The format that has become common in this meme is to take the full list of 100 games and italicize those that one owns and italicize and bold those that you both own and have played. I won't be doing that. I want to add some brief thoughts as to what I think of those games I own, and/or have played, so I will be doing several posts instead of the one.
Today, I taking the first 15 games and later posts will cover the remainder of the list.
- Bruce C. Shelley on Acquire: I picked up the most recent edition of this classic Sid Sackson boardgame when it was part of a liquidation sale at a local Wizards of the Coast store, back in the day. In the years that I have owned the game, I have yet to open it. From what I have read, and heard, about the game, I am doing myself a great disservice. I fully plan on playing this game, when and if I can convince my gaming group to take another weekend off from roleplaying.
- Nicole Lindroos on Amber Diceless: As a "how to" guide for gamemastering a roleplaying game, this product is amazing. As an actual roleplaying game itself...yawn. It is a great setting, and the bidding war during character creation is genius, but the "whoever is better wins unless player/gm are super-creative" system of resolution is kind of a cop out. If you have a great GM of a particular breed, this is a great game. If you have a great GM of a different breed or an average GM, this game can be awful. All of which is a pure product of the rules. To be honest "better person wins unless it advances the story or meets GM/Player whim" isn't a game system, it's storytelling guidelines. Once Upon A Time is as much a roleplaying game as Amber. That said, let me re-emphasize that the gamemastering techniques section of the rulebook were, and are still, ground breaking.
- Ian Livingstone on Amun-Re
- Stewart Wieck on Ars Magica: This was the first real "story driven" rpg I ever played. The system was simple when it needed to be, technical when it needed to be, and arcane when dealing with magic. The games that are "legacies" of Ars Magica are legion, all the Storyteller books for example, yet most lack the simple fun of this game. This was another game with a great section on GM-ing.
- Thomas M. Reid on Axis & Allies: This is the game, more than any other, that made me like wargaming. It isn't the most robust of wargames, but it is easy to play and understand and translates its subject well into rules format. Sure it takes hours to set up and possibly days to play, but I have some fond memories of this game. Memories which are only surpassed by my Broadsides and Boarding Parties memories.
Tracy Hickman on Battle Cry: Prior to playing this game, I imagined that all wargames needed to take a long time to play, but the Command and Colors system utilized in this game proved me wrong. The rules are simple and swift, the game almost takes longer to set up than play, and you can simulate numerous battles of the Civil War in an afternoon. This game is why I bought Battlelore.
- Philip Reed on BattleTech: My parents would have been happier if I hadn't discovered this game my Junior year of high school. Between work, baseball, and BattleTech, I didn't spend a lot of time with family. I still have yet to play the game with miniatures instead of cardboard stand ups though.
- Justin Achilli on Blood Bowl: The most recent edition, especially whatever digital rulebook is currently available, might be the most balanced and fastest playing version, but give me the crazy Second Edition with the Astrogranite gameboard and the crazy expansion books any day of the week. I want to roll numbers, not symbols. I just think the second edition did a better job of conveying the background and feel of the game, and that's why I keep coming back.
- Mike Selinker on Bohnanza
- Tom Dalgliesh on Britannia: I'm still waiting for a chance to play my beautiful Fantasy Flight Games edition.
- Greg Stolze on Button Men: A game you can play anywhere, at anytime, like while wandering through the convention halls? I'm in. This is a simple game to play that is just great, cheap, silly, fun.
- Monte Cook on Call of Cthulhu: Universally accepted as the "best" horror rpg. This is more due to the source material (and the excellent written adventures) than the rules, though those are serviceable. The one innovation that set this apart from games before it, and which has been poorly imitated later, is the addition of sanity rules by which player's characters can go mad, mad, mad I tell you. Not a great game for "campaign" play, but if it were would players ever actually be able to feel the "fear" that ought to be a part of a horror game?
- Steven E. Schend on Carcassonne: I am still waiting to crack open my copy of this game. Though I hear it is one of the great "gateway" games.
- Jeff Tidball on Car Wars: The summer after 8th grade had my friends, and me, blowing the living snot out of one another in our post-apocalyptic automobiles. I couldn't watch Mad Max without immediately wanting to play a follow up Car Wars game.
- Bill Bridges on Champions: You wouldn't know it from the current edition, but this game was once much easier to learn than D&D. Champions was the first superhero rpg I ever played, and it has set the benchmark against which all others are governed. I believe that earlier editions were more free-form and left more room for on the fly creativity. The current rules set has become very "granular" and players often take a "What is on the character sheet is what you can do approach" that wasn't emphasized in older editions. That said, this is still a great game and the best "war game" simulation of super heroic combat ever crafted. As far as playing it as an rpg, I take mine Mutants and Masterminds (though it is becoming a little to granular) or DC Heroes (my favorite superhero rpg) now. But I have to say...those days of Rob saying, "Meanwhile...back at the ranch--Pachew, Bang, Pachew," those are priceless.