Friday, March 18, 2005

Top boardgames

As this is my blog I get to rant freely about anthing I want. Today I feel the need to rant about boardgames, more precisely my favourite boardgames. You may already know them all but if you don't I highly recommend trying them.

Puerto Rico
I start with this game as it both number one at BGG by a big margin and probably my overall favourite game. Puerto Rico has all the characteristics of modern German game design. No direct conflict, streamlined rules, short playing time and no player elimination. It is a bit more complex and skill dependent than Settlers or Carcassone which may have prevented it reaching the mass market outside Germany. This game is simple enough to be played with your mother but deep enough for the most die hard gamers.

Euphrat & Tigris
One step up from Puerto Rico in complexity, this game is quite unusual as a German design. Thebeautiful tile placing mechanism allows for very deep strategy and tactics and the outcome of the game is determined by direct and cutthroat conflict between the players. I got this game only a few months ago and as my understanding of it increses it has come to rival Puerto Rico. This is a game for the connoisseur, casual gamers may find it a bit to complex.

Citadels is a cheap and relatively simple card game. The thing that makes it shine is the main mechanism of secretly choosing a role each turn. Trying to determine the other players choice is the most important part of the game, as it will make you most sucessful in building your city. Quick, simple and brilliant.

Lord of the Rings - The Confrontation
This is a development if the classic game Stratego. Each game piece represent a character from the books, and the basic game of combat is spiced up by special abilities and a set of power cards. This is a highly strategic two player game with no true luck involved. Victory comes from second guessing your opponents intent. A good poker face helps. Playing time is quick but the game gives you no chance to relax which may scare more casual players. At the same time it is very thematic and manages to capture the feel of Lord of the Rings. Definately the best low luck two player game.

Memoir '44
Another two player game, this time a WW2 war game. This is the opposite to The Condrontation, as there is lots of luck involved and an overall light feel. Despite all the dice rolling it allows for meaningfu choices and feels like a good simulation. Old school war gamers may feel cheated but everyone else, including very casual gamers will have lots of fun. If you want a quick and light wargame with great production values, you can't go wrong with Memoir '44.

A Game of Thrones
Multiplayer war games used to always be drawn out affairs. A Game of Thrones proves this don't have to be the case. It mixes American and German design principles to make a focused and strategic game that involves both diplomacy and military strategy. The different mechanics blend seemlessly into an exerience for all but the most casual gamers. The only problem is the possibility of player elimination, but that is to be expected in a wargame. It playes a bit longer than the other games at around three hours.

Twilight Imperium 3rd Edition
In some cases the quick and streamlined German philosophy is not good enough. If you want to build a great galactic empire and fight epic battles no game is better than Twilight Imperium. This edition takes some inspiration from the latest years development in gaming but it is till a monster of a game. Long rulebook, huge game board and a playing time of at least six hours. This game is not for everyone but certainly the best of its kind. The base game has some serious problems so be sure to use 'The Ancient Throne' official variant from the publishers homepage.

Thats all for now. If you like board games, make sure you get to play these games at least once. If you do not agree with me, make a comment...


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