My favourite 10 Games

Yesterday for #Blogmas I listed My 10 Least Favourite Games. For today’s Blogmas I thought I’d update my 2017 list of Top Ten Best Board Games as I’ve played a whole load of different games since then.
Again, this is my personal list for the games I enjoy the most. If you personally don’t like any of these games for any reason, you are fully allowed to feel that way. If there’s a game you feel is more deserving that should be on this list, there is a chance I haven’t played it.
Here goes.

10. Splendor by Space Cowboys

A delightful set-collecting game that’s simple and devious at the same time. One of the best filler games out there. The Cities expansion gives some good variety to it too.

9. Carpe Diem by Ravensburger

A game that proves you should never judge a game by its box. Combines the tile-laying strategies of Carcassonne with resource generation and planning to meet two objectives a round. Such a satisfying game.

8. Tiny Epic Galaxies by Gamelyn Games

I enjoy all the Tiny Epic games I’ve picked up (and have picked up most), but I’d still say that Galaxies is the best of the bunch. Careful resource management to build up a galactic empire that’s masterfully developed further with its Beyond the Black expansion.

7. Abyss by Bombyx

Some games are all style and no substance. Abyss looks incredible and plays out so well using push-your-luck mechanics to build a usable hand. The two expansions Leviathan and Behemoth provide so much more interest to the game too.

6. Everdell by Starling Games

Another fantastic-looking game with and impressive (if slightly pointless) 3D cardboard tree). However the cutesy theme and delightful components are mere condiments to a solid engine-building game. Need to get the expansion – heard good things about it.

5. Pulsar 2849 by CGE

You either love point salad games or you hate them. I get that. I’m a lover of this style of game. With so many options to choose from each turn even rubbish dice can be used to do great things.

4. Dinosaur Island by Pandasaurus Games

I love Jurassic Park. The book and the film. This is pretty much the game in all but name. Building your own dinosaur park has never been so much fun, even when the dinosaur break out and eat my paying customers. With an expansion that adds four extra aspects to the game, this games just gets bigger and better.

3. Star Realms by White Wizard Games

Deck-builders have been around for a while now, with different themes and styles. I’m a sucker for the deck-builder, me. Star Realms is, hands down, my personal favourite in the genre where players build up their decks of cards in order to annihilate each other. Complete with an attractive space theme, many complimentary expansions and one of the best digital versions of a game on Steam, this one just keeps on giving.

2. StarCraft: The Boardgame by Fantasy Flight Games

For the longest time this was my straight-up favourite game. Partially because I adore the computer game of which it is based, but also it’s a very satisfying combat and area control minutres game. However, with a game time of 30 minutes per player, a six-player game is more time commitment than can readily be given.

1. Terraforming Mars by Stronghold Games

Thematically, I don’t know of a stronger game than this masterpiece by Stronghold Games. Players play in a semi-cooperative way with the aim of terrforming Mars by increasing the temperature, oxygen content and liquid water levels. Individually, however, each player is trying to score more points than anyone else. With five excellent expansions that provide even more things to do, this engine-building game can be played over and over again.

There are also a host of other games I also really, really enjoy, but these are my current top ten.
Do any of these feature on your top (or bottom) ten?

Games Night 13th December 2018

This is it, the final games night in Bedford. I expected a large turn-out for an emotional send-off.

DA popped over from across the road (quickly too – it’s jolly cold out there).

To kick off the evening while waiting for anyone else we played

by White Wizard Games
twice.

We played without characters this time.
In the first game, MC acquired a large number of Outposts and became pretty much invulnerable. DA fell to a hit of 37 points of damage.
The second game was quicker, with MC this time generating a powerful synergy with the Machine Cult and obliterating DA with ease.

By this time we realised no one else was going to make an appearance.


by Space Cowboys
was next.

In the first game we tried it with the Strongholds expansion from

We found that with the strongholds in play, we reserved a lot more cards than usual. I’m very eager to see how this plays out with 3 or 4 players.
DA won that game 17 to 13 by getting 2 nobles in quick succession.

Round two was without any expansions.
This was a much closer game with DA achieving the 15 points needed and MC on 13 points with a 2-point finishing move. Victory goes to DA for getting 15 points first.

To see off Board Games in Bedford we played a final game of

This time it was a very close game, with both players being whittled down to 3 points apiece. DA then struck with 2 points of damage. MC responded with the killing attack with 13 points of damage. Brilliant stuff.

And that is that.

Thank you so much to all the players over last decade; be they regular, sporadic, one-off or full of intentions but never made it. This club would not be what is without you.
Of course, if you ever find yourselves in Aylesbury…

Games Night 27th November 2018

LP got his Thursday and Tuesday’s mixed up and turned up unexpectedly. So we played a couple of games.

First up:

by White Wizard Games
LP played as
MC played as

Biolord Walsh held off buying non-affiliated cards too long before realising that some cards are better than none. Meanwhile Valken had amassed a pretty unbeatable armada, which was, indeed, unbeatable.

Next up we heisted our way through

by Renegade Game Studios

LP played as white
MC played as purple
The scenario today was

Our hapless space heroes had barely taken a few space steps before the scenario reached tier 3, effectively nobbling us both harshly.
However, LP was able to limp his way to a treasure and limp back to the escape pods without too much fuss.
MC sort of floundered about not moving much at all, got a treasure and then got pummelled into the ground.

To round of the evening we had a crack at

by Space Cowboys
this time using the Orient expansion from

Basically MC won in the end.

A delightful, if unexpected evening, thank you LP for making a nice mistake (he was jet-lagged so no giving him a hard time about it).

Games Night 23rd October 2018

Four of us this time which saw us mixing up the DNA and getting visitors eaten with:

by Pandasaurus Games
In the opening random draw MC found himself in 4th place, turnwise. A position he wasn’t able to shake for the entire game. Very early on, KV make it clear his calvalier approach to the well-being of visitors.

Despite the huge fatality count, visitors kept flocking to the parks.
In a final push and deliberate oversight of health a safety, the final unclaimed objectives were claimed and more visitors were eaten.

The final scores:
DA: 41 with a park score of 30 = 71
KV: 36 and 3 Objectives adding 24 and a park score of 44 = 104
MC: 53 and 3 Objectives adding 24 and a park score of 34 = 111
PH: 54 and 3 Objectives adding 24 and a park score of 36 = 114
Well done PH!

To wrap up the evening we finished off with a game of

by Space Cowboys
Gems were acquired and cards were reserved and attained.

MC was the first to reach 15 points.
Final scores:
DA: 3
KV: 3
MC: 17
PH: 10
That was pretty decisive…well done MC!

Games Night 11th September 2018

Three of us this week.
Kicked off with Days Of Wonder’s

It had been a over a year since last we played this so there was a bit of catching up with the rules.
Orders were chosen, boats were acquired and placed and buildings got, well, built.

Final Scores:
DA: 27
MC: 40
PH: 56
Well done PH!

To round off the evening we played to games of:

by Space Cowboys
In the usual fasion we collected gems and used them to buy cards which allowed us to buy more cards. That sort of thing.

The end results were:

Name 1st Game 2nd Game
DA: 13 16
MC: 15 5
PH: 9 9

How nice, everybody got to win a game this time round.

Games Night 16th November 2017

A very warm welcome to HG this week. Her addition to the group brought the grand total of players for tonight up to 3.
To start off with, we attempted to save the world from the sniffles, barnacles, crazy itches and death with:

by Zman Games.
With HG being very new to the gaming world, she opted for the easier game.
DA was the Dispatcher (can move other players on his turn)
HG was the Medic (can treat diseases more efficiently)
MC was the Scientist (can find the cure quicker)
The BREXIT HYSTERICS was the first to be cured, MC very quickly amassed the four cards he needed and hopped into the research station and did whatever one does in those places to turn cards into a cure. HC used her super powers to completely eradicate the BREXIT HYSTERICS, giving us a little breathing room when EPIDEMICS broke out. Meanwhile the horrific FLAMING TOENAIL DISEASE had grown considerably in north African and west Asia. This was the source of the first OUTBREAK.
All three intrepid germ busters flew into the middle east and managed to equip MC with enough black cards needed to cure it. In doing so the sale of replacement footwear dropped considerably.

By this time, the OVERWHELMING STUPIDITY had reached a critical point in South America with a potential massive chain reaction that would exhaust the yellow OVERWHELMING STUPIDITY cubes imminently, particularly after another EPIDEMIC card that moved the card marker to 3 with only five cards to be shuffled and placed back on the top. 3 of those cards were cities known to hold 3 disease cubes already. Fortunately, it was only Algiers in North Africa so, although there was an OUTBREAK, no chain reaction occurred and the sale of shoes briefly increased once again. It also happened to be where HG was hanging out with her super-cure all remedy handy. Some quick action by DA and HG brought us back from the brink regarding the yellow OVERWHELMING STUPIDITY cubes and DA was able to find the cure for the slow-spreading SLIGHTLY SORE BUT NOT VERY SORE FINGER CONDITION.
MC was all set to cure find the cure for the OVERWHELMING STUPIDITY when the final EPIDEMIC struck. It was a non-event, however and MC managed to develop the cure for the OVERWHELMING STUPIDITY that had South America in its thrall. We won. Woo.

Next up, we played two games of:

by Space Cowboys
We utilised MC’s automatic card shuffler, that was excellent at shuffling all the blue gem cards together.
MC went first to give, HG time to get to grips with the game-play. On numerous occasions she pointed out that her brain was on the brink of exploding.

DA managed to attain 15 points with the visitation of his second noble.
MC won the second round and didn’t own or hold a gem for the majority of the game.

Finally, we played two games newly acquired:

by Moonster Games.
Disaster struck as it transpired that these cards were a little taller than standard cards and wouldn’t fit in the automatic card shuffler. So we had to endure MC’s bloody awful “shuffling”.
HG dominated the Time Travellers in this game and DA quickly acquired the Yi’s Legacy token (dubbed the Super-Happy-Fun token by MC). MC stole it towards the end of the game.
At game’s end the scores were:
DA: 12
HG: 14 – The Winner!
MC: 10 (doubled the score of 5 thanks to the Super-Happy-Fun token)

In the second game, HG again seemed to keep getting the Time Travellers. DA once again got the Super-Happy-Fun-Token that was once again stolen, this time by HG.
At game’s end the scores were:
DA: 34 – The Winner!
HG: 14 (doubled the score of 7 thanks to the Super-Happy-Fun token)
MC: 20
All good stuff, that was a fun evening.
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Games Night 9th November

Due to the random fluctuation in the expected attendance that reached 6 at one point, we were at a loss as to what we were going to play when it eventually transpired that there was only four of us.
While we waited for KV we thought we’d kick off with

by Space Cowboys
KV proptly turned up and had the honour of the first turn and, before long, gems were being collected and cards were being acquired. DA was the first to acquire any prestige points (victory points). TS amassed a huge quantity of blue cards, which then did nothing for him at all. MC quickly amassed cards that stopped him needing any gems. KV was the first to get a visit from a noble. MC was the second, third and fourth to get a noble visit.

Final scores:
DA: 13
KV: 13
MC: 18
TS: 6

Next up we played newly acquired

by Brotherwise Games.
DA was blue
KV was green and won the roll to go first.
MC was red
TS was yellow

Dice were rolled, stones were acquired, ruins were claimed and monuments were built. KV managed a Greater Monument and DA built a Lesser Monument. KV was also able to roll a ridiculous number of 8s on his d8 and 6s on his d6. MC got 4s on his d4. The final End Of Age card was the City of Gold ruin worth 7 points and was successfully unearthed by TS.
Final scores:
DA: 13
KV: 26
MC: 18
TS: 19

To finish off we shuffled together
and
by White Wizard Games for an excellent 4-player space battle.
First to start and the first to fall was the DA Empire who, despite his remarkable regenerative abilities was crushed by an enourmous attack from the TS Alliance.

The MC Milieu was all set up to destroy the KV Confederacy who, through some remarkable negotiating, swayed his wrath towards the TS Alliance and destroyed his defences. With the TS Alliance unprotected the KV Confederacy struck the fatal blow. With the last of his strength the MC Milieu was able to crush the KV Confederacy who, in their death throws, revealed that they only had 5 scouts with which to retaliate had they survived.

That was a really fun evening (not just because I won two out of the three games). It was great to play three very different games with everyone equally engaged in them all. TS particularly enjoyed Splendor and Star Realms and I wouldn’t be surprised if he got hold of his own copies before too long. I was wary as to how Star Realms would work as a four-player and was very pleasantly surprised as to how well it did work. It did help that we didn’t do too much ganging up on each other.

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Until then, keep on gaming!