New to Me -- Month by Month
Kevin Cachia
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Springfield
Pennsylvania
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A retrospective look back at what new games and expansions I have tried each month, from the time I started logging plays on the Geek.

The headliner game is generally my favorite new one that month, though there may be other criteria used. Of course, "favorite" is a pretty nebulous term when I have only tried one new game or expansion in a given month.
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1. Board Game: Wits & Wagers [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:500]
Kevin Cachia
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Pennsylvania
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January 2008

The early months of my logged plays are a little fuzzy, and I don't always know what I learned in 2007, so sometimes there's a little guesswork.

I learned this one on New Year's Day, and had a lot of fun playing it.

Also new to me this month:

Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game -- Quite enjoyed my first play. Subsequent plays have not seemed as entertaining

Cuba -- did not care for the voting mechanism; otherwise felt like a rehash of already-used mechanics

Combo King -- mildly fun

Employee of the Month -- something I had picked up in a math trade. No great shakes

Würfel Bingo -- meh

Mare Nostrum -- not my thing

Canoe -- not my thing

Pictureka! -- the less said the better

I played a lot of games (for me) this month, and tried a lot of games I had not played before. Most of those I wouldn't choose to play again.


Honorary mention:

Lost Cities -- Had not played this in quite a few years. Reconfirmed that I just don't find this one interesting.
 
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2. Board Game: Carcassonne: The Mini Expansion [Average Rating:7.28 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.28 Unranked]
Kevin Cachia
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February 2008

I played only 13 games in February, none new to me, although this was the first time I played Carcassonne with this particular expansion. Nothing special.
 
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3. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:73]
Kevin Cachia
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March 2008

I really enjoyed Pandemic, and have continued to enjoy it in quite a few plays since. A real hit with me and my friends.

Also new to me this month:

Detroit-Cleveland Grand Prix -- I liked the system, mostly, and would be interested in trying the other game in the series that is generally considered better

Die Weinhändler -- thought I would like this more than I did. Looks nice, and an okay game

Techno Witches -- cute, I suppose, but no great shakes.

Reiner Knizia's Amazing Flea Circus -- kiddie game

The Settlers of Catan: The Great River -- tried the expansion, if you can call it that. A "why bother" expansion

The Settlers of Canaan -- A lesser Settlers variant. Avoid.
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4. Board Game: Zooloretto [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:606] [Average Rating:6.86 Unranked]
Kevin Cachia
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April 2008

Very few games played at all this month, but I did get to try out Zooloretto, which I had bought with the expansion pack. A nice extension of Coloretto.
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5. Board Game: Conquest of the Fallen Lands [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:2037]
Kevin Cachia
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May 2008

I think Conquest of the Fallen Lands is a really solid design.

Also new to me this month:

10 Days in Africa -- I had been curious about this series for a while, and finally got to try one of them. A likeable light game, pretty mah-jongg-esque.

California -- liked it, would try it again

Devil Bunny Hates the Earth -- why bother?

Carcassonne: Expansion 5 – Abbey & Mayor -- The first expansion in a while that I actually liked

Zooloretto: Polar Bear
Zooloretto: The Petting Zoo
Zooloretto: Three Additional Buildings
-- tried Zooloretto with some of the expansions. They add a little spice without significantly changing the game. Nice.
 
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6. Board Game: African Rails [Average Rating:7.17 Unranked]
Kevin Cachia
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June 2008

Yes, my buddy went through the painstaking effort of printing, laminating, cutting, etc., just so we could play a game just like all the other Rails games. It's a fine version, but doesn't seem worth the work put into putting it together.

Also new to me this month:

Counting Zzzzs -- zzzz is right.


Honorary mention:

Rail Baron -- Been over a decade since I saw this on the table. I quite enjoy it, and hope to play a little more often.
 
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7. Board Game: Catan Dice Game [Average Rating:5.70 Overall Rank:5291]
Kevin Cachia
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July 2008

The only new game played this month. Uninteresting.
 
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8. Board Game: Kingsburg [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:266]
Kevin Cachia
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August 2008

One of those games that has fallen right on the cusp of "want to get" and "don't really need." If there weren't so many games, and if I didn't already own a bunch of games, I would probably get this one. I like it, and I think my friends would like it.

Also new to me this month:

Saboteur -- okay as a filler, didn't really care if I ever play again.

Lectio -- like the Big Two, but with tiles instead of cards, and like that game, a kind of Tichu lite that is really dull.

Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries -- A good 2-3 player version of TTR, I think I like this better than Switzerland.
 
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9. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:237] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Kevin Cachia
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September 2008

This month saw one play of this game. I didn't love it, but rather I was interested enough to give it a second go at some point. Little did I know this would be on the table constantly for the next few months. A bit too long and slow the first couple of times through, but plenty fun once we got past that.

Also new to me this month:

Biblios -- a neat little game from a tiny publisher. Most months it would have been my favorite new game of that month

The Princess Bride: Storming the Castle -- a nice little game that, as I have read elsewhere, really missed the opportunity to include film quotes as flavor text
 
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10. Board Game: Zombie Fluxx [Average Rating:6.02 Overall Rank:2748]
Kevin Cachia
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October 2008

I only played one new "new" game this month, but I didn't like it, so I'm going with this sequel game. I'm one of those folks in the "I like to play Fluxx once in a while" camp. Hey, I realize it's not deep, but I still find it entertaining. Note: takes the prize over Time's Up! Deluxe only because ZF introduces Creepers, whereas there isn't anything new about TU!D. I'll certainly opt to play Time's Up! over Fluxx any chance I get.

Also new to me this month:

Time's Up! Deluxe -- Yes, the deluxe version of the bestest party game ever. Love it

Zooloretto: Three Extra Enclosures -- one of the expansion pack expansions I hadn't gotten to trying before

Terakh: A Creative Strategy Game -- insanely dull and repetitive play, I don't know how they decided to describe this as creative
 
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11. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
Kevin Cachia
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November 2008

This was the month I tried Dominion, which is just so darned addictive. In the next few months I would play, literally, hundreds of games, admittedly most of them online.

Also new to me this month:

Alchemist -- a perfectly okay game, I'd play it, but I wouldn't get excited about it

Arkham Horror: Curse of the Dark Pharaoh Expansion
Arkham Horror: Dunwich Horror Expansion
Arkham Horror: Kingsport Horror Expansion
-- yep, as we started really getting into AH, we started trying out the various expansions
 
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12. Board Game: Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:62]
Kevin Cachia
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December 2008

One play, and I don't know what to make of this one yet. I always seemed to do the same things turn after turn. Still, I would try it again.

Also new to me this month:

Sylla -- a solid design, I think more than anything the theme didn't grab me, but a good game

Yahtzee Free for All -- not too painful, but it doesn't interest me

Ghost Stories -- seemed incredibly uninteresting. I'd try it again to be sure, but first impression was not favorable

Monty Python Fluxx -- what? more Fluxxes? also fun, but how many of these do we need?

Arkham Horror: The Black Goat of the Woods Expansion
Arkham Horror: The King in Yellow Expansion
-- mmm, more Arkham goodness

Thurn and Taxis: All Roads Lead to Rome -- what a stupid expansion. a shame people paid money for this
 
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13. Board Game: Time's Up! Title Recall! [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:290]
Kevin Cachia
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January 2009

This time with titles! I probably should have selected Space Alert, as that really was a new game and this is just "same game, different cards", but I already bypassed a Time's Up once, so, whatever.

Also new to me this month:

Space Alert -- an odd bird, this one. felt pretty lost, but intrigued enough I would play a bit more

German Rails -- another print-and-play rail game

A Touch of Evil: The Supernatural Game -- fell flat for me, but then none of us knew the rules, and we may not have played right

Stone Age -- don't get the hoopla here. Decisions seemed disturbingly obvious and I won by an absurd margin

Timber Tom -- boring start to finish, okay for kids maybe

Street Paintball -- please never again
 
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14. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:17]
Kevin Cachia
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February 2009

Finally tried el hype-o-rama. Okay game, don't get the hype. I find it more frustrating than fun. The key seems to be getting an engine going that can feed your family, which then allows you to do other things. I have not been able to get the engine going.

Also new to me this month:

Wasabi! -- a game I just had to have, even though I knew I wouldn't really enjoy playing it. But I do like the way it looks.

Master Labyrinth -- just didn't find this one fun
 
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15. Board Game: Galaxy Trucker [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:128]
Kevin Cachia
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March 2009

I didn't think I would like this at all, but it turned out to be quite entertaining. But then, I've also had silly-good luck in my first couple of games.

Also new to me this month:

Jamaica -- Gave it to a friend as a gift, so we took it for a spin. I liked it okay.

Money! -- Okay, but nothing to sneeze at. Had this on my wish list because I had read positive things about it, but it dropped off when I say the price on the new edition. Now that I've played it, I'm glad I didn't bother.

Hisss -- kiddie game. Entertaining enough if you're okay with watching the game play itself, and just trash-talking through it.

Cosmic Encounter -- I have played CE many times, but the Fantasy Flight version which has its own 'Geek entry, though I don't know that I agree with that. I played the Masochist, which was not in the Mayfair version, and which I am convinced has a pretty crummy alien power, but that bit at least was new to me.
 
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16. Board Game: Dominion: Envoy Promo Card [Average Rating:7.20 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.20 Unranked]
Kevin Cachia
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April 2009

Not much going on gaming-wise this month. My buddy did get the two BGG promo cards, though only Envoy has made it into a game so far. Kind of a meh card, if you ask me.

After a few games with it, it seems to be a pretty rotten card if you play it with no actions to follow, but it's a lot more useful if you can play it and still have another action after.
 
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17. Board Game: Lost Cities: The Board Game [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:939]
Kevin Cachia
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May 2009

Still not much going on, as fantasy baseball really sucked me in, but I did make it out to a family game night and got to try this. Better than Lost Cities, but I found Lost Cities quite unengaging, so that's not saying much.

Also new to me this month:

Neuland -- a solid design, but lacking somewhat in the fun factor for me. Just seems to be too much thinking in reverse for me.
 
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18. Board Game: God Dice [Average Rating:6.39 Overall Rank:5629]
Kevin Cachia
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June 2009

June is a good month for outdoor activities and/or watching baseball, but I did make it to a game evening where I tried this. Fairly mindless, luck heavy, but still fun.

Also new to me this month:

Dominion: Black Market Promo Card -- I got to try the other BGG promo card. This one can be a blast to play with, though it isn't all rosy. The game tends to take a little longer with more decisions, and sometimes the black market purchases can really skew the game balance. Still, fun.

Casino -- Played while waiting for a 4th to show up for Tichu. Reminded me an awful lot of Safaru from the Mu & More collection.
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19. Board Game: Dominion: Intrigue [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:57] [Average Rating:7.76 Unranked]
Kevin Cachia
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July 2009

I first got to try a handful of the cards on BSW, then my copy arrived and I got to try the rest of the set as well.

Also new to me this month:

Arkham Horror: Innsmouth Horror Expansion -- Well, I do love Arkham Horror. Not sure about this expansion yet, though. I like the personal stories idea. I don't like the Impossible Old Ones. Also, like with most big-box expansions, the additional area to cover is a bit much for a 2- or 3- investigator crew. Still, new characters...fun, fun, fun.

duck! duck! Go! -- I like these games. This one isn't original. Some folks might liken it to RoboRally, but I find it to be more like Warhamster Rally. I find it to be most like Bumper Car Arena, though. Still, the rubber duckies are great.

Bonnie and Clyde -- I feel like the Mystery Rummy series started out creative and interesting, and wound up less and less so as the series went on. This one is okay to play, but I don't think it is especially captivating.

Qwirkle -- Reminds me a lot of Ingenious. Good game, but not one that I get terrible interested in playing. Lacking in theme, you might say.

Chicago Express -- Not a fan of the "no luck" game. Not a fan of auction games where I can't even guess at the value of the item being auctioned. Beyond that, though, it doesn't seem like there are any options for creative gameplay.

Ultimate -- I love playing Ultimate, and this game kind of captures the feel of it a bit. However, the gameplay is really pretty dull.

Excape -- Reiner Knizia creates some awesome games, and sometimes he phones it in to make a quick buck. What I can't figure out is how this dud managed to get re-released with a whole new name and everything.

 
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20. Board Game: Red November [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:1465]
Kevin Cachia
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August 2009

A cooperative game that feels much like Pandemic, but with dice-rolling. Seemed pretty good on our first walk-through game.

Also new to me this month:

Tales of the Arabian Nights -- The original version. I enjoyed it for the most part. It really is a choose-your-own-adventure story, with the same drawbacks. If you learn what the result of a particular action is, it removes the mystery. Still, entertaining.

Axis & Allies -- I don't think I ever played this before. It really, really isn't my cup of tea. Hours and hours of doing the same stuff over and over again, and the winner will probably be determined but a bit of lucky/unlucky dice rolling.

Middle-Earth Quest -- Amazing how much this felt like War of the Ring. The same sense of "we need to act in the southeast, but the forces there are too overwhelming to go anywhere near. Painful to play as a hero, I think probably less so as Sauron.


Honorable mention:

Goldbräu -- Haven't seen this one in many years. A solid design with a good playing time.
 
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21. Board Game: Martian Rails [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:2577]
Kevin Cachia
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September 2009

I was actually a bit disappointed with this one. It's fine, and okay as an entry in the Empire Builder line, but honestly, I was hoping that they would do something a little more creative and interesting with it. I think they focused a little too much on making cute references, but hey, it's Empire Builder, and you don't really go wrong with that.

Also new to me this month:

Race for the Galaxy -- I feel as if I should like this, as big a fan as I am of Dominion. But so far, it just hasn't grabbed me. It feels like your strategy is dictated by your cards, and he who draws complementary cards shall win. But it is also clear to me I do not play very well, and I am sure that impacts my opinion.

Grand Canyon Adventure Board Game -- A gift from someone who went to the Grand Canyon. It's a roll and move game, with no redeeming features, but it does manage to be very, very, very mildly entertaining. Not that I would recommend playing.

Honorable mention:

Strange Synergy -- A game I tried about once when I got it for my birthday a couple of years back, and then it sat. This game has terrible components, except for the cards which are decent quality, and it is seriously flawed. The thing has no balance, and most of the time the winner is determined by the cards dealt. There's just no point in playing the game.
 
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22. Board Game: Dominion: Seaside [Average Rating:8.06 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.06 Unranked]
Kevin Cachia
United States
Springfield
Pennsylvania
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October 2009

I am disinclined to pick an expansion as new game of the month if there are other options available, but Dominion is the bee's knees, and I'm much more excited by a new card set than I am for a new game of something else. This is a good 'un.

Also new to me this month:

Dead Money -- Entirely too similar to Give Me the Brain, perhaps, but I do like the added twist of using poker hands to wrest control of the brain, with the penalty of drawing cards if you win.

Relationship Tightrope -- A nice game of tug-of-war, with a theme that will drive gamers away. Feels a lot like For Sale with a kind of blind-bidding thrown in.

Taktika -- A dexterity game that left me cold. Cavalry can kill other pieces pretty easily. Almost impossible to succeed with Archers and Infantry also tough to succeed with. Makes the choices pretty uninteresting.

Catan Card Game: Artisans & Benefactors -- An expansion released after the box with the collected expansions in it. The odd thing about Catan Card Game expansions is that it seems like you get less benefit from expansion cards than from base set cards, so you're better off ignoring the expansions you're playing with anyway. Still, some new flavor, and I did like the happiness element.

Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm -- Can't comment on this expansion specifically, since it was mixed in with the original before I was particularly familiar with the original.

Race for the Galaxy: Rebel vs Imperium -- Same as above.

Honorable mentions:

Planet Busters -- A game from my youth that I remembered fondly, as I do all things Wham. Picked up the shiny rerelease quite a long time back, and never got round to playing. Well, let's start by saying the rerelease, for all its big price tag is really badly made. Pieces are too frigging big, and they don't even fit in the crummy pouch they gave you; also, the stands are awful. As far as gameplay goes, I played a 2-player game, and it became obvious why we always played with at least three. This just doesn't work as a 2-player game.

Starship Catan -- A pretty good game based on the Catan world that I seem to play once every few years. Lasts maybe a little too long, but not bad at all.

Prophecy -- Don't really care for this one. I used to like Talisman, but I don't really want to play that anymore either. The dust got brushed off this one after a couple of years' dormancy, but I won't mind if it remains dormant next time.
 
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23. Board Game: Wyatt Earp [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:817]
Kevin Cachia
United States
Springfield
Pennsylvania
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November 2009

The semi-entry into the Mystery Rummy series. I quite like the Reward mechanism in this one, and the way it might not pay out even if there are cards melded for the particular outlaw.

Also new to me this month:

Streetcar -- A neat game of route-building that is much tougher than it looks at a glance.

Metropolys -- An area majority game I did not enjoy. A hideous board.

Memoir '44 -- I have played this game's brothers before, but this was the first foray into Memoir. Can't figure out the popularity of these, given it's two kinds of randomness piled one on the other. Still, my distaste for the system has mellowed a little since my first frustrating plays of Battlelore.

Carcassonne: Cult, Siege and Creativity -- Nothing essential, though I kind of like Siege, and Cult is okay. Siege artwork needed to be more distinctive, though, so it is more obvious when looking at the tile.

Honorable mention:

Samurai -- I played once or twice a few years back, but not since. I remember thinking it was less annoying than other area majority games, but the recent play was much more off-putting.
 
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24. Board Game: Stonehenge: Nocturne Expansion [Average Rating:5.74 Unranked] [Average Rating:5.74 Unranked]
Kevin Cachia
United States
Springfield
Pennsylvania
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December 2009

Well, I could put Stonehenge: An Anthology Board Game down as an honorable mention, as it has been a couple of years since I played a game out of that box, but I will just stick with the expansion as a brand new play, since this was the first time I played anything from that box.

Honorable Mention:

Tikal -- Can't believe this doesn't get played more often.

Imaginiff -- A pretty good party game, needs the right crowd to shine. I seem to play once every few years.

Big Boggle -- I used to play this game growing up, but somehow got to a point where about 5 friends would have to combine their scores to have a chance of beating my score. Partly as a result, I have not played in many years. I got in one round against someone with equal skills, and it was refreshingly close.

Elfenland -- Had not played this in many years. Remembered not liking it, but not why. Was reminded why. A painfully slow AP game with no fun attached.
 
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25. Board Game: Trivial Pursuit: Millennium Edition [Average Rating:5.35 Overall Rank:14731]
Kevin Cachia
United States
Springfield
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January 2010

I was a teen when the Genus edition came out, and usually did okay at that. I have played a number of card sets, but this was the first time with the Millennium Edition. I have to agree with other folks who felt this is another in the TP line of "things no one knows" editions. Had a nice time playing, but I would really want to play a different edition the next time.

31 (AKA Blitz) -- As simple as a game gets. Heck, if you have a deck of cards, a handful of tokens, and 10 minutes, you can get a game in.

Honorable Mention:

Shuffleboard Game -- Even though I have a copy of this, since Crokinole came out it never gets played. Nice to give it a go after a few years of not.
 
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