the little things that make great games
Eric Schlais
United States
Minnesota
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I've come to really apprecaite some of the little things that game designers/publishers do to make a good/great product. there still is no replacement for good design, but I feel that there are plenty of little bonuses that can make a good game great, or a OK game good.

my 2 cents...
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1. Board Game: Titan [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:792]
 
Eric Schlais
United States
Minnesota
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counter storage tray:

As I am relitively new to this hobby (2.5 years or so) I've never seen or played the classic version, but I do love the counter storage tray. What a great way to store hundreds of same size cardboard counters vs. zip lock bags.
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2. Board Game: Europe Engulfed [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:888]
Eric Schlais
United States
Minnesota
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instruction manual and play book.

Europe Engulfed is about as complex a game as I have ever played, but IMO it has a perfect rule & play book. GMT did a great job of simplifying the rules on this complex game (at least to me) and the lenghty examples are excellent. I'd compare the complexity of this game to War of the Ring, but the instruction manual is just so much better...
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3. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
Eric Schlais
United States
Minnesota
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card tray insert.

like Titan this game has an innovative way to store all the components. It makes setup a snap! imagine how long it would take to sort 500 cards into decks if these cards were stored in a traditional card box.
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4. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:17]
Eric Schlais
United States
Minnesota
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multitude of cards leading to significant replay value.

I am an Agricola fan. it's a 10 in my book, partially because of the huge variety of cards. I've probably played 25 games now and between the 4 decks (E, I, K, & Z) I doubt I've played with 15% of the role and minor improvment cards. some of these cards are game changing, some are very under powered, but I really like the idea that I will continue to see new cards as I continue to play...
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5. Board Game Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
Eric Schlais
United States
Minnesota
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customer service & piece replament.

yes, the big box FF games are expensive and filled with lots of chrome. and some of the plastic tanks (Tide of Iron) and space "things" (Starcraft) come bent, broken, or mutilated, but FFG simply could not be any better about replacement. I have yet to wait a week to receive replament parts - even during a busy holiday time.
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6. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:205]
Eric Schlais
United States
Minnesota
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tactile bakealite pieces

this is a silly one: I love playing Hive because I really enjoy playing with the pieces. while my wife (my most common gaming partner) is considering her options I am building bridges & towers with the mosquitos, beetles, and ants. the game itself is pretty good too...
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7. Board Game: Europe Engulfed [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:888]
Eric Schlais
United States
Minnesota
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box

could this box be any stronger?
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8. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
Ronster Zero
United States
California
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Expansion right in the box.
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9. Board Game: War on Terror [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:3410]
 
James Griffith
United States
Monkton
Maryland
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Is there a better balaclava in any game?

On a serious aside, is it possible not to have fun while one of your friend is threatening you with a Evil Ski-Mask? I think I could happily play Munchkin with an included mask.
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10. Board Game: Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:533] [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Christian Jorgensen
New Zealand
Auckland
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A soundtrack CD. I mean, how cool is that. Ok, it won't win any music awards, but it's an easy enough listen.

I love seeing people's faces when you tell them the game has it's own soundtrack.
 
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11. Board Game: Battle Line [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:179]
Eric Schlais
United States
Minnesota
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cards - these must be the most solid cards I've come acress... cudos to GMT for their find production qualities (other then the C&CA boards).
 
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12. Board Game: Monopoly Express [Average Rating:5.69 Overall Rank:6919]
Eric Schlais
United States
Minnesota
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finally a game I can bring to a coffee shop or diner and easily play on the table. I've tried this before with Citadels, lost cities, and the catan card game. even during long meals it's difficult to finish a game.

plus, this is a decent little gamem solid 8 in my book.
 
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