Why games are rated a 10?
Robin
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glennallen
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Hey, Geeklists are fun. When I research games, I look mostly under personal comments and ratings on games. I thought it would be interesting if others will share why they gave certain games a 10. I'll go first
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1. Board Game: Hera and Zeus [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:1410]
Robin
United States
glennallen
Alaska
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This game is not perfect but I will play this game at any time. It's a short strategic card game based on my favorite theme. I actually prefer long wargames but I'm not always apt to play those at anytime. Life gives time restraints.
 
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2. Board Game: Warrior Knights [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:2833]
Needle
Australia
NSW
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Why is this a 10 for me? You play a baron trying to take control of a region. It has

a) secret auctions for mercenaries
b) it has empire building ie more than half the cities wins the game,
c) it has negotiation through voting for legislation that affects the empire
d) It has combat using CRT
e) It has random elements: dice and fate cards.
f) It has gambling through ships travelling around the world
g) Sometimes you need to change your srategy/tactics through the game due to changes in the game

All this of this makes for a fun game by only 10!
 
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3. Board Game: Chess [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:416] [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked]
Steve Bernhardt
United States
saratoga springs
Utah
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Since chess has been a "lifestyle" game for most of my life, it deserves a 10. No other game comes even remotely close in terms of playtime and study. For that reason, chess gets a 10, everything else is 9 or lower.
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4. Board Game: El Grande [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:54]
John Richert
United States
Springboro
Ohio
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I gave this one a 10 for several reasons. First, everyone has the same abilities to choose from. You bid based where you want to play this turn, as well as where you will bid next turn. Second, each decision has distinct consequences. Finally, there are both long term decisions and short term decisions to be made each game. Taking a 1 card means you have more tactical possibilities, whereas taking a 5 card gives you more strategic control.
 
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5. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:279] [Average Rating:7.23 Unranked]
John Klump
United States
Culver City
California
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For awhile after I got this, my roommates and I played it 2-3 times a night for several weeks. No game has ever spent that much time on my kitchen table, and probably no game ever will. I still play whenever I can, even with the influx of all sorts of great games. And whenever I have people over to play games, I always make sure it's on the "possibilities" list.
 
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6. Board Game: Lord of the Rings [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:698]
Hilary Hartman
United States
GLENNALLEN
Alaska
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I only have one game currently rated a "10" and it's this gem. Folks around here either love it or hate it, and you can see which camp I fall into by my rating.

First, it was the first cooperative boardgame I'd ever run across. They are few and far between, and of all the ones I've owned or played it really needs teamwork to make it work...a fellowship, one might say.

Second, neither myself or anyone I've played this game with have ever beaten it. Made it to Mordor perhaps twice, but never have tossed the ring into the lava river of Mount Doom. And you know what? Despite losing, I still have had a great time.

Last, the components of the core game (and the one expansion I have) are some of the very best of any game I own. The quality and durability are unsurpassed, and the art work by Mr. Howe is simply elegant, beautiful beyond reproach.

Thus, my rating of 10.
 
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7. Board Game: Crokinole [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:75]
Patrick OBrien
United States
Portland
Oregon
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It's a game that's got it all; you can play it with your family, or competitively, it's got strategy and tactics, mind game and physical, it's just awesome.
 
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8. Board Game: Diplomacy [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:500]
Chris Malme
United Kingdom
Peterborough
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Quite simply, I will *always* play this game, given the opportunity, which unfortunately is not often.
 
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9. Board Game: Shadows over Camelot [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:320]
The Fiend
United States
Avon Lake
Ohio
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It's got beautiful miniature figures to paint (or use some of your own as I did), the theme is one of my all-time favorites, playable with 3-7 people with rules that are simple but elegant, easily understood and FUN! I will ALWAYS play this game. The "Traitor" element is brilliant and adds what other co-operatives lack giving this game very high re-playability.
Other reasons I rate games a 10 = "Tigris and Euphrates" for the best PURE game involving strategy and no die-rolling. "Starfarers" and "Cities and Knights" being the best variants on a theme with each being very different from the other. "Apples to Apples" is the most fun you can have in a game you can pull out and instantly play with ANYBODY!
So Fun/Playability/Strategy/Theme/Components are all reasons I would rate a game a 10.
 
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10. Board Game: Ambush! [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:677]
John Di Ponio
United States
Lake Orion
MI
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This one is a 10 in my book because of all the fun it has brought me over the years! I still play this one and the expansions! It has been so popular at my house that my older boys have their own copy of the game and play it quite often! For a second generation to enjoy the game as much as I do backs my 10 rating!
 
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11. Board Game: Renju [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:8866]
Roger Norling
Sweden
Sundsvall
Unspecified
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Why is this a 10 for me? Take a childs game of five in a row, equal the players chance of winning by additional rules (research have shown the starting player wins with perfect play) and you have renju.

Renju is so simple, yet so involving. Once you begin to study the game you will see it with different eyes. You will start to see "between" the lines and discover strategies you never seen before (not the wood between the lines, stupid ).

It sounds just like a Go geek descriping Go, so why not play Go? well I want to master the game BEFORE I die
 
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12. Board Game: War of the Ring (First Edition) [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:82]
Andy Daglish
United Kingdom
Cheadle
Cheshire
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the pills have worn off, so:-

its the best Italian game
its the best book-to-game conversion
its the best fantasy wargame
its the best game design for years
its the best four-player wargame I can think of, and certainly the quickest, most interesting and most playable
its got the biggest and most active Geek page because its the most debated game, abd they haven't cracked it yet
its the most painted game
it may be the most played wargame since publication
its the most "international" wargame
its the biggest-selling wargame for a long time, possibly ever
its the best Tolkien game

 
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13. Board Game: Bootleggers [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:1122]
Jamie Groulx
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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This is the only game I have rated a 10. People can slag it all they like, but until you have played with a group of board-game she-bitches who get off on cutting you to pieces with a tommygun, YOU have not played this game. I just want to say that this game is not broken, but that it may just be a little too confrontational for most.
 
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14. Board Game: Titan [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:794]
Steve Hope
United States
Woodside
California
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My favorite game. I love having my own avatar in the game who grows stronger and stronger until he dwarfs everything else in power. I love that the game scales from 2 to 6 without kingmaking problems. I love that your forces build in power over the game, with the climactic battles wages between forces so powerful that any one unit within them would be a match for a starting legion.

Some complain about the downtime of watching others resolve battles. I love that! Kibitzing, laughing about good/bad luck, getting a soda...What's not to like? I also would say that if you don't like sitting around the table with some friends while you wait for a battle to finish, you need to get different friends!

Some also complain about early player elimination as a problem, to which I say...don't get eliminated early!
 
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15. Board Game: Go [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:121]
Ava Jarvis
United States
Bainbridge Island
Washington
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Simple yet very, very subtle, and with a game depth that exceeds that of chess. Although most humans would have a difficult time exploring even a good chunk of the possibilities for moves in both games, Go is much more overwhelming and less forgiving of those who aren't able to recognize positional value (both present and future), possible counterthrusts by your opponent, and the weighing of threats on the board, made both by you and by your opponent.

Emanuel Lasker, world champion chess player, was in the top ten in the world from the 1890s to the 1930s, and most of that time was ranked as either the best or second best. He's arguably one of the best chess players ever, and a brilliant man. He was skeptical (very much so) when he first encountered Go, but picked up on the game quickly, understanding the unusual depth of strategy in just one game, something which usually takes most people a year or two, and he and his nephew Edward (a chess grand master) started studying the game in earnest.

But he wasn't quick enough to not get his ass handed to him a year later by a Go master, even when playing in combination with his nephew. (The strength of the Go master is not specified, but he gave the pair nine handicap stones.)

Emanuel shortly thereafter turned back to chess.

Edward Lasker later became one of the founders of the American Go Association.

I love games that are simple, and I love games that are complex. For me, Go is a weird synthesis of the two, and it's a strange thing indeed to love a game you aren't good at... Go has the most staying power in my collection, bar none, for the same reasons Chess has staying power to others, although to me it's a bit like "the staying power of Chess.... to the 22nd."

That said, I still rate other games a 10, too, because I don't see myself not ever playing them ever, but Go is the ultimate reality when it comes to games for me.
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16. Board Game: Bridge [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:489]
Paul B.
United States
Frostburg
Maryland
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There is no game like Bridge. I've played Go, Chess, and many of the top Eurogames, Puerto Rico, Princes of Florence, etc. Bridge rules. Go and Chess are wonderful, but complete analysis games. Bridge has similar intellectual depth, but also has just enough luck, enough probabilistic guessing, enough bluff and sacrifice, that it exceeds those two games by leaps and bounds, for me.

Playing duplicate style is where the luck factors really emerge as good rather than bad. Playing rubber bridge means a string of luck can determine the winner. Duplicate means everyone else in your seat has the same luck problem because you are all playing the same hands. Therefore, it is the depth of your analysis, your skill at mitigating the effects of luck will show the superior player over even a relatively small number of hands. One player's annoyance at bad luck can be another (better) player's completely deterministic logic problem carefully analyzed and executed. Played in this manner, it ain't your grandmother's bridge anymore.

For the price of an entry to a tournament game (about $15 at a national tournament) you may find yourself playing against world champions, as I unexpectedly did a couple of years ago in Phoenix. Few games offer this opportunity, particularly games where world champion really means people from all over the world. The pair I played against was a Norwegian and Mexican playing together. Oh, there are tournament sessions open only to people with certain qualifications, but they are not common, and the world champion level players participate often in other sessions for a variety of reasons, including just plain fun.

If you've never taken the time to learn Bridge, do so, learn a sound bidding system, then prepare for a multi-year ride of never-ending learning of more and more techniques, strategies and tactics. Your brain will thank you.
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17. Board Game: San Juan [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:228]
Sanjay Subrahmanyan
India
Chennai
Tamil Nadu
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Today it is San Juan - I just pick it out of my collection every time I sit down for a game with the missus! Of course this will change pretty soon during the course of this week!
 
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18. Board Game: Dune [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:215]
Tim Thorp
United States
Granite Falls
Washington
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"Come on! Come on! Come and get it, baby! Come on! I don't got all day! Come on! Come on! Come on you bastard! Come on, you too! Oh, you want some of this? "
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Why a 10. Because I have more fun with this game, more good times, more thought provocating gameplay and strategy than any other boardgame I've played. There's lots of boardgames that I've played and liked, this is at the top of the list.
 
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19. Board Game: The Napoleonic Wars [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:1805]
Steffan O'Sullivan
United States
Plymouth
NH
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I rated this game a 10 because it's simply the wargame with the most FUN factor.

Is it historically accurate, something most wargamers want in a wargame? Not particularly - it has a strong historical <b>flavor</b>, definitely, thanks to the cards - it's nowhere near an abstract game! But a game in which the War of 1812 can occur in 1805 can't really be said to be close to historically accurate.

Does the combat results feel like warfare in Napoleonic times? I haven't studied it that much, but I doubt it.

Does it work as a multiplayer game? Not in my worldview, though I know people who prefer it that way.

But it <b>is</b> simply the most fun I've ever had playing a two-player wargame, and I like many low to moderate complexity wargames. It's a wild and woolly ride with no two games the same. You can never count on a given strategy working because the cards can be so radically different.

So, this is a 10 to me based on fun factor.
 
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20. Board Game: Mentalis [Average Rating:7.59 Unranked]
Simon Hunt
United States
Roseville
California
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For me, Mentalis is a timeless classic that I will always want to play. It is a simple, 2-player game that is easily learnt in 5 minutes, and plays in about 20 minutes. And yet, there is sufficient randomness and hidden information to make it exciting to figure out how to out-think your opponent, without knowing whether or not you can do it - often making for a very tense game. Learning to deal with a poor hand of tiles (to make the best of a bad situation) often requires you to bluff your way through. A very satisfactory feeling when you manage to pull it off. Mentalis fully deserves a 10.
 
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21. Board Game: Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:414]
Antigonus Monophthalmus
United States
Maryland
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Yes, it is a terribly simple game, but I still love it to death. The simplicity paired with the grueling mind game of what card to play makes this a clean 10. I would always play it, always recommend it, and it is a quick game to boot!
 
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22. Board Game: Chase [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:3561]
Clark D. Rodeffer
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
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I give Chase a 10 because, even after nearly 20 years of playing the game, I'm still eager to play whenever I have the time and a willing opponent. Not everyone is into abstracts, and that's fine -- to each his/her own, so feel free to skip ahead.

Most of the older pure abstracts where the primary goal is to capture or immobilize pieces (such as Checkers, Camelot and Mancala, which on the whole are excellent classes of games in their own right), have been so thoroughly studied over the years that a newcomer has little chance of breaking into the ranks of the old guard without prohibitively lengthy book study. But some of the newer and lesser known abstracts in this sub-genre (Chase is my favorite, but there are numerous others, many of which are listed on one of my other Geek Lists http://tinyurl.com/7uy48) are just begging for serious study. That feels like a wide open frontier to me, waiting to be explored. Chase gets my blood flowing every time I play, knowing that I'm breaking new ground with each game, learning more, even as I desparately try to run down that last piece for the win.
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23. Board Game: Maharaja: The Game of Palace Building in India [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:505]
Pierce Ostrander
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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If you had to pick one game to answer the question “what is a euro-game?” this would be it – blended to perfection by two master designers. It’s delightfully fun and it works.

Relatively simple: Well illustrated 5-page rulebook with many examples
Relatively short: Plays in less than 90 minutes with a few players
Beautiful components: wood, plastic gems, thick cardboard pieces and a lovely map

It’s got: Alternating role choice / use, Pre-programmed action selection, variable turn order, area control, a tight economy, building, movement, loads of player interaction and scales well all the way from 2 to 5 players.

And, it’s truly a board game… not a card game with a board. You win by moving your pieces around rather than getting and playing the right cards.

Maharaja is a tour-de-force of the most innovative elements of all the best Euros - a “10" in my book.
 
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24. Board Game: Angola [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:1735]
Chris Fawcett
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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An overlooked, underrated gem of a game. If you judged the game on its physical components alone, it would come down into the 3-5 range, but this design that features very tight integration of each of the game elements borders on brilliance.
 
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