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Offline Compound

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LoC #62 - Top 50 Tabletop Games
« on: July 27, 2012, 10:59:43 AM »
Hey all, and welcome to our latest list of crap- the forum's top tabletop games! So sit back and relax as we travel through this list of the top games that folks here like to play with friends and enemies.

A quick note first- today, July 27, is Gygax Day, a day that celebrates the life of E. Gary Gygax, the creator of the Dungeons & Dragons game, as well as celebrating the enjoyment of the gaming hobby. No, I hadn't planned specifically for the list to begin today.  It's just a neat coincidence.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2012, 07:07:28 PM by Compound »


Offline Compound

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Re: LoC #62 - Top 51 Tabletop Games
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2012, 11:00:14 AM »
Claiming the second post so that I can stick the completed list here later.


Offline Compound

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Re: LoC #62 - Top 51 Tabletop Games
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2012, 11:09:18 AM »
But first, I babble!

Before we get started, I must take a moment to discuss what is truly important in a game. Is it how fun the game is? No. It the strategic depth of the game? Nah. Is it how cool the pieces are? Nope. Is it how many times you get to use the word "wood" while playing it? No, of course not. There are two things of vital importance when talking about games.

Important thing #1:
There are many ways to randomize results in a game. You can spin a wheel or draw a card or race rats with numbers painted on them. But to me the coolest method by far to get a random result is to roll a die.

Why? Because dice are the pinnacle of human invention.  It's true. Look it up.

Anyway, as I am obsessed with dice, throughout the list, we'll be paying attention to our first important question:

How many dice does this game use?

And you get bonus points if you use polyhedral dice rather than just six siders.



Important Thing #2:
When you play a lot of board games, you begin to notice something. Game manufacturers are rather fond of certain colors. Pick up a new board game, open it up and look at the pieces. Nine times out of ten, you'll see pieces in the same basic four colors: red, blue, green and yellow. Sometimes games get a bit avant garde and add black and white to their repertoire. But we all have our favorite colors, and mine tend to hang out in the part of the color wheel often ignored by game makers. So in this list, we'll also be paying attention to this important question:

Are purple and orange used in the game?

Because purple is cool. And orange is, well, orangey.



Offline Compound

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Re: LoC #62 - Top 51 Tabletop Games
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2012, 11:11:35 AM »
And let's start off with an entry which didn't qualify, but I'm listing it because it got a good number of votes, but everyone who voted for it ranked it, well, you'll see.

Oh, and a heads up- I got a bit chatty when writing a lot of these up.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2012, 11:13:34 AM by Compound »


Offline Compound

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Re: LoC #62 - Top 51 Tabletop Games
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2012, 11:18:02 AM »
# DNQ: Kill Doctor Lucky

3 Points (On 3 of 14 lists)
Highest Vote: (#25 by Compound, Asbestos Bill, Gojikranz )

Publication Date: 1996

Number of Players: 3-7

Designed by: James Ernest

Publisher: Cheapass Games/ Pazio Publishing

Description:
Welcome to the J. Robert Lucky Mansion, a rambling country estate seven miles north of nowhere. It’s a stormy midsummer’s evening, ten seconds after mid¬night. And someone’s just shut off the lights.

You have hated Doctor Lucky for as long as you can remember, and you’ve been secretly awaiting this per¬fect chance to take the old man out. Maybe he destroyed your dry cleaning business; maybe you think he’s the king of the vampires. Perhaps he’s the only person standing between you and the family fortune. Or maybe his cat just keeps peeing in your shrubs. Whatever your reason, it’s good enough to push you over the edge. And now you absolutely can’t wait to put the old bastard away.

And, though you don’t know it, everyone else in the house wants to kill him too.

Kill Doctor Lucky is an inversion of the popular mystery type games where you rush around a building attempting to discover who offed the poor old guy this time. Except in this case, well, it's you trying to kill the old scumbag. 

KDL is a rather backstabby game where the only thing keeping you from killing the good Doctor are the other players who can either stop you by simply being around to keep an eye on the old coot or, even worse, by using their own cards to keep your righteous fury from being completed. And as the game continues, it becomes easier and easier to kill the old guys. So eventually, someone will Kill Doctor Lucky.

Hey, How Do I Win This?
Well, by Killing Doctor Lucky. Duh.

Fun Gaming Facts:
The first edition of Kill Doctor Lucky simply gave you the rules, map and cards. It was up to you to find pieces for it. As a result, pretty much every version looked different. Some folks used fancy miniatures for the players and the Doctor, while others just used pennies. These days though, it's all nice and pre-printed, so you never have to ask "Hey, is the Doctor the He-Man figure or the old ink cartridge?"

And a few years back a popular rule was added to the game which added Doctor Lucky's little dog. Who you also have to murder. Look at you. You killed a dog. Are you proud of yourself? Hrmph. Maybe our next game should be "Kill Doctor You."

Dice:
None. That heathen James Ernest resolves everything with cards. Cards. It's like we're back in the stone age.

Purple and Orange?:
Back in the Cheapass days, tokens could be any color, including multiple hues of the glorious colors that are purple and orange. Or they could be pennies.

But the modern version has just standup tokens, two of whom have purple and orange backgrounds, despite their non-purpange clothing.  So, that's a yes!

Awards & Stuff:
1997 Origins Awards Winner, Best Abstract Board Game.
1997 GAMES Magazine's GAMES 100 Winner.

Related Games that Received Votes:

Related Games that Didn't Receive Votes:
In 2000, Cheapass published Save Doctor Lucky, where you need to save the good doctor while the ship he's on slowly sinks into an icy abyss.

Hey! It's an Amazon link with the price! $25.86 Or hey, you can get it from the designer himself and then just send him a few bucks.

Next Turn:
The actual list! And Entomophobics? You might want to skip ahead to #50.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2012, 11:29:16 AM by Compound »


Offline Compound

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Re: LoC #62 - Top 51 Tabletop Games
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2012, 11:23:21 AM »
# 50: Hive
24 Points (On 1 of 14 lists)
Highest Vote: (#2 by Asbestos Bill)

Publication Date: 2001
 
Number of Players: 2
 
Designed by: John Yianni
 
Publisher: G3/Gen Four Two/ Others
 
Description:
A strategic tile based game where each player has a number of tiles that represent bugs trying to surround the opponent's queen while keeping their own queen safe.
 
Hey, How Do I Win This?
By isolating the opponent's queen with your army of icky little bugs.
 
Fun Gaming Facts:
Two expansions to the game exist, one adding mosquitoes and the other adding the evil ladybugs.
 
Oh, and hey. A version of the game for the iPhone.
 
Dice:
Pshaw. No. Dice, despite the awesome bugsquishing abilities of the d30 and various metal dice, have no use in this completely tile based game.
 
Purple and Orange?:
Halfsies. While the glory that is purple is represented by the Beetle tiles, orange apparently has no place in the world of bugs.
 
Awards & Stuff:
2006 Mensa Select Winner.
Dr. Toy. Smart Play Smart Toy Product of Ecellence
Spiele Hits for Two - Spiele Academie
 
Related Games that Received Votes:
None!
 
Related Games that Didn't Receive Votes:
Well, there's SPI's old "Rescue from the Hive" where a group of space marines need to rescue a princess, er, diplomat's daughter, from a hive full of space bugs. Which doesn't quite fit how the game is played, but hey! Space bugs!
 
There's actually a rather large number of games where groups of bugs try to kill each other. X-Bugs, Chitin: I, Cootie (I'm pretty sure the rules there were 1) build a bug 2) throw it at your sister. At least that's how we played it.) or where players try to kill the icky things.
 
Hey! It's an Amazon link with the price! $24.50
 
Next Turn:
Wordmaking! To the extreeeeme!
« Last Edit: July 31, 2012, 07:10:19 PM by Compound »


Offline Compound

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Re: LoC #62 - Top 51 Tabletop Games
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2012, 11:28:28 AM »
# 49: Upwords
24 Points (On 1 of 14 lists)
Highest Vote: (#2 by Mrs. Dick Courier)

Publication Date: 1981
 
Number of Players: 2-4
 
Designed by: Elliot Rudell
 
Publisher: Milton Bradley/ Hasbro
 
Description:
Multiple players try to construct words using tiles that they have in their hands, scoring points for longer words and if it's a flat word or a stacked one. Along the way, players may stack additional tiles vertically onto previously played words.
 
Recently, Hasbro rebranded the game with the name of another popular word-based game. Wordwang Upwords, IIRC.
 
Hey, How Do I Win This?
Points! Whomever ends the game with the most points wins!
 
Fun Gaming Facts:
Recent versions of Upwords have larger grids (10x10 as opposed to the original game's 8x8 grid) and also contain number tiles for use in Sudoku puzzles.
 
And in some unknown country, the game is titled Intelect Up & Down, which I suppose is an improvement over Crucimaster.
 
Dice:
None. Apparently your little letter game doesn't need to randomize numbers.  Whatever.
 
Purple and Orange?:
No. Boring old white tiles with black text. Lame.
 
Awards & Stuff:
None.
 
Related Games that Didn't Receive Votes:
Surprisingly, the only other word based game out there is Bookworm Adventures, which is sadly a computer game and thus can't be mentioned on this list.
 
Hey! It's an Amazon link with the price! $17.20
 
Next Turn:
Our string of tile based games continue!
« Last Edit: July 31, 2012, 07:10:28 PM by Compound »


Offline Compound

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Re: LoC #62 - Top 51 Tabletop Games
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2012, 11:34:30 AM »
#48: Dominoes

24 Points (On 3 of 14 lists)
Highest Vote: (#9 by Tripe)
Publication Date: Approx 1500 AD

Number of Players: 2-10

Designed by: Unknown

Publisher: Public Domain

Description:
A traditional tile game played in many different cultures around the world. Most western versions are based on trying to match pips on a domino with a domino in your own hand. So a tile with a 3 and 4 may be matched by any tile with either number on it. If no match is available, you draw a tile. Play proceeds until one player's hand is empty or until no player can make a play. At that point, the total of the pips in hand are counted and tallied. After a predetermined number of games, the person with the lowest point total wins.

Other variants allow you to accumulate score during the game, with the goal being getting the highest scores.  In the UK, for example, most games uses the "five and three" rules where your goal is to make lines which total multiples of five and three. (i.e. 15, 30, 45, etc.) And you need to get exactly 61 points to win. If you have too many points, you need to lose points, presumably by using negative value dominoes. Or maybe by hitting the wicket somehow.

Hey, How Do I Win This?
Well, sometimes you need to get the most points. Other times you need to have less points than all the other players. And sometimes you just need to be the first one to not have any dominoes left.

Fun Gaming Facts:
While most domino games use the double six set of tiles, where the maximum total on any side of a tile is 6, there are also double 9 and double 12 sets. The double 12 sets provide much more building material for those inclined to just ignore the game and instead build stuff with the tiles, BTW.

Dominoes has no connection to either Claudine Auger nor Genesis. Sorry, Starman.

Dice:
None. While the design of a domino tile generally mimic the results of a roll of a pair of six sided dice (albeit a roll where sometimes you can't find one or both dice) it cruelly uses no dice of its own.

Purple and Orange?:
Sometimes. Traditional dominoes are black and white. However, in many versions the pips are colored for ease of seeing which ends match. See?



And sometimes the manufacturers get artsy and just color the whole thing.



A distinct lack of purple in that shot though.

Awards & Stuff:
None.

Related Games that Received Votes:
Technically Jamaican Dominoes received a vote. It differs from traditional dominoes in that it's team based. Except when you're playing cut throat, in which case it isn't. Generally you need to win six games to win the whole shebang in cutthroat. In the team version though, sometimes you need to win six games in a row. Wow. Those Jamaicans have a lot of free time.

Related Games that Didn't Receive Votes:

Hey! It's an Amazon link with the price! $7.99 for a double six set in a wood case.

Next Turn:
A distinct lack of tiles! And of understandable rules!
« Last Edit: July 31, 2012, 07:10:36 PM by Compound »


Offline Thrifty

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Re: LoC #62 - Top 51 Tabletop Games
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2012, 11:36:33 AM »
Why didn't Kill Doctor Lucky qualify?


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Re: LoC #62 - Top 51 Tabletop Games
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2012, 11:39:01 AM »
# DNQ: Kill Doctor Lucky

3 Points (On 3 of 14 lists)
Highest Vote: (#25 by Compound, Asbestos Bill, Gojikranz )

Dear lord, Cheapass Games has sold out! That's really disappointing to me. The three-dollar games that had you use pieces everybody has in their game closet was the way to go.

Quote
# 51: Hive


24 Points (On 1 of 14 lists)
Highest Vote: (#24 by Asbestos Bill)

Better than chess. I wish I had found the time to write up a list. This would have been way up there. I highly recommend it to anybody with a penchant for strategy. I think you probably meant to say it was #2 on Bill's list, though.


Offline Compound

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Re: LoC #62 - Top 51 Tabletop Games
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2012, 11:41:07 AM »
# 47: Euchre

25 Points (On 1 of 14 lists)
Highest Vote: (#1 by Cole Stratton)

Publication Date: 1848
 
Number of Players: 2-7
 
Designed by: Unknown
 
Publisher: Public Domain
 
Description:
Euchre is a trick taking card game. Although for two to seven players, Euchre is best with four playing as partners. This is a relatively simple bidding and trick-taking game and one of the best non-threatening partnership games.

A standard deck with everything removed but the 9-A of each suit is used. Players are dealt a five-card hand and the object is to win three of the five tricks. A card is turned up to determine trump, which can be either accepted or refused by each player in turn. If refused, another bidding round takes place in which each player is given the privilege of naming trump. The player fixing trump has the option of playing alone or with partner. (Playing alone increases the scores and penalties.)

Hey, How Do I Win This?
Er, plastics? Yeah, speaking as someone who played Squad Leader whose rulebook was larger than many phonebooks, I still find Euchre pretty incomprehensible.
 
Still easier to understand than cribbage though.
 
Fun Gaming Facts:
Yes, the game is indeed named after its creator, Bob Uecker. He was 18 when he created the game.
 
Dice:
No, I'm pretty sure that it doesn't. Although with my knowledge of the rules, it might indeed use dice and live elephants for game play. If so, it would explain why we had the elephants back in the storeroom at the old game store.
 
Purple and Orange?:
Nope, unless you're using a really odd deck of cards.
 
Awards & Stuff:
None.
 
Related Games that Received Votes:
 
Related Games that Didn't Receive Votes:
For other card games that completely confound me, just look at Fizzbin or Duel Monsters from the Yu-Gi-Oh series. I'm pretty sure that Yugi just makes rules up while he's playing.
 
Hey! It's an Amazon link with the price! $7.27
 
Next Turn:
Oh dear lord. More tiles.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2012, 07:10:47 PM by Compound »


Offline Compound

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Re: LoC #62 - Top 51 Tabletop Games
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2012, 11:43:48 AM »
Why didn't Kill Doctor Lucky qualify?

Well, despite 3 people voting for it, it only got 3 points. Technically it was ranked about #186. I just included it because so many people stuck it on on the very last slot on their lists.


Offline Compound

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Re: LoC #62 - Top 51 Tabletop Games
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2012, 11:48:52 AM »
# 46: Mahjong

27 Points (On 2 of 14 lists)
Highest Vote: (#6 by Tripe)
Publication Date: Maybe 500 BC, maybe 1850-75.

Number of Players: 4

Designed by: Unknown, but it might have been Confucious, or a Chinese Nobleman, or possibly Steve.

Publisher: Public Domain

Description:
Mahjong is a game that originated in China, commonly played by four players (with some three-player variations found in Korea and Japan). Similar to the Western card game rummy, mahjong is a game of skill, strategy and calculation and involves a certain degree of chance.

The game is played with a set of 136 tiles based on Chinese characters and symbols, although some regional variations use a different number of tiles. In most variations, each player begins by receiving thirteen tiles. In turn players draw and discard tiles until they complete a legal hand using the fourteenth drawn tile to form four groups (melds) and a pair (head). There are fairly standard rules about how a piece is drawn, stolen from another player and thus melded, the use of simples (numbered tiles) and honours (winds and dragons), the kinds of melds, and the order of dealing and play. However there are many regional variations in the rules; in addition, the scoring system and the minimum hand necessary to win varies significantly based on the local rules being used.

Generally, a player will draw a tile from a center wall and then discard another tile from their hand until a player has a quartet of three "melds" and  two "eyes." (Which are basically pairs.) They then get points or a payout, if the players are gambling.

Hey, How Do I Win This?
Generally the play continues for 16 rounds. At the end of those rounds, the highest score wins.

Fun Gaming Facts:
The first Mah Jong sets to be sold in the US were sold by Abercrombie & Fitch. Huh.

In addition, the PRC banned Mahjong when they came to power in 1949 as it involved gambling. The ban was later lifted in 1985.

Dice:
No, it's ano... holy smokes! Yes! 3 six siders are rolled to determine who starts the game in many parts of the world! You could probably just draw a tile too, but who cares? It's dice! Wooooooo!!!!!



Purple and Orange?:
Generally, no. Some tile sets will get awfully strange, but generally only the basic four colors plus black and white are used to color the tiles.

Awards & Stuff:
None in modern times, although Japanese Mahjong parlors make about 3 billion yen a year. I'm sure they stifle their tears with vast piles of money.

Related Games that Received Votes:
Hey dominoes is similar! Just like a cow is similar to a lizard since they both have four legs!

Related Games that Didn't Receive Votes:

Hey! It's an Amazon link with the price! $23.81 With dice!

Next Turn:
Our trip through the orient continues!

No, it's not Tentacle Bento.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2012, 07:10:54 PM by Compound »


Offline Compound

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Re: LoC #62 - Top 51 Tabletop Games
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2012, 11:54:28 AM »
# 45: Chinese Checkers
(Aka Stern-Halma)
28 Points (On 2 of 14 lists)
Highest Vote: (#11 by C Jones)
Publication Date: 1893

Number of Players: 2-6

Designed by: Unknown. Once again, probably Steve.

Publisher: Public Domain

Description:
Chinese checkers is a board game that can be played by two, three, four, or six people, playing individually or with partners. The game is a modern and simplified variation of Halma.
The objective is to be first to race one's pieces across the hexagram-shaped gameboard into "home"—the corner of the star opposite one's starting corner—using single-step moves or moves which jump over other pieces. Others keep playing to establish 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and last place finishers.

Hey, How Do I Win This?
Er, you move all your pieces across the board to an opponent's starting area. Geez, it's like I don't even read my own descriptions when I ask questions.

Fun Gaming Facts:
Chinese checkers? Nothing to do with China. Germans made the game and were inspired by an earlier American game. The Germans take an interest in a board game. That's extremely uncharacteristic of them.

And who actually introduced the game to China? Japan.

Dice:
No. Just marbles, holes and sometimes pegs.

Purple and Orange?:
Generally, no. The four standard game colors plus black and white tend to be the most used. Othertimes random marbles are used. Every once in a while you'll see a purple or orange marble, but it's not standard.

Awards & Stuff:
None. Although I'm sure that Spiel des Jahres would have tossed one their way if they'd been around in the 1800s.

Related Games that Received Votes:

Related Games that Didn't Receive Votes:
Component-wise, Marbles!  Otherwise, well, Halma. It's played like Chinese checkers, but the board is square, uses 2 or 4 players, and the pieces are generally traditional checkers. It also gets referred to in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy too.

Quote
EDDIE:
To counteract the restlessness caused by long stretches of deep space flight, the crew will occasionally like to let off steam by playing electronic ‘Halma’. Gee, would that be a great idea fellas? ‘Halma’, or spacebattles?

Hey! It's an Amazon link with the price! $25.07 USA made too! 'cause buying Chinese Checkers made in China would be, well, odd.

Next Turn:
Our tie-ins with Hello Kitty begin!
« Last Edit: July 31, 2012, 07:11:02 PM by Compound »


Offline Tripe

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Re: LoC #62 - Top 51 Tabletop Games
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2012, 12:00:16 PM »
Related Games that Received Votes:
Technically Jamaican Dominoes received a vote. It differs from traditional dominoes in that it's team based. Except when you're playing cut throat, in which case it isn't. Generally you need to win six games to win the whole shebang in cutthroat. In the team version though, sometimes you need to win six games in a row. Wow. Those Jamaicans have a lot of free time.
And Ackee, and salt fish and Guinness with condensed milk, man I need to go to a Jamaican place soon, miss that food. :)