Top Non-Top 200 being played in Feb. 2010
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Tobago, Thunderstone and Hansa Teutonica all became ineligible by breaking the 200 barrier in the past month.

Castle Panic and BANG! fell to 19 and 11 respectively (as seen in the 11-20 list).

For a list of some of the games that have become ineligible (and eligible again) over the past couple years; http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/26429

The metalist for this series can be found; http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/21290 as always you can subscribe to that list to get notifications of any future lists in the series.

To make this list a bit more interesting, I called together a special Ad Hoc committee. Well, they don't really know it, but I figured I'd look at some of my geekbuddies and the good and bad they have to say. So who are these VIPs? 1000rpm, Bagherra, Blott, boltongeordie, callidusx3, czrdup, DKahnt, doubtofbuddha, EgorjLileli, gordon1018, Grimwold, Guantanamo, Isamoor, JasonRMax, JohnnyDollar, JohnRayJr, KrisVerbeeck, KSensei, laiernie, Liumas, manowarplayer, Nap16, Neil Thomson, Orange Meeple, Osiris Ra, pete belli, Quixote171, Randy Cox, rmartinc, Rygel, Sagrilarus, shebby, SteveK2, Stormparkiet, stormseeker75, Teriyaki Donuts, thoia, Twinge, verandi, Zalasta. How did I pick them? Well completely unscientific that's for sure.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++



One thing I dislike about some people's monthly lists, is after a while they stop explaining their reasoning behind them. So, if you've read mine before (or you don't care) you can skip on to the list now. But, here's the full why:

IMHO, some games are good because others say they are good. And so get more play; "all these people are playing this game, let's play it". While other good games sit around with little notice because they aren't being talked about. So, a last year I decided to start looking at those games that are getting played a lot that AREN'T part of the top 200. You may ask why top 200 and not 100? Or for that matter 300? 'Because'.

IMO, if a lot of different people are playing a game, it must have some value to someone somewhere. That's not to say that the Top 200 AREN'T good games or there aren't games out there that are good that aren't getting any play. I'm just trying to show some games out there that different people are playing 'because they are fun' and not just because they have the best press. Over the past couple months, I've gotten a couple comments about 'well these are on BSW (or what not)'. To that I have to say "ah but you have heard of [them].." Again, I'm not saying there aren't MORE good games out there.

I've also had a suggestion about adding weight to longer games. A complaint is that these are short (filler) games because people are more likely to play shorter games. Well, isn't that the point? Showing some games that people in your group might be willing to play. Plus, I'm doing it on number of users playing it, not number of times. IMHO The length of a game does not measure enjoyment. For my gaming tastes I get more enjoyment playing 3-6 different games in the same time the other table is playing one game of TI3.

Obviously, expansions skew this. It's just going by how they were logged. So, if someone logged Niagara while others logged the game under spirits, it's just got Niagara.

So, here's some 'good' press for games that may not be showing up on 'top lists'.

I'm allowing additions, but let's keep it to those games that are good (to your group), get played a lot on BGG (you decide), but aren't ranked in the Top 200.

My HM are games that look interesting that just stay under these 10 or that I've played recently and are just outside the top 10. I've also added a Top500 HM and Top1000 HM. The most played (by different users, not number of times) that is ranked higher then 500 and 1000 and not on this list already.

I've added a few more items recently. While I don't think that time equates to good, I've added a weight factor based on the est. time for one game. It still doesn't use total play time. I don't want some games like Diamant that can be played 10 times in a sitting to have anyone more weight then one game.

I've also added based on actual game weight. Games greater then 2, 3 and 4 lists. But these and the time weighted lists will be listed as one item. With the 'most' interesting one representing them.

It's still back to doing it by hand, so no Weight, year, price, or # of ratings but I've gotten a bit better so there are HM based on Ranking.

I must say each month I've gone ahead and picked up a few games off of this list and for the most part have been VERY pleased. Most people in the group are buying the top games and I've been adding to the game library by adding these gems. The lone exception really was Poison. I some how thought there would be more to that game then counting to 13.
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1. Board Game: Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:574]
Mike Jones
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Nap16 wrote:
Rated: 8 - What this game is NOT: The ultimate quick-play civ/empire game. What this game IS: Good quick fun with a okay civ/empire theme.


JohnRayJr wrote:
Rated: 7 - I'm baffled by the existence of the game.

Roll Through the Ages is preposterous on its face. It's a "civ game" in which you collect resources, grow your population, develop innovations such as agriculture and masonry, and complete ambitious "wonders" like the Pyramids. Games like this are usually thought of as "streamlined" if they clock in at 4 hours or less. RTtA takes 20 minutes. Yeah, laugh it off. Your turn also consists primarily on rolling a set of dice up to three times (guffaw). The thing is, the game packs a reasonable amount of strategy as each player races to complete the developments and the wonders. And race is the right word: what you've got here is another quirky income-to-VPs gear shifter. The goals are tired but the mechanics are fresh, and the throwback quality of the pegboard and scorecards didn't hurt. Don't pass this one up.


KrisVerBeeck wrote:
Rated: 5 - I like this Yahtzee variant but I am not too sure how it should be played.

In the game I won I wast last player and played very quick 4 developments. In turn 8 or 9 I saw that if I was able to buy a fifth one I would win. (I think I only decided twice not to invest in a development)
So I am not too sure about it.

I won with only 14 points to 9 and 9


Committee Rating: 6.93
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2. Board Game: Campaign Manager 2008 [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:1225]
Mike Jones
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197 people played it 434 times

doubtofbudha wrote:
Rated: 8 - I wrote a review on this game here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/466875.

Since then I have played Campaign Manager a number of further times and my opinion of this game as a strong one has only increased. It is probably my short, two player game of choice right now, and I am glad that I purchased a pre-release copy at BGG.con. If I continue playing it as much as I have, I expect to easily get 40 plays out of it within the next few months, which I consider to be a very respectable play rate.


verandi wrote:
Rated: 6 - This was enjoyable- a quick playing short game with an engaging theme. The draft at the beginning is a clever way of boosting replayability and an interesting and important part of the game in its own right.


Stormseeker75 wrote:
Rated: 3 - Purchased from www.bouldergames.com on 1/28/10

First play with basic setup was great at first, but then got a bit boring. Hoping the second game goes better.

The second play did not get any better. This game is a boring exercise in repetition which requires almost no critical thinking or decision making. I'd play it if requested, but I really wouldn't want to.


Committee Rating: 6.40
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3. Board Game: Carson City [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:337]
Mike Jones
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KrisVerBeeck wrote:
Rated: 7.5 - masterprint + the indian

solid euro with interesting options and smooth gameplay.

session report by me
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/4137935

Update after playing gunslinger and way out west.

Downgraded it from 8 to 7.5
actually I have a feeling that this might be the weakest of the three.
Gunslinger I liked but there are not so many options really compared to the others. It's all about shooting
Way out west Should be played with at least four players.
Early negative rolls can have a devestating effect on your income and put someone in a strong position

Carson city played well with three. It has the least connection to the theme than the other two. But there was some room to get back in the game.

Now scoring on execution of gunfight

Gunslinger 9
Way out west 7
Carson city 4.

Way out west and carson city have an economic aspect to it as well. While in Way out west there is no option but to fight yourself back in the game. There are some actions (or characters that will provide you with the income.
While looking at the theme there is no need to recover.

In gunbslinger I got a bad aim since I was shot in my gun hand so I lost (there were some cards that could have allowed me to win) but it would have been a lucky shot.

In way out west it is possible that when you get beaten in a fight even though you are the favourite you will loose a part of your income. It's very hard to make up for it if it happens early on. But I'm okay with that it feels real.

In carson city character selection and action selection will provide you with income to stay competetive . Losing a fight doesn't have such a huge impact for that reason. But to me that is a flaw in a game depicting the wild west.
Nonetheless I think of carson city as my settlers. This game I can easily explain to none gamers and we have a good time playing it.


boltongeordie wrote:
Rated: 7 - Seems like a solid game but there was nothing new - a bit of Caylus, a bit of Oregon, a bit of a few other games you could spot thrown in there. Can't see anything in the gameplay which would make this one stand out in a way that the mechanics don't.


SteveK2 wrote:
Rated: 5 - An 'earn cash, buy VP' worker-placement game, but with the fundamental defect of rewarding bullies rather than planners: plan what you like, but if you lack fire power you'll lose a lot. Thematic? I think not - in the Wild West if I had lots of cash I'm pretty sure I could go hire some hot-shots to drive the bullies away. Not in this game, I can’t!

I've tried both the basic duelling rules and the 'might is right' variant, and neither works for me. Players with more fire-power tend to win duels and get the chance to acquire yet more fire-power. There is no compensation for losing; no alternate (non-competitive) way to get more fire-power - like simply buying in hired guns.


Committee Rating: 6.38
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4. Board Game: Macao [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:243]
Mike Jones
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190 people played it 314 times

SteveK2 wrote:
Rated: 9 - Typical alea. Thoughful, resource-juggling, largely solitaire. A Delight.

Acquiring the right cards (which to some extent depends on your turn-order position) plus choosing cubes to activate the cards and then exploit the card powers seems key - the equivalent of the game’s economic engine. Maximising the number of times you can use the prestige bar to buy VP is important (and choosing the right turns to forgo the purchase). Buying town tiles and delivering them has always seemed a weaker strategy in our games, but maybe we just haven't seen anyone really go for it in this way yet.

Uprated to 9 after 8 plays (of the German edition). After 9 plays of the German edition I now have an English copy.


JohnRayJr wrote:
Rated: 6 - Yspahan crossed with Duck Dealer, with lots of tiny card synergies thrown in to make turns even more over-the-top.

The mechanisms in this game have to be seen to be believed. I hope Stefan Feld is laughing at us. Sadly, it's probably not meant to be funny. Basically what you are doing is using dice to strategically draft six varieties of action points while also managing your next six turns.

Let me repeat that. Six types of action points. Drafted using dice. Allocated for future use spread over six turns. WTF? You then use the action points to purchase cards (that you've already drafted). The cards mostly involve squeezing extra action points and gold coins. You need the cards to get some cash flow going, so that you can consistently buy points to outpace your opponents. The action points may also be used to purchase goods and to move a ship around to deliver goods. The game also hands out "punishment" tokens if you make the slightest misstep. Gee, where have I seen that before?

Not a bad game, but certainly it cuts close to parody the way Ystari's games have done in the past. This game needs to try a lot harder on the theme; it seems like a lot of potential there was wasted.

I would give this another try or two. Doubtful that it has legs for me.


Committee Rating: 7.5

(Although it's a committee of two on this one)
 
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5. Board Game: No Thanks! [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:392]
Mike Jones
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181 people played it 480 times

shebby wrote:
Rated: 8 - I just had to buy this, after drinking a load of red wine with my boss and his wife and we played about 8 hands. Its just so easy to teach, easy to play... BUT I NEVER WIN! And I still love it!

NOT FOR SALE!


DKahnt wrote:
Rated: 6 - A nice filler, nothing too neat, but just a filler.


Zalasta wrote:
Rated: 6 - Really thought No Thanks! had more of a strategy to it at first. However, with the fact that you remove as many as 9 cards to start with, as well as the chips one is holding being the major factor in whether he picks up the card or not, make the game seem like an exercise in futility. My first play did not fill me with desire to try it again any time soon.


Committee Rating: 6.77
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6. Board Game: Pickomino [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:1074]
Mike Jones
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181 people played it 372 times

SteveK2 wrote:
Rated: 8 - Nice press-your-luck dice game & sometimes steal someone else's points. High quality components. Very large difference between UK & German prices for identical product.


isamoor wrote:
Rated: 5.9 - Sep08: Well, that's better than bad. I'm not sure that's good though.

The decisions weren't really that deep. Most of your moves were reasonably obvious. At least it was very short!

It just didn't have the luck to skill ratio right in my book. Maybe I should try it more.


liumas wrote:
Rated: 4 - Another push-your-luck dicing game. While it's not Can't Stop, it certainly is fun. Bizarrely, for such a short game it always seems too long. I always wish there were less tiles. The variant making it faster by turning over more tiles is our preferred way to play for the above reasons.

Fun, though, and we probably always want to play this at least twice, especially when I feel I've screwed it in the early go. Which is always the case. And then I screw it in the 3rd go, which annoys me to the point that I have reduce the rating here by 1.

YMMV.

Update: Sucks. I hate this game.


Committee Rating: 6.43
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7. Board Game: Liar's Dice [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:564]
Mike Jones
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179 people played 654 times

Blott wrote:
Rated: 8 - Perudo is a great bluffing dice game. I like the guessing-vs-bluffing element of the game. There is a healthy dose of luck thrown in because of the dice, but a smart bidder can usually get around that. I love that it works well with almost any age group. It's a great game that blends bluffing, push-your-luck, and reading the other players into one superb party style game.


gordon1018 wrote:
Rated: 7 - We play this a lot. I like it and you have to change your strategy as more and moe dice are removed from the game.


guantanamo wrote:
Rated: 5 - elatively boring roll dice and lie about it and hope you don't get caught game.

(OK, I didn't play it as a drinking game).


Committee Rating: 6.75
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8. Board Game: Finca [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:537]
Mike Jones
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Gainesville
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boltongeordie wrote:
Rated: 8 - A nice shortish (less than an hour) game with simple rules but just enough opportunity to stitch your neighbours up. I very much enjoyed it.

After a few more plays I still enjoy it, simple to play, light, fairly easy to explain and nice pieces. Good game.


Stormseeker75 wrote:
Rated: 6 - A decent enough game. Light with a focus on timing. Decisions are fairly straight-forward. Probably a good family game, but I have a lot of those already so this one will not be joining my collection. Still, I'd play it if asked, but I'm in no hurry to own it.


isamoor wrote:
Rated: 4.9 - Aug09:

Pretty much all-around "meh". It did nothing wrong, but didn't really do anything right.

Each game played almost exactly the same. The same decisions came again and again. Yea there is some skill in making the right choices, but they just aren't that riveting.

Heck, for being a game about fruit we couldn't even tell what they were supposed to be.

However, it did play fast and was a very clean design. You might like it for fluffy family filler.


Committee Rating: 6.73
 
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9. Board Game: The Adventurers: The Temple of Chac [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1093]
Mike Jones
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165 people played 307 times
(including me)

Sagrilarus wrote:
Rated: 8.5 - Exceptionally nice package. I had the opportunity to play with the painted characters and that was a nice upgrade as well.

In spite of the nature of this game's theme it is designed to keep luck in its appropriate place, even when considered on the very narrow scale generally enjoyed by the denizens of this web site. Most luck in the game will have more impact on the overall narrative than any individual player, and will therefore give each play of the game a bit of a spirit of its own. Hidden treasures keep you guessing a bit, and with multiple paths to the finish (literally that is, not figuratively) you have good control over your own fate, and ownership in a game such as this is key.

What appears on the table before you is a fun romp through a slice of Indiana Jones-style adventuring. Plush pieces and simple rules make for a quick startup and larger-than-life play, making it ideal for kids and grandparents as well as seasoned gamers looking for something different even if it only lasts 30 or so minutes. After you've bent your brain cells on a play of 'gric or PR this game will be just the tonic you need to get smiling and laughing at each other.

The only drawback to the game in my mind is its length -- THIS much fun needs a bit more time to play itself out and that means it's time for expansions baby! Different treasure cards and special player powers could be pumped out on the cheap and in short order, but I want boards. BOARDS! Modular design would be a lay-up to add on to this critter and would make it every bit as valuable a property as Heroscape or BattleLore have ever been. Modular design could let you purchase a bit here and a bit there, and people could combine their copies to build grand sets. Given the theme, the sky is the limit. I look forward to the swinging pendulum trap.

AEG found the bullseye on this one. If they're smart they'll gently eject the casing and fire again at the exact same target. I could blow $150 on this title and not regret one penny of it.


czrdup wrote:
Rated: 7 - Really light, but it is a neat little racing game. I don't know if I would play it with everyone though.


thoia wrote:
Rated: 4 - Not a fan of this game at all. I'd play it with younger kids...and I mean younger...who so no affinity toward better games but that's about it.


Committee Meeting: 6.77


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10. Board Game: Zooloretto [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:608] [Average Rating:6.86 Unranked]
Mike Jones
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Gainesville
Florida
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165 people played 299 times

Grimwold wrote:
Rated: 8.5 - With very similar mechanisms to Michael Schact's previous card game Coloretto, this is a relatively simple set-collection game based around zoo animals.

Players take it in turns to either add animals (at random from a bag) to the available trucks, modify their zoo using money actions, or take one of the remaining trucks and add the animals to their zoo.

The game can be a fairly cut-throat too, with players trying to screw each other up by putting different combinations of animals on the trucks.

A worthy winner of the Spiel Des Jahres.


Neil Tompson wrote:
Rated: 7 - Has received some criticism for being nothing more than a board version of Coloretto without adding anything really new. I don't agree with this view completely and think there is enough here to make it worth the play.


Zalasta wrote:
Rated: 6 - A lighthearted game that plays really quick. The funnest thing about Zooloretto is the look on your opponent's face when you drop an animal he doesn't want into the tray he's been drooling over. I would defeinitely recommend you to include the expansion, it made the experience a lot smoother. A very accessible game for everyone, although not one I'd get back to very soon.

Update #1: Really did not like this as a 2-player. Possibly one of the blandest and most boring sessions I've participated in. Nothing interesting ever happens, and it seems like there is too much money available.


Committee Rating: 6.8
 
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11. Board Game: Homesteaders [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:494]
Mike Jones
United States
Gainesville
Florida
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11 Bang!
12 Category 5
13 Hey! That's My Fish!
14 Saboteur
15 Guillotine
16 FITS
17 Incan Gold
18 Homesteaders
19 Castle Panic
20 Ra: The Dice Game
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12. Board Game: Tsuro [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:767]
Mike Jones
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Gainesville
Florida
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129 people played 243 times

Blott wrote:
Rated: 9 - An awesome game that is so extremely short we usually play multiple games in a row. The components are great quality, and the rules are simple to teach. The one flaw is the way the rules are written, they greatly confuse the use of the Dragon Tile. Check the Rules section here on BGG for some clarification. Aside from that, it's an excellent puzzly type of game that has become an instant classic in our household. A mix of strategic tile-placement and path-finding make this a fun game for all ages. And just one game is rarely enough, most players want to try again almost immediately.

I think the one downside is that it can sometimes feel like luck when you win. Often in the later part of the game players have no choice but to send themselves off the board. If that would annoy you then I would caution you to stay away. And, though the game is still fun with 8 players, it becomes even more chaotic.


Zalasta wrote:
Rated: 6.5 - Slightly better than Metro, since your tile placement is restricted to continuing the path your piece is currently on, rather than randomly screwing other people. One I don't mind playing, just not too often please.


isamoor wrote:
Rated: 5.6 - Much better than expected. Nice light fun for many people.

I think it feels very similar to 6 nimmet though. I still want to own it, especially since it's drop dead gorgeous.


Committee Rating: 6.75
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13. Board Game: Infinite City [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:2456]
Mike Jones
United States
Gainesville
Florida
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HM 1000

113 people played 188 times

Nap16 wrote:
Rated: 8 - Fast and fun tile placing game that has "infinite" possibilities.


SteveK2 wrote:
Rated: 6 - Single 3-players game. Chaotic smack-the-leader tile laying game. Great, chunky, tile. Good artwork. Despite fears, you only need to read (most) tiles when they're in your hand, not when they're upside down on the table. Not bad, but apparently quite expensive. I'd be wary of playing this with more than 3 players, though.


Committee Rating: 7.0

Only 4 members rating though
 
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14. Board Game: Alea Iacta Est [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:1250]
Mike Jones
United States
Gainesville
Florida
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HM #1

118 people played it 169 times

Quite a few of my geekbuddies are now talking about this one.

isamoor wrote:
Rated: 9.1 - Jan10:

Despite the slightly rough rules, a real gem of a game is in here. Considering Roll Through the Ages and Raice were among my favorite games of 2009, I'm not surprised to see this one pop up on my list this year.

I really like the combination of set collection and "6Devs" in the form of SPQR tiles. They really give you slightly different strategic paths. (Just like the developments in RttA)

Turns go fast, and there are always interesting decisions to make. Nice game!

Feb10:

It's held up to repeat playing. I also got a chance to try 4 players to see the Templum in action. Still a great game with that many people.

I've come to realize that it's more of a dice+auction game than I realize. You're bidding on the rewards at many of the buildings.

I've seen strategies win with hardly any SPQR tiles now, so they're definitely not that powerful. I think just a couple to give your other set collection some focus is a great deal.


Grimwold wrote:
Rated: 8 - Another die-rolling worker placement game, in which the sets of dice you roll (straights, pairs etc.) determine where you can place them... this time with a Roman theme and a public bath where your dice end up if you can't place them (or when forced out of the forum).

Points can be scored in various ways, from the Templum, to the outlying provinces and governors... though Senate bonus cards are a great way for getting 'direction' as they give you game-end goals to work towards.

Dice are definitely seeing a resurgence in Euro games, particularly ones like this, Yspahan and Kingsburg where the dice are used in a pretty original way... a fun, light-ish family game and possibly even a SdJ contender.


Nap16 wrote:
Rated: 7 - At times it seems that 2009 what the year of dice games, with Dice Town, Pony Express, Ra: The Dice Game, Arena - Roma II, Kingsburg - To Forge a Kingdom, Roll Through The Ages, Dune Express, Agricola Express, D-Day Dice and now Alea Iacta Est. All provide creative uses of dice. Alea Iacta Est is good, but I prefer Dice Town.


Committee Rating: 7.88
 
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15. Board Game: World Without End [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:453]
Mike Jones
United States
Gainesville
Florida
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HM#2

102 people played it 134 times
(including me)

SteveK2 wrote:
Rated: 9 - Action cards to collect resources to pay your dues and make a bit of a contribution to building the town. All played out against a backdrop of semi-random events that can severely disrupt your plans.

First game (2-player) was by the book (with attached baby wheels), and lacked tension - it's just too easy to avoid pain. Some tweaking/restricting of grain/piety availability is needed.

Second play (4-player) felt like the real deal: a world of pain, with players regularly screwed by the events and struggling (& failing) to pay their dues at the end of each chapter.


guantanamo wrote:
Rated: 8 - I just threw it in on a order to get free shipping even though I hadn't heard anything about it. I enjoy Pillars and figured I'd like to see what 'the sequel' most look like.

A beautiful board and nice components. Although in our first play we did see some 'errors'. I'm not one to really grip about it, but I guess it could be annoying to others. To be fair, so far it was just one card that is in error.

It, however, plays very different then pillars. Each person has a deck of cards. similar to roles to pick from, so you don't have to worry about not getting the action you want.

You play actions to get things to help build and to give things to the king. The game starts right off putting you under stress. There is a reason you start the game with a score of 8. It's because the game will punish you for not meeting certain minimums each round.

When I pulled it out, a friend was 'hey, I don't want something 'replacing' my pillars. I said, 'don't worry, this isn't a worked placement'. I noticed he made a comment elsewhere on the Geek, that it is different. 'But, one is better, this one'. The Game left me wanting more.

smell: --------------


Rygel wrote:
Rated: 8 - Very good action selection game.

Best expansion -

Best extra/variant -

Strategy -

High Score = 47

Wins =

2010 Plays = 1


Committee Rating: 8.25
Only 4 members rating it

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Mike Jones
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Florida
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Those that have come and gone from this list
 
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Mike Jones
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The metalist.

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