New to you Jun 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 (June 08) and why? Share your experiences of the new games you've played this month.

Meta List - http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/28741
(NOW with list summaries)

Forum thread - http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/297188


Most played Game and More: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/32743
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1. Board Game: Medieval Merchant [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:1658]
Andy
United Kingdom
Manchester
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A lot fewer plays this month than last... though still quite a good month overall, with 69 F2F plays... and only 6 new to me games and 1 new to me expansion.


Medieval Merchant
1 play
My nomination this month goes to a slightly older game that I was introduced to at my weekly game group, one week when we were down on numbers... we played Medieval Merchant with 6 and I was impressed with how clever it was. It reminded me a little of Power Grid, but much more streamlined since there was no auction phase and no fuel, but still connection building and area control.
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Ice Flow
1 play
I paid a visit to the Shire Gamers Monday night meeting this month, and one of the new games I played there, was the excellent game Ice Flow by UK based Ludorum games. I found this to be a really clever game, which actually played pretty quickly... we got through a 3 player game with rules explanation in 90 minutes.
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Hanging Gardens, The
1 play
The Hanging Gardens was another I played with the Shire Gamers, and I was very impressed with how simple it was, yet still quite deep. The card placement mechanism in particular was quite refreshing.
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Chinatown
1 play
My friend Chooi bought the new French-language version of Chinatown by Filosofia Editions, and we managed to get it to the table one Tuesday night for a 4 player game. A clever negotiation game, and the production value of the new edition is superb, with really nice artwork and good quality components. I'm not a huge fan of negotiation games however.
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Jamaica
3 plays
I bought Jamaica myself, having weighed up the various positive and negative comments.. the game does look very pretty, and it's chaotic, light and fun which always goes down well with me.. I actually prefer it with fewer players though, as the 6 player game gets a bit too unpredictable.
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Loopin' Louie
1 play
In recent months Loopin' Louie game has made an appearance as an opener for our weekly group, however I'd never managed to get in on a game. This month I did, and really enjoyed it. Lots of fun even for adults... but don't expect to win if there are any kids playing!
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Alhambra: The Treasure Chamber
1 play
We played 3 of the 4 mini expansions contained in Alhambra: The Treasure Chamber, and I have to say I really enjoyed the additional features. I look forward to more games of Alhambra with this expansion.
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2. Board Game: Tribune: Primus Inter Pares [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:465]
Steve K
United Kingdom
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With 12 new games and 2 new expansions, I had a hard time deciding which was "best". A few of these games felt very good, but each has its own strengths and weaknesses. I've gone for Tribune as the best balance between strategy, number of players and playing time. If you ask me again tomorrow, I may well tell you something else.

Tribune: Primus Inter Pares (3 plays) - The English edition is finally available! Very impressed. Lots of ways to approach things. In our first game we spent 5 minutes at the start laughing at the stupid chariot, then completely forgot to auction it during the game!

Monastery (3 plays) - An engaging tile placement / worker movement game, though we were concerned about a snowball effect (players getting additional monks pulled ahead quickly) and playing time (don't ask, but we played the full 2 days). We did wonder how much of this was down to our instinctive playing style of non-cooperation when constructing combined with increasing one's own score rather than inhibiting the score of other players. Hope to play it again soon, and see if we learned anything from this experience.

Tinners' Trail (3 plays) – More Wallace historical economics. Somewhat lighter & quicker than Brass, but still reasonably hefty. Interesting turn order & timing considerations. Each of the 3 games played out very differently due to initial board setups and copper/tin pricing.

Nefertiti (3 plays) – An ancient Egyptian auction game – what will they think of next? Actually, it feels quite fresh. Worker placement into 3 open markets (of a total of 8 used). When enough workers are placed to trigger a market closure (each market is different), then every worker earns something (in bid order) – maybe a card, maybe an extra special-power action, maybe some cash. Need to watch out for being caught short of cash. Most points scored at game end, cards being worth shifting amounts based on their rarity.

The Climbers (2 plays) – From the people that brought us Neue Heimat, another wooden block building game. It sounds simple enough: each turn you can move your pawn, move a block and move your pawn again - as long as you end your turn higher than when you started. Of course, once you start playing you discover that although other players could help you, they're usually more interested in clawing their own way up to the top.

The World Cup Game: Expansion Set 3 (2 plays) – A 5-player Euro 2008 game, four newbies & myself. Of my 3 teams, Czech Republic fell by the wayside at the first hurdle, but Croatia & Netherlands went all the way to the final thanks to impressive penalty taking. All my goals cards then went on the Netherlands. A subsequent 4-player game used revised rankings based on results, so cosmic normality was returned with a win by Germany (managed by me).

Pirate's Cove (1 play) - Single play. Great fun, and despite an almost mystic ability to repeatedly pick the same island as another player (& repeatedly come off worse in the ensuing battle) I re-jigged my approach and finished on a respectable score.

Ticket to Ride (1 play) –I’ve finally played the original after everything else in the series. Coming a dismal last place possibly colours my feelings. It felt OK, but nothing more.

Niagara (1 play) – rather fun. I was a little slow to catch on to the fact that stealing can be at least as profitable as prospecting. I’d certainly play this again if offered.

Power Grid: France/Italy (1 play) – well, I’d played France 3 or 4 times, but this was my first go at Italy. Five players, a major step 2 stall. Just before step 3 someone built to 7, there was a minor flurry of plant purchase, then the first player to build went from 5 cities to 15. Strangely unsatisfying. Probably better with fewer players?

King's Gate (1 play) – I rather liked this Knizia tile-laying game, fighting to exert most influence around a series of tiles.

Ramparts (1 play) – I’d picked up Ramparts cheap at the UK Games Expo, and finally tried it out. A pretty good 4-player abstract.

Confucius (1 play) – An action-point allowance game where you earn VP by being first to achieve certain conquest or exploration objectives or by having most influence in ministries when they are fully staffed. There’s a web of inter-dependencies, central being gifts which impose obligations and constraints on the recipients. One could almost imagine that Die Macher is one of the designer’s favourite games.

Wealth of Nations (1 play) – Pretty heavy trading/economic game. First 4-player game took 2.5 hours. I played like a buffoon, so I’m eager to play again soon.
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3. Board Game: 1960: The Making of the President [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:157]
Luke Morris
England
Faversham
Kent
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I'm gonna cheat.
I moved to Japan in June and so have had to put the vast vast vast majority of my games into shipping *sob* and won't see them until the 20th July (and that can't come soon enough!)
Of the five games I managed to smuggle across with me, Coloretto and No Thanks! need more than two and we've not had the chance to launch them on our friends over here yet, and myself and the wife have been extremely busy in training for our new job, getting new bank accounts, phones and alien registration cards to play Carc or On The Underground more than once, or Lost Cities at all.
Metal Gear Solid 4 may also have had something to do with that...

Anyway because of this I'll join June and May together to make a measley 14 games in total...The best new game being The Making of the President which is no Twilight Struggle but it's a good game in it's own right, and it always helps when I win. It's also the only new game I've played in the last couple of months....
So anyway, full plays...

Downfall Of Pompeii x 2
Ca$h 'n Gun$ x 2
Coloretto x 2

All x1:
World Cup Game
Through The Desert
Samurai
Making of the President
No Thanks
Lost Cities
On The Underground
Carc: Inns and Cathedrals
No Thanks!
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4. Board Game: Warriors of God [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:1039]
Matthew Bond
United Kingdom
Norwich
Norfolk
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Four new games (plus an expansion) this month and all of them evoked positive reactions - maybe I've just been in a good mood.

Warriors of God

My game of the month. Light wargame with lots of tactical play, but also room for a fair chunk of strategy. The leaders provide oodles of historical flavour and character. The knowledge that a leader can die at any time adds impetus to attacks, but this is well balanced by the fact that wasting leaders lives or letting them get captured gifts your opponent vital victory points. Their fragility determines the ebb and flow of the game, and although it can be frustrating when a prominent leader dies prematurely, I feel they really make the game. This game has it all: daring attacks, favourite characters, a wildly fluctuating map, but mostly a lot of fun.

Tinners' Trail

I really like this, and it would probably be the top billing most months. An approachable and open economic game with a decent smattering of luck thrown in to spice things up. Martin Wallace is now consistantly my favourite designer.

The Pillars of the Earth

Beautiful looking game - great artwork and setting. I enjoyed this game, but felt it had a bit too much "efficient planning" and "card knowledge" to make it a great game.

The Pillars of the Earth: Expansion Set

We used this with three players, which was a big mistake as the game became too loose and led to players playing the system rather than each other. It has some nice new elements, adding variation and uncertainty and I expect it would shine with more players.

Monastery

A light to middleweight Euro, with some unusual looking concepts, though essentially it's a movement and point optimisation game. The game does try to encourage players to cooperate or bribe each other, but in a three player game there seems little need. I think this will be better with four, and the unique effect tiles liven the game up depending on what is drawn from the bag.
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5. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Switzerland [Average Rating:7.52 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.52 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.52 Unranked]
 
Neil Cook
United Kingdom
Burton on Trent
Staffs
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It was close for me between this and Tribune, but I've picked this because I think I'll play it more. Plus Steve has already "stolen" Tribune!!

The majority of my gaming is two player, and as far as TtR goes, this is ideal for that. It's much tighter than any of the other boards and has a couple of very small rule tweaks that appeared to enhance the game.

Notable Mentions...

Tinners' Trail
Monastery
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6. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:73]
Nicolas Guay
Canada
Memramcook
New Brunswick
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Pandemic was my best new game played in June, what I love so much about it is that it's the co-op game I own that's played the fastest and also because I can play it at lunch at work! I also love how hard it is because when we do beat the game it's a very rewarding experience

June was a very slow month for me, I played a bunch of games I already played before, there's nothing wrong with that is there? Considering I normally play about a dozen new games every month, it somehow feels wrong...



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7. Board Game: 1960: The Making of the President [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:157]
Gary Heidenreich
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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The only new games I played in a slow month of game playing (12 games) was this and Chicken Cha Cha Cha (which was good, but in a different way).

1960 played out nicely. It's a quick game, once you get used to the mechanics and I love the theme. Glad I finally got this to the table.
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8. Board Game: Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:798]
Sheamus Parkes
United States
Carmel
Indiana
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Wow, this was a tough month. I played quite a bit of stuff new to me, and it's hard to pick a single winner. But since you're supposed to:

Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper - I've owned and played Wyatt Earp for almost a year now. It was okay. I finally borrowed this classic... and wow! This is just a great game. Horrible rules, but great game. It's rummy, but it's dripping with theme. Not only that, but there's plenty of strategy and room for skillful play. I've already traded to acquire a copy of my own.

Enemy Chocolatier - Another just great game. I played this one back to back in it's only sitting actually. This game didn't feel cheapass at all to me. I really like the variable setup and the short but sweet game turns are very thought provoking. The secret recipes keep the whole thing from becoming a perfect information AP fest. If you're at all a fan of economic games, then this is a $6 gem.

Roma - This is one I'd just passed over for a long time. I already had San Juan, then Race for the Galaxy, then Jambo, so what did I need this one for? After finally trying it though, I find it's a very enjoyable dice fest. For one thing, it has some brutally direct competition. For another, it has some really random game play that keeps both players on their toes. It had the same roller coaster feel as combat commander, and only in a fraction of the time.

TZAAR - Now this is a perfect information abstract, but it's a darn good one. I've only got a couple plays in, but I am itching to try some more. I really like how fluid it is and how easy it is to at least pick up on the rules. My wife and I have a long ways to go for deep strategy, but I think we still had fun.

Magna Grecia - Ack, I got way too many new games this month. However, this one was still worth it. I'm only one 2-player game into it, but I'm enjoying it. I used dice to mark the value of the cities so it didn't turn into a counting fest. I really enjoyed the network building and resource saving. It was of course a little dry. I need to try it with some more players.

Great Wall of China - Jury is still out on this one. We played with 5 players the first time. Maybe that was too many. It seemed to be a game of just talking people into not picking on you. Still, there was some fun to be had. And I should really try it with 3 some time. Loot is pretty similar though, and has a much better theme.

Arkham Horror - It's everything you think it should be. I don't need to play it very often, but anytime I'm itching for some horrible adventure, I could see deciding to sit down and play it.

Make 'n' Break - Picked this and it's sequel up for cheap at B&N. I think it was worth it. It's a really fun timed dexterity game. I need to pull it out with the family sometime before I really decide on them.

Aquaretto - Well, I liked the cute theme. I liked the central coloretto "i cut you choose" mechanic. I like being forced to lay out my own zoo. I thought the decisions on where to place my meeples was about stupid however. Why design the rest of the game so tight and make that part so uninteresting?

Toledo - Well that was different. My wife really enjoyed it. I thought it wasn't bad. I lost 7 of my first 8 battles but still won the game. Interesting. It's light and bouncy though, don't expect some deep Wallace.
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9. Board Game: Oregon [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:987]
JP LaChance
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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My only play in the last 30 days that was new to me, so it had to be "THE BEST". Actually it was a very fun game, only played with 2 players but it played well.

Also played THEBES with 4 for the first time and while it seemed a little less interactive than the last time I played, it was a blast and a bery close game.

Thanks again for keeping this list going, it is always fun to be able to add someting to the list.

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10. Board Game: Garden Competition [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:4119]
Quinn Munnerlyn
United States
Carrollton
Texas
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I had a bit of a surge in gaming (for me) in June. Resulting in several new games played!

Garden Competition
First I was extremely pleased to get to play this title It's been on my radar ever since I saw it played during BGG.con '07. It was surprisingly simple yet still has some depth to it and it played in a lot less time than I expected. I'm looking forward to getting some more plays of this one in. meeple

Other first time for me games in order of how much they don't suck.

Aquaretto
Tutankhamen
Drakon 3rd ed.
Quicksand gulp yuk
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11. Board Game: Pampas Railroads [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:3532]
Richard S
United States
Rensselaer
New York
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Pampas Railroads is easily the best new game I played this month. It is not a hard game for players to wrap their heads around nor does it take a long time which will make sure it gets played in my group. At the same time, it has a lot of depth and tons of interesting decisions. If you are interested, see my geeklist here.

Other new games:

Loopin' Louie x1 Fun. Now I am looking to pick up something like this for my nephews.

Fire & Axe: A Viking Saga x1 Nothing special, but ok.

Age of Steam Expansion: America / Europe x1: Tried the Europe map for the first time. Solid map.

Stone Age x1: I'm not sure what all the fuss is about.
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12. Board Game: Fire & Axe: A Viking Saga [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:759]
The root of all evil... but you can call me cookie.
United States
Gainesville
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Man oh man I've been wanting to play this for a long time now. Went to Rapier and found a used copy in very very nice condition for $25 and jumped on it as soon as I walked up to the table. The game has certainly lived up to my expectations for it. I've got 4 plays down on it now and can't wait to put this on the table again (hopefully Wed. night!) I really feel this has a nice balance of elements. The luck factor is present but doesn't feel like it's over powering the game so your strategic play is still viable. I love this game.
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13. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:237] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
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Greer
South Carolina
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Wow, I played ELEVEN new games in June. Other than the months when I first got into the hobby, or the months when I go to a convention, this is probably a record for me. Here's the run-down:

The Bounce It-In Game is one I saw at the second GeekWay to the West, and was intrigued with it. It reminded me of those carnival games where you try to bounce a ping-pong ball into a fishbowl to win a goldfish, only with more of a chance of winning something. I had an opportunity to get it with GeekGold, and took it. I played it twice, and had a blast with it. I can see it getting old over time, but right now it's fun.

Aquaretto was interesting, and a bit better than Zooloretto, for me, but not quite as much fun as the basic game of Coloretto. The card game is just fine, and the re-implementations seem to make it more and unnecessarily fiddly. I do like some of the tensions of deciding between a standard move and a money move, but the real tension and narrative that develops over the game is the same as the base game. Why play something more complicated and longer?

The Battle for Hill 218 was interesting, but I taught it incorrectly. You're supposed to play TWO cards each turn, not just one, and it wasn't until my opponent asked me how we were supposed to be able to occupy the hill, one card at a time. The light bulb went on, and I referred to the rule book. Still, this seems to be a neat, short wargame with cards. I'm looking forward to trying it CORRECTLY next time.

Cold War: CIA vs KGB is a blind version of Blackjack, with some neat-o pieces (I loves those poker chips). It was a sad, sorry smackdown against me, but it was still an interesting little game. We'll see how long it lasts.

I had a lot of fun with Dancing Eggs, probably more than I should have. Yes, this is a kids' game, and yes, when all adults play, our superior motor skills may mean that the game drags out, but watching someone hop around a table with three eggs between his knees far outweighs those negatives. For those of you who don't mind making temporary fools of yourselves, play it. It's great!

I Drank What? is a sorry, sorry excuse for a game, and makes Fluxx look like a hardcore strategy game in comparison. There's some semblance of strategy to the game, since you can manipulate your hand of cards to go after someone else, but since every time a player is eliminated, you hold a round where someone gets eliminated COMPLETELY RANDOMLY sort of destroys that characteristic. This is the game that makes me re-think my position on not rating games a 1.

In the Year of the Dragon works, and has some good choices to make, both on your turn, and via your strategy, but it just doesn't wow me. I admit that I'm right in the middle of "Euro Burnout," so that could have a lot to do with it, but there wasn't anything as innovative or groundbreaking as I was expecting, based on the hype I had heard. I'd play it again, if others wanted to, but otherwise ... meh.

Parthenon: Rise of the Aegean is a decent enough game, but it has a little too much take that and chaos for my tastes. If it weren't a 4+-hour long game, it might be more tolerable, but as it is, I won't be playing it too often, or getting a copy for myself. It was enjoyable to develop a plan and try to build up my empire, though.

I had a chance to try out the The Pillars of the Earth: Expansion Set, having played the base game already, and wish I could say more good about it. It's not bad, necessarily, but the extra players add another level to the layer of chaos in the game, and I didn't see the choices to be made on the secondary board to be important enough to balance that out. Also, the new cards lead to some interesting combinations of event cards, like the "Play 1 less Master Builder next turn" card coming out right before the "Remove 1 Master Builder you've placed this round" card. I still think the base game is OK, but I don't see the need to get the expansion now.

It could be due to my Euro-burnout, but I had more fun playing Talisman (Revised 4th Edition) than I expected to. I admit, I love rolling dice, even though I hate the outcome sometimes. And the theme really helps make the game more interesting, but there were too many times when my die roll prevented me from moving far enough forward. I like that you can develop a character over the course of the game, and though I may not buy this game (at least until FFG gets done with it), I had fun with it. For a light diversion, it was pretty good.

The winner for June, though, would have to be Arkham Horror. It took a long time to play, and I initially rated it lower than my current rating, but DANG, did I have fun with this game. It helps, probably, that I'm a horror buff, and like designs that squeeze you to death, because those characteristics help me overlook the down time, the randomness, and the lull that strikes about 2/3 of the way through the game. I REALLY look forward to playing this one again.
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14. Board Game: Hacienda [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:708]
John Farrell
Australia
Rozelle
New South Wales
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Hacienda and Arkadia. Both are very much my sort of game.

Hacienda gets the guernsey because I own it and will play it more often. The combination of connection game and economic engine turns me on.

Arkadia is a game of connections and clever placements. I don't need any more games, but if I did I would need this one.
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15. Board Game: Perry Rhodan: The Cosmic League [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:1319]
Sue Hemberger

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Dist of Columbia
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Split decision at our house this month -- Perry Rhodan for my daughter and I; Lifeboat for my husband. Honorable mentions to Shanghaien and Auf die Schatze, fertig, los (Treasure, Ready, Go).

Perry Rhodan: The Cosmic League is a "just right" two-player game for us (and, judging by the comments section of the game forum, for others as well!). Nice length, tough decisions. Luck (in various forms) plays a significant role but that makes for varied games/challenges. Perry Rhodan reminds me of Roma, but is less intense. (Roma is bloodsport in our household and the better both players get, the longer the games can last.)

Lifeboat is a lot of game in a small deck of cards. Semi-hidden agendas (each player begins the game with a secret love and someone they secretly detest, but there's no requirement that these emotions remain secret -- or that you can't lie about them) make the back-stabbing, alliances, and betrayals more interesting. For us (family of three with, typically, one additional player on game night) the problem will be rounding up a more folks to get this on the table regularly. Nevertheless, we'll pick up the expansion (which handles up to 7 players) and hope for/seek out more opportunities to play.

If you'd asked me to guess my "find" for June a couple of weeks ago, I'd have sworn it would be Shanghaien -- so I'm amused that another 2p game edged it out of contention. Shanghaien is quicker (overall length as well as individual turns) than Perry Rhodan and makes good use of dice (as a method of card selection). My husband complains that there's too much luck, but no one has beaten me yet. I think that they haven't figured out that this is a "know when to fold 'em" game. I'm looking forward to playing more with the two (free/DIY) expansion cards. And we're all delighted to have a couple new-and-different two player options added to our collection.

The winner in our childrens' division is Treasure, Ready, Go! which is a turn-taking press-your-luck speed game involving a variety of different challenges. Between this and Trotofant, Robert Fraga is becoming a family fave. Can't wait to try Squad 7! The Garlic Vampires was also good, but only with three, I think.

Also new to us this month:

Gravediggers: I can't tell whether this one will take off or never be played again. Knizia card games seem to go one way or another here
-- played to death or forgotten. Maybe it depends on our collective mood.

Bounce It-In Game: I like Hupf Hupf Hurra better, but, then again, I can't seem to make these balls go where I want them to. Time to start practicing while my husband's at work. devil

Sunken City: It gave my daughter AP -- if she can get over it, I'd be eager to play again.

Wild Vikings: Nothing special kids game -- few real choices.
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16. Board Game: Stone Age [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:79]
CanCon, BunnyCon...BorderCon!!!
Australia
KILLARA
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Thanks to the Australian Games Expo I had a number of new and exciting games falling at my feet (9 in all). They included -

Stone Age
Ticket to Ride: Card Game
Last Night on Earth: Growing Hunger
Aquaretto
Catan: Dice Game
Pictureka!
Twilight Struggle
Chairs
Jiggered

d10-1 Stone Age

Just love this game. Given the play length of 60-80 odd minutes my 7 plays is testament to how much I enjoy the play found here. Tantalisingly difficult decisions every single turn couple with a great theme and mechanics make this game a rapid riser into my Top 10 fav games of all time. I'm a real sucker for the mid weight Euro with card combos and close finishes. Love it.

This was a tough month to win Best New Game but Stone Age does so with some breathing room to spare.

d10-2 Ticket to Ride: Card Game

I didn't expect to much here but was pleasantly surprised by what I found. It's a good diversion if you like 'Screw your neighbour' style games and can use the memory. Worth a look but never going to beat Stone Age.

d10-3 LNoE: Growing Hunger

Really love this expansion even though it resembles more of a tool box than a fully fledged expansion. This one won't truly come into its own until the Scenario Book is released, allowing many of the as yet unused tokens to come into play.

The Grave Dead Zombies are a cool inclusion though and I'm looking forward to revisiting the original scenarios with these optional rules.

d10-4 Aquaretto

A far better base game than Zooloretto. It feels more like a gamer's game whereas Zooloretto was really aimed at the family market. This could have won in a slow month but suffers from its similarity to Zooloretto (not original enough).

d10-5 Catan: Dice Game

At $15 bucks this resembled loose change at the Expo. Do I need it? No. Is it ground breaking in its design and decision making? No. But it is a nice short diversion and something that will come out from time to time.

d10-6 Pictureka!

Um well...it's ok I guess. I can see it getting pretty stale after a dozen or so plays. Definitely one for the kids to play with me as it is essentially 'Where's Wally' in a board game.

d10-7 Twilight Struggle

I loved this game to but by the end of our 3 hour game (learning accounting for a good 50 minutes) I felt like GeneSteeler had hit me about the head with a brick. Definitely a game that will take 3-4 plays before it begins to sink in for me.

Would win most months on account of the theme and card management mechanic (which I like) but Stone Age is too classy I'm afraid.

d10-8 Chairs

A particularly lazy dexterity game that I found all too dull. Definitely aims for the children or drinking game market.

d10-9 Jiggered

This was a mildly amusing roll and move game where each player is trying to find hidden pieces of a puzzle. Ok for a game every 6 months or so but nothing more.
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17. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:28]
Brad
United States
Iowa City
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This month I attended Iceberg1's game day. It was my first time going to a game day where I didn't know anybody, and it was certainly worth it. I met some new friends/gaming buddies, and got to play several new games. I am excited about having a gaming group so I don't have to buy every game I want to play!

Power Grid
I have been wanting to play Power Grid for a while, and boy am I glad I did. I requested this game specifically, and Iceberg was kind enough to teach. This was the best of the new games I tried; I'll buy this one.

--

Cuba
I liked it enough to want to play it again soon, though it wasn't perfect. The production was nice, and I liked how everyone had different farm setups.

Imperial
We also played a game of Imperial. I was a bit confused for most of my first time through this game, but I am ready to go for a second game. The idea of owning shares in several countries, rather than being 100% invested, makes it a really fascinating game.
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18. Board Game: For Sale [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:261]
Avri
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Brooklyn
New York
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For Sale - Genius little game, faster and simpler than Felix (which I still love, too). Managed to order a copy after playing at a Meetup early in the month.

Hey! That's My Fish! - Excellent Abstract, disguised as a kids game.

If Wishes were Fishes - Excellent Euro (foolishly?) disguised as a kids game.

Arbos - excellent kids game disguised as a drinking game . . .

Lines of Action - Finally got a chance to try Sackson's classic abstract. Need to play a lot more of it to figure *any* strategy, but I see the lasting appeal.

Through the Desert - "Mmmmmmmm . . . pastel . . . mmmllglgglglggglgl"

Travel Blokus - I'd rather play the original two-handed . . .

Pass The Pyramids - Played my new Icehouse game (entered into the latest Game Design Contest) with some non-gamers to a very nice response.
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19. Board Game: Perry Rhodan: The Cosmic League [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:1319]
Scott Russell
United States
Clarkston
Michigan
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This was a tough month to pick a favorite new game!
I plan reviews on several of these to outline my thoughts more, but provided snippets here.

I'll settle on this one because the kids really like it. I think it may get as much play as RftG (after it's available) and that's saying something.

Other runner's up:
Perry Rhodan: The Cosmic League
This may be my actual favorite, but I need an opponent that feels likewise. laugh

Galaxy Trucker
Realtime spaceship building madness.

Metropolys
Another citybuilding game that reminds me of Ra and Tichu which has to be a good thing?



Solid Games:

Stone Age
Turn your dice pips into VP game, still offers fun decisions.

Eketorp
This viking raid/pillaging simultaneous selection game could move up with more plays. I really like the next hand built of your opponents' played cards mechanism.

Tinners' Trail
This one impressed me enough after one play that I ordered a copy the next day. Suspect it will either rise higher or fall from view with more plays


Family/in-law Games:
Mississippi Queen: The Black Rose
I liked the base game, but will probably only play in the future when the Rose is running.

Horus
Carcassonne on steroids.

Lascaux
Adds another layer and cool components to No Thanks

Bacchus' Banquet
Good for scratching the Bang! itch when only five players are available.


Jury is out on:
Change Horses
Nice twist on horse racing. Hidden horses and you try to make your horse finish last.

Confucius
I need another play or two on this game of buying influence in ancient Chinese politics. My only play was with five and it seemed like too many players.

Ice Flow
Polar Dare on steroids. Movement of the ice flows is fiddly/unthematic.





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20. Board Game: Time's Up! Title Recall! [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:290]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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d10-1 = Time's Up! Title Recall! - The greatest party game ever made, now in it's perfected form. There isn't much more I can say...I loved this game.

d10-2 = Colosseum - I just adored this game. I couldn't stop thinking about it for hours afterwards. It was the most enjoyment I've had with a strategy game in a long time. I'm really pumped to play this one again.

d10-3 = Say Anything - This game is so enjoyable and so funny. It is the best new party game design I have seen in years. I can't explain just how much enjoyment I've had playing this one. It's already hit my five and dime list in less than a month.

d10-4 = Stone Age - The best strategy game I played at Origins. It was quickly added to my wishlist, because of the strategy blended with luck. I absolutely adored it.

d10-5 = Get Bit! - What's not to love about ripping the arms and legs off of little robots. This simple game is a lot of fun. Another that hit my wishlist right away.

d10-6 = Yahtzee Free for All - Probably the best Yahtzee variant I have ever played. It was a lot of fun, and I was really impressed by the production quality. My family will really enjoy this one.

d10-7 = Aquädukt - I finally got this one to the table and we did have a good time playing it. The strategy was evident, but the addition of the random placement adds a little something. A fun game that we will gladly play again soon.

d10-8 = For Sale - I guess I would describe this game as OK. It wasn't the greatest filler I have played, but it wasn't bad. Perhaps it will gain favor with a couple more plays, but it didn't exactly light my world on fire.

d10-9 = Saint Petersburg - I would consider playing this game again, but it wasn't that great. The strategy seemed to ellude me as I fumbled through and lost badly to the experienced players. Just not much there that wowed me in any way.

d10-1d10-0 = Tichu - I think I've officially decided that I'm not a big fan of climbing card games. This one was probably the best I have played, but I certainly won't rush out to buy a copy.

d10-1d10-1 = Pizza Box Football - It's not a bad game, and I like how it gives you options on how complex you want the game to be. Unfortunately, it gets a bit too repetitive. Making the same decisions again and again can get really tedious, so I'm not sure if I would play again.

d10-1d10-2 = 10 Days in Africa - There's nothing wrong with this game, it's just too similar to it's predecessors to be packaged as a unique game. I have one game in the 10 days series and that should be enough.

d10-1d10-3 = Knowbody Knows - Arguably the worst party game I have played in years. The scoring is fiddly and ruins the honesty of the players. I'm not sure if anyone had fun with this dud.

d10-1d10-4 = Wealth of Nations - I see the market system, I appreciate the complex strategies, I understand the flow of the game, and I still hate it. This game was just not for me. Some will love it, I would rather have dental work done than play this game again.
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21. Board Game: Imperial [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:140]
Jim Patterson
United States
Iowa City
Iowa
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June was a good month for gaming for me and for new games as well.

Imperial was tops here by a mile. What a fabulous game! The ending feels a bit rushed, but apart from that, the blend of economics and military muscle-flexing, liberally mixed with trash talking and informal "understandings," makes for an intoxicating experience. I've managed three games so far and am anxious for more.

Combat Commander: Europe, a game I've been trying to get on the table since the 2008 reprint, was the last new game of June. I got absolutely hammered in my first stab at Scenario 1. My Russians were crushed by a series of bad die rolls, lack of Move orders then lack of Recover orders, and surely some bad leadership on my part. I'm not soured on the game, though, and look forward to setting this up again.

Pandemic is one of the new hotshots around here. While it's moderately enjoyable, I think it's not going to wear all that well over time unless parceled out in tiny doses.

I can barely rate Taluva because while I was actually there and moving pieces, I didn't get a real good sense of how to play. This was entirely my fault. The game does look nice, though, and I can see some potential here.

I'm afraid I don't see as much potential for Stone Age. While my concerns should be taken with a grain of salt because I got my head handed to me, I found the whole exercise not that interesting and too random. Maybe more plays would show me the way to go here, but I don't see myself quickly volunteering for them.
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22. Board Game: Glory to Rome [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:149]
Charles Hasegawa
United States
Chandler
Arizona
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I tried a number of new games this month thanks to The Geekway to the West 2008's Play-To-Win table. Glory to Rome would be my pick for my best new game played over Agricola, Manuoeuvre, Subbuteo, Micro Mutants: Evolution, Balloon Cup, Bamboleo, and Manila. While I can understand the fuss over Agricola, I just didn't enjoy my first playing enough (just one of those random bad games where you get hosed the whole time on your first playing). I can see there is a good game there, but it'll wait until I get my z-man copy.

Glory to Rome was really a fun game. As much as Race For the Galaxy has been hyped - I much prefer this game to Race. It has a fairly similar feel (though is different enough to justify owning both) except that you interact with (and can hose up) the other players in ways that are not available to you in Race.
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23. Board Game: Union Pacific [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:468]
Stan Mamula
United States
Oakmont
Pennsylvania
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Union Pacific wins for best new game for June. It's only competition was Cloud 9.

Union Pacific is a very good stock market game. I've been reading about it for quite awhile and it's highly ranked amongst my geekbuddies; however, I was not as wowed as I hoped I'd be. Maybe I put too high an expectation on it. Regardless, I enjoyed the game and would definitely play again.
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24. Board Game: Antiquity [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:218]
Mike B
Netherlands
Utrecht
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June was good for 14 "new-to-me"games. 3 of those are already in the list, but most of these games I really liked.

I'll start with the clunkers:

Megastar: quirky weird card game by Friedeman Friese. One of my gaming buddies really liked it and saw strategy in it. I think it's not so good. Might end up on the trade pile as soon as I'll start one.

Rotterdam. Hmm. I never used the word "broken" yet for a game, but I'm tempted. Have to play it again to be sure though, which I won't. Glad I don't own it...

On to the nice/good category:

Kontor
: definitely better than the average rating here. Just play the advanced rules after 1 initial game. Good 2-player "screw-you" fun.

For Sale: nice quick filler with fun artwork.

Igel Argern: Nice quick family/kids style game with easy rules from Doris & Frank. I wish I had this instead of Pachisi as a kid.

Ta Yu: great tile-laying quick playing abstract. My girlfriend likes it (usually "one more time" after she loses) so it's gotten 9 plays already. Good filler for me.

Quarto: another quick abstract. Ditto, so 9 plays as well... OK inbetweenie.

Twixt: this ancient abstract got a quick dislike from my girl. I kinda like it though. Looks nice as well.

Ploy: another oldie, had this one for a year before I got to play it. Will definitely play this "space-chess" again.

Tycoon: after collecting dust for a year I finally got to play this for the first time, thanx to my gaming buddies likening of El Grande which we played in may. Man, this game looks ugly, but it's alright & entertaining.

Hacienda: another Kramer. Only played it with 2 and it probably needs more which I certainly will try. Liked it anyway. It's definitely Kramer over Knizia for me...

Chinese Wok is a nice kids dexterity game.

And on to the great games:
Acquire: finally played this great classic. Since everybody liked it, it's gotten 4 plays with different gaming groups.

1960: the making of the President. Although I got thoroughly beaten as Nixon, I still enjoyed this ingenious card-driven system. Played it once and it made it on to my wishlist...

And my "new-to-me" winner for june is:
Antiquity. Yes, it's Fiddly with a capital F, yes it can cause a headache, yes you're groaning a lot of the time you're playing it, yes you should never spend your last piece of wood (as I did) because yes you'll lose terribly (as I did...).

But it's a GREAT game. I immediately tracked a copy down on a German webstore, paid quite a lot of Euros for it, and punched my thumbs sore on the hideous amount of counters and I'm still happy about it....

So thank you, new gaming buddy Michael, for introducing 2 great games to me!
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25. Board Game: Novo Dice [Average Rating:4.50 Unranked]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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I've played a number of new-to-me games I've enjoyed this month - including 18GL, Rapa Nui, and Burgen Land. But perhaps my favorite is this little-known push-your-luck dice game; there are lots of interesting decisions to make, and it's wonderfully produced; when rolling poorly, it's fun to collect different types of trash - or concentrate on getting all of the toasters...
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