Top 10 One Year In
David P
Canada
Vancouver
BC
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A year ago I joined BGG. This is my top 10 games I've purchased or received this year.
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1. Board Game: Innovation [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:279]
David P
Canada
Vancouver
BC
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#1. I love card games. Though chaotic at first, Innovation is a card game with lots of interaction, some of it helpful and some of it destructive. If you hope to win, you can't ever ignore what your opponents are doing. With lots of powerful cards, and even more powerful combos, there are countless routes to victory; at the same time, those routes aren't so unpredictable that planning becomes impossible. But you have to adapt. There's a lot in this small-box game. I'll be playing for years, I'm sure.
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2. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.34 Overall Rank:5]
David P
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#2. Another two-player game near the top of my list, Twilight Struggle is intense, a great simulation of the Cold War. It's remarkably rules-light for what it is, proof that there's lots of room for strategy amid dice-rolling and theme-heavy event cards. My only complaint is the round counter, which is annoyingly fiddly. That's a minor issue, however, for an undeniably great game.
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3. Board Game: Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:394]
David P
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Vancouver
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#3. I prefer this to the original Carcassonne, unless you include the expansions, and even then it'd be a tough choice. The art isn't as strong as Carcassonne, but hunters make more sense than farmers for scoring. As often as not, I play without the sacred shrine (stonehenge) tile. As a two-player game, it can be deceptively vicious. I'm often in the mood for something more strategic than Carcassonne, but I never say no to a game, and I don't see that changing anytime soon, so it deserves its spot in the top three.
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4. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:7.66 Unranked]
David P
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#4. It's easy to underrate Dominion, but it remains a fast and fun engine-builder. Setup can be a pain, but every game is different, and everyone I introduce it to enjoys it. On its own, it's fun, but depth and replayability increase with each expansion. For that reason, it's less a game and more of a system, which explains why so many imitators have been released in its wake. This is the least interactive game on my list, but it deserves a spot all the same. Good with two, but best with three.
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5. Board Game: The Resistance [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:181]
David P
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#5. The Resistance is a great social game with the feel of Werewolf/Mafia, minus player elimination and the need for a moderator. It's Battlestar Galactica distilled, done in 15 minutes. Granted, it can be hard for the resistance to win, unless either: 1) they're all thinking logically, or 2) they can reliably identify the spies from "tells." But it's a blast regardless. I pull it out whenever I've got a large group.
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6. Board Game: For Sale [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:259]
David P
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Vancouver
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#6. This is a wonderful auction game that plays well quickly. For Sale is the perfect filler, though I dislike calling it that. Anyone can learn to play in two minutes and the game ends in under 15. There isn't a flaw to be found.
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7. Board Game: Arena: Roma II [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:1056] [Average Rating:6.94 Unranked]
David P
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#7. Yet another two-player game. There's more strategic space to play with than the original Roma and different balance among the cards. Because of this, the game more often ends in a VP race than a KO. I'm not sure that's an improvement, but I'll take it. I have only two complaints: the English translation, which isn't great; and the box, which is inexcusably large.
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8. Board Game: Battle Line [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:184]
David P
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#8. Deep, rewarding, and replayable, this is the thinking couple's game. It's my first Knizia purchase, but I can't imagine it'll be the last.
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9. Board Game: Condottiere [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:798]
David P
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#9. Condottiere is about bidding and bluffing for territory in Italy. Good strategy involves reading and manipulating others, playing them off against each other. You have to know when and where to pick your battles. I knew I'd like it before I played, just from reading the rules, so I picked up the Eurogames version in a trade, and I'm glad I did.
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10. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:127] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
David P
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#10. This was a tough one. I haven't played Ticket to Ride as much as the others, mostly because I just received it as a gift. It was a toss-up among Ticket to Ride, Agricola, and Cosmic Encounter. I might have gone with Agricola, but Ticket to Ride edges it out with better accessibility and fewer moving parts. Cosmic Encounter is the most memorable of the three, but also the most dependent on the group.
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