Not Bloody Likely: 10 highest- (and lowest-)ranked games I covet for 2009
T. Nomad
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I'm a student. After a decade as a professional, I'm back to the world of double-digit bank balances and once-a-month 'splurges' on dinner out at the local kebab stand. My game purchases have not fit well into this new state of privation, but they're going to have to in 2009. One factor that may help my thrifty cause is my pending move to South Korea, where games cost a lot less than they do here (then again, that might end up hurting my pocketbook). Damn you, $30 free delivery threshold!

These are, according to BGG ranking, the 10 highest- and 10 lowest-ranked games I hope I get the chance to buy in 2009. If I end up with half (plus a new discovery or two), I'll be over the moon.

The source for these is my wishlist, which at 212 items epitomises its nature. I filtered it by BGG rating (because there is no ranking option), and scrolled down looking for games listed as Must-, Love to-, or Like to have.

Kudos to J. L. Robert for an idea (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/38210) upon which I've expanded.
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1. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:115] [Average Rating:7.65 Unranked]
T. Nomad
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As a young man, I backpacked through Scandinavia and Finland, and fell in love with its people, landscapes, and architecture. Having this game would evoke happy memories. Ticket to Ride: Europe is very popular in our family, but lately (and for the foreseeable future) it's going to be just Shenomad and me playing--that is, if I get it.
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2. Board Game: In the Year of the Dragon [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:220]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
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I've never prayed for famine so hard in all my life! Feld had me delighting in the most horrendous of catatrophes. Drachen is all about maximising efficiency, but with a gorgeous board & components, a calamitous theme, and more schadenfreude than should ever be allowed, it felt as far from economics as you can get.

Caylus, eat your dragonless, European heart out.
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3. Board Game: Schotten Totten [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:370]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
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As a traditional ultimate player, I am often a man in a skirt. As a husband, I am attracted to any game which draws my Shenomad to the table. She has a near-perfect record against me in a year of Lost Cities. Cute graphics help this one win out over Battle Line.

edited to add: acquired!
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4. Board Game: Coloretto [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:481]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
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With nomadism, portability is a inevitable consideration. Everyone in our family likes Schacht's California, so picking this one up should be a popular choice.

edited to add: acquired!
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5. Board Game: Attika [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:565]
T. Nomad
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Gorgeous printed tiles add theme to what is already a tactical, thinky feast of decisions. My one 2P game was great, and it looks pretty scaleable. Any game with amphorae is ok in my book.
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6. Board Game: Manoeuvre [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:641]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
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Six months ago, had you asked me, I'd have said I'd never play a wargame (even a light one like Manoeuvre). I've since learned to look past the subject matter and into the abstraction. This most-difficult-to-spell game in the BGG database sucked me in from the moment I saw the pre-game procedures for terrain placement and nation-selection. There aren't a lot of games I'd buy knowing they'd only get played once/year. This is most certainly an exception.

edited to add: acquired!
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7. Board Game: Meuterer [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:801]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
Den Bosch
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Nothing is more appealing to us than big games in small packages. We love Die Fugger, Biblios, and Great Wall of China, so there's no reason we won't love this compact game.

edited to add: acquired!
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8. Board Game: Odin's Ravens [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:1068]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
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For the foreseeable future, our household is going to consist of Shenomad and me. So I'm eager to get my hands on as many permutations on the clever 2P motif as possible.
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9. Board Game: Um Reifenbreite [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:1124]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
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I'm a lifelong cyclist--neither I, nor my family, have ever owned a car. At least three of us could be considered bicycle activists. To this day, Dad watches every minute of the two races he likes most (le Tour & Luik-Bastenaken-Luik). And yet I don't own any cycling games. Hell I don't even own any real race games! My only must-have, this would be an AWESOME addition to our collection!
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10. Board Game: Tahuantinsuyu [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:2233]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
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In 1999, I spent 14 weeks walking across Peru and visiting some of my favourite precolumbian dig sites, including Ollantaytambo, Chan Chan, and Sacsayhuaman. I even have a picture of the gilded doors of Radio Tahuantinsuyu, which I'm sure I could work into a detailed version of the game somehow. This would be a great way to relive my most exciting trip ever.

As a bonus, it would add a new genre to my collection. With meagre funds, breadth of coverage is a good thing.
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11. Board Game: Lines of Action [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:2521]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
Den Bosch
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So that's the top of the table done. Looks like I'm pretty firmly outside the cult of the hot & new, so far.

This is the first of the 10 games I want most, ranked lowest on BGG.

The one type of game I never get tired of seeing are those at which Shenomad can absolutely punish me. I don't plan it, it just turns out that way. Either I'm a glutton for punishment (not: hate it in other arenas), a masochist (switch, actually), or sisyphean. Few things are more enticing to me than struggle against an overwhelming foe. LoA should provide us with many hours of mental struggle (well, me anyway).
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12. Board Game: The Peloponnesian War, 431-404 BC [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:3093]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
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An engrossing 2-hour battlefest in which players are battling against the game system? A unique solo variant? Set in the ancient mediterranean? Why don't I have this yet?!?
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13. Board Game: Die Dolmengötter [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:3072]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
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I own two decent 3P abstracts: Blokus Trigon & Santorini. But neither is ideal with 3P, and this one sounds like it might be. The icing here is that it has dolmens. What could be sexier than dolmens? OK, I know what you're saying: long barrows. But the only game about long barrows is unrated: Hoyuk, and so disqualified from the list.

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14. Board Game: Piratenbillard [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:3358]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
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A friend of mine once saw Lauren Bacall being asked: "You're a feminist. A woman of consequence. You were the top star in Hollywood. Yet Bogart insisted that upon your marriage, you would retire, discalceated and pregnant. Why did you marry him?"

Bacall's answer:
"Have you seen the man?"


My answer:
"Have you seen this game?
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15. Board Game: Station Master [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:3824]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
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Most of the time when I travel to a city, I visit the railway museum. In France, I got busted for jumping over train tracks, and got out of it by telling the cop that "Mon papa est maitre-de-station au Canada". We shared a laugh and some stories of growing up in a station setting. Thanks Dad, for the (fake) alibi and for a lifelong love of trains. I'm returning for a Chanukah visit next year, and I'm determined to bring this one with me.
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16. Board Game: GUBS: A Game of Wit and Luck [Average Rating:6.01 Overall Rank:3930]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
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We absolutely adore Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot. It's pure chaos--despite its 'strategy' ad copy, which I think contributes to the disdain with which many here treat it--it's a hilarious party game dressed up as a card game.

GUBS looks like a trimmed-down version of KBs: kill or be killed, steal and get stolen. Plus it's self-published, which is always a good sign I'm going to want to buy it.
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17. Board Game: Genji [Average Rating:5.85 Overall Rank:6440]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
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Wooing? I'm there.

edited to add: acquired!
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18. Board Game: Politico [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:8562]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
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Another self-published game, this one set in politics, a theme that reflects my life. Can't wait!
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19. Board Game: Falling [Average Rating:5.51 Overall Rank:13297]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
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Falling looks like a nice alternative to the usual party fare. I like party games ok, but too many of them involve the same old, same old performance-mechanic. Anything outside that box is worth a try, and real-time card gaming sounds pretty cool. So does handing an anvil to a falling friend.

edited to add: acquired!
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20. Board Game: Quelf [Average Rating:5.31 Overall Rank:15198]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
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Silly? You bet your billy! But this is my kind of silliness. Would love to get my hands on this.
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