Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Top 42 Part 6 (7-4)

Woo! Top 7. It's been a fun ride so far and I think it will be even better next year since we'll get comparisons to this year.

#7 Star Trek Fleet Captains
I never thought that two plays would make a game jump this high on my list.  Maybe it's a desire for wanting great games, maybe I'm colored by the newness of the game, but I can see myself playing this a lot for a long time.  The Star Trek theme is incorporated wonderfully. Everything from the ships to the encounter cards and the locations are directly out of Star Trek.  There's a lot of room for expansions, both in the federation fleet as well as other races from the show.  This game is perfect for Star Trek fans.  I can't speak to it's enjoyability if you don't know Trek, but the game mechanics seem to be solid.  There are many paths to victory for each side from scientific achievements to military conquest.  The game plays fairly quickly once you understand the rules, which does take awhile, but gameplay seems to speed up as it progresses, and the endgame seems to hit just as things are getting interesting.  I've only played with the recommended point count, but there's always the ability to undertake a longer game.

#6 Eminent Domain
I recently reviewed Eminent Domain, so the details are there so I'll make this quick.  I enjoy playing Eminent Domain, and I think with an expansion it could move into my top 5.  I love the diverse strategies possible in Em-Do, and the way a player has the follow or dissent option on other player's turns is brilliant.  It's quick to play and fairly different every time you play.  It's one game I want to play more as a 2 player for the longer strategies, but it's fun as a 3 or 4 player game.  Plus having friends start this whole "I'm going to warfare your (fill in the blank) has become an iconic phrase between us, and it's good fun to have those inside jokes.  TMG did an amazing job with the entire Kickstarter campaign, and it is a game I probably would have paid more, but I'm glad I got a bargain.   As a final note, it's really cool to see your name in print, even if it is only at the Silver Supporter level.

#5 Battlestar Galactica
Here's another one I've reviewed, so I'll keep it short again.  This is an amazing game with the right group of people.  The theme is once again dripping through the game.  I often feel like the series is happening as we play, watching the cylon fleet jump in by surprise and change the flow of things is great fun.  Watching morale drop is frightening for the players.  I wish there was a way to not know how many cylons were possible, since once they're known the tension tends to evaporate.  Still, there's a lot of fun here.  It would be higher if the the playtime was a bit shorter, and if I played more in real life instead of only forum games these days.

#4 7 Wonders
I was tempted to put this at #7 just for the pun, but 7 Wonders has moved up a lot in the last few months.  It's not the easiest game to learn, but the effort is worth it.  We're still at the point where we have to look up symbols, especially on the leaders, but it's getting easier.  I'm planning on a full review soon, but that's going to take a new camera, so I won't go into tons of specifics here.  I enjoy that the interaction in the game is only with your immediate neighbors.  It makes the game scale from 3 to 7 players withe ease, and you can almost ignore the strategies of your non-neighbors.  I think my favorite wonder to play is Babylon, though that probably has to do with the fact that I built a model of them in 6th grade, plus I always like to take the science route. The great thing is the lack of a completely dominant strategy.  If one person seems to be running away with things, others can always throw out the cards they need, or use them as wonder build markers.  The gameplay is pretty quick, the variety is excellent, and the huge player range is rather nice to have.  For all those reasons, 7 Wonders comes in at #4.

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