Just turned 36, new to boardgaming and improving the economy!
J. Atkinson
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This past labor day weekend on 9/5, I turned the ripe old age of 36. I had some family from out of town come up and visit to celebrate my birthday and my grandfather's birthday which is next week. We had a lot fun playing games these past four days, and I'm sad to see them go.

About a month ago, boardgaming fever bit me pretty hard. I've been patiently waiting for my birthday to come to see what presents I might get before pulling the trigger on buying a bunch of games. All the while, I've been refining my shopping cart and price comparing to squeeze every dollar out of my budget for new games as much as possible. I did get two actual games for my birthday which I'll put at the list first. However, I did get a lot of money which works out best, since most of the games I want can't be found at Toys 'R Us or Wal-Mart where my family probably would have shopped.

So given the birthday money and some of my inheritance money, I pulled the trigger yesterday on what I hope to be some very enjoyable games and help the economy recover. I tried to mix the level of the games up, so that some can be enjoyed by the whole family (three little ones) and some hopefully between my wife and I.

Here goes...
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1. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:139] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
J. Atkinson
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The first present I got which my wife gave to me about two weeks early is Carcassonne. This is a nice little game that's simple to play and has some nice strategic elements going for it. My kids like if not for any else than for putting the pieces together.
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2. Board Game: Apples to Apples Kids [Average Rating:6.08 Overall Rank:4948]
J. Atkinson
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I got this game actually on my birthday. I was very excited to get it, because my 6 year old daughter who reads at about a 2nd to 3rd grade level has been begging to play Apples to Apples with us. We tried one time with the regular version, and of course it was rough. We warned her ahead of time though. So, she kept asking when I was going to get the Kids version. We got to play this a couple of times, and it was much more enjoyable.

 
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3. Board Game: Blokus [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:524]
J. Atkinson
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I actually bought this game about a week ago when Barnes and Noble had the 30% off coupon. I bought this at the brick & mortar store. If I had been a member of B&N, I could have gotten extra off, but since I do most my book shopping on Amazon, I didn't bother with it.

This was an instant hit with the family. Kids love it. My wife and I really like it. Although, I played it with the rest of family visitors and we notice how non-social this game is after having played a couple of other more social games. We were all deep in thought while playing this one.
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4. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:281] [Average Rating:7.23 Unranked]
J. Atkinson
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I've so been waiting to get this game ever since someone gave me The Settlers of Canaan a few years ago. I also bought this with the Barnes and Noble 30% off coupon online. Apparently, they dropped the regular price on this online to where the added coupon made the price a whopping $22!!! You can't even hardly find this game for under $33.60 because of Mayfair's price fixing. I couldn't pass this up!

Needlessly to say, we've had a blast with this game. I think the rest of my family still prefers the The Settlers of Canaan, because of the building Jerusalem aspect. But, I prefer Catan, because of the replayability by mixing up the resource tiles and numbers.

Maybe I'll be able to get some of the expansions sometime in the future.
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5. Board Game: Catan: 5-6 Player Extension [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
J. Atkinson
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After playing Catan a lot this past weekend, I felt bad that some of my family couldn't play because we were limited to four players. On labor day when my wife and the kids went into town to get smoothies, I drug them across town to Barnes and Noble once again to get the Catan extension for 5-6 players before the rest of my family went home.

We got to play it last night. Even with my kids up way past bed time, we had fun.
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6. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:17]
J. Atkinson
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The rest of the list begins with what I ordered yesterday, and I hope to get most of these games soon.

I'm really looking forward to this game, since it's the top rated game here at the BGG. I like the theme, because I'm doing a little part time farming. From the reviews, I think it might give my kids an inkling of how hard it can be to be a farmer. I'm glad it has family rules, so we can play it a little easier as well if the regular rules are too much for my kids.

I hope I won't be disappointed!
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7. Board Game: Ingenious [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:334]
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I like puzzles, and I think this will appeal to the puzzle side of me, much like Blokus does. I think my wife will like it too as well.
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8. Board Game: Carcassonne: Expansion 1 – Inns & Cathedrals [Average Rating:7.61 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.61 Unranked]
J. Atkinson
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I got this expansion based on everyone's recommendation that this is an essential add-on. I like that it adds a 6th player, so more people can play particularly on those family gatherings.
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9. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:204]
J. Atkinson
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I was looking to get some more two-player games, and I think this fits the bill. I like the theme, since I keep bees and the kids love bugs. I'm not a big chess fan, but I think I will like strategic aspects of this more. I'm thinking this will be a hit.
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10. Board Game: Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:292]
J. Atkinson
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Well, what I've read so far this game is popular with couples! I like to play games with my better half. This looks promising after seeing a video review of it, and I hope my wife likes it too.
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11. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:126] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
J. Atkinson
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Alright, another game highly recommended. It looks like a good family game, and if my kids can handle Blokus and Carcassonne, I think they can handle this based on what I've read and seen of it.

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12. Board Game: Apples to Apples: Bible Edition [Average Rating:5.41 Overall Rank:13028]
J. Atkinson
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I've had this on my wishlist for a while, since I enjoy regular Apples to Apples so much. I got this for some of our church gatherings, and I wanted to see how well this plays in a bible version. Not that I would mind playing the normal version at church, but there a few questionable cards in it that might make some people uncomfortable.
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13. Board Game: San Juan [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:229]
J. Atkinson
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Man, I hard a time deciding whether or not to get this or Puerto Rico or both. It was a tough call for fitting it in the budget. This one won out for now, since it can play two players. Also, the mechanics are similar to Race for the Galaxy which I plan to get as well. Maybe if we like this, we'll get Puerto Rico.
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14. Board Game: Gulo Gulo [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:954]
J. Atkinson
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I'm betting this one the kids will love. So far, most BGG'ers here appear to have good success with it for little ones. Personally, I think I'll have a blast with it, even being at a disadvantage having larger fingers
 
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15. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:73]
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I'm looking forward to this one, because of it's cooperative style of play. I'm not sure how much the kids will like this or not, but it does allow two players for my wife and I to play.
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16. Board Game: Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:27]
J. Atkinson
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The next three items on the list including this one are on another order that is backordered I'm not sure when the order will get here, because one of the games is going to take a while to go to print again.

This game though I'm so looking forward to get! I was a big fan of Civilization computer game ever since a friend let me borrow the first version. Talk about time black hole! Apparently, the board game isn't much different in terms of time consuming efforts. I don't know how much play time this one will get, because it will depend on not just my schedule, but how much my wife can tolerate it
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17. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:50]
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I love the theme of this game. I actually played the computer version created by one of the BGG'ers here. I know I'll like it, and I hope at least my wife will like it. I know my son will, but right now I can tell it will be too much for him at his age.

I got San Juan because of this, since they have some similar mechanic aspects. I figured playing San Juan can get us ready for this game when it eventually arrives.

Backordered.
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18. Board Game: Caylus [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:45]
J. Atkinson
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A lot about this game appeals to me. This one was on top of my wishlist along with Agricola. However, I talked to Rio Grande Games, and Jay told me that he hopes to start a print run near the end of year but couldn't give me any dates.


Needless to say...backordered, and looking to be the long pole in holding
up my order with Through the Ages and Race for the Galaxy.


I replaced this with Puerto Rico in my order, so now I only have to wait on RftG.
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19. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:16]
J. Atkinson
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Well, after much debate and talking to my wife, I decided to replace Caylus that was severely backordered with Puerto Rico. She thinks she would like it better with the options I gave her. I hope we'll be able to enjoy both it and San Juan (already shipped in a different order).

 
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20. Board Game: The Settlers of Canaan [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:1935]
J. Atkinson
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Since our family enjoys this so much, I went and bought a couple more copies to give as gifts this Christmas.
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