My Top 25 Games for Last Decade (2010-2019)
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Something some friends and I did. Very subjectivity of the moment sort of thing. It’s been ages since I’ve posted a geek list so here is my countdown to games I liked best for last decade.

Don’t be fooled by any of these they are all at the very top of my list representing a large number of my “9” ratings.

At the time of this posting I’ve played 82 of the top 100. So yes I’ve likely played the game you love put didn’t like it enough to put on list.
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1. Board Game: Wings for the Baron (Second Edition) [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:4351]
Board Game: Wings for the Baron (Second Edition)
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25. I couldn't make a list without including something from VPG. The spiritual successor of the simulation yet fun and whimsy of SPI, VPG has taken the torch and kept running. Many great games like Nemo's War but the one that I most enjoyed this last decade was this one. An economic engine builder of WWI German Aircraft companies full of nuance and character but tight and clean on mechanics. Its such fun.
 
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2. Board Game: Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:46]
Board Game: Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar
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24. What takes this game up my rankings is the fun “on the wheel off the wheel” device as well as the rich diverse strategies On each wheel to try.
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3. Board Game: The Guns of Gettysburg [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:2052]
Board Game: The Guns of Gettysburg
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23. I usually rank war games separate from strategy games as they may be bad for gameplay but great fun for reenactment. However a few make the list. This is one such game for its hidden info and lines of battle. Gorgeous mechanics.
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4. Board Game: Root [Average Rating:8.10 Overall Rank:26]
Board Game: Root
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22. Wow. Lots of old school ideas mixed with new school. Here’s an upcoming designer that knows how to mix things and make them fresh. Plus bonus points for drawing inspiration from Magic Realm. See Designer Diary - Exploring the Realm
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5. Board Game: Food Chain Magnate [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:32]
Board Game: Food Chain Magnate
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21. Indonesia (one of my absolute favorites) gets upgraded with a more dynamic and diverse array of choices. Not all the choices for strategy are equally as strong but still amazing game.
 
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6. Board Game: Dominant Species [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:75]
Board Game: Dominant Species
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20. The interacting array of worker placement choices And how it plays out on the board is a work of art. It’s dropped some from my top 10 because the cards are a bit swingy but it’s still great fun.
 
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7. Board Game: Mage Knight Board Game [Average Rating:8.10 Overall Rank:27]
Board Game: Mage Knight Board Game
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19. Once described to me as the best character adventure Game since Magic Realm and it doesn’t disappoint. Immersive in the extreme. But then again I still have Magic Realm.
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8. Board Game: Cry Havoc [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:622]
Board Game: Cry Havoc
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18. An under-appreciated asymmetrical game. Unlike many that are ruined by an unbalanced array of cards this one lets you get what you want from each card by putting each card ability in its own pile. It gives tighter deeper game play.
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9. Board Game: Terra Mystica [Average Rating:8.13 Overall Rank:17]
Board Game: Terra Mystica
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17. Dropping from top 10 because the bonus vp drafts kinda drive things towards one and only one strategy, but still gonzo good asymmetry.
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10. Board Game: Xia: Legends of a Drift System [Average Rating:7.88 Overall Rank:143]
Board Game: Xia: Legends of a Drift System
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16. This is what I always wanted. A sci-fi space cowboy world to try limitless things in. Star Trader will always be my guilty pleasure in this space but this one truly shines.
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11. Board Game: A Few Acres of Snow [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:372]
Board Game: A Few Acres of Snow
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15. Card engine building done right. Various strategies. Direct conflict. Deck thinning to drive exactly the engine I want.
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12. Board Game: Canterbury [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:3027]
Board Game: Canterbury
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14. An overlooked gem. Abstract. Area control. And yet with an evolving income driven gameplay that is always changing how the game is played.
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13. Board Game: Polis: Fight for the Hegemony [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:814]
Board Game: Polis: Fight for the Hegemony
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13. Wow. Fresh different system for growing an economy a power base of territories and units. And yet without the trappings of how it is normally done. Don’t let the end game war game aspects scare you off this is economic gaming at its best.
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14. Board Game: Pulsar 2849 [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:219]
Board Game: Pulsar 2849
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12. It’s a testament to an amazing designer that this game is full of all the things I don’t like such as variable setup in abundance and dice driven resources. And yet so far in my playing the strategies to explore are numerous and tightly balanced.
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15. Board Game: First Class: All Aboard the Orient Express! [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:427]
Board Game: First Class: All Aboard the Orient Express!
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11. Like Russian Railroads lots of strategies all with big point swings if you run them right. Admittedly I need to play this more to see if it’s rating will move higher. As it is it just missed top 10 of the decade.
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16. Board Game: Russian Railroads [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:94]
Board Game: Russian Railroads
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10. Top 10 begins here. My Best worker placement game. Trying to decide which score tracks to go after vs trying to crush one track is great puzzle fun. The end game points scoring swing seems so big it wouldn’t work but it does with great excitement.
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17. Board Game: Navegador [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:240]
Board Game: Navegador
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9. Mac Gerdts and his rondel games are all amazing and this is the very best. The engines to build. The interplay of the other players. Some of the best strategy sculpting in gaming. All driven by an “attack-left defend-right” dance on the rondel.
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18. Board Game: Breakthrough: Cambrai [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:5861]
Board Game: Breakthrough: Cambrai
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8. Another war game on the list but for me well deserved. Hex and counter is king for a reason. It best conveys position and details about the unit. The area impulse genre of war games takes skill to pull of. It has to abstract all things out in a way that areas convert aspects of: line of sight, movement, command control, and range of fire. To get it right takes work and artistry and Rinella delivers for me. I could have chosen another game of his but this one is grittiest and feels best.
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19. Board Game: Kohle & Kolonie [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:2551]
Board Game: Kohle & Kolonie
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7. Absolutely tragic that this game is a mess of half done rulebook and waiting to go back into print. Unlike the gratuitous mechanics of so many other heavy games that didn’t make this list this one delivers heavier strategy without so much book keeping. It’s artistry and depth and brilliant. May be the closest thing this decade to touching the untouchable Die Macher
 
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20. Board Game: Nippon [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:329]
Board Game: Nippon
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6. One of the kings of rich strategic choices. So many ways to build for points scoring and they all have ways that work in surprising manners. Again like some of the others named here the mechanics are not gratuitous. My favorite game from What’s Your Game but many of their others are great as well.
 
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21. Board Game: Here I Stand: 500th Anniversary Edition [Average Rating:8.59 Overall Rank:1342]
Board Game: Here I Stand: 500th Anniversary Edition
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5. Cheating a bit here but it’s listed as another game from last decade so will put it on this list. Extreme asymmetry outside of war games may be a newer thing but with war games it’s pretty common. That said here’s the war game that really lets every position play different and is endlessly fun to design deep strategies in.
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22. Board Game: Sidereal Confluence [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:476]
Board Game: Sidereal Confluence: Remastered Edition
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4. What a surprise this game is. It looks like some cube pusher but again it’s a champ of asymmetry. Each of 9 races play very different. Also it brilliantly plays simultaneously truly scaling up to 9 players with little slow down. What a beast.
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23. Board Game: Cthulhu Wars [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:259] [Average Rating:7.91 Unranked]
Board Game: Cthulhu Wars
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3. Cthulhu Wars pwned the games that preceded it doing everything different than modern designers said you should do and showed that those ideals aren’t absolute. Zero variability in setup along with zero randomness in strategic engine building does not prevent infinite variability in strategic exploration. In fact it allows the “that was fun let’s play again” to endlessly refine strategies deeper and deeper with full chess like control other games can’t approach. Likewise large piles of dice as an option does not have to mean high luck outcomes. Alternate no dice strategies can be used equally. Cthulhu wars is like someone had a checklist of what a designer shouldn’t do and then successfully did all of them to make a point and ended up making an even better game for it. It was so badly needed for our hobby. Also did I mention the asymmetry? It’s gonzo crazy.
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24. Board Game: Glorantha: The Gods War [Average Rating:8.08 Overall Rank:2976]
Board Game: Glorantha: The Gods War
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2. Number 2 of the decade for me goes to Glorantha the Godswar. Glorantha being the oldest richest mythology our hobby has produced full of gods and epic stories. Cthulhu Wars gets redone not as another tight strategic knife fight but as a tour de force of heavy diplomacy driven asymmetrical faction engines fully under control of players (no draw a card to discover your strategy and make the best of it here). Again it flaunts game mechanics that aren’t supposed to work but not only do but excel at what strategies they empower. Crazy asymmetry. Deep strategy. Fast playing too.
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25. Board Game: W1815 [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:2459]
Board Game: W1815
Ray
United States
Carpentersville
Illinois
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1. Number one for my decade goes to the only 10 rating I gave last decade. W1815 the game that invented a whole quadrant of gaming that never existed before. Here’s a consim or conflict simulation (a war game that prioritizes reenactment and learning history over defeating your opponent in an even tests of skills). However this one plays not in 8 or 12 or 100 hours but in 10 minutes.

Its a 2 player battle of Waterloo that is driven by each players turn being a simple die roll. But where and what that die roll is has to be driven by a desire to outdo history and see the French or Allies triumph. Then after it’s done someone else from the crowd of onlookers can take the hot seat and try to outdo the last Napoleon. (this is how you make a 2 player game that can entertain a crowd - by having a whole game take as long as a players turn in a larger game)
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