The perfect Top 30 board games ... according to me
jason gadd
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I started board gaming about 7 years ago. In all that time I have never written a geeklist until now. Why now? Because I am now at that point where I have reached the end. I have the perfect top 30 games...for me. Why 30? Well that means I can play a different game every night for a month and also that's how much shelf space I have.

I have played a lot of games over the years. Games have come and games have gone but now I think I'm finally there. The perfect game collection.
For a game to be considered for my collection it needed to meet my skewed criteria...

1. It had to have a board...and a good looking board at that.
(So deckbuilders and card games are just a no go. I'm looking at you Dominion)
2. It must play well with 2 players but it can't be a 2 player only game.
(So the whole Kosmos 2 player series is out)
3. It must have a minimal setup time.
(Setting up huge boards with loads of fiddly pieces won't even see the light of day as that box lid ain't coming off)
4. It must have a playtime between 45 mins - 90 mins. No more. No less.
(Empire building, world domination and colonising the galaxy are never going to happen)
5. My wife wants to play it which means she must be in with a chance to beat me at the game.
(If it's too confrontational or I'm playing runaway leader then it's not going to stay around for long)

The games are listed in alphabetical order. Enjoy.
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1. Board Game: Blood Bowl: Team Manager – The Card Game [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:262]
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Fun to play and my wife can get a winning touchdown every time - how does she do it?
Add the great replayability with the different teams and the fact that it plays up to 4 and we have a keeper. We can ignore the fact it doesn't have a proper gameboard due to the amount of smackdown table talk this game generates.
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2. Board Game: Claustrophobia [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:231]
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The game board tiles and pre-painted figures help to drag you kicking and screaming into the immersive theme of fighting demons in hell. A fantastic tunnel crawl that plays in 45 minutes.
The asymmetrical play between the humans and demons sides makes it fun to play both sides and therefore it can be forgiven for being a 2 player only game.
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3. Board Game: Firenze [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:731]
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The first euro on the list and a solid euro at that. Quick setup. 45 mins gameplay. Good looking board. A bit of 'take that' with the cards and the tactile element of building towers with the blocks makes what could have been a dry euro a towering success.
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4. Board Game: Forbidden Desert [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:300]
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Not one my wife plays but great with my six year old son. Guiding team work helps my son not get buried or lost with rules. Every excavated tile is its own reward and a build your own flying machine is thrown in to boot. This has replaced forbidden island as the game of choice for father and son and has whipped up quite a storm.
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5. Board Game: Fresco [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:270] [Average Rating:7.31 Unranked]
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A game with high production quality that my wife is uncannily good at. A euro with theme where turn order is decided by how early you want to wake up your apprentices and coloured cubes represent cubes of colour. The Leonardo tile for two players works well keeping the game moving along so it doesn't feel like your watching paint dry.
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6. Board Game: Garden Dice [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:1936]
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One of the newest entries to the list is this deceptively cutesy garden game. The game screams light weight but it is anything but. Great gameplay that offers just enough depth and then some if using the special tiles. Looks great, plays great and one that grows on you the more you play it.
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7. Board Game: Ghost Stories [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:216]
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A little nostalgia means this isn't being exorcised anytime soon. A purchase from when I experienced Essen. The graphic style is perfect for the game with the card art looking evocative and the haunters look haunting. It's a game you will die at again and again but that's what keeps this game alive as you keep coming back for more.
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8. Board Game: Giants [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:995]
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Look at the game board and look at the pieces and you have a gorgeous looking game staring back at you. The great gameplay of using your opponents' hard work to help your own tribe makes for great interaction. This game is as solid as a rock.
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9. Board Game: Hansa [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:785]
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This is a game that is quick to setup and play in a breeze. The spinach coloured board doesn't help it in the good looks department but it sails away with the simple but effective gameplay and interaction.
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10. Board Game: In the Year of the Dragon [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:242]
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Here comes the pain. Very popular with my wife this one. Agonising decisions make this game fun, tense and pleasantly frustrating. It is played over a year but it will never drag on.
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11. Board Game: Jamaica [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:439]
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When a game company does a game well it does Jamaica. This game is loaded with treasure from the gorgeous board and artwork to the design of the box and insert. A pirate racing game with gold coins and cannons. It's a blast.
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12. Board Game: Kingsburg [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:297]
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This game is good but I'd advise getting the expansion to really crown it off. The board is superb and the 2 player dummy dice roll is no hassle. The multiple building choices will keep you rolling back for more.
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13. Board Game: Legends of Andor [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:332] [Average Rating:7.25 Unranked]
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I love the beautiful game board. It is a work of art. Co-op puzzle solving gameplay makes for an unforgettable adventure. The downside is the long setup time which can be a real gor. Did I mention the beautiful board is also huge. The component quality is also top notch as well. The gameplay can stretch a little long than my willpower can take. I also forgot to mention the huge beautiful gameboard is double sided! There is no and / or about his game it is a must.
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14. Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:52]
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I grew up playing DnD. I get to relive the experience in this game. A good entry game with the right level of difficulty and some nice thematic quests that your party of cubes, I mean adventurers can go on. Long live Eliminster.
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15. Board Game: Mice and Mystics [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:248] [Average Rating:7.38 Unranked]
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Fantastic story driven game that is full of flavour. Sumptious board, in fact all the compontents and the story squeak quality. This game doesn't take the biscuit, though it may steal the cheese.
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16. Board Game: The Palaces of Carrara [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:599]
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A fairly new addition to the collection. This game has solid euro mechanics but what gives this game the key to the city is the use of the rondel, the multiple scoring opportunities and the variable end game conditions. This is building up to be a marbleous euro.
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17. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:75]
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It's got a cool theme. It's the how to of co-ops and it has an infectious gameplay. Spreading the co-op genre with its numerous expansions it shows no sign of remaining contained. It's the perfect cure to a night alone when you need a solo play.
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18. Board Game: Peloponnes [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:768]
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I don't know what it is about this civ builder that I like. It's probably the fact it doesn't feel like a civ builder. Another game that could have so been a disaster if it wasn't for the great balancing act of population, resources and food.
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19. Board Game: Primordial Soup [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:754]
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It's amoebas in a rock pool eating each others poop. Enough said. I can't think of a single reason to cell this game.
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20. Board Game: Railways of the World [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:103] [Average Rating:7.69 Unranked]
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What an impressive board. This game has had many incarnations but shows no sign of running out of steam. The mechanics of pick up and deliver make this my number one train game. Even the silly empty city markers can't derail it.
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21. Board Game: RoboRally [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:368]
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It's got robots with lasers. Which every way you look at it, it's a sure fire hit.
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22. Board Game: Small World [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:206] [Average Rating:7.30 Unranked]
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Another glossy game with great components that scales well with the number of players. Endless combinations of races and abilities keep this game from teetering over the edge. My six year old son enjoys this game which is handy as his fingers are small enough to get the races out of the tray insert which tips me over the edge when I try.
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23. Board Game: Snowdonia [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:388]
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I don't actually own it and haven't played it but you just know when a game is right for you. Snowdonia you are right for me. Simple clean mechanics, Welsh theme and solo play.
Snowdonia, there is an empty space on the shelf reserved just for you.
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24. Board Game: Space Hulk [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:477]
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This is a blast from the past. Aliens, terminators and twisting corridors make for a tense battle for survival with frantic dice rolling when your men are stuck in a jam. This game works.
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25. Board Game: Survive: Escape from Atlantis! [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:254]
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Another family classic that was lengths ahead of it's time. My six year old son hasn't quite grasped the concept of the game. He keeps thinking it is all about trying to get the sharks to eat all of Daddy's meeples.
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