A Curmudgeon picks his top games from the 2011-2019 crop
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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Yeah, everyone else is doing it, so of course I follow the crowd. I am like that. Kinda.

I have to admit, some of these are awfully closely contested, and if you ask me next week, I might change my mind. But, whatever, here they are. Obviously, you Euro-folk can shout at the clouds somewhere else, but the rest of you, feel free to comment and maybe we can get in a nice witty repartee.
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1. Board Game: Space Empires: 4X [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:466] [Average Rating:7.66 Unranked]
Board Game: Space Empires: 4X
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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2011

Where was this game when I was teen? I would never have left home. Brilliance in a box. Absolutely love the totally open research options, and the secrecy until engaging the enemy. “Crap, they have mines!” Hidden fleet size, and excellent victory conditions. Finally, expandable to as nutty as you like, I do wonder why anybody bothers with TI4.
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2. Board Game: Virgin Queen [Average Rating:8.05 Overall Rank:591]
Board Game: Virgin Queen
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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2012

Tremendous sequel to Here I Stand. So much color and history in the game. Agonizing choices with each card play. Plus, it looks great.
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3. Board Game: The Mushroom Eaters [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:5484]
Board Game: The Mushroom Eaters
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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2013

Wildly original and unique in a world of copycats. How many games do you play with 3D glasses and emulating a mushroom trip? The folding board is genius. Not the smoothest game ever, but very few have afforded me the delight of looking around the table and seeing my friends grinning stupidly and giggling at each other, which is an amazing achievement.
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4. Board Game: Fire in the Lake [Average Rating:8.05 Overall Rank:423]
Board Game: Fire in the Lake
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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2014

I like COIN, and while Pendragon may be my favorite so far, this one evokes a lot of emotion from this bitter conflict. The events hit home. The fine balancing of all the factions is sweet. I am not a super fan of the bots, but I am hoping the forthcoming Gandhi deck system will maje this work a bit better for Lake.
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5. Board Game: Mega Civilization [Average Rating:8.26 Overall Rank:937]
Board Game: Mega Civilization
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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2015

I loved Advanced Civilization, and I love MegaCiv. Over fifty advances to contemplate, an enormous map, disasters lurking at every trade. Each game is epic...our last finished after ten glorious hours with my very first win. A pinnacle of my gaming career!
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6. Board Game: Comanchería: The Rise and Fall of the Comanche Empire [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:1818]
Board Game: Comanchería: The Rise and Fall of the Comanche Empire
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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2016

More approachable than Navajo Wars, Joel Toppen has made a tremendous history lesson on this proud people. I really like the game action mechanism for you opponents. I feel the anguish of the natives as their lives are squeezed away by infiltrations of the invaders. Not played enough, but a great game.
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7. Board Game: Pericles: The Peloponnesian Wars [Average Rating:7.96 Overall Rank:1937]
Board Game: Pericles: The Peloponnesian Wars
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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2017

Audacious. Understood nothing from the rules, so a long sit pushing units with my nose in the book was required. It all gelled at GMT West where we played it to its bitter end and I could appreciate the genius behind the design. Two vs two with one winner...superbly handled.
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8. Board Game: Root [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:36]
Board Game: Root
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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2018

I was dubious. The fantasy game that came before fell very flat. The COIN comparison seems misplaced, and this is no wargame, but rather a lovely assymmetric exploration of how different we can make factions let still make a game work. The card art is winderful. Lots of room for clever play, for negotiation, for tense finishes.
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9. Board Game: Bios: Origins (Second Edition) [Average Rating:8.32 Overall Rank:3227] [Average Rating:8.32 Unranked]
Board Game: Bios: Origins (Second Edition)
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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2019

A bit of a placeholder, as I have still quite a few to try. I will hold the place with this update on Origins, which I helped develop and wrote the rules for. My first play of this version was ok, but I should not have played the basic rules.
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