What's your perfect game?
Tom Thingamagummy
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Oakland
California
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This is a list which requires your contribution! Tell me what your perfect game is, and what makes it perfect for you. It doesn't have to be your favorite game (which mine isn't). Just respect the game enough to give solid reasons why it is perfect for you. Take a look at the first entry, in case you need an idea of what I mean.
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1. Board Game: Café International [Average Rating:6.28 Overall Rank:2070]
Tom Thingamagummy
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While Tichu is one of my favorite games, my perfect game is Cafe International. My reasons are:

1.) It has some luck to it. What you draw out of the bag is purely chance. You do know the distribution of the tiles, so you can make some rough estimates of probability. It's not quite as important early in the game, but more important later in the game.

2.) It has open information, which minimizes the luck factor and increases the opportunistic cost of tile placements. All the tiles that players currently have is open in formation. You can certainly hold off on playing certain tiles if there's nobody else who can make the same play. You can play particular tiles to goad others into playing tiles that will seemingly maximize their score, or that will set you up for a winning position.

3.) It requires skill. You have to plan out your moves. You have to decide how to place your tiles (setting up a single nationality table versus intentionally creating a multi-national table). You have to maximize your score by creating tables of singular nationalities without giving your opponents too much opportunity to do the same. You have to set up a good placement for "inbetween" tables, so you can get a big score on 2 tables, rather than just one.

4.) Timing is a key element. When to play to the bar, when to create a single nationality table to reduce your hand size, when to play one tile instead of two, when to use the jokers, when to steal a joker to your hand... all of these are choices that you have to make that vastly affect your performance.

5.) The game is graphically interesting. While the pictures of the males and females of the game may be a bit stereotypical, they are pretty funny and interesting. The board layout is interesting in terms of which countries get placed next to each other. As the tiles get placed, I like the effect it creates. We always joke that the first 5 to the bar are the designated drivers or the more socially responsible drinkers. Any Brits in the first 5 places are considered to be "having tea."

6.) The rules are very simple. It doesn't take that long to teach this game, and most players pick it up very quickly. It's a simple set collection / sorting type of game. The tile placement is intuitive as the board has squares where the people get placed. As my friend Lili said, "I like this game. I'm good at segregation."

7.) While it plays 2-4 (and I wish it scaled to 5 or 6), the game play is not affected by the number of players. It's just as enjoyable with 2 as it is with 3 or 4.

8.) Lastly, it plays in a very short time. On BSW, a game can last 10-15 minutes. In person, it plays from 30-45 minutes. It's a great warm up game, filler, or just end of the evening wind down.

So this is my perfect game. A SdJ winner, well deserved, and the fact that this game is not PC makes it a sad choice for a reprint. But I'm really happy to own this game.
 
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2. Board Game: Imperial [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:140]
 
g s
United States
Moab
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The answer to this varies over time, but right now I'd have to say Imperial comes as close as any game. I've now played 176 games of Imperial on BSW.

This game just really tickles my brain. There is always a lot to think about. You must be able to plan well, but also be prepared to modify your plans at any time.

Player interaction is constant and integral to play. Even on BSW where there is usually very little 'table talk', there is an element of psychological interaction.

The combination of investing and conquest is extremely engaging and, while not unique, it is unusual, and superbly implemented in Imperial.

Imperial has the feel of a game that was extremely well thought out and thoroughly playtested.

We have developed quite good cadre of players on BSW. I invite anyone interested in the game to join us there and give online play a try. If you're not familiar with playing on BSW, geekmail me and I can meet you online to go help you with the interface.

I rate Imperial an '11'.
 
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3. Board Game: Diplomacy [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:501]
Nikosu Oyama
Finland
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50 years old classic. Nothing beats the thrill or the feeling of paranoia that this came brings. I also relish the fact that it requires high level of interaction between the players. Because of the fact that this can only be played with 7 people, I think that 10 is maybe too much. But then again this is the game with 7 people so I don't really mind. Perfect game for me.
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4. Board Game: Saint Petersburg [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:229]
Dan Poole
United States
Goldsboro
North Carolina
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This is my perfect game. I simply love it. I don't really know why, but it just clicked for me. I even play it ad infinitum solitaire on online, and it never gets old
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5. Board Game: Go [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:121]
(The Artist formerly known as) Arnest R
Germany
Munich
Bavaria
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While not all rule-sets (think japanese rules) do this game's intrinsic perfection complete justice, the game system is itself utterly simple and the resulting gameplay deep beyond human grasp. That's perfection to me.
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