"Is this game HR Approved?" My gaming triumphs at work
Tory Niemann
United States
Maricopa
Arizona
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(Awww, my first GeekList!)

Oddly, I seem to do much of my gaming at work these days. Most of this is during my lunch time gaming, but a recent success will expand it into the hours that I'm paid for.

One of my coworkers suggested to our manager that one of the games I've designed would be good for our team meetings. She mentioned this to me, and I pitched the game as a model of how our clients will sometimes create excuses to back out of their commitments.

She bought the pitch. We'll be playing my game at our next meeting. To celebrate, I bring you this list of gaming at work.
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1. Board Game: Connect Four [Average Rating:4.84 Overall Rank:15418]
Tory Niemann
United States
Maricopa
Arizona
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Soon after being hired at my current job, a friend started to bring Connect Four to work, touting his skills.

Such things cannot go unchallenged.

For several months, we played every other day. Many other people would play as well. None of us ever beat him until about the third month of playing, the slow crawl from our ignorance to the light of Connect Four knowledge. Connect Four is often denigrated as a children's game, a game of no real skill. If you believe this, come play my friend Jeremy. He will murder you.

This simple (but enjoyable) game was the beginning.
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2. Board Game: Mag·Blast (Third Edition) [Average Rating:6.06 Overall Rank:2924]
Tory Niemann
United States
Maricopa
Arizona
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Emboldened by our Connect Four playing, another friend brought in Mag Blast. This was the humble beginning of the lunch time gaming coalition.

We didn't care for the game very much, but it was an entertaining start. Our appetites had been whet for heartier fare. Other players were being pulled into the orbit and the stage was set.
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3. Board Game: Citadels [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:320]
Tory Niemann
United States
Maricopa
Arizona
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And now things really started to take off.

The owner of Mag Blast brought this in as well. I'd bought it years ago for my nephews and enjoyed it, but didn't really understand all of its nuances.

I soon bought another copy with the Dark City expansion and we've played it consistently for the last year. Even though we are coworkers, we are pretty good about not letting the vicious backstabbing nature of this game undermine our work relationships. Davin, however, has persistent terrible luck with the game, and has been targeted by the Assassin (and Witch) with alarming frequency.
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4. Board Game: The BoardGameGeek Game [Average Rating:6.04 Overall Rank:4189]
Tory Niemann
United States
Maricopa
Arizona
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I should note it was at this time I noticed that the company's internet content filter, which blocked most other sites of interest, did NOT block the Geek.

The rest,as they say, is history.
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5. Board Game: San Juan [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:229]
Tory Niemann
United States
Maricopa
Arizona
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Researching on the Geek, I started to find more games that I felt would fit our lunch time gaming needs.

I was at first very uncertain of San Juan's suitability. I'd played one of the computer versions and enjoyed it immensely, but I was worried that it might be a bit too complicated for most of the players.

My decision was made by a sale at my LGS.

I was happily wrong about the complexity level. The players took to it like ducks to water and we had our most popular game yet. We frequently had to split into two groups to accommodate everyone. Fights nearly broke out about who got to play San Juan.
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6. Board Game: Battle Line [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:180]
Tory Niemann
United States
Maricopa
Arizona
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This was one of my first internet board game orders. A good experience.

I love the hell out of this game, but finding opponents at work became difficult. Coworkers didn't like to play it with me because I would usually beat the tar out of them at it.

I believe in giving players a fighting chance in most games, but this game brings out the cutthroat in me.

Still, it makes a good "we've got two extra people" game at lunch.

At this point, we had between 5 and 8 people showing up for lunch time gaming. The break room was getting crowded.
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7. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:50]
Tory Niemann
United States
Maricopa
Arizona
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Seeing how well my coworkers did with San Juan, I said "screw it" and brought in RftG.

This has been a polarizing game. Those of us who enjoy it, love it fiercely and manically. We would often try to fit in three sessions of the game over our hour lunch. We would discuss strategy and tactics over inter-office email. We would research it on BBG before playing.

Others couldn't make the jump from San Juan to RftG. Nothing against these folks, they were great players, but RftG was too rich for their blood.

The fire of this game has died out a little. We don't play it as exclusively as we used to, but we still play it.
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8. Board Game: Gang of Four [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:1541]
Tory Niemann
United States
Maricopa
Arizona
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Another risk that paid off. Knowing nothing about this game, I picked it up while on sale.

This has appeased the less hardcore crowd of the lunch time gamers. A great game, one that everyone can enjoy, but the requirement of four players is difficult at times.
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9. Board Game: The Hanging Gardens [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:1191]
Tory Niemann
United States
Maricopa
Arizona
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Miracle of miracles, other people started to buy new games for our lunch time escapades.

This was one of the more successful games. A restful, almost relaxing game compared to the fierceness of some others. A game of gentle beauty and, at the end, surprising victories. Some players really love it, but most everybody enjoys it.

Our department had changed buildings by this point, and more move were to come. People would be lost in the transition (in different divisions) but others were gains. Some were lost and regained as we moved yet again.
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10. Board Game: Loot [Average Rating:6.30 Overall Rank:1634]
Tory Niemann
United States
Maricopa
Arizona
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When your obsession is public enough, others will start to support it (which is odd, if you think about it).

I received this game as a birthday present from a coworker. He'd asked some friends at a local game store what was a good, quick game and ended up with Loot.

Knowing nothing about the game, I smiled and thanked him, thinking it could be a dud. Then I noticed Reiner was the designer.

See my review for a brief overview of my love for this game. A perennial favorite of the group, another that everyone enjoys to some degree.
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11. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:2210]
Tory Niemann
United States
Maricopa
Arizona
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Having known these people for more than a year at this time, it was time to spring my own games on my coworkers.

Some of them have become heavily requested favorites, others have been played only once, revealing such flaws as cannot be fixed. Some I've had to apologize for making people play.

I've noticed that some of my coworker are much more willing to engage in the creative process than others. That is to say, some will just say "I don't like it" or "That was fun," while others will go into what I should change and why. Some will even think about it on their own time and bring their ideas to work the next day.

Happily, I've also inspired others to bring their game prototypes to work. Some good things have come of this experiment.


At this time we started to commandeer conference rooms for our lunch time gaming. A great solution to our space problem, but it did mean that we have fewer people asking about our games and joining up.
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12. Board Game: UR [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:2249]
Tory Niemann
United States
Maricopa
Arizona
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Another game researched on BBG and bought just for lunch time gaming. The very abstract nature of the game turned some folks off, but many of us more serious players really enjoy it.

One of our consistent players almost immediately picked up the strategy for it. I found this strange, because with most other games, he was the type you had to continually re-explain rules to. But with Ur, things just clicked. He was a freakish powerhouse, winning any game we didn't specifically try to stop him from winning.

I think this game is very underrated.

[edit: typo]
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13. Board Game: To Court the King [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:1411]
Tory Niemann
United States
Maricopa
Arizona
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Another gift from a coworker.

This game was one that we initially enjoyed, but after a few plays, we noticed a discouraging tendency: the starting player always wins. Ok, not always, but the majority of the time. A fun basis, but the end game was very unsatisfying. We quickly moved on to other games and never looked back.

Incidentally, To Court the King was one of the inspiration in one of my own game designs. Take the fun part, leave everything else.
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14. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:73]
Tory Niemann
United States
Maricopa
Arizona
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Another BBG-driven success. Most players enjoy it, though I have found I have to be there when it's played. Few others have the patience to go through the rules on how the game is set up.

Despite how much we enjoy it, I have to be careful about who plays the game. Certain players can be very bossy and try and play by themselves, with the rest of us just there to hold cards.
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15. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
Tory Niemann
United States
Maricopa
Arizona
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This has been an odd one.

Most players enjoyed it, but many of my coworkers complained that we couldn't understand the strategy of the game. They played it, but they were never in a place to win it. Despite how much I like it, the game has been phased out in favor of games that everyone "gets."
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16. Board Game: Ogre Castle [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:8690]
Tory Niemann
United States
Maricopa
Arizona
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Ogre Castle was developed and published by a friend of mine, and I was hesitant about bringing it to work. I didn't know if it was the type of game that my coworkers would appreciate. It shares some qualities with Munchkin, which was a flop with the group.

Short answer, everyone loved it. One player has even suggested that whenever we have exactly four players, we should play Ogre Castle.

For a longer answer, see my session report: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/422126.
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17. Board Game: Taluva [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:412]
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I've been converting some coworkers at lunch gaming. You already
mentioned pandemic and Race for the galaxy. I brough out race when they keep saming the games I brought were cute and interesting (carcasson and pandemic). So I thought race would get thier attention.

The other facvorite we have for lunch gaming is taluva. Its Easy to learn looks cool while playing and how can you turn down a game where you can burn your opponents peices with an erupting volcano.
 
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18. Board Game: Ancient Conquest [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:8819]
Steve Herron
United States
Johnson City
Tennessee
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Never play block wargames with a dentist, they have those little mirrors to peek behind the block.
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Way back in the 70s I worked at an indoor pool as a lifeguard. We would have a wargame like this one pinned up in the office and would make our moves during breaks while the other guards were on duty. When it came time for the attacks to be made another person would be present to witness the rolls. We played SPI's Conquestador and World War I. Saturday nights the pool would be closed we got together to play Kingmaker. I have not been brave to put up a game in my cube at work now but my ex-supervisor is a wargamer.
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