Why aren't these titles in the top 100?
Phil Triest
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Sydney
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When one compares their personal favourites to the Geeks there is often a massive discrepancy. Some games don't make it because of their weight. Others because of their duration. Rulesbooks can make or break games too. Anyhow this got me pondering a few things lately as I have seen the meteoric rises of Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game and Star Wars: Imperial Assault. Amazing to say the least in both instances. Yet, I found better games last year than these (both IA and DoW are games I have played obviously). Then there are others that have simply been brushed aside or people just don't know about them. Anyhow please feel free to add your own personal favourites that you are surprised haven't graced the Geeks front page fame and why you think the game has not made the cut. I'll kick things off with my own personal five.
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1. Board Game: Viticulture [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:122]
Tom Flatt
Canada
Whitecourt
Alberta
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Why It Should Be In The Top 100 - This is an fantastic worker placement game with excellent mechanics and a richness of theme. With the addition of the Tuscany expansion which allows for a "progressive" experience, it sits in the upper echelon of the genre!

Why It Isn't In The Top 100 - The first edition of the game was solid but not amazing. While the subtle changes in second edition rules and the addition of the grande worker elevated the quality of play, I think that it's difficult to overcome some of those initial impressions! Price could also be a factor if you consider that the Tuscany expansion is more expensive than the base game (still saving my pennies for my own copy!).

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2. Board Game: Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan [Average Rating:8.05 Overall Rank:144]
The Hound
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Sekigahara: The Unification is the perfect package: awe-inspiring aesthetics, elegent gameplay, exciting action. Although many wargamers would probably disagree, the mechanics are pure Euro. The game is tense, has great pacing (starts slow then builds to an exciting conclusion) and as a plus for many Eurogamers, no dice.

Why isn't this this in the top 100? Easy. Most gamers assume it's a straight wargame, as I did before happening to take a closer look. Also, the 2 1/2 hour play time and 2 player limitation narrows the audience considerably. Plus, it's a GMT game (GMT = scary).

But based on merit alone, this easily deserves a place in the top 100.


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3. Board Game: Targi [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:151]
Dereck Sherrer
Canada
Peterborough
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I love everything about this game. A tight, tense resource game with an interesting take on worker placement where blocking your opponent is absolutely necessary. For only about $20, not many games pack more punch in such a tiny box.

Why is it not in the top 100? My guess is because it's a 2 player only game from an unknown designer and it has very little theme. Don't let that fool you. This game is great. I really love this one and the implementation on Board Game Arena is perfect.
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4. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:154] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
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Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future. H.G. Wells
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Absolutely the best game ever made.

This game works on so many levels. You can play vintage, legacy, standard or extended. You can play one vs one or two on two or five on five or any other combination. You can play two headed giant or five color magic. You can play highlander, you can play booster draft or sealed deck or cube draft. You can build your own deck, or play a netdeck. You can earn a living playing on the pro-tour. You can enjoy the fantastic artwork. You can build a competitive deck, or a deck around birds or soldiers or elves or dwarves or artifacts or just about anything.

Each color has its own play-style with its own strengths and weaknesses, or you can mix and match or play a five color deck. Each color has two colors that naturally oppose it, and the internal logic of the game all makes sense.

And the cards are collectible.

Seriously, the best game ever created.

Why it's not in the top 100
People on BGG don't like surprises.
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5. Board Game: Seasons [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:161]
Phil Triest
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Why it should be in the top 100: I think this one was previously in the top 100 for some time but was pushed out. Personally I think this game plays better than many of the games in front of it. The game is beautiful and plays differently each time. I think drafting is a must though and probably should of been designed with that mechanic from the start. To see games like Jaipur still ahead of it makes me cringe a bit and think that so many people are missing out on better games to discover!

Why it isn't in the top 100: Seasons may have fallen off a bit for those who bought it back in 2012 and played the s**t out of it. Some people may find the take that in Seasons too much. I really don't know to be honest. Maybe the expansions should of delivered more (I found them somewhat underwhelming).
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6. Board Game: Samurai [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:175]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
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Why it should be in the top 100: Because it's a great game that mixes oriental classic game elements to something very special, tense and deep. It spent about a dozen years in the top 100 actually.
Why it isn't in the top 100: Because of the cult of the new:
1. Lots of new titles kicking it off from the top 100
2. People not having enough time to play it multiple times, especially against experts, to discover the great depths and multiple levels this beauty has.
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7. Board Game: Small World [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:188] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
W. Eric Martin
United States
Apex
North Carolina
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Why it isn't in the top 100: Because as of this date exactly one hundred games have a higher ranking than Small World.
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8. Board Game: Acquire [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:212]
chris schott
United States
saint louis
Missouri
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It's almost there.

Board Game Rank: 142
Strategy Game Rank: 104
Num Ratings: 13025
Average Rating: 7.38
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9. Board Game: Kanban: Driver's Edition [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:222]
Phil Triest
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Why it should be in the top 100: The best of 2014 for me. Normally I would not mind that this one has been a slow and steady riser but as I said in the header, a couple of notable games rocketed into the top 100. Simply the best Euro I have played that incorporates its theme so thematically. The game is deep and incredibly enjoyable. Of all the Euros in the top 100 this is simply the best (sorry Puerto Rico, you are a slightly distant second to Kanban). It surprises me that many gamers who love say Agricola haven't jumped aboard this one yet.

Why it isn't in the top 100: I think this comes down to a few factors. The first being that it has been published by Stronghold Games which hasn't got the global sway of other bigger gaming companies. The second, is because this game is wrongly perceived as being heavy. Yes the game has some depth but it really isn't all that difficult to get a grip on. Thirdly, I think it comes down to the fact it was only published last year.
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10. Board Game: Space Hulk (third edition) [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:226]
Martin Larouche
Canada
Longueuil
Quebec
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It WAS in the top 100. In the top 10 actually and it fully deserved to be there.

The only reason it's not in the top 100 anymore has nothing to do with the game itself and all about protesting against lawyers.

Too bad, cause this is the best dungeon-crawler there is.
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11. Board Game: Egizia [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:281]
George Nebesnik
United States
Bloomville
New York
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Why it should be in the top 100:
For one, it's a great game. Just like Stone Age it's easy to teach, easy to play, easy to learn, but has enough strategy to give it staying power. One of those rare games that can be a gateway game and still just enough for serious hardcore euro guys like me.

Why it isn't in the top 100:

It's OOP and hard to find for a good price. The dumber Americans like me can't pronounce it. The rule book isn't the greatest ever written.
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12. Board Game: Madeira [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:294]
Phil Triest
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Why it should be in the top 100: Many of the heavier side of boardgaming ranked this as the best heavy title of 2013. It really is an excellent game. There is nothing out there like it.

Why it isn't in the top 100: Too heavy is my bet. It is a shame really as this is such a deep and engrossing game with very innovative and interesting mechanics. I think the noble and area control mechanic can feel a bit tacked on too. Maybe that lets it down a bit. The distinct lack of variety in the bonus scoring tiles may also be another factor.
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13. Board Game: Freedom: The Underground Railroad [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:308]
Jon Weber
United States
Coal Valley
Illinois
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Why it Should be in the Top 100:
The artwork is amazing in this game, the theme fits the mechanisms perfectly, the gameplay is smooth and fast, and the luck/randomness work well as an AI fighting against the players. Take away the theme entirely from this game and you have mechanisms that work and are fun to play. Then add the theme and you really feel the pressure of the game coming down.

Also I have yet to come across a game that handles the theme of slavery with such precision.

Why it isn't in the Top 100:
The theme could certainly play a role in this. I can understand why people do not want to play a game about slavery (even though this game is about the underground railroad). But in reality I think there are many factors here. The game came out in 2012 and was KickStarted. Were KickStarter games as popular or as well received back then? I would guess not. Also Brian Mayer and Academy Games were not as seasoned at the time, so backing this game or buying it before trying would be unknowns.

In any case, one of my good friends hates playing history games or games about real life with a passion. He plays to escape every day life and I got him hooked on this game. All I have left to say, try it!
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14. Board Game: Defenders of the Realm [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:371]
Frank M.
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Honestly, it IS better than Pandemic with great expansions, several designer scenarios, and even a fan-designed Monty Python & the Holy Grail version.

Ugly and dark board and uninspired minion minis are probably its only faults. (Plus the outrageous pricing of $100 for the Minion expansions!!)
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15. Board Game: Chess [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:417] [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked]
Kasper Lauest
Denmark
Helsinge
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The obvious choice for me. Chess is an almost perfect game of pure skill that has more than stood the test of time. It is a game that people can spend their entire lives playing.

Why isn't it in the top 100?
I think it is a combination of the following:

a) Small descrepancies in skill level between players make the outcome of the game almost certain.

b) The large significance of knowing opening theory.

c) The fairly large advantage given to the player playing white.

d) The staleness of playing to draw.

Still, even with those concerns, this is an awesome game and honestly, most of those concerns can be mitigated by playing with a fairly strict time setting.
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16. Board Game: 1989: Dawn of Freedom [Average Rating:7.85 Overall Rank:418]
Kasper Lauest
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It's younger brother Twilight Struggle is #1 on BGG. #1! This very worthy successor is barely making the top 200. I honestly don't get it. I have only played this twice, but it seems to be pretty much as good as Twilight Struggle is. Maybe people just aren't interested in Twilight Struggle alternatives? Maybe people don't feel that 1989 brings enough new stuff to the table (although this certainly hasn't hurt successor games in the past). I really couldn't tell you why this is not in the top 100. Its average rating is a solid 8.00, which is lower than TS, but still plenty high for the top 100, if only enough people had rated it. So it looks like people just aren't seeking out this game. Possibly people have enough trouble getting TS to the table in the first place, that they are not looking to add more games like this to their collection?
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17. Board Game: Star Wars: The Card Game [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:450]
Kārlis Jēriņš
Latvia
Riga
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Why it should be in the top 100: As demonstrated by Netrunner sitting at the #7 position, LCGs are popular enough to make top 100. And I think this should be the leading LCG. For one thing, the objective set deckbuilding - unlike other CCGs/LCGs, you build your deck of sets of six cards, and you must either take all six of them or none. This is an awesome innovation for pre-game deckbuilding. In other games of this genre, your expectations of what the opponent is going to do next are guided by what they have in play and your knowledge of the local metagame. Here, every card you see reveals something more about your opponent's deck - if I see you have the Reconnaisance Mission objective in play, I know your deck contains at least one copy of Twist of Fate, which can be an absolutely devastating card if not properly accounted for. This is an excellent bit of strategy you don't see in any other card game. And there are multiple other strong points here. You draw to your hand size every turn, greatly reducing the impact of poor draws. There are edge battles used to determine initiative in conflicts and the effectiveness of many units in said conflict, and they are a form of bluffing and a great way to use cards that aren't directly useful at the current moment (for instance, if Yoda is in play, I can't play another one, but I can use him in an edge battle, all but guaranteeing I'll win it). Tapping cards has been replaced with tokens that you can have multiple of - which, in the case of resource-generating cards, means that sure, you can use this card to produce two resources instead of one, but then you'll have to wait two turns to be able to use it at all. And, of course, the Star Wars theme.

Why it isn't in the top 100: mainly, I think it's the objective set deckbuilding system. You often hear people whining about how stupid it is that you're forced to have this stupid card in your deck when you don't want it. But really that's a balancing tool, and allows the designers to make new versions of cards (there are currently three versions of Yoda) that are more interesting, and often more powerful, than the old ones, but without obsoleting the old card because you have to evaluate entire objective sets, not just a single card. Then there are various delays of new product releases, which is a pretty bad thing for an LCG, and often complaints about poorly designed objective sets that never see play. Yes, there are certain objective sets I have never used and wouldn't start using them in the current card pool. However, as with all LCG-style games, something may well come up in the future and make those old, previously weak, objective sets highly relevant.
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18. Board Game: Kingdom Builder [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:452]
John Bandettini
United Kingdom
London
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Why it should be in the top 100 : Small rulebook so it’s easy to teach. Scales well from 2 to 5. Lots of variety, with multiple maps, scoring cards and bonus tiles. Much deeper than it looks at first. Plays in an hour or less.

Why it isn’t in the top 100 : Much more tactical than strategic, a lot of gamers (certainly ones I know), don’t like tactical games. They don’t cope well with a changing game state where they have to adjust on the fly. One of those games that some people just don’t get. Those that don’t get it go on all the time about how only having one card ruins the game, not getting that more than any other aspect, that rule is what makes the game.
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19. Board Game: Las Vegas [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:474]
Nuno Silva
Portugal
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Whenever i see the ranking of 'Las Vegas'(rank:477) i am surprised. And that's because when viewing reviews about the game, they are generally all very good. And the same happens when talking with people that played the game.
The game is fun, its versatile (from 2 to 5 players, more with the expansion), you can play it with gamers... with family... as a gateway.
And we shouldnt forget that it was a 2012 Spiel des Jahres nominee, which says something about the quality of the game.

What i think is that this kind of game normally doesn't reach the Top 100, because its something like a filler, somewhat family\fun game, simple game, and people normally give higher ratings to more heavy kind of games.
There are only a few games like it in the Top 100... i recall Splendor and Jaipur...but i would say that Las Vegas is a great game just like those two.
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20. Board Game: Bridge [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:498]
Tara Silva
United States
Lone Jack
Missouri
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The fact that this is not in the top 100, makes me just upset in so many ways. Bridge is the best card game there is hands down. I know all you poker lovers go nuts but sorry it is a better game.
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21. Board Game: Polis: Fight for the Hegemony [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:519]
Phil Triest
Australia
Sydney
NSW
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Why it should be in the top 100: This game is amazing. It mixes engine building with asymmetry with war with a market with interesting battle mechanics. If you've not tried this one and like Twilight Struggle this actually fired that one for me!

Why it isn't in the top 100: Not enough people have heard of it let alone played it! Get the word out. It is brilliant!
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22. Board Game: CO₂ [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:549]
Phil Triest
Australia
Sydney
NSW
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Why it should be in the top 100: This game got so much buzz when it was released. Excellent art, engrossing game play, strong mechanics, interesting decisions, multiple paths to victory. The game just works on so many levels. Maybe if Uwe or Feld made this it would of cracked the top 10?

Why it isn't in the top 100: Perhaps the polarising theme. Perhaps the kamikaze nature of the brinkmanship. I am really not sure why this didn't push into the top 100.
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23. Board Game: Akrotiri [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:602]
Martin Larouche
Canada
Longueuil
Quebec
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Melting souls with cuteness since 2007
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This game is still rising in the rankings as it's fairly new... but it'll never reach the top 100.

The fact it's two players-only alone will prevent it from getting there.

Too bad really, cause tile-laying and pick-up-and-deliver are two of the mechanics i don't usually like yet they combine in this case to take two negatives (for me) and create a positive.

Definitely belongs in the top 40 to 70 imo.
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24. Board Game: Trains: Rising Sun [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:701] [Average Rating:7.56 Unranked]
Matt Brown
United States
Okemos
Michigan
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Why it should be in the Top 100

Because it holds its own against things like Dominion and Ticket to Ride which it is compared to in some regard. It easily replaces TtR outside of the most non-gamer situations. 2-player is easily better than TtR and I feel it is slightly better than Dominion in this since pieces can run out before the stacks of cards thus making it a quicker game. It is far more interesting than a number of other games in the Top 100: Splendor, Love Letter, Memoir '44, and maybe even Star Realms after I get more plays from either and that's considering Star Realms is one of my favorite new to me in 2014. Also, it clearly beats the original base game that is currently #215.

Why it isn't in the Top 100

Maybe because it ended up being the Dominion's Intrigue to the base game. Maybe if it had merely been an expansion more people would have jumped at it. Maybe people didn't exactly see greatness in the base game, only a 7.4 in rating, to try out an even better take on the system at what seems to be typically a higher price.

I fully accept it will eventually get into the Top 1000, but it shouldn't be taking this long. This is like seeing Caverna sitting just outside the Top 500. Many consider it the better product and the proper starting point and yet it gets a fraction of the love.
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25. Board Game: Magic Realm [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:941]
Michael Pavelich
Norway
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It should be in the top 100 because it is an absolute masterpiece of game design. Original and still amazing after all these years.

Not in the top 100 because a game that allows so many possibilities has to have rules that cover those possibilities. This means that it takes a commitment from those who wish to learn the game on their own; a commitment that many busy people just don't have the time or inclination for.

That being said, if you know someone who can teach it to you, you will find the basic concepts very accessible.

I hope this game gets a re-print because a re-write, (re-orginization), of the rules coupled with an improvement in the art could possibly take this great game into the top 100 where it belongs!
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