User Profile for Biarien
United States
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In case you're curious, it's supposed to phonetically spell b-r-e-n (with the i taking on a more French 'ee' sound: bi-ar-i-en).

Cult of the Old
I would much rather play a game repeatedly than continually seek (often mythical) greener pastures in 'the new'. I find the test of a good game is whether it provides a rich, deep, and rewarding experience over a large number of plays, and especially whether it offers deeper strategic play in response to improved player ability. Reading about new games is interesting, but I don't have much desire to own many of them, and would generally rather play a game I have already played in an attempt to play at a higher level (individually and [perhaps more critically] as a group) than move on to something new.

thumbsup High mental engagement (Difficult, meaningful decisions; benefit to paying attention during other players' turns; few or no 'false decisions')
thumbsup Large strategic decision space (Many different strategies available; emergent strategies over repeated play)
thumbsup Conflict / competition (Both direct and indirect)
thumbsup 'Elegant', straightforward rules (Even if the game is complex, the rule set does not have to be)
thumbsup High tension (In competing with other players, but not in meeting the requirements of the game's 'system')
thumbsup Individually significant victory points or conditions (Ideally, each step one makes toward victory should feel significant; examples include building an additional settlement in Settlers of Catan [1/10 of victory], capturing a castle in A Game of Thrones [1/7 of victory], etc.)
thumbsup Evaluating and managing chance/risk

thumbsdown Player elimination (Can be tolerated depending on the game)
thumbsdown Complexity without strategic depth
thumbsdown Overabundant victory points ("...incremental point-gain drains excitement from the game")
thumbsdown Worker placement games (Generally, I think competition for resources can be implemented in a more 'elegant' way that allows for competition and conflict without the same level of [often coincidental] screwage)
thumbsdown 'Rage against the Machine' (i.e., playing against the game) (In a co-op game, great; in a competitive game, I prefer to focus on competing against other players rather than competing against the game's system)
thumbsdown Fillers (More often than not, I'd rather just talk for ten minutes than play a meaningless game for twenty)
thumbsdown Chance that overpowers planning (It's ok if a plan fails due to bad luck sometimes, but it's not ok if I feel that there is no point in making plans)

Ratings and Comments
My ratings attempt to reflect my thoughts on the game's design, enjoyability, and longevity, not necessarily how much I want to play the game. DESIGN includes how effectively all the concepts and mechanisms work together, how much scope for creative and strategic play there is (given the length and weight of the game), and how innovative, well-produced, and appealing the game is. ENJOYABILITY is a reflection of how much fun I think the game is. Certain games are tightly designed, but are simply not much fun to play. LONGEVITY refers to the replayability of the game -- i.e., whether the game stands up to (and ideally improves with) repeated plays (in the sense of 'Is the game still enjoyable for what it is after 20 plays?' rather than 'Have my tastes changed after three years in the hobby such that I no longer enjoy the game?').

I don't have much of a 'system' for my ratings, but would generally say they are something like: .10!: (Essentially) Perfect. _9_: Excellent. _8_: Very Good. _7_: Good. _6_: Above Average. _5_: Average. _4_-_1_: Below Average, Poor, Bad, Terrible.

I endeavor to include (somewhat) substantial commentary with my ratings--mini-reviews, of sorts--and attempt to keep both my ratings and comments up to date.

As I tend to research the games I buy fairly extensively, and play a relatively small set of games (generally consisting of 'established' games), my ratings tend to be biased towards higher values.

Top 10
My Top 10 list displays the games I enjoy the most (which is different from those I've rated highest, as I prefer more strategic, 'heavier' games). The ordering within the Top 10 list is fairly subjective, especially given the differences in the styles of games, so it's really more of an 'All Time Favorites' list than an ordered 'Top 10' list.

Hot 10
My Hot 10 are games I most want to play at the moment (whether or not I've played them before).

As of 2014, I am attempting to record the games I play, mostly for my own information on how often I'm actually playing games (rather than simply reading about games on BGG).

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User Details for Biarien
Registration Date: 2007-08-23
Last Profile Update: 2014-09-05
Last Login: 2015-10-08
Country: flag United States
State: Massachusetts
Town/City: Somerville
GeekMail: mail Send Private Message to Biarien
Collection Summary for Biarien
Board Game
Owned   41
Previously Owned   7
For Trade   4
Want In Trade   12
Want To Buy   0
Want To Play   0
Preordered   0
Wishlist   19
Commented   39
Has Parts   0
Want Parts   2
All   79
Board Game Expansion
Owned   19
Previously Owned   0
For Trade   1
Want In Trade   2
Want To Buy   0
Want To Play   0
Preordered   0
Wishlist   2
Commented   7
Has Parts   0
Want Parts   0
All   22
For Sale 0
Rating 0
Board Game Plays 294 Total | By Month | Last 30 Days | Chronological
Trade Rating (2) Propose A Trade With This User
Board Game Ratings 36
Average Rating 6.78
10 6   (16.7%)
9 4   (11.1%)
8 4   (11.1%)
7 6   (16.7%)
6 5   (13.9%)
5 3   (8.3%)
4 6   (16.7%)
3 1   (2.8%)
2 1   (2.8%)
1 0   (0.0%)
Board Game Expansion Ratings 7
Average Rating 6.00
10 0   (0.0%)
9 1   (14.3%)
8 0   (0.0%)
7 2   (28.6%)
6 1   (14.3%)
5 1   (14.3%)
4 2   (28.6%)
3 0   (0.0%)
2 0   (0.0%)
1 0   (0.0%)
Top 10
#1: Chess
#2: Tichu
#3: The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game
#4: A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition)
#5: Tigris & Euphrates
#6: Catan
#7: Puerto Rico
#8: Ra
#9: Through the Desert
#10: Fjords
Hot 10
#1: A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition)
#2: Dune
#3: Mare Nostrum
#4: Here I Stand
#5: Fief: France 1429
#6: War of the Ring (second edition)
#7: Tichu
#8: The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game
#9: Mare Nostrum: Empires
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