Games I should be playing instead...
John Gulla
United States
Coral Gables
FL
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The following is a list of games that I find myself playing more often than others.

Your goal is simple:

Tell me why I should be playing a different (but somehow similar) game instead of the listed one.


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1. Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:50]
John Gulla
United States
Coral Gables
FL
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Despite not owning this (because my best gaming bud does), we play this often. I was close to being burnt out on it previous to the expansion, but post-expansion, it seems to have its legs again for me.

But for how long?

What should I play instead so that it maintains some of its freshness a little longer?

 
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2. Board Game: Letters from Whitechapel [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:182]
John Gulla
United States
Coral Gables
FL
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Arguably the game that begun my board gaming obsession, my wife, my usual gaming group, and I all thoroughly enjoy this game.
When the re-release came out recently, I was finally able to purchase it for my own collection (without taking out a loan), and, amazingly, it has seen less table time since that day (for some strange reason unbeknownst to me).

Still, it is in a semi-regular rotation and I worry that it will fizzle out if we don't start playing ___________________________ instead.
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3. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:124] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
John Gulla
United States
Coral Gables
FL
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We've played this a lot at my house. While I do love it, I think it's high time to let it rest in peace a bit while we play __________________ instead.
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4. Board Game: Cards Against Humanity [Average Rating:6.10 Overall Rank:2352] [Average Rating:6.10 Unranked]
John Gulla
United States
Coral Gables
FL
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I've never had any less than a full blown blast playing this with a good group of people. However, even with the expansions added in, I see some slight tarnish building up on it. I recognize too many of the cards, which takes some of the freshness away from it.

What else is out there that offers a similar experience, which we should try playing instead?
 
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5. Board Game: Cosmic Encounter [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:101]
John Gulla
United States
Coral Gables
FL
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The inspiration for the list. A quick story:

I realized recently that this game went from being my all-time favorite game to play with my gaming group to the "Voldemort Game," i.e., the game that shall not be named.

We played it often and we enjoyed it much, until one day, we realized that permanent alliances began to form, which were based on real-world relationships. This destroyed the integrity of the game. CE went from being great, zany, and intense fun to a predictable, boring and frustrating experience. Why?

There could be a lot of reasons why, I guess, but one is that is was played too regularly, allowing the meta-game to take root and corrupt the episodic, self-contained experience each game should be viewed as.

My hope is that one day, CE will feel fresh again, and that those pre-resolved alliances and pre-determined hatred for certain players/factions will evaporate enough to inject into this game its unique and exquisite flavor once again.

Until such a day, what should we try playing instead?
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6. Board Game: Spartacus: A Game of Blood & Treachery [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:280]
John Gulla
United States
Coral Gables
FL
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Another game I don't own personally, but that my gaming group requests enough to see a decent amount of play. Problem is, I don't care for it. Oh, and I suck at it, too. Perhaps that's why I don't like it (or maybe it's the other way around). Either way, Spartacus just grabs me wrong, consistently.

And here's the thing, I don't want to dislike this game! There are cool bits here, and cool mechanisms involved that I genuinely appreciate, and a great theme to boot (though, I'm admittedly not a huge fan of the show, personally). So, what gives? I just don't understand how all those positives end up in a net negative for me.

Perhaps I should play ____________________ instead, which has many of the same great elements that Spartacus has, but does it better.
 
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7. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:41]
John Gulla
United States
Coral Gables
FL
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7 wonders has a lot of things going for it. The art is simply amazing, the gameplay is nuanced and (usually) fun, and it has a bunch of expansions you can put in or leave out in modular fashion to mix it up when needed.

I am not bored of this game in the least, but our last play through was, admittedly, not the greatest. We had some rules issues and exposed a potential flaw (i.e. dominant strategy) in the game that may make it somewhat less fun to play in the future. Needless to say, I'm slightly worried, but hoping that by the time the new Babel expansion comes out, it won't have turned sour for us altogether.

In order for that not to happen, what games that feature similarities in some way should we try playing instead?
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8. Board Game: Cockroach Poker [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:1210]
John Gulla
United States
Coral Gables
FL
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This was a great find for us. It is so simple that we are able to play it with my young kids; it has a minuscule footprint for storage purposes; and lots of emergent gameplay involved when playing with competent players.

Still, it appears, for me at least, not to be resistant to becoming stale upon repeated play-- especially when played with a younger group whom is less strategically oriented. My girls (6 and 7) want to play it more than I do now and everytime I relent, I repent this purchase.

What might I be able to interest them in playing instead?
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