Love you more than everything Loved it more than anything Loved everything more than anything: an attempt at commitment
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There's a 50 GAMES Spirit in the air. I feel which way this wind is blowing and I comply.

Here are my 50 games. The ones I would keep. The ones that I am actively culling my collection into becoming.

I've done this sort of thing for the past few years.
2018 - A Top 20 Tabletop Games List after 2,236 plays, 543 ratings, over the course of 12 years, 5 months, 5 days on BGG
2019 - 50 Alphabetical
2020 - The Compleat Gamester - trawlerman's Top 100 Games, May 18th-19th, 2020 Edition, to be completely revised on the morrow, weather permitting, and if he gets out of bed.

It's a useful exercise to take account of what games really matter. I'm finally at a point at which I don't think I need more than 50 games. 50 is an arbitrary number. I've still got at least a couple hundred games in the house, though most of those are now games belonging to the kids (which was my fault in introducing so many, many different games in the first place, and I keep buying them new games, sigh...).

Note #1: I'm going back to alphabetical in presentation this year.

Note #2: I could make a slimmed down <20 games version of this list. I'm going to add an * at the beginning of each item to indicate a game that is part of that '20 essentials' list.

Spoiler: Here's the Essential 20 as of today, slightly different tomorrow.
Abstracts: Bladder, Checkers, Chess, Go, Hnefatafl, Shogi
Cards: Boon, Haggis, Hearts, Oh Hell!, Plus-Minus, Vivaldi
CCG: Magic: The Gathering
Dice: Perudo
Modern: Carcassonne, Tigris & Euphrates, Tikal
RPG: DCC
Solo: Barbarian Prince
Word: Boggle


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26. Board Game: In Vino Morte [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:5295]
Board Game: In Vino Morte
I've almost played this enough for myself, but I'd gladly still play it with my kids and do like it as an icebreaker game for non-gaming crowds.

First played: 12/09/19
Last played: 12/06/20
Total # of plays: 24
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27. Board Game: The King is Dead: Second Edition [Average Rating:7.95 Overall Rank:785]
Board Game: The King is Dead: Second Edition
This is my most recent crush. I think it has staying power.

First played: 03/20/21
Last played: 04/12/21
Total # of plays: 3
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28. RPG Item: The Legendary Guys [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked]
From gallery of BoardGameGeek
I'm convinced that this would be wildly popular with RPG/story-game crowds if there were just some good way to promote it. I wish Level 99 would print up 1,000 more copies and just send them in the mail to anyone paying $1.

First played: 09/18/14
Last played: 09/14/18
Total # of plays: 6
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29. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:158] [Average Rating:7.53 Unranked]
Board Game: Magic: The Gathering
*
Besides Chess, this is the game I've been playing the longest in my life. I do still love it. These days, I almost exclusively play 2p "live booster draft". https://goblinartisans.blogspot.com/2016/12/live-booster-dra... I've got boxes of cards in the basement that I never touch. This is on the list, though, because at least once a year I enjoy buying six new boosters and exploring whatever new stuff they give me. I'm sure I've spent more on Magic over the last two decades than all of the other games on this list ccombined.That's more than a little crazy, but Magic still gives me a unique feeling/experience that nothing else has been able to replace.

First played: pre-BGG
Last played: 03/19/21
Total # of plays: 283+
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30. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:148] [Average Rating:7.56 Unranked]
Board Game: Memoir '44
I recently re-purchased this to play with my 9yo son. We've played once so far. I was not disappointed. He loved it and is hooked. After our one play last week, he's had it set up every day playing with any of his siblings who will indulge him.

First played: pre-BGG
Last played: 05/09/21
Total # of plays: 3+
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31. Board Game: Mini Shogi [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:11145]
Board Game: Mini Shogi
A quick Shogi fix.

First played: 11/28/20
Last played: 11/28/20
Total # of plays: 1
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32. Board Game: Mittlere Jass [Average Rating:8.12 Unranked]
Board Game: Mittlere Jass
*
Specifically Plus-Minus Jass. It might be the very best 3p card game. I need to play it more.

First played: 02/07/21
Last played: 02/07/21
Total # of plays: 1
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33. Board Game: Nine Men's Morris [Average Rating:5.36 Overall Rank:20708]
Board Game: Nine Men's Morris
I don't even own a board. I can just scratch one out any time I want to play! I love that!

First played: 01/03/21
Last played: 01/03/21
Total # of plays: 2
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34. Board Game: Oh Hell! [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:2193]
Board Game: Oh Hell!
*
I've played with fairly friendly rules. Always one point for each trick won. 10 extra points if you meet your trick bid. Dealer can't bid equal to total tricks.

First played: 07/05/20
Last played: 01/03/21
Total # of plays: 3
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35. Board Game: Pax Pamir: Second Edition [Average Rating:8.40 Overall Rank:59]
Board Game: Pax Pamir: Second Edition
I suspect that this would have had at least double the plays if the world hadn't shut down last year.

First played: 06/25/19
Last played: 02/08/20
Total # of plays: 10
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36. Board Game: Perudo [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:700]
Board Game: Perudo
*
There's something special and pure to rolling dice and bluffing.

First played: 05/27/06
Last played: 02/18/19
Total # of plays: 14
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37. Board Game: Push It [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:3703]
Board Game: Push It
I don't have the space for a Crokinole board. I like PitchCar, but get annoyed by aspects of it. Push It is the perfect disk flicking game for me.

First played: 09/10/19
Last played: 04/17/20
Total # of plays: 20
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38. Board Game: Schotten Totten [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:405]
Board Game: Schotten Totten
Without the tactics cards. Always.

First played: 10/11/16
Last played: 09/17/20
Total # of plays: 13
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39. Board Game: Scopa [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:3321]
Board Game: Scopa
I found Scopa to be a lovely, enjoyable experience with a little bit of wonky scoring that I grew to like. I probably won't do it because my schedule can vary, but I'd love to have a regular Scopa morning over coffee with either my wife or one of my daughters. I do still need to try 4p Scientific Scopone.

First played: 04/05/20
Last played: 04/05/20
Total # of plays: 2
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40. Board Game: Shogi [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:1328]
Board Game: Shogi
*
Some days, I think this is my favorite game. Other days, I realize that there is no local community of players in the area. So it goes. I do have one local friend that loves the game and one of my daughters will play, so really I just need to get rid of more games, get off of BGG, stop making excuses, and play more Shogi.

First played: 07/10/18
Last played: 01/08/20
Total # of plays: 8
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41. Board Game: Tak [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:844]
Board Game: Tak
Alongside Hive, Tak is one of a few very good commercial abstract games of the last twenty years that will likely have significant play communities for at least another twenty years.

First played: 01/16/17
Last played: 07/28/20
Total # of plays: 22
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42. Board Game: Target Arnhem: Across 6 Bridges [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:4961]
Board Game: Target Arnhem: Across 6 Bridges
I played this solo a few times when MMP first sent it out. I only ever got two face-to-face plays, but they were great.

First played: 01/04/10
Last played: 01/04/10
Total # of plays: 2+
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43. Board Game: Telestrations [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:266]
Board Game: Telestrations
This is the party game that even a proud party pooper such as myself cannot resist. I've always had a stupidly good time playing Telestrations.

First played: 12/25/15
Last played: 09/18/20
Total # of plays: 15
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44. Board Game: Terra Nova [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:2687]
Board Game: Terra Nova
Terra Nova never goes over as well as I would like it to with others, but I still love it and have been holding onto it.

First played: 11/03/11
Last played: 03/20/21
Total # of plays: 12
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45. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:95]
Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates
*
There was a brief period of maybe up to a few months last year when I thought that Babylonia had replaced T&E for me. It hasn't. T&E cannot be replaced. It is Knizia's masterpiece and the greatest game of my lifetime. There. I said it. It's true.

First played: 05/17/06
Last played: 03/20/21
Total # of plays: 20
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46. Board Game: Tikal [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:273]
Board Game: Tikal
*
Some days I like Tikal more than I like T&E. It's that good of a game. I love action points and I love area majority.

First played: 10/19/06
Last played: 01/07/20
Total # of plays: 14
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47. Board Game: UNO [Average Rating:5.41 Overall Rank:20906] [Average Rating:5.41 Unranked]
Board Game: UNO
I've got great memories of playing this with my father and grandfather. I dismissed it for years as an adult "serious gamer". I was an idiot. My 7yo loves this and I love playing it with him. I do need to check out Crazy 8s and Mau Mau because even if I'm fond of Uno, I think it's probably better to have something similar that can be played with a traditional deck.

First played: pre-BGG
Last played: 04/12/21
Total # of plays: 11+
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48. Board Game: Vivaldi [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:11985]
Board Game: Vivaldi
*
This is a streamlined take on Briscola Chiamata. I liked it so much I wrote a review after 1 play, which I never do.

First played: 11/19/20
Last played: 11/19/20
Total # of plays: 1
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49. Board Game: Xiangqi [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:1462]
Board Game: Xiangqi
Xiangqi does not have the personal claim on me that chess does. It doesn't excite me the way Shogi does. Yet I still find it fascinating and want to play more.

First played: 11/18/19
Last played: 11/18/19
Total # of plays: 2
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50. Board Game: Yōkaï no Mori [Average Rating:6.96 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.96 Unranked]
Board Game: Yōkaï no Mori
This box includes Let's Catch the Lion! and Goro-Goro Dōbutsu Shōgi, both great Shogi variants.

First played: 04/22/14
Last played: 04/17/20
Total # of plays: 21
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