Rahdo Runs Through Review – Board Game YouTube Channel

There are a lot of board games out there and every year hundreds of new one will come out. Some of them can be very expensive while other can be cheaper but offer something better.

Obviously if we want to buy them, we will try to make sure that the game is a good one for us. At least, we like it and we will have the time to play them.

Some board games can be very simple and easy to play. We can play like 15 to 30 minutes each session. There are also some that require longer time like one or two hours per play.

So, there are a lot of things to consider to make sure that the board game we buy really works for us. Otherwise, we are just wasting our money while there are other games that can be a long term one that we can invested in.

There are a lot of board game reviewers out there that can help us for this matter. One of them that I can recommend is Rahdo Runs Through channel on YouTube by Richard Ham.

Aside from just introducing us to the board game, Rahdo will show us his gameplay with the game from the first person point of view. That means we can find out the experience from our perspective of how we will play the game.

Not only that, in most of his videos, he will also talk about the strategy, the puzzle aspect of the game that we need to solve, planning and decision from each action for the game. Because of that, even though we are not interested in the game, he could actually put a story and make his show quite entertaining.

This article is just my summary or note about every game that Rahdo has done a run through for and I am interested in. Hopefully this can help you out find the board game that you are looking for or the run through from hundreds of Rahdo’s videos.

Click or tab on any sections from the table of contents to jump right to that part. Use the red arrow button on the bottom right corner of the screen to head back to the top

Table of Contents


Website: www.rahdo.com (redirect to YouTube)
Owner / Author: Richard “Rahdo” Ham
Feature: Board Game Review Vlog
Started Since: 2012
Number of Reviews: 1500+ (December 2019)

About Richard “Rahdo” Ham

Rahdo is actually the alias Richard Ham uses to play game and of course the username on BGG. In the past he was a professional videogame designer for almost 20 years. Syphon Filter is one of the title that I know and played.

Now, he dedicated his life to review board games and film a video of how to play them. It started as just a hobby with a camera from his phone back in 2012.

About a year after, he got an early retirement and decided to have a fund raiser to turn this hobby into a serious business. Every year he opens a campaign on Kickstarter platform. The first year, he got about $4,000 from about 200 backers.

By backing him, people has the chance to either vote for which board game that he will do a run through from the available ones. Or, for higher pledge they can help Rahdo decide which board game to buy and have an online play session together. For the highest pledge, he offered a glass art jewellery, ornament, or even game piece made by his wife, Jenefer Ham.

Rahdo Runs Through YouTube Channel

We can access rahdo.com, which will be redirected to his YouTube channel. As we can see like the picture below, we will have several categories of videos.

The first is the gameplay run through, which is the main content of Rahdo’s channel. Then there is the OTHER STUFF run through, which are run through for other things related to board game like gaming table, quiver card case, even some glass art made by his wife, Jen which can be meeples or other board game pieces.

The next part is the top 10 list videos. If you just want the summary for this part, maybe you can check the next section of this article.

There are also several videos about events and interviews. One of them is Rahdo play the game with other reviewer online, so maybe there might be other in the future.

Another great part of the channel is the Jen Appearances part. These are the videos where Rahdo actually play board games together with Jen instead of just Rahdo playing two players by himself. The video can be very entertaining, especially for the real time board game.

You can check out from the list below in this article for any game with Play with Jen and real time from the tags.

The last part of his channel is the Rahdo’s podcasts, labeled as Rahdo Talks Through.

Board Game Runs Through

This is the main content of his channel. He will do a run through of how to play one board game at a time. In general, each game will have three videos, an intro video, extended play, and final thoughts, although this could change depending on the complexity of the game itself.

On intro part, he will talk about the set up, describe the story or the components of the game and the goal. Then, he will play like the first couple of rounds.

On the extended part, he will continue play the game. Again, depending of the complexity of the game, he could finish the game or just stop in midways.

On the final thoughts part, he will talk his opinion about the game, what he likes and dislikes about the game, how good it is to be played in solo or in multi players. He could add more info like the designer, the artist or other similar games.

The unique thing about Rahdo’s video is that he will express his thoughts and feelings since the set up until every decision he made while playing the game. So, it’s not just what we can do in the game, but also every possible thing that could happen in later rounds.

So, instead of just general explanations, we will see a deeper planning or strategy and of course the emotion and drama as the result of that process. He could do that because he already played the game, probably a few times.

As he said on the introductory video above, to capture the essence of what it feels like to play a great modern board game.

However, not every game will be perfect, probably none of them is perfect. There will be times when we got confused with rules and play the game by breaking the rules.

We will also see that in Rahdo’s video because that is also part of the process if we buy and play the game. Which is why, at the start of every run through, Rahdo would recommend for viewers to turn on the subtitles.

Rahdo will add some notes on the video if he made a mistake about the rules using those subtitles.

Don’t forget to check out the comment section of each of the video because there may be some further discussion from other viewers. Sometimes, the designers themselves can even join in to give some update about the game.

Not every board game Rahdo would do a run through. He wouldn’t have time for that. Most of the game he chose so far are the games that might work best for him.

One of the criteria is that the game should be great or at least available for 2 player. The reason is so he could play with his partner and wife, Jen.

Of course there is always going to be some exception like a solo game. But if the solo mode is just optional game play, for the run through he will use as if we play with 2 players.

The next criteria would be a cooperative game which Rahdo and Jen can work together to win the game. Although, there are also a lot of games which are intended for 2 players to play competitively that he did a run through.

Another criteria would be that the game should be deep not just light where it doesn’t matter the choices we made for the game. If I understand correctly the game should be simple in terms of the action we can take in the game but offers meaningful way to have a plan or strategy.

Those are just the general idea. There are some exceptions here and there. Those are just for Rahdo to check out the game before giving it a try. It is possible that there are some games that he thought would be great but unfortunately not working very good for 2 players. Or they just don’t like the theme or the subject matter within the game.

Another thing is that those are just criteria from Rahdo. Since he opened a kickstarter campaign, the backers can have a say on which game he should do a run through. But mostly just voting for which of many games to do first.

There are still a chance that the backers can make Rahdo do a run through for games that he doesn’t like. Since the idea of his video is to help other people whether they should buy the  game or not, most of his videos are games which has a kickstarter campaign at the moment. That is apparently what the voters want.

So, those are things that we can expect from Rahdo’s board game run through videos. It is possible that the game we are looking for he hasn’t done a run through for it because of whatever reason.

Still, at this moment Rahdo has done a run through for over 1,500 board games. So, it’s not a bad idea to try check out first and if we can’t find anything that works for us, Rahdo is just one of the board game reviewers out there.

Rahdo Talks Through (Podcast)

Rahdo also posts his monthly podcast on YouTube starting from June 2015. If you want to subscribe you can access podcast.rahdo.com.

Usually the podcast is scheduled for the end of every month but some things could happen and Rahdo will do it late like the next week or so.

On his podcast, there are several things he usually talks about for hours. It could be about board games he recently played in the past month, the upcoming game of interest or events, some interview, Q and A session with Jen as well, or revisit for Rahdo’s previous videos.

I think the videos for podcast were uploaded in 2018. So, check the title, instead of published date for the video.

These videos of podcast are long like at least an hour. It is recommended to check the video notes to just skip to some parts that we are interested in. Maybe I would put some summary that are related to board games here in this article but not some personal info about Rahdo or Jen.

Top 10 List Videos

After hundreds of board games that Rahdo has done a run through, it is understandable that it will eventually become harder to figure out the game that we like. Unless of course, we are following him from the first video to the latest, maybe we already make a list as he do another run.

In general, the run through for specific board games will only talk about that board game. Rahdo will mention a bit for similarity with other games but it’s not going to be enough for viewers to figure out which one is better.

Which is why it is understandable that Rahdo’s backers or members will ask him to have a top 10 for specific criteria. It could be a genre, a theme, designers.

For me, this could be a great list to start filtering out from hundreds of games that Rahdo has tried. So, this section is my summary of those Rahdo’s top 10 videos. This way, I don’t have to check again his videos.

On most of Rahdo’s top 10 video’s he would state first what would be the criteria for the topic. What are the limits so the game can or can’t get into the list.

We can notice that around the mid 2015, Rahdo started doing a podcast every end of the month. On those podcast, he will also talk about the recent top 10 list and answer why some games got into the list but others didn’t.

From what I can understand, any game can be the top of the list just because they actually do better for the topic. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the overall gameplay will make the game as the best.

Nevertheless, if the topic is what we are looking for then it is worth to find some alternatives from his list.

Just remember that the list was made in the past. So, there may be a new game that can actually replace some or even all of the games. From what I know is Rahdo will sometimes revisit, maybe after 5 years, but I think it really depends on his audience.

There are also list of games that Rahdo has made but I didn’t put it here like games that will appear on Essen or the anticipated list for the next year. I think those are more like news and become irrelevant by the time we watch the video after a year or so. But at least, we can wait for the next one since we know that Rahdo will make another one again.

So, here is the list, sorted by the most recent to the oldest videos. If you want to know more about each games, check the next section. Use the search feature of the browser or from the table of content above.

Games of the Year

Rahdo Top 10 Games of 2019 (YouTube) & Revisit

Rahdo actually gave his top 30 from the revisit video. Here is the new top 10 games of 2019.

Maracaibo, Marvel Champions, Black Angel, Tiny Towns, Tapestry, Miyabi, Wingspan, The Isle of Cats, Walking in Provence, Mandala

Honorable Mentions: Aeon ‘s End: Legacy, Res Arcana, Alubari. Here are the rest of the list from number 11 to 30

Glen More II, Cities: Skylines, Coloma, Cooper Island, Aquatica, It’s Wonderful World, Solar Draft, Paris: New Eden, On Tour, Bloom Town

Fantastic Factories, The Magnificent, Ticket to Ride: London, Rush MD, The Crew, Bruxelles 1897, Trails of Tucana, Edge of Darkness, Circardians: First Light, Aerion

This is a preliminary list and will be updated in April 2020. Number 1 to 10.

Maracaibo, Marvel Champions, Black Angel, Tiny Towns, Tapestry, On Tour, Wingspan, The Isle of Cats, Cities: Skyline, Coloma

Rahdo Top 2018 Games Re-Revisit & Original List

For this list, Rahdo actually did revisit twice. The first revisit is because he hasn’t played all games from 2018 by the time of the first list, which he always does for every year.

But the second revisit is because there is a radical change made by the publisher for the game listed and Rahdo considered that as a downgrade. This was the case for Carpe Diem which was at number 1 from the original list and went to out of top 10.

Another case was for Pandemic: Fall of Rome, even though it is a stand alone game, spin off from the original, offering new mechanism, Rahdo eventually consider that as just another expansion and made room for a new game. Here is the list from number 1 to 10.

Blackout: Hong Kong, Forum Trajanum, NEOM, Gugong, Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig, Solenia, New Frontiers, Carson City: The Card Game, Underwater Cities, Teotihuacan

Here is the games that got removed from the previous list: Carpe Diem, Pandemic: Fall of Rome, Rise of Queensdale.

Rahdo Top 10 Games of 2017

Here is the original list from the end of 2017 video.

Gloomhaven, Santa Maria, Jump Drive, Dragonfire, This War of Mine, Near and Far, Charterstone, Pandemic Legacy Season 2, Castle of Burgundy the Dice Game, Pulsar 2849

From the podcast number 32, January 2018, Rahdo mentioned several honorable mentions that could get into the list after April 2018. Here is the list from the least likely to the most likely to get into the list.

Queendomino, Dragonholt, Karuba the Card Game, Gaia Project, Guilds, Paper Tales, My Story, Gentes, Agra, Riverboat, Anachrony, The Sanctuary, Hunt for The Ring, Lisboa, Spirit Island, Pandemic Rising Tide, Too Many Bones, Legends of Andor: Last Hope

Dragonfire was pulled of the list and Spirit Island entered the top 10. The revisit was done alongside the re-revisit for top games of 2018. No revisit in the following April.

On that video, Rahdo realized that Dragonfire is just another Shadowrun: Crossfire game with a different theme. He wanted for other game with original idea to get more recognition.

Rahdo Top 10 Games of 2016 Update (2017)Original list

This is a revisit from the original list in December 2016. Instead of just mentioning which game got into the top 10 and which game got replaced Rahdo create a top 25 in the new video.

Here is the top 10 from number 1 to 10.

Manhattan Project: Energy Empire, Project: Elite, Roll Player, Aeon’s End, The Networks, Mechs vs Minion, Capital, First Class, Ulm, Railroad Revolution

Here is number 11 to 25.

The Colonist, Great Western Trail, Quadropolis, A Feast for Odin, Fields of Green, The Castle of Burgundy: The Card Game, Vinhos: Deluxe Edition, Colony, Mystic Vale, Yokohama, Automobiles, Avenue, La Granja: Ni Siesta, Clank!, Beyond Baker Street

The podcast number 24, May 2017, Rahdo revisited the list again.

Scythe and Terraforming Mars were great game but it wasn’t for Rahdo and Jen because of the direct conflict. Arkham Horror: The Card Game was in number 26 or 27 but Rahdo didn’t want to keep buying new expansion every month.

He also said The Unlock and Exit or Escape Room game series could be on the list. New Bedford could be interesting but they are not going to enjoy the theme. One Deck Dungeon also could be a contender but it was very hard to get the game at that time for Rahdo who lived in Europe.

Islebound could easily made it to top 25 but at that time Rahdo hadn’t get the final version of the game. The same goes for Millennium Blades. Lorenzo il Magnefico could be the top 10 but the 2 player doesn’t work very well like with the higher player count.

Conan was another game that could be good but at that time, Rahdo already has Gloomhaven which is better and offer the same niche. Santorini also could be but Rahdo hadn’t tried the final version yet.

These are other great games that Rahdo probably will never play because of their situation, Vast: the Crystal Cavern, Seafall, Captain Sonar, Adrenaline.

Rahdo Top Games of 2015 & Revisit Video

Here is the final list of Rahdo Top Games of 2015, from number 1 to 10.

Pandemic: Legacy, Forge War, Elysium, Peloponnes The Card Game, Isle of the Skye, Adventure Land, FUSE, Above and Below, Between Two Cities, Signorie

Removed from the list: Grand Austria Hotel, Queen’s Architect, The Gallerist.

Rahdo Top Games of 2014 & Revisit Video

Here is the final list of Rahdo Top Games of 2014, from number 1 to 10.

Shadowrun: Crossfire, Roll for The Galaxy, La Granja, Kanban: The Driver’s Edition, Subdivision, Orleans, Aquasphere, The Castle of Mad King Ludwig, Paperback, Akrotiri

Removed from the original list: Alchemist, Viceroy

Honorable Mention from the original list: Escape: Zombie City, Assault on Doomrock

Rahdo Top Games of 2013 & Revisit Video

Here is the final list of Rahdo Top Games of 2013, from number 1 to 10.

Nations, Forbidden Desert, SOS Titanic, Freedom: The Underground Railroad, Glass Road, Amerigo, Bora Bora, Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends, Madeira, Bruxelles 1893,

Honorable Mentions: Russian Railroads and Spyrium

Removed from the original list: Caverna: The Cave Farmers, Pathfinder Adventure Card Games

Rahdo Top Games of 2012

Here is the list of Rahdo Top Games of 2012, from number 1 to 11.

Keyflower, Escape: Curse of the Temple, Suburbia, CO2, Legend of Andor, Palaces of Carrara, Trains, Myrmes, Morels, Lords of Waterdeep, Snowdonia

Rahdo Top Games of 2011

Here is the list of Rahdo Top Games of 2011, from number 1 to 11.

Dungeon Petz, The Castles of Burgundy, Hawaii, Trajan, Ora et Labora, Village, Last Will, Walnut Grove, Lancaster, Kingdom Builder, Helvetia

Rahdo Top Games of 2010

Here is the list of Rahdo Top Games of 2010, from number 1 to 10.

Troyes, 7 Wonders, Space Hulk Death Angel, Key Market, Fresco, Glen More, Pret-a-Porter, London, Luna, Merkator

Rahdo Top 10 Games of 2009

Here is the list of Rahdo top games of 2009, from number 1 to 11

Peloponnes, Shipyard, Macao, Alea lacta Est, At the Gates of Loyang, Carson City, Claustrophobia, Endeavor, Jaipur, Tobago, Vasco da Gama

Rahdo Top 10 Games Published Before 2009

2009 was the year Rahdo got into the world of board game. So, the game that he has since was released mostly after 2009. There were still great games that came out before 2009, some even sits as the all time top game for Rahdo. Five of these were released in 2007.

So here is the list from number 1 to 10.

Pandemic, Agricola, Dominion, Railways of the World, Glory to Rome, Notre Dame, Vikings, San Juan, Galaxy Trucker, Biblios

Rahdo actually were planning to create top 10 list for each year before 2009 but somehow the fan or backers didn’t support that. So here is the list for each year, from the podcast number 19.

2008: Dixit, Roll Through the Ages, Stone Age, Ghost Stories, Le Havre
2007: In the Year of the Dragon, Caylus Magnus Carta, Race for the Galaxy, Thebes, Brass, Hamburgum
2006:Thurn and Taxis, Blue Moon City, Through The Ages, Taluva, Drakon
2005: Runebound, Roma, Fjords, Ticket to Ride: Europe
2004: Antiquity, Saint Petersburg, Goa
2003: Carcassonne: the Castle, Attica
2002: Puerto Rico, Clans

Here are great games for Rahdo from 2000 and prior: Citadels, Lord of the Rings (2000), Tikal, Lost Cities, Ra (1999), Samurai (1998), Medici (1995), Magic The Gathering (1993), Confusion (1992), Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective (1981)

Game’s Theme and Genre

City Building Games

Rahdo Top 10 Sim City-ish Board Games (2019)

This is the list for city building board games. Most of them are tile laying games, which is very typical for this genre but each of these games can still have their own unique features. Number 1 to 10.

Subdivision, NEOM, Warsaw: City of Ruins, Cities: Skylines, The City, Suburbia, Between Two Cities, Quadropolis, Bloom Town, City Council

From the podcast number 55, December 2019, Rahdo added 3 that almost made the top 10 which are, Small City, The Capitals and Town Center. Small City and The Capitals are both a bit too long to play.

Here are other honorable mentions are Key to the City: London, Sprawlopolis, Urban Sprawl, Welcome to Centerville, High Rise.

Fantasy Games

Rahdo Top 10 Fantasy Games Revisited (2018)

The list is limited to fantasy about sword and sorcery, dungeon and dragons, goblin, trolls, fight monsters and level up. Subjective for Rahdo and Jen’s, that they enjoy the most. There are other that objectively better games.

Here is the new list 5 years later, number 1 to 10.

Gloomhaven, Dungeon Petz, Legends of Andor, Forge War, Roll Player, Aeon’s End, Near and Far, Catacombs, Dragonfire, Tiny Epic Defenders

From the podcast number 42, November 2018, Claustrophobia is in number 11. Mechs vs Minions  and Runebound (3rd ed.) are in the top 20.

Rahdo Top 10 Fantasy Board Games (2013)

Here is the original list from 2013, number 1 to 10.

Dungeon Petz, Legend of Andors, Lord of Waterdeep, Claustrophobia, Fantastiqa, The Gnomes of Zavandor, Shadowrift, Trollhalla, Drako, Runebound

Sci-fi Games

Rahdo Top 10 Sci-fi Games (2018)

These are games with sci-fi theme which mostly are about outer space, space exploration, or space civilization. But there are other like Otys, which is about the underwater world. Some games not on the list can be better in overall game but the sci-fi theme is just a skin, not really contributing to the game itself.

Roll for the Galaxy / Race for the Galaxy / Jump Drive, Project: Elite, Space Hulk: Death Angel, Gaia Project, Galaxy Trucker, Pulsar 2849, Otys, Eminent Domain, Tiny Epic Galaxies, Among the Stars

Here are some honorable mention Rahdo added from his patreon page.

Cosmic Run, Anachrony, TIME Stories, Eminent Domain: Microcosm, Temporum, Theseus: Dark Orbit, Star Trek Expeditions, Space Cadets: Away Missions, Helionox

Steampunk Rally, Clank! In Space, Destination: Neptune, Battle at Kemble’s Cascade, Ginkgopolis, Colony, Euphoria, The Captain is Dead, Space Base, Chimera Station, Apocalypse Chaos

Here are some other but the sci-fi theme is considered very thin.

Lunararchitects, Sentient, Aquasphere, Spyrium, Flatline, FUSE

Co-op Fantasy / Adventure Card Games

Rahdo Top 10 Cooperative Fantasy / Adventure Card Games (2017)

I guess the long title explains very well for the criteria of this list. They need to have a fantasy or adventure theme and we can play them cooperatively. Fantasy theme here means strictly about dungeon, dragons, wizard, sorcery, leveling character up. The last thing is that this list is strictly for card games.

Rahdo said that if the game has a main board that we will spend most of the time focusing on that board, then that is a board game. It is not a card game which then will be excluded from the list even though they use cards. Example of those games are Gloomhaven or Tiny Epic Defenders, which Rahdo often consider them as great overall game but just not for this list.

So here is the list from number 1 to 10.

Shadowrun: Crossfire, Aeon’s End, Arkham Horror: The Card Game, Shadowrift, The Big Book of Madness, Attack on Titan:  The Deck Building Game, The Goonies Adventure Card Game, The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, Goblin vs. Zombie, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Honorable mention from the podcast are:

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle, Warhammer Quest The Adventure Card Game, Rune Age, The Dragon and the Emperor, 5-Minute Dungeon, Wrathborne Champion, Fantasy Defense, Foe Hunters, Mistfall, The Red Dragon Inn: Battle for Greyport

Western Games

Rahdo Top 10 Western Games (2017)

This list is for games with the American western theme for the skin or the art. Obviously there will be some games with the shooting and killing theme which for Rahdo and Jen would be too cutthroat or too much player conflict.

However, there are also some game that has building something as the theme. Here is the list from number 1 to 10.

Walnut Grove, Great Western Trail, Homesteaders, Lewis & Clark, Gold West, Carson City, Dark Horse, Hang Town, Dice Town, Area 1851

Some honorable mentions from the podcast: Discoveries, Train Heist, Wyatt Earp.

Pirate Games

Rahdo Top 10 Pirate Games (2016)

These are games with pirate theme. Most of the pirate game out there usually involve heavy conflict between players which they don’t like. However, there are still pirate games that work for them even though not that great.

Here is the list from number 1 to 10.

Rattle, Battle Grab The Loot, Piratoons, Islebound, Dead Men Tell No Tales, Port Royale, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Grog Island, Francis Drake, Sewer Pirats, Rum & Pirates

Rahdo also mentioned two more upcoming games later in that year with the pirate theme, Admiral The Black and The Pirate Republic.

From the podcast number 18, Rahdo admitted that he didn’t have some of the games on the list, just to get the list to 10 games. Libertalia is another great game for this list but really not for Rahdo because of the conflict.

Economic Games

Dice Tower Top 10 Economic Games (2016)

This video was taken alongside the Top 10 Pickup and Deliver Games Video, also from Dice Tower channel with Tom Vasel and Jason. Almost every board game can have the economic aspect, especially for Euro style game. These list are for games where the money or resources is the main focus of the game. Player will compete to build the money instead of just using the money element as a mean to accomplish other things.

Rahdo’s list from number 1 to 10.

Kashgar: Merchant of Silk Road, CO2, Railways of the World, Stockpile, Pret-a-Porter, Last Will, Millenium Blades, Vinhos, Ground Floor, Spectaculum

Tom Vasel’s list from number 1 to 10

Power Grid, Happy Pigs, Stockpile, Russian Railroads, Green Deal, Shark, Acquire, Panic on Wall Street, Le Havre: The Inland Port, Wealth of Nations

Jason’s list from number 1 to 10.

1830: Railways and Robber Barons, Food Chain Magnate, Power Grid, Hab & Gut, Planet Steam, Acquire, Stockpile, Nautilus Industries, Panic on Wall Street, Vegas Showdown

From the podcast, Rahdo said that he could have put The Gnomes of Zavandor probably at even number 4 but he just forgot about it while making the list.

Exploration Games

Rahdo Top 10 Exploration Games (2016)

These are games where discovering is the main focus of the game. Whether it’s a world, a location, a treasure or an exit where we don’t know the location at first, and we build it over time, the longer and deeper and play it. Most of these are cooperative games.

Here is the list from number 1 to 10, based on the experience of exploration that the game can give.

The Cave, Akrotiri, Forbidden Desert, Star Trek Expedition, Space Cadets: Away Missions, Santa Cruz, Expedition Northwest Passage, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Escape: Curse of the Temple, Tobago

From the podcast, Rahdo said The 7th Continent could be on the list but no retail version yet at the time and Rahdo barely tried the prototype. Robinson Crusoe was another game mentioned on the podcast which is great as exploration game but just not for Rahdo and Jen.

Civilization Games

Rahdo Top 10 Civilization Games (2015)

This is the list of games with the civilization theme. Usually they will involve some civilization building element and at the same time, war between civilization element where players will have to tear down their effort on the first element.

However, there are still some games that doesn’t have that aggressive element towards the opponent, which Rahdo and Jen will more likely to enjoy. Or, at least the player conflict is just a small part or minimized.

Here is the list from number 1 to 10.

7 Wonders, Peloponnes, Nations, Myrmes, Race for the Galaxy, Nations the Dice Game, Roll Through the Ages, Olympos, Progress: Evolution of Technology, Antiquity

Other games mentioned on the podcast number 9, February 2016, are Through The Ages which for Rahdo, Nations kills it. Roll for the Galaxy was also mentioned but Rahdo thinks that the game is very fast and we will most likely to focus on rolling the dice and only see the result of building a civilization at the end.

Imperial Settlers was also mentioned but even though it is a great game but too mean for Rahdo.

Engine Building Games

Rahdo top 10 Engine Building Game (2015)

Rahdo said engine-building is not actually a genre. The criteria for him is that any type of game that the main focus is to create in game engine that will automate labour.

London, Glen More, Kashgar, Queen’s Architect, At the Gates of Loyang, Milestones, Prosperity, City Council, Town Center, Fleet

Jen’s List: Last Will, Troyes, Dominion: Adventure, Millennium Blades

Here are that didn’t make the list (from July 2015 Podcast). There are some that I missed because I can’t figure out the name of the game.

Almost get in the list: Lewis and Clark
Not in retail yet at the moment: Steampunk Rally
The engine building is nothing special: Imperial Settlers, Splendor, St. Petersburgh
No control of the outcome: Eminent Domain, Dominion or any deckbuilding games
Doesn’t automate labour: Orleans, Progress, Le Havre, Manhattan Project, Troyes
The engine building is only small part of the game: Race for the Galaxy, San Juan, Agricola, Isle of Trains, Roll for the Galaxy

Co-op Games

Rahdo Top 10 Co-Op Games II (2020)

This is a part 2 list, not replacing the old list.

Rahdo’s List from 1 to 10.

Gloomhaven, Marvel Champion, Aeon’s End, Tiny Epic Defenders, This War of Mine, Cities: Skyline, FUSE, Spirit Island, The Crew, Aerion

Ruel’s List, from 1 to 10.

Pandemic: Legacy Season 1. The Mind, Freedom: Underground Railroad, Escape: Curse of the Temple, Just One, Paperback, Star Trek: Panic, Kitchen Rush, Codenames: Duel, Dead of Winter

Rahdo Top 10 Co-op Games (2014)

These are games where players will have to work together or cooperatively in order to win against the game.

Pandemic, Shadowrun: Crossfire, Escape: Curse of the Temple / Zombie City, Space Hulk Death Angel, Forbidden Desert, SOS Titanic, Legends of Andor, Paperback, Assault on Doomrock, Mysterium

Honorable Mention: Hanabi

Thematic Games (Euro vs American style)

These two lists separate the board game type between the Euro Style game and American style game. Part 1 is the American style games and part 2 is the list for the Euro style games.

In general the American style game emphasize more about theme, the characters, stories, drama and usually relies heavily on luck. While the Euro style games initially are more abstract, which the theme, story or character is not really affecting the gameplay and relies heavily on planning and strategy.

However, nowadays these terms have become less meaningful as more designers will try to add both aspect to their games. Rahdo and Jen are known to prefer Euro style game to the American one.

For Rahdo, he defines that Euro sytle game are those that we play with our brain and for the American style games we play with our heart. So, the part 1 is the list of games that they both can still enjoy even if the games are not Euro style and the part 2 is games that Euro style game but has still a deep thematic gameplay.

Rahdo Top 10 Thematic Games Part 2 (2014)

Dungeon Petz, Forbidden Desert, Fresco, Legends of Andor, Myrmes, Pret a Porter, Lewis and Clark, CV, Yedo, Vinhos

Rahdo Top 10 Thematic Games Part 1 (2014)

Space Hulk Death Angel, Claustrophobia, Catacombs, Assault on Doomrock, Mansion of Madness, Galaxy Defenders, Runebound, Middle Earth Quest, Agents of SMERSH, Myth

Game Expansions, Revisit, Reprint

Dominion Expansions

Rahdo Top 11 Dominion Expansions (2019)

On the video, Rahdo also shares how he organized all of the expansions within less number of boxes. Number 1 to 11.

Cornucopia + Guilds, Nocturne, Renaissance, Alchemy, Dark Ages, Adventures, Intrigue, Empires, Seaside, Hinterlands, Prosperity

Games to 2.0 and revisit

Rahdo Top 10 Games to 2.0 (2017)

These are games that not just need to get reprinted but  some changes or revisit that can successfully increase the overall gameplay experience. Even if they only use a better art or new design for some components of the game. Of course, that the changes could be some new rules or releasing a stand alone game with simpler version.

Here is the list from number 1 to 10.

Mice and Mystics, Carnival Zombie, Adventure of D, TIME Stories, Middle Earth Quest, Assault on Doomrock, Star Trek: Expeditions, Above and Below, Space Alert, Thebes

This can be considered as a follow up for the previous list of games that need a reprint. However Rahdo said in the video that based on what he knew that time, that is not going to happen. So, instead, Rahdo added some suggestion for each game, his vision that hopefully can make the game better.

Rahdo Top 10 Games that need a Reprint (2017)

Glory to Rome, Adventure of D, Kashgar, Expedition Sumatra: Dadu Dadu, Paperclip Railways, Clinic, Aya, Urbion, Nations, Dungeon Petz

Honorary mention:  Bomb Squad, Tash Kalar. Lords of Waterdeep was also mentioned on the podcast from March 2017.

From the follow up podcast for the 2.0, podcast number 29, October 2017, Rahdo mentioned several others that almost made it to the list.

The Lord of the Rings: Dice Building Game. Archon: Glory and Machination, Android: Infiltration, Patchistory, Yedo, Thrash’n Roll

Top Expansions

Rahdo Top 10 Expansions (2016)

These are not just the best expansions that are worth to get, and also not a must have to complete the base game. The base game is actually enough, however, with the expansions, at least for Rahdo, he can appriciate the game in a new and interesting way, almost like make a new game.

Pandemic: Legacy, Agricola: Farmers of the Moor, Fleet: Artic Bounty, Russian Railroads: German Railroads, Stone Age: Style is the Goal, Concordia: Salsa, Keyflower: Merchants, Orleans: Invasion, Eminent Domain: Escalation, Viticulture: Tuscany

Games Wanting Expansions

Rahdo Top 10 Games Wanting An Expansion (2015)

This is a list for games that Rahdo thinks has the chance to get the expansion but not very likely to happen even though they need because there is a problem with the base game. Some of these games actually already has a expansion but Rahdo thinks that the expansion is not enough, or at least didn’t solve the problem. Maybe just another story or campaign will do.

This is the list from number 1 to 10. Number 1 – 5 actually share the spot because of the same reason. lack of setup variability. There are some but very minor variable but most of them the same. But Rahdo admit that these 5 games rely the variability to the players and with higher player count, they might not have a problem.

Le Havre: Inland Port, Archon: Glory & Machination, Helios, Homesteaders, Prosperity, Steam Park, Specter Ops, Versailles, Epic Resort, Star Trek: Expedition

There are other games with the same problem but Rahdo knows that they will more likely to get expansion like Orleans, and Caverna.

From his podcast episode number 6, November 2016, Rahdo took Steam Park off the list because the game did get an expansion right after Rahdo posted the video. So, to replace Steam Park, Rahdo put Ora et Labora at number 10.

Gameplay Mechanism

Rahdo Top 10 Gameplay Mechanism (2016)

This is not the list for games with unique gameplay mechanism but instead the best gameplay mechanism in the board game for Rahdo. The list is also not about the genre of the game like co-op, or real-time, but more like what we do within that genre.

Here is the list from number 1 to 10. Some of the games can have multiple gameplay mechanisms and the more they offer one of these mechanism, it’s a must have for Rahdo.

Dice Drafting (Troyes)
Multi-use Card (Glory to Rome, San Juan, La Granja)
Pool Building (Dominion)
Dice Activation (Roll for the Galaxy)
Tile Laying (Keyflower)
Card Drafting (7 Wonders)
Cycling Event Deck (Pandemic, Tiny Epic Defenders, Forbidden Desert)
Time Tracks (Glen More)
Rondels (Shipyard, Vikings)
Simultaneous Action Selection (Dungeon Petz, Fresco)

Worker Placement Games

Rahdo Top 10 Worker Placement Games Part 2 (2019)

This is the additional list to the previous one 5 years before. Like the previous list, it’s not saying that these 10 games better in overall gameplay than those on previous list but they offer something unique to the genre.

So, more popular games like Agricola, which is one of the best game of all time for Rahdo will not make it to the list. The worker placement element itself in Agricola is very standard but the other element can make a better overall playing experience. Number 1 to 10.

Gugong, Teotihuacan, Chimera Station, Spyrium, Anachrony, A Feast for Odin, The Colonists, Viticulture, Lancaster, Tale of Pirates

Rahdo Top 10 Worker Placement Games (2014)

Dungeon Petz, Tzolkin: The Mayan Calendar, Keyflower, Bruxelles 1893, Madeira, Archon: Glory & Machination, Euphoria, Vasco da Gama, Targi, Myrmes

Drafting Games

Rahdo Top 10 Drafting Games (2019)

Rahdo narrowed the list down to top 10 simultaneous action selection Drafting Games. What it means is games where player will have a hand of cards or tiles. They pick in secret one of them and give the rest to other players while other players do the same.

The card drafting also has to be the main gameplay. Not just smaller portion like Forum Trajanum.

So, this is just the subset of the bigger drafting genre. Here is the list from number 1 to 10.

7 Wonders, Notre Dame, Subdivision, Warsaw: City of Ruins, Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig, Fields of Green / Among the Stars, Key Flow, Steampunk Rally, Tybor The Builder, Boomerang

Other mentioned games are Ginkgopolis, Honshu with the Hokkaido variant. From the podcast, Rahdo added Greed, Fairy Tale, Oceanos, Ancestree, Paper Tales, Bunny Kingdom.

Deckbuilding Games

Rahdo Top 10 Deckbuilder Games (2018)

This is not a list of all time best game that happens to be a deckbuilding but these games are offering a new take of the standard deckbuilding mechanism. Like any other list, just because they introduce something new, it doesn’t mean it’s going to be a better overall gameplay. At least for Rahdo and Jen.

It is said that Dominion is the first one to introduce the deck building mechanism where player will start with a deck of low value cards which they can use to buy another with higher value ones to build a stronger deck of cards.

This list is also limited to just deck building not a bag or pool building. So, this is just for deck of cards not hand of cards.

Dominion (with all expansions), Mystic Vale, Dale of Merchants Collection, Aeon’s End Legacy, Eminent Domain, Ruthless, Chronicle of Frost, Friday, Dungeon Alliance, Fantastiqa

Other mentioned games are The Big Book of Madness, 100 Swords, Tramways, Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Card Game, Lucky’s Misadventures, Clank! Legacy, Valley of Kings.

Roll and Write Games

Rahdo Top 10 Roll and Write Games (2018)

These are games where the main game mechanism is to roll a dice or more and then we write something on paper something based on the result of the dice. In fact, if we want to consider PnP games, there are many of them but Rahdo said he will talk more about this in the podcast.

Rahdo said, while doing this video, there will be a lot of games with this genre that will come out in the next months. So, this list may become irrelevant shortly. This will not include any abstract game. Rahdo prefers game with a bit theme or story to tell or it will just become the basic game.

Here is the list from number 1 to 10.

Castle of Burgundy: The Dice Game, Steamrollers, Roll through the Ages, Avenue / Kokoro: Avenue of the Kodamas, On Tour, Saint Malo, La Granja: No Siesta, OctoDice, Cosmic Run: Rapid Fire, Expedition Sumatra: Dadu Dadu / Los Incognitos

From the podcast, Rahdo pointed out that Welcome to… will become one of the top 10. He also mentioned several others but most of them are abstract game which Rahdo doesn’t quite like it even though the game is great.

And there are some other that Rahdo hadn’t tried them out yet. Several of them are actually a Print and Paper game which anybody can play them for free.

Simultaneous Action Selection Games

Rahdo Top 10 Simltaneous Action Selection Games (2018)

These are games where players will make decision about what they want to do in the game at the same time in secrets. Then all of the players will reveal their plan together hoping that there is no crossing between any players.

This usually generate a lot of dramas, excitement, tension, because of the planning and hoping that the plan could work. Like hoping for specific number from a dice roll but in this case, the reveal is not just a number but a plan that reflects the player.

Another thing is that simultaneous action selection can make the game faster as every player take their time to plan at the same time. This is again not the list of the least to most favorite games but rather how impactful the mechanism to the overall gameplay. Here is the list from number 1 to 10.

Gloomhaven, Glass Road, Race for the Galaxy / Roll for the Galaxy, Dice Town, Dungeon Petz, Fresco, The Institute for Magical Arts, Space Race: The Card Game, Johari, K2

From the podcast number 35, April 2018, some honorable mentions are Fog of Love and Trickerion.

Rahdo pointed out that the card drafting mechanism could overlap this simultaneous action selection mechanism. So, games like 7 Wonders, Notre Dame could make it but the tension from these games is less impactful compared to number 10 of this list.

Dice Games

Rahdo Top 10 Dice Games (2017)

This list is for games that use dice rolling as the main and most part of the gameplay, not just a board game that will use dice. The Castle of Burgundy will be one of the example that will not be in this list, even though it uses dice.

Most of these has the Yahtzee mechanism where we roll a number of dices, set aside that we like with the result and roll again the rest. Then these dice will determine to generate some resources for the game.

Here is the list from number 1 to 10.

Roll for the Galaxy, Roll Player / Sagrada, Tiny Epic Galaxies, Roll through the Ages, CV, Colony, Favor of the Pharaoh, Capo de Capi, Ancient Terrible Things, Nations the Dice Game

From the podcast, Escape: Curse of the Temple, FUSE, and Project: Elite are more about the real time game for Rahdo. The dice in those games are just generators which could be replaced by other components and our focus is elsewhere.

Honorable mentions which almost made it on the list are La Granja: No Siesta and Pandemic: The Cure. Elder Sign could be but the game is too long.

Rahdo pointed out that he doesn’t like Roll to Resolve type of Dice game where we roll to see if we succeed or fail, no manipulation again with the dic. Too Many Bones is one of the example.

Elegant Games

Rahdo Top 10 Elegant Games (2017)

In general the definition of elegant is ingenious and simple but can also mean something like stylish or graceful. For Rahdo, who like more Euro style game, he will define elegant as simple thing the player need to do but very complex or a lot of things that could happen in the game.

This kind of game will force player to think and plan more because with just one simple thing the player do over and over again, but the result can affect a lot of things.

He said that abstract game will have better chance because the more they add theme to the game, the less elegant it will be. So, this list will exclude the abstract and more about subjective to Rahdo.

Dominion, Railways of the World, Forbidden Desert, Palaces of Carrara, Isle of the Skye, San Juan, Concordia, Subdivision, Capital, Adventure Land

From the podcast number 26, July 2017, Biblios, FUSE, Temporum, Tash Kalar, Rialto, Sanssouci, The Institute for Magical Art, La Isla, The Grizzled, almost made to the list.

Quadropolis, Citrus, Kingdom Builder, The Castle of Burgundy, all of them have elegant core mechanism but the extra stuff can make them complex.

Santorini and Sagrada can be considered as elegant but they are abstract game which would be one of Rahdo’s criteria for the list.

Tile Laying Games

Rahdo Top 10 Tile Laying Games (2016)

This will be limited to just tile and not cards even though they are used like a tile. Another criteria will be that the tile laying mechanism should be the main focus of the game, instead of just secondary.

Here is the list from number 1 to 10.

Suburbia, Glen More, Isle of the Skye, Subdivision, Galaxy Trucker, Quadropolis, Walnut Grove, Citrus, Akrotiri, Carcassone: The Castle

From the podcast number 18, November 2016, Keyflower could be on the list but for Rahdo the main element is the auction mechanism and tile laying is like the third one in that game. Expedition: Northwest Passage is also a great game for this list but too much conflict for Rahdo.

Sanssouci, Seeland, Vikings, Palmyra are games that almost made it to the list. The Castle of Burgundy only has that feature but the main focus is the dice, how to use the resources.

Pickup and Deliver Games

Dice Tower Top 10 Pickup and Deliver (2016)

This video is no on Rahdo’s channel but Rahdo become a guest star in Dice Tower channel with Tom Vasel and Jason. In general, pickup and deliver games are games where player will pick something up from one spot and bring them to other spot.

Actually the three of them agree that this may not be the favorite mechanism, Rahdo even say probably the least for him and Jen. Yet, they can come up with even more than 10 games that uses this mechanism to play that they enjoy.

Rahdo’s list, from number 1 to 10.

Escape: Zombie City, Forbidden Desert, Merkator, Akrotiri, Porta Nigra, Islebound, Edo, Coal Baron, The Great Heartland Hauling Co, Far Space Foundry

Tom Vasel List, from number 1 to 10.

Xia: Legends of a Drift System, World of Yo-Ho!, Spike, Flash Point: Fire Rescue, Rolling Freight, Martian Rails, Railways of the World, Return of the Heroes, Relic Runners, Twin Tin Bots

Jason List, from number 1 to 10.

Food Chain Magnate, The Great Zimbabwe, Iron Dragon, Brass, Merchant of Venus, Silverton, Serenissima, Space Dealer, Cinque Terre, Firefly: The Game

From Rahdo podcast number 11, April 2016, he added Destination: Neptune as the number 11 because a lot of people disagree about Forbidden Desert as a pickup and deliver game.

Non-Violent Gameplay Interaction Mechanism

Rahdo Top 10 Non-Violent Gameplay Interaction Mechanism (2015)

These are how games can work to generate interaction between players without direct conflict, or trying to “kill” the opponent. One of the example would be we can “attack” the opponent, but at the same time, there will be some benefit for the opponent, like on Bumping mechanism.

This way, a player is not really destroying the effort of other player completely, just a bit holding them back. On the other hand, this can even give the opportunity for the opponent to take advantage.

Here is the list and the game that applies the mechanism.

Semi Cooperative (City Council, CO2)
Share the Wealth (Lords of Waterdeep)
Carpool (Merkator)
I use your stuff (Caylus Magna Carta)
Shared Resources (Glass Road)
I split you choose (Castle of Mad King Ludwig, Biblios)
Tie the Knot (Helvetia)
Non-Hostile Takeover (Olympos)
Trade (Mundus Novus)
Bumping (Euphoria)

Honorable mention from the podcast episode 4 (September 2015) is Good Neighbor mechanism in Terra Mystica. Also in Trambahn, there is also an interesting mechanism but not really strong as interaction, what one player do can help the other to score.

Game AI

Masochistic Games

Rahdo Top 10 Masochistic Games (YouTube)

What Rahdo means with the list is games that has the punishing element to the player that ruins or hold the player’s progress. Playing these games, the pressure doesn’t come from the other player we are competing against but from the game mechanism itself.

Rahdo always characterizes him and his wife as a care bear person who prefer games that will not directly attack other players. They would rather play cooperatively against the game. Or if competitively, even if they just mind their own business, these games will be another obstacle. Crisis or resource management is probably one of the typical characteristic.

Here is the list, from number 1 to 10.

In the Year of the Dragon, Shadowrun: Crossfire, Myrmes, Peloponnes, Walnut Grove, Agricola, Notre Dame, At the Gates of Loyang, Milestones, Galaxy Trucker

Game AIs

Rahdo Top 10 Game AI (2017)

This is the list based on the AI or the systems that the game can have which can automatically make decision and affect the gameplay or player’s progress. This way, the game itself can give another challenge or puzzle to solve instead of just players competing directly with other players. So here is the general AI system and some example of games that implemented the system.

Unwitting Partners (City Council, 7 Wonders, Fresco, Gloomhaven)
Predictable Chaos (Aeon’s End, Tiny Epic Defenders, Pandemic, Gloomhaven, Diceborn Heroes)
Clock Watchers (Diceborn Heroes, Gloomhaven)
Auctioneers (Homesteaders, Fleet: Artic Bounty)
Automata (Between 2 Cities, Tesla vs Edison: Powering Up)
Strafing (Apocalypse Chaos, Space Hulk Death Angel)
Variable Programming (Gloomhaven, Assault on Doomrock)
Marching Orders (Project: Elite, Legends of Andor)
Crowd Control (Myth)
Checklist (Apocalypse Chaos, Space Cadets: Away Mission)

Underrated Games

Rahdo Top 10 Underrated Games Part 2 (2019)

This is the additional list for the previous one. The previous list has games before 2012 and this one is for games that came between 2012 and 2017.

All of these games are actually fun or even can be hard and heavy games. Unfortunately for whatever reason each of game didn’t receive enough attention as they should have. It could be about the consumer but it could also be about the publisher.

Subdivision, Queen’s Architect, The Institute for Magical Arts, Ancient Terrible Things, Praetor, Apocalypse Chaos, Space Cadets: Away Missions, Rob ‘n Run, London Dread, Paramedics: Clear!

From the podcast number 50, July 2019, Rahdo added another 15 games.

Area 1851, Citrus, Cosmic Run, CV, Destination: Neptune, Dingo’s Dream, Johari, Kashgar: Merchants of the Silk Roads, OddVille, Peloponnes The Card Game, Rattle Battle Grab The Loot, Raxxon, Riverboat, Steam Time, Swinging Jivecat Voodoo Lounge, Ulm

Rahdo Top 10 Underrated Games 2014

Here is the list of underrated games before 2012.

Legends of Andor, Dark Horse, Merkator, Hawaii, Star Trek Expeditions, Prét-á-Portér, Spectaculum, Milestones, Paperclip Railways, The Isle of Doctor Necreaux

From one of the podcast, Rahdo also pointed out that Dungeon Roll can be another game for the best underrated game.

Out of Print Games and Their Alternatives

Rahdo Top 10 OOP Alternatives (2019)

For all the games that Rahdo considered as great games, there are several that actually out of print, will not get printed again due to various reason. People then will ask what will be the similar game that we can purchase instead.

Rahdo stated himself that it would be a hard task since every game at least the one on the list is very unique. So this list is the best alternative that he can come up with for those games.

Some people might expect very obvious similarity like theme, but that is not what Rahdo did. For him this is based on the overall experience of both games, not just the theme or the genre, mechanism.

Rahdo even suggest to BGG page and a lot of other people will give more answer. So here is the list of out of print games and Rahdo’s suggestion for alternatives. The first suggestion for the OOP game came in the video and the rest came in the podcast number 42, November 2018.

Glory to Rome (La Granja, Import / Export, Mottainai)
Walnut Grove (Fields of Green, Habitat, Isle of Skye)
7th Continent (Arkham Horror: the Card Game, TIME Stories, Escape Room Games)
Carcassonne: The Castle (Mercado)
SOS Titanic (Onirim, Finished!, Friday)

Ginkgopolis (Guilds of London, Carson City, Fertility, Between Two Cities / Between Two Castle: Mad King Ludwig)
Space Hulk Death Angel (Apocalypse Chaos, Shadowrun: Crossfire, Dragonfire)
Fjords (Taluva, Kingdomino or Queendomino)
Rococo (Kanban, Shakespeare, Milestones, Concordia)
Palaces of Carrara (Isle of Skye)

Games Rahdo Disagree with BGG about

Top 10 Games Rahdo Disagree with BGG about (2018)

The list is based on Board Game Geek statistic feature for largest disparities in rating, of course between Rahdo’s rating and the whole BGG community. Rahdo will rate all of this games higher and are willing to play these games more but other people just don’t like these games for whatever reason.

It could be the theme, the art, or it feels like too hard. This is the list from number 1 to 10 with the highest disparities to the lowest. Another criteria is the games from 2016 and earlier.

Shadowrun: Crossfire, Peloponnes and Peloponnes the Card Game, Apocalypse Chaos, SOS Titanic, Subdivision, Bohnanza: The Duel, Kashgar, Spirits of the Rice Paddy, Bomb Squad, Habitats

Great Games with no Run Through

Top 10 Games Rahdo probably won’t be running through (2017)

This is the list of games that Rahdo and Jen enjoy quite a bit but because Rahdo has to prioritize other games to do a run through, he may not have the time to do for  these. Unless, there are a lot of enough people to suggest via his guild on Board Game Geek.

Rahdo said he would rank these games at least a 7 which means he likes playing them but not passionate enough.

Steam Donkey, Istanbul: Das Wurfelspiel, Trollhalla, Nautilion, Wurfel Bohnanza, PAX, Karnag, Hanging Gardens, Eaten by Zombies!, Artus

So far, Rahdo has done a run through for the Hanging Gardens.

Board Game Designers

Rahdo Top 10 Board Game Designer (2015)

Rahdo said that from most of these designers, Rahdo loves at least 3 of their games. Steve Finn at number 11, almost made it to the list due to this criteria up to the time of the video.

Stefan Feld, who has designed a lot of heavy great games which are radically different from one to another. There is always a twist, fresh, fun, deep idea and very thematic. Some of the games are La Isla, Amerigo, Trajan, Rialto, Notre Dame, Macao, In the Year of the Dragon, The Castle of Burgundy, Bora Bora, Luna, Aquasphere.

Vlaada Chvatil, known for adding so much flavour and personality to the game and the games are deeply thematic not just the skin that the decision the player will make is driven by the theme itself. Some of the games are Dungeon Petz, Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends, Galaxy Trucker.

Michael Kiesling, known for elegance about their game, very simple game play but offer wonderful, rich gameplay experience. Some of the games are Coal Baron, Tikal, Nauticus, Palaces of Carrara, Vikings, Sanssouci.

Donald X Vaccarino, known for invented the deck-building mechanism but also keep using different game mechanism for other games. Some of the games are Temporum, Greed, Kingdom Builder, Dominion.

Uwe Rosenberg, known for heavily thematic but deep euro games. Some of Rahdo favorite are Ora et Labora, Glass Road, Merkator, At the Gates of Loyang, Agricola.

Mattias Cramer, known for improving a variety of standard board game mechanism into a great game. Some of the games are Helvetia, Rococo, Lancaster, Glen More.

Xavier Georges, known for interesting, dynamic euro games which still thematic and atmospheric. Another unique feature of his design is the games can be aggressive but Rahdo and Jen can still enjoy the game. Some of the games are Ginkgopolis, Carson City, Troyes, Palais Royal.

Matt Leacock, the designer of Pandemic which introduced Rahdo to board game. Other games are Forbidden Desert and Roll Through the Ages which Rahdo consider as good.

Vital Lacerda, known for heavy economic simulation games. Only three of the games mentioned which are Vinhos, CO2, Kanban: Automotive Revolution.

Reiner Knizia, wide variety of game mechanism.  Some of the games are Qin, Blue Moon City, Carcassonne: The Castle, Spectaculum, Lost Cities, Battle Line, Prosperity, Star Trek: Expedition, Samurai.

Honorable Mention: Steve Finn, considered as king of filler games. Some of the games are: Biblios, Biblios Dice, The Institute for Magical Arts, Capo Dei Capi.

Stefan Feld Games

Rahdo Top 10 Stefan Feld Games (2017)

Stefan Feld is Rahdo most favorite board game designer. Up to the time of the video Rahdo has done a run thorugh for all of Stefan Feld’s games and will immediately do the next one to come.

The Castles of Burgundy, Trajan, Macao, Norte Dame, Amerigo, Luna, Aquasphere, The Castle the Burgundy: The Card Game, La Isla, Rialto

We can check Rahdo top games of all time for the updated list. Other Feld’s games released after the video are Jorvik, The Oracle of Delphi, The Castle of Burgundy: The Dice Game, Merlin, Forum Trajanum, Carpe Diem, Revolution of 1828 (2019). The bold ones didn’t made it to the list. Maybe we can wait for the official revisit video in the future.

From the podcast number 23, April 2017.  here is the list of the rest of Feld’s game rank for Rahdo.

11. In the Year of the Dragon, too hard and punishing.
12. Strasbourg, doesn’t support 2 players
13. The Pillars of the Earth: Builders Duel, take that element
14. Bruges, too much luck from the card
15. Oracle of Delphi, too easy and no pressure

16. Roma and Arena: Roma II, both of them are duel game
17. Spiel mitt Lukas: Dribbel-Fieber, sport theme
18. Rum and Pirates, game for kids
19. It Happens, game for kids
20. Bora Bora, very cutthroat game
21. The Name of the Rose, bad for 2 players
22. Jorvik / The Speicherstadt, too mean

Uwe Rosenberg Games

Rahdo Top 10 Uwe Rosenberg Games (2019)

This is the list of top games designed by Uwe Rosenberg. At the moment there has been about 22 games that Rahdo has played so far and here is the top 10. Most of Uwe Rosenberg’s game are worker placements games, usually a heavy one. But they also have a smaller version of the big original game.

Here is the list from number 1 to 10.

Agricola, Glass Road, Merkator, Bohnanza: The Duel, At the Gates of Loyang, Spring Meadow, A Feast for Odin, Nusfjord, Ora et Labora, Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small

From the podcast number 47, April 2019, Rahdo gave rank to the rest that he had tried. There are still other games that Rahdo hasn’t tried from Uwe Rosenberg.

11. Patchwork
12. Fields of Arle, no pressure, no objective
13. Caverna: Cave vs Cave, too cutthroat game
14. Caverna: The Cave Farmer, more about tactical game
15. Le Havre, broken rule about the loan for 2 players

16. Le Havre: Inland Port, good but no setup variability
17. Bohnanza the Dice Game, roll and write
18. Reykholt, simplified version of At the Gates of Loyang, has story driven content
19. Indian Summer, a bit too complex
20. Cottage Garden, too light

21. Farmerama, origin of resource wheel idea for the designer
22. Hengist, considered as bad

One Hit Wonders

Rahdo Top 10 One Hit Wonders (2019)

Each game listed here are great games but the designer hasn’t come up with another great game again because of various reason. Expansion doesn’t count. Another criteria is that they have to be at least four years since they released the game.

Recent one or two years might be in progress to release the new one. So, here is the list of games and their designer.

Tobago (Bruce Allen), Homesteaders (Alex Rockwell), Hawaii (Greg Daigel), Eaten by Zombies! (Max Holiday), Targi (Andreas Steiger), Myrmes (Yoann Levet), Dungeon Roll (Chris Darden), Subdivision (Lucas Hedgren), Steampunk Rally (Orin Bishop), Queen’s Architect (Volker Schachtele)

On the follow up podcast, Rahdo said that he has to take two off the list. One is Steampunk Rally, which the designer is about to release the sequel. The next one is Yoann Levet the designer of Myrmes has another game released in 2015, Tales & Games: The Grasshopper and The Ants.

Another mentioned on podcast that could be on the list, New York 1901, Space Cadets: Away Missions,  Battle at Kemble’s Cascade, Alchemist, Zombie 15′, Freedom: The Underground Railroad, Darkest Night, Arctic Scavengers.

Game Size, DIfficulty, and Player Count

Travel Games

Rahdo Top 10 Travel Games (2018)

For Rahdo, travel games means the game that he will play while traveling or on vacation. This is actually the time when Rahdo and Jen can play what they like not just for the purpose of their channel.

They are not games that can be played like filler because they can play filler games at home. So, for Rahdo, the criteria is a big box game or heavy games that they can carry the components in a tiny or at least smaller box. It doesn’t matter if the gameplay will take a big table footprint because they can always figure it out wherever hotel they stay.

Another criteria would be a game that can help to get to know strangers like Dixit or Codenames. It’s because eventually other people they meet while traveling might want to join and play the game. Good for 2 but can be played for more players.

Here is the list from number 1 to 10.

Shadowrun: Crossfire, Roll for the Galaxy, Kashgar: Merchants of the Silk Road, Glen More, Targi, Fuse, Avenue, Codename / Dixit, Capital, Ancient Terrible Things

For this video, Rahdo is joined by Cardboard Rhino, another YouTube vlogger for board games. Here is the list of her top 10 travel games that all of them can fit in her bag, from number 1 to 10.

Hive, Jaipur, Lost Cities. Troll, Skull, Cockroach Poker, Hanabi, HMS Dolores, Mintworks, Love Letter

Rahdo said from the podcast, if we want to use the same metrics as other people with the tiny filler game for travel game, here are some that could be added.

Glory to Rome, Rapa Nui, Forbidden Desert, Pandemic: The Cure, Morels, Fjords, Agricola: All Creature Big and Small, Transatlantic, Jump Drive

Gateway Games

These are lists of games for people who are new to board game. It can be considered as family game or beginner games while most of Rahdo’s videos or games choices are tend to be heavy games. These games at least for Rahdo are rather easy but fun, simple to play but atmospheric.

Hopefully after playing these games people will want to play more other games. Most of these are already available in retail at the time of the video was filmed with reasonable price not the expensive ones.

Rahdo said that these games are those that he and Jen would love to play despite the fact they no longer are newbies. Of course they have to be for 2 players or more.

We can play these games with any member of our family and have fun. Or take these games to office and play with coworker in lunch time.

These are not a countdown, which one will be better than others, but instead Rahdo suggest to look at every games and choose from any that we become interested in. Even by just the theme, or the art, we should just give it a try.

Rahdo Top 10 Gateway Games Part 2 (2017)

This is an update or revisit list since Rahdo thought that some of the games from the original list has become harder to find so it might be a good idea to update. Another added criteria, aside from just introducing newbies to the world of board games, is that Rahdo hope that people can teach themselves how to play.

The game can be great but for those who are not familiar with modern board game, reading the rulebook trying to learn new stuff can be difficult.

This War of Mine, Sagrada, Paperback, Mint Works, Medici The Card Game, Kingdomino, Barenpark, Fuse, Codenames, Avenue / Kokoro: Avenue of the Kodama

Rahdo Top 10 Gateway Games (2014)

Star Trek: Expeditions, Pandemic, D-Day Dice, Dice Town, Dominion, Lords of Waterdeep, Augustus, Roll through the Ages: The Bronze Age, Stone Age, Mondo

From the podcast number 32, January 2018, here are some honorable mention but these games probably has some issues for the purpose of gateway games.

Adventure Land, Fugitive, Honshu, Dingo’s Dream, Karuba, The Grizzled, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle, K2, Hanabi, Tale of Pirates, Garden Dice, Magic Maze, Cubist, The Castle of Burgundy: The Dice Game, New York 1901

Next Step Games

Rahdo Top 10 Next Step Games (2017)

This list is the follow up for the gateway games. After we introduce people to the board games with the gateway category, and they become interested and want to try more, this could be the list.

These recommended games were based on the popular gateway games that people will more likely to know and play. However, Rahdo didn’t want to recommend just any similar games either the theme, genre, or mechanism.

He wanted to introduce new aspect of board game experience based also from the overall gameplay. Another thing is to introduce game that a bit heavier which Rahdo and Jen would normally like.

So, here is the list of recommended next step games (bold ones) and their gateway games which are based on.

Suburbia (Ticket to Ride, city-network building), Isle of the Skye (Carcassonne, tile laying), The Big Book of Madness (Pandemic, cooperative), Valeria Card Kingdom (Catan, resource generator dice), Escape: Curse of the Temple (King of Tokyo, dice roll)

The Quest for the El Dorado (Dominion, deck building), Fresco (Stone Age / Lords of Waterdeep, worker placement), Biblios (Love Letter, interactive game), San Juan (Splendor, engine building), Between Two Cities (Sushi Go, card drafting)

From the podcast number 32, January 2018, Rahdo added some alternative for the same popular gateway games.

Via Nebula (Ticket to Ride)
Quadropolis (Carcassonne)
Islebound (Pandemic)
Kingdom Builder (Catan)
Tiny Epic Galaxies (King of Tokyo)
Orleans / Legendary (Dominion)
Charterstone (Stone Age / Lords of Waterdeep)
Fugitive (Love Letter)
London (Splendor)
The Capital (Sushi Go)

Restaurant Games

Rahdo Top 10 Restaurant Games (2017)

These are not games with restaurant or other related themes but instead what Rahdo consider as game that we can bring and play in a restaurant while waiting for the food.

Most of these are card games because of some criteria we need to consider. One thing is the table space the games will take because we will never know how big the table we will get and how they serve the food. Another thing is we should consider the damage that could happen to the game.

For example, spilling, drop some components, losing and having a hard time looking the pieces due to not very bright room. The game should be shake proof because with just a bump on the table, we could lose track of the score.

It’s better if we don’t need to read too much. Using card sleeve is recommended. Some games can be loud because of interaction or dice roll so we need to consider that as well.

The game should be fast as well or at least they are compelling enough so we will continue to play while eating or after the meal. For this list purpose, Rahdo even break his rule about for 2 player only so other people can join as well.

Fuse, Jump Drive, Roll Through the Ages, Biblios, Avenue, Codenames, Pandemic: the Cure, Dairyman, Port Royal, Saint Malo

Honorable mention from the podcast: La Granja: No Siesta, Fjords, San Juan, oddball Aeronauts, Blueprints, Harbours.

Big Games in Small Box

Rahdo Top 10 Bigger on the Inside Games (2017)

These are games with a small box but can give an experience like any game that comes with a bigger one. Rahdo could go with game that has a medium size box that can offer bigger game experience but he settled with just game with small boxes.

Since these are basically small games, they are fast, filler but can still be heavy, deep and rich. We can play most of these games in under an hour and most of them are using just cards. People can easily think that these games can even come with a bigger box with more components.

Here is the list from number 1 to 10+.

Oh My Goods! + Longsdale in Revolt (Expansion), Peloponnes: The Card Game, Fleet, Oddville, Space Hulk Death Angel, The Tiny Epic Series, The Castle of Burgundy: The Card Game, Adventure of D, Sylvion, Targi / Johari

If he included the medium sized box games, some of the contender will be Glen More, Caylus Magna Carta, Isle of Skye, Spyrium, Saint Petersburg, Glory to Rome.

Honorable mention from the podcast number 23, April 2017, are Akrotiri, Mint Works, Harbour.

2 Player Only Games

Rahdo Top 10 2 Player Only Games (2016)

These are games that can only be played with 2 players mode. Most of these games are competitive, but as for Rahdo and Jen, these games don’t have any direct conflict. More like racing for points, focusing on their own progress, probably with a bump on each other along the way.

So, this could be list for couple games. Here is the list from number 1 to 10.

Targi, Akrotiri, Jaipur, Carcassone: The Castle, Claustrophobia, Trambahn, Capo Dei Capi, Fjords, The Institute for Magical Arts, …. and then We Held Hands

Honorable mention from the podcast (#14, July 2016) are Morels, The Lost Cities, Tessen.

Patchwork could be on the list but Rahdo didn’t have the game at that time. Tash Kalar and Theseus: the Dark Orbit could be on the list but officially they are not just 2 player game.

Rahdo didn’t put 7 Wonders: Duel, more because of the direct conflict nature of the game which he thinks the game doesn’t need it. Claustrophobia is an exception for this list.

The Pillars of the Earth: The Builder’s Duel could be on the list but Jen doesn’t like that game.

Solo Games

Rahdo Top 10 Solo Games Part 1 & Part 2 (2016)

In these video, Rahdo is joined by Nick from Board Game Brawl, another YouTube channel for Board Game. Part 1 is the list from number 10 to 6 and part 2 is from number 5 to 1. These are not just games that can be played solo only but these are any games that both of them can enjoy in solo mode.

Rahdo’s list from number 1 to 10.

Shadowrun: Crossfire, Space Hulk Death Angel, SOS Titanic, Fuse, The Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game, Tiny Epic Defenders, Star Trek: Expeditions, Dungeon Roll, Adventure of D, Town Center

Nick’s list from number 1 to 10.

Kingdom Death Monster, Marvel Legendary, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Friday, Robinson Crusoe, Mage Knight, Zombie ’15: Left Alone, The Game, Justice League: Hero Dice, Assault on Doomrock

The 7th Continent was mentioned on the podcast and Rahdo agree that it can become one of the best solo. Games from the Oniverse Series like Onirim, Sylvion, Castellion are great solo but Rahdo prefer to play cooperatively.

Rahdo also pointed out that he doesn’t want to play solo games with too long playtime and not just beating our own score. Some of these games are At the Gates of Loyang, The Gallerist.

Race for the Galaxy with the expansion that offers solo variant is another contender.

Stonemaier Games, a publisher actually has a dedicated guy to create a virtual players for their game so the games will have a solo variant. The example would be Between Two Cities and Viticulture.

Hostage Negotiator and Friday are another great solo games but the problem for Rahdo is those games have only solo variant.

Filler Games

Rahdo Top 10 Filler Games Part 2 (2020)

Rahdo’s list from number 1 to 10.

Jump Drive / The City, Circle the Wagon, Mandala, FUSE, On Tour, My City, Ticket to Ride: London, Café, Fugitive, Ankh’or.

Monique and Neveen’from Before You Play YouTube Channel, here is their list:

Cabo, Parade, Hanamikoji, Biblios, Yokai Septet, For Sale, Railroad Ink, Schotten Totten, Seikatsu, 6 Nimmt.

Honorable Mention: Nanga Parbat, Fantasy Realms, Little Princess: Make Me A Planet.

Rahdo top 10 Filler Games (2015)

The criterias are 30 minutes or less, include setup, play and put them back, for 2 players. Rahdo said these are filler for them at the time and the list can easily change, probably because they can play often.

Number 1 to 10

Roll for the Galaxy, Capo Dei Capi, Jaipur, Dungeon Roll, Tiny Epic Defenders, The Institute For Magical Arts, Biblios, Cubist, Tessen, Siberia: The Card Game

In case of Roll for the Galaxy, they play a lot, making it easier to play and it become like a filler.

Here are that didn’t make the list (from June 2015 Podcast). There are some that I missed because I can’t figure out the name of the game.

Retail edition not available at the time: Cosmic Run, Nations the Dice Game
More than 30 minutes or will play more than one session: Dominion, Escape Curse of the Temple
Better with 3 player games: Dungeon of Mandom, Council of Verona, Zooloretto: the Dice Game, Goblins Drool Fairies Rule!, Cypher
Don’t like the art or theme: Adventure of D, Eaten by Zombies, Drako: Dragons and Dwarves
More for Solo: Onirim, The Isle of Doctor Necreaux
Too hard for Rahdo: Lost Cities, Battle Line
Considered as Heavy Games: Hanabi, Town Center
Still relatively new at the time: Patchwork, Harbour, Isle of Trains, Temporum
Play too much: Carcassonne: The Castle, Morels, San Juan
Don’t feel like filler: Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small, PAX, Eight minute Empire: Legends
Almost Top 10: Mondo, Limes, Port Royale, Blueprint, One Zero One, Jab: Realtime Boxing, Oddball Aeronauts

Heavy Games

Rahdo Top 10 Heavy Games II (2020)

This new list is not replacing the old list from 5 years ago but just another list. The ranking from Rahdo’s list is based on the Weight of the game from BGG.

Rahdo’s list, number 1 to 10.

Agra, The Gallerist, Cooper Island, CO2: Second Chance, Anachrony, Spirit Island, Maracaibo, A Feast for Odin, Gloomhaven, Black Angel

Jess Cassay’s List

Ginkopolis, BIOS: Origin, Pax Pamir 2nd Ed., 18XX, Brass: Birmingham, Dominant Species, Civilization, Chartered, Acquire, Food Chain Magnate

Rahdo Top 10 Heavy Games (2015)

For Rahdo, a heavy game can either has depth, which Rahdo and Jen would prefer more, or just complexity. Game with complexity tends to have a lot of rules which can change how to play the game in different situation.

However, a deep game, the gameplay is very simple, streamline but player will need to plan or think ahead for their decision in the game. More like a puzzle to solve.

Here is the list for deep, heavy games from the heaviest to the lightest.

Madeira, Vinhos, Athlas: Dual of Divinity, Zhanguo, Alchemists, Brass, Kanban: Automative Revolution, In the Year of the Dragon, Clinic, Agricola

Game Productions

Board Game Artists

Rahdo Top 10 Board Game Artists 2019

Regardless of the gameplay of the board game, these are names of top board game artist who design the art for the components, mostly the board, cover or cards according to Rahdo. So, this is not the designer of the overall gameplay, just the art.

Some games may also has several different artists to work on their component’s art. Here is the list from number 1 to 10 and some of the board games they are involved in.

Mihajlo Dimitrievski (West Kingdom, North Sea Series, Valeria Series)
Vincent Dutrait (Robinson Crusoe, Lewis and Clark, Medici)
Michael Menzel (Stone Age, Column of Fire)
David Cochard (Dungeon Petz, Menestrels)
Ryan Laukat (Above and Below, Near and Far)
Klemens Franz (Agricola, Lorenzo, Merkator)
Mr. Cuddington (Brass, Charterstone, Santorini, Steampunk Rally)
Kwanchi Moria (Catacombs, Loop Inc, Days of Ire Budapest 1956)
Arnaud Demaegd (Shakespeare, Myrmes)
Chris Quilliams (Coimbra, Pandemic, Azul, Flick ém Up Dead of Winter)

From the podcast number 48, May 2019, Rahdo added another 15 great artists. Here is the list in alphabetical order. Rahdo said in the podcast that he would put Ian O’Toole as the top 10 board game artist.

Attha Kanaani (Pandemic: Rising Tide)
Andrew Bosley (Everdell)
Beth Sobel (Wingspan)
Biboun / Christophe Fossard (Dice Forge)
Damien Mammoliti (Brass: Birmingham)

Davide Tosello (Orbis)
Ian O’Toole (Vinhos)
Jacqui Davis (Stockpile)
JJ Ariosa (Roll Player)
Juliet Breese (Keyflower)

Matthew Mizak (Iwari)
Miguel Coimbra (7 Wonders)
Weberson Santiago (The Bloody Inn)
Xavier Collette (Mysterium)
Xavier Guenniffey Durin (The Big Book of Madness)

Game with Top Production

Rahdo Top 10 Game Production (2018)

This list is about the production quality and the value of the board games. Miniatures would be excluded from the quality measures. The overall gameplay of these games may not be the best but the components, even just one of them can contribute to a better quality of the gameplay, at least for Rahdo.

The designer can choose other alternative which can be cheaper or easier and yet how they choose to go with the components will be the kind of quality measure for this list. Here is the list from number 1 to 10.

Legend of Andor, Tzolkin: The Mayan Calendar, Dungeon Petz, Mysterium, Dice Forge, EXIT the Game, This War of Mine, Catacombs (3rd edition), Rattle Battle Grab the Loot, Swinging Jivecat Voodoo Lounge

From the podcast number 33, February 2018, here are some honorable mentions. Kanban, Near and Far for their board design. Some games that offer legacy style game could made it like Gloomhaven, Charterstone and Pandemic Legacy but Rahdo wanted to give more light for other different less popular games.

Tales of Pirates almost made it to the list but they have problem with the app. Piratoons with the chest board is also an interesting one. Alchemist could also made it but only for the second edition. JamSumo with the hand crafted wood work for the board is also a candidate.

These are also some other games with one special components pieces that could made them into the list.

Forbidden Desert, Rampage, Dungeon Roll, The Captain is Dead, Chimera Station, The 7th Continent, Pandemic: The Cure, Oniverse Games, Quadropolis, Roll for the Galaxy

Board Game Boards (2018)

Rahdo has two list for the top board game boards. The first one is based on how the design can affect the overall gameplay. How the board can make the gameplay better. The second one is purely just aesthetic, how smart they represent.

Rahdo Top 10 Board Game Boards Part 2

So this is the list of the most beautiful board game boards according to Rahdo from number 1 to 10.

Runebound (3rd ed.), Dungeon Petz, Lewis and Clark, Trickerion, Column of Fire, Clans of Caledonia, Swinging Jivecat Voodoo Lounge, Mice & Mystics, The Ancient World, TIME Stories

From the podcast number 38, July 2018, here are some honorable mentions in alphabetical order.

Alien Frontiers, Anachrony, Archon: Glory and Machination, Brass, Catacombs, CO2 (1st Ed.), City of Spies: Estoril 1942, Fjords, Heroes Wanted, JamSumo, Kingdom Builder, Lord of the Rings, Mechs vs Minions, Middle-Earth Quest, Myrmes, Nauticus, Stronghold, Tikal 2, Troyes, Yamatai, Yedo

Rahdo Top 10 Board Game Boards Part 1

This is the list for the best board game board design, number 1 to 10.

Tzolkin: The Mayan Calendar, Tales of Pirates, Forbidden Desert, Near and Far / Stuffed Fables, Legends of Andor, Barbarians Invasion, Claustrophobia, Patchistory, Kanban, Tobago

From the podcast and patreon, Rahdo added some honorable mentions for the list.

The 7th Continent, Apocalypse Chaos, Black Orchestra, Burgle Bros, Dice Forge, Feast for Odin, Fresco, Helios, Battle at Kemble’s Cascade, Merkator, Otys, Rampage, Rattle Battle Grab The Loot, Saint Malo, Sanctuary, Stronghold, Space Hulk Death Angel, Village

Kickstarter Games (2016)

Rahdo Top 10 Kickstarter Games (2016)

This is a list about Kickstarter games success stories. These games are the first game from the designer or publisher and they have successfully made their path to recognition in the industry using the Kickstarted platform.

There are a lot of Kickstarter games out there and these are the best stories for Rahdo. The focus of the video is not about the game but how the designer introduce their first game and become a bigger publisher.

Forge War, Assault on Doomrock, Ancient Terrible Things, Legacy: Gears of Time, Heroes Wanted, Viticulture, Dark Horse, Canterbury, Goblins vs Zombie, Agents of SMERSH

Rahdo and Jen Overall List

Most Played Games

Rahdo Top 10 Most Played Games (2017)

These are games that Rahdo and Jen have put some serious time to play. For some of these games, Rahdo already has them for a long time before even starting his video series. So, after that, he spend most of his time trying new games. But still, for these games, they would likely to spend more time to play again.

The number of play at the time of the video starts from about 12 times which is about 20 hours of playtime. For fast or filler games they could have played like 40 to 50 times which is about 30 hours. The number also includes any expansions they buy.

The list is from number 1 to 10 for the most played in total hours not the number of session.

Gloomhaven, Agricola, Pandemic, Legends of Andor, Shadowrun: Crossfire, Dungeon Petz, Roll for the Galaxy, Fresco, Keyflower, London

From the podcast number 29, October 2017, here are some honorable mention.

Carcassonne: The Castle, Tobago, 7 Wonders, Small World, Dominion, At the Gates of Loyang, San Juan, Charterstone, The 7th Continent.

Exceptions to the Rule

Rahdo Top 10 Exceptions to the Rule (2017)

There are some rule of thumbs for Rahdo to choose any board game he would play. For example like he won’t play any game without the 2 player variant because he wants to play with his wife. If the game break the rules he wouldn’t even try it out. However, somehow, there are games that is still compelling enough and he could not say no to them.

In this video, Rahdo is joined by Efka and Elaine from the No Pun Intended YouTube channel, also with board game as the topic.

So here are the list from the three of them.

Rahdo’s list.

Space Hulk Death Angel, TIME Stories, Runebound (2nd Ed.), Theseus: Dark Orbit, Alchemidus, Qin, The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, Paperback, Forge War, Automobiles

Efka’s List

Captain Sonar, Guards of Atlantis, Insider, A Feast for Odin, Inis, Pandemic: Legacy, Star Wars: Imperial Assault, Above and Below, The Networks, Great Western Trail

Elaine’s List

Mechs vs Minions, Great Western Trail, Adrenaline, Guilds of London, Alchemists, Scythe, Memoir ’44, Insider, Two Rooms and A Boom, Seafall

Rahdo First 10 board games

Rahdo First 10 Games (2016)

This is not the best 10 first games that Rahdo ever owned but literally first 10 board games. From the podcast number 21, February 2017, we even got some follow up. The interesting thing about this list is not the game itself but more about how Rahdo evolved before becoming a full time board game reviewer.

From a total newbie about board game, his and Jen’s journey to figure out what kind of board game that they would enjoy, and many interesting way to buy the board games. Not every game they bought was a blast, or a success that they would enjoy and keep the game.

Even so, they eventually find a way to trade or sell those games and got what they like. The same experience could happen to anybody who just got into the world of board game and maybe can learn something from this story.

So, here are the games and some stories behind it.

Pandemic, the original version from 2008. He got it from a local board game store in Seattle. The clerk of the store suggested this game because Rahdo said that he and his wife loves to play video game cooperatively. The idea to try a board game came up because both of them were about to have a road trip without any internet connection. They were about to buy a travel version of scrabble but instead they got Pandemic and they love it.

Red November, was also suggested by the clerk of the store but Rahdo didn’t get this one that time. A few months later Rahdo decided to try another board game and he searched via eBay. He finally bought this used copy and they didn’t like it.

Isle of Doctor Necreaux, was another game he bought via eBay alongside Red November. They were still looking for cooperative game at that time and they love this one.

Lord of the Rings, this was their 4th and they bought it from the Board Game Geek. So, this was the time they learned about the forum which they can also buy a board game. For this game, Rahdo like it but Jen did not and this was their first disagreement. Jen doesn’t like the constant pressure from the game even though she loves the theme.

Scotland Yard, this one they also bought via Board Game Geek alongside Lord of the Rings. The game is too light for them.

Buy Low Sell High, a game with stock theme. They also bought this via BGG. They think the game is great but it is supposed to be more than 2 players. So, it’s another failure for them.

Citadels, another game they bought via BGG. From this they learned that they don’t like the cutthroat game. Somehow, they bought the used copy with the expansion which kind of mitigate it and they can enjoy the game.

Plunder, a game with pirate theme. Rahdo said they bought it because of the box which has the shape of treasure chest, just the gimmick. For this game, Jen loves it but not for Rahdo.

Carcassonne The Castle, the next game they bought via BGG. For this game, Rahdo eventually asked other member on BGG instead of just guessing which game to buy. This was a success for them.

Roll Through the Ages, was the 10th game. This was designed by Matt Leacock, which also designed Pandemic. So, at this point Rahdo started to pay attention about the designer of the game, maybe they have another game that works for them. And this one did.

Here is the podcast where Rahdo talked about the follow up stories.

Shadows over Camelot was the next game Rahdo bought via BGG. He was not sure about this game but someone convinced him to buy and it didn’t work for them, terrible for 2 players. So, they learned not to trust just any random people on BGG.

Castle Panic was the next one, still via BGG. This was another miss because the game was meant to be played competitively but they can still play cooperatively. But without the competition, the game becomes too easy for them. So, it’s another miss.

Dominion, was the next one and was a mega hit for Rahdo.

Agricola, was the next one and also a mega hit. This was when realized they could have fun with competitive game. This opened for a lot more games for Rahdo and Jen.

For the next game, Rahdo at this point learned that he could buy board game in US relatively way cheaper compared to Europe. They could even buy a new game instead of used one and still cheaper about 30%. This is the list of the game he bought at that time. He did this buy a lot of games every trip to US.

Thebes, Dungeon Lord, Thurn and Taxis, Runebound, Carson City, Catacombs, Space Alert, Galaxy Trucker, Tales of Arabian Night, Cyclades, Fjords, 2 the Mayo, Ghost Stories, Under the Shadow of the Dragon, Arkham Horror, Mr. Jack, Smallworlds, Agricola: Farmers of the Moor, Tobago.

Some of these games, they love still keep them, some they got rid of, some they love but thare are new games that could replace it. From these games they learned more about what they don’t like from a board game.

Pickup and deliver games and area control games are two that they will tend to avoid. Another one is American style games like the Arkham Horror even though they love Runebound.

There were other milestones how Rahdo evolved in his view about board game. For example, he realized that he doesn’t need to get every promo card from every game.

Another thing is that he can’t just trust any random people’s opinion from BGG. Even if that guy is Tom Vasel who was being very helpful and was one of the well known reviewers for board game.

The last part of the podcast for this topic was Rahdo learned about Math Trade from the BGG. He suggested that we should try it out and we shouldn’t be afraid because even Rahdo made a mistake. There is even a series of tutorial for this feature on his YouTube channel.

Games Rahdo and Jen Disagree on

Rahdo Top 10 Games Rahdo and Jen Disagree on (2016)

Even Rahdo and Jen can have a disagreement about board games they play for whatever reason. One can enjoy the game but not the other. Since they keep having new games coming, they probably decide to get rid of those games they can’t enjoy together.

Here are some games that they had disagree on. The bold one means Rahdo dislike it. The list is actually about the reason behind their disagreement and the games are just the representation of the reason. The reason can be about theme, unbalance game, heavy subject matter, etc.

Space Hulk Death Angel, Cthulhu Realms, New York 1901, Discoveries, Core Worlds, Village, The Lord of the Rings Dice Building Game, Battle Line, Steam Park

Games Rahdo Got Rid of

Rahdo Top 10 Games He Got Rid of (2016)

Rahdo has a list of games that he got rid of because of whatever reason. The list can be accessed from gone.rahdo.com. At the time of the video, there were about over 400 games. The three main reasons are conflict heavy, not good for 2 player or not Euro style enough.

Here is the list of the top 10 games from that list up to that date.

7 Wonders Duel, Guilds of London, Deus, Evolution, Space Alert, Robinson Crusoe, Patchistory, Stockpile, Panamax, Eldritch Horror

From the podcast number 19, December 2016, Rahdo added a few more great games that just doesn’t work for him and Jen.

Some that got mentioned are like Explorers of the North Sea, Dice City, Covert, City of Spies, Imperial Settlers, Stronghold, New Dawn, Battle for Souls, Pirates of the 7 Seas, Seasons, Star Trek, Neanderthal, The Golden Ages. There are a lot more and the reason for these is because the game is too mean for Rahdo.

Other games that got rid because of poor 2 player variant are Five Tribes, Dungeon Bazar, Grog Island, Council of 4, Francis Drake, Asgard, 504, Yunnan, Kill Shakespeare. These are great but they need more than 2 to be at best.

Games Rahdo wants to Play More

Rahdo Top 10 Games He Wants to Play More (2016)

These are games that Rahdo and Jen love and they barely discover some small part of the content. So, we can say that the games offer a lot of variants and possibilities to replay or enough contents and expansions that they just never have anytime to play. These are probably some games we can consider worth investing.

Here is the list from number 1 to 10.

Elysium, Nations, Eminent Domain, Aquaspehere, Subdivision, Bomb Squad, Kingdom Builder, The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, Galaxy Trucker, Claustrophobia

From the podcast number 18, Rahdo said the list will keep adding more. Here are some other that are tied for number 11: Automobiles, Above and Below, Islebound, The Gallerist, La Granja, Kanban, Viceroy, The Battle at Kemble’s Cascade, Kashgar, The Palaces of Carrara, Myrmes, Milestones, Edo, Shadowrift, Pret-a-Porter, Dominion.

Rahdo also said that Shadowrift could be replaced by Aeon’s End at that time. For Dominion, they actually played a lot but with all of the expansions, he wants to try them all.

Surprise Games

Rahdo Top 10 Surprise Games (2015)

These are games that Rahdo didn’t expect that they will be a great game. Rahdo at first thought the game would be very light, or they will not like it because of the theme or gameplay, but after they give it a try, they love the game. So, this is more about positive surprise, not those that disappoint. However, that doesn’t mean all of these will become the all time favorite games for Rahdo.

This is the list from the most surprises to the least.

TIME Stories, Theseus: Dark Orbit, Shadowrun: Crossfire, Brass, SOS Titanic, Kingdom Builder, Cargo Noir, Battle at Kemble’s Cascade, Olympos, The Big Book of Madness

From the podcast, Rahdo pointed out that Apocalypse Chaos was a bigger surprise than The Big Book of Madness but at that time Rahdo hadn’t played the game.

Must Have Games

Rahdo Top 10 Must Have Games – 2 (2020) Part 1 and Part 2

Rahdo’s List from 1 to 10.

Paperback, The Castles of Burgundy 20th Anniversary Ed., Gloomhaven, Troyes, The Isle of Cats, Pandemic: Legacy Season 1, Kokoro Avenue of the Kodama, Shadowrun: Crossfire Prime Runner Ed., FUSE, Roll of The Galaxy.

Shea’s List from 1 to 10

Twilight Emperium 4th Ed., Spirit Island, Gloomhaven, The Quacks of Quedlinburg, Cosmic Encounter, Telestrations, Star Realms, Crokinole, Eldritch Horror, Omen: A Reign of War

Ryan’s list from 1 to 10

Everdell, Alien Frontiers, Trickerion, Tiny Epic Galaxies, Keyflower, Alchemists, Terra Mystica, 7 Wonders Duel, Roll for the Galaxy, Merchants and Marauders

Rahdo Top 10 Must Have Games (2015)

These are games that we should consider having if we can only limited number of games, based on Rahdo. Rahdo said that he will want to play these games for hundred of times more in the future.

He also said that he should consider mixing stuff, consider these games a whole package instead of stand alone. One game can give the filler play, and the other for heavier game, one for just fun and other just the theme.

Which is why there are other games that can offer better gameplay overall but the same experience can be delivered by other games. Another criteria would be that the game must not need any expansion.

Here is the list from the most favorite to the least.

Troyes, The Castles of Burgundy, Shadowrun: Crossfire, Trajan, Glory to Rome, Forbidden Desert, Paperback, CV, Jaipur, Claustrophobia

For Jen, based on the podcast number 4, September 2015, Dungeon Petz, Roll for the Galaxy and Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar would be in the list. Agricola could be but it will need to rely on expansions.

Biblios can replace Jaipur with a lot of similarities, but Rahdo choose Jaipur for the theme, for more fun. Pandemic is also another case that can replace Forbidden Desert from the list because of the similarities and Rahdo choose the latter for the fun.

Jen’s Top 10 Games

Jen’s Top 10 Part 1 (2014) and Part 2 (2014)

This is the list of most favorite board games for Jen, Rahdo’s wife and also the playing partner. As we can see from the date it was filmed, only games up to 2014. There is no revisit or update video so far, and Rahdo has said that it is very unlikely.

Here is the top 10 from number 1 to 10. (part 2 video)

Dungeon Petz, Agricola, Escape: Curse of the The Temple, Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar, Amerigo, Bruges, Pandemic, Trajan, Hawaii, Dominion

Here is the list that almost made it to the top 10 in no particular order (Part 1 video)

Troyes, Forbidden Desert, Among the Stars, Suburbia, Fresco, The Cave, Glory to Rome, CV, Lords of Waterdeep, London, Dixit, At the Gates of Loyang, Galaxy Trucker, Confusion, Tobago, Last Will

Other mentioned games: 7 Wonders and Warsaw: City of Ruins


If we access one of his page, gone.rahdo.com, we will see a list of games that Rahdo got rid of because of whatever reason. Not because they are not great games, but they just don’t work to Rahdo and Jen’s condition. If Rahdo doesn’t keep them, those game wouldn’t get any rank from him.

So, there is a chance that other people may like those games but we can’t see them on his list of all time favorite games.

International Move

These are games that Rahdo had to get rid because they were having an international move from Malta back to live in US. One of the reason was probably the shipping cost. He also said that he lost some of them while moving.

Mechs vs. Minion, Clans of Caledonia, Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, Raiders of the North Sea, Stone Age, Lewis and Clark, Rococo, Tikal, The Colonists, Through the Desert,

ZhanGuo, Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends, Super Motherload, Blue Moon City, The Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game, Automobiles, Valley of the Kings, The Lost Expedition, Dale of Merchants, Caylus Magna Carta,

Automania, Hamburgum, The Prodigals Club, Haspelknecht, Keyper, Walnut Grove, Oceanos, Artifacts Inc., Projet: ELITE, Edo,

Transatlantic, Mangrovia, La Granja: No Siesta, Agents of SMERSH, The Hanging Gardens, New Amsterdam, Shadowrift, Citrus, Greed, Nauticus,

Isle of Trains, Caesar & Cleopatra, Tikal II: The Lost Temple, Mundus Novus, Inhabit the Earth, Prosperity, Cargo Noir, The Capitals, The Battle at Kemble’s Cascade, Saint Malo,

Small City, Garden Dice, Medici vs Strozzi, Santa Cruz, Harvest, Nefarious, London Dread, PAX, Simurgh, Word Domination,

A Tale of Pirates, Raxxon, Hellas, Pay Dirt, Bomb Squad, Temporum, Cosmic Run, Carthago: Merchants and Guilds, SUPERHOT: The Card Game, Artus,

JAB: Realtime Boxing, Spectaculum, Dingo’s Dream, Bremerhaven, Bali, Dairyman, Trollhalla, One Zero One, The Gnomes of Zavandor, Apocalypse Chaos,

Helionox: The Last Sunset, Dark Horse, Piratoons, Johari, Paramedics: Clear!, The Master of Trials: Wrath of Magmaroth, The Goonies: The Adventure Card Game, 100 Swords: The Red Dragon’s Dungeon, Wibbell++, Shadows over the Empire,

Phalanxx, Treasure Lair, Karnag, Bethel Woods, Palmyra, Paperclip Railways, Rob ‘n Run, Edge of Humanity, Adventure of D, Di Renjie,

Back to the Future: An Adventure Through Time, Serengeti: A Race For Life, The Isle of Doctor Necreaux, Bottlecap Vikings

List of Rahdo’s Board Game Run through Videos

This list is more of my Wishlist based on Rahdo’s ranking for each game. These are just notes that I need to consider before actually purchasing the game without the need to check every video of Rahdo or go through BGG forum.

Like Rahdo, maybe these games here are objectively not the best games out there but they work the best for me. However, I will include some of them that I’m interested in but maybe will work for me in the future.

Or, maybe I just love watching Rahdo and Jen play together for the couples games like Fuse, Fugitive, even the 5 minute Dungeon. Those games will require a partner which I don’t have right at the moment.

Another possible thing is that the game is not available for me to purchase from the local store. Or, the game will take too long for me to play while the only play time I have is  mostly 30 to 60 minutes, including the set up and get them back into the box.

Here is the link to the best game of all time for Rahdo, games.rahdo.com. Yes, the link will redirect us to other domain. It is also the list of every run through videos, linked to BGG forum.

Alternatively Rahdo also make a similar list on BGG. We can access the list from ranked.rahdo.com (redirect to BGG).

Below I posted the video mostly for the Extended Play for each game. Hopefully I can write up what Rahdo says on his Final Thoughts for the game below.

Obviously, I haven’t tried most of these games. So, it is possible that I could misunderstand some of the rules or the mechanics. Please do tell using the comment section below.

Pandemic (2012)

Playmode: Cooperative Game (2-4 Players)
Game Mechanism: Set Collection
Genre: Medical, Crisis, Modern Era, Tower Defense
Components: Board, Cards, Cubes, Tokens, Markers, Pawns
Cards: 118 Cards (63.5 x 88 mm) for Base Game
$40 (Base Game),
$35 or $40 (Each Expansion),
$100 (10th Anniversary)
$70 (Legacy Season 1)

Rahdo’s Rank: 1
Rahdo’s Video:
10th Anniversary Edition (Rundown, Update)
State of Emergency Expansion (Intro, Final Thoughts)
Pandemic Base Game + In the Lab Expansion (Intro, Extended, Final Thoughts)
On the Brink Expansion (Intro, Extended, Final Thoughts)
Legacy Season 1 (Intro, Extended, Final Thoughts)
BGG Overall Rank: 80+(BGG page), 7.5+ Rating, 2.4+ Weight

For Rahdo, this is like the first modern board game he ever played. He even got the original version from 2008. It introduced him and his wife to the world of board game and thus his YouTube channel.

Some people might think it’s an overrated to consider it as the number one, but it has so many memories for Rahdo and Jen. Pandemic is still a great game.

In this game, each player will have to work together to prevent disease or virus spreading from one town to another around the world.

There are several characters to play, each with different abilities. Coupled that with randomness of the cards, drawn from the deck will create different experience for each play.

The game has been reimplemented by several other Pandemic games like Iberia, Fall of Rome, Reign of Cthulhu and many others which will be listed as different game on this list, check below. Each of them will either offer a different theme or a bit different gameplay mechanism.

The Legacy Series, however, takes the same theme and gameplay as the original but they offer a campaign mode and ways to modify the board permanently.

For this game, they only have 3 big expansions, State of Emergency, In the Lab, On the Brink. All of these expansions also work for the Legacy Series at least for the season 1.

The picture above is the cover of the newer edition of Pandemic, released in 2012. From the video above, Rahdo had his 2008 version.

For the base game, we can either get the original version, the second edition or the 10th anniversary edition. The publisher may not release any original print again but we can probably get someone who sells theirs.

The 10th offers different design for the board and cards, add some miniatures for the characters, and the special box. Oddly the new designs will have problem of compatibility with the expansions. In general, the second edition is probably the best one to buy and then add the expansions.

Alternatively, if we are a die hard fan of Pandemic and yet to own any game before but willing to, we can also buy the Legacy Season 1. Even after we have finsihed the campaign, we can play the base game with it.

For the expansion, if we are not going to buy everything, The State of Emergency will add more variants to gameplay as it introduced dice rolling mechanism.

On the brink, however, will add a way to turn this game into semi cooperative. In the Lab expansions will let us play solo with an AI to play automatically. Rahdo said that we should try combining the semi co-op and the solo mode from both expansions.

The reason Rahdo and Jen really love this game is the uneven tension or threat level. Unlike other cooperative games which tend to only keep escalating the tension and we can easily lose right after, that is not the case with Pandemic.

We will get a rollercoaster feeling where right after the threat, we will get a chance to mitigate the upcoming disaster. However, that means it will require some level of preparation or planning ahead. Each play will take like 45 to 60 minutes, based on Rahdo and Jen’s play.

The designers also stated that with more players, the game will become harder. But, there is always a way to adjust the difficulty level by adding more epidemic cards.

If I remember correctly, Rahdo said that Legends of Andor has similar gameplay if we want to have a different theme. A simpler version would be Tiny Epic Defenders which instead of defending a lot of cities, we will be defending a castle and 6 regions around it.

Shadowrun: Crossfire (2014)

Playmode: Cooperative Game (1-5 Players)
Game Mechanism: Deck Building
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Futuristic
Components: Cards, Sticker, Markers, Sheets, Tokens
Cards: 240 Cards (63.5 x 88 mm), 16 Large Cards (127 x 178 mm)
Price: $60
Rahdo’s Rank: 2
Rahdo’s Video:
Shadowrun: Crossfire (Intro, Extended, Final Thoughts)
High Caliber Ops Expansion (Talkthrough)
Prime Runner Edition (Rundown)
BGG Overall Rank: 750+(BGG page), 7.2+ Rating, 2.8+ Weight

The main reason Rahdo consider this game as his number 2 all time best game, is the idea to build a character permanently through stickers. We add the stickers to the character card for additional skills.

Rahdo said that by doing so, we could actually have character we care about. For him, that what can drives him to keep playing like 100 times, combined with the expansions for missions.

What happened on the last game play can affect the later game. Also, he said that in this game, even if we have failed the mission, it’s not over yet.

We then, have to start planning how the character can escape from the mission. If we succeed, we can still get some karma point which can be used to purchase the upgrade, permanent stickers for the character.

So, on other game, if we have failed, the player will usually just stop playing the game and maybe redo the mission again later. But not here with Shadowrun: Crossfire. For Rahdo that should be the future of board game instead of just play and be done with it. The game will be very dramatic and emotionally connected.

A lot of people consider that the game is very tough, hard, unfair or brutal. Even Rahdo agree with this and can only win like 1 out of 3. But since he consider that even if we lose we can still get something, he can still have fun.

The game play time will take like 10 rounds and if we play two players, the game will take like less than 30 minutes.

It seems that the Prime Runner Edition will be a bit easier to play. The new edition will also include some new elements from the spin off game Dragonfire from the same publisher.

Personally, the theme is really not for me, probably will take a look at Dragonfire. I would love to try this game but unfortunately the game is not available on my local store.

This is really for a long term game. Buy it if the game works well with how they are intended and ready to invest for more expansion and spend time playing it.

Gloomhaven (2017)

Playmode: Solo, Cooperative (1-4 Players)
Game Mechanism: Role Playing
Genre: Fantasy
Components: Miniatures, Stands, Sheet, Board, Stickers, Cards, Tokens, Tiles
Price: $150
Rahdo’s Rank: 3
Rahdo’s Videos:
Campaign, Kickstarter (Intro, Runthrough, Extended, Final Thoughts)
FrostHaven Expansion / Standalone (Runthrough, Final Thoughts)
Jaws of the Lion Expansion / Standalone (Runthrough, Rundown & Final Thoughts)
BGG Rank: 1 (BGG Page), 8.9 Rating, 3.8+ Weight

Currently the best board game in BGG and number 3 for Rahdo. It is probably one of the heaviest game out there. This is like a Dungeon and Dragons game but without the need for a Dungeon Master.

As much as I would love to have and play this, Gloomhaven is really not a game for me right now. This is even heavier than Rahdo’s number 2, Shadowrun:Crossfire. It’s more for a long term, legacy type of game.

The game includes like 70 different scenarios and each play will take like an hour of playing. Like other legacy type of game, there will be sealed envelopes which contains different and new character, event, items that we can unlock one after another.

One thing that stands out is the fact that any player can have their own quest or mission. With other board game, all of the players usually have to stick together, completing a mission or defeating a boss, but not with Gloomhaven.

We don’t have to wait and play only with the same group of people. With any new player we can just play other scenario, like having a sidestory. They say the game is not based on scenario but instead based on the character.

Rahdo even said that Gloomhaven is not just a long term game but it is possible that we might not need other game again after this one. Like an evergreen game. Even the character has an expiration date which they will retire and the new one will replace them.

This kickstarter page still offer a link for PnP for the first scenario to try out before purchasing the complete game. The PnP can help people to have the experience about the combat part and how the dungeon works but not the whole world of Gloomhaven.

We can try 4 of the available character classes to fight against 2 type of enemies from the available 45 from the box. The game seems complex but Rahdo said that how we play the game is very simple. Each round starts with the cards, a card driven combat system, without using any dice. Instead they use modifier cards which we can add more powerful one to replace the weaker ones.

I think there is also a digital simulation from Tabletop but for the introductory scenario only as well.

Agricola (2007)

Playmode: Solo, Competitive (1-5 players)
Game Mechanism: Worker Placement
Genre: Civilization, Farming, Middle Ages
Components: Boards, Cards, Tiles, Markers, Tokens, Sheet
Card: 360 Cards (59 x 92 mm)
Price: $80
Rahdo’s Rank: 4
Rahdo’s Video:
Agricola + Farmers of Moor Expansion (Intro, Extended, Final Thoughts)
BGG Rank: 28 (BGG Page), 8.0 Rating, 3.64 Weight

The game itself is just a standard worker placement game. The most powerful aspect of Agricola is the card, specifically the occupation and minor improvement cards.

At the start of the game, each player will have 7 cards each for both type of cards randomly. These set of cards will then define a set of skills for the player that is different from their opponent or if they play again. So, the cards also offer a value for the games to be replayed with different experience.

There is no mechanism in the game that actually require the card itself but more for rules of characters that can be modified easily. But, instead of creating several fixed characters for the player to choose, Agricola offers a system that player can get more possibilities.

Of course that will add a randomness to the game but that is it. It’s just one time every start of the game. After that it will not guarantee a win for any player but instead require a skill and planning from the player to actually make those skill work for them.

Rahdo even said that Jen, who also loves the game will take like 20 minutes, planning based on the card she gets before starting the game. Then, the greatest part would be to see if the plan actually goes through.

Which is why, Agricola can be very heavy but of course the game also includes a Family variant mode which players will not use any of those cards. So, there is a flexibility from the game to adjust the difficulty because the new player will have a hard time.

Agricola is not just for a long term game that we will play over and over again but also require a long playtime per session like up to 2 hours. We have to make sure that we love this game first before actually investing to buy this game.

Otherwise we should just consider buying a simpler version like the Family Edition or the 2 player only All Big and Small Creatures. Both are a standalone game.

Rahdo also said that we should buy at least the Farmers of Moors Expansion as it also fixes some problem with the base game and offer not just more complexity to the game but force the player to take another way to play the game.

The original version of Agricola that Rahdo used on his video, actually comes with hundreds of cards for the occupation and minor improvements. However, the revised edition from the different publisher, I think, actually reduces that number and requires for people to buy separate decks as expansion.

A lot of people still say that both are still a great game. Unless we play like hundreds of time, we will probably not going to try every single possible card.

Marvel Champions: The Card Game (2019)

Rahdo”s Rank: 7
Rahdo’s Video:
Run Through (Intro, Extended, Final Thoughts)
Rise of Red Skull Expansion (Intro, Extended, Final Thoughts)
BGG (link) Rank: 90+, 8.3 Rating, 2.71 Weight
Tags: Marvel Superheroes Comic Theme, 1-4 players, Cooperative, Variable Player Powers, Cards, Tokens, Hit Point Dial, $60, Top 2019 Game, Living Card Game, Top Co-Op Games

Dungeon Petz (2011)

Rahdo’s Rank: 12+
Rahdo’s Video: Rundown
Dark Alleys Expansion (Run Through, Final Thoughts)
BGG (link) Rank: 179+, 7.5 Rating, 3.58 Weight
Tags: 2-4 Players, Fantasy Theme, Worker Placement, Boards, Tiles, Cards, Tokens, Marker, Miniatures, Competitive, Solo (fan), Rahdo Top Fantasy Game, Jen Top Game, Heavy, Rahdo Top 2011 Game

Escape: The Curse of the Temple (2012)

Rahdo’s Rank: 17+
Rahdo’s Video: Rundown
BGG (link) Rank: 487+, 7.0 Rating, 1.48 Weight
Tags: Real Time, 1-5 players, Cooperative, Jen’s Top 10, Play with Jen, Dice, Cards, Tile, Tokens, Timer, 10 Minutes, Top Co-Op Games

Forbidden Desert (2013)

Rahdo’s Rank: 20+
Rahdo’s video:
Run Through (Intro, Extended, Final Thoughts)
BGG (link) Rank: 323+, 7.2 Rating, 2.05 Weight
Tags: 2-5 players, Cooperative, Variable Player Powers, $25, Rahdo Must Have Games, Cards, Markers, Pawns, Tiles, Miniatures, Stand, Meter, Exploration theme

Wingspan (2019)

Rahdo’s Rank: 30+
Rahdo’s Video:
Run Through (Intro, Extended, Final Thoughts)
BGG (link) Rank: 22+, 8.1 Rating, 2.37 Weight
Tags: 1-5 players, Engine Building Game, Animal: Bird theme, Cards, Tokens, Dice, Dice Tower, Board, Tile, Egg Miniatures, Cube, Top 2019 Game, $60

Peloponnes Card Game (2015)

Rahdo’s Rank: 31+
Rahdo’s Video:
Run Through (Intro, Extended, Final Thoughts)
BGG (link) Rank: 3,300+, 6.8 Rating, 2.53 Weight
Tags: 2-5 players, Cards, Tokens, Civilization Theme, Competitive, Solo (official added), $20, Top Big Game in Small Box,  Top 2015 Game, Top Underrated Game

Read more from my Peloponnes Card Game Review.

Jump Drive (2017)

Rahdo’s Rank: 35+
Rahdo’s Video:
Run Through (Intro, Extended, Final Thoughts)
BGG (link) Rank: 940+, 7.0 Rating, 2.08 Weight
Tags: 2-4 Players, Cards, Tokens, Tiles, Sci-Fi Theme, Space Theme. Solo (fan), Fast, Top FIller Games

Targi (2012)

Rahdo’s Rank: 47+
Rahdo’s Video:
Runthrough (Intro, Extended, Final Thoughts)
The Expansion (Live Playthrough)
BGG (link) Rank: 129+, 7.6 Rating, 2.35 Weight
Tags: 2 players only, Worker Placement, Cards, Tokens, Coins, Markers, Tiles, Top Worker Placement Game, Top Travel Game, Top Big Game in Small Box, Top 2 Player Game, Top One Hit Wonder Designer

Miyabi (2019)

Rahdo’s Rank: 48+
Rahdo’s Video:
Run Through (Intro, Extended, Final Thoughts)
BGG (link) Rank: 3,000+, 7.4 Rating, 2.00 Weight
Tags: 2-4 players, boards, Tile Laying, Competitive, Tiles, marker, token, miniature, Japan Theme, Garden theme

Tiny Epic Defenders (2018, 2nd Ed.)

Rahdo’s Rank: 51+
Rahdo’s Video:
1st Edition Prototype Run Through (Intro, Extended, Final Thoughts)
2nd Edition (Talkthrough)
Dark War Expansion (Talkthrough)
BGG (link) Rank: 1700+, 7.3 Rating, 2.04 Weight (2nd Ed.)
Tags: 1-4 Players, Cooperative, Fantasy theme, Medieval Theme, Variable Player Powers, Tower Defense, Itemeeples, Cards, Top Fantasy Game, Top Big Game in Small Box, Top Solo Game, Top Filler Game, $30, Top Co-Op Games

San Juan (2014, 2nd Ed.)

Rahdo’s Rank: 63+
Rahdo’s Video:
Run Through (Intro, Extended, Final Thoughts)
BGG (link) Rank: 293+, 7.5 Rating, 2.08 Weight
Tags: 2-4 players, City Building, Cards, Multi Use Card, Top  2004 Game, Top Elegant Game, Top Next Step Game, Top Filler Game,  Top Most Played Game, $35

First Class: All Aboard the Orient Express! (2016)

Rahdo’s Rank: 78+
Rahdo’s Video:
Run Through (Gameplay, Final Thoughts)
BGG (link) Rank: 350+, 7.5 Rating, 2.78 Weight
Tags: Cards, boards, 1-4 players, tableau building, Solo, token, tile, cubes, meeple, marker, $50, Top 2016 Game

Mandala (2019)

Rahdo’s Rank: 80+
Rahdo’s Video: Mandala (Rundown)
BGG (link) Rank: 1,300+, 7.7 Rating, 1.89 Weight
Tags: Abstract, Area Control, Card, Playmat, 2 Players, Top 2019 Game, Top Filler Games

Suburbia (2012)

Rahdo’s Rank: 87+
Rahdo’s Video:
Base Game (Rundown)
Suburbia Inc Expansion Run Through (Gameplay, Final Thoughts)
Suburbia 5 Star (Talk Through)
Collector’s Edition (Rundown)
BGG (link) Rank: 100+, 7.5 Rating, 2.77 Weight
Tags: City Building, 1-4 players, Tile Laying, Hexagon Tile, boards, $60, Cubes, Marker, Tokens, Top Tile Laying Game, Top City Building Game, Jen Top Games, Top Next Step Game, Top 2012 Game

Solenia (2018)

Rahdo’s Rank: 102+
Rahdo’s Video:
Run Through (Gameplay, Final Thoughts)
BGG (link) Rank: 1,300+, 7.2 Rating, 2.28 Weight
Tags: 1-4 players, Competitive, Worker Placement, Cards, Boards, Dice, Tokens, Figurine, Tiles, $50, Top 2018 Game

Solar Draft (2019)

Rahdo’s Rank: 106+
Rahdo’s Video:
Run Through (Gameplay, Final Thoughts)
BGG (link) Rank: 9,000+, 6.8 Rating, 1.5 Weight
Tags: Exploration theme, Space theme, Cards, Set Collection, Variable Player Powers, Card Drafting, $22, 2-4 players, Filler

Fantastic Factories (2019)

Rahdo ‘s Rank: 120+
Rahdo’s Video:
Run Through (Gameplay, Final Thoughts)
BGG (link) Rank: 1700+, 7.5 Rating, 2.38 Weight
Tags: Engine Building, City Building, 1-5 players, dice, tokens, cards, boards, Solo (official), $40, Fast

Aerion (2019)

Rahdo’s Rank: 158+
Rahdo’s Video:
Run Through (Intro, Extended, Final Thoughts)
BGG (link) Rank: 2,200+, 7.6 Rating, 1.87 Weight
Tags: 1-2 Players, Cards, Dice, Tokens, Pawn, Gateway, Solo (official), $25, Cooperative, Fast, Aviation Theme, Yahtzee style game, Top 2019 Game, Top Co-Op Games

Key Flow (2018)

Rahdo’s Rank: 161+
Rahdo’s Video:
Run Through (Intro, Extended, Final Thoughts)
BGG (link) Rank: 1,500+, 7.5 Rating, 2.84 Weight
Tags: 2-6 players, City Building, Medieval, Farming, Card Drafting, Worker Placement, Cards, Tiles, Token, $50, Top Drafting Game

OddVille (2012)

Rahdo’s Rank: 166+
Rahdo’s Video:
Run Through (Intro, Extended, Final Thoughts)
BGG (link) Rank: 1,600+, 6.8 Rating, 2.35 Weight
Tags: 2-4 Players, Cards. Board, Meeples, Worker Placement, Tile / Card Laying, City Building, Top Underrated Game, Top Big Game in Small Box

Akrotiri (2014)

Rahdo’s Rank: 182+
Rahdo’s Video:
Run Through (Intro, Extended, Final Thoughts)
BGG (link) Rank: 644+, 7.3 Rating, 2.66 Weight
Tags: 2 Players, Civilization Theme, Exploration Theme, Greek Theme, Board, Cards, Tiles, Cubes, Tokens, Markers, $33, Top 2014 Game, Top Exploration Game, Top Tile Laying Game, Top Pickup and Deliver Game, Top Big Game in Small Box, Top 2 Player only Game

Jaipur (2009)

Rahdo’s Rank: 183+
Rahdo’s Video:
Run Through (Intro, Extended, Final Thoughts)
BGG (link) Rank: 100+, 7.5 Rating, 1.51 Weight
Tags: 2 players, Cards, Tokens, Set Collection, Card Drafting, $25, Rahdo Restaurant Game, Fast, Solo (fan), Top 2009 Game, Top 2P only Game, Top Filler Game, Top Must Have Game

The Big Book of Madness (2015)

Rahdo’s Rank: 222+
Rahdo’s Video:
Run Through (Intro, Extended, Final Thoughts)
BGG (link) Rank: 750+, 7.0 Rating, 2.72 Weight
Tags: Deck Building, Cooperative, Wizard Sorcery Theme, Variable Player Powers, $40, Cards, Board, Tokens, Marker, Board, 2-5 Players, Top Co-op Adventure Fantasy Card Game, Top Deckbuilding Game

Learn more from my The Big Book of Madness Review.

Tybor the Builder (2017)

Rahdo’s Rank: 256+
Rahdo’s Video:
Run Through (Intro, Extended, Final Thoughts)
BGG Rank (link): 2150+, 7.0 Rating, 1.96 Weight
Tags: 2-4 players, $16, Card Drafting, Solo (fan), Multi Use Cards, Filler, Fast, Narrative Story, Set Collection, Top Drafting Game

Read more from my Tybor the Builder Review.

Fleet (2012)

Rahdo’s Rank: 262+
Rahdo’s Video: Rundown
Artic Bounty Expansion (Intro, Extended, Final Thoughts)
BGG (link) Rank: 850+, 6.9 Rating, 2.24 Weight
Tags: Nautical Theme, Auction Game, Cards, Cubes, Marker, Top Engine Building Game, Solo (Exp.), Top Expansion, Top Big Game in Small Box

Milestones (2012)

Rahdo’s Rank: 265+
Rahdo’s Video: Rundown 
BGG (link) Rank: 2,386+, 6.6 Rating, 2.6 Weight
Tags: City Building, Engine Building, 2-4 players, Boards, markers, tiles, cubes, pieces, Tactical, Medium Weight, Top Engine Building Game, Top Masochistic Game, Top Underrated Game

Walking in Burano (2018)

Rahdo’s Rank: 268+
Rahdo’s Video:
Run Through (Gameplay, Final Thoughts)
BGG (link) Rank: 1600+, 7.3 Rating, 2.17 Weight
Tags: 1-4 Players, City Building, Tableau building, Cards, Token, Competitive, Solo (Official), Card Drafting, Set Collection

Fugitive (2017)

Rahdo’s Rank: 283+
Rahdo’s Video:
Prototype Run Through (Intro, Extended, Final Thoughts)
BGG (link) Rank: 650+, 7.3 Rating, 1.7 Weight
Tags: 2 players only, Cards, Play with Jen, Sheet, Board, Bluffing, Deduction, Secret Agents Theme, Number Game, Top Gateway Game, Top Next Step Game, Top Filler Games

Morels / Fungi (2012)

Rahdo’s Rank: 289+
Rahdo’s Video: Rundown
BGG (link) Rank: 672+, 7.0 Rating, 1.74 Weight
Tags: Set Collection, 2 players only, Solo (fan), Nature: Mushroom Theme, Card Game, Tokens, $25, Filler Game, Travel Game, Top 2012 Game

Oh My Goods! / Royal Goods (2015)

Rahdo’s Rank: 290+
Rahdo’s Video:
Run Through (Intro, Extended, Final Thoughts)
Longsdale in Revolt Expansion (Talkthrough)
BGG (link) Rank: 600+, 7.0 Rating, 2.27 Weight
Tags: 2-4 Players, Card Games, Multi Use Cards, Competitive, Solo (fan), Medieval theme, Push Luck, Top Big Game in Small Box

Runebound (2nd Ed. 2004, 3rd Ed. 2015)

Rahdo’s Rank: 303+
Rahdo’s Video
2nd Edition (Intro, Extended, Final Thoughts)
3rd Edition (Intro, Extended, Final Thoughts)
Unbreakable Bonds Expansion (Talkthrough, Final Thoughts)
BGG Rank (link): 414+(3rd Ed.), 7.5 Rating, 2.68 Weight
Tag: Fantasy theme, $60, Competitive, 2-4 players, Board, Cards, Customized Dices, Tokens, Figures, Top Fantasy Game, Solo (fan, Exp.), Top Thematic Games, Top Board Game Board, Top 2005 Game

Medici: the Card Game (2016)

Rahdo’s Rank: 304+
Rahdo’s Video:
Prototype Run Through (Gameplay, Final Thoughts)
BGG (link) Rank: 2,200+, 6.8 Rating, 1.6 Weight
Tags: Push Your Luck, Set Collection, Cards, Tokens, $20, Gateway, Solo (fan), Top Gateway Games

Villages of Valeria (2017)

Rahdo’s Rank: 349+
Rahdo’s video:
PnP Run Through (Intro, Extended, Final Thoughts)
BGG Rank (link): 975+, 7.1 Rating, 2.40 Weight
Tags: Civilization theme, Tableau Building, Cards, Tokens, Fantasy theme, $25, Solo (Official, Fan), 1-5 Players, Competitive, Fast, Filler
Similar Games: San Juan, Puerto Rico, Race for the Galaxy, Lost Cities, Imperial Settlers

Read more from my Villages of Valeria Review.

Goblins vs Zombies (2013)

Rahdo’s Rank: 369+
Rahdo’s Video:
Gameplay Run Through (Intro, Extended, Final Thoughts)
BGG (link) Rank: 8,400+, 6.4 Rating, 2.00 Weight
Tags: 1-3 players, Tower Defense Game, Cooperative, Competitive, Solo mode, Cards, Tokens, $20, Top Cooperative Fantasy / Adventure Card Game

Read more from my Goblin vs Zombie Review.

Gizmos (2018)

Rahdo’s Rank: 375+
Rahdo’s Video:
Run Through (Intro, Extended, Final Thoughts)
BGG (link) Rank: 311+. 7.5 Rating, 1.99 Weight
Tag: Science Fiction Theme, 2-4 players, Tableau Building, Engine Building, Competitive, $35, Marbles, Cards, Solo (fan), Token, Rings, Marble Dispenser, Player Boards

Piepmatz (2018)

Rahdo’s Rank: 378+
Rahdo’s Video:
Rundown (Gameplay)
BGG (link) Rank: 1500+, 7.2 Rating, 2.11 Weight
Tag: Bird theme, Cards, 2-4 players, Competitive, Set Collection, Solo (fan), $20, Filler

Drako: Dragon and Dwarves (2011)

Rahdo’s Rank: no rank (Gone)
Rahdo’s video:
Run Through (Intro, Extended, Final Thoughts)
BGG Rank (link): 1600+, 6.7 Rating, 1.76 Weight
Tags: Fantasy Theme, Cards, Board, Miniature, Tokens, Top Fantasy Game, Light, Filler, Competitive, Direct Conflict, Variable Player Powers

The Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game (2016)

Rahdo’s Rank: no rank (Gone)
Rahdo’s Video:
Run Through (Intro, Extended, Final Thoughts)
BGG Rank (link): 650+, 7.1 rating, 2.54 Weight
Tags: 1-4 players, Point System, Set Collection, Solo (Official), Competitive, Cards only, $15, Top Solo Game, Top Big Game in Small Box

Read more from my The Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game Review.


A lot of people are doing a board game review and Rahdo is just one of them using a video as the media. However, thanks to his background as former video game designer, we can learn a bit more about the game rather than just simple tutorial which we can read from the rulebook.

As he said, he wants to display what it feels like to actually play the board game, from the first person perspective. From the setup, how to play in general and the strategy that we need to consider as the action of the game.

The way he expressively talks about the emotion he had while playing the game or making decision for the action for the game somehow makes the board game becomes alive, interesting. Even if we are not interested with the game, watching him play could be an entertainment, especially for games he did a run through with his wife, Jen or even for solo games.

If we already know and interested in some board games, maybe we can check his channel out and see if he has done a run through to find out if the game is worth to buy. However, if we don’t know anything yet, filtering out from thousands of games he has tried can be quite a work.

Most of the game he would choose to do a run through at this time will be focusing on games that are available on Kickstarter campaign. Apparently, that is what most of his viewers will want to know more rather than older games.

Another criterias would be the games that he and Jen would probably like. In general that would be a 2 player game, co-op, at least medium weight, and has a depth but simple gameplay. Of course, there are always some exceptions these but if we are looking for games with the same taste, it will be easier.

There is always a chance that he would do a run through for filler game, gateway, even solo, or competitive. His backers and members of his guild on BGG will still have a say in it.

If you want you can be part of them as well. Help Rahdo run by backing him via Patreon.com or Kickstarter.com. There are some benefit that we can get from choosing the game, microbadge for BGG, some glass art for board game pieces made by his wife, or even co host and do directing and many more.

Nevertheless we can always subscribe to this channel, to get the latest videos. Aside from run through videos, we can also listen to his podcast, or live video for board game events and his top 10 lists.

If you need to contact him, for any purposes, we can get in touch with him through his guild, Twitter, Facebook or the YouTube channel.

Subscribe to Rahdo YouTube channel here.

Final Words

As I have mentioned before, this article is just my notes to help me summarize any info I can get about certain board games based on Rahdo’s video and opinions for the game. This way I don’t have to spend too much time opening multiple browser tabs to watch videos, the forum, etc.

I can easily remind myself and get a good picture about the game. If you have any suggestion like what other info about the game I can add to this article that can help you out, please leave them on the comment section below.

I guess as long as Rahdo keeps running, this will be a never ending article. Maybe I won’t be able to catch up so this will be just a portion that works for me.

Remember that even Rahdo can’t cover every single board game out there. Try to check out other reviewer as well.

Just keep in mind, that there may be some mistakes regarding any info about the game or I misunderstand what Rahdo said. I may have problems with English and communicating.

If you are interested in the game, please double check again with the official recent update. There is no way I can keep updating every game listed here.

Hopefully you can find something interesting here. Thanks for reading.



Mark M.

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