Another section of my top 100. Perhaps they get more controversial the closer to the top we get? We shall see. I hope to record the next ten today and will try to get the remaining videos done in sections of 10 games each. We are busy next weekend so hopefully I can get them done this week.
With all the talk of "Top X" lists that have been happening lately, I wanted to reassess games in my collection that I consider to be the best of the best and plan to never part with. I've often felt that any game that I rate an 8 or higher should stay with me for as long as possible. Anything below that is fair game to trade or sell. In fact, if you follow @R0land1199's monthly "State of Your Collection" posts, you know I have no problem removing games from my collection (and acquiring them lol).
When it comes to rating games, I'm not as thorough as @WadeB1977. I simply use BGG's built in rating system which is as follows:
Historically, I've only rated games I own or previously owned. I've avoided rating games until I've played them at least 3 times. Often, I break this rule if I have a particularly good/bad experience with a game on the first play or two (I'm looking at you #Arkham Horror: The Card Game) but try not to with a game I liked enough to continue exploring but didn't love immediately. More recently, a few games that reached or surpassed this threshold have snuck through the cracks unrated. I'll be honest, a few of them I really struggled with coming up with a definitive number for, so I put it off for a few more plays lol.
I've rated 199 games/expansions, with a pretty solid bell curve; my average rating is a 6.27. I don't hand out too many ratings that are below a 5. In fact, I only own 1 game that I rate a 5 (#Flick 'em Up!) and that's only because Sarah won't let me get rid of it lol. Everything else is either a 6 or above with more 7s and higher than 6s. Ideally, I'd like to say that's in large part to me being in tune with my tastes. I do still purchase/trade for games that I find bad, but much less often now than I did. Realistically, I just haven't played enough of my collection to properly rate most of it.
Per BGG, I own 193 games and 37 expansions for a total "collection" size of 230. Some of those 193 are classified as "games" when I consider them to be an expansion. I think the distinction is they can be played standalone. At any rate, I also have 111 games listed as "previously owned." I've rated all of those games, which means I've only rated 88 of the 230 games/expansions in my collection. 43 of those are rated an 8 or higher. I suppose in a perfect world this means I could cull my collection down to those 43 and be more than happy with it (as would Sarah I'm sure lol). Anyways, without rambling too much longer, let's check out these games.
#Wingspan - included in this is the #Wingspan: European Expansion and #Wingspan: Oceania Expansion. I think the EE is a little less essential than the OE, and could be knocked down to a 9 because of that. Either way I love this game.
#Terraforming Mars - obviously had to have the #Terraforming Mars: Prelude expansion with these ten ratings. Like the Wingspan EE, I suppose the TM base on it's own could be rated a little lower. If I'm being honest, I won't ever play it without the Prelude, so that's how I view the game anyway.
#The Castles of Burgundy - no expansions for this have the same rating because I've so far only played with the Trade Routes expansion once. Maybe with all the content in the new shiny version coming out, I'll utilize the expansions a lot more.
#Spirit Island - again, no expansions yet. I own Branch & Claw but haven't played with it enough to give it a real rating.
#Monikers - BGG consideres #Monikers: Serious Nonsense #Monikers: Classics and #Monikers: More Monikers as games too. They're all 9s in my book.
#Dominion: Second Edition - #Dominion: Intrigue (Second Edition) is the only expansion content I own. It's also a 9 to me.
#Orléans - #Orléans: Trade & Intrigue has a similar effect on the base as the Prelude does for Terraforming Mars. However, I would play just base Orleans.
#Underwater Cities - could probably be an 8, but I do really enjoy seeing what I managed to have built by the end of the game.
#Gaia Project - there may come a day when I do actually get rid of this and instead choose to play solely on BGA. I seriously doubt that though.
#Blue Lagoon - struggled a bit with this rating before finally settling on an 8. With more plays at higher player counts, this may come down.
#Caverna: The Cave Farmers - I like this game a lot, but it's a beast to set up. I haven't played much with the #Caverna: The Forgotten Folk Expansion though I like what it adds enough to also give it an 8.
#Coloretto - JUST rated this one today after starting to write out this post. I think this is an accurate rating.
#The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine - 100% could get lowered as I continue to explore other trick taking games.
#Fantasy Realms - probably should be a 9 or 10 though I'm not quite sold on the always wanting to play simply because there are so few cards.
#Great Western Trail - the only game in my top 10 that I have rated below an 8. Maybe the Rails to the North expansion will push this over the edge, just haven't tried it out yet.
#The King is Dead: Second Edition
#Lorenzo il Magnifico
#Lost Ruins of Arnak
#My City - the only game I have rated above a 7 that I got rid of for obvious replayability reasons.
#Mystic Vale - includes the #Mystic Vale: Twilight Garden Expansion and the #Mystic Vale: Vale of the Wild Expansion
#PARKS - with #PARKS: Nightfall Expansion
#The Quacks of Quedlinburg
#The Quest for El Dorado
#Terraforming Mars: Hellas & Elysium - this expansion isn't essential but it is fun to switch up the map.
#Tigris & Euphrates - another rating I made today. Not sure how I feel about it currently but will have to play in person.
There you have it, the end of the list. Thanks to whoever stuck through to the end lol. Do you have any hard and fast rules for games you don't want out of your collection or is everything fair game to leave?
This idea came to me after reading @cbrady748's post regarding games that will never leave his collection. I noticed that he was rating expansions in with his regular games.
I tend to not rate expansions at all. Mostly because it's a pain to go through and find them all. (BGA crew, suggestion: When logging a play add a checklist for expansions for that game.)
To come up with this list I pulled a list of all of the expansions I've played from BGG. If there were a lot of similar expansions (like the many Marvel Champions Heroes I have) I selected one from the group to represent the group. I then ran them through Pub Meeple but curated the list a bit afterwards. (I find Pub Meeple can give some weird results sometimes.)
The criteria I used was as follows:
You can see the list at the bottom.
A quick review of the top 10:
So, what are your favourite expansions? Which ones do you feel improved a game the most? Are there some that you feel made a game worse?
Here is the whole list:
|1||Scythe: The Rise of Fenris|
|2||Champions of Midgard: Valhalla|
|3||Viticulture: Tuscany Essential Edition|
|4||Fallout: Atomic Bonds|
|5||Terraforming Mars: Prelude|
|6||Great Western Trail: Rails to the North|
|7||High Frontier 4 All: Module 1 – Terawatt & Futures|
|8||Civilization: A New Dawn – Terra Incognita|
|9||Star Wars: Outer Rim Unfinished Business|
|10||Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game – Expansions|
|11||Marvel Champions: The Card Game – Campaigns|
|12||Marvel Champions: The Card Game – Hero Packs|
|13||Terraforming Mars: Hellas & Elysium|
|14||Orléans: Trade & Intrigue|
|16||Dune: Imperium – Rise of Ix|
|17||Scythe: Invaders from Afar|
|19||Western Legends: Ante Up|
|20||Underwater Cities: New Discoveries|
|21||Concordia: Venus (Expansion)|
|22||Caverna: The Forgotten Folk|
|23||Race for the Galaxy: Expansions|
|26||Terraforming Mars: Colonies|
|27||Heroes of Land, Air & Sea: Big Box Expansions|
|28||Power Grid: Map Expansions|
|29||Spirit Island: Expansions|
|32||Isle of Skye: Journeyman|
|33||Kingdomino: Age of Giants|
|34||Carcassonne: Expansion 1 – Inns & Cathedrals|
|35||Terraforming Mars: Turmoil|
|36||Ecos: New Horizon|
|37||Suburbia Expansions (second edition)|
|38||Fallout: New California|
|39||Near and Far: Amber Mines|
|40||Cartographers: Map Pack 1, Nebblis – Plane of Flame|
|42||Power Grid: The New Power Plants – Set 1|
|43||Clank! In! Space!: Expansions|
|44||Champions of Midgard: The Dark Mountains|
|45||51st State: Master Set – Scavengers|
|46||Hero Realms: Character Packs|
|47||AuZtralia: Revenge of the Old Ones|
|49||Scythe: The Wind Gambit|
|51||Azul: Crystal Mosaic|
|52||Heroes of Land, Air & Sea: Nomads Mini-Expansion|
|53||Tiny Towns: Villagers|
|54||Viticulture: Visit from the Rhine Valley|
|56||Betrayal at House on the Hill: Widow's Walk|
|57||Gloomhaven: Forgotten Circles|
|58||Exploding Kittens: Expansions|
|59||Terraforming Mars: Venus Next|
|60||The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-earth – Dwellers in Darkness Figure Pack|
|61||Unstable Unicorns: Expansions|
|62||Archipelago: Solo Expansion|
Do you ever wonder if your hobbies are bleeding into your life....too much?
I stand by the toaster oven pondering my next move. There are several tasks to accomplish this morning and to get all family members out the door happy, and to my work desk ina timely manner...I need to plan this right.
I put the toast into the toaster over. Check. I grind the coffee beans I've smarty brought with me from the pantry with several other items. Check. The water is already going in the pot. I start the microwave to heat Elijah's breakfast as its right next to the toaster oven. Check. Ahh, the water picture is right here! I pour myself a glass of water. Check. I do 25 pushups on the kitchen floor. Check. Five actions without moving more than two feet. This will be a good day!
Am I crazy? Has anyone else every found themselves doing this? Is this why worker-placement is one of my favorite game mechanics?
Food for thought....
Images can be very expressive, just look at this photo above from Saturday Night Live of Matt Foley Motivation Speaker. It makes sense that images + the internet birthed the Meme. Memes have touched every aspect of life and that includes board games. Share some of your favorites, I will start...
Now that the full 16 games of the 2022 World Series of Board Gaming have been announced and tickets have officially gone on sale for the September 28 - October 2, 2022 event, what games would you pass on, think they missed and believe are perfect for this type of thing?
Pass - Which 2 or 3 Ring Events shouldn't have been included in the series
Missed - Which 2 or 3 Ring Events should they have done instead
Perfect - Which 2 or 3 Ring Events were perfect fits for an event claiming to be the World Series
GAMES - (1) #Blood Rage (2) #Ra (3) #Azul (4) #7 Wonders (5) #Splendor (6) #Dune: Imperium (7) #Ticket to Ride (8) #Catan (9) #Carcassonne (10) #Great Western Trail (11) #Terraforming Mars (12) #Brass: Birmingham (13) #Dominant Species: Marine (14) #Gaia Project (15) #Wingspan (16) #Acquire
In case this is the first time you are hearing about the event, there were more details in this original forum post, but basically, it is a five day event in Las Vegas that will hopefully crown a world series of board gaming champions with $25k and a $3k championship bracelet. The winners of each of the 16 game events above get a championship ring and those 16 winners will move to semi-finals and finals rounds for who will win the big prize.
Hello to all! Is that wonderful time of year again when one has an opportunity to sit back and reflect and make board game lists! Last year I did a Top 20 but this year my collection has grown to the point where I can now confidently do a Top 50 list. Where possible I'll note how games have shifted from last year and at the end I'll discuss a few games that I haven't played yet that probably could push their way into the top 50. I'll do this list from great to most great.
50.#Everdell (Last year 14) Fun game, but for various reasons I traded this one away.
49.#Kingdom Builder Fast playing, lighter game that I enjoy playing with my daughters.
48.#Aeon's End: Legacy (Last year 18) Was a great experience but as a true legacy game there isn't much use for the box at this point. Yes, I guess I could play one off games with the legacy content but too many games, too little time.
47.#7 Wonders Duel A fun and surprisingly crunchy 2 player game. I just recently traded this one away as it unfortunately just never hit my table.
46.#CloudAge A good not great Pfister with a really cool theme and some cool ideas but manages to somehow not last long enough and yet is also too long at the same time.
45.#Dwellings of Eldervale I had enormous hopes for this one. And while it does have some awesome ideas, and is a pretty good solo game, at the end of the day it is less than the sum of its parts. Used this one as trade fodder and picked up some good value for trading it away.
44.#Trajan (last year 22) A fun Feld game with some cool mechanics that just doesn't hit the table as much as I'd like. I'm a sucker for Roman history so even though the theme is hardly there I seem to give it a bit of extra credit for that theme.
43.#Dominion A classic game that languishes at the bottom of my Kallax. Would play it a lot more if it had a solo mode or something.
42.#High Frontier 4 All I acquired this game shortly after Christmas last year and was so so excited to get it. There is so much good in this box. I love the map - it's an absolutely stunning depiction of our solar system. I love the simulation of orbital mechanics. I love the usage of realistic future tech. But as a game? It just doesn't quite all add up. I ended up using my copy as part of trade.
41.#Scythe (last year 16) A fantastic production with fantastic components and all kinds of fun in the box. But after loads of plays I ended up feeling like I was done with this game. The campaign from Rise of Fenris was fantastic. Ended up trading this one for Dwellings which then got traded for a bunch of other games.
40.#The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-earth Another fantastic box of fun with great components. I wanted to like this one more than I did. Lots of cool in this package but at the end of the day it just had enough nagging little problems that I felt confident enough to trade it away. I think my biggest problem with this one is that the campaign didn't allow you enough time to explore all these cool locations. Lots of pressure to always push forward faster and faster. Also constantly shuffling those little cards got a bit old.
39.#Dune: Imperium This is a great game! It's a deck builder combined with a worker placement and area conflict game! And... I wish it focused more on one single mechanism. The deck building is fun, but the game is too short to really dig into the deck building. The worker placement is cool - but there isn't enough meat there. The area conflict is exciting! But there is only one space to fight over. I ended up trading this one away for great value.
38.#Underwater Cities (last year 9) Huge drop for this one. It's still a great game with an awesome theme. I would gladly play this any time. But I ended up getting a similar game from the same designer that pushed this one down.
37.#Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition Recent addition to my collection. It's an interesting combination of regular TM and Race for the Galaxy. Right now I still like both "parent" games more but this one is one to watch. I definitely appreciate the high component quality in this one.
36.#Empires of the Void II (last year 19) A fantastic game with some of the most beautiful artwork in my collection. This one is pushed down a bit simply because I just don't get it to the table very often. It's very good though.
35.#Maracaibo (last year 13) A fantastic Pfister that got pushed down by a different Pfister game that you'll see further up on the list. A lot to love in this game, especially the cool legacy style story, but also quite fiddly to set up.
34.#Neom: Create the City of Tomorrow.A fun and light city building game that I never hear anyone talk about. Some cool ideas in a nice package.
33.#Civilization: A New Dawn I absolutely love the Civ PC games and this is a surprising cool board game adaptation. I love the action selection mechanism in this one which is surprisingly underutilized across the hobby. I really would like to grab the expansion for this one.
32.#Viscounts of the West KingdomRelatively new add to my collection and I'm still getting into this one. I love the deck building and interesting decisions in this one. Fantastic solo mode too. Look for this one to climb in the future with additional plays.
31.#Oath: Chronicles of Empire and Exile Picked this one up over the summer. It's definitely unique and has lots of cool ideas. It's a beast to learn but is incredibly thematic and intense. Not sure if I should keep it in my collection as it's not really a solo game and I doubt I can get my game group to play it. It's fantastic though.
30.#First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet (last year 10) I love the theme in this one and it tells cool stories. Just haven't played it as much in the last year and it's been pushed down by other games.
29.#SpaceCorp One of the 3 big "build a space program games" - the other two being High frontier and Stellar Horizons- and SpaceCorps is easily the most euro-style of those games. Definitely more of an abstracted game than High Frontier and probably more fun because of that fact. But also less realistic.
28.#Root (Last year 15) This one has been pushed down because I simply hadn't gotten it to the table very much. However I recently acquired the#Root: The Clockwork Expansion which makes me much more likely to play this game. I'm looking forward to playing this one a lot more this coming year.
27.#Black Angel Absolutely gorgeous game - artwork by Ian O'Toole - with some really interesting dice placement mechanics. I haven't played this one as much as I would like.
26.#Circadians: First Light (last year 8) Really great game that has simply been pushed down the list by even greater games. Has a phenomenal solo mode. I really should play this one more.
25.#Wingspan (last year 21) Beautiful game with a unique theme. Really enjoy playing this one with my daughter. Decent solo mode, phenomenal components.
24.#Hallertau A really strong Uwe game with great card play. Lighter than some other Uwe games and has a nice beat your own solo mode. Great for a lazy Sunday afternoon.
23.#Xia: Legends of a Drift System A grail game of mine for a long time and I can't believe it isn't in the top 10. Just haven't played it enough to push some of the other games down. Really fun space exploration game with all kinds of cool ships and is extremely thematic.
21.#Tawantinsuyu: The Inca Empire The first of many games that features a David Turzci solo design. This game is just a wonderful euro game with crunchy decisions to make every single turn. A little more thematic than you'd expect, but not really.
20.#Paladins of the West Kingdom(last year 11) - my current favorite of the West Kingdom games. Love the interconnected tracks and the various buildings and round goals. Very fun. Strong solo mode.
19.#Tapestry As "So Very Wrong About Games" so appropriately described: this game is tracks on tracks on tracks and it really speaks to me and my game group. A small amount of theme but surprisingly fun with a great solo mode to boot. Wish the miniatures looked better though.
18.#Barrage A cutthroat Euro Game about water management with a fantastic solo AI and some really cool mechanics. File this one under "game I need to play more".
17.#Tekhenu: Obelisk of the SunOne of the mighty "T" games with a delicious solo mode from David Turzci. Cool theme with this game and I enjoy the multiple mechanisms in this one.
16.#Leaving Earth Absolutely love this game. A realistic space game with involved mission planning and lots of brain burning decisions. The expansions really add a lot to this game and wow it's fun.
Wow! This is by far the best Pfister I've ever played. It blows Maracaibo and CloudAge out of the water. Meaningful deck building with amazing components and a unique theme. Amazing.
14.#Kanban EV. Starting to hit some really amazing games here. Phenomenal components, beautiful artwork, awesome theme, and a fantastic David Turzci solo mode.
13.#Middara: Unintentional Malum – Act 1. Woah. This is a game. Tons and tons of content, incredibly flexible and open ended character development. Lots and lots of dice. Great story. Haven't finished the campaign yet and had to pack it away to make some space to play other games.
One of the only roll and writes I've ever played and what a game. I love all the interconnection between the various parts. It's an amazing solo game and really gives you a fantastic since of progress.
An incredibly thematic deck-builder with a crazy variety of play styles to pick from. Particularly great solo mode designed by - who else - David Turzci. Lots to explore in this game and I feel like I've barely scratched the surface.
Last year this was ranked number 5. Still one of my most favorite games of all time. Suffers from a lack of recent play time but really enjoy everything about this one. Really great Star Wars flavor and a ton of content. Great solo too, either with the app or using a fan-made variant.
Huge, sprawling, deep. Complex. Phenomenal. It's OK solo but really shined with my game group. We had a blast and can't wait to table it again.
Deep, but not complex. Huge variety, but not overwhelming. A quick playing solo game with endless amounts of variety. I have finally introduced it to my game group too so I'm looking forward to many more plays multiplayer. Gathering Storm expansion is very high up on my "required" expansions list.
Last year this was #4. I still love this to bits but it's been a while since I tabled it. I did play the digital adaptation which is amazing with my friends a couple of times and the card play is simply unmatched with this one. Truly a great box of fun.
Last year this was also ranked in the 6 spot. I haven't played all of Mr. Rosenberg's games but this is by far my favorite. The wide-open action board combines so beautifully with the polyomino system. The mild dice roll elements add just a little bit of randomness to the game. I doubt I will ever get to play this game enough to see all of the cards. Truly a great game.
Last year this was ranked number 3 overall. I still love this game so so much. The engine building and asymmetric factions combine for almost endless combinations of strategy. Also features one of the best non-David Turzci solo modes I've seen. Simple yet challenging. A great game all around.
Last year this was ranked 7th overall. I did get a fair few plays of this one this year, including adding in Venus Next, Colonies, and very recently Turmoil expansions. There is so much to love in this game, especially once you get used to the uneven card art and average component quality. I know it is a bit much asking folks to get past the art but if you ever find it within yourself to give this one a try I know you won't be disappointed.
Last year this was ranked 2nd overall. I really need to play this one again. So many games, not enough time. This is an epic, amazing game. I can't say enough good things about this game. Still my absolute favorite solo game, even though it hasn't hit the table recently. I also honestly don't think the rule book is that terrible. Is it great? No, but there are so many other aids to help you learn the game at this point that rule book complaints shouldn't be used as excuses any more.
Shocker! My number one game has been dethroned. I love love love this game but it is a beast to table. My good friend who plays this with me every year has been unable to come out to Minnesota for the last 2 years due to Covid restrictions and I have been sorely missing my plays of this great game. Really love everything about this game though.
A game great enough to unseat Rebellion. I initially picked up just the essentials edition of this game and fell in love immediately. After my first solo play I knew that I had to get all of the content for this game. I managed to snag the Infinity Box and WOW is this game great. An unbelievable solo AI designed by, of course, David Turzci, crazy amounts of modules to add in or take out, and incredibly thematic euro-style gameplay. What more can I say about this one? It's incredible.
So that's my list! 50 great games. I do have quite the list of games that I need to play (listed in no particular order):
Quite possibly more that I can't think of right now.
Thanks for reading my list! Merry Christmas and happy gaming!
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