willbeplayin Top 50 Games (Jan. 2020)
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Hello and thank you for stumbling upon my Top 50 list! This is my first Top 50 on BGG.com, I did a Top 20 in the fall of 2018 but after two years of keeping track of my games and plays on bgstats app and feeling that I've grown as a board gamer over the years, it was time to make a real Top 50 list.

Here's some info about me and about the list. I had a lot of board games in my childhood but they slowly faded away as PC and console games took over. In the mid 2010's I owned Carcassonne, 7 Wonders, King of Tokyo but it was Lords of Waterdeep that really made me get into board gaming and kickstarted my first game group that consisted of my co-workers and our partners. I also owe a huge debt to Finland's first board game cafe Taverna http://lautapelikahvila.fi/in-english/Taverna that opened here in Tampere in August of 2016.

In this Top 50 you'll see a lot of two player games, as well as a 18XX game, Winsomes, trick-taking games and all sorts of games from light fillers to heavy euros.


I like games with multiple ways to win, elegant mechanics, deck-building, randomized setups, multi-use cards and building tiles. What I don't like are co-ops, real time mechanics, memory games, party games and luck heavy non-fillers.

As of January 17th 2020, I:
Own 79 games of which 5 are on my shelf of shame.
Own 33 expansions of which 4 I haven't yet tried (Most of which are Arkham Horror TCG expansions).

In the timespan of 2018 to Jan 17th 2020 I have played a total of 794 plays of 243 different games. H-index is 12 (12 games played 12 times). An astonishing 51% of my plays have been with my gf and two players from my game group of eight.

Games that are NOT on the list include such popular games as Terraforming Mars, Scythe, Wingspan, Gloomhaven and the Pandemic series of games.

Games that could be on the list had I played them include Twilight Imperium 4th ed., 1830, Through The Ages, Anachrony and Dominant Species.


You can find me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/willbeplayin/


Ask me anything, I'd love comments and replies on this geeklist!
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1. Board Game: Kingdomino [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:215] [Average Rating:7.36 Unranked]
Board Game: Kingdomino
#50: Kingdomino (2016)
2–4 Players, 15–20 Min, Age: 8+, Weight: 1.21/5


Quick, easy and fun family game for everyone: Kingdomino! This game is surprisingly good tile placement game even just for two players with the 7x7 variant. What's not to like?

I have played Queendomino only once so I can't really compare them yet. I have a feeling that with these games, the key factor is the simple and fast gameplay so why tinker with the formula?
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2. Board Game: Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:39]
Board Game: Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar
#49: Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar (2012)
2–4 Players, 90 Min, Age: 13+, Weight: 3.66/5


I had played Teotihuacan several times before playing T'Zolkin but I had heard of the game and for some people T'Zolkin is their favourite game of all time (MvsM's Jeremy, for example). I'm amazed that the wheel mechanic hasn't been used in other games as far as I know since it's not just a gimmick in this game. You can remove a lot of unnecessary work related to moving the workers by placing them on a wheel like in T'Zolkin.

In my first game, I was lost in so many ways and I just couldn't get going. Second game, we all had a lot better experience and scored a lot more points too. There also seems to be various ways to win this game so that's a big plus.

You would also expect this game to be longer but it always ends up too quickly. You really have to make sure to plan ahead.
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3. Board Game: Las Vegas [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:481]
Board Game: Las Vegas
#48: Las Vegas (2012)
2–5 Players, 30 Min, Age: 8+, Weight: 1.19/5


Las Vegas is a very fast and fun dice game where you try to get the most money from different casinos. Roll all your dice, select a pip number after rolling and place all the dice with that number into a casino slot 1-6. At the end of the round, all tied dice are removed (say there's three players in a spot and the dice are three reds, three greens and one blue. Both the red and green are removed and get nothing since they are tied at three, blue gets the money). So you really have to take into consideration how many dice your opponents have etc.

Easily the simplest game in my Top 50 list, I've had a lot of success with this table even with my non-gamer co-workers. Even though it's somewhat luck based, there's a lot of game theory in there with placing the dice and calculating your odds.
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4. Board Game: Gentes: Deluxified Edition [Average Rating:7.85 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.85 Unranked]
Board Game: Gentes: Deluxified Edition
#47: Gentes: Deluxified Edition (2018)
1–4 Players, 75–120 Min, Age: 14+, Weight: 3.32 / 5


Even though I'm still fairly unenthusiastic about Gentes, this one cracked my Top 50 list even with all it's faults. The mechanics are a bit weird to get a hold of at first but once you understand how Stefan Risthause's mind works, you're good to go.

This beats Peloponnes and other ancient, medium-heavy civ games in my opinion even though some of it is a bit abstracted. The Deluxe edition from TMG also helps with the rating of the game, even though they failed with the stickers when everything should have been printed to the components.

Still it feels very unique, which is why it's in my Top 50.
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5. Board Game: South African Railroads [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:6039]
Board Game: South African Railroads
#46: South African Railroads (2011)
3–6 Players, 40 Min, Weight: 3.14/5


My group loves Winsomes and even though I'm fairly new to them, I really do love the mechanics and the way these games work. However - They are the most ugliest games ever made and I can't stand why they are made to look so horrid. Most of the games are just a piece of cheap paper with wooden cubes and even though our group has several DIY boards done, they still look cheap.

I'm so happy that Capstone Games are now releasing several Winsome games (?), upgrading the components and the general look of Winsome games to the 2020's. These games need more love and I can imagine a lot of people shying away from these games due to the overall look which is a shame.
 
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6. Board Game: Orléans [Average Rating:8.08 Overall Rank:26]
Board Game: Orléans
#45: Orléans (2014)
2–4 Players, 90 Min, Age: 12+, Weight: 3.07/5


Orleans has had it's share of ups and downs as I've probably rated it everything between six and a nine at times. I've upgraded my game with coin capsules which improve the experience by a landslide and the fantastic Trade & Intrique expansion is a must-have each game.

Modern classic. The game rolls on with a steady pace and the rules are very clear and gameplay is smooth. It just works flawlessly.
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7. Board Game: Root [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:36]
Board Game: Root
#44: Root (2018)
2–4 Players, 60–90 Min, Age: 10+, Weight: 3.58/5


Cole Wehrle is a great designer but as great as this game is, this needs a very specific game group in order to really shine. Due to the nature of the game, a weak/strong player will really throw the balance off. Root is amazing when everyone knows everything and plays to their strenghts and I always feel really sad when I see people trying the game straight ouf of the box without a teacher/experienced player in the group at board game cafe's etc.

I can't wait for Wehrle to make more games. He's the designer to watch in the years to come, I can guarantee you that.
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8. Board Game: 7 Wonders Duel [Average Rating:8.11 Overall Rank:16]
Board Game: 7 Wonders Duel
#43: 7 Wonders Duel (2015)
2 Players, 30 Min, Age: 10+, Weight: 2.22/5


I was surprised by how much more I like Duel over the original 7 Wonders. Especially with the expansion. I have many two player games in my Top 50/100 list and Duel deserves it's place in the Top 50. It retains the same feel as the original 7 Wonders but does it in different ways.

The best thing is how you can either win via points, via military or via science.
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9. Board Game: Roll for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:77]
Board Game: Roll for the Galaxy
#42: Roll for the Galaxy (2014)
2–5 Players, 45 Min, Age: 13+, Weight: 2.77/5


Race or Roll. Race or Roll.

Well.. .. Roll.

It's the age old question that seems to divide the community and whilst I do see the argument for both games, Roll is by far the more approachable game and I prefer to play it for it's more intuitive UI and symbology. Also, who doesn't love dice?
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10. Board Game: Oregon [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:1184]
Board Game: Oregon
#41: Oregon (2007)
2–4 Players, 45 Min, Age: 8+, Weight: 2.15/5


If I'd ever do a list of overlooked games, Oregon would be high on that list. This game doesn't get enough love, period. It's amazing! Really loving how you either score points by placing your workers next to buildings or buidlings next to your workers.

It's fast, the rules are easy and there's multiple ways to win this game.
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11. Board Game: Trajan [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:82]
Board Game: Trajan
#40: Trajan (2011)
2–4 Players, 60–120 Min, Age: 12+, Weight: 3.64/5


If I want to get a headache from board gaming, I'd choose to play Trajan. It's one of Feld's best games along with Castles of Burgundy. There's almost too much to do on your turn and it's one of the more AP heavy games that I own. I very rarely like combos in my board games but in Trajan you very rarely get a decent double or triple action but when you do, it feels awesome.

The theme is somewhat lost and the game feels to be 5-6 separate minigames crammed into one. But even still, I do like it a lot.
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12. Board Game: Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:305]
Board Game: Lost Cities
#39: Lost Cities (1999)
2 Players, 30 Min, Age: 10+, Weight: 1.51/5


Twenty years ago, Reiner Knizia was on a roll. One of the better 2p games, Lost Cities was my most played game in 2019 which is saying something. It's such a quick game that gf and I enjoy in the evenings when we don't have time for anything heavier. However we almost never just play one game, usually it's atleast two but most of the time it's three plays. I think our fastest game was about 5mins long.

Many people would take a quick pass with this one, saying it's all about luck but there's plenty of strategy to be found in Lost Cities.
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13. Board Game: Yedo [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:572]
Board Game: Yedo
#38: Yedo (2012)
2–5 Players, 120–180 Min, Age: 14+, Weight: 3.36/5


Yedo had the horrible fate of being released close to Lords of Waterdeep. Guess what, Waterdeep won the battle between the two worker placement games due to being easier, more approachable and having a better theme.

But even then, Yedo has it's fans in the community and I'm one of them. There was even a new kickstarter release last year of this game, bringing in new stuff into the game and deluxe components but I passed on it since I'm very happy with my standard edition.

It's one of the more thematic worker placement games out there and I have nothing but good things to say about it. Well maybe the old school event deck is a negative but you have to know these things when playing this game. It's cutthroat, unique and fun. Doing the quests is really rewarding.

Sadly, this is probably the game in my Top 50 list that I've played the longest time ago. It's very hard to get to the table as it is.
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14. Board Game: Battle Line [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:210]
Board Game: Battle Line
#37: Battle Line (2000)
2 Players, 30 Min, Age: 12+, Weight: 1.91/5


I love my 2p games and I love my Knizia games too! Battle Line is one of the best 2p games ever done and another great game from the great Reiner Knizia. This game will be 20 years old this year (2020). Get it, play it, enjoy it, in all the different versions and editions this game has.

Incredibly solid game and one of the rarer games in this Top 50 as I do not actually own this game.
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15. Board Game: Pulsar 2849 [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:213]
Board Game: Pulsar 2849
#36: Pulsar 2849 (2017)
2–4 Players, 60–90 Min, Age: 14+, Weight: 3.30/5


Point salad in space! It's easy to get lost in space with this one. But it's a really good game and not the only Vladimír Suchý game on this list. There's almost too much stuff in the game, like with Coimbra, Trajan, Castles of Burgundy and other point salad games of the sort.

Oh and there's one really great mechanic regarding dice selection; the movement of your two pieces (initiative and production) on two different tracks are calculated by the average dice pip values. If the average is very low and you want to get the 6 die, it'll cost you more than if the average would be higher. Amazing mechanic which I'd love to see done in more games.
 
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16. Board Game: Flamme Rouge [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:193]
Board Game: Flamme Rouge
#35: Flamme Rouge (2016)
2–4 Players, 30–45 Min, Age: 8+, Weight: 1.66/5


6p Flamme Rouge with all the expansions is where it's at folks. Great, simple racing fun. I even once did something I've never ever done before, I teached this to a group of random players at our local board game cafe (in english, not even in my native language) since I was bored waiting for friends and they were looking for a game to play. That's how high I am on this game.

I'd love to try a tournament variant of this game with our group. It would be amazing.
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17. Board Game: Hive Pocket [Average Rating:7.68 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.68 Unranked]
Board Game: Hive Pocket
#34: Hive (2000)
2 Players, 20 Min, Age: 9+, Weight: 2.34 / 5


Hive is one of the best 2p games out there. However, it lives and dies depending on how even the players are in their experience/skill in this game. Against a good opponent, Hive can be nerve-wrecking mental arm wrestling match full of clever moves and twists and turns.
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18. Board Game: Ora et Labora [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:117]
Board Game: Ora et Labora
#33: Ora et Labora (2011)
1–4 Players, 60–180 Min, Age: 13+, Weight: 3.90 / 5


The most sandbox-y eurogame that I own, Ora et Labora is one of the finest games Uwe Rosenberg has ever done. There's one that I like even more higher up on the list but Ora et Labora has it's special place in this list and in my heart.

You can do pretty much everything in this game. It's almost too free form at times. I love the resource wheel and I feel that it should be used more often.

If you like Uwe games, you have to try this. Sadly it's a very much out of print (?) and you rarely see a copy anywhere on the market and if you do, it's for a hefty price.
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19. Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:55]
Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep
#32: Lords of Waterdeep (2012)
2–5 Players, 60–120 Min, Age: 12+, Weight: 2.48/5


Waterdeep was the game that got me started in the hobby for real. I had played Carcassonne, 7 Wonders, King of Tokyo and few others over the years here and then and had a lot of board games when I was a kid but Lords of Watedeep is responsible for being the glue that got our first real gamegroup going with two of my co-workers and our partners.
The expansion, Scoundrels of Skullport, is a must-have expansion if there ever was one. I won't play Waterdeep without it, ever. One of the best worker placement games ever made.
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20. Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy [Average Rating:8.13 Overall Rank:15]
Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy
#31: The Castles of Burgundy (2011)
2–4 Players, 30–90 Min, Age: 12+, Weight: 3.00/5


My favourite Feld game, Castles of Burgundy, is without a doubt a modern classic. It's quite simple and yet there's a lot of game in it. I like the different boards but haven't touched the expansions or promo boards. I also have no yarning for the new version. For me the biggest thing in this game is choosing which areas to fill at what time - Do you go for the small areas for the better round bonus or for larger areas for the larger bonus?

Just play it. It's great.
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21. Board Game: Villagers [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:717]
Board Game: Villagers
#30: Villagers (2019)
1–5 Players, 30–60 Min, Age: 10+, Weight: 2.27 / 5


A bit random but surprisingly good tableau builder. Doesn't overstay it's welcome either and the mechanics and art are to my liking. This one blindsided me completely and after few plays I had to get my own copy and by chance the local game store had the base game and expansion. I haven't touched the expansion stuff yet which is very rare. The base game works as is and scales well too.

It's always fun when your blacksmith gets a lot of money from the other players!
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22. Board Game: Teotihuacan: City of Gods [Average Rating:7.96 Overall Rank:68]
Board Game: Teotihuacan: City of Gods
#29: Teotihuacan: City of Gods (2018)
1–4 Players, 90–120 Min, Age: 12+, Weight: 3.71/5


Having played Teotihuacan first and T'zolkin after that, I'd conclude that Teotihuacan is the superior game between the two. I know T'Zolkin has it's die-hard fans but I just like Teotihuacan more, even though it's somewhat clunky at times. There's just so much to do and I like the expansion also.

However one thing I don't like is the focus on the pyramid building and I'd almost prefer to use the 1-2-3-4VP scoring instead of the 1-3-5-7VP or a house ruled scoring.
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23. Board Game: Underwater Cities [Average Rating:8.10 Overall Rank:75]
Board Game: Underwater Cities
[size=12]#28: Underwater Cities (2018)
1–4 Players, 80–150 Min, Age: 12+, Weight: 3.57 / 5[/size=12]


Some people don't like to compare UC to Terraforming Mars - I'm not one of them. UC might have killed Terraforming Mars for me for good. The action & card selection mechanic in this game is so great. On your turn you choose an action on the board (that's not already taken) and you get to do the action it says. You must also play a card from your hand on your turn when you select that action space. If and only if the card's colour matches the colour of the action space, you get to do the cards action aswell - but wait: At the start of your turn, you must first discard to three cards.

I have to say one thing about the components: since it's not a game from a major publisher, the components look and feel really unique which in this case is a big plus.

For any engine-building enthusiast, this is a must-try atleast. The new expansion can't get to my shelf soon enough and hopefully it will fix the game in a way - this one dropped quite a few places in the top list due to an awful few plays as I realised that the game runs way too long. It's almost one third too long in fact and quite AP prone game for those suffering from it.

This is a game that I'm going to continue playing with a select few players.
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24. Board Game: Azul [Average Rating:7.86 Overall Rank:43] [Average Rating:7.86 Unranked]
Board Game: Azul
#27: Azul (2017)
2–4 Players, 30–45 Min, Age: 8+, Weight: 1.79/5


Azul is my most played game of all time with 52 plays currently so it deserves it's place on the list.

It plays great with each player count (2-4) and in my experience, the OG Azul is the best out of the Azul series - Sintra didn't impress me at all and I'm very doubtful of the newest "Summer Pavilion" game too.

Something has to be said about the tiles too. Aren't they just the most beautiful components ever?
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25. Board Game: Decrypto [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:106]
Board Game: Decrypto
#26: Decrypto (2018)
3–8 Players, 15–45 Min, Age: 12+, Weight: 1.81 / 5


Decrypto is a rarity - a "party"/word game that I really, really love. This beats Codenames, Dixit, Alias, Scrabble and all the other pretenders. There's an actual game in here which rewards cunning word play; You must give clues that are just the right - not too easy, not too difficult. If it's too easy, the other team will win by guessing your words eventually. If it's too hard, your teammates won't know what you mean and thus you'll lose.

This is my favourite gamer party game. We've had some amazing rounds with this game and in fact two of our last games have ended in the very last tie-breaker.
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