First Plays - New to Me in 2014
Mike W
United States
Illinois
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Year #3 for new-to-me lists. New Game goals for 2014:
1. Signed up for the 10x10 Challenge, adding 2 previously unplayed games - Android:Netrunner and Strike of the Eagle (Bobby's pick)
2. The Plainfield group will continue to put new games on my played list every month.
3. 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, so I will try to play through the few games set in 1914 that I own.
4. 75th anniversary of the start of World War II in September (ignoring the earlier action in the far east) will add some new games this year.
5. Bobby has picked up the buying bug too, so we'll have a few other games mixed in from both of our massive unplayed piles.
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1. Board Game: Atmosfear: The DVD Board Game [Average Rating:5.51 Overall Rank:14280]
Mike W
United States
Illinois
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First new play of the year was kinda not a new play. We played the original Nightmare a year ago at Christmas, but I think the DVD does add some game play variation vs the old VHS tape. Still not a very good game, but fun to play once a year.
 
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2. Board Game: Smash Up [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:620] [Average Rating:6.85 Unranked]
Mike W
United States
Illinois
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Smash Up seemed like an interesting filler. Definitely had to think about implications for the other players on some of your moves. Will probably play again but won't miss it if I don't.
 
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3. Board Game: 1914 [Average Rating:5.68 Overall Rank:11836]
Mike W
United States
Illinois
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One of my gaming goals for this year is to play through a few of my (as yet unplayed) World War I games to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War this year. Started it off with the 1968 dinosaur 1914.

Dunnigan pretty much summed it up in his strategy notes, "...it is almost impossible to break through a line of corps...", and that is what my couple solo plays of the standard game experienced. The front in the south moved a couple hexes first east then west over the game, while the Germans moved through Belgium until the French and British could establish a continuous corps line and keep them in Belgium.

But I did end up recording the position and strength of all units at the end of standard game turn 12, with the thought of maybe continuing the game later this year until the end of turn 39. Just to see if the Germans can get a breakthrough and start another mobile phase in the game.

I did like the map artwork, although the NE and SW corners were pretty much wasted space. The CRT was kinda weird. Attacking across a river or up a slope at half strength? No big deal since 1-2 was sometimes a better attack than 1-1. Overall, I am glad I played it given the historical significance of the game, and I did learn some about WWI, but I am expecting other games will keep this one on the shelf. Great box art though.
 
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4. Board Game: Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:62]
Mike W
United States
Illinois
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Plainfield group. In honesty, the first play was slow, long, lots of rules referencing, I identified the Cylon on my first player-turn, then the Cylon drew the Sympathizer at mid-game, then nothing was happening, until all of the sudden everything was happening and we humans lost...so it really wasn't that interesting of a play. But I think I can see the promise of this game with some more plays, and will put some faith in the BGG community's high rating.

 
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5. Board Game: Yunnan [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:1248]
Mike W
United States
Illinois
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Plainfield group. Nice mix of worker placement and auction mechanics, followed by area movement and control. Seems like the game ends before a long term engine can be built, more like a smash and grab game. I will certainly play differently next time. Overall I'd like to play this one again.
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6. Board Game: Concordia [Average Rating:8.07 Overall Rank:23]
Mike W
United States
Illinois
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Plainfield group. I saw Concordia on several selections of Best New Game of 2013, so I was eager to play it. Gotta say my first play was a little disappointing. Such a nice map of the Mediterranean but really lacking any tangible theme. I'll give it another try though if it comes back out on game night.
 
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7. Board Game: Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:37]
Mike W
United States
Illinois
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Plainfield group. I liked this one. Nice twist on worker placement with the gear mechanism. Definitely would like to play again.
 
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8. Board Game: Qwirkle [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:658]
Mike W
United States
Illinois
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Nice little quick playing abstract. Good for a filler and probably works for non-gamers.
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9. Board Game: Power Grid: Brazil/Spain & Portugal [Average Rating:7.88 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.88 Unranked]
Mike W
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Illinois
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Plainfield group, played the Brazil side, along with some of the power plant expansion deck. Didn't seem much different than vanilla PG.
 
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10. Board Game: De Vulgari Eloquentia [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:786]
Mike W
United States
Illinois
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Plainfield group. I liked De Vulgari Eloquentia. Didn't really feel the 'developing a language' theme, but it certainly did have some theme beyond a mere cube pusher/VP salad... you can become Pope! Liked the worker placement mechanic with everyone sharing the same set of workers in turn order, which made turn order very important to get the best cubes, books, bonuses. Really need to plan ahead for your game route to score the good time-based bonuses. Liked the decision of a potential mid-game switch from merchant to clergy. I felt like I played quite inefficiently but ended up not far out of first (58 vs 52 iirc). Would like to play again.
 
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11. Board Game: Byzantium [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:1523]
Mike W
United States
Illinois
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Not a great first impression, maybe colored by the game ending very early in round 2 when the Bulgars sacked Constantinople. Willing to give it another try.
 
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12. Board Game: Friese's Landlord [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:2596]
Mike W
United States
Illinois
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Plainfield group. Whimsical, chaotic card game filler. I'd play it again if suggested but would prefer something like Innovation.
 
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13. Board Game: Mars Needs Mechanics [Average Rating:5.97 Overall Rank:5889]
Mike W
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Illinois
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Plainfield group. Market manipulation, set collection, and timing optimization. Didn't wow me but I would play again.
 
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14. Board Game: Saint Petersburg [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:229]
Mike W
United States
Illinois
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Plainfield group. Nice light optimization Euro. Would like to play again now that I have seen a full game play out, hopefully I won't do as poorly again.
 
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15. Board Game: Paperback [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:305]
Mike W
United States
Illinois
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Second Kickstarter game that I have received, and the first that I have played (still being lazy with Battle For Souls). Always been a big fan of word games (Scrabble, Upwords, Quiddler) and I like Dominion so I really liked the idea of this game. Very nicely produced and the first few plays have been fun. I'd say the word play side of it is closer to Quiddler than to Scrabble. Nice job to Tim Fowers on this one.
 
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16. Board Game: Asgard [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:1904]
Mike W
United States
Illinois
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Plainfield group. The more I thought about Asgard after the first play, the more it grew on me. A little role selection, some worker placement, and resource management, plus it seemed like a nice dose of actual theme in this one. Maybe if I knew more about Norse mythology, I could make a better assessment of how well the theme played. Certainly had a lot of detail to teach us for our first play, and my play was mostly willy-nilly without much cohesive strategy. I'd like to play it again now that I've seen the flow of the game.
 
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17. Board Game: The Builders: Middle Ages [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:1388]
Mike W
United States
Illinois
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Plainfield group. End of night filler. Honestly didn't interest me too much.
 
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18. Board Game: Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:133]
Mike W
United States
Illinois
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Plainfield group, liked it.
 
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19. Board Game: A Study in Emerald [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:593]
Mike W
United States
Illinois
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Plainfield group. Two plays so far and really liking it. Has lots of familiar stuff going on, but it is all put together in a different kind of way. Interesting dynamic with the "teams" too.
 
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20. Board Game: Lewis & Clark [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:138]
Mike W
United States
Illinois
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Plainfield group. Not too far into the first play, I declared "I like it".
 
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21. Board Game: City of Iron [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:823]
Mike W
United States
Illinois
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Plainfield group. Honestly took me a while to catch on to what was going on. In the end I thought it wasn't too bad of a game. Our group definitely did not explore some of the strategies (such as exploring) with more of a focus on military. The game night host ended up selling it, so not sure if I'll see it again.
 
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22. Board Game: Tichu [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:119]
Mike W
United States
Illinois
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Plainfield group. Trick-taking game which is an area without much experience for me. Definitely seemed like there was a serious game here, I just didn't have much of a clue of what to do.
 
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23. Board Game: Last Train to Wensleydale [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:1301]
Mike W
United States
Illinois
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Plainfield group. Seemed like a good game with a...functional...mapboard. I know our first play had a pretty big rules mistake (only one player can build track between two areas) so will need to see how that changes things next time.
 
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24. Board Game: Spartacus: A Game of Blood & Treachery [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:283]
Mike W
United States
Illinois
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Plainfield group, liked it.
 
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25. Board Game: Targi [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:149]
Mike W
United States
Illinois
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Plainfield group. Really like this small 2-player game. Very interesting row/column/intersection mechanic added in to worker placement. In the end, we each had the same score and also matched all the tie-breakers for a true draw.

Purchased November 2014
 
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