Abstracts I'm on the Fence About
Johannes cum Grano Salis
United States
Finger Lakes
New York
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After a brief reorg of my games and a slight purge, I find myself with a tiny amount of free space on my game shelves, enough for one game, possibly two (more on that below).

 


Pic is not up to date, but the total size of the space is the same still; my entire collection must fit there.

I have plenty of Euros already, but with my kid making it impossible for my wife and I to commit to any game that involves setup, I'm leaning toward an abstract or two. My wishlist is often small because I'm not much of a wisher. But I do have a few titles that I've been turning over and can't quite commit to. These are those titles. I guess what I'm hoping for here would be for anyone in the know to chime in and say "your concerns are right -- don't get it" or maybe "John, you really should follow new games more -- the game you want instead of this one is ______."

It is entirely possible that I wind up with more space when this is all said and done. I'm not wild about owning Civilization, and I have much better games than Settlers of Catan now, and might just get rid of it rather than keep it simply because of its prominence in the hobby. I have a home, not a museum.

Anyway, have at it.

J

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1. Board Game: DVONN [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:392] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
Johannes cum Grano Salis
United States
Finger Lakes
New York
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"It's not hard to design a game that works, the real challenge is making one that people want to play again and again."--Martin Wallace
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Why I think I might play it: I have (and love) Gipf, Tzaar, Yinsh and Zertz. They all have either no or minimal setup, and Dvonn seems like the setup is part of the game, so bonus there. It's nice to look at. It's still in print. We both appreciate simplicity.

Why I'm on the fence: I loathed Punct and got rid of it, so I'm gun shy of other games that are unknowns from this series. We already play four and our enjoyment of them has not waned. In fact, we like the Gipf base game even more now that I have the expansion with the Zertz potentials. Owning Dvonn might cannibalize time from one we currently play.
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2. Board Game: Isaac [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:9331]
Johannes cum Grano Salis
United States
Finger Lakes
New York
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Why I think I might play it: I love every game I own from nestor already. Well, Hex isn't that great, but that's not a new game and that's not nestor's fault. It'll take up almost no space, it seems different enough from what I already own where I'm not just doubling up on a favorite game experience trying to chase a particular comfort level. Like Dvonn, setup seems to be part of the game.

Why I'm on the fence: I can't just order one game from nestor -- I usually wait until I have a few I'm interested in before ordering a couple at a time to take advantage of flat shipping rates. Scoring seems a little weird. If the game's not intuitive, I'm not sure how many chances it'll get with my wife, who's my primary gaming partner.
 
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3. Board Game: Gyges [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:3969]
Johannes cum Grano Salis
United States
Finger Lakes
New York
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"It's not hard to design a game that works, the real challenge is making one that people want to play again and again."--Martin Wallace
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Why I think I might play it: Stephen Tavener recommended it once in a thread, so good enough for me. Also seems to be a good mental workout, and the setup is minimal. I own Quoridor and like the Gigamic games in general. Additional benefit is that I play a lot with my nephews and this would be a good one to introduce them to.

Why I'm on the fence: How many "get to the other side" games do I need?
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4. Board Game: Quarto [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:879]
Johannes cum Grano Salis
United States
Finger Lakes
New York
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"It's not hard to design a game that works, the real challenge is making one that people want to play again and again."--Martin Wallace
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Why I think I might play it: No setup. Fast playtime. Easy cleanup. Attractive.

Why I am on the fence about it: It is consistently dismissed as "solved," though no one ever says how. I suspect it's just got a tic-tac-toe thing going on, where really good players will always tie. Not sure. The odds of me or my partners ever being a really good Quarto player are basically zero, so I'm not sure how seriously I need to take this dismissal.
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5. Board Game: GIPF Project Set 3 [Average Rating:7.12 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.12 Unranked]
Johannes cum Grano Salis
United States
Finger Lakes
New York
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"It's not hard to design a game that works, the real challenge is making one that people want to play again and again."--Martin Wallace
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Why I think I might play it: Because I own set #2 and play it.

Why I'm on the fence: Because there's nothing the matter with set #2 yet and I'm not sure I need the whole collection.
 
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6. Board Game: Kamisado [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:1221]
Paul Harmon
United States
Rochester
New York
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The ultimate in Co-op Gaming.
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If your looking for an Abstract may I recommend this one.
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7. Board Game: Ponte del Diavolo [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:2494]
Andy Andersen
United States
Michigan
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My wife and I just discovered this abstract. Game play is fast and there can be a lot of screwage.
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Russ Williams
Poland
Wrocław
Dolny Śląsk
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You mentioned several times that storage space matters. If you don't have pyramids yet, I recommend considering getting some. In a small amount of space you can have the elements for a variety of interesting worthy abstract games.

E.g. see Icehouse / Looney pyramid games explored by russ.
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