Gainesville Gamers Guild - 30 Days of Gaming - Day 21
The root of all evil ...but you can call me cookie.
United States
Gainesville
FL
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I was going to skip this one but seems like I've had a lot of requests for it so...

What is your favorite mechanic in a board game?

Gainesville Gamers Guild - 30 Days of Gaming - Metalist
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1. Board Game: Bid It [Average Rating:5.41 Overall Rank:14547]
The root of all evil ...but you can call me cookie.
United States
Gainesville
FL
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I like bidding in a game. Especially when it's blind bidding. Ys is one of my favorite games that I never tire of and would play any time someone want to play with me. Those close fisted bids we had going in Tribune the other day were very exciting. Some of the most intense seconds in gaming is that bid moment. Do you go ahead and bid another round in Power Grid on a plant you may not really want so much just to try and bleed some money off of another player...what if they pass you get stuck? I like bidding.
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2. Board Game: El Grande [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:58]
Mike Jones
United States
Gainesville
Florida
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Area Majority.

I guess it harkens back to my wargaming/Risk gaming. But, now instead of the 'on/off' nature of a 'pure' area control, I prefer systems that you can 'share' areas and have variation of scoring.

Even within that, I prefer ones that have scoring instead of win/lose area.

That being said subtle variations of all the above is always good.

(I also like Worker Placement and Auction/Bidding)
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3. Board Game: Tales of the Arabian Nights [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:1936]
Edmund Birnbryer
United States
Williston
Florida
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I liked playing Tales of the Arabian Nights. A board game with lots of role playing built in. No two games are the same and the characters grow bu acquiring different powers based on what they decide to do.
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4. Board Game: Caylus [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:51]
Nathan Rhodes
United States
Gainesville
Florida
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Worker placement.

This may come as little surprise, as Caylus might be my favorite game. I enjoy the tension that results from in-turn placement of workers. You may want to grab a tasty option first, but you could soon after be blocked from the space you need to make the first spot profitable. The oft-inherent aspect of efficiency and optimization also appeals to me.

The rondel gets a honorable mention for its mesh of utility and simplicity.
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5. Board Game: Geometrie-Piraten [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
jbrier
United States
Aventura
Florida
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Spatial Element

Almost all of my favorite games have a prominent spatial element.

Whether it is combined with stock manipulation (Reef Encounter, Imperial), deduction (Letters from Whitechapel), combat (Napoleon's Triumph, Maria), or a variety of other mechanics I enjoy, the common thread always seems to be an intricate spatial element.
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6. Board Game: Warriors of God: The Wars of England & France, 1135-1453 [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:1234]
Gary Phillips
United States
Unspecified
Unspecified
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The Leader Death Mechanic from Warriors of God.

Every turn you roll for every leader on the board. If he just entered this turn he dies if you roll a one. If he entered last turn, a 1 or a 2, etc, until he would die at the end of his sixth turn if not already (you should live so long).

The chaos and tension are uproarious. And when the other guy has captured your leader, you are praying for him to die (and they never seem to die once they've been captured). It's fun.

Runners up: The Castillo and the selection wheels from El Grande. Trying to remember what people have put into the castillo and deciding where your guys should parachute to (do you protect or get aggressive? where is everyone else going?) adds a lot to game.
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7. Board Game: Mission: Red Planet [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:815]
Yours Truly,
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
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There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
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I was kind of at a loss, because there are so many mechanisms I really enjoy. So I tried what Mike did for his favorite designer, and took a quantitative approach. I broke down my Top 10 and summarized their mechanisms, and found:

Area Control/Area Influence X 5
Hand Management X 4
Simultaneous Action Selection X 3
Auction/Bidding X 3
Set Collection X 2
Action Point Allowance System X 2
Route/Network Building X 2
Tile Placement X 2
Card Drafting X 1
Modular Board X 1
Dice Rolling X 1
Variable Phase Order X 1
Role Playing X 1
Secret Unit Deployment X 1
Variable Player Powers X 1

So looks like it's Area Control/Area Influence. I'm happy with that. The 5 of my Top 10 that have these are Mission: Red Planet, Carcassonne, Wallenstein (first edition), Tikal & El Grande.
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8. Board Game: Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:66]
Corey Ellis
United States
Gainesville
Florida
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Secret identities . Bang bsg etc
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9. Board Game: Quo Vadis? [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:1937]
Corey Ellis
United States
Gainesville
Florida
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Also any game with hefty negotiation especially if treaties and promises can be broken without consequence . Lifeboat bsg bicetown etc
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10. Board Game: Descent: Journeys in the Dark [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:312]
Robert Teves II
United States
Gainesville
Florida
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Sitting across from my shelf...

7 Wonders
Arkham Horror
Bang!
Descent: Journeys in the Dark
DungeonQuest
Elder Sign
Innovation
Mansions of Madness
Neuroshima Hex!
Race for the Galaxy
Rune Age
Summoner Wars
Yggdrasil

So, let's go with variable player powers.

It makes for great replay value in any game. In a co-op, specifically, it allows each person to bring something unique to the group dynamic - a group dynamic that, in turn, shifts from game to game.
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11. Board Game: Imperial 2030 [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:200]
Keith Sagers
United States
Gainsville
Florida
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Having played Navegador and Imperial 2030 I think I like the rondal. Its kind of neat how you have a few choices, but you can pay to push your pawn farther down the rondal spaces if you are willing to spend the money. I think another reason I like it is because it is kind of uniquie, it is not in a lot of games (I know there is a patent or something.)
I really, really like area majority and worker placement but they are a little more common in games.
Hey, and I like the cube tower in Shogun. I find the mechanic fun, and sometimes devistating.
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12. Board Game: Strange Synergy [Average Rating:5.77 Overall Rank:10076]
Charles Smith
United States
San Jose
California
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Variable Player Powers. Give me asymmetrical warfare once a day and all day Saturday. Even if a game doesn't have variable player powers, I will declare a special victory condition that will cause it to seem that I have a new path to victory.

Oh... that last one might be a spoiler for people who haven't played with me.
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