Five and Dime List 2009 - Randougall style
Mr. Frothingslosh
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2009 marked the first complete year I recorded all of my board game plays. I found it pretty interesting to see what games I had been playing over the past year and maybe you will too

FILLER ALERT! You will note most of the games below will be filler games as per the nature of the five-and-dime concept!

Any comments appreciated.
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1. Board Game: Pickomino [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:1073]
Mr. Frothingslosh
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71 plays

Holy cow! Pickomino was the go-to game of the year for sure with an incredible 71 plays. Why? The box is small and fairly portable and so got packed in every game bag. The play is quick (at least for 2-4 players!) so you can easily get in a 15-20 minute game wherever you go. Pickomino also got a lot of play with just my wife and I.

We really enjoyed the push-your-luck element to the design, and the dominoes are durable and tactile. I can forsee many more plays of Pickomino in the future for us.
 
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2. Board Game: Liar's Dice [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:561]
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28 plays.

Another dice game scores multiple plays for 2009. Liar's Dice (Perudo) was an impulse buy for me when I found a nice set for cheap and has been a favourite for my group.

There is a lot of fun to be had with just a few cups and handfuls of dice. Outrageous declarations abound and guaranteed laughter when playing Perudo.

Again, a quick play time probably contributed to the high number of plays as well as the requests to usually play more than one game at a session.
 
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3. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:17]
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23 plays.

The number one game on BGG was new-to-me in 2009 when I astoundingly won it at a games con. Of those 23 plays, I would guess 16 or 17 of those were solo games.

I am really impressed with the work that went into producing this game with the large number of occupation and improvement cards that guarantee a new experience when building your farm.

I feel that I still have much to explore with Agricola as we've only played the Family games or with the basic card deck.
 
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4. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:50]
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20 plays.

First game on my list not actually owned by myself. My brother really likes Race for the Galaxy, so I make sure I try to play this one as much as I can with him.

The icons take a bit to get used to, but once you have that figured out, the game flows nicely. There are a ton of ways to build your tableau to max out your points. The artwork on the cards is really well done, and like Agricola, I can appreciate the amount of playtesting that was done to make this one a winner.

My brother has since picked up the two available expansions, so we will continue to rack up plays of RFTG.
 
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5. Board Game: Canasta Caliente [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:3146]
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16 plays.

The Canasta bug bit for us early in 2009. My wife picked up the same boxed edition shown here. My wife is not on BGG as a user, but if she was, I'm sure this would rate at least a nine in her books.

Of the 16 plays, this is roughly split between 2 player and 4 player games. I really would like to play Canasta three-handed as well. A much preferred game over, let's say Gin Rummy.

 
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6. Board Game: Archaeology: The Card Game [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:1117]
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14 plays.

I really like this quick card game. Another set collection game with straight-forward rules and playable in 20 minutes easily.

Do you play your set now, or draw another card and risk a sandstorm, or your opponents picking the thief?

Cards are very well made, and packaged into an appropriately small box. Archaeology is another game that is easy to pack into the travel bag for on-the-go play. I will need to keep up the number of plays on this one.
 
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7. Board Game: Formula Motor Racing [Average Rating:6.39 Overall Rank:1945]
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14 plays.

Formula Motor Racing has been a big hit with my group as a good opener on games night. Reminds me faintly of Guillotine (which gets less play for me). All players cars are lined up and the order is changed every round by use of various cards to move up your cars in line or move back your opponents.

There is a problem with the last player to play having a very large advantage, but I've seen a variant suggested on BGG to randomize when the last turn will occur. I still need to incorporate this idea.

Plays from 3 to 6 players in roughly 30 minutes.
 
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8. Board Game: TransAmerica [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:899]
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14 plays.

Transamerica is a tremendous filler game that has been repeatedly requested for more plays by my group. Rules are very simple, and the game plays in roughly 15 minutes.

The idea is simple - build your rail network to connect your 5 cities, and you can connect to other players networks to reach your goals quicker. But of course, your opponents are trying the exact same thing....

All 14 plays were in December and right now is the new hot filler game of choice.
 
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9. Board Game: For Sale [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:260]
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10 plays.

Another very clever filler game with just a few rules but sometimes difficult decisions to make.

Step 1 - auction off all properties.
Step 2 - sell all properties for money (points).

OK, I glossed over the rules just a bit, but that is the general idea. I really like the amount of decisions that must be made over the relatively short playing time.
 
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10. Board Game: Pack & Stack [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:1617]
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10 plays.

Another game owned by my brother that is easy to play more than one game in a session.

Very funny game - roll the dice to see what size and number of goods you have to deal with, and then after a reveal of truck cards, a race to grab the most appropriate sized truck to fit your goods.

A game that's nice to win, but just fun to play for the heck of it.
 
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11. Board Game: Ruse & Bruise [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:1965]
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9 plays.

Ruse & Bruise is an entertaining card game that plays from 2 to 6 with a higher number of players equalling a bit more chaos.

Using sneaky characters with varying powers, you try to win as many colums as possible each round. The artwork on the cards is well done, and the game plays quickly in about 30 minutes or less.

I rather liked the secretive nature of the game as card powers are only revealed as other cards are played into each column.
 
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12. Board Game: Hex Hex [Average Rating:5.89 Overall Rank:5075]
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8 plays.

If I had one game on this five and dime list I could remove, this would be the one. I don't like it - problem is my friends do.

A take-that card game in the extreme as players try their best to play cards to bounce a hex (hot potato) to other players. A round is over once a player cannot redirect the hex to another player.

As you can imagine, the cards have varying powers to redirect, amplify, or detonate the hex as required. It's rather silly and not really to my liking and I will not be the one to suggest playing the game.

On the plus side, the cards are thematically dark and twisted and of really good quality.
 
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13. Board Game: Blokus Duo [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:776]
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8 plays.

My wife and I own the whole Blokus lineup. Some I like - Blokus Duo is my favourite, some I can't stand - Blokus 3D and Trigon I just can't get into.

Blokus Duo is reserved for my wife and I and is a terrific two player game. There is a lot of conflict packaged into the small board, and my wife and I have had some tense games. Overall, she probably holds the edge but I win my share too.

This is a much better option for two rather than playing the original Blokus and using two colours per player.
 
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14. Board Game: Tumblin-Dice Jr. [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:3906]
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8 plays.

It was a bit difficult to quantify the number of games played of Tumblin' Dice Jr. as games tended to last 5 to 10 minutes each. I usually grouped each session as one play.

This game attracts the attention of anyone watching. Why not? You take turns flicking or rolling dice down the board to score points and knock your opponents off the board.

I've taken to adding a third set of same sized dice for a 3-player game. The board gets tight as a result, but still easily playable and fun.
 
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15. Board Game: Yahtzee Free for All [Average Rating:6.30 Overall Rank:3282]
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8 plays.

Yahtzee Free For All is an excellent dice rolling game. Yes, it's Yahtzee and I hate Yahtzee. But I like Free For All. It's Yahtzee on steroids.

There are your standard rolls - Large Straight, Three of a Kind, Sixes, etc. But now you have choices - do you try for one of the new combos and build up your chips, or do you try to steal your opponents completed combos?

Really, go while this game is still available at your local Toys R Us or other big store and get a copy if you've never played it.
 
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16. Board Game: Fire & Axe: A Viking Saga [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:763]
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7 plays.

Finally, not a filler! Unluckily, not one of my favourites.

The game board is huge and beautiful. You get awesome plastic vikings and longboats. You get to sail to foreign ports and complete quests.

But, really it's more like Viking sailing and trading rather than Viking conquest. And after 7 plays, I fear there is little replayability left in the game as the quests are relatively few in number and strategies are quickly apparent.
 
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17. Board Game: Combo King [Average Rating:5.88 Overall Rank:7962]
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6 plays.

An OK dice rolling game. To win you must be the first to get rid of your hand of cards. Each card has a combo you must roll to succeed. You also win chips by getting rid of cards. The chips in turn help you in various ways from taking extra turns to giving other players more cards to their hand.

Overall, the game is unbalanced as the initial card draws can be very easy or insanely difficult. The chip system seems a bit flawed as well. For dice games there are many on this list I would choose first over Combo King.

 
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18. Board Game: Escape from the Hidden Castle [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:2037]
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6 plays.

Wonderfully silly game where you must attempt to hide your guests in side rooms and away from the main hallway where Hugo the Ghost roams!

Hard not to like this cute game, and there are some decisions and press-your-luck factors to take into account.
 
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19. Board Game: SET [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:1227]
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6 plays.

Admittedly, a very boring looking game at first glance. But Set is a very tense game of pattern recognition.

Of all my games, Set is pretty much the only one played usually in complete silence as everyone quickly (and carefully) scans the cards on table to make matching (or completely different) sets of cards.
 
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20. Board Game: Wizard [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:674]
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6 plays.

One of the best trick taking games I've played. Play escalates every round as an additional card is added to hands. Wizards and Jesters can be played regardless of trump or following suit, making this a nasty but fun affair.
 
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21. Board Game: Balloon Cup [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:909]
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5 plays.

Fun and light two player game, which doesn't really have anything to do with racing balloons but it doesn't really matter.

Some strategy involved in stockpiling your cubes for turning in for elusive later trophy cups. My wife and I enjoy playing Balloon Cup once in a while.
 
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22. Board Game: Can't Stop [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:629]
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5 plays.

Excellent press your luck dice fest! How can you not like the giant red stop sign? Can't Stop continues to prove popular once in a while and usually gets played more than once during a gaming session.

 
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23. Board Game: Dungeon Twister: 3/4 Players Expansion [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked]
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5 plays.

I love Dungeon Twister! Only one of the five plays was the standard two player game. The rest used the 3/4 player expansion in various setups.

With two players the game is very strategic, and the expansion adds quite a bit of chaos (which I don't mind). Both setups are great by me. I hope to add more plays of Dungeon Twister in 2010, and try out the Paladins and Dragons expansion.
 
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24. Board Game: Formula D [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:429]
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5 plays.

My brother owns the new 'D' version. I liked it well enough that I acquired the older 'De' version in a math trade. The 5 plays in question are all on my brothers game.

Lots of fun here! Love the tracks available and the little cars. We usually play the standard game without the character bios which seem a bit tacked on.

For 2010 - get my De version played more!
 
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25. Board Game: Kingsburg [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:267]
 
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5 plays.

Kingsburg is a cool game that uses dice in an interesting fashion. Build improvements to earn points and ward off the enemies that attack at the end of every round.

My plays of Kingsburg went down drastically from 2008 when I had about 18 plays. I am looking forward to trying out the expansion to add new life to this game.
 
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