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New to you November 2011 => Best new boardgame
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What new board and card games did you play in November 2011? Please share your experiences of the games you played for the first time this month.

In order to assist with collecting Statistics from these lists, please post an entry with your chosen game of the month, and if possible please use the "insert board game" feature to add other games you mention in your entry.

- Are people still playing new Essen games this month? Any less-hyped games that people have now had the chance to try?


New To You Metalist 2011
New To You MetaMetalist
New To You Geeklists - Announcement thread

Other Great Monthly Lists
Your Most Played Game (and more): November 2011
New to Your Kids November 2011 - the best new games you've played with children and why
Videogames New To You November 2011
Your best gaming experience of the month and why November 11
New to you a year ago Nov 11 => Has it stood the test of time?
Games only YOU have played in November 2011
Out of the Dust, November 2011
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76. Board Game: Tanto Cuore [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:1112] [Average Rating:6.90 Unranked]
Joe Wyka
United States
Walnut Creek
California
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It's been a slow game-playing year for me compared to the previous two years and I have yet to play a game I'd consider a true, head-and-shoulders winner for game of the year for me. I've played a number of solid new-to-me's, but nothing that has completely blown me away. Maybe December?


Tanto Cuore - 7
Plays pretty much the same as Dominion: go for money then go for points. However, the theme is MUCH more amusing! There's a little more "take that" play than in base Dominion, and I do like that there is a way to remove cards from your deck but still retain their points, and often gain multipliers for removing certain sets of cards. Dominion with a few twists and HOT anime maids. How can you go wrong? I'm kind of surprised a game like this would make my best of the month. More of a comment on the other games I played.


Jaipur - 7

One of the better small-box two-player games I've played. It plays quick and you have judgement calls to make every turn. The game is almost entirely tactical since you won't know really what you'll have to work with on your turn, but staying flexible is the key to enjoying this game.


Urban Sprawl - 6

Straight-forward majority game where majorities are defined by rows and columns, so every placement works in potentially two directions. The value of the rows and columns are adjusted in-game. The game is driven by cards from essentially two sources - a planning deck (which is a form of currency) and the contract deck (contracts are purchased to enable board placement). The cards from both decks are displayed and cycled in continuously descending values, a la Through the Ages.

The game is fairly luck-driven as players hope for an affordable, complimentary combo of contracts and permits to become available on their turn. I am also concerned that the "Contractor" tile is too powerful a catch-up mechanic, especially in a two-player game. I'm usually very forgiving of a poorly illustrated game, but it looks like this game was assembled completely from a file of standard clip art. Ugh. The game is okay, but does not really justify its length.


Ascension: Deckbuilding Game - 6

Another deck-builder. Rather than having a "town" area, Ascension uses a draw pile with 5 or 6 face up cards to either purchase or defeat. This adds another layer of randomness and chaos, but for all that it's still a fun, lighter deck-builder with combat. I don't think it makes the cut for me, though, as a deck-builder I want to own.
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77. Board Game: String Railway: Transport [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:3386]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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I actually played 25 games new-to-me in November, nearly as many as in April and one of my highest non-April totals ever. Of course, I didn't care for many of them, but there definitely were some gems...

String Railway: Transport was the best of them, and the one I most expect to be playing a year from now. It effectively turns the clever idea of String Railway into more of a game, and moved immediately onto my "must purchase" list.

The Road to Canterbury was a random purchase from my FLGS, and isn't bad at all. I love the theme, but I'm not sure the game will hold up beyond about one more play (my 3rd), for me.

King of Tokyo isn't a game I should enjoy, but it does what it tries to do very effectively. I don't currently anticipate picking up a copy, but I'd certainly consider it.

Click Clack Lumberjack is a delightful dexterity game. Also not my thing, but again - I can imagine buying a copy.

Now we're down to the "would play again" level, with a lot of choices:

Mare Balticum was far more enjoyable than I had initially expected; it feels like a three-play game, though, so I'm not seeking it out.

Drum Roll works, but didn't feel well-balanced or well-themed.

Fliegende Teppiche is an enjoyable little card-flinging game, and one I'd be happy to play again - but not one I'm tempted to pick up.

Master of Pizza didn't stand out as much as a trick taking game needs to in order to strike home with me.

Paperclip Railways is a nice attempt to beef up the String Railway system - but IMHO goes to far, making for mechanisms that are too heavy for the system, and thus an inferior game to String Railway: Transport

Singapore feels too much like cube-pushing, but redeems itself with a good theme and some nice touches in executing the theme.

Tournay was more enjoyable for me than Troyes, not to mention easier to pronounce, but still not compelling.

Vanuatu is about three rules shy of being enjoyable for me - close enough to tempt, but not close enough to make it worth working to fix it just for me.

Walnut Grove, much like Automobile, offers just 8 real decision points during the game; what's there is fine, and the theme works, but I don't have any need to try the game again.

And finally, the games I don't wish to play again:

Alba Longa suffers from a war system that, absent a variant, is purely take-that. The variant didn't thrill me, either...

Dallas (The Yaquinto one) was likely more interesting 30 years ago; it feels like a game that hasn't aged well.

Eminent Domain felt underdeveloped to me - I'm not convinced that the military path is viable against experienced players, and I wasn't otherwise impressed with the game. Oh, and the name didn't work for me at all.

Fall of the Roman Empire was easily the least interesting of Wallace's Spielbox games so far.

Kingdom Builder made me long for Paris Connection, which I didn't love but which I did have a lot more fun with.

Master Merchant was more interesting than fun - and more fun that replayable.

MIL (1049) has a good theme, but suffers from mechanism overload even more than De Vulgari Eloquentia

Principato comes close to succeeding, but is buried by the lack of ability to take needed actions, or even control your access to them.

Rugby World is probably a great game for a very limited set of gamers - which I'm not one of.

Terra Evolution slaps a new theme onto deck-building - and adds insufficient understanding of the underlying mechanisms in order to make it work.

Tuareg doesn't really work with 5 (as I got to try it), and isn't interesting enough to go back to try with fewer.

(For those counting along, the 25th new-to-me was a prototype of my own design.)
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78. Board Game: A Few Acres of Snow [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:141]
Steve M
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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I played quite a few new games this month, catching up on a drought from October. A lot of ratings sitting at 7, a few of which I am sure are bound to change to a 6 or 8 with more plays.

A Few Acres of Snow

A fantastic two player struggle to expand and conquer, all done through careful card play with asymmetrical decks. This game appears to have many strategies that can be tested and honed over repeated plays. The gameplay reminds me of Twilight Struggle with a quicker pace, easier decisions and less disaster management.
Also, the French have a lot of beaver: http://boardgamegeek.com/article/7915455

Conflict of Heroes: Storms of Steel! – Kursk 1943

A squad based wargame played over small maps in a short time frame. Individual units are given a chance to perform any actions they can each turn, with control simplified into extra 'general' actions that can be spent in a multitude of ways. The counters are very large and easy to read. I'm looking forward to the larger engagements with tanks, artillery and air support.

Kingdom Builder

An pretty simple game involving settlement of hexes with different setup and objectives each game. At times a win can be out of your reach, but the game plays so quickly and is very different each play that a loss doesn't hurt too much. Fun to play, easy to teach and has a beautiful board, this one is a winner.

Finca

Players move meeples around a rondel collecting fruit. There's a nice bit of strategy in blocking great moves from your opponent and taking advantage of the same moves when they become available. Players trade fruit gathered from this mechanic in sets, eventually comparing VPs collected from their trades. Plays quickly and looks beautiful, a nice easy euro.

King of Tokyo

A fun dice rolling game with some of the best artwork I've seen in some time. Player interaction is high, but not as high as the potential for trash talk. While players can be eliminated, the game plays quickly enough for this to not be an issue. Big dice, big monsters, big fun.

Eminent Domain

Feels a lot like Glory to Rome with Sci-fi elements thrown in the mix. The cards look great and the research cards seem interesting, but the game doesn't seem to last long enough to make very good use of them. Ultimately without the research cards, this is a very basic game.

Panic Station

A bit tough to understand, but once everyone understands the symbols and game flow, it becomes a tense game of cat and mouse with enough mean bugs laying around to kill anyone unlucky enough to be stuck in the same room - human or infected. Fun, but might not stand up to repeated plays.

Terra Nova

A simple abstract that starts slowly and unfocused, eventually ending in a careful tug of war for area control. The best thing going here is the artwork, but plays quickly enough to make it worth a play.

Lords of Scotland

A neat little card game played over several rounds. Players alternate turns either gathering new cards or playing them face up or down. The neat aspect is for a card to be placed face up and use an ability, it must be equal or lower than all other cards in play. With this in mind, players can block others from using abilities when they want. After 5 turns, the total sum of played cards wins the round and dibs at one of two random victory cards for the round. Play continues until 40 victory points are reached. It's an interesting, yet confusing game to learn. Seems like it would be very challenging when played with experienced players.

Famiglia

A neat little card game involving trading in sets of similar values and colour for higher valued cards of the same colour. The higher values in turn have abilities to assist in this process, enabling quicker, more powerful moves as the game progresses. It is possible to stall out with a bad hand, but I suspect this gets harder to run into with repeated play. The art is very attractive and a bit of humour is thrown in the card names.

Batik

A simple connect-4 type mechanic, with a goal of trying to force your opponent to drop the piece that extends past the top of the container. A fun back and forth game that lasts no more than 5 minutes. Great warm up and a welcome addition to my Gigamic collection.

The Dwarf King

A terrible trick taking game. I liked the premise - a new goal for the hand each time, but the actual goals can fall flat and for some of them are almost completely luck based (+/- VPs for Odd/Even hands..?). Not recommended.
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79. Board Game: 20th Century [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:768]
Joel Gabelman
United States
San Francisco
California
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Rating on 1 play: 7.5 / 10

Think resource management meets city building. Thought this was an interesting game with some feel of Power Grid where there's a built balance first person to drop out of bid is the first to take technology but at a higher cost.

Some randomness in cards, but enough strategy to mitigate.

Good game, but don't know if it's on a "buy" list as it felt a bit dry.

Parade

Rating 8/10

For what it is, this little filler is light, fun and quick with enough options to make things strategic and fast.

Olympus

Rating: 6.5/10

I'd play this again, but it was feeling like a lot of good ideas from other games thrown together. Not horrible, but there are other games I'd rather play. I'd give it another try though.



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80. Board Game: Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:89]
Tony Dehner
United States
Waterloo
Iowa
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Not too many new games for me in 2011 so far, what with becoming a father and all, but November was a good month, with 4 new games played.

Civ wins it hands down. My wife and I have owned this since last December, but never got around to playing it. We finally got the opportunity when our new friends Steve and Kim invited us over for a 4-player game. The wives tied for victory. This is the sort of game that, if I got to play it more often, would be top 10 for sure, and possibly top 5.

Other new games in November:

Ghost Stories - probably would have been a strong contender if not for Civ. Possibly worth owning at some point: for now, I'll keep busy with the iOS version.

Keltis - played on the expansion board. I liked it enough that it might be worth getting Lost Cities: The Board Game.

Finca - an enjoyable light game.

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81. Board Game: Sentinels of the Multiverse [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:136]
Jeff Kayati
United States
Worthington
Ohio
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Sentinels of the Multiverse was easily the most fun I've had with a new game this month. I'm a fan of co-ops, a fan of superheroes, and a fan of card games. This one captures that feel of a group of heroes working together to overcome the evil villain.

Great fun and I look forward to the expansion.

Honorable mention: Battles of Westeros for fixing that ugly left/center/right problem from Command & Colors/Battlelore and bringing the world of Westeros to a light tactical wargame.
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82. Board Game: Quebec 1759 [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:1429]
Barteus Maximus
United States
Parsons
Kansas
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This block wargame has been around since the 1970s, but it was new to me in November. I played as the British; rather than use brute force, I made several feints against the French and finally made a successful bridgehead over the river. An excellent game, I look forward to playing again!
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83. Board Game: Coney Island [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1802]
Stefaan Henderickx
Belgium
Burcht
Antwerp
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The nicest new game came in the end of november. This is Michael Schacht at his finest: good looking components, easy to explain but a lot of interesting options. I only played 1 2-playergame but I see the potential. I am looking forward to try it with 3 and 4 players. I think this game will rise in the rankings when more people play it, it went a bit unnoticed so far.

Other new games were Warrior Knights and Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization. Both are good games, but the first one dragged after a few hours, the last one is so fiddly we had to keep watching eachothers boards to make no mistakes. Both deserve a second play, all of us were new to the games.

A last new game was Glen More. We played it at night and that took his toll, I would gladly play it again, but do not need to own it.
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84. Board Game: American Rails [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:891]
Grace P.
United States
Turlock
California
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Lots of new games this month, most of which I rather enjoyed. In alphabetical order:

51st State: A steep learning curve on this game due to all the iconography but once we got the hang of it, it was a pretty good game. I'd like to play again, hopefully with a player aid in front of me.

American Rails: A train game with an action track. I thought this was a very nice variation/take on Chicago Express. I liked its simplicity and am looking forward to getting my copy in the upcoming final reprinting.

Ascension: Easily one of the most disappointing games I've played in awhile. I normally don't feel super strongly about games I dislike but this one I found to be terrible. I love deckbuilding games but I found this to be random with no sense of purpose (I'd argue Quarriors has less random in it!). Also, I'm not usually one to care too much about the artwork, but I found the art in here to be awful. I know this is a well-loved game for many, but it's just not for me.

Creatures: My first Kickstarter delivery. I'm pretty pleased with this one. It plays quickly and is fun to say all the mashed up animal names. It plays like Man Bites Dog, but with an attack component that makes it some silly fun.

Eminent Domain: I was pleasantly surprised by this. I enjoy the role selection mechanic and to me, it feels more like Glory to Rome than Race for the Galaxy. Regardless, I very much enjoyed my first plays of this but am not certain it will stand the test of time.

German Railways: This was a blind purchase, but I think that the turn order mechanic is interesting as is having each company with their own special ability. I'd like to play this more and become much better at it.

Indonesia: My first Splotter Spellen game. So many chits! This was definitely a heavy game for me and during play, I was certain I only understood only half of what was going on at any given time. However, after playing it sort of clicked and stuck with me. Another game I'd like to give a second go at.

Onirim: I had been curious about this for awhile and finally picked it up. I'm not much of a solo gamer but this is a nice little game to have if the occasion arises. I look forward to trying out the expansions and trying the 2-player co-op variant.

Skull & Roses: A wonderful bluffing game and excellent filler! I wouldn't mind picking up copy of this for myself one day.

Ticket to Ride: Legendary Asia: The usual Ticket to Ride goodness (TtR is my guilty pleasure!) in Asia. I only played the Legendary Asia side of the map. I think the mountain tracks that require you to lose a train from your supply at the compensation of 2 points is an interesting twist and definitely shortens the game. I look forward to trying out Team Asia soon.

Thunderstone: Wrath of the Elements: A solid expansion to an excellent game. Again, not really a solo gamer but I really am enjoying the solo variant of this. More Thunderstone = good!

(Edited to add WotE. Almost forgot it, whoops!)
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85. Board Game: Nightfall [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:867] [Average Rating:6.62 Unranked]
Jan
Belgium
De Haan
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My favorite new game this month was Nightfall. Played it at a friends house and I was rather impressed by it. It has some very nice things to it and the theme was also to the liking. Did like the whole Chain idea and the short playing time. Easy to pick up, hard to get very good at I'm afraid. So after lending it from my friend and playing it with my wife we decided to buy our own copy. Searched out some traders here on BGG and now Nightfall and Nightfall: Martial law is in my cupboard. Looking forward to give that one a go as well.

Okay Games:

Logan Stones



Reminded me a bit like Hive light but with a memory aspect. The game itself looks pretty much like hive but uses a fun rock, paper, siccors technique. But the main goal to get 4 in a row is somewhat out of place I think. Not bad but not really somehting to have for myself.

Rattus: Africanus



Not really to much special here. It has a new board but you only need it when playing with 5 or 6. Since we where with four no extra board. Rather stupid for me to buy it then. But it has some fun new cards an possibilties but nothing that really changes the game completely. Not bad as an addition if you play the game a lot but like with me, not really necessary.

Dragon's Gold



Got a demo copy of the new version of the game to try out for my FLGS. First off all, really don't like the fact that you don't use half the stuff that's in the box. The game is okay but not really much for me, altough it has some good aspects I'm not really a negotiator. The game went rather easy and what I do think is strange is the fact that the dragons just wait until there are enough adventurers to kill them.

The Nah's:

A Game of Thrones



After hearing the good sounds about this I quickly got bored during the explanation. And it didn't went anywhere good after that. Didn't really get the point of the game and in the end I just went and had fun making myself a navy and killing off all other ships. My wife was bored as well so we played not really doing anything and let the other two players battle it out.

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86. Board Game: Eclipse [Average Rating:8.09 Overall Rank:9]
Sir Halden of FTL
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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Eclipse was hands down the best new game I tried this month. The Theme is great, the game play is deep and complex but intuitive. I only got one play of this and I cannot stop thinking about it and I cannot wait to play another.

Honourable Mentions:

Troyes


I wasn't sure what I was doing or how I was doing for quite a while in my first play but it intrigued me. I have play a few more times and I quite like it.

The Resistance


This game was a blast.



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87. Board Game: Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan [Average Rating:8.04 Overall Rank:146]
Claudio Campuzano
United States
Portland
Oregon
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Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan starts with a 7 that is likely to rise. It seems like there are a lot of different pieces to this diceless wargame - hand management, tactical movement, mustering, bluffing, etc. - that should come together in a pretty cool game. First play was really just a learning game, and I just started scratching the surface.

Maharaja: The Game of Palace Building in India First impression from this one was quite good. More to explore on later plays, for sure. The chaos of simultaneous action selection and the potential effects on turn-order and tile ownership could have been a disaster, but I think it worked, and worked well. It does have that typical area majority feel to it where you're spreading yourself thin to eke out slim majorities (or chip in little bits for the dregs of a majority), but the house mechanism makes that work reasonably well. All around, a very engaging older style euro.

Earth Reborn This is a luck-drenched chrom-a-sauraus that is indeed quite fun. The garish production goes against my preference for Winsomey sleekness, but all the little bits do seem to add up to a reasonably well-built game. Just not really the way I'd like to spend my gaming time on a regular basis. For the lighter wargaming, I'd rather go for Columbia blocks. For heavier stuff, I'd rather go for Simmons' games. I'm glad I tried it, though.
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88. Board Game: Tulipmania 1637 [Average Rating:6.20 Overall Rank:2519]
Wanda Davies
United States
Olympia
Washington (WA)
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An unusual little bubble market simulation with a nuanced flavor stimulated my extended family with some thoughtful play that could've been nasty if we were different people (or, more likely, if we were more collectively comfortable with what was going on.)
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89. Board Game: Dragon Valley [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:2691]
Colin Dearborn
Canada
Regina
Saskatchewan
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Got a chance to play a couple hours of this at BGGCON. Stands out as the best new game for me, beating out easily Drum Roll and Dungeon Pets.
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90. Board Game: Discworld: Ankh-Morpork [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:329]
Carlee Dise
United States
Triangle
North Carolina
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Discworld: Ankh-Morpork


Ankh Morpork was my only "new to me" game in November. And t he more I play it the more I like it. I am a huge Pratchett fan but after my first play I wasn't quite sold on the game. It is chaotic and nasty but is on the shorter side so it doesn't drag out too long. And there is enough nastiness to go around. I dislike games where there might only be a few bad cards and if someone is lucky then they get them all and no one else has a chance to retaliate.
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91. Board Game: Navegador [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:97]
Juan Medina
United States
Cedar Park
Texas
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Board games rule my life, and my wife's. That is a good thing, believe it or not ;)
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Got this as an advanced birthday present. Amazing game. Interesting mechanics, good alternatives for victory and overall quite balanced. It also plays in a good amount of time (around 90 minutes).

A couple runner ups:


Star Wars: The Queen's Gambit


Really pretty game. Long, but engaging the whole time. Got a copy, don't ask me how much I paid for it.

Dominant Species



Amazing game. There are some interesting calls. Almost makes the top choice this month.

Ninjato


Really cool and quick action selection game, with a strong sense of theme.

Wok Star


Amazing fun! It is simple, but I can see this one being played a lot, particularly with my non-gamer friends.
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92. Board Game: Journey Through Europe [Average Rating:4.95 Overall Rank:10749]
Randy Cox
United States
Clemson
South Carolina
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The Back Alley gets no respect.
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The only new-to-me game we played this month was this little "traveling salesman"-esque affair. It sounded like it would be pretty bad. Just figure out the optimal route and go at it. But the flights from region to region, and just enough luck and special events (known at the outset of the game) make it unpredictable.

I liked it more than anyone else who played, I believe.
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93. Board Game: The Road to Canterbury [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:1274]
The root of all evil... but you can call me cookie.
United States
Gainesville
Florida
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My usual disclaimer to this is something like I played a lot of new games but for me I like to just pick one that I think stood out...so yeah there's that.

My pick is based strongly on this game being such a great 2 player game. I wish there were more great 2 player euro games out there. Sure there's tons of great 2 player games in the war game genre and I love those but don't get to play them much with my girlfriend. We have plenty of good multiplayer games that play very nicely as 2 player games as well. Yet when a solid game comes along that is a 2 player game (yeah this goes to 3 but you get what I mean) it's something special. This is a very fun game, super high quality components and plays great 2 or 3 players.

I really wanted to talk up Escape from the Aliens in Outer Space as well but I like to stick with just one game a month for me (if I get that) so this brief mention is all this game gets...but man I loved it.
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94. Board Game: Colorado Midland [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:5442]
Bruce Miller
United States
Grand Rapids
Michigan
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I had over seventy plays this month and several were new including, Trajan, Hawaii, Kingdom Builder, Barbarossa and Focus. Focus has a special place in my heart because it allowed me to complete my quest of playing all the SdJ winners in one year.

But as you've guessed my winner this month is Colorado Midland. I normally don't play Winsome Games, not that I hate them, well not all of them anyway. But it takes a certain type of player to compete correctly at those games, and I am not one of those of people. I would happily add this the my meager Winsome collection.

In this game I liked the perfect knowledge, the simple turns, and graphical presentation. And the names of the mines were a nice touch.
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95. Board Game: Poseidon's Kingdom [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:1642]
Mike Jones
United States
Gainesville
Florida
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Old Men of the Forest - Rated: 6 - I enjoyed this as much as I enjoy any 'trick taking' card game. I enjoyed finding ways to stick some one with a lot of high cards with cards they didn't need for negative points. Of course, that didn't leave much room to actually score points. We did play it twice in a row, so it couldn't be that bad OR it could be really quick. I don't remember seeing it in the rules, but I'd assume it should be played a hand per person or something. So, maybe it was only one game we played. snore

Australia - Rated: 7
- A friend that played it with us said that the rules needed a bit of a 'punch up'. I'm not sure it needs 'punch' up more then it needs gamers not trying to 'punch' holes in the rules.

"Some times you've just got to let it flow over you"

It's a VERY simple 'area majority' game. I enjoyed that each are had two different 'triggers'. We also played the 'advanced' rules with the windmill. I made a comment before we started that I wonder how important the windmill would be. I had thought about some strategies around it, but I ended up far away from it the whole time. I still didn't feel 'out' of it, but did find it hard to keep up with the two that were scoring and scoring the windmill.

It's not a very deep game, but this could be a good end of the night cool down game.

Although when preparing for this list I was thinking maybe it's more of an 8. Repeated play will tell that and there will probably be repeated play.

Angry Birds: Knock on Wood - Rated: 1 - I have a hard time giving ones. Very few games that even I hate can honestly be claimed to be broken.

I don't hate the game, but it's hard not to claim it to be broken.

The building components are light. Making it quite frustrating to get many of the constructs built.

The birds are too light. On the rare occasion the fly somewhat straight, it even rarer for them to have even force to knock much down despite the light construction materials.

Even though I never quit a game and have instilled that in my daughter, we both decided to quite after a frustrating hour.

I can't imagine a 5 year not being even more frustrated. gulp

Antics! - Rated: 8
- This has been on my 'I need to get played list' for some time. Not really because I wasn't very interested in getting it to the table, but because I was afraid to teach it. Something about it makes it a daunting prospect for me to teach. I don't mind the board and kind of think it makes it a bit more 'unique' because of it's earthy tones it's using.

Teaching wasn't quite as bad as I thought it was. The colors weren't too bad in game play, although one player had a bit of trouble. Although, he had a few problems with rules in general.

It was an enjoying game of 'building'. I felt there were several ways of going about getting done with the anthill. But, it seemed to come to a quick and unexpected end. Not sure if it's always that way or it 's just how it came about. I guess that's good, I was thinking that it was going to start to over stay it's welcome a bit and then all of a sudden it ended at the right time.

Carolus Magnus -
Rated: 6 - I thought it was 'ok'. But, I'm not really fond of the dynamics of a two player game. I think I'll enjoy this more as a three or four player game. snore

Colonial: Europe's Empires Overseas - Rated: 7.4 - This game is right up my alley. Area Majority with an economic system layered in. Role Selection to boot.

The only problem is that it's a 'race' to 10. I'd much rather my games have a scoring track and an 'end condition' or set number of turns.

Also, it seemed similar to other games. I enjoyed it, just didn't love it.

Escape from the Aliens in Outer Space - Rated 7 - This game ran the gamut of emotions. When I first read about it, I HAD to get it, something just sounded exciting about it. When it showed up I ripped it open and dove right into the rules. It just didn't seem all that great.

It did look easy to teach and it was 'somewhat' different. One of the groups 'go to' games for a late night laugh is Clue: The Great Museum Caper. This takes that based mechanic and spreads it to everyone.

So, We sat down and played. It was easy in concept. But, the cards aren't really easy to understand. So, there was a lot of rule book reading just to keep the 'items' straight. But, other then that it played relatively fast AND exciting. goo

Formula Motor Racing - Rated: 5.6 -Tiki Topple but more fun by a bit. It just seems to have a bit more going for it. robot

Founding Fathers - Rated: 7 - A few days after playing this game, I posted this in our guild: "So, a few of us played the other night and felt lack luster about it.

but, now days later I'm thinking more and more about it.

Is it that being a Jason Mathews title we were expecting a deeper feel from the game and found it too light? We like other lighter titles.

Was it that I made the cardinal sin of trying to introduce (and me teach it) a new game at midnight?

Is there more there? I'm thinking I'm digging it for a light quick game.

or is it just my love of area majority games that makes me want to like this game? "

I really want to like this game. There have been plenty of 'meh' games we've played. It's not like anyone really dislikes them, but then they sit on the shelf for years.

Yet this game pretty much got a 'meh' from the table, but I'm really wanting to play it again.

The Road to Canterbury - Rated: 6 - Another 'meh' game. Fun, but it just didn't seem new (not that we NEED new).

The one thing that bothered me was that you had to put a cube each time you played a card the first time until you place one of each, then you can play a second. So, I would forget to place cubes later in the game. snore

Poseidon's Kingdom - Rated: 8 -
The 'Anthill' but different. To me this 'feels' a lot different then Antics. It 'feels' lighter and easier then Antics. I enjoy this one a bit more then Antics. The integration of the dice getting rolled by the wave and collecting them is a nice touch.

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96. Board Game: Railways of the World [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:53]
Jeremy Olson
United States
Schenectady
New York
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This was a great month for new games, as I loved every single new one that I played!


Absolutely loved my first play of Railways of the World at a going away party for our friends who are returning to Germany. Played games until 3am and this was the clear winner of the night. I have always loved the video games, since the very first one back in the day, but had not played a single railroad board game besides Ticket to Ride. That is about to change, as Railways of the World and Steam shot straight to the top of my wishlist. Here's hoping it ends up under the Christmas tree! laugh


Glen More was another winner. Got this from my BGG Secret Santa and played a five player game on black Friday. I love the scoring based on other players, as it's all relative and encourages divergent strategies, as well as a bit more interaction. The tile chain mechanic is brilliant as what you want most is always furthest away, and you have to weigh whether it's worth giving up a turn or two to grab it.


Flash Point: Fire Rescue Seem to be on a lot of people's list, and I also enjoyed the heck out of this one. I wanted a Pandemic-like game that would scale up to 6 for the size of my group, and this fits the bill perfectly. It also helps that it kicked my butt royally the first time I played the experienced game. I was a little worried after destroying the family game twice in a row, but those fears were unfounded.


Die Erbraffer Is a strange game I got to play at the same party as RRT. Loved this game. It's like any other take that card game, and it can be very luck driven, but unlike some other take that style games this one has a clear progression and some strategy/planning involved.

It's a game about a large inheritance. At the beginning of the game you are dealt one of the 6 children of the modern generation, and two childless uncles or aunts (dead ends on the family tree). Your goal is to get as much money as possible to these descendants through intelligently playing the right cards from your hand.

You start in the 1840s, and generation by generation move the heirlooms, and money down the family tree. Certain cards kill characters, which let the player who played that card have direct control over where the money and heirlooms go. Once a certain number of characters are killed, players distribute the money down to the next generation in turn order.

You are only ever dealing with one generation at a time, so its not too chaotic, but you can't let other players guess who you are moving the money towards, or else it becomes too easy to foil your plans. There are super powerful "New Will" cards that let other players redo the distribution of wealth you just completed, and this can get frustrating, but for the length and theme this one is a real winner.


Alhambra was also amazing. I was surprised how all the mechanics fit together in this game, as it is not so much like other tile laying games such as Carcassonne but is more of a set collection game with a few tile placement elements. The "pay with exact change" mechanic is definitely the most brilliant piece of the design, and I would love to play this one again soon.


Thunderstone: Heart of Doom was one I ordered on a whim and hope to get played on Halloween. Well it didn't arrive in stores until November, but it is still my favorite Thunderstone expansion yet. Turns the traditional game on its head a bit and mixes well with other cards, such that even just one or two cards from this set gives that game a unique flavor. This is still my wife and I's second most played game, and continues to be a winner in our house.

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97. Board Game: Sobek [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:950]
Sandrian K
Germany
München
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Sobek - 5 plays - thumbsupthumbsup

Sobek is a nice little game with some player interaction. We played it only with two players. In that case, usually the one with the most corruption loses a round. Still one has to make sure that a player doesn't get all the most profitable good cards, otherwise he may win despite the corruption penalty.
Overall it is a tactical game without long-term planning, so you need to react to the current situation and decide what your best move is.

Jambo Expansion, Jambo Expansion 2 - 2 plays - thumbsupthumbsup

The expansions add quite a few new cards, and the huts are also a nice variant. This makes a very good card game even better.

23 - 10 plays - thumbsupthumbsdown

This game is fun with 3 or 4 players. With 2 players it becomes too predictable and is a bit boring.

Blokus - 1 play - thumbsup

Don't make the mistake and focus on defending "your" territory. I tried to do that in my first game, and lost with quite a margin. Still I enjoyed the game, but it may lead to AP for certain players.

Valdora Extra - 1 play - thumbsup

The cards giving victory points at the end seem to have varying difficulty, but you get always the same amount of points. Otherwise, the cards giving certain advantages during the game are nice. You normally cannot play all of them, so you have to decide which ones suit your strategy best.

New variants:

Vikings - 1 play
We played the advanced rules for the first time. It seems to make the strategy to go after gold better. Overall, it adds another layer of strategy.

Amyitis - 1 play
We played with the expansion from the Ystari box. This expansion seems to be more interesting with more than 2 players, I don't think that it adds much to the 2 player game.
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98. Board Game: Mai-Star [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:1947]
John Paul Messerly
United States
Sherman Oaks
California
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Difficult choice this month... in the end Mai-star won out over Super Dungeon Explore because my girlfriend is always willing to play this one.

Mai-Star 5 plays thumbsupthumbsup



Wow this game is fast and easy to learn. I'm a huge fan of this designer and really think this is his best game so far. The rules and all the abilities are very simple yet the game is very exciting and unpredictable. This is a great example of how simplicity is the key to a great game.

This really captures all the things I loved about MTG without all the timing/rules arguments! I hope the designer continues to explore this system in other games.


Super Dungeon Explore 2 plays thumbsupthumbsup



It plays more like a video game then a miniature game and that is great. The way heroes can share potions, drops, and loot keeps the game fast and free. I love the creative combos things like the teleport potion allow.

The adventure tracker does a great job of moving the story forward and changing up the threat level as the game goes on. The loot tracker does a great job of rewarding aggressive play and well planned attacks. The loot system is elegant and enjoyably overpowered.

My only real complaint is that the depth and strategy of the games is hard too see at first because of how poorly the rulebook introduces and organizes the games key concepts.


Dojo 1 play thumbsupthumbsup



The game lives up to its promise of playing in 15 min which is a big bonus. Personally I wish their was more focus on the direct conflict between characters rather that being focused on building a grid with lots of combos. At first I was afraid that trophies giving the winner special powers would make the game unbalanced but in most cases the dealer won and everyone had equal chances to be dealer so it worked well.

The decision to call the student/fighter cards TATAMI seemed strange but while putting the game away I noticed there is a very subtle tatami mat texture imbossed into the front of the cards. I guess this choice is meant to emphasize that the game is about building a dojo (symbolized by making a grid of tatami mats) rather then being about simply fighting and winning trophies. It makes for an interesting take on an old theme!


Cthulhu Gloom 1 play thumbsupthumbsdown



Very interesting game but it doesn't draw me in. This game has a lot going for it but for some reason I just never feel like playing it. I feel the theme is to disconnected from the gameplay... There are funny combinations (mainly flavor text) that happen but they don't make a larger connected narrative so they are quickly forgotten.


Pieces of Eight 2 plays thumbsupthumbsdown



Interesting. The theme and the game pieces complement each other well BUT the game has a massive learning curve. I've played two games so far and I still have to look up what each illustration means. For a game designed to play around a table this is fine but or a game meant to be played anywhere it seems like a flaw. The coins could really use an icon or 2 to hint at its ability.

The coins are beautiful and are worth collecting just to have. It's an interesting idea for a casual game but still requires a lot of concentration and memorization.






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99. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:30] [Average Rating:7.78 Unranked]
Gudjon Torfi Sigurdsson
Iceland
Isafjordur
Isafjardarbaer
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Dominion -

Yeah, I finally caved in and tried this one. So sue me for not playing it before now! At least this way I don't have to join the cult of the new... Got it in a trade a couple of months ago and finally managed to bully my playing group to play it! And anything that makes my s.o. ask for another game is an instant winner in my opinion! She liked our first game (4 players) and then we played a couple more the day after (2 players). I can understand the enthusiasm for this game (and other deckbuilding games) and will definetly try it out again more often. Note to self: Must resist buying expansions until I've played all the kingdom cards!

Go Away Monster! -

A lovely children's game for 2+ years old, which is an achievement by itself. A picture of a room with spaces for 4 objects (bed, lamp, photo frame, teddy bear) for each player and then a bag with said objects plus a lot of monsters. If you draw a monster, throw it in the box and say Go Away Monster! Or in our case: Farðu burt skrímsli! My 27 months old son enjoyed putting the objects in their right place, but I have to work on making him afraid of monsters so I can use the game to make him stop being afraid of monst... wait, something not right here... Hmm... still a good game and if my son likes it, so do I!
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100. Board Game: Whistling Death [Average Rating:8.23 Overall Rank:1868]
Ryan Hendricks
United States
San Antonio
Texas
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Whistling Death was my favorite new-to-me game of November. I'm a fan of WWII flight siming (see microbadge) so finding a game that managed to model everything that happens in a dogfight was great to find. Sure the complexity is a little high, but by the end of the first game I could say that if it were any less complex it would lose critical rules for making a dogfight real and fair. It is a pity that I'm not a fan of PBEM as this is one I'm not likely to get many chances to play in real life. Also, minis on antennas make the game so much more immersive as you can see with the minis what the status of the dogfight is. 9/10

Brawl

Brawl was my second favorite new game of November. Just the right level of complexity for what it is. Definitely has that "Just one more game" quality to it and my friends admit to have played hours of "just one more game" of it. I think this one is likely going to become my new 2 player filler game while waiting for a bigger game to finish. 9/10

Eighth Air Force

November seemed to be a month of discovering awesome older games. User Bankler had a copy to our surprise so user Tofarley and I had to give it a try. We were surprised how much we enjoyed its fast pace, yet real feeling mechanics. Definitely going to give the campaign system a try. This card game has replaced Wings of War for us. An 8/10.

JAB: Realtime Boxing

Jab was learned right after Brawl and I'm not sure I like it as much. While Brawl seems to have just the right complexity for a quick, real-time game, Jab seems to overdo it. I normally wouldn't mind a little brain burner in my filler, but it seems to cause the same problem Ricochet Robots does - the same people always seem to win. This means the game is fun until the loser decides he has had enough of always losing and the game gets shelved away. Even still, good enough for a 7/10 for me.

Navegador

Navegador was a clever euro where the rondel worked very well and made some nicely hard decisions in planning future turns. It was a little hard to grok when to buy up VP bonuses and when to throw your full economic might into VP buying in the first game, but that is a minor complaint. Solid euro, but not much that is extra special so a 7/10.

Walnut Grove

This one has been the biggest euro hit of Essen / BGGcon with our group, so I decided to give it a try. It mixes mechanics of two solid euros: Carcassone's tile laying (which is a so-so game for me) and Agricola's painful scarcity and ability to block (which I do not like) and made a game in my opinion that was better than the sum of the parts. I gave it a 6/10, though I could see a lot of people liking it much more than me.

Nefarious


User ToFarley came back from BGG-Con ranting about Nefarious so I gave it a number of plays. I enjoyed the first play where I got to read the inventions (Buttered Cat Array is a favorite and no one seems to have posted a pic of it on BGG). In the end though, I found there wasn't enough theme and/or game to it to make it interesting beyond one play for me, yet somehow it got to nickel status. A 5/10, I won't hate you for bringing it to the table, but I will suggest most of the games in your bag before it.
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