Difficult for me to answer
Arden Nelson Jr.
United States
Ohio
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I was asked today at church, "What is your favorite game of all time?" I don't feel I did the greatest job answering that. But it is a difficult question for many people. It also happens that asking me this question now is part of what makes it a difficult question.

It would be easier to answer, "What was your favorite game during particular seasons of your life?"

I could also answer, "What have been your best gaming experiences of the past few years?"

I'm going to try to answer the second two questions in an attempt to help me gain insight into the first. Frankly, I haven't done nearly as much gaming or rather nearly as much board gaming. Job situation went through many changes and thus gaming has as well.
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1. Board Game: Risk [Average Rating:5.58 Overall Rank:16817]
Arden Nelson Jr.
United States
Ohio
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Risk was easily one of my earliest memories of what got me hooked into board gaming. It was either a gift from my uncle or a recommendation from my uncle to my parents to get this game. How many hours in upper elementary or middle school did I play this game? It is really difficult to say. My favorite sessions were with my brothers and cousin. It is interesting how I found different groups had certain unwritten rules. I moved to a new area and they played by "You're only as good as your word" and took treaties very seriously. If you broke an agreement in game you were bound to hear about it for months. I never did as they told me about the one time that one guy said this and did that instead. He claimed it was a misunderstanding but I must have heard the story at least a half a dozen times. I only played with that group once partially out of fear.

This isn't my favorite of all time but probably the game that started me in the repeated playing of a game with certain people and with being able to play it with others as a shared experience.
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2. Board Game: UNO [Average Rating:5.36 Overall Rank:17463]
Arden Nelson Jr.
United States
Ohio
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This has to go in the "memorable experience" category. I still remember one time camping with my family that though my brother "really got me" I didn't lose my cool when I was around 5th grade I believe. My parents complimented me afterwards. I think I must have been known for taking things a bit too seriously up until that point. I generally don't get that worked up about loses or unfair events but even some recent events have caused me to reflect seriously on certain games or even certain groups of gamers. If a particular game is just going to get me or others worked up is it really worth it? I'm thinking about a couple of 40K Apocalypse games from this summer in particular. I've virtually lost all interest in that game and likely won't play Apocalypse ever again.

I think my playing of Uno helped me to learn to follow the rules and respect my self and my fellow gamers. You can argue the merits of this game all you want but if it did that for me it is certainly a worth while game. I'm not sure I even own a copy come to think of it.
 
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3. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:148] [Average Rating:7.44 Unranked]
Arden Nelson Jr.
United States
Ohio
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I don't think it was "the first" game when I got back into serious board gaming and into the more Euro styled games ... but it was in the first wave for sure. It was also the biggest hit of that bunch with my brother and sister-in-law. We still get together to game periodically and this is one that still gets requested. My "I'm-not-a-gamer" sister-in-law requesting it means this is certainly a great game in my book. I haven't played it quite as much lately but I could easily get it out again and would enjoy it with the right crowd.
 
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4. Board Game: Ra [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:151]
Arden Nelson Jr.
United States
Ohio
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This was probably in my second wave of these new fangled games and easily one of my favorites. It was a great way to start or end a gaming session as it had some think and yet played quickly. If you played it first late comers would have to wait forever. Also playing it near the time that the library or store closed you would likely be able to time how long it takes and be sure that you can finish the game. I played it quite a bit on the computer.

Sadly, it is just a little difficult to explain to some new people. With the right crowd this is certainly a game that I wouldn't turn down. Auction games as a whole are starting fall out of favor with me but this is one I'd return to but more likely with veterans of Ra rather than introducing it to new people. I'm not trying to be snobbish about it but rather I'm thinking there are often better games out out there.
 
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5. Board Game: For Sale [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:276]
Arden Nelson Jr.
United States
Ohio
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After talking down auctions in the last entry I can't not mention this one. This could be in the running of one of my favorite games of all time. I know it is a filler and that is part of the beauty of it. It is much easier to explain than Ra. The theme and cards are fun and appeal to a wider group than Ra. Personally, I love Ra's look but For Sale works better for more people.

I've played this at many game meet ups, at church, and with students during indoor recess or on "virtual snow days" (should have closed the school and we only had 1/2 our students).
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6. Board Game: BANG! [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:1147]
Arden Nelson Jr.
United States
Ohio
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This one was virtually a tradition at church camp for many years. The fact that it is ... well ... church camp has made me pause and include other games in my limited amount of space for games. It was truly fun for many years and I will not forget. I loaned my iPod to a student from church the other day while I was working on something else. He was playing Bang ... he was one of the church camp gamers. It brought a little tear to my eye since I haven't really gamed with him since summer and things have definitely ... changed.
 
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7. Board Game: MagĀ·Blast (Third Edition) [Average Rating:6.03 Overall Rank:3346]
Arden Nelson Jr.
United States
Ohio
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This has also been a church / church camp staple. I think it was one of the earliest that I brought out with my church gamer friends. We also played citadels which I might make an entry for.
 
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8. Board Game: Shadows over Camelot [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:352]
Arden Nelson Jr.
United States
Ohio
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This is one that I think I've only played with people from church but it is certainly a memorable game just about any time it gets played. I rarely have "bad" memories from this one and certainly have more great memories than "just ok" ones. That in itself says something. BSG probably won't work with our group.
 
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9. Board Game: Monsterpocalypse [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:1638] [Average Rating:7.21 Unranked]
Arden Nelson Jr.
United States
Ohio
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Can't have this list without this one on the list. More later.

It was part of what I answered today at church.
 
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10. Board Game: Warhammer: The Mass Combat Fantasy Roleplaying Game (1st Edition) [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:1537]
 
Arden Nelson Jr.
United States
Ohio
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This was one of my best games of the last year. Well, one particular session. Others ... not so much. It can be great but takes a great investment for it to go well and even then randomness can get you. Sooo.... Kings of War has been calling me.
 
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11. Board Game: Kings of War [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:3177]
Arden Nelson Jr.
United States
Ohio
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I've played this against others only once ... due to the season of the year as much as anything. I played it with my 1st grade nephew and a friend from church. We loved it. He was going to learn Warhammer Fantasy but seems more interested in Kings of War now. I'm trying to convince another friend from church to at least try Kings of War as another possibility. He has Dark Elves which could certainly double as Twilight Kin.

I've been very seriously looking at Dwarf Kings Hold as well as something I could do with my nephew.
 
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12. Board Game: Letters from Whitechapel [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:214]
Arden Nelson Jr.
United States
Ohio
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I've only played this a couple of times but I think it is going to become a hit. Only time will tell.
 
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13. Board Game: Axis & Allies [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:1300]
Arden Nelson Jr.
United States
Ohio
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I mostly played the original version. Well, only once or twice have I played the new one. I logged in so many hours playing this with my brother, at the time future brother-in-law and a number of other friends. I usually played as Russia though I would also play Japan from time to time as well as Britain.

I would put this in my top list but honestly I don't have much desire to play it again. It is mostly the memory of it that I love.
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14. Board Game: Ikusa [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:769]
Arden Nelson Jr.
United States
Ohio
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I played Samurai Swords and one copy of the original Shogun game. This we started playing a bit after Axis and Allies. I remember play this with family more including a number of my younger cousins. I still remember my one cousin with 7 "money" whining about not knowing what to do with his money while I struggled by with the minimum of 3.
 
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15. Board Game: Paris Connection [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:1355]
Arden Nelson Jr.
United States
Ohio
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I've played SNCF and I absolutely love the game. It plays so quickly people often want to play it 2 or 3 times when they first learn it. I haven't tried the new expansions yet but once things slow down for me a little I plan on it.
 
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16. Board Game: Giro Galoppo [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:3030]
Arden Nelson Jr.
United States
Ohio
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I've played this so many times at indoor recess you would think I don't like it any more. I do. Unfortunately, my copy is ... no longer in tip top shape and I'm missing some of the cards and such. I think my last game of this at my last school is something I'll always remember. Two of the boys had won and insisted on playing one more game before recess was over. They talked to each other while I addressed some other issue. I asked if they were throwing the game and through their smiles assured me that they weren't. Of course I somehow won. What a way to end the year and little did they know my teaching at that school. I knew I wasn't returning to their school but they didn't.
 
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17. Board Game: Aton [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:974]
Arden Nelson Jr.
United States
Ohio
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I was really into this game for a while. I was challenging people to a game left and right. The problem is I'm actually pretty good and it is hard for me to teach new people and not destroy them. I haven't totally mastered the game so it is difficult to keep the game reasonable with out destroying the opponent or throwing it.
 
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