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Subject: OK, it's April. Time for a 2007 Games Played Report!!! rss

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Kane Klenko
United States
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And here it is…my 2007 games played report. Can you feel the excitement?

The main point of this is to record the games I played this year and hopefully make it interesting enough for you that you don’t feel like I’ve wasted your time.

And here we go…

This only takes into account face to face games.

I played a total of 112 games a total of 260 times. 2006 totals: 114 games a total of 372 times. 2005 totals: 102 different games a total of 363 times. 2004 totals: 98 different games a total of 366 times. 2003 totals: I didn’t keep track back then.

As you can see, I was pretty consistent in my number of games played (right around 365/yr), but this year I had a drop of over 100 games. I’m not surprised. We had an issue where a “friend” that we hired as a contractor stole a lot of money and caused damage to our house. A lot of the year was spent dealing with those issues. We’re still dealing with the legal side of it, but at least our house isn’t going to collapse anytime soon. (Although our backyard/deck is still a wreck) So, while we normally have an all day/night GameDay every other month or so, it’s been over a year now since our last one. Lunch time gaming took a bit of a break in the summer too while I was dealing with a lot of this stuff. So, anyway, while my total number of plays has gone way down, it looks like the number of titles played has actually stayed around the same as last year. I guess I was in the mood to spread it out a bit more last year.

Here are some stats:

Designers of Note:

Bruno Faidutti: 2 titles / 7 plays

Leo Colovini: 2 titles / 2 plays

Michael Schacht: 6 titles / 14 plays

Richard Borg: 1 title / 3 plays

Rudiger Dorn: 3 titles / 6 plays

Sid Sackson: 1 title / 3 plays

Wolfgang Kramer: 12 titles / 22 plays

and the winner is……

Reiner Knizia: 45 titles / 88 plays

45 different Knizia games equates to 40% of all the games I played being Knizias. This is actually the same percentage as last year. 88 total played Knizias is 34% and that’s a step up from last year’s 26%. Conclusion: I like Knizia games.

And the winner is…

Most Played: Match of the Penguins

Game I rate a 10 that I played the least: Amun-Re and El Grande were both not played in 2007. I’m not surprised though since they’re more GameDay type games, and that just didn’t happen this year.

Most played game that takes longer than an hour: Lord of the Rings (although we can squeeze the base game into a lunch hour)

Most surprised to see at the top: Match of the Penguins / Knights of Charlemagne

Most surprised to see at the bottom: This could be a long list. I guess I’m more disappointed than surprised at seeing so many unplayed games this year.

Favorite new game of 2007: Arkadia, Zooloretto, or Vikings. I’m just not sure.

Favorite reprint of 2007: Beowulf: The Movie: The Boardgame (Kingdoms, etc.)

Most played game I don’t own: All games that I played this year that I don’t own were played once. My favorites were: Clash of the Gladiators and Kapitan Wackelpudding

Biggest disappointment: RoboRally. It’s actually not bad, but I didn’t really have any major disappointments in any games this year. Robo Rally isn’t something I’d probably purchase.

Most pleasant surprises: Rum & Pirates, Little Italy, Sunken City

Game that could end up as a 10 someday, but I haven’t played it enough: none.

Games traded away in 2007: Trias (woohoo!), Santiago, For Sale, Detroit/Cleveland Grand Prix, Tikal

I’ll break this into 2 main sections: Games I own and Games I Don’t Own. Within each section will be 3 categories: 1-4 plays, 5-9 plays, 10+ plays. Within each section the games will be pseudo-alphabetical; meaning that they are alphabetical for the most part, but there may be a random game in there that isn’t. You know, just to keep things wacky and entertaining, or something. The number next to the game title is how many times I played it in 2007.

Games Owned: 10+

Match of the Penguins (10): Well, you know it’s a rough year when Match of the Penguins is the only game on your dime* list.

MotP is a fun little Gamewright game that I picked up at Target for $5. It’s sort of a Jungle Speed type game, but without so much blood. Flip the cards and react if you see a match. Each penguin has a hat, sunglasses, shirt, blanket, and fish in a bucket. If you see one that matches then call it out. Two that match, then grab one of the black pawns. An exact match, grab the white pawn. Two fish in a bucket, knock on the table. It sounds simple, but when the cards are flipping and everyone is staring down the cards it can be nerve wracking. A fun little filler that I’d recommend picking up if you see it cheap.

*6 defensive backs.

Games Owned: 5-10 plays

Cheeky Monkey (5): I just got this one for Christmas 2007, but it saw 5 plays quickly. Cheeky Monkey is a new Knizia filler that has been described as a mix between Pickomino and Circus Flohcati. Personally I like it more than CF, but not quite as much as Pickomino.

There is a bag with 52 animal chips in it. (Sorry, no cow chips) 10 monkeys, 9 dingos, 8 boars, 7 kangaroos, 6 zebras, 5 giraffes, 4 walruses, and 3 elephants. On your turn you draw a chip from the bag. Then you can decide to either stop or keep going. You can keep going as long as you want, but if you draw a chip matching something you’ve already drawn then you bust and all of those chips go back in the bag. If you decide to stop, then you make a stack with the chips in any order that you want. This is your scoring stack. If you draw a chip that matches the top chip of someone else’s stack, then you can steal those chips. The monkeys are cheeky in that if you draw a monkey you can swap it with the top chip in someone else’s stack. This is risky, but it has a nice payout. It’s risky because you’re giving them a monkey. It’s sometimes worth the risk because now if you draw another monkey you can steal that one back and have a multiple monkey extravaganza. Why are monkeys good? Well, at the end of the game (once all chips are taken) you score your stack. Each chip is worth one point. Plus you score majorities for the animals. The person with the most elephants scores 3 bonus points, walruses 4, giraffes 5….and the cheeky monkeys score 10 bonus points.

It’s a fun game. It’s a bit pricey for the weight of the game (like Pickomino), but (like Pickomino) it’s nicely produced. The only negative I would have is that if everyone is having bad luck or pushing their luck too far then the game can go a bit long. It’s not an every game occurrence, but it does happen.

Dead Man’s Treasure (6): I think I might like this one more than I should. It’s just a simple little filler, but I really like it. There is a circle of islands, and each contains treasure chests of varying worth. On your turn you play a card face down to one of the islands, thus adding your influence to those treasure chests. When a card is played to an island that has a face down card, the face down card is flipped up and the newly played card is put face down. So, at all times there will be one face down card at each island and probably a few face up ones. Each player starts with the exact same hand: numbers 1-7 and a bomb. If the face down card you flip up when you play your card is a bomb, then your card (along with the bomb) gets discarded. At the end of the game you flip up all the cards and hand out the treasures based on each player’s influence at the island. There are also 2 pirate dudes that move around from island to island. One moves clockwise and the other counter-clockwise. When you play a card to the island where one of them is, they move. During scoring, one of the pirates (the bad one) makes the treasures at that island worthless. The other pirate (the good one) is worth 10 points to the winner at that island.

And that’s it. It’s very simple and it takes about 10 minutes to play a game. I think it’s a lot of fun though. Recommended if you’re looking for a good filler game.

Gulo Gulo (6): I started getting some games for my 4 year old (just turned 5) and playing them by the rules. Actually, I picked up Gulo Gulo in 2006 but 2007 is when we started playing by the rules. Great game if you have kids. It’s fun for adults too. The cool thing is that the adults can play at their best and they’ll probably still get beat by the kids…or at least have a close game. My kids (5 and 2) can just reach in and grab any egg they want….even from the bottom of the bowl. If I so much as look at an egg the stick will fall. Exceptional components really add to this one too.

Iliad (6): It’s actually been a few months since I’ve played this, but I do know that I really liked it. A nice card game that doesn’t play anything like a standard card game. I need to get this to the table again soon.

Incan Gold (6): I got this one for my birthday in October and it got several plays over the last couple of months of the year. This has become my filler of choice for playing with non-gamers who want to play something simple. The theme helps teach the game and the choices to be made are quite simple. Heck, my then 4 year old can play with us and do quite well. I’m sure the Diamant version is nicer (I don’t like the tents in Incan Gold), but I like the artifacts and the price of this version better. Highly recommended filler.

Knights of Charlemagne (6): This is a fun little Knizia filler in the same family as Lost Cities, Battle Line, and Spy. It’s probably closest to Spy in gameplay, but this one is the only one of the bunch that works well with more than two players.

Monopoly Express (9): Well, I never thought I’d be buying a Monopoly game. I don’t know where I first heard about the game, but I know gashlycrumb recommended it to me. Well, since he’s always right I figured I’d give it a shot. Turns out it a pretty fun push-your-luck dice game. The Monopoly theme is lightly glazed over the top and none of the Monopoly gameplay is present. The packaging is great…nice and compact. I’d recommend picking this one up. You can get it for $12.99 at most stores.

Mr. Jack (7): This game, like LotR: The Confrontation, feels very different depending on which side you are playing. While I wish there was maybe a tad more bluff and deduction involved, Mr. Jack is a great 2 player game, and one of my favorite new releases of 2007.

Rome (6): OK, this one’s maybe not fair to put here. I played Rome 6 times, but really that was 2 games of Rome vs. Carthage, 3 games of Imperium, and 1 game of Circus Maximus. My favorite by a mile is Imperium. I actually like the game so much that I would buy it as a stand alone game. The other games in the package are decent and make this package even more attractive. I’ve only played a single 2 player game of Circus Maximus, so I expect to like that even more when I get to play it with more players.

Vikings (5): I’ve heard a lot of people say that this game is only worth playing if you play the advanced version. Well, I love it and I’ve only played the basic version. Vikings has a perfect depth vs time ratio, and it’s engaging the whole time. I really like the market wheel and how you have to balance the prices there with what you really need in your islands. Each item on the wheel is a balance too because you are always buying a tile and a Viking, so you have to figure out how much you’re willing to give up in order to get the one thing you need. Plus this game has Ninja Vikings, so that’s cool.

Wits & Wagers (6): I’m not much of a party gamer, but I do enjoy an occasional game of Scattergories or Pictionary. Wits & Wagers is the only party game that I’ll actually pull out and suggest. Wits & Wagers takes the not-so-fun genre of trivia games and makes it fun by (who would have guessed) giving you a bunch of questions where no one will know the answer. The strategy and the fun come from playing the odds and betting on everyone’s answers. Great game. I have the first edition. I’d like to try some of the second edition changes sometime.

Yspahan (5): The more I think about it, the more I think Yspahan might be one of my favorite games. I love the way the dice work and how the whole package comes together. This is easily my favorite Ystari game (although I haven’t played Amyitis yet). I think the reason I like it so much is because the dice mechanic seems like something I would have designed. My problem is that I come up with stuff like that, but can never bring it all together into a cohesive game like Yspahan.

Zeus on the Loose (7): This was a Gamewright game that was being clearanced for $3 so I took a chance on it. Turns out it’s a pretty fun game. Nothing amazing, but it plays in about 5 minutes and there is plenty of hootin’ and hollerin’ during the game. The Zeus figure is pretty cool too.

Zooloretto (5): Coloretto was one of my first games back in 2003, and I’ve always liked it, so I was interested in Zooloretto from the get go. This has gone over very very well with everyone I’ve played it with. In fact, it’s been one of the biggest hits I’ve ever had in my collection. Every time I’ve played it with new people they ask to play it again immediately. This has become my #1 gateway game and something I’ll even pull out to play just with gamers. I just picked up the expansion too. Good stuff.

Games Owned 1-4 plays

1960: The Making of a President (1/2): OK, so this doesn’t really fit in the 1-4 plays category since I only played it ½ time. Sue me. Seems like a good game, but it might be tough to get to the table. My wife likes big games, but usually she’s only in that mood when we’re having a GameDay. Unfortunately that means no 2 player games. It might be pushing it a bit, but I’m gonna try to do this on a lunch hour someday.

Africa (2): A bit too rules heavy for the weight of game it is, but it’s still fun. Not a whole lot of strategy going on, but it’s still fun. I guess my point is that it’s still fun.

Arkadia (4): I haven’t played all of Dorn’s games (most notably Louis XIV), but this is my favorite of the ones I have played. A nice sort of stockish game where timing is everything. Very nice components top off a great game that was one of my favorites of 2007.

Attika (3): This is one of my wife’s favorite games. I like it more every time I play it, but I haven’t gotten in too many plays yet. A great lunch time game. I need to get this one out again.

Australia (1): Personally I think Kramer’s recent area majority games are just as good or better than his classics like Tikal. Australia is an excellent game and one of my favorite Kramers. I don’t know why this one isn’t more loved. Anyone?

Battle Line (1): It’s amazing what Knizia can do with a few numbered cards. The tension he can create from a few simple rules is one of the reasons he is my favorite designer. Battle Line is one of those games. I don’t think I’d rate it as high as a lot of people would, but I still think it’s a great little 2 player game.

Battle Lore (3): Battle Lore is a fun game. I think my problem has become that I’m not sure I think the game is worth the setup/teardown time that it takes. The game itself is fine as far as how long it takes to play, but adding in the setup time makes it a bit too long. I still like it though, and am happy to play. I would maybe consider trading it along with the Hill Giant and Earth Elemental if someone was interested.

Beowulf (2): Only 2 plays this year, but Beowulf is still one of my favorite games. It’s in my top 10, in fact. People say it’s only worth playing with 5 players, but I don’t think I’ve ever once played with 5 players. Most of my plays have been with 3. This game just clicks with me.

Beowulf: The Movie: The Boardgame (1): I just got this one for Christmas, but we managed to squeeze in a game before the end of the year. Since then it’s been played a few more times and it’s been a big hit. I really like the new additions in this edition, and I especially like the 3 different boards that are used. The nicer components just give this game a better feel than the older Kingdoms version. It’s kind of confusing having 2 Knizia / Fantasy Flight Beowulf games, but they’re both very good. I like Beowulf: The Legend more, but this one is no slouch.

Billabong (1): This is an odd game. I wish it played a little faster, but it’s still fun to pull out on occasion. Of course, you’ll need a friend to help you pull it out because the box is huge. Seriously, it’s one of the biggest boxes in my collection and the game consists of a few kangarooples and a small roll-up mat. If you like racing and/or abstract games, I’d recommend picking this one up sometime.

Bison (3): Bison doesn’t get much love on BGG, but it’s absolutely one of my favorite Kramer games. I’d also say it’s one of the most brain-burniest games in my collection. Bison is an area majority game where the actions you can choose are severely limited, the board keeps expanding, and in order to build up any kind of strong point base you need to plan well in advance and continually make moves toward that goal. Bison is certainly a big box game in a small box. I’m not sure why more gamers don’t seem to love this game.

Blue Moon (4): As with last year, my Blue Moon playing has dropped. A lot. I think I had 49 plays in 2005. The main reason is that my wife doesn’t really get into the game, so it was always a lunch-time game. Well, now we usually have 3 for lunch, so no Blue Moon. My wife agrees that it’s a good game, and doesn’t have a huge problem with it…she would just rather play other things. I think the game isn’t good enough for her to overcome how she feels about the theme. Blue Moon City, on the other hand, she loves.

Blue Moon City (3): Speaking of which; Blue Moon City got 3 plays this year. Not great, but not bad considering nothing really got played much. We’re going to be trying out a friends copies of the expansions soon, so that should be fun.

Bridges of Shangri-La (1): I still think this is my favorite Colovini game. It’s close between this and Carolus Magnus. This is one of those games though that you really need to play a few times to get a feel for it. After your first play you probably have no idea what just happened. It’s odd, but it’s good.

Buy Low, Sell High (1): For me, this is a lower-middle tier Knizia. Certainly not a favorite, but I do really enjoy it every time I play it. I assume this shows up on Tanga from time to time. I’d recommend picking it up. It’s a good light stock game. There’s a bit of math to do when figuring out payments, but otherwise I think it’s a great intro game for non-gamers.

Can’t Stop (3): I traded away my old huge-box version and got the new Face 2 Face edition. This is easily one of the best push your luck games available. If you don’t have it, add it to your next order.

Carcassonne: The Castle (1): Knizia takes Carcassonne and makes it better. Nuff said.

Chicken Cha-Cha-Cha (1): We got this for my son (5) for Christmas, and got in one play before the end of the year. This is a great kids game, and is my wife’s favorite among the kid’s games we have. It’s basically a memory game, but instead of matching two tiles and then taking them, there are 12 tiles in the middle of the table (all different) and a “track” running around them. Each player has a chicken with a tail feather that moves around the track. In order to move a space on the track you have to flip up the center tile that matches the space you want to move to. If you pass another chicken, then you still his tail feather. First player to get all the feathers wins. It’s amazing how fast you can forget where something is. Someone can flip up the egg tile 2 turns before yours and by the time it gets to you you’ll have no idea where the egg is. Great game that young kids have a shot at winning against adults.

Circus Flohcati (1): I didn’t like this as much as a lot of people do. I felt like the choices were obvious and it just didn’t grab me. I may have gotten into it more if I had played it again, but alas it’s been traded. After playing Cheeky Monkey, I don’t see any reason that I would take this off the shelf over that one.

Coloretto (3): Still one of my favorite fillers after all these years. The only problem I have with the game is the crappy box it comes in. I take care of my games, but this one looks like it got ran over by a car.

Colossal Arena (1): I think I realize why this didn’t get played much, despite being my favorite card game. People I play with that usually want to play card games want something more traditional or more simple. People I play with who like this game have been playing more board games instead of card games. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but it makes me feel better.

Colosseum (2): I’ve played Colosseum twice, but I still don’t feel like I have much to say about it. The first game was a 2 player game, and it’s not even a 2 player game. The second game was a 3 player game and I liked it more. I’d like to get this to the table with 4 or 5 players and really see how good the game is. I love the theme and components, so hopefully the game is just as good. I think the reference chart is great, but it also makes the game a little overwhelming and slows it down. This will be at the top of my list to get to the table at the next GameDay.

Double or Nothing (1): Really? Only 1 play? I know I’ve already played more than that in 2008. Despite the general hate for this game around here, this is one of my favorite fillers. In fact, I’ve never played it with anyone who hasn’t thoroughly enjoyed it. There have been several times where I’ll play several different games with people and Double or Nothing is the one that gets requested to play again. I played it just a few weeks ago and a non gamer asked me where they could buy a copy. So, I recommend that you go buy a copy right now. They’re usually like 12 cents or so on Tanga.

Through The Desert (1): I still love the camels. I wouldn’t mind getting the smaller box version sometime. I have the bigger Durch Die Wuste version. I like the artwork better on my version, but I think I might carry it around more in a smaller box.

Ingenious (1): I played this a few times online, but only once in person. Still great. I’d like to pick up the little 2 player version sometime too.

End of the Triumvirate (1): I really like this game. I’ve played it with 2 players and with 3. It works with both, but is much better with 3. There is constant tension and attacking. I can’t decide if I think this game is fairly heavy, or if it’s pretty light. I guess it’s somewhere in the middle, but certain points in the game can sway to one side or the other. I really like the random battle bag mechanic. I need to get this to the table again soon.

Escalation (2): Extremely light card game. It’s fun to play here and there, but I wouldn’t recommend that you run out and buy it right away. It’s sort of like Bucket King without the Buckets. I guess that would make it King.

Expedition (1): I really like Expedition. It’s a fun little tug-o-war connection game where everyone has their own hidden goals. My only problem with it is trying to keep track of where all of the spots are on the map. It gets to be kind of an information overload at times looking at the board, but it’s still a light game. Sort of Ticket to Rideish, but I think I might like this one a little better.

Fairy Tale (4): I don’t know what to think of Fairy Tale. We played 4 games of it pretty close together, and now I don’t remember too much about it. I wasn’t all that impressed with it, but I’m willing to give it another shot.

Felix: The Cat in the Sack (2): This is kind of an odd filler involving bluffing and, you guessed it, cats in sacks. I actually enjoyed this a lot more than I expected. Top notch filler.

Free Ride Poker (1): This is a poker variant designed by Reiner Knizia. It plays 4-6 players and works like so: Each player gets a hand of 5 cards and chips totaling $50. Each player secretly selects a card and then they are flipped simultaneously. This card in front of you is the beginning of your poker hand. On your turn you have 2 options: Either play a card from your hand to the table to add to your Poker Hand (and then draw a new card), or fold. If you fold you pay chips to the pot based on how many cards you’ve already played. The more cards, the more you pay. You keep going like this until players have 4 cards in front of them. If those players want to stay in then they have a duel and flip up their final (5th) card and finish their poker hand. The losers pay out big into the pot, and the winner takes the cash. The Free Ride comes in when a player doesn’t have enough money to pay out if they were to fold, so they can stay in for free and try to win money one last time. As soon as one player is out of money the game ends and the player with the most money wins. It’s fun. It has the bluffing of poker, but also adds in some actual card play.

Gang of Four (1): If you like standard card games like Rummy and whatnot, then I’d highly recommend you try Gang of Four. It’s a great little card game, and personally I like it even more than Tichu. (Oh no you di-n’t!)

Genesis (4): I wish Genesis had gotten a bit snazzier production. I really think this is a great game along similar lines as Ingenious, but the cheesy cover art sort of killed it. It’s an area majority game where the areas with which you must be majoritized in can be created wherever you want. In fact, if you don’t like an area that an opponent is majoritizing, you can just start a new area next to them and block it off. A very defensive game that I think is a lot of fun. The scoring in Ingenious and the simple look and feel of the game give it an edge over Genesis, but gameplay-wise I think they’re pretty close.

Goa (1): I don’t get a lot of Goa playing in. I really like the game a lot, but I don’t get to the bigger games often enough to play this one since I don’t like it quite as much as the top tier games like Amun-Re, Maharaja, and Taj Mahal. Still, I need to play this again soon.

Great Wall of China (2): I like to tell people that this is my favorite filler game. Why do I say that? Probably because it’s true.

Hacienda (2): I think I need to play Hacienda more. Every time I play it I really enjoy it, but something about it keeps it from getting played a lot. I think it’s a bit more difficult to teach than a lot of games of this weight, so that’s a big part of it. It’s not a top-tier Kramer for me, but it’s close.

Hansa (1): I used to debate whether Hansa or Web of Power was my favorite Schacht game. Well, I think Zooloretto has that honor now, but I do think Hansa is 2nd. This game just seems so nice and flowy to me when I’m playing it. There’s plenty to think about, but it just seems light. That’s a good thing.

Hey! That’s My Fish (1): Excellent filler. I don’t know why this hasn’t been played more. It will. Don’t worry.

Hive (3): Three plays for Hive, huh? Good. It’s been awhile, but this is still an excellent little game. I’d like to get the Bakelite version, but I don’t think I play it enough to warrant that.

Ivanhoe (1): I just got this and have only played it once so far. Fun game. Seems like something that would really appeal to lovers of standard card games looking for a tad more.

Jambo (1): Not many 2 player games in 2007, but that should change in 2008. I usually have 3 players on lunch, but 1 of those player just changed jobs so now we’re down to 2. Blue Moon, Jambo, and others should get a lot more play now.

Katzenjammer Blues (1): This was fun. I have no excuse for not playing it more. I’ll need to do that. Some days we just have filler day and play a few different games at lunch. I’ll bring this next time we do that.

Last Chance (3): Last Chance is a game that I found at a thrift store. In fact, it’s the only thing decent I’ve ever found at a thrift store. If you like dice games I’d recommend tracking this one down. It’s a fun dice/betting game that accommodates more players than a lot of dice games, and it’s very easy to teach and play. It’s been a big hit around here.

Liar’s Dice (1): I have the smelly smelly Pirates of the Caribbean version. Fun game. I’ve only played once or twice so I don’t have a whole lot to say. I like Last Chance more, but this is still a lot of fun.

Loco (3): Learn it in 30 seconds. Play it in 5 minutes. Pure genius.

Lord of the Rings (4): We started playing this on lunch towards the end of the year, and had a lot of fun with it. I don’t think we ever won in these four plays, but we were close. In fact, our last game we were at Mt. Doom where one die roll would either kill us or destroy the Ring. We died.

Lord of the Rings – The Confrontation (1): I still don’t like this as much as a lot of people, but I do like it. Just not a top tier Knizia for me. Probably lower 2nd tier. Whatever that means.

Maharaja (1): Ah, Maharaja. How do I love thee? A lot, that’s how.

Mall of Horror (2): I think I’m liking this one less and less the more I play it. It’s fun. It’s different (for my collection at least). I’m happy to play if someone wants to, but I have a feeling this will go on the trade block soon.

Masons (1): This one was a lot lighter than I was expecting. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. It seems like a good family game, but for some reason I just don’t get that vibe from it, so I haven’t brought it out. Maybe it’s the creepy guy on the cover.

Medici vs Strozzi (2): I still don’t know what to think. I liked these plays more than my previous ones, but this still doesn’t wow me. I’ll keep tryin’.

Midgard (3): This is one of those games where I realize how much the artwork affects me. The cover is awesome. The board and the rest of the components are blah blah blah. If the game looked half as good as the cover I think this would get played more. As it is it’s a fun game. We were trying to play quickly when we played, so I still haven’t played with the card drafting.

Mission: Red Planet (1): Another one where the box cover is awesome, but this time the components look nice too. This is by far my favorite Faidutii*. Excellent game, and one of my favorite light/middle weights.

*The Favorite Faidutti’s would be a good band name.

Mogul (3): No Thanks! on performance enhancing drugs. Fun little filler. It needs to come to the table again soon.

Mykerinos (2): Mykerinos turned out to be a lot more abstract than I expected. The special powers of the people cards completely save this game, and make it a keeper. Not a favorite, but it’s still fun. Not as good with only 2 players though.

Niagara (2): I still really like Niagara, and it always goes over great with new people. They always ask for another game right away. Nop notch production too. The river flow is ultra-cool, but there’s more to the game than just that.

No Thanks! (2): Mogul on performance decreasing drugs. Actually, I like this just as much as Mogul. Maybe more. Great filler that is easy to teach and is very non-threatening to non-gamers.

Notre Dame (4): One thing I can say about me and this game: I’m good at keeping the rats out. I’m not saying I always win, or that my rat-be-gone strategy is the way to go. I’m just sayin’ rats got nothin’ on me.

OltreMare (1): This is another one of those games that I just don’t get. I mean, I get the game. I just don’t know how I completely feel about it. When I play I enjoy it, but it just doesn’t blow me away. A solid game that I’m happy to play, but not quite special.

Palazzo (2): Now here’s a special game. I know I like this one a lot more than most people, but this is still one of my favorite games. It does a lot of common things uncommonly good.

Phoenix (4): I was surprised to see that I had played this 4 times this year, until I realized that they were all back to back on a lunch break. Fun game that I’m happy to play maybe once a year. Good for couples who just want something light to play at night.

Pickomino (3): I recently got Risk Express and I do like it more than Pickomino, but Pickomino will still get play. A clever little dice game that involves barbecuing worms. What more could you ask for?

Poison (1): This is another one of those games that would appeal to lovers of standard card games. For me it’s a good game, but not a favorite. I do love the card art though.

Pueblo (1): I remember back in history class when they talked about Chieftains hating pigmented dwellings, I thought that would be a great theme for a game. Kramer and Keisling beat me to it, but they did a splendid job of it. Great game.

Quo Vadis? (1): I still don’t feel like I’ve gotten in a full actual game of this where everyone is paying attention and focused on the game. I hear it’s terrible with 3, so that’s why I don’t get it out much. Hopefully soon.

Ra (1): I recently played Ra again and was reminded of just what a brilliant game it is. Still in my top 5. Excellentness.

Race for the Galaxy (1): I’ve played this a few times now, and I still don’t think I’m impressed. I like San Juan. I really like the game flow of RftG. I really really like the iconography and card layout. I just think it’s a bit too dense for the type of game it is. I think I could really get into it if I played it a bunch. I just don’t know if I want to.

Res Publica (1): I like Bohnanza more (I think), but Res Publica is a great trading game. People seem to think it’s just Go Fish, but I actually think this is more of a gamers trading game than Bohnanza. There’s a bit more thinking about how to phrase your questions and how to go about getting what you want without giving out too much information.

Rheinlander (2): I am oh so glad that Face 2 Face reprinted this one. I love this game. It took me a few games though. Midway through my 3rd game is when it really clicked. Before that it seemed kind of lame. Somewhere between a 9 and a 10 for me.

Rum & Pirates (3): I took a risk on getting this one since not many people seem to like it, and I’m glad I did. Maybe a bit long for what it is, but not by much. A great lunch time game, and a great family game. A winner.

Saint Petersburg (2): I will now take this opportunity to let you know how much I am looking forward to Stone Age.

San Juan (2): I like San Juan, but the card textiness of it makes it a pain to teach and play with new people. Won’t see a lot of play probably, but it will still get played here and there.

Santiago (1): I just didn’t like this one nearly as much as I thought I would. Boring presentation with average gameplay. Not bad, but traded.

Spy (2): I like Spy. There I said it. Are you happy now?

Stephenson’s Rocket (2): I’m glad this one is getting reprinted. (as The Great American Railroad Game for those of you who don’t know and are still reading this) I do think this is one of Knizia best. It’s a bit tough to figure out a coherent strategy the first couple of times you play, but really the rules are much simpler in play than they sound when you read them. I wonder what changes will be made in the new version?

Sunken City (3): OK people, you’re all crazy. Sunken City is an excellent game. In fact, I like it more than Tikal. More than Mexica. I haven’t played Java yet, but heck, I’ll say I like it more than Java just to make you angry. This pops up on Tanga every once in awhile. If you don’t have it, buy it. If you do have it, play it.

Taj Mahal (1): Ah, Taj Mahal. So much fun. So hard to play well. So so good.

That’s Life (1): This one play was actually with the expansion. Flixxy is a nasty little bird.

Times Square (1): Not an excellent game, but certainly a very good one. If you play a lot of 2 player games I would certainly recommend picking this up. A simple tug-o-war game with clever rules. It’s sort of chaotic since your moves can be undone by your opponent very quickly, but it’s short and fun.

To Court the King (2): This is a fun game. 2007 was a year of coming to really appreciate dice games. I think it’s a bit too clunky for non-gamers, but I’d like to give it a try. Maybe that new Seyfarth Airship game would be better? Hmmm…

Toppo (1): Fun.

Tower of Babel (1): We just started playing without the bonus cards, and I do think I like it better that way. This is an odd game. It’s an area majority game, but really that’s just a small piece of it. It’s really a psychological game of figuring out what your opponents are doing and what you can get away with.

Trias (1): Woohoo! Traded.

Tutankhamen (1): Another one of my favorite fillers. I like this best with 2-3 players. Luckless and actually pretty deep for as fluffy as it seems.

Tycoon (1): This is a great heavy Kramer that has now been reprinted as El Capitan. I’d like to get rid of my Tycoon and get the new version, but I might need to rent a truck to get rid of this giant box.

Web of Power (1): Still fun, but it’s gone from being my favorite Schacht to 3rd. OK, maybe 2nd. I can’t decide.

Winner’s Circle (1): Really? Only 1 play. Odd. I’ll bet you (ha!) this gets played more in 2008. One of my favorite light games.

Wyatt Earp (1): I know the bullet mechanic bothers a lot of people, but not me. Not much at least. Before I discovered all these fabulous games we played a lot of Canasta. This scratches that itch. Sure, I could just play Canasta to scratch that itch, but Wyatt Earp is better. Besides, I don’t really have a Canasta itch at all. I don’t even know why I said that.

Not Owned:

Clash of the Gladiators (1): My only play of this went on a bit too long, but that’s only because of the crappiness of the dice rolling at the end of the game. Overall I really liked it, and I’d like to get a copy. Wanna trade?

Cranium (1): I don’t really like party games, but I agreed to play this on Christmas. After 2 hours we were almost done and nobody was having much fun anymore. Some of the categories are fun, others are junk. 30-45 minutes and this could be decent. As it is I never want to see it again. We played the fancy new version, and the figures are pretty cool.

Exxtra (1): Only got to play once, but I’d like to get a copy of this. I wouldn’t rank it ahead of Can’t Stop, Risk Express, or Pickomino, but it’s in the same discussion. Besides, I’ve only played it once. Lay off.

Formula Motor Racing (1): I’ve thought about getting this one for a long time. I’m glad I got to try it first. A lot of card playing that means nothing until the very end of the game. Kinda lame.

Kapitan Wackelpudding (1): I need to get this game. Seriously.

King of Siam (1): I wasn’t impressed like I thought I would be. Then again, it was only a 2 player game. I’m sure it’s better with more.

Patrician (1): I expected this one to be dry, and I was right. Again, it was only 2 players though, and I’d like to try it with more.

Robo Rally (1): Eh.

Aladdin’s Dragons (have played already in 2008)
Amun-Re (have played already in 2008)
Ave Caesar (have played already in 2008)
Battleball (I’m thinking my son might be about ready for it)
Before the Wind (have played already in 2008)
Big City (traded)
Carolus Magnus (have played already in 2008)
Cloud 9
Crokinole (seriously!?!)
Daytona 500
Dragonland (have played already in 2008)
El Grande
Euphrates & Tigris: Contest of Kings
Finstere Flure
Fish Eat Fish
Game of Thrones (up for trade)
Head to Head Poker
High Society (have played already in 2008)
It’s Mine
King’s Breakfast
Little Italy (have played already in 2008)
Lost Cities
Manila (have played already in 2008)
Midnight Party
Modern Art
My Word!
Neuroshima Hex (have played already in 2008)
Nexus Ops
Power Grid (have played already in 2008)
Princes of Florence
Puerto Rico
Queen’s Necklace
Relationship Tightrope
San Marco
Scarab Lords
Schildkroetenrennen (have played already in 2008)
Settlers of Catan
Ticket to Ride
Tigris & Euphrates
Time is Money (have played already in 2008)
Too Many Cooks
You’re Bluffing
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Robert Cannon
United States
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Great comment on a ton of games. Thanks for posting.
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Ryan Olson
United States
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It’s sort of a Jungle Speed type game, but without so much blood.

So I guess it's not as much fun either then .
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Lee Massey
United States
North Carolina
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Casual wargamer
I have one question though; where is CC:Europe?
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Kane Klenko
United States
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Yollege wrote:
It’s sort of a Jungle Speed type game, but without so much blood.

So I guess it's not as much fun either then .

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Dr Evil's Advocate
Greater Vancouver area
BC, Canuckistan
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Favre4MVP wrote:
Yollege wrote:
It’s sort of a Jungle Speed type game, but without so much blood.

So I guess it's not as much fun either then :).

Nope. :)

Match of the Penguins sounds EXACTLY like Gloria Picktoria which is listed here as: Gloria Picktoria ... ah.. no, my mistake it's Schicki Micki I'm thinking of, and yeah - sure enough it *IS* the same game.

I picked up both of these from our last order from Europe. The matching one is pretty fun. Good to know it's available by Gamewright in N.America now ... I might pick up one as a gift.

How does the Gamewright component quality compare to the Zoch version ... which you could compare directly to a Rio game version of a Zoch game like Chicken Cha Cha Cha or Pick Picknic or Pickonimo?


A comment on your comment on trying 2nd edition changes to W&W.

I highly recommend it. It makes the setup easier and the entire game more fun.

What we do is very easy:
a) Don't give anyone any chips to start
b) count the colored cubes as $5 each. you can bet these, but you never lose them. if you win you get paid with chips
as you earn chips you can bet more each turn
(you are allowed to go "all in" at any time during the game - no betting limits

That's it. It makes the game quicker to setup, and more fun because you can go "all in" at any time - not just the last question.
Also, you'll never go broke since you'll always have your 2 cubes.

Just as before you can only bet on a maximum of 2 spots because your cube must be on top of any chips you bet.

I may check out "Mogul" based on your description of it related to "No Thanks!".

A kids game recommendation I would pass on to you is "Turtle Race" aka Ribbit... aahh I see you already OWN it ... well, PLAY IT! It's a simply brilliant little Knizia for kids (or even for adults).
It's fun to see the kids grasp the concept of bluffing.

You'll have to teach them that if they give away their turtle color right off the bat you'll need to restart. "Oh I got my favorite color" kinda ruins the game.
But I find that 5-6 year olds are pretty good at bluffing in this game by moving other people's turtles around.

... and if I had read your entire post I would have seen that you already played this one in 2008 :-)

Let's see, what other kids game could I recommend that you do NOT already own :-) ... how about Spooky Stairs aka Spooky Stairs. Pretty fun, also can involve some degree of bluffing after the pieces get hidden and you start swapping them around - you can try to remember which piece you are, or you can bluff and move others and try to confuse them :)
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