Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Board Game Top 100 (2024) Part 20 (58-57)

#58 Joan of Arc: Orléans Draw & Write

Joan of Arc is a great little game where players pull tokens from a bag and then mark areas on their score sheet. The bag of tokens is a carry over from Orléans on which Joan of Arc is based, but it could have been cards. I have never played Orléans, which is a "bag building" game. (Players collect tokens to add to a personal draw bag and work to control their chances of drawing what they want. Quacks of Quedlinburg is another example.) Joan of Arc has a bag, but it's just a random generator, players do not have agency to control its contents.

What players can control is how they fill out the options on their score sheets and the combos they are able to trigger. Players collect resources, construct buildings, travel and build trade routes. All on their own personal score sheet (2 of them each, actually.) Joan of Arc is combo-rific fun. It's my 58th favorite game of all time.

#57 The Grand Carnival

In Grand Carnival players build a carnival, sell tickets, and give tours of attractions. Each round is made up of 5 turns where each player performs an action of a power from 1-5. You can spend each strength of action from 1-5 once and then the round is over. 5 strength actions are much more powerful than 1 strength actions, but you have to use each power level every round. Choosing when and how to use these actions is a huge part of the game.

Attractions must be built on top of prepared foundations, which make this a game about planning more than other tile placement games that we have played. The puzzle of Grand Carnival is rich and challenging. Plan your park, build attractions, have enough action strength left over to tour people through your park, because an attraction that no one sees is worth nothing. It's awesome thematic fun, and my 57th favorite game of all time.

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