Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Abigail's Top Ten Favorite Games

Fair warning, the next few posts I make here will probably all be gaming related, as I am still glowing from GenCon. As you have probably realized I like making lists of the things I like. Abigail, on the other hand does not. She might be able to pick a couple of run away top favorites, but after that everything tends to fall into a "like" or "don't like" category. When I have asked what her top ten games are before, she could get to five or so and then it was "I don't know." However, I still want to know what they are. Since she is unable to pick out her top ten favorite games, I figured that with her permission I would take a stab at. So here are my guesses, in order of Abigail's favorite games. I realize that most people have probably not heard of most of these games, so I put links that you can follow if you want to know more.

10. Ticket to Ride
Trying to guess what would be #10 was a bit hard. It was between Ticket to Ride, Formula D,Battlelore, and Ghost Stories. In the end I went with Ticket to Ride, even though we don't actually own the game. We do however, have Ticket to Ride on the Xbox, and every two to three months Abigail seems to remember this and she plays it like crazy for a few days. The game is all about maximizing combinations in set collections, which I think appeals a lot to Abigail. If we had a copy of this game, I bet it would get played a decent amount, and cement itself as one of her top ten favorite games.

9. Rummikub
As all of the Sudoku books we have attest to, Abigail loves number puzzles. She also really likes organizing things. This is a game about organizing numbers, which means it is right up her alley. The only reason why it is low on this list, is because I really don't care much for the game, so we only play it occasionally.

8. 313
313 is a Rummy variant where the hand size starts at 3 and increases each round up to 13. Being Rummy, this has organization and set collection (you may start to notice several themes about the type of games Abigail likes). 313 is also Abigail's most played game as she grew up playing it regularly.

7. Blue Moon City
This is a game that we got because Abigail wanted it after looking at it. Blue Moon City has set collection and worker placement. In this game players collect cards and then play them to play a cube on a building. Once enough cubes have been placed on a building, the building is complete and everyone who contributed cubes to building it gets rewarded. The main reward is Crystals, which are then exchanged for victory points. It sounds terribly confusing to explain, but it is a lot of fun.

6. Cthulhu Rising
This is one of our newest games, as I just got it at Gen Con. As soon as I played it, I knew Abigail would love it. When I told her I was making this list, she confirmed how right I was by mentioning that I would have to include it on the list. Theoretically, this game is about the struggle between cultist trying to raise Cthulhu from his slumber and investigators trying to stop it. In reality, this is a numbers game played on two five-by-five grids, where players are trying to get pairs, three of a kind, etc of certain numbers. Despite being numbers, based it seems to be a fairly even match when Abigail and I play.

5. Bonnie and Clyde
This summer we really did not have a vacation, we just had some scattered fun days. One of those days what we decided to was buy the first game that we found appealing, and spend the afternoon playing it. Bonnie and Clyde is a form of Rummy, so once again it is all about collecting and playing sets of cards for points. However, this game adds extra strategy of having a car that moves across the board and can be used to score extra points.

4. Dominion
Dominion is a fun game that we play a lot. The goal of Dominion is to get the most points, but this is done by systematically building a deck from available cards. These cards, make it possible to do more actions, and eventually buy the big point cards. Like many of these games, Dominion is hard to explain, but easy to learn and play.
3. Stone Age
Every time we have played this game, win or lose, Abigail has commented how much she likes it. Stone Age is a worker placement game. Each turn every player has a certain number of workers that they can use for various purposes like collecting food or resources. The main goal of this game is to collect resources, and then trade those resources in for victory points. Whoever gets the most points wins. What is really fun about this game is there seems to always be a couple more actions that one wants to do, but can't so there are hard choices.

2. Settlers of Catan (with expansion)

Abigail has played close to 100 games of Catan online, and really likes this trading game. However, she has also stated that she thinks she might like Stone Age a bit more. I am betting though that if she had the choice between the Settlers of Catan with the Seafarers expansion and fishermen of Catan that she would choose Catan over Stone Age, which is why I put this game at #2

1. Race for the Galaxy
I believe that this is the single favorite game for both of us. Since getting it in December of last year, we have played the game on average over nine times a month. Like Blue Moon City and Stone Age, this game is about converting cards/resources into points. What is so great about Race for the Galaxy is that there are multiple strategies to do that, and what strategy to pursue will all depend on the starting planet and hand. Unfortunately, this game is not very new friendly player but we started playing it together so we are usually evenly matched.

So I think those are Abigail's top ten games, in the correct order. Now I just have to wait to find out how right or wrong I am.


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