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Meme of the morning: 100 best hobby games
passion
bohemiancoast
Over at billzilla, there's one of these bold-the-ones-you-own, italicise-the-ones-you've-played lists of 100 best things, in this case the hundred best 'hobby games'. The list comes from a forthcoming book of essays. I've not actually done the meme because I own so few games now, but I started to write a long comment so I'm posting here instead.

Hobby games appears, in this context, to mean something like 'modern multiplayer board games, card games and roleplaying games that aren't electronic, but careful not to include anything aimed at the general market'. And the list feels like a testament to what my life used to be like -- I have played nearly a third of these games, despite playing these sorts of games only sporadically during the last fifteen years or so. The list includes the three games which between them absorbed a huge chunk of my student days -- Civilisation, Champions and Star Fleet Battles. But I now own only two games on the list -- Fluxx and Cosmic Encounter. Even when I did own lots of games they tended to be much more at the beer and pretzels end of gaming than most of the games on this list.

Mind you, it's clear that hobby games are about to become a big part of my life again; though, again, probably mostly at the shorter and simpler end. Marianne got given Stratego for Christmas (in the rather silly Lord of the Rings chrome edition) and I've been beating her senseless at the insane handicap of Marshal + Spy (I imagine that's more comprehensible to most people than 'Gandalf + Eowyn'). Steven had never played Stratego before so we played one game at the same handicap, mostly intended to demonstrate to Marianne how the player on the receiving end of that handicap could stomp all over the board untrammelled. But we turned out to have a really close and exciting game, though I did, inevitably, lose in the end. Other suggestions for handicapping Stratego welcome.

Next up: Buccaneer -- after years of failing to find a clean copy at a decent price on eBay, it's been re-released as a Pirates of the Caribbean tie-in. Joy; but there's no suggestion the game has been seriously damaged by the chrome.

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As another excellent mixed ages game, may I recommend Master Labyrinth by Ravensberger. It's the more involved version of The Magic Labyrinth, but I'm pretty sure M. could handle it pretty well.

Carcassonne is also good for mixed-age groups though you may need to wait a year or two to give it a go with M. Mostly when games recommend an age range, it has as much to do with attention span as with comprehension.

Have fun!

B.

Almost anything by Ravensberger will be decent.

I want a copy of hare and tortise.

TK

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