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Subject: Top Strategy Articles of 2014 rss

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Scott Alden
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111 Android: Netrunner::A Detailed Exploration of Accelerated Diagnostics + Scorched Earth Combos by anathomical
92 The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game::BACK TO BASICS: A Killer deck using only cards from a single Core set by xanalor
91 Warhammer 40,000: Conquest::Thoughts On Gameplay by PBrennan
58 Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game::Squad building 101 by Piqsid
55 Caverna: The Cave Farmers::Basic Strategy Guide by Cardinalle
51 Mice and Mystics::Hero Spotlight: Filch, the Scamp by Zwerg
49 Shadowrun: Crossfire::The four roles of Shadowrun: Crossfire, and how to build them by Alexfrog
45 Greenland::A first small tutorial for Greenland beginners by Philipp Klarmann
43 Marvel Dice Masters: Avengers vs. X-Men::In-depth talk through of prominent cards and early emerging decks... by agROOK
42 Android: Netrunner::Deck - The Red Coats by Nords3x4
40 Caverna: The Cave Farmers::Neat tips and tricks in Caverna by opotamus
40 Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game::Sticky: Newbie Questions and Helpful Advice – The Who? What? Where? When and Why? of X-Wing Miniatures + Buyers Guide by prokto
38 Android: Netrunner::The Effect of Player Skill on Netrunner Win Rates by Alexfrog
34 Android: Netrunner::Anarch vs NBN: What I learned after 40 matches in one week by Hraklea
34 Village::Understanding Village by JoSch
34 Terra Mystica::Basic Guide to Terra Mystica by Thrar
34 Mice and Mystics::Hero Spotlight: Maginos, the Mystic by Zwerg
34 Android: Netrunner::Deck building: Suggestions based on browsing through recent NRDB lists by IirionClaus
34 Eclipse::Advanced Eclipse Strategy by vandevrande
31 Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar::A strategy primer for Tzolk'in by spartax
31 Imperial Settlers::Empire Building 101 - A New/Intermediate Player's Guide to Imperial Settlers by Andarel
30 Android: Netrunner::Now THIS is deckbuilding: How to build a Corporation deck by General_Norris
30 Android: Netrunner::Deckbuilding 101 - The Corporation by Nords3x4
29 Android: Netrunner::What if there were 7 "viable" corp IDs? (Early OCTGN Fear and Loathing data). by Alexfrog
28 Mage Knight Board Game::Basic character analysis by spartax
27 Mice and Mystics::Hero Spotlight: Lily, the Archer by Zwerg
27 Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game::bunch of random writeups by Duraham
27 Doomtown: Reloaded::How To Build A Deck by cosine
27 Android: Netrunner::Lucky Is As Lucky Does - A Study In Variance (A:NR/M:TG) by Magicdave
26 Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game::Torpedoes Away - Getting the most out of ordnance in X-Wing by shmitty
25 Android: Netrunner::Jinteki Attrition - The Philosophy of Fire by anathomical
25 Mice and Mystics::Hero Spotlight: Nez by nobeerblues
24 Terra Mystica::ELO ratings of the races (from faction data from games from Snellman's site) by Alexfrog
24 Eldritch Horror::Your trusted Circle of Colleagues: strategic guide to choosing and using Investigators by Eu8L1ch
24 Unconditional Surrender! World War 2 in Europe::Plays Tips from Consimworld by svasta
23 Panamax::Rob Lowe's Ten Panamax Strategy Suggestions by treyalsup
23 Android: Netrunner::House of cards, a GRNDL primer! (Now with 100% more murder!) by General_Norris
23 Terra Mystica::Faction opening data by jsnell
22 Advanced Squad Leader::Veteran tricks of the trade by Ashiefan
22 Android: Netrunner::[Article] Tower of Defense - A look at the glacier archetype by mediohxcore
22 Marvel Dice Masters: Avengers vs. X-Men::60 or more games in - my impressions by Maddest Hatter
21 Nations::Leader card overview for beginners (long post) by Wario83
21 Eldritch Horror::A Small Guide for teh New Players by TrueLolzor
21 Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island::Impressions of the Scenarios by gjertsen
21 Summoner Wars: Master Set::It's Not The Dice - But Sometimes It Is - Impressions on Strategy by Maddest Hatter
21 Android: Netrunner::[Deck] Whizzard Chessmaster (1st place Chronos Protocol Liège Belgium) by Verbal
20 Fleet::Some Strategic Observations by AgentOrange2
20 Android: Netrunner::[Theory] Analyzing the Psi Game by coffeeyay
20 Fire in the Lake::Timing the Play of Pivotal Events: A Playtester's View by Eric G
20 Brass: Lancashire::An Intermediate Guide for Novices by MyParadox
20 Lewis & Clark::Can the hang back and tech up strategy be beaten? by JoSch
20 Trajan::Intermediate Level Trajan Strategies by asymptote
20 Android: Netrunner::Honor and Profit: What worked, what didn't, and how did it affect the meta by IirionClaus
20 A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition)::A Strategy Guide - Part 2 - Diplomacy (or: how not to break up with your spouse over a game of CubeQuest) by Perrytom
19 Warhammer: Invasion::[Decks] Core plus deluxe expansions by Maik
19 Age of Conan: The Strategy Board Game::Starting Strategy & Observations (20+ games) by JoeG
19 Greenland::Strategy Tips by Philipp Klarmann
19 Star Realms::Basic Strategy - The Faction Fallacy by benjotron
19 A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition)::A Strategy Guide - Part 3 – BATTLE! (Or: the all-important hand management) by Perrytom
18 Android: Netrunner::Canada National Championship winning decks by IirionClaus
18 Android: Netrunner::1 year with Jinteki: Dead You by Action Phase
18 Combat Commander: Europe::Advance! When Improbable Becomes Useful by Gunderian007
18 Android: Netrunner::Prepping for the Professor --- Out-of-Faction Programs by TheUbiquitous
18 Relic: Nemesis::How to Kick-Ass with a Nemesis - a rough outline on how to play each of the four baddies and some tips for the good guys too by PzVIE
17 Android: Netrunner::Exploring a Stalling Metagame: Nasir Meidan StimShop (Stimhack article) by IirionClaus
17 Star Trek: Attack Wing::A Borg Fighter's Diary by DonMegel
17 Android: Netrunner::[Deck] TWIY Astrobiotics by Lysander1
17 Mage Knight Board Game::Unit Analysis by SJH1510
17 Smash Up::Faction Characteristics (Including Exp 1, 2, & 3) by allstar64
17 The Dark Valley::How To Blitz on Turn One by Macunaima
16 Mage Wars Arena::Beginner's guide to spellbook creation by spartax
16 Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game::Location, Location, Location (Breakdown and Analysis) by Kwijiboe
16 Warhammer: Invasion::[Decks] Core, Ulthuan, March of the Damned and Hidden Kingdoms by Maik
16 Summoner Wars: Master Set::Know When to Hold 'em, Know When to Fold 'em by Umbrageofsnow
16 Russian Railroads::Early thoughts on strategy (I) by Califax
15 Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game::All the strategy guides in one place by whats4t
15 Android: Netrunner::[DECK] Jinteki: Replicating Taxation by fetterkey
15 Napoleon's Triumph::'Flying artillery' - how to use horse artillery in NT by Tanelchen
15 Eldritch Horror::Objects of Power: a quick guide to Assets [Base game; Base+FL] by Eu8L1ch
15 Lords of Waterdeep: Scoundrels of Skullport::How to win with the Xanathar by Soulliard
15 Android: Netrunner::Hraklea's new article: Anarch vs NBN (again!) by Hraklea
15 Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game – TIE Bomber Expansion Pack::Dropping the Bomber by thesmallman
15 Star Wars: The Card Game::Tell Me The Odds by PaladinX13
15 Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set::A Guide to Starting Deck Selection (Because the Suggestions in the Back of the Book Kinda Suck) by Boarass
15 Star Realms::Starter’s Guide for on-line Star Realm gaming by Zuiperd
15 Doomtown: Reloaded::The School of Hard Knocks, Lesson 1 - When to fight by cosine
15 Android: Netrunner::The Woman in a Red Dress by Nords3x4
15 Eldritch Horror::Strategy for each Ancient One [ especially Cthulhu] by Eu8L1ch
14 Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game::Is it fair to tank the game if you can't win and you are not a traitor? by SparkingConduit
14 Thunderstone Advance: Worlds Collide::Monster Overview by darquil
14 Android: Netrunner::Boonton , NJ , Store Championship First Place Decks + Tournament Recap by Vash2002
14 Sentinels of the Multiverse::Fun Files - Nightmist by weirdboy_1
14 The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game::Going Solo - Deck Suggestions #2: Elves Ain't Fair by Boofus
14 Fire in the Lake::Luck vs skill? Settle for a good story or will victory go to the better player? by elmsley4
14 Progress: Evolution of Technology::Looking at the Tech Tree by Alpha-Omega
14 Cruel Necessity::Cruel Necessity Boot Camp by GameBreaker
14 Navajo Wars::What to do? And Why?? by Lines42
13 Clash of Cultures: Civilizations::What have the Romans ever done for us?! by Film4thefuture
13 Nations in Arms: Valmy to Waterloo::Thoughts on Nations in Arms by akbaleb
13 Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game::Lt. Lorrir and barrel roll shenanigans by xBino
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Wow some real good reads right there! Thanks Aldie!
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Sam Carroll
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The discrepancy between thumbs in the "strategy" section versus the "review" section is interesting. It goes along with my suspicion that the majority of boardgamers are interested in playing many games a few times versus playing a few games many times!
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I made the list twice... glee!
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Martin G
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Wow, if it wasn't for Netrunner, you could probably make this list with single-digit thumbs
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Jimmy Okolica
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spartax wrote:
The discrepancy between thumbs in the "strategy" section versus the "review" section is interesting. It goes along with my suspicion that the najority of boardgamers are interested in playing many games a few times versus playing a few games many times!


Or they're interested in discovering the strategies for themselves and not reading "spoilers". I've played 'Gric, RftG, Dominion and T&E well over a hundred times each and have never read a strategy article. They just don't interest me. While I've read plenty of books on Chess, I know a lot of people who've played it a lot of times and have never read one. I wouldn't even consider reading a strategy article on a game I haven't played enough that I feel I've "explored it out". For me, the discovery is a large part of the joy of playing games.

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Butterfly0038 wrote:
Or they're interested in discovering the strategies for themselves and not reading "spoilers". I've played 'Gric, RftG, Dominion and T&E well over a hundred times each and have never read a strategy article. They just don't interest me. While I've read plenty of books on Chess, I know a lot of people who've played it a lot of times and have never read one. I wouldn't even consider reading a strategy article on a game I haven't played enough that I feel I've "explored it out". For me, the discovery is a large part of the joy of playing games.

I indeed hear fairly often that many players don't like to read strategy articles and prefer to discover everything on their own; fair enough. But I'm confused why you have read plenty of books on Chess, if you are such a person. Are you saying that you actually "explored out" Chess before reading any Chess strategy book, but that after well over a hundred plays of Agricola, RftG, Dominion, and T&E you've not explored any of those games as fully as you explored Chess?
 
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russ wrote:
Butterfly0038 wrote:
Or they're interested in discovering the strategies for themselves and not reading "spoilers".
I've played 'Gric, RftG, Dominion and T&E well over a hundred times each and have never read a strategy article. They just don't interest me.

While I've read plenty of books on Chess, I know a lot of people who've played it a lot of times and have never read one.

I wouldn't even consider reading a strategy article on a game I haven't played enough that I feel I've "explored it out". For me, the discovery is a large part of the joy of playing games.


I indeed hear fairly often that many players don't like to read strategy articles and prefer to discover everything on their own; fair enough. But I'm confused why you have read plenty of books on Chess, if you are such a person. Are you saying that you actually "explored out" Chess before reading any Chess strategy book, but that after well over a hundred plays of Agricola, RftG, Dominion, and T&E you've not explored any of those games as fully as you explored Chess?


I can't speak for Jimmy, but my view is that Chess and other traditional abstracts are "deep enough" that even after reading strategy articles/books, there is still enough strategy to "explore on your own".
For Euros, the strategy article may spoil the joy of discovery, while for abstract it will increase the joy, as you are discovering "deeper" faucets of the game.
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megamau wrote:
For Euros, the strategy article may spoil the joy of discovery, while for abstract it will increase the joy, as you are discovering "deeper" faucets of the game.


I try to avoid playing the Euros that are so shallow that a strategy article ruins the game.
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qwertymartin wrote:
megamau wrote:
For Euros, the strategy article may spoil the joy of discovery, while for abstract it will increase the joy, as you are discovering "deeper" faucets of the game.


I try to avoid playing the Euros that are so shallow that a strategy article ruins the game.

I was thinking the same thing. I've read plenty of strategy articles about e.g. Power Grid, Caylus, Age of Steam, etc yet it's not as if now those games are broken for me and I have no further enjoyable aha-discoveries to make with them.
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russ wrote:
Butterfly0038 wrote:
Or they're interested in discovering the strategies for themselves and not reading "spoilers". I've played 'Gric, RftG, Dominion and T&E well over a hundred times each and have never read a strategy article. They just don't interest me. While I've read plenty of books on Chess, I know a lot of people who've played it a lot of times and have never read one. I wouldn't even consider reading a strategy article on a game I haven't played enough that I feel I've "explored it out". For me, the discovery is a large part of the joy of playing games.

I indeed hear fairly often that many players don't like to read strategy articles and prefer to discover everything on their own; fair enough. But I'm confused why you have read plenty of books on Chess, if you are such a person. Are you saying that you actually "explored out" Chess before reading any Chess strategy book, but that after well over a hundred plays of Agricola, RftG, Dominion, and T&E you've not explored any of those games as fully as you explored Chess?


No. I hadn't explored out Chess before reading any books, particularly since I started reading Chess books when I was 10 or 11. That said, I probably had played Chess over a hundred times (against my Dad and a Chess computer) before ever reading a book. And, I may have learned a thing or two about consequences since then. The last time I read a Chess book, or played competitively, was about 20 years. However, to this day, if someone says, "oh, you play Chess. I'm really good. Do you want to play?", I know it won't be competitive. I think in the last 20 years, I've lost once or twice and had a handful of competitive games. Reading those Chess books made sure that I can't play Chess casually, even 20 years later.

There's a guy I know, MisterG, who played 'Gric a lot. I don't know if he read any strategy articles or not, but he played it several times a week for a few years. Odds were good, any time he sat down to a game of 'Gric he was going to win. Now, I can't speak for him, and he may have still enjoyed the game despite (almost) always winning, but that isn't me. I used to love playing TtA with my life-partner. Then, I started playing it online (didn't even read any strategy articles) and we couldn't play it anymore. I'd gotten too good.

Now I do read strategy articles for games like Terra Mystica and Through the Ages (and I probably should add Brass to that list) because the people I play those games with are online and they are at a level where I need to read those articles to be competitive (frankly, I probably should be reading more of them). But the consequence is that I can't play those games casually at my FLGS. Or, if I do, it probably won't be competitive.

However, none of that answers your question about "exploring out" a game. The fact is that Chess is a lot deeper than most Euros. Chess can stand strategy articles being written and still maintain its mystery. Most euros can't. As a point of nomenclature, I distinguish between Euros and German games. Euros are the puzzly, "what's the optimal path" games while German games are high on interaction, i.e., they are more on playing the player than playing the game. Euros are about figuring out the puzzle and then executing it more efficiently than anyone else. Having someone hand you a blueprint to the puzzle takes all of the fun out of figuring it out yourself. That's why, with rare exceptions, Euros have a 5 - 10 play lifespan for me. If I read strategy articles before that, they'd probably have a 0 play lifespan. 'Gric, Dominion, and RftG get around that problem by being limited collectible card games. They keep adding in more cards so that people have new puzzles to solve. And once I've solved the puzzle, I don't really have an interest in reading (never mind writing) strategy articles on them.

T&E, on the other hand, is what I would call a German game. It's a game that isn't about solving the game; it's about playing the other players. For T&E, I could read a strategy article on it. It wouldn't destroy the game for me. And, as I (used to) only play T&E online with people of comparable skill, it wouldn't make it unplayable for me. I can't really say why I never read one. It just never happened.

As for 2013 - 2014 games (the only ones that'd get a bunch of thumbs), there are a few that I'd be interested in reading/writing a strategy thread on. Treyalsup did a great job with his/her strategy article on Panamax and provided good basic strategy without digging into the euro-y, puzzly card elements which would have bothered me. Other games, I'd feel comfortable reading or writing strategy articles on are Little Prince: Make Me a Planet, Clubs, Gravwell and Spyrium (possibly). But, again, I've played all of them over 10 times (my life span for euros -- of which none of these are).

Good food for thought and I may think about writing some strategy articles in 2015. Thanks for the suggestion.

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qwertymartin wrote:
megamau wrote:
For Euros, the strategy article may spoil the joy of discovery, while for abstract it will increase the joy, as you are discovering "deeper" faucets of the game.


I try to avoid playing the Euros that are so shallow that a strategy article ruins the game.


Funny, Martin, I didn't think you played Euros?
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Wow, thanks for the interesting in-depth reply!

Butterfly0038 wrote:
There's a guy I know, MisterG, who played 'Gric a lot. I don't know if he read any strategy articles or not, but he played it several times a week for a few years. Odds were good, any time he sat down to a game of 'Gric he was going to win. Now, I can't speak for him, and he may have still enjoyed the game despite (almost) always winning, but that isn't me. I used to love playing TtA with my life-partner. Then, I started playing it online (didn't even read any strategy articles) and we couldn't play it anymore. I'd gotten too good.

Which prompts a new question: if you usually win, why not simply play with a handicap? Works for go players, shogi/chess players, etc...

Quote:
Good food for thought and I may think about writing some strategy articles in 2015. Thanks for the suggestion.

Cool!
 
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russ wrote:
Wow, thanks for the interesting in-depth reply!

Butterfly0038 wrote:
There's a guy I know, MisterG, who played 'Gric a lot. I don't know if he read any strategy articles or not, but he played it several times a week for a few years. Odds were good, any time he sat down to a game of 'Gric he was going to win. Now, I can't speak for him, and he may have still enjoyed the game despite (almost) always winning, but that isn't me. I used to love playing TtA with my life-partner. Then, I started playing it online (didn't even read any strategy articles) and we couldn't play it anymore. I'd gotten too good.

Which prompts a new question: if you usually win, why not simply play with a handicap? Works for go players, shogi/chess players, etc...


I can't speak to shogi or go, but it never worked for me in Chess. They're a couple of ways to "level the playing field". One is playing with different time limits. That works if players are relatively close, but if one player is significantly better, than they can do all the thinking they need to on the other player's turn.

The other is playing with piece advantages. That can work if people are significantly different in skill, but I don't know of anyone who'd want to play Chess and be spotted a piece. I think if I offered that, most people would just to play another game where we were closer matched.

While Euros don't have piece advantages, they do have VPs and people could certainly be offered a VP advantage. In 'Gric, MisterG could start with 2 begging cards (for instance). Now, I'm kind of strange and I'd be fine playing 'Gric with MisterG knowing I'm going to lose. But for me, the two begging cards wouldn't change the fact that MisterG won. I'd just ignore them. On the flip side, playing Through the Ages with Amanda wouldn't feel fun to me. Even if I gave her 40 points (which changes the relative value of different strategies), I don't think it'd be fun for either of us watching me do what I want while she struggled to get anything done. And if I won by only 30 points, would she feel like she won? probably not. I know I wouldn't. I'd rather pick a different game.

And I think that's the difference between now and 30 years ago. 30 years ago there weren't a lot of choices. That's no longer true. I buy a game. Amanda and I play it 5 - 10 times. If at some point, it looks like one of us wins every time, it ceases to be played and we get a different one. Why play with odds if we can find a different game where we are equally competitive?
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Butterfly0038 wrote:
Why play with odds if we can find a different game where we are equally competitive?

I guess it boils down to whether the primary goal is spending time together with the other person(s) while playing a game with equal chances of winning, or whether the specific game itself has special special appeal/interest/meaning to you. For me, playing a game I love is higher priority than playing a game that we all have an equal chance to win (regardless of whether I'm stronger or weaker). (I.e. if I have to choose one of "great game" or "game where we all have equal chance".) I don't care that much about whether I win more often or less often than the opponent that I would want to stop playing a game I like because of that.

In the context of Go, I'm completely used to playing handicap games (it's an established part of Go-playing culture). And Go handicapping (giving handicap stones) is admittedly more natural/granular than chess/shogi (spotting a piece or pieces). The idea of 2 Go players not wanting to play Go together because they are of different strength just doesn't come up.


It does seem a pity that handicapping seems to have a "bad reputation" among mainstream/euro gamers. It's really a fine way to let people continue playing the game they enjoy and still all have a roughly equal chance of winning the game, with everyone playing as well as they can, further exploring a game they know and are interested in, instead of feeling obliged to stop playing a game they find very fun/interesting and find/buy/learn a new game to play where they'll supposedly start out equally strong.
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Martin G
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Butterfly0038 wrote:
qwertymartin wrote:
megamau wrote:
For Euros, the strategy article may spoil the joy of discovery, while for abstract it will increase the joy, as you are discovering "deeper" faucets of the game.


I try to avoid playing the Euros that are so shallow that a strategy article ruins the game.


Funny, Martin, I didn't think you played Euros?


Well not now you've redefined Euro to mean 'the Euros Martin doesn't like'
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Butterfly0038 wrote:
While Euros don't have piece advantages, they do have VPs and people could certainly be offered a VP advantage. In 'Gric, MisterG could start with 2 begging cards (for instance). Now, I'm kind of strange and I'd be fine playing 'Gric with MisterG knowing I'm going to lose. But for me, the two begging cards wouldn't change the fact that MisterG won. I'd just ignore them.


I agree: I'm not keen on pure VP advantages because it's easy to mentally discount them. In Agricola, rather than take Begging cards as a handicap against less experienced players, I make it my goal to try and win with narrow Occupations or Improvements, or using cards I've never played before.
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woodnoggin wrote:
I make it my goal to try and win ... using cards I've never played before.


That only works for the first 300 or 400 plays I shudder to think how many plays of 'Gric, MisterG has.
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Butterfly0038 wrote:
"oh, you play Chess. I'm really good. Do you want to play?"


So . . . do you?
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Mike Fogus
United States
Burke
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russ wrote:

I indeed hear fairly often that many players don't like to read strategy articles and prefer to discover everything on their own; fair enough.


I usually follow this approach with non-lifestyle games. Sure, this categorization is subjective, but to me I find part of the fun discovering emergent strategies and to explore all manner of kooky moves. On the other hand with games like Chess and Go it would be a shame to avoid the mountain of strategy articles compiled over the centuries (!). Indeed, the fact that the mountain exists provides another angle for enjoyment for me. I recently discovered that there is a somewhat large catalog of Gin Rummy strategy guides from many years ago. Now, I've played hundreds of GR games and feel I'm a decent player, but learning about these books has gotten me excited again. I'd love to see if the strategies that I've developed on my own match any of those in the book. On the flip side, I've only just learned Agricola and played a handful of games so reading strategy articles would just muddy an already confusing game. I'd rather feel my way through it for a while to get my bearings before diving into formal strategy guides. I fully admit that all of this is totally arbitrary and my personal approach.
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Sam Carroll
United States
Urbana
Illinois
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I enjoy many games that lean toward the lifestyle end of the spectrum without getting all the way there: Tzolk'in, for example. Over the summer I was playing once or twice a week, but then didn't play for a few weeks and found that my level of play had suffered significantly. I'm on this list for three games (Tzolk'in, Mage Wars, and Mage Knight) and the first two definitely fall into that category. I find that Mage Knight is somewhat less so for me, but there's a similarly-long learning curve for it. On the other end of the spectrum, I enjoy Hotel Samoa, but I don't think there would be much value in analyzing it. (Note the lack of strategy articles in its forums.)
 
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Fabrice Dubois
France
La Garenne Colombes
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qwertymartin wrote:
Wow, if it wasn't for Netrunner, you could probably make this list with single-digit thumbs

The simple fact that Netrunner was rocketed to such a high rank so quickly despite the fact that it was screwed by Gric and alike fans denotes how awesome this game is.

I think that it is refreshing to have a LCG in the top 10.

Since i know you are enjoying cardgame, why won't you give it a try ?
It is as thematic as Pax Porfiriana...
 
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