The Daily Worker Placement

Monday, May 23, 2022

The Desert Island Collection

by | published Thursday, January 1, 2015

Okay, game gourmands, here’s the challenge: pick ten games (or fewer!) which, as a group, encompass as many themes, mechanics, and genres as you could possibly want, so that if you were marooned with your favorite gaming group on a desert island and had only these games to play, you would have as manysatisfying possibilities as possible.Some ground rules to make things more challenging: (1) base games only, no expansions; (2) no open-source modular systems allowed. Here I’m specifically thinking of things like a deck of regular playing cards, Piecepack, Decktet, and (sadly, since otherwise I’d include it) Mü & Mehr.So then here’s my list of ten, in no particular order:

(1) Neue Heimat (Euro, bidding, push your luck, negotiation)

(2) Dixit (party, language independent)

(3) Boggle (word, party)Boggle

(4) Cuba Libre (consim, scalable 1-4)

(5) Star Realms (s.f. theme, deckbuilding, multiple modes of play)

(6) Nations (civ building theme, card drafting, variable player powers)

(7) Keyflower (Euro, worker placement, pick up & deliver, tile placement, bidding)

(8) Space Alert (real-time, scalable, multiple scenarios)

(9) Imperial (rondel, stock-holding, area-control, area-movement)

(10)The Resistance: Avalon (medieval theme, hidden teams, traitor, simultaneous action selection)

By no means is this my all-time top ten! Nor am I claiming this list encompasses everything modern boardgames have to offer. What I am saying is that this bundle offers a solid selection of themes, genres, and mechanics, with a good range from light party fare all the way up to some pretty heavy gaming goodness.I’d be interested in seeing other people’s attempts.


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