Monday, January 16, 2006

Cream of the Five Year Crop

I like creamed corn... take a yummy vegetable & add prodigious amounts of cream and sugar. Mmmmm.... corn.

That actually has very little to do with this post. I just didn't eat breakfast.

The real point is to recap some games with serious replayability. Since I'm a bit anal retentive when it comes to tracking my game playing, I can look up on a spreadsheet and figure out which games I've played regularly over the last five years.

Thanks go to Pat Brennan for inspiring this post with his own "cream of the 5 year crop" e-mail. As Pat said, "I always find it interesting to look at the games that continue to stand the test of time (in regards to replayability), and it may be useful for anyonewho's looking to backfill their collection with the better games of the past."

The only game I've played 5 or more times each year for the last five years is
The Settlers of Catan. I'm not playing nearly as much of it as I used to... 5 times in 2005 as opposed to 24 times in 2001. That doesn't change the fact that I love the game. (In fact, we need to try the Fishers of Catan tonight at Fresno Gamers!)

Games I've played 4 or more times each year for the last five years:
  • Carcassonne (a truly great tile-laying game that works better with less players... and though the expansions can be a distraction for new players, I like the variety they lend to the game)
  • Pig Pile (Uno-ish, but in a good way... on the surface, this game should be an utter failure, but it manages to work like a charm)
  • Web of Power (packs a huge punch into 45 minutes - it's an area control masterpiece that develops differently each time you play)
Games I've played 3 or more times each year for the last five years:
  • Flowerpower (one of my favorite two-player games... a simple tile-laying game that you can play "friendly" or "cutthroat")
  • Liar's Dice (bluffing at it's best - easy to teach but difficult to learn the tactics... and the people skills to read the bluffs)
  • Time's Up (Peter Sarrett developed the folk game 'Celebrities' into one of the best party games on the planet)
  • Zirkus Flohcati (who'd have thunk a game about making a flea circus would be so darn much fun?)
Games I've played 2 or more times each year for the last five years:
  • Carabande (finger-flicking race game that is a delight to play)
  • Ra (I hated this auction game the first time I played it... but it's grown on me over time)
  • Russelbande (a children's game that works for a wide variety of people & ages... acrobactic pigs!)
Games I've played 4 or more times each year for the last five years... except for one year:
  • Lost Cities (beautiful production enhances this game of card-driven "chicken")
  • Tally Ho (you have to be able to accept aberrant/luck-driven games every 7-8 plays... but if you can, what you get is a very interesting little game)

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