My Top 10 Board Games - Updated

About a year ago, I wrote a post about My Top 10 Board Games. This post is the update that I promised to do after a year. In that post, I stated that the games you'll find here are all ones I own. That has not changed. It's possible that after a single play there are games out there that I might like better than these 10, but I'm keeping it simple.
A few games have dropped off of the list and others have fallen some, but a good portion of them remained on the list. Part of that is the lack of multiple plays of games I know will make the list, which isn't helped by single plays of a lot of new games to get through my New Year's Resolution to have zero unplayed games at the end of the year. My plan between now and next year's update is to play through a lot of my collection to cull the stuff that I don't want and get multiple plays in of games I truly enjoy. Here are my Top 10 Board Games as of today:

10. Hive
Hive held on to the last spot, despite two other games that were ranked higher than it last time falling off. I have a thing for abstracts and this one is special. I think the combination of not needing a board, being a in small package (I even have the smaller pocket version), and the need to be considering all pieces (played or not) keeps my love of this game high.

9. Circle the Wagons
The first of two games to get onto the list is the incredibly smart 18 card game, Circle The Wagons. With just 18 cards, this game plays bigger and better than many games that come with hundreds of components and a board. The key to it's brilliance lies in the scoring mechanism. Each card has a different scoring goal on it and at the beginning of the game, three of the eighteen cards are flipped over to use. The remaining fifteen cards get selected in a similar fashion to Patchwork (a game that sat in this spot last time). Players build their towns and score points based on their largest group of each color and the three scoring objectives. Its small wallet package makes it a great game to travel with; I keep my copy in the car at all times. The same team that designed and published this game also did a solo/co-op games using some of the same mechanics called Sprawlopolis. I don't know if there will ever be room for Sprawlopolis on this list, but it's certainly good enough to hang around in my collection.

In the original post I stated that this probably would have been my favorite game, had you asked me a year prior. I still love, love, love, the social aspect of this, but other designs just do more for me. One day Survive will get smashed by another title like a boat by a sea monster. It will be a sad day, but it will remain in my collection regardless.

7. 7 Wonders
Ever since downloading the app, my plays of this have exploded. I'm pretty sure I've broken the 100 play mark. I don't normally burn out after repeated plays and I don't think I've gotten there with this, but it definitely slipped a few spots because it's not as interesting to me as it once was. That's not to say that it isn't one of the best drafting games out there. Perhaps I need to grab an expansion or two and see what that does.

6. The Castles of Burgundy

Crashing into the middle of this list is a Stefan Feld game that probably should have been on here before. I ruled out any one time plays so it wasn't eligible last time, but after plays online and a recent live play I was reassured how great this game really is. We've played a lot of Feld's designs and this one is definitely my favorite. As I get in multiple plays of other games of his, they may creep onto future lists.

5. Blokus (Series)
I thought about breaking the games up this time instead of cheating and grouping them together. That thought went out the window after playing more of the original and duo on my phone. It's such a great series of games that they deserve to be judged together. You'll notice they did slip a bit, but my enjoyment hasn't waned at all.

4. Carcassonne
I own a physical copy of this game now, so no controversy like last time. My copy is still in shrink, but I'm itching to punch out the tiles and get it to the table. After repeated plays on the app, I've come to appreciate this game more and more. It went up 3 spots from last time to solidify it's place on the list. 

3. Tikal
The more I play Wolfgang Kramer's designs, the more I fall in love with them all. Since the original list, other designs of his that I played for the first time were Torres and Colosseum. I really enjoyed them both and it's possible that one or both of them will make this list at some point. I also have Coal Baron: The Great Card Game as my only unplayed game left in my collection. Tikal's stock rose after plays of his other titles and the anticipation for ones I've yet to add.

2. Biblios
Something I didn't mention during the last update was my love of the dice(point) manipulation in this game. I've since played other games that have a similar mechanic, like Favelas, and I really enjoy it. Biblios shows no signs of going anywhere, anytime soon.

1. Star Realms
Star Realms remains in the top spot despite a lot less plays of it since last update. I still haven't added any expansions, but that could change as I look to curate the collection down to games I want to play more often. The base game still has a ton of life left in it and think it'll take a masterpiece to knock this off its thrown.

Games that fell off the list were Patchwork and Sushi Go!.They're still really great games that are staying in the collection, there are just other's that I'd prefer to play.

Games that I want to play more that could possibly make the list: VillageThe Downfall of Pompeii7 Wonders Duel, Colosseum, Torres, and The Fox in the Forest.

I expect this list to see more of a shake up next year. See you then!


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