My Top-20 Obscure Games (less than 500 ratings)
Chris Smith
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Joining the fun of users creating lists of their obscure games they enjoy.

There are a number of entries from small, print on demand publishers. Obviously they won't have the reach compared to the bigger publishers.

Hopefully others look at the list and perhaps pick up a title or two.
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1. Board Game: Bitskrieg [Average Rating:6.67 Unranked]
Chris Smith
Canada
Toronto
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Number of ratings: 20
My rating: 5
Print status: Hollandspiele
Reason for obscurity: Small print on demand publisher.

Reason for love: It's a short tactical tank game that my seven year old understands. We remove the reinforcements for now, but it doesn't detract from the game, at least when I play with her.
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2. Board Game: Optimates et Populares [Average Rating:6.41 Unranked]
Chris Smith
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Number of ratings: 22
My rating: 7
Print status: Hollandspiele
Reason for obscurity: Small print on demand publisher.

Reason for love: A fun two player abstract which simulates the Roman senate. This is very much a game where one mistake by either player and the game is over. Call the game and start again. It's a really tight balance.

[EDIT] - Wrote Greek, it's the Roman senate. Thanks for the correction.
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3. Board Game: 1867: The Railways of Canada [Average Rating:7.77 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.77 Unranked]
Chris Smith
Canada
Toronto
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Number of ratings: 51
My rating: 9
Print status: All-Aboard Games
Reason for obscurity: Small print on demand publisher. 18xx.

Reason for love: I love navigating the mergers in this game. At some point companies will fail and be nationalized. Wading those waters is fun.
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4. Board Game: South African Railroads [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:5187]
Chris Smith
Canada
Toronto
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Number of ratings: 77
My rating: 6
Print status: OOP
Reason for obscurity: Essen Winsome release.

Reason for love: There hasn't been too many Winsome games I don't like. They usually have interesting alliances or stock manipulations during the game.
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Chris Smith
Canada
Toronto
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Number of ratings: 79
My rating: 7
Print status: Hollandspiele
Reason for obscurity: Small print on demand publisher.

Reason for love: A tactical game about supplying the war with food and arms. Another Tom design that has a delicate balance. One mistake is often insurmountable.
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6. Board Game: Table Battles [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:4815]
Chris Smith
Canada
Toronto
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Number of ratings: 115
My rating: 5
Print status: Hollandspiele
Reason for obscurity: Small print on demand publisher.

Reason for love: It's a great 15-20 filler. A game that abstracts battles of past. Soon enough I have a feeling dinosaurs are going to make an appearance.
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7. Board Game: For-Ex [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:5722]
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Number of ratings: 121
My rating: 7
Print status: Hollandspiele
Reason for obscurity: Small print on demand publisher.

Reason for love:
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8. Board Game: Agricola, Master of Britain [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:4135]
Chris Smith
Canada
Toronto
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Number of ratings: 135
My rating: 7
Print status: Hollandspiele
Reason for obscurity: Small print on demand publisher. Solitaire only.

Reason for love: It's a fun solitaire game that's brutal as hell. I haven't won a game yet. One province always gets neglected while I try to put out fire elsewhere.
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9. Board Game: Continental Divide [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:4829]
Chris Smith
Canada
Toronto
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Number of ratings: 156
My rating: 7
Print status: Eagle-Gryphon Games
Reason for obscurity: Winsome game that was reprinted. Nothing flashy about the game.

Reason for love: Valuing that first share in each company is the game. Too high, no one can help throw more capital into the company, too low and you're bought out the next turn.
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10. Board Game: Rolling Stock [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:3343]
Chris Smith
Canada
Toronto
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Number of ratings: 186
My rating: 8
Print status: All-Aboard Games
Reason for obscurity: Small print on demand publisher. 18xx.

Reason for love: Severely brutal. A stock manipulation game with auctions. Another game where a single mistake and you're out of contention.
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11. Board Game: 18MEX [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:2962]
Chris Smith
Canada
Toronto
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Number of ratings: 205
My rating: 8
Print status: All-Aboard Games
Reason for obscurity: Small print on demand publisher. 18xx

Reason for love: The train rush is real. Once that first 4T is bought, the gates are open the game comes to a fast conclusion soon after. If you aren't ready, prepare to drown.
 
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12. Board Game: Kansas Pacific [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:4327]
Chris Smith
Canada
Toronto
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Number of ratings: 215
My rating: 6
Print status: Queen's Games
Reason for obscurity: Winsome reprint. Train game.

Reason for love: Another Winsome game that has interesting timing decisions during the game.
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13. Board Game: High Treason: The Trial of Louis Riel [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:3008]
Chris Smith
Canada
Toronto
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Number of ratings: 224
My rating: 5
Print status: Victory Point Games
Reason for obscurity: Small publisher with small print run.

Reason for love: A game about the history of Louis Riel. As a Canadian the theme intrigued me.
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14. Board Game: 1849: The Game of Sicilian Railways [Average Rating:7.95 Overall Rank:2537]
Chris Smith
Canada
Toronto
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Number of ratings: 226
My rating: 9
Print status: All-Aboard Games
Reason for obscurity: Small print on demand publisher.

Reason for love: One of the tightest 18xx games I've played. Everyone is always cash strapped and building rail is expensive.
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15. Board Game: Railroad Barons [Average Rating:6.28 Overall Rank:4767]
Chris Smith
Canada
Toronto
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Number of ratings: 285
My rating: 5
Print status: Lookout Games
Reason for obscurity: Two player stock manipulation game.

Reason for love: It's an 18xx two player fix. Two player 18xx games are hard to come by, and this one works.
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16. Board Game: An Infamous Traffic [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:2688]
Chris Smith
Canada
Toronto
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Number of ratings: 317
My rating: 7
Print status: Hollandspiele
Reason for obscurity: Small print on demand publisher.

Reason for love: Highly interactive multiplayer game with a really tight economy. Players can be setting up for one victory condition while you pull the rug out under them and shut the Chinese market down.
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17. Board Game: Cannes: Stars, Scripts and Screens [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:4891]
Chris Smith
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Number of ratings: 346
My rating: 6
Print status: OOP
Reason for obscurity: Splotter only did one print run.

Reason for love: Most Splotter games ask interesting questions. This game is very timing dependent with some spatial awareness. If you place a tile incorrectly you allow others to chain together scripts and movies to smash the box office.
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18. Board Game: Iron Curtain [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:2365]
Chris Smith
Canada
Toronto
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Number of ratings: 362
My rating: 5
Print status: Jolly Roger Games
Reason for obscurity: No clue.

Reason for love: I like this better than 13 Days and 13 Minutes. I feel there's more meaningful decision than 13 Days, and lack of marketing maybe the games downfall. It's a decent 20 minute filler.
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19. Board Game: Comanchería: The Rise and Fall of the Comanche Empire [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:1839]
Chris Smith
Canada
Toronto
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Number of ratings: 364
My rating: 6
Print status: OOP GMT Games, on P500 list.
Reason for obscurity: Solitaire GMT game.

Reason for love: It's a demanding solitaire game from GMT. Lots of interesting decisions and the game is unique.
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20. Board Game: Locomotive Werks [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:2836]
Chris Smith
Canada
Toronto
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Number of ratings: 456
My rating: 5
Print status: Queen Games
Reason for obscurity: Winsome reprint. Trains.

Reason for love: Probably the most unique Winsome game I've played. Another timing game as you move through the advancing trains. There's dice rolling so the demand is always changing, making each game unique, but the dice don't affect your agency.
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