As the year draws to a close, we are flooded with Dice Towers Top 100 Games of All Time Lists along with Board Game Geek having dozens of Top 10, 25, 50 and 100 Games of All Time Lists. So why not throw my $.005 cents worth?
So I drew up a list of my Favorite 100 Games. Then I refined the list to my 50 Favorite Games, and a Hall of Fame.
Most lists rank games from least favorite to favorite. I did not do that. My 50 Favorite Games are in alphabetical order. Do I like some of the games better than others, sure. But I like some games better in different situations. Who is playing, how many are playing, how much time we have to play, how much light is available to see the text on the cards, are all factors which cause games to move up and down the list. As an example, I really like Mage Wars, I think it is a great game. But I only like it two player. At three or four, it doesn’t make the list. So my list is in alphabetical order, also because it is my list and I can do it anyway I want to.
One other thing I did was the opposite of what most have done, and that is add games to the list that have nostalgic value. I think that is important. As an example, the first game I remember playing, other than peek-a-boo, is Monopoly. And Monopoly has been one of my top 5 played games in each decade of my life other than the 1950’s, (the decade ended when I was 3), and the current decade, the 2010’s. So how can I leave it off the list? But how can I put Monopoly on the list when I have a couple of hundred games I would rather play now? Will I play Monopoly today, sure, but not several games in a row. So I decided to create a Hall of Fame, for those games that had a big impact on my gaming life, and even my life.
So on to THE GAME HALL OF FAME!
-This is the second game I remember playing, and we played the heck out of it during the 1960’s. It is basically Old Maid. The cards that have famous authors on them and their most famous works. Fun game when you are seven! And 57 with the right people!
AVALON HILL/SIMULATIONS PUBLICATIONS WARGAMES
-I was introduced to three game types in college, Dungeons and Dragons, Miniatures, and Wargames. During the 1970’s and 1980’s, I played wargames quite a bit, and I bought quite a few wargames. I still have several copies of the old Avalon Hill and SPI games. I have a soft spot in my heart for a game with 7 maps and 3000 counters, even if they are basically unplayable. Some were very playable, my most played wargame is Winter War, having played it over 50 times, followed closely by Panzer 44. Great memories pouring over rules and looking at counter sheets!
AXIS AND ALLIES
-Top five game played in the 1990’s and 2000’s. Marathon games that went on for days, trash talking, no sleep and horrible dice rolls all go with this classic. I would still play this anytime, well, when I have the time!
DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS
-The number one game in the 1980’s, 1990’s, and 2000’s. The second game I picked up in college. Without a doubt, more time has been spent playing this game, and getting ready to play this game, than any other game in my life. In the 1980’s, D&D playing time was greater than ALL other games combined. We have an ongoing campaign I started in 1980 when I got married, and it is still going on today. Granted, most of the players have changed, as we moved 6 times since then, leaving gamers behind each time, but my wife still plays her first character, Valda, a Thief. She does have some really neat stuff! After all she is the Dungeon Masters Wife! I have lost some of my passion for D&D in the last 5 years or so, as it is becoming a chore instead of fun for me as the DM. But it is still a great game, and the game has had a huge impact on my life.
-The third game I picked up in college. Top five game in the 1980’s, 1990’s, and 2000’s. I have played several different rules sets, different time periods, historical, fantasy and science fiction. I have close to 200 pounds of unpainted lead and plastic. Great eye candy, great fun. The time spent painting and the cash outlay is enormous. But I wouldn’t change anything, as the time and money is worth it when your Visigoth DBA army runs roughshod over a puny Roman army!
MODERN NAVAL BATTLES
-This was huge in our family from 1990 to 1993. During that time, it was the number one game played by my family. I bought Jane’s Fighting Ships of the World so I could make up cards of more ships not available with the game and its two expansions. I still play the latest version by Dan Verssen Games.
-Top five game in the 1960’s, 1970’s, 1980’s, 1990’s, and 2000’s. Monopoly is the first game I remember playing. Many a summer days was spent playing this classic. I still think it is a very good game when played by the rules, and I am still up for playing it on occasion. I am sure when 90% of Americans are asked to name a board game, the first answer from their lips would be Monopoly, and mine too!
-I love this game! Othello is the game I have won the most, at one time during the 1970’s I won 34 times in a row. A classic, that I still play occasionally, just not as well.
-This game is responsible for me getting into miniatures, Avalon Hill/SPI Wargames, and Dungeons and Dragons. During the mid 1970’s, we played this game weekly, and for a two year span, we had an ongoing game day most Sunday afternoons, with myself, my two brothers, my Mom, my Dad, and my boss, Jim Davis from Burger Chef. Every Sunday afternoon at 2, we would all get together in our dining room to roll as many 6’s as possible. My boss scheduled me to work on Sunday mornings so we could play on Sunday afternoons. I was the only night shift employee that got to work on Sunday mornings. My first week at Eastern Kentucky University, a guy from across the hall, John Gilbert, asked me if I like games like Risk. When I said yes, a whole new world of gaming opened up for me. All because of Risk.
-My most played game of all time. Yes, I have spent more time playing D&D, and more time painting miniatures, I have played more games of Rook than any other game. Easily over 3000 plays. Not a week went by from 1971 to 1975 that we didn’t play a dozen games, and during the summer, this was played a dozen times a day. I’ve got three 14’s, the Red One and The Rook, I’m gonna Shoot the Moon!
-Again, during the early 1990’s, if we weren’t playing Modern Naval Battles, we were playing Solar Quest. Monopoly with a space theme. A beautiful board, cool retro ships, metal fuel cells, a great looking game that is fun for the family….and me!
So there you have it, my Hall of Fame Games. Look me up, bring one of these fine games with you, and in some cases a boat load of time, and I will battle you in these games that will always have a place in my heart.
What are your Hall of Fame Games?
Great Gaming Gang!
Coming soon, My 50 Favorite Games.