Posted by: gschloesser | January 7, 2013

Top 10 of 2012 … so far!

Each year I put together my “Top 5” list for Counter magazine.  It is always very, very tough to trim my list to just five games.  Making it even more difficult is that the editor needs this list by late January, so I haven’t had the time to even make a dent in the avalanche of games that were released at the Spiel in Essen.  So, there is a significant likelihood that many games that would have made the list are omitted due to not yet being played.  I would feel much more comfortable releasing a “Best of” list in the middle of the following year.

With that caveat, I’ll contribute to the thread begun here by my good friend Kevin Bender.   Here it is:  my list of Top 10 Games from 2012 … so far!

1)  Aztlan – Intriguing game from Leo Colovini that is simple to learn, yet forces players to make tough choices throughout the game.

2)  Tzolk’in – I am not as enamored as some, but the “Mayan Calendar” mechanism is very neat.  Lots of options and paths to pursue.

3)  Ginkgopolis – In spite of being thoroughly clueless for most of my first game, I recognize that this is a very good design.  It also feels fresh.

4)  Vegas – Dice rolling fun with lots of opportunity for taunting and blaming your poor performance on bad rolls.

5)  Connections – I really enjoy Take it Easy and Waterworks, and this game is a combination of the two.  It has that “Let’s play again” factor.  Indeed, Gail and I played it 7 times in a row one evening!

6)  Star Trek Catan – I was dubious … VERY dubious.  While I am a huge Settlers fan, I have never been a Star Trek fan-boy.  I must admit, however, that the addition of the character cards is a very good feature.

7)  Kingdom of Solomon – Clever worker-placement game that requires proper timing and the ability to beat your opponents to coveted locations.  There is nothing startlingly new here, but everything blends together well to create a challenging and tense game.

8)  Lords of Waterdeep – Again, nothing really new here, but it is a solid worker placement game.  My enthusiasm has waned with repeated plays, but it is still a good game.

9)  Qin – Has some luck of the draw problems, but still lots of interesting choices with a palpable tenseness.  Plus, it plays in 20 – 30 minutes.

10)  DC Deck Building Game – While it is a very simple version of Dominion – even simpler than Ascension – it is fast and fun.  Plus, it has Aquaman!  That alone elevates it into this list!


  1. Greg, is this the Connections game you’re talking about?

    I had never heard of it, and I always know Amy will enjoy a game if it passes the “Gail Test”. :-)

  2. Hey, Bo! No, it is called “Kreuz & Quer” in German. Here is a link:

    I also have a review on this site at:

  3. Thanks, Greg. I figured that a game from 1991 wouldn’t be accurate, but that was the only thing that came up on BGG when I searched “Connections”.

    Also, nice to see it’s by the Good Doctor. That’s always a good selling point for Amy as well.

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