Biggest Surprise of 2009
Dan Goodier
United States
North Smithfield
Rhode Island
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Now that 2009 is in the books, what was your biggest game surprise of the year. Example could be a game you didn't necessarily want to play but did and then couldn't stop playing. Or a game you were really looking forward to actually playing and when you did couldn't stop playing it.
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1. Board Game: Chicago Express [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:362]
Dan Goodier
United States
North Smithfield
Rhode Island
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I learned this one at the Unity Gamers event in February 2009. I talked one of my buddies into playing with me during one of the teaching events. I had read a lot about it and was really excited to try it. When we finished we knew it would be an instant favorite among our group. So i ended up getting Chicago Express and proceeded to play it more times than any other game in the library last year.
 
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2. Board Game: Opera [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:2036]
John Weber
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
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I had played around half a dozen or so of the so-called "Hot Essen releases" in late October through early December and found most of them wanting. I found Opera available (with some other hard-to-get Essen games) at Funagain in mid-December, snagged a copy, have played about 4-5 times now and enjoy the game quite a bit. And this was a game I was not expecting to be that excited about, as was the case with other hot 2009 games (notably Automobile and Homesteaders, which were both highly anticipated and very solid games as well). Just that Opera came along as a bit of a surprise, enjoyed it much more than games like Carson City, Gates of Loyang, Shipyard, Hansa Teutonica, Endeavor, Tobago, Power Struggle, Factory Manager, etc., that seem to have received much more attention.
 
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3. Board Game: Luna Llena: Full Moon [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:5217]
Daniel Danzer
Germany
Stuttgart
southwest
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This one. Being usually rather a fan of fine-balanced or even abstracts, this semi-cooperative beast blew me away.


Werewolf pack against hikers in a dark forest - a weird, semi-random, semi-strategic movie.

Overview:
Hikers` groupthink vs. Werewolf strategy - a Full Moon overview

Review:
Luna Llena Review (or, What Team Jacob Has Been Doing Since Essen)

Session:
A Werewolf Waterloo but a victory for the gaming community!



 
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4. Board Game: Dinosaur Chess [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:8289]
Daniel Danzer
Germany
Stuttgart
southwest
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Anoher one was this purchase. A bit risky, for its age and not very high reputation here, I decided to get it.

Chess with dinosaurs on shifting continents!



Fantastic - should definitely be re-published.

 
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5. Board Game: Red November [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:1468]
Lance Richardson
United States
Texas
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What a great game this turned out to be for everyone.

This game gives a great sense of panic and desparation.
You'll really feel it when your character passes out in a locked part of the sub, which then catches on fire. Help better come soon!

And if you plan to abandon your ship-mates, be sure the kraken hasn't been unleashed (kraken shows up when you have to re-shuffle the draw pile to draw more cards).

Great time management mechanic, extremely rich thematic feel, excellent components and a helluva lot of fun.

BIG SURPRISE game for me. I passed on this one many many times simply because it said something about a "gnomish attack-sub."

 
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