Board Games That Are More Fun Than They Sound
Mike Ryan
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We've all played them: those games that sound like a tax audit, a cure for insomnia or even a trip to the dentist. But for some reason or another, someone convinced us to play it, and not only was it not as bad as we expected, but it was actually fun. Please share not just the games that you think are more fun than they sound, but why.
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1. Board Game: Agricola: Farmers of the Moor [Average Rating:8.11 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.11 Unranked]
Mike Ryan
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Peasant farmers in the Middle Ages. Turns out to be much more upbeat than you'd expect.
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2. Board Game: Thurn and Taxis [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:348]
Mike Ryan
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Building the German postal system. How... efficient. Turns out it's a fun combination of the roles of Puerto Rico with the route building of Settlers of Catan.
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3. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:31]
Mike Ryan
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Building power plants? Bidding on garbage? Really? Wait... This is actually fun with some tough decisions, strategy and a sense of progression through the 3 decks of power plants.
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4. Board Game: Fresco [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:249] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Dwayne Wood
United States
Cabool
Missouri
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This instantly came to mind. A game about painting, I have to mix paints, and choose what time to get up!

Actually a really fun game with some very interesting end game scenarios.
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5. Board Game: Hansa Teutonica [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:111]
TJ
United States
Burbank
California
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A board game about the Hanseatic League? Even the guy on the box looks bored!

In reality, it's one of the most elegant board games I've ever played, and a ton of fun.
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6. Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy [Average Rating:8.13 Overall Rank:12]
Jonathan Golling
United States
BOULDER CREEK
California
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Building cities in the Burgundy region of High Medieval France does not sound very fun. Ok, maybe if you like city builders, but France? Why not caveman times or space or the Carribean?

The games high rating here is well deserved. It just has a great overall balance to it. Not too complicated, lots of ways to win, fun combos to set up, your luck can be manipulated, you'er always busy planning even when its not your turn, scales well.
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7. Board Game: Bohnanza [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:373]
Sandy Petersen
United States
Rockwall
Texas
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I wrote the first-ever Lovecraft game.
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This game is ALWAYS a tough sell when I introduce it to friends or family. "A game about bean farming." Then they give me the stinkeye.

Twice a year I teach a college class on boardgames, and this is one of the games I make them play. Invariably when I ask them what they liked/didn't like about games, some subset of the players mention the theme of Bohnanza. Then I ask them if it would have been more fun with the exact same rules, but be about raising dragons or something. This always starts a lively discussion.
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8. Board Game: The Speicherstadt [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:608]
Agent Emme
United States
Ohio
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Phelanpt Feb 11, 2:15 PM: evils have mostly stood by and watch goods fall. except for emme. she's spinning them round and round.
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You can't pronounce the name of the game, let alone spell it. You're in Hamburg unloading goods from ships and putting them in storehouses. Whoop de doo. Yawn. Good sales get you one coin at best. Even the firemen artwork is boring instead of attractive.

But boy oh boy I love the auction mechanic and the cutthroat nature of the game and its several paths to victory.
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9. Board Game: Pergamon [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:993]
Kevin Garnica
United States
West Covina
California
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I don't know if anyone thinks this is a fun game except me, mostly because it's not as highly ranked as many of the other entries.

But - applying for grant money, digging for artifacts as an archeologist and then "polishing" them and displaying them in a museum probably doesn't sound like most people's idea of fun. Does it?
 
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10. Board Game: Primordial Soup [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:690]
Paul Procyk
Canada
Ottawa (Orléans)
Ontario
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Who would have thought that eating other single cell creature's poop could be that much fun.

You are what you eat!
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