Games I have and Games I love to play with my family or gaming enthusiasts
Frank Oosterom
Netherlands
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These are the two type of games I like to play: with the family, young and old, and within a gaming community with experts and enthusiasts.
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1. Board Game: Diplomacy [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:501]
Frank Oosterom
Netherlands
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Though this isn't a ranking list, this is definitely the one game I place above the others, even when everyone is in its own right. This is just a game with a combined simplicity and depth, while having the one unique feature of conferencing that is one of the best mechanics ever developed in gaming history.

Of course, the downfall is the playing time when playing ftf, and the players need (7 for a complete game), but both can be coped with, if you recognize pbem possibilities and monthly/weekly ftf pots in local game shops.

Recommended
Best for 7 players.
Take your time
 
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2. Board Game: El Grande [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:54]
Frank Oosterom
Netherlands
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An outstanding game with beautiful materials included as well as easy to learn rules, while remaining aptly tactical and strategical in the most refreshing way. A classic for some, I cannot but fully agree with them. A real treat for geeks, for its double area of interest: family and enthusiasts alike.

Highly recommended
Best for 4-5 players.
 
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3. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:125] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
Frank Oosterom
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A real fast and nice filler game for gaming experts, a real blast among family circles. Simple but effective, can't go wrong with this one in your collection. I certainly get asked quite a lot to play it again after introduction, and I indulge on it happily.

Expansions have not been tried here, I reckon it doesn't add enough to purchase it along the base set.

Highly recommended
Best for 3-4 players.
 
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4. Board Game: Catan: Cities & Knights [Average Rating:7.47 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.47 Unranked]
 
Frank Oosterom
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The expansion that makes Catan worth your money (though by this time you've already spent twice as much than on a single game, bit of marketing thing). Adds more than Seafarers, and creates more options towards victory, although a good start positin is equally important to avoid annoyed players in the mid and endgame.

Highly recommended. Best for 3-4 players (although expansion let's you play 5-6)
 
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5. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:15]
Frank Oosterom
Netherlands
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Very thorough and nice building game. May seem material heavy, but in gameplay it's got a very natural flow once you get it, which can be very quick. The mechanics are very good connected and it can keep you busy for quite a few fun hours. Best for 4 players I reckon, to profit from the roleplaying.

Still haven't played it too much in my family. Needs more time to get them to it (been introducing a lot lately). Among gaming experts it's begun to get classic reputation. That's still to be decided for me, but a very fun game I must say.
 
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6. Board Game: Citadels [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:316]
Frank Oosterom
Netherlands
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Card game I got for my Birthday (my gaming enthusiasm has spread in the mean time). Very fast gameplay and very beautiful graphics. Easy to learn (begins to become a habit I'm afraid) but still highly tactical, as you must think of the best way to counter your opponent's actions in building their cities.
Am curious about the expansions that seem to be available.


Highly recommended.
Best for 4+ players
 
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7. Board Game: Java [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:720]
Frank Oosterom
Netherlands
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Game that makes my gamer's heart spring to life. Sadly enough haven't had the chance to play it. Probably not suitable for family play, but the mechanics and the materials involved are too much to not indulge in this.

On my wanted list.
 
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8. Board Game: Go [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:121]
Frank Oosterom
Netherlands
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I need to express my apologies for the remark on chess. So let's but the black and whites in perspective: What chess is in western culture, Go is in the eastern culture.

haven't played it ftf, which is a shame, but the game is hard to come by cheap, as well as willing opponents. Still, a gaming geek without chess or go can't be serious as far as I'm concerned.

And to be ahead of some: if you still think these games are old-fashioned, you can kiss my..., well I don't agree with you, ok? Old-fashioned and classic, two sides of one coin, I suppose.
 
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9. Board Game: Age of Steam [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:114]
Frank Oosterom
Netherlands
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In my local game shop (full of enthusiasts and experts alike) train games are on top demand. This one is one of a designer's that ranks among the top dogs for the experts.

Still haven't made my mind up about which to choose for family play. If I want to introduce a second train game (TtR being the first) I want it to be a good one. The games of this designer (Martin Wallace) look beautiful in appearance, but deep and intricate at the same time. Other famous series of train games is for sure the 18XX one.
 
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10. Board Game: Empires of the Ancient World [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:2860]
Frank Oosterom
Netherlands
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Played this at my local game shop with some pleasure at start. After a while it resolved in repetitive battles with not that much variation I had expected. This was, I admit, a bit biased by the fact that one player was attracting bad energy whereever his breath took him. (he talked arrogantly and incessively...). Nice design though, and a good attempt at combining a couple of mechanics. Needs a little tweaking in my opinion.
 
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11. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:156] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
Frank Oosterom
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A very intricate but biased card game which involves decks with magical creatures and all sorts of spells. Plays best in 2player mode, although various kinds of variants are played around the globe.

Among card games, this is a classic with roots going back to the 70's according to some, although Richard Garfield is copyrighted from 1993.

Biggest setback for most players are the high cost and overpoweredness of particular cards in each set. Though this must be seen with some reserve, if one considers the high quality of every single card's design, as well as the low entry of the game.

Played it extensively myself in different environments, but mainly in casual format. Was a blast to contruct a personal deck, though playtesting showed the practical need in this side of the game.
 
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12. Board Game: Vampire: The Eternal Struggle [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:952] [Average Rating:7.10 Unranked]
Frank Oosterom
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More complex variation on the Magic rainbowland. Evolves around vampires (not surprisingly), the battle procedures is quite intricate to get around, but the theme is well-built throughout.

Have some starter's kit myself, but haven't played it much. Players pool is much thinner than with Magic. Still a beautiful game.
 
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13. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:28]
Frank Oosterom
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I am hard working preparing the first session of this wonderful game, which has been a while on my wanted and to spot list.
 
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14. Board Game: Union Pacific [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:468]
Frank Oosterom
Netherlands
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Simple, yet compelling game mechanics. Haven't had the chance to play it much. Should bring it to my gaming shop gaming night, maybe I'll get more lucky there.
 
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15. Board Game: Goa [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:107]
Frank Oosterom
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Recently 'won' on Ebay. Am anxious to see the goodies here. Seems like a great building game with commodities. Theme is also very appealing. Gimme gimme gimme
 
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16. Board Game: BANG! [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:1018]
Frank Oosterom
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Highly entertaining party game with no particular brain-burner pretence. Am anxious to get one or two expansions to allow more possibilities, also for dead characters.
 
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17. Board Game: Atlantic Storm [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:3076]
Frank Oosterom
Netherlands
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Beautiful and attractive game about rescueing or sinking convoys in the Second World War. Very hard to find, though, since it is OOP around here (aka Europe).
 
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18. Board Game: No Thanks! [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:391]
Frank Oosterom
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Fast, poker-like game about taking or giving penalties.
 
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19. Board Game: Clue [Average Rating:5.65 Overall Rank:7618]
Frank Oosterom
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Great entertainment value. Ranks amongst the favourites in my family. The fun lies in the struggles to get information from your opponents, while you can approach it with painstaking mathematics and still lose without fault. That's where the luck takes over the fun. Still a blast to play for young and old.

Highly recommended.
Best for 4+ players
 
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20. Board Game: Pente [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:1411]
Frank Oosterom
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Fast variant of go-bang. A forgotten present given to my parents by their friends, got me into abstract strategy gaming.
Very simple, effective gameplay, good for mathematical thinking. Can also be played on a go-board.
 
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21. Board Game: Friedrich [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:469]
Frank Oosterom
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Played it recently on Saturday night in a 4 players game. I quite liked its simple mechanics and gameboard style, though Friedrich has a tough chance against all the others if they commit to fierce battles early on.
 
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22. Board Game: Chess [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:416] [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked]
Frank Oosterom
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I know it's breakin in open doors, but this remains a classic among boardgames. Learned to love it from my dad, took up books on strategy thereafter, and still won't pass up a game proposed, though the most 'air' play is against the computers.

Don't need to recommend this one, I reckon, if you don't know this game, you're probably from the rain forest or the moon. Which isn't to say you're unfortunate per se, for that matter.
 
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23. Board Game: Family Business [Average Rating:6.10 Overall Rank:2404]
Frank Oosterom
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Fast and enjoyable party game about mob wars. Pow-pow, very entertaining.
 
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