I got into the hobby when a friend introduced me to Carcassonne and directed me to Playin' Games (a London FLGS) for more of the same. A whole new world opened up! I've always loved games but had no idea ones this good existed.
Three Four Five Six Seven
Eight years on, my collection has grown to over
50 70 90 120 130 140
150, I'm (former)
organiser of one of the biggest games clubs in the world (meetup.com/LondonOnBoard), and I seem to spend half my life on the 'geek. A familiar story I'm sure!
My gaming favourites fall mainly into three categories:
Reiner Knizia! I've played over
30 40 50
60 of Knizia's games now and there are very few I don't like. Tigris & Euphrates is my all-time favourite, with Ra, Taj Mahal, Stephenson's Rocket and Winner's Circle close behind. Also games by other designers that I consider to have the 'Knizian' sense of elegance: China, King of Siam, San Marco for three.
Economic games that give players an interactive system to explore and exploit. I'm not talking about tedious optimisation/resource conversion games like Caylus or Le Havre, I'm talking about Brass, Container, Chicago Express. Martin Wallace is a key designer in this field, though his games are quite hit-and-miss for me.
Cards cards cards. I love card games, and particularly those in which card combinations can do unexpected and wonderful things. Race for the Galaxy, Innovation, Tichu, several of the Adlung-Spiele games... Cosmic Encounter and Twilight Struggle fit here too, even if they come with more accoutrements.
My top 10 lists my highest-rated games, while my hot 10 is the most recent games that I have rated 8 or higher. Oh, and my avatar is the cover of the album 69 Love Songs by the Magnetic Fields, one of my favourites.
In October 2013, I made this geeklist: Qwertymartin's top 60 games
. I'll probably update it in a year or two.Swedish Meatballs
I've been a member of the GameChatLeague Swedish Meatballs Division since it was founded in May 2011, and consider it to be my home on the 'geek. Wonderful as the wider community is, there's something really cool about getting to know a small group of gamers around the world so well. I wrote this article about my gaming tastes for one of the early Meatball lists.
I've learnt a lot about my gaming tastes and where they differ from the BGG consensus by playing around 10 new-to-me games per month for the last three years. At first I took the BGG ranking as gospel (much like my teenage years when I was guided to new music by 'top 100 albums' guides in magazines), but now I know what I'm looking for, I can pick out favourites from way down the rankings on the basis of reading a review or the rules.
While I'm more a Eurogamer than anything else, I'm not a fan of a lot of recent 'mainstream' Euros. I find worker placement a lazy mechanic, I generally dislike games with individual player boards and no shared space, nor do I like games where you spend more time optimising your own sequence of moves than thinking about what the other players are doing. I no longer particularly see 'multiple paths to victory' as a virtue, when they feel more like Easter eggs put in by the designer than emergent properties of the design ("Oh, you discovered the starvation strategy, congratulations").
Knizia came to be my favourite designer because his best games are the opposite of this. As far as I know he's never used worker placement, and his games are almost always about interaction not optimisation. I'm also a big fan of elegant rules and risk management, two Knizia hallmarks. Having played most of the Knizias on my hit list, I'm always looking out for 'Knizian' games from other designers.
Lately I'm more and more appreciating direct conflict and rough edges. I'm wary of games described as 'streamlined' or having good catch-up mechanisms. I like unexpected, laughter-provoking screw-you moves. I also appreciate unusual, modern-day themes over yet more medieval yawnsomeness. For example, recent games that have caught my fancy are Lords of Vegas, Tammany Hall and Power Struggle.
Another thing I tend to like is hand management and card interactions. I have always liked classic card games, and that's led me to modern versions like Haggis and Battle Line. I also like a lot of recent card-combo games like Race for the Galaxy, Glory to Rome and Innovation.