New to me in 2013
Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
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A list of every game that I tried/learned in 2013.
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1. Board Game: 1775: Rebellion [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:247]
Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
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One of my favorites of the bunch. Superior to 1812: The Invasion of Canada, the action starts immediately and the punches (almost) never stop flying from wire to wire.
 
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2. Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:50]
Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
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I avoided this for months because the D&D fantasy theme does less than nothing for me (I'm a history nerd, and sometimes I'm a sci-fi nerd, but I'm definitely not a fantasy nerd). My first session, I had a guy who insisted that I play with an upside-down board and gave me a crappy rules explanation. I still finished within 12 points of him and might have won if he'd clarified that it was one quest per assignment, not per round.

Still, I find this to be manufactured mediocrity. I'll play it, but it doesn't excite me, and I'm genuinely confused why a game that is often mockingly called "Cubey" gets so much love around these parts.
 
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3. Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep: Scoundrels of Skullport [Average Rating:8.23 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.23 Unranked]
Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
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I got the expansion hoping it would improve the base game. It did, but it also made something I'm ambivalent about on a good day take 2-3 times as long, so it was kind of a wash.

I also had to do my first custom insert because of the over-manufactured inserts; some people use a Plano, but I had a gift card and coupon at Staples, so I used three of these instead: http://www.staples.com/Martha-Stewart-Home-Office-with-Avery..., and I'll probably add some plastic containers for cards from the Container Store.
 
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4. Board Game: Brass: Lancashire [Average Rating:8.01 Overall Rank:33]
Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
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It took me all year to get our group's Brass lover to set up a game. It was pretty fun, despite my incompetent play and a dry feel. I'd definitely play this again.
 
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5. Board Game: Fading Glory [Average Rating:7.53 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.53 Unranked]
Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
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I only played this with one opponent but it is a nifty four-in-one old-school wargame. I got it because I like wargames but my fiance hates all the cubes and decisions in 1775: Rebellion and 1812: The Invasion of Canada (although she didn't hate Twilight Struggle!). So I figured something with only 10 units each will be more her speed, and used my ThankYou credit card rewards to pick up a copy on Amazon.
 
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6. Board Game: Flash Point: Fire Rescue [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:255]
Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
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Sorry, Pandemic -- once people discover this little gem, you're going to be an also-ran in the co-op department. Who wants to be some boring CDC worker when you can be a firefighter?

Only one play, but we had 4-5 people with wildly different personalities who all had a BLAST playing this. Would play again and will probably pick up a copy.
 
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7. Board Game: Kingdom Builder [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:450]
Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
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One of the rare games I learned when I wasn't excited for something new. Nothing fancy but I'd play again and I will probably put this on my 2014 Christmas list.
 
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8. Board Game: Pandemic: On the Brink [Average Rating:8.10 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.10 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.10 Unranked]
Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
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I picked up a copy of this (might have learned in 2012 but can't remember for sure) at my FLGS. It is a must-have to keep Pandemic from being samey, although people seem to like Mutation better than Virulent Strain.

I am getting ambivalent on Pandemic, but I'd play again.
 
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9. Board Game: Quoridor [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:996]
Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
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Deceptively tricky little abstract I got for my birthday. Too light for game group, too awkwardly shaped a box to bring in my bags, and too spatial for my fiance. I like it fine enough, but I'd probably rather play Blokus.
 
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10. Board Game: Star Trek: Catan [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:812]
Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
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I hate base Catan, but this made me request (and receive) the Helpers expansion for Christmas 2013.

I didn't like the components at all. Would not play again; it adds literally nothing, now that I have Helpers.
 
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11. Board Game: Trans Europa [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:1167]
Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
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Got this as a "thank you" for running tournament games at a one-day con. Light as can be, each round is quick but a full play takes a while. I added this to my bag for the less strategic game group who usually play traditional cards, but will sometimes play simple-to-explain strategy games like Carcassonne.
 
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12. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.35 Overall Rank:4]
Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
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Technically, I didn't learn the correct rules until January 2014, but we did a tryout the last week of December 2014.

I see why this is #1 and it's probably going to be a Top 5 game for me. I love the theme, the mechanics, everything -- it's the total package.
 
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13. Board Game: Power Grid: Northern Europe/United Kingdom & Ireland [Average Rating:7.94 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.94 Unranked]
Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
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Got my new maps in January, I think. Love playing Northern Europe; rather "meh" on UK/Ireland.
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14. Board Game: Power Grid: BGG Promo Card Set [Average Rating:7.47 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.47 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.47 Unranked]
Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
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Added a bunch of promo cards. Good way to mix things up in my favorite game.
 
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15. Board Game: Carcassonne: The Count of Carcassonne [Average Rating:5.94 Unranked] [Average Rating:5.94 Unranked]
Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
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This one was a clunker, but it came in "Graf, Koenig, und Konsorten" which I really only got for The River II anyway.
 
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16. Board Game: Carcassonne: The Cult [Average Rating:6.71 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.71 Unranked]
Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
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Making cloisters competitive is a nice concept but mostly we can't keep track of the rules for what is allowed to be adjacent and you never really feel like wasting a valuable meeple on a cloister war when you can just dump the cult elsewhere for the same benefit.

In short, this expansion could best be described as a bit of a cloisterf***.
 
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17. Board Game: Carcassonne: King & Scout [Average Rating:6.59 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.59 Unranked]
Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
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Completing big cities and roads - even an opponent's - is worthwhile. But once you add in some expansions, the Scout's bonus (1 per completed road) is always superior to the King's bonus (1 per completed city)... I'd like to see the King go to +2/city.

Also, we never actually think to keep track of this or score it at the end of the game.
 
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18. Board Game: Carcassonne: Expansion 5 – Abbey & Mayor [Average Rating:7.12 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.12 Unranked]
Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
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A mixed bag.

The Mayor is a great piece; he is like a variable Big Meeple, and counts equal to pennants in his cities.

The Wagon is an OK piece; you can use it to chain roads and not tie up a meeple.

Abbeys aren't bad but you need to remember the funky rules (they only go when all 4 sides touch a tile!). They make competitive meeple trapping a bit harder.

The Barn is a weapon of mass farm destruction and is probably too powerful. Whoever can smash the big field with their barn first will usually get a crushing advantage.
 
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19. Board Game: Carcassonne: The River II [Average Rating:7.16 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.16 Unranked]
Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
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Not as good as I'd hoped; half the time we seem to draw a very short river. Perhaps we are not using the right rules?
 
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