Theme Unpasting
Seth Ristow
United States
Lincoln
Nebraska
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"The theme is just pasted on!" We've all heard this before - so let's unpaste them! Describe a game as generically as possible to remove all theme!
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1. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:29]
Seth Ristow
United States
Lincoln
Nebraska
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Use stored value to claim nodes on a weighted graph! Acquire value (and win the game) by using support cards which determine the number of nodes which you are allowed to score!
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2. Board Game: Age of Steam [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:116]
Seth Ristow
United States
Lincoln
Nebraska
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Construct your own graph by constructing connections between nodes. Optimize the connections between nodes of different colors to acquire more stored value. Use stored value to upgrade your graph traversal range to allow you to link more nodes.
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3. Board Game: Runebound (Second Edition) [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:696]
Seth Ristow
United States
Lincoln
Nebraska
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Roll lots of dice while moving from hex to hex to acquire markers. Trade markers to increase odds of die rolls going in your favor. Get 3 special markers to win the game, or one super duper special marker.
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4. Board Game: Space Alert [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:149]
Seth Ristow
United States
Lincoln
Nebraska
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Solve an optimization problem which has parameters that reveal themselves in real time. Ensure that various requirements are met and be not-at-all surprised when they are not later.
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5. Board Game: Busen Memo [Average Rating:4.81 Overall Rank:15234]
Olav Fakkeldij
Netherlands
Beverwijk
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Turn tiles to find 2 more or less identical but mirrored pictures.
shake No, that can't be the reason it's on so many geeklists.
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6. Board Game: Combat Commander: Europe [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:103]
Richard Irving
United States
Salinas
California
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Add up offensive points from cardboard pieces that can plot direct straight line paths over light green coloring on the board to an opposing player's group of cardboard pieces located in the same space. (Paths crossing other colors are disallowed or reduce the offensive point total depending on the color.) Draw card and add its number to form the offensive total.

For each piece in the target space, the opposing player draws a card and takes its number and adds the defensive number of the selected piece and a value based on the color of the space it is located in to form the defensive total for this piece If the defensive total for the piece is less than the offensive total, the piece is flipped over to the side with smaller numbers (or already flipped over, removed from the game.)

There are also rules for:
- moving pieces to other spaces with various movement costs based on the color of spaces entered or sides between spaces that are crossed--but which may be hindered by the opponent in the above manner
- a special form of movement to move exactly one space that cannot be hindered by the opponent
- flipping pieces on the side with smaller numbers to their regular side.
- forcing pieces already flipped over to be involuntarily moved back towards the opponent's edge of the board.

Victory is attained by scoring points for removal of opposing pieces (either by the first procedure above or force involuntary movement off the board), voluntarily moving your pieces off the opponent's side of the board and being the last player to occupy certain marked spaces on the board.

Sounds a lot more complicated this way
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7. Board Game: Miscellaneous Game Accessory [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:3731] [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:71]
Stewart Cowan
United Kingdom
Milton Keynes
Buckinghamshire
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You can be even more generic by boiling the whole boardgaming experience down to a single sentence.

"Move bits of plastic, wood and card around until somone wins" would describe about 90% of the games on the 'geek.
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8. Board Game: YINSH [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:133] [Average Rating:7.70 Unranked]
J. Romano
United States
Denver
Colorado
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Move rings to flip pieces. Get five pieces in a row of your color, and you get to capture a ring. Capture three rings and you win!
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9. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:238] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Linda Baldwin
United States
White Plains
New York
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Arrange large numbers of pasteboard rectangles of medium and small size, and well as a number of small, odd-shaped cardboard chits and several numerically-labelled cubes, around a folding piece of cardboard. Assign a large sized pasteboard rectangle to each participant, and another to the "game". Distribute some of the chits and small pasteboard rectangles to each participant according to instructions on the large sheet. Read the large pasteboard assigned to the "game" and note its effects. Put the square chits into an opaque container. Now you can begin.

Take one medium pasteboard rectangle. According to its instructions, place various objects on the large folding cardboard, and rearrange others. Now each participant will move various bits around, trying to remove some or all of the cardboard bits now scattered on the board. All participants will co-operate at bit removal with the help of the pasteboard rectangles and numeric cubes. If they fail to remove the bits fast enough, the large pasteboard rectangle assigned to the "game" is brought out. The participants throw dice until they are eaten by the rectangle.

The End
 
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