GameLust: When You Want a Dalliance, But Aren't Sure You're Ready to Commit
Chuck Uherske
United States
Rockville
Maryland
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BGG Geeks put together many "what should I buy?" lists, and I myself now maintain and occasionally update a game-buying wishlist.

Such wishlists, however, don't cover all of the games that we lust for based on the reviews, descriptions, comments and pictures found on BGG.

There are plenty of games out there that I'd love to try, but am not necessarily ready to commit to buying or even putting on the birthday list. Just as, in the course of one's life, one encounters many of the opposite sex to whom one may not be ready to commit, but who nevertheless provoke the occasional daydream.

To be included on this list, a game might be a game you're willing to consider buying, but doesn't have to be. The test is whether it's the game that, if you walked into a convention and had dozens of games to get in on, you'd make a beeline for this game's table if available.

For this list, I deliberately chose games that are highly rated on BGG, but additions need not be.

Feedback on the games I've listed would be much appreciated. Should I take the plunge on any of these? Why or why not?
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1. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:28]
Chuck Uherske
United States
Rockville
Maryland
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I have generally found myself uninspired by even the most positive reviews of the touted games of 2004: I see a lot of mechanics I've seen before, and too many comparisons to Puerto Rico.

Power Grid, however, is a game that definitely has my attention. We have some in our group who like the basic concepts of Empire Builder, though we get frustrated with its length and certain of its flaws. To have a similar "network-building" type game, but with fewer flaws, a better tempo, and other features such as auctions and resource management, could potentially make a game well suited to our group.

My main reasons for not putting Power Grid high on the wishlist have been some reports of long play and runaway leader problems: runaway leader problems might kill it in the eyes of some in our group. But it looks generally enticing, and the reviews are glowing.
 
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2. Board Game: Die Macher [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:185]
Chuck Uherske
United States
Rockville
Maryland
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In principle, I think our group would love this, especially since many are interested in politics. The game looks fascinating to me in almost every way.

The main deterrent here is the length of play. I would love to be able to play this a few times to get a sense of whether the time length would make it unacceptable to our group, or whether the game is so good that we wouldn't mind.
 
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3. Board Game: Wallenstein (first edition) [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:342]
Chuck Uherske
United States
Rockville
Maryland
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This one has appeared on my list from time to time, and I continue to be interested in Dirk Henn games in general.

I've not kept it as high as some other Henn offerings (Timbuktu, Showmanager) but Wallenstein's description as a cross between a German game and a wargame seems very well-suited to our group. And the design looks fascinating in its own right. Some in our group would dig the Dice Tower!
 
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4. Board Game: Modern Art [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:226]
Chuck Uherske
United States
Rockville
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This one is highly placed on my wishlist. I like auction games in general, I'm discovering, especially if the auction meshes well with the theme. It looks fun, and it's now inexpensively available again. If I don't receive it on my upcoming birthday, I may be buying it soon anyway.
 
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5. Board Game: Ra [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:134]
Chuck Uherske
United States
Rockville
Maryland
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I learned this playing it on BSW but eventually lost interest: not in Ra, but in the experience of playing on BSW. Something about the lack of personal interaction, and the lack of a physical tactical experience eventually dulled my enjoyment.

Nevertheless, I do want to play Ra at some point in the flesh; I suspect it's even more fun that way.
 
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6. Board Game: Taj Mahal [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:306]
Chuck Uherske
United States
Rockville
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I frankly didn't know what to make of this one based on early descriptions, but the more I read of it, the more intrigued I become.

I suspect that a "game of chicken" mechanic is one at which I'd stink, but that may be part of the reason it intrigues me. It seems like a mysterious, vexing yet elegant game, and I'd like to give it a try before shelling out a hefty price for it.
 
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7. Board Game: Amun-Re [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:260]
Chuck Uherske
United States
Rockville
Maryland
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Continuing with the Knizia games. Amun-Re receives divergent reviews; some say it's not quite up to his classics and has too much recycled material. Others defend it passionately as one of his very best. As I can see myself going either way, I'd like to try before buying.
 
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8. Board Game: Dune [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:216]
Chuck Uherske
United States
Rockville
Maryland
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Here's one that many veteran BGGers swear by, and though I can't imagine myself buying it sight unseen, I'd definitely like to give it a shot. I like Team Eon's work based on my limited exposure, and this seems of an era in game design that has many features I like; the classic feel of actual combat and conflict between players. I don't know or care that much about the theme but I suspect that the casting of players in different roles would both frustrate and absorb me. This looks like it could be a true classic if it has held up well against time.
 
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9. Board Game: Samurai [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:172]
Chuck Uherske
United States
Rockville
Maryland
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I just flew back from Asia, and boy are my arms tired. Seriously, I did just fly back from Asia, where I managed to acquire a modicum of Zen-like serenity before Northwest Airlines did their best to destroy it on the way back. Samurai seems like it might be the perfect contemplative game for the state of mind in which I find myself now. I've never been convinced that this perhaps-too-spatial game is up my alley; but right now I'd like to try it.
 
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10. Board Game: RoboRally [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:336]
Chuck Uherske
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Rockville
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This one has appeared on my wishlist from time to time, though it's not up there right now. It's "puzzle"-like elements appeal to me, as indeed one of my favorite games of all time, Sleuth, has the virtue of mimicking my favorite puzzling pastimes. Can't quite figure out whether this one would ultimately grow repetitive, so haven't been ready to take the plunge.
 
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11. Board Game: Medici [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:442]
Chuck Uherske
United States
Rockville
Maryland
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This one, along with plenty of other Knizia auction games, is on my wish-list already. I know I'm interested in this, the only question is how high it should go on my priority buying list.
 
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12. Board Game: Star Wars: The Queen's Gambit [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:544]
Chuck Uherske
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Rockville
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I consider myself pretty immune to chrome, but gosh, look at all of those cool pieces! The pictures of this make me feel like I'm 10 years old again, and reports say the gameplay itself is quite good. I would hate to buy without knowing whether this is up my alley, but it appears as something I'd love to take for a spin.
 
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13. Board Game: Show Manager [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:1034]
Chuck Uherske
United States
Rockville
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The highest-rated game among my geekbuddies, another Dirk Henn creation. I know I'm interested in it, the only question is how high a priority it should be.
 
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14. Board Game: Daytona 500 [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:1336]
Chuck Uherske
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Rockville
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Also appearing further down on my wishlist, this game appeals to me because it looks like a lot of the games I played when I was a kid, becoming a vicarious sports fanatic, and it also seems to offer good and fun tactical play as well. Not quite ready to buy it yet, but I suspect some day I will.
 
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15. Board Game: For Sale [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:261]
Chuck Uherske
United States
Rockville
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A more recent discovery among the games listed, this seems like a pure, simple to understand, easily playable auction game. Can't quite figure out whether this would be a perfect distillation of what I like in auction games, or whether it's too stripped down to become one of my favorites. Would like to try and see.
 
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16. Board Game: Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:269] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Daniel Harrison
Australia
Sydney
NSW
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I wouldn't normally buy something like this but I suspect I will get swept away with the excitement.
 
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17. Board Game: Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:48]
Nate Sandall
United States
Portland
Oregon
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Dude! I'm there!
 
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18. Board Game: Goa [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:107]
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I might as well add one of the two games that Chuck refers to in his Power Grid entry in this list, because I thought long and hard before choosing to order Power Grid and leave this out.

Goa's got fantastic scores from my Geekbuddies (8.36 average, 14 ratings). Unfortunately, it falls into the auction/action category, which is already occupied in our gaming by Princes of Florence and Amun-Re. It also is hamstrung by its inability to play more than four players, and I already have a difficult time getting Euphrat & Tigris out on a regular basis because the numbers seldom work out. Finally, the discussion on the Exploration track seems to remain unsettled, with no one outright saying that the application of Rudiger's "correct" HiG rule balances the power of those cards.

This is definitely in a try-before-I-buy situation, and since I'm usually the person who buys these kinds of games in my gaming group, it may be some time before I get to play it and give it serious consideration. It's a shame, I really want to get it on with Goa...
 
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19. Board Game: Saint Petersburg [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:230]
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The other item that came to mind when Chuck mentioned "comparisons to PR". St. Pete isn't in the weight class of PR, PoF, Amun-Re, Power Grid or Goa, but it is a very similar game. Invest in cash early, reap VP late. I think its being a middleweight works against it, because if you're already crunching numbers in your heavy games, the middles and lights tend to be different kinds of games. Right now, the middle of choice here is Modern Art, which is still very new and needs to be played a lot more.

Anyway, I can get my St. Pete fix on BSW, and I doubt that anyone in my game group is aching for a tryst with a younger sister of the beauties mentioned above. Sadly, despite the good recommendations from my Geekbuddies (7.89 average, 16 ratings), I can't justify getting this anytime soon...
 
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20. Board Game: Roads & Boats [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:271]
MSV Burns
United States
Olympia
Washington
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This is the first thing I thought of when I saw the topic of this list.

Of everything I've seen on the geek since I've been here (admittedly not all that long), this inspires the most lust/fear/envy. Just LOOK at all that stuff! *Drool*

On one hand, I see all that, combined with the theme, and I just want it. The fact that it is quite doubtful that I'd ever get a chance to play it is kind of depressing, but even that may not be powerful enought to keep me from obtaining a copy.

At $100 or so, it's got to be somewhat overpriced, but just HOW overpriced? I'm willing to get gouged a little...
 
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21. Board Game: Age of Steam [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:114]
Joe Gola
United States
Redding
Connecticut
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This is a game I've been undecided about for a long time. On the one hand it ought to be a shoo-in, seeing as how I am a big fan of Wallace & Warfrog, not to mention train games in general. On the other hand, after playing it once--an ill-advised six-player outing--it just seemed too damn cutthroat for a game that long and involved.

And then I think "I must have missed something, because look how well-liked the game is" and "gee, wouldn't it look just swell on my shelf nestled in between Liberte and Princes of the Renaissance where it belongs?" But then I think "haven't I kind of already missed the boat on this one? Aren't we already six expansion maps down the road?" and "I'm not done with Princes of the Renaissance yet, and Struggle of Empires is coming out in October. When, exactly is this one going to get played?"

Essentially it's a noisy argument between the game-collector and the normal person, and it's giving me a headache.

Oh, wait, I have keep the whole girl-you're-afraid-to-commit-to thing going. Umm...well, I guess she's the trophy girlfriend with a mean streak, the girl who'll look really good on your arm but who you never quite manage to spread on the kitchen table.

That one's for Morgan.
 
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