I primarily use this site for board games. My collection and preferences on the Geek reflect this usage. However, I'm also an avid roleplayer with three self-published games for sale: Hero's Banner
, Mars Colony
, and the sequel Mars Colony: 39 Dark
As for board games, I tend to prefer the more abstract end of eurogames. When I play a multi-player board game, I am looking for interaction, agonizing decisions, and most of all tension. For these reasons, I tend to prefer economic games like Power Grid
, Chicago Express
, and Acquire
that force me to constantly re-evaluate my position relative to the other players. When playing with just two, I also enjoy pure abstracts, especially in the race, crossing, and connection game families. And I have a healthy appreciation for streamlined wargames as well, including recent favorites Napoleon's Triumph
, Julius Caesar
, and Fading Glory
I tend to dislike low-interaction, "solo optimization races" like Le Havre
and Race for the Galaxy
, where the "exciting" bit is pulling off a killer combo. There are exceptions to this rule, especially if the game features at least one significant area of interaction like, for example, the auctions in Keyflower
; or if the game plays exceptionally well with just two players and therefore minimizes downtime.Ratings
I try to rate all of the games I've played. Although I use the BGG rating suggestions based on desire to play the game now and in the future, I have simplified the system. A range of 10 is too granular for my tastes, so I use a converted 5-point scale:2: Terrible.
A mess. Seriously flawed in concept or implementation. I never want to play it again, and I don't see my opinion changing in the future.4: Bad.
I'll never seek this game out, but you might convince me to play it if I'm in a sociable mood. It's underwhelming, boring, or mechanically flawed in at least one area.6: Good.
Solid game-play that typically tweaks a predecessor game. It's not my first choice, but there is nothing wrong with it. The majority of modern games fall into this category.8: Excellent.
Something special. I will suggest this game and encourage others to play with me.10: Masterpiece.
Truly inspired. Given the right circumstances, I always want to play this game. I can't see this opinion changing in the future.
I will rate a game after just one play unless I truly feel that I didn't grasp the experience of the game. And of course ratings are subject to continuous change as I play a game more often. However, if you want a better idea of what I think about a game, trust my comments over whatever numerical rating I've assigned to a game.Top Ten
My Top Ten list contains my all-time favorite board and card games. My Hot Ten list contains the games that I'm currently most interested in, and that are not
on my Top Ten list. The precise ordering of each list is generally
Up until recently, I excluded all card games from my Top Ten list, and so I maintained a separate list for card games. I see no reason not to continue to do so. In no particular order:Cribbage
(current favorite two-player game)Schwimmen
(favorite "bar" game; I'm referring to the more German version with the three center cards; a close runner-up in the same family is the more American, Blitz, with the common draw deck)Scopa
(lovely light-hearted fishing game)Pinochle
(I play the four-player partnership version, but enjoy cutthroat and the original two-player game as well)Skat
(my current favorite "heavy" game)Ninety-Nine
(my favorite exact bidding game that is better, although heavier, than Oh Hell)Spades
(partnership plain-trick game of choice because I don't play Bridge)Gin Rummy
(I'm not a huge rummy fan, but this two-player is my favorite version)Poker
(I enjoy Texas Hold'em and Seven Card Stud, but have also developed a liking for good ole 5-Card draw in recent years)Yukon
(variation on "regular" Klondike solitaire, but more puzzle-y in that you deal out the entire stockpile ahead of time)
I have been playing the climbing game, Haggis
, and enjoying it quite a bit. I have also been playing Sheepshead
. 500 would probably replace Spades as my plain-trick game of choice if I played it more often.