Much better and infinitely more charming than its current competition for the "greatest of all Euros" title (Puerto Rico). Would really benefit from a meeple dispenser--all that wrangling of "3 wood here, 2 reeds there" gets on my nerves a bit. Some people hate the "feed your family" mechanic, but I really like it--it helps to narrow the range of possible strategies in a game that would otherwise be truly overwhelming.
Usually when someone describes a game as "unforgiving" it means that a careless noob move will give your opponents a lasting edge. I have never seen a game, though, that will so cheerfully allow you to bury yourself, even playing solitaire. I highly recommend playing first using the excellent Java hotseat program; don't engage any human opponents until you feel confident that you can win against a friendly opponent that you control.
Not the sort of game I expected to like much, but I love Arkham Horror. There isn't much strategy, but it's the best boardgame I've ever played for sheer story value. Extremely immersive, stressful, and fun.
It really seems (from only a few plays) like it's more fun when role-played, and not so much treated like a boardgame with an optimal strategy. We will see...
Needed to take a break from this one after about a half-dozen plays. A great game, but I'm really kind of sick of teaching it.
Five minutes of fun packed into ninety minutes of playtime. Cute filler, but almost totally luck-driven. Early elimination makes for a rotten time, as the game can last for a very long time. Also, the rules are very foggy in a few places, meaning everyone plays with a different set of house rules. I'll play if forced, but it really isn't my cup o'tea.
Tentative rating based on first impressions. Exceptional, tight Euro goodness, plays tricks on the mind used to ever-increasing share prices in games. It will take a few plays to get a feel for all of the tactical considerations and tempo issues, but this game obviously has a lot going for it. I may introduce a 60-second timer once everyone has it down, as AP can be a big problem, leading to lots of boring downtime in a 4-player game.
Lowered rating to six after a miserable second game. With three players it's very easy to get out of tempo, so that every move just sets up the guy to your left.
Definitely a game that is all about the experience. My rating may go up with more plays, but the unclear rules, and the difficulty of adjusting to a whole new set of them right in the middle, make this a bit less than I had hoped for. Every game, it seems, we find ourselves asking, "am I allowed to do this?" and "do I need to roll that again?", and just making up the rules as we go along.
Component quality in the second edition is simply inexcusable. My stacks of room tiles look like leaf springs from an old car.
My rating could drop with more plays, but very enjoyable first impression. Nicely simulates an equity-versus-metals market using an 18xx-style share price grid. Lots of fun luck-pushing throughout. Like Union Pacific in that the most valuable commodity in the game is actions. Tempo is also extremely important, so that different numbers of players will likely provide very different games.
An excellent, simple game. Unfortunately, it is possible to make it completely boring by simply laying a couple of decent routes, getting a point up on everyone, and then stopping the clock over and over. Definitely should be played with people who want everyone to have a good time, and not with folks who want to use you for their strategy experiment.
My first true Eurogame. There is a lot of luck involved, and yet almost no randomness, like rock-paper-scissors. The best strategy, in the end, is virtually no strategy at all--otherwise, people will be able to guess what you're going to do, which means they will do you wrong. Easy to teach and understand, and generally a lot of fun if you don't take it too seriously.
Got this and read the rules. I was probably too tired to try it, but, seriously? It's Cash and Guns! How hard could it be? I'll have to spend some time fully grokking it and simplifying it in my own mind before I try to teach it to anyone so that we can play.
The game that started me down the Euro path... I like it a little less each time I play it, though. I've pretty much decided that, with a few exceptions (Twilight Struggle, Backgammon), if there's dice in the box, I'm not all that interested.
The trouble with this one is that there really is no way to mitigate the dice results. In just about any game, there will be one person (usually me, if I'm playing) who grabs up a nice couple of towns next to (say) 5's and 6's only to see 8's and 9's come up every turn. Then when the dice do finally decide to smile on the right lands, look who's here! The Robber. There's no alternate strategy, no way to work around it: I'm just screwed. After a few turns with nothing to build and nothing to trade, I start looking forward to playing a different game.
There's a lot to love about Settlers, and I do enjoy it still. It can be exciting, and the dice cards do help to even things out some. But I'll usually reach for something else when I'm looking for a good gateway game.
Total brain-burner, with AP virtually guaranteed for your first 100 or so games. I like this one much more in principle, but not enough that I'll play it enough to be really competitive with serious players.
Simple and elegant, with just enough luck to mix it up, not enough to really screw anyone over. With three decent sources of points, you'll want to do very well in at least two of them to have a chance at winning.
The king of tactical negotiation games, virtually devoid of strategy and totally dependent on wheeling and dealing. Provides some very interesting insight into the different personalities at the table and how they interact. The person you most expect to win probably won't, simply because everyone will be on guard against reasonable-sounding deals with a smooth talker.
One of Knizia's more nasty games, and one with a bit more theme than is usual for him. I'll need a few more plays before deciding on the luck balance, but it's definitely worth exploring. Not the clearest rules I've ever read--the files on the Geek are definitely a big help.
I was given a copy of this by the designer, who happened to live in my neighborhood when I was in high school. Embarrassed to admit that it's still in the shrink twenty-odd years later, but it's certainly a rare prize.
I just don't get this one. There must be something more to it that I missed. Everyone seems to agree that this is one of the greatest games ever, and yet no one can make me see why. Maybe another play or two--hopefully with someone who really loves it--will clear it up, but I'm not very hopeful. Is it possible that this has been surpassed by the many games that borrowed from it, and that people are just too nostalgic to admit it? That's my working theory.
Updated 5->7 after a few more plays. Essentially a negotiation game, in which players try to position themselves to lunge ahead to their fifth point with no help. Improves as people figure it out.
One of my few non-gamer games, Whoonu is a surprisingly fun activity, especially for groups of people trying to get to know each other. You can bring it along and play at a restaurant while waiting for dinner, and it will bring out lots of interesting stories and odd facts about people that you never would have guessed. Game-wise it doesn't compare to most of the competitive titles on BGG, but it is worth getting and playing as a purely social activity.