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The Game Bistro

A blog primarily devoted to the gaming pursuits of Kevin Whitmore, the Game Bistro Players, and a little bit of side gaming. The blog currently exists here: http://thegamebistro.com But perhaps more will now happen here on BGG.
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Games Gone Bye Bye - Selected B's and C's

Kevin Whitmore
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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I realized the other day that I have far more games "previously owned" than I do "owned" here on BGG. So I have been writing about those games that have passed through my hands. This time I will write about some of the titles from the B and C list...

BasketBoss- I am a big fan of StreetSoccer, designed by Corné van Moorsel, and published by his company Cwali. Back in 2004, one of the highlights of me attending Essen was visiting his booth and playing some games. So I have enjoyed seeing what games he develops for several years. Basket Boss is a charming game, and one that I would not be upset to still own. But it was never going to see many plays. For some reason sports-themed games don't get requested much around here.

Battlelore- For a while I was buying all things related to Richard Borg's combat system. I still own Battle Cry, and my early enjoyment of this game impelled me to keep up with Memoir '44, Command And Colors: Ancients, and Battlelore. But as time passed and I found that these games were not being played much, I became discontented with the large amount of space I was devoting to game systems I didn't play. Battlelore could have been a favorite of mine. But instead I went down the Memoir '44 route. My only advice to would-be buyers is that you might want to decide which theme appeals to you most, and just pick one branch of this system.

Ben Hur - This is a cool looking game. Jean du Poel did a great job on making the chariots, and I like the solid wood measuring sticks. Compared to Dragonriders, a later implementation of this system, I think Ben Hur is a superior game due to is sturdy weighted components. But as cool as the theme is, and as nice as the mentioned components are, I was still dissatisfied with this game. I felt the playing board was not the right scale to the chariots and the measuring sticks. I also felt that the movement cards were underdeveloped. A great idea, but a kludged implementation.

Blood Bowl - I can see how folks get into this game and create leagues. The game was actually quite fun to play. I loved the "astro-granite" playing field. I had even painted mine a bone-white color that tied well into the theme. At one point I even had scavenged figures from my Heroquest games to field teams of skeletons and goblins. I probably would have stuck with this system had I found a regular opponent.

Bolide - Great name, btw. I have collected a lot of race games over the years. Unlike some geeks, I actually seek out race games, and am pleased by how many new clever ideas get presented for the simple concept of who can go the fastest. Bolide sounded very cool to me. Vectors and acceleration! But sadly the game is just too slow, and it ended up feeling like a math exercise more than a race.

Bonaparte at Marengo - I was really disappointed that this game didn't work for either me or my opponent. Instead of the cleanly designed game we anticipated, we were constantly flipping through the rule book trying to figure it out. (It was nice that 2 copies of the rules were supplied.) After a couple of tries, we decided the game was too much work to figure out.

Café International - Sadly this entry can stand in for basically all of Rudi Hoffman's games. I acquired this because it was an SdJ winner. The theme is light and fun. But it is a mid-light weight game, generally not deeply sought out by my usual opponents.

Cairo - Heh, I had almost forgotten about this one. It's sort of El Grande meets Crokinole. Why did I get rid of this one... I admit I'd enjoy playing it again.

Canal Mania - As a long-time gamer, I have played several games designed by the Ragnar Brothers. History of the World is an old favorite, and I was always eager to see what else they might come up with. Canal Mania was the Ragnar's attempt to create a fully modern eurogame, complete with nice box, professionally produced mounted game board, etc. Compared to their tea towel games it is a big step up in physical design. The game itself is sort of a cross between Age of Steam and Ticket to Ride. I really wanted to like this game. But it sits on uneasy ground between these two titles, and I would rather play Age of Steam or Ticket to Ride.

Carcassone Expansions - I still own Carcassonne. But I threw away several of the later expansions to this game including the Dragon, the Tower, the catapult, the Count, and several others - which I felt dragged the gameplay away from what I liked about the original game. I still own the original expansion, the Traders and Builders expansion and the Cathars mini-expansion. All else has been disposed of.

Cobra- Just in the past year or more we discovered Neue Heimat from Chili Games. This led us to The Climbers, another Chili Game we really like. So I went off on another collecting jag to find the rest of the Chili Games oeuvre. Turns out that was pretty small. But where Neue Heimat had given us a cruel game worthy of exploration, and The Climbers had given us a game of novel spatial challenges, Cobra seemed a flawed game. Cobra is a simple dexterity game, but where each player has hidden goals. Sadly the hidden goals were going to be very easy to deduce due to the marked components supplied with the game.

Commands and Colors: Ancients - I've pretty much covered this in my entry for Battlelore (above). But I will just add that my initial reaction to this system was the strongest of all for the Borg battle system. I felt the game mechanisms seemed best tied to ancient warfare. I was initially disapointed that this game did not feature plastic soldiers and chariots, etc. But the blocks actually worked quite well. I can easily see how some would prefer this system over the other iterations available.

Cyclades- I just traded this one in a Math Trade. Impressive game materials, and a cool theme had me hoping for the best with this one. My chief complaint is that this is a game with not enough mid-game to it. The game is barely getting rolling when you have to immediately begin watching for who is going to win. I also feel that this is truly a 5-player game, and when playing with fewer you are losing something vital.

Thanks for reading!
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