Not enough for a game session
Alex Brown
United States
Greenbelt
MD
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A pile of games I've played recently, with comments - but not enough to write up a full-fledged game session.
I expect some to fall off the bottom of the list as they
don't get repeat plays, and some to be added. Until I stop.

Feel free to add games you've played lately that you feel somehow compelled to comment on.
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1. Board Game: Alhambra [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:393]
Alex Brown
United States
Greenbelt
MD
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(I own this one)
Two plays now, 1 2-player with my wife, Emily, and 1 3-player with Emily and a friend.
The consensus after 2 plays is that it goes on a bit too long. For the next play we might try taking out 2 of each type of tile to make the game a bit shorter...but I'm worried that'll affect the game balance.
If I can get a next play. May just end up being on the trade block.
Overall, I just don't enjoy it enough for the length of time we end up taking. I do appreciate the design and think it's a solid game...but I'd rather play something else.
 
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2. Board Game: Hansa [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:709]
Alex Brown
United States
Greenbelt
MD
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One play, at GameDays in Maryland.
I quite enjoyed this game. Sure, it's abstract...but I like the mechanics and the thought processes involved. Where, when, and how to set up markets, trying not to set up the player after you, trying to turn a large amount of money into vp's - a nice tension between possible actions.
Also, although it initially appears that you want to force other people to pay to reload the goods, I think having a good amount of money may allow you to refill and grab a near-monopoly on one type of good before anyone else can go - a very powerful move.
It does seem as though a poor player can hand the game to the player after him.
I don't know how well it will hold up, but worth a few plays for sure. Also nice in that all these decisions don't take a whole lot of thought for most people and the game is over pretty quickly.
 
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3. Board Game: San Juan [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:228]
Alex Brown
United States
Greenbelt
MD
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3 or 4 plays.
My big beef with this highly-acclaimed game is I just don't feel like I'm making that many decisions. My turn comes, I look at my position, I have maybe one or two roles to choose between.
Now, I'm not particularly good at this game, either...but I don't really have much interest in becoming good.
For me, boring and not enough fun factor. I can appreciate how/why others like it, but I'd rather play PR, and now that I've got it, Meuterer (although I haven't played that yet).
 
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4. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:124] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
Alex Brown
United States
Greenbelt
MD
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3 playings. I enjoy this game (SOO much more interesting than Transamerica), but I'm unsure if it'll hold up to the surfeit of playings it's experiencing lately. Undoubtedly will remain a terrific gateway game. Still undecided whether to purchase.
Also, it has Sault Ste Marie (my hometown) on it! How cool is that?
 
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5. Board Game: Santiago [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:523]
Alex Brown
United States
Greenbelt
MD
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1 playing.
What a surprisingly good game! As we started playing I was distinctly underwhelmed with the production values and the seemingly simplistic gameplay. But there's so much going on - the overseer subgame (when should I be overseer? how long?), the tile laying subgame, and bidding which I always love. And the game goes quickly.
Then I found myself thinking about the game afterwards, and this may be a sleeper hit for me. Worth more plays for sure!
 
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6. Board Game: Trias [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:1675]
Alex Brown
United States
Greenbelt
MD
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(I own this one)
2 plays - both 2 players, with Emily. Emily has also played once with 3 players.
Emily and I quickly fell in love with the migration mechanic in this game. The little dinosaurs are a plus also. The decisions are interesting, with a variety of possible actions for most of the game (Actions seem to become less interesting toward the end of the game, so far at least).
It helped when we played with the correct end game rules (we had been putting the meteor always as the last card, instead of being any one of the #2 cards). I'm looking forward to more players.
Definitely a winner, and once that'll warrant occasional playing for a good long while.
 
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7. Board Game: El Grande [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:53]
 
Alex Brown
United States
Greenbelt
MD
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2 playings.
The first time I played this I really didn't enjoy myself at all. Must have been a group thing, or maybe I was in a bad mood, because I really enjoyed this last time with my regular group. Still can't seem to win, but I did come in second this time.
The winning strategy both times was to get first or second in as many provinces as possible. Clearly not as easy at it looks, since I always manage to get into a fight over one or two provinces and neglect most of the others.
Still, I'm definitely up for a playing most any time with the right people.
 
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8. Board Game: Chrononauts [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:1946] [Average Rating:6.22 Unranked]
Alex Brown
United States
Greenbelt
MD
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(I own this one)
2 plays - one with 2, one with 5.
A fun diversion for a group. With 2, play was pretty boring. I agree with comments I've seen elsewhere that it might be too easy to win with artifacts.
Fun once in a while for lunch group play.
There's something about Looney Labs games and the way that they just seem to end that grates on me a bit. I wonder if the game would be better with an extra artifact added to each mission, so that it's just as difficult to fulfill that winning condition as any of the others.
 
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9. Board Game: Illuminati: Deluxe Edition [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:1358]
Alex Brown
United States
Greenbelt
MD
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1 play recently.
It had been a long time, but the game held up OK. Overly fiddly, and no summaries of play or anything to help us along, but once we got going it went fairly smoothly, despite a couple rules quandaries. Two of us were close to winning, but the others were fairly well out of it. Not a whole lot of attacking, which certainly took some interaction out of the game but also sped it up.
On the whole, I'm more excited about Crime Lords than I am about playing this again, but I'd give it a go.
 
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10. Board Game: Chess [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:415] [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked]
Alex Brown
United States
Greenbelt
MD
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Many plays recently.
At work we have a chess board set up, with markers to indicate which side's turn it is and whether or not a king is in check. We make a move, walk away for awhile, come back and see what the new position is, make another move. Sometimes we stand around and kibbitz about the next best moves for white or black. Sometimes 2 people finish the game and start a new one.
We call it Random Office Chess(ROC). I love it. I'm trying to convince my co-worker to bring in his Go stuff, but I don't know how well it will work with that (especially as very few know how to play).
 
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11. Board Game: StreetSoccer [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:1681]
Alex Brown
United States
Greenbelt
MD
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Many plays.
I just love this game. I could play it once a day and be happy. The marriage of tactics and luck, with the time pressure changing the game, is just a ton of fun.
Sadly, Emily doesn't like this much, although she's willing to try again. Happily my work lunch group always has one or two up for a game.
 
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