Brilliant Design Ideas of 2008
Maik Hennebach
Germany
Frankfurt
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Recommend
204 
 Thumb up
2.36
 tip
 Hide
2008 was yet another embarrassment of riches for boardgamers, with a tide of new designs far too large to get acquainted with even a small fraction of them. Of the dozen games that washed up on my stretch of the shore, there were seven I liked so much that I got into thinking about what, exactly, made them so much fun.

Since I had not played them enough and/or was too lazy to write proper reviews for them, I was a bit at a loss regarding where to post my thoughts - strategy would probably have been the best fit, but bundling them in this Geeklist is probably a better way to get some feedback. I've ordered them by the date of my first plays, if you should wonder. An added benefit of a Geeklist is, of course, that everybody can chime in with stuff of their own, so if you have come across anything that made you go "Hmmm ... nifty!" last year, come on in and join the fun!
Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: NewGame [+] design [+] List [+] [View All]
  • [+] Dice rolls
1. Board Game: Descent: The Road to Legend [Average Rating:8.02 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.02 Unranked]
Maik Hennebach
Germany
Frankfurt
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Our two and a half Road to Legend campaigns in 2008 made Descent the game that I spent the most time playing, and only Agricola came even close to it. And it was time well spent, because this expansion provides an amazing and unique mixture of boardgamey tactical crunch and the RPG thrill of seeing your little cardboard alter ego grow strong and stronger. I've sung longer and more involved praises an overly long session report.

Although there are quite a lot of sparkly ideas in the details (and, sadly, at least one groaner regarding the possibly invincible soaring monsters), what makes this design so outstanding is a hallmark of FFGs games: going beyond the formula. When Descent fans clamored for more coherent campaign rules, the well-trodden path would have been to diversify the skills a bit more, provide some rules for handling treasures and a guideline how to play the base game and the existing expansions as a campaign. Plop in another scenario book with a new campaign, and everybody would have been happy.

Instead, they created a whole new strategic game around the dungeon exploration, cunningly using as much of the base game as possible (conquest points as experience instead of just a running tally, for example), and packed it to the gills with over 40 lovingly crafted mini-dungeons, evil plots for the overlord and just as many new rules and components as needed to make it fly. And right after all their creativity and concentration was well and truly spent, they wrote the rulebook ... Luckily, if you jump into the game now, there's a FAQ available to help matters along.

In spite of a set of rules that obfuscates as though it were a bad spy novel, Road to Legend is testament to FFGs willingness to design out of the box. With all the licenses they snapped up, they probably could survive or even thrive if they did what a lot of other adventure game creators do: grind out one small variation on either Talisman or Risk and never do anything innovative. I'm glad to see them go an entirely different route, even if it does not work out for everything they do, and I'm even more glad to see that their ambition to do truly new things with boardgaming does not rule out succeeding as a business.
38 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
2. Board Game: Stone Age [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:79]
Maik Hennebach
Germany
Frankfurt
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Stone Age is a dice game at heart and should probably be characterised as "dice placement" instead of "worker placement, since the meeples are, for the most part, only intermediaries. Quite apart from having a great theme (if you doubt this or feel the need to nitpick about gold digging in the stone age, play this just once with kids and see how they'll immediately worry about the welfare of their little tribe) it has a great set of intertwined mechanics that are deceptively easy to play, but offer a lot of depth.

This amount of depth pushes the mechanics into that delightful space where things are still clear enough to make tactical considerations worthwhile, but too involved to be actually calculable. For example, a single meeple without tools will, on average, reap a bigger harvest in terms of equivalent VPs when logging wood instead of fishing for gold. Nice to know and a good thing to keep in mind during your turn, but actually quantifying this difference in a given situation is so obviously hopeless that any attempt to do so betrays a serious amount of overconfidence in one's mathematical skills. Thus, you can both have your cake and eat it: there is enough going on to make this a game of skill, but it should not be prone to the problem of analysis paralysis.

There are many pieces to this ingenious puzzle - the cards with their combination of instant gratification and VPs at the end of the game, the ability to hasten or prolong said end - but a crucial part that offers a lot of options and depth with very simple rules is the mechanic for tools. Adding a set amount of points after rolling the dice is easy to grasp as a concept, but it opens up a lot of additional space, both tactically and strategically. Tactically, you want to spread out your guys over several reasource spaces to make sure that you tools will see some use, and strategically, you'll have an easier time to garner the more valuable resources, which is an essential element when you decide to build a lot of huts.

And all this does beauty does not add a lot of perceived complexity to actually playing the game - Stone Age plays best from the gut, as befits a game about simpler times.
41 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
3. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
Maik Hennebach
Germany
Frankfurt
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
The obvious choice for the central design element of Dominion is, of course, "deck building as part of the game", but although this may have been the initial spark for the game's creation, it's not necessarily a good description of the finished design. Calling Dominon as a deck building game is not only wrong, but also raised misplaced hopes in the heart of many CCG players that this might be a game to fulfill the Magic urge without the financial demands of cardboard crack. These hopes were dashed, and the main (and justified) complaint is that there's not enough depth compared with Magic.

However, Dominion's depth is just perfectly right for normal boardgamers, where the real entry barrier of CCGs is often the time investment that's necessary to get a game working. And one of the design features that I'd like to point out helps to decrease the time investment into Dominion immensely, which in turn makes it such an addictive game: After a rules explanation of 5 minutes, your first game will last about half an hour, which is a good duration for what initially seems like a pretty light game. So you play once more right away, and with more plays you'll happily discover that the playing time goes down while the depth of the game increases. Not a bad bargain, I'd say.

The magic ingredient here is the full discard at the end of your turn, and to fully appreciate this, just think for a moment about how few card games, collectible or otherwise, have something like this. The default approach for a player's turn would have been to play some cards, buy stuff, and then refill your hand or redraw a set number of cards. Discarding everything you got and then drawing an entirely new hand of five cards is a very unusual approach, and it's central to the game's success:

Dominion has an admirably clear division between tactical and strategical elements. Tactics is almost entirely determined by a fresh new set of five cards every round, and you want to squeeze as much money out of those cards as you can. Strategy is what you do with that money to improve your deck. At higher levels of play, things get intermingled a bit, because the decision whether to draw more cards hinges on whether this might possibly handicap your next turn, but still, your hand cards are tactics while your deck is strategy.

If, instead of a full discard, you could save some cards for your next round, this would muddy the waters, since you'd then have to decide which cards to keep and which to throw away, in addition to thinking about what you'll play in this turn..Although more decisions are usually a good thing in a game, this would open up a whole nother can of possibly overpowered combos to look out for and, more importantly, it would slow down the game considerably. As things are now, you can start your own turn as soon as the player to your right has announced what to buy - all the housecleaning work of discarding, drawing and maybe shuffling will not impact your decisions, so there's no need to wait it out. Probably the next expansion will prove me wrong by introducing actions that do allow you to store cards for your next hand, but at least you'll have to use your action for it.

The other design feature that struck me as special is also only obvious in hindsight, and the strongest reason why Dominion is a game of deck management, not of deck building: victory points mess up your deck. By the simple expediment of not putting VPs as an additional value on action cards (which probably would be the default option when designing a building game) but, instead, putting them exclusively on cards that are worth than useless during the game itself, there is an immediate dynamic in the game: while you have to improve your deck during the first turns, at some point you'll have to dilute it by gobbling up VP cards, and judging when exactly might be a good time for this is one of the joys of the game.

From the initial spark of "deck building in the game", a plethora of games could have been developed, and what I admire even more than that brilliant initial idea are the decisions that led to the accessible, fast and incredibly varied game that Dominion ended up to be.
59 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
4. Board Game: Sylla [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:1218]
Maik Hennebach
Germany
Frankfurt
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
While it looks like a bit of a rules hodgepodge at first glance, Sylla will reveal itself to be a tense and extremely streamlined political game during the first time you sit down to play it. The beautiful thing is that all the alliances, bluffs and betrayals are not just superimposed on the mechanics, but grow out of them naturally, and quite inevitably, too.

This is accomplished by a good mixture of synergetic and cannibalistic aspects of the game. To clarify this a bit, cannibalistic resources and strategies are the usual way things work in competitive games: if you take stuff, you hurt others. Agricola is a very good example of this, since there is competition for both the resources you need for a certain strategy and for the action spaces that you need to use those resources. Thus, it is always bad news if another player chooses a strategy that is similar to yours. As I've said, this is the default way how things work, probably because such a purely competitive approach lends itself very well to a competitive game. The dynamics are pretty clear cut, insofar as you either have to stray from the herd to win or do the same thing as others, but better.

But when is it good news if somebody else wants what I already have? I could not think of a lot of clear examples, and everything I could think of has some kind of stock market mechanism, where the value of a commodity is determined or at least influenced by the players during the game. Modern Art is one such game, Manila is another one, and I guess that a lot of Euros more obviously themed as financial simulations will have strong synergetic effects. And I'm not sure whether synergetic is really a good word for this ...

Anyway, balancing games like this is a bit more difficult, because an alliance of strong players might take everybody else out of the game. With a cannibalistic game, this problem is pretty difficult to create, unless you adopt Cuba's design fault where you have to pick between two resource trees that are initially completely alike, and then the game takes you out of the game. But as soon as you introduce synergy, you have to think about how to buffer it.

Another example, and one that most folks will know: viewed in these terms, Puerto Rico has a mixture of cannibalistic commodities and synergetic strategies. If you have a running tobacco production and a nice marketplace, then seeing another player setting up shop with a market of his own can be good or bad news for you, depending on whether he's going for coffee or tobacco. With coffee, he's a partner, because the chances that the crucial actions (production, trading and building) will get picked increase if two players benefit greatly from them. With tobacco, he's a rival - a potentially deadly rival, even, if he also happens to sit to your right.

Back to Sylla, where your main source of victory points rests in markers for cultural, military and political achievements, all of which you gain throughout the game and whose value at the end ranges from 1 to 4 points. Their initial value of 2 can continually decrease due to the disasters that will batter Rome, but can be increased by collectively building impressive edifices. So far, this is a rather straightforward synergetic setup, but there are two great design ideas that make it possible to go against the grain and, nevertheless, emerge victorious. And this pushes he dynamics that can evolve in a game of Sylle to another level, because while alliances alone are nice, it's only once you win by betraying your allies that you're playing a game of politics.

Idea number one is the crisis: if one of the there civilization markers really plummets down, the plebes are going to question who's responsible for this mess. And that question is answered by checking which player has done the least to promote that area. Or, in other words, has the fewest markers of that kind, which is promptly repaid by a penalty of -3 victory points. The player with the most markers in the crisis area can spin this into good PR for himself: +3 points. Which is not earthshakingly much, but it happens every round, until and unless the crisis resolves, i.e. the marker goes up a bit. This can and has been turned into a strategy: if you happen to be the only player collecting military markers, for example, you will have a hard time to drive up their value for the end-of-game scoring. But if the others overdo their attempts to drive it down, having 2 or 3 military markers (compared to their zero) allows you to join in with them for the last part of the downward spiral and then reap the harvest of a couple of crisis rounds.

And since that first idea is so obviously aimed at making maverick strategies possible, I think that the second idea, which is more subtle and also has a lot of other implications, was at least partially designed with this in mind. Every round, four possible disasters loom at the horizon, and you will collectively decide on two that will actually happen, and on one that is banished once and for all, never to threaten Rome again. Every player has a number of votes, and the kicker is that you decide on which disasters will not happen.

This is thematically satisfying - after all, your job as public leaders is staving off these problems as best as you can, and not cheering for the plague instead of a nice slave revolt ("Plague! Plague! We Want The Plague!") - but, more importantly, it allows someone with a lot of votes to go against the other players. Let's look at the numbers: if you, alone, pursue a strategy that would be crippled by a certain disaster on the menue, you would not stand a chance of escape if the rules had you voting for the disasters. Even if you had 4 votes and all three other players had only 1 vote, placing all of their 3 votes on your nemesis would make it happen, and nothing you could do about it. But with the way the rules actually work, those 4 votes would even allow you to get rid of that event forever.

Sylla has, sadly, been getting more attention from people either afraid of or overly much in favor of naked butts, but(t) maybe this will diminish once more folks get to actually play the game. And they should, because it's about as much history of Rome as you can cram into 90 minutes.
27 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
5. Board Game: Le Havre [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:36]
Maik Hennebach
Germany
Frankfurt
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Although I liked what I saw during my lamentebly few plays of Le Havre a lot, I probably won't get it to the table as much as I'd like to. Why the evolution of a harbor town in France should be so much less attractive than the evolution of a farm is a mystery to me, but currently Le Havre has no chance of edging into our continuing love affair with Agricola.

Which is why I can't say as much about Le Havre's design as other, more experienced players already have in some excellent reviews, but what stands out for me above and beyond the clever interplay of buildings, money and resource replenishment are the resources themselves, and their doublesidedness. The dual nature of basic and processed states makes each of the many resources uniquel, increasing both the strategic diversity and the immersiveness of the game.

In contrast, a lot of strategy games, especially at the higher end, have resources that are entirely exchangable with each other. Or, in same cases, exchangable with chits marked A, B, C, D and so on, without great loss to the game. This is something that struck me recently during a game of Hermagor, where the eight different wares you peddle around all over the map could be anything at all - coins, spices, ball-bearings, candy, pelts of small forest animals or whatever - and the game would make as much or little sense as it does now, thematically. Now, I like Hermagor, and I love Goa, which is an even worse offender (I need ginger to build ships? Are they making the sails out of ginger fibers?), but using resources in this way does little to conceal the abstract rules engine churning under all the veneer.

Only three values - energy, price and nutritional content - are enough to give the Le Havre resources a lot of character. Fish is your basic jack-of-all-trades; there's plenty of it, you can eat and sell it raw, but it gains a little in both regards when being smoked, but everything it can do, something else can do better. Cows can't be eaten raw, but beef is mighty tasty. On the other hand, cattle are more valuable when still on the hoof, and steaks don't mate, usually, which makes a trip to the slaughterhouse less of an obvious decision than a trip to the smokehouse. Wood is an essential building resource as well as a cheap and easy source of energy when converted into charcoal.

And so on, up to precious steel ... none of this is necessarily an accurate simulation of how economies really work, but I'm fairly convinced that immersion does not depend on such accuracy. Agricola makes you feel that you build up a real little farmyard for your family of flat colored discs in spite of having a damn strange way to go about your work (you can't build fences this week because ... um ... your neighbour Franz already snatched the only fence-building hammer the village has), and Twilight Imperium puts you at the head of a budding space empire without providing a working physics model of interstellar flight. What's important to immersion is that things make internal sense, and since we tend to make sense of things by telling little stories about them, it is important that these things have some character, some individuality. And this is just what the two sides to every resource in Le Havre provide.
27 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
6. Board Game: Titan [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:790]
 
Maik Hennebach
Germany
Frankfurt
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Purchasing Titan was a decision I had to carefully creep up to. The discussions surrounding the new Valley edition left me with the impression that the typical Titan fan was a nostalgia-ridden hater of the new, and the few folks who wrote about the game itself often made it sound as though you had to have a couple of hundred games under your belt before it was fun and playable in under a day. Not exactly ringing endorsements, although the latter at least was proof that the game had legs.

Luckily, Valley provided a download of the rules, from which one could at least learn that this is a game that stands on its own, with no clear successor that might have trumped it (like Talisman has been made obsolete by Runebound, for example). Apart from the enticingly beautiful glimpses of the artwork that Mike Doyle showed off on his blog, it just took a chat at my FLGS to take the leap and buy it, and I'm very glad I did - I've only played two or three players so far, but this has been amazingly fun. And since this makes for games that can easily be played within a workday evening, it's probably the best way to learn the game. I'll certainly try to gain new converts for the Titan cult one by one, and not by the bunch.

The initial learning curve is less due to complicated rules (although the tactical combat is somewhat clunky and possibly the only part of the game that would benefit from a serious overhaul) and more due to the uniqueness of the game. A quirky movement system, partial fog of war and a central key piece that decides victory or defeat all by itself somehow blend into an incredibly immersive experience, which is all the more astonishing since Titan makes no attempt to tie its mechanisms to any background information. The desert just happens to be one step away from the marshlands, and you can enter this way, but have to leave by that way.

But in a weird way, there is enough internal consistency to these funky rules to create tension, drama and adventure. Even plot, occasionally. It makes about as much sense as a ST:TNG holodeck episode or cheesy alternate worlds SF stories, but like the better examples of these, it somehow grips your mind and does not let go. Maybe the closest analogue to its vibe is "Walking on Glass" by Iain Banks, which everybody should read, anyway.

Its difficult to point to one favorite design aspect in a game that is such a chockful of uniqueness, especially since I suspect that a lot of pieces would flounder if not connected to the whole puzzle, but there is one concept that I have not encountered in another game: in Titan, your defensive strength is the currency for new troops. For those not familiar with the game, let me explain this: whereas, in other strategy games, you have to pay some resource for reinforcements or get them for possession of certain areas, mustering in Titan is, at first glance, for free. Move into a terrain, and any native creature amongst your troops can recruit some of its brethren to your just and noble cause of killing everybody else. If you have a couple of them, you can even get a more powerful resident.

How does this cost you defense? First of all, you have to move one of your little armies to be able to recruit, so greedily enlisting new beasties might move you from a safe position into harm's way, i.e. within reach of a powerful enemy army. Second, and this is where one of the arbitrary but totally essential rules of Titan kicks in, there is a size limit of seven creatures for every army stack. So if you want to be able to recruit, you have to split those stacks at some point, which will turn your impressive army into two slightly less impressive portions (you have to split off at least two creatures, which leaves the bigger stack with five at most). And the importance of that decision increases steeply if this is the army where your titan itself hides in.

Now, a lot of games offer the strategic possibility to reduce defense to improve offense, but all examples I can think of have some intermediate resource, and none of them does throw the dilemma of short-term risk versus mid-term reinforcements into such sharp focus. Possibly because none of them includes the possibility of losing the whole game in a single battle, no matter how well you do elsewhere.

20 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
7. Board Game: Android [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:1005]
Maik Hennebach
Germany
Frankfurt
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Since I have, so far, resisted the urge to read the twilight and event cards and only have two games under my belt, I'm sure that a lot of discoveries still wait for me in this amazing package. Hence, my pick for the favorite design aspect is liable to change, especially since it is a bit unusual: the best thing they did are the things they didn't do.

A possible design goal for Android, independent of the wonderfully realized cyberpunk background, might have been "make an adventure boardgame where the characters really matter". A lot of the innovations, like the twilight cards and the plot mechanism, tie directly into this. But to hammer these new ideas into a managable game also necessitated throwing out some of the basic assumptions about what adventure games have to have, namely rules on how to fight, how to get stuff to fight better and how to move from one fight to the next.

Most of the pseudo-RPGs on the market have rules on these things and nothing much else, although the complexity of those rules ranges wildly from trivial (Talisman) over simple (Runebound) and demanding (Descent) to really friggin' convoluted (D&D 4th Ed.). Now, the designer team for Android might just have decided to take a nice movement and combat system and put all the character background stuff on top of that, which would probably have resulted in an unplayable mess of a game.

Instead, they gave us these, well, rules:
How to move - Put one end of your car to where you are. Go anywhere you can reach with the other end.
How to fight - Pick A or B.
And I'm certain that this terse approach was not due to lazyness - Descent is a pretty strong hint that Kevin Wilson is not averse to fiddling around with a combat system - but a conscious design decision that allows the variety and intensity of character histories intertwined with "solving" the murder, all within a play time of under 3 hours.

Avoiding complexity that detracts from the core of the game also shows up in other regards, like not providing any rules for money except for the one character to whom money matters, but it is exemplified in the brilliant decision to cut back on exactly those aspects on the rules that lie at the heart of what we, until Android's arrival, thought adventure games could be.
26 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
8. Board Game: Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42 [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:389]
 
Stephen Shaw
United States
Cleveland
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Command Action Points -- enough said.

Seriously, this is a great tactical WWII wargame that incorporates euro elements enough to make it a quasi-hybrid. And it does so in a way, that in my opinion, makes for a great tactical simulation. There is a lot of debate about this vs. Combat Commander, and I dont care to compare them here, but kudos to Uwe for making a great tactical game that appeals to so many!!
13 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
9. Board Game: Timber Tom [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:3389]
Maarten Cappaert
United States
Houston
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I haven't actually received my copy yet but I can safely say this game fits this list rather perfectly
5 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
10. Board Game: Confucius [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:1997]
Spencer Gay
United Kingdom
Nuneaton
Warwickshire
flag msg tools
I could kill a bear with this sharpened stick. Urrrghhhhhhh!!!!!!!!
badge
Chill Out
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Superb new mechanic that I have not seen elsewhere is the giving of gifts to other players. The gifts have various values so if a player has given to you a gift which is a higher value than any gift you may have given to them then you are indebted to that player and must aid them in certain situations (or take certain actions to remove your obligations). It took a good while to get used to this on the one occasion I have played this game but towards the end of the game (once a fair few gifts were in circulation) the power of these gifts really became apparent.
Result: A very deep strategic game which I am very much looking forward to playing again.

This is truly a hidden gem for those who like meatier Euros. Go buy it now
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
11. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm [Average Rating:8.08 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.08 Unranked]
Gerry Smit
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
RftG came out in 2007, but the Solitaire rules were released in this expansion, which certainly fits the bill.

Getting time to play with others is problemtaic for me, so having a Robot opponent is just great! Having the robot occasionally choose what you choose (the "*"), allows the game to move from its develop/settle phase into the produce/trade phase, without having a chart counting how many turns since "x" happened.

Gerry
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.