Experience: 12+ plays from 6-10 players; many different groups; 2015-2018
Previous ranks: 50/100 (2016), 80/80 (2018)

Summary - Bad guys (fascists) know who each other are; good guys do not know who one another are. Each round, everyone together elects a president and a chancellor. The goal for good guys (the majority) is to elect tickets without fascists on them. Fascists want to get on tickets or, even better, get Hitler elected. After a certain number of elections, a victor is decided by how many times the fascists got onto tickets.

Experience - I haven't actually had that many bad experiences with Secret HItler and in fact have had some positive memories. I first heard about this game since it's very similar to one of my favorites, and since the rules were available, I mocked it up by hand and played with my group. We largely played social deduction/hidden roles games back then for high player counts.

Design - This is where I really dislike Secret Hitler. It's very clearly based off a far superior game, to the point where almost all of its good mechanics - the hidden roles, the team selection, the election process - are all taken from that game, which it does not acknowledge. The changes SH makes are all for the worse, though - "edgy" fascism, randomness in a policy deck, increased electoral cycles. These are all designed to increase the game's mass-market/Cards Against Humanity-ish appeal, and none of it works for me. It frustrates me that you'd take a near-perfect game and then just adulterate the experience. Now I can understand the principle behind that - my main gaming group now is small and dislikes social deduction games in general, and they find SH to be bearable because it is more adulterated - but it's massively distasteful to me.

Future - No interest in playing it again. Given the superior alternative, it's likely that in my main groups it will come up very infrequently again, but it's not impossible due to the interest of variety. But suffice it to say, this game is not my thing.
yet all sailors of all sorts are more or less capricious and unreliable - they live in the varying outer weather, and they inhale its fickleness

User Info: Paratroopa1

Paratroopa1
1 month ago#3
Ugh, Secret Hitler is just so much worse than Resistance/Avalon and I REALLY dislike the theming, it's a major turnoff to be playing a game about Hitler

User Info: SeabassDebeste

SeabassDebeste
1 month ago#4
132. Good Cop, Bad Cop (2014)

Category: Team vs Team
Genres: Social deduction, hidden roles, player elimination
Rules complexity (0 to 7): 1
Game length: 25-45 minutes
Experience: 10+ plays with 5-8 players, 2016-2018
Previous ranks: NR (2016), 78/80 (2018)

Summary - You're dealt three allegiance cards that say good or bad on them. Whichever card you have more of is your team. Your goal is to kill the leader of the opposite team, which will be the player dealt the Agent or Kingpin card, depending on team. Play proceeds turn-based, where you can check peoples allegiance, take/fire guns, and play cards to give you special abilities.

Experience - As with most party games, it's not impossible to find fun experiences in GCBC - I've laughed a few times during it. But overall, playing it has been a bore. It typically keeps very little of my attention and is solely played on other people's behalf.

Design -.I will say that GCBC is very accessible, and that the principle of allegiance cards is very cool. But it suffers from two major flaws. First, being turn-based is a major issue with higher player counts - you simply do not want to wait 7 turns for it to be yours again, and making it worse, there are cards that can reverse turn order, making it possible for you to wait 13 turns before you play again. This is tied intimately with the second issue, which is that the game is far too swingy and random for one that takes this long. Given that it can last over 40 minutes (admittedly, perhaps this is due to annoyingly slow players) and has player elimination, it really sucks that players can severely lack agency - you're at the whim of some very "take that"-ish cards; there can often be nothing you can do to prevent getting shot; the act of shooting someone takes 2 whole turns, which as we know, can mean sitting around for 20ish player-turns before you get to fire the gun. (And of course, there are all the swingy cards that remove the gun from your hand, further depriving you of agency.) It's just poor design, most of which could be ameliorated with shortening the game or making it play simultaneously - which we will see in many other games later.

Future - There is a copy in my group, but I have seen that member rather less frequently, so it's likely it won't come out again in a long time - and I'm very happy for that.
yet all sailors of all sorts are more or less capricious and unreliable - they live in the varying outer weather, and they inhale its fickleness

User Info: Grand Kirby

Grand Kirby
1 month ago#5
As someone who has been playing a lot of tabletop games recently I really look forward to this.
Okay, I rolled a 14. What's that mean? Hsu
That you're a cheater. This is a 12-sided die. Chan

User Info: SeabassDebeste

SeabassDebeste
1 month ago#6
Paratroopa1 posted...
Ugh, Secret Hitler is just so much worse than Resistance/Avalon and I REALLY dislike the theming, it's a major turnoff to be playing a game about Hitler
glad you agree! many feel the opposite which i guess is okay for them.

Grand Kirby posted...
As someone who has been playing a lot of tabletop games recently I really look forward to this.
also glad to hear! more to come tomorrow.
yet all sailors of all sorts are more or less capricious and unreliable - they live in the varying outer weather, and they inhale its fickleness

User Info: GANON1025

GANON1025
1 month ago#7
Tag! I've also gotten way more into tabletop games this year. I can only assume Gloomhaven is the undisputed #1 ranked game
https://i.imgur.com/G17qCv1.gif

User Info: TomNook

TomNook
1 month ago#8
Tag. Always looking for new tabletops.
Bells, bells, bells!

User Info: Naye745

Naye745
1 month ago#9
i havent been quite as on top of new games this year, but there's one that i absolutely love that i think is light years ahead of anything else i've played in 2019 lol
it's an underwater adventure ride

User Info: Naye745

Naye745
1 month ago#10
also while i prefer resistance/avalon and think it's undoubtedly the superior game, there is something to secret hitler actually giving you actions to do (picking out policies) because it gives new players something to discuss and argue over. the more abstracted missions of resistance/avalon seem to be hard for a big group of new players to get a handle on, in some games i've had
it's an underwater adventure ride
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