My purchases and impressions
Dan D
Romania
Bucharest
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Hello world!

I have started the boardgaming hobby on 30th June 2010 and I now want to write a list of my purchases and my impressions upon playing them.

At the end of the list I will add some of the games that I will most surely look to purchase in the near future.

With the introduction out of the way, let's go!


Notes:
1. The list is in chronological order and the ratings are 1(minimum) - 10 (maximum). The ratings are for the base game including the expansions unless stated otherwise. Also the rating tries to be somewhat objective and does not reflect the way my gaming group reacted to the game, but my personal overall opinion of it.
2. Comments, thumbs and GG are welcomed and all will be invested in getting geekbadge.
3. Be gentle, it is my first Geeklist.

Last time edited 9/11/11
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1. Board Game: Small World [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:213] [Average Rating:7.30 Unranked]
Dan D
Romania
Bucharest
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Fluff Text: This was the first purchase and the first step I made in the boardgaming world. I was attracted by the confruntational nature of the game and the nice artwork. This was when I found out that I am a sucker for nice art and beautiful components.

This game set quite a high quality bar for the rest of my games.

Small World was played just a few times (less than 10) but was quite fun as far as I was concerned. The strategy was simple and the art was great. The race-power combinations were funny and quite devastating at some point. The replayability semeed huge, especially after I added the expansions.

Impression: I can see why it had the high ratings, but sadly, it had to be traded away as it was too confrontational for my group. The last game we played ended with one player saying: "I hate you guys! Why did you gang up on me?" so it had to be traded away because after that it was just gathering dust on the shelf.

Final Rating: A solid 8

Status: Sold

Why: This one was sold since it proved to be too confrontational for my group and especially with 3 players we found many king-making scenarios where the losing player would exact his "revenge" on one of the players therefore handing the game to the other one. I played it with more than that and it seemed that this somewhat mitigates the 3-player situation. However since my primary play group consists of 3, I sold it to get something else. In and of itself it seemed to be a nice game, but it just did not work out for my group and after about 10 games, culminating with the quote above, I had to give it and the expansions away.
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2. Board Game: Small World: Grand Dames of Small World [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Dan D
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Fluff Text: This was purchased after about 5-6 plays of Small World and at the same time with Kingsburg to give more flavour to the base game. It only got unpunched.

Impression: Not played enough to make an impression.

Status: Sold
 
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3. Board Game: Small World: Cursed! [Average Rating:7.51 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.51 Unranked]
Dan D
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Fluff Text: Purchased with the Grand Dames and suffered the same fate. This was purchased after about 10 plays of Small World to give more flavour to the base game. It only got unpunched.

Impression: Not played enough to make an impression.

Status: Sold
 
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4. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:50]
Dan D
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Bucharest
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Fluff Text: This was bought after discovering the BGG and after careful researching. Had no idea if the result of the research I did will work well with the people I usually play with, but took a chance. Apparently, my instincts were good.

I wanted an economical/military/non-confrontational game that played fast(er). And this was exactly what I got with lots of extras such a multiple ways to win, different combos and player variable powers. It turned up to be more than I expected for the money I paid for it.

My group apparently liked it too and we played it 6 hours on the first day I introduced it to them, maybe 50 times in the 1st month I got it and well over 200 plays so far along with the Gathering Storm expansion.

Impression: This is a good solid game. The learning curve may be steep, but very rewarding once you get it right. The art on the cards is good and the game plays really fast. The balance is right and there is some luck factor in the drawing of the cards, but not too much.

Final Rating: A good 8+

Status: Sold

Why: Got replaced by Eminent Domain. I found ED to be just as fast, more noob-friendly and it had a new flavor. After playing this game and the extenstion for well over 100 times F2F and possibly another 200 vs the computer, it got kinda stale. By no means a bad game, but I wanted something new and the collection has to be around the 20ish mark.
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5. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm [Average Rating:8.09 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.09 Unranked]
Dan D
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Fluff Text: Purchased along with the base game, but left in shrink until I was sure we were going to need it. It managed to sit for about a month until it was opened and slowly added to the base game. We added the cards first for simple play and than the goals. It proved to be a nice addition, but not game-changing, more of a small improvement.

This and the base game were thoroughly played, even being portable enough to go to the seaside to provide some evening fun time.

Impression: This game was clearly designed with the expansions in mind. Even so, nowadays it does not get that much table time as it used to when it was new, so I do not see the need to add the other more confrontational expansions, though the prestige resource in the latest one intrigues me.

Status: Sold
 
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6. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Europe [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:102] [Average Rating:7.56 Unranked]
Dan D
Romania
Bucharest
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Fluff Text: So my collection had quite some games by this point, yet I didn't have a gateway light game. So after a little more researching I came to the conclusion that TtR series was very appreciated and decided to buy TtR: Europe since I am living in Europe. Marklin did make sweet eyes at me at the time, but I decided to keep it simple.

I must say I don't regret buying this. It was something quite unique at the time and I think no collection is complete without a train game, whichever that one might be. Now it gets played only when we want a light game or we are in the mood for building huge transportations systems across Europe.

The artwork is quite nice and the production values are high. This game made me discover sleeves and I have sleeved or tried to sleeve almost all the cards in any game I have.

Impression: Plays really well, but definitely becomes a great game once the Europa 1912 expansion is added. Double the tickets means double the fun. It has all the elements that make it great: simple rules, wonderful production and a bit of screwage factored in.

Final Rating: A quite well deserved 8+

Status: Gifted away

Why: I realized that my cousins were coming over just to borrow this game from me and I was pretty much not playing it so I thought this would be a good birthday present. It included the 1912 expansion.
 
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7. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Europa 1912 [Average Rating:7.66 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.66 Unranked]
Dan D
Romania
Bucharest
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Fluff Text: I was thinking of a way to add more to my TtR:Europe game as I had already learned the 6 big destinations cards by heart in half a dozen plays. So I researched a bit and saw that Europa 1912 adds quite a bit of tickets and a special mechanic to the game.

Impression: For me the added mechanic and the depots were a bonus to the extra tickets. Although I use them seldom the art is quite good and the bits are painted nicely. This is a must have expansion for TtR:Europe since it allows for a much deeper gameplay and it improves the existing game with a Big Cities variant.

Status: Gifted away
 
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8. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Switzerland [Average Rating:7.51 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.51 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.51 Unranked]
Dan D
Romania
Bucharest
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Fluff Text: Although I was enjoying the normal TtR: Europe I was more often than not playing with 2-3 players. Therefore I thought to invest in the Switzerland map that promised better gameplay with 2 or 3 players. This was bought alongside the Europa 1912 expansion so there was a discount for two items which was a good incentive.

Impression: After a few plays I can say this map does deliver on the promise. The game is more challenging and definitely more crowded and cutthroat on this map with just 2 or 3 players. Art is on par with the original TtR:E. Overall, it was a good puchase that I don't regret.

Final Rating: A nice 8 (Even though it is not a full game, I feel it deserves a separate rating from the base game)

Status: Traded

Why: Since I gifted the original game to my cousins, it seemed kinda odd to try and keep the extension around and I am certain it will find a better home somewhere else. Traded Switzerland for Citadels.
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9. Board Game: Kingsburg [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:297]
Dan D
Romania
Bucharest
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Fluff Text: Wanted a true economical game to add to my collection, something with worker placement and some strategy, but also medieval and some fighting. This one was the one that fit the bill. Of course that the great artwork helped it quite a bit, but the dice-workers were quite an interesting idea.

Ordered this from a FLGS and picked it up after about a month when they had it in stock again.

Impression: It plays really nice and it is quite unique. The assigning dice to influence the advisors, the buildings that have a tech tree feel to them and the winter stage when the goblins, zombies and other monsters attack, all these make for an exciting game. We never finished a game within more than 3 points of one another which means that even bad rolls are mitigated. Well thought out game.

Played it with the expansion as well and I must say it was a blast but a tad long for my personal taste. There is strategy there, but the roles, the events, the tokens and the extra buildings make it a much more fun game.

Final Rating: A promising 8

Status: Traded

Why: The game has no faults, especially with the expansion tacked on, but the trade I was offered seemed to good. After several plays, the group and me decided that this was a way too easy game for us and my family did not like the game one bit after I introduced them to TTR (they found it excruciatingly boring). As it happens I was on the market for some sort of game to replace Small World as a game with war in my collection, so I could not pass up on Runewars. That and the fact I had Troyes at the moment helped with the decision. One Euro Dice Game is enough.
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10. Board Game: Kingsburg: To Forge a Realm [Average Rating:7.90 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.90 Unranked]
Dan D
Romania
Bucharest
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Fluff Talk: Ordered this from Germany since there was no way to find it in my country. Read quite a bit about this expansion, especially impressions that say it solves some of the base game problems such as the King's Aid and the lack of variety with the buildings.

Impression: The expansion improves the game in leaps and bounds as far as I am concerned. More control over your strategy with the soldier tokens, higher diversity with more buildings and extra buildings and events and roles. It just makes a good game better. The down side is that it will make the game last longer and that the multitude of choices can easily lead to AP.

Status: Traded
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11. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:274] [Average Rating:7.29 Unranked]
Dan D
Romania
Bucharest
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Fluff Text: By this point I wanted a real meaty game and preferably a cooperative one to soothe the non confrontational sides of my gaming group. I also discovered the wonderful boardgame forum we have in Romania: forum.boardgames.ro and bought Arkham Horror from a fellow forumer.

It proved to be a most inspired choice as it is everything I want in a coop: interesting theme and story, RPG-esque feel to the characters (skills, items, customising abilities) and most of all feels like a challenge. Though I have never read Lovecraft's works I can easily say this was one of my better purchases.

Impression: Wonderfully thought out game. It drips with theme and the replayability is huge. I really like that it makes you feel like you make your character your own. It has plenty of interesting things like encounters and monsters that keep you on the edge. As soon as I played it a few times, went past the first 5 or so learning plays, I really enjoyed the game and thought about getting the expansions. And I did. The only things that are keeping it from being perfect are the long play time and the first impression one gets of the bulky rules.

Final Rating: An extraodinary 9.5

Later Edit: After my terror track token was munched by a dog named Drizzt I e-mailed Fantasy Flight for a replacement and they sent it ASAP. Nice customer service!

Status: Keeper
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12. Board Game: Arkham Horror: Dunwich Horror Expansion [Average Rating:7.82 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.82 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.82 Unranked]
Dan D
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Fluff Text: I got this some time later after I played the original a few times and found it to be too light because we were winning too often. So I bought all the big box expansions with a discount. This was the first one I opened, the rest I tried to keep in shrink.

I, of course, failed and gave up on it as I wanted to take a look at the investigators and the extra cards, items, encounters, etc.

Impression: However, this was the only one that got added to the game. I played with it on 1-2 occasions and it felt quite good. It effectively doubles the number of encounters one can have and adds many new small cards (items, uniques, spells, skills, etc.) that will probably be integrated forever.
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13. Board Game: Arkham Horror: Kingsport Horror Expansion [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
Dan D
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Fluff Text: Bought along with the other big box expansions.

Impression: So far unplayed, but hopefully this will change soon.
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14. Board Game: Arkham Horror: Innsmouth Horror Expansion [Average Rating:7.91 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.91 Unranked]
Dan D
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Fluff Text: Bought along with the other big box expansions.

Impression: So far unplayed, but hopefully this will change soon.
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15. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:154] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Dan D
Romania
Bucharest
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Fluff Text: At this point I was thinking about getting to know the classics. That and I didn't have any sort of tile-laying games and I thought the experience might be fun and could turn to the dark side of boardgaming some friends who loved puzzles.

The quality was quite good and the number of available expansions was quite scary, but decided to take a leap of faith and hope for the best.

Impression: The art is quite good, certainly better than I expected it to be. It has really simple rules and non-gamers seem to like the puzzle aspect of it. Once completed it makes for a nice endgame photo. Sadly, I have it up for trade as it doesn't get too much table time.

Final Rating: A disappointing 7

Status: Sold

Why: Well it just didn't get played. I had some way more interesting games in my collection by this point and our go to 30-45 minutes game we chose Race for the Galaxy since building up a space empire through multiple ways to victory seemed more interesting than placing meeples onto tiles. It also seemed waaaay too light for my tastes so I tried to introduce it to my folks after the Kingsburg failure, but the most enthusiastic response I got was "meh". That pretty much sealed the deal. It is a nice game, but not for me. I sold it to someone who bought it along with the expansion and is having a great time with it now.
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16. Board Game: Carcassonne: Expansion 1 – Inns & Cathedrals [Average Rating:7.61 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.61 Unranked]
Dan D
Romania
Bucharest
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Fluff Text: After some initial plays of the base game I wanted to see what the expansions were all about. I was quite surprised that it affected the game so much with so little tiles. Considering how much these cost, I would probably get a Big Box if I ever get the urge again.

Impression: It is quite game changing, but sadly it makes the game last longer and complicates the rules. This does make it meatier, but less likely to attract people that initially thought the farm scoring was complicated. Would get it for the extra player and the tiles.

Status: Sold
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17. Board Game: Heroes of Graxia [Average Rating:5.53 Overall Rank:14266]
Dan D
Romania
Bucharest
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Fluff Text: After realising that I would not always play in the comfortable space of my own house I started to look for more portable games. You know, the ones that have the most bang per cubic centimetre/inch. And I wanted a deck-building game with a nice theme. This one proved to be the right one and a fellow gamer on the forum had it up for sale.

Impression: The art looks good, the variety of the cards is good and the mechanism is quite innovative. This is a good game and I have only one complaint: the "Draw x extra cards at the beginning of your turn" cards seem to be unbalanced. The one who gets such a card first can cycle through his deck faster and therefore use his cards more often, buy more and eventually win more often than not.

Final Rating: An underwhelming 6

Status: Sold

Why: While the art and the overall idea of the game is well thought out, the fact that the draw cards basically won the game for whoever had enough money to get the first and the lack of real variety in the deck proved to be a game-breaker for me. I played it about 3 times with 2 players and while the tableau idea of building up your army seemed all good and the different (in theory) items, characters and spells one could purchase also sounded fine, it played pretty bad. Everyone was waiting for the bow that draws extra cards or the henchmen and the game stopped being fun.
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18. Board Game: Pocket Battles: Celts vs. Romans [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:2520] [Average Rating:6.44 Unranked]
Dan D
Romania
Bucharest
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Fluff Text: Asked someone who attended Essen 2010 to buy these for me since they came across as small portable wargames. The quality seemed nice and there was an interesting tactics element involved. They costed about 15 Euros each and I am quite happy with them.

Impression: Only played it a few times, but the rules seem to be a tad on the complicated side. Luckily I found quite a few FAQs and aids on the BGG that helped me get past that experience. With more plays, I am sure the rating will go up.

Final Rating: An upcoming 7

Status: Sold

Why:
Well, as cool as I found these games to be, all the players I tried to play them with did not share my opinion and I do not have time to find or educate a wargamer just so I can play any of these games. I am sure other will be more pleased than I was with playing them.

 
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19. Board Game: Pocket Battles: Elves vs. Orcs [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:2769] [Average Rating:6.58 Unranked]
Dan D
Romania
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Fluff Text: Asked someone who attended Essen 2010 to buy these for me since they came across as small portable wargames. The quality seemed nice and there was an interesting tactics element involved. They costed about 15 Euros each and I am quite happy with them.

Impression: Played this set way more than the CvR one. This one seems nicer since I have quite a thing for fantasy and the rules are explained better. Nevertheless, it could use a FAQ and the orc army seems quite powerful. The rating of this one will probably go up with more plays as well.

Final Rating: A minimum of 7

Status: Sold

Why:
Well, as cool as I found these games to be, all the players I tried to play them with did not share my opinion and I do not have time to find or educate a wargamer just so I can play any of these games. I am sure other will be more pleased than I was with playing them.
 
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20. Board Game: The Resistance [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:211]
Dan D
Romania
Bucharest
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Fluff Text: Another goody from Essen 2010 was this little game. I got quite a few bonuses with it: namely an errata and the designers' (just two of them) autograph on a sticker that has the art on the cover.

Impression: Managed to play this and I must say it was a blast! I played it with 6 people and the deduction elements along with the social skills required, made this feel like a good game. It definitely shows the Mafia and Werewolves roots, but has it's own way of being played. Now I know what game will go with me to parties of 5 or more. Just played it 10 more times tonight and it was a real hit. First time playing with expansion cards and it was a blast. Way more challenging for the spies, but more rewarding.

Final Rating: A fun 8.5

Status: (Sold) Keeper

Why: Sold this to get the Avalon edition, so essentially it will be out of my collection for just a while and it is still a keeper.
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21. Board Game: GOSU [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:1633]
Dan D
Romania
Bucharest
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Fluff Text: After Essen I decided to get this game since it undoubtedly filled some nice spots, not for the incredibly nice artwork on the 75(!!) unique cards. It was small, portable and promised to be a sort of RftG with MtG. Since I had never played MtG I took a gamble, but all is well when it ends well.

Impression: The art is even better in real life. The game is easily portable with a deck of 100 cards and a baggie for the tokens and the rest. I have played this 10-20 times and I can say that almost always I was surprised at who won. If players are of the same level, it can really be neck to neck. I love the alternate victory conditions and the hand management part of the game.

Final Rating: An unexpected 9

Status: Keeper
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22. Board Game: Mr. Jack Pocket [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:682]
Dan D
Romania
Bucharest
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Fluff Text: This was ordered from cosimshop.de since it sounded so nice and was so small. A deduction game similar cu Mr. Jack that could fit in my pocket? No way! I only played the original Mr. Jack 2 or 3 times and I thought the deduction mechanism quite intriguing so this was almost an instant buy for me.

Impression: It is a lot of game for something so small. The cardboard is nice and thick and the theme of the detectives chasing Jack is quite nice. I only played this maybe 10 times and have won more than half, but I can't say if one part is favoured. I played both sides and it really makes you think no matter which side you are on.

Final Rating: A positive 7.5

Status: Sold

Why: I found the game way too simple for me. I maybe lost 2 out of 10 games I played. The game is cute, but not cute enough. Also the reactions of various people were more along the "Meh" than the "Wow" side. I might have kept it as a filler, but found someone extremely interested in all things Mr Jack and sold it to him. I do think it found a better home and a better table.
 
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23. Board Game: Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:570]
Dan D
Romania
Bucharest
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Fluff Text: As I was browsing cosimshop.de I came across this game that had quite some hype behind it. I researched it a bit and it came across as an interesting cooperative card game. I am not a big fan of W40K universe, though I did play the computer games, but I found the art on the cards at least nice. It is also small and portable so that was a nice bonus.

Impression: This is a good solid game. Although it uses dice, the effects of a bad roll can be mitigated. The game revolves around space marines being overwhelmed by genestealers and it works quite well to bring that out. The tension increases as you explore more locations and the mission is different each time. The only thing keeping it from being perfect is the lack of more variety. There are some teams that are the best and the locations, although randomized can get quite familiar after 20 or so plays. I can see expansions with more teams and more locations.

Final rating: An impressive 9 and quite satisfied with my first Silveline Game from FFG

Status: Sold

Why: I just did not get to play it in over 6 months so it goes to the sale list.
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24. Board Game: Colossal Arena [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:849]
Dan D
Romania
Bucharest
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Fluff Text: Another item I ordered from cosimshop.de was this one. A game with auction and bidding and fantasy creatures in a small format. It sounded quite good and it does look pretty good. The cards and the art are a bit washed out, but usable. I hope it will prove to be a good investment.

Impression: This is a nice hand management game. It provides ample fun with bidding and influencing the creatures to try and make yours last through the rounds. The fantasy setting works really well and the creatures are quite diverse. It would be nice to have an expansion with a few more creatures.

Final Rating: A fair 7.5

Type: Auction Bid Card Game

Status: Sold

Why:
I found the game too fiddly and too long lasting for my group. When confronted with the choice of playing a light-ish game with some fun, we almost always chose something else. Therefore, I sold this to keep the money locomotive going. Would not purchase again.
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25. Board Game: Zombie in my Pocket [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:2696]
Dan D
Romania
Bucharest
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Fluff Text: Scored this one along with the other portable games in my "buy small play big" spree. It seemed like a nice zombie filler with a nice event and tile-laying mechanic.

Impression: With the right crowd this can be a blast. The tiles and the cards have wonderful value, but the package could be better. For the cost, I was surprised at the amount and quality of the components. Definitely worth my money, though probably it will not be played all that much.

Final Rating: A conspicuous 6

Status: On probation
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