Diz Hooper's Top Games after 2000+ Logged Plays
Diz Hooper
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Among the GeekLists I find the most interesting are those in which users take a look back at their logged plays and comment on their most played games. I find that you can learn a lot about a user this way, and it’s interesting to see how different each user’s top games lists are. In particular, I was inspired by this list by user

Roel van M.
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http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/159319/what-i-played-the-m...

After reading this Geeklist, I thought I’d try my hand at making such a list.

I'm a gamer that likes to play thematic games that can last 3 or 4 hours, so I’m not going to rank the games by the number of plays, which would fill my list with shorter filler games.

Rather, I’m going to use the Friendless Happiness Metric(FHM), which can be found on Extended Stats. The formula for the FHM is (rating * 5 + plays + months played * 4 + hours played). With this metric, the longer and more often you play games, the higher they will appear on the list. In other words, it rewards repeated plays of games over a longer period of time. Using this metric, the thematic games that I like will appear higher on the list. I also find that keeping track of these numbers encourages me to play the games I already have.

If you’re interested in checking out Extended Stats, you can go to:

http://friendless.servegame.org/dynamic/index.html

The information at the top of the page will tell you how to start using Extended Statistics.

I plan on doing this list every 1000 plays. That way, I can keep track of which games are moving up on my list and which ones are moving down.

If you find that your tastes in games are similar to mine, feel free to add me to your GeekBuddy list and I will reciprocate the favor. I find that recommendations from GeekBuddies with similar tastes in games are the best recommendations.

So, let’s begin the list!
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1. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:70]
Diz Hooper
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FHM (688)
Plays (155)
Months Played (64)

When I first started playing board games, I found the Tigris & Euphrates online game option here on BGG, and for about 2 or 3 years I was always playing 2 or 3 games simultaneously. I was playing this online so often that I decided to sell my hard copy of this game. It was my bad luck to hear that BGG was removing the Tigris & Euphrates games from the web site about 2 months after I sold my copy, so this isn't likely to move at all in future lists since no one else has this in my game group.

The thing I really like about this game is the open confrontation, which is rare for a Eurogame. You can make bold attacks, or you can go for sneaky attacks. While the opening moves are pretty predictable, the way the board develops in each game is different. I never feel that feeling of "I've seen this before," when I play this game. This is a classic that everyone should try at least once.
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2. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:156] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
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FMH (259)
Plays (105)
Months Played (21)

I went through two phases of Magic playing. Each time I was motivated to play because a friend was deeply into this game. As each friend moved away, I sold most of my cards and cut back on playing this game. As of now, I only have about 4 decks that I've kept and have sold everything else. Since getting into Android: Netrunner, I don't think I'll ever be getting back into Magic. . . but I have said that before. I mean it this time, though.

The thing I like about Magic is the deck building and working with your opponent's meta game. It was always fun to build a deck to counter my friend's latest deck. Then the next time, he would have a deck to counter that deck. That felt very interactive. I don't like this type of game if the other player is building decks they got off of the internet. Deck building should be a personal exploration. When it gets too competitive, then the fun is sucked out of deck building. I don't want to copy a list from the internet, I want to make my decks on my own.
 
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3. Board Game: 6 nimmt! [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:574]
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FMH (194)
Plays (68)
Months Played (10)

This is a light filler that I usually bring out when I'm playing with non-gamers. I like it best when there is a large group and things get chaotic and random. In other words, I use it as a party game. If I'm playing with a fewer number of players, I'd rather play something else.

This is likely to continue going up on the list as it is really easy to play in a wide variety of situations.
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4. Board Game: Liar's Dice [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:562]
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FMH (179)
Plays (43)
Months Played (19)

I have the Pirate's of the Caribbean edition (Pirate's Dice). This is my favorite party game for 3 or 4 players. Since I have the Pirate's Dice version, I always end up doing pirate voices while I play. I really enjoy the mind games aspect of this game. This will definitely be going up in the list in the future because I never get tired of it.
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5. Board Game: Thurn and Taxis [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:348]
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FMH (178)
Plays (29)
Months Played (20)

This game has some good memories attached to it for me. I was introduced to board gaming when a German member of an RPG group that I was playing in brought a copy of the Settlers of Catan to play while we were waiting for other players to show up. I was hooked. Eventually, the German member moved back to Germany, but he visited us again the next year. He brought presents with him. I got a copy of this. Since it is a present from the guy who introduced me to modern board games, it's a prized game of mine.

Although I've played this many times, I almost never win. I think I always go for the longer routes while other players are completing shorter routes to fill up the board. Although I know this, I never learn my lesson. Sometimes life is filled with lessons that we never learn and this game reminds me of that.
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6. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:16]
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FMH (170)
Plays (26)
Months Played (13)

When this game first came out, I wasn't convinced that I would like it. I mean, it's about farming! What could be interesting about that? Well, it turns out there's a lot of interesting things going on in this game. Although it's a Euro, I find that the game is strongly thematic. Every action you take makes you feel like you are really building a farm. Because of this, I can forgive the food problem (I usually don't like games that punish the players for playing badly). Another thing I like is the variety of occupation cards and minor improvement cards. This makes every game feel unique. This will continue to be played in the future.
 
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7. Board Game: Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:62]
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FMH (166)
Plays (15)
Months Played (14)

This is my absolute favorite game. If someone is playing it, I will never turn it down. The games tell a narrative, so they stay in the memory for a long time. I can still remember games of this that I have played a few years ago. I really prefer to play a Cylon, but playing victorious humans can also be very satisfying.

This is a game I can see myself playing 20 or 30 years down the road. This one is here to stay for me. I'm looking forward to the day when this will pass Tigris & Euphrates on this list, but I think that might take another 20 years.
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8. Board Game: Android: Netrunner [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:39]
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This is the hotness this year in my gaming group. I really like the cyberpunk theme. I think this is an underutilized theme. Of the two sides, I think I prefer to play the Corp. Knowing all the secrets makes me feel in control. Playing as the Runner is a bit more stressful for me, and I tend to play the Runner a little too conservatively.

I think this will continue to be hot in my gaming group for at least another year, so this bound to go up in the list next time.
 
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9. Board Game: Hikone Carom [Average Rating:7.06 Unranked]
Diz Hooper
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FMH (159)
Plays (41)
Months Played (12)

This is a Japanese variant of Carrom. There's an interesting story behind this variant. Around the 1900's there was a Carrom boom in Japan, so it was played all over the country, but as the boom died out, Carrom slowly faded from the Japanese gaming scene. These days, this Japanese variant of Carrom is only played in the city of Hikone and the surrounding areas. The main difference from standard Carrom is that the pockets are much bigger, so it's easier to sink the pucks.

This is pretty big, so I usually only play this when we have parties or potlucks at our house. It's good for non-gamers and younger kids just like to play with the pucks on the board. This will continue to make a showing at parties, so I imagine this will go up in the list.
 
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10. Board Game: Stone Age [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:79]
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FMH (159)
Plays (26)
Months Played (18)

This was a game that I played a lot a few years back. The board is beautiful and using dice for resource gathering was pretty interesting. I feel that I've played it enough now, so I've sold my copy of this game. I can still play it online, but I don't feel the motivation to do so now. This will probably be moving down the list in the future.
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11. Board Game: Tales of the Arabian Nights [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:311]
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FMH (156)
Plays (21)
Months Played (12)

This is the only game where you can end up as a pursued, insane, sex-changed, beast-formed, married trader on a quest. The things that happen to you are insane, and since it happens to everyone you can just laugh it off. I really like story-telling games like this, so I'm looking forward to trying games like this with different themes. Somebody make more games like this, please.

This will continue to be played as long as I can find people to subject to the experience.
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12. Board Game: Commands & Colors: Ancients [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:98]
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FMH (159)
Plays (29)
Months (13)

This is about the level of complexity I like in war games. I don't like to remember a lot of rules, so this fits the bill. I like the dice system for combat. There are times when things don't go the way you expect. For example, some war chariots might attack a light infantry unit. The light infantry can decide to dig in instead of retreating. Then the chariot misses their attack and the light infantry strike back with a counter-attack resulting in the destruction of the chariots. It's beautiful moments like these that make this game a joy.

I want to play this more, but I don't get a lot of chances to play two-player games. When I do, my two-player game time is recently eaten up by Netrunner, so unfortunately, I don't see this moving very much in the near future.
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13. Board Game: Coloretto [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:482]
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FMH (153)
Plays (41)
Months Played (13)

This is another short filler that I like to play a lot. It's easy to teach and easy to play. It also gives you a lot of chances to play mind games with the other players.

I'll continue to play this filler when I have time in between games. I never get tired of this one.
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14. Board Game: Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:47]
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FMH (152)
Plays (19)
Months Played (8)

The king of thematic games. I like everything about this one--the combat, the technology, the politics, and the negotiation. My gaming group holds an annual Twilight Imperium Day. On this day, we usually have two games going simultaneously. It is a long one, though, so once or twice a year is probably enough.

This will be going up steadily on the list, but it will never reach the top since it takes so long to play.
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15. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.35 Overall Rank:4]
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FMH (146)
Plays (15)
Months Played (9)

Twilight Struggle really makes the history of the period come alive. There aren't any other games in my collection that can match it in this regard. My childhood coincided with the Late War period of this game, so there are quite a few events that I remember. I like to think about alternate histories that may have happened while I play this game. Did I mention that I love history?

I'd like to play this more, but as I mentioned above, Netrunner is eating up my two-player gaming time now, so this will be making slow progress on this list, I'm afraid.
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16. Board Game: King of Tokyo [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:226]
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FMH (143)
Plays (36)
Months Played (11)

This was last year's hotness in my game group. I think it might have appeared at every game day last year. It's been surprisingly absent from this year's game days. I still really like it. I'm basically a sucker for dice games, and the theme of giant monsters fighting each other makes this an easy choice. Now I think I've motivated myself to bring this to some upcoming game days. I definitely hope to see this more. By the way, always go for attacks. Players who go for points should be heckled at the table.
 
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17. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:139] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
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FMH (140)
Plays (23)
Months Played (15)

This was one of the first board games that I bought when I got into board games. I ended up buying a lot of expansions for this, but after doing so I realized that I actually like just playing the base game. Now I don't play it as much as I used to. I generally play the Hunters and Gatherers version more now, which is further down on the list.

This makes it out to the table about once or twice a year, so if there's not a lot of pressure from games lower down on the list, it'll probably stick around for a while.
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18. Board Game: Diamant [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:612]
 
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FMH (136)
Plays (29)
Months Played (12)

Another party game favorite of mine. It's a lot of fun to convince people that they should push their luck and then watch them crash out. However, I usually play too conservatively and end up backing out and then watching my opponents split up large hauls of gems. Easy to teach and easy to play, so it will continue to get played in the future.
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19. Board Game: RoboRally [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:336]
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FMH (133)
Plays (13)
Months Played (11)

I really love to play this with the full eight players. The chaos that ensues is a pleasure to watch. I don't mind if my robot gets shot, pushed into a hole or gets moved off the board by conveyor. I use the house rule of playing with only two flags on one board in order to keep the playing time down. With three flags I feel that it's a little longer than it needs to be, and I can't imagine playing with more than one board. I prefer to keep players bunched together in order to create more chaos.

This is a favorite that will keep coming back to the table every year.
 
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20. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:124] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
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FMH (129)
Plays (21)
Months Played (12)

Simple is best sometimes. There's not really anything else to say about this one.
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21. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:279] [Average Rating:7.23 Unranked]
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FMH (129)
Plays (19)
Months Played (13)

This is the first modern board game I played and it's the one that got me into board gaming. I have a love-hate relationship with this game. While I enjoy it, I always feel stressed when I play it. It's either I'm not getting the resources I need or no one is trading with me. I usually don't mind a bit of randomness, but there are sometimes when you don't have anything to do on your turn and it's because the other players refuse to trade with you. That's a bit too frustrating for me, so now I tend to avoid this game.

I imagine this will be going down on the list. It was fun while it lasted, but there are many other games I would rather play.
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22. Board Game: Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:389]
Diz Hooper
Japan
Osaka
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FMH (127)
Plays (20)
Months Played (13)

Another Carcassonne on the list. This is the one that I usually play these days. It's stripped down to it's basics and I don't need to worry about sorting out all of the expansions that are in my regular Carcassonne box. I imagine this one will eventually pass the regular version of Carcassonne.
 
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23. Board Game: Dominant Species [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:52]
Diz Hooper
Japan
Osaka
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FMH (122)
Plays (10)
Months Played (8)

Evolution played as a cutthroat war game, or that's how I play it anyway. There are so many options for what to do and there are so many possibilities on the board. I really enjoy the unique theme and I have no problems with the direct conflict in this game. Even the cards don't give me much stress. This is one that I will continually play. I'm looking forward to seeing this move up the list in the future.
 
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24. Board Game: Nacht der Magier [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:1851]
Diz Hooper
Japan
Osaka
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FMH (121)
Plays (26)
Months Played (13)

My son just turned 5 this month and he's at the age where I can start to play board games with him. This is one of the first that I introduced him to and we play it together at least once or twice a month. He really gets into this. It's a very simple dexterity game. I hoping that he will be able to graduate to more complex games soon. No pressure though. I'll let him go at his pace. There will definitely be more children's games appearing in my future lists.
 
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25. Board Game: Runebound (Second Edition) [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:691]
Diz Hooper
Japan
Osaka
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FMH (117)
Plays (10)
Months Played (8)

I enjoy this game with one or two players. Actually only two of my plays were with more than one player. I tend to use this as a solo game. The downtime is way to long to play this with three or more. Believe me, I tried.

I'm finding that I'm not really attracted to fantasy themes, so my desire to play this isn't as strong as it used to be. There are several games below this that I have more interest in these days, so I don't think this will be on the next list.
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