1 Couple, 10 Months, 202 Games: Our Favorites
sean johnson
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Starting in January, my wife and I resolved to play through all of the games we know in a year. In addition to playing the games, we also recorded our experiences in a blog. We would play a game, then write about it. We also rated each game using the following five point scale:



5- Love it!
4- Like it!
3- It's OK.
2-Don't really care for it
1-don't want to play ever again.


Because we can be indecisive, we may also give .5 ratings because we are in between two of those ratings. When both of our scores are added together it creates a rating on a ten point scale. Theoretically that combined score will correspond to the BGG 10 point scale, showing how much we collectively want to play the game.

Any game that has a combined rating of 8 or higher, with both of us giving it at least a 4 will be considered one of our favorite games.

This list is all of the games that made our favorite game list.
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1. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:117] [Average Rating:7.54 Unranked]
sean johnson
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My Rating: 5 (Love it!)
My Thoughts: I absolutely love Memoir '44 and it is my #1 favorite game. I love the mix of strategy and tactics. I also love the mix of skill and luck. I greatly appreciate the versatility and replayability of the system as well.

Her Rating: 5 (Love it!)
Her Thoughts: It is fun. I like the dice rolling.
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2. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:49]
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My Rating: 5 (Love it!)
My Thoughts: I like just about everything about this game. I love that it has a great mix of working on an effective long term strategy while making tactical decisions to make each turn the best turn possible. I like the feel of creating a resource engine and finding unique way cards can work well together. I like the aspect of trying to get in a player's head, figure out what phase they may be choosing and benefit from that. Finally, I like the space empire theme and the outstanding card art really brings this out.

Her Rating: 5 (Love it!)
Her Rating: Race for the Galaxy is still fun, but what I love most about the game is it that it is the first deep game I really took time to learn how to play well. I like playing Race for the Galaxy because I feel like I really know what I am doing when I play it.
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3. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:7.66 Unranked]
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My Rating: 5 (love it!)
My Thoughts: I really like the mix of strategy and tactics in this game. I like the idea of surveying the kingdom cards at the beginning, mapping a strategy, and then each turn trying to figure out he best play. I also like how, with the expansions, the game has infinite combination of possible set ups.

Her Rating: 5 (love it!)
Her Thoughts: I always enjoy it and I love the variety.
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4. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Märklin [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:237] [Average Rating:7.41 Unranked]
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My Rating: 4.5 (Like it)
My Thoughts: I really like the addition of the passengers as they add a neat element to the game. Ideally, it is best to build a big network to maximize how far the passenger can travel, but doing that can lead to getting less points because someone else might claim the higher point markers first. Balancing this adds a new, fun element to the basic game formula.

Her Rating: 5 (Love it)
Her Thoughts: The only problem with this game is that I do not know where all of the German cities are located. I like the addition of the passengers because it adds something new to the game that works well.
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5. Board Game: Warhammer: Invasion [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:461]
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My Rating: 5 (Love it!)
My Thoughts: I really love this game. In some ways this almost feels like a board game. This game has elements of resource management and hand management. Early turns offer extremely tense decisions, when trying to determine the best way to use these limited resources. The unique feel of each factions and the incredible card art, vault this to an absolute favorite for me.

Her Rating: 4 (like it)
Her Thoughts: Now that I am comfortable with the game, I like it. Generally, this is the kind of game I would avoid, so I am not sure why I stuck with it in the first place. It is a good thing for Sean I did!
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6. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:127] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
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My Rating: 4 (Like it)
My Thoughts: I like Ticket to Ride as a nice quick game. I know a lot of people call it a rummy board game, but I really do not see the comparison. I have a lot more control over my play in Ticket to Ride than in any rummy game. The competition for routes in this game can be fierce and a tense race. The biggest highlight of Ticket to Ride is that it delivers a satisfying gaming experience but is highly accessible to new people and non-gamers.

Her Rating: 5 (Love it)
Her Thoughts: This is really my kind of game. I can play it over and over and never get tired of playing it.
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7. Board Game: British Rails [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:2193]
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My Rating: 4.5 (Like it)
My Thoughts: This game is fun to play. It is fun to watch the track network expand and figure out the best way to maximize deliveries.

Her Rating: 4.5 (Like it)
Her Thoughts: I like that this is a kind of multiplayer solitaire game. I also like that it is a map of England.
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8. Board Game: Catan Histories: Settlers of America – Trails to Rails [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:1174]
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My Rating: 4.5 (like it)
My Thoughts: I like this more than the base game of Settlers of Catan. The fixed board takes away some of the variability but it also provides a more balanced game. I really love the addition of the trains as it makes the game a balance between expansion and delivery of goods. It also means that all players generally have something to do on a turn, and it never bogs down like Settlers of Catan where no one can do anything because all of the players need a wheat source to roll.

Her Rating: 4.5 (like it)
Her Thoughts: I like that this game gives more options than just building settlements and upgrading them to cities. I like the challenge of balancing expansion with delivering goods.
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9. Board Game: Australian Rails [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:2532]
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My Rating: 4 (like it)
My Thoughts: I do not think I am quite qualified enough to offer up a detailed understanding of how the strategy of this map differs from the strategy of any of the other maps. The Australasian map, with both coasts being populated, and the middle barren did offer a change from British Rails but the game is still the same.

Her Rating: 5 (love it)
Her Thoughts: I think the Crayon Rails games are one of my absolute favorite games. I really like the whole process of creating a rail network, delivering goods, and the puzzle like aspect of figuring out the best moves. I do not need to have one of everything though, so I think I am happy with the two games of this type we have.
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10. Board Game: Lords of Vegas [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:353]
sean johnson
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My Rating: 4 (like it)
My Thoughts: I think this game has a very clever use of dice, and for a euro style game is very thematic. The gave offers a lot of choices, and uses money as the limiting factor instead of a set number of turns. One of the neat things about the game is if a player does not have enough money they can always take the risk of gambling to get what they need. The two player game lacks a lot of the interaction of a multiplayer game, but the moving of dice around still creates a lot of tension.

Her Rating: 5 (love it)
Her Thoughts: I really like this game. I like the fun of building something. I also like having multiple options on my turn but not feeling stressed by being limited on actions. I also really like that the excitement of the "stand up" dice rolls this game has. Sadly, those kind of rolls do not happen in a two player game very often, but I still enjoyed the game with two.
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11. Board Game: Ninjato [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:647]
sean johnson
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My Rating: 4.5
My Thoughts: I really like Ninjato. The way the raiding the houses work with the dojo card really captures the theme and adds a fun "push your luck" mechanic. I also like how the limited amount of actions adds a lot of tension to this game and makes every decision matter.

Her Rating: 4
Her Thoughts: I like it! In a two player game though, the rumor cards seem really powerful.
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12. Board Game: London [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:263]
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My Rating: 4.5 (Like it)
My Thoughts: I really like games that mix strategy (long term planning) with tactics (turn to turn moves). I also likes games that contain a mixture of strategy and luck. London hits the sweet spot in both of these areas. I like the card play, the area control element, and the poverty mechanic. This game is a great fit for me!

Her Rating: 4 (Like it)
Her Thoughts: I like all of the options this game provides. I also like the London theme.
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13. Board Game: Stone Age [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:79]
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My Rating: 4 (Like it)
My Thoughts: I like that this game mixes luck and strategy. A player can have the best strategy, but if the dice roll is not there it is not there. I like that this adds a bunch of uncertainty to the game and causes players to adjust their strategy on the fly.

Her Rating: 4.5 (Like it!)
Her Thoughts: Rolling the dice is always fun. I feel like this game makes planning ahead manageable, because I can only plan with the resource I have or think I will get.
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14. Board Game: Trenchzone [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:6948]
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My Rating: 4 (like it)
My Thoughts: This is a very fun tactical game. While not being based on a particular battle, it really does capture the feel of WWI with the war of attrition, and wearing down of each others forces.

Her Rating: 4 (like it)
Her Thoughts: I like that it is a lite wargame that I like. I am glad that a grand strategy is not as important as decisions about what card to play each turn.
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15. Board Game: Core Worlds [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:528]
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My Rating: 4.5 (Really Like it!)
My Thoughts: The only reason I do not give this game a five is because I have not played it enough yet to truly consider it one of my absolute favorite games. That being said, I really like this game. It feels like this a deep deck building game that also capture the theme really well. To me Core Worlds feels like the perfect mixture of Race for the Galaxy and Dominion. This mixture works great and with a few more plays, I could see Core Worlds being among my favorite games of all time.

Her Rating: 4 (Like it)
Her Thoughts: I think it is going to be a game that I will really like eventually, but it will take several plays for me to learn how to balance everything.
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16. Board Game: Manoeuvre [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:652] [Average Rating:7.31 Unranked]
sean johnson
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My Rating: 4.5 (Really like it)
My Thoughts: I really like this game. For me it has the perfect mix of skillful game play and making the most of one's luck. I also like the theme, and how well the unique decks of cards reflect the strengths and weaknesses of the various countries.

Her Rating: 4 (Like it)
Her Thoughts: It is fun. I like the simplicity of the rules and the ease of play. If I am going to have to play wargames, I am glad that there are games like this.
 
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17. Board Game: Homesteaders [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:504]
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My Rating: 4.5 (Like it)
My Thoughts: I tend not to like auctions, but I really, really like the auction system used in this game. I like that this game has resource management, worker placement, and other mechanics that all work well together with a great theme. I have not mined the full depth of this game, but I think there are multiple strategies that can lead to victory.

Her Rating: 4 (Like it)
Her Thoughts: I like that there are multiple ways to win. I like resource management games and I like worker placement, so I like how this game has both.
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18. Board Game: Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:548] [Average Rating:6.99 Unranked]
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My Rating: 4.5 (like it)
My Thoughts: When it comes to delivering on the zombie theme, this is the best zombie game. Every game is very thematic with a great narrative. The game has a TON of luck, but that is OK it all works really well and the game is always fun to play.

Her Rating: 4 (like it)
Her Thoughts: I like that the game is quick and easy. I think zombies are kind of overrated, and I do not get why Sean likes them so much. However, I always have fun playing this game.
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19. Board Game: Rallyman [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:730]
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My Rating: 4.5 (like it)
My Thoughts: I really do like this game. The game does a brilliant job of getting the perfect balance between accessibility and simulation. The game is not dragged down by simulation minutia, but it gives me the feel of a rally race. The push your luck element works brilliantly, and gives the impression of spending the entire race on the edge of control. I know the biggest complaint that can be put against this game is that it is multiplayer solitaire, and that is true it is. However, it is a rally game, so that is kind of what I expect. Finally, I really like the geomorphic boards and the huge variety of tracks that allows to be constructed.

Her Rating: 4 (like it)
Her Thoughts: I found this game a lot of fun. I liked the use of dice and the push your luck mechanics. This is a game that I really enjoyed playing, and it is a game that I feel like I can get better at the more I play it.
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20. Board Game: Zombie Dice [Average Rating:6.23 Overall Rank:1712]
sean johnson
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My Rating: 4 (like it)
My Thoughts: For what it is, Zombie Dice is a good game. It is a simple game that really captures the fun that pushing luck with dice provides.

Her Rating: 4 (like it)
Her Thoughts: I like it. I really like the anticipation of pushing your luck and not knowing what will be rolled.
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21. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:284] [Average Rating:7.22 Unranked]
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My Rating: 4 (like it)
My Thoughts: I could not play it always, but I still find Catan fun.

Her Rating: 4 (like it)
Her Thoughts: I am glad this was our gateway game because it introduced us to other games. I will still play it.
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22. Board Game: The Walking Dead: The Board Game [Average Rating:5.78 Overall Rank:6772] [Average Rating:5.78 Unranked]
sean johnson
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My Thoughts: This is a very unique zombie game that is vastly different than anything else available, but still manages to feel like a zombie game. I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the prisoner dilemma and sophie's choice style encounters. The only reason this is not rated a five by me is because I have some doubts as to how well this will work with two.

Her Rating: 4 (like it)
Her Thoughts: I am generally just so-so with zombie games on principle. However, I really liked this game it was a lot of fun.
 
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23. Board Game: Battle Line [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:184]
sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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My Rating: 4 (like it)
My Thoughts: Battle Line is a fantastic tactical game. Just about every turn offers an interesting decision or is the pay off to a previous decision. The draw of a new card always offers a moment of tenseness, in hopes to drawing that perfect card. The game plays very quickly and really lends itself to that "just one more" feeling.

Her Rating: 4 (like it)
Her Thoughts: As long as we do not play with the tactics cards, I like it.
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24. Board Game: Hold the Line [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:1873]
sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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My Rating: 4 (Like it)
My Thoughts: I really like this game as a nice change of pace from Memoir '44. I like how important maneuvering is in this game. I also like how the limited actions and the decision to move or fire creates some really tense turns with hard decisions. I feel like this captures the feel of the American Revolution era battles while still being highly accessible.

Her Rating: 4 (Like it)
Her Thoughts: For a war game, it is not bad.
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25. Board Game: Click Clack Lumberjack [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:1484]
sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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My Rating: 4 (Like it)
My Thoughts: This game is just a lot of fun to play. I like that, unlike Jenga, there is only one winner. That makes the game really feel more skill based.

Her Rating: 4 (Like it)
Her Thoughts: This game is quick, fun, and a lot better than Jenga. Eventually it will make a great family game.
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