Games you have great respect for that you'll never play...
Tim Royal
United States
Kirkland
Washington
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All too often, in the 400+ games I own, I find myself staring longingly at a game and finding myself physically and mentally unable to overcome the hurdle of setting it up; at the same time, I stare longingly at it because it's a game I respect or appreciate. A conundrum, to be sure..

Am I alone in having games that I have almost nothing negative to say about, yet haven't cracked the box open in forever? We'll find out...
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1. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:69]
Tim Royal
United States
Kirkland
Washington
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Wow, on iPad or in person, this is a solid game. Getting my mind wrapped around it took more time than I care to admit, but it was well worth it. Yet...

I haven't actually played a game of it in months. Teaching others to play it is rather fatiguing. Yet, I consider it an ingenious game I never would have thought up myself.
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2. Board Game: Conquest of the Empire [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:1147]
Tim Royal
United States
Kirkland
Washington
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Wow. This game (especially the game board) almost makes you feel small enough to walk around on the board and direct your forces eye to eye... The rules, both original and modified, are fantastic; it's just a grand scale gaming experience (comparatively speaking). Yet...

I can't seem to motivate 3 folks at the same time to join me in this, and it takes far too much space to remain on the kitchen table for multiple days... Still, highly respect this game.
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3. Board Game: Earth Reborn [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:278]
Tim Royal
United States
Kirkland
Washington
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On an island, with no hope of rescue, this has to be in the top five games I'd like to be stranded with. Yet...

It's scope and breadth are almost its downfall. All too often, I salute it on the game shelf and walk past to find something different. Highly respect this game and its designer.
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4. Board Game: Mice and Mystics [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:220] [Average Rating:7.41 Unranked]
Tim Royal
United States
Kirkland
Washington
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Wow, what an exquisite game... clever, delightful story, high quality polished boards, entertaining gameplay. Yet...

For all our attempts to journey through the story, we continue to wind up packing the game up about half way through, for reasons we haven't really understood. Part of it is we play in sessions (we don't ever have much contiguous time), and some games are more facilitative to multi-session approach. This one, for us, appears not so. Yet, I highly respect the game and unique qualities it brings.
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5. Board Game: Die Macher [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:191]
CD Harris
United States
Louisville
KY
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Groundbreaking and still relevant almost three decades later. Yet I can't see myself committing the time to really learning it to be able to play it once every year or two at a convention.
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6. Board Game: Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:50]
 
Jordan S.
United States
Plano
Texas
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My God, that's an epic, beautiful, fine-crafted game of space-awesomeness. None of the gamers I play with would make it through a single turn. By our normal rate of gaming, it would take us 6 weeks to play through what I've heard is a typical game of TI.
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7. Board Game: Mage Knight Board Game [Average Rating:8.11 Overall Rank:20]
Tim Royal
United States
Kirkland
Washington
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I stand in awe of Vladas ability to make games and incorporate game mechanics that shake up all my ideas; that come out of nowhere and surprise me; that defy the formulaic. Mage Knight is no exception.

I open the box sometimes, slide my hand lovingly over the pieces, each one a fragment of awesomeness.... Yet....

I can't seem to put together a full session of this. The depth of thought into the puzzle of each scenario just adds to the inertia to make the leap from "Boy, I love the idea of playing this" to "Boy, let's play this!"

Very impressed with the game.

[edit for typo]
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8. Board Game: Case Blue [Average Rating:8.23 Overall Rank:2296] [Average Rating:8.23 Unranked]
Ted Spencer
United States
Lake in the Hills
Illinois
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No joke intended. I don't see myself ever playing a monster, though I admire those who do.
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9. Board Game: Axis & Allies [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:1195]
Dan Edelen
United States
Mount Orab
Ohio
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This came out my senior year in high school. I know guys who jumped on board and never looked back.

But something in this game pushed me away. I was moving away from wargames and into RPGs full time anyway, but whenever I was asked to play this, I just could not say yes.

Sure, the game has had great legs over the years and much good can be said about it, but I'll probably never play it.
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10. Board Game: Imperial [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:142]
Dave Lartigue
United States
Springfield
Massachusetts
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A lot of folks love this game. It's solid and well-put together. I imagine no two plays unfold the same way.

And yet, I have this strange aversion to it. It's not that I don't like it; I play a lot of games I don't like. There's just something about it that makes me queasy. It's not much the theme, I don't know what it is. Last time my group wanted it we were halfway through the rules refresher when I was just overwhelmed with a feeling that "no, I can't do this". Fortunately another player showed up and I bowed out to do something with him instead.

I can't explain the feeling. It's a well done game but for some reason I don't want any part of it.
 
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11. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.34 Overall Rank:5]
p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
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Grognards like to deny that this is a wargame, and yet it appears prominently in BGG's list of wargames. Whatever it is, it's clearly a top-notch board game, from what I've seen, heard, and read. It's also a game I wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole.

The title and theme is enough to drive me away. I grew up in the Cold War era, and the events covered in the game are the boring and all-too-serious things I heard about on the evening news when I wanted to be enjoying my life. Seeing references to those events now just reminds me of some of the worst parts of being a kid--the parts I'd rather forget.

That's bad enough, but TS also reminds me of the day wargaming died.

I discovered wargaming in the late 1960s and became a fanatic in the 1970s. I continued enthusiastically throughout the 1980s, even though I was playing almost exclusively solitaire by then. But something changed in the mid-1990s. It might have been me that changed, or it might have been computer technology or something, but what I remember is seeing advertisements for We the People and Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage and feeling disheartened. I never bought either game, but I told myself that if games like this were becoming popular, wargaming was dead.

I don't know how to explain what I felt; maybe it was irrational. But it seemed to me that wargames had previously been scaled-down simulations of military conflict, and now they were becoming dynamic, game-based narratives of military conflict. Years later I bought For the People, just to take a look at this kind of game; and my initial impressions were confirmed: the story of the war was printed on a deck of cards, and the military conflict was confined to a politico-economic context. I traded the game away without ever having played it.

So, the advent of card-driven wargames marks my departure from the wargaming hobby. In 2008 I tentatively ventured back, but I'm only interested in older-style wargames now, and mainly for old times' sake.
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12. Board Game: Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:29]
p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
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My wife bought me this one Christmas, and I was hoping we'd enjoy playing it together. Years ago, we had enjoyed Advanced Civilization, and I heard this game was similar. But it turned out I had misheard; it's supposed to be similar to Sid Meier's Civilization.

That didn't have to be a bad thing, though; we had enjoyed the video games too.

But what's missing in TtA is a map. Instead of a map, each player has some kind of elaborate abacus. And as best as I've been able to figure, players are supposed to enjoy micromanaging the movement of little colored blocks while imagining that they're building a civilization.

The game was so fiddly to me, and so far removed from its theme, that I just couldn't stay interested in it. Still, it looks like a brilliant game design and a highly popular one. So--great game, but count me out, please.
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