Games only YOU have played in November 2013
Ben Bateson
United Kingdom
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Well, hi there folks. From one Ben to the next, the 'Games Only YOU have played' lists change hands. I, like the rest of you, would like to thank Mr Lott for his dedication towards these lists and will pledge to carry on his good work.

In fact, I'd like to make it a teeny bit better. I am going to give out a discretionary 1GG prize or prizes every month to each game that is described in sufficiently interesting terms as to make me click through to the game's page and take a closer look. I would suggest you all do the same.

And, for completeness, here are the legacy Geeklist instructions.

Quote:
Look at your plays for the month of November, and then check out the games and see if you can find any games where you are currently the solitary logger of a play for November (or if the other loggers were actually in the same game session with you). Use your common sense in order to make the search faster. Obviously things like Dominion, Magic, etc. will have plenty of people playing them. Note: expansions that only you logged are fine, feel free to add them as well.

Then share any comments you might have. Are we missing something? How could this happen? What is your opinion of the game?


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1. Board Game: Skyline of the World [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:5377]
Ben Bateson
United Kingdom
Ross-on-Wye
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This is a pleasant and far-from-obvious building game from Hans van Tol (Opera, Countdown: Special Ops). Think of it as a cross between Manhatten and Castles Of Burgundy, and you'd be pretty close.

I got absolutely thrashed in a four-player game, and I am a little concerned that at 4P one player nearly always seems to get shut out. But it doesn't stop me wanting to teach it to more people.
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2. Board Game: Catacombs: Cavern of Soloth [Average Rating:7.60 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.60 Unranked]
Ben Bateson
United Kingdom
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I'm sure I'm not the ONLY person to have played this expansion, but I'm sure the only one to have logged a play.

This is one of the few expansions I rank more highly than the original, as I really do feel it completes the base game in terms of choice and variability. The four extra characters, without adding massive amounts, do give interesting additional ways to play.

You gotta like flicking games, though. And the art's still - well - not brilliant. I played an uproarious and slightly-drunk three-and-a-half player session at MidCon that involved the Dungeonmaster getting a little TOO excited when we lost.
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3. Board Game: Top It [Average Rating:5.85 Overall Rank:11205]
Joerg Schaefer
Germany
Frankfurt
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I played this once or twice more than ten years ago and now again. A twenty minute abstract filler that I'm not sure about how much there really is.

I'm also the only one to log a play of 18West this month.
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4. Board Game: Chef Cuckoo! [Average Rating:6.01 Overall Rank:10700]
Uncle Bouncy
United States
Wisconsin
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My guess is that the reason I have the only recorded game of this is because the game's audience isn't allowed to use the internet yet to record their play here at BGG.
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5. Board Game: Whoopies [Average Rating:4.27 Overall Rank:14549]
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
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I think the reason I'm the only one to play this game is because I missed the memo on how God-awful this game is.
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6. Board Game: Die Glücksritter [Average Rating:5.77 Overall Rank:10329]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
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I have 8 recorded plays of this on BGG, but we played it quite a few times before I started recording in 2002. We went to a birthday party for two fellow gamers and my daughter suggested it.

I always enjoy this game more than I expect I will---it's a blind action selection game, with bonuses for being the only one to select an action (it occurs to me that you can say something similar about Glass Road,) but for some reason it works. It is very well done.
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7. Board Game: Sly [Average Rating:6.34 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.34 Unranked]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
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My friend Joe Huber has a thing for Sid Sackson games, and he got this abstract inexpensively, so we tried it. It screams 1970s, from the clothing and shag carpet in the cover illustration to the Avocado Green and Harvest Gold used as player colors.

It was okay, but nothing I'd seek to play again. (For full disclosure, there are 6 games included in the box and we only tried one of them.)

Fun fact: This game was distributed by Amway.
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8. Board Game: Zahlen-Mobile [Average Rating:5.28 Unranked]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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OK, this is a thin month. I've almost exclusively been playing new-to-me-in-2013 games, most of which others are playing as well.

But not Zahlen-Mobile, which is a delightful little speed-dice-rolling puzzle game. (Which I really need to do a translation for, but that's another matter.) Thanks to Hilko Drude for (somewhat indirectly) pointing me toward the game.

I still seem to be the only one playing Circus Grandioso as well - which is too bad, as it's a delightful game with very nice artwork (though with a memory element to scare away the hoi-polloi).

Sly is an interesting collection of Sid Sackson abstracts - but didn't really capture me.

Loreley is a delightful little Parchisi-like game with some nice twists - and far more opportunity to come from behind than I'd realized.

Wilde Meuterei is a fun little memory game, particularly when all of the variants are added at once.

Isegrim wasn't bad at all, but also didn't interest me enough to play again.

Downtown (all three Racky Games - am I really the only one trying these?) was a disappointment, in comparison to Circus Grandioso - but also compared to Isegrim.

Taste Taiwan: Warrior is cute, but not much fun.

Only 8, I guess - really a thin month...
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9. Board Game: Axis & Allies: Pacific [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:1597]
Kirk Groeneweg
United States
Clear Lake
Iowa
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I got Axis & Allies: Pacific in a BGG auction and finally got to play it with my son. We both enjoyed it, but also both thought we liked the GM version of Axis & Allies a little better. We both agreed we'd play it again some time tho.


I picked up Double-Play Baseball at the thrift store a long time ago and finally dusted it off to try. I'll only keep this one for nostalgia reasons. It probably won't get played a lot. Much better things to do with my time!


Another thrift store purchase, only because my wife was a huge fan of the show when she was young. We gave it a whirl and had to laugh at it. Not much of a game, but again, will keep for nostalgia reasons.

Thanks for continuing this list!
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10. Board Game: Assault on Galactus Prime [Average Rating:6.72 Unranked]
sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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My wife and I got in two plays of this almost unheard of deck builder. It is really unique, and captures its theme really well. It is a shame that so few people have ever played it.
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11. Board Game: ElfBall [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:7001]
sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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Sadly every time I play this game, I get to add it to the list. Elfball continues to be a fun game, and a great take on the fantasy sports genre.
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12. Board Game: Tribbles Customizable Card Game [Average Rating:5.56 Overall Rank:12903]
sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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The only other recorded plays are the people I played with. This game is essentially UNO for gamers, and it is fun enough.
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13. Board Game: Valley of the Pharaohs [Average Rating:5.77 Overall Rank:11239]
Carthoris Pyramidos
United States
Centennial
Colorado
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Here's a game that seems widely reviled, and why? Only because it is so overproduced relative to the humble roll-and-move, chase-and-block mechanics involved. Heavy painted-metal figures, metal coins, a wooden spinner and cloth map, all in a wood case make this one of the most elaborately-appointed games of its type. Don't hate it because it's beautiful!

It's a delightful family game when played with the "advanced" player character assignments, and it's de rigeur for the summoner to make the classic monster-movie mummy moan.
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14. Board Game: Kriegbot [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:7141]
Dave Peters
United States
Belmont
California
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I appear to have been the only one to log a play (two plays, in fact) of Kriegbot this month.

I'd owned my copy for a while. It's a bit daunting to get into play: lots of sheets of cardboard to cut out carefully; the appearance of many special rules cases; the name-association with other Eklund fare (like Lords of the Spanish Main, Lords of the Sierra Madre or even High Frontier) that require some dedication and persistence to understand the rules and recruit an appropriate set of players.

This is not at all like those others. Any appearance of unwieldiness is strictly in the eye of th(e/is) beholder. Kriegbot is fast, sensible, streamlined, and amusing. I really enjoyed both plays, and am looking forward to exploring some more exotic scenarios with more players.
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15. Board Game: Dog Dice [Average Rating:5.24 Overall Rank:13264]
Dwayne Wood
United States
Cabool
Missouri
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A children's game gets me on the list this month.
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16. Board Game: MedWar Sicily [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:7923]
Robert B
United States
Parsons
Kansas
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My opponent, AirJudden, and I are the only recorded plays this month for MedWar Sicily, a wargame by Worthington.

MedWar has a mix of old and new. It has the old-school hex and counters feel. But instead of a Combat Results Table, you roll a die for each combat factor in the battle, giving the game a buckets-of-dice mechanic. Infantry hit on 6s, heavy weapons on 5-6. Cards are also included to provide randomness for certain events, such as extra movement or air support.

AirJudden was playing the Allies and he quickly took control of the beach heads and swept inland. I should have had my Axis units contest every bridge and every point of defensive terrain to slow him down. Instead, my timing wasn't very good and most infantry and tanks were headed to Messana to be transported off Sicily. Due to time constraints, we didn't finish the game, but it was a first-play for both of us and we got a feel for MedWar Sicily.
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17. Board Game: Blockade [Average Rating:6.23 Unranked]
Carthoris Pyramidos
United States
Centennial
Colorado
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Most months I manage to get in at least one play of a Looney Pyramids game that no one else on the Geek has logged. This month, that game is Blockade, a two-player dice-driven game by Alison Looney that I consider to be the true "Martian Backgammon" (notwithstanding the inferior Looney Pyramid game of that name).



I hadn't played it for almost two years. My opponent insisted that she had never played this game before, although she was the only one I had played it with. (Still, two years is a long time ago when you're eight!) She didn't seem to like it much this time, which probably explains why we hadn't played it in so long.

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18. Board Game: Caldera [Average Rating:7.53 Unranked]
Jeff Wolfe
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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I have to add this quickly before Carthoris plays it. He was the only one who played it the previous two months, but he appears to have taken this month off.

I had two other games with single digit plays:
Miskatonic School for Girls and World War 5.
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19. Board Game: Star Wars: Angriff der Rebellen [Average Rating:5.04 Overall Rank:13464]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Apparently I'm the only one who played this game in November. I'll be talking about it in my New-to-You entry, but it's a decent dice-rolling game for kids. Honestly if it didn't have the Star Wars theme I'd probably call it a serious miss, but Star Wars makes everything better.
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20. Board Game: Scrabble: Major League Baseball Edition [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Jay Reigns
United States
Baltimore
Maryland
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Not sure if this one technically counts, since I don't play with all the optional rules. I just like having a non-square board occasionally. I don't even like Baseball.
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21. Board Game: Pergamemnon [Average Rating:5.46 Overall Rank:12992]
Jeroen Doumen
Netherlands
Eindhoven
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Also, just one game for me while playing all the new Essen releases this month:




Though a quite some expansions again to save me



Strangely enough, these seem the only logged plays of the Catan cardgame promo cards:
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22. Board Game: Shootin' Ladders: Frag Fest [Average Rating:5.96 Overall Rank:8315]
Code Red
Canada
London
Ontario
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Surprised I played a game that would actually make this list. As it stands now I have the only logged play of Shootin' Ladders: Frag Fest.

The game is a parody of Chutes and Ladders (aka Snakes and Ladders). Each player plays as a gingerbread man (Stinky, Mr. Crumbles, Lefty, etc.) with a list of special weapons (all parodies of types of candy) on a board similar to that of Snakes and Ladders. The objective is usually to remove opponent body parts by attacking them (using dice) with your weapons.

The game comes with about 7 scenarios (death match, trophy/limb collection, sniper, team capture the flag, etc.). We played the the first to collect three body parts.

It was quite a lot of fun as my gingerbread man was torn limb from limb. With the holidays nearing, next time we might make real gingerbread men and eat them as we remove limbs.

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23. Board Game: Erosion [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:5233]
J Rachfal
United States
Rochester
New York
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2nd Sierra Madre game on the list this month. I'm sure I bought this because either:
1. I came across a review where someone raved about this.
2. I thought it might help my children with 9th grade Earth Science and, hey, it was supposed to be a great game!

Well, the tortures of Earth Science class came and went for my children without a play of this game. So now, years later, with the new Ben continuing this list, I knew I had to try to finally get this to the table. One of my lunch time gaming co-workers is always complaining that I need to bring in more "new" games -- so I got him to play it with me today.

We played the basic game twice. I've gotta say that I'm not quite sold on this. Comments from BGG users that say if you love RFTG or Glory to Rome, you'll love this are, methinks, overselling this just a wee bit. I didn't feel that I had much control at all -- given the hand limit of 6 cards. The advanced rules look like they just add more time and complexity -- without more control.

My co-worker is up for playing with more players, so this might appear on the list again, but I don't think it will have much staying power with me -- especially since I hated Earth Science...

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24. Board Game: Veletas [Average Rating:7.23 Unranked]
 
Russ Williams
Poland
Wrocław
Dolny Śląsk
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Luis Bolaños Mures is a designer of abstract strategy games whose games my wife and I already dedicated a month to exploring each day. (See Monthly tournament (June 2013: Luis Bolaños Mures).) So when he recently announced his new game, we promptly tried it out and have been enjoying it. I like Christian Freeling's description of Veletas as Amazons pulled inside out.

There are 5 neutral red pieces. Each turn you must move one of them like a Chess queen and then shoot a piece of your color in a line from it like a Chess queen. Eventually red pieces will become trapped with no adjacent free spaces, at which point they are converted to a special black or white marker depending on which player has the largest contiguous group of their stones orthogonally adjacent to the red piece.

We've been playing with red, white and black Looney Pyramids as the special pieces and Go stones as the player-specific blocks/walls which get shot out from the red pieces.

The strategy after 4 games is still intriguingly opaque... We've each won a couple.

(I also like that the game's title is coincidentally an Esperanto word...)
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25. Board Game: Banana Republic [Average Rating:5.36 Overall Rank:13672]
Larry Welborn
United States
Anderson
South Carolina
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Early game from Doris & Frank that is not well loved on BGG. The game requires bluffing and memory and taking action with incomplete information.

The game is missing something, but I'm not sure what. OK at best.

Interesting note: I've owned the game for years with no logged plays. The game was open and it appeared to have been played. I apparently played it at some point in the past but had no recollection of the game, so I'm not positive that I had played it before.
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