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Gave My First Grade


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Go to the Dominion page
Go to the Power Grid page
Go to the Small World page
Go to the Dominion page


70 out of 101 gamers thought this was helpful

Dominion is, in my opinion, among the finest strategy board games ever conceived by man. It’s easy to learn, and devilishly difficult to master.

It is massively expandable, and any combination of expansion cards can be played with any others. Its replay value is nearly infinite, because every game is different than the one before it.

It has an excellent balance of skill and luck, and the branching approach to strategy means that in many games, everyone can go a different route purchase-wise and have a viable deck for victory.

Highly, highly recommended.

Go to the Power Grid page

Power Grid

62 out of 80 gamers thought this was helpful

Power Grid is a favorite of mine, and of my friends. It takes a bit to spin up, but often learning and experimenting with it is part of the fun for many.

With the vast number of power plants and ways to fire them, the replay value is excellent and always makes the bidding element a blast. The competition is a very happy medium, as there are ways to stymie others, but no brutal backstabbing. Luck and strategy also blend nicely here.

The artwork and pieces are beautiful, enough said.

My only gripe is that it seems unfairly biased toward the East coast, and West coast chains grow prohibitively expensive very quickly, which can slam someone who unwittingly spawns their empire out there.

Go to the Small World page

Small World

51 out of 68 gamers thought this was helpful

This game is easily one of the best games I’ve learned in the last year. There’s a great luck/strategy balance, and the risk and reward component in selecting races and when to decline is sublime. The competition is fun, the points are always closer than one thinks, and the artwork is stunning.

The replay value is through the roof, as different races and traits get lined up each time making just about everything viable at some point or another, even the lowly Dwarves (when they get stacked with enough gold)!

Admittedly, it’s a very gamepiece-heavy set that has a lot to keep track of at first.

In groups of three or more, this game is excellent for power gamers and casuals alike.

Go to the RoboRally page


52 out of 72 gamers thought this was helpful

I played this game just once, with a group of six guys who were all but one new to it.

The guy who owned it had a blast.

The other five guys were pretty much ready for it to end after the first turn.

First of all, it’s a painfully simple game. The hi jinks that the box advertises as exciting and unexpected are often just the opposite: mundane and thoroughly unsurprising. We didn’t find ourselves laughing when our robots fell off the board or got shot to pieces. We found ourselves mourning the fact that the game wasn’t moving faster.

Secondly, there’s an immense amount of luck that controls almost every moment of the game.It’s a bit like the old magnetic football game where you turned it on and just watched the players collide and hoped the ball moved somewhere.

Finally, the board construction and game pieces are pretty ho-hum, with a LOT of sticker preparation required for such a simple game.

Go to the The Settlers of Catan page
39 out of 56 gamers thought this was helpful

Settlers of Catan is basically Monopoly for the discerning board gamer. Many avid board gamers own a copy and it’s a game that has wide appeal and

It’s versatile. The map can be different every time you play, and there are a lot of great strategies to try in your quest to ten victory points.

Easy to learn, difficult to master. Strategy pros will complain that, like Monopoly, it’s a little RNG at times and that the laws of probability appear to hold no sway over the dice on the Catan board. Others feel that the element of luck is well balanced.

It’s a classic game, why don’t you try it and judge for yourself?

Go to the Carcassonne page


60 out of 79 gamers thought this was helpful

Carcassonne is a great game for groups. It’s much better (and more personal) out of the box than on your iPhone.

I wouldn’t say it’s the easiest game to learn, because the scoring can actually be quite complex and arduous. Having someone there who knows the value of each strategy and tile makes things much easier.

The components are beautiful, effective, and will last years.

I’d say the replay value is lacking, because the gameplay varies so little from game to game. It’s fun, but if you aren’t thrilled with it the first time you play, it probably isn’t worth owning for you, because it’ll grow old faster than you know it.

It does, however, excel in social situations. People have to reach around, handle pieces, talk their ideas out, and look at the board from other angles to play their turns. It makes conversation and fun easy for any size group.

Go to the Ticket to Ride page

Ticket to Ride

23 out of 59 gamers thought this was helpful

Ticket to ride is a very simple and fun game that encourages social interaction and friendly competition.

It’s not, however, a deep strategy game that will deliver hours of rewarding gameplay for those who know it. It’s great for kids, parents, and icebreaking. It’s not great for people who constantly crave the complexity of Puerto Rico. For better or worse, it’s quaint, simple, fun social lubricant.

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