Games you bought after one play or less

I’ll add Pax Pamir here. I was over on r/boardgames and someone posted their top 50. I clicked through; that’s what we do, right?

Anyway, I was dialed in on this guy. Tigris up in the top 5, Isle of Skye ranked almost indefensibly high, Cyclades up over Inis or Kemet. A lot of it could have been my list.

And there at the top, Pax Pamir, a game I had never heard a whisper of before.

Of course I had to dig into this possible El Dorado of gaming gold. But this was prior to the reprint, so there was comparatively little information out there. But the Coming Soon was already up on Kickstarter, so I signed up for notifications.

Now, present day: I’ve only played Wakhan (the solo mode) twice. I found the manual a poorly organized wreck, the BGG forums haughty on rules clarifications, the rules themselves to be a (small) warren of exceptions and edge cases, and Wakhan herself to be a mess.

The experience of playing Wakhan was uninspiring. The cards felt same-y, having only the same six actions in different combinations, and yet the market rarely had the resources I needed to pursue the strategy I wanted. The first quarter of the game is Wakhan button-mashing to dump a bunch of pieces on the board, the second quarter is interesting, and the final half is rote as you cruise to victory.

But I’m hopeful! I’m hopeful that a full table and real opponents still hold the gold. We’ll see.

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Rhino Hero - played as a quick fill in between games, three of the participants ordered it during the game. I dearly love the game, so this excitement lastedz

Codenames - not me, but I would say about half the time I’ve introduced people (mostly non-gamers (whatever we mean by that)) to this, they have bought the game and then spread it further. I suppose I’m saying Codenames has a high R rate. Personally I enjoy it but the long silences can be agonising. I’ll happily play it, but I’m usually sad that we’re not playing something else.

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It’d be easier to list the games I’ve bought after having played them at least once. I used to buy blind or with just advice from FLGS staff, nowadays I do my own research. But the following were bought after at least one play:

  • Mandala, played it at our board games café. Wound up playing it five times over the course of the evening. Bought immediately after;
  • Bärenpark, played it the same evening and purchased it right away;
  • 7 Wonders Duel. Technically not, since we’d only played the basic version, but the game had caught our eye.

Yes, I’m VERY late to the party.

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