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New Games Played in 2017
Derek Turner
Canada
Regina
SK
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A chronicle of the new games and expansions I play in 2017, along with some immediate reactions based on those plays.
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1. Board Game: Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:54] [Average Rating:7.79 Unranked]
Derek Turner
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Played Jan. 3 with The Long Night modules (4P)

Dead of Winter has had a lot of hype in the past few years, so I figured I should finally give it a try. I'm not a huge zombie fan, but I did enjoy the game. We didn't have a traitor, which may have removed some of the fun, but I liked it as a cooperative game anyway. That said, I can see that there is enough fiddliness and swinginess to the way a game could play out that this is probably a game that I would play but not seek out.
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2. Board Game: For Sale [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:253]
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Played Jan. 3 (5P)

Great filler hand management game. My only regret is that I didn't play this several years earlier - and that I don't already own a copy. [EDIT: Acquired a few months later!]
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3. Board Game: Food Chain Magnate [Average Rating:8.24 Overall Rank:28]
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Played Jan. 4 (2P)

This is a great "mega-complex" game that really isn't as complex as it seems. I found the mechanics and the chaining to be fairly intuitive, and I could easily see playing this one many times. And I have so many questions after even my one play - but the main one is "how soon can I play again?"
 
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4. Board Game: Star Fluxx [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:1651]
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Played Jan. 6 (5P) for my space-themed birthday.

A fun version of Fluxx that incorporates more than a few jokes about classic SF properties.
 
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5. Board Game: New York 1901 [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:705]
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Played Jan. 8 (4P)

Great family-style game about the same level as Ticket to Ride. I would definitely play this again.
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6. Board Game: The Pillars of the Earth [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:216]
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Played Jan. 10 (4P)

I'm not quite sure what all the fuss is about with this game. It's a tight worker placement with perhaps a tad too much randomness, and I don't think there's much here that hasn't been done in other games. Then again, this one was the first, so maybe I'm just a decade late. I enjoyed it and I would play it again, but I think WP has been done a lot more effectively in the decade since.
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7. Board Game: King of New York: Power Up! [Average Rating:7.88 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.88 Unranked]
Derek Turner
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Played Jan. 10 (4P)

The Evolution cards really add to the game, so I probably won't play without them again.
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8. Board Game: La Granja: No Siesta [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:1222]
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Played Jan. 14 (4P)

I really enjoyed this game both as a dice game and as a translation of La Granja into a bite-size portion. There's enough strategy and enough randomness to be enjoyable, and it's different enough from similar games like OctoDice that it's worth playing. This is definitely one I want to try again, and I could see it ending up in my collection someday.
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9. Board Game: Nerdy Inventions [Average Rating:5.75 Overall Rank:9109]
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Played Jan. 22 (4P, 2x)

A fun little dice-chucking filler. It's a little awkward to learn, but it's definitely still enjoyable.
 
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10. Board Game: Villages of Valeria: Deluxe Kickstarter Edition [Average Rating:7.49 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.49 Unranked]
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Played Jan. 23 (2P)

I really enjoyed playing this tableau building game. It's a step between San Juan and Race for the Galaxy, and I think I'm going to get a lot of play out of it.
 
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11. Board Game: The Manhattan Project: Energy Empire [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:207]
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Played Jan. 28 (5P)

I really enjoyed this worker placement game; the theme is really interesting, the mechanics are intriguing, and there is a lot of variability here. I am definitely looking forward to trying this game again.
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12. Board Game: Acquire [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:191]
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Played Jan. 28 (4P)

I feel a little bit more accomplished as a board gamer now that I have finally played this classic. I really enjoyed the game despite losing after realizing that I made the wrong decision early in the game, but there's a reason this game is played fifty years later - not that it will take me that long to play it again.
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13. Board Game: Trick of the Rails [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:2355]
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Played Jan. 28 (4P)

My first play of this 18xx/trick-taking game was a little shaky due to my lack of familiarity with 18xx games, but I started to get it the second time through. I think I'm more of a fan of "pure" trick-taking games with limited or no hidden information, and I think there might be a bit too much randomness here to really know how to play it without the knowledge of the genre, but it's an interesting game nevertheless. I would try it again now that I've played it, but I'm not sure I would recommend it if you aren't a fan of the 18xx genre.
 
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14. Board Game: Shakespeare [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:424]
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Played Jan. 31 (2P)

Love the theme, love the mechanics, solid mid-weight Euro that must be in my collection.
 
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15. Board Game: Village Inn [Average Rating:7.87 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.87 Unranked]
Derek Turner
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Played Jan. 31 (4P)

I had played Village ten times and it had not gotten old yet, but I really enjoyed what this expansion added. The different character cards in the Inn help balance out the success of the Market or Travel strategies for winning, and I don't think I will ever play without it again, as it does not add a significant amount of complexity.
 
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16. Board Game: Mine, All Mine! [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:9905]
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Played Feb. 3 (2P)

This is a Kickstarter microgame that sat unplayed for over a year. I didn't know why, but I guess I'm really not too much of a fan of microgames.

It's a fun enough little game, but I think it needed a bit of tweaking to make it work. We made a couple of changes and it became a more strategic game. I will keep it for now to try it again, but it might not stick long term in my collection.
 
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17. Board Game: Dice City [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:842]
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Played Feb. 5 (2P)

Fun family dice-based engine building game. It has some interesting strategic decisions and a number of ways to counteract the luck of the dice. I would play it again.
 
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18. Board Game: Power Grid: The Card Game [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:1448]
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Played Feb. 5 (2P)

I really wanted to play this game to see if it actually had the feel of Power Grid in an hour as advertised, and I was slightly disappointed. Maybe it was just the fact that the 2P game uses a dummy third player, but it did not feel like the same tension as full PG, or even a version of it, and the ending was just a bit of a letdown. I'd try it again with more players, but I don't think this is really worth adding to my collection.
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19. Board Game: Coin Age [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:2609]
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Played Feb. 5

This was another microgame that had sat unplayed in my collection for well over a year after it arrived from Kickstarter. It's a very simple area control game that plays in 5 minutes, and there were a lot of interesting decisions to be made - enough so that I'll keep it around for the time being and try it again.
 
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20. Board Game: Fresco: Expansion Module 7 – The Scrolls [Average Rating:6.78 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.78 Unranked]
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Played Feb. 10 (2P - also played with Wishing Well (Mod. 4) for first time.)

The Scrolls is an easy small expansion that adds an extra variable scoring addition to Fresco. It's an easy addition to make to the game, and I think I will be using it in every game in the future.
 
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21. Board Game: The Gallerist [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:67]
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Played Feb. 11 (2P)

The Gallerist is one of the heaviest games I've ever played - BGG has it ahead of Twilight Imperium 3rd Edition, which is just not true - and it was the first title by Vital Lacerda that I have played. I actually did not find it to be all that heavy to learn, even though it took an hour to go through all of the different parts of the game.

The basic mechanics are fairly evident, I thought, but the depth and complexity comes from how everything interacts and the difficult choices that emerge very early in the game.

I really enjoyed this game, and I was surprised and pleased to discover that the winner came down to one decision after everything that had happened. This is definitely a game that I will play again; the sooner, the better.
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22. Board Game: A Feast for Odin [Average Rating:8.22 Overall Rank:32]
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Played Feb. 13 (4P)

This was my most anticipated game of 2016, as I have been a huge fan of Uwe Rosenberg's designs since I first played Agricola five years ago. They've been getting heavier - both in terms of gameplay and actual box weight - and I have been really excited to play this Viking-themed monster, since it's his heaviest yet.

What pleasantly surprised me was just how simple and intuitive the game really is. I have the benefit of familiarity with all of his other titles, but it seemed to me like this game is heavy not because of the mechanics of playing it, but of the possibilities of strategies. With 61 worker placement spots and 190 occupation cards, there are an almost limitless combination of strategies that can be employed.

What also struck me was how the theme came through. Sometimes, Uwe's designs can seem a little dry, but this one is well-researched and the theme really comes through.

It will take me a few more plays to decide where I place this game in the Uwe canon, but it is definitely one of my favourite games of last year even after only one play, and I cannot wait to play it again.
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23. Board Game: Evolution [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:311]
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Played Feb. 18 (3P)

I really enjoyed this midweight family strategy game. It did not take long to grasp the basic mechanics, and it definitely seems as though there are many strategies to win even within the base game, much less all of the expansions. This is definitely one that I would play again sometime.
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24. Board Game: Captain Sonar [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:91]
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Played Feb. 22 (8P on turn-by-turn game on the Alpha map as Captain)

Even though my team lost with no hits and three misses on the other sub, I really enjoyed this cooperative game, even as a slower turn-by-turn (rather than the real-time frenzied) game. There is a lot of interesting cooperation needed in the game, and I think it would be really interesting to play again in real time as a different role.
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25. Board Game: Orléans: Trade & Intrigue [Average Rating:8.50 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.50 Unranked]
Derek Turner
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Played Feb. 25 (2P) with Orders, New Events, and New Beneficial Deeds

The second big expansion for one of my favourite games adds a must-play module in Orders, two new ways to vary play (which was already quite varied) in the New Events and New Beneficial Deeds board, and a nasty way to affect other players with the Intrigue board, which I have not yet played.

I really appreciated the variability that the two New modules added, and I can see playing with them a lot in the future. I'm sure I'll try Intrigue at some point when I'm not playing only with my wife, but it looks like it will inject a much-needed sense of antagonism into a mostly solitaire game.

Either way, this is a great expansion to an already great game, and it gave me the narrower box that I needed to make my storage solution viable (boards in one box, everything else in the other).
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