I took an adult education class called 'Beyond Monopoly' and these are the games we played
Marshall P.
United States
Wichita
Kansas
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My wife and I signed up for a Saturday afternoon class called "Beyond Monopoly" the purpose of which was to introduce adults to modern euro games. I've been slowly getting my wife into the boardgaming hobby and I thought this class would help put her over the top so to speak. Also I wanted to meet other potential gamers in my area.

This list consists of the games we played in the class, there were four games, eight students (we broke into two groups), and one instructor. I'll rank each game on a scale of 1 through 4 (best to worst) once each for what I thought, for what my wife thought, and for what the class overall thought of the game.
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1. Board Game: TransAmerica [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:893]
Marshall P.
United States
Wichita
Kansas
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"Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution" - Theodosius Dobzhansky
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There is grandeur in this view of life, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
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First up was TransAmerica, a game which I own but have never played.

ME: 4 - It's not that TransAmerica wasn't fun it was just too shallow for me. I'm not ready to say for sure yet but I suspect that once the cards are dealt the player has very little control over his fate. Going into the game I was aware that the initial placement of your hub could decide the game and that you should try not to build track where others are likely to build it. Even so I never felt that any decision I made increased my chances of winning the game. But because it's so quick I'm certainly willing to play it more.

MY WIFE: 1 - She thought it was easy to learn and it's the game she most wants to play again out of the four games.

THE CLASS: 3 - Don't let the ranking of 3 fool you, the class enjoyed this quite a bit. It was my impression, however, that a couple of the games below just edged it out.
 
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2. Board Game: The Bucket King [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:2164]
Marshall P.
United States
Wichita
Kansas
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"Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution" - Theodosius Dobzhansky
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There is grandeur in this view of life, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
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Next up was The Bucket King, a game I had never heard of.

ME: 2 - I really liked this game quite a bit, granted it was the only game I won but I don't think that was the reason. I love the idea of stacking your buckets based on the strength of your initial hand and then defending that stack as the game progresses and the composition of your hand changes. We only played one game but my impression is that there's bit of depth and strategy here. It would take more playings to find out if there's enough strategy to compensate for the considerable amount of luck involved. So far my only complaint is the theme, it's really lame and it gives the impression of a kids game. Since the theme is tacked on anyway, I just wish they had chosen something more engaging.

MY WIFE: 4 - My wife's experience in this game was somewhat marred by another player who didn't quite have the hang of it. This other player managed to destroy half of her own bucket stack by attacking with colors in which she was weak. My wife says this game most reminded her of UNO - and not in a good way.

THE CLASS: 4 - The rest of the class didn't seem to take to this one. As soon as the game was over they couldn't wait to put it away and it didn't generate any discussion.

Based on the others reactions I hope I'm not giving this game too much credit, but based on the one playing I felt that, with skilled players, the game would be tight and strategic.
 
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3. Board Game: Clans [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:1136]
Marshall P.
United States
Wichita
Kansas
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"Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution" - Theodosius Dobzhansky
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There is grandeur in this view of life, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
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To my delight Clans was next. I already own Clans and have played it extensively.

ME: 1 - My ranking is based mainly on my previous experience with Clans. I love this game and often play it at work with two other people. The problem in this class was that we had four people in the game. In my opinion Clans begins to suffer with four, you lose control as the board changes significanly between your turns, there's not much point in concealing your color or trying to guess the other players colors. It also no longer makes sense to try and screw another player because your turns are simply too valuable, you must use them to improve your position. And the ultimate problem with four player clans is your lack of control in the endgame. The final two villages formed are crucial and you must be in one if not both of them. With four players there's little you can do except hope for luck that you make it into those villages. I rank Clans highest here because I know it to be a quality game, not fair perhaps, but it's my list!

MY WIFE: 2 - My wife was glad to be able to play with more than two people (previously she had only played it with me). She liked seeing other peoples strategies.

THE CLASS: 1 - I was surprised at how well this game was received. Everyone enjoyed it and it was played twice, I think it was the clear favorite of the class. It was especially interesting that people found the rules for this game to be heavy and there were several worried faces as they were being explained. Once play began though they got the hang of it (except for one woman who absolutely refused to form a village no matter how many times she was set up).
 
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4. Board Game: Coyote [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1858]
Marshall P.
United States
Wichita
Kansas
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"Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution" - Theodosius Dobzhansky
badge
There is grandeur in this view of life, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
Avatar
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And finally we played Coyote another new game to me.

ME: 3 - Despite my ranking this game third I actually had the most fun playing it in this class. I rank it below some others because I don't think it's as replayable and, long term, it's not as good of a game. Basically this game is just like indian poker except slightly improved because the players are forced to give their estimate of the sum of all the cards they can see. This gives the other players a little more information to work with (although you can bluff). We really had a fun time with this game, it required some thought but generated a lot of laughs also. It just seems to me that it would start to get annoying if played too often. It's best for the occational filler game. (There's also the problem of forehead sweat accumulation on the back of the cards)

MY WIFE: 3 - My wife says Coyote was a lot of fun and would be a great party game.

THE CLASS: 2 - It's a tough call for me to tell if the class like Coyote better or TransAmerica. I go with Coyote because there seemed to be a lot more interaction and a lot of smiles while it was being played.
 
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