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1. Board Game: San Juan (second edition) [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:277]
Amos
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This is more of a full Euro strategy game in a smaller (but not tiny) box. It involves a lot of hand management to place buildings into your tableau for producing more cards, gaining special abilities, and earning points to win.

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2. Board Game: Alhambra [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:397]
Amos
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This is a fairly straightforward set collection game that I think is fun. The box is smaller, but also not tiny. It comes with a bunch of tiles because the game involves spatial reasoning in placing the pieces of your Alhambra palace complex.

Box size picture for scale:



Contents:

 
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3. Board Game: Hive Pocket [Average Rating:7.66 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.66 Unranked]
Amos
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Hive is a good, abstract two player game of placing chunky bug tiles that have special movement abilities on the table. The goal of the game is to completely surround the opponent's queen. There's also this pocket edition that includes a couple of the expansion bugs. Both Hive regular and Hive pocket are super easy to transport.

Hive Pocket:

 
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4. Board Game: Asante [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:1322] [Average Rating:6.97 Unranked]
Amos
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Another 2 player only game that has some strategic decision making. It's about being a native merchant in Africa. Note that it has some "take that" in it as well to hurt your neighbor occasionally. Players are competing to make a specific amount of money the quickest.

It is a small box game. But it still commands a fair price point because it's a popular game. I also think it might be running out of stock in the near future, but I still see some available online.

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5. Board Game: Fleet [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:701]
Amos
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I think Fleet is a good, full Euro game in a small box. It's a neat hand management, sort of economic, sort of resource management game. It has special ability cards that are auctioned off and different routes to victory.

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6. Board Game: Railways of the World: The Card Game [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:1948]
Amos
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I have not played this one at all, so my impression of the complexity and fun is based on what I've seen about it.

The size and complexity of this game is a bit bigger for a card game. There's a cluster of ways to get points--playing sets of matching cards to build tracks, delivering goods via the tracks, and end game bonuses for having the most track connected to cities or having delivered certain sets of cubes.

The theme and art might be a little dry. But I personally like route building and pick-up and deliver games.

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7. Board Game: Paperback [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:309]
Amos
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This one might be pricey to ship internationally. And it's got a somewhat higher price point for a card game as well ($30 base cost unless you order a bunch). It is independently published (sold almost exclusively on the designer's website).

It is a deck building game where players draft cards into their draw deck. On their turn, players attempt to build a word from their hand of cards for points. The cards themselves might offer bonus points or other things.

Might not have been worth mentioning because of cost / availability. But it is a really unique word building game. I'm hoping to potentially acquire it myself eventually.

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8. Board Game: OddVille [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:1266]
Amos
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Oddville isn't exactly well-known. But I own it and like it. I think the price is very fair for another strategically strong card game. This one's weight is rated 2.4 (vs 2.7 in Settlers of America). So it has some complexity, but not a ton. It's a town building, resource, and hand management game for victory points.

This box isn't tiny. But it is smaller.

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9. Board Game: Biblios [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:290]
Amos
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This is a two-phase card game. The first half of the game has players drafting the deck of cards to build their hands. The second half goes through a series of auctions spending the cards in your hands to gain more cards.

Players also manipulate the value of five separate dice in five colors. At the end of the game, players with the most cards of each color claim the appropriate dice and earn points equal to the dice values.

It's a little dry and abstract, but I personally really like Biblios.

Here's a sense of scale:

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10. Board Game: Jaipur [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:106]
Amos
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I haven't played Jaipur, but it is an extremely popular 2 player card game. I think it looks like a very neat hand management, set collection game where players are merchants trading with the deck attempting to turn in big sets of cards for big points.

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11. Board Game: Battle Line [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:180]
Amos
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This is a fairly intense 2 player game where players are building what amounts to poker hands against each other in various stacks in order to claim the winning number of "flags" for victory. There are also some special ability cards that may come into play, but players are limited in how many of those cards they are allowed to play depending upon the number their opponent has played.

It might be a little conflict heavy and somewhat drab looking. But it's not really conflict in a mean way. I think it is an interesting, unique 2-player strategy game.

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12. Board Game: Morels [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:582]
Amos
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Morels is a fun, light 2 player game where players draft cards from the middle, manage their hands, and try to "cook" sets of matching mushrooms for points.

Scale depends upon edition.

The new "Fungi" edition:



The older "Morels" edition:

 
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13. Board Game: Timeline: Inventions [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:856] [Average Rating:6.73 Unranked]
Amos
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The Timeline series of card games is an interesting, very light series of games that is also somewhat educational.

Players attempt to fit a card from their hand correctly into the timeline in the play area (I think that X was invented before Y card on the table but after Z card). Then they flip the card to see the date. If you were wrong, you get a new card. If you were right, your card stays on the timeline. First player out of cards wins.

There's a whole big series of these games (inventions, historical events, etc.). They're all small and fairly inexpensive.

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14. Board Game: Sushi Go! [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:343]
Amos
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I have played Sushi Go! with the boys before. It is a light card drafting game where players draft different sets of cards to score points.

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15. Board Game: Red7 [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:545]
Amos
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I have not yet had the opportunity to play Red7, but some of my friends really seem to like it. It is a fairly light, abstract game. It's very fast with a small footprint.

You play colored number cards in front you to build a group of them for the round and try to win. The twist is that there are actually seven different ways to win the round (one for each color). Players can discard a card instead of playing one to change the victory condition for the round if that means that they would then be winning based on the new victory condition.

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16. Board Game: Coloretto [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:482]
Amos
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I've played Coloretto with the boys before. I think they all liked it. It is a very small, very quick and light set collection / push your luck game. I actually enjoy it quite a bit for its speed and size.

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17. Board Game: Hanabi [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:276]
Amos
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This is a popular co-op game where players hold their cards facing everyone else--they do not get to see their own hands. Players try to balance giving clues to one another (requires spending one of the group clue tokens) vs playing cards and attempting to win.

Play enough incorrect cards and the game is over. If the group builds five sets of cards in each suit numbered 1-5, then players win the whole game. A rainbow suit is also included in the box to add to the game if players get good at it.

The standard edition of the game is very small:

 
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18. Board Game: Sleuth [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:946]
Amos
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I have never played Sleuth, but I've heard that it is a classic. It's an abstract deduction card game. Kind of like clue without all of the roll and move stuff. Players play cards to ask questions and fill out deduced information on their player sheets in order to guess the gem card that's been removed from the game.

It looks like some retailers still have the latest edition of Sleuth in stock, but others are sold out or running out.

The latest edition looks like this:

 
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19. Board Game: Unexpected Treasures [Average Rating:6.27 Overall Rank:3291]
Amos
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Unexpected Treasures is a fairly light set collection game with some player conflict of getting in each other's way. The strategy isn't particularly deep. But that makes it fairly accessible for younger players, I think.

It's small and inexpensive:

 
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20. Board Game: Sail to India [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:1116]
Amos
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Sail to India is a pretty dense "micro" game. There's a number of decisions to make. Players earn points by researching technologies, discovering new cards, collecting trade goods, and claiming buildings. It has some depth for a tiny game.

 
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21. Board Game: Love Letter [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:215]
Amos
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Love Letter is the most popular title from of the "micro" game phenomenon. It's just 16 cards in a small bag or box. Players try to have the highest value card or be the last player standing in a round. There is player elimination and a lot of luck. But the rounds are very fast.

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