The All New and Improved Five Guys' Favorite Games List
Chuck Uherske
United States
Rockville
Maryland
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The Five Guys game group has had a fulfilling year of gaming. As seems to be ever the case, the participants in the group are going through various momentous life changes, but these somehow never pull us apart. The ritual gaming experiences are like a steadying anchor; we all bob around in various directions but still find ourselves back at the table together.

Previously, I'd kept a "top 10" list of the group's favorite games, determined by survey. We've played so many games now that we seem to have outgrown the "top 10" limitation, so I've expanded this list to 15 games.

Significant changes on this list mark the evolving preferences of our game group. Still, some things stay the same. Four of the top seven choices are Sid Sackson games. Wolfgang Kramer also turns in an impressive showing, with three of his solo or joint efforts in our top eight.
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1. Board Game: Acquire [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:206]
Chuck Uherske
United States
Rockville
Maryland
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At heart, we're traditionalists. In the last survey, Acquire cemented its position in the #1 spot. No voter had it lower than 7th.
 
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2. Board Game: I'm the Boss! [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:930]
Chuck Uherske
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Rockville
Maryland
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I'm the Boss zoomed to second place after not even being in the top 10 last time. A bit of a shocker, since we haven't played it much of late. But everyone who voted had it on their list somewhere.

I'm the Boss is a bit of a change of pace for us, much more interactive and festive than many of our games. We haven't quite gotten the hang of it and sometimes the tempo slows, but it's played with a good feeling throughout.
 
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3. Board Game: The Princes of Florence [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:116]
Chuck Uherske
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Princes has made a distinct, solid impression on the group players. We haven't had it out much lately, but its high position in the survey remains strong. As with I'm the Boss, everyone picked Princes, though no one had it higher than their fourth pick.
 
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4. Board Game: Dream Factory [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:575]
Chuck Uherske
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I'm the biggest Traumfabrik enthusiast in the group, but one fellow voter also had it in his top five.

Certain playing patterns repeat themselves in our Traumfabrik games, but as players adjust to one another, the results remain gripping and fascinating.

 
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5. Board Game: El Grande [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:53]
Chuck Uherske
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El Grande is greatly beloved by two of the group's players, who picked it first and second, respectively. It might ultimately rise higher, for its high position is in spite of the fact that some of our voters haven't even played it yet.

El Grande is a game we play when we feel we have the time and energy to do some serious gaming. It doesn't have a chance to come out if it's late in the evening and we're all already tired.
 
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6. Board Game: Sleuth [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:944]
Chuck Uherske
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Long the perennial favorite of the Five Guys group, Sleuth drops to sixth from a lack of play. But it's actually only one point shy of third place, and might well rise again when we try out the new Face 2 Face version, yet to be played. Still my personal #1 pick.
 
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7. Board Game: Venture [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:2703]
Chuck Uherske
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Long the third member of our Holy Trinity of Sid Sackson games (along with Acquire and Sleuth), Venture also drops a bit in the rankings. We may need to revise the Trinity phrase now that Sackson's other masterpiece, I'm the Boss, has risen in group esteem. Venture retained one #1 vote.
 
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8. Board Game: Daytona 500 [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:1334]
 
Chuck Uherske
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Games 2 through 7 are bunched in the point totals, then there's a bit of a drop before pick #8, Daytona 500. Still, it's an impressive debut on the list considering that some group members haven't yet played it.

I find Daytona 500 to be a distinct gaming experience from many of the others above. It's pure, childlike fun maneuvering the cars around the track, but there's still plenty to think about.
 
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9. Board Game: Santiago [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:522]
Chuck Uherske
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Santiago has made a solid debut with us. I wouldn't say that it gets oohs and aahs from the players, but it definitely involves everyone to the end. A couple of our group seem to have mental blocks with this game for some reason.
 
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10. Board Game: Evo [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:756]
Chuck Uherske
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I'm probably the player with the mental block in this game, though I do like it, and did list it. Again, a game that has only been played and listed by part of our group.
 
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11. Board Game: Through the Desert [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:435]
Chuck Uherske
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Through the Desert has a very particular following among the group. One player listed it second, another eighth, and no one else voted for it at all. Seems to have a narrow but passionate base.
 
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12. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:139] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Chuck Uherske
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Rockville
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Carcassonne stayed maddeningly (from my perspective) in our top 10 for some time, though I dislike it. Fortunately (again from my perspective), as we have played more and more truly interesting games, the group's interest in Caraccassonne has started to fade.
 
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13. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:124] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
Chuck Uherske
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The level of interest in Ticket to Ride is pretty much what you'd expect; no one lists it at the very top, but there is casual, general interest throughout the group.
 
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14. Board Game: Samarkand [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:2553]
Chuck Uherske
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Rockville
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Just nosed out by the game to which I consider it most similar in terms of feel and rewards, Samarkand is another Sackson entry in our top 15. It has two distinct fans in the group (I'm one of them.)
 
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15. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:70]
Chuck Uherske
United States
Rockville
Maryland
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Expanding our list to 15 enabled Tigris and Euphrates to be included. One of our group lists it at #1, but no one else even gave it a single vote anywhere in their own top 15. Appears to be one of those games whose appeal is somewhat mysterious to those not already hooked on it.
 
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