As i have done last year, i will provide a list of games that are best for me (as of now, 2016). There will be games which i maybe haven’t played this year or haven’t played much, some games are older, some a new. As this is second time i am doing this, i will also provide numbers of how this list has changed (which games dropped or got higher, new games on the list, etc.).
10. Cacao (-1) – tile placement is one of my favorite mechanisms. This game is so easy and fast and yet providing meaningful choices. It also scales well. And the thing that it looks gorgeous only helps. It dropped one step, but in general it’s the same spot as last year 🙂
9. Magic: The Gathering (new) – although i haven’t included this game on my last year’s list, this is still the most played game of mine. And the most hated game on the other hand. By the way, i haven’t ever played the paper version of it. Only the PC version (Magic Duels at the moment). I like it’s concept and it is really addicting (which explains why i still play it almost every day for 7 years probably). But i can’t rate it higher because of enormous luck of starting hand. It can either give you a win or make you concede right away. Other modern card games have ways to deal with that. Either letting you to choose your starting hand or remove just some of the cards and draw replacements. Magic only lets you redraw the whole hand, which might leave you with as bad hand as it was (or even worse). Magic feels dated, but i still like it, so it deserves a spot on this list.
8. Race for the Galaxy (+2) – still one of the best card games, with simultaneous action selection, multiple usage of cards. It’s rather quick to play, when everyone knows how to play it. But it’s a nightmare to teach someone. That’s why it doesn’t get played that often.
7. 7 Wonders (-) – as last year it takes the 7th spot completely unintentionally 🙂 I like drafting. 7 Wonders is the ultimate drafting game. Simple enough to teach and really quick even with 7 players. Although it can get dull after a while as you do almost the same every time. But expansions help spice it up a bit. If i ever get Babel expansion it might jump a little bit higher.
6. Ticket to Ride (-) – another undying classic on this list. Still going strong. Although i have only played it on PC this year, but i still like most of the maps (Europe is what i own and it still feels the best). I have also tried the incredible Anniversary version. It can even go higher when i try the newest UK and Pennsylvania maps.
5. Firenze (-2) – dropped a bit, though mostly because of other games shooting higher. Still a very good euro game with an interesting cards selection/drafting mechanism, tower building racing and a bit of take that actions. Though i have learned recently that it is tough to teach it (so many nuance little rules). I bet it would jump higher on the list if i would get a chance to play it live.
4. Small World (-2) – this game fascinates me with a huge variety of combinations of factions and powers, pretty world and quite light hearted play style. But i haven’t played it live for more than a year. Playing it on Steam against AI opponents compensates that a bit, but this game is exciting to play with people and laugh about bad or gret luck, cheer, teeze. So it dropped a bit. Somehow i wasn’t able to get it to the table very often.
3. Tokaido (+2) – that’s the game which bumped Firenze and Small World 🙂 I can’t explain why i like so much this simple game. But i was able to play it a few times live this year and a few times more on BGA. I just like the set collection mechanism, chill gameplay, pretty art and especially clever turn mechanism, when last player always has a turn until he moves by someone else.
2. Carcassonne (+4) – another game shooting to the top of the list (once it was number 1 for me). I’ve been able to play it a few times live this year and BGA just got Carcassonne (a very good implementation of it). Although i have also tried South Seas variant, but it didn’t fascinate me. Tile laying mechanism is my favorite one, so no surprise that Carcassonne is so hig. It’s just the best in this genre (so far, from what i was able to try) and it might stay here for a long time.
1. Thunderstone (-) – every time while making this list i think do i really like it that much or i’m just used to it being my best game. But i’m still playing it all the time (granted, only on Yucata) and i don’t seem to get tired of it. Its spot would solodify if i would be able to try its expansions also. I’m eagerly awaiting its 3d edition next year. Maybe i will finally own this game 🙂 Although i’m a bit worried that it mainly will be Epic variant, but they will probably also inlcude regular rules (from Advance variant).
So, the list is done. There were some jumps and falling or sapping places. There is one newcomer, though not really, just an oversight from last year. But Magic has replaced another known game in the list. That’s Summoner Wars. I still think it’s a great game. But after thinking about it i decided to mvoe it down the list. I haven’t played it in a long time and it is hard to get played, as it is only 2 players game. Its Android version doesn’t work on my new tablet and decks are pricey there. And more importantly, i just don’t feel the urge to play it. So it has dropped to 22 place for now. Maybe later i will find someone to play it with or find a way to play it on Internet and it could rise from the ashes.