New to you a year ago May 11 => Has it stood the test of time?
Martin G
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Grimwold's new-to-you geeklists are the highlight of my month on the 'geek. They motivate me to review the new games I've played (and recycle my entries as comments), and they allow me to read the thoughts of some of the most insightful 'geeks on new and classic games.

But the new-to-me list is inevitably full of first impressions. I'm interested in hearing how those games that seemed so great at the time stood up to multiple plays. Did you actually play them that much after the first month? Did a game you dismissed at the time turn out to be better in retrospect?

Add an entry with the same game you chose for the New to you May 10 geeklist. Link to your entry in that geeklist, then write down your thoughts on the game you chose a year on. If your impression of some of the other games you wrote up that month have changed, let us know about that too.

The big game that month was Forbidden Island - has it stood the test of time?

I'll be starting these lists mid-month, so we don't have to keep up with this list and Grimwold's (and several other monthly ones) all at the same time. You can subscribe to the announcement thread for reminders.
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1. Board Game: Innovation [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:304]
Martin G
United Kingdom
Bristol
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Item for Geeklist "New to you May 10 => Best new game you played this month and why"

Now this is an interesting one. A year ago I played 5 games of Innovation at London on Board and was intrigued by it. At Christmas we visited my in-laws in the US and I picked up a copy. Since then it's had 17 more plays, all two player. But I still can't quite decide if it's stood the test of time.

At the time I wrote "My only reservation is that it seems hard to come back if you get behind in scoring, and hence achievements. But I'm hoping more plays will show me how to get over that". And indeed, the first batch of 2-player games tended to be 6-1 blowouts, but now we often have 6-4s and 6-5s. I also said it was an "8, with potential to rise to 9", and it did rise to 9 for a while, but is now back to 8 and could fall.

One thing stopping me from truly loving it is that as we've mastered the basics, it's become more obvious that to *really* play well, you need to know exactly which dogmas are in which decks. With 100+ unique cards, that's just too much for me to bother with. Our games have also slowed down as we've been able to take more information into account and not just play to see what happens.

One design decision I dislike is that the unique text on the cards continues to be relevant even after they've gone into your score pile: one more thing to keep track of. Compare this to Glory to Rome where once a card is in the pool, it will never be used as a unique building, only for its colour. I do still enjoy the unexpected things that can happen in Innovation, but I don't feel anything like the control I have when playing Race for the Galaxy.

Speaking of which, I played Race for the Galaxy: The Brink of War for the first time a year ago and said "I'm not sure yet if this is one expansion too far. Having a whole new resource to manage feels a bit cumbersome, and early prestige seems to have huge rewards."

However, this one has definitely stood the test of time. For me, BoW completes the 'advanced game', while base set + Gathering Storm is the 'basic game'. Prestige definitely isn't unbalanced, though it is getting there when both the prestige-related goals are available. The game has got sufficiently cumbersome now that I only really play online, but Keldon's program is a joy. Race against AI is the only solitaire game I enjoy. I don't think Race will ever stop surprising me, which is why it remains a solid 10.

Finally, I liked Traders of Osaka at the time (2 plays), and I like it now (6 plays), though with slight reservations. One is that the two new cards that come straight into the market can have a dramatic effect that overwhelms the subtle positioning of the rest of the game. The other is that the much-maligned scoring calculation is rather coarse. It might be better to just write the raw scores down rather than rounding to the nearest 5.
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2. Board Game: Cyclades [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:157]
Adam Daulton
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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Item for Geeklist "New to you May 10 => Best new game you played this month and why"

Cyclades has stood the test of time for me. Enough that I bought it a few months after playing it at the Geekway and even had the miniatures for the creatures painted. I've played it several times since then and it is one that will remain in my collection for a long time. It has also been well received in my gaming group overall, which is good, so I can get it to the table pretty easily. My wife even enjoys it enough, since it isn't a pure war game.
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3. Board Game: Tobago [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:432]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
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Item for Geeklist "New to you May 10 => Best new game you played this month and why"

Tobago
Is a beautiful and enjoyable family game and also it's different from the others. So I bought it and we play it occasionally. It never gets too deep or strategic and also I don't feel we should play it every day but that's not a problem; I like it for variety.

Vikings
is probably the better game that I also bought but it gets played less often. I hope this changes quite soon.

Fresko
Many were surprised Fresko didn't win Spiel des Jahres some weeks later. I wasn't; Fresko is a nice family-friendly Euro but I still think if the theme weren’t fresh you would surely say it’s a pretty average and usual good middleweight Euro, very typical for the past some years. I like it but don't find it special.

Hansa Teutonica
I still think this one is too much about the mechanism and less about fun, a neat mechanism looking for a theme, while the very important fun of creation is missing from the game. Not my favorite; actually I might say I liked the designer's new and less innovative game, Firenze more.

11 Nimmt!
Wolfgang Kramer’s ‘sequel’ to 6 Nimmt! (a.k.a. Take 6/Category 5) is an interesting case. It's better and deeper, more interesting than 6 Nimmt!, but it's also less of a party game (you don't have simultaneous card play here so it can get long with too many players). I like it, I enjoy it but while 6 Nimmt! is special as it's really good for 4 to 8 players, 11 Nimmt is just one in dozens of good but not great card games that can played with 2 to 4 players... So it's better than 6 nimmt! but less special in its category.


No plays since (or anything really interesting to add) :
Titania
Hotel Samoa
Neuron
Rattus
Expansions:
Dominion: Seaside
Dominion: Alchemy
Children’s games:
Animal upon animal
Sherlock (Die Plumpsack Geht um)
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4. Board Game: Modern Art [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:219]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Here is my original entry to the geeklist: Item for Geeklist "New to you May 10 => Best new game you played this month and why"

Here are my updated comments (in the order I ranked them in the original entry):



1 = Modern Art (Played 1 time since May 2010) - Frankly 2 plays isn't nearly enough. I really love this game. The diversity of the auctions mixed with the strategy of calculating what things are worth is just a great combo. I wish I could play this more frequently, because I suspect it could be a candidate for my Top 10 if I just had more experience with the game. As it stands I give it a solid 8 and expect that could slide up to a 9 in no time. If we could get the game down into a more reasonable timeframe I think it would hit the table a lot more frequently as well. Here's hoping by this time next year I've had at least 5 or 10 plays of this game.



2 = Forbidden Island (Played 11 times since May 2010) - When I first played this game I never would have guessed that I would be saying this, but I actually have selected Forbidden Island over Pandemic on a number of gaming occasions. Pandemic is much more deep and strategic, but the fast pace I feel in Forbidden Island is just delightful. I love how I can watch the island rapidly disappearing, and feel the tension of the game slowly slipping out of our grasp. And the simplicity of the rules makes it a game that I can get to the table with a lot of people who are reluctant to try Pandemic. I may still enjoy the original game more, but this one will get played more often.



3 = Acquire (Not played since May 2010) - We have a couple of friends who had played this long before they met us, and so I picked up a copy on their recommendation. When they taught us the game I found it absolutely delightful, but for some reason we just haven't managed to get the game back to the table since. Thankfully this same couple is anxious to play it again, so I'm sure that will happen sometime soon. I'm just waiting for the moment when Rikki finally gets hooked on it so that we might be able to teach it to some other people and play it more often (instead of once a year with the same couple.)



4 = Alhambra (Not played since May 2010) - In May of 2010 my brother came to visit, and this was one of the games he brought with him. I think everyone in the family had a good time with the game. It has a nice simple ruleset, and contains enough strategy to keep us interested. Unfortunately, since it was Jason's game, that one play was all we got. However, I just recently picked up a copy in a geeklist auction. I am looking forward to trying the game out again with our family. I think once we try it again this one could easily become a favorite that will hit the table frequently. For some reason Rikki is hooked on tile-laying games, so this one will be a treat for her to play I'm sure. And when Rikki likes a game it is sure to be played again and again.



5 = Jambo (Not played since May 2010) - This was the other game that Jason brought with him on that trip. There was so much to enjoy in this game. It wasn't at all what I expected, but I didn't mind that one bit. The gameplay was tense and very back-and-forth. I've even been tempted to look at buying a copy a couple of times. The problem is that it just didn't seem like the kind of game that Rikki would love. Sadly, my only real opportunities for 2-player gaming are with my wife, and those are few and far between. So the reality is this game would probably not get played in our household. But I can highly recommend it to people who do have opportunities for 2-player gaming.
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5. Board Game: Kayanak [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:4083]
Randy Cox
United States
Clemson
South Carolina
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Well, May of last year was a slim month and this was the top dog. I don't think I've played it again since. For that matter, I don't think I've played any of the new-to-me games from that month again.

Link to year ago post
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6. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy: The Brink of War [Average Rating:7.77 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.77 Unranked]
Dave Peters
United States
Belmont
California
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A year ago this month, I'd played five new games, plus one excellent expansion. As usual, I'll list 'em in roughly decreasing order of enthusiasm.


Race for the Galaxy: The Brink of War -- (1 play a year ago; 27 live plays since - plus hundreds of plays against Keldon's AI.) currently: _10_
(images by monteslu & Skiedragon)

I enjoyed it a year ago; I still enjoy it today. The Prestige subsystem has turned off a few friends - but I'm seeing some pretty reasonable balance here. I've won with no prestige; I've won as the prestige leader; it's significant, but not unbalanced. And definitely worth using.


Homesteaders -- (1 play a year ago; 3 since.) currently: _7.7_
(images by UnknownParkerBrother & absurdjohnny)

Last year I'd ranked Homesteaders and Innovation roughly the same: but over the past year (either because of, or despite of the extra plays Innovation has seen) Homesteaders has seen a bit of ascendance.

The game isn't the cleanest printing I've ever seen. The wooden bits are kitchy; the board strangely flimsy; the counters all misprinted (to varying delightful degrees.) It hangs together, though; there's something consistent about the crudity. That's not at all to say that a more attractive (or graphically consistent) print wouldn't be better. It would. The second edition has the potential to be a very compelling package.

But the game is good. It presents some rather non-obvious decisions, and hangs together well.


Innovation -- (1 play a year ago; 13 plays since.) currently: _7.3_
(images by angelkurisu & EndersGame)

The copy I'd played in May belonged to a friend: I managed to get my own copy of Innovation later this summer. It's pretty cool. Not at its best with four individual players (I'm still hoping to try the pairs version.) but good with the other counts. And it's a game that son #2 enjoys.


Shipyard -- (1 play a year ago; none since.) currently: _6.7_
 
(images by karel_danek & tikiguy)

I didn't own the copy of Shipyard I'd played. And I haven't really wanted to buy a copy since either. The game is intriguing and baroque; it works; and yet, despite the fact that Nautical themes resonate with me, this one achieved a species of adequacy rather than something more exciting.


Dragon Lairds -- (3 plays a year ago; 3 since.) currently: _6.7_
(images by zefquaavius & tomwham)

Dragon Lairds presents as a chaotically silly mutation of St. Petersburg. It's son #2's game. He's occasionally motivated to drag it to the table. But it's not one I would inflict on anyone without his input. It's still at least slightly amusing, though.


S'quarrels -- (1 play a year ago; none since.) _3_
(both images by Couggar)

S'quarrels rated last a year ago, and it's solidly there today. It wasn't my copy, and there's no way I'd buy it. If anything, my subjective re-review has gone down over the past year.


Bottom line: last year's ratings leave roughly the same ordering as the games have currently for me.
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7. Board Game: Space Alert [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:187]
Andrew
Japan
Tokyo
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It's looking like my first impressions are pretty stable, but this is the last month that I won't have a written record to check against.

Standout Now
Space Alert - I knew this game was something else from the very beginning, as it exercises true cooperative skills - communication, coordination, delegation, and specialisation - rather than discursive problem-solving. It has stayed strong this past year, though I've found it really provokes extreme reactions: I've had people refuse to play point-blank on several occasions. For the cool people like me, it's a lot of fun. I can envisage a group hitting the depth ceiling of the game, but I haven't been able to play it frequently enough for that to become a concern.

Haggis - I solo'd the game with a normal pack of cards and taught it when I could; however it's only recently after acquiring a pack that my plays have picked up. My interest dipped when I realised that sequences had to match suits, cramping the free-wheeling plays I had employed. However after repeated recent games, I've decided that there is enough pattern-searching, planning and replanning in the Haggis already.

I've played solo, 2p and 3p; I've played with stripped-down teaching rules, and with completely wrong rule; I've played against the designer, and I've played it for over 2 hours straight. Haggis is my 2p game of choice for a traditional deck of cards.

Decent Now
Macao - I enjoyed the game a year ago and would still play it now, though I think its mechanics bloat dilutes the innovative dice-for-cubes. I became a bit frustrated with the difficulty of assembling a combo, but I'm chalking that down to inexperience so far.

David & Goliath - I've only played it once since then, and my opinion hasn't changed: this is a good high-player count light filler. I've recently acquired Sticheln, which is easier to teach and goes up to 8, so while I don't know which game is deeper, the niche is contested.

Dominion: Alchemy - This expansion is the favourite whipping boy of the series here on BGG, and while its smaller size and card constraints limit its place on my personal rankings, I think a lot of the hate is undeserved. I even defended the expansion once. Time has mellowed my feelings: there are many interesting cards, but I tend to see them more as part of the mix rather than as something groundbreaking, and have correspondingly adjusted my expectations for Cornucopia.

Dungeon Lords - My opinion hasn't changed: I treat it as a wacky romp rather than a serious strategy game. The owner (who took care of the hefty bookkeeping so the rest of us could try to screw each other over with the chaotic worker placement) has since moved away.

Chess - It's clearly untrue that I played my first game of Chess a year ago, but my opinion of this old stalwart has nevertheless risen in the last 12 months. My interest in Go broke down my some of my prejudices against abstracts, and I now play the odd round of Chess on my phone. The game is not about memorisation, but it's more tactical than I prefer. I don't expect to play anything more than a quick, casual game against humans.

Blue Moon - I was unimpressed with Blue Moon when I first played it against Keldon's AI a year ago; part of that was due to getting beaten no matter which side I tried. With a bit of practice and some card knowledge, I've been able to understand the game's tight design, improve my win rate, and gain more enjoyment from it. However, Yomi fills the same 2p head-to-head niche and I play it more often.

Indifferent Now
YINSH - Moreso than in other genres, the true quality of an abstract only emerges after several games. I just haven't reached that point yet in YINSH.

Positive Unplayed
Sorry! Sliders - Good fun.

Indifferent Unplayed
Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot - I don't hate the game, and it was taught well (the expansions were limited, and the nature of the lottery described upfront), but then again, I've never had a 3 hour session.
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8. Board Game: Glen More [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:289]
Steve K
United Kingdom
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Item for Geeklist "New to you May 10 => Best new game you played this month and why"

Glen More has certainly stood the test of time. By the end of May 2010, I'd played it 4 times. I've now played 28 times. A great little game, IMO.

The other four games I played for the first time last May didn't knock my socks off then, and have barely been revisited since.

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9. Board Game: Glory to Rome [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:174]
Steve Bauer
United States
Gilbert
Arizona
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Wow May 2010 was an amazing month for new games, certainly I have not had as good a month since.

Great games:

Glory to Rome x4
Since 5 more for 9 total.
Rating 9.1 (#10 in my top 10 games)

It was a impossible to find legendary game in 2010, since the reprint I have gotten my copy and now can't get it played as much as I would like.

Warhammer: Invasion x3
Plays Since 21 (24 total)
Rating:6.5

My kids just love this game, my oldest who plays warhammer miniatures regularly is glad to play this with me and I am glad to not be playing the miniatures game.

Macao x1
Plays since 6 (7 total)
Rating: 8.5

The windrose's use of dice is great and the trade of of what to work on really works for me.

Startcraft Brood Wars x1
Plays since 0, but not because I didn't try.
Rating: 7.5

Really rounds out the base game and makes it complete, need to play it again.

Dominion: Alchemy and the Dominion: Stash Promo Card
Plays, not sure don't keep good track of which expansions I play with
but Alchemy is the least played as you need at least 3 Alchemy to make it work.




Dixit x1
Plays since 3 (Total 4)

Just a great game idea. The story telling is never as clever as it could be but always a lot of fun.

Good games:

Summoner Wars x2
Plays since: 5 (7 total)
I like this game, clever combat system but a couple have games have ended when the deck runs out chasing the other players summoner around the board.


The BoardGameGeek Game x1
Plats since: 1 (2 total)

A Brief History of the World x1, have not played it since, preferred the original version.

Carson City x1
Plays since 1

Mystery Express x1
Plays since 1
A clever deduction game, not as good as I had hoped but would not mind a few more plays.

Ok games:
Forbidden Island x1
I have not played since, didn't see why I would want to play this over pandemic.

Keythedral Expansion x1
Didn't need an expansion, didn't see the need for an expansion.
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10. Board Game: Memoir '44: Overlord [Average Rating:7.72 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.72 Unranked]
ShepparCon was a Blast!
Australia
KILLARA
VIC
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New to Me May 2010

May is never a good month for me with report writing taking up all available brain power to learn new things, so invariably I tend to play things I already know.

But there were a couple that I played new 12 months ago -

d10-1 Memoir '44 Overlord - This really is very good as it changes the nature of how the base game is played. It makes the game feel far more epic due to the scale and the numbers of players involved (up to 8) also make it a highly social experience. How the vagaries of the command chain are simulated in how orders get screwed up or completely ignored can be hilarious or frustrating depending on what role you have.

Having said all that I haven't played this particular expansion since last May. That is partly due to the scale and needing to get the numbers in place. But I did play another Overlord Scenario in October called Tigers in the Snow.

d10-2 Gemlok - Basically rubbish this is and I haven't gone back. Definite title to trade. I like what it tries to do but it doesn't really succeed in creating an engaging mult-player puzzle experience.



d10-3 Formula D: Valencia - This track was neat but given the nature of Formula D maps (and the numbers we have access to) it is usually unlikely that a single map sees heaps of repeat plays in a 12 month cycle.

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11. Board Game: Hab & Gut [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:1115]
Andy
United Kingdom
Manchester
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New To Me May 2010

Plays Then - 1

Plays Since - 0

Hab & Gut was a fun and unusual stock market game that my wife and I played with my brother at the Beyond Monopoly! club in York one time when we were visiting. I enjoyed the game, but my wife is not a fan of stock market games, so it's unlikely we will pick up our own copy... I also don't really play with anyone regularly that has this game, so it hasn't been played since and probably won't see much play. I would be happy to play it again if someone else owned it was suggesting it.

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12. Board Game: Endeavor [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:244]
Netherlands
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Close call between Endeavor and Nefertiti expansion, so I picked the one that's a game on its own. We've played Endeavor again, with corrected rules (there's one action (building) that lets you sail and settle and it has to be on the same track, unlike we played before). Still a nice game, but not interesting/different enough to want to own a copy. The expansion for Nefertiti saw some more plays, though we don't play it two player that often and still haven't tried the new cards/market.

For the other games that were new to me a year ago, my husband played Rattus again, I think it is the one I would most like to try again of the rest of the list. Pony Express loses to Dice Town, which we have played several times and is somewhat similar with the poker dice. I'd still rather play the boardgame Caylus than the cardgame. Galapagos and Hotel Samoa still aren't my thing, and they weren't suggested by anyone else either.
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13. Board Game: Notre Dame [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:245]
Bryan Maxwell
United States
Burtchville
Michigan
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Notre Dame was my choice last May and it would still be my choice today. We played it 3 times that month and 19 times since. We revisit the game every few months. It's one of the staples of our collection.

Beyond that...A Castle for All Seasons was nice, but went unplayed for a year and was recently sold. Dixit is great for what it is, but not my particular kind of game. I keep it around because other people like it, and when we get family/casual gamers together, it's nice to have something that isn't Apples to Apples or Trivial Pursuit.

Gathering Storm is part of Race for the Galaxy, and that one is sticking around for the long haul. We enjoyed Mystery Rummy: Jekyll & Hyde until we got Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper.

Unplayed since last May:

Galaxy
Outdoor Survival
Mississippi Queen
Yellowstone
Macao
Street Illegal
Scene It: 80's Edition
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14. Board Game: Cyclades [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:157]
Chris
Netherlands
's-Hertogenbosch
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Rating: 8
Plays in its first month: 2
Plays since: 1

Competition: Steam, Twilight Struggle, Havana, Opera, Tobago, Notre Dame, Seeland, Citadels, Castle Panic, Formula D

My initial impression:
Cyclades is a strongly Greek mythology themed eurogame/wargame hybrid. It's a eurogame because it's main mechanic is a simultaneous auction. It's a wargame because players build up armies and hire mythological creatures to attack each other. After seeing the episode of Board Games With Scott, this became an instant must have on my wish list. And he's right, this is an amazing game. Not only is the auction very tense because you want to get the favour of a specific god, it also decides turn order and this is huge. The gods come out in a different order each turn, and players constantly have to adapt their strategy to their order and what place they themselves want to have in the players turn order. The game looks great, the miniatures are of a great quality. Most of all, it's a lot of fun. Exactly the opposite kind of fun as Steam, my second-best new game of the month, which is cutthroath as well but the atmosphere of this game is totally different. What I like about this game as well is the brilliant catch-up mechanism. I don't like players to be eliminated from a game. I'm glad I bought it on a whim, it's a truly unique game in my collection. I rate Cyclades an 8 and can highly recommend this game.

What I think of it now:
A great game, but it's too bad it most definitely plays best with 5 players. Removing gods from turn to turn makes the game function with less players, but the game loses some of its tension, as plans can be disrupted by mere randomness and decisions become more straight forward. Scalability is something I value in a great game, but only if it keeps the game intact. I'd rather have they put just 5 players on the box, instead of 2-5 players. Nonetheless, if played with 5 this is an absolute blast to play. The production is amazing: Different miniatures for all players, coins with a lot of detail, a beautiful modular board, great artwork. A great game, too. The simultaneous auction works very well. The order of the gods and the creatures can really mess up an otherwise brilliant plan, so players have to be flexible and at the same time make sure they keep each other in check.

Was it the right decision of New to me Game of the Month?
May has been the month with the most new games played, but also a month with a lot of quality. I initially rated four games an 8: Cyclades, Twilight Struggle, Steam and Havana. While Cyclades is still a great game, Twilight Struggle and Steam has had a lot of profit from their repeated plays: I've marked both their ratings up to a 9. Even more so: Steam now takes the #4 spot in my top 10 and Twilight Struggle takes the #5 spot. Steam should have been my new to me game of the month.

Prediction for the future:
Cyclades is at its very best with the full complement of 5 players. With 2, 3 or 4 I'd rather play something else. With 5 players it's one of the first games I'll suggest playing. The simultaneous auction keeps downtime to a minimum, there's always a selection of all the gods, turn order is very important, money gets tighter. Unfortunately, I don't get to play a lot with 5 players. Still, it truly deserves a place in my collection, waiting for the next chance to get played. It will probably never be the game that I've played the most, but I am very satisfied with the few plays I've played and probably will be with the plays that will come up in the future. I will even likely add the upcoming Hades expansion; undead armies and creatures from the underworld wreaking havoc will only increase my enjoyment with this game.
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15. Board Game: Silverton [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:1620]
Mike B
Netherlands
Utrecht
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Played 9 new games in may 2010. I picked Silverton for the top spot. A nice economic train game (track building, shipping goods type)

Unfortunately I haven't played it again, it's one of those loooooong games, and although I played the second Mayfair edition I own the first (Two Wolf) edition which doesn't look as good (makes it harder to get people to play it...) I still WANT to play it though. Probably my next session will be a solo game....

Runner up was Canal Mania, which I have played 2 more times, so maybe I should have picked that one as a winner in hindsight. It's a perfect not too tough train track laying game, somewhere in the middle of (the way too light and random) Ticket to Ride and the great Age of Steam (which can be too tough for some...)


Of the other 7 games I only played Leaping Lemmings once more and Shanghaien 9 more times.

I don't own Leaping Lemmings, and I would probably only buy it if found cheap. It's a fun family game (rare feat for GMT) but I'm not in on collecting family games. It's fun for the occasional play.

My wife likes tactical games, and I just knew she would like Shanghaien so I bought it to play with her. My instinct was spot on. I do have fun playing this 'set-collecting game with random theme' (it's a Schacht, what do you expect?) It dice selection mechanism is fresh enough to make it a fun filler to me. It's the kinda game I'd take along on holiday or a bar.


I would have liked to play wargame-lite (predecessor of Small World) Vinci again, and once my son is old enough I'm sure I'll get more plays of those cool but fiddly Dinosaur riders in Die Schlacht der Dinosaurier.
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16. Board Game: Coloretto [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:515]
John N.
United States
Lehi
Utah
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So a year ago I played my first game of Coloretto. In fact we played 12 games in the same month in no small part due to my father in law absolutely lovign this game. He is not one for board games at all, but will always try out new card games. He took to this one (and it actually led to him not hating Zooloretto). I liked the compactness that this game offered. It was so similar to Zooloretto but with a lot more speed. We got a lot more games of this played over the next few months and this became a go to game for the in-laws to buy people as gifts. I crave Zooloretto and Aquaretto a lot more but now I am reminded of it this will be getting pulled out the next time the father in law comes over for sure!

Played then 12 times. Played another 28 times since.
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17. Board Game: Dominion: Alchemy [Average Rating:6.95 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.95 Unranked]
J. Jefferson
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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Dominion Alchemy: No it has not. I still love Dominion, but this is the only expansion that I almost never play with. It just has a bad ratio of cards I don't like to cards I like, making it not worth pulling out the box. I probably will pull it out again, and I don't plan to trade it, but it's not an expansion I like. Posession and Golem are the cards that I don't like.

Yspahan: Well, I haven't played it again, but I don't own it and haven't had a chance to play it again. If somebody suggested it I would happily play it, but I'm not driven to find a copy.

Jaipur: I don't own this one either, and don't care to. I don't really like it. Like many quick, simple two-player games, it's pretty one-dimensional, and this one outlasts its welcome--it's not a long game, but still, for me it is too long for what it is.

Dynasties: I think this is a pretty good game, but I traded it away because my wife hated it. It's all about direct conflict in bidding and area control. She hates direct conflict and blind bidding and area control are not either of our favorite mechanics.

Jeez--I feel like it's taken a long time to have a year's worth of contributions to the new-to-you geeklists to finally be able to contribute to this list. Now that I can, I'm pretty much 0 for 4. Hopefully next month's games will have better luck!
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18. Board Game: Monopoly Deal Card Game [Average Rating:6.26 Overall Rank:1981]
Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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Monopoly Deal Card Game
Initial rating:
Current geek rating: 9
Plays in first 6 months: 29
Plays in next 6 months: 3

Nothing deep and thinky here, but for a long while this was our standard 5-10 minute filler when waiting for players, particularly when there were just 2 or 3 of us. As you can see from the number of plays in the first 6 months, it was amazingly popular for a game you can pick up in Tescos! It also was very popular with more casual gamers like family. It's not going to hit 29 plays in 6 months again any time soon, but it's a definite favourite, and I'm sure will keep hitting the table over and over again.

Alchemist
Initial rating:
Current geek rating: 7
Plays in first 6 months: 2
Plays in next 6 months: 0

This was a clearance price purchase, but I enjoyed my two plays of it. Sadly I'm struggling to get it to the table again though - it's either new and the others want familiar, or too light, or too thinky, depending on when I try!

Homesteaders
Initial rating:
Current geek rating: 7

I played this three times in the first month, but got more frustrated each play by the "loan economy" and as a result haven't revisited the game since.

Not played again and no real desire to do so (although I might get one of the kids games for my younger son when he's old enough):
Totally
Patrician
Dotty Dinosaurs
Knickerbocker Glory
Scurvy Musketeers of the Spanish Main
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19. Board Game: RoboRally [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:386]
Zack Stackurski
United States
Mankato
Minnesota
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Fast, furious robot racing action! I had a lot of laughs in my first game and my wife wants to play again despite driving her robot into a pit three times The timed action selection and general board chaos won't be for every gamer, but this could easily be one of my personal top 10 if my next few games are as much fun!


Roborally has fared the test of time pretty well with 8 plays in the year since that first one, but it never quite cracked my top 10. Never hard to get to the table on game nights and always fun to play... but as I'm always the one calling the numbers and shuffling the cards (and in the hunt for the win!) I'm usually pretty tired by the end of a game or I'd bring this one more often. Really a great game if you like careful planning ahead combined with lots of random happenings.




My notes then: RattleSnake is a fun little filler of a dexterity game using magnetic snake eggs. The strong magnets lead to some pretty scale raising placements. You can be doomed to a quick loss if you have a particularly large clash... but this plays quickly enough that you can simply play again!


Poor Rattlesnake hasn't really stood the test of time as my daughters haven't grown into it yet and the few times we've dragged it out for adults we've had a fun first game followed by a game where people are careful enough to place almost everything on the board meaning the first player will always win...
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20. Board Game: Tinners' Trail [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:548]
Steve Duff
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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In order of the original entry

Tinners' Trail
Plays since: 2
Still definitely the best of the bunch. I know there was a lot of the criticism of the artwork, but really that was in comparison to the tone set by the original. Taken alone, the artwork here is fantastic. It's bright and clear, looks fantastic on the table, and really appeals to people. Works really well as a mid-gateway game, there's no downtime with the action point turn system, and there's only a 3 or 4 possible actions, so it's easy to learn and play.

Havana

Plays since: 1
I enjoy the game, and have played it since then. But generally I seem to grab something else off the shelf it seems. Cult of the new, I suppose, I love learning and trying new games.

Nefertiti

Plays since: 0
Surprised I haven't played this since, I liked it.

Arkham Horror

Plays since: 1
Well, I said the game length would preclude this hitting the table much, and that was certainly true, taking nearly a year before playing it again. And it's still a 5+ hour experience (2 player, 4 investigator), I still have no idea how everyone plays this faster.

Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age

Plays since: 0
Not surprising, since I don't own it. Which was the point of playing it a year ago, to see if it was worth purchasing. I guess it didn't make the cut.
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21. Board Game: Gloom [Average Rating:6.36 Overall Rank:1584] [Average Rating:6.36 Unranked]
Jason Lott
United States
Cheverly
Maryland
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I had a lot of new games last year after a big game weekend with my brother (see above), so I'll just do a quick summary of what those games mean to me now.

Still playing

Gloom has been the surprise - it's easy gameplay and silly atmosphere have made it ideal filler for a variety of situations. Not my favorite of the bunch, but it gets the most time on the table.

The Downfall of Pompeii I knew I wanted to own, but unfortunately haven't played as much as I'd like. I mostly play it on Yucata now, but hope to see it on the table again soon.

Castle Panic is a game a friend purchased, and we've played since. I know we'll play it again, as it's gone over well.

Maori has raised a bit in my estimation since that first play. I might buy it at some point, but for now the occasional play on Yucata is fine.

Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game – Pegasus Expansion gets used whenever we play BSG, at least in some respect. Wish I had time to play it as much as I want to.

Hope to try again

I haven't played any of these since, but wouldn't mind another go:
The Adventurers: The Temple of Chac
Fast Flowing Forest Fellers
Pickomino
Mmm ... Brains!
Piece o' Cake

No thanks

I didn't loathe these games, but I'm in no rush to try them again:

Aquädukt
Jamaica
Airships
Gambit Royale
Get Bit!
Quietville
Uno Flip
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22. Board Game: Deeku [Average Rating:6.39 Unranked]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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This was my selection a year ago; oddly, I own three of the four games I listed. But Deeku is, in fact, the one that seems to be holding up best; I haven't played it yet this year, but I definitely intend to do so.
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23. Board Game: Homesteaders [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:600]
Brian Boyle
Australia
Sydney
NSW
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Played 4 times since May 10 - as recently as last weekend. Still rated 8. Probably stood the test of time better than many of the other 'New to me' games. Really enjoy how well this plays with two, and the complex building/trading interactions still mean that there is plenty (for me) to explore. However, I suspect that it will play itself out at some point.

Expansion anyone?

Played the Age of Steam Expansion: Scotlanda couple of times since May 10 - still a great way to enjoy Steam with two. [Better option than Steam Barons]
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24. Board Game: Wasabi! [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:1362]
Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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They explained everything in detail and at great length. After they finished I sat, despondent, contemplating a bleak and empty future. "I’m glad you’re depressed" said one. "It means you’ve understood the situation.”
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That was then

Quote:
Only two plays of anything last month and both were games of the new-to-me Wasabi!

The game played quite well and was a good light game that didn't take too long.

These are desirable characteristics as my wife and I are now looking after our newborn baby (well, he's just over seven weeks old now) and can only play irregularly and games of a short duration.

I hope to introduce my wife to Hive this month. It was her Mother's Day present and the wipe-clean pieces are a great boon for new parents!

This is now

Despite liking this game, we haven't got it back on the table in the last 12 months. Our little lad takes up a fair bit of time and we tend to have Agricola set up on a more-or-less permanent basis and playthat when we have a spare hour.

That said, Wasabi is not on the 'trade or sell' list and I would not refuse a game if offered.

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25. Board Game: Mosaix [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:3111]
Jeff Wolfe
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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Item for Geeklist "New to you May 10 => Best new game you played this month and why"

Another month in which none of the new-to-me games got played again in the following year. I wouldn't mind playing Mosaix or Mundialito (Gold Cup) again, and you might even be able to talk me into the others, but none of them returned to the table.
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