Grandma, 79 reviews my Eurogames. Also some comments from Mom and my Wife! It's not an april joke ;)
Alexey Babaitsev
Russia
Moscow (Postal Code 115597)
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Hey all!

Short intro: I had this information recorded and stored as mp3 files for a while now. After seeing success of this picture
I've decided that the time has come to finally publish it! I think this list may be helpful for you to attract your family members to the wonderful world of boardgaming.

Please meet my: Grandma, 79 (GM)
my Mom, 55 (MOM)
and my Wife, Ira, 33 (Ira)

We are actively gaming since 2005. Most of our played games are logged at BGG.

The list is being edited from time to time to fix grammar/spelling.

RUSSIAN VERSION IS AVAILABLE AT: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/41490

Second part of Grandma's reviews is now available at: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/43859


Third part of Grandma's reviews is now available at: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/62284
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1. Board Game: Thebes [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:263]
Alexey Babaitsev
Russia
Moscow (Postal Code 115597)
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The game has just ended. Grandma won the game.

ME: What do you think about the game?

GM: What can I say? The game is good. *Entertaining*. But it really depends on your luck. Maybe you can manipulate when you should go for a certain card or make a good move… I think it may be understood with more plays. At the moment I’m playing without much strategy.

ME: You think you can form some kind of a strategy for this game? Do you feel that there is much that a player can do?

GM: A player can do a lot. He should plan his moves, loose less points (sic). What else? From the very beginning you should define for yourself which cards you should collect. And it is best to collect those kinds of cards that your neighbor is not collecting, so that you can get more of them without competition. That’s it.

ME: How would you rate this game with maximum being 10?

GM: 7 points.

ME: Which games do you rate higher then?

GM: I’ll tell you in a second… hmm…. That game that we played with your dad, remember?

ME: Imperial?

GM: Yes. I like it. Also Power Grid… eh… well… and from the cheerful games I like The Boats (Manila).

ME: What about The Beans (Bohnanza)?

GM: Well, The Beans (Bohnanza) is more quite and slow game. I like Thebes more. It is more interesting.

ME: What can you tell me about the difficulty of Thebes?

GM: Imperial was much more difficult.

ME: Was it easy to understand the rules of Thebes?

GM: Yes.

ME: The game is done in English, was it a problem for you?

GM: Not at all. If someone has read and explained you the rules then it is easy.

ME: Do you think that you could explain this game to somebody?

GM: Well I think I can teach some parts but it would be better if someone younger would teach the game.

ME: What can you say about overall looks of Thebes compared to other games?

GM: It has the best presentation. And there is a lot of diversity! Sometimes you get a car, sometimes a zeppelin, sometimes nothing. Sometimes you dig a lot and get nothing. I had 10 digs one time and got only 3 points.

ME: We have played this game with 3 and 4 players. Did you notice any difference?

GM: I don’t remember, really. As we played with 4 players quite a long time ago (several months)… Now that I think about it…. There is a difference. You get less digging chances with 4 players. You only start to dig in one place and at the same time people dig out treasure at all of other places. So that is the difference. It is easier with less players.

ME: Could you recommend this game to board game newbies?

GM: They’d better start with The Mice (Coloretto)... so that they would fly into a passion (grins).

ME: Anything else you would like to tell about this game?

GM: I am glad that these kind of games exist… and that my grandson (me) is so enthusiastic about buying them. Otherwise I would not know that these kind of games exist.


GROUP RATING:
GM: 7

Ira: Rating of 6.5

MOM: 7 points
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2. Board Game: Ra [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:95]
Alexey Babaitsev
Russia
Moscow (Postal Code 115597)
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The game has just ended, Grandma scored lowest.

ME: What can you say about this game?

GM: I really do not know what to say… I was not playing very well this time, lost the game. Could not get this, could not get that… I can not tell you much. You need to understand what to get in Ra and when. There is also a lot of luck involved. I also sometimes forget what each tile means and it is good that you remind me. Thank you for reminding me to use my God tile, it helped me.

ME: How difficult is it compared to Thebes?

GM: About the same level.

ME: You have rated Thebes 7 points. How much would you give to Ra?

GM: 6 points… you know, I was playing as if in darkness… and here you’ve got to have a clear mind to play it, this Ra game.

ME: Do you think it is possible to follow some kind of a strategy in Ra?

GM: Yes, for example you can manipulate to get the higher numbers (bidding sun tokens) so that you start with better numbers at the next part of the game. You also should say “Ra“ at the right time. And you should know when you really need to win the auction.

ME: Do you think that Ra or Thebes is more appropriate for beginners?

GM: I think these games are about the same in terms of difficulty.

GROUP RATING:
GM: 6

Ira: My rating is between 6.5 and 7….. 6.75!

MOM: Somehow Ra does not excite me very much. A little bit boring. I don’t know why. Maybe I need to play it some more. At the moment I give it a 4.
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3. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:11]
Alexey Babaitsev
Russia
Moscow (Postal Code 115597)
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Grandma has just won a game of Power Grid. It is her first win.

ME: What do you think about this game?

GM: Alex, remember I have already told you that I give first place to this game.

ME: How would you rate it then?

GM: I’d give it 9 points. 10 points is reserved for a future game that you’d buy.

ME: So, this is your favorite game?

GM: Let me think… can you list all of the games that I played?

ME: I use games nicknames, but to be more clear: Thebes, Ra, Bohnanza, Carcassonne

GM: I don’t remember Carcassonne

ME: continuing: Manila, Imperial, Coloretto, Power Grid, Say Anthing and Preference. So which one is your favorite then?

GM: I’d call 2 games as my favorites: this game (Power Grid) and Imperial... But Imperial is an aggressive game. So I’d give Power Grid 9 points and Imperial gets an 8.

ME: What do you like about Power Grid?

GM: Money! Real *alive* money in this game!

ME: Was it difficult to learn the game?

GM: It is possible to learn it…

MOM: Our Grandma speaks as she is on TV (I’m recording our conversation and Grandma is aware of that) (Everyone laughs)

ME: So was it difficult?

GM: It is important to have a good game *host*. Our host (me) is good!

MOM, jokingly: But he did not let Grandma to take back her move!

GM: I mean that he manages rules well. And if he forgets something he looks it up in the rules. It is important to remember when you should change what…

ME: Do you think this game is good for beginners?

GM: I’d better recommend The Mice (Coloretto). To understand the flow, the dynamics… It’s not Bingo after all!

ME: Are there any parts that you dislike in Power Grid?

GM: Today I was not happy when you did not allow me to change my mind (laughs).

MOM, laughing: When we have already played 3 turns more… she said: “Why did I buy this station?”

GM: You see there is also some randomness. You had the first move and placed your houses at my part of the map, at the place where I sit. So I had to place my houses elsewhere…

MOM, jokingly: That’s why she (Grandma) won!

GM: .. I even had to skip 2 or 3 turns without buying any stations…

MOM: You were hoarding the money!

GM: … I did. I was ready to go up to 100 to pay for that station with 8 houses.


GROUP RATING:
GM: 9

Ira: I give at a 9. There’s no absolute.

MOM: I give it a 10 because it is my favorite game at the moment. If a better game appears I will downgrade Power Grid’s rating.
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4. Board Game: Imperial [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:81]
Alexey Babaitsev
Russia
Moscow (Postal Code 115597)
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MOM: It is hard to play Imperial with Grandma because she feels offended if someone sends ships her way.

GM: Come on, I never get offended, it is not true.

MOM: Also I’m tired of playing Imperial (we had played 32 games, about 25 games with Grandma).

ME: Grandma, are you tired of Imperial?

GM: We played it quite a long time ago (about a year ago), so I’d play it again… but I have no real desire.

ME: You give a high rating to Imperial. What do you like about the game?

GM: Well you need to think which country to grab, where to send armies… The most important is to keep your eyes open! If you relax they will shoot you, beat you.. Also it is one of the most difficult games.

ME: But you give it a high rating. That means that you like difficult, heavy games?

GM: Of course! Who would say otherwise? That’s why I rate The Mice(Coloretto) low.

ME: There’s no randomness in Imperial, you do not roll dice. Does it make the game less exciting?

GM: So what?! It does not matter.

MOM: But it offers a possibility to constantly argue and yell at each other. Especially to the ones who like it.

ME: Others say that there is a lot of confrontation in the game, do you agree?

GM: Yeah, I don’t really like that.


GROUP RATING:
GM: 8

Ira: I don’t really want to play it. It’s a good game but it I will rate it only a 7 because I’m tired of it… or maybe it should be 6…. I’ll give it a 6 and a half.

MOM: For our group I’ll give this game a low rating because it is “deconstructive”. After the game we all get kind of agitated. Maybe if I played it with some total strangers it would be better, no one would have hard feeling that way. In our situation it is hard to play optimally, otherwise our family members get angry. So you start to think how to avoid situations like this and the game looses a lot from it.
GM: There was a moment when Boris (my dad) killed my cannons, so I attacked back. Boris then started to say: “Grandma plays very aggressively”. I could not keep quite and had to answer.
MOM: Bottom line is -- our group is not ready for this game yet. It’s an engaging and interesting game, but we are not ready. I give it a rating of 5.
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5. Board Game: Manila [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:443]
Alexey Babaitsev
Russia
Moscow (Postal Code 115597)
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GM: This game is exciting! I’d give it something between 7 and 8 points.

ME: 7 and a half then?

GM: Yes.

ME: What do you like in this game?

GM: What do I like?... hmm… I always want to bet on a pirate, but it is dangerous…. Still some players manage to get away with it. Ira is lucky about Pirates. Whenever she bets on Pirates she wins. Considering all the games that we played I have won with the help of a pirate maybe one time at all… I bet on them but loose. Also dice rolls are very important. I want to roll good so often but it rarely comes my way.


GROUP RATING:
GM: 7.5

Ira: 7.5

MOM: I’ll give it a 6. It’s like a gambling game that agitates you, and it is shallow. You do not have to think much.

ME: What about buying shares?

MOM: Well it’s not that important… With bad roll of the dice your shares mean nothing. There is no constructive element. Either you steal or someone else steals from you. That’s it. I just do not like this game because of the moral aspect of it.
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6. Board Game: Bohnanza [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:280]
Alexey Babaitsev
Russia
Moscow (Postal Code 115597)
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GM: The Beans is a social game.

ME: How would you rate it?

GM: I’ll give it a 7.

ME: I thought that it was one of you most favorite games but you do not give it a very high rating?

GM: It’s a good game but more simple.

ME: It is the most played game in our family, above 100 plays. It is being played mostly because you request it.

GM: Really? Well it is a very social game. You sit and communicate with everyone. You know what I mean? You ask all the different players for a card that you need… Trying to intercept some cards… That’s what interesting! What did I say about this game's rating?

ME: You gave it a 7.

GM: 7 is a good rating.


GROUP RATING:
GM: 7
Ira: a 7.

MOM: I’ll give it a higher rating. There are different strategies in this game. You have to choose which beans to plant. So the rating should be an 8. It is good that you can give gifts in this game because of your good will…. And then someone else gives you something for free. The game is very *kind* and no one gets angry.

Ira: In the beginning it was hard to understand that you can not change the order of cards in your hands. And sometimes there were accusations of cheating.

MOM: It is important to understand the rules correctly. This leads to smooth gameplay.
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7. Board Game: Coloretto [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:375]
Alexey Babaitsev
Russia
Moscow (Postal Code 115597)
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GM: Last place. 5 points.

MOM: You’d better sell this game.

ME: Grandma, so this is the lowest rating that you give to a game. You should really dislike it?

GM: It’s not that I dislike it. It is just the most simple game.

ME: We have 17 recorded plays of Coloretto….

GM: We played it quite for some time because the game did not take long… It’s a good time just to sit back, relax and you do not have to think much. Not bad.

ME: So, you think it is best to start with The Mice (Coloretto)

GM: Yes.

ME: And then?

GM: The Beans (Bohnanza)… then everything else


GROUP RATING:
GM: 5

Ira: 4.5…. maybe 3…. No, that would be too harsh for this game…. Ok, 3 and a half

MOM: I give it a 3.

ME: So, this game gets lowest ratings. You don’t like this kind of filler games?

MOM: It just makes me sleep. There’s absolutely nothing I can say about this game. It does not really matter if you play this game or just sit and talk—there’s no difference.

ME: So, we do not need these filler games?

EVERYONE: No, we do not want them.

MOM: It’s better if you can learn something from a game. Not just spend your time.
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8. Board Game: Preference [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:4593]
Alexey Babaitsev
Russia
Moscow (Postal Code 115597)
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ME: Considering all of the game how would you rate Preference?

GM: It is very interesting and exciting game. I’d rate it not less then 9!

ME: So it is the same level as Power Grid?

GM: Yes

ME: Why do you like Preference?

GM: There is a lot excitement with the game and you also have to think a lot. With board games you almost always see where each player goes. In Preference you need to calculate which cards do other players have. Which cards were discarded.

ME: Sometimes you get very strong hands in Preference, so you do not have to think a lot. Don’t you think that it is bad for a game to be very random?

GM: No. There is a lot of luck and Randomness in real life, so it should be the same with games. But in Preference you have to think.

ME: Could you follow some kind of a strategy in Preference?

GM: I have not played it for quite a long time…


GROUP RATING:
GM: 9

Ira: 3.

ME: That’s even less then Coloretto’s rating?

Ira: They are about the same level of interest for me. Compared to all other games that we have – I’m not interested in Preference. If someone would ask me if I would like to play Preference or other Board Games I’d say that I do not want to play Preference. If we did not have all our board games and we only had a deck of cards, Bingo, Dominoes and Chess and Checkers then Preference would be a number 1 game for me.

GM: I disagree! Even with all of the games I’d play Preference from time to time.

MOM: I have learned this game a long time ago and had a lot of fun playing it. But! At the moment I lost my interest. Maybe because I played it a lot. 4 points.
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9. Board Game: Say Anything [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:545]
Alexey Babaitsev
Russia
Moscow (Postal Code 115597)
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Ira: Again it is hard to compare this game to other ones. It’s purpose is very different.

MOM: Just say about your interest to the game.

ME: Just how would you rate it?

Ira: I’d call it a good way to pass time. You know, a kind of activity. We have played it only 2 times as of now and I can say that I would like to play it again. It is interactive, fun. It is also good that we can play it with many players. No special setup required. It is easy to play this game after a birthday party, while drinking some tea.

GM: Yes, it is a game like that.

ME: What about a rating for it?

GM: It just does not fit right for the rating. But if I have to, I’d give it a rating of 6.

GROUP RATING:
GM: 6

MOM: You know, I would work on questions of the game. Because the cards have questions made for Americans. I would take out questions that are completely irrelevant for us. Maybe it would be better to translate all of the questions first so that everyone could read question themselves (when we played, 3 English-speaking players translated questions for other 3 players). It is a psychological game. Everyone should know other player’s preferences. That’s how you earn points! Because your logic and my logic are two different things. In this game I should follow other player’s logic to do well. I’d give it a rating of 7.

GM: Well, some questions are decided by majority of people. People have some kind of consensus over topics. But tastes may differ of course.

MOM: I disagree. Majority does not decide anything in this game. The only one who chooses – is the player who asked the question. He may even choose an unpopular variant.

GM: It’s rare. However we had a situation like this with the question about the greatest writer. We have written Pushkin, Lermontov – because we like them. I did not bet on Shakespeare. But he was chosen.

MOM: As I said, there is no logic. You just have to understand other player’s psychology, and use your intuition to understand what he would choose.

Ira: I also suggest to make an adaptation of the game. For example, instead of “Your favorite Tom Hanks movie” I’d make “Your favorite Batalov’s movie” or Ryazanov’s movie. Maybe we should gather someday and translate it. My rating also is 7. I’m just not sure if we will get tired of it soon or not.
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10. Board Game: Miscellaneous Game Accessory [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:2619]
Alexey Babaitsev
Russia
Moscow (Postal Code 115597)
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These games were not reviewed by Grandma:

SANTIAGO
GM: I do not remember this game.
Ira: I give it a rating of 1.
ME: Why so low?
Ira: Not fun. It has a lot of components and fancy rules but I just do not like it.
MOM: 2 points. Somehow I just did not recognize it as a game.
ME: So I have made a correct decision to sell it?
MOM: Yes.
ME: Should I sell something else as well?
Ira: Maybe Coloretto. But the game is cheap so it would be just a waste of time. Maybe when our son grows older it may be useful to teach him colors.

SETTLERS OF CATAN (with Cities and Knights)
ME: Grandma did not play this game, so we will skip her.
Ira: My rating is 8
MOM: 9. I like the constructive element in this game. You build roads, cities, settlements

SHADOWS OVER CAMELOT
Ira: Interesting game! But it is very different from all of the other games. So it is very hard to compare. The game has absolutely different mechanic. There is no real strategy.
MOM: The one who has a strategy in this game is the traitor.
Ira: I like the game because it unites players. Still it is not very deep. I give it a rating of 7.5
MOM: I would not rate it higher than 5.

ACQUIRE
Ira: This game did not excite me. I give it a rating of 5. Can not really explain why. I feel that there is something missing in the game. For me it is just not fun enough.
MOM: I give this game a rating of 8. I like the logical chain that runs through the game. Maybe I have understood something about the game. That’s why I often win when we play it.
GM: I remember the game, but do not remember my feelings about it. If I liked it or not.

CAYLUS
Ira: 8 points
MOM: Caylus is a very interesting game but you need to consider a lot of different things in this game. When we play it several times in a raw it gets more and more interesting, it starts to make more sense. At the moment if someone would ask me to play Caylus or Thebes I would chose Thebes. I’d give Caylus 6 points.


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11. Board Game: Miscellaneous Game Accessory [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:2619]
Alexey Babaitsev
Russia
Moscow (Postal Code 115597)
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OVERALL

ME: What do you think about Board Games overall? Why do you enjoy them?

GM: I like to interact with people that I play. It is better than to sit alone and watch TV…. And…. I like that we do not play for real money. It’s not like the people that gamble at a casino and get this bad habbit. You play a board game and then it’s over. I like to think out moves… Sometimes you decide to do something and then the situation changes. For example someone buys cheap resources in Power Grid before you do. They pay 1 electro, and you have to re-think your move. That’s what these games are about! It’s not like Bingo, where you just draw and do nothing else.

ME: What do you think of new games? Would you like to try some new games or you think that I’ve already bought too much (48 games at the moment, not counting expansions)?

GM: Why not? If the game is interesting I am willing to try.

Ira: I’d like to try that Cleopatra game that you bought. It looks very nice.

MOM: You bought another game? When?

Ira: Yeah, quite a lot of games that we bought last summer but not tried them yet.
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12. Board Game: Future [Average Rating:5.67 Unranked]
Alexey Babaitsev
Russia
Moscow (Postal Code 115597)
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Wow! Thanks for all of the positive comments! Really pleasant to read! I have to inform my Grandma somehow of her success.

I'll have these games played and reviewed by Grandma as soon as we have some gaming time:

Cleopatra and Society of Architects
Carcassonne (need to refresh her memory)
Chicago Express
Acquire
Traders of Genoa
Mission: Red Planet
maybe Indonesia


I think I'll also buy soon:
Small World ( I'll surely let you know if Grandma finds Amazons embarassing )
Chinatown
Cosmic Encounter
Red November

Please let me know if I'm missing some key questions that I have to ask Grandma?
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13. Board Game: Badge of Honor [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
United States
White Settlement
TX
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Only 6 months until the next round.
badge
A little lower and to the left, please.
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These Got loaded today. For those who are blessed, as Alexey is, with a gaming Grandma.
: My Grandma is a gamer

For the rest of us, who wish we were so blessed:
: Grandma Babaitsev fan
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14. Board Game: Vanessa Kay's Pin Up Mania [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Jim O'Neill (Established 1949)
Scotland
Motherwell
I aten't dead yet...
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Just keep posting the pin-ups

Jim
Est. 1949

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15. Board Game: Chinatown [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:308]
Alexey Babaitsev
Russia
Moscow (Postal Code 115597)
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Third part of reviews is now available at: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/62284/third-part-of-gr...
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16. Board Game: Hollywood [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:2609]
Alexey Babaitsev
Russia
Moscow (Postal Code 115597)
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Grandma is 84 now and we still play boardgames.

Hollywood review is posted!

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1233552/review-interview-my-...
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