Why won't anyone play this?
Josh Webb
Australia
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There's some games in my collection that just get vetoed as soon as they are mentioned. It's a real shame, because most of them are really good.
How do you get people into these games (or others)? Have you got any games that get shot down repeatedly?
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1. Board Game: Cockroach Poker [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:1210]
Josh Webb
Australia
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Description: Each card has a pest on it. You draw one, pass it to someone, and tell them what it is. You can totally lie though. That person either calls you on it, or passes it on.

This one isn't a controversial game at all. It's only slightly deeper than "Win, Lose, Banana", but at least you get a bit of a running joke going the more people see the card before the reveal.
Really it's a filler, so at the very worst you can sit out of the game for 15 minutes until it's over, but one vocal friend hates games that involve lying, so I have only ever played this once.
One day, little cockroach, one day...
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2. Board Game: Space Alert [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:147]
Josh Webb
Australia
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Description: You and your friends are on a spaceship. Things are breaking. Enemies are attacking. Alarms are alarming. You need to run around fixing, and defending, and wiggling the computer's mouse in order to survive 12 hectic minutes. Also don't get in the lift at the same time. You'll regret it.

This is definitely in my top 5 games ever. I love the soundtrack that is supplied with the game - it just makes everything feel so much more immersive and intense. There's the problem though. Most people are put off by the complexity, and the difficulty, and the sheer idiocy of trying to co-ordinate with their team to survive this thing. I've got one mate who I play this with. We have to use the optional androids (extra player-controlled pieces) because no-one else even wants to learn it. Problem is we always forget about one of the androids, so they just stand in the control room wiggling the mouse.
Still more helpful than this guy: https://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/avp/images/f/f3/Ash_Ali...
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3. Board Game: Suburbia [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:92]
Josh Webb
Australia
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Description: You build a suburb, complete with parks, schools, and a radioactive waste site? Building synergies and manipulating the market to scoop up some good investments are the key to winning this game.

I love this game. The real-world theme is immediately interesting and funny because it is so relatable.
"Of course no one wants to live in your suburb. The whole thing is just airports and landfill!"
It makes for some tough decisions during the game, and everything just makes sense.

Honestly, this is the dumbest reason on this list. A friend will literally reject this every time because he likes Castles of Mad King Ludwig better. I don't even own that game!
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4. Board Game: Space Cadets: Dice Duel [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:931]
Josh Webb
Australia
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Description: You and your crew pilot a spaceship in deadly combat against another equally poorly-trained crew. Each team member has their own specialist systems to manage: shields, tractor beam, weapons, etc. which all run through the completely practical use of handfuls of dice.

This game is frantic. This game is silly. This game is fun.
I can see why this one doesn't get played as much, but it doesn't mean I'm not disappointed.
The problem is really just that it requires a large group of people. This isn't a problem most of the time, but in this game you need a big group. With different people coming to game nights all the time, you have to teach each person their role again. It's honestly just too much time investment for some people. I'm happy to teach this one, but most times I suggest this, people just ask for something else. I've just stopped bringing it up now. Maybe Captain Sonar would be better?
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5. Board Game: Meteor [Average Rating:6.24 Overall Rank:4461]
Josh Webb
Australia
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Description: Meteors are crashing toward Earth. You and up to 4 other engineers must build rockets and co-ordinate them to break up the massive rocks before they arrive at the end of 5 minutes.

I'm just noticing now how many real-time games are on this list already. This makes no sense to me though, because one of my group's favourite games is Escape the Curse of the Temple. So that's probably not the reason for it. Maybe this one is too short to get invested in?
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6. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:139] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Josh Webb
Australia
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Description: Build cities, farm the surrounding fields, rob travellers, and isolate yourself in monasteries in this classic tile-laying area-control game.

This is a good game. It's easy to explain, the decisions are interesting, and there is a good deal of player interaction (or you can just stick to building your own stuff and see how it turns out, but where's the fun in that?) Often you won't actually know who the winner will be until the final scores are added, which keeps everyone engaged until the end.
I think people just find the base game boring. I've been waiting for the Inns & Cathedrals expansion to be reprinted for ages (and it's almost here, so we'll see). Apparently it makes for some more complex strategy.
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7. Board Game: Witness [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:656]
Josh Webb
Australia
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Description: 4 players are each given a quarter of the information needed to solve a couple of questions about a crime. Then they relay their part to each other in whispers (Telephone-style) before trying to solve the puzzle. Oh, and no notes! That's cheating.

If you can find a copy of this game (I think it's out of print now), do yourself a favour and pick it up. It's like nothing else I've played. The dependence on memory makes for some really funny mistakes.

The player count of exactly 4 is the first road block in getting this one out. Secondly, people don't like the intimacy of whispering in someone's ear for some reason. Thirdly, one friend throws in unnecessary pieces of information to mess with the game. I'm sure if a traitor mechanism was warranted, the designers would have included it. This guy puts other people off playing the game if he's around, and he's around a lot.
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8. Board Game: Ladies & Gentlemen [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:1875]
Josh Webb
Australia
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Description: The ladies are the real strategists in this satirical team-based game of looking glamorous at a fancy ball. The gentlemen go out each day to make money so that their wives can buy nice outfits, which is surprisingly difficult.

I shouldn't have opened this can of worms. My ex (we're still friends and we play games regularly) says this game is sexist. She says that it is not satirical, but reinforces dated gender roles in an offensive way.
As a man, I don't even know if I'm allowed to comment on what this game means. All I know is that the argument is bigger than this game is probably worth. I don't suggest this game anymore because I just get daggers from her.
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9. Board Game: Cosmic Encounter [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:101]
Josh Webb
Australia
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Description: The best game. Take on the role of an alien race bent on galactic domination. This one sounds like a combat game, but really it's about negotiation.

Your alien power give you a bit of guidance in how you approach this game, but really it's about who you're playing with. Manipulating people to turn on each other, or work together, is what makes this game shine. The fact that multiple people can share in a win makes for some unexpected finishes.
I think that's the reason lots of people don't like this game. There's enough give in the rules that you can do some serious king-making, or ruin someone entirely, just because you want to.
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10. Board Game: Archaeology: The New Expedition [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:949]
Josh Webb
Australia
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Description: Dig up treasures, explore ancient ruins, and sell artefacts to museums to make your fortune as an archaeologist. Also look out for sandstorms. They coat everything in butter so you drop half of your stuff.

This game is all about luck. Press your luck to dig up just one more treasure. Hope that someone trades in that last coin you need to make a fortune. Pray that a robber doesn't pinch that pharaoh's mask off you and oh bloody hell they've done it again.
One friend had such a bad run in this game that he has sworn off it forever. He's totally cool with dice games, which is weird. At least the cards you need in this are actually in the deck. Dice can punish you over, and over, and over, with no apology or indication that "at least all that's left are good rolls".
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11. Board Game: Codenames [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:43] [Average Rating:7.80 Unranked]
Josh Webb
Australia
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Description: The heads of competing spy agencies need to call in their agents. The most efficient way to do that is not by calling them by their names, but by giving clues that connect several of the operatives' codenames (like in the title). Bring in all your spies before the other team to win at spying. Also there's a guy who will kill everyone if you point at him. Don't point at him. He's self-conscious.

I don't like this game. There. I said it. It's not bad enough that I'll flat out reject it, but I will always suggest something else before I settle for Codenames.
For something marketed as a party game, it's remarkably quiet. Nothing kills a good party vibe like Codenames. I think it works best as a 4- or 6-player game, but as there's technically no limit to how many people can play, it is a "party game". Also spy-masters can take ages to come up with a clue. There is a timer included, but it's probably the most passive-aggressive way to make someone feel bad about their abilities.
If you want a good communication game, go with Dixit. At least there's no alpha-player problems in Dixit.
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12. Board Game: Innovation [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:277]
Level 3 Tunt
United States
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Description: You do some stuff and get some points. Innovation is one of the best games ever but it's not the nicest game to look at, at least the edition I have. It also has a lot of cards all over the table so the initial setup has been less-than-inviting for a few people now.

"What is this game? It looks like it's for elementary school students from 1985. Every card does something different but you don't know what until you get it? Why do they have to be so ugly? I'm not playing that."
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13. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy: The Brink of War [Average Rating:7.78 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.78 Unranked]
Level 3 Tunt
United States
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Description: No, this is not an entry about the learning curve or iconography - I've never had a problem getting someone to learn/play/enjoy base Race for the Galaxy. I probably have spent as much time playing Race for the Galaxy as I have playing all other games combined. It's the best game ever and it's just a deck of cards. Until you add the expansions.

"Oh come on...MORE cards? It was fine the way it was. What are all the new tokens? Can we not play with the stupid goals - they're pointless. That new rule is dumb and I hate it."

As much as I love Race and all the expansions I've started to come around to the dissenting opinion on this one. I'll play with the expansions, but only the game cards. Forget all the Orbs and Xenos and goals and whatever other cardboard is trying to get in the way of a beautifully pure card game.
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14. Board Game: Paperback [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:304]
Brandon Bainter
United States
Shelton
Washington
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Description: Dominion crossed with scrabble, and its awesome.

I don't like word games either, but why cant I get anyone else to see how good this game is?
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15. Board Game: C.O.G. [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:6793]
Robert Seater
United States
Ashland
Massachusetts
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In every group I sit down with, at least one person will veto the game for at least one of its composite properties -- scrabble, worker placement, steam punk. Often, every player vetoes it for a different reason. I don't know how good it actually is, because I can't get potential players past the premise!
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16. Board Game: Dominant Species [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:52]
Dan
New Zealand
Auckland
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Brilliant game. But 3-4 hours is not in most people's wheel house :-(

Looking forward to family games night when my kids become teenagers and can handle this one. I remember playing rsik for hours as a teenager, and Dominant Species is totally better!
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17. Board Game: Felinia [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:2981]
Brandon Bainter
United States
Shelton
Washington
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description: trading in the mediterranean, but with a really neat auction mechanic that emphasis timing. after gaining resources you use them to board ships and send your people overseas to establish trade routes in a new land. oh and their cats i guess.

everyone but me hates this game and I haven't gotten to play it in over a year.
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