Day 18 of December came and went already! Time passes so quickly! So, so quickly…

Or, in the words of ChatGPT:

Time, you are a thief of hours,
Stealing away each day,
Leaving us with endless chores,
And not enough time to play.

We love our modern board games,
So full of strategy and fun,
But life’s demands are endless,
Leaving us with little time to be done.

We try to carve out moments,
To roll the dice and move our pieces,
But time is always on the move,
Leaving us with endless releases.

We wish we had more time to spend,
Playing all the games we love,
But time is a constant friend,
Leaving us with endless above.

So we cherish the time we have,
Playing games with those we hold dear,
For time is a fleeting fad,
Leaving us with endless tear.


Anyways. It is time to present the nine next games in the countdown… (For methodology and introduction, please see the first post in the series.)

15. Brass: Lancashire (2018)

Down 10 spots! Brass! This, the Lancashire version, is the second best Brass in the whole world, methinks. And the 4th best Martin Wallace… I guess the drop in spots has a lot to do with the fact that 41 out of 42 times, if given the choice, I would pick Birmingham over Lancashire… (Spoiler alert: More on that later.)

Game Brass: Lancashire
What Test your economic mettle as you build and network in the Industrial Revolution.
How hand management, network building, market, economy, …
Playtime 2 hours
BGG Weight 3.86

14. Railways of the World (2009)

The 3rd best Wallace game is quite possibly my sons favourite game of all time. And it is a great logistic puzzle. The UK map is our favourite these days, and we like the added chaos of the events extension. Next addition: AI opponents to the mix! (Because, although the game works great as a duel, it is even better with more players.)

Game Railways of the World
What Build rails, race to deliver scarce goods, and fulfill your Rail Baron’s secret goal.
How pick up and deliver, route building, tile placement, economy, …
Playtime 2 hours
BGG Weight 3.02

13. Anno 1800 (2021)

And, since this part of the list really is dominated by Mr Wallace, we can follow up with the 2nd best game by him – also the newest: Anno 1800. I really like this… idealised… version of colonialism “based” on a video game I quite enjoy… And it nicely scratches my “things transforms into other things” and “workers with different capabilities” itches. Will it stand the test of time, though? Time will tell.

Game Anno 1800
What Fulfill the wishes of your population by producing ever more luxurious goods.
How hand management, race, trade, resources, worker placement, tech trees, …
Playtime 2 hours
BGG Weight 3.16

12. Clans of Caledonia (2017)

This is an amazing game that borrows from so many great games before it. It is my favourite Terra Mystica… clone…, if you can call it that, for example. I love the super simple and powerful market system. The simple, yet complex rules in general. The asymmetric clans. It has dropped 6 places, probably a lot to do with the fact that I haven’t played it enough recently… (And, as mentioned earlier, a lot of amazing games has been released…)

Game Clans of Caledonia
What Lead your unique Scottish clan to economic might via production, trade, and export.
How map development, network building, contracts, asymmetric powers, market, economy, …
Playtime 2 hours
BGG Weight 3.47

11. Lisboa (2017)

Another game with a downward trend is Vital Lacerda’s Lisboa – his second best game in the whole world. Also, importantly, his bluest. The game itself has a lot of elements from Brass in it. (One of my favourite Essen-moments was the hour where he introduced the game to me and another player – mainly discussing the historic reasons for his design choices. Great, great stuff. (Also, the hand you see in the middle of the 3x3 below is his…))

Game Lisboa
What Compete to reconstruct the city of Lisboa after the great earthquake of 1755.
How hand management, area majority, city building, economy, tile placement, …
Playtime 3 hours
BGG Weight 4.58

10. Roll for the Galaxy (2014)

Number 10 is my favourite game with origins in Puerto Rico – Roll for the Galaxy. (The dice game version of the card game version of the board game.) I think I prefer this to Race for the Galaxy – and even New Frontier – because… dice! So many dice!

Game Roll for the Galaxy
What Utilize your dice populace to develop technologies, settle worlds, and ship goods.
How pool building, tableau building, simultaneous action selection, dice rolling, …
Playtime 1 hour
BGG Weight 2.78

9. On Mars (2020)

Number nine! My favourite Lacerda! On Mars! So many cogs in this machinery. System in system in system. Like I’ve said before, a true Guillermo del Toro of board game design. With my favourite Ian O’Toole’s artwork and amazing components in general.

Game On Mars
What Be a part of the first Martian colony, striving to be the best contributor.
How hand management, hexagon grid, set collection, engine building, …
Playtime 3 hours
BGG Weight 4.67

8. Maracaibo (2020)

…and we get to my second favourite game by by favourite designer, Alexander Pfister’s Maracaibo! It marries the rondels and player board upgrades from Great Western Trail with the hand management of multi-use cards from his Oh My Goods!, revisits the pirate theme of his Port Royal and adds a sprinkling of other mechanics, like racing and area control, and the end result is most excellent. (The slight tweak of the rondel mechanics – where it resets for everyone at the same time – is a great touch.) It even plays great as a solitaire, and comes with (replayable!) legacy mechanics in the form of a story mode. (The story itself is not amazing, but at least it makes the board evolve… (Non-destructively.))

Game Maracaibo
What Seafarers journey to obtain wealth and fame in the 17th century Caribbean.
How hand management, multi-use cards, rondel, set collection …
Playtime 2 hours
BGG Weight 3.90

7. A Feast for Odin (2016)

At number 7 we have my favourite Uwe Rosenberg – A Feast for Odin. Or, Viking Tetris – a great, surprisingly thematic and well studied, game about my good old ancestors. (I can’t wait for The Norwegians expansion to be released here in France, so that it can “fix things I didn’t know was broken”.)

Game A Feast for Odin
What Puzzle together the life of a Viking village as you hunt, farm, craft, and explore.
How tile placement, worker placement, push your luck, tetrominoes …
Playtime 2 hours
BGG Weight 3.86


So, there you have it, 7-15, or rather 15-7 of my countdown. In table form it would look something like this:

Rank Item Change
7 A Feast for Odin (2016) NEW
8 Maracaibo (2020) ↑3
9 On Mars (2020) ↓1
10 Roll for the Galaxy (2014) N/A
11 Lisboa (2017) ↓4
12 Clans of Caledonia (2017) ↓6
13 Anno 1800 (2021) NEW
14 Railways of the World (2009) ↓5
15 Brass: Lancashire (2018) ↓10

Or as a 3 by 3 grid of photos I’ve taken from various gaming sessions: