Top 20 not in the top 200
Jae
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My life-coach says I need to do more trendy things....



Also, I put in 21 because a couple of my games may float in and out of the 200 by virtue of being close to the edge.

Why does my opinion matter?
I've rated almost a thousand games (I'm four shy as of this writing).
I think I've played twice as many.
But like they say, mine is just one of a plethora of "odoriferous" opinions.
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1. Board Game: Roma [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:886] [Average Rating:6.80 Unranked]
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Roma and Arena: Roma II

These two games are amazing examples of creative mechanics.
They are light, clean and solid.
The core mechanism is card placement combined with dice based worker placement. The two are a marriage made in heaven. I would really like to see this mechanic extended into a broader context.

One of the few games I will play even when I am not in the mood to play games.
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2. Board Game: Cat & Chocolate [Average Rating:5.98 Overall Rank:7296]
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Cat & Chocolate

A fantastic game about story telling.
If you are not a very creative person or you don't like telling stories, you will not like this game (well, maybe not, you might enjoy playing just to hear other people's stories).

One of the best games I played last year.

I'm not crazy about the "Texas Zombies" retheme.
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3. Board Game: Crude: The Oil Game [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:1838]
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McMulti

the big bad boy of economic simulation.
a perfect survey of supply and demand.
This game is so fantastic, other games cower in its awesomeness.
It's reprint guarantees to propel this game into the top 100 giving it's proper position in the bgg ranking system.
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4. Board Game: Formula Dé Mini [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:2399]
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Formula De Mini

I love racing, but even more, I love rolling dice.
This excellent push your luck game gives you both in spades.
I like this version slightly more than the original Formula De for the simplified damage rules. I've not played the new asmodee version for comparison

I especially like how the dice are used to thematically represent the different gears of the cars, the higher the gear, the more sides to the dice, the faster you go. The game is pure excellence.
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5. Board Game: Big City [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:1028]
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Big City

aka, Sim City in a box.
There is a lot of nostalgia in this game for me, but aside from that, the game itself is quite a fine game. Stellar components and compelling gameplay make this an excellent choice for your 3-player game evening. There is an aesthetic component to the game that is very satisfying as well.

I highly recommend this game and I can't wait for the reprint to bring the rating of this game up up up like a new york skyscraper.
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6. Board Game: Taluva [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:419]
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Taluva

ugliest...box...evar...

That aside, this is a very light and fast game about building a volcanic island. There is a little cutthroat play and best of all, an organic board which grows into a work of art. This game is worth playing just to see what the board will look like when it is done. Can be used as a filler or very light game. Non-gamers love this game. It is very easy to teach, has a very deep strategy path, and is just an excellent design all over.

I HIGHLY recommend this game for every collection!
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7. Family: Ubongo Series
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puzzles puzzles puzzles.

This is a love/hate game. I love it.
Most of my older friends hate it.
If you like puzzles, you will likely like this game.
If you don't, you won't.
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8. Board Game: Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft Board Game [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:636] [Average Rating:6.98 Unranked]
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Castle Ravenloft

I love me some D&D.
Being able to play without a DM, perfection.
The minis cap off what is otherwise a wonderful game.
I'm not crazy about undead though, so I have high hopes for the Underdark version of this game.

If you like hack and slash, I highly recommend this.
Be warned though, if you like the levelling aspect of hacknslash, this game will likely NOT satisfy.
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9. Board Game: Factory Fun [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:908]
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Factory Fun

it's got FUN in the title!!!!
In all seriousness, this is a fantastic game.
However, it is not very everyone.

If you do not like puzzles, math or brain burners, avoid this game like the plague.

Otherwise, you should find this a very enjoyable, logical, challenging puzzle game.
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10. Board Game: Liar's Dice [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:582]
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Liar's Dice

They play it in Pirates of the Carribean...I mean come on.
PIRATES PLAY IT!!!

This is a game which emulates the tension of poker without having to wager money. Highly Recommended!

Everyone should learn the rules to this very simple game that basically requires five dice for each player. Keep a pocketful of dice with you and you'll always have a pocketful of fun!
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11. Board Game: Andromeda [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:2315]
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Andromeda

I may be the only person on the face of the planet that enjoys this game, but I do.

There are elements of set collection, forced trading, a hint of area control, and a luck mechanism that deals with a very satisfying dice cube randomizer. Very kinesthetic experience.

I don't know if I would recommend it, but I will happily play it with anyone that asks.
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12. Board Game: BasketBoss [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:3069]
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BasketBoss

Probably my favorite CWALI.
I don't know how I would actually describe this game, so I'll just give a synopsis:

You are a manager of a basketball team.
You need to hire players to maximize the strength of your team.
Each player is unique, either they are great rookies and weaken with age, they are average, or they get better as they season up. There is little randomness in selecting players, so you know what you are getting. Each season, the players either get better, worse or stay the same (and you'll know when you get the player how that pans out). Calculating a winner for a season is straightforward...the strongest team wins. Period. There are specialists you can hire that give you special abilities each season.

All in all, I find this a very compelling game. As of this writing, it is the only sports related game I actually enjoy. I cannot recommend this game enough. I think everyone should at least try it.
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13. Board Game: The Downfall of Pompeii [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:460]
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Downfall of Pompeii

I'm not sure why I like this game.
It's a very simple race game where you are trying to get your people across the finish line first, before they are eaten up by lava. Maybe it's the satisfaction of throwing another player's people into the volcano. I'll never know for sure, but this is a very charming game with good production values. I highly recommend playing, if not owning this game.
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14. Board Game: I'm the Boss! [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:965]
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I'm the Boss!

It's a toss up. I can't decide which game is better, this or Acquire.
But as one of Sid Sackson's best designs, I cannot recommend highly enough that people try this game. I'm the Boss is a pure negotiation game. It's very simple and distilled to that one concept, and it does it brilliantly.

Of all the negotiation games out there, you owe it to yourself to play this one, you won't regret it.
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15. Board Game: Industrial Waste [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:1534]
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Industrial Waste

I love the double entendre of this game.
Not only are you trying to minimize the toxic waste of a production facility, but you are also trying to minimize the waste involved in the overhead of a business. This game teaches one of the few economic lessons that most other games completely ignore, eliminating waste...of all kinds.

I think this design is absolutely brilliant.
A very fast, fun and light game that could easily qualify as an economic "filler" game. I highly recommend it.
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16. Board Game: Mord im Arosa [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:1791]
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Mord Im Arosa

by far, my favorite game from Essen 2010.
This is a very simple deduction game from Zoch.
There is a dex/acoustic element where you drop clues in a cardboard tower and listening to hear what floor they land on. Sort of a "reverse" deduction game to find the killer.

Very light, very fast, and at least I think it is fun.
This one is definitely a try before you buy.
I tried it, I buyed it. (poetic license)
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17. Board Game: Nacht der Magier [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:1950]
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Nacht der Magier

A children's dexterity game that glows in the dark.
If you don't like kid games, you will not like this one.
Also, this game absolutely MUST be played in pitch black dark.
If you can't get that condition, this game will not work for you and you will likely hate it. One game takes about 10 minutes to set up (including glow in the dark "charging") and about 2 minutes to play.

I absolutely love this game.
The kids I play it with love it.
My friends enjoy it quite a lot.
I can't share it with people I don't know well, however.

I probably wouldn't recommend this game unless you met the criteria specified (like kids games, potentially have access to kids, can play in pitch black).
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18. Board Game: Animal Upon Animal [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:754] [Average Rating:6.86 Unranked]
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Tier auf Tier

Animal Stacking.
It's more fun than jenga....really.
I can't actually say more than that.
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19. Board Game: Labyrinth [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:1454]
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Amazeing Labyrinth

A very tactical game.
You can play as cutthroat as you want.
Very few non-gamers dislike this game, it is my most common "gateway" game.
It is a very light game and should be considered either a filler or a gateway for people who are not very "geeky".
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20. Board Game: Homesteaders [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:525]
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Homesteaders

A very clean, satisfying resource management, building game.
I recommend this game if you like economic engines.
If you aren't crazy about economics, you might still like it.

I say try before you buy, but I'm fairly certain most people who follow my rants will like it.
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21. Board Game: Ricochet Robots [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:587] [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
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Ricochet Robots

and one just in case the charts fluctuate on me.
I love this robots game because it makes my head hurt.
It can easily be played in 20 minutes or less and is guaranteed to give you a mental workout equivalent of a P90X.
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