$10.00
New to you Jul 10 => Best new game you played this month and why
Andy
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Stockport
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What's the best new game you played this month (Jul 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): July 2010
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76. Board Game: Thunderstone [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:331] [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked]
J. Jefferson
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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This was an unusual month in that I played a whole lot of really great games for the first time. Here's the rundown:

Agricola: 3 Plays. Picked this up in a math trade a while back, and finally got around to playing it this month. It's great. I feel like I've only just started to figure out the strategy in three plays, and am looking forward to more. So far, it doesn't feel like it's going to reach my number one spot, but it will probably reach the top five.

Thunderstone: 3 Plays. This is my pick for best new game to me in July. I love Dominion, so I suppose it was inevitable that I eventually give this a shot. Even though the mechanic is very very similar to Dominion, the two games actually feel quite different. Thunderstone is meaningfully longer, and so the strategy seems to take on more phases, i.e. you try to do very different things in the beginning, middle, and end of the game. This is true in Dominion as well, but it really struck me with Thunderstone. Ultimately, both games have a spot in my collection and will continue to get a lot of plays.

Ca$h-n-Gun$: This is my new go-to party game. I played two games of this at a family get together. We had six players and had admittedly had a few beverages beforehand. This game is perfect for that situation. It's all about interaction, the mechanic is very simple, the strategy is not too complex, but man is it a blast. The group included both gamers and non-gamers, and everybody loved it.

A Castle for All Seasons: 1 Play. I like this game a lot and plan to play it much more. It seems to me to fit in the same niche as Stone Age--a lighter, easier to figure out worker placement game. One major difference is that with two players, Stone Age tends to reward focusing on a few areas, this is true for ACFAS as well, but not as much. There are just many more options, so focusing on one or two alone will not get you as far.

Dixit: 1 Play. I liked it. I think it deserved the Spiel des Jahres. I want to play more. I do wonder how the replayability is once you've seen the cards.

Forbidden Island: 1 Play. Exactly what I expected, Pandemic-lite. Pandemic doesn't get played as often as it used to, but this faster version has rekindled my interest. I will probably use this one to introduce new gamers to collaborative games.

Homesteaders: 1 Play. One play of this game is just not enough to figure out if it is fun or if I like it. It feels pretty technical to me, but I bet there is a lot of strategy that I haven't figured out yet. Component-wise, the meeples are awesome, but the tiles and board are pretty boring.

Knights: 1 Play. Even if you love dice games, don't bother with this one, there's just not much to it.

Oceania: 1 Play. I suppose if you love Carc, and want a ten-minute, two-player version, this is just the thing for you. For me, one play was enough.

Ticket to Ride: The Card Game: 1 Play. I thought this card game did a pretty good job of capturing the board game in a pared down version. I was hesitant about the memory aspect, but I found not focusing on it to be a winning strategy. That's why my wife hated the game. She meticulously made sure that she had the exact right number of each color train, while I just generally went for colors that I thought I might need. My strategy blew her out of the water (or off the rails, I guess).

Vikings: 1 Play. A fun, surprisingly substantial, auction game that works well with two. I'll play this again if I get the chance.

You Must Be an Idiot: 1 Play. I bought this for the same family get-together that Cash-n-Guns was such a success at. You Must Be an Idiot fell totally flat. First, it's too quick. I guess we can fix this by playing more rounds. Second, some people didn't get that there was a bluffing strategy, and this is what I think will make the game shine. I'm optimistic that this game can be rehabilitated with more plays and a different group.
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77. Board Game: Chinatown [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:309]
Randall Bart
United States
Winnetka
California
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Four new games this month

Chinatownthumbsupthumbsup
Chinatown is a very wide open trading game. That's a problem for some people, but this is certainly worth several plays with the right people. The wrong people will cause this to decay into bickering and bad feelings, and I had a player insist on playing Quien es mas macho. When the tile finally came up (too late for it to matter much), I bid his break even and got him to pay $20 more than his break even. There are lots of non-zero sum trades to be made, but evaluating them is a little non-obvious. Reminds me of both Modern Art and Container, because it's perfectly obvious that you can do the math and correctly value every decision, but you would need to build a spreadsheet to do the math.

Samuraithumbsupthumbsup
Like many Knizia games, lots of things to do, but it's not quite clear why. It's in the area control genre, but it has more interesting topology than most area control games. The map of Japan is a very nice thematic touch. The Buddhas are cute. the other two markers are uninspired. Definitely several plays here.

The Red Dragon Innthumbsup
Everyone said this was not my kind of game. Well it's not. I have nothing against playing a game themed around drinking, but in my experience such games are designed by and for drunkards, and this is no exception. There just weren't enough opportunities for cleverness in this game. I had an advantage because I was better at the simple math in this game, and I won, but there was little thinking involved.

Shadow Huntersthumbsup
I was lured into this by being told it was better than The Werewolves of Miller's Hollow and BANG!. Indeed it is. It's also better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. It's still too much shoot the innocent for me. I think this game would make more sense if it started with two rounds of green cards.
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78. Board Game: Goa [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:53]
United States
Davis
California
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Finally got a chance to try Goa, twice with two and a third time with three. It was fun and interesting, but I'm not yet sure how to value things or what strategies to pursue. With two, it felt a bit brittle, with the leader able to maintain enough of a cash advantage to stay ahead. I'm eager to try it with four.



My son and I had a lot of fun trying out Warhammer: Invasion. The different factions play with a very different feel, which is nice. We liked it enough to order the Ulthuan expansion, which adds two more factions to the mix. Unfortunately, he's off to college in a couple of weeks and I seriously doubt my wife will want to try it. Oh well, winter break isn't too far off.



We played a four player of Forbidden Island at our regular game group. It was enjoyable, and the components are gorgeous, but I didn't feel a lot of tension. I'll play if it's suggested, but won't ask for it.



Rounded out a game group night with a couple of plays of this filler. Nice to have something quick and fun that plays a large number, but people were struggling to get their heads around the logic of the game. Things change very quickly, and in unexpected ways, so there seems to be a large dose of chaos. Fun though.
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79. Board Game: Ubongo 3D [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:822]
Joerg Schaefer
Germany
Frankfurt
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8 new games this month, all good games but no real high or low lights. Kind of a boring month in this respect. The winner Ubongo 3D is more a reflection of my enjoyment of puzzles than necessarily being the best of the lot.

Ubongo 3Dd10-8

Finally the perfect Ubongo version for me. Plain Ubongo is fun but sometimes the puzzles are too easy, i.e. luck enters play. Ubongo BMM was ridiculously easy. Ubongo 3D on the easy side is a nice challenge while the difficult side is so hard that satisfaction is guaranteed when a puzzle is solved. Only drawback - here even more than with the rest of the series - is that unequal skills will lead to frustration. I haven't tried Ubongo Extreme but having played 3D I don't see any need for the Extreme version anymore. The blocks add a whole new tactile experience that I will miss in 2D Ubongo from now on. Nonetheless, Ubongo still will have its spot when 3D is too hard.

Dominion: Intrigue: d10-7

Dominion took a long time to grow on me and had its ups and downs from initial interest played with other newbies to disappointment when confronted with experienced players to liking it again after climbing the learning curve to a reasonable level.
Intrigue is more goodness but initial impression is a bit below the base game as the confrontation and chaos factor is increased with the Saboteur bothering me particularly. On the positive side, the cards giving a choice of actions add more decision-making and the combined points cards make early points strategies viable.

Tahuantinsuyu: d10-7

Tahuantinsuyu has great ideas like the events being played between two players to affect only those and a unique and well conveyed setting. It is a good game but somehow I expected even more from it. Actually, I thought it could be in a league with Splotter games like Indonesia and Roads & Boats or Martin Wallace's train games which it is not. The proponents of Tahuantinsuyu are the same at least and led me to this believe. It might be the inexperience but the strategy of piggybacking on others' builds looks the most promising and that detracts a bit from the otherwise very positive first impression. Another weakness is the potential for uneven event card distributions. Players should be warned before the first play about the Rural unrest event which can be really devastating if you're not prepared for it. Also access to the wilderness road event in the late midgame is decisive.

Industria: d10-7

An unusual game for Michael Schacht in being aimed at strategy gamers rather than occasional gamers. The mechanism of the auctioneer is brillant. What tiles might other players want? Which tiles can I live with if nobody else buys them? Various ways to score points lend room for mid-term strategy but tactical optimization is still the core of the game. Players early in the turn order suffer a slight advantage and the tile draws can give a noticeable advantage to some auctioneers. But for the length and ease of the game it's fine with me. Could be the second-best Schacht game trailing only Web of Power.

Prophecy: d10-7

I'm not big into roleplaying, RPG-based boardgames or the genre of experience games as a whole. But Prophecy is fun enough to fill that very small niche in my collection to satisfy the rare need of playing an RPG-based boardgame. It's still a bit on the long side but decisions are meaningful enough and preparation against bad luck is possible to make the time spent worthwile. Not like Talisman, Zombie State or other experience games of similar length.

Just4Fun Colours: d10-7

Better than its older brother Just 4 Fun. I have to agree with the comments to play for 5 in a row. Otherwise, luck is too decisive. When playing for 5 in a row there's less luck than in J4F though it still can happen that a player just has no chance to win and the game is over after 5 or 6 moves. Games can't get much easier than J4FColours while still maintaining a worthwile gameplay.

Wasabi!: d10-6

The theme and the great components make the game. At its core it's a simple abstract of laying down patterns spiced with a few extra actions to interfere with your opponent. With the maximum of four players I doubt that there's much control. But the wasabi cubes, the ingredient tiles and the menus serving as player screens win players over for a casual game of preparing sushi. If there's more plays in it after the novelty of the components wears off?
Side note: The German translation of the ingredients must have been done by somebody who doesn't know a single thing about food. Green onions = grüne Zwiebeln?

Summertime: d10-6

Nothing mindbending but not as bad as its reputation either. Keeping in mind that the Kosmos 2-player series is for a big part aimed at couples looking for a gaming fix, it's perfect for this target group. No big explanations are needed, no confrontation distracts from the fun and the theme and design evoke a positive holiday feeling. Compared to other games from this series, it's lighter than most. Still, there's enough decisions to warrant occasional play, possibly while being on summer vacation and in contrast to a few other entries my girlfriend will play this again (in contrast to Babel or Pyramiden des Jaguar which I enjoyed but are too confrontational or dry).
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80. Board Game: Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization [Average Rating:8.21 Overall Rank:3]
United States
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Got to play this with a few others from our local game group. While I also played Ticket to Ride: Märklin and Ra for the first time this month (both great games also), TTA stands out for achieving so much balance and intelligent theme implementation. I'm not particularly fond of "upkeep" games - ones where you have to make sure things get satisfied, like people getting fed, to avoid penalty - but the way it works in this game just seems very clever and consistent with the historical theme of growing populations of civilizations.

The amount of rules to keep track of can be a little too much (we often caught ourselves doing something wrong after it was already too late) but this was really the only minor setback for the whole game.

Plus I almost won my first game! Check out my session report here: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/548743/a-not-so-lucky-start
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81. Board Game: Shipyard [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:335]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
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Some brand new games, some little classics from the 2000s; at least I had one more month of learning new games before I have other things to do. As usual, pics by myself.

Shipyard 1x
Shipbuilding in a complex Czech Euro with tons of nice (although a bit undersized) bits. In the beginning of the game you choose 3-3 secret aims, although it might happen that you have only one interesting combination (or, in worst case, you don't have any). Balancing the aims (speed, extras on the ship, money for extra actions, hidden aims) is interesting, the game is quite thematic for what it is (even if none of the rondels really support the theme as a mechanism). The action selection is like a rondel variation of Puerto Rico-like games; it seems this mechanism is really necessary if you make a game about harbors.
All in all, a not too deep (less depth than complexity) but really fine game.
7.4


O Zoo le Mio 1x
Collecting zoo tiles for your own zoo with blind biddig. Although I'm not good in this kind of games, this is a great one. It might be the finest and purest form of tile-laying meeting set collection. Simple but not easy to win, it's actually quite deceiving with its children's game-like look.
7


A Game of Thrones 1x
A risk-like game with the complexity of a recent euro. Maybe my expectations were too high; this one doesn’t offer anything really special (many solutions taken from other games - it's a game built on its theme which is still weak, not a game built on an innovative mechanism) even if it’s fine. It does work (still with a considerable luck level) but it didn’t generate overwhelming reactions.
6.8


Callisto 4x
A Knizia game that looks like and plays like Blokus. It’s not a bad game. Not better than Blokus... But it's a lot better for 3 or 2 than Blokus. Also while the starting set-up adds more variability to the game, the third column provides some interesting tactical possibilities.
And of course if you want a Blokus-like game for 3 or 2, Callisto might work. Also if you rate Blokus high you just can't say you rate Callisto low for the lack of originality. Why? See my review here.
6.7


Thebes 1x
Innovative-sounding ideas, nice theme (archeologist professors competing). I know this huge luck factor makes the theme strong. But still. The level of luck is just ridiculously high for this type of game. Otherwise it's really fine with good ideas and production values. But this level of luck is... just too much. I don't care if smaller luck would make it less thematic. That would make it a better game.
6.5


Jerusalem 1x
The typical "push the colored cubes" Euro; the kind of game that gives Euros their bad reputation. It's finely balanced and nice, but dry as hell, and doesn't provide any great new ideas, any new idea that would have justified its existence. I can't say it's a bad game at all as it certainly isn't, even if it’s too unforgiving for my taste as unlike in the granddaddy of area majority games (El Grande) and the best games of this genre, here you don’t get anything for being second anywhere when it comes to scoring. Of course I can't say you don't have interesting or hard decisions here, but I still didn't enjoy it as much as I wanted to.
6.5


Chocolatl 1x
Not bad. While the board looks nice, its "theme" is weaker than in 90% of the non-abstract Knizias. The mechanism is okay. But planning is almost impossible, with an emphasis on "almost" – it's just too luck-dependent for my taste.
6.3


Wazabi 3x
I like dice games. I don't like Uno- and Fluxxx-like games (I liked them as a kid). This one is a combination of both. Unfortunately the dice aspect is not strong enough: your decisions don't make a difference, they have no weight; everything is too random (unlike in a Yahtzee-like game where at least your decisions do matter!). Can be fun with party people, can be fun with kids but it's not a fun game for me.
And the cards show wear already after 30 minutes of play.
5



+1: Haggis or something like that 2x

We have played Haggis two times this month but I just can’t rate it here right now as we have played it with ridiculously bad rules both times.
First we played with totally wrong scoring rules and also bad use of J-Q-K (you could place then as e.g. JQ placed on top of 2 10s). The second time we played you could not place J, Q, K as singles.
The first one made the game really off-balance; the second one almost killed it. Sooner or later we'll play with the right rules. I know.
Haggis now has a rating of 7.4 by me based on the games and how I think it would go with the correct rules; will adjust it later.
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82. Board Game: Dominion: Seaside [Average Rating:8.11 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.11 Unranked]
Corey Allen
United States
Humble
Texas
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Best Game of the Month


I didn't get many new game plays in this month (or many plays in at all for that matter), but I did finally get in some plays of games I have had on the shelf for quite some time. My fiancee & I are getting married in October, and we made a big registry list, so we haven't been purchasing anything for ourselves for a few months, and will continue to not purchase anything until after the wedding. This means that I haven't bought any new board games, and probably will go without purchasing any (except maybe Tanga Deals for a straight 6 months). While I still feel the urge to buy all the newest & greatest games, I have been taking this opportunity to play some games that have been sitting on the shelf unplayed.

One of these shelf sitters is Dominion. I had been waiting to play Dominion again until I had made a better storage/card drawing solution. Well, I had some friends over and they wanted to play dominion, so I ended up playing with the many box method, and then that gave me enough motivation to complete the tabs project to have a nice tabbed dominion set.

As for the game....
Dominion Seaside is a lot of fun. The duration cards were a great addition to an already great game, and lead to much joy each time a successful duration paid off big. The first game we played was pretty strange with many cards that allowed you to trash cards from your hand, but nothing much to build up with. No one went for a money only strategy, and the game ended up taking quite some time. The second game, however went by pretty quickly, and I enjoyed both games. Looking forward to getting some more plays in, and hopefully next time using Alchemy.


Great Games thumbsupthumbsup


Diplomacy

This game isn't exactly "new to me", but this is the second play I had ever done. The first time I played was in my high school World History class, where we were graded based on what position we came in in the game. I am pretty sure my teacher did this to turn us all against each other, and for the most part it worked. We played over a week of classes, only playing for an hour a day, and I don't think we came anywhere near close to finishing.

This time, however, I had 7 friends showing up to play games, and I had an urge to play something longer than a measly 1-1.5 hours, as that is what we have done a lot in the past. After using the What to Play utility, it looked like Diplomacy was the best game with 7, and almost need be played with 7, so we dove in. I played France, and after a strong alliance with England, we were able to push forth into Germany and eliminate him from the game. Italy & Austria teamed up to push towards Germany as well, and that's where we collided. It was a give & take, with Russia playing both sides, and eventually backstabbing all allies and finishing with the win.


Kingsburg: To Forge a Realm

I brought out Kingsburg to some relatively new players, and we decided to dive in with all of the mini expansions from To Forge a Realm. I had only previously played with the military chips, but this time we played with alternate build sheets, 2 required replacement build lines, a randomly drawn profile, & event cards. I liked Kingsburg before, but with these elements to mix up the strategies, it was a blast. I was playing the Fairy, making me very strong in the summer months. We played with 5 players, so resource spots were always scarce, and we thought that one player, who had their own #5 & #10 spot to place their dice down would have a strong advantage, but she never ended up using it. I think everyone enjoyed the game (new & experienced players) and I definitely want to play it again sometime soon.


Good Games thumbsup


Beowulf: The Movie Board Game

My Fiancee loved Kingdoms when we played our 2 player games, so when I found out that the Beowulf Boardgame was on sale during B&N 75% off last year, I had to pick up a copy. I know, I had it sitting on my shelf for a year, but I did finally get it to the table! We played a 4 player game, and it was both a tight, intense game, and also very fun, with players dropping a tile down and laughing maniacally at their opponents' misfortune. While this isn't something I would want to play all the time, it is a good game to hang on to and play occasionally.

Mixed Feelings


Runebound (Second Edition)

I am a fan of Descent, so I decided to try out Runebound, when a trade opportunity arose. This is probably the reverse order than many of you took on the Runebound Universe, and I think that Descent's tight & well structured system made Runebound look a little pale. The game was fun, since I was playing with fun people, but it felt a lot like Tales of the Arabian Knights, with little control over your fate. The combat system left a lot to be desired as well, just rolling a die and comparing to a set value over and over. I need to try this game again, and see if I am missing anything, but it may not have enough strategy for me to fully enjoy.


Warhammer Quest

Warhammer quest was a fun game with the crowd I was playing with. The problem I had with it was the similarity between it and other games. It didn't really seem like anything different than all the other dungeon crawlers. I did enjoy it a lot, but I was playing another gamer's copy, and I don't think I will ever have the urge to pick it up for myself. I would definitely play it again with the guys I played my first game with though.

Falling Flat thumbsdown


Solitaire

While I was driving all over Houston, hopping from one Barnes & Noble to the next, I came across a store that had this game red dotted for 75% off. It looked like a good quality game, with big marbles & a nice smooth board, so I thought I would pick it up for its cheap price, try it out, and if it was terrible, I would deconstruct it for its parts. Well, boys & girls, it was terrible. This isn't a game, but a puzzle, and a simple one at that. After solving it, there would be no reason to play it again.





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83. Board Game: Small World: Tales and Legends [Average Rating:7.30 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.30 Unranked]
Duchess of Erat
Netherlands
Enschede
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For best new game (expansion in this case) I'll go with: Small World: Tales & Legends1x
Every turn (except the first) there is some event that modifies the options of the game. Worked quite well and makes for a nice variation. I wouldn't add it every time, and wouldn't recommend with new players, but it was a lot of fun.

The full game I enjoyed most was Phenomena 1x
Adventure game and resource management game, enjoyable because of the combination, not too much luck like in a lot of other adventure games we tried...

Pirates of the Caribbean Pirate Game3x
Uno-clone. We played three times because it's quick... Nothing special.

Die Drei Magier 1x
Roll and move game with stick-dice. Pretty game, but unfortunately not a lot of fun.

Haggis 1x
Played 2 player with a normal deck of cards to try out. We liked it, it's somewhat similar to tichu.

Hnefatafl1x
Assymetrical abstract. Ok game.

King Arthur: The Card Game1x
I don't really remember what this was all about.. I didn't hate the game, but apparently it isn't very memorable .

Metropolys1x
Bidding game with a nice bidding system where you lose options if you win auctions.

Onexeno1x
Cardgame that combines tricktaking with dominoes. Took too long and we got impossible situations...

Pignus Mania 1x
Nimm-clone, bad looking (cheap looking plastic).

Wizard 1x
boerenbridge with a few extra cards.
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84. Board Game: Trendy [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:2808]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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The surprise winner this month was Crazy Derby, a very light card game with a racing theme. We've played it several times with the children, and it's been requested more than once by them, so clearly a hit there. I found it fun and quick, but by no means totally obvious. I'm sure it will come out regularly from now on.

I said surprising because it beat two games which are ranked highly on BGG. Firstly Reef Encounter. I quite enjoyed this but it was a tremendous struggle to get our heads round the rules, never mind good ways to play. However, it obviously has potential to be a clever, deep game so no doubt will improve in my estimation after more plays.

Secondly War of the Ring (first edition). Now I had played this before some time ago, as a four player game, but this was a two player game, basic version. This made it much less interesting as the cards didn't really come into play. However, it was valuable as a way of getting to grips with the rules. One aspect which made it more difficult than it need have been was the difficulty we had in distinguishing the units of the different nations - now dealt with by judicious application of paint on the bases. Sadly this is not likely to come out very often, not because it's not a good game but simply because it is not by any means my wife's (my regular 2 player opponent) cup of tea. I know I will really enjoy further games immensely but I know she won't as much, so it will only get onto the table when she wants a big favour!

So, from first impressions, a light, silly card game beats two highly regarded gamer's games - though I'm sure the latter have more deoth and long term potential.

Finally Andy - congrats on the birth of the wee one!
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85. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.13 Overall Rank:6]
The Games Are About Glory
United States
Macedon
New York
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Agricola - 9
Finally convinced myself to get this (with a little help from Quarashi) after debating for months. After three plays (all losses), I'm very glad that I did. The flow of play isn't difficult to understand, but it's challenging and has lots of cards to keep the game fresh. I got home this afternoon after being away since Thursday and my wife asked if I was up for a game tonight. I've had a headache for two days and am exhausted, but am looking forward to playing again once the kids are asleep.

Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization - 8.5
A close second only because it takes much longer to play, and therefore wouldn't hit the table nearly as often as Agricola. That said, I really liked this, and may pick up a copy to play with my wife. Four hours will be too long for her, but we may be able to work up from the simple game. My rating would more than likely go up with additional plays.

Treasure Chest - 8.5 (San Juan cards only)
This is a nice improvement that makes a good card game great. Many of the new cards open up new strategies either by themselves, or when combined with some of the original cards. San Juan sat on my shelf for a few years but will likely see a lot more table time.

Sticheln - 6.001
I add a .001 to a rating as a mnemonic device. It tells me that I want to try the game again before passing judgment. This was certainly interesting in its implementation, but I'm not sure it will ever be a game I'd suggest playing. We only played with three players, and I wonder how it would be with a few more. Then again, if I have four players and want a trick taking game I'll look no further than Tichu.

Quicksand - 6
This was nothing special, but entertaining enough with the people I played with. I'd play again if the mood was right, but again, it's nothing I'd suggest on my own.

Power Grid: Brazil/Spain & Portugal - n/a
I managed to get myself blocked in early and never recovered. For that reason I didn't get a good feeling for how this map changes things. Garbage...excuse me, "bio gas", is more plentiful so I suppose that's a large part of it. China is the only map I prefer over any other map thus far because of the fixed market.

Dominion: Stash Promo Card - n/a
We had this available in our last game but no one bought it. In all fairness, there were a lot of good cards on the table so it was easily overlooked. Perhaps that tells me something about the card...

Zombies!!! - 4
Ugh. I think we were completely dead ended after placing six tiles, and only one of the cards I drew was for a building in play. Everyone sent zombies my way early, but the dice were on my side and I racked up a bunch of kills. We ended the game once no one could match my total (barring the addition of new zombies). I doubt I'll ever play this again, and it's listed below the "n/a" rated games for a reason. I'm not even sure it deserves the 4 I gave it.
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86. Board Game: Cosmic Encounter [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:1679]
Tony Dehner
United States
Waterloo
Iowa
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I'd been wanting to play this game for a long time, and my wife and I got to play in a 4-player game of the Avalon Hill edition. I know this version is not well regarded among CE aficionados, but I liked it well enough to know that I want my own copy of the FFG edition.

Looking back and realizing this game is almost as old as I am, it's amazing how many of my favorite concepts come from this game: variable powers, imbalance, light negotiation and so on. It's easy to see the influence it's had on a lot of my favorite games. Cosmic Encounter is the Buddy Holly of boardgames.

Other new games I played this month were Honor of the Samurai and Who Stole Ed's Pants?, both of which were fun. The former especially was a nice surprise.
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87. Board Game: Carson City [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:233]
The root of all evil... but you can call me cookie.
United States
Gainesville
Florida
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July 31st and I got to play a couple new games that really made an impact on me.

Carson City is an amazing game. Plain and simply. Very well thought out and I enjoyed it immensely. Sure I like area majority, but I also like variable player actions, and I like games with a spacial element. So yeah this game's got 'em all. Love it. Giving this one a 9 rating after 1 play and hope to get myself a copy of before too long so I can get many more plays in!

I also got to finally play Tinners' Trail a game that was #1 on my want to play list. Ever since it was released it this game has intrigued me. A more simplified Wallace game with the time track that I love in other games. Well turns out I liked this one less than I anticipated I would. Now don't get me wrong it's a really good game and I'm excited to play it again. Just not what I was hoping for. Specifically I don't feel the time track really does much for me in this game. All actions are 1, 2 or 3 steps and such. It's a different take on the time track from games like Thebes and Red November you know? Still caused some tense moments which I dig but felt different and not quite what I like in a time track. This one is an initial 7 rating but I feel it will grow to a 8 with more plays as I think it's going to grow on me more.
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88. Board Game: Fields of Fire [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:965]
Brian Drabek
United States
Tulsa
Oklahoma
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Fields of Fire is looking to be my new favorite military solitaire game. It's a close fight between that and D-Day at Omaha Beach which is a ton easier to understand. I'm still working through the rules of Fields of Fire and I am having fun even stumbling my way through the game.

I only played two other games that were new to me in July, both of them pretty bad.

First off is Scrappers was very light and fast so I let it go at that. The people teaching it were just not very good teachers so I had to ask a lot of questions while we were playing. I felt it just OK.

Lastly, I finally had a chance to try out A Touch of Evil: The Supernatural Game. I was going to trade at least 3 games for this one plus the expansions because I love Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game so much. Boy am I glad that I had the chance to try it out. I was bored the whole time and though the components are phenomenal the game just sucks! I immediately went home and apologized to the potential trader who was very understanding. Whew! That was almost a really bad mistake.

Now, back to Fields of Fire...



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89. Board Game: Through the Desert [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:315]
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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Grad school and other life-related things have meant a decrease in gaming, so I didn't have any new games in April, May, and June.
But, I won TTD a few months ago as a prize from Thoughthammer, (after waiting for years for it to be reprinted) and I've been really wanting to try it out, so a few weeks ago I finally dug it out.

Best New Game:

Through the Desert 9/10
I knew this was a pretty abstract game so I tried it out with a buddy of mine who likes games like Go. This was an instant hit and I immediately wanted to try it again. I really enjoy the desert "theme" even if it doesn't have much to do with the gameplay; it still adds considerably to the experience for me. The whole "different players using same color camels but diff. riders" took some getting used, and is different in an enjoyable way. The first time I ever saw the pastel camels I was really turned off, but they've grown on me...

I won this when my Duke Blue Devils won the bball championship and I got 2nd in the Thoughthammer contest. Thanks Thoughthammer for adding such a gem to my collection!

A kind of new game

War! Age of Imperialism 7/10
Well this is a PC implementation of a boardgame that I hadn't played. It was a Secret Santa gift that I finally installed.
Pros:
-Reproduction of the beautiful board.
-Nice mix of economic and war strategies.
-Interesting investment mechanism.
-Natives make things more interesting too.
-Challenging AIs

Cons:
-A little dice-heavy in a Risky way.
-I don't like the memory mechanism of having to remember what natives are in which country; just leave them turned up after the first encounter. I could write it down but that's annoying too.
-Tech tree is confusing; You can't follow the linear lines, and the manual doesn't explain why (maybe the actual game rules explain this, but those didn't come with the PC game)
-I've already found a bug, the game broke when I tried to put an explorer with some soldiers in a region on turn 12.

But so far it's enjoyable, Thank You Secret Santa!

Both new games this month were gifts thanks to the generous boardgame community and industry, I feel really lucky...
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90. Board Game: Nanuk [Average Rating:6.28 Overall Rank:2455]
Pat Wilz
United States
Bay St. Louis
MS
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I found this backstage, an over-sized hat. It's funny!
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Games played for the first time this month:

Nanuk:

It's not bad for a large group version of Liar's Dice. I enjoyed both of my plays.

Brass:

I didn't enjoy Brass nearly as much as I thought I would, but I did enjoy it.
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91. Board Game: Caribbean [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:1908]
Arden Nelson Jr.
United States
Ohio
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Play = 1

Friend brought this to a local meetup and we quite literally punched it out and put it together before playing. It is a light game with great components and surprisingly good game play. I'd definitely pick up a copy if I found one at my FLGS on sale.


Roll Through the Ages = 5+ plays

So far I've played it on the iPod Touch mostly solitaire but once at church with one of the teens while two more looked on from time to time. I really like it. I also like that I can loan kids my iPod so that they can learn the game. I did end up buying the physical version and can't wait to try it at church now that I have a handful of people who know how to play it.


Samarkand: Routes to Riches = 2 plays

I played this once solo and once with three children including my nephew. For children this should be a little bit meatier of a game. I'm hoping to use it with the 4th through 6th graders this year.


Piece O' Cake = 4 plays

I enjoy this one. It is light. The one disadvantage is that the art work is so good that people often get hungry while playing this game. I saw a 5 year old win this game but I will admit that he's quite bright and I'm sure there was a bit of luck involved as well. The reaction seems to be that people enjoy but not love the game in my limited experience so far.


It was tough picking a new game of the month since honestly I like all three. I'm going to guess that Roll
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92. Board Game: Jacob Marley, Esq. [Average Rating:6.23 Overall Rank:5101]
Tim Mierz
United States
Middletown
Connecticut
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I only played one new game this month: Jacob Marley, Esquire. It may have been because I felt kind of sick that night, but I did not enjoy this at all. Fiddling with a couple numbers, hope someone else fiddles with your numbers, repeat for 90 minutes. Way too long and boring. Sort of like refined and ultra-extended TimeLine.

I also did design work on a new game, Interstellar Churro Stand, that I've played some playtest games of. Sort of On the Underground + Brass + Starfarers.
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93. Board Game: Dice Town [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:543]
Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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Dice Town



A fun little game that played quite well. Took a little while to get into the swing of it, bit once we were away it played very well.


Black Powder



Played an ACW battle. Not a bad system, almost as chaotiic as Warmaster. Good for social miniatures gaming.
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94. Board Game: Dragon's Gold [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:1162]
Rick Baptist
United States
Highland
California
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thumbsupthumbsup - This is a nasty, evil, cutthroat game of negotiation -- which makes it my favorite game of July! The threats that are laid out around the table in this one can be catastrophic for acquaintances, though, so unless you are playing with some friends that "leave it all at the table" I suggest you skip this one! But for those that enjoy a great time, definitely look it up. I'm sure it's OOP these days, but it deserves to be in print no doubt.


thumbsupthumbsup - It's no surprise that I like Web of Power since I really like China. The differences between both games are both great and small -- great for the changes in the way to score and how it completely changes the strategy, and small for the fact that almost everything else is the same. I choose China as my favorite just because I like the scoring better in it and it is also a nicer game to look at.


thumbsup - Tikal is a beautiful game and it is also quite thematic, which gives it a big thumb in my book. Fortunately, the fine folk that introduced me to it were not big into analysis paralysis, because this must be the game that spawned the concept. I actually do like the mechanics of it, but what would inspire a designer to give each player ten actions a turn?! Can't wait to play again.


thumbsup - Catan in space adds a lot of great ideas to the franchise, and the goober in this game is ULTRA cool. I seriously love the components and I really like the gameplay as well. The only downer is the time, especially when you add in the expansion. Still, I'd play again in a heartbeat.


thumbsup - I thought Himalaya was better than Robo Rally and for the life of me, I can't figure out how this thing never made it to the US. Cool theme and a fun game.


thumbsupthumbsdown - It's fun, and I love bluffing games, but perhaps it goes on a bit long for what it is. Still fun and still in for a few more plays.


thumbsupthumbsdown - This might be on the top of my list of "games I want to like and I'm trying as hard as I can to". After playing it quite wrong the first time due to the hideous rulebook, I tried it again this month and even with playing it right, I came away with an 'eh'. It's gorgeous and family-oriented and light-strategy -- all things I LOVE in my eurogames. But I can't help feeling that it could go on FOREVER, and the aggravation involved in trying to get your boats back is at times hideous. But I'll keep on trying ...


thumbsdown - I can see how this game would have been well received back in 2002, but nowadays, I get rubbed the wrong way with the "pick a card and hope for the best" kind of game (Munchkin, etc.) Not to mention there's player elimination, another no-no for me. Meh.
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95. Board Game: Eat Poop You Cat [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:434]
Jeff Wolfe
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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Zendo fan, Columbus Blue Jackets fan, Dominion Fan. These are 'permanent microbadges' to free up space on my microbadge row
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Only three new games in July. One of them was just the newest incarnation of the 10 Days series, so it was disqualified from consideration. I was disappointed that there wasn't more of an actual game to Eat Poop You Cat, but I had to give it the nod over an unremarkable trivia game.

10 Days in the Americas - Like the other games in the series, the object is to travel amongst cities over a 10 day trip. The innovation here is that you can connect ship tiles to each other (meaning you're going on a cruise). In the two games I played, the Caribbean was key.

The Best of Chronology - A trivia game in which cards in four categories contain events or milestones associated with a particular year. On a player's turn, an event is selected and the player must correctly place it in chronological order on their individual timeline. After a correct placement, a player can lock in their timeline and pass their turn, or press their luck and risk losing the cards gained this turn. Since most of the events are long past, the fact that the game is now 10 years old isn't really a big deal.

Eat Poop You Cat - An exercise in silliness, as if you couldn't tell from the title. Each player writes a sentence on a piece of paper and passes it to the left. The next player draws a picture based on the sentence. The player after that writes a sentence by looking only at the picture. The following player draws a new picture looking only at the second sentence. And so on. The process ends with a sentence. Compare the first and last sentences of each page and hilarity ensures. Really, it does. Clearly, this game is not for the humorless.
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96. Board Game: Nothing Gained But Glory [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:2036]
 
Thomas De Vogelaere
Belgium
Gent
Altijd Zin In Een Spelletje
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Too bad, I didn't play any new games this month
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97. Board Game: Kingsburg [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:197]
Ron Pfeiffer
United States
Surfside Beach
South Carolina
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My one and only "NEW TO ME" game for the month was this one, played with the group last Friday evening. It was OK! I would play it again. I already have the expansion which raters say improves the game. I accidentally bought it (the expansion) before I got the ORIGINAL so we will try it sometime soon.
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98. Board Game: Shadow Hunters [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:503]
Vicki Scheele
United States
California
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This was for me the best new game. I've never played anything like it before. I enjoyed the hunt!
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99. Board Game: The Resistance [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:84]
Ian Arbuckle
United States
Kennewick
Washington
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This last month has been all about introducing new players in our group to older stuff on my shelf, but I did manage to get a couple of new experiences in. The top one is:

The Resistance (15+ plays)

I got a playtest copy of Don Eskridge's fine little social deduction game from Indie Boards & Cards and it has hit the table more often than anything else in my collection over the last few months combined. It helps that games, even of 8-10 players, don't tend to run longer than 30 minutes or so; but it's also a testament to the high degree of player engagement and fun embedded in this dystopian Werewolf. Most of these games were using the included Plot Thickens variant which adds some extra wrinkles to the amount and availability of secret information each player holds. A solid game already, and there's still time between now and its Essen release to improve on the balance and scalability.

Colosseum (2 plays)

I indulged in the Tanga deal for Colosseum a couple weeks ago, and have gotten in a pair of 3-player games since then. I dig the structure of the game, and enjoy the advanced auction mechanism. It's probably not going to hit our table very often, though, because it has two qualities that my group tends to avoid:

1) Too many options, not enough time-- Agricola doesn't get a whole lot of attention for the same reason.

2) We're not very aggressive auction attendees. None of us. "Oh, you need that proscenium arch? Well, OK. I pass my bid, then."
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100. Board Game: Battles of Westeros [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:322]
Matt Mehlhoff
United States
Rosemount
Minnesota
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Rating: 9

Awesome game by FFG that is a part of the Battlelore series. Eliminates the Left Right Center command aspect of the other games which I feel is a huge plus. It also helps that it's based on Martin's universe.

If you like the other Battlelore games or you like Martin's universe pick this one up! I can't get enough of it!
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