$10.00
Your Favourite Game Outside Top 500 - Win Geek Gold - Contest Now Closed
Lucian Pleianu
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Cluj Napoca
Cluj
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As a newcomer to boardgaming, it won't take one long to find out about Agricola, Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan, Dominion or Carcassonne. Even if you never ever heard anything about board games, when you login to BGG for the first time, top 100 will most likely be your "way in".

But what about those little gems that we find out about after weeks/months in this hobby? Those games that didn't (yet?) make it to the top 500 but are some brilliant finds in themselves? Games that we would gladly play just as often as the well known titles in our collection?

Which is your favorite game outside top 500? Let everybody know, thumb this list and win geek gold! To enter this contest, you must simply thumb this list or my list entry. The least I can do - I will thumb each entry added to the list.

PRIZES:

The following prizes are up for grabs:
First prize: 10 One individual selected at random who thumbs this list.
Second prize: 5 One individual selected at random who thumbs this list.
Third prize: 3 One individual selected at random who thumbs this list.
No individual can win twice, so in case random.org returns the same winner for a second time, I will redraw.

Additional Door prizes: 1 per door prize. Later edit #1: Because the tipping might not be an exact round number, I will give out the last door prize as a 0.X , depending on how much I'd have left once all the other prizes will be drawn.

I will give door prizes to as many of you as I can, based on all the tips I get for this list and the GG I collect from other sources while this contest lasts. Door prizes will also be selected at random. No geek gold will be kept for myself. All tips that I receive will given away as prizes.

The contest will end on May 31st, 2010, 20:00 PM, CET (Central European Time).

I am adding as the first entry one of the little great games I found when browsing some items for an auction. It has made it into my collection and it's highly unlikely I will ever part with it.

Later edit #2: I am closing the contest at this point in time. There have been 601 thumbs for the geeklist and 50 thumbs for Dynasties. Most of the users thumbed both, but there have been 6 users only thumbing the geeklist item. This means 607 entries in the draw pool. I will use random.org to select the winners and will post the results as soon as possible.

At the time when the contest ended, I had 36.70 shiny in my reserve.

And the WINNERS are:

FIRST place and 10 as determined by random.org goes to:
Tony Hamen
United States
Austin
Texas
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SECOND place and 5 as determined by random.org goes to:

Todd
United States
Bridgewater
Massachusetts
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All glory to the Hypnotoad!
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THIRD place and 3 as determined by random.org goes to:
mads matzon
Denmark
copenhagen
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The other 18 winners, each getting 1 thanks to random.org were:
1. #186 in the list -
Matthew Cordeiro
United States
Cumberland
Rhode Island
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2. #166 in the list -
mich
Germany
Schleswig-Holstein
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3. #588 in the list -
Shanthi Gonzales
United States
San Francisco
California
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I am Boogie, the world's cutest dog.
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4. #199 in the list -
Marcus
Singapore
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5. #270 in the list -
Marco Fuini
South Africa
Durban
KwaZulu Natal
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designer
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6. #55 in the list -
Avri Balofsky
Israel
Beit Shemesh
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7. #486 in the list -
David Morneau
United States
Maspeth
New York
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8. #101 in the list -
bran mcmillin
United States
Houston
Texas
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designer
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9. #521 in the list -
Henrik Lantz
Sweden
Uppsala
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10. #100 in the list -
Let's Play Two!
United States
Collinsville
Illinois
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11. #436 in the list -
Mike B
Netherlands
Utrecht
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12. #420 in the list -
United States
Parsons
Kansas
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13. #269 in the list -
Brute Man
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14. #297 in the list -
Dan Schaeffer
United States
Unspecified
Illinois
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15. #515 in the list -
Colin Gill
United States
Elmore
Alabama
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16. #559 in the list -
Din Li Tsan
Taiwan
Unspecified
Unspecified
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17. #183 in the list -
Jason K
Singapore
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18. #292 in the list -
Jason Smith
United States
Vancouver
WA
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The remaining 0.70 goes to #147 in the list:
King Bee Games
United Kingdom
Norwich
Norfolk
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I will start sending out the right away, though it might take a while to go through it all. Thanks to everyone who entered the contest and/or took the time to add items to this geeklist, there have been some really, really good games added. Some have made it to my wishlist and this geeklist served it's purpose for that matter.

Later edit #3: All have now been successfully sent out. Phew, it took a while
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26. Board Game: Helden in der Unterwelt [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:4183] [Average Rating:6.54 Unranked]
Lo Ma
United States
California
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Rank=2615

Helden in der Unterwelt is the funnest of the rpg'ish euros I've ever played but it was only published in german and is now out of print. There is however an english translation of the rules and a condensed version of the rules, also in english, here on bgg (I posted the condensed version). The components are pretty much language independent.

Helden in der Unterwelt has the basic pick up and deliver mechanic as most of the euro games in this genre, but it also has lots of twists to it that make it interesting and give the game a solid sense of progression. I really dig the setting in the mythical greek underworld, as well as the mechanics of building the underworld around you as the game progresses, and also the use of dark shadow experience. When a hero gains dark or shadow experience for his skills, it also strenghtens the dark side. The dark side is the life points of the damned one and if he gets too strong before you can fight him, he wins the game, with a minor victory going to the darkest hero (the one who has the most dark experience). And you cannot fight the damned one with a skill that has dark experience. There are various ways to gain and lose this shadow stuff and to eliminate the life points of the damned one. Yep, it's a pretty damned good game with a lot of twists, and mechanics that mesh perfectly with the theme.

This game is in the Return of the Heroes series and Helden in der Unterwelt is my favorite of them all. I've only played it as a standalone game though - as an expansion it would make the game unbearably long in my opine... If you can't find Helden in der Unterwelt, then Return of the Heroes is a good game too though not nearly as inventive in its mechanics. Return of the Heroes is also out of print but is much easier to find and it was published in english which makes it more accessible.

I wouldn't play Helden in der Unterwelt as an expansion to RotH - the combo would be incredibly and terribly long for my tastes...
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27. Board Game: Terra Nova [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:1463]
Vincent White
United States
Chestnut Hill
Massachusetts
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Ranked 876.

I love this for 2 players. A lot of trickery goes into claiming territory, or walling a bunch of your opponents meeples in, giving him or her less points per meeple. You have to also watch out for the different ways the game can end.

+ Colorful board
+ Very Thinky
+ Should play quick (unless you play against one of "those")
+ The look on your opponents face when you slide a meeple across the board and suddenly change angles and slide it into their territory, Then close the area resulting in your now having the majority of meeples and all of the points.
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28. Board Game: The Lord of the Rings Labyrinth [Average Rating:6.06 Overall Rank:7084]
Ernie Lai
United States
Forest Hills
New York
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Current Rank when Added to the List: #4019

this suffers a bit from low number of ratings, but it is a refinement of master labyrinth which currently ranks #1077.

i enjoy master labyrinth for the puzzle-like qualities and this version improves upon the original. the bonus card system is different, the most important change being that there's no possibility for two players needing the same token for a bonus (i didn't like when that happened in the original). there's also a variant game that's a lot of fun. You only look at the top card of your deck and collect that token and then look at the next card, etc. 1st to complete their deck and return to the starting spot wins.
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29. Board Game: It's Alive! [Average Rating:6.31 Overall Rank:1867]
Clement Tey
Singapore
Singapore
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A light and fast game that is suitable anytime with almost anyone.
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30. Board Game: Guess Who? [Average Rating:4.76 Overall Rank:11026]
Michael Hovan
United States
Elkhart
Indiana
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This is added for sentimental reasons. My youngest, now a junior in college, loved to play this game. Both of my kids are now gamers. I credit Guess Who with being THE ONE that got hooked the youngest. When we are looking through the games in the house to find something to play, he still mentions how much fun he had playing that. It is pretty worn - not bad for one of "those" Parker Brothers types.

Here are a few others well out of the top 500 that I love, but will only put one item on the list:

+ Foxbat & Phantom - an old SPI game that still brings back the good old days of the cold war.

+ The Guns of August - Avalon Hill's WWI effort. Lots of cardboard. Played it by mail long ago. Would love to play it ftf.

+ Lie, Cheat & Steal - we still play this as a family. The oldest - now a college grad - requested a copy! Needless to say I found him one. This would have been the one for the list if sentiment had not ruled.

I stop here and am still not out of the 5,000's!

Great geek list idea!
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31. Board Game: Carrom [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:850]
James Fallows
United Kingdom
Penrith
Cumbria
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Crokinole is absolutely a very fine game, but (without wishing to harp on too much about the quirks of the rating system) it surprises me that the lighter and vastly more expensive game sits at #40 on the charts whilst the queen of all dexterity games bubbles under at #511.

Anyhow, this is the game outside the top 500 that has racked up the most plays for me. Superlative finger-flicking goodness.
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32. Board Game: Intrigue [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:1376]
gregory duff
United States
Ft.Worth
Texas
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Intrigue.....a very nasty screw-you game in a little bittie box with nice components. Whenever I bring this to the table, you should see the fur fly! Greg

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33. Board Game: Parthenon: Rise of the Aegean [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:1831]
Skip Maloney
United States
Wilmington
North Carolina
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Oh My God, there are SO many of them. I started flipping through the database at 501, and initially thought I'd examine up to 1,000, but I kept going because there were always one or two per hundred. I still don't know if I nailed the favorite. It could be in the 3 or 4,000 list somewhere.
Masters of Venice might have made it if I had a few more games of it under my belt.
Boggle would certainly have to make a list beyond a single favorite.
Family Business, too.
Twixt and Abalone were the two abstracts I found.
Rail Baron was my own personal 'gateway' game and gets a nostalgia vote
Friday the 13th and Loot come to mind from the Knizia files.
I think Nautilus is under-rated.
And finally, in no particular order, New England, Atlantis and Toledo (has to be Wallace's simplest design)
Pound for pound, though, in spite of having a hard time actually getting people to sit down and tolerate its complexity and 'pain', I'd have to give my top vote to the item pictured.
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34. Board Game: Axis & Allies [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:979]
Neil Henning
United States
Nutley
New Jersey
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Great game that has stood the test of time.
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35. Board Game: HeroClix [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:1369]
Lee Smith

Cedar Rapids
Iowa
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Heroclix!

And, it's not even in the top 1000.

Travesty!!!!
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36. Board Game: Kings & Things [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:1222]
Christian Gram Hansen
Denmark
Farum
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Humorous fantasy battle classic to be reissued by Z-Man later this year.

Current rank = 628.
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37. Board Game: Gheos [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:1182]
Dennis Bingham
Germany
Herford
NRW
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Currently Rank 621 and should be in the top 200 as far as i'm concerned. Great and overlooked game.
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38. Board Game: Air Baron [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:2058]
Max Jamelli
United States
Chambersburg
Pennsylvania
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My number one game is currently ranked 1176. ouch.

This was the game that broke me into the hobby full time with my dad and his gaming friends. It was a good enough blend of a war game and an economic game that kept us all interested. We used to play a couple times a week when I was in High School and then after college when I lived at home for a couple months. Now the most I get to play this is at WBC - but I look forward to it every year.

Couple years back I got to meet the designer:



I kinda marked out on him when I found out he designed the game. He was very forthcoming with all of my goofy questions and said he was working on a new prototype game. I hope he has success with that as well.
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39. Board Game: Afrika (second edition) [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:1303]
Matt Taylor
United States
Fairfax
Vermont
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On the one hand it is a war game, so the ranking will be low, but on the other hand, it is so often listed as a great game for those with little wargaming experience looking for the "next step" that I have a hard time understanding why this is ranked so low at 629 as of posting.

Great series as well.
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40. Board Game: Queen's Necklace [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:1310]
Steve Bennett
United States
Grinnell
Iowa
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I love this game from Bruno Faidutti. It plays well with 2-4 players. 30-45 minutes. You collect 4 different types of gems, along with cards of varying powers. 3 times during the game there is a gem sale. A whole lot of things can change the value of your winnings. It's a taut psychological game. The 18th Century jewel theme turns some people off, but that is their loss. This is a wonderful game.
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41. Board Game: German Railways [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:1313]
Claudio Campuzano
United States
Portland
Oregon
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This was released as part of the very limited Winsome Essen set, then had a small reprinting earlier this year. It is scheduled to be licensed by a major publisher. Whether it retains its original form is yet to be determined, as far as I know. (Some Winsome games have been altered - often dramatically - upon licensing; see Samarkand: Routes to Riches).

P-O is a relative of Wabash Cannonball/Chicago Express. There are eight companies with three available shares apiece. All companies have a special ability/debility. On their turns players issue a share or expand a network. Company income goes up as companies connect to cities. There is no dilution of shares, so for each share a player has, they get the current income. Dividends are paid to all players when two companies connect for the first time. The company actively making the connection gets a double-dividend. The game ends when a) all companies have touched at least two others or b) it can be proven that this is not possible.

This is all preamble however. What makes this game very special is the turn order mechanism. Each round consists of as many turns as there are players. Before the round, each player adds their color cubes to a bag in an amount equal to their current position on the income track (i.e. the total income of all their shares). First puts in one, second puts in two, etc. Then you draw cubes from the bag to determine turn-order.

So in a five player game, five cubes will come out and it is not just possible but likely (67% assuming no ties) that the player with the greatest income will not get a turn that round.

This turn order mechanism makes for one of the most interesting tradeoffs in gaming: buying shares increases your income and decreases your chance of controlling future share issuance or company expansion. The effect is that valuation and timing of purchases is dictated by a) the relative incomes of the players subsequent to a purchase (and thus the likelihood of their getting turns), b)the share distribution (and thus the incentive structure that drives what players might do with their turns should they get them), and c) cash positions relative to income which drives game-end timing incentives.

For me, this game takes the very delicate and ultra-opaque Chicago Express, gives it a broader canvas, and throws in an ultra-interesting risk management layer onto the incentive structures.
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42. Board Game: Cosmic Encounter [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:557]
linoleum blownaparte
United States
Unspecified
Unspecified
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Rank = 622

CRIMINALLY underrated. More than 30 years old, yet still one of the best light games out there.

While we're on the topic of "old but still good" -

Pente
De Bellis Antiquitatis
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43. Board Game: Castle [Average Rating:6.12 Overall Rank:2115]
Gary Sonnenberg
United States
Waukesha
Wisconsin
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One of my wife's favorites also as evidenced by my 92 plays, many of which were 2p games with her.
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44. Board Game: Dominoes [Average Rating:5.44 Overall Rank:10540]
Dan
United States
Sacramento
California
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Dominoes has to be my my favorite game outside the Top 500 way down at 5459. Popular all over the world, but not on BGG it seems.

My favorite game is Five-Up, or West Coast Dominoes as it was once called.

Not sure if this gets a low score because it is a group of games (game system), and if there were indivudual entries for the most popular games (like traditional card games) whether it would make a difference. I think it would still score low as most "traditional," "abtract-type," games score low on BGG. Two other of my favorites that I was also thinking about for this list also fit into the same category: Checkers way down at 6115, and Backgammon at 683.
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45. Board Game: Pinochle [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:1411]
Tiffany Smith
United States
Portland
Oregon
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If you look at my top ten list, you will find that I've got a game outside the top 500 at number one on the list. Pinochle, ranked 748, is the game that I enjoy most. I love the tension and excitement of managing my hand and wondering if I will make my bid. I love the partnership team work aspect. There are a lot of hand management trick taking games where people have partners, and much of the reason that pinochle is my favorite is because it was the first one that I figured out how to play compentently.
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46. Board Game: Galactic Emperor [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:1084]
Joe Wasserman
United States
Portland
Oregon
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I don't think he would like that.
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"A single action or event is interesting, not because it is explainable, but because it is true." - Goethe via Boas
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Current rank: 504

Just barely outside of the top 500, Galactic Emperor is like a filtered Twilight Imperium Lite, infused with a cooling concoction of Euro.
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47. Board Game: Black Box [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:2073]
Bruce Chiriatti
United States
Los Altos
California
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Game was a big hit for me as a child.... made me look for more games like it - and I found them: clue, mastermind

It is an old game so I understand the low ranking (1244 as of this post), but still a favorite for me.
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48. Board Game: Reiner Knizia's Decathlon [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:2393]
Exit 191
United States
Buckeye
Arizona
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We must look to the past to help guide us in the future.
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Lovin' some dice chucking!
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Rank at time of post: 1672

This has to be a cream of simple dice print and play games. It is very fun and can work with any amount of people. The greatest thing is that it is free!
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49. Board Game: Boxers or Briefs? [Average Rating:5.72 Overall Rank:7981]
Sara Stowe
United States
Mounds View
Minnesota
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Rank at time of post: 3714

Fun party game. Games of Boxers and Briefs have had my friends and I crying-laughing.
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50. Board Game: Lectio [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:1512]
T. Nomad
South Korea
Gyeongsan
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There are 5 games outside the BGG top 500 that I rate an 8. This faced-paced, clacky game of one-upmanship gotcha is my favourite. It's likely to get a 2010 reissue, too, as the designer is actively pursuing a new publisher.

My other 8s:
Enemy Chocolatier
Ultimate
Triumvirate
Court of the Medici
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