Top 10 Non-Top 200 being played in October 2013 (better late then never)
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Well it's been very busy for me, but finally had yet another moment to sit down and type some, so it's better late then never.

Spryium joins the list at the top spot, at that.

With Forbidden Island dropping off.

If you want to 'subscribe', I do have a meta-list that can be found at:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/21290/item/503512#item...

Without further ado....

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

One thing I dislike about some people's monthly lists, is after a while they stop explaining their reasoning behind them. So, if you've read mine before (or you don't care) you can skip on to the list now. But, here's the full why:

IMHO, some games are good because others say they are good. And so get more play; "all these people are playing this game, let's play it". While other good games sit around with little notice because they aren't being talked about. So, a few years ago I decided to start looking at those games that are getting played a lot that AREN'T part of the top 200. You may ask why top 200 and not 100? Or for that matter 300? 'Because'. Although, I suppose if I was motivated, I'd really switch it to 500.

IMO, if a lot of different people are playing a game, it must have some value to someone somewhere. That's not to say that the Top 200 AREN'T good games or there aren't games out there that are good that aren't getting any play. I'm just trying to show some games out there that different people are playing 'because they are fun' and not just because they have the best press. Over the past couple months, I've gotten a couple comments about 'well these are on BSW (or what not)'. To that I have to say "ah but you have heard of [them].." Again, I'm not saying there aren't MORE good games out there.

I've also had a suggestion about adding weight to longer games. A complaint is that these are short (filler) games because people are more likely to play shorter games. Well, isn't that the point? Showing some games that people in your group might be willing to play. Plus, I'm doing it on number of users playing it, not number of times. IMHO The length of a game does not measure enjoyment. For my gaming tastes I get more enjoyment playing 3-6 different games in the same time the other table is playing one game of TI3.

Obviously, expansions skew this. It's just going by how they were logged. So, if someone logged Niagara while others logged the game under spirits, it's just got Niagara.

So, here's some 'good' press for games that may not be showing up on 'top lists'.

I'm allowing additions, but let's keep it to those games that are good (to your group), get played a lot on BGG (you decide), but aren't ranked in the Top 500.

My HM are games that look interesting that just stay under these 10 or that I've played recently and are just outside the top 10. I've also added a Top500 HM and Top1000 HM. The most played (by different users, not number of times) that is ranked higher then 500 and 1000 and not on this list already.

I had had a couple lists by weight, but since this is 100 eye balling manual through the game stats page, I've dropped those.

I must say each month I had gone ahead and picked up a few games off of this list and for the most part have been VERY pleased. Most people in the group are buying the top games and I've been adding to the game library by adding these gems. The lone exception really was Poison. I some how thought there would be more to that game then counting to 13.
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1. Board Game: Spyrium [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:483]
Mike Jones
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Spyrium 961 plays by 612 people.

I haven't had a chance to try this one yet, but would like to. There's a copy copies running around here, just hasn't matched up with the right table at the right time.

Analysis for Spyrium
Average Rating: 6.98
Group: Top200comittee

boltongeordie
Rated: 7.5

OK, so a fairly interesting euro with two currencies and several paths to victory. Quite punishing interaction with lots of opportunities to screw other people out of actions (or screw yourself if you are not careful - tough when you are learning). Longer than you might expect for a handful of cards (took us over 2 hours for a first time 5p), so this all seems like heavy euro territory and yet something didn't feel quite right, it felt sort of, erm, light. Don't know why but it did and whilst it is a decent game, I am not sure I want to spend 2 hours on something that feels this light.

verandi
Rated: 5

JC Lawrence pretty much sums up my feelings on the game: "An absence of anything to find interesting".

The worker placement/removal mechanic is ostensibly the centerpiece, with the rest being painfully generic resource conversion, e.g. I can buy the building now that lets me convert 1 worker and 2 gems to 5VP, or I could wait for the building (maybe) next round that lets me convert 2 workers and 3 gems to 10VP, or I could just use this one-time card to convert 1 gem into 3VP... yawn.

The problem is that the worker placement/removal mechanic just isn't that interesting or challenging. Playing online against expert players who scored higher than I even thought was possible, I realized that their advantage over me wasn't some greater skill at managing the worker placement, but rather a better understanding of the resource conversion system. I've no interest in learning the efficiencies of this particular spreadsheet, thanks.

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2. Board Game: Trains [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:368] [Average Rating:7.22 Unranked]
Mike Jones
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Trains was played 777 times by 486 people

Analysis for Trains
Average Rating: 7.48
Group: Top200comittee

msaari
Rated: 9

One game in, and I'm very much tempted to slap a ten on this. Brilliant game. Dominion, with the best possible theme and some pretty good twists. The track-building makes this a very interesting game.

Enthusiastic.


Guantanamo
Rated: 7

Not a big fan of deck builders, But this one is growing on me.

I guess because I also get to pucj cubes around on a board to score points there too.

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3. Board Game: Bruges [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:196]
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Bruges was played 743 times by 474 people

Analysis for Bruges
Average Rating: 7.18
Group: Top200comittee

boltongeordie
Rated: 8

Nice middle weight euro with the usual balance between building your engine and scoring. The bonus tiles for finishing the round ahead in canals, people etc. make for something slightly different.

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4. Board Game: Dungeon Roll [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:1992]
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Dungeon Roll was played 1142 times by 447 people

Analysis for Dungeon Roll
Average Rating: 5.33
Group: Top200comittee

Nap16
Rated: 7

Light-ish dungeon dice game . . .
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5. Board Game: Mascarade [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:878]
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Mascarade played 900 times by 436 people

Analysis for Mascarade
Average Rating: 8.00
Group: Top200comittee

Guantanamo
Rated: 8

Very fun game.

Chaos at it's best.

It seems to scale well.

It's chaotic enough that memory isn't all that important.
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6. Board Game: Kingdom Builder [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:451]
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Kingdom Builder was played 814 times by 429 people

Analysis for Kingdom Builder
Average Rating: 7.50
Group: Top200comittee

JohnBandettini
Rated: 10

My favourite game in a long time. Seriously Stone Age may finally have some competition.

Now my number 1 rated game.


stormseeker75
Rated: 4

This game is devoid of almost any decisions and is decidedly unfunded. I like easy light games but this offers nothing at all.

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7. Board Game: Escape: The Curse of the Temple [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:421]
Mike Jones
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Escape: The Curse of the Temple was played 1206 times by 396 people

Analysis for Escape: The Curse of the Temple
Average Rating: 7.41
Group: Top200comittee

Isamoor
Rated: 7.5

It plays a bit better than I was expecting, and I was expecting good. It's not going to change the world of gaming, but it's a coop I can get behind. A domineering player can still be a dick, but it is at reduced strength thanks to the real-time basis and the focus on your own dice. The ability to share gold dice is a brilliant way to build camaraderie too!

Neil Thomson
Rated: 5.5

A real time dice rolling game in which the players must work together to place gems at key locations to stop the curse and then get out in the real time time limit of 10 minutes.

I'll be honest this one just didn't float my boat. Novel idea but for me (a dice rolling fan) the rolling here just seemed a little tedious. The audio CD does its best to add tension to the game but for me this game is not worth its investment.

Really a filler and one that you don't want to be pulling out all the time or it will wear thin quite quickly.

Some have the same feeling about 7 Wonders. Well my personal bent is that 7 Wonders has way more going on than this and will hold my interest far longer than Escape can.
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8. Board Game: Rise of Augustus [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:774]
Mike Jones
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Augustus was played 837 times by 379 people

Analysis for Augustus
Average Rating: 6.50
Group: Top200comittee

JohnBandettini
Rated: 8

The Roman Bingo Game. Sure it's not deep, but you do make a few key decisions evry game so it's not total luck. And did I say it is a lot of fun.

thoia
Rated: 5

Meh. Just meh.
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9. Board Game: Forbidden Desert [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:263]
Mike Jones
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Forbidden Desert was played 621 times by 345 people

Analysis for Forbidden Desert
Average Rating: 6.83
Group: Top200comittee

Nap16
Rated: 7.5

Follow-up to Forbidden Island . . . now too much sand and not enough water is the problem . . .


Award(s): Mensa Select Winner (2013).

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10. Board Game: Smash Up [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:622] [Average Rating:6.85 Unranked]
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Smash Up was played 556 times by 341 people

Analysis for Smash Up
Average Rating: 5.86
Group: Top200comittee

JohnBandettini
Rated: 7

Mostly luck, but pretty fun card game.

1000rpm
Rated: 6

One play and we didn't finish that. Felt too clunky and hard for what I hoped would be a fun card chaos game.

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11. Board Game: Betrayal at House on the Hill [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:422]
Mike Jones
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HM#1

Well what better then Halloween time for this to show up on the list.

Betrayal at House on the Hill was played 418 times by 320 people (including me)

Analysis for Betrayal at House on the Hill
Average Rating: 6.31
Group: Top200comittee

Grimwold
Rated: 8

I fell in love with this after only 1 game. However having read all about it here on BGG and on the internet beforehand I knew I would adore it before I'd even tried it. Having played it a few times now I still love it for it's brilliant atmosphere and psudo-roleplaying game play.

Dripping with atmosphere and packed with a beautifully created theme, this game is absolutely loads of fun to play!


JohnRayJr
Rated: 4

Uneventful turns, unremarkable events, items of little value or interest - about all you get to do in this game is add a new tile to the board, and that's assuming you don't hit a lose-a-turn mechanic or have your speed reduced dramatically.

I've given it three tries now and aside from a Halloween game night, you won't catch me playing this. This game does close to nothing right. The variability is a complete sham.

When the haunts are broken, idiotic affairs (common), the game is a 3 at best. When the game ends in 60 minutes, it's a six. And I feel like I'm rating the company a six or seven, not this train wreck.
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12. Board Game: Firefly: The Game [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:276]
Mike Jones
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HM 500

Just not that sure about this game. But, hey BSG was enjoyable.

Firefly: The Game was played 418 times by 284 people

Analysis for Firefly: The Game
Average Rating: 6.75
Group: Top200comittee

Nap16
Rated: 7.5

Does a really good job of capturing the theme in a pick-up-deliver format . . .

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13. Board Game: Relic Runners [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:1417]
Mike Jones
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HM 1000

Usually the HM 1000 is the top game over the 1000 that wasn't in the Top 10. But, this time I chose the skip over Zombie Dice for this game.

Just came up the other day as people started talking about it.

Relic Runners was played 294 times by 226 people

Analysis for Relic Runners
Average Rating: 7.45
Group: Top200comittee

Walt Mulder
Rated: 7.9

Another solid family hit from DoW as a light to medium weight Euro with fantastic components and plenty of way to get points. Oh yeah, also packed with fun.
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