I have never played…

I’ve played boardgames for a while, but I didn’t really regard myself as a boardgamer until about 2012 (when I went to my first Essen). So there are games that are widely regarded as classics of the just-pre-boom days that I’ve never tried.

  • Power Grid
  • War of the Ring
  • Twilight Struggle
  • Lords of Waterdeep
  • Caylus
  • Hansa Teutonica
  • Ora et Labora

I don’t expect that any of these will suddenly turn out to be the amazing game I’ve been looking for all these years, but I do get a sense of a slight gap in my gaming experience. Anyone else feel that way?


I’ve got a few matches, although I have a tentative plan to play War of the Ring and have ordered the card game.

Hansa is belting. And simple enough to learn and quick enough to play that there isn’t a huge investment to try it.


Totally, but my gap extends to very recently. Definitely includes:

A feast for Odin
War of the Ring
Arkham Horror LCG
El Grande

I played Lords of Waterdeep on the app and was verrrry underwhelmed, so it’s possible the “first game to achieve a thing” has been replaced by those that improved on it afterwards cough Dominion cough


I’ve got one of those scratch off posters of the BGG Top 100 so I can see the gaps.

Through the Ages seems like an omission
Power Grid as well
Orleans (which I have sitting here as I’ve been lent it)
Mage Knight
Eclipse (sold without playing)
Five Tribes

Plus a fair few that I’m not bothered about.


Avoid the SPI game called “War of the Ring.” It’s pretty bad.

I know what you mean and for a good while I felt the same, as if I was missing something.

I tried to patch my Bildungslücke for some older games and I rarely found one that stayed in my collection or where I want to go back and try again. It does happen but most older games that I get out these days, are those that I played back in the day. Because Nostalgia is what makes them work for me. (Yeah, so I just bought Mage Knight which was exactly published yesterday, so there are exceptions)

And game design has evolved a lot in the past 20 years. You list some old-school worker placement for example: Caylus and Lords of Waterdeep. The mechanism that drives these two is not as unique as it once was and there are huge numbers of newer iterations now that have taken the concepts and built upon them. Often enough those are improvements to the old formulas.

For myself—and this is really just for me and not meant in any generalized way—I tend to like newer iterations better in many of my hobbies (reading and cooking as well). Hobbies evolve and authors, cooks and game designers learn new „tricks“ and „skills“. The design space is different now from when it was then. But maybe I am just drawn in by the cult of the new…

There is a big geeklist of „games that fired other games“ → find the games you are missing and check if you played any of those that people say fired those games. Voilà your list is probably empty because you have played a newer iteration.


There’s a German word for it. Of course! I should have expected it


I want to amend the geeklist was started in 2010 :slight_smile: so is itself pretty old. But I think people are still adding to it. I‘d start looking from the end.

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So I arbitrarily picked the BGG Top 100 to test myself on this… I haven‘t played around a third of the games. But going through the list there are quite a few I am just not interested in very much—if offered the opportunity, I would probably play any of those because I like learning new games but I don‘t feel I am missing anything.

In some cases, I know I have played very similar games already. In some cases I am just not interested very much at all. In some I know the game is just not for me. In some cases I have seen enough on a play-through or review to feel like I know enough about the game.

But I did end up with 2 games from that list that I‘d be interested enough to possible actively look for an opportunity to play:

  • Anachrony
  • Mombasa or rather Skymines (I thought it looked pretty neat this year in Essen)

Very keen on Journeys in Middle Earth as I enjoy playing Mansions of Madness 2.

Star Wars Rebellion - War of the Ring 2 is one of my faves. I’m not into SW series but I’m still keen.

Tainted Grail - too much money and time commitment for me to dive into it. The reviews of it being great with story telling is echoed by a club member who owns and play the game.

Kingdom Death Monster - same as above - time and money commitment is too high. But keen to explore the system and the world.

On Mars - a Lacerda title that I haven’t tried yet

Pandemic Season 2 & 0 - played Pandemic Season 1 and it remains the best legacy game.

Eclipse 2 - I remember enjoying Eclipse 1, but the setup was tedious.

Only from the BGG Top 100 so far.

From the top of my head:

  • Kings/Queens Dilemma
  • Sol: Last Days of a Star
  • Chaos of the Old World - a troops on a map game from Lang that I haven’t played.
  • Vinhos - same as On Mars
  • Triomphe a Marengo/Bonaparte at Marengo - a sister game of Napoleon’s Triumph, but I feel that I should explore NT first.
  • 1841: Northern Italy - has a big reputation in 18xx crowd. A game where a company can float another company and hold its shares - think of it as subsidiary? The money will flow from B to A, not B >> A >> shareholders. How do you loot those cash inside is the game, I suppose.
  • Triumph and Tragedy - Bigney kept singing about it and the premise sounds interesting.
  • <insert big list of trick taking game here that I will plow through on 2023>

The games I have never played by and large are… I don’t know how to describe this well without it coming across as unintentionally insulting… “classics”?

Like, until last year I had never played Crokinole. I still haven’t played Sequence or Five Crowns or QwirkleRack-oTwisterKarmaSleeping Queens, Rat-a-tat Cat, Slamwich

At work I usually describe the genre as “cottage games” because every year starting around May we have a steady stream of silver-haired folks who buy them 3-4 at a time. “Oh, we taught it to our friends and they all loved it so now I have to give them a copy for their cottage and we need a copy for our cottage…”

I’ve tried some of the games from the list (Rummikub I’ve played, despite my mother-in-law insisting it is better in the original German every time we played). The best I can say about them is that they’re totally mindless… like, you can take your turn, wander away from the table for 20 minutes, come back, and you’ll have missed nothing and be able to take your next turn without any negative repercussions.

I think there are… 13 games in the top 100 I haven’t played? And I have almost no self-directed interest in playing them (like, if somebody invited me to a game of Mombasa I wouldn’t say no, but I’m not going to seek that game out on my own). That sounds like a brag, but again, I don’t mean it that way. I started played tabletop games in '95 and I’ve been pretty consistent throughout my life from then until now. I’ve played a tonne of duds (including a few on the Top 100… it always stuns me that anyone likes Brass: Lancashire), and I don’t think I am a “better” gamer than anyone who has played exactly zero games from the list (I might not ask them for recommendations, but I don’t think that makes me a “real” gamer or any nonsense like that).

And it sure as heckfire doesn’t make me more likely to win!

I don’t have “Grail Games” any more (I had 2… Forbidden Stars which I have and love, and Game of Thrones which I spent way too much on tracking down about two weeks before 2nd edition released). I still pick up a few too many games every month (about… 3? Maybe 4?), and my collection sags with games I haven’t played in years but don’t want to get rid of because I really want to play them.

I dunno. I think I miss isn’t games that I “should” play (like… gosh… Return to the Dark Tower? Apparently it’s very good?), but people to play them with and the time to do so. I’ve never had enough time, and I don’t make friends easily (some serious self-worth issues going on there, it’s a thing I’m working on).

Anyway. Now I’m just procrastinating from doing my coarse work for this week (Faulkner’s “Barn Burning”, I think, which apparently has some “spicy language of its time” in it).


Taking the BGG top 50 as a sort of proxy, with a would I play rating. I haven’t played the following…

  • Gloomhaven (no thanks)
  • Pandemic Legacy Season 1 (no thanks)
  • Ark Nova (maybe)
  • Twilight Imperium (no thanks)
  • Gloomhaven: JOTL (no thanks, but more of a maybe)
  • Star Wars: Rebellion (no thanks)
  • Gaia Project (would play)
  • WOTR: 2nd Ed (no thanks)
  • Spirit Island (co-op: no thanks)
  • Through the Ages (no thanks)
  • Twilight Struggle (maybe)
  • Scythe (no thanks)
  • Nemesis (no thanks)
  • Concordia (certainly a local fave, so yes)
  • Wingspan (no thanks)
  • Clank Legacy (would play)
  • Eclipse (sure)
  • Arkham Horror: The Card Game (nope)
  • Orleans (would play)
  • Mage Knight (nope)
  • Marvel Champions (no thanks)
  • Too Many Bones (nope)
  • Caverna (nope)
  • Blood Rage (nope)
  • Anachrony (nope)
  • Maracaibo (would play)
  • Mansions of Madness (nope)
  • Pandemic Legacy: Season two (nope)
  • Underwater Cities (would play)

I think I don’t feel I have gaps, as I’m more sure of what I like. Generally, highly interactive sub 90 minute games.


My list is way too long… even though my bgg stats that I have played 209 games (which I think it is a lot, but then, checking the list, seems like it isn’t?)

Taking as a benchmark the top 50:

-Brass Birmingham (would love to play, I have and love Lancashire)
-Pandemic Legacy (any of the 3, haven’t played yet. Everyone I know has at least played 1 of them, so tricky to start, but definitely would play, at least 1)
-Twilight Imperium (defo)
-SW: Rebellion (would)
-Gaia Project/Terra Mystica (defo)
-War of the Ring (defo)
-Through the Ages (does not appeal)
-Dune Imperium (not precisely interested, but would)
-Scythe (not appealing)
-Castles of Burgundy(would, and nearly backed the new one)
-Nemesis (would)
-Wingspan (would, just to see what was all the hype about)
-Clank (sligthly interested)
-Eclipse (defo)
-Arkham Horror (like the IP, so would)
-Orleans (defo)
-Lost Ruins of Arnak (defo, and I am surprised I haven’t played it yet)
-Mage Knight, Barrage, Food Chain Magnate, Marvel Champions (slightly interested)
-Too Many Bones (don’t feel like going down the rabbit hole, I have too many unplayed campaign fantasy games)
-Caverna (would)
-Blood Rage (sitting on my shelf unplayed)
-Pax Pamir (defo)
-Agricola (would)
-Underwater Cities (meh)
-Anachrony (perhaps, I am afraid it would hook me)
-Maracaibo (perhaps)
-Mansions of Madness (would)
-On Mars (TM is to blame here, I’ve had too much of heavy Mars games)

And that is only the top 50… phew…


I did have ambitions of doing the top 100 but soon realised most games that BGG people rate highly don’t interest me at all.


I’m not seeing much overlap between the top 50 discussion and Roger’s list, to be honest. The BGG top 50 is mostly a reflection of modern trends.

I also have a gap. I started playing games in the 1980s, but almost exclusively Games Workshop titles, CCGs, Roborally, and Cosmic Encounter. Then nothing from about 1998 to 2009 during university, world travel, and emigration to Japan (aside from some Mah Jong, Xiang Qi, and Go). So I completely missed out on the Euro explosion, and only got back into boardgames with my move to larger cities with English-speaking gaming groups.

So yeah, Power Grid, Caylus, Hansa Teutonica, Ora et Labora, and probably a whole pile of other Euro classics are all games I missed, and I’m unlikely to play now, unless someone else really wants to. I’d be happy to give them a try - I suspect I’d enjoy them more than recent Euros.


I probably derailed that in checking for games I felt I missed.

I have been struggling to keep myself from going back because most of my experiences with older games I had never played before were not great. I did not discover any hidden gems that I am aware of at this moment. Going back often means I have to buy the game and so collection bloat happens and this is why I try to steer clear of those because chances are they will be sold on. People who played something back in the day will have had a different experience, one that today I often cannot repeat. Which is why I prefer newer editions or reprints because they often get updated as well. If that happens, I am more interested again (see Mombasa → Skymines).

Of all the games mentioned I think Power Grid (which I played once, but could probably play anytime I wanted because a friend who works in that industry loves this game to pieces) is the one I would most likely revisit. I don‘t remember much about playing—we played all the 2F games back then.


No objection to derailing. It’s Power Grid that spurs these sorts of thought most often - almost certainly I wouldn’t love it, but many people have put in a lot of time on it and maybe there is something there for me? (Separate from whether it’s a “good game” in any other sense.)

But as with Tobago when I found that a few years back, people who knew it mostly seem to have played it, and are now done with it.

ETA: or they have played nothing else since it came out and we can barely talk to each other about the game. :slight_smile:


My experiences with Power Grid were quite positive until I played with a PhD Mathematician who ruined it for me.

Every turn there is a mathematically perfect solution to each player’s options. The only randomness is the reveal of the individual power plants since that can sometimes affect the available plants (but rarely does).

I like playing “from the hip,” and that holds in PG. I like green energy, so I will pay… oh, I dunno… 10 for that one.
Paul: “Well, that plant will generate 8 dollars without requiring any fuel, but the connection costs 10. This coal plant generates 14 dollars if I spend 2 dollars on coal and the same 10 on connections. Therefore, if I bid 11 on the green power plant I lose money, and at 10 you are only breaking even, ergo I will not bid on that plant.”

(The analysis was considerably more accurate and longer than that, as it incorporates the turn order, other plants, and potential connection locations, but you get the idea).

The lack of hidden information meant that there was no way to make a mistake. Even if a “cheaper/better” plant came along after he bought his plant, it didn’t matter in the long run: inevitably he’d make more money than the rest of us.

Shame, too. My copy was modified by a good friend such that all of the “houses” in the original game were replaced with really cool surplus tech pieces of the correct colour (so, like, red were all little red transistors, yellow were mostly-yellow resistors, black were little cylinder capacitors, and so on, all attached to little metal bases so they “stood up”. Really pretty.

I still think it’s a good game as long as you don’t play with mathematicians. Neat auction mechanic, neat strategies. Great replacement for Monopoly.


Decisions based on cost are incredibly solvable because it’s all mental maths. Hence why I always tell ppl to use calcu when playing.

But PG vets play hard at positioning and how hard you push the game - either on power plants or your network. Expanding your network mostly decides your turn order position. When to cross from Phase 1 to Phase 2 is key as well. There are times where the cheapest path isnt the best solution.

EDIT: this is a good case on why I prefer strategy over tactics, if I have to choose one.


I think your gaming experience is great and it is not lacking just because you haven’t played some old games. Sure, if you are interested in the historical development of a certain genre, you probably should play them to see how other games improved on them. Or you just play the modern improved versions. :smiley:

I haven’t played any games from your list, though I own Power Grid (was a birthday present 6 years ago, still unplayed) :slight_smile: