Help Me Create a Wish List!
Chuck Uherske
United States
Rockville
Maryland
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The number of lists I've posted is now in the double digits, and I have yet to post one of the many "Help me select a game" lists here.

Now that mine is the next among the family birthdays, I have a bit of a conundrum. I'm loving games more than ever and would love to include a few "requests" on my birthday wish list. But I still don't get together often enough with my friends to have made good use of all of the games that I have -- games like Settlers, San Marco, Lord of the Rings, Wyatt Earp and Executive Decision are all woefully underplayed. So I figure this is no time to get too greedy -- especially because with my generous family, if I ask for five games, there's some chance I'll get them all from between them. So I figure I have to be judicious and only request a small handful (3 or so) that I might actually be able to work into the game rotation.

The ratings in my collection probably paint a reasonably complete portrait of the type of games I like. I love Sid Sackson games, and relish the ruminations that come with a deduction game like Sleuth or an optimization problem like Venture. Among other games in my collection, I'm really enjoying Princes of Florence these days, as well as Tikal.

I like games with strategic problems that torment me in the shower; pure over-the-board tactics isn't what thrills me. I find myself, for example, mulling over in my spare time the relative values of the jester vs. the recruiting card, or the minimum value at which I should cap a Tikal temple depending on the scoring round.

But I can only take this so far. I don't do heavy-duty war games, and my game group tends to max out at about 2 hours in terms of how long they can enjoy a game.

I thought I might post some of the games that have caught my eye and solicit some expert opinion on whether they should make my target list of wished-for items. Who knows, if the responses are substantive enough, I may just direct my family members to this list to figure out the best way to satisfy my shameless greed.

So, which 3-4 should I list? It'd be nice as well if there were some variety of game types in the final list, too.

Thanks in advance for your insights.

***ADDENDUM***

Thanks for the responses received thus far. This original list had 15 members, and I've added five more for the experts' kind consideration.

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1. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:15]
Chuck Uherske
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Seems to be at the top of every games-rated list you can find. Is it really as great as all that? (And is that Joe Camel or some kind of gorilla in the picture?)
 
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2. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:70]
Chuck Uherske
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People seem to describe this as a thinker's game and very engrossing, which would appeal to me.
 
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3. Board Game: Modern Art [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:226]
Chuck Uherske
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May as well go through the Knizia options in turn. I only have a few by him -- Through the Desert, Lost Cities and En Garde. Two of my favorite parts of two of my favorite games -- Princes and Tikal -- are the auctions. But I'm not so sure bidding in the abstract is interesting to me (open question on enjoying Executive Decision). I like to have something concrete to chew on as to the value of what I'm bidding on. This game gets good reviews as a bidding game; is it a good choice?
 
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4. Board Game: Winner's Circle [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:678]
Chuck Uherske
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I like whimsy, I like sports, and the game mechanism here seems interesting.
 
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5. Board Game: Samurai [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:172]
Chuck Uherske
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Last of the Knizia entries. I saw people playing this at the WBC last year and thought it was pleasing to watch.
 
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6. Board Game: Timbuktu [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:1429]
Chuck Uherske
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Sleuth is my beloved logic/deduction game. Haven't quite found a supplement to it. What's That On My Head hasn't caught on, and Scotland Yard is too different due to the cooperative element. This one is described as a good brain-burner. Could this be the one?
 
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7. Board Game: Code 777 [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:1350]
Chuck Uherske
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Another candidate for a good deduction game, named as a favorite by others here. How does it compare with Sleuth?
 
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8. Board Game: Wise and Otherwise [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:2143]
Chuck Uherske
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I played this once, and enjoyed it about as much as any party game I've played. Gave people an opportunity to be satisfyingly creative. Is it worth owning or is it not one of the better of its type?
 
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9. Board Game: Encore [Average Rating:5.86 Overall Rank:6838]
Chuck Uherske
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Another party game option, I have been playing this in a sense all my life. In the car we used to try to think up songs with certain words in the titles. I played this game once and had the fun all over again. Is it worth it to buy this game just to have a supply of words to do this with?
 
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10. Board Game: StreetSoccer [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:1686]
Chuck Uherske
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Back to the comment about loving whimsy and loving sports. Something about the look of this game sends me back to the days of playing table top hockey, but with (hopefully) some interesting thought involved.
 
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11. Board Game: Hare & Tortoise [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:1073]
Chuck Uherske
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See above re: whimsy. I'll be inheriting some nieces and nephews soon and am looking for something that will be fun for all of us.
 
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12. Board Game: I'm the Boss! [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:934]
Chuck Uherske
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I can't imagine putting together a wish list without a Sid Sackson entry. I have Sleuth, Venture, Can't Stop, Focus, Executive Decision, Acquire, Upthrust, Buried Treasure, Samarkand, and I'm probably forgetting another. Is the best of those remaining? Is it affordable? Is the cheaper version out yet?
 
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13. Board Game: Monad [Average Rating:6.32 Overall Rank:3857]
Chuck Uherske
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I think Sid went through a great period around 1970 and was wondering if this was typical of his better output then.
 
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14. Board Game: Aladdin's Dragons [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:839]
Chuck Uherske
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Games's game of the year, and seems to have bidding/auction elements and a fun theme.
 
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15. Board Game: Die Macher [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:185]
Chuck Uherske
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Like the theme and the descriptions, but does it really take 4 hours? Can it hold our attention that long?
 
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16. Board Game: El Grande [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:54]
 
Chuck Uherske
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After I first posted this list, I realized that I hadn't included any games by the designer of two I'm enjoying immensely (Princes and Tikal.) Of the Kramer-designed games that I lack, El Grande seems to have the highest ratings -- but also some dissenters. Advice?
 
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17. Board Game: Torres [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:401]
Chuck Uherske
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This Kramer offering also gets high marks and seems different to me from his others.
 
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18. Board Game: Cartagena [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:845]
Chuck Uherske
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If only there were a universally acclaimed game with Pirates as a theme. Reportedly the the theming in this one is rather arbitrary, but it seems like it could be light fun.
 
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19. Board Game: RoboRally [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:336]
Chuck Uherske
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Another game that seems to have filled an unusual niche. I wonder how my game group would take to this? What kind of temperaments like or dislike it?
 
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20. Board Game: Taj Mahal [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:306]
Chuck Uherske
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Yet another Knizia option (now listed out of turn.) This is one that has caught my eye now and then for a while.
 
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