Gaming Tour of Estonia
Drew Holmes
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My wife, Lesley, is getting her PhD in chemistry and, as part of her research, has made two trips to Estonia. This list chronicles the games I bought/played while accompanying her on this latest trip and the wonderful people I met as a result of BGG!
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1. Board Game: Monopoly: Boston Red Sox 2004 World Series Champions [Average Rating:3.50 Unranked]
Drew Holmes
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It all started last October (2005). My wife was about to leave for Estonia, so being the Geek I am, I posted to the forums asking about game stores in Estonia (specifically in Tallinn). I was hoping that Lesley might be able to get me some games while she was there. Josh (mr. assist), who lives in Estonia, replied that he did not know of any good ones and that I might have to go to Finland to find a decent game store (an hour and a half-ish ferry ride away).

He noticed that I had the Red Sox 2004 World Series Champions Monopoly edition on my wishlist and thought it odd, since I live in New York. Through our ensuing e-mail correspondence we discovered we both grew up in New England and are, of course, Red Sox fans.

So through the Geek I met a fellow New England refugee half a world away who was extremely helpful to my wife while she was a stranger in a foreign country.
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2. Board Game: Marco Polo Expedition [Average Rating:6.20 Overall Rank:3507]
Drew Holmes
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Fast forward to May 2006. Lesley embarked on her second trip to Estonia and I joined her for two weeks. When I arrived in Tallinn she told me that the grocery stores had some games. I saw Marco Polo Expedition at a local Rimi, and thought it an appropriate game to purchase, since I was exploring Europe for the first time.
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3. Board Game: Wallenstein (first edition) [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:364]
Drew Holmes
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Since I was in Tallinn, Josh and I made plans to play some games (of course!). He had met Kaarel (cruelsader), another Estonian, through the Geek. Though Kaarel lives in Tartu, he came to Tallinn for the day so we could play some games.

We started with Wallenstein (one of Josh's games), I game I had never played. I got completely trounced (stupid cube tower!) and had only four provinces by the end of the game. I definitely want to try this one again!
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4. Board Game: Guillotine [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:1019]
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Next we lightened things up with a few rounds of Guillotine (one of the games I brought from the U.S.). Neither Josh nor Kaarel had ever played, so I assumed the role of the teacher and lost again (notice the theme?).
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5. Board Game: Modern Art [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:223]
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By this point Lesley was done at the lab and joined us for a game of Modern Art. I had never played this one before and, predictably, did not win. I will definitely be making an effort for this one to hit the table again soon.
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6. Board Game: BANG! [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:1055]
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Then we played Bang, a game I've had for a while but had not played before. Considering none of us had ever played it went quite smooth. Lesley was the Sheriff and we Outlaws managed to eliminate her. Finally, a victory!
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7. Board Game: You're Bluffing! [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:1296]
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We ended the night with Kuhhandel, a neat auction game I had not played before. My massive overbid on the last horse made me a non-factor at the end, but it was a good game all the same.
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8. Board Game: San Juan [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:234]
Drew Holmes
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A couple days later Lesley had to work late, so Josh and I met up for some two player gaming.

San Juan has been a favorite of mine since last summer when Lesley and I played in constantly on the beach in the Dominican Republic and Josh had never played this one before. I always think the key to success in this game is to play the cards you have , not the cards you want .
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9. Board Game: Phoenix [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:3043]
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Next we played Phoenix, a game I've had my eye on for a while. I'll definitely try to pick this one up, as it plays quick and has some fun strategy.
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10. Board Game: Hunting Party [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:4789]
Drew Holmes
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Then we moved on to Hunting Party, which I had just picked up at my FLGS before leaving for Estonia. What a fun game! There are so many different choices to be made in every game and it is truly never the same game twice.

I played this two player with Josh and later three player with Lesley and Kaarel. Definitely plays better with three, as the screw your opponent elements get spread out.

I can't say enough about the spectacular production quality of this game. Everything from the box to the cards to the art are overproduced. Seaborn Games has gotten my attention!
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11. Board Game: Gloom [Average Rating:6.36 Overall Rank:1486] [Average Rating:6.36 Unranked]
Drew Holmes
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Josh had not played Gloom (another one I brought with me) so we had a go at it. As always, I had a great time making life miserable for my family before sending them off to the afterlife.
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12. Board Game: Battle Line [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:186]
Drew Holmes
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We closed out the evening with Battle Line, a game I had not played before. Card counting definitely comes in handy in this game. I liked the strategies quite a bit and will be trying to get a copy of this one as well.
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13. Board Game: Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:294]
Drew Holmes
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A few days later Lesley and left Tallinn and went to Tartu. Since Kaarel lives in town, we gave him a call and he showed us around and played some games with us. After some three player Hunting Party, Kaarel and I played some Lost Cities, another I had brought.
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14. Board Game: RoboRally [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:349]
Drew Holmes
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One of Kaarel's friends from town joined us and we played some four player RoboRally. What can I say? It was the usual chaotic great time we have come to expect from Twonky and the rest!
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15. Board Game: Farlander [Average Rating:5.53 Overall Rank:13187]
Drew Holmes
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I had seen a copy of Farlander in a bookstore in Tartu. Kaarel had said that it was an Estonian made game and that he enjoyed it a lot. Based on his reccomendation I picked up a copy and, though I've only read the rules and not yet played it, am glad that I did.

This game is a non-luck wargame with a very elegant design. Since it is not widely available (especially in the U.S.) I had to get a copy. I can't think fo a better souvenier for a geek!
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16. Board Game: Blockster [Average Rating:3.96 Unranked]
Drew Holmes
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Finally we stopped in a bookstore in Tartu before heading back to Tallinn. They had Blockster, which looks like a fun dexterity game. The price was reasonable and it comes with a neat carry bag, so I picked up a copy.

Needless to say I had a fantastic trip. I played and bought some fun games and met some wonderful people. I want to thank BGG for being such an amazing resource, as I would never have made these Geek connections on the other side of the world without it. And if any of you are thinking of visiting Estonia, stop thinking about it and go!
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