Wednesday, November 30, 2005

If You Let The Lunatics Run The Institution...

...you get lists like these:

Snoop's List

That's right - Stephen "Balloon Cup" Glenn, the mastermind behind The One Hundred, put together his own personal top 100 list. Makes for some fun reading - but, dude, cool it with the abstracts! Sheesh.

I'll follow up tomorrow by posting my Top 100 here over 10 or so days - not because I'm really wanting to build suspense, but because it's a lot easier to get everything posted in bite-sized pieces. Needless to say, Poker will not be #1. :-)

Monday, November 21, 2005

The One Hundred Vs The Gaming Awards

Well, at least, the semi-respected gaming wards. :-)

This information was originally published on the spielfrieks mailing list by Morgan Dontanville, and given a small correction by Larry "My Ex-GG Roomie" Levy.

Deutscher Spiele Preis
The "German Game Prize" is often held up as the 'gold standard' of Eurogaming awards - as it is voted on by gamers for gamers. Of the 16 times this has been awarded, 12 of those games appeared on The One Hundred.
  • Adel Verpflichtet
  • Modern Art
  • 6 Nimmt
  • Settlers of Catan
  • El Grande
  • Lowenhurz
  • Tigris and Euphrates
  • Tikal
  • Taj Mahal
  • Carcassonne
  • Puerto Rico
  • St Petersburg
The missing games that were awarded the DSP are:
  • Master Labyrinth
  • Der Fliegende Holländer
  • Amun-Re
  • Louis XIV (which was not released when The One Hundred was voted on)
Spiel des Jares
The "German Game of the Year" award is credited with turning around the German gaming industry. It's not always as popular with hardcore gamers, due to the family-oriented nature of the picks. Of the 27 times the SdJ has been awarded, 11 of those games appeared on The One Hundred.
  • Hare & Tortoise
  • Adel Verpflichtet
  • Um Reifenbreite
  • Liar's Dice
  • Settlers of Catan
  • El Grande
  • Elfenland
  • Tikal
  • Torres
  • Carcassonne
  • Ticket To Ride
None of the SdJ winners from the 80's made the list (including Scotland Yard and Heimlich &Co.). Beginning with 1990, the missing games:
  • Drunter & Drüber
  • Manhattan
  • Mississippi Queen
  • Villa Paletti
  • Alhambra
  • Niagara (which was not released when The One Hundred was voted on)
International Gamers Award
The most recent gaming award is voted on by a jury of international gamers and shows a marked preference for gamer-y games. The multiplayer game award has been given 7 times... 6 of those games appear on The ONe Hundred:
  • Tikal
  • Princes of Florence
  • San Marco
  • Puerto Rico
  • St Petersburg
  • Age of Steam
The one missing game is Ticket To Ride: Europe, which was released after The One Hundred was voted on.

All six of the two-player IGA award games made the list:
  • Lost Cities
  • Battle Cry
  • Dvonn
  • LOTR: The Confrontation
  • Memoir '44
  • War of the Ring

The Ones That Got Away: John Palaygi

Keythedral
Clean, elegant, simple and fast.

Keywood
This is an awful high placement for such a small distribution game but it's well worth it. It's a hard, viscious game(at least the way our group plays it) that I really enjoy.

Hamster Rolle
My dexterity/party game entry all rolled into one! Always a blast to play and sure to attract anyone that's not seen it before.

Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective
A deduction gameyou can play solo (actually the only way to play this one in my book). Though if you've got a good memory replay value is nil.

Trivial Pursuit
I don't care what anyone else says. I like Trivial Pursuit (especially the early editions, before the "pop culture" questions took over). I never fail to learn something and am always surprised at what I do know.

The Ones That Got Away: W. Eric Martin

Familienbande

Maybe an odd choice for my favorite game of all time, but I've played 60+ times and still have fun. The theme meshes so well with the gameplay-- kill that bloodline; like mother, like son; and so forth -- that new players really get into the game. Also, my wife really enjoys the game, which is always a plus.

Piratenbilliards

One of the most addictive games ever. I bought an American version of Piratenbilliards from an online toy company, gave two away as gifts, and ordered seven more copies for folks who wanted one of their own after playing mine. Even my parents bought a copy!

Fluxx

A guilty pleasure, and one I can share only with my brother due to general loathing of this game from the game community. We play best 3 out of 5 or 4 out of 7, and because we know the cards so well, we whip through these games in ten minutes or so. Sure, Fluxx is light and chaotic, but it's hardly mindless, as many critics contend.

I'm sure my choices would differ today after another year of gaming experience, but this list was a good picture of that time.

The Ones That Got Away: Michael Weston

Confusion

No, it won't make the Top 100, but I still think it's the coolest game out there. Especially since a friend made me a home-made set and I don't have to rely on Frank B. or Craig B. to bring a copy.

Way too obscure for any chance, on top of being a niche game itself. Most people aren't willing to tax the logic corner of their brain enough for this beauty. Other than being an avowed deduction game freak, I appreciate that this game isn't actually won just by deducing the answers. Deduction is just a tool to get you to a point where you think you can win the actual soccer-like movement on the board.

Meuterer

A very underrated game just because it's hard to learn from the rules.

Not sure why more people don't like this one. It packs a lot of game into a very little box. Sure the mechanisms are about as non-intuitive as it gets, but beyond that is a very entertaining game of second guessing and smart hand management. Definitely my favorite of the "secretly choose a role" games out there.

Sleuth

The finest example of a pure deduction game.

Having since played Larry Levy's "Deduce or Die", Sleuth is no longer my favorite for those rare times when I can get fellow deduction nuts together. Still a great game that deserves more table time. Still, it was great to see one deduction game make it on the list.

Das Motorsportspiel

Yeah, another dark horse. You know the timer is set for the right limit when you can feel the adrenaline rushing as you have to rush to get your move done in time.

Never had a chance, but still the best racing game out there. Unlike Formula De and all the other race games that have been done, this is the only one to really feel like a race. The consolation prize is that at least Formula De DIDN'T make the list either.

Klunker

There's more here than most people give it credit for. For such a simple set collection game, there's a lot of subtlety.

I'm sure Dave Vander Ark listed this one too, but we may be the only ones. Repeated plays just continue to show that smart play can mitigate the luck of the draw, at least to the same extent as any other card-based game we typically play. Not a Top 10 game by any stretch, but I think it's at least as good as anything in the bottom 25.

The Ones That Got Away: Kevin Whitmore

Waldschattenspiel

There is something magical about this game. I am sure most strategy game fans will sneer at this selection. For me,Waldschattenspiel bypasses the brain and hits me directly in the heart. Play it at midnight with a bunch of friends in a camphouse in the middle of the New Mexico forest - and I guarantee you will also come to love this game.

Carcassonne: The City

It has become all too chic to dismiss anything with Carcassonne in the title. I think a great number of people have never given this extremely interesting strategy game a chance. An added bonus is the very cool city you have built once the game is completed.

Entdecker

It never really had a chance, but this game remains a personal favorite of mine. I'll be curious to see what Rev. Jackson has to say about it.

The Ones That Got Away: Brian Leet

Fast Food Franchise

Always a blast with gamers and non-gamers alike. Has the good habit of usually ending right when the outcome becomes obvious to the players.

This game hasn't been in print for nearly a decade, so I'm not surprised that it didn't make the list. I also am sure that the similarities to Monopoly probably turn off some players. For me, the similarities are enough to entice casual gamers (who don't feel like they need to learn a whole new game), while turning out to be entirely superficial from a game play standpoint. While there is a fair amount of luck here there is also strategy and planning as well as calculated risk. I would love to see a reprint of this title so it could get wider availability (and better components).

American Megafauna

I enjoy 'experience' games (games where the experience of playing is more important than your score) and this is my favorite of the bunch. The only downside here is finding players.

I wouldn't be shocked if I am the only player who nominated this game. I would be very shocked if there was more than one other person who also listed it. In many ways the game is a lot of things I don't care for. It is fiddly, complex, long, filled with obscure or odd rules interactions, and careful strategy is often overturned by pure dumb luck. With all that said, the theme and scientific accuracy (dare I say simulation?) are what win me over with this one. I find it fascinating, always enjoy the experience of the play, and can honestly say I've learned more from the game than any other since I was rather young. Still, it remains a personal affectation, and is a game I would recommend to only certain of my friends.

The Ones That Got Away: Frank Hamrick

The Bridges of Shangri-La

Yes, it's a bit dry, and a bit abstract. But I love the turn angst and the many, many quandary's each turn presents. You need to place your markers in a dozen places each turn. I also love the little wooden bridges and the awesome looking board at game's end. The only thing that keeps this one out of my top five - I can get very few people to play it with me. Otherwise, I would put this up with the top 3! (I realize I'm in a tiny minority here).

A Game of Thrones

At the time I voted, this one was hot with my group. At the time we felt it was the best "German style" wargame out there (I know it isn't a "German" game). However, it has slid back several notches since I voted for a number of reasons - the starting positions are a bit unbalanced, and it is too complicated to explain quickly or to appeal to my non-gaming friends and family. But for 6 blood-thirsty gamers, who have the time, this one (and its CoK expansion) is very good if you want a lighter war-game.

Boomtown

What was I thinking!! One of the 15 best games I own!? I put it 15th on my list because I had just gotten it and had played about 3 times - so it was still new, fresh, exciting. It's still fun, good. But it certainly isn't in the all-time "great" category. Anyway, here's what I wrote back then...

For pure fun, this one is great. It may make my top 15 because it is new, but we were all surprised at how interesting this one was. Lots of fun to play (the theme helps), great looking cards (terrific matte finish and feel) and wooden "mayors." Mechanics are simple. It is basically a bidding game with a few nice twists. Some aggression creates a bit of turn angst (players vie for control of various towns - Cactus Junction; Cold Mountain; Coyote City; Dry Gulch; and San Narciso). Lighter game that hits the spot for me. Only negative - some of the art of almost nude girls on a few of the cards. Totally unnecessary.

The Ones That Got Away: Mark Jackson

This post (and a number that follow it) are entries by those who helped vote for The One Hundred, lamenting "the ones that got away" - in other words, those games they voted for that didn't make the cut. Their statements from the period of voting (late 2004) are in italics; more recents thoughts are in regular print.

Entdecker (older version)
Supposedly a part of the original monster prototype that birthed Settlers & Lowenherz, Entdecker has always received less admiration than it's brothers. Which, frankly, is a crying shame, as it's a fast-moving game of exploration with gorgeous production and simple game play. I play using the Manu variants (for slightly more gamer friendliness)... but I've recently found that the published rules work great with my 4 & a half year old son.

And don't get me started about the hack job Teuber did to his own game with the second release of Entdecker... he took a clean, simple yet not simplistic 30-60 minute exploration game and turned it into an unnecessarily messy 75-120 minute game with less exploration (what's with the goal mountains?) and a twinky hut/scout system that actually adds MORE luck to the game. I still can't understand why people think this is the more gamer-y of the two versions, except that it's more complicated!

Fast Food Franchise
Tom Lehmann took the basic mechanisms of Monopoly (roll'n'move, own properties that people land on and pay rent, chance cards that affect the game, and so on) and grafted on others (the "map" of the USA in the middle of the board, advertising, the asymetrical nature of the different companies) to create a minor masterpiece. Loved by gamers & non-gamers alike, Fast Food Franchise is worth tracking down.

Friday, November 18, 2005

How Big A Geek R U?

In other words, what's your The One Hundred "score"? Check out The Whole Enchilada and then do a itty bitty bit of math.

The One Hundred Score = # of these games you've played + # of these games you own

Fluff Daddy's "score" is:
  • 151 (87 played, 64 owned)
The games I haven't played are:
  • Age of Steam (probably should try this, but as I've said other places, having trouble washing the bad taste of Volldampf out of my mouth)
  • Breaking Away (sounds math-y)
  • Bridge (unwilling to invest the time to learn)
  • Die Macher (I've played one round... but not a whole game)
  • Domaine (I'm such a big fan of Lowenherz that I cringe at revising it - and I hated what Teuber did to Entdecker in the second go-around)
  • Gipf (as much as I like Dvonn & Zertz, I need to try this one)
  • Go (Pente hurts my head...)
  • Goa (interested in trying this one, actually)
  • Mu & Mehr (I've played one of the memory games, but not Mu)
  • Roads & Boats (it's mostly a time thing - that, and a "nobody nearby owns a copy" thing)
  • Titan (I still remember looking at it longingly in the store way back when - "monster slugathon? cool!", but I never broke down & bought it... and now, 20+ years later, I haven't played it, either)
  • War of the Ring (the guy who owned this in my group traded it away before we could try it... as he has done with numerous games!... hi, John!)
  • Was Sticht? (watched it played at a Gulf Games, and I could smell the brain-buring action from across the room - ouch.)

We're Numero Uno

Here's a list of the games that received 1st place votes from the participants. (It's important to note that no games made it onto The One Hundred with only a single voter.)

Six Votes

  • Euphrat & Tigris

Five Votes

  • Puerto Rico

Four Votes

  • Tichu

Three Votes

  • Cosmic Encounter
  • El Grande
  • Taj Mahal

Two Votes

  • 1830
  • Acquire
  • Bridge
  • Die Macher
  • Fresh Fish
  • Go
  • Ra
  • Settlers of Catan

One Vote

  • Age of Renaissance
  • Bohnanza
  • Can't Stop
  • Crokinole
  • Diplomacy
  • Dune
  • Expedition/Wildlife Adventure
  • Flaschenteufel
  • Goa
  • History of the World
  • Liar's DiceMedici
  • Power Grid
  • Princes of Florence
  • Saint Petersburg
  • Times Up
  • Torres
  • Union Pacific

The five highest rated games that received NO first place votes were:

  • Age of Steam
  • Lord of the Rings
  • Memoir '44
  • Mu & Mehr
  • Ticket to Ride

The following games received first place votes but didn't make The One Hundred:

  • 500
  • Aladdins Dragons
  • Confusion
  • De Bellis Mutitudinis
  • Duel of Ages
  • Familienbande
  • Medina

Through The Years

And, since I've got a spreadsheet "and I know how to use it" [Mark: "I'm a donkey on the edge!"], here's the The One Hundred broken down by year of publication. [Mark: Yes, I realize that some of these games, particularly the public domain games, don't have a definitive date of publication. In those cases, I did some research, considered my options, then picked a date that sounded good to me. Scientific, eh?] All other dates of publication are from Board Game Geek... note: the dates used are for the FIRST publishing of the game, even if it was less well-known (as in Crude/McMulit or Homas Tour/Um Reifenbreite).

3000 BC
  • Backgammon
1500 BC
  • Go
1810
  • Poker
1860
  • Bridge
1865
  • Crokinole
1937
  • Spades
1948
  • Scrabble
1959
  • Diplomacy
1962
  • Acquire
1974
  • Hare & Tortoise
  • Liar's Dice
  • McMulti
1977
  • Cosmic Encounter
1979
  • Dune
1980
  • Can't Stop
  • Titan
1981
  • Civilization
1982
  • Um Reifenbriete
1984
  • Wizard
1985
  • Expedition/Wildlife Adventure
1986
  • 1830
  • Code 777
  • Die Macher
1989
  • Ave Caesar
  • Taboo
1990
  • Adel Verpflichtet/Hoity Toity
  • Daytona 500
1991
  • Breaking Away
  • History of the World
  • Res Publica
  • Tichu
1992
  • Modern Art
1994
  • 6 Nimmt!
  • I'm The Boss/Kohle Kies & Knete
  • Quandary
  • RoboRally
  • Was Sticht?
1995
  • Carabande
  • El Grande
  • Flaschenteufel
  • Medici
  • Mu & Mehr
  • Settlers of Catan
1996
  • Age of Renaissance
  • Hannibal: Rome v. Carthage
1997
  • Bohnanza
  • Dr Jekyl & Mr Hyde
  • Euphrat & Tigris
  • For Sale
  • Fresh Fish
  • Lowenherz
  • Showmanager/Atlantic Star
1998
  • Basari
  • Elfenland
  • Gipf
  • MR1: Jack the Ripper
  • Samurai
  • Schnappchen Jagd
  • Through the Desert
1999
  • Battleline/Schotten Totten
  • Chinatown
  • Lost Cities
  • Mamma Mia
  • Ra
  • Ricochet Robot
  • Roads & Boats
  • Stephensons' Rocket
  • Tikal
  • Torres
  • Union Pacific
  • Vinci
2000
  • Battle Cry
  • Blokus
  • Carcassonne
  • Citadels
  • La Citta
  • Lord of the Rings
  • Princes of Florence
  • Taj Mahal
  • Time's Up
  • Traumfabrik
  • Web of Power
2001
  • Africa
  • Capitol
  • Dvonn
  • Power Grid/Funkenschlag
  • Royal Turf
  • San Marco
2002
  • Age of Steam
  • LOTR: The Confrontation
  • Puerto Rico
  • Wallenstein
2003
  • Attika
  • Domaine
  • Smarty Party
2004
  • Goa
  • Memoir '44
  • St Petersburg
  • Ticket To Ride
  • War of the Ring
I think what's really interesting grouping these games by years is that it allows me to see what was "in the works" at the time. Some highlights from the synapses firing in my brain:
  • 1999 was an amazing year - and I got in on the front end of it, thanks to Gulf Games 3 being timed perfectly so that Jay Tummelson flew in from Nuremberg with the first copies of 5 of the 12 games listed.
  • 2000 had ten games listed - when we talk about a "golden time" in gaming, was it 1999-2000?
  • Acquire is all the more amazing when you realize it was published in 1962.
  • What was going on in Germany in 1996? The only two listed games are Avalon Hill wargames. (Was everyone so busy playing Settlers that they took the year off?)

Thank These Guys

Thought y'all might be interested in some overall information about the designers & The One Hundred:

six of the games have no known designer:
  • Backgammon
  • Bridge
  • Crokinole
  • Go
  • Poker
  • Spades
Reiner Knizia designed seventeen of the games (wow!):
  • Africa
  • Battleline/Schotten Totten
  • Euphrat & Tigris
  • Lord of the Rings
  • Lost Cities
  • LOTR: The Confrontation
  • Medici
  • Modern Art
  • Quandary
  • Ra
  • Res Publica
  • Royal Turf
  • Samurai
  • Stephensons' Rocket
  • Taj Mahal
  • Through the Desert
  • Traumfabrik
Wolfgang Kramer designed seven of the games (by himself or with a partner):
  • 6 Nimmt!
  • Daytona 500 (w/Mike Gray)
  • El Grande (w/Richard Ulrich)
  • Expedition/Wildlife Adventure (w/Ursula Kramer)
  • Princes of Florence (w/Richard Ulrich)
  • Tikal
  • Torres (w/Michael Kiesling)

Alan Moon designed five of the games (by himself or with a partner):

  • Capitol (w/Aaron Weissblum)
  • Elfenland
  • San Marco (w/Aaron Weissblum)
  • Ticket To Ride
  • Union Pacific
Klaus Teuber designed four of the games:
  • Adel Verpflichtet/Hoity Toity
  • Domaine
  • Lowenherz
  • Settlers of Catan
Richard Borg designed three of the games:
  • Battle Cry
  • Liar's Dice/Call My Bluff
  • Memoir '44
Uwe Rosenberg designed three of the games:
  • Bohnanza
  • Mamma Mia
  • Schnappchen Jagd
Sid Sackson designed three of the games:
  • Acquire
  • Can't Stop
  • I'm The Boss/Kohle Kies & Knete
Aaron Weissblum designed three of the games (with partners):
  • Capitol (w/Alan Moon)
  • San Marco (w/Alan Moon)
  • Smarty Party (w/Pitt Crandlemire)
Kris Burm designed two of the games:
  • Dvonn
  • Gipf
The team of Eberle, Kittredge & Olotka designed two of the games:
  • Cosmic Encounter
  • Dune
Friedemann Friese designed two of the games:
  • Fresh Fish
  • Power Grid/Funkenschlag
Dirk Henn designed two of the games:
  • Showmanager/Atlantic Star
  • Wallenstein
Alex Randolph designed two of the games (by himself or with a partner):
  • Ricochet Robot
  • Code 777 (w/ Robert Abbott)
Karl-Heinz Schmiel designed two of the games:
  • Die Macher
  • Was Sticht?
Francis Tresham designed two of the games:
  • 1830
  • Civilization
Richard Ulrich designed two of the games (with a partner):
  • El Grande (w/Wolfgang Kramer)
  • Princes of Florence (w/Wolfgang Kramer)
And the rest of the games on The One Hundred - their designers only appeared once. Still, it's a nice crowd to be in when it includes such notables as Robert Abbott, Stefan Dorra, Rudiger Dorn, Jean du Poel, Bruno Faidutti, Mike Fitzgerald, Doris & Frank, Richard Garfield, Mike Gray, Philippe Keyaerts, Dave Parlett, Wolfgang Riedesser, Peter Sarrett, Michael Schacht, Andreas Seyfarth, Reinhard Staupe, Martin Wallce & Klaus-Jurgen Wrede.

Recap: #10-#1

#10: Tichu
  • designer: Urs Hostettler
  • date of publication: 1991
#9: Ra
  • designer: Reiner Knizia
  • date of publication: 1999
#8: Ticket To Ride
  • designer: Alan R Moon
  • date of publication: 2004
#7: Age of Steam

designer: Martin Wallace
date of publication: 2002

#6: Power Grid/Funkenschlag

designer: Friedemann Friese
date of publication: 2001

#5: Princes of Florence
  • designer: Wolfgang Kramer & Richard Ulrich
  • date of publication: 2000
#4: Settlers of Catan
  • designer: Klaus Teuber
  • date of publication: 1995
#3: El Grande
  • designer: Wolfgang Kramer & Richard Ulrich
  • date of publication: 1995
#2: Euphrat & Tigris
  • designer: Reiner Knizia
  • date of publication: 1997
#1: Puerto Rico
  • designer: Andreas Seyfarth
  • date of publication: 2002

Recap: #20-#11

#20: Mu & Mehr
  • designer: Doris Matthaus & Frank Nestel
  • date of publication: 1995
#19: Medici
  • designer: Reiner Knizia
  • date of publication: 1995
#18: Crokinole
  • designer: ?
  • date of publication: c. 1865
#17: Time's Up
  • designer: Peter Sarrett
  • date of publication: 2000
#16: Union Pacific
  • designer: Alan R Moon
  • date of publication: 1999
#15: St Petersburg
  • designer: Bernd Brunnhofer, Jay Tummelson, Michael Bruinsma
  • date of publication: 2004
#14: Cosmic Encounter
  • designer: Bill Eberle, Jack Kittredge, Peter Olotka
  • date of publication: 1977
#13: Bohnanza
  • designer: Uwe Rosenberg
  • date of publication: 1997
#12: Lord of the Rings
  • designer: Reiner Knizia
  • date of publication: 2000
#11: Acquire
  • designer: Sid Sackson
  • date of publication: 1962

Recap: #30-#21

#30: Modern Art
  • designer: Reiner Knizia
  • date of publication: 1992
#29: Battleline/Schotten Totten
  • designer: Reiner Knizia
  • date of publication: 1999
#28: Showmanager/Atlantic Star
  • designer: Dirk Henn
  • date of publication: 1997
#27: Liar's Dice/Call My Bluff
  • designer: Richard Borg
  • date of publication: 1974
#26: Civilization
  • designer: Francis Tresham
  • date of publication: 1981
#25: Lost Cities
  • designer: Reiner Knizia
  • date of publication: 1999
#24: La Citta
  • designer: Gerd Fenchel
  • date of publication: 2000
#23: Taj Mahal
  • designer: Reiner Knizia
  • date of publication: 2000
#22: Die Macher
  • designer: Karl-Heinz Schmiel
  • date of publication: 1986
#21: Memoir '44
  • designer: Richard Borg
  • date of publication: 2004

Recap: #40-#31

#40: Kohle Kies & Knete/I'm The Boss
  • designer: Sid Sackson
  • date of publication: 1994
#39: Tikal
  • designer: Wolfgang Kramer
  • date of publication: 1999
#38: Through the Desert
  • designer: Reiner Knizia
  • date of publication: 1998
#37: Roads & Boats
  • designer: Jeroen Doumen & Joris Wiersinga
  • date of publication: 1999
#36: Fresh Fish
  • designer: Friedemann Friese
  • date of publication: 1997
#35: Web of Power
  • designer: Michael Schacht
  • date of publication: 2000
#34: Expedition/Wildlife Adventure
  • designer: Wolfgang Kramer & Ursula Kramer
  • date of publication: 1985
#33: Torres
  • designer: Wolfgang Kramer & Michael Kiesling
  • date of publication: 1999
#32: RoboRally
  • designer: Richard Garfield
  • date of publication: 1994
#31: Carcassonne
  • designer: Klaus-Jurgen Wrede
  • date of publication: 2000

Recap: #50-#41

#50: Goa
  • designer: Rudiger Dorn
  • date of publication: 2004
#49: Poker
  • designer: ?
  • date of publication: c. 1810
#48: Adel Verpflichtet/Hoity Toity
  • designer: Klaus Teuber
  • date of publication: 1990
#47: Titan
  • designer: Jason B McAllister & David A Trampier
  • date of publication: 1980
#46: Attika
  • designer: Marcel-Andre Casasola Merkle
  • date of publication: 2003
#45: 1830
  • designer: Frances Tresham
  • date of publication: 1986
#44: Lowenherz
  • designer: Klaus Teuber
  • date of publication: 1997
#43: Traumfabrik
  • designer: Reiner Knizia
  • date of publication: 2000
#42: Bridge
  • designer: ?
  • date of publication: c. 1860
#41: For Sale
  • designer: Stefan Dorra
  • date of publication: 1997

Recap: #60-#51

#60: Blokus
  • designer: Bernard Tavitian
  • date of publication: 2000
#59: Hannibal: Rome v. Carthage
  • designer: Mark Simonitch
  • date of publication: 1996
#58: Wizard
  • designer: Ken Fisher
  • date of publication: 1984
#57: Schnappchen Jagd
  • designer: Uwe Rosenberg
  • date of publication: 1998
#56: Diplomacy
  • designer: Alan B Calhamer
  • date of publication: 1959
#55: Wallenstein
  • designer: Dirk Henn
  • date of publication: 2002
#54: Can't Stop
  • designer: Sid Sackson
  • date of publication: 1980
#53: Daytona 500
  • designer: Wolfgang Kramer & Michael Gray
  • date of publication: 1990
#52: Ricochet Robot
  • designer: Alex Randolph
  • date of publication: 1999
#51: Go
  • designer: ?
  • date of publication: c. 1500 BC (yes, I'm aware there isn't one date... I took the average)

Recap: #70-#61

#70: Scrabble
  • designer: Alfred Mosher Butts
  • date of publication: 1948
#69: Flaschenteufel
  • designer: Gunter Cornett
  • date of publication: 1995
#68: Ave Caesar
  • designer: Wolfgang Riedesser
  • date of publication: 1989
#67: Citadels
  • designer: Bruno Faidutti
  • date of publication: 2000
#66: Elfenland
  • designer: Alan R Moon
  • date of publication: 1998
#65: History of the World
  • designer: Gary Dicken & Steve Kendall
  • date of publication: 1991
#64: Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation
  • designer: Reiner Knizia
  • date of publication: 2002
#63: San Marco
  • designer: Alan R Moon & Aaron Weissblum
  • date of publication: 2001
#62: Smarty Party
  • designer: Aaron Weissblum & Pitt Crandlemire
  • date of publication: 2003
#61: Stephensons' Rocket
  • designer: Reiner Knizia
  • date of publication: 1999

Recap: #80-#71

#80: 6 Nimmt!
  • designer: Wolfgang Kramer
  • date of publication: 1994
#79: Mystery Rummy 1: Jack the Ripper
  • designer: Mike Fitzgerald
  • date of publication: 1998
#78: Was Sticht?
  • designer: Karl-Heinz Schmiel
  • date of publication: 1994
#77: War of the Ring
  • designer: Marco Maggi, Francesco Nepitello, Roberto Di Meglio
  • date of publication: 2004
#76/#75: Hare & Tortoise
  • designer: David Parlett
  • date of publication: 1974
#76/#75: Quandary
  • designer: Reiner Knizia
  • date of publication: 1994
#74: Taboo
  • designer: Brian Hersch
  • date of publication: 1989
#73: Dr. Jekyl & Mr. Hyde/Twilight
  • designer: Wolfgang Werner
  • date of publication: 1997
#72: Basari
  • designer: Reinhard Staupe
  • date of publication: 1998
#71: Breaking Away
  • designer: John Harrington
  • date of publication: 1991

Recap: #90-#81

#90: Dune
  • designer: Bill Eberle, Jack Kittredge, Peter Olotka
  • date of publication: 1979
#89: Code 777
  • designer: Alex Randolph & Robert Abbott
  • date of publication: 1986
#88: Gipf
  • designer: Kris Burm
  • date of publication: 1998
#87: Vinci
  • designer: Philippe Keyaerts
  • date of publication: 1999
#86: Res Publica
  • designer: Reiner Knizia
  • date of publication: 1991
#85: Battle Cry
  • designer: Richard Borg
  • date of publication: 2000
#84: Um Reifenbreite
  • designer: Rob Bontenbal
  • date of publication: 1982
#83: Age of Renaissance
  • designer: Don Greenwood & Jared Scarborough
  • date of publication: 1996
#82: Backgammon
  • designer: ?
  • date of publication: c. 3000 BC
#81: Spades
  • designer: ?
  • date of publication: c. 1937

Recap: #100-#91

#100: Samurai
  • designer: Reiner Knizia
  • date of publication: 1998
#99: Dvonn
  • designer: Kris Burm
  • date of publication: 2001

#98: Africa

  • designer: Reiner Knizia
  • date of publication: 2001

#97: McMulti

  • designer: James J. St. Laurent
  • date of publication: 1974

#96: Mamma Mia

  • designer: Uwe Rosenberg
  • date of publication: 1999

#95: Capitol

  • designer: Alan R. Moon & Aaron Weissblum
  • date of publication: 2001

#94: Carabande

  • designer: Jean du Poel
  • date of publication: 1995

#93: Domaine

  • designer: Klaus Teuber
  • date of publication: 2003

#92: Royal Turf

  • designer: Reiner Knizia
  • date of publication: 2001

#91: Chinatown

  • designer: Karsten Hartwig
  • date of publication: 1999

The Whole Enchilada

Here they all are - from #1 - #100!
  1. Puerto Rico
  2. Euphrat & Tigris
  3. El Grande
  4. Settlers of Catan
  5. Princes of Florence
  6. Power Grid/Funkenschlag
  7. Age of Steam
  8. Ticket To Ride
  9. Ra
  10. Tichu
  11. Acquire
  12. Lord of the Rings
  13. Bohnanza
  14. Cosmic Encounter
  15. St Petersburg
  16. Union Pacific
  17. Time's Up
  18. Crokinole
  19. Medici
  20. Mu & Mehr
  21. Memoir '44
  22. Die Macher
  23. Taj Mahal
  24. La Citta
  25. Lost Cities
  26. Civilization
  27. Liar's Dice/Call My Bluff
  28. Showmanager/Atlantic Star
  29. Battleline/Schotten Totten
  30. Modern Art
  31. Carcassonne
  32. RoboRally
  33. Torres
  34. Expedition/Wildlife Adventure
  35. Web of Power
  36. Fresh Fish
  37. Roads & Boats
  38. Through the Desert
  39. Tikal
  40. I'm The Boss/Kohle Kies & Knete
  41. For Sale
  42. Bridge
  43. Traumfabrik
  44. Lowenherz
  45. 1830
  46. Attika
  47. Titan
  48. Adel Verpflichtet/Hoity Toity
  49. Poker
  50. Goa
  51. Go
  52. Ricochet Robot
  53. Daytona 500
  54. Can't Stop
  55. Wallenstein
  56. Diplomacy
  57. Schnappchen Jagd
  58. Wizard
  59. Hannibal: Rome v. Carthage
  60. Blokus
  61. Stephensons' Rocket
  62. Smarty Party
  63. San Marco
  64. LOTR: The Confrontation
  65. History of the World
  66. Elfenland
  67. Citadels
  68. Ave Caesar
  69. Flaschenteufel
  70. Scrabble
  71. Breaking Away
  72. Basari
  73. Dr Jekyl & Mr Hyde
  74. Taboo
  75. Quandary
  76. Hare & Tortoise
  77. War of the Ring
  78. Was Sticht?
  79. MR1: Jack the Ripper
  80. 6 Nimmt!
  81. Spades
  82. Backgammon
  83. Age of Renaissance
  84. Um Reifenbreite
  85. Battle Cry
  86. Res Publica
  87. Vinci
  88. Gipf
  89. Code 777
  90. Dune
  91. Chinatown
  92. Royal Turf
  93. Domaine
  94. Carabande
  95. Capitol
  96. Mamma Mia
  97. McMulti
  98. Africa
  99. Dvonn
  100. Samurai

For more detail (designer, date of publication) and direct links to each entry, check out the Recaps listed on the right hand side.

#1: Puerto Rico

Here's the Big Number Uno... amazingly, by a designer with only one game on the list: Andreas Seyfarth. Puerto Rico is an intricate design that plays cleanly & quickly. With only one random element (the distribution of the plantations), you have huge control over your own fate (unless another player does something crazy.)

Pat Korner: "A triumph of 'German-style' design combined with North American-style asymmetry and role selection. Highly engaging, hugely entertaining - its only flaw is that the learning curve is unforgiving. Play a four- player game with three pros and one novice and watch the player to the left of the novice win. Every time."

Larry Levy: "Wonderful gameplay, great replay value, and a masterful design. Lots to think about, both tactically and strategically, but the limited choices means that this can be played very quickly. The innovations are great, but the best part is trying to get inside the heads of your opponents and predict what they're liable to do. The five-player game is my favorite, but this plays wonderfully with 2 to 5 players (even though it's only listed for 3 to 5!) Lots of analysis can and has been applied to this, but it works just as well with a few folks playing by the seat of their pants. This is the first game that I really found myself thinking about away from the gaming table. An easy choice as my all-time favorite and I fully expect to be playing and enjoying this 20 years from now."

David Fair: "The concept of enhancing your opponents position while enhancing your own, and possibly giving them more than you give yourself, is what makes this game great."

#2: Euphrat & Tigris

I (Mark) have to be honest - this is a game I don't particularly like... but I have incredible respect for the design. And realize that I'm in the minority - Euphrat & Tigris is considered by many to be Knizia's masterpiece. But don't mind me... listen to what these fans have to say.

Stephen Glenn: "I have a feeling this will wind up #2 on this list, which is just wrong, wrong, wrong. Euphrat & Tigris never fails to amaze me. Each and every time I play it I learn something new, either regarding the design or some new, potential strategy. A sublime gaming experience."

Pat Korner: "The game that scales the best from 2 to 4 players that I've seen. A 2 player game is every bit as tense and good as a 3 player game, and a 4 player game is also great. Reiner Knizia's in top form here, with lots of mechanics in play that all positively reinforce each other instead of becoming fiddly and confusing."

Frank Hamrick: "This was my first German game, and has been at the top of my ratings from my first play in 1998. An absolute classic. Tile laying with angst that provides a wargame like feel. (This one has all of the criteria/biases I enjoy most in a game.)"

Joe Huber: "The rise and fall of civilizations in a mere 30 minutes." [Stephen: That's HuberSpeed (tm), of course.]

Larry Levy: "I used to rate this one higher, but I grew a little disenchanted with the effect that the tile draw can have on the game's outcome. Still, this is a brilliant design, with an almost unparalleled scope for strategy. Only a genius like Knizia could come up with an idea as simple, but as effective, as the celebrated "best of the worst" scoring system. Like Puerto Rico, this can be analyzed extensively or enjoyed by restricting one's thinking to the game at hand. I'm not sure I can think of any German game whose appearance was anticipated so much and which was delayed so long (well, not from a professional publisher - 7 Ages clearly wins the "longest wait" prize). E&T didn't appear until over a year after it was supposed to hit the presses, while Knizia and Hans im Gluck honed the design. The relief when the game finally appeared that it was well worth the wait may have had much to do with the instant acceptance of what is after all a very difficult game. I think other games have also benefited from this kind of anticipation (including Puerto Rico, Age of Steam, and Citadels), but none of them had anything like the kind of wait E&T had."

Joshua Miller: "Although there is a good dose of luck, the scope for richly-textured strategic and tactical play is astounding. The feel of the game matches its theme almost perfectly."

Thursday, November 17, 2005

#3: El Grande

There is not a better game for five players. Seriously. It's also the best area majority game out there... can you tell I (Mark) voted for El Grande? The team of Wolfgang Kramer & Richard Ulrich place a second game in the top five with beautiful components and compelling game play.

Pat Korner: "The ultimate in area-control games. Another heady blend of tactics and strategy - maximizing performance on any given game round is good, but planning to maximize performance over the course of the entire game is better. I also enjoy the politics get added to the mix with the Veto card, choosing to let someone else score in return for tacit cooperation later...Kramer's masterpiece."

Greg Daigle: "This is one of the first two German games I ever purchased (along with Settlers). The look of the board, the wooden bits, the tower - all of this was new to me. After playing my first time, I was hooked."