New to you a year ago Jun 14 => Has it stood the test of time?
Martin G
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Grimwold's new-to-you geeklists are the highlight of my month on the 'geek. They motivate me to review the new games I've played (and recycle my entries as comments), and they allow me to read the thoughts of some of the most insightful BGGers on new and classic games.

But the new-to-me list is inevitably full of first impressions. I'm interested in hearing how those games that seemed so great at the time stood up to multiple plays. Did you actually play them that much after the first month? Did a game you dismissed at the time turn out to be better in retrospect?

Add an entry with the same game you chose for the New To You Jun 13 geeklist. Link to your entry in that geeklist, then write down your thoughts on the game you chose a year on. If your impression of some of the other games you wrote up that month have changed, let us know about that too.

The hot game that month was Android: Netrunner - has it stood the test of time?

I'll be starting these lists mid-month, so we don't have to keep up with this list and Grimwold's (and several other monthly ones) all at the same time. You can subscribe to the announcement thread for reminders.
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Martin G
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Bristol
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2. Board Game: Samurai [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:171]
Tom P
United Kingdom
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I haven't played this since, which is a shame as it's excellent.

Other games from last year:

Good games I've played since and still enjoy

Masters Gallery - excellent little card game, picked up a copy at the UK Games Expo bring & buy.

Lost Legacy - I now have 2 and 3. Tiny text but I enjoy it.

Sticheln - one of the best trick-takers I own. And I own a lot.

Atlantis - on the fence as to whether to get a copy or not. Good fun.

Played since but so-so

Tahiti - fun but I think I'm done with it now, there's just not enough going on.

Quarantine - unsure about this one. Want to play again and see how I feel.

Not played since, want to

Pelican Bay - bought recently, so should play again soon.

Not played since, not fussed

Quacksalbe - terrible.

Rise of Augustus - kinda dull.

Uchronia - I remember nothing about this.

Money! - many better quick card games out there.

Asara - only fun for the banter.
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3. Board Game: A Castle for All Seasons [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:1035]
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Last year's list.

I picked Castle for all Seasons last year, even though I'd played before on BrettSpielWelt, as the other games was the Convoy and I didn't like that one much.

Neither one got another play, and as I've been liking Neuroshima Hex a lot more since we've played it a few times (it's on our 10x10 challenge list), I'm thinking that maybe the Convoy deserves another try.

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4. Board Game: Bruges [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:198]
Jeff Kayati
United States
Worthington
Ohio
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Item for Geeklist "New to you June 2013 => Best new boardgame"

Has Bruges stood the test of time? You betcha! With 21 plays since last June, Bruges is a constant on my gaming table. Fear not the hue and cry of the maddened crowd accusing Bruges of being a game determined by luck.

This game is innocent of that charge. This is a strategy game with deep tactical choices. Yes, I said strategy. To compete in Bruges consistently, you'll need to score points in two of the three major areas: Persons, Canals, and Reputation. Deciding which of these to focus on before the game begins is a trap. In fact, deciding during your first hand of cards if often a trap.

This game forces you into tough choices, but with an eye on your overarching goals, you can make the right tactical choices to consistently come out ahead.

It's just not easy to see at first, which is why Bruges rewards repeated plays. For me, this is Feld's best game. It fits a number of tough choices into a tight timeframe without resorting to gimmicky mechanics. Clean, crisp, refreshing - Bruges!
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5. Board Game: Hanabi [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:275]
Johannes cum Grano Salis
United States
Finger Lakes
New York
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Item from last year.

Four new games last June: Hanabi, Coup, Saboteur, and 1846. I'll call them all successes save Saboteur, which I have not played since then and am not especially clamoring to. But I've now played Hanabi 8 times, Coup 4 times (as recently as this week, in fact), and 1846 3 times (with a fourth ongoing via PBEM). I do have to admit that I'm a tiny bit surprised that number is not higher with Hanabi, but we do play it on occasion and we always enjoy ourselves, whoever "we" happens to be. Actually, I take that back. My father utterly despised the game and didn't get it at all, and our 2p game ended with something like 5 points before the fuse went off prematurely. He said it tested his working memory well past what he was comfortable with, and said he never wanted to play it again. But the other seven games? They were all great.

And I cannot resist pointing out that I am no closer today to owning a copy of 1846 than I was a year ago, as my spot in the ordering queue has not moved.
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6. Board Game: Macao [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:243]
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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Last June was a huge month for me and new games. I made a trip to a FLGS game night, Origins, and made a few purchases the makings of a huge start to summer gaming!

GAMES

Village
Initial rating:
Current geek rating: 8.5
Plays: 7

Quote:
...I find the theme of this one to be well integrated into the choices, actions, and mechanisms of the game. We felt the pressure of managing the time (life span of our generational meeples) and labored over what were the best choices to ensure our family left a significant enough legacy to win the game... Fun game. Looking forward to playing this one more.
Village is certainly one of my favorite acquisitions from 2013. It is one of the games my oldest daughter is interested in playing when she actually has time for a game with mom and dad. We haven't played it near enough which is why it was added to my 10x10 in 2014 list. I'm seriously considering picking up the Village Inn expansion even though I typically wait until after more plays of a base game before doing so.

The key lesson learned from this one is that you can't focus solely on one activity nor can you let one person just run away uncontested in one (e.g. Market). I try to major in one and minor in one or two while keeping others in check whenever not contested.

Macao
Initial rating:
Current geek rating: 8.3
Plays: 12

Quote:
Feld has proven to be my wife's and my favorite designer. This one has been on my Wishlist for some time. I found a copy at a vendor booth at Origins making it an easy first buy of the con (it would have been doubly sweet had Notre Dame also been available).

As my wife puts it, playing a Feld game is easier if you think of it as a combination of mini-games. Macao has a unique Action Cube selection mechanism tied to each round's dice rolls and a personal windrose mechanic that rotates and points to the Action Cubes (AC) in your personal supply that allows you to claim goods tiles, move ships, improve player turn order, activate cards, convert to Gold Coins (GC) or Prestige Points (PP).

My wife and I both enjoyed our first play and agree that it rewards additional plays each providing additional insight into the cards, combinations, and cube selection choices.
Macao has seen a dozen plays in the past year. Granted we learned we were playing it wrong in our tenth play, but before and after it has proven an enjoyable game. Now that those of us who play it know the cards a bit better we're focusing on card combos. The competitiveness of this game has increased dramatically as we're all so close in score. It has come down to the player who makes the best combos or has the least amount of missed opportunities wins. (I still haven't been able to get any decent pictures of this game that I am happy with. Grrr...)

Hanabi
Initial rating:
Current geek rating: 7
Plays: 10

Quote:
I've heard a lot of buzz about this one so was excited to give it a try during an opportunity to spend an evening at Gateway Games & More in Eastgate. It easily exceeded my expectations and I can see how this light, yet intriguing co-op is hitting a lot of tabletops. Players have a hand of cards that they cannot see and give/receive limited clues to each other to meld cards of like color in sequential order (1-5) the best they can to receive a score (rating) for their collective fireworks display. We scored 17 pts in our 4p game.
I continue to enjoy this game and have introduced a number of gamers and non-gamers alike in the 9 additional plays since my first play. I included this game on my 10x10 in 2014 list because my wife thinks it's a stupid game creating a challenge for me to get it to the table--I have to find outside opportunities to play it.

The Resistance: Avalon
Initial rating:
Current geek rating: 7.5
Plays: 4

Quote:
I picked this up hoping it would be a nice Game Night [filler]... We took it on our annual camping trip and managed to get 5 of us to play the first game. We learned a bit how it is suppose to work and picked up a 6th player in the process. Learned a little more and picked up a 7th player for our third game before it got to dark to keep playing. Everyone liked it enough to be willing to play in again in the future and some mentioned how much they liked the game and saw its potential...
Similar to Hanabi, my wife thinks this is a dumb game. Hidden traitor games have been a hard sell in my group. BSG, although enjoyed by some, never caught on so it's up for trade. I picked this up hoping a shorter, more condensed game would be better. Not thus far.

I enjoy it and ironically my youngest daughter (the least interested in games) really enjoys it and wants to play whenever I do get the opportunity to bring it out. Unfortunately, I've only got it to the table one more time since it debuted at our annual camping trip. I'm hoping this sees more table time and doesn't foreshadow my next attempt with Dead of Winter when it arrives.

Love Letter
Initial rating:
Current geek rating: 7
Plays: 4

Quote:
Love Letter, another popular game right now, also saw the table in my evening at Gateway Games & More. I thought it felt like a quicker version of Citadels in its role selection (sans building). For the most part the game play was going over my head... as turns were happening too fast for me as the newbie... An interesting deduction based, micro-game. Not sure if my gaming group will like it, or get it... but I'll let the experience simmer for a bit and see what happens when I see it on a shelf for the first time.
There is a trend forming... my wife is not a big fan of Love Letter either. To reminiscent of Citadels that she can't bring herself to enjoy it. She played it one time out of obligation but leaves the room whenever it is suggested. Give I wanted to give it a fair try I added it to my 10x10 in 2014 list as well and am struggling to find opportunities to sneak it in between games at Game Night.

Kingdom Builder
Initial rating:
Current geek rating: N/A
Plays: 1

Quote:
This was our last game played at Origins before we called it a day... My wife saw Kingdom Builder and asked what it was all about so we sat down and gave it a whirl.

It would have been nice to have someone familiar with it to teach us the rules and get us started... We figured it out about half way through and finished quick enough. I'm sure additional plays would be more interesting and would ultimately reveal its deeper strategies but the game did not offer enough depth for us. It probably would have been a buy earlier in our gaming journey, but for the first time ever all three of my girls said the game was too simple and/or not interesting enough to hold their attention...
I like the way the game looks but this ship has sailed for our family. IF the opportunity presented itself I'd give it another play but I'm not pursuing it in any way.

Oz Fluxx
Initial rating:
Current geek rating: 6
Plays: 6

Quote:
My youngest daughter's game purchase selection at Origins which we played on Father's Day three times. It was admittedly better than I expected given the meh reviews of Fluxx in general of many on BGG. Now it wouldn't be my game of choice, but an occasional, casual play with friends and family would certainly be welcomed.
Fluxx is not a serious strategy game but it is not a bad alternative when you want something not so serious, easy to teach, and offers some crazy and fun interaction. We've since acquired Space Fluxx (my favorite) and Monty Python Fluxx and have had the opportunity to try Pirate Fluxx (which I did not care for). This will see the table from time to time and is a game that the whole family is willing to come together and play when the kids get the gaming itch.

Monster Factory
Initial rating:
Current geek rating: N/A
Plays: 2

Quote:
...at Origins in the Rio Grande Games room. I had wanted us to try Tzolk'in to see if/when we would buy it, however both copies were in play with a full group waiting. So we sat down and gave this silly, fun, family-oriented tile laying game of randomly drawing a tile and placing it in someones play area in attempts to build a completed monster for points and additional completed minions for points for every tile containing an eye. We played to quick plays and had some laughs but not the type of game that fits in our collection at this season of our lives.
This was a game we played based on convenience a the con and not one that is likely to play again. Not because it doesn't have any merit, but its not a game we own or kids are interested in.

EXPANSIONS

King of Tokyo: Power Up!
Initial rating:
Current geek rating: 7.5
Plays: 7

Quote:
We added this to our collection at Christmas but had never opened it. After playing at Origins to win the promo monster, Space Penguin, the girls' interest was renewed... [At home] we added the promo cards we got at the show and broke out our expansion and experienced the unique Evolution Card decks that go with the various characters.

I was pleasantly surprised. I had high hopes which were dampened a bit by meh reviews on BGG (something about not adding much to the game), but we found it added enough that we would definitely consider including it in future plays...
We still enjoy getting King of Tokyo to the table. Usually its for a quick setup and play. However, when we remember I enjoy including these cards which I personally try pursue on my own turns, but I lose far more often than I win regardless of whether we are playing with the expansion or not. That said, I enjoy the potential boon these cards offer the characters to give them some uniqueness while offering another choice for ones dice rolls.

Dixit Quest
Initial rating:
Current geek rating: 7.1
Plays: 6

Quote:
My oldest daughter chose to buy an expansion for Dixit, choosing Quest and the group of three promo cards at the Asmadee booth... We played these cards exclusively and found it refreshing and challenging to have new cards. I'm sure having a wider variety to mix together will breath new life into this game as the original 84 cards we had were good, but felt stale early on as they have been seen multiple time in our half dozen plays.
It's hard to comment on the cards as they are mixed in with our others and included in each game. Having more cards is nice. I really like how the art work is similar enough in style that its integration is transparent. More cards is good.


meeple Keep playing...
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7. Board Game: Love Letter [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:213]
Tiago Perretto
Brazil
Curitiba
Parana
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Item for Geeklist "New to you June 2013 => Best new boardgame"

Love Letter


Love Letter is the clear winner of June'13. It sits a top of 59 total plays in the year since I got to know it. I presented this game to my group, and everyone was hooked by it: many of them, later on, purchased it, and I don't even have to worry to take my one when we play, as there is always at least one or two hanging around our meetings. Though the game has been "attacked" by not having much replay value, this does not rings true for us: it always works and produces laughs. It is a game with high interaction between players, easy to teach and play, and a whole game can be played under 30 minutes. We are, still, in love with it!

Mice and Mystics


I played a full campaing of Mice and Mystics, so yes, is has stood the test of time. It was a fun game to play - though not the richer (strategy-wise) of the dungeon crawlers, it still kept our interest, specially since the campaing is so well intertwined. Things make sense, and one mission really connects with the other - though some weird choices were made in it, due to thematic purposes (but I wish they could be avoided), one of them being the mission where only three mice (players) play - in our four persons campaing, it was strange that someone was left out, being there just rolling dice for the bad guys. We also didn't have much difficulty in beating the missions, even if some of were really close. Anyway, a very good game, and we are to start the expansion campaing soon.

Darkest Night (First edition)


I have only played Darkest Night (First edition) one more time since a year ago, but this last play was so awesome, that I boost the rating from 7 to 7.5 (but I might even put it at a full 8). It was that good. The game has A LOT of replay value, with a ton of characters and types of creatures/effects (though, the owner do have both the expansions for it, but the base game comes with 9 characters, which is quite good). The mechanics are simple enough, but allow for a great puzzle feeling. It does have a degree of luck buit into it, but it, usually, evens out in the end, specially since the characters have many ways to change/add the dice rolls. An excellent game that I want to explore more, and I probably will, since I'm not the only one in my regular group that enjoyed it.

Zogar's Gaze


I played 16 games of Zogar's Gaze. I liked it well enough, but we made some major house-rules on it in order for it to fit our tastes. So, we took out cards, made changes in how the unique items required for the classes are treated, and more. All of this to make it faster and more appealing to us. And it did. So, in a sense, it does stood the test of time, but, in others, not quite. I still like it fine, and I'm willing to play in most occasions, however, many in my group prefer to take a pass on it, making it hard for it to hit the table (my last play was Feb 23th). Anyhow, Zogar's Gaze still has some fans, so I will keep playing, just not on a regular basis.


Haven't played again since last year but I want to:

- Defenders of the Realm - I liked fine my play of Defenders of the Realm, but probably won't play it anytime soon, since the owner of it, sold it, and also left our regular group. No one else around here has it. But, anyway, our collections do not lack in good cooperative games.

- Fortress America - Though some opportunities arose after my first play, I haven't played Fortress America again. I would play it, but I won't really go after it. So I guess it didn't stood the test of time.

And that is it!

Regards,
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8. Board Game: Love Letter [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:213]
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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Item for Geeklist "New to you June 2013 => Best new boardgame"

Love Letter



This has been played 21 times since I got it. It should be in any "Gateway Games" list, and I've introduced this to many a non-gamer, including my boss! A great filler, it's weakness is that I feel that the number of hearts needed to win a game is too many, so I usually reduce this to 3 or 4 to make it not extend its welcome.

Initial rating: 8.0/10
Current rating: 8.0/10

Jungle Speed



Played 20 times, this also has been a great success as an intro to dexterity games, both for gamers and non-gamers alike. I do feel that younger people have the advantage in this game though! This accessibility is the reason why I upped its rating slightly.

Initial rating: 7.0/10
Current rating: 7.5/10

Kemet



Played 5 times so far, I've only gotten 1 more play since the 4 plays last year. This is because I don't own a copy, and my gaming buddy Kent prefers to play games which he does not have. I still like this action packed game of attack, attack, attack, and I must request it more!

Initial rating: 8.5/10
Current rating: 8.5/10
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9. Board Game: King of Tokyo [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:226]
Wizard Nathan
Australia
Randwick
NSW
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(I don't know why this was the item last year, surely I didn't think it was the best game of the month. Perhaps it was because it was the most played of the month)
Plenty of new games this time last year, largely because of the Toy & Game Expo - King of Tokyo, Castles of Burgundy, Ingenious, Survive: Escape from Atlantis, Discworld: Ankh-Morpork, Seasons, Village.

King of Tokyo
20 plays last June, 14 since.
I've certainly got my money's worth out of KoT. It's fun enough, but the best things about it are how easy it is to teach and pick up, and how fast it plays (most of the time, anyway). It's not something I would suggest to play anymore, but my brothers love it, my partner's family loves it, so it comes out fairly often I guess. I've played it with the Power Up expansion and that made it feel a bit more engaging, but I don't know that I'll bother getting it for myself - the people I play this with who really love it don't need it to be anything more. And that's fine.

The Castles of Burgundy
4 plays last June, 3 since.
I added this game to my 10x10 challenge, so that probably describes how I feel about it pretty well. I really like this game and I want to play it more. It's the right length for what it does, and it's engaging while staying pretty relaxing. I've only ever played it 2 player, but that feels right. I think the maps offer enough variety that I'll be able to enjoy this a lot more, if it would only get to the table.
*GAME OF THE MONTH, ON REFLECTION*

Ingenious
6 plays last June*, 6 since.
I believe all my plays last June were online, trying the game out, so really they probably don't count. I since picked up a copy, and I believe of the remaining 6 plays, 4 were solo. I quite enjoy this game, and I'd love to play it a bit more, but I guess it never really jumps out. If I'm going to play a Knizia then I'm going to be pushing for Ra or T&E, so I guess this little abstract gets left behind.

Survive: Escape from Atlantis!
5 plays last June, 4 since.
I think this game is a lot of fun - the pieces are lovely, it's quick, very cutthroat, and whenever I've played it a good time has been had by all. I think if I was playing more regularly this'd come out a bit, but similar to Ingenious, I rarely suggest this when there are other possibilities.

Discworld: Ankh-Morpork
2 plays last June, 1 since.
A friend's game, and I haven't played with them much in the last year. But I remember this game pretty fondly - nice hidden objectives, and smooth mechanics that make player influence ebb and flow quite well. When I played Byzantio recently, I was reminded of it - in components and playstyle. Would definitely play it some more.

Seasons
1 play last June, 0 since.
Another friend game. I remember enjoying this, and I believe I won, thanks to some huge card combinations. I'm never excited when I think about this game, but I wouldn't say no to another play.

Village
1 play last June, 3 since.
Another friend game! All different friends though! (We bought a lot at the Expo) Probably second favourite of this lot, after Castles. I haven't been able to win in the few games we've played, so I guess I'm still getting my head around it (or my friend is just very good at this). But plenty more to get out of this game.

There's also Click Clack Lumberjack, which I've played once since last June, and is clearly great dexterity fun, as well as Dweebies, a silly little card game that was fun but I barely remember it.

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10. Board Game: Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:176]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
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It seems last June was a month when I did not add anything to Grimwold's list. Not because I didn't play anything - but life was too busy back then. History is repeating itself - now I still haven't added my item for May...

But I would have added the following, and this is how I think they held up:

Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small
- is the only one I have replayed since, and not even that many times, which is a pity as it's a strong design. It's not even a very long game, still, it's not that often we can play it at home. But I really like Agricola and this 2-player, no occupations or improvements, no vegetables, no feeding version really fits my taste - and it fits the non-gamers I usually play with more than the big brother does. I did buy (and even play) the expansions since, so I definitely want to play it more.

No plays since:

Qwixx and Augustus - as I wanted to try the Spiel des Jahres nominated games. None of them were bad, I liked both more than expected, but not without concerns. I just could not see Qwixx winning as it was just such a blatant copycat of Keltis (and now that I know the original prototype even allowed ascending or descending rule for each colors, this is even more obvious) so I'm like when I see that Qwixx: Das Kartenspiel is out this year. And Rise of Augustus is a nice and okay family game, nothing bad, even unusual. And here's my problem with Spiel des Jahres in the past few years: these two games are, I believe, better for the non-gaming gateway crowd than the winner is, while, at the same time, from a gamer perspective they are not nearly as great as the winner.

Ascension: Rise of Vigil and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Deck-Building Game - two deck-builders based on the Ascension system, non of them as good as the original Ascension. Rise of Vigil is like Dominion: Alchemy for Dominion - it adds another resource type which does not make the game better, actually it makes the game a bit weaker. And the LotR deckbuilder has one less resource than Ascension which also makes it weaker (also I did not like the lack of originality).

Quarto! - is a nice, fast "abstract filler". Not a game I would want to play every day, but good to have.
New Amsterdam - is practically a JASE but a bit more than that, with the different areas of the board having a nice web of effects; it's a well-developed complex Euro.
Würfel Bohnanza - was a letdown but I still want to play it at least once more before I sell it.
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11. Board Game: Pictionary [Average Rating:5.82 Overall Rank:3856]
Pedro Silva
Portugal
Matosinhos
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Last year's entry.

When you add Pictionary to a list of these you know something probably went wrong.

Truth is, it really was the best experience I had with games for which I was registering my first play. I had played before, of course, and am aware of all the problems it can have, and I haven't played again since that time, still, the others were not that good.

I haven't tried Zpocalypse again and I am not eager to do so either.
The same goes for Spartacus: A Game of Blood & Treachery.

I guess the only one I'd gladly join would be Super Race which says a lot about the new games I tried that June.

Well, not all months can be filled with great new games.
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12. Board Game: Nefertiti [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:1002]
Chris Marling
United Kingdom
Cambridge
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Item for Geeklist "New to you June 2013 => Best new boardgame"

This time last year I was introduced to the wonderful Nefertiti. I only had the one play but called it a 'must buy'. Buy it I did, along with the the expansion, and have now played it five times. It's a wonderfully original bidding and set collection game that plays in under an hour; anyone into auctions needs to check this one out.

I was initially taken with Ace of Spies, but having played it several times it has very much lost its lustre. Unfortunately it's way too swingy for us and unless you want a totally chaotic take-that game you should avoid. But if you like that kind of thing, it's definitely worth a look. I'd also picked up Android: Infiltration, which I've since played four times. I still feel the same way about it; it's a nice light push your luck game with a dollop of ameritrash thrown on top for good measure. A fun diversion, but one I'd part with for the right trade.

I've played Industry three times now, and Felinia six. Both are solid games and were well worth the low price I paid for them at The Works. They're both happily sitting on my shelves, but again for the right trade I could let them go. Industry is so close to being fabulous, but that board is such a (albeit pretty) mess. Felinia is a nice light family game, but it just lacks a little finesse in the balance of the mechanisms; there's no decision between specialising vs just going on as many boats as possible (the latter of which always seems the best option).

I had the misfortune to play The Palaces of Carrara once more, against my better judgement, and if anything hated it even more. I usually love set collection and tile placement, but throw a huge memory element into the mix and you've blown it for me. Horrible. Masters Gallery and Blue Moon City both left a good impression, and I'd still like to play them again, but I haven't sought them out. The rest didn't leave an impression.
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13. Board Game: Kings of Air and Steam [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:1342]
Bryan Maxwell
United States
Burtchville
Michigan
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This game wins sort of by default.

I've only played it once since last June, so no one's wild for it. Everyone in my group likes it though, and it's been requested a couple of times since. It scales well, and it's the only pickup-and-deliver game I have. Hell, since we often have 6 players I may start bringing it around the shop again!

Beyond that, Dominion: Guilds was new to me (yay, more Dominion!) along with a Keyflower tile and The Walking Dead game (nope).

So not much to excite last June.
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14. Board Game: Viticulture [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:120]
Brandon Kempf
United States
Jefferson City
MO
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Oh man, this list of games is a bit depressing. Not because they aren't good, but because they are the games that sit on my shelf and never get played, even though I always think, "Hmmm, maybe we should play ....". So maybe this June should have been my first NaNoNeGaMo, but alas, I've already failed that as well.

June of 2013

Viticulture(3 plays then/0 since) is a fantastic worker placement game about making wine, it's got tension and it's essentially a race game, trying to get to 20 points. But alas, we haven't played it since June of last year.

Indigo(8 plays then/2 since) was played quite a bit that June, but after that we kind of dropped the ball on this fun, light path making game.

Clubs(1 play then/2 logged plays since, but there have been more) is an interesting climbing game, a bit on the lighter side which makes it perfect for playing with my daughter, it's just too bad I can't convince others to just play a card game when we get together sometimes.

Kingsburg(1 play then/0 logged plays since but I feel like we've played it a couple times though) should probably be on the trade shelf, even if we have played it since that was strictly because I wanted to play it, no one has ever requested this again.

Ghost Stories(2 plays then/0 since), oh Ghost Stories, you have all the promise in the world and I love the feel of the game, but man you are a tough nut to crack and I think that our two fails in June last year kind of keep my daughter from wanting to try it again. Maybe this will be my Father's Day game, hmmmmm.

Qin(2 plays then/0 since) is the most recent game I saw on the shelf and thought that we should be playing it more, definitely want to get it to the table with 3 or 4 players before deciding if it's a game that doesn't warrant the space, but I remember being so enamored with it before picking it up, and then feeling a bit let down after we played it.

Of the hopefuls I listed, Power Grid, Railways of the World, War of the Ring (Second Edition) and Stone Age(physically, have played digitally) still await their turn on the New to You list.
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15. Board Game: TurfMaster [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:1364]
Peter D
United Kingdom
london
UK
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TurfMaster has been an absolute HIT. It is one of the goto games if 7 or 8 turn up for my Monday evening games evening. The extra courses are excellent too. The rules are simple enough for everyone to grasp them in seconds, but the tactics are sufficiently interesting to hold your attention for the full 2 hours.(7 then...7.5 now).

Qwixx has also proved itself as a long-term here-to-stay light filler game. It works with everyone including my 80-something year old Mum which is a real treat. (7 then...7.5 now)

Peloponnes was enjoyable but I haven't played since. I really want to though as it is very much my type of game. The great thing about reviewing these games played a year ago is that often it really reminds me to dig out games I thoroughly enjoyed but which just got lost over the year. (7.5 then, not played since)

Saboteur has been another hit with 6+ groups. Terrific fun. I am not sure that you can successfully hide your saboteuring for long, but nonetheless it always deals out a good amount of entertainment along its way. (6.5 then...7 now)
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16. Board Game: Credit Mobilier [Average Rating:5.96 Overall Rank:8018]
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
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I've only played it once since June but would like to play it more. It's a light trainish sort of game that just leaves me laughing at the dice. I think it'll be a little tough for the kids, but I may try it one of these days.





I had such a positive experience at Origins with it, but my second play was blah and I never felt the urge to pull it out after that. Sold without regret.
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17. Board Game: Winner's Circle [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:678]
David P
Canada
Vancouver
BC
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Item for Geeklist "New to you June 2013 => Best new boardgame"

I only played two new games in last year's list. I haven't played either again since. With Winner's Circle, that's too bad because it's a good easy-to-learn game of betting and bluffing. League of Six, on the other hand, was forgettable when I wrote about it at the end of the month last year. I remember even less today.
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18. Board Game: Chaos in the Old World [Average Rating:7.68 Overall Rank:96]
Wes Baker
United States
Fredericksburg
Virginia
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What a weird month. There are some games in here that I really liked and sold, some games that I was ho-hum on that dropped like a rock, and other games that I loved and have kept.

Let's get the big winner out of the way: Chaos in the Old World (Then: 9/10, 1 play; Now: 9/10, 5 plays) still is an amazing game and I enjoy every single play of it. It's always different and always challenging. It would benefit from a more approachable theme, but I love it all the same.

I've lowered my rating of Expedition: Northwest Passage (Then: 9/10, 3 plays; Now: 8/10, 4 plays) and I also wonder if that rating should be even lower. I enjoy this game, but it can be very hard for new players, which is a problem considering my meetup group is ever-changing. I've also considered selling it and listed it in my auction, but it didn't sell and I still have it. I'd like to play it some more since I think the game is still quite good.

I really enjoyed Jaipur (Then: 9/10, 3 plays; Now: 7/10, 4 plays), but it was never going to be played since my wife is my main two-player game opponent and if we're going to play a card game, it's going to be Glory to Rome or Race for the Galaxy. Still, if you're looking for something light, I can recommend this one.

Firenze (Then: 9/10, 1 play; Now: 7/10, 6 plays) is in the same boat as Expedition: Northwest Passage: I've considered selling it, got very close to doing so, and it didn't sell. I like it, but I'm not sure I love it enough to keep it. Still, there's quite a good game here and the decisions can be agonizing. The end game scoring does throw a wrench in most plans, so be aware of how it works before playing.

I've lowered my rating of Hanabi (Then: 8/10, 3 plays; Now: 7/10, 7 plays), but that's because we played it a lot and I started to burn out, but it's still a great game and one I plan on keeping. I'm also considering taking it to the beach with me next week and teaching it to my non-gaming family.

I really liked the concept of String Railway (Then: 8/10, 2 plays; Now: 7/10, 4 plays), but I've since sold it. I think it was a little too silly for most of the gamers in my group and the decisions felt limited. Still, I'd be happy to play it.

Blood Bowl: Team Manager - The Card Game (Then: 7/10, 2 plays; Now: 7/10, 2 plays) is another odd one: I sold it and bought it again after realizing I did enjoy it, however I haven't played it since (the problem with a too-large collection). I'm interested in playing again, especially with more than 2.

I haven't played El Grande (Then: 7/10, 1 play; Now: 6/10, 1 play) since and the rating drop is a result of that. I liked my one (online) play of this game and would be really interested in playing it again if I could find a copy.

I was too generous to Gearworld: The Borderlands (Then: 7/10, 1 play; Now: 3/10, 1 play) a year ago when I gave it a 7. I still owned the game (and no longer do), so I rated it with a hopeful heart, but the game is crap, plain and simple. I really wanted to like this game, it's from the same folks who designed Cosmic Encounter (my favorite game), but in this day and age, it's garbage. Don't bother.

Playing Finca (Then: 7/10, 1 play; Now: 7/10, 1 play) on Yucata.de is not a great experience: it's a game meant for quick real-time play, not asynchronous play. I'd love to get my hands on a copy, but there's no way I'm paying the current after-market prices. I'll wait for Z-Man to reprint this.
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19. Board Game: Dixit [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:193] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Moe45673
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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Item for Geeklist "New to you June 2013 => Best new boardgame"

What a difference a year makes.


Then: 2 plays
Since: 4 more plays

Last year I said this game isn't the best game on the list but it is the best at doing what it does and is much more preferable to Taboo or Time's Up. I still agree with that but my increase in solitaire gaming has made me crave depth with multiplayer gaming. I just played this a couple weeks ago and it's still great, but I am not the party game type. I'll still be up for a few rounds of Avalon, though, anytime.

Verdict: stands the test of time as a party game.


Last Year: 3 Plays
Since: 3 more plays

The last recorded play I have of this was last August. All my plays except 1 were on Yucata. Sometime in the last year, I stopped recording plays of electronic versions of games and I've actually played this on Yucata more than what I've recorded.

I said that Puzzle Strike and 1775: Rebellion negate having this game. While more experience has taught me that the decision has many more shades of grey than just that, I still hold by it. I'm not a deckbuilding fiend and Puzzle Strike still fascinates me. However, I do LOVE AFAoS and it is an incredible game with great decisions. I haven't read about the HH but there are a lot of strategies to explore and it really depends on the situation if a given strategy will work or not.

Verdict: Better than first impression!


1 Play
3 Plays since

When I wrote my entry last year, I'd actually gotten my second game in on July 1 so I wrote it based off that. What I'd said was that the game lost half a point for being so MEAN. I'd had trouble wrapping my head around it, especially the bluffing during blind bidding (I'm more of a logic guy than a people person). As you're thrown into the deep end in this game, needlessly losing favor tokens because you overbid, combined with other players knocking out your majority with a given population or what-have-you, is an unstoppable snowball effect.

After my 4th (and last) game, I finally got some of the rhythms of bluffing. My appreciation for this game shot way up due to this. This game is easily my game of the month in hindsight. It's a fantastic design that just works. It's a brutal gladiatorial pit with everyone trying to climb out and everyone else pulling that person back in using every dirty trick in the book. I've only played it 4 times but not by choice. If I had my way, it'd have been played at least 10 times in the last year (hey, I have other games to play too!).

Verdict: A game that rewards replayability, much higher!



Then: 1 play
SInce: 1 More Play

Last year I played this on Yucata, 2p. I said it's a lovely design and, though I am sure there is good replayability within, I just cannot see it.

I actually just got this in a trade and played it solitaire last Saturday. It's a MUCH better game than I had originally thought and would really enjoy playing this with my wife. I'm scared to intro it to her because she hates when I always introduce new games and I'd be stuck playing this one for a while..... and I worry that it's a game I love to play over and over but mixed in a rotation of other games. I'd get burned out on it, I think, if it was the sole game I was playing. For example: Agricola I can play over and over and it is clearly superior because every session feels different. ATGoL does turn the sowing and planting actions of Agricola into an awesome full-fledged game, though.

Verdict: Up from a 7 to an 8.

Last Year: Dixit was the best at doing what it does and AFAoS was my personal favorite. This year, Tammany Hall wins in both categories, hands down!
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20. Board Game: Eclipse [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:30]
Bryce Journey
United States
Omaha
Nebraska
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Link to my New to You entry for June 2013: Item for Geeklist "New to you June 2013 => Best new boardgame"

Games That Stood the Test of Time:

Eclipse - 2 plays then, 6 plays since then - I got my B&N clearance copy of Eclipse to the table a year ago and it has enjoyed regular play since then. I've got one particular friend that asks to play it every other time we get together or so.

Steam - 3 plays then, 9 plays since then (including expansions) - I picked up a copy of Steam for $4 from my local comic book store after using a bunch of reward credit and it has also enjoyed regular play since then. It's a game I've found definitely needs a nice selection of maps to fully enjoy. These extra maps are particularly essential for games with varying numbers of players, especially 2 players. My wife and I both prefer playing crayon rails, but Steam is a nice change of pace from time to time. I've had a notably awesome time hosting a six-player session of Steam at the two local gaming conventions.

Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 1 – Team Asia & Legendary Asia - 2 plays then, 5 plays since then - I still haven't had an occasion to play Team Asia, but after a year, I rank Legendary Asia in the middle of the expansion maps with Africa: better than Nederland but not as good as India/Switzerland.


Game I've Only Played a Few Times Since But Would Like to Play More:

Arcadia: The Wyld Hunt - 3 plays then, 1 play since then - I thought Arcadia would enjoy more time in my solitaire queue, but it hasn't worked out that way. I would like to play it more in the future as it's one of the better classic CCGs out there and it's a very unique game with some cool elements.


Games I Haven't Played Since But Wouldn't Mind Doing So Again:

Arcana - 2 plays then, 0 plays since then - This unique deck-builder hasn't made it to the table since our initial play-tests, but I would like to bring it back soon. I recall it being a unique deck-builder with some very interesting art.

Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) - 2 plays then, 0 plays since then - My wife and I did a couple scenarios with a friend's copy of the game. I reported a year ago I enjoyed 2nd edition much more than 1st, which I didn't care for at all. I don't have any desire to add this game to my collection as I prefer Legend of Drizzt for my dungeon-crawling experience, but if our friends asked us to play some more scenarios with then, I wouldn't decline.

Kachina - 1 play then, 0 plays since then - My wife and I both enjoyed our initial playtest of this tile-laying game but haven't felt particularly inclined to play it again. This happens with some of the smaller, lighter games in our collection - we enjoy it but find ourselves playing other more attractive games instead in the future.

Zooloretto - 2 plays then, 0 plays since then - I was a little underwhelmed by my initial playtests of this game. I love the theme but couldn't get too excited by the gameplay. I wonder if, like my recent experience with Kingdom Builder, I would suddenly find myself liking the game more after re-visiting it. I think Zooloretto's pedigree certainly warrants a re-visit. I know there are lots of mini-expansions for this game. Are there any in particular people would recommend I acquire to make this game better?
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21. Board Game: Dominant Species [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:52]
Scott Daniel
United States
San Diego
California
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Dominant Species

3 plays last June, 5 plays since.

Rating then d10-1d10-0 same rating now.

My #1 game, if we have the time and people are willing to play this, I don't even think about playing anything else. After the first month, we switched to the reduced card variant to shorten the game. Changes the game ever so slightly, but it's still a fantastic game. The challenge of keeping the end-game scoring in mind while dealing the difficulties of the current turn makes this a great game.

Race to Adventure: The Spirit of the Century Exploration Game

1 play in June, none since.

Solid filler, interesting operations problems, we've found better fillers since.
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22. Board Game: Coup [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:372]
Chris Wilczewski
United States
Folsom
California
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Last year, I didn't play any 8's or better in June (What a rough month!) but I played 2 7s.

Coup was the first, and honestly, it hasn't stood up to time. The end game ends up being a turn order problem far too often. If I kill A, then B kills me and I still lose. Bluffing just comes down to taking more coins and trying to save up for coups. Overall, it started a 7 and it's now a 5.



1812 - Invasion of Canada was the other, and I haven't had any desire to play it again. I wouldn't say no to a game either. It was a 7, now it's a 6.
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23. Board Game: Captain Clueless: Lost in the Caribbean [Average Rating:6.08 Overall Rank:7912]
 
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Here is my original entry to the geeklist: Item for Geeklist "New to you June 2013 => Best new boardgame"


Not played since June 2013, and don't need to play again

 


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24. Board Game: Love Letter [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:213]
Jeff Wolfe
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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Zendo fan, Columbus Blue Jackets fan, Dominion Fan.
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Item for Geeklist "New to you June 2013 => Best new boardgame"

Twelve new-to-me games last June, mostly due to Origins. Of those, three have seen play again since last June. By far the most played was last year's game of the month, Love Letter. So, yeah, it seems to have stood the test of time.
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25. Board Game: Andean Abyss [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:745]
Jason
United Kingdom
Norwich
Norfolk
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Received this one year ago, today, as it was a birthday present from my wife (I'm currently waiting to see if I have anything to unwrap after dinner, this evening... I haven't even been asked to offer clues or hints, this time). This was one of the most complex games I'd encountered when I first sat down, across about three or four evenings, as I tried to learn it. I've had it out, from time to time, since, but I need to re-learn how to play it. I've honestly been trying to find the time to get it to the table, of late... but picking up Navajo Wars actually caused this to sit on the shelf longer than I would like. A fantastic game, nonetheless, and one I will never part with.


Dominant Species
I think this was my present, last year, from the rest of the family. It's become an absolute favourite as it strikes a wonderful balance between heaviness/complexity and accessibility. Seriously, this is a surprisingly simple game to learn... mastering it is, of course, another matter. I have the third print, and it just looks gorgeous. Been waiting to teach it to my wife for a couple of months now.


Terra Mystica
I think that everything I wrote for DS stands true for this... with the exception that it's suffered a dearth of plays. Another on the shelf that makes me wonder why I buy new games when I haven't given games like this enough love. (You all understand that, right?) A keeper; I just need to do it justice.


Zpocalypse
Stood on my head to learn the rules, managed one play, liked it, and then never went back. See above, as my shame is now starting to get the better of me.


7 Wonders
Pretty, and fairly simple, from what I remember. I'm mystified as to why this is praised as highly as it is. It's quite good, but almost too light for my tastes... and I struggle like all hell to get it to the table. I just can't whip up anyone enough to want to play it. May actually see the table tonight, assuming our dinner pals are serious in wanting to try a game.


Keyflower
A strikingly beautiful game that I found a bit tough to get straight in my head. Unlike anything else I own, I've been trying to persuade others to join me in a game of this, but I think they find it a little more complex than it actually is. Always in a prominent place on the shelf, I live in hope that someone's interest is snagged and we can get it out again. A definite keeper.

I think, with the lack of plays some of these titles had, that this time a year ago I finally started getting more fully immersed in solitaire gaming. That's a rather bittersweet realisation, as much as I love my solo games (and it also turned out to be a decision which cost me a chuffing fortune).
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