Hate turns to Love
David Turner
United States
Dallas
Texas
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What games did you first dislike or felt neutral towards that became one of your favorites?

This happens to me often, so I almost always give a game 3 or 4 plays before writting it off.
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1. Board Game: San Juan [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:228]
David Turner
United States
Dallas
Texas
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When I first played this, I told my wife "I would soon just play Puerto Rico".

At first it was very similar to Puerto Rico but without all the fun bits. I found it unnecessarily abstract, and I kept forgetting to utilize my building cards. I did not see any depth..

Well after spending $20 for it, I gave a couple more tries. I learned the cards, so fewer mistakes were made. Strategies started to develop, and it played soooooooo smooth. I also realized, because of a lower setup time, it was going to get more play.

As of tonight it is one of my favorites. At first I rated it a 4.0, last Saturday I bumped it up to a 7.0, and now it is a rising 7.8.


 
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2. Board Game: Dante's Inferno [Average Rating:4.69 Overall Rank:15172]
I promise I will not kill you until you reach the top.
United States
Allen Park
Michigan
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The first time I tried Dante's we were all tired and no one really concentrated on the rules as hard as they should have. As a result, it was a confusing, ugly mess and I blamed the game, rather than the players. Later, we tried it again and with clear heads we found out it was a pretty entertaining game with subtle strategies and some interesting negotiations.
 
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3. Board Game: Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:294]
David Turner
United States
Dallas
Texas
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I opened the box. Hmmm, a deck of cards and board with 5 squares. Feeling a bit cheated I quickly read the rules. I asked my wife "Do you think we can take this back?”. She insisted on trying it. I put little thought or effort in the first game, and my wife creamed me. "Great! I get ripped off and creamed by the same game!" Evidently, my wife saw something that I did not. She insisted on playing again, and then again, and again, and again. You get the idea.

We now have four 8 1/2" / 11" pads of paper filled with scores.


One side note:
This was when I was first getting involved in German games, and I did not know anything about Reiner Kniza.

I ask for forgiveness.

 
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4. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:139] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Scott
United States
denver
Colorado
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I did not like this game at all when I first got it. I played it twice and then put it on the shelf for a couple of years. After discovering the geek I decided I would try it again and still didn't like it.

Since it was the only game that the people around me had any interest in playing I decided to buy an expansion. That did it. It went from below a five to a 9 just by adding Traders and Builders.
 
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5. Board Game: Basari [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:1370]
Shawn Low
Australia
Footscray
Victoria
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First time I played was with 3 players. Things plodded along rather slowly and I was hosed by poor haggling and die rolls that didn't go my way.

I tried it 4 player and it somehow 'clicked'. The negotiations are fun in a limited way and there are several strategies to attempt. Once people get the hang of it, it plays rather quickly.

Works best with 4.

Good rules for balancing game too.
 
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6. Board Game: Medici [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:442]
David Bohnenberger
United States
Swarthmore
Pennsylvania
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Sometimes you'll play a game under poor conditions and the bad impression comes not so much from the game. The first time I played Medici was in a small, dark, hot, airless room with a bunch of blowhards and one notorious cheater, none of whom really seemed interested. The game was poorly explained and took forever.

After I became a big fan of the Knizia bidding games I decided to try it again. This is a classic.
 
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7. Board Game: Taj Mahal [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:306]
Scott Henshaw
United States
East Bridgewater
Massachusetts
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First time I played Taj Mahal, I won by a huge margin. I did not understand what I was doing, or how I could have won by that much. Three people were newbies and 2 experienced players.
The experienced players were so busy keeping each other in check, that I was allowed to walk away with the game. The other 2 newbies were crushed. They also did not have a feeling for how the game was to be played. This left them hating the game, with comments of randomness. One of them has never played it again.
I did not play it again for 2+ years as I also thought it was just confusion and fiddly scoring in a box. Many of the local gamers love this game and play it frequently. I decided to join a game with these players and what a difference! I started to understand the flow of the game and realize that it was a "Know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em" kind of game. Elephant scoring, connection strategy, combination of both with card collection. This game is one of my favorites now. I perfer to play with 5 because it really cranks up the competition for every province.
ScottH.
 
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8. Board Game: Age of Steam [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:114]
I'll try almost any game once, so when a friend brought this to the Tuesday night group, I joined in for a big six-player go. I tried to slip by on the cheap and ended up constantly going last, getting crappy abilities and really not "getting it." I didn't love the game, but didn't hate it. I played three more times and for some reason stuck with the "play cheap" strategy that didn't work the first time. By my fourth game I hated it so much I intentionally went broke to get out of the game early, and decided to never play again.

Then someone harangued me into playing "one more time" because they wanted more players and I knew how to play. Instead of ponderously thinking through every option at every turn, I went bigger, trusted my instincts, and ran away with the game, until a late slip-up caused me to take second-place to an opponent having a strong late-game run. That did it -- I was hooked. I'd finally played the financial game enough times to roll with the punches, to push to the front of the turn order when I needed to, and slip back into the cheap seats when saving a few shekels made more sense. I still don't win every game, but I'm always a force to be reckoned with. I just bought my own copy (and one expansion), and will play this game pretty much any time I'm able. In fact, Age of Steam is currently wrasslin' two other games to be my all-time favorite game.
 
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