I loved Ace of Aces back in high school, and I learned it on this edition. It has the elegance of an abstract, but it's well integrated with the WWI air combat theme. Limitation: in the Handy Rotary edition, the basic game is pretty much a solvable problem, and if you play "correctly" it is impossible to lose, and two players both playing correctly will always draw (or the game will last forever). This problem may be unique to the Handy Rotary series due to the particular maneuvers available.
One of my favorite Reiner Knizia designs. It has a bit more going on and is a bit more fiddly, trading a bit of elegance for a lot more variety. But it's one of the few Knizias where the theme doesn't feel pasted on, and it's a lot of fun.
This game would get an 8.5 rating from me if the board fit together better. But I'm tempted to rate it even lower... it's a major problem having edges sticking up when you need to be able to flick pieces from one section to another.
Sure, it's a beer and pretzels kind of wargame, and with a really aggressive style luck will be a significant factor. But for a reasonably light-weight game it does a good job of promoting mostly actual strategies of the war, and a significant skill difference will tell by the end of the game, 9 times out of 10.
A board game that emulates classic horror films, with a different theme every time. One of the players is a "traitor" on the side of the bad guys. Fair bit of luck, and not necessarily very well balanced, but very flavorful and still fun.
A zero-luck abstract strategy game with deceptively simple rules and elegant play. One of the few such games that I really like. Too bad I got beaten by a five-year-old recently.... Only works well with two or four players.
Settlers of Catan expansion dramatically transforms the game. Some like it better, some worse. It does make things a lot more complicated. It's better than my rating, but I eventually tired of it a bit from playing too often.
OMG, rarely has one seen so many bits in one game. Reminiscent of Twilight Imperium 3rd edition (also from FFG) in bits quality, except with zero empty space in the box (plastic bits are not on posts, already punched). Uses the general game system from Struggle of Empires.
I recently discovered that I and my whole game group had been playing it wrong in one large, crucial way: you can only attack units belonging to the player whose system you're attacking in. Huh. Makes for a much shorter game that way. Still a very cool game for five or six players (theoretically two or more). Elegantly simple rules except for all the clearly defined exceptions....
This game reminds me a lot of the Star Trek episode where Kirk ends up on a planet teaming up with one group of historical characters (Lincoln, among others) in a battle against another such group. I think it could be a fair bit of fun with the right group of players.
It's a really long game, but darn if it doesn't capture the feel of the ebb and flow of the empires of the midlde ages. In some scenarios, just ending up in better shape than when you started seems like a real victory. Inter-player conflict can be a major part of the game, or relatively minor, depending on the scenario and the particular players involved.
I have the original SPI version, and the new reprint.
Bizarre game for 2-4 with a WWI Europe setting. Players control various countries, but with a level of indirection: they are investors, meaning that control of countries can change and that somebody can win by having the best portfolio even without controlling any countries! No luck as such.
It's not exactly complicated, but there are subtleties of skill involved in hitting the plane to send it at your opponents in tricky ways. Also, it's playable by kids as young as three or four! So, as a short family dexterity/speed game, it's a winner.