A year on BGG - My Top 25
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I recently realized I passed my year anniversary for registering for a BGG account! In celebration of this event, I wanted to rank my top 10 games. 1-10 was rather interesting, so I decided to post the top 25 as I feel it's a more accurate representation of my gaming interests.

Just a quick note about me - I started getting into board games in July of last year while looking for something my then girlfriend (now fiance) and I could enjoy together. Although I primarily play with just her, she's not nearly as into the hobby as I am. Now that I've been getting into heavier and heavier games, I think she'd be content if I never asked her to play board games again. When there's not a global pandemic, I also have a board game group that meets weekly to play lighter games and monthly for more mid to heavy weight games.

Anyways, without further ado, my top 25:
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1. Board Game: Secret Hitler [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:183]
Board Game: Secret Hitler
United States
Wappingers Falls
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#25 - Secret Hitler
Logged plays - 5
Actual plays - 5
Favorite quote - "I'm a fascist!"

I discovered this game thanks to my local board game group. It was one of the first games I played with them and boy did I have a blast! The more I've played the more I've enjoyed it as I got into the groove of how to present myself in the various roles without (hopefully) tipping my hand. I really want to pick this one up, but the high player count requirement makes it far less likely to get played in my house often.
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2. Board Game: Guillotine [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:1148]
Board Game: Guillotine
United States
Wappingers Falls
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#24 - Guillotine
Logged plays - 4
Actual plays - ~15
Favorite quote - "If only you'd stop playing the douchebaggery card!"

This was one of two of the first games I had purchased that had started me down the path of hobby board gaming (the other being Lost Cities). I remember finding it getting delivered earlier than expected as I was heading out to a 4th of July get together at my brother's house. We played this game so much that night alone and had a ton of fun with it. Now a year later, I'm actually surprised it ended up ranked so high only because it doesn't hit the table nearly as often. As an aside, the quote is in reference to the "Callous Guards" card. My brother decided to play it for approximately the entire game and it was obviously awful.
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3. Board Game: Azul [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:46] [Average Rating:7.84 Unranked]
Board Game: Azul
United States
Wappingers Falls
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#23 - Azul
Logged plays - 9
Actual plays - ~20
Favorite quote - "I guess I'll go out on the street now too.."

Another game I bought early on that has fallen by the wayside as I've gotten into heavier games. A very interesting abstract puzzle that's straight forward and probably a little too mean for my liking. I should try to get this out more as a gateway game for my non gaming friends and family.
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4. Board Game: The Networks [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:555]
Board Game: The Networks
United States
Wappingers Falls
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#22 - The Networks
Logged plays - 4
Actual plays - 4
Favorite quote - "I can't believe Name That Stain wasn't more popular."

I think my fiance likes this more than I do. For me, I think the appeal was the parodies of the TV shows and after a few plays, that appeal diminished. Still an enjoyable game that I wouldn't turn down.
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5. Board Game: Telestrations [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:250]
Board Game: Telestrations
United States
Wappingers Falls
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#21 - Telestrations
Logged plays - 0
Actual plays - Too many to count
Favorite quote - "Oh that's what that was? Whoops."

My then girlfriend got this for me as a Christmas gift long before I was interested in board games. We played it over and over and had so many laughs and such a great time, her parents suggested I use it to propose to her. Although that never happened as I went with a more personal route, it shows how much this game deserves a spot on this list! I think it's only so low because it's been overtaken by a few games in the same category (spoiler alert!).
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6. Board Game: PARKS [Average Rating:7.88 Overall Rank:208]
Board Game: PARKS
United States
Wappingers Falls
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#20 - PARKS
Logged plays - 9
Actual plays - 9
Favorite quote - "But I just got the camera!"

In my opinion, the production value in this game is top notch. I simply love the artwork. So much in fact, that I backed the Nightfall Expansion. Can't wait to receive it!
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7. Board Game: Karuba [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:462]
Board Game: Karuba
United States
Wappingers Falls
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#19 - Karuba
Logged plays - 11
Actual plays - 11
Favorite quote - "I guess he's just trapped there now..."

I originally got this in a math trade because my fiance is super into bingo. Right away I noticed the box had a little chart on the back that indicated the games "addictiveness" was quite high. That could not be more accurate...
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8. Board Game: Lorenzo il Magnifico [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:99]
Board Game: Lorenzo il Magnifico
United States
Wappingers Falls
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#18 - Lorenzo il Magnifico
Logged plays - 4
Actual plays - 4
Favorite quote - "Me and Lorenzo rollin' in a Benzo."

I believe I discovered this game through a GameNerdz DOTD (curse you GameNerdz) and it sounded right up my alley. I am so glad I pulled the trigger because 1) it would have been gone in 0.5 seconds if not and 2) it quickly became one of my favorites. I heard the expansion is a must so onto my wishlist it goes!
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9. Board Game: 7 Wonders Duel [Average Rating:8.10 Overall Rank:16]
Board Game: 7 Wonders Duel
United States
Wappingers Falls
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#17 - 7 Wonders Duel
Logged plays - 6
Actual plays - 6
Favorite quote - "Stop calling the clay stone."

This was actually a surprise gift from the BGG Secret Santa (Thank you again if you are reading this). A game I was completely unaware of that I'm more than happy I received because it is just so great. Probably my go to 2 player only game.
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10. Board Game: The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine [Average Rating:8.04 Overall Rank:61]
Board Game: The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine
United States
Wappingers Falls
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#16 - The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine
Logged plays - 4
Actual plays - 4
Favorite quote - "Well we lost."

I had heard so many great things about this game leading up to it's nomination (and subsequent winning) of the Kennerspiel. I wasn't exactly sure it would go over well with us because limited/no communication games we had played (Hanabi and The Mind) flopped so much. It's been a great addition to my collection and I can't wait to play it more.
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11. Board Game: It's a Wonderful World [Average Rating:7.85 Overall Rank:292]
Board Game: It's a Wonderful World
United States
Wappingers Falls
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#15 - It's a Wonderful World
Logged plays - 10
Actual plays - 10
Favorite quote - "Go ahead and take your lady."

We just love trying (and most of the time failing) to most optimally use all our resource cubes we generate each round. This game provides such a satisfying engine building puzzle. It's one of the few games I know I can get my fiance to always play with me.
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12. Board Game: Camel Up (Second Edition) [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:479]
Board Game: Camel Up (Second Edition)
United States
Wappingers Falls
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#14 - Camel Up (Second Edition)
Logged plays - 10
Actual plays - 13
Favorite quote - "OH MY GOD PURPLES GONNA WIN NOW!"

This became an enormous hit with both my game group and future in-laws around the same time. Normally, I would think that would make any game grow pretty old; but due to the complete randomness of everything going on, every play is totally different and fun. It's especially zany when all the camels end up stacked on top of each other. Love this game.
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13. Board Game: Gizmos [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:321]
Board Game: Gizmos
United States
Wappingers Falls
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#13 - Gizmos
Logged plays - 10
Actual plays - 10
Favorite quote - "And I'm gonna take a random...dammit."

This is right around the time I was a little taken aback by how my rankings ended up. Gizmos should, in my opinion, easily have made my top 10. I think there's a little recency bias going on here. Engine builders are my jam and this is one of my favorites. Plus, the marble dispenser gives it a great table presence and lots of eyeballs every time I bring it out.
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14. Board Game: Food Chain Magnate [Average Rating:8.15 Overall Rank:28]
Board Game: Food Chain Magnate
United States
Wappingers Falls
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#12 - Food Chain Magnate
Logged plays - 4
Actual plays - 4
Favorite quote - "So I guess we're marketing drinks now?"

Here's some of that bias I was talking about. I just picked up this game not even 2 weeks ago and I can't stop playing it. Two of my plays were online and they ALMOST had me regret purchasing the physical version. The only downside to the online implementation is it was difficult to track what other players were doing; so for me the physical version gets the edge in the end. This is also the first game I bought an insert for so that should tell you something. Side note: I know I said Azul could be too mean and clearly this is so much meaner...but it's just so great.
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15. Board Game: For Sale [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:295]
Board Game: For Sale
United States
Wappingers Falls
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#11 - For Sale
Logged plays - 16
Actual plays - 16
Favorite quote - "And now I have no money.."

This is the first game on the list that I've never played in real life. All my plays have come via Board Game Arena during the pandemic. I'm flat out awful at this game as I always seem to bid high at the most inopportune times. That being said, I did finally win a game the other night so to whoever my opponents were, I thank you.
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16. Board Game: Team Play [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:2809]
Board Game: Team Play
United States
Wappingers Falls
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#10 - Team Play
Logged plays - 5
Actual plays - ~15
Favorite quote - "I hope this brings you joy and happiness."

Finally what we've all been waiting for: the top 10! Part of the appeal with this game is trying to keep track of what your opponent has picked up and attempting to give them something useful to help achieve their goal. And then there's the agony when someone picks up something you need right before you get the chance to take your turn. That's always fun, right?
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17. Board Game: Chinatown [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:362]
Board Game: Chinatown
United States
Wappingers Falls
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#9 - Chinatown
Logged plays - 5
Actual plays - 5
Favorite quote - "50 thousand dim sum."

My future mother-in-law described this as "gangster Monopoly" based primarily on the way I play. I love the open negotiation aspect so much more than I ever thought I would, though we usually put a timer on it or else this runs far too long.
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18. Board Game: Orléans [Average Rating:8.08 Overall Rank:23]
Board Game: Orléans
United States
Wappingers Falls
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#8 - Orléans
Logged plays - 9
Actual plays - 9
Favorite quote - "Ugh the plague?! I pass."

If I'm being completely honest, I'm surprised this made it so high. Not because I don't enjoy the game; in fact I don't think I could ever pass it up. I think it's just getting a little too samey for me. That being said, I've exclusively played with 2 players so I'm sure it could only get better with more. I've also never played with expansions which I've heard are musts.
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19. Board Game: Spirit Island [Average Rating:8.32 Overall Rank:13]
Board Game: Spirit Island
United States
Wappingers Falls
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#7 - Spirit Island
Logged plays - 5
Actual plays - 5
Favorite quote - "Oh we won."

Another example of recency bias. Like with Food Chain Magnate, I picked this up fairly recently and, despite not playing with more than the 4 starter spirits, I can't get enough. I love how the co-op in this removes the quarterbacking issues so many other co-ops come with. Plus the solo game is exactly the same as multiplayer just on a smaller scale which is awesome especially when my fiance is over it.
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20. Board Game: Monikers [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:355] [Average Rating:7.77 Unranked]
Board Game: Monikers
United States
Wappingers Falls
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#6 - Monikers
Logged plays - 14
Actual plays - 14
Favorite quote - "JUST GET TO BURNING MAN! COME ON 5 MORE SECONDS!!"

This game is a riot. Admittedly I am terrible as charades and most social interactions, so I've found this game is much better when played with close friends and family. This will be one we keep playing for years to come.
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21. Board Game: Mystic Vale [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:381]
Board Game: Mystic Vale
United States
Wappingers Falls
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#5 - Mystic Vale
Logged plays - 5
Actual plays - 5
Favorite quote - "I'm gonna push my luck..and I spoiled."

We've also played with the Twilight Garden expansion which adds oh so much with the leader cards. I enjoy the card crafting aspect of this game quite a bit. I wish games could last a little bit longer!
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22. Board Game: Dominion (Second Edition) [Average Rating:7.95 Overall Rank:260] [Average Rating:7.95 Unranked]
Board Game: Dominion (Second Edition)
United States
Wappingers Falls
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#4 - Dominion (Second Edition)
Logged plays - 13
Actual plays - 13
Favorite quote - "I have 2 Estates, a Duchy, and 2 Copper..."

The first time we played this, the person teaching us had mention that some people REALLY enjoy this game so much so that they never want to play anything else. After playing, my fiance says "remember when he said...yeah I feel that."
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23. Board Game: Wingspan [Average Rating:8.11 Overall Rank:20]
Board Game: Wingspan
United States
Wappingers Falls
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#3 - Wingspan
Logged plays - 22
Actual plays - I lost track after about...say 75?
Favorite quote - "Okay let's play again."

Everything about this list is a lie. This is my favorite game. How it did not get the #1 spot is beyond me. Yes I am serious and not at all sarcastic.
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24. Board Game: Terraforming Mars [Average Rating:8.43 Overall Rank:4]
Board Game: Terraforming Mars
United States
Wappingers Falls
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#2 - Terraforming Mars
Logged plays - 10
Actual plays - 10
Favorite quote - "So we still don't have oxygen but we can have pets?"

Terraforming Mars was horrendously awful without the Prelude expansion. There. I said it. Now that we can actually finish a game in less than 3 hours, sure the randomness of the card draws can get annoying, but who doesn't want to terraform Mars?!
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25. Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy [Average Rating:8.13 Overall Rank:14]
Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy
United States
Wappingers Falls
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#1 - The Castles of Burgundy
Logged plays - 4
Actual plays - ~20
Favorite quote - "This game is actually fun."

All of my additional plays of Castles of Burgundy came from the app. When I got sufficiently bored of playing, I of course got a physical copy in a math trade because why not? I'm really glad I did though because it's one I'm sure I could get my fiance to play without much trouble. This is just an excellent game that plays differently every time. It makes me want to get more Feld into my life!
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