Classic games you ought to revisit.
Anthony Simons
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Royal Wootton Bassett
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This is a list of classic games I think people ought to play again. I am trying to get some to the table myself, and have succeeded with some of them. My memories of playing some these games are fond ones, so for those that haven't made it back to the table I hope they will be as good as I remember. Some I never played until recently for the first time, and have discovered what great games they are. Others I have played recently, and find they are still as great as they ever were. If you disagree you are of course welcome to comment; if you do then the reason for your distaste for a game would be very interesting.
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1. Board Game: Campaign [Average Rating:5.41 Overall Rank:14591]
Anthony Simons
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This is perhaps one that I would most like to play again; it has been over a decade since I played it last, and I would like to see if it still stands up as well as ever. I clearly remember everything about this game and how good it was, and I can't understand why some people consider it too luck-based. If a player follows a sound strategy he will tend towards victory whatever the outcome of the dice rolls. The biggest problem I have in getting this one played is that it only seats 4 players (though I am considering a 5 or 6 player variant by using extra pieces for Italy and Prussia).
 
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2. Board Game: Square Mile [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:6935]
Anthony Simons
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I recently got this one to the table for the first time ever, having acquired it in a trade around 1 year ago. I had heard it was ahead of its time, and I totally agree having experienced play. This game is all about timing; when to buy up partially-developed plots, and when to sell. It's easy to learn and fantastic to play.
 
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3. Board Game: The Game of Nations [Average Rating:5.21 Overall Rank:14769]
Anthony Simons
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This is an excellent game and I still enjoy playing it. There are some minor problems with it, for example early player elimination can occur, but if you can live with that it is a great game.
 
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4. Board Game: Summit [Average Rating:5.69 Overall Rank:11358]
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Another import for me, shipped from USA. Another game ahead of its time, this is an abstraction of world economic, political and military affairs. Sending the players through the events deck one more time will solve the few problems with this game; other than early finishes giving at least one player a disadvantage, there is very little else to worry about. A great game.
 
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5. Board Game: Election [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:6016]
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I know this is often hard to come by, but if you do find it snap it up. The rules are a little vague in parts, but gameplay is fantastic. Travel the UK campaigning for voters, and try to win the election. Different parts of the country have a different distribution of voters, and each party attracts different quantities of each. There are also floating and absentee votes to account for when the election takes place.
 
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6. Board Game: Tank Battle [Average Rating:5.28 Overall Rank:14723]
Anthony Simons
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If ever you are forced to play a game with just two players (perhaps you are one of the first two eliminated from Game of Nations above), crack open this one. Tank Battle is an elegant fusion of bluff, logic and strategy under the strong theme of tank warfare. This game is undeniably a classic, and certainly more overlooked than it should be; chaos plays its part, but the only real chance element is a spinner or special die for AT gun overrunning.
 
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7. Board Game: Fortune [Average Rating:6.04 Overall Rank:8031]
Anthony Simons
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As far as financial management games go, most of us are fed up with them. Monopoly is probably to blame for the biggest waste of trees ever, as that was the game that pioneered so many spinoffs and alternative games involving money changing hands.

However, some of these financial management games are good; arguably some of the greatest games of recent years utilise it as a theme and carry it off excellently.

Naturally, as this is a classic list, I am not going to put any of those on it; but Fortune fits the bill as it first came into existence around a quarter of a century ago.

At first glance this game looks like another Monopoly spin-off; but I can assure you the similarity ends with the use of a circuit for movement. This game is ultimately about managing finances, managing production, and taking risks.

If you invest in consultancy, advertising and insurance then you increase your chances of success and your business is likely to take off more quickly.

If you invest in or take over a company, then you will gain income when other conglomerates use your services.

And of course there are the banks, from which loans at various rates can be taken out; if your firm owns the bank then you take in the interest.

The object of course is to make money, and there are so many ways to do this it makes the game interesting.
 
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8. Board Game: Escape from Colditz [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:1435]
Anthony Simons
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One of the most enduring games amongst the classics, Escape From Colditz is still played (and still rejected) by many. People play it because, despite an old-fashioned and apparently ambiguous set of rules there is a great game behind it all.

One of the most fascinating aspects of this game is that the designer actually spent time as a prisoner of war in Colditz Castle. As an authority on the subject Major Reid has written a book of his experiences and was employed as an advisor for the BBC TV series "Colditz" in the early 1970's.

Of course, being there does not necessarily mean one can produce an infallible game design, and my only criticism is one of a lack of clarity in a few points. If we allow common sense to prevail these points become clear, and I believe Parker Bros can be blamed more for the slight ambiguity than Major Reid.

The worst in my opinion is the idea that, according to the rules, the POW's should be able to exchange cards at any time; some players take this far too literally and assume this also means cards can be given away to others when a POW is arrested (thus avoiding confiscation). This simply is not allowed; though I agree the rules are not clear.

Second is the loose interpretation of cooperation between players; some assume this allows other POW's to use the same equipment one player has just used, but I don't see it that way (even though a German sentry in pursuit may do so). I believe with rules such as this, nothing should be allowed unless specifically stated as being permissible. Still I see players make a fuss when I tell them they can't do that!

Last but not least is the strange idea some players get that POW's from different nationalities can be used to obtain equipment - not so! These players are once more taking far too liberally the rule about POW players "teaming up".

Ambiguity aside, Colditz holds together well, and employs excellent ideas and mechanisms for simulating the restrictions the German captors had when running the infamous Colditz camp; the POW players will walk all over the German player if a tight reign isn't kept over them.
 
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9. Board Game: The Business Game [Average Rating:5.89 Overall Rank:8536]
Anthony Simons
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An early themed strategy game, The Business Game involves mining materials and shipping them (eventually) abroad to make a million dollars. Of course there are risks, competitors being one of those risks.

This game runs very well if played properly. The components are a little fiddly; if they reissued this game ever it would probably have nice wooden cubes instead of those tiny plastic pyramids! Perhaps the game would benefit from a variant or two, but the basic framework is sound. There are so many ways to approach success in this game, and so many ways to nobble your opponents.
 
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10. Board Game: Scrabble [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:1504]
Anthony Simons
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Most recently I have rediscovered Scrabble; well, more specifically I have got back into it via an online clone called "Jamble".

The most important difference is that Jamble will not let you use words which are not in its dictionary, so you can't take your turn until a real word is used.

If we allowed the inevitable dictionary testing to take place in the original boardgame then our games would last a very long time. However playing it this way it became more a game of strategic placement of letters than one of word power, and was a lot more fun.
 
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