My top 14 board games, Fall 2012 edition
Marshall LaFleur
United States
Burlington
Washington
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It has been nearly one year since I have put together one of these lists. As always I add one more position than the previous list. I thought about jumping to top 15 since I had waited so long to do one but decided to keep with my system. There are two new games to this list and two games that have climbed in position. I think this newest list goes to show that I do tend to enjoy games that are more involved, take 2-4 hours to play, heavy on theme, tell a story, and have nice components.
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1. Board Game: Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:278] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Marshall LaFleur
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Burlington
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Previously and always 1st place

Why is this game out of print again?
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2. Board Game: Middle-Earth Quest [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:453]
Marshall LaFleur
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Burlington
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previously 5th place, before that 12th

The more I play this game, the more I love it. It has a lot to learn and can be a put off for some people. Everything works in this game though. The system is amazing. It tells a great story. There is so much going on. This has everything a good RPG would have but so much more since the "Gamemaster" Doesn't have to hold back. Combat is innovative and luck is minimalized, though still there. It actually is kinda odd that I would put a game that has no dice so high but the card system just works so well.
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3. Board Game: Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:77]
Marshall LaFleur
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previously 3rd, but then that was 1st edition.

I include both 1st and 2nd edition in this ranking. That is why it has jumped up. 2nd edition has made the game so much better and easier to keep people interested since it is faster. The new shield dice system fixed so many problems. My one issues is the grid movement system. Hexes have been around since the 70's and I can't see why games like these still use squares when a simple change to hexes would make it so much better. Granted it would drastically change the shapes of the dungeons but still very much worth it.
 
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4. Board Game: Runewars [Average Rating:7.68 Overall Rank:156]
Marshall LaFleur
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New Item!

While this game was sitting on my shelf waiting to be purchased, I could tell it was going to be a game I would love. Oh, and it uses hexes! I have only played 2 games of this and none with the expansion so I could see this moving either up or down in the future. I guess my one complaint is the end of the game can be kinda anti-climatic as it ends when you have the needed runes, but this is a minor problem. Also you can have pretty big lock downs at your boarders. I imagine the expansion can fix a lot of this, but I'll have to play it to find out.
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5. Board Game: Risk Legacy [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:242]
Marshall LaFleur
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Burlington
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New Item!

What? Risk in my top 14? No way! Well the one thing I've always liked about risk is the combat dice mechanic (Similar to Heroscape and why I like it's mechanics). The innovation behind this game and the way you make changes to the game constantly is what really has me sold though. I enjoy the achievement aspect of this and as the first person in my group to accumulate 3 nukes of course I am going to waste them all on one attack just to unlock another feature, even though it was a horrible strategy. Oh, and I got to do something about people camping Australia.
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6. Board Game: Battletech Introductory Box Set [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:1231]
Marshall LaFleur
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previously 2nd place.

This game has regained a lot of popularity since the 20th anniversary edition. Its drop on my list isn't just because of learning more games though. This game suffers from one big problem that is actually fairly easy to fix. That one problem: Ammo explosions.
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7. Board Game: Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:62]
Marshall LaFleur
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previously 6th place

No problems here. This game is every bit as good as when I had first played it. There is enough variety in the core game to stop it from getting old, though the expansions are nice to eventually add. The one weakness is the need to have at least 4 players that at least somewhat know the game. Also this game is now 20% cooler (see my other geeklist published today)
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8. Board Game: Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:49]
 
Marshall LaFleur
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previously 12th place

I think the jump in this games ranking, along with Middle-Earth Quest, really shows my recent leaning towards more complex and involved games with heavy theme. I almost never get to play this though as it is really hard to find other gamers who also enjoy a more complex and involved game.
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9. Board Game: Dungeon Lords [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:190]
Marshall LaFleur
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previously 7th

I recently discovered two things about this game. 1. It is easy to forget certain rules, and 2. The game mechanics work much better when those rules are remembered. This is a game that I don't have too much trouble getting other people to play with me. It is complex enough to keep me interested and easy enough to learn to get new players into it. Also plays quick enough to keep peoples interest till the end.
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10. Board Game: World of Warcraft: The Boardgame [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:1192]
Marshall LaFleur
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Burlington
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Previously fell off my list but was 8th place in my top 11.

Well my shift towards more complex and longer games has resurrected this monster of a game into my top xx list. I still have never actually played WoW the Computer game, but maybe that is part of what makes me like this one. A great thing here is if a teammate needs to leave it isn't a game stopper as the rest of the team can just take over for him.
 
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11. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.01 Overall Rank:20]
Marshall LaFleur
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Burlington
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Previously... guess it was too low on my lists to appear but I can't consider it a new game

So this one jumped up a little. I'm not completely sure why as I've shifted a bit away from this style of game. I guess maybe because I haven't played in awhile and would like to. I'd really like to add in an expansion or two and play some of the other ways though.
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12. Board Game: Ad Astra [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:942]
Marshall LaFleur
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Burlington
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previously knocked down o 14th on my top 13, but 7th on my top 12 before that.

Probably this has gone up a bit because it has been awhile since I have played. The way that everyone can do actions on everyones turn. Strategically placing scoring cards, etc. This is by far the best Catan style game. It is partially limited in that you pretty much always want 5 players if you can get them. Also my interest in more complex games.
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13. Board Game: Alhambra [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:400]
Marshall LaFleur
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Burlington
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New item to list... but not to me.

This one would have been on my list long ago if I had known the name of it. I had first played this at Gencon 2009 and couldn't remember the name of it. I had tried finding out what it was later and kinda eventually gave up and forgot about it. Not long ago someone brought this to my store and we had a lot of fun playing it. I guess this is bumped up a bit right now as I'm feeling joy over a reunion with a long lost friend. Or maybe it is just really good. This one pretty much bumps out any interest in Carcassonne for me as it scratches the same itch but does it so much better.
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14. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:73] [Average Rating:7.66 Unranked]
Marshall LaFleur
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Burlington
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previously 4th

4 years later and it is still the best Deck-building game out there, IMO. Prosperity and Cornucopia especially helped this game stay interesting. It is still a card game though and card games just haven't been as interesting for me lately.
 
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