Games You Would Be/Are Proud to Be Good At
David B
United States
Chesapeake
Virginia
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Some games in your collection are there just to be enjoyed from time to time. I own and enjoy playing Fresco 2 or 3 times a year, but I doubt anyone ever points to someone and says "Man, that guy is an awesome Fresco player." What are some of the games in your collection you like to play frequently to actually develop skill and you actually take a little pride when you start to win on a regular basis? What games do you actually think about strategy between plays? Are there games where you even read strategy articles about them? What game, when someone might say "Man, that guy is an awesome_______player", you get a huge grin on your face?
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1. Board Game: Haggis [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:685]
David B
United States
Chesapeake
Virginia
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This is not my favorite game, but it's up there. But I don't think I get quite the high of winning this game from any other game I own. I am a long ways from being actually considered good, but I would love to get there. If only the app were better so I could get more quality practice in.
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2. Board Game: YINSH [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:133] [Average Rating:7.70 Unranked]
David B
United States
Chesapeake
Virginia
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Another game that is a major "whew" with sweat pouring off your brow when you pull off a win. It feels close to winning a game of chess. You didn't win because of a lucky card or a lucky roll; you actually defeated that poor schmuck sitting across from you and it is totally ok to stand up and beat your chest. I think it would be cool to be called a "good Yinsh player".
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3. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:29]
David B
United States
Chesapeake
Virginia
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I think of all the games in the top 10, this is the one I would most like to be skilled at playing and the one I would like to play most frequently. Again, you are pitted against your opponent more in this one than many in the top 10.
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4. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:70]
David B
United States
Chesapeake
Virginia
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This one eludes me. I have played many times but my skill has remained flat. If there were a book about it, I would certainly read it. I have read a few articles and tried to apply what I have learned, but something is just not clicking and I sure wish it would.
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5. Board Game: Go [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:123]
Kathleen Nugent
United States
Tamworth
New Hampshire
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I was taught Go by a man who usually plays against his daughter. After losing badly - getting tons of my stones taken off the board - I asked him what his win/loss percentage was with his daughter. It's 50% - 50%. Boy! did I feel stupid. I couldn't even get the idea of the game.
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6. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:281] [Average Rating:7.22 Unranked]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
Den Bosch
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Long before I was any good at it, I realized those who claimed luck played too great a role were incompetent whiners. I've spoken to three champions since who all tell the same story: when you get to the tourneys, year after year, it's the same people at the top of the leader boards.

Now that I am good at SoC, I see how vital risk management is to success, and I take pride in my victories. I can also see how my losses come about, and it ain't about die rolls.
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7. Board Game: San Juan [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:229]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
Den Bosch
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I have about a 70% winning record outside my home. Maybe higher. I do this without ever building a Library, as a self-imposed handicap.

If Shenomad is at the table, that percentage drops to below 25. That is not hyperbole.

So I'm happy to be relatively good at San Juan.
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8. Board Game: Doomtown: Reloaded [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:832]
Valerie Emerson
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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This is the first one that came to mind. I first learned to play just a few weeks ago, and have a ways to go before I feel like I've mastered it.
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9. Board Game: Backgammon [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:1096]
Scribes
England
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All of the below I play in phases - sometimes years apart. I have resigned myself to playing each no higher than a Novice/Casual level;

Backgammon - I have Magriel's book, considered to be the "If you owned just 1 book..." on the game. Most plays are against GnuBG, the best free tutor & analyser. It tells me I still make beginners mistakes on a regular basis in checker movement - and cannot understand doubling cube play at all.

Cribbage - I tend to have 1 style of play, rather than changing to suit board position; ie am I ahead or behind, do I play cautious or risky?

Hive - This is on my (stagnated) 100-Play Challenge to try and improve. I have Ringersoll's 'Play Like A Champion' (Version 1), but can't absorb all of it, so haven't got the updated version. On BoardSpace I rank below DumbBot. Hopefully the 100-Play Challenge will help me regain ground.
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10. Board Game: Mr. Jack [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:417]
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Cambridge
Ontario
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I used to be proud of the fact that I was once a highly-ranked player at http://mrjack.hurricangames.com/. However, I've been a bit distracted these past few years and haven't been around there much any more.
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11. Board Game: Chess [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:420] [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked]
Toms Leikums
Latvia
Jelgava
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Definitely it's Chess. Can't say I am good at it anymore, but some time ago (before meeting boardgames at all) I was proud to be the best in my neighbourhood (got my ass handed to me in serious tourneys though).
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12. Board Game: Dominoes [Average Rating:5.44 Overall Rank:15070]
p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
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Not sure why, but I took a liking to dominoes some years ago. I almost never pull out a physical set and play, but I have some pretty good apps on my PC and Android phone, and I practice with one of those almost every day. I play "Muggins" (All Fives), and I've gotten to where I can do reasonably well. All too often, though, I lack the patience to count tiles or remember key plays, and that keeps me from being more than an average player.
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13. Board Game: Checkers [Average Rating:4.85 Overall Rank:15422]
p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
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When I was a kid and my dad taught me to play checkers, I realized he could beat me anytime he wanted to. I could never quite get the hang of it, even when he tried to help me. So, in adult life I've periodically tried, with the help of books and software, to become at least a capable novice. Perhaps I've just barely accomplished that, but I doubt I'll ever get any further.
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14. Board Game: Advanced Squad Leader [Average Rating:7.96 Overall Rank:205] [Average Rating:7.96 Unranked]
Roberto Chavez
United States
Vista
California
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Have you seen the rule book? Even better, reading the rules do not guarantee success by any means. You still need to figure out how coordinate movement and fire to get to the scenario objective. There are some weird ASL artifacts you have to work with (skulking, VBM freeze). Even so, winning a game feels pretty good.
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15. Board Game: 1830: Railways & Robber Barons [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:167] [Average Rating:7.83 Unranked]
Roberto Chavez
United States
Vista
California
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I've been playing this, plus 1870 and 1856 online with one a group of guys who consistently beat me. I get caught by a train rush at the wrong time. I misplay a tile. My dividend payout is too low. Even so, I beat them all once out of 10 times (I think). That felt pretty good.
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16. Board Game: Five Tribes [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:52]
Travis Larsen

Lehi
Utah
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So I absolutely love playing games. However I wouldn't say I win a lot of games. I host a weekly game night and it's a blast but I don't usually win...except for Five Tribes. Not that we've played this and a ton but we've played it about 6 times and I've won every game of it which does make me proud. It's an incredibly good game and well designed but it also helps that I'm undefeated in the game so far! This game is great because there are so many legitimate paths to victory. However in nearly every game I've played, my ability to get resource cards helped immensely and definitely helped me in my wins. Fantastic game!
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17. Board Game: Gnostica [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:5172]
Carthoris Pyramidos
United States
Centennial
Colorado
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I'm glad to be proficient at Gnostica, a genuinely esoteric game that takes a little luck and a lot of skill. I've cultivated a monthly Gnostica group of about eight people total to this end. (A usual game for us has three or four players, and I failed to take pictures the one time we had six players and grew the board to thirty territories.) I win almost half the time among those games. Of course, I'm also now perceived as the chief threat, all other things being equal, which provides extra challenge.

Pictures from my games:




This game resembles the old Stephen Wright gag:

"Last night I stayed up late playing poker with Tarot cards. I got a full house and four people died."
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18. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:155] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
☆ ✧ ☆ ✧ ☆
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
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Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future. H.G. Wells
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Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect. Chief Seattle
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I would be really proud to be a tournament level competitor at Magic.

To understand even the timing rules would be great, let alone understanding the intricacies of


But to be able to stay on top of an ever shifting meta game, in a game where the text of the cards is in constant flux, a game with top level competitors from around the world who earn enough to compete as a livelihood.

That would be something to be proud of.

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19. Board Game: Suburbia [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:95]
Shane Charleson
Australia
Broadbeach
Queensland
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I own this, it's one of my favourites, and yet - I've never come better than last at it. I would love, love, love to actually be good enough at this to - heck, not even win, just not come last all the time.
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20. Board Game: Shogun [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:127]
Benjamin Johnson
United States
Midvale
UT
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this is the one for me.at first I thought maybe Puerto Rico, but I realized I don't even play it that much. When I do it's usually just for fun. I've still never played a really serious game of it.

Shogun however has so much to wrap your head around. I absolutely love the way this game makes me think. And yet, when the scoring takes place I am shown how little my strategy had done for me. I am now determined to figure this one out and say proudly that I can throw down.
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21. Board Game: Ottoman Sunset [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:1757] [Average Rating:7.39 Unranked]
Swamp Hamster
United States
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Absolutely love this game...but have never won. Looking forward to the day when I can pop a cold one and toast myself.
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22. Board Game: Hansa Teutonica [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:108]
David B
United States
Chesapeake
Virginia
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This is another game that won't let you forget there are other people at the table. I actually see a lot of similarities between this game and Tigris and Euphrates (yes, there are differences, too) Players are constantly getting in each other's way and I really like the cost/reward mechanic for kicking people off a route. You need to focus to keep up with /stay ahead of your opponents and it really is an accomplishment to win.
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23. Board Game: Ghost Blitz [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:885] [Average Rating:6.76 Unranked]
Samo Oleami
Slovenia
Ljubljana
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Competition is not amongst my top priorities in gaming. And developing skills is only as fun as the skill being developed is - most skills I don't find worth the bother.

But I am damn good at speed recognition games.



Geistesblitz is just so great - when all the eurogaming optimisers who love to maximise the hell out of a spreadsheet start whining: "But, you have to think way too much here!"
Mwahahaha!

And I give respect to every gamer who get their ass kicked in the first game, and second, and third, but they still keep on trying and getting better. Why should you win your first game?

With people who have already mastered one box, put two of them together and watch the chaos, the puzzled looks, the uhm, ghnh, dammit!



This is the speed recognition game I've played the most - one year of gaming with tweens will do this to you. Watch for 14 y.o. girls, they've grown claws and I swear they sharpen them.

This one is the easiest to get into as you're not against the strongest player all the time, so you can see your skill actually progressing. And when it does, you just throw some more cards in the mix to mess everybody up. Because if nobody messes up, what's the point? Jungle speed expansion actually has enough stuff to be one step before my capabilities.

It's a game I will always play with teenagers precisely to show the value of persistence, the value of keep on trying and getting better at it.
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24. Board Game: Greed [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:1384]
Vivienne Raper
United Kingdom
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For some reason, I've won every game of Greed I've played, including a five-player game...

I'm very proud of this record. I usually win 50/50 at most against my husband and come last in multi-player games...
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25. Board Game: Napoleon's Triumph [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:385]
Peter Collins
Canada
Prince Rupert
British Columbia
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I've only played it four times so far, so I'm not even close to being good at it. I hope to get there someday, though.
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