Sunday, June 16, 2013

104 Games to Play...from my Collection

On the Opinionated Gamers website, we came up with the idea of creating "bucket list" for gaming hobbyists, recommending games to try at least once in their lives.
As I wrote earlier, however, I also have a list of games I'm trying to get though, namely those that I have collected during my euphoric "first years in the hobby" when everything was new and--thanks to Berlin flea markets and department store clearance sales--relatively inexpensive.

Since that time, however, I've come to the realization that too big of a game collection is a bit overwhelming for me (not to mention my wife and children), and I have been intentionally and methodically trying out unplayed games, trading or giving away many of them afterwards.  I've also gotten rid of a few after reading the rules, deciding ahead of time that I'd rather try something else.
I wrote about my first attempts a year ago, and following is an update on which games I've enjoyed and kept, which ones I was ready to part with, and a list of the final 104 games that remain unplayed.
Games I'm keeping:
Babel - very nice two-player gameTennis Masters - interesting sports-themed dexterity game that I may not keep

Saga - surprisingly good small card game from Kramer
Focus - interesting Sid Sackson abstract I'd like to explore more
Goldland - borderline first experience that I'm keeping for the theme for now
Attika - borderline game which I've played several times now
K2 - Eurogame that is refreshingly thematic and with an original theme!
Arriba - classic reaction game
Tonga Bonga - surprisingly original and clever dice allocation/betting game
Das Amulett - borderline experience but I like the ideas and want to explore more
Strozzi - simplified Medici, fast and fun, although I could do without the typically convoluted Knizia scoring that feels like a boring math exercise (comparing and counting in several categories)--another game that would work better on a computer. 
Zahltag - I had to try it, as I am a former architect and always wanted to design a game that incorporates the blind bid-letting I'm familiar with.  I played with my architect father, and we had fun with it.  Would like to try it with 3 or 4 players.

Games I traded or gave away after playing: 
Das Letzte Paradies - very original and different, happy to have played once, but that was enough
Holiday AG - simple abstract from Kramer, well-designed but nothing special
Café International - bland and boring, another Spiel des Jahres casualty
Golf Masters - kept the cool golfer figures, but the game as is just doesn't work
Singapore - lots of nice touches from friend Peer Sylvester, but not enough to keep

Wonger - I like just about every Alan Moon game except this one
Knatsch - not bad, but I'd rather play other dice games
Die Bosse - outdated art and equally outdated mechanics
Herr der Ringe: Die Zwei Türme Kartenspiel - bland Knizia abstract with Lord of the Rings pasted on
Die Magier von Pangea - some interesting concepts, but gameplay fell flat
Drunter und Drüber - silly theme but would rather play other bluffing games
Canyon - Wizard combined with a racing board game.  I'd rather play Wizard, and I don't like Wizard.
Quo Vadis? - dry negotiation game. I'd rather play I'm the Boss
Space Dealer - interesting experience, but just not screaming for repeat plays. Perhaps I'll try the new remake--but I won't buy it until I do.
Finca - well-designed Eurogame with rondel actions, set collection and lots of scoring combinations.  Just too formulaic for me these days (Pergamon by the same designer is much better).

As you can see, I have finally decided to break up my collection of Spiel des Jahres winners.  Up until last year, I had collected every single one dating from the first award in 1979.  What convinced me to part with tradition?  I just couldn't bring myself to buy Kingdom Builder after playing it.  And I realized that, if I really wanted to reduce my collection, some of the other award winners would have to go so that better games could maintain their place on my shelves.

Games I traded or gave away without playing:

Continuo - the rules said enough.  I do not need to play this to "get it"
Geschichten aus 1001 Nacht (1001 Arabian Nights)- I'll be happy to try this if someone is excited enough to teach it to me.  But I don't have to own it.
Rasende Roboter - puzzle games are not my favorite, and I have others that I like more
Das Kollier - just did not look exciting enough
Die Weinhändler - probably not a bad game, but not different enough, either.  I'm a big fan of the designers' other game, Santiago.
Die 1. Million - another Sid Sackson card game, and it looks too repetitive
Grosse Geschäfte (Mall World) - I really would have liked to see how friend Andrea Meyer's game really works, but I'd rather play the East German themed version. The Mall theme really turns me off as does the garish artwork, and the rules are just too unintuitive to digest on my own. I'd rather play her other games, Freeze or Singstar/Hossa.
Pool Position - a cute and original theme from Berlin friend Thorsten Gimmler, but not enough game there to keep in my collection, and I'd rather play his Thief of Bagdad or Geschenkt! (No Thanks!).

Finally after playing again, I also decided to trade Die Baumeister von Arcadia. It is a nice game with a great production, but just not something that I want to play over and over again.

Now that there's a little more room on the shelves, its time to focus again on the remaining unplayed games in my collection:

49 Multi-Player Board Games:


Auf Achse


Black Vienna


Catan: Cities & Knights

Colossal Arena
Cosmic Encounter
Crazy Dancing
Der Fliegende Teppich
Formula De
Fussball Ligretto
Die Händler von Genua
The Hobbit (2011)
Im Schatten des Kaisers
Die Macher
Mare Nostrum
Mississippi Queen
Nexus Ops
Pandemic: On the Brink
Remmi Demmi
Risk Legacy
Roll Through the Ages
Rückkehr der Helden
Die Seidenstrasse
Silk Road
Singstar: Das Brettspiel
Stephenson’s Rocket
Tigris & Euphrates
Um Reifenbreit
Worter See
You Robot
Der Zerstreute Pharao

21 two-player:
Twilight Struggle
Hammer of the Scotts
Ebbe & Flut
En Garde
Fürsten von Catan (Princes of Catan)
Hammer of the Scots
Medici & Strozzi
Mr. Jack Pocket
Die Pyramiden des Jaguar

35 Card games:
Alles Klar?
Auf der Pirsch
Glory to Rome
Great Dalmuti
Im Auftrag des Königs
Mü & Mehr
Nicht die Bohne!
Robin Hood
Schwein Gehabt!
Stop It!
Takt voll
Team Work
Vom Kap bis Kairo
Was Sticht?
Wer Hat’s?
Where’s Bob’s Hat?

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