Like most, this was my introduction to Eurogames. It's an amazing game, no questions asked.
It's no filler coming in at about 90 minutes. It has concepts that are advanced for the "mainstream" gamer but it has enough accessibility to help them make that jump. It's nicely produced, has a good tempo where everyone can be involved thanks to trading, has player screwage, dice rolling...for a Euro, it's one of the best. There are some Euros that are better, but it is a tiny, tiny selection.
It was invigorating to play this for the first time, as though you'd found something new, something totally alien to a person weaned on Ameritrash. Unfortunately you eventually find out it's like finding a new radio station where they don't play the same damned 12 songs you're used to over and over again; but you listen to the new channel for two weeks and realize they're merely playing a *different* 12 songs over and over again. It's sad that one of the best Euros ever came out 13 years ago.
Anyway, gamers from every walk, fans of every genre, owe it to themselves to play this at least once. One of the very few "tentpoles" in boardgaming that everyone can point to as being an important, monumental moment.
First boardgame that I came across as I was becoming spent on Magic. Opened up my eyes and I've always loved playing this one. I honestly think I always will. Solid ideas that have paved the way, but enough replayability to stand on it's own still. I probably couldnt play this game over and over all day, but pretty close. (varients and expansions are always there to help!)
If any Euro could get a 6 on FAT, it's this one. (but really, it IS a euro...)
This is one of my favorites. It has enough randomness to be unpredictable yet there's enough strategy to overcome that. The end game feels about right. It doesn't feel rushed like the rest of the Euros. Interesting theme and screwage.
This was my introduction to European games, and it still stands as one of the very best ever. Short enough to get played often, but long enough to be satisfying. Simple enough to teach casual gamers to play (and they like and understand it), but still a very engaging and fun game. Has lots of decision making and player interaction, and requires a good mix of luck, strategy, and trading.
There's a reason this is considered one of the best gateway games: it's quite fun, has a lot going on, and people seem to enjoy it. Won't please you if you insist on having complete control over every molecule of the game, but it's actually quite fun.