My top 10 favorite games
Nate Sandall
United States
Portland
Oregon
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Some days I get bored reading geeklists and articles. That's when I decide it's time for me to do one myself! Sometimes I have a subject picked out days or weeks ahead of time for that right time to put it together. Other times I decide on the fly. Well, today I decided I should put a list together of my 10 favorite games. These games seem to me to be immensely replayable and I learn a little something about how better to play every time I do so. I blame the rest of you for 9 of these not being the top 10 on the geek hehe . Seriously though, I love these games and I've always been able to find someone else to love them as well.
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1. Board Game: Civilization [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:225] [Average Rating:7.52 Unranked]
Nate Sandall
United States
Portland
Oregon
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As I've said many places, Civilization is my favorite game. However, I've only played with the Advanced Civilization expansion over the last 13 years. Lately I've become less thrilled by Advanced Civilization due to it's length and the flaws in the system pointed out by others here on the geek. Before I discovered the geek and the great games I was missing, Advanced Civilization was definitely my favorite but after playing some really fine games in the last couple years I began to see Advanced Civilization's flaws. I recently lowered my rating on Advanced Civ but now I find myself wanting to play the original again. Yes, that's right. So what I really want to know is can I go back? Can I get 3 or 4 friends and the Western Expansion map and sit down and play the original again and rediscover the joy I once had with a 6 hour playtime? I find myself wanting to more and more lately...
 
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2. Board Game: Genoa [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:497]
Nate Sandall
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Brown doesn't seem like an exciting color to me so maybe that's why Traders of Genoa sat on my shelf for six months before I forced myself to study the rules and insisted my friends try it out. You know what? This game is fantastic! I love negotiation and trading and heavy player interaction and Traders of Genoa is probably the best example of a friendly negotiation game. What's really amazing to me is the game system seems to reward the more creative deal making. Maybe not the best game for introverts or those who don't like thinking fast and impulsively jumping on an opportunity, but I just can't get enough!
 
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3. Board Game: Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:135]
Nate Sandall
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Before Hannibal: Rome vrs Carthage just about every wargame I had played was move chit pile here count up factors look at tables roll dice. Every game on this list gave me an instant feeling of bliss and discovery and Hannibal quickly proved it was worth every penny I spent for it. Many games have a preferred opening strategy that players use that end up making most games feel the same for the first half of a game but not Hannibal! My last game I was the Carthaginians and I left Hannibal in Spain with 2 combat units while I sailed Mago and 11 combat units (including elephants) to Sicily where he promptly spanked (the Roman general who starts there - what's his name?) and wiped out the Roman army there. My friend then sailed P. Scipio to Saguntum (Spain) to try to catch Hannibal and kill him in order to get a sudden death victory (Hannibal escaped!). I had to haul Mago back to Spain or else all was lost and the resulting battle pretty much wiped out both our armies! The war had barely started and we both were now scrambling to come up with whatever armies we could throw together. Amazing game that we always seem to play twice in a row in a session as we're not that good yet and always lose too fast. I love it!
 
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4. Board Game: Ra [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:134]
Nate Sandall
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The classics all seem to get bashed after a while and Ra seems to be taking it on the nose lately here on the geek. The upcoming reprint will expose the curious to the wondrous gem that this game is. I think this is my favorite 3 player game of all time! Sure the theme is light but I prefer fascinating gameplay anytime over games that "are a hoot if everyone really gets into it". Ra is all about rhythm and timing and figuring out your opponents. Sure there is luck involved but if you don't manage it right or if you get too greedy, you wont win.
 
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5. Board Game: YINSH [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:131] [Average Rating:7.69 Unranked]
Nate Sandall
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I purchased Dvonn at one of the Wizards of the Coast stores during their liquidation and wasn't really thrilled with it. However I heard good things about Yinsh and got to try it on Brettspielewelt and about halfway into my second game I knew I had to have it! Many abstract strategy games to me seem designed to be heavy and cerebral. This may be true with Yinsh but the fact that if you don't like your position that you're looking at you can just make a move that will rearrange half the map! The game also self balances somewhat in that when one player gets one or two rows of five, he has to remove a ring so suddenly getting another row is harder because it's easier for your opponant to block you or - better yet - to jump over part of your hard work and rearrange the board. It's so much fun I've become more curious about the other Gipf games. Also, I can't recommend this game highly enough - my second favorite two player game after Hannibal: Rome vrs Carthage.
 
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6. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:15]
Nate Sandall
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I thought about putting a picture from Busen Memo here. I've played lots of Puerto Rico and I definitely prefer 5 or 4 players to 3. I've not played it two player and don't see myself doing so with Hannibal and Yinsh calling to me hehe.
 
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7. Board Game: Kremlin [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:853]
Nate Sandall
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Kremlin is a delightfully evil little game that plays within 1-2 hours and works well with 3-6 players. This is the first game I expect to eventually replace due to wear and tear as we've logged many sessions over the years. Last game we played on Monday night I promoted one of the people to a candidate spot only to turn around and purge her in the next purge phase. Confounded, my friend Matt who was playing his second game ever said to me "Why'd you promote her then purge her?". My answer? "Because I could."
 
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8. Board Game: Hoity Toity [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:1200]
Nate Sandall
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Fast and crazy! I've not played Adel Verpflichtet without five players and I don't want to! Adel is a great little game where if you can figure out what your friends will do you will win. Learning to predict the actions of others will do you well in this game and the more you play it the more likely they will be able to predict YOU! Can be miserable if you fall really far behind but fortunately the game is quite short (30-45 minutes) and so you don't have to sit there in agony for long if you made many bad choices early on like I did last time I played (twice I thieved early on and both times was met by two detectives!) I definitely did better the second half of the game.
 
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9. Board Game: Dune [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:215]
Nate Sandall
United States
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Of all the games on this list, Dune is the one I've played the least and only played one time. I need to read the rules again and get them down and schedule a game because Dune seems more like an event game - one to plan a game night around than a game that you would decide upon as a group on game night when everyone's trying to decide what to play (where they'll overlook it because of the brown box!). I know it will be worth it!
 
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10. Board Game: Chinatown [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:363]
Nate Sandall
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I love Chinatown! This seems natural since I really like negotiating and trading games and Chinatown is a very clean system that is easy to understand. I highly recommend this game for non gamers as it's highly interactive and likely that they will still be in the running when the light goes on (unlike some games where you will lose the first time you play experienced players).
 
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11. Board Game: Fast Food Franchise [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:3969]
Nate Sandall
United States
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Now this is not amongst my favorite games but I have to mention that Fast Food Franchise is probably the most well liked game amongst all the people that I play games with regularly. Fast Food seems to come out just about every gaming session! It's a kind of monopoly style game that moves very fast and finishes within two hours max. Worth trying out and a great game to throw at a Monopoly lover in your conversion process.
 
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