Scotty G's First Ever Top 100: One Year Into the Hobby
Scotty G
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Franklin
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Last October gaming became a significant part of my life. Since I anticipate it will continue for a long time, I figured why not start a top 100 list each year around the anniversary of my new hobby.

Let me start by saying that I lost my job of ten years last October, so I had a severance package and tons of time on my hands. I accumulated more than 300 games in two months. Now my collection is over 450 games with another 110 expansions. Needless to say, I have only played roughly 35 percent of the games I own plus another 80 plus games that other people own.

Part of my motivation for this list is to see how it changes over the years as I'm able to get all my games to the table. Let me also say that I play games for the enjoyment. While I am a competitive person, losing does not bother me. I love the challenge of learning new games and trying to figure out a strategy.

Many of these games have only been played once, and some maybe almost a year ago. So my recollection and descriptions will not be as detailed as some other top 100 lists from gamers who are far more analytical and have years of experience in the hobby.

My favorite mechanics at this point are deck/pool building, worker placement, and card drafting/crafting.

How Did I Choose my Top 50?
The way I decided on the order of my items came down to two main factors:
How much do I want to play this game right NOW, if time wasn't a consideration?
and how good have my experiences been playing the game in the past and how much fun did I have?

I welcome all comments and feedback and thanks for checking out my list.
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1. Board Game: The 7th Continent [Average Rating:8.72 Overall Rank:20]
Scotty G
United States
Franklin
Wisconsin
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Rank: 100
Plays: 2

Wow. That's my first response to this game. I just played my first two sessions this week. I know this has been No. 1 on the Hotness list forever now, but I can only add it as my number 100 at this point. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely loved playing this game. The design, artwork, choices; all add up to an epic experience. My problem is it just takes soooo much time. Since I have very little time to game these days, I could only think of all the other awesome games I could have played while spending 12 hours on this.

Great game, but I'd rather play other games.
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2. Board Game: Hare & Tortoise [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:1073]
Scotty G
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Franklin
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Rank: 99
Plays: 3


I picked this one up for my daughter as the cover made it look like a cool kids game. That was not the case at all. This is a racing game where you use cards and lots of math to strategize your way to the end of the track. I love games that present different mechanics than I have played and this one qualifies for me. Very fun game for the family and gamers alike.
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3. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Europe [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:91] [Average Rating:7.58 Unranked]
Scotty G
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Franklin
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Rank: 98
Plays: 3


So I have played the original TTR, Nordic Countries, and TTR: Europe thus far. Europe is definitely my favorite adding in the tunnels, ferries, and stations. Nordic Countries is essentially the same as Europe with a smaller map and for only 2-3 players. I may end up getting rid of that one eventually.

Hard not to have a TTR on the list when I play lots of games with my family, from my parents down to my 8-year old stepson.
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4. Board Game: Las Vegas [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:480]
Scotty G
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Franklin
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Rank: 97
Plays: 13


I was introduced to this at the local game night and instantly loved it. I love gambling and dice, and I'm not a gamer who shuns games with too much luck (though I may get upset every once in awhile when they go horribly against me.)

I knew my family would love this game as well, which they did. It's easy to rack up plays on this one. A great filler or finisher to game night when time is short. I will play this anytime.
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5. Board Game: Onitama [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:177]
Scotty G
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Franklin
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Rank: 96
Plays: 3


I love playing abstracts, though not many make my top 100 at this point. I play them mostly for the personal challenge, as I'm not the most analytical and problem solving gamer. This is a great game that I actually excelled at in my limited plays. I love the variety of cards that change the game up, though you can get an unlucky draw. I hope to play with the expansion in the future.
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6. Board Game: Battle Line [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:179]
Scotty G
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Franklin
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Rank: 95
Plays: 5


I enjoy two-player strategy games and I have a bunch in my collection I have yet to play. Battle Line is one of the first I played with my cousin Melissa and I wanted to keep playing it over and over. I enjoy the poker like combinations and the tactic cards add some spice. Unfortunately I haven't gotten this back to the table as often as I'd like, but soon.
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7. Board Game: Tsuro of the Seas [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:1132]
Scotty G
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Franklin
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Rank: 94
Plays: 2


My family and I enjoy playing the original Tsuro, which I own, but I would much prefer to play this version with the added elements of sea dragons. This game isn't for those gamers who hate too much luck, as this game can randomly wipe you out without much warning. Another fun filler that I plan to add to my collection eventually.
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8. Board Game: Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:294]
Scotty G
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Franklin
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Rank: 93
Plays: 2


I played this game with my cousin Melissa the same evening we played Battle Line. I like this one even better and both solidified Knizia as a top designer for me. I have tried to add as many of his best games to my collection as I can get my hands on. I only wish I would have played this more often by now, but I rarely get to play two player games as my wife is quite the anti-gamer.
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9. Board Game: Starving Artists [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:3005]
Scotty G
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Franklin
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Rank: 92
Plays: 1


I played this once at a local game night. I was attracted to the different theme and the race to complete your paintings while trying to secure your next canvas, with paint being the currency. A quick, yet strategic game that I hope to play again soon.
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10. Board Game: If Wishes Were Fishes! [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:2070]
Scotty G
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Franklin
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Rank: 91
Plays: 2


Another game I was taught at a gaming night, but then went out and bought. I have only played twice but I enjoy the theme, the cool artwork, and the worms. I think I try to collect the worms just to fiddle with them in between turns. More strategy here than first meets the eye, but a game that is fairly easy to teach and not too heavy to play with family.
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11. Board Game: Carson City [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:333]
Scotty G
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Franklin
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Rank: 90
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I have to admit, I don't remember fine details on this one as I played it quite some time ago. I do remember having a great time learning it and wanting to play it again. I like how you work to merge the worker placement component to help you construct some buildings on the map portion of the board. I love heavier games and look forward to delving deeper into this one sometime down the road.
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12. Board Game: Harbour [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:1235]
Scotty G
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Franklin
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Rank: 89
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I only played this once as an end of night wrap up game with one of my gaming groups. I was skeptical of microgames going in but Harbour has worker placement and a cool market function that you work to manipulate in your favor when you sell the goods you've gathered. It can be a bit cut throat, which means I usually lose, but this game was fun. I ended up winning a copy at the Con of the North in Minneapolis but have yet to table my copy.
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13. Board Game: Jamaica [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:400]
Scotty G
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Franklin
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Rank: 88
Plays: 4


Another racing game using cards to get to the finish line. The gorgeous cards are used in correspondence with a dice roll which determines which card will benefit you most. You also have to manage resources on your ship effectively to win. I like the head to head battles and the treasures that usually help a player to victory. The family enjoys this game and its another tweener that plays well with gamers or family in my opinion.
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14. Board Game: Fields of Green [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:772]
Scotty G
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Franklin
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Rank: 87
Plays: 1


My cousin Buddy, who is basically responsible for getting me into gaming, brought this one down on his last trip. We played it once. Interestingly we both thought the game was missing something, but for me I liked it enough to want to play it again and place it in my top 100. I liked the presentation, which goes a long way for me, and I'd like to give it another shot sometime soon.
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15. Board Game: Kemet [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:77]
Scotty G
United States
Franklin
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Rank: 86
Plays: 1


This is a game I heard a lot about and all that I read and heard was positive. So I was super excited to play this with my "competitive" gaming group. Let me say I did not enjoy playing this game at all. Not because I thought the game was bad, but because everyone I played with had at least 40 plays. I got thoroughly beat down from start to finish.

We played with Ta-Seti and the C3K crossover. I loved the theme and the miniatures and I am definitely up for the challenge to play again. I think this game has potential to climb this list next year.
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16. Board Game: Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:290]
Scotty G
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Franklin
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Rank: 85
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You won't find a ton of cooperative games on my list. I like them well enough, but a competitive game will generally be my preference over a coop. This game makes the list on theme alone. I have only played once and we only made it through the second book, so I have tons left to explore. But I enjoyed the game and I bought my own copy to entice my wife to play as she is a Potter freak. Maybe I will have a positive update on that for next year's list. A man can hope can't he?
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17. Board Game: Kingdomino [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:186] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Scotty G
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Franklin
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Rank: 84
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Another game night play with the group. So simple yet fun and somewhat strategic. It felt like the perfect level of game in the right amount of time. I like the variety most tile laying games offer and it's just fun to piece things together in this game. I lost pretty badly but I will be adding this to my collection soon, especially now that Half Price Books is selling it new and their sale week is coming up Nov. 6!

I have heard that Queendomino is even better but can't comment on that one yet.
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18. Board Game: Alhambra: Big Box [Average Rating:7.54 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.54 Unranked]
Scotty G
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Rank: 83
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My cousin Melissa's friend brought this one over for a game night and taught the group. Another awesome collection of tiles to build the highest point scoring city. I like the currency mechanism that rewards you for exact purchases of buildings. I put the Big Box on here since we played with a few expansions from it and I ended up buying it a few weeks after we played. Lots still left to explore in this box for me.
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19. Board Game: Splendor [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:112]
Scotty G
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Franklin
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Rank: 82
Plays: 14


I don't think I have met anyone who doesn't like this game, though I'm sure they are out there somewhere. Very light family game collecting gems to become the most prestigious and impress some fancy people along the way, which gives you more points.

Easy set up, easy to teach and easy to play. Hope to play the expansion soon.
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20. Board Game: Colt Express [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:298]
Scotty G
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Franklin
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Rank: 81
Plays: 1


First game I played with the whole 3-D thing going on. I loved it. Awesome presentation. Also first programming game I think I have played. I enjoyed trying to make that work for me but the marshal screwed me over repeatedly. I have been waiting to catch this at a good price to add to my collection.
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21. Board Game: Quantum [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:368]
Scotty G
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Franklin
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Rank: 80
Plays: 2

I like dice. And this game uses dice as spaceships with special abilities depending on which number it currently has face up. You can also obtain bonus cards that help you in your mission to place cubes on different parts of the board. I have yet to master the strategies in this game versus those I played against who had played this game many times before. But I enjoyed the challenge of trying to maximize each turn using all the different abiltiies of the dice. Good game!
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22. Board Game: Power Grid: The First Sparks [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:878]
Scotty G
United States
Franklin
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Rank: 79
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I played the original Power Grid before playing this version. I love Power Grid and that comes later on, but this version was also very satisfying and the differences work well enough to have both on this list. I like the theme here and it plays a bit shorter than PG. I also love the little animeeples. I will probably say this a lot, but presentation for me goes a long way in enjoying a game.
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23. Board Game: Takenoko [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:211]
Scotty G
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Franklin
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Rank: 78
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Speaking of presentation, what a beautiful game. I think I spent more time admiring the tiles and the little panda than I did trying to figure out how to win. A very simple yet elegant game, with enough strategy for gamers and enough appeal for the family to want to try something a bit more strategic than the normal party fare. I hear Chibis makes the game even better so I look forward to playing that sometime soon.
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24. Board Game: Claustrophobia [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:188]
Scotty G
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Franklin
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Rank: 77
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The first dungeon crawl game on the list. And I don't think there are many, mainly because I haven't played hardly any. Me and my cousin Buddy stayed up late delving into this one. I bought it from an auction with both expansions in the box so we spent a lot of time just trying to ID and separate the expansions out to play the base game first.

We had a good time with this one and I enjoyed the confrontational nature of this game, humans vs. demons! I also like asymmetrical powers in a game. Easy to setup and fairly easy rules. I look forward to delving deeper into this dungeon and playing with the expansions.
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25. Board Game: Camel Up [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:379]
Scotty G
United States
Franklin
Wisconsin
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Rank: 76
Plays: 7


First played with one my gaming groups when we had too many people to play anything else. This was an instabuy for me right afterwards. Racing, gambling, camels, a pyramid that spits out dice, what else do I need to say?

Awesome family or party game, plays quickly, and it's more luck than skill. But tons of fun.
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  • [+] Dice rolls
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