New to you a year ago Jun 17 => Has it stood the test of time?
Martin G
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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 BGGers 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 June 16 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 hot game that month was Guilds of London. Has it stood the test of time?

I'll be starting these lists mid-month (except when I forget!), 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: Zilch [Average Rating:5.78 Overall Rank:13859]
Martin G
United Kingdom
Bristol
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2. Board Game: Tammany Hall [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:667]
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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GAMES



Initial rating:
Current Rating: 8.2
Plays: 1

In June I wrote:
I'm glad I was introduced to this area majority classic. As the newbie I tried to choose wards where I had a safe side to reduce my exposure while I watched the veterans make some moves. It was fairly easy to grasp the basics and I gradually engaged in the power struggle and nearly pulled off the win. It is not often that I get to play such a confrontational game...

If it were not for an AP prone game group I would probably seek it out for my own collection.
I still think about the one play I had of this at my FLGS with BGG user edelen. I was really impressed with the game play, but despite being a great game I still feel that the conflict level and potential for AP is too much for my group to make it into my collection or something we would play regularly.


Initial rating:
Current Rating: 7.5
Plays: 1

In June I wrote:
I honestly had not heard of this game prior to the SdJ nomination announcement. Even then I wrote it off and had no interest. With the buzz growing louder I watched a video the night before my day trip to Origins and was at least intrigued. I finally got to try it at my FLGS and was really impressed... Nice game, I'll definitely keep my eye on it.
This is one that I believe I will acquire at some point. I attempted to trade for it in this year's Origins Math Trade. I think it is simple enough, plays quick and yet offers some variety and interesting choices to be a good game for non-gamers and gamers alike.


Initial rating:
Current Rating: 7.2
Plays: 1

In June I wrote:
I finally had the opportunity to try this colorful roundel game that I've heard so much about. Simple, lean rule set with meaningful decisions requiring planning and timely decision making.

When this gets reprinted I may seriously give it another look.
Sadly, I think the reprint I read about is no longer happening. Since then I've cooled a bit on this one although I really liked the roundel mechanism and considering other titles that include it.


Initial rating:
Current Rating: 6.0
Plays: 3

In June I wrote:
I recall looking at Nika during its Kickstarter campaign and being drawn to it but ultimately passed as I doubted it would see much table time... A challenging tactical game that feels a little abstract but has a pleasant color scheme and constant tension as opponents race to maneuver their components across the board while executing critical blocking and tackling of the battle field.
This is the only game on the list this month that I own or have had the opportunity top play again since last year. I had a 4p game a few months back which was challenging and had a different dynamic from the 2p plays from last year.

I still like the challenge that it offers, but I wavered a bit regarding whether to keep it or not as I'm not going to get it to the table very often. I will hold on to it for now, but it is on the bubble.


Initial rating:
Current Rating: 6.0
Plays: 1

In June I wrote:
...Players have to work together towards getting rescued from the island while keeping an eye on their food supply and the threats that inflict fate and wounds upon each players' survival.

We played this in the booth at Origins. It wasn't a great game (blow your socks off), but it was enjoyable with some interesting dynamics for what it was.
I've thought about this one from time to time and bet if I played it a couple of times it might prove to be fun on occasion. This would be a game I could see playing on a camping trip or just sitting around on wanting something not too serious.


Initial rating:
Current Rating: 6.0
Plays: 1

In June I wrote:
...Players race to complete connections to their five cities each round building off of their connected network. As track segments merge your connections are significantly expanded and the race to the objective grows to a fever pitch. Timing, some luck, and good planning is the key. You score negative points for each track you are missing from completing your connections.

Everyone liked it for what it was, simple, enjoyable, tricky yet casual and fun.
When I played this it was with some of the main guys in my gaming group. Despite enjoying it, we would rather play Railways of the World or even Ticket to Ride variants, if given the choice. My opinion may have changed if I had discovered this game earlier in my experience with the hobby.


Initial rating:
Current Rating: 6.0
Plays: 1

In June I wrote:
...Theme parks games seem to be all the rage so I was interested in trying a game with its theme. Unfortunately the theme did not shine through as much as I would have liked. That doesn't mean the game was bad, I just didn't feel the theme. It offered interesting choices and multiple ways to score points. Each player had unique player boards with different scoring abilities based on each player's board layout.

We all enjoyed it and would expect the dynamic to improve with another play or two. However, I feel there is probably a better game with this theme out there.
I landed a copy of World's Fair 1893 in this year's Origins Math Trade which I hope will finally be the game with this sort of theme that hits the spot for me.


I also played Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game and Dead Last last June, neither have stood the test of time for me.


meeple Keep playing...
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3. Board Game: Acquire [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:237]
Will Plante
United States
Greenville
Rhode Island
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This was my geeklist from a year ago - New to Me June 2016

*My updated comments are more about how much I enjoy playing the game a year later after multiple plays and much less focused on the theme/mechanics of the game.

I somehow managed to forget that I played Acquire for the the first time last June and no offense to High Bid, but Acquire would have clearly been my favorite new to me game of last June.



Games that stood the test of time:

Acquire (is still my favorite new to me game from last June) -> 4 plays

A year later... thoughts and rating (10 -> 10)

I honestly don't have much more to say, every time I've played Acquire it has been a nail biter. It is a truly outstanding design, there is so much depth and nuance packed into such a simple/elegant design. No matter how many games you've played and how jaded you may be you should try Acquire if you get the chance. Acquire is one of the few games I've played that truly stands out and will indefinitely stand the test of time.

My only gripe is how awful the new FF reprint looks and they also changed the dimensions of the board, why?!

Initial thoughts and rating (10):

Excellent intro into stock market games. The perfect example of a game design that has a dead simple rule set, but a lot of strategic depth. There is also a lot of player interaction with the constant shifting of the board state. You need to pay attention to everyone at the table if you intend to do well. Can't wait to play this one more.



Games I haven't played since last year, but would like to try again:

Last June we moved to a new house, so we didn't play many games with the exception of an all day gaming get together at a friend's house. Most of the new to me games were played then and I haven't had the opportunity to play them again. Later this month the same group is meeting up again, so I may get a chance to revisit some of these games and then update my thoughts.

Catan 8 -> 8

I ended up recently buying a copy to play with my family, now I just need to refresh myself with the rules and break it out. I think they'll enjoy the trading aspect of the game.

Discworld: Ankh-Morpork 8 -> 8

High Bid 8 -> 8

Stockpile 8 -> 8

Troyes 8 -> 8

Ivor the Engine 6 -> 6



Games that haven't stood the test of time:

Animals on Board 11 plays

A year later... thoughts and rating (8 -> 6)

I ended up playing this quite a bit with my family, my girls especially loved the theme/artwork. While fun at first, repeated play took a lot of the shine off the game. It's hard to put my finger on why, but it definitely began to feel repetitive and somewhat random since a varying number of tiles wouldn't come out each game. I understand it is a light, family game so my criticisms may seem off base, but once I played N.Y, Slice I new I didn't need Animals on Board in my collection anymore.

In short N.Y. Slice adds a bonus tile that gets placed each round which helps each game play out differently, only three slices are randomly removed from play each game which stops you from having perfect knowledge of which tiles are out while not introducing too much randomness and the scoring is more straight forward and easier for folks to grasp (especially non gamers). All in all I think N.Y. Slice is the superior I split you choose family game and I'd highly recommend it over Animals on Board.



The following games haven't been played since last June and I have little to no desire to play these again. My initial thoughts still stand, so I won't rehash them here.

World's Fair 1893 6/8 -> 6



Thanks for reading and feel free to ask any questions.

Cheers,
Will
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4. Board Game: Modern Land Battles: Target Acquired [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:9125]
Fernando Robert Yu
Philippines
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Item for Geeklist "New to you June 2016 => Best new boardgame"

Modern Land Battles: Target Acquired

This light card based tactical wargame has gotten 7 more plays bringing my total play count to 13. Despite its lightness it captures the importance of maneuver as you can maneuver in order to flank the enemy or capture terrain. This forces you to compose a combined arms force and not just rely on brute force as even a force of all tanks can be badly outmaneuvered by lighter forces. The success of this game has made me resurrect the classic Up Front and this means this may take a backseat to that fantastic classic title. I do think the game needs more nationalities so hopefully with more countries and different terrain cards will come out.

Original rating: 8.0/10
Current rating: 8.0/10

Orléans: Deluxe Edition

This has not gotten any more plays since last June but this will be remedied soon as I need to get more plays of this in before giving better judgement.

Original rating: 7.5/10
Current rating: 7.5/10
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5. Board Game: Carcassonne: The City [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:596]
Keith Rudolph
Canada
Langdon
Alberta
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June 2016's List

Carcassonne: The City

This is still easily our favourite version of Carcassonne. Really glad we were able to find this gem in a math trade. We don't play quite as often now but it still sees some regular use.

Council of Four

We haven't played this one since this time last year but we did at least enjoy this one. It's one of those that we keep talking about playing again but just haven't seemed to do so yet. We're big fans of the other works that Simone Luciani has done so I'm not sure why it's not getting played more. I should really re-read the rules for this one soon so we can give it a try again. I'm glad we managed to get our European copy before the horrible looking CMON one came along.

Dead Men Tell No Tales

This one just fell completely flat for us and we couldn't be bothered to try it again. Traded away.

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective

We couldn't bring ourselves to spend any more time with this game after the first case file and half of the second left us completely underwhelmed. We traded this one away shortly after in a math trade and haven't missed it.

Automania

Sadly another one that hasn't been played in a year. The only reason I can come up with is that we went too long without playing it and forgot the rules, leaving it to sit on the shelf even longer. I'm hoping that the rules summary I created for this will help us be able to pick up and play this one again fairly soon.
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6. Board Game: Railways of the World [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:107] [Average Rating:7.69 Unranked]
Jim Hansen
United States
Naperville
Illinois
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Item for Geeklist "New to you June 2016 => Best new boardgame"

Railways of the World - 1 play then, none since -  7 
First Published 2005


Quote:
This was my first railroad game, having only played Ticket to Ride, and I enjoyed it. We played on the Eastern U.S. map. The whole game is much more thematic than TTR. The event cards were cool, but it's weird how there are 3 per player at the beginning, then only one new card each turn. There was a mad frenzy at the start, but then they had minimal impact. I liked the income track, particularly how income peaks in the middle and then decreases.

Overall, I liked the game. I enjoyed the route building, shipping, variable player powers (they were minor), and bonus points for select routes. My only minor complaint was the shortage of event cards. I'm looking forward to trying more rail games.
I haven't had a chance to play this again, but I would ask to play if someone brought it to a game night. I have since played Rolling Freight which I enjoyed and reminded me of this one.

Five Tribes - 1 play then, none since -  6.5 
First Published 2014


Quote:
I can see the appeal of Five Tribes. The game is accessible and has nice components. There are a lot of decisions to be made and the board is constantly changing. But there is virtually no long term strategy. It is purely tactical to just optimize your current move. At least in 4 player, it's nearly impossible to think more than one turn ahead. I could see two player being a tense chess match, but that's not really for me either. Also, there seem to be some minor balance issues. Djinns can be really powerful while Viziers and Assassins are very underwhelming. It's a fine game, but there's nothing that would make me want to pick it from a pile of other games.
This one has come out or been suggested at game nights several times, and I find myself actively avoiding it. I've played Istanbul a couple of times since I played Five Tribes, and that has some similarities in game play. I think Istanbul is a better game, but I am lukewarm at best about it. I can't really see playing Five Tribes again unless there are no other options.
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7. Board Game: The Voyages of Marco Polo [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:43]
Tom P
United Kingdom
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Only two new games last June for me:

Item for Geeklist "New to you June 2016 => Best new boardgame"

I've not played this or Keflower since, and not so bothered about that, but I'd probably rather play Keyflower again if I had the choice.

So nothing particularly exciting this month.
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8. Board Game: Chicago Express [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:403]
Tiago Perretto
Brazil
Curitiba
Parana
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Item for Geeklist "New to you June 2016 => Best new boardgame"

Oh, oh. It was one of those months. Not all that often to me, but happen on occasion: not even a single game from one year ago was played again.

Thus my impressions of them still remain unchanged (you should click on the link above and read them!) for the most part.

Games I want to play again:

Chicago Express - neat, clean and smart.
Bomb Squad - tense and fun.
Mysterium - has some issues, but I still want to play.
The Dwarf King - not the best, but a good trick-taking.


Games I can live without:

Blood & Fortune - strange game, that gave me some good plays, but I don't trust.
Ricochet Robots - too much frustration.
Cthulhu Realms - a worst version of Star Realms.
Regular Show Fluxx - this one actually works better than several of the other incarnations, as it tends to end faster.
Tenzi - bad.

And that was it!

Regards,
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9. Board Game: Luna [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:459]
Carthoris Pyramidos
United States
Littleton
Colorado
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Item for Geeklist "New to you June 2016 => Best new boardgame"

Luna was a game I was curious about for years before I finally acquired and played it last June. Since then, I've logged 15 plays: 9 of these solitaire, 5 with two players, and 1 with three. I have yet to play it with a full complement of four players, but I suspect that it would be at its best that way, since I thought 3 > 2 > 1 (in enjoyment, not just simple arithmetic). Luna is in my 10x10 challenge this year, but it's one of the stragglers, with only four plays to date.

I find Luna's distinctly unique theme adorable, even though it's not all that integrated with the mechanisms of play, and I love the art and graphic design. Its perfect freedom from hidden information and randomness are also attractive to me. Still, I find it a hard sell to my usual range of opponents for whatever reason.

Here's a pic from the finish of my most recent play, a solitaire game last weekend. I've been told by others that they find the solitaire version fairly easy, but I do not. Even with the temple ending as shown here (I am yellow, red is the programmed adversary) I still lost, with a tie score of 84 broken by my trailing in the council of priests.



Last year, I compared Luna to the other new-to-me game of the month, Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar. That one was not a great experience, since I got crushed by three other veteran players while trying to figure out which end was up. I haven't played it since.

Today, though, I might be more inclined to compare Luna to Onward to Venus, because of their broad outlines. Both games use a player-triggered option to clock out longish rounds, and both have sprawling multi-board layouts. The contrast there is between Luna's austere, hazard-free worker placement and Venus's dice and cards for conquest approach.
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10. Board Game: The Duke [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:470]
Justin Wawrzonek
United States
Amsterdam
New York
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== NEW GAMES ==

The Duke - 3 plays -  8 
First Published 2013


I still love this game quite a bit. My wife and I currently have a tie in wins, which we really need to finally resolve.


The Shadow Over Westminster - 0 plays -  7 
First Published 2015


Have not played it since.


Mysterium - 0 play -  7 
First Published 2013


Have not played it since.
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11. Board Game: Onitama [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:212]
Frederic Heath-Renn
United Kingdom
Islington
London
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Item for Geeklist "New to you June 2016 => Best new boardgame"

Ho boy, lots last year - it was UK Games Expo, after all (spoilers for this month there), as well as the usual smattering of two-player abstracts - but lots of no consequence. So let's say I haven't replayed and don't care about The Colony (1 plays then), The Great Fire of London 1666 (1 play then), Xi Cards* (1 play then), Karo (2 plays then), or Guilds of London (1 play then).

MeM (3 plays then; 0 since) I have also not replayed, and in all honesty I'm not sure I ever want to, but it's so screwy and impenetrable that I feel honour-bound to recommend it in some small sense. Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization (1 play then; 0 since) and Palago (3 plays then; 0 since) I have also not replayed but do at least remember with a sort of keen fondness.

So what of the others? Tasso (2 plays then; 3 since) got a few more plays, and even a couple of wins for myself - it is pleasant in its simplicity, and while not a deep experience in any sense it is an endearing way to spend a lunch. Kamisado (3 plays then; 1 since) got another outing earlier this year - it's very cunning, but I'm still at the level where it frankly all feels like chaotic blundering around, as evidence by the three-round whitewash my last game of it was, so I don't know how much I can speak on it.

Interplay (6 plays then; 4 since) I still love - it's so simple in overview ('make one of these patterns') but the, ahem, interplay is magnificent - blocking, failing to block, trying to look ahead to work out where you need to put your pieces: the game quickly feels like it's on a knife-edge and it's definitely one of the best n-in-a-row games I've played.

It was probably right to call Onitama (6 plays then; 3 since) the winner, though - my plays since were in Sept, Oct and Feb so while it's not seen heavy play it has lasted; I don't feel like I've played it quite enough to justify getting the new expansion, as tempting as it is, but it's such a neat, self-contained abstract with a great central idea (the movement exchange).

*although I was immensely charmed at the discovery that they were at the Expo this year too
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12. Board Game: City of Iron: Second Edition [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:1436]
James Moline
United States
Tampa
FL
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Here's a link to the original item.

It wasn't a great month over all.

City of Iron: Second Edition
Quote:
I can't shake the idea that this is a more elaborate Ascension with an area majority element and a couple of other twists. It's a deck builder with a few different kinds of currency and a random marketplace. It didn't take too long with only two players, but I also imagine that the competition loses something with the lower player counts. I do really like the fact that you don't actually shuffle your cards, rather you decide the order in which you want to draw them. One play isn't nearly enough, though, to know how to strategize to that extent.

I still like the idea of this game, but as more and more time passed, I wanted to play this less and less. Plus, my friend that owned it, eventually sold it.

Rating Then: 7
Rating Now: 6
Plays: 1

Feudality
Quote:
Feudality is a nice gateway weight tile laying game. I don't think I'm going to pick up a copy, but I would definitely play it again.

I'm not sure what it is about this game that didn't quite click with me, but, while I would play it again, I would not ask to.

Rating Then: 7
Rating Now: 6
Plays: 1

Golem Arcana
Quote:
This is a good game, and my opponent really liked it. I would say my feelings were more mixed. The system seems pretty sound, but the scenarios we played were really just brawls with a lot of dice rolling and not a lot of depth. I'm hoping that other scenarios will prove more interesting.

I might end up playing this more this summer, and I'll be interested to see how it holds up. For now, though, head to head skirmish games just aren't something that appeals to me very much.

Rating Then: 7
Rating Now: 6
Plays: 1
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13. Board Game: Imhotep [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:375]
Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
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Imhotep

Imhotep was my only new game this time last year, and although it was ok it wasn't anything special, so I haven't hunted it out again.
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14. Board Game: Between Two Cities [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:536]
Jeff Wolfe
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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Item for Geeklist "New to you June 2016 => Best new boardgame"

I've played this a few more times since last year and have found it reasonably enjoyable. Curiously, I've never played it at my regular gaming group, CABS. I have two plays at a friend's house and two plays at conventions.

I was surprised to see that I've not played Codenames: Pictures since last year. In the same time period, I've played Codenames 16 times.
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15. Board Game: Viticulture Essential Edition [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:20]
Aron D
United States
Erie
Pennsylvania
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Last Year's List

Viticulture Essential Edition

3 subsequent plays. Current Rating: 7.5/10 [No Change]

All 4 of my plays of this have been solo and I am still wanting to try it out in a group setting but the opportunity just hasn't arisen. It is probably my second favorite Euro solo game (After A Feast for Odin) but that isn't really enough to make me want to play it too often. The mechanics are solid and I really enjoy the campaign in the solo game but it just doesn't have the pull that some other games do. Definitely going to keep it around and will play it occasionally (hopefully at some point withe other people).
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16. Board Game: Arkwright [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:505]
Jake Blomquist
United States
Vestal
New York
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Here's my item from last year. Can't believe it had 25 new games on it, even considering going to Origins (I'll have about fifteen this month). Like I said then, lots of fine but nothing special games with a few standouts (which were the ones that got replayed for the most part). Not many of my opinions have changed, but here goes.

Games I Have Played in the Past Year:

Arkwright - 8.5->8.5



Unfortunately only played this a couple times since last year. I think I like it more than the rest of my group (and it takes a while) so it's non trivial to get to the table. Looking back at last year's entry, I have nothing new to add, so I'll reproduce it here:
jblomquist wrote:
There are a lot of moving parts and a lot of things to balance. The action selection system is clever, and the way the job market and demand influence each other is brilliant. The special power tokens add a nice twist. But the best part is the price setting and price wars you can get into and the high risk high reward shipping options. Figuring out how to balance making money to buy back your shares and making an in demand product to get the stock bumps is great.
Definitely a top 15 game for me.

The Gallerist - 8.5->8.5



I think I might actually like this one better than Arkwright now, but either way it's close. Another that hasn't gotten as many plays as I'd like in the past year, and now recently the owner moved away. I'm considering getting a copy myself so I can play it more, but I just picked up Lisboa, so we'll see if that scratches a similar enough itch. But yeah, some really cool ideas in this one. The international market area is great, I love the star track, and the way the artist popularity can create little shared goals is really cool. I still don't think it's as interesting as Kanban with its two separate arcs (upgrades and cars in garages) that you need to figure out how to intermix, but a really great game nonetheless.

Neolithic - 8->8



Every time I get this out I'm impressed at what it does with just a deck of cards. You can do some really cool stuff with timing your picking up correctly, and the fact that all of the cards are multi-use means there are always nice decisions to make. I bought but still haven't played the expansion.

Royals - 8->8



After a second game I still really like it. If you like the rummy style card aspect of TTR, this is just a much better game built around that same system. You're always thinking about multiple goals at once and how to be choosing actions that work toward more than one at once. One of my favorite things is when a game makes you weigh different kinds of goals in the way this game does.

Xenon Profiteer - 7.5->7.5



Another with only one additional play. Still feel basically the same, I like that the money is cumulative rather than just what you happen to get for the round and I like the emphasis on deck thinning. The bid tokens feel pretty unnecessary, in my two games I used them once, on the one turn it made sense to go into overdrive. A second play has also cemented for me that the game feels basically the same every time, and so I don't know how often I'd really want to play it.

Antike II - 7.5->7.5



One more play later and it's still pretty good. Actually, in a way it reminds me a good amount of Scythe. It's a nice game of optimization and occasional combat where you're looking to complete some predefined objectives before everyone else. But everything just feels a little too simple. There are a few resources and each one just works toward its one kind of upgrade. And I never really feel like I'm thinking too hard about what I need to be doing. I'm honestly not sure between this and Scythe which I prefer.

Pictomania - 7.5->8



If I were rearranging these in the order in which I now like them rather than keeping them in their order from last year, this would be up at least a couple spots. I think my first game I'd only played with the level 2 of 4 words, and I felt they were too easy, making the game more about speed than anything else. Well now I've played twice with the level 4 words, and I think I'd be willing to call this my favorite party game. Certainly it's my favorite Vlaada Chvatil game. The one downside is that there aren't very many of the high level cards so you probably can't play it too often. This one also moved away with the owner of The Gallerist unfortunately, but I don't see myself buying it unless they also come out with more level 4 word cards.

Games I Haven't Played in the Past Year:

Egizia - 7.5->6.5



The more I thought about it the more the Sphinx cards bugged me and the less and less interested I was in every playing it again. Maybe at three two it wouldn't be bad because everyone can get a sphinx card every round, but in a three or four player game they're just too important and that makes the early area of the board have a weird and unfun feel to it.

Bruges - 7->6



The more I thought about this game, the more the luck of the draw bothered me. It's sad because like I said originally there are some interesting things going on in this game, but I'd have to be in the right mood to even give this game another chance. Possibly Feld's worst.




Any other games not mentioned didn't get played and my feelings about them didn't change significantly since last year.
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17. Board Game: Mombasa [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:63]
David Fox
United Kingdom
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A lot of games this time last year, as I made it to the UK Gaming Expo: couldn’t go this year, unfortunately. Nevertheless, three games from last year I still really like. List here.

Top pick then and now: Mombasa - 4 more plays

Yup, still love this game, though it’s hard to get it to the table: the ‘a lot of simple’ still applies, but it’s a fairly lengthy teach and most of an evening to play. I’ve got the bookkeeping promo but haven’t had a chance to play with it yet. I still put the game in the bag from time to time, but there are other medium-heavy games in the group that get a lot more love than this one.

Games that are just as good: Imhotep - 4 more plays

This is still a very accessible light-medium game which is an easy go-to as a 3/4 player super-filler. Ravens of Thri Sahashri (2 more plays) I find really hard to get played: as a silent asymmetrical two player co-op, it needs experience which is tricky to come by as it’s a bit of a hard sell: I like the mechanics and the theme, just wish I could get it played more; at least it doesn’t take up much space in the bag.

Games that got better: Mmm - 4 more plays

I was very disappointed in this last-minute Expo purchase, but my son has taken to it somewhat which, as it’s a game he can play solo, is a bit of a winner for any parent (yeah, sorry!). Stay of trading for the moment.

Games that stayed the same...

Ice Cool (2 more plays) my son still refuses to play by the rules, so I can’t really call it. Nina & Pinta was sold on. Friday I keep putting in the game bag, ‘just in case’, but it hasn’t got back to the table yet. Multiuniversum and Animals on Board haven’t resurfaced.

Games that got worse: TIME Stories: A Prophecy of Dragons - no more plays, obviously

The series, that is, is not improving, so this is probably more of a comment on the whole TS shebang, rather that APoD on its own, but the games need more work both thematically and mechanically. If it were a TV series, they’d be firing the writers and getting a bunch of new ones in. Absolute Balderdash (2 more plays) wasn’t as much fun subsequently, but it’s not dropped by much, just a little.

Bottom of the heap: Zombicide Black Plague - no more plays

People seem to be liking Go Cuckoo more than I did, so maybe I misread that one; Fire Dragons, maybe I got right. Zombicide: BP, though, was a reworking of a game and theme I already didn’t like too much, which always seems to have a lot of (personal) downtime, so this slides down. If ever there was KickStarter I was utterly disinterested in, Green Horde would be it.
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18. Board Game: Imperial Settlers [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:168]
Simona Dostalova
Czech Republic
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The winner


Plays in June 2016: 1
Total plays: 9

Quote:
Imperial Settlers great, great game with terrible childish artwork. If not for that, I would deffinitely get it.

Although I didn't pick Imperial Settlers last year, it turned out to be a clear winner. I gradually came to love it more and more. I would buy it but the artwork still irked me. Fortunately, you guys recommende 51st State: Master Set to me so I got it! And am super-happy about it We played it over and over during Christmas with SO.


Played again



Quote:
Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King is really Carcassonne for gamers. Very good, again did not like the artwork but I love the gameplay. I would get it except I think my partner would not like it

SO actually did like Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King. But over the multiple plays of this, I've kind of grown tired of it. Nothing interesting enough to own it but I do enjoy playing it in the gaming pub I go to



Plays in June 2016: 1
Total plays: 2

Quote:
The highlight was deffinitely Taluva. While it is very abstract-y, they successed in making it look beautiful, the gameplay is very fast and smooth. I deffinitely would get it except the classic edition is not attainable in Czech Republic and the deluxe one is too expensive (beautiful, though )

Taluva, the winner back then, was only played once. I still like it (and am still terrible at it ) and would get it, given the opportunity I don't want to pay way too much money, though


Did not play again but would like to



Quote:
7 Wonders Duel very good and fun, even different than what I have in my collection - considering buying it.

I didn't get it in the end but I did get the "normal" 7 Wonders and we played it few times. I like it more than SO does, however, so it a little bit hard, getting it to the table again




Quote:
River Dragons nice little family game that looks beautiful. Deffinitely want to play again with higher player count and on better table (we were 4 and the table swung with every motion)

Well, although I did like River Dragons and it is in my gaming pub, we never got to play it again. But I would deffinitely be up to for it


Did not play again and don't miss it



Quote:
Above and Below very nice and approachable rules, I would say gateway game plus. Will not buy but I would gladly get it for christmas or so

Above and Below was not played again because I found out I don't really like story games Well, other than Dixit, of course




Quote:
Fury of Dracula (Second Edition) played in a very loud environment so did not quite enjoy the fluff. However, the gameplay is nice, but I still prefer Specter Ops

Fury of Dracula (Second Edition) was not missed by me, but to be honest, I haven't played Specter Ops either Just too many games and not enough time to play any but the current favourites
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19. Board Game: Deception: Murder in Hong Kong [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:171]
Matt Brown
United States
Okemos
Michigan
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Nefarious

No further plays despite seeing it around and wanting another go of it so clearly not busting my butt to add that other play.

Mister X

Partly want to play Scotland Yard as this comes from it, but this felt very basic to me, so I'm not sure how much to expect from it. I watched a review and just felt like something that hadn't aged well. Having played a number of other games in the genre, I think both games for me aren't really worth investing in. Recently grabbed LfW, so it is my guess that's the one for me anyway.

The Grizzled

I should like this, but I honestly don't. It is just kind of there. Difficult for the sake of it with minimal amount of theme.

Good Cop Bad Cop

This got better once we started with it with a minimum of 6, but it is still one in a mass of games I would label as a 6 and social deduction is so over done at this point.

Wits & Wagers

Tough to crown one over the other, but I feel like I know how much potential this has. This was technically played before BGG, but I wanted to add the plays after I was here. Still the best trivia game for me, and similar to Codenames in that it can play with a large number of people.

Deception: Murder in Hong Kong

I think the ceiling is higher for this and thus it winning out. There were some rough plays, and I think the added roles are virtually required, but my last plays have been great and the kind of experience I have been looking for from the game.
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20. Board Game: Castellion [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:1395]
...sure...
Netherlands
Rijen
Noord Brabant
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Quote:
No real winners here; all games that will need some more play. Might go either way for all of these.

Castellion
Red7
Snowdonia
Valley of the Kings: Afterlife


Hm. Not really. Played some more Valley of the Kings, but the original as well. Snowdonia and Castellion deserve more play.
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21. Board Game: Yokohama [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:89]
Nathan Clegg
United States
Escondido
California
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Item for Geeklist "New to you June 2016 => Best new boardgame"

d10-8 Yokohama (2016) - The best of the month a year ago, this game has actually gone up since. I could easily attribute this to TMG's reprint, not only for the deluxification but the graphic design changes that make this easier to learn, to teach, and to play. But the truth is that the gameplay has improved for me as well. I rated this a 7 then and it's an 8 now. Great fun and happy to have finally picked up my own copy.

d10-6 Last Train to Wensleydale (2009) - Haven't played this since because we always reach for First Train to Nuremberg instead. I like it better because I feel the original map was a bit too harsh, but I'd certainly give it another play.

And then a bunch of other things that haven't seen play since, one of which might.

d10-5 Indigo (2012)
d10-5 Arkadia (2006)
d10-5 The Game of 49 (2014)
d10-5 Team Play (2015)
d10-4 Trick of the Rails (2011)
d10-3 West of Africa (2016)

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22. Board Game: 51st State: Master Set [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:280]
Lo
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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Four "new to me" games in June 2016. Of them, Locomotive Werks was my favourite for the month. Though "mathy", it's really no worse than an 18xx. And probably more calculable. Frequent plays might make it predictable, however, it has not made it back to the table so who knows. Locomotive Werks has survived in my mind and remains in my collection, but that's about all.


I had high hopes that World's Fair 1893 would be interesting enough to be a week-night light event for my wife and I. And a game that I could inflict on casual players when the chance arose. That said, neither of us found the game that interesting and, after three plays, I traded it away. I have no desire to play it again.


Bananagrams fared even worse. One play (with co-workers) and that was that. I'd play it again, but I can't say I'd ever request it.


As for 51st State: Master Set, it got 17 plays in June 2016 and was my most played game of 2016. After Carcassonne, it's become my wife's most requested game. Definitely the one game of the month that's survived the test of time.
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23. Board Game: Arkwright [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:505]
Morten K
Denmark
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I played three new to me games in June 2016:



Which I thought was very good based on one play of the Spinning Jenny variant. A couple of weeks after the same group of four played the full Waterframe variant which made me lower my rating of the game so much that I also decided to sell it. Not that it's a bad game but the player interaction I loved in Spinning Jenny (which in contrast lacked some variation) was lost to a large degree in the the Waterframe variant due to the external market being so important. So with those issues and the long playtime I knew I wouldn't play it much after and I sold it. I'd play someone else's copy again but it's not something I'd seek out.



I thought was good but also sold after two plays. The learning curve for the iconography was too steep to play with different people irregularly and I would have liked more card comboing.


I also thought was good but eventually sold it after 5 plays due to its lack of theme and player interaction.

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24. Board Game: Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) – Road to Legend [Average Rating:8.65 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.65 Unranked]
Charles Hasegawa
United States
Chandler
Arizona
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Excerpts from my post on punchboardmedia.com

Last year, I only had one new to me game in June, which was only semi-new. Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) – Road to Legend. I say semi-new because the game of Descent was not new to me at all, but FFG released their new companion application to the 2nd edition, and it changed things up for me. First off, I had only managed to get the game in its natural form (1 vs many) to the table once or twice.
...
The Road to Legend app changes the original game by providing an AI for the monsters, allowing you to play the game as a co-op (which also means, solo). It is very similar in feel to the released solo/co-ops adventures in that the app provides instructions for how the monsters should activate and behave each round, but the monsters are not static for each quest.
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25. Board Game: Palazzo [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1687]
David B
United States
Virginia
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Palazzo

A fantastic auction game that I believe is quite underrated, even among Knizia fans. It has elements of Taj Mahal, High Society, Lost Cities, and Alhambra. It is quick to set up and play with a very focused decision space. It also is very efficient with table space and plays very well with 2 players. A perfect lunchtime game.

Ran out of gas after about 5 plays. It's ok, but doesn't stand up against Knizia's other quick auction games. Sold it.


Quote:

The Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game

Interesting for a play or two, but then it reveals itself as a totally unnecessary and far too stripped down version of the original game. Losing the uniqueness of the yellow tiles and the spatial considerations of tile placement rip the teeth out of the game. The game is also a mess and a total table hog. Some comments I have read along the lines of "it might even take up more space than the board game" are quite funny as it definitely takes considerably more space. Take a look at some pics of 4 player games near the end; it looks like a disaster. If you have the board game already, I would suggest passing on this one.

No regrets letting this one go. I'm not even as enthused about the parent game as I used to be, though it is one I will hang on to.

Quote:

Orléans

A decent game. But it does not deserve to be #43. In fact, I don't think it deserves to be in the top 100. The bag building is an interesting twist on deck building (though it's been done before), but the rest of the game lacks character and is in fact quite generic. The resources seem somewhat silly as you don't really do anything with them. They are just points. You don't even really use money you collect. Again, the biggest use of money is points at the end of the game. The entire scoring system seems to lack imagination. When you see the game spread out all over the table, it seems like it would be a game where you collect resources, do interesting things with them, develop an economy, and expand. You do some of that to a small degree, but it really just boils down to point grabbing and not much more. I also find the design to be on the bloated side as there seems to be several things that should have been streamlined out, the events being first that come to mind. It is fun for a few plays, but it is not good enough to add to my collection.

So far, I haven't had to play this one again. I don't consider that a bad thing.

Quote:

Rise of Empires
A good area control game with civilization/tech tree elements. A lot going on and I would need at least one more play to make a judgement. Our game was 5 players and it is too long at that count for what the game offers. Each player gets 36 turns in the game, so at 5 players that works out to 180 turns. Some those turns are quick, but when players take the "battle/expand" action, there is some definite thinking time required. So 5 players was pushing the 4 hour mark. That is a tad outside my comfort zone.

Haven't played again and my memory is too vague of my one play to comment about it.
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