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Race for the Galaxy : The Gathering Storm expansion   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell

The best Race for the Galaxy expansion! In addition to offering new cards and start worlds it also provides the ability to play a solo game as well as add some depth to the multiplayer game. Lastly, it adds the cards needed to add a 5th player. My favorite part is the goal tokens which usually give a player victory points for having the most of something or the first to achieve something. It really adds to the base game. If you like Race, there's no reason not to get this. Enjoy!

La Citta (reprint 2007)   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
La Citta will appeal to anyone who enjoys the civilization building genre but doesn't want to spend 6 hours doing so. It plays in about 90 minutes but still provides a rich experience. Interestingly, instead of rival cities fighting they lure citizens away by having more culture. It's an interesting mechanic. If you like growing and managing a city you'll probably like this game. Enjoy!

Cyclades   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Cyclades is a great "hybrid" game. It's a cross between a European style game (auctioning) and American style (area control, attacking) and pulls them both off beautifully. The artwork and production value of the game are magnificent. Definitely top notch components! This is a game for those that like a lot of interaction. Plays great with 2-5 people with an expanding board. With multiple ways to win, this game has great replay value. Enjoy!

Roma II: Arena   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Another fantastic 2 player game. Roma II: Arena combines dice rolling with card placement. This is one of those games that "gets dice right." This game is portable, it plays quickly, and delivers a pretty full experience. It offers several choices per turn but never really "bogs down." Another game that's making the trip to Europe with me! Enjoy! PS. this game is a sequel to Roma but it is NOT an expansion - it is a full game.

7 Wonders   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
A top 15 game overall and the best game from 2010. I was fortunate enough to get it as a Christmas gift! This game is solid and the components all have lavishly beautiful artwork. It accomodates 3-7 players and it's good with any number. All actions are played simultaneously and therefore the game moves quickly. If you like a game with several different strategies (science, military, civilian, etc) then you'll probably like this game. Actually, I haven't introduced it to someone yet who hasn't liked it. This is enjoyed by hardcore gamers and casual gamers alike. If you can find it, get it. Heck, get 2. Enjoy!

Dixit   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Dixit is hands down the best party game out there. The game is simply a deck of cards with the most beautiful and bizarre artwork imaginable. Being the "story teller" is a lot of fun. This game can be incredible when you get people with different senses of humor and deep imaginations. There's already an expansion out so the game won't get boring. A top 100 game for a reason. A must have if you entertain guests. Enjoy!

Forbidden Island   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Forbidden Island is one of the best "gateway games" I've played so far. It's for 2-4 players and plays in 30 minutes or less. It's a co-operative game so everyone stays involved and you win as a team or lose as a team. It's from the designer that made Pandemic and borrows some ideas from it. This game has varying levels of difficulty and can be enjoyed by a "gamer" or the youngsters. Beautiful artwork and not intimidating. Enjoy!

Fury Of Dracula Board Game   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Fury of Dracula is a game for 2-5 players with a great theme. You will either be playing as Dracula and moving around in secret or you'll be controlling the vampire hunters who are trying to follow the trail. The game has a simple but satisfying fight mechanism that doesn't rely on a lot of dice rolling. The board itself is beautiful and fun to look at. If you love board games and the Dracula story, this one is a no brainer...just wear a scarf. Enjoy!

Gift Trap (GiftTrap) 1st Edition   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
I received this as a Christmas present this past year knowing nothing about it. This game ended up being a smash at our New Year's Eve party. This is definitely a party game of the "you don't know me as well as you think you do" variety. Lots of laughs as you find out what gifts your friends would want, and what gifts they think YOU want. This usually ends in "why on EARTH would I want [insert blank]!!!" Enjoy!

Mr. Jack Pocket Edition   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
A wonderful Christmas gift this past year! Mr. Jack Pocket Edition is more than just a miniaturized version of Mr. Jack. It actually uses different game mechanics without losing the feel or the theme of the original. It will literally fit in your pocket and we plan on taking it with us to Europe this summer. Another very good cafe or airplane game. Enjoy!

Pillars Of The Earth   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Pillars of the Earth is a worker placement game in which players are trying to build a cathedral and gain points. It's based on a novel and is very thematic. The board itself is stunning. Just beautiful! You'll be hiring craftsmen to gain points, getting the favor of the king, or going to the market and wheeling and dealing. It's a heavier strategy game but not intimidating for "non-gamers." Enjoy!

Saint Petersburg   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Saint Petersburg is a card based game for 2-4 players. Ok, I know, the box looks boring. But the game is fast paced and can get pretty intense. The game has great mechanics. For instance, each round has 4 phases but you can purchase or play cards from a different phase if they're still available. It plays quickly but you feel like you had a pretty full experience. A BGG top 100 game. Enjoy!

Animeeples: Deluxe Euro Token Set   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Let's be honest...if you're looking at buying the animeeples set you won't need much convincing from me. Agricola's little wooden disks are just plain terrible. It's unbelievable how much life these wooden tokens breathe into the game! I couldn't possibly imagine going back to using disks and cubes. You HAVE to get these! Enjoy!

Court of Medici   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Court of Medici is a game that I personally bought from this very website and enjoyed very much. It's a lightweight card game for 2 people that plays in just under 30 minutes. What's great about it is that it has more player interaction than most other card games. I also can't help but mention that the art on the cards is beautiful. It's actual Renaissance art! Enjoy!

Space Alert   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Space Alert is a PURE co-op game. In other co-op games usually one person takes charge and makes all the decisions for everyone. In Space Alert you're being attacked in real time (comes with a soundtrack) and have to react quickly. If everyone isn't on the same page you're all dead. This is an excellent game where you have to learn to trust your teammates. Enjoy!

Zombie Dice Game   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Zombie Dice is a game that's similar to Farkle or, i suppose, Yahtzee. It's purely a "push your luck" dice game. You play as a zombie and you try to get as many brains as you can before you roll 3 shotgun blasts. Its beauty is in it's simplicity and its portability. We plan on taking this game with us to Europe this summer. Braaaaaiiiiinnnnsss!

Zombie in my Pocket   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Zombie in my Pocket is a game unlike any other in my collection. This is a fantastic party game (up to 8 people) because it usually leads to everyone working together...or everyone yelling at each other (my personal favorite :P ) I love the simultaneous play because no matter how many people are playing the game always moves quickly. I own this and recommend it. Enjoy!

Hive   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Hive is a 2 player game that can be compared to chess in that there are different types of pieces that each move in different ways and there can be a satisfying amount of strategy. The goal is to surround your opponent's queen. This game is very portable (the pieces are sturdy and can be played ANYWHERE without fear). Unlike chess, this game is actually fun :P This is an EXCELLENT cafe game. Enjoy!

Thunderstone   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Thunderstone is a card drafting game much like Dominion. This game is NOT just a Dominion clone though. It provides a much different playing experience than Dominion. Plus, it actually has a theme! What we love about it is that it is more involved than Dominion and thus provides a richer experience. There's already a few expansions out there so you shouldn't get bored. Enjoy!

Dominion: Alchemy Expansion   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
This expansion includes a new type of currency: potions. The game has several action cards that are purchased with potions and give you special bonuses for using potions. It can set up some pretty interesting combinations. If you love Dominion like we do, give this expansion a try. Enjoy!

Dominion: Alchemy Expansion   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
This expansion of Dominion is the first to add a new type of currency, the potion. Some of the new cards have potions in their cost, and some give special bonuses for using potions. This sets up some interesting new card combinations and add a new layer of strategy in the game. If you love Dominion, give it a play. Enjoy!

Roll Through the Ages   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
We got this game as a wedding present and we absolutely love it! The game is essentially a portable version of Through the Ages. It is very simple to learn and easy to play but has surprising depth and replayability. I love games with multiple paths to victory. The components are great - the pegboard used to keep track of goods is an excellent idea. This game is VERY travel friendly and we plan to take it on our honeymoon. Enjoy!

Dungeon Lords   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
This is truly an upper level game, so don't introduce non-gamers to this immediately. If you're into deep, complex games,you need to check this one out. My wife and I loved it, and I'm surprised that she wasn't turned off by the vastness of it. Maybe because she won...The game has awesome components, humorous content, and a world of strategy. Enjoy!

Galaxy Trucker   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
This game is unlike any other. You start by grabbing ship pieces as fast as you can, sloppily building a ship, and watching as space pirates and meteors destroy it. My wife loves the ship building part of the game. I love watching my own ship explode. It's a blast. Enjoy!

Glory To Rome (version I.V)   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Our new favorite game! We got this as a wedding present and have already played it half a dozen times. It's a game with tons of strategy but simple game play and non-intimidating artwork. If you like role selection games (puerto rico, race for the galaxy) then get this game. Enjoy!

Mr Jack   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
My wife and I were looking for a quick and simple game to balance out our collection. Mr. Jack has enormous replayability, can be played multiple times in an hour, but still provides enough opportunity for strategy and a quality experience. Great game for non-gamers. Enjoy!

Vikings   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
This game has such a unique feel to it. I love the mechanics and strategy of the game. Basically you buy an island tile and its corresponding viking, place it on your base, and score points for having the longest island, most islands, etc. and the vikings give you points and gold. Excellent game. Enjoy!

Tikal   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Tikal is a fairly unique game with interesting mechanics. It's a tile laying game, but you move your pieces all around and try to control areas. Lots to do on each turn but not overwhelming. Usually gets pretty intense late in the game! 2-4 players, by Rio Grande, Enjoy!

A Game Of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition)   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
If you've read the books by George RR Martin you need to own this game. If you haven't read the books, you need to own this game. It's an epic game of area control, alliances, and of course deception. It seems massive but it actually plays in less than 2 hours. Oh, and try and not take it personally when you get stabbed in the back! Enjoy!

Easter Island   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Easter Island is a bit like chess. It's a 2 player game in which you try to position your pieces to reflect light into your opponents pieces. It sounds a bit odd but it actually plays very well. If you enjoy one-on-one battle of wits games, give Easter Island a try. Enjoy!

Guillotine   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
An incredibly fun end-of-the night last-call type of game. The theme and artwork are funny (killing French nobles!) but it has decent strategy too. An inexpensive game that already has earned its price for me. Enjoy!

Dominion: Intrigue   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Intrigue is aptly named because it adds a new complexity to the game: cards with more than one option on them. It allows for some new strategies and interesting decisions. Intrigue also contains the base game cards, so you could combine it with Dominion and have a 5 or 6 player game. Enjoy!

Dominion: Seaside Expansion   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Seaside is a perfect expansion. It adds new elements without changing the spirit of the base game. The pieces that come with it are top notch (gold coins that are actually metal!). The new cards themselves allow for some great new strategies (many cards last for more than 1 turn). Enjoy!

Conquest of the Empire   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Get the table extensions out! Conquest of the Empire is a massive game, but not just in size - it is very deep in its strategy, mechanics, and game pieces. This game is not for the feint of heart. This is an upper level game that will probably intimidate new gamers. This game will definitely entice experienced war gamers and those who enjoy political maneuvering games like Diplomacy. Enjoy!

Cleopatra And The Society Of Architects   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Cleopatra is a game of hand management, auctioning, and building to gain prestige points. The game has some pretty interesting risk-taking opportunities. Supports 3-5 players and can be played in about an hour. The components of the game are top notch, so even non-gamers should be drawn in. Enjoy!

Carcassonne   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Carcassonne is rated highly on boardgamegeek.com and has a massive following. At its core it's a tile laying and area control type of game. There's a lot of strategy to be found in this game, and you're sure to rile up at least one other person by blocking them! For a game with this much strategy it's hard to believe you can play it in under an hour. Enjoy!

Agricola   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Currently #1 on boardgamegeek.com, this game has unbelievable replayability and a lot of depth. Seasoned gamers will love it, and new gamers shouldn't be too overwhelmed if they're familiar with worker placement games. Supports 1-5 players and can be finished in 2 hours. You can even customize the game with animeeples and stuff like that. Enjoy!

Pandemic On The Brink Expansion - 2013 Edition   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
On The Brink is everything an expansion should be. It adds depth to an already great game - mutating strains, virulent strains, and of course, the bio terrorist. This expansion should keep Pandemic hitting your table regularly. Enjoy!

Zombie Fluxx Deck   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
If you liked Fluxx, and you love zombies, then this game is a "no brainer." Sorry, couldn't help myself. This game is designed to be interchangeable with the original Fluxx deck. If you're unfamiliar with Fluxx, it's an ever-changing card game where the goals to winning can change at a moments notice. Supports up to 6 players. Enjoy!

Zombies!!! (Widescreen Edition)   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
The game that launched a thousand sequels, Zombies!!! is an ever changing game of zombie hunting. Each turn the board grows and new zombies are added. The game has multiple ways of winning which adds strategy and depth to the game, especially when each player has a different goal in mind. Supports up to 6 player and should be embraced by hardcore and new gamers. Enjoy!

Shadows Over Camelot   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Shadows Over Camelot is an epic game that features one player as a traitor. The traitor must play a game of subtlety for the first half of the game and then do everything he can to defeat King Arthur's knights. The game has multiple ways to win and lose so each game might play out differently. It supports up to 7 players and trust me, no one gets bored. Enjoy!

Zombies!!! (Widescreen Edition)   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
The game that launched a thousand sequels...Zombies!!! is an ever changing game of zombie hunting. Each turn the board grows and new zombies are added. You can win in several ways which always adds depth and strategy to a game. Not to mention, zombies are just straight up awesome! Supports up to 6 players, but plays just as good with only 2. Enjoy!

Zombie Fluxx Deck   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
If you've played Fluxx before and you like it, Zombie Fluxx is designed to be combined into your existing Fluxx game. If you love Fluxx and zombies then buying this game is a no brainer (sorry, couldn't help myself). The game supports up to 6 players and features more than 1 way to win. Enjoy!

Shadows Over Camelot   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Shadows Over Camelot is an adventure and will end epically. While everyone is working on quests for King Arthur, someone is working against them. The traitor gets to play a game of subtlety until just the right time...and then strikes! This is a game that people can get really into and lose track of time. It's an experience. Supports up to 7 people (and no one gets bored when it's not their turn) Enjoy!

Saboteur   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
There is no better game out there to introduce to your non-gaming friends and family than Saboteur. It's the game that got me hooked. My mom even bought a copy for herself! It's an amazing light weight game that gets everyone laughing (and accusing each other of sabotage!). This can be played as a party game since it supports up to 10 people!! Just remember to work cooperatively or no one gets to the gold! Enjoy!

Red November *ND new version   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
I love Red November. It's a cooperative game, so players put their heads together to beat the game. It has a very funny theme of drunken gnomes on a submarine, and lastly it supports up to 8 people!! Although the theme is comical, serious gamers will enjoy the strategy in the game, and it has just the right amount of randomness. Enjoy!

Race For The Galaxy   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Race For The Galaxy is based off of the game Puerto Rico, and captures certain elements of it very well, while adding a vast amount of depth. RFTG already has several expansions so you won't get tired of it. Every time I play it I get a new experience. This game is for upper level gamers. Enjoy!

Ra Board Game   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Ra is a quick and easy to learn light to middle weight game that supports up to 5 players. It has a good deal of strategy and planning, but also an element of "how far can I push my luck" that always produces an uproar when a player gets greedy and has his turn blow up in his face. New gamers will love this game, guaranteed. Enjoy!

Power Grid   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Power grid is ranked #4 on boardgamegeek.com for a reason. It has a vast amount of depth for upper level players, yet an understandable game mechanic (auction) for less experienced players. Supports up to 6 players. This is the kind of game that, if you lose, you want to play it again immediately to see what you could've done better. Enjoy!

Pandemic - 2013 Edition   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Pandemic is one of the best "gateway" games out there. It is not overwhelming for new gamers, and it's such a novel game that anyone will find it appealing. It's totally co-operative and you either win as a team or lose as a team. Pandemic can get pretty intense down the stretch. Everyone should play this at least once in their lives. Enjoy!

Lost Cities card game   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Lost Cities is my absolute favorite 2 player game. It is a game of risk taking and hand management that plays quickly but has surprising depth and strategy. Made by Rio Grande and they fit everything in a neat little box. A must have. Enjoy!

Cutthroat Caverns: Deeper & Darker (expansion pack 1)   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
The first expansion to Cutthroat Caverns is a must own because it introduces more character depth to the game without changing the gameplay. Each character now has a special ability that can be used at any point in the game which adds an extra element of depth to the game. Enjoy!

Colossal Arena   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Colossal Arena has a very cool theme. The mechanic of betting on monsters/gladiators and trying to keep them alive so that your bet pays off is fun and intense (especially when your monster gets killed late in the game!). Fantasy Flight small box games are usually a safe bet and this is no exception. Supports up to 5 players. Enjoy!

Citadels - (Includes The Dark City Expansion)   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Citadels is one of the games responsible for my board game addiction. Highly replayable, great mechanics and strategy, easily taught, non-intimidating for new gamers, and downright fun. This is a very good light to medium weight game that is inexpensive and worth every penny. Fantasy Flight simply makes great products and this is one. Enjoy!

Chrononauts   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Chrononauts is a very fun light weight game of "what-ifs." The theme of the game is very interesting, in that you're trying to fix the mistakes of other time travelers. The game allows several different ways to win. Usually a good tug-of-war ensues, as players battle over highly sought after events/years. It supports 1-6 players. Enjoy!

Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Epic is the only way I can describe this game. Each and every time we play it, it comes down to the wire. The production value is fantastic, the board has moving parts, and it supports up to 7 people. You don't even need to be a BSG fan to play the game, but it sure does help! Enjoy!

Dominion   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Dominion might just be the best middle weight game out there. It will absolutely appeal to your wife (or hubby!) and your non-gamer friends. Easy to learn mechanics, each game is completely different, and lots of strategy make this game one of our most played. Enjoy!

Drakon 3rd Edition   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Drakon is almost as much of a party game as it is a strategy-tile laying game. Produced by Fantasy Flight so you know that the tiles are on top notch cardboard. Best thing is that it supports up to 6 players. Enjoy!

Condottiere   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Italian for mercenery, Condottiere is a very fun light-middle weight game. Best with 3-4, but plays well with 2. Another great Fantasy Flight small-box game and more than affordable. A great amount of skill and fun. Awesome artwork. Enjoy!

Kingsburg: To Forge A Realm Expansion   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Kingsburg's expansion does exactly what a great expansion should do: add more elements and depth to an already good game without changing the feel of it too much. What's great is that you can mix and match the new and old rules to make each game different. A great game just got better! Enjoy!

Kingsburg   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Kingsburg is a worker placement-resource gathering game that uses dice better than any other game. If you enjoy a little bit of luck with your strategy games, Kingsburg is a great choice. This game sees a lot of table time at our house. Enjoy!

Cave Troll (Second Edition)   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Cave Troll is a great light to middle-weight game that has something for everyone. It's easy to teach and has a decent amount of strategy (it even has a built-in expansion). A relatively inexpensive way to get frustrated with your friends! Made by Fantasy Flight so the production value is good as always. Enjoy!

Apples to Apples - Party Box   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Our favorite party game! Accommodates up to 10 people and is always fun. The game has hundreds of cards so no two games are similar (the game never gets stale). Blank cards are provided so you can come up with your own funny ideas. Enjoy!

Last Night On Earth - The Zombie Game   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
This game plays out like the best zombie movie ever made. Players choose roles like the Drifter or the high school quarter back and fight zombies. The game is highly replayable because there are different missions to play and many expansions. LNOE has unbelievable depth, and it just seems like they've thought of everything. The production value of the game is superb. Plays well with as low as 2 and as high as 6 players. Enjoy!

Puerto Rico   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Puerto Rico is the gold standard that all other games should be weighed against. It is made by Rio Grande games so all the chits and bits are top notch. PR has an awesome game mechanic in which each turn players choose roles which help do things like produce and trade goods. The box says 3-5 players but it plays very well with 2. Not intimidating for new gamers, but more than enough strategy for experienced players. Enjoy!

Stone Age   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
My group's favorite game to play. It's made by Rio Grande so the production value is top notch. The theme and gameplay are not intimidating for new gamers, but provide more than enough room for strategy for experienced players. Stone Age is a great intro to worker placement games and makes an excellent use of dice (rolling them to harvest resources). Enjoy!

Puerto Rico   (View Game)
   Bryan O'Connell
Currently rated as #2 on Boardgamegeek.com, this is the standard for what a great game should be. It has a brilliant mechanic of picking roles each turn to accomplish different things like trading or shipping goods. It has a great amount of strategy but is not intimidating for new gamers. It's made by Rio Grande so all the bits and pieces are excellently produced. Lastly, it says 3-5 players but it plays very well with 2. Enjoy!

 

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