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Popular Deck Building Board Games (Mechanic)

Deck Building is a mechanic where you start with a basic set of cards and over the course of the game modify the deck through various means to add or remove cards.
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ReviewBuild Me Up, Gamer! – Settler of the Boards (https://settleroftheboards.com/build-me-up-gamer/) [Builders!: The Building-Building Deck Building Game]Like| 0 comments | [+]
10 Top Deck-Building Games with a Board as of 2021 image
10 Top Deck-Building Games with a Board as of 2021 [Clank! A Deck-Building Adventure, Dune: Imperium, Lewis & Clark: The Expedition, The Quest for El Dorado, Altiplano, Mombasa, Mage Knight, Fort, Lost ...]Like| 24 comments | [+]
Kickstarter Ending (12/6 - 12/13) [Tombstone Crits: The Next Stage of an Amazing Journey, Super Quick Print Sci Fi Gothic 3d Printable Terrain, Plaid Pockets, Electric Bastionland RPG, ...]Like| 4 comments | [+]
Engine building, is it a mechanic? Like| 46 comments | [+]
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User Activity Feed

  • #Under Falling Skies This was my second play and I think I'm ready to increase the difficulty level to 1.  I really like this one.
  • #Forbidden Island We finally were able to meet some neighbors who have been interested in playing some games, but due to health issues waited until both households were vaccinated.  Hopefully it was the first of many game nights together.  We started off with this one and won with 3/4 of the island gone.
  • #Downforce This was my wife's second play and she has won both games.  I'm hoping this will mean it gets to the table a little more often than other games.
  • #Raiders of Scythia This was my first game against the AI and I won by 5 points, even after making mistakes in the AI's favor part way through the game.  My other games have been a solo two-handed game.  I like how easy it is to manage the AI (easier than #Paladins of the West Kingdom, which I also really like). Definately will be playing this for a long time.
  • Finally got my wife and son to play #Marvel Champions: The Card Game with me last night.  It's a bit more complicated than they are used to, and it took a while for them to understand what to do (somewhat).  Saying it's something like #Dominion: Second Edition (deck building) and #Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle (where you're trying to defeat the villain) helped a little.  We lost at the end of round three, and my son ended up just laying down his cards and asking, 'So what do I do now?'.  He loves Black Widow, and I'm hoping that looking forward to playing that deck once he grasps the game will be some motivation to play it a few more times.

(edit) So...I discovered while searching BGG for some rules clarification and tips that we made some serious mistakes on #Marvel Champions: The Card Game:

  • we refreshed after both heroes and villians phase; we should have only refreshed after the heroes phase
  • when the villain/minion activated, if the boost card read 'when revealed' we did what it said; we should have ignored the text and just looked at the boost icons
  • we 'boost'ed each of the minions that came into play through the above error; minions do not boost, only the villian
  • we placed minions next to the villian and all heroes were affected by them; minions only engage the player who received them as an encounter card

These made our game much more difficult than it should have been.  I hope this makes the family more interested in playing it correctly next time!  😀

Another week full of BGA plays along with some with my friends.  Really close to being able to pay in person now!

  • #Iwari (Boardgamearena x2): I am really liking this area control game.  I do think that I'd prefer to play it in person as I find the board state a bit harder to see for some reason.  (Some of the pieces blend in the board a bit for me on board game arena)  
  • #Viticulture (boardgamearena): I like the implementation of this on board game arena.  My only wish is that it was the essential edition with the tuscany board but this is still a fun one to play online.
  • #7 Wonders (boardgamearena): Another round.  I think this game lends itself really well to the online play format for me.Not that I've done great in the games I've played but I've mostly just been fooling around trying different focuses to see how it works out.
  • #Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization (boardgamearena): Now this one does not really work for me on board game arena.  Likely because I haven't played the game in person.  
  • #Tokaido (boardgamearena): Fine implementation...just really not my favourite game.  But I gave it a whirl.  It is a relaxed breezy game though for when you are in that type of mood.
  • #Space Base (TTS): I've played this one a few times and it's quite fun.  It can overstay its welcome sometimes.  On the flip side the game ended with the "you win" card which frankly I dislike a lot but it also stops it from going long so I guess I can't complain.  If the end game was improved this would definitely be a mainstay for me.
  • #Viral (TTS): First time playing this.  It's a fun little area control game with some deck building elements.  I'd rate it as a good game but not spectacular.
  • #Teotihuacan: City of Gods (boardgamearena): A favourite of mine.  Still not great at playing this online though.  (Not that I'm great offline but I think I do better!)
  • #Clans of Caledonia (boardgamearena): I've played this once before in person and just jumped in online...bad idea.  Lots going on in this game and I wasn't really refreshed on it.  Let's say I didn't do well.  May be time to play it in person again soon.  (Nearly have our entire group vaccinated and wait time ton!)
  • #Roll For The Galaxy (boardgamearena): A good bit of fun but I prefer #Race for the Galaxy.
  • #Russian Railroads (boardgamearena): Had a really good close game!  Definitely one of my favourites.   
  • #Imperial 2030 (TTS): Had a good 4 player game of this game.  I managed to pull off a win with a well timed (and a bit lucky) last second move that saw me get a huge investment in the leading country and allowed me to use it to end the game.  I've only played this game twice but it's been fun both times.  I'd love to get a 6 player game of this going one day!
  • #Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar (boardgamearena):  I was thoroughly schooled in this game.  I've only played it a couple of times before and got in with some experienced players.  On turn 1 I realized I was out of my depth but I did learn a lot of techniques for potential future games!

I think you could easily say this is the best deck building game ever if it was more about deck building. There are just too many other cool things going on.

I really like #Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game, it is wonderfully thematic in it's mission design. I have no idea what the new IP will be but I'd be keen to see something a bit more unusual: maybe something like 1984 or a similar kind of Big Brother setting, where you aren't so much shooting your way out most of the time but avoiding detection/fementing dissent.

Euphoria is a great game and I agree the theme is there hidden in the mechanics.  My group quite enjoys it!

You really did hit a good list of esoteric games as I don't think I had heard of most of those!  Worth looking at.

My personal underated games are:

  • #Vikings Raid & Conquer Game - Deck building with some great strategy around attacking other players.  It's not a perfect game by any means but I have seen NO ONE mention it but myself and I think it deserves a bit more love than that.
  • #Okanagan: Valley of the Lakes - Tile laying game that again isn't perfect but has some interesting strategy around the buildings you place down etc.  Has some issues with luck for scoring cards which probably could use some improvement.  (Going to try some drafting variants.) 

Good list and an interesting topic!

Lots of board game arena plays this week but also some with the group.  Hopefully in person soon!

  • #Yokohama on BGA: I did a bit better this game but still not enough to take 1st. 
  • #Race for the Galaxy on BGA x2:  A great game to play online in small chunks.  For me I'll be keeping it to the basic game and maybe one expansion.
  • #Cacao on BGA: Second play complete.  Such a nice little tile laying game with some really good strategy sitting there under the surface.  Managed to come in second...again.
  • #Teotihuacan: City of Gods on BGA: Another second place finish.  I tend to play games on BGA pretty loose and fast which means there is always that one person who is hyperfocused and ends up kicking butt.  The game is still enjoyable and playing this way allows me to try different strategies to see how effective they are for when the "real deal" comes along.  
  • #7 Wonders on BGA: Another game that is perfect for BGA play.  You can pickup the board situation pretty quickly, give yourself some strategy notes for the game and draft away.  I've enjoyed just picking different thrusts for each game to see how it pans out.  
  • #Beyond the Sun on BGA: I had played this game once with my group and just launched myself in to an online game.  Took me a few rounds to remember the rules so the score wasn't great.  I prefer this one in real time but it was still fun.
  • #Path of Light and Shadow multiplayer on TTS: First time playing this game.  Ok, I defintely missed out on this one when it first came out!  This is a really fun deck building game with some great player interaction.  I think the release reviews etc focused too much on the "good vs evil" mechanic and didn't do enough to let people know how much fun the rest of the game is!  
  • #Viscounts of the West Kingdom multiplayer on TTS: I've played this one 4 times now I think.  I ended up being mostly unmolested placing workers in the castle and won the game quite handily.  Yay!  I think this is my favourite of the three in the series just ahead of #Architects of the West Kingdom which is just ahead of #Paladins of the West Kingdom
  • #Welcome to the Dungeon multiplayer on TTS: I've played this one before.  I think it's pretty fun for what it does.  It would likely be better in person (which most bluffing style games are)

Good week!  Really enjoying the Board game arena games but I am really looking forward to opening up and being able to game in person soonish!

Since my most reliable gaming partner (my 8 year old son) has started to play outside more in the evenings thanks to warmer weather, my latest 5 skews distinctly to solo games at the moment:

5. #Catan This is almost certainly the most-played game in my collection, but most of those plays were when I was at university in 1997 and long before I started logging games in 2017. I've got a bit tired of it over the years, but it's been with me a long time so has nostalgia value, and my kids recently discovered it and have asked to play a few times. This play was a surprise request from my 8 year old, and exemplifies some of the issues people have with the game. He picked his settlements next to a 6 and planned his strategy around that somewhat, and I'm not convinced we rolled a single 6 for the entire game. He was absolutely steamrollered by a combination of that and the robber being stuck on the same tile for most of the game. Still, he said he enjoyed himself regardless.

4. #Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game This is my most-logged game, mostly because I found a solo league and play a minimum of 3 games for it every month. I enjoy it, but it has less novelty value for me now than some other games in my collection and has become a sort of default solo choice for if I'm tired or short of time, as I've had more practice in setting it up and playing. I'm currently in second place in this month's league though, and the scenario setups this time were a good mix of challenges.

3. #7 Wonders Duel This was another game with my 8 year old, after not having played this for a year. I'd forgotten how engaging the game is and had a good time with it, though it was somewhat soured towards the end by my having forgotten to properly remind my son about the Science/Military victory conditions so he didn't block me from my military victory as he might otherwise have done and was a little bit disgruntled. We ended up resetting the game back a few steps and playing on from there, though, so he had a good time in the end.

2. #The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game When I got it last year I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this game. I've read the books and it seemed like an interesting idea so I nabbed a second hand copy and started working through the setup for each book. I thoroughly enjoy the sense of the puzzle you get in a solo game (I haven't actually played it with others, and suspect it may not work as well in fact). The end game can be frustrating at times, because it can come down to just a roll of some dice to see if you succeeded or not, but I appreciate the lead up to it and in this case I won regardless of that final roll.

1. #Thunderbirds Co-operative Board Game I'm a sucker for the IP in this one, but I really enjoy the game too. I've mostly played it solo, but have tried it with others too. Thematically, I think I like the fact that for the most part you're dealing with preventing disasters and saving people rather than competing or fighting. There's a bit of randomness to it, but the game is mostly about trying to work out how to optimise movements, tokens and actions to give yourself the best shot at keeping everything under control. I randomly select characters usually, and this was a very tough match-up that I didn't succeed at, but I came closer than I expected and felt quite satisfied with the result at the end.


If you ask me on another day, I might easily switch around those top two rankings. I enjoy both and I'm keen to get both back to the table. Mind you, I've also just received a delivery of #The Search for Planet X that I ordered 5 months ago, and I'm itching to try that out too...

Me and my lovely wife act like idiots as we unbox Direwolf's 'Dune: Imperium' board game -- based on the upcoming movie directed by Quebec's own Denis Villeneuve.  Worker Placement meets Deck Building meets Combat and Hidden Information!!! Count us in!  But that box art, man... It looks like a game of bocce shot through a fish-eye lens...

0:00 Start
0:09 Opening Comments
1:09 Flavor Text - Box
2:06 Unboxing Begins
2:53 Flavor Text - Rulebook
3:45 Rulebook
5:37 Tokens & Stuff
7:27 Character Boards
10:41 Some of the Cards
14:00 Board & Game Overview
17:17 Comments
18:39 See ALL the Cards
23:44 End Comments
24:10 End Gag

We like #Clank! A Deck-Building Adventure a lot but we think that even though games aren't on the short side of deck building games, players' decks grow so big that there is very limited space for cool interaction between cards. We love the humor, the setting, the dragon, the push-your-luck element, etc. But if we simply want to enjoy deck building, we play #The Quest for El Dorado

I own #Clank! In! Space! but have played the original plus finished a campaign of #Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated.

It's for sure my favourite deck building game which is one of my favourite genres. The humour works well for me, the gameplay works well, and for me the overall package is wonderful!

For solo play I highly recommend grabbing the Renegade app and playing through their campaigns.  It adds some flavour to the games plus gives you some objectives during the game and even rates how well you did!