This is a list of my current top ten games. I had shared a top ten some months ago, and this is mostly same, though there has been some shifting within the list. That shifting mostly reflects play opportunity rather than any fall in my esteem for a particular game.
- #Star Trek: Frontiers. This has passed up Scythe for my number one spot. Deck building, hand management, point to point movement, combat, and other mechanisms combine to create a very compelling experience. I have only played this one solo, and I have no desire to play it with more people.
- #Scythe I love this game. It is mostly a very smooth and fun Euro, but it has just a touch pvp combat etc..... I love the gameplay, and would love the game even if it had a cheap production. But, it doesn't have a cheap production. The prodution values of this game really really elevate the tactile experience of playing this game. I like it at all player counts, but it is best at 3-5.
- #Spirit Island This is a big meaty coop game. It casts you as a spirit driving invaders away from your island. This is a incredibly thematice game. The power curve you experience as you level up is just amazing. The card writing is great. The art is wonderful. The spirits you play with are highly assymetric. You can play with as low as one spirit, or up too four spirits. My only ding is that the way the colonisers invade is quite mechanistic. This is one thing that makes this game great, but it also makes the phase in which the invaders move feel a bit fiddly. And, it can take you out of the game for just a little bit. In the end, I consider this a very small ding. And I love this game. I love this game best at 3-4 spirits.
- #Race for the Galaxy This I consider to be THE classic tableu builder. This is THE definative game in this category as far as I am concerned. This is a game of combo's, of speed, of assembling an engine while your materials for said engine are constantly changing. I definately think this is best at two. I like it at three and four, but at two I love it.
- #Innovation This is a wild and wooly civ themed tablue builder from the inimitable Carl Chudyk. This is one of those games that, at first play or two, seems way to wild and random. But, upon repeated plays really starts to shine and show all the beauty that this game really has. However, I would warn that, as is typical for Chudyk, this game is balanced by being equally broken in all directions. This does make the game seem pretty chaotic until you get the hang of it. Also, this game would not be on my list if I would be playing it mostly with three or four players. Two players is where I like this one.
- #Fief: France 1429 This is political manuvering in France in the Middle ages. If you think of the branches of power at that time and place it is a little bit more convulated than today. There are three important avenues that you need to manage. One is your family. You need to marry well, and to marry your family members in the most adventagous ways. In addition to the bloodline, you need to manuver to make sure you are as high as you can be in the royal pecking order. Thirdly, the church offers a very meaningful road to political power. To win this game you need only three points. and it will take you 3-6 hours to get thos points. I love love this game. There is so much backroom dealing and alliances, so much backstabbing. and it is all used to great affect to tell a wonderful and rich story. It does have some very weak points. The combat stinks, the event deck is a chaotic free agent that really messes you up. The supply of certain building etc.... seem to be out of whack. But, those thorns are all well worth it if you can find enough people to fill the table on this game.
- #Dominion: Second Edition This is the old grandaddy deckbuilder. I still haven't played a "pure deckbuilder" that I like better. It is simple, fast, and surprisingly deep. My plays on my base box are in the hundreds and I am not tired of it yet. I like it best at two players but will play at any player count.
- #Agricola (Revised Edition) I believe that this was the first of Uwe Rosenberg's heavier worker placement games. And, it was a sensation when the original came out. It is still an amazing game. The theme is, farming, in the middle ages, in Europe. It doesn't sound like a fun theme. And, when playing the game, it feels like that might not have been a fun life. But, the game is amazingly thematic. And, it is so full great decisions. I think this is a game that anyone who professes to like Euro games should at least try. For some it wll be too mean and punishing, while others will thrive on it. I prefer it at 3 players.
- #Power Grid This is a medium heavy, economic, euro, simulation. You are trying to run a power grid in some country or other. This is a game that makes math a lot of fun, and even instinctive. This game is not talked about as much as some other medium heavy economic euros. But it is ranked pretty highly on bgg. It came out in 2004 and is still ranked at number 36 of all time on bgg. There are a number of maps available. All the ones I have played are good. Just play with the full player count for the particular map you are playing. I will also say that the art and component quality is pretty nasty. But, it doesn't get in the way of the game.
- #Puerto Rico Yes sir, I love Puerto Rico. This game came out in 2002 was #1 on BGG for a number of years until being replaced by #Twilight Struggle. This is a perfect information, dry euro, with a boring theme. But the gameplay shines. It all revolves around a nice action selection mechanism, which even at 18 years of age, continues to be compelling. I do get the chance to play this more than I otherwise would, because my father-in-law has it and loves it. It was the first hobby game he had ever played when he picked it up maybe 10 years ago or so. And, to this day, it is the only hobby game he really enjoys. I prefer this at full player count.
So, there is my list. Are there any surprises for you?
Do I have your favorite game in the wrong place?
As I mentioned in an earlier list, I have nice little bunch of games waiting for me in the states. I am really curious how that might shake up my top ten.