By the Power of Geekskull!
Sifu
United States
Beaverton
Oregon
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
Recommend
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
I greatly value the skulls (or rather, skull contents) of fellow BGGers, especially my GeekBuddies. Many members of this elite Geek subset make recommendations in their personal comments on various games, along with comparisons both invidious and flattering. One method of learning about new games which I enjoy is following these "recommendation trails" - just to see where they take me. Now, I only really have two criteria for selecting buddies: 1) they must have rated at least around 100 games, and 2) they must (for the most part) explain their thoughts about each game in the personal comments section. So there is no guarantee that my GeekBuddies will agree about games, or even that I will share their tastes.

So I present to you the results of asking my GeekBuddies whether to acquire three different games: Carcassonne, Civilization, and Wallenstein. Let's see what they recommend! (I'll be using their user names only for simplicity, even though I might affectionately think of them by other names or by their avatars.)
Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
  • [+] Dice rolls
1. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:141] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Sifu
United States
Beaverton
Oregon
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
Carcassonne...in Carcassonne! Well, GeekBuddies, should a person get this game?

Here's a sample of the response:

***Insertcleverthing***: "As a stand alone base game, I think Carcassone is very solid. However, once you throw in a few expansions, the game goes to a whole new level and easily becomes a '10' in my book. The best part is you can add certain combos to flavor the experience to whatever fits your mood (confrontational, big group, two-player). I love my toolkit games and it's hard to hide."

***dougadamsau***: "Very clean and elegant tile laying game from Hans im Glueck. The city of Carcassone is constructed by simply drawing a tile and positioning it on the ever increasing game "board". Players score points by playing their coloured pieces onto the played tile as a knight (in cities), farmers (on the green stuff), robbers (on roads) and clergyman (on monasteries). Points are maximised by enlarging the sphere of your piece. Timing is everything, as you only get your pieces back when you complete a sphere. Excellent game."

They don't all love Carc, however: under his entry for Metro, ***cornjob*** writes: "This is a great, simple little tile-laying game from Dirk Henn. Its very straightforward, but I far prefer it to something like Carcassonne. Another aspect I like about Metro is that it really lends itself to cut-throat play, and plays quickly and fluidly."

So let's check out....
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
2. Board Game: Metro [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:1500]
Sifu
United States
Beaverton
Oregon
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
Metro, previously known as Iron Horse. This one gets a mixed reception from my GeekBuddies.

***dietevil***: "I want to try using this as an intro-to-spielen game, the rules are simpler than Carcassonne and it plays quickly. The mechanics are simple and elegant, though staring at the board might induce migraines after awhile!"

Ouch, migraines?!? Not everyone sees the positive aspects of Metro, however.

***Glamorous Mucus***: "Yuck, yuck, yuck. It's a headache waiting to happen, with further frustration induced by players' inability to set up good plays for themselves. Metro involves little more than tedious visual route-tracing and finding ways to puss your opponents' lines, since that's usually the best thing you can hope to accomplish. Not worth the effort."

The Glam Phlegm notes in his comments about Ta Yu that: "This is the game I had always hoped Metro/Iron Horse would be, but was not. It's nothing deep or profound - the random draws and the simple choices keep it on the easygoing, tactical level. But the simplicity is part of the attraction, along with the spectacular thick clacking tiles and the beauty of the board and the totally false feeling that I'm playing some kind of ancient Chinese game. It's a calm, soothing game. But the fact that your opponent is always trying to stuff you keeps the game from being *too* calm and soothing."

Mmmmm, calm, soothing, Chinese-in-appearance-but-not-in-reality, always trying to "stuff" you, nothing profound....take out the "nothing profound" and "calm" parts and it sounds a lot like my wife!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
3. Board Game: Ta Yü [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:1328]
Sifu
United States
Beaverton
Oregon
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
Right, it sounds Chinese, but not like anything I gleaned in studying Mandarin under my comradely PRC grad student instructor lo those many years ago (Yes, Ma'am! I, mean, tovarich...comrade...tongzhi!!!! - I think that's the right word.) So here's what they think about it.

***cktjharris***: "This is a beautiful game, both aesthetically and in design. The rules are short and simple, and the gameplay offers interesting decisions to make. Once you start to become familiar with what types of tiles there are, it gets even more interesting. Then you plan ahead more, to create potential openings for yourself or cut off space for your opponent, and you understand whether to pull a 2 or 3 sided tile if you have the choice. During your opponent's turn, you can practice in your head by thinking about where you would lay the tile if it were your turn. My only problem playing this is trying not to knock over the stack of tiles, so we build the stack inside the box lid for support."

***chaddyboy_2000***: "Great two player game. Very elegant design helps the relaxed feel of this one. Great for when you just want to lounge around and play something that doesn't make you think all that hard."

Sounds good so far! But....

***CortexBomb***: "Inoffensive but also undistinguished connection game that reminds me of several other games such as Linie 1 and Metro. Like those titles the game is based on finding the best possible thing to do with a tile that you drew on that particular turn. Luck of the draw is largely going to dictate the late game, and although it doesn't really bother me in the sense of "oh, I hate not having that tile now", it does make the game pretty light with no real opportunity for looking ahead. The 2 player game seemed to at least feature some nasty hosage, which makes it an average title, but there was nothing here that was particularly special, or unique."

And moving on down....

***cfarrell***: "Didn't work for me, too much work for too little interest and no real control. Sort of in the same genre as Carcassone for me - draw the tiles you need and you'll do quite well. Four player game is a bust."

Guess what he rates a tad higher? It's...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
4. Board Game: Carcassonne: The River [Average Rating:6.98 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.98 Unranked]
Sifu
United States
Beaverton
Oregon
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
Carcassonne! Yes! We're back (with milk and cookies this time). A verdict?

***dietevil***: "I almost never give full 10's but this one deserves it. It's a perfect bridge game for non-gamers, can be played quickly (or not), can be highly strategic (head-to-head version) or very light (combine two Carcassone's and two expansions and 10 people). Plus the production values are excellent. No complaints at all."

***PopeBrain***: "(10+ plays) I really enjoyed this one. I have five expansions, and think that they are all worth the money. Inns and Cathedrals is best. Finally played a few 4 player games, now. Great for a lite multiplayer game, and everyone seems to like the "shape puzzle" of placing the tiles. In fact, because Carcassonne: The Castle is so cool, I probably won't play this one much with two players. This game has clearly relegated Endecker to the "never to be played again" bin."

***EYE of the NiGHT***: "It's ok, good enough, but doesn't set my world on fire. Played again after a year, still fun but not brilliant. Very quick though, must play it more often, with the variants. *** Playing this a lot more at Beyond Monopoly! with new people. It works well as a new entry game and I've marked it. I think drawing monasteries at the right time really helps, but I'm liking the game much more these days."

***dr glaze et al***: "It took me years to finally play this one. Not very enamored of this game, farmer scoring is wonky. Luck beats strategy every time. I sightly prefer H&G over the original, though both are pretty wretched."

Excellent...no complaint...enjoyable... not setting world on fire...wretched. Well, the power of these Geek Skulls has failed to deliver anything definitive regarding Carc. How about?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
5. Board Game: Civilization [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:231] [Average Rating:7.51 Unranked]
Sifu
United States
Beaverton
Oregon
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
Civilization! Everyone's trying to create the "next Civilization", right? So surely the original is universally loved, with only a few minor detractors.

***cfarrell***: "Recent plays have kicked the rating for this one back up. This is a really cool game. Too interesting and subtle to be well-served by a brief comment here. Civilization is a great game because, like so many other great games, it manages to find a sweet spot, achieving considerable depth while playing cleanly and intuitively without a great deal of complexity, having nice historical flavor while maintaining integrity as a game, and requiring skill to play well and yet having enough randomness to be flavorful, fun, and allow nominally "less-skilled" players to be competitive. My recommendation is to play this with 5 players. 7 players makes the game too long, I think, some of the trading balances are out of whack. 6 is very good, but 5 makes the game short enough (5-6 hours) to be playable without extreme dislocation."

But, wait!

***BradyLS***: "Invloving and rewarding game of competing empires. Players attempt to progress their state through stages of development with the goal of creating the highest civilization first. Superceded by the longer and more complex Advanced Civilization title. Games like Vinci and Mare Nostrum admirably distilled aspects of this game into shorter and easier-to-play treatments of the theme."

So, maybe the admirable distillation of...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
6. Board Game: Mare Nostrum [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:1114]
Sifu
United States
Beaverton
Oregon
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
Mare Nostrum bears investigation? It even says in the game description that "Mare Nostrum is a more simple, more dynamic, faster and less repetitive Civilization." Hoorah!

***tcomfort***: "I was pleasantly surprised with this game, especially after reading how a lot of people were so disappointed with it. Perhaps never having played Civilization helped me in this regard. Mare Nostrum has a nice, quick buildup phase when resources start to run out, namely Caravans and Cities. Then, it's more about military might. diplomacy, and alliances. The whole time, you are trying to complete sets of resources while simultaneously denying them to opponents. Each power can have a distinct and flavorful advantage given by its hometown hero. Excellent game."

Well, he even admits no exposure to Civ, so what does he know?

***BradyLS***: "I was pleasantly surprised with this game, especially after reading how a lot of people were so disappointed with it. Perhaps never having played Civilization helped me in this regard. Mare Nostrum has a nice, quick buildup phase when resources start to run out, namely Caravans and Cities. Then, it's more about military might. diplomacy, and alliances. The whole time, you are trying to complete sets of resources while simultaneously denying them to opponents. Each power can have a distinct and flavorful advantage given by its hometown hero. Excellent game."

Wait. We already know Brady likes it. Under the comments for Antike, ***Eggo*** writes: "A better working game than "Mare Nostrum", but for the price of (even) less historical flair, this is an abstract game of action-resource management that plays astonishingly quick through the use of the ingenious action wheel, which really works well here. This might be a series of battles or a peaceful empire building game, depending on your group's predominant style, but the main reason why this doesn't get a 9 or 10 is the rather dry handling of scientific advances and historical elements. Game material is of high quality and quite abundant, the rules are clear and include tactical tips, but miss out on some key points which most players will grasp intuitively anyway."

Which takes us to...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
7. Board Game: Antike [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:593]
Sifu
United States
Beaverton
Oregon
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
Antike, which even though a GeekBuddy thinks it "works" better than Mare Nostrum, admits that is suffers from dryness.

Boy, that playing board sure looks like Civ. Is it Civ reborn, newer, better?

***dr glaze et al***: "This is pretty much the holy grail civilation game everyone's been looking for. Fast, elegent, multiple paths to victory, knowledge advances, it all here. You are all racing to collect three commodoties to build troops, tech, and temples. Gain VP's for tech, razing enemy temples, land control, sea control, and building temples. Pretty straightforward good stuff here. Note no hidden info, so the late-game war can bog down with negotiators. Game comes with two maps and lots of wood in the box. Another great fresh game of Eggertspiele."

Unfortunately, most of my GeekBuddies are not so enamored of Antike.

***dcjackso***: "(one play) Unsatisfying and long (3+ hours after rules explanation). I think this was because of the group (very defensive and non-confrontational). I'd like to try again with a different group mindset. Felt like "Mare Nostrum Lite"."

Hmmm....willing to give it another go.

***cfarrell***: "We played 3 players. With 3, this game is clearly broken; the victory conditions are going to take hours and hours and hours to reach. It may be less dysfunctional at other numbers, but overall, nothing in there made me feel like this warrented another play."

Clearly broken. Ouch, a gamer's mightiest criticism.

***Cavedog_pdx***: "Played with four players, and this game is a good attempt at a light civilization empire building game. Unfortunately, the endgame kills it. While you are growing and trying to secure your resources and race for points the game is quite exciting and would probably rate a 7 or maybe even an 8 for me. But once players get the Democracy technology and all the victory conditions dry up except for sacking temples the game turns into trench warfare. The fun disappears as the players exhaust themselves in a murderous battle of attrition similar to what the French and Germans must have enjoyed at Verdun until finally someone sacks the final temple to get that last needed victory point to win. So the endgame gets probably a 3 so the average of 7 and 3 = 5. And at $60 you really ought to buy Civilization which is an all time classic, or get Mare Nostrum (which isn't perfect but actually is a better game) for around $30 and use the rest of the money you saved to get something else fun as well."

Mare Nostrum is better, but really, for the best go with...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
8. Board Game: Civilization Western Extension Map [Average Rating:7.82 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.82 Unranked]
Sifu
United States
Beaverton
Oregon
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
Civilization! Great. Just great.

Final take on Civ:

***Cavedog_pdx***: "My favorite game since I was 14. I really like Advanced Civilization as well, but this one started it all for me! Original Civilization is much better than Advanced if you have 2-4 players, equal with 5, but Advanced Civ is preferable for 6 or more players. Advanced Civilization is also easier for a first or second time player in my opinion than the original. Still, this is the pinnacle empire building game! Alea #21 variant is unfinished as it is and needs work for it to become usable."

***PopeBrain***: "A classic. This is a great game, but needs Advanced Civilization to be complete."

Alright, that was fun, and no, we aren't going to examine Advanced Civ, because cfarrell will just knock us right back to Civ.

So I've tried to get a clean read on a family Euro (Carc) and an old-school American game (Civ). Let's try something in between, a meatier Euro strategy game, like....
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
9. Board Game: Wallenstein (first edition) [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:364]
Sifu
United States
Beaverton
Oregon
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
Wallenstein. This has been a top 10 game on the Geek for years.

***dougadamsau***: "Intriguing conflict game. Players play warlords during the thiry years war, and are out to gain victory points by conquering countries and building majorities in buildings. The core mechanic of playing your country cards against a set order of 10 event phases works really well. Planning is crucial and there is so much information to juggle, you can probably count on one or two blunders over the course of the game. Conflict is fiddly, via the wooden cube tower, but fun! Probably a solid 90 minute game once everyone's played it once, count on two hours first time out. Good stuff."

Fiddle-tastic fun goodness. Sign me up. But...

***CortexBomb***: "Interesting hybrid between American and German games...the planning and move management is pure German, while the combat, and random elements are very American. Overall the game works very well, and the tower combat system is great, quick, and no more or less random than dice on average. I actually hesitate in calling this a war game in that combats are occasional, each player will participate in only a couple of major combats per game on average, the heart of it is actually in managing resources and timing moves. Still, this game has faded a lot with time for me...I can now see the critiques that there appears to be more going on in this game than there actually is. Player positions change very little over the course of the game, and the order of events in many cases isn't that important. I think the ultimate thing that hurts it though is the length to depth ratio. This is a solid 2 hour long game, but the decisions just aren't interesting enough to justify that length with any regularity to me. Still charming, still willing to play every once in a while, but this ultimately has fallen to a 6 and I got rid of my copy because of it. If you want an actual conquest style war game paired with Euro mechanics I would suggest Wallace's Struggle of Empires over this."

Okay, Struggle of Empires. I'm learning Age of Steam right now, and think it's pretty groovy - so let's trundle along to...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
10. Board Game: Struggle of Empires [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:354]
Sifu
United States
Beaverton
Oregon
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
Struggle of Empires!

***modboy***: "Another Martin Wallace gem. This one has a lot of depth and an ingenious auction which determines turn-order and your allies for the round. Add some light warfare, economics, area control and backstabbing and you've got your hands full for the next few hours. As usual money is tight but in this game one has to worry about "unrest" as well. The random country & resource assignments in the beginning of the game make for a variety of scenarios & new challenges each play. UPDATE: I hate playing this game: it's nerve racking! Somehow, still, I love it."

He loves it, AND he hates it! What could be better?!?

According to ***CortexBomb***, it *shines". ("Shining", for those newbies out there, is the gamegeek polar opposite of "broken".) Here's what he says: "I really didn't expect to like this game as much as I did given all the talk about the randomness of the dice. In reality, luck plays a lesser role (roll?) in the combat of this game than it does in Princes of the Ren, as the "roll two and the difference is the result mechanism" tends to tighten the distribution up more than a straight roll 1 die, and add it to the starting total. That isn't to say that there isn't a significant random aspect in other parts of the game (initial seeding, native resistence, rolls to see if you lose ships going across the pond, &c.) but I think there is enough control via the special power chits to make it not only serviceable but very good even for a control freak like me. Interesting game in any case, a hybrid of sorts between a traditional area influence game and an empire building one with a metric tonne of special chits to tailor your strategy with. I had to catch myself several times in the game trying to attack from adjacent territories with units because the presentation was pure Risk, but the gameplay is most definitely not in any way, shape, or form. Very tight resources as seems to be standard for Wallace games too...never enough population, spare unrest, or money for that matter. The alliance system is also wonderful, and it saved my proverbial bacon in many situations. Overall, really, really high quality...grafts an area influence scoring system and Euro tightness onto an American style conquest game and makes it not only work but shine."

Wow, this is sounding better and better. However,

***Glamorous Mucus***: "I've played twice now (with six and with four), and I have to admit that I'm rather disappointed. First of all, the game is very long - too long for a game with such overwhelming luck and so much arbitrary whacking among the players. I was very surprised that the game is such a diplomatic bash-your-neighbor free-for-all - not quite what I expected. I also was surprised by the degree that the game turned on the luck of the dice. A bad roll or two at just the wrong time can put you completely out of the game, with no chance to recover. Every unit, control marker, and action is precious, and it's much too easy to lose many of them due to some capricious die rolling. Consider the following scenario: It's nearing the end of the first war. I wish to attack the Ottoman Empire, where two players have one control marker each, with no neutral armies present. I choose the weaker of the two opponents, who has just one army in the territory, one fleet in the Mediterranean, and no army superiority. I have two armies, two fleets, army superiority, and the Ottoman Empire alliance tile. Overwhelming forces. I choose to use the alliance tile to aid in the naval battle, since the +1 naval support bonus will all but guarantee victory in the land battle. I roll 4/3 = 1 + 2 for fleets + 1 for alliance = 4. My opponent rolls 5/1 = 4 + 1 for his fleet = 5. I lose the naval battle and the ensuing support bonus, lose both of my fleets, and gain two unrest. Okay, that's very bad for me, but at least I still have the advantage in the land battle. I roll 3/4 = 1 + 2 for armies + 1 for army training = 4. My opponent rolls 3/6 = 3 + 1 for his army + 1 for naval support = 5. I lose the battle, lose both of my armies, and gain two more unrest. My opponent will score four points that he shouldn't have scored for the territory, while I won't score the four that I should have. That's an eight-point swing in victory points and a two-point swing in income - even more of both if he can hold his control for future wars. I've lost four units, which represents four actions and four population (remember, population is also income!). That's probably about half of my entire military force, and so I'm liable to be hammered and hindered everywhere on the board, not just in the Ottoman Empire. Additionally, the extra four unrest could cause me a loss of seven more victory points at the end of the game. I may need two additional actions to get rid of it (governemnt reform tiles). In short, I'm in a hopeless position with three quarters of the game left to be played. That stinks. It's not sour grapes, either, since I've won once and come second once in my two sessions. There are some great ideas in this game, but overall it just doesn't pass muster. I loved Liberte and Age of Steam, and liked Princes of the Renaissance, but I think I'm finished with Struggle of Empires."

He is disappointed and finished. But he managed to eke out a recommendation for
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
11. Board Game: Princes of the Renaissance [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:626]
Sifu
United States
Beaverton
Oregon
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
Princes of the Renaissance. Now, this sounds like a game of Florentine deception and intrigue. Sadly, as you can see from the photo, the heel has been cut off the boot.

***PopeBrain***: "(3 plays) The most original "wargame" I've played. Tried and true ideas assembled in a completely new way. Diplomacy was not used so much in our first games, but I expect that will change. Many facinating intrigues, inciting wars to further your own devious agenda. Will definitely play again."

***cornjob***: "What a fantastic mish-mash of moving parts! It makes my head hurt. There are so many viable strategic approaches that its sometimes hard to ken what your opponents are up to. Choosing a tile for auction is much more powerful than at first glance. The simplistic approach is to only choose the tiles you want to buy, but there is more to it than that...when you can pressure people to ally with cities that you want them to. The fact that influence and money can freely exchange hands for all sorts of extra-game dealmaking just ratchets this game off the scale. I haven't had the chance yet, but I'd really like to play PotR with 5 or 6 players that had a good grasp of the tiles and rudimentary strategy and see how convoluted the game could get. Martin Wallace seems to hit my sweet spot, more often than not."

So, a fantastic sweet spot that will be played again. Count me in, except....

***dr glaze et al***: "PoR immediately joins the ranks of Dune as one of the great diplomatic/empire games. Despite the awful presentation, poor rules, lack of examples, and vague timing of effects I endorse this one. Good design shines through the truly terrible production values from WarFrog. Curious to try the redevelopments of this idea in Struggle of Empires and in Conquest of the Empire."

So, design genius, but severely crippled. Dune, eh? Let's go ride Shai-hulud.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
12. Board Game: Dune [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:224]
Sifu
United States
Beaverton
Oregon
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
Ah, Dune. Fremen women, the "spice", Harkonnen pit fights, sand in EVERY SINGLE crack and crevice - give me Caladan any day.

Look, check out the photo, the French love Dune. Shouldn't we?

***dr glaze et al***: "[Eon] One of the real great games out there. Beats out so many other negotiation games in that deals and alliances are managed in the rules and changeable only at certain phases every few turns. The sparse board positions and ability to transfer pieces to board from your stock prevents it from devolving into a wargame. Dune was eons ahead of its time for sure, and still beats out all of the other negotiation and empire games I can think of. Easily worth the time investment for such memorable experiences."

Glaze likes Princes of Florence, but he loves Dune.

***cfarrell***: "I used to play this a *lot* 10 years ago, and then might have rated it a 9 or 10. It's fallen off a lot recently, though, with a lot of the longer games that no longer seem such good bang for the time investment anymore. Dune really is much too long for today, and I am unlikely to play again despite the wonderful ambiance, amongst the best game adaptations of a book/movie ... by a wide margin. I'll break with the conventional wisdom, I think 5 is best ... unless you can find someone who explicitly *wants* to play the Bene Gesserit. They can be quite powerful, but they also can be really, really boring as they take forever to build up strength and have a horrible time getting money. The Guild may have sucky leaders, but at least they're usually flush. Anyway, as interesting as the BG can be, I wouldn't want to inflict them on anyone who wasn't enthused about playing them. The Tleilaxu expansion for the General is facinating, an interesting alternate 6th (or even 7th) power, and hardly *less* involved than the BG. For a good bloodbath to help out the Tleilaxu, play with The Duel. Decidedly *not* a fan of the Landsraad as their "hoser" power seems to be against the spirit of the game."

Reading this, I would love to see Dune cleaned up a bit and republished!

***dietevil***: "A must-play for any hardcore Dune fan like myself and probably not the best choice for someone who isn't familiar with the story as the interplay and special rules are a bit more intuitive if you already understand the factions (unlike say Game of Thrones where not having read the books will not prevent you from understanding or enjoying the game) The game was long, it was intense, at times even frustrating. I preferred it once the alliances came into play, which in hour game wasn't for several hours. There really is some opportunity for brilliant maneuvers here, the kind that get you so excited when you manage to pull off. This is a game I probably wouldn't play more than once a year because of the length and intensity, but I would be unhappy to go more than a year or two without playing it."

She likes it, but it's long, can be frustrating, and really requires familiarity with the book. And let's face it, sometimes it's hard to get that many nerdy-Dune types together in one place. So...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
13. Board Game: A Game of Thrones (First Edition) [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:334]
Sifu
United States
Beaverton
Oregon
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
A Game of Thrones might be a good substitute. And that map doesn't look *anything* like Civilization. Perhaps we're in for something shiny (or even shiney) here?

***Cavedog_pdx***: "I've had to rethink my original ratings and comments for this game after playing it again. I guess I went into the first game expecting something more fluid and comparable to Axis&Allies or Risk but the game is really closer to Diplomacy than either of those. Sure the game can get static, but the sudden death 10th turn makes it work and the last two turns are pretty intense while everyone tries to get that one last castle to at least get into the tie. The naval system has a flaw in that a player who has his fleet wiped out can then be blockaded and prevented from ever building another fleet. I expect I'll be playing this more as it is a good game."

***Insertcleverthing***: "This game could be phenomenal (key word: could). As it is now, the asymmetrical make up of the kingdoms and board, which could be very clever, ends up highly limiting a player. If you're Lannister - then it's try to expand without making enemies, Tyrell - take over the south and pray for enough musters to send an army northward, Greyjoy - take to the seas while pushing inland, and so on. I don't like the bottlenecking you are forced to do based on your geography and initial track positions. Everything else is top notch. The components are great, the command mechanic is great, the different influence tracks are great, the battles with cards and supports are great...you name it. I so want this game to be more than it is, but I guess I'll have to settle for giving it a go every once in a good while...A shame."

***Glamorous Mucus***: "In my first and last play of AGoT, the mustering action happened exactly once in 10 turns, and not until turn 7. This is one of the rare games that can be called "broken" without exaggeration. I'm irked at the creators of this game for wasting four hours of our gaming time. If this type of game interests you, I suggest you seek out Wallenstein, where you'll find a much better implementation of many of the same ideas."

And we're right back to...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
14. Board Game: Shogun [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:132]
Sifu
United States
Beaverton
Oregon
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
Wallenstein, or uh, Shogun.

***Glamorous Mucus***: "The thought process required to effectively program your ten actions every turn is deliciously excruciating. Then there's the feared and mysterious cube tower that can make a mockery of all your careful planning. Sound like a bad thing? Not for me. I love Wallenstein's volatile combination of carefulness and chaos."

***tcomfort***: "The beauty of this deep, fun game is that the planning is done simultaneously. It carries the 2+ hour timeframe well, the time speeds by. The mechanisms are great, I love how you can't always plan on building up and attacking from the same province on the same turn. The cube tower is crazy and unpredictable. It requires that attacking is carefully planned out. Great game."

***chaddyboy_2000***: "I love the battle mechanism! Hooray for the cube tower!!"

I'm with you Chad, cube towers rawk. Yet,

***cfarrell***: "This, for me, belongs to a class of games that are interesting to play for a handful of games but don't have staying power. You've got the programmed actions, the tension between building and attacking, the cool gimmick (the tower) ... all good stuff. But as a game, it feels more like a conglomeration of mechansims than a unified whole. It gets a bit repetitive, and the somewhat mechanical nature of the game somehow doesn't feel rewarding at the end. Compare to a game like Lowenherz, where by the end you really feel like you've been through something; Wallenstein seems to be missing that sense of beginning, middle, and end that gives you a feel of direction, of motion or accomplishment. Wallenstein really isn't bad, but it's a "gamer's game", good for serious gamers to play to check out the mechanics, see the interesting stuff that's been tried. For the rest of us, see if you can get your group to go in on a copy and sell it on eBay when you're done."

Kind of repetitive and not good for the long haul.

Well that's just great. Not only do I get love-its, hate-it, and in-between-its on just about every game - but quite often I am led right back to the game I began looking at in the first place. (I'm rather curious to see if Shogun will differ enough to alter peoples' opinions.)

Of course, my GeekBuddies do not always lead me on a wild goose chase, and I have some future Geek Lists planned which will showcase their collective greatness as a tool for learning about games. And, life. Oh, and, uh, love. Stay tuned.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.