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Your best gaming experience of the month and why April 11
Rob Bradley
United States
Belleville
Wisconsin
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Grimwold has has given us one of the most anticipated monthly lists on the Geek in his "New to You" Geeklist. I have read that Geeklist for a while now and recently I have started contributing to that list.

Contributing to that list has changed how I game a little bit. Now I seek out new games to play, instead of relying on the old standbys. I find that thinking about the Geeklist forces me to rate all new games I try and it even causes me to fill in my comments on each of those games, so I can use those comments on the Geeklist.

There is just one little thing that always bothered me a little bit, this one thing that I keep going over in my head almost every month. As I write up my contribution to the Geeklist, I find myself wanting to talk about a game that is NOT new to me. I yearn to let other geeks know about an old favorite we dusted off this month, or we are STILL playing that game that we thought would be stale by now, or a game you played this month in which you feel is underappreciated.

Here you can indulge us and tell us what game you had the most fun playing this month.

Thanks.
-Rob

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1. Board Game: Container [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:415]
Rob Bradley
United States
Belleville
Wisconsin
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April was a great month for me. I got a lot of boardgaming in; but the best experience of the month for me was a game of Container.

Every Tuesday night we play games at a pub. On this particular night the beer was flowing and we had an awesome game of container. Not only was the game play intense; the fingerpointing and hand wringing were in full effect. The victory of wining an auction the agony of the player to your left pricing his goods one dollar less than yours.

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2. Board Game: Telestrations [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:188]
Dan Edelen
United States
Mount Orab
Ohio
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I can get everyone to play this game, even my normally reluctant wife and mother-in-law! If that's not a fantabulous answer to the "why?" question, then I don't know what is.

Had a great time playing this when the in-laws came down. Had just gotten it a couple days before in a math trade. One of the best trades ever. (Traded away Race for the Galaxy, which was too fiddly and inscrutable for me.)
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3. Board Game: My First Carcassonne [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:934]
Mikko Saari
Finland
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April was a very, very active month, over 83 games played - almost three games a day! The highlight of the month was probably the 15 games of Kids of Carcassonne I played with my son, who finally realized this is a great game. We had played less than ten games before April, but now Kids of Carcassonne is on a quick run to the top of my most-played games list. Sure helps when a single game takes less than 10 minutes...

With adults, it's a tie between first two-player games of String Railway and couple of games of Samarkand: Routes to Riches with my mom and her partner - always a good game, that one.
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4. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:6]
Jeff Kayati
United States
Worthington
Ohio
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I traded for a copy of Agricola in the March CABS math trade, and I got in six plays in April. Before the trade, I'd not played a single game in about a year. I didn't hate Agricola, but it wasn't a game that I ever asked to play.

Having a copy to play got me interested again and playing on a regular basis improved my play quality. I finally broke 50 in a four player game, and in another game I won for the very first time.

So now I've got Agricola, Farmers of the Moor, The Goodies and The Gamers deck.

It was must have been my best gaming experience, because I got the expansions to enjoy it more.

Why? I think that some of the more complex games, you need to play several games and play them frequently to really appreciate what they have to offer.

Getting a copy of Agricola helped to do that.
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5. Board Game: Citadels [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:213]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Blott's Standard Disclaimer: I like to use this series of lists to talk about a game I played in the month that hasn't hit the table in awhile. It's not necessarily my best experience of the month, because I usually talk about those in the Most Played Games list. Consider this my "Dusted-Off" Game of the Month.

We have some friends (Ty & Jen) that are really getting into modern strategy games, so every time we game with them they want to learn something new. It was an easy decision for me to bring this classic with us, especially since we hadn't played it in a year and a half. And as luck would have it, even though I had a bag full of selections, this was the first game they requested.

Things did not go well for me. Put simply, I never guessed right, but everyone else did. So whenever I tried to stop someone by stealing from them or assassinating them, I would hit the player who was with me in last place, or I'd hit no one at all. Meanwhile I couldn't keep a decent pile of chips in front of me because they kept taking them. Rikki and Ty were both obviously racing to just get 7 districts, paying little attention to value.

Jen seemed to be spinning her wheels a lot. She didn't quite understand the interaction of the roles, so her choices were often counterproductive. Although, as a lucky side effect, no one was able to guess what role she took each round. As the game progressed it appeared obvious that Jen was trying to build the really big districts for big bonuses, but she rarely was able to save up the cash necessary.

I did my best to hold back Ty and Rikki by destroying districts with the Warlord. Unfortunately nothing was stopping them. On the same turn they both attained 7 districts, and in the final tally Rikki won by a mere 3 points. It was an extremely enjoyable game, and I've missed playing it. Ty even mentioned at the end of the night that Citadels was probably his favorite game we played. This one needs to hit the table more often. It is a classic that should not be forgotten.
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6. Board Game: Red November [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:1118]
Andy
United Kingdom
Stockport
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It had been a long time since I played this, in fact it's been so long that my wife had never played it before, and neither had 3 of the others with whom we were playing. Anyway, I was able to suggest it when we were looking for something for 6.

I actually died, about 1/3 of the way into the game, when I feinted in a room that then set on fire.. however I was able to take over from another player who had to leave early, and we eventually managed to be rescued.

It's good fun, but is an often overlooked game.

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7. Board Game: Battlestar Galactica [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:29]
Jason Lott
United States
Cheverly
Maryland
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April was a light gaming month for me - it really came down to an evening that was just Scott and I, and then another big day with friends. So that's the one I'll focus on.

We got together with one plan - to introduce Mike and Laura to BSG. Liz and Austin had played before. We opened the night with a quick game of Friday the 13th and then launched into the big kahuna. The Pegasus expansion seemed like it would be rough on new people, so we just made those characters available, but kept the rest out of play. The roles we chose:

Liz - Ellen
Austin - Starbuck
Mike - Dualla
Laura - Kat
Scott - Helo
Me - Roslin

Things started off really well - we made it to the halfway point with all the dials in the blue. Later we discovered this was because no one got a Cylon card at the start. Not quite as exciting, but good for introducing new players to how things go.

At that point Mike drew the sympathizer card, so he started working with the Cylons. The following turn Austin was forced to reveal himself as a Cylon due to a mix-up with an investigative committee card. He was a bit annoyed, but just became that much more determined to destroy the humans!

Things then got really, really tough. For some reason we drew every water and food crisis possible in a short span, so I as President lost most of my cards. That became a real problem when we knew for certain that Liz was the other Cylon - the rest of us couldn't muster enough cards to put her in the brig! So instead she remained in the fleet, sabotaging everything, and then the Cylons each launched a super-crisis. The second one took away our morale, and we lost - one jump short of a win.

It was a long game, but really a satisfying experience. I wish I could play this more. Is there a BSG Express version out there?
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8. Board Game: Haggis [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:437]
J. Jefferson
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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My best gaming experience of April was playing Haggis. I really like this game. I like trick-taking and climbing games, and this one works with 2 or 3 players--I don't know a lot of people who also like this type of game, so getting more than one other person to play is a rare event, and it is usually my wife who would rather be destroying me in Race for the Galaxy than playing some dry trick-taker.

But, one weekend in April we visited my wife's parents. Her mother is always up for a new game, and is always looking for new games to play with her many grandkids. She was a math teacher, and really is not afraid of a game where the strategy emerges after a few plays and requires some real thinking to make it work. I didn't realize it until we played, but this game may have been designed for her. She, my wife, and I played two games, back-to-back. Two things were great about these plays: 1) Usually I win trick taking games easily, mostly because opponents I find are not interested in the game and are playing it just because I begged. (Not because I am so good, I'm probably soso.) But I got whooped both times. 2) Something about the three-player game with two interested players made the game click for my wife, and now she is somewhat (just a little) more willing to play the game with me.

Though I lost twice, it was a win-win. My best gaming experience of April.
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9. Board Game: Chess [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:324]
John Newall
United States
Lehi
Utah
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My son (6) decided he wanted to learn how to play chess. He had saved up some money and saw a Mario set he wanted (my wife and I made up the difference since he had been saving so hard). He was excited and wanted to play it right away so I told him I wanted to teach him. Here is the conversation that ensued:-

Me - OK, Elijah let's get set up and I'll show you how to play buddy.

E - I want Mom to teach me.

Me - I am a better player than your Mom, so it'll probably be better if I do it.

E - Mom is so good at computers. (My wife is a VP of IT for a not for profit foundation.)

Me - But I can beat your Mom at chess consistently.

E - Yeah but remember that time my computer was broken and she fixed it....


Yeah I didn't know how to argue with that... Needless to say she taught him and we play quite a bit now. This was a really fun experience for me, my wife and my son.
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10. Board Game: Navegador [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:98]
:C.h.r.i.s. M.c.G.o.w.a.n:
United States
Arlington Heights
Illinois
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I had tried to play this game a few months back at a late hour of a game night at the FLGS and it was a disaster. One guy bailed 20 minutes into game play, we had an incorrect setup and the game just felt like torture - money was scarce since we did not start with any buildings - OUCH!!!. This is a rare occurence at our group.

I watched this game hit the table a 1/2 dozen times over the next few months and heard good things from a variety of people playing. So when the opportunity to play this one presented itself I put aside the bad taste of the first play and listened to the rules explanation and off we went. It was a very pleasant 75 minutes of game play and my "gut feelings" led to a win via tiebreaker, even though I honestly did not understand all of the end game scoring at the time. Will I get another play in? I hope so.
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11. Board Game: Blue Moon City [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:357]
Runcible Spoon
United States
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My best experience last month was discovering and playing Seeland which my wife and I both love and logged ten plays of last month (that is a lot for us for a single game in a single month). But I won't describe that further here because I put in another thread.

My best experience with an older favorite was playing Blue Moon City + Blue Moon City: Expansion Tile Sets 1 & 2 with my wife. She pretty much mopped the floor with me using some dastardly cube placements and some well timed contributions. It was long enough ago that I don't really remember anything in particular that she did so I have to apologize that I can't offer any interesting strategy anecdotes but for me it qualifies as my best game experience with a 'not new to me' game.
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