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What? You haven't played that?

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Anonymous

As you may have guessed from the title, this is where you board game "fans" come forward and admit which big hit games they've never played so that we can all stare and say to ourselves, "What? You haven't played that?" So which games that are all the rage haven't you played yet?

My list could go on forever, which is sad, but my point is I haven't played:

Puerto Rico
Princes of Florence
New England
San Juan
Goa
Ra
E&T

What? I haven't played that? =?

So don't leave me to have all the embarassment and shame, come forth and let us laugh at you, too!

Anonymous
What? You haven't played that?

I haven't played any of those games either, ah well.... Maybe next year...
Sue

Scurra
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What? You haven't played that?

Unfortunately, I am a proper "geek" and have played all of those, plus most of the games that are rated highly in the various record lists - the Internet Top 100 list is a good guide to what are considered the "best" games, and from that list the only game in the Top 20 that I haven't played multiple times is Die Macher.
Compared to folks like Tom Vasel, however, I'm still very much a second-division geek :-)

jwarrend
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What? You haven't played that?

I want to gently disagree with the subject of this post. I think there's an all-too-common sensibility in gaming of "having to play everything". One frequently sees posts on the game groups that read like "In this month, I played 6530 games, of which 2304 were unique games, etc", as if playing every game that comes out is a requisite to be a "serious" gamer. I don't buy it. I think there's nothing wrong with that sensibility, but I think equally valid is the idea of choosing a couple of games that you really like, and playing them many times over several years to really explore and appreciate their richness. In fact, I think that most games demand that level of exploration to really be appreciated. I find there's the common sentiment that a game must reveal its quality on the very first play, or else it goes in the discard pile, on the grounds that "well, with so many great games to play, why waste time trying to see if this is a good game or not?" A valid sentiment, I guess, but again, this isn't a race or a contest or anything, and it seems to me to reveal, in a lot of cases, an overestimation of one's ability to understand a game from one playing...

Anyway, some people no doubt have the time to both play every game, and to play them a lot of times, and that's probably the ideal. Speaking only for myself, I don't commit as much time to gaming, but even if I did, I doubt my buying patterns would change: with every new crop of games, I read the rules and descriptions and check out the one or two that sound most appealing to me. That means I'll probably never play a lot of games that come out. But I don't see some obligation of "coolness" or "gamerness" that requires me to do that anyway.

That being said, I do think it's really worth trying to play at least Puerto Rico at some point, because it is such a classic. But with the others, if you want to play them, play them! If not (or if you don't have time), don't! I think the only "prize" that gaming awards is some time enjoyably spent. Your best bet for achieving that is playing games you like, or games that sound, from their description, like games that you'd like. There's no real reason to try to play every game that some other people think is great, unless is sounds like it would appeal to you as well.

Just my thoughts,

Jeff

GeminiWeb
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What? You haven't played that?

Goodness knows I can't play everything and with young children and the wife staying off work to look after them, there's a limited budget for buying as well.

At least in Canberra, Don Bone (designer of Sunda to Sahul) organises a 1/month gathering where people can go and play all his games ... so I've now played Puerta Rico and Goa once each and another firend has San Juan ... and I have Ra ...

I do however like the opportunity to play these games to see the different mechanics (in addition to enjoying playing them).

- Bill

Anonymous
me either...

I've only played T&E on that initial list.

The other game I haven't played is Carcosonne (and rarely spell it correctly either) that "everyone" has seemed to play.

Zzzzz
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What? You haven't played that?

I will join in and say, I have not played much on that list. I would love to play all of them, but I really dont have many people that are willing to play these style of games.

And I never can get enough time in my life schedule to play with the ones that will (such as SiskNY).

Maybe someday I will be able to play more, but I guess that brings up a good question.

Do you think that NOT playing these days hinders ones ability to design a game?

I dont think it would make a difference, but does playing "alot" of games help designers to create games? Or are playing and creating really two different things?

Anonymous
What? You haven't played that?

There is only one on that list I have played as well: 'Puerto Rico' and then only once, and also very incorrectly. :) The rules had all of us going around in circles.

Actually I was thinking about all the games I own that I have not played yet. I got about 3-4 waiting to be played, and just no time to do it.... I just need to not buy any for a while. ;)

Anonymous
What? You haven't played that?

It seems that the times available for me to play are few and far between. When I do get a chance to get together with some people and play, we tend to playtest games that I'm working on.

Zzzzz wrote:
Do you think that NOT playing these days hinders ones ability to design a game?

I remember reading in Stephen Glenn's interview of Renier Knizia (linked in the Web Resources section, though it appears to not work anymore) that Knizia doesn't play any games other than the ones he has created. It's an interesting question. I for one enjoy playing a variety of games. If nothing else, I get a good sense of what has been done and what is being done. Does it make me a better designer? I'mnot sure, but I don't think it hurts.

RookieDesign
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What? You haven't played that?

SiskNY wrote:
that Knizia doesn't play any games other than the ones he has created.

I call this egocentric.

IngredientX
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What? You haven't played that?

Well, if anyone wants to learn a bunch of games, and is not intimidated by a somewhat obscure interface, go to http://www.brettspielwelt.de and sign up! Look for me as "ingredientx" (what else?). I can teach you a bunch of games, as long as we have the time. :)

RookieDesign wrote:
SiskNY wrote:
that Knizia doesn't play any games other than the ones he has created.

I call this egocentric.

Out of context, it sounds egocentric. It's too bad the interview's offline now (though I suppose a look at The Wayback Machine might dig it up), because it's not a question of ego. The fact of the matter is that Knizia spends almost all of his waking hours either a) designing his games, b) playtesting his games, or c) negotiating business terms with publishers and the like.

During the interview, he frequently expresses regret that he simply doesn't have the time to play other games. He relies on his playtesters to tell him when a mechanic or theme he's come up with is too similar to an existing game.

He's a smart guy, and he realizes that if he's to push his games to their best possible result, he must devote as much time as he can to them. He also understands that time is finite, especially with non-game matters (friends, family, eating, sleep) that we simply don't imagine game designers do. So he unfortunately has no time to play others' games.

Frankly, I think it's a great problem to have. But that's just me. :)

RookieDesign
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What? You haven't played that?

IngredientX wrote:
RookieDesign wrote:
SiskNY wrote:
that Knizia doesn't play any games other than the ones he has created.

I call this egocentric.

Out of context, it sounds egocentric.

I don't know the guy, so might could be right. I just stated this from the discussion above. Knizia could be a good guy after all. :)

Anonymous
What? You haven't played that?

I think if you play more games you start understanding why and when certain mechanics work and when they don't. Just from personal experience I played Runebound (a fantasy adventure board game) and found that while rolling a d20 for 2 hours sounds boring, it seems to work somewhat mediocrely. The hexagon spaces work well with the ability to have a wider range of movement. These and a few other observations just from playing the game over and over.

I suggest you play new games whenever possible so that you can ask yourself, "Why is it that this game is so much fun?" or "Why does this game suck, because I'm losing to so and so probably."

jwarrend
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What? You haven't played that?

Don't get me wrong; I'm not saying playing a variety of games is in any way undesirable or unadvisable. Indeed, I spend a lot of time reading the rules of a lot of games to get a better sense for "what's out there." What I'm objecting to is specifically a sensibility that seems to suggest that how many different games you've played in some way determines your "credibility" or is some trophy to be proud of. I'm not saying you, or anyone else in this discussion has that mindset; however, I have found it to be fairly prevalent at the spielfrieks discussion group. In that sense, yes, by all means, play a lot of games and enjoy the ones you play. But enjoyment is the thing; don't play a lot of games just to keep up with the Joneses. There are a lot of highly regarded games that I'll probably never play, but I don't consider myself to necessarily be missing anything, so long as I enjoy my gaming time.

Just my thoughts...

-Jeff

Scurra
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What? You haven't played that?

Frankly Jeff, I play lots of different games in the vague hope that I'll find one I am good at... (I won the first four games of Puerto Rico I played really easily; since then I am usually fighting for last place.)

For some reason that old (amended!) adage comes to mind:
Those that can, play.
Those that can't, design.

;-)

Trickydicky
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What? You haven't played that?

I not only have not played most of the games on the original list, but have not heard of most of the games on that list. This doesn't bother me, because between my family and friends we seem to find at least 10-15 new games a year to try. Some of them are worth the effort, others don't seem to be. Even though, we try in what my opinion seems like a lot of games, we can't even afford half the games that look somewhat enticing. Besides that I'm happy anymore just to get a chance to play a game I got 4 years ago, let alon buying and trying new ones.

Anonymous
Game design/play - games I haven't played

"Those that can, play.
Those that can't, design."

Ouch! I play well yet still design so I guess either my game design sucks and doesn't really count as designing..., or your adage is wrong, or I'm the example that proves the rule. (I pray it is the last one.)

I tend to be either good or excellent at games. There are very few games I am bad at.

--------------------------------------

But back to the topic at hand. Some games I haven't played but think I should are:

Civilization (Eagle Games) (heck, I haven't played the computer or board games)
San Juan (Rio)
Zendo (Looney Labs)
Agora (Cheapass Games)
Sleuth (Face 2 Face Games)
Railroad Dice (Wassertal??)
Alhambra (Uberplay in the US)
Power Grid (?? Rio?)
Muchkin (Steve Jackson Games)
Axis and Allies (Avalon Hill)
Starfarers of Catan (Mayfair)
Mystery of the Abbey (Days of Wonder)
Memoir '44 (Days of Wonder)
Employee of the Month (Dancing Eggplant Games)
Serrinissima (sp?) (Euro/Decartes)

Ah, man. There is just so many more!!

Best regards,

Rainsford
Curious Games

sedjtroll
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Re: Game design/play - games I haven't played

Rainsford wrote:

But back to the topic at hand. Some games I haven't played but think I should are:

Let me save you some time...

Quote:

San Juan (Rio)

Play it on BSW but don't bother playing it irl. Certainly don't buy it irl. It's a good, quick game on BSW and it's interesting enough for that. Saint Petersburg is about the same thing only better- also on BSW.

Quote:
Muchkin (Halfass Games)

Only play this if you're in the mood to be joking around (and you have a lot of time to kill). Or if your group likes to argue about rules. The game itself is basically all about arguing rules (hence the name, Munchkin). As such Halfass games has done a superb job of putting the player into the theme by simply not writing down all the rules in the rulebook, thereby forcing the players to argue about the ambiguities.

Quote:
Axis and Allies (Avalon Hill)

This game takes a long time to play. A lot of people like that about it. I for one look at the ratio of fun to time invested, and for me that ratio for this game is too low.

Quote:
Mystery of the Abbey (Days of Wonder)

You thought I'd hate all of these games? I fooled you! I like Mystery of the Abby a lot. I do recommend a house rule that a specific mark is made on the sheets so that all players can definitely differentiate between "Have you seen so-and-so" and "have you eliminated so-and-so as a suspect..." or whatever. The game is a little more user friendly if players aren't able to forget if they've actually seen a particular card or not.

That's all the ones I've played from your list.

- Seth

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