My most played games over the last 3 years.
Eric Clason
United States
Cedar Rapids
Iowa
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I started recording my game plays on the ‘geek in January of 2007. This is a list of games that I have played at least 5 times between January 2007 and December 2009. I choose 5 for a number of reasons:
- It’s a round number, and people often refer to their 5 and dime list.
- I require a game to be played 5 times before it is eligible for my Top 10 list. (Games with fewer that 5 plays are eligible for my Hot 10 list.) So games on this list are eligible for my Top 10.
- Plays of games that I have played 5 times represents approximately half my total game plays over the 3 year period.

My comments on the games will, among other things, hopefully give you some idea of why these games are on the list.
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1. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:50]
Eric Clason
United States
Cedar Rapids
Iowa
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30 plays.

Currently numero uno on my Top 10 games it. It also is a relatively short game. So it’s not surprising that it’s my most played game, even though I’ve been playing for less than 2 of the 3 years.

I usually enjoy games where you build up your ability to do well in the game, ‘engine building’ games as they are sometimes called. ‘Engine building’ games tend to be longer games as you need to first build and them exploit your engine. RftG manages to stuff full blown ‘engine building’ into a fairly short game.
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2. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:126] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
Eric Clason
United States
Cedar Rapids
Iowa
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18 plays.

Another game in my Top 10. I don’t push this much gaming with other hardcore gamers because I play it so often with casual gamers.

TtR makes a great ‘gateway’ game (by which I mean a game that casual gamers will enjoy) because it is easy to teach, quick to setup, and basic strategy is fairly intuitive.

The number played includes those with 1910, but not with any of the other map boards. If I counted all the version of TtR, the total plays would be 36, ousting RftG for the top spot.
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3. Board Game: Zendo [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:697]
Eric Clason
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Cedar Rapids
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15 plays.

Zendo is one of my Top 5 Fillers. Given a choice, I would almost always choose a ‘mainline’ game over a filler. However at most gamedays/evenings I end up playing a filler or 2. And I have fewer fillers than ‘mainline’ games. Therefore several fillers show up on this geeklist. If this was a geeklist of those games I spent the most time playing, few if any fillers would probably appear on it.

Zendo makes a great filler because each game is very short and therefore you can play several games to fill an un-predetermined amount of time. One disadvantage of using Zendo solely as a filler is that you will not get a chance to try more complex rules.
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4. Board Game: For Sale [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:260]
Eric Clason
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Cedar Rapids
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13 plays.

Another of my Top 5 Fillers. The 2 halves of For Sale, each have a different auction mechanism, but are smoothly interrelated. While no one would mistake For Sale for a simulation, the theme works well.
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5. Board Game: Diamant [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:621]
Eric Clason
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13 plays.

Yet another of my Top 5 Fillers. Incan Gold is a quick press your luck game. The fact that it works with from 2 to 10 players makes it the most versatile filler I know. If I were only taking 1 filler to a game day, odds are it would be Incan Gold.

When I recorded my first games of Incan Gold, the BGG considered it a different name for Diamant. A friend of mine owns Diamant, and I have played his copy. When Incan Gold was made a separate entry, I was unable to separate which of my Diamant plays were actually Incan Gold. I have 6 plays recorded for Diamant, some (but not all) of which are actually Incan Gold. If my Incan Gold and Diamant plays were combined, they would move up to 2nd place on this list with 19 plays.
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6. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
Eric Clason
United States
Cedar Rapids
Iowa
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13 plays.

Dominion is the first game on this list, that is neither on my Top 10 nor my Top 5 fillers. Actually given it’s game length, Dominion would make a good filler if not for 2 things. First its setup/takedown time is too long. Second, its box is too big. I usually travel to the places where I game and I take a tub full of games. Most of the time I fit the fillers I’m taking, in the cracks between other games. If a filler would displace another game, the filler is usually left behind. ‘So how did I get 13 plays of Dominion?’ Only 2 or 3 of the plays were on my copy of the game.
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7. Board Game: BANG! [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:1031]
Eric Clason
United States
Cedar Rapids
Iowa
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13 plays.

Another game not on either of my ‘Top’ lists. Bang is a casual game that works well with up to 7 (8 with an expansion) players. With hard core gamers, when the number of players goes above 5, consideration starts to be given to splitting up into 2 games. Casual gamers are more reluctant to split up, since socializing is a more important part of the gaming experience for them. Bang! gets as many plays as it does because it fits the casual many player game niche. And it has a small box.
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8. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:281] [Average Rating:7.22 Unranked]
Eric Clason
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Iowa
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12 plays.

Another game on my Top 10 list. Settlers is both a trading game and an engine building game.

In comparison to the other gateway game on my Top 10, TtR, I enjoy playing Settlers a bit more. However because of the fiddlyness of Settler’s setup, TtR makes the better gateway game.
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9. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Switzerland [Average Rating:7.52 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.52 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.52 Unranked]
Eric Clason
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Iowa
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12 plays.

This is the only other version of TtR to make this list. Switzerland is my favorite version of TtR for 2 or 3 players. I find Switzerland’s emphasis on tickets a nice contrast to the USA map’s emphasis on route length. Many of the new mechanics in the other maps of TtR feel gimmicky to me. However Switzerland’s tunnels and country destinations work well.
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10. Board Game: Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:293]
Eric Clason
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Cedar Rapids
Iowa
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10 plays.

Another Top 5 filler. Lost Cities is the only 2-player only game on this list. I prefer multi-player games over 2-player games. So about the only 2-player games I play are fillers. Lost Cities is a quick game with simple rules but hard decisions.
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11. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:29]
Eric Clason
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Cedar Rapids
Iowa
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8 plays.

Another game on my Top 10. I do not track which board (expansion or not) I played on.

In PG there are 3 different resources: cities, plants, and fuel. Each resource has it’s own pricing system, but all are connected by money and how many cities can be powered. PG is a classic example of gestalt, the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.
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12. Board Game: Fluxx [Average Rating:5.69 Overall Rank:6668]
Eric Clason
United States
Cedar Rapids
Iowa
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7 plays.

I like the idea of a game where the players can change the rules.
What keeps Fluxx off my Top 5 Fillers is that its game length is highly variable.
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13. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:16]
Eric Clason
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Cedar Rapids
Iowa
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7 plays.

Another game on my Top 10. Like it’s descendent, RftG, Puerto Rico is an ‘engine building’ game.
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14. Board Game: Shadow Hunters [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:724]
Eric Clason
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Cedar Rapids
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7 plays.

Shadow Hunters is often compared to Bang! Both are hidden team games that are at there best with around 7 players. Both fit in the casual many player game niche. I like Bang! slightly better (I appear to be in the minority on this opinion), but usually enjoy them both. In October I almost always throw Shadow Hunters in the tub along with my other Halloween themed games.
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15. Board Game: Shadows over Camelot [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:322]
Eric Clason
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Cedar Rapids
Iowa
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7 plays.

SoC is my favorite cooperative (OK semi-coop) game. It is currently the only coop game in my Top 10. Each knight choosing which quest he will go on helps make SoC feel less reactive or programmed than some of the other coop games.
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16. Board Game: Cosmic Encounter [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:101]
Eric Clason
United States
Cedar Rapids
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7 plays.

I’ve been playing Cosmic Encounter since the Eon edition. When I first entered my Top 10 in BBG, I put CE as number 1 even though it had been at least 8 years since I had last played it. I realized that my memory of how good it was might be suspect. When I started playing the FFG edition, CE slid into the middle of my Top 10. CE is one of 2 BC (Before Catan) games in my Top 10.
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17. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:73]
Eric Clason
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Cedar Rapids
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7 plays.

Pandemic is a cooperative game with a relatively short playing time when compared to many other coop games.
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18. Board Game: Blue Moon City [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:502]
Eric Clason
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6 plays.

BMC is one of a handful of games that I think of as a Second 10 game (although there are currently less than 10 games so designated).

Like the stereotypical Knizia game, BMC takes several elegant mechanics, integrates them well and overlays a light (some might say pasted on) theme. I don’t mind light themes, I would rather a game had a pasted on theme then be a pure abstract.
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19. Board Game: Bohnanza [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:371]
Eric Clason
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Cedar Rapids
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6 plays.

Another game that fits the casual many player game niche. Bohnanza also plays well with fewer player, although the nature of the game changes as it goes from more fields than bean types to more bean types than fields.
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20. Board Game: Mall of Horror [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:1241]
Eric Clason
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6 plays.

I’m not a big fan of ‘vote them off the island’ games, but if I’m going to play one I prefer MoH. It’s also another of my Halloween themed games which I bring out in October.
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21. Board Game: No Thanks! [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:392]
Eric Clason
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5 plays.

The last of my Top 5 Fillers. A simple, quick game with meaningful decisions. And it comes in a small box. Everything a good filler needs.
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22. Board Game: Thurn and Taxis [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:349]
Eric Clason
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5 plays.

Like Blue Moon City, it’s runner-up for the 2006 Spiel des Jahres, T&T would be on my Second 10 list if I had one. Although it has a few more moving parts that some gateway games, basic strategy is fairly intuitive.
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23. Board Game: Betrayal at House on the Hill [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:423]
Eric Clason
United States
Cedar Rapids
Iowa
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5 plays.

What makes BatHotH unique is when the haunt occurs, the players have to discover what is going on. This is a mechanic that usually only occurs in RPGs. I also find building the house neat, although I suspect that it would get old if played too often as there is not very much strategy involved. BatHotH is another Halloween game that I bring out in October.
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24. Board Game: Primordial Soup [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:681]
Eric Clason
United States
Cedar Rapids
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5 plays.

PS is the game on my Top 10 with the lowest BGG ranking. I often like special powers in games. I segregate special powers from roles (which I also like) in that roles are temporary where as special powers are long lasting if not permanent. I find the genes in PS to be especially crisp special powers:
- Genes tend to be atomic, in that they have only 1 or maybe 2 closely related effects.
- They are distinct, there aren’t 2 genes that are the same only one applies to blue and the other to red or one is +1 and the other is +2.
- An individual gene’s effect is used frequently and has a major effect on play.
- A player will typically have more that one gene, but a small enough number that each of them is important.
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25. Board Game: Zooloretto [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:608] [Average Rating:6.86 Unranked]
Eric Clason
United States
Cedar Rapids
Iowa
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5 plays.

At family gatherings we’ll often play the same game on successive evenings. This explains a majority of Zooloretto’s plays.
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