Suzy's 2017 Top Solo Games
Suzy Vitale
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Who doesn't like to make Top Ten (or Twenty) lists? I like to make them for most things in life, but this one exists primarily because of the amazing Kevin Erskine and this amazing thing that he does every year: 2016 People's Choice Top 100 Solo Games (+).


Here it is, the final version! I'm going based off a few things:

1. How often did this get to the table in 2017
2. Enjoyment/fun factor
3. Long term replay factor
4. Accessibility (easy to set up, easy to play, etc)

Clearly, this has been the Year of Oniverse for me. After finally exploring each game's expert level (or using all expansions), all five games will be in the top 20. Some of my old favorites are taking a rating hit due to the accessibility factor. I'm learning that I enjoy higher quantities of short games, rather than lower quantities of long games. I think my attention span is shortening as I get older - or at least in this stage of my life. The Oniverse games are short, but very puzzle-y and just the right amount of brain burn for me.

Other small games also made the list, like Friday, Star Trek: Five Year Mission, Samurai Spirit, Zulus on the Ramparts, and Ottoman Sunset. Of the larger/complex games on my list this year, theme was the main reason they made the list. If I'm going to be buried in a game for hours, I want that world to be fun and enjoyable. Games like Star Wars: The Card Game, Martians: A Story of Civilization, and Lord of the Rings: The Card Game fit that bill nicely. I'm also finding that disaster management has become one of my favorite themes/mechanics and Pandemic, Flash Point: Fire Rescue, and Freedom: The Underground Railroad are on my list this year. (I also really enjoy playing these co-ops 2P with my husband.) A few other games on my list this year are simply excellent from a mechanics perspective, games like The Colonists, Conquest of Paradise, Rallyman, and Hornet Leader: Carrier Air Operations.

Some old (and new) favorites didn't make the list not because I don't like them anymore, or for any failing of the game itself. When you have a game collection of ~200 games, they can't all make the list! Scythe didn't make the final cut, neither did Adventure of D, Hobbit Tales, Valeria: Card Kingdoms, Leaving Earth, D-Day Dice, Orleans, La Granja, or La Granja: No Siesta. There were some games that I just didn't get to this year that could be contenders for future years' lists, games like Thunderbolt Apache Leader, First Martians, High Frontier, Conflict of Heroes, Time of Soccer, Helionox, Cruel Necessity, and Mound Builders. Other KS yet to arrive might give this year's game a run for the money next year too, maybe Gloomhaven, Bios: Genesis, Bios: Megafauna, or Cavern Tavern.

It's another great year to be a board game geek!



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1. Board Game: Gloomhaven [Average Rating:9.01 Overall Rank:1]
Suzy Vitale
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UPSET! This came just in time to factor in, and force me to resubmit my list. Man, I hope this game steals the throne from Mage Knight. As far as I'm concerned, THIS truly is the greatest.
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2. Board Game: Castellion [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:1275]
Suzy Vitale
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A wonderful tile laying game that really challenges the spatial part of my brain. I lose a lot, but then I always want to set it right back up again. A bit of a surprise hit for me as I really didn't love my first play (intro game). Encouraged by a fellow guildie (thanks, Hans!), I tried the base game and loved it. The expert level is even better. This has become my go-to solo game. It's quick and not overly complicated, but every game presents a unique challenge.
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3. Board Game: Onirim (second edition) [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:457]
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After playing this game with the expansions, it just shot up the list.
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4. Board Game: Urbion [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:1808]
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I got five plays of this in recently, and it's excellent. Another Oniverse win, and I have a permanent crush on Shadi Torbey.
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5. Board Game: Nautilion [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:1578]
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Adding the Mages, Darktower and Heroic Deeds expansions just bumped this up the list big time. Definitely top 5 material.
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6. Board Game: Sylvion [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:777]
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It's the year of Oniverse, people.
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7. Board Game: Star Trek: Five-Year Mission [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:2295]
Suzy Vitale
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I still heart this game so much.
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8. Board Game: Flash Point: Fire Rescue [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:255]
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Fantastic disaster management game, similar to Pandemic but different enough to get on this prestigious list.
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9. Board Game: Zulus on the Ramparts! [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:1416]
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Still love it.
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10. Board Game: Samurai Spirit [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:979]
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I really like the puzzle aspect of this game. Great theme too. Quick to set up and play, yet a challenging experience.
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11. Board Game: Conquest of Paradise [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:1486]
Suzy Vitale
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One of my new favorite games, both multiplayer and solo. Thank you, WBC and Kevin McPartland.
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12. Board Game: Rallyman [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:717]
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This was a game I've owned for a couple of years (?) and only just got to the table in 2017. It's a really fun game, the theme comes through full throttle, and I love the modular map boards. This game also gets some extra love from me due to the ISGOYTRA Cup.
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13. Board Game: Ottoman Sunset [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:1725] [Average Rating:7.41 Unranked]
Suzy Vitale
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A tense, thematic game, and one of my favorite States of Siege. I prefer this one over its sister game, Hapsburg Eclipse, though both are great.
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14. Board Game: The Colonists [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:330]
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This was a serious contender for #1 this year. A solid worker placement game with Through the Ages-like development and Suburbia-like tile placement. It's really, really good, but I'm not always up for such a brain burner.
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15. Board Game: Martians: A Story of Civilization [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:2719]
Suzy Vitale
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I've only played this once, but it blew me away. I managed to get a (NIS) copy in a trade, and I'll probably play it a few more time before votes are due. This is basically Alien Frontiers done right, and as a co-op. Fantastic.
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16. Board Game: Friday [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:302]
Suzy Vitale
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This is still my go-to quick solo game. I'm about half way through my goal of 100 Plays. Full disclosure: now that this game has an iOS app, I mostly play on my iPad. #lazy
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17. Board Game: Hornet Leader: Carrier Air Operations [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:1121] [Average Rating:7.91 Unranked]
Suzy Vitale
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SO GOOD.
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18. Board Game: Star Wars: The Card Game [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:446]
Suzy Vitale
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This was my #1 last year. I haven't played it as much this year, but still a ton of thematic fun.
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19. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:73]
Suzy Vitale
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I got bored with this game for awhile, then picked up the In the Lab expansion. Game saver (literally)!
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20. Board Game: The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:105]
Suzy Vitale
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Silver Spring
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For me, this is a classic. Got back into it this year, and for the most part, it's still as good as ever. I was thinking that this could end up as #1 this year until I played through the first seven scenarios of the saga expansions. A few weaknesses popped out at me, and they were signficant enough to change my feelings toward this game. The massive card pool, which I always really enjoyed, has made deck building really overwhelming for me. I used to sorta enjoy it, now I don't really like it at all. I find that I'm just using older decks with old cards because I'm familiar with them and know how to play that deck. Also, there are definitely parts of this game that want you to be playing 2-4 player. I'm not a fan of 2-handed solo, so there are some scenarios that I just don't enjoy at all. Anyway, still a great game, but it's going to take a ratings drop for sure.
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