Hey, Jerome, Mike, Jesse, Ela & Jodie...
Kevin Bourrillion
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Hey guys!

I'm sooo excited that we're gonna start gaming regularly now every Thursday. I mean, the sporadic "big" game nights are great too, but there's something to be said for just a small group that gets together regularly... and boldly goes... <music swells> on an epic journey... of gaming... <music swells more> ... together!

<sound of record needle skipping off the record>

Ok, but anyway.

So here is where I am gonna attempt to get you excited about some of the games I have that you might not have played yet. See, I'm gonna post about a game, and then you're gonna reply and you're gonna be all, "I wanna have children with that game" or you're gonna be all, "if games were smells, this one would be Ass Crack." And then I'll be all, "nuh-uh" and you'll be all "yes-huh" and then...

Sorry. I get carried away.

Now, see, the games that it sounds like people are interested in, I will draaaaaaaaaag up nearer to the top of this GeekList! And the ones that seem to produce vomiting I'll move dooooooooown the list and curse myself for having even bought them!

And guess what? You can even add games to the list yourselves!

Frankly, anyone can add games to the list, but if someone does who isn't one of you, surely they small be smote.

Sounds good? Mmm? Yes? Ok here we go.
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1. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:28]
Kevin Bourrillion
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Now before we really begin, I just want to say: YES, of course I know that we all love Power Grid and Puerto Rico and St. Pete and Santiago and Mu and Modern Art and all forms of Ticket to Ride and the Bean Game and Notre Dame and stuff. So those will definitely stay in the rotation! Have no fear!

(unless I'm wrong on any of those? correct me.)

But of course... there's more....
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2. Board Game: The Princes of Florence [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:116]
Kevin Bourrillion
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I'm planning to FORCE this game on you the next time we have exactly 5 players!! You're gonna love it!
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3. Board Game: Kreta [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:1355]
 
Kevin Bourrillion
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Also, although I only introduced it very recently, it seems like Kreta is going over very well with you guys, am I right? I certainly *love* this game and would like to play lots of it.

(This is max 4p, and considered best with 4p. We would play it on days someone doesn't show up, or after Jerome leaves early to go play PlayStation.)

Incidentally, for me, Kreta has replaced China. I don't really want to play China as much anymore.
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4. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:73]
Kevin Bourrillion
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I thought maybe we wanted to stick to competitive games for SGN, but sounds like y'all like this one. We can even try playing it 5-player.
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5. Board Game: Canal Mania [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:1378]
Kevin Bourrillion
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Haven't gotten to play it yet, but I spent a lot of time studying the rules so that I have everything down, and I'll be able to teach it pretty well I think.

It's a *little* bit like "Ticket To Ride The Canals", but there's a lot more going on than in TTR. You're also moving goods (wooden cubes!) around the country and getting points if doing so uses your own canals (if you ever played On the Underground, it's a little similar in that way).

- "Challenging, well-balanced, and, as long as everyone does some planning in their downtime, will move at a brisk pace."
- "Playing this game is like making love to a beautiful woman" - ummmm, I think this guy is with the wrong woman..
- "Brilliant blend of good gameplay plus real thematic feel without masses of rules and chrome."

This one should actually be good with all 5 players!! Sadly rare on this list, so I'm moving it up.
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6. Board Game: Genoa [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:497]
Kevin Bourrillion
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Remember the one with the pancake stack and you have to argue with everyone over every little thing you wanna do?

I *think* I may like this game, but my one play of it was kinda neutral, and it's definitely one of the longest games that we play, duration-wise. Which way does your thumb point?
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7. Board Game: Vikings [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:308]
Kevin Bourrillion
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Vikings!!

Let's see if Ela will give us the sales pitch.

Only goes up to 4p.
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8. Board Game: Caylus Magna Carta [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:665]
 
Kevin Bourrillion
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aka "Caylus Junior". Did everyone play this at least once? What's the feeling on coming back to it?

Argh, yet another that only goes up to 4. Crap.
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9. Board Game: Union Pacific [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:468]
Kevin Bourrillion
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Worth a second try?

You know, this game is like Super Rare, so if you guys just don't like it, I can sell it for a lotta money. But we should give it a proper chance, should we not?
 
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10. Board Game: War on Terror [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:3407]
Kevin Bourrillion
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War on Terror: the board game.

need I say more?

It includes... THE BALACLAVA OF EVIL.
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11. Board Game: Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:135]
Kevin Bourrillion
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Any love?

It's the #23 ranked game on the geek! That's higher than all the other games we play except PR, PG and Ra. Must be a reason, don't you think?
 
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12. Board Game: Taj Mahal [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:306]
Kevin Bourrillion
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Now, was it just me, or when I brought up Taj Mahal in some recent email thread we had, was the reaction sort of... lukewarm?

I was really bummed, because I friggin LOVE this game! What's not to love about fighting over those jellybeans, ice cream, bags of dirt and crates?

No love for the Taj? Hmmm? Everyone's played it, right?

(Can play 5, but is recommended to stick to 4 exactly. So, good for after Ela's bedtime.)
 
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13. Board Game: Before the Wind [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:1591]
Kevin Bourrillion
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Trust me: the NAME is definitely the worst thing about this game! I mean come on. Break the Wind???

So FORGET the name! Let me tell you about this game.

- "Finally someone decided to create a game that revolves near entirely around extortion."
- "The lo-ball for cash, hi-ball for card choices in the auction can be excruciating, and not just for the bidders."
- "Yet another game of filling warehouses and shipping goods... haven't we seen this before so many times and yet... yet another brilliant game appears."
- "Combines efficiency, planning, and a little evil in a surprisingly inventive fashion."
- "I was disappointed that the preservation action didn't apply to towels. I know they don't spoil but I really wanted to make towel jelly. Mmmm, Towel jelly."

It's "only a card game" but is meaty and will take a full two hours to play... in my play, the two hours really flew by.
 
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14. Board Game: Keythedral [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:681]
Kevin Bourrillion
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I really like this game. I remember Ela liked it, but I don't remember about Jerome, and I don't think anyone else played it (?).

This game has a lot of screwage as you calculate where to send your little worker dudes when so that your esteemed opponent doesn't get to send his little worker dudes anywhere and they have to stay home and drink mead and whine about politics instead. Also, it has MORE colors of wooden cubes than most games.

Unfortunately, like Break The Wind, it does have a stupid name, and that's I think what keeps it from hitting the table more.

What's you think?

(Allegedly plays bad with 5 players, great with 4)
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15. Board Game: Hansa [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:709]
Kevin Bourrillion
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I've had this game a long time and played it maybe 5 times or so, but I don't think I've ever gotten to introduce it to any of you!

It's really cool. Hear what BGG users have had to say!

- "Simple rules and quick play time offering subtle strategies."
- "Can best be described as a nicely themed abstract." (an oxymoron that fits!)
- "Fairly easy to learn, elegant mechanics, fun decisions, moves quickly."
- "Uma das melhores características deste jogo, em minha opinião, é a sua dinamicidade, além de ser muito elegante." (ok, I don't know what that means, but Z says it's something good.)
- "The gameplay is very tactical so this is great when I don't want to be in 'thinking ahead 5 moves' mode."
- "Colorblind people should probably look for another game." (wait! SHIT! never mind that one! Mike, how's it coming on that retinal transplant, you bastard?)

The interesting thing about this game is that, although we each may control different cities, we're all on the same boat, which you get to move only on your turn, so part of what you're trying to do is make sure that when you're finished, the boat is left in some really shitty location for your lefthand neighbor!

This game *would* work for four players but it's missing a piece, so it would be good with three.
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16. Board Game: Cutthroat Caverns [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:1142]
Kevin Bourrillion
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Just LISTEN to this tag line!

"Without teamwork, you will never survive. Without betrayal, you'll never win."

Now tell me that is not awesome.

Thankfully should work well with any number of players 3-6!
 
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17. Board Game: Oasis [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:1240]
Kevin Bourrillion
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We played this game a long time ago, and then for some reason I didn't want to play it since then, but I think it was a good game. I want to get it back out again. It combines a lot of interesting elements, and plays pretty quickly. And, it's great with five players.

But: CAMELS.
 
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18. Board Game: Meuterer [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:802]
Kevin Bourrillion
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People say this is a great 4-player card game, but when we tried to play it once, I hadn't found all the English translations of the reference cards n' shit yet, so we struggled and gave up. But now I have those things. Interested in trying again sometime when we have 4?

Quotes:

- "Brilliant balance of bluff and hand management. Not nearly the brain burner that Verräter is."
- "It takes a while to see why it is so great, so don't give up on it." (whoops, that's what we did)
- "Simple rules, some luck-factor, a little bluffing, great theme, lots of tactical possibilities, 'chicken factor', ..."
- "The rules seem unneccessarily convoluted on paper and surprisingly elegant in practice."
- "Plays quickly... has a bunch of player interaction, bluffing, and scheming--a very Citadels feel."
- "Amazing how much game fits in that teeny tiny box."

This game has the current distinction of being the highest-rated game on the geek that I own but have never played.
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19. Board Game: Um Reifenbreite [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:1124]
Kevin Bourrillion
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A bicycle racing simulation game. Completely unpronounceable name, ugly cartoonish graphics. But:

- "Really gives a great sense of a bicycle race (Tour de France). A great way to spend an hour or so."
- "Thematic, wild swings of luck tempered by good tactical play, loads of fun!"
- "The fun factor really peaks when someone causes a big, massive crash or pileup somewhere."
- "I really enjoy this one a great deal better than the likes of Formula De." :-)

One really interesting thing about this game is that it features cheating as a strategy! Like, you can choose to cheat by, I don't know, grabbing onto a passing car , but if you do there's a certain chance you'll get caught.

Needs exactly 4 players though. For those nights when Jerome brings his laptop and tries to get work done.
 
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20. Board Game: Lost Valley [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:1283]
Kevin Bourrillion
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Cmon, I've been bringin this one to game nights forever! It's an exploration game, where you have nifty rhomboid tiles instead of boring square tiles like Carcassonne! And you mine for gold, and you buy equipment and shit to help you mine for gold better! Love it, dammit!

Needs exactly 4 players.
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21. Board Game: Colossal Arena [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:751]
Kevin Bourrillion
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Now, I remember Jerome seeming to think this game was nothing special, but then, there is also the fact that he's an idiot. So, maybe we could try this some day when Jerome has to wash his hair. It's best with 4 players anyway, they say. Look, it's a KNIZIA, bitches! Only 30 other games in my collection can make THAT claim!!

A pretty simple-to-learn card game involving betting, and monsters n' shit. I miss playing it.

Grr. Apparently this game is disastrous for 5 players but awesome for 4.
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22. Board Game: MarraCash [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:1718]
 
Kevin Bourrillion
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Whadya think, Leila? Should we keep this one around, Omar?
 
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23. Board Game: Formula Dé [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:576]
Kevin Bourrillion
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Ok, here's the deal: we'd play 5-player and we'd each control two cars. We'd still do a single lap. We'd use a few more of the advanced rules to make it more interesting. We would make damn sure that the pace moves along quickly.

I think it would be really fun, but then again, I had fun the first time we played it.
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24. Board Game: In the Year of the Dragon [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:219]
Kevin Bourrillion
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One of the "hot new games" this year, from the guy who invented Notre Dame. You'll notice a few similarities to ND, but it has much less randomness to it, so the winner is really the player who did the most careful planning. Quotes:

- "Cruel and harsh on you but great fun"
- "Seems to scale perfectly with any number of players (2-5). So far, it feels different every time."
- "Absolutely brutal game. Agonizing decisions abound! I love it!" (true)
- "A fine balancing act between gaining victory points vs. preparing for the disasters. You will leave the table thinking about the game for several days."
- "Notre Dame seemed... kind of one dimensional... after experiencing Year of the Dragon."

This is definitely one of those games where it's less about playing against each other, and more about everyone playing against the game, and the game kicking everyone's ass, and the winner is whoever's ass got beat up the least-bad.
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