The Festive Fifty

What follows is a list of my top fifty games of all time. I would like to write a little about each one, but at the moment I don’t have the time. Perhaps over the holidays I will get something done.

Why now? 2019 marks the thirtieth anniversary of Sumo magazine, it was a year in which someone told me I don’t know what a Euro Game is (because there is now A Definition), we are fast approaching the end of the decade, and if he were still around my dad would have been ninety today.

So, solid yet irrational rocks on which to build a list.

This year I played 241 games. Over the last forty five years, allowing for a short break or two, that may mean I have played two or even three thousand different games. I have rated over a thousand on BGG. These are the best of that appreciable sample.

There are three levels and no order or numeric rating is implied within those levels. Yokozuna are the best of the best. Ozeki are very, very good indeed. Sekiwake are still rather wonderful in almost all respects.

There are a few borderline cases that are currently not in the list. I will try to replay them and revise next year.

Mike Siggins
19th December 2019

Small Print: The great John Peel invented The Festive Fifty and it provided much joy over the years. There may be slightly more than fifty games listed. No game is perfect. All returns within 30 days. Where an entry has multiple games, I regard them as the same family, with a slight preference to the first listed. Decisions may change in the morning. List is subjective, not prescriptive. E&EO. Please let me know if I missed one.

Yokozuna

Austerlitz/Quatre Bras (Vasey, prototype)
Flat Top
Fleet series (Balkoski)
Football Strategy/Baseball Strategy
High Society
Lords of the Spanish Main
Metric Mile
Middle Earth: The Wizards
Pax Pamir 2nd Ed
Pax Porfiriana
Polis
Quartermaster General series
Root
Safe Return Doubtful
Sechs Tage Rennen
Squad Leader series
Tales of the Arabian Nights/Fallout/SMERSH
War of the Ring (Ares)

Ozeki

18xx
1989/Twilight Struggle
Arkham Horror LCG
Chariot Lords
Codenames/Codenames Duet
Jenseits von Theben/Thebes
Just One
Legends Untold
Maria/Friedrich
Napoleon 1806
Netrunner
Sekigahara
Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective
Silverton
Space Hulk
Star Wars: Rebellion
Statis Pro Baseball
Up Front

Sekiwake

1960
1st & Goal
Acquire
A Few Acres of Snow
Arkham Horror/Eldritch Horror
Blue vs Gray
Cataclysm
Command & Colors Ancients
Elfenland/Elfenroads
Here I Stand
Ironman Football
Julius Caesar
Liar’s Dice
Liftoff
Mansions of Madness 2nd Ed
Medici
Modern Art
Mu
Pax Baltica
Pennant Race
Return of the Triumvirate
Shogun/Wallenstein
Struggle of Empires
Svea Rike
Take It Easy/Take it to the Limit
Terraforming Mars
Tigris & Euphrates
Trains
W1815
Washington’s War
Watergate
XIA/Firefly/Outer Rim

THE SUMOS 2019

Yokozuna
Pax Pamir 2nd Ed

Ozeki
Legends Untold
Watergate

Sekiwake
Chicago 1875
Fallout: New California
New Frontiers
Res Arcana
SpaceCorp
Star Wars: Outer Rim
Tainted Grail

Wargame Sumos

Gettysburg (C3i)

300
Blitzkrieg!
Napoleon Saga
Nights of Fire
Table Battles
Tank Duel
UBoot
Undaunted: Normandy

Baddest of the Bad
Victorian Masterminds

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