My top 170 games of all time...
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Every 2 years ago now, I've been looking to answer the question of what my favorite games of all time are. The 2005 edition and 2007 edition are still around, for those who want to see how the words for the games have changed. (I've tried not to recycle words from previous lists, so the comparison might even be vaguely interesting.)

As before, I have included every game I rate 8 or higher. This does not represent the removal of 5 games from the 2007 list, but in fact 12 new games and the removal of 17 games from the 2007 list. The number of games that have fallen off is similar to the last time I created such a list, but the number of additions is barely half of the rate from 2005-2007. The games which have dropped off (position in 2007 in parenthesis):

Arkadia (97)
On the Underground (101)
Santiago (111)
Take it to the Limit! (131)
Where's Bob's Hat? (137)
Gold Connection (139)
Bison: Thunder on the Prairie (140)
Bongo! (150)
Elasund: The First City (151)
Volle Hütte (154)
Pandemic (159)
Robber Knights (163)
High Society (164)
Breaking Away (169)
Elfenland (170)
Warhamster Rally (171)
Mystery Rummy: Al Capone and the Chicago Underworld (175)

As always, I wouldn't necessarily recommend all these games to everyone; in particular, be aware of any game with the word "experience" in my notes, since those games seem to be particularly subject to wide ranging views.

With three sets of data, one can start to see some trends. There is some natural downward pressure, as I discover new and new-to-me games, and the further games are from the top the less I've tended to play the games, and the less my opinion is therefore locked in. But none of these games is on the list due to a single play; the average number of plays is 39, due to my heavy play of Bridge and Race for the Galaxy, but the median number of plays is still fairly reasonable at 14...
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151. Board Game: Samarkand [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:1765]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Position in 2009: 20
Position in 2007: 22
Position in 2005: 20
Change: Up 2

Most expansions are optional; Isfahan is required, to turn an OK game into a great one. Which just goes to show you how much difference a small rule change can make.
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152. Board Game: Factory Fun [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:543]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Position in 2009: 19
Position in 2007: 18
Position in 2005: N/A
Change: Down 1

Has held up very well - the random appearance of the components makes for a lot of variety, and keeps the game very fresh.
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153. Board Game: Africa [Average Rating:5.98 Overall Rank:2587]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Position in 2009: 18
Position in 2007: 19
Position in 2005: 15
Change: Up 1

I'm not the only one who finds this much more enjoyable than the average BGG user. Which is something I've learned to look for; a game with three 9 ratings and three 5 ratings is less likely to be _really_ interesting than a game with six 7 ratings.
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154. Board Game: Acquire [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:145]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Position in 2009: 17
Position in 2007: 17
Position in 2005: 26
Change: None

I first played Acquire 30 years ago. There's much to be said for a game that's still fun three decades after first discovering it...
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155. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:33]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Position in 2009: 16
Position in 2007: 14
Position in 2005: 8
Change: Down 2

You know, I wish the picture selector would default to the picture from your collection - it's a pain digging for the picture I want to use for a popular game this E&T.

Still a very enjoyable game; I've just been having more fun with some other games, and as such have adjusted my rankings accordingly.
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156. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:80]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Position in 2009: 15
Position in 2007: 16
Position in 2005: 13
Change: Up 1

For a while, I was questioning my 10 rating, but every time I play the game it holds up for me.
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157. Board Game: Bohnanza [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:271]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Position in 2009: 14
Position in 2007: 11
Position in 2005: 7
Change: Down 3

Great trading game. For a while, Rosenberg was putting out a really brilliant card game every year. And you know, I still easily prefer his card game series from the late 90s to his boardgame series of the past few years, even with Le Havre ranking high here.
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158. Board Game: Freight Train [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:2248]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Position in 2009: 13
Position in 2007: 15
Position in 2005: 12
Change: Up 2

Would that every game offer so many options...
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159. Board Game: La Città [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:346]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Position in 2009: 12
Position in 2007: 12
Position in 2005: 11
Change: None

Great city building game; the fact that you _can't_ prepare for all contingencies really makes the game.
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160. Board Game: Saint Petersburg [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:151]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Position in 2009: 11
Position in 2007: 13
Position in 2005: 5
Change: Up 2

While this game was widely expected to plummet, it really hasn't for me - I still really enjoy my every play of the game.
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161. Board Game: Thebes [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:254]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Position in 2009: 10
Position in 2007: 4
Position in 2005: 14
Change: Down 6

The biggest change among the games I rate a 10. Still a game I love; it's really just small adjustments, and perhaps a reaction to moving the game too far up too quickly.
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162. Board Game: Res Publica [Average Rating:5.94 Overall Rank:3207]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Position in 2009: 9
Position in 2007: 5
Position in 2005: 10
Change: Down 4

Still my favorite game designed by Knizia, now out of more than 100 played; the only new game that came close to making this list at all is Keltis der Weg der Steine, which is probably more in the ~250 range for me.
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163. Board Game: Bargain Hunter [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:1374]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Position in 2009: 8
Position in 2007: 10
Position in 2005: 9
Change: Up 2

Well, OK, I lied earlier. Flaschenteufel isn't the best trick taking card game for three; this is. But it did make Flaschenteufel sound better, didn't it?
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164. Board Game: Advanced Civilization [Average Rating:8.01 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.01 Unranked]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Position in 2009: 7
Position in 2007: 9
Position in 2005: 6
Change: Up 2

For the next 4 years, I have a second player in house, which will make my quest to get this to the table each year much easier.
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165. Board Game: Fresh Fish [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:1356]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Position in 2009: 6
Position in 2007: 6
Position in 2005: 4
Change: None

Fantastic, brain buring game. Still feels innovative, even after all this time.
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166. Board Game: Merchant of Venus [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:412]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Position in 2009: 5
Position in 2007: 8
Position in 2005: 17
Change: Up 3

I'm not sure just why, but this game really started to hit home with me in 2005, and it hasn't slowed down. What was a 1-2 play per year game have become an every-other-month game. My most recent play took less than 2 hours - closer to 90 minutes - with 3 players, which might just encourage me to play it more.
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167. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:22]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Position in 2009: 4
Position in 2007: 7
Position in 2005: 19
Change: Up 3

This will be my most played game for the second year in a row, though at a more reasonable pace again.
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168. Board Game: Bridge [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:286]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Position in 2009: 3
Position in 2007: 3
Position in 2005: 3
Change: None

As you've probably noticed, my top three games haven't changed. This shouldn't come as a surprise; I tend to play a game a _lot_ before it gets anywhere near my top 20, not to mention my top 3.
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169. Board Game: 2038: Tycoons of the Asteroid Belt [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:1775]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Position in 2009: 2
Position in 2007: 2
Position in 2005: 2
Change: None

Still, easily, my favorite 18xx game; a recent play did nothing to suggest to me that this situation has changed. I just wish I could get it to the table more often...
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170. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:152]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Position in 2009: 1
Position in 2007: 1
Position in 2005: 1
Change: None

Settlers has now been my #1 game for 14 years. I did consider other games for the slot, as I do every time I think about my top games, but the answer keeps coming out the same. Even last year, with all of the Race I was playing, the answer was still Settlers.
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