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"Diamonds in the Rough" Games...
George Louie
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
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It seems to me that the majority of the recommendations / discussions here on BGG always seem to bring up the hot new games, or games ranked in the Top 100. While, like everyone else, I enjoy playing those games, I'm also always excited when I find a relatively inexpensive game that I enjoy, and that is rarely mentioned on BGG or is pretty low in the rankings.

So, I ask the question, what would be your best "diamond in the rough" game, that nobody talks about or recommends on BGG. And how did you come about trying it or purchasing it?

For the sake of this list, lets say games with an BGG Overall Ranking lower than 1500...

For me, good examples of those games would be: Great Wall of China and Die Weinhändler. So I'll start with those...

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1. Board Game: Great Wall of China [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:2394]
George Louie
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
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Got this in one of my first BGG Auctions for less than $10 before shipping. I bought it on a whim, because I like Asian themed games. It introduced me to Reiner Knizia's games, which is now one of my favorite designers.
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2. Board Game: Die Weinhändler [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:3707]
George Louie
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
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Bought this in one of my first BGG Auctions, for like $4.00. Bought this as a throw-in as part of the auction to combine shipping and spread the shipping across multiple games. It turned out to be a fun game, that I really enjoy...
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3. Board Game: Eggs and Empires [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:2110]
Will Moller
United States
Lincoln
Nebraska
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Charming little game. Everyone has the same starting deck of 10 cards, each with a different 'strength' and most with a special power too, though they are situational. Lots of bluffing and guessing what your opponents will do. Plays 2-6!
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4. Board Game: Xenon Profiteer [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:1699]
Will Moller
United States
Lincoln
Nebraska
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Surprisingly interesting deck-builder, with great artwork/graphic design and a cool theme to boot! You are choosing to clog your deck so you can get access to the precious Xenon.
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5. Board Game: KLASK [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:417]
Will Moller
United States
Lincoln
Nebraska
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I'm guessing this won't last at this ranking for long (1707 as of today), but currently qualifies. Great 2-player dexterity game, and now relatively accessible via Target.
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6. Board Game: Hack Trick [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:3533]
Will Moller
United States
Lincoln
Nebraska
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I found this one from an Eric Martin video, I forget the context, but it was just a quick overview of the gameplay. Pretty neat idea and easy to understand. Haven't tried the mini-expansion cards yet.
 
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7. Board Game: Colonia [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:2074]
Jason sundin
United States
cary
North Carolina
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Just under your mark of 1500 at number 1571. This is a great game, huge over produced box and board. Nice bits! it is a great game! You take 7 actions going through the week to bid on player position and get goods to get points!
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8. Board Game: Midgard [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:2128]
Jason sundin
United States
cary
North Carolina
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At 1544 this is the poor mans Blood Rage.I picked it up during the Kickstarter and it is almost the same game. Add your own minis! shake
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9. Board Game: Dos Rios [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:2197]
1 Lucky Texan
United States
Arlington
Texas
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found out about it researching other deLonge (RIP) games - seemed cheap , like close-out prices.

very 'different' sorta area control but with conflict.
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10. Board Game: Etc. [Average Rating:6.88 Unranked]
Gladiator Posse
United States
Tennessee
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Refined at the intersection of the 80's and 90's
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If you can find it, grab this out of print party game. It's been a hit every time we've pulled it out. I believe I still have the lone review on BGG but I'm always surprised there aren't more fans.
Simple rules, clever clues, and fun scoring.
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11. Board Game: Fiji [Average Rating:5.86 Overall Rank:4961]
Nicola Bocchetta
Italy
Milano
MI
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My gaming hobby started with "Fiese Freunde Fette Feten" by Friedemann Friese.
I really enjoyed this little game, that is easily taught, every time I've played it

PS: it's quite random, but has a high fun factor, and the gems are nice!
 
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12. Board Game: Wizard's Academy [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:4603]
C&H Schmidt
Germany
Heidelberg
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Huh, so I have quite a number of games with really low ranks that I enjoy, so I'm going to enter more than one item.

Wizard's Academy is a new (2016) cooperative game with really innovative gameplay mechanisms and great humor and art.
I guess it can get a bit fiddly (I've only played the basic game so far, whcih is not fiddly), but it really encourages experimenting and creative gameplay.

I think this deserves more attention.

Edit: I randomly found this on Kickstarter and decided it looked fun.
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13. Board Game: Die Legenden von Andor: Chada & Thorn [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:2179]
C&H Schmidt
Germany
Heidelberg
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I guess this one would have a higher rank if it was available in English.
It's a spin-off from the popular Legends of Andor; a quicker, two-player only card-based version that focuses less on story than the original, but comes with a very clever system of managing three rows of cards at once.
(This mechanism debuted in Kashgar: Merchants of the Silk Road by the same author.)

As a big Andor fan, I got this almost upon release, and enjoy it as a quick, thinky, but still pretty light two-player game.
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