First Monthly Minneapolis/Saint Paul Boardgame Hotlist
Kenny VenOsdel
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Saint Paul
Minnesota
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In a recent post on the Twin Cities Hub Thread Mike from Village Games said the following:

Quote:

From a stocking perspective, it is a nightmare. There are literally dozens of new games and expansions coming out each week. It is alot of work to evaluate which ones will sell to the local community, how many to stock, how many to reorder, etc... There is only so much money and shelf space available.

Yeah, sites like the 'geek are good place to start, but world-wide trends don't always translate into local sales. Right now, Pathfinder Adventure Card game is #1 on the Hotness; however, we have only sold 2 copies and still have 5 on the shelf. (Plus we have done multiple demos of the game) Our local community just isn't into that style of game. On the flip-side, we simply can't keep Cosmic Cow in-stock. We keep selling out of it.


This got me thinking. Is there a way for the local gamers around the Twin Cities to keep closer tabs on what everyone else is playing or simply thinks is really exciting? In other words: how can we create a more locally oriented "Hotness" that is both current and relevant?

This Geeklist is an experiment to see if that is possible. If this list works and participation is high I will commit to making a new list every month so we can see what is still hot and what isn't. If that happens I will also create a separate subscription list where the notifications of the current list will be added. This list will need everyone's contributions though. I won't be able do something like this on my own. My hope is that this list will create a quick picture of what has been popular around the Twin Cities area as well as expose us to new games and create interesting discussions about them.

Here's the main points including what I expect of contributors:

1. Be nice! Obviously some games may only be "hot" for a couple people. There is no need to denigrate them. Feel free to disagree but be polite about it.

2. "Hot" games are ones that people are either really excited about (upcoming releases, one or two plays and really loved it) or games that people are playing a lot (played 40 games of Race for the Galaxy this month).

3. Make sure an item is not already listed before you add it. Duplicate items will be removed.

4. Only thumb an item if it meets #2 for you personally. Do not thumb an item just because you like the game. The thumb count will be the measure of hotness. Periodically throughout the month I will attempt to reorder the list so the hottest games get sent to the top. If I'm lucky I'll convince the admins to add a "sort by thumbs" option to Geeklists and I won't have to do it manually anymore.

5. Tell me any suggestions you have for improving this idea in the comments section. Like I said, this is an experiment. It may fail utterly or there may be some other great ideas we could incorporate into it.

6. OPTIONAL: If you want, create a poll in your item with 3 options: 1. Own it, 2. Don't Own It, 3. Won't Own It. This can help draw a distinction between games that are popular that people already own and games that are popular but few people have. It might be interesting to see what that looks like.

With that said, let's go!

p.s. Since Sept is almost over we'll let this first list count for Sept and Oct. The next list (if there is one) will be added right around Nov 1st.
p.p.s. I won't publish this to the front page.
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1. Board Game: Trains [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:409] [Average Rating:7.20 Unranked]
Mark Huberty (General Trashy Meeples the Ambigamer)
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Cottage Grove
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Deck-builder with a stronger element of chaff management than most and the welcome network building component. Worthy of the hype in my mind.
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2. Board Game: Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:492]
Eriks Dunens

Minnesota
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I always want to play all of Vlaada's games
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I always get excited for new Vlaada titles and this one seems to be another intriguing addition to his works. I'm curious to see the reviews this gets in Essen.
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3. Board Game: Spyrium [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:553]
Mark Huberty (General Trashy Meeples the Ambigamer)
United States
Cottage Grove
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Attia ain't prolific but his masterwork, Caylus, is as close to board gaming perfection as they come. I would likely buy this one sight unseen, but I'll be playing the crap out of this one on BoardGameArena until it starts showing up in stores. Can't argue with a bit of steampunk, either.
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4. Board Game: A Distant Plain [Average Rating:7.96 Overall Rank:691]
Gordon J
United States
Eagan
Minnesota
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This has been seen around a bit here in the Twin Cities, just came out, a nice deep level thinking euro looking wargame of counter insurgency in Afghanistan.
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5. Board Game: Kings of Air and Steam [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:1521]
Eric S.
United States
Minnesota
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A fun Pick-up & Deliver game with programmed movement and an interesting economic mechanic.
Sometimes it's straightforward, sometimes it's crrrazee –especially in the endgame.

I have the privilege to have the P&P files to playtest the first planned expansion! It's called "World's Fair."
Anyone interested in testing this expansion?
Let me know via GM.
I'll be up for some games at Level Up on Mondays and FFGEC on Wed (except the 25th) & the Source on Fri.
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6. Board Game: Lincoln's War [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:7404]
Jason Albert
United States
St. Paul
Minnesota
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An innovative strategic take on the ACW. While Lincoln’s War is a CDG, instead of a regimented Op/Event mechanic tracing its lineage back to games like Hannibal and Twilight Struggle, resources are used as political capital -- you’ll spend more energy trying to promote and spur your generals to action, as opposed to deciding where to screen your cav. It places a high emphasis on the characters, which in turn generates a rich narrative. Approachable, medium weight, low counter density.

More info here on the KS page. (Though it will be available via retail as well.) Scheduled to release sometime over the next month or so.
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7. Board Game: Pax Porfiriana [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:410]
Joel K
United States
Minnetrista
Minnesota
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I'm borderline obsessed with this game, and all I've done so far is play the solo variant to get comfortable with the rules! For me, that's pretty remarkable, as I find solitaire games or solo variants of multiplayer games pretty mediocre in the best of times. I can just tell this is going to be face-smearingly good once it's played as a proper 3 or 4 person game.

The last 2 times I brought it to our game group I wasn't able to make the case to give it a shot, unfortunately. Both times it was getting pretty late and no one was willing to tackle something new--which is a shame, because this isn't heavy lifting (at least by the standards of other Eklund games). My next best shot will be in about a week and a half.
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8. Board Game: Yedo [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:512]
Eric S.
United States
Minnesota
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Has been seeing a lot of play in the last couple of weeks at the Wed night meetup at FFGEC and also MBGM. One night at FFG there were actually 2 games being played simultaneously. Oh, the Hotness!
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9. Board Game: DreadBall: The Futuristic Sports Game [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:1684] [Average Rating:7.37 Unranked]
Gordon J
United States
Eagan
Minnesota
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If you like Bloodbowl you'll probably like this futuristic football/rugby sports game. If you have never heard of Bloodbowl, it wouldn't matter, it's a fast paced, deadly dice rolling miniatures game. Each side has six players and each side has three different goals they can score in. Humans, aliens, dwarves, rat-men, and robots and others compete in this arena, cool thing is your players gain experience and level up. You can play single matches or tournaments. The Source has a lot of Dreadball stuff. I'd run a league if I had the time.
 
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10. Board Game: Glass Road [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:226]
Mark Huberty (General Trashy Meeples the Ambigamer)
United States
Cottage Grove
Minnesota
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Excited about any Rosenberg release. This one seems lighter but still sounds interesting mechanically.
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11. Board Game: Bruxelles 1893 [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:263]
Mark Huberty (General Trashy Meeples the Ambigamer)
United States
Cottage Grove
Minnesota
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Worker placement with auctions is a really smart combination of mechanisms.
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12. Board Game: Romolo o Remo? [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:3901]
Mark Huberty (General Trashy Meeples the Ambigamer)
United States
Cottage Grove
Minnesota
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Seems to be getting a lot of positive buzz at Essen. Naively getting my hopes up. This one seems to be civ-lite with a bit of meat and direct conflict. Looking forward to its release.
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13. Board Game: Circus Train (Second edition) [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:3228] [Average Rating:7.17 Unranked]
Gordon J
United States
Eagan
Minnesota
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Great game. Takes about ten minutes to explain and then you are off and running. It is a Euro with heavy Ameritrash theme to it, as well as some dice rolling. You have a hand of nine action cards that you use to move your train around to do performances and hire talent, pay wages, and steal performers from other players. The way the cards work is, you have to run through your entire hand before you can pick them all up again and start over with a set of 9 cards. Of course, some of the action cards are better than others and how to play your less effective cards is all part of the strategy.
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14. Board Game: Dark Darker Darkest [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:3301]
Shaun
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
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I've played this once with my girlfriend and we both really like it. We lost horribly, but we want to play it again.

Gameplay feels more involved and tactical than Zombicide, another game I love. A cool thing about it is that the turn structure is very fluid, where players can alternate actions, and this creates a great group dynamic.

Dark Darker Darkest can be very hard, but I think that's part of it's appeal. If it was too easy or casual, it wouldn't create the same level of tension.

 
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