Things of No Interest: 2018 Geek Madness - Round 1

Things of No Interest: 2018 Geek Madness - Round 1

It is that time of year again! Time for the 15th Geek Madness Tournament. Each year, folks get to vote on their favorite games in head-to-head matchups to determine the best! Past winners:

Past Champions of the Aldie Award:
2017: The Castles of Burgundy
2016: Power Grid
2015: 7 Wonders
2014: Android: Netrunner
2013: Android: Netrunner
2012: Agricola
2011: Agricola
2010: Power Grid
2009: Twilight Struggle
2008: Power Grid
2007: Power Grid
2006: Power Grid
2005: Puerto Rico
2004: Tigris & Euphrates

The full 2018 bracket
Normally, I vote for all the games I really enjoy, but this year I'm voting only when I've played both the games in a match up. I thought I'd share my basic thoughts on the 26 matchups I did vote on. I've found that unlike the real March Madness Basketball tourney, there isn't much chance for a Cinderella story. A game might upset someone in the first round or two, but the heavy hitters pretty much put them in their place sooner rather than later. So here are my first round votes.

Caverna vs A Game of Thrones
This was the first matchup I found where I've played both games and it was a tough pick. I enjoy both game a lot, but I went with AGoT because not only is it a great game, but I have some vivid recollections of past games, something Caverna hasn't done.

Puerto Rico vs Modern Art
PR was fine when it came out and there weren't better choices, but there are so many better games out there. Modern Art may be the best pure auction game ever made.

Trajan vs Splendor
Trajan is one of Feld's more interesting games, but Splendor is such a good gateway game that is still fun for gamers that I had to pick Splendor.

TS vs Santorini
Another hard choice for me. Santorini is a really good abstract - a spacial one at that. But Twilight Struggle is full of angst and oozing with theme. Maybe you have to have been a child of the Cold War to understand, but TS is such a good game.

Concordia vs Glory to Rome
While I think Glory to Rome might be better than Race for the Galaxy, it is not even in the same league as Concordia.

Galaxy Trucker vs Roll for the Galaxy - GT
This was a tough choice. I liked Roll for the Galaxy better than the original by a hair, and while I like Galaxy Trucker, the timed chaos of the game isn't really my thing. I went with Galaxy Trucker her almost entirely because I like the iOS app implementation so much.

Ra vs King of Tokyo/New York
I think that if King of [whatever] wins here, it will be because Ra is old enough that it has fallen out of people's minds. Ra is far and away the better of these two choices in games.

Five Tribes vs Castles of Mad King
This was something of a toss up for me. Both are fine games and I have no argument for why I picked Five Tribes over CoMK other than that's how I felt when I voted.

Mansions of Madness vs Go
This is a tough matchup in that the two choices are so very different. Go is the classic abstract - beautiful and deep. MoM is the modern horror tale game (so modern it uses an electronic app). I don't buy the argument against MoM because of the app - it was not the first game to use electronics as a supplement to the game (Stop Thief and Dark Tower come to mind as games that had a computer assistant to the game long before we all had smart phones and tablets). I picked MoM because I'd just rather play it than I would Go.

Eldritch Horror vs Memoir 44
Another horror story game vs a simplistic war-game. Don't get me wrong, I think Memoir 44 is a good game - I played a lot of it. I'm just at a place where I really like the Lovecraftian stuff and EH is really a top notch game.

Carc vs Star Realms
I suspect that Carc will win this fight, but I voted for Star Realms. Star Realms is such a good little on-the-fly deckbuilder game.

Crokinole vs Netrunner
I never really got into Netrunner and Crokinole is such a great dexterity game. Not much of a choice for me.

Race For the Galaxy vs Troyes
I think Race is HIGHLY overrated and Troyes is one of the best use of dice in a eurogame, so you can see why I'd pick Troyes here.

Mage Knight vs Ora et Labora
Mage Knight was fun, it just wasn't 6+ hours fun. I think Ora is one of the better Ewe games, so again, this was an easy pick for me.

Pandemic vs Russian Railroads
Alpha player co-ops just don't do it for me. Russian Railroads isn't the best of the worker placement games by a long shot, but I'd rather play it than Pandemic.

Through the Ages vs Shogun
I loved Civ on the computer and loved TtA when I first played it, but it didn't take much for me to feel that it was flawed. A long "bash the loser game" is not my idea of a good time. That doesn't mean Shogun was the default choice either, because Shogun is a great game and a lot of fun.

Patchwork vs Roborally
I'm a software developer by profession, so you'd think a programming game would be my thing, but there is too much chaos and not enough fun for me in Roborally. Patchwork is a fine two-player game and easily is my preferred choice between these two.

Orleans vs Shadows over Camelot
Orleans is easily one of my favorite game from the past couple years. It will have to be a much better game than a mediocre co-op to best this one.

Tigris and Euphrates vs Alhambra
Tigris is a decent game (arguably one of Knizia's best games), but it is dry as the Arizona desert. Alhambra is a good though not great game. I went with which I'd rather play.

Eclipse vs Innovation
Innovation was horrible. I'd have even picked Dominion over Innovation here. The fact that Eclipse is a good game didn't even matter.

Marco Polo vs Battle Line
Marco Polo is one of a handful of newer games that found a great way to use dice in a Euro. Battle Line is a fine two player bluffing game, but Marco is better.

Terra Mystica vs Imperial
I'm a fan of the Rondel, but Imperial was long and dry. Terra Mystica is a pretty good game and easily was the better choice for me here.

Lords of Waterdeep vs Bohnanza
Nothing wrong with the bean trading game, but it doesn't beat out one of the top worker placement games ever.

AH: TCG vs Alchemists
Maybe I choose Alchemists because I already picked MoM and EH. Maybe. Alchemists is a great deduction game that is a lot of fun.

Dominion vs Love Letter - LL
Sorry big D, Love Letter wins over whatever you were selling. There are so many better Deck Builders out there now. Like PR before you, I acknowledge your place in history, then I vote for some stupid little card game instead because I don't like you.

Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar vs Kingdom Builder
When Tzolk'in came out, there was a lot of hype around it. I found it to be ok, but it didn't latch onto me like it did others. Combine that by putting it up against one of my all time favorites? Not even close. Kingdom Builder by a mile.

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