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12 Person-Days, 20 Person-Hours, 52 Person-Minutes at the Tables in Columbus
Randy Cox
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Clemson
South Carolina
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Time for my unorthodox recap of happenings at The Gathering. I was in the hamlet of Columbus, Ohio for a bit over 8 days and managed to be in the ballroom 62 hours (the rest of the time being devoted to family activities, sleep, and the occasional walk). During those 62 hours, a good bit of time was spent thinking about or discussing what game to play or going over the rules. In the end, my actual active game time was 45 hours, 7 minutes. That's about a 73% Ballroom Utilization Factor (TM).

Following, you will read about each game played. They are listed in order of total personhours spend playing each title (total of everyone at the table's time spent). The exceptions are the final two entries, which are just oddities. I do this to show what titles were actually consuming the collective groups' time. After all, a group of five may play Ra, but if a group of 12 plays What Were You Thinking, that's more of a following/devotion. At least in my book.

By the way, as I am one of the group of "party gamers" at the gathering (and a proud member at that), I will be listing games which I categorize as Party Games with this garish pink color. Those of you looking only for the run-of-the-mill recent releases for dry Eurogamers can skip over the pink. I prefer to surrender to the pink.

Finally, I've included anonymous comments from some of the people I played multiple games with. I interpreted their comments to try to come up with a rating (and some just gave me a rating). So, you'll see their comments and a 0-5 star rating at the end of each item.

Update: I revised my star scale to include negative stars. It now ranges from -2 stars ( ) to five stars ( )
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1. Board Game: Telestrations [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:188]
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Telestrations 4 plays, 32 participants, 33:36 time spent playing

In the week leading up to the Gathering, I ordered two games specifically to test drive at the event. One of them appears at slot 12 below, but the other--Telestrations--was the new game hit of the Gathering. Now, many of the more "serious" gamers will object to that label, but it's true. We broke this game out in the wee hours of Sunday morning and played a raucous session. People were laughing themselves silly. And people noticed. As soon as the game was over, others asked to borrow this lone copy of the game. In the end, from Sunday through Friday, that copy of the game was in almost constant circulation, much like the lone copy of "Seven Wonders." I kid you not. The stoic and staid crowd of serious gamers were rocking Columbus by drawing pictures on dry-erase flip-booklets and having a wonderful time.

The game: Up to 8 players are active simultaneously. They each look at a card with 6 words or short phrases on it ("caterpillar," "dirty dancing," "egg sandwich") and one is selected (common die roll). Then they have 90 seconds to draw the item on the first page of their dry-erase flip-booklet. No letters, numbers, or erasing. Then, pass the booklets in a circular manner around the table. Next person looks at the picture, writes the word/phrase on the next empty page of the booklet, and passes it on. This sketch-guess-sketch-guess continues until the book returns to you. At that time, hilarity ensues. You go through the progression in your book. Whenever a guess matches the word two pages prior, the guesser and intervening sketcher score a point. It's that simple.

There will be many questions as to whether this is any different from the parlor game Paper Telephone/The Sentence Game/Eat Poop You Cat. My answer is: "Yes." Those games start with a long phrase that is almost impossible to convey via a picture (at least completely and to the letter). This game has simpler clues meaning there is a slightly better chance that the picture will go part way around the table before it drives off a cliff. It's also much easier to work with given the dry-erase markers and flip boards. No folding paper. So, call it The Sentence Game Light. And the "light" is the brilliant part of the game. It also has scoring, which is very important when playing a game.

Panel of Experts wrote:

- Best new game I played
- Loved it!! Wanted to play more, looking forward to playing this weekend. It's funny, no downtime, and plays up to 8. Some of our funniest stories from the Gathering. I had to draw "butt cheeks" thanks to bobby, and Brian had to draw "shellac" due to Joe's crazy guess. And of course there's Bill's "underwater butterfly."
- (check) [meaning good, not so good would be "X"]
- I liked watching it more than playing it
- Great fun, but I fear it will get old quickly. The scoring system is not great, and the game can be easily "gamed". Hopefully people won't do that. (7.5)
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2. Board Game: Mysteries by Vincent: Boogie Woogie Bungle Up [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Randy Cox
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Clemson
South Carolina
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Mysteries by Vincent: Boogie Woogie Bungle Up 1 play, 9 participants, 22:39 time spent playing

I made an off-hand comment to other attendees that I thought I had seen a group playing a murder/mystery party game at a past Gathering, a few years ago. Instead of finding out who that group might be, I got some people saying they'd be interested in playing one. So, I brought along several episodes of these types of games (Evening of Murder, How to Host a Murder, etc). I never really organized anything official because I saw and spoke to only four or so people who had posted that they were interested in playing. But one afternoon, an impromptu game emerged and it was this one.

I must say that I love these sorts of games, but this particular series has been subpar for both episodes I've tried. In both of them, multiple people attempted to commit murder (rather than just having means and motive), but only one was "guilty" as the victim was already dead when they arrived. That's kind of a cheaty way out of writing one of these things. But, hey, it's all about playing the game and getting into the character, sort of. So I still enjoyed the session quite a bit.

Panel of Experts wrote:

- Good Game
- Fun activity, not really a game but entertaining with fun people like we had
- All of these Murder Mysteries suck. They are poorly written, and you can't really solve them properly. But if you do these infrequently and with a fun group (and make sure you include a poor, little, old man), it can be a good time. I rate my experience playing this as a 6.5 despite the 4 rating for the game. Does that make sense? (4)
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3. Board Game: What Were You Thinking? [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:2576]
Randy Cox
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Clemson
South Carolina
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What Was Y'all Thankin' Of? 2 plays, 21 participants, 16:30 time spent playing

This is a standard in the pantheon of party games. You can always whip it out, as it requires only paper, pencil, and a watch. Everyone takes a turn coming up with the category and then all players write down no more than five items possibly fitting the category. I say "possibly," because there are no wrong answers. Presidents? Ben Franklin is fine. However, the goal is to match as many players as possible, so coming up with the implausible answer doesn't often net points.

Here is a sample game (10:29-11:26 pm, 4/7/2010). Through 10 rounds, we had had such categories as:
Presidents
Toothpastes
Card Games You Like (no requirement to really like the, as there is no right answer)
Fabrics
Peanuts Characters
Shakespearian Plays
Computer Retailers
Metals
Countries Bordering the Mediterranean


And the scores were bunched together with six players within six points of the lead.Bill and Leo were tied at the top.

Then came Two-syllable Words Beginning with 'P' offered up by Bill (BGG username puffinge). Well only two of us came up with what he was fishing for ("puffin") but even so, Roger and Denise scored 13 while Mike scored 12 in this hardest of all categories (8.6 average score, more than 10 points behind the second toughest category--Computer Retailers). Bill held onto first place with 10 points, but Leo fell to a tie for third with Denise, both behind Randy. And so it came down to Denise's offering. The category? Dwarves. This turned out to be our highest scoring category (45 average) and so when Leo took the proper tactic of naming the most popular Snow White dwarves (most popular amongst our group), he nailed 51 points, along with Mark, Roger, and Rachel. Bill must not have remembered Sleepy and scored only 43, dropping him from the lead to fourth place in the end.

Here are the final three rounds, showing Leo taking the lead, relinquishing it, and boldly surging back into victory lane.
Panel of Experts wrote:


- (check)
- Good, fun filler that probably gets played a bit too much, but I enjoy it (6.5)
- Always a fun filler, still upset I forgot Snoopy
- Thumbs up
- Always a great game
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4. Board Game: Ra [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:94]
Randy Cox
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Ra 3 plays, 15 participants, 13:40 time spent playing

I don't usually play Ra. I think it's a very average game and my wife likes it even less, so it just never comes out. But on the first night of the con, Tery and Mark offered it up and since it would be the only game I'd play on Opening Night, I played. And while the game lacks, the company was superb (Roger and Keith also played). Oddly enough, the very next day, after we had taken the kids on a salamander hunt and picked up grandma at the airport, I went down for a quick game while the rest of our crew was getting dinner. Scott S, Marty, and Ed F were asked what they'd like to play. What did they pick? Yep, Ra. So, after two games at the Gathering, I had played one game, twice. Two days later, a GeekQuestions buddy appeared and wanted to play a game. After going through the list of what he could/would play and eliminating all AmeriTrashy stuff, we settled on...you guessed it, Ra.

So, I ended up playing this average game from a few years ago three times. Going back in time to mid-2003, I have logged only two other plays of the game. So I increased my logged plays by 150% in the course of three days. Oh, the humanity!

Panel of Experts wrote:

- A classic that doesn't take too long. There's a little more luck here than is initially apparent, but this is a fine game. (7.5)
- Always a great game
- It was fair
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5. Board Game: Stage II [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:4744]
Randy Cox
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Clemson
South Carolina
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Stage II 1 plays, 8 participants, 11:20 time spent playing

Stage II is a trivia game with a linked theme. After answering six (or fewer questions) as a group, you attempt to identify the connecting theme that all the answers have in common. It's a lovely game, though the questions are a bit dated (the game is 25 years old). We try to get this out every year.

Panel of Experts wrote:

- Always fun, we should try making our own categories
- Fun and good group
- (I wonder what I rated this on the Geek) I love this game. I wish there would be a new, updated edition, but given that that hasn't happened in 25 years, I'm not holding my breath. We will have to do with creating our own, which we call Stage 3. (8.5)
- Always a great game
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6. Board Game: Triviathon [Average Rating:6.11 Overall Rank:7821]
Randy Cox
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Clemson
South Carolina
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Triviathon 1 plays, 10 participants, 11:20 time spent playing

Clocking in with the same number of person-hours as Stage II is a fine little trivia game that just doesn't work with more than about five. See, it's a round-the-table one-question-per-player game like Trivial Pursuit. It's better than TP in that you will get every answer correct, but your movement will be based on how well you pick an answer.

See, you're asked how many spaces you want to move and given four options like ("the number of colors on the Moldavian flag," "the number of times Finland has hosted an olympics," etc). One answer always moves you 0 spaces, one will yield 1, and the other two 2 and 3. First to the end (19 spaces away) wins.

Now, this works fine with about four or five, but with 10, people waited too long between turns and as a result, three or four of our party skipped out long before it was over. I think the solution is to have everyone play simultaneously and write down their answer. Reveal and move. Would cut down the time radically.

Panel of Experts wrote:

- No, didn't care for this one, chicken contact lenses notwithstanding
- Hated this
- I believe this could jump to a 4.5 if played with 4 or less, but it would still not be good (3)
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7. Board Game: Macao [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:155]
 
Randy Cox
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Clemson
South Carolina
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Macao 1 plays, 4 participants, 9:32 time spent playing

When Tery taught us this game (thanks, Tery) she said it takes about 90 minutes, but I think she mentioned that this figure might be for a two-player game. Since the number of turns remains the same even when playing with more players, the game can get pretty long and our game took about 2.5 hours, and that's after getting the rules taught to us.

I find the "multiple paths to victory, but really only one or two work" style of game to be somewhat ho-hum, but others enjoy it quite a bit. So, it's a pleasant enough game that I'd play again, but I'd insist that we remove many of the front-end turns (like at least 4 turns).

Panel of Experts wrote:
- (check) OK
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8. Board Game: Backpacks and Blisters [Average Rating:6.03 Overall Rank:6257]
Randy Cox
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Clemson
South Carolina
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Backpacks & Blisters 1 plays, 6 participants, 9:24 time spent playing

I have owned this Ragnar Brothers game (and "More Backpacks & Blisters") for awhile and had read the rules a couple of times. It's a basic play cards and move game where you collect victory points for hiking through England and seeing beautiful sights (if it's not cloudy). I like the game a lot, but dislike the "heavy rucksack" item. It's a hindrance item which grants a few victory points at the end of the game but slows you down immeasurably. And that would be fine except that you can simply vote for it to be given to the leader. That's a very poor, kludgey way of reining in the leader. I suggest that be removed from the game. Then you could even play with 2!

Panel of Experts wrote:

- (check) and save 50p for ferry
- One of those games I enjoy, but I'm not sure why. Did they include the rucksack just so there is some player interaction? Nonetheless I do enjoy this one. There is a sense of tension, and I like the movement system. Hmmm, I guess I do know why I like it. (6)
- Not bad; interesting board; would try again
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9. Board Game: Vasco da Gama [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:279]
Randy Cox
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South Carolina
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Vasco da Gama 1 plays, 4 participants, 8:44 time spent playing

Here's another one of those "choose a 'role' (nothing more than a place on the board) and gather stuff to do other stuff and finally score victory points." It's cute enough but a bit long and really feels like an abstract. While I could see absorbing a little of the theme of Macao (shipping to distant lands your accumulated wares), I just don't see it in VdG. I'm no theme whore by any means, but I also don't want a plain abstract. Give me the tiniest bit of theme.

Panel of Experts wrote:

- Big rules curve but OK (not great)
- reminded me of Aladdin's Dragons, so it was good
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10. Board Game: Word on the Street [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:1053]
Randy Cox
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Clemson
South Carolina
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Word on the Street 2 plays, 18 participants, 8:14 time spent playing

I debate labeling this as a party game, as I've played it two-player and it's very strategic. It would be like calling Scrabble or Boggle a party game. But since we played Team Word on the Street, it felt partyish.

The game is simple. Turn up a category card ("Underwear Brand") and come up with a word. Then, slide the letter tiles in the word one space for each occurance in the chosen word, towards your team's side of the street (board). There are no vowel tiles and no J, X, Q, or Z. That's it. When you've moved a tile three spaces from the center of the baord (on your curb), you claim it. First team to 8 tiles wins.

It went over quite well, I'd say.

Panel of Experts wrote:

- I think I liked this less than most others, but it is fun enough and it's a good way to include lots of people (6)
- Liked playing this, though not good at it
- (check) [means good]
- Too many players. If everybody could touch the letters, it would be okay.
- Liked this a lot too, plays any number, good for larger groups
Interesting that some liked it for being inclusive and others disliked it for having too many players. Fortunately, it can be played either way.
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11. Board Game: The Princes of Florence [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:61]
Randy Cox
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Clemson
South Carolina
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Princes of Florence 1 play, 5 participants, 7:40 time spent playing

It had been five and a half years since I last played PoF. We used to play it reasonably often and have always enjoyed it. Well, at 10:30 on Thursday night, we were about to play Garden Competition when Tom DeMarco strolled up looking forlorn. See, he loves PoF and a game had broken out at the table next to us, sans Tom. He looked so sad, carrying that copy of Princes under his arm, so we abandoned Garden Competition, found a fifth, and played PoF.

Now, I like this game, just as I do Puerto Rico, but they both have the same problem--supposed experts. See, a lot of people believe there is only one way to win a game (I'm not talking about Tom here) and will voice it. Almost always, and in this case definitely, they're horribly wrong. Rachel and I chose not to purchase professions in phase B, which is apparently unheard of to those with little scope to their PoF playings. Some of us chose not to cash in all works points for cash in the early rounds, to catcalls of "you always take it all in money for the first three rounds."

Long story short(er), those strategies can and do work. In this case, Tom still edged out one of the unwashed masses who chose to play a different strategy.

Panel of Experts wrote:

- This one is too sterile and has no chaos factor in it; ergo, I'd give it a 4 (out of 10).
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12. Board Game: JabberJot [Average Rating:6.26 Unranked]
Randy Cox
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Clemson
South Carolina
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Jabber Jot 1 play, 11 participants, 6:36 time spent playing

This was the other party game I purchase just before the event. It's a story-creating game where you get three pictuers, three words, and a theme which you must unify into a story. Then, it's pretty much Balderdash-y. Vote for the best stories.

We found that it does not work so well with 11 players. It seems it would be OK with fewer, though.
Panel of Experts wrote:

- Too many people...might be good with fewer
- Not for me
- (X) [which means not so good]
- Many other games use this concept and do it much better (4.5)
- abominable
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13. Board Game: Beyond Balderdash [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:857]
Randy Cox
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Clemson
South Carolina
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Beyond Balderdash 1 play, 7 participants, 6:18 time spent playing

Speaking of Balderdash...this game closed out the Gathering for us on Saturday night. Amazingly, we had not played it at all during the convention up to that point. And as long as you keep the numbers to 7 or less (preferrably 6 or less), it moves along swiftly and is a good game. The problem is that oft times, stragglers walk up as the game is beginning and a perfect six turns into a dreadful 11 players. In games where everyone has to read responses from each player, it's the difference between reading 36 slips of paper in forty-five minutes or reading 121 slips of paper in two hours. Fortunately, we clocked in at 54 minutes. And no one knew Truman Capote's birth name.

Panel of Experts wrote:

- Note: When they changed from dates to laws, they changed the name back to Balderdash, so we actually played Balderdash. I should deduct half a point just for this ridiculous, confusing decision. But it's just too good. My second favorite game of all-time. Only Werewolf is better. (10)
- Always a great game
- (check) But too many makes it too long


Note: I am aware of the name change but refuse to call the multiple-category Balderdash anything but "Beyond."
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14. Board Game: Creationary [Average Rating:6.06 Overall Rank:2560]
Randy Cox
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Creationary 1 play, 8 participants, 6:00 time spent playing

Someone brought along a game that works pretty much like Charades or Barbarossa only the art medium is Lego blocks. It sat on a side table near where we played some late night party games until, finally, at midnight April 6/7, we read the rules and played with 8 players.

The on-turn player draws a card (we used the 'easy' deck) and attempts to model the item out of Legos. Let me tell you, color is all that matters. Throw brown blocks together and clue the players that it's "nature," and they'll come up with 'Mushroom' eventually. And that's the way it went. People just screamed out items that match the category, regardless of our artistic abilities. It was silly fun, but you could do the same thing with dried pasta or any other "art" supplies. I don't think I'd ever suggest playing it, though I'd play if others did so.

Panel of Experts wrote:

- Barbarossa was better
- (check) Fine
- Much like Cluzzle, this is Barbarossa lite, but this time with Legos. I prefer the more structured way of questioning and guessing in Barbarossa, but this works just fine as a lite version. (6.5)
- Not enthralled with it
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15. Board Game: Show Manager [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:651]
Randy Cox
United States
Clemson
South Carolina
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ShowManager 1 play, 6 participants, 6:00 time spent playing

I do like the game Premier and have liked it since it first came out. It's very elegant and plays very well with six. For this playing, the scores were extremely tight, with only seven points separating first and last place (and only three separating 1st and 5th). In the end, Beth's harp coalition edged my keyboard and Denise's drums 39-38-38.

Panel of Experts wrote:
- (check)
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16. Board Game: Würfel Bingo [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:2294]
Randy Cox
United States
Clemson
South Carolina
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Wurfel Bingo 2 play, 10 participants, 5:36 time spent playing

This little game, which can easily be played on paper, is a cross between Yahtzee, Poker, and Take it Easy. Everyone plays the same rolls (2d6) into a 5x5 grid. You place a number after each roll and can't move it. In the end, evaluate the five rows, five columns, and two diagonals looking for pairs, 3-, 4-, or 5-of-a-kind, two pair, full house, and straights (either including or excluding the number 7). Each is worth between 1 and 12 points and diagonals score double. That's it. Sum and score 3 rounds to determine the winner.

Panel of Experts wrote:

- (check) Fine
- My first time at this one and I liked it
- this one was very good
- I want to own this one, but how do I go about finding it? I always enjoy this one, probably more so because it isn't readily available to play most of the time. (6.5)
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17. Board Game: Ex Libris [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:5401]
Randy Cox
United States
Clemson
South Carolina
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Ex Libris 1 play, 7 participants, 5:08 time spent playing

This game is just Beyond Balderdash only with a single category--literary prose. Flip a coin to see if you're to create the first or last line of a novel or essay from the past. The game Liebrary is also the same thing. We held the participation level to seven so that it could be handled in a reasonable timeframe.

Panel of Experts wrote:

- Always a great game
- (check)
- This one doesn't get played often enough, mostly because not that many people like it. But I sure do! (7.5)
- acceptable
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18. Board Game: Kunst Stücke [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:3635]
Randy Cox
United States
Clemson
South Carolina
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Kunst Stucke 1 play, 5 participants, 4:55 time spent playing

There are very few pure abstracts I enjoy, but this is one of them. Though I must admit that I play up the theme, such as it is (collaborative painting from famous artists). We taught this game to some unsuspecting but enthusiastic players and it went over well, as it almost always does (Stephen Glenn excepted).

Panel of Experts wrote:
- (check)
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19. Board Game: Powerboats [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:933]
Randy Cox
United States
Clemson
South Carolina
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Powerboats 1 play, 6 participants, 4:36 time spent playing

We played a single race of this game, which was new to me. It felt an awful lot like Formula De to me, which is a bad thing. All you do is point your boat, set your "gear", and let 'er rip. Not a lot to it.

Panel of Experts wrote:
- Fine, good length
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20. Board Game: The Speicherstadt [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:394]
Randy Cox
United States
Clemson
South Carolina
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Sphincter City 1 play, 5 participants, 4:35 time spent playing

This game has a neat auction mechanism. That's the end of how it's radically different from most modern games. And that's not enough for me to go purchase a game. A nifty gizmo or flaky mechanism might have tempted me to purchase games before, but that's how you end up with things like Ab die Post.

Panel of Experts wrote:
- (X) Very quick end, like Web of Power
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21. Board Game: Alhambra [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:309]
Randy Cox
United States
Clemson
South Carolina
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Alhambra 1 play, 4 participants, 4:24 time spent playing

Sometimes, you get down to the ballroom and your "usual suspects" aren't in sync with you. A lot of people are out eating, or napping, or have just started a game. That happened to us after we got the kids to sleep and made it downstairs just about 9:00 p.m. So, we made an impromptu group and played a game we could all agree on. In this case, it was a blast form the not-so-distant past--Alhambra. I like this game and don't mind that the board can change tremendously between your turns. That's fine in a game. Too much information leads to analysis lockup. Great game and a great group to play with.

Panel of Experts wrote:

- Good
- Fun, would play again
- Didn't play this year, but I must say always a great game
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22. Board Game: Dixit Quest [Average Rating:7.81 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.81 Unranked]
Randy Cox
United States
Clemson
South Carolina
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Dixit w/ Expansion 1 play, 9 participants, 4:21 time spent playing

I just don't really like this game very much. It's got that Apples to Apples feel, and that's always a bad thing. It's a tad better than that because it has a little Balderdash feel to it as well, but not enough to save it. I just don't really enjoy it for whatever reason, though I seem to be in the minority. I will say that it's better with the expansion because you don't run through all the picture cards in a single play.

Panel of Experts wrote:

- Loved the new cards, another one I am looking forward to playing this weekend
- Good Game
- Not huge on it
- Many other games use this concept, but this one does it better than most of those. And the art is so purty. The expansion makes a good game even better. (7.5)
- Liked it
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23. Board Game: Samarkand: Routes to Riches [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:842]
Randy Cox
United States
Clemson
South Carolina
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Samarkand 2010 1 play, 5 participants, 4:10 time spent playing

This is not the Sid Sackson game of the same name. But it is probably better. I've played the old Sackson game a few times and was only moderately amused. This game was fun. Now, it has its problems, most notably that money isn't tight enough. But maybe that's OK, because it does make the game sail along (50 minutes).

The thrust of the game is that you're joining into families (might as well be rail lines) and creating camel chains (might as well be locomotives) to connect with other families/railroads. Score points for merging families. Score points for owing stations (oases) where families join. Pretty simple stuff, but it works well. Not nearly well enough to purchase it, but certainly well enough.

Panel of Experts wrote:

- Didn't like the theme that was slapped on it, but the game was okay
- (check) Seemed to end abruptly
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24. Board Game: Pressure Point [Average Rating:6.08 Overall Rank:7478]
Randy Cox
United States
Clemson
South Carolina
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Pressure Point 2 plays, 16 participants, 4:00 time spent playing

The best thing I can say about this game is that it's quick. The worst is that it needs a better contraption (the one we played with failed so often that we resorted to manual time keeping) and a much better money mechanism.

Here's how it works: Give everyone some chips (sadly, it's a very small amount as written--say 3). Then draw a card listing a category (e.g. Types of Wines). Pass that around the table so each person can predict how many (1-7) the active player will name within the group in 10 seconds. When it gets 'round to the on-turn player, s/he presses the button, reads the card for the first time, and starts rattling off items within the category ("Reisling", "White," "Table," ...) until the beeper sounds (or doesn't in the case of the contraption we used).

If you predicted fewer than the player actually said, you pay them the difference. If you predicted more, you pay the bank the difference. If you predicted exactly right, you get that number (your guess) from the bank. The on-turn player also gets a chip from the bank for each answer they came up with.

The problem is that people run out of money after two or three turns, unless they were the on-turn player or accidentally guessed the appropriate number. At that point, they don't have any money to pay the on-turn player with when they bid low (which happens often enough). So, they get to play for free--earning money but not losing it. And the on-turn player cannot get any money from them. And that's the big flaw with this game. It coulda been a contenda.

Panel of Experts wrote:

- Hated this
- Never again, unless the components ever improve
- (X), I had no money
- Another in a long line of games recently that has a good base concept, but could use a bit more, but they are published as is, and I guess they sell, so maybe the publisher knows better than I. It's decent, but one could do well just putting the same number up every time. Right, Bobby? (5)
About one of the expert's comment...they came up with a strategy of always betting 3 every turn, without even looking at the category (later upgraded to 4). It is possible that this would win as often as not.
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25. Board Game: Mü & More [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:519]
Randy Cox
United States
Clemson
South Carolina
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Mu 1 play, 5 participants, 3:45 time spent playing

My wife really likes Mu and we try to play it at the Gathering each year. Last year, we didn't get to it. But this year, we roped in enough players to play a quick session. And boy was it quick. She hit 150 points after a couple of hands, at which time we begin rolling the die for a random finish (6=end, next hand 5 or 6=end, etc). On the second round of rolling, the game ended. It was quite fun.

Panel of Experts wrote:

- Always a great game
- (check)
- One of the best card games I've played
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