New to you Feb 08 => Best new game you played this month and why
Andy
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Manchester
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What's the best new game you played this month (Feb 08) and why?

New To You is changing slightly to accommodate all the wonderful suggestions I've had. There's now a companion Meta List http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/28741

There is also a forum thread to which you can subscribe, and every month I'll post a link to the new list. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/297188


Most played Game and More: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/29478

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1. Board Game: Railways of Europe [Average Rating:8.10 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.10 Unranked]
Andy
United Kingdom
Manchester
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It turned out to be quite a good month for new games, with the following all hitting the table for the first time for me.

Rails of Europe; Frank's Zoo; For Sale; War of the Ring; King Me!; Articulate; Palazzo; Coloretto; Backgammon; Scene It? - Music and Felix: The Cat in the Sack.

And whilst I did really enjoy War of the Ring, I have to give this month's award to Rails of Europe, which was really good and, in my opinion, an improvement over Railroad Tycoon.
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2. Board Game: Galaxy Trucker [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:128]
Carlos Ferreira
Portugal
Porto Salvo
Porto Salvo
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Fast & Fun
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3. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:49]
Ryan Olson
United States
Auburn
Kansas
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Wow. This was a VERY tough decision this month...

I also played Die Macher, StarCraft: The Board Game, Balderdash, Zombie Fluxx, Cartagena, and Antler Island.

Die Macher and Starcraft were VERY serious contenders for the #1 spot. I think RftG won only due to multiple plays.

Balderdash was a surprise, it's a good party game, although I think I like Time's Up! better.

Cartagena was a pleasant surprise also. Will probably pick it up for the family.

Need to play Antler island again. Not too sure about it yet. First impression was pretty negative. (After looking at the forums, I see we played an important rule wrong. Really need to try it again now.)

Zombie Fluxx is bad. First Fluxx game of any kind, and I have no desire to play another one. Although I will probably play Family Fluxx, because my wife bought it.
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4. Board Game: Britannia [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:541]
 
Ronster Zero
United States
California
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I was lucky enough to win this game in a math trade for some (ok a bit) of Geek Gold.

Tried a solo game, then for real. I really loved this game. A nice bit of depth and tons of stuff to do. I don't think I will get to play this as much as I would like, but I know I'll enjoy it each time I do.
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5. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:70]
United States
Lexington
Kentucky
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I played T&E for the first time last weekend. I was very impressed and have thought throughout the week what I'd have done differently. That is certainly a good sign.
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6. Board Game: World at War: Eisenbach Gap [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:1568]
Erik Nicely
United States
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Light wargames don't get any better than this. I've played 7 games this month. Fast play, cool units like Abrams and Hinds, and a theme (WWIII) that for some reason has always fascinated me. Easy to teach too. I think about this game when I'm not playing it.
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7. Board Game: Sunken City [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:3334]
Stephen Roney
United States
Ladera Ranch
California
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I don't think I will play anything new tonight.....

Lot's of new stuff this month for me, too. In order of preference:

Sunken City
Fjords
Vexation
Bull in a China Shop
Felix: The Cat in the Sack
Cities and Knights of Catan (also 5-6 player expansion)
Settlers of Catan Event Cards
Flaschenteufel

Due to the presence of Cities and Knights, I can't really judge the Settlers of Catan 5-6 player expansion separately.
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8. Board Game: 1960: The Making of the President [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:157]
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
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I played another 10 new games in February, and it's not that hard to pick a favorite among all of them. The hardest choice was between the first two games on the list, but the clear winner was....

1960: The Making of the President plays quickly, has interesting choices, and is a nifty iteration of the Twilight Struggle engine. We didn't make it through a full game, but we came awfully close before we had to wrap it up; we made it through the debates. I can see this game taking between 60-90 minutes with two experienced players. I just hope I get the opportunity to play it more often.

Cuba was the close second. The game reminded me a lot more of The Pillars of the Earth than it did Puerto Rico, simply because the overall flavor of the game was more similar to the former than the latter. I understand the comparisons to both, but given the quicker timeframe, the more sensible construction of the mechanisms, and the lesser likelihood that an inexperienced player can throw the game, I prefer Cuba. Here's hoping that it will show up on Tanga again. Soon.

Power Grid is always a favorite, and I had the opportunity to play on the Central Europe map of the Power Grid: Benelux/Central Europe expansion set, along with the Power Grid: The New Power Plant Cards. It's been so long since I've played the game that I didn't see a huge difference between the two plant decks, but I've since gone back and done a comparison. I think this one is possibly looser, but maybe that's because nuclear power is a more viable option on this map. I made a push for first in the game, but wound up in third because I jumped to the front of the pack one turn too soon. Le sigh.

I picked up Make 'n' Break Extreme at Barnes & Noble's clearance sale, and coerced my wife into trying it with me. We had a blast with it! I can see this being a big hit with her family, and for $7.50, we're certainly getting our money's worth. We made it a nickel this month alone.

I had a Sunday to myself, and experimented with the solitaire maps in both Age of Steam Expansion: Barbados / St. Lucia and Age of Steam Expansion: Jamaica / Puerto Rico. They were interesting, in that they both managed to maintain that same sort of turn angst that I like in the standard game, but I can't say that they really compare to a game on a multiplayer map. They're not bad for killing some time, but really, these are just for times when you want to play, but can't find any opponents.

Saga was interesting, if a little strange. It may not work best with two players, which is how we played it, since it seems like it's never in your interest to pick up a stray knight. The end of both games was determined by who went out of cards first, so why make your hand larger? I'm not sure about the replayability of the game, given the semi-scripted hands of cards, but kudos to the designer for giving the game some nifty options. Also, I wonder if the inherent chaos of more players would ruin this game for me. It's a solid MEH for me.

Arkadia might be interesting, but I misunderstood a couple of key rules going into the game which royally screwed up the way I played the game. I don't think I was doing well, regardless (another player misunderstood the same rule, but was far ahead of me), but I would like to try it again knowing the correct way to play. It hasn't really impressed me as a must-play game right now, though.

The last new game for February was Vikings, another interesting-but-unimpressive game. I think it has some neat things going on, and it's a nice balance of luck and tactics, but it just didn't win me over like I was expecting. It has a nifty balancing mechanism between the roles and their beginning costs, and the wheel is a neat way of working the game's economy, but it's just nothing that sits in my brain after it's over. It's inoffensive, and probably a good game for casual players, but I wasn't that thrilled with it.
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9. Board Game: The End of the Triumvirate [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:1307]
Henry Rodriguez
United States
Miami
Florida
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I had been looking at this game for some time...wanting a dedicated 3-player game. Nearly two weeks ago, I give this one a whirl with a couple of good friends.

I was told that military victory was the least frequent way of winning. So, of course, that meant that I was going to try to satisfy this path to victory. cool I took a big chunk of my (Pompeiius) military against Caesar and lost it mid-way through the first round. This left two of us lacking in military units and opened the door for the third player (Crassus) to win via military at the end of round 2.

Not that the game wasn't close. Had Crassius not won then, Caesar would have won via competency immediately thereafter (and failing that, followed immediately thereafter by me via consul victory). I want my own copy for sure now!

Other new games I played in February:

Container
War at Sea
Cash-a-Catch
Car Wars
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10. Board Game: Blokus Trigon [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:898]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
Den Bosch
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Games in February that were new to me:
Calculus
Sumo!
Plunder
For Sale
Taluva
Street Illegal
In the Year of the Dragon
Race for the Galaxy
Werewolf
Zendo


Clearly a banner month: ItYotD is brilliant. Zendo, For Sale and Taluva will likely never leave our game rotation. But Blokus Trigon beats them all. 17 plays in 3 weeks. 2P, 3P, and 4P. Every single game was exciting, frustrating, agonising, hilarious fun! Almsot all were anyone's to win with 3 pieces left. Turn order? Irrelevant. Language dependence? Nil. Replayability? Endless. Age appropriate? Anyone who can game can play this.
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11. Board Game: Roads & Boats [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:271]
Lori
United States
Durham
North Carolina
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This is a tough call only because I played Iron Dragon for the first time this month. Although it was great, it was also a new take on something I already know and love, the crayon rail series. So I give the nod to a truly new, and ultra-fabulous game: Roads and Boats.

Other games new to me:
1860: 18XX not my thing, but I think this is a good one.
Giganten: OK.
Mu: I wanted to like this.
Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper: Initially confusing but definitely enjoyed this.
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12. Board Game: Cold War: CIA vs KGB [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:1096]
Blake Phillips
United States
Montague
Massachusetts
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Really looking forward to playing this more... got it to the table several times in February and enjoyed the experience but know there is more there. Both my games were a bit rushed - played while waiting for the rest of the game group to arrive. This Sunday i will give it the attention it deserves.
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13. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:73]
Brent Mair
United States
Roy
Utah
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Five new games this month and a few very good ones.

Pandemic wins. I've played five times and I expect to play a few more in the next few days. My gaming group rarely plays the same game over and over again (Race for the Galaxy is the recent anomaly) but we played this game three times in a row back on the 14th. The first few games were fairly quick losses (4 players, 5 epidemic cards) but we succeeded in curing the diseases in the third game. Two more games occurred in the next two days.

Ticket to Ride: Switzerland was the runner up with two plays.
1960: The Making of the President appears to be a great game but my bias against area majority tempered my experience. I love the history and mechanisms.

Also played Wallamoppi and Sherlock. Both good games in their own right. Sherlock is one of the better memory games I have played.
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14. Board Game: In the Year of the Dragon [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:220]
Charles Hasegawa
United States
Chandler
Arizona
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This was my GotM for Feb. Really a good gamer's game from the Alea Big Box set. Just enough things to balance (including when to be greedy).
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15. Board Game: FAB: The Bulge [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:1467]
Robert Wilson
Canada
Riverview
New Brunswick
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this game is what i think will be a new dawn of wargaming

its Fast and fun, and easy to learn/teach


and on top of that it has top notch componentry and isnt that expensive



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16. Board Game: Arkadia [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:730]
Michael Kandrac
United States
Grand Prairie
TX
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I know there are a lot of new Arkadia owners out there who, like I, took advantage of the B&N February Sale. Arkadia is an excellent game and my newest favorite because of the following features and benefits:

- Beautiful and functional components
- Streamlined choices
- Hour long game duration
- Timing of decisions

I love finding the best building in my hand's best location on the board.

Gg

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17. Board Game: Hop Hop Hooray! [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:4862]
Sue Hemberger

Washington
Dist of Columbia
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House fave would have to be this silly fun marble bouncing game -- everybody wants to play and then play again. Personal fave would be Pandemic, because it's interesting and different. And I also enjoyed Wild Words and Lascaux. Good month for new games here.
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18. Board Game: Icehouse [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:2640]
Avri
United States
Brooklyn
New York
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It really is a relief to finally have played the Granddady of pyramid games, and I'm glad to say that the anticipation did not spoil the experience. This really is nearly more sport than boardgame, even closer to a way of thinking! It relies on having players who "get it" as it is very gameable. Thankfully, Marc, Keira and Iain who put together the game for me , were the embodiment of Cool . . .

Thanks to various Meetups and NonCon, I got to play a bunch of new games this month:

Icehouse, Quoridor, Pitch Car, Samsara, Scripts and Scribes, Covert Action, Race for the Galaxy and Zombie Fluxx.

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19. Board Game: Thebes [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:377]
Quinn Munnerlyn
United States
Carrollton
Texas
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Thebes was the only new-to-me game for February. It has some interesting aspects but ultimately I feel it has some issues that make it a difficult one to really enjoy every time.
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20. Board Game: Union Pacific [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:468]
Sheamus Parkes
United States
Carmel
Indiana
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A little older, but still very good. I think it's a great cross between Acquire and Ticket to Ride. Now if I could only decide which method of nerfing UP Stock worked best...
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21. Board Game: The Price of Freedom: The American Civil War 1861-1865 [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:5348]
Mark Gray
United States
Glenwood Springs
Colorado
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Just got this one last week, and it is impressive. Probably destined to be my favorite ACW strategic level game. Great design, components, and superb support from designer Renaud Verlaque. Playable in an evening.
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22. Board Game: The Game of Life: Card Game [Average Rating:5.79 Overall Rank:9489]
skrebs
United States
Davis
California
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My list looks a little sad, but it's pretty typical of my game playing since it's mostly with my wife and my four year old. The Game of Life Card game is actually a pretty fun and funny way to spend thirty minutes as long as you narrate your life and decisions. And it has almost no connection to the boardgame, so that's a plus! The other games new to me in February were...

Sherlock - a memory game that's bearable
3-D Labyrinth - a horrible implementation of the Amazing Labyrinth
Knights of Charlemagne - I don't like how it turns into a card counting game mid-game. I suggested to my wife that we play the cards face down.
Thebes - My wife was practically falling asleep while playing, so not optimal conditions. It seemed like it would be a heckuva lot more fun with conscious opponents.
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23. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.35 Overall Rank:4]
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
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Si non potes reperire Berolini in tabula, ludens essetis non WIF.
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Hey, get your stinking cursor off my face! I got nukes, you know.
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I played several new games this month but TS was (from first impressions) my favorite.

This despite being roundly thrashed as the Americans, an auto-victory for the Soviets on turn 9 mostly because of flower power! Damn hippies!
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24. Board Game: Liberty: The American Revolution 1775-83 [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:2091]
Martin
United States
San Diego area
California
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This was a clear winner for the month, despite some other enjoyable contenders. While Hammer of the Scots gets most of the attention (and I enjoy it as well), Liberty's naval aspect puts it over the top for me.

The rest:
1960 The Making of a President - really liked it, but not as much as Twilight Struggle. I don't feel a burning desire to play it again.

Risk: Godstorm - harmless fun, not too long.

Slapshot - will definitely come out again next time we play games while watching sports. Too much downtime for a regular gameday, though.

Speed Circuit - fun, but not as much fun for me as Formula De. I can see how plotted movement is more appealing to many, but I like to roll some dice.
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25. Board Game: Alchemist [Average Rating:6.26 Overall Rank:2503]
除名山 蔵芽戸
Japan
Sendai
Miyagi
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I had some store credit this month and decided to go ahead and pick up Alchemist. Despite only getting mediocre reviews when I did a geek buddy analysis, I thought the game wasn't half bad. The fact that each person has an ingredient that they are secretly trying to promote in order to score more bonus points at the end adds enough to the game to make it a pretty good, light weight, filler game.
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