The Dao of Board Gaming

People very often ask me “what is your favorite game?” and the answer for me is that there is no such thing as a favorite game. A game for me is nothing absolute. A game lives through the people who play it. Therefore, my favorite game depends upon which group of people I’m with, and what we prefer. For instance, I’d play different games with my parents than with a group of friends. With my parents I play a lot of traditional German card games. I have one friend from school with whom I play nothing but Speed Chess and it’s only with him that I play Speed Chess because it works for us, and it’s just enjoyable. What’s enjoyable for me is the time spent with other people — different people create different atmospheres. You need the right game for the right occasion.

REINER KNIZIA

Taj Mahal

Reiner Knizia Publisher: Alea / Ravensburger As a designer, Knizia is a perennial favorite of mine. The sheer volume of his productivity is astounding and honestly, incomprehensible to me. Still, with all his output, there are bound to be some games that are just not for me. Taj Mahal is most certainly not one of […]

Sid Meier’s Civilization: A New Dawn

James Kniffen Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games I love Civilization games. Well, I should qualify that by saying I used to love Civilization based computer games growing up. As an adult, I have no desire to revisit the computer games due to time constraints, but the IDEA of playing civilization games has broad appeal since I […]

Thurn and Taxis

Karen and Andreas Seyfarth Publisher: Rio Grande Games There are some games that you play, and you know it’s not for you. There are games you play and you know it will be in your collection until the day you bequeath to your kin. Then there are some games like Thurn and Taxis that will […]

Teotihuacan: City of Gods

Daniele Tascini Publisher: NSKN Games Tzolkin is definitely one of my favorite games that I rank highly. The game is complex and relatively heavy but is structured in a way that each action is straightforward and unburdened by many moving pieces. For that reason alone, Tzolkin sits atop a rarefied pedestal of games that I […]

Article 27: The UN Security Council Game

Dan Baden Publisher: Stronghold Games I played this game many many years ago in a gathering of friends (not the actually Gathering of Friends). As I recall, the game was novel, even fun. Back then, the social deduction games were just coming of age with Coup and Love Letter making their rounds. I really liked […]

The Oracle of Delphi

Stefan Feld Publisher: Pegasus Spiele / Hall Games Stefan Feld is widely known for his games with point salad scoring and he rarely stray too far from his strengths. Oracle of Delphi is one of the few games where there is no scoring. This is a race game where the winner is the one that […]

Word on the Street

Jack Degnan Publisher: Out of the Box Merely a few days ago, Word on the Street sat on my trade pile. It hadn’t been played in ages and honestly, the last time I played it, we probably just fooled around with it not taking it seriously. That said, I kept it around because I probably […]

Istanbul

Rudiger Dorn Publisher: Pegasus Spiele / AEG Istanbul is Rudiger Dorn’s 2014 award-winning hit that has spawned multiple expansions. You know a game is popular when a “Big Box” format is released by the publisher to compile all the promos and expansions for the base game. A quick scan of BGG reveals that Istanbul was […]


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