New to you a year ago Jan 17 => Has it stood the test of time?
Martin G
United Kingdom
Bristol
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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 Jan 16 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 (still) Pandemic Legacy: Season 1. Has it stood the test of time?

I'll be starting these lists mid-month (except when I forget!), 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: Push It [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:3514]
Martin G
United Kingdom
Bristol
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Item for Geeklist "New to you January 2016 => Best new boardgame"

I didn't do nearly as much gaming as usual last year, but Push It was my most-played game. Brilliant in its simplicity and portability.

FUSE and Castle Crush! each got another play but have since been lost in the shuffle, as befalls so many games.
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2. Board Game: Patchwork [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:59]
James Moline
United States
Tampa
FL
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Here's a link to the original item.

Patchwork
Quote:
It's easy to see why Patchwork is as popular as it is. It's really a fun and interesting 2 player game. It's on the lighter side, sure, but with as popular as Tetris was, the quilting puzzle mechanism at the center of this game was bound to capture people's interest. Plus, the end result is usually a beautiful mosaic on your player board. I like the time mechanism for turn order, too, but after a couple of plays, the time cost of some of the different pieces seems a little random to me.


My wife and I enjoyed Patchwork, but we're finding that it's at that weight and time commitment that we would usually prefer to just play the electronic version of Dominion or another game like it. We just don't sit down at the table for 20 minute games very much anymore. I haven't decided yet if I think that's a bad thing.

Rating Then: 7
Rating Now: 7
Plays: 2

Roll for the Galaxy
Quote:
Mechanically, it's a great game; I really do think it is. I've only played it once so far, but I really enjoyed the way you manage your dice. I'm glad to see the different world and development abilities written explicitly instead of obscured in symbols. Every time I look at it on the shelf, though, I'm just filled with ambivalence.


Roll for the Galaxy is a fun little dice game and it plays quickly enough that I'd be willing to play it almost any time it was suggested. I haven't had a chance to introduce my wife to it, though, so it hasn't seen many plays yet.

Rating Then: 7
Rating Now: 7
Plays: 2

Wombat Rescue
Quote:
I've only played it one time, but I am relieved to discover that it is actually a fun game. We played with 5 players (5th player kickstarter expansion), which is probably more than I would recommend. There was a little bit of AP, but for the most part the game moved quickly. One thing that is potentially troubling, is that everyone knew I was going to win about half way through the game.


Wombat Rescue is a fun little race game with a great theme. It seems like you can usually tell who is going to win pretty early in the game, though, so I haven't been eager to play it. There's definitely a place for it in my collection, though, as that theme is just too fun.

Rating Then: 7
Rating Now: 6
Plays: 2
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3. Board Game: Pax Pamir [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:1062]
Matt Clark
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
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Item for Geeklist "New to you January 2016 => Best new boardgame"

Pax Pamir was my choice for best "new to me" last January and it is likely my pick for favorite game published in 2015. It was my most played game last year so I think it's absolutely stood the test of time. Even though I've always felt that Pax Porfiriana was an incredibly original and interesting title, I never had that much fun playing it. Pamir shifted the focus of the Pax system sufficiently that I began to understand and really enjoy the process. The portfolio building and closed economy of Pamir felt much more engaging to me even if it lacks the sheer variety and wild card combos of its elder sibling. I've been champing at the bit to play the Pax Pamir: Khyber Knives expansion but local enthusiasm seems to have been shut out by the newly minted Pax Renaissance. I'm sure Pax Ren is awesome (I picked up a copy), but I can't wait to get back to Afghanistan.

Runners up were Baltimore & Ohio and 18Dixie which haven't seen much play since. I actually thought B&O was pretty interesting, but it does take about the same time and effort for me to organize/play a game that it would to play an 18xx game. 18Dixie was fun, but not so engaging that I've pursued it much.
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4. Board Game: Too Many Cinderellas [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:3487]
Edward Morland
United Kingdom
London
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Item for Geeklist "New to you January 2016 => Best new boardgame"

Essentially January last year was a poor month for new boardgames. This was top and is the only game I actually ever played again, though only once, but it's a filler I essentially completely forget about till the one person I know who owns it turns up with it.

Without ever playing them again my feeling are essentially unchanged in that Steam Park was pleasant if uninteresting, I'd need to play Mush! Mush!: Snow Tails 2 with bends in both directions to see if it really works but I'm not exactly dying to do that and finally Tiny Epic Galaxies & Fairytale Gloom are not worth the time it took to write this.
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5. Board Game: Battle Sheep [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:1220]
Simona Dostalova
Czech Republic
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I have played a record number of new to me games last January - mostly because it was the first year I went on a gaming 5-day-long "convention" - 20 new games!

The winner


Plays in Jan 2016: 2
Total plays: 36
The winner is deffinitely Battle Sheep which we totally fell in love with and played it over and over and over. Nowadays, we can't play it 2-player anymore since we've gotten so good at it, the person who starts always wins. But I still love it with 3 or 4 people.


The good


Plays in Jan 2016: 10
Total plays: 29
The runner up is deffinitely Hey, That's My Fish!. This is very similar to Battle Sheep but I enjoy this more with 2 players. The only thing I don't like is the setup.



Plays in Jan 2016: 6
Total plays: 22
Hive Pocket is a game we will go back to in years to come. Great little abstract game.



Plays in Jan 2016: 1
Total plays: 6
I enjoy Artifacts, Inc. for what is is - small, almost fillerish game with a lot of dice chucking. I do play it pretty frequently.



Plays in Jan 2016: 1
Total plays: 3
I enjoyed Fireteam Zero a lot actually but we haven't been playing cooperative games much lately.


Not so good


We played Firefly: Shiny Dice only once more and it is not a very good game.



The Big Book of Madness was also played only once more and I did not really enjoy it.


Haven't played again but would like to









Haven't played again and don't wish to







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6. Board Game: Spot it! [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:898] [Average Rating:6.68 Unranked]
Frederic Heath-Renn
United Kingdom
Islington
London
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Item for Geeklist "New to you January 2016 => Best new boardgame"

A pretty dismal month and no mistake - I disliked Fury of Dracula (third/fourth edition) (1 play then; 0 since) with some intensity and am, if anything, glad that it has now been removed from my place of residence. Koi-Koi (1 play then; 0 since) was alright as a diversion but didn't seem like anything special as card games go.

Happily, Dobble (4 plays then; 2 since) got another mini-session. It's still loud fillery fun.
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7. Board Game: 10' to Kill [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:2728]
 
Marcel Sagel
Netherlands
Groningen
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Item for Geeklist "New to you January 2016 => Best new boardgame"

Of the games that I played for the first time in January 2016, 10' to Kill was my favourite, and I've played it a few times since despite not owning a copy myself. I continue to think it's a nice and quick hidden identity game.

The other two, Homeland: The Game and Samara were not seen again and that's fine with me - there are plenty of other games that are more deserving of my time.
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8. Board Game: Fireteam Zero [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:1264]
Don't Panic!
United Kingdom
Sevenoaks
Kent
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Fireteam Zero is still in my view the best of the bunch of new games from January last year, and was played as recently as last week. I’ve only played this with others once, the rest of my plays being solo, but it is a great game. My frustration is still that an unlucky draw and a few bad rolls can end the game very abruptly with the players unable to really do anything to stop it. For example, if on your action you take a search, and this prompts an ambush, the enemy will likely attack again before the character activates. If they have no defensive response cards, they can easily be toast. Great minis, nice artwork on the boards, solid enemy AI (well, mostly solid).

Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game got played 6 times in January last year, and none since. I still quite like the game, but haven’t had the interest or the motivation to play it more. I prefer minis and boards to cards just for generating atmosphere.

Deception: Murder in Hong Kong has 25 recorded plays now, and I played it in 6 of the first 8 months of the year, but no plays since August. I still don’t own a copy as I’m only ever going to play it in my gaming group where there are copies a-plenty. Like Fish & Chips, this is something I like to have once in a while, and can enjoy, but wouldn't want to have regularly.

Risk: Star Wars Edition is one of those games I’d love to have played more, but just haven’t as 2-players rarely get a chance in my local group with the focus on larger group games. Also, it’s a big box to take around on the off chance someone might request it, when you consider the space something like Patchwork or 7 Wonders Duels takes up. Which brings us nicely to…

Patchwork comes out on occasion, and is fun as a quick 2 player. It’s a game I’m good at and enjoy, it is easy to teach, and quite fast to play, so I can see this continuing to get played for some time. Great game for teaching to non-gamers.

Burgle Bros. hit the table again in July, and we had an exciting, tense game that bettered my earlier experience with it. A game I’d like to play more (although one that needs other players to be at its best).

Pairs hasn’t been seen since last January.
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9. Board Game: 504 [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:2244]
Jeff Wolfe
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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Item for Geeklist "New to you January 2016 => Best new boardgame"

504 was my selection last year. I haven't played it since. I don't think it ever made it into the club library and I don't think anybody in my immediate circle actually owns it.

Games I did play again:
Burgle Bros. - Reasonably fun co-op. Last time I played, it was with an expansion that made it 3-D, so there was the real sense of moving up the building.

Deception: Murder in Hong Kong - Hidden role game with a bunch of items. So it's all about the items.

Dice City - I was unenthused the first time. It wasn't awful the second time. Faint praise, I know.
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10. Board Game: T.I.M.E Stories [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:58]
Matt Steski
United States
Olympia
WA
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I can't really say the base scenario for TIME Stories "stood the test of time" given it's a one-and-done. I did play the 2nd scenario (The Marcy Case) and soured a bit on the system as a whole. I still have Prophecy of Dragons and Under the Mask sitting on my shelf, but I'm not terribly enthused to continue with this series.

Then: 7/10
Now: N/A




Mafia de Cuba still gets a fair amount of play, primarily because it's a quick filler game that plays a large number of players. I'm not quite as fond of it as I once was, as players are generally too eager to pick the Henchman roles. (I think players early in the picking order are especially incentivized to do so)

Maybe the expansion would shake this up a bit, but I'm not so keen on it anymore.

Then: 7/10
Now: 5/10




I don't own Above and Below and haven't played it since.

Then: 6.5/10
Now: 6.5/10




I haven't played Guns & Steel since and it failed to be noteworthy enough to stand out from the crowd. I'd play it again, but I'm not seeking it out.

Then: 6/10
Now: 5/10




504 is a very interesting design experiment, but the games it produces are ultimately soulless and boring. I can't imagine any combination generating a game that I'd rather play than any reasonably designed game. It's not offensive, just utterly boring and dull.

Then: 6/10
Now: 4/10


New Expansions:



The Cthulhu Wars expansions have definitely stood the test of time along with the base game (entering my top 10 games). We generally play on the base map, but the expansion maps are fun to mix it up once in a while. The expansion factions are fantastic and we always play with them in the pool. Eagerly looking forward to Onslaught 2 with its Tcho-Tchos to add to the mix.

Then: 10/10
Now: 10/10

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11. Board Game: Fluxx [Average Rating:5.69 Overall Rank:7023]
...sure...
Netherlands
Rijen
Noord Brabant
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Hm. Nope.
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12. Board Game: Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 [Average Rating:8.65 Overall Rank:2]
chearns
Canada
Montréal
Québec
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My family was doubtful, but I knew that Pandemic Legacy would be awesome and I was right. Pretty soon we all got into it and if it wasn't for a poorly timed pregnancy, we would have done the year in a year. As it is after January we only got seven more plays in before games with the family ceased. When they resume (the child has been born, but he's a real time suck), I'm sure we'll continue on from when we left off until we finish.

The two other new to me games from that month, Mangrovia (a point salad game with nothing special to call out) and Pictomania (the party game for people who want complexity) have, thankfully, not been played again by me. Let's see if I can keep that streak going for another year.
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13. Board Game: TransAmerica [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:927]
Robert
Canada
Ottawa
ON
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New to you January 2016

What I wrote then:
Quote:
A pre-operative male-to-female transsexual takes an unexpected journey by train to five cities across the US...

I received this in a trade before Christmas and found the opportunity to play it earlier this month. And then I found a couple more opportunities. This has worked exceedingly well with all of the occasional gamers I've introduced it to. Choo choo!


TransAmerica is brought out on a regular basis. We recently introduced it to our kids, and is has become a new favourite for two out of the three. I have yet, however, to play it as a two-player game as Eric Brosius suggested.

Still a for me.

I enjoy The King Is Dead a lot, but what I like about it is what other people do not: opacity. My partner disliked that our games came right down to the last card played but without knowing at all what the outcome would be. She's the only person who I would play this with, so it's on the trade pile.

Still a for me.

Clans, also opaque, was the opposite for us. It's a great two player game. While it is currently underplayed, I predict that will change this year.

Increasing my rating a half star to

King Chocolate--looks like opaque games were a thing this month. Also underplayed. You already know King Chocolate isn't for everyone, but we like it!

Increasing my rating a half star (with possibly more to come) to

The only game that has not been played again is R-Eco but I'm not really sure why. We enjoyed it, but neither of us reaches for it when we want a good game for two players. Holding on for now.

No change at


Edit: played twice in a row last night. I was called a lot of names, which is always a good sign. Increasing my rating by a half star to
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14. Board Game: Android: Netrunner [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:42]
Spurlock
United Kingdom
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Android: Netrunner - 2 plays -  7.5 
First Published 2012


Not too bothered.

7 Wonders: Cities - 1 play -  6.8 
First Published 2012


Haven't stood the test of time.

DVONN - 5 plays -  6 
First Published 2001


Pixel Tactics 2 - 1 play -  5 
First Published 2013

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15. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:141] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Carthoris Pyramidos
United States
Centennial
Colorado
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Item for Geeklist "New to you January 2016 => Best new boardgame"

Well, given that this new-to-me game was already over fifteen years old when I first played it, the fact that it's weathered the last twelve months isn't so surprising. I've logged 15 plays in that time, and I've succumbed to the temptation to buy a few expansions:

Carcassonne: Expansion 4 – The Tower
Carcassonne: Expansion 5 – Abbey & Mayor
Carcassonne: Expansion 9 – Hills & Sheep
Carcassonne: Expansion 8 – Bridges, Castles and Bazaars

Since my copy of the base game has the original art (it was a $2 thrift score), I've used that to restrain my acquisitiveness for expansions, only getting original art versions, and refusing to pay a premium for them. In my judgment, playing this game with more than two expansions at a time risks decreasing fun anyhow. I also prefer two or three players to higher player counts.

I do like the Tower expansion, although I recognize that it really changes the tone of the game. The tower tile holder itself is great, and I always use it; I definitely prefer it to a bag. Other expansions I often include piecemeal: abbeys without mayors, vineyards without sheep, castles without bazaars, etc.



Also new to me a year ago was Pocket Battles: Celts vs. Romans. I liked it a lot, but it hasn't seen any repeat plays after the first two.
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16. Board Game: Triassic Terror [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:1919]
Will Plante
United States
Greenville
Rhode Island
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This was my geeklist from a year ago - New to Me January 2016

Games that stood the test of time:

Triassic Terror is still my favorite game of the month from January 2016

Triassic Terror, 10 -> 10 (owned)

3 plays, 1 since January 2016

How I wish I could get this to the table more. It is right up there with El Grande when thinking about my favorite area control games, for that matter any game (it's in my personal top 10).. My quick sell is imagine El Grande with hungry dinosaurs. Triassic Terror is more confrontational than El Grande since you can wipe out other people's herds of dinosaurs, but that's the point of area control right? I'm sad to say that my son really doesn't enjoy area control games and Triassic Terror shines with 4+ so I'm really trying to get this played with my local game group, but unfortunately it has been a tough sell.



La Granja, 10 -> 10 (owned)

7 plays, 4 since January 2016

I was very high on it last year and a year later my thoughts and feelings haven't changed, La Granja is an excellent game. La Granja manages to combine a bunch of different game mechanisms found in other games into a cohesive, fun game play experience. First of all I really enjoy multi use cards in games and it is nice to see it executed so well in a heavier Euro game. The dice drafting also works well and forces you to sometimes rethink your plans. Every time I play I enjoy figuring out how I am going to approach scoring points since there are multiple paths you can go down. However; this is not a point salad game, you are rewarded for focusing on a specific path. The variety in card powers really make this game a joy to play since you are constantly uncovering different synergies between all the mechanics of game play.



Concordia: Salsa +
Race for the Galaxy: Xeno Invasion, 10 -> 10 (owned)

Both expansions are still getting lots of play and are highly recommended if you're fans of the games.



Steampunk Rally, 8/10 -> 8 (owned)

9 plays, 6 since January 2016

Steampunk Rally has gone on to become my favorite drafting + game. Card/tile drafting is one of my favorite mechanisms in games and SR manages to do an excellent job of incorporating it into a invention building/racing game. It shares some similarities with Galaxy Trucker as far as the machine building goes, but I much prefer the draft versus real time aspect of Galaxy Trucker. There is a good fair amount of player interaction via some of the event cards and races can be neck and neck or a perceived blow out, but I've also seen someone who was way behind be able to pull off an amazing turn and be back in the thick of it. The production is also top notch, like all Roxley published games, and is a great game for families an gamers alike.



Sanssouci, 8 -> 8 (owned)

10 plays, 7 since January 2016


Sanssouci continues to be a hit in my house, both of my kids enjoy it. The quick playtime is definitely a huge plus, this is on our shortlist when we want to play a half hour game that isn't a card game. Plays with my wife have been on the decline so I haven't introduced her to many new games outside of family game night, but I am pretty confident she would enjoy this if I brought it out.

I will also comment on the "advanced" game which introduces boards that cover part of the original player board. It introduces both - and + bonus space which make you have to plan out your garden paths with even more forethought. We now play with this in all of our games, it adds a bit more meat to the decisions you make without any additional rules. A year later and I'm still excited to play this and one I'd definitely recommend if you enjoy 30 - 45 minute light/medium games.



Games I haven't played since last year, but would like to try again:

Xanadu, 8 rating -> 8

I really enjoyed how this game played, the theme and art. Unfortunately this game has never seen the table since that initial play and at this point I would need a complete rules refresh. Just an FYI, this game definitely would fall flat with two which is the only reason I didn't pick up a copy.



Between Two Cities, 6/8 -> 6

I enjoyed my one play and would be happy to try this again. The best part of the game is trying to work with both of your neighbors to try and maximize your scoring for each separate city. I'd be more tempted to pick up a copy, but the art and graphic design is ugly and a huge turn off for me.



Games that haven't stood the test of time:

7 Wonders: Babel, 8 -> 6 (for trade)

Adding Babel was the straw that broke the camel's back and ended up adding too much to the 7 Wonders experience and ruining what was a very fluid play experience. In our experience it was almost never worth wasting an action to build the tower of Babel and the rest of the expansion just added more than was necessary for the game. We have decided to stick with Cities and Leaders when playing 7 Wonders with Babel headed out the door for trade or in my next auction.

El Gaucho, 6/8 -> 6 (sold)

We got in a couple more plays last year and my initial concerns were spot on. The dice drafting wasn't enough to keep this game fresh, it quickly became very repetitive and played out after a handful of plays.

The following games haven't been played since last January and my initial thoughts still stand. Have little to no desire to play these again.

Mafia de Cuba, 6/8 -> 6
Raptor, 6 -> 4 (traded)
Spyfall, 4 -> 2



Thanks for reading and feel free to ask any questions.
Cheers,
Will

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17. Board Game: Mombasa [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:66]
Dave Peters
United States
Belmont
California
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Last January, I was fortunate enough to play 9 new games and 3 new expansions. As is my custom, I'll list them in decreasing order of current enthusiasm (games before expansions) - and note any differences from the historic view.


Mombasa -- (2 last January; 1 play since) _8_ (no change.)
(images by vittorioso & Gonzaga)

I haven't had much recent success getting this to the table; but it's definitely one I'd be very happy to replay. (Much of that, I think, is player count: we've had 5 for many recent game events, and this maxes out at 4.)

Still quite impressed with the design. Perhaps strangely, I'm able here to delude myself that I'm representing an African interest here - rather than the necessarily-colonial exploitation of Africa. Hoping for more play in 2017!


Scharfe Schoten -- (1 last January; 5 plays since) _7⅔_ (no change.)
(images by W Eric Martin & ArveD)

This is a delightful and charming thing; easy enough to get into play; and working for both the Lunch Gang at work and my kids. Very happy with it.


Melee -- (3 last January; none since) _7⅓_ (no change in rating; up 1 place in position)
(images by W Eric Martin & EndersGame)

I found this intriguing. And it's been successful in my house regardless of whether I've played it: the kids have pulled it out on occasion, too. Unfortunately, in the end, it's a design I admire more than I enjoy: despite its merits, I'm not pushing to get it to the table.


はんか通骨董市 Han ka Tsū kottō-shi 'Curio Collectors' -- (4 last January; none since) _7⅓_ (no change in rating; down 1 place in position)
(both images by W Eric Martin)

It's pretty chaotic, and I'd enjoyed it enough when it was played. Can't say I've avoided it since: but it's likely a bit fluffier than most of the folk with whom I play wants. Still, I expect there are groups (that I'll be part of, I mean) for which this will occasionally work delightfully.


Matcha -- (2 last January; 6 plays since) _7_ (no change.)
(both images by huffa2)

It's very very short. Or, we're not very good at it, and so it doesn't last as long as it should. I'm not sure. But my games (all with son #2) tend to last exactly two turns. We keep playing it because he's much better than I at the game!


Kulami -- (1 last January; 1 play since) _7_ (up 1 tick in rating; up 2 places in position)
(images by wdragon3 & Chugsy)

Still on the fence with this one: in both plays the end game trigger was something that happened, rather than something we (strongly) influenced. I think the game would be much better if we had the capacity to understand and manipulate that end trigger; but it might be just too subtle for us. On the other hand, I'm still intrigued by the possibilities.


ヴィレッジオブファミリア Vu~irejjiobufamiria 'Village of Familiar' -- (2 last January; none since) _7_ (no change in rating; down 1 place in position)
(images by hayato kisaragi & van00uber)

I was entertained by this one, though it's just weird enough that it takes a fair bit of work to get it to the table. There are interesting decisions; opportunities for cleverness; and a (possibly more-than) healthy dose of randomness.
Doubt I'd've bought it, though, had I played it first.


パンパカパン Panpakapan 'Let's Make Bread!!' -- (2 last January; none since) _6⅔_ (no change in rating; down 1 place in position)
(both images by W Eric Martin)

This has now been published in a new edition (Doughnut Drive-Thru): so it's nowhere near the curiosity it once was. My kids found it pleasant, but quite unremarkable (other than the Very Cute croissant-pieces.) I'd concur.


Favor of the Pharaoh -- (1 last January; none since) _5_ (down 2 ticks in rating; no change in position)
(images by W Eric Martin & toulouse)

I'm finding myself increasingly uninterested in dice games. And, perhaps, particularly ones which try to do something clever with the dice. While the company was charming in this game, I didn't enjoy the play at all: the decisions seemed somewhere between obvious and scripted, and the denouement wasn't remotely tense or surprising. Happy to give this a pass in future.


Race for the Galaxy: Xeno Invasion -- (1 last January; 5 plays since) _10_ (no change.)
(images by W Eric Martin & rootdarkarchon)

Very cool. I've really enjoyed this set of cards: and find the multiple new end game possibilities quite entertaining. My primary opponent (son #2) is fonder of the original arc, but I'd guess this will continue to see play.


Concordia: Salsa -- (1 last January; 1 play since) _7⅔_ (no change in rating; up 1 place in position)
(images by bhudson1972 & henk.rolleman)

Quite happy both with the expansion, and with the base game. It's one we've considered playing on several occasions in the past few months (usually, though, in the "if we finish <whatever> in a reasonable time, we could play Concordia afterward!" sense; and we're legendarily slow, so the first clause doesn't fire.) I expect this to get play in each of the next several years.


Russian Railroads: German Railroads -- (2 last January; none since) _7⅔_ (no change in rating; down 1 place in position)
(images by W Eric Martin & Eivisso)

There's enough (interesting) possibilities with Russian Railroads that this will receive occasional consideration. Playing vanilla, or with the American Railroads variant is also interesting; so unlike Salsa above, this isn't part of the default set.


Thanks again to my youngsters, the BAP attenders, the Monday Lunch folk, and the Wednesday Night gang for some great game experiences.
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18. Board Game: A Study in Emerald (second edition) [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:1048]
Vegard Eliassen Stillerud
Norway
Drammen
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I only played one new to me game in January 2016, and not even that one managed to stand the test of time. The reason for this is that it was boring and stupid. Plain and simple. The impression was confirmed in February, when we played it for the second and definitely last time.
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19. Board Game: Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 5 – United Kingdom & Pennsylvania [Average Rating:8.05 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.05 Unranked]
Dev Sodagar
United Kingdom
Sutton
Surrey
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Very little replay here but not out of choice as much as 'life' and other ridiculous factors.

Battle Line
Quote:

We had tried this game before at one time, this take on it we actually managed to finish and I think understood it a little better.

I've played Battle Line a couple of times now and I am really very bad at the game but it has some real tactical play to be explored.
New Rating:


LotR LCG: Treason Of Saruman
Quote:

We are onto Book 2 (well Book 3 technically) and we're a hunting hobbitses... over and over... this is a REALLY tough quest.

I love LotR but it is starting to pale slightly in the face of Arkham Horror. I find many of the adventures so hard as to be simply frustrating. It is still a great game though.
New Rating:


Ticket to Ride: Pennsylvania
Quote:

Finally got Pennsylvania to the table. This is not a great 2-player map and danzwic over reached taking a hit of some 60 points. It wouldn't have been enough to win but it would have made it a lot closer. Hope to try this with more players... one day.

The TtR games continue to get more and more complex and I think I really need to play these newer maps some more.
New Rating:


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20. Board Game: Patchwork [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:59]
United States
Wurtsboro
NY
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Patchwork was new to us in January 2016, and has since seen 38 plays, our second-most played game of the year (behind Canasta). It's also fun to make bags for.
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21. Board Game: Dark Moon [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:784]
Zack Stackurski
United States
Mankato
Minnesota
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It was a great start to a new year with what turned out to be my game of the year: Dark Moon! Now... I don't like BSG. There is too much downtime compared to the actions you take for the length of the game for my tastes. Conversely I do like quick social deduction games like One Night Werewolf... but my group tends to burn through those quickly and leave them behind as there isn't enough to sink our teeth into long term. Enter Dark Moon which splits the difference perfectly for length vs activity for my tastes. It is not without its flaws as it is possible for events to leave you with almost no dice pool for a large portion of the game... but that's something I can live with for 1 hour much better than 4. I also know a few people that do not like how the dice influence how they can act. I actually like this a lot as it increases the amount of bluffing and convincing that needs to be done and its that social interaction that makes these games so good. In fact, I'd say needing to constantly lie or convince people of your honesty in real time is what makes Dark Moon my favorite social deduction game and it has very much passed my test of time!



Broom Service moves up a little on my list as several more games in the past year showed me that even people who wrinkle their nose at the theme will get into calling "Most Brave!" and accusations of cowardice in the course of getting their witch meeples around the board to convert ingredients into potion points. A very fun simultaneous action selection game with a good deal of player interaction both in card playing and on the board that never outstays its welcome... Broom Service also strongly passed my test of time!



I hate putting games I haven't played in the past year ahead of those I have... but here is Raiders of the North Sea anyway. A victim of me having a quite good year of games that demanded repeat plays I couldn't muster enough enthusiasm for Raiders to get it back to the table. It was held back a couple times by only supporting up to 4 players... but that first game had a kind of drawn out end phase that had me concerned too. I would really like to play some more to see if that slow end game cleans up with more experience, so maybe I'll have to start forcing it into the bag more for game nights and give it a proper test of time.



Finca is a family weight set collection game that I've found to be a little too light for my tastes. That doesn't make it bad... and my wife and daughter really like it so I'm happy to play with them whenever they request it... but I could completely take or leave it otherwise. So... as a family game it has done well in the test of time, but for me personally... not quite as much.



I don't play Carc any more having quite a few faster, more interesting games I prefer... but I did like the improvements made in the Carcassonne: Gold Rush version. The train tracks seemed to be a vast improvement on roads giving you something to think about instead of just a place to dump more road tiles. I could take or leave the random reward for mining gold but it does give a little bit more excitement to the mountain (think city) scoring phase. Ultimately though this was a game I got for my middle daughter for Christmas and it ultimately did not click with her (largely due to too long a game length for what it is...) and thus it did not fulfill its intended purpose and did not pass my test of time. Though that being said, if I'm going to play any version of Carcassonne this would be the one I would choose!
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22. Board Game: Machi Koro [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:789]
Andy
United Kingdom
Manchester
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Item for Geeklist "New to you January 2016 => Best new boardgame"

Machi Koro was my pick for New To Me in January, and while I have played it again since then, I actually now prefer Splendor, which was my second choice back in Jan 2016. I don't own either game, and would definitely still play them both.
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23. Board Game: Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:380]
Jim Hansen
United States
Naperville
Illinois
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Former Game of the Month

Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game
(5 plays then, 1 since)

This game had so much potential. It uses a really slick action system combined with good cooperation and pretty good AI deck mechanisms. But let's look at the last paragraph of what I said last year:

Quote:
My biggest complaint is lack of content. This game is begging for expansions. There are only 4 heroes and 5 scenarios. In that regard, it feels pretty similar to just the core set of The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game. Personally, I love the deckbuilding in the card game, so WHQ:ACG will always be second fiddle. But, the card game has gotten too complicated and difficult for my wife to enjoy, so now we have another co-op that we can play together.


The split between FFG and Games Workshop killed this game. There just isn't enough content in the game. Also, my wife found the theme to be too generic (which I agree with). I put this on my 10x10 challenge last year, but it wasn't meant to be. I'm hopeful that someone will build on the framework of WH:ACG to make something with more content and a richer theme.

Rating: -8- -> -6- (OWNED, BUT NOT FOR MUCH LONGER)


Stood the Test of Time

Deception: Murder in Hong Kong
(3 plays then, 8 since)

I've really enjoyed this game as a cross between Codenames/Mysterium and Werewolf. I like how the murderer/accomplice's attempts at lying need to be supported by logical arguments instead of just saying "believe me, not them." I'm also impressed by how well the game plays across wide ranges of player counts.

Rating: -7.5- -> -7.5- (ON MY WISHLIST)



7 Wonders Duel
(2 plays then, 1 since)

I generally liked this 2 player implementation of 7 Wonders, although I'm not sure it deserves to be ranked as highly as it is. My one complaint is that every action requires you to take a card, so it can be easily to kind of lock in which players will take which cards several rounds in advance. I hear the expansion gives some options that don't involve using a card, so that would mix up the strategy a lot.

Rating: -7.5- -> -7-



Colt Express
(1 play then, none since)

This was super approachable and I liked the programming aspect. Would definitely play again, although it's lighter than I typically prefer.

Rating: -7- -> -7-


The Jury is Out

Broom Service
(1 play then, none since)

The card play in this game was very original and innovative. Even though the rest of the game is pretty mediocre, the card play intrigued me enough that I'd be happy to play again.

Rating: -6- -> -6-
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24. Board Game: Push It [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:3514]
Ben Bateson
United Kingdom
Ross-on-Wye
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I, too, got myself some Push It last January. Multiple plays since have failed to help me decide whether I prefer the 2P or the 4P version. Never mind - better play some more to find out.

Courtier has had a surprising amount of plays in the last 12 months. It's one of the shortest and most easily explained of the Tempest series, which helps. But it is remarkably convoluted at times and needs a lot of tracking for what should be simple card-driven area control. Still, it's not all that bad.

Between Two Cities supplanted Sushi Go for a while as our light-drafting-game of choice, but I fear the pendulum may be swinging the other way. I have to admit, it's a lot more simplistic than I'd hoped: I was envisaging something a lot more akin to 20th Century in terms of city-based tile laying.

Grand Austria Hotel, a shining turd in the morass of mediocre dice-placement games, is unlikely to get further plays unless someone lays on something creative for me to do during all the downtime, or allows me to play another game simultaneously.

One notable expansion this month was the New Laws addition to Lancaster. They added sorely-needed variety to a game phase that was growing stale, and the 'negative' laws are an intriguing twist.
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25. Board Game: Orléans [Average Rating:8.09 Overall Rank:26]
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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GAMES



Initial rating:
Current Rating: 9.0
Plays: 27

In January I wrote:
The quality of the components is excellent. More importantly, I finally got this game to the table and it was fabulous! I played two 2p games this month against two different opponents. Both were enthusiastic about the game play and want to play again soon.

It feels like there is so much going on in this game that I need a few more plays just to learn and explore it before I grasp all it has to offer. I'm excited about introducing my wife to it and interested in her reaction. Orléans has the potential to break into my Top 10 list should my enjoyment of this one continue to grow.
Orléans has stood the test of time for us. It did make my Top 10 last year and was probably #2 on my wife's list. We added Orléans: Invasion to the mix this month and already recorded 10 plays of its cooperative scenario and still hungry for more. We've played this so much that the color on our cardboard followers is wearing off and we are looking for a long-term replacement solution. Good stuff here.


Initial rating:
Current Rating: 7.0
Plays: 15

In January I wrote:
Limes is terrific. I acquired this simple and quick tile laying game in a math trade last summer. You have two decks of identical cards. One is shuffled and the other sorted in numerical order so that the randomly drawn card can be easily found each round. Opponents place the same card into their own 4x4 grid and then place or move a worker each turn if they wish in order to maximize end game scoring. Each occupations scores differently. It's fun to see how players choose to place their cards and workers. We are enjoying this one, our most played game of January.
I still find this to be a fun, interesting game that plays quickly. My oldest daughter and I have played it a few times since my comments last January as we've added it to a small list of games she is willing to play when she has a little time for gaming with dad. I wouldn't mind acquiring another copy and playing it as a 4p game to include others when we travel or visit with family, etc.


Initial rating:
Current Rating: 5.0
Plays: 1

In January I wrote:
Simply put I never felt in control during this game. I had watched a few videos and read the rules a couple of times but never felt what I read translated to what I experienced in the game. Nick1970 was a real sport about it and easily crushed me. I believe there is an interesting game there but I just didn't experience it.
There is probably a decent game here, but I don't have the interest or desire to dig in to discover it given other choices and the fact that even if I did "get it" I would not find an in person opponent to make it worth the investment. Pass for me.


EXPANSIONS


Initial rating:
Current Rating: 9.0
Plays: 7

In January I wrote:
Bruges is easily one of my favorite Feld games. I was geeked when this expansion came out but sadly after getting it for Christmas it sat for over a year before finally getting to the table this past month (well, late New Year's Eve but we only played with the boats). After a handful of plays this month these modules will be included as part of any play in the future.

It comes with a few expansion modules: boats that offer extra actions when building a canal tile for the cost of a worker; the market that introduces a slight twist each round; additional cards that can be a risk if playing with AP players as some of them allow you to look in the discard pile; and a small extension board with components to include a fifth player.
Simply put, love it. Every module of it. Standard for any plays of Bruges for us.


meeple Keep playing...
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