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User: wlam: Board Game Collection
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Title Version User
Rating
Geek Rating Status User
Plays
Comment
51st State (2010)
7.5
Aug 2012
6.612
Played once. I would like to try again and explore the game some more.
2012-08-28
Abenteuer Menschheit (aka The Settlers of the Stone Age) (2002)
7
Jul 2006*
6.323
Owned
Played a few times. An interesting Settlers variation with some new mechanisms which make it different enough. The main problems are probably the poor-gets-poorer syndrome in Africa, and the fixed map for replayability. However, I would enjoy playing it again from time to time.
2006-07-24*
Abstracts (1988)
4
Apr 2007*
N/A
Played once. Although the idea could seem interesting at first, I found that the game itself was boring - and not because of the other players.
2007-04-12*
Acquire (1962)
4.5
Jul 2006*
7.257
Played twice. I had bad memories from the first session a long time ago, but the second one has not really improved my opinion. The merging and stock holding part of the game, which is probably interesting, can be ruined by the tile draw. Maybe I missed something - I might give this game a further chance some day, considering that it is supposed to be a classic.
2006-07-10*
Adel Verpflichtet (aka Hoity Toity) (1990)
8
Jul 2006*
6.394
Owned
Played 10+ times (mainly with 5). Probably my favourite simultaneous action selection (or outguessing) game. The theme is weird, but the easy rules make it work quite well with non-gamers, while still being enjoyable for gamers.
2006-07-07*
Africa (2001)
5
Nov 2006*
5.803
Played once, several years ago. I mainly remember the randomness and lack of control on the numerous ways to score points. Considering that some people seem to really like it, I might give it a second chance if I get such an opportunity.
2006-11-03*
6
Sep 2007*
5.996
Played once (with 4 players). This game has several clever ideas, and while it is rather simple, asks for interesting decisions of both strategical and tactical nature. I like the way the number of fulfilled contracts determines the value of your missions (although I cannot really think of a thematic explanation - not that it bothers me). However, two problems prevented me from enjoying the game more, and I cannot see why they wouldn't arise again in subsequent plays: a minor issue is that depending on whether none, one or both of the colors in your wildcard ship are shared with other players, you will have more or less competition of the contracts it can help fulfill (but I am ready to admit it is an incentive to use a different strategy). The major issue, however, is the unbalance of the different missions - it is much easier to get a presence in an expedition than to get a majority of the ships, yet the difference in points scored is rather small. This problem might have been magnified by the fact most of us were beginners at the table; still, it does quite dampen my will to play again.
2007-09-29*
5.5
Sep 2007*
7.439
Played twice (with 4 and 5 players). I had high expectations for this game, which might explain why I am so disappointed. First of all, the components are not too good - the board is inconvenient (scoring track, small areas in the New World, no space for buildings and trade goods), the plastic bits would be ok, I guess, if trader/settler and captain/soldier were not so easily confused, and the box itself is flimsy. That wouldn't be too much of a concern if I actually enjoyed the game - but it seems to have too many weak points for that. The balance of the buildings is doubtful (early cash is worth a lot); the randomness of the buildings and trade goods draw means that playing for turn order is a gamble (no need to waste a turn to be first if there is nothing especially interesting or urgent to do); not all of the late buildings are going to appear in a game, meaning that some players might not have the ones really useful for their strategy (a possible 20% shift to their final score - much above what I can stand in a game that long); and the discovery phase... well, it is random, but I can live with the risk-taking and the possible loss of several units - but the random part which I really do not like, however, is that a guaranteed successful discovery, with several soldiers, could pay back anywhere between 5 and 20 doubloons, which definitely makes a difference.
On the other hand, I am not too bothered by the fact there are actually very few new mechanisms - it is just a pity that they haven't been integrated and balanced a bit better.
2007-09-29*
5
May 2007*
5.994
Played once (with 4 players). Playing with 4 was probably a mistake, but even then, the game didn't really grab my interest. There are some nice ideas and decent bits (although I do not care much for miniatures), but nothing which makes me really eager to play this game again.
2007-05-22*
8
Jul 2006*
6.646
Played several times (with 4-6 players), quite a while ago. I have rather good memories of this game, although it was quite long and I am not sure I would appreciate it as much now.
2006-07-07*
Age of Steam (2002)
8.5
Aug 2007*
7.508
Owned
Played quite a lot (including plays of expansion maps). A rather demanding game, but well worth the effort in my opinion. It has interesting mechanisms (such as the auction system or the turn order with First build and First move actions) and the basic system is really adapted to expansions tweaking a few rules at a time. Unfortunately, the game might be a bit long (meaning there can be a runaway leader early enough, or on the contrary that an early mistake is likely to keep you out of the game for good). Also, the base map is not the most interesting one. I would rather suggest France or Ireland with 3 or 4 players, and England or Germany for 5 or 6 players.
2007-08-12*
8.5
Jun 2006*
6.583
Owned
England is in my opinion much better than the basic map for a large number of players. London is very tempting but is not needed to win, which makes a good evaluation of the costs and benefits necessary.
Ireland is a very nice map for 3 or 4 players. The extra rules make it more difficult than the standard game. I would not recommend it for AoS beginners, even though it is very enjoyable.
I would rate both of these maps good 8.5s.
2006-06-12*
8
Jun 2006*
6.387
Owned
Germany is probably my favourite AoS map for a large number of players. The rules changes are limited but quite interesting and the map itself is nice and offers interesting starting positions. By itself, it would almost be a 9.
I have played Western US only once, but did not like it much. I dislike most of the extra rules and the strong asymmetry of the map itself, but would probably play it again to confirm this first impression, or not. Rated about 7 so far.
2006-06-12*
8
Jun 2006*
6.397
Owned
Scandinavia is a difficult but interesting map (with a nice new action). I played it only once but liked it and would play again.
Korea is quite tricky to play, but it is a nice challenge, and it is different enough from the other variant maps and rules to be really interesting.
I rate both of them 8s.
2006-06-12*
7.5
Jun 2006*
6.103
Owned
The map of France and its rule changes are interesting. It would probably be a good initiation map, since it is quite forgiving and the costs are lower and easier to compute (modified Engineer and Urbanization). My rating would be a good 8.5 for this map only.
On the other hand, I found Italy not so interesting (played once with 4). The map itself is tough (few cities with lots of coastal ones with a reduced number of exits), but some of the rule changes really ruin the game in my opinion: only one link per turn, and black cubes with terrible kingmaking potential. Some of the other rules are ok (issuing shares at any time, urbanization to turn useless - or even negative - cubes into potentially useful ones). I would rate this map a 6 and will probably not play it again, since there are far better maps available.
2006-06-14*
8
Apr 2007*
6.035
Owned
This rating is only valid for the Northern California map, since I haven't played the 1830 Pennsylvania yet.
Played once (with 5 players). A very tough map, with very few cubes initially, which makes for a difficult start. It also means that some easily overlooked actions become slightly more interesting, which is a good thing. The additional rules are not that difficult, but add interesting twists to the game - overall, I think it is a very solid map for experienced players (I might prefer playing with 4 next time, though).
2007-04-23*
7.5
May 2009*
5.856
Only played Europe so far (twice, with 4 players), so my rating is only valid for that one. A nice map, and I like the new rules (which definitely make Production a crucial action), but I am a bit concerned that it might be better with an odd number of players. In both my games, the winner was the only player starting in Spain - with 5 players, he would probably not be alone around there, and with 3 players, there would be less competition in the rest of the map. Definitely something to keep in mind for my next plays.
2009-05-09
Agricola (2007)
7.5
Nov 2008*
8.043
Owned
Played a few times (with 3 to 5 players - as well as a few solo plays). A very interesting game, with many choices, lots of things to do, and an impressive apparent replayability due to the number of different cards. Scalability seems good as well, and the components are very nice. However, the scoring system introduces constraints which I don't like (the penalties for not having a bit of everything are too harsh to ignore), and familty growth is probably too important, both in the game itself and in scoring. There might be concerns with the balance of cards, too, but I haven't played enough to really judge about it.
2008-07-05*
Airships (2007)
6.5
May 2008*
6.227
Owned
Played a few times (with 3 or 4 players). There are some decisions to make about which cards to go for and in which order, when to spend the bonus markers for extra turns, and so on, but the game length remains reasonable (which is good, since luck plays a role - it's a dice-based game after all).
2008-05-16*
7
Oct 2006*
6.652
Owned
Played a few times (mainly with 4 players). A nice bluffing game with interesting ideas. The variation in values (from 1 to 9) is probably a bit too strong for my tastes, though. I have never played with the spells but should try them next time.
2006-10-26*
Alaska (1979)
5
May 2008*
5.571
Played twice (with 2 and 3 players). It was probably quite a good game back then, and it has a polar bear, but the game is a bit long for what it is, and the cards are quite too random, ranging from really good to really bad. It tends to even out over the game, but it can still leave a bad taste, considering the final scores are likely to be rather close. The winter/spring succession is a nice idea. Overall, not a bad game, but it would probably need some further development to be up to modern standards.
2008-05-17*
Alcatraz (1999)
6
Dec 2009*
5.499
Played once (with 4 players). The basic idea is interesting, but I am worried it may lead to blocked situations if all the players are careful.
2007-05-29*
Alchemist (2007)
5
Apr 2007*
5.992
Played once (with 4 players). I wonder how much control there really is - I'm afraid it requires more thinking to get it than I am ready to put in it. I might give it another try, but I will not be actively looking for it unless someone convinces me I have missed something.
2007-04-15*
Alexandros (2003)
6
Oct 2006*
5.859
Played once (with 2 players). Some interesting ideas, but overall I felt control was lacking, and I am afraid it would only be worse with more players (also, kingmaking issues could then become a problem, especially given the end condition). Still, a rather short game which probably gets better after a few more plays.
2006-10-07*
Alhambra (2003)
6
Nov 2007*
6.969
Played several times face-to-face (with 2 to 4 players), and on BSW when it was still available. I would not play it with more than 3 again, but it is not too bad a game for 2 or 3 players. Of course there is some luck, but also some decisions, and while the game might be a bit long and not very exciting, it is enjoyable enough to be worth playing once in a while.
2007-11-07*
5
Nov 2007*
5.856
Played once (with 3 players). A decent dice game, which could actually be quite interesting if it was shorter. I haven't played it in combination with Alhambra - it looks like an interesting idea, at least in theory.
2007-11-07*
Alles im Eimer (aka The Bucket King) (2002)
7.5
Jan 2007*
6.062
Played a few times face-to-face, and several times on BSW. As often with Dorra's designs, this game is built on an interesting idea. This one works quite well and is enjoyable enough, but it remains a filler.
2007-01-11*
5
Aug 2012
5.501
Played once. A bit too random and possibly too much king-making for my tastes, and I usually dislike race games, which doesn't help.
2012-08-28
Amazonas (2005)
5
Jul 2007*
6.011
Played 3 times (with 4 players). I have been disappointed by the rather obvious decisions. There might be more than it seems, but I have not found it. I might try it again at some point, but I doubt it will change my opinion much.
2007-07-31*
Das Amulett (2001)
6
May 2009*
5.979
Played a few times (with 4 to 6 players). Some interesting ideas (most notably the way your bids fuel the spells for a while), but much too long with 6 players (I don't think I will play it again with more than 4).
2009-05-06
Amun-Re (2003)
9
Jul 2008*
7.204
Owned
Played a dozen of times face-to-face as well as on SBW (with 5 players). The game has some good mechanisms (auction system, Nile level), limited randomness, and interesting decisions - and it is not too long. A negative point might be the way ties are broken for sacrifices (by seating order, which is more or less random, but always go the same way). Also, I am not convinced it works nearly as well with fewer than 5 players.
2008-07-05*
Amyitis (2007)
8
Nov 2007*
6.680
Owned
Playtested.
2007-11-22*
6.5
Oct 2006*
5.681
Owned
For Trade
Played once (with 4 players). Some interesting mechanics, and a decently strong theme, but it lacks something to be really enjoyable. I would play it again, though, to check whether the experience can be improved. Also, the graphics are a bit bland and the rules could be clearer.
2006-10-06*
Anagramme (2005)
7.5
Nov 2006*
N/A
Played twice. A quick and enjoyable word game - if you like anagrams, of course. Some of them are easy, but some are more of a challenge, and the fact that both teams are competing on symmetrical problems is a nice twist (although it might be unbalancing in some cases). A probable problem is that the number of cards is not that big, which limits replayability after a few games.
2006-11-28*
Andromeda (1999)
7
Jan 2007*
6.061
Played a few times (with 4 or 5 players). An interesting game with two very nice ideas: the "pseudo-majority" and the trading system. The randomness in the selection can be a problem, especially as the game feels a bit too short to balance luck out.
2007-01-30*
Anno 1503 (2003)
6
Jul 2007*
5.988
Played a few times with 4 players. The interaction between players is limited, but the game is rather pleasant overall. I like the way the players can choose their own goals.
2007-07-31*
5
Jul 2007*
5.693
Played only once. Unfortunately, it lengthened the basic game quite a lot and I haven't found the new elements interesting enough to justify it.
2007-07-31*
7
Jul 2008*
5.832
Played once (with 4 players). While it doesn't seem to have many new ideas, it is a rather good game with very recognizable bits from Settlers and Anno 1503. The starting individual boards should make it less likely for a player to be stuck behind early on, which is a good thing. My main issue with the game would be its slightly excessive length - that might be better with only 3 players.
2008-04-28*
4
Dec 2008*
5.705
Played once. Since I like the Settlers card game and had been pleasantly surprised by the Anno 1701 boardgame, I expected quite a lot of this one, but I was rather disappointed. It feels too long, and too much of the same over and over, for what it is. There is only one way to obtain victory points (unlike the Settlers card game), and having to go through numerous expeditions to purchase the necessary warehouse goods is a tedious process. Furthermore, replayability is likely to be an issue, considering there are so few decisions on a strategic level.
2008-09-29*
Antike (2005)
8
Aug 2007*
6.901
Owned
Played several times (with 4 to 6 players). A very nice game with simple mechanics, very short player turns inducing little downtime, and still interesting decisions. The main problem, however, is the endgame, which is quite often a bit too long.
2007-08-28*
Antiquity (2004)
8.5
Jul 2006*
7.254
Owned
Played a few times (with 3 or 4 players). A cumbersome game, which may explain why it is frightening. The rules themselves are rather logical and make for an intense, demanding game, with limited player interaction at the first glance. Still there is more in it than a multi-player solitaire exercise in optimisation. The pollution and famine rules are nasty but give the game its whole sense. I would definitely play it more often if I owned a larger table.
2006-07-25*
Apache (2007)
3.5
Apr 2007*
5.433
Played once (with 4 players). As often with Stefan Dorra, there is something original in this game. However, it is mainly a matter of luck and reflexes - which are far from my favourite required skills in a game.
2007-04-15*
6
Oct 2007*
5.992
Played once (with 7 players). A decent party game, which may lack some rhythm to remain interesting for a whole game. The choices are limited by the cards in hand, like in Attribute, but sometimes a card is an obvious play, and, unlike Attribute, there can be only one winner to the round, which may make the luck of the draw more important. Probably not a game I would choose, even in its category, but definitely not an unpleasant activity either.
2007-10-25*
Aqua Romana (2005)
6.5
Aug 2007*
6.069
Played a few times (with 3 or 4 players). An interesting tile-laying game with some nice ideas, but nothing really exceptional in it. It plays well and has some opportunities for planning ahead (as well as aggressive play) - and the components are nice (but that's quite a big box).
2007-08-18*
Aquädukt (2005)
5
Sep 2006*
6.157
Played once (with 2 players). The decisions involved were a bit light compared to the randomness of the dice roll - and I guess control is even lower with more players. Some interesting ideas, though.
2006-09-19*
Aquaretto (2008)
7
Apr 2008*
6.665
Played once (with 5 players). An interesting variation on Zooloretto, which doesn't change (or add) much. I still prefer the streamlined idea from Coloretto. I haven't played the combined version, but I am afraid that might make a much too long game and I am not sure of the possible benefits.
2008-04-28*
Arche Opti Mix (aka Ark) (2005)
5.5
Aug 2007*
6.011
Played twice (with 3 and 5 players). Some nice ideas, a nice theme, and very good artwork - however the play of cards is somewhat limited due to numerous rules and I did not feel like I had enough control on what I could really do. It is better with fewer players (but then the scoring lacks some interest).
2007-08-18*
Arkadia (2006)
7.5
Nov 2006*
6.739
Played once (with 4 players). An interesting tactical game for opportunists. I am not too sure how the different parts of the game are connected, at least thematically, still my only play was enjoyable and I would be glad to play it again.
2006-11-25*
Arne (2002)
2
Sep 2006*
5.158
Played once. Boring and totally random.
2006-09-07*
7.5
Jan 2007*
6.336
Played several times (with 3 to 6 players). An enjoyable racing game with a twist. The gameplay is easy, but there are still some decisions to make, and it runs pretty fast. There is some randomness in the cards (especially the blue event cards), but that only means that you should not base your strategy on them. Unfortunately, there is some text on hidden cards, which makes it a bit unsuitable for initiation purposes (it's quite surprising - and disappointing - no French publisher translated this one in 2005).
2007-01-11*
7.5
Jan 2007*
5.649
Owned
Played once. A game with some interesting ideas (most notably the way to play cards), which I would be glad to play again. The end game scoring is not quite thematic, though (not that it really matters to me).
2007-01-11*
Assyria (2009)
7.5
Dec 2010
6.439
Owned
Playtested.
2011-02-13
Atlantic Star (2001)
7
Jan 2007*
6.483
Owned
Played a few times (with 3 or 4 players). A typical ok game - it works without any major flaws, but it is not very exciting either. Some ideas are quite good, there are choices to be made, and the game is enjoyable overall, but rather blandly so.
2007-01-30*
Atlas & Zeus (2004)
5.5
Jul 2008*
5.730
Played once. The programming is nice, but the luck of the draw is a bit high. Also, why are all combat values multiples of 10?
2006-12-28*
Aton (2005)
7
Jul 2006*
6.662
Played a few times. A nice and quick game for two players, with different possible strategies (not all of them might be balanced - for now I have only seen one-temple and 40 points wins).
2006-07-07*
Attika (2003)
8.5
Jul 2006*
6.854
Owned
Played mostly on BSW. Very good as a 2-player game, but I will probably not play it with more than 2 anymore, since it suffers from a "blocking responsibility" problem then.
2006-07-05*
Attila (2000)
4
Jul 2006*
6.180
Played twice. Unfortunately, I enjoyed none of these playings and mostly remember uneasy game material. It may get a third chance some day, if I happen to be in the right mood.
2006-07-25*
Attribute (2002)
7
Oct 2006*
6.049
Owned
Played mostly on BSW (French and English). A nice party game, which draws most of its fun from the weird themes and awkward justifications - which means you have to play it with the right players. Planning to make a French set with the blank cards I got at Essen 2006.
2006-10-26*
Auf Achse (1987)
6
Oct 2007*
5.992
Played the old version once face-to-face (with 5 players), and the new version a few times on BSW. This game is quite old, and it shows in some of the mechanics. The pick up and deliver system works rather well, but luck plays an important part, both in the dice rolls and in the card draws. Also, it might be a bit long for what it is (but most players in my only play were new to the game, and the German text on the cards did not help).
The new version definitely fixes some of these issues, resulting in more player choices (2 dice instead of 1) and a shorter game, which is a good thing.
2007-10-24*
Augsburg 1520 (2006)
8
Feb 2007*
6.118
Owned
Played several times (with 4 and 5 players). The more I play this, the more I enjoy it. The whole game is very tense: even if the church and cathedral are critical points of the players' development, all the auctions matter. My main concerns are with the end game, which might suffer from king-making.
2007-02-07*
7
May 2009*
5.713
Played once. The European version (Ausgerechnet Uppsala) is easier for me. I keep thinking a French version would work quite well.
2012-08-28
7.5
Dec 2006*
5.782
Owned
Played once according to the rules, and a few times as an impromptu challenge or solitaire trivia (which works quite well too). I liked it, maybe because I am not too bad at it (although not as much of an expert as some people may seem to think), and it is still short enough so that even people who don't like geography much should not be bored before the end.
2009-03-15
Ave Caesar (1989)
7
Aug 2006*
6.439
Played several times (with 4 to 6 players). A short and nasty racing game with clever simple mechanisms, which work well with non-players.
2006-08-21*
Babel (2000)
6
May 2008*
6.471
Played a few times. An interesting, tense game, but for some reason I have not played it in a while and do not really feel like playing it again soon (the lack of opportunities for 2p games might partly explain that). Also, I remember it being a bit too long for my tastes.
2008-05-14*
Babylon (2003)
5
Sep 2006*
5.502
Played a few times. The basic idea is interesting and the material is nice-looking, but the game itself is simple enough for me to be tempted to solve it - and it has been solved before already. I understand that it may not be a problem for some, but it is one for me.
2006-09-23*
6
Sep 2009*
5.615
Played a few times. A nice twist on drawing games, which I am not particularly fond of.
2012-08-28
Bakschisch (1995)
6
Aug 2008*
5.519
Played once (with 4 players). A pure blind bidding game which is actually not too bad, but might be a bit longer than it remains enjoyable. Or maybe we were just slow?
2008-08-30*
Balloon Cup (2003)
7.5
Dec 2006*
6.563
Owned
For Trade
Played several times. This one has been surprisingly enjoyable to me, I don't really know why. It is simple (but not too trivial), the components are nice, and it is short enough. Not the greatest of 2p games, but a pleasant one.
2006-12-28*
BANG! (2002)
6
Aug 2006*
6.516
Played a few times. This game has some interesting ideas, but also some nasty drawbacks (the main one being player elimination). However, it works quite well in its genre (and I appreciate it much, much more than Munchkin, for instance).
2006-08-31*
6
Jan 2007*
5.555
Played once. A decent and quick observation game, but it has nothing else in it (which means there is virtually no chance to catch up someone who is quicker/less tired/more concentrated than you are). Probably easier than Panicozoo, since it is possible to analyze both criteria separately.
2007-01-02*
BattleLore (2006)
7
Jan 2007*
7.241
Played once (first scenario). Of course, my single play does not really allow me to judge the whole game - so far I have only a basic feel of the game, which is probably much more interesting when using all the rules. I have the same concerns than about Memoir '44 about randomness (both in the dice rolls and the command cards), but of course I have not played enough to be a really fair judge.
2007-01-26*
Bazaar (1967)
6
Jul 2006*
6.154
Played several times on BSW. An interesting idea, but it suffers from a common problem in "mission" games, where you do not get anything for coming second. Also, trading and counting might be a bit tedious when played face-to-face (I might be wrong though).
2006-07-20*
7
Dec 2007*
6.289
Played once (with 4 players). The system of action selection is interesting and offers challenging decisions, but the rest of the game is not so original - although it still works quite well. Unfortunately, the game is a bit long for what it is (it might get better after further plays, though), and the special cards (especially the one allowing to guarantee an action) can be severely unbalancing.
2007-12-13*
7
May 2008*
6.190
Played a few times (with 5 players). A bit dry, and not devoid of luck, but this game seems to get better every time I play it, so I might want to try it again soon.
2008-05-15*
6
Aug 2012
6.082
Played once. A large box for nothing more than a new version of Kingdoms.
2012-08-28
7
Jun 2007*
5.565
Played once. A game for children, but the very nice material and clever idea make me rate it rather high. Definitely a game I would consider as a gift for suitably aged children.
2007-06-29*
3
Jul 2007*
6.939
Played once (with 5 players). I found the rules confusing, the material poor, and the game itself random, unbalanced and, most of all, not fun.
2007-07-21*
Big City (1999)
6.5
Jun 2007*
6.557
Owned
Played a few times (with 3 or 4 players). An unusual game with beautiful components. The rules are much more frightening than they are difficult, yet they are thematically quite logical. The game itself plays very smoothly and it is quick - but I wonder how much staying power it really has.
2007-06-04*
Big Points (2008)
7.5
Aug 2012
6.000
Played a few times. A nice little filler.
2012-08-28
Big Shot (2001)
7
Jul 2006*
5.853
Owned
Played several times (with 3 and 4 players). A nice auction and majority game with a twist. It is short and enjoyable enough to be worth playing occasionally. Might be better with 3 players (and a neutral one).
2006-07-07*
6
Oct 2006*
6.048
Played once (with 4 players). Some nice ideas (I liked the shape of the tiles and the movement rules, as well as the common cost scale for the actions), but the game feels dry, and my only play had analysis-paralysis and possible king-making issues. It should be a better (and shorter) game with 2 players only (also, it is likely that more teepees and canoes are useful).
2006-10-04*
Blink (1995)
6.5
Jul 2007*
5.794
Played once. A very quick filler for two players, which doesn't require much thinking.
2007-07-31*
Blockers! (2007)
5
Apr 2008*
6.358
Played 3 times (with 3 to 5 players). There is something I don't get about this game, but I don't know what. It works rather well, with some nice design choices, and the lack of a real theme does not bother me. It is not entirely obvious to play, yet not too difficult either, and plays in a reasonable time for a game of that caliber. But, for some reason, I don't have fun when playing this game.
2008-04-28*
Blokus (2000)
8
May 2010
6.901
Owned
Played several times face-to-face (mainly with 4 players), as well as few online games against the (decent) AI. A very pleasant abstract game, which works quite well with 4 players (I do not like the rule for 3, and would rather play other games with 2 - but I like it with 4). The components are simple, just like the rules, and yet the game proves an interesting challenge for an occasional play.
2007-01-15*
Blokus 3D (2003)
8
Aug 2007*
6.613
Owned
Played a few times (with 2 to 4 players). A nice and quick geometric game, shorter than Pueblo. Some king-making issues with more than two players, and an early mistake can easily block a player.
2007-08-12*
Blokus Duo (2005)
7.5
Sep 2007*
6.685
Played once. As I suspected before playing, it works about as well as Blokus. The starting points are closer to the center, which makes the blocking start even earlier - probably a good thing.
2007-09-04*
Blue Moon (2004)
7
Jun 2007*
6.602
Played once. I assume most of the interest of this game derives from knowing the cards and their interaction, and what to expect from your deck and your opponent's. After a single play, I can only appreciate that the rules are simple and the game is rather pleasant, but I play much too few 2-player games to be able to really appreciate it. Still, the non-collectible aspect appeals to the former CCG-player I am.
2007-06-11*
7.5
Jul 2006*
6.901
Owned
Played several times (with 3 and 4 players). An enjoyable game with interesting ideas, limited randomness (although some cards are really useful to have, the card flow seems to be good enough to have a decent chance to get them soon enough) and nice graphics. The main negative point is that almost everyone seems to finish in the same turn - at least it was so in the games I played.
2006-07-20*
7.5
Aug 2007*
6.179
Played once with the 2nd expansion. The new buildings don't add much to the game, but there is no reason not to include them since they don't add any extra rule either and offer more options, without additional complexity.
2007-08-11*
Bohnanza (1997)
4.5
Dec 2006*
7.013
Played a few times face-to-face and once on BSW. A classic trading game, which is a genre I am not too fond of. Although it is an interesting mechanism, the way cards are ordered in my hand irritates me. I can understand that some people like this game overall, but I just think it is not for me. And as I expected, playing it on BSW does not help.
2006-12-19*
Bombay (2009)
7
Dec 2010
6.115
Owned
Playtested.
2009-05-06
Bongo! (2000)
7.5
Jul 2006*
5.711
Owned
Played several times. A clever observation/speed game, which is a category I rather like. Easier and quicker than Ricochet Robot - however, people who do not enjoy this type of game will not like it either.
2006-07-20*
Boomtown (2004)
4
Jul 2006*
6.339
Played once. The way money is split after the auction is interesting and would have deserved, in my opinion, a better game around it. As it is, I found it too random - but might be tempted into trying it again, maybe I just missed something.
2006-07-10*
Brass (2007)
8
Dec 2008*
7.859
Wishlist(2)
 (Love to have)
Played twice (with 3 and 4 players). The rules are a bit confusing (we made at least one minor mistake in each game). Lots of interesting ideas in this game, which work rather well overall - but some of them really add a lot of rules for a very little game effect, and I suspect the game would have gained a lot (at least for me) if some of these small rules had been streamlined a bit. However, my major gripe is the randomness of the card draw, especially since you have no visibility of the cards you will get at the beginning of the rail period, and thus cannot start preparing your strategy in that direction at the end of the canal period. Of course, experience probably helps with that (but even then, I am worried that getting a "good" draw will still be a large advantage). I will definitely try and play it again, but I fear that the cards will prevent me from really liking this game.
2008-08-01*
6
Jul 2006*
6.438
Played only once (with 4 players). Although it is praised as the best of Colovini by some friends, I must say I have been more confused than impressed after having played it. There might be something which would make it worth playing it again.
2006-07-07*
Britannia (1986)
8
Dec 2006*
6.921
Owned
Played lots of times (100+). I was once part of a very active group of Britannia players and played that game very often (always with 4 players). Although it seems to be very script-driven, most games differ enough from each other to remain interesting (if only by the results of the dice). I have not played it in the last few years, but would try the new version if I got a chance.
2006-12-19*
Broc & Troc (aka Versailles) (2004)
6
Nov 2006*
N/A
Played once (with 3 players). I like the simple idea on which the game is based - but playing the optimal way requires too much thought to be done properly.
2006-11-03*
Buccaneer (2006)
6.5
Jun 2007*
6.045
Played a few times (with 3 or 4 players). A rather enjoyable game, even if there isn't necessarily much control. Still, it works quite well, if you are ready to accept some randomness.
2007-06-12*
Bus (1999)
6.5
Jul 2007*
6.107
Played once face-to-face (with 4 players), and once on SBW. My first (face-to-face) play had not convinced me at all - I remember a very close, but uncontrollable game - but I'm glad I accepted to give it a second chance on Spielbyweb. There seems to be more control and planning possible than I thought at first, and the action stones mechanism is interesting, although it may be a bit frustrating. I'm not sure yet about the interest of stopping time - it seems costly for what it does - but I suppose I will know better after having played it again. My rating is very hesitant for now - it would have been a 4 after the first play, but now I think it is better than that. How much better remains to be seen.
2007-07-31*
BuyWord (2004)
6.5
May 2007*
5.921
Owned
Played once (in French, with 4 players). The letter distribution may not be ideal for French, but removing a few letters (W, K, Y) helps, and it is not too bad. Several of the rules sets seem interesting, but I am unlikely to play this enough to try them all.
2007-05-29*
Byzanz (2008)
7.5
Nov 2008*
6.030
Owned
Played several times (strangely enough, always with 5 players, although not always the same ones). A nice longer filler with clever mechanisms, which may appear a bit confusing at first but makes sense after a round or two. I am curious to try it with fewer players (but wouldn't refuse playing with 6 either).
2008-10-31*
El Caballero (1998)
6
Aug 2006*
6.157
Played once (with 4 players). This game was a bit of a disappointment - the complexity was obvious, but the fun much less so. There might be something, but I am not sure that I will ever be brave enough to play it again.
2006-08-31*
6
Jul 2006*
6.075
Played mainly on BSW. There is obviously some randomness, but some skill is needed too and the game is rather enjoyable, though not really demanding or exciting. I would probably not play it face-to-face again, though.
2006-07-06*
6
Jul 2007*
6.119
Played once. While the game definitely has a solid CCG basis, a strong theme (although not one I am very fond of) and nice illustrations, I haven't been struck by anything extraordinary about it - at least nothing which dragged me more into it.
2007-07-06*
Campos (2010)
5
Dec 2010
5.524
Played once (with 2). Very dependent on the scoring cards (and tiles, but mostly the cards) you draw.
2012-08-28
Can't Stop (1980)
8
Jan 2007*
6.733
Played a few times face-to-face, and a lot on BSW. A simple idea turned into a great push-your-luck game. It is random, but not that random, and short enough so that it does not matter that much. Played face-to-face, the game is much longer, but the commenting and taunting can make it worth playing occasionally.
2007-01-09*
Canal Mania (2006)
7
Sep 2006*
6.399
Played once (with 4 players). Some interesting ideas make it a bit different from other "train" games, but the contracts feel a bit constraining. Getting a connected network as soon as possible seems to be required to do well, and you have little control on what contracts you can get. Still, an interesting game, which I would enjoy playing again if I get a chance.
2006-09-19*
Canaletto (1995)
5
Nov 2006*
5.483
Played once (with 4 players). I found it not really exciting and a bit repetitive, and the fact everything is open allows analysis-paralysis to strike in the last few turns, which does not improve the experience. Still, it feels like there could have been something in here.
2006-11-17*
5
Nov 2006*
5.934
Owned
For Trade
Played twice (with 3 and 4 players). The game was promising, with interesting ideas, but I found it much too long and repetitive to be worth it. It seems that the Mayfair tiles make it a bit shorter, so I might give them a try some day if I have a chance (I have only played, and own, the Kosmos version).
2006-11-11*
Capitol (2001)
8
Jan 2007*
6.400
Owned
Played several times (with 3 and 4 players). I am rather fond of this game but cannot really explain why. I like that cards can be used in two different ways (or even three, if you consider doing nothing as a way to use a card), and also the restrictions about authorized buildings. Overall, an enjoyable game - too bad the scoring columns are so little convenient.
2007-01-05*
Capone (aka The Mob) (1993)
2.5
May 2008*
5.641
Played once (with 5 players). A terribly random and uncontrollable game, where you can't even really decide who you target when you are in the situation to target someone. Legal businesses are safe and profitable after a few turns, but you have to be lucky to draw the appropriate cards. The action cards are powerful, even though most don't help you directly. Turn order is a definite concern, which leads to a clunky rule for the very last card played - a good way not to solve the problem, but to move it to the penultimate card. An even bigger problem, maybe (but I might have had wrong expectations), is that every turn plays the same (with fewer and fewer mobsters, of course) and the game has no strategic decisions. Do what you can with the cards you are dealt, and hope that the other players have been dealt different ones, so that they go for each other instead of killing your mobsters.
2008-05-14*
Caprice (1999)
4
Nov 2006*
5.548
Played once (with 2 players). The components are nice, but I could not find much of a game in there.
2006-11-19*
Carambouille (2004)
7
Sep 2006*
5.523
Played once (with 4 players). I am not too fond of trading games, but found my only play of this one quite enjoyable, and based on these good memories I would play it again.
2006-09-06*
6.5
Feb 2008*
7.009
Played several times face-to-face and on BSW (with 2 to 4 players). Although it is considered to be the best stand-alone Carcassonne game by some, I do not really agree. There are several rules which I like (the scoring for rivers, which are much more valuable than roads in the blue version; the bonus tiles for finishing forests; the absence of scoring for unfinished elements; and the reduced number of meeples), but I am not too fond of the scoring for animals, the huts and some of the special tiles. Overall, it is probably not the version of Carcassonne I would choose to play.
2008-02-24*
6.5
May 2007*
7.462
Owned
Played lots of times face-to-face and on BSW. Among the elements it adds to the game, I dislike the 6th player and the cathedrals, and I am not too fond of the large meeple either. On the other hand, the inns are a welcome addition, and some of the new tiles are very nice complements to the base set as well, without being too goofy.
2007-05-29*
6
May 2007*
6.364
Played a few times on BSW. I don't really like the extra rules, and the few new tiles are a bit strange and not really needed. I wouldn't mind playing with that expansion, but definitely would not choose it specifically.
2007-05-29*
7.5
Dec 2006*
6.884
Owned
Played a few times. An interesting variation on the Carcassonne basic system, with less restrictions on tile placement. Lots of good ideas (such as the fixed "board" limits, the bonus chits, the end-game scoring of the largest remaining area) make that an enjoyable game - which I would probably favor over basic Carcassonne for 2 players.
2006-12-14*
7
Jan 2007*
6.233
Owned
Played a few times (with 2 to 4 players). An interesting variation on the Carcassonne base system, with nice twists both in the way elements are scored, and in the scoring itself. The graphics are a bit bland, however.
2007-01-08*
5.5
Feb 2009*
6.504
Played a few times on BSW (with 2 players). Among the new elements added by this expansion, I like the fay the most. It does not have much influence on the game, but still cannot be completely neglected and introduces some new choices. The princess and the dragon, on the other hand, are much too chaotic for my taste. Even if you can control them a bit by changing your way of playing, I think they can have too much influence on the final result.
2007-05-25*
6.5
May 2007*
6.774
Played a few times (both face-to-face and on BSW). While I am not sure these starting tiles are really needed or bring much to the game, I cannot say they really hurt either.
2007-05-29*
7
May 2007*
7.423
Owned
Played several times (both face-to-face and on BSW). Probably my favourite Carcassonne expansion, which adds several elements that I like. The architect is a key figure which can help make up for bad (road) draws or speed up large (city) builds. The goods are a nice sub-system and the way they are given makes for interesting decisions. The pig is not that useful (it will probably score only a few points out of a total above 150), but it does not hurt; and some of the new tiles have interesting patterns.
2007-05-29*
Cartagena (2000)
7
Apr 2007*
6.573
Played a few times face-to-face, as well as on BSW (with 2 to 5 players). An interesting racing game based on a clever idea. The different variants (open hands, open cards, hidden cards) change the game radically, but it remains enjoyable with all of these with the right players.
2007-04-20*
Casbah (2004)
7
Sep 2006*
5.508
Played once (with 2 players). A nice tile-laying game, where you can select your tiles at the beginning of the game, which is a good point. I also like the way the playing space is limited (even though it is not unique to this game).
2006-09-06*
Castle (2000)
5.5
Jun 2007*
5.912
Played a few times (with 2 to 4 players) a while ago. I mainly remember some nice ideas and beautiful cards, but I also a lack of control and some unbalance. Maybe I should try it again when I get a chance.
2007-06-13*
Catan (1995)
7
May 2007*
7.218
Owned
Played lots of time (both face-to-face and on BSW). While it is definitely an archetypal German game, and a significant one in the history of games, and although I used to play it a lot, it is not a favourite of mine any more. The basic system is quite good, and the randomness is not too much of a problem considering the whole game should not be too long.
2007-05-11*
8.5
Sep 2006*
6.681
Owned
Played several times. An interesting adaptation of Settlers of Catan for 2 players, which I enjoy more than the original game. It has nice memory elements, reasonably moderate luck, and a nice feeling of building something. The interaction is mostly indirect, but still present. An enjoyable game for 2 players, although it may be a bit long.
2006-09-21*
8
Oct 2006*
6.045
Owned
Played once. It doesn't look like my favourite of the expansions, but the rules clarifications and card changes are probably a good thing.
2006-10-10*
8.5
Sep 2006*
6.653
Owned
Played once or twice each. These expansions add interesting effects to the basic game. Not all of them seem to be equally useful or balanced (Magicians and Dragons might be a bit weak). I have never played the advanced game with deck-building, but I would be eager to try it some day.
2006-09-21*
4.5
Apr 2007*
5.643
Played once (with 3 players). This game is not much more than a Settlers-themed Yahtzee. There is no interaction between the players - which probably makes the solitaire version the most interesting one - and the decisions remain obvious.
2007-04-12*
4.5
May 2007*
6.851
Played a few times. Even when I really liked Settlers with 4 players, I was not very fond of this expansion, which makes for much longer games without adding much, except players.
2007-05-11*
6.5
Jul 2006*
7.304
Played a few times, several years ago. Maybe I was disappointed because it was quite different from (and much longer than) basic Settlers which I played a lot then. I should play it again with the expectation that it is a different game - maybe it will help me appreciate it better.
2006-07-20*
7
May 2007*
7.036
Played a few times (with 3 or 4 players). This expansion tends to balance the relative value of commodities, which most people seem to consider a good thing, but is not really needed in my opinion. It adds several interesting options, but also lengthens the game, which might be a bit of the problem.
2007-05-11*
Catch Phrase! (1994)
7
Apr 2007*
6.105
Played a few times. Once you accept that some words or phrases are much more difficult than others, and if you manage to get past the annoying noise of the electronic thing, it is a rather enjoyable party game (and playing in English made it an extra challenge for me).
2007-04-12*
Cavum (2008)
6.5
Mar 2009*
6.276
Played once.
2009-03-15
Celtica (2006)
5
Jul 2006*
5.517
Played once (with 2 players). Easy rules, but the bluffing and tactics are not decisive enough, compared to the luck, to make it enjoyable to me.
2006-07-20*
Chang Cheng (2007)
6.5
Sep 2007*
5.906
Played once (with 4 players). A decent majority game with a few twists - mainly the positive and negative scoring. It works rather well, but does not have anything really special. Also, the components are quite good.
2007-09-28*
6
Sep 2007*
6.504
Played once (with 4 players). A beautiful game with cute little mice and superb cardboard components. It shares some mechanisms with other games, but gameplay is pleasant. A possible problem, though, is that it may be difficult to save your mice once (some of) the hole tiles have been located, which happens quite quickly. I wonder how suitable this game really is for children - there seems to be a lot of rules for young kids, but I suppose it works as a family game.
2007-09-29*
Cheeky Monkey (2007)
5.5
Nov 2007*
6.073
Played once (with 6 players). A push-your-luck filler, which might be, just like Heckmeck, too long for what it is.
2007-11-23*
China (2005)
7.5
Jun 2006*
6.824
Played only once. I have been a bit disappointed and found it less interesting than Web of Power. The fortifications are interesting additions, but the asymmetry between provinces has been lowered (compared to WoP), as well as the intermediate scoring, which I liked.
Still, it remains a good game and a decent alternative to WoP.
2006-06-14*
Chrononauts (2000)
2.5
May 2008*
6.086
Played only once. I might have missed something, but what I remember is a terribly long game during which I and another player were fighting to complete opposite goals. Of course we both failed - and at last someone else managed to end the game after some (long) time.
2008-05-05*
Ciao, Ciao... (1997)
7.5
Jan 2007*
5.629
Owned
Played a few times (with 3 or 4 players). A pleasant bluffing game with some luck, but ideal as a short filler. Also, the components are really nice.
2007-01-15*
Cincinnati (2006)
5.5
Feb 2007*
5.543
Played once (with 5 players). Lots of dice rolling, some simultaneous choice, and some possibilities for king-making with the appropriate cards. However, the components are very nice and the game is light and short enough so that the drawbacks are not too much of a problem.
2007-02-19*
Citadels (2000)
7.5
May 2008*
7.114
Owned
Played several times face-to-face (2-7 players) and on BSW (mainly 4-5 players). A game I enjoy probably more than I should, considering that it can be quite random (mainly because of the other players' decisions) and you can easily be out of the game with no real control. However it is quite pleasant, assuming players are reasonably quick in choosing their roles and taking their turns.
2008-05-16*
La Città (2000)
7.5
Jan 2007*
6.902
Played a few times (with 3 to 5 players). A game with interesting ideas, a nice look, and a good thematic feel, which unfortunately suffers from some problems, mainly the luck in the draw of the action cards. Also, it may be a bit long (but I suppose this is reduced once everyone knows the game better).
2007-01-11*
7.5
Sep 2006*
5.751
Played once (with 4 players). An interesting tile-laying game with clever ideas. There is some randomness in the draw of the tiles and some mechanisms might be uselessly complex, but overall the game is enjoyable, with many things to consider when playing a tile. It is probably shorter than announced (60 minutes, and I guess it could be down to 45 minutes with experienced players). The production is decent - it is a pity that the game is a bit expensive. Also, the guilds' colours match the players' colours, which does not help understanding and readability.
2006-09-02*
Claim It! (2006)
6.5
Apr 2007*
5.658
Played once (with 4 players). As a push-your-luck dice-based game, it obviously calls for a comparison with Can't Stop. While it adds several interesting ideas, the counterpart is that the game is much longer - and probably a bit too long for what it is.
2007-04-19*
Clans (2002)
6.5
Oct 2007*
6.408
Played a few times face-to-face and on BSW. It has simple rules and nice ideas, but something - I do not know what - seems to be missing to make it a great game. The parity problem might be an issue with 2 players - or maybe it is a part of the design.
2007-10-27*
6
Aug 2007*
6.654
Played once (with 5 players). Some interesting ideas, although some of them (such as the pentaminos in the gardens) seem to be a bit out of place. The decisions seem to be fairly easy, and the players may lack some control on the endgame. However, I would play it again, ideally with less players.
2007-08-28*
Clocktowers (2004)
4.5
Oct 2007*
5.586
Owned
For Trade
Played a few times (with 3 or 4 players). I expected better from a game which had been described as a "Capitol card game". As it is, it does not keep enough of the interesting parts of Capitol (which I like) to be worth the comparison, and the result is a rather boring card game with too much luck and too few decisions.
2007-10-05*
Cloud 9 (1999)
7
Oct 2006*
6.210
Played a few times (with 5-6 players). An interesting push-your-luck game which lead to animated and noisy sessions. The joker cards might be too powerful, I would consider having them replace any one (but only one) balloon next time I play.
2006-10-31*
7
Apr 2007*
6.174
Owned
Played a few times (with 4 to 7 players). A nice bluffing game, short and simple enough for new players to enjoy. It may suffer from a slight targetting problem, which may lead some players to be involved much more than others, but that is a minor drawback.
2007-04-20*
Cocotaki (aka Cuckoo Zoo) (2002)
2.5
Sep 2006*
5.508
Played once. Adding animal noises to Uno does not make Uno better, just more animal-noisy. Children might enjoy it - but I will do my best to avoid getting trapped into it again.
2006-09-07*
Code Omega (2008)
7
Apr 2008*
5.602
Played once (with 4 players). A good speed puzzle, but not as good as Ubongo to my eyes, because it seems easier to solve methodically. The scoring system - as the one in Ubongo - adds annoying luck to make sure the best player may lose, but I guess it can just be ignored anyway.
2008-04-28*
7
Nov 2007*
6.465
Played once. A nice two-player game with some interesting rules, good components and a rather convincing theme (although it might have been interesting to have some asymmetry between the players). It might be a bit long (at least, my single play was, but it was a learning game - and I suppose you could always play to 80 points instead of 100), and the lack of control on 5-pt events is a bit annoying, but overall the game is a pleasant plays quite nicely.
2007-11-22*
6
May 2008*
5.627
Played once (with 4 players). While I rather liked the idea of patterns on a grid, I have not really enjoyed the game that has been built around this idea.
2008-05-18*
Coloretto (2003)
7.5
Dec 2006*
6.887
Owned
Played lots of times (with 3 to 5 players). A very nice filler for gamers, as well as a good initiation game. It plays quickly, there are some not too demanding decisions and an acceptable amount of randomness. A reference in its genre, in my opinion.
2006-12-21*
6
Jun 2007*
6.675
Owned
For Trade
Played a few times (with 3 to 5 players). While I have not found this game unpleasant or uninteresting, it has not really appealed to me either for some reason. I have not played it for a while, maybe it will be time to try again soon.
2007-06-04*
Condottiere (1995)
5.5
Aug 2007*
6.551
Played several times (with 3-6 players). I used to think it was a nice little game, with some interesting ideas, until I got stuck for some reason in a never-ending game with 6 players. I have not played it since, and my rating might be a bit too harsh, based on that painfully long experience.
2007-08-24*
Container (2007)
7.5
Nov 2007*
6.807
Played once (with 5 players). An interesting and very original game. My only play has been quite satisfying, although maybe a bit long (the last few turns felt a bit repetitive, although the feeling might have disappeared if we had played quicker earlier - it was a learning game for most of us). Evaluating the value of the containers at different stages seems difficult at first, but quite often several of us had the same value as our first offer in the auctions. A possible problem is that the game might be quite fragile if players go wrong early.
2007-11-28*
Contrario (2001)
6.5
Jul 2007*
5.573
Owned
Played a few times - mostly as a challenging activity with not much care regarding the victory conditions. Some of the answers are definitely not part of my culture, but I still enjoy it.
2007-07-31*
Contrario 2 (2006)
6.5
Jul 2007*
N/A
Played once. Similar to Contrario, except that the answers seem to be less obvious, and there is a new way to change a word into another. That makes the game a but more challenging - but still not too much to remain doable and enjoyable.
2007-07-31*
Corona (1974)
6.5
Jun 2007*
5.560
Played once (with 4 players). An interesting observation/speed game, which is a genre I usually like. This game is however more difficult to get into than, for instance, Rasende Roboter, and the replayability seems to be lower.
2007-06-11*
Cosmic Attack (2006)
5
Jul 2007*
N/A
Played a prototype once (with 4 players). My rating assumes there have been no major changes to the game. Some of the challenges are not quite to my tastes, but the way you can select which one you want to go for is interesting.
2007-07-31*
3
Jul 2007*
6.661
Played a few times. In my experience, the most interesting part of the game is determining which powers have been given to the players at the beginning. The actual gameplay is boring at best, with king-making and frustration possibilities to spice up the randomness and the unbalance. Maybe the expansions add some control? Some interest? But I guess I will never know.
2007-07-21*
Coyote (2003)
6.5
Apr 2007*
6.127
Played several times (with 4 to 6 players). An enjoyable bluffing game with some randomness in the card draw, but it is usually short enough so that it does not matter too much.
2007-04-24*
Crazy Chicken (aka Drive) (2003)
5
Nov 2006*
5.899
Played a few times. It might be a little better than it first seemed to me, but still it is nothing more than a filler for 2 players, with kind of a theme which I find difficult to like. In my opinion, there are definitely better games for two - this one could be a nice change occasionally, but I don't get to play 2p games very often anyway.
2006-11-19*
Credo (1993)
4
Sep 2006*
5.560
Played once, a long time ago. The theme is original and interesting, but I mainly remember the unclear and possibly unbalanced rules.
2006-09-07*
Crokinole (1876)
7.5
Nov 2007*
7.593
Played a few times. Dexterity games are usually not my favorite kind, but this one seems to be actually quite good, and has less downtime than Carabande / Pitch Car.
2007-11-07*
Cronberg (2003)
6.5
Sep 2006*
5.695
Played once (with 4 players). A rather light tile-laying game with not much else to it, which works honestly. As often with this kind of games, the luck of the draw can be a problem.
2006-09-06*
Danger 13 (2007)
4
Apr 2007*
5.619
Played once (with 4 players). Very light, with few decisions and a "take that" aspect which I do not really like. Also, the graphics of the cards do not help - even though I have to admit they are easy to read.
2007-04-19*
Das Riff (aka The Reef) (2000)
5
May 2008*
5.605
Owned
For Trade
Played several times. A cute little game for 2 players. It is quite random and probably too long to be really interesting for true gamers, but there are some interesting ideas, and the light theme might appeal to non-gamers or children.
2008-05-14*
Dawn Under (2004)
6
Sep 2006*
5.939
Played once (with 5 players). It is not much more than a plain memory game, but the production is nice and the little vampires are cute.
2006-09-06*
3.5
Apr 2007*
5.601
Played once (with 3 players). A very light, very short and very random filler, at best.
2007-04-15*
Delphi (2002)
5
Mar 2008*
5.532
Played once (with 3 players). A very average take on the "every player has the same deck and tries to do their best with it" situation. Unfortunately, the randomness of the order of the cards can really break the game - and there is no control over that in the first parade. Other problems include the violently chaotic oracle cards, and possibly, with 3 players, the fact that it is rather useless to fight for first place, compared to just avoiding the last one. Overall, the game has too many drawbacks compared to its qualities - it could have been a nice filler otherwise.
2008-03-08*
4
Mar 2007*
5.589
Played once (with 4 players). It is likely to be better with fewer players. Initial placement is definitely a key to not being unable to play after one or two turns. Our game was much too short to be interesting - but did not leave us eager to play a rematch.
2007-03-04*
Der Elefant im Porzellanladen (aka Quietville) (2006)
3.5
Oct 2006*
5.886
Played once (with 5 players). Despite some interesting ideas (the scoring rules), my only play of this game has been incredibly boring. I suspect it may be because I played with 5 players (but then, it was supposed to be playable with 5, although reading the rules was enough to make us suspicious about that). I might try and play it again with 3 or 4, since it is short enough, but even then, the high luck factor makes it unlikely to be a game I really enjoy.
2006-10-24*
Desert Bazaar (2006)
5
Dec 2009*
5.545
Played once (with 3 players). Rather dry, this game has definitely a chance to drag because of analysis-paralysis. It is quite difficult to think during the opponents' turns, since the situation is likely to change a lot - both on the board and among the available tents. Also, the scoring for card majorities in the endgame might be a bit too strong, especially since players have no special incentive to build the last tent to end the game - and then it may all come down to the luck of the roll.
2007-08-18*
Desperados (2004)
4
Nov 2006*
5.527
Played once. Nothing exciting in this card game - and I don't even like how the cards look.
2006-11-03*
Diamant (2005)
7.5
Apr 2007*
6.533
Owned
Played a few times face-to-face, as well as on BSW. A very nice push-your-luck game with a psychological side. The rules are easy and the games are short (except for some manipulating and counting of diamonds, when played face-to-face).
2007-04-13*
Diamino (1935)
5
Aug 2006*
N/A
Owned
Played once (with 3 players). It looks very similar to Scrabble at first glance, but some severe problems cause it to be much less interesting. The rules are unclear, and the easiest letters have higher values than the most difficult ones, strangely enough. Still, some of the rules seem to be quite innovative in such an old game. I would rather play Scrabble any time, but I am glad I tried it.
2006-08-29*
Die Kutschfahrt zur Teufelsburg (aka The Castle of the Devil) (2010)
2.5
May 2007*
6.251
Played once (with 6 players). Sure, the game is original and the cards are beautifully illustrated. I like the ideas of hidden teams and how you should deduce who your teammates are. However, the uninformed decisions at the beginning of the game can completely prevent one player from getting any information early on - and then the other players are likely to make sure he does not get any information at all. That is what happened to me in my only game, and although my judgment might be affected by this experience, I suspect this is likely to happen to at least one player in any other play as well.
2007-05-26*
Diplomacy (1959)
9.5
Jul 2008*
6.902
Owned
Played hundreds of times face-to-face and several times by e-mail or web. A game with multiple layers, most of which I really enjoy. The tactical rules are simple, yet allow for beautiful combinations; the negotiation multiplies the number of possibilities (even though I am not an expert at this part); and the tournament play adds even more subtleties. Reasonable people should understand that what happens in the game should stay in the game. I have met wonderful friends, visited lots of places, and had a lot of interesting experiences thanks to Diplomacy tournaments.
2008-07-05*
7
Nov 2006*
N/A
Played once (by e-mail). Three is definitely not the best number to play Diplomacy, but this map is a valid and seemingly rather balanced one if you really want to play with this number.
2006-11-18*
5.5
Jul 2007*
5.888
Played once (with 3 players). I really did not enjoy my only play of the game, but learned afterwards that we had been playing with a few wrong rules. Having thought about it again, it is probably much better and would deserve being tried again.
2007-07-10*
Domaine (2003)
7.5
Jan 2007*
6.793
Played a few times (with 3 or 4 players). While it is a reworking of Löwenherz, it feels like an entirely different game. Not better or worse, actually, just different - and while it works quite well too, the mechanics involved seem less original and more conventional.
2007-01-02*
Don (2001)
5.5
May 2009*
5.900
Played a few times (with 3 to 5 players). An interesting idea for a mechanism, but there is little more than that, and I am not convinced it really works.
2007-10-28*
Dos Rios (2004)
7
Nov 2006*
6.111
Played a few times (with 3 players). A game based on an interesting idea, which works quite well (and is probably shorter than indicated - more like 45 minutes). However, it may suffer from rich-get-richer and possible kingmaking problems.
2006-11-03*
7
Nov 2006*
6.949
Owned
Played several times (with 3 or 4 players). An enjoyable, if not very deep, game. I rather like how the way the board is divided changes as the game progresses. The end game, however, is both too random (the order in which the lava tiles are drawn can have a huge influence on the final result) and too predictible (since the numbers of tiles of each sort are known exactly).
2006-11-03*
6
Oct 2007*
5.468
Owned
For Trade
Played once (with 5 players). It could be described as "6 nimmt with a twist", and plays indeed that way. Of course, your play is limited by the cards you draw and you would have to read your opponents' minds to play perfectly, but it remains enjoyable - maybe just a bit too long though.
2007-10-03*
Dracula (2003)
6.5
Nov 2008*
5.972
Played a few times. A pleasant two-player game involving memory and bluffing, but not only these. There are slight differences in the cards available to each player, but it is a pity the asymmetry is not stronger - as it is, both players have exactly the same goals and very similar means to get there.
2006-08-31*
6
Dec 2007*
5.688
Played a few times. My appreciation of the game (and thus my rating) would be quite higher if there was not a significant advantage to the second player - at least, that is what it seems after only a few games. I could live with the randomness of the draw (although some tiles are rather weaker) and the imprecision of some rules - but I really did not like this significant difference. If you get over it, though, it looks like this game could be a very rich and interesting abstract with a good replayability.
2007-12-29*
5
Oct 2007*
5.553
Played a few times (with 3 and 4 players). While there are some things to like in this game (such as the way the cards you collect can be played again in the further rounds), much of the strategy seems to be decided by your initial hand (with positive cards, keep them; with negative cards, go out; with lots of low cards, well, there might be not much to do). Overall, nothing more than a filler - and not the best I ever played in this category.
2007-10-03*
6.5
Feb 2007*
5.615
Played once. A clever and quick game for two players, which probably gets better (and at which one probably gets better, too) after a few plays. There are some nice mechanisms and not too obvious decisions - but as it is a 2p game, I am not that likely to play it again soon.
2007-02-19*
DruidenWalzer (1999)
5.5
May 2009*
5.716
Played once. This game is a bit confusing and definitely requires some thought. I suppose it becomes clearer after a few further plays, but I don't feel the urge to play it again.
2007-11-02*
Drunter und Drüber (aka Wacky Wacky West) (1991)
6.5
Jun 2007*
6.026
Played several times (with 3 or 4 players). An enjoyable, light game with some planning ahead and some bluffing.
2007-06-13*
Dschunke (2002)
6.5
Nov 2006*
6.216
Played twice (with 3 and 4 players). While there are things to like in this game, I don't think I enjoy the main phase (blind-bidding) because it just can be too "random". The fact that everyone loses all the cards they bet does not help. I am sure it is possible to plan ahead and count the cards to do better, but that seems to be too much work for the effort.
2006-11-19*
Du Balai! (aka Wicked Witches Way) (2006)
7
Feb 2007*
6.119
Played once. A decent speed/observation game with a nice gimmick. Not my favourite in that genre, but I would play it again. The cards are a bit unbalanced, which might bother some people, and the score track is all but easy to read.
2007-02-19*
DVONN (2001)
8.5
Sep 2006*
7.078
Owned
Played several times face-to-face, and a few times on BSW as well. I like the way the board shrinks, which guarantees that the game will end after a relatively small number of moves - yet the game is deep enough to be varied, and gameplay is not obvious. Along with Gipf, one of my favourites in the Gipf project.
2006-09-20*
Easy School (2007)
5.5
Sep 2007*
5.498
Played once (with 4 players). A light card game with a humorous theme and simple mechanisms. The penalty for drawing stress cards (an essentially random draw) is counterbalanced a bit by the possibility to use these cards later against another player (which introduces some "take that" issues). Scoring is interesting (some memory helps) although not so thematic. The main problem of the game is that it might be a bit long for what it is (but it should be possible to play more quickly than what we did in my only learning game).
2007-09-28*
6.5
Aug 2006*
6.462
Played several times (with 4 and 5 players). A nice game with interesting ideas, which works quite well. However, the majority system on gems is a bit brutal and can lead to some kingmaking, especially in the last round. Also, the cards are very unequal in interest, and a lucky draw can really make an undeserved difference. Still, the game is rather enjoyable.
2006-08-31*
Eden (2001)
5
Aug 2006*
5.521
Played once (with 3 players). Some aspects are similar to Acquire, and the randomness in card-drawing is as annoying as the tile-drawing is in Acquire. However the game is shorter and has some interesting ideas which make it (slightly) more likely to be played again.
2006-08-21*
8.5
Aug 2006*
6.464
Owned
Played numerous times (with 2 to 4 players). Probably the best Teuber game for a long time. The randomness factor is fairly low, the interaction between players is direct and quite tense, and overall the game is an enjoyable race to get rid of VP cubes. After several plays with 4 players, I tried it with 2 and 3, and the game works as well.
2006-08-23*
Elfengold (1999)
5
Jan 2007*
6.179
Played once. It adds an extra layer to Elfenland, which I feel is unneeded, and only slows down the game some more. I would rather play the base game without this expansion.
2007-01-19*
Elfenland (1998)
6
Jan 2007*
6.630
Played a few times (with 5 or 6 players). A boardgame adaptation of the traveling salesman problem, which is quite interesting by itself. However, the game is a bit long (especially with many players involved) and it lacks some rhythm.
2007-01-19*
Elixir (1997)
2
Nov 2006*
5.498
Played once, a long time ago. Nowadays I wouldn't even bother playing that kind of games, since I know they are definitely not for me.
2006-11-03*
Emerald (2002)
8.5
Jun 2007*
6.048
Owned
Played several times face-to-face and lots of times on BSW (with 3 to 5 players). A clever short game, ideal with 3 or 4 players. There is some randomness (both in the way the cards are placed and in the movement of the dragon), but not that much (and the game is short enough so that it does not bother me much anyway), and the decisions are not always obvious.
2007-06-22*
5.5
Nov 2007*
5.957
Played once (with 5 players). My only play is quite old already, but I mainly remember a long game with some balance issues, but an interesting (if not very easy to control) battle system. I might be interested in giving it another try.
2007-11-02*
7.5
Aug 2006*
6.421
Owned
Played twice. It is nice to see a game designed especially for 3 players. It has interesting ideas and several winning conditions, which is quite nice. So far I have seen a military and a skill victory, and in both games the political victory was close.
2006-08-23*
6.5
Nov 2006*
5.860
Owned
For Trade
Played once (with 4 players). As much as I like E&T, I cannot really see the point of this game. It is a brilliantly faithful adaptation of the board game into a card game, but there is nothing more, or less, than in the board game. Game length, complexity and intensity are the same - and it does not even save table space. I cannot think of any reason to play this rather than the original.
2006-11-11*
Evo (2001)
7
Jun 2007*
6.700
Played several times (with 3 to 5 players). A nice game with several clever ideas - and cute customizable dinosaurs. There is some randomness, both in the fights and the cards (some of them can be quite powerful), but the game is light enough so that it doesn't matter that much. I have played once or twice with the "hard auctions" variant (one less item) but do not really feel it is necessary, although it doesn't hurt either.
2007-06-11*
Exago (2004)
4.5
Sep 2006*
5.496
Played once (with 3 players). Basically a multi-player four-in-a-row game, which induces "blocking responsibility" - here turned into a rule. I am not sure it works.
2006-09-07*
7.5
Feb 2007*
5.581
Played once. A very clever non-collectible card game for 2 players, with lots of interesting ideas. The game mat makes it easier to remember all the rules (which are not that difficult anyway), and it plays very smoothly.
2007-02-19*
Exxtra (aka Excape) (1998)
7.5
Aug 2007*
6.018
Owned
Played a few times (with 4 to 6 players). A pleasant push-your-luck game. Of course luck plays an important role, but it is rather quick, and enjoyable enough so that it does not really matter.
2007-08-28*
Fabrik der Träume (aka Dream Factory) (2000)
8.5
Nov 2006*
6.883
Owned
Played 10+ times (with 3 to 5 players, mainly 4). Probably my favourite (almost) pure auction game, for some reason I am not sure I get. It might be the redistribution of winning bids. The theme (even though I have not seen half of the movies) probably helps a bit too.
2006-11-18*
Factory Fun (2006)
6.5
Feb 2008*
6.654
Played once (with 3 players). Some interesting ideas in that optimization puzzle, but somehow I am not too fond of the way real-time tile grabbing and optimization are mixed. Still, it is enjoyable despite the lack of interaction (I doubt even experienced players can analyze the other players' boards and really take that into account when grabbing a tile), and I would play it again.
2008-02-29*
Fairy Tale (2004)
8
Jan 2007*
6.687
Owned
Played numerous times (with 4 or 5 players). A nice, quick game built on a simple drafting mechanism, where several winning strategies are valid. My main regret would be the symmetry between the three non-black colors - even though it makes the game easier to follow that way.
2007-01-08*
5
Aug 2006*
5.972
Played several times (both as Family Business and Service compris). Not much strategy - the most successful players are quite often the most discrete, and among these the winner is the one who gets the lucky card draws. Still, it can be fun with the right people.
2006-08-31*
Fantasy Pub (2003)
7
Aug 2006*
5.696
Owned
Played a few times. Luck drives most of the game, which is really not deep, but the theme is fun and the basic ideas are clever. The suggested victory conditions make the game too long for what it is, I would rather decrease them a bit.
2006-08-25*
7
May 2008*
6.446
Played a few times (with 4 or 5 players). A short and interesting auction game with a twist. Control is not always very good, which can be a bit annoying when a player gets an obvious early lead. However, the game is short enough, so it is not too much of a problem.
2008-05-19*
Fettnapf (2005)
6.5
May 2008*
5.647
Owned
Played a few times. A nice memory-based filler. Not much else in it, but it is quick and enjoyable enough. It could probably be used to teach basic operations (addition and subtraction) to children.
2008-05-19*
Fifth Avenue (2004)
6
Jan 2007*
5.801
Played twice (with 4 players). I had heard lots of bad things about this game, and it was not that bad after all - just not really spectacular or interesting. There are some nice ideas, there is some annoying randomness too (for instance in the Central Park scoring), but overall, it feels a bit bland.
2007-01-17*
Fiji (2006)
4
Oct 2006*
5.680
Played once (with 4 players). We played a rule wrong, which probably did not help us enjoy this game, but still the level of control is really low, even for a blind bidding game (some of the cards really don't help). Of course, I would update my rating after a play with the correct set of rules.
2006-10-24*
Finstere Flure (aka Fearsome Floors) (2003)
6.5
Jul 2007*
6.527
Played a few times face-to-face (with 4 to 6 players) and on BSW. An interesting game, which can be played either very seriously and analytically, or in a more relaxed and fun way. I would rather not play it with too many players to minimize downtime and would avoid more than 4, so that every player can have 4 characters.
2007-07-23*
Fjords (2005)
5.5
Apr 2007*
6.438
Played once. An abstract tile-laying game which is played in two phases. While the first one is reminiscent of a simplified Carcassonne, the second one can be compared to Penguins. Overall, the game has nothing in it which would really entice me to play it again. A positive point, however, is that it is sold as a 2-player game only - while it might work with more, 2 players would probably be the best configuration anyway.
2007-04-25*
Flandern 1302 (2004)
3.5
May 2008*
5.692
Played once. We must have missed a rule - if not, this game has nothing original, and obvious decisions which lead to very small differentiation between the players. Disappointing.
2008-05-19*
3.5
Aug 2006*
5.650
Played once (with 4 players). There are some good ideas, which could probably have made a good game, but for some reason it was not so, and my only play was not enjoyable. I doubt I will play it again.
2006-08-23*
Flix Mix (2004)
7
Jul 2006*
5.737
Owned
Played a few times. A nice real-time observation game. Of course, some players do not like this kind of games, but I do, and would play it once in a while.
2006-07-24*
Fluxx (1997)
5
Jul 2006*
5.624
Owned
Played numerous times. It is random, it can be unfair, its length is uncontrollable and most decisions are obvious. But sometimes, it is fun (especially with players who know the cards and play accordingly).
2006-07-07*
Footmania (1993)
3
Aug 2006*
5.568
Played once. I can understand the theme is attractive to some, but it does not appeal to me. As for the game itself, I found it far too long and random to be really enjoyable.
2006-08-23*
For Sale (1997)
8
Apr 2008*
7.110
Owned
Played once (with 4 players). This game is based on an interesting idea (as often with Dorra), and it plays very well. Both phases are tense and pleasant, and the game is short enough. It looks like a nice filler I would like to play more often.
2008-04-28*
Formula Dé (1991)
4
Dec 2006*
6.824
Played once or twice a long time ago. I found the game much too long for my tastes, and quite random as well. As my interest in such sports is low, I probably will not bother giving this game another chance.
2006-12-21*
5
Dec 2006*
6.057
Played once. Shorter than Formula Dé, hence I like it a bit more. Still random, and still not a theme I enjoy, though.
2006-12-21*
Frank's Zoo (1999)
6
Apr 2007*
6.393
Owned
Played once. I have not been really impressed by this game (except for the cute animals, of course), but should give it another try with card players.
2007-04-20*
Fresh Fish (1997)
7.5
Aug 2006*
6.144
Owned
Played several times (with 3 to 5 players). An interesting game based on a clever idea. The expropriation rules are not that difficult to understand, but it can be tricky to figure out and play properly. In my last few games, I have used money as a tie-breaker only, which forces players to focus on distances on the board rather than allowing them to win by saving their whole cash.
2006-08-25*
Freya's Folly (2005)
6
Oct 2007*
5.856
Played once (with 3 players). This game has several good ideas, but still there are too many parts which I don't really like. The movement in the mine can be slow (which makes the game a bit too long, maybe), some of the abilities seem much better than others (it might change with a different number of players, though), the thief card allows nasty direct interaction, and while I like the alternate end condition, I think the end of the game is a bit too abrupt (I'm not sure the extra turns which may have been played by a player matter much - but maybe give everyone at least one more opportunity to use extra action tokens?). In its rather precise category "Dwarves in a mine with open contracts", it works better than Silberzwerg for me, but it is not perfect either.
2007-10-06*
4.5
Nov 2008*
6.278
Played once. Too few meaningful decisions in a rather long, themeless filler. Disappointing.
2008-11-22*
Fröscheln (aka Numeri) (1973)
5
Nov 2008*
5.500
Owned
For Trade
Played several times (mainly with 4 players). A short decent racing game, where the luck is reduced by an interesting rule. Several strategies are possible, but still the game is not really deep.
2006-08-29*
Die Fugger (2003)
7
Jul 2006*
5.968
Owned
Played a few times. A quite good game by itself, which is even better if you consider its price and volume. One of the best Adlung games for gamers - even if it is no Meuterer.
2006-07-07*
5
May 2008*
7.415
Played once (with 3 players). A strange game, which definitely was an interesting and fun experience - but not one I would actively look for again. The spaceship building rules are nice, but the travel part is awfully random and possibly unfair. Ok - it may be fun to see everyone's ship blasted to pieces by nasty asteroids, but I don't really see the point, which leaves me with a very doubtful overall feeling.
2008-05-19*
6
Feb 2008*
5.890
Played once (with 4 players). A decent tile-laying game, which as such suffers from the typical problems of the genre (like, for instance, Metro or even Carcassonne). The luck of the draw plays a huge role (not that some tiles are better than others, but some are just better when you draw them - and during a relatively short game, luck doesn't always balances out), and with more than 2 players, king-making is a very possible problem. Still, this game is a rather pleasant filler.
2008-02-29*
Gargon (2001)
7
Oct 2006*
5.770
Owned
For Trade
Played once (with 4 players). Some clever ideas in the components, the gameplay and the scoring system, which overall make for an enjoyable game. Definitely something I would like to play again when I get a chance.
2006-10-06*
6
Oct 2007*
5.872
Played once (as an Austrian). A nice-looking game, definitely close to Scotland Yard in the way it works, but with a few twists. The game is probably quite stressful for Garibaldi, who suffers from the time pressure and cannot really afford any mistake - in my single play, one was enough to greatly reduce his chances of escape. The collaboration between the Austrian players can make the game a bit automatic for some if not everyone is equally involved - especially since some of the starting positions are quite far from the action at the beginning. Overall, I would play it again (possibly as Garibaldi next time), but I am afraid that is not quite a genre I appreciate much.
2007-10-25*
Geister (aka Ghosts!) (1980)
8
Sep 2006*
6.031
Owned
Played several times face-to-face, as well as on BSW. An excellent, yet simple, bluffing game for two. Easy rules and multiple victory conditions make it an impressive design with enjoyable gameplay.
2006-09-27*
Genesis (2006)
7.5
Jan 2007*
5.861
Played a few times (with 2 to 4 players). While this game does not seem very exciting (and the look certainly does not help), I found it surprisingly decent. It is definitely not as good as E&T, with which it shares some common points, and there is some luck due to the dice, but it is not as game-breaking as it may seem at first.
2007-01-11*
Geschenkt (aka No Thanks!) (2004)
8
Jul 2006*
6.939
Owned
Played quite often (with 3-6 players). A very nice filler with simple rules. After the first few games, I started splitting the undealt cards as starting hidden cards between the players, and always play that way now.
2006-07-07*
Gheos (2006)
8
Nov 2006*
6.237
Owned
Played twice (with 3 players). An interesting tile-laying game with very nice components. The rules seem a bit overwhelming at first (although they are clearly written and illustrated, with nice examples), but playing the game is not really difficult after all. Playing it well, however, seems less easy. My second playing confirmed my good opinion on that game (and the fact that experience helps evaluating the war and migration possibilities).
2006-11-19*
Giants (2008)
7
Feb 2009*
6.611
Played twice (with 5 players). A nice-looking game with some original and interesting ideas. It might, however, be a bit too long for what it is - playing with fewer players (or more experienced ones) could help with that, but I am worried it might not be enough.
2009-02-12*
GiftTRAP (2006)
7.5
Feb 2007*
6.222
Played once (with 7 players). A nice party-like game where you get to know better the people you play with. Nice, and short enough to remain enjoyable, at least if everyone is in the right mood to play "seriously" enough.
2007-02-19*
Giganten (1999)
7
Dec 2009*
6.329
Owned
For Trade
Played a few times (with 4 players). A pleasant game, which probably lacks something exciting to be played more often. As it is, it works quite well and I have enjoyed playing it every time so far.
2006-07-20*
GIPF (1997)
8.5
Sep 2006*
6.694
Owned
Played several times. At first it did not really appeal to me, but I enjoy it more and more as I play it. The rules are simple, and I enjoy the way the players can slowly gain small advantages until one of them is forced to merely play for survival. Along with Dvonn, my favourite in the Gipf project.
2006-09-20*
Gipsy King (2007)
7
Dec 2009*
5.992
Owned
Played once face-to-face (with 3 players) and once online (with 2 players). A nice filler, which in my opinion works best with only 2 (mainly to prevent kingmaking issues). It is quick and simple enough, yet gameplay is not too obvious. Components are good, except for the not too practical scoring track.
2007-11-04*
5.5
May 2008*
5.476
Played once (with 3 players). A race game with an heavy dose of luck, but a rather interesting scoring idea, which leads to some light decisions (keep the cards as "fuel" for more forward progress, or score them for points now). Not bad overall, but not a game I feel an urge to play again, either.
2008-05-19*
Global Powers (2003)
6
Dec 2006*
5.617
Played once (with 3 players - which is probably not the best configuration). Lots of interesting ideas could have made it a very good game in its genre, but it suffers from several annoying problems: unclear rules, unbalanced cards, some randomness, lack of readability of the board (some colors are used both for the characteristics of the countries and for the players). As it is, I found it playable (yet a bit long, though it should improve after a few plays) but not great.
2006-12-21*
Gloria Mundi (2006)
7.5
Nov 2007*
5.864
Played once (with 5 players). I enjoyed this game much more than I thought I would. The decisions do not seem to be straightforward, there are interesting choices, and the material is rather nice (although the player tokens are a bit unusual). It might be a bit long, but no one had played before (and I suspect it would be shorter with fewer players). I'm definitely looking forward to further plays, and will buy it once I have confirmed that positive first impression.
2007-11-13*
Glory to Rome (2005)
7
Jun 2008*
7.382
Played once (with 2 players). Rating is very uncertain. I have quite a lot of concerns with this game, but most of them are likely to vanish after a few more plays, and I rather liked the general idea. I'm not too fond of the graphics (but that shouldn't prevent me from liking the game itself much better if the gameplay issues prove to be moot). For now anyway, I am very eager to play the game again, maybe with a few more players (I am afraid 5 would be too many unless maybe everyone knows the game well).
2008-06-07*
Gnadenlos! (2001)
5.5
May 2008*
5.637
Played a few times (with 4 players). A strange game with lots of interesting mechanisms which add up together rather well. The result is original and rather enjoyable to play, but there is not that much in it and some parts are really random - but who said it was a high strategy game anyway?
2008-05-18*
Goa (2004)
9
Sep 2006*
7.539
Owned
Played numerous times (with 2 to 4 players). I am not too fond of once-around auctions, but somehow I can stand them here, and there is much more than them in the game anyway. Player interaction is more important than it seems at first, and I like the progression along the various tracks. The main drawback is probably the randomness in the expedition cards (especially when they contribute to a lot of victory points in the end game scoring). Also worth mentioning is the fact that it scales surprisingly well for 2 to 4 players.
2006-09-19*
Goldland (2002)
7
May 2007*
6.254
Played a few times (with 3 or 4 players). An interesting game of exploration, with progressive discovery of the map towards a known goal, and a lot of good ideas (distance moved depending on the encumbrance, final countdown at the temple). The scoring is a bit strange - it is probably the least thematic element in the game, although it is nice that reaching the temple is not necessary to win.
2007-05-25*
Graenaland (2006)
7.5
Oct 2006*
6.070
Owned
Played a prototype once (the actual game might differ). It had some interesting ideas and a nice gameplay, even though some of the choices seemed unlikely to be ever made by the players (we might have played some rules wrong). I am curious to see if there have been any changes, and eager to play it again.
2006-10-24*
El Grande (1995)
8.5
Apr 2008*
7.722
Owned
Played several times (mainly with 5 players, sometimes 4). A very good majority game with interesting mechanisms and lots of intense decisions. This game probably does not get as many plays as it deserves.
2008-04-29*
6
Aug 2009*
5.878
Played once (with 4 players). This game has interesting ideas (I most notably like the way how the chaos on the first board turns into order on the second one), but in my single play so far, I thought it was a bit long and subject to possible king-making. Still, I would play it again to hopefully lift (or unfortunately confirm) these doubts.
2007-04-12*
Guru (2006)
5.5
Oct 2006*
5.479
Played once (with 5 players). Some interesting ideas, but my only play has not been really enjoyable. And even if I usually don't care much about the graphics, I really don't like these cards - and they are not very easy to read either (of course, using different symbols of various sizes and colors, for instance, would have worked quite as well - but it would have been less thematic).
2006-10-25*
Hacienda (2005)
7
Mar 2007*
6.750
Played twice (with 4 players). My first play left me with a feeling of a unoriginal and rather bland game, but the second one, more than one year later, rather changed my opinion. While most mechanisms have been seen before, I found the gameplay rather enjoyable and will definitely try and play it again soon.
2007-03-17*
Halli Galli (1990)
6
Sep 2006*
5.707
Played a few times. Of course it is not the deepest game ever, but it is a rather nice (although noisy) speed/observation game, which would probably work quite well with children.
2006-09-06*
5
Dec 2007*
5.526
Played a few times (with 3 or 4 players). I had better memories of this game, but have been disappointed when I played it again recently. There are nice ideas, but the lack of control prevents me from really enjoying them. I have not tried the Black Jack variant - it might help, but I am not even sure.
2007-12-29*
Hamsterrolle (2000)
7
Sep 2006*
6.437
Played twice (with 4 players). I am not too fond of dexterity games and pretty bad at them, but both plays of this one have been enjoyable - mainly, I guess, thanks to the team play.
2006-09-07*
Hansa (2004)
6.5
Jan 2007*
6.729
Played a few times (with 3 or 4 players). Some interesting ideas, if not exciting ones, but the game can really suffer from a turn order problem, where the player on your right can be decisive in limiting your possible moves.
2007-01-30*
7.5
Jul 2006*
6.446
Owned
Played lots of times (mainly with 4 to 6 players). A clever racing game with reduced amount of luck. I own the version with hare cards, but probably prefer the one with a die (with results depending on your position).
2006-07-07*
Hellas (2002)
6.5
Jul 2007*
6.030
Owned
Played once. Several good ideas and an enjoyable gameplay, although I wonder how replayable it would be. The exploration and land discovery process works well, and the components are nice.
2007-07-02*
4
Apr 2007*
6.750
Played a few times on BSW (with 2 to 4 players). I dislike this game, probably more than I should. Besides the obvious king-making problems which occur with more than 2 players, and the ridiculous English name, there is something I do not like even with 2, but I cannot really point out what it is. It is most certainly a better game than my rating suggests - just not for me.
2007-04-20*
High Society (1995)
7.5
Jan 2007*
6.596
Owned
Played several times (with 3 to 5 players). A very pleasant filler. The uncertainty about the end game trigger could be a problem in a longer game, but it feels fine in such a short game. The elimination mechanism is a nice twist which, along with the impossibility to change the cards used to bid during a turn, definitely makes bidding very tense.
2007-01-15*
Himalaya (2002)
8
Sep 2006*
6.637
Owned
Played several times (with 4 players). A nice game with clever mechanisms (including the way the winner is determined) and interesting gameplay. Unfortunately, there is too much randomness in the way the new cubes and (especially) contracts are placed - replacing the 20-sided die with a deck of cards helps.
2006-09-27*
5.5
Aug 2008*
5.498
Played once (with 4 players). I am no expert in Rummy-style games, but this one is definitely light. I think I would rather play another Mystery Rummy, but this one could work as an introduction for someone unfamiliar with these games.
2008-08-20*
Holiday AG (aka Coup) (1975)
5.5
Nov 2007*
5.604
Played once (with 6 players). While 6 is probably not the best number to play this game with, it is still a rather quick and nice game. The control is probably much better with 3 or 4 players, so I guess I will rather try it with such numbers next time.
2007-11-03*
HysteriCoach (2006)
5
Feb 2007*
5.616
Played once (with 8 players). A noisy party game which sports fans might like, though I'm afraid the novelty would wear off quite quickly even for them. Also, the die roll does not add much to the game - mainly randomness and some length.
2007-02-06*
6
Jan 2008*
6.102
Played once (with 4 players). A strange game with some really weird components (the worms, unfortunately, are not easy to place on a card without hiding some part of the information on it). As for the game itself, it is enjoyable and has some choices, but some lack of control makes it a bit too long for what it is (maybe that would be better with 3 players - I doubt it has enough interaction on the majorities with only 2). Also, the rules are a bit imprecise and some elements are missing.
2008-01-27*
Illuminati (1982)
6
Nov 2006*
5.994
Played a few times. Some nice ideas and a rather attractive theme, but it is a bit too long for what it is.
2006-11-03*
7
Dec 2006*
5.658
Owned
Played a few times (with 4 players). A very nice little game, which manages to do more with 60 cards than some real board games. It is rather light, but there are interesting decisions and choices to be made.
2006-12-21*
3.5
Jul 2007*
5.524
Owned
For Trade
Played once (with 3 players). A very simple game with very few meaningful decisions, even with the advanced rules. The luck of the draw is important (getting a few "Magic" cards helps a lot - and drawing a 5 instead of a 1 is generally a good thing too), and there is not much you can do against it.
2007-07-21*
3
Jul 2006*
5.613
Played once (with 5 players). I found it long and boring with a major flaw in the end game. Maybe we missed something.
2006-07-07*
Imperial (2006)
7.5
Aug 2007*
7.438
Played a few times face to face (with 4 and 5 players) as well as on BSW (with 2 to 4 players). An interesting game with a nice base idea, even though I am still unsure whether I like some of the rules (such as the investor card or the end game multiplicative scoring with thresholds). Still, definitely a game I would play again (and I am glad I played it with the correct rules after my initial flawed play). Probably better with 4, although 3 or 5 work as well. I'm not sure about 6 but I'm afraid the game might feel too long for inactive players.
2007-08-28*
In Extremis (2004)
8
Jan 2007*
5.553
Owned
Played several times (with 3 to 5 players). An unusual word/speed game which is a quick and enjoyable filler. Probably best with 4 (as 3 leads to too few and 5 to too many matches).
2007-01-08*
7.5
Aug 2008*
6.675
Owned
Played a few times. It is a good game with nice ideas and an interesting gameplay. However, something seems to be missing for me to be eager to play it more often. I am not too sure what.
2006-07-24*
7.5
May 2008*
7.272
Owned
For Trade
Played twice (with 4 and 5 players). A very promising game from Essen 2007. It has interesting decisions and lots of "I wish I could do several things at once" moments, as well as some player interaction, which will probably prove more and more important with further plays. Replayability does not seem to be an concern, as there is variability both in setup (order of events) and in gameplay.
2008-05-16*
Indonesia (2005)
6
Sep 2006*
7.211
Owned
Played once (with 4 players). This game would obviously deserve more plays before I could get a better idea about it, but my rating after only one play is not that good. As usual with Splotter games, it is fiddly - but here the map is also difficult to read and confusing. Some mechanisms are not obvious to understand, and I know I should play it again in order not to remain on a wrong so-so impression - however, I'm not really tempted to do so.
2006-09-20*
Industria (2003)
6.5
Jul 2007*
6.217
Played a few times (with 3 or 4 players). Since I rather dislike once-around auction games, I did not really appreciate this one, but there is something in it which makes it not too bad in its genre. I probably would not select it myself, but would play it occasionally.
2007-07-31*
Ingenious (2004)
10
Jul 2008*
7.109
Owned
Played numerous times face-to-face, and hundreds of times on BSW (mainly with 2). I liked my first play of that game, but did not suspect I would like it that much after so many plays. The rules are really simple, the game is rather nice-looking (I am aware that could be discussed), the luck factor is reduced a lot by the possibility to change your tiles (which is much more useful than some people seem to imagine), and the game plays rather quickly, turning it into a very nice filler. Also, the board scales very well (although I much prefer playing with 2, or with teams, to prevent "blocking responsibility" problems). Overall, a simple, yet impressively enjoyable design.
2008-07-05*
Inka (2005)
5
Jan 2008*
5.479
Played once (with 3 players). Some nice ideas in that abstract with a pasted-on theme (floor sliding over chasms? explorers who have already decided, before entering the "temple", which three treasures they are after?), but the game turns out to be disappointing. With a wide variety of tile movements available (not unlike Pünct), a player can spend quite a while thinking about his move, while the others have to wait since the board can have changed a lot - especially because of the blocking stone which is placed last. Also, the asymmetric board with 3 players (quite a surprise for a game based on triangles!) can be unbalancing. Finally, as it is a race, and one played in a rather small number of turns, which means it is quite likely that all players will finish almost at the same time.
2008-01-27*
Intrigue (1994)
6
Dec 2006*
6.152
Played once face-to-face and once on BSW. It looks like an interesting attempt to get an ultimate negotiation game, and it is not too bad in this genre - which is not one I enjoy playing much in general.
2006-12-21*
8
Apr 2007*
5.719
Played once (with 2 players). An interesting game with several good ideas. After the rules explanation, I thought it would be ok, but it turned out better than that. The decisions are interesting and the game remains tense and not too long. I wonder how well it works with more than 2 players (I suspect playing with more than 4 might be a bit chaotic and/or long, but it should be a very good game for 3 players).
2007-04-15*
Jambo (2004)
8
Sep 2008*
6.946
Played several times. A very interesting 2-player card-based game. While the rules are rather easy, there are some tough decisions, and the cards are well balanced overall.
2007-08-08*
Java (2000)
7.5
Sep 2006*
6.741
Owned
Played a few times. Undoubtedly the heaviest in the trilogy, it can lead to serious analysis-paralysis issues with some players, and tends to be a bit long. The three-dimensional building aspect is nice - I am less convinced by the parties, which do not seem to add that much to the game, but are a bit out of place.
2006-09-24*
7.5
Sep 2007*
6.205
Owned
Played a few times (with 3 or 4 players). A very nice game in my opinion, with a clever turn order system and a good thematic feel. The randomness of the diggings fits the theme and should hopefully even out during the game. I wish there would have been no dice rolls for the exhibitions (especially as it does not seem to happen often enough to justify this rule).
2007-09-06*
Jericho (2006)
4
May 2008*
5.768
Played once (with 5 players). A very random card game with mostly obvious decisions, so it comes down to the luck of the draw. Control should be better with fewer players, but still there doesn't seem to be much there. Disappointing.
2008-05-28*
Jungle Speed (1997)
6
Nov 2006*
6.489
Played several times. While I would probably never suggest it, I usually enjoy playing it more than I expected.
2006-11-03*
5.5
Nov 2006*
6.290
Played a few times. More of the same, with some uselessly tricky difficulties added. It is not bad, just mainly useless, in my opinion.
2006-11-03*
Junta (1978)
2.5
Nov 2006*
6.569
Played once. Too long and boring for my tastes - it might be remotely fun with the right group of players, but I shall not spend several hours trying it again.
2006-11-03*
Just4Fun (2005)
6
Aug 2007*
5.614
Played a few times (with 4 players). Nothing extraordinary, and not quite "fun" in the usual meaning of the word, but it is a decent filler. Not very deep and quite quick, even with 4 players. I suspect it may be better with less (making it more likely to end up after 20 rounds, which means the alternate victory condition would be useful.
2007-08-28*
Justinian (2006)
6
Aug 2007*
5.628
Played once (with 3 players). Being no fan of most Colovini's games, I had quite low expectations on this game, but I have to admit it was more enjoyable than I thought. The way the advisors reveal different point values when moving is interesting. I am not sure how much control you can exactly have (especially during the first phase, when you may have so many different advisor cards), but it felt like it was worth trying. Choosing the scoring color is definitely worth it, but it requires quite an heavy commitment (especially in the last phase). Overall, an enjoyable game which would deserve further plays - also, the graphics have a definitely original style, and one I rather like.
2007-08-27*
Ka-Ching! (2001)
7
Sep 2007*
5.871
Played a few times. A rather pleasant filler for two players. What you want to do is obvious (get many high cards, use them in pairs, have few unplayed cards in the end), how to achieve that better than the opponent, less so. I suppose it may have some educative value regarding multiplication for children, too.
2007-09-04*
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