I’ve been playing hobby games regularly since 2014 and my top 3 games have definitely changed over the past 7 years. It’s an always evolving scale of what I like best, and yes, some of it is certainly subjective to the time in my life. But ultimately my favorite games are ones that I always enjoy playing and they offer a great amount of variability (this is so important to me!) with their game play. So without further ado, here are my current top 3 favorite games!
Wingspan was a game that I knew in my heart I would enjoy before I played it. I LOVE birds a lot so the theme really spoke to me! Then of course, when I finally played Wingspan, I was enamored. I love the engine building, the card drafting, and that there is so much variability between each play.
The numerous bird cards that are in just the base game, plus the variety of end of round and end of game goals make each game so different. And I LOVE that. I love creating a special bird habitat and seeing all the different types of birds that come out each game.
The two expansions (European and Oceania) certainly add even more options and variability! Plus, all the fun facts about the birds on the cards and in the rule book add an element of learning that I like! This game is also so beautiful and that certainly enhances my enjoyment of it.
Wingspan is definitely a game I want to play over and over and I think it’s going to remain that way for a long time!
If you know me, you’ll know that I thoroughly enjoy the American West theme in board games. I’m not even necessarily sure why it’s such a captivating theme for me, I just find it so enjoyable. So it’s no surprise that Western Legends, a game that oozes with the American West theme would be my number two favorite game.
This game has an open world/sandbox mechanism to it and you can basically choose what you want to do throughout the game. Again, there is SO much variability in this game because there’s SO many characters that you can play and the story cards that you are fulfilling throughout the game offer up interesting twists to the “plot”. Plus, the variety of actions you can take in a game are so vast that you will have a completely different experience each time you play it!
I’ve found that every time I play this game I get so engrossed in riding around the Wild West, whether I’m mining for gold, wrangling/rustling cattle, fighting off bandits, robbing the train, playing poker, etc. it’s just such a fun time! I love that every game I play of Western Legends is so unique and that makes it such an amazing game in my mind!
1. Carson City
So, following me liking the American West theme, Carson City is another game that feels like you’re in the American West. This one is much less in your face about it than Western Legends, but the theme is DEFINITELY there. Since in the game Carson City you are literally building up the town of Carson City, it’s a fun experience of being a settler back in the 1800’s.
Yet again, this game offers variability in it’s game play through the variety of roles that are offered and the random building tiles that are put out each game. One of the things I love about Carson City are the different modules you can use in your games. The two that I like to play with most are the Horses and the Outlaws. Each adds a new element of strategy for getting points and increasing your options for actions in the game.
Another thing I really like about Carson City is it’s a worker placement game where you are not guaranteed to take the action you put your worker on. Other players can also place a worker on that action space and when it comes time to resolve that action, players duel to find out who will actually be the one to take the action. The dueling happens with a die roll, but if you don’t like that kind of luck in your games, there’s a module that removes the luck where players select a card value instead. I think the dueling definitely adds to the theme of living in the American West!
Carson City has been my favorite game for quite some time now and I think it will stay there for a long time because it’s just so full of variability, exciting options, and is always a really fun experience no matter who I’m playing it with!