Top 20 Outside of the BGG Top 200 (The pkreynolds Edition)
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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Hey, everyone else is doing it, and I'm nothing if not a follower (when I'm not leading). So I scoured the charts and came up with my own list of my personal top 20 games that are ranked below 200 here on BGG.

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1. Board Game: Manila [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:638]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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Rank: 303

I'm surprised that this game is ranked below the top 200. It was an SdJ nominee (it lost to Niagara) that I would have liked to see take home the award. It's a fast and fun gambling game. Everyone always has a good time when I bring this to the table, and it has become one of my favorites over the last few years.
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2. Board Game: Colosseum [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:357]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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Rank: 208

Colosseum is so close to being in the top 200 that it almost shouldn't count for this list. This is a great game, definitely one of Days of Wonder's best efforts in the past several years. Great theme, great components, great mechanics. One of my personal top 10.
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3. Board Game: Domaine [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:671]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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Rank: 231

This Klaus Teuber design is another longtime favorite of mine. I get more enjoyment from playing this that his other, more popular game about settling.
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4. Board Game: Jamaica [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:416]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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Rank: 449

Jamaica is a beautifully produced race game that's a lot of fun to play. I discovered it at GenCon a few years ago and was impressed enough to grab a copy. I think that because the game seems so simple (there's no text on any of the components, only symbols) that people write it off as being too simplistic. But there is really a decent amount of strategy (although it is a light game).
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5. Board Game: The Adventurers: The Temple of Chac [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1125]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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Rank: 546

This game plays out like 'Indiana Jones: The Board Game" and it's just pure fun, plain and simple. It can get repetitive with several plays, but I haven't grown tired of it yet; it's always a blast whenever it gets play time.
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6. Board Game: Bootleggers [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:1170]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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Rank: 497

A great combination of euro- and ameritrash design philosophies, with an excellent prohibition-era theme and cool components (how can you not love loading plastic trucks up with wooden crates of whiskey and lining them up in front of the various speakeasies?).
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7. Board Game: Munchkin [Average Rating:5.93 Overall Rank:3550] [Average Rating:5.93 Unranked]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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Rank: 1962

Munchkin is a perpetual favorite in my household. It's one of the few games I own that my wife will willingly play. I like the humor, I like the art, and I like the dirty, dirty, backstabby, totally unfair and completely random gameplay.
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8. Board Game: Age of Mythology: The Boardgame [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:2550]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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Rank: 1172

Another cross-breed of euro mechanics with ameritrash components from Eagle Games. Age of Mythology plays a bit like Puerto Rico with Axis & Allies style combat thrown in, and the ability to mess with your opponents boards.
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9. Board Game: Kung Fu Fighting [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:3579]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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Rank: 1571

This is a great, hilarious, fast fighting game from Slugfest Games. I'm kind of surprised that it's not ranked higher. What geek doesn't enjoy a good Kung Fu movie?
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10. Board Game: Dust Tactics [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:1905] [Average Rating:7.19 Unranked]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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Rank: 1125

A fast-playing tactical game with neat miniatures and a cool theme. What if WWII never ended, and what if alien technology allowed the Allied and Axis forces to add weaponry like lumbering robotic tanks and laser cannons to their arsenals? It is a very expensive game to get into, but it's definitely worth playing.
 
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11. Board Game: Nile [Average Rating:6.25 Overall Rank:5242]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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Rank: 2396

Discovered this game, along with publisher Minion Games, last year at GenCon. I like it a lot; it has elements of Bohnanza (planting different crops) and a scoring system reminiscent of Tigris & Euphrates (you score the number of whichever crop you harvested the least of at the end of the game).

It is a bit rough in the explanation for non-gamers, but once a few rounds of play are over, it really plays fast and easy.
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12. Board Game: Groo: The Game [Average Rating:6.27 Overall Rank:3276]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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Rank: 1830

I am a big fan of Groo the Wanderer. I collected every issue of the Groo comics for years. So for a Groo fan, this game is a lot of fun, with all of the characters from the comic playing their parts.

It's also an interesting game from a mechanics point of view. The supply dice that you use to buy buildings and troops for your army brings a bit of euro-game flavor to the game. Any dice you don't (or can't) use get passed around until they're all spent or everyone has had a chance to use them. There's also a bit of Civ-Lite going on in this game; you can win by having a mighty military force and oppressing the rest of the players, or by quickly building a flourishing city.

Of course, no matter how well laid your plans are, Groo will inevitably come along and lay waste to them.
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13. Board Game: Drakon (third edition) [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:1565]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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Rank: 660

This one got a ton of play when I started bringing it to my library board game nights several years ago. I like it because it's super easy to teach, it plays fast (as long as nobody is prone to analysis paralysis) and it has maybe the highest screwage factor of any game in my regular play rotations.

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14. Board Game: Zombie Dice [Average Rating:6.23 Overall Rank:1747]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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Rank: 1143

A fast and easy press your luck filler with a zombie theme that doesn't feel entirely tacked on. This combined with 'Mmm...Brains' make a fun Zombie-themed filler combo, especially if you bookend them around 'Last Night on Earth' or whatever your zombie game of choice happens to be.
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15. Board Game: Hey, That's My Fish! [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:693]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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Rank: 290

My daughter loves this game, especially now that it's got an iPad app. The animated penguins make her laugh every time they take a dive off of their last ice floe.

I like it because it's fun and easy for kids, but can be a surprisingly nasty and competitive game with adults as well. Great filler for any gaming group.
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16. Board Game: Zooloretto [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:627] [Average Rating:6.86 Unranked]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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Rank: 261

Another game that my daughter has grown fond of, and I've always liked it as well. Since I am almost always the one doing the explanations, and introducing games to non-gamers in many cases, I have grown a healthy appreciation for games that are very easy to teach. Zooloretto has the best combination of being easy to teach and having a decent amount of strategy/depth to keep people coming back to it year after year.

I have yet to add any of the expansions or Aquaretto to the game, outside of the petting zoo and specific animal pens in the mini-expansion set.

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17. Board Game: Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:588]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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Rank: 224

Civilization as a dice game? I'm in!
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18. Board Game: TransAmerica [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:920]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
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Rank: 512

Here's another light, fast and super easy to teach filler that I haven't gotten tired of in years. I love watching the board develop during the course of this game. Every round starts with a despairing feeling of "there's no way I can connect all of these cities" and then the web of train tracks builds up in ways that seem to let just about everyone get within one or two turns of completion when a round ends. Lots of tension when it's clear that anyone could end it at any moment.
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19. Board Game: Fist of Dragonstones [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:2529]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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Rank: 1266

I'm a big fan of auction games, and this one - about bidding on fantasy characters and creatures and then using their abilities to earn gems and score points - is one of my favorites.
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20. Board Game: Cargo Noir [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:1609]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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Rank: 1091

I'm not ready to give up on the latest addition to my board game collection. I want to like this game so much - auction games are one of my favorite genres, and Cargo Noir has a neat auction mechanic - but so far I've been left wanting more out of it each time I've played.

I think maybe it requires a group of gamers who are all familiar with the game to get the most out of it. Early plays generally have less cutthroat bidding, maybe too much overbidding or letting people get away with underbidding. I think when a game ends where one player was allowed to run away with a full set of one type of good and buy a Principality on the last turn for a huge win happens, that group will be more likely to prevent such activity in future plays.

Problem is, I haven't gotten many repeat plays from the same groups out of this one yet.
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