FOR LIFE: Games I shall NEVER relinquish, ever
Nat Li
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I am a gamer, and yet, I keep my library down to only games I REALLY like.

Too many people I meet are collectors. So there's this guy in my group, he made some rather top games bombed. His fault really, not knowing the symbols nor the rules well (think, one of the top games with the most damn symbols to recognize. Hint: card game.). It's like some happy fat kid too eager about his new toy even though he doesn't even know why it's any good, and showing it to everybody, hoping they would share in his joy. Life don't work that way, but good games DO get ruined that way; heck, some games, after one play (after which it will never see daylight in my gaming group ever again, and we are his only gaming group), all were like "this game sucks". A sad day for the designer--it's not his fault, it's that guy's fault.

So after one whole paragraph, you are wondering, why is this writer not getting to the point? That is because...I dunno, he's drunk. And he rambles. And it's 2 AM which means after his friends are gone, there's no one to call, and the drunk guy wants to talk to someone. My mouth is soul-melded with my keyboard right now. This is my channel to talk. Hmmm. I wish I was playing a 4 player game of Summoners War right now, or some San Juan. Or Puerto Rico. Instead, I am posting on BGG (the next best thing, serious).

And yet that's another paragraph you might have read. I am, by now, both grateful for whoever will be reading, and apologizing for the others who are like "wth".

BACK ON THE SUBJECT

I sell off games I no longer love or didn't find that exciting. I am REALLY fast about that. So, whatever games I come to the conclusion "THIS IS A KEEPER FOR LIFE", I feel that's really something. I'm sure many of you do feel that way about some of your games (it's like love. You don't explain it. You KNOW it. Heck, it IS love).

I want to share mine, but, more importantly, I want to know YOURS.

PLEASE, share them, but only if they are LIFETIME KEEPERS, unless, you know, you like, drop dead, or divorce threatens you, or like, you want to stop being a geeky loser TOTALLY only thinking "when can I play my next game?" and "whom can I BAIT into playing this or that game?" or "I am meeting X ppl, I think I will bring this game because, you know, just in case" (in which case I really think you are the coolest, but chicks won't dig you. I guarantee that), then you will agree to part with 'em.

Oh, and just for future reference, if you like, decide to change your mind about some games...you know, you thought it was love, but actually you were just having short flings with it, or not thinking with the correct head that one fine night, or promising it that you'd take it down from the shelf next week (weeks after weeks), feel free to change your list. Make a big deal out of it and tell us like we were your drinking buddies why that...game wasn't good enough for you.

And so we share our games.

(PS in case that someone has already like, done some geeklist like this, then, I apologize for my drunken unoriginality. You can shoot me, or bite me)

3 games only for me at the moment.




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1. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:16]
Nat Li
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So people may think I am pretentious. I am. BUT you have to believe me, I do love this game. But it wasn't love at first sight. The first games I played (it was one of my first top euros ever played) I was like, "some dude just made this game so open that ANYONE can imagine 5 million loopholes to score. This game is pointless. What an idiot.". Then I realized (after multiple plays), OHHHHHHH, so THAT's the brilliance of the game. Guess who's the idiot now, punks, guess who? (Wait, was it me?)
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2. Board Game: Space Alert [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:149]
Nat Li
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"ALERT. ENEMIES ACTIVITIES DETECTED. PLEASE BEGIN FIRST PHASE."

Tension builds right here, at these words. Always ends with the hull blown apart. Oh wait, that's the ship.

As far as the co-op genre goes. This game is genius. I would teach this game for free to anyone who wants to learn, 'cause like, their teamwork is always priceless. There is no room for tactical genius--you better be a team player, or else.

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3. Board Game: Saboteur [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:859] [Average Rating:6.62 Unranked]
Nat Li
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People in this game always tell me they are the good guy. And I believe them. And then those dirty, disgusting, bottom feeding, two-timing, backstabbing bitches lays down that card cutting us good guys from reaching the gold, ever. I hate them.

And then the next round I get the Saboteur card and I am all like "DUDE. SERIOUS, I GOTz that CARD. I can take us TO THE GOLD". I feel brilliant.

They don't believe me, and I get a broken tool. And I continue to hate them.

Always an entertaining game.

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4. Board Game: Butterfly [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Australia
Sebastopol (Ballarat)
Victoria
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That's Karl on the left. Eternity on the right.
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I love Melissa, but don't tell her. It's a secret if she can find this. Shhhhh....
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I will never give up My Butterfly. kiss
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5. Board Game: Backgammon [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:1095]
Lo Ma
United States
California
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If I want to stay married for life, then this is a forever keeper... oh, and I do want to...
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6. Board Game: Yspahan [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:444]
Lo Ma
United States
California
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I still find this fun and the family still likes it a LOT. Seems like a forever keeper.

A boatload of dice, a bunch of camels, wooden gold coins, bunches of little colored wood cubes, action cards, souks, and caravans - what's not to like! The game uses its theme well and the game components are fun with a lot of visual and tactile appeal. It's a fun tactical game that's accessible for all, and the gameplay is fast with little downtime. You have to herd and deploy your resources to get those victory points, and face the problem of choosing which of the many options to take during your turn. The dice mecahnic is unique and lends a variety of interesting decision points. As long as players don't agonize and take forever to make their choice of what to do, this is a totally fun game. The game does involve luck, but not as much as you'd think.
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7. Board Game: Caylus [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:45]
Lo Ma
United States
California
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This is the game that got me back into board games after a hiatus of several decades. And I still love being a medieval real estate developer hungrily eyeing that long meandering road...

Love this game with its solid sense of progression, no hidden information except for what's in my opponent's head, and what I still think are cool bits and a beautiful board (I was raised on those 1960's war games like Afrika Korps with a beige game board all covered with hexes and with dozens of similar looking square cardboard counters in beige and light blue... oh so unattractive to this woman's eyes).

Yes, I still love Caylus and it is the worker placement/resource management game to which I judge all others.

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8. Board Game: Gloria Mundi [Average Rating:6.11 Overall Rank:3220]
Lo Ma
United States
California
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My forever keepers are not necessarily on the top 10 or top 100 or even the top 500...

Gloria Mundi is a fun race game with a "decline of civilization" theme that's quite hilarious. Oh my gosh, the barbarians are coming, the barbarians are coming! Gloria Mundi's mechanics of resource and hand management give it rather more breadth or complexity than most racing type games, which keeps it interesting for adults and gives it good replayablity. And of course the marauding Goth keeps it amusing and exciting with his path of destruction if you can't or decide not to appease him (there are times when it is far more strategic to let him destroy because your opponent has more to lose than you do..).

We play with some house rules for 2-3 players to ramp up the game faster and add a couple of twists:

1. Each player starts with 3 each of food, gold, and peace - so buildings can be bought earlier in the game.

2. Each player gets a tribute token that can be used once in the game - with it you can force another player to pay the tribute to the Goth - it can save you when you can't pay, or prevent another player from buying a desireable building during her/his next turn.

3. Each player gets a building token that can be used once in the game - with it you can forcibly purchase another player's building. You pay him/her the building purchase price, and you get to take the movement points for purchasing a building, plus the building of course.

4. No hidden information - we play without the screens to hide your resources. We tend to favor games without hidden info, but it works perfectly well with if you want to hide your stuff behind the screens.

With these rules, the game goes very fast with a good sense of progression, has little downtime, and gets an added couple of differently flavored decision points. Woohoo!!! Great game thouhg, however you play it. Nice light strategy game with excellent tactical opportunities and interesting decision points, a good sense of progression throughout the game (especially with our house rules), and just plain fun.
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9. Board Game: Ultimate Werewolf: Ultimate Edition [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:672] [Average Rating:7.10 Unranked]
Bob the Hobbit
Estonia
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Werewolf has enough depth to last a lifetime. It's about people, after all.
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10. Board Game: Jambo [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:496] [Average Rating:7.04 Unranked]
Nat Li
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JAMBO. Well, want my opinion? This game is all LUCK. I don't think I am a dumbass, but sometimes my losing streak is maddening. As in, WTH probability is against ME. Unless there's some real long term strategy in Jambo, then I really believe I have bad crap draws.

But I will keep the game. It's really dyniamic, lively, it's like a story unfolding differently every time. If the other player has got half an imagination I will gladly play with him.

 
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11. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:237] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Linda Baldwin
United States
White Plains
New York
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My copy's looking pretty beaten up at this point. (And I don't even own any expansions.) But every time I get it on the table, whether for a crowd or a solo game, it feels like something special is happening. I may need a new copy one day (or at least a new box), but I can't imagine parting with this baby.
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