New to you July 2017 => Best new boardgame
Andy
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What games did you play for the first time in July 2017?

Please share your experiences of the games you played for the first time this month.

In order to assist with collecting Statistics from these lists, please post an entry with your chosen game of the month, and if possible please use the "insert board game" feature to add other games you mention in your entry.

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Movies You Watched in July 2017


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New to you a year ago Jul 17 => Has it stood the test of time?
Games only YOU have played in July 2017
Out of the Dust July 2017
New to your kids - Gaming with your kids July 2017
Your Most Played Game (and more): July 2017
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51. Board Game: Dice Forge [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:319]
Board Game: Dice Forge
John Bandettini
United Kingdom
London
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I played five new games in July and the standard was very high. I enjoyed all of them and will be happy to play any of them again.

Dice Forge - 8 plays -  9 
First Published 2017
Board Game: Dice Forge


Dice Forge gets number 1 because I have a lot of fun playing it. It is fairly light, but I think it has enough meaningful decisions and enough different strategies to pursue to be quite satisfying.

The game looks lovely, the production values on this one are through the roof. It also has the best insert ever, a place for everything. I know nobody buys a game based on the insert, but it is superb.

Like Mystic Vale it is probably the first in what will turn out to be a series of games and ultimately the others may be better. But why wait, do a little bit of dice crafting now.

In the Dice Towers review Zee Garcia said it was a difficult game to teach, and there was very little strategy in the game. I have taught it and played it six times in July, It never took over 1 hour including the rules explanation, nobody ever had a problem with the rules. I also have won 4 out of 6 games, so either there is some strategy or I have been very lucky.

Near and Far - 1 play -  8 
First Published 2017
Board Game: Near and Far


I considered backing this on Kickstarter but decided as I had Above and Below I probably did not need this. However after watching a couple of reviews I decided it looked different enough to have both after all.

I have always felt that the problem with Above and Below was that Above was much more important than Below. Going Below and having adventures was a bit random. Whilst it works as a game much better than Tales of the Arabian Nights, luck still played a large role. A lot of players felt the best way to win the game was to ignore the Below.

Near and Far to a degree has turned this around. Here the game is probably won in the Far, now however you need to set up what you can do in the Far by what you do Near. Due to this the game feels much more cohesive, and ultimately more immersive.


Qwinto - 6 plays -  8 
First Published 2015
Board Game: Qwinto


I do like Qwixx (although I prefer the card version to the dice version. So when I saw there was a sequel (Of sorts) I ordered it.

Here rather than having fixed numbers to fill in the players choose what numbers to put where on the score pad. You roll one, two or three dice and depending on the colours of the dice rolled get to fill a number in one of three rows. You can put numbers where you like, but they have to be ascending from left to right. Gaps in sequence are allowed. Also though you have quite a few columns of either two or three spaces, where you can not have the same number in any column.

It’s simple, quick and fun and as you get to choose where you put the numbers, if you lose it must be your fault.

NMBR 9 - 6 plays -  7 
First Published 2017
Board Game: NMBR 9


This is the strangest game I have played this year, in fact one of the strangest I have ever played. It’s kind of Tetris with numbers. The game has ten number pieces, with eight copies of each. The game lasts for 20 rounds. Each round a card is drawn and everyone takes the number tile that matches the card. (There are two cards for every number) You either put the number adjacent to another number or on top of one or more numbers, no gaps are allowed. So when you put a tile on a higher level it has to be totally covering other numbers. This is not as easy as it sounds as the numbers are some very odd shapes.

At the end of the game, the numbers score their value times the level they are on. So a 9 on the 3rd level scores 27 for instance.

It is more of a puzzle than a game, is a very solitaire experience. But as it only takes 10 minutes to play is an interesting diversion.


Grand Prix - 1 play -  7 
First Published
Board Game: Grand Prix



Thunder Alley is my second favourite racing game, so what happened with the sequel? There is nothing inherently wrong with it. I had fun playing it, but it just did not seem to quite hit the sweet spot it’s older brother does.

I think it might have been that we played with six. Although I have never noticed a problem with any player count in Thunder Alley I think this version may work better with less players.
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52. Board Game: Great Western Trail [Average Rating:8.29 Overall Rank:10]
Board Game: Great Western Trail
Dave Roy
Canada
Vancouver
BC
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== NEW GAMES ==

Great Western Trail - 1 play
First Published 2016
Board Game: Great Western Trail


I've been wanting to play this one for a while now, but either it doesn't get brought to the game day or I kept missing it.

So when a buddy piped up and said he had brought it that day, I jumped on it.

Well worth the wait, though we did get a few rules wrong and it did turn out to be a *long* game. I know that's been one of the complaints about it, but I'm hoping that subsequent plays are shorter (will help that one of the rules we got wrong was that you can't hire from the row with the time marker in it)

Easily the best new game of the month for me.


Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Rumble at Castle Tentakill - 1 play -  N/A 
First Published 2015
Board Game: Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Rumble at Castle Tentakill


I actually liked this better than the first Epic Spell Wars, with the Blood and Creatures adding a nice touch to the still-chaotic and a bit longer than it should be card game.

We had to play quickly, so we played the quick variant which added a bit of ambiguity on how some of the cards that work with Last Wizard Standing tokens work.

Fun, better than the original, but still not a must-play.



Oh My Goods! - 2 plays
First Published 2015
Board Game: Oh My Goods!


Another game that I'd heard a lot about but hadn't seen yet. I love how quick the game plays, and it's really easy to learn. Yes, it's random (it is a card game), but I still found it interesting and would love to play it again.



Rise of Augustus - 1 play
First Published 2013
Board Game: Rise of Augustus


Bingo with actual (sort of) strategy!!

I always laughed when I saw this described as Bingo, but now that I've played it...yeah, it definitely is.

But it's still a fun filler that I'd love to play again. Play in 30 minutes while waiting for others to show up.

I really enjoyed this one.





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53. Board Game: The Godfather: Corleone's Empire [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:322]
Board Game: The Godfather: Corleone's Empire
Jason Ober
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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This was a pretty good month for games, but the winner was no contest.

GREAT

The Godfather: Corleone's Empire is simply amazing. Dead simple rules, but there is an amazing tension in timing, control, and managing limited resources. When your gangsters get whacked, it just feels like business.

Ethnos is a really entertaining area control game that feels somewhat Ticket to Ride like. The different races really change the dynamic of the game. Balancing area control with playing large sets is really fun.

Century: Spice Road is a really fun engine building cube pusher that has a bit of tension as you race people to score cards. Building a hand that's capable of pivoting is important. Easy rules, quick game play, fun times. I'm not sure it kills Splendor, but I get why it might for some.

The Fox in the Forest is a trick taking game for 2 players which really works. It is a tricky path to trip down, where you win enough tricks to maximize points without winning TOO many tricks, which results in your opponent outscoring you. Each odd card has a special rule, and they are really easy to grok, but throw lots of wrenches into the works.

Grand Austria Hotel is a dice drafting game where you're trying to attract and lodge visitors in your hotel. Again, some interesting decisions. I wish the staff cards were a little clearer, but it's not too bad once you get used to it.

DECENT

Robo Rally is a fun iteration of Roborally which updates the mechanics nicely but doesn't feel fully fleshed out. I like the way damage is handled, and priority is interesting (maybe not better, but different). I like that there are lots more option cards in play. It really makes me think what we need is a Roborally deckbuilder of some kind. Someone get on that!

Kingdomino is light and inoffensive with plenty of opportunities for hate drafting. I'm tempted to pick this one up, but I just don't think it would see much play.

MEH

New Angeles is one I really wanted to like. It's got some great ideas. I really like just needing to be ahead of one other player. The game just went on too long for my taste, and it didn't do a whole lot more with the negotiations than other games that do it better. I think with repeated plays this might really shine, but I'll never get it to the table often enough for that, so out it goes.

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54. Board Game: Kingdomino [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:215] [Average Rating:7.36 Unranked]
Board Game: Kingdomino
Dev Sodagar
United States
Los Altos
CA
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Can anyone say DE FAULT? I thought this had been a decent month for gaming and yet somehow I only got one new game to the table - a birthday gift from Mr G:

Kingdomino
Board Game: Kingdomino

This was a really well thought out gift. I didn't immediately fall in love with it but there is a nice simplicity to this that I think will appeal to my wife and my inability to play well should help.
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55. Board Game: Dilluvia Project [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:2496]
Board Game: Dilluvia Project
Mark Salamon
United States
Escondido
California
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A couple "oldies" snuck their way to the top of this list of new-to-me games. I wish I've been playing them for years.

d10-8 Dilluvia Project (2015) -
d10-7 A Study in Emerald (2013) -
d10-7 The Football Game (2017) - Gets a boost for the excellent theme.
d10-7 Bärenpark (2017)
d10-6 Kerala (2016)
d10-6 Hab & Gut (2008)
d10-6 Valletta (2017)
d10-4 Century: Spice Road (2017)
d10-4 Yamataï (2017) - I like what I do, but I don't like waiting for everyone else to do it.
d10-4 Sol: Last Days of a Star (2017)
d10-2 Tiefe Taschen (2016)

Board Game: Dilluvia Project
Board Game: A Study in Emerald
Board Game: The Football Game
Board Game: Bärenpark
Board Game: Kerala: The Way of the Elephant
Board Game: Hab & Gut
Board Game: Valletta
Board Game: Century: Spice Road
Board Game: Yamataï
Board Game: Sol: Last Days of a Star
Board Game: Tiefe Taschen
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56. Board Game: Great Western Trail [Average Rating:8.29 Overall Rank:10]
Board Game: Great Western Trail
Lee Benson
United States
Portland
Oregon
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== NEW GAMES ==

Bohnanza: The Duel - 2 plays -  7.25 
First Published 2016
Board Game: Bohnanza: The Duel


Original Bohnanza is my favorite game. I love the ridiculous wheeling and dealing that happens. A big problem is that there's just been no great way to play it two-player. The Bean Duel in the rulebook is lacking, Al Cabohne felt really random and like we were both playing our own game. When I heard about The Duel, I was really intrigued. While I would't say that it feels the same as regular Bohnanza since there's no trading, it does have an interesting offer phase. In this version, you can also plant beans of the next highest number on any field, which gives you the opportunity to fulfill Bohnus cards. While I think this is quite clever, it means that it's difficult to find a bean to offer that your opponent most assuredly won't want. That said, I've enjoyed my two plays of it as a nice light diversion with a few interesting choices.





The Fool's Journey - 17 plays -  7 
First Published 2016
Board Game: The Fool's Journey


Stumbled across a Geeklist featuring solo games playable with a tarot deck. I'd been wondering what to do with mine so I was intrigued. This game seemed the most interesting at the time so I learned the rules and jumped in. I'm glad I did because it's actually quite fun. Now, 17 games sounds like a lot, but some games only last about five minutes and the longest it will go is 20, so this game is perfect to fill some time. I'm curious if there's a way to ramp up the difficulty by removing certain cards. I'll play around with this as I have time.





Penguin Pile-Up - 2 plays -  5 
First Published 1996
Board Game: Iceberg Seals


Visited a couple of friends in LA and one of them loves penguins so someone had given her this. Not a lot to say here. You're trying to place penguins on this uneven and constantly shifting surface. Whenever any penguins fall off, you have to take all those penguins and keep going. The first to place all their penguins wins. It's one of those dexterity games where one mistake means you're completely out of the game. When one penguin slides off, seven or eight more are sure to follow and it's hard to come back from that.





Hansa Teutonica - 1 play
First Published 2009
Board Game: Hansa Teutonica


Played this with a new gaming buddy. I had fun, but I didn't really have a great grasp on the strategies involved. I would play again but I'm not going to seek it out because it felt really dry and the board is bland as hell.
Provisional rating: 6.75








Great Western Trail - 1 play
First Published 2016
Board Game: Great Western Trail


This is very likely my favorite new-to-me game this month. Explanation was a bear and took the better part of an hour. Things didn't really click until we were maybe five to six turns in. Even then, I need some reminders on what some icons meant. I went heavy into buying/selling cattle, which worked out well because I won the game by three points. I thought all the different facets of this game were really interesting and it seemed like there were a few ways to win. I'm interested in trying out some different strategies.
Provisional rating: 7.75
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57. Board Game: Terraforming Mars [Average Rating:8.43 Overall Rank:4]
Board Game: Terraforming Mars
Garry Lloyd
United Kingdom
Holmes Chapel
Cheshire
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This month, I managed to play 17 games of 15 different titles, with 9 of them being new to me. The new games were:

== NEW GAMES ==

Terraforming Mars - 1 play -  8 
First Published 2016
Board Game: Terraforming Mars


This isn't normally a game I'd be drawn to but its success and the views of a couple of geek buddies made me take the plunge. I'm only likely to play this solo but both the solo and multiplayer game seem really solid and the theme is engaging. I really enjoyed my first play and am looking forward to trying the different corporations.

Start 11! The Board Game - 1 play -  7 
First Published 2012
Board Game: Start 11!  The Board Game


Reiner Knizia puts his own twist on the card game Elfer Raus and it works very well as a nice family game. Not too much in the way of strategy but not brainless either. A nice relaxing game to play.

Numeri - 1 play -  7 
First Published 1998
Board Game: Numeri


I'm a big fan of Schmidt's Easy Play line of games and this is another fun one, although it seems easy to mess yourself up with no chance of catching up. Not the best game in that line but one that is easy to get the family to play.

Dairyman - 1 play -  7 
First Published 2016
Board Game: Dairyman


Another small Asian game from Tasty Minstrel and this is a push your luck dice game. I messed up the rules explanation initially but once I'd gone back and checked, it then worked quite well. Sadly our game ended in a three way tie and there appears to be no tie break rule, so that made it a bit anti-climactic but I'm not going to penalise it unless ties end up being a regular occurrence.

Sea of Clouds - 1 play -  7 
First Published 2016
Board Game: Sea of Clouds


An interesting card drafting game about amassing the greatest pirate loot over 12 or 15 rounds. Much of the loot is public knowledge but some is secret and as you need to collect pirates to assist in three boarding events, you need to balance going for loot with recruiting pirates, else you may end up being plundered too much. Good fun.

Das Vermächtnis des Maharaja - 1 play -  7 
First Published 2017
Board Game: Das Vermächtnis des Maharaja


Another solid Michael Schacht game (no surprise there), with this being a set collection game with a tight money economy in which gaining more money makes things in the market cheaper for the next player. Plays well with two, which is how I tried it.

Fugitive - 1 play -  6 
First Published 2017
Board Game: Fugitive


Clever deduction / second-guessing game for two that looks to work pretty well but Jan didn't really like it much. Not sure whether the two roles are balanced or not but to me it was a quick fun puzzle.

Get The Cheese! - 1 play -  6 
First Published 2015
Board Game: Get The Cheese!


This card placement game sees you trying to place your fifteen animals mice cats and dog to gain the most cheese, capture the most mice or chase off the cats. Working out when and where to place is the key to winning and having some cards face down makes the game-end reveal quite tense. Fun but not fantastic.

The Bogey - 2 plays -  6 
First Published 2016
Board Game: The Bogey


This is a solo card game with a traditional deck of cards where you face a nice puzzle of trying to lay out all the cards without opening up more than 12 columns. However, after each of your turns, the bogey reveals the top card of the deck and it has to placed somewhere and often it messes up your plans. I quite enjoyed this but am not sure how much I am likely to replay it. However, players of card patience will probably enjoy this.

== OTHER GAMES PLAYED THIS MONTH ==

2x Formula D
1x Herbaceous
1x Spot it!
1x Groo: The Game
1x Noch mal!
1x BraveRats


== STATE OF THE COLLECTION ==

I added 9 new titles to the collection and reacquired 1 (Rondo), which means my total collection now stands at 626. The new games were: Formula D: New Jersey & Sotchi, Get the Cheese, Fugitive, Numeri,Dairyman, Terraforming Mars, The Fox in the Forest, Medici: The Card Game and Start 11: The Board Game. Now I'm back from holiday, look out for the great purge of 2017, which should start tomorrow or Thursday - geeklist auctions-a-plenty as another 200 games are going to disappear from my collection.

My list of unplayed games dropped by 1 from 24 to 23 and my Game of the Month was surprisingly a heavier game than I usually go for, particularly due to the really good solo version: Terraforming Mars.
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58. Board Game: LYNGK [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:1553] [Average Rating:7.61 Unranked]
Board Game: LYNGK
Jason B. Hesse
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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== NEW GAMES ==

LYNGK - 2 plays -  7 
First Published 2017
Board Game: LYNGK

Initial Thoughts: Already my second favorite GIPF game (2nd to YINSH). A really good abstract that I look forward to playing more and have added to my collection.

One Deck Dungeon 1.5 - 2 plays -  7 
First Published 2016
Board Game: One Deck Dungeon

Initial Thoughts: Its a solid solo puzzle with a decent amount of theme. Not a great game but scratches the itch when I want to play something but don't have someone around to play with.

Risk: Star Wars Edition - 1 play -  7 
First Published 2015
 

Initial Thoughts: Not really RISK and thats a good thing. I liked it though it was a little light for my tastes. Might keep around to play with kids, but I might also trade it. Overall a decent $10 investment.
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59. Board Game: King of Tokyo/New York: Monster Pack – Cthulhu [Average Rating:7.57 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.57 Unranked]
Board Game: King of Tokyo/New York: Monster Pack – Cthulhu
Andy Howell
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
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Having primed up my kids with Pacific Rim, my 8yo got this for his birthday. The notion of creating minions to eat them for power-ups is the most delicious game mechanism that an 8yo could dream of. He is now a Lovecraft fan for life but doesn't know it!

Recommended!
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60. Board Game: Onitama [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:232]
Board Game: Onitama
== NEW GAMES ==

Tiny Epic Galaxies: Beyond the Black - 1 play -  8 
First Published 2017
Board Game: Tiny Epic Galaxies: Beyond the Black

The expansion to my favourite Tiny Epic game arrived earlier this month, but it took a few weeks to hit the table. It adds mostly two elements to the base game: pilots and exploration. And it also adds a scoring track, which is really neat to keep track of everyone's scores until they're at 21 instead of having to constantly count and re-count. The pilots also bring cool new wooden ship meeples in different shapes. Overall, you have more choices on what to do on your turn without actually impacting play time significantly. Very well done and I expect, we won't play without the add-on in future.


Onitama - 1 play -  8 
First Published 2014
Board Game: Onitama

Finally, the German version of this hit stores and subsequently our table. I am inherently a little too impatient to be able to play very well, but I was instantly in love with this downsized, versatile variant of chess. The gameboard is actually a mat and the rules are simple enough to explain, but there's really a lot going on in this game. But it plays quickly, although individual turns can take a bit, when you're thinking through your and your opponent's options. Really in love with this one and I sincerely aim to get better .


Hive - 1 play -  7.5 
First Published 2001
Board Game: Hive

Another abstract that I purchased while on a business trip. It's also quite elegant, but I enjoyed Onitama just a tiny bit more (it doesn't have spiders, for one thing!), but I'm very much looking forward to delve deeper into this one as well. I'm pretty sure my Mom will like this, too.


Tenno - 1 play -  6.5 
First Published 2017
Board Game: Tenno

Still on the fence for this one. It's a card game in a tiny box that has some mind games and memory elements going on. My partner was a bit so-so about it, but I expect we'll give it another shot. I liked it as a 2p game, not so sure how it fares with more players, as the memory stuff gets insane and I fear it will get down very much to more luck than anything. We'll see.


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61. Board Game: Quartermaster General [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:853]
Board Game: Quartermaster General
JLP 303
United Kingdom
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Always reading this thread, but not sure I've posted before (I might of, but I'm old and my mind isn't what it used to be!!!)

Anyway, Quartermaster General is friggin' ace. So easy to learn, very easy to play (although I've only played it two player) but with enough historical reference to make it interesting to anyone interested in WW2. This really struck me in the same way Ticket to Ride did when I first played it... it was like a lightbulb went off in my head and suddenly all these 'new' board games (outside of the realm of the old classics like monopoly etc, etc) felt like the most amazing things I had ever come across..

It's such a shame that Quartermaster General isn't up in the top ranked games, as I certainly feel like it should be; at the very least it deserves more recognition given some of the dross that makes it into the top 100-250 games!!
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62. Board Game: Werewords [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:781]
Board Game: Werewords
Jim Hansen
United States
Naperville
Illinois
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== NEW GAMES ==

Werewords - 5 plays -  6 
First Published 2017
Board Game: Werewords


20 questions meets social deduction - weird, but it kind of works

Werewords is basically 20 questions with some social deduction. One player knows the answer (a.k.a. Merlin) and one player is trying to figure out who knows the answer (a.k.a. Werewolf).

This is a very strange mix of genres. For one thing, the players are limited by time, not by the number of questions. So the werewolf player can only really sabotage things by wasting time or. Secondly, the cluegiver can be the werewolf. Their only options are to intentionally answer questions the wrong way, but the Merlin player should be able to tell if they are lying very easily. We didn't see this play out, but I can't really imagine how it would work. Lastly, you don't even have to get the question right. If you don't, you just have to guess who the werewolf was. And in our 7 player games, we had 2 werewolves. So if you can determine the Merlin player and determine that the cluegiver wasn't the werewolf, that leaves a 40% of guessing a werewolf by chance. Seems flawed.

All that said, I found the game to be pretty fun. The social deduction part at the end where you are guessing who the werewolf is was entirely unsatisfying and random, but the fact that the Merlin and werewolf exist made the question part more interesting. I haven't player regular 20 questions in a while, so I'm not sure if this is actually an improvement over the base game. But, I had enough fun that I would play it again.

Glory to Rome - 1 play -  6 
First Published 2005
Board Game: Glory to Rome


Similar to Race or Puerto Rico, but slightly worse

Considering how much I play games, I actually knew very little about Glory to Rome. I saw it on the table once and was completely turned off by the art style. Now having played it, I still think the art is terrible, but at least the game play is half decent.

It uses mechanisms similar to Puerto Rico where each player takes an action, then the other players have a chance to follow the actions. Except, everything felt clunky to me. It was like they started from Puerto Rico (which is a game I love) - or probably more accurately, San Juan - and added an expansion that made the game worse. I could see how people thought this was a great game in 2005. But having come to it new in 2017, if it were released today the game would be a dud.

Happy Salmon - 1 play -  6 
First Published 2016
Board Game: Happy Salmon


Pit-esque silliness that is great as an opener or ice breaker

This is a straight up speed game of pure silliness. Each player has a deck of 12 cards and the first player to get rid of their cards wins. You have one "active" card at a time, and you can discard it by finding another player with the same card and performing the appropriate action on the card - high five, swapping places, doing a happy salmon (which is like an awkward hand shake), or a fist bump. The game is real time, so everyone is shouting and rushing to try to find someone to help them get rid of their cards.

It felt exactly like Pit, except with the addition of breaking some personal space / comfort zone boundaries by making you do things like the happy salmon. Personally, I think it's great when a game makes you do something you wouldn't normally do. Charades, Time's Up, etc. have a similar result.

Ultimately, it's like 3 minutes long and everyone will have a good time. Seems like the perfect game to bring along and play when the mood strikes.

Catacombs - 1 play -  5.5 
First Published 2010
Board Game: Catacombs


Great concept, lackluster execution

1 vs many dungeon crawler with flicking? I'm intrigued, but how does it play? In short, unsatisfyingly.

My complaints boil down to three main points:
1) The game is too long. Given it was a learning game, but it took us 2 hours. This sort of game should be 1 hour max.
2) The available heroes are hilariously unbalanced. In particular, some heroes only get a single flick as their standard action. This leaves little room for strategy and makes it painfully easy to avoid their attacks.
3) The game pretty much only plays with 2 or 3. Since there is 1 DM and the 4 heroes are split between the remaining players, with 4 or 5 players you only control a single hero. That would be quite boring, especially since your hero could get killed and you might sit out an entire encounter or two.
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63. Board Game: Spirit Island [Average Rating:8.32 Overall Rank:13]
Board Game: Spirit Island
Trey Chambers
United States
Houston
Texas
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Do you like heavy games? Do you like any co-ops at all? If you said yes to both, immediately buy this. This is the heavy co-op you've been looking for!

OTHER GAMES:

Fauna (trivia game about animals for 2-6 players) - As good as the other games in the series, America and Terra.

Pandemic Cthulu (Co-op for 2-4 players) - Better version of Pandemic.

Monopoly Gamer (lighter Monopoly for 2-4 players) - Overrated but cute. Best version of Monopoly. Ignore the timing rules.

Hive Mind (dumb party game for a bunch of people, just buy Scattagories) - Opposite of Scattagories. I prefer Scattagories.

Quantum (light area control and combat game for 2-4 players) Was really hoping to like it but found it very meh. Too abstract.

Yamatai (light Euro strategy game for 2-4 players) - Interesting ideas but terrible graphic design! Bad colorblind conflicts. Different VP symbols!

Dresden Files (co-op card game, super short but not short enough) - Lame co-op. Similar to Legendary which I also hate.

The Great Zimbabwe - Amazing Splotter title. Kind of like Antiquity lite.

Mystic Vale 2nd Expansion - Love the new leader aspect.

Anachrony - Lots to think about. Very complex systems. Not quite as interesting as Trickerion.

Ethnos - Light area-control and drafting game. Very random at high player counts and there are often no cards to draft. Six player definitely feels tacked on. Recommend with 3 or 4. Great system overall.

Lanterns: Emperor's Gifts - Adds cool new mechanics, but adds a good amount of AP as well.

First Class - Interesting engine builder. A bit dry.

Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game - Carries over most of the elements of the board game in a shorter time, but not sure shaving 30 minutes off is worth getting rid of the spatial aspect.

Aquasphere - Interesting decisions, but it’s a point salad game, which I hate.

Ave Roma - Kickstarter game that needed more development. It features set collection, but you have no control over what cards come out and only have access to 5 per round.

New Angeles - Has all the problems of BSG. Long. Often nothing to do. And unlike BSG there isn't much to talk about when your hand is empty. But doesn't have the fun theme.
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64. Board Game: Sushi Go Party! [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:185]
Board Game: Sushi Go Party!
Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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== NEW GAMES ==

Sushi Go Party! - 1 play -  8 
First Published 2016
Board Game: Sushi Go Party!


I've really enjoyed playing Sushi Go with the children, since we acquired it back in September last year, so when I saw a copy of Sushi Go Party at the club I was keen to try it. The new cards add variety to the game, although they definitely increase set-up time, and I can see that it might well be something I'd pick up as a Christmas present for my children.

5-Minute Dungeon - 7 plays -  6 
First Published 2017
Board Game: 5-Minute Dungeon


One of our gamers has been bringing this along to gamenight for a few weeks now, but it's the first time I've been on a table when it's been played. It's a speed coop, like Escape: Curse from the Temple, but instead of rolling dice you're trying to complete cards by playing cards from deck. Each player has their own deck of cards, with different mixes of symbol types and special cards. We played with 4, and those who had always played with less before said it seemed rather easier with 4 and less tense, and we got further through the boss levels than the owner had ever got before, just losing on the final level by 1 second. Enjoyable, but not earth shattering.
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65. Board Game: Viticulture Essential Edition [Average Rating:8.09 Overall Rank:21]
Board Game: Viticulture Essential Edition
Jérôme
Netherlands
Eindhoven
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Viticulture Essential Edition+Viticulture: Tuscany Essential Edition
11 plays, 10x 2 players, 1x 3 players

We don't play many different games. If we start playing one and we like it, we keep playing it to discover its strategic possibilities. Viticulture is such a game. It got eleven plays in July. At its ninth play we added the Moor Visitors Expansion and the the tenth play was with the extended board from Viticulture: Tuscany Essential Edition. The structures and special workers are still in the box.
What we admire most is the thematic sense it all makes and the wide range of visitors give some swings to directions you haven't thought before. Many plays will follow!

Rating: 10



The other big new to us game for July is
Concordia
4 plays, 2 players

Our first impression was not too positive because we didn't enjoy the graphic style of the board and cards. Esthetic appeal is important to us.
But when we played we forgot about that and we're sucked in the world of optimizing cards, cities and goods. There's not much of a theme, it's an economic abstract.

Rating: 9 for now, maybe 8 later.



And we filled some time with
No Thanks!
2 plays, 3 players

Stupid gambling game with pseudo psychology who's got steel nerves. You don't know what cards are missing so it's up to luck whether you have any chance at all of fulfilling a sequence. Probably not my kind of game, I don't like bluffing.

Rating: 4
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66. Board Game: Wibbell++ [Average Rating:7.38 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.38 Unranked]
Board Game: Wibbell++
Martin G
United Kingdom
Bristol
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Wibbell++ is a new game system consisting of a deck of cards each marked with two different letters of the alphabet. So far I've only played Wibbell, but the deck comes with rules for 5 games and many more are to follow on a dedicated website.

Wibbell itself is a speed wordgame with a clever catch-up mechanism. At first two cards are turned face up, and the first person to shout a word which includes a letter from each card gets to take one of them. The central card is replaced and the process repeated. But now the player with a card in front of them has to come up with a word containing a letter from all three cards, while everyone else still only has to use the two central ones. So the better you do, the harder your task becomes. Fun!

Santo Domingo is a very simple simultaneous-selection double-think game - kind of a microgame version of Havana or Libertalia. Not bad, despite the thoroughly underwhelming setting and art.

I wasn't sure about 13 Minutes: The Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962. 13 Days was already highly abstracted and I think this microgame version might go too far for me. Seems like it could be interesting if both players knew the cards, but I think I'd rather play Khmer or Hanamikoji than put that effort in.

Honshū didn't particularly impress. It's billed as a spatial trick-taker but, like Pi Mal Pflaumen, it's closer to an auction, and a slightly limp one at that since there isn't much differentiation between the items bid on. The individual puzzle part of it is quite neat though - 'patching' cards over and under each other to build a city.

I thought I was going to like the highly-abstracted 15-minute wargame W1815, but I didn't really. I'm sure it's clever if you know anything about the battle it's simulating (Waterloo) but I don't, and am not really interested in learning.
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67. Board Game: Nemo's War (Second Edition) [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:273]
Board Game: Nemo's War (Second Edition)
Mr. Frothingslosh
Canada
Caledon
Ontario
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3 new-to-me games, plus one new expansion.

Nemo's War (Second Edition)

An excellent solo game experience - maybe the best solo I've played so far?
Lots of choices every turn - search for treasures, refit and repair the Nautilus, etc. - while needing to sink enough warships so they do not take over the oceans.

Every turn a new event is revealed (usually negative!) that will need you to decide to risk rolling the dice or else risk (or spend) ship resources or treasures to mitigate the roll.

Century: Spice Road

Immediately similar in mind to Splendor, in that it's a race to collect resources to turn in for available market cards. Also tries to introduce a deck-building mechanic....

Looks great, plays super-fast... Ultimately, I would get bored of this one, but I would gladly play once in a while to keep it fresh.

La Isla

Area majorities collecting rare animal specimens on a randomly built island. It's OK. The main mechanism is the multi-purpose cards which you place for either its ability when placing explorers, the colour cube you'll acquire, or the animal species you want to support.

Nothing really wrong with the game - just don't see it competing well against other similar games.

7 Wonders Duel: Pantheon

My wife and I really enjoy the base game, so this expansion was going to be a very likely purchase at some point.

Adds an additional layer of being able to call upon the gods of the pantheon to help you out or smite your opponent. angry

Overall, it's a worthwhile purchase if you're a fan of the original - although I would admit at the same time, I wouldn't call it a vital expansion. Just if you want to change up the game.
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68. Board Game: Clash of Cultures [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:284]
Board Game: Clash of Cultures
Matt P
United States
Kansas City
Missouri
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== NEW GAMES ==

The Fox in the Forest - 1 play -  N/A 
Board Game: The Fox in the Forest


Two player tick taking? Heck yeah. Verdict is till out on the rating but I expect it to pretty high.

Operation Battleaxe: Wavell vs. Rommel, 1941 - 1 play -  N/A 
First Published 2013
Board Game: Operation Battleaxe:  Wavell vs. Rommel, 1941


Fired up both an online and solo game of Operation Battleaxe. Will update a rating and thoughts when the Vassal game is complete.

Anachrony - 1 play -  8 
First Published 2017
Board Game: Anachrony


Anachrony has some brillaint mechanics but ultimately left me a little unsatisfied.

Honshu - 7 plays -  8 
First Published 2016
Board Game: Honshū


Very quick and fun card laying game.

Murano - 2 plays -  8 
First Published 2014
Board Game: Murano


Very unique action placement and scoring mechanics. Flew completely under my radar don't make the same mistake I did. This game is awesome.

Tyrants of the Underdark - 1 play -  8 
First Published 2016
Board Game: Tyrants of the Underdark


Wanted to try Tyrants for a long time. Glad I finally got the chance. Solid deck building (nothing unique though) with a really fun area control main board. Very mean though.

Kingdomino - 6 plays -  8 
First Published 2016
Board Game: Kingdomino


We've had a blast with Kingdomino. Honshu gets the slight edge in my opinion because of the variable scoring it offers but Kingdomino is desering of the SDJ.

Clash of Cultures - 1 play -  8 
First Published 2012
Board Game: Clash of Cultures


Pretty sure this is my favorite new game of the month but we played a ton of fantastic games. It seems CoC offers different paths to victory and there are a ton of technologies to explore.

Eclipse - 1 play -  7 
First Published 2011
Board Game: Eclipse


Had a great time playing. Only complaint is the combat was a bit of a drag.

Roll Player - 1 play -  7 
First Published 2016
Board Game: Roll Player


Neat but didn't quite meet our expectations. It is like low pressure Fuse.

Moons - 1 play -  6 
First Published 2017
Board Game: Moons


Purchased as a 6 player trick taking game. The problem is the trick taking component is mediocre. The game really shines with its set collection aspect but this will be passed up for other trick taking game.s

VivaJava: The Coffee Game: The Dice Game - 1 play -  6 
First Published 2014
Board Game: VivaJava: The Coffee Game: The Dice Game


Roll and write just isn't our thing which I didn't expect. VivaJava:TCG:TDG does it really well and introduces area control, but it just isn't something that lines up with our tastes.


Caverna: Cave vs Cave - 1 play
First Published 2017
Board Game: Caverna: Cave vs Cave


Too early to give the exact rating but my wife and I had a lot of fun playing.
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69. Board Game: Mini Mölkky [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:3366] [Average Rating:7.52 Unranked]
Board Game: Mini Mölkky
Tom Flatt
Canada
Whitecourt
Alberta
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July always seems to be a feast or famine month for gaming; this year it was definitely the latter! Lots of projects on the go and all of our friends on holidays made for pretty lean gaming!

Mini Mölkky

9 plays - Rating of 8

Board Game: Mini Mölkky

This was a case of bringing the great outdoors indoors! Needing something to keep everyone happily engaged when the weather wasn't cooperating, I crafted a Mini Molkky set for indoor use. Table play was predictably unsuccessful but any carpeted area seemed to work just fine (the thicker the carpet, the better)! A successful solution to our weather woes, everyone seemed to enjoy this!

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70. Board Game: Crokinole [Average Rating:7.88 Overall Rank:66]
Board Game: Crokinole
Bryce Journey
United States
Omaha
Nebraska
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Board Game: Crokinole


Board Game: Crokinole
Crokinole - I've never had a chance to try this game out before and the price point has always scared off thoughts of acquiring it myself. But when a friend of mine decided to invest in a board, I happily tried it out with him and really enjoyed myself. This is a strangely addictive game and just plain fun. It goes on my wishlist and I'm going to keep an eye out for an affordable opportunity. d10-8

Board Game: Ethnos
Ethnos - CMON's non-mini games continue to impress me. Last month was Lorenzo and this month it's Ethnos. I'm not usually a fan of press your luck games, mainly because I have none, but this one really works for me. I particularly enjoy the puzzle of figuring out how to use the random selection of races to my best strategic advantage as the game evolves. d10-8

Board Game: Ingenious
Ingenious - Picked this up for a few bucks at the Origins flea market and am really glad I did. It's been on my wishlist for awhile, but low priority, because Knizia is hit or miss with me. But this one's a hit, with both myself and my wife, who enjoys these sorts of Qwirkle-esque puzzle games. This one goes in the Good Knizia pile. d10-7

Board Game: Rattus
Rattus - I was able to get this and the Pied Piper expansion to connect with me for a great deal in the Origins math trade and had a chance to try it out this month. I decided to use the expansion right away and I'm glad I did. I can see how the simple addition of a plethora of new characters up the replay value of this game considerably. My wife liked the theme too, so I foresee regular plays of this in the future. d10-7

Board Game: Ghostbusters: The Board Game II
Ghostbusters: The Board Game II - I went all in on this Kickstarter after the first game was a such a huge hit for my family and I. The complexity is upped just slightly in this installment, but mostly in the form of greater variety in everything from ghosts to ghostbusters. I really like the greater variety of end game goals I've seen in the handful of scenarios we've tried so far. My only complaint is that the set-up time is greater, but that's just something one has to live with in a miniatures scenario-based game. It's not any worse than Conan, so I'm confident Ghostbusters II will get regular play too. d10-7

Board Game: Orient Express
Orient Express - My wife and I were big fans of 20th Century Limited, so getting the sequel was an easy choice. I was expecting the same game with a different map, in the spirit of other train game series. But it turns out that's not the case at all. Some elements of the mechanics have been reworked and tweaked, but with dramatic results, the most influential being how regional companies are scored, how they affect track on the board, and how they affect the end game trigger. The result is that this while 20th Century Limited felt like a nice little casual game and played in less than an hour, Orient Express feels a lot more epic by lasting quite a bit longer. I'm okay with that though, as Orient Express feels like the Steam to 20th Century Limited's Railways of the World. d10-7

Board Game: Santa Fe Rails
Santa Fe Rails - Origins was productive in acquiring some new train games for my collection. Besides Orient Express, I also managed to get Santa Fe Rails via the Origins flea market. I was a little leery of how well the 2P game would work out, but those fears were unfounded. The 2P game was intense and had some nice moments of tension throughout. I'm looking forward to trying this with more players still, though. d10-7

Board Game: De Vulgari Eloquentia
De Vulgari Eloquentia - I acquired this because the unusual theme really appealed to my literature background. But it's languished on my unplayed shelf for years now. In fact, it's still on my unplayed shelf because this play was with a friend's copy. But now I know how to play and I'm confident in getting it off that shelf finally. Turns out this is a pretty heavy and deep game and I'm glad I had an experienced tutorial to learn. I really liked it and am planning on introducing it to one of my game groups soon. d10-6

Board Game: Ascension: Realms Unraveled
Ascension: Realms Unraveled - I picked up four Ascension expansions from the Cardhaus July 4th sale to continue filling out my collection. The upgradeable cards are cool but what I really like about this expansion is its apparent balance. I won two games against my wife by a combined total of only 3 points. d10-6

Board Game: Ascension: Dreamscape
Ascension: Dreamscape - In our one game of this expansion so far, the dreamscape cards didn't play much of a role until the end of the game, at which point they made a very dramatic difference in the end game result. I'll have to play this more to get a better feel for how it ranks compared to the other expansions, but it's got potential. d10-6

Board Game: Ascension: Dawn of Champions
Ascension: Dawn of Champions - I like the idea of the champions, but I wish the champion mats were more different. The champion cards themselves are cool, but the set doesn't appear to be as balanced as Realms Unraveled. My wife and I played a couple of games with this expansion so far and they were both blowouts. d10-6

Board Game: Floating Market
Floating Market - It's been a low priority want on my wishlist since its original Kickstarter, so I was satisfied when I was able to pick it up for cheap at the Origins flea market. I wasn't expecting too much, but the game is a lot more fun that I thought it would be. The theme is playful and my wife and I really got into the tug-of-war we found ourselves in as we battled for the various fruits. d10-6

Board Game: Cthulhu: A Deck Building Game
Cthulhu: A Deck Building Game - It's a solid deck-builder and I really like the huge stack of characters to choose from. But the vague rulebook and Elder Gods that don't seem to be well play-tested hold the game back. I'm going to continue to explore it, but the way the Elder gods I've played against so far have interacted awkwardly with the mechanics makes me a little worried. d10-5

Board Game: Isle of Monsters
Isle of Monsters - My son and I tried this out at the Spielbound library. He liked it a lot better than I did. I thought it was only okay due to the decisions being very obvious. But he enjoyed the whole process of trapping monsters, feeding them, and then scaring mine with them. He did crush me, so that probably helped his enjoyment of it as well. d10-4

Board Game: Unlock!: Escape Adventures – The Elite
Unlock!: Escape Adventures – The Elite - I played a game of this with a friend during a break on trivia night. I think I might like this system better than Escape. I don't know if the other scenarios are as quick, but I appreciated the brevity of this one. Overall, I still don't get the allure of the escape room genre. I'll go along with a game if the rest of the group wants to do one, but it's not something I'm seeking out. d10-4

Expansions:
Board Game: Steam: Map Expansion #5
Steam: Map Expansion #5 - Got to try the India map at my monthly Saturday Steam Session and was really impressed with it. The new action tile and the exotic goods are very interesting additions. The map itself is very challenging with a lot of brutal terrain and cities sparsed across the board. It was a very satisfying map to play on and the final score was very close. d10-8
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71. Board Game: A Handful of Stars [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:2134]
Board Game: A Handful of Stars
Not many new games here this month, but definitely quality over quantity

== NEW GAMES ==

The Grizzled - 2 plays -  N/A 
First Published 2015
 


We played two games of this at a game-day at a friend's place. Though getting into the intended emotional mindset is a bit hard when playing games, it does a good job at giving an idea of the hopelessness of WW1. We lost our first game hard, and won the second on the last possible turn.

A Handful of Stars - 1 play -  N/A 
First Published 2017
Board Game: A Handful of Stars


After missing components and misprinted cards, I finally received Martin Wallace's latest creation, Treefrog's swansong.
Wallace being my favorite designer, I couldn't wait to get my hands on this. And boy, does it deliver. The idea of deckbuilding with a map isn't new, but is a first for me. And I'm enjoying it quite a bit. I only played a single two-player game, but can't wait to try it with more. Since combat slightly favors the defender, most of the game was a cold war. Not having many card-culling opportunities appears to make this a relatively slow game, but that's just an observation, much in the same way that some movies or books are slower or faster than others. We very much enjoyed our first game, so let's see where more plays bring us
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72. Board Game: JamSumo [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:3630]
Board Game: JamSumo
Justin Wawrzonek
United States
Amsterdam
New York
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== NEW GAMES ==

Gloomhaven - 2 plays -  8 
First Published 2017
Board Game: Gloomhaven


I finally got to try this, and I really do think it lives up to the hype. Its a great puzzly dungeon crawler, and I definitely want to purchase it now.



Baseball Highlights: 2045 - 1 play -  8 
First Published 2015
Board Game: Baseball Highlights: 2045


This one was almost a misfire with the wife. She didn't really see how everything worked. One she did, however, she really enjoyed it. She also kicked my butt.

Innovation Deluxe - 3 plays -  8 
First Published 2017
Board Game: Innovation Deluxe


This is one of my favorite games, but it really keeps falling flat with people. They seem to get bad cards, and have no way to catch up. Meanwhile I will get a decent combo and win pretty easily.


JamSumo - 3 plays -  8 
First Published 2014
Board Game: JamSumo


Hands down my favorite dexterity game. It looks beautiful, and is super easy to teach. I recommend everyone check this one out.

Tiny Epic Quest - 2 plays -  8 
First Published 2017
Board Game: Tiny Epic Quest


This is probably my favorite Tiny Epic game to date (maybe tied with Galaxy). It looks great, and has some great mechanics. Definitely one to check out.

The Chameleon - 1 play -  8 
First Published 2017
Board Game: The Chameleon


This reprint of "Gooseberry" is a fantastic party game. I got a few non-gamers to play it and we all had a blast. Its basically Spyfall with words instead of locations. I found it more enjoyable that Spyfall personally.

Tiny Epic Western - 1 play -  7 
First Published 2016
Board Game: Tiny Epic Western


I didn't have high expectation for this one, but to my surprise it was an enjoyable worker placement game. The poker mechanics are fun, and the game plays in a decent amount of time. Definitely would play it again.

Hero Realms - 1 play -  7 
First Published 2016
 


I've played all the iterations of Star Realms to this point, but this one is my favorite. This is mostly due to the hero decks. They really change things up and let you try new and interesting strategies.



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73. Board Game: Thebes [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:483]
Board Game: Thebes
:C.h.r.i.s. M.c.G.o.w.a.n:
United States
Elk Grove Village
Illinois
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== NEW GAMES ==

Thebes - 1 play -  N/A 
First Published 2007
[imageID=es/pic2723204 square inline]

Yeah! I finally got to play it. There is a healthy amount of luck, but it is thematic - sifting through sand to find treasures worth victory points.


Seii Daimyo - 1 play -  N/A 
First Published 2017
[imageID=es/pic3484654 square inline]

Congrats to John Clowdus for merging with/getting acquired by Kolossal Games. After 1 play it does appear to have a healthy amount of luck with the army cards (#1-#4 strength) as well as your final scoring cards.

Raxxon - 3 plays
First Published 2017
[imageID=es/pic3667550 square inline]

Yep, I bought in. Have played 3 times with 2 different groups. It is a quick cooperative game that encourages discussion rather than Alpha Player take over IMO.

The Fox in the Forest - 1 play
First Published 2017
[imageID=es/pic3496085 square inline]

A really good 2p trick taker, tough to do. I'm not good, but I'll play again. Nice artwork too.

Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy - 1 play
First Published 2013
[imageID=es/pic2225856 square inline]

It always amazes me to play older games that just did not catch my eye at the time of release. Interesting game play and look forward to the expansion cards.

Orient Express - 1 play
First Published 2017
[imageID=es/pic3618429 square inline]

A game that instantly clicked with me as I saw "the matrix" quicker than others. Set collection, route building, route fulfillment, route destruction - a really interesting title.
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74. Board Game: Thebes [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:483]
Board Game: Thebes
:C.h.r.i.s. M.c.G.o.w.a.n:
United States
Elk Grove Village
Illinois
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Microbadge: I love all games!Microbadge: 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning' - Dr. Reiner KniziaMicrobadge: Queensrÿche fanMicrobadge: Pulsar 2849 fanMicrobadge: Live Music fan
== NEW GAMES ==

Thebes - 1 play -  N/A 
First Published 2007
Board Game: Thebes


Yeah! I finally got to play it. There is a healthy amount of luck, but it is thematic - sifting through sand to find treasures worth victory points.


Seii Daimyo - 1 play -  N/A 
First Published 2017
Board Game: Seii Daimyo


Congrats to John Clowdus for merging with/getting acquired by Kolossal Games. After 1 play it does appear to have a healthy amount of luck with the army cards (#1-#4 strength) as well as your final scoring cards.

Raxxon - 3 plays
First Published 2017
Board Game: Raxxon


Yep, I bought in. Have played 3 times with 2 different groups. It is a quick cooperative game that encourages discussion rather than Alpha Player take over IMO.

The Fox in the Forest - 1 play
First Published 2017
Board Game: The Fox in the Forest


A really good 2p trick taker, tough to do. I'm not good, but I'll play again. Nice artwork too.

Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy - 1 play
First Published 2013
Board Game: Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy


It always amazes me to play older games that just did not catch my eye at the time of release. Interesting game play and look forward to the expansion cards.

Orient Express - 1 play
First Published 2017
Board Game: Orient Express


A game that instantly clicked with me as I saw "the matrix" quicker than others. Set collection, route building, route fulfillment, route destruction - a really interesting title.
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75. Board Game: Unearth [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:1109]
Board Game: Unearth
Paul Faultner
United States
Bellevue
Washington
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I really enjoyed my play of Unearth. I played 3 player, and only one person had played the game before. The two newbs came in first and second. Some people may complain that it's "too random", but I feel there are ways to mitigate that through Delver cards, which you acquire through strategic die placement during the game. There are two ways to score points in the game (sets of cards you acquire, and sets of gems you acquire) for end game scoring.

I felt it was a mid to lightweight game, but that isn't a knock. I would not be afraid to use this for family / gateway scenarios. It would also be great for those situations, because it's easy to hold a conversation during play. It's beautiful to look at, and I often found myself please to look at the pieces, cards, and die while playing.

The game has a lot of replayability because of the random setup, but is also ripe for expansions over time. I feel this could become one of the family classics that families play for a long time.

The game has a lot of tactical decisions you have to make throughout the course of the game, and your tactics will have to change to respond to the board and what other players do on their turns. However, it doesn't take long to make your decisions. We often completed our turns in 30-90 seconds.

I've added this to my list of games to acquire for family / gateway / filler scenarios.
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