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My TOP 10 Games - 2015 Edition

Max Lampinen
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after some busy years...
Bring it on!
Microbadge: Ticket to Ride fanMicrobadge: Parent of Three Boys
I title this list 2015 Edition, so I can re-visit it in a year and hopefully see that my taste is impeccable and hasn't changed much.

1. Ticket to Ride: Europe
I don't think any game will ever replace TTR as my #1. It's the pinnacle of boardgaming for me and I'm not afraid to recommend it to anyone. Sure, for hardcore players there are problems like card-hoarding strategy, but those don't affect me, so I call it a perfect game. Europe is my favorite.

2. One Night Ultimate Werewolf
Best Werewolf-variant I've tried so far. If I would have opportunity to play Two Rooms and a Boom regularly, I could pick it, but as I can't play it even yearly - let's just go with this. Awesome 'family version' of Werewolf games that takes 3 minutes to play and is FUN. If One Night Revolution gets expanded, it might replace this, as it forces players to lie.. Sometimes ONUW might fall flat, if players don't get it.

3. Telestrations
Telestrations is my favorite party game. I don't even play with random dirty words like some people on BGG do and I still love it, it's always fun. I'd play this weekly if I'd get 6+ players regularly.

4. The Resistance
My current Resistance preference is classic Resistance with expansions > Resistance Avalon > Resistance with plot cards > classic Resistance. Vanilla Resistance easily becomes a pointless yelling match and I'm not even yeller. Plot cards help but they make for very heavy game. Avalon is really elegant and awesome. New incarnation is the definite version for me, I don't always use all modules though. I think this is great game that took best part of traitor games and removed all the fat. That said, with new gamers I'll almost always go with Saboteur Gold, which is way easier to 'get'.

5. Ghost Stories
This is maybe one of the most conservative choices on this list, as it's pretty heavy game, and as such well-loved on BGG. I almost didn't even learn it as the rulebook makes it seem so hard. It's the most replayable co-op I know of and I have so many good memories of playing it with my wife. We'll probably play it for years to come so it deserves a place on my top10. It can also represent Antoine Bauza's game as a whole, he's my favorite designer.

6. Cosmic Encounter OR Star Munchkin
I'm happy to play either game. On my profile I've listed Cosmic Encounter, because sure, it's way cooler game to like, and because I do think it's in many ways the superior game. But I'm just as happy to play Star Munchkin. It does need one houserule (45 or 60 min timer), but other than that it's great streamlined version of CE. Cosmic Encounter is ridiculously good though.

7. Bohnanza
I had heard of this game long before I found modern boardgames, but never tried it. When I finally did, it had somewhat fallen out of fashion and I don't understand why, as I haven't found any game that does this trading thing better. Catan has trading, sure, but it's even older and clunkier game. Bohnanza is always fun to play, and along with TTR, one of the game I always recommend to all types of new gamers.

8. Dixit
I don't think I have anything interesting to say about this game. So you can probably guess that I'm pretty bad at it. But I still love it! Such simple concept and elegant system. Rarely bombs, which is good thing in a party game - some games with newbies may not be most memorable, but it hardly ever truly bombs.

9.Eldritch Horror
I'm literature major, I love stories. I like storytelling games like Once Upon a Time: The Storytelling Card Game and Co-Mix, but for me it has been almost impossible to find a group to play them with. Then there are boardgames that tell stories. No I don't mean every 'thematic game' (so-called Ameritrash genre), there isn't much story in throwing dice and messing up your opponents army. But games like Star Wars: Imperial Assault and Eldritch Horror tell actual stories. I prefer Eldritch Horror because it's full co-op, and its stories are modular and more exciting. Not that heavy if you have that one experienced player (in our games me) who knows the small rules and steps in to explain them when needed. But the more elegant TIME Stories might replace this, when I've explored it more.

10. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
In my profile I've placed new hot game Codenames here. It's somewhat true, but more honest answer would be digital cardgame Hearthstone. It's not a boardgame I hear you yell. Well, tell that to all the people who mark their digital Dominions and boardgamearena players here on BGG. Anyway.. I'm not much of a videogamer, I always feel like I'm wasting time. I've played hardly anything since my teen years, post-2006. Some World of Warcraft.. oldschool Mario Kart.. that's pretty much it. I've played Hearthstone since launch though, it scratches that Magic: the Gathering itch I have (I never could afford the cards as a teen, and even as an adult I'm not rich enough to do so; plus I'd have hard time finding opponents, I've found that I'm not really comfortable with playing against hardcore gamer nerds, it's just not fun). I like that you can get cards for free and that you can play on PC, tablet or phone (I play on tablet), and that you find opponents in mere seconds whenever you want to play. I've played almost 2 years and it's gotten bit less exciting than it used to be, but I still play 5-10 games a week, which is still quite a lot, I think I'll play as long as they keep making expansions and Tavern Brawls.

Special mention: At the Gates of Loyang is "our game" (me and my wifes). It's bit heavier than the games we really want to play these days, but we're so familiar with it that it doesn't feel heavy. We played it a lot when our son was a baby and sleeped all the time. Some people escape to imaginary space adventures, our fantasyland is ancient Chinese vegetable farm, I guess that tells something about us. There's something immensely relaxing about this game (we don't really use the 'take that' cards).
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