NWIBGA - HALL of FAME Games
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The NW Indiana Boardgamers' Association (NWIBGA) was born in May 2011).
We have grown immensely, our facebook group now has 200+ Members, our BGG.com Guild has almost 100. cool

Our weekly Monday Game Nights draw 20-ish players, who, despite Game Night hours being 6:00-10:00pm, generally occupy our meeting place from 5:30p-12:00mid!

Our Monthly All-Day Game Days draw in the 30s regularly.

With this size group meeting regularly, we have introduced each other to a wide variety of games and game styles. We thought we could represent our group's tastes and unique "personality" with some representative games. A ballot was created, votes were cast (voters choose 3 games each year toward Hall-of-Fame and 1 for Game of the Year). This list honors them! We will update each year after our Anniversary/Leveling-Up Party (May All-Day Game Day).

Maybe this list, in years to come, will shed light on the evolution (or de-evolution) of our group and it's varied Members!

In no particular order:
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1. Board Game: Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:62]
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2013 INAUGURAL INDUCTEE

Co-Game-of-the-Year 2012.

Our group has a twisted penchant for deceit, distrust, and backstabbery in our games. Should be no surprise that BSG is at the top of our playlist.

Whether you've seen the tv series or not (we have members who enjoy the game who haven't watched the show), this game packs a punch ("Hand me your sidearm, Mister!") The game play is intuitive, challenging (but not overwhelming), and the Traitor mechanism is used here better than in almost any other game of it's ilk. Never knowing who the traitorous Cylon(s) may be creates a tension that is palpable. It's very rare that you experience a boardgame that elicits such emotion. You remember every BSG experience!


Photo: BGG User jeff_97015

"So say we all!"

---------------------------------
NWIBGA Owners*: 14
Ave BGG.com Rating: 7.87
Ave NWIBGA Rating: 8.50

NWIBGA Plays** (’11-12): 5
NWIBGA Plays** (’12-13): 11
NWIBGA Rank (by Plays): # 9(t)

* Per Collections logged on BGG.com
** Tallied from recorded plays at formal NWIBGA events (private/home plays not incl)

Game data thru May 1, 2013
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2. Board Game: Railways of the World [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:95] [Average Rating:7.69 Unranked]
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2013 INAUGURAL INDUCTEE

Also Co-Game-of-the-Year 2012

Most Members of our gang don't turn down an offer to play Railways.
We play Eastern USA, Western USA, Europe, England & Wales, and even the fan variant Australia maps. We love them all.

My observation the first time I played (thanks, John P for introducing me to my favorite game system) was that even tho I got destroyed on the scoreboard, I didn't care because I so enjoyed the gameplay, the process. Few games mix so well the elements of puzzle (the random distribution of the board at set-up), economics (have to spend $ to make $), "random" events (we use the Event Deck, always), network building, planning (short AND long-term), and growth (Alan, our Master, says you can't win w/o a Level 4 or higher engine system). Player interaction is high, as someone always moves into your territory and threatens to steal your goods or milk your network for their own game (Teeee-JAAAAAAAAYYYYY!!).


Photo: BGG User EndersGame

A vast, beautiful game with simple rules but deep game-play. Railways is always immensely enjoyable. A huge hit among all our different gamer types.

"Why are you building into London? I was there first! Fine, watch me sneak a win with this last-ditch Naples Gambit!"

---------------------------------
NWIBGA Owners*: 12
Ave BGG.com Rating: 7.75
Ave NWIBGA Rating: 8.60

NWIBGA Plays** (’11-12): 5
NWIBGA Plays** (’12-13): 21
NWIBGA Rank (by Plays): # 4

* Per Collections logged on BGG.com
** Tallied from recorded plays at formal NWIBGA events (private/home plays not incl)

Game data thru May 1, 2013
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3. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:43]
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2013 INAUGURAL INDUCTEE

Our (imaginary) By-Laws state: "Should exactly 7* Players be loitering simultaneously, 7 Wonders must be played."

Our go-to big group game since our group's founding. If we don't count the near-infinite plays of certain other game on this list (*cough* Louie *cough*), 7 Wonders is, hands down, our most played game.


Photo: BGG user JonB38

A great game of hand drafting (pick one, pass the rest), economics (do I spend the few bucks I have to build this market or should I build more Military...?), planning, card synergy, diversifying (you won't win with only one type of card** and you won't win by spreading yourself out either... Where to focus...?). Plays fairly quick, too, always a plus.

Some people find the learning curve a bit steep, mainly due to the symbology. But the game provides great and helpful rulebooks with Quick Reference lists of symbols. I was totally lost my 1st game, but my 2nd play everything "clicked". 7 Wonders has an "Ahh Haaa!" feeling the 2nd time. Then it's just plain fun the rest of the way.

Note to those teaching the game: Please tell new players that there are no Brown/Resource cards in Age III. (I played the game 6 times before I realized that! I just thought I was the unlikiest sucker at the table... sigh.)

* Amended to 7-8 w the addition of the Leaders expansion
** Ok, maybe Green/Sciences breaks that "rule"... (Ryaaaan!)


"He isn't building any Military, so I should be safe to invest in these Purple Guilds this round..."
And I STILL need Alan to figure my Green/Science scoring for me every time... grrr.

-----------------------------------
NWIBGA Owners*: 17
Ave BGG.com Rating: 7.94
Ave NWIBGA Rating: 8.23

NWIBGA Plays** (’11-12): 18
NWIBGA Plays** (’12-13): 12
NWIBGA Rank (by Plays): # 2

* Per Collections logged on BGG.com
** Tallied from recorded plays at formal NWIBGA events (private/home plays not incl)

Game data thru May 1, 2013
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4. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:137] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
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2013 INAUGURAL INDUCTEE

One of the games that drew many of us into the deeper levels of the gaming hobby!

With a continual assault of expansions, Carc can always be "new".
One of the simplest games out there, but that's deceiving. Like many of our favorites, the rules are fairly simple (you can teach basic Carc in 5 minutes), but there's depth here with experience. Playing with new players is always fun, and playing with a bunch of wily veterans makes for an entirely different experience!


Photo: BGG user ebonecircus

One of the original tile-laying games, Carc is a piece of art, as the players literally build the gameboard themselves, piece by piece. Doris Matthäus' signature artwork is both recognizable and enchanting, as you lay out the terrain elements of the mock-French countryside. The roads, cities, cloisters, and other pieces (many more added by the multitude of expansions) fit seamlessly to creat an attractive puzzle-piece board that you compete vs the other players to dominate it's features for points.

Another wonder of the Carc family's evolution is how easily the rules, even with minor tweaks, can be grasped by anyone. I've played with 8-yr olds thru 82-yr olds. And once you've learned Carc, you will easily understand it's subsequent iterations/variants: The City, The Castle, New World, Hunters & Gatherers, etc.

Carcassonne also has popular ios, Android, & Xbox Arcade applications.
Also, be sure to check out the creative uses of meeples in the Carc Image section!

"Howdy, Neighbor!"
---------------------------------
NWIBGA Owners*: 29
Ave BGG.com Rating: 7.45
Ave NWIBGA Rating: 8.13

NWIBGA Plays** (’11-12): 7
NWIBGA Plays** (’12-13): 19
NWIBGA Rank (by Plays): #3

* Per Collections logged on BGG.com
** Tallied from recorded plays at formal NWIBGA events (private/home plays not incl)

Game data thru May 1, 2013
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5. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:31]
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2013 INAUGURAL INDUCTEE

Ahhh, Power Grid. One of our Members (& co-founder, ColtsFan76) runs the annual Geek Madness Tournament here on bgg.com. More often than not, Power Grid has risen out of the dust & rubble to the top of his bracketology (Bronze Medal this year, 4 time Champion, 3 Silvers). So, no surprise that this stalwart hits our tables often and is a group favorite.


Photo: BGG user garyjames

Some call it mathy (and it is), but Power Grid is a unique entity, a game of auction (rounds start with bidding for new Power Plants), economics (when to save, when to buy, how much to stock up on fuel), network building (you connect cities on the map, hoping to be able to provide power to them), and puzzle (watching the other players gobble up cities and begin to overlap each other makes for interesting dilemmas - where do I sneak in or race to get to first!).

A bit of a learning curve, but our players seem to always feel comfortable after a turn or three. The depth of the game, tho, there is much to be explored here. I've played dozens of times, seldom win, and try different approaches often, that's part of the fun!

"I'll invest in these coal-fueled plants. No one else will want them and there will always be coal supply. Right...?"

---------------------------------
NWIBGA Owners*: 14
Ave BGG.com Rating: 8.06
Ave NWIBGA Rating: 8.50

NWIBGA Plays** (’11-12): 2
NWIBGA Plays** (’12-13): 8
NWIBGA Rank (by Plays): #18(t)

* Per Collections logged on BGG.com
** Tallied from recorded plays at formal NWIBGA events (private/home plays not incl)

Game data thru May 1, 2013
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6. Board Game: Eclipse [Average Rating:7.97 Overall Rank:33]
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Merrillville
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2013 INAUGURAL INDUCTEE

This space-civ game took our group by storm in Summer of 2012.
A few members were playing multiple times weekly, then teaching others at our NWIBGA weekly meet-ups and/or late-night home meet-ups.

A bit of a learning curve, but well worth the investment. Your 2nd play is the Real Play, now that you get how all the moving parts integrate.
The build up of resources and economics of the game are easy enough, yet crucial to your future success. A little luck helps, too, as the random flip of sector tiles as you explore can really boost your resource tracks or stop you cold. Caution can be rewarded, but aggressive exploration and combat have their way, too. Good variety of differing paths to victory to explore. The expansion Rise of the Ancients adds a few more races to spice things up. Each race offers it's own strengths/weaknesses.


Photo: kilgore

The only "weird" thing (by design, I suppose) to get used to is how everyone builds-builds-builds for 8 turns and (virtually all) the combat happens in one big final round of starship blasting fun!

Still, great fun in the dark reaches of space. A Must-Play game.

"We don't want to conquer the cosmos, we simply want to extend the boundaries of Earth to the frontiers of the cosmos.... We are humanitarian and chivalrous; we don't want to enslave other races, we simply want to bequeath them our values... ~ Stanisław Lem, Solaris
(Yeah. Riiiight.)

---------------------------------
NWIBGA Owners*: 10
Ave BGG.com Rating: 8.38
Ave NWIBGA Rating: 8.82

NWIBGA Plays** (’11-12): 2
NWIBGA Plays** (’12-13): 12
NWIBGA Rank (by Plays): # 9(t)

* Per Collections logged on BGG.com
** Tallied from recorded plays at formal NWIBGA events (private/home plays not incl)

Game data thru May 1, 2013
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7. Board Game: Loopin' Louie [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:704]
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Merrillville
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2013 INAUGURAL INDUCTEE

I admit to a certain sadistic glee to be adding this gem to our list. devil
They call it a Children's Game.
It's available at Toys-R-Us ($20). cool
But I've watched (and eagerly participated in) many games of Louie between 4+ grown adults that had more laughter, hooting & hollering, screaming & yelling, and trash talking than you can imagine. It's like playing Cards Against Humanity, Diplomacy, Bang!, Werewolf, and Foosball all at the same time, but in 5 minute (or shorter) bursts.

The super-fast play time leads to groups playing 4, 5, 6 or more times in a row. We even played a Fly-til-you-Die perpetual game one day where 10 different players rotated in and out, while Louie just kept on flyin'. laugh

An absolute blast. You're cheating yourself and your friends out of one of gaming's best experiences if you don't own a Louie (in fact, buy two, you are likely to wear one out)!


Photo: BGG user Hubbancs

In the clear blue skies over Germany
Came a roar and a thunder men had never heard
Like the scream and the sound of a big war bird

~ The Royal Guardsmen, Snoopy vs the Red Baron

---------------------------------
NWIBGA Owners*: 5
Ave BGG.com Rating: 7.06
Ave NWIBGA Rating: 7.62

NWIBGA Plays** (’11-12): 0
NWIBGA Plays** (’12-13): aLOT
NWIBGA Rank (by Plays): # 1

* Per Collections logged on BGG.com
** Tallied from recorded plays at formal NWIBGA events (private/home plays not incl)

Game data thru May 1, 2013
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8. Board Game: The Resistance [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:182]
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2013 INAUGURAL INDUCTEE

If the NWIBGA has a trademark, it might have to be a propensity for traitorous backstabbery. As you see above, we love our BSG. When The Resistance came along, we gave a try. And loved it. It was sort of BSG: the Good Parts (due respect to S.Morgenstern & William Goldman), playable in about 15 minutes and with no Player Elimination. It would never replace BSG, but as a pleasant diversion, a filler, or a traitor game for a large group (plays 5-10), it fit the bill nicely.

When Avalon came out late last year, we jumped on board. It's Arthurian theme plus the addition of unique Roles for some players gave a good game an even better twist. It seemed logical for the new version to go back to the "roots", since it's generally accepted that BSG was a direct descendant of Shadows Over Camelot.


Photo: BGG user T Worthington

Playing alot of Resistance helped cauterize us to each others' devious natures and also tagged a few folks as Eternal Spy-Cylon-Minion. It also pushed us along our path into other variations, like the classic Werewolf, Shadow Hunters, and Two Rooms & A Boom (all group faves).

Helo: "Hey, aren't you Gaius Baltar?"
Baltar: "I HAVEN'T DONE ANYTHING!"


---------------------------------
NWIBGA Owners*: 10
Ave BGG.com Rating: 7.53 / 8.05 (Res/Ava)
Ave NWIBGA Rating: 7.50 / 8.50

NWIBGA Plays** (’11-12): 5 / 0
NWIBGA Plays** (’12-13): 10 / 9
NWIBGA Rank (by Plays): # 6

* Per Collections logged on BGG.com
** Tallied from recorded plays at formal NWIBGA events (private/home plays not incl)

Game data thru May 1, 2013
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9. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:117] [Average Rating:7.54 Unranked]
S H
United States
Merrillville
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2013 INAUGURAL INDUCTEE

Our gaming group tends toward larger player counts at the table, so 2P games, even the good ones, sometimes get snubbed. Memoir '44 survives this trend because we try to hold frequent Theme Nights, including a few 2P Game Nights and some military theme nights (Memorial Day, July 4th, and D-Day Remembrance, to name a few). Those nights always bring out Memoir and often multiple tables. Recently, on June 8 (see re-cap here), we held our latest D-Day Remembrance Game Night, featuring all of the D-Day beach landing scenarios lined up end to end, including an Overlord scenario in middle. The tables were busy all night, often with newcomers learning on the easier 2P maps to be shuttled into the next Overlord scenario. Great fun.



The criticisms are somewhat justified. Yes, it takes awhile to set up a scenario. Yes, it's not a "simulation" game, it's a bit more abstract. But it's strength are that it's quick-playing, fun, easy to learn/teach, and the sheer number of published and fan-built scenarios (& expansion packs) make re-playability virtually endless.

A worthwhile investment for any gamer with interest in WWII and/or miniature combat (if a bit abstract).

And give Jason Morningstar's D-Day Zombies variant a try, too. It's quite a fun twist!

"You are about to embark upon the great crusade toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you... I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle." ~ Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower

---------------------------------
NWIBGA Owners*: 12
Ave BGG.com Rating: 7.54
Ave NWIBGA Rating: 8.26

NWIBGA Plays** (’11-12): 6
NWIBGA Plays** (’12-13): 12
NWIBGA Rank (by Plays): # 7

* Per Collections logged on BGG.com
** Tallied from recorded plays at formal NWIBGA events (private/home plays not incl)

Game data thru May 1, 2013
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10. Board Game: Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:64] [Average Rating:7.81 Unranked]
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Merrillville
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2013 INAUGURAL INDUCTEE

At NWIBGA, we love to scale things UP when we can.
Despite being designed as a 2P dogfight game, we usually play SW:XWing with at least 4 and sometimes 8-10 players!


Photo: mine

The models are amazingly detailed works of art, one could own a set just as a collector's item.

The game is a variation on the popular Wings of War/Wings of Glory rules, but applied to the fighter craft in the Star Wars Universe. (Expansion sets would include the Millenium Falcon, the Slave I, and some bigger ships may be on the horizon). The most fun, tho, lies with the single-pilot fighters that zip in and out of asteroid fields, loop and flip to catch their enemies off-guard, and have unique load-outs to customize their combat effectiveness.

Some argue that it's set-up is fiddly (and it is), but many who really enjoy the game feel that the set-up is part of the fun. Deciding which pilot to put in your X-Wing, what weapon package to equip him with, etc, adds to the test of skill in the game.

The game can be quick or long, there is dice-rolling for combat results.
But it's just pure "playing with toys" (with rules) fun.

Han: “Keep your distance, Chewie, but don’t, y’know, look like you’re keeping your distance.”
Chewbacca: (Grumbled questioning bark)
Han: “…I don’t know. Fly casual.”


Full disclosure: many of us were play-testers for this game.

---------------------------------
NWIBGA Owners*: 12
Ave BGG.com Rating: 8.04
Ave NWIBGA Rating: 8.44

NWIBGA Plays** (’11-12): 2
NWIBGA Plays** (’12-13): 15
NWIBGA Rank (by Plays): #16(t)

* Per Collections logged on BGG.com
** Tallied from recorded plays at formal NWIBGA events (private/home plays not incl)

Game data thru May 1, 2013
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11. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:16]
S H
United States
Merrillville
Indiana
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2013 INAUGURAL INDUCTEE

After getting my feet wet in the shallower end (Settlers, Carc, T2R), Puerto Rico was my next step into the deeper water. I was terrible at this one for a long time, yet I kept playing (it's that good).

One of the early Worker Placement genre, it's been done repeatedly since, but still feels comfortable to go back to. Our group brings it out still every few weeks! A good Hall-of-Famer to represent the Next Wave crop (see what I did there?) whistle

Try the Corn Strategy, it can work.


Photo: BGG user Quixote171

"A great fortune is a great slavery." ~ Seneca
(he meant "colonists"...)

---------------------------------
NWIBGA Owners*: 15
Ave BGG.com Rating: 8.24
Ave NWIBGA Rating: 8.17

NWIBGA Plays** (’11-12): 4
NWIBGA Plays** (’12-13): 7
NWIBGA Rank (by Plays): #16(t)

* Per Collections logged on BGG.com
** Tallied from recorded plays at formal NWIBGA events (private/home plays not incl)

Game data thru May 1, 2013
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12. Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:53]
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Merrillville
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2013 INAUGURAL INDUCTEE

The Gold Standard for Worker Placement games (and box inserts!)
Yes, it has a D&D campaign setting as it's backdrop.
Yes, it's another worker placement game.
Yes, the "Adventurers" are mere cubes (unless you splurge for the DnDeeples from
Bradley Eng-Kohn
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See his work at: [thread=807557]Custom Meeples[/thread]
It's now in our NWIBGA "By-Laws" that anyone NOT referring to the Adventurers as "Fighters", "Clerics", "Rogues", and "Wizards" shall be written up and receive a demerit.

All true, but this game is really good. People need to get past the "weak theme" (many disagree with that statement anyway) and give the game credit on it's true merits: game-play, flow, speed, good decision-making challenge, and just enough player interaction. Even if you ignore the Questing Adventurers, Mob Boss Politics, and funky-shaped coin, Lords of Waterdeep is a GOOD game. Another worthy HoF entry.


Photo: BGG user virferrorum

It's survival in the city
When you live from day to day
City streets don't have much pity
When you're down, that's where you'll stay
~ The Eagles

---------------------------------
NWIBGA Owners*: 8
Ave BGG.com Rating: 7.83
Ave NWIBGA Rating: 8.25

NWIBGA Plays** (’11-12): 1
NWIBGA Plays** (’12-13): 18
NWIBGA Rank (by Plays): # 5

* Per Collections logged on BGG.com
** Tallied from recorded plays at formal NWIBGA events (private/home plays not incl)

Game data thru May 1, 2013
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13. Board Game: Crokinole [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:75]
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United States
Merrillville
Indiana
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2014 INDUCTEE

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14. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:127] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
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United States
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Indiana
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2014 INDUCTEE
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15. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:284] [Average Rating:7.22 Unranked]
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2014 INDUCTEE
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16. Board Game: Istanbul [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:91]
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2015 INDUCTEE
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17. Board Game: Splendor [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:119]
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United States
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2015 INDUCTEE
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