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New to you Apr 09 => Best new game you played this month and why
Andy
United Kingdom
Stockport
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What's the best new game you played this month (April 09) and why? Share your experiences of the new games you've played this month.

It would be helpful, if you could add an entry to the list even if you pick the same game as someone else.. since I use the geeklist entries to compile the summaries. Thanks

The Meta List - http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/28741
(with summaries)

Forum Subscription thread - http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/297188



Most played Game and More: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/43042
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76. Board Game: Fairy Tale [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:523]
Alex G

Philomath
Oregon
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thumbsupthumbsupthumbsupthumbsup Fairy Tale is very quick, interesting, and has something to it. At first, it seems deeper than it is, but even once play becomes pretty repetitive (you know the cards and the probabilities) it's a great filler. Love the card drafting. Not the best game ever, but one that'll get a huge amount of play over the years, I suspect.

thumbsdownthumbsup Red November: we hated this, first play (two gnomes each). Took too long, seemed utterly random, the items are boring as heck (+X to Y, for all of them, pretty much). Then we played with one gnome each, and it didn't take so long. I still think it's sort of random, boring, and lousy, but it changes every time and it's strangely addictive. We traded it, but bought another cheap copy from our "source" to replace the traded one.

thumbsupthumbsupthumbsup Babel will need more plays to be sure, but I think it's a pretty good game. We were afraid it'd be too vicious, but it turns out it's SO vicious that it doesn't feel personal when your whole day is ruined, over and over again. Lots of luck but a good bit of opportunity to weight the odds in your favor, or exploit a weak play. I want to play more.

thumbsupthumbsup Battle Line was also interesting. My wife had played Schotten-Totten before, I'd played neither. I think we'll play this from time to time, though after a few games we decided the tactics cards are annoying and 10s make it less interesting, so we're playing Schotten-Totten with Battle Line cards.

Hera and Zeus: my jury is still out. I think we're glad to own it, but after one play I'm not sure how much we'll like it, ever. It's a little long for what it is, and the resource-conservation picture is unclear until late game, when it may suddenly become obvious who has been playing better all along. I'd rather have more hint I'm doomed earlier. The Greek myth references are amusing, and fairly well done.

thumbsdown Hare & Tortoise: Oh, almost forgot this. A "classic" with a cute board, but it's dry dry dry, arithmetic & calculation, plus the "no carrot limit" in 2p seems to give a leader a huge advantage, making the play-out after really dull. Looks cute, historically interesting, but not a fun game.

Oh, if anyone cares, we also tried the two Dominion promo cards: they don't make us like the game any better, unfortunately. Dominion: Black Market Promo Card is not very efficient, though it's interesting to try to luck into something useful the other player can't have. Dominion: Envoy Promo Card is a decent card, and I guess it adds some interaction. But Dominion is still just Dominion, where making a deck with interesting cardplay decisions is, uh, a mistake.
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77. Board Game: Chicago Express [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:256]
Erin Sparks
United States
Garden City
Michigan
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I wanted this one for quite a while. I finally picked it up and I definitely think I need a few more plays. I enjoyed it but wasn't quite sure if I was doing well or not or if there was something I should be doing better. That may sound negative but I'm very interested to explore this further.

Also new was Masons, and while I'm not usually a fan of abstracts, I found this very interesting. It was challenging, but unlike most abstracts I didn't feel like I had no idea of what I should do.
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78. Board Game: Confucius [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:1304]
Rick Mathews
United States
Portland
Oregon
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I have played three games of Confucius so far (two four-player and one five-player) and am increasingly impressed. Here is a Eurogame that appears to have been designed after the theme was decided upon--not before like many Euros. That, combined with a theme that reflects a particular period in history (the Ming Dynasty), makes it more "immersive" than most Euros although it uses elegant mechanisms characteristic of Euros. The artwork, while clear and functional, evokes the period and adds to the immersion. The innovation here is the giving of gifts to other players, which limits how much they can hurt you, and may even force them to help you! It is a medium-weight game that takes about two hours, with all players involved most of the time. Great stuff in my opinion.
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79. Board Game: Star Wars: Trading Card Game [Average Rating:5.79 Overall Rank:5895]
Andreas Johansson
Sweden
Linköping
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I spent 200 GG and all I got was this lousy overtext!
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I spent 200 GG and all I got was this lousy overtext!
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I suppose it's this, mostly for lack of competition. I also played Munchkin Cthulhu for the first time, but I hesitate to call it a separate game from regular Munchkin and in any case SW:TCG is the better game. Not however, something I expect to deliberate seek to play much.
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80. Board Game: Small World [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:105] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Jesse Dean
United States
Orlando
Florida
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Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most vicious predator on Earth!
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I admit that I did not have particularly high expectations when I tried out this game, but despite myself I was pretty impressed. I am generally much more into heavy games, two-player conflict games, and combo-building card games but this ended up being fun and engaging despite its presence outside of my usual spheres of interest. I currently give the game a tentative 8 with 3 plays. I admit I am hesitant about its long-term longevity and am worried that it might get old after 9-10 plays, but it is interesting and engaging enough that I am planning on trying to get to that many plays soon so I can decide whether it is worth buying or not.


I played the Germany and Western United States expansion of Age of Steam just last night, on the Germany side and came away delighted. Much like China, it was a tight and vicious example of the Age of Steam system of maps, and I felt the typical range of emotions that comes with playing the game. It helped that most of the players at the table were reasonably experienced and talented and there were several points in the game that I thought I was not going to make it. In the end, I did, however (if a tie counts as making it), and I think it might be one of the best games of Age of Steam I have ever play in. Hell of a time. I could even see this map going up to 9, if future plays on it (and the Western United States map) are equally good.


I played the China side of this map at the beginning of the month and was fairly impressed. It was tight, vicious, and fun and brought all the decisions that make Age of Steam great right to the front. Due to that I have trouble rating this expansion as anything lower than an 8, and look forward to trying the other side out.


With the rapdily climbing number of times I have played Commands & Colors: Ancients with Minerva, my girlfriend, and the end of our Punic War 2 series of games, we started on the Roman Civil War + Ceaser vs. the Barbarians. The battles have been very fun so far, and I have no problem rating both of them an 8, the same as the base game.


We played 2 sessions of Arkham Horror - The King in Yellow back to back. Overall it was pretty good. It provided a reasonably average Arkham Horror + expansions experience, but I did not feel like it was quite as good as either Black Goat of the Woods or Dunwich Horror. I would like to get it on the table again at some point in the future but I am not in any rush to do so. I rate it a 7.



I purhcased Travel Blokus for my girlfriend and my trip to Chicago next week so that we would have something to play on the plane trip. Despite this plan, we broke it out last weekend and ended up playing it 13 times over the course of Friday and Saturday. It was pretty fun, but I have trouble rating a game like this over a 7, so that is what it is rated.


Circus Maximus was a game acquired by one of my frequent game partners as part of a lot. I was a bit lukewarm about the game in the first place, but agreed to try it anyway. My response was much the same as I expected it to be. I found the game fine, but found the look-up tables and extensive charts to be kind of annoying and seemed to take away from the game. If I am playing a racing game the last thing I want to do is cross-reference what is happening on some chart to figure out the results of an action. I rate this game a 5.


I played a partial game of Age of Conan: The Strategy Board Game last month, but got my first full play of it this month. I was totally underwhelmed. It was bland and kind of uninteresting and did not seem to flow together very well at all. Granted, part of this may be because this was the first play for all of us, and we made a mistake halfway through that made the end result irrelevant, but there was not enough here for me to want to try this game again. I give the game a 4.
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81. Board Game: Powerboats [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:923]
Dave Peters
United States
Belmont
California
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Powers:Coleridge:Milton: Faith...must be, if anything, a clear-eyed recognition of the patterns and tendencies, to be found in every piece of the world's fabric, which are the lineaments of God.
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That's Tim Powers' fictional Samuel Coleridge "quoting" John Milton in _The Anubis Gates_.
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So far, I've played six new games in April 2009.

Powerboats
(Six plays.) It's gone over well with several disparate groups of people. Most importantly, several groups of co-workers thought it was fun, and my children were amused. For my part, I really liked the mock-determinism and the inter-boat interactions that often occurred near a buoy. Lookahead was interesting, too: I found myself occasionally re-rolling to try to achieve a better distribution of dice for a future deceleration. It's a nice design, and I'd expect I'll be still playing it occasionally for the next few years.


Palastgeflüster
(Two plays.) Only worked with the co-workers - and they were thoroughly amused. I can see why: there's a delightful puzzle element to each hand; a modest amount of screwage; a substantial heap of player interaction. I'm quite enthusiastic at this point. And perhaps surprisingly so; the game didn't look that good from a perusal of the rules.


Small World
(One play.) Definitely more appealing than Vinci for me. I liked the physical production, really enjoyed the first game, and might buy it. The faction combinations look like they'd provide at least a medium amount of replayability before things start feeling "the same".


Merchants of Amsterdam
After one play, I can't evaluate it accurately. It seems that there isn't much story arc as the game goes by; our early auctions were very similar in feel and valuation to the later ones. But it's a fascinating exercise nonetheless: I'll hope to get a few more plays.


Battleground: Fantasy Warfare
(One play.) Not completely clear on the rules, though we thrashed about to some effect. I suspect the problem is that I've never attempted (nor, to be honest, have wanted to attempt) any miniatures game. The concept doesn't amuse. So a game that purports to present the feel of a miniatures game in a more compact and affordable package isn't immediately compelling. At this stage, I'd like to have more of a clue as to the rules, and yet I'm not terribly motivated to try the game again. We'll see which impulse wins.


Klunker
Meh. I'm willing to play again, but it seemed that one is strongly at the mercy of the deal here.


I also incorporated four new expansions into play:

Galaxy Trucker: The Big Expansion
(One play.) I found the new bits very amusing. I liked the new ships; found the blue aliens delightful; enjoyed the new hybrid components. Many of my friends aren't that keen on the base game, which is the only downside.


A Game of Thrones: A Clash of Kings Expansion
(Two plays: one with just the ports; one with ports and new power cards.) I really liked the ports - they seemed to address the inelegant blockade issues I've seen in the past. I wasn't keen on the new power cards, though. It seemed that they were too strong (in comparison to the size of most forces) and a bit too chaotic in their interactions. The earlier set seems a bit more subtle. We didn't try forts or siege engines (though, fortunately, we didn't consider using one without the other. For the record, I suspect that the new power cards might be better employed with both forts and siege engines.)


Dominion: Black Market Promo Card and Dominion: Envoy Promo Card
(Two plays.) Our first gut-feeling was that the Black Market was a good chaotic variable that was occasionally worth buying, while the Envoy wasn't high in our favour. Given the movement we've seen over the past few months in some of the cards from the original set, it wouldn't shock me if those opinions changed over time. But for the moment both are certainly not in the first tier of cards requested for our games.


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82. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:8.00 Overall Rank:11]
montag 66
United States
Michigan
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I bought a lot of games this month. I started out just wanting to build up my filler collection this month but ended up with my favorite game of the month and year...

These are in order of preference.

Power Grid- We've been putting this game off for a while now because I kept reading how bad it was with only 2 players. Well, I finally bought it and we've had three plays now. We LOVE it! We've had some really great and close games. We will be playing this game for a long time to come. Can't wait to add some more players.


Bohnanza- Here's another game that doesn't get great 2 player reviews but my wife and I really love this game. We've probably played it 10 times in the 2 weeks we've owned it. We did have the chance to play a 3 player game and it was even better. This will be a favorite of our for a long time.

Pick Picknic- This is by far our favorite "kid" game that we've bought in a long time. Tons of fun!

Tsuro- This is a really fun game. Easy to teach and very quick. It's a great family game.

Chicken Cha Cha Cha - I bought this game for my 4 year old because it seems that most of our "family" games are a little too challenging for him to win. So this is "his" game. We all love it.

Hula Hippos- A fun and cheap little dexterity game. But man is it hard to get inside that ring. Definitely a game that brings the laughs and yells. Anyone can win!

Jambo- We like it but really need to spend more time with it. We have only played one game and we started that late on a work night.

Quoridor- We haven't given this game a fair chance as it was overshadowed by all the other games. We are playing it again tonight.

Silverton- I received this via a trade. I can't imagine my wife is going to play this one with me. I've only played half of a single player game and actually enjoyed it. The paper money was a PITA but I've just received my Mini Poker Chips and I'm going to try this game again without paper money.

Pickomino- An OK game but a little long for what it is.

No Thanks!- It's a nice filler but really nothing special.

Thurn and Taxis- Got this one in a trade. We really didn't care for it at all. We have so many more interesting games in our collection that we'll never pull this one out again.







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83. Board Game: Indonesia [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:169]
Mike B
Netherlands
Utrecht
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38 plays of 17 different games this month. But only 3 new-to-me games. All 3 are good and definitely worthy of some attention though.

Slush Fund is a card game with easy rules. But not so easy to play as it seems. It's the kind of card game I like, and the real-life theme of bribing politicians makes it even better.

Prophecy is in my opinion Vlaada Chvatil's take on what Talisman should have been. Any fan of Talisman should check it out, because it's a hell of a lot better than the original luckfest. For everyone that (just like me) didn't really enjoy Talisman: it finally became a good game! So thumbs up bigtime for improvement. This could have been my game of the month.

But my new-to-me game of the month is Indonesia.
I really enjoyed all Splotter games I played so far, and Indonesia is no exception: great economic game. For Hardcore Economic Gamers only. Guess I am.
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84. Board Game: San Juan [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:158]
Chris Blakeley
United States
Seattle
Washington
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A few new games and I'm hard pressed to put in A favorite but San Juan ekes into the lead as I literally went back to the game store the next day to buy it. My girlfriend and I are partial to Lost Cities and enjoy game mechanics where you tend to compete near each other as opposed to directly against each other and this was almost ideal. If it weren't for our schedules being totally out of sync for the past few weeks...

We also gave Jambo a whirl after an especially good review and that, too, joined the collection shortly thereafter.

At last week's game night a large group of friends and I learned Citadels, which came close to scratching that San Juan itch. I'm definitely up for another game, preferably without the one loud mouth who joined us. (You know the type. The one who color commentates every damned thing until he realizes that it's his turn?)

And in something completely different I stumbled across Mahjong. We didn't come even remotely close to learning everything about it, but it was a lot of fun. The kind of fun that has you grateful to lose, y'know? Apparently my FLGS does a monthly Mah Jong night and it looks like I'm going to have to add it to my calendar. Darn.
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85. Board Game: Gettysburg: Badges of Courage [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:2637]
Mark Christopher
United States
Salem
Massachusetts
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In the wonderful game, Bonaparte at Marengo, this is how to get nasty Frenchies out of a village.
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I only played one New to Me game this month; Gettysburg: Badges of Courage. A buddy and I had been meaning to try it for over a year, and when we finally got it to the table... wow! Very fun! I don't know how accurate the block aspect is for this scale; at least, I could see the infantry, cavalry, and artillery blocks all being different sizes to differentiate them, but leave the specific units as uncertain. However, the gameplay itself was great, centering on pretty quick play as opposed to a lot of detail. The blocks lead to a lot of tension and bluffing, as they do in all the great block games. The Union (me) lost the battle, and probably the war, on day 1. We're looking forward to a rematch.
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86. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:33]
Christopher Seguin
United States
Cleveland
Ohio
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I have owned this game for nearly a year. I finally got to play it on April 9th, and it is an excellent game. I like many of Knizia's designs, and I think that I have to say that this one is his best.

Definitely a lot of strategy and thoughtfulness go into playing this game. Wild swings between who is leading and who is losing are inevitable. An excellent game.
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87. Board Game: FITS [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:868]
William Bussick
United States
Reno
Nevada
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13 new games this month. Only 1 game that scored higher than a 7, and that one scored the top spot...

BEST
FITS: A very pleasant surpise! I dislike bingo-y games, and I don't seek out Tetris, but this was just plain good fun. Yes, it was "Tetris bingo," but it was more fun that that sounds. Dr. K is the master at making good concepts better. Give it a try!

THE REST
Black Sheep: Quite a nice surprise! The components are questionable and the box is way too large, but the design was great! Well, great, but not original (it’s a 4-player Schotten-Totten…er, with twists, of course!).
Kimaloé: Some great designers dumb down Blue Moon City for the sake of the children. Fair enough. Not a bad game, but just not enough to set it apart from one of Dr. K’s masterpieces.
Einfach Genial: Das Kartenspiel: Speaking of dumbing down, Reiner dipped into the Genial trough again to pull this one out. A super-simple version of the original. The thing that sets it apart is how incredibly portable it is!
Ribbit: A classic Knizia kids game. And it’s pretty good too. Subtle strategies if you want them, otherwise you can keep it simple. My 5-year-old daughter and I both enjoy it! (I got the original, as Ribbit looked like an eyesore.)
Gold Digger: A really old Knizia design that I was expecting to try and destroy after reading the rules…but it turned out to be a decent little play! That’s too bad, because that box is where I was planning to store Black Sheep!
Chinatown: I’m horrible at negotiating games. This was a good design and good components, but it just didn’t do much for me. Well, Matt saved me $50 this time--thanks, Matt!
Havoc: The Hundred Years War: A good little poker variant, if a little fiddly. Tense, too! Somehow gave me a similar feeling to Condotierre. Now, I have to spend the next however-long trying to find it!
It's Alive!: Bought this off the great recommendations here and was not disappointed! There are some neat mechanics and a short playing time (we played a game in about 15 minutes). Good size box. Yeah, the graphics are a little more grisly than they should be.
WildLife: Another one that sat on the shelf for years before playing it. A decent mix of area majority elements and gene-building, wrapped into a land-grab game. For the time, I’d probably rather play El Grande or Primordial Soup. I hope Small World is different enough.
Bakong: A pleasant resource (backpack) management game that simulates dangers in the jungle. Kind of a distant spiritual relative to Goldland. The memory elements turned me off, though.
Hab & Gut: A better version of Owner's Choice. It still has paper money (grr), but the market manipluation and scoring is quite clever. Just a touch of Indian Poker too!
Qwirkle Cubes: I didn't like this: the colors make me feel oh-so-close to color-blind, and I had to think WAY too hard during my turn (hard to plan moves ahead). But it was much more of a game than the original, and I think people will really dig it for that.
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88. Board Game: Royal Palace [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:702]
Timothy Hunt
United States
St Louis
Missouri
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Somehow, my first new game of the month wasn't until the first day of Geekway. I played a total of 36 different games over the month, 94 total plays, at least one game each day (again), and 11 of the games were new to me.

Royal Palace x 1 : Although I only got to play this once, this is the clear winner for me. I'm very glad I got it in the Play and Win at Geekway.

Crokinole x 9 : A wonderful dexterity game, and I can easily see why it's so popular.

RattleSnake x 7 : Simple, fun, has magnets. And a very quick filler.

Cosmic Encounter x 1 : First play of this edition (though I've played the AH edition before). I really like this one.

Chicago Express x 3 : Enjoyed it - Got everything you need in a train game, including being done inside an hour!

Micro Mutants: Evolution x 1 : Tiddlywinks on steroids, and we all suck at tiddlywinks, so this game seemed interminable. Maybe if I were better at it...

Dancing Eggs x 6 : Much more fun in the dexterity line. I played a lot of dex games this month...

FITS x 1 : A wonderful little puzzle-game. Simple, but fun.

Cosmic Eidex x 1 : The ultimate 3 player trick taking game - did my head in a little, but I want to play more.

Powerboats x 1 : A great little race game - really liked the way the dice work to control speed.

 
Caylus Magna Carta x 1 : I liked it, but I didn't really get a good feel for what to go for, so lost miserably.


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89. Board Game: StarCraft: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:231]
Ingmar Hauge
Norway
No way
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It's cold outside. There's no kind of atmosphere. I'm all alone. More or less. Let me fly. Far away from here. Fun fun fun. In the sun sun sun...
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Dwayne Dibley - The prince of Dork
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I'll start of with a game that wasn't new too me this month but somehow was left out a month ago and would probably have been my choice in March. Back in my younger days I enjoyed epic games of TI, Civ and its like. Nowadays there seldom is enough time for such games. That's where StarCraft: The Board Game does a very good at capturing that epic feel within a decent time limit.




Small World



As i already own Vinci I had a good idea how this game would be. It's a typical DOW quality on the components and I do like most of the changes they've made. Different maps for different # of players is great and hidden scoring should take away a lot of the AP from Vinci. Some very amusing combinations will occur, flying dwarfs, diplomatic trolls etc...




Iglu Iglu



We gave this as a gift to my GFs brother and his family a couple of years ago but they tend to need my help to learn the basics. I thought this was a kids game but it sure has a lot of tactical options. Actually a good thing it took a couple of years to get this out as I believe it would have been too much information to process for 7-8 year olds. A pleasant surprise of a game.




Honorable mention

Galaxy Trucker: The Big Expansion: A must have for experienced space pilots devil

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90. Board Game: Shadow Hunters [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:503]
Tony Dehner
United States
Waterloo
Iowa
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I made it to one of Thies' game days in April, meaning instead of being lucky to get in one "New To Me" game this month, I got in several. And choosing my favorite was actually difficult, for a few reasons.

Shadow Hunters gets the nod. One of my fellow players described it as "Bang!, but not terrible." I don't know about that, because I like Bang!, but this one puts greater emphasis on finding out who's on your team, has greater variety with more characters and the variable board, and the theme is pretty well implemented. I played this one twice in a group of eight, in about 90 minutes. Awesome.

I really wanted my favorite of the month to be Battlestar Galactica. I played it twice: once as a solo game, and once with just my wife, using the official one- and two-player rules from FFG. Had I played at least once with at least four people, it probably would have been my favorite of May, and it's still a strong candidate for my favorite of the year. But I couldn't in good conscience choose BSG for this month when I haven't experienced it the way it was meant to be played.

Other new games:

Kingsburg - I haven't played a lot of big box Euros lately, and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. It moves right along, has pretty straight-forward rules, and there's actually a threat from monsters. I may want this one at some point.

Torres - a three-player game using the earlier edition of the rules, with the tan castle pieces. I really liked this one too and would be willing to play it anytime. I played pretty well too, until the third round when I was unable to get a knight onto the king's castle.

Cuba - I'm glad I played this, but I'm not anxious to give it another shot. Granted, I was pretty tired when we sat down to play this, and it took a long time to teach and play, but I found it needlessly complicated and unintuitive. I finished last, but came within 10 pints of 4th place.

Tiki Mountain - my wife wanted this one, being a fan of any game with volcanoes in it (Downfall of Pompeii, Tikal). This one is pure, silly fun that will go over well with people who are into that sort of thing, or maybe towards the end of a longer game day.

Also, my friend Adam and I broke in my copy of the Memoir '44 Campaign Book - Volume 1. We're about halfway through "Flanking Caen" right now - frakkin' awesome.
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91. Board Game: Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:191] [Average Rating:7.41 Unranked]
BorderCon is here ....... Where are you???
Australia
Lavington
New South Wales
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My God have we zipped through April already! surprise

April saw a return to a good number of new game plays, with a healthy mix of real games, light fare and a little abstract action.

They were -

d10-1 HeroScape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie

2 Plays

Having spent around $1,500 in around 5 months on this system I was finally ready to play it with the boys on Easter Monday.Would they like it? Would I like it? Would I prove to the wife that I wasn't a madman and this money was well spent?

The answer to all three questions was a resounding yes. This is the game that I have dreamed of all my life. It offers me painted units without the need to measure silly distances. I can create 3D landscapes to battle on, allowing the inclusion of cover, line of sight and range/melee combat. It has units that cover all manner of themes and genres to let my mind run wild.

Thankfully the real kids had a blast too, took to the concept of special skills with ease and their reactions tell me that we will value this system for a good 10 years at the very least.

Quite simply...I am 10 years old again...and I have 3 mates in my sons to share it with!

d10-2 Battlestar Galactica

1 Play

Having watched the TV Series up to the end of Season 3 recently I was dying to play this game with every new post and Session Report put up on the Geek.

Finally 2 weekends ago I had my chance. It didn't start well with the guy bringing the game telling us that he had no idea how to explain it.

Playing from the rulebook usually leads to a painful experience and this was an FFG game to boot. But despite the odds we all (6 players) had a blast playing the game and can't wait to try it again.

I rate this game much more highly than Shadows Over Camelot based on the fact that there must always be Cylons in this game and possibly a Sleeper Agent as well. The whole group skill checks are novel and simple enough to keep the game flowing well and the number of ways that the Cylons can hurt the humans keeps the pressure on right to the very end.

It probably helped my enjoyment that I was a Cylon and that we had almost every Cylon ship in space by the 2nd round (something my more experienced friend said is very unusual). I can see how enjoying the show probably helps somewhat as there was many a TV Show specific in-joke thrown around.

I need this one for sure and it would have won the gong for best new game of the month in almost any other month in the past year. Frak!

d10-3 Logan Stones

5 Plays

This is the 3rd game by Gen42 Games and for me it is a return to form after the somewhat disappointing Army of Frogs. Logan Stones uses a Scissor, Paper, Rock system and each player is trying to make a play that results in 4 or more of one symbol being created in a straight line.

Now Scissor, Paper, Rock meets Connect 4 may not sound too appetising but this really is a game that is greater than the sum of its parts. The game features hidden information that must be uncovered, the players control generic pieces, rather than distinct pieces owned by each player (like most traditional abstracts) and each move can result in adjacent stones changing their face, thereby creating ripple effects across the playing surface.

I like this one a lot.

d10-4 On the Dot

10 Plays

This unassuming little game is actually quite addictive. Each player receives 4 transparent squares that consist of a scattered mixture of dots in 4 colours.

Each round a puzzle card is turned over that features a specific dot pattern and the players are in a race to try and create the exact pattern using their 4 transparent cards. Using flips, turns and rotations the players must try to get the dot pattern absolutely right and this often means finding a way to hide unwanted dots behind others.

This is a neat little game that plays in 10 minutes. It essentially offers puzzle solving play similar to Ubongo but without the gem collection element. It works well because it knows exactly what it wants to be and executes that perfectly. The wife loves it (I smell a Mother's Day present).

d10-5 Red November

1 Play

This play was a little rushed as a friend and I tried to cram it in before she had to leave. It's a nice little filler that had a 'Galaxy Trucker' kind of feel. By that I mean you don't really care if you win or lose, you just have fun with what's on offer and laugh at the crazy situations that unfold.

I don't feel I can judge it fairly off 1 rushed play but it didn't feel like there was anything to mind blowing hiding in the play. It is what it is and I can see many fun games ahead. Perfect with a drink (drinking rules could easily apply) to close out a gaming evening.

d10-6 Hungry Hungry Hippos

9 Plays

Ok I played this game as a kid but that was 20 something years ago. This is still a lot of fun in that button smashing, pull a funny face as you try to win and laugh kind of way. From memory I don't think the modern design is as good as the original all those years ago. Today's game is definitely smaller. Riley our 5 year old loves it and just laughs his head off - therefore it achieves its goal.

d10-7 Uno Attack!

1 Play

In that same rushed gaming session we also played Uno Attack! It was a brand new copy and I had heard good things about it. Unfortunately this just felt bleh! to me. The machine never spat out more than 2 cards at a time and quite often a player would hit the button when they couldn't make a play and get no penalty.

This seemed to make the game rather bland. The fact that 'Draw 4' (or the equivalent) type cards could result in only 1 or 2 cards being drawn just seemed wrong. Apparently the wheel that spits out the cards is meant to loosen up and allow more cards to be spat out (up to 16 I've heard) but even then I just don't know. The idea seems contrived and tries to make a classic card game something that it was never meant to be. Cough...cough...gimmick...cough.

d10-8 Unpublished Prototype -

1 Play

Can't say to much here but this one is a dice allocation game. I really like the theme chosen and the interplay of mechanics but I still think it is in the severe tweaking phase as the flow of the game wasn't quite right.

No rating yet as much more play testing needs to be undertaken.
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92. Board Game: Shadows over Camelot [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:252]
Bryan Maxwell
United States
Burtchville
Michigan
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This one has been sitting on my shelf for months, I was glad to finally get to try it this month. So far we've had 2 5p games and one 4p game, all of which have been fun and fairly tense with very close endings. We haven't had a traitor yet, and I can't imagine the traitor not winning for as close as the game has been without one. It may become easier and more formulaic over time, and we're considering the expansion.

Blue Moon was also new to us this month after acquiring it in a math trade. It seems a little too simple at first but does have some hidden depth. My wife and I enjoy this nifty little filler. So far the Terrah are my favorites and the Pillar are my least favorite.

Vikings was also new to us in April. My wife and I have only played this 2p, and only a couple of times but we really enjoy it thus far. It mixes a few different mechanics and makes for a nifty little game. The theme is wholly pasted on though, as their is a distinct lack of raping/pillaging.

Our only goal will be the western shore.
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93. Board Game: Stone Age [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:48]
Mary Tomaszewski
United States
Kentwood
Michigan
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I only played two new games this month: Stone Age and Journey to the Center of the Earth.


I'm going to pick Stone Age as the best new-to-me game for April because it was a worker placement game that I actually enjoyed. I haven't played too many, but I never liked them. Stone Age is pretty fun and has really nice pieces except for the stupid start player marker. I still need to figure out how to play it well, but I'm liking it so far. thumbsup


I thought Journey to the Center of the Earth was ok, but I thought the first part went on a little long. I'm sure this could be sped up with repeated play. I played with two and with three and I think the game is actually faster with more people. I'll have to play a few more times before deciding if I like it enough to keep it.

I was hoping to get in a play of Medici vs Strozzi, but I've been too tired to play games lately. Hopefully for May.
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94. Board Game: Ca$h 'n Gun$ [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:611]
Burke Nichols
United States
Gilbert
Arizona
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My wife and I played this with my brother, his wife and another couple.

It was a big hit. We ended up playing a few games because everyone had so much fun. Not sure what it is, but those orange foam guns make for a good time.

My wife has already talked about getting the expansions and/or another base set so that we can play a big game.

A close second was Incan Gold. My wife and daughters loved this one. I thought it was a lot of fun and I see this getting a lot of play for awhile.
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95. Board Game: Buy Low Sell High [Average Rating:6.18 Overall Rank:2341]
Nathan Woll
United States
Warsaw
Virginia
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I played 7 new games this month and it was hard to pick my favorite. I chose Buy Low Sell High because it is so simple, yet it's so fun. When I read the rules I thought, "that's it?" Then we played the game and it was great.
Rating: 9 (out of 10)

Sorry! Sliders was a blast! When I found it on sale, I knew I couldn't pass it up after all the buzz. IT certainly lived up to it's hype. Everyone playing enjoyed it.
Rating: 8 (out of 10)

Spooks was my big surprise of the month. With 5 plays it was my most played game. It's has similarities with many other card games, yet it felt new and different. It turned out to be a great filler. (the fact that it can support 6 players is an added bonus)
Rating: 8 (out of 10)

Beetlez was another hit for me this month. I got the game because I play a lot with teenagers and this game sounded like it would be perfect for this age group. It didn't disappoint. Not only did the teenagers have a blast, I really enjoyed it also.
Rating: 8 (out of 10)

Fairy Tale turned out to be about what I expected. A nice filler game with a CCG feel to it. (yeah I know - that's how everyone describes it) Going for certain combos was fun, as well as knowing most of what was out there each round. While I normally don't have a problem with "multiplayer solitaire" games, this one seemed to epitomize the genre; and it didn't seem as fun. Probably with more plays I'll get used to checking other player's tableau to see what would benefit them; but my first few plays just involved looking at the cards and taking what was best for me, then passing the hand.
Rating: 7 (out of 10)

Knock! Knock! was an okay game. Not much there, but I like psychoanalysis games. Trying to read the other players was fun.
Rating: 6 (out of 10)

BattleLore I've only played once so far, and with a game like this I felt it was too early to form an opinion. The first scenario just had English and French troops - no goblins or dwarves, no lore, no war council, no beasts, barely any mounted units, etc.; so I wasn't able to experience the full package. I look forward to playing this again though.
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96. Board Game: Jarnac [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:3604]
Sue Hemberger

Washington
Dist of Columbia
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On one level, this wasn't a great game-playing month for us. Few plays overall. BUT all were of new games and all of the new games were good.

I chose Jarnac because I love word games and I've been looking for this one for years. I finally broke down and bought the (fairly expensive) new edition and am glad I did. (Though I do keep reminding myself I'm paying for design not bits.) On the one hand, it's similar enough to SNATCH (which is cheaper, easier to find, and more portable), that it's by no means a must-buy. But I like the fact that speed has been factored out and prefer the more strategic end-game condition (8 completed words, rather than pile of tiles exhausted).

Also-rans: My husband and daughter can't get enough FITS. My Parisian friend brought us "Sushi Bar," the french version of Sushizock im Gockelwok, which my daughter and I both greatly preferred to Pickomino. And our 5 year old neighbor is totally enamored of Pyramid which I'm eager to play with a larger group.
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97. Board Game: Mulligan Dice Golf [Average Rating:6.85 Unranked]
Avri Klemer
United States
Brooklyn
New York
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Quiet month for new games, but the three I did play couldn't have been more different . . .

Mulligan Dice Golf is a great push your luck dice fest, best played in foursomes, with great components including a stack of custom dice and a leather dice cup. Mulligan has a neat catch up / screwage mechanism called the Stymie. This is a huge hunk of heavy black plastic which forces the player of your choice to keep their roll for the hole, where normally you have options for a second toss. The nifty thing is that the Stymie can only be put into play if you make double bogie or worse on a hole. Surprisingly, this pretty faithful captures *feel* of 18 holes. Not an everyday game, but I'm sure it will get plenty more play over time - perfect for the end of a game night after a bunch of beers (at least that's how we enjoyed it . . .)

Apophis was the first game from the Spring 2009 IGDC (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/41874) that I playtested, and despite my general dislike of Coop games, this one was a hit! A real time, save the world romp with a variable play depending on the difficulty you desire, our first attempt left us narrowly failing to stop the asteroid Apophis from destroying the human race. Tons of fun.

And then there was Hula Hippos, a game I had high hopes for. But when my wife and I played, it just fell flat - there were just too many rounds when nobody scored, with the ring kicking out any potential scoring Hippos as it spun its last few turns. Might work better with 3 or 4, since there would be so many more Hippos, but until then, I'll just have to remain disappointed . . .




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98. Board Game: Small World [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:105] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Björn Hansson
Sweden
Bromma
Stockholm
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Positively surprised by this one. I thought I'd be a nice game, but it turned out to be a stunning game!

I haven't played Vinci, but it reminded me a lot of Barbarian, Kingdom & Empire and Britannia (both great games), but faster, simpler and in a sense more charming. Pretty flawless game!
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99. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:134] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Ron D
United States
Davis
California
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April was a pretty slow month for me in terms of new games, but I did get started on three great ones:

Arkham Horror


This was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed the co-op adventure aspect of this game. It's like roleplaying for people without time for RPG's, which is really the category I put myself in. I had been looking at this or Descent: Journeys in the Dark, and I think I made the right choice. Up until now, Munchkin Quest was the only "adventure game" in my collection, and I use that term lightly to describe it. This is clearly head and shoulders above that, but I think you all already know that.

Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization


Another long game, which also turned out to be a hit. Historically, my group has avoided long games, but both this and Arkham Horror turned out to be big hits. A few of us had been looking for the perfect three player game, and for us, this may be the one. It's a big step up from any civilization building game I've played in the past.

Pandemic


This was the other new game this month, and also a lot of fun. I'm not sure it will have as much staying power in our group as the two above, but it will definately see some play. It's short play time will probably assure that it hits the table in those times when people aren't quite ready to wrap up or for late-comers to play while waiting for the group to finish another game.

All told, all three of these were great additions to my collection and I'm excited to keep exploring them. I particularly happy to have discovered two great games in the 2+ hours range, because we didn't really have any that satisfied us before.
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100. Board Game: Vexation [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked]
William McDuff
Canada
Prince Rupert
British Columbia
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"'A grey man,' she said. 'Neither white nor black, but partaking of both. Is that what you are, Ser Davos?' 'What if I am? It seems to me most men are grey.'" -- Lady Melisandre of Asshai and Ser Davos Seaworth from A Clash of Kings by G.R.R. Martin
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I started playing this series of games this month, starting with TransAmerica on BSW. At our Tuesday night game, we gave this a try on the TransEuropa map. I'm not sure the Vexation expansion adds that much in a two-player game, however I love the simplicity of this. It's an elegant game, though slightly swingy on card luck. Still, it's a lovely game, one I'm hoping to play a few more times.
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