Modern Classics
Chuck Uherske
United States
Rockville
Maryland
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I suspect that I'm older than the average BGG'er. I love the Germanesque games that have been introduced during the last 10-15 years, but I still have a soft spot for the innovations that brought me into gaming many years ago.

I thought it might be fun, and perhaps useful to other gamers, to compile a list of games that are still highly-regarded, despite being designed "pre-Knizia."

For no particularly good reason, I excluded games that were released prior to my birth date of 1963. I didn't want this list to be about chess, go and mah-jongg, but rather the modern inventions that brought new entertainment to people of my generation.

Thus, the highest-rated games released from 1963 through 1989 inclusive. This meant that a few 20th century classics (Acquire, Strat-o-matic Baseball, and Diplomacy) just missed the list.

I also excluded any game that took more than two hours to play. This eliminated many a wargame. I was trying to find games that could still be played in the period of time that many of today's game gatherings are willing to devote to a great game.

I also excluded expansions.

For those of you too young to remember these, many of them are worth checking out. Enjoy.
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1. Board Game: Sleuth [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:944]
Chuck Uherske
United States
Rockville
Maryland
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I didn't want to put off readers by starting with my old favorite of Sleuth, but what do you know, it is the one that turns up first chronologically of the games I selected. Sleuth is the classic, elegant logic game. Your job is, by asking the right questions of your opponents, to deduce the three cards (or two, or one, depending on how you play) that aren't being held by the other players.

No game day moment is as satisfying as being the first to unveil the correct answer in a game of Sleuth.
 
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2. Board Game: A Gamut of Games [Average Rating:7.72 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.72 Unranked]
Chuck Uherske
United States
Rockville
Maryland
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Sid Sackson's classic compilation of games. This includes, among others, "Focus," a classic in its own right. Sackson's hand-written manuscript is pictured here.
 
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3. Board Game: Napoleon: The Waterloo Campaign, 1815 [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:1015]
 
Chuck Uherske
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Rockville
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I'm pleased to discover that I actually own the first three games that resulted from my method. Regrettably, I haven't been able to get this game to the table with my game group. Haven't played it in years, but it's a fine, pioneering, block wargame.
 
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4. Board Game: Liar's Dice [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:560]
Chuck Uherske
United States
Rockville
Maryland
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I've never played the published version of this, but I've played my share of games. I have a few rather bleary memories of this one.
 
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5. Board Game: Panzergruppe Guderian [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:1743]
 
Chuck Uherske
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I have no familiarity with this one, and cannot comment on it, but it's one of the few wargames that got in under the time limit wire. Still gets some very enthusiastic comments here at BGG as an all-time classic.

For the record, the game RAF is listed here as playing in less than 120 minutes, but the commentary talks of it lasting 10 hours, so I excluded it.
 
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6. Board Game: Cosmic Encounter [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:801]
Chuck Uherske
United States
Rockville
Maryland
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I never played this groundbreaking game, but I must admit I salivate a bit whenever I look at the pictures. Does that look like juvenile fun or what?
 
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7. Board Game: Dune [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:215]
Chuck Uherske
United States
Rockville
Maryland
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Still rated as a classic by many of BGG's most discerning reviewers. I've never played it.
 
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8. Board Game: Can't Stop [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:621]
Chuck Uherske
United States
Rockville
Maryland
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Another Sid Sackson gem, which I also own. His classic "push your luck" dice rolling game.
 
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9. Board Game: Survive: Escape from Atlantis! [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:232]
Chuck Uherske
United States
Rockville
Maryland
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I've come very close to owning this game a few times, via Ebay auctions. I still believe that some day I'm going to come down with it. Looks like vicious, escapist fun.
 
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10. Board Game: Um Reifenbreite [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:1124]
Chuck Uherske
United States
Rockville
Maryland
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I'm rather fond of racing games, and this one looks like a classic one. It's another I suspect I'll acquire at some point.
 
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11. Board Game: Blue Max [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:1641]
Chuck Uherske
United States
Rockville
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I also own this one, but like Napoleon, still haven't gotten it to the table. I may even take a crack at doing so today!
 
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12. Board Game: Tales of the Arabian Nights [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:1636]
Chuck Uherske
United States
Rockville
Maryland
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I know very little about this game other than that it still has a good reputation.
 
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13. Board Game: Code 777 [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:1345]
Chuck Uherske
United States
Rockville
Maryland
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This game has been recommended to me many a time as a fan of Sleuth. It is hard to find, though, and expensive if you do find it.
 
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14. Board Game: Polarity [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:2001]
Chuck Uherske
United States
Rockville
Maryland
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A unique classic, currently being reissued.
 
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15. Board Game: Bausack [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:820]
Chuck Uherske
United States
Rockville
Maryland
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I remember the silly commercials for this, under the name of Bandu, I believe. Still gets quite good ratings here at BGG, despite its mass-market background.
 
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16. Board Game: The Fury of Dracula [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:1557]
Chuck Uherske
United States
Rockville
Maryland
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This game has passionate followers here at BGG. It gets high marks for atmosphere and elegant play.
 
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17. Board Game: Full Metal Planète [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:1520]
Chuck Uherske
United States
Rockville
Maryland
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All I know about this one is that it still gets very high ratings from BGGers, and that it goes for a pretty penny when it's rarely available.
 
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18. Board Game: Kremlin [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:851]
Chuck Uherske
United States
Rockville
Maryland
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I suspect I'll pick up this game at some point as well, price permitting. The theme is irresistible; jockeying for power amid the upper echelons of Soviet power. Seems nasty and very atmospheric.
 
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19. Board Game: Space Hulk [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:429]
Chuck Uherske
United States
Rockville
Maryland
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This one gets high ratings from a few of my closely-matched Geekbuddies.
 
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20. Board Game: Ave Caesar [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:1071]
Chuck Uherske
United States
Rockville
Maryland
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This one has always looked like fun to me, but I've never come across an affordable copy.
 
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21. Board Game: War of 1812 [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:2012]
Ben Vögel
United States
Golden Valley
Minnesota
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I've been on this site for 15 years now, and I'm far from sick of games, but I think I prefer a better balance of favorites to new games. I'm also tired of playing 4+ hr multiplayer games, but I'll still happily play really long games 2 player.
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Three years older than Napoleon. The first Columbia (Gamma Two) game I discovered. I still love it. With a rating well into the 7's, I see that plenty of other people enjoy it as well.

Relatively quick, easy to learn, lots of tough choices, and nice historical flavor.
 
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22. Board Game: Wizard [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:673]
Jay Little
United States
Eden Prairie
Minnesota
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For a relatively "new" classic card game (mid 80s) Wizard is my favorite card game based on traditional card conventions -- the addition of the Wizard and Jester suits is a stroke of genius. It's easy to teach to newbies, accessible to players of more traditional card fair, but manages to play a bit deeper (for me) than Hearts, Spades or Pitch. I think we'll see copies of Wizard being sold for a long, long time.
 
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23. Board Game: Wooden Ships & Iron Men [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:1042]
Gerald McDaniel
United States
Lakewood
Colorado
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This should be in the list. Many scenarios can be played within 2 hours, and I certainly consider it a classic from the time period you specified.
 
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24. Board Game: Up Front [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:373]
Jeff Paul
Canada
Winnipeg
Manitoba
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Produced in 1983 - and still makes it to my table 3-4 times a month (though, I will confess, there have been chunks of time were I have strayed...) But I love it because nobody does it better for:

Fog of War, Lack of Complete Control (you can only do what the cards let you), Flavour (aka Truly Varied Nationality Characteristics), Tenseness (aka "Balance"), and Excitement.

Though I do wonder, are we Up Fronter's a dieing minority? Holding on to past glory? Is MtG our legacy (shudder)
 
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25. Board Game: Talisman [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:1753]
Richard Massey
Wales
Unspecified
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It's not without its faults, but surely this game has to make it onto this list. It's a fabulous looking game oozing atmosphere. Not the most strategic of games, flawed by one or two expansions too many and the end game is a joke, but it's still great fun.
 
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