My 5&10's for 2003
- I actually played less games this year (395) than in 2002 (488), and no new
baby as an excuse. I did tend towards longer, meatier games this year.
2002's 5&10 list was pretty well cluttered with short fillers. I know there
were times at B20 in 2002 when I played a dozen games in an evening, whereas
in 2003 it was more likely to be 4 or 5. Anyway, on to the lists: (* denotes
new to me in 2003)
10 or more plays:
Europa Tour*, Traumfabrik, Hick Hack in Gackelwack, Ra
Mare Nostrum*, King's Breakfast*, Boom-O*, Showmanager, Electronic Catch
Phrase, Frank's Zoo, Mamma Mia!, Battle Line, Bohnanza, Call My Bluff,
Carcassonne T&B*, Fist of Dragonstones*, Lord of the Rings: The
(Note: if I counted online games, Citadels/Ohne Furcht und Adel would also
be in the 10's list, and really deserves to be, because it is a great game!)
And some comments:
Europa Tour* (15 plays)
Best game of the year? No, not hardly, but it has the tremendous advantage
that my wife will actually _ask_ to play it on occasion. Most of these 15
plays were 2-player games with her.
Traumfabrik (11 plays)
A definite favorite. Love the theme. Love the auction mechanics. Love trying
to figure out just how high you can make someone pay for a lot without
getting stuck with it yourself!
Hick Hack in Gackelwack (10 plays)
Still a favorite filler. Down significantly from the 27 plays of 2002, but
at 10-15 miniutes a pop, I'll rarely say no to someone wanting to play it.
These numbers obviously do not include online plays, where it would easily
be in the hundreds.
Ra (10 plays)
Right up there with TFab as one of my favorite games of all time. Ra quite
nicely works with 3, 4 or 5 players, and TFab is really best with 5, but
TFab still managed to narrowly edge Ra in number of plays. I'm quite content
playing either one though!
Mare Nostrum* (9 plays)
Here's one of the reasons my total number of games played is down from 2002.
I could have played Hick Hack 100 times instead of Mare Nostrum 9 times, but
no regrets here. I really enjoy this one, and it is truly a gorgeous game.
Of the 9 games, one did seem to go on a little too long, but most clocked it
at around two hours or so, and were greatly enjoyable. I much prefer the
advanced set-up rules, which I think even the field a bit. Greece seems
awfully weak with the basic set-up.
King's Breakfast* (8 plays)
Filler of the year. Fun, quick, easy to teach. Not quite on a level with
Hick Hack, but close! :)
Boom-O* (7 plays)
All 7 plays were over 4th of July weekend with my nephews, who were
enthralled with the game. It's not a bad game, but I was a bit burnt out on
it after that. I'm probably about ready now to try it again. It is better
Electronic Catch Phrase (7 plays)
Again, way down from 2002 (35 plays!). Still a great, fun, party game
though. The most fun of the many Password-type games out there.
Showmanager/Atlantic Star (7 plays)
I beleive 5 of these were Showmanager, which is what I prefer. Still one of
the best 6-player games out there.
Frank's Zoo (6 plays)
Another game my wife likes, so it gets pulled out often when we've got
people over who are willing to play a game. I really like this one too. We
play with the advanced scoring rules, but not partnership. I'd like to try
it with the partnership rules sometime.
Mamma Mia! (6 plays)
This one came out several times at family gatherings as well. I tend to
really dislike memory games, but for some reason this one really clicks with
me. The theme certainly helps!
Battle Line (5 plays)
One of the best two-player games ever.
Bohnanza (5 plays)
Probably my favorite all-time multiplayer card game. All but 1 of these
plays used the High Bohn expansion. Will the expansions EVER come out in
English? I've been waiting almost a year, I think, since they were first due
to be released. Sigh.
Call My Bluff (5 plays)
The old stand by. Has been on my 5&10 list ever since I started keeping
Carcassonne (5 plays) all with Traders&Builders Expansion*
I really enjoy the T&B expansion. I'm actually kind of surprised that the
play count on this one is so low, but I think there was a bit of Carcassonne
backlash this year. Perhaps it got a little TOO popular. I still enjoy it as
much as ever, but it gets suggested less often at game sessions.
Fist of Dragonstones* (5 plays)
This one I really enjoy, but it doesn't seem to be hugely popular with the
"gamer" crowd. Most of these plays were at home or with family.
Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation (5 plays)
Love it! Love it! Love it! If only my wife enjoyed this one as much as
Europa Tour, it would get the play time it deserves. Probably my favorite
two-player game, narrowly edging out Battle Line. Two very different games;
which one I'd rather play based mainly on my mood and my opponent. (Knizia
is a genius!)
Money! (5 plays)
More Knizia! A really elegant design, I think. It's all about keeping
Campbell away from the old ladies.
And the almost-made-its:
Alhambra*, Amun-Re*, Barbarossa, Citadels (plus a bunch online), Modern Art,
10 Days in Africa*, Abstracts, Attribut*, Balloon Cup*, Bang!, Coloretto*,
Gang of Four*, Katzenjammer Blues, Die Maulwurf Company, Moods*, Mystery of
the Abbey, Princes of Florence, Queen's Necklace*, San Marco, Schnappchen
Jagd, Split Second*, Stop It!*, Time's Up!*, Trivial Pursuit: LotR Edition
And a whole mess of 2's and 1's that I won't bother to list.
Best game I played only twice: probably Age of Steam*, but there are a bunch
of good ones in there.
Best game I played only once: Dune.
Least likely game to ever get played again: Time Control (which we actually
aborted early enough that I didn't even record it as one play).
David Fontes http://www.mmiusa.com/ookpik/