My "Top 10" Is Better Than Yours
J
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My top 10 rated games are a lot better than yours. Here they are in order as well as those that missed the cut.

Feel free to post your own and tell the rest of us why we're wrong!
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1. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:17]
J
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Rating: 10

Agricola. Duh. Do I really need to elaborate? Tons of fun for everyone from newbies to hard core gamers. I have introduced this game to more than ten people and every single one of them, including some non-gamers, asked to play it again right away. Scales great from 2 to 5 players. Highly customizable and variable game play including a family version and three separate decks of cards. I have brought more people to the board gaming hobby with this game than any other and I've only been playing it for eight months. Case closed.
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2. Board Game: Caylus [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:45]
J
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Rating: 10

The best game in the world for two players. Caylus is a zero-luck brilliant "worker placement" design that I believe is best with two players, although it is great with three or four as well. If you love Agricola, get this game.

I'm always in the mood for a worker placement game and if I have two players, I'm picking Caylus over Agricola. If I have three I could go either way. With four or five I'll take Agricola.

If you're a fan of low-luck heavy-weight tension-filled games, you had better own this one.
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3. Board Game: Poker [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:864]
J
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Rating: 9

I'm a eurogame fan and Poker IS my Ameritrash. Tension, thrills, devastating losses, amazing come-from-behind victories. Poker has it all. Poker is scalable from two to at least ten players right in your own home. It is very easy to learn but very difficult to master. It is the BEST social game there is and it is responsible for experiences, both good and bad, that I will remember for the rest of my life. There are many different versions so you can pick your favorites. I prefer seven-card varieties including Texas Hold 'Em. Throw down fifty bucks and get ready to feel alive!
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4. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:29]
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Rating: 9

The best auction game ever, and that's saying a lot in a field with many great games. You really feel like you're building a power grid as you bid for power plants and plug them into your network. Direct player conflict plays out on the board as you compete for the best locations for expanding your influence. Deep tactical and strategic decisions abound as you weigh whether to move into the lead or lag behind as each offer unique benefits. This game always goes right down to the wire.
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5. Board Game: Maharaja: The Game of Palace Building in India [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:511]
J
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Rating: 9

Character selection, resource management, area control, simultaneous action selection. This is the kind of game I wish I could design myself because it stands out from all the rest as a truly unique mesh of several different mechanics. If you like Citadels and Puerto Rico for the way you get to use different roles to achieve specific goals then this game is for you, and I think it is better than both of those titles.
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6. Board Game: Shogun [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:127]
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Rating: 9

A wargame/euro hybrid with direct conflict between players as well as a very interesting economic system. The theme is excellent and I really feel like I'm competing for dominance of feudal Japan. Players manage combat, taxation, feeding the populous, and building infrastructure. This game is full of tension and thrills. The cube tower combat resolution is a great low-luck system for combat that still allows for surprises. If you moved from Risk and Axis & Allies into eurogames, this game is for you.
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7. Board Game: Goa [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:107]
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Rating: 8.8

A great bidding and resource management game that works well for two to four players. In fact it's one of the only bidding/auction games that works for two players. There are several paths to take to victory which makes for very interesting inter-player dynamics. You have to watch your own economic engine while you remember to inhibit those of your opponents. I was able to bring a big wargame fan (C&C:A) over to the euro side through one game of Goa. They need to reprint this game right away.
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8. Board Game: In the Shadow of the Emperor [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:838]
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Rating: 8.8

Area majority and resource management at it's best. I just discovered this game and I can't get enough. This is another example of a game filled with tension, thrills, and disappointment. Do you focus on controlling the most districts or do you make a run at becoming the next emperor? Give it a shot at www.mabiweb.com and see if you agree. Best with four players.
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9. Board Game: Amun-Re [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:261]
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Rating: 8.7

Bidding on plots of land in ancient Egypt, building pyramids, and offering up sacrifices to Ra for favors from the gods. This is the best game I have played for exactly five players, but you want to have exactly five. Bidding, hand management, and some area majority combine into a great game with an interesting mix of mechanics. Halfway through the game it is scored after which all players' positions are wiped out and they compete again for the best positions. The final scoring can often result in a player going from last to first. If you regularly have five players in your group, get this game.
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10. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.34 Overall Rank:4]
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Rating: 8.6

Two-player only. This card-driven "wargame" is often not considered a true wargame by enthusiasts. The Cold War theme is great fun in my opinion and players take on the roles of the USSR and USA battling for world dominance through political influence, the space race, inciting coups, nuclear escalation, and underhanded tactics. There can be massive swings and games can end in the Early War just as easily as they can run all the way through the Late War. You never know how a game is going to play out and every card draw is tension-filled.
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11. Board Game: Railways of the World [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:96] [Average Rating:7.69 Unranked]
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Just missed the cut:

Railroad Tycoon - Rating: 8.5 - A great train game. I'm expecting to like Age of Steam or the soon to be released Steam even more but I haven't tried them yet.

Imperial - Rating: 8.5 - Another war/euro hybrid. Players compete for world dominance through military conflict as well as economic methods. Implements the rondel mechanic which I like. My entire game group really enjoyed this game.

The Pillars of the Earth - Rating: 8.4 - I call it "Caylus light". Lots of fun in another worker placement game. I haven't tried the expansion yet which I've heard makes the game even better.

El Grande (with K&I expansion) - Rating: 8.3 - The best area majority game there is. A classic. The only reason I don't rate it higher is that area majority games can only go so high for me due to the fact that players can very easily and arbitrarily severely damage another player's position. This is the second best game for exactly five players after Amun-Re.

Puerto Rico - Rating: 8.2 - An amazing game that suffers too much from different ability levels of the players involved. Too often I've found that new or poor players can ruin the game by arbitrarily determining the winner. With the right group Puerto Rico is one of the best games there is.
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12. Board Game: Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:26]
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The Contenders:

These are games I haven't played yet that I think might get into my Top 10. I own all of them except Age of Steam and Steam and I'm hoping to play all or most of them within the next month or so.

Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization
Dominion
Tigris & Euphrates
Age of Steam and/or Steam
The Princes of Florence
Brass
Le Havre
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13. Board Game: Mississippi Queen: The Black Rose [Average Rating:6.73 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.73 Unranked]
Lynette
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Richland
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While I like all the games on your list except Amun Re... I find your top 10 to lack in diversity!

You need a good brain burning race game. Mine top 10 for filling this niche is Mississippi Queen. Very little luck only upcoming turns and challenges on the river and it is the same luck for all. And it incorporates resource management and some ability to hose your fellow players at strategic bottle necks by pushing them out of the way an onto sandbars.

The Black Rose expansion makes it perfect. The pirate keeps the last place player in the game.
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14. Board Game: Shear Panic [Average Rating:6.39 Overall Rank:1590]
Lynette
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Ewe also lack a game with movement variation/management and a demand for lots of direct interaction with the other players. Not to mention lots of awfully good puns and a theme that leads to lots of bawdy jokes and laughing.

This game stands out from the herd of typical Euros on many levels.



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15. Board Game: TAMSK [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:1508] [Average Rating:6.79 Unranked]
Lynette
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It is always good to have a top 10 game that demands good but quick decision making. I love this abstract for just that reason. Think too long and your screwed because your timers will run out limiting your options for the rest of the game. Don't think enough and you will be handing this great abstract to your opponent. It is my favorite of the GIPF series, a fantastic two player, no luck, high tension, adrenalin pumping brain burner that demands a rematch *right now*... again and again.

*sigh* If only I could actually get more people to play *two person* games with I might actually get to play this sometimes.

For groups Space Dealer fills a similar niche very well.
Space Dealer

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