The Reason I Bought This Game....And the Reason I've Never Played It
Jonathan Kinney
Canada
Surrey
British Columbia
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While most people have a specific reason for buying a game (saw it on the Geek, etc) - I have some interesting stories behind some of mine - I think there's just as interesting a story behind why I've never played it (or maybe only played it once). Why would someone spend big bucks only to let it sit on a shelf.

Now while there are some games that I will play, I'm focusing specifically on the games that I don't particularly want to keep.

If there are people out there who can convince me I'm wrong about a game, please do so. If there are others who would be interested in a game list, make me an offer. But more importantly, if there are those who LOVE one of these games (except Caylus...it's irreconcilable differences there) and want to tell me what I'm missing, please do so as well.
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1. Board Game: Caylus [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:45]
Jonathan Kinney
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British Columbia
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This is the first time that I can honestly say that I play the BGG community...but I don't really. I love you guys (and gals).

But I have to say that I bought this game STRICTLY because of what I read about this game. Everyone talked about how wonderful it was.

My wife and I sat down to play it and after an hour of rule-reading, and three or four BGG player aids later, we started out struggle. It actually made us angry trying to play. The worst part is that even once we figured it out, it just didn't seem that fun.

Lesson learned: Check to see how many plays a game needs before a comfort level sets in. If it needs multiple plays just to get the rules down, it's probably not for me.
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2. Board Game: Amun-Re [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:260]
Jonathan Kinney
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Interesting story here. Just after my intro to gaming I went on a bit of a "binge". I decided that I would find some really interesting games that I could play the next time we hosted a game night. This was actually "pre-Geek" so I made the cardinal mistake of going by "cool theme on the back of the box". That's not to say I don't like the game, but it just didn't go over well with our game group.

As well, it's a 3-5 player game and, as I would quickly come to learn, it's better to have games that work with two players...because 90% of the time it's just my wife and I.

So yes, one game played...not likely to see the table again.

Lesson learned: Two-fold - 2 players? Don't buy because of shiny objects on the box.
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3. Board Game: Babel [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:1042]
Jonathan Kinney
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British Columbia
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Ah Babel, why don't I like thee? I was in Sentry Box Games in Calgary a couple of summers back and came across this game. We had picked up a stack of games already but this one caught my eye. I had a number of Kosmos 2-player games and this one had some interesting gameplay aspects. I asked the people at the front to check BGG and the ratings were similar to other Kosmos games. So I picked it up.

Big mistake, both my wife and I found it a little clunky. Others seem to like it, but give me Jambo, Zeus and Hera, or Lost Cities and I'm happy.

One play...back on the shelf.

Lesson Learned: Not all Kosmos games are created equally. Even if they're rated similarly.
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4. Board Game: Magna Grecia [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:2261]
Jonathan Kinney
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Another game that I was attracted to by the theme, but also because of the interesting reviews on the Geek. But as well, I went into my FLGS with money burning a hole in my pocket and this one was in the right price range.

But there are two things that got to me...first is that people were right, the board is VERY ugly. And second, I just couldn't sink my teeth into the game after reading the rules. And I know that if I can't "sell" a game to my wife, she won't like playing anything new...she'd prefer to play something she's familiar with.

So there it sits...in all it ugly-boarded glory on my shelf.

Lesson-learned: Don't spend money just for that's sake and, more importantly if people say the board is ugly - believe them (and yes, sometimes it does matter!)
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5. Board Game: Hellas [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:2279]
Jonathan Kinney
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During a trip to Germany - early in my board gaming days - my wife and I were constantly looking for cheap games. And believe me, we found them. Taj Mahal for 16 euros, Trans Europa for 10, Alexandros and Karabik for 13 each, and this gem for 10 euros. The interesting thing is that none of these games ever found the table. Taj Mahal was a 3-5 player game (and even though there are variants, they just never caught my eye). Soon after coming back I became a TTR fan, so Trans Europa quickly fell by the wayside. Alexandros and Karabik will reach the table...at least that's what I promise myself. And Hellas? I don't know. It just doesn't grab me. Maybe I should try it.

Lesson learned: Just because you're on a vacation in the Nirvana of gaming, doesn't mean you should buy cheap games for the hell of it.
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6. Board Game: MLB Showdown [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:6909]
Jonathan Kinney
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My buddy Gerry used to own a games store and he got me hooked on buying these cards. Being a former sports card collector and a baseball fan, I was hooked.

Problem is that I focused on the buying and selling of cards rather than the game. I played it once with his decks and it seemed fun to begin with. But after playing it once with my decks...I just realized it was silly to be playing this when I could play Strat or Statis Pro. Sure they take longer, but they're a lot more meaningful.

As for the cards...I traded a few on Ebay...but I have a stack left and they and the game just sit in a drawer.

Lesson learned: Don't get drawn into buying CCGs for the gameplay if there are better outlets available. And a second lesson, don't believe that the Mark McGwire special card will stay at $60 or go higher. Anyone want a "roid boy" card...in a cool plastic sleeve (although the sleeve is probably worth more than the card right now)?
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7. Board Game: Chez Guevara [Average Rating:5.61 Overall Rank:10879]
Jonathan Kinney
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I bought this game on the recommendation of a guy (who surprisingly no longer works) at my FLGS. Being a history buff, the title made me laugh. I'd played an earlier Chez game once before and I thought it would be fun.

When I got it home I was stumped. The rules made no sense. NONE at all. And so few people owned it that there were no playing aids online. As a result, it has never been played.

Good thing it was cheap!

Lesson Learned: Only trust the "full-timers" at my FLGS!
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8. Board Game: Heart of Africa [Average Rating:5.51 Overall Rank:12666]
Jonathan Kinney
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This is a variant on the "theme" mistake. When I saw Heart of Africa, I had to have it. There are so few games about the Dark Continent and the pieces looked great. Sure the reviews were not great, but I thought I could work around it. WRONG! The rules were piss poor. And, like some people mentioned, the game just seems broken.

I tried and tried, but couldn't get the game to the table because I just wasn't sure if it was going to make sense.

Lesson learned: No matter how badly you want a game to work, sometimes they just won't.
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9. Board Game: Sim City: The Card Game [Average Rating:4.36 Overall Rank:15279]
Jonathan Kinney
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This one was an interesting (and expensive) foray into CCGs. I got a degree in Geography and LOVED urban planning. As a result, I also owned every Sim City computer game. So when Gerry (who as working at another game store at the time) told me about this, I was in. I bought pack after pack. And once it fell off the planet I bought box after box from Gerry, trying to get some neat cards.

The cards were fascinating. Problem is that the gameplay was long, clunky and onerous. The scoring was also a nightmare. One play...back in the drawer. But the cards themselves always conjure up great memories of my urban planning days at UVic.

Lesson learned: A CCG is highly unlikely to let you relive your days of youth. As well, not everything that calls itself a CCG is actually "collectable".
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