Things of No Interest: Cult of the Not So New January 2009

Things of No Interest: Cult of the Not So New January 2009

Hey! It is 2019 and it has been a while since I've done this, so it is time to look back at the hotness from 10 years ago! 

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 2009

Prime Movers

  • Ticket to Ride Nordic Countries (+20 #75) - When this was initially released, you could actually only get it in Nordic countries (or Europe or some such). I was lucky enough to have a friend travel overseas and grab me a copy (which I eventually traded). In the last year or so, this map made its way online and we've given it some more play. Really a decent map for 2-3 players (it has a similar flavor/feel to the Switzerland map). It might have REALLY shot up if it had been released in the USA, because at this point in time, (except for maybe Power Grid and Age of Steam) games didn't have tons and tons of variants/expansions as a rule. This currently sits at #121, which isn't too bad for a TtR flavor.
  • Battlestar Galactica (+18 #29) - I have never played this game. I liked the show well enough, but (at least with our regular group) this game was too long for my taste - and I just don't love co-ops. I know, this is a traitor game, but that doesn't make it better to me (I'd rather play something shorter like One Night Werewolf or something).

Falling Stars

Well, technically none, but these two each fell 6 spots (a "falling star" was something that dropped more than ten spots). 

  • Through the Desert - One of Knizia's classics (and a great great game IMO). Infamous for the pastel camels that remind people of "wedding mints" (those cream cheese mints that are pressed into molds and then coated in sugar). This is a great area control game that isn't the same as what you'd think of in area control game. Currently at #445, this is one that isn't in most people's radar, but is still a good game. Trust me, this stands the test of time and deserves a look if you've never tried it (it is a top 20 game for me).
  • ZERTZ - possibly my least favorite of the GIPF series for a couple of reasons. First, it was solvable. The designer had to go back and add more rings in order to un-break the original design (later edition include a dozen extra rings). Secondly, the round parts look cool, but seriously, playing with a bunch of marbles is a pain in the butt. Currently the game sits at #525

Hot Lava Birth

  • Space Alert - Space Alert is a cooperative team survival game. Players become crew members of a small spaceship scanning dangerous sectors of the galaxy. The missions last just 10 real-time minutes (the missions came on a CD, which required you to have a player). It is funny because when this was released, everyone wasn't running around with a smart phone and bluetooth speakers. But, when this came out, it did something new and interesting (and was a short co-op where you played in a panic) and how the heck is this still sitting at #168? I assume you can download the soundtrack now, but still... Anyway, this broke into the top 100 at #97
  • Blood Bowl 3rd ed. - this came in at #98 (currently #277). This is a Fantasy Football minis game that had (and still has) a loyal following of players. Like a lot of Games Workshop minis games - you are either a minis person or not.

Top Ten Trends

I like the top ten trends. Some of the PBM folks were talking about the #1 spots earlier and I had a fair idea of a number of them just because of this particular topic.

  • Through the Ages (+2 #8) - TtA kept on with its steady rise (though it never held the #1 spot). I've mentioned it many a time in the past - I was a huge fan of this for a long time, but after a number of games, it fell out of favor with me due to a couple of (IMO) serious issues. For a longer game, bash the loser sucks, especially with no way to recover once it starts. If you enjoy this, great, have a good time.
  • Caylus (-1 #9) - Caylus peaked at #2 in 2005 (about 4 years before this). People were sure it would overtake Puerto Rico, but it never did. Instead, Agricola became the newer hotness (and it did overtake PR). Currently Caylus sits at #47. 
  • Race for the Galaxy (-1 #10) - Race peaked the year prior at #8, and you are starting to see its slide out of the top 10. Interestingly, it currently sits at #48. I wonder if it and Caylus just slowly dropped as newer (better) games slid in over time. We shall see in coming chapters!

Top 5 Winning Movers

These are the highest ranked games that have shown any positive position movement in the last month that aren't in the top 10.

  • Shogun - Though it has been a while since I've done one of these, I've mentioned Shogun before. Gamers who are newer to games might only recognize this classic mechanic if you've played Amerigo - ie the cube tower (DON'T BUMP THE DAMN TABLE). A really fun Euro with a unique combat system (the cube tower). If you haven't played it, you should find this and play it at least once (if you've tried and played Wallenstein, you know what this is already).
  • Pandemic (Second month!) - yeah, ten years ago, co-op games were just starting to make a splash, so this was cool (or hot I guess). 
  • Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery - anyone remember that there weren't two games before this? Nope, this was named after the PC game (and it really had nothing to do with the game, in this case, it was pure marketing). All that aside, this is a really decent euro game with interesting choices. About four years ago it was redone as Empires - Age of Discovery, so you might have played it. If you haven't you are missing out on a descent game that is worth playing.
  • Combat Commander: Europe - STILL one of my all time favorite games. Let me explain... No, there is too much. Let me sum up. Buttercup is marrying Humperdinck in a little less than half an hour, so all we have to do is get in, break up the wedding, steal the Princess, and make our escape after I kill Count Rugen. Much like the Princess Bride, the reason this is one of my all time favorites? Every time I play, I come away with some fantastic session that gets retold over and over again. For a tactical-hand-management game about WWII, it cannot be beat.
  • Battlestar Galactica
And that's all for this look back at BGG history and what was hot a decade ago.

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