Focus on 40
Stephen Glenn
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I'm pushing 50 (next year!) with 500+ games in my collection. It occurs to me more and more that the likelihood of any particular game getting attention gets smaller and smaller every year. Especially since I'm as big a fan as I ever was and my collection keeps growing.

With this in mind, I thought I would try to come up with some games I didn't want to fall between the cracks and REALLY FOCUS on getting them to the table. I also came up with my personal ideal number of players to make it easier to decide.

Do I think this plan will really work? Hell no, but it was fun coming up with the list. On my first sweep I came up with 41 titles. Figured 40 was a cleaner number, so sorry Medici vs. Strozzi

This list is mainly for my personal use, but feel free to comment.
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1. Board Game: Backgammon [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:1102]
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Roll-and-move is awesome when done right.
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2. Board Game: Baseball Highlights: 2045 [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:369]
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This one looks like it will be super fun to explore.
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3. Board Game: Blue Moon Legends [Average Rating:7.36 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.36 Unranked]
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When the original came out I got only partially excited about it. I let it go out of print before I realized how cool it really was. So happy about the reprint.
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4. Board Game: Combat Commander: Europe [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:104]
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Blame this game for Memoir 44 not making the list. I just think I'd ALWAYS rather play Combat Commander.
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5. Board Game: Gin Rummy [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:3188]
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Just a great rummy game for two players. Don't knock (get it?) traditional cardgames. They deserve your love and time, too.
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6. Board Game: GIPF [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:743] [Average Rating:7.12 Unranked]
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The original of a fantastic series. And before you ask, NO, I'm probably never going to play it using the potentials.

You were going to ask, right?
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7. Board Game: Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:420]
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I own this one and the deluxe version. I have never played the deluxe version. Should I?
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8. Board Game: Navia Dratp [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:2045]
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Just such a great two-player abstract. Imagine if chess had 44 different pieces, and each player got to pick 7 to use.

The Duke is pretty popular. I suspect Navia Dratp was their inspiration, as the games seem very similar. Never played it, though.
 
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9. Board Game: TZAAR [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:352] [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
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Another great one from the Gipf series. To me, this one almost feels like a proper wargame.

I have a vivid imagination.
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10. Board Game: Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:455]
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High form, 2 players.

Bring your Nintendo DS so you'll have something to do between turns. Worth it, though
 
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11. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.34 Overall Rank:5]
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I've loved it the few times I've played it. No excuse for this one not hitting the table more often.
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12. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:43]
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(3 players)

No expansion necessary.
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13. Board Game: Acquire [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:211]
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Will always want to play this.
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14. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:7.66 Unranked]
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I own all the expansions. Even the ones that aren't so great.
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15. Board Game: Expedition [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:1632]
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Wow, is this really the only Wolfgang Kramer game on the list?

SPOILER: Yep
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16. Board Game: Five Tribes [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:56]
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Probably best to keep it at 3 players to stem the potential downtime. Love this one.
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17. Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:53]
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Probably should have at least one worker placement game on the list.
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18. Board Game: Machi Koro [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:753]
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(3 players)

Light decision making and stupid fun.
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19. Board Game: Nations [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:98]
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A more accessible Through the Ages. Yes, please.
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20. Board Game: Space Empires: 4X [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:438] [Average Rating:7.63 Unranked]
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I really love the idea of space operas and this one looks like it's a weight I can handle. Only played solitaire.
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21. Board Game: Thunder Alley [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:557] [Average Rating:7.39 Unranked]
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Fun racing game that has replaced Daytona 500 and Formula De for me.

Wow, there are lots of GMT games on this list.
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22. Board Game: 1775: Rebellion [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:256]
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Partnership wargame. I even playtested this back in the day.
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23. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:288] [Average Rating:7.22 Unranked]
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No comment necessary. Still as awesome as it was 20 years ago. Vanilla or Seafarers (preferred).
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24. Board Game: Crokinole [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:75]
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Partnership dexterity game. I own one of the super nice boards and it's collecting dust. What a crime!
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25. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:70]
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Looking forward to the new version with all the plastic.
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