June's Top 10 Games
- Well summer is almost here and by now so are the
lion's share of the new releases from Nurenberg. Of
course this means that old chestnuts stay on the shelf
while the shiny new games get ooohed and aahed over.
Some of these will stick and become the next
generation of old chestnuts - garnering spots on 5&10
lists. Others will see occasional play after a flurry
of early play. And of course plenty will get played
once and never see the light of day again - deservedly
so or not.
I'm sure on the list that follows - there are a few of
each. So here is my Top 10 list for games that I
played last month - these as always are games that I
enjoyed the most and are not reflective of my all time
favorites....blah, blah, blah, blah - you've heard it
before. (At some point, the preview is just getting
in the way of the main feature)
10. Hands Up - This is a dexterity game - sort of.
Richard S. wouldn't even catagorize it as a game and
he may be right on some level, but what it is - for me
at least - is pretty entertaining with the right group
of people. It's really nothing more than a deck of
cards with a hand or hands in a certain position.
Players must match the position as quickly as possible
and correctly or they get the card. Least cards at
the end of the game wins. Simple, quick, and pretty
funny to see who can't process right from left
9. Liar's Dice - We take a break from the regularly
schedule list of almost all new games to include an
all time great. One play this month - I can't even
remember exactly what happened, but I remember it
being a tight game with much yelling.
8. Nautilus - A new Kosmos game with an exploration
theme. The game is longish, but has some solid
mechanisms that fit nicely together. It worked very
well for three players. This is one of those games
that scores high on initial ooh and aah, but I'm
willing to bet it's length will relugate it to once a
year status and comments like "Why isn't that game
played more - it's really pretty good."
7. Heckla - Time for my monthly "I don't like
abstract games, but this one caught my fancy" entry.
Heckla - an abstract game with as pointless a theme as
one can imagine (escaping an exploding volcano or
something like that) did work for me although I'm not
sure why. For more details, there should be a SR on
this from a few weeks back. If an abstract game
continues to find its way onto these monthly lists,
I'm seriously going to have to reexamine my position
6. Toy Soldiers - What you need to know about this
game: It is a trick taking game with a few nice new
twists on the standard formula. What you don't need
to know: The theme is fighting tins of food. The
game works, the theme is there and trick taking fans
should enjoy this quite a bit. Here's a game that I
hope gets played more than a time or two a year. It
will also get a place on my shelf.
5. Zahltag - I have no idea why I enjoyed this game
so much. Again for details, there is a very fresh SR
in the UG archives. But the game was fun even though
we tweaked it almost immediately (those who frown upon
variants can ignore this) and the tweaking is very
much necessary - at least I thought so as did Pitt
(great there goes my credibility or what little was
left of it.) File this one in the filler category.
4. Wildlife - A new Kramer game about evolution that
shows a lot of promise. Again, this one will clock on
the longish side, but it has tile placement, gene
cards for special abilities, different starting powers
for players, and bidding all rolled up into one.
Another one that will get shelf space.
3. Dshunke - The only repeat from last months list.
I finally figured out how to win - check that. I
finally won a game, but am not sure how or if I'll
ever be able to do it again. This one is growing on
me like Web of Power as it fills the same time frame
niche and is about the same weight. This has the
potential to be a regularly played game - for me at
2. Spades - The second chestnut on this months list.
I've been playing it semi regularly - 4 or 5 games in
the month of May. The team of Crandlemire/Massey will
be unstoppable come the next Spades tourney. All
suggestions for a fearsome team name are now being
1. Wallenstein - Okay, so I don't have a summer
blockbuster/future all time classic on my list.
Frankly those are hard to find. But, I have high
hopes about Wallenstein which for me feels like El
Grande in that there is a fair amount of meat in this
game, the reviews have been very good - lots of stuff
about it being a gamer's game etc. - and there is
direct conflict - almost a warlike feel which El
Grande has for me. But like El Grande - one of my all
time favorite games, Wallenstein will get dragged out
once or twice a year to rave comments and that's about
it. This means its likely to show up on my top 10
list whenever it gets played though.
Well that's it for this month. Many of the Nurenburg
games have hit the table now with only a few
stragglers yet to be played meaning that old favorites
will start to make more regular appearances at the
table in the coming months.
Craig W. Massey
Do You Yahoo!?
Yahoo! - Official partner of 2002 FIFA World Cup
- On Monday, June 3, 2002, at 07:54 PM, Craig Massey wrote:
> 2. Spades - The second chestnut on this months list.1) Crandlemassey
> I've been playing it semi regularly - 4 or 5 games in
> the month of May. The team of Crandlemire/Massey will
> be unstoppable come the next Spades tourney. All
> suggestions for a fearsome team name are now being
Karl J. von Laudermann
Richard's PBeM Server ID: karlvonl