Back in 2013 I think we did games of the year as in games played that year. Today I'm proposing your desert island games - trapped forever on a remote location with only basic supplies, a cabin, a table, and maybe a limitless supply of fatty snacks and beer for you and your 3 or 4 like-minded gamers to survive on. What to take with you? Here's mine.
1. Railways of the World.
I'm not throwing these out in reverse order or preference but if I were this would probably be number one. It ticks so many boxes for me, and almost everyone seems to like it. Expansion, economics, some hidden knowledge, cubes, hexes... it's just wonderful.
Initially I put Eclipse down as something that could be played once in a blue moon: a really fat juicy steak of a game that I consider excellent. But for all it's excellence, I couldn't bring myself to leave Quantum out. There you go.
Whew. After all that heavy hitting above it was time for something light, and Biblios has never really gone out of favour at GNN, though it does occasionally lie low. I couldn't take Timeline because you'd get to know all the answers, and 6Nimmt feels better with more players, so this is my go-to twenty-minute game.
4. 7 Wonders
It almost feels unimaginative putting 7 Wonders down, but I just think it's great. I love that - when you play as inattentively as I do, anyway - the end scoring can throw up surprises. I love that there are a variety of ways to play. And I love that it's all over in 25 minutes.
It was a toss-up between this and Castles of Burgundy for my Feld itch-scratching. I think the latter is a tidier game, but there is something I have always really enjoyed about Macao. I even like the fact it throws up the odd duff game, which is rather silly I suppose, but it feels slightly unruly.
6. Tigris and Euphrates
If only to stop Martin being sick over the screen... no, I do like Knizia and though I found it really hard to get my head around this on both my plays (about 15 years apart!) I appreciated it's cleverness and potential swingy-ness. I'd want a game that bamboozles me and a challenge too, so I'm going for this.
Back to the big hitters with Tigris and then this. With Agricola it latterly became a game I respected rather than enjoyed, but with the feeding phase simpler and less punitive in Caverna, I really got into this recently. Maybe it's the cult of the new. I guess I'll find out when I've been on the desert island for a few months and am pining for Lords of Waterdeep.
Need a bidding game, so why not a Knizian one? I must confess up until this point while I was thinking of variety I wasn't thinking of game mechanics specifically. But though I don't think I ever yearn for this in the way other GNNers do, I do consider it a classic.
9. Cube Quest
Assuming you didn't flick them all into the sea, I'm thinking this would get a fair amount of play and leagues, cups, and campaigns would grow out of it.
10. A deck of cards.
How could you not bring cards? Poker, Trumps, Cribbage... you can jerry-rig a few other games too, such as Skull and Roses (Kings and Bullets?). The trick-taking itch can be scratched a multitude of ways with this handy cure-for-many-ills.
So, no room for Tinner's Trail, Love Letter, Lords of Vegas (which so nearly bumped Ra) or Castles of Mad King Ludwig, and quite a few others that I look on fondly in my collection. No room for Deep Sea Adventure which I've only played once but think is great. I love Africana, Colosseum, Galaxy Trucker, and many others. But you can only take ten!
So that's mine, what are yours? (which will no doubt cause me to amend this list...)