As you can see, there has been an update to this blog - there is now a listing of my top ten games (as I've ranked and listed them on the BoardGame Geek. I thought I'd throw out some notes about the rankings:
1) Power Grid. I really enjoy Power Grid, because it incorporates a number of mechanism that I think are easy to understand (auction, supply and demand, jockeying for position) and have been mixed together quite well. This game plays equally well with any number from 3-6. Its slightly fiddly in managing the goods track and to a lesser extent, the power plants - though a single person can easily handle those portions of the game. Ther rest is easy enough for a beginner to quickly pick up.
2) Age of Steam. Though I like this one better than Power Grid, I don't rank it higher because its unforgiving - which means beginners will struggle with it and might not want to play again. Its also a bit long, if you get behind far to early. However, if you can get past the learning curve, I think its easily one of the best games I've played. Tight economics and a changing map (and for that matter, set of expansion maps) make this one fun to me.
3) A Game of Thrones (plus expansions). This is one freaking great wargame. Nearly no luck and all strategy makes this a nearly perfect. Everyone's house plays differently, yet the game is really well balanced. It also captures the flavor of one of the best fantasy series exceptionally well. This would be number one if it didn't take 5+ hours to play.
4)Torres. This is one that I do not own. I really really should. I should also play this more, as I really enjoy it. The action point system and the spatial system really connect with me (it probably why I also enjoy Java).
5)Carcassonne The Castle. This is probably my favorite two player game. Knizia's take on the Carc franchise is very well done. Its pretty simple to learn and has enough to it to make you think a bit. I wish regular Carcassonne was this entertaining.
6)Tichu. This is far and away my favorite trick taking game. A great card game that I've never gotten tired of. The 6 player games is quite different from the 4 player version, but I like them both.
7)Samurai. A great Knizia game that took me a while to understand the 3-player strategy. I still have no grasp on the 4 player strategies. This one looks great and is pretty fun.
8)Java. See the above entry for Torres. This one is more complicated than Torres, and I tend to get a bit of analysis paralysis trying to find really slick moves, but I've never hated any game I've played.
9)El Grande. A seriously fun area control game that I've played ONE TIME. I think this might actually be a crime in some parts of the world.
10)Ingenious. Hmm, three Knizia's in my top 10? Well, there are a load of games that could make number 10 in my list depending on the day. This one plays equally well with 2-4. The more I play it, the more I like this one.