$10.00
New to you Feb 10 => Best new game you played this month and why
Andy
United Kingdom
Stockport
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What's the best new game you played this month (February 10) and why? Share your experiences of the new games you've played this month.

It would be helpful, if you could add an entry to the list even if you pick the same game as someone else.. since I use the geeklist entries to compile the summaries. Thanks



New To You Metalist 2010
New To You MetaMetalist
New To You Meta-list - old metalist (currently broken)
New To You Geeklists - Announcement thread

Your Most Played Game (and more): February 2010
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76. Board Game: Jaipur [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:90]
 
John Farrell
Australia
Aspley
Queensland
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I desperately tried to get this before we went to Jaipur in December, and it would have come in handy as my son got Delhi belly and was indisposed, so we spent the evening in the tacky hotel. Jaipur is a light quick two player card game which could fill in for Lost Cities for most purposes. I hope to play a lot more of it in future.
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77. Board Game: Container [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:416]
Jens KH
Germany
Frankfurt am Main
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Compared to the previous months February has seen a much lower number of new games. A step back to normality, sort of, since recent numbers were rather high. One of those few, however, was the awesomeness that is Container, so you certainly won't see me complaining. Chalk one up for the wishlist... I guess my average rating for this month is also a bit higher than usual.


Container (1 play) - 9



After what I had read about Container before my first play I expected a deep and rather complex game. Surprisingly, it is neither. I don't even think it is purely a gamers' game. While I guess the economy is a little fragile and can be run into the ground if people play "strangely", the rules are so simple and mostly intuitive that it should be suitable for non-gamers as well, provided they have an interest in the economic theme.

Now, even though I wouldn't call Container a particularly deep game there are heaps of important decisions to be made. As the entire economy is run by the players, pretty much every single action counts. Does that sound contradictory to you? Isn't that awesome?


The Scepter of Zavandor (1 play) - 7



It must have been hard work to stuff this game into a fantasy costume. Even after playing it I'm not sure through which crack the fantasy stuff crept in.

Whatever, who needs theme, anyway. Zavandor is an economic game in which players try to build up their "engines" (read: erm, what, magic potential? Not having read the rulebook, it's pretty hard to guess...). The built-in catch-up mechanism (stuff gets more expensive for the leaders, cheaper for stragglers) ensures that the scores stay pretty close throughout the game.

I guess you could argue that it works a bit too well. Since everyone's so close a lot seems to depend on timing in the last few turns. That's not too bad in itself but the game is maybe a tad long for this kind of finish.

Other than that, though, it's an entertaining ride through the, um, enchanted forest. Or something.


Web of Power (1 play) - 7



In WoP players struggle for majorities in several regions in medieval Europe. The game is positioned somewhere between a gamers' game and a family game. It has enough depth to be enjoyable for gamers while at the same time there is quite a bit of luck of the draw. WoP plays quickly, though, so that doesn't really hurt much.


Chaos in the Old World (1 play) - 7



Chaos is a successful hybrid between euro and ameritrash. The euro part certainly dominates as it is mainly an area-control game but theme and (small-scale) dice battles play a prominent role as well.

The most distinguishing factors of the game, however, are the asymmetrical player powers and the end-game conditions. Each of the Chaos gods has its own character and respective powers all of which require very different strategies. Despite these differences all gods seem to be balanced very well. Additionally, the game can end on a score of conditions and depending on which end you're working towards you need to emphasise different aspects during the game. They even have an ending where the Old World wins and all Gods lose collectively.


Imperial 2030 (1 play) - 7



World Domination by Proxy. Imperial 2030 is basically a set of refinements over its ancestor. While I believe the changes improve the game overall I don't think the difference is large enough that you need to own both.


Beowulf: The Legend (1 play) - 6



Beowulf feels a bit like the competitive sibling of Knizia's Lord of the Rings. Instead of playing their cards to further the one cause here the players try to outbid each other while helping Beowulf on his legendary trip.

Basically, the game is just a sequence of auctions strung together with interspersed events to replenish cards hands or collect treasure all which can be used in auctions later on.

The game includes quite a bit of luck, especially through the gambles players can make along the way. As you can expect with Knizia, however, the full package is well-balanced and there are always opportunities to hedge your bets.

Beowulf is a bit abstract but well-suited for casual play.


Sylla (1 play) - 6



I'm starting to see a pattern with Ystari games, at least if you can call a hodgepodge of mechanics a pattern. Like the other games in the same vein (Amyitis and Nefertiti come to mind) the design is solid, it works well, and everything fits nicely together. It does, however, not stick out of the crowd.


Lascaux (1 play) - 5



The bidding mechanic of Lascaux is pretty clever. Players either pay to stay in or drop out and take what is currently in the pot. Whoever stays in the longest gets their choice of a colour made before the round started, and this continues down to the first player that dropped out.

Unfortunately, the results of the auctions are very random. Unless you come first there is always the chance that somebody before you chose the same colour and you leave empty-handed even though you're second, and the last player still gets a card. Towards the end of the game you can actually make reasonable guesses as to what cards other players would like to have and choose accordingly but before that the everything is up to chance.


Gnadenlos! (1 play) - 4



Gold rush in the wild west! Instead of doing all the dirty work ourselves we hire adventurers to stake the claims, win hard-earned nuggets in poker, or shoot those pesky adventurers not working for us.

The two main mechanics are an open auction (for hiring new adventureres) and blind bidding (for gold digging/poker/duels). All of these are conducted in order to advance on the score track.

Generally speaking, the game works, the IOU/payday mechanics are actually quite nice, but there is nothing particularly grabbing or memorable about the entire experience. It just trudges along and even though it doesn't last very long few would complain if it was shorter.
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78. Board Game: Runewars [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:70]
Duchess of Erat
Netherlands
Enschede
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Easy this month, as I didn't play all that many new games, and I'd really been looking forward to playing Runewars... it didn't disappoint.

Runewars 2 plays: it's got cute monsters to play with (and they come in purple). It's also a nice mix of area control, combat, resource management, role/action selection, and lots of fun.

Fairy Tale 4 plays: bought second hand at Noorderspel, because I'd heard it was a fun little card game. It is. You draft 5 cards, play three of them and repeat that 4 times.

The BoardGameGeek Game 1 play: The dice annoy me, I don't like that you have to roll dice to see where you start and then move anywhere you want anyway. Other than that it's an ok set collection game, that is a bit too easy with four players as there are enough tiles for everyone, so it's really hard to deny someone a set (you have to take a double or one of your own tiles, neither of which gives you any points).

Tobago 1 play: We tried this at Noorderspel as a 2 player game, which I don't think is the best number of players. It didn't matter where you put the treasures, as long as you were in the list of map parts a lot of times, so I let my husband collect most of them. as I got the last card most of the time, I got to start the new map, and that meant I got to go last again... Seems like a nice light family game, not something we'd want.

World Without End 1 play: Tried this at Noorderspel as well, with 3 players. I liked the card you need to position in such a way that you get what you need, you don't give your opponents something they really wanted, and in such a way that you get something nice from the bonus track. Other than that you're collecting resources and building buildings, on a real pretty board. I liked the game, and would prefer this one over Pillars.
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79. Board Game: Acquire [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:143]
BibKamp318
Belgium
Beerse [near Turnhout]
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Just 2 new games, but the best new game is a classic that has aged very well and can still compete with the best eurogames.

We played Acquire with the minimum of 3 players, so you can reasonably well keep track of who owns which [amount of] stock.
I am certain that when playing with more people the tracking will be more difficult and that the gameplay will be very different: I assume much more small mergers and quick rebuilding of the hotel chain that just has been removed will take place.
Anyhow it will still be key in the beginning of the game to own stock of the to-be-merged chain while building up stock of the few remaining chains for decent end of game scoring.
We learned the hard way that being left without money is NOT a good thing during the game.
Very good game: truly a classic!


Anno 1701 is based on the Catan Card Game "engine" but buildings don't generate VPs. In this game you need to develop your pioneers to settlers [1 VP] to citizens [2 VPs] to merchants [3 VPs] - you win with either 2 merchants or 7 VPs.
In order to do so, you need to trade with other people to be able to buy rum and cigars. That requires using your ship to sail out: a mechanism borrowed from the Starfarers Card game. You meet along the way pirates, bad weather, ... and trading people.
So plenty of stuff to do: collect raw materials to build buildings, and improve your ship with sails and canons.
Definitely a Catan Card Game scenario worth its cost - especially if you can pick it up at 5 eur as I was able to do in Essen last year.
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80. Board Game: Masters Gallery [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:1264]
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Wales
Cardiff
The Vale of Glamorgan
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A host of Board Games arrived with me last month as I decided to pick up the entire remaining line of the Gryphon Games book case series.

I got:

1. Money!
2. High Society
3. Cornucopia
4. Masters Gallery
6. Birds on a Wire
7. Looting London

I also got Ra and Priests of Ra - I actually wanted Ra and Ra: The Dice Game, but the local stockist screwed up and I decided "What the heck, I'll have Priests despite the fact that it's pretty much a variant expansion". I still haven't decided which one of Ra and Priests I'll actually keep, I think Priests is the better rounded version, but I'm not 100% at this time.
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81. Board Game: Wasabi! [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:865]
Tony Dehner
United States
Waterloo
Iowa
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I got this in a trade earlier this month, and I expected to like it, but I really liked it. About all that needs to be said is that my wife offered an immediate rematch after we finished, even though she won. I would have taken her up on it, but it was getting late.

Other new games:

Saint Petersburg - We finally got around to playing our second Secret Santa gift, and while it took longer than we would have liked, we got the hang of it eventually and had a great time. Very interesting game of building a VP/money generating engine. My wife was a little dissatisfied by the final scoring, which was a little anticlimactic, but now that we know it's coming we can prepare for it.
Dracula - Bought on a whim because we were at Critical Hit Games in Iowa City, and we just can't walk out of there empty-handed. We were surprised by this: we've had good luck with the Kosmos series, but even by those standards, this one was a lot of fun. Again, now that we have a play under our belts, our next one should be even better.

EDIT: Forgot, our group also took a big step towards completing our "break-in" of the Clash of Kings expansion for A Game of Thrones (first edition) by playing our first 6-player game. It was great, except for the part where Baratheon won on Round Four. shake We'll be playing again. devil
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82. Board Game: Tobago [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:303]
Jordan Stewart
Canada
Saint John
New Brunswick
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Tobago



Number one with a bullet, this game is beautiful and lots of fun. Played a couple games with 2, and while it works ok, we definitely enjoyed it more with 3. Great components, and artwork. This was one that lived up to the hype for me.

Cave Troll



Cave troll is a really neat game. It's made by fantasy flight which sort of creates a "goes without saying" type thing as far as good components and art. The gameplay on this one is definitely a pleasure as well. Enjoyed this one more than I thought I would.

Guillotine



Guillotine's been kicking around my wishlist forever until I finally tacked in on an order with Tobago. This game's fast and fun. While there's definitely some strategy you can't really make many long term plans. It's often limited to one or two turns before an opponent has their way with the line. Perfect filler game.

Mission Command Air



In the comments for this game somebody wrote "This game doesn't deserve to be as fun as it is" and while I'm not completely sure what that means I think I agree. I had no idea what to expect when we set this up at my game group. A guy I play with had picked it up at Value Village and I was a bit skeptical but as always, willing to try it. Well we some real fun chasing each other around the board. Interesting mechanics, cool figures and plays in 30-40 minutes.

Battlestar Galactica



Only 1 play with 3 people. An ok game though I didn't really get a grasp on things till the end. Some of the mechanics didn't really impress me so much, and it hardly felt like much of a game at all. I'd definitely be willing to try again though.

Expansion

Ticket to Ride: Switzerland



Great addition, just what I needed for 2 player TTR.
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83. Board Game: Crokinole [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:39]
Gary Heidenreich
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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This was the best new game I have played...also played this the most this past month. Bought a Hilsinki board a few weeks ago and it has been well worth the money. Just this past Friday, my sister in law and myself beat my wife and her brother two games to one. It's a blast and my rating will go up if I'm still reallly digging it after a few months.

Lots of new games this month. I played 42 games overall

Crokinole 16 -
Big Top, my board.

Aladdin's Dragons 1 - This was decent, not spectactular. But we did play without the magic cards. I'm sure this will add more to the game.

Kingsburg 1 - This one sorta surprised me. I liked it much more than I expected (I was hearing To Court a King, which I couldn't stand). It was interesting and had fun. I will have a copy through a math trade this week.

Macao 1 - probably my second favorite new game this month. Lots of ways to score. Interesting use of dice. I love the Punish Points.

Piece o' Cake 1 - played this two player. It was okay. I think with 4 this will be a very good filler.

Shadows over Camelot 1 - This was also better than I expected. I'm not big on the coop games but this was better than any of them except for LotR (in my view). Can I play this one all the time? No. But I could play this sporatically.

Shipyard 1 - another new one that I enjoyed. Macao edged it out for second place. This one also had alot of ways to score and worked well with two people. Good stuff.

What I played this month:
Game Qty
Crokinole 16
Pickomino 4
Dominion 3
Bang! 2
Saint Petersburg 2
Aladdin's Dragons 1
Carolus Magnus 1
Carson City 1
Fast Flowing Forest Fellers 1
Igloo Pop 1
Kingsburg 1
Louis XIV 1
Macao 1
Mystery Rummy: Al Capone and the Chicago Underworld 1
Piece o' Cake 1
Power Grid 1
Shadows over Camelot 1
Shipyard 1
Trouble 1
Vino 1

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84. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.15 Overall Rank:5]
I can show you anything, on my belly belly belly screen. Skyscrapers! Taxicabs! Traffic Lights!
Canada
Caledon
Ontario
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5 New-to-me games for me this month.



Puerto Rico was the best of the bunch. I was very happy to receive this one in a trade. Very deserving of its Top Ten status. I've previously played Race for the Galaxy, and it is clear to see some of where that games mechanics originated from.

Lots to manage in this game - workers, production fields, buildings, etc. The role selection really makes the game in knowing when to choose a role to most benefit yourself while hurting your opponents. Several times most notably, the Captain role really hurt the last player as they were unable to load their huge supply of indigo and were forced to dump most of them as they had not bought a warehouse.

Really looking forward to playing again. 2 plays.



The Ark of the Covenant is a really neat stand-alone Carcassonne game. As always the tiles look great played out building a landscape of roads and cities. The scoring is actually easier than the original as scoring for fields is 2 points per sheep, with every wolf taking one of the sheep away.

The special Ark piece was a new variation added to score points by choosing to move the Ark past your pieces. We found the Ark played a minor role at best in our first game and didn't unbalance it. I would say Ark of the Covenant is at least as good as the original vanilla Carcassone. 1 play.



Battleball was a whole lot of FUN. I mean, it's huge football minis, mittfulls of dice (including the iconic football shaped die), and a giant playfield.

It is not the deepest game around. It doesn't have to be. My brother and I laughed ourselves silly playing. In the first half, I managed to get the ball to one of my fastest guys and score a point. In the second half, my brother's heavy tackle cut a dreadful swath of destruction on my team and slowly took the ball all the way. In overtime, a lucky roll for me eliminated his heavy tackle, but ultimately I had too few players to prevent my brother from winning.



Eat Poop You Cat. All the cool kids are playing it, so I had to try it out. As I explained the game to everyone, it was met with some doubt ("er, what was the name of the game again? Uh-huh"). Luckily someone recognized having played it once before back years ago in camp.

However, playing Eat Poop You Cat was a hoot and made a nice break in between heavier games. 1 play.



Katamino plays as either a solitaire puzzle or a 2 player game. Katamino features bright wooden 'penta' pieces to fit into the board.

As a two player game it doesn't fare as well. Each player chooses a penta piece one at a time from the supply and then races to fill in their half of the board. Problem is, it is quite easy to do this as you are also provided smaller blocks to fill in the gaps. You can do a best of three easily in ten minutes, but the thrill of victory is not there.

As a solitaire game, Katamino is at its best. You play progressively harder rounds to fit more and more pentas onto the board. If you like these kind of puzzles, get this game. 2 plays.

For now, my two-year old son is a big fan. He likes his 'puzzle' game, and is quite content to stack the big pentas up again and again. I really need to download of few pictures of him enjoying this 'variant'.



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85. Board Game: Royal Palace [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:700]
Jon Enns
Canada
Herbert
Saskatchewan
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I only played 2 new games in February, well, no, actually there were 3 but one was a little kids game that wasn't much of a game but my 4 year old twin nieces loved it!

Royal Palace was my favorite of the other 2. There is lots going on in this game, lots to think about. It is not a light weight game and this appeals to me. The art and components, also, are very nice and this, too, is important to me in a game. I am looking forward to playing again.

The Bridges of Shangri-La was a game I looked into years ago but never bought due to the 3 player minimum, since I play a lot of games with 2. Then, prior to Christmas, I saw a good deal on it and went to BGG to look for a 2 player variant. Of course, there was one. Now that I have it and have played it I find I quite like the 2 player version as it gives you more control of your actions and allows more strategic planning. More players turn it much more into a tactical game. But I do like it etiher way. Good game.

Lastly, with my 4 year old nieces, Zoofari. Nice art, but a basic roll and move game.
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86. Board Game: Primordial Soup [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:428]
Kris Verbeeck
Belgium
Mol
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Played four new games this month. I liked all of them.

Primordial Soup


This is a very smart game in which players eat poo.
There are two ways to score points.
the number of amoebas you have on the board. and the number of gene cards you have. If you have a lot of amoebas on the board it is difficult to find food. If you have a lot of gene cards this could be bad for the ozone layer and you get penalized for that.

The gene cards are brilliant and humorous. And the way the game allows you to use them is one of the things that has impressed me a lot.

Gameplay and theme are well connected with each other.

I thought our game went on a little too long but repeated plays will bring it down to 80 minutes I guess. Besides we had a fun time playing it so it didn't matter to us at all.

I'm vague in my descriptions because this is a game you need to discover on your own. If you can play this at a con or know someone who owns it ...try it.

I have to add that one of my geekbuddies had a terrible long game. Games should move fast. The game I played took long as the genes interact with each other. And those were all new to us so we had to figure out which ones to pick.
Once familiar with the genes the game will play very fast.

Tip for gamelength : We agreed that we would stop if one of us reached 33 points (just afther the bent on the scoretrack) unless all of us wanted to continue. We all wanted to play on allthough it appeared that we had a runaway leader.

Oh and this game can be pimped pretty easily to make it even more amazing. (the amoebas in the box are fine too and don't need to be pimped)



There aren't enough western themed games on the market.
Way out west was an enjoyable light "worker-placement" game.

I think three months ago I picked Carson city as game of the month for me. if I had played this and the next game on this list well I don't know. Maybe it would win but not based on the fights. The gunfights in this game were way more brutal than in Carson city. And losing a fight badly could almost put you out of the game. (chances of winning that is)

We played a three player game of this and I don't think it scaled to well to three. Perhaps if you remove the top city from gameplay it would be better.
Why is that? Well because the fifth city gives too much room in a 3P game and the game should be more conflict heavy I feel. The game I played was I went in a fight and lost badly. From then on I had to mind my own business but the other players were doing the same. Now if there was some conflict I could reenter the game and as someone who's coming from behind I have to start fights myself.

The end game arrived surprisingly fast. And it was at this point the importance of having the fights became clear.

Gunslinger[/thing]


You remember me comparing the gunfights in Carson City and Way out west?
Well you haven't been in a real gunfight unless you have played this one.

Very good depiction of a gunfight here.
Like Primordial soup this is a game that can be pimped easily.


Thebes


Fourth spot? Not exactly. The western themed and this one are all close to each other.

The people picture says it all. This is my family game of choice.
It's light. the digging for treasures is fun.
i could go on and on about it but I won't.

This game is very enjoyable 60 minute funride. Ideal for family gaming/gateway gaming
and was the overwhelming winner in a selected poll I kept with some rare and very well known games. question was which game should I play next

(ID of poll is 40135)



It is good to know that "Notes = rumours and legends"
And you don't discard your books after digging. This is knowledge that you have acquired. Notes=rumours and legends are discarded after you checked them out (used in digging)


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87. Board Game: Priests of Ra [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:1083]
Manuel Pasi
Switzerland
Zürich
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A somewhat slow month with new games...
Of the new to me games my absolute favourite was an older one:



Usually I am not too keen on Knizia game (which might be a reason that it took me this long to give it a go) but this one blew me away. Very fastpaced, loads of decisions, multiple paths to victory and oh so clever.

First impression:

The Best of the Rest:



Very unfortunate marketing decision to tie this game so closely to Cuba; but on its own it's a nice tactical light-to-middleweight that will probably get quite some table time

First impression:



A weird one that; but finally an abstract that I can see myself getting emerged in

First impression:



Surprisingly ligh Ystari game that tries a bit too hard to incorporate as many mechanics as possible but still leaves a nice aftertaste.

First impression:



Nice family game with some strategy and good production value. Not quite my thing




The Not-So-Good and the Ugly




Three words: What's the point!





I saw the ratings, I read the reviews...and I don't get it. A mindvlowingly boring exercise of rinse and repeat. Pretends to be strategyladen but to me it's absolutely not...well I do hope that I am very wrong about it and people will love it!





Could have been a decent auction filler but to me is this close to being broke. Just way too much luck dependent, so much so that it can be downright frustrating



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88. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:1527]
D Weimer
United States
Unspecified
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Years in the making, my card driven historical consim finally reached playable prototype this month. So of course it's the best new game I played this month. Heck, it might just be the best game ever.
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89. Board Game: Zombies!!! [Average Rating:6.00 Overall Rank:2608] [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Scott Caputo
United States
Santa Clara
California
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All the new games I played this month were pretty good, but I'd give the nod to Zombies! which was the most fun.

Zombies!!!
This game drips with zombie theme. It has simple game play, but delivers a really fun time. I love the HUNDRED zombie miniatures that comes with this game.

Blokus Trigon
I love Blokus and this was good too, maybe harder.

Wind River
I picked this up in London. An intriguing, subtle game with no randomness at all. I enjoyed it, but most of my fellow players didn't understand what they should be doing in this game. It looks very nice on the table.


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90. Board Game: For Sale [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:215]
Yours Truly,
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
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There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
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Feb was not an exceptional new game month. Some good games, but nothing that blew me away. Maybe this is to make up for January's awesomeness (Hansa Teutonica! World Without End! Manila! Star Wars: The Queen's Gambit! All in one month!) Anyway I guess you could call this a Games Workshop month as I got first plays of both Space Hulk (third edition) and Chaos Marauders in.

Best New Game:

For Sale 8/10
I got this from BGG secret santa this year! I taught it to some friends over for dinner, ranging from casual to non-gamers, and all really enjoyed it. I used Tom Vasel's tip of first just teaching and playing the first half, then teaching and playing the second half; that worked well. This is a light, intuitive auction game that has won a permanent place in my rotation. Playing it for the first time is particularly fun as we see each property for the first time; the art is really clever (ranging from a box to a space station), and the artist has put in all kinds of little details like a relevant animal on each property. As much as I enjoyed it, I don't see it ever going higher than 8/10 due to the lightness.



Good New Games


Chaos Marauders 7/10
I learned the rules to this one, and taught it a couple times for a total of three sessions this month. Fun card game, with the caveat that you really need the right people in the right mood for a luck-heavy (85% luck I'd estimate), theme-heavy orcish squabble. At its heart it's a simple game, but it's so thematic that the cards have all kinds of special rules and powers, so that extra fiddliness means you really need someone who knows the rules well and can play but also serve as a referee during the game.

The theme is nicely done and implemented into the cards, and the rule book is dripping with backstory, flavor text (quotes from various orcs), etc. Some of the most fun I've had reading a rulebook. The FFG reprint unfortunately sacrifices some of this in the interest of a shorter rulebook. I would say the game lasts a bit long for what it is. But in all, it really is a blast rolling that "cube of destruction" and infiltrating sneaky gits into enemy lines. Perfect game to choose as an opener on game night.



Space Hulk (third edition) 6/10
This edition is clearly lovingly crafted and produced, and it was a pleasure to play a game that had such attention to detail in the components and art. The gameplay itself didn't grab me that much though. I think this is the first purely tactical "skirmish" game I've ever played, and maybe pure tactics just aren't for me. I have really enjoyed some games that have heavy tactical elements (Nexus Ops, Star Wars: The Queen's Gambit), but thinking back on it, these other games also have a lot of other elements going on at the same time.

I do like that the game plays fast and allows for different scenarios and switching roles, and I like the meaty thematic background to the characters and scenarios. I would play again if in the right mood.



Pfusch 6/10
This game involves constructing buildings, and bluffing on whether you are constructing sturdy buildings (clay around a wooden cube) or cheap buildings (just clay), and then bidding on being allowed to "inspect" other buildings with a toothpick. Very light, but fun, and an original idea. Plays with a wide age range, in fact, it borders on being a children's game that is still fun for adults. I'd play again but only once in a while.


New Expansion

Treasure Chest
We had 6 people who wanted to play Witch's Brew so we broke out the extra components from the Alea Treasure Chest. Most were newbies so we didn't play with expansions 2 & 3 (which, looking at the rules, look intriguing though). So we just played with expansion 1, which added a 6th set of characters, and added gold and some scoring (potion etc) cards, as well as raven chits. You keep the raven chits in the middle and remove one for every raven card that is claimed. These are a really nice addition, it's a lot easier to glance at the raven pool rather than having to scan the cards of everyone at the table. This also means you can hide your raven cards with your others. Also great to be able to play with a 6th person. So this expansion gets a thumbsup!
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91. Board Game: Akaba [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:3037]
Tim Stellmach
United States
Arlington
Massachusetts
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Thank goodness for Feb. 28, or else the only new game I played last month might have been Knights. Which, while not so bad, frankly isn't much shakes either.

Akaba, by contrast, was a hoot.

I also played a tiny amount of Bamboleo. I approve, and would play more.
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92. Board Game: Tumblin-Dice Jr. [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:2776]
sarahb
United States
Birmingham
Alabama
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We've finished month 2 of our New Year's resolution to play down our unplayed backlog, and are still going strong... I got in 10 new games this month, 5 of which were ours. Hope we can keep it up.

Overall Best:
Tumblin-Dice Jr.
Alright, I'll admit this isn't the best new game I've played this month. But it was by far the most fun, so I'm giving it top billing. Maybe not quite a dexterity game, it is definitely an action game, and one my SO will play with me. Plus, I bought it off a friend for $5, which probably makes it one of the best game values I've ever found.

Still Winners:
Treehouse
What can I say? We like puzzles. We have about a zillion sets of treehouse pieces and rules for many of the other games, but had never really sat down to play. I'm rating this one so high because I know we'll get an enormous amount of play out of it. This might even replace Ingenious: Travel Edition as our take to dinner game.

Formula D
Another surprisingly fun one that I had resisted playing for some reason; Ben can shed his real life "Sir Pokesalong" driving style and I can let my inner speed demon go, unhindered by #%!@*$& Alabama roads and #%!@*$& Alabama drivers. If we could find 4 more players who are as aggressive as we are, I think this could become one of my top 10 games.

Lascaux
I'm willing to concede that I like this one so well because I'm not familiar with No Thanks!, and because I'm a sucker for lovely bits. With a few notable exceptions, this has been a big hit with my gaming group. We ALWAYS play with the hidden wampum variant, which makes it better.

Vasco da Gama
My game group might kick me out for saying this, but this one just didn't do it for me the one time I played. It has all the ingredients for a game I'd enjoy- medium weight, lots of choices, beautiful board- but I just didn't find it particularly FUN. This is just an initial impression, though- I'm definitely withholding judgement on this until I can get in several more plays.

Meh, But Willing To Give Another Try:
Comrade Koba
A good enough game, just not really my thing. I guess it's a somewhat similar mechanism to Guillotine, which I enjoyed more. Honestly, I probably would have enjoyed this much more if I knew anything about history (I was playing with a history teacher.)

Monsters Menace America
As a general rule, I don't particulary like games where you roll a die for combat. I ESPECIALLY don't like those games when I manage to roll a '1' four times in a row. We'll give this another try when it's not just the two of us playing.

And Kid's Games:
Orchard
No decisions to be made, but as lovely as you'd expect from Haba. Perfectly reasonable cooperative game for little ones- unless the particular little one you happen to be playing with is more interested in doing the Raven puzzle (losing condition,) than in collecting all the fruit (winning condition.) I guess Arwyn was playing the traitor- which we should probably expect from the child of gamer parents.

Puppy Surprise!
Basically memory with a way for everyone to lose. Again, Arwyn was the traitor.















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93. Board Game: Macao [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:154]
 
Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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Several new games this month, two of which I think might become favourites.

Macao
We didn't buy Macao after Essen, deciding to wait for the English edition, but then traded for the German copy in a recent Maths trade. My husband spent several hours pasting it up, and we've now played it three times and I'm liking it more every time, and it also seems to have been popular with everyone we've tried it with. Definitely a keeper anyway.

Jungle Speed
Another Maths Trade acquisition, and has become a very popular end-of-evening filler, replacing the simpler Halli Galli. Always gets a few laughs, and will probably see lots of play in the next few months.

Elasund: The First City
I was interested to try this, being a big Settlers fan, but it didn't wow me, and I have concerns about how nasty the overbuilding rules could be in the wrong crowd. It didn't help that the two of us new to the game misunderstood the rule at the start, but if anything the correct rule seemed to have more potential to become nasty.

Insey Winsey Spider
Bought this at a car boot sale, and got it out to play with my 2 year old. He loved it, unfortunately for me, as it had that never-ending feeling of far-too-many kids games, with the spider being washed out of the spout far too often, and it wasn't particulalry fun to play. I left it out for a few days for him to play with with his 4 year old sister, and then it was quietly hidden in the garage to go to a charity shop at some point in the near future! I have better games for them to play!
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94. Board Game: Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:77]
Guilherme Goulart
Brazil
Sao Paulo
SP
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Plays: 1 (early impressions!)


For me it all happened so fast! Here goes:
In the beginning of this month, I haven't even heard of Age of Empires III. Then for some reason, I found it around here, read reviews, got interested and added to my wishlist.

Forward a couple weeks and someone sends a message in our local yahoo group saying that he wanted to sell his still-unpunched copy. I didn't have the money to afford it, but in the very same day I found someone who was willing to buy my copy of Niagara (which despite how much I like, I had grown very tired of), got the money, added some extra bucks and bought AgeIII.

It was supposed to take 2-3 days to get to me, but the very next day after the purchase the game was in my hands. Finally, yesterday, I could try it for my very first time, playing against my wife.

And it was great! After reading the rulebook I had the impression that the game was complex and long, but oh boy was I wrong. The game plays very smoothly, with very easy-to-grasp mechanics and yet, it features really good strategical decisions in every move. It felt like one of those games where I'm silently staring across the map planning 2 or 3 actions ahead and thinking of counterplans in the case my opponent gets in the way. I know the name of the game doesn't help much, but the theme of the Age of Discovery fits well with the mechanics and as soon as we were finished, I was ready and eager to try it again. Definitely will play more in the coming weeks and I'm hoping that its first impressions will remain.

Bottomline: Only one play, but it looks like a winner!
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95. Board Game: Planet Steam [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:399]
CassSoren
United States
Springfield
Massachusetts
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I like how the elements of this game come together. I especially like the production and market - trying to anticipate what my opponent will do to figure out which goods will be most profitable.
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96. Board Game: Castle Panic [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:609]
Ronster Zero
United States
California
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I actually got to play quite a few new games this month with is pretty rare for me.

I'll start with the one I have played the most Castle Panic. I started with a few solo games which were close and ended up 1 and 1. I then had my nieces and nephews for the weekend and we ended up playing three games with our win ration at 2 - 1. While I love co-op games and I do love this game, it's a total random draw game. I do like it, but not all the time. I give this an 8 with it probably dropping down to a 7 in the near future.... but not till I get some more plays.

I was able to attend Stratigicon this month for one day.

While there I was able to play Battlestations with the designer Jeff Saidek. I own the game and had been wanting to play for a long time. Wow, what a game. It ran about 2 1/2 hours but I had a blast. You really need to have the mindset to play, but if you like the game concept, its a blast.
You can find my session report here

Next I played Lifeboat. While the game was mildly entertaining, it was not something I would play regularly. Played once at the con and unless it comes up at some other venue, I would not buy.

Finally, the hot game for me this month. Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age. Wow, I love this game at the moment. Fast, full of decisions and it has dice. I love dice... and they love me. So far, I have played solo and two player games. This game has just the right amount of decisions for me. With two player games there is very little down time. This is probably the best of my new games this month and gets my thumbsup for best new game this month.
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97. Board Game: Pond Hockey [Average Rating:6.62 Unranked]
Peaceful Gamin'
Canada
Vancouver
BC
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Gaming is fun. And this is a hypercube. The sun is shining
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Olympic time, hockey time.
And, of course, the new rules are great!
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98. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:41]
Nathan Woll
United States
Warsaw
Virginia
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Last month, I discovered a board game club in my town, and as a result I got to play 16 new games in February! My favorite so far is Pandemic After a bad experience with Lord of the Rings, I thought I didn't like coop games. But I really enjoyed this game.

Container was very fun as well. I like the mechanics, but I lost my first game badly (I was playing with 3 veteran players and 1 other new player. The other new player - my brother - won the game.)

Ra was my other favorite game of February. A great game deserving of it's high rating.
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99. Board Game: Kingsburg: To Forge a Realm [Average Rating:7.92 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.92 Unranked]
John Newall
United States
Lehi
Utah
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The greatest new game for this month -

Kingsburg: To Forge a Realm - 6 plays (9/10)

We continued to play Kingsburg this month and added To Forge a Realm after 7 plays. This is a must add after a few plays of Kingsburg. It changes up each of the games and makes you have to reassess the path you have decided to go down. What Governor do you want? What additional buildings do you want? Do you use your 4 powered defense in an earlier year or save it for end of game points? Absolutely brilliant.


The fun get together type game
The Adventurers: The Temple of Chac - 1 play (6.5/10)

I wanted to try this out this month. Got it out while over at friends and everyone loved it except for my wife. It is so random with next to no strategy but boy is it so much fun. It will get played at most of our game nights over at our friends, I can already tell


One for my father in law
Nertz - 1 play (6/10)

Fun little game. We've played as a family before, but it was nice to play the Solitaire Frenzy I bought last month. My father in law really liked it so it could become a regular fixture. Fast and fun!


One for the lunchtime group
Saga - 1 play (6/10)

I have had this game for 3 years and it finally hit the table. I brought it to work, and realised it had been 6 months to a year since I had read the instructions. I quickly scanned them and we got going. There is nothing difficult or deep about this game. It was fun and will definitely make it's way back to the lunchtime group at work. My friend and I let the game end too fast by not stopping our other friend from just laying all his knights so fast. We will learn for next time. I would recommend this to anyone for a little 20-30 minute game to fill a small space.


[Edited to include that I forgot was new to me this month - D'oh]
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100. Board Game: Arkadia [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:469]
Christopher Bird
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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Arkadia - 8.3. I really enjoyed my two plays of this: Arkadia has a unique feel to it that a lot of games don't, because there are so many mechanics involved. Sure, at its heart it's a simple stock market anticipation sort of game, but the various tricks and toys used to simulate that stock market (most notably, the clever and enjoyable tile placement system) create a play experience that really just isn't like anything else: the stock market in this game (which isn't called that, but whatever) feels organic, and the visual enjoyment of building the castle in the middle of the board is a lot of fun too. It definitely plays best with three - I think it's a contender to become my favorite three-player game. Definite keeper.

Money! - 8. Played this with a bunch of mostly-noob gamers after a round of For Sale! and the reception by them and by me was very good; this game is deeper than it looks, much deeper than the average filler game. Sure, after my second play I started to get a feel of what plays would be ideal to win - but those plays are still reliant on everybody else at the table, and it only takes one wild card player to force radical re-evaluation of your bidding strategy. Plus, the Gryphon reprint of this is absolutely gorgeous - it looks sophisticated, in a way that so many games don't.

Mare Nostrum: Mythology Expansion -7.7. I like Mare Nostrum all by itself, but the Mythology expansion has some problems - there are a couple of wildly overpowered heroes (Achilles, I'm looking at you) and while having a sixth player slot is great, Atlantis definitely feels like a weak sister to me. Still, they're isolated enough from the rest of the board that this tends to balance out their weak-sister hero and relatively crappy monster, and a sixth player makes the game even more intense.

For Sale - 6.8. It's one of the best gateway games I've ever seen, and I have to rate it highly for that alone, but it's so simple. I'm not going to get rid of it because it's a good gateway and because it's occasionally silly fun, but there's just not a lot of there there, you know?
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