Hooah! Attack on my unplayed in 2011 (#230, Jambo Expansion 2, most recent.)
Dea Draper
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My challenge for 2011 is to play 100 of my unplayed games (on my shelves prior to Jan. 1, 2011).
--and now, additionally, trying to keep up with purchases.

6-30-11 6 months & Goal reached!!!
I can't be too obnoxiously happy since this achievement is meaningless unless I also play an additional number equal to this year's new purchases ! Yikes.

But overall I failed: End of 2011: Out of 1427 owned games, 357 un-played, roughly 25%. Only improved my situation by 11 games after including new purchases this year. That's deflating, and scary.

Let's try again: Hooah! Attack on my unplayed in 2012

I wish to reduce the number of un-played games that I own. (I keep playing the newly arriving games, and snubbing the older ones.)

My goal is 100. That is only two a week. Totally obtainable. Of course, I will still be playing other new games that show their alluring faces during the year, either owned by others or acquired by me, and playing old favorites as well.

Below is a list of some of my un-played games owned to prior to 2011. I list them according to number of players, because that is how I arrange them on my shelves.

I will enter them as they are played, with a rating and notations designed for my own purposes. Most of my ratings are based on multiple plays.

4-12 Player Games:
Linq 2-27-11 #28

3-8 Player Games:
Fabula 3-18-11 #46

3-7 Player Games:
Nottingham 6-28-11 #143
Wits & Wagers Expansion Pack 1 12-3-11 #219

3-6 Player Games:
David & Goliath 5-10-11 #93
Time Pirates
Fist of Dragonstones 3-11-11 #39
Pizarro & Co.
Elfenwizards
Ziegen Kriegen 5-13-11 #98
Eketorp
The Big Idea: More Cards! (Exp)
The Settlers of Catan: The Great River 6-14-11 #133
Bootleggers
Small World: Necromancer Island 3-25-11 #51
Dragon's Gold 5-30-11 #119

3-5 Player Games
Hab & Gut 1/18/11 #14
Batavia
Perikles
Nostra City 5-14-11 #100
Greed
Tulipmania 1637 6-6-11 #126
Bull in a China Shop 5-8-11 #90
Cash-a-Catch
Valdora
Serengeti 5-11-11 #95
Maya 5-12-11 #97
Ad Astra 8-2-11 #167
Eschnapur 4-9-11 #65
Giants 1-11-11 #9
Tammany Hall 3-26-11 #53

3-4 Player Games
Sylla
Doge
New England
A la carte: Die Beilage 10-31-11 #212
Krieg und Frieden
Catan Geographies: Germany 6-7-11 #127
Intrigo 5-11-11 #94
A la carte 10-31-11 #211
Basari 3-6-11 #35
Lost Valley
The Bridges of Shangri-La 5-20-11 #105
Giganten 9-20-11 #194

2-10 Player Games:
Leader 1 6-9-11 #129
Formula D Circuits 1: Sebring & Chicago 10-16-11-11 #207

2-9 Player Games:
Breaking Away 6-9-11 #128

2-6 Player Games
Mecanisburg
Jamica 2-10-11 #25
Formidable Foes
Vineta 1/29/11 #21
Top Race 6-10-11 #130
Little Italy 1-25-11 #19
Elfengold 1-28-11 #20
Shark
Hare & Tortoise 1/17/11 #13
KakerLakenPoker 4-25-11 #80
Power Grid: Russia & Japan 4/19/11 #72
Imperial 2030 6-26-11 #140
Alhambra: The Thief's Turn (expansion #3) 2-8-11 #24
Family Business 6-30-11 #149
Iliad 5-9-11 #91
Elfengold (expansion to Elfenland)
Condottiere 4-27-11 #83
Extinction 6-27-11 #141
Genji 3-7-11 #36
Small World Community's Compendium I 3-27-11 #57
Steam Barons 3-26-11 #60

2-5 Player Games
It's Alive
King of the Beasts (AKA Queen of the Cupcakes) 5-21-11 #109
Trias
Carcassonne Hunters and Gatherers
Augsburg 1520
Leonardo Da Vinci
Sneaks & Snitches 5-15-11 #103
Carson City
Fresh Fish 5-21-11 #107
Navegador 9-18-11 #186
La Citta
Heads of State 10-2-11 #198
Tribune
Ticket to Ride: Marklin Edition 3-1-11 #31
Ticket to Ride: Europa 1912
Lungarno 5-31-11 #122
New World
It Happens.. 4-18-11 #71
Cheesy Gonzola 4-22-11 #78
Alchemist 5-10-11 #92
Carcassonne The Discovery
Comuni
Prophecy: Dragon Realm Expansion 6-5-11 #124
Phoenicia
Masters of Venice
Emerald 1-24-11 #17
Oltre Mare
Gangster
Fish Eat Fish 4-2-11 #61
Management Material: Information Technology Edition 5-30-11 #118
Machu Picchu
Risk 2010 AD
Charon, Inc. 3-1-11 #30
Nefertiti Expansion
Zooloretto Expansions
Samarkand: Routes to Riches
Small World: Be Not Afraid... 3-26-11 #52

2-4 Player Games
Royal Palace
Shipyard
A La Carte 10/31/11 #211
Amyitis
Kreta
Hansa
Pocket Rockets 5/12/11 #96
Java 1/9/11 #8
Make 'n' Break 8-5-11 #169
Make 'n' Break Extreme 8-5-11 #170
War of the Roses
Mesopotamia
Anno 1503
Castle Merchants
Carolus Magnus
Micro-Mutants Evolution 6-6-11 #125
Municipium
Vasco de Gama 2-22-11 #27
Aquaduct
Before the Wind
Carcassonne: The City 6-29-11 #147
Caribbean 4-8-11 #64
Fowl Play
RailRoad Dice: The First Rails 3-16-11 #44
RailRoad Dice 2 3-14-11 #42
RailRoad Dice Germany 3-17-11 #45
Thurn & Taxis: All Roads Lead to Rome
Krakow 1325 AD
Krysis
Real Dumb Laws 5-21-11 #108
Corsari 4-29-11 #85
Entdecker
Guatemala Cafe 6-15-11 #135
Jerusalem
Agora 4-25-11 #81
Opera
Tobago
Diamonds club

2-3 Player Games
Ticket to Ride Nordic countries 2-7-11 #22

2 Player Games
Court of the Medici 1-20-11 #15
Khet 3D: Tower of Kadesh Expansion 2-18-11 #26
Toscana 9-20-11 #191
Waterloo
Builders of the Earth: Builders Duel 4-10-11 #66
Black Box+ 9-26-11 #197
Mr. Jack Expansion 1-24-11 #16
Blue Moon Expansion: The Aqua 3-21-11 #48
Jambo Expansions 12-24-11 #229 & #230
Blue Moon Expansion: The Terrah 3-21-11 #49
Easter Island 6-27-11 #142
Kamisado
Jambo Expansion 12-24-11 #229
Jambo Expansion 2 12-24-11 #230

1-12 Player Games
Tribal Dice 5/7/11 #89

1-6 Player Games
Race for the Galaxy: The Brink of War 5-29-11 #117

1-4 Player Games
Rallyman 1/16/11 #12
Roadzters 1-24-11 #18
FITS Expansion #2: LOTS: Letters On The Spaces 5-22-11 #110
FITS Expansion #3: BOTS: Big Obnoxious Terrible Spaces 5-22-11 #111

Solitaire Games
Doctor Who: Solitaire Story Game
Freecell 5-13-11 #99

Children's Games
Die Siedler von Catan Junior 1/13/11 #10
Insel der Schmuggler (AKA Smuggler's Island) 3-20-11 #47
Pyramidos 4-20-11 #74
Chicken Cha Cha 4-21-11 #76
Duckling Dancin' 4-21-11 #77
Hisss 3-27-11 #55
Giro Galoppo 6-28-11 #144
Pirate's Treasure 6-28-11 #145
Gulo Gulo 6-30-11 #148
Symmetrix
Alphabet Game 3-27-11 #56
Collect the Chicks
Leaping Lizards 4-10-11 #67
Maisy Game 3-31-11 #59


Games & Expansions played for the first time in 2011:

Owned prior to 2011 (My goal is 100)
Jan- 18
Feb- 6
March- 20
April- 15
May- 23
June- 18
July- 0
Aug- 3
Sept- 3
Oct- 4
Nov- 0
Dec- 3

Grand Total Toward Goal: 113

Acquired & played during 2011 (Became meaningful only after the first goal of 100 accomplished):
Jan- 1
Feb- 2
March- 9
April-12
May- 11
June- 6
July- 11
Aug- 6
Sept- 10
Oct- 10
Nov- 2
Dec- 3

(186 inclds 63 exp=89 hole)

Non-owned played for the first time:
Jan- 2
Feb- 0
March- 2
April- 0
May- 1
June- 3
July- 4
Aug- 3
Sept- 8
Oct- 2
Nov- 3
Dec- 6

Totals for all Games played for the first time (Count is just for curiosity):
Jan- 21
Feb- 8
March- 31
April- 27
May- 35
June- 27
July- 15
Aug- 12
Sept- 21
Oct- 16
Nov- 5
Dec- 12

Grand Total of ALL games & expansions played for the first time in 2011: 230


My favorites so far:
Factory Fun, Hab & Gut, Charon, Rattus: Pied Piper (favorite expansion), Asara, Merkator, Resident Evil, Curious George: Discovery Beach Game (Child's game), Pastiche, Breaking Away (My Favorite), Yggdrasil, Cargo Noir, Troyes, Black Gold, Crows, Glory to Rome, Star Trek: Deck Building Game, 51st State, Dixit Odyssey, Ninjato, Navegador, The Adventurers: The Pyramids of Horus,

I also Enjoy a Lot: It Happens, Tammany Hall, Sticky fingers, Pocket Rockets, Abandon Ship, Top Race, Smuggler's Island (Child's game), Heads of State, Sobek, A La Carte, Innovation,

Favorites of my Gaming Friends (input from around 50 throughout the year):
Hab & Gut, Asara, Nightfall (Biggest Hit), Charon, Merkator, Puzzle Strike, Pastiche, Yggdrasil (2nd Biggest Hit), Cargo Noir, Quarriors!, Glory to Rome, The Adventurers: The Pyramid of Horus,51st State, A La Carte,
Also enjoyed, but eventually has seen less table action: Tammany Hall, Langfinger (AKA Sticky Fingers), It happens..., Dixit Odyssey,


New 2011 games played & commented (but don't count toward goal):
Prolix #6, New Factory Fun #7, Dragonheart #11, Merchants & Marauders #23, Ascension: Rat King Promo #29, Ticket to Ride: Alvin & Dexter #32, Biblios #33, Rattus: Pied Piper #34, Luna #37, Merkator $38, Asara #40, Khet 2 #41, Nightfall #43, Puzzle Strike #50, 7 Wonders: Manneken Pis Promo #54, Small World Community's Compendium II #58, Mansions of Madness #62, Resident Evil #63, ZBall Hi-Grip #68, Trollhalla #69, Langfinger #70,Pastiche #73,Mystery Garden #75,Al Cabohne #79,Curious George: Discovery Beach Game #82, Resident Evil Deck Building Game: Alliance #84, 11 Nimmt! #86, Resident Evil Deck Building Game: Chris Redfield & Jill Valentine Promo #87, Button Men #88, Ark #101, Ark Extra Mix #102, Earth Reborn #104, Innovation #106,Nightfall: Zombie Horde Promo #112, The Mines of Zavandor #113, Cargo Noir #114,Im Wassergarten #115, Mad Zeppelin #116, Abandon Ship #120, King Maker #121, Rory's Story Cubes #123, Savannah Cafe #131, Catan Dice Game #132, Win, Place & Show #134, Yggdrasil #136, Bzz Out #137, You're Bugging Me! #138, Cookie Shapes #139, Haggis #146, Nuts! #150, The resistance #151, Small World Underground #152, Hide & Seek Safari #153, Civilization #154, Advanced Civilization #155, Star Wars: Epic Duels #156, Ascension: Return of the Fallen - Kythis, the Gatekeeper Promo #157, Ascension: Return of the Fallen #158, Red Dragon Inn 3 #159, 7 Wonders: Leaders #160, Fladderadatsch #161, Dice Town: The Indians #162, Dice Town Extension #163, Quarriors #164, Nightfall: Shadow Seven Promo #165, Nightfall: Lisaveta Florescu Promo #166, World of Warcraft Trading Card Game #168, Seven Dragons #171, Nightfall: Martial Law #172,Olympos #173, Ascending Empires #174, Rattus: Jester Promo Card #175, Catan: Seafarers #176, Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer - Leprechaun and Pot of Gold Promos #177, Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer - Deep Drone Promo #178, Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer - Journeyman Sage Promo #179, Junta: Viva el Presidente! #180, High Frontier #181, Eleminis #182, Top Ten: The Bill of Rights #183, Alien Frontiers #184, Alien Frontiers: The Mind Control Helmet #185, Troyes #187, Glory to Rome #188, Qwirkle #189, Crows #190, Hive: The Ladybug #192, Black Gold #193, Bloodsuckers #195, Innovation: Echoes of the Past #196,Food Fight #199, The Adventurers: The Pyramid of Horus #200,Star Trek Deck Building Game #201, The Secret of Monte Cristo #202, Godzilla Stomp! #203, Sobek #204,Discworld: Ankh-Morpork #205, Ponte del Diavolo #206, Artus #208, Battlestar Galactica: Exodus Expansion #209, 51st State #210, A La Carte: Dessert #213, Dixit Odyssey: "Bunny" promo card #214, Dixit Odyssey #215, Frag #216, Sutakku #217, Sentinels of the Multiverse #218, Railways of England and Wales #220, The Target #221, Arcana #222, Super Dungeon Explore #223, Blood Bowl: Team Manager - The Card Game #224,Ninjato #225,Quest: A Time of Heroes; Attack of the Orcs #226, Dungeons & Dragons: Conquest of Nerath Board Game #227, A Few Acres of Snow #228,
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1. Board Game: Keltis: Das Orakel [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:1435]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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1/1/11 (First un-played, now-played, game of the new year.)

My rating: 7

What a nice surprise. I thought it would be a superficial game, which it is not. More strategy than I suspected. Many hard choices. Different avenues to winning.
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2. Board Game: Nertz [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:3429]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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1/3/11

My Rating: 6

Reminds me a lot of Dutch Blitz, also Double Solitaire but with up to 4 players. Really don't care for speed games, although used to play them by hours as a kid. It is another one of those games my non-gaming family will play.
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3. Board Game: Kingdoms [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:821]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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1/4/11

My rating: 6

Still on Christmas holidays with some of my family, and this is another Reiner Knizia family game with simple rules and enough strategy to keep me interested. I am also drawn to tile games, of which this is one.

I have resisted playing this game for several years because I did not, do not, like the graphics. Glad I finally brought it out because it is a fairly short and reasonably fast game that some of my family will play.

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4. Board Game: Jin Li [Average Rating:6.48 Unranked]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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1/4/11

My rating: 5.8

I didn't bring many two player games to our out-of-state family christmas. Wish I had brought more, because, even though this is an addictive, 10 minute game with easy rules, unfortunately, if both players are strategy equals, the player who goes first wins--unless the player makes a mistake. I would rate it higher if there were a greater chance of the 2nd player winning.
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5. Board Game: Royal-er Game of Ur [Average Rating:3.50 Unranked]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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1-5-11

My rating: 2

This is horrible. Still out of state till the weekend (4 days away), and so positively game deficient, grasping at straws.

Played this ancient dice game on a modified chess board using checker pieces. Extremely repetitive. A race game somewhat similar to Parcheesi. I don't think that even a child could entice me into play again. (The "2" is probably too high a rating).

I can't wait to get to some of my un-played, "real" games--specifically, some of the games on my list above.

(At least this past week have also been able to replay some favorites-- 7 Wonders, Lords of Vegas, Billabong, Bausack, Poker, & Ricochet Robots.)
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6. Board Game: Prolix [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:2841]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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1/8/11 (New during 2011. Also doesn't count towards my goal because I don't own it.)

My rating: 5

A speed, party word game. No chance of brain burning here since a timer is provided and another player can preempt you on your turn with a word they see.

This game deserves better than the 5 I give it--it is just that it can get so chaotic, especially with 4-5 players--just am not attracted to this genre of game. (The other players liked it a lot.)

A well-adjusted game for different numbers of players.
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7. Board Game: Factory Fun [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:563]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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1-8-11 (New 2011 version of a game I have already played.)

My Rating: 10

The original version is in my top 10 (out of 1800 games), and so is this new version.

Not really any difference in play, but certainly some improvements:

*First of all plays up to 5 now, not 4. (Buy 2 boxes, and can play up to 10.)
*It includes the criss-cross expansion.
*a minor rule change.
*More attractive.
*2-sided boards, each with a unique expert side. (As before, the standard side is also unique.)
*Connectors are now tiles which are easier to handle, and if the board gets bumped, more easily returned to original configuration.
*Construction costs at bottom of the board.
*New scoring counters makes scoring faster and easier, and they are less likely lost.

More components than the insert is made for.
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8. Board Game: Java [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:479]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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1/9/11 (The first one actually on the list)

My Rating: 7


This game reminds me most of Taluva.

This is the last of the Mask Trilogy games to play--liked them all (Mexica & Tikal). All are strategy, tile laying games.

This one, Java, I think has more avenues for strategy in which case 4 players makes it too long a game if players brain-burn. (2 hrs plus, with down time I object to. You can plan your moves, but the player before you can dramatically change your plans.)

The setup for Java is a little fiddly.

Festival mechanic is interesting--a face up card determines the suitable cards to win the auction. If you don't have any any of this card's symbol in your hand you must (for an action pt.) pick that card up in hopes the next card will fit your hand. Since action pts are limited, and the festival also costs an aciton pt, there might not be enough A.P.s to then hold the festival.

The level of the occupied terrain determines who has rank. My board is warped and sometimes this creates some confusion.

The rules are all in black & white and I think if it were in color, another confusion over a major rule would have been resolved much faster.

The cards & board are beautiful.
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9. Board Game: Giants [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:602]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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1-11-11

My Rating: 7

Rules revisions on BGG; also when hats & player markers don't fit the heads of the Maoi, BGG has instructions for molding with heat to fit.

We all had different strategies to play. The game can end very quickly, just when some players are gearing up to make some points. 60 mins is a close estimate. Rules are easy to grasp. Components unique and board is attractive. The game is accurately and heavily thematic.

I played with a full 5 people and don't think the game would be nearly as much fun with less. All voted to play with the bases turned up.

I dislike player screens, and like most, these easily fall over, especially since you have to flag your screen upon passing. I will provide bowls where players can put their pieces, which they will still keep behind their screen.

We are all looking forward to testing several strategies.
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10. Board Game: Die Siedler von Catan: Junior [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:3267]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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1/13/11

My Rating: 8

Rating based on my interest playing with children of the appropriate age, in this case age 6+.

This Klaus Teuber game is in German only. Rules in English are here on BGG. There are also a few cards in German, but there are only essentially 3 kinds and they include descriptive pictures so they are easily understood. This game has been out for sometime, and with the popularity of the Catan games, I wonder why this game has not been published in many languages since it is one of the nicest games I have played that is made specifically for children. I am just very pleased with it.

Components are lighter weight molded plastic than I would like, but very nice design. Graphics & colors on the board and cards are okay.

It is the play where this game shines. Play is similar to the regular Catan game, but modified so that it moves quickly and is of course, a little less complicated. Thea pirate theme makes the game more attractive & interesting to children, and it is carried out very well, featuring ships & pirate strongholds/warehouses. For instance, the players are pirates who sail from location to location instead of building roads.

Had a hard time finding this game but glad I went to the effort.
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11. Board Game: Dragonheart [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:961]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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1/14/2011 (Bought summer of 2010, but just arrived, so doesn't count towards my 100)

My Rating: 6.5

Gorgeous, beautiful board--and it is what I expect from the artist Michael Menzel, one of my favorite board game artists. I collect his illustrated games, even if the play is rated as just so-so here on BGG. But this is another 2-player Kosmos card game I am happy to have, and not just for the artwork.

Rudiger Dorn authored the game.

Even though this game has some strategy it is light, and its non-combative nature, attractiveness, 8+ ages, and short play time (20-30 mins) strengthens its value as a family game.

Edit: I see the rating has gone up a little. Good. I enjoy it.
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12. Board Game: Rallyman [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:500]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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1/16/2011

My Rating: 7

I read a lot about this game and asked a friend to send it from Essen 2010. At this time, is not distributed in the USA. Rulebook includes English, so I am sure is just a matter of time. Glad I requested it before seeing the box, which does not have shelf appeal for me (looks better in this picture than in hand).

Awesome race game that features less luck and more control than Formula D, even though still controlled by dice. You can use a stronger luck element, but that is your choice.

The winner is not necessarily the first to cross the finish line, but the one who does it in the shortest time, and this is not clear until the end of the game which consists of three stages.

A driver can be aggressive or conservative, take chances, modify his tires for varying weather conditions, and try to inhibit the other drivers. There is no direct confrontation--you can wipe out, but you can't hit others.

Components: Rulebook is well-written, well-illustrated, and easy rules are only 6 pages. Components are nice. The 4 boards are double-sided (one side asphalt, the other snow), & according to something I read, can be configured 600 ways. There are a lot of nice, little touches such as the positioning of cars in a skid around corners and tokens that are notched for stacking.

There is an advanced game, and a variant; can also play solo.

There is a circuit generator on a French website, but my Windows 7 Media Player wouldn't allow use, possibly because of the language?

Only 4 players, so the game is fast. With the special Essen car, I have 6 cars (5 included with the game), but I don't think there are enough cards to play more than 4 in a long race, and parts of the track might get too congested. Still would like to at least try playing with more.
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13. Board Game: Hare & Tortoise [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:822]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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1/17/2011

My rating: 5

On Bruno Faidutti's Best Games List.

This game has been on my shelf for years. I never noticed the box said 12+ years, so had assumed it was a little kid's game.

It's a math-based, race game and even though a chart is included, some players just brain burn. It is not hard but the board positions change with every turn which changes your plans.

I thought it too repetitive and one dimensional.

Players are trying to get rid of lettuce and arrive at the finish line with the correct amount of carrots--a balancing act. The first game I had way too many carrots and lettuce, and the second game I did it just right.

I would play again with older children, but hope they out grow it quickly.
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14. Board Game: Hab & Gut [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:674]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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1/18/2011

My Rating: 8

A commodities game. The board doesn't look very interesting, but this is a short little game (45 mins./8 uncomplicated turns) with good mechanics. Rules are easy, but strategy and some very hard choices lends depth. Setup is also fast & easy. Components nice & includes card holders.

there is an interesting mechanic where each set of cards is available to two adjacent players, so that each player shares cards with the person on the right and the left. So here enters a lot of hard choices considering which cards to play first. some memory of what others purchased is helpful.

Donations to charity are expected and at game end, he who donated the least automatically loses. The person left who made the most money wins. So, did you give a lot more to charity than needed, and that lost the game for you? Did you play cards that hurt your opponent but not enough that helped you? Did you buy low & did the market advance or did it fall?

When I played with 3 the market fluctuated wildly. When I played with 4, the market overall reflected a steady rise with blips, just like the real market over time. However, since at the end of round 1 (of 2 rounds) all the market fluctuation cards are reshuffled, it is more difficult to predict where the market will end, then if the used cards were not reshuffled (which I think is a good rule).

Really looking forward to playing this one more.
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15. Board Game: Court of the Medici [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:1503]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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1-20-2011

My Rating: 5

Beautiful artwork by Richard James for this 2-player card game that plays in half an hour or less.

Send nobles to court, build alliances, and conspire. I thought it rather clever that a Lady-in-waiting can break apart an alliance. I am a card player, but the game just didn't grab me.
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16. Board Game: Mr. Jack Extension [Average Rating:7.27 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.27 Unranked]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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1-24-11

My rating: 7.4

The expansion gives 5 new characters that add variety to this 2-player game of deduction. The game plays in half an hour or less, and it is very r-eplayable, so increased variety and combinations of characters, I find a nice addition. The expansion does not increase the time nor the complexity of the game.

In the base game, I think the policeman has an edge to winning, and some of the new characters with their increased movement, can give Mr. Jack a better chance to escape. Therefore I believe the expansion is an improvement. I rated the base game a 7.

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17. Board Game: Emerald [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:1640]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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1/24/11

My rating: 6

The box says 10+ but I think an 8 year old wouldn't have any trouble, and it is a good family game. Knights move & pickup gold or gems and the dragon tries to catch them. The movement incorporates some medium-lightweight strategy.

The game is very attractive, components nice.

Although we did play this in our gaming group tonight, this is not really a game I will chose for them again--it is one I will bring out with younger family members, and will enjoy playing with them, very much.
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18. Board Game: RoadZters [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:2396]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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1-24-2011

My Rating: 5

I like this better than Pitch Car because it is less expensive, much easier to assemble (especially the rails), stays together better during play, takes up less room on the shelf, and weighs a whole lot less. Also English can be used to control the weighted ball, and the flexible rails can be bent to become obstacles is very unique & certainly ads interesting creativity to the game. I am pleased with the design of both games.

I first purchased Bisikle and then sold Pitch Car. Next I purchased Roadzters because all the parts are interchangable, and because the back-end ramps on the cars sounded intriguing. The ramps, however, are hard to use and rarely result in a successful ball jump which is their purpose.

In Roadzters, there are examples of track designs, but for some of elevated & more curvy designs, there are not enough posts or rails provided. If you are going to buy extra rails, posts, jumps, etc., for either of the games (Roadzters & Bisikle), you might consider buying both games instead, because as mentioned, all parts are completely interchangeable. (Especially if you are playing with younger family members, I suggest extra rails which you can purchase separately, otherwise control of the ball is too frustrating.) Since the game plays up to four, and not eight like Pitch Car, you could race bikes & cars together for eight players.

There are a lot of people with whom I game, who like this type of dexterity racing game, but I don't really appreciate it as they do. I let them bring it out, I don't suggest it.
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19. Board Game: Little Italy [Average Rating:5.71 Overall Rank:6887]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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1-25-11

My Rating: 5

Stays in the tradition of Reiner Knizia's med-light strategy, easy rules, short (this one is 30 mins or less), family games at an economical price. I like some of his other games in this category much better (Money, Bucket Brigade, FITS, Lost Cities, Pickomino, Dragon Parade, High Society, etc.)

Strategy comes with the ability to move an opponent's car or one of your two cars. In a 4-6 player game you share control of 2 cars with adjacent players right & left, and still have the ability to move the other cars.

The light-weight cardboard frames were not punched very well & had some difficulty removing the components.

This is another game I will keep in the closet for non-gamers. It is a little too simplistic without any thing clever or new enough, for my gaming groups which is sad because I was hoping for another good, 6-player game.
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20. Board Game: Elfengold [Average Rating:6.05 Overall Rank:6742]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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1-28-11

My rating: 5

I went to a little trouble to get this sought after game. I first, mistakenly purchased the 1999 version of Elfengold (an expansion to Elfenland) at an inflated price, thinking it was this stand alone game about Elves mining gold. Both are different themes and play, but have the same name and are by Alan Moon.

The wood components in this version are very nice, as are the plastic shovels & picks, and the board reminds me Aladdin's Dragons which is not surprising since it is the same artist.

Old games are sort of like old movies, I think they are going to be great and then I am disappointed, as is the case here, because I usually appreciate more the current trends and advancements that have developed.

I found the bluffing aspect could be cagey and certainly there is some strategy in movement, but it was the same thing over and over from start to finish.

Selling
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21. Board Game: Vineta [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:2127]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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1-29-2011

My rating: 6.8

The "Atlantis sinking" type game is not an uncommon theme, but I like the way this one is constructed. Nine districts on an island of which, eight the Gods will sink. You are a god secretly trying to preserve one district and one color of house.

Vineta is a game of deduction with bluffing and multiple opportunities for strategy. It requires judicious playing and hording cards.

There are eight rounds with three turns each, and a unique way of keeping track with a 2-part turn order token.

Love the look of the game--the board & components. It is in a nice small box that easily fits on the shelf and transports. The easy rules are well written & Illustrated, and includes a nice reference sheet, which I laminated. However, the reference sheet is quickly put aside because the card actions are graphically depicted, and easily interpreted.

It lasts 30-60 mins depending on the number of people. Three players is okay, but 4-6 is better because there is more a tug of war for which district sinks.

Would be nice to have a scoring track for the scoring--not necessary, but I always like a graphic picture of how everyone finishes-especially if 6 are playing.
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22. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries [Average Rating:7.68 Overall Rank:82]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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2-7-11

My rating: 7

Since this version of Ticket to Ride plays only 2-3 players I thought it would be better suited to 2 players than the others that play 2-5. However with only two players the game felt too open, with not enough competition. We never once were able to cut the other off with any significance.

It is a beautiful game, and still a useful gateway game even if there are only 2 players. Since I have other Ticket to Rides, I could do without this one. It is nice for the geography because I not as familiar as I would like to be with the cities and their approximate locations.
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23. Board Game: Merchants & Marauders [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:137]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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2-8-11 (purchased this year so doesn't count toward my goal)

My rating:6

The theme is carried out exceedingly well and pleasingly accurate. For instance, combat is complicated but unique, involving maneuvering of the ships, combat shots, boarding followed by crew combat. The combats are dice driven, as well as many other areas of the game, so if the dice are against you, even though there is strategy.......

Components: Excellent plastic ships and large, two-sided player aids (rules says 2 included, but my box had 4). Massive text on cards. Good player boards and very large treasure chests. The rules are well written and not difficult (battle being the most complicated), but it took me hours to go over the rules because there are so many facets to remember, and forgetting one thing could greatly change the play of the game. Once play started, I was pleased how everything fell into place.

You can modify ships in numerous ways, upgrade to bigger ships, repair ships, move on the sea or into ports, modify combat, go on missions, prove rumors, buy and sell goods, increase your crew, add specialists, attack or raid, place gold in a safe treasure chest, and more--hence the extended rule reading.

Because conflicts enhance the game, playing with the full 4 players is more alluring to me, because engagements increase. There are several avenues to gaining Glory Points and winning the game, one of which is through combat, but if only rare or occasional combat occurs, the game seems rather bland. The game has some built in potential conflict through non-player pirates and navies, that are moved around the board in a unique way. So even if players don't attack, limited battles should occur anyway, especially as the game progresses and the number of non-player ships enter the board.

This is the most satisfying pirate game I have played. The reason I didn't give it higher than a 6, is because this is a heavy game that I will have to spend an hour or more reviewing the rules before each play or play it often, either of which is hard to do with a game that then lasts 3 hours and needs four to play well.
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24. Board Game: Alhambra: The Thief's Turn [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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2-8-11

My rating: 6.5

I love the Alhambra expansions because there are 4 to every box, but they are always short and easy (rules a paragraph or so long), don't noticeably extend play time, are combinable with other expansions, and changes play just enough to keep the "new" feeling of the game. The combinations of expansions are endless.

This one introduces thieves who can steal money from the board, coins that give change (sort of), cards that create immediate & obligatory placement of walls, and merchants of matching building colors who award extra points. All these four can be easily combined.
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25. Board Game: Jamaica [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:370]
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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2-10-11

My rating: 6.2

This is a stupid little pick up & race game, that for who knows what reason I enjoyed. It is too simple for my gaming groups, and probably too repetitive, and too dicey. I shouldn't like it, but I do. I will keep this on hand for children, and adults wanting some simple games.

I admit I was predisposed to liking it because I was attracted to the colors & graphics pictured and as I unpacked it I was very pleased to see great looking components that fit very nicely into a well designed insert (no need to bag here). The simple rules are laid out in a colorful poster format. Took 10 mins to read, and only a few minutes to set up.

It is a simple race where pirates pick up loot, have to pay out some gold & food now & then, and battle a little too, and then return to port in a circular route--the one with the most gold wins. The box says 45 mins, but can be played faster than that with 3 people. I like it with more people (5 is best, 6 makes it a little too long for what it is) because there is more combat for what is in a ship's hold (Battle is short & easy). Pirates in the lead tend to collect all the treasures, so if those in the rear must catch them to wrestle the treasures away. Combat fits well into the theme because this is a raucous group of Henry Morgan's undisciplined pirates who race their ships, and being criminals, they do anything the drunken sots like to win the race.
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