The disappointing game that stunted your game buying craze.
Sean Boyll
United States
Kuna
Idaho
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This is a list for those games you bought that disappointed you so much, it caused you to stop or slow down your new game purchases.

This list was inspired by The game that stopped your game buying craze. created by:
Lisa EP
United States
Illinois
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While her list is for those games that are so good you wont need a new game for awhile, this list is for those that made you more cautious with your wallet. Or you now focus on the games you already love in your collection a little bit more.

I watch and read reviews on games. yet I have recently had several games that I expected to love disappoint me greatly. Usually from an unexpected element that only showed it self during play.
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1. Board Game: Cyclades [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:132]
Sean Boyll
United States
Kuna
Idaho
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This was the final straw in what was a trifecta of disappointments I've had lately. These are games that I expected to love, love, love.

Smash Up was the first. I love the concept and the theme in the decks. The game it self was not fun. Smash Up is not a game about advancing to win. It is about canceling all the other players work in hopes they can't cancel yours. I don't mind that kind of game if it is quick and light. Smash Up has far to much card interaction and takes to long to play for what it is. It did not win this spot because of its price. But there was additional disappointment because I got this for my daughter.

The Manhattan Project did not win this spot because I got to play it right before I was going to buy it. "Worker placement, player interaction and conflict with a great theme? This is going to be amazing!" Or so I though. The Manhattan Project is not a worker placement game! It is an engine building race game that uses workers as a form of action selection. There is little to no blocking of player actions. In fact, players don't even have to place on the main board and that main board has plenty of spaces or ways to use the meaningful actions. The attacking option is not even close to a viable means to even catch up to a runaway leader. The leader is basically chosen by the random draw of the building cards. The spy path, the other form of player interaction, has to be dedicated to completely for it to work at all. The game is too short to allow anyone to adjust for card draw in the buildings and bombs. Not having negatives points for unfinished bombs means there is no risk. There are even posts from the designer on parts that were pulled and changed to make the game more marketable. I find The Manhattan Project to be an incomplete unfinished game that had so much potential.

Phew, Sorry about that. I'll try to keep this one under control.

Cyclades is another game I researched and watch videos on that looked exactly like what I wanted. I bought this one brand new as it was high on my want list for a long time. Like Smash Up, this also had a similar aspect I didn't see until played. the bidding for the actions you can do and the the creatures, which are mostly about erasing all your opponents progress, causes the game to devolve into bidding to stop someone from winning. The game isn't about advancing the best you can. You have to bid on a god you don't want because that god or the first creature choice will allow a different player to win before you. This will go on turn after tun until someone happens to get a layout of gods or creatures that the other players simply can do nothing about.

A new form of research I've added because of all this is to read the ranked comments on a game starting with the lowest ranking.
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2. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:16]
Dominic Crapuchettes
United States
Bethesda
MD
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This is the game stopped my buying craze...

and it's one of my favorite games. But it sat unopened in my closet for several years before I finally decided it was time for him to find a new home. I gave away over 200 games over the next few years in order to prune my closet down to the games that got played on a regular basis.
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3. Board Game: Sedition Wars: Battle for Alabaster [Average Rating:5.76 Overall Rank:11453]
Paul Agapow
United Kingdom
London
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"Disappointing" is an overstatement, but read on:

Like many on BGG, Kickstarter is catnip to me. Interesting projects emrge from there all the time - quirky boardgames, cool miniatures, incredible tabletop terrain - and my reaction to too many of them is "Wow - I have got to get that!"

Which is completely natural. With Kickstarter, what you see of a product is nearly 100% marketing (because there aren't any negative reviews and the product may not even exist), you get a rush from obtaining the Next New Big Thing, a warm glow of exclusivity, and some pride from your investment. I helped this game be made! Which is not to say that decent and interesting projects don't come out of Kickstarter. But that is not the largest force behind Kickstarter's sales.

I started to realise this after having picked up my copy of Ground Floor. It's a decent game, well-produced, good-looking with an interesting set of variations on common Euro / worker placement idioms. But I read the rules thinking Why the hell did I kickstart this?. The game isn't terrible, but there are hundreds of decent Euros out there that I haven't tried, many cheaper. Yet, I invested in an untried new entry that the rules weren't even available for at the time. How does this make sense?

Still not cured, some time later I pitched in for Sedition Wars: Battle for Alabaster. I'd steered clear of Zombicide - partly fatigue of zombies, partly being now sceptical of games that were unknown quantities. And damnit, it turned out to be an interesting and fun game. So when Sedition Wars was announced, I chipped in. Gotta get that big pile o' miniatures. Looking forward to some action akin to Space Hulk (one of my favourite games).

Shortly after SW arrived on my doorstep, two things became obvious:

* The game is ... so-so. And I already have a lot of so-so Space Hulk clones on my shelves (Forlorn: Hope, Project Pandora: Grim Cargo ...)
* Dear god, there are a lot of miniatures in this game. And they all need assembly (looks askance at pile of miniatures yet to be assembled and painted) ...

And so, I got a lot more sceptical and realistic about Kickstarter. I've still kickstarted some stuff (notably, Last Frontier: The Vesuvius Incident and Spy or Die Trying, both proven products) but have started to ask questions. Is this really the sort of game I'd play? Is this actually different? Will someone I know have this game? How do I know what this will be like? Is this going to hit the table or will it be consigned to the "one day / to be painted / when there's time" pile? And that's clipped back on my craze.
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4. Board Game: Star Trek: Fleet Captains [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:411]
Fedor Ilitchev
Canada
Ottawa
ON
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This was probably the only highly hyped expensive game where I fell for the hype and ended up pretty disappointed. I mean, I've purchased other games that I've liked less but they did not cost this much.

Looking back, I would say that this is the reason why it takes a lot more to get me to actually invest in a title.

What's impressive is that it took many many years of me being in the hobby for this to happen - perhaps because I had always been careful to keep my boardgame consumption to a moderate level.

What's also interesting is that, even though I've had some good trade offers for this, and it never gets played - I still haven't been able to bring myself to trade it - I just love those damn ships too much...
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5. Board Game: Fallen City of Karez [Average Rating:4.56 Overall Rank:15525]
Mark Stocks
New Zealand
Wellington
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I had started buying games just as they came out, or in this case before it was even produced (it was a kickstarter campaign). I'd already had a couple of near misses with new games that had few reviews, but this is the one that tipped me over the edge and just made me stop and wait for a bit more information before buying.

Moving to New Zealand has also helped becasue by the time the games get here they have already been out in Europe and the US for at least a month!
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6. Board Game: Zombicide [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:335] [Average Rating:7.25 Unranked]
Zigi Hogan
United States
The Ozarks
Missouri
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I looked for quite a while for a decent zombie game and after passing on the likes of Zombies!!! and Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game due to what I perceived as short comings to those games I chose Zombicide.

After looking over what can be kindly be described as a "lacking" rule book with more abiguities than a politician getting an actual tough question. The game play seemed to be fairly wonky. BUT LOOK AT ALL OF THE MINIS! I would hope that isn't the reason most bought this game (I would hope it was gameplay).

Several characters are the must use characters that if not used you chances of completing objectives/missions is greatly diminished. Some of the combat rules are very counterintuitive such as the zombie pickpocket rule (no clue why that is in there as they offer no explaination) Maybe the zombies are obssessive collectors of living persons items(?).

This is not to say I haven't played this game many times and had a few good experiences with it, the very poor rulebook (makes Fantasy Flight look downright thourough!) and game play that doesn't work as written or is just plain stupid it didn't (and doesn't) seem like a good value for $90.00.

I have 65+ games in my collection and none of them has HAD to be house ruled as much as this one! So much I had to make and print a word document and put in in the box when I take it to play so I could remember them all.

I just had much higher hopes for this game than what it delivered. I am not quite sure why this is still so highly rated.
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7. Board Game: Mage Knight Board Game [Average Rating:8.11 Overall Rank:20]
Craig Phillips
United States
Quincy
Illinois
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This is it for me. I tried. I played it solo several times. I played it 2-player multiple times, and it just doesn't move fast enough for me. I love spending 8 hours playing 1830, but it's tense the entire time. This wasn't tense...ever...I literally fell asleep during one solo play. Ugh...I wanted to love it...
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8. Board Game: Merchants & Marauders [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:201]
Kolby Reddish
United States
Nampa
Idaho
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Over the summer I was really getting back into games after getting married and went on a little buying spree - but this is the game that halted that for me, at least for a while. I had heard such good things, the game looked beautiful and who doesn't want to play a pirate gamearrrh?

However - I found the game to just be so overly complicated and so damn long for what it really was. I also found after a few plays that one of the most interesting points of the game was which captain you receive, which takes place before the game even begins. There was no way to make your captains better throughout the game.

The thing that really distressed me was I really wanted to like this game, I just didn't. I posted a critical review here on the geek which was attacked over and over again. (Look for yourself)

Nevertheless I was able to get a good trade out of it.

Now I'm at the point where I'm waiting for a few KS pledges to flow back to me, namely Zombicide Season 2, Galaxy Defenders, Euphoria, Belfort Expansion, Eminent Domain Expansion, and Alien Frontiers Expansion. Obviously my buying streak has started again, and I'm afraid in all of those headed my way there will be at least one stinker.
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9. Board Game: Supremacy [Average Rating:5.59 Overall Rank:13365]
Adam Deverell
Australia
Melbourne
Victoria
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I bought a lot of games in my teen years that I had a sneaking suspicion I wasn't enjoying much as I should have. Too many half finished sessions and too many underplayed games. Games I thought I'd love but didn't really enjoy playing included Car Wars, BattleTech and even Blood Bowl (Second Edition)and then, finally, Supremacy.

At least I actually played it to conclusion a few times. But I was expecting to really love this. I mean, you get to nuke half the world! I did enjoy some three player games, but then I played a six player game than ground down into a dull, confused mess with charts and pieces everywhere, until we gave up four hours later.

I gave up on boardgames then, and played little beyond Triple Yahtzee for the next ten years.

Happy to say while my buying craze is more like a sustainable trickle, not one purchase has really put me off by buying since my first "second generation" purchase of Catan.
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10. Board Game: Age of Renaissance [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:900]
Nate Sandall
United States
Portland
Oregon
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Back in 1996 I had made some really fun purchases the few years previous with Kremlin, 1830, History of the World, Advanced Civilization, and Stellar Conquest that my friends and I had a lot of fun with. I saw this at the game store and made a $60 impulse purchase.

We played the game a few times and each time I was frustrated by the game and thought to myself maybe things would work better the next time I played. We started teaching the game to a non-gamer friend of mine once who up and bolted about 10 minutes into the rules explanation. He just said "I gotta go!" Eventually I realized that the game was always going to frustrate me.

I didn't buy another board game again until 2002. We played a lot more computer games instead between 1996-2002 with some occasional plays of our favorites.
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11. Board Game: BodgerMania [Average Rating:5.86 Overall Rank:11176]
Matt
United States
Alabama
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This didn't end my game-buying craze because it was bad. Actually, I still have no idea how the game plays, because apparently I'm the only one in my group that was amused by the idea of goblin professional wrestling. But that's exactly why it lessened my excitement for buying new games - it was the most recent in a buying frenzy of games that I have yet to play with people. Just like how I get with video games (Steam Summer Sale, anyone?), I only end up playing a small portion of my purchases, but at least the video games don't take up physical space.
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12. Board Game: Terra Mystica [Average Rating:8.23 Overall Rank:8]
Jason Hinchliffe
Canada
Mississauga
Ontario
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I bought this after reading a number of reviews. It sounded incredible. Interesting mechanics, no luck, area control, civilization building, fantasy theme replete with special powers! How could this go wrong?!

Except that it did. Quite simply, the game has no dynamics. It doesn't crescendo at any point. It's a slow steady burn, and that, for me, means no tension and no excitement.

I usually enjoy long term strategy, but there has to be some gamble involved (not necessarily due to luck, but rather the unpredictability of other players). This game presents no uncertainty. I know for sure I will be able to do what I plan, with only minor variance (given that variance will decide if I win or lose, but I just can't bring myself to care).

The sheer hype around the game, combined with the actual play experience, has soured my desire to look for other new hot games. I should have listened to DoubtofBuddha's review. It's a good game, but a far cry from a great one.
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13. Board Game: Level 7 [Escape] [Average Rating:6.10 Overall Rank:4026]
Ludovic Roy
Canada
Gatineau
Québec
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Phenomenal promo video - http://privateerpress.com/level7
Great prison escape theme in a sci fi setting.

How could I not want to buy this game?
So I got it, and started reading the rules. Holly crap was that ever brutal! The worst rulebook ever written. Tons of little flimsy details hidden everywhere, but you can't find the startup setting if your life depended on it. And the game...

It's an absolute waste. Terrible. Little to nothimg makes sense, and it doesn't end quickly, you'll be reading through the rule book or scenario book about 10 times to figure out how to resolve every situation.

On top of that, it comes with cardboard standees, not miniatures. yuk

The biggest disappointment for me. I really wanted to like this one, gave it multiple tries, and ended up selling it quickly and got almost as much back as I paid for it which eased the pain a bit, but I never got back the 5-10hours wasted on rules and gameplay.
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14. Board Game: The Batman Game [Average Rating:4.64 Overall Rank:14986]
Paul

Wisconsin
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I started thrifting back when my collection was but a wee child. Over the years, I picked up quite a few gems that I used for trade or to help build my collection (Tikal, SW: Epic Duels, LOTR, Forbidden Island, Heroquest etc.)

However, I also began to pick up games that were ranked pretty highly even if I had no interest in playing them, or games with sort of cool bits (Dungeon Quest, Dark World, Lionheart)even if I knew they weren't very good games.

This worked fine when I had the space. However, as my collection grew with games that I enjoy, space became a premium.

After purchasing "Batman", a horrid spin and move game on the assumption of well...it is Batman and maybe someone would like it as a collector's piece, I took a look at the growing pile on my office floor (since my closet shelves were not filled) and said, "What the heck am I doing???"

After purchasing this abomination (even if it was for $2 or whatever), it pushed me away from SEE GAME BUY GAME mode into IS IT GOOD ENOUGH TO REPLACE SOMETHING IN MY CLOSET mode.

I still have about 10-12 games in that pile that slowly dwindles as I sell one every few months, but it is has been a long journey.

FWIW, the Batman game is still available and I would probably give it away to anyone willing to pay shipping based on principle alone.

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15. Board Game: Endeavor [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:206]
Len Stemberger
United States
Spring
Texas
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I bought this game unplayed after reading the rules online and reading a recommendation here on the Geek.

I thought that I would love this game; it seemed to be everything that I enjoy.

But, after a few plays, I seriously began to question my ability to select games. And after my wife found out that I bought a game without playing it first and wound up not loving it, she practically outlawed by buying privileges.
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16. Board Game: Nuns on the Run [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:1328]
Aaron
United States
Huntington Beach
California
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I hated it and so did everyone I played it with. There are just so many games that do what this one is trying to do but better.

It's also the game that made me question Tom Vassals reviews a lot more.
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17. Board Game: Trajan [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:71]
Vivienne Raper
United Kingdom
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Put me off medium euros for months...

I loved my first two-player game of Trajan. The mancala was cool, the game seemed to have enormous meaty depth with manageable complexity. I was so keen to explore the game that I entered the 100-play challenge.

After six plays, I'd grown to hate the game. I could program the mancala to deliver a sequence of actions I wanted, and the game remaining was bookkeeping with levers. We spent time discussing before the game which sequence of mini-games gave us two extra victory points.

I decided many of the high-rated euros were only highly rated because people had played them once or twice at a games club, and they were 'complex and shallow with the appearance of depth'. It didn't stop me buying games, but it stopped me buying anything by Stefan Feld and anything described as 'a deep euro' on Boardgamegeek.

I now try to play new games five times in quick succession to stop games like Trajan building up on my shelves.
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18. Board Game: Space Cadets [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:1200]
Konstantin Hamann
Germany
Dresden
Germany
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Acutually this game stopped my bying craze right after Essen 2012. As a first timer I did many things wrong in Essen (except for a nice game of "andean abyss" and meeting Uwe Eickert): I left all the good games there (Archipelago and Polis for example) and got home with a few bad ones. (Antike duellum e.g.)
So after Essen I tried to get all the games I missed out on including "Space cadets" which sounded like a lot of fun. (I, too, have to question video reviews a lot more, see above)
Well, as you can imagine by now, Space Cadets was a huge dissapointment. Maybe we did something wrong, but it seemed to be a quite challenging game. In three games we never made it through the first scenario. The idea of different roles with different minigames sounded better than it felt during the game.

It took me till last week to push the "order" button again.
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19. Board Game: Quarriors! [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:697] [Average Rating:6.79 Unranked]
Jestin Jund
United States
Sioux Falls
South Dakota
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While this game didn't exactly stop me from purchasing games (in fact, it caused me to buy more), it did help me re-evaluate my tastes. I was soooo excited for this game because of the blending of deck building and a fun way to use dice. I pre-ordered this well before it came out and I watched the progress of release for what felt like forever. What transpired was me justifying that I was having fun playing it when I really wasn't.

It took Quarriors to make me really appreciate that I'm a Euro gamer at heart. I still enjoy playing non-Euros or other things on occasion but I think I have control issues when it comes to strategy haha.
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20. Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:12]
Stacie Winters
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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I watched the videos, read the reviews, saw its high geek rating and my roommate was interested in it so we decided to buy it. This was my first Stefan Feld game that we had ever played...

It didn't really stall my buying craze but it did give me pause and ever since I have been more deliberate in my game purchases because this game is DULL, DULL and oh so BORING!

It made me question its high rating on the geek and while its simple, its so simple that there's just no meat to it. Not to me at least.

I will eventually get other Feld games... I do have Macao on the way and I will try out Trajan, Bruges, Bora Bora and Rialto at some point but the lack of fun in CoB has given me pause that Feld might be overrated.

All of the above words are just IMO.
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21. Board Game: Archipelago [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:285]
Kolby Reddish
United States
Nampa
Idaho
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I decided to add another of my biggest disappointments in gaming. When Archipelago was on its way here to America - I was back and forth over getting this and Clash of Cultures. I eventually got a pretty good trade request for this so decided this would be the way I would go, after all it looked great.

Archipelago is easily one of the most beautiful games I've ever seen on the table and the idea of it just sounded so cool. My wife and I played through a few two player games and I realized first off that the rulebook is really poorly written. Not even the fanboys can deny that as the designer had already within like 5 months of the general release rewritten them. There were lots of things just straight up missing from the rulebook. I had never had one that left me with so many questions.

Aside from that, we found that playing the game as designed with hidden end game conditions made it virtually come down to a coin flip to see who had won. I did not enjoy that at all. I almost felt like I was playing the game completely for this cool experience and then the scoring had nothing to do with that experience. I sold this one and picked up Clash of Cultures and definitely made the right decision. That was much more what I was looking for.
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22. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:7.66 Unranked]
Kolby Reddish
United States
Nampa
Idaho
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This was the first game that disappointed me. Go ahead and grab your pitchforks and light your torches, I can't stand this game even though I've played it over and over again.

To me it is just so abstract and game-y (in a bad way.) The point cards make absolutely no sense.

I've found Eminent Domain to be a deckbuilder that I actually enjoy because it feels more "real" to me.
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23. Board Game: Le Havre [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:38]
Kolby Reddish
United States
Nampa
Idaho
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This is the one that really broke my heart. I really only got into gaming heavily in 2006-2007, so when Agricola came along and I was really involved in this site, I had ordered it way in advance and received one of the first copies here in the States. I absolutely loved Agricola and seeing my farm grow.

Fast forward to Le Havre being released and I blindly ordered it assuming that because I loved Agricola I would love it too, both being by Rosenberg.

Boy did I learn my lesson.

I felt like all I was doing in this game was turning stuff into other stuff to turn it into yet other stuff to turn it into points. I was able to sell it quickly and never regretted it.

A little while ago I even bought the iOS version (on sale) to try it a few more times and find out whether or not I really hated it. I did.

The sad thing is that then I realized this game I hated had so much in common with my beloved Agricola and I started to not enjoy it as much. I started to find out that I really was just turning stuff into other stuff to turn into points. I have never really enjoyed Agricola since even though I do love some pieces and parts of it. The thing I think ruins Agricola for me is the end game scoring. I love the idea of being able to diversify your farm and specialize, but the game system actually penalizes you (quite harshly) for specialization. People say that the occupation and improvement cards make this much less of an issue, but then I feel like some of the cards are so much better than others that winning comes down to who got the better cards.

I'll still play Agricola, but I really do suspect if I had never played Le Havre, I'd still love and own Agricola.

Curse you, Le Havre.
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24. Board Game: Ghost Stories [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:194]
Christopher Dickinson
United Kingdom
Berkshire
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Back in January I started getting back into Board Games in a big way, having convinced my wife and some non-gamer friends to indulge me one evening... I chose Railways of the World and it went down a storm (after they got over the shock that playing a board game does not mean playing monopoly!)

Anyway, I then decided to find a decent co-op that was relatively simple and straightforward that I could play with them, but not immediately.

It had to be playable with my gamer buddies (who I see rarely).
Something I could play solo.

I narrowed it down to Ghost Stories and Battlestar Galactica (I even considered King of Tokyo instead, ditching the need to be co-op as I figured it would be suitable for my nephews).

I went to a gaming convention (Salute), all the games were there, plus many others which I then went on to consider, but decided on Ghost Stories. I had read lots about it, seen reviews, it had appeared in the Dice Tower Top 10 list... this could only mean one thing... a great game!

Man I was disappointed. It is so dull. Move here, exercise ghost, move there, exercise ghost. Wait for bad guy to show up, pray for lucky dice roll. Each game I have played has come down to a one shot attempt at victory when the boss shows. Fail that and fail the game. No amount of planning can help either as it often comes down to a lucky roll. Fail the roll and then you have to take care of other things which prevent you from taking care of the boss... I don't know what I was really expecting from this game, but it wasn't what I got.
 
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25. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:240] [Average Rating:7.31 Unranked]
Liam
Scotland
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Probably my third board game having returned to the hobby.

It had a really high rank on BGG and everyone seemed to love it. I sat down with the rules prior to buying it and read them from cover to cover. I was so excited.

It arrived. Wow! It looked amazing - awesome art.

After a solo dummy run, we sat down and played. An hour and 30 minutes in we were bored. There were seemingly no meaningful decisions, everything was just a random result of a roll of the die or a turn of a card. 4 hours in we lost...

I didn't buy boardgames for a month afterwards. It was an important experience to me, from then on I've been very careful to be critical of hype and look for substance and not style. I've tended only to by games that have been out for more than a year.

Shamefully, it also made me avoid Fantasy Flight games for at least 12 months; thankfully Dust and others brought me back. I've come to realise that, for me, FF offers some of the best and worst games.

I still own Arkham Horror - it's had a few more outing but while the time factor has dropped, neither the fun factor or meaningful decision making factor has increased...
Spoiler (click to reveal)
worse when we figured out where to go for good event cards shake

Lots of folk love it and will disagree with me, that's fine.
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