Games that have strong, deep, winning "flavor".
Rich Heimlich
United States
Sewell
New Jersey
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I've come to realize that most of my favorite games are games that immerse me in their world. Players like me enjoy the "flavor" that these games offer up even when it's apparent that the game itself isn't one that would impress a serious, finicky strategy gamer.

This isn't the same things as games that offer up a strong theme. I've played several games that have exceptional theming and yet still bore the hell out of me.

I offer up the following list of games in hopes of exposing others that share in conveying the same depth of flavor as those listed below.
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1. Board Game: The Princes of Florence [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:125]
Rich Heimlich
United States
Sewell
New Jersey
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Princes of Florence was the first game I played that alerted me to the concept of flavor. It's a strong game in its own right but the approach, design and elements all draw you into the game. I still feel like I'm not just part of a mechanic. I'm out there, building up my palazzo.
 
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2. Board Game: Shadows Over Camelot [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:330]
Rich Heimlich
United States
Sewell
New Jersey
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Flavor just doesn't come much better than this. At its heart the game play is nothing special. It's the flavor that makes it a winner. I'm working towards a common goal with the other knights of the Round Table. The seige engines are drawing near. Camelot is in danger and one of us is suspect!
 
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3. Board Game: Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:819]
Rich Heimlich
United States
Sewell
New Jersey
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Jack the Ripper exudes flavor. How else can a variant of Rummy be so popular? It just begs you to role play every time a victim is "discovered" or to ridicule the other "detective" when they discard a needed "evidence" card. The dark cards, artwork and eerie card text all put you in the game.
 
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4. Board Game: Ra [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:136]
Rich Heimlich
United States
Sewell
New Jersey
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Ra is a textbook example of how flavor is distinctly different from theming. The theme in Ra is about as pasted on as themes can be but it's the flavor of the game that works for many of us. The heavy wooden Ra piece that just feels good to slam down. The great sun pieces, the classic tile pieces, board artwork and the rest. It all just works.
 
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5. Board Game: Battle Cry [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:649]
Rich Heimlich
United States
Sewell
New Jersey
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There's a VERY thin line between a hex game that has flavor and one that is purely a wargame that turns off players like me and Battle Cry walks that line better than any other game I know of. The pieces are excellent. The board design and landscape tiles just work. The play is light but yet the overall flavor draws me in. I'm there, in the woods, with my infantry regiment, just waiting for the moment to blow the Rebs back to hell as soon as they come into view.
 
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6. Board Game: Ivanhoe [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:1738]
Rich Heimlich
United States
Sewell
New Jersey
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Serious games often find little to like with Ivanhoe. Flavor fans love it. Yes it's chaotic but so is life. Hand-to-hand combat feels like combat and you're worn out after a long battle. You can hear the clanging of metal upon metal and the disgrace of failing to defend the honor of a maiden.
 
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7. Board Game: En Garde [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:1967]
Rich Heimlich
United States
Sewell
New Jersey
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En Garde is a basic, simple, card-counting affair of the dullest order. Yet it's a masterpiece of flavor! I can see every attack, every parry, every misstep. I can feel the point of the sword make contact. Any game as seeminly basic as En Garde that can convey such a wonderfully full experience deserves special attention.
 
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8. Board Game: Lifeboats [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:1274]
Rich Heimlich
United States
Sewell
New Jersey
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It's a voting game and there's not much to it at all and yet "The Lifeboat Game" never fails to put you out there, in the water, protecting yourself at every turn. You'll do anything to survive. The flavor of this game is a spice drawn right out of the hottest peppers available. Screw me and I'm going to look to toss your men to the sharks without mercy. I've yet to play this game and not hear phrases shouted out like , "glug, glug, glug", "save me, save me" or "you bastards!"
 
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9. Board Game: Caesar: Epic Battle of Alesia [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:2192]
Eric Johnson
United States
Rohnert Park
California
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Caesar at Alesia simulates an epic battle in 52 BC where Julius Caesar surrounded the battered forces of the Gauls led by Vercingetorix. Knowing the Gauls had a relief force coming (of over 250,000 men), Caesar built an defensive perimeter facing outward to match his perimeter facing inward to beseige Vercingetorix. This game really gives the flavor of ancient Rome. As Caesar, you can actually hear the berserk cries of the Gaulic hordes as they assault your fortifications.
 
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10. Board Game: Die Macher [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:197]
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11. Board Game: Junta [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:994]
Philip Thomas
United Kingdom
London
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Immersion here is being part of a mafia family competing for money and power. Negotiating is even more fun in character!

The flavour factor here is why I rate it highly despite the dice and the luck of the draw. Also its long, but satisfying.
 
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