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BoardGameGeek features information related to the board gaming hobby

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    by Mark Johnson

    Mark Johnson's occasional & opinionated podcast about family strategy boardgames

    [MP3]|BGTG 141 - 100 Great Games, part 4 (with Stephen Glenn and Mark Jackson)[/MP3]
    Direct download MP3

    100 Great Games
    Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | to be continued...

    [user=stephen glenn][/user][user=gamemark][/user]
    Stephen Glenn and Mark Jackson rejoin me (Mark JOHNson) to continue this series. In 2012, these two guys polled a number of experienced gamers (a few designers, many reviewers, all enthusiasts) for their top games, consolidated their answers, and asked to come on my podcast to count down the results. I was pleased to be part of the poll, and doubly pleased to have them on Boardgames To Go. I really like how Stephen describes this:

    "a fun list to discuss over coffee & pie."

    The poll was for our favorite games, not necessarily the best games. We even got to submit a top fifteen, which took the usual tough request for a top ten and gave us more breathing room for five more titles. I know in my case, it made it easier to add some very recent games to my longstanding favorites. On each podcast we're counting down 15 titles until we get to a final show with the Top Ten. I'll be interspersing 100 Great Games countdown episodes with my other podcast episodes.

    Here are #41-55 on the list, counted down in reverse order as we discuss them on the podcast.

    Now we're really getting into some notable titles with firm reputations of being great games. And yet, one or more of us keep finding games that we take issue with. There's nothing wrong with that, of course--these are the compiled results of many gamers, not just us. You should understand that we can respect a game, and its place on this list, even if we don't like it personally. In fact, I hope that sort of different opinion makes for a good listen, and will spark some feedback in the blog comments, below.

    Stephen Glenn's designer page at BGG (Balloon Cup/Piñata, 1st & Goal, You Must Be an Idiot!)

    Mark Jackson's personal blog


    P.S. If you want to see the original version of the list these guys made it in 2005, it's still available at 100 Great Games, 2005 Edition (THE ONE HUNDRED).

    #55 - Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition)
    Designers: Richard Launius & Kevin Wilson
    Artists: Finér, Hrynkiewicz, Ludvigsen, Miller, Nicely, Schomburg
    Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
    Year: 2005

    #54 - Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage
    Designer: Mark Simonitch
    Artists: Amoral, Doyle, Gondeck, Miller, Simonitch
    Publisher: Avalon Hill/Valley Games
    Year: 1996

    #53 - The Castles of Burgundy
    Designer: Stefan Feld
    Artists: Julien Delval & Harald Lieske
    Publisher: alea
    Year: 2011

    #52 - Saint Petersburg
    Designer: Bernd Brunnhofer
    Artist: Doris Matthäus
    Publisher: Rio Grande/Hans im Glück
    Year: 2004

    #51 - Galaxy Trucker
    Designer: Vlaada Chvátil
    Artist: Radim Pech
    Publisher: Czech Games Edition
    Year: 2007

    #50 - Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper
    Designer: Mike Fitzgerald
    Artists: Conrad, Poshkus, Boginski-Barbessi, Van Duyn, Hoffmann, Stephan
    Publisher: U.S. Games Systems
    Year: 1998-2009

    #49 - Blokus
    Designer: Bernard Tavitian
    Artist: Alan D. Hoch
    Publisher: Educational Insights
    Year: 2000

    #48 - Combat Commander: Europe
    Designer: Chad Jensen
    Artists: Brimmicombe-Wood, Jensen, MacGowan, Myrick, Simonitch
    Publisher: GMT Games
    Year: 2006

    #47 - Show Manager
    Designer: Dirk Henn
    Artists: Hartwig, Horst, Schlemmer
    Publisher: db Spiele, Queen Games
    Year: 1996

    #45 - TransAmerica
    Designer: Franz-Benno Delonge
    Artist: Marcel-André Casasola Merkle
    Publisher: Winning Moves
    Year: 2001

    #45 - Civilization
    Designers: Francis Tresham & Mick (Mike) Uhl
    Artists: Dovey, Kibler, MacGowan, Rohmer, Sheaffer
    Publisher: Avalon Hill
    Year: 1980

    #44 - 1830: Railways & Robber Barons
    Designer: Francis Tresham
    Artists: Atkinson, Blando, Kibler, Talbot, Zug
    Publisher: Avalon Hill
    Year: 1986

    #43 - Le Havre
    Designer: Uwe Rosenberg
    Artists: Klemens Franz & Uwe Rosenberg
    Publisher: Lookout Games
    Year: 2008

    #42 - Risk Legacy
    Designers: Rob Daviau & Chris Dupuis
    Artist: uncredited
    Publisher: Hasbro
    Year: 2011

    #41 - Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition)
    Designer: Kevin Wilson (plus Clark, Konieczka & Sadler for 2nd ed)
    Artists: Ejsing, Goodenough, Walls (1st ed) / Henning Ludvigsen (2nd ed)
    Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
    Year: 2005, 2012


    Mark Johnson's occasional & opinionated podcast about family strategy boardgames

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    by davypi

    lostphd wrote:

    I like the discs and don't see how the meeples are an improvement.

    This was my thought as well. There was something rather unattractive about the (custom?) meeples they carved out.

    Anyway, thanks all for the replies.

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    by andy013

    Hey, just a quick question I have. As far as the theme goes, what is the explanation for making money from processing goods? I know it makes sense gameplay wise but I like to be able to explain the mechanics referencing a thematic reason behind them.

    Normally you would expect that processing goods costs you money, or you only make money from those goods after selling them. In Le Havre if you smoke fish, you get money right away and you get the smoked fish as well.

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    by cesarpepe

    It's because of the government subsidizing the production of certain goods. Think of farming and some industries in the U.S. that get funds from the government in form of subsidies.

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    by turbothy

    You add value by processing goods, so the money just represent your value added tax.

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    by lostphd

    And the town only appreciates certain types of goods in this fashion. You get no money for making steel or slaughtering cattle (because both processes create unpleasant smells). In this fashion, I find the financial benefit for leather a little odd, because that process nearly always pollutes the water.

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  • 11/03/13--18:09: Games Played: October 2013
  • by Christopher Ebert

    Had a decent month of gaming this month. Not much gaming but there was a lot going on this month so that's okay. We had a spare bedroom in our house that we used as a storage unit that we had to spend some time cleaning out and going through stuff. I have a stack of boxes in my living room now that still need to be gone through and a bunch of stuff off to the side we need to tote down to the thrift store to donate. Why did we have to clear this out? My Mother-in-law has been unable to find work for the last 3 years and can no longer afford to live in her house and had to put it up for sale. She needed somewhere to go and we were the only ones that had the room so that's why we cleared it out. The good news about it though is now there's someone always around to watch our son so my wife and I can have date nights again and she can also find a part-time job to help out the finances. I've been supporting my wife and son on my wages, and now my mother-in-law. Luckily she gets food stamps so I don't have to worry about food. I must be some genius with my budgeting cause I've been able to do it and still be able to get games.
    Speaking of new games, got a few this month. I was very excited to get At the Gates of Loyang in trade. (Traded away Dungeon Run). I had interest in it for a while, mostly of course for the solo aspect. So of course... I had Agricola already, now I got At the Gates of Loyang... I should finish the harvest trilogy! I got notification from CoolStuffInc that Le Havre it was back in stock so I ordered it. More about those games below.
    I was also given a copy of Pokémon Master Trainer II by a generous BGGer on the Thrifting for You geeklist. My wife liked the first one but wanted to play the second one since it had gym badges. She like Pokemon and I'm not against it, but not crazy about it. More about that game below as well.

    My biggest excitement this month was the release of Battlefield 4. I had preordered that for PC (I played BF3 on Xbox360 and wanted to play on PC this time) and I am LOVING it. I had taken a few days of vacation in order to get some time in so pretty much played it four days straight. I beat the single-player campaign in about 4-5 hours and then immediately got into the multi-player action. So far I'm loving it and it as many things I had wished BF3 had. (I love that I can peek around a corner now) Commander mode is neat too. I made rank 10 by Thursday so was able to try it out. Problem is, most squads just ignored me and played the game like Team Deathmatch. Sucked.
    My Origin ID is Shacky81 if anyone else plays.

    Onto the board game plays!

    Total Games Played:7 (3 new to me)
    Total Expansion Played:1

    Total Plays:15 (6 solo)
    Total Expansion Plays:1

    Most Played Game Multiplayer: Pathfinder ACG (4)
    Most Played Game Solo: B-17 Queen of the Skies (3)
    Read more »

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    by telengard

    New File: Building Photoshop template for Board Game: Le Havre

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    by David Neumann, iOS News

    App News

    Stone Blade Shows Off Their Take on Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer
    As you may remember, Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer from Playdek will be leaving the App Store for good in July of 2014. Filling in the void is a new app from the publishers of the physical card game, Stone Blade Entertainment which wrapped up a successful Kickstarter campaign last February. Yesterday, Stone Blade posted a gameplay video on their Kickstarter page, showing off the new design. Ascension Online will be available for iOS, Android and PC when it is released.
    Read more »

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    by Halfinger

    You can also argue that many processes produce side products which can be sold. I think a lot of what is produced is in that form (petroleum/gasoline for instance, from memory) While processing cows you may get gelatine which can be used to make sweets. You get the idea:)

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  • 11/09/13--22:16: New Image for Le Havre
  • by Hobold

    I play blue!

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  • 11/11/13--11:51: File: Le Havre:: Boxes
  • by yannibus

    New File: Boxes for Board Game: Le Havre

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    by monteslu

    davypi wrote:

    lostphd wrote:

    I like the discs and don't see how the meeples are an improvement.

    This was my thought as well. There was something rather unattractive about the (custom?) meeples they carved out.

    Anyway, thanks all for the replies.

    Maybe it's that they were different sizes because they seemed to use extras from:

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    by heylisarenee

    If you're looking for a detailed, eloquent review of Le Havre, keep on looking. If you think maybe you'd like to read a light review that hits on the main points of Le Havre while trying to explain why it's addictive, you're getting warmer.

    Oh Le Havre. How you give me ulcers and anxiety induced hives...yet I still love to collect goods and build ships and process goods at your harbor. Uwe, you get me.

    Le Havre is a game that encourages a variety of strategies, a fun shipping/harbor theme, and is an addictive challenge of trying to balance short term planning with long term goals.

    I adore that there are so many options all the time! You can take resources, build a building, build a ship, or enter a building to complete the action. Since you only have one token, you can only do one action per turn in addition to buying things for straight cash. You need resources to build, to feed, and to upgrade into better resources. In short, you can definitely get caught up in resource hoarding. I do. All. The. Time.

    The artwork on the cards is great because not only does it show you the building cost, but it also shows you how many points the card is worth at the end (or if you want to just pay the cash for the building. cash = points), what action you can do when you enter the building, how much it costs to enter the building, and iconography helps identify end game bonus scoring for building types. Basically, you really don't have to look up what each and every building means or what it does because it's all on there for you! AND it has some fun artwork so that's kinda cute.

    I have discovered that getting a good strategy going, as well as a decent food engine, takes time. Which means I can't feed my workers right off the bat and I need to take loans. Do I HAVE to? No. But it allows me to do other things instead of just scraping by to feed turn after turn. It's a "spending money to make money" situation. I know. It stresses me out to the moon and back but I still have to do it just so I can take the 7 wood offer to prevent my husband from getting all that resource goodness on his next turn. A cheap shot? Probably.

    You know how far you are in the game based on the predetermined amount of turns. In the two player regular/long game, there are 14 turns. There are cards that are flipped at the end of each turn that tell you how much food you need (for maximum anxiety) as well as what turn you're on to help with planning.

    You can see my board and playing area above. I've got some resources hoarded and a few buildings built. I always struggle with how much to diversify, which usually leads to analysis paralysis and (again) resource hoarding. Anyway, you can see I have a handful of buildings that will score me points in the end, and my player token is currently in the Brickworks building which means I spent my turn completing that action.

    I admit it. I frequently get DESTROYED at this game. Mainly because I have such a hard time figuring out how to balance the short term game (feeding engine) with long term game (point engine). But that doesn't stop me from absolutely LOVING Le Havre!

    The actions are clear cut and defined, which is great. That leaves it up to the player to decide how to win the game. There is no "right" way to win this game. I've seen people win by having great bonus scoring at the end, by shipping like crazy, and even by building immense amount of ships.

    Le Havre offers player interaction without being cutthroat, which I like. You're competing for the same resources and entering buildings, but there is ALWAYS something to do with your action.

    And of course, I'm a sucker for a game with my own player mat. Even if it's one that my husband made for me!

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    by catmando

    Nice. The pictures and the writing on them are very good.

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    by akinfantryman

    catmando wrote:

    Nice. The pictures and the writing on them are very good.

    I second that!!!
    Excellent. I prefer reviews that focus on how it feels/why you like it; as opposed to just regurgitating the rules. (Which I could get better from the online rulebook, in most cases.)

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    by sycbed

    I love the enthusiasm that comes through here! I'd had my eye on Le Havre for ages before I picked it up but had to twist my wife's arm a little. She really enjoys it now, but an article like this a couple of months ago would've made my job easier :) I think you hit the salient points in a concise way and perfectly showed the overall vibe. Great job!

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    by taragalinas

    Good review! Love the pictures.

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    by mukul

    Again great review of a great game. I love the reviewers description of feelings. She is right about that ulcer feeling.

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