Ridere, ludere, hoc est vivere.

Friday, September 5, 2014

My candidates for the 2014 Dice Tower Top 100

(c) Queen Games
Used by permission
The Dice Tower is soliciting People's Choice votes for its annual Top 100 Games.  At the risk of exposing my idiosyncratic taste in games, here are the twenty for which I voted:

  • Chicago Express, easily my favorite game (even if I never win the final at PrezCon)  
  • Acquire, perhaps the quintessential classic investment game
  • Goa, a relatively recent discovery with a great bidding mechanic  
  • Trajan, something of an ultra-Euro with everything going on and a mancala-driven action-selection mechanic  
  • Innovation, another recent discovery that seems to have a lot of nested potential  
  • Agricola, perhaps the ultimate worker-placement game  
  • Le Havre, which I think of as Agricola in fractional turns  
  • Pergamon, an under-rated set collection game with a sharp bidding mechanic for soliciting research funding  
  • Targi, a tight two-player worker placement  
  • Power Grid, a neo-classic  
  • Coup: Reformation, perhaps the ultimate bluffing game (pending the arrival of Templar Intrigue, perhaps)  
  • Battue: Storm of the Horse Lords, which I include mostly because it has emerged as a successful family game in my house
  • Compounded, a clever, uniquely-themed set-collection game by a first-time designer  
  • Lords of Waterdeep, worker placement for the lighter side of the gaming population  
  • Mars Needs Mechanics, an elegant trading game with a unique supply-demand price-moving mechanic  
  • Android: Netrunner, the ultimate Living Card Game whose surface I have only scratched  
  • Citadels, another killer bluffing game of second-guessing  
  • Council of Verona, a tight little microgame that packs a lot of game in just a few cards  
  • Troyes, perhaps the ultimate dice manipulation game  
  • Battle Line, one of the best two-player card games of all time, without hesitation  

So I'm sure my list raises a few eyebrows, and to be honest, I can easily come up with another ten games that I should have included.  (How did I leave out Puerto Rico, for example?)  If I come back in a year when the Dice Tower makes another list, I'm sure it will look different.  But for now, if on any given game day, anyone asks me what I want to play, the answer will probably be on this list.


  1. What? No Trains, Planes & Automobiles?!?!

    1. I know, it would have been right behind Puerto Rico... :-)

  2. The first set of 8, roughly in the order I acquired them, not "most favorite first".

    Third Reich
    Up Front (and expansion Banzai)
    History of the World
    Hannibal: Rome vs Carthage
    DBA (particularly played as DBx)
    Stonewall Jackson's Way
    Down in Flames

    The second tier of 3, in no particular order.
    Caesar's Legions
    Caesar Alesia
    Battle Cry

    Third tier of 3, in no particular order:
    Robo Rally
    Memoir '44 (particularly Overlord expansion)
    Pretty much any ancient, AWI, ACW, WWII, or Vietnam miniatures game someone else has organized

    That's 14. To take the list to 20 would seriously dilute the list.

    1. Paul, I like your list. All the wargames you list that I've played are good ones, which leads me to believe that the ones I haven't played are just as good.

      It's interesting that no wargames made my list. (Battue is a wargame of sorts, but hardly the hex-and-counter grognard type. Battle Line is just a card game with an Alexandrian theme.) I think that fact reflects my current preference for gaming as a social activity rather than as an exploration of military history (as it used to be for me). Maybe I'll do a "top ten wargame" list next week.