New to you a year ago Feb 12 => Has it stood the test of time?
Martin G
United Kingdom
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 Feb 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 London - 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: Tammany Hall [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:667]
Martin G
United Kingdom
Bristol
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What a month this was!

I've only played Tammany Hall twice more, but both were gaming highlights of the year. In one game, one player (hi Lloyd) pulled off a double-slander on me with his last move that made a stream of filth issue from my mouth for a good five minutes. In the other, we realised just as we started the game that we had an American, a Brit, an Irishman, a German and an Italian at the table It needs players who don't bruise easily, and who are prepared to put the effort in to figure out the double majority system. But with five of those at the table, its one of the best, most brutal experiences you can have and thorougly deserves a reprint. Then 8, Now 9.

Lords of Vegas has had three more plays and it ended as one of my top 10 new-to-me games of 2011. I love the risk management, the creativity and the sometimes wild swings. It's particularly amusing when one player's attack on a second ends up giving an accidental windfall to a much weaker third. My only concern is that it often seems to run 20-30 minutes longer than it ought. Then 7, Now 8.

Witch's Brew got one more play after an incomplete first and I like it as a light role-selection alternative to Citadels. Would happily play again but not on the buy list. Then 7, Now 7.

After three plays that month, I decided The Resistance wasn't for me, mainly because I was so bad at it. But I had a 10-player game the other night and quite enjoyed it, even managing to win as a spy. Then 6, Now 6, having been down to 4 in between.

I haven't played Rage again, and can't see why I would now I have Die Sieben Siegel. But I have used the cards for the purpose I intended - playing Parade and a few other games.

I also haven't played Edel, Stein & Reich again, but have had a few plays of its predecessor, Basari, and I think I might find the original's simplicity a slight improvement.

No more plays for the rest, though I'd like to get High Frontier and Before the Wind to the table again, after somewhat bewildering first plays.

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2. Board Game: Finca [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:587]
Jason Lott
United States
Cheverly
Maryland
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Finca - Although I still think London is the better game, the reality is that Finca fits better for us because of the game length. It's gone over well in a few F2F plays, and I play it incessantly on Yucata. A great family game which gets really nasty with 2 players!

London - Still my favorite Martin Wallace game, a year later. It's a very clever card game that requires you to make tough decisions on an extremely limited budget, while you desperately try to keep down your poverty level. Great stuff.

The other two games I haven't played since. Our friends own Reef Encounter, and I'm sure we'd play it again if offered, but it's not high on my list. The same goes for Tower of Babel, which we own, but didn't really click for us the first time. With so many good games on our shelf, I question if we'll ever bring this one out again - might be time to move it to my trade list.
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3. Board Game: Paperclip Railways [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:6154]
Ben Bateson
United Kingdom
Ross-on-Wye
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A much quieter month for me. Just three new games.

I played Paperclip Railways well before its official release, thanks to being part of Tony Boydell's network of playtesters. I feel very much the same way about it now as I did then: it's a bit fiddly and prejudiced on rule-of-thumb measurements. A few more games since, including one with the 'giant Paperclip Railyways' set at the Expo, but I've not yet felt inclined to buy a copy.

Caribbean has become a bit of a hidden gem in my collection, and I've not got as many plays as I would like. A secret selection/bidding mechanic makes it a good complement to Cuba in an evening's gaming, and my goal is - at some point - to play Santiago de Cuba as well to round out the trilogy.

Wooly Bully is the game that's probably lost the most this year. It started off well and I loved the silly little theme and the hidden colour. But it became clear over time that it didn't quite work as well as intended, and we had a number of disappointing endgames where things just fizzled as the winner became apparent way too early. Shame, really.
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4. Board Game: Paths of Glory [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:127]
Judd Vance
United States
Wichita
Kansas
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Stood the test of time? Oh yeah. It's the highest rated (real) wargame for a reason.

It was a very good month:

Battle Cry: 150th Civil War Anniversary Edition - one of my top 10 games.
Ogre - one of my 3 favorite mini-games. Another classic.
Glory to Rome - my 3rd highest-rated Euro.
NCIS: The Board Game - my favorite party game.
Memoir '44: Mediterranean Theater

But a few duds to bring it down:
Yomi, Railways of Europe, & Valkenburg Castle

I usually don't play that many dogs in a month, but I also don't play a pair of top 10s in the same month.
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5. Board Game: Poseidon [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:1561]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Poseidon stood out at the time, and in fact has proven to be the only keeper from the group. I ended up playing the game 10 times last year; I doubt I'll play it so much going forward, but I'm sure I'll play it a couple of times in 2012, at a minimum, and it's currently solidly in my collection.

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6. Board Game: London [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:315]
Lo
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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London was the game of the month for my wife and I. As we played it mostly just the two of us, we had some initial frustrations with the Omnibus card. If both ended up in one city, the revenue that they could generate was a game-breaker. So we started playing the game with "Ben's rules".

Ben
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
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Ben's rule stops a player from having more than one card of the same name active (visible) on their city at any time. Using this rule, it was impossible for one player to play both Omnibus cards at the same time (not to mention a number of other cards). For two players, this rule works great and actually requires more thought about card play (for example, trying to flush duplicate cards out of the game so the other player doesn't get them).

Has London survived the test of time? Pretty much. I've played it 26 times in the past year. Not so much lately, but that's more because of the cult of the new than my interest waning for the game.

Navegador was the only other new game of February 2011 and although it got a number of plays over the Spring of 2011, they dropped off later in the year. It's good, but as I mostly play two-player games, Navegador hasn't got to the table lately. After nine plays, we're pretty much done with it as a two-player experience. If we want to play a rondel style game for two, we'll take out Glen More instead.
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7. Board Game: 1825 Unit 3 [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:3965] [Average Rating:7.57 Unranked]
Nicolai Broen Thorning
Denmark
Ebeltoft
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Our best new game a year ago were our introduction into the world of 18xx gaming. It proved to be a great success and opened the door to a new world... wait, not entirely true perhaps, but we both love the track building aspect of the game. Slowly we are learning to use the stock market as well.

In February 2011 we played both Unit 2 and Unit 3. The latter winning out at the time. It does provide a more limited field of play, whereas the first has more room for expansion.

I would say both games have stood the test of time, even if we have only played either game once since then - and in the case of Unit 3 it took us 10½ months. These are not games to be pulled out on a regular Saturday afternoon, mood and time has to be right, but when it does come out it is always a thrill.
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8. Board Game: High Frontier [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:956] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
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 six games that were new to me - plus (on a technicality) one new game expansion.

High Frontier -- (2 plays last February; 1 since) _7.7_ (no change in rating; up one place.)
(images by Taibi & DaMilli)

I'd given this the awards Most Real Science jammed into a "game" and Isn't that a game peeking out?.

I still think it's insane. And did, in fact, write code to help me navigate the map as efficiently as possible. But I've really enjoyed banging my head against the game - even though I've pretty consistently lost. To the game, I mean; I don't recall how the other players did! While it makes me doubt my sanity, I find this a very impressive bit of game design, and hope to get it back to the table this year.


Wagon Trader -- (1 play last February; 1 since) _7.7_ (no change in rating, down one place only on increase in enthusiasm for predecessor.)
(my images)

I've now played a couple of the early Wagon Trader variants: Christopher and Robert are tweaking it toward a final releasable state - and I'm looking forward to seeing the "real" version: I've found it quite amusing.


Kaigan -- (1 play last February; 1 since) _7.3_ Kaigan (no change in rating, but up one place.)
(images by Scott Tepper & cymric)

I'd given this a Most original theme award. I hadn't imagined playing a game about surveying Japan's coast prior to hearing about the game.

I still think I'd give it a higher rating if the thematic conceit worked more consistently for me. I found myself attempting (and periodically failing) to apply the language of the theme to the proceedings. Some moments I found myself saying "If I place a cube there, I'll move up on that first track" and others "A surveyor placed there might grant me more honour than elsewhere." But choosing to play a game for the novel theme and then losing the theme in the mechanics of card and cube placements is unfortunate: I suspect the fault is mine.


Porto Carthago -- (1 play last February; none since) _7.3_ (down a bit from the initial _7.7_, and down one place.)
(images by bloodeisen & toob)

I'd given this Worst Pre-play expectations for all the games I played this month: my expectations were unfortunately coloured by some reports from SPIEL 2010. (Of course, many of those early reports gushed over 7 Wonder - a game about which I'm very lukewarm.)

I think this still has the potential to rise in my estimation - but it'll need some additional play. The rules are not difficult - but there are some subtleties there that take a small while to explain (and must be explained, or the game experience suffers) - which makes it a bit harder to get to the table than many of its peers. Hoping to get in another play or two this year.


Union vs. Central -- (1 play last February; none since) _6.7_ (no change.)
(images by cleonhard & Original_CorPse)

I'd only played the "Short" scenario - and gave the game Longest "short" game I've played in a while. Despite not having played since, my opinions have changed very little: it's a long, slow, charming, elephantine game with some take-that elements. And I still don't know who might want to play it with me.


221B Baker Street: The Master Detective Game -- (1 play last February; 2 since) _5.5_ (no change.)
(images by EndersGame & belial1134)

I'd given this Least "Deduction" required in a Deduction Game - and still stand behind that assessment. Our games are far more about "how well one can roll" - and how fortunate one is to visit the real clues as opposed to the red herrings - than solving the (entirely trivial) puzzles. I'd be surprised if we played this many times this year.


Duel of Ages Set 6: Field of Honor -- (1 play last February; none since) _7_ (no change.)
(images by Firepigeon & Mulan)

The one expansion we'd used last February was a tiny add-on to a huge and sprawling game. It's a very modest change amid the chaos of the whole system. Mostly Harmless.


In the end, thanks to my youngsters; the Friday Lunch folk; the I've been diced gang; and the BAP attenders for some great games.
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9. Board Game: Tikal [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:234]
J. Jefferson
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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Wow, lots of new-to-mes a year ago. February seems to generally be a good gaming month. First up, Tikal. A year ago I said:
Quote:
What a great game. I've only gotten in one play, towards the end of this month, but I really want to get it out again. It's really everything that a good Euro should be: Relatively easy to learn and simple rules that come together in a nice-looking, lightly-themed, fairly interactive, and deeply strategic package.

I think I've played it twice since. Though it doesn't come out much, I wish it did more. I still would play it any time, it's just too long, and most of my longer gaming sessions are with just my wife, and with just two, there are other things we go to first.

Bananagrams: A year ago I said:
Quote:
After seeing this one just about everywhere for a year or so now, I finally gave it a shot with my tween-aged nieces. We played about 8 games in a row, which means it was a lot of fun. I really like word games, and this is fast and frantic, just like I like 'em. Fits right in with my love for Prolix and Scrabble SLAM!.

I don't own Bananagrams and have not played it since. But I would in a second if the right scenario came up again.

Take the Cake: A year ago I said:
Quote:
After Go Away Monster! was a huge hit with my 20-month old, I wanted to try out another game. She'll probably grow into this one, but I pushed it too soon. She can usually get the idea of matching sprinkles with cupcakes, but she gets frustrated with it after a few turns and starts throwing pieces on the floor.

A year later, this one still isn't really a a big hit with my 2.5 year old. She brings it out from time to time, but it always outlasts its welcome. It's tedious. She gets what we are supposed to do now, but gets bored with it before the game is over.

Anomia: A year ago I said:
Quote:
My wife got me this party game for my birthday. It's fun. Basic idea: Each player, by turn, draws a card and places it in front of them. Each card has a category (e.g. "vegetable" or "toothpaste brand") and a symbol. As soon as two players have cards with matching symbols in front of them, it's a race between them to name something from the category on the other player's card. Then they take that card, revealing the card under, possibly leading to another faceoff. It's frantic fun.

Since then, I've logged 27 plays (tied for most on BGG). Fantastic game. Sad that it's basically unheard of. A really great party game that works with any group. I just need them to come out with another set because I've memorized the cards which has given me an unfair advantage in my last ten plays or so.

Ratuki: A year ago I said:
Quote:
The theme this month seems to be light, fast, and fun. Ratuki fits right in. It's real time game like Scrabble SLAM, but not a word game. Instead, you lay down numbered cards in forward or backward sequential order. As soon as somebody puts down a 5 or a wild Ratuki card, they get the pile. Your score at the end of the round is your score pile cards minus the number of cards left in your draw pile. Simple, stupid, fun.

This comes out from time to time with my nieces and nephews. It's fun to play with kids and non-gamer adults. It certainly doesn't outlast its welcome at about 5 mins per game.

Haggis: A year ago I said:
Quote:
Here's another that's got some more meat to it. Haggis is an enjoyably infuriating climbing game. I've only played one game, but it was enough to make me want to bring it out again.

I really like this game. Unfortunately, my wife strongly dislikes climbing and trick-taking games. So this got traded away after a few more plays, it's just not something that works in my house.




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10. Board Game: Vineta [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:3496]
David
United States
DURHAM
North Carolina
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2 new-to-me games last here (my post for then is here), but I was not greatly taken with either.

Vineta features a simultaneous action selection mechanic. That is generally a strike against it in my book, and the very swingy +/- 7 card is another. But then it is pretty quick and light enough to play. I wouldn't turn down a game if we wanted something quick and the person offering was keen.

I haven't played it again since last February though and I won't be seeking it out either. Rating: 5

The other was Five Crowns, which is an incremental rummy game, with a different wild card in each round. Many rounds were quite short and someone cashed in their hand on the first round, but still it seemed to drag itself to the finish.

Once again I haven't played it since, and I rather hope that remains the case for the foreseeable as well. Hmm according to my files, I rate this a 5 also. Reflection without playing it would lower that.

One thing I didn't really note last year was my first play of the venerable Tom Wham classic Kings & Things with the new rules for a more concise game. Back in the day, this was a 4 hour game and we had a lot of fun with it. Now it is a 90 minute game and I still had fun, but it seemed that the abbreviation cut things off a little too soon. I haven't got it back to the table (though I did suggest it a couple of times) and that feeling may be contributing (along with the many other games clamoring for attention) but still I'd not be averse to trying it again and being a bit more proactive, as I think we just resource raced in the first game, making it a bit more multi-player solitaire than intended. This needs to be a game where you get it the other players' face and disrupt their economy. I'm rating it a 7 right now. It has the potential to go up if a repeat play can feed into the nostalgia a bit.
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11. Board Game: Dixit [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:235] [Average Rating:7.28 Unranked]
Netherlands
Enschede
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Item for Geeklist "New to you Feb 11 => Best new game you played this month and why"

Last year I picked Null & Nichtig as the best new game of the month, we even bought our own copy... Unfortunately after a few more plays, we found that everyone went for the same strategy (because that was the winning one), which made it rather boring. So I wouldn't pick this one as the best game now.

Looking at the other games, Total Rumble, Atta Ants, Lino, and Runebound: Mists of Zanaga didn't get played again, and they didn't really leave much of an impression either. Trans Europa is an ok game (we own TransAmerica and like to play that), but wasn't different enough from the America version to stand out much.

Dixit is the game that surprised me. I didn't really like it very much the first time, but after trying a few more times with more players, it grew on me. It's now a game I'll gladly join if someone else suggests it, and in some situations I'd suggest it myself (depending on the group of people playing).
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12. Board Game: Stone Age [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:91] [Average Rating:7.59 Unranked]
Peter Brahan
United States
North Sutton
New Hampshire
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I picked up Stone Age with some money given to me for Christmas after a lot of research. Wow, what a great game. It remains one of our favorites. I've played it only two player so far, and am anxious to try to get it in front of my newly formed gaming group. What's so great about it?

Multiple paths to victory: There are several ways to win, and each time I play I find myself trying something a little different than before. This is made possible by the unique way that cards come up during the game, which leads me to my second point:
High replayability: The civilization and hut cards are shuffled each game, and they come up in different order (if at all) during the game, making each game different.
Attractive artwork and components: The bits and components are great, and the artwork is very well done. I mean, it has meeples. C'mon!
Luck that can be "influenced": With the tools and workforce (which can be added to), you can add points to the die roll or dice to help guard against poor rolling. Another thing that's nice, is that you roll the dice so much that it all averages out quite nicely if you do get a bad roll.
Relatively quick playtime: My wife and I can finish this (2 player) in about 1 hr 15 min.

I may upset a few people here, but we like it better than Agricola for scratching the worker placement itch.

We've played it 14 times in the last year and it still will make it to the table once / month.

I'm eyeing a few other worker placement games right now (like Belfort, Helvetia and Village, but for now, this is one of the best.
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13. Board Game: Innovation [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:304]
Mark Saya
United States
Los Angeles
California
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Last February saw my first three plays of Innovation. Skeptical at first, the game grew on me little by little and I've played it 16 more times since. Eventually we added the Echoes of the Past expansion, so yes, this turned out to be one of the year's big hits for us (all two-player games). Then 5, now 8 leaning toward 9.

The only other new-to-me game I played in Feb.'12 was Parade, a unusual little, slightly mind-bendy card game that we've played six times (mostly with three) and is definitely a keeper. Then and now 7.


edit: added ratings
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14. Board Game: Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:68] [Average Rating:7.79 Unranked]
Steve Duff
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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In order of the original entry

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases
Plays since: 0

Just hasn't hit the table lately, no change in desire.


Aladdin's Dragons
Plays since: 0

Same thing, too many choices.


Alien Frontiers
Plays since: 3

Blech. The big mover in the group, but in the wrong direction. Went from a tentative 7 rating down to an actual 3. Each successive play got worse and worse, as the AP, game length, bash the leader, kingmaking and meta-gaming grew and grew. Give me a game with a fixed length each time.


Mystery Express
Plays since: 0

Played as a test, to see if it was worth buying. Not a bad game, but didn't hit purchase level for me.


Cargo Noir
Plays since: 1

Game was much better when played by the correct rules. Amazing, that. Better game than the common perception here, I think.


Hamburgum: Antverpia
Plays since: 0

Sold it after my first play since it was not a good experience. Base game good, expansion bad.
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15. Board Game: Magnate [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:3972]
2019 BGG CCE open!
United States
Wurtsboro
NY
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My favorite game a year ago was Magnate, and it is still going strong. We've played 7 times this week, as a matter of fact, bringing our total plays to date to 64!

My least favorite game was Dominion: Prosperity, which was sold in an auction not long after.

http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/63956/item/1598372#item159...
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16. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:152] [Average Rating:7.44 Unranked]
Andrew
Japan
Tokyo
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Games one year ago were a mostly abstracts that didn't get much repeat play.

Favourite Now
I've always been so-so on Ticket to Ride, but recently acquired the iPhone game and have been playing it a lot. Predictably, I enjoy the low downtime and bookkeeping of the AI implementation, and have been slowly improving my skills (supposedly the game has a decent amount of depth despite being a gateway). The increasing familiarity of the game has been rehabilitating my opinion of it, and I hope that I'll have gotten the hang of the spatial/route-building element (my least liked aspect) the next time I play the game face-to-face.

Indifferent Now
Shogi is a good game, but I've had little motivation to play it.

Unplayed Indifferent
The other abstracts Xiangqi and GIPF, and the not-so-abstracts Poker and Sushizock im Gockelwok didn't get a second run.
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17. Board Game: BITS [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:4190]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Here is my original entry to the geeklist: Item for Geeklist "New to you Feb 11 => Best new game you played this month and why"

BITS (Played 17 times since February 2011) - Not only has this one stood the test of time, I actually learned to like it more since those first 2 plays in February 2011. I now rate it a 10 and like it even more than FITS. There are some really interesting decisions in each game and we always play with the "expert" 4th round. It's even sitting in my Top 10 right now. Too bad it hasn't gained popularity like its predecessor.


R-Eco (Played 2 times since February 2011) - On the opposite end of the spectrum is R-Eco. I thought it was a somewhat interesting game the first time I played. Then I played it a couple more times and was frustrated with how boring the game turned out to be. The scores always seemed to come out the same, and the gameplay is ridiculously repetitive. I want to like the game, but I just don't feel it. As a result I've since traded the game away.



Not played since February 2011, but want to play again






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









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18. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:48]
Brian Drabek
United States
Tulsa
Oklahoma
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7 Wonders was by far my best purchase from last Feb. I gave it a 9 rating then and that still stays after 70 plays this last year. Doesn't get played as much anymore but is still a wonderful game and I'd love to get it to the table soon.

Conquest of Planet Earth: The Space Alien Game I initially rated an 8 and would probably keep that rating now. Played 15 times this last year and still love the cheesiness.

Reiner Knizia's FITS only got 3 plays before it was auctioned off. Hated the almost non-existent player interaction.

LNL: A Day of Heroes only got 3 plays before it too was auctioned off. I rated it a little too early as an 8 but the rulebook alone and lack of available players (at least face to face) sent this one away.

Lastly, and probably the worst purchase of last Feb. was Samarkand: Routes to Riches. This game had a lot of hype early that year so I jumped on it when I could. Took it to school to play with the kiddos in my after school game group and it flopped horribly. We all agreed that it was a VERY boring game and that we didn't want to ever play it again. I rated it a 3 and sent it off in the next auction.
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19. Board Game: Parade [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:728]
Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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That was then

Quote:
Three new-to-me games this month

Parade


This quick little card is a lot of fun and involves some interesting decision making. It's cheap, easy to carry and plays quickly but has enough depth to keep me interested.

I'm not a massive fan of the Alice in Wonderland art, but it really neither adds nor detracts from the game.

Well worth considering as a game to play over lunchtime.

It takes up to six players so also has a lot of versatility.

7 Wonders


This one is getting a lot of favourable attention lately and with good reason. It plays well and has a lot going for it. One of the more enjoyable card drafting games I have played.

I like the components and the theme and the ability to play on the "B side" of the wonders really adds even more to it.

Another great option is that it plays seven people so it's possible to enjoy a group game with a bit more depth than Incan Gold or Saboteur.

Well worth playing if you get a chance.

Fresco


Another winner. The pieces are great for this and the worker placement is all quite fun and really works well with the theme.

A lot of the enjoyment seems to be in deciding when one will get up and either sufffering from an early start or laughing while enjoying life as a slugabed!

Well worth a try of you enjoy worker placement.

This is now

Parade still gets a run when I see the friend who owns it. One of these days I'd like to play it with more than two players. Even though I have not warmed to the art, I would consider purchase if the price was right.

7 Wonders is a game that lots of my regular game circle play and enjoy. I'm always happy to join in for a game and have since played with the 7 Wonders: Leaders expansion which adds a bit more depth to the game at no real increase in complexity.

I played this most recently in Shanghai and enjoyed the couple of games I had there. One of these days I'll purchase a set of 7 Wonders for myself, but as this is a common item in most game collections it's not a priority.

I have not had to opportunity to play Fresco since this time last year. I'd still play if given the chance, but opportunities have been scare on the ground. Would purchase if on sale.
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20. Board Game: Innovation [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:304]
Jeff Wolfe
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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Item for Geeklist "New to you Feb 11 => Best new game you played this month and why"

I've played this one more time in the last year, and that was with the expansion. The complexity of the expansion totally turned me off. I don't have the base game down yet and the expansion made it 10 times worse. Maybe that's not a fair comparison, but I'd have to say that this did not stand the test of time.
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21. Board Game: Tammany Hall [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:667]
Lloyd
United Kingdom
Camden
London
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February was still early in my voyage through the boardgaming world and consequently I had a lot of new to me titles...

The Great

Tammany Hall as Martin mentioned above is vicious, clever and one of the better games I've ever played. It would appear it has now been a year that I've been trying to track down a copy of it...

I've only played it one since (despite knowing 2 people who have a copy) but it remains a solid 8.2. This will probably rise with additional plays.

At the other end of the complexity spectrum, we have Animal Upon Animal which I played 8 times in one sitting whilst waiting for another friend to finish a game. It was close to the most I've ever laughed during a game and I bought a copy almost straight away. Has it stood the test of time? I've played it 56 times and rate it a 7.9.

Shogun first made it to the table in February as well where I scraped out a last turn, one point victory over three experienced players (I wasn't invited back). I've only managed to play it 5 times in total, but it's a great game with a great mechanic to try and balance out luck of die rolls. I rate it an 8.2.

I picked up A Castle for All Seasons in February and it quickly established itself as my favourite game. Zero luck, role selection, an aspect of worker placement, resource collection and tough choices about whether to score now, or take money to potentially score more later... this game did everything I wanted a Euro to do, in less than an hour. It remains my favourite game (and my highest rated), rated 9.1.

Dungeon Lords has become my go-to WP game. 8.5.

The Good

Stronghold is a beautiful, thematic beast of a game. And while the rulebook is horrific (even the second edition), I've now learnt how to teach the game in a fairly short space of time. The only things that prevents it from being great is that I'm terrible at invading and don't play it enough to really learn from my mistakes, so the game is fairly unbalance (because of my failings, not the game's). 8.2.

Bunny Bunny Moose Moose is a lot of fun, just no-one else I game with seems to think so. It's a tough niche that it finds itself in being a party game that only gamers can play. Real time pattern recognition and a small amount on manual dexterity means that most people are bad (really bad) at one of the two aspects of the game and so it falls down for them. For me, it is a wonderful romp through the mind of a madman. Alas, it sees very little table time. 7.

I always seem to think I'm going to have more fun playing Space Alert than I actually end up having. Either the group is too good (and so we pass easily) or the group is new and so after 30 minutes of explanation they look thoroughly baffled or even worse, you get an odd mix of abilities and half the ship runs smoothly while the newbies run into walls killing everyone. I still find this hilarious, but no-one else does. Are all my gaming buddies dead on the inside??

Age of Empires III as it was known in my day is a great area control/worker placement game that one of my friends broke by developing a money heavy strategy that no-one could over come. As a consequence we all burnt out on it a little and it hasn't hit the table much recently. 8.6 then, now down to a 7.5.

7 Wonders quickly became a game that was always played at our meetups and I logged a lot of plays quickly without really caring for the game. I even bought it as it became one of my partner's favourites. Thankfully, Leaders arrived later in the year and made this a much, much more enjoyable experience. 7.4.

Others

Condottiere - needs more love.
For Sale - one of the greatest fillers ever. 7.6.
Metropolys is a decent, if not great bidding, area enclosure game.

The Mediocre

Colosseum does some interesting things, but if you find someone else has taken the same (or similar) path you'll be fighting over stuff that no-one else wants and the game makes it too hard to switch paths so you're both doomed. DOOMED! 6.8.

Felicity: The Cat in the Sack

The Bad

I initially loved Tichu and played it frequently, downloaded the iPhone app and was constantly playing the AI at work, on the train, whilst walking between the two... and then I burnt out on it in a big way. Whilst mildly interesting, it really doesn't do anything exceptionally and I now rate it 6.5 down from the high sevens originally.

A Brief History of the World is still not brief and feels like, if it had come out 20 years ago, I'd have enjoyed it more. As it is, it feels badly dated. 4.8.

I was tricked in to playing Canal Mania when I said I was happy to play anything that isn't a train game... It's a train game with a canal theme. cry I'm sure it's actually a decent game, but just not my idea of a good time. 5.4.

Dominant Species - Beautifully designed and I can see thematic touches throughout the game. However, it is just too chaotic, the final migration takes too long and makes any pre-planning completely pointless and I'm not sure that Mammals aren't completely overpowered. A couple of bad experiences with this and it has fallen from the high sevens, down to a 3 (recorded just after a horrific play where I was all but wiped out in the first few turns) and rebounded to a 4.5 once I'd calmed down a little.

Pirate Fluxx should really be in the category below, but only one game was so terrible that it deserves an entire category to itself. Anyway, Fluxx is the ungame. 3.

Yomi made very little impression on my in the small amount of time that I played it. 6.

The Unspeakably Horrible

Back to the Future: The Card Game - Just the less said about it the better. 3.5.



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22. Board Game: Pyramid of Pengqueen [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:1455]
Jerry Wilkinson
United States
New Castle
Indiana
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Item for Geeklist "New to you Feb 11 => Best new game you played this month and why"

I had 10 new to me games that month, and I have played this one 5 times since then. I also played Railways of the World 5 times since.

The other three games that have seen more play time are Frag (2 plays), Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries (1 play), and Ugg-Tect (1 play).

The other 5 games that I did not play again are Tomb: Cryptmaster, Zombie in my Pocket, Imperial, Pow Wow, and Mississippi Queen.
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23. Board Game: Automobile [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:384]
G. Gambill
United States
Shawnee on Delaware
Pennsylvania
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Item for Geeklist "New to you Feb 11 => Best new game you played this month and why"

This was my choice, and I must say, it is still a game that I really enjoy. It has not been played as much as I would like since I am a member of the cult of the new (trying to change that, but it's just so dang hard. Look! Today Thor has Last Will in stock! I should get that.....it'll be hard to find......definitely should get it now, definitely......I'm an excellent driver......)

Anyway, I digress.....

I still find this one very enjoyable. The game is always tense and challenging. There is never enough time to do what you want to do, and the competition for demand can be brutal. The game plays very smoothly, and I find it to be a clean design that simulates the fickleness of the market very well with the partially hidden information about demand each round. This one will be staying in my collection.
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24. Board Game: London [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:315]
Bryan Maxwell
United States
Burtchville
Michigan
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Last February had a pretty good variety in games: things I loved, things I hated and things in between. Here's how it ended up:

London: 10 plays last February, 18 plays since. My wife and I love London, it's one of our comfort games. It's earned a place in my top 10. We play with two variants:

- a player cannot have multiple Omnibus cards.
- players start with 15 poverty rather than 5.

I love you, London.

Seeland: 5 plays last February, 2 plays since. These were all 2 player games with my wife using the advanced tactical rules. I really enjoy Seeland. My wife does not.

Hive: The Ladybug: 4 plays last February, 6 plays since.
The ladybug piece feels at home and fits right in with Hive, though we're on a bit of a sabbatical from the game at the moment.

Container: The Second Shipment: 3 plays in February, 0 plays since. My 3 plays of Container in the past year have all involved new players, and that's the only reason not to play with the Financier module in this expansion. I find the Gold luxury containers interesting as well. Man I wish I got to play Container more.

Agricola Gamer's Deck: 1 play last February, 2 plays since. The G-deck fits in fine as another option to use in Agricola. It's not especially unique or memorable, and I don't necessarily mean that as a slight against it. We tend to rotate between different decks a lot, and I'm glad to have the G-deck in the rotation.

Maria: 1 play last February, 1 play since.
Maria is a tough sell for me. I'm not a wargamer, and I rarely have the time and right number/mix of opponents to sit down to a 3-5 hour wargame. Still, I can see the beauty of this game and I wish I got to play it regularly enough that I didn't have to wrestle with the rules every time.

Innovation: Echoes of the Past: 4 plays last February, 47 plays since. It took me some time to warm up to the expansion, but I did. I'm still not wild about the foreshadowing mechanic, but the variety in cards is very welcome. We ignore the suggestion in the rules and just shuffle up each age, dealing out 9 cards and ignoring the base/expansion count. We are nothing if not rebellious.

Factory Fun: 3 plays last February, 1 play since. This game hasn't seen the table much, but it was well-received when it was played. I am quite bad at the game and seem to have a mental block of some sort for it. Still, Factory Fun is unique - nothing else in my collection plays or feels like it, so it stays. I'd like to try the bidding variant next time.

The following games have not been played since last February:

Luna - seemed like a middling game. My first impression was neither good nor bad.
NMBRS - Nice card game, too light for us. Might be good for muggles.
Glen More - I hated this. I'm not sure why I had such an averse reaction to it. Nothing it did made me feel invested in the outcome. Nothing made me care.
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25. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:337] [Average Rating:7.18 Unranked]
Alec
United States
Houston
Texas
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For Valentine's Day last year, my girlfriend bought me a copy of "some Settler game" that I had mentioned a friend said was good. It was my first gateway game.

A year later, about $1000 spent, and I've got 30 other games in the collection.

Settlers doesn't hit the table often, but it definitely is the first thing that comes out whenever we are having first-timers over. This is still the game that really gets people hooked and makes them excited to try games that are MY favorites.

It's been a calendar year this week since I got into the hobby. Couldn't be happier.

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