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TabletopIsland
October 23, 2020
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oliverkinne
October 23, 2020
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Jaws Review

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Michael Barnes
October 22, 2020
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Josh Look
October 22, 2020
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October 21, 2020
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Factory 42 Kickstarter Preview

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thegiantbrain
October 21, 2020
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Spirit Island Board Game Review

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October 21, 2020
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whowhatwhycast
October 21, 2020
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When Theme Meets Emotion

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oliverkinne
October 19, 2020
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October 18, 2020
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ubarose
October 16, 2020
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oliverkinne
October 16, 2020
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Azul Review

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October 16, 2020
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Short Cut to Remote Gaming Forum (29 Aug 2020)

Since remote gaming has now become a significant part of how we play board games, we have added a short cut to this forum in the menu on the left.

From the Depths: The Best of the Bottom of BGG Rankings

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14 Oct 2020 00:00 #315110 by WadeMonnig
To begin with, I'm just going to ignore the “Classic”...

Once a millennium, the stars will align and the collective Twitterverse will actually come up with a good idea. In this case, the thread started as the typical “Add up the rankings for the games you own on the Board Game Geek Best Games list and lowest score wins.” But the cool twist was added/suggested by Josh Look who replied to the original post with “Not to steal any thunder, but I'm more interested in your first 10 from the bottomgoing up and why you like them.” Yes, now that is something that interests me.

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14 Oct 2020 10:58 #315111 by WadeMonnig
Special thanks to Josh Look for hatching this idea and I hope we will see lists/ articles from everyone on low ranked games that deserve to be in your collection.
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14 Oct 2020 11:31 #315113 by Jackwraith
Well, since my series title was swiped ("From the Depths"), I suppose I have to participate, but I confess to not even knowing how to reorder one's BGG collection, outside of the normal alphabetical. Does that mean that you went through your entire collection manually to figure out what was residing at the bottom?
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14 Oct 2020 12:20 #315118 by DarthJoJo
When you’re looking at the table that is your collection, there’s a ‘Columns’ option just above it. Click it, check the rank box, and then click the rank button on your new table.
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14 Oct 2020 12:38 #315119 by ubarose
Why did you choose the bottom of the top 1000? Was it because you didn't have anything ranked lower worth recommending? I perceive anything in the top 1000 as being highly regarded. With those games ranked 500-1000 being perhaps more niche than those ranked 1-500.

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14 Oct 2020 12:44 #315120 by Jackwraith

DarthJoJo wrote: When you’re looking at the table that is your collection, there’s a ‘Columns’ option just above it. Click it, check the rank box, and then click the rank button on your new table.


Yeah, sorry. Guess I'm still too dim. I check the "Rank" box under "General Info" and... nothing happens.

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14 Oct 2020 12:47 #315122 by WadeMonnig

ubarose wrote: Why did you choose the bottom of the top 1000? Was it because you didn't have anything ranked lower worth recommending? I perceive anything in the top 1000 as being highly regarded. With those games ranked 500-1000 being perhaps more niche than those ranked 1-500.

Just because none of my Bottom/Top 10 broke the Top 1000 barrier. I have 8 more on my "bottom 10 i recommend" for future articles that didn't break 1000. Sort of the opposite of "honorable mention" since I'm working from the bottom.
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14 Oct 2020 12:52 #315124 by WadeMonnig

Jackwraith wrote: Well, since my series title was swiped ("From the Depths"), I suppose I have to participate, but I confess to not even knowing how to reorder one's BGG collection, outside of the normal alphabetical. Does that mean that you went through your entire collection manually to figure out what was residing at the bottom?

I *knew* it had a nice ring to it, now I remember why! Sorry mate, this year has me all out of sorts. "From the profitable website that benefits from unpaid reviews being posted but still runs a fund raiser every year" would be better?
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14 Oct 2020 13:19 #315130 by Shellhead
Okay, if I understand this correctly, I will be looking at the lowest ranked boardgames (per BGG ranking) in my collection, excluding any of the classic family boardgames. Starting from the bottom, here is my list, by BGG rank, with my rating in parentheses:

19,374: Gother Than Thou (7): A filler card game incorporating set collection and take-that gameplay. Once the local hipster board game group starts playing again, I should bring this because they will definitely like it.

19,305: Creatures & Cultists (5): IIRC, this was originally published as an insert to an issue of The Unspeakable Oath, a Call of Cthulhu magazine published by Pagan Publishing. My copy was a standalone edition that they distributed a year later due to enthusiastic reaction to the original. Each player is the leader of a mythos cult, and randomly generates 3 stats on 3d6. The rest of your character sheet is actually 3 ranks of cultists who defend you and attack other cults. Half of your cultists are thugs and the rest are conjurers. The deck of take-that cards were hilarious in the mid-'90s, but some of the references now seem apocryphal. The game starts out fun, but can run long, especially for players eliminated early on. I should probably change my rating to 6.5 or better.

18,368: Vampire: Dark Influences (no rating due to personal bias): This is embarrassing, as I am one of the two co-designers of this game. The finished game is but an echo of our original design, but is still a moderately fun multi-player game. Each player is a vampire who is struggling to climb a social pyramid to become the new Prince of the City in a nameless city in White Wolf's New World of Darkness. The five characters are not fairly balanced against each other, but a player count of 4 or 5 may balance things somewhat due to typical multiplayer social engineering. The take-that card deck adds to the fun. If I wasn't the designer, I might rate V:DI as a 6.5.

18,264: Hunter: Deadly Prey (no rating): Another White Wolf board game, and clearly inspired by the social pyramid of V:DI. Here, one player is some major threat to the City, while the rest of the players have a week to climb a challenge pyramid to engage in final battle with the threat. I have only played twice, and might rate it a 6.5 except that I feel the need to play it a couple more times before rating. The rulebook does a poor job of communicating the rules, and certain aspects of the game feel counter-intuitive, but the overall structure and setting seem appealing and offer a decent replay value.

17,771: Landyland (5): My copy was a free promo from Cheapass Games, but they later sold it in game shops for $1.00. All you get is an 11"x17" playmat, and you need to supply your own player tokens, plus 25 land cards from Magic: the Gathering. The game plays like a variant of Aggravation.

17,378: Frag: Deadlands (6.5): Like the name suggests, this is Frag re-themed for the Deadlands setting. So it's a simple combat game with a weird west setting, and it plays a lot like a multi-player shooter computer game.

17,186: Cyberpunk: the Collectible Cardgame (n/a): Set in the futuristic year of 2020, this CCG is based directly on the same cyberpunk setting as the classic rpg of the same name, as well as the original edition of Netrunner, and the upcoming PC game Cyberpunk 2077. I have never played this game and keep forgetting that I own it. I own a set of starter decks, and a brief skim through them indicated that this was a weak CCG design during the mid-'90s glut. No rating, because I still haven't played it.

16,934: Diskwars: Legend of the Five Rings (4): Diskwars is an okay game that I have played twice, and I am a big fan of the Five Rings setting, so it seemed like a great idea to pick up a load of this when it hit clearance. I think I only played once ever, back when I was running my big L5R campaign. Next time I run an L5R campaign, I will definitely get this on the table again. I rated it a 4 because it bothers me that there is a potential problem of keeping ownership of pieces straight, especially in a multi-player scenario, but the game is probably more like a 6.5 or 7 in terms of sheer gameplay.

16,383: The Roaring 20's (8): Right around 1980, a board game publisher called Yaquinto had the odd idea of publishing games that could easily be stored right next to your record collection. Vinyl went away and now sort of came back, but Yaquinto is long-gone. Anyway, this game is a multi-player game about competing crime bosses in the Prohibition Era. On a rotating basis, one player is the possibly corrupt police chief, while everybody else is a gangster. The police player decides which if any speakeasies are open for the turn, which is an ongoing potential source of cash for players. Then each gangster player picks a crime job to pull from a hand of three multi-purpose cards. The police player can play police events, then strategically places 10 cop cars on the board. Then the crime jobs are revealed, and each gangster player races to reach his hideout before getting caught by the police. I would rate this game a 9, except that the default gameplay tends to run an hour too long for modern players. Trim down the victory target to make the game shorter if you like. This is the best game on this list.

16,203: Pirate King (8): Take the Monopoly game and adorn it with great components and a map that support a Pirates in the Caribbean setting. Add in a Risk-like combat system, a pick-up-and-deliver aspect, and some other interesting ideas. The result is a significantly richer and better game than Monopoly, but it still runs a somewhat long.
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14 Oct 2020 13:23 #315131 by ubarose
I haven't played most of the games on your list, but I do concur that Black Fleet is an excellent game that we play frequently. It pretty much has made all other pirate games obsolete for us.

Where did Divinity Derby rank? That is another lessor known game that you reviewed that is really great.
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14 Oct 2020 13:30 #315133 by Shellhead
Based on recent comments, I seem to have misunderstood the goal here. I will now post the ten lowest BGG-ranked games in my collection that are still in the BGG top 1,000. But I will skip comments because everybody here probably knows these games.

848: Sons of Anarchy (8)
800: Battle for Rokugan (8)
776: Netrunner (8)
601: Space Hulk: Death Angel (10)
519: Fury of Dracula 2nd (9)
511: Betrayal at House on the Hill (7)
446: A Game of Thrones 1st (8)
396: Citadels (7)
365: Mansions of Madness 1st (4.5)
350: Spartacus (10)
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14 Oct 2020 13:40 #315135 by DarthJoJo

Jackwraith wrote:

DarthJoJo wrote: When you’re looking at the table that is your collection, there’s a ‘Columns’ option just above it. Click it, check the rank box, and then click the rank button on your new table.


Yeah, sorry. Guess I'm still too dim. I check the "Rank" box under "General Info" and... nothing happens.

Did you click the ‘Done’ button at the bottom of that table? That’ll get you back to the table with your new columns. The ‘Rank’ column will be on the far left even before the game title.

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14 Oct 2020 13:49 #315137 by Jackwraith

DarthJoJo wrote: Did you click the ‘Done’ button at the bottom of that table? That’ll get you back to the table with your new columns. The ‘Rank’ column will be on the far left even before the game title.


Ahhh. Much success. I hit the Done button but then didn't realize I needed to click Board Game Rank to reorganize it from there. Thanks!
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14 Oct 2020 13:50 #315138 by Jackwraith

WadeMonnig wrote:

Jackwraith wrote: Well, since my series title was swiped ("From the Depths"), I suppose I have to participate, but I confess to not even knowing how to reorder one's BGG collection, outside of the normal alphabetical. Does that mean that you went through your entire collection manually to figure out what was residing at the bottom?

I *knew* it had a nice ring to it, now I remember why! Sorry mate, this year has me all out of sorts. "From the profitable website that benefits from unpaid reviews being posted but still runs a fund raiser every year" would be better?


Don't worry about it for a second. It's a common phrase and I haven't written anything using it for some time now.
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14 Oct 2020 14:14 #315140 by Jackwraith
I haven't played anything on Wade's list except Black Fleet which, like uba, I am kind of surprised is ranked so low to end up on this kind of list. (In fact, I had an article idea about Black Fleet and M&M which I never quite finished... Would that qualify as a "From the Depths"? Probably not anymore. B) ) However, Yellow and Yangtze also doesn't conform, as it's at 1001 according to BGG. So, maybe we're aiming too high?

My lowest-ranked game is Metagaming's Holy War, which is kind of a brilliant SF concept but, yeah, didn't make for a great game. It's not only tiny, but it's also really fiddly, ruleswise. But, following the rules of Wade's post, I have:

945 Guildhall I know Charlie doesn't like it, but I love this game. It's perfectly weighted for what it should be and involves a lot of player interaction, as well as some thinking. I've also never lost a game of it.

940 Chimera Station I can see where this would come in low. It's the most Worker Placement of worker placement games and there are situations where one or more players can feel positively screwed by the tile results. But I still like it because it's a slugfest and you can do some wombo combos in the late game, if you're experienced.

893 For the People I think this is one of GMT's lesser efforts in their block game line. It's kind of 3.6 roentgen. Not great. Not terrible. But I'm a block game fan, so I've held on to it.

887 Time of Crisis: The Roman Empire in Turmoil In contrast, I think this is one of GMT's better recent releases in the P500 program. However, I haven't played it often enough to stake a claim for it.

871 Jaws Have to nominally agree with the ranking here. I like Prospero Hall's stuff, but this still strikes me as close to half a game. The first phase is cool. The second phase, both thematically and mechanically, is a lot more iffy.

857 Runebound, Second Edition These people are clearly clueless... No, really. I think it's a great game, but I recognize its limitations.

847 Lovercraft Letter This is the only version of Love Letter that I've ever really liked. Like all of them, it's pretty simple but, like Guildhall, I think it's as complicated as it's supposed to be. Plus, points for including card sleeves in the box.

843 Ikusa My copy still says "Shogun" on it because that's what it originally said. Part of MB's Gamemaster line, it's still a really solid DoaM, even though it's lacking some level of chrome/depth that more recent competitors have.

800 Battle for Rokugan I think this was overlooked as part of FFG's Silver Line. It's a great alternative to regular DoaMs for those who may not be fans. It may be a bit too complicated for its size, though, unlike things like Guildhall.

790 Black Fleet Seriously, WTF?
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