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David F
United States
Emeryville
California
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Introduction (skip if you already know what GeekBuddy Analysis is)

The biggest treasure trove that BGG is sitting on, moreso than reviews, session reports, images, links etc (all of which are often mirrored elsewhere) is the millions of ratings and comments available for all the board games. Check out GeekCurrent to see it in action.

The catch is that BGG doesn't shove the ratings and comments in your face, as other sites like Amazon, Yelp, iTunes, Netflix etc do (Amazon actually often says its greatest advantage over its competitors is its large and well-curated database of serious reviews). It takes some clicking around and knowing where things are to access it. And the best way to do it is via GeekBuddy Analysis: checking out what your GeekBuddies have to say about a certain game.

Here's an example on what your GeekBuddies think about Summoner Wars.
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geekbuddy/analyze/boardgame/932...



If you'd like to run GeekBuddy Analysis on another game, put in the correct gameID at the end, or go to the game page, press CTRL+F and type "Analyze", then click on the link.

The Point of this Geeklist

I want more GeekBuddies who put serious ratings and comments into their games (quality is more important than quantity), and I'm sure you do too. Please add yourself to this list if you fit the criteria (if you add somebody else, only add 1 other so you don't dominate this list; you can always privately ask other users to add themselves), and definitely GeekBuddy anybody here whose perspective you think would help you greatly in learning about new games.

Use this format if possible in your entry: (or do it however you want to illustrate your tastes)

[username=XXXX]

[b]# of ratings/comments: [/b]X/X

[b]Gaming tastes: [/b]Euro (Family/Strategy) / Wargame / Ameritrash / Abstract / Party etc

[b]Other things to note about your ratings/comments: [/b]I'm an all-around nice guy.

[b]Top 10 games: [/b]
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10

[b]3 (or fewer) short pearls of (purported) wisdom: [/b]
Game 1 (X plays, rated X) - [i]""[/i]

Game 2 (X plays, rated X) - [i]""[/i]

Game 3 (X plays, rated X) - [i]""[/i]

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1. Board Game: War of the Ring Collector's Edition [Average Rating:8.60 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.60 Unranked]
David F
United States
Emeryville
California
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Luck in games, in measured doses, is the catalyst which enables shocking game-changers that you'll remember and talk about forever.
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# of ratings/comments: 373/371

Gaming tastes: Ameritrash (plastic figures, direct conflict, immersive settings) and Wargames that are more about the "game" than detail-for-detail simulation. I have a lengthy backlog of Eurogames which constituted my "rite of passage" as my gaming tastes evolved (read: before I knew better), but I now only have time for the truly innovative/important ones that help contribute to my board game classification system. Abstracts and traditional card games are cool if innovative, but I have no patience to explore further at this point, since they often degenerate into "who has the most board formations/situations memorized?".

Other things to note about your ratings/comments: I ignore the BGG rating system (which just causes everybody's ratings to be centered around 7) and rate based on game design/originality + how much I Like it -- how worthy it is to try at least once + how worthy it is to keep playing/exploring. My ratings are centered around 5 as a result. I do not use decimal points, since I think 10 integer values are sufficient. I rate whenever I feel I understand most of the game, which in my hubris is often after 1 play (but I revise it often with subsequent plays).

I also write details for every single play I log.

Top 10 games:
1. War of the Ring Collector's Edition (you're stuck with your first love if you've already committed with a $400 engagement ring)
2. Chaos in the Old World (El Grande gone trashy; wild asymmetry)
3. Twilight Struggle (great tension, but need opponent of equal skill)
4. Claustrophobia (innovative rules, creative scenarios, short play-time, jaw-dropping production values)
5. Battlestar Galactica (greatest marriage of theme/setting with mechanisms)
6. Runewars (you can definitely see the glue that barely holds everything together, but you can't beat the epic-ness)
7. Hammer of the Scots (simplest block wargame, which I want to get more into; wild changes in board state)
8. Imperial 2030 (the cynical theme keeps me going when the bean-counting frustrates)
9. Eclipse (2 great innovations, plus everything is so streamlined that it glides into your brain)
10. Dominant Species (tired Euro mechanisms rejuvenated with a sense of meaning and purpose)

3 short pearls of (purported) wisdom:
Mage Knight Board Game (2 plays, rated 4) - "Mage Knight is generally lauded as the return of the gamer's game that takes no prisoners. I'm all for HARDCORE games, but this one felt like complexity for complexity's sake, like Chvatil just threw everything in there without any editorial restraint from the publisher...We should laud decision complexity, not 'how many rules can I fit in this game and see BGG users drool over it and yell 'HARDCORE!'?'"

King of Tokyo (6 plays, rated 7) - "All Yahtzee-family games have been dry and boring. Not so with King of Tokyo, where the card upgrades provide an excellent shot in the arm. It also combats the 'all faces of the dice are good in their own way (so it doesn't matter what you do, just follow the dice)' syndrome by layering VPs and health on the game as trade-offs. The two objectives conflict through the decision on whether to sack up in Tokyo, resulting in great dynamism in deciding what to go for with your dice."

Brass (138 plays, rated 8) - "My main gripe with the game: a lot of things, like the Canal Phase wipeout, Level 1s, Birkenhead, in this game are thematically/historically driven. Yet, if Wallace hadn't put in those artificial constraints, the strategic space of this game would be a lot wider, and potentially better...and really, the theme isn't the most stirring one to warrant these weird constraints, either"
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2. Board Game: Urban Sprawl [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:795]
A. B. West
United States
Beech Grove
Indiana
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A. B. West
United States
Beech Grove
Indiana
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# of ratings/comments: 286/286

Gaming tastes: Euro (Family/Strategy) Although I cut my teeth on proper Avalon Hill wargames and grew up with GW board games, I'm now a fully devoted Euro-gamer. I still really love exploring all types, however, and can enjoy a trashy American game on occasion - if it still has decent mechanics to grab me or some fun loving theme.

Other things to note about your ratings/comments: For me, 7+ is a game I'm likely to keep and play for some time. Anything below a 7 for me is a game that I'm likely going to trade away or sell - unless my family likes it, has sentimental value, or is being used as research. I use half-point to show games that fit between the values for me - not quite this, but better than that.

I haven't found a 10 that stays a 10. Perhaps I'm just not ready to declare the perfect game. Conversely, I haven't found a game that's a 1. Maybe I'm just avoiding them?

Lately, I've found myself steering toward lighter games for some reason. Probably because I'll have more chance to play it. But I do like a good meaty game when I can get it.

I don't have any problem rating a game after a single play. In fact, I enjoy doing just that to see how my rating changes over time.

Top 10 games:
1. Urban Sprawl (really love it, still new to me)
2. Le Havre (love it, but rarely get to play)
3. Memoir '44 (nobody to play with)
4. Hansa Teutonica (truly love it)
5. Puerto Rico (classic Euro love)
6. The Castles of Burgundy (fan of Feld)
7. Navegador (rondel heaven)
8. Jaipur (two player elegance)
9. Ticket to Ride (perfect family game)
10 Steam (for me, better than AoS)

3 short pearls of (purported) wisdom:
" This is a quite complex game with simple rules. Everything is on the cards and every card is unique. The interplay with opponents makes the game shine - so it is best (for me) with 4 players. The flaws are around the swingy nature of the game - at times, one or two players can run away with the game, leaving others far behind. Some cards can be exceedingly unbalanced. But the game is large, chaotic and worth exploring. I like it alot!" - Innovation (10 plays, rated 8.0)

"I created a sweet PnP version with wood bits and fancy graphics. Got the cards from ArtsCow - and love the results. Now we're playing this like crazy. The game plays as expected: wild, random, whacky fun slinging spells, house-ruling as needed and running around with treasures stuffed under your robed arm. One of the few all out Ameri-trash games that I declare fun!" - Wiz-War (9 plays, rated 8.0)

"One of those games that tries to be one of the cool kids and ends up being rather silly in the attempt. The comparisons to Dominion are overstated: it has a minimal deck building concept (you keep the cards you win), but nothing at all that you can leverage for combinations or strategies. The game has some serious run-away leader flaws (you gain high value cards which enable you to gain more high value cards), clunky and dull mechanics (you're just playing to get the highest number, but you have to reach all over the table to do it), unfortunate and wretched translation of rules (sword is politics and a secpter for military??) and in general, nothing redeemable beyond the artwork on the cards (which is fantastic). Avoid it." - Arcana (3 plays, rated 2.0)
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3. Board Game: Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation (Deluxe Edition) [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:158]
Yours Truly,
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
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Yours Truly,
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
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# of ratings/comments: 305/251

Gaming tastes: I'm one of those who love all types of games. If I had to lean one way it would be towards midweight euros, but there are also abstracts and ameritrash I count among my favorites, not to mention hybrids. I've recently been dipping my toes into wargaming. Traditional card games are the only thing I'm not too into, although I'll play and be a good sport about it if others really want to play.

Other things to note about your ratings/comments: I try to rate every game even after 1 play. I'm not as diligent about the comments, but when I do comment I try to make it count, and every now and then I'll catch up on older games (usually copy/pasting from my new-to-me entries). I follow the BGG ratings definitions. But I also add a tenths: X.5 if it's "solid", X.2 if it's borderline lower, X.8 if it's borderline higher.

Top 10 games:
1. Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation (Deluxe Edition)
2. Chess
3. Hansa Teutonica
4. Mission: Red Planet
5. Carcassonne
6. Dungeon Twister 2: Prison
7. El Grande
8. Taj Mahal
9. Runebound (Second Edition)
10. Power Grid

3 short pearls of (purported) wisdom:
Confucius (1 play, rated 9.5) - "This game deserves to be much more well-known than it is; I'm guessing that has a lot to do with it coming from a smaller publisher. While it does have many euro elements such as action selection, area control, and hand management, don't expect something in the "elegant" streamlined vein of games typically out of Germany. Rather, this has come from the fevered imagination of a Brit inspired by the complex social mores, political intrigues and foreign endeavors of medieval China. The result is a beautiful and thought-provoking game design that turns your brain to mush if you try for too long to analyze its intricate webs of social obligations.

The game itself has visually striking artwork and nice wooden components, very impressive for a small-published game! The rules are well done and have little interesting cultural tidbits peppered throughout."


Carcassonne (15 plays, rated 10) - "This was my first euro/modern boardgame purchase ever... Fall 2004, I remember well the moment. I dig the strategy involved, and also the "art" that emerges during gameplay. I love the process of laying the tiles. The French medieval theme is perfect for me! I really like how Carc is so flexible based on who you're playing, and what mood you're in - it works equally well in a cut-throat, strategic battle between two buddy gamers as it does a peaceful meditative session with family or less aggressive friends. It's thanks to this game that I discovered BGG and the wonderful universe of modern boardgames."

Strasbourg (7 plays, rated 8.5) - "My 2nd favorite Feld behind Luna. Mid-weight medieval guild-themed game involving auctions, spatial placement, a bit of economy, and hidden goals. Typical Feldian interlocking clockwork mechanisms with an unusual approach (one might say a "blind bidding" approach) to allocating one's bid cards for each round. The bidding deck is the heart of the game and interesting to figure out and play around with. Plays very smoothly."
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4. Board Game: Trajan [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:38]
Mathue Faulk
United States
Cedar Park
TX
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# of ratings/comments: 220/225

Gaming tastes: Euro (Family/Strategy), but I don't mind a bit of Ameritrash or theme mixed in. At the same time, if a game has amazing mechanics, then I can handle a pasted on theme.

Other things to note about your ratings/comments: My ratings are currently just rated on a gut feeling. I would like to get a more formal rating system, but I don't particularly like the BGG system. I do a lot of preliminary ratings that are either based off of single plays or even solo plays, but I try to note that the rating is based off of such. In general, I don't mind games rated around 7. Games in the 6 are a bit on the meh side, but I'll still pull them out if the situation is right. Anything 5 or less is gathering dust on my shelves. I try to keep my ratings updated since I'm drawn to the Cult of the New and my ratings start off higher because of that.

Top 10 games:
1a. Eclipse - Surprised by how much I love this.
1b. Trajan - Discovered Feld in the last year or two, and this is my favorite
1c. Agricola - The first heavier game that I really got into.
1d. Dominion - Love this game for what it is.
5. Pandemic - My wife and I have had some epic plays.
6. Letters from Whitechapel - Love the cat & mouse feel of this one.
7. Macao - More Feld? Sign me up!
8. Homesteaders - Love the playtime on this engine builder.
9. Telestrations - My favorite party game.
10. Endeavor - Just getting into this one, but loving it.

3 short pearls of (purported) wisdom:
Agricola (A LOT of plays, rated 10) - "One of my top games. Something about it just makes me want to play more. It's a struggle, and I definitely can't get everything accomplished that I want to, but there is definitely a feeling of accomplishment after I finish this game. Similar to Dominion, I enjoy the variability from game to game. I doubt that any other game can replace this on my shelf."

Egizia (10+ plays, rated 8.5) - "My favorite mid-weight worker placement game. This is everything that I hoped Stone Age (ugh) was going to be. The decisions are tense, it plays out different each time, and it's fun. We play with one of the 2-player variants, and quite enjoy it..."

Lords of Vegas (5-10 plays, rated 8) - "Based off one 2-player game. Good, fun game, but I need to get it to the table with 4 players.

Update: Have played a handful of 4-player games. This game requires 4 in my opinion. Usually this game is a ton of fun, but I've had some big duds too. I think it hurts if the casinos are not built somewhat evenly (i.e. if nobody builds the purple casinos). In my dud games, we ran out of tiles, dice, etc. and it was much less interesting."
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5. Board Game: TransAmerica [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:699]
Joerg Schaefer
Germany
Frankfurt
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Germany
Frankfurt
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# of ratings/comments: 638/664

Gaming tastes: Mostly Eurogamer, strategic but family level as well. I also enjoy Abstracts although I rarely play them. Occasionally, I'm up for a wargame or Ameritrash.

Other things to note about your ratings/comments: I'm rating according to the BGG scale but mostly in the range between 5 and 9. Rating average is decreasing as I get more and more experienced.

Top 10 games:
1. Transamerica
2. Robo Rally
3. 18xx
4. Oregon
5. Ticket to Ride: Europe
6. Thurn & Taxis
7. Steam
8. Ricochet Robots
9. 10 Days in Europe
10. Hanging Gardens

3 short pearls of (purported) wisdom:
Container (3 plays, rated 8) - "An economic game from my favourite author Franz-Benno Delonge - a perfect fit! And Container didn't disappoint. It incorporates economic concepts in a way that I haven't seen in a game before, e.g. deflation. If players spend too much to the bank the amount of money decreases and causes deflation. Gamewise this can lead to a grinding halt and could provide for a long and not very pleasant game experience. Just as it would be in real life. Another subject is collusion between players which can break the game if players decide to form an alliance to make overpriced bids for each others goods. Also state subsidiaries are modelled in the game to enable inter-company trade. It's not as intense in modelling supply and demand as I had expected from the rules but that might be due to our group consisting of new players not being able to evaluate the game situation good enough and exploiting it.
In sum Container is a unique game with great depth while the rules are astonishingly simple. One of the trademarks of Delonge."


Air Empire (1 play, rated 7) - "The few available comments focus on its spreadsheet nature which is true. But the same could be said of games like Power Grid. It's just more obvious in Air Empire as players actually have to fill out one as opposed to having scales and markers on the board instead. There's not more calculation involved than in PG. That's not to say that it could play in a league with today's best economic games. It's one-dimensional in its focus on blind bidding for routes as the central mechanism, it has a runaway leader problem and some "end of the world" gameyness. But for a 50 year old game it features an astonishing amount of tactical decision making and planning ahead. In the beginning it even echoes an early Age of Steam when players struggle to build up revenue. I admit that my rating has an age, theme and style bias but I like blind bidding as a genre and am generous after having put some effort in tracking down a copy."

10 Days in Asia (5 plays, rated 8) - "The whole series succeeds as a light diversion at the end of a game night or a quick game to start with. In comparison to the other games of the series that I know I would give the following ranking:
1. Europatour (German version of 10 Days in Europe)
2. 10 Days in Asia
3. 10 Days in Africa
I like the introduction of railroads instead of cars (Africa) which made Africa too easy for my taste. On the other hand, the Asia map has to many countries with only one or two land connections which increases the luck factor in card draws noticeably. This is solved better in Europe. Only drawback for Europe (German version) is that it doesn't contain multiple cards for central destinations as Germany."

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6. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:8.00 Overall Rank:11]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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United States
Malverne
New York
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# of ratings/comments: 685/589

Gaming tastes: I play and enjoy many different types of games, but my favorite genre is Eurogames, and I definitely skew toward the heavier side of that spectrum. I don't care for cooperative games, and I'm not a huge fan of multiplayer conflict games. I don't have much experience with 2-player wargames.

Other things to note about your ratings/comments: I try to revisit my comments and rating each time I play a game. If I've played a game fewer than five times, I'll note that in my game comment. Games I haven't played in a long time may have a shorter (or no) comment--I'll post something more in-depth when I get a chance to play that game again.

Top 10 games:
1. Power Grid
2. Merchant of Venus
3. Agricola
4. Ra
5. Planet Steam
6. Vegas Showdown
7. Notre Dame
8. El Grande
9. Amun-Re
10. Puerto Rico

3 short pearls of (purported) wisdom: (For me, this is more just a cross-section of stuff than anything else.)

Navegador (20 plays, rated 9) - "This is the first Mac Gerdts "rondel" game that I've really liked. Players use their boat tokens to explore the world, from South America and Africa all the way out to Japan. While exploration is a good source of points, you can also set up colonies on the various explored regions to produce raw materials, or buy factories to process raw materials. The game features and supply-and-demand track, in which prices go up if raw materials are produced and go down if they're processed. The game encourages you to specialize, but you can't do so too much because of the rondel, and the more people following the same strategy, the worse that strategy will be. The game ties together very well despite everything that's going on. I really enjoyed this."

London (8 plays, rated 7) - "London is an engine-building card game. Each turn, you have the choice of either playing building cards to improve your engine, or actually running the engine. Running your engine may give you points, money, or other benefits, but it will also create "poverty" depending on the number of cards you've played and the cards you still have in hand. Poverty is worth big negatives at the end, but only relative to player with the least. There are lots of strategic decisions about how big you want to make your engine, and how many times you want to actually run it, while trying to manage your money too. Over many plays, I'm starting to find that opening hand luck is very important; the player who gets the most big-money cards in their opening hand seems to have a distinct advantage in the game."

TV Wars (1 plays, rated 3) - "This game is very Monopoly-esque, in that players take turns rolling dice and moving their pawn around a fixed track around the edge of the board. Depending on where they land, something happens, often a random tile draw or a loss or gain of cash or an auction for a valuable TV show or actor. Where the game gets interesting (and really, the only interesting part) is when someone lands on a "Ratings War"--here players get to simultaneously determine their evening lineup with the shows that they have in their inventory. The player with the least valuable show in each time slot loses it. The game is really a war of attrition--if a player runs out of shows, they are eliminated. So basically, the game is long, random, revolves around player elimination, and the only real decisions happen in a simultaneous action selection round (which only happens if someone happens to land there). I don't really have anything positive to say, so I'll leave it at that."
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7. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:33]
Martin G
United Kingdom
Bristol
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Martin G
United Kingdom
Bristol
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# of ratings/comments: 416/429 (I comment, but do not rate, expansions)

Gaming tastes: Interactive medium-weight Euros (thumbsdown to worker placement/JASE, thumbsup to Knizia and Kramer), card games, opaque economic games.

Other things to note about your ratings/comments: I rarely rate higher than 7 after a first play. A 7 indicates that I'm keen to play again, at which point the rating may increase. A 6 means I'm ambivalent about playing again, a 5 or lower means I will probably avoid.

Top 10 games:
1. Tigris & Euphrates
2. Race for the Galaxy
3. Ra
4. Cribbage
5. Twilight Struggle
6. Category 5
7. Brass
8. Innovation
9. Acquire
10. Tichu

3 short pearls of (purported) wisdom:
Ra(48 plays, rated 10) - "What I like about it is that you make only one choice each turn: draw a tile or invoke Ra. But that seemingly simple choice requires you to evaluate a whole host of factors - which tiles are already laid out in the middle, which tiles you and your opponents have, which Suns you and your opponents have, how many points you and your opponents have, how close the round is to ending. And these evaluations shift with every new tile that is drawn.

It's a game where you have to be constantly thinking about your opponents and presenting them with difficult choices - to spend a Sun that's higher than they'd really like or see a juicy lot go to someone they really don't want to have it. A masterpiece of emergent design - a few simple rules and a scoring mechanism, let the players do the rest."


Automobile (8 plays, rated 6) - "I was blown away by Automobile at first, but all my plays of it came within the first month and I haven't really wanted to pull it out since. The problem is the jarring contrast between the detailed profit and loss calculations needed and the randomness that can render them meaningless. I think the demand tile mechanic needs fixing, because the tiles you see simply aren't enough to tell you anything useful. Playing a lot of Brass online later in the year reaffirmed how much better it is than 'mobile, and I traded it away"

Principato (1 play, rated 3) - "The description didn't bowl me over (renaissance Italy, individual player boards) but even that didn't prepare me for how little fun this was. The one clever idea is the action selection mechanism: each player has two action cards in front of them, which they can activate or exchange with cards in a common row in the middle. But the actions themselves are dull and repetitive, killing whatever tension this mechanic might create. In that respect, it's rather like the Speicherstadt, only the one clever idea is less clever and the dull rest of the game is more dull.

What really murders the game though, is that the two main resources are completely symmetrical. There are buildings that cost gold and make food, and there are buildings that cost food and make gold; there are soldiers who you pay with food, and soldiers you buy with gold, and so on. This makes it impossible to specialise, and the only thing driving the players to do anything differently is the two secret goals they get dealt at the beginning of the game."
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Chris Tannhauser
United States
San Diego
California
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# of ratings/comments: 520/557

Gaming tastes: I EAT ALL GAMES

Other things to note about your ratings/comments:


Top 10 games:

1. High Frontier

In no particular order:

2. Magic: The Gathering
3. Cosmic Encounter
4. Power Grid
5. Netrunner
6. Android
7. Here I Stand
8. Arkham Horror
9. Talisman (Revised 4th Edition)
10 Twilight Imperium (Third Edition)

Representative Comment:

7 Wonders (15 plays, rated 7)

HiveGod wrote:
Though rife with shocking nudity and Masonic devilry, the game functions well enough for what it is, a "super-filler" that hosts up to seven players in 30 minutes. It's pretty, engaging, and the small decisions are nice. At the end you're rewarded with an awesome/mediocre/just-plain-sad tableau that tells the story of your soaring/forgotten/broke-ass civilization.

But...

The game suffers grotesquely when players don't counter-pick—the player who manages to seat themselves between two milquetoasts will win with a shockingly massive score. We're talkin' 37-42-52-87-33 shocking.

"What the hell were you doing?!" I ask Ms. 87's neighbors.

They blink as if slapped. "I was building my civilization," they say.

"For the love of God," I rave, "Why did you keep passing her exactly what she needed?!"

"Well," they mumble, "I had other things to do."

"Yes," I gurgle through clenched teeth, "Like making sure she doesn't double all our scores!"

So, yeah, this game requires mouth-pooping in order to work. When everyone keeps a scatalogical eye on their neighbors—and even up- and downstream some—it's a nice little card drafting game that's over quickly enough that you don't notice the undigested corn.

When playing with people who refuse to poop in their neighbor's mouths, I strongly suggest you sit between two of them in order to maximize your score.

UPDATE: Much better (I'd rate it an 8) with the 7 Wonders: Leaders expansion. Leaders allow you to focus your strategy (just a little), or at least build some synergy. Or, with a poor selection, have hilariously random historical figures running your show. Hatshepsut in Rome?! ~LULZ


Fig. 1 — It could have been worse: it could have been a Masonic butt-tattoo.
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9. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.34 Overall Rank:1]
"L'état, c'est moi."
Canada
Vancouver
BC
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"L'état, c'est moi."
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Roger's Reviews: check out my reviews page, right here on BGG!
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# of ratings/comments: 499/526

Gaming tastes: primarily Wargames, but also Thematic games

Other things to note about your ratings/comments: I tend to be a bit of an omnigamer, and I don't have a particular preference for game difficulty. I've come to prefer games I'm well experienced with over games that are new to me, because of my 499 rated games, 65 are rated 8+ by me - those are the games I truly love best. Then there are 281 rated 6-7 - games that I enjoy and will happily sit down and play if someone served it up at game night. The odds of a new game breaking into the 8+ range isn't very high, so I'd rather play something from my top 65 instead.

Top 10 games: in no particular order
1. Twilight Struggle
2. Combat Commander Series
3. Power Grid
4. Unhappy King Charles!
5. Maria
6. Die Macher
7. Go
8. Conquest of Paradise
9. Napoleon's Triumph
10 EastFront II

Honorable mentions: Here I Stand, Manoeuvre, Nemo's War, Musket & Pike Battle Series, San Juan

3 short pearls of (purported) wisdom:
Twilight Struggle (259 plays, rated _10_) - "This game is my favorite game. It has everything I love. Cold War theme, the potential for wild swings of fortune, moments of ecstasy and despair, and tremendous replay value. A classic for the ages."

Conquest of Paradise (15 plays, rated _8_) - "To quote my own review: What we really have here is a brilliant civilization building game with many of the core hallmarks of more complicated 4X games, wrapped in an attractive package absolutely soaking in well researched theme, plays in about 90-120 minutes, and plays equally well with 2, 3, or 4 players."

Manoeuvre (38 plays, rated _9_) - "It had not occurred to me until I read this review, but this game is actually good for up to 8 players at the same time."
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10. Board Game: Summoner Wars [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:219] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Matt Connellan
United States
Avondale
Arizona
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# of ratings/comments: 152/150

Gaming tastes: Ameritrash (plastic figures, direct conflict, immersive settings). I have a lengthy backlog of Eurogames which constituted my "rite of passage" as my gaming tastes evolved, but I now only have time for the truly innovative/important ones that help contribute to my board game classification system. Abstracts and traditional card games are cool if innovative, but I have no patience to explore further at this point, since they often degenerate into "who has the most board formations/situations memorized?". (I just copied OP's description because it fits me quite aptly. Also, less work)

Other things to note about your ratings/comments: I don't rate based on "want to play" nonsense (sacre bleu! A heretic!). I do it based on quality. A 10 is the best game I have played and a 1 is the worst. If, in the future, I play a game that is so much better than my current 10s then it will redefine the scale and all of my 10s will become less. I use .5 decrements.

Top 10 games:
1. Yomi (you'll notice I love asymmetrical power games)
2. Chaos in the Old World (here's another one!)
3. Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation (and another!)
4. Tigris and Euphrates (still sets the bar for inscrutable decisions with murky payouts yet supreme strategic importance)
5. Ra (another Knizia, uses a "Knizian" scoring system to keep every lot not only completely different that the lot before, but assymetrical worth to every player)
6. Magic: The Gathering (my first true love. I don't play much anymore outside of DotP, but I play DotP quite a bit)
7. Roborally (just too much fun)
8. Mage Knight (the puzzle solver in me combined with the sweet theme and art lover)
9. Summoner Wars (the game I currently play the most, thanks to the iOS implementation. Doubt I will ever get tired of it)
10. Settlers of Catan (Still great)

3 short pearls of (purported) wisdom:
Chaos in the Old World (rated 10) - "Theme, gameplay, and quality components are exploding out of this box. Each different Old World God vying for victory by playing by completely different sets of rules still has tons of interplay, interaction, and strategy. Every mechanic feels fully integrated and put together they all feel like a complete masterwork. This game is sex in a box."

Onirim (rated 7.5) - "Once I get a card shuffler or the expansion comes out that reduces card shuffling, I will move this game up to an 8, or even higher. It really is quite a clever, fun design, with a lot of decisions to make. Three expansions are packed right into the box, and it's only ten dollars. This game is the best value to gameplay ratio I have other than maybe Times Square. Very impressive and fun, and I look forward to playing it more.
This game precludes ever playing 'Solitaire' ever again. It's nearly as portable as a deck of cards, and much better looking and more fun to boot."

Titan (rated 2) - "Embarrassing joke of a game. It seems that somebody dressed up the most ludicrous kids' game they could find with endless esoteric rules and boilerplate fantasy monsters and said it was for adults, and people believed them. The "tactical combat" portion of the game is almost laughable as to how immaturely it handles almost every aspect, yet still seems to be supremely disjointed and clunky. Add on an extremely ill-fitting score mechanic and a silly on-rails map and you get what might be the most bloated, cobbled-together piece of trash I've played in a long time."
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11. Board Game: Age of Steam [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:58]
Cole Wehrle
United States
Austin
Texas
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"Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation"
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Cole Wehrle
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Austin
Texas
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# of ratings/comments: 230/149

Gaming tastes: Most anything. Though I'm particularly interested in games with tough choices and high interaction. I appreciate elegant design. On the other side, I also enjoy wargames, particularly Napoleonics.

Other things to note about your ratings/comments: I like to revisit my comments quite a bit, often posting updates months or even years later. Sometimes these updates are only a confirmation, but at other times they reflect flaws that a lot of play exposed in a design. I play my games a lot, and, though my logging is erratic (it has gotten much better over the last year), I try to wait until I've played a game several times before I rate it.

Top 10 games:
1. Age of Steam
2. Titan
3. Diplomacy
4. Chicago Express
5. The Napoleonic Wars / Here I Stand
6. Origins: How We Became Human
7. 18xx
8. El Grande
9. Struggle of Empires
10 Caylus

3 (or fewer) short pearls of (purported) wisdom:
Age of Industry (~22 plays, rated 9.5) - "As a design, Age of Industry stands at eye level with its older brother. Despite sharing a large chunk of rules, the game offers a very different challenge. Networking feels more important and the constricted board means that there is a real fight for position. The income/loan/victory point system is a major improvement. Ignore posts about how all the industries feel too similar, any examination of their profit margins and costs cuts through their critique. Thus far I've seen every industry effectively utilized: they feel like a set of precision tools. The develop action is also great, but is seldom an obvious move..."

Discworld (6 plays, rated 8.5) - "I was initially totally underwhelmed. But, once you realize that the building aspect of the game provides both information passing as well as a kind of action drafting the deck's roller coaster softens. The hidden roles effectively turns a Tammany Hall style knife fight into a masquerade ball (knives still included)."

Power Grid (15 plays, rated 6) - "Update:
I no longer even hold a player count preference. I find just about every count largely uninteresting. This game is a case study in how to suck the life out of a game with a poor catch up mechanism. The "meat" of the game becomes completely secondary to the jockeying for poll position that quickly becomes tiresome. "
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12. Board Game: Innovation [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:202]
Bryan Maxwell
United States
Burtchville
Michigan
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# of ratings/comments: 430/508

Gaming tastes: I tend to be a fan of card games and euros. I like the occasional abstract. I'm not a big fan of Ameritrash or wargames. Games that yield interesting gameplay decisions from a simple ruleset are particularly fascinating to me. I play a lot of 2-player games with my wife, so my tastes tend toward that end of the spectrum.

Other things to note about your comments/ratings:
I rate in chunks of .25, so my scale is essentially 1-40. Like with many users, 7 seems to be a cluster point for my ratings. Anything below a 7 is usually something I'm not going to keep around. Anything rated 8 or above I am very fond of. Often a 7 is damning a game with faint praise. 7's tend to be adequate but not memorable.

I write details for the majority of plays I log.

Top 10 games:
- Innovation:
A clever, ever-changing whirlwind of a game that keeps you on your toes. Luck is involved, but skill and ingenuity have a far greater effect on the outcome.

- Container: A closed economy in action. This game baffles me. I am terrible at it. I adore Container.

- Dominion: Every game is a toolbox where playing compete to build the best machine. The vast pool of cards means the tools are never the same twice.

- Dominant Species: Impressive that so many different mechanisms and elements can come together in such a delightful, vicious package. We routinely remove 5 cards from the deck and finish in about 2 hours.

- Race for the Galaxy: A comfort game for my wife and I. The "pay for cards by discarding other cards" mechanism is genius and underused in the hobby. Nearly all of my plays are the 2-player advanced game.

- Battlestar Galactica: I love team games and I love hidden traitor games. Betrayal is fun!

- Tigris & Euphrates: A wonderful, elegant design. Aggression in a euro done right.

- London: Another comfort game for my wife and I. I have 35 plays logged, all 2-player games with my wife.

- Animal Upon Animal: This game is fun and satisfying every time it hits the table. Every placement is a chance to be nasty and destabilize the whole thing for your neighbor.

- Stephenson's Rocket: Another simple rules/tough choices game. I'm always amazed at how much game this packs into an hour of playing time.

3 short pearls of (purported) wisdom:

Innovation: (132 plays, rated a 10) Regarding Glory to Rome vs Innovation:

It's hard to put into words. I feel like Innovation is a little snappier, a little faster-moving without sacrificing any of the interesting bits. The game state is a little more fragile and volatile as well. The technologies in Innovation are far less permanent than they are in GtR, so it rewards adaptation and thinking on one's feet a little bit more. GtR has more of the slow, lay-a-building-down-then-try-to-get-the-materials-into-it play.

Maybe Innovation just appeals to the impatient gamer in me. I feel like I get into a rhythm with Innovation that I never get with Glory to Rome, so maybe I just need more experience with the latter. I prefer the faster tempo of Innovation.

Looking back at my logged plays I see that not a single month has gone by without at least one play of Innovation since I bought it in August of 2010. That's pretty telling.


Container: (14 plays, rated a 10) Fascinating game. It's like watching an isolated little economic system under glass. Very well balanced, you need to be so careful with your money. Just fascinating. Will need several plays to figure this out. I'm bad at games like this, but admire them (see also: Chicago Express.)

Container is like sex: even when it's bad, it's good.


Tichu: (18 plays, rated a 9) After a couple of plays, Tichu is as good as advertised. I love team vs team games, and there aren't many. This feels to me like a mix of Euchre and The Great Dalmuti that somehow manages to be greater than the sum of its parts.

Like Euchre, I love trying to get on the same page with a teammate I can't communicate with. It's wonderful when it happens, and developing a rapport by playing with the same partner for a prolonged time is very rewarding.

I find that I'm teaching this a lot. I need to start playing with people who have played before.
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13. Board Game: Hornet Leader: Carrier Air Operations [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:723]
Ryan S
United States
Avery
Idaho
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Ratings/Comments: 91/136

Gaming tastes: Solitaire Games, Cooperative Games, Multiplayer games that can be played and enjoyed solitaire, Ameritrash Games a.k.a HOT (Heavy on Theme), and Wargames. I've been transitioning heavily to solitaire play over the last few years as I can't get players very often. With three kids (1 brand new) in the house, my wife (my main gaming partner) has not been very enthusiastic about games recently, and with good reason. So I've been trying to meet my game fix with solitaire games in the little time I have available. I've gotten heavily into games designed for solitaire play, though I enjoy many multiplayer games (mostly co-op) that can be played as an enjoyable solitaire experience. In fact, recently I devote almost all of my new game research and game money into solitaire or soloable games. One of my main criteria for acquiring new solitaire games and a heavy component of my enjoyment is the ability of the game to create a narrative. I have a taste and appreciation for some Eurogames as well, although they are not my preferred game type.


Other things to note about your ratings/comments: I try to use the comments section to write "mini" reviews of the games I have a lot of play time with or strong feelings about. It keeps me from posting reviews on the forum where you might call me a "dumb head" or a "puddle of oozing fanboy slime" for my game opinions! goo I use the standard BGG rating scheme even though I don't feel it is a terribly accurate way to rate games. Perhaps if I have the time I'll come up with a system I am more happy with and apply it to my games. Oh, and I really, really value detailed and thoughtful comments posted by users. I often find them at least as valuable, if not more so, than many reviews.

I also log all my plays. For games that are epic or very important to me I will likely log quite detailed sessions. See my plays of Hornet Leader: Carrier Air Operations for an example. If I'm researching a game, I'll probably stop by and see if anyone logs detailed plays to get a feeling of the game. Most of you don't, however.

Top 10 games:
4-10 in no particular order and could be substituted for any of my 8's

1. Hornet Leader: Carrier Air Operations
2. Where There Is Discord: War in the South Atlantic
3. Thunderbolt Apache Leader
4. Race for the Galaxy
5. Saint Petersburg
6. Antagonist - Do check this out if you're a fan of Risk or Axis & Allies type games. It's awesome!
7. Struggle for the Galactic Empire
8. Nuklear Winter '68
9. Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery
10.Catan Card Game

3 short pearls of (purported) wisdom:
"With 2 players..."blah". After so many plays a 2 player game holds little appeal pre-game and provides little fun during the game.

With 4-5 players...more fun, though still not something I enjoy or appreciate. I can deal with the lack of theme and themeless mechanics with more grace when I play with 4-5 players than with 2 players. The game is much more competitive & the board is much tighter. Highly recommended as a 4-5 player game for new gamers, light Euro gamer types, and Ameritrashers who can suspend their need for theme and blowing things up (which means you're likely not an Ameritrasher!)."
-Ticket to Ride (34 plays, rated 4)

"This game is amazing. If only it didn't take a whole day to play. The decisions are frequently gut wrenching, and watching a gamble turn into a success is unlike anything I've felt from other games. Conversely, the out of the blue disasters can bring me low and illustrate the concept that if something can go wrong, it can go very wrong!

I really enjoy this game and wish I had more time to play. It is well worth the price."
- Where There Is Discord: War in the South Atlantic (3 plays, rated 9)

"Amazing game! This game, at least on a long campaign, forces the player to balance a lot of competing factors to achieve success. The outcome of each mission is never clear until the end, as the placement of enemy forces occurs in at least a couple stages, events are unpredictable and can force you to alter your plan mid-mission, and die rolls can vary from very unlucky to very fortunate. Even a successful mission can have very negative costs that make the outcome seem like a pyrrhic victory. Some missions turn out pretty smooth with few problems, others are constant nailbiters until the end. Watching your pilots grow in skill level adds an extra level of achievement to the game that I appreciate. This game is heavy on tension and creates lots of second guessing, which I like. It's also heavy on paperwork, which I don't mind but others probably will. It tells a great story and pulls me into it. It also gives the player many options when setting up the campaign initially and while playing as the player decides which targets to fly against and which pilots to send and which to rest. A great game that I can't play enough right now." - Hornet Leader: Carrier Air Operations (86 plays, rated 10)
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14. Board Game: Oregon [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:685]
Kentaro Sugiyama
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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# of ratings/comments: 425/428

Gaming tastes: Euro/Ameritrash. I'm drawn to sci-fi, train, and epic/civilization games, that have interesting and novel mechanics, rich themes, medium-to-heavy weight games, with longer play times of 3-6 hours or more.

Other things to note about your ratings/comments: Be forewarned! My comments are intensely verbose, to the point that they are almost full-fledged reviews/session reports. For example, here is a comment for Eclipse after one play. I didn't plan on this at the beginning, and was using comments for my own edification. Little did I realize that others could see my comments... for it was a surprise when one day my long-winded comment for Dominion showed up in a geeklist! Someday, I intend to convert some of these comments into reviews, but until then....

Not only do I try to record first-impressions of a game, but from time to time, I do try to review my ratings and add updates. In this way, I try to record my shifting/evolving preferences for a particular game, over a period of time. You could call this a way of measuring the "half-life" of a specific game. I also do try to adhere to BGG's rating definitions.

Top 10 games:
#1: Oregon (see below)
#2: London (Martin Wallace, card drafting, city-building goodness)
#3: Nexus Ops (TI3-like objective driven combat fun in a 90-minute package)
#4: Brass (Martin Wallace's Puerto Rico)
#5: Oasis (severely underrated offer drafting)
#6: Iron Dragon (crayon rail with an intense, rich experience)
#7: Twilight Imperium (Third Edition): Shattered Empire (the definitive space opera)
#8: Railways of the World (accessible railroading fun)
#9: Acquire (nostalgic old-timer with plenty of staying power)
#10: La Città (vivid, sophisticated civ-light)

3 short pearls of (purported) wisdom:
Oregon (89 plays, rated 10) - " (Update) I've made the stretch that this is somewhat like Brass in play, and that's probably why I (and others) enjoy this game so much, despite it's seemingly simple mechanics. Both games have cards that determine play location as the central mechanic. What cards show up are random in both games, and in both games represent opportunities. It is up to the players to maximize scoring based on these opportunities. The players must be flexible and adaptable to react and take advantage of the plays of the other players, or constrain their opponents."

Lords of Waterdeep (8 plays, rated 7) - "It's like vanilla ice cream. It's a familiar taste that you grew up with. It's not the greatest flavor in the world--it's not Rocky Road--and you're not going to go out of your way to get it, but you know you'll like it. If someone offers you a dish of vanilla ice cream, are you going to complain? No, you wouldn't (unless you hate vanilla for some reason). It's a solid, respectable '7', and there's nothing wrong with that."

DungeonQuest (third edition) (1 plays, rated 2) - "If you like random crap occurring every turn, vicariously enjoy the screwage of your opponents, don't mind that you have a snowball's chance in hell of surviving, and that you have very little input on winning, then this game is for you....with miniatures and counters and tokens and chits and card decks oh my! .... The combat system is idiotic War on steroids....So, the game is stupid-fun, like War is stupid-fun, or like Munchkin is... whatever.... This is one hour of my life I won't get back."
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15. Board Game: Age of Steam [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:58]
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
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# of ratings/comments: 964/964

Gaming tastes: I tend to live at the Euro end of the spectrum, but I'm looking for something specific in my games that doesn't exist in all Euros. A large number of them now are family-friendly, balanced-to-the-point-of-winning-on-a-tiebreaker games, and I prefer more teeth in my games. If there's a way to get passive aggressive and mess with other players' well-laid plans in a game, then I'm more likely to enjoy it. Oddly enough, I don't like games with overt aggression, so it's hard to narrow down what it is I like about the games I really like.

Other things to note about your ratings/comments: I rate and comment games after one play, but I also note in my comments the number of times I've played a game, and with how many players, to give folks some context. I try to cover the points of what I liked/disliked about a game in my comments, so anyone reading them as part of their research will find them useful in making a decision about a given game. I also try to enter updates when my opinion changes on a game, but I used to just rewrite them all together; I think the updates can show more insight into how a game develops after multiple playings.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that I only rate games in full-integer increments, and I don't rate games 1, as I don't really see that any game is "broken." Additionally, I use my own definitions for my ratings to make it easier for me to figure out what makes one game a 6, and another a 5:

10 Family? They can wait. Let's play.
9 I can take time off work if you want to play this game.
8 Tomorrow? The day after? You tell me!
7 Let me know the next time we can get together and I'll bring it.
6 Yeah, I'll play that. You know, since it's here, and no one picked anything I brought.
5 Oh. Uh ... sure. I'll play.
4 Well, only because Jim really wants to play it.
3 Really? There's nothing else here to play? *sigh*
2 No. Just no. I'm going home instead.

Top 10 games:
1. Age of Steam
2. Race for the Galaxy
3. Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization
4. Container
5. Hansa Teutonica
6. Dominion
7. Upon a Salty Ocean
8. Rattus (with expansion characters; the base game alone isn't enough to make it a top game)
9. Skull
10 Ka-Ching!

(Note: These don't match what I have in my profile, because as I was looking at those, I realized that I need to go through and re-rate my favorites. Instead, I looked back at what I've played most over the last year and made some selections from that list.)

3 (or fewer) short pearls of (purported) wisdom:
Age of Steam (78 plays, rated 10) - "Age of Steam gets a bad rap for being a heavy game, but it's not really that bad. I think people see that the game is UNFORGIVING, and assume that it must be a heavy game, but the turn order makes sense, and flows logically from one point to the next. There are certainly some angsty moments as the game attempts to squeeze the life out of you, and there are some incredibly tense moments as you attempt to out-think other players in what special action they may choose, and then wait to see what they're going to do. Overall, though, this is probably better classed as a medium-weight game system, with the possibilities of certain expansion maps making the game that much harder."

Hansa Teutonica (14 plays, rated 9) - "There's a lot in this game that works toward its favor with me: It moves quickly, has a variety of strategies, has very little luck, and rewards good decision making. It's also not an overly complex game for its depth, so it might even be a good second-step gateway game. The tech trees are integrated well into the game, and there don't seem to be any obvious strategies to take when approaching the game. In fact, the more times I play the game, the more I discover different ways to play the game, and they all seem to be well balanced. Each time I play with a different group, I see a different way to play the game. That makes the game easily susceptible to groupthink, but the options are varied if you can see them when you play. I had high hopes for this game, and it didn't let me down."

Fluxx and its variants (6 plays, rated 3) - "I'm not sure if I would ever REALLY choose to beat my temple with a ball-peen hammer instead of play this game, but just to be safe, please don't ask me to choose while I'm actually playing the game."
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16. Board Game: Dungeon Twister [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:532]
Juan Carlos Goyes
Colombia
Bogota
Cundinamarca
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# of ratings/comments: 586/273 (I´m working to fix this)

Gaming tastes: I love all kinds of games. I will play any game at least twice to give it a fair chance. For me, everything begins with the theme. If a game has good theme and components, I´m much more inclined to buy it and play it. However I also like a lot of Eurogames (although most were introduced to me by friends). For example I would have never played Agricola due to its (to me) boring theme, however I love Agricola now.

I began playing Boardgames on December 2009 and then my focus was to try as many new games as I could. Nowadays I found myself wanting to play the same game more times so I can really explore it.

I prefer games that have little luck (although I have some exceptions) and are somewhat heavy.

Other things to note about your ratings/comments: I always log my plays and comment on them. My goal is to comment every game I have ever played. Also I never delete my comments, instead I make continuous updates as my gaming taste changes over time.

About my ratings, I rate every game I have played with few exceptions. If I have not rated a game is because I don’t feel I could give it a fair rating. For example I once played Forbidden Island and it was very late on the night so I fell asleep, thus I have not rated it yet.

I do follow the BGG rating guide and I rate only in 0.5 increments.

Top 10 games:
1. Dungeon Twister
2. Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization
3. Battlestar Galactica
4. Arkham Horror
5. Twilight Imperium (Third Edition)
6. Dominion: Prosperity
7. Race for the Galaxy
8. The Castle of the Devil
9. Time's Up!
10. Dune

3 short pearls of (purported) wisdom:
7 Wonders (26 plays. Rating 7.5) 2011-07-27

Initial Rating: 8.0

Thanks to all the hype out there, I was expecting an amazing game, 7 Wonders is a great game but not what I expected, I love civilization games and this one is not one of them, the theme is pasted on but I can get around that. I think it is one of the most versatile games out there, I like that it can handle 6-7 players in a short time frame, but the ideal in my opinion is 3-4 players, anything more and the players see too few cards (which greatly increases the luck factor), the game is not very deep, almost always it is more tactical than strategic as you react to the cards than you receive, I consider it to be a "familiar" Race for the Galaxy (as both games seek synergy between cards) which by the way I prefer and recommend over 7 Wonders. On the bad side, the cards are of a very low quality, must sleeve ASAP. In conclusion I like 7 wonders, it is a very good game but I think it is over appreciated, I will buy it once the hype calms down.

2012-04-17

Nowadays I find myself less interested in playing this game, for me, it just doesn´t have a high replayability factor, I feel almost all games are played in the same fashion. I need to play with an expansion soon to see how the game changes.

Also counting the points at the end is a bore.

Current Rating: 7.0

2012-06-05

I played again and I really enjoyed it this time. Perhaps I was too harsh with my rating.

Current Rating: 7.5


Acquire (Plays:22 Rating 8.5) 2011-07-22

Initial Rating: 5.0

Acquire is an "Acquired" taste . I didn’t like it a bit the first few plays (The original rating was around 5) but I’m beginning to see why so much people like the game. It has luck but almost always the best player is the winning one. It is not an easy game, it has a steep learning curve but I totally recommend it. This is a classic and a true gamers’ game.
In general, new players don’t know what to do and this often leads to unintentional kingmaking.
I love to play with hidden information.


Agricola(Plays 23. Rating 9.0) Initial Rating: 8.0

Agricola is an Outstanding game! At first I didnt like it very much, but each time I play it the rating goes up. The mechanics are easy to grasp but the strategic decisions needed to win are very complex. Plays very well with 3,4 and 5 players.
It is the best work placement game out there.

EDIT 2011-01-17 Rating 8.5

I love the family version of Agricola, the advanced deck versions I don´t like as much. In Agricola you have to really think to win a game, so I dislike the luck present in the game when you add the cards. It can easily (powerful occupations) tip the balance to the players who drew better cards. I liked it better when all players had exactly the same tools to compete. I have not played yet the draft mode so the jury is still out on this one, but Right now I really prefer Caylus over Agricola. New Rating 8

EDIT 2011-07-07 Rating 8.7
I finally tried the draft variant and really like it. I still think there are over and under powered occupations and minor improvements, but in a way the draft controls the annoying luck. If we are going to play with cards, I demand to play a draft; the downside is the extra time (around 45 min) needed to do it. (with further aggravation from the analysis paralysis folk).

EDIT 2011-11-03 Rating 9.0

Agricola rating continue to raise after every play. Now I fully appreciate what a great game Agricola really is. Many of my new matches have been 2 player and the game handle that perfectly, there is so much to do with so little actions, you always feel you couldn’t get done all you need to do.... I love it.


The cards are absolutely amazing, every game is different and I have not played with an expansion yet.

Great great game. You have to play Agricola soon.
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17. Board Game: Tichu [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:63]
Andrew Garttmeyer
United States
Warminster
Pennsylvania
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# of ratings/comments: 261/261

Gaming tastes: Ameritrash, Euros, Card games, Dexterity, and Party games. I usually slant towards thematic games revolving around fantasy, but it's getting TOO popular now! When did I stop being the minority? When I say card games, I more am talking about card games of yore, Shanghai, Tichu, Oh Hell, the new Chronicle. While we love Dominion and it's ilk, the prior games have a certain social feel to them that fits our table well. Party games with though mind you, no Mad Gab here.

Other things to note about your ratings/comments: I tend to play a game once and rate and comment. THE HORROR! The fact of the matter is I do not get to game as much as I would like to. Some games get a play and are traded, or I am playing a friends copy I never see again. My reactions usually are pretty founded, i.e. when playing a second and third time my reaction is changed just a smidgeon, no BIG drastic changes of heart. It happens, but not often. Lastly, I am commenting on the level of fun and decision making, I am not analyzing broken strategies or a specific path to victory.

Top 10 games: These are not 100% accurate, but close.
1. Hansa Teutonica
2. El Grande
3. Dominant Species
4. Descent: Journeys in the Dark
5. Chronicle
6. Age of Steam
7. Power Grid
8. Crokinole
9. Lords of Waterdeep
10. Chaos in the Old World

3 (or fewer) short pearls of (purported) wisdom:

Tichu (35+ plays, rated X) - The partner/team aspect in this game is it's most redeeming quality. There is something glorious about good teamwork that leads to you and your partner going out first and second.

Crokinole (45 plays, rated 10) - The thing that makes this game interesting is that you are not just taking turns trying to get into the center, to make a legal shot, your piece HAS to hit an opponents piece. That essential rule makes this one worth playing over and over, and over....and over.

My group loves it.


Pit (2 plays, rated 2) - What a weird idea for a game. Really? Just keep yelling and somehow convince everyone to give me enough cards to win? This is dumb, how about YOU convince ME to play this again.
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18. Board Game: Fast Food Franchise [Average Rating:6.39 Overall Rank:2737]
Gary Heidenreich
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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# of ratings/comments: 650/696

Gaming tastes: My gaming tastes really tend to euros. I'm not into fantasy or sci-fi much at all. I will play, but that theme tends to keep me away. I'm not cult of the new anymore...I tend to enjoy some of the early to mid 2000's games (and earlier). I dig abstracts but don't get to play them much. A euro can be fairly abstract...paper-thin theme and I wold love it.


Other things to note about your ratings/comments: - my older comments are shorter as about a couple of years ago, I took it upon myself to share more thoughts with my comments as a way to honor those who had already been doing that. I found, even if their taste didn't match mine, I could get a feel if I would like or dislike a game. I wanted to do the same. Make that contribution to the hobby.


Top 10 games: - well, sorta. I don't really have a top 10, but these are the games I really dig currently.


1. Double Some'R'Set
2. Crokinole
3. Puerto Rico
4. Fast Food Franchise (my favorite gateway game)
5. Macao
6. Civilization (vanilla only)
7. Sheepshead
8. Can't Stop
9. Dominion
10 Scrabble

3 (or fewer) short pearls of (purported) wisdom:

Aton
(24 plays, rated 10 - "What a great two player game! It's abstract, but I love abstracts. It also, to me, has a Amun Re feel and not just from the theme. You have a hand and you are trying to set yourself up for potential scoring rounds but you want the scoring rounds to come when YOU want them to come. Lots to think about. To use the cliche, lots of game in a little package. I'm looking forward to another game of it, soon!

Update 7/09 - raised to a 9. One of my favorite two player games. It's quick and the more I have played this gem, the deeper it has gotten. So many different ways to play and win depending on your card draw. Why didn't I learn this one sooner?

Update: 3/12 - we had our first win by filling all the yellow. Awesome. I've bumped it up to a 10."


Circus Train (First Edition)
(2 plays, rated 8) - "I like. Love the theme and the gameplay. It's sort of a pick up and deliver but in the early game you are really looking to build yourself up in the spring/summer to rake in the big performances in the fall, which is where the points are. Scores are high and it remains to be seen (need a second play) if we avoid the runaway leader we had (I honestly expect we will). Sometimes it takes a first play to see that type of stuff.

Quick update. Played the scoring completely wrong. It's no wonder the scores were freakishly high. We played the rest of the game correctly and looking forward to playing again.

I can be old school and enjoy the look of the well designed chits in the game. Also had to play the Doors to get some kind of carnival music theme going.

Update: Raised to an 8. Played with the correct rules and the only thing I added from the expansion was the extra stuff to play with more than two. Went alot quicker and definately some different ways to go. I thought the game was better the second time I played. "


Pfusch
(2 plays, rated 2) - "with two, but I think with 4 or 5 and some beers, this can be fun.

Update: tried again with two. Naaah. I don't see how this game would be any better with more. Rules are vague, as well. In fact, I think the game sucks. Dropped rating from 5 to a 2. No way will I play this again."

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19. Board Game: Inca Empire [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:665]
rizkar
United States
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# of ratings/comments: 429/476

Gaming tastes: Eurogames, economic games, train games (although I am yet to wade into 18xx), auction games, worker placement, area majority. Not really into Ameritrash or horror. I have a feeling I would really love wargames if I had the people to play with.

Other things to note about your ratings/comments: After reading the rules to a game, my initial comment is often a basic rule summary + initial impressions. This helps me pick games to play from my "unplayed games" list. After playing the game I will usually put in a comment summarizing the experience.

Top 10 games:
1. Le Havre - My favorite of the Harvest Trilogy.
2. Stone Age - Still the best gateway game.
3. Agricola - The game that "took" it to the next level from me, introducing me to heavier Euros.
4. Chinatown - The best game of negotiation that I've ever played. In my experience, the best negotiator will always beat the luckiest tile/card drawer.
5. Torres - Brilliant, brilliant game that introduced me to K&K. The action point allowance system really opens up a game, allowing you to do whatever you want, in whatever order you want.
6. Inca Empire - Every play of this game for me has been close and exhilarating.
7. Chicago Express - Zero luck, Auctioning. Just an awesome design.
8. Tikal - Another great action point game, with an element of exploration and a beautiful board.
9. Caylus - This game blew my mind the first time I played it.
10. Yspahan - I'm not normally a fan of dice games, but this is one of the best games I've ever played.

Recent games I loved: Vanuatu, Trajan, Castles of Burgundy, Hawaii, Freidrich (not recent, but I played it recently).

3 short pearls of (purported) wisdom:

Kaigan: An outstanding game that has flown under the radar. Players are surveyors competing to map the coast of Japan at the start of the 19th century. Hints of Zooloretto (i.e. placing tiles, or in this case action cards, in a set that could be "selected" or stolen by another player) -- but the brilliance in this design is that the cards are played in order by column, while players each select a *row*, making placement decisions agonizing because they impact turn order, and therefore projected opportunity based on relative timing of each action. Worker placement and action selection at its core, with balancing of power tracks, victory points, and money. The two things I didn't like were the dice rolls for neutral surveyors (this could add too much luck, but shouldn't make the game), and the paper map. Great game!

Pueblo: Players each possess 3D pieces that represent half of a 2x2 cube. Some of these are in their colors, while the rest are in a neutral tan color. On your turn you must place one piece, leaving no overhang, on an 8x8 grid, eventually builing upwards and combining with pieces belonging to other players. You must then move the chieftain 1-4 spaces around the perimeter of the board. He looks straight down his line of vision, awarding negative points for each block of color he sees, to the player owning that color. The higher up a visible block is, the worse (3rd level is -3 points, for example). At game end, the chieftan walks the full perimeter, scoring each line of sight. A game unlike any other, with a goal of negative area control, simple rules, and no luck.

Goa: Outstanding bidding game, where each round the tiles to be auctioned are selected by players in a unique method where each selected tile must be adjacent to its predecessor. Actions are then taken to: improve one's strength in 5 resource tracks (money, ships, goods, colonists, or expedition cards collected); to collect those resources; or to found colonies. There are many paths to victory, yet the game is so balanced that completely different approaches can result in a win by just one point. Very fun and interactive. Played with 2 and 3 (which was much better), yet to try with 4.
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20. Board Game: Ra [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:95]
Greg H.
United States
Cleveland
Ohio
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Hey there!

# of ratings/comments: 292/306

Gaming tastes: Predominately Euro games, but I do like games that integrate a theme well. The mechanics have to be really, really good for me to want to play a rather themeless game. I play very few "Ameritrash" games and even fewer wargames, but I also find games for my family, kids, and "serious" gamers. I have a mild aversion to very lengthy games--they better be good if I'm going to sacrifice the chance to play two or three solid middle-weight games.

Other things to note about your ratings/comments: I will rate games after one play. I'll adjust my comments with each play to see how my opinion evolves. After about five plays, my comments are mostly "locked in" with a few exceptions. I won't rate a game a "10" unless I've played it 5+ times.

Top 10 games:
1. Ra -- the first 10 rating I dished out.
2. Carson City -- excellent mesh of mechanics and theme.
3. Steam -- both the base and standard game allow you to match this to the players.
4. Crokinole -- the ultimate flicking game that will never grow old.
5. Dominant Species -- one of the heaviest games I'm willing to play.
6. Metropolys -- one of the best games I've played with my wife.
7. Small World -- love the simple rules but variability of race/power combos.
8. Steam Barons -- It's not an expansion. It's a freaking new stock game.
9. Imperial 2030 -- all praise the rondel.
10. El Grande -- the grand-daddy of area control.

3 (or fewer) short pearls of (purported) wisdom:
Regarding Dominant Species (5 plays, rated 10) - "My first play of Dominant Species was easily the most excited I've felt after a game in a long time. It is also one of the few, rare games that justifies the approx. 4 hour playing time. I gotta imagine playing time gets better with familiarity, but there's so much to think about and the available actions are so many, that every game is going to take quite some time to get through.

What's to like? It's area control and worker placement... two things I like very much because it keeps everyone involved. Despite the "spartan" appearance of simple tiles and wooden cubes, this is also one of the most thematic games I've played in a while as well. It just goes to show that theme is not always in the "glitz" of components but is ideally reinforced by the game's actual mechanics. Dominant Species has theme in spades...

I had read a comment somewhere that asked essentially, "What does DS do that El Grande doesn't already?" There's an easy answer to that question in my mind: glaciation. The gradual creep of the glacier keeps everyone on their toes, forces tough choices, and generally provides an overall storyline to the game. It also shakes things up and provides opportunities (particularly via "survival") for someone to get back into the game. For so many moving parts, I'm shocked at how well everything fits together.

This is a wonderful game, and also possibly the heaviest game I own. I can only hope that I get to play this with some regularity. Based on the enthusiastic response it's getting from others, I think that might actually be possible.

There's only a few nitpicks with this game--I already mentioned the length, and for those prone to AP, the pacing of the game can really drag. Also, if an extra action pawn card pops up in the first row of the game, it gives the starting player an easy grab for a significant advantage that will last all game. The easy remedy for both is to eliminate a few cards from the deck and also ensure those extra pawn cards are not in the first batch.

Random comment: for 1st edition owners, the thicker tile set is worth it... slightly. They do make picking up elements and tiles much easier. It's probably not worth $20, but if you can get it cheaper, do it.
"


Regarding Colosseum (5 plays, rated 5) - "First play with three people, and we had a blast. Loved the degree of interaction, and loved the building tension and sense of drama with that "last big show."

This seems like it has enough meat for regular gamers, but could still be an option for someone who needs something after Ticket to Ride.

Update: One observation after a handful of plays... there's a lot going on in this game. Most games take approx. 2 hours. Couple that with the long-term planning, and it's not exactly a game that is ideal for those looking for their next game after Ticket to Ride. I still like it, but it's a bit of a "gamer's game." And yet, some gamers may not like the elements of luck thrown in. I don't mind it, but then again, I'm not luck-phobic.

Update: Downgraded this to a "7." I still like it... I admire it for its eclectic mix of elements, and I love the long-term strategy of aiming for the final show. But... the game continues to last a bit longer than I'd like, and the trading element is sometimes underwhelming. Also, auctions are not always tense, with a number of lots going for the minimum value. Still glad to own it though.

Downgraded to a "5" and traded away along with Thunderstone for a copy of Nexus Ops. Ultimately, it's a game with a number of things that I really appreciate (theme, long-term planning) but with enough flaws (time frame, weak trading) that it won't hit the table."


Regarding Citadels (9 plays, rated 6) - "Initial rating is a 6 after a 2 player game, but I suspect this will go up. The true test will be to see how this game works with a range of player numbers, as I'd like this to be flexible enough for 2, 3, 6, and even 7 players.

Update: I'm still only playing this with two players, but I'm liking it more. Bump it up to a "7". It took a while but it's growing on me. The rules read OK, but nothing special. The first game felt "eh." But once you learn the character cards and how to play off your opponents, it becomes much more enjoyable. Curious to see how this plays with 5, 6, or 7 people. I expect this rating will continue to increase as people learn the game.

Update: Finally played this with 4 players. It's not shockingly better than 2 players... just different. I predict though that with 6 or 7 players this game would drag too much. 4 or 5 is definitely the "sweet spot."

Update: Dropped this to a 6, and it probably stays there. I don't mind owning it... it's cheap, and it serves as a decent gateway game for new players. However, it's also a little long (I can see how I'd always cut it down to 7 districts), and there's many more interesting games I want to play at this complexity and time frame.

Update: traded this away in a math trade for the Treasure Chest expansion for In the Year of the Dragon. This just wasn't getting any play, and there's far more interesting games in my collection."

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21. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.34 Overall Rank:1]
eryn roston
United States
San Diego
California
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# of ratings/comments: 180/178

Gaming tastes: I like many types of games. I tend to really get enamored with higher complexity Euros and wargames/historical stuff. However I also love a well made ameritrash game, party game, filler game or anything that can bring people together at the table.

Other things to note about your ratings/comments: I try and base my ratings on the official BGG system (ie. "I always want to play this game and expect that will never change"). The comments are useful for when this system falls short (for example I LOVE Here I Stand, but I dont really want to play it ALL the time).

Top 10 games(http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/74228/baditudes-top-ten-20...):
#1: Twilight Struggle
#2: Galaxy Trucker
#3: Power Grid
#4: Paths of Glory
#5: Subbuteo
#6: Puerto Rico
#7: Lords of Vegas
#8: Tigris & Euphrates
#9: El Grande
#10: Space Alert

3 (or fewer) short pearls of (purported) wisdom:

One of my top rated games, Twilight Struggle: (17 plays, rated 10)

"One of my favorite games. The theme is totally engrossing. The rules at first glance may appear overwhelming to non-wargamers, but it's worth the effort! The game does a fantastic job of creating tension. It accomplishes this mostly by forcing players to make plays that will end up helping their opponent. The trick than becomes figuring out how best to minimize the inevitable damage.

I can't recommend this enough."


A Medium Rated Game: King of Tokyo (7 plays, rated 7)
"King of Tokyo is one of a number of light-weight dice games to come out in the last couple years. It's got master designer, Richard Garfield's considerable talent behind it which gives it a leg up against other games competing for the same space in my closet.

KoT is a game of King of the Hill mixed with classic Yahtzee. Rolling dice will do damage to other players, heal your own wounds, or give you points or energy.

Almost all dice games can suffer if they go on too long and this can certainly happen in King of Tokyo. Games will usually only last about 30 minutes, but the ones that go longer feel WAY too long.

This is a problem made worse by the fact that King of Tokyo does have player elimination. In my mind player elimination is always a weakness in a design. It's a flaw that can be mitigated by short play-time, but I pretty much always dislike it when players get knocked out of a game.

So what I end up with is a somewhat uneven impression of the game. When it is working -- when you have a buncha monsters slugging it out with lots of cool special powers on the table, and when the game is short (under 30 minutes), it's a very fun and very easy-to-play filler.

but there are games that drag on for too long and end up being sort of boring.

the one bit of warning I would offer is that if all players are ONLY focusing on killing the other monsters (which is probably most gamers' natural tendency), the game has a much better chance of dragging on for too long. The "victory by points" is a pretty reliable timer as long as one or two players at the table are keeping that as an option for winning."


One of my lower rated games: Krakow 1325 AD (2 plays, rated 5)

"there's something undeniably INTERESTING about this game, but I'm not sure that it's really all that fun.

Normally when a game has "lots to look at" it normally translates into tough decisions and "lots to do". Krakow definitly seems to have tons going on, but it ends up feeling more distracting than compelling.

The joy of having a hand of cards that need to be played one-by-one is the strategic "puzzle solving" of evaluating your hand and planning the order in which you play out of it but I've never really managed to this in Krakow.

I do get the sense that after a few more plays a quality game might emerge but only after all 4 players have had the same amount of experience. It seems unlikely that I'll be convincing 3 other people to "fly through the flak" of multiple awkward early games in order to get the proper experience.

As a result I think this interesting game will likely remain low in my rankings"
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22. Board Game: Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:67]
Rob Doupe
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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# of ratings/comments: 265/220

Gaming tastes: Euro (Family/Strategy) / Wargame / Ameritrash

Pretty much a gaming omnivore. Except for abstracts. And co-operatives. And really light games. And traditional card games.

But I do have about a 50/50 balance between wargames and euros, with thematic games filling in the gap. I tend to like highly interactive, meaty games. When I'm finished, I like to look back on a story.

Other things to note about your ratings/comments: I'm a tough marker. I don't hesitate to judge a game after one play. I don't have the time or patience to play a game I don't like three or four times to justify my assessment. However, I do revise my ratings (up and down) if subsequent plays warrant.

Top 10 games:
1. Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage
2. Europe Engulfed
3. Innovation
4. Age of Empires III
5. Le Havre
6. El Grande
7. The Republic of Rome
8. Railways of Europe
9. Paths of Glory
10 Puerto Rico

3 (or fewer) short pearls of (purported) wisdom:


Innovation (rated 10) - "Updated rating after five plays. I'm starting to appreciate the dynamic push and pull of icons versus dogmas, scoring versus tech level. You really have to be flexible, pressing your advantage when you can, while setting up for long-term plays. The variability and breadth of play are astonishing.

======================================================

First game was a head-scratcher, but by the second we were cheerfully pulling levers and setting up combos. Lots to process at the table, and I wouldn't play it with more than three. But we all enjoyed the way the dogmas ramped up in effect, and the difficult choices between building your icon strength, playing dogmas, and scoring achievements.

And this is no dry exercise in solo engine-building. The interaction in Innovation is intense; sometimes brutual and sometimes extremely subtle.

Looks to be serious depth and replayability here. I could easily see the rating on this game rising if I play it frequently with experienced players. "



Dominant Species (rated 7) - "Rating after one play.

This is one of those games where you spend most of the first session just pulling the levers to see the myriad of cause and effect. Reminds me a lot of Age of Empires III, but about 30 per cent more complex and 30 per cent longer. Whether it's 30 per cent deeper remains to be seen.

It's transparent enough once you see a couple rounds of scoring. And there are many trade-offs in efficiency, long-term potential, and scoring.

It is quite swingy. Dominance cards can open enormous opportunities, depending on the timing. And scoring is heavily weighted to the final turn, which feels a bit wonky in such a long game. However, it does seem that with experience, the swinginess would be mitigated. So my rating may rise."



Rise of Empires (rated 5) - "Suprisingly abstract Wallace design. Not as much nation identity and customization as in Struggle of Empires or Princess of the Renaissance, less thematic than Liberte, Byzantium, or After the Flood.

This is a pretty straightforward action drafting/ area majority game. You're essentially building an abstract and crude economic engine, and pushing cubes around a fairly ugly map. And if you get behind early, you're going to be a spectator for three more hours.

However, the A/B decline mechanism is clever, there's not much downtime, and the whole thing hangs together reasonably well. I'd play again, but I don't expect any great depths of strategy or memorable narratives."
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23. Board Game: Lord of the Rings [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:494]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Alright, I guess I'll post even though I'm a slacker.

# of ratings/comments: 620/553

Gaming tastes: Particularly fond of Family games, Party games, but I'll try anything once. No familiarity with War games, or real heavy strategy games, but again I'd willingly play them.

Other things to note about your ratings/comments: I rate based on my subjective desire to play the game again, not some objective measure of quality. My comments are a mixed bag, some are long almost approaching a mini-review, while others are very brief comments I threw in 5 years ago based on memories of playing it a long time ago.

Top 10 games:
1. Lord of the Rings
2. Vegas Showdown
3. Dominion
4. Time's Up! Title Recall!
5. Shadows over Camelot
6. Star Wars: The Queen's Gambit
7. Space Alert
8. Colosseum
9. Pandemic
10. BITS

3 (or fewer) short pearls of (purported) wisdom:
The Adventurers: The Temple of Chac (12 plays, rated 9) - "Probably one of the most theme-driven games I've ever played. This game is like Indiana Jones in a box. I love the simple mechanisms and the great components. This game is fast and has a ton of fun to offer. You just have to be prepared to accept the fact that luck will play a major role in the game, because there isn't much strategy involved. But don't let that scare you away, there are tons of decisions, because at virtually every step along the way you will be forced to decide how much you want to push your luck. Will you sit 4 spaces in front of the giant boulder, or will you risk jumping in the river even though you're loaded down with treasure? These type of decisions will determine how much danger you want to put yourself in.

You see the Adventurers is all about the story. What you will remember are those moments when someone is barely able to drag themselves from the river before falling down a deadly waterfall, or when someone narrowly outruns the giant boulder to avoid being trapped for eternity. Winning and losing seems to become secondary to the story of what is happening. If ever there was a game where you will try to salvage "moral victories" this is it. Sometimes just getting out alive is enough to make you feel like you accomplished something. Come for thematic fun and everyone will be satisfied."


GiftTRAP (12 plays, rated 6) - "Top notch components really add to this party game. Choosing how to distribute the gifts is fun, and the fantasy of "What if I was actually receiving these gifts?" is enjoyable too. Just keep out the bonus cards, they add nothing good to the game. The biggest drawback is the scoring which can be a bit fiddly. But if you have one person handling each side of the scoreboard you should be able to avoid confusion. It just seems like it would be better in a light party game like this for the scoring to be more intuitive.

The other problem in the game is the fact that it feels like it wants to be a get-to-know-each-other game, but it penalizes not knowing the other players. For instance, we played with a friend's parents for the first time and I gave him flying lessons. I was then told that he is scared of heights. So, even though this information was interesting we both got penalized 4 points. So it works best with people you know, and you should probably avoid adding in strangers who aren't familiar with the other players because they will get crushed."


Back to the Future: The Card Game (2 plays, rated 2) - "Well this is round 2 of writing this comment. I was so emotional about the experience that my first comment turned into a review. If you’d like to get the full scoop on my thoughts of the game, I would encourage you to check that review out, but for those who want a quick run down on the game here in the comments...

This game is a colossal let down. I’m just about the biggest Back to the Future movie fan in the world and so the anticipation for this game was almost immeasurable. But the game has a myriad of flaws. The theme is not executed well, as the majority of the characters you play aren’t ones you came to know and love/hate from the films, but their descendants. Also the art is drawn on the cards instead of cool screenshots from the movies.

Then there is the whole luck of the draw issue, something I normally don’t mind but seems a little too powerful here. There aren’t enough cards to affect the parts of the timeline you care about, so only those who are lucky enough to draw them will have a shot at winning. And what in the world made them think that digging through the discard/draw pile on every other turn was a good thing? When you don’t know every card in the game this just becomes a tedious process that you wish would end.

To sum up, it’s a great theme that has been positively mangled in this game. I’ll try again because of my passion for the theme, but I know better than to get my hopes up again."
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24. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:87] [Average Rating:7.53 Unranked]
Markus
Finland
Uusimaa
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# of ratings/comments: 246/273

Gaming tastes: I like and am willing to play anything from abstracts to wargames, I do not prefer any single genre to others, though most of my gaming is medium euro/ameritrash games because that's what my gaming group usually prefers.

Other things to note about your ratings/comments: When it comes to commenting, I prefer quantity to quality. That doesn't mean that I write whatever nonsense (not always, at least), but I think that a comment is always better than no comment. So I'll rather leave a short comment than nothing.

Top 10 games:
1. Go
2. Memoir'44
3. Race for the Galaxy
4. Eclipse
5. Arkham Horror
6. Dixit
7. Railways of the World
8. Summoner Wars
9. D&D Adventure System
10 Intrigue

3 (or fewer) short pearls of (purported) wisdom:

Le Havre (9 plays, rated 9) - "Le Havre is an interesting game. While it is not as immersive as Agricola, it is possibly a better game. The suffocating hardships of Agricola are not to be found here, but rather the players are just trying to choose the best options out of many good ones. The theme does come through somehow - "I'm just a poor boy with 5 francs and a piece of coal in my pocket" - but in the end building a farm in Agricola is much more immersive. That said, Le Havre is a good game that I recommend to people interested in heavy, positive eurogames."

Intrigue (7 plays, rated 8) - "Intrigue is a pure negotiation game. There are a few rules, but mostly you will be arguing, threatening, sweet-talking, wheeling and dealing and most of all, betraying your friends. Sounds like a fun time? If so, Intrigue definitely is the game for you. The rules are easy enough that it can be played with non-gamers, although it is a good idea to make it very clear what the game is like before starting."

Twister (4 plays, rated 4) - "This - is - Twister!"
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25. Board Game: Napoleon's Triumph [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:186]
Was George Orwell an Optimist?
United States
Corvallis
Oregon
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# of ratings/comments: 405/425

Gaming tastes: Fairly broad. I love wargames and Ameritrash most, but I also enjoy abstracts, euros, card games, you name it. I've got nearly 900 games in my collection, and my profile shows that I have given only four perfect 10 ratings (Napoleon's Triumph, War of the Ring Collector's Edition, The Fury of Dracula (the real deal, not the remake), and Claustrophobia.

Other things to note about your ratings/comments: I'm not sure I'm best qualified to speak about my own ratings and comments. I don't fear bucking popular opinion; I call 'em like I see 'em. As an older gamer, I have the advantage of having seen and played a great many games over the years.

3 short pearls of (purported) wisdom: Not a header I would have chosen. I think I'll simply link three threads that, taken together, provide a reasonable sampling of my approach to games and gaming:

Bowen's Magic
The Dirty 1/4 Dozen
If I don't make it through the weekend, blame Boards and Bits

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