Things I like in Games
1) Non-zero sum decisions. While I like games like Agricola and Age of Steam, where all of your decisions reduce the number of decisions your opponent's have available to them, I prefer games where every decision many of the decisions you make can also help opponents and you have to work on either mitigating the likelihood that they are going to benefit your opponent or make sure they benefit you more than your opponent.
2) Brutality. Generally, I am not a big fan of "nice", pleasant games. I tend to prefer games that are brutal on the players or where you have the potential to be brutal to your opponents, destroying their positions to your benefit. Both Age of Steam and Agricola are examples of games with a great deal of brutality. In both, I at least semi-frequently experienced a great deal of tension due to the perceived difficulties that are in front of me. This also applies to many war games, too.
3) High information content/Combo building/Hand Management. These three generally go together. Agricola, Race For the Galaxy, Innovation, and pretty much all war game CDGs fall into this category as they all tend to be based on being able to digest and process large amounts of information which are then used to build combos, and whatever else the game does with the cards. I tend to particularly enjoy games where cards have multiple uses, so you are left with tense decisions about whether you want to use a card for a) or for b). This is why Washington's War ultimately failed for me. The single use cards were a lot less interesting then having the ops/event decisions that you have with Hannibal, Twilight Struggle, or Labyrinth.
4) Complex, deep decision making. I try to (and generally succeed at) gaming a lot, so a game needs to have a pretty wide decision space to explore if it is going to be worth my time. While a game that has about 10 interesting games in it might be a perfectly fine purchase for someone who tends to only play a given game once or twice per year, It is significantly less useful for me. Thus games tend to be better for me if they are either complex and thus have a lot of interesting nuances to explore or are deep, and have increasing levels of game play to investigate. This ties a little bit back to 1), as many games with non-zero sum decisions tend towards deeper game play.
My Hot 10 list is made up of the 10 upcoming Essen 2010 games I am most looking forward to.
I live in Orlando, FL and am looking for more people to board game with. If you are interested, drop me a line.
This is my rating scale:
10: Outstanding game. One of my all-time personal favorites.
9: Excellent game. Always a pleasure to play. Shines under most circumstances.
8: Very good game. Rarely disappoints me. High on my request/recommend list.
7: Good game. Usually willing to play. I might even request or recommend it.
6: OK game. Some fun or challenge at least. Enjoyable in the right circumstances.
5: Average game. I'm indifferent, but may be willing to play.
4: Below average game. I avoid playing and would need to be persuaded.
3: Poor game. Will strongly resist playing.
2: Very poor game. I refuse to play this.
1: Dead game. Seriously negative entertainment value. Black Hole of Fun.
Most Recent Games
The games I prefer tend fall into three categories: action drafting euros, economic, and crossover war games. A few games do not fit into these categories, but most fit into them.
Since July 27, 2010