My top 25 board games of all time of 2013
Markus
Finland
Helsinki
Uusimaa
flag msg tools
You don't need any more.
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Recommend
36 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
Making a top games list is something every geek should try at least once. No matter the method used, making such a list includes some very difficult choices. It is a great way to learn more about one's taste in games, especially after the list is finished and the analysing begins. I know I encountered some very interesting things after making this list.

This is actually my second time making a top list. The first list was made in 2011 and has since been lost in the sands of time (or the folders of my computer). It would have been interesting to compare the changes, but this time I'm documenting my list here for posterity. And for comparison for the 2014 list that I will make in the future.

I started playing board games in 2009 and have since logged a little over 1800 plays of about 210 different games. I average at about 25 to 30 plays each month. So, what would be a proper number for a top list? I decided that 10% of all games I have played is good enough, which would make it a top 21 games list, but decided to make it a top 25 instead. One page of geeklist entries, how convenient!

I made my list using the tried and true "Tom Vasel method" of printing out cards with games on them. I only included games I have played at least 3 times to cull the number of games to about 120 right away. Afte printing the card I started the painstaking but fairly fast process of choosing one random card and matching every card against it (better or worse) to bit by bit form the list.

What follows is my top 25 list starting from number 25 and counting down. After revealing the number 1 game, there is one more geeklist item on the next page with a list of games from #25 to #50, for those interested. Without further ado, I present my top 25 games of all time of 2013.

Disclaimer: Everything in this list is IMO, IMHO and YOMW.
Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
1. Board Game: Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:48]
Markus
Finland
Helsinki
Uusimaa
flag msg tools
You don't need any more.
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
25.

The list starts off with a heavy weight. Twilight Imperium 3rd edition is in fact the only game on this list that I do not own anymore. Getting this game to the table was just too difficult for me and I decided to get rid of it. Still, it is a gaming experience unlike any other. A massive, super long space opera with plenty of twists and turns.

There is a ton of things I could list as negative concerning this game, but I can't argue the fact that I remember each of my games extremely well. And when the first ones are from more than 2 years ago, it really is quite remarkable.

For instance, I remember very well a cunning tactical maneuvre where I did a sneak attack through a wormhole to the heart of another empire. I destroyed their defences and took control of a single planet. I scored a public objective that required me to control that planet for it's technological specialty and then retreated on the next turn, asking for forgiveness from my opponent.

There are not many games that really stay in your head the way Twilight Imperium 3rd edition does and for that I deserves a place in my top 25 games.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
2. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:28]
Markus
Finland
Helsinki
Uusimaa
flag msg tools
You don't need any more.
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
24.

Power Grid's theme may be drier than watching paint dry (?) but its gameplay is the real thing. Power Grid has a set of different phases, such as auctioning power plants, buying resources and building connections. They may seem like different things, but the way they are strongly connected to each other is what I think really makes Power Grid shine.

Power Grid's system is a complex web of variables where changing one thing really affects everything else. The player who best plans ahead and most cunningly manipulates the web for her own ends will be the winner.

Playing Power Grid can be exhausting thanks to the heavy and mathematical nature of its gameplay, but it is always rewarding. After every session I've played I've been happy and content with what I achieved, even if it was not victory. For me, that is usually a mark of a great game.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
3. Board Game: Small World [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:184] [Average Rating:7.33 Unranked]
Markus
Finland
Helsinki
Uusimaa
flag msg tools
You don't need any more.
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
23.

Small World is a great example of a Days of Wonder game. At its core the game is fairly simple and language free. The components and the artwork are top notch. No corners cut. And yet the game feels surprisingly deep.

Small World is all about adapting to the other players. The random races produced (such as Mounted Giants or Marauding Pixies) really change up the game. Depending on the game any given race could be an extremely good or extremely poor choice. It is up to the players to read the board, available races and make the choice of what race they think gives them the edge and which races to avoid all together - even if they have a nice sum of coins on them.

For example, I once started a game with the ladies who can form an ivory tower when they go into decline. So I did and I managed to form quite a nice tower on turn 3. What I failed to notice was that there was a race with the dragon available right at the start. You can probably guess what happened next: another player chose the dragon race and burnt my ivory tower to the ground with the dragon power. An obvious play that I didn't notice, costing me the game.

Great components, great scaling between 2 and 5 players, deep gameplay and the fun and zany theme make Small World the 23rd game on my list.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
4. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:41]
Markus
Finland
Helsinki
Uusimaa
flag msg tools
You don't need any more.
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
22.

It is rare to find a game that can support player counts between 3 and 7. It is even rarer for that game to be great. Enter 7 Wonders.

Much of 7 Wonders' appeal is found in the drafting mechanic. There are 3 ages in the game during which players draft cards from hands of cards that travel around the table. Each draft is a difficult choice on not only what you want yourself but on what you're giving to your opponents. The way that the drafted cards can be used for three different things is also something that I really like. You don't have to use the card as a building, but you can also build your wonder with it or simply turn it in for some quick cash.

The oversized cards are really great for 7 Wonders since you can read your opponents' tableaus from the other side of the table. And speaking of opponents, you only need to really follow what your neighbors are doing. The way you only fight wars with your neighbors and can only trade with them really streamlines the play and makes it possible to play even large games in 30 to 40 minutes.

I'm not going to claim 7 Wonders to be the most thematic game ever, but it is fairly easy to teach, fun to play with almost no downtime and offers tough choices constantly. Not to mention that it support 3-7 players in 30-40 minutes. What a great game.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
5. Board Game: Le Havre [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:36]
Markus
Finland
Helsinki
Uusimaa
flag msg tools
You don't need any more.
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
21.

Le Havre is the second game in Uwe Rosenberg's so-called harvest trilogy. In Le Havre the players are start ups in France, Le Havre armed with only 5 francs and a lump of coal in their pockets. The objective is to make the mightiest empire of wealth, buildings and ships. And buy is it fun.

Heavy eurogames are often seen as punishing. Le Havre is the opposite. It is full of good choices. On your turn you do one thing from several options and usually most, if not all, of those options are extremely tempting. For me this is a refreshingly positive way to play.

During the course of the game the players build ships and buildings, collect different kinds of goods, upgrade and trade them for money. At the end the player with the most valuable trading empire wins. So again, the players get to see their stuff grow up. Starting with just a few francs and a lump of goal only to end up as the owner of a large shipping empire is both thematically sound as well as encouraging. Even if you didn't win, you end up with something valuable.

The abundance and prosperity of Le Havre is something I have yet to find in other games. Even games such as Trajan by Stefan Feldt do not compare in my opinion, even if Trajan rewards its players for practically everything. This is why Le Havre is the 21st game on my list.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
6. Board Game: Suburbia [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:92]
Markus
Finland
Helsinki
Uusimaa
flag msg tools
You don't need any more.
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
20.

Suburbia can be said to be pretty close to Sim City the board game. At its heart Suburbia is a tile laying game where you attempt to maximise your income and reputation by chaining different tiles together. The higher your repuration the more citizens move into your city each turn. The tiles represent buildings and other features such as apartments, restaurants, airports, schools or even highways. They are divided into four colors based on their alignment, residential, industrial, public and commerce.

The tiles' cost varies, depending on where they are on the tile track. The longer a tile goes unpurchased the lower the price. This creates and interesting system where the players must be able to evaluate the worth of buying a tile compared to its current price. If you decide not to purchase it, it might not be available on your next turn anymore as other players may want it too.

Suburbia also has a very interesting mechanism to keep the players close to each other. The higher one's number of residents (=victory points) rises, the faster that player loses both income and reputation. This represents the challenges of growth for a city - the need to invest in infrastructure, to combat crime and such.

Suburbia is a fairly new game so it is possible that that has contributed to Suburbia's place on my list. Even so Suburbia is an easy to teach and simple to play game with a great theme and loads of substance, earning it the 20th place.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
7. Board Game: The Resistance [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:174]
Markus
Finland
Helsinki
Uusimaa
flag msg tools
You don't need any more.
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
19.

The Resistance is my go-to social secret identity game. In The Resistance the players are members of an underground resistance. Some of the players however are secretly agents working for the evil government.

The Resistance has for me pretty much completely replaced Werewolf. It is very important to me that everyone can be in the game to the end. It really sucks in Werewolf to be the player who is eliminated in the first night. No such thing in Resistance. Not to mention that I'm never going to get to play Werewolf anyway because I'm always the moderator. Not in The Resistance, since there is no need for one!

I've played Resistance with a variety of different players and it has been a success so far every single time. It is no secret that I really like social games and The Resistance is one of the best (but not THE best...) - thus earning it the 19th spot on my list.

4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
8. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
Markus
Finland
Helsinki
Uusimaa
flag msg tools
You don't need any more.
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
18.

For me the original is still the best. Dominion is still the purest deck building game on the market. It really is all about building your deck, without any excess to distract from the exersize of optimization. It sounds dry but it really isn't.

Dominion is all about the huge amount of cards and clever combos. If Dominion was just the base set, I'm not too sure it would be on this list. But with the eight expansions I have, the variety will last me a lifetime. What I really like about Dominion is the feeling of pulling off a clever combo that you noticed while observing the starting setup. Especially if its something your opponents didn't see coming.

Despite its immense breadth Dominion is still all about the core rules and the simple ABCD concept (action, buy, clean-up, draw). That means that playing with new players even with all expansions mixed in is still pretty easy. There are a few cards to be avoided but the game remains immensely accessable.

The original deck builder that has now reached its apex with all expansions is worth the 18th slot on my list.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
9. Board Game: Kingdom Builder [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:451]
Markus
Finland
Helsinki
Uusimaa
flag msg tools
You don't need any more.
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
17.

Who would have guessed, another Donald X. Vaccarino game right after Dominion. Kingdom Builder is another simple to play, lightish euro with replayability and depth that rival some of the heavier games on this list.

The premise of Kingdom Builder is simple. Players draw cards and according to the card place settlements on a randomized map, gaining access to special abilities. The aim is to best satisfy the scoring conditions of three randomly chosen scoring cards while also building next to castles for extra points. The player who best achieves this wins.

Kingdom Builder has been critisized for being too luck dependant. After my first game I was ready to agree, but thankfully I gave it another chance. Kingdom Builder is not a gentle game. Your first few turns are critically important for the rest of the game. Bad placements will simply put you at the mercy of lucky draws and most likely rob you a lot of choices. Once a player understands that the game becomes a whole lot more interesting and then the real games can begin.

Kingdom Builder is the little game that could. Very easy to teach, very hard to master and yet provides an enjoyable level playing ground for all players.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
10. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.35 Overall Rank:4]
Markus
Finland
Helsinki
Uusimaa
flag msg tools
You don't need any more.
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
16.

Twilight Struggle is certainly a great way to spend three hours with a friend. Encompassing the cold war, Twilight Struggle is an epic game of superpower one-upmanship for two players.

There is one word that I think really describes Twilight Struggle well and that is 'tense'. The game is long but there is not one turn that does not feel critical. Each decision made must be carefully considered, for even a momentary lapse in reason might result into thermonucler war, causing the player whose turn it is to lose. I simply haven't played another game that is so consuming that it might actually give a glimpse of what it was like to make those decisions during the cold war.

Twilight Struggle is a card driven game and each card has a unique, era related event in it. The cards are divided into three phases (early war, middle war and late war) and so the events come in play more or less chronologically. Playing the cards can result into some funny ahistorical situations, such as the UN interfering with the foundation of NATO.

Twilight Struggle is not a game I get to play enough but I certainly can't wait for my next bout. Because be it two or four hours, it's worth every minute.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
11. Board Game: Dungeons & Dragons: The Legend of Drizzt Board Game [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:464] [Average Rating:7.30 Unranked]
Markus
Finland
Helsinki
Uusimaa
flag msg tools
You don't need any more.
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This entry also includes Castle Ravenloft and Wrath of Ashardalon

15.

The Dungeon & Dragons adventure system board games are excellent cooperative dungeon romps that do not need a dungeon master to run. Players pick a scenario and heroes from a vast selection and get ready to face a fully randomized dungeon with traps, events, monsters and more.

There are certain problems with the way the dungeon is randomized, but for me these games are still the best in their genre. The characters can be customized to a satisfying degree by choosing their skills at the beginning of the scenario. There is even a chance to level up during the game (just once, but it is there).

All three adventure system board games are chock full of excellent quality miniatures. Heroes, monsters and epic bosses can be found in all three boxes. If you buy all three you have enough variety to last for a long time. There are also plenty of scenarios, events and treasures to bring even more variety.

For me, the Dungeon & Dragons adventure system board games are the definite dungeon crawling board games. A controversial choice, but I haven't yet found anything better. Definitely worth a spot on my list at 15th best games of all time of 2013.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
12. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:125] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
Markus
Finland
Helsinki
Uusimaa
flag msg tools
You don't need any more.
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
14.

Ticket to Ride is a classic for good reasons. The gameplay is very simple. On a player's turn they either draw cards, play trains or draw tickets. Three choices, but plenty of depth. The components, as expected from Days of Wonder, are spectacular.

The simple rules leave a lot of room for competition and tense play. How long can you draw cards? Will the routes you've been planning to get remain empty? For how long? Should you just claim the route now and reveal your plans or wait a few more turns? What colors should you collect? Should you risk drawing from the top of the deck or rather take a pair of a color you don't need... right now at least?

Those are just some of the questions I face when playing Ticket to Ride. The basic USA map is probably my favorite, but there are plenty of expansion maps out there to keep the game fresh for a long time to come. Some maps are better with less players and some are better with more.

Ticket to Ride I can teach to anyone easily and it is always deliciously tense to play. It definitely earns a spot on my list.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
13. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:117] [Average Rating:7.54 Unranked]
Markus
Finland
Helsinki
Uusimaa
flag msg tools
You don't need any more.
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
13.

If you would have asked me a few years ago, I would have claimed that Memoir'44 is my favorite game. Right now I'm pretty shocked to see, that I now consider 12 other games to be better. Still, there are reasons for that (that might be revealed later) but no matter, Memoir'44 is still an excellent game.

Memoir'44 is a light wargame with bazillion expansions. The game system is a part of the Commands & Colors series by Richard Borg. The gameplay is card based, with hand management and planning more than one turn ahead both being crucial elements. Combat is resolved with dice with the probabilities being fairly easy to calculate. Most of the time you'll be taking risks knowing the odds.

The components of Memoir'44 are absolutely amazing. The board and terrain hexes are nice, thick and sturdy quality and great artwork. The allies and axis forces are represented by plastic miniatures that are very close to those classic army men toys. This gives the game a brilliant, nostalgic quality that is hard to compete with.

The base game comes with 16 scenarios which is already loads to play. The expansions up this number to somewhere around 200 official scenarios. Then there are the breakthrough and overlord game modes, of which especially overlord makes the game so much more interesting (and for up to 8 players too). So, there really is no end to the wealth of material for Memoir'44.

To recap; great components, simple rules, loads and loads of replayability and simple, yet rewarding gameplay. What more can I want?
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
14. Board Game: Go [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:121]
Markus
Finland
Helsinki
Uusimaa
flag msg tools
You don't need any more.
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
12.

There's only a little of value I can say about a game that has endured more than 4 000 years of human history. Go is an ancient abstract Chinese game with simple rules (it can be said that there are only two rules) and near infinite depth. It's all about placing stones on a 361 intersection grid, trying to claim areas for the final scoring.

My history with Go goes back longer than my history with modern board games. I fell in love with Go approximately 10 years ago. At first I tried to play it more seriously, but I have later come to understand that I simply do not have what it takes to be serious about Go. It remains a casual game for me to play with my friends who are more or less as good as I am. It is also a game my wife likes, as it cannot be played mathematically but rather it must be played by intuition.

As a game Go is an all-inclusive experience of grand strategy and tactics. It is a high-caliber back and forth struggle to control the board. There is no luck involved and yet playing the game does not feel as heavy as it should. If you have any interest in board games you owe it to yourself to try Go at least once.

I suspect Go would be higher on my list if I played it more.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
15. Board Game: Cosmic Encounter [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:101]
Markus
Finland
Helsinki
Uusimaa
flag msg tools
You don't need any more.
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
11.

At 11. we have Cosmic Encounter, another older game about taking over the cosmos with a variety of weird alien powers.

Cosmic Encounter is all about take-that. It is highly chaotic and any plans are likely to be ruined. However - and this is an important point - the chaos and luck in Cosmic Encounter never feels like it favors any single player. It is a general chaos that affects all players more or less equally, creating and unstable playing field in which the player that best utilizes her alien power and most skillfully players the other players wins. Very thematic, in fact.

Just the base set of Cosmic Encounter comes packed with incredible amounts of variability. There are 50 different aliens included of which only one is used per player in each game (if playing by basic rules, at least).

Of course, if Cosmic Encounter was just a highly chaotic game with loads of replayability, it might not be this high, but it also happens to be an excellent social game with alliances, negotiations and loads of trash talk. What I really like is how the alliances really only last a single round. You might be forced to attack your former ally next, which eliminates some of the meta game problems that might otherwise pop up.

There's a reason Cosmic Encounter has been around for 30+ years. Check it out.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
16. Board Game: Keyflower [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:42]
Markus
Finland
Helsinki
Uusimaa
flag msg tools
You don't need any more.
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
10.

For me, this is a controversial choice. Keyflower is fairly new game that I've only played three times so far. Yet it is supposedly my 10th favourite game ever. Let me explain why this has happened.

Keyflower is a eurogame through and through. It could be described as a worker placemenet / auction game, but I don't think it does the game justice. There are plenty of elements in Keyflower that work together to create a fantastic game experience. The way the auctions and worker placement work is pure genius. I'm not going to explain it in detail here, but basically there are three different colors of meeples who cannot work together. One tile can both be auctioned for or used by placing meeples next to or on it. The winner of the auction not only recieves the tile but any meeples that were placed on it to use the tile's action. What's more is that once the players' colonies grow larger it is also possible to freely use tiles in any of the colonies, but you are basically handing the opponent the meeples you use at that point. Is it worth it? So, Keyflower is a highly engaging game gameplay wise.

The components are very nice and there is a ton of them in the box. There are 141 meeples alone in the box, not to mention the other components. The hex tiles have a very cool art style on them that (I think) belongs to the designer's sister. Oh, and did I mention the 6 cool unique player shields? Truly a family effort.

I guess I'm raving at this point, but I wanted to let you know that I'm REALLY excited about this game. I just need to play it a lot more. Will it stay on this list in the future? We'll have to see about that, but for now, this entry is a little more about expectations than it is about reality. Next year the situation will hopefully be different.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
17. Board Game: Sentinels of the Multiverse [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:268] [Average Rating:7.31 Unranked]
Markus
Finland
Helsinki
Uusimaa
flag msg tools
You don't need any more.
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
9.

Sentinels of the Multiverse is a super hero themed cooperative card game and one of my three favorite sologames. There are three things that really make this game stand out for me.

The basic premise of setting up the game is as follows. Pick a villain deck. Pick an environment deck. Pick a hero deck for each player. Start playing. Sounds simple, but at this point expansions included there are 18 heroes, 18 villains and 12 environments. There are so many possible scenarios that I'm never going to come even close to playing them all - and I've played this game nearly 80 times already. There is a wealth of material and deck combinations to discover.

The art of this game is amazing. It is all done by a single artist and there are a ton - I mean a ton - of unique pieces of art in this game. In addition to the art, there is also a quote or something similar at the bottom of each card - as if the game was really based on a real comic. This really helps to immerse the players into the game and into the multiverse itself, by creating an impression of a huge, huge world out there that the game portrays only a small part of.

Thirdly I love the simplicity of the system. You play a card, use a power and draw a card. That's it. The rest is on the cards. Granted, this sometimes creates quite complex webs of effects and modifiers that can be tough to keep track of, but it is a price I'll gladly to play to have such an openended and versatily gaming system on my hands.

5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
18. Board Game: Dixit [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:193] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Markus
Finland
Helsinki
Uusimaa
flag msg tools
You don't need any more.
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
8.

Dixit is my favorite party game bar none. I never care about who wins because I have so much fun playing it, coming up with all sorts of crazy clues.

The cards in Dixit are full of detailed, surreal, high-quality art with each card being unique. The art is so good that there are only a few pieces I wouldn't agree to frame and hang on my wall. Just looking at the cards is an enjoyment in itself.

Dixit is an excellent way to get to know new people. The surreal, detailed art on the cards works as a catalyst to peoples' imagination, making it possible to share all kinds of interesting things about yourself. This is another social aspect that I really appreciate in game design. Yes, there is scoring and a winner, but playing Dixit I think is more of an activity than a game. Still, keeping a score is important because it gives the activity a definite beginning and makes sure it also ends before overstaying its welcome.

Of all games I've ever had, the most success I've had introducing new people to board games is with Dixit. Several of my friends and relatives now have a copy of their own. Even my step mother, who mostly dislikes playing anything stayed up late to play for fourth time in a row. And she usually doesn't stay up late!
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
19. Board Game: Intrigue [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:1801]
Markus
Finland
Helsinki
Uusimaa
flag msg tools
You don't need any more.
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
7.

When people tell the story of Pandora's box, they always leave out the fact that Pandora's box was in fact stored inside another box - the Intrigue game box. That's how evil this game is.

Intrigue is a pure negotiation game. You negotiate about placement and price and then one side hands the other money. At least a single 1 000 note must always be given, but there is no upper limit. After the main player has negotiated with all relevant sides, he makes a decision regardless of who paid how much or what was promised. So, to put it shortly, nothing in this game is binding. The sole goal is to have the most money in the end - regardless of means.

The gameplay of Intrigue is simple and the rules are very easy to teach. The components are ok and the setup is a breeze. After two rounds no one should have any rules questions anymore. After that it's just pure negotiation heaven.

As you can probably guess, Intrigue is an evil, evil game. One my friends threatened to punch me unless I stopped "smiling that way" after the game. Yikes! Needless to say, I don't get to play this game very much, but for me, it is the absolute pinnacle of social gaming and the best negotiation game out there. Just make sure the players know what they're getting themselves into before playing, ok? We might avoid a few injuries that way.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
20. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:49]
Markus
Finland
Helsinki
Uusimaa
flag msg tools
You don't need any more.
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
6.

Going purely by the number of plays, Race for the Galaxy is easily my top game with more than 150 recorded plays. Most of them are two player advanced games with my wife, who is a big fan of this game.

Race for the Galaxy is a relaxing game in a sense. On the surface the players are simply buildings their galactic empires and minding their own business, but there is much more to it than meets the eye. The competition and interaction of this game is very indirect and it has a lot to do with tempos and synergies. The title of the game does not include the word Race for nothing, as tempo plays a huge part in deciding the winner. As the game ends when one player has 12 or more cards played at the end of a round, the race is on from the very beginning. Each card played brings the game closer to the end, and you could say that the goal of race is to finish the game before any player is ready. Because if they are, they have likely won.

Much has been said about the iconography and difficult to teach rules of Race for the Galaxy. For my wife and I the iconography was always clear from the very beginning. The rules we got down very quickly too. Teaching it to other players can be daunting, but I don't feel it's quite so hard as is often claimed.

One thing that rarely gets enough praise in this game is the artwork. The cards have really evocative pieces of art that really help in drawing the players into the world of Race. Don't get me wrong, I'm not claiming that Race for the Galaxy is a thematic game of any sort, but there is theme there for those who want to find it.

The 3rd best two player game on my list and my top 6 game of all time of 2013, Race for the Galaxy.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
21. Board Game: Zombicide [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:325] [Average Rating:7.26 Unranked]
Markus
Finland
Helsinki
Uusimaa
flag msg tools
You don't need any more.
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
5.

Zombicide is an honest to goodness, plastic-packed ameritrash. The zombie theme, the celebrity inspired survivors and the high quality plastic miniatures all say it very clearly: you're as far away from Euroland as possible. And sometimes that's just really refreshing.

Being a cooperative game, the players take control of a rag-tag team of survivors trying to accomplish a scenario specific objective before being eaten alive by the ever growing horde of undeath. As the survivors kill more zombies, they grow in power, unlocking new abilities. The flipside of that coin is that while the survivors get more powerful, the zombies get more plentiful at the same time and learn some new tricks too. This creates a balance of horror where the survivors try to kill only so many zombies are needed to keep things under control.

Another neat aspect is that each survivor only has two wounds. This means that death is a very real possibility and that careful planning must be used. It is generally not possible to tank wounds, for that is a sure way to loserville.

The gameplay is quite simple. Each survivor has a certain number of actions (3 to start) on each turn that they can use in any way they see fit. Only one of the actions is limited (search) and can be only used once per turn. The gameplay is fast, furious and full of adrenaline as the zombies keep on coming.

It is partly thanks to the expansions that are just being released that Zombicide is so high on my list. The base game is great, but lacks variation in survivors, zombies and even items for me. The expansions have rectified this for me and I now have a ton of survivors, four different types or zombies and a much bigger item deck. This makes even the older scenarios much more interesting to play.

For me, Zombicide is easily the top zombie game on the market, second of my three favorite solo games and number 5. on my top games of all time of 2013 list.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
22. Board Game: Railways of the World [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:97] [Average Rating:7.69 Unranked]
Markus
Finland
Helsinki
Uusimaa
flag msg tools
You don't need any more.
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
4.

For me, Railways of the World is a complete package that does not have any rough edges. I've also tried its mean, scarred older brother, Age of Steam, but for me the less-stressful and much better looking Railways of the World is the right choice.

If you look up the word 'overproduced' in the dictionary, you'll find a picture of the components of Railways of the World. The boards are huge (except Mexico) and the box is chock full of wooden cubes, railroad hexes, plastic trains, plastic empty city markers (in 4 different molds too) and a plethora of other bits, pieces and cards. At the beginning of the game there is just an empty board with some cubes on it. At the end it has evolved into a coloful display of railroad empires and empty cities that is very, very pleasing to the eye and also serves as an achievement of a sort. "This is what we made, this is our empire".

The gameplay of Railways is a joy to behold. The players start with no money, so generally they must take at least some bonds to get going. It is the balance of taking bonds (gain instant money but lose more long term) and not taking them that really makes this game fly. It is possible to win even with a huge amount of bonds, but you must really make the most out of the money to do so.

Each rounds is composed of three turns. On a turn the players have a set of simple options. Build track, deliver a cube, upgrade engine, urbanize a city or take a card. After three turns income is handed out and a new card comes out. Rinse and repeat until enough cities have been emptied. The player with the highest score wins. Simple but with loads and loads of depth to explore.

Railways of the World is a railroad empire building sandbox that feels vaguely like a civilization game. There are plenty of expansion maps out there to satisfy all kinds of group sizes. The game looks stunning and is easy to play. My absolutely favorite medium eurogame and my number 4th top game of all time of 2013 - Railways of the World.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
23. Board Game: BattleCON: War of Indines [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:545] [Average Rating:7.84 Unranked]
Markus
Finland
Helsinki
Uusimaa
flag msg tools
You don't need any more.
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This entry also includes BattleCON: Devastation of Indines.

3.

This entry is for the BattleCON system that at the moment includes two games: War of Indines and Devastation of Indines. BattleCON is a two player dueling game that models a Street Fighter / Mortal Combat style of a video fighting game - a beat'em up.

Each player picks one character from the very impressive roster. With the release of Devastation I guess there are about 50 characters out there. They are very different from each other as well. One character is a sniper who is strong from long distance but weak from short distance, another starts out very weak but grows stronger the longer the fight drags on and third is a slow but otherwise unstoppable juggernaut.

The game is played in beats. In each beat the players form an attack pair by playing one base and one style card simulatenously. The cards procude attack pairs such as Flaming Strike, Tornado Burst or Merciless Dash. After that the attack pairs are played out following a certain process to see what happened. The pacing is quick. Play cards, reveal, execute, repeat. A round ends when one player is reduced to 0 life or when 15 beats have been played.

BattleCON is a perfect information game. Each character has a certain number of style and base cards of which two attack pairs are always visible on the table. They cannot be used. Of the remaining cards the player chooses any combination they wish, cycling the visible cards back into her hand for the next beat. This is what brings the game depth. You have to choose your move basically knowing all of your opponents possible actions. Predicting what your opponent will choose is a huge part of the game.

War of Indines is a small game by a small company so the components leave something to be desired. But fear not, every little complaint I had has been addressed in the coming Devastation of Indines.

The perfect duelling card game, BattleCON, is my top 3 game of all time of 2013.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
24. Board Game: Eclipse [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:30]
Markus
Finland
Helsinki
Uusimaa
flag msg tools
You don't need any more.
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
2.

For my tastes Eclipse is a perfect mix. It sits comfortable in the smack middle of the intersection of eurogames, ameritrash and wargames. It supports between two and six (or up to nine with the expansion) players and, unlike Twilight Imperium 3rd ed, plays in a reasonable time. The components leave a little to be desired, but are high quality all around.

Most importantly, Eclipse is intuitive as heck. It is simply an easy game to teach and to learn considering how complex it actually is. The actions make total thematic sense and are quick to execute. The gameplay is fast paced and the turns go by pretty quickly.

Not only is Eclipse intuitive, but for me it is also the most "realistic" of all 4X games. There are no artificial limits to what actions you can do. You can do whatever you want, without the need for a special phase or a card that some other player migth have gotten instead. If you want to research or explore you can do that, you don't need anyone's permission and it doesn't matter if someone has already done it. I love this kind of freeform playing, where actions aren't restricted by what others have chosen. It just makes much more sense to me.

Eurogamers think there is too much luck in Eclipse. Ameritrashers consider it just another spreadsheet. Wargamers will surely argue that it is not a wargame. This, for me, is a sign that the mix is just right - that Eclipse is a true hybrid. And I love it very much. My 2nd best game of all time of 2013, Eclipse.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
25. Board Game: Commands & Colors: Ancients [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:98]
Markus
Finland
Helsinki
Uusimaa
flag msg tools
You don't need any more.
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
1.

And finally we come to the big number one, the game that dethroned Memoir'44 as my favorite, the game that denied BattleCON's place as the best two player game on this list and the game that also happens to be my favorite solo game: Commands & Colors: Ancients.

It is difficult to pinpoint why this game stands above all others, but I'll try to describe it. I always thought that Memoir'44 was a great system but with more and more expansions it became slightly convoluted. There are 60 different pieces of terrain all with slightly different rules. At the beginning of each scenario I had to refamiliarize myself with several special rules. Well, there's none of that in Commands & Colors: Ancients. The basic rules are more complex than in Memoir'44, but the amount of scenario specific special rules and exceptions is way lower. I think it is simply much easier to take out and play Ancients than it is to do for Memoir'44. The little niggles I had with Memoir'44 gameplay wise are all fixed. Commands & Colors: Ancients keeps all the good parts and improves the strategic and tactical play tremendously by introducing leaders, battle back, support and other mechanisms. But enough with comparisons to Memoir'44.

Commands & Colors: Ancients is a light game on the wargame scale, but a medium game on a more general scale. The gameplay is a perfect mix of luck, strategy and tactics all the while being very true to its theme. The larger battles really feel like epic clashes of the ancient forces, with tens of thousands of men. I think the wooden blocks help in that a lot being true to the age (wooden equipment) as well as thanks to the stickers the forces appearing more numerous than just the number of blocks. And of course, they are very easy to handle, store and move - unlike some miniatures... oh, and I don't even need to paint them!

So why is this my favorite game? To sum it up, the gameplay is a perfect mix of luck, strategy and tactics in roughly 60 minutes, the components are a perfect fit for the game, there is plenty of scenarios to play through and they do not get stale and the theme, epic battles, is something very close to my heart. My top game of all time of 2013 is no other than Commands & Colors: Ancients.
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.