Tom Vasel's Forgotten Favorites: 2005-2009
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With this year’s top 200 list, Tom Vasel has given us five years of his rankings. I have been given access to some of his extensive records. After sifting through the data, I've found some interesting patterns that reflect the changing world of boardgames and the shifting sands of Tom’s preferences. I hope that some of these observations are interesting and may provoke some additional commentary from Tom as well as from fellow fans of the Dice Tower.

Note: In a few cases, Tom’s data differed from the video podcast information. Based on communication with Tom, any discrepancies should be resolved in favor of the video information. Please inform me of any errors on my part.

This listing is devoted to those games that have shown the greatest dropoff in Tom's rankings after having appeared in the Top 100 at least once. Since Tom tends to highlight the games that rank high in his annual efforts, he hasn't provided much commentary into the reasons for games that plunge from the Top 100 to the Second 100. Perhaps he can provide some insights into why these games lost favor in his eyes. It is important to remember that all of these games still show up in his annual favorites, just at a much lower ranking than in previous years. As Tom is fond of saying - "None of these are bad games."

Games in this category were ranked according to the highest number of places that they dropped in any one year. I used a drop of 80 places as my arbitrary cutoff to make a manageable list of games. A few noteworthy games that fall into this category but did not make the cutoff were:

Primordial Soup dropping from #21 in 2005 to #146 in 2009
Conquest of the Empire dropping from #28 in 2005 to #113 in 2009
Keythedral dropping from #43 in 2005 to #145 in 2009
Mystery of the Abbey dropping from #24 to #143 in 2009

To see the 5 years of Top 100/200 listings, please go to the Dice Tower website at http://www.thedicetower.com/thedicetower/index.php/top_100.

For further analyses of the mind of Tom Vasel check out...
Tom Vasel's Old Reliables http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/46814
Tom Vasel's Dark Horses http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/46813
Tom Vasel's Rookies of the Year http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/46778
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1. Board Game: Caylus [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:45]
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Originally published in 2005
Debuts at #34 in 2006
2007 Ranking #201 or worse (Note: Rankings only went to 200 in 2007)
2008 Ranking #223
2009 Ranking #184

Highest annual drop off: -167 or more places

Holy cow!! No other game has ever dropped from the Top Fifty and gone completely off the charts in the next year. I'm really curious as to what caused the loss of love for Caylus. Maybe the ranking card was lost under the sofa that year. I hope we get some comments from Tom on this one.
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2. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:70]
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Originally published in 1997
Debuts at #16 in 2005
2006 Ranking #53
2007 Ranking #170
2008 Ranking #207
2009 Ranking #239

Highest annual drop off: -117 places

This one will surely drop out of the Top 250 next year.
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3. Board Game: Dragons of Kir [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:5355]
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Originally published in 2005
Debuts in at #82 in 2006
2007 Ranking #182
2008 Ranking #212
2009 Ranking #244

Highest annual drop off: -100 places

Another candidate to be off the Top 250 list in 2010.
 
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4. Board Game: BANG! [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:1031]
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Originally published in 2002
Debuts at #17 in 2005
2006 Ranking #22
2007 Ranking #78
2008 Ranking #104
2009 Ranking #203

Highest annual drop off: -99 places

A steady decline for a few years and then Bang! it dropped almost 100 places this year. What happenened?
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5. Board Game: Doom: The Boardgame [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:808]
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Originally published in 2004
Debuts at #83 in 2005
2006 Ranking #101 or worse (Note:Rankings only went to 100 in 2006)
2007 Ranking #132
2008 Ranking #224
2009 Ranking #253

Highest annual drop off: -92 places

I attribute the diminishing rankings for this game to the popularity of its superior cousin, Descent, which has always been a favorite of Tom's. Looks like this one might disappear off the big list next year.
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6. Board Game: Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:419]
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Originally published in 2002
Debuted at #92 in 2005
2006 Ranking #80
2007 Ranking #92
2008 Ranking #113
2009 Ranking #201

Highest annual drop off: -88 places

Although never one of Tom's top favorites, this game lingered around the 100 spot for several years before really taking a plunge this year.
 
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7. Board Game: La Città [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:561]
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Originally published in 2002
Debuted at #47 in 2005
2006 Ranking #42
2007 Ranking #65
2008 Ranking #78
2009 Ranking #165

Highest annual drop off: -87 places

Another game which fell dramatically out of favor this past year. Oh Tom, what a fickle heart you have.
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8. Board Game: Succession: Intrigue in the Royal Court [Average Rating:5.74 Overall Rank:9685]
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Originally published in 2004
Debuted at #88 in 2005
2006 Ranking #101 or worse (Note: Rankings only went to 100 in 2006)
2007 Ranking #163
2008 Ranking #188
2009 Ranking #227

Highest annual drop off: -87 places
 
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9. Board Game: The Great Space Race [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:3983]
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Originally published in 2006
Debuted at #59 in 2006
2007 Ranking #101
2008 Ranking #122
2009 Ranking #204

Highest annual drop off: -82 places
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10. Board Game: Modern Art [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:226]
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Originally published in 1992
Debuted at #48 in 2005
2006 Ranking #61
2007 Ranking #141
2008 Ranking #213
2009 Ranking #245

Highest annual drop off: -80 places
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