Monday, January 05, 2009

Favorite Designers

I've always said that my favorite game designers were: But I recently ran some stats (love BGG John Farrell's x-tended stats page, eh?) and here's the actual order of finish for folks I've played enough to matter:
  1. Stephen Baker, Craig Van Ness & Rob Daviau... yep, they not only created Heroscape, but they also made Queen's Gambit a reality and have overseen some really nifty re-treads of Risk, Clue (the Clue DVD game is great!), and Monopoly.
  2. Richard Borg... Liar's Dice alone would cement his rep - but when you add in Pig Pile (the best "better than UNO" game ever), Mutant Chronicles: Siege of the Citadel, Wyatt Earp and the Command & Colors series (Battle Cry, Memoir '44, C&C:Ancients and Battlelore), you've got a genius on your hands.
  3. Tom Lehmann... and it's not just about Race for the Galaxy. To Court the King is golden and Fast Food Franchise is one of my top ten games.
  4. Klaus Teuber... I love me some Settlers - but the cream of the crop is the original Lowenherz.
  5. Mike Fitzgerald... the Mystery Rummy series is so good that I'll give anything else he touches a try.
  6. Wolfgang Riedesser... he hasn't done much lately (Wurfel Kick, which I've never even seen) but his ratio of game/fun is so darn good (Ave Caesar/Ausgebremst, Dschungelrennen, Secrets of the Deep, Route 66, etc.). Your mileage may seriously vary. :-)
  7. Uwe Rosenberg... the man does magical things with cards. I love Agricola, but I'm fasciinated right now by how much we're having with Nottingham.
  8. Heinz Meister... the king of kid game design. Seriously. Here's a short list of some major accomplishments: Barenstark, Daddy Cool, Die Kullerbande, Galloping Pigs, Hupf Hupf Hurra, Igloo Pop, Karambolage, Maus nach Haus, Nur Peanuts, Turbulento, Zapp Zerapp, Zitternix. The gaming world would be a much sadder place without him.
  9. Franz-Benno Delonge... and speaking of sad, the loss of Herr Delonge is great. While I don't like all of his designs, he approached things from a different angle.
  10. Wolfgang Kramer... I don't like his action point games (with the exception of Torres) but he knows his way around a game table and is willing to design just about anything.
  11. Alan Moon... again, many of the supposed "classic" designs from Alan are not my favorites - but I'd be happy to play Andromeda or Mush with anyone who asks.
  12. Michael Schacht... sometimes his stuff gets a little same-y, but when it works (Zooloretto, Kardinal & Konig, Richileu, etc.) it's very good.
  13. Reiner Knizia... like Moon, the stuff I like is not always the stuff other people like - Clash of the Gladiators or Hot Potatoes, anyone?!

And a few guys I want to watch:


ironcates said...

Excellent post Mark,

You probably already know this, but add Jericho to Tom Lehmann's excellent games.

I didn't know Nottingham was Rosenberg's too. I played this with the Visalia Gamers and I really like it.

I'm surprised Sebastian Pauchon isn't on your list. I really enjoy his recent releases Yspahan, Animalia, Metropolys, and Jamacia.

Joe Huber said...

Jean du Poel? Really?

Now, the guy spawned a bunch of interesting _ideas_, back in the day - but there were always rules issues. Carabande escaped this mostly because very little in the way of rules were actually needed. But while most of his games are interesting _experiences_, I'm not convinced that many of them are interesting _games_.