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Welcome to Ars Cardboard, our weekend look at tabletop games. Check out our complete board gaming coverage at cardboard.arstechnica.com.

Do you get unhealthy levels of enjoyment from unwrapping decks of cards, punching out cardboard tiles, and evaluating the heft and finish of wooden cubes? We do, too—we're gamers, after all—and 2016 was a tremendous year for tabletop gaming. The tireless members of the Ars Cardboard crew spent a lot of time playing, replaying, and dissecting the year's new titles, and we're ready to tell you what we enjoyed most.

A caveat: because so many games appear each year, and because the board game release calendar is so heavily weighted toward the latter half of the year, we didn't (and simply couldn't) play absolutely everything. But we gave it a good shot!

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