$10.00
The Lowest-Ranked Game You Rate a 10
James Fehr
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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What is the lowest-ranked game here on Boardgamegeek that you rate a 10? If you have no 10s, what is the lowest-ranked game that you rate a 9?

I've seen this kind of list done before (e.g. What is your lowest ranked 10?), but it's been a little while now, and I'm very curious to see how the latest crop of games may affect a list like this. If you only have time to add a quick link to the game, that's fine, but I've included a little questionairre that you can fill out in your geeklist item if you wish:

How many times have you played it?
What, if anything, is unique about the game?
Why do you like it?
What's your guess on why it's not ranked higher?
What other games, if any, do you rate this highly?

I'll start the list off with my entry (edit: which is no longer the first item on the list now that I've set it to sort by rank).
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1. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.34 Overall Rank:1]
Jimmie Andersson
Sweden
Malmö
Skåne
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Uuurrh! I let him in, uuuhh, was that not cool? Arrrarrh...
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How many times have you played it?
10 times, but it's been more than a year now, really looking forward to the computer version.

What, if anything, is unique about the game?
Guess the "when you play an opponents card the event still happens" thing was unique (but I'm not sure).

Why do you like it?

Theme, scoop, options, depth. Everything is pretty awesome.

What's your guess on why it's not ranked higher?
Probably since it can't be

What other games, if any, do you rate this highly?
None, this is my only 10 (also otherwise this wouldnt have made this list). Through the Ages comes pretty close and Here I Stand and might get there after more plays and A Game Of Thrones LCG could get there if I had more opponents.
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2. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:6]
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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How many times have you played it?
Over 20 times now, plus more if you count online games

What, if anything, is unique about the game?
By now, nothing much, since every permutation of worker placement has seemingly shipped. But this is still the best...

Why do you like it?
Just the right mix of pleasure due to building things of worth, and pain due to scarcity of resources. And the endless card combinations... I haven't even started mixing decks - the game will never stop giving, I suspect.

What's your guess on why it's not ranked higher?
Wasn't it some sort of systematic gaming of the system by TS fans that knocked Gric down to the #2 slot?

What other games, if any, do you rate this highly?
None, this is my only 10 (defined by BGG: a game that I will never tire of, for the rest of my life. That's a big statement, and this is the only game I'm confident that will be the case).

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3. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:23]
Julien Robert
France
Thiverval-Grignon
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Times I've played it:

24 games recorded but a lot more...

What's unique about it:

The machanisms are very multiple.
So are the paths to victory

My guess on why it's not ranked higher:

It's a card game, therefore there is a luck factor in the drawing
Extremely strong learning curve

Other games I rate this highly:

Only three fo them: Mage Knight, Puerto Rico and Le Havre
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4. Board Game: Battlestar Galactica [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:29]
Isaac Birnbaum
United States
Fresno
California
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How many times have you played it?

I'd wager 15 times or so now.

What, if anything, is unique about the game?

How darned memorable it is. I can remember vividly just about every game of BSG I've played. No game manages to generate quite as much drama.

Why do you like it?

The deception, the intrigue, the epic backstabbery. If you're the cylon, there's nothing quite as awesome as picking the perfect time to show your true nature. If you're a human, there's nothing quite like the tension of knowing one of your buddies is out to screw you over.

What's your guess on why it's not ranked higher?

As a negotiation game, It's VERY playgroup dependent.

What other games, if any, do you rate this highly?

Puerto Rico and Dominant Species.
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5. Board Game: Trajan [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:38]
James Fehr
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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Times I've played it: Only 3 times so far: once at Boardgamegeek.CON 2011, and twice with my children.
What's unique about it: The mancala action-selection mechanism is very cool. The only other game I've played that has anything similar is Finca, but it's used in a much simpler way in that family-style game.
Why I like it: There are so many paths to victory, and so many points available to grab. I appreciate how the game forces you to plan as picking one good option may seriously hamper your ability to go another route even in the short term.
My guess on why it's not ranked higher:
- The game has had very limited availability, although with recent announcements that another printing has landed in North America, that's about to change. It will be interesting to see how much further in the rankings Trajan will climb.
- There's very little theme and it's pretty dry. It's almost like having 6 or 7 distinct abstract games being played all at once, with some of the strategy coming in the decision of which of these games to play next.
- Few people will deny the brilliance of the mancala action-selection mechanism. But some may think that essentially this game is a one-trick pony, where this action selection is the only really interesting thing going on, and once the novelty of that mechanic wears off, there's not enough to keep the game exciting.
Other games I rate this highly: The 5 other games I rate a 10 are: Tigris & Euphrates, Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization, Hansa Tuetonica, Caylus, and Puerto Rico.
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6. Board Game: Railways of the World [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:53]
Adam Daulton
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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Times I've played it: Once or twice. I count my plays of this under Railroad Tycoon which I've played 47 times. They're they same game.
What's unique about it: It's a train game that fits right inbetween Ticket to Ride and Age of Steam. Also, I love it.
Why I like it: I like building things, I like the tracks being laid out, I like the major lines and the random card that comes up. I like the fun that this one provides that perhaps an Age of Steam doesn't.
My guess on why it's not ranked higher: Because all it's votes are being split between RRT, Age of Steam, and Steam.
Other games I rate this highly: Agricola, Dominion, Puerto Rico, War of the Ring, Railroad Tycoon (I count it as the same thing)
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7. Board Game: Cosmic Encounter [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:67]
Matt Brown
United States
Okemos
Michigan
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How many times have you played it? Just once so the score could change.

What, if anything, is unique about the game? Maybe not totally unique, but the high amount of interaction is a huge plus.

Why do you like it? Interaction and genuine "Wait...what...NOOO!" type moments.

What's your guess on why it's not ranked higher? Even if it keeps getting new editions, it's still an old game so it suffers from it.

What other games, if any, do you rate this highly? Currently only Summoner Wars: Master set, but I tend to lump that in with the series as a whole, but based its raking on the Master Set.

Tikal might be the next to 10, but I need more plays. I also need to hammer out a rating for The Resistance as well, which might make it.
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8. Board Game: Galaxy Trucker [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:85]
Fraser Grant
Scotland
Windsor
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How many times have you played it?

A fair few


What, if anything, is unique about the game?

The 'lovingly built-ruthlessly and mercilessly destroyed' mechanisms.

Why do you like it?

It makes me happy. It just makes me giggle like a schoolgirl on a first date when I play it.

What's your guess on why it's not ranked higher?

Loads o' folks don't like the trucking aspect. It seems they get too precious about their little cardboard spaceship. Personally, if I come back in one piece I don't think I've got my money's worth.

What other games, if any, do you rate this highly?

Dominant Species. That's a more grown-up game. It doesn't make me giggle though.
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9. Board Game: Blood Bowl: Living Rulebook [Average Rating:7.88 Overall Rank:100]
Dave Hamrick
United States
Moore
OK
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How many times have you played it?
I haven't played it in a while, but my group had a pretty strong campaign running for a while. I think I got 16 games out of it. That's a regulation season in American football!

What, if anything, is unique about the game?
The campaign system sets Blood Bowl apart from any other game I've ever played. I love knowing that even though my team isn't good today, that if I keep playing them they'll get better and better. In my own designs, I've tried to duplicate the effect.

Why do you like it?
It's a miniatures game with solid rules and dripping with theme. I have never been more obsessed with playing a game than when I played Blood Bowl.

What's your guess on why it's not ranked higher?
It's a Games Workshop game, which I feel carries a stigma of its own here on BGG. It's also a miniatures game, which not everyone is crazy about, although you only really need 20 ever to have a good time. Also, it really requires a lot of plays from a lot of people to really get the effect of the campaign system. So, if I were to sum it up with one word: "inaccessibility."

What other games, if any, do you rate this highly?
Agricola and Dominant Species.
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10. Board Game: Space Hulk (third edition) [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:119]
Ronster Zero
United States
California
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This game just hits that two player sweet spot for me. I always have a blast when I play this game and that usually is enough to push a game for a 10 to me.

Great components and some great two player actions gets this a nod from me.
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11. Board Game: In the Year of the Dragon [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:137]
Steve M
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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Sneaks into the top 100 at 97, so not so low in rankings.. my comments:

An excellent euro that has all players scrambling to survive upcoming disasters. The scoring is always close and the game is a real struggle right to the end. Plays well with 4-5 players and has everyone working together to survive while stealing actions from each other to do so. Highly recommended.

How many times have you played it?
About 10 times, the fewest of the games I rate a ten. This is entirely because introducing players to this game is painful - they will lose, they will lose everything.

What, if anything, is unique about the game?
The choice to be made when acquiring new people for your temples - do you select a powerful one that allows for better execution of actions, or a less powerful one that will push you forward in the turn order?

Why do you like it?
There's no hidden information here - the year to come is laid out right from the start. Everyone is aware of what will need to be done to survive the upcoming months, which is exactly when they turn on each other to acquire what is needed to survive. GOOD STUFF!

What's your guess on why it's not ranked higher?
This is a bit of a daunting game to play - you are literally performing disaster control. I suspect players may give this a shot and lose so badly they never come back.

What other games, if any, do you rate this highly?
In order of lowest to highest BGG rankings..
Combat Commander: Europe
Stone Age
Dominion
Twilight Struggle
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12. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:145]
Joseph Knowles
United States
Virginia
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How many times have you played it?
I've played this several dozen times at least. I think I've kept track of most of my plays, but it's possible that I've missed some. In any event, because the playing time is so short it's no surprise that this is my most played game.

What, if anything, is unique about the game?
The lack of a board and nifty Bakelite pieces are a couple things. Granted it's superficial, but the game just looks really neat during play.

Why do you like it?
It's relatively simple to learn the rules, which made this one of my wife's favorites (she'll almost never turn down a game of Hive). It has the length of a filler-type game, but the necessity of thinking several moves ahead feels more like chess (although, admittedly, the strategy is not quite as deep as chess, in my opinion).

What's your guess on why it's not ranked higher?
There seems to be some question of whether the game suffers from a first-move advantage. I don't think that's made a huge dent in its rating, however, given that I had to scroll through 9 or 10 pages of comments to find someone who rated it even as low as a 9.

What other games, if any, do you rate this highly?
This is the only game that I currently rate a 10.
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13. Board Game: BattleLore [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:148]
Cedric Chong
Singapore
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How many times have you played it?
Recorded 27, but probably closer to 40+

What, if anything, is unique about the game?
I don't see a unique mechanics that isn't existing in other games. Especially this being Richard Borg's game, so it is pretty close to Memoir '44, Commands & Colors: Ancients, and Battle Cry.

If I must point out one unique thing about this game, it must be it's superb production value. thumbsupthumbsupthumbsup Days of Wonder

Why do you like it?
Thematic, great production value, 200+ miniatures (!), short set-up time, fast, interactive, high replay value, plays in 1 hour, and fun!

What's your guess on why it's not ranked higher?
It's out of print...

What other games, if any, do you rate this highly?
None. It's my only 10. Although Summoner Wars: Master Set is slowly rising up...
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14. Board Game: San Juan [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:160]
Peter Chien
United States
Rome
New York
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How many times have you played it? 10
What, if anything, is unique about the game? I like the job selection mechanic: Players take turns being the first player, each player gets to choose from the pool of available jobs (five of them) and receives a bonus when performing that job, then all of the other players also have an opportunity to perform that job (but without the bonus). This mechanic is also featured in Race for the Galaxy.
Why do you like it? It has a similar flavor to games in the worker-placement genre (like it's big brother, Puerto Rico), but it plays much more quickly.
What's your guess on why it's not ranked higher? Hard core gamers prefer the greater complexities of the full-fledged Euro titles.
What other games, if any, do you rate this highly? I have given no "10s", yet, but my other games ranked 9 are 7 Wonders, Agricola and Pandemic.
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15. Board Game: Struggle of Empires [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:186]
Dave Heberer
United States
Redmond
Washington
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How many times have you played it?
I've probably played about 15 times.

What, if anything, is unique about the game?
a) The alliance system is pretty unique. In the three turns of the game, before you play the turn you make two separate alliances in a weird bidding system where you pay money to formalize an alliance. You don't have to be part of the pair you are putting into an alliance. The alliance is pretty formal, in that you cannot attack someone not on your side directly. There are a couple of events you can use to hurt people on your side.

b) The combat system is unusual in one aspect, it takes the difference between two dice and you add that to the combat strength of the units involved.

c) simple tech acquisition and shifting alliances make it a really good abstraction of European conflict in the colonial days.

Why do you like it?

In the games I've played, the people that do the best are the ones that are good allies. They get something for what they are giving up, but no single deal can be looked at as unfair. They just make a lot of deals. I think this is the best multiplayer war (light, but still) game I've played.

It doesn't completely eliminate the possibility of bad actors in multiplayer situations, but I don't think you can.

What's your guess on why it's not ranked higher?

It's ranked pretty high, but: The rules aren't complete, there are edge cases not covered. Also, it is a longer game. Last, it has direct conflict which isn't terribly popular with the Euro crowds.

What other games, if any, do you rate this highly?
I only have a few 10s, at the time of writing they are:
Brass
Claustrophobia
Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery
Imperial
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16. Board Game: Up Front [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:195]
Dan Poole
United States
Goldsboro
North Carolina
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How many times have you played it?

a lot


What, if anything, is unique about the game?

for a card game, it does about everything as far as wargames go, especially considering
its 100% a cardgame.

Why do you like it?

Because it is unique. Given its scope and depth, it never gest old and has huge replay value. Play is lightning fast with minimal down time. Despite the learning curve, the gameplay is pretty simple. It has everything you could ask for.

What's your guess on why it's not ranked higher?

Mainly because its OOP. Other factors could be 2p only, high learning curve with awful rulebook. A lot of gamers don't like wargames


What other games, if any, do you rate this highly?

Caylus
Saint Petersburg
Steam
Puerto Rico: Limited Anniversary Edition
Combat Commander: Europe
Hammer of the Scots
Brass
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17. Board Game: 1989: Dawn of Freedom [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:207]
Mark Sautman
United States
Evans
Georgia
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How many times have you played it? Only 3 times so far, but I only got it in May. Going to GameFest South this weekend and hope to play it some more.

What, if anything, is unique about the game? The end of the Cold War theme. Plus it adds some new mechanics to Twilight Struggle. For example, the power struggle makes it harder to predict how scoring is going to turn out. The possibility of communist rule collapsing after scoring is another variable.

Why do you like it? Tense game play.

What's your guess on why it's not ranked higher? Just released a few months ago. Definitely expect it's rank to keep climbing as more people play it.

What other games, if any, do you rate this highly? Twilight Struggle, Brass, Die Macher, War of the Ring
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18. Board Game: Warhammer: Invasion [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:263]
sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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How many times have you played it? 309, but it is always going up

What, if anything, is unique about the game? It is one of Fantasy Flight LCG games. So it has the customizing and deckbuilding of a CCG, with a fixed card distribution model. This means that for a low price each month, players can have access to all of the cards in the game.

Why do you like it? I have always been a sucker for customization, but the booster packs and rarities of traditional CCGs burned me out. The LCG model really appealed to me. I also like that this game has an almost board game like feel. The game has a lot of resource management, and every turn offers interesting decisions about the best way to use the cards available.

What's your guess on why it's not ranked higher? My guess is because to really get into this game, requires a commitment. It did break the top 100, and hover in the 90s for a while. However, as new games came out it slipped back.

What other games, if any, do you rate this highly? My other 10's are Memoir '44, Dominion, Race for the Galaxy, Small World, and the Resistance.
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19. Board Game: Biblios [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:262]
Pee di Moor
Netherlands
Rotterdam
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How many times have you played it?
42

What, if anything, is unique about the game?

Hmm, not much.

Why do you like it?
Its (out)guessing, bluffing, quickness and bidding.

What's your guess on why it's not ranked higher?
Lightness, some BGG'ers simply don't seem to get the game or have only played with 4 (and this game shines as a 2 or 3 player game)

What other games, if any, do you rate this highly?
Tichu, Yspahan, Santiago
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20. Board Game: Eminent Domain [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:295]
Rkik
United States
Jamestown
North Dakota
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How many times have you played it?
5 recorded, probably a few more than that.

What, if anything, is unique about the game?
The deck building mechanic is one of a kind. The need to take cards to get the action, but at the same time trying to keep the deck efficient is a nice balancing act.

Why do you like it?
Interesting decisions, plays relatively quickly, and there's very little downtime. There's a nice balance of trying to do your own thing, while still taking advantage of what your opponents are doing.

What's your guess on why it's not ranked higher?
It's relatively new and hasn't had a lot of exposure. It's also seen as another deck building game, which honestly put me off the game for a while.

What other games, if any, do you rate this highly?
Puerto Rico - 9
Hansa Teutonica - 9
Power Grid - 9
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21. Board Game: Taluva [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:307]
Bret Clifton
United States
Spokane Valley
Washington
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How many times have I played it? I'm guessing over 200 times now.

What, if anything, is unique about the game? Probably the combination of tile laying mechanics and building, all in 3D Also the thick cardboard!

Why do you like it? I rated this a 10 long before it went OOP. Everything about it is great. The components are solid (literally), the tiles have pretty colors, the game play is less than an hour, there are endless possibilities, you get to be a god as the player and subsequently get to crush your's and other's villages, volcanoes,..it's awesome.

What's your guess on why it's not ranked higher? Because people are dumb. That's why!

What other games, if any, do you rate this highly? Nexus Ops and Puerto Rico. I have Boggle, Star Wars; The Queen's Gambit and Perikles each at 9.5 as well
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22. Board Game: Chess [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:324]
Frank Feldmann
United States
Dayton
Ohio
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How many times have you played it?
Hundreds, particularly if you count online plays

What, if anything, is unique about the game?
The depth of historical study of the game. The amount of literature is incredible.

Why do you like it?
I wish I knew. I think it's probably because, with online play, it's the easiest game to get in.

What's your guess on why it's not ranked higher?
Experience matters so much in this game that it is hard to find evenly matched opponents casually.

What other games, if any, do you rate this highly?
Acquire, Carcassonne and Pandemic
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23. Board Game: Diplomacy [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:360]
T. Dauphin
Canada
Belleville
Ontario
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# of plays
Can't count how many times I've played this.
We used to play it at lunch almost everyday, back in highschool.
Not much since.

Unique
The ablsolute reliance on teamwork and alliances (negotiating) to get anywhere. That and the conflict resolution process which is based entirely on players' actions.

Like it...
for the negotiating, and because of the way your empire expands (one hopes) gradually, and the very visual nature of this.

Low rating
Was surprised to find I had such a high rated game, when I checked. Thought I would find something lower.
It does play best with at least 5 players and it may be difficult for people to get such a crowd together. And maybe the elimination aspect isn't very appealing.

Also 10s
The Republic of Rome
Advanced Civilization
In truth Cross of Iron and Crescendo of Doom are also 10s, but as these are technically 'expansions' I didn't list them (even though they do constitute my greatest disparities.)


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24. Board Game: Planet Steam [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:405]
David McCarthy
United Kingdom
Northampton
Northamptonshire
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I don't strictly have any games rated at 10, but I have just 5 rated above 9.0 which makes them a step above the norm for me.
Times I've played it: Quite a few times with my children and friends.
What's unique about it: I don't believe it has any particular 'unique'features. But of the good ones:
- It's a cracking tight economic game with pivotal decision making at every turn.
- It looks absolutely great on the table and never fails to excite new players.
- It does not play too long.
- I rather like the almost hybrid Euro/Ameri-trash nature of the game.
- Easy to teach and quite intuitive to pick-up for new players.
- Who does not get vaguely excited by anything with a steam-punk style theme?
My guess on why it's not ranked higher:
- The game has had very limited availability
- It's expensive if you live in Europe and prohibitively so if you live in the US.
- It's over-produced and the same game could have been created at a far lower price point.
- It's a little confused about its identity being neither a full blown Euro or a chromed-up Ameri-trash.
- The steam-punk theme is more cosmetic than having any real bearing on what is essentially a fairly dry economic game.
Other games I rate this highly: The 4 other games I rate a in excess of 9 are: Merchants & Marauders, Fury of Dracula, Yggdrasil, Space Hulk 3rd Edition.
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25. Board Game: Metropolys [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:448]
That's insame.
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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Times I've played it: Only 8 so far, but I am definitely looking forward to playing many more times.

What's unique about it: The auction mechanism is very cool and original, since you are bidding for a spot on the board, rather than a specific object. I also love the spatial element of the auctions.

Why I like it: I love the fact that it combines spatial reasoning with auctions, two of my favorite game genres. Every decision is agonizing, and you have to plan carefully to ensure a victory. I also enjoy that the game often feels like a puzzle, but the opponents of the leading player are still engaged, unlike games such as ZERTZ where only the controlling player has meaningful decisions to make.

What's your guess on why it's not ranked higher? I suppose that many fans of auction games do not enjoy the spatial reasoning in this game. Some gamers might also view it as being too abstract.

What other games, if any, do you rate this highly? The only other games I rate a 10 are Samurai and YINSH.
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