Off the Shelf - January 2018
Brandon Kempf
United States
Jefferson City
MO
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The idea is simple, we all have those games on our shelves that should probably be played. They've languished for one reason or another, so this year, 2018, we're going to try something a bit different. No 10x10, no 100x1, we're going to just try to play those games that taunt us from our Shelves of Opportunities(as I call them), or Shelves of Shame(as others call them).

This idea was brought about because of my own Board Gaming Goal for 2018 and a further discussion over on /r/boardgames.

The idea is that this is a Support Group of sorts, where we can talk about the games that we want to play off our shelves and if we get stuck, surely there are others out there who can help us, either by encouragement, or answering rules questions or just giving thoughts on why the game should be played.

So what we'll do is this, each month I will post a new "Off the Shelf" Geeklist and anyone is free to join in. You don't have to be a part of any specific community, this is open to all. All you need is the desire to play some unplayed games off of your shelves. Post a game that you have on your shelf that you want to get played and lets go! As the month progresses, give updates on your progress, tell us about playing the game or the frustration of not getting the game played. We're all here to try to help!

There will probably be side conversations happening over on /r/boardgames but our hope is that there will be plenty going on in both places.

So come one, come all! Let's get those board game albatrosses off our shelves!

As an easy way to be notified when the new Geeklist goes up, please make sure to subscribe to:

Off the Shelf Subscription Thread
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1. Board Game: War of the Ring (Second Edition) [Average Rating:8.44 Overall Rank:12]
Brandon Kempf
United States
Jefferson City
MO
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So my first entry is going to be a two-fer I believe.

Back in 2013 I signed up for my first Secret Santa here on BGG, and that year, my wonderful Santa sent along War of the Ring, along with War of the Ring: Lords of Middle-earth – Treebeard Mini-Expansion and War of the Ring: Lords of Middle-earth. But as of now, this has sat unplayed. Partially due to the fact that our gaming tastes have kind of changed over the years, but also just partially me being worried about playing it with my wife and whether or not she would find it a good use of our gaming time together. But no more!

Along with War of the Ring, I am planning on playing it's younger sibling, The Battle of Five Armies which I bought, even after knowing that WotR had still not been played.

Yes, I sometimes have issues with rational thoughts.

EDIT:

Played this on 1/24/17, mission success!!

Now, as for what I think about the game, I'm not sure that it belongs in my collection for any reason other than I love Tolkein and the LotR mythos. It's one of those games where you have to know the cards and what they do, I honestly should have sat down and looked at each card prior to playing and figured out how they can be used. The combat seemed a bit too random for me? I understand anything with dice is going to be random at times and there were cards that would mitigate bad rolls, but still it felt like there was no advantage for bringing the attack to your opponent. I played the Free People and about halfway through the game I could see that I had not mustered nearly enough troops to defend some of the southern lands and I most definitely had not moved enough out of the north to help so I just made a run for it and ended up 1 die roll away from winning. If I had one more movement, we would have won, but instead a cluster of minis blocked my sight of a stronghold so the Shadow player just marched right in there unopposed to take their 10th point to win the game. Absolutely beautiful, I only wish I had gotten to play it on my teacher's collector edition but they had left that behind so we played on my unpainted version. Did not play with expansions, only with the Treebeard Promo.



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2. Board Game: Troyes [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:67]
Ian M
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I got a used copy of Troyes last summer (or was it the summer before?) I keep hearing great things about this game. I worry it may be a bit too heavy for us (our usual fare is Castles of Burgundy, Carcassonne with a bunch of expansions, Suburbia, Glen More, things like that). Maybe I'm worrying for nothing?

Anyway, I may need some help getting this one Off The Shelf.
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3. Board Game: Near and Far [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:128] [Average Rating:7.90 Unranked]
Aric Horst
United States
Dallas
Texas
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This is one I've been wanting to play for a while but something else always hots the table instead. I'm a big fan of Red Raven Games, Ryan Laukat's art and world are gorgeous.

I'm going to try to play this 2p with my wife on one of our doing something together Thursday nights.

The latest excuses for not getting this to the table include: we'll wait for the expansion and it seems too heavy, let's play something lighter tonight.



Got this played on 2018.01.06 with my brother. We sat down and played the simple introductory game - no campaign, no character development, just the vanilla mechanics. It was fun and I'm looking forward to getting deeper into the campaign aspect of this game in the future. I dominated the game with a heavy emphasis on wholly owning trade routes. I'm glad I got this game to the table, the art is wonderful and the mechanics are actually quite simple, I'll definitely be introducing this to my wife when I receive the co-op Amber Mines expansion.
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4. Board Game: Mechs vs. Minions [Average Rating:8.11 Overall Rank:33]
Ben Silber
United States
Bridgewater
New Jersey
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My first one is going to be Mechs vs Minions.

I got it partially as a collectible, partially to play. But I think it's a good, quicker entry into "campaign" style games, where the same group continues through scenarios over multiple games.

I just haven't had the motivation to put together a group (whether my brother and I, or myself and friends) to give it a shot yet.
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5. Board Game: Trains [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:427] [Average Rating:7.20 Unranked]
BJ from Board Game Gumbo

Lafayette
Louisiana
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I love trying out new deck builders, and I have heard good things about this one. I recently picked it up and it’s one of the few Shelf games for me. My plan is to get this on the table in January!
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6. Board Game: Bohnanza [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:413]
Ian M
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I got this with the intention of having a trading game "accessible for non-gamers." I still think this was a good choice for this purpose. I haven't yet learned the game and I need to know it well enough to teach it to a group.
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7. Board Game: Conan [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:370] [Average Rating:7.78 Unranked]
Jason
United States
Ogden
Utah
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I really want to play this. I was originally holding off because I was waiting for the updated rule books. But, I've had the updated books for awhile and still haven't got it to the table.

I'm hoping to get it to the table over the Christmas holiday.
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8. Board Game: Cthulhu Wars [Average Rating:7.95 Overall Rank:229] [Average Rating:7.95 Unranked]
Jason
United States
Ogden
Utah
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I've been excited to play this since I picked it up in July. It looks amazing and I hear it's a good game too. I feel like I need to find a group that really likes dudes on a map games, because I also have Forbidden Stars and Chaos in the Old World on my wall of shame.
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9. Board Game: Black Fleet [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:711]
Jason
United States
Ogden
Utah
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I received this from my super-awesome Secret Santa last year, and (due to a very big wall of shame) I haven't got it to the table. It looks fun and something that would work well with my group. Maybe someday?
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10. Board Game: Find Your Seats [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:11003]
Dustin
United States
Seattle
Washington
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I love a lot of these wallet games. This looks like a really great while-waiting-for-people-to-show-up-for-dinner game. Hoping to break it out soon.
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