The Winds of Change >> Games Where Your Rating Has Recently Changed
Jay Little
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Eden Prairie
Minnesota
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I'm nothing if not fickle, as my fellow gamers can attest. Sure, I can find a game I absolutely love and praise its majesty til I'm hoarse (ahem, Wallenstein), while other gamaes I tend to have fairly strong negative views toward (sorry Acquire) which have been cemented with further plays.

But there are those games that my opinion varies on, or changes after repeated playings... Sometimes this is for the better, where I can slowly appreciate nuances or additional layers of strategy. Sometimes this is for the worse, when the chrome starts to dull and I fail to see long term value from a title based on my personal tastes.

So this list is fairly straightforward. A list of games of which I've recently changed my opinion, and therefore my rating here on the Geek. Please add your own!

What games have you had a recent change of heart about?
Was the change for the better or the worse?
What triggered the sudden change of opinion?
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1. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:70]
Jay Little
United States
Eden Prairie
Minnesota
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Old Rating: 5.5
New Rating: 7.0

After reading an article espousing T&E's depth and strategy by Fawkes, I decided to give the game another chance. My friend hibikir took the time to walk me through a "tutorial" game of T&E, with all tiles and scoring public knowledge, to help me learn to evaluate the strength of different moves, what to keep an eye out for in terms of gauging my opponent's strengths, and some general tips and strategies to employ.

I still can't visualize the repercussions of many of my actions, or how a move on my part can help the next player, but at least I have a better feel for the game overall. As such, my appreciation for the strategy and appeal has increased dramatically. It's still not my favorite game, but at least I won't actively avoid it anymore -- and I can see why some people are absolutely enamored with the game.
 
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2. Board Game: Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:134]
Jay Little
United States
Eden Prairie
Minnesota
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Old Rating: 9.5
New Rating: 7.5

Hannibal has dropped a few pegs after my last couple plays. My frustration with the game was captured in a recent blog-like posting I made titled "Diary of a Middle-Age Game Nerd >> What's Happening To Me??"
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geekforum.php3?action=viewthrea... ...

Hannibal remains a very good card-drive game with fairly tight focus, but the incredibly ovepowering role of luck in combat by virtue of the maneuver cards can really leave a sour taste -- you can lose a battle where you have superior numbers by virtue of a bad card draw without ever getting the opportunity to "do" anything... I do not like games where outcomes are predetermined and my decisions are made for me -- but the rest of the game is still fun. It's dropped from a 9.5 to a 7.5 after the last few playings, though -- as the huge swings in luck can be incredibly frustrating, knocking it off from its lofty perch.
 
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3. Board Game: Air Baron [Average Rating:6.39 Overall Rank:2910]
Jay Little
United States
Eden Prairie
Minnesota
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Old Rating: 9.5
New Rating: 7.0

Air Baron used to be one of the most frequently requested and played games I owned, but it had sat dormant for a while. Finally, I pulled it out recently to share with some of my more euro-centric gaming friends. The results were not pretty.

It's certainly showing its age from a mechanics standpoint, as luck plays a strong part in success/failure of the game. It's not uncommon later in the game to go entire turns without receiving income while other players reap the whirlwind, fueling their expansionist plans while you sit idly by. Still, it remains one of my favorite AH games for 4+ players that can be played in about 2 hours.
 
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4. Board Game: Ingenious [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:328]
Jay Little
United States
Eden Prairie
Minnesota
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Old Rating: 7.0
New Rating: 8.5

The more I play Ingenious, the more I enjoy it. Partly due to a greater feel for strategies and the relative value of a turn, but also a greater appreciation for the simple beauty of the components and mechanics. Great production value, interesting decisions, but very simple rules and concepts -- it's making the most of that simplicity that determines the winner.

Luck is mitigated with the draw rule, it features the lowest-denominator scoring to force all players to focus on each color at some point, and you can get some neat turn combos off by completing an Ingenious! scoring track. I'll be looking forward to playing this for quite a while.
 
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5. Board Game: Hansa [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:709]
Jay Little
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Eden Prairie
Minnesota
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Old Rating: 7.0
New Rating: 8.0

While not as staggering an increment as other games on the list, my 4th and 5th playings of Hansa helped clarify my thoughts on the game -- instead of just guessing at depth, expecting strategy or assuming replay value, I finally was able to experience it for myself.

It also helps that I finally won a game. I struggled a bit with my options and being able to plan far enough in advance to set up good moves, and balance that with not setting the next player up for a great move -- but everything clicked for me in that last game.
 
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6. Board Game: BANG! [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:1016]
Jay Little
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Eden Prairie
Minnesota
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Old Rating: 8.5
New Rating: 6.5

This used to be one of my favorite games for large groups of people, or for groups with a mix of experienced and novice gamers... or even as a "gateway" game to get people into gaming. But the last game of this exposed everything dark and distasteful about Bang!

My opinion has dropped quickly based on some insanely long games where players perform seemingly random moves with no thought to their roles, or take exceedingly long amounts of time to play a card or two. In my opinion, this game should have a brisk pace and play in 30 minutes or so, otherwise, it's far too long and far too repetitive.

Being eliminated first in a 6 player game (10 minutes into the game), I sat around for nearly 40 minutes while the rest of the players finished up.... It took 15 minutes after I was eliminated for the next player to fall. Yawn... I like playing games, not watching other people play -- unless it's a fast, frantic finish.
 
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7. Board Game: Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:270] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Matthew Fisk
United States
Spanish Fork
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Original Rating: 8.0
Current Rating: 4.0

You can see the evolution in my game comments. I update them to show the movement in the ratings. At first I really enjoyed the game and so did my kids. I even had several neighborhood teenagers coming over to play.

The more they played it the more they enjoyed it. However the more I played it the less I did. Setup takes a great deal of time, breakdown almost as much, and gameplay itself tends to drag on as well.

My current attitude towards it is you pretty much have to drag me to the table if you want me to play.
 
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