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Subject: Galaxy Trucker Contest - Courtesy of Czech Games Edition rss

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Goldyn Gryphon
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Mesquite
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Here I am getting in just under the wire. I ment to get to this sooner but life gets in the way.

#5. Tannhauser I just got this one and man is it beautiful. I have read the rules and I can't wait to get it to the table. I am sure my group is going to love it.

#4. Stratego: Legends I love this game. For me it is like a cross between Chess and Magic the Gathering. I even went as far as to get an entire set with the exception of the promos.

#3. Battletech Now I am going to cheat a little on this one. When I started playing RPG's in high school this was the second game that group introduced me to and I have been in love with big stompy robots ever since. So in this I include the CCG from WOTC and the CMG from Wizkids.

#2 Knightmare Chess 1 & 2 I started playing chess when I was five with my dad and it has been an on again off again thing since then. Then I discovered this game after having gone through my RPG phase and I was hooked. I now introduce this to anyone who plays chess and so far they have all loved it.

#1. Shadows Over Camelot This is my current #1 but it is not my favorite game. It is top 10 that's forsure. It is in the number one spot because it is my best gateway game. I have had nothing but success introducing people to this game. From 12 year old cousins to a 70 something retired ex-coworker. I love the theme and the game play is easy to understand. The co-operative nature and the posibility of a traitor. It all blends together perfectly for me.
 
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I fear my list will be boring. The truth of the matter is that my tastes for the most part align with those of the BGG rankings; I'll go no further than to mention my favorite game is Puerto Rico and you'll sigh with tedium and disinterest at what I have to say. After all, it's all already been said a million times in the forums, on geeklists, and in the rating comments of your geekbuddies. To make things worse, my tastes are very narrow relative to the impossibly wide variety of games out there -- you'll find no party games, no abstracts, not even a pure auction game in my top five. In fact, the games in my top five often get compared to each other to the extent that some people won't buy one cause they already own the other. But if I tried to deviate from my actual favorites in an attempt to present a more interesting and varied list, I would probably write a bad essay. The truth is, I genuinely love these games; most I've played hundreds of times, and all of them have caused me sleepless nights thinking about their mechanics and subtleties of play. So I will not stray from where the heart is, these are my five favorite games:

Amun-Re

Okay, so maybe I'm not sure that Puerto Rico is my favorite game anymore. Amun-Re just gets better and better the more I play it (over 100 times as of right now, thanks in large part to its online implementation on spielbyweb). Of the games on this list, Amun-Re undoubtedly made the worst first impression out of all of them, and now it sits triumphantly at the top! At first I didn't think much of the game because the decisions during the resource buying phase seemed for the most part obvious and uninteresting. It wasn't until I realized that I had been looking for the proverbial "meat-and-bones" in the wrong places that the game really came together for me; the heart of Amun-Re lies in evaluating what the different provinces that come up for auction are worth. This accounts for much of the increase in enjoyment with repeated plays that myself and many others on the geek have expressed in their rating comments and in the forums. It simply takes experience to really grasp what the provinces are worth, especially since their value varies situationally depending on what other provinces are currently available, which provinces have previously been purchased and by who, and what round of the game it is. The reason Amun-Re is so great is that this equation changes every game, since the provinces that come up each round are randomly determined. Every time I play the game, there is a different problem to evaluate beginning with the first bid in round one, and only getting more complex and interesting as the game progresses. Every time.

Puerto Rico

So maybe "dethroning" Puerto Rico is a bit unfair; after all, I've played the game over 5 times as much as Amun-Re (for those counting yes that's over 500 times, probably close to 600 actually, this time thanks to the game's real-time online implementation on BSW). Nothing beat the enjoyment of playing several back-to-back games of Puerto Rico on BSW with great players. It was so easy and so fast, that the density of "gaming goodness" was just through the roof. The removal of PR from BSW was a big event in my life not just as a gamer but as a person. I had spent so many hours playing the game on that site that I felt an immense nostalgia that last night as I tried to get in as many games as possible before the server shutdown. Since that I have not really been able to enjoy the game like I used to -- I guess I was spoiled by the facility and speed with which it could be played online, which is most likely the reason it has recently dropped to #2 in my personal rankings. About the game itself, there is not much I could say that has not already been said. Yet and still the game despite being analyzed to death retains its splendor -- this is because it isn't a game that can just be solved by knowing the strategic principles (although nod to Alexfrog and others who have done a tremendous job of laying these out on the BGG forums); for me Puerto Rico is a game of heuristics more than dry tactical analysis, which is why it will always be better than so many other games that have been touted as "the next Puerto Rico". You play 100 times and think you've developed an intuitive sense of how to play well. Then you play another 200 times more and you realize that your game was so much less advanced back then. The beauty is that after so many plays (I know several who have played 1000+ times) the game still retains its fascination. I can't say that assertively about any other Euro.

Princes of Florence

First Amun-Re, then Puerto Rico, and now Princes of Florence?! You might ask: am I ever going to stop talking about basically the same game?! That would be an unfair statement, especially with regards to Princes. While AR and PR are to varying degrees tactically focused, Princes of Florence is the quintessential strategic Euro. Unlike most other Kramer games which involve a series of tactical puzzles for each player on his turn (and where you can just get up from the table when it's not your turn), Princes of Florence is one game long, constantly adjusting, interactive puzzle. Yes, I said interactive -- it is imperative to keep an eye on what others are doing at all times in order to determine what they'll be doing next as well as what they are currently and in the future will be capable of (experienced players know that games are continually won or lost depending on who gets the 3 VP award for best work in a round). Not to mention how all these factors affect the auction and how one's own approach to it must reflect these constantly changing variables... I sometimes wonder whether those who call PoF "multi-player solitaire" have really understood the dynamics of the game. The word elegant gets overused plenty in our gaming community, but if its usage was ever appropriate it is to describe this game. Games just don't fit as seamlessly well together as Princes of Florence anymore.

Indonesia

Of games that try to capture the entrepreneurial spirit of buying, selling, and operating companies for profit, Indonesia is my favorite. Unlike most other games that offer this level of immersion (18XX comes to mind), Indonesia is easy to pick up and start playing (the rules are as complex as any other game on this list if not less), which more quickly allows players to focus on the larger picture without being bogged down by an excess of details to consider. In an unprecedented event, my non-gamer friend actually asked to play the game again the day after we first played. If that's not a testament to the game's accessibility then I don't know what is. The most interesting part of the game -- what really kicks the juiciness into overdrive -- are the mergers. The destabilizing effect that mergers have on companies creates a whole other level when valuating their worth and adds an element of timing to both how a company is run and what other mergers are proposed, even during the same turn (there is nothing more insidiously satisfying than using a first merger as bait to drain other players' cash holdings so you can then on your next proposal win the merger you really wanted). The research and development track is what really lets you define your strategic position in contrast to the other players, and the choice of what field to advance each round is always rife with tension; do I take expansion in order to increase profit and my companies' value when merged (assuming I can ship all my goods still), do I take slots in order to increase my capacity next turn to own companies?, should I increase that other player's hull capacity who owns the shipping line I use most? etc etc... the density of difficult decisions in this game, whether it be R&D choices, how much to bid for turn order, in what order to operate your companies and which ones to acquire, and everything that has to do with mergers, it's all there in a relatively straightforward rule set.

Imperial

An elegant stock game with early 20th century Europe at war as its backdrop, what more can you ask for? It vaguely reminds me of a Wallace game except more polished and streamlined. I really love the effect of the rondel in this game; the phase shifts of the different countries must be manipulated as much as possible in order to coincide with your own ambitions and goals. To me it is a game of creating incentives for other players to do the things you want, and predicting what other players will do towards that same end. No other game quite captures this level of interactivity and I just gobble it up every time I play. I prefer playing without the investor card. Playing with the investor card adds another level of considerations having to do with trying to predict and to an extent control when the card will move, but I find this sub-game to be too chaotic and ultimately arbitrary for how important investing is. The only real knock on Imperial is a fragility of the system where players who aren't careful can be effectively sidelined early on. I think without this drawback Imperial might be #1 on this list, no joke! This is the latest game to come out that I can really call a "classic".
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Ian Mackey
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Lets see here - top 5 games....

El Grande - this was one of the first Euros after being introduced to Settlers. This one made a lasting impression that seems to have created an inexplicable love for area control games. I love the timing of play leading up to scoring rounds. Most games have unpredictable scoring rounds which remove the timing aspect of strategy. El Grande still has incidental scoring with certain event cards, but they are not the focus for scoring.

Carcasonne - to me this game will always have a fond spot in my heart as this was my eldest daughters first foray into 'Daddy's Games' This sparked a love of games in her. She is the person I play the most games with, even though now she is only seven, she holds her own quite well and joins the regular group on Sundays for the opening game before going off to bed.

Age of Empires III - while this one is a recent addition, this game seems to suit the opportunities where we play with six people and is one of the few games that handles six well with little downtime, yet still contains many options to chase for victory

Ra - simply my favourite auction game of all time managing to integrate push your luck into a bidding mechanic. The fact that it plays readily in less than an hour with all types of boardgamers (read minimizes AP in those prone to AP) makes it always a safe choice

Twilight Struggle - This game manages to wrap tension with theme making for memorable games. This is the type of game that lead to post-game analysis which is a part of what makes the experience enjoyable for me.
 
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brenton t vallade
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wyandotte
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well first off im glad to see you are not correcting spelling or grammar. second id like to appologize for my future spelling, grammar and punctuation (or lack ther of.)
i found a minute of two at work to think about witch games were my top five and i cant tell you what my top five are without telling you first why i like the games i like. also being relativly new to the hobby (around two years) and the amount of games i have played and owned isnt a very long list causes my top 5 to change as i play new games. most of the time its my wife and i playing so i like games that play well with two people, represented by my #1 and #2. also we play alot of games with my son age 8 and my daughter age 5, so games that the four of us can play that isnt to much for them but isnt boring for my wife and i is always good, represented by #3 and #4. we still play games with another couple about once a month so having games that are good for four adults is cool too, represented by #5.

#5 ANTIKE- the couple that we play this with is the couple that introduced us to "designer games" with a game called torres. i found this game by watching board games with scott video podcast. this gameis very well produced and plays great. there are so many ways to earn victory points that the game stays interesting. its the first game i have ever seen with the rondel system. witch i thing works great (sorry my typos are going to get worse cuz my monitor just broke. i can only see what im typing by holding a flashlight to the flat screen. im also going to have to cut this a little short),the rondel keeps people from going well i can afford to buy all sorts of stuff and wipe out the weakest player in one turn.

#4 BLOKUS- this is a game that my wife, kids and i can all play together. its fun for the kids but isnt boring for me and my wife. its well made and the pattern on the board by the end of the game alwasy looks cool.

# HEY THATS MY FISH- this is a recent acquisition for me and my whole familey loves it. id have to say what i like most about thisw game is seeing how much fun my daughter has playing this game and the evil look on my sons face as he traps me out on a small ice flow.

#2 TICKET TO RIDE- this is one of the first euro games me and my wife bgought and it never gets old it plays great with two players and was very well produced.

#1 CARCASSONNE- by far me and my wifes favorite game, we play it with builders and traders , inns and cathedrals expansions. (we didnt like the tower so we took it out) we bought it when we first started looking for designer games. oddly enough while in toys r us looking for a kids game as a gift we found carcassonne. we read the back of the box, bought it and have loved it ever since. i also have not found any other games distributed by rio grande there since. the one by my house is sold out and never restocked. (they sold out cuz i went back and bought what they had to give as gifts.) i still check there games whenever im ther but i havent found anything else like it there. its a shame too, there really isnt any game stores in my area (south of detroit) just a few hobby shops that have a small stock but can order most of what im looking for. so i go to them as often as possible.

well i could have went on longer but i have to grab my flashlight and see how bad my typing was.
 
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Kat Nolan
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Dancing Dragons:

I love that there are no turns. The dragons are so cute. I like that there are secret partnership signs. I like to kick my husband under the table.


Evo:

I like that the pictures are so cute. I like that you can see the rates of change and the rates of change of the rates of change. I like that it is easy to learn and plays fairly quickly.


Ticket to Ride:

I like trying to beat my husband’s a__. I like that you can choose different strategies each time you play. Also, each person you play with has a different perspective as soon as they have learned the game.


Rocketville:

I love that things can change quickly during the course of a game. It might seem one player is winning and then they can fall behind without it being clear how that happened. Usually though it is because they got greedy.


Hey That’s My Fish:

This is my favorite game! I love penguins. But, not only that, it is a subtly clever game with easy rules, minimal luck, and…did I mention penguins?



Oh, and I think I’m gonna really like Galaxy Trucker because of the aliens. They look like they are cute!meeple
 
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JB
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Although I’ve been playing games for many years since I was a child, it is only recently that I’ve been aware of the gaming hobby. I grew up playing the same classics as most anyone else, Monopoly, Yahtzee, and Sorry, but only recently have I been playing the popular designer/Euro games of today. For this reason it is overwhelming to have to pick a Top 5, especially because as I play each new game, I continue to develop new favorites. So instead I chose to list a more interesting or pertinent Top 5; my Top 5 influences or great gaming experiences that lead me into the “sophisticated” world of gaming, or a sort of chronological history of my advancement into the hobby.

1) Magic the Gathering

Magic was my first venture into devoting my time into games, and boy is that an understatement. I was introduced by my fellow Boy Scouts at age 14 in the summer 1995 and was probably first captivated by the art on the cards and the fantasy themes. I quickly became enamored with the game play and coming up with all sorts of different card combinations. There's something to be said to pioneer the concept of a collectable card game, but in addition to that to also create a game system where at any one time you only use a small portion of the entire available card pool in a given game, yet essentially all pieces work and can be played together. There’s as much a game or skill in building the deck as there is in playing an actual game. Discovering that two cards work perfectly together or watching them all interact is the true joy of playing. It also becomes very social in trading aspect and bouncing off deck ideas with each other. Magic truly is a gaming community.

Many will loathe the money that CCGs demand and feel, likely rightly so, that Magic is the biggest culprit, but I must say that the collectability aspect is probably responsible for drawing me in and getting me excited about the game. It was probably my youth and naivety, but I was excited about not knowing what each pack would hold. I was of course used to this as I used to collect baseball cards, but I could also open up a pack and find a card that I never knew existed. Of course this surprise no longer really exists as card lists and a wealth of information are available online, but in the beginning, the mystery was part of the fun. Regardless of the money it takes to keep up with all the latest expansions and patience to constantly learn new rules-mechanics, Magic remains a great game especially when taken over a small subset. I no longer play and haven’t for eight years as I can no longer keep up the funds, but I still follow the latest news and Magic still is one of my favorites and was a crucial player in my gaming life.

2) Dilbert: Corporate Shuffle

Magic is directly responsible for my purchase of this game, or more exactly its creator, Richard Garfield. I was at a two week summer music camp with some close friends and we were all avid Magic players. Over the first weekend we were allowed to leave the camp’s campus and walk over into town. This was an exciting prospect as we had spotted a comic book shop and wanted to purchase some packs of magic. While I was there I spotted Corporate Shuffle and almost immediately bought it. All my friends were like, “Why would you spend 15 dollars on just a little card game?” “Because I think I heard it was fun and it’s designed by the same guy who designed Magic, plus it’s Dilbert. What’s better than that?” We brought it back to the dorms that night and played for hours.

The game is simple, extremely simple, and short. Even though each game is played in minutes, it is so much fun it can be played for hours. Since there were six of us at camp, it was the perfect game to keep us all included. Once again we were captivated by the metagaming that this created. We really got into the roles of each position and rewarded or penalized each player with the chairs we sat in. For the following week at camp we used every opportunity to play, always picking up with the same exact Big Boss and other player positions that we had when we last left off. This eventually became school lunch time favorite and became lovingly referred to as Dilbert. I really should get a new deck as my old one has seen more wear than any other deck of cards I’ve ever owned, but how can I ever turn my back on a game the bonded so many of my friends together?

3) The Settlers of Catan

Aw Settlers, look at the giant door you opened for me. During my senior year of high school I was invited over to someone’s house by a friend to play this great new game called Settlers of Catan. Didn’t know a thing about it nor what it represented. Almost immediately I loved it (it also helps that I eventually won that first game played). This was the first game I had seen with a modular board. Each time the game is played the board is different. This increases replayability and the way the game plays each time. I also like the aspect of starting with a few small resources and building up and expanding. Combine that with the involvement of trading with other players and the die rolling to produce resources, you have a wonderfully varied strategy game. Everyone is always involved and I wasn’t used to that back then. Building up victory points was a completely new concept. I’m starting to find it difficult to say exactly why I like this game or what captured me in the beginning, but I just love this game.

4) A Game of Thrones

This game provided what is probably the best gaming experience I’ve ever had (or at least one of two) and truly showed me the dynamic that board games are capable of. This is the kind of game that actually captures the flavor of its source material quite well. I managed to scrounge up the full complement of five players to play the original game with no expansions. The best part was that we had all read and were familiar with the book. Now none of us had played the game so we had to go over the rules together, and though it took a really long time we enjoyed every minute of learning the game. After House assignments everyone got into character, and played the game as though it were simulating the event of the novels. Greyjoy was after Stark from the start but with assistance from Baratheon the Starks managed to stay afloat. In the meantime Lannister wouldn’t back down on Baratheon while Tyrell bided there time waiting to strike and assist any who were willing to play. It went from playing a game to reenacting a book and creating an overall gaming universe.

It doesn’t hurt that the game is great and familiarity with the novels is not necessary. Each House gets a different starting position and variable strengths that really shape the way you need to play depending on what House you are assigned. The board is actually pretty small so conflict is inevitable, but it’s also important to build up power to be able to “pay” you way into high seats of different areas of influence. There were lots of details and we did get a few rules wrong but in the end we loved the game. I couldn’t stop discussing strategies and different tactical situations, and then how these change with a different House. Once again I couldn’t stop thinking about the game even when I wasn’t currently playing it. This is a sign of a great game. Unfortunately we haven’t gotten the group back together to play, but I’m always going to remember that great gaming night.

5) Ticket to Ride

And now the game that brings everything full circle; the game that allows me to share my love for board games and introduce all my family and friends to the hobby. This is the classic gateway game, though as I’ve described above was not a gateway for me. In fact I played this for the first time after all those described above. I find the game extremely fun even though it is extremely simple, and that is ultimately the point. A game doesn’t need to be complex to be fun.

I brought this home last Christmas with the sole purpose of getting my family hooked. It was with a little difficulty that I got them all around the table but with the help of the big board of the United States they were at least all intrigued. Believe it or not, at first they all thought the rules were very complex. Newbies. Of course once they started playing everything flowed smoothly and no one was really ever confused. By the end of the game they had fallen in love, especially my mother, and immediately wanted to play a game. Success! I then promptly presented here with the box of the game and said, “Merry Christmas.” I had the plan all along that if she liked it; I could just give it to her. I can’t remember how many times we played Ticket to Ride that holiday, and now every time I visit they look forward to what games I’ll be bringing with me. I’ve already planned out an almost full suitcase of games to bring home with me this time. This is what gaming is all about, bringing family and friends together for a great time.

Well I think I’ve rambled on long enough and hope I’ve provided enough narrative and insight to some of my favorite and important games to me. I must continue on for just a couple of honorable mentions. Apples to Apples once provided me the other greatest gaming experience. We had just the right group of people and enjoyed playing so much that we spent the whole night going through the entire green deck. The Gipf project is my favorite set of abstracts. I’ve always been a fan of abstracts, Chess and such, and I still to this day try to figure out how I found out about these games, but I do know that it is also somehow closely related to my discovery of BoardGameGeek.

Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this Doug and I wouldn’t mind adding Galaxy Trucker to my mix of favorites.
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Brent Mair
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Roy
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My top five, starting at the top. 5.

#1 Attika.

I've been asked various times why this is my favorite game. I'm not sure. It caught my attention when it first came out and I've played dozens of times in person and a few hundred times on Brettspielwelt.de. I love the choices of whether to play or save for later. I like the choice of whether to draw or play from the mat. I really enjoy placing tiles and building things, although I'm not sure you'll find another building game on the list.
I have a few friends I can play this game with in 15 minutes. Grab the box from the shelf and 15 minutes later, if we don't play again, the game can be put away. I recently played a 2 hour 4-player game and that was very painful.
I don't own the game. I have around 500 games but I haven't bought my favorite game.

#2 Lord of the Rings

I've played this wonderful game over 40 times. I started playing this game two player with my 6 year old son (now 12) when I didn't have games we could play against each other. I haven't played this as much in the past few years but I would more if my 9 year old was interested.
I love cooperative games and I hope for more great cooperative games in the future. I own all three expansions. Friends and Foes is very good and adds a fair amount of variety. Sauron didn't add much for a true cooperative game. I wouldn't mind playing the one against many version again but it isn't nearly as appealing as the cooperative game. Battlefields appears pretty fun but I have only one play of that board.

#3 Descent: Journeys in the Dark

Great fun and plenty of replayability. I wish that it would be purely cooperative and not need an overlord but even with this flaw I like the game immensely. I just need someone else to be Overlord once in a while. And I need better player aids and organization. And space. Give me more space to play.
I have Well of Darkness and I have played with Altar of Despair. Great fun. Cannot wait for Road to Legend.

#4 Shadows Over Camelot

Another cooperative game. Almost. The traitor is a very interesting addition and really helps this game. I love playing for it and hope that a good expansion can enhance replayability.

#5 Race for the Galaxy

Probably. I've only owned it for 9 days but I expect to be playing this for a long time. Add solo play, fifth and six players, and I'll be playing this for many years to come.
 
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Jessica Doyle
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Only for you and your podcast and your description of Galaxy Trucker, Doug, would I wander back onto the Geek when I should be writing a paper on the grocery market in Romania. (Is there a little minibadge for "grad student"?) Let me try my hand at this narrative thing.

Historical narrative, as it were.

Flash back to 1995 or so, when our heroine was just arriving at her chosen snooty liberal arts college (voted the third most annoying LAC in the country by readers at Gawker.com!), she ended up falling into the clutches of a bunch of big nerds. One of the ways she proved herself a fellow big nerd was by learning Catan. (And now I'm going to switch out of third person, because Gawker aside, that's annoying even to me.) I've probably played Settlers more often than any other game, and I still enjoy it. I will play it with people who take it personally when you sic the robber on them. I will play with my friend Megan who doesn't care who wins so long as she gets Longest Road. I will play with computer opponents. I would play with my husband, although he won't play with me, since I (ahem) screwed him over a bit the last time we played. So you could say Settlers was the first game that taught me that gaming could be a social thing.

I didn't start gaming socially, however, until early 2003, when my then-boyfriend and I walked uneasily into the War Room's intimidating back room. And then a friendly guy waved at us and said, "Interested in Careers?" And I have enjoyed Careers since I was a kid, even having grown up with an inferior board (the 1980s edition had two fewer squares on a side and I think one or two fewer career tracks). The friendly guy was Stven Carlberg, and the rest is history, albeit a relatively obscure and personal history.

I don't remember when I played my first game of Ra, but it must have been soon after that, perhaps even in Ward Batty's shiny new store (sigh). The combination of auctions and the timing mechanism, plus the different ways to score points and the destroyers, means that I find it very hard to get bored with Ra. The biggest complaint I have about Ra is that we never remember to pass around the Horus-head to determine who called the last auction. I also think Ra was the first Knizia game I played.

Of all the games I have learned with the Atlanta group, it's tough to pick a favorite; Union Pacific would be up there, and Puerto Rico, and Funny Friends (especially when Ward is playing a lesbian with kids). But in terms of my favorite game to introduce to other people, I'd have to go with Schrille Stille. I am actually not a big fan of Zoff in Buffalo, so Schrille and Shark are my two favorite taught-me-by-Leon-Hendee games. The nifty spinning thing, and the voting, and Feel Coolins! Who doesn't want to see Feel Coolins climbing the charts? My one gripe: colorblind people do not have as much fun with this one. I really ought to draw symbols on the score cubes.

But in truth, I'll always have a great fondness in my heart for the games I played with my parents, and so it would be dishonest to leave Clue off this list. Clue Master Detective, if you want to be precise. Besides, there's no other board game where I also love the movie and can quote it at tiresome length -- though admittedly, I haven't seen Transamerica yet.
 
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Nathan Fluegel
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Half Moon Bay
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Before going through the top 5 as they occur to me now, I feel that I should state that I although I have been playing games since I was a kid, I have only been playing the newer Euro-style games in the last year or two, so my list will likely seem fairly shallow to those with a great deal more experience than I. Among other things, as a new convert to modern boardgames, I love being able to share games with the un-initiated, so I love games with easy to teach rules but strategy that can keep the minds at the table occupied over many playings.

5. Nicht die Bohne! I am guessing this will not show up on any other posts to this thread. Too light, not enough control for each player, a perceived lack of strategic options. All of those things may be true, but I love a game that makes the players twist their brain to understand it. The fact that each time I choose a play I have to think hard about whether to offer something that people will want or the reverse keeps me constantly amused. One of the games I play every chance I get at local games days, though I don't own a copy myself.

4. Ingenious By far my favorite abstract game. No one I have taught the game to has ever dis-liked it, gamer or not. And many request a second game almost immediately. Simple rules and mechanism, but I clearly have not grasped the strategy well, since it seems I lose almost every time I play. After learning it at a gaming day, I had to pick it up for myself soon after.

3. Ticket to Ride: USA 1910 In my experience, the Ticket to Ride game system has been the most successful game I can teach to any new player. At this point, we own and like all of the different variations, but I think I actually prefer the original with the 1910 expansion, specifically with the Big Cities rules. It works great for my wife and I as a 2-player game and I love playing it with the members of my team at work, who have all become addicts who have had to buy the game themselves.

2. Carcassonne The first Euro game I ever played, I think, and I love the simplicity of the mechanism. The puzzling mechanism is something that makes it easy for new players to learn, but with the many expansions there is a lot of fresh and different gameplay. Something I have been able to enjoy playing at work over lunch as well as one on one with my wife and it is successful in both venues.

1. Upwords Although I would not claim I am an expert, this is one of the few games I feel I can be competitive in every time I play, as I am something of a word addict. Given that it is an older game and a word game, I don't get to play it nearly as often as I like, but I enjoy it every chance I get.
 
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Tim Huesken
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Victoria
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Looking for a copy of Key Town! Got a copy for trade?
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Congrats to all the winners of this contest! This was a lot of fun to think about and I enjoyed reading the entries.

Have an excellent holiday season!

T
 
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