Where's the Love?...or, Great Games that Nobody Seems to Know.
Jeff
Canada
Ontario
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There's no simple explanation for anything important any of us do, and yeah the human tragedy consists of the necessity of living with the consequences, under pressure, under pressure. -Courage (For Hugh Maclennan): The Tragically Hip
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We're forced to bed, but we're free to dream. -Gift Shop: The Tragically Hip
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Lots of us have them. You know, that game that’s really fun. So fun that you figure it must be popular amongst the masses. But as you become familiar with, and explore, the board game community you realize…no one has heard of this game! The game is great; it’s fun, it’s interesting, it’s unique. Nevertheless, it gets no love.
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1. Board Game: Big League Hockey Manager [Average Rating:6.07 Overall Rank:9919]
Jeff
Canada
Ontario
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There's no simple explanation for anything important any of us do, and yeah the human tragedy consists of the necessity of living with the consequences, under pressure, under pressure. -Courage (For Hugh Maclennan): The Tragically Hip
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We're forced to bed, but we're free to dream. -Gift Shop: The Tragically Hip
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My contribution to this list is Big League Hockey Manager. This is a fun game, especially if you like sports in general or hockey in particular. In it players take on the role of NHL general managers. You have to put together your team (ok, just one line), and you do this just like a real GM would. You have to draft your players, or make trades, or pick up free agents in an attempt to always better yourself.

While doing this, you have to look out for the pitfalls, such as a player being injured, or retiring, or having one of your free agents sign with another team. You have to watch your payroll as it could really hurt you if you go over the salary cap.

Players have (rudimentary) stats, and the better your team is overall the more likely you will get wins when you play against other teams. Yes, your team plays games against your opponents’ teams.

There are a lot of neat things going on in this game that I’ve never seen anywhere else. It deserves WAY more love!
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2. Board Game: Mars Needs Mechanics [Average Rating:5.97 Overall Rank:5889]
Brad vanVugt
United States
Baltimore
MD
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An easy to learn and fun to play market strategy game with a cool steam punk theme. In this game, you and up to 3 other players are vying to buy low and sell high on a variety of rocket ship components to see who can be the richest at the end of the game.

This game is so much fun, and has quite a bit of strategy to it, especially as the player count increases. It also contains some top notch compoments for such a small game. Yet due to the fact that it came from a smaller publisher, I dont know anyone else that owns it.
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3. Board Game: Third and Long: The Football Card Game [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:8592]
Mark Saya
United States
Los Angeles
California
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Another sports-themed game, this one on American football. Why Third and Long isn't more widely known and popular is beyond me. Are people turned off by the fictitious players and teams, or maybe the mostly no-frills playing cards? I dunno. I do know that every time I've played there's been a great narrative arc to the game. I wrote this Session Report after a particularly memorable contest.

I like the way it distills the game of football—key moments rather than every play, a few stars rather than whole sides of eleven—while maintaining a lot of detail and flavor. The draw deck serving as time clock works very well. I happen to love the fictitious teams (the Augusta Mariners, Billings Buffalo, and Mandan Rodeo) and players, and wish there were more of them. I would jump at the chance to buy an expansion.

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4. Board Game: Tyros [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:2378]
Klaus Brune
United States
Torrance
California
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Like it so much that it almost replaces Steam as my Martin Wallace favorite. Almost.
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5. Board Game: Wilderness [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:3985]
Toms Leikums
Latvia
Jelgava
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The game has everything true gamers want. Lots of player interaction, reasonable playing time, great theme, tactical planning.
Maybe player elimination scares people off, but there are many popular games with this mechanic.
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6. Board Game: Fish Cook [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:3164]
Steve S
United States
Roscoe
Illinois
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Brought this out with extended family a couple of times and we had more fun with it than any other game I can remember.
It seriously is quite good, and it's cheap to boot (in fact darn near free if you're willing to PnP).

However any time I try to suggest it to other friends or to gamers they show zero interest.
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