And that are still in my collection. I think that when I owned ten games, ten modern board games, I considered it my board game collection. Same for you? You might not exactly know what kind of games you like, yet, so you get rid of some later and buy some new ones too. Here are ten of my first games that stuck.
I have some games in my collection that are actually not mine. These are games that my girlfriend owned before and now lie peacefully on the shelves next to my own games, games that I bought myself.
That’s where I’ll be focussing on, games from the beginning, games from the dawn of my board game addiction. The games that I bought, the games that started it all, with number one being a game I still consider great and I still want to play today.
You will see, when you look at the games on this list, that there are four two-player games on this list. I started my game collection because I wanted to do something else in my free time, other than watching movies, television shows or playing Football Manager all evening like an addict.
I tough it was a good idea to play board games, and luckily my girlfriend already owned some, like Catan, which I did not particularly enjoyed, or Carcassonne.
So Hive was one of the first games I bought. It looked good, with very sturdy tiles, and it was very portable. I got the pocket edition in a nice cloth bag and I had a pretty good time playing the game. My girlfriend was not very fond of the game. She did not hate it, but would never ask for it either, so it sat here on my shelve, unplayed, until I bought the Pillbug expansion, and we played it some more.
9: Balloon Cup
Another two player game. I started with two two-player games. One was Lost Cities and the other was Balloon Cup. Balloon Cup is a bit more confrontational than Lost Cities, more in your face, but that what I liked about it. It might also be due to the fact that I won this game many times and lost a lot with Lost Cities that Balloon Cup was the game that stuck.
8: Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation
I might not be a fan of Knizia’s Lost Cities, I do like many of his other games and LOTR; The Confrontation was one of the first games I got that was his design. And I liked it from the start. It feels quite thematic, as far as you can expect from a game that is basically a tiny version of Stratego. Well, it looks that way. One player plays as Sauron’s forces and the other player tries to get Frodo to Mount Doom and drop the ring in its fires.
This one got a fancier reprint, or newer version, later on, but I will stick to my old copy.
7: Mr. Jack
Four in a row! The next two-player game is Mr. Jack. The game where one player played Jack the Ripper in disguise and the other player was trying to catch him. Some people complain about the set-up, that it’s always the same, but I got fifteen plays out of it and enjoyed every one of them.
Later I also tried Mr. Jack in New York, which is also great. I still have to try Le Fantôme de l’Opéra at some point.
Did you know there’s a new edition or its 10th anniversary, which looks kinda nice?
This is a bit of a cheat, because, like I said above, this is one of my girlfriend’s games, but I bought her an expansion, so it’s partly mine. Right?
It’s a classic. You are building your little towns and pastures in the French countryside and I will gladly play it if someone new asks me to play.
5: Puerto Rico
Also a classic, but more in the Euro-style, heavier game realm. It was not my first heavier Euro game, but I really like the role selection in this game. Some people don’t like it, because you supposedly have these opening moves, these things you have to do when you play this game or otherwise you play it wrong. Well I say, don’t play with people who say you have to pay a certain way. Great game.
4: Le Havre
Ah, Le Havre, my first Uwe Rosenberg, my first heavier Euro game. Building boats, shipping goods, build buildings and use your own and other people’s building to do your actions.
I like this one better than Uwe Rosenberg’s most popular game, I think, Agricola, but I must honestly say that this one is gathering dust for more than two years now.
I still regard it highly though, one of Uwe’s greatest.
Played this one quite a lot, and got the On the Brink expansion fairly soon after I bought the base game, but I think the base game is still the better game. The On the Brink bits are cool, but the base game is clean, simple (yet very hard) fun.
The recent Pandemic LEGACY campaign revived my appreciation for the basic system of Pandemic. Move all over the planet to fight disease after disease and at the same time you, together with all the other player, have to find the cure or otherwise to world is doomed.
2: Aladdin’s Dragons
This is a wonderful gateway game. It looks a bit old, it shows its age, although it may already have shown it when it came out, but I quite like the look of it somehow. The blind bidding is cool, the artefacts and the magic cards, if you play with them, give you cool powers that can mess everything up a bit.
I just like this one, I even think it deserves a shiny reprint.
I must honestly say that from all the games above, Dominion is the only game I played recently, if you do not count the Pandemic LEGACY campaign. That says something right? The game is themeless, but the gameplay is quick, addicting and fun. You all start with the same deck of cards, some points and some coins, and during the game you will buy more cards and add them to your deck. Some have cool abilities, others can only be used as money or are worth points.
This game has many expansions, but the base game is the one I have. Lately I’ve played Kingdom Dominion, which only came out from 999 Games, a Dutch publisher, which is a collection of cards from the expansions. It’s like an introductory set, if you need one other than basic Dominion.
Which games started your board game collection? And which ones do you still like a lot? Tell me in the comments!
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