Board game bling--eurogames with the best components in your collection!
Matt Highfill
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I'm a components guy. In most cases, I'm drawn to a game because the components speak to me, or at the very least, the art is appealing. Many of us dislike thin cardboard, hate worthless/non-existent inserts, cringe at lackluster art, and despise paper money. The tactile experience is often as important as the cerebral one. While game components seem to be improving every year, there are still many games that get published with sub-par (see above) components. Consequently, the games that do get some TLC really stand out. That's what this list is all about. What are your top games (component-wise)? I'm not talking about games you customized/pimped out. Instead, what games, straight from the publisher, do you own that have superior components.

*In this list, I've focused on eurogames only. Ameritrash games have a huge advantage in this category, IMO. So, I've singled out only eurogames in order to keep a level playing field.


The following is my own top 10:


***Please let me know what you think, and feel free to include your own top 10!!***
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1. Board Game: Orléans: Deluxe Edition [Average Rating:8.38 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.38 Unranked]
Board Game: Orléans
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#10

This new edition by TMG really upped the ante. In particular, the coins and wooden bits are quite nice. I also like the new box, which is sturdy while not overly large. I think the only thing that keeps this from being higher on the list is a quality insert.

From gallery of Matt62702


Board Game: Orléans: Deluxe Edition


Board Game: Orléans: Deluxe Edition
 
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2. Board Game: Caylus [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:82]
Board Game: Caylus
Matt Highfill
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#9--TIE!

2010 Premium Limited Edition

Caylus gets a lot of love, and a lot of hate for that matter. I think it's a great game, but only something I would want to play twice a year, tops. For me, it's a lot like Brass in that regard. This limited edition is, much like the game itself, an acquired taste. Many do not like the board art. I think it looks great, but I like the original as well. The main draw for me (besides the new art) were the new coins. The are beautiful and fit the game perfectly. Beyond those components, everything else is pretty standard fare. Nevertheless, the sum is greater than the parts in this case.

From gallery of Matt62702


Board Game: Caylus


AND:

Fire and Axe--Second Edition!

Board Game: Fire & Axe: A Viking Saga


Fire and Axe is an Ameritrash/Euro hybrid. It has an epic feel, and is just a blast to play. Some people might be turned off by the dice rolls, but if you can overlook some randomness and a few funky rules, you'll have a great time. You certainly shouldn't be disappointed with the components. The miniatures are well done, the art is fantastic (much better than the third edition, IMO) and the other components really fit the theme well.

From gallery of Matt62702


Board Game: Fire & Axe: A Viking Saga
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3. Board Game: Tobago [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:514]
Board Game: Tobago
Matt Highfill
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#8--Tie

Tobago is a really neat game, something quite different. It just so happens that it has some really cool components as well, such as: maoi statues, palm trees and mini ATV's. Additionally, the insert is perfect. Love this one!

From gallery of Matt62702


Board Game: Tobago


Board Game: Tobago



AND:


Merchants and Marauders

Board Game: Merchants & Marauders


This game is all about theme! Don't get me wrong, the mechanics work fine, and they "make sense," but it's not worth the long playtime and investment in learning unless you are interested in the theme. The components are really nice. The plastic ships are well done, the map is beautiful and the cardboard is nice and thick. A great package!

From gallery of Matt62702


Board Game: Merchants & Marauders
 
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4. Board Game: Black Fleet [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:872]
Board Game: Black Fleet
Matt Highfill
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#7

This one gets the nod over Merchants and Marauders because, in addition to providing great plastic ships and attractive art, Black Fleet comes with metal coins. (I actually use my own coins, as pictured. However, that did not affect my rating).

From gallery of Matt62702


Board Game: Black Fleet


Board Game: Black Fleet


Board Game: Black Fleet
 
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5. Board Game: Viticulture [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:206]
Board Game: Viticulture
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#6

(Prima edition with metal coins)

Stonemaier games is known for their superior component quality, so it's not surprise they are on this list. The plastic/glass beads, rich art, beautiful coins and realistic resource tokens propel this to #6 on my list. A joy to play and feel. It's also an amazing game!

From gallery of Matt62702



Board Game: Viticulture
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6. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: 10th Anniversary [Average Rating:8.27 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.27 Unranked]
Board Game: Ticket to Ride: 10th Anniversary
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#5

Best gateway game ever! The components for the regular editions are quite nice, given this is a Days of Wonder production. But, this particular edition is certainly an improvement with the new trains and HUGE board. While the trains cannot be used with other maps, this is still a must have!

Board Game: Ticket to Ride: 10th Anniversary


Board Game: Ticket to Ride: 10th Anniversary


 
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7. Board Game: Puerto Rico (with two expansions) [Average Rating:8.44 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.44 Unranked]
Board Game: Puerto Rico (with two expansions)
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#4

The components were more than adequate in the original printing, but this particular edition is gorgeous. The cardboard might be the thickest I've seen in any game, the colors are rich and vibrant, and the coins are great! I wish there was a "limited" insert!

Board Game: Puerto Rico (with two expansions)


Board Game: Puerto Rico (with two expansions)
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8. Board Game: Flick 'em Up! [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:813]
Board Game: Flick 'em Up!
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#3

It might be a reach to classify this as a eurogame, seeing as it is most immediately a dexterity game. However, there are certainly some heavy-handed euro mechanics implemented in this one. The game is really fun, in spite of a sketchy rulebook. The components are outstanding. So much wood, including the box itself! It's a pleasure to break open and play!

Board Game: Flick 'em Up!


From gallery of Matt62702


From gallery of Matt62702


From gallery of Matt62702


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9. Board Game: Francis Drake [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:506]
Board Game: Francis Drake
Matt Highfill
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#2

I'm a little concerned for this game, considering all of the sales I've seen lately. The game itself is fantastic! But what really makes this game stand out is the component quality. It has plastic ships, jewels, treasure chests, a custom insert and a high quality box. Just to give you an idea of how sturdy this box is: the game was sent to me via UPS without a box (that is, only the game box was shipped and without any covering whatsoever). I receive the game without a mark on the box, despite the fact that it shipped from over 2000 miles away. That should give you an idea of what kind of package you are getting.

From gallery of Matt62702


Board Game: Francis Drake


Board Game: Francis Drake


Board Game: Francis Drake
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10. Board Game: Empires: Age of Discovery [Average Rating:7.87 Overall Rank:622]
Board Game: Empires: Age of Discovery
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And finally, #1!

Sadly, I have not played this edition. I have played Age of Empires III a few times. I love AOE III, so I kickstarted the new edition. After unboxing the game, I knew it was something special. All the pieces are here: miniatures, metal coins, custom insert, thick cardboard, attractive art (though the AOE III would probably get the nod in this category). It's a great game with a great production. I'm so happy that more people will get to play this one!

Board Game: Empires: Age of Discovery


Board Game: Empires: Age of Discovery


Board Game: Empires: Age of Discovery
 
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11. Board Game: Outside the Scope of BGG [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:3749]
Board Game: Outside the Scope of BGG
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Honorable mentions:

11. Fury of Dracula (Second Edition)

From gallery of Matt62702


From gallery of Matt62702


12. Jamaica

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13. Belfort

Board Game: Belfort


14. Colosseum

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15. Manila (1st edition)

Board Game: Manila
 
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