Things of No Interest: Cult of the NOT So New - June 2007

Things of No Interest: Cult of the NOT So New - June 2007

BGG user JonMichael Rasmus (jmsr525) has been doing analysis of the games and their trends each month for, well what seems like forever. I thought it might be interesting to look back at what was so hot 10 years ago, so sit back and enjoy this blast from the past. Based on information in the geeklist - BGG Top 100 Analysis June 2007 / 2nd Quarter 2007 / 1st Half 2007.

Prime Movers for June - Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization
Yeah, this continued its rise, moving up 11 spots to #76. If you have read my last few of these look backs, you probably already know how I feel about this game (if not, I'll catch you up - I don't like this overrated game). Based on where it ends up in the future, I suspect that you get to read my complaining about this game for at least the next 6 months or more. Not sure there is a whole lot to say here, that I haven't already said before.

Still a thing? Sigh.

Falling Star - Leonardo da Vinci
This guy fell 9 places. Technically, to be a "falling star", the game has to fall more than 10 spots - this was the biggest loser this month ten years ago. This guy was here a couple months ago too. I read that Leonardo da Vinci is a worker placement game with an interesting bidding mechanism (well, maybe 10 years ago it was, who knows...). I scanned the reviews and it seems to have been your basic worker placement with a thin theme and average art. It was falling last time we saw it too.

Still a thing? Leonardo da Vinci continued to fall, and today sits at #848

Hot Lava Birth for June Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery #58 Notre Dame #61
Here are a couple of really good games. Age of Empires III is a really good game and it was not at all like the RTS computer game of the same name. I don't know how Glen Drover came up with a game that was attached to a randomly strange license (i.e. which came first, the license or the game). Whatever - it was a good game. Worker placement / action selection kind of mechanisms with some area control and exploration. Heck, with all the different ways to score points, it too is almost Feld-like. I ended up trading this because it wasn't getting played, but I would still happily play it if I was offered the chance. If there was a flaw, it was that you could get hosed on exploration. One bit of luck in the game could swing it. I feel strongly that Chad Jensen used the action placement setup from this game for Dominant Species.

Notre Dame is a Feld design - definitely a point salad game, but also at a time when his designs included some mean game mechanism that made the game punish you if you didn't manage that part of the system (ie In the Year of the Dragon). This wasn't nearly as brutal as In the Year... What sets this game apart was the card drafting / action drafting. I still enjoy this game from time to time.

Still a thing? Notre Dame currently sits at #178. As I mentioned, I don't think this is a bad game in any way, but as was the case with a lot of Alea/Rio Grande games in the Big Box series, the availability probably contributed to it dropping over the last 5 years. And while I don't mind the negative game element (rats in this case), I get the feeling that the general game buying population prefers their games not have that element (Ewe's designs got less and less "demanding" after Agricola for example) and Feld's design evolution seemed to reflect that. AoE:III also fell at some point, but only down to #118. While this was getting popular, it was originally published through the now defunct Tropical Games and then was only available through Eagle Games IIRC. This made it a little harder to come by. It also was in an oddly sized (oversized) box. Don't ask me what that has to do with the price of tea in China, but I do recall disliking the box.

Top Ten Trends for June
Twilight Struggle +1 #5, El Grande -1 #6, Shogun +1 #10

More top ten shuffle! Poor El Grande was beginning its slide out while the new hotness was taking its turn in the spotlight. Shogun had been a winning mover for months before, so it was no real surprise that it finally broke into the coveted Top 10. I've mentioned this before, but if you haven't played El Grande, you owe it to yourself to go find four friends and play. You can play for free on yucatá.de!

Still a thing? Twilight Struggle continued its climb over the next 10 years and is currently at #3 on the charts - a spot well deserved. El Grande, while still a classic, has fallen out to #49. Ten years after breaking into the top 10, Shogun now sits outside the top 100 at #111. Shogun is still an excellent game with one of the coolest gimmicks ever designed for a game. Games like this are one of the reasons I enjoy this retrospective - I hope I'm highlighting games that a new generation of players may not have had a reason to look into.

Top 5 Winning Movers for June (Highest ranked games that have shown any positive position movement in the last month that aren't in the top 10.)

  • Commands & Colors: Ancients - One of the best of the C&C system games. While I don't care that much for the theme/period and so on, mechanically, one of the best. Blocks look boring? Honestly, they made this one of the easier ones to manage/play. I'd still rather play Battles of Westeros, which I think ended up being the best of the system variations.
  • Twilight Imperium 3rd Edition (Second Month!)  - still the king daddy of space empire games.
  • Hammer of the Scots - A true block war game that I still haven't played.
  • Crokinole - One of the best dexterity / skill games ever made. Pricey equipment limits access for a lot of players, if you see someone with a board, ask to play. When you own a nice board, you don't just want to show it off on the wall.
  • Pillars of the Earth - A solid worker placement game that is supposed to be getting a reprint in 2017! Does it still hold up? New players may decide for themselves. It has been scarce for a long time now.
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