Tommynomad's Top 10 Games of 2014
T. Nomad
Netherlands
Den Bosch
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If there's a theme for this year, it's generosity. One of the games on this list came to me through the most remarkable set of circumstances, it could only have happened here at BGG. Several other games entered my collection through no doing of my own. I'll list those in the comments below.

The list itself is my 10 favourite games played in the last 12 months. Not one of these is a 2014-published game.
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1. Board Game: Coin Age [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:2743]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
Den Bosch
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11. (every good top 10 list goes to eleven)
Kickstarted a copy for myself and one for a friend. Simply brilliant set of mechanisms (including coins as D2s) wrapped up in a tiny package. I love the pay-what-you-can ethos of the KS campaign and the original credit-card production.
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2. Board Game: Backgammon [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:1095]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
Den Bosch
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10.
I hadn't played this since my teens, I think. The buddy mentioned in the Coin Age item above re-introduced me to it in September, and we've had a handful of afternoons playing since. Still not my favourite ancient game (that's Baduk/Go), but a great way to while away a few hours with a good friend.
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3. Board Game: San Juan [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:229]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
Den Bosch
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9.
Two years ago we picked up London and felt it was good enough and novel enough (and it is) that we could shelve San Juan for a while. But during our summer holiday we played San Juan 3P and realized our collection can happily include both. SJ was one of the first games I bought after joining BGG 7 years ago, and 200+ plays later, it still holds up as an excellent midweight card game.
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4. Board Game: Container [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:584]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
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8.
This is the game that most vexed me this year. A couple weeks ago, I played my first game from 10pm-midnight and was still wide awake at 4 a.m. That play was at boardgamearena, but a member of my game group has just purchased the game itself. Can't wait to have 5 gents around the table for this one.
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5. Board Game: König von Siam [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:1007]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
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7.
If there's a better 3P game out there, I haven't seen it. Siam took a lot of plays to 'click,' but it delivers a level of gaming satisfaction that is almost unparalleled. Historical but abstracted, thinky but intuitive, strategic but surprising. Brilliant, painful, opaque. I'll happily lose 10 of these before I play another single game of snore Jaipur.

I've also recently learned it's even better with 4P, playing in teams. Now on deck in my game club rotation, therefore.
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6. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:29]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
Den Bosch
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6.
Ten years and still going strong. This game shames most of the generic point salads that make up the recent spate of popular euros.
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7. Board Game: Flowerpower [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:2449]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
Den Bosch
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5.
Flowerpower came to me via a very 'BGG' experience. I'm subscribed to the Flowerpower fora, because it's a grail game for Shenomad and me. A couple months ago, someone started a thread asking why the most recent sales of it had all come from Korea. A local 'geek replied, and in doing so mentioned that lots of shops here have a surplus of the whole Kosmos 2P line. I immediately wrote to him to ask:
Quote:
OMG: WHICH SHOPS?

He soon realized most of the places he was thinking of were long gone. That's when serendipity went into 4th gear. He is an academic up in Seoul (a 4-hour train ride north of me). My profile mentions my employer, and he saw it. He was already scheduled to attend a conference on my campus. He wrote to me, apologized for his error, and in exchange for a cup of coffee and a couple hours conversation, flat-out offered me his copy of Flowerpower! On Friday we met, had a delightful chat about everything from tattoos, to the best of Martin Wallace, to the Park administration. Oh, and he toyed with me before driving the stake through my mixed-metaphorical garden plot.

Y K
United States
Chicago
Illinois
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is a class act.

Shenomad and I have played 3 games since, and every one has been on par with our best games of head-to-head anything. Wonderful game.
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8. Board Game: Keyflower [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:43]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
Den Bosch
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4.
My undefeated game of the year. I have no idea how or why, since I always feel like I'm in over my head when I play it (much in the same way I do with Tigris and Euphrates). Yet I've managed to go 4-0.

This is most-played game at my game club this year, largely due to it working with any number from 2-6P with a good timeframe and delightful player interaction. I hope it gets many more plays in 2015. Terrific game.
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9. Board Game: Cruel Necessity [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:1602]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
Den Bosch
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3.
CN is not my first foray into solo gaming, but its wonderful immersion definitely sold me on the genre. I have a degree in history, and historical gaming (or historically-set games) have always been attractive to me. This one is teaching me lots about a period I'd heretofore known nothing about.
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10. Board Game: Cuba Libre [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:485]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
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2.
The COIN system is definitely my favourite game development of 2014. The short playtime (120-180mins) and setting of Cuba Libre makes it the COIN game for me. Though I'm so enamoured I also have my eye on Falling Sky: The Gallic Revolt Against Caesar and A Terrible Beauty (oh, and maybe the Philippines one, as well).
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11. Board Game: 1989: Dawn of Freedom [Average Rating:7.85 Overall Rank:411]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
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1.
I lost my first game in a spectacular, geopolitical flameout. Six games on, I may be on the cusp of a close victory (it would be my first). But then, I may get creamed again.

Good games deliver tension. With 1989, I get tense just looking at my opening hand of cards. Trying to decide how to string moves together in a way that both benefits me and (at least a little bit) bluffs my opponent is one of my favourite gaming feelings of the year.

Such is the beauty of 1989.

(Is Twilight Struggle--to me thematically dull--this good?)
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