If I had to... Cutting down to 25 Games (Inspired by Daybreak)
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Trade in your scalpel for a machete, it's time to cut down your collection! We've got a hypothetical on our hands presented by BGG user "Daybreak."

If you had to limit your collection to only 25 games, and those games had to represent as much of modern board gaming as possible, which games would you choose?

Here's the header from his geeklist and the link : If I had to...
Quote:
One of my favourite hobbies-within-a-hobby is optimizing my game collection. I often pose the challenge: "If I had to cut down to 25 games only, what would they be?" I can't just take my top 25, I want something that is well rounded. To me, that means that there is a wide variety of themes, player counts, difficulty levels, and styles of gameplay.

I feel that now I've finally gotten a handle on a list of 25 games, so I'd like to present the list here. It's mainly for my own interests, but I'm keen to see what other people think of my list. And maybe I'll inspire someone else to do the same?

One of the other benefits from the list is that, when considering a new game purchase, it basically has to "fire" one of these games. That means that it does something better than one of these, or that it does something totally unique (and does it well!) which forces me to choose. This should help me from acquiring more redundant games that I will only play once, and then move on.

Having mage this list, it has become apparent what I like in games, which was a valuable exercise in its own right. I like variable setups, usually from a deck of cards. I like engine building and optimization. I like racing games. I like development games, where you build something up over time.

The list is in alphabetical order. I've supplied the relevant player counts, ensuring that I get wide coverage, as well as the features that make the game appealing, and the playtime (short = < 1 hour, long = > 1 hour -- we can play a couple of short games in one night, or one long one).

If anything, I'd like to fit a Feld game in here, but I don't know what I would take out.

Challenge accepted! Please enjoy, and thanks again, Daybreak!
Sam Hillier
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1. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:42]
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Players: 3-7
Features: Card Drafting, Set Collection, Tableau Building, Variable Player Powers, Simultaneous Action Selection
Length: Medium

Alphabetical order dictates we talk about 7 Wonders first. But that's cool because it illustrates the theme of this list very well. I'm trying to consolidate all (well, most) mechanisms of modern boardgames into only 25 games. That would be impossible taking each mechanism one at a time because apparently Boardgamegeek recognizes 51 mechanisms! We've got a lot of birds to kill with only a few stones. But I didn't want to include a game just because it had a lot of different mechanisms. It had to be a darn great game, too! Also, I'd like to list some alternatives for each game I include. For more drafting check out Fairy Tale. For a heavier card based civilization game check out Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization.
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2. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:17]
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Players: 1-5
Features: Worker Placement, Tableau Building, Resource Management
Length: Long

There are a few other games on this list that feature worker placement and tableau building. Yes, and resource management, too. But, Agricola represents a prevalent type of resource management known as upkeep. Or, to use the common phrase, "feed your people." Alternates for this slot include Le Havre and Caverna: The Cave Farmers. No surprise there, they are all by the same designer. For an even more challenging upkeep experience try In the Year of the Dragon. Hey, daybreak, there's your Feld game you wanted!
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3. Board Game: Airlines Europe [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:300]
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Players: 2-5
Features: Stock Holding, Route Building
Length: Medium

Stock Holding alternates include Acquire and Imperial. Or if you just want to connect cities on a map check out this games much, much more famous brother Ticket to Ride.
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4. Board Game: Alchemists [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:80]
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Players: 2-4
Features: Deduction, Worker Placement, Electronic Integration
Length: Long

I had to represent deduction games. This one won out because it also integrates an electronic app. Apps in board games are only going to increase over the next few years so I wanted to represent that on this list. You'll see another great game with a great app further down the list. Other great deduction games include Mystery of the Abbey, Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases, and Sleuth.
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5. Board Game: Android: Netrunner [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:39]
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Players: 2
Features: Asymmetrical play, Action Point Allowance, Customization
Length: Medium

Customizable games are often lifestyle games. Players often only heavily invest in one customizable game at a time because they reward a deep understanding of the game's near infinite options. The community around these games and preparing to play them are almost as much fun as the games themselves. Alternates would of course include Magic: The Gathering.
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6. Board Game: Bananagrams [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:1550] [Average Rating:6.34 Unranked]
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Players: 1-8
Features: Word Game, Tile Placement, Speed
Length: Short

Gotta have a word game. Alternates include Scrabble and Paperback. This game wins out because of its high player count and speed element.
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7. Board Game: Chinatown [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:364]
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Players: 3-5
Features: Trading, Set Collection, Tile Placement
Length: Medium

Trading! For a light trading game check out Bohnanza.
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8. Board Game: Crokinole [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:75]
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Players: 2,4
Features: Dexterity, Partnership
Length: Short

Tumblin-Dice is another great dexterity game. Tichu is another great partnership game. I know, I know! I said I would have to combine mechanics to fit them all on this list.
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9. Board Game: Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:78]
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Players: 2-5
Features: Action Point Allowance, Tactical Skirmish, Variable Player Powers, Campaign, Teams, Dice Rolling
Length: Long

Descent covers my least favorite type of game, heavy ameri-thrash. But a well rounded collection must include one. Alternate tactical skirmish games would include Nexus Ops and Arcadia Quest. For a lighter dungeon crawl check out Mice and Mystics.
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10. Board Game: Dominant Species [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:53]
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Players: 2-6
Features: Area Control, Area Movement, Variable Player Powers, Worker Placement, Tile Placement
Length: Long

A war game hiding under European mechanisms. Feel free to list alternates for this category because I'm drawing a blank!
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11. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
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Players: 2-6
Features: Deck Building
Length: Medium

Deck building is one of my favorite mechanisms. Dominion does it so purely I felt I didn't have to find a combo game for this slot. But if you want a heavier game that uses deck building as a part of it, try Mage Knight Board Game. For an even simpler, faster deck builder, try Star Realms.
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12. Board Game: Eclipse [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:31]
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Players: 2-6
Features: 4X, Modular Board, Tech Tree, Variable Player Powers, Resource Management
Length: Long

Gotta have a 4X game. This is the euro version that covers a lot of mechanisms. For a more ameri-thrash version of this idea check out Eclipse's predecessor, Twilight Imperium (Third Edition). If you like some of the more Euro aspects of this game, also check out Terra Mystica.
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13. Board Game: Formula D [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:429]
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Players: 2-10
Features: Roll and Move, Push Your Luck, Variable Player Powers
Length: Medium

"It's a race! It's a race! I'm winning! I'm winning!" I picked this one because it covers a few extra features listed above. Other great racing games include Thunder Alley and Jamaica.
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14. Board Game: A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition) [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:84]
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Players: 3-6
Features: Negotiation, Simultaneous Action Selection, Hand Management, Area Movement
Length: Long

This is my "Dudes on a Map" choice as well as my top negotiation game. I could list other less awesome games for this category. But I'm not going to.
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15. Board Game: King of Tokyo [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:228]
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Players: 2-6
Features: Dice Rolling, Player Elimination
Length: Short

Rolling dice is super fun, and I like how this game mixes it up with different monster powers. This also covers the lighter, luckier side of gaming. Also look for Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age if you like the "Yahtzee" mechanism. If you want to fight a roll a bunch of dice, try Summoner Wars.
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16. Board Game: Letters from Whitechapel [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:183]
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Players: 2-5
Features: Hidden Movement, Teams, Deduction
Length: Medium

I definitely wanted to represent hidden movement games, as well as "one vs. many" games. I also really like Scotland Yard.
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17. Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:51]
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Players: 2-5
Features: Worker Placement, Resource Management, Take That
Length: Medium

The medium weight Euro is my personal sweet spot and I think any well rounded game collection should include at least one. This mid-level worker placement game doesn't have an upkeep mechanism, but instead finds it's teeth by including "take that" shenanigans. Also check out The Manhattan Project and The Pillars of the Earth.
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18. Board Game: One Night Ultimate Werewolf [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:266] [Average Rating:7.27 Unranked]
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Players: 3-10
Features: Hidden Roles, Teams, Variable Player Powers, Deduction, Bluffing, Voting
Length: Short

You could also put The Resistance: Avalon or Shadow Hunters here, but I picket O.N.U.W. because it can accommodate a wider number of players. Other longer but still great hidden role games include Shadows over Camelot and Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game.
 
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19. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:73]
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Players: 2-4
Features: Cooperative, Action Point Allowance, Variable Player Powers, Set Collection, Hand Management
Length: Medium

A well rounded collection of only 25 games must include at least one cooperative game. My nod goes to Pandemic for being one of the earlier co-ops and still possibly the best. I really like the action point allowance and the variable player powers. A simpler co-op worth mentioning is Hanabi, because it solves the alpha gamer problem prevalent in most co-ops. For a more thematic co-op try Eldritch Horror.
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20. Board Game: Patchwork [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:57]
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Players: 2
Features: Abstract, Perfect Information, Time Track, Tile Laying
Length: Short

My perfect information abstract of choice because it also has a time track. Alternates here include Hive and Hey, That's My Fish!.
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21. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:29]
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Players: 2-6
Features: Auctions, Route Building, Resource Management
Length: Long

Ya got your heavy economic simulations here. This one takes the cake because it also has route building and auctions. Also check out Imperial and Panamax.
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22. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:50]
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Players: 2-4
Features: Tableau Building, Hand Management, Simultaneous Action Selection, Role Selection
Length: Medium

I love me some role selection, Puerto Rico being the most popular example. But Race for the Galaxy is a step above because it also has the "cards do many things" layer. Other great examples include Glory to Rome and, completely differently, Pixel Tactics.

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23. Board Game: Snake Oil [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:1236] [Average Rating:6.77 Unranked]
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Players: 3-10
Features: Creativity, Voting
Length: Short

The category pioneered by Apples to Apples and kept popular by Cards Against Humanity. I wanted to include a game that allowed for creativity as well. These are more experiences than games, really, it can be a bummer if someone tries to game the system to win. Another great creative game is Dixit.
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24. Board Game: Steam [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:109]
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Players: 3-5
Features: Pick Up and Deliver, Route Building, Resource Management, Auctions
Length: Long

Heavy train games could be considered a hobby unto themselves. And while Steam is nowhere near as heavy as some other train games, like the 18xx series, it's a good example of pick up and deliver. Try Merchant of Venus for more p.u.&.d.
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25. Board Game: Wits & Wagers [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:507]
Anthony Harlan
United States
Orlando
Florida
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Bert, what utter nonsense!
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Players: 3-7 individuals or teams
Features: Trivia, Betting
Length: Medium

Wits and Wagers covers the need for a good trivia game. It's light and simple enough to be a good party game, too. What really elevates this game is the betting mechanism. This is the only game on the list for trivia and betting. My other favorite trivia game is Timeline: Inventions. My other favorite betting game is Texas Hold-em Poker.
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