I should love this, but I don't!
Juan Medina
United States
Cedar Park
Texas
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A small list of amazing designs, great games that I appreciate greatly but ended up no being my cup of tea.

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1. Board Game: Terra Mystica [Average Rating:8.20 Overall Rank:11]
Juan Medina
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Cedar Park
Texas
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Probably the first game that came to my mind when I thought about making this list. It is a really good design, has tons of ways to convert points and allows for decent planning and growth. To booth, it is relatively low on interaction. Though there are actions that cause interaction, they are rarely confrontational (the occasional block in a religion area or taking a common tile).

The thing that does it for me here, as well as in other games on the list, is the lack of luck. This is pretty deterministic, and thus it really shines when everyone is doing their best to optimize their points. This, of course, can lead to some length on the game.

I have a lack of passion for this, mainly because I am a computer developer. I do solve deterministic problems all the time, and when faced with this on a game I rarely feel anything but doing work, which is not what I want.

I got a very early copy of this thanks to a good board game friend who ordered a bunch of them from Germany, played it a couple times, then sold it at a very good profit. I have played it since, and would play it, but I rarely do good and rarely care a lot for how I do in it.
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2. Board Game: Chicago Express [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:389]
Juan Medina
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Cedar Park
Texas
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Another zero luck game. To make things worse than with Terra Mystica, in this one everyone is competing for the same stuff. It is a very beautiful design, and for the amount of numbers you must figure out, it is a pretty simple design, easy to teach and learn.

I played it once, and I doubt I would like to play it again. Generally speaking the term "train game" does it for me and I am still vying to find the game with that moniquer that I really like.
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3. Board Game: Steel Driver [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:1090]
Juan Medina
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Cedar Park
Texas
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Really cool Wallace with a very simple gameplay. It has a good system of auctions for control of the companies, and to boot a really cool "cube pull" mechanism at the end to add power to your sets.

To be fair, the day I played this I was completely tired from a day of learning a bunch of new things at work, and I did terrible.

Having said that, this suffered from the same maladies I complained about before: It is a point squeezer, and everyone is competing for the same things. It is the type of game where making a mistake in one bid costs you enough to never be able to pick up unless someone else makes a blunder of the same caliber.

Amazing, elegant design, just not for me!
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4. Board Game: Opera [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:2322]
Juan Medina
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Cedar Park
Texas
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Oh, man. This one is painful to put on the list.

Beautiful game, great design, role selection aspects, great theme integration. This has it all!

Issue here for me is that it is also a point squeezer. Given any particular situation, you can sit and evaluate what is your optimal move and do that, then the next player would do that, and so on. This means any mistakes done on this will be very bad for you. The only thing that can really affect you for good or bad is that others may improve each other together due to them fixing stuff in a city where you have no presence or by changing the positions of the musicians on the track.
I made the mistake of messing up my income on my first turn of my maiden game and never recuperated.

So yes, it is that kind of game where it works amazing with people that all know what they are doing, but the very low levels of luck (the available composers for a round are random) brings me back to the "this is not relaxing me" stance that pushes me away from a game.
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5. Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:52]
Juan Medina
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Cedar Park
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This is a simple worker placement game with cool components and some interesting things going for it. I usually favor lighter fare, people seem to like this a ton, yet after my first play I do not feel the need to play this at all. I would generally prefer to pick a different worker placement game ... can't really understand my apathy for this one, but I will blame it on the fact that I have played more interesting worker placement games.
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6. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:139] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
Juan Medina
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Texas
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Another one on the realm of too simple. I did not actually enjoy this until we got the silliest expansion ever, "Alvin and Dexter". The plain game, however, fails to capture me. Another one where I generally just feel like I could be playing something of more value, and one I have kept for the supposed "gateway" value, but end up not using for that purpose.
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7. Board Game: Police Precinct [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:1367]
Juan Medina
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Cedar Park
Texas
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Ok, this had all the good markings of a good coop. Plays well, it is tight, my wife likes it. Not sure what it is, but I really did not care much for it. I would play it, and enjoy it, but where I am always jumping at the opportunity of giving a good coop a shot, this one I would play only if asked.
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8. Board Game: Morels [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:635]
Juan Medina
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Cedar Park
Texas
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I had my eye on this for a while. Liked the off the beaten path idea, gameplay is good, art is good ... felt a bit bland for me. Perhaps I am getting pickier about what I enjoy, but this one felt very much like an activity than a game when I played it. There is some planning that you can do, but generally speaking it did not feel like you could do too many bad things. At any rate the biggest thing I felt is that the game lacked challenge. Went from being high on my wishlist to out of it.
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9. Board Game: Dream Factory [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:628]
Juan Medina
United States
Cedar Park
Texas
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Great production, simple gameplay, interesting decisions. Not sure why this game falls absolutely flat with me. And I did great the few times I played it. I guess it is the fact that all phases feel similar, not sure. Funny, same happened to my wife! So it went out of the collection (and we are known for not letting any games go!)
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10. Board Game: Glen More [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:282]
Juan Medina
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Cedar Park
Texas
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Cool mechanics, tense gameplay, multiple engines to build and try, has been in my wishlist for quite a while, but after a couple plays I am on the side of probably not getting it. I maybe even would if the prices it was fetching nowadays were not so high for the game.
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11. Board Game: Ascension: Deckbuilding Game [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:546] [Average Rating:7.03 Unranked]
Juan Medina
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Cedar Park
Texas
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I love deck builders, but this one did not really work for us. It seemed that the ever changing availability of cards got in the way of us getting attached to the game. I even landed a free copy which got traded away later on. I guess my wife and myself looked at this one and kind of wished we were playing Thunderstone instead.
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12. Board Game: Formula D [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:462]
Juan Medina
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This one is still on the judging area as I have played it just once. I am not big on racing games, but I have enjoyed most of those I played. This one has interesting stuff going for it, but it did not cause on me the impression I thought it would. I may keep my copy for the same reasons I keep Ticket to Ride. I must give this more tries to see, but I was surprised about this one feeling not as stellar as I thought it would be (perhaps that is the issue, I had expectations for a whole lot more!)
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13. Board Game: Tammany Hall [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:642]
Juan Medina
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Great theme, and solid mechanics. Area influence and the possibility of a metagame outside of the actual game mechanics. Unfortunately, despite my wanting to like it this one suffers from the "point squeeze" factor which ends up killing the game for me. Really good design, I kind of feel bad I don't care for it as much as I thought I would.
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14. Board Game: Snowdonia [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:388]
Juan Medina
United States
Cedar Park
Texas
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Amazing game design, solid worker placement features, multiple ways to score points. This kind of falls under the same set of reasons for me not to like it as Terra Mystica does. However, I would recommend this one no doubt for anyone looking for a solid medium-heavy euro.
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15. Board Game: Glory to Rome [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:162]
Brian Boyle
Australia
Sydney
NSW
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I should love this card game of cool combos, and plenty of player interaction. I am a big fan of Race for the Galaxy, Pax Porfiriana, San Juan and other tableau card games.

Thought the minimalist art for the Black Box edition was great too... however the game fell really flat for me - it was all a bit to much of everything (overpowered combos, in-your-face interaction) and just lacked the sweet spot in subtlety/complexity that (in hindsight) RfTG and others achieved.
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16. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:45]
Ronster Zero
United States
California
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My game group was taught this at a con. We all learned the game at the same time and then played it. Usually when I win I game I tend to like it, but even with the win, I felt... that's it.

I thought it was just me, but the other 4 in my group felt the same way. At least we had it taught to us at a con and we did not waste a game night learning this.
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17. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:25]
Greg Gresik
United States
Bolingbrook
IL
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*sigh* I know I am going to be called names, berated, and generally told "you don't get it".

Nope. I sure don't. This is #2 on BGG - and I just think it's number two. One of my favorite games is Stone Age - Agricola is a more complex worker placement - I should love Agricola...but I don't. In fact, I would be fine to never play it again. I love AOEIII - and wargames. Complexity isn't the issue - but, it's not me Agricola, it's you.

There...I said it...pound away. *ducks and covers head*
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18. Board Game: Trajan [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:73]
David Debien
United States
Round Rock
Texas
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Before Trajan, I loved Macao, Castles of Burgundy and Notre Dame. Trajan was the new Feld hotness and many were proclaiming it Feld's best yet. Plus I had to wait a year for a US release. When I got it, my enthusiasm made me believe I loved it. And the Manacala mechanism is freaking brilliant. Sadly, what lies under the hood is a lackluster victory point salad mish mosh and extremely poor theme integration. What finally sealed it for me was the discovery of 2 leading paths to victory which narrowed down the seemingly large choice set to a claustrophobic path that makes one particular play feel much like any other. I don't dislike Trajan, but I don't love it either, and by all rights I should.
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19. Board Game: Chaos in the Old World [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:101]
David Debien
United States
Round Rock
Texas
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Interesting card play, upgradable dudes on a map, area control, negotiation, variable and asymmetric player powers all wrapped up in a fantasy kingdom theme. Wow! And yet, I find that I do not enjoy this game. Hard to put my finger on. It has something to do with the interplay between the VP race and the dials turning. It just didnt click for me.
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20. Board Game: Der Feuersalamander [Average Rating:5.91 Overall Rank:10985]
PK WADDLE
United States
Austin
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I apologize for violating part of Juan's subject matter here. I just want in !! I had lots of comments but you know.. save for TM which started the list.. I just don't HAVE hardly any games that come to mind that I realize are GOOD games , but I just don't like. ( I will good naturedly argue to the death that RFTG is an iconographic nightmare and then boring ass dual solitaire ---that no matter how good a game design Dominion might be-- what it has wrought cancels that .. et al ) -- So I will just say this game SEEMS on all fronts like it should rock--- pretty bits,I have hardly ever played a deduction I didn't love -- weirdass theme.. what's not to love??

-- A clue grid that is perhaps the only mechanism in my gaming history that LITERALLY gave me a headache trying to decipher. A horridly tedious roll and move added on top of that ( and we even house ruled it to not be SO tedious) -- and you have my #2 worst new to me game of 2013. ( After Dungeon Roll )


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21. Board Game: Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:137] [Average Rating:7.60 Unranked]
Dan Green
United States
West Fargo
North Dakota
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As a huge fan of deck building games in general, and especially the "dynamic market" variety (I own every Ascension expansion and even the Star Trek Deck Building Game - which I will be the first to admit is not without flaw), and a comic book reader, this should have instantly been on my shelf.

After playing a number of times with my friends, though, I've decided to just let them bring the game. It's not bad, nor is it not fun, but for whatever reason I've felt like, even more than most dynamic deck builders, this one tends to screw over a single player. The coop feature is nice, and some of the systems are clever, but due in part to the wound system (which I like in most regards) and people actively deciding how to dole out what cards come up, one player always seems to get the deck full of Marias and Wounds, and a couple cards for a theme that never worked out ads it was better with the guy who grabbed Spidey, Thor, etc. In addition, the runaway player also tends to be the only one that battles the mastermind (although some negative effect cards in Dark City help with that issue). I will play it and enjoy myself (most games), but it just seems a little too awkward and I'd rather just break out a game of Ascension, given the choice.
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22. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:47]
Dan Edelen
United States
Mount Orab
Ohio
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The one game I wanted to love more than most, but it totally eludes me. It's as if my brain is wired to reject any comprehension of the game and its strategy. I get the iconography. I get the general idea of the game. But I simply cannot play it. Might as well be Fizzbin.

Every game mentioned in the same breath as this one, I get—and enjoy. But not Race. It's my one colossal gaming failure, and it still stabs me in the heart whenever I think about it.
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23. Board Game: Hansa Teutonica [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:120]
The root of all evil ...but you can call me cookie.
United States
Gainesville
FL
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This game has excellent design. It's got some seriously worked out math and hell I'll even go so far as to say the timing of the game is quite right as it doesn't over stay it's welcome. It has the ability for you to customize your direction and build up your own special powers and that player board looks like a desk how f*cking cool is that?

...but oh seriously people wake me up with this snooze fest is over. Yes there is the ability to flex your dickery and jump into different positions that people were not expecting you to and screwing them over...it's just never that much fun to do that. Played this one a few times and each one I'm just bored, Bored, BORED!!!
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24. Board Game: Eclipse [Average Rating:7.95 Overall Rank:39]
Zigi Hogan
United States
The Ozarks
Missouri
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What's it going to be then, eh?
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It's not that I dislike this game, I think it is a good game it just reminded me of space Agricola with battles. I already own Agricola and love it (take that! previous posters!) I just don't need another similar game.

I still won't turn down a game I just won't go and put it into my collection.
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25. Board Game: Zombicide [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:384] [Average Rating:7.21 Unranked]
Zigi Hogan
United States
The Ozarks
Missouri
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Anyone who is familiar with ANY of my posts knew this was going to be on here!

I have tried and tried to like this game I just very much dislike it. I won't go into why (I have done this many times before) and I will not pay any attention to the S@!t storm I start every time I say something not positive about this game.

Every time I play this with one a my best friends he always says "I have never seen you try this hard to like a game". I guess I just don't have it in me to like this game.
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