Games I've introduced to CoWorkers at lunch
Doug Palmer
United States
Birmingham
Michigan
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This is more for my own rememberances down the road, but so what?

I'm lucky. I work at a company where I can bring in boardgames, leave them set up, and come back to them the next day at lunch (or break). I'm an engineer. And my cohort (Nick) thought boardgames were Axis and Allies, Risk and Monopoly. Tsk, tsk, tsk. I began bringing in boardgames that I thought he might like. Then, we found out that the two guys in the IT department were closet gamers. And just last month, we hired Nick's brother (Chris) in the department. So now, we're five.

This geeklist is just some of the highs (and lows) of enlightening gamers via my lunchtime endeavors
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1. Board Game: Tide of Iron [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:358]
Doug Palmer
United States
Birmingham
Michigan
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It all really began with Tide of Iron. Seeing that Nick was an A&A fan, I figured this would be a natural. And boy was I right. I've written up many of the sessions that he and I ran through. The gameplay was easy to pick up (for him) and we quickly ran through all of the original game scenarios.
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2. Board Game: Tide of Iron: Days of the Fox [Average Rating:7.79 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.79 Unranked]
Doug Palmer
United States
Birmingham
Michigan
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So, if the original was good, let's move on to Days of the Fox. Not much new in the way of gameplay, but we bring the British into the picture as well as new terrain. The scenarios in DotF proved to be more balanced that the base game. It was at this point that Nick broke down and bought his own copy of ToI
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3. Board Game: Tide of Iron: Normandy [Average Rating:7.85 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.85 Unranked]
Doug Palmer
United States
Birmingham
Michigan
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And so we plowed through the Normandy expansion and campaign. It was around this time that I broke down and painted the vehicles in the base game, DotF and Normandy. It really brought a new level of realism to the game and really looked good on the table. It was always a conversation piece whenever other departments had to come up to engineering, or when a salesman stopped by.
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4. Board Game: Tide of Iron: Fury of the Bear [Average Rating:7.68 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.68 Unranked]
Doug Palmer
United States
Birmingham
Michigan
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When Fury of the Bear came out, I had high hopes. Finally, the Russian's were represented. Unfortunately, the gameplay suffered as a result of new rules, unbalanced cards, and poorly thought out scenarios. We tried different fixes and finally came to the conclusion that it wasn't worth that much effor to try and get FotB fixed. But I did paint the Russian tanks in a nice winter color scheme.
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5. Board Game: Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42 [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:203]
 
Doug Palmer
United States
Birmingham
Michigan
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Since it was just the two of us at this point, and since wargames are natually designed for two, Conflict of Heroes was next on the table. While the game didn't have the "chrome" of Tide of Iron, the gameplay was more "realistic" vs ToI and the scenarios better balanced. Again, we plowed through the scenarios and gave this one high marks. Although, Nick thought ToI was a better "beer and pretzels" wargame.
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6. Board Game: Manoeuvre [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:422]
Doug Palmer
United States
Birmingham
Michigan
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I had learned Manoeuvre a year previously at a local con. I loved the simplicity and decision making. So, I brought it in thinking it might be a nice progression. And I was right again. The games moved fast enough that we were finished with them in a day (2 breaks and lunch). This was a plus. Again, the chrome wasn't there, but he was beginning to see that gameplay means more than chrome. This one still sees action at lunch.
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7. Board Game: Corps Command: Totensonntag [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:2668]
Doug Palmer
United States
Birmingham
Michigan
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I had won this game at a local con a year ago, and I liked what I saw in the rules, so this hit the table next. It was the first "dud" that I had brought in. I liked it enough, but it didn't go over well with Nick. I was hoping that this would be a nice transition from the "miniature games" like ToI and into "chit and hex" type games. Oh well, they all can't be winners. A couple plays of this and it was back onto the shelf.
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8. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:88] [Average Rating:7.53 Unranked]
Doug Palmer
United States
Birmingham
Michigan
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Wow did this one flop. I liked the card mechanism enough, but agreed that between Memoir and ToI, I probably liked ToI a bit more. This one saw one play between Nick and myself and was quickly put away. Pity, because I think that with more plays, the elegance of the game system shows through that one play just won't convey.
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9. Board Game: NHL Ice Breaker: The Card Hockey Board Game [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:3603]
Doug Palmer
United States
Birmingham
Michigan
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Time to move away from wargames I figured, so out came NHL Ice Breaker. I remember learning about this game at Origins many years ago. Living in the metro-Detroit area, being a hockey fan sort of comes with the territory (although I abhor the Red Wings...GO HABS!!). We can get a couple games of this done in a lunch hour. And for some reason, I always kick Nick's butt. He's always the Wings, I'm always the Canadiens and what can I say? Carey Price is a god!
 
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10. Board Game: Pro Foto-Football [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
Doug Palmer
United States
Birmingham
Michigan
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This one was fun! I just had to show Nick what an OLD sports game was like. Before computers (the guy is only 27 years old), before video games, before all of that, we had games like this (or better....or worse!). I remember we played it at lunchtime down in the cafeteria and quickly had about 10 people around us wondering what we were doing. It was fun. Reminded me of playing it with my brother back in the 70's. I promised him that any future "sports games" would be better represented.
 
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11. Board Game: Pursue the Pennant [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:2560]
Doug Palmer
United States
Birmingham
Michigan
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And I delivered. Granted we moved from football to baseball, but it WAS an upgrade! Don't get me wrong, I love Strat-O-Matic Baseball, APBA and the like, but PtP will always have a soft spot in my heart. Besides, I had joined the Internet Baseball League around this time and it uses PtP as the basis of their league (go Sand Crabs!!!). My soft spot is also for the Baltimore Orioles and, alas, I played them against the Detroit Tigers. His Tigers pretty much creamed my Orioles. 2009 was not a good year for my Birds. But this year!!!
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12. Board Game: Dungeons & Dragons Basic Game [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:1666]
Doug Palmer
United States
Birmingham
Michigan
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It was about this time that we discovered that our IT department had been playing D&D at lunchtime in THEIR offices for several months. Nick noticed the mini's on their table and the four of us (Nick, myself and Dave and Steve from the IT department) got together at lunch to chart a plan. Dave had been playing for 15+ years, had all of the gear and books, and proposed running a campaign for the rest of us. 6 months later, we finally wrapped up that campaign. Playing an hour at lunch, 5 days a week (mostly), for 6 months. Our characters leveled up, fought hard battles, but eventually, died. My ranger at the hands (or jaws) of an alligator-thing. Alas, poor Remlap, I knew you well. Alas too, by th end of the 6 month campaign, Nick and I had grown weary of D&D. I needed to draw the IT guys in with a "real" boardgame.
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13. Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:28]
Doug Palmer
United States
Birmingham
Michigan
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One Saturday, my regular gaming group played Lords of Waterdeep. A simple, worker-placement game with a decent theme. The gameplay was smooth and simple, and I knew it had a chance with my work group. So, I brought it in and told the IT guys that I had a D&D boardgame that I wanted to try out on them. Around this time, Nick's brother Chris began working in the engineering department as a draftsman. Lords of Waterdeep played well with 5, so it was a go. I couldn't have been happier for the results. Everyone loved it and commented on how much fun it was. We got to the point where we could get a game done in the 1 hour period we had for lunch. After a week of gaming with Lords of Waterdeep, they looked at me and said "what else you got?". Man, that was too easy.
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14. Board Game: The Manhattan Project [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:143]
Doug Palmer
United States
Birmingham
Michigan
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I had also recently played Manhattan Project and really enjoyed it with my regular gaming group, so I bought it. I described it as another "worker placement game", but with more strategy. They picked up on the game almost immediately and, as would be expected, made the typical errors along the way. But that was the best part. Not that they were making mistakes, but rather they were LEARNING from those mistakes. It was as if you could actually SEE the lightbulbs going off as they played. After the first game, I knew they were hooked when they said, almost in unison, "we're doing this again next lunch". Can't ask for more than that.
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15. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:6]
Doug Palmer
United States
Birmingham
Michigan
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After Lords of Waterdeep and Manhattan Project, they asked for another worker placement game, but something "more". So, I brought in Agricola. I had shown it to Nick before, but had explained to him then that it wasn't the best with only 2 players and really shined with more. Now, I had the chance to show him. We had 5 and within a break period, had them caught up with the gameplay and rules. We used the advanced rules (not the family game) and the E-Deck. I was amazed at how quickly they had caught onto the strategies and subtlties of the game. They all (except Chris) got a decent food machine up and running and were figuring out how to set up for scoring at the end. The finish was tight, with only 3 points separating first through third. Afterwards, while we were discussing what went wrong and right with our strategies, and while looking through the K-Deck and Z-Deck's, I was asked the obligatory "ok, what else you got?". I explained that I figured it was time to move away from worker placement and to try something a bit different.
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16. Board Game: Container [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:421]
Doug Palmer
United States
Birmingham
Michigan
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And this was the next step I selected. One of the best "economic games" that I own (and like). I brought the game in, and we went through the bits and rules at break time. At lunch, we set off. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the game went. I had forewarned them about the "death spiral" that can happen if meta-think occurs and people don't sell their ships to the others on the island (money is taken from the ecconomy, leaving nothing to spend). The game was slower than the other ones, it remained on the table for several days. But that was because the discussion through the turns was more in depth. I wasn't trying to push the game along, I wanted them to savor the gameplay and enjoy the experience. Steve ended up winning with a good, balanced strategy of producing and selling. Everyone had taken a slightly different tack and that was the bulk of the discussion afterwards. They all agreed, it needs to hit the table again, but not right away. An economic game had whetted their appetite. "What else ya got, Doug?" they asked.
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17. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:11]
Doug Palmer
United States
Birmingham
Michigan
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So, I brought in Power Grid and set it up this morning. A vendor didn't allow us to get started with this one yet, but I was able to run through the rules and showed them the bits. They're hungry to start playing this one. And I'm looking forward to seeing how they handle an auction game. The gameplay is clean and should move fairly well. I'm just hoping that they enjoy it. If a game with auctions works, I've got more on the shelf that I'd like for them to experience.

This is gonna be fun
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18. Board Game: Pit [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:1080]
David Peterson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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Was a HUGE hit with my coworkers....
 
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19. Board Game: Wits & Wagers [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:371]
Doug Ratz
Canada
Thunder Bay
Ontario
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This is a hit with all. And those that say they don't want to play always want to know what the answer is!
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20. Board Game: Blokus [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:368]
Doug Ratz
Canada
Thunder Bay
Ontario
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Another hit, as well as the Trigon and 3D versions. I'd say Trigon is the most popular. The non players also get interested and want to know where you are putting your pieces.
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21. Board Game: Cartagena [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:650]
Doug Ratz
Canada
Thunder Bay
Ontario
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Everyone likes this one as well. 'The Pirate Game' it gets called. It plays fast and anyone can understand the rules, although the backup for cards does confuse some at first. At least until they see how it works.
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22. Board Game: Kings Cribbage [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:3467]
Doug Ratz
Canada
Thunder Bay
Ontario
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People quickly 'got it' with this one as well. Scrabble Crib?? You don't say! What will they think of next.
 
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23. Board Game: Diamant [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:694]
 
Doug Ratz
Canada
Thunder Bay
Ontario
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People seem to like this one too. Simple, fast, and fun. So many people ask me, where to you find all these neat games? I direct them to our local game store, and of course BGG!
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24. Board Game: Quarto! [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:710]
Doug Ratz
Canada
Thunder Bay
Ontario
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I really like this one, and my friend at work is pretty good at it too, which makes for even matches. We have also played some Abalone but that didn't last long. As always, non players want to know what you are doing.
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25. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:11]
Doug Palmer
United States
Birmingham
Michigan
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Wanted to update the list after having completed our first game of Power Grid. Immediately upon finishing, they all said "let's set it up again and play the other side (Germany)". It took about half the game until they all had that little lightbulb in their heads turn on and the game came to them. They got the hang of powerplant valuation and realizing that turn order was just as important (if not moreso) than money management. It was great to see Nick win in the tiebreaker with more money.

We began the Germany map this afternoon and I can see already a different game forming. They all have it in their heads now what is needed and are going about the game differently. I think that's more fun to witness than actually playing the game!!

Now to find the next one to introduce.....Imperial? Le Havre? Railways of the World? I'm actually leaning towards Railroad Tycoon. I haven't shown them a "train game" yet. And I think that they'd enjoy a "pick up and deliver" game.

Man this is fun!laugh
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