How Difficult could it be to Choose Your Best Game?
If you asked me to pick my favourite movie of the year, I would have to base it on how much I liked the film, for example I went three times to see The Avengers Assembled and I went four times to see The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey. However I have only watched The Avengers Assembled on Blue-ray about 4 times, I refused to buy the Hobbit DVD until the Extended Edition came out. I elected not to go to see Superman – Man of Steel in the cinema, but I have watched it seven times since I bought the DVD. Which is my favourite film of the year!!
Breaking it Down…..Into Categories That is!
So GamesQuest asked that all its bloggers to do a best board game blog. I think it is going to be very interesting. So for me I have had to break it down into Categories, giving you a version of the Academy Awards, but with less pomp and drama.
Best Card Game of 2013….of All Time!!
This year we have seen the onslaught of deck building games. Games companies have jumped on the huge success of Dominion, with the newer games that have been released being more inventive. But it would be unfair to contest, one of the most played card games against Dominion. So again we have to add a few sections to the card game Category.
Best Deck Building Game of 2013 has to be Marvel Legendary. For me the fact that you can play this game solo is a major factor of why I play it so much. It is enjoyable with up to three players, but above that I think players become a bit disinterested.
Marvel Legendary Deck Building Card Game
Best Adventure Card Game of 2013 again some might be surprised that it not Munchkin, but for me for the sheer quality, size, production and playability, the title has to go to Pathfinder the Adventure Card Game.
Pathfinder Adventure Card Game
Best Two Player Card Game – Before I started playing board games, I played Yu-gi-oh Tcg at competition level and it is my favourite card game of all time. I have tried Magic the Gathering and World of Warcraft Tcg, but for me they fall short. Having said that, I have just started playing Summoner Wars and A Few Acres of Snow, only time will tell.
The Best Deck Building Game – Coming from a card playing background I tend to love the deck building games, Race for the Galaxy, Runeage, Nightfall and Marvel Legendary are all favourites. However, my overall favourite Deck Building game is Arctic Scavengers. I just love the player interaction you get with the game, I play it whenever I can.
Arctic Scavengers Deck Building
The Christmas Card Game – so Christmas time I will get the family to play some card games. Hmmm, the only card I can get everyone to play is Uno. There is also Total Rumble, which is an inventive variant, but in general we will be playing a very mean game of Uno. I am hoping that we might start a few games of Cockroach Poker, which is a fun bluffing card game and I have my fingers crossed that it will become a family favourite.
Cockroach Poker Card Game
The Best Board Game of 2013 and of all Time!!
The year of 2013 has see the launch of some of the very best board games ever released, only time will tell if they stand on the shoulders of the giants that came before them. Again such is the range and diversity of board games I have had to break the category into minor sections.
Best Miniatures Board Game – So Miniature Board Games are on the rise, we are seeing more and more miniature board games being released each year and most have been backed up with a full production of expansions. For me the contenders are Descent 2nd Edition, Mice and Mystics, Krosmaster Arena and Super Dungeon Explore. To make this decision is like pulling my teeth out, but I haven’t played Descent enough to make a valid decision and although I love Krosmaster. The fact that I have invested four months in painting the Super Dungeon Explore miniatures and it is so fun to play, means that it is going to sneak over the finishing line.
Super Dungeon Explore Board Game
Best Fantasy Board Game – This month has seen a deluge of fantasy board games hit the market, but I have not been able to play any, so for me, the two stand out Fantasy Board games are Mage Knight and Runewars. Now I love Mage Knight, but it’s downside is takes so long to play. However several games of Rune Wars can be played in same sitting of Mage Knight and I love the tactical card mechanic of the game, so it has to go to Runewars.
Runewars Strategy Board
Best Science Fiction Board Game – With the new FireFly Game about to released, this might be the shortest lived of all my nominations. However the Science Fiction Board Games that I play most often are Eclipse, Cosmic Encounter and Galaxy Trucker. The last two although having great game play, seem more dated every time I play them. However Eclipse is a fantastic game and since I earned notoriety on BoardGameGeek for burning my civilisation to make an attack on a fellow player in the last turn – it was deemed Despicable, I suppose it has to go to Eclipse.
Best Light to Medium Play Board Game – These games are usually either games that are used to calm the nerves after playing a heavy heated game or games that play well in under an hour. I could give you a list as long as my arm for this category, but for me it all comes down to two games, Divinare and Fleet. I like these two games a lot and they are both two to four player games, but playing Fleet has caused me to laugh so much, I thought my ribs were going to crack! So it wins it by a mile and next year we get the expansion.
Best Heavy Play Board Game – Although the above winners would feature heavily in my top ten board games. There are games I would play above them every time. Board games worth mentioning are Age of Empires 3, Merchants and Marauders, Colosseum, Cleopatra, Clash of Cultures, Duel of Ages 2 and Francis Drake. All of these games will generate brain burning in the most pleasant of ways, but it has to be fun too and in a way they all are. Francis Drake for me is better than Age of Empires, Cleopatra and Merchants and Marauders, as such it jumps to the top of the list. If I had to chose between Francis Drake and Clash of Cultures then Francis Drake would win again. So it comes down to Francis Drake and Duel of Ages 2, and that is where I get kind of stuck. When it comes right down to it though, I have had the most fun with Duel of Ages 2. Those players that have I have brought along to board gaming for the first time and their first game has been Duel of Ages 2, well they have been hooked. So it has to go to Duel of Ages 2.
Duel Of Ages II Board Game
The Christmas Boardgame – The only games I am going to get my family to play this Christmas is Saboteur and looping Louie. Anything that plays heavier than these and it is, let’s have a game of Uno instead.
Best of the Other Categories Games of 2013….and All Time!!
There are two more categories to go through before the final nomination. Although they are the most fun categories, I don’t get to play them much and they are.
Best Dice Game – The problem with dice is that they don’t like me, you can guarantee that I will get the worse dice roll – always. It doesn’t matter how pretty, how precise, what material they are, I will always, always get the worse results. As such I stay away from dice games as a rule. The games I have played such as King of Tokyo and Dungeon Roll, I have enjoyed. Even though I know before the game starts I am going to lose. Having said all that, there is one dice game I do enjoy above all others and that is Dice Town.
Best Party Game – You have to have plenty of people to play these sorts of games, at conventions and LAN parties the game I see being played the most often is The Werewolves of Millers Hollow, a 8 to 18 player game. This is also the party game that my family and extended family will play at Christmas, we had 13 players last year.
However, I have recently been introduced to Wits and Wagers a 4 to 20 player game and for me, depending on the people you play with, generates the most fun. As such the best party game is Wits and Wagers.
The best Game of All Time….!!
You know at the end of the Academy Awards and their like, it will come down to the best film of the year awards and most people will know what film it is going to be. Who will be the best actor and actress. Well I could easily cop out and say the best game of all is Chess and a lot of you might think, I suppose he’s right. There again, I have just sang the praises all these games and awarded so many winners in different categories, surely I could be a bit more creative….
The honest truth is I can’t pick one clear winner. If I was marooned on a desert island, only three of the above games would make it and that is because you can play them solo. So there isn’t a best overall winner, I personally don’t think any gamer could, as we all have different tastes and favourites.
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Paul Matthews is a Sales Manager for Gamesquest Ltd, as well as a part-time Board game Demonstrator and Blogger. After several years playing Yu-gi-oh at Tournament level, his latest passion is all things board gaming. Besides playing board games, Paul is a part time author and enjoys reading and archery. Paul has a Degree in Humanities Psychology/Counselling and several Life-skill Degrees in Parenting, Horse Management and Ecommerce.