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Subject: What game surprised you the most and why? rss

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Jeremy Weimer
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Can be a good surprise or bad surprise. Thought it might be interesting to have a discussion around this. I know there's a ton of threads started about what games you enjoy, don't like, what games your group likes, etc. So I figured a slight twist on the question might be fun.

I apologize if this has been asked recently.
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C B
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Twin Cities
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Desperados of Dice Town.
This is a good romp. An excellent filler game.
It's a surprise for me because I basically got it for free from someone who was just getting rid of it. (It was bundled with another game in a Pay It Forward list.)
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Jeremy Weimer
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Always nice to get something for free and it end up being awesome.
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Kevin Garnica
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Quadropolis has surprised me. I've played it a bunch since getting it, and it never gets old. Even the "expert" mode is really fun & interesting.
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Trent Boardgamer
Australia
Perth
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I'm surprised how much one of my groups ended up liking the Resistance.

I thought they would like it, but they request to play it every time now. Thankfully it's a fairly quick game.

Oh I do really enjoy it as well, I just didn't think they would want to play this over other games as much as they do.
 
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Mike Spartz
United States
Golden valley
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I was really surprised how much I enjoyed Pandemic: The Cure. I bought it at the Barnes and noble clearance sale expecting to play it two or three times and then break it out from time to time. Got 8 plays in just during the first week I had it. It really captures the feeling of normal Pandemic but in 30 minutes.
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Jeremy Weimer
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Sparticuse wrote:
I was really surprised how much I enjoyed Pandemic: The Cure. I bought it at the Barnes and noble clearance sale expecting to play it two or three times and then break it out from time to time. Got 8 plays in just during the first week I had it. It really captures the feeling of normal Pandemic but in 30 minutes.

Damn, I might have to see if there's still any copies available around here. I love Pandemic.
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P Santos
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Surprised me: Splendor -- it's elegant simplicity is a hit.
Most Disapointed: Mage Knight, overhyped but found it to be too long and a little stale, for its complicated rules.
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CHAPEL
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Blood Rage probably surprised me the most. I didn't buy it on KS as it looked like a very AT'ish. But it's very "euro'y" and surprised me.
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Dan Mansfield
United States
Poway
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Star Wars: Imperial Assault. Bad surprise. It is highly ranked on BGG, has great minis, rolling dice is fun, and the idea of playing an ongoing campaign with variable missions sounded like just the thing I was looking for. Sadly, my whole group found the game to be terribly imbalanced in favor of the Imperials, and we lost interest after half a dozen plays. We may finish the campaign someday, but we are in no hurry to do so.
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Eric Chiriboga
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Oviedo
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The Lord of the Rings: The Complete Trilogy – Adventure Board Game

Looks so cool, worst game I've ever played. Mind-numbingly, monotonously awful.
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Zack Hiwiller
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Winter Park
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Good surprise: Food Chain Magnate. I bought it blind at Essen this year having never played a Splotter game and it eased its way into my Top 3. I figured I'd try it and if I didn't like it, Splotters held their value well. Nope, never getting rid of this one.
Bad surprise: Blood Rage. I'll keep my negative comments to myself since it seems to have a cult of personality, but luckily I got a good trade when I got rid of it.
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Gláucio Reis
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Rio de Janeiro
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Recently, the game that surprised me the most was Adventure Land. I read the rules before buying and thought it might be too abstract and random. I was on the fence, but it had a Fantasy theme and beautiful art, it came from my favorite designer, Wolfgang Kramer, and I was going to buy a number of expansions but only one new game. So, I added it to that order.

After playing it once, I knew it was a keeper. The movement mechanic is indeed abstract, but it didn't bother me. There is a lot of randomness in the card draws, but also interesting decisions. Most important, it's very pleasant to play, somewhat relaxing. It's not something I would play often with heavy gamers, but it's an outstanding family game and there is enough to keep a gamer interested.

All in all, a very good surprise.
 
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Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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I am surprised games like Splendor are so loved...there is just not much to this game.

Really shocked I've enjoyed Sentinels of the Multiverse as much as I have.
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Keith Presley
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Las Vegas
Nevada
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Good surprise: Patchwork - really did not think it was a game I would enjoy, but upon playing it found it to be a great game.

Bad surprise: Codenames - I won't elaborate as it is insanely popular and winning awards nonstop, but I am glad I was able to trade it for another game I wanted and give it a home with someone who appreciated it.
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Rene Thomas
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Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower
I was very sceptical with this one because of GW's selling miniatures in board game boxes and the high price tag but gave it a go.
It turned out to be a very entertaining, well thought out dungeon crawling table-cinema and is a true eye candy.
My game group asks me several times a week if and when we will continue to play.

I hope GW will add more stuff and fluff to this game so it will not stop hitting the table.
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Robert Bennett
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Firefly: The Game looked, from a distance, like just another TV tie-in boardgame. You know, the kind of thing you buy just because you like the show, but not much fun to play. We bought it for my daughter who loves the series (which I've never gotten round to watching) and opened it up for a play on Christmas. It was fun! I mean I like the graphic design choices especially the gorgeous money and my daughter loves the many show references everywhere but the game would be fun to play without all that. It's a good game.

Had a similar experience with Thunderbirds, except this time it wasn't really a surprise. My wife is a big fan of this show, so we would have bought it anyway, but we investigated very thoroughly before we did. It looked really good, and when we played it it was actually terrific.

But even with these great experiences I can't get out of my head that games based on TV shows are just lame.
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Isaac Thimbleby
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Moustache Smash
I only played it because it was the only game with space...
I don't usually enjoy silly games, but this had us all laughing.


Blood Rage
I didn't know what to think about this game. Especially with SU&SD's poor review. Still not a fan of the Serpent Clan, and am unsure about the game balance (It certainly isn't very friendly to new players), but I enjoyed the game a lot.


Contract Bridge
This is the game that got me into gaming. Long before I played any modern boardgames. I didn't know how much I enjoyed this kind of thing before playing Bridge.


Bananagrams
I'm dyslexic. And I rock at this game ... So long as I have someone to badger about spellings. Dyslexia actually seems to help with rearranging the words on the fly (it's easier to see the letters in different orders). Still occasionally try to end the game with incorrectly spelt words .


Agricola & Catan
These were surprises long after the fact ... that is I enjoyed them for a long time, then when I went to go back and play them again years later suddenly realised that they didn't stand up to my enjoyment of more recent boardgames.


Monopoly Deal
It's got Monopoly in the title.
It's actually an ok game. Weird huh?


Small good Surprises:
Keyflower
Forge War
High Tail It
Caylus (This was a surprise while playing it ... at first we thought it was a bad game, then as we finished that first game we found ourselves enjoying it more and more)


Small disappointments:
Robinson Crusoe
The Resistance
(N.b. I still like these, I just expected to like them more)

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Jerry Wilkinson
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When I first found BGG, I looked at the ratings at a bunch of family sytle games and bought Zooloretto. I kept playing it, trying to find why everyone else thought it was so great, and for me it never got any better. I ended up playing it 17 times before deciding to trade it away (my second biggest disappointment).

So by the time I got to play El Grande I had learned that the BGG ratings weren't something I could rely on to find games I liked. I knew El Grande was a highly rated game and I expected to be disappointed. I was not, it was fantastic (my biggest pleasant surprise).

And then a few years later someone wanted to play Coloretto at a local con. I had never tried it, but I knew it shared the same designer as Zooloretto. I agreed to play it, even though I was a little apprehensive after playing and trading away Zooloretto. But it was great, taking the best part of Zooloretto and leaving the rest behind. (And it takes up way less room on the shelf!) (my second biggest pleasant surprise).

So a couple of years ago I had seen videos of Last Will and thought it would be great. I got the chance to play it against two people who were experienced at it, and between the two of them they took every extra action available and I never, not once in the game, had an opportunity to get an extra action. So I thought it was only a bad first game experience and I got to try it again, this time grabbing every extra action I could get and I ended up winning, but really disliking this game (my biggest disappointment).
 
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This film's crap, let's slash the seats
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I've mentioned a fair few of these on here before but:

Viticulture. My very Ameritrash focused gaming group were mostly playing this to be polite at a party. But we all enjoyed it way more than we expected.

Spartacus: A Game of Blood & Treachery. I'd really not expected that a tv tie-in would end up being one of my favourite games.

Order of the Stick Adventure Game: The Dungeon of Dorukan. I expected to really like this. Funny art, dungeon crawl and I love OOTS. But it was just a terrible game.
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Ron
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My biggest surprise was The Resistance. When I played it, I was still in my 'everything in the BGG top 100 rocks' phase. I sortof enjoyed Werewolves, and went in it fully expecting a better, more streamlined version. And man, did I hate it! Removing player elimination just means it takes forever and, for me, not an enjoyable forever.
My lesson: even highly ranked games still need to be researched to see if I think I'd enjoy them. I knew this before, of course, but this game really hammered it home
 
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Don Brookins
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Good surprise: Stockpile. I had never heard of it when someone brought it to my game group. I loved it from the very first play and now have my own copy on the way.

Bad surprise: Keyflower. I fully expected to enjoy this game, but it did nothing for me. Granted, this is based on just one online play at 6 players, but I don't see myself suddenly liking this game in person or with a different player count. It's just not for me.
 
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Will

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Full Thrust - Many of the tactical games now have units with very few hit points, and the fully functional until the last hit mentality. Full Thrust has units that take a lot of damage & degrade, losing some of their abilities. Of course, Full Thrust is an older game from when that was the norm, but I just learned of it in the last 2 years, and most older games don't get much action.
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Worst by far shocker = TIME Stories. My comments are in my ratings.

Best by far = Struggle of Empires with 6 players.



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r0t1 prata
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Alchemists

When I first heard about it, the "gimmicks" I knew were the smartphone app or the big player boards the players have in front of them. I didn't know anything about the game play.

So the good surprise came when I tried it, it was the logic puzzle which you have to solve by acquiring ingredients and testing them on your student or yourself and looking at the results.




Small World

It was when I just started buying board games. I wanted to like it, the artwork on the box cover is to my taste, but the bad surprise came when I played it. The choosing of races was a big part of the decision making, it wasn't the "cute fantasy war game" I expected.





 
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