Cardboard Children – Rab’s Top 50 (20-11): The Video

Hello youse.

We’re inside the Top 20 on my amazing Top 50 board games of all time list. What will be there? Will your favourite be there? No, I’m afraid not. Ludo isn’t there.



  1. Will Tomas says:

    Awesome, Rab. Cheers for this, it’s fab. And Hope is adorable.

  2. ribby says:

    Why would your favourite board game be between 20 and 11?

  3. rexx.sabotage says:

    The zany editing was a lot of fun, I certainly appreciate all the passion you have poured into this endeavor.

    The final countdown is going to be a bittersweet experience. What’s next after the top ten?

  4. Tiguh says:

    I absolutely love all these videos; they’d be pure genius if they weren’t adulterated with so much passion and cooligrooviosity.

    What I really can’t understand though is how with every one the theme tunes gets so stuck in my head for about an hour afterwards!

  5. JohnArr says:

    Listen to your goddamn director, Rab.

  6. JB says:

    @Hope – I like wizards too!

    @Rab – I’m on the edge of my seat for the top 10. Looking forward to the 20-11 breakdown as well. Staying very, very dicey here.

  7. Bracknellexile says:

    Did anyone else have a wee smile to themselves when Rab said, “Eleven!”? ;)

    Rab, the whole series is great. Cheers for putting the time and effort into this. I’m just dreading the drain on my wallet that the Top 10 is going to be!

  8. kalidanthepalidan says:

    Loving this series. Very entertaining. :D

  9. Phoibos Delphi says:

    Great Entertainment! A monthly installment of “Hope & Rab” would delight the almighty infinite Horace infinitely, I´d assume.

  10. Crazy Horse says:

    Starcraft boardgame sounds very interesting, I would love a copy. It’s a shame I could not possibly get even one other person to agree to sit down to a boardgame that requires one table let alone one which requires two. That and of course the it being out of print thing.

  11. Synesthesia says:

    This is amazing, Rab. I’m loving every bit of these videos. KoT is a great hit with my group, thanks to you. One of the few i got sleeved up, it’s just at the table so often. The cardboard monsters are starting to feel it! We’ve got a good mind to do some custom ones, maybe some kaiju’d versions of ourselves.

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      Same here – I got King of Tokyo thanks to Rab’s recommendation. I love that it’s so easy to get to grips with, and the theme means it appeals to non-nerds. The only real problem I have with it is that the pacing never seems quite right, the game always seems to end before you can start to do anything interesting with the cards.

      • noom says:

        Totally agree with this. Next time I play I’m considering introducing a house rule for each player to start with, say, 6 energy cubes. Usually I find the game’s almost over by the time people start getting upgrades, and that’s a shame seeing as they do make the game a lot more varied and dynamic.

  12. Dark Malady says:

    this was … crazy. in a good way!

    I’m not sure though, I bought Netrunner a while back becuase lots of people were saying how great it was and I just… can’t enjoy it.
    Talisman as well, for different reasons, No-body I know wants to sit down and play the same game for a few hours.
    We need quicker, Punchy games. Monopoly Deal was a surprising Hit (finally a monopoly game that doesn’t suck). As was Anhk-Morpok.
    Relic did alright, with the guys at least getting into the fluff… but One of us has a… Magic touch with d6s and exploding dice means things get a little crazy. (not in a good way)

    So does anyone know of Fun Short games? Crazier the better really.

    • Martel says:

      Not sure it counts as crazy, but most of the folks that come to my game nights like to play Zombie Dice, at least in between other games.

    • Leandro says:

      King of Tokyo would be a good game for you and your group, I think.

      Other than that, take a look at social/hidden role/bluffing games such as The Resistance: Avalon (my favorite of this kind), Cash and Guns (probably my second favorite, always hilarious), Coup, Mascarade and Love Letter. All are quick, clever, with lots of interaction and fun. For Sale is also a fantastic quick bidding game, I love it.

      Tht’s a start, from there you can decide if you want to go for more meaty games.

      • noom says:

        I can second the recommendations for King of Tokyo, Avalon and Love Letter. Avalon can get very heated in the best way and always goes down well at my local gaming group, and Love Letter’s been one of the only games I’ve convinced my housemates to play with any regularity (enough so that the cards are looking a little weathered by this point; card protectors might be wise for both games, especially as its essential in both that cards aren’t identified). I’d also give Galaxy Trucker a crack; reasonably simple and the building phase on it can get delightfully out of hand. Not as quick as some other games though.

        Personally I wasn’t much grabbed by Mascerade, although I’ve only played it with four, and others seem to enjoy it more than I do.

    • rargphlam says:

      For fast and really crazy, Tok Tok Woodman is a fun one, tilting almost into toy territory but it’s super simple, basically gamey Jenga for points. You have two hits of an axe on a plastic tree on your turn, goal is to knock off bark instead of wood, bark is worth 1 point, wood -5, four pieces of bark to wood. 5-10 minutes a game top, goes crazy fast and you’ll be swearing at each other mirthfully in no time. It is, however, depending on physical skill rather than mental acuity.

      For medium length, Libertalia mentioned in the video is easily one of my favorites.The rules are simple, but there’s a lot of bluffing, guesswork, and backstabbing. It’s also very forgiving of early mistakes, as bad play early on can be rectified with good play later, as it is in essence a zero sum game. Only takes about an hour, maybe a little longer if you aren’t moderating.

    • Phinor says:

      I also made the mistake of jumping straight into Android Netrunner after buying into the hype. It’s a great game, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not the game you want to expose to your gaming group as the first game. Easy (quick) to learn, enough depth to not be completely shallow is the key I think. Rab had Lords of Waterdeep on his list, I think it’s a pretty decent game to start with and it scales from 2 to 5 pretty well. There are some unofficial solo variants as well if you want to for example play a test game to learn the game, but it’s pretty easy to learn regardless.

    • Shadowcat says:

      > So does anyone know of Fun Short games? Crazier the better really.

      Jungle Speed ?

      • Gothnak says:

        Coup, Citadels, Colossal Arena are all pretty quick and a bit crazy. Depends on how many players and what themes you like.

  13. 2helix4u says:

    You and your wee bairn make my heart swell and it feels very uncomfortable, please make it stop.

    An actual child really does a good job of tempering your child-like love of these games.

  14. Ninja Foodstuff says:

    that was just the right shade of disturbing

  15. Ninja Foodstuff says:

    Hey does anyone have any experience with “SmashUp”?

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      Played it a few times – seems nice and light and fun. Maybe more for the themes than the mechanics…

      Not as good as King of Tokyo though…

  16. Gothnak says:

    You like MTG, you like Ghost Stories? Try Lord Of The Rings: The Living Card Game, the most complex game i can play with my partner as she only does co-ops.

    I would vote for Game of Thrones over Warrior Knights though, then again i’ve only played the old one which has aged badly.

    I also hugely recommend Lords Of Waterdeep on iPad with the addons, great single player game vs AI.

    Libertalia is also good, although the thug is a bit annoying, like the assassin in Citadels. House rule that guy out :).

    Good 11-20 though, MTG, Descent both fantastic.

  17. MOKKA says:

    Over the whole video I kept looking at Space Alert and asked myself: “When is he going to pull it out of the shelf, it has to be on his list, right?”

  18. Duke of Chutney says:

    you have a wise daughter Rab.

    I used play WQ a few years ago. My brother and his mates actually made the copy we had though. Lots of cork board for the tiles and die roll tables instead of card decks etc.

  19. Saarlaender39 says:

    11: King of Tokyo
    12: Libertalia
    13: Lords of Waterdeep
    14: Dungeon Quest
    15: Descent
    16: Warrior Knights
    17: StarCraft: The Board Game
    18: Warhammer Quest
    19: Ghost Stories
    20: Magic: The Gathering
    21: Blood Bowl
    22: Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game
    23: Caverna: The Cave Farmers
    24: HeroScape
    25: Blood Bowl: Team Manager
    26: Age of Empires III
    27: Super Dungeon Explore
    28: Commands & Colors (The system as a whole)
    29: Survive – Escape from Atlantis
    30: Break the Safe
    31: Hour of Glory
    32: Fury of Dracula
    33: Pret-a-porter
    34: Warhammer Invasion
    35: Colosseum
    36: Shadow Hunters
    37: Risk Legacy
    38: Coup
    39: Formula D
    40: Claustrophobia
    41: ThunderRoad
    42: Rattus
    43: Dixit
    44: Trains
    45: Nexus Ops
    46: Kingsburg
    47: Ninjato
    48: Mission Red Planet
    49: The Duke
    50: Conquest of Planet Earth

    • Wynter says:


      I love videos and all but I can’t watch them at work – as such I rely on heroic commenters such as yourself to give me the scoop.

      Or I can wait a week (month, fortnight) for the more loquacious text version, but who got time for dat?

    • killias2 says:

      Thank you good sir! You’re doing God’s work!

  20. Hensler says:

    Is that a Metro 2033 board game behind Rab? Anybody played it?

  21. Alistair Hutton says:

    I find it funny that Rab said there was nothing like Warrior Kings when I can see Blood Royale right there on the shelf directly behind him. A true weekend monster game.

  22. squareking says:

    I want to play a board game and drink a beer with Rab so badly.