New to you a year ago Jul 17 => Has it stood the test of time?
Martin G
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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 July 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 Scythe. 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: Team Play [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:2770]
Martin G
United Kingdom
Bristol
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Item for Geeklist "New to you July 2016 => Best new boardgame"

I liked Team Play enough to pick up my own copy and it's up to a decent 9 plays. Works well with non-gamers as the rummy-like play feels familiar, although the iconography is a bit of a turn-off. Equally enjoyable with 4 or 6 players.
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2. Board Game: Terra Mystica [Average Rating:8.28 Overall Rank:7]
James Moline
United States
Tampa
FL
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Here's a link to the original item.

Dice Tower Con!
Terra Mystica
Quote:
I resisted this game for so long. The theme is honestly not terribly interesting and everyone raves about it, so I didn't think it could possibly live up to the hype. I finally decided to give it a try at this year's Dice Tower Con, and I'm so glad I did. Immediately picked up a copy at the Con flea market and I'm very glad to have it. I fully expect this game's rating to go up with future plays.


Terra Mystica has become one of my favorite games of all time. I would like to play it more, but the weight and time commitment are a little bit of a hurdle. Definitely stood the test of time.

Rating Then: 8
Rating Now: 8
Plays: 9

Stockpile
Quote:
Stockpile has been on my radar for a while. Tom Vasel and Rahdo both seemed to really like it, and it's in that sweet spot of games that take about an hour but still seem to have some interesting decisions. It delivered very well on that promise, and I think I will end up picking it up sometime soon.


I'm surprised that we haven't played this more than 4 times this year. It's always a good time, and plays fast. We don't break out auction games very often, so maybe that's why.

Rating Then: 8
Rating Now: 8
Plays: 4

Codenames: Pictures
Quote:
I really like Codenames, and Codenames pictures is kind of more of the same, so I knew I would enjoy it. It's a definite pick up when it is released, but I will say I didn't like it quite as much as the original. The artwork is pretty cool and very evocative and open for interpretation, but it also looks a bit like surrealist clip art.


Great take on the Codenames system. I'm very glad I picked this up.

Rating Then: 7.5
Rating Now: 7.5
Plays: 8

Ra
Quote:
Man, if only the new edition of Ra didn't cost so much. This is a great auction game. It's simple to teach and quick to play. That price point, though, it just kills it for me. Oh well, Strausburg and The Speicherstadt need to get to the table more often anyway. If Ra goes on sale at some point, I would definitely grab it.


Speaking of not playing auction games very often. I'm sad that this hasn't made it to the table since last year. I picked up a copy on sale, and I've brought it to many a game night, but there just isn't enough interest in it. I place the blame for that squarely on my group, though, not the game, which I still think it pretty brilliant.

Rating Then: 7.5
Rating Now: 7.5
Plays: 1

Dimension
Quote:
I did not expect to like Dimension. It sounded like Fluxx: The Ball Stacking Game. It surprised me, though. I really like the spatial puzzle of it, and the realtime aspect. I definitely think I'll be picking up a copy at some point.


I really like this game, but I haven't made much of a push to get it to the table. I need to start bringing it to the weekly meetup, as I think it would work well as a closer.

Rating Then: 7.5
Rating Now: 7.5
Plays: 2

Nuns on the Run
Quote:
We played this on a lark (there was a nun convention in the same hotel), but ended up really liking it. One of my friends just loves hidden movement games and he ended up ordering his own copy before he even left the table. This was a great switch up to the genre, too, because most of the players are hidden, and only one (or possibly two) of the players are actually present on the board. I played the guard role, and I enjoyed it (even as I lost). I'm looking forward to playing the hidden role.


I haven't played this at all since that first time, but mostly because the guy who bought it got busy and stopped coming to game nights. I have Letters from Whitechapel, and I don't play hidden movement often enough to justify another game on that genre. I still think this is a good one, though.

Rating Then: 7.5
Rating Now: 7.5
Plays: 1

A la carte
Quote:
A La Carte was a silly fun dexterity game. I enjoyed my one play of it, and I would definitely play it again, but I don't feel like there's very much replayability inherent in the game.


Yeah, I still feel like this was a fun lark, and I would play it again, but I'm probably not going to go out of my way to do so.

Rating Then: 7
Rating Now: 6
Plays: 1

Between Two Cities
Quote:
I've played Between Two Cities 3 times this month, and I had a good time with every play. It's really a very simple drafting game, and doesn't have a ton of depth or replayability. It plays fast, though, and has a high player count, which makes for a good filler game that I think will see plenty of plays at our game nights.


I would still play this as a filler. I like the whole working-with-both-of-the-players-next-to-you thing. There's just not a lot going on, though.

Rating Then: 7
Rating Now: 7
Plays: 3

Factory Fun
Quote:
I picked up Factory Fun at the Dice Tower Con flea market. What I really wanted was Factory Funner, but sometimes you have to make do. I've only played it one time, but I really enjoy the puzzle of it. I don't enjoy the speed element as much, and I think in the future we will try one of the bidding/auction variants that can be found here. That one thing aside, though, I really do like this game. I'll still be keeping an eye out for a copy of Factory Funner, though.


Man, I really want to like this game. I love, love, LOVE the puzzle of it, but I didn't like the speed element at all. I did find a variant that might help with that, though, I just need to pull it out and try it again.

Rating Then: 7
Rating Now: 7
Plays: 1

Grand Austria Hotel
Quote:
I really like the design of Grand Austria Hotel, but like so many of the game s from Simone Luciani, I was left feeling a little bit unsatisfied by what I had accomplished. Mostly, I think this is because there's a learning curve in these games (Grand Austria Hotel, Tzolk'in, Voyages of Marco Polo). In this game in particular, though, I also felt like the two player experience is a bit hobbled, just because there are fewer dice, so the actions are less powerful. Still, this is a good game, and I would happily play it again. I'm particularly interested in trying it with 3 players.


I would play this again, no problem, but I was really pretty underwhelmed by the way the game works. It seemed like it might be more interesting with more players, but the snake turn order would make the downtime painful at those player counts.

Rating Then: 7
Rating Now: 6
Plays: 1

Santiago
Quote:
Santiago is pretty far out of print, I think, but it caught my wife's eye while we were at Dice Tower Con, so we checked it out of the library and learned it. It actually had some similarities with Ra, which we played the night before, so that helped in the learning and teaching. Early in the game, I think we were all a little frustrated that you lose your bid whether you "win" or not, but it does make sense since your place in the bidding determines turn order. The tile irrigation aspect reminded me a bit of Aquadukt, which is a game I really like. The jury is still out, but my friend has a copy, so we'll get to play it again.


I still think about this game from time to time. It's a shame it's out of print, because I think I would pick up a copy if I could.

Rating Then: 7
Rating Now: 7
Plays: 1

Pandemic: The Cure
Quote:
This is an interesting dice game take on Pandemic. It boils the system down pretty nicely. I don't like it more than Pandemic, though, as it doesn't have quite as much of the puzzle feel. The game plays fast, though, and I like the special abilities.


I do like this game, and I would play it again, but I doubt if I will ever ask for it.

Rating Then: 7
Rating Now: 6
Plays: 2

Simurgh
Quote:
I'm torn about Simurgh. I like the theme and the art. I like the dragon meeples (but wish they weren't acrylic). I like the different combos you can build. I'm not sure I like how tactical it is, though. You can take a couple of turns to build to a combo, only to have the action you needed to complete it disappear from the game entirely. My wife liked it, though, and wants me to pick it up, so I'll probably get to see if it grows on me.


Still need to bring this to the table again. I'm a bit nervous about how the game seems to actively work against strategizing, but my wife loves tactical games, so I think there's something there that I maybe just need to figure out. Or, maybe it's just not my kind of game. I need to get it to the table to decide.

Rating Then: 6.5
Rating Now: 6.5
Plays: 1

Celestia
Quote:
I don't know why Celestia was one of the hot games at Dice Tower this year, but it seemed like a simple enough game so 5 of us sat down to give it a try... We were honestly pretty bored with it. The push your luck element wasn't very tense. It always seemed pretty obvious what the best choice was. I have hope, though, and I'd like to try it again. My wife pointed out that if the captains did a little more bluffing, the game could have been a lot more interesting. I don't know when I'll get to try it again, but it's definitely on my list to give a second chance.


I should really give this one another try. I have game groups that I think it would work well with, but I need to see if the potential my wife sees in it (that I completely missed) is something I would enjoy.

Rating Then: 6
Rating Now: 6
Plays: 1

Welcome to the Dungeon
Quote:
I know Tom Vasel loved Welcome to the Dungeon, but I honestly am not sure why. It's not that there's anything wrong with it, really. It's sort of a "name that tune" push your luck game, and I would play it. I just didn't feel like there was very much going on, and that the downtime was a little bit high.


There's nothing wrong with this game, but I don't think I would ever want to play it again.

Rating Then: 6
Rating Now: 5
Plays: 1


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3. Board Game: Celestia [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:574]
David Fox
United Kingdom
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Hmm, quiet month last year: not much more to add, either! List here.


Top pick then and now: Celestia - 5 more plays

This got a fair few plays as an end-of-night light filler at my game group and is one I pop in the bag from time to time even now. I haven’t played with the expansion since picking it up -- isn’t that so often the case? Still the best of these three.

​​



Games that stayed the same: Madame Ching & Outfoxed - 0 more plays

Neither Madame Ching (picked up second hand at the Expo BnB) nor Outfoxed have been played again. The former was a perfectly acceptable Euro card game, the latter an OK kids co-op. Oddly enough, both had one player dislike them, so I remember that first whenever I go to pick them up. Must either play or move them on: more games to try!
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4. Board Game: Bora Bora [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:133]
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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GAMES



Initial rating:
Current Rating: 8.3
Plays: 10

In July I wrote:
...The iconography was a bit daunting at first. However, taking it slow the first few rounds to consult the rule book and ensure we both understood what was going on and the options before us made for ultimately a relatively pleasant introduction. Our second play went much smoother and began to feel more confident in selecting our actions. I'll reserve ultimate ranking amongst our other Feld titles for after completing our ten plays for the 10x10 Challenge this year but I'm leaning for the upper middle at this point.
Unfortunately for this Feld the more we played it the more I liked it and the less so for my wife. If she doesn't like it then it will rarely get played given she is my primary gaming partner. She would be okay if I traded it, but I like it enough to hold on to it and see if I can't get it to the table in the future or with new and more players to maybe revitalize it before considering the chopping block.


Initial rating:
Current Rating: 7.7
Plays: 4

In July I wrote:
Viticulture is an elegant euro game that offers a variety of action choices to facilitate running an operational winery. It has high quality components and a clear graphic design of the board and cards.

Players start with minimal resources and carefully maneuver their workers towards a meaningful strategy that includes catering to visitors, raising money, planning and harvesting grapes that can be made into wine and the fulfillment of orders.

I've wanted to play this for a long time and looking forward to more plays at both 2p and more player counts.
We've enjoyed our plays of this game and so have our friends that we introduced it to, yet it has not gotten back to the table often. I expect it to stay around a while and pick up a play here and there. I'd like to try the solo variant and I am also considering it for my 2018 10x10 list.



Initial rating:
Current Rating: 7.0
Plays: 25

In July I wrote:
I'd summarize my initial assessment of CoB:TCG as a travel-sized Feld game that plays quick. It does take up a bit of table space, but it fits in a small box that is ready to go anywhere.

Folks seem to enjoy or hate this card based implementation of a favorite big box board game. Personally I think it is a good implementation but I wouldn't choose it over the larger format given a choice. It is something I'd play on the road or possibly with more people and I want something quicker.

Ultimately where I think it will find its place at the table is when I'm looking for a quick solo game. The one-player variant is actually really nice. It could be fiddly, but it avoids that by significantly limiting what the AI does so that you are primarily only managing your own cards. Once you know what you are doing it can play in a short amount of time (10-15 mins).
I still would choose the board game over the card game given the choice between the two. But I will say it has proven to be my go to solo game and my wife and I have recently picked it back up and it has found some momentum as a multiplayer game, which is both surprising and encouraging, thus improving my rating of it over the past year.


meeple Keep playing...
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5. Board Game: Arkadia [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:685]
Robert
Canada
Ottawa
ON
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New to [me] July 2016 => Best new boardgame

We have played Arkadia twice since last July, and I would say that it's one of our favourites. I wonder whether Uwe Rosenberg found a little inspiration for Patchwork in this Tetris-like economic puzzle.

Arkadia remains at .

(Photo by smeagol)


With two players, Journey to the Center of the Earth was okay but a little dull, and with four players, the game was far too long and tedious. It isn't a game that we need in our collection. I traded it, and we haven't played it since then.

Journey to the Center of the Earth moves from three stars to .

(Photo by Richard van Vugt)


My one and only play of Ultimate Werewolf: Deluxe Edition was a special occasion with a group of students. We haven't had another one of those occasions on which we could play it, and it's really for them and those times that I keep this around. Even if it isn't something that I want to play with my friends and family, I'm happy that my students love it.

Ultimate Werewolf drops from three-and-a-half stars to .

(Photo by Kori)
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6. Board Game: Baseball Highlights: 2045 [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:361]
Jim Hansen
United States
Seattle
Washington
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Baseball Highlights: 2045 - 3 plays then, 2 plays since -  8  ->  7.5 
First Published 2015


Quote:
It's the typical deck building decisions that you would get from Dominion or the ilk, but a nice addition on top of the baseball theme.

So far I'm really enjoying it. I haven't tried solo yet, but I know a lot of people like that. There is also a 4 player variant where you do a round robin tournament with 3 games against each player. In addition to the various "more cards" expansions, you can also buy more starter teams. The base game comes with San Fancisco, New York, Boston, and LA, but almost every team is represented. I might have to pick up Chicago and Seattle so I can play my favorite teams.

I really enjoyed this game and would have loved to pick up more expansions. Unfortunately, nobody in my gaming group was interested in playing it more than once. So, after a couple of months I sold it. If I were more into solo games, I could see keeping Baseball Highlights just to play solo.

Haven't played since a year ago:

Star Trek: Frontiers - 1 play -  7 
First Published 2016


Quote:
Ultimately, this is a rethemed Mage Knight. If you love Mage Knight and Star Trek you should get it. If not, you can probably pass.

This still feels true. I discovered we played a few rules wrong, so I wouldn't mind playing again.

Greedy Greedy Goblins - 1 play -  6.5 
First Published 2016


Quote:
This is a quick, light game that borrows a lot from Galaxy Trucker. In real time, you each look at tiles that either give treasures or negative effects, then put them face down on several different mines. At any time, a player can claim one of the mines and no more tiles can be added to it. So you're scrambling to look at as many tiles as you can - hopefully building up a nice juicy mine for yourself - while trying to screw up or confuse other people. There are also some allies that can give you one time effects to modify a mine after you've chosen it.

If you like the real-time component of Galaxy Trucker you should check this out as a lighter, more accessible alternative.

I would play again, but the guy that owns it traded away his copy.

The Great Fire of London 1666 - 1 play -  6 
First Published 2010


Quote:
This game reminded me a lot of The Downfall of Pompeii. There is a great fire raging across London and each player is trying to prevent certain locations (secretly assigned) from burning. The first part of each players turn is to spread the fire (dictated by a hand of cards), then you get 4 actions to move the firefighters and your pawns so that you can put out fires or keep them from spreading.

Ultimately an OK game, but I would rather play The Downfall of Pompeii, if for no other reason than that you get to throw people in a volcano.

Haven't thought about this one since a year ago, and I don't expect to see it again.

BraveRats - 3 plays -  6 
First Published 2011


Quote:
From the designer of Love Letter, this is another card game with minimal components that plays quickly. Both players have identical decks and choose cards simultaneously. It's basically a trick taking game where the higher number wins the trick, but of course there are various effects on each card. And if nobody wins the trick, it caries over and the next trick is worth two (or three, or four...). I'm pretty "meh" about Love Letter, but this is a clear step up, at least for 2 players.

This was a really fun, quick, 2 player card game. Would play again.

Fiji - 1 play -  6 
First Published 2006


Quote:
This was an amusing game, perhaps too long to be a filler, but too light to be a real game. Players simultaneously choose a number of different colored gems, and whoever has the most or fewest of certain types will determine who gets or loses more gems. Then at the end of four rounds, points are awarded for whoever has the most or fewest of certain types (of which the criteria can change).

Maybe not the best description, but it's basically all about the simultaneous selection. Another interesting thing is that if people tie, they cancel and it goes to the next player. So say there is a really good effect for whoever has the fewest green gems. 3 players choose 0 and one player chooses 1. The three players all cancel, so the last player gets the effect. So maybe everyone anticipates the other players will choose 0, so everyone chooses 1, and the one guy with 0 gets the benefit. That's the gist of the game. It's highly random, but reasonably fun.

Another filler that got lost in the sea of fillers.

The Resistance: Avalon - 2 plays -  6 
First Published 2012


Quote:
I don't like The Resistance, and my main complaint is that you don't have enough data points to work with and the game mostly revolves around which players you think are lying. The Resistance: Avalon improves on that because of the Merlin/Mordred roles that reveal more information to both sides. It's still not really my cup of tea and - as with all games like this and One Night Ultimate Werewolf - I always have more fun if I'm on the "good guys". But, it's clearly better than basic The Resistance, so I'll give it credit for that.

I'm so done with Resistance.

Castellan - 1 play -  5.5 
First Published 2013


Quote:
A grown-up version of Legos, where you get to build castles with plastic pieces. It has some interesting aspects of card management because you can play as many cards as you want, but only draw one per turn. So if you spend 4 cards and get a huge castle, now your options will be limited for the rest of the game. In our game, both of my opponents ran our of cards in a hurry and I just slow played, then I had like 5 cards left that I could play out however I wanted. So that was kind of weird. But, it was still marginally entertaining.

This felt like more of an activity than a game. Maybe I'd try it again with kids.
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7. Board Game: Ra [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:128]
Carthoris Pyramidos
United States
Centennial
Colorado
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Item for Geeklist "New to you July 2016 => Best new boardgame"

Last July may have seen the greatest number of new-to-me games of any month for me so far. It was the direct result of new involvement with a game group, where many of these games were familiar to the other players. Most of them I have gone on to replay at least a little.

Ra--2 plays to date
This game is terrific, and I'm glad it's back in print. I'm still not willing to pay the current MSRP, though, especially when I have access to a copy at a local cafe. I won my initial play, and overconfidence destroyed me in my return to the game a few months later.

Betrayal at House on the Hill--2 plays to date
The second play was with the Widow's Walk expansion. It's certainly fun enough to play a couple of times per year.

Small World--1 play
Entertaining, but I'll probably never own this one, because I'd be too tempted by the myriad expansions, and I have other area control games that I already prefer. With two players, that'd be Antike Duellum, and with more, probably Cyclades. For a silly fantasy theme, I'm happy with Feudality.

Winner's Circle--3 plays to date
This impressively solid game remains a favorite for the group when playing at the 5 or 6 player count.

Kingdoms--2 plays to date
The epitome of pasted-on theme, but still a pleasant filler. It seems like it would involve painful levels of calculation, but it doesn't.

Paris Connection--2 plays to date
I like it ok, but not enough to request.

Race for the Galaxy--1 play
Although I can usually supply a rating to a game after a single play, I've held off on this one, because I just don't think I've gotten the feel of it yet. I haven't played it a second time, despite it being suggested more than once.

Formula D--1 play
I've been advised that I should give it another go with the advanced game, but the opportunity hasn't come up, and I haven't sought it out.

Circus Flohcati--1 play
A sweet little filler card game I'd be happy to play again, but I haven't.

All Queens Chess with Looney Pyramids--37 plays to date
So this one turned out to be an excellent option for riding around in my pocket and playing with a meal, etc. Nearly all of those plays were with my daughter, but we haven't played it lately. For a pocket game, we're now more likely to play Cubeo, and besides that we're playing more actual modern chess, along with Knightmare Chess and Monochrome Chess.
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8. Board Game: Playa Playa [Average Rating:5.83 Unranked]
Samo Oleami
Slovenia
Ljubljana
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A simple co-op game we got last year from sponsors. You're cleaning the garbage off the beach before the tide comes. Uses a die and memory element.

Has two modes:
- simple
- irrelevant (err, yeah, because you have to sort garbage into 3 containers based on how this is done according to FRENCH laws. Whatever.)

The simple mode is so simple, it's a game we'll give to pre-school kids and their parents to play together and probably win on first try. And have a nice cooperative experience (artwork is really lovely).

Rated still at 4.5 and probably not worth seeking out. It's okay, but eh.
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9. Board Game: Fury of Dracula (third edition) [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:148]
Tiago Perretto
Brazil
Curitiba
Parana
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Item for Geeklist "New to you July 2016 => Best new boardgame"

Several games with repeated plays - all in the top, which is proper.

FURY OF DRACULA 3RD EDITION

Fury of Dracula 3rd Ed topped last year's list. Played it again on december, and another time on january. It is, indeed, a big improvement over the second edition, going diceless for movement and combat - it lost nothing and gained a lot. Yet, those that consider FoD, regardless of the edition, long and tedious, won't change their mind here, as it still takes quite a while to finish and the downtime can be big. I'm up for new plays, but, considering its requirements, it won't happen often.

Rating then: 8.0
Rating now: 8.0



PATCHWORK

Patchwork was played one other time, and is great. I enjoy completely the pacing and the way the board is built during play. There is plenty decisions to think about, yet the overhead is minimal. Very nice.

Rating then: 8.0
Rating now: 8.0



ELDER SIGN: OMENS OF ICE

Is still enjoyable. Yet, I don't have urges to play it. I tried Omens of Deep recently, and is better than Ice. However, the simpler Streets mode is better than both, and I consider now a mistake to purchase both expansions. Yes, I will play occasionally both, but Streets is just the right amount of challenge. Things could be different if more things in the expansions could be used in any type of play, but the GOOs (which are the biggest addition in replay value) can't, nor many of the other components - just the investigators, items, allies and the sort - too little for its price.

Rating then: 7.5
Rating now: 7.0



SHADOWS OVER CAMELOT: THE CARD GAME

Neat little game. I'm in 23 plays and more will come, since it is very portable, occupies almost nothing of space when playing it, meaning it can be played in many situations, which is great for my line of work. A winner.

Rating then: 7.5
Rating now: 7.5



QUEBEC

Sadly, this one wasn't played again, as I don't play with the owner often. Still I consider it very unique and well made.

Rating then: 7.5
Rating now: 7.5



KINGDOMS

Also wasn't played again, and I have no desire to.

Rating then: 6.5
Rating now: 6.0



DOBBLE: KOSTENLOSE DEMOVERSION

Neat. For what it is, one can't go wrong.

Rating then: 6.0
Rating now: 6.0



ARENA: ROMA II

Well made, with many decisions and plenty of interaction. But it was too agressive for my tastes, specially for a 2p game. Sold it.

Rating then: 6.0
Rating now: 6.0



LORD OF THE DEAD

Is still around, but I don't have the desire to play it again. But it can happen in the future.

Rating then: 5.5
Rating now: 5.5



LONE WOLF: THE BATTLE FOR MAGNAMUND

Wasn't played again and will likely keep this status. Is a game that could fit well with the market of 30 years ago. It is completely surpassed by many other wargames of today. Gary Chalk likely don't play the new wargames, and has made a relic. For me is just a collectable now. The art is great, though.

Rating then: 5.0
Rating now: 5.0



And that was it!

Regards,
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10. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:39]
Simona Dostalova
Czech Republic
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I played 8 new to me games last July and the winner back then was 7 Wonders (https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/211884/item/4768340#item4...).

But the winner in hindsight is Eminent Domain.
Plays in July 2016: 1
Total plays: 9
Quote:
I didn't expect much from Eminent Domain and I was very pleasantly surprised. Deck building wise, I still like Valley of the Kings: Afterlife more for its deck trimming mechanism. But this combines deck building, Race for the Galaxy and Tiny Epic Galaxies. Plus it is beautiful. I really like it, want to buy it (although I don't get why it is so expensive) and I think it will be great to play with SO.
Verdict: Want to buy and play again.


And I did bought it and played it again. With the expansions, even I really enjoy the combination of deck building and resource management. With the scenarios giving special starting position to everyone, it got even better. I think this is going to be played many many times in the future.


Although I like Eminent Domain the most, the game that has been played the most was Codenames: Pictures.
Plays in July 2016: 4
Total plays: 17
Quote:
I enjoy Codenames as a party game to play with anyone before people start drinking. I don't enjoy it as a game for 4 gamers. Codenames: Pictures doesn't change this but it is a nice change and the pictures are easier for some people to give clues for. For some, they are harder. So I should just own both, right?
Verdict: Want to buy and play again.


Everything I said back then still holds - solid party game for non-alcoholic parties. But I've grown really tired of playing this at every possible gaming meetup. It is just not that good.


The game that got played most last July was Yashima: Legend of the Kami Masters. Sadly, it has only been played once since.
Plays in July 2016: 5
Total plays: 6
Quote:
The 2nd great game was Yashima: Legend of the Kami Masters. I have finally received it from KS and I must say, I don't regret blindly buying it. Even with all the delays and the fact I am still to receive Yashima: Legend of the Arcane Wonders. I love it at 2p. I think I would also love it at 4, but the one time I played it, it was with euro gamers and they hated it so much, I am yet to play again with how much terrible that one play was. Yes, it is not very thinky and there aren't that many mechanics. But it is back-and-forward fun that reminds me of Mortal Kombat.
Verdict: Own and will deffinitely play again.


Although I do like the game it has not found its audience. Too mean for some, too trashy for others, too simple for yet others. But I still hold onto it and I do hope I get to play it again...one day!


The winner from last year has also only been played once more.
Plays in July 2016: 3
Total plays: 4
Quote:
I have been a gamer since probably 2004 and I have never, ever played 7 Wonders before this month. It's not that I wasn't interested. I read qreat things about it and it seemed interesting. But I didn't know anyone who owned it. I almost bought it without trying once. But I decided not to, due to the large amount of games I already own (not as large as many of you, but still, large enough so a lot of games don't get played much). And then I met a guy who has it, loves it and wanted to show me. And I totally get why it is so popular. After 2 plays with 5 and 6 people, I bought it and so far managed 1 play with SO (it is also good in 2p but I think 7 Wonders Duel which I played in June is better for 2).
Verdict: Bought and will deffinitely play again.


I do enjoy this with casual gamers but SO doesn't really care for it so we've only played it once. But I do deffinitely want to get this back to the table


I do like Cacao and we did play it again but only once.

 
I still haven't gotten hold of Friday the 13th, so, unfortunately, I wasn't able to play it again. One of the games I am most sad about the fact I couldn't get it.

Didn't play this small little game again but I would like to at some point

Didn't play again nor do I wish to
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11. Board Game: FUSE [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:534]
Jeff Wolfe
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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Item for Geeklist "New to you July 2016 => Best new boardgame"

Of the 5 new-to-me games last year, this was new game of the month and the only one I've played again. I only played it once more. I would play it more if people brought it out more. I recently played Flatline: A FUSE Aftershock Game, which is basically what you get when you turn Fuse into a 90 minute game. Doesn't sound like it would be fun, but it was.
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12. Board Game: Star Trek: Frontiers [Average Rating:7.96 Overall Rank:824]
Jake Blomquist
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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Here's my geeklist item from a year ago. Looking back it was a pretty weak month, with only one game I was positive about and two that went on to be some of my least favorites of the year.

Star Trek: Mage Knight 8 -> 7.5

This is the only one I've played since last year, and it's still about as good, but I just realized that I'm less into it (and also Mage Knight classic) than I was. Ultimately it's just a romp, and while it's great fun when I'm in the mood for that I usually want a bit more competition and strategizing in my games, especially the full length ones. I remain convinced that Vlaada has no idea how to score a game in any way but the most ham-fisted (barring Pictomania, that's solidly his greatest work). Feld often gets called the king of point salad, but if I understand the term Vlaada much more strongly deserves that title.
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13. Board Game: Millennium Blades [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:274]
Justin Wawrzonek
United States
Amsterdam
New York
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== NEW GAMES ==

Millennium Blades - 2 plays -  9 
First Published 2016


Played it 2 times since last year, and I still love it. One of my favorite games of the last couple years. Hard to get to the table, but I enjoy it every time I do.

Scythe - 0 plays -  9 
First Published 2016


Unfortunately I have not played it since.


Tokaido Collector's Edition - 0 plays -  8 
First Published 2015


I ended up getting rid of this one. I could not get it to the table, and my gaming groups really didn't like it. Too bad as I really enjoy Tokaido.



Lords of Xidit - 0 plays -  8 
First Published 2014


Have not played it since, but I really want to play it again. Its a very unique game.


Mystic Vale - 1 plays -  7.5 
First Published 2016


I still quite enjoy this one. Definitely in my top deck builders.

Jaipur - 0 plays -  7 
First Published 2009


Have not played since.


Zooloretto - 0 plays -  7 
First Published 2007


Have no played since.

Stellar Conflict - 2 plays -  7 
First Published 2015


Definitely a great filler that does not hit the table enough.



Pixel Tactics 3 - 0 plays -  7 
First Published 2014


Have not played it since, although I have played other pixel tactics games.


Prophecy - 0 plays -  5 
First Published 2002


Have not played it since, and really have no desire to.


== NEW GAMES THAT ARE UNPLAYED ==
Homeland: The Game
First Published 2015

Time Unplayed - 1 Year 6 Months
Still Unplayed a year later....








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14. Board Game: Mystic Vale [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:410]
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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Item for Geeklist "New to you July 2016 => Best new boardgame"

Mystic Vale

This got played 2 more times in a year bringing its play count to 8. It is a very nice game which introduces the card crafting genre and it would have gotten more plays if not for the volume of games in my collection. I have added the Mystic Vale: Vale of Magic which adds more things without new rules and am looking forward to the next expansion which will add some new mechanics.

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

Attack Sub

While it has not gotten more plays, it's more involved predecessor Up Front has and that will be the priority since it is a better game. I do foresee that this will get occasional plays once in a while as it will serve as a "wargame filler" due to its simplicity.

Original rating: 7.0/10
Current rating: 7.0/10
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15. Board Game: Roll for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:50]
john newman
United States
Lafayette
Louisiana
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Rating: 8.5
Number of Plays since July 2016: 5

Had several new games July 2016. Roll was the one that has stood the test of time. The only drawback is that it is not that type of game my family likes and the majority of my plays are with the family.

My enjoyment of Roll for the Galaxy has grown with repeated plays. After several plays, I learned the importance of not merely settling for the tiles I had drawn. I realized I must chose the tiles to develop carefully. It is important to make sure there is synergy between your worlds, your developments, and the engine you are building.

The pivotal moment in the game is determining when to transition from building your engine to using your engine: knowing when your engine is "good enough."

Being alert to your opponents' worlds, developments, and needs are key to optimizing the follow mechanic. To win, you must not only develop a good strategy, you must be able to read your opponent. What action does he need to take? Will he gamble that someone else will initiate it? For example, is he willing to gamble on you initiating production so he can focus on shipping?

Although this incredible game is not very complex, it would not be recommended as a gateway game. It takes a few plays to get how the different facets work together, but once it "clicks," it becomes a dynamic game of cascading synergies.

Looking forward to introducing it to more of my gaming groups. Great game.
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16. Board Game: Qwinto [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:1260]
Will Plante
United States
Greenville
Rhode Island
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This was my geeklist from a year ago - New to Me July 2016

*My updated comments are more about how much I enjoy playing the game a year later after multiple plays and much less focused on the theme/mechanics of the game.



Games that stood the test of time:

Qwinto (is still my favorite new to me game from last June) -> 17 plays

A year later... thoughts and rating (8 -> 10)

I have played a lot of roll and write games* and Qwinto has emerged as my absolute favorite. Personally I think it offers the best combination of depth and push your luck mechanisms as you try and maximize each number placement. Qwinto also manages to place the perfect amount of constraint on what you can do while still offering multiple ways to score points. The toughest rule to follow by far is not duplicating a number in the same column, you will invariably be cursing this rule at some point during a game. Qwinto has grown on me the more I've played it; I started to realize there was more strategy than was first apparent, especially compared to other roll and write games. Many of these games focus on the push your luck aspect of game play, Qwinto manages to create a very thinky puzzle to solve and offer opportunities to try your luck.

Needless to say I'd highly recommend Qwinto, even if you're not usually a fan of these types of games.

*Currently owned in order of preference: Qwinto, Qwixx: Das Duell (my favorite 2p), Balloon Pop (my favorite pure push your luck) Rolling America, Noch Mal, Qwixx, Zooloretto: The Dice Game and Dice Stars.

No longer in our collection: La Granja: No Siesta, Saint Malo and Twenty One. I'd include Castro and Spexxx in this category because even though they inlude boards they share a lot of similarities to roll and write games.





Sushi Go Party! -> 9 plays

A year later... thoughts and rating (8/10 -> 8)

My feelings on Sushi Go Party have cooled a bit, but I still think it is the perfect gateway drafting game. In fact it's perfect for younger kids making the transition from children's games to more advanced games. We've recently been playing a lot with my 7 yo daughter and she loves it, she finds the artwork appealing and really likes the drafting element. With very little help she manages to do quite well on her own. For me, Sushi Go has ended up becoming a family game to play with my kids, but isn't a game that's been played at my local meet up. There are other quick games I'd rather play; it's possible the variable set up hinders the game because of increased set up and rules explanation time, there are other games that are easier to take out and play when looking for something quick to play.

I still enjoy playing and would definitely recommend it to families, especially if you have younger kids who want to play "your" games (as my daughter phrases it).



Games that haven't stood the test of time:

The following games haven't been played since last February and I have little to no desire to play these again. My initial thoughts still stand, so I won't rehash them here.

Sticheln 6 -> 4

After playing Bargain Hinter I have absolutely no desire to revisit Sticheln.



Thanks for reading and feel free to ask any questions.

Cheers,
Will
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17. Board Game: Yokohama [Average Rating:8.00 Overall Rank:123]
Albatros
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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Four "new to me" games in July 2016: Yokohama, De Vulgari Eloquentia, 1859 and 18NY.

I only played a single three-player game of Yokohama that month, but I found it so enjoyable that when the Tasty Minstrel Games edition was released almost a year later, I picked up a copy. It's got three plays (all last month) and though I'm less impressed by it as a two-player game, it'll definitely come out in the future when there are more of us at the table.


I'd had an unopened copy of De Vulgari Eloquentia in my collection for years and last July, I finally got it to the table. It got five plays, all in July 2016, in quick succession, but then returned to the shelf and has not been played since. While I did enjoy it, I guess I didn't enjoy it enough as I pass over it so quickly when going to my game shelf. If I gamed more with three or four players, I could see it coming out, because what could be more fun than do one's part to unify the Italian dialects into one language. And maybe even become the Pope.


1859 got one play last July and has had none since. While I enjoyed the game, there are so many other 18xx games out there that I found more enjoyable...and more memorable. The only thing I really remember about this game was that a couple of the "off-board" locations are actually in the middle of the map and represented the independent Swaziland and Basutoland (Lesotho). Unlike more "off-board" locations, these were more obstacles than revenue generators.


18NY was the more memorable of the two 18xx games of the month, but even it hasn't seen another play since. Even though it's a bit "fiddlier" than other games in it's genre (and I don't usually like that), I found it worked for this game. So I look forward to playing it sometime in the future....
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18. Board Game: La Granja [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:97]
Zack Stackurski
United States
Mankato
Minnesota
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With one more play in the last year I still like La Granja more than I think I should. Something about the way the multi-use cards, resource gathering and conversion and dice drafting all works together so smoothly really impresses me while I'm playing this one. Yet I still haven't added it to my collection. If it played 5 players I would have bought it by now but as it stands I decided to be patient and try to math trade for it instead and it just hasn't come my way yet. So... since I'm still trying I guess its passed the test of time in its own way... and I'm certainly looking forward to playing some more should I ever get my hands on a copy!



Wok on Fire has passed the test of time well with an handful more games with my kids over the past year. If they were more regular gamers I'm sure it would have been played more. The dexterity bit of flipping a mess of cards with your spatula card adds a nice bit of uncertainty to the different types of set collection going on to keep what would otherwise be a pretty simple game interesting for me and they like it because stirring the cards and trying to collect recipes "really feels like cooking!" according to my youngest. A bit too simple for my gamer friends who prefer the more robust Sushi Go Party for their simple set collecting, but something I'm happy to play with the kids whenever they ask.



I'm kind of bummed New Bedford did not pass my test of time. My Dad was really into Moby Dick when I was young (I've probably seen that movie more often than anything except GhostBusters) so had a soft spot for the theme. Unfortunately I found the worker placement and town building too basic and the whaling scoring too random for my gaming tastes. That being said the way the AI for the solo game was handled was quite inspired. I actually preferred my couple of solo games to the multi-player games I tried! I don't solo board game much though so it wasn't worth keeping in my collection in the end.
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19. Board Game: Patchwork [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:47]
Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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It appears I played quite a few new to me games last year, but only two were owned by me, and I've not sought out any of the others to play again.

Patchwork
Initial rating:
Current geek rating: 9
Plays in first year: 35


As can be told by the 35 plays in the first year, this game has definitely stood the test of time. It's still one of our go-to quick 2 player games, is portable enough to take on holiday, and has enough replayability to keep being fun.



Red7
Initial rating:
Current geek rating: 8
Plays in first year: 8



This hasn't really stood the test of time that well - it comes out occasionally for the odd play, but has never been particularly popular. I'll probably keep it for a bit, as it is rather different from other card game fillers we own, but I have to say we weren't wowed by it.

Not played again:

Viticulture
CV
Pickomino
Linkee
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20. Board Game: Qwirkle [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:627]
...sure...
Netherlands
Rijen
Noord Brabant
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Quote:
Qwirkle

Good, fun, light game.

Ubongo Mini

First Ubongo game for me. This version is too simple, I think? But I do like the puzzle part. Might be worth looking at other Ubongo games.

Caylus Magna Carta

No. Just give me regular Caylus.


Well, yes. For Qwirkle. Good family/kids game! The other two? Nope.
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21. Board Game: Imhotep [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:338]
David B
United States
Chesapeake
Virginia
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pfctsqr wrote:

Imhotep

I think this game may have just cemented Phil Walker-Harding as my favorite designer currently contributing significantly to the hobby (he will never supplant Dr. K, though). This game is beautifully produced with great art, huge chunky cubes, and nice card stock. As is the usual with Kosmos, though, the quality of the cards could have been better. But the game play is deliciously simple but with tough decisions. And games like this can fail miserably without a good scoring system (see Blueprints), but Imhotep has very interesting scoring systems on each location. Some we have seen before (triangular for sets), but some of them are quite unique. Just three actions to choose from each turn, but choosing the right tone can be tough (hmm, perhaps Mr. Harding is an offspring of Dr. K?). I don't have a copy yet, but we will have to do something about that.



I don't record plays,but I have played this several times since last year. It is not seeing weekly plays, but it is a game I am certainly going to keep. Rating unchanged.


Automobiles

pfctsqr wrote:
A decent representative of the bag building mechanism. It is better than Trains (card deck building) as the board has much more significant meaning. And I like this MUCH better than Orleans as the game is much more focused and everything makes sense together. Orleans, to me, was undone by a bland scoring system, goods and money having next to no purpose, and areas of the game that felt too bolted on. Automobiles, however, is going to soon run out of legs unless there are expansions in the pipeline, which I am sure there are. There are
combinations of cards that could produce a frustrating game, so you have to tailor the combination a bit to your liking.


I have come to the conclusion that I just do not like deck/bag building games. This game became boring really quick. I unloaded it for a fairly cheap price.
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22. Board Game: Chicago & NorthWestern [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:7302]
Dave Peters
United States
Belmont
California
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Powers:Coleridge:Milton: Faith...must be, if anything, a clear-eyed recognition of the patterns and tendencies, to be found in every piece of the world's fabric, which are the lineaments of God.
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Last July, I was fortunate enough to play 6 new games. Let's see how they've fared over the year. I'll list them in decreasing order of enthusiasm as of today, and note any differences from the historic view along the way.


Chicago & NorthWestern -- (2 last July; 2 plays since) _8_ (no change.)
(both images by d0gb0t)

I love both the development conceit here ("Let's minimalize a Prarie Rails game until there's nothing left to be stripped out") and find the result quite delightful. It's a simple ruleset, yet with ripples of ramifications that make pondering the possibilities quite difficult. I've really enjoyed the plays.


1859 -- (1 last July; none since) _8_ (no change.)
(both images by d0gb0t)

I thought this quite charming. It was faster than I'd expected (and that despite the "can pay to run through stations" thing, which we'd naively thought might extend the game.) I'd be delighted to replay it (even if I've not managed to pull that off yet.)


横濱紳商伝 Yokohama Shin-shō-den 'Yokohama' -- (4 last July; 6 plays since) _7⅔_ (no change.)
(images by okazuhyper & punkin312)

This has been pretty successful for me. It's worked pretty well for the groups on whom I've inflicted it - and provoked a bunch of purchases of the TMG reprint, too. I would expect this to continue to see play, and haven't yet found that the games are much the same as one another.


Lords of the Renaissance -- (1 last July; none since) _7⅓_ (no change.)
(images by mi_de & Lajos)

I love the scope and story here. (Possibly because I'm a fan of Dunnett's Niccolò series - which is quite explicitly one of the inspirations for this.) The presentatation is a bit crude and clunky: it could be a fair bit clearer with a bit of investment; and I find myself enjoying the thought of this enough that I might well give it a shot. (Though matching the glory of Cole's redraw will be hard!)


Arboretum -- (1 last July; none since) _7⅓_ (no change.)
(images by W Eric Martin & bkunes)

This was cute, and pleasant, and I didn't play well at all. I'd love to have another chance at it. But I don't own a copy, and probably won't any time soon: so any replay here is at the mercy of someone that owns a copy.


German Rails -- (1 last July; none since) _7_ (no change.)
(both images by d0gb0t)

This is funny: it's both likely (that is nearly certainly) better (with competent play) and also worse (when mixing beginners with good players: it relies on players making beneficial-for-them choices; and beginners are as likely as not to make tolerable-for-them - but also excellent for some other chaotically selected opponent - move. And that's not a terribly enjoyable pattern for me.)
I find myself wondering what kind of practice would be required to become any good at it: and whether I have a group that would be willing to put in the effort.


Thanks again to my youngsters, the BAP attenders, the Lunch@Work folk, and the Wednesday Night gang for some great game experiences.
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23. Board Game: Bullfrogs [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:1839]
meepleonboard
United Kingdom
Somerset/London
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== NEW GAMES ==


Three games, none of which is now in the collection.

Bullfrogs - 2 plays

This was easily my favourite, a fun and involving abstract with some great artwork and some clever play. I enjoyed my competitive plays of this, and would happily have kept it had KT enjoyed it as much as I did, but she didn't so that was pretty much that. Recommended for people who like this kind of thing, though - my review is here.


Tikal - 2 plays

Finally got round to playing this classic after it had sat on our pile of shame for over a year, and it was involving and fun, but overlong with just the two of us, and we both felt that it was showing its age a little against leaner and taughter designs. There is a two player variant out there that tightens the board and the game, but I am never a fan of games that need to do that to work at certain player counts. Would happily play this with a larger group, but this was sold.



A single and riotous late night play in Tuscany with some other folks working at a Festival out there. I don't care for this game, and certainly feel no need to buy a copy or play it again, but it was by some margin the most entertaining new-to-me experience of July 2016. Strange how it works.

Happy gaming!


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24. Board Game: Dead Man's Draw [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:922]
Jason Lott
United States
Cheverly
Maryland
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Hard to believe it's been a year already since playing these games.

Dead Man's Draw got one more play in the last year, but for whatever reason I haven't reached for it since. I need to remember to give it another go when the mood strikes for a press your luck game (my instinct is always to grab Incan Gold).

Mysterium I thought was lovely but it didn't grab the group as much as I'd hoped. Need to try it again, and change up who's playing the ghost.
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25. Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy [Average Rating:8.11 Overall Rank:10]
Scott Daniel
United States
San Diego
California
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Item for Geeklist "New to you July 2016 => Best new boardgame"

The Castles of Burgundy

I've definitely enjoyed this one and played it several times since I first got it last year. I've played with 2p and 3p and it's very smooth and enjoyable every time. I enjoy the process of building out your board quite a bit.

Smash Up

Haven't played it since last year. I'd play again if others wanted to, but won't be seeking it out. I found the amount of reading needed for the cards slowed the game down a little too much for my tastes. I can see that more familiarity with the cards would speed that up, but not interested in making the investment of time for that to happen.
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