GeekMemories
Mikko Karvonen
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Yesterday I spent quite a while thinking back my boardgame-hobby. How I started with chess and some cardgames as a child, played Assault on Hoth with a friend of mine and then, many years later, bought Settlers of Catan after seeing a glowing review of it in InQuest-magazine.

This stroll down the memory lane took me quite often to Boardgamegeek, for various reasons. So here they are, collected in one place, my clearest and, in most cases, dearest Boardgamegeek memories.

The order is somewhat chronological. I can't remember the order of some thing exactly anymore.
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1. Board Game: Genoa [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:497]
Mikko Karvonen
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My journey with BGG started in a local gamingstore. I was there looking for a new game to join my fledling collection of Settlers of Catan, DungeonQuest, Wizard's Quest and Tikal. I had eyed Traders of Genoa with great interest couple times before and was once again holding the box in my hand, contemplating.

A member of our local gaming club shows up and we start talking about, surprisingly enough, games. In the middle of the conversation I ask if he knows any good websites about boardgames, where I could check for recommendations, reviews and comments. He gives me an address that takes me to the old GamingDumpster. A whole new world opens in front of my eyes.

Back then each game had various statistics, including stuff like turn-angst and other things I have sadly forgotten. They were of course highly subjective and often questionable, and it took me a while to learn to look past them, so it's good that they are here no more.
 
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2. Board Game: Gargoyles [Average Rating:4.20 Unranked]
Mikko Karvonen
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In the beginning I visited the site on a quite irregular basis, mostly when I spotted something interesting in the local store and wanted to know a bit more about it.

On one of these visits I noticed that the address of the website had changed and you could register yourself as an user. I am not quite sure, how these two things relate to each other on a BGG-timeline, but I realised them during the same visit. I did not contribute much, or anything, to the website back then, but I decided to register anyway. At least I could make sure that I got my usual username in here as well.
 
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3. Board Game: Barbie Shopping Spree Card Game [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
Mikko Karvonen
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Quite soon after that I got more into boardgames and started to expand my collection rapidly. BGGs Top 50 -list was a good starting point and I used it a lot. The list looked quite different back then than it does now, but it helped me to pick up a lot of great games, like El Grande, Bohnanza, Stephenson's Rocket, Dvonn and Zertz.
 
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4. Board Game: Sid Meier's Civilization: The Boardgame [Average Rating:5.58 Overall Rank:13528]
Mikko Karvonen
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In addition to finding all the great games that had already been published, BGG also allowed me to get excited about the upcoming releases. Sid Meier's Civilization was the first game I remember being so hyped about that I absolutely had to have it the day it came out.

I wasn't actually in the town when the local store got it, but I bribed a friend of mine to go into the store, buy the game and carry it all the way back to his home, about 5 kilometers on foot. Amazingly enough, he didn't complain about it at all.

Many were very disappointed with this game, but I thought it was alright and fun to play. It's biggest problems are the playing time and the pacing of the technology chart, but otherwise I had good time with the game. And it's production value was really something to behold.

Later I have been equally hyped up by Runebound, War of the Ring, Twilight Imperium 3rd Edition, HeroScape and Age of Steam.
 
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5. Board Game: Gold! [Average Rating:4.90 Overall Rank:13879]
Mikko Karvonen
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Around the same time Sid Meier's Civilization was published, the GeekGold was introduced. I thought the idea was pretty nice, rewarding people for contributing for the website. But I must admit that it took me a year to actually earn my first GeekGold. After that I slowly made my way to 30 GG to get my avatar. A lack of decent digital camera - and some laziness - has sadly meant that I haven't gotten around earning much more.

But nevertheless, a great little feature, especially nowadays with the Tipjars and all.
 
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6. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:15]
Mikko Karvonen
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Then, at some point, this game creeps into the first place of the Top 50 -chart. People are raving about it and declaring it the greatest thing since pizza. Of course I get hyped up and jump into the bandwagon, right?

To be honest, I didn't pay any attention to Puerto Rico for months. At first I thought it was just a craze that would pass as I had already gotten used to thinking that Tigris & Euphrates was the highest ranking game around. Then I ignored it because the name of the game and the couple pictures I glanced at seemed rather uninteresting.

But after about six months I finally had to admit that it might actually deserve a closer look. One of the reasons was that back then you really started to feel like an outsider if you did not know about Puerto Rico. I read more about the game, got excited and finally actually played it when a friend of mine got the german edition. I thought it was good, and still do, but... not quite number one in my book.
 
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7. Board Game: Hit List [Average Rating:3.75 Unranked]
Mikko Karvonen
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Bit later the Geeklists, perhaps the most clever and ingenious feature in the whole site, were introduced. And for me, they changed everything. The lists were not only a great resource, but also very good read, with lots of interesting discussions. They were the reason why I began to visit the site daily and take part into the discussions.

They also helped me to find new, interesting games.
 
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8. Board Game: Waldschattenspiel [Average Rating:6.23 Overall Rank:4300]
Mikko Karvonen
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Perhaps my greatest Geeklist-discovery to date has been Waldschattenspiel. I read about it in some list and fell absolutely in love with the idea. I put it on my Wanted-list, but didn't really think I'd actually find it somewhere.

Then, about a year later, I was visiting Brussels. There I was taken to a local gamestore where, look and behold!, a copy of Waldschattenspiel was lying on the shelf. I don't think I have snatched up any other game quite as quickly after seeing it for the first time than this one.

That was a pretty good store in other ways as well. If I had had more money and room in my bags, I would have brought home many more games from that trip. In the end I settled to this, Royal Turf and Edel, Stein & Reich.
 
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9. Board Game: Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:796]
Mikko Karvonen
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Geeklists have also allowed me to discover some games to play with my largely non-gaming girlfriend. She enjoys Old Town, Lost Cities, Bohnanza, Lord of the Rings and Ticket to Ride well-enough to play them, but Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper has been by far the greatest success. When I got it, we played ridiculous amounts of it each night. Later she has been playing it very actively with one friend of hers, while I have gotten somewhat burned out on it.

Buying Ticket to Ride to my father as a christmas gift was also a great move.
 
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10. Board Game: Runebound (First Edition) [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:2941]
Mikko Karvonen
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Being (somewhat) active in the site has had it's upsides and it's downsides. One of the latter might be one of my least favorite GeekMemories.

My first (and practically only) strong disagreement and argument in the Geek revolved around Runebound. I should have stopped that discussion much earlier, but for some reason, at that time, I just could not accept certain deratory comments about the game I personally liked a lot.
 
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11. Board Game: Dungeon Twister [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:762]
Mikko Karvonen
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Fortunately, most of my experiences here have been very much on the positive side. One particular moment was made possible by the wonderful GeekBuddy-system. There is just something incredibly rewarding about being written directly to and asked for your detailed opinion about a game, because my comments in general have caught someone's eye, even though I am far from being the most active member on the site.

Thanks for a great GeekMemory, Mary!
 
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12. Board Game: Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:270] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Mikko Karvonen
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Another great moment is strongly connected to HeroScape. I became interested of the game reading the comments and watching the pictures here in the 'Geek. But when the game became available here in Finland, it proved to be frustratingly expensive. I mentioned about it here and to my surprise got an offer from an american who had bought two copies from Hasbro's sale and offered to sell me one of them for what he had paid for it. Even with postage it cost less than half what I would have paid here.

And later, another very helpful 'Geek got me all the first expansions too!

I must admit that these things may add an extra point to my HeroScape-rating.
 
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13. Board Game: High Society [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:860]
Mikko Karvonen
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In a way, Geek... sorry, BoardgameSpeak has taken the whole community here to a new level. Some designers and publishers were active here before the show started, but it has, in a way, really proved how important this place is for the whole boardgaming hobby. When the big designers and publishers are ready to talk for hours about their projects and visions, it's really something special.

I have not listened to all the episodes, but I have loved the ones I have. They have given me ideas, given me information and given me lots of good laughs. And made me look like a lunatic to many people, because I have been mainly listening to the episodes while sitting on a bus with a great grin on my face, trying to keep myself from laughing out loud.
 
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14. Board Game: Descent: Journeys in the Dark [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:267]
Mikko Karvonen
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Current building blocks of potential memories. Right now I am hyped about Descent: Journeys in the Dark and Tempus, and I am hoping that they'll offer me lots of good gaming moments. For both of them, BGG has been the greatest source of bits of information and other enthusiastic people to get all hyped up with.
 
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