38 Neglected Games you might consider
Kevin Whitmore
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Albuquerque
New Mexico
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Friends and acquaintances have been publishing their "Top X" list of games lately. I've done this in the past. But while I was inspired, I decided I'd publish a "Top X" list with a twist.

This list is composed of worthy games, games I like enough to own and play repeatedly. But my arbitrary cut off is that I am only going to list games with a rank of lower than 3000 here on BGG. I enjoy a lot of games that are in the top 3000, to be sure. But my hope is to shine a light on some of my favorites that others may not have ever heard of.

Here we go!
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1. Board Game: Kings and Castles [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:6026]
Kevin Whitmore
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This is a tea towel game from the Ragnar Brothers. It features deterministic battles, but random draws to build your roster of available forces. In some ways it reminds me of Britannia.

You may like this if you enjoy light wargames. It can take a while to play, but a shorter "half game" is an option.
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2. Board Game: Strand-Cup [Average Rating:6.13 Overall Rank:6967]
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This is a small cardgame. But I recommend getting two decks and doubling the fun. It is a simulation of beach volleyball. It's best if you have 3 people to a team for a total of 6 players.

This is a game that must be played quickly. Serious cogitation will suck the fun out of this game. So play fast, make mistakes and find the fun.

You may like this if you enjoy party games.
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3. Board Game: Yacht Race [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:5904]
Kevin Whitmore
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This is a seriously over-produced game from the Parker Brothers, made in 1960. It is collectible, so its a bit of an expense to get a copy. It is also a giant box.

The play is a nice mix of deterministic rules involving wind direction and heading. But then it is spiced up with a random event deck. The luxurious game materials elevate this game beyond any other boat racing game I have played.

You may like this if you enjoy abstract games, or nautical themes.
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4. Board Game: Liebe & Intrige [Average Rating:6.08 Overall Rank:6884]
Kevin Whitmore
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This is an experience game, and could have easily been marketed as "Jane Austen: The Boardgame". You are the patriarch of a Victorian family, and have three daughters to shepherd into marraige.

You travel from balls to teas, through the park and dressmaker, and try to avoid ruining your daughters' reputations.

You may like this if you are a Jane Austen fan.
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5. Board Game: Sumo! [Average Rating:5.79 Overall Rank:8175]
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This game is remarkable for the large plastic sumo wrestlers. Yes, they really look like the cover.

The game reminds me of En Garde (Knizia). There are some neat cards you can download from the game page which elevate the experience. When I play I like shouting out the Japanese titles of the card and slapping the card down. It feels more martial, and more fun that way.

This is a quick game, and often we enjoy playing a few times in a row.

You may like this game if you like En Garde by Knizia.
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6. Board Game: Im Zeichen des Kreuzes [Average Rating:5.94 Overall Rank:7293]
Kevin Whitmore
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Before there was Wallenstein, there was Im Zeichen des Kreuzes, the first game with a cube tower. This is a game themed about a crusade to "liberate" Jerusalem. A provocative theme to be sure.

I especially enjoy the graphic design of this game. To be honest, it a game that is very scripted, and the player who initially attacks Jerusalem may find it difficult to win.

If you play, I have a recommended tweak to the game. We allow a player to discard any two terrain cards to move into any space they wish. This keeps the game moving. Also, read the rules carefully. The loss step from the tower is different than with Wallenstein, so do not assume it is identical.

You may like this game if you like light wargames.
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7. Board Game: Mare Mediterraneum [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:8165]
Kevin Whitmore
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New Mexico
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This is a collector's item, and you will not want to casually buy a copy - they are scarce and expensive. Jean du Poel is an author I have followed for years. His games often excite my interest, and frequently fail in the delivery. Mare Mediterraneum is one of his jewels. The theme is carried through the game with wonderful materials and very nice graphic design. Jean hand makes each game, and you can't help but enjoy plaing on these materials.

While it sort of looks like a wargame, Mare Mediterraneum is really a merchant based game at its heart. Various people have offered variants to this game over the years. The original game does use dice a fair bit, which can annoy players who crave more control.

You may like this game if you like merchant-type games, or experience games.
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8. Board Game: Oregon Trail [Average Rating:5.43 Overall Rank:14422]
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Here's a game that I am including solely because it is a fun solitaire game. The materials are not all that wonderful. But they are functional, and the theme is evocative. You are a wagon train leader, and strive to arrive at your destination with as much of your wagon train intact as possible. Along the way, you will have a series of random encounters, Indians, Buffalo, etc.

You may like this game if you are into role-playing, or like Old West games.
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9. Board Game: Nieuchess [Average Rating:4.89 Unranked]
Kevin Whitmore
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This is a game from 1961. Charles S. Roberts (founder of Avalon Hill) was introducing a new idea in movement regulation in 1961 - the hexgrid. In Nieuchess, two players move plastic pawns in a tactical battle to defeat their opponent. Movement rules are straightforward. The graphic design on this game is abysmal.

You may like this game if you like abstract games, or are a student of how ConSim games evolved.
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10. Board Game: Aeronautika [Average Rating:6.61 Unranked]
Kevin Whitmore
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This is another handmade game by Jean du Poel. In this game players are pilots of bi-planes. It is a race to fly over the English Channel, do a fly around the Eiffel Tower, and then return to England. The game materials are wonderful. The game play works well. There is the ability to hassle the other players with pigeons, but simply controlling your flight with the limited number of cards you have in your hand is challenging.

You may like this game if you like race games.
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11. Board Game: An den Ufern des Nils [Average Rating:6.36 Overall Rank:5700]
Kevin Whitmore
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"On the Banks of the Nile" is a nice middle weight strategy game. Players strive to put in a crop and harvest it in between the ebb and flow of the Nile's cycle. There are a few details to the rules, but nothing all that difficult to understand. Ths game was released in 1994, and while it has perfectly nice production values for its day, it is not quite as elaborate as modern titles tend to be.

You may like this game if you like middle-weight strategy games.
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12. Board Game: Cheops [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:5770]
Kevin Whitmore
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This is a surprisingly fierce game from 1998. Players are families of tomb raiders. You tunnel into a pyramid in search of wealth. There is a lot of tactical considerations as you play - both positioning on the pyramid for moves, but also with the markets which can be manipulated for good or ill. The glass scarabs all marked with Hans im Glueck are great.

You may like this if you like mid-weight strategy games with a bit of "take that" in them.
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13. Board Game: 1829 Mainline [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:5909]
Kevin Whitmore
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Francis Tresham defined the 18xx genre with his iconic games of 1829 and 1830. In Mainline he basically breaks every rule he ever previously invented. For instance, there are rapid track builds and random elements on the stock distribution.

If you like 18xx, you may NOT like this game. But if you like train games with some luck mixed in with the strategy this may be worth a look.
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14. Board Game: Bullfrog Goldfield [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:5821]
Kevin Whitmore
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This is an economic game with challenging rules. The game models the lifecycle of a boomtown. A mine opens. A railroad comes to serve it. The town explodes in value. The mine plays out, and its outstanding stock becomes worthless.

The rules cover each facet. It takes some effort to piece it all together. But I find the result very interesting. However, the very nature of the mine depletion means there is going to be strong swings of fortune based on chance. This might bug the sort of player who likes deep-thinking games.

You might like this game if you enjoy heavy strategy games, but can still accept random factors in a game (M. Wallace, anyone?)
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15. Board Game: Rise and Fall [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:6976]
Kevin Whitmore
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This is an epic game, taking as long as a game of Civilization. But I still think it is worthy of being played. You can start as a barbarian group, transition into a kingdom, and even evolve into an empire. If your position becomes untennable, you simply fold your position and come back in as anew band of barbarians.

This is a theme that Vinci/Small World offers. In Rise and Fall there are lots of details. The game offers a more immersive theme. But it also requires a written turn record, and a lot of attention to detail.

You may like this game if you like light wargames, Vinci/Small World, and crave a bigger experience.
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16. Board Game: Greyhounds [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:7319]
Kevin Whitmore
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I strongly prefer the "Bookie Game". Players race dogs. There is money to be earned, won, and lost. In the bookie version of the game one player is the bank, and tries to finish the game with more cash than the other players. This unequal start position adds a lot of interest to the game.

You may like this game if you like gambling games or race games.
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17. Board Game: Tante Tarantel [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:7953]
Kevin Whitmore
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This is a charming game about bugs fleeing the spider's web. The artwork by Doris Matthäus really makes the game. This is a game designed for children, and fatures simple rules and the excitement of the chase.

You may like this game if you enjoy children's games.
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18. Board Game: Bean Trader [Average Rating:5.80 Overall Rank:6414]
Kevin Whitmore
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Uwe Rosenberg is famous for his big box games. This is one that preceeded his much heavier works of recent years. This is Bohnanza: the boardgame, and I think it works pretty well.

If you play, I urge you to use the invitation rules. I've seen games where people neglected this rule, and then complained the game dragged. But if you liberally offer inviations, the game perks up and a spritely contest will ensue.

You may like this game if you like Bohnanza.
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19. Board Game: Careers [Average Rating:5.80 Overall Rank:5170]
Kevin Whitmore
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This is an older American game that is usually considered kid's fare. But I'd say you should give it a try as an adult too! I have the 50's edition, and it is a hoot to see the preconceptions that were built into the game. But besides that, there are meaningful decisions to be made, and the game has been a hit everytime we've played it.

You may like this game if you played it as a kid, enjoy classic games, or just want a light game experience.
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20. Board Game: Auf Fotosafari in Ombagassa [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:8342]
Kevin Whitmore
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Another collector's game, sorry. This game needs re-issuing. But I guess that's not in the plan for Herr Wittig. You drive your jeep around looking for the perfect photograph of the African animals at the water holes.

The game is very random. Roll a die and see what you can do. Pay attention during the other players, because you might be able to snap a photo due to what they cause to happen.

You may like this game if you like children's games.
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21. Board Game: Flying Carpet [Average Rating:5.83 Overall Rank:7906]
Kevin Whitmore
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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This is another game aimed for children. But it has a few more rules, making more of a light strategy game. The game materials are nicely done, and the race across Baghdad is exciting.

You may like this if you like lighter eurogames or race games.
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22. Board Game: Meander [Average Rating:6.13 Overall Rank:8114]
Kevin Whitmore
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This is a cool idea. Players take turns building the gameboard. One player is trying to build routes that connect north to south, while the other player is goinf east to west. Once the builds are completed, players test their work. Each player, in turn, lifts their edge of the gameboard and drops a heavy ball beaing into each of the 5 troughs. If the ball reaches the other end, without being routed to the gutter, it scores a point.

A game that features physics in action.

You may like this game if you like "novelty" games or connection games.
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23. Board Game: Grand Prix: F1 [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:9748]
Kevin Whitmore
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Albuquerque
New Mexico
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This is an auto racing game. But the twist in this game is that it is all about your fuel strategy. The game is brutal! We enjoy playing it as a four-player game, where each player has two cars to manage. This feels a bit easier to manage the fuel, and allows a player to keep playing if one car does run out of fuel.

You may like this game if you like racing games or puzzles.
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24. Board Game: Auf Kurs [Average Rating:6.03 Overall Rank:9407]
Kevin Whitmore
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Maritim (or Auf Kurs) is a tricky game of navigation. The game is highly abstracted, and players will want to study their position for a while before moving. It is a demanding game, so I tend to only want to play this with 2 or 3 people.

You may like this game if you like puzzles, abstract games or nautical themes.
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25. Board Game: String Safari [Average Rating:6.09 Overall Rank:8303]
Kevin Whitmore
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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String Savanna is the youngest member of the String family of games. Players are animal researchers. Tiles are played to the defined game area (enclosed by a long string). Then a player lays the reaserch string around a subset of the animals he wishes to study. Scoring is dependent upon what type of study the player is conducting.

You may like this game if you like animal themed games, and light strategy games.
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