User Profile for JonBen
Jon Ben
British Columbia
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Of course I've been up all night! Not because of caffeine, it was insomnia. I couldn't stop thinking about coffee.
I have fairly diverse boardgame interests focusing more heavily on the medium weight Euro-style strategy games. I have a soft-spot for adventure style games like Descent, D&D: The Legend of Drizzt, and Mice and Mystics even if it's just a theme as in Dungeon Twister.

I try to comment on many of the games I've played and rated. I find it very useful to GeekBuddy those who share similar tastes and who also comment on many games. This makes the Analyse feature very useful. If I've added you as a GeekBuddy and you don't know me that's probably why.

The following people are fantastic for comments because they play lots of games and write useful comments afterwards. I don't agree with all of these people's tastes, but I've found their input useful when researching titles.
Doug Adams
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NASA Dawn approaching Ceres
Brian M
United States
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Nick Case
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Mark Bigney
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Andy Parsons
United Kingdom
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Maarten D. de Jong
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Kaiwen Zhang
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Welcome to Zombo.com!
Art of life
Mark Johnson
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“Brothers, oh brothers, my days here are done, the Dornishman’s taken my life, But what does it matter, for all men must die, and I’ve tasted the Dornishman’s wife!”
"Oak and iron guard me well, or else I'm dead and doomed to hell." - Andal proverb.
Jesse Dean
United States
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Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most vicious predator on Earth!

Bryan Thunkd
United States
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United States
Rhode Island
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United States
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In real life I have a PhD in Astrophysics, however I've left academia behind. I play many 2-player games with my spouse. No kids, but we do have three furry dungeon pet kitties. Some games that fail to impress at 4-5 have remarkable life at 2, Macao and At the Gates of Loyang come to mind. Some games get considerably more interesting like Colossal Arena and Innovation. My favourite 2-player coffee shop game is Jaipur.


Things that I thumbsup or thumbsdown in games

thumbsup I enjoy games that present me with interesting and meaningful decisions. I want some level of control and some concept of how my choices are shaping the outcome of the game.

thumbsup Theme and artwork are important, but not a deal-breaker. When mechanics, theme, and graphic design are well done it can make a big difference to the overall atmosphere and engagement with the game. I don't demand well integrated theme, but I do notice it (or lack of it). This can easily cost a game a rating point. For example I find Hive is a better game than Yinsh because of the theme, even though it's pretty minimal.

thumbsup Optimizing, engine building, and resource management. If I lose myself in a calculation trying to optimize play I take that as a good sign. Games like Kanban, Dungeon Petz, and Factory Manager all have these elements in ways that I enjoy.

thumbsup I love having to guess people's intentions, therefore games with simultaneous action selection or simultaneous revealing are right up my alley. The most glorious of them all is Basari which is one of my favourite games of all time.

thumbsup/thumbsdown Luck is complicated. I definitely don't like too much, but what I consider too much depends on the genre and details of the game. Certainly a game with no luck is fine with me. Dice in a Euro are also fun if implemented well such as in Troyes, Macao, and The Castles of Burgundy. In adventure style games dice are often used for combat which I'm usually okay with, for example Claustrophobia, Memoir '44, and Mice and Mystics.

thumbsdown Simplicity is bad. If the board is easy to analyse and decisions are repetitive and obvious to optimize I will be bored. It's tough to come down on games others might enjoy but for me K2, Hornet, and Lords of Waterdeep are all like this.

thumbsdown Negotiation heavy games are on thin ice with me. I don't mind the odd bit of bartering if it's done well but if things can easily degrade into meta-gaming then I'll probably have a bad time. It helps if Negotiations are structured as in Advanced Civilization and Quo Vadis. The open negotiation in Settlers fills me with dread. Often my group will just avoid trading, some games can handle this others can't.


My game ratings are in constant flux. I try to update things often as repeated plays dictate.

.10. Games that resonate strongly with me. I love playing them and this hasn't changed for years (i.e. it is impossible for a new game to rank 10).

_9_ Excellent game that I always enjoy playing. I like to play a game at least 5 times before I move them to this rating, but sometimes I get too excited.

_8_ Great game. It's solid and I enjoy playing consistently.

_7_ Good game. It might have some nice ideas or a theme that works for me but something about it holds it back from greatness.

_6_ Okay game, I usually enjoy playing it but I might not want to own it. I might suggest this if I'm in the right mood. However, usually I'd rather play something else.

_5_ Boring games that I don't have an urge to play. Not well suited to my tastes, but I might play willingly in the right situation.

_4_ Games that I dislike enough to turn down in all but the most contrived situations.

_3_ I will actively avoid this game, I never want to play again, don't waste your breath.

_2_ This is reserved for games that I loath and consider broken.

_1_ This is not a real rating in my opinion. I would rate a cup of coffee a 1 as a board game. Actual games can't obtain this rating.

Expansions: I rate expansions based on how they affect my enjoyment of the base game. If I find that I never want to play the base-game without the expansion then it is likely to get an 8 or 9. It isn't unusual for a stellar expansion which I love to get a 10.
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User Details for JonBen
Registration Date: 2005-08-03
Last Profile Update: 2015-10-16
Last Login: 2016-05-05
Country: flag Canada
State: British Columbia
Town/City: Vancouver
GeekMail: mail Send Private Message to JonBen
Collection Summary for JonBen
Board Game
Owned   415
Previously Owned   160
For Trade   0
Want In Trade   0
Want To Buy   1
Want To Play   23
Preordered   0
Wishlist   71
Commented   447
Has Parts   0
Want Parts   0
All   1165
Board Game Expansion
Owned   150
Previously Owned   10
For Trade   0
Want In Trade   0
Want To Buy   0
Want To Play   0
Preordered   0
Wishlist   12
Commented   23
Has Parts   0
Want Parts   0
All   210
Board Game Accessory
Owned   1
Previously Owned   0
For Trade   0
Want In Trade   0
Want To Buy   0
Want To Play   0
Preordered   0
Wishlist   0
Commented   0
Has Parts   0
Want Parts   0
All   1
Board Game 5
Board Game Family 1
For Sale 0
Sold 2
Rating 1
Board Game Plays 5622 Total | By Month | Last 30 Days | Chronological
Board Game Expansion Plays 96 Total | By Month | Last 30 Days | Chronological
Trade Rating (29) Propose A Trade With This User
Board Game Ratings 901
Average Rating 6.71
10 11   (1.2%)
9 61   (6.8%)
8 221   (24.5%)
7 261   (29.0%)
6 162   (18.0%)
5 108   (12.0%)
4 55   (6.1%)
3 20   (2.2%)
2 2   (0.2%)
1 0   (0.0%)
Board Game Expansion Ratings 100
Average Rating 7.88
10 5   (5.0%)
9 21   (21.0%)
8 47   (47.0%)
7 16   (16.0%)
6 7   (7.0%)
5 3   (3.0%)
4 1   (1.0%)
3 0   (0.0%)
2 0   (0.0%)
1 0   (0.0%)
Board Game Accessory Ratings 1
Average Rating 9.00
10 0   (0.0%)
9 1   (100.0%)
8 0   (0.0%)
7 0   (0.0%)
6 0   (0.0%)
5 0   (0.0%)
4 0   (0.0%)
3 0   (0.0%)
2 0   (0.0%)
1 0   (0.0%)
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