This game has a deep theme that permeates throughout the game. I like the fact that there is no board. This game is like the crazy combination of Race for the galaxy, Settlers of Catan, and Puerto Rico.
Hands down one of the best experiences you can have gaming is playing Advanced Civ. The trading sub-game is the heart and soul of Civ, and it leads to some of the most intense player interactions. Add in board and supply management with severe consequences for failure, and this game makes for a great challenge that's never a waste of the hours it takes to play.
Frustratingly difficult at first, Agricola sort of opened my eyes to the more difficult games of the Euro genre. I reasoned that if I could figure out Agricola, then anything else would seem like a piece of cake. I've almost never been wrong. That said, Agricola is infinitely replayable, and has a different experience each time.
I like this stock market game, since it has very simple rules and many ways to make interesting decisions. The player aid is the most useless thing I have ever seen. Whenever I take the gain 8M Euros action, like to make up an excuse as to how i'm getting the money. "I knock over a bank." "I create a Ponzi scheme."
A light and fun tile-laying game with a trick taking game built on top of it. It's exciting to get a good combo and grab two or three pieces on your turn. It's even better when you have a slight advantage over the other players and the scoring card comes up.
I used to be hugely into Magic: The Gathering, and Ascension tickles the same area of my brain that Magic did. It's easy to set up, easy to teach, and quick to play. It's one of my favorite games of all time. The only thing that prevents it being a solid 10 is that the iPad and iPhone version is so good you almost don't need the real card game.
The storm of souls attempts to reinvent the game and create another "block" of cards to play with, but that's not how we like to play the game. Now with a lot of redundant cards that replicate the effects of the base game, the stack of cards is huge and cumbersome.
The war game that brought me into miniature gaming. I played this many times in junior high and high school. Nothing more satisfying than rolling Heavy Bombers as the U.K. player, or getting enough territory as the USSR to start buying tanks.
This refreshing version of Axis and Allies takes some of the broken mechanics from the original game and fixes them. Adding some additional units to the mix keeps you on your toes and varies the strategies. Land combat is no longer "throw infantry at them until they fall down."
I bought this at Gen Con 2010 at the Cool stuff inc booth. As part of their ding and dent sale, I got this game for a really good deal. However, it was sold to me as "Axis and Allies Europe 1940: Frag Grenade Edition." When I got it, the box was caved in, seriously damaged. What you're getting is an original box fixed with tape, the tops of the troop boxes with the army info on them, but no boxes. the troops are stored in a Plano tackle box. the board, dice, etc are just fine and all the miniatures are intact. Make me an offer on this one, you'll get a good deal.
Now that most of my friends have seen the series, playing BSG is so much more fun. I love the wild accusations, and the tension as every crisis brings the the fleet to the breaking point. Oh, and I am NOT a cylon.
Play while drunk. Play while getting drunk. Play with complete strangers; if they stay, they are now friends. It's more of an activity than a game, but for bringing people together and laughing over awful things, I can't think of anything better.
A classic game that I've played for years. We make an edible version (out of cookies!) that is played at Gen Con every year. It's also one of the "gateway" games for new players that I always recommend.
A really neat twist on Settlers, where the game is played in 2 stages: the settling phase, where you create towns out in the frontier; and the train phase, where you connect these cities with a network of rails. The way the number chips move west as settling occurs, and the way certain resources that re worthless at the beginning of the game are sought after towards the end make this game exciting every time.
I enjoy the fact that you can actively mess up the other players in this game with very little effort on your part. the way you can move the Provost token makes other players really consider their actions lest they disappoint King Phillip.
The Prisoner's Dilemma cleverly disguised as a market game cleverly disguised as a train game. Once you realize that the way to win is by manipulating your opponents rather than the market, it becomes a totally different game.
As someone who likes to explain games to others with "It's like Dominion, but..." Copycat is right in my wheelhouse. Friedman Friesse takes a variety of familiar mechanics from different games, and somehow makes them a new game. It's exciting and different.
An A+, hit it out of the park perennial favorite. Dominion is one of my top 10, and it probably always will be in the top 10. I loved making "combo" decks in M:TG, and Dominion allows me to do that in a way that won't annoy all my friends. (usually)
By far my favorite space 4x game. I love the innovative disc/cube mechanic for keeping your civilization prosperous. The combat is quick and deadly, and there are near infinite ways to upgrade your ships or civilization to win.
This is a definitive "take that" game of throwing huge spells at one another until only one wizard has a face left. It's silly, combo-rific fun. The Adventure Time style art and heavy metal theme make an otherwise mediocre game quite enjoyable.
Talking like gangsters is an offer you can't refuse while playing this game. I like to do Don Corlieone, while my friends take on voices like Joe Pesci in Goodfellas or Robert Deniro in Casino. Lots of laughs in this "take that" style game.
The best cooperative game I own. While some co-op games will cause a problem where one person controls the whole game, Flash Point is so unpredictable turn to turn that everyone has to coordinate and plan together to achieve the goals.
I like most Munchkin games when you have the right group of people with the appropriate mindset about the game. Cheat like nobody is watching, do crazy epic shenanigans, and don't take it too seriously!
This is the king of brain-melting euros. So much planning ahead can be dashed the moment before your turn. There is never enough time or resources to do what you want. It's like a puzzle with no edge pieces. Which is why I love it.
I love this cat and mouse style chase game. It's always so exciting to figure out "he went here! that means he's at A,B, or C right now." I never get to play as Jack since I don't own a copy, but I'm hoping to change that soon.
I've created an 8-player monstrosity for Loopin Louie, and it is glorious to see it played. This game is perfect for the end of a big day of gaming, when your brain is tired out but you are still feeling competitive.