$10.00
New to you a year ago Jun 11 => Has it stood the test of time?
Martin G
United Kingdom
Bristol
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Grimwold's new-to-you geeklists are the highlight of my month on the 'geek. They motivate me to review the new games I've played (and recycle my entries as comments), and they allow me to read the thoughts of some of the most insightful 'geeks on new and classic games.

But the new-to-me list is inevitably full of first impressions. I'm interested in hearing how those games that seemed so great at the time stood up to multiple plays. Did you actually play them that much after the first month? Did a game you dismissed at the time turn out to be better in retrospect?

Add an entry with the same game you chose for the New to you Jun 10 geeklist. Link to your entry in that geeklist, then write down your thoughts on the game you chose a year on. If your impression of some of the other games you wrote up that month have changed, let us know about that too.

The big game that month was Age of Industry - has it stood the test of time?

I'll be starting these lists mid-month, so we don't have to keep up with this list and Grimwold's (and several other monthly ones) all at the same time. You can subscribe to the announcement thread for reminders.
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1. Board Game: Blue Moon [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:606]
Martin G
United Kingdom
Bristol
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Item for Geeklist "New to you Jun 10 => Best new game you played this month and why"

Blue Moon is a game I'm still really enthusiastic about but don't get to play often enough. I've had 11 plays since June '10 and considerably more than that against the AI program, and picked up several of the expansion decks. But as I said at the time, it's always difficult to get enough play of 2p games that my wife isn't interested in. And Innovation has been taking up most of the time with my other 2p gaming buddy.

I've only played Age of Industry once more since, and once again that just reminded me that it's no Brass. I wouldn't mind trying the new expansion, but I'm not terribly excited about it.

The only other game to have seen more play since a year ago is Pinguin-Party, which has been quite popular at London on Board. It's one of Knizia's great single-idea fillers.

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2. Board Game: We Didn't Playtest This At All [Average Rating:5.82 Overall Rank:3683]
Ben Lott
United States
Mason
Michigan
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Here is my original entry to the geeklist: Item for Geeklist "New to you Jun 10 => Best new game you played this month and why"

Here are my updated comments (in the order I ranked them in the original entry):



1 = We Didn't Playtest This At All (Played 35 times since June 2010) - Sure, June 2010 wasn't a big month for new games, but that doesn't matter when the 1 new game is one that is this awesome! Trying to explain why this game is so enjoyable is like trying to explain why a Naked Gun movie is funny. It's so off-the-wall and ridiculous that it just amazes me every time we play. And we play this 3, 5, sometimes even 10 times in a single session. In my review I called this game "the stupidest game I've ever played" but that doesn't stop me from loving every minute of it. I often tell people that this is the game Fluxx wishes it was; fast, hilarious, and simple to teach/learn. I've been playing games with the youth at our church for about 10 years now, and this is the first game where we actually had teens saying "I'm going home and buying myself this game tonight!" They will play this game all day if you let them. If you want an idea of whether this game will be a hit for you, here's a picture of a few cards in the game:




If you find these cards...

...hilarious = This game is perfect for you.
...silly = You'll probably have some fun with this game.
...ludicrous = There's a chance you might not have fun with this game.
...moronic = Odds are you're not going to have fun with this game.
...immature = Run screaming from this game.
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3. Board Game: Clans [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:868]
Zack Stackurski
United States
Mankato
Minnesota
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Clans was the only new to me game last year:

Clans turned out to be a pretty fun filler. Hidden colors and a shrinking play area as pieces are scored/removed made for some interesting choices. In the couple games we played people did consistently well or poorly... but the end scores did feel somewhat random all the same (accidental kingmaking and poor play by confused players didn't help). I'm hoping that as we develop some strategies some of that goes away...but it will still be good for an occasional game even if it doesn't!

I have not had any chances to develop any better strategies as I have not played this in the past year. I would play again if the owner in our local group would bring it to game night... but I didn't like it enough to target it in any math trades (or buy it for that matter). So I would say Clans has not stood the test of time for me.
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4. Board Game: Keltis: Das Orakel [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:1426]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
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Item for Geeklist "New to you Jun 10 => Best new game you played this month and why"

Keltis: Das Orakel
It’s the most complex, most gamery version of Keltis out there, with the most different ways to win. I still prefer Neue Wege, Neue Ziele over this one but it's still a strong game that is probably the second best one in the whole series (and I like each game in the series). I have just played it last week and my opinion hasn't changed.

Robot Master I have learned its predecessors since, having read some Knizia books and so on. It's still a very simple and short mathy filler and still I think it's probably the best one of this often reworked mechanism.

No plays since:
Hermagor (But I still like it and I enjoyed it more than the new Ornella game that re-uses its core mechanism, Charon, Inc.)
Claustrophobia (but would play it again as it was fine and probably the most Lacxox-friendly version of the genre)
Bohnanza (I'm surprised I had no plays since - but even though I'm surrounded with non-gamers no one demanded it since)
Eketorp
Reiner Knizia's Decathlon
SuDoKu - The Card Game (I hoped my wife would like it but it wasn't a big success story)
Cthulhu Dice (One of the worst rating I have ever given - and that probably explains why I haven't played this Steve Jackson gem since).
Dominion: Stash Promo Card (It felt unbalanced in the first set I played it with so I didn't touch this one since).

Unpublished prototypes
Capt'n Cool has been published since and it doesn't even have bad ratings. It's not a great game but not bad either.
The new game concept designed by myself was reworked two times since and I needs some time and energy to try it again...
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5. Board Game: Court of the Medici [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:1483]
J. Jefferson
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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A year ago, I played two Medicici-themed games. Sadly, neither stayed in my collection very long.

1) Court of the Medici: Did it stand the test of time? No it did not. I like card games that have nice strategy and that I can play quickly with my wife on the floor, and take little setup. This fits that perfectly. It may be a hallmark of such games that they don't have great longevity. We played it ten times or so, then I traded it away. The major reason, my wife got totally bored with the art (nice but boring) and theme (also boring), and stopped wanting to play it.

2) Medici vs. Strozzi: Did it stand the test of time? No it did not. This game is so one-dimensional it seems like it was designed for just a few plays. It's like Modern art but with exactly one type of auction. Those few plays were kind of fun, but then we had explored everything the game had to offer, and I traded it away.
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6. Board Game: Kaigan [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:1558]
Steve Kearon
United Kingdom
Cardiff
Wales
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Item for Geeklist "New to you Jun 10 => Best new game you played this month and why"

Well, it wasn't actually Kaigan I played last year - it was Inotaizu. At the time, it had to be ordered directly from Japan. From October onwards, a US company had republished the game, with new artwork and a new title.

I managed to play Inotaizu a couple more time since last June (plus Kaigan once). I still enjoy the game, but it tends to bring out the AP in some gamers, so hasn't been played as much as I'd hoped.

The other "new to me" games from last year have barely been played since.
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7. Board Game: Caylus Magna Carta [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:436]
Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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Last June's only new game was Caylus Magna Carta, which has stood the test of time reasonably well - it comes out every now and again and is a decent version of its big brother. Probably about time to bring it on to the table again!
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8. Board Game: Maria [Average Rating:8.00 Overall Rank:156]
Dave Peters
United States
Belmont
California
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A year ago, I'd played seven new games, plus one fine expansion. I'll note the changes in my rankings and any changes in my opinions here.

Maria -- (2 plays a year ago; one since) _7.7_ Up 1 place
(images by rsivel & brainst0rm)

Perhaps it was the additional play, but this one has risen in my estimation over the past year. Not enough to change its rating, perhaps, but enough to get the right of first place on my list.

I've enjoyed the three plays so far: they've been immersive, tense, intriguing. I've now tried the three factions once each, too; each presents a different experience.

Yet amid all that praise, it's still not something I'd rush to buy (even if it were generally available). The only opponents I have for it are ones that already own a copy; it's not something that my family would find compelling.


Age of Industry -- (2 plays a year ago, none since) _7.7_ Down 1 place
(images by chaddyboy_2000 & helioa)

Subjectively, it's fallen against the similarly-rated Maria over the course of the year. I'm not anywhere near as outraged by the simplifications of AoI as some of my Brass-loving colleagues - but it's definitely a weaker/easier/simpler game.

Of course, that has some benefits, too: I'd noted a year ago that AoI was something that I could get to the table with my young sons. I've never yet attempted (nor, indeed, considered attempting) that with Brass.

The lack of additional play over the past 11 months makes me a bit sad; I'd've been happy to play more.


Neuroshima Hex! Duel -- (2 plays a year ago; at least 2 since) _7_ Up 2 places
(images by Mar_cus & haarrrgh)

I've enjoyed the new Neuroshima armies quite a bit. They tweak the decision space in delightful ways, and are good fun. Unfortunately for me, my youngest (who had been a huge fan) is currently leaning more toward games like Prophecy and Descent: so I've not had the opportunity for much play outside the iOS application.


Fjords -- (1 play a year ago; none since) _7_
(images by kifty & Gamegrunt)

This one is a bit of a hard-sell: 2-player abstracts in my house are monopolised by Go and the Gipf series. Yet it was amusing, too. I'd be happy to play again, but (in the absence of a personal copy) rarely think to request it from those that do.


Frontline: D-Day -- (1 play a year ago; none since) _7_ Down 2 places
(images by chooche & GeoMan)

While I enjoyed the experience, it's not one that I've been clamouring to repeat. It has tweaked my desire to get Up Front back to the table, though; so the net effect has been very positive.


Kineti-Go Magnetic Shuffleboard -- (4 plays a year ago; 6 since) _6.7_
(images by strombergm & Titaniumator)

My view isn't the important one on this front: it's that of my youngsters. Kineti-Go is one that they've set up to play with friends - so it's a total success. I've enjoyed the play, though I've not come close to developing sufficient skill that the result isn't still fairly random.

I suspect it'll continue getting some occasional play for the next several years.

Horus Heresy -- (1 play a year ago; none since) _6_
(images by Mabool & Keef)

I noted "Horus Heresy isn't designed for me." a year ago. That was true then; it's still true now. As a result, any opinions I might have about it aren't that important. In the end, though, I'm reasonably happy to leave the game alone.


Rush n' Crush -- (1 play a year ago; none since) _4_
(images by zombiegod & William Hunt)

I was unimpressed with this one a year ago, and haven't had any desire (nor opportunity) to revisit my opinion. I'd be willing to reconsider, if it were inflicted on me. But I definitely won't be agitating for the chance.
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9. Board Game: Dominion: Alchemy [Average Rating:7.05 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.05 Unranked]
Duchess of Erat
Netherlands
Enschede
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I forgot about Dominion Alchemy last year (I added it later). It is however the game we've played the most since (and the only one we own). I was right about not wanting to add it all the time, but it's a nice addition to use every now and then.

Of the other games we've played Dice Town again. It's a nice filler that's quite easy to explain and it works well with casual players. Brass is a game that I would like to try again, as it's a good game. I don't think I would ask for it though, there's other games I want to play more. I forgot about Lungarno... I do remember it being ok when I read my comments again, but it didn't leave any lasting impression.

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10. Board Game: No Thanks! [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:336]
John Newall
United States
Lehi
Utah
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I only had one new game to me this time last year. It was No Thanks! I really enjoy ed it. 3 plays that month, with a further 11 plays over the few months after that. We haven't played it since October of last year but we have talked about it a bit. I think it needs to get pulled out again as it plays so quickly, is simple, is fun but has a wee bit of extra depth that isn't obvious first time out the gate. I rated it a 7 and this seems about right for me. Fun, but not the most obvious game to be pulling out.
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11. Board Game: Glory to Rome [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:91]
Bryan Maxwell
United States
Burtchville
Michigan
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Last June, Glory to Rome was my choice for best new game of the month, followed by Nuns on the Run, Arimaa, Torres and San Marco. I still feel roughly the same (I sold off Torres a while back).

Glory to Rome: 4 plays last June, 8 plays since. Glory to Rome has been missing the game table due to an abundance of other excellent card games we own (Dominion, RftG, Innovation, Gosu, Nightfall, Thunderstone, London) but it has been biding it's time and waiting for its turn in the spotlight. It's a wonderful game, and I'm content to let it age on the shelf like a fine (much like Brass).

Nuns on the Run: 2 plays last June, 5 plays since. Nuns on the Run is really a blast with 5-8 players once players get the hang of the line-of-sight rules and remember to double-check where the doors are on the map. It's not all that often I have the requisite number of players, and when I do I'm often reaching for BSG (for 5) or Shadow Hunters (6+) so it sometimes loses in the numbers game.

Arimaa: 2 plays last June, 1 play since.
Arimaa is an excellent abstract, but I rarely get the chance to play abstracts. My main opponent for them is usually here with a group, so 2-player abstracts are out.

San Marco: 1 play last June, 0 plays since.
San Marco is a good 3-player area majority game, but the circumstances for it to come out are so very rare...

Also rans that I either sold, traded or never owned: Torres, Witch's Brew, No Thanks, La Citta, Cave Troll, Neuroshima Hex, Zombie Dice and Cthulhu Dice.
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12. Board Game: Vikings [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:209]
Chris
Netherlands
's-Hertogenbosch
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Rating: 7
Plays in its first month: 3
Plays since: 7

Competition: San Juan

My initial impression:
Most of my latest game purchases have been medium-weight, multiplayer games (Carson City, Steam, Cyclades, Power Grid) and I've been looking for a great light-medium two-player game to play when it's just me and my girlfriend. As of late, we played either Ticket to Ride, Agricola or Stone Age. Great games, but I certainly like some variety, so I wanted to add another game to this collection. For this reason I bought Jaipur, which I think is a great game, but it wasn't exactly what we're looking for. My girlfriend doesn't like the fact it's played in a best-of-three manner and I think it's too short when played only once; we still resort to the three beforementioned games.
After doing some more research I got really interested in the game Vikings. A light-medium tile-laying game and acclaimed as a great two-player game. Wouldn't it be too similar to Carcassonne (a game we love 2p) or Alhambra (a game we love 3p)? After reading a lot of reviews I decided to take the plunge and I bought it.
We've played three times already and we both enjoy it. It's easy to get into while still offering a lot of choices. (After a few more plays we want to introduce the progress rules and I think this will spice things up even more; especially the new boatsman rule.) The way the tile market works is just great, with possibly some agonizing choices. Tile placement offers some intersting decisions as well, you want to leave your placement options open, while placing your meeples efficiently, in pursuit of many of the end game bonuses and the best pay-off on a shorter term basis. The time frame of 45 minutes is great. Also, I have a strong suspicion this game will scale well to 3 or 4p. I rate Vikings an 8.
So far, my girlfriend has beaten me twice and suddenly she like this idea of playing games in a best-of-three manner. I'll suggest playing Jaipur again someday...

What I think of it now:
I bought it primarily as a 2 player game for me and my girlfriend to enjoy and it delivered on what I expected. The advanced rules with the bonus-tiles really make this game shine and it can become quite the brain burner at times. But the more I play it, the more the pasted-on theme starts to bother me. It doesn't hamper gameplay at all, it's just too bad it's so obviously pasted-on. The biggest criticism I can come up with, is that it's a really hard game to explain. Scoring is convoluted and the theme doesn't help in any way in providing context of what you're doing. It's not just hard to explain to new players. Even after ten games I have to remind or even re-explain a lot of the rules, which is the biggest reason why we don't play this more often.

Was it the right decision of New to me Game of the Month?
Yes, but part of it is the lack of serious contenders. Vikings is a good game and my girlfriend and I enjoy it as a 2-player game but it's not one of the best games I've ever played. It's solid, although it's considerably better with the advanced rules which we only tried twice.

Prediction for the future:
We still have got the advanced rules to explore so Vikings will definitely see a few more plays. It's a while ago that we last played this, so I should put it back on the table soon. I have enjoyed our plays so far and am still up for another game. Like Stone Age, another family weight game, it's a game I enjoy playing, but it's not a game that truly gives me my gamer fix.
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13. Board Game: Mini Make 'N' Break [Average Rating:5.94 Overall Rank:5494]
Randy Cox
United States
Clemson
South Carolina
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This was the only new game of June 2010 and I don't think we've played it again...just checked and, nope, haven't played it again.

Maybe the kids'll like it, if our younger ever gets to the point where he doesn't get the poochy lip whenever things don't go well. In other words, if we ever get to true competitive gaming.
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14. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy: The Brink of War [Average Rating:7.83 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.83 Unranked]
Andrew
United States
San Francisco
California
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I've finally made it to when I started posting on the best new game list!

Favourite Now
Last year my favourite game was Race for the Galaxy: The Brink of War, and thousands of games later (most via Keldon's AI) this hasn't changed. I still haven't mastered it, and while I'm able to turn down a game, I usually won't.

Decent Now
Funny Friends managed just 4 plays since June last year; most unexpected was that it became something of a gateway game, luring in non-gamers with its wacky yet semi-realistic theme. It's fun to bring out with the right group, but its length and fiddliness counts against it. I've been considering using the streamlining variant that replaces the auctions with simple drafts; I wonder if making turn order variable (with passing placing you earlier) is worthwhile.

Hare & Tortoise had only 2 plays since last year. One of my friends loves it and its a decent gateway, but there's not a lot of variation in the gameplay. You're always fighting over (or queuing up behind) the lettuce spaces and trying to manage your carrots.

Unplayed Positive
Bizarrely I haven't managed to play Cosmic Encounter: Cosmic Incursion (or even the base game) again in an entire year. I see Cosmic Encounter as the negotiation/bluffing version of Dominion or Small World, well deserving of its classic status.

BGG hates memory games (except Busen Memo, which it likes too much) but the memory/deduction mechanics in Timbuktu were a breath of fresh air.

The Pillars of the Earth cops criticism from all over, but I didn't mind the game. That said, there are a lot of similar games I wouldn't mind either.

I can see the appeal of a couple more plays of Lineage II: The Boardgame, but can also see that it would wear thin.

Unplayed Negative
I don't feel any need to play Colossal Arena, Mission: Red Planet or the lengthy StarCraft: The Board Game – Brood War Expansion again.

The novelty value of Die Siedler von Catan: Historische Szenarien is probably more appealing to Catan fans than to me.
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15. Board Game: Tales of the Arabian Nights [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:228]
Steve Duff
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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In order of the original entry

Tales of the Arabian Nights
Plays since: 1 (but friends have borrowed it, and played it)

Still like this is a lot. Yes, it's an experience more than a game, but sometimes you just want something different.

Before the Wind

Plays since: 0

Just ended up trading this in a math trade yesterday. It's not the game per se, I enjoyed it, but it just isn't as strong as it needs to be with only two players, and it wouldn't make the cut as a game we'd grab when we get friends over.
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16. Board Game: The major four of Heizei [Average Rating:6.32 Unranked]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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My choice has held up, I still own Keltis, and my son still enjoys Lemming Mafia.
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17. Board Game: Field Commander: Alexander [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:1399]
...sure...
Netherlands
Rijen
Noord Brabant
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Item for Geeklist "New to you Jun 10 => Best new game you played this month and why"



Did not play this one a lot this year, but it has stood the test of time!
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18. Board Game: Letter Roll [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:6331]
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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Item for Geeklist "New to you Jun 10 => Best new game you played this month and why"

I had 19 new-to-me games last June, mostly due to Origins. Of those, only 3 of them have hit the table again since that time.

Last year's best new game, Letter Roll, wasn't one of the repeat performers. We talked about playing Letter Roll a couple of times, but never pulled the trigger. I suspect I will play it again eventually.

Ad Astra - First play: I had a bad experience with my first play, as I cluelessly muddled through. Test of time: My second play was pretty much exactly the same as the first. I have no idea what I'm doing wrong, and no big desire to find out.

Forbidden Island - First play: It was okay, but I'd rather play Pandemic. Test of time: Just one more play, and I'd still rather play Pandemic. I have 14 plays of Pandemic since my first play of this.

Pirate Fluxx - First plays: I played the Pirate Fluxx prototype 7 times last year at Origins, often in the form of giving demos of it. What can I say? It's Fluxx with pirates, and I like Fluxx. Test of time: I picked up a copy when it came out, but it's only hit the table once since last year, for three plays. In the same period, I've had 12 plays of 4 other Fluxxes. Clearly, Pirate Fluxx has entered the mix but it has to compete for table time with its brethren. I'm scheduled to demo it this year at Origins, though, so I will probably have more plays before the end of the month.
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19. Board Game: Lost Valley [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:837]
I am on a Journey...
Australia
Lavington
New South Wales
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...to explore and discover games of all shapes and sizes regardless of colour, condition or creed
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New to Me June 2010

June is always a great month with our club hosting BorderCon each year.

New Last June

Lost Valley

Plays Since - 3
Rating - Still an 8

A great game that doesn't get played enough. The exploration combined with the open decision tree as to how to get the most from the land as you explore for gold nuggets is great.

Dice Town

Plays Since - 2
Rating - Still an 8

I've hardly played this one because a club mate owns it and I expect him to bring it and he doesn't. I need to get my copy out of shrink as this is a fun wild west themed dice roller.

Rat-a-tat-Cat

Plays Since - 4
Rating - Still a 6.5

This is a good randomish card game best suited to young families to delight the kids when their good luck confounds their parents best attempt at strategy. A keeper for a little while longer until the kids are too old for it.

RftG: The Brink of War

Plays Since - 60
Rating - Down to a 9 from a 10 since June '10

Mostly solo plays. This expansion is still great but it has lost some of its shine in multi-player as it can really throw up some one sided results at times if one player can get an early Prestige and the opposition can't.

All of the following games have not seen another play since last June.

Scripts and Scribes thumbsup
Perpetual Commotion - 2 Player
Pandemic: On the Brink
Carcassonne: Wheel of Fortune nuclear
Flicochet
Piece 'o Cake
Formula D: Hockenheim
Formula D: Chicago Street Circuit
Last Night on Earth: Zombie Pillage
Forbidden Island nuclear

= Into my collection
nuclear = Rubbish the first time
thumbsup = Games good enough for my collection

I have no need for Pandemic now that I have Defenders of the Realm, Forbidden Island was just too simple for my tastes and Wheel of Fortune was not worth the time investment for me.

The rest have not seen another play mainly because they were purchased for niche moments.

Scripts and Scribes is the one worth getting but I am in no hurry given the number of unplayed fillers already sitting on the shelf.
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20. Board Game: You Robot [Average Rating:6.10 Overall Rank:4251]
Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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Games, games and more games!
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Oddly, I haven't played any of the three new games from June last year again since, despite owning all three.

You Robot was my choice for the best game, but despite enjoying it twice in quick succession in that month, we haven't brought it out again. We have however bought and played Aargh!Tect, which is similar in many ways, and played that several times. Might have to bring this out again, just to remind us it exists!

The other two new games, Finale and Bungee, were not that impressive and had significant flaws, and although I didn't totally hate them, and so will try them again before getting rid of them, may not remain in the collection once I do.
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21. Board Game: Stephensons Rocket [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:677]
Brian Boyle
Australia
Sydney
NSW
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An odd one this. Only one play over the past year, which I really enjoyed but my playing partners didn't. And that was it.

Still love the depth and elegance of this game but concede there is probably a lot of non-intuitive stuff going on for my play group

On the other hand my other new game in June 10 - Age of Industry - continues to see regular play (5 plays over the past year). The US map is by far the more popular and the streamlined (de-sexed?) Brass seems to work well with my family play group. Good to see the new AoI maps out this month - could well be a purchase.
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22. Board Game: Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:77]
Alex H.
Germany
Aachen
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Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery was a game that took some time before it hit our gaming-table. It had been sitting on my buddy's shelf for a few months and it wasn't until our group came in desperate need to find another game for 4 players (preferably with area control and at least moderate direct conflict) that I decided to read the rules and introduce the group to it.
The rules seemed to promise an interesting game with a lot of theme and some tough choices. Unfortunately, the game just fell flat for us. We only talked about it afterwards and were surprised how similar our complaints were. We felt that attacking the other players was neither interesting nor made sense during most of the game. The theme never really pulled us in and though we all stayed focused and tried to win the game in the end we agreed that we never really felt very engaged.

Usually, I will give a game a second try. I have done this with Middle-Earth Quest after abandoning it for a year and have thereby discovered a fantastic game. I have even pulled out Marvel Heroes after a very, very long time and think I can see a pretty solid game under the dry surface. So generally, giving a game a second chance has been a rewarding experience as long as there was SOMETHING, however small, (e.g. a specific theme, some unusual mechanics, etc.) that kept my interest awake. Unfortunately, Empires has virtually no chance for such a resurrection. A few months later, I decided to purchase one of the last copies of another game's first printrun. This other game has a very different theme, no fancy bits and pieces, plays twice as long and offers much more brutal direct interaction. You probably guessed it already, the game I am referring to is Dominant Species. In almost every respect, for my group it is the anti-Empires: totally engaging right from the first play on, more interesting choices and overally much more satisfying as a gaming-experience.
So maybe I am being unjust to Empires. I certainly will never write a review based on this one-time experience. But in a thread like this one I feel comfortable to conclude by saying that *for my group*, Empires has never stood the test of time and not even the test of first-time playing.
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23. Board Game: Vasco da Gama [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:276]
Ingmar Hauge
Norway
No way
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It's cold outside. There's no kind of atmosphere. I'm all alone. More or less. Let me fly. Far away from here. Fun fun fun. In the sun sun sun...
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Dwayne Dibley - The prince of Dork
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June 2010, and a look at those games I have played in the last year.

Vasco da Gama

Unlike Tom Vasel I was quite pleased with Vasco da Gama a year ago. Has it stood the test of time? Indeed it did, My first 3 games was with 3 players but it was as a 4 player game this really shone and proved how tight a game it really is. With 3 your pretty much guaranteed to get to do all your actions, anything but so with 4 as that will be very expensive (usually).

Rating then:

Rating now:
4 players:
3 players:


Power Grid: Factory Manager

I played Factory Manager 3 times within a couple of months and tried it with 3, 4 and 5 players which was very nice and therefore exch game was a different experience. As I have not played it since August I have not had a chance to re-value the game but I am very willing to play it again as long as the AP is avoided.


Rating then:

Rating now:


Torres

Torres has been played once since last June but this time with all cards available at the start and that was clearly a better game. Now you knew what the other players could do with their cards and could build according to that and was much more a tactical game. I ended up winning because I ended on the same score as another player (who could have scored one more point on his turn...)

Rating then:

Rating now:


Pack & Stack

The last game I have played since last June is Pack and Stack. It is still quite a fun game and is still a challenge that causes those Homer moments. A year later it has dropped a little bit off as I think Factory Fun is so much more a better game.

Rating then:

Rating now:

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24. Board Game: Forbidden Island [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:399]
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
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Entropy Seminar:
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The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
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Item for Geeklist "New to you Jun 10 => Best new game you played this month and why"

Forbidden Island was OK, but it reminded me too much of Pandemic to really wow me, and besides, I think this was about the time that I started to lose interest in cooperative games. This was traded off a couple of months ago.

Jäger und Sammler was also OK, but a few months ago, I took a long hard look at my collection and decided to shed some stuff that was good, but never got played. This was one of those games. In fact, I recently auctioned it off, and it's currently packed up, ready to go to its new owner. I hope it will be appreciated more.

I didn't like Erosion last year, so I haven't returned to it. It's also up for trade, if anyone's interested in it.

I guess June of 2010 wasn't really a good month for me.
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25. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:30] [Average Rating:7.78 Unranked]
Chris Marling
United Kingdom
Cambridge
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The only game that was new to me in June 2010 was Dominion - you might have heard of it

It was completely new to our group and went down a storm, notching up around 40 plays between then and the end of the year. It became our 'go-to' game ahead of Race For the Galaxy - something no other game had managed to do before then, or since.

However so far in 2011 it has only hit the table a few times, despite a couple of expansions being added to the mix to bring variety - Race is once again the go-to game of choice. When we do play though, it's always fun, and I'm confident a version of Dominion will always be in my collection.

Has it stood the test of time? I think so, yes. My collection is growing, while the time I have to play games isn't (bring on retirement - only 25 years to go!), so most games get less table time than I'd like.

Also, I read some stories of folks getting to the point here they new all the Dominion combos, so each time they played it was more a case of everyone doing the same thing and it lost its appeal. I hope that by playing less, we will retain that sense of ignorance/exploration/delight that makes the game so much fun when you pull a win out of a good combo.
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