New to you a year ago Jul 13 => Has it stood the test of time?
Martin G
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Bristol
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Grimwold's new-to-you geeklists are the highlight of my month on the 'geek. They motivate me to review the new games I've played (and recycle my entries as comments), and they allow me to read the thoughts of some of the most insightful BGGers on new and classic games.

But the new-to-me list is inevitably full of first impressions. I'm interested in hearing how those games that seemed so great at the time stood up to multiple plays. Did you actually play them that much after the first month? Did a game you dismissed at the time turn out to be better in retrospect?

Add an entry with the same game you chose for the New to you Jul 12 geeklist. Link to your entry in that geeklist, then write down your thoughts on the game you chose a year on. If your impression of some of the other games you wrote up that month have changed, let us know about that too.

The hot game that month was Eclipse - has it stood the test of time?

I'll be starting these lists mid-month, so we don't have to keep up with this list and Grimwold's (and several other monthly ones) all at the same time. You can subscribe to the announcement thread for reminders.
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1. Board Game: Ninety-Nine [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:2663]
Martin G
United Kingdom
Bristol
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Item for Geeklist "New To You July 2012 => Best new boardgame"

Wow, I played some awesome games this month!

I picked David Parlett's wonderfully elegant 3p trick-taker Ninety-Nine, which I'm baffled to see I've only played twice since. I could have sworn it was more than that! I guess it's down to the slight reluctance to play standard-deck games at boardgame clubs combined with the strict player-count requirement. Still a quite brilliant design that I must play more.

Zendo is another game for which my respect only increases, despite not having as many plays as I would like (three more subsequently). I'm going to be training as a physics teacher starting in September, and I really hope that one day I'll be able to work this into a science lesson Nice to hear that Looney Labs are remarketing it with an explicitly scientific theme too, in contrast to the original's Buddhist setting.

Realistically though, the 'test of time' award for this month would have to go to Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small, which has become a reliable once-a-month game thanks to being a big hit with both my wife and my other regular 2p opponent. I'm not normally a fan of worker placement, but this hits a sweet-spot of length and complexity for me (i.e. short and quite simple!) The expansion buildings have added enough variability to keep it fresh too, the one thing the base game was lacking.

Intrigue has had one more, highly enjoyable, play with a group that perfectly suited its utter nastiness and back-stabbery. Another one that I can't understand why I haven't played more.

Skull has been a filler standby at London on Board, leading to 10 more plays. I'm terrible at it, but love the purity of its bluffing.

Ghost Blitz got one more entertaining play, but has to compete in the speed-matching niche with the excellent Dobble and Panic Lab.

Artus was played twice more but is now on my trade pile. It's a decent game played fast and tactically as intended, but tooth-pullingly painful with AP players. After three plays I felt like I'd seen most of what it had to offer.

Sheepdogs of Pendleton Hill has moved on after a couple more plays too. It didn't prove popular with my regular opponents and it's not nearly as good as the somewhat-similar Marracash.

The games I had a mediocre-to-negative opinion of at the time have mostly been unplayed since. Get Bit! has come out a couple more times at LoB but not get any more exciting. And sadly I was forced to play Ubongo 3-D again as part of a tournament. La Boca has now made this redundant on top of being wretched.
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2. Board Game: Web of Power [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:507]
Ben Bateson
United Kingdom
Ross-on-Wye
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Web of Power was definitely one of my best finds of the month: one of the original area control games, and still one of the best. Much smoother than El Grande, although some people might complain your strategy is almost written for you. Played twice; won twice. Nice.

We followed this up with Die Sieben Siegel, which is essentially Oh Hell with the opportunity to bugger about with other people's game. What's not to like? I would play this any time, but trick-taking games aren't my wife's forte, whereas a long Bridge history makes them second-nature for me.

Also new at this time last year was the intriguing Utopian Rummy; a print-and-play copy before it got published (largely as a sweetener for the GtR Black Box, it seems). Like the above, strongly influenced by classic card-game mechanics (in this case, Gin). We've played a couple of times since, and it's pretty good.

The Agricola O-deck was discovered on our pioneering E-I-E-I-O game of Agricola (using those decks, you see...). The cards are not exactly balanced and this will not see much table time.

The Wend games are a print-and-play exercise in the mould of Tsuro or Metro. To be honest, I printed out two sets and played Tsuro with them. Why mess with a classic?

Oh, and we visited my mother and she forced us to play Sequence. The less said about that, the better.

Not a bumper selection, but a few games that were bang-on along my axes of preference this month.
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3. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:41]
Fernando Robert Yu
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Item for Geeklist "New To You July 2012 => Best new boardgame"

7 Wonders

This has been played 42 times after 1 year, and it is still rated a 9. Now usually played with the 7 Wonders: Leaders and the 7 Wonders: Cities expansions, it is a definite favorite among the gals at my FLGS, although play of this has really slowed down in my house. Maybe the 7 Wonders: Wonder Pack expansion may rejuvenate it in the house a bit!

Stone Age

This has been played 13 times after a year. Initially rated an 8, I lowered the rating to 7.5, but then upped it again to an 8 since it was only later that I appreciated how streamlined and smooth playing this game really is. I now also have the Stone Age: The Expansion expansion, but it does not mean that every game is played using the expansion.

Dungeon Petz

Played 9 times so far, I have lowered the rating from an 8 to a 7.25 due to it's "chaotic" nature, which has frustrated my wife and kids. Still, the theme is cute and it stays in my collection for that alone!

Through the Desert

Played 11 times. I've lowered the rating from an 8 to a 7.5 simply because it's a bit dry and is not a game my groups request often. It's still a solid abstract and definitely fills the abstract niche on my collection so far (although recently Kingdom Builder has been filling that itch).

Warhammer 40,000 (sixth edition)

I've been a long time Warhammer 40,000 player (since 2000), and when this edition came out a year ago I had played a game and rated it a 9. I've now rated it an 8, BUT have not played another 40K game since. This could be simply due to burnout, but also due to the fact that this edition has made the game more "fiddly" instead of more streamlined. In addition, the community itself has a lot of "testosterone" and I guess I am now tired of this very competitive atmosphere, and I now prefer the more casual and social experience of boardgaming, as it is much more accessible to more people, especially my family! I'm not giving up on the game though, not when I've invested a lot into the system (I have a HUGE Imperial Guard army, and have a sizable Eldar force as well. I also have a large Space Marine and Sisters of Battle collection, but will be streamlining and selling those.
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4. Board Game: Ascension: Deckbuilding Game [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:496] [Average Rating:7.03 Unranked]
Doug Mann
United States
Corpus Christi
Texas
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Item for Geeklist "New To You July 2012 => Best new boardgame"

I still come back to this every three or four months, as it's more accessible than Thunderstone, which still remains my favorite deckbuilder. My wife will play if asked, although she prefers Dominion. The gaming group played it one meeting, but no one asked for it since.

I haven't purchased expansions, more due to space concerns than anything. When we find a bigger house, purchasing Ascension: Storm of Souls is a distinct possibility. Rating: d10-7 out of 10.


As expected, Munchkin didn't keep my interest very long, although one member of the gaming group brought it last night (to my surprise). The humor value is quickly overcome by the predictable course of play. Rating: 5.5 out of 10.
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5. Board Game: Vanuatu [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:640]
Bryan Maxwell
United States
Burtchville
Michigan
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Have they stood the test of time? Not exactly. If you summed up my plays of these games since last July and multiplied them by five, you'd have a big, fat zero. Well, until yesterday that is.

Vanuatu: This game is brilliant and nasty. I adore this game. It didn't go over as well with everyone I played with (one guy in particular didn't dig it much). However, I feel that the game is impressive enough to keep it around for whenever I get the chance to play it again. Yesterday morning I introduced the game to my wife as we tried the designer's 2-player variant. I'm happy to report that it works very well. Vanuatu is a keeper, just one that I haven't gotten to play much.

Bananagrams: Good for a light word game, but nothing I need to play regularly.

Caylus Magna Carta: Another good but not great game.

Navegador: I only tried this as a 2-player game, but the economic mechanics disappointed me.
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6. Board Game: Carnival [Average Rating:5.76 Overall Rank:7001]
Jason Lott
United States
Cheverly
Maryland
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A year ago my better half brought home 2 new dice games from our FLGS, and both have stayed on as winners for us. Light and fun. I've reversed the order because one is getting a lot more play than the other.

Carnival has had 6 more plays, as gets requested fairly frequently from one friend in particular. We've tried it in a few different arrangements, but I think it works best with 3 players. Super light and a heavy dose of luck, but a nice little filler with a clever premise for using dice.

To Court the King got a couple more plays this year, and while it's a bit tough to explain, it's a breeze once players get into it. Again there's a heavy dose of luck here with the dice, but the components are beautifully done and I enjoy playing it.
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7. Board Game: King of Tokyo [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:226]
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United States
Wurtsboro
NY
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I only played 5 games last July - we were getting married, Sam's mother was in town for two weeks, and we were packing up our house and getting ready to move to another city.

We played King of Tokyo, which we've played again since then.

Other new games included:

Fearsome Floors
Power Grid: The First Sparks
Midnight Party


All of which I would play again, but none of which I own or would miss terribly if I didn't play again.
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8. Board Game: The Boss [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:1110]
Chris Marling
United Kingdom
Cambridge
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Item for Geeklist "New To You July 2012 => Best new boardgame"

My only physical play last time out was Ora et Labora, a game I've hated more and more in my mind since that one play... never again. I'd never want to play this ahead of Agricola and I don't get to play Agricola that often. I still really need to play Le Havre though, as it sounds as if it might be a good half way house between these two.

I didn't manage to find a cheap copy of Shazamm! as Essen, and have only played a few more times online since; I will grab a copy if I see one. However I did pick up a bargain copy of The Boss for five euros - definitely my best buy of Essen. I've actually only played it three times since then, but that's more due to my acquisition disorder than anything else - a great little game.

I still can't face Summoner Wars on the iPod, while the more I read/watch about Tigris & Euphrates the more boring and dry it sounds/looks. I do still want to get a proper game in, as it seems to deserve its 'classic' status, but I don't think it's going to be for me (I'm in trouble now...).
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9. Board Game: 51st State [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:927] [Average Rating:6.89 Unranked]
Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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Last July seemed to be the month of the "so-so" games. I was introduced to 7 new games, and most of them I rated 7, played a handful of times and then decided I wasn't interested in playing more, and the only one I still own is a kids game that the children enjoy - all of the others that I did own have since been traded on.



51st State
Initial rating:
Current geek rating: 7
Plays in first year: 5


We MathTraded for this as a 2 player game option, and played it several times, but my husband really hated it. There were issues with the rules and iconography, but once we got past that, it just felt too fiddly to be worth it, and as my husband is my main 2 player opponent, wasn't worth keeping if he didn't enjoy it, so we traded it on.





Drum Roll
Initial rating:
Current geek rating: 7
Plays in first year: 5


This one was on my radar after Essen, and I played it at the club this time last year and then MathTraded for it as a result of that. I mentioned last year after the first play that I was concerned about replayability, and this did turn out to be an issue - after 5 plays we felt fairly played out on it, and decided to trade it on again.





Dragon Rampage
Initial rating:
Current geek rating: 7
Plays in first year: 2


I don't own this one, but a gaming friend has brought it along to try twice. It was reasonably fun, but slightly drags for the luck element. One I'd happily play occasionally, but wouldn't rush to suggest too often.





Walnut Grove
Initial rating:
Current geek rating: 7
Plays in first year: 7


We MathTraded for this one as I'd heard good things about it. It was an ok little resource management, but was just ok - it just didn't grab me and make me want to keep coming back to it. We played it quite a few times in quick succession, then I sold it to someone else in my games group who liked it far more than me!





Wordquest
Initial rating:
Current geek rating: 5
Plays in first year: 12


My 5 year old son asked to buy this at a car boot sale. It's basically wordsearches turned into a board game, and has been a huge hit. I have to play slow, or I find almost all of them first, but if I handicap myself it can be fun. Only downside is that my youngest, at 3, can't join in yet, so it can be frustrating for a family games session, although it hasn't stopped it being suggested fairly regularly - of all the games on the list this is the only one I still own, and the only one I expect to play again this year!



Not played again:
Gears of War: The Board Game
Africana
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10. Board Game: Dungeon Command: Sting of Lolth [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:1401] [Average Rating:7.35 Unranked]
Jeff Wolfe
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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Item for Geeklist "New To You July 2012 => Best new boardgame"

The problem with logging this game is that each faction is a separate box and thus a separate BGG entry. There are rules for playing if you only have one faction, but it's really designed for each player to play a separate faction.

The first time I played this (last July), I was Sting of Lolth and my opponent was Heart of Cormyr, so I logged it to Sting of Lolth. I played again a couple of months later, where I was Heart of Cormyr and my opponent was Sting of Lolth, so I logged it to Heart of Cormyr. So, notwithstanding my log showing only one play, this has actually had the chance to stand the test of time, barely.

My reaction both times was basically: It was fun, I would play it again, but I don't see myself wanting to play it a lot. As it stands, I don't own it or know anyone in my current gaming circle who owns it, so my opportunities will be limited.

Other than this game, the only game on my new-to-me list from a year ago that I've played again was the one I listed as "not really new": Cthulhu Fluxx. I've played lots of different Fluxxes, and Cthulhu Fluxx was the version to play for a while. Now, Star Fluxx seems to be the choice more often than not.
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11. Board Game: Starship Merchants [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:2859]
Dave Peters
United States
Belmont
California
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Powers:Coleridge:Milton: Faith...must be, if anything, a clear-eyed recognition of the patterns and tendencies, to be found in every piece of the world's fabric, which are the lineaments of God.
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A year ago this month, I'd played five new games - and was suprised to see that no new expansions had been played. (It turns out that was the beginning of an increasing trend: I'm playing fewer and fewer expansions - whether new or old - these days.) As usual, I'll list the games in decreasing order of current enthusiasm.


Starship Merchants -- (1 play a year ago; none since) _7.7_ (no change)
(both images by toyvaultinc)

I'd found this one quite charming on that first play - but I've had no success in getting it back to the table. I'm not quite sure what the issue is, either; but I still rather enjoyed the first play, and would be happy to play again.


Charon Inc. -- (2 plays a year ago; none sincee) _7.3_ (no change)
(images by darkmind & lacxox)

This is a pretty nice lunchtime game for my work colleagues: not terribly long; reasonably simple ruleset; subtle decisions. I suspect that the lack of play is simply oversight on my part: if I'd brought it in for lunchtime gaming it's likely it would have been played.


Vinhos -- (1 play last year; none since) _7_ (no change)
(images by newrev & lacxox)

This one caused me more amusement last year for the reaction my unpopular opinions of it (basically: "could have been improved with more development.") provoked than the play provided. Which is at least a bit ironic. I'll not whine further about it today, but it's certainly the case that I've not made any attempt to provoke another play.


Waldschattenspiel -- (1 play last year; none since) _6.3_
(images by autumnweave & Chrysophylax)

My children are a bit too old for this one now, which is a bit sad: it's a lovely cute thing. My little nephews thought it was quite delightful, and I expect my even younger nieces would be amused as well. But it's not likely to get much work in the next couple years.


Zombie Fluxx -- (2 plays a year ago; 2 since) _5_ (no change)
(images by jimmcmahon & zombiegod)

Last year, I'd claimed that this was an "improvement" over regular Fluxx - which gained me a well-deserved reprimand from friend Jon. I might claim that the improvement isn't from something I don't particularly like to something that I enjoy (since that's not it at all) but rather from something harmless that I don't enjoy to something insane that I don't particularly enjoy. And that, to my somewhat jaded eye, seems like a modest improvement of sorts: the game isn't quite so ignorable as its predecessor. Is that a recommendation? No.


Thanks again to my youngsters and extended family, the BAP attenders, the back-on-Friday Lunch folk, and the Wednesday Night gang for some great game experiences.
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12. Board Game: Goa [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:107]
Albatros
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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I snapped up the Z-Man Games reprint of Goa back in July 2012. It and Tinners' Trail were my two "new to me" games of the month. Goa was easily the better of the two games and my wife and I played it in quick succession five times in July and August...and haven't played it since.

And I'm not actually sure why that is. Yes, I bought some other games after that so it got passed over by the "cult of the new". But it's kind of surprising that we never went back to revisit it given how much we enjoyed our first plays.

Tinners' Trail is a solid game. Nevertheless, it got all of four plays in the Summer of 2012 and nothing since. The last play was a three-player affair which was more enjoyable than the two-player games my wife and I had been playing. After that play, we didn't really feel like going back to two.
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13. Board Game: Village [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:110]
Jeff Kayati
United States
Worthington
Ohio
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Village beat out D-Day Dice for last July's best new game. Time reflects kindly on that choice. I quickly grew bored with D-Day Dice and sold my Kickstarter bundle of stuff.

Village is still a solid game, but it's lost table time to new euro titles like Tzolk'in and Terra Mystica. Still, I like the game enough to have preordered the expansion in the hopes that will revitalize my interest.

I also mentioned three new games that I'd played once and wanted to play again. Two of them, Hawaii and CO2, I've never played again, and I doubt I will at this point. Trajan I did play a few times, but I acquired and sold a copy within a few month. Not one of my favorite Feld titles, but I'll still play it online.
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14. Board Game: Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 1 – Team Asia & Legendary Asia [Average Rating:7.72 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.72 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.72 Unranked]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Here is my original entry to the geeklist: Item for Geeklist "New To You July 2012 => Best new boardgame"



Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 1 – Team Asia & Legendary Asia (Played 3 times since July 2012) - This map is the greatest thing to happen to Ticket to Ride since the 1910 expansion. In fact it might be better than that. Suddenly it brought Ticket to Ride out of the dust for me and turned it into a game I anxiously anticipated my opportunities to play. The team-play mechanism is so enjoyable that I just can't help loving every play. The Legendary side of the map is a nice alternative to the base game, but nothing remarkable. But that team map turned Ticket to Ride from a game I rate a 7 to a game I rate a 9, which is amazing.



Um Reifenbreite (Played 1 time since July 2012) - I'm still not sure on this game. It's got some fun moments, but I just don't know if the game has enough strategy to overpower the luck of the dice. I want to try playing without the action cards (because those cause some nasty swings in the luck,) and perhaps with some of the advanced rules for terrain. Then I'll make a final determination if this game needs to remain in my collection.



Not played since July 2012, and don't need to play again



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15. Board Game: The Resistance [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:174]
Stephen Sanders
United States
Henderson
Texas
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Played this last July, but not entered on geeklist.

Just played several sessions of Avalon today and also 2 weeks ago, and enjoy both games.
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16. Board Game: American Rails [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:1113]
Brian Boyle
Australia
Sydney
NSW
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New to me July 2013

American Rails Only 1 play since last year and loved it. Still scratching my head as to why I can't get this to the table more often. One of the best simple-but-deep train/share-holding games out there. Perhaps it just the production quality that has put my family o

Rating: Increased to 8.5

Kingdom Builder At least 10 plays since last year. My wife enjoys this games for its simplicity, and limited options each turn. For me it is simple OK, but its rating remains high simply because it continues to get played.

Rating: Declined to 7.

Swing States 2012 Three plays since last year. Challenging solitaire game, which I played a few more times just to see if I could ever win. I didn't, but it didn't stop me from enjoying it. The game has now (slightly) lost its currency and I haven't played it since last November.

Rating: Declined to 6.5.
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17. Board Game: Pergamon [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:965]
Steve Duff
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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In order of the original entry
Pergamon
Plays since: 3

Five plays in a year is very high for us, so that tells you that has definitely stood the test of time. An excellent middle weight game.


Flash Point: Fire Rescue
Plays since: 0
This didn't stand the test of time of one week, let alone a year. We thought the game was awful, and sold it as quickly as possible.
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18. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:15]
E&E's Spellenmolen
Belgium
Meerhout
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Puerto Rico was the best new game in July 2012 for us.


Caylus
-8- - 4 plays

We've played Caylus for the first time in our local gaming club. We enjoyed our game immediately and bought it few months later. It's a great game but we don't play it so often..


Puerto Rico
-9- - 6 plays

Puerto Rico is still one of us favorite games.. Looking forward to play it again!


De Kolonisten van de Lage Landen
-8- - 2 plays

We've played this game 2 times in total: each time was with my mother. We like the game but we don't play it often since we don't find people to play it with. Our best gaming friends don't like Catan.

Expansions


Agricola: Farmers of the Moor
3 plays

This expansion is great but doesn't mean we play each game with the expansion..


Carcassonne: The Flying Machines
5 plays

The first of all mini's that we've tried. It's a nice mini-expansion, but it's not one of the bests


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19. Board Game: Takenoko [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:211]
Zack Stackurski
United States
Mankato
Minnesota
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Rating increased from 7 to 8 after 7 more plays

Takenoko jumps up to the top spot after becoming a bit of a go to gateway game locally. I will admit that luck of the card draw is quite important. However, the components make this such a joy to play and the mechanic of getting a card then creating what you see on a shared board is adequately unique that this has been something I am very happy to own and often suggest when we need a bit more than a filler.



Rating increased from 7 to 8 after 7 more plays

I'm never surprised when I like a Knizia game... but the combination of hand and board management in Blue Moon City hit a surprise sweet spot for my wife that has made it one of her favorites. We actually have never played it with more than two players as I only occasionally bring out of print titles down to the shop... but I should try it with more sometime to see if we like that even more.



Rating steady at 8 with 1 more play... sort of.

While I have played Warmachine Prime Mk II's sister game Hordes over 100 times in the past year I've only gotten "Warjacks" on the table on my side once in the past year. Hordes is the more tactically flexible game and for me big beasts are more fun than big robots. However these are shared system games and that system is one of the best tabletop miniature game systems I've played. Good fun and I might someday focus on my robots a bit more just to see if I can have as much fun with them as my beasts.

I haven't played For The Win or Euphrates & Tigris: Contest of Kings again in the past year. I feel like FtW is a bit too chaotic for my usual taste in abstracts... but I remember it being surprisingly easy to get even non-abstracters to play... so perhaps I should toss it back in the filler bag and see what happens. However E&T just makes we want to play T&E and I don't see myself playing it again unless there is nothing else to play.

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20. Board Game: Space Alert [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:147]
Booker Hooker
United States
Tennessee
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Played 3 games of Space Alert at a friend of a friend's house. Thought it was great fun but its not something I'd acquire as it wouldn't get played much.

Picked up Lord of the Rings and played it a couple of times solo, then a couple of times 2 player. Not sure why I bought it as I don't even like co-op games. Didn't keep it long.
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21. Board Game: Mage Knight Board Game [Average Rating:8.13 Overall Rank:17]
Pedro Silva
Portugal
Matosinhos
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A year ago, Mage Knight Board Game was the only new game I played that month.
You can read my impression at the time on that month's list.
It's a bit long so I'll surmise:
Too fiddly, too random, too long, unnecessarily complex, obviously designed for solitaire play (probably good as such) and strategically shallow.

It did not stand the test of the six hours it took for that single play so it could hardly have stood the test of a full year. I haven't played it again and doubt I ever will.
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22. Board Game: The Princes of Machu Picchu [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:1070]
Mike Jones
United States
Gainesville
Florida
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This was my ONLY new game a year ago and I still haven't played it since then.

Don't own it and while it was fun, I'd rather many of his other games before this one.
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23. Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:50]
Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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They explained everything in detail and at great length. After they finished I sat, despondent, contemplating a bleak and empty future. "I’m glad you’re depressed" said one. "It means you’ve understood the situation.”
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That was then:

Quote:
Lords of Waterdeep



I played this one not really expecting too much from it as I am not wildly enthused by D&D products these days and have played plenty of worker placement games so that I expected this to be a bit old hat. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was nothing of the sort. The game played really well and was thoroughly enjoyable from the start. The game play is clean and easily understandable and there is enough variety to make it very replayable. The production values are very high and the theme does not feel entirely ‘pasted on’ (theme does matter to me).

To paraphrase the late, great Victor Kiam, "I was so impressed I bought the game". Since my initial foray, I have managed to play a couple of two player games with Mrs Fish and she enjoys it as much as me. I see this one as a keeper that will get plenty of use in the years to come. The only minor gripe I have is that there is a promotional card that is not readily available the complete-ist in me hopes that this will be incorporated into a future expansion (yes, I’d buy an expansion for this one).

Gulo Gulo



I have heard a lot about this game and finally got a chance to play. Terrific fun! We played with four adults and two children (aged 3 ½ and 2 ¼). The children really have the edge in their little hands are a lot more dexterous in the vital process of egg collection. That said, a former surgeon took the honours in our game - good to see that they really do have steady hands.
I would definitely play this one again and suggest that, with the right set of adults, this would go over well as a party game of filler.

The Castle Game



This is a simple roll-and-move game for young children. Each player is an aspiring knight who wanders about the kingdom and collects stuff to help them join Club Knight (such as a horse, helmet, weapon and that sort of thing) which fit onto the miniatures. Each player rolls, moves (or misses their turn) and if they land on the right spot they collect an item. First to finish with all their gear wins. The length of game may be varied by lengthening or shortening the distance between the collection points.

It’s worth noting that the items the knight collect don’t fit that well on the miniature and it’s rather fun to replace them with a Playmobile knight if available.
Not a bad game for children, but would get old pretty quickly once they’re looking for something more than roll-and-move.


This is now:

Lords of Waterdeep has really stood the test of time. I am glad that I purchased it and it gets regular use. I introduced several friends to the game and know of at least two more purchases made as a result of this introduction. I tend to prefer playing it with more than two, but yesterday it was Mrs Fish's game-of-choice for the two of us.

I have acquired the Lords of Waterdeep: Inevitable Betrayal Promo Card which is nice, but a bit much for a two player game as it can just go back and forth between the two players. Once my gaming credit has recovered from the Wargods of Olympus and the Cthulhu Wars kickstarters I will be very keen to purchase the Lords of Waterdeep: Scoundrels of Skullport expansion.

Gulo Gulo is, as far as I know, out of production. We've played a few additional games over the last year with the same friend's set and enjoyed them. Were this to go back on the market I would consider this as a birthday or Xmas present for the little Fish.

No additional plays of The Castle Game. We haven't really sought it out but would be unlikely to refuse a game if the circumstances were right - i.e. we had children to entertain.

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24. Board Game: Eclipse [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:30]
Dan Hutch
Australia
North Fitzroy
VIC
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I really like this thread...

I got back into board games last July after 20 years having discovered Ascension on my iPhone while visiting family in the UK. I got back to Melbourne and found the Dockers game group and have been a regular since.

I have definitely been on a journey since then.

My top games from last July

Eclipse
Initial rating
Current rating

I really, really loved this when I first played it. I have now played 15 times including with the expansion (which i don't rate highly except for the new races).

I still think it is a great game and each time I play I learn something about the really clever mechanics. I have played it more recently with extremely Euro/analytical types and gotten my arse kicked so badly, and am probably a bit frustrated or my rating would be higher.

One thing I have learned is that the game does depend on everyone playing their role or some races are just OP. My last 3 games have had a Hydran go un-attacked by their near neighbours and simply run away with it. This happens despite telling everyone they need to pin them back a bit - but they don't.

So I will sit next to the Hydran next time and play something offensive and see if it helps.

Not played for about 6 weeks - more interested in the new stuff I cannot help buying cry

Mage Knight Board Game
Initial rating
Current rating

Simply great game - just requires a lot of my mental energy to break it out. Have played I think 15 times, but only once with other people.

Did not win for a long time due to having a rule wrong which was making it really hard. Won my last 5 times and I think ready to break out the expansion.

Endeavor
Initial and current rating

I played someone else's copy last July and just loved it. Recently found a copy in Singapore and bought it immediately, and only played once since.

Is it really a 9/10 based on this? I do love it though...


Carcassonne
Initial rating
Current rating

Not really my thing but wife & non-gamer friends love it. Still maintains a decent rating as I can play it quite cut-throat and the game seems to support such a style well.

Did not feel like the expansions added much other than length

Trans Europa

Initial rating and unchanged
Ok game - friends like it when drunk and/or tired.

Alien Frontiers
Initial rating and unchanged

Fun game. Way too much down time in 4p or 5p. With expansion and 5p it is simply awful!

This game sees a huge amount of play time at my group.

I much prefer Troyes to this - you can plan moves when it is not your turn, and I love screwing with by nicking their dice.


Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery
Initial rating

Played someone else's copy and liked it. Just got a copy in math trade and want to play again - time will tell where it ends up! I think it will be above other worker placements where you don't get to screw with people though.

Others games bought, played and disposed of since:
Space Hulk: Death Angel - The Card Game
Arkham Horror
Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game
Power Grid: The First Sparks

Games played, that are ok but don't really care about playing again
Agricola
Chrononauts
Dominion
Hansa Teutonica
Medici
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25. Board Game: Divinare [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:1471]
Tom P
United Kingdom
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And after a 2-month hiatus, I can join in again!

Divinare was a gamer I was very luke warm to when first introduced, but I've played it a lot since and it's really grown on me. Thoroughly deserved the nomination this year.

Other games:

Braggart - "Not quite as heavy on the storytelling as I had expected/hoped, but it's still a fun game." Played a couple of times since. I still like it enough to keep, but no rush to play very often.

A Fistful of Penguins - "Like a complicated scoring version of Yahtzee, with cute plastic penguins. Yes, there's not much to it, but it's quick and fun." Have played this a lot since and it's a good holiday game. Simple and fairly mindless, and the camel tokens seem overpowered, but it's fun.

Opera - "I have played a number of these types of games where you spend rounds improving your set up before a final flourish, and I'm a little tired of the format. Colosseum, the only one I own of this type, remains for me the best and the only one I would want to have on the shelf." Not played since, and no poorer for that.

Chrononauts - "I can see how this might get tiresome with a big group if the winning conditions took a while to come, but I quite enjoyed it. No rush to buy it, though." Not played since, forgotten about it. Too many better games.

Magical Athlete - "Terrible artwork, but a fun game. Ridiculous." Not played since. No great rush to either.

Dream Factory - "A game I feel somehow that isn't new to me, but I'm pretty sure is." Maybe that's just the Knizia in it. I haven't played this since but would do, it was a solid game. I'm just rubbish at bidding games so they're not my first pick.
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