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Subject: Owning top 50... (maybe) rss

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Drake Storm
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So I was thinking of owning (or having access to) the Top 50 games (or maybe even Top 100). Between me and my friend we already own alot, so my question is, of the remaining ones which are the best to get and should I skip some so I can go farther down the list?

The game has to fit in one of the Categories below or it will never be played.

1) 2 Player game for non/lite gamers.
2) 2-3 (very slim chance of 4) Player game for lite/medium gamers.
3) 3-6 Player game for gamers.

Also no true wargames.

I own already (my rating - might help show what type of games I like):
9 Age of Steam (haven't played)
12 War of the Ring (6)
13 Memoir '44 (6)
14 Go (haven't played)
23 Taj Mahal (8)
37 Game of Thrones, A (7)
38 Acquire (7.5)
39 Twilight Struggle (7.5)
45 Dune (8.5)
50 RoboRally (7)

My Friend already owns:
1 Puerto Rico (8.5)
2 Euphrat & Tigris (9)
4 Power Grid (8)
5 Princes of Florence, The (7.5)
6 El Grande (6.5)
7 Ra (6)
8 Die Macher (7.5)
16 Settlers of Catan, The (6.5)
17 Modern Art (6)
24 Samurai (7)
26 Twilight Imperium 3rd Edition (8.5)
34 Carcassonne (haven't played)
42 Traders of Genoa, The (7)


So what remains is:

3 Caylus - Waiting on Reprint.

10 Wallenstein - Not sure I like the idea of dropping troops in some magic tower and see what comes out! Too much of a wargame? I would get the reprint whatever it is being called/re-themed as.

11 Goa - Waiting on Reprint.

15 YINSH - Of the Gipf series this one seems the most appealing, but do I really need any of them.

18 Ticket to Ride Europe - If I get this, seems I should get the original too.

19 Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage - Wargame I assume?

20 Paths of Glory - Wargame I assume?

21 Ticket to Ride - Have played on the web, not sure there is a reason to play it face to face, but then again it can't be bad for a collection.

22 Hammer of the Scots - Wargame I assume?

25 Railroad Tycoon - I own Age of Steam, so don't need this I assume?

27 Struggle of Empires - Sounds like the most interesting game on list.

28 Through the Desert - Have no idea about this one eventhough I've read reviews and stuff about it.

29 San Juan - Don't need this since already have access to PR.

30 Lord of the Rings - The Confrontation - Not a fan of Stratego, so I was going to forgo this one.

31 Up Front - Wargame I assume?

32 Amun-Re - Friend says this one isn't anything special, but not sure I can trust them.

33 Commands and Colors: Ancients - Wargame I assume?

35 Crokinole - Dexterity game as I recall?? If so, I can pass on this one.

36 DVONN - See YINSH

40 Maharaja: Palace Building in India - Read reviews on this one and can't decide if it is any good.

41 Reef Encounter - Yet another game I have read reviews on and can't tell if it will be good or not.

43 Union Pacific - Is this out of print? If not, does it offer something that other rail games lack.

44 Blokus - Not a huge fan of pure, mind burning, abstract games, but this one looks lite enough.

46 Ingenious - Would get Blokus first and see how that one goes over.

47 Louis XIV - Same as Amun-Re, friend didn't make it sound too appealing.

48 Battle Cry - Wargame I assume?

49 Tichu


So right now the break down of the remaining games is as follows:

A) Want to buy for sure:
Struggle of Empires
Caylus
Goa

B) I would probably buy unless I got some comments against them:
Reef Encounter
Maharaja: Palace Building in India
YINSH
Ticket to Ride

C) Need a little convincing on:
Wallenstein
Through the Desert
Union Pacific
Blokus
DVONN
Ticket to Ride Europe

D) Need a lot of convincing on:
Railroad Tycoon
San Juan
Lord of the Rings - The Confrontation
Amun-Re
Crokinole
Ingenious
Louis XIV
Tichu

E) A definite no assuming I'm correct in them being pure wargames (I don't consider Twilight Struggle or even War of the Ring real wargames eventhough they are classified as such on this site now).
Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage
Paths of Glory
Hammer of the Scots
Up Front
Commands and Colors: Ancients
Battle Cry

So any help or direction would be appreciated! Should I be moving any of the games I have listed from say C) to B) or D) to C), etc. Should I look at any of the 50-100 top games instead of some here (I only own 2 games in 50-100 and my friend only owns 7 so that's alot more possibilities).
 
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Michael Waters
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I strongly recommend San Juan, even if you have access to PR. Although the theme is identical and the mechanic is similar, the strategy is very different. It's also much better for light gamers, and can be played just about anywhere. Good luck trying to play PR on a plane.
 
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Ed
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Some of these games are out of print so unless you're willing to pay a premium for games you're on fence on, I'd say that narrows down your list. Wallenstein, for example.
 
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Steve McIlhatton
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Wallenstein is definitely worth getting although if you are patient enough to wait for the reprint then you may as well do that.

Struggle of Empires is a very cool game.
 
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Michael Campbell
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10 Wallenstein - Not sure I like the idea of dropping troops in some magic tower and see what comes out! Too much of a wargame? I would get the reprint whatever it is being called/re-themed as.

The retheme is called Shogun. Try Wally, before you buy, on Spielbyweb.com. This is not a wargame...repeat this is not a wargame...and the tower rocks.

11 Goa - Waiting on Reprint. This game is awesome

18 Ticket to Ride Europe - If I get this, seems I should get the original too.

Yes - get both. They are different enough and both are great fun.

19 Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage - Wargame I assume? Yes

20 Paths of Glory - Wargame I assume? Yes

21 Ticket to Ride - Have played on the web, not sure there is a reason to play it face to face, but then again it can't be bad for a collection.

22 Hammer of the Scots - Wargame I assume? Yes, but a very good one.

25 Railroad Tycoon - I own Age of Steam, so don't need this I assume? I think RT is better than AoS - it's more streamlined and less fiddly

28 Through the Desert - Have no idea about this one eventhough I've read reviews and stuff about it. Good one

29 San Juan - Don't need this since already have access to PR. - I'd rather play Puerto Rico


32 Amun-Re - Friend says this one isn't anything special, but not sure I can trust them. Your friend is high. Try before you buy on spielbyweb.com. This game is awesome.

35 Crokinole - Dexterity game as I recall?? If so, I can pass on this one. You will be sorry if you pass on this one...it is SOOOO fun. A great game.

40 Maharaja: Palace Building in India - Read reviews on this one and can't decide if it is any good. It is. It's very good.

41 Reef Encounter - Yet another game I have read reviews on and can't tell if it will be good or not. Play it on spielbyweb.com

43 Union Pacific - Is this out of print? If not, does it offer something that other rail games lack. Yes, it is a wonderful mix of Ticket to Ride and Acquire.


47 Louis XIV - Same as Amun-Re, friend didn't make it sound too appealing. - Once again, your friend is huffing spray paint...this is a great little game.

48 Battle Cry - Wargame I assume? Your assumption is correct.
 
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George Kinney
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FWIW, both 'Battle Cry' and 'Commands and Colors: Ancients' use the same (with some modifications) system as Memoir '44. (Incidentally called the 'commands and colors' system by their author, Richard Borg.) They differ mostly in historical era.

So if you like Memoir, you'd probably like these two, and neither is a 'pure war game'. But if you don't like Memoir, well, there you go.

 
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dan bunting
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so if I was waiting on a reprint of Caylus, how long would I be waiting?

(I'm very new here, and not sure how quickly these things turn around)
 
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Dustin Miller
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Dan,

You'll be waiting until May for another printing of Caylus.
 
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Steve Noneyobusiness
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Blokus is definitely worth checking out. I'm not much into abstract games myself (I'm a fantasy gamer), and I really like this one. It is pretty to look at, and not a huge brain burner. I think it would it would appeal to a lot of people, including nongamers.
 
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Dave Eisen
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DrakeStorm wrote:


So right now the break down of the remaining games is as follows:

A) Want to buy for sure:
Struggle of Empires
Caylus
Goa



All very good, all very different. No brainers. You want these.

DrakeStorm wrote:

B) I would probably buy unless I got some comments against them:
Reef Encounter
Maharaja: Palace Building in India
YINSH
Ticket to Ride


I live a very rich and full life without Yinsh or Ticket to Ride.

Reef Encounter is good, deep, and hard. Kind of like Tigris and Euphrates only totally different.

Maharaja is interesting and recommended. No luck, but secret and simultaneous action selection leads to chaos that some might not like. I do like it, but not every week. Runaway leader issues as well, I guess. Still. you should buy.

DrakeStorm wrote:

C) Need a little convincing on:
Wallenstein
Through the Desert
Union Pacific
Blokus
DVONN
Ticket to Ride Europe


Wallenstein really doesn't feel like a wargame even though I guess it is. Feels more area control really. But too much luck to be considered heavy and too long for a game that is light for my taste. Everyone else does seem to like it though.

Of this list only Blokus is a no-brainer every gamer should have this game. Brilliant and beautiful abstract and I'm generally no fan of abstracts. Works well with both serious gamers and people who like the pretty Tetris shapes.

DrakeStorm wrote:

D) Need a lot of convincing on:
Railroad Tycoon
San Juan
Lord of the Rings - The Confrontation
Amun-Re
Crokinole
Ingenious
Louis XIV
Tichu


Crokinole is a lot of fun. Even if you don't like dexterity games, this is not Jenga or even Carabande (Pitchcar). Only downside is the expense and that you want to devote a table in your home to it.

Amun-Re is a very good economic building game, if not absolutely first rate. You should get it unless you really dislike auctions or if a game that is a little dry is a problem.

I wouldn't bother with the rest, although obviously others disagree.

DrakeStorm wrote:

E) A definite no assuming I'm correct in them being pure wargames (I don't consider Twilight Struggle or even War of the Ring real wargames eventhough they are classified as such on this site now).
Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage
Paths of Glory
Hammer of the Scots
Up Front
Commands and Colors: Ancients
Battle Cry


These are in fact all pure wargames. I'm not really a wargame, but I enjoy Hammer of the Scots once in a while. It's got more a German game feel to me than most wargames do.

Hannibal is fun too even though I suck at it. Expensive and hard to find so I recommend not getting it if you aren't sure. It is a fine game.

Paths of Glory, I don't know. Seems to have way too many exceptions in the rules. The kind of thing that drives me away from wargames.

And Battle Cry and Commands and Colors are basically the same game system as Memoir '44 so you should be able to judge those for yourself.

Dave.
 
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Donald Wilbur III
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I know I'm probably unlikely to convince you, but San Juan would be an excellent game for either of your first two gaming situations. Personally I enjoy it more than Puerto Rico (tho it's close).

It would be an especially good match for your 2-3 light-midweight group.
 
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So what remains is:

3 Caylus - Waiting on Reprint.
If you like Puerto Rico, you'll like this.

10 Wallenstein - Not sure I like the idea of dropping troops in some magic tower and see what comes out! Too much of a wargame? I would get the reprint whatever it is being called/re-themed as.
Never Played

11 Goa - Waiting on Reprint.
Never Played

15 YINSH - Of the Gipf series this one seems the most appealing, but do I really need any of them.
For a light two player abstract, you can't do much better than this. If you don't want a light two player abstract don't get this.

18 Ticket to Ride Europe - If I get this, seems I should get the original too.
You definitly don't need more than one version of Ticket to Ride. I would recommend Europe, because normal TtR is really light.

19 Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage - Wargame I assume?
Never Played

20 Paths of Glory - Wargame I assume?
Never Played

21 Ticket to Ride - Have played on the web, not sure there is a reason to play it face to face, but then again it can't be bad for a collection.
Again, you only need one version unless you REALLY like it.

22 Hammer of the Scots - Wargame I assume?
Never Played

25 Railroad Tycoon - I own Age of Steam, so don't need this I assume?
Your assumption would be correct.

27 Struggle of Empires - Sounds like the most interesting game on list.
Never Played

28 Through the Desert - Have no idea about this one eventhough I've read reviews and stuff about it.
I would get this before games like Blokus or Ingenious

29 San Juan - Don't need this since already have access to PR.
Never Played

30 Lord of the Rings - The Confrontation - Not a fan of Stratego, so I was going to forgo this one.
Never Played this because I don't like Stratego either

31 Up Front - Wargame I assume?
Never Played

32 Amun-Re - Friend says this one isn't anything special, but not sure I can trust them.
In my opinion, your friend's wrong. Lots of interesting auctions and actions in this game.

33 Commands and Colors: Ancients - Wargame I assume?
Never Played, but this is the same combat system as Memoir '44. So if you like Memoir, maybe you'll like this one too.

35 Crokinole - Dexterity game as I recall?? If so, I can pass on this one.
Never Played

36 DVONN - See YINSH
I like it better than YINSH, otherwise, see YINSH.

40 Maharaja: Palace Building in India - Read reviews on this one and can't decide if it is any good.
It's really good. Kind of a cross between El Grande, Tikal and Puerto Rico with some simultaneous actions going on.

41 Reef Encounter - Yet another game I have read reviews on and can't tell if it will be good or not.
Great game with a lot of tactical back an forth going on.

43 Union Pacific - Is this out of print? If not, does it offer something that other rail games lack.
Never Played but is as much a rail game as ticket to ride. There's no pick up and delivery going on here.

44 Blokus - Not a huge fan of pure, mind burning, abstract games, but this one looks lite enough.
Never Played

46 Ingenious - Would get Blokus first and see how that one goes over.
Never Played

47 Louis XIV - Same as Amun-Re, friend didn't make it sound too appealing.
Your friend and I do not have the same taste in games. This is a really fun game. This game is by the guy who did Goa. I'm really looking forward to getting the Goa reprint because of how great this game is.

48 Battle Cry - Wargame I assume?
Never Played but this is the same system as Memoir '44.

49 Tichu
Never Played. I try to avoid partnership trick taking games.

 
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Jesse Smit
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My opinions on your missing games:

3 Caylus - Great game, get it.

18 Ticket to Ride Europe - Good game, but dont get the original as well. Youd be buying basically the same game twice.

19 Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage - Out of print and this one will cost you a lot. Havent played it but its a very light and accessible wargame from what i hear.

20 Paths of Glory - Definately a pure wargame. You probably wont like it.

21 Ticket to Ride - Just get europe and skip this (unless you end up LOVING europe).

22 Hammer of the Scots - A very light wargame. Probably a good game to transition into wargaming with but if youre not at all interested in wargames id skip this one. (but it is a very good game)

25 Railroad Tycoon - If you like age of steam and money is not that much of an issue id get this one too. I think they are different enough to justify owning both. This one is much easier to get people to play for one thing.

27 Struggle of Empires - Get it, a great game.

28 Through the Desert - Another really good one, get it.

29 San Juan - This is pretty different to PR but imo its extremely overrated, skip it.

30 Lord of the Rings - The Confrontation - Pretty solid purchase, especially for the price, but i dont find myself playing it all that often.

31 Up Front - Havent played it but youre not going to find this one easily (or cheaply). Long out of print.

33 Commands and Colors: Ancients - Like Memoir 44 but better (more skill involved, more satisfying). I think if you give memoir a 6 your probably give this a 7 or 8.

35 Crokinole - Yes, dexterity.

40 Maharaja: Palace Building in India - Worth owning. Get it.

41 Reef Encounter - Worth owning. Get it.

43 Union Pacific - Out of print. I think RGG is reprinting it (??).

44 Blokus - Exceedingly boring, skip.

46 Ingenious - Better than blokus but id get most of the other games on this list first.

47 Louis XIV - Good game. Get it.

48 Battle Cry - Out of print. Almost the same as memoir but simpler. Id skip it since you dont even like memoir that much.

49 Tichu - Good game. Get it. (but its easier to play just play online on BSW).

 
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Harold Jansen
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Although Hannibal is a wargame, it's definitely different from the usual hexes and counters wargames that you might be thinking of. I'm not a wargamer, but I think Hannibal is an amazing game. Well designed and a lot of fun. I would consider it, even if you're (like me) primarily a Eurogamer who doesn't mind a more complicated game from time to time. But, as others have pointed out, you will pay a premium to acquire a copy.
 
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Michael Becker
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Hi Drake,

Using the top 50 list here on the geek is a good way to ensure you have really good "gamer style" games. Not all of the games in the top 50 are "fun". Some are very, very heavy. However, on the plus side, most of these games are well liked by lots of people.

Honestly, I have some good advice. Try not to get too caught up with lists. Over the years they keep changing!!! It is a very good thing you have a few guidelines when it comes to game purchases. My advice is to further further refine these guidelines.

I probably own 90% of the games in the BGG top 100. I own all but three of the Spiel des Jahres winners. I own all of the DSP winners. I own all of the Sumo/Counter Hall of Famers. I own approx 90% of the Internet Top 100. I own 11 of the 16+ International Gamer Awards. There are at least 10 other major awards I am not mentioning... Honestly, where does the madness end?

Do I need to own all of those games? Definitely not. There are many games in the above lists that I find marginal at best. I know my style, my groups' preference, my families' taste. If I wasn't such a geek I think I could easily sell off most of my games and still have too many games for a sane person.

I think life can be summed with this lyric, "It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you got."

Any game in your or my collection that we don't play is a dollar wasted.

Try to learn from my mistakes. Becoming a collector is a very taxing thing on your wallet.

Some people may think this post is way off base. That is fine. Ten years ago I owned around 50 games. Since then I have hit 700+ and then dropped down to around 400. Today I am around 600 again.

One of the first things that lead to my insanity was discovering the Internet Top 100 list. I became obsessed to get most of the games on that list. Sometimes a little spark leads to irrationality. Don't fall into the same trap I have...cry

 
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Michael Becker
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Okay... now that I have given you some advice to not become a collector here are my thoughts:

Caylus - your ratings on other games make me think you will like this
Struggle for Empires - this is kind of wargamey territory
Goa - not a must own for me but your other ratings make me think you will like this as well

Maharaja - one of my fav games over the past three years
Reef Encounter - why not try a game on Spielbyweb first?
Ticket to Ride/TTRE - most people don't need to own both - I like the extra options in TTRE a bit more so I sold the original


Wallenstein - maybe try a game on spielbyweb first - again, kind of a wargamey feel
Through the Desert - one of my fav games ever - but perhaps not your style... I think you can play this on bsw to test the waters (don't quote me though)
Union Pacific - in my opinion this is a keeper
Blokus - feels tetris like; a good place to start for abstract strategy

Railroad Tycoon - is your table large enough? Also, you haven't played age of steam yet...
San Juan - you really like Peurto Rico - a few similarities to it's big brother!
Amun-Re - not a must own in my opinion (even though I own it)
Crokinole - nothing on your list seems to be similar. Great for two people. Did you like penny hockey/football when you were a kid?
Ingenious - again abstract strategy - but you do own Samurai which could be considered the same territory
Louis XIV - not a must own in my opinion (although I own it)
Tichu - other than bridge - the best four player card game - but your group doesn't have four very often so this might not be wise

Hope this helps in some small way.
 
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Drake Storm
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Thanks for all the replies.

I don't really plan on owning the top 50 since there are many that don't fit me or my friend's tastes. I just want to own all the games we would like that are in the top 50-100.

My biggest problem is this site is too positive..lol. Every review I read of Tom Vasal makes me want to go buy the game! And for every game (at least the top games) if one person says its just ok, two chime in and say its a great, must have game. So confusing!

I have noticed however that not that many 'good' games come out each year, so once I get caught up to date there won't be too many choices like there are now (I've basically let my friend buy all the games the past 10 years or so, till last month when I thought I would start to help out and thats when I found this site.)
 
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James Ludlow
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DrakeStorm wrote:
My biggest problem is this site is too positive..lol. Every review I read of Tom Vasal makes me want to go buy the game! And for every game (at least the top games) if one person says its just ok, two chime in and say its a great, must have game. So confusing!


That's a well known flaw in Tom's reviews. Everything is his current all-time favorite. In the rare case where he doesn't like something, you know that it must be horrible.

Comments on your games:

Open your copy of Age of Steam. You're missing out by letting it sit idle. Railroad Tycoon is different enough that I don't mind owning both. We play RT when the crowd prefers lighter games. Age of Steam comes out when the "gamer" gamers want something to do. Both are fun, but the auction system in RT makes me wish that it was just a bit more complex. (Without getting into too much detail, in RT the personalities of the people next to you plays a giant role in the outcome of some games. If the person on your left is hyper-aggressive about going first, you're probably going to be last a lot. In AoS, you bid for all of the positions, not just 1st.)

San Juan is worth owning even if you already have PR. It's lighter, more random, faster, takes up less space, and is still a lot of fun.

Ticket to Ride Europe is plenty to start with. Either one is good. I prefer the American board and rules, but the games are so close to being identical that it really doesn't matter much.

Through the Desert is pretty good. I picked up a copy of the German version for $10 recently, and it was worth it. I don't think I'd pay much more for it though. The point is that it's easy to find, so if you see a cheap copy just grab it.

I've played Reef Encounter once. I liked it, but I just haven't gotten back to it yet. Do not expose light gamers to this, especially anyone that you're trying to lure into the hobby. They will hate the game, and then hate you too.


 
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My 0.02:

Maharaja is definitely worth getting if you like Euros. As well as being a fine game it has excellent components.

Hammer of the Scots, Battle Cry, and C&C:Ancients are all quick (circa 1 hour) light wargames, and are less complex than War of the Ring and TI3. I think you should consider those. Hannibal, Paths of Glory etc are proper hardcore wargames that you probably wouldn't enjoy.
 
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DrakeStorm wrote:

15 YINSH - Of the Gipf series this one seems the most appealing, but do I really need any of them.

36 DVONN - See YINSH


I don't know whether you need them, but I personally need ALL of them. You might not often have only 2 players, or you might not like abstracts. I didn't think I liked abstracts until I tried Blokus and DVONN, and after I played YINSH I decided I might have been wrong about that. I'd say at least get one of them and then make your decision.
 
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DrakeStorm wrote:

47 Louis XIV - Same as Amun-Re, friend didn't make it sound too appealing.


What the? Both very good games in my opinion.
 
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Michael R
United Kingdom
Leeds
West Yorkshire
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So right now the break down of the remaining games is as follows:

A) Want to buy for sure:
Struggle of Empires Is a multiplayer wargame with dice and everything.
Caylus Great heavy game with lots of decisions and player interaction.
Goa Heavy auction game that I would only now play with 4.

B) I would probably buy unless I got some comments against them:
Reef Encounter Don't know it.
Maharaja: Palace Building in India Have it but have yet to play.
YINSH GIPF series is fantastic.
Ticket to Ride Like it a lot, good lighter game.

C) Need a little convincing on:
Wallenstein The battles are a small aspect. The tower is cool. More about resource management than war. Shogun is coming in english with new theme.
Through the Desert Multiplayer abstract it is good but doesn't blow me away.
Union Pacific Don't know it. Almost played once. Impossible to find?
Blokus Nice filler.
DVONN Don't Know it.
Ticket to Ride Europe I would not buy both or at least recommend try before buy. The difference between them is small.

D) Need a lot of convincing on:
San Juan I like it for two players.
Lord of the Rings - The Confrontation This is great.
Amun-Re Five player only but it is different to a lot of other auction games.
Louis XIV Majorities game. Not one that thrills me but it is different enough to other majorities games to keep me playing.
Tichu Four player only. I like it but find it hard to find players. I would probably recommend Mu over this.
 
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