New to you a year ago Jan 12 => Has it stood the test of time?
Martin G
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Bristol
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Grimwold's new-to-you geeklists are the highlight of my month on the 'geek. They motivate me to review the new games I've played (and recycle my entries as comments), and they allow me to read the thoughts of some of the most insightful 'geeks on new and classic games.

But the new-to-me list is inevitably full of first impressions. I'm interested in hearing how those games that seemed so great at the time stood up to multiple plays. Did you actually play them that much after the first month? Did a game you dismissed at the time turn out to be better in retrospect?

Add an entry with the same game you chose for the New to you Jan 11 geeklist. Link to your entry in that geeklist, then write down your thoughts on the game you chose a year on. If your impression of some of the other games you wrote up that month have changed, let us know about that too.

The big game that month was (still) 7 Wonders - has it stood the test of time?

I'll be starting these lists mid-month, so we don't have to keep up with this list and Grimwold's (and several other monthly ones) all at the same time. You can subscribe to the announcement thread for reminders.
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1. Board Game: Mr. Jack Pocket [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:698]
Martin G
United Kingdom
Bristol
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I chose Mr. Jack Pocket because I'd just written a long and favourable review of it, but said it might not end up being the game I looked back on most fondly. I played it a couple more times the next month, but haven't considered buying it. It remains a good distillation of the essence of Mr Jack into a short, compact package.

Tribune: Primus Inter Pares has apparently only had 3 more plays post-January, I thought it was more than that. It's oscillated between a 7 and an 8 for me. I like it, but still have some of the same criticisms I did then: it's a bit over-fiddly and hard to teach for something that doesn't last very long once you're playing. I've heard the expansion is really good, but it might just emphasise those points.

I played Navegador once more and downgraded it from 7 to 6. The problem is that the winner tends to be the player who chooses the least-contested strategic path, but it's very hard to switch paths once you've started off down one.

Four more plays for Blokus Duo which is a fine, if not thrilling, abstract. One more for Travel Blog which is a very odd concept but surprisingly fun. And none for Tinners' Trail.
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2. Board Game: Fzzzt! [Average Rating:6.24 Overall Rank:3484]
Netherlands
Enschede
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Item for Geeklist "New to you Jan 11 => Best new game you played this month and why"


Last year there were only two games new to me, and neither got another play. I think I'd be more likely to play Fzzzt! again then Halli Galli, so I picked the right one last year I guess... neither made a really big impression.
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3. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.88 Overall Rank:35]
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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I missed the initial thread, but looking back I played three new games back in January 2010.


Power Grid is the only one with lasting... power. My wife had gotten it for me for Christmas but I couldn't find anyone to play it until Jan. To the point, it has since become a favorite request at our monthly game nights.

The other two, neither of which have seen any additional plays by me since last January, were Farkle and Catan: Seafarers. The first is just not my thing, the latter is left on the shelf in favor of Cities & Knights thus far. However, I still would like to try using all three of the main sets together for an larger format Catan game.

meeple Keep playing...
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4. Board Game: Claustrophobia [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:247]
Ingmar Hauge
Norway
Kvernaland
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It's cold outside. There's no kind of atmosphere. I'm all alone. More or less. Let me fly. Far away from here. Fun fun fun. In the sun sun sun...
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January 2010

One year ago I gave a 10 to two games. I thought both Claustrophobia and Descent: Journeys in the Dark deserved it. Neither of those has changed but I would have changed my game of the month just because Descent supports more players and has a great appeal both to thosw who like coop and those who like competetive games. Being Overlord is not very difficult, and is a role pretty much anyone can take. Claustrophobia still has the most ingenious mechanics, maybe one of the best I've ever tried. The only thing that bugs me is that I don't get to play them often enough.

My third new entry a year ago has also seen one more play. The Phantom League is another game I would like to play again, but might suffer a little bit from the recent release of Eclipse. It might suffer from a little downtime with more players (only played 3 player so far) I suspect although you would be able to team up in batlle, something we hardly did for those to games. Still think it's a fun game and rating is likely to stay at 8. Recommend the expansion as well.
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5. Board Game: Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:213]
Chris Marling
United Kingdom
Cambridge
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May actually get some flack for this lot, but only had three new games this time last year and for different reasons all of them failed to set my world alight. It was an amazing month for one reason alone – I didn’t buy any games!

The one I enjoyed most was Sid Meier’s Civilisation: The Board Game. A friend bought it, we had one game (which we were all learning in) and all enjoyed it. However, he had a pretty flaky year in terms of joining us for gaming and we didn’t manage to get it to the table again. It now lives in my flat though, so hopefully it will hit the table again soon.

Next I’d put Merchants & Marauders, which we played five times in 2011. A friend bought it as he is a real pirate fan and had really looked forward to the game. It was brilliant out of the box too, but just didn’t quite live up to the hype and great pieces in game play. It’s particularly frustrating too, as it’s so close to being a great game – yet somehow it’s incredibly frustrating. I think two things really grate fro me: rolls are always too hard (making you feel crap instead of epic), while if you get unlucky the board can get way too cramped and close in on you badly.

And finally there was Battlestar Galactica, which hit the table three times. For me at least, it won’t be hitting it again. I wasn’t a fan of the series, nor of this tedious game. I can see massive BSG nerds getting all role-play with it, and that’s fine, but it simply isn’t a good game without that level of enthusiasm. It’s way too long, way too boring most of the time, and with only the faintest chance of an epic ending.
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6. Board Game: Ascension: Deckbuilding Game [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:565] [Average Rating:7.03 Unranked]
J. Jefferson
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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Ascension: A year ago I said:
Quote:
I am really enjoying Ascension. It scratches the deckbuilding itch with a quick and fun game (quicker than, and as fun as, or at least very nearly as fun as Dominion).
Now: I still really enjoyed it--played it ten times in the last year. I generally like playing long sessions of Dominion, but will bring out Ascension for just one or two quick games. I prefer Dominion, but Ascension scratches a similar itch and is quicker to set up.

Race for the Galaxy: A year ago I said:
Quote:
I suspect the long-term best new-to-me game for this month will be Race for the Galaxy, but after just three plays, I'm still figuring it out. And perhaps more importantly, I'm still figuring out how to beat my wife in the game--three consecutive losses may have pushed this game from top billing here.
Wrong. I gave up before figuring it out. After six plays, I wasn't good enough at the game for it to be fun. It just felt like work. It hasn't come out in months and I'm not at all driven to give it another shot.

Scrabble Slam!: A year ago I said:
Quote:
Another really good one that was new to me this month is Scrabble SLAM!. It's really fun, really quick, and perhaps most importantly, really really cheap and easily available. It's kind of like mini-scrabble on speed. Great!
That was spot on. I've played it dozens of times since then. It's still fast and fun.



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7. Board Game: The Great Fire of London 1666 [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:2128]
Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft Board Game
Initial rating:
Current geek rating: 8
Plays in first 6 months: 1
Plays in next 6 months: 0

I loved my one (and a half) plays of this last January, which rather surprised the owner of the game, as usually our tastes are so dissimilar I hate everything he owns. I haven't played Ravenloft itself since as I don't know anyone else with a copy, but instead have played Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon Board Game several times, asking my sister to get me a copy for Christmas - I think the Ashardalon dragons are slightly more appealing for my son than the Ravenloft monsters.


The Great Fire of London 1666
Initial rating:
Current geek rating: 6
Plays in first 6 months: 4
Plays in next 6 months: 0

As a light fun game I think this could be ok, but I find that players tend to overthink it, turning it into an AP nightmare that really drags, and taking all fun out of it. It also wasn't very well received by other players in my group, who didn't like some of the luck elements in the game - such as the buildings you're trying to protect. We still have it, and I'm sure it'll get played occasionally, but it's not going to come out often.


Crazy Bee
Initial rating:
Current geek rating: 5

As this is a kids game I don't record plays in the same way. My youngest, just 2, uses the small beads as a colour matching game, and the older ones enjoy messing around with the headbands catching the beads, but we haven't really played it properly since that first month. My kids aren't really into dexterity games.


Ox Blocks
Initial rating:
Current geek rating: 2

I've still got this somewhere, and the kids like playing with the "dice" it comes with, but I haven't managed to convince them to even play noughts and crosses with the board. Not a hit, but it was free, so I can't really complain!
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8. Board Game: Glen More [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:289]
David
United States
DURHAM
North Carolina
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I played 4 new last January and they fell into 4 distinct categories, in which each was the winner.

The overall winner was the medium-weight game, Glen More and I still find that true today. It walks that tightrope of a decent amount of decisions in a short play time and there is clearly more than one way to win. We're not playing it so heavily: I played it once last January (it arrived right before the end of the month and made a good first impression!), 7 times over February and early March then a scattered 3 times since (including a play last month). I expect it to get at least a half-dozen plays over 2012 and into the future. A keeper.

Best Party Game was Time's Up! Title Recall!. I have played it once since then and enjoyed it then too. I also played the original Time's Up, which is all people. But I found Title Recall to be the more enjoyable, as when you don't know the clue there is still some way of acting out the words Charades-style, but that is harder with people's names.

Best Family Game was Forbidden Island. We played it once in January, then again early in the year, but both my wife and son declared themselves "not fans" of co-ops. (At least one fellow in my lunch group had that reaction too, but he hasn't tried it as yet). So I thought this one was done for, even though I still have a soft spot for it. But then out of the blue, my co-op-hating son requested it last month and we played on the condition that he got to collect for the winged lion. We'll see if it sees continued play.

Best Heavy Game was Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game. This has since picked up the 2011 "Most Time Mocking Me From the Shelf" award for the game I want to play but a combination of work schedule and inertia have meant the set-up and play time kept it there on the shelf. One of my resolutions for 2012 is to play this some more.
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9. Board Game: The Princes of Florence [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:151]
Ben Bateson
United Kingdom
Ross-on-Wye
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I'll continue my tradition of adding to this list but not the original.

I still love Princes of Florence every bit as much as I did on first playing. It's slow, stylish and - to be honest - there aren't that many significant decisions. But it's a real experience of game - indulgent and luxuriant and something to immerse yourself in.

I first played Princes at a mini-convention (read: a bunch of men playing boardgames all weekend) last year. The same weekend was also host to my first games of the next two.

Crude - We played the 'german knock-off' edition, replete with numerous English paste-ups and translations. I enjoyed it very much, but haven't played it since. It definitely needs the right occasion.

Fast Food Franchise - Hated it then, and still don't want to play it now. It may be 'Monopoly done right', but it's still Monopoly.

Transeuropa - This has seen a handful of outings, although we find Transamerica to be distinctly superior.

Hare & Tortoise - Probably less than it first appeared. Race-type games have never been big stock in my household. Recently traded.

Braggart - This has garnered plenty of table-time as our 'silly filler' of choice, and is still going strong.

Jaipur - On first engagement, this was a fun and fast yet thinky 2-player. I'd scraped around to get my hands on it and it fully justified all I'd heard. For a while. Sadly, it's become just a little too obvious and routine, with not enough control over scores that spiral away. It doesn't get much time over the likes of Pocket Battles, Rivals Of Catan, and Famiglia now.
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10. Board Game: Troyes [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:67]
Dave Peters
United States
Belmont
California
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Powers:Coleridge:Milton: Faith...must be, if anything, a clear-eyed recognition of the patterns and tendencies, to be found in every piece of the world's fabric, which are the lineaments of God.
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A year ago this month, I'd played a whole bunch of new games. I'd reflected that I wasn't sure if that's a good thing, since it meant I hadn't play a bunch of the old titles that I enjoy.


Troyes -- (3 plays last January; three since) _7.7_ (Up one place.)
(images by taiwanite & Almecho)

I'd given this a Most likely to hit a dime this year award - which proved to be a poor prognostication. Particularly when considered against the blitz of Spot It! plays I note below. I'd given it a "silly award" of Most currencies in play, which I think is probably better considered in retrospect.

I've been pleased with the replayability over the year: plays have been quite dramatically different. The different mixes of the activity cards have a pretty significant effect of the game gestalt; adding in the expansion just increases the variance from one game to another.

It's not clear to me that it has significant legs: I doubt that it'll get six plays this year. But it wouldn't surprise me if it continued to get occasional play. Its good enough to demand periodic consideration.


Master of Economy -- (1 play last January; one play since) _7.7_ (Down one place.)
(images by Antypirx & unittype)

This won Most hours of post-game pondering of all the games I'd played. Strangely, that's true even in echo: re-reading that preceding sentence made me think, again, of how odd the game system is and how little I understand how to play well.

I've dropped it in rating from an initial _8_ due to concerns about strategic possibilities: my second game felt much like the first. So while I found it entertainingly interesting, I think it might be like a mystery novel that one needs to have substantially forgotten before wanting to play again.


Spot it! -- (1 play last January; twenty-mumble more since) _7.3_ (Up two places.)
 
(images by boardgamefreak2009 & JeFaR)

I gave this my Mindless fun of the month award winner. With the acknowledgement that "mindless" wasn't quite right; there's definitely some cognition involved. But it's a reptilian-hindbrain kind of thing.

I was happy to buy this one, and got my copy in March. Since then, it's been played a lot. My twenty-odd plays are sessions, not hands; in the most extreme, I think there was an hour and a half played beside a pool in Whistler (during the summer; I'm not insane enough to play a card game beside an outdoor pool at Whistler during the winter) that counts as one of those plays. It's worked for folk young and old; gamers and not.


Merkator -- (2 plays last January; one since) _7.3_ (Down one place.)
(both images by adikom5777)

I'd given this the Game in which my evaluation is farthest out of step with my peers. I still like it, despite its abstractions and cube-pushing-ness.

Still, I did manage to get it to the table again (at least once; I have the feeling I played it one other time and forgot to record the play), and with some success. It's not spectacular, but I enjoy the play.


Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries -- (1 play last January; one since) _7.3_ (Down one place.)
(images by patchwerq & renegaderebel)

I'd given this a Most surprisingly brutal game for the month. In the end, I think it's too brutal for my lovely daughter #1: she definitely prefers Switzerland.

And, unfortunately, that means it gets put into an only-very-occasionally bin. Daughter #1 and my mom are my primary TtR opponents, and both prefer the kinder&gentler maps.


The Pillars of the Earth -- (1 play last January; none since) _7.3_ (No change.)
(images by ColtsFan76 & lalagonca)

This one won Most missed references: I've never read the eponymous book. (So all of the card references were lost on me.) Of course, it's possible they wouldn't have helped: I can't say my game play suffered as a result. What's more, in comparison with Discworld: Ankh-Morpork (where I also didn't get the references) I found the book-theme fairly invisible.

It was amusing, though insufficient to demand I purchase a copy or seek it out again to play more.


Glen More -- (1 plays last January; none since) _7_ (No change.)
(images by poeppel24 & diddle74)

This one had been (as a result of discussions on the Phoenix GCL) the game I'd heard the most about without having played. Perhaps as a result, I'd expected something a bit more subtly impressive than what seemed to happen. Don't get me wrong: it's a nice enough game. I'd be perfectly happy to play it again. But it didn't grab my attention enough to make me want to buy a copy.


Commands & Colors: Napoleonics -- (2 plays last January; none since) _6.7_ (No change.)
(images by Rodger MacGowan & cobalt60)

This one won my Block game of the month. The only competition was Asia Engulfed - which I didn't even manage to get to the table.

I'm amused by the C&C system. This one, considered only as a game, is one of the better offerings (I'd rank it second in my personal pantheon, after Ancients.) Whether the C&C mechanics match the aesthetics of Napoleonic combat is a totally different matter - and one, frankly, that I'm not qualified to judge. Still, it's probably a better Napoleonic-sim than Memoir '44 is a WW2 one!


Wars of the Roses: Lancaster vs. York -- (1 play last January; none since) _6.7_ (No change.)
(images by chaddyboy_2000 & RobyNico05)

This one was definitely the Blind bidding showcase of the month. Have you perhaps noticed that I've previously mentioned that I don't like blind bidding?

Yet concentrating on that feature completely underrates the game. It's very substantially pretty, and there's a lot to like thematically (particularly for an old Kingmaker player like me.) Still, the gameplay (a bunch of simultaneous winner-take-all blind bids) is more than a bit offputting for me. It's disappointing: I really wanted to like it.


Irondale -- (1 play last January; none since) _5_ (No change.)
(both images by justjohn)

Perhaps unfortunately, this one gets Least helpful graphic design for the month. What's more, I like this less in retrospect than I liked it at the time: the more I reconsidered the play, the more I found unappealing.

The graphics are particularly un-helpful; the game mechanics make lookahead nearly impossible (so that turns involve a lot of calculation that cannot be cached in advance); the random factor of the card draw is particularly significant in the final score (some cards are much better than others in any particular context); with four players, there's very few turns in a game (in which one accumulates delta-score) but the final player may received fewer such turns than the first player. It's possible that it's a much better game with 2 or 3 players than with 4. But I'm not willing to try again to see if that's the case.


Lascaux -- (1 play last January; none since) _5_ (No change.)
(images by Jonny5 & cnidius)

Hmph. Perhaps Least appealing use of the pay-or-play mechanics from Geschenkt. It's pretty, but both chaotic and random - so that the correlation between a player's choices and the end result are pretty tenuous. I would be happy to not play again.


My thanks again go to my youngsters; the no-longer-on-Friday Lunch folk; the I've been diced gang; and the BAP attenders for some excellent games (we'll just ignore the last two games mentioned above in the credits.)
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11. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:48]
Zack Stackurski
United States
Mankato
Minnesota
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I love almost all games, play Boardgames with my wife, have three kids, generally enjoy cats and understand and like those bumper stickers with the little fishies sprouting legs.
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I had a great start of the year last year playing three superb new to me games!



With 33 plays to date since last January, 7 Wonders showed some excellent staying power in my group and was my game of the year... so of course it moves into the top spot on this list! I still only rate it an 8 but if you want something Euro-y in less than an hour this is the first thing I think of!



Cyclades moves up to the middle of this list and an 8 rating from me. I was a bit dissappointed with that first play... but have found over my subsequent 5 plays that this only really shines with 5 players (having gods missing reduces the options and makes the auctions and game less interesting). I really like this auction mechanic... and somehow the limited combats and special power cards really increase the excitement for me (is he bidding to block me? or grab that creature? or does he still have enough money to really get an attack rolling with that really high bid!?)



What's My Word? has had 9 more plays in the last year and has stood the test of time fairly well despite dropping to the #3 spot on this list. Its rating has fallen a bit to 7.5... but it is still my favorite word game. It just requires so much concentration and time to play well that my wife and I usually would prefer to play something lighter when its just us so we can chat over the game... and get to bed at a reasonable time...
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12. Board Game: The Name of the Rose [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:1703]
Jeff Wolfe
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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Zendo fan, Columbus Blue Jackets fan, Dominion Fan.
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Item for Geeklist "New to you Jan 11 => Best new game you played this month and why"

Last January, I selected The Name of the Rose because it was the only game that qualified according to my personal criteria. I had logged two others that I hadn't logged before but that weren't really new, so those weren't eligible for selection. Also, I had played an Unpublished Prototype for the first time, but as a rule I don't select Unpublished Prototypes for the new game of the month GeekLists.

I predicted, though, that the Unpublished Prototype would get played much more than The Name of the Rose, and I was correct. I haven't played The Name of the Rose since last January. On the other hand, the prototype was later published as IceDice and it became my new game of the year, with more plays than any game I played in 2011, except Dominion.

IceDice is the new flagship product in the Looney Pyramids line. The product IceDice comes in a pyramid-shaped bag and includes two rainbow stashes, special dice, and the rules to two games (IceDice and Launchpad 23). The game IceDice is a rather enjoyable little press-your-luck game that uses the special dice (also called IceDice, of course).
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13. Board Game: Inca Empire [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:1313]
Russell D
United Kingdom
Ewell
Surrey
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After one play of Inca Empire in Jan last year, I've managed to play it four more times since. It is a great game which I enjoy very much. Several people have it at the groups I play with, so I haven't seen the need to acquire my own copy, but I love playing it. Great mechanisms, wonderful feeling of exploration and development, the co-operating/competing tension. Still a favourite.

I've played Endeavor once more-- and was again struck by the elegance of the rules and the variety of strategic options. Another I hope to play again.

San Marco got a couple more plays after my first play in Jan 2011. It fills a nice slot when you want a 3-player game for an hour and feel like area control. Glad I have it and can pull it out when needed, and would certainly be happy to play it more.

Although I've had the opportunity to play Age of Industry again since last year, I've always gone for another game on offer, probably because my first (and so far, only) experience of playing it wasn't very enjoyable. Perfectly willing to admit that was just because I was having an off day-- it's really a game I should try again some time.

And I haven't played again any of the four new-to-me fillers from that month.
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14. Board Game: Bohnanza [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:415]
Jerry Wilkinson
United States
New Castle
Indiana
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Here is mine. I played 3 new to me games, Bohnanza, Founding Fathers, and Settlers of America: Trails to Rails.

I have not played any of them since.
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15. Board Game: Asara [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:933]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
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Item for Geeklist "New to you Jan 11 => Best new game you played this month and why"
Asara is still a nice family game with an interesting novelty (hand management card game mixed with worker placement) that makes it different from the other WP games - and it's good. Your way of thinking is different from any other games I know and that's just what I like in board games. So this one is still a favorite, I even rate it higher than when I played it the first two times a year ago. it still doesn't hit the table as often as we'd like as the set-up time is a bit long and nowadays we play mostly games with short set-up time as the kids can wake up any time. The only complaint I have is the expansion that would make Asara a gamer's game still wasn't released. I still hope it can be sold in enough copies to warrant the expansion (maybe the Spielbox expansion also helped people learn about this game, too bad it was a language dependent expansion while the game is language independent).

No plays since, but I'd like to:
King Up! (I own it)
Sylla
Tikal II: The Lost Temple
Seeland
(Had they sold it for 10 EUR I would have bought it in Essen. It was a little bit more so it remained there. I'm sure this is a nice game when played 2-player; with more it's too chaotic/luck-dependent for my taste).
Atlanteon (I own it)

No plays since and I would not like to:
Vinhos
Mini FITS (sad to say this about a Knizia release but it felt broken. It can be okay with some kind of rule variation.)
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16. Board Game: Runebound (Second Edition) [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:799]
Scott Nelson
United States
American Fork
Utah
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After looking for a game to scratch my D&D vibe, I played Runebound. I liked it. It was clearly something that could scratch the adventurous nature D&D contains in the roleplay. But, after obtaining a copy through a trade of magic cards, it (and every expansion but 4) has gathered dust for the last year, trying to find time to play a longer game. I rally want to try out the Sand of Al-Kalim. I gave up ever trying to get the MidNight expansion to the table since it required a DM so-to-speak. So, I sold it when someone offered recently. But I have the other expansions, ready to be played, and they look really fun too. One of these days...

edit: I missed the thread last year, because I rarely buy games anymore.
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17. Board Game: Merchants & Marauders [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:228]
Steve Duff
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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In order of the original entry

Merchants & Marauders
Plays since: 2

Easily still the best of the month. Can be a bit confrontational of course, but Deb and I tend to attack the neutrals rather than the each other so that's lessened for us. Great bits, and nice to bring out when we're looking for an "experience" game.


Shear Panic
Plays since: 1

I"m still happy I own this one. It's thinky, and pretty abstract, but the bits are so fantastic I can't see ever getting rid of it. Need to play it with 4 players some time soon.


Queen's Necklace
Plays since: 0

We haven't been playing these lightish card games much recently, so this hasn't hit the table in a while.

Keltis: Neue Wege, Neue Ziele
Plays since: 0

I said in my normal comments that I needed to play this again, since the first experience was pretty negative. Hasn't happened yet.
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18. Board Game: Qwirkle [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:724]
Jason Lott
United States
Cheverly
Maryland
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Last year was a fairly good crop of games. I'm mostly noticing games I need to revisit.

The game that we've played the most in the intervening months is Coloretto, hands-down. Really great with all types of groups, portable, and fast. A winner. Along the same lines we've played quite a bit of Qwirkle as well, which shows that accessible games are just the most likely to hit the table in our house!

World Without End made a favorable impression on me, and I still think it's a very good game. It's been played a couple times since, but I'd like to get it to the table more often.

My other two games for the month were good ones, and I'll endeavor to play them again soon - Mesopotamia and Mystery Express.

As for expansions, I've not had a chance to play Arkham Horror: Dunwich Horror Expansion since the first time, since I don't own it. Arkham Horror: The King in Yellow Expansion hit the table a couple times, and still adds nice flavor to the base game (but I'd rather play Innsmouth).

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19. Board Game: About Nothing [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Bryan Maxwell
United States
Burtchville
Michigan
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Last year I chose Merchants & Marauders. I only played 2 new games last month, and I've traded or sold them both.

Merchants & Marauders: 4 plays last January, 1 play since. Every game I played made me excited for the potential in the game, but it never paid off for me. It always felt like "Man, if only such-and-such didn't make this game crash and burn...next time it'll be different!" I admire the game and wouldn't mind playing it again, but I don't need to own it.

A Game of Thrones LCG: 5 plays last January, 0 plays since. Too much work for 40 minutes of fun in a 90-minute game. Not bad, but not for me.
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20. Board Game: Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:213]
Joe
United States
Maple Valley
Washington
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Played last January, am scheduled to play again, for the first time since, on Sunday (with the new expansion). I do not remember disliking it, the group with the game owner only gets together a few times a year. I guess the fact that I did not pick up my own copy for the regular 2x a month group says something. We'll see how it goes.
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21. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:48]
Andrew
Japan
Tokyo
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Once again it's time to claim that I can't believe it's been a year since posting my New to You entry.

It wasn't a great month, so let's have a look how things went.

Decent Now
Arguably I played out 7 Wonders a long time ago - as a fast development game it's fairly attractive, but I have no need to play it again. Quite a fall for my favourite a year ago, but not at all unexpected. Someone really has to get one of the expansions...

There's really nothing wrong with Glen More but there are middleweight Euros with more of the mechanics I enjoy. My increased focus on my favourite games makes this one slip a little. I won a game in June by resisting the urge to buy Loch Ness and make dinosaur-eating-Scotsman noises.

Indifferent Now
I played Bohnanza one more time in February before deciding that the rules explanation and draggy playtime weren't worth the fun involved. Without a hit session, the game never recovered and I sold the game off.

I played some AI Queen's Blade but even after months and months didn't have the inclination to figure out how the game works.

Unplayed Negative
As a newly-minted curmudgeon, I had no time for Thunderstone: Wrath of the Elements (wow it has a lot of expansions now).

Naturally Power Grid: Benelux/Central Europe didn't hit the table again though I played a game of Power Grid this week. (For what it's worth, I'm getting better but the draggy AP-prone fiddliness loses my interest.)
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22. Board Game: Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:630] [Average Rating:6.96 Unranked]
Lloyd
United Kingdom
Camden
London
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This game is bullshit.
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January 2011 was when I started logging plays on the Geek and so fully 24 new games show up in list of new games... Of those, the highlights were;

Ca$h 'n Gun$ - I still remember this play and I bought the game immediately afterwards. I logged 5 plays in January alone and I've played it another 22 times since. It remains hilariously funny and a game I can play with just about anyone. I rate CnG 8.2

The Resistance was my personal BSG killer and caused my ranking for BSG to fall from an 8, to a 6 and then it became trade bait. I've 'only' played The Resistance 17 times in total which surprises me as I thought it'd be more. It's rated 8.6 for me currently.

I managed one play of Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) in January as well; a 5 1/2 hour 'quick' game that ended with a massive anti-climax for all but one player (the game ended just as the epic wars were about to begin). No plays since and I rated it a 6.2 which in hindsight seems a little generous. I've since played Eclipse and while I don't share the unbridled love for it that many others do, it is still a vast improvement over the bloated, cumbersome TI3.

Finally, Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game got my first recorded play and it is one of the few Ameritrash games that I really love (Claustrophobia being the other and only really semi-eligible). I've played it 10 times since and just bought my own copy. Since June I've rated this 8.1

Other games I enjoyed

Ave Caesar
6 nimmt!
7 Wonders though this really needed Leaders to come alive for me. With it, it is one of my favourite games, without it I'm a little indifferent.
Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery or as it used to be called in my day Age of Empires III.
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23. Board Game: Shadow Hunters [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:821]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Here is my original entry to the geeklist: Item for Geeklist "New to you Jan 11 => Best new game you played this month and why"

Shadow Hunters (Played 2 times since January 2011) - This is my new favorite hidden role game. Unfortunately it doesn't work that great with my family, so I have to find other opportunities to play. Plus it works better with people who have played it a few times. However, the play-by-forum games we've had of this have been legendary, and I can't wait for the next one. It's a great game that I think is worth the extra effort to find the right group of players.


Manhattan (Played 2 times since January 2011) - I still think this is one of the better Spiel des Jahres winners. Simple rules with deep strategies is a perfect blend for my taste. Again, the negative here is that I have to find particular opportunities to play this game, because Rikki doesn't like it that much. It works really well as both a 2 or 4 player game, and I'll gladly play it any time someone suggests it.



Not played since January 2011, but want to play again






Not played since January 2011, and don't need to play again



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24. Board Game: Vinhos [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:351]
Lo
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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Last January, I got four new games to the table. At the time, Vinhos was the best of the month. In all, I played Vinhos nine times last year. All but one of those games was two-player with my wife. As much as I enjoyed the game (initially I rated it a "9" but it has since slipped to an "8"), it got harder and harder to get to the table. The last time I played was in May. Why?

d10-1 Playing two with my wife had gotten predictable.
d10-2 The set up and play time was quite long.
d10-3 Hesitation to introduce it to new players due to it's weight.

The second "new to me" game last January was Troyes. Since then I've played it 13 times. Like Vinhos, most of those plays have been two-player and as a two-player game, I've enjoyed my plays. It has just the right length and weight. As a three-player game, I found it ran a bit too long for my liking. Haven't put it on the table since August, but I'm not sure why.

Oh, yeah, so many other new games to play.

I really enjoyed my one and only play of Power Struggle. It's failed to get back to the table due to it playing best with four or five. Between that and it's length, the opportunities to take it out are far and few between. I'd definitely play this again if I got a chance.

With all the hype of Key Market last year, I got curious about R&D Games and picked up a copy of Key Harvest. My wife and I gave it two tries before packing it away. I'm still not sure what I think of the game, but my wife disliked it intensely. There was too much analysis of the player boards for her liking and the potential for screwage in a nice game about farming didn't suit her.

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25. Board Game: Innovation [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:304]
Brian Mc Cabe
United States
Arizona
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Hi, again, Martin. Here I am with Innovation.

This definitely did not stand the test of time. It started out as a 7.8; the expansion, a solid 8. They have both sunk to a 2.

They should be tens. I like the mechanics, expecially the need to have a majority in icons; I like the text on the cards. The only thing I don't like is actually playing the game.

I can't get away from the fact -- and I know you disagree -- that it's all about the luck of the draw. Even when I win, I feel like the game is just using the players as a blind to play itself.

Here, Player 1, you get this great card to meld and exploit. All right, Player 2, take it away from him. Okay, Player 3, you're SOL. Player 4, I've decided you win.

It's like watching a train wreck waiting to happen.

The expansion turns a thirty-minute filler into a two+ hour slogfest, in which you just wish the game would stop playing with you and end itself.

Brian

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