Sunday, February 12, 2012

Top 42 Final Part (3-1)

Well, not bad for a 3 week journey, especially compared to the 3 month journey that was the Dice Tower top 100.  It's been fun working through the list, and I hope to have fun doing it again next year.

For those who know me well, the top 3 are no surprise.  I will say that the top 2 are likely to be fixed for years to come, but Fleet Captains is the one I can see taking over #2, and maybe someday #1.
As always, my list is my own, and I know it doesn't appeal to everyone, but you should know my work well enough by now to know that I am fair in my assessments, and that these games are truly great ones which I fully believe I'll be playing in 5 years and longer.

#3 Ticket to Ride
For more details on Ticket, check out my review.  Ticket to Ride is a great family game.  It's my go-to game for my immediate and extended family, it gets played about every other time at my gaming family, and it's a lot of fun.  I love working out the best route, then reworking it as I get blocked off.  It can be frustrating at times, but winning or losing this doesn't really bother me, so long as we all had a good time.  I've played every official map in existence so far except for India, but that's going to happen soon.  I've even tried Dice and Alvin and Dexter.  The only thing I haven't played bearing the Ticket name is the card game, but what's the point in that?  Sure there's luck in Ticket, but the game is very strategic, and perfect for the time length.  Like I said in my review, I'm a sucker for trains, I had birthday parties at the train museum, I own a Lionel train set.  Ticket is a great fit with that theme, and a classic that every hobby gamer should either own or at least have the ability to play occasionally.

#2 Dominion
Here's a game I haven't talked about much on the blog.  I've spent more hours playing Dominion than just about all my other games combined.  Now, that has to do with playing on BSW and now Isotropic, and those sites account for ~3000 plays.  I'm also organizing a tournament online for friends, so if you're interested send me an e-mail at and let me know.  For those of you who don't know Dominion, it's a card game where all players start with a basic deck which they use to buy better money and action cards to help them buy better victory cards.  Some games are short, ~15 minutes, some are long ~1.5 hours (that's my longest, not a usual thing) but most games are fun.  The random set-up of possible action cards make the game different, and I like to think that 1 different card can change the way a specific game would play out.  Dominion started the whole "deck building" fad, and with the expansions still coming it doesn't look like it's stopping anytime soon.  It's a great blend of strategy and luck; luck from shuffling, strategy from purchases, but strategy usually wins out. I'm always happy to teach this online, just look for me on I play under the SN mathguy89.

#1 Cosmic Encounter

Big shock here for people who know me, or anyone who read the Cosmic review I wrote really early on.  For me, this is what a boardgame should be.  There's great player interaction, loads of variety, controlled chaos, the ability for players to mess with each other, and memorable games.  I can't deny that it takes awhile to learn Cosmic.  You'll spend the first game just learning all the phases and what everyone can actually do.  The next few you'll finally see the powers interact, and realize that you shouldn't invite everyone to ally all the time.  Then, one time, it will click.  You'll see the game come together, powers, flares, other variants, and it will make sense.  You may not win that game, you may take 50 games before you win one, but eventually you will realize that Cosmic isn't so much about winning as it is having a good time conquering the galaxy with friends and foes alike.

I'm currently in a forum game on BGG, and while it looks like I have no shot at winning, I'm still having fun and it was a great way to test out two new powers before they're printed.  This is the game I look forward to playing. This is the game I read news articles about to find any hint of new expansions.  This is the game I'm helping to develop the fan expansion set. For all those reasons, I can't put any game ahead of Cosmic, and I don't actually know of a game that could beat it when I really think long and hard.  Sure, I play other games more often, but I've had a Cosmic only game day multiple times, and that doesn't happen with other games.

First, it was a lot of fun making this list.
Second, it was a lot of work making this list.
I hope you've enjoyed reading my explanations and little talks about why each game is where it is.  I can already tell that there's going to be movement next year, since I'm really just getting into the swing of my main gaming time.

Comment as to what you liked, what you didn't like, etc about this list.
Also feel free to post your own top 3-5 games as a comment here.

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