The Joy of Gaming--We Have a Winner!
Marc P
United States
Seattle
Washington
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Congratulations to gamecrossing for winning a copy of Thebes and Cosmic Eidex! The magic number was 63.

Thanks to all who entered. There were some great stories in there!


I've had a rough summer. We had our first child in June, right around the time I needed to start writing my dissertation. Learning child care 101, caring for a recovering wife, finishing lab work, and writing...all this while trying to juggle the various relatives coming to visit and "help". Finally, the dissertation was done, right at the deadline, and I successfully defended last Wednesday. Ahhhh. Relief. Color floods back into my life.

Then, it hit me that I am extremely fortunate to have a wonderful wife, a beautiful and healthy daughter, the potential to secure a decent job, and the recent news that we may be moving somewhere in the near future where winter isn't quite so grim. All this makes me very happy.

You want to know what else makes me happy? Gaming. We had friends over the other night, including a couple with a baby near the age of my daughter. Of course, no longish games were going to be possible, so I broke out For Sale. To my surprise, none at the table had played it. I was actually pretty burned out on it, but playing with newbies reinvigorated the experience. Seeing the look of dawning understanding when the betting strategies became clear, and the sidelong looks around the table when the 2nd half strategy revealed itself was priceless. A simple little game had received new life, and had made people happy. After For Sale, my friend Mustafa broke out Citadels. Having played and enjoyed it on a few occasions, I relieved my wife of little Elaine so she could give it a go. Of course, she loved it, and insisted that we pick it up the next time we hit the FLGS.

I want to celebrate this sharing of games that we love and cool experiences that we have. If you are interested in receiving a free game, post to this list with a game that you love and a story to go with it. It doesn't have to be all rambly like my story; one or two lines is sufficient for entry.

A post containing a game and "I'm in!" is NOT sufficient for entry.

Only one entry per Geek. If you have a New User badge, you are only eligible if you joined BGG prior to August 20, 2007.

On September 1, I'll randomly select one of the entries as a winner. The winner will get a game, shipping included. It will be a brand new, proper board game (think something in the full-sized Rio Grande box size, as opposed to something like Tichu or BattleLore) from an online retailer in your country.

Entrants may want to verify that their wishlists are updated (hint, hint).

Good luck!
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76. Board Game: Citadels [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:214]
jack raten
United States
Michigan
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Citadels- i was introduced to this game 2 years ago at Christmas time. Back then i love board games, but the only ones i'd play were the normals, i had never heard of these "Eurogames". Well, my cousin had it at a christmas party and we started to play. Instantly i loved it and when i got home i ordered it. It's the game that led me to the world of Boardgaming and eventually to BGG. Since then it's probably my most played game and the one i've had the most fun with.

That's my story.
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77. Board Game: Bohnanza [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:280]
Burster of Bubbles, Destroyer of Dreams.
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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I've been trying to corrupt my sister's kids. Ahem. Um. I've been trying to introduce my sister's kids to the world of strategy gaming beyond Monopoly and Chess. Um... I've been trying to corrupt my sister's kids. :-)

So, for their birthdays, I got them matching sets of Cosmic Wimpout dice, since they had enjoyed playing it so much, and two bigger games -- Bohnanza plus an expansion for the 11-year-old girl, and Ticket to Ride for the 9-year-old boy, a train buff.

This spring the whole family got together out on the East Coast, and I was pleased and surprised to see that they had brought Bohnanza along. An even better surprise was that my mother turned out to be good at Bohnanza, too.

I always thought it was just hyperbole when a game was labelled as being good for ages from 8 to 88, but at the table that day we spanned ages from 9 to 78, and all had a good time.

I've also taught them Tsuro and Poison; I'm thinking maybe Hare & Tortoise should be next. Maybe I'll buy 10 Days in Africa for them.

Yes, my family thinks I'm weird, but they will occasionally sit down and play games with me :-)
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78. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:141] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Brett R.
United States
Edmonds
Washington
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I guess this would be my first 'real game'. I've always been an avid H.P. Lovecraft fan, especially his Cthulhu Mythos stories, so when I saw this big boy sitting on the shelf at my local comic book store, I felt like I didn't have a choice of whether I was going to buy it: I HAD to. After discovering that this isn't the best game rule book-wise for a beginner, I plodded through and eventually got figured out (or pretended to), and played the first game with my girlfriend.

From that point on, it has been our go-to game for any rainy day, or just whenever we want to get away together. The oozing atmosphere, sense of adventure, and thickly laid on theme just draw us in every single time we play, and we can't get enough of it. And I have to say, it's alot better than sitting on the couch drooling infront of the TV .
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79. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:164]
Joshua Hearne
United States
Danville
Virginia
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Ever since I was very young, I've been interested in board games. I remember playing some games as a child that others weren't playing. A while back, I received Settlers of Catan as a gift because I had heard so many good things about it. Luckily, and predictably, it was an incredible experience. I've brought in many other players to enjoy a game that is easy to learn and easier to love.

For example:
I'm a Youth minister and Grad Student who is married. All three of these attributes have been a place where Settlers has been involved in my life. I've taught the youth at my church to play this game and they've kept me up late on multiple occasions (at different events) to play it because they love how "different it is..." Plus, I've brought a love of abstract games (Backgammon and Go, principally) to my Graduate Student friends. Between classes, thick books, or papers, we often engage in a game of Go or Backgammon. Finally, I had an incredible chance to get to know my in-laws even better over this game. They'd been playing monopoly and I suggested it. My father-in-law and brother-in-law (whom I see only a few times a year) loved it and we had good conversation over it.

Gaming has been good to me. Thanks for giving me the chance to talk about it.
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80. Board Game: Battle Cry [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:403]
Bob Hansen
United States
Menomonee Falls
Wisconsin
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Battle Cry is the reason I came back to board gaming, specifically, wargaming. I grew up playing all of the old AH and SPI classics, and gave up on it with RPGs and computer games. I saw this game at Gen Con the year it came out and after demoing the game, I HAD to own a copy.

I now own all of the Command and Colors games and many of the expansions. While it is a light game compared to what I used to play, in this stage in my life, it is perfect.
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81. Board Game: Mr. Jack [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:288]
gregory duff
United States
Ft.Worth
Texas
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I had been searching for a game to play my wife. I bought Lost Cities. Too much like solitaire she thought. Next came Ringgz, Giza, and even Robo Ralley. Alas, she loves playing the inspector to my Mr. Jack. She wins 60% of the time I should note. It is a very sweet thing to play a game you love with your beloved. As an added bonus, my daughter loves the game also!!!
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82. Board Game: Ra [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:95]
Reddy Kilowatt
United States
Pennsylvania
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I love Ra! It's my new favorite game. I've only had the opportunity to play it a handful of times. The mechanics are brilliant. I love the quick and tactical way to scoop up points as the game goes on. There's alot of opportunity for interesting decisions, but they're usually quick decisions; I haven't seen anyone suffer from analysis paralysis during Ra.

Many people seem to think it's dry and that the theme is "pasted on". I realize that the mechanics could be used for other themes (as it already uses the mafia theme in Razzia!) but I think the ancient Egyptian theme fits so well. I love how in some epochs, the gods will favor the people and bring plenty of floods and riches; while other epochs, the gods are angry and bring drought, earthquakes and death. I don't know, maybe I have an overractive imagination, but the theme works for me.

I guess in a way, this is more of a mini-review than a story, but I think of this as a love story. A love story about a man and his favorite game. kiss
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83. Board Game: Ca$h 'n Gun$ [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:621]
ChokSien Hiew
Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur
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In one game of Ca$h 'n Gun$ that I played with Ricky, Cin Yee, Chee Seng and Alicia in Kuching, I was falling very far behind in terms of money collected. It was getting quite hopeless when we reached the last round. Then I noticed that all of the leading gangsters already had two injuries, i.e. if they got shot again, they would be killed and would be out of the game. I had no bullets left and could only bluff. The good thing was that since I was very very far behind, I was not perceived as a threat. So when it was time to point guns, I put on my most fearsome and vengeful look and pointed mine at Ricky. All the leading gangsters pointed at one another. No one pointed at me. When it was time to back off, everyone did so except me, so I was the sole winner of the remaining stash of money, and I came from last place to win the game in the very last round! Ricky could have won had he not chickened out in the last round.

Another memorable moment was when we played another game adding the undercover cop variant. The basic game is the same, except now there is a secret undercover cop, who tries to win by calling police headquarters for backup three times, and then surviving until the end of the game. The real gangsters have to prevent this from happening, in addition to trying to get the most money. I was a real gangster. By round 6 or so, everyone had deduced that Alicia must be the undercover cop. So there was always someone pointing a gun at her, to prevent her from calling police headquarters for the third time. So we reached Round 8 safely, and guess what... someone had called police headquarters in Round 8, and we were surrounded by police! Chee Seng was the real traitor! Not Alicia! I still wonder how Chee Seng managed to pull this off, how he managed to divert all the attention to Alicia. I had thought my deduction process was very logical and the conclusion was worked out perfectly. Poor Alicia, being targeted by everyone and unable to do anything. Well, probably she made Chee Seng sleep on the couch that night.
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84. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:141] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Aaron Hoot
United States
Venice
Florida
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First of all, congratulations on the birth of your child. We are very new to boardgaming. We are missionaries in the Dominican Republic and have 9 children, 8 which are still at home. We are having a blast with boardgaming. Amongst our family favorites are BANG!, For Sale, Rumis, Munchkin Fu and a few others. Hey, games are expensive, we can't afford a whole lot. I guess our favorite would be Arkham Horror. It is amazing about how the kids will give each other a hard time about bad luck or picking the wrong character but amazingly by the end of the game are willing to give up their life for the sake of the others. Very fun family time. We try to play two to three times a week but this one only about once a month because of time. Have a great day!

Aaron
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85. Board Game: Babylon 5 Component Game System: Core Sets [Average Rating:5.70 Overall Rank:8223]
Neil Molyneaux
United States
Cleveland Heights
Ohio
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I met my wife through gaming. She went to high school with a college friend of mine, and when she was looking for a group to game with, he knew that I was living in the same area, and introduced the two of us. We started with RPG's like Champions, and then moved on to playing board games, like the one pictured here, the Babylon 5 CGS.

Since the show is one of her favorites, along with shows like Good Eats, this is a bit of a tribute to her.

On a side note, she repeatedly kicks my butt at games like SPQR and 'War and Peace'. Yeah, she'll play wargames. Well, sometimes. It depends on the time period/genre.
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86. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:33]
Ryan Abrams
United States
The Colony
Texas
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I have played board games most of my life, and had gone as far as having a copy of settlers of catan in high school (back in 96), which we wore out through tons of repeat plays. My interest exploded once I was in college in downtown London. I stumbled across a small game store across from the British museum, and went inside.

The upstairs was all fancy chess sets and puzzle cubes and such - touristy gift items. But there was a small staircase that lead to a lower level, which was full of boardgames and RPG books. Boardgames I had never heard of, but which were very very interesting. I left with a list of several that I intended to buy.

When I went back into the shop the next day, they had a copy of Euphrat & Tigris they were setting up on the counter, and invited me to play as a 4th. I did. I loved it.

I don't play it near as much now as I did back then, but I still jump at the opportunity to teach someone, or play a game with some friends. It's the one game that will always hold a special, permanent place in my collection.
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87. Board Game: Dungeons & Dragons Basic Game [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:1657]
Green Knight Games
United Kingdom
Cheltenham
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Maybe an odd choice, but the story fits the theme well. When we first had the children, we found we weren’t getting out at all – adult babysitters were hard to come by and we didn’t want to leave them in the care of teenagers. A friend came to our rescue by inviting us to a newly-formed RPG evening. It soon became a regular Saturday night thing and we looked forward to it every week. The kids we bedded down at the friends house and took them home when we’d finished. During those evenings we hacked or way through Krynn, Ravenloft and many other fantasy lands. It was a great escape and a real moment of sanity during the week.

Our group still meet (currently on a Viking-themed adventur)but often play Euros or AT, all of which have been a great hit with the others.
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88. Board Game: Aladdin's Dragons [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:569]
G. Gomez
United States
Chula Vista
California
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I've liked gaming all my life, and I'm getting back in there, but it is somewhat frustrating with the kids.

I've only recently gotten Aladdin's Dragons, and after spending time reading the instructions and getting into the right frame of mind to play a new game.
The kids saw the box, loved the art and the bits. They were excited to play, I set up everything, but after I started to explain the rules, the younger kid figured it was too complicated to play, threw a tantrum and got everyone else in a bad vibe.

We had to interrupt everything, and put the game away.

Maybe sometime soon we'll get to try again.

Congratulations, I am happy for you, but I can't wait for my kids to be old enough to play...
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89. Board Game: A Game of Thrones Collectible Card Game [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:1501]
Joshua Kenney
United States
North Haledon
NJ
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I had played a lot of CCGs throughout high school, mainly Magic. But when I moved to California for college I left my gaming buddies behind.

One day at a FLGS I remarked to no one in particular that I'd been out of the CCG loop for so long, I didn't even know most of the games on the shelf. Like this, "A Game of Thrones"? What the heck is that?

The lady behind the counter started gushing. Oh it's great and it's based on these awesome books filled with blood, sex, and violence, and the game really captured that brutal feel.

So of course I picked it up.

I fell in love with the game immediately and played numerous games against myself. I was eager for some real opponents and after checking out FFG's website was pleased to see they had organized tournaments in my area. Since I was from a small town in Connecticut there had never been tournaments near me, so this was pretty novel. I was terrified out of my skull (I am a very shy person), but determined to go. That's how much I loved this game.

I envisioned all sorts of doomsday scenarios, particularly one in which the store was a dirty, cramped affair filled with vicious nerds who would not only crush me and my puny Stark deck to dust, but would mock me while doing so.

I can't remember a time when I was so wrong in my life.

The store (Great Escape Games in Sacramento, CA) was clean, well-stocked, and staffed by very friendly people. The playing area was likewise clean and bright. My opponents could not have been nicer people. They stuffed me full of promos and trades and overall good feelings that I could not wait to be back.

The time I spent in Sacramento was not a particularly nice time in my life, but it is no stretch to say that I lived for Thursday nights. I went back every week and the group as a whole broadened my horizons, and it was there I was introduced to classics like Settlers and Chez Geek (a good chunk of my affection for that game stems from playing it with "Erwo" and his crew). Above all it was a demonstration, a very clear one, that games are most definitely not all about winning, but enjoying your time playing.

And I enjoyed every second of it.
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90. Board Game: Intrigue [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:1387]
David Thompson
United States
Portland
Oregon
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I ran a week-long game camp for high school students last spring, and my story comes from one of the game sessions I participated in that week.

On the third day of camp, after getting to know each other a little better, I introduced some games that included more backstabbing. I knew that some students would like that aspect of the game, but wasn't sure how much buy-in the games would get. After our first morning game, I sat down with Matt, Ian and Jon to teach them Intrigue.

We had a great group of players, who negotiated so well, that nearly all four were tangled up in each transaction. To quote one of the students, Jon,
Quote:
"I think that today, I spent the predominant amount of my time on Intrigue. We had such a good time, the game probably lasted a good 3 hours. We started it at least an hour before lunch, took a lunch break, and then played until 2:15.
That's right, we took a lunch break. Most of the other groups had already finished, but we were tougher negotiators.

For the most part, everyone tried to stay on each other's good side, apologizing for the required backstabs and promising to make it up to each other. Finessing these transactions took a lot of time, but truly made the experience for me. Jon detailed the play here.

What I enjoyed so much about this game was the focus and intensity that each of the students gave to the game. Our game lasted maybe twice as long as any other game of Intrigue that day, but that was because we were negotiating so fervently. The play maintained our interest and the time flew by, since everyone was so involved.

I'm hoping that next year's game camp holds similar experiences for the students (and me!).
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91. Board Game: Citadels [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:214]
seth weissman
United States
silver spring
Maryland
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This is the game that hooked much of my family on gaming. I had bought the game and played it twice with friends over a six month period. Then my sister, who is a light gamer, was diagnosed with a tumor just two weeks after giving birth (benign, she and my nephew are fine) about two years ago. She lives halfway across the country, and I brought her my copy of the game as a gift because it can be played solitare.

I taught it to her with my daughter, a six-year old avowed non-gamer, watching, and my daughter decided that she loved the game. I immediately went out and bought a copy for her. About a week later, my daughter showed it to her cousins, who loved it and bought it for themselves. My sister also showed it to my brother, who then bought it for himself.

Now we have four copies of the game in the family, and it's my daughter's favorite game of all time. I must have played it hundreds of times with her, and fortunately she's moved on to other games since then. We played Runebound last week.

This a really wonderful idea. And Congrats on the baby! (We just added a second child, age 11 months, to the family in May. He's adopted from Guatemala, which means my wife gave me permission to buy both Tikal (which is set in Guatemala) and Guatemala Cafe! I can't wait to teach him how to play these games.

Seth
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92. Board Game: BattleTech [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:666]
Brad Wagnon
United States
Aurora
Colorado
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One of the most humorous gaming events of my sordid gaming career.

I was running a battle, when my big hitter for the scenario, a Cyclops crested the hill to reign misery down upon the players below. The cries of dismay caused evil laughter as I chose to punish the mere mortals who had trespassed on Kurita territory!

The Cyclops pilot decided to move down the hill, and position himself in the level 1 water, so his leg mounted heatsinks could dissapate the heat soon to be generated by a devastating alpha strike!

Wails errupted from the players, who would die to this monster???

Upon entering the water, the Cyclops pilot had to make a pilot check, when he failed...

So, somewhat embarassed, I rolled to see what direction he fell. The dice were not kind, I fell straight forward.

At this point, the wails were turning to giggles. I angrily grabbed the dice to roll for the location of damage to my awesome Cyclops, and rolled....12. Critical Hit, Center Torso! By now, the giggles were laughter.

In a rage, I rolled hit location for the three points of internal damage. All three were reactor hits....

Laughter was now hysterical as I let the team know that a large mech had just run down the hill, fallen the the pond, and that their last trace of this overwhelming foe was his fall into the water, followed by a geyser of boiling water and dead fish. The Cyclops would ne'er rise again!

Ahhhh...the good ol days!

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93. Board Game: Star Wars Customizable Card Game [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:1218]
United States
Collegeville
Pennsylvania
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This was the game that made a gamer out of me. I played religiously from the base set in 1999 until its demise in 2001 (and for several years following). I still own complete sets of every release with the exception of the foil-only sets, and play on occasion (although it's admittedly getting harder and harder to muster up a game).

What made this game great for me wasn't the mechanics or the Star Wars theme or the tournament support or anything like that - although I enjoyed all of those things immensely. What made this game great was the community that sprang up around it at our local comic shop. We'd get together several times a week to play, and if you'd drop by the shop you were likely to find someone willing to play an impromptu game. A group of us traveled around to play in tournaments, and we were good enough that we usually didn't embarrass ourselves.

I can still remember specific games and particular turns that were nailbiters. I remember a game against the seventh ranked player in the world, where Luke and Han ganged up on Mara Jade and a Walker with Mechanical Failure - Luke used Weapon Levitation on Mara's stick, and then Clash of Sabers on Mara leaving a walker with zero power and forfeit to face Luke and Han and a stack of battle destinies. It was the best game of my career, and I can still remember what it felt like to snatch victory away from him. I remember helping newbies get decks together and everyone in the shop chipping in cards. I remember running tournaments where we'd crowd twenty people into the back room of a comic shop for a Saturday afternoon. Mostly, I just remember a great shop and a group of guys who were just a lot of fun to play against.

That's what games are about - great times with great people that add some extra zest to life.
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94. Board Game: Primordial Soup [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:442]
Lawson
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
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I'm a mother of two young-ish children . . . they're currently ages 8 and 5 1/2 (the 1/2, as any parent of a young child knows, is crucial). Gaming is my hobby and, while I try to include them (and my poor, dear husband) in it for my own selfish reasons, my main focus is to help them identify and pursue their own interests.

Last year, my husband and I decided to start giving the sprouts an allowance and to introduce them to some personal finance concepts. In a nutshell, they receive a flat weekly allowance, 10% of which is put in a separate pot to be allocated to a charitable source of their choice. Once they reach $50 in personal savings, we add $5 to it and put that in a separate envelope.

In any event, our 8 year old son recently reached the $50 personal savings point and got his parental addition to it. He spent a week or so thinking about what to do with the savings.

Much to my amazement (and, truly, not based on my encouragement), he decided to use it to buy Primordial Soup. He'd seen it being played at a local game night he'd attended, and apparently it had made quite an impression.

We've played it as a family a number of times, and we're soon going to try out the 2-player variations that various kind-hearted BGG-ers have added to the database. It's already provided a lot of fun times. It's been thought-provoking, jump-starting our homeschooling discussions about science and religious beliefs. Most important (in my oh-so-biased view), my son is thrilled with his first personal, sizable purchase -- he's already planning what new cards he might want to create to add to it!

Note: Please exclude me from the give-away contest. I have plenty. Many, many congratulations on your new daughter and degree!
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95. Board Game: Thrill [Average Rating:5.69 Overall Rank:8523]
Pedro González
Spain
Alcalá de Guadaíra
Sevilla
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Last May I went to Cordoba (about two driving hours) to playtest a game. The designer wanted I play it with other person living there and I agree because there are a really big gaming association in Cordoba and they made an event for that day.

I played the new developing game for three hours and then move to the association facilities. There were about 25 people playing when I arrived and started playing some dexterity games like Bamboleo and Hamsterrolle and then, someone put Thrill on the table.

You've got to put a "coin" into a platform (with many other coins) and then push a big piece until a line and try not to make fall the coins. It has auctions, dexterity, luck, ..., it was a superb game!

But one player forgive to stop at the line and the coins keep falling while he continues pushing and pushing. No one says nothing, because we were shocked by the situation, and then, the player stops and says: "What am I doing?" and everybody started to laugh for ten minutes.

The gameplay was broken and we finished that game, but the situation (and the laughs) was priceless!!
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96. Board Game: Mystery of the Abbey [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:868]
Yours Truly,
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
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There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
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I played this game for the first time at a family get-together for my mother's 60th birthday. It was the first any of us had played the game, and we spent a really fun two hours exploring the Abbey. We were so into the game that, despite being dreadfully thirsty, no one wanted to get up to get water, being more content to "croak" out a question and find the culprit. It was a really nice way to spend time together and laugh, especially since we're spread out across several states, and don't get to see each other often. It was certainly a birthday we'll remember!
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97. Board Game: Highlander: The Card Game [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:5373]
Mike Streufert
United States
Birmingham
Alabama
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My Dad and I didn't always have a good relationship when I was a kid. When I was 15 or so, he brought me to a gaming convention in Mobile even though he was not interested in playing any of the games. I was walking around and met Bob Illif from Thunder Castle Games and he tought me how to play Highlander:TCG. Excited by this game, I entered a free sealed deck tourney. I invited my Dad to watch since he liked Highlander and the ccg was well designed and fun.

My Dad got hooked on it, we went to tourneys, played each other, and our relationship grew, we made friends with local players and had a lot of fun while doing it. It's funny, in an electronic age, that a card/board game can be more fun than the fastest gaming machine. Our imaginations have no minimum requirements and no limits. The interaction with others is so awesome. People grow together and are united by a common interest.

I am thankful that I was able to share this great game with my Dad and that this game shared my Dad with me. That is what I love about gaming
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98. Board Game: Zooloretto [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:437] [Average Rating:6.90 Unranked]
Carl Anderson
United States
Brighton
Michigan
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A nice simple one from me. Last night, my wife and I were remarking on the (large) stack of games in the living room, games I had not put away after collecting over the week--thrifting, receiving in trades, and the like.

(I should point out that my wife has been called the reluctant gaming wife by my friends.)

We're going to a game night on Saturday, so we were discussing what to take. I was a bit scatterbrained when my wife asked if we were playing Zooloretto, so I responded by asking, "What, tonight?"

To which she said, "Well, okay!" in the cutest way possible.

It really made me smile--finally, something my wife wants to play, rather than just tolerating.
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99. Board Game: Clue: The Great Museum Caper [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:1288]
Chris Jensen
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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Though I'm sure I could tell a story about some of the more "fashionable" games in my collection, one that holds a special place in my heart is Clue: the Great Museum Caper.

I purchased it in the early nineties on a family trip to the Big City (Saskatoon, SK), after having saved up my allowance for several months. When I got it home, my brother and I broke it out and played the absolute *heck* out of it. As it was summertime, we had little else to do. Every time a friend would come over, we would pull it out and proceed to burgle the museum anew. Despite the hours of enjoyment we derived from the game, I (or perhaps my brother) somehow managed to lose it... Maybe it was left at a relative's house or forgotten after a sleepover.

Anyway, fast-forward about twelve years to Christmas morning of 2004. My brother, who had just revealed to me that he had drawn my name for the gift exchange, passes me an intricately-wrapped box, all the while sporting a particularly cockeyed grin. When I open the gift, I see that he has painstakingly recreated the game from scratch, right down to the 3D museum layout. One difference, I suppose, is that he replaced the original artworks with tiny versions by some of my favorite artists (Magritte, Bacon, Dali, Mondrian). I was tremendously touched by the time and effort that he had evidently spent on the project, and also incredibly grateful for the chance to re-experience some of those childhood memories. In the years since, I have certainly played my new copy quite a bit and, while it isn't the deepest game around, it still brings a smile to my face every time it hits the table.

Note: I realized, after re-reading the rules, that we had actually been playing incorrectly all of these years. We had always played with the assumption that the thief's character, upon leaving the line-of-sight of a detective, would disappear again. The game instructions, conversely, state that once the thief's pawn is on the board, it is there for the remainder of the game. Preposterous! We would never play that way! How else could you have the drawn-out cat and mouse chases through the museum... If you haven't played this way, I would certainly recommend this as a variant. It tempts the robber to stick around for "just one more painting" instead of sneaking away at the first sign of trouble.
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100. Board Game: Ave Caesar [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:828]
Eric Franklin
United States
Milton
Washington
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He knows if you've been bad or good.
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I was sent a copy of this game as a gift at about the same time Asmodee re-released it in North America. On first read-through, I was not very impressed by the game.

Rules-wise, it just didn't seem very interesting.

So we broke it out on Wednesday and played it. It was ... okay. It failed to be the be-all, end-all for me, but I was okay with playing it occasionally. I came back to the 'Geek and rated it a '6' (my mid-level rating) - and then basically forgot about it.

My group enjoyed it okay. They'll break it out sometimes. They seem to prefer Q-Jet 21XX for some reason (which baffles me).

Shortly before GenCon, I was e-mailed a rules question on the game. So I dug it out and re-read the rules. Twice. And examined closely both sides of the board.

Somehow, in my first few plays, I'd missed something critical: There are ways to keep your opponents from being able to pay homage to Caesar. In a one-off game, it's mean enough that I'll rarely do it to anyone except my wife. But when playing a series of games where you are scored based on your finish in each race ... well, it's a way to create some balance when someone gets too far ahead.

I played this game only a couple of times at GenCon this year, but I was much more on fire about it than I'd expected to be, and each time was extremely close.

I find myself craving more plays of this one. I just hope my Wednesday group is willing to give it another shot ...
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