Meeple Like Us Top Ten 2018

The Meeple Like Us Top Ten Best Board Games, 2018 Edition!

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Number Nine on the Meeple Like Us Ten Top Best Board Games 2018 Edition!

Let’s leave the grim survivors of #10 behind. Those poor souls grasp onto their position on this list with only the fragile grips of the flimsiest fingertips. Or is that the flimsiest grips of the most fragile fingertips? Whatever – all it would take is a light breeze to sweep them off into the abyss that lies at the tail end of these best board games charts.

That said, sometimes it’s better to be on the edge of things because it makes you just a little bit sharper. Just a little bit hungrier. A touch leaner. Once you’re safely off of the precipice it’s easy to get fat and lazy. Don’t get too comfortable, #9s. Oblivion can take you too. Ask some of the previous incumbents of this list. Oh wait, you can’t – they’re dead. Keep your head in the game.

Michael Picks: Race for the Galaxy (in with a bullet at #9)

[ Review | Teardown ]

Game Details
NameRace for the Galaxy (2007)
Accessibility ReportMeeple Like Us
ComplexityMedium [2.99]
BGG Rank76 [7.74]
Player Count2-4
Buy it!Amazon Link

Oh my – I wasn’t quite generous enough with Race for the Galaxy in the review for it’s presence here to be predictable. It’s a difficult game to recommend but it’s an easy game to love. I wouldn’t want to sit down and play it with anyone new, but I’d happily start dealing out the cards to a fellow old-hand. There is so much in Race for the Galaxy that is done well, but it’s hidden behind an unwelcoming facade of alien heiroglyphics and unforgiving mechanisms. You need to be careful if you’re going to survive the challenges that Race for the Galaxy places in your way. Miss your footing and you’ll be dragged screaming into the automated manufacturies of a forgotten alien planet and turned into a horrifying war-bot turned out for endless cosmic horror.

They don’t have a standardised warning label for that according to the ISO.

Race for the Galaxy cards


Pauline: You keep inisting that I’ve played this before but I honestly don’t remember it. It’s obvious from your writeup though that it’s pretty ridiculous you picked a game that is so impentrable and inaccessible for your list of best games of all time. It’s full of stupid icons, weird rules, ridiculously small fonts, ugly graphics. Doesn’t this make you a bit of a hypocrite?

Michael: Oh, hardly. This isn’t even in the top ten list of reasons why I’m a hypocrite.

Pauline: But shouldn’t you be picking games that are at least a little bit accessible for your greatest games of all time?

Michael: Well, really – who can really truly say whether a game is accessible or not?

Pauline:  That’s literally what this site is supposed to be for.

Pauline Picks: Century: Spice Road & Century: Eastern Wonders (Down from #3)

[ Review | Teardown ]

Game Details
NameCentury: Spice Road (2017)
ComplexityMedium Light [1.80]
BGG Rank333 [7.31]
Player Count2-5
Buy it!Amazon Link

Century: Spice Road is a great engine builder. It’s a bit like Splendor except it gives you a lot more to be thinking about and more parts from which you can put together a machine capable of hoovering up spice like an Arrakian harvester. It has that thing that Lords of Waterdeep and Ticket to Ride have in abundance – there’s a lot of satisfaction in just building up the resources to get a thing and then claiming it. It’s definitely a little bit algorithmic, but as the kid who thought it was a massive treat when we did algebra at school it is a game that may as well have been made directly for me. There’s a small flaw in that the engine you build tends to stutter and splutter as cards are bought. Even that’s got an upside – it means you don’t get a runaway leader because they can’t ever build up a head of speed. A bit like dealing with the roadworks around the Aberdeen bypass really.

After playing it a lot, it did get kind of samey. The Eastern Wonders sequel though can be integrated with the base game and it adds a lot of novelty. It’s less algorthmic and the choices feel a bit more interesting because they’re tied up in a spatial context. I’d say that the inclusion of Eastern Wonders is what keeps it on the list at all. If there was an app version though, I’d probably end up playing the base game all the time like a multithreaded processor caught in a threshing loop. My worry with playing it now is that it tends to bore others. My threshold for boredon though is artificially high as a result of living with Michael.

Century Spice Road Bowls

Michael: I’m very glad to see Century Spice Road falling down your list on its inevitable journey towards the nearest bin.

Pauline: It’s never going to go in the bin. Don’t think you’re going to make any money at a bring and buy with this one any time soon. I thought you liked it?

Michael: I did, but never as much as you did. Even then, repeated plays knocked the shine off of it for me. I think in the end it was mostly a kind of trance-induced daze that broke me down. It was just … ‘do you want to play Spice Road?’, ‘do you want to play Spice Road’ like a terrible DJ spinning warped vinyl albums on a broken turntable. Throw in some ecstasy and it would have been like the world’s worst rave. Now I get tense whenever I think about it.

Pauline: Maybe we should get the Golem edition too?

Michael: Only if I can command it to stave my head in.

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