In 2013 I found these gaming gems and since I like people agreeing with me, I'll throw gold at you for doing so
Björn Hansson
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Bromma
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The second half of 2013 turned out to be a sweet gaming season for me. I got to play a ton of games and meet a lot of new gamers. This list highlights some of the best games I've played. Some new discoveries, some old rediscoveries.

I thought I'd do a list for myself, but I figured I might as well share the joy.

Please say something nice about the game in the list you like the most, or is most eager to try, and I will sprinkle some fairy geek gold on top of you, until I run out of funds.

Happy holidays to all of you!

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1. Board Game: High Frontier Colonization [Average Rating:8.33 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.33 Unranked]
Björn Hansson
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This was the biggest hit of the year for me. Phil Eklund's hard sci-fi masterpiece about space exploration just got a whole lot meatier with this expansion. Such an amazing game. From those first trembling step out into the great unknown, with technology that sometimes won't even get you "there and back", to the end game where you carve a new future for mankind as you hurl through space with incredible speed.

Will you be the one who creates a black hole in your lab on Io? Will you become an apocalyptic demagog who decides to redirect a comet to destroy the earth? Or will you emancipate the robots and set forth on a lifelong journey to the stars?
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2. Board Game: The Capitals [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:1547]
Björn Hansson
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A wonderful city building game that lurks in the shadow of the more famous Suburbia. This close to luck-free game opens up a broad array of paths to victory. Economy, population, employment, culture, social infrastructure and technological progress all have to be managed in the best way possible in order to make your city the best one.
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3. Board Game: K2 [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:454]
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When you start playing K2 you have no idea how hard it actually is. I mean, everything is fine at first. But the mountain's reputation of being one of the hardest climbs in the world is true. The theme really grabs you as you fight to keep your climbers alive and beat the other players.
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4. Board Game: Power Grid: The First Sparks [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:879]
Björn Hansson
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You the kind of game where someone explains it to you, and you think "I am not going to like this". This is one of those. And boy was I wrong.

Being a fan of the original Power Grid I was of course eager to try it. First sparks captures everything that is good about the original, but in less than half the time. Sure I might miss the great market system in the original, but instead I get to pick berries and hunt Mammoths.
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5. Board Game: Ascending Empires [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:765]
Björn Hansson
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I don't like dexterity games. And I ususally don't like 4X games that much.

Combine the two you say?

Great fun. Enough interesting game decisions to make the dexterity part work and enough humour in the flicking to make the 4X part bearable.

Add to that very little downtime and a short playing time and you have a winner.
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6. Board Game: Origins: How We Became Human [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:2463]
Björn Hansson
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Another Phil Eklund entry!

This one shot up straight to the top three of civilization games (the other two being Avalon Hill's classic Advanced Civilization and Vlaada Chvatil's Through the Ages.

This game really is unique. You have to develop your brain before you start developing your civilization. Two games in one. There's even a brain map!

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a reprint.
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7. Board Game: CO₂ [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:536]
Björn Hansson
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I always love a heavy eurogame. This game mixes really cool and brain burning mechanics with a cooperative element and an awesome theme.

I really need to get it to the table again soon!
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8. Board Game: Cuba Libre [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:487]
Björn Hansson
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Pretty much everything in the box goes on the game board. Keeping your table neat and tidy. Oh, and it is great fun. Such an innovative and exciting game system. Four different factions competing for four different goals. A lot of agonizing decisions in this historical game that absolutely drips with theme, and that puts the A in Assymetric conflict.
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9. Board Game: War of the Ring (Second Edition) [Average Rating:8.40 Overall Rank:12]
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I rediscovered this game this year. Man it is still as amazing as it was when it was first released - even better in fact with the second edition. You owe it to yourself to check it out whether you are a Tolkien buff or not. It looks like a boring wargame with lots of plastic (the kind I really don't like), but it is so much more.
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10. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.35 Overall Rank:4]
Björn Hansson
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Another rediscovery. I bought this when it was first released, played ten games and then sold it. Rebought it when the fourth edition was released. Best decision ever. This really belongs in every gamer's collection if you ask me.
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