Games you admire more than you enjoy
Tim Seitz
United States
Glen Allen
VA
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This list is inspired by a comment from
Bryan Maxwell
United States
Burtchville
Michigan
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Quote:
Factory Fun is unique, and it's a game I admire more than a game I enjoy. It went for nearly a year without being played (or requested) and it isn't any closer to either of those happening, so away it goes.


United States
Middletown
New York
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suggested that as a great start for a geeklist, so here we are!

What games do you admire more than you enjoy playing?
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1. Board Game: Factory Fun [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:544]
Tim Seitz
United States
Glen Allen
VA
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As the inspiration for this list. It gets top billing!
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2. Board Game: Roads & Boats [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:175]
Tim Seitz
United States
Glen Allen
VA
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If I had to choose an iconic game for a list like this it would be this game. A fantastic design that entails all I love about gaming: An open environment; resource conversion; variable, player-drive levels of competition; and a snowballing economic system. Too bad, it's fiddly as all get out. This game sits lovingly on my shelf, and I am subscribed to the forums, but in all honesty, the pristine, immaculate bits will probably never see the light of day.
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3. Board Game: Caylus [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:19]
Albatros
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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I was so sure I'd like Caylus, I bought the deluxe version without ever having played it. As the first and archetypal worker placement game, I admire it greatly, but enjoy it...?

At least the coins get some use when we play God's Playground.
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4. Board Game: Antiquity [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:142]

Eugene
Oregon
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A really ambitious design with a look that I adore. Unfortunately, it's plodding solo optimization with a big dramatic economic engine clash at the end. I can't let the beautiful appearance cloud my judgement: Antiquity is the Twilight Imperium of eurogames.
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5. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:152]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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I'm really pleased that this game brought so many of you into the hobby. I'm delighted that friends and acquaintances ask if I know of this game rather than just referencing Monopoly all the time. I even appreciate the combination of mechanisms. I just never enjoyed playing it.
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6. Board Game: Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization [Average Rating:8.21 Overall Rank:3]
Mikko Saari
Finland
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The more I played this game, the less I enjoyed it. I still think it's rather well done and I like the way it's abstracted, but my cup of tea? Nope.
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7. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.34 Overall Rank:1]
Tony Hamen
United States
Austin
Texas
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This is such a well made game. The card art and the map OOZE theme. It is educational and engaging. That said, I do NOT like this game. 1960: The Making of a president was worse, although I still respect the hell out of that one too for the same reasons.

I really dislike games where players have the option to undo everything you've just done. I put an influence here, you remove it, you put an influence there, I remove it, etc. etc. I hate the tug of war of TS and 1960. I know that if I spent the time to learn the subtleties of TS and the cards I might enjoy the story arc a bit better, but like I said I do not like this game at all and don't have much interest in putting the time into it.

I just picked up Hannibal: RvC and I hope to like it better than TS. It has the control points and card driven gameplay, but I think the fact there is actual armies on the map instead of these abstract notions of influence will make me enjoy it a lot better.
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8. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:29] [Average Rating:7.79 Unranked]
Tony Hamen
United States
Austin
Texas
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When this game came out I was hooked. I respect the design so much, as it is easy to learn and hard to master. I can not stand this game anymore though. Playing it on Brettspielwelt killed this for me. I would play every night, and it started to become insanely monotonous. I understand the appeal here, but I have sworn off Dominion for good.
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9. Board Game: Mecanisburgo [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:2790]
Tony Hamen
United States
Austin
Texas
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Wow. This game... Mecanisburgo is the most ambitious game I have ever played outside of the Splotter family. The art is magnificent and the art is super cool. There is assassinations, death races, bioroids, corruption, and everything else you would love to see in a cyberpunk world.

IMO this game was executed poorly. First of all the rulebook is a mess, because it is translated poorly into English from Spanish. Then, there are a million little icons that require constant referencing of the rulebook. This is one of those games where I feel like I was tripping clumsily throughout the entire game, and never got a firm grasp of the game before it was over.
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10. Board Game: Medina [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:468]
Tony Hamen
United States
Austin
Texas
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Medina is a great game. I respect it so much. It is well made, pretty to look at, and easy to learn. Abstracts though, and especially Medina make my brain melt more than anything else. When I play games like Medina and Chess my stress level increases, and I start to become uncomfortable. The wide decision space coupled with the luckless mechanics freak me out (which is weird because I love Caylus and Hamburgum. I guess it's a theme vs. no theme thing...)

The other thing that bothers me about Medina is that the game encourages you to be a dick. To play well is to dick the other players over. Players will be forcing other players to move the conga line among their own buildings, and starting new crappy buildings of colors they had already capped in areas where it will not grow. This game is a very mean spirited!

Lastly, if it being an abstract and luckless isn't enough, there is the player screens. You can TRY and memorize what players have played, but it can become hard and adds to the AP potential.
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11. Board Game: The Campaign for North Africa [Average Rating:5.34 Overall Rank:9670]
Enrico Viglino
United States
Phoenix, AZ
Arizona
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Never owned/played it - doubt that I'd like it.

But ya gots to respect the EFFORT.
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12. Board Game: 4000 A.D. [Average Rating:5.38 Overall Rank:9898]
Enrico Viglino
United States
Phoenix, AZ
Arizona
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Very clever system. Boggles the mind, with pieces moving
where even the owner is unsure of. Elegant mechanisms.

Playing though? It just doesn't thrill me.
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13. Board Game: Chess [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:321]
Enrico Viglino
United States
Phoenix, AZ
Arizona
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Obviously, a great classic - almost up there with Go.

But, the play just feels like waiting for someone to
make a mistake - get mugged in the corner.
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14. Board Game: War of the Ring [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:1752]
Enrico Viglino
United States
Phoenix, AZ
Arizona
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Showed that a fantasy-based wargame could really sell
(yeah yeah, I know that Chaosium did them previously),
and opened the way for quite a few fantasy and SF games,
as well as more character-oriented ones (Swords & Sorcery,
John Carter, Freedom in the Galaxy). For all that though,
this has always been one of my biggest disappointments
in terms of actual play - it just falls flat.
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15. Board Game: Attack Vector: Tactical [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:2911]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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A-maze-ing amount of work and effort into the design. Too slow for me to really get into it.
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16. Board Game: Hare & Tortoise [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:788]
Mark Saya
United States
Los Angeles
California
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I own this game and am unlikely to part with it. I respect its status as a modern classic but just don't get a kick out of playing it more than once in a while.
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17. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:22]
Judit Szepessy
Canada
London
Canada
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I know it is a great game and a wonderful and innovative design, and I would love to try it, at least, once. I still own it, but have never played it. I cannot get over the iconography. Some people say it is self explanatory, but not for me.

I still have not given up on the game, but almost. One day I might lock myself in a room and do not come out till I get everything clear in my head..
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18. Board Game: Genoa [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:274]
Samo Gosaric
Slovenia
Ljubljana
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The game design I admire a lot, but the game can be a bit frustrating, I still like it though.

The admiring thing is:
it's a very open design, you can trade anything for anything. It's a bit complex, but in essence it provides a sturdy framework for the trading and negotiations.

The frustrating thing is:
it's a very open design, hence prone to groupthink. Which in this game means, it's a totally different economy with different players and their assessments what is worth what. And the way to win is making most deals, so you must try to adapt. Maybe I'm trying too much to influence the market the way I think it should work, and this isn't the winning strategy. Add to that it's a quite exhausting experience - 2+ hours of screaming and creating proposals on the fly. Maybe a tad too long.
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19. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.15 Overall Rank:5]
Steve Berger
United Kingdom
Sevenoaks
Kent
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On my first play of this, I was really impressed with how it all came together so well. The quite simple to explain rules coupled with depth to the gameplay is something I really admire.

I find the game uninspiring, and the theme dry. This, for me, is the perfect game for this list.
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20. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:43]
Rishi A.
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
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It's thematic and it has attractive components. It has elegant mechanics with an appropriate amount of depth and so much of it works so well. I really wanted to like this game, and I gave it about a half dozen plays before finally deciding that it wasn't a game for me. Part of it is the experience of co-ops leaves me cold, especially when it turns into group think.
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21. Board Game: The Road to Canterbury [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:1251]
Mr. Green
United States
Ft. Collins
Colorado
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Man was I stoked for this game: great, historical theme; funny premise and text; brilliantly executed game components. This has got it all.

Now, having played it several times, it just strikes me as a little too simple for my taste. I like deep, meaty games, and while this game certainly has some interesting choices, and is NOT devoid of fun, it still won't rise to that status of "man I can't wait to play that again!"
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22. Board Game: Napoleon's Triumph [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:181]
David F
United States
Emeryville
California
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Beautiful and intensely original game. The system makes so much sense, yet you've never seen it elsewhere before (aside from the designer's other games of course).

But man, I don't dare to play this anymore. It's like learning a new language (completely seamless if you play it consistently, but completely discouraging if you haven't played in a while), and you need somebody who knows the flow-chart inside-out. Without, I literally couldn't do anything without checking to make sure the entire move was correct first. It's not hard, just so unlike any other game out there. Too much homework for me unless I play this every month or so.
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23. Board Game: Busen Memo [Average Rating:4.83 Overall Rank:10568]
Doc Bullseye
United States
Brownsburg
Indiana
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24. Board Game: Automobile [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:188]
Brian Boyle
Australia
Sydney
NSW
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Really admired this game for the economic simulation and interplay of clever mechanics.

But, boy, did it feel like hard work. Eventually sold my signed Treefrog edition to a home where it would get more love.

Come to think of it, quite a few MW games have A/E ratios over one (eg Brass) - Ankh-Morpork being the exception. Fortunately the denominator generally remains large.



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25. Board Game: Cosmic Encounter [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:67]
Josiah Miller
United States
Arlington
Texas
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I admire it enough to keep buying the expansions, despite the fact that my group doesn't really enjoy playing. In fact, I am not sure I even enjoy playing it. I just admire it's infinite replayability, and I can;t help myself!
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