What games turned you into a geek?
Juanito
Spain
Córdoba
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Hi all.

The intention of this list is to know what games hooked us to the geek world without turning back. It is also to remember the hours and hours we spent on learning rules, teaching our friends and family, improving them and customizing. Although sometimes we were labeled as crazy geeks

I leave the list open so you can add your items and opinions.

Regards.

PD: edited header and items for grammar.
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1. Board Game: Stratego [Average Rating:6.06 Overall Rank:2283]
Juanito
Spain
Córdoba
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The first boardgame (family & classic ones apart) I played when I was 9 yo. My cousin taught me the rules to crush me again and again Anyway I loved its way of playing and I would play if I had the opportunity.
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2. Board Game: HeroQuest [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:547]
Juanito
Spain
Córdoba
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The first boardgame I had. A Christmas gift I will never forget. Houndred of hours playing. Unfortunately, the time passed and it got broken. So I give away its parts to a good guy that lost some of them to have a complete game. I hope he enjoys it as when we were child
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3. Board Game: BattleTech [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:850]
Juanito
Spain
Córdoba
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Second game I got. I was a 12 y.o. and full formed geek
It was the "cheap" edition with paperboard figures, but I customized it a bit using plastic tanks and buildings I had from old plastic soldiers to add a photocopy of CityTech (hey! a 12 y.o. child has no money for so many expansions! whistle)

Again it deteriorated and the few components I could save were passed to another geek.
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4. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:117] [Average Rating:7.54 Unranked]
Juanito
Spain
Córdoba
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After many years without boardgaming (I was submersed in RPGs) this one awakened the BBG inside me. And it's alive from then!
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5. Board Game: Chutes and Ladders [Average Rating:2.79 Overall Rank:15352]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
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After playing this, before the age of 6, I was sure that it was not a proper game, and that there must be games with decisions.
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6. Board Game: Axis & Allies [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1186]
Dave Weiss
United States
South Dakota
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For making me into a boardgame geek, it's A&A.

Oh sure, I played a lot of games before this, but that was various roll and move kind of junk or at best, RISK.

This is the game that opened my eyes to a whole new world of gaming. In depth games with strategy and nuances that can't be found in Life, Monopoly, RISK, and all their kin.

Sure, it's ameritrashy, but it forced me to go to a specialty store to find it. And that allowed me to find so many other new games.

I suppose D&D gets an honorable mention. I was playing D&D before I discovered A&A, but I doubt it ever would have made me expand my horizons like A&A did.

Just straight up geek in general? Well, that would have happened before A&A, D&D, or any other boardgame. I grew up playing Atari. I was using a joystick long before I was rolling dice or flicking spinners. M.U.L.E., Riverraid, Spyhunter, Ultima, Joust....these are the things that started me down the geek path.
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7. Board Game: Rail Baron [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:1919]
patrick stevens
United States
Los Angeles
California
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This got me going pretty good although I had played a lot of other games. I added motives to clue and that made that game pretty geeky. Axis and Allies probably pushed me over the brink. I made a 8 foot board and added all kinds of stuff including a double blind system for subs, mines and commando raids. I made a second 8 footer later. Camelot is something I played since about 1963 or so. Conquest solidified my entrance into these squeaky halls. A long line of my own designs soon followed essentially cementing my feet in a bucket. They threw me off the bridge a long time ago....
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8. Board Game: Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Battlesystem [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked] [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked] [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
Henry Rodriguez
United States
Miami
Florida
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The D&D Red Basic set got me started back in 1983 at the ripe age of 8. I have been a die-hard geek ever since. sauron

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9. Board Game: Chess [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:416] [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked]
Max DuBoff
United States
New Brunswick
New Jersey
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Probably this more than any other. My father taught me to play at the age of six, and it certainly taught me about strategic depth as I learned more about the game.
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10. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:279] [Average Rating:7.23 Unranked]
Toms Leikums
Latvia
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Definitely this one.
Played lot of Chess before, but didn't consider it as a board game, more like sports.
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11. Board Game: Cosmic Encounter [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:802]
Jaded Lounges
United States
Vashon
Washington
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Speaking as someone addicted to expansions, it all started here.

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12. Board Game: Smokers Wild [Average Rating:5.09 Overall Rank:14069]
Mel
United States
Oregon
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Smoker's Wild : I became a total addict!
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13. Board Game: PanzerBlitz [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:2007]
Raymond Gauvin
Canada
Coquitlam
British Columbia
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I remember it well - my eager anticipation to open this game when I got home from the store...

It was the summer of 1980. I was fourteen. My best friend had moved from the suburbs into downtown Montreal. He, not yet knowing anyone near his new home, had wandered the streets looking for something to do and had stepped into the Mecca of Montreal's game stores at that time - Hobby World. The next time I visited him, we played his first purchase - Panzer Leader. I was hooked and had to get a game of my own. I chose PanzerBlitz.

When I opened the box that first time, it was boardgamegeek heaven - feeling the heft of the box, punching out the counters, reading the rules, repositioning the boards, and imagining miniature tanks rumbling across the landscape. There was no turning back. A geek was born.

I had played games before from Parker Brothers and Milton Bradley, but it was this gem from Avalon Hill that exposed me to the possibility of board gaming as a hobby, and for that, I am grateful.
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14. Board Game: Survive: Escape from Atlantis! [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:232]
Z. Martin
United States
Moscow
Pennsylvania
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I was hooked when a friend of mine showed this to me. It immediately became a family fave and still is to this day (2 years later and 70 or more board games later)!
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15. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:156] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
Scott Carvalho
United States
Rhode Island
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My gateway game...
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16. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:16]
sechzger
Germany
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I think i played this two years before i came to this site and it was the game which got me interested again in board games.
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17. Board Game: Introduction to Advanced Dungeons & Dragons [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:6528]
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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The game that really made me a geek was the D & D roleplaying game, of which Advanced D & D REALLY sucked a lot of time during my high school days in the early 80's. It is the first time I got TOTALLY immersed in a different make believe world, and it was a ton of fun.
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18. Board Game Publisher: The Avalon Hill Game Co
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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My introduction to boardgames proper was really through many games published by The Avalon Hill Game Co. This happened at the same time as my D&D days, as myself plus a few others were military history buffs. Games such as Victory in the Pacific, Panzer Leader, Squad Leader, and Up Front also ate up a lot of time in high school, and this was continued later on by MBT (first edition) and IDF (Israeli Defense Force) in college. I really like tactical games, and I had a lot of fun with these systems.
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19. Board Game Publisher: Games Workshop Ltd.
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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After the historical boardgames in the late 80's, early 90's, I graduated from college and began to work. It was here that video and console game started to take over my gaming time, although I continued to dabble in games such as Magic: The Gathering. This all changed in 1998 when I started playing Warhammer. I REALLY got into this and collected Lizardmen plus the empire. I also started Warhammer 40,000 in 2000 and slowly built up a huge Imperial Guard army, plus several others. This occupied my time for the more than a decade, as I was very competitive and had won many tournaments in both systems. I would have to say that I have invested a lot of time and money and effort here, and while I am currently semi-retired from these I will not get rid of my core armies which I have collected.
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20. Board Game: Tide of Iron [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:582]
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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My return to boardgaming began when I saw this title at my FLGS where I played 40K. I had won a league tourney and with the prize money I decided to buy this game in May 2012, which is essentially a wargame with minis. By this time I had grown jaded with the competitive GW tourney scene, and was looking for something different. Tide of Iron blew me away, and after playing a few games solo and with some guys, I discovered BGG in my efforts to look for new scenarios. The entire site REALLY opened my eyes to today's boardgaming scene, and my first non wargame designer game purchase of Small World was the start of my rebirth. I have stopped playing TOI now, but have a ton of games of almost every type (euros, ameritrash), and am really having a blast!
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21. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:17]
Thomas Lang
Germany
Gaißach
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I played a lot of games when I was a kid including some Pen and Paper, games like Hero Quest and the sort, Heimlich & Co and also, of course, Settler of Catan. When I was off to university it got lost, however and only resurfaced after a wedding and two kids later when I got my hands on Agricola. When I read those rules I thought that I had to die. I didn't unterstand anything at all. This, however kindled my desire to "conquer" that game which I did. Shortly thereafter I got Le Havre and today, here I am. Buying way too much and not nearly playing enough, but then ...
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22. Board Game: Panzer (first edition) [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:4481]
United States
San Clemente
California
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Sick with hatred, sick with pain, / Strangling -- When shall we be slain? // When shall I be dead and rid / Of the wrong my father did? / How long, how long, till spade and hearse / Puts to sleep my mother's curse?
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My first exposure to learning about warfare on the Eastern Front in World War II came via Panzerblitz, which was good introduction and a milestone in innovation and graphic presentation, with tank icons, big counters, 3 geomorphic mounted mapboards, 12 scenarios and other features now common in wargames. I was fascinated by the many different units and their capabilities.

When I saw a large, flat box with its evocative cover art by Rodger MacGowan for sale in my FLGS in 1981, I was intrigued. I read the game description on the back and studied the sample unit counters. Unlike PB, each one had 3 numbers that didn't make sense as unit strengths or capabilities, but I thought I'd take a chance.

I soon learned that the numbers were merely the individual unit id numbers, and that each unit had its own data card, with all kinds of data: name, type, speed (in clear, mud & snow), stacking value, size, turret turn speed (for vehicles with turrets), weapon rate of fire, main gun depression, and the accuracy and penetration values for the main gun, out to 3,000 meters (60 hexes!), and its general purpose (heavy explosive) capabilities against infantry.

Then I looked on the back of each card: armor strength ratings (in 5mm increments) for the various parts of each vehicle (turret front, gun mantlet, upper hull, lower hull, track & suspension, and even the gun itself)! And then the same for differnt target aspects (0, 30, 45 60, and 90 degree angles), and the ratings for attacks that are above, below or at the same level of the target!

So much data, but I was determined to figure out how to play the game and see what numbers were the most important.

My friends soon saw the game and wanted to play, and some 150 games later, we had memorized the data on many of the cards and their respective unit strengths and weaknesses.

This process of 'studying' the game to find advantages and success probabilities began my membership into Geekdom, and I approach each new game with the same method, some more than others.

Panzer was & is a great game, and now that GMT has published a new edition with the support of the original designer, James Day, wargamers can rediscover this game.
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23. Board Game: Anzio [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:2755]
Jeff Curtis
United States
Plainfield
Indiana
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I played a lot of the usual games with my brother and sisters, but this was the game that I played and discovered there was a whole other world of gaming out there. An older boy in my Boy Scout troop invited me over to play this and I was hooked. Poured over the Avalon Hill catalog and ended up ordering Battle of the Bulge. That was around 1971 and I'm still going strong.
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24. Board Game: Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:270] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Alex Bourne
United States
North Pole
Alaska
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... and then there was no going back.
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25. Board Game: You're Bluffing! [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:1251]
Hornless Unicorn
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Some friends arrived from a business trip in Germany with this little gem. Loved that game.
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