My Wife's Top Ten Board Games

 My wife, Sabrina, is a lovely woman inside and out. I absolutely adore her, and many people share a similar sentiment. Even some of you, dear readers, as my post about five games I just knew she would like, but doesn't ever want to play again has been my most read blog by far. If you haven't read it and are interested, you can find it here. I had questions about the games that she does like to play, and I am now obliging. 

Since this entry is about my wife's favorite games, I thought it only fair (and interesting) to discover why she enjoys each one. Every game will include her brief reasoning as to why it made her list, and I will share my level of surprise that it has risen to such heights in her esteem.

Without any further words from me, here is my wife's top ten board games.

10- Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra

Why She Likes It: My wife finds this one fairly easy to understand and she likes the components- which she referred to as "jewel-y."

My Surprise Level: Moderate. I knew that she enjoyed this tile-drafting puzzle game, but I didn't expect it to crack her top ten. This isn't one that we play too often.

9- Pandemic

Why She Likes It: She finds the theme interesting (even now- we played it for the first time in 2020, actually), and she appreciates the "straight-forward strategy." The ever increasing intensity the game provides as you progress throughout is another aspect that she mentioned as a plus. She feels that the difference between winning and losing is extremely narrow.

My Surprise Level: None. I knew that this is one of her favorites. Pandemic is one of a handful of games that she will recommend we play, and we need to play this cooperative classic more. For veteran players out there- what expansion do you recommend we try?

Pandemic set up for a game.

8- Wingspan

Why She Likes It: After she grasped the mechanisms, rules and flow of this engine-building game, her enjoyment has increased with each play. Her favorite parts are trying to be the best at the end-of-round goals and collecting as many birds as she can.

My Surprise Level: Moderate. If we had done this list after her first play and it still appeared in her top ten, I would have been beyond shocked. I wasn't sure that there would be a second play of this one. But as we have played it since, her comfort level grows with each game to the point where this is another she has requested playing. Still, I did think that this one would miss out on a top spot in favor of other games.

7- Barenpark

Why She Likes It: She enjoys the challenge of fitting the pieces together.

My Surprise Level: Moderate. It's probably slightly less than moderate, but it isn't absolutely none, either. If a polyomino game was going to be on her top ten, I thought it might be something that was simpler and quicker like Second Chance. Barenpark is a family favorite, so it's inclusion in this list isn't shocking.

6- Roll For It

Why She Likes It: For this one, she believes that it's balanced so that anyone can win because of the chance of dice rolling. The game doesn't require a whole lot of strategy.

My Surprise Level: None. Roll For It has many of the attributes my wife likes in a game. It plays fast, it's fun, and who doesn't enjoy rolling dice? I mean other than stodgy eurogamers who fail to see the luck present in their strategy games. ; )

5- Silver and Gold

Why She Likes It: My wife thinks that it's fun to win by either amassing all the gold coins or by the color bonuses on some island cards. Crossing off the boxes on the cards and filling them in is another aspect that she mentioned.

My Surprise Level: None. Flip-and-Write games have proven popular with my wife, and this one has been played many times.

4- Coup

Why She Likes It: She likes the aspect of the game where you can be whatever character you want to utilize the accompanying powers that each role has. At least you can until someone calls your bluff and you lose one of your two precious cards. There are only five characters, so a player can quickly understand what each role does.

My Surprise Level: None. We have played this game almost 150 times since I purchased it- an average of about ten plays per month. Oh, and she is always The Duke. Always.

3- Century: Golem Edition

Why She Likes It: My wife's favorite thing to do in this game is to buy the cheaper golem cards to end the game before others have worked toward the cards with a higher point value. She also likes to figure out which cards players are going for and swipe them before the other players have earned the required gems. 

My Surprise Level: None. This is another engine-building game like Wingspan that my wife's opinion of it has increased the more we've played it. And we've played this one a lot at this point. This game can play fast. Our first play took around an hour for a two-player game. Now, with much more familiarity, the two of us can knock out a game in ten-to-fifteen minutes with us both almost constantly taking turns. 

2- Run, Fight or Die: Reloaded

Why She Likes It: This game is very intense and that's a major reason why my wife loves this game. Her goal each time we play is to have the least zombies stumbling toward her and the most followers and loot cards at her disposal.

My Surprise Level: Extreme/None. Ok, I'm cheating here. I'm not surprised at all that Run, Fight or Die: Reloaded is in her top ten. It doesn't even shock me that it's reached this height. The extreme part of my surprise level, the amazing part of this to me is that she likes this game at all. 

Typically this would not resonate with my wife. This is not a theme she cares for. Neither of us enjoy horror much, and zombies might be among our least tolerable of the sub-genre. I purchased this dice game with some differentiated player powers for my gamer friends, thinking that they might enjoy it (we've never played it). But after hearing about it, she was willing to give it a try, and she loves it. 

May this be a lesson for us all- Don't allow a theme you don't care for prevent you from playing a game. It just might end up being one of your favorites.

Run, Fight, or Die: Reloaded grabs the silver medal when it comes to my wife's favorite games.

1- Ticket to Ride

Why She Likes It: "The rules are very easy to understand." That's a direct quote from my wife. During the game she wants to keep all three of her initial route cards and to build each one, even if that means getting the longest track isn't possible.

My Surprise Level: None. I knew this was one of her favorite games. It ranks highly with our entire family. This set collection, route building game is a classic and a must-have for families (if a must-have truly exists). 

Those are my wife's top ten board games. What board games does your significant other enjoy? Do you think you'd fit in with our family at the gaming table based on these games? Which would you like to play first? It would mean so much if you left a comment below!

Thank you for reading!


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