Things of No Interest: Cult of the Not So New - June 2008
BGG user JonMichael Rasmus (jmsr525) has been doing analysis of the games and their trends each month for what seems like forever. I like looking back, because frankly, there are lots of good games that didn't come out in the last two years, and lots of games you probably heard of that don't get played (for good reason). So sit back and enjoy this blast from the past. Based on information in the geeklist - BGG Top 100 Analysis June 2008
NONE! Galaxy Trucker, Pandemic and Here I Stand all moved up seven measly spots. Galaxy Trucker had hit the scene in the last quarter of 2007 and was probably hitting its stride, bubbling up so to speak. Despite its fun chaos, the "real time" chaos isn't appealing to everyone and speaks to its slower climb. I like the game, but much prefer the async-point-based turns of the app implementation that came out in the last few years. Playing this electronically (is for me) a much more enjoyable thing.
Pandemic was new in 2008 and I recall it being the new hotness. It was (and still is) a sleek and tense co-op that is not overly burdened by lots of stuff. In 2008, there really wasn't much in the market for co-ops that were not named Arkham Horror. And while quite popular, co-ops have never been that exciting for me as I enjoy the competition AND I hate the Alpha player problem that so many co-ops have (ie, my turns don't matter, because one player has formed the group's strategy). If you like co-ops, it is worth trying if you have never played, but co-ops have advanced enough as a genre now that you may find it a bit lacking. The Legacy version(s) are supposed to be awesome and full of narrative and so may be better choices if you like this sort of thing.
Here I Stand is a very niche card-driven game that came out in 2006. First the theme - the game covers the political and religious conflicts of early 16th century Europe. Putting aside your excitement there, the game plays best with six players and comes in at a whopping 3-6 hours. This is definitely weekend or con material. Because of these factors, it is not one of those games you will see jump the charts. However, a two-player deck was released for the game in late 2007 and likely gave the game a bit of exposure in 2008, thus the movement upwards. People whose opinions I trust love this game, and it is one that I hope to get in on someday.
NONE! Lost Cities and Roads and Boats both lost a measly four spots.
Lost Cities has the dubious honor of being the original game - a two-player card game that inspired Knizia to create a board game version - Keltis/Lost Cities the Boardgame. Keltis came out (and won the Spiel de Jahres) in 2008. I (and I'm sure others) found the boardgame to be superior to the original. If you want to play Keltis as a two-player game, it is wonderful and more interesting. So that's my best guess as to why the original LC might have dropped off a little.
As for why the drop for Roads and Boats, who is to say? The game came out in 1999 and like most Splotter games, was hard to get your hands on and longer and more complex than most euro games. It was (and is) still a solid logistics game (ie - gather and turn resources into other things while building an engine to gather points). Roads and Boats isn't for everyone, but is one of those games that you should still seek out and give a go if you have the chance.
These are the the five games that made the biggest jump up the BGG charts since the previous month (not in the top 10). Note that in June 2008, the top ten remained unchanged.
Command & Colors: Ancients - quite possibly the best of the true C&C series (I like the Westeros series the best, but you can argue that it isn't truly a part of the C&C series). And while I don't personally find the Roman army all that exciting a setting, from a system standpoint, this game really works. Forget all the flashier cousins with their mini-figure armies, the blocks make things easier to setup and maneuver on the board. The rules were refined and this was the version that introduced the best set of support and counter attack rules to date (2008).
Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage - this is an older card-driven game that in many ways feels like the inspiration for Twilight Struggle. Fans of TS may want to give this a whirl, because it too is an outstanding game. I prefer the theme and gameplay of TS just a bit more than I liked Hannibal, this is a good game as well. At first glance, you may think this is a card driven war-game, but it really is a political control game like TS.
Paths of Glory - here's what I know about PoG. Currently (2018) this sits at #3 all time for war-games (behind Twilight Struggle and the ridiculous War of the Ring Anniversary ed - so it might as well be #2). This game about The Great War is OOP and hard to find. I would be very happy to try this someday, but I'm not sure I'll ever get the chance.
Brass - I have never played Brass, though I have played it's spiritual successor - Age of Industry. I do like Wallace games and this is highly regarded as one of his best ever.
Pandemic - yeah yeah. I already talked about this above.