Ranking my 2016 Tabletop Games
In 2016 I got into board games. These are my rankings of everything I played this year. The top 7 are all excellent games to play! I'm really happy I got into tabletop games this year.
- •Ticket to RideFast-paced competitive play makes Ticket to Ride an exciting board game. There's a risk to taking route cards (lose their amount in total points), but great payoff if you can complete them. And the randomness of other players' routes leads to a lot of improvisation. Whether things go as planned or not, bright beautiful railways twist around a map of the USA in my current favorite tabletop game!
- •Betrayal at House on the HillThe most compelling game on the list due to the various scenarios. All games begin as a tense, cooperative game of discovery and impending madness. But once a condition is met one of the players goes mad and one of dozens of scenarios is set in motion as one player has to hunt down the rest who have to work together to survive! It's dynamic and exciting but best with 5-6 players.
- •AgricolaI find this the most complex game on the list. It has a basic mode to get acquainted with the rules which removes occupations and minor improvements. The game supports 1 player but goes up to 4. But resources are scarce and can be tougher to manage with more players leading to more negative points. And you have to feed your family so as rounds get shorter you need a way to produce more food. It's complex but really fun.
- •Settlers of CatanThe gateway game. 2-4 players (expansions available for more players too) collect resources to build towns and roads up to 10 points. But it allows you to negotiate and haggle, working together to stop a clear leader, hiding your hidden victory points with development cards, or any other strategies you can incorporate. It's a different experience with different types of players and dice rolls.
- •Forbidden IslandThe one purely cooperative game on this list. Forbidden Island is best played with 4 players on a higher difficulty level. An initial run should be played on the easier settings to get your bearings but later runs are intensified as 3-4 players, each with their own role and skills, work to collect all the treasure as the game board "sinks" giving you less space to play. The tension as the group works together to avoid death is a blast!
- •The ResistanceThe Resistance has a basic setup and is based more around dialogue and keeping a straight face. A handful of players are spies, the rest are the Resistance. You run missions to overthrow the government in 5 rounds and need 3 wins for either side. Resistance members have to find out who the spies are to keep them from sabotaging the run while spies have to trick resistance members into thinking other people are spies. The game is basic but excellent fun in short bursts!
- •QwirkleA competitive puzzle game where you use spatial reasoning. It's not the most complex game, but it lets you reason out the best way to maximize points and avoid duplicate, unnecessary tiles. It's fun, especially with kids who it can really help get into Tabletop games. It's colorful fun for all ages.
- •Minecraft Card Game?It's for kids. No surprise. But unlike the infinitely more interesting Qwirkle (the top 7 games are all excellent) Minecraft won't hold most kids' interest for more than 20 minutes or so before it's abandoned. You collect resource cards to grab crafted items. They're all worth anywhere from 1-5 points. You play up to a certain amount of points depending on player count. It's fast paced but the strategy is basic. It can be a decent introduction to tabletop games for kids but Qwirkle is better.