Smoothsmiths Top 50 Games - Year Two (2014)
Chris Smith
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Solihull
West Midlands
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Well, last year I found myself doing a Top 10, as I only had 37 games in my collection and hadn't played a huge amount besides. This year I'm up considerably to 72 Games, plus have played more awesome ones that I sadly don't own ^^. I have no idea who it is likely to be reading this, aside from a select few, but hello, welcome, and I hope this is useful to you!

Note: Now I've written the entries for these, jeez is a Top 50 or more difficult to motivate yourself for, that's a lot of writing!

At this rate, I'll be able to do a Top 100 next year, though only if I can avoid going so far down my played list to things I don't love ^^.

Please do feel free to criticize and comment! My tastes are ever evolving and I'm eager to continue discovering great new games. Board Gaming has had a massive positive impact on me, and I love the hobby and everyone who takes part in it, thankyou!

Last Years Top 10
Smoothsmiths Top 10 Games - Year One (2013)

Reviews of all my Games!
Review of Every Game in my Collection (Smoothsmith)

I love to kick-start games, and I track what games I back on these lists!
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1. Board Game: Love Letter [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:215]
Chris Smith
United Kingdom
Solihull
West Midlands
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50.
I was tempted to shove this off the list for bigger games, but while I get sick of playing it, its' still perfect for playing with non-gamers, and extremely fast to play. I prefer Lost Legacy (Spoilers!) but this is still good ^^.
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2. Board Game: Tsuro of the Seas [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:1143]
Chris Smith
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Solihull
West Midlands
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49.
I was a little bit tempted to put Tsuro on here, and I think that it works better as a more streamlined smaller game actually, but I own this version now ^^. Its' a nice simple tile-laying game of survival, and the dragons make things interesting from the start giving an extra thing to think about as you play. Good fun.
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3. Board Game: Qwirkle [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:661]
Chris Smith
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48.
I bought this game because I wanted something light enough to play with families (In particular, Grace's family ^^). Gameplay is fairly easy, but manages to actually be quite challenging when it comes to making the best possible placements. Its' kind of scrabble with shapes and numbers, good fun =)
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4. Board Game: Score Four [Average Rating:5.91 Overall Rank:5698]
Chris Smith
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Solihull
West Midlands
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47.
This might seem an odd thing to have in a top 50 board games list, but I think Connect 4 Advanced is brilliant. It's nothing but a 3D version of the well-known game, but you need to look a fair way ahead to try and set up a victory, and its' just about challenging enough to keep being good, even if not as great as the more modern games on this list ^^.
 
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5. Board Game: Scrabble [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:1521]
Chris Smith
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Solihull
West Midlands
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46.
When I came to setting the positions of games I wanted in my list, I very almost put Paperback in. The thing is though, Scrabble, old as it is, is better. I've had a lot of fun with this, and even though Grace can beat me by 100 points consistently, I still love playing with her =)
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6. Board Game: San Juan [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:229]
Chris Smith
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Solihull
West Midlands
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45.
I've played this a couple of times at my Wednesday games group, nice little filler game that plays quick yet has some nice strategy. I've played its' big brother Puerto Rico once too, but that just felt like it was fat and bloated in comparison to this ^^.
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7. Board Game: DrunkQuest [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:4604]
Chris Smith
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Solihull
West Midlands
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44.
Waaaaaah, a drinking game in a top 50! Yes, because its' fantastic. This game demonstrates how to do Munchkin, but have it not be terrible, taking the concept and having it revolve around everyone having a drink together. I've played I think 4ish times (Once or twice a year is quite enough!), and every time its' a great laugh and everyone enjoys themselves, even when they get picked on and have to down their pint to beat a piddly fluffy lil' monster ^^.
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8. Board Game: Timeline [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:2215]
Chris Smith
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Solihull
West Midlands
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43.
This is probably the most simple game I own. Each player starts with an equal number of cards from the deck, then takes turns to place them in the time-line where they think they belong. If they're correct they leave it, if incorrect they discard that card and draw a new one into their hand. The first to have no cards wins. Its' gloriously simple, you learn interesting things from it about events/discoveries, and its' actually really fun! I mean, sure its' ridiculously light, but who cares =-)
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9. Board Game: Kings of Air and Steam [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:1355]
Chris Smith
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Solihull
West Midlands
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42.
I wasn't a backer of the kickstarter for this, but I did see it, which was before I'd really got into board games so I wasn't sure it would be fun. I did however, pick it up after, as I was wanting a pick-up and deliver game to play and this has a huge player range of 2 to 7! Each ship in the game has some unique ability, making it fun to try each of the possibilities, and its' good fun trying to work out the best route to follow in the game. It unfortunately falls down a little bit in that the person who picks the best initial starting area tends to win, as there's no good reason for people to fly over and interfere (As they just screw themselves too), but I do like the game a fair bit ^^.
 
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10. Board Game: Small World [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:185] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Chris Smith
United Kingdom
Solihull
West Midlands
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41.
This was the first 'designer' game I picked up, back in 2012. I absolutely loved this game and got it played a ton within a few months time. Unfortunately, I also burnt myself out on it in that time ^^. I still think its' fun, but its' very rare for it to hit the table, and well, I have a lot of other games I'd choose over it ^^.
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11. Board Game: Betrayal at House on the Hill [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:423]
Chris Smith
United Kingdom
Solihull
West Midlands
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40.
Its' been a long time since I played this, as I haven't had my own copy until recently (Amazon Black Friday deals, =P). Nevertheless, its' a great thematic game, with copious amounts of luck but cool scenario's to try out, with plenty to keep things unique for a huge quantity of games. Not sure when I'll get the game out though, as I've had a bit of an influx of 'awesome thematic games' for it to compete with ^^.
 
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12. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:139] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Chris Smith
United Kingdom
Solihull
West Midlands
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39.
Tile-laying is one of my favourite mechanics, and this game uses it as its' core. Its' quick to play, easy to teach, and good fun. It does have the unfortunate matter of farms being too strong, which means most games devolve into fighting to control one huge area that's worth silly points. It also doesn't vary much, though I'm sure that's fixed with some expansions ^^ (I've played the gingerbread man one which was fun). There's not really enough depth to get it higher on the list though.
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13. Board Game: Dixit [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:196] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Chris Smith
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Solihull
West Midlands
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38.
This is the first really good party-game I've ever owned. It has tons of beautiful abstract art, clever gameplay that gets people talking and prompts conversation, and plays well from 4 to 12 (I have the original Oddyssey with up to 12-player support). It suffers a little from CaH syndrome, whereby once you've seen all the cards the luster is lost a little, but each expansion has as many cards as the base game, and when you play with different people the cards can gain interesting new meanings. Very fun, I recommend it to all, particularly at this festive time of the year!
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14. Board Game: Forbidden Desert [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:263]
Chris Smith
United Kingdom
Solihull
West Midlands
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37.
This is a cooperative game where players are stranded in a Desert, and need to work together to gather the pieces to an ancient airship to escape before the Desert claims their lives. Its' a good bit of fun, but is a lot more RNG-Prone than its' predecessor Forbidden Island. I like introducing it to new players, as an experience to share, but its' just not as fun as the other members of its' family.
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15. Board Game: Coup [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:375]
Chris Smith
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Solihull
West Midlands
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36.
I picked up Coup through the kickstarter for reformation, as it shares a thematic universe with the Resistance, and is a generally good bluffing game.
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16. Board Game: The Resistance [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:178]
Chris Smith
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Solihull
West Midlands
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35.
Ah, this game. Its' such a fantastic idea, and I've enjoyed it many times, and I even have the expansions coming in a couple of days, but... It just drags on so much, and people always want to play over and over - I like it, but its' a stressful game to get involved in and it makes me start getting very uncomfortable after a while. That said, its' still really good, and I can't wait to introduce the avalon roles to it as they're great fun ^^.
 
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17. Board Game: Tiny Epic Kingdoms [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:969]
Chris Smith
United Kingdom
Solihull
West Midlands
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34.
When I saw this on kickstarter, advertised as a 4X game (Or 3X without the expansion if you're going to be picky, jeez), and playable in half an hour, I was dubious. On the other hand, I wanted a civilization-y game without the excessive play-length and spreadsheet gameplay, so I went for it. I was pleasantly surprised to find this is a fun little game, where there's multiple paths for victory and strong player interaction, with lots of variability from game to game as you try out different races. Its' a little prone to incidental king-making when someone attacks too hard, but otherwise great.
 
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18. Board Game: Coal Baron [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:469]
Chris Smith
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Solihull
West Midlands
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33.
This is a worker-placement game with a very interesting mechanism where you don't so much 'block' spaces, as make them more expensive to everyone else. The really interesting thing about that, is you find yourself having to look a few moves ahead to plan placements to make sure you have enough in case you get blocked (e.g. if you use 3 to take one action and leave yourself with 1 worker, you're unlikely to get another useful action as the best ones will already have been taken (hence cost 2+ each). Would love to see the same mechanic applied to a heavier game ^^.
 
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19. Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:51]
Chris Smith
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Solihull
West Midlands
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32.
This is another in the category of 'games I like because they can be used as a gateway'. The game has an approachable fantasy theme (To people into D&D style things that is obviously), and simple mechanics, with escalating possibilities over the course of a game as people get into it. I've not yet played with my own copy (I got it for £15 in an amazon black friday lightning deal ^^), but I look forward to doing so ^^.
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20. Board Game: Belfort [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:359]
Chris Smith
United Kingdom
Solihull
West Midlands
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31.
Belfort is a fun, fantasy themed worker placement game with interesting 'majority' mechanics and tight feeling gameplay. Its' somewhat marred by having tiny guild tiles that are hard to read, but a fun game nonetheless. I need to get it played again actually...bought the expansion ages ago and its' gone unplayed...hmmm...=P
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21. Board Game: Zombicide [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:330] [Average Rating:7.26 Unranked]
Chris Smith
United Kingdom
Solihull
West Midlands
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30.
This was one of my earlier acquisitions, being a Christmas Present in I think 2012. For a long while I was really obsessed with it, and even picked up Season 2 and started painting it. In fact I still like and want to play it, but its' now a disapointing mix of painted/unpainted figures and I don't tend to frequently have such long play sessions anymore...Maybe one day I'll find someone who wants to mindlessly paint a couple hundred zombies... (I'm ok with painting, but get bored without variation, like I get in doing Myth's mini's).
 
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22. Board Game: Legacy: Gears of Time [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:1525]
Chris Smith
United Kingdom
Solihull
West Midlands
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29.
A theme I love, in books, tv and film, is time travel. Its' such a fantastic thing to explore, in how it would impact the world and what the consequences of messing with it are. Legacy is a game that embraces it and does it well, and I love playing it for that!
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23. Board Game: Russian Railroads [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:69]
Chris Smith
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Solihull
West Midlands
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28.
This got lots of hype when it came out, and while I never picked it up, I did get to play someone elses copy, and had a ton of fun with it. While I'm not sure I'd want to own it, there's really cool accelerating scoring opportunities in the game and multiple fun paths to try and follow to achieve victory. That said, I don't feel like you can really change strategy by halfway through a game which can make it feel a bit stale towards the end.
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24. Board Game: Lost Legacy: The Starship [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:1286] [Average Rating:6.69 Unranked]
Chris Smith
United Kingdom
Solihull
West Midlands
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27.
This is a fun sequel to Love Letter, with an added deduction aspect where you're always looking for where the Lost Legacy ends up. The only downside is that in a 2 player game you almost never reach the investigation phase, which is really the fun core to this one. The best upside however, is that there's multiple lost-legacy sets (I have starship/flying-gardens), which you can mix up and use as you like for unique games, rather than sticking to the same formula 100 times over as in Love Letter ^^.
 
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25. Board Game: One Night Ultimate Werewolf [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:266] [Average Rating:7.27 Unranked]
Chris Smith
United Kingdom
Solihull
West Midlands
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26.
This is a really clever social deduction board game, bringing the gameplay from games like the Resistance and bringing it down to 10 minutes or less. It does however have a fair bit of variance in fun levels depending on the group, and limited variation in roles, but hopefully the daybreak expansion will fix that up! ^^.
 
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