Your Favorite Game with fewer than 30 ratings
Brian Bankler
United States
San Antonio
Texas
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I was inspired by Petermal's list for games outside the Top 200. But my thought is that most of the games in the Top 500 (or maybe 1000) are surely someone's favorite game. It's too restrictive.

So lets look for sleeper games. The games that I (and hopefully you) haven't heard about. Some of these will have less than 30 ratings because they are rare, OOP, etc. But surely some will be games you've just said "Oh, that."

To be sure, most of these games will only appeal to a small group, but if you even find one great title you didn't know about ...

Please add your own.

[As to how to do this. Go to your profile page, pick "Rated" games, then click on the down arrow to sort by your rating. Look for a BGG rating of N/A, those have fewer than 30 ratings.]
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1. Board Game: Clan War [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:8274]
Brian Bankler
United States
San Antonio
Texas
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Unsurprisingly, most of my really favorite games are well known. I have three games that I rate a '6' (good, not great). Clan war is the one I've played the most ... and I don't particularly like miniatures games. There are a few reasons I like this one:

1) I like the theme (Fantasy Japan)
2) The morale rules seem reasonable. Armies can break fairly quickly, and will not fight until the last man (or anything near it).
3) The fact that each army can build a deck of 30 cards adds another element to army design. I'm sure most people dislike that.

Not a game I'd play everyday, but I had good fun with this.
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2. Board Game: Dvorak [Average Rating:7.02 Unranked]
'Bernard Wingrave'
United States
Wyoming
Ohio
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Dvorak is a system for playing (and creating) custom-themed card games. The game features an unusual option by which players may modify the rules (or the deck) during play, provided all players agree. It's sort of like playtesting the game (or the rule/deck changes) every time you play. I've enjoyed the Paranoia and Frankenstein decks.

I'm rather harsh in terms of ratings, and this is the only game with fewer than 30 ratings for which my rating is 6 or greater.
 
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3. Board Game: Grand Army of the Republic [Average Rating:5.78 Overall Rank:12010]
Von Ravn
Denmark
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Grand Army of the Republic. Basically A&A in ACW settings. You use D10's and there are leaders and events added, plus you can play with hidden corps OOB.

Not a super game, but a nice variant with more meat than A&A.
 
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4. Board Game: Days of Knights [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
Kent Reuber
United States
San Mateo
California
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My favorite set of medieval miniatures rules. Plays fast and has a good feel and it doesn't require tons of figures (usually about 20-25 stands/side).
 
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5. Board Game: Double Some'R'Set [Average Rating:7.94 Unranked]
Gary Heidenreich
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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Actually one of my all time favorite games, period. I need to find others again who want to learn this excellent, way ahead of its time, trick taking game. It plays four people. You should be able to play this with 3 with a bit of tweaking (perhaps getting rid of a suit).

No, it's not available, but it's easy enough to make a deck (50 cards) and the rules can be acquired online (link on the page).

I have rated this a 10 and I like this much more than Spades or Sheepshead.

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6. Board Game: Iroquoia: The Beaver Wars [Average Rating:6.64 Unranked]
Jim Paprocki
United States
Green Bay
Wisconsin
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This is still sitting at around 20 ratings, but my group has had a good time playing it. Wonderful bluffing element. I think what makes the game so much fun is that when you successfully bluff an opponent or two, their warband gets massacred. Moment of pure awesome!

Folks will complain about the low-grade components, but isn't it ultimately about the game play? Some will complain about the game length, but I think that message is biased by people who have only played the game once or twice. Get a few plays under your belt and the whole experience moves at a better pace.
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7. Board Game: Pow Wow [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:2470]
Carol Jones
United States
Maryland
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Pow Wow is one of 2 games I have rated a 9 but has less than 30 ratings. I think because it is so new, and similar to Coyote, it hasn't been rated much yet.

The other game is Scrambled States of America, which is rated a 9 as a children's game.
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8. Board Game: Full Time [Average Rating:6.31 Unranked]
Philip Poulton
United Kingdom
Harleston
Norfolk
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This is my favourite, with less than 30 votes, it only has 8 ratingscry.

I thought my choice was going to be Flutter but that now has 31 votes , and a ranking, albeit not a high one.
 
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9. Board Game: Bad Hollywood [Average Rating:5.22 Overall Rank:12985]
Dave Wilson
United States
Pleasanton
California
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13 ratings currently. I've a (perhaps unhealthy ) tendency to like the small card games like those from Adlung or Krimsus. Bad Hollywood comes from the latter. It's about sending movie villains out to destroy Hollywood movie studios so they can become the "Hollywood darlings". It uses card drafting to recruit villains, and the lower value villains have additional capabilities that make their values not quite so low. Taking down studios involve two issues: having enough villains that their strength overpowers the studio, and having villains that aren't vulnerable to the superhero that appears for the attack. There are six such heroes, and they come up randomly, but with calculable odds. For me, it's a nice mix of mechanisms that produce an enjoyable game.
 
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10. Board Game: Austin Powers CCG [Average Rating:4.48 Overall Rank:14655]
Michael Jordal
United States
Austin
Minnesota
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As a CCG, this game is not very good. But as a light fun game for couples, this game is awesome. I have it at a 9. Anytime my wife and I have another couple over that digs the Austin Powers theme, it is a must play. It is always a good time and now it is really cheap.
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11. Board Game: Stockmarket [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:7427]
Anthony Simons
United Kingdom
Royal Wootton Bassett
Wiltshire
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I have deliberately chosen an older game to eliminate the possibility of including something that's just new and perhaps hasn't reached its audience yet.

Stockmarket is one of those games based around a simple mechanism which often results in a fun hour or so of play. There is one trading round per player in the game, for which each player is dealt a hand of cards. Once every player has had the opportunity to trade three times all the cards are gathered in and the share prices altered according to the collective data on all of the cards.

Thus, each player has limited knowledge at the start of each round as to how much the share price may rise or fall; some companies are typically more volatile than others, but apart from what they know a player must watch how other players are trading to deduce whether it would be a good time to opt in or out of certain stock.

There have been a number of games like this one, but the added beauty and function of the equipment used brings an extra something to the game.
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12. Board Game: Trivia for Dummies [Average Rating:5.08 Overall Rank:13619]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Trivia for Dummies has only earned 24 ratings. It's actually extremely fun. It is only for 4 players, but it feels like a big party game. This was the only game (until Wits & Wagers) that actually took the basic idea of a trivia game and made it enjoyable even for those who don't like trivia.
 
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13. Board Game: Squeeze Phrase [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Squeeze Phrase is a very enjoyable puzzle-solving/word/speed game. Unfortunately it has only netted 4 ratings (but those ratings give it an average of 7.25!) It's a delightful game that has only one major drawback in that there are a limited number of cards, so replay-ability is somewhat lower than I would like.
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14. Board Game: Cannon [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:4696]
Avri
United States
Brooklyn
New York
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Only 22 ratings for the best abstract I know. Give it a try - you won't be disappointed . . .
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15. Board Game: Lamarckian Poker [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:7689]
Dennis Ugolini
United States
San Antonio
Texas
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James Ernest card game written up in GAMES magazine once upon a time. Quick little filler game of trading cards in for cards of like rank and suit, trying to build the best poker hand possible.
 
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16. Board Game: Schnapsen [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:4257]
Stven Carlberg
United States
Decatur
Georgia
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My girlfriend is an Austrian who has been living in the United States since she was a teenager. She taught me Schnapsen, an excellent two-handed card game using a 20-card deck. You're dealt five cards, and at the beginning of the hand you don't have to follow suit, but when you get to the bottom of the draw pile, you start having to follow suit and having to win the trick if you can -- or, if you think you'll have enough points to win the hand without going all the way to the bottom of the draw pile, you can close the draw pile early and put the hand into its second phase.

Really it's the best trump game for two I've ever played, edging out double pinochle (with which it shares the possibility of scoring points by declaring "marriages").

Angelika's parents, as she recalls, always used to play this game in bed. So that's what we do, too.
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17. Board Game: Black Ice [Average Rating:5.78 Overall Rank:11438]
Jeff Wolfe
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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My favorite games with few ratings are some of the less well known games with icehouse pieces. I'd say it's a toss-up between Black Ice and Twin Win which is my favorite right now.
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18. Board Game: Sue You! [Average Rating:5.72 Unranked]
Trencher for Life
United States
Slidell
Louisiana
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A great game that I got as a Christmas present from a girlfriend. It's a fun little game that the reviewer of it apparently missed out on. We added one little house rule: If you sue someone, you have to make up a story as to why. Man, talk about a lot of bickering, backbiting, and the good, clean fun that is smack talking. laugh
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19. Board Game: Strong Stuff! [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:5526]
Sean Ross
Canada
North Vancouver
British Columbia
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I'll just quote my comments on this game:
seandavidross wrote:
I can't remember how I stumbled across this game's entry here at BGG, but as soon as I saw it I knew I would like it. So, after a special order through my usual online retailer, and five weeks waiting for the game to ship over from Germany, it arrived and I was right - I like it a lot. The game is incredibly simple: roll a die and, with one hand, move the wooden bear with his little "wooden" tray balancing whichever "beehives" he's collected so far 0-3 tiles clockwise around the track, then add a hive that matches the color of the flowers on the tile to which you've moved (or any other type if that color has been used up); if, during this process, you topple the tower of hives, move the bear to the destination tile (if not already there), reset the tray with a single hive of the color on that tile, then choose any other tile from the track to mark your shame... er, to keep score. The rules translation here says you play until someone has two tiles, but we've played until all but one player has been eliminated for collecting two tiles in a four player game, three tiles in a three player game, and four tiles in a two player game. The game's delicious tension grows in relation to the height of the wobbly hive stack where maliciously clever players have teetered their additions on the edge of collapse in hopes that the tower will fall before it has a chance to come back around and deliver them their just desserts. The plaintive prayers for "Zero" by the player tasked with moving a tower grown untenably high is drowned out by the cruel steady chant of "Three!" from the peanut gallery: it's like a Disney-fied Lord of the Flies, or like those tiny green cannibal urchins in Galaxy Quest exhorting "Rock! Rock!". Also, the use of taunts, whistles, ooooo-whoo-whoo-whoohs, and the occasional "jazz hands" from the other players is not verboten. The game's difficulty level can be increased or decreased by using the circular or rectangular tray, by widening or narrowing the gap between tiles, and/or by using your weak or strong hand. Shots of alcohol, for the grown-ups, may be applied at your discretion....
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20. Board Game: Stonez [Average Rating:6.15 Unranked]
Andy Parsons
United Kingdom
CHELMSFORD
Essex
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A simple, short, intense tile-placer and turner and lifter and capturer. Stonez was self-published by the designer Kemal Yun and has only 21 ratings. Mine is a 7.
 
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21. Board Game: Creeper [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:7881]
Steven Backues
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
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This one is at 24 ratings, last I checked. It comes bundled with three other wooden abstracts from PIN games, including the better known (but much worse) Quadtria. It's definitely the star of the set, with two simple mechanics - tile flipping and piece capturing - that interact very nicely to give it a lot of positional strategy.
 
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22. Board Game: Flightplan [Average Rating:5.61 Unranked]
Tomello Visello
United States
Reston
Virginia
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A kid's game and I still want to play it myself, even though my nieces and nephew have all grown past it. Some days I think that the rise of the internet might have kept this alive longer if it hadn't been produced so much earlier, instead. I accidently found it back in the late 80's by seeing an advertisement while browsing someone else's copy of Games magazine.

Way simple, but still more stimulating than the stuff sitting on the shelves now getting ready for Christmas at the big box toy store.
 
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23. Board Game: Dschungelrennen [Average Rating:6.12 Overall Rank:10400]
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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OK, it's just a roll-n-move... but it's great fun to play and actually some clever things you can do (sometimes). On other turns, you end up begging the dice to roll something besides "monkey/bear 1". That's the way it goes when your team of animals is trying to race through the jungle in some demented game of leap-frog.
 
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24. Board Game: Ramses [Average Rating:6.56 Unranked]
Daniel Danzer
Germany
Stuttgart
southwest
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One of my favourites, 6 ratings! From the game entry

"Each of the two players is trying to maneuver his four pieces onto specially marked squares or to box his adversary in (if he cannot move any piece, he's lost). Interestingly, on your turn you move first one of your own pieces, then one of your adversary's.
The pieces move orthogonally (as long as they don't go twice through the same square during a move) by as many squares as there are pieces in its starting column and row (using the larger number, counting itself)."

Brain-burner of highest quality!


some of the possibilities - please look at the image plus comment to get it ...
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25. Board Game: Not War But Murder [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:4227]
Brian Morris
United States
Raytown
Missouri
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2nd, 6th and 7th Wisconsin, 19th Indiana, 24th Michigan
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24th Michigan Monument Gettysburg Pa
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An excellent area impulse game simulating the Battle of Cold Harbor.
 
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