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Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Just for the sake of game content Here are my top 5 favorite games of all time.

#1 Tigris and Euphrates T&E is the crowning achievement of prolific game designer Reiner Knizia. Herr Knizia shows no signs of slowing his output of games, so with a little luck the mathematician turned game designer might just top this crowning jewel of his illustrious career.

I must admit that I did not care for this game the first couple times I played it. I had read much about the game prior to purchasing it, in fact it was out of print when I first read about it. I bought it as soon as the reprint was available. T&E was the most frustrating, cut-throat game that I have ever played.

About half way through the game I always get the feeling that I've screwed myself beyond recovery, and have completely lost control of my position. Fortunately my opponents feel the same way. Usually I am able to get a grip and do what I need to do to win, or at least not embarrass myself.

This game does not get played enough 'round these parts. My wife won't play, and it's a little too deep for kids and adults with short attention spans. My main game partner won't play this game with only three players. That makes it even harder to get to the table, although it is a solid three player game, in my opinion.

#2 Taj Mahal My second most favorite game is also by Reiner Knizia. If this were a list of my top ten boardgames I would speculate that Reiner would hold an additional 2 or 3 spots on the list.

I stand by my assertion that Taj Mahal feels like the boardgame equivalent of poker. I had owned the game for a couple years prior to first playing at BGG.con. I had never kicked myself so hard for not playing a game before or since. I had read the rules numerous times, and I was familiar with the general gameplay. The rules belied the intense game of brinkmanship, bluffing and balls that TM is.

#3 Puerto Rico Best game ever as judged by the ranking on Boardgamegeek. Need I say more?

#4 Euchre First played this card game when I was in the army. After my first two years in the service I was bored, bored, bored playing Spades, Hearts, and winning the occasional poker game. Those were the only three games most soldiers knew.

I taught some of the guys to play Pinochle, and one of them taught us Euchre. That was it for us. We had our own little group that played Euchre and Pinochle exclusively. I loved this quick little card game from the moment I first played it.

I know it has a reputation as a game to be played while drinking heavily, but for me it is an enjoyable sober experience that I could play for hours.

#5 Pinochle This is the game I cut my teeth on. My parents spent many an evening playing pinochle with friends and family when I was a kid. When I was little I would just watch them play for hours, often foregoing playing with other kids. I lived with my grandparents for my senior year of high school, and we would play 3-handed pinochle every evening. Every evening. I would not have missed that nightly game for the world. When I was older my (now) wife and myself would drive to her grandparents house every weekend for a game or two of pinochle.

Don't get to play much anymore. The lure of a good pinochle game is the main reason I return to Montana to visit my family.

I must admit that I am a bit of a pinochle snob. I only enjoy playing with competent opponents, and I refuse to play double deck pinochle, which is the main variant with which most people are familiar. Double deck has crazy scores and is nearly entirely luck-driven.

Just missed the cut (in no particular order): Cribbage, El Grande, Roads and Boats, 500.

Taj Mahal never quite worked for me.

Right now my top 3 list is:

1.Power Grid
2. San Juan
3. Ra

and I couldn't go much lower with any confidence.

T&E is good stuff.
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