New to you a year ago Apr 15 => 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 Apr 14 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 Lewis & Clark. 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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1. Board Game: Manoeuvre [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:652] [Average Rating:7.31 Unranked]
Martin G
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Bristol
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Item for Geeklist "New to you April 2014 => Best new boardgame"

I'd played Manoeuvre six times in April 2014, and it got five more plays in May. But then I ruined everything by getting a job, and I haven't played since! My opponent Joe and I have been talking about getting it played again soon though; Wir sind das Volk took over its spot in our infrequent 2p sessions. I really enjoyed our run at it; the combination of spatial play and hand management is pretty much my favourite thing in board games.

Port Royal was my most-played game in 2014, with 40 further plays to add to the 7 in April, so I certainly can't say it wasn't value for money! I think I have burned out on it now though, having seen pretty much everything it has to offer, and I have only played once so far this year. All those plays showed me that I much preferred it as a snappy 2-3p game than a draggy 5p one. Apparently an expansion is in the offing, and I'd be up for seeing what that does to freshen things up.

I'm still always keen to play Abluxxen though, but I've only managed 10 further plays due to it not being a huge hit with my regular group. Looking back at this month's crop, I now rate this one highest - a modern classic card game.

Nothing else has had significant replay, but I think this set of three makes for a pretty good month anyway!
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2. Board Game: Seasons: Path of Destiny [Average Rating:7.91 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.91 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.91 Unranked]
Keith Rudolph
Canada
Langdon
Alberta
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April 2014's List

Seasons: Path of Destiny

It's surprising how much we've played Seasons since picking up the expansion. We picked this up having only played the base game two times so I think a lot of it is really just that it took a couple of plays for the game to finally click for us. We play with all of the expansion mixed in now so it's hard to really tell what this one contributed on its own apart from the destiny die that gets used on occasion. In any event, we're still enjoying this game.

Lewis & Clark

As I mentioned last year, this game failed to impress us and was destined to be sold or traded, and that's exactly what happened. We eagerly disposed of this one in a math trade. We got Coal Baron in its place. While not exactly a barn burner, we enjoy it more than Lewis & Clark.
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3. Board Game: Greedy Kingdoms [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:6414]
Tom P
United Kingdom
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Item for Geeklist "New to you April 2014 => Best new boardgame"

Pretty much all the new games this time last year were from the biannual London on Board weekend away, and as I write this I'm in the middle of packing for next weekend's gamefest.

I still love Greedy Kingdoms (and wish I could get hold of the expansion) but don't get a lot of opportunity to play 2p games.

From the other games I loved, Dungeon of Mandomand Kobayakawa I still do - I got a mate hooked on the former and even ordered the Iello reprint. Cheops died down a little on subsequent plays, but I still enjoy it.

I've only played Mythe from the others on the list, and the only other one I actually want to play again is Kingdoms.

Helios, Strasbourg, Qwixx, UnNatural Selection, Limes and Oink! definitely didn't stand any sort of test. Unless the test is 'can you name a game you don't want to play again?'
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4. Board Game: Splendor [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:118]
Brandon Kempf
United States
Jefferson City
MO
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Maybe I was part of the problem?!

So my geeklist entry last year at this time was for the 2015 "BGG Game of the Year" Splendor. Now, don't get me wrong, I'll play Splendor if you sit it out in front of me or if you ask to play, but I don't know that I've had a thought of playing it in the past 6 months or so(it's been since August, I just checked). But it did receive 13 plays last year. My daughter enjoys it, my wife hates it and I'm somewhere in the middle. I love a good engine building game and this is a decent enough entry into doing that as any at the moment. So it's still in the collection, just gathering dust at the moment though.

For Sale has not been played since, but I bet that's probably only because I don't own it, if I did, it would have been played as I really enjoyed it. Same goes for Unnamed Object, except that I actually taught it in May at Geekway to the West so it got a couple more plays.

Evolution, hasn't received the love that it should have since we got our actual production copy, maybe I'll try to remedy that this weekend. The expansion is currently on Kickstarter at the moment, bringing Flight into the game.

Marvel Dice Masters: Avengers vs. X-Men, the less said about it the better. It got traded pretty quickly after a couple mediocre plays while there was still some interest in the game. I happily picked up Sanssouci in trade for it and haven't regretted it one bit.

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5. Board Game: Alien City [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:5944]
Maarten D. de Jong
Netherlands
Zaandam
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= passed the test of time;
= status remains unclear, can go either way;
= no further hands planned, failed the test of time.

Alien City / — Although I didn't get in as much plays as I'd wanted—just two, very much unfortunately—the reason being all sorts of RL interference which prevented me and the missus from sitting down at the table and enjoying a peaceful game or two, I still very much like the idea to the point of creating a new home-brewn set with better colour differentiation. This set is laying peacefully on the top of the closet overlooking the dinner table, ready to be grabbed at a moment's notice. And perhaps it will in the upcoming weeks/months.

Catan Dice Game — Many, many plays since, but only in the Plus-version. The XXL-version turned out to be a misguided attempt to inject true Settlers feeling into the game, but in practice all it did was increase the dice luck owing to how items on the playing field had to be crossed off. With the Plus-version matters became sufficiently balanced (but still only just) to support multiple approaches to victory. For a seasoned gamer Catan Dice is too simplistic, but in a relaxed setting with occasional gamers it's a solid and attractive little thing.

Last Train to Wensleydale / — I never played the game again owing to not having access to a copy. I might be persuaded if someone brings one along, though, but I fear that of the simple train games Martin Wallace put out I still prefer Steel Driver owing to its far stronger build-up towards the end. LTtW is more a grab-what-you-can-on-your-turn affair, which I find less compelling. Plus the board of Steel Driver looks more like a proper game board meeple.

Ruhrschifffahrt 1769-1890, Kohle & Kolonie, Jagdfieber — I've also never played these games again due to not having a copy at hand. Contrary to LTtW I will politely bow out of participation, though, especially the Spielworxx games. Even after all this time they still rub me in various wrong ways, and I'd rather spend time with games which rub me the right way ninja.
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6. Board Game: Trains [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:377] [Average Rating:7.22 Unranked]
Jim Hansen
United States
Seattle
Washington
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Item for Geeklist "New to you April 2014 => Best new boardgame"

I only had one new game last month, and I haven't played it since then. It was kind of amusing to play "Dominion with a Board", but I didn't find the board play to be very interesting. I don't need to play it again, but wouldn't mind if someone else wanted to. I can name at least 5 other deckbuilders I would rather play.
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7. Board Game: Jazz: The Singing Card Game [Average Rating:6.27 Overall Rank:8961]
Nick B
United States
Charlottesville
Virginia
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Here's my entry from 2014 if anyone is curious.

Jazz: The Singing Card Game - THEN: 7/10, NOW: 7/10


I got Jazz and Them's Fightin' Words from Kickstarter. Both games are incredibly simple to play. In each, you take turns playing a card, and have to repeat everything that was said before you (like Simon, only with scat singing sounds or cowboy insults). Once someone messes up, they have to take the cards, and you keep playing until someone runs out. The games are fun, and I'm happy to have them in my collection, you yellow-bellied, no-good, son-of-a biscuit!


Felicity: The Cat in the Sack - THEN: 7/10, NOW: 7.5/10


Last year, I was worried that this game would be too similar to For Sale, one of my favorite games. While the gameplay is slightly similar, they are both happily co-existing in my collection. I have found Felix to be slightly hard to teach for such a simple game, although people usually get the hang of things after the first couple of rounds. This game can be incredibly funny, and even when you get completely screwed over by the other players, you won't mind so much due to how much everyone (yourself included) is cracking up at your misfortune.
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8. Board Game: Sidibaba [Average Rating:5.89 Overall Rank:5845]
James Moline
United States
Tampa
FL
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Here's a link to the original item. Lots of new games this time last year, but not many that I would call amazing.

Sidibaba -
Quote:
I'm not sure Sidibaba was really the best new game of the month, but it was certainly the most interesting, and it's the only one that prompted me to add a copy to my collection. It is truly unique, and the core mechanism could very easily be adapted to other themes.


I added Sidibaba to my collection immediately after playing it that first time... And it has been on the shelf ever since. I still like it, and would happily play it, but it turns out it's pretty group dependent, and I don't think I have the right group.
Rating Then: 7
Rating Now: 7

Betrayal at House on the Hill -
Quote:
Betrayal at House on the Hill gets a lot of flack for being unbalanced and more than a little quirky. I suppose all of that criticism is pretty well deserved. Despite that, though, it's quite a lot of fun. The exploration phase is completely random, but it's engaging and fun and really feels like you're exploring an abandoned mansion. When the haunt begins, well, it's probably hit or miss.


We've played Betrayal at House on the Hill once since that first time. It was still fun, but the haunt was still kind of meh. It's not that the game is bad, but I would usually rather play something else.
Rating Then: 7.5
Rating Now: 6

Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game -
Quote:
I discovered that the part of the game that appeals to me is the simultaneous action selection. Thinking about what to do and what my opponent might do is almost always fun in a game, but in the case of X-wing, it's also where the theme really shines through. It's almost impossible to think about what action you're going to take without imagining your ship actually doing that thing. It's not a game my wife will play, and I don't think it will ever be my absolute favorite, but I still think I'll pick it up at some point.


I played a game of X-wing a couple of months ago, and I still enjoy it. As a two player game that my wife has no interest in, though, I have since changed my mind about the possibility of picking up my own copy. I would still happily play with someone else, though.
Rating Then: 7
Rating Now: 7

Excape -
Quote:
Excape is a little like Can't Stop with its push-your-luck element, but it adds a really great screw-your-neighbor mechanism into the mix, too. I've only played one 6 player game, and I really enjoyed it, but felt that it was a little long. I suspect it's much better with fewer players.


Still really like this push-your-luck game, but it hasn't made it to the table in a while, just because at higher player counts it takes too long. When we're looking for this kind of game, we play Incan Gold or Till Dawn.
Rating Then: 7.5
Rating Now: 7.5

Council of Verona -
Quote:
Council of Verona is a nice little microgame. It has betting and bluffing; it's easy to teach and fast to play. I have not yet played it with the Poison expansion, because I wanted to get a feel for the game before throwing in that wrinkle. Even after only one play, though, it's pretty obvious that it will be better with that included, just because it will force players to spread out their votes and not put all their eggs in one obvious basket.


The microgame craze has died out a little bit, and with it, my enthusiasm for Council of Verona has also faded. It's a fine game, just not one I bring out to the table very often.
Rating Then: 7
Rating Now: 6

Shadow Hunters -
Quote:
We really love social deduction/hidden role games, so it's no surprise that we enjoyed this one, too. The art is an anime style that I don't always favor, but it works well with this game. The deduction element is interesting. It's less about reading the other players and more about making good use of the little bits of information that leak out here and there. All in all, I'm looking forward to more plays.


I've played Shadow Hunters 3 or 4 times in the last year. I have fun with it whenever I play it. I think for a hidden role team game, I would generally prefer Blood Bound, but Shadow Hunters is easier to teach. My game group quite likes it. It's a good game.
Rating Then: 7
Rating Now: 7

The Red Dragon Inn -
Quote:
I've wondered about Red Dragon Inn for a while now. As it turns out, it's okay, but not amazing. I enjoy take-that games, and this has that. The part of the game that really stands out in my memory is the gambling, and not in a good way. That part of the game just seemed too long. I don't think I'll ever ask for it, but I would play it again.


I've not played Red Dragon Inn since that first time, and I can't say I have any desire to. There's nothing wrong with it, I'd just generally prefer to play something else.
Rating Then: 6.5
Rating Now: 5
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9. Board Game: A Study in Emerald [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:616]
Albatros
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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Three "new to me" games in April 2014: Innovation, Outpost and A Study in Emerald. Also played one expansion in the month, The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game – The Long Dark, but like most LoTR scenarios, it hasn't seen table time again as each time we play LoTR, we always opt to delve deeper and deeper into the series rather than replaying the older scenarios.


Innovation was played all of five times between April and May of 2014, all two-player affairs against my wife, and that was that. As much as my GeekBuddies rave about this game, it didn't quite work for us.

The game is definitely interesting and I'm amused by how some of the actions on the cards link thematically to the name of the card. Gunpowder being one of the obvious ones - play it and knock an opponent's "castle" icon cards out of the game and into your score pile. Very cute.

And though I found myself getting quite immersed while playing - each play even more so - it's one of those games that is just too abstract to get me really fired up about wanting to play it. It's a bit like not wanting to go to a party only to have fun once you get there.

For my wife, however, the game was ultimately too confrontational and could get downright nasty. And that pretty much relegated it to the dust pile.


Outpost went over surprisingly well the first time I played it - not only for me, but for my opponents as well. We all (three) agreed that we should play it again soon. In fact, my wife and I played it again the very next night. And then I never played it again.

In spite of our not playing it again, Outpost has stayed in my collection and I'm hopeful that I will get to bring it out again in the future. If/when that happens, I can say it survived the test of time.


A Study in Emerald was played twice in April 2014 and then three times thereafter; the last time in July. It was a game I wasn't sure my wife would take to, with it's backstabbing and confrontational play. But it worked...I think in part because it's multiplayer and no-one is quite sure which faction anyone belongs to.

All in all, I like A Study in Emerald, but given that it plays best at higher player counts, it competes with so many other games for a "once a week" slot. A slot that is generally occupied with cooperative type games due to the nature of my little gaming group.
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10. Board Game: Gears of War: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:357]
Moe45673
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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Item for Geeklist "New to you April 2014 => Best new boardgame"




Last Year - Plays: 1
Since - Plays: 23
This game was played over and over and over, I went through a phase where I was just playing it and loving it. I have enjoyed it both solitaire and 2p, never tried it at other numbers.

Took a break from it as newer stuff came along and had a couple dud sessions, but most of my games (including recent ones) have been breathtaking and I will recommend this game to anyone. One of the best purchases I've ever made. Only reason it loses half a star is that it does not have the replayability of games like Mage Knight or TAL; it still has a lot of game in it and way more longevity than I initially thought






Last Year - Plays: 8
Since - Plays: 0
No change to my thoughts from last year. The games key element of fun were the powerups and those were too randomly revealed and sporadically acquired. There's an audience for this game but IMO something felt missing. One review echoed my thoughts very well: https://boardgamegeek.com/video/45485/quantum/quantum-video-...












Last Year - Plays: 3
Since - Plays: 1
Unfortunately, I could not find the decisions in this game interesting. My regular gaming partner bought it a few months back and asked to play with me, which I happily did. It's a fine game and a decent one and I'll play it if asked but I do not feel any motivation to improve my skills at it. It simply feels like I make a decision and see if the Dice decide to behave. If not, I'll never get the best time on the track...... it's too much of a binary outcome to me and not the nuanced (and mitigable) outcomes that can happen in so many other games





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11. Board Game: Keyflower [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:44]
Tiago Perretto
Brazil
Curitiba
Parana
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Item for Geeklist "New to you April 2014 => Best new boardgame"



I'm really surprise that Keyflower didn't stand the test of time, as far as plays go. I haven't been able to play it again, though I did tried several times, but the owner always had something new he wanted to play first. So a year passed and nothing. I won't lower the rating, as I still think Keyflower is great - I just wish to play it more!

Rating then: 8/10
Rating now: 8/10







As I don't own Bruges nor I play with its owner frequently (unlike the situation with Keyflower, as I play with the owner of this one every week). So, nothing new to add, except a .5 lowering of the rating, to reflect my lack of plays.

Rating then: 7.5/10
Rating now: 7/10







And Dungeon Roll I manage to play 4 more times over the year, for a total of 10 plays. A fine game, with plenty of luck, but I surely don't mind, as I like the challenge and the way the game works. Is indeed best if playing with 2, however, my three players games weren't bad. So, it stood the test of time. Who could guess, right?

Rating then: 7/10
Rating now: 7/10







I played this three more times, for a total of 5 plays. All the problems I mentioned in my new to me thread were there for all the plays, with the rich getting richer being the worst. DC Comics Deck-Building Game is, yes, easy to teach and play, and has a theme dear to me, but it just isn't all that good of game. I will still play it eventually.

Rating then: 6.5/10
Rating now: 6/10







Tasnia was played three more times, for a total of 4 plays. It didn't improved my first impression, but it also doesn't got them worst either. It has some issues (big impact of luck, specially because there are hugely better cards), but I like building stuff in a game, so it probably has a rating higher than it deserve, and, yet, I will keep it.

Rating then: 6/10
Rating now: 6/10





And that is it!

Regards,
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12. Board Game: Eminent Domain: Escalation [Average Rating:7.81 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.81 Unranked]
Netherlands
Enschede
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We've tried some of the setup options for Eminent Domain now, and those are fun as well. I still like new tech and different options for the ships.

We didn't play the Spain/Portugal map for Power Grid again, and Splendor didn't get another play either.

As for the other two new to me games from April last year, I've decided I don't really want to play Hawken: Real-Time Card Game, or Qwixx: Das Kartenspiel again.
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13. Board Game: Container [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:586]
Matt Clark
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
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I had to laugh at my "new to me" post from last year. Three excellent games that I haven't touched since. Have they stood the test of time? I guess not so much. Sorry games, I think it's mostly my fault this time around.

I played Container for the first time last year and came away with a very favorable impression. I noted that the game lagged for a bit and maybe that's what is contributing to my lack of enthusiasm to play again. I would play, but I'm not actively looking for a game. I would probably push a bit harder if I had actually shelled out for a copy of my own.

My first (and so far last) face to face 18xx game was 1846: The Race for the Midwest which again I came away from favorably. This one might also be suffering from the hard to get/expensive issue that Container has. I've still mucked around on rails a bit and my favorite 18xx experience so far has been 1889: History of Shikoku Railways, but I think I'd much rather play these games face to face. I feel like there are other economic games in my collection that I don't get to play as often as I'd like, so I haven't had a lot of incentive to really dig into the 18xx scene.

I learned, played, and then participated in a tournament for Combat Commander: Europe last April. Cool game, but I just don't have enough interest in WWII gaming to spend much time with it.

Other games I played for the first time last April were Yardmaster, Coup, Letnisko, Kingdom Builder, and Glass Road. I've played some of them since, but the only one I'd really be interested in playing again is Letnisko (love the theme).
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14. Board Game: Myth [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:1884]
Judy Krauss
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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Here is my New-to-Me entry from last year:
http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/171787/item/3202166#item32...

This game, Myth, is what I have been looking for for a long time: A solo/co-op RPG-type, tactical boardgame that uses card play and miniatures to let the player tell/create and play out stories. But, as I wrote in last year's New to You list, the rules out of the box were holey and often ambiguous. Since then, the rules have been mostly clarified, and a new, rewritten version of the rulebook will be available soon that should make learning and understanding the game much easier. (Also, the hero and item cards and quests will also be updated -- the updated hero and item cards are available for download on the company website -- in the Fireborne 1.3 patch file.)

I spent a lot of time reading the FAQs and getting questions answered, and watching the official gameplay videos on the megacongames.com site. I also downloaded the revised cards. And it was worth it! Myth is one of my favorite games.



Another "problem" with the game when I got it was that the retail box really should have had another monster type and perhaps a few more miniatures for the types included.

Now that I have the stretch goals from my Kickstarter pledge, I have plenty of monster types and miniatures to choose from and use. (And map tiles, new heroes, quests, and alternate gender miniatures for the heroes, etc.)

Anyone who wants to check out my Myth gameplay reports (and pics) for this year can do so, here:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/182184/item/3805551#it...

I rate this game higher than I did last year (my BGG rating is 9).

The cards and rules questions have been mostly answered, and there are official downloads for most of the revised cards. The rulebook is currently being rewritten to be clearer and will be available as a download, too (there is a draft of it available now). (The company also made the updated stuff available in the latest Kickstarter for the expansions.)

Myth is fun and unlike any other game I have played.

thumbsup One of my favorite games! It is a tactical, RPG-like true co-op, but can be played solo using 2 or more characters.

thumbsup Each hero has a different card deck, and each monster type has different priorities for movement and attack, in addition to different abilities.

===

DC Comics Deck-Building Game



I play this game using one of two user-made solitaire variants:


This solo variant is fun and simple:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/101516/dc-dbg-bgg-soli...

This solo variant makes more good use of the superhero theme and adds some complexity to the game:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/104303/dc-deckbuilding...

I still like the game as much as I did last year, if I am using the solitaire variants. It's a fun deck-builder.

Here are my gameplay reports for this year:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/182184/item/3570281#it...

thumbsup I like the theme and comic book details and artwork.

The rules out the the box don't use the theme as well as they could. (But the solo variants do!)

thumbsup Using either of the solo variants.

Fun to play.

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15. Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:12]
Will Plante
United States
Greenville
Rhode Island
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This was my geeklist from a year ago - New to Me April 2014


This is now my favorite game played a year ago.

The Castles of Burgundy, 7 -> 10 (traded then added to my collection again)


2 plays in April 2014, 3 plays since then.

Highlights:

- Excellent, medium weight 2p game (definitely my favorite player count for this game).
- Dice manipulation done right, everything you can do with the dice in this game is extremely intuitive.
- Streamlined game play, while the game make look complicated once it is set up it turns play very quickly. This game is easy to teach (just don't try to explain all the science tiles at once).
- Along with La Isla, CoB is my favorite family weight Feld title. (I've played Bruges, Castles of Burgundy, La Isla, Luna, The Name of the Rose, Notre Dame, The Speicherstadt and Trajan.)

Thoughts a year later...

I was dead wrong about this game and I made a huge mistake when I traded it. I can see this game getting a ton of play when I am looking for a 2p game to play with anyone in my family (well not Lilly yet). This will probably be the next medium weight game I introduce to my wife and I'm hopeful she will like it.

I just played a game with my son and I think he did a great job summing it up... [i]it's like Suburbia with dice. This means we'll be playing CoB a lot since Suburbia is one of his favorites. I am really looking forward to more plays of Castles and highly recommend this game to anyone looking for a 2p, medium weight Euro
.



Firenze, 8 -> 8 (traded)


3 plays in April 2014, 3 plays since then.

Thoughts a year later...

This is a tough one. I really enjoyed playing this game, but unfortunately my family did not (they found it boring). Firenze has a very clean and streamlined rule set that offers a lot of variety in the tactics you employ to play the game. There is nothing fiddly about this game.

I really enjoyed the tension created by having to manage only one resource in the game (the tower pieces are also your currency). The cards really give this games some legs and help increase player interaction. I also appreciate how the cards also function as a market of sorts were the new tower pieces are placed. It creates some great moments where you only want/need the card or tower pieces but you are forced to take either a card or building pieces you don't want.

This is another great family game that I would probably recommend, but the theme is very dry and for my family the game play got repetitive after a few plays. I also don't think that this game plays well with 2, most of the tension is lost and each player ends up doing their own thing. It also didn't help that I got The Palaces of Carrara around the same time and that has been a hit with my family, especially my wife, and it plays great with 2.



Jambo, 9 -> 8 (traded)


4 plays in April 2014, 4 plays since then.

Thoughts a year later...

This is another game I regret trading, but part of the reason is because I wanted to pick up a copy of Asante (which streamlined a few rules, especially no longer having to pay gold to use the sixth space in your market stall).

You are basically trying to be the most efficient trader, by buying and selling goods for maximum profit while having to manage your inventory. Now this would fall flat and be extremely dry if not for the artifact, people and animal cards which add a lot of special powers and player interaction.
The people will grant you special one time actions that typically help you cycle through cards faster or offer break the rules when it comes to selling goods.
The artifacts offer a lot of different powers from getting extra cards, using cards to get gold and swapping resources from your stall and the supply or other player.
The animals give you a lot of opportunities to mess with your opponent in a variety of ways, but this is kept in check somewhat by having a guard card which stops an animal attack.

This is an excellent 2p family weight card game that plays quick (45 minutes tops) and makes for a great cafe game.



Thebes: The Tomb Raiders, 8 -> 8 (Still in our collection)

2 plays in March 2014, 11 plays since then.

Thoughts a year later...

This has been a consistently played game for the last year, everyone in my family really enjoys it. What's interesting though is that almost all of our plays have been 2p. This has become part the rotation of games played when my wife and I go to a cafe.

I still enjoy the set collection combined with the "digging" through cards based on your knowledge (book cards). My favorite mechanism is the time track which allows you to have the potential for multiple actions in a row dependent upon how far your opponent(s) are ahead of you on the time track. (I also love how this same mechanism was implemented into Patchwork.)

I would still highly recommend this game for families and as a great 2p game. Also Queen has reprinted the card for the thief with the correct time cost, I sent them an email and received the new cards in about a week.



Bugs in the Kitchen, 8 -> 6 (still in our collection)


4 plays in April 2014, 5 plays since then.

Thoughts a year later...

This is still a game both of my daughters like to play on occasion. I cooled on it for a while and then realized the battery needed to be changed. Wow what a difference it made, make sure you check your battery (the game comes with an extra). The game really loses a lot if the bug isn't going 100 miles an hour.

Personally I like it, don't love it but I am happy to play it with my girls. I probably prefer it to Loopin' Louie now that I think about it... I am sure that will be heresy to some.

This is still the best buy for a children's game found at regular retail stores (I think it is sold exclusively through Target).



Coup, 8 -> 6 (traded)


4 plays in April 2014, 9 plays since then.

Thoughts a year later...

This got Jones Theoried in favor of the much more elegant Cockroach Poker. I have talked about this comparison a lot so I will be brief.

Cockroach poker has very simple rules that allow the players to develop their own play style and meta game which makes Cockroach Poker instantly accessible to everyone. There is nothing tacked on or convoluted.

As much as I have enjoyed Coup there is still a slight barrier to entry with people who don't game much. In fact even in one of my groups a few people really don't like the "heavier" bluffing games but love Cockroach Poker. Another major gripe I have with this game is that it can be over before it starts which isn't very exciting (and can't happen in Cockroach Poker).



Flash Point: Fire Rescue, 8 -> 6 (sold via auction)


6 plays in April 2014, 2 plays since then.

Thoughts a year later...

Another COOP that started with a bang and then fizzled out. The other two plays came in May 2014 and then just sat on the shelf. I finally decided to get rid of a few weeks ago to make some room on our game shelves.

Flash Point is a good family game, but COOP's continue to not get played in my house (although Pandemic: The Cure is bucking that trend).



Splendor, 6 -> 8 -> 6 (traded)


1 play in April 2014, 13 plays since then.

Thoughts a year later...

The first time I played it I was completely underwhelmed. Then I got the game as a gift and played it a lot with my kids over the course of a month. Then it fell off a cliff, I think we all got tired of the game play.

A lot of people have mentioned that this is a great gateway game, but I strongly disagree. I don't think it holds up to repeated play which to me is a huge part of what defines a good gateway game (Ticket to Ride and Camel Up come to mind).

I will also mention that I absolutely agree with Camel Up winning the Spiel last year. Camel Up has delivered every time I pull it out (whether it is family, gamers and more casual gamers). I don't think Splendor holds a candle to Camel Up.



Games I haven't played since April 2014...

Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game 6 -> 8 (would like to play again)

This is only an 8 because I would like to play it again now that I have watched the TV series. I had zero appreciation for any of the theme/fluff surrounding this game and judged it based solely on the mechanisms.

Seasons 8 -> 8 (would like to play again) Seasons

Really enjoyed playing this, probably the game that has come the closest to giving my the Magic: The Gathering experience in a non collectible format. The only reason I don't own it is because this game is the very definition of fiddly, there are so many things to keep track of that it is way too easy to forget something which could end up giving your opponent the game. Also it has the worst score track I've seen.

Coconuts 6 -> 6 (on my wishlist)

Had fun playing this with my girls, but I'm not sure I want to own it.
It has been on my radar, but I feel like the game play would get repetitive. Then again launching coconuts with a monkey is pretty fun and I know my girls would love it...

Tales of the Arabian Nights 4 -> 4

Not much of a game, basically a story telling device to "play" while hanging out with some friends.
I would try this again with the right group, but I'll be okay if I never play again.

Castellan 4 -> 4

An okay abstract, but I really don't care for pure abstracts.
Another game I have no desire to replay.

FlowerFall 4 -> 4

Haven't played again and I have no desire to.



Thanks for reading and feel free to ask specific questions about any of these games!

Cheers,
Will
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16. Board Game: Kemet [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:77]
Marcel Sagel
Netherlands
Groningen
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Last year, I picked Kemet as my new game of the month. I haven't played it again though. I think the game's owner traded it away, or at least he hasn't requested to play the game since, and neither have I.

Russian Railroads was close behind last year. This one I have played a few more times, and I even updated my rating to an 8 at some point, but it has come back down to the original 7 later. I do somewhat like the optimization puzzle that it offers, but the game feels too scripted for me. It's still in my collection, awaiting a decision on its permanent status.

I played Ginkgopolis one more time and downgraded my rating from 7 to 6 after the second game. One strategy just seemed too dominant. Maybe it can be beaten, but I can't be bothered to find out how.

Stone & Relic and Colonial: Europe's Empires Overseas weren't seen again and I'm fine with that.
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17. Board Game: Coal Baron [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:474]
Nathan Clegg
United States
Escondido
California
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Coal Baron (2013) does not see the table very often anymore. In fact I haven't played it since May 2014. The locals here find it too simple or similar to other games. I agree it is light but it's one of my favorite order fulfillment games because of the ancillary axes your choices turn (such as mode of transportation). Plus it includes the characteristic K&K action point system in such a way that is fun without being ubiquitous and AP-inducing. Fun game that I would like to play more.

Macao (2009) - A game I technically rate higher than Coal Baron and that I have got to the table a few times. It's a bit picky, working well only at 3p, and again some non-fans in my group, but I enjoy it when it comes out.

Hawaii (2011) - First learned with a stranger or two on yucata, I found this hodgepodge point salad game to be dismal. I did get talked into trying it again and my rating went steadily up. Not a favorite, but pretty decent for a chit-pusher.

David & Goliath (1998) - Nice little trick-taker. Always happy to have these in my collection and this is a keeper. I just wish I had the edition with the cute mice.

Rialto (2013) - Only two plays, none since. I've rated this a 6 and multiple times resolved to trading it and yet it still sticks in my collection. I want to play it at least once more but getting it to the table is difficult. I find it distinct enough from San Marco that it stands on its own. One more play hopefully.

Tokaido (2012) - Pretty game. I might put the board on my wall someday. If this is on the table, I wouldn't mind sipping a drink, sitting across from supermodels, but if we're going to play a game, let's play a game.

1775: Rebellion (2013) - Really wanted to like this one (especially at 4p, though I definitely prefer it at 2p) but just couldn't get past the luck factor (more because of turn order and card draw than the roll of the dice, believe it or not). In my plays, factions would continually be trading the lead back and forth, and when the game-ending cards were luckily drawn and the turn order lucked properly, they ended the game and won. Bleh.
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18. Board Game: Goblins Drool, Fairies Rule! [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:3831]
Jeff Wolfe
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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Item for Geeklist "New to you April 2014 => Best new boardgame"

Six new-to-me games a year ago. I haven't played any of them again since. So nothing stood the test of time--there was no test.
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19. Board Game: Cyclades [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:132]
Carthoris Pyramidos
United States
Centennial
Colorado
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Item for Geeklist "New to you April 2014 => Best new boardgame"

I liked Cyclades at the outset, and I've continued to enjoy it, though it doesn't get to the table as often as I would like. I've expanded it zealously, getting Cyclades: Hades, C3K: Creatures Crossover Cyclades/Kemet, and Cyclades: Titans. I've played C3K and all the Hades modules, but Titans hasn't made it into play yet. I put Cyclades on my 10x10 list for this year, but so far I've only played it twice in 2015.



Dominion was a $3 thrift shop score. I like it okay, I guess. I got a few promos, but it hasn't inspired enough enthusiasm in me to pick up any of its myriad expansions, and I haven't played it for a while. In my opinion, it suffers by comparison to Kingdom Builder (another game by the same designer with elegant play subject to highly variable starting conditions). It didn't do much to enthuse me about deck-building in general. Despite that, I recently picked up Rune Age, which I have found very enjoyable and compelling. So there's another comparison that Dominion fails. Although I've had more plays of Dominion than the other two games in this entry, it's the one I've got the least affection for.

FITS has taken a place among the few games my wife will go in for, and my daughter enjoys it too. It's good to have a reliably entertaining family abstract game!
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20. Board Game: Splendor [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:118]
Paul Agapow
United Kingdom
London
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This period a year ago is a mysterious, murky point in my game logging (due to work and family and life colliding in a horrible mess) but I think this is what I played. And it's largely uninspiring.

I was initially underwhelmed by Splendor and as time went by remained underwhelmed until we get to the current day where I'm simply underwhelmed. Despite this, I've played it several times in the last year as it seems to have found its niche as the Steinlager of boardgames: so inoffensive that it often emerges as an collective choice of a group. I mean, it's fine but it's not a game that excites me and there's no larger context (competition, trash talking, funny or absurd events) to make it stand out. Don't hate it but there's many similar weight games I'd rather play.

I was struck by the clever design of Impulse - there's an awful lot going on in such a minimal game - but a few more plays on, I can't shake the feeling that the game is playing me more than the reverse, and early choices and chance are determining your outcome. Perhaps a few more plays will change my mind.

BANG! The Dice Game was quick and vicious and everything that the original game should be but isn't. However the stench of the original is so powerful that I've not wanted to return. Perhaps someone can retheme this into a gaming franchise that doesn't suck.

I quite enjoyed Island Siege, so more's the pity I've only played it once since.

Blueprints seemed a decent game and I've played it a few times since. However it has just been fired by Cubist, which adds just a few more twists and enhances gameplay considerably.

Had cause to play a whole host of those card association / Apples to Apples type games with mixed results. There really should be a name for the genre - Concept Juxtaposition Humor Competition? Social Lubrication Enabling Device? Swears Generator? None of them are great or deep games, but judged for their intended niche (party games), there's definite winners and losers.

* Snake Oil is apparently a good seller, and no surprise. It provides just enough structure to let the game work and creative juices flow. I've played it since and my opinion stays firm.

* I adored UnNatural Selection because rather than your cards solely effecting yourself, here you can play them aggressively. Thus the referee for the turn is left trying to decide whether an emphysemic ninja whale could defeat a short-sighted chicken with diabetes. Huge fun, but I haven't managed to play it again.

* By contrast, I had high hopes for Machine of Death: The Game of Creative Assassination but the gameplay fell flat. The idea is appealing (contrive assassinations from random elements) but it's more complex than the others and involves judgment calls from the players (is this scheme likely to succeed or fail?) which makes just a bit too ... heavy? ... for a party game. Disappointing. I want to have another go at this to see if it can work.

* Crappy Birthday is about as minimal as these sort of games can get, which I guess is a virtue. Pleasant enough, and I haven't objected to playing it since, but I'd prefer one of the better examples above.
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21. Board Game: B-17: Queen of the Skies [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:1223]
Kirk Groeneweg
United States
Clear Lake
Iowa
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New to me in April '14, List Item

In the post a year ago, I chose B-17: Queen of the Skies as my favorite new to me game. This week I finished my 18th mission. I really do still enjoy this game, although, it's taken a back seat a little bit. I do think playing it 18 times in a year is pretty good. It's one I'll pull out from time to time, especially if I can't find anyone else to join me for a game.

I also had Say Anything listed. This has also stood the test of time. It seems it will get pulled out (especially by my daughter) to play when family is together. And as always it ends up in much laughter and nobody caring what the final score is.

Curses! is the last new game I listed. I think I've played it a total of 3 times now. I think this may be a once a year game for me. Now, my daughter may play it more than that, but the silly fun of the cards wears very thin if played more than that (for me).
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22. Board Game: 18OE: On the Rails of the Orient Express [Average Rating:8.19 Overall Rank:2608]
Dave Peters
United States
Belmont
California
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A year ago this month, I'd played five new games. I loved one, found two were quite enjoyable, tolerated one, and mostly looked to avoid the final entry. As is my custom, I'll list things in decreasing order of current enthusiasm, and note any changes in my viewpoint over the past year.


18OE: On the Rails of the Orient Express -- (1 play last April; none since) _8_ (no change.)
(both images by Ganraeln)

I remain very enthusiastic about this title. I've had it out a couple times in the past year: to review rules; to contemplate scenarios; to make certain I could inflict it on friends if the occasion allowed. I'm quite happy with the aesthetics (demonstrating yet again conclusively that I'm not an 18xx purist!) and think the package is quite amazing. And I'd still be completely delighted to get it in play: the lack of success isn't (entirely) its fault.


Age of Renaissance -- (2 plays last April; one since) _7.3_ (no change.)
(images by ecasco_online & moonblogger)

It's a bit too long to comfortably play in an evening. But it's a great ride - even if we play until someone needs to go home. At this point - now comfortable with the rules, and wondering why I'd ever thought it was difficult - I'm sad I'd sold my first copy back in the early 2000's. But, equally, it's been a cool ride when we've managed to get it in play.


Jaipur -- (1 play last April; none since) _7.3_ (no change.)
(images by unfathomable & jayboy)

This isn't one I own, nor one I've had an opportunity to play in the past year. So my "no change" is the static no change of not considering whether things are different, as compared to the rather active "no change" of the first two titles. I'd enjoyed it the first time out; I'd be happy to play again - but the opportunities for 2-player games I don't own are rather irregular; so no idea when it might happen.


Cuba Libre -- (1 play last April; none since) _7_ (no change.)
(images by shager & kollapse)

This one, I fear, I'm a bit dubious about. I found my first play of Andean Abyss a great deal more compelling (perhaps - though I'm not certain - because I was less familiar with recent Colombian history, and so the dislocations of card events happening in an ahistoric order didn't pull me as far out of the theme.) Add to the fact that I'd had rather less traction with the game than I'd had in AA: I'm not sure I'm enthusiastic about another 7 hour game in which I'm convinced I've no possibility of victory for the final 6.5 of those hours.

But that's despair speaking. The game has merit; I'd be happy to give it another shot. But like it's predecessor, I don't own it: so I'm at the mercy of others bringing it to the table.


Cheaty Mages! -- (1 play last April; one since) _6_ (no change.)
(images by W Eric Martin & MyParadox)

I wasn't impressed with this one last year - though my younger son had enjoyed the experience (and managed to inflict it on his sister and I later in the year.) I'm still of the opinion that it's revisiting territory that Titan: the Arena/Colossal Arena did better and earlier. Yeah; this one is fluffier and simpler (which, in the right context, can easily both be virtues). But I think it also outstays its welcome, which reduces its appeal (for me.)


Thanks again to my youngsters, the BAP attenders, the whenever-in-the-week Lunch folk, and the Wednesday Night gang for some great game experiences.

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23. Board Game: Nations [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:97]
Aron D
United States
Erie
Pennsylvania
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Last years list

Last year I thought the top 3 games all had so much promise but surprisingly they didn't really stand the test of time.

Nations

3 subsequent plays. Current Rating 7.0 [-1.5]

This is a tough one for me, I had such high hopes for this one. Out of the three subsequent plays only one was with my game group, the other 2 were solo. It is just one that no one in my group ever requested again and one that I never really wanted to bring out due to the time length.

Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition)

1 subsequent play. Current Rating 7.5 [-0.5]

Another one that didn't quite live up to my hopes. I would have liked to play it some more but my group added a new member to it a few months after we played this last year. He actually shows up every week too, so there was no opportunity to play this one again. That along with Star Wars: Imperial Assault coming out lead me to trade this one. Even so, this game had some major flaws (mostly quest balance and Line of sight issues) that deteriorated my enjoyment of it a little.

Kingdom Builder

3 subsequent plays. Current Rating 7.5 [-0.5]

This is the one I actually still own and enjoy playing periodically. I got the first expansion which improves it and is a nice quick game to take out to start game night.

Lost Cities

0 subsequent plays. Current Rating 6.0 [No Change]

This was my friend's copy and I haven't had a chance to play it again.

Surprise Slides Game

1 subsequent play. Current Rating 3.5 [No Change]

It is a Sophia the first themed game so my daughters play it sometimes. All I can say is that it is better than chutes and ladders as it is quicker.
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24. Board Game: My Little Pony: Collectible Card Game [Average Rating:6.11 Overall Rank:6624]
 
Bryan Maxwell
United States
Burtchville
Michigan
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HA! Nooooooope.

New games that month:

Lewis & Clark: Some neat stuff, but didn't bring the fun for me.

My Little Pony CCG: Firstborn is still too young and/or doesn't have the interest in tabletop gaming for this one. This one has the most potential of these 3 to be revisited at some point in the future.

Village in a Box: Fuck this game.
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25. Board Game: Terror in Meeple City [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:646]
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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Item for Geeklist "New to you April 2014 => Best new boardgame"

Terror in Meeple City

This game will always be called RAMPAGE for me. It got played 8 more times after the initial 3 plays last year and I have to admit the excitement level has gone down a bit, but this is still a good family and filler game on any gaming night. Setup does hinder this from getting pulled out though sometimes.

Original rating: 8.0/10
Current rating: 7.5/10

Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game

I've grown to appreciate this game even more with every play. Played primarily as a sologame, I've also enjoyed the single time it was played cooperatively with my son Sherwin. It has been brought out 7 more times since last year, and I am definitely considering the expansions in order to bring more variability into the game.

Original rating: 8.0/10
Current rating: 8.0/10

Unnamed Object

A definite success with my gaming group, this has been the most frequently played game among the entries this month, with 7 more plays in addition to the 10 last year. I've lowered the rating slightly since there isn't really much depth to it, but it's still a ton of fun and is an excellent example of what a filler game should be.

Original rating: 8.0/10
Current rating: 7.5/10

1775: Rebellion

This great entry-level wargame got played one more time since the initial 2 plays last year. I'm actually surprised that it has been a year and that it has not been brought out more. This could be since it is really a 2P game disguised as a 4P team game, but that's no excuse why it should not have been played more. There is a lot of exciting "in your face" back and forth action with this title, something I will try to get experienced more often!

Original rating: 8.0/10
Current rating: 8.0/10

A Few Acres of Snow

Another title which has helped make Martin Wallace one of my favorite designers. It has just been played one more time since the initial play last year though, and this is probably due to it being just a 2P game as well as its 2-3 hour play time. I really love the game design where deckbuilding is used as the mechanism to fuel what you can do, which is why I kickstarted Hands in the Sea and am also interested in Mythotopia.

Original rating: 8.0/10
Current rating: 8.0/10
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