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Short Interviews With Each Person Who Has The Most Recorded Plays of Each of the Top 50 Ranked Games
James Fehr
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Alberta
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I've been amazed to see the sheer number of recorded plays many games get by certain individuals. I thought it would be an interesting exercise to contact the people with the most recorded plays for each of the top 50 ranked games on this site to find out what makes the games so replayable for them, and whether they plan on continuing to play them.

Thanks so much to all of the people who responded - which was most of them! It was fascinating for me to read your responses. For those who couldn't respond, I looked for their personal comments on the game in question if there were any.

I have listed the names of the users with the most recorded plays for each game, along with their avatar if they have one, which itself will link to the user's profile page.

Note that some of these people have logged plays for online play in addition to face-to-face play, which I didn't discriminate against.

I was planning on including a list of the top 5 or 10 people with the most plays for each game, but alas, the BGG upgrade of a week ago changed my plans, as there is no longer any way I know of to get this information (easily at least). But fortunately, I had contacted each of the people listed here before the upgrade, and could still look up their current play counts, which are stated as of today's date (July 20th, 2008). If you also have a high play count for any of these games, please feel free to add your own comments and answers to my questions for that game.

UPDATE: I just created a second list which continues this format with the next 50 top ranked games:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/34548
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1. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.34 Overall Rank:1]
James Fehr
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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Sakari Lahti
(slahti)
318 plays
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/slahti

What do you like the most about Twilight Struggle?

Hard to explain in foreign language. It has a good balance of skill and luck involved, it plays in a good time, and the cards tend to make each game different.

What do you currently rate this game (from 1 to 10)?

7. I have played it so much that I am not very enthusiastic anymore.

Do you think you'll be playing much more of it in the future?

No. I mostly play only league games in www.wargameroom.com.

Why do you think this game is so replayable? In other words, what
keeps you from getting bored with it after so many plays?


As I said, the cards. It's always fun to see what kind of hand you get and then try to play that hand as well as possible. Plus, there's a very long learning curve, so you get better even after dozens of games.

What is your favorite game of all time?

I would have to say War of the Ring.
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2. Board Game: Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization [Average Rating:8.21 Overall Rank:3]
James Fehr
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Edmonton
Alberta
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Dave Eisen
(dkeisen)
64 plays
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/dkeisen

Dave answers all of these questions in the following paragraphs.
What do you like the most about Through the Ages?
What do you currently rate this game (from 1 to 10)?
Do you think you'll be playing much more of it in the future?
Why do you think this game is so replayable' In other words, what keeps you from getting bored with it after so many plays?
What is your favorite game of all time?

Through the Ages is the single best game ever designed.

The theme of civilization building and growth is attractive and interesting, and Through the Ages captures this effectively with growing population, technology improvements, military adventure, strong and diverse leaders, and creation of great wonders, but fundamentally it is the game play that keeps me coming back. Resource management in at least ten distinct kinds of resources, all of which are important to a player's success, presents interesting puzzles to the player, especially since you really cannot manage all of them and need to figure out how to make do with deficiencies in a couple of them. I enjoy the juggling.

The game is very replayable, in part because of its challenge and depth and in part because as a card game masquerading as a board game, the random order the cards come out provides a different play experience each time. I learn something new each time I play and at last count, I've already played Through the Ages 63 times.

It's not just me. Through the Ages is the favorite game of most of my regular gaming buddies. It's the first board game I can think of where we have frequently scheduled get-togethers in the evening outside of the context of my regular gaming groups.

Not that I am blind to the game's flaws. It is by any measure fiddly. It takes too long when you are first learning, but the time comes down once you've played a few times to a very reasonable 2.5 hours for 2 players a little more when playing with more players. And the military system, which at core is designed to punish a player for growing infrastructure while ignoring the military, too often turns into a bash the loser mechanism. That isn't good.

But even with these flaws Through the Ages is great. I don't foresee my interest in the game ever waning.
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3. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.15 Overall Rank:5]
James Fehr
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Edmonton
Alberta
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Matt Albritton
(Kubigaruma)
866 plays



What do you like the most about Puerto Rico?

The thing that attracted me most to Puerto Rico is also the thing that became its ultimate undoing. I like the idea of a shared system that the players are trying to optimize. This system strongly binds the players together with each player feeling the impact of the other players' actions. Combine this with multiple paths of victory that are only discovered with dozens, even hundreds of plays, and you can easily get addicted.

What do you currently rate this game (from 1 to 10)?

Seven. If you can get three-four players of roughly the same skill level together, it becomes a nine. If there is a big difference in skill level at the table, you can simulate a game by letting the newer players roll a handful of dice. The one that rolls the highest may choose a seasoned player to declare the winner.

Do you think you'll be playing much more of it in the future?

Not much. My original game group is splinted right now, so I might try some learning games with the new crop and see how it goes.

Why do you think this game is so replayable? In other words, what keeps you from getting bored with it after so many plays?

See question one.

What is your favorite game of all time?

Probably Dune (Avalon Hill) or Die Macher
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4. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.13 Overall Rank:6]
James Fehr
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Edmonton
Alberta
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David Fair
(BeyondMonopoly)
92 plays


What do you like the most about Agricola?

The game combines a strategic plan with tactical choices very well. It offers immense replayability and you must react to your opponents plays, and their perceived strategy at all times to do well. It rewards good planning and deep involvement. All this while having a fun, different theme, and cute little animeeples.

What do you currently rate this game (from 1 to 10)?

I rate this a 10.

Do you think you'll be playing much more of it in the future?

I expect to be playing this for some time, though my plays of it have recently tapered off. I hope they pick up again soon as i devote less of my gaming time to playtesting Dominion.

Why do you think this game is so replayable? In other words, what keeps you from getting bored with it after so many plays?

The sheer variety of possible hands, and the adjustment to your overall strategy that each hand will require makes each play slightly different.

What is your favorite game of all time?

My favorite game of all time would vary depending on who I am playing with, and how long we have. I love Power Grid. Agricola is right in there. Tichu, Race for the Galaxy, and Web of Power are others that might fill the bill on a given day.
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5. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:8.00 Overall Rank:11]
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Matt Albritton
(Kubigaruma)
1057 plays



What do you like the most about Power Grid?

Power Grid took a while to grow on me. It didn't at first appear that you had as much control over your own fate as you actually do. I guess the thing I like most about Power Grid is that it is a game that rewards experience. The game itself will change character a few times before the end and you have to adjust to that changing character.

What do you currently rate this game (from 1 to 10)?

9.5 It loses a half a point for those very few games where you have positioned yourself perfectly on the final turn, have three out of four plants in the Stage Three stack that gives you the win, and that one plant comes up that screws you. ?

Do you think you'll be playing much more of it in the future?

Absolutely

Why do you think this game is so replayable? In other words, what keeps you from getting bored with it after so many plays?

Two things: The possibility of what I like to call a "back door" win and the difficulty in determining proper action. A "back door" win usually happens when all players understand the value of high capacity plants and they are bid up to a premium. This creates a situation where you can take what is normally a crummy plant and end the game before the other players are able to fully recoup their costs. It takes a lot of careful buying and building, but winning this way can be much more satisfying than winning by conventional build up.

Proper action is sometimes difficult to determine. I love to play against people who always, in robot fashion, build to their current plant capacity to make the most money possible. Turn order is not something that "just happens". It is to be managed and evaluated as closely as anything else. Oh, and that plant that you always like to buy might be either a waste of money this game, a great purchase, or may not even be in play. With all of that, the different maps you can play on, and the region configuration differences of each map, Power Grid can challenge you for a long time to come.

What is your favorite game of all time?

Probably Dune (Avalon Hill) or Die Macher
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6. Board Game: Brass [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:15]
James Fehr
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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Harro Pahl
(DanHarrow)
28 plays


What do you like the most about Brass?

Much interactions between all players. You have to try to discover the other players plans, hide your own and always have a plan B. Perfect duration of round about 1.5 to 2 hours.

What do you currently rate this game (from 1 to 10)?

This is a perfect 10.

Do you think you'll be playing much more of it in the future?

Defenitly yes! All in our groups like it (Meisi not so much, but there exist more games than Puerto Rico !)

Why do you think this game is so replayable? In other words, what keeps you from getting bored with it after so many plays?

Because of the differenct card set every player starts with and gets during the game, no session is like the other. This game is quite a complex economy simulation that needs some experience to get a good score. When we started in 2007 we had scores round abount 70 points, now the best is about 130.

A very good mechanism is the totally different player order every round (determinded by the spent amount of money). There are games (like Puerto Rico) where the player order at the table is crucial for winning the game -- if you have a weak player sitting before you, you will probably win the game. This will never happen in Brass.

What is your favorite game of all time?

That is Age Of Steam with all its expansions. There are maps for 3 to 6 players or maps with higher difficultiy level, and best: Every expansion has a little change in rules (for historical or geographical reasons) so that this game will never bore our group. It has all positive attributes that Brass has (thanks to M. Wallace) like
- totally different player order every round
- the right complexity
- economic theme. We seldom play conflict games -- Puerto Rico, Caylos or La Citta rank before e.g. Game Of Thrones or Imperial (where Imperial is a very good mix of economy and conflict)
- right duration (1.5 to 2 hours)
plus the already mentioned set of maps and the mechanism of taking a role every round that gives the player a specific advantage.
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7. Board Game: Caylus [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:20]
James Fehr
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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Tim Condit
(hrdkor)
386 plays


What do you like the most about Caylus?

Zero luck. That it plays well with 2-5 players, and strategy becomes different with each amount of players.

What do you currently rate this game (from 1 to 10)?

9

Do you think you'll be playing much more of it in the future?

Sure, I'll continue to play Caylus here and there although not quite as much as I have in the past.

Why do you think this game is so replayable? In other words, what keeps you from getting bored with it after so many plays?

See #1 for answer

What is your favorite game of all time?

Age of Steam (I'd play that 1000 times if it were on BSW)
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8. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:23]
James Fehr
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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Michael Kagen
(UncMike)
491 plays


Game rating:

10

Personal comments:

San Juan in space with a whole lot of stuff going on. This is another Puerto Rico card game re-themed for space. Cards are everything except VPs. In this game they actually added counters for victory points and running out is one of the end game conditions. You buy/conquer planets (producers) or developments (buildings). Goods are consumed for cards and/or victory points. You get to select a single game phase (trade) and you get the bonus for that phase. A major difference is multiple people can select the same game phase. There's a ton of stuff going on and lots of decisions to be made. I fully expect this game will advance to a 10 with further play.
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9. Board Game: El Grande [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:26]
James Fehr
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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Gary Sonnenberg
(glsonn)
51 plays


What do you like the most about El Grande?

Sorry, but I have to say it's a mix of several things. I like the high quality board and bits, the ability to change the actions of other players (i.e. moving their dudes on the board), the uncertainty that non-dude-counting players have about what's hiding in the tower, using the power cards to bid for turn order.... In other words, I like pretty much everything about the game equally which is why I rate it so highly.

What do you currently rate this game (from 1 to 10)?

This is my one and only 10. I used to rate a few other games at 10 but realized some time ago that none of them (not even Tigris, Power Grid, or Puerto Rico) rank as highly in my mind. (I haven't played Agricola yet and have no desire to try Twilight Struggle.)

Do you think you'll be playing much more of it in the future?

Yes, I anticipate playing it a fair amount in the future. The only thing that keeps me from playing it more than I already do is that we won't play it with less than 4, and sometimes there's only 2 or 3 of us (in my family) around.

Why do you think this game is so replayable? In other words, what keeps you from getting bored with it after so many plays?

Many games, such as El Grande, have a good mix of components that make the gameplay different each session. El Grande has the added benefit of allowing a skillful player to come from behind and win even when all seems lost early on. By "skillful", I mean someone willing to take time to analyze situations for a minute or two before determining which action to choose. Call it AP, if you like, but it's necessary.

What is your favorite game of all time?

El Grande is currently my favorite game. I could only see Agricola changing that some day.
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10. Board Game: Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:31]
James Fehr
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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Lance Harrop
(Leifr)
97 plays
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/Leifr

What do you like the most about Twilight Imperium 3?

What I like most about TI3 is that you have to spend your limited pool of Command Counters to achieve your tactical and strategic aims all to the purpose of achieving objectives and scoring victory points. Good players keep this in mind and do not get distracted by building large fleets and fighting vengence wars. To this end resource tight setups are important in making the game enjoyable.

What do you currently rate this game (from 1 to 10)?

I rate TI3 as a 9 because I believe the game needs some house rules and variants to be perfect. Of course I believe I have most of those variants in place and have play tested them too.

Do you think you'll be playing much more of it in the future?

I imagine I will be playing TI3 about 2 to 4 times a month for the forseeable future. I host open games most Saturdays at the Game Parlor in Chantilly Virginia (Northern Virginia outside the Beltway on Route 50). I invite newbies and experienced players willing to learn a raft of variants to come by before noon and join the game, as I have the parts available play a fourteen player game (and am working up from there), though it is best to contact me to get on my regular emailing as I can't host every Saturday, especially in the summer weeks coming up.

Why do you think this game is so replayable? In other words, what keeps you from getting bored with it after so many plays?

Because TI3 has a modular game board, multiple choices of player races and a variety of possible objectives to play for the game is different each time. Add to that a varying pool of players with differing basic strategies of the game and you have massive replayability. The fact that I've added more objectives and variant strategies just makes it better.

What is your favorite game of all time?

TI3 is my current favorite game, edging out Rio Grand's Imperial and superseding Avalon Hill's Britannia by Lewis Pulsipher. TI3 is the game that got me back into regular board game playing and I thank Christian Peterson and Corey Konieczka for making such a great game.

And of course I'd like to thank my regular players for their play testing and help with variants, the members of the TI3 forum on Fantasy Flight Games for their variant suggestions and advice that I've adopted or adapted, and the members of Board Game Geek who have proposed variants also. Board Game Geek was my first source for learning about TI3 and its information lead to my commitment to the game. I also would like to thank Illumanus (the other Lance) for his setting up the TI3Wiki.org web site.
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11. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:33]
James Fehr
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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Brett Barton
(Lofcaudio)
444 plays
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/Lofcaudio

What do you like the most about E&T?

It is a very cerebral game and while there is some luck involved in drawing tiles, there are usually enough options to play around even "poor" tile draws. I also like the fact that this game does have a learning curve in that a better (more experienced) player has a significant advantage over a less experienced player. While most may consider this a drawback, I see it as a credit to a well-designed game where luck is at a minimum.

What do you currently rate this game (from 1 to 10)?

I currently rate it a 10, the only game (of the 87 that I have rated) I feel that deserves the highest of rankings.

Do you think you'll be playing much more of it in the future?

Without a doubt. I think it is important to play as "cutthroat" as possible even when playing with newbies because that is the best way for them to learn the game.

Why do you think this game is so replayable? In other words, what keeps you from getting bored with it after so many plays?

That's a tough question. This game has so much depth, it is impossible for any game to be like another. I also love the fact that this game can be fascinating regardless of the number of players (2, 3 or 4). While the game plays differently depending on the number of players, the strategic depth still exists.

What is your favorite game of all time?

To this point in my gaming career, it is definitely Tigris & Euphrates (though I think that Maharajaalace Building, La Citta and Shogun have closed the gap of late).
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12. Board Game: War of the Ring (first edition) [Average Rating:7.86 Overall Rank:34]
James Fehr
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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The Fiend
(Jimzik)
35 plays


What do you like the most about War of the Ring?

I loved the books and the game (with my "Starting from the Shire" variant) really covers the theme well.

What do you currently rate this game (from 1 to 10)?

Definately a 10 because it's the best on the subject and I would play it anytime. It plays a little different each game and usually goes right down to the wire.

Do you think you'll be playing much more of it in the future?

YES! It's been in storage during my move to a new house and when I get my play room completed it will be the 1st game to hit the big table.

Why do you think this game is so replayable? In other words, what keeps you from getting bored with it after so many plays?

The miniatures! They add so much to the game especially after taking almost 90 hours to paint them. They look awesome on the gaming board (better overall than the pics I posted) and a visual game is what drives me. If it was counters or wooden blocks it just wouldn't have been the same.

That, and the different ways each side can get to victory. This is really an "Epic" game that wouldn't really appeal to the casual gamer or Tolkien hater.

What is your favorite game of all time?

Really hard to narrow it down to just one as certain games filled up huge amounts of time at certain points in my life. TITAN was huge, MAGIC was incredible in the early years when I played it non-stop and won many tournaments. EMPIRE BUILDER had to be covered in acetate to keep it from being worn through. CATAN is the best game to play with any group of people but DBA has to be my all-time favorite
because of the amount of time and money I put into it. I've painted over 50 armies and took them to many tournament victory's held at Lancaster, PA. The rules aren't perfect but it keeps fresh with continued updates that shake up the game every couple of years.
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13. Board Game: Crokinole [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:39]
James Fehr
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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Stephen Smith
(seppo21)
262 plays


I'm kind of surprised that I'm number one on the list as I imagine there are quite a few folks that play much more than I do. I guess I just happen to record all of my plays. When I went and checked, I found I was only barely in the lead. I guess I need to play a little more to secure my standing.

What do you like the most about Crokinole?

I've liked dexterity games for a fairly long time now with PitchCar being a long-time favorite. Unfortunately, PitchCar can be a royal pain to set up. Crokinole, on the other hand, takes no time to set up -- just place the board on the table and hand out the discs. In addition, at our house anyway, it has a relatively quick playtime. It also doesn't hurt that the rules are pretty simple as well. I suppose that is actually more than one answer.

What do you currently rate this game (from 1 to 10)?

Currently, it is rated a 9 here on the Geek, but that is an initial rating. In all honesty, it likely should be a 10. Perhaps I will get around to that soon.

Do you think you'll be playing much more of it in the future?

I think it is very likely. Historically, I tend to play this game in spurts. If you could see my actual games played data, you would see dates with quite a few playings and then long periods between them. A large percentage of my plays are from the first month of owning the game which coincided with a month being out of school, so I had plenty of time to spend learning the game. It wouldn't surprise me, though, to see my actual rate of play slow down some simply because I like to try to play a bunch of different games.

Why do you think this game is so replayable? In other words, what keeps you from getting bored with it after so many plays?

There really is a lot of variability to the game from play to play. One game, I'll be hitting the center hole it seems like every other shot. In other games, all I'm doing is hitting shots off the posts. There are often plenty of opportunities to try really creative and challenging shots. Besides, since I play in spurts, it often takes several games to get my flicker back up to speed.

What is your favorite game of all time?

My all-time favorite game would have to be Empire Builder (the older edition without Mexico) and its relatives. Incidentally, I'm not the person who has played it the most

Additional info:
I've only been playing Crokinole since March of last year. I had been put off picking up a board for quite a while. However, when I saw this geeklist: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/18942 I decided I would go ahead and get a nice board. Since my wife is my primary gaming partner, I had wanted to do something kind of game related for our 10th anniversary. This board ended up being that. There is a picture here on the geek at: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/190756

If you look through the gallery of Hilinski boards, you'll find that the purple and yellow motif is fairly original (at least it was the last time I checked). Anyway, the rest is history.
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14. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:41]
James Fehr
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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Jeff Wu
(junesen)
218 plays


What do you like the most about Pandemic?

It is a game that my wife loves. When she is hooked on a game, we tend to play many games.

What do you currently rate this game (from 1 to 10)?

8.

Do you think you'll be playing much more of it in the future?

Not so much. We played every combination of the roles on heroic four times (with 2, 3, and 4 players). We might pick up and play it some in the future, since it is still fun. But the addiction is over.

Why do you think this game is so replayable? In other words, what keeps you from getting bored with it after so many plays?

What drove the many plays was the attempt to finish all the combinations of all the roles. I also think it is a clever system that makes the game be like a puzzle, except the puzzle is a bit different each time. I do like doing puzzles, so this appeals to me.

What is your favorite game of all time?

It is hard to say. The game I have played most of and still enthusiastic about playing is Ticket to Ride.
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15. Board Game: Paths of Glory [Average Rating:8.04 Overall Rank:44]
James Fehr
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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RJ Jenulis
(RJenulis)
63 plays
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/RJenulis

I can almost guarantee that I do not have the most plays of Paths of Glory. I may have the most "Recorded Plays", but I have to believe there are people out there who have actually played more games.
With that disclaimer, let me answer the questions.

What do you like the most about Paths of Glory?

What I enjoy most about Paths of Glory is that every game develops a unique and individual feel to it. Seldom do two games play very much alike.

What do you currently rate this game (from 1 to 10)?

I would rate Paths of Glory an 8/10.

Do you think you'll be playing much more of it in the future?

I am in the Paths of Glory league in Bruce Wigdor's Wargameroom, where I have 4 games left in the league (I currently have an embarrassing 0-4 record, but have had some very enjoyable games against some very good players). Also, Paths of Glory is my face-to-face opponent's new favorite game. And finally, I am registered to play in the "Guns of August" Pre-con at WBC. Therefore, I plan to play a few more games in the near future!

Why do you think this game is so replayable? In other words, what keeps you from getting bored with it after so many plays?

As I mentioned previously, every game seems to play very different depending on the way the cards come up, the personality of your opponent and the dice. Therefore, the game seldom seems static or boring.

What is your favorite game of all time?

Without a doubt, my favorite game of all time is Advance Squad Leader! More a game system than a game, ASL is the most unique and flexible game I have ever played. There is no other game like it that have played. If I was stranded on an Island, I would want my ASL rule-book, counters and boards. I could either play the days away in ASL bliss, or build a house out of the counters.
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16. Board Game: Commands & Colors: Ancients [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:46]
James Fehr
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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C&C: Ancients, HotS, Crusader Rex, Arkham Horror, Twilight Struggle Fan...
(Diamat)
132 plays
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/Diamat

What do you like the most about Comand and Colors: Ancients?

Whilst C&C:A has an exquisite balance of characteristics (plenty of strategy, reasonable historical modelling, flexible enough to cover the ancient period in its near-entirety), it has received so many plays in our house primarily because it is a great week-night gaming-fix and can be played through in an hour.

What do you currently rate this game (from 1 to 10)?

10. My only 10 rating, in fact. I don't see that changing.

Do you think you'll be playing much more of it in the future?

Without a doubt, although I may not log the games quite as assiduously as I have in the past. I've probably played 10% more games than I've already recorded anyway, actually.

Why do you think this game is so replayable? In other words, what keeps you from getting bored with it after so many plays?

Time-related issues aside, my reading is often the trigger to pulling C&C:A off the shelf. Having read about a certain campaign or battle, I enjoy going on to play through the scenario

What is your favorite game of all time?

A left field choice, I know, but I'll have to go with the Lord of the Rings Tradeable Miniatures Game. We've replaced the paper hex maps the game comes with Heroscape terrain and scenery and have amassed an embarassingly large collection of game pieces.
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17. Board Game: Combat Commander: Europe [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:50]
James Fehr
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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Tony Armada
(Armada01)
104 plays


What do you like the most about Combat Commander: Europe?

I like the replayability of the game. Each scenario I play has a different outcome. Some people have a problem with the amount of randomness of the game, but I feel it adds a great deal of fun and "fog of war". I also really like that both players must follow the game on the others turn.
No going to grab a bite to eat or check the game while the opponent takes his or her turn.

What do you currently rate this game (from 1 to 10)?

I rate it a 9.5 to 10.

Do you think you'll be playing much more of it in the future?

I hope to be playing it forever. The only problem is finding other players.(Vassal engine makes that more possible) Other problem is the time to play which is 1.5 to 2.5 hours. Some players don't want to spend that much time.

Why do you think this game is so replayable? In other words, what keeps you from getting bored with it after so many plays?

The replayability is controlled by the multiple events that can occur during the turns. There are enough events that sometimes it takes 3-4 games before I see a certain event a second time.
These events can sometimes bring someone from a crushing defeat to possibly winning the game.

What is your favorite game of all time?

I would have to say this is my favorite game of all time. However, if I'm looking for a shorter game, I'll go with Memoir 44 or Commands and Colors Ancients.
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18. Board Game: Goa [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:52]
James Fehr
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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Lorenzo Mele
(Blackpope)
64 plays
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/Blackpope

Personal comments:

Wonderful and deep game about developing spice trade in east. Auction system is clever for it is fast but need careful judgement about tile values and strategy adopted. Furthermore players can inflate or deflate currency with their actions and this is very important.
Played many times and still evalueting different strategies. Cards can seem too powerful, but my experience is that the game is very well balanced. There is not just one winning path.
Our group record is 51 points using ship/spice strategy. Note that in our latest games all 4 players score well above 40.
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19. Board Game: Railways of the World [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:53]
James Fehr
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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Roberto Chavez
(rachavez)
58 plays
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/rachavez

EDIT: Update from Roberto

What do you like the most about Railroad Tycoon?

The variability of token placement means it's not the same game time after time. Our game group has downloaded enough variants to keep boredom away.

What do you currently rate this game (from 1 to 10)?

8.5 is about right.

Do you think you'll be playing much more of it in the future?

I don't think our game group will play it as often. The owner of the game has consistently lost recently. With the game components, we can't play the game.

Why do you think this game is so replayable? In other words, what keeps you from getting bored with it after so many plays?

Variability of token placement and variant maps available in BGG

What is your favorite game of all time?

I go back and forth between PUERTO RICO, POWER GRID, and JAVA.
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20. Board Game: Age of Steam [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:58]
James Fehr
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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Ted Alspach
(toulouse)
177 plays


What do you like the most about Age of Steam?

Its replayability due to the numerous expansions. There's no way I would have played more than 10-15 games of AoS without new maps. But the maps add slight changes to the rules, which makes each game different.

What do you currently rate this game (from 1 to 10)?

10

Do you think you'll be playing much more of it in the future?

As long as new maps are being made, I'll be playing it. And since I'm one of those folks responsible for making new maps, it probably will continue into the future.

Why do you think this game is so replayable? In other words, what keeps you from getting bored with it after so many plays?

New maps (see above).

What is your favorite game of all time?

AoS, followed by Tichu.
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21. Board Game: The Princes of Florence [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:60]
James Fehr
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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Matt Albritton
(Kubigaruma)
108 plays



Quote:
What do you like the most about Princes of Florence?

Princes of Florence is fairly unique in that you must decide on a strategy after the first turn and stick to it if you are going to do well. You have a little wiggle room, but it?s not a lot. It?s the ?wiggle room? versus the cost to do what you ?really wanted? that I find interesting.

What do you currently rate this game (from 1 to 10)?

8

Do you think you'll be playing much more of it in the future?

I don't actively seek out this game as much as I used to (so my rating should probably change), but I don?t mind playing it from time to time.

Why do you think this game is so replayable? In other words, what keeps you from getting bored with it after so many plays?

I don't think I've played it enough to know if it's infinitely replayable. There are a couple of folks on BSW that have played over 1400 games of Princes of Florence, so there must still be something there for them. As far as getting bored, no, I'm still learning the game.

Of the three viable strategies, I'm very comfortable with only the Jester/Works strategy. I don't get to play Builder strategy very much because everyone must first understand the power of the Jester strategy and drive jesters and recruitment cards up in price. New players tend to overvalue builders and undervalue jesters, so if you try a builder strategy with relatively new players, you are going to get killed. You need the builders to go cheap and the jesters high. I have only recently dabbled in the Hybrid strategy and have won maybe two games that way.

What is your favorite game of all time?

Probably Dune (Avalon Hill) or Die Macher
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22. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Europe [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:62]
James Fehr
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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SoccerGeeks F.C.
(Neil Thomson)
1137 plays


What do you like the most about Ticket to Ride: Europe?

I'll state up front that 90% of my TtR: Europe plays have been 2-player online games.

What I like about this game is the fact that I can play a 2-player game online in about 15-20 minutes at the most. I use it as a way to wind down after getting home from work and can easily get in 4-5 games in an hour.

About the game itself, I like the fact that it offers simple decisions with the ability to plan ahead. I usually have my grand plan worked out from the start and then tinker a little as I draw new ticket cards (if I do). Against a good player, it usually comes down to who is able to capture the longest train bonus and this can take some skill if you collect 5-6 Tickets.

What do you currently rate this game (from 1 to 10)?

I rate it a solid 8.

Do you think you'll be playing much more of it in the future?

Most likely. I tend to find I gravitate to TtR: Europe when I'm tired or stressed from work. It allows me to pretty much switch off and just play. I can almost play this mindlessly now and still play well, that can happen after a thousand plays of something.

Why do you think this game is so replayable? In other words, what keeps you from getting bored with it after so many plays?

Ticket to Ride is a fantastic 'gateway game' so it has a wide appeal. Simple decisions, light ruleset and interesting decisions will always make for a good game I think. Route connection games also have a 'lustre' all their own and probably says something about the human brain. I think TtR: Europe may also appeal more to people that are not aggressive in nature as blocking tactics aren't as powerful as in the original due to the inclusion of stations.

What is your favorite game of all time?

Almost an impossible question to answer. In truth I have favourites in different categories or genres as I find it totally impossible to compare games of different genres when they scratch completely different gaming itches. I rate Tichu, Saint Petersburg and Memoir as 10's on the BGG scale - all are from different genres. Stone Age may well replace Saint Petersburg as my favourite Euro in the coming months.
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23. Board Game: Tichu [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:63]
James Fehr
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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Jeremy Friesen
(FullTinCan)
362 plays


Personal comments:

Favorite partnership card game. After 250+ face to face playings of Tichu, I continue to enjoy playing this great game.

EDIT: Late update from Jeremy:

What do you like the most about Tichu?

Its a partnership game that encourages both strategy and tactics as well as risk taking.

What do you currently rate this game?

A 10

Do you think you'll be playing much more of it in the future?

Yes, though I may not log all of the games I've played.

Why do you think this game is so replayable? In other words, what keeps you from getting bored with it after so many plays?

Its accessible to so many different people, and can be taught with little fuss. After its "learned", then comes deeper understanding. Plus it can be played in a very casual manner, or very competitive manner.

What is your favorite game of all time?

This is a toss-up between Settlers, Tichu, and Tigris & Euphrates. I would choose Settlers of Catan, as I've probably played at least 500 face to face games of it and it really is an excellent gateway drug game.
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24. Board Game: Go [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:65]
James Fehr
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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Jim Kiraly
(kiraly)
758 plays


What do you like the most about Go?

That I learn more about the game when I lose than when I win (one would think that I would've learned a lot by now). Some of my most memorable and exciting games that I have played are ones that I've lost. It's a win-win situation for me no matter what happens.

What do you currently rate this game (from 1 to 10)?

10

Do you think you'll be playing much more of it in the future?

I can't see myself ever giving the game up. I do, however, go through periods where I won't play as often and I'll even occasionally hit a stretch where I won't play for several weeks. I usually play much better after these breaks.

Why do you think this game is so replayable? In other words, what keeps you from getting bored with it after so many plays?

Every game is different - each one has a unique feel to it. Even against familiar opponents each game will take on a life of its own.

What is your favorite game of all time?

Go.
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25. Board Game: Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:67]
 
James Fehr
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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Ernst Knauth
(Warbear)
80 plays


What do you like the most about Hannibel: Rome vs. Carthage?

I'm a big CDG fan, and for me Hannibal is one of the best.
Mostly I've played Hannibal with my wife (who is a long-time wargamer like me). From our first 40 playings I've lost 36 with the Carthagians, after that our balance went more even (now about 55% to 45% in Roman favor).
Each game allows a different strategy, depending on starting hands and opponents.

What do you currently rate this game (from 1 to 10)?

My actual rating for Hannibal is "9".
But I'm not a rating-fan on BGG or elsewhere.
Actually I own about 4000 games and have played more than 2000 of them.
I'm gaming since the late 70's, and since 1993 I have my own Excel file with all my playings (actually nearly 4000, counting only games with a playtime > 1 hour). BGG offers no bulk transfer for my data, and I don't want to spend the time for typing in each play separately. So here you actually can see only my CDG sessions.

Do you think you'll be playing much more of it in the future?

There are more and more CDGs on the market, and I wanna play all of them. So there will be only few time for more Hannibal sessions, I fear.

Why do you think this game is so replayable' In other words, what keeps you from getting bored with it after so many plays?

Each new session is different. Hannibal allows different strategies, it's playable in an evening session, are there's always a lot of fun.

What is your favorite game of all time?

Mostly I like ASL, OCS/SCS/CWB/RSS series (MMP/Gamers), GBoH series (GMT), Stonewall series (Avalon Hill), 18xx games, Age of Steam (Warfrog), Magic Realm (Avalon Hill), and many more.
From CDGs I mostly like Napoleonic Wars, Twilight Struggle and Hannibal.
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