Herr Doktor's Favorite Overlooked Games
Thee Insidius Doktor Glaze & His Sidekick Donut Boy with the Amazing Monkeytime Dancers Ooh!
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I_have_heard_the_mermaids_singing,_each_to_each. I_do_not_think_that_they_will_sing_to_me... We_have_lingered_in_the_chambers_of_the_sea By_sea_girls_wreathed_with_seaweed_red_and_brown Till_human_voices_wake_us,_and_we_drown
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Here is a list of unpopular games that I simply love.

For whatever reason, the gaming public and the BGG community overlook these classics.
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1. Board Game: Dilbert: Corporate Shuffle [Average Rating:5.98 Overall Rank:4608]
Thee Insidius Doktor Glaze & His Sidekick Donut Boy with the Amazing Monkeytime Dancers Ooh!
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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I_have_heard_the_mermaids_singing,_each_to_each. I_do_not_think_that_they_will_sing_to_me... We_have_lingered_in_the_chambers_of_the_sea By_sea_girls_wreathed_with_seaweed_red_and_brown Till_human_voices_wake_us,_and_we_drown
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I am an unabashed fan of Dilbert and its older sister Dalmuti. They are fast-playing 'gateway games' for family, non-gamers, and groups. I tend to prefer Dilbert for five or six players. But the extra numbered cards in Dalmuti make it stretch better for seven players better.
 
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2. Board Game: Pfusch [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:7243]
Thee Insidius Doktor Glaze & His Sidekick Donut Boy with the Amazing Monkeytime Dancers Ooh!
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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I_have_heard_the_mermaids_singing,_each_to_each. I_do_not_think_that_they_will_sing_to_me... We_have_lingered_in_the_chambers_of_the_sea By_sea_girls_wreathed_with_seaweed_red_and_brown Till_human_voices_wake_us,_and_we_drown
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One of many great introductary games to the genre. This one has players as shady contractors, bribing inspectors and using shoddy materials in your buildings. The best part is the clay blocks you secretly build, some of which are high-quality (with wooden cube inside) and others shoddy (all clay)... when the building inspector tests with the toothpick (included!), your bluff is called. Unforgettable classic.
 
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3. Board Game: Merchant of Venus [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:696]
Thee Insidius Doktor Glaze & His Sidekick Donut Boy with the Amazing Monkeytime Dancers Ooh!
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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I_have_heard_the_mermaids_singing,_each_to_each. I_do_not_think_that_they_will_sing_to_me... We_have_lingered_in_the_chambers_of_the_sea By_sea_girls_wreathed_with_seaweed_red_and_brown Till_human_voices_wake_us,_and_we_drown
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Merchant of Venus is a game to show that AH was heading in the right direction before the fall.

A spectacular game of exploration and routes that is still unique.
 
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4. Board Game: Saboteur [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:852] [Average Rating:6.62 Unranked]
Thee Insidius Doktor Glaze & His Sidekick Donut Boy with the Amazing Monkeytime Dancers Ooh!
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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I_have_heard_the_mermaids_singing,_each_to_each. I_do_not_think_that_they_will_sing_to_me... We_have_lingered_in_the_chambers_of_the_sea By_sea_girls_wreathed_with_seaweed_red_and_brown Till_human_voices_wake_us,_and_we_drown
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A recent discovery that has been unfairly panned. A spectacular game for large groups, in which everone is adding to a maze in order to make a path to the gold hidden under one of the 3 goal cards... but 0-2 of the team are sabateurs trying to foil the rest.

The most sucessful use of tile-laying in a dungeon game I've ever seen, and a fun, fast, easy game as well.
 
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5. Board Game: Muscat [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:4722]
Thee Insidius Doktor Glaze & His Sidekick Donut Boy with the Amazing Monkeytime Dancers Ooh!
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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I_have_heard_the_mermaids_singing,_each_to_each. I_do_not_think_that_they_will_sing_to_me... We_have_lingered_in_the_chambers_of_the_sea By_sea_girls_wreathed_with_seaweed_red_and_brown Till_human_voices_wake_us,_and_we_drown
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The classic game panned becuase of the terrible reprint.

Well, I can't quite be sure because I never tried the re-tooled version, but the low ratings from Message to the Czar sure drove this entry's rating into the dirt before the mods made a separate entry. The original is spectacular tactical guessing game. One of the best middleweights I ever tried.
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6. Board Game: Dune [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:215]
Thee Insidius Doktor Glaze & His Sidekick Donut Boy with the Amazing Monkeytime Dancers Ooh!
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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I_have_heard_the_mermaids_singing,_each_to_each. I_do_not_think_that_they_will_sing_to_me... We_have_lingered_in_the_chambers_of_the_sea By_sea_girls_wreathed_with_seaweed_red_and_brown Till_human_voices_wake_us,_and_we_drown
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How can I call this underrated if it is in the top 100? Well, it oughtta be in top 5.

With so many other multi-player war/economy/diplomacy games out there, why do folks keep coming back to Dune? Well, the folks at Eon crafted one of the definative games for the genre LONG before its time.

Firstly, it has many cool mechanisms that are better than Risk or A&A: open auctions for the action cards, blind bidding for combat, special powers for each faction, and sensible special powers that make each faction play in a unique way. Secondly, they structured alliances to prevent kingmaking and metagaming, improving the friendly fun. An awesoem achievement in multiplayer games.
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7. Board Game: Around the World in 80 Days [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:1313]
Thee Insidius Doktor Glaze & His Sidekick Donut Boy with the Amazing Monkeytime Dancers Ooh!
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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I_have_heard_the_mermaids_singing,_each_to_each. I_do_not_think_that_they_will_sing_to_me... We_have_lingered_in_the_chambers_of_the_sea By_sea_girls_wreathed_with_seaweed_red_and_brown Till_human_voices_wake_us,_and_we_drown
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The new king of the "let's convert a new player" games.
 
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8. Board Game: Inkognito [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:1397]
Thee Insidius Doktor Glaze & His Sidekick Donut Boy with the Amazing Monkeytime Dancers Ooh!
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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I_have_heard_the_mermaids_singing,_each_to_each. I_do_not_think_that_they_will_sing_to_me... We_have_lingered_in_the_chambers_of_the_sea By_sea_girls_wreathed_with_seaweed_red_and_brown Till_human_voices_wake_us,_and_we_drown
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This is what I can call a really good deduction game! There is much better level of control than in Mystery of the Abbey, and I find this far less tedious and frustrating too. Plus it includes the infamous Mene-Tekel of the Colored Nads!
 
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9. Board Game: Backgammon [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:1087]
Thee Insidius Doktor Glaze & His Sidekick Donut Boy with the Amazing Monkeytime Dancers Ooh!
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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I_have_heard_the_mermaids_singing,_each_to_each. I_do_not_think_that_they_will_sing_to_me... We_have_lingered_in_the_chambers_of_the_sea By_sea_girls_wreathed_with_seaweed_red_and_brown Till_human_voices_wake_us,_and_we_drown
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This one always blows my mind. How on earth can the this be so poorly received? Most of the detractors seem to suffer from "blame the dice" syndrome, a common complaint of impatient and overly competative players.

Backgammon is a game about decisions and probabilities. Each player has fifteen checkers and every roll can be played in dozens of ways, each with their own good and bad points. Good play balances position in the current turn versus position on the *next* roll. But this level of play requires a longer attention span than most folks are willing to devote.

I find that the use of dice is one of backgammon's best features. Dice add a probability element that makes it less "chess-like" and gives newcomers a chance against veterans, the same way that a Lost Cities veteran will lose a fair share of games to a newbie and both players will have fun doing it!
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10. Board Game: Intrigue [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:1805]
Thee Insidius Doktor Glaze & His Sidekick Donut Boy with the Amazing Monkeytime Dancers Ooh!
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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I_have_heard_the_mermaids_singing,_each_to_each. I_do_not_think_that_they_will_sing_to_me... We_have_lingered_in_the_chambers_of_the_sea By_sea_girls_wreathed_with_seaweed_red_and_brown Till_human_voices_wake_us,_and_we_drown
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Intrige is a great exercise in social interaction, negotiation, bribery, and diplomatic skills that is whittled down into a one hour timeframe.

Considering my aversion to 'military diplomacy games' like Diplomacy and Game of Thrones, I didn't expect to like Intrige until I played it. It is a wonderful luckless negotiation game where you bicker of money and positioning but not turf or troops. If your group has a few characters and you like a bit of backstabbing and conflict, this is perfect!
 
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11. Board Game: Big City [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:985]
Thee Insidius Doktor Glaze & His Sidekick Donut Boy with the Amazing Monkeytime Dancers Ooh!
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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I_have_heard_the_mermaids_singing,_each_to_each. I_do_not_think_that_they_will_sing_to_me... We_have_lingered_in_the_chambers_of_the_sea By_sea_girls_wreathed_with_seaweed_red_and_brown Till_human_voices_wake_us,_and_we_drown
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In this puzzle-like middleweight, you build onto your empty plots of land and score depending on the adjacent real estate. Simple decisions keep the game flowing fast. The game has plenty of great interactions without allowing for payers to hose one another too badly.

Big City is easily the prettiest game in my collection, and I always have fun even though I am absolutely terrible at playing it!
 
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12. Board Game: Mystery Rummy: Al Capone and the Chicago Underworld [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:1912]
Thee Insidius Doktor Glaze & His Sidekick Donut Boy with the Amazing Monkeytime Dancers Ooh!
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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I_have_heard_the_mermaids_singing,_each_to_each. I_do_not_think_that_they_will_sing_to_me... We_have_lingered_in_the_chambers_of_the_sea By_sea_girls_wreathed_with_seaweed_red_and_brown Till_human_voices_wake_us,_and_we_drown
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It's like rummy, but it has a great Cannasta mechanic of collecting sets to score extra points. Plus the special cards allow you to search other sources to find extra cards: opponent's hands, discards, draw pile, and even melds in play! Plus it avoids the fiddly parts of Wyatt Earp with simple scoring and less calculations. A big winner at our table.
 
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13. Board Game: Aladdin's Dragons [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:839]
Thee Insidius Doktor Glaze & His Sidekick Donut Boy with the Amazing Monkeytime Dancers Ooh!
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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I_have_heard_the_mermaids_singing,_each_to_each. I_do_not_think_that_they_will_sing_to_me... We_have_lingered_in_the_chambers_of_the_sea By_sea_girls_wreathed_with_seaweed_red_and_brown Till_human_voices_wake_us,_and_we_drown
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The jury is still out, but intial trial says this one slipped under the radar of serious gamers. Don't be fooled, while there is some secret info in the bidding rounds, it is not what I would call a blind bidding game. A spectacular middlewight with plenty of bluffing and guesswork to keep your head spinning at the possibilities.
 
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14. Board Game: A House Divided [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:946]
Thee Insidius Doktor Glaze & His Sidekick Donut Boy with the Amazing Monkeytime Dancers Ooh!
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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I_have_heard_the_mermaids_singing,_each_to_each. I_do_not_think_that_they_will_sing_to_me... We_have_lingered_in_the_chambers_of_the_sea By_sea_girls_wreathed_with_seaweed_red_and_brown Till_human_voices_wake_us,_and_we_drown
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How did this incredible game get published nearly 20 years ago?

An epic yet elegent addition to any gamer's collection, wargamer or no.
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15. Board Game: Hansa [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:709]
Thee Insidius Doktor Glaze & His Sidekick Donut Boy with the Amazing Monkeytime Dancers Ooh!
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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I_have_heard_the_mermaids_singing,_each_to_each. I_do_not_think_that_they_will_sing_to_me... We_have_lingered_in_the_chambers_of_the_sea By_sea_girls_wreathed_with_seaweed_red_and_brown Till_human_voices_wake_us,_and_we_drown
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With all the buzz over fast-playing, balanced games by Schact, why is his best title overlooked?
 
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16. Board Game: Oltre Mare [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:1193]
Thee Insidius Doktor Glaze & His Sidekick Donut Boy with the Amazing Monkeytime Dancers Ooh!
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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I_have_heard_the_mermaids_singing,_each_to_each. I_do_not_think_that_they_will_sing_to_me... We_have_lingered_in_the_chambers_of_the_sea By_sea_girls_wreathed_with_seaweed_red_and_brown Till_human_voices_wake_us,_and_we_drown
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Being a huge fan of hand-management games, this is right up my alley. A new title from out of the proverbial blue, it is a spectacualar set-builing game with lots of shifting contraints on hand size, payouts, and other factors.
 
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17. Board Game: Vabanque [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:4183]
Thee Insidius Doktor Glaze & His Sidekick Donut Boy with the Amazing Monkeytime Dancers Ooh!
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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I_have_heard_the_mermaids_singing,_each_to_each. I_do_not_think_that_they_will_sing_to_me... We_have_lingered_in_the_chambers_of_the_sea By_sea_girls_wreathed_with_seaweed_red_and_brown Till_human_voices_wake_us,_and_we_drown
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Surprisingly fun game of bluff... easy to explain, gorgeous bits, actual tension, and handles up to six with ease.
 
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18. Board Game: Mississippi Queen [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:1585]
Thee Insidius Doktor Glaze & His Sidekick Donut Boy with the Amazing Monkeytime Dancers Ooh!
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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I_have_heard_the_mermaids_singing,_each_to_each. I_do_not_think_that_they_will_sing_to_me... We_have_lingered_in_the_chambers_of_the_sea By_sea_girls_wreathed_with_seaweed_red_and_brown Till_human_voices_wake_us,_and_we_drown
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Forgotten by many, but still has an enthusiastic following in my house for sure.
 
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19. Board Game: Foppen [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:3322]
Thee Insidius Doktor Glaze & His Sidekick Donut Boy with the Amazing Monkeytime Dancers Ooh!
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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I_have_heard_the_mermaids_singing,_each_to_each. I_do_not_think_that_they_will_sing_to_me... We_have_lingered_in_the_chambers_of_the_sea By_sea_girls_wreathed_with_seaweed_red_and_brown Till_human_voices_wake_us,_and_we_drown
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Foppen was lost adrift in a sea of trick-taking games, but luckily for me it washed up on Morgan's doorstep. He promptly taught it to me... and it is spectacular! Another gem by Friedman.
 
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20. Board Game: Waldschattenspiel [Average Rating:6.23 Overall Rank:4301]
Thee Insidius Doktor Glaze & His Sidekick Donut Boy with the Amazing Monkeytime Dancers Ooh!
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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I_have_heard_the_mermaids_singing,_each_to_each. I_do_not_think_that_they_will_sing_to_me... We_have_lingered_in_the_chambers_of_the_sea By_sea_girls_wreathed_with_seaweed_red_and_brown Till_human_voices_wake_us,_and_we_drown
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The best "bits game" ever, a unique sort of gae with few rules.

Kind of like small-unit tactics with forest gnomes.
 
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21. Board Game: Gulo Gulo [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:945]
Thee Insidius Doktor Glaze & His Sidekick Donut Boy with the Amazing Monkeytime Dancers Ooh!
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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I_have_heard_the_mermaids_singing,_each_to_each. I_do_not_think_that_they_will_sing_to_me... We_have_lingered_in_the_chambers_of_the_sea By_sea_girls_wreathed_with_seaweed_red_and_brown Till_human_voices_wake_us,_and_we_drown
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Another great bits game, this one handles old and young alike and will never be traded or sold.
 
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22. Board Game: Sherlock [Average Rating:6.28 Overall Rank:3500]
Thee Insidius Doktor Glaze & His Sidekick Donut Boy with the Amazing Monkeytime Dancers Ooh!
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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I_have_heard_the_mermaids_singing,_each_to_each. I_do_not_think_that_they_will_sing_to_me... We_have_lingered_in_the_chambers_of_the_sea By_sea_girls_wreathed_with_seaweed_red_and_brown Till_human_voices_wake_us,_and_we_drown
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The most fun memory game ever.

You can't keep Der Plumsack down.
 
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23. Board Game: Wiz-War [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:1323]
Thee Insidius Doktor Glaze & His Sidekick Donut Boy with the Amazing Monkeytime Dancers Ooh!
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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I_have_heard_the_mermaids_singing,_each_to_each. I_do_not_think_that_they_will_sing_to_me... We_have_lingered_in_the_chambers_of_the_sea By_sea_girls_wreathed_with_seaweed_red_and_brown Till_human_voices_wake_us,_and_we_drown
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The venerable classic that has tarnished a bit with age, has nothing resembling balance, but will always be a blast.
 
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