Joe's Game Recommendation System - Win Fabulous Prizes*
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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My want list contains a scant 10 games. To some extent this is because I don't use my want list to capture new games I'm interested in, but even ignoring that I just find it difficult to come across additional games of interest. The BGG recommendation system mostly suggests games I've considered, and decided against.

So, I had a thought on how to expand my want list...

Please recommend some games for me. In general, the more obscure a game you recommend, the more likely you are to find something that strikes my fancy. I'm generally not fond of complex wargames, party games, games involving nothing but auctions, games with blind bidding, games with fantasy themes (though I do enjoy other media with such themes, oddly), or games with take-that factors. Oh, and I'm not particularly interested in RPGs at this time, so I haven't enabled adding them. I'd prefer recommendations of games you've personally played, and recommend, but I'm open to hunting-for-things-Joe-might-like efforts.

So, why should you bother spending your time doing this?

- If you suggest a game that looks interesting enough for me to add it to my want list, you win 5

- If you suggest a game that I play and find interesting, you win an additional 20 (total of 25)

- If you suggest a game that I play and enjoy enough to add to my collection, you win an additional 25 (total of 50)

- If you suggest a game that becomes a favorite of mine - an 8 rating or higher - you win an additional 50 (total of 100)

This will run for as long as I can afford to run it.

Additional suggestion - I suspect unranked games are more likely to have escaped my attention - and more likely to win a prize - than ranked games.

* Fabulousness of prizes dependent upon recipient's valuation of bag.
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1. Board Game: Star Wars: The Queen's Gambit [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:549]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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I have a couple recommendations from my recently played games, both of which you haven't rated, so hopefully they would be new to you.

This gem may be hard to track down, but I see that you got some enjoyment from other Star Wars-themed games and this one just works on a whole different level. You are fighting with forces on 4 different battlefields. It very accurately portrays the intense battle at the end of the Phantom Menace and enthralled me so much that I'll be coming back for more really soon.
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2. Board Game: The Adventurers: The Temple of Chac [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1092]
Ben Lott
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Mason
Michigan
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This new game is like Indiana Jones the board game. Players go running through a temple snatching up treasures and trying to dodge rooms with collapsing walls, a giant boulder, a lava pit, etc. It's basically a big push-your-luck game that is all about the experience, and is rather light on strategy.
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3. Board Game: Britannia [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:542]
Robert M
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
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I've only played it once but it was great going through history seeing the ebb and flow of the peoples. One I'd have played again if the one owning it hadn't left town. 4 player games don't seem to hit the table as much or I'd have picked it up myself
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4. Board Game: Duel in the Dark [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:1693]
Robert M
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
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Quick only semi historical (not recreating specific bombing runs) for two. Trying to outguess the opponent and score the most points. It has a nice balance between this side, like Germans having to watch their fuel and the British having to preplanned their bombing run.
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5. Board Game: Masters of Venice [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:2678]
Not really Ryan Leaf
United States
Texas
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Joe,

I see that you like some of the 18xx economic games, and MoV gives you the same stock pump-and-dump feel but does so in MUCH less time (about 30 mins per player).

The game is highly interactive... it combines commodity speculation with simultaneous pseudo-action-drafting, role selection, and blind bidding. Your opponents' actions will affect your choices.

The game is INCREDIBLY cheap (about $25 at some OLGS), has a very high production value, and offers deep, engaging gameplay.


I think you will love it -- it's an underrated gem. And just in case you are wondering: no, i have no business association with RnR Games despite my Billy Maysesque promotion
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6. Board Game: The Republic of Rome [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:346]
upandawaygames.com
United States
California
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Hi Joe, I think you should try this one at least once. Though it can be long, it's not really as complex as its reputation. Plus it never feels as long as it actually is. Anyway, even if you end up not liking it, suspect you will get some new ideas from it.
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7. Board Game: 2 de Mayo [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:1036]
Jeff Mays
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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You seem to have this little hole in your game collection that can be filled with 2 de Mayo. I personally think this is one of those games that every collection should have.

2 de Mayo is an excellent 2 player game with a short playing time but a decent amount of depth. It is an asymmetrical but balanced game with a wonderful (but relatively little known) historical context. It is very portable and beautiful to look at.

Read the rules (especially the Designer's notes and historical background) and take a look at Ender's Game wonderful pictorial illustration of gameplay (sorry I can't figure out how to link it). Wonderful game.
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8. Board Game: Pow Wow [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:2497]
Mike Jones
United States
Gainesville
Florida
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Looking at my Huber Happiness scores:

Game/my rating/my HHS/Huber Rating
Battlestar Galactica 8.0 567 You have not Rated
Nuclear War 10.0 165 You rate 5
El Grande 10.0 137 You rate 7
Power Grid 8.0 105 You rate 7
Arkham Horror 7.0 97 You have not Rated
Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game 7.0 97 You have not Rated
Shadows over Camelot 8.0 94 You rate 5
Die Macher 9.0 90 You Rate 4
Industrial Waste 9.0 90 You rate 7
Container 9.0 85 you rated 5
Hollywood Blockbuster 9.0 63 You rate 7
Betrayal at House on the Hill 7.0 62 You rate 6
Memoir '44 8.0 59 You rate 7
Ra 8.0 56 You Rate 6
Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery 9.0 54 You Rate 5

So, that leaves three co-ops (semi-coops) that you haven't rated. I'd say you wouldn't like those and I think it's backed up based on your Shadows rating.

Looking at my 'highly' played games that aren't high on the Huber scale:

Game/rating/# plays/Huber Rating
We Didn't Playtest This at All 6.0 43 You haven't Rated
Zombie Fluxx 8.0 33 You haven't Rated
Nacht der Magier 7.0 31 You Rate 7
Pow Wow 7.0 21 You haven't Rated
Bang! The Bullet! 8.0 21 You haven't Rated
Hamsterrolle 6.0 17 You Rate 6

Based on you dislike of 'take that', I'd say Bang is right out. We didn't Play Test this and Zombie Fluxx are out due to your 4 rating of Fluxx (although I have Fluxx rated a 5, yet enjoy these other variants)

Have you played Pow Wow? Your played list is extensive.

It may be too much of a party game for you, but it has some interesting player dynamics around a huge exercise in Math
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9. Board Game: Ad Astra [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:905]
Christopher Onstad
United States
Donald
Oregon
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Well, it is not very obscure. But from your ratings and comments you seem to like role selection games and trading games. There is a role selection mechanic, similar to Race for the Galaxy, except everyone selects three roles, and decides where durin the course of the turn they play them. (to a certain degree) It's got a goods development and trading similar to settlers of catan, except it's not based rolling dice, but upon role selection. It has exploration and civilization development which provides a little bit of randomness, in that you don't know what the planets are like until you develop them. And the game only goes until somebody passes 50 points, so it does not get long and drawn out. I think you should give it a try.
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10. Board Game: Mad Dash! [Average Rating:5.47 Overall Rank:12623]
Randy Cox
United States
Clemson
South Carolina
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It's blisteringly fast ("3 minutes across America" is the tag line, though we often use 4) and quite balanced if you simply give each player one wild card (AK and HI). So you can play a few hands in no time until someone reaches the target goal.

On top of everything else, you get to reinforce/learn your US geography.

Best of all, you can find them dirt cheap on eBay.
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11. Board Game: Utopian Rummy [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:5871]
Mike Jones
United States
Gainesville
Florida
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Based on your top 10 happy games:

Bridge 10.0
Race for the Galaxy 10.0
Mü & More 9.0
2038 10.0
Merchant of Venus
The Settlers of Catan 10.0
Schnäppchen Jagd 10.0
Puerto Rico 9.0
Jambo 9.0
La Città 10.0

Have you played Utopian Rummy, to me it's was just another card game, but I'm not much of a card play like you seem to be. Other geekbuddies that do enjoy card games have enjoyed this one (fair disclaimer, one of my geekbuddies is the designer)

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12. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Märklin [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:236] [Average Rating:7.41 Unranked]
Canada
Gatineau
Quebec
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You have tried and rated so many games so it's very hard for someone with much less breadth in gaming, like me, to make too many good suggestions - it seems you have already played & commented on most of what I was about to suggest.

Only thing I did notice is that you don't seem to have comments for Ticket to Ride: Märklin but seem to be a fan of the original and Europe. I'd definitely give it a go if you haven't - the passenger rules add a nice "gamey" element that doesn't detract from the spirit of the original. For me, TtR:USA & Marklin are the go-to versions depending of what itch needs to be scratched - my least favorite being Europe for the tunnels & stations.

I must also say that this exercise - looking through your comments - did provide me with games I should look into - Canal mania at the top of the list. I've also been looking into trying Jenseits von Theben & The Bottle Imp. Thanks for taking the time to write those comments!
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13. Board Game: MooT [Average Rating:6.75 Unranked]
Randy Cox
United States
Clemson
South Carolina
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We've played a good bit of MooT lately, and it has gone over very well both with gamers and non-gamers. It is certainly not a party game, unless you party at the local library and it is very quick (less than 15 minutes per game).

We've even played with 3 by simply writing down any challenges. Works very well.
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14. Board Game: What's My Word? [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:2808]
Randy Cox
United States
Clemson
South Carolina
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This is just such a damn clever game. I was skeptical at first, figuring it was just a rehashing of Jotto. But I was very happily surprised to find that it includes strategy and deduction of a high order.

Only downside is that it can take around 45 to 60 minutes to play (which, adjusted for Huber speed, is about 22 minutes).
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15. Board Game: 1853 [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:2533]
Sean Shaw
United States
Idaho
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It doesn't appear that you've picked this little game up yet. I note that you like 18XX games, so this should be right up your alley. I don't think it's as good as 2038 or 1829 (which are also favorites of mine), but it still a pretty good game overall.
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16. Board Game: Omega Centauri [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:3835]
 
Lo Ma
United States
California
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Civ meets sci-fi. Looks cool to me. It should come out this year, and I've already pre-ordered it!

zombie

This civ-ish game has a kinda tech tree, and the basic game plays in an hour and the advanced game plays in about 2. If it turns out to be nicely immersive, this could be my grail find for a short civ game. At least, that's what I'm hoping...

The rules are posted here on the geek.
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17. Board Game: Space Junkyard [Average Rating:6.03 Overall Rank:6456]
Elijah
United States
Indiana
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Semi-light resource collecting game. It not as economic heavy as I see in your want list, but there are some good decisions to make. Do I keep expanding or try and finish what I started. The end game scoring is interesting in that any places on your ship that are not completed subtract points. Also, it makes for a great print and play project. It just came out as a retail game as well if p-n-p is not your thing.
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18. Board Game: Shadow Hunters [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:727]
Randall Rasmussen
United States
Bennington
Nebraska
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This little-known gem is about figuring out who is on your team and then using your strengths to bring down the rest.

I've described it as the werewolf board game, but it is really more than that. There is a lot of player interaction and various ways to win.

Give it a shot.
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19. Board Game: Summit [Average Rating:5.69 Overall Rank:11452]
True Blue Jon
United States
Vancouver
Washington
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Some games I find interesting that I couldn't find in your collection:

Summit
Search For Poseidon's Gold
Friedrich
Conquest of the Empire (the Eagle Games version with Wallace's rules)
Conquest (by Donald Benge)
Army Ants
4000AD
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20. Board Game: Chronicle [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:1351]
Henrik Lantz
Sweden
Uppsala
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Truly excellent Japanese cardgame. You've probably heard of it but I didn't see it in your rated games. The weird thing with this game is that every card has a special power. So many rules and ways to break the rules should make the game chaotic and almost unplayable, but it just works. Plays quick, and is a lot of fun. This game should really be picked up by a major publisher, Z-man are you listening?
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21. Board Game: Confusion: Espionage and Deception in the Cold War [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:1111]
Steffan O'Sullivan
United States
Plymouth
NH
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You've undoubtedly played this, Joe, but you haven't rated it, so I'll list it. I think you'd enjoy it.
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22. Board Game: Carrom [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:1206]
Jonathan Morton
Sweden
Vällingby
Stockholm
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This one has two huge things that most dexterity games lack:

1) Replayability - you won't hit your skill ceiling in the first 3 plays

2) Real decisions - mostly tactical, but also some strategic.
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23. Board Game: Lascaux [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:2537]
Jonathan Morton
Sweden
Vällingby
Stockholm
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It appears you haven't tried this one yet, and given that you rate No Thanks! a 9 this should be up your alley. It's the same bidding mechanism with a more fleshed out set-collection aspect to it.
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24. Board Game: Wildwechsel [Average Rating:6.03 Unranked]
John Squires
United States
Brooklyn
New York
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With your gaming experience added to your additional research I think you've given us a pretty tough task. I don't doubt that you've read about each of these... I'm curious why you haven't tried them yet.

I have three suggestions in case any spark your interest:
Wildwechsel: perhaps too abstract but it was entertaining and it did remind me of the light cycle level of the classic Tron video game.

Lokomotive Werks: OK so maybe just playing the train-rush of an 18XX game doesn't sound too thrilling. I was surprised that it works as a game although there was a significant amount of number-crunching, rinse, repeat. I liked it but not sure how long that will last.

Princes of Machu Picchu: another mish-mash of familiar mechanics but done in a way that's surprisingly refreshing. Timing is very important. Definitely worth 3-5 plays.


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25. Board Game: Hearts [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:1555]
Chris Page
United States
San Diego
California
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Hearts.

(You've heard of this one already?)

Actually, a hearts variant, called "Turbo Hearts."
A number of variants makes the play feel very different.

Rules are here:
http://www.pagat.com/reverse/hearts.html#turbo

Only thing that got omitted is it's usually played eight hands.
First round pass three cards left; second three cards right;
third three cards across; and fourth is a keeper. Repeat.
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