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Subject: Which games have the most ingenious mechanic? rss

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David Chandross
Canada
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Hey Folks

Which board games have you played which have the most ingenious mechanic, one that really is unique? Thanks in advance for your replies.
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rob stencel

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Guess I'll start this off. I'll go with a game I really don't like but think the mechanic is unique, and that is the way the two sided cards work in The Agents.
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Lucas Smith
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The production wheel in Glass Road! (Uwe Rosenberg)
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Life is a lamp-flame before a wind.
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Not an easy question to answer, mainly because there are so many games I haven't played.

What first comes to my mind is Khet: The Laser Game; there's one copycat game, but apart from that, I dare say that it's a unique game. I'm rather certain that TAMSK is unique too; I don't know about any other games that use sandglasses as pieces. Camden and The Hanging Gardens have very unusual ways of playing cards, but I dare not say if they are unique. Possibly, the combination of time pressure and puzzling in Galaxy Trucker and Mondo is unique, but I'm skating on thin ice with this one. For what it's worth, I'm quite certain that Loopin' Louie is unique, but many gamers would barely call this a game.
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Mark Nicosia
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Portland
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Tobago's playing negative clue cards to eventually narrow down where the treasure is.

Thebes and Red November's time track to decide turn order.

Pyramid of Pengqueen's use of magnets on both sides of a vertical board.

Everything about Concept. So simple, yet unique. So 'darn it, why didn't I think of that?'
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Johannes Hihn
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I don't know how unique the mechanic actually is but I love how everything you do has a consequence in Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island. That is achieved by drawing cards for certain actions that will go straight into the event pile from where they will come back sooner or later. Very thematic.

Another really cool mechanic I've never seen in another game has Bushido: Der Weg des Kriegers to offer. There are 4 (5 in a 5-player game) roles in the game and every round the start player, the Daimyo, distributes them between the players. The semi-unique thing is that one of the roles is the attacker in that round and one role is the defender. But the real unique thing is that the attacker doesn't attack what he wants, he has to attack FOR the start player. That means the start player provides the troops for the attack, tells the attacker where to attack and the attack-player chooses the strategy and buffs for the battle. If the attacker wins for the Daimyo he gets victory points and stuff. But it's certainly not always the interest of the attacker that the Daimyo is successful in the battle. So there is a lot of negotiation and backstabbing going on. Really unique and really cool.
Bushido is one of those games, no one seems to know and no one seems to talk about. But this game acutally deserves more attention because it offers a lot of depth and an unique way of role-distribution and the way it plays out. But you need the right group for that game devil

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Richard Massey
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I think you should be asking two questions.

Any game mechanic which is really ingenious (which, for this argument I will also take to mean really good) won’t stay unique for very long (card drafting, worker placement...).

Conversely if any game mechanic is truly unique, you have to ask yourself why no one has thought to borrow it.
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Richard Massey
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Butsudoka wrote:
I'm rather certain that TAMSK is unique too; I don't know about any other games that use sandglasses as pieces.


Time 'n' Space

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Andrew Simpson
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Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar. I think the wheel mechanism is very clever. With the combination of placing of workers ascending up the different production wheels at an increasing cost, plus the ability to force extra turns of the main wheel, it gives you a lot of interesting choices.
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Aaron Tanco
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It has to be Knizia Scoring found in Tigris & Euphrates. Elegance par none.
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bort
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I dont like this game either, and I have no idea if its even unique, but I find Hanabi ingenious (apart from this game, I love his games)
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Richard Massey
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LRayZor wrote:
Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar. I think the wheel mechanism is very clever. With the combination of placing of workers ascending up the different production wheels at an increasing cost, plus the ability to force extra turns of the main wheel, it gives you a lot of interesting choices.


Interlocking wheels are old hat


(Ghost Train)



 
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Mord im Arosa hotel floor clue tower
The three sided dice to simulate motorboat racing in Powerboats
The battle tower for determining winners in war in Shogun
The use of dice as shooters and scoring multipliers in Tumblin' Dice
The balancing platform of Bamboleo
Pyramid's vertical magnet movement mechanism
The dice scoring strategy of YAY!

... all very intriguing mechanism's that help make each of these games fun ... but not sure if any is the most ingenious.

Ok ... I go with Powerboats just because it simulates what it was meant to so well.
 
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Warren Zdan
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The textured pieces in Dr. Shark blew my mind. The first time you introduce the mechanic to someone by challenging them to draw a specific colored tile out of a blind draw bag is pretty priceless.
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Life is a lamp-flame before a wind.
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CPAG wrote:
Butsudoka wrote:
I'm rather certain that TAMSK is unique too; I don't know about any other games that use sandglasses as pieces.


Time 'n' Space


Are the sandglasses really used as pieces, i.e. are they moved around on a board, are they simply used for measuring time? In any case, good call. I should have thought of it, because I've been thinking about buying this game for a long time.
 
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Jake Smith
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CPAG wrote:
LRayZor wrote:
Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar. I think the wheel mechanism is very clever. With the combination of placing of workers ascending up the different production wheels at an increasing cost, plus the ability to force extra turns of the main wheel, it gives you a lot of interesting choices.


Interlocking wheels are old hat


(Ghost Train)




The wheels aren't the mechanism, just a way to simplify its book keeping.
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Aaron Yoder
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Maria gives you playing cards which determine the outcome of a battle. The catch is that your general has to be in the area with the suit you want to use! For example, you may have a ton of hearts, but if you're in an area that reads "Spades," you're out of luck.
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Richard Massey
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Butsudoka wrote:
CPAG wrote:
Butsudoka wrote:
I'm rather certain that TAMSK is unique too; I don't know about any other games that use sandglasses as pieces.


Time 'n' Space


Are the sandglasses really used as pieces, i.e. are they moved around on a board, are they simply used for measuring time? In any case, good call. I should have thought of it, because I've been thinking about buying this game for a long time.


I should start by admitting I played one hectic and totally confusing game of this at Essen last year (I bought it on the strength of that play, I just haven't got round to playing it again yet) so don't take the following as Gospel.

As I recall, the sandglasses, of which there are many, are used to time multiple events which run in parallel during the game. Several of them are placed on spaceships which do indeed move around the board. Not quite the same, but similar.
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Johan Haglert
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Sukunai Yori
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Up Front the wargame based on Squad Leader.

No board made it possible to stop freaking out over line of sight. Card play being closer to poker, brought the fog of war into it excellently. Just not knowing what your troops would do.

It actually recreates the uncertain feel of battle so utterly well.

To often a board game becomes to fixed too rigid, too chess like and unable to handle the abstract.

I love ASL to death, but in truth, it is only a fraction of the realism of Up Front.
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Dani Evans
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I've never seen any other game use light and shadows like Waldschattenspiel

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Ken Galbraith
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Chittenango
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I'm a big fan of the "intensify" mechanic found in Pandemic (and Forbidden Island). As simple as it is, it really cranks up the tension.
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/|\ Roland /|\
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This geeklist of 171 games is the definitive answer to this question - Most Brilliant Single Piece of Game Design Ever
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Benjamin Maggi
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jasss333 wrote:
The battle tower for determining winners in war in Shogun


+1

First thing that came to my mind when I saw this thread.
 
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Jonathan Fowler
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May be trolling but I like the highest low number scoring in Ingenious.
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