Monday, April 11, 2011

The Top 10 Games of the BGG

And finally, the Top 10 games of all time (on the BGG)


Twilight Struggle (2005)
This is the King of CDGs. It isn't the first or most original, but it is perfectly executed and as a child of the 70s-80s, the theme is well matched to the game in every respect. This is one that gets better after you've played through the cards a couple times and have a feeling for the flow of the game. A little luck can swing a tight game, but the experience is so good, I never really mind (exception: Bear Trap card).

Puerto Rico (2002)
One of the Kings of modern boardgaming. I wont' gain any friends by saying this, but this one doesn't hold up. Sure, it was original at the time, but the game is flawed. The person after the newbie (or guy that screws up all the time) is going to win. The strategies have all been played out and the game is just understood. Sorry, it just isn't all that fun - even with the expansion.

Agricola (2007)
This game came out of nowhere to dethrone Puerto Rico. As a worker placement/build A to get B to get points game, it is ok. Better if everyone knows the game so it'll move a bit faster, but this one just doesn't scream for me to play it. You have to know what your cards mean and the winner is the one that can interpret their cards and execute the related manipulation the best. Despite this, this game won the 2011 Geek Madness Tourney over Power Grid.

Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization (2006)
I discovered this game last year and fell in love. Then I played it some more - quite a bit lately. I'm over my infatuation with this game. One the one hand, it really feels like playing Civ the computer game in boardgame form. On the other hand, this is a "rich get richer, poor get poorer" game and it is not the least bit fun to be on the losing end. There is no catch up mechanism (I did say rich get richer) and so the first person to bash someone is likely to be the winner. I think most people haven't realized this because it is so long that they likely haven't played it much.

Power Grid (2004)
This is one of my favorite games of all time. Though a bit wonky/fiddly in the phases, the combination of auction and position management is top notch. I'd never suggest someone try and figure this out from the rules, but if you can get someone to show you how to play (not hard), you are in for a wonderful game. Don't believe me - this game has won 4 of the last 6 Geek Madness Tournaments

Le Havre (2008)
Le Havre was the followup to Agricola and there was such excitement that a group of us ordered this from overseas. DHL and Germany decided to lose our package for months and we finally got the game a week or two after the game was released in North America. That coupled with a game that felt a bit mechanical/dry and is a worker placement/get stuff to build more stuff game and I was less thrilled. This is a good game, but one I'm not dying to play.

Dominion: Intrigue (2009)
See #8 below.

Dominion (2008)
Dominion was a revolution in recent gaming with its deck building mechanic. Yep, that's all I can say about this boring boring game. Sorry, it just is not thrilling. It is the same boring thing as you try to build a faster engine than everyone else. Despite the variance in cards and the multitude of expansions, the games all seem the same (yes, boring).
**Note, it is not the mechanic, as I LOVE Thunderstone and all it's expansions. Anyone that says I only like to play the soulless Euros is wrong.

Brass (2007)
This Martin Wallace game is supposed to be excellent (though only four-players) game. This one was revised as Age of Industry, which means I'm less inclined to learn this. Martin tends to revise his game and he really gets them right the second go round. That being said, I have played neither of them and would enjoy it.

Caylus (2005)
I have not yet played this game. I have played its little brother - Caylus Magna Carta. I'd be interested in giving this a go, but not with Steve Bauer, who has played this a bazillion times online.

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