Conclusion to the Meeple Like Us Top Ten Best Board Games 2019 Edition!
So, let’s talk about what didn’t make it. There are a number of games that didn’t survive the year as far as our lists go, and it’s always worth spending a bit of time talking about why.
Mrs Meeple’s Fatalities – the no longer best board games
The problem with Azul (#8), my only fatality, is that it just isn’t something I thought about over the year. I really enjoyed it when I first played it, and every time I’ve played it since. But until I actually looked at my list from last year I don’t think I would even have remembered it was there. I stand by everything I said about it in 2018, but in 2019 it’s just not a consideration. Maybe if I play it again that might change, but I spent more time thinking about Pandemic Legacy, a game I didn’t even play this year, than I did about Azul.
Mr Meeple’s Fatalities – the no longer best board games
As with last year, I used basically two criteria to determine whether a game remained on my list:
- Have I played it since last year?
- Would I rather play it over all the other games I own in this niche?
There were four fatalities for me then. The first was Once Upon a Time (#10 last year), and while I still absolutely love it I find that it’s a game that doesn’t always live up to its promise. It asks a lot of players to spontaneously tell a competitive story. I’ve seen more than a few occasions where the whole experience was a brutal and unpleasant and harrowing because people didn’t feel comfortable with the entire premise. In such circumstances it falls to you, the game’s champion. It becomes dangerously akin to having the pub bore monopolise a room by recounting the highlights of his last mescalin trip. Or your average person telling you, despite protestation, about their most recent dream. When it works it’s great. When it doesn’t it’s excruciating. Just like you telling people about your dreams.
Race for the Galaxy (#9) suffered a little by my introduction to Isle of Trains. The latter certainly isn’t a replacement for Race for the Galaxy. There’s not enough content for that. Isle of Trains though is more instantly intuitive and with a more satisfying delivery mechanism. I still love Race. I will probably always love Race. But Isle of Trains is a game I can realistically expect to play with other people without having to teach them first.
Suburbia (#5) is a game I just haven’t played this year – while I enjoy it a lot it’s clearly not enough for me to actually take it down from the shelf and set it up. I know there’s an exciting new deluxe version out there and if I had that there’s every chance I might have changed my mind. I don’t though, so I haven’t. And with Azul (#6), it’s much the same story as with Mrs Meeple. I just haven’t thought about it at all and don’t really feel like I’ve missed out. Definitely a very good, very strong game but perhaps not one that I love with my heart the way I do with my head.
That Table of the Top ten Best Board Games in Full
Here’s the full rundown, with Amazon affiliate links to take you to each game should you be interested in picking it up.
* But only if you are also using the Scoundrels of Skullport expansion. Otherwise it probably wouldn’t be on here.
[ previous ]