Guantanamo Geekbuddy Unearthed Gems
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Along the lines of the Guantanamo Bay Top 25, here are games rated by fewer of us which others might look into...
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1. Board Game: Jambo [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:497] [Average Rating:7.04 Unranked]
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57 Jambo [10 and up] (9) 7.81 / 7.86
Isamoor (9.65) wrote:
I went through phases of wanting to try this game. My Secret Santa came through and got this gem for me. I'm really glad he did in the end. It really is a great blend of CCG mechanics and an economic engine into a short 2-player card game. There's solid interaction and many interesting hand management decisions.

The rules are also surprisingly easy to pick up.

Dorn is really an odd duck for me. I love Genoa and Jambo, but Arkadia and Goa really fell flat for me. He's batting about 50/50 in my book.

Apr 08: This is still going strong. I think it really is among the better of the Kosmos 2-player line.

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2. Board Game: Glory to Rome [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:150]
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63 Glory to Rome [12 and up] (9) 7.91 / 7.75
Rygel (9.71) wrote:
Good game. A more complex and complicated form of San Juan/Race for the Galaxy. Takes a while to learn and get into, but well worth it.

Strategy - Try to get Clientel out early that will help the most: Architect and Craftsman are the best. Use the stockpile to place material in the vault.

Isamoor (5.42) wrote:
May08: Well, only one learning game so far. I'm intrigued, but not really impressed. It just feels so much more convoluted than RftG, and not that much deeper. Still, I'll give it a few tries with the building powers to test it out.

Jun08: Got one full game in, but with all newbies. I didn't anticipate how much space this takes up. Also, I'm just not that impressed yet. It doesn't move super fast due to so much unfamiliarity. I can start to see the inkling of some neat strategies to try, which is a good sign. I'll definitely be trying it more.
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3. Board Game: Die Macher [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:187]
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64 Die Macher [14 and up] (9) 8.29 / 7.58
manowarplayer (10.00) wrote:
WOW. Played this for the first time last night and was really impressed. We struggled through the rules and the 1st turn, but then once we got the mechanics down, this game sped way up and the brillance of it's design became clear. There are SO many ways to score points in this that it;s overwhelming at first to know what to do and what to prioritize. I'd love to see this one come out in English!


... Abstract ..._____[]_____...Themed .....
......... Luck ...________[]__... Skill ...........
...... Simple ..._________[]_... Complex ...
.. Strategic ...___[]_______... Tactical ....
.... Friendly ..._______[]___... Cutthroat ..
....... Fiddly ...______[]____... Elegant .....

Graphics: 8
Packaging: 8
Components: 10
Rules: 10
Fun Factor: 10
OVERALL RATING: 10
Rating Date: 11/20/2005
Rating History/Dates N/A

Rygel (8.36, yep, that's the lowest) wrote:
Great game. Very long game. Definitely for the hard core gamers, not for the weak or casual gamers. Great mechanics. I really do enjoy the game, it is just hard to play on a regular basis. I wish someone would make "Die Macher Lite."
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4. Board Game: Sushizock im Gockelwok [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:1690]
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67 Sushizock im Gockelwok [8 and up] (9) 7.62 / 7.90
Bagherra (9.73) wrote:
A great filler game.
Very clever mechanics and light clean fun for fast play.

Wife tested and approved.
Mom and Grandma tested and approved.

DKahnt (3.51) wrote:
Much like Pickomino, same flavor different dice.
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5. Board Game: Imperial [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:140]
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69 Imperial [12 and up] (9) 7.91 / 7.69
crzdup (9.95) wrote:
I really like this game. It has conflict and economics. Diceless combat though which isn't really my favorite, but in this game it really works. I would really like to play this game more often. First time I played something with the Rondel.



I might actually pull this down a tick, purely because of length of time. In this game the length is perfect. But if the game goes like our game today, the end drags as people don't want to end the game.

Surprisingly easy to learn.

DKahnt (3.51) wrote:
A little too long for what it is. Maybe after a second play, the rating will go up....nope.
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6. Board Game: Metropolys [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:643]
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70 Metropolys [8 and up] (9) 7.80 / 7.71
Guantanamo (9.79) wrote:
Very easy, yet fun bidding game. Play the advanced rules, doesn't add that many rules or time.

crzdup (5.67) wrote:
Fun little bidding game. Doesn't really seem like it will work, but it has some interesting ideas. The blind victory points helps it from dragging, but by the time you figure out what the others are going for, it can become tense. I liked the art work, but it probably isn't for everyone.


Production ->
Fun ->
Play Desire ->
Theme ->
Down Time ->


A little down time once you have passed, but it isn't bad as the numbers only go so high.
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7. Board Game: Tribune: Primus Inter Pares [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:467]
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71 Tribune: Primus Inter Pares [14 and up] (8) 8.07 / 7.53
Rygel (9.71) wrote:
Very good game. I like the multiple win conditions.

Guantanamo (8.72) wrote:
smell: --------------
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8. Board Game: Ghost Stories [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:192]
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72 Ghost Stories [12 and up] (8) 7.78 / 7.71
Bagherra (10.00) wrote:
beautiful art.
FAntastic Game.
Easily the best co-op I've EVER played.

SteveK2 (4.50) wrote:
Cooperative ghostbusters. Much more going on than in Pandemic, but I can't decide whether this is a good thing or bad.
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9. Board Game: Loopin' Louie [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:688]
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72 Loopin' Louie [4 and up] (9) 7.46 / 8.00
Bagherra (9.73) wrote:
Awesome distraction.
Simple and extremely fast.

Guantanamo (2.98) wrote:
I found this over all boring. The games actually took to long for me.

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10. Board Game: Santiago [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:526]
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77 Santiago [10 and up] (8) 7.75 / 7.56
thoia (9.89) wrote:
Something has been drawing me to this game for a long time now but at the same time I've never pulled the trigger to order it. Finally got to play and man do I wish I'd have got this instead of a lot of other games a long time ago. GREAT bidding/tile placement game that focuses on finances. Who'd have thunk it? Excellence.

Finally broke down and bought this game. I held off for so long then after playing it once...I was certain I had to have it! Awesomeness.

Isamoor (3.46) wrote:
This one took awhile to get tried out. And I'm not so sure it was worth the wait. There's nothing offensive about it, but there's nothing great about it either. In particular, many of the costs and benefits are way too calculable. I much prefer the unknown assets of Traders of Genoa if I want a heavier trading game. Altertnatively, I prefer the feel-good atmosphere of Bohnanza if I want a lighter negotiation game. Basically, those two just squeeze out any space Santiago might occupy.

On it's own though, Santiago does have some good parts. The turn structure keeps things reasonably quick moving without room for really long negotiations. On the other hand, watching your crops turn to sand is a very painful experience.
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11. Board Game: 1960: The Making of the President [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:156]
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78 1960: The Making of the President [14 and up] (8) 7.75 / 7.51
thoia (9.89) wrote:
Love this game. I really enjoy playing Nixon even though I seem to lose more often than not. I just like the feel of that damnable deck working against me so much and how much can I stop, avoid or just take on the chin! Super game though.

Isamoor (2.92) wrote:
Yes, it does take 1.5-2 hours, but it really isn't that complicated. It does seem to have a lot in common with CC:E in that you tend to hand on for a roller coaster ride due to the event cards. They can cause pretty large swings with a single card.

I did enjoy it though. It has a lot of historical information included in the cards.

For our first two games, he who ruled the issues ruled the game. If the players balanced the issues a bit more I'm sure the game would have been a bit closer.

The only real strikes against it are:

My wife doesn't like the theme at all.
It's still just a large game of "tug-of-war" underneath, and I don't particularly enjoy that feeling.
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12. Board Game: Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:574]
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80 Roll Through the Ages [8 and up] (9) 7.54 / 7.72
The two biggest supporters (Guantanamo and Bagherra) had no comments.
SteveK2 (1.96) wrote:
For 3/4 players (the only way I'm likely to play it) there seems next to no interaction, and a fair bit of downtime since you can't really start your rolls before I've finished spending stuff. Most people seem to like the wooden components. To me, they just smack of cheapness.
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13. Board Game: Catan: Cities & Knights [Average Rating:7.47 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.47 Unranked]
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81 Catan: Cities & Knights [12 and up] (8) 7.73 / 7.48
Rygel (10.00) wrote:
The only way we play Settlers anymore. We don't ever play just the base Settlers anymore. My wife really enjoys this game so it sees a lot of play. We play it with 3 players a lot and it almost turns into a race instead of an area/resource management game. Played every time.

Best expansion - I like the River and the Fisherman.

Strategy - move the calendar forward as quickly as possible. Especially in the paper. Build golden arches soon as possible.

Bagherra (2.51) had no comments.
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14. Board Game: Blokus Duo [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:776]
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83 Travel Blokus [6 and up] (9) 7.43 / 7.82
Rygel (9.71) wrote:
Great abstract game for two.

SteveK2 (4.50) wrote:
Blokus for two, on what seems a more claustrophobic, confrontational board.
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15. Board Game: Aladdin's Dragons [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:845]
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84 Aladdin's Dragons [10 and up] (7) 7.93 / 7.29
Rygel (9.71) wrote:
I really like this game. A great blind auction game with several different tasks other than just a simple auction.

crzdup (5.67) wrote:
I enjoyed this game. Blind bidding isn't my favorite mechanic, but this works pretty well and doesn't take all that long. It is hard to tell if strategy wins here or if it is mostly luck. But it is fun enough and short enough that I don't really mind either way.

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16. Board Game: Age of Steam [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:117]
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Well, the above make for a mighty fine list, but you may notice that all of them were rated by at least 7 of us. How about games rated by 5 or fewer of us...

130 Age of Steam [12 and up] (5) 7.64 / 6.97
SteveK2 (9.94) wrote:
Very tight economic game, with more player interaction than you can shake a stick at. Unlike so many games where you can coast for periods of time, here you need to constantly keep your wits about you.

DKahnt (9.27) wrote:
I like this game the more and more I play it. I'm just not very good at it yet, but getting better.
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17. Board Game: Blockers! [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:1380]
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144 Uptown [8 and up] (5) 7.59 / 6.91
SteveK2 (9.94) wrote:
Bouncing on & off my wishlist since it's release, I finally played it in March 09. Seven times in one weekend, then ordered a copy.

A great tile placement game with Sodukuesque placement rules, and an inspired (& frequently required) tiebreak rule. Nice compact box. Plays to 5. Overall, I love it.

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18. Board Game: Jamaica [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:405]
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148 Jamaica [8 and up] (5) 7.59 / 6.86
Bagherra (10.00) wrote:
I am totally smitten.
An excellent racing game that is very pirate themey and it is the best eye candy since Sandra Bullock.

SteveK2 (4.50) wrote:
Great bits. A bit of a race, a bit of a game of guessing what other people will do to try and avoid them. A bit of scheduling your actions to keep yourself stocked up with gold, food and cannons. Chaotic? Perhaps. But mostly in a good way.
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19. Board Game: Nacht der Magier [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:1877]
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169 Nacht der Magier [4 to 10] (5) 7.28 / 6.99
Bagherra (10.00) wrote:
This game is amazing when played in the dark.
I wish my neighborhood didn't have street lights even more now so that I could play the game in pitch blackness!

Rygel (4.52) wrote:
More of a trick game. The first time you play with someone who does not know you play it in the dark is a lot of fun. Once the laughing is over though it is a fairly basic dexterity game.
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20. Board Game: Around the World in 80 Days [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:1326]
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171 Around the World in 80 Days [10 and up] (5) 7.35 / 6.91
SteveK2 (8.91) wrote:
On first appearances, its a light family game, but there's plenty to deal with - hand management, role selection (& blocking other players from taking a role), timing of event card acquisition and the risk of the disaster cards, the detective, and the lovely clock which pressures you into maintaining a reasonable average for travel costs if you want to get to London in under 80 days.

Teriyaki Donuts (6.18) wrote:
A beautiful blend of the traditional roll and move mechanic with Euro role selection. I've had the most success introducing non-gamers to modern boardgaming with this title. I'm often surprised that there aren't more games similar to this one (let me know if you can think of any).

The components are top-notch. The board is a work of art. The theme works well with the race aspect of the scoring track. Whenever we play, there is always a misperception that the player in the lead is winning the game. Around the World is a truly enjoyable experience. I highly recommend it to those who have never played.
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21. Board Game: Circus Flohcati [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:1370]
Randy Cox
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174 Circus Flohcati [5 and up] (5) 7.08 / 7.05
Randy (9.56) did not comment and was far and away the most enthusiastic about this game.
boltongeordi (3.93) wrote:
An interesting little rummy type game with quite simple strategy and a push your luck element to the card collection.
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22. Board Game: Ubongo [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:829]
Randy Cox
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184 Ubongo [8 and up] (4) 7.40 / 6.76
Blott (9.62, because Bagherra didn't commone on his 10) wrote:
An excellent puzzle-solving game. The scoring system is manufactured so well, making it possible for even the slowest solvers to compete. The timer may be a little short for the more difficult puzzles, but playing with a slightly more forgiving time limit makes this game a real winner. We will probably be playing this one quite a lot in the future.

stormseeker (8.27) did not comment.
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23. Board Game: Man O' War [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:1748]
Randy Cox
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Best game rated by only 3 of us:

249 Man O' War [10 and up] (3) 7.05 / 6.33
manowarplayer (10.00) wrote:
Easily my favorite game of all time, Man O War has clear, concise rules that effectively capture the feel of each race's special traits and abilities. For a more in-depth review and recommendation, click on the link below to see my comments. Man O War had cool looking miniatures that made the game come alive, especially when using 3-D scenery too.

I have created MANY more ships and rules to use for others and have a thriving club at Yahoo called ""The Sea of Claws"" where we help new members locate the main game, expansions, ships, ect... Come join u sover there to get help in finding ships, rules and to take part in the very active discussions that continue to take place for a game thats been out-of print for over 12 years. This is the most fun you can have playing with miniatures!


Yahoo Group - The Sea of Claws
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/theseaofclaws/

Check out my review:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/19595

Check out all my session reports:

Step by Step Illustrated Series:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/1623666#1623666 (Part 1)
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/1631583#1631583 (Part 2)
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/1638300#1638300 (Part 3)

""Dead in the Water"" Report
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/112339 (Part 1)
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/112686 (Part 2)
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/113356 (Part 3)
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/118955 (Part 4)

Stand Alone Reports:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/34694
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/119086
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/34568
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/119453

... Abstract ...__________[]...Themed .....
......... Luck ...______[]____... Skill ...........
...... Simple ...___[]_______... Complex ...
.. Strategic ..._____[]_____... Tactical ....
.... Friendly ...______[]____... Cutthroat ..
....... Fiddly ..._______[]___... Elegant .....

Graphics: 10
Packaging: 8
Components: 11
Rules: 10
Fun Factor: 11
OVERALL RATING: 10.5
Rating Date: 11/20/2005
Rating History/Dates N/A
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24. Board Game: Fettnapf... in Sicht [Average Rating:5.87 Overall Rank:6226]
Randy Cox
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By only 2 of us...

350 Fettnapf [(blank)] (2) 6.69 / 5.61
boltongeordie (8.91) wrote:
You know the more I play this the less I think of it as a kids game and the more I think of it as an adult game. Sure it is great with kids, a card game with a memory component and a requirement to add and subtract single digit numbers up to totals of around 30. Great for helping kids with basic maths. However, kids seem to be fine with remembering numbers and that is where the adults struggle. There is a lovely element of brinkmanship as you try to force the next player over 30 or under 10 and nothing compares to the schadenfreude as you flip over one of your green cards when another player makes a false step.

SteveK2 (amazingly also 8.91) wrote:
Easy to explain & quick playing filler. Works well for 2/3 players, probably even better with more (though I haven't tried yet)
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25. Board Game: Sports Illustrated Baseball [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:4470]
Randy Cox
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By only 1 of us...(I knew it had to be there somewhere)

500 Sports Illustrated Baseball [10 and up] (1) 6.23 / 5.19
Randy Cox (10.00) wrote:
I've always considered this to be the very best of all the baseball simulations. It's much more streamlined than APBA, Strat-o-Matic, or Replay and miles simpler than Dynasty. Plays quickly with accurate stats and is a blast for the older crowd (ie, those who actually remember when Pete Rose or Jim Hegan played).
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