My Journey So Far
Jason Hyman
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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I find myself getting interested in board games again, especially into a new phase where I am discovering there is a whole new level of games out there to explore (Euro games). Thanks go mainly to this site and Board Games With Scott (http://www.boardgameswithscott.com) for sparking my interest in board games again and leading me down the path I am on now. I joined BoardGameGeek a couple of months ago, have been roaming around, and thought it time to start contributing. I thought I would introduce myself to the community by creating this GeekList outlining my journey so far with board games and where I am at right now. As I think is common with most board gamers, my journey started with the usual suspects when I was younger. I will itemize these only where I have specific memories.
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1. Board Game: Tiddledy Winks [Average Rating:3.85 Overall Rank:15408]
Jason Hyman
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Georgia
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This is probably one of the earliest games I remember playing with my Grandma. I think this image is the version she had. I wore this game out as a little kid.
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2. Board Game: Checkers [Average Rating:4.85 Overall Rank:15419]
Jason Hyman
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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I had several sets of these as a kid. Most of my earliest memories of playing checkers was also with my Grandma. She had a rather large wooden board with netted pockets on the corners. It was double sided with checkers on one side. I cannot be sure, but I believe the other side was a game with concentric circles with pegs around the circumference of the inner circle.
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3. Board Game: Clue [Average Rating:5.65 Overall Rank:7714]
Jason Hyman
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Georgia
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I remember being introduced to this game one Christmas at a cousin's house. For the next while, this was the only game I wanted to play. I loved the process of elimination. I still find it enjoyable even if simplistic. I would very much like to find a more complex, modern game with this mechanic. And then there's the movie. To this day, it is still one of my favorite movies from when I was growing up.
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4. Board Game: Monopoly [Average Rating:4.39 Overall Rank:15441]
Jason Hyman
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Yea, I know, moan, moan, moan. Here it is again. Whose list such as this would be complete with out Monopoly? I definitely look at it in a different light now, but I give it its due for its mass market appeal.
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5. Board Game: Trivial Pursuit [Average Rating:5.20 Overall Rank:15377]
Jason Hyman
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I remember first being introduced to Trivial Pursuit when I was very young. My family would take annual summer vacations to the beach and one night would be adult game night. One year they let me stay in the room where they played this game. Of course, I didn't know any of the answers, but was happy to be a part of adult night. I still have the version of the game they used and still play it some to this day to hear some of the esoteric questions.
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6. Board Game: Tripoley [Average Rating:5.53 Overall Rank:13202]
Jason Hyman
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Georgia
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My parents introduced this game to me when I was young. I think it was the first game I was exposed to where each round/phase was comprised of multiple "games", in this case, three different card games. It was also my first betting game.
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7. Board Game: The Price Is Right [Average Rating:4.65 Overall Rank:14864]
Jason Hyman
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I remember on one of those annual family vacations I was talking about with Trivial Pursuit, I organized family game night one time and played Bob Barker and used this game to play through The Price is Right. I wish I had a video of it.
 
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8. Board Game: Chess [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:421] [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked]
 
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When I think of Chess, I think of my play experiences of Chess with my best friend in high school. He lived in a fairly old house and the front room was an old library where we played Chess. His Dad had a hand- and custom-made marble set.
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9. Board Game: Axis & Allies [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1186]
Jason Hyman
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This is what I consider my first serious board game experience. My best friend from high school and I wore this game out on Friday nights throughout high school. We would get together Friday after school with other friends, play video games until close to midnight, and then stay up all night playing Axis & Allies. When it was just my best friend and I, he played the Axis most of the time and I played the Allies. When other friends would join, he would play Germany and I would play Japan. We developed some pretty good strategies on our own. Later, I came across Don's essays (http://donsessays.freeservers.com/), which if used by all players, makes the game fairly predictable. If one side does not use this strategy, it makes the game fairly one sided. Still, this game provided me with many nights of strategy fun when I was in high school, and I owe it a place high on my list for that.
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10. Board Game: Civilization [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:228] [Average Rating:7.51 Unranked]
Jason Hyman
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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Sid Meier's Civilization was another game my best friend from high school and I would stay up hours upon end playing. I got this board game thinking it would be similar enough, but we could never could get into it. I came back to it a few years later and got farther, but still did not really get it (even approaching it as a game independent of the computer game). I seem to remember it having a fairly good reputation at the time, so maybe I will revisit it soon one more time.
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11. Board Game: HeroQuest [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:548]
Jason Hyman
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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One of my other high school friends tried to get us into the role playing genre one time. I cannot remember the game exactly, but it turned out to be a rather bad experience. We had a character sheet and he played the moderator with this huge book he kept flipping through. The game experience was not smooth and took forever. I did like the idea and at the time got this game HeroQuest to try out. The experience was a little better, but I think we were just not ready for the role playing experience yet.
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12. Board Game: Battle Masters [Average Rating:6.20 Overall Rank:2682]
Jason Hyman
United States
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Georgia
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So my best friend and I got back to the war, battle, etc. genre and he picked up this game. We really liked the big battle area mat and the figures. I picked up my own copy and I think we tried combining the two one time with both mats and both sets of figures. I remember it being a fairly simple game mechanic, but we had lots of fun with the figures -- too much I guess, as I also remember we quickly had broken and lost pieces. After that, we pretty much abandoned the game.
 
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13. Board Game: Axis & Allies [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:1051]
Jason Hyman
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Georgia
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My interest in board games waned after high school as I concentrated mostly on my college work. After college, I had fond memories of Axis and Allies and saw there was a revised version, so I picked this up. I was excited about the additional European spaces. I refreshed my mind on strategies, but I found the strategies had to be revisited for this version as the changes significantly affected strategies I had used in the original version. The Russian industrial complex in Caucasus and Sahara Desert which you could pass through were interesting changes.
 
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14. Board Game: Axis & Allies: Battle of the Bulge [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:2300]
Jason Hyman
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I ran across this one at a board game specialty shop at the mall. I hadn't heard about it and was very excited. I think I got the rules, but it became rather boring after a while. I think I was hoping for an experience like the mainline Axis & Allies games and this turned out to be one of the specialty lines. I still have it on my "to get back to" list and I am hoping that I missed something or was doing something wrong.
 
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15. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:281] [Average Rating:7.23 Unranked]
Jason Hyman
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Georgia
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My interest waned again for a while and then a fellow geek introduced me to this game. I remember enjoying the experience as the fellow geek did a good job of explaining the rules and making the game experience sound interesting. The tile laying to set up the game caught my interest. The experience turned for the worse, however, as my fellow geek wanted to talk strategy, recommend what to do, "why did you do that?", etc. I was kind of put off by that and really did not yet have the spark to get back into gaming at this serious level, so this is not where I started down the path I am now on. This is on my list to come back to, however, as I understand this game is held in high-esteem for the most part with Euro gamers.
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16. Board Game: Scene It? Movie [Average Rating:5.52 Overall Rank:13407] [Average Rating:5.52 Unranked]
Jason Hyman
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I think my Mom picked this up for me when it first came out because there was a lot of buzz going around about it and I was really into watching classic movies at the time. I enjoyed the interaction with the TV/DVD and the presentation, but I found the interactive questions to be more about observation than trivia about the movie. I would play it later with friends who were not classic movie buffs and they actually liked it a lot more than I did.
 
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17. Board Game: Scattergories [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:2119]
Jason Hyman
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I pretty much entered the mainstream party game phase at this point. I picked this up at Toys R Us for a party with friends. It turned out to be a fairly fun experience, except for several instances where argumentative friends would constantly write inventive answers and the game turned into more of a "let's write down the most inventive answer and see if you can convince us." That got really tired for me really quickly. The timer was also very annoying, even when in the box.
 
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18. Board Game: Mad Gab [Average Rating:5.02 Overall Rank:15364]
Jason Hyman
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This was another mainstream party game I picked up. I found this one fun to play and was interesting to examine how I listen to things. I found it to be akin to those 3-D pictures where you have to relax your eyes and stare into it, except this was for the ears rather than the eyes. I found the less I concentrated on what I heard, the better I was. The game experience was also fun as most everyone I have played with got into it and had fun with it.
 
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19. Board Game: Carcassonne: The Discovery [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:1658]
Jason Hyman
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Georgia
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So this is where the path I am on now started. I was pretty bored one day and was messing around with Apple TV searching YouTube and Podcasts. I did a search for board games and came across Scott Nicholson's Board Games With Scott podcast (http://www.boardgameswithscott.com). I watched a couple and was instantly hooked. I proceeded to have a marathon where I watched pretty much all of them one time through in just a couple sittings. His enthusiasm and message of this whole new league of games out there besides Monopoly grabbed my attention. I noted a few that grabbed my interest and then went looking based on his referral to this site. I started reading discussions and ran across FLGS, so I decided to look in my area (Atlanta) for what was available. I found a few possibilities from this site and decided to go check out The Tower Games (http://www.thetowergames.com/) and The Gaming Pit (http://www.thegamingpit.com/). The Tower Games was not open yet despite posted hours, so I headed to The Gaming Pit. My initial impression on entering The Gaming Pit was that it was more of a gathering spot for Magic players. They did have a few board games on display on one wall and I went through my list from Board Games With Scott. I decided on Carcassone: the Discovery since I was both interested in the tile laying mechanic and it was relatively cheap. I have played a few games and I felt it was a good introduction to these types of games. My only qualm is that scoring and what connected was a little questionable at first, but I am getting better at it.
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20. Board Game: Die Macher [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:187]
Jason Hyman
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Georgia
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After Carcassone: the Discovery, I immediately wanted another one to start expanding my collection. Since I found Carcassone: the Discovery to provide a bit more simplistic experience than I thought it would, I decided to go extreme and get the most complex one I had saw on Board Games With Scott -- Die Macher. I returned to The Gaming Pit to pick this one up even though it was more expensive since I had to have it that day and I felt good supporting a FLGS. I was really impressed when I opened the box and saw the quality of the components and the complexity I knew it had waiting for me. I have played a couple of games, and this one does take allocating your time and attention to it. But, I welcomed the challenge and quickly saw why this is considered "the granddaddy." There are so many nuances and ways to build up the elections. I am looking forward to exploring them in the near future.
 
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21. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:16]
Jason Hyman
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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So I had to have another one. Which one next? Well, Scott basically said Puerto Rico was one of his favorites, so I decided on it. With so many good reviews and high ranking on this site, I knew this would be a good choice. My expectations where high ... and I was not disappointed. I just recently got this game, so I am still evaluating it, but I know it will be at the top of my list. I used this game to introduce my partner, who did not have the spark of interest I had but was willing to play, to this level of gaming. He caught on really quick and became excited about playing it. We have had a number of Puerto Rico sessions and expect to have many more.
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22. Board Game: Wits & Wagers [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:506]
Jason Hyman
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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As I started growing my collection, I didn't want to neglect the party games as I have several friends who I wanted to include in my new found interest. I definitely knew something like Die Macher would not go over well, so I decided to play it safe and go with something much lighter. But, I still wanted it to be something more modern and something they probably hadn't played before. I ran into an opportunity to get a really good deal on Wits & Wagers, so that is what I went with since I had seen Scott Nicholson's podcast on it and it was on my list. The game experience went over really well, I think primarily because of the selling point of this game -- that probably no one will know the exact answer, but everyone can guess and then bet on the closest answer and/or who they think can get closest. I can see this being played many times, especially as the holidays are coming up and I will have the opportunity to be around large family gatherings and offer this one up.
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23. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:17]
Jason Hyman
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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I had to get back to complexity. I made this purchase based on its #1 standing on this site, a majority of excellent reviews, and once again, Scott Nicholson's podcast review. I knew there would be a lot of components, and I was teeming with excitement when I opened the box. It took me a while to sort through everything and get them organized for what I knew would be plays with a limited number of players to start out with. I played my first game solo and scored around 35. I then looked in the instruction book and saw my goal was to be 50. What?!? Then I realized I was playing the game without the cards and thought the instruction book kind of assumed the cards were to be played solo. I wanted to start out slowly, so I was playing the solo game in "family mode." I then introduced the game to my partner and we played the two player family game. We both thought the game ended way too quickly; "I was just getting started ..." As we played a couple more family games, we quickly learned this was a game of efficiency and started getting it and enjoying it much more. We have just now introduced the cards and learning how to best play those. I get the feeling that as the number of players increases and as we use the different decks of cards, the game experience will also change. I very much look forward to this and how it all will play out.
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24. Board Game: 1960: The Making of the President [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:157]
Jason Hyman
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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I remember seeing this at a FLGS a while back and it looked promising, but I decided to pass on it at the time. I recently remembered it as I saw a comment on it on this site. I started looking into it, what it was about, etc. I really liked the election theme of Die Macher, but due to Die Macher's length and complexity, it is hard to bring it to the table. So, the election theme and shorter playing time of 1960 grabbed my attention. My partner was getting interested in studying Kennedy, so I thought this would be a good investment for that reason and it would be easier to bring to the table. I was hesitant because I had not really seen an explanation of the rules in a video podcast as I had relied on for my previous recent purchases. I was thankful that Z-Man provided the rules online and used my impressions from reading them as another basis for it being a good next purchase. When I got the game and opened it, the first thing I was impressed with was the size and quality of the game board. I was also impressed with the quality of the other components as has been the case with all my Z-Man purchases thus far. I have played a game or two so far and enjoyed them. It seems a lot more luck based than Die Macher so far, but I am looking forward to more plays in the near future to see what kind of strategies can be developed, if any.
 
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25. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Märklin [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:236] [Average Rating:7.41 Unranked]
Jason Hyman
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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My next choice came down primarily between Power Grid and one of the Ticket to Ride games. I saw where I would have more opportunities to play with more players who did not have Euro gaming experience and I wanted to introduce them. I looked at my collection and decided I needed a better gateway game for that reason. The Ticket to Ride series is most often quoted as being the best gateway games, hence it became a prime candidate for my next purchase. Power Grid was on the short list because it was #3 on this site; however, it would involve deeper strategy and I don't think it would be considered a gateway game. My partner has been playing some of the Euro games above with me lately and I think we could have fun with it. I ended up having to make the decision independently and chose the Ticket to Ride: Märklin Edition. I chose this edition because I wanted something more involved than the base game and the addition of passengers sounded like it would provide that. I got it this weekend and we have played a couple of games so far. I can instantly tell why this series is the classic gateway game choice. So far, I have really enjoyed the game sessions we have had and I look forward to seeing how it plays with more players.
 
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