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Favre4MVPs 2006 Year in Review
Kane Klenko
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Wisconsin
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Well, it’s that time of year again. Each of the last 2 years I’ve posted my year in review as a forum entry. This year I’m gonna get a little crazy and post it as a GeekList. I’m sure your jaw just hit the floor, but you’ll get used to it. Besides, there are pretty pictures to look at now.

If, for some reason, you would like to read my reports from 2004 and 2005, I have conveniently placed a link to each just below this sentence.

2004: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/420151#420151
2005: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/749686#749686

The main point of this is to record the games I played this year and hopefully make it interesting enough for you that you don’t feel like I’ve wasted your time.

And here we go…

I did play some games online, but this only takes into account face to face games.

I played a total of 114 games a total of 372 times. Both of these numbers are highs for me which kind of surprised me. I expected my numbers to be a little lower this year, but that just ain’t the case.

Designers of Note:

Bruno Faidutti: 2 titles / 8 plays

Leo Colovini: 2 titles / 4 plays

Michael Schacht: 1 title / 2 plays

Richard Borg: 2 titles / 6 plays

Richard Breese: 2 titles / 5 plays

Rudiger Dorn: 1 title / 4 plays

Sid Sackson: 1 title / 11 plays

Wolfgang Kramer: 15 titles / 31 plays

and the winner is……

Reiner Knizia: 46 titles / 98 plays

Anyone who knows anything about me shouldn’t be surprised by this. I am a Knizia Freak. There I said it. It’s entirely possible that I have some sort of problem.

46 different Knizia games equates to 40% of all the games I played being Knizias. This is a small step up from last years 35%. 98 total played Knizias is only 26% though and that’s a huge drop from last year’s 60% (216 plays). Last year I played a Buka-boat-load of Blue Moon though.

And the winner is…

Most Played: Double or Nothing

Game I rate a 10 that I played the least: Maharaja, Colossal Arena, El Grande, Taj Mahal (1 play each)

Most played game that takes longer than an hour: Caylus

Most surprised to see at the top: I’m not really surprised by anything here.

Most surprised to see at the bottom: Colossal Arena, Ra, Palazzo

Favorite new game of 2006: Blue Moon City

Favorite reprint of 2006: Winner’s Circle (I already had Taj Mahal)

Most played game I don’t own: Jungle Speed

Biggest disappointment: Roma

Most pleasant surprise: Mission: Red Planet, Aladdin’s Dragons

Game that could end up as a 10 someday, but I haven’t played it enough: BattleLore

I’ll break this into 2 main sections: Games I own and Games I Don’t Own. Within each section will be 3 categories: 1-4 plays, 5-9 plays, 10+ plays. Within each section the games will be pseudo-alphabetical; meaning that they are alphabetical for the most part, but there may be a random game in there that isn’t. You know, just to keep things wacky and entertaining, or something. The number next to the game title is how many times I played it in 2006.
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1. Board Game: Beowulf: The Legend [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:1285]
Kane Klenko
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Ridgeway
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Games Owned: 10+

Beowulf (12): In my 2005 report I listed Tower of Babel as my favorite new game of the year. Well, that’s only because I hadn’t played Beowulf yet. Tower of Babel is excellent, but Beowulf is excellenter. I was originally afraid that the static board setup would cause the game to get old after a few plays, but that is not true at all. The card play keeps the game fresh and the fact that the board never changes actually helps the game get better each time you play it since you know what to try to plan for.
 
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2. Board Game: Blue Moon [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:607]
Kane Klenko
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Blue Moon (14): 14 is a good number of plays for me for one game, but it’s a huge drop from last year’s 49 plays. I guess the main reason is that it was mostly played on lunch breaks and our lunch time game group is now usually 3 people. I did just get the Buka deck though, so I expect to play this again very soon. I did teach it to another guy at work and he got hooked. He’s since bought all of the decks, so maybe we can start deck building soon. I still haven’t even tried that yet.
 
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3. Board Game: Blue Moon City [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:358]
Kane Klenko
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Ridgeway
Wisconsin
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Blue Moon City (11): OoooWeeeeeeee do I love this game. OK, so it was a big box Knizia with the Blue Moon theme….I expected to like it. I read the rules before it came out and I expected to love it. I had huge expectations. Surprisingly, Blue Moon City even exceeded those expectations. I have a whole lot of typing to do on this GeekList, so I’m gonna keep this brief, but Blue Moon City is my favorite game. Something about it just makes me giggle with glee.
 
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4. Board Game: Can't Stop [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:477]
Kane Klenko
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Ridgeway
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Can’t Stop (11): I’m glad to see this is getting reprinted. This is a great dice game that keeps the tension high for the entire game.
 
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5. Board Game: Crokinole [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:39]
Kane Klenko
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Crokinole (18): I got a Crokinole board about a year ago (the one pictured) and it is great fun. Who would have guessed that flicking a little disc could entertain groups of people for hours on end? Mr. Crokinole, that’s who.
 
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6. Board Game: Double or Nothing [Average Rating:5.70 Overall Rank:5563]
Kane Klenko
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Ridgeway
Wisconsin
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Double or Nothing (26): This is a simple little filler game that isn’t rated very highly here on Le’ Geek. Why do I love it so much then? We usually play this game 3-4 times in a row, so that’s why the number is so high. If you’re gonna try this one out, then that’s what I’d recommend you do too. If you just play one game of it it’s just OK. Try to play it 3-4 times back to back and it becomes great fun.
 
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7. Board Game: Hey, That's My Fish! [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:465]
Kane Klenko
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Hey! That’s My Fish! (11): I’ve never come out and said this publicly, and I may get derided for doing so, but this is the best game about penguins capturing fish on disappearing ice floes that I’ve ever played. Probably one of the best weight-versus-time-investment games available.
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8. Board Game: Times Square [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:1830]
Kane Klenko
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Ridgeway
Wisconsin
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Times Square (16): This is another one where we usually play several times in a row. While it’s not necessarily a GREAT game, it is a lot of fun. I like the way the characters all have different “powers” and they are all important at different points in the game.
 
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9. Board Game: Australia [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:1356]
Kane Klenko
United States
Ridgeway
Wisconsin
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Games Owned (5-9 plays):

Australia (5): I love me some Australia. This game probably should have been played even more than it was, but it still made the nickel list (5 defensive backs). As I write these lists there are some games I come across and I immediately want to go play the game. This is one of those games. If you’re a Kramer fan, or if you’re not a Kramer fan (that pretty much covers everyone, right?), then I’d suggest trying this one out. I prefer it with less players (2-3) to keep the chaosity down.
 
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10. Board Game: Battle Line [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:130]
Kane Klenko
United States
Ridgeway
Wisconsin
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Battle Line (6): It still amazes me what Knizia can do with a deck of colored and numbered cards. Simple concepts that are put together perfectly to offer up tense games with meaningful decisions. Battle Line is one of the best in that category.
 
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11. Board Game: Caylus [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:20]
Kane Klenko
United States
Ridgeway
Wisconsin
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Caylus (5): I’ve played Caylus 5 times, but I’ve still only played it with 2 players. I’m sure it’s better with more, but I still really like it. I think the time it takes to play it could hinder future playings, but I do like it.
 
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12. Board Game: The End of the Triumvirate [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:842]
Kane Klenko
United States
Ridgeway
Wisconsin
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End of the Triumvirate (6): I’m not a wargamer at all, but this is the type of wargame I could really get into. Great theme, great artwork, fun and frantic gameplay, and it all fits in under an hour. I really like this one.
 
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13. Board Game: Expedition [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:1038]
Kane Klenko
United States
Ridgeway
Wisconsin
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Expedition (5): Expedition is a nice light to middle weight game by Kramer that I was able to get my hands on last year. I really like the simple way this game works while still offering up plenty of decisions to make. I’m interested to try this with 5 or 6, but I’m guessing it’s much better with just 2 or 3.
 
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14. Board Game: Loot [Average Rating:6.32 Overall Rank:1299]
Kane Klenko
United States
Ridgeway
Wisconsin
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Loot (5): Piratey goodness. I think the theme on this one really helps non-gamers to learn and play this one easily. My sister is someone who is a non-gamer and would never be interested or do well in a trick taking type card game, but she really liked Loot. The idea of sending out merchant ships and attacking other ships with your pirates is very easy to get your head around. Lots o’ fun.
 
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15. Board Game: My Word! [Average Rating:5.73 Overall Rank:5542]
Kane Klenko
United States
Ridgeway
Wisconsin
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My Word (5): I just picked this up at Target in the nice little tin. I’m not big on word games, but if I’m gonna play one I’ll pick this one. It’s quick, it’s simple, and it’s fun.
 
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16. Board Game: No Thanks! [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:333]
Kane Klenko
United States
Ridgeway
Wisconsin
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No Thanks (6): If I didn’t know any better, I would have guessed this was a Knizia game. Extremely simple rules and gameplay that I’m surprised nobody thought of sooner. Quick and fun.
 
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17. Board Game: Pickomino [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:915]
Kane Klenko
United States
Ridgeway
Wisconsin
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Pickomino (5): While I like Can’t Stop better for it’s sphinter-clenching tension, Pickomino is a very good dice rolling press your luck game. While in the end the die rolls determine how well you do, there really are meaningful decisions to make. Just like in Can’t Stop.
 
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18. Board Game: Res Publica [Average Rating:5.94 Overall Rank:3238]
Kane Klenko
United States
Ridgeway
Wisconsin
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Res Publica (6): This was a big hit with my lunch group. I wasn’t sure how well I’d like the constrained trading, but I think it works very well. It’s certainly not just Go Fish like some would suggest. (crazy people) You really need to try to word your trade offers in the best way possible to try and draw information out from your opponents.
 
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19. Board Game: Roma [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:569] [Average Rating:6.87 Unranked]
Kane Klenko
United States
Ridgeway
Wisconsin
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Roma (6): This one might start an argument. I was excited about Roma. I love the theme. The artwork is great. I read the rules several times and thought everything sounded great. Very clever mechanics. Then we played the game and it bombed. Well, I’d read that there could be an occasional poor game of it, so we tried again, and again, and again….still nothing. 5 of the 6 games were pretty much over by the second or third turn and the 6th game wasn’t good enough to make up for the other 5. I know a lot of people love this game so don’t let me steer you away from it, but I was very disappointed.

 
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20. Board Game: That's Life! [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:1141]
Kane Klenko
United States
Ridgeway
Wisconsin
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That’s Life (6): That’s Life is a nice simple little game, but I haven’t decided how much I really like it yet. I don’t feel an overwhelming urge to play it although I do appreciate its design. We’ll see.
 
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21. Board Game: Toppo [Average Rating:5.88 Overall Rank:5674]
Kane Klenko
United States
Ridgeway
Wisconsin
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Toppo (5): I’m not much of one for speed games, but Toppo is actually pretty fun. I’ve never played Set, but I hear this is similar. A fun filler that I’d recommend.
 
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22. Board Game: Tutankhamen [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:2153]
Kane Klenko
United States
Ridgeway
Wisconsin
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Tutankhamen (5): This is still one of my favorite fillers, and I think it is much deeper than it looks. There is no luck and the game can be a bit of a brain heater (not quite brain burning). The Out of the Box version is cheap and nice. Get it.
 
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23. Board Game: Winner's Circle [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:502]
Kane Klenko
United States
Ridgeway
Wisconsin
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Winner’s Circle (7): I had played Royal Turf one time and really enjoyed it, so I was excited when Face2Face reprinted it as Winner’s Circle. I love the new horses and the enlarged board is nice. A very fun game that I enjoy every time I play it. This has become one of my top 2 or 3 (possibly even first) gateway games for new players.
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24. Board Game: Africa [Average Rating:5.98 Overall Rank:2621]
Kane Klenko
United States
Ridgeway
Wisconsin
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Games Owned (1-4 plays):

Africa (3): Africa is a decent game that I enjoy playing. I don’t think I’d necessarily recommend trying to track down a copy (since it’s OOP), but it is a good game. Not a top, or even middle tier Knizia for me, but I’m happy to play it anytime.
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25. Board Game: Aladdin's Dragons [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:563]
Kane Klenko
United States
Ridgeway
Wisconsin
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Aladdin’s Dragons (4): When I was offered Aladdin’s Dragons in a trade I wasn’t sure if I should take it. It seemed sort of interesting, but the comments about boring repetitive blind bidding had me worried. I hesitantly went ahead with the trade, and I’m very glad I did. Aladdin’s Dragons has become one of my favorite games. It doesn’t get repetitive at all and it doesn’t even feel like blind bidding. It’s a game with a high bluff factor, so if you don’t like that I’d steer clear, but otherwise this is a game worth tracking down. Hopefully it gets reprinted soon.

 
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