Pat's Game Collection (& Review)
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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This is my list for friends (and anyone interested). It contains all of the games I own, how often I play them, how many people I can get to play each of them and some basic review-type info based on my experience with them.

Please feel free to comment on any of the games in this list, or any of my comments about them.

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1. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:15]
 
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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I've only played Puerto Rico once. I like the game mechanic, but I lack enough hardcore gamer friends to really give it a proper workout. My wife won't touch this game. All of the bits look intimidating, even though I don't consider Puerto Rico to be a particularly difficult game to learn. I'm looking forward to playing more of this game.
 
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2. Board Game: The Princes of Florence [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:116]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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I just picked this one up, haven't played it yet. It's highly regarded on the 'geek and I have been looking for a copy for some time. I'll add a review after a few plays.
 
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3. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:117] [Average Rating:7.54 Unranked]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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I've generally avoided wargames like Axis & Allies and its ilk because of the complexity factor (I'm always looking for games I might be able to play with my wife) and long game times. Memoir '44 is a tactical level wargame that can be played in under an hour and features limitless scenarios and fairly deep gameplay. It's very easy to learn, has excellent rules that are deeper than they first appear and captures the flavor of the intense D-Day battles it simulates. A fantastic game, one that will get lots of play from me.
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4. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:124] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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Another Days of Wonder title, Ticket to Ride is a recent Game of the Year (Germany) winner. It plays very fast and is easy to learn. Components are wonderful, and the board looks really great during a game, with brightly-colored train cars snaking around the map of the U.S. The game lets you take only 1 of 3 possible actions per turn, and you always feel like you have too many things to do and not enough time to do them all, so you're never short on options in this game. There are a few emerging strategies that I've seen while playing this game, different styles of play that can each be successful if executed properly. It's fun to watch different people play and see what they do if a route they're trying to complete gets cut off by another player. Every game is different, so in one game you might spend the entire game finding alternative paths in a highly-contested area of the map, while in another you might get the entire west coast more or less to yourself for most of the game. Lots of fun and high replay value.
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5. Board Game: YINSH [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:131] [Average Rating:7.70 Unranked]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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I was initially attracted to Yinsh on the BSW because it reminded me of a favorite board game from my youth - Othello. And although it shares a basic gameplay mechanic - you play either black or white and try to flip markers over to your color - it's much deeper and requires more thought and strategy. It's a fantastic game, high-quality playing pieces give it a great feel, and it plays quickly. I had almost given up hope of finding a copy, but I found one recently and am very happy with the purchase. Not sure if I'll pick up the other games in the Gipf Project (Dvonn looks interesting) though.
 
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6. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:139] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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...and all of its expansions. Carcassone is a troubling game for me, in that it doesn't scale well past, say, 3 players. I think it's best as a 2 player experience, 3 at most, and if you get a game with 4 people, or God forbid, 5, well, forget about it. It's mostly a luckfest at that point. The builder from the second expansion helps alleviate this some, but the game is really at its strategic best as a 2 player venture. I play this with one friend on BrettSpielWelt all the time, and we play in person generally every time we get together to do anything. "Hey Pat, let's play some Tony Hawk." "Sure, but first, CARCASSONE!" This is also one of the first games I break out to introduce non-gamers to the world of gaming beyond Sorry and Monopoly.
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7. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:279] [Average Rating:7.23 Unranked]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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Well, my experience so far with Settlers has gone like this: a friend repeatedly tried to get me to play but I always resisted. I finally played with a small group at a gaming convention, loved it, bought a copy on the spot. I've played it at home with a group of 6 people twice, but thought that it dragged horribly. Then I discovered that we were playing without using the 5-6 player special rule, that allows everyone to purchase stuff on every turn. So I'm looking forward to the next game, which I think will run a lot more smoothly and reinforce the feeling that I had when I originally played the game at the con. Also, this is the game that got me into German boardgaming in a big way. And it's one that my wife will usually play, which is very important.
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8. Board Game: Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:390]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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Hunters and Gatherers cleans up some of Carcassone's rules and makes for a tighter, shorter game. Endgame scoring is easier and the bonus tile system adds some nice rewards for finishing as many forests as possible. The fishing hut and river scoring, and the new King & Scout expansion, add interesting strategic elements to the game.
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9. Board Game: Carcassonne: The Castle [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:494]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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This new 2-player Carcassone variant from Knizia brings a lot of twists to the basic Carc formula. Scoring is tighter, with very little in the way of endgame scoring, and the pre-laid 'frame' gives the game a sense of claustrophobic urgency. The artwork on the tiles is good, but not as interesting as that in the other Carc games, and the layouts created during gameplay are much more abstract and chaotic that the often beautiful jumples of cities and roads (or forests and rivers) created in the other games. However, for a change of pace this is a fun little game.
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10. Board Game: Formula Dé [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:576]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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A very light racing game with a mechanic I like a lot - you roll increasing multi-sided dice for each gear your car shifts up. First gear is a 3-sider, but get your car into top gear and you're rolling a monster die that can move your car 20+ spaces! On your turn you shift up or down or stay in gear, roll the appropriate die and then move your car. My wife finds this game boring, and it does sometimes suffer from a case of one player getting so far out in the lead that the others have little to no chance of coming back. I like it, but it rarely gets brought out.
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11. Board Game: Domaine [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:647]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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Domaine is another Klaus Teuber gem, this time putting players in charge of creating walled-in "domains" by buying and placing walls to surround their castles. The components and high-quality, the board is randomized before each game, it's easy to learn and plays well with 2, 3 or 4 players. One of my favorites.
 
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12. Board Game: Starfarers of Catan [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:848]
 
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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My wife and I are big fans of Settlers, but I had always put off purchasing this game because of the high price tag and lukewarm reviews (for a Settlers game) I'd read. I was gifted with the game on my birthday, though, so of course we had to break it open and play it with some sci-fi fan friends. The game is fun - similar enough to Settlers to be familiar (we'd all played multiple rounds of Settlers, of course) but with enough differences to make it a worthy game on its own. One big problem, though - we broke 4 of the 'motherships' during our game; the little plastic clips that hold the boosters in place snap off very easily - 3 out of the 4 players broke at least one! I think we'll be placing boosters on the table near the ships in future games. The 5-6 player expansion actually adds new content to this game, so I'm looking forward to picking it up soon.
 
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13. Board Game: TransAmerica [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:893]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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As one of the few games my non-German speaking self can play on the BSW, TransAmerica had me hooked quickly. It's easy to learn and plays fast. Although Ticket to Ride is out now, and is a similar, but deeper game, TransAmerica has kind of taken a back seat when it comes time for some railroad-building gaming. However, I think that TA has enough differences to make it fun and worthwhile even if Ticket to Ride is in the house.
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14. Board Game: Pirate's Cove [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:1020]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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Pirate's Cove was recently re-released in the U.S. by Days of Wonder. Having already purshased and enjoyed the other 3 DoW big box games (Mystery of the Abbey, Ticket to Ride and Memoir '44) I pretty much knew that I was going to like Pirate's Cove, and that the quality of the board and game components would be top-notch. I was not disappointed. The game handles the theme very well, and there is a lot of player interaction and good strategy when deciding how bets to outfit your ship, where to sail next, and whether you want to go looking for trouble or tyr to sail to a quiet island that other players won't be interested in this turn. It's a very cool game, and one that will probably see a lot of play in my house.
 
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15. Board Game: Mystery of the Abbey [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1075]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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My introduction to Days of Wonder and their incredible production values, Mystery of the Abbey is a re-issue and update of a 1996 Bruno Faidutti game. Looking at the pictures of the original game and the DoW version, the difference is night and day. With this game, Days of Wonder planted itself firmly on my gaming radar, because it fires on all pistons - it looks great, the components are amazing, the game play is fast, fun, light and entertaining even for non-gamers. I've played this game several times with my wife, my mother and various mixes of friends, and all have enjoyed it. Gameplay-wise, it's similar to Clue in theme (a monk has been murdered and the players must discover the identity of the culprit) but with much more depth. Your movement is fixed, and no room is outside of your range on a game round, so you can plan your moves and not have to rely on a die roll to make them. One of our favorite games.
 
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16. Board Game: Clans [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:1136]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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Clans is another fast, fun, easy to teach game that scales well for 2+ players. It's an abstract game, more about moving colors around the board, but the theme of ancient clans creating villages is nice, and the artwork on the board and quality of the wooden huts and other bits is top-notch all around. I also love the mechanic of having your color hidden from the other players, which makes the game much more interesting as everyone is trying to figure out who has which color so as not to score points for the leader. Hidden goals/bluffing is a favorite game mechanic for me, and it works beautifully in Clans.
 
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17. Board Game: Mississippi Queen [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:1586]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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Essentially a racing game, Mississippi Queen (and the harder to find expansion, The Black Rose, has players piloting riverboats along the Mississippi river. It's deeper than Formula De, the only other racing game in my collection, because of several factors. The river is built as you play, so the twists and turns are different with each play. You also have to be mindful of your limited coal supply, and in the advanced game, you have to maneuver well to pick up the passengers waiting at certain points along the river. I haven't played too much of this one, unfortunately, but it's staying in my collection - the Black Rose was just too much trouble to hunt down!
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18. Board Game: Age of Mythology: The Boardgame [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:2482]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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I played and enjoyed the PC game, but looking at the components of this game put me off at first. Hundreds of plastic soldiers and loads of dice-rolling sounded too much like a lengthy wargame formula to me. And while the game is lengthy (about 3 hours on average with 3-4 players) it borrows gameplay mechanics from such games as Puerto Rico, and lets all players participate during certain actions. It almost feels at times like Purto Rico with combat, and who hasn't wanted to attack another playing during a close game of PR, and destroy some of his buildings or crops? Oddly, this is also a game that my wife loves to play, which gives it high marks from me.
 
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19. Board Game: Mammoth Hunters [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:3137]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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I like this game, but I have a hard time getting people to play it with me. It's light, the card mechanics are very cool (to my mind), and it has wooden mammoths! I think it might habve benefited a bit from slightly better components (the 'ice age' tiles are a bit thin, and the generic wooden cylinders used to represent the cavemen could have been more interesting (maybe sub in Meeples from Carcassone?). Still, it's a neat little game, one that could be played along with Clans and Settlers for a sort of 'evolution of man' themed gaming night.
 
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20. Board Game: Munchkin [Average Rating:5.94 Overall Rank:3346] [Average Rating:5.94 Unranked]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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...and all of it's various forms and expansions. Munchkin is a game my wife never tires of playing, and most of our gaming friends will also play at the drop of a hat. Although it's more fun if you're a gaming geek (because the cards relentlessly poke fun at D&D, sci-fi, kung fu movies, and just about anything else that's geek-chic, there's enough general knowledge humor mixed in to make just about anyone laugh and have a good time while playing this one. One note, though - if you take being ganged-up on by other players too personally, stay far, far away from Munchkin.
 
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21. Board Game: Zombies!!! [Average Rating:5.85 Overall Rank:4472] [Average Rating:5.85 Unranked]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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This game (and it's many expansions) manages to capture the flavor of several famous Zombie movies; Days of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Night of the Living Dead, Evil Dead... it's all in here. The components are nice, although the tiles could be a bit thicker. Gameplay is a combination of card management and die-rolling, but you never feel completely out of contention for the win. Mainly, it's just fun to play a game with dozens of little plastic zombies. Beware, though, playing with a large group can get kind of monotonous, as there's not much to do outside of your own turn. Still a fun game, and a great one to bring out around Halloween.
 
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22. Board Game: Frag [Average Rating:5.71 Overall Rank:6264]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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I bought this one with some store credit I had, and for some reason have never played it. It looks like fun, I really can't explain why it's never been played.
 
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23. Board Game: Lunch Money [Average Rating:5.64 Overall Rank:10001] [Average Rating:5.64 Unranked]
Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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A card game that emulates a brutal street fight? Sounds like fun. And it is, to a point. I have a major complaint with this game, though, and it's one that has kept me from buying the expansion or any of the off-shoots (Beer Money, etc.) The cards have no text beyond the name of the attack (Punch, Kick, Weapon, and so forth) and the amount of damage it inflicts. For basic cards, that only cause damage, this is fine, but the game also adds in some cards with semi-elaborate special rules. Rules that are not printed on the cards, so the rules sheet must be kept nearby at all times for reference. Referring to the rules for when a certain card can be played slows things down and takes you out of the game, which is supposed to be representing a fast and furious brawl. Well, the suspension of disbelief is broken with a situation such as "I'll grab your arm and then... wait a second, what can I play after a grab again?" come up. Recently at GenCon I discovered a game that plays similarly called Kung Fu Fighting, but gets EVERYTHING right. The cards are all crystal clear as to their use, so players will alwyas know the appropriate time to use any given card, and the game (which emulates a Kung Fu battle) moves along at a much brisker pace than some of the agonizingly slow games of Lunch Money I've played. I know this all sounds kind of like I hate Lunch Money, but that's not true. It's a good game, and if all players have all of the special card rules memorized, it IS fast and lots of fun. But try introducing it to new players and you'll spend more time explaining what many cards do than actually playing the game. This will probably get buried in the closet now that I own Kung Fu Fighting, though.
 
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