Simply Schacht
Dave Kudzma
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Millsboro
Delaware
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Almost since my beginnings in the hobby, Michael Schacht's games have been a part of my collection. I find that many of his games have almost ellusive strategies that take several plays to bring to the surface, while others are just semi-random fun.
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1. Board Game: Coloretto [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:496]
Dave Kudzma
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Ahhhhh...the infamous image.

This was the game that really awakened me to Michael as a designer. Granted I had already played his collaborative effort with Bruno, Fist of Dragonstones, and enjoyed it thoroughly.

There is just something about the chaos of this game. I find it to be yet another title that gives me satisfaction win, lose, or draw. It also gives me the same "press-your-luck" tension that I love from Diamant and Circus Flochati.

It's a nice light-hearted filler, and also a great gateway game IMHO. It scales quite well, and the more players the better.
 
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2. Board Game: Industria [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:1891]
Dave Kudzma
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Auction, auction, auction...I do so love a good auction.

I did a full paste-up job on my copy, and have enjoyed several games of this one. It's another game of ellusive strategy. It almost appears unpredicable in terms of strategy, yet the auction seems to even things out a bit. There are also several avenues to gain points, so it's hard to get totally shut out.

My group actually played this a few times before the paste-ups were done. I credit this one for breaking the language barrier for our group; now I never hesitate to get a game based on language as long as I can get a translation.
 
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3. Board Game: Hansa [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:741]
Dave Kudzma
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I waited a year after seeing this one to actually pick it up. The game is not much to look at really. But I guess that's a Schacht trademark; simple design....decievingly simple.

The strategy is hard to pin down in this one right away. I've often seen it said that there isn't one, but I have been quite consistent in my performance in Hanza. The game uses almost no hidden information, keeping it very competitive.

What I find unique about this game is the movement restrictions for the ship. It really adds alot to the game. I also like the fact that when you sell you screw your opponents a tad by forcing them to discard a chit of that color.
 
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4. Board Game: Magna Grecia [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:2413]
Dave Kudzma
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My wife and I found ourselves having a hard time getting into this one. I saw Colovini and Schacht and said to myself "sounds fantastic".

It's a bit of tile-laying mixed with resource management. I found the rules to be a bit muddy, and the actual play bland; I still think to myself that I must be missing something.
 
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5. Board Game: Coloretto Amazonas [Average Rating:5.79 Overall Rank:7077]
Dave Kudzma
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This is a game that just seems to be too chaotic for it's own good. Many have said that it seems like the game was made for 2 players even though it says 2-4. While I cannot comment on that, I will say that I was a bit let down.

What we have is a well produced set collection game, marred with a bonus system for whomever completes the first set of each color. The trigger for the endgame seems contrived, leaving me feeling like "that's it?" every time I play it.

I wanted so badly to like this one, but I have to say that it fell flat for me. Coloretto is random enough and Amazonas goes a step too far.
 
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6. Board Game: China [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:665]
Dave Kudzma
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For a very long time I had wanted Web of Power. Even before I got Coloretto (one of the earliest games I ever bought) I had wanted Web. So after what feels like eons of waiting, China has arived.

I have to say I LOVE his game. I'm not a huge fan of the color palette chosen, but damn the gameplay is good. It's easy to teach, and moderately paced.

I like the mix of set collection with majorities. There are many different avenues to get points (very much like the diversity in Industria, but there is much more synergy). I also like the fact that there is a double sided board based on the number of players, rather than just make one board and call it a 3-5 player game; not enough games take this approach.

Our group will be playing this one for a long time to come.
 
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7. Board Game: Drive [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:3331]
Dave Kudzma
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My most recent game by Michael. Man, I gotta say, this game is fantastic.

It's a unique take on trick taking as it has several game ending conditions. Another twist is that each numerical suit represents how many of that card are in the deck. I also like the fact that when a set of greater quantity is played, the current set on the board is discarded by it's controlling player. Another nice feature is the fact that you draw 2 cards each turn, from either of the 2 draw piles or the discard piles; as long as you do not draw from the same pile twice. A fantastic 2 player game as well. It gets better every time I play.

Thus far, this game is realatively unknown. It's from SimplyFun, and since they only sell through representatives or their site, I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Superlative production values too.
 
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8. Board Game: Architekton [Average Rating:5.57 Overall Rank:11277]
Dave Kudzma
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A tile-laying game that I simply do not know enough about Reviewers like Rick Thornquist have said it's good, but I need some input; What do you think? Worth playing? or Buying?

I'm always on the lookout for a good 2 player game.
 
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9. Board Game: Rat Hot [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:2759]
Dave Kudzma
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If I were to judge it by the graphic design I would probably pass it by, but how is this one in the long-term? Does it stand up to repeated plays? or does it get shelved?

Check out the nifty mounting jobin the pic....
 
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10. Board Game: Frankenstein [Average Rating:5.78 Overall Rank:12649]
Dave Kudzma
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On the converse side, the looks of this one make me want it. It looks to be a light set collection game.

From what I have read it uses action points to maniputate an open set of tiles. It was described as almost puzzle-like. It doesn't seem to have a US release coming though...
 
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11. Board Game: Gods [Average Rating:5.84 Overall Rank:9469]
Dave Kudzma
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666 copies to be released at Essen huh? Not alot of info on this one, other than it's a reissue with good components. Seems to have alot of bits, though I may never have the chance to even try it, much less buy it.
 
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12. Board Game: Paris Paris [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:2928]
Ken
United States
Portland
Oregon
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Paris Paris. I've only played this a couple of times, and found it be a nice little game. Smooth gameplay, nice amount of luck and quick. Not very substantial - but fun for what it is.
 
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13. Board Game: Explosiv [Average Rating:5.77 Overall Rank:11961]
Keng Ho Pwee
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I happen to like this little brain-burner.
Stake your claim on suitcases stuffed with cash, but be careful they don't explode on you!
 
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14. Board Game: Mogul [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:3124]
This a great wee auction game if you're looking for a quick filler.
I like the list - last Essen I came back with more games by Michael Schacht than any other designer - this, Don, Industria, Coloretto plus expansion and Die Tasselrunde II.
 
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