Top 10 Non-Top 200 being played in November 2013
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HUGE changes this month.

A new Top 1 (and new to the list) Glass Roads. Also, joining this month were Takenoko, Amerigo, Russian RailRoads, Nations, Coup and Caverna: The Cave Farmers. Knocking off: Bruges, Dungeon Roll, Mascarade, Escape: The Curse of the Temple, Augustus, Forbidden Desert, and Smash Up!

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: Glass Road [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:210]
Mike Jones
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Glass Road had 829 plays by 529 people.

This one just poped up and I hadn't even heard the name before running the stats this morning. But, I have to admit I'm not a huge Uwe fan.

There isn't much to say though, because only one person on 'the committee' has rated it and hasn't commented on it.

Analysis for Glass Road
Average Rating: 7.00
Group: Top200comittee
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2. Board Game: Kingdom Builder [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:451]
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Kingdom Builder was played 960 times by 514 people.

Not sure if there is anything left to say

Analysis for Kingdom Builder
Average Rating: 7.52
Group: Top200comittee

cold_fuzion

Simple area control combined with variable setup and random scoring goals. Doesn't seem like it should add up to much, but I really enjoyed this quite a bit. It also falls in the about an hour playtime that is the sweet spot for me.


boltongeordie

Have heard a lot of people rave about this, and I can see it is a nice game, but for me it is not that special. Sure the mission cards give some variety which will give more replayability but, when it comes down to it, the basic game-play is pretty obvious (I can't believe I have been hearing people say it has taken them a couple of games to get into the tactics). So, nice, light, but don't believe the hype.
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3. Board Game: Takenoko [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:211]
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Takenoko had 985 plays by 509 people.

Did that super deluxe version really make that much of a difference? Why the 'sudden love' for this game?

Analysis for Takenoko
Average Rating: 7.35
Group: Top200comittee

msaari
Rated: 8

Fairly simple family game that looks gorgeous. Fun to play, not terribly deep, but absolutely lovely components. A good two-player game, and my son loves the game - this is one of the best games he enjoys.

Suggest.


KrisVerbeeck
Rated: 6.8

No cuteness factor and a decent game makes this probably an interesting gateway game

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4. Board Game: Amerigo [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:265]
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Amerigo had 722 plays by 509 people

Got to love a cube tower.

Analysis for Amerigo
Average Rating: 7.70
Group: Top200comittee

Walt Mulder
Rsted: 8.2

Feldelicious, Feldtacular, Feldtastic

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5. Board Game: Russian Railroads [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:67]
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Russian RailRoads had 858 plays by 505 people

Analysis for Russian RailRoads
Average Rating: 8.00
Group: Top200comittee

msaari
Rated: 8

Worker placement, and not much that is really new. However, the game is solidly built, the rulebook and the graphic design are top notch. I like this.

Suggest

Nap16
United States
Rated: 7

Another train game . . . but wait, this has worker placement . . . and nice bits . . . and is not half bad . . .
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6. Board Game: Nations [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:96]
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Nations had 811 plays by 495 people

Analysis for Nations
Average Rating: 5.50
Group: Top200comittee

Nap16
Rated: 7

Through The Ages clone . . .

msaari
Rated: 4

Takes Through the Ages, streamlines it, but leaves in the things I least enjoy. This game hates me – I'd rather play something that doesn't.

Avoid.
 
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7. Board Game: Trains [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:367] [Average Rating:7.22 Unranked]
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Trains was played 783 times by 492 people

Analysis for Trains
Average Rating: 7.48
Group: Top200comittee

KrisVerbeeck
Rated: 8

Deck building games with a map. Points to be scored on map as well.

It's a visualisation of what you do in deck building games and it works excellent.

SteveK2
Rated: 7

Dominion with route-building. I'm not enough of an anorak to get excited over the theme, so I'll probably always be thinking why am I reading this tiny text when I could be playing Dominion?
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8. Board Game: Coup [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:372]
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Coup played a whopping 1570 times by 455 people

Analysis for Coup
Average Rating: 6.81
Group: Top200comittee

Isamoor
Rated: 7.9

Only one quick game on the GenCon floor so far, but even that was quite fun. There was information to go on and lots of bluffing even among strangers. I look forward to receiving my copy and playing with people I know (or think I know).

JohnBandettini
Rated: 5

It's a bluffing game, I don't like bluffing games. Unfortunately lots of people I play games with do. Still at least it's not Skull and Roses.
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9. Board Game: Spyrium [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:483]
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Spyrium was played 622 times by 438 people

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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10. Board Game: Caverna: The Cave Farmers [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:14]
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Caverna: The Cave Farmers was played 724 times by 430 people

One one rating and no comments from "the Committee"

Analysis for Caverna: The Cave Farmers
Average Rating: 8.00
Group: Top200comittee
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11. Board Game: Mascarade [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:878]
Mike Jones
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HM 500
Mascarade was played 786 times by 404 people

Still going strong around here.

Analysis for Mascarade
Average Rating: 7.75
Group: Top200comittee

thoia
Rated: 9

No Awesome game. Plays fast and is just purely fun. Don't play this game with the goal to win just play to have fun and make the most of your turns.

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.



The Top 10 not in the Top 500:
Glass Road 829 529
Amerigo 722 509
Mascarade 786 404
Dungeon Roll 854 398
Augustus 765 380
Firefly: The Game 496 353
Concordia 475 345
Tsuro 680 329
Francis Drake 382 304
Lewis & Clark 429 301
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12. Board Game: Dungeon Roll [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:1993]
Mike Jones
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HM 1000
Dungeon Roll had 854 plays by 398 people

Analysis for Dungeon Roll
Average Rating: 5.50
Group: Top200comittee

Nap16
Rated: 7

Light-ish dungeon dice game . . .


The entinte Top 10 not in the Top 1000

Dungeon Roll 854 398
Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends 702 297
Rokoko 367 279
Bruxelles 1893 361 266
Zombie Dice 641 265
Coal Baron 348 264
Space Cadets: Dice Duel 388 251
Rampage 288 237
Council of Verona 506 225
Relic Runners 269 213
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13. Board Game: Firefly: The Game [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:276]
Mike Jones
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HM #1

Firefly: The Game was played 496 times by 353 people

I'm so torn on if I want to play this. It just seems to take too long. Then again I just got into a 4+ hour game of BSG and had fun.

Analysis for Firefly: The Game
Average Rating: 6.25
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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14. Board Game: Concordia [Average Rating:8.07 Overall Rank:23]
Mike Jones
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HM#2

Concordia had 475 plays by 345 people

Been hear ing a lot of good things about this one.

Analysis for Concordia
Average Rating: 8.00
Group: Top200comittee

verandi
rated: 8

Gerdts keeps designing the same game, and here finally gets it right (as opposed to Hamburgum and Navegador which fell flat for me). Concordia is more elegant, less processional, and for once feels greater than the sum of its parts rather than the opposite. There are enough interactive elements to keep the game from feeling self-absorbed; I especially appreciate the Diplomat cards in this regard. This is what medium-weight games SHOULD look like.
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