Top 21 boardgames.

UPDATE: I’ve set up an aStore link on amazon.com where you can find all of these games plus others I’ve since recommended in one place.

This is the third iteration of my own personal boardgame rankings, expanded from the original ten as our own collection has increased over the past year. It’s not intended to be a critic’s list or an analytical take on the games; it’s about 80% based on how much we enjoy the games, with everything else – packaging and design, simplicity of rules, and in one case, the game’s importance within its niche – making up the rest. We are not hardcore gamers; I don’t mind a complex game, but I prefer games that offer more with less – there is an elegance in simple rules or mechanics that lead to a fun, competitive game. Don’t expect this to line up with the rankings at BoardGameGeek.

The list includes 21 titles rather than 20 because I filled out most of the list, realized I never slotted in Power Grid, and didn’t feel like junking Zooloretto once I’d written it up. I own every game on this list except Diplomacy, and with one exception (Agricola) have played every game on here many times. As always, clicking on the game title takes you to amazon.com; if I have a full review posted on the site, the link to that will follow immediately.

21. Zooloretto: Full review. A fun game, but a bit of a trifle compared to the others further up this list. You’re a zookeeper trying to fill his zoo’s three enclosures (expandable to four) with animals that arrive each turn on trucks available to all players, but each enclosure can only hold one type of animal at a time. There’s a cost to switching animals around, and there’s a penalty for picking up animals you can’t house, with points coming for filling an enclosure or filling all spots but one. I’m a little surprised this won the Spiel des Jahres, as it lacks the elegance of most winners of that award, and the two-player variant rules included in the game don’t work at all. I have played a simplified version of the game with my daughter, who loves the animal tokens and the well-drawn zoo boards. It’s a good starter game in the German-style genre, but not the best.

20. Babel. One of the first games we purchased – on a trip to Vienna in 2003 – its star has dimmed over time as we’ve found better games in the genre. It’s a two-person game where each player is trying to build towers with cards representing five different civilizations, but each civilization has a special skill or power, including the power to knock down an opponent’s tower or make one of his groups of cards “wander off.” Those powerful attacks make the game much longer, and you can go a while without making much progress, which ultimately made the game a little frustrating for us.

19. Catan (card game): We had this before we got the board game, and while it’s a lot more complex than the original Settlers, the basic goal is the same: Build up your principality to reach twelve victory points. But there’s a lot more up and down in the game, with disaster cards to supplement the robber by destroying resources or decommissioning your knight cards. We found it would often take longer to play this with two people than it would to play Settlers with three, especially once we picked up the card game’s expansion set. This game has been superseded by the new Rivals for Catan, a copy of which is en route to me as I write. EDIT: Rivals of Catan review is now up.

18. Metro. Almost comically simple, but highly replayable. Players compete to build the longest subway lines on a grid that represents the city of Paris. There are different types of tiles, some of which include straight tracks, while others include all manner of twists. You can extend your own tracks on your turn, or you can use a tile to screw someone else. The game ends when all tiles are played; the player with the longest total track lengths across all of his lines wins. The ability to play on (and prematurely end) someone else’s line is a major criticism of the game, although you can kind of do the same thing in Carcassonne and nobody complains about that. If it’s an issue for you, just play with a house rule that you must play on your own lines unless such a move is impossible.

17. Wise and Otherwise. I thought I should have one party game on the list, and this would beat out Taboo for me. Wise and Otherwise is one of the family of games where one player holds the “right” answer and every other player tries to make up a fake answer good enough to fool someone else; instead of dictionary definitions, Wise and Otherwise gives you the first half of a proverb and asks you to complete the second half. It plays up when you’re with friends and can start working inside jokes into your fake answers.

16. Acquire. Monopoly for grown-ups. Build hotel chains up from scratch, gain a majority of the shares, merge them, and try to outearn all your opponents. The game hinges heavily on its one random element – the draw of tiles from the pool each turn – but the decisions on buying stock in existing chains and how to sell them after a merger give the player far more control over his fate than he’d have in Monopoly. There’s a two-player variant that works OK, but it’s best with at least three people. The game looks a lot nicer now; I have a copy from the mid-1980s that still has the 1960s artwork and color scheme.

15. Jambo. Full review. A two-player card game where the deck is virtually everything, meaning that there’s a high element of chance based on what cards you draw; if you don’t draw enough of the cards that allow you to sell and purchase wares, it’ll be hard for you to win. Each player is an African merchant dealing in six goods and must try to buy and sell them enough times to go from 20 gold at the game’s start to 60 or more at the end. We played this wrong a few times, then played it the right way and found it a little slow, as the deck includes a lot of cards of dubious value.

14. Diplomacy. Risk for grown-ups, with absolutely zero random chance – it’s all about negotiating. I wrote about the history of Diplomacy (and seven other games) for mental_floss last week, concluding with: “One of a handful of games (with Risk) in both the GAMES Magazine and Origin Awards Halls of Fame, Diplomacy is an excellent choice if you enjoy knife fights with your friends and holding grudges that last well beyond the final move.” I think that sums it up perfectly.

13. San Juan: Full review. The card game version of Puerto Rico, but far, far simpler, and very portable. I like this as a light game that lets you play a half-dozen times in an evening, but all it really shares with Puerto Rico is a theme and the concept of players taking different roles in each turn. It plays well with two players but also works with three or four.

12. Agricola: The most complex game we’ve tried, with the steepest learning curve. Very well made aside from the square animal pegs, which we replaced (at the suggestion of one of you) with actual animal-shaped pieces I bought via amazon. You’re a farmer trying to raise enough food to feed your family, but also trying to grow your family so you have more help on the farm. The core game play isn’t that complex, but huge decks of cards offering bonuses, shortcuts, or special skills make the game much more involved. It was out of print this summer but appears to be back. (Credit to my wife for finding one of the few remaining new copies out there for my birthday, ordering it from a site based in England.)

11. Power Grid: Full review. This might be the Acquire for the German-style set, as the best business- or economics-oriented game I’ve found. Each player tries to build a power grid on the board, bidding on plants at auction, placing stations in cities, and buying resources to fire them. Those resources become scarce and the game’s structure puts limits on expansion in the first two “phases.” It’s not a simple game to learn and a few rules are less than intuitive, but I’m not sure I’ve seen a game that does a better job of turning resource constraints into something fun. Disclaimer: My wife doesn’t like this game because she says the board and cards look “depressing.”

10. Puerto Rico: Full review. It’s grown on me, especially since I got to try it out a few times online via Tropic Euro, although I’ve had friends and readers tell me it can become monotonous after a lot of games. You’re attempting to populate and build your own island, bringing in colonists, raising plantations, developing your town, and shipping goods back to the mother country. Very low luck factor, and just the right amount of screw-your-neighbor (while helping yourself, the ultimate defense).

9. Orient Express: An outstanding game that’s long out of print; I’m lucky enough to still have the copy my father bought for me in the 1980s. It takes those logic puzzles where you try to figure out which of five people held which job and lived on which street and had what for breakfast and turns them into a murder mystery board game with a fixed time limit. When the Orient Express reaches its destination, the game ends, so you need to move fast and follow the clues.

8. Stone Age: Full review. Really a tremendous game, with lots of real-time decision-making but simple mechanics and goals that first-time players always seem to pick up quickly. It’s also very hard to hide your strategy, so newbies can learn through mimicry – thus forcing veteran players to change it up on the fly. Each player is trying to build a small stone-age civilization by expanding his population and gathering resources to construct buildings worth varying amounts of points, but must always ensure that he feeds all his people on each turn.

7. Small World: Full review. I think the D&D-style theme does this game a disservice – that’s all just artwork and titles, but the game itself requires some tough real-time decisions. Each player uses his chosen race to take over as many game spaces as possible, but the board is small and your supply of units runs short quickly, forcing you to consider putting your race into “decline” and choosing a new one. But when you choose a new one is affected by what you stand to lose by doing so, how well-defended your current civilization’s position is, and when your opponents are likely to go into decline.

6. Thurn and Taxis: Full review. I admit to a particularly soft spot for this game, as I love games with very simple rules that require quick thinking with a moderate amount of foresight. (I don’t care for chess, which I know is considered the intellectual’s game, because I look three or four moves ahead and see nothing but chaos.) Thurn und Taxis players try to construct routes across a map of Germany, using them to place mail stations and to try to occupy entire regions, earning points for doing so, and for constructing longer and longer routes. Just don’t do what I did and play it against an operations consultant, lest you get your clock cleaned. At $24 this is one of the best values on the list, along with Carcassonne and Lost Cities.

5. Lost Cities: Full review. The best two-person game we’ve found, from the prolific designer Reiner Knizia, and the most portable game as well, since it can be played with nothing but the game cards. The deck comprises 12 cards in each of five colors, including cards numbered 2 through 10 and three “investment” cards to double, triple, or quadruple the profit or loss the player earns in that color. Players take turns drawing from the deck but may only place cards in increasing order, so if you draw a green 5 after you played the 6, tough luck. Games are short but we can play many times in a sitting without a hint of boredom.

4. Dominion: Full review. The definitive deck-building game, with no actual board. Dominion’s base set – there are four major expansions out there, including the potential standalone Dominion: Intrigue game – includes money cards, action cards, and victory points cards. Each player begins with seven money cards and three victory cards and, shuffling and drawing five cards from his own deck each turn, must add cards to his deck to allow him to have the most victory points when the last six-point victory card is purchased. I don’t think we have a multi-player game with a smaller learning curve, and the fact that the original set alone comes with 25 action cards but each game only includes 10 means it offers unparalleled replayability even before you add an expansion set. I did play this with some hardcore boardgamers – the host owned Caylus, which should say it all to those of you familiar with that behemoth – who found it a little lightweight, but they were probably just bitter that I won. (I kid.) (Somewhat.)

3. Ticket to Ride. Full review. Actually a series of games, all working on the same theme: You receive certain routes across the map on the game board – U.S. or Europe, mostly – and have to collect enough train cards in the correct colors to complete those routes. But other players may have overlapping routes and the tracks can only accommodate so many trains. Like Dominion, it’s very simple to pick up, so while it’s not my favorite game to play, it’s my favorite game to bring or bring out when we’re with people who want to try a new game but either haven’t tried anything in the genre or aren’t up for a late night. I do recommend the 1910 expansion to anyone who gets the base Ticket to Ride game, as it has larger, easier-to-shuffle cards and offers more routes for greater replayability.

2. Carcassonne. Full review. This game keeps growing on me, from the ease of learning to the tremendous replayability (I know I use that word a lot here, but it does matter) to the portability (you can put all the tiles and meeples in a small bag and stuff it in a suitcase) to the great iPod app. You build the board as you go: Each player draws a tile at random and must place it adjacent to at least one tile already laid in a way that lines up any roads or cities on the new tile with the edges of the existing ones. You get points for starting cities, completing cities, extending roads, or by claiming farmlands adjacent to completing cities. It’s great with two players, and it’s great with four players. You can play independently, or you can play a little offense and try to stymie an opponent. The theme makes sense. The tiles are well-done in a vaguely amateurish way – appealing for their lack of polish. And there’s a host of expansions if you want to add a twist or two. We own the Traders and Builders expansion, which I like mostly for the Builder, an extra token that allows you to take an extra turn when you add on to whatever the Builder is working on, meaning you never have to waste a turn when you draw a plain road tile if you sit your Builder on a road.

1. The Settlers of Catan: The grand-daddy of German-style games, not so much in age but in impact. I’m not saying it’s my favorite game, but it is among my favorites for its simple, easy-to-grasp rules and a good balance of luck and strategy that keeps it accessible for novice players or players who just don’t want heavy strategy in their gaming. I am saying, however, that the game’s influence means some other game is going to have to blow me away before I take this out of the #1 spot. We own the Seafarers expansion, which solves one problem – wool is by far the least valuable resource in the base game, but it’s needed to build boats in Seafarers – and creates another: the game becomes much, much longer. But the base game was a revelation when it hit the market and when we first played it, one that continues to reshape the game market a few players at a time. If some play it and move past it to more complex games like Puerto Rico or even more elegant ones like Dominion, then Settlers still deserves credit as the ultimate gateway game, one that can still be played and enjoyed even by people who, like me, had to buy a new bookshelf just to accommodate their growing collection.

Comments

  1. Keith, on your list I own #s 13, 12, 11, 10, 8, 7, 3, and 2 (mostly based on your past recommendations). I would have to say that Stone Age and Small World are my two favorites of those eight. I highly enjoy Agricola, but I find it hard to get people to play with because of its length.

    My one big qualm with Power Grid is that it just ends abruptly. It builds and moves along well and, then, it just ends very anti-climatically as everyone buys five cities or so on their last turn. I’ve had many times where the final result was based on who had more money left – quite lame!

    I’d also like to give a thumbs down to the game Pandemic. I was expecting it to be a great family game, but I find it pretty boring and the rules allow you to look at future drawing cards, thus completely removing any surprises that the deck may present.

    I’m buying Lost Cities based on your recommendation – thank you!

  2. My list (which only exists in my head) matches up pretty well with yours, especially near the top, but I’m ashamed to admit I’ve yet to play three you listed here.

    I’m not too upset about #17-18, since I’ve played similar titles, but I must now seek out someone who owns Orient Express so I can relieve him of it. Sorry, I mean “borrow.” A slip of the tongue.

    Thanks for the excellent reviews!

  3. The Traders and Builders expansion sounds good – I’ve only played with a couple of the mini-expansions, like the River II, which is actually fairly useful if you seem to always end up with only one (giant) farm that’s worth anything.

    Does the 1910 Expansion to Ticket to Ride change up the strategy much? It seems like whoever goes most aggressively after the 5-6 length routes seems to win. Completing the destination cards is more difficult but isn’t rewarded as highly.

  4. Wicke, the 1910 Expansion does give 15 bonus points at the end to whomever has completed the most routes (which generally rewards you for doing the smaller routes). I would say that the 5-6 length route strategy still is probably best, though.

    Another great thing that the 1910 Expansion brings is the use of every city in the routes. Once you’ve played the normal game enough, you learn all of the routes and it becomes really predictable as to who is going where. The expansion definitely fixes that.

  5. edit: the 15 points is not for most routes, but for most completed destination tickets.

  6. I don’t think I realized that the 15-point most tickets bonus was only in the expansion. That’s a great feature because it offers multiple paths to victory – it’s like largest army vs longest road in Settlers.

  7. My one problem with the 1910 expansion is that the rules call for picking four tickets at a time and keeping one. And, since there are far more routes covered in the tickets, it is likely that you already have completed tickets when you draw them at the end of the game. Having this adds a lot more luck to the game, as everyone just starts drawing tickets at the end and hoping they get matches (or keeping the smallest one for a small penalty). It’s a shame because the real skill of the game is anticipating what routes will be blocked along your way and having to adapt to those obstacles.

    I tried to offset this problem by making it so that you only draw three tickets. It helped alleviate the problem, but not completely.

  8. Keith, have you ever played “Rail Baron”. It’s an old Avalon Hill game that one of the original Train Games. Time can be an issue, but if you have a couple hours, it makes for a fantastic time.

  9. Cosmic Encounter was always my favorite (the original, not the newer versions). Still my favorite; has anyone else tried and loved it?

  10. I’ve really enjoyed a lot of the games you’ve recommended. My six year old loves Zooloretto.

    Our favorite party game right now is Wits and Wagers.

  11. Keith, I just got hooked playing Rivals of Catan on the Catan Online World website. Great, great two-player game. What I’ve read is that Teuber signifcanlty reduced the complexity as compared to the original card game. I have been contemplating a drive to a neighbor toy-store/gameshop to pick up a copy of Rivals this Thanksgiving week, if I can get an afternoon break from the visiting family.

    I’m not sure I would go for Rail Baron, it’s only a little more complex (but longer) than Ticket to Ride, but if you want to go up in complexity, I highly recommend 1830 for rail games.

  12. What, no “Trouble”? #LogicFail

  13. Keith, partly because of the length(And the fact that it feels drawn-out more than expanded), I don’t find myself going back to the Catan Seafarers expansion much. Cities and Knights and (To a lesser extent) Traders and Barbarians are thoroughly excellent, though.

  14. I’d be interested to hear any other modifications you’ve made to games to involve your daughter, like you have with Zooloretto.

    We play a modified version of Ticket to Ride Europewith our 3 year old, where we’ll place train stations in 3 different cities that are 2-3 routes away from each other. Then the object of the game becomes claiming routes that connect the cities, so our daughter can visit Mommy and Daddy.

  15. Bang! is a game I love that didn’t make this list. It is a card game simulating a shootout at the OK Corral. It is best with 5-7 people and played multiple times. While none of the game is very complex (tap guns to shoot, tap barrels to hide, play bangs for bullets) there are some cards that are a little complicated and slow down play the first couple times.

    Playing it for a couple hours with 7 people this weekend was a blast, most had not played it when we started and at the end people were in the spirit of the shootout.

    Our regular games night seems to be addicted to Dominion and Ticket to Ride. We do get some Settlers occasionally and Flux often comes out for the casual crowd.

  16. Keith,

    Man, I have just discovered that you are a board gamer! This is most excellent. We here at North Star Games are very glad a mainstream voice like yourself is pushing board games so heavily.

    Our company makes Wits & Wagers, the most award winning party game in history. Basically trivia for people who do not know trivia since you can bet on other people’s answers. Think of it as trivia and gambling. I think the statistician in you would love it.

    Now that I know you review games, how do I get a copy to you?

    Cheers,
    Luke
    luke at northstargames dot com
    North Star Games

  17. What no Axis and Allies? Come on that game is a masterpiece.

  18. Great stuff, as always, Keith. And, also as always, when the topic of games comes up, I feel compelled to chime in:

    First: I second Wiredtiger’s recommendation of Wits & Wagers. Email this Luke fellow asap (ah, the perqs of media life) and get yourself a copy before family time this holiday season. It’s wonderful family/party game that plays quick, is SUPER easy to learn, and REALLY shines with a big group of people. I’ve enjoyed every time I’ve played.

    Second: I can’t disagree more with Aiden about Pandemic. One of my favorite games. A) I don’t know what he’s talking about, allowing “you to look at future drawing cards”, which is definitely not in the rules. B) The game does play much, much better with the On The Brink expansion, which brings in a lot of variability and complexity. In my top 5, for sure, because of its creativity, intricacy, and the type of group problem-solving it necessitates.

    Third: I’m surprised you continually cite Caylus as the definitive hardcore game experience. True, it can get hairy with 4 or 5 people, but I’ve always found that (among many other games) Power Grid both takes longer to play and is harder for newbies to grasp. From what you’ve written about it, I can’t tell if you’ve really given Caylus a chance or if you just think of it as some grognardical bete noire and thus always avoided it, but if it’s the latter, I urge you to try it again. It’s a really fantastic game, and, especially with 2 or 3 players, plays relatively quickly and simply. Certainly comparable to Puerto Rico.

  19. Having justed figured out your a board game player I was really intersted in what you had to see what were you top 21 games. This article is going to get me in trouble with my wife as she has asked me not to buy any more board games for awhile, but I have seen a couople on your list that intrigue me. I completely agree with your assessment on Settler of Catan. It was my gateway game. I had a couple co workers introduce it to me some years back and at one point we were playing it 3 or 4 times a week. Now my game closet has expanded to 7 of the games you have on your list and several others. One recommendation if you don’t have Cities and Knights for Catan you need to get it.

  20. What about Axis & Allies? Make RISK look like a child’s game… not one you can play over and over because it takes too long but it is the apex of strategy games and tied to real history.

  21. Yinka Double Dare

    I have to think Arkham Horror is one that really only appeals to hardcore gamers, that thing is quite complicated AND takes a long time to play, but the “everyone’s on the same team” thing is good if you have people who get really ticked off when you play games and someone screws them over. Although I’ll never see Cthulhu the same way again after that South Park trio of episodes…

    Also, on the “Wise and Otherwise” track, Balderdash came out with another edition called “Beyond Balderdash” that adds four other categories to the usual dictionary definitions — movies (come up with a one sentence plot for a given movie title), acronyms, dates (come up with what happened on that date in history), and people. I like the Wise and Otherwise proverbs a lot and I think I might still prefer it to Beyond Balderdash, but the acronyms and movies led to some pretty hilarious answers.

  22. Can someone here please recommend a good two-player, plane-friendly game? Thx!

  23. Hey Keith, Love your baseball analysis and love that you post about board games. I own games #1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Some games I have that I really enjoy are Mission: Red Planet, Pirate’s Cove and Pandemic. I have others but those are some of my favorites. Shadows over Camelot is nice especially because it can handle up to 7 players. Shadows over Camelot and Pandemic are cooperative games, but involve strategy and are a lot of fun.

  24. Axis and Allies is terrible. Takes forever to set up, and even longer for a single turn. At the end of the first turn the game is essentially over, but takes several more turns just to finish the inevitable. Awful game all around.

    Danny: Lost Cities, #5 on the list above.

    Jon: I have never played Caylus, or Le Havre which I understand is similar but a little simpler. Two serious gamers and one industry source both labelled Caylus as a 4-6 hour game or more, and I hadn’t had much reason to doubt them before mentioning it twice (here and on mental_floss) when others like yourself chimed in and said I was nuts. Have you played Le Havre as well?

  25. Keith: I haven’t played Le Havre, so I can’t comment on its similarity (or lack thereof) to Caylus. However, 4-6 hours for a game of Caylus sounds absolutely insane to me. When I play 2 player, 2 hours is the max. Usually more like 90-100 min, if we both know what we’re doing (I think you’re always looking for good 2p games to play with your wife–I’m in the same boat, and Caylus has made it into the regular rotation, along with Carcassone, Dominion, Pandemic, and Battle Line.) The more players, the longer it takes, but even with 4, the most I’ve played with, it hasn’t taken more than 3 hrs. I’ve heard stories of 5 player (the max) games being very intense and very long, but I have trouble imagining a 6 or even 5 hour game of Caylus.

    One final pitch: I got turned onto the game after I told a game-savvy friend that I was looking for a luck-free gaming experience. It seemed to me that even in the most strategy-heavy games, there is always an element of chance. I’m normally not too bothered by a bit of luck being involved (different story entirely if the game is completely decided by dice rolls or card pulls or something, of course), but anyway: this friend recommended Caylus as the epitome of a luck-free game. It is about entirely devoid of luck/chance as a game can be–the only randomly determined aspect is the initial turn order, which does matter a bit, but after that, luck doesn’t enter in one bit. Pure strategy. Rather cool, I think.

  26. Oh, also, I will say that Caylus does have slightly long and non-intuitive rules and complicated iconography. I also has a large set of unique game pieces, each of which has its own powers, works in its own way, etc. So the first read-through of the rules and the first game can be daunting. And long. Maybe those factors contributed to your acquaintances’ perspectives on the game? I dunno. Regardless, after a game or two, it gets much, much faster.

  27. Jon: For another luck-free gaming experience, you can try Princes of Florence. Card draws are basically “draw 5, keep 1″, etc… No dice rolls, an auction phase, etc.

    General comments: I also enjoy auction-style games like Ra and Modern Art. Strategy changes due to what tiles are available (Ra) or what cards other people are playing (Modern Art). I own Keith’s # 1, 2, 3, 11, 18, and 20. I’ve played 7, 10, 12, 13. All are on my list, too. I’ve also played Citadels, which is supposed to be along the same lines (as far as I know) as Lost Cities, but I could be mistaken. Bohnanza is a game that isn’t for everyone, but it’s fun with newbies as a way to end the night when you’ve still got 5 or 6 people left and it’s 11:30pm at your game night.

    Thanks for sharing!

  28. Thanks you for publishing this list – I found it very interesting. I’ve only just started playing Carcassone and now Settlers, and found this website when looking for reviews of Rivals for Catan. I’ve picked up some good leads for games that my wife & I might enjoy – now that our daughters are grown & gone, we’re definitely looking for two-player games.

    Can I respond by mentioning some oldies but goldies, games from the past that we always enjoyed? #1 would be ‘Railway Rivals’, winner of (West) Germany’s Game of the Year award in 1984. Originally produced by Rostherne Games in South Wales, it was a cottage-industry game for quite a while – monochrome maps on paper, hand-packed by the game’s designer into cardboard tubes, for example. My copy was published in 1985 by Games Workshop here in the UK. We still play at holidays when the family is around – we have score sheets in the box that are over twenty years old… Then there would be Civilization – I have the AH version. For me this was the most immersive gaming experience I have ever had, but I haven’t played it for many years now – it’s best with 6 or 7 players. And finally I still have nightmare memories of endless games of Diplomacy at University, played on an adapted world map that was about 6′ by 4′; games lasted days. Everything that’s said above about it is true, in my experience.

  29. I keep hearing about Dominion. Your ranking might be the push I need to finally buy it.

    My “gateway” game, after many years with Strat-O-Matic, was the Empire Builder series (crayons and rails). For my son, it was Settlers, and I’m starting to get him hooked on TTR.

    You have me quite curious about Orient Express.

  30. I am wondering have you played any of the variations of the risk games? i am a huge fan of most of the games listed but my friends and I also play Star Wars Risk and Lord of the Ring Risks and they are both great. Wondering your opinion on the matter?

  31. I do not care for Risk at all. It’s a flawed game, but worse, it’s boring.

  32. how do expansions figure into the ranking of these games, if at all?

  33. Klaw, ever try the game Tower of Babel? Played it last night with some friends and really enjoyed it. It’s ranked pretty low on boardgamegeek but I’m not sure why, as it doesn’t seem to suffer from balance issues (save for possibly the action cards which can grant a lot of points) and the only random element is a card draw. If you haven’t played it, I guess it falls under the “set building” and “bidding” variants, though it’s obviously difficult to describe a full game here. Anyway, it’s only been one try, but I’d recommend it as I’m itching to play again.

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