New to you Apr 10 => Best new game you played this month and why
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What's the best new game you played this month (April 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): March 2010
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126. Board Game: Fresco [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:176]
Michael Vinarcik
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We really enjoyed this...and my wife won our first game (which made her day). I think it's now my favorite entry game for any non-gamers I want to break in...because people can relate to being grumpy from getting up early and how to mix paint.
Seriously, I think that it does a good job of packing a lot of standard mechanics into a "wrapper" that's accessible to newbies.
The gorgeous bits don't hurt, either.

Cyclades get a close 2nd. I like it too, and it's equally as gorgeous, but the victory conditions make the ending seem abrupt.
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127. Board Game: Knights [Average Rating:5.61 Overall Rank:6779]
BibKamp318
Belgium
Beerse [near Turnhout]
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5 new games this month – so good month

RoboRally

What a crazy game this is! We played with 6 – 2 simple factory boards with 3 targets – and really, really had a good time and lots of fun.
Robots shooting each other in the back – side – face, falling off the board, making all kinds of unexpected moves.
The stress of programming against time – please stop the clock as I’m not done yet.
All players turning sideways left-right on their chairs, moving their hands and arms [TRYING] to mimic what the robots will do – well, were supposed to do, because as soon as they all start moving, the craziest things happen.
My wife [who was reading a book] stated “she felt like she was in a Kindergarten" given all the noise we made.
I guess it takes the right mindset to enjoy this game – not suited for everyone.
d10-7.d10-5 to start with


Anno 1701: Das Brettspiel

Last month I played the card game version, now we pulled out the board game in a 4 player session.
Game play is Catan-like but with the specifics of the 1701 card game.
We all liked that your own island produces every time - at least in the beginning of the game. As the game develops and you explore new islands, buy new buildings, after a while the new buildings cover the producing lands. Uses some mechanics of Elasund: to win, you have to place all your markers on the board; there are 3 development areas where the leader can put one of his markers, ...
A good Catan scenario.

Blokus Duo

Thought the wife would like it, played it 3 times and she was happy these were short games. Don’t think she will choose it herself – I will have to force her then!

Knights

Clever filler game

Dominion: Intrigue

Ouch. I will get smashed and expelled by the Dominion clan, but this is just another bunch of cards. I like Dominion, but have no urge to expand it – the mechanic of the base game is innovative [I assume] and that’s sufficient for me.
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128. Board Game: Warriors of God [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:710]
Ian Peters-Campbell
United States
Santa Cruz
California
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My favorite of the month is
Warriors of God

It moves quickly, it's easy to teach/learn, and it is loaded with agonizing decisions. Very easy to play with people who aren't dedicated wargamers, which is another big plus.



Also of note this month is
Where There Is Discord: War in the South Atlantic

A solo wargame with ameritrash-level components recreating the Falklands War, Discord plays smoothly and gives a real sense of the kind of defense-in-depth and playing the odds that must have kept everyone involved in the enterprise biting their nails and sweating bullets for a month. Good stuff.

Oh, and the board is HUGE. Significantly bigger than it looks in pictures, at least to me.
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129. Board Game: Macao [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:159]
 
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
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This was a strange month of gaming for me, since I had very few new games played, but I chalk that up to a general malaise I'm feeling about gaming overall. In fact, I've gone through two purges since the beginning of the year, as I ditch out some of the newer, less-often played games so that I don't feel such a responsibility to play them over games I know and enjoy. So I may be posting fewer and fewer new games over the next few months. At least, that's been the case for March and April, and I don't see the trend abating any time soon. So with that wildly enthusiastic summary, let's just get right into the games, eh?


NEW GAMES

Macao thumbsup thumbsdown

I was never really taken in with In the Year of the Dragon, and I haven't played Notre Dame, but I think that Macao is confirming that I'm not really a big fan of Stefan Feld's games. This game at least gets rid of the "plan for several horrible, horrible things" theme that his last two games have had, but it's extremely fiddly, and difficult to grok. The idea behind the rotating die tile is clever, and I think it's utilized well, but it's not a very intuitive mechanism to grasp. I don't mind games that present a steep learning curve (I took to Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization after the first play, and I'm still eager to play more of Brass despite my horrible showing in my first two games), but there has to be something in the design to appeal to me enough to want to come back to it. Macao just doesn't have it. It turns out to be a card/resource management game with a territorial control and race aspect to it, and it seems to try to be too many things to be a really good game by itself. I wouldn't turn down a game of it, but I'm not likely to be asking to play it.

Infinite City thumbsdown

First of all, this game is horribly misnamed. There's a very specific end-point in the game, where you stop laying tiles and building the city, so it's very finite. I was expecting some sort of game where you keep expanding the city, so much so that it's not possible to have a table that could contain the game. I figured that, with a title like Infinite City, the game would go on forever, and be the pinnacle of all gaming experiences. It turns out that the game is a rather chaotic game of laying tiles and taking actions, much like you would with a CCG like Magic: The Gathering or Pokémon Trading Card Game or whatever the kids are playing these days. So I guess it's a good thing that the title didn't live up to my expectations, but seriously, the publishers really should have just called it "Finite City."


NEW EXPANSIONS

Age of Steam: Oklahoma Land Rush thumbsup

Ted continues to make Age of Steam expansion maps that add some quirky rules to the game, and Oklahoma Land Rush borrows some from his own Puerto Rico map, and Winsome's Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico map, since the goods are seeded onto empty hexes on the board at the start of the game. It gets rid of production all together, since all the goods for the entire game are right there on the board, and that's probably good news for a lot of Age of Steam players. It reminded me a bit of Korea, also, since the distribution of the goods turned the game from one of strategy to one of tactics, since it became more important to secure the proper goods at each turn, although you still had to plan to make deliveries from other locations as you started to build your network. There was no way to get new goods to the board, and there was no uncertainty to plan around. Overall, I liked it, but it doesn't stand out to me as a map that I'll play over others that fit that number of players.
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130. Board Game: Qwirkle Cubes [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:1604]
Douglas Glisson
Canada
Alberta
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Far and away my top pick of the month. We own Qwirkle but the cubes version is just a lot more fun to play. The gambling mechanism of do I roll the cubes and try for the diamond or do I keep this red square make it way better. You don't feel trapped with a lame tile either. It was requested in my house almost daily. Great fun. Rating 8

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This was another big hit at my house this month and got many requests as well. I hear it often said that this is too easy but me and the kids had no easy time of it and were very proud of our first win. A game that is always followed with cries of "Let's play again!" Rating 6. Just not a lot of decisions here but fun nonetheless.

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Another one that can really get your juices flowing. Takes a bit to get the hang of the gameplay. I will say experience with RoboRally would help with setting the program register mechanic. Fun, but I have only one play with my son and this game really needs more players I think. I'll wait to give it an official review till further plays but I'll say 7.5 for now based on my interest in more plays.

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Last new game of the month and following on the heels of San Juan and Dominion from last month I picked this one up and have only got one play in. Simple fast and fun. Need more plays but am enjoying it a lot. I'll call it a 7 for now pending further play.

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That's my list for this month. Hoping to get Citadels, Endeavor and Dungeon Lords hit the table this month. If all went perfect TI3, Age of Empires III and Galactic Emperor would find playtime as well! Played my first game of Fish Eat Fish tonight so we're off to a good start.

Game on,

Kraken Fan #69]
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131. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:108] [Average Rating:7.44 Unranked]
Alex V
Australia
Yokine
Western Australia
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This was my first month playing Euros, so it was an interesting month! Already obviously have a long list of games to play, but I'm going to try and get my money out of them and not end up with a pile of unplayed games (though I'm sure EVERYONE says this when they start off).

Carcassonne
An instant favourite of my group of friends interested in games. It works well with 2, and is very portable (I put the tiles in the Alhambra bag and we keep score on a notepad) which help to increase its plays. Not too much thinking, but definitely gets deeper after a while. A great gateway game? Seems like it!
Total plays: 28
Score:

1960: The Making of the President
Only got to play this once, but I definitely enjoyed it, and think it will get a lot better once we know what's going on. We missed a number of rules the first time through, we'll know better next time and probably get it down fairly well by play number 5. I'm hoping it gets to play number 5!
Total plays: 1
Score:

Pandemic
Two of these plays were solo. Very different concept, but works really well. I think this is the game I'll be able to get my family play the most, so hopefully I have some luck with that this month!
Total plays: 3
Score:

Alhambra
As my 'gaming group' currently has 3 people, this was a good choice as it works well with 3. Neither of them can wait to get it out again, which is a good sign.
Total plays: 1
Score:

Power Grid
I didn't love it, but thought it was decent. Not sure if my group was too keen on it. It might get more plays, but probably with reluctance, unless it grows on them.
Total plays: 1
Score:

A fun month anyway! May brings Puerto Rico for sure (which I bought last month but haven't played), and we'll see if I can hold off from buying anything new!
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132. Board Game: Assyria [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:851]
Jason Ober
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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Not a great month for new games, with only 3 new games out of a paltry 15 plays.

Assyria gets the nod this month. It was very tactical - I can't see (at first glance, anyway) any way to play it other than doing the best you can on a turn by turn basis, with the slight exception of the... uh... dignitaries I think they were called? It was still fairly enjoyable and it looked like there were several paths to take to victory. Stephen got an early lead and kept it with wells, I lost by only a few points with a ziggurat "build em all and build em high" strategy, and well... Dave's strategy of being dignitary heavy left him with a single ziggurat and just one or 2 wells, and that was NOT the winning strategy.

Intrigue redefined stabbing people in the back. On your turn you collect wages from workers you've sent out into the world to find employment at the other players' castles, then you look to see who is applying for work at YOUR castle. Both players have to bribe you at least 1000 for the privelege of working there, but they can bribe you much more and include promises of employment at your castle. Then, everyone applying has to pay their bribe, BEFORE YOU'VE ANNOUNCED YOUR DECISION!!! And your decision can be anything. Dave offered me $10,000 to go on the $1,000 salary space and Vince offered me $2,000 to go on the $10,000 salary space? Well, Dave, you shouldn't have been an ass to me when I applied to YOUR castle. devil Any scholars not hired in this manner go off to an island never to be seen again. Nasty game. Not one I'd turn down playing, but not one I'm asking to play again, either.

Imperial 2030 confused me. We've played a number of games of regular old Imperial and really enjoyed it. This seemed to be more of the same on a variant map, but the game went on and on and on and on. For like 5 hours before a winner was declared. Which doesn't make sense, since there are more tax regions to be had, so you'd THINK that the power track would move up more quickly, but that was not our experience. I'll have to give it another try, but that first game left a really bad taste in my mouth. I might just have to stick with Imperial Originalus.




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133. Board Game: Washington's War [Average Rating:7.68 Overall Rank:266]
Dave Lartigue
United States
Springfield
Massachusetts
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BEST OF THE MONTH

Washington's War

It's a wargame! It's a eurogame! You're BOTH right! The newest game to enter that netherworld occupied by Twilight Struggle, WW is a nice balancing of seeming opposed mechanics. I think there's something here for everyone, and I think it's particularly interesting that ultimately it's the more Euro-y aspects of the game that bring victory (a fact I forgot, to my eventual dismay).

WORST OF THE MONTH

Don Quixote: No question. Literal multiplayer solitaire, but with an addition completely freaking random element tacked on? Where don't I sign up?

THE REST

Le Boomb!: That's right, a "game" with zero decisions to make did not get "Worst of the Month". Say what you will about this stupid thing, people have fun with it.

MegaCorps: This is one of those cases where I feel as though the players are expected to bring most of the game. As with, say, Diplomacy or Imperial, there's a perfectly adequate set of rules here to make a mildly interesting game, but it's the interactions of the players that are supposed to be the meat. None of us knew what we were doing, so we didn't get much out of it, but I suspect there's more here than what we saw. (I also suspect it's the kind of game I won't like anyway, as I'm not crazy about negotiation games.)

Peloponnes: Interesting Civ-ish game that doesn't tax one too much and doesn't overstay its welcome, but still provides a decent experience. Eager to try it again.

Qwirkle Cubes: I'm a fan of the original, and I have to say I think I may like this spin on it even more.

Shark: Believe it or not, I'd never played this investing game before. It's pretty nifty, but I think I still prefer Acquire.

Tom Tube: This is going to have to get a few more plays before I can formulate an opinion on it.

Wicked Witches Way: Almost doesn't count as a first play, since it was two players and it's very clear that this game isn't meant for two. Nevertheless, we had a lot of fun with it, and I'd like to try it with more.
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134. Board Game: Space Alert [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:78]
Jacco Versteeg
United Kingdom
Crewe
Cheshire
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Lots of games in April. It was definitely a good gaming month. Also, lots of new games!

Top of the list: Space Alert. A fun game, and we only got to play a few of the introduction scenarios. Lots of things to keep in mind! Very hectic, good fun.

Other new games I played and liked:
China: quick and simple, fun little game.
Dixit: very pretty party game.
Hameln: even though the rulebook is a disaster, we all liked the game.
Stone Age: read a lot of pro and anti opinions on this one. I'm cautiously in the pro camp, provided it doesn't come out too often.
Set: simple game, good fun. Played with two players, worked very well. I can see how this could get annoying with more players.

The one game this month I'm not so sure about: Cosmic Encounter
Even though I won, it was a very strange game. Most of the time we seemed to be trying to work out what the various alien powers did. Very odd.

And the one game I didn't like very much: 2038
Obviously the whole Age of Steam thing is not for me. We broke of this game halfway through, as most of us didn't like it very much (to the disappointment of the host who loves it).
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135. Board Game: Galaxy Trucker [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:85]
Isaac Milton
United States
Reading
MA
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Totally unique game. I love the timed puzzle phase at the beginning and the stressful (and at times hilarious) space journey phase.

My only complaint: I can't win! My wife has destroyed me on every game. She always seems to have more of every component than I do.
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