GCL Eclipse Division: Episode 77: Battle Royale
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This week, we're going to enjoy a little head to head voting for "most fun" game (inspired by the Super Bowl.) We have 15 active members listed on the Wiki at the moment, so I chose one game based on each person's ratings, and then threw in one other prominent game.

I seeded them via BGG's average rankings, and I though we could have a little head to head debate / vote. Its possible the end of this competition will bleed into next week's list, so I hope that's not a big deal. I don't intend to enforce strict time limits on the voting, and we're a small enough group that this should be pretty flexible.

NOTE: I'm asking you to make a case for which game is MORE FUN, to you, at the present time. Tell us why, and then we'll tally the votes. Winners will play it out until only one remains. I'm hoping people will campaign a little bit for the games that hit the spot for them, persuade us. Also, there should be a strong distinction for MOST FUN, rather than "best" or best designed, etc. Its completely subjective, need not be logical, but I'm hoping you can voice your opinions in playful ways.

Please leave a post under any games where you have a comment (visitors may post comments). Thumb the game (GCL members only please) you prefer from each matchup as "more fun" and we'll advance the winners. If you don't like the game I chose for you, update your ratings on BGG.

PLEASE READ BEFORE POSTING

This is the GCL: Eclipse Division discussion GeekList for the week of February 3, 2013. Please visit the GCL: Eclipse Wiki for information on this Game Chat League.

Visitors are welcome to post so long as comments maintain a friendly, non-confrontational, and applicable nature to the GCL Eclipse discussion. If you are interested in becoming a regularly-contributing member, please make a request to yours truly.

Thank you for respecting these guidelines in our home of regular discussion. We hope the conversation created here is rich, informative, and most of all, fun for members and nonmembers alike.
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1. Board Game: Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:28]
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Shane Larsen
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This seemed like a logical choice for Shane. (I tried to avoid the thickest of the mainstream games, but sometimes I felt like we need to hear the case made from a particular user.)
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2. Board Game: The Bottle Imp [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:1082]
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Yeah, its my Geeklist and I get to generate controversy if I can. But I did pick a game rated nearly at the top of lorna's ratings list. I know there are detractors....let's duke it out!



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GCL Members please vote in favor of one of these games, or post an "abstain" if you don't care between them. Again, you're voting which game you find MORE FUN between the two.
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3. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:17]
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Joe User

A game I chose as having pretty wide appeal, just to see whether it can prevail in our GCL....or whether we have distinctive preferences that carry over as a group (I know we do individually).
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4. Board Game: Eminent Domain [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:426]
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Some of the games I selected, I don't know much about. What is fun about Eminent Domain? Is it more fun than Agricola?


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5. Board Game: Puzzle Strike (Third Edition) [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:893] [Average Rating:7.30 Unranked]
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Guido Gloor
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I'm putting haslo on the spot a little here. This is a fairly recently rated game in his profile. Why is it so much fun?
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6. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:154] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
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Scott has played a lot of Magic, I gather (ahem) based on his profile. Is it still a fun alternative to newer games? How does it size up against Puzzle Strike?

Puzzle Strike
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Magic: The Gathering
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7. Board Game: Caylus [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:46]
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Described as his "first love" under game comments. Why is that? Is it more fun than Dominion?
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8. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:7.66 Unranked]
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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I don't believe Jennifer rates games very regularly, and some of her ratings date back to 2002. But there are multiple of Dominion's expansions that rate very high. Make a case for why you find Dominion fun, and let's vote!

Caylus
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Dominion (and expansions)
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9. Board Game: RoboRally [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:343]
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This also represents the Roborally expansions. Perhaps an old comment? Do you stand by your rating? Is Roborally more fun than Settlers?
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10. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:284] [Average Rating:7.22 Unranked]
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Joe Huber

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Joe's game is taken from his geeklist (and not rated games on BGG). Joe, why again does Catan retain its shine for you?

Roborally
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11. Board Game: El Grande [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:57]
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Kevin Whitmore
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I've heard Kevin talk about El Grande in person. I'd like to hear him make a case for why its fun for him, and convince us its more fun than Macao.
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12. Board Game: Macao [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:243]
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Ken Thibodeau
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Well, are you still playing Macao? Is its still one of the most fun?

El Grande
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Macao

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13. Board Game: Combat Commander: Europe [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:104]
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I'll elucidate why Combat Commander is a winner for me, and why its more fun than Netrunner (I suspect, since I haven't played it) below.
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14. Board Game: Netrunner [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:596]
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Jonathan has a complicated rating system, but Netrunner is at the top of the heap. Why is it so fun?


Combat Commander: Europe
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15. Board Game: Goa [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:111]
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Bring it, Lenny! Make a case for why Goa is more fun.
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16. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:127] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
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We've got a pretty stereotypical Euro representative vs a mainstream-appealing SdJ winner. Why do you prefer Ticket to Ride?

Goa
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Ticket to Ride
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17. Board Game: The Golden Egg [Average Rating:3.20 Unranked]
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Well, I had the extreme pleasure to have two GCL Eclipse folk join me for the weekend Jennifer and Joe!
Here is my list of games played Games played at EGG 2013
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18. Board Game: Hey, That's My Fish! [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:682]
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I didn't really manage to create a championship, but I did enjoy the games of Can't Stop. I also managed to get thoroughly clobbered.

I'd like to move on to more involved games in the near future, and maybe another site or two that has turn-based play. But this week I kept it fairly simple with Hey That's My Fish.

I'll set up a handful of games and invite everyone that replies with interest in playing. I'll try to do a better job of identifying a "championship" game at the end of the week for the winners.

Again, this is on Yucata. Please respond if you are interested. If you didn't play Can't Stop, please make sure I also have your username.

I should mention, anyone else should feel free to plan and organize games, too. I don't always have to be a participant if you want more variety.
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19. Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:12]
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Games Played (1/27 - 2/2)

Can't Stop x 6
Yeah, as you may guess these were all online. And I think I managed to win once. I probably shoulda coulda but didn't stop.

The Castles of Burgundy x 4
New to me, and its made a great first impression. Its been on my trade targets list for a while, but I haven't actually played before it became available online. I look forward to more plays and discovering this one. There appear to be so many viable strategies. A lot more player interaction than at first blush.

Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers x 3
More plays in my Yucata tourney where I'm getting clobbered. I did manage to win one, but I'm not going to advance to the final round, that's for sure. I think with 4p there is a lot of luck of the draw, or anyway more luck than with lower player counts. But its still very fun, and better than I remembered.

Aeroplanes: Aviation Ascendant x 1
There are a couple local players who like it (including me) but I do think this is a game that I probably won't come back to after it runs its first flurry of play out. At least, I don't think anyone but me will bring it to the table, and I doubt I'll bother. Its a solid game, has some mitigated luck and ways to affect opponents. There seem to be multiple interesting strategies. But nothing magical in the game, which I guess is its most damning comment.

Agricola x 1
Another play with an initial card draft. I think there is a whole 'nother game in this box when you use a card draft. I think I may have to play this several more times, as I'm really enjoying getting crushed.

Battle Beyond Space x 1
This is the best more recent example of a game design that 100% succeeds at doing what it sets out to do. You have an asymmetric, fast-playing, exciting space battle in under 30 minutes that doesn't feel samey or stale with further plays. There is a bit of luck, but its not capricious dice luck. I hope we continue playing it on occasion.

Eclipse: Rise of the Ancients x 1
Played for the first time with the new expansion, a 5p game. On the 2nd turn, my home planet was overrun by aliens. I finally fought them off, and think I played about as optimally as I could, but a respectable 4th place finish was the best I could muster.

The expansion adds some thoughtful and enjoyable elements, but I'd hate to be learning the game for the first time with all that stuff included. The underlying genius of the design continues to shine through, though. I like variety in my game-playing, but I won't say no to Eclipse.

Glory to Rome x 1
My wife loves this game, and another friend requested it as a birthday night game. We played for a while, and then one player felt he was out of the running and built the Catacombs (instantly ending the game and giving the win to another player). It reminded me of Knizia's quote: "The goal of the game is to win, but its not the winning that is important."

He's saying a lot there, but one of the things he is pointing out is that almost any game system breaks down if players aren't trying to win. It can spoil the experience for the other players. Most every game design makes the assumption that each player will try to maximize their position and try to win, even when they are trailing. Its been quite a while since I had a game experience where one player spoiled the game for all the other players so arbitrarily. Fortunately, that doesn't happen much locally.

Liar's Dice x 1
This is another perfect game. Its a quick-playing push-your-luck, bluff and try to stay alive game. There's a bit of poker playing going on. Every game evokes great moments of tension when the dice are revealed.

The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game x 1
We cant' beat that damn Courage at the Carrock adventure yet. (I know I need to redesign our decks and tackle it fresh. I'm being taught some lessons on deck design.) Those obnoxious trolls are clobbering us. (Its a fun challenge to play with my wife, even though we're having a tough time of it....I'm actually glad to learn that the game is going to be that involved and demanding.)
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20. Board Game: Oh Quay [Average Rating:6.55 Unranked]
Kenny VenOsdel
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From Jan 27th to Feb 2nd

11
Adaman

6
Palace (aka Shit head)

3
Oh Quay

2
Dominion

Cribbage
Terra Prime

Lots of Adaman on my phone. It remains my goto 2 minute waster. I also learned how to play Shithead last week. I was at a friends house and 3 of us wanted to play cards. I looked up rules to this on Pagat and we had a good time. We made a couple quick rules for drinking to it (if you take the pile you drink and "Cheers on clears" meaning when 10's or 4 of a king are played) which added to the fun. It's simple and usually quick and i like it for what it was. It's kind of like Egyptian Ratscrew meets President's and Assholes.

My wife and I also played a game of Terra Prime. I really think the game got a bad rap for its initial production problems. I'd recommend it with 2 to 3 players since it is nice and quick that way.

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21. Board Game: The Bottle Imp [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:1082]
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Bottle Imp defeats Through the Ages 5-4

Bottle Imp vs Agricola in Round 2
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22. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:17]
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Agricola defeats Eminent Domain 4-0

Bottle Imp vs Agricola in Round 2
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23. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:154] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
Chester
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Magic defeats Puzzle Strike 2-1

Magic vs Dominion (Round 2)
6 
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24. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:7.66 Unranked]
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Dominion defeats Caylus 4-2

Magic vs Dominion in Round 2
4 
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25. Board Game: RoboRally [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:343]
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RoboRally defeats Settlers 4-3 (tough match)

RoboRally vs El Grande Round 2
1 
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