Monday, January 28, 2008

Bill's Top 10 Boardgames of 2007

The last of these lovely Top 10 lists ends with my boardgames. If you're a gamer and are not at least a little into boardgames you're missing out on a wonderful side of the hobby. Seriously -- particularly if you have kids. Videogames rot your brain, ya know. These games aren't all new, but were new to me in 2007.

10. Ingenious - Classic abstract strategy game from Reiner Knizia. Another one of those games where your final score is that you are "lowest" you need to score points in every color and not focus on one strategy.

9. Lost Cities - Another Knizia game, this one a 2-player card game that takes about 30 minutes to play but is one of the very best filler games ever made. Also, this is known as possibly the best game to play with someone who isn't into games. Some call those "gateway" games. Fun is fun.

8. Ivanhoe - The trend continues as this is yet another Knizia card game, this time built around medieval jousting tournaments. It's basically a color coded card game with special "screw you" cards. Great with 4+ people.

7. Twilight Struggle - This one will rise up the list the more I play it. A 2 player game built around the Cold War. Russia vs. the States with a slick card mechanic.

6. Hammer of the Scots - A 2 player wargame that I have reviewed here on the blog and at GameShark. William Wallace vs the Longshanks. Easy to play, and a blast if you dig the setting.

5. Capes & Cowls: The Superhero Board Game - A VERY hard game to find due to a crazy small print run but it's the best superhero game going with tons of neat heroes with great powers in a tactical game of clobbering.

4. Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery - I missed out on the whole Puerto Rico craze and people say this game is just a blend of other designs. Maybe so, but I didn't play those games. It's pure Euro. But I like it.

3. RA - Knizia makes it back with his classic auction game set in ancient Egypt. I have NO idea why I like this game...but it's addictive.

2. Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage - This is a reprint of an old game but it's again all new to me, and it's just a fantastic game. I played this a lot this year and every game is new despite the same setup. Hannibal with those elephants against the wave of Roman troops. Grand Strategy, tactics, and a neat card battle system make this a fresh game every time out.

1. Shogun - A "Euro Wargame" Shogun takes about 3 plays before you finally get what's going on, but once it clicks, you begin to see the brilliance of the design which forces you to make incredibly tough choices every turn. Plus it has that cool dice tower for combat. For 2 players, I go Hannibal -- for 3 to 5, I go Shogun so call it a wash.