Games That Deserve a Reprint: #10 to #6

This is the third installment in our series called Games That Deserve a Reprint.  This article walks through #10 to #6.  In short, this project aims to highlight 20 games that we think deserve a reprint.  To make the list, we had 17 Opinionated Gamers vote, with precisely 50 games receiving votes.  Our only criteria were that (1) the game had to be out of print for at least a couple of years, (2) the voter had to think that the game was good enough to be reprinted, and (3) preferably these games would be difficult to find on the secondary market, so that a reprint would be justified.  

The first article discussed the background behind the series and our methodology.  We have an additional article coming every day this week, plus a recap at the end with some interesting statistics and a “what we missed” discussion.

Without further ado, here are the games that we think deserve a reprint.  

— Chris Wray, March 2019

#10:  SCHNAPP

Designed by Heinz Meister, Released 1993

Mini Review by Erik Arneson

I was thrilled to see Schnapp get some love from other Opinionated Gamers, because I feared I was one of the few people who remember this simple-but-awesome game. (It has only 50 ratings on BoardGameGeek.)

To play, each player chooses one of the four colors. All wooden disks (there are six in each of the four colors) are placed face down and mixed together. One player selects a disk and sets it, still face down, on the long end of a teeter totter. The player smacks the other end, sending the disk flying into the air. The player whose color the disk is must catch it before it hits the ground. The first player to catch four of their own disks wins.

Be warned: If you catch another player’s disk, or block them from catching their own, they still get the point. Also, the colors on the disks are not solid; the swirly patterns will play tricks on your eyes.

Schnapp is delightful, hilarious, and probably best played outdoors.

Schnapp – Ratings from the Opinionated Gamers

  • I love it!  Erik Arneson, James Nathan
  • I like it.  
  • Neutral.  
  • Not for me…

#9:  GLORY TO ROME

Designed by Ed Carter & Carl Chudyk, Released 2005

Mini Review by Jeff Lingwall

Glory to Rome is the only game I’ve ever owned twice, don’t own any more, and regret getting rid of. I had a copy of the IV clamshell edition, and then took part in the ill-fated Black Box Kickstarter. I gifted the clamshell copy to a friend, and when the Black Box prices went astronomical I used that copy to pay off the mortgage on our home (almost).

Despite turning a nice profit, I regret selling my second copy. Glory to Rome is an excellent, quick-playing, quirky development card game. The ability to leech off others’ actions through building patrons and a shared resource pool make the game more directly interactive than similar multiple-uses-for-cards games like Race for the Galaxy. The game is famous for having many “broken” card combos, so that each game becomes a sort of race to see who can break the game the quickest. The Black Box edition had stunning artwork, elevating the game to a modern classic.

Some day, the gods of Rome will return to power, Jupiter will bow his curly head, the rights issues will resolve themselves, and Glory to Rome will be reprinted. Rome will rise again … some day.

Glory to Rome – Ratings from the Opinionated Gamers

  • I love it!  Jeff Lingwall, Mark Jackson, Matt Carlson
  • I like it. Fraser, Craig M.
  • Neutral.  Michael Weston, Chris Wray
  • Not for me… James Nathan, Brandon Kempf, Larry, John P

#8:  LOWENHERZ

Designed by Klaus Teuber, Released 1997

Mini Review by Larry Levy

Euros are supposed to be constructive, non-aggressive games, maybe with a little bit of indirect interaction, right?  Particularly games from the designer of Catan, the King of Kum-ba-ya games. RIGHT?? Think again, buttercup. Lowenherz is most definitely red in tooth and claw.  Each turn starts with the players sequentially choosing one of three randomly determined actions. Since this is a four player game (it really should only be played with 4), at least two players are guaranteed to be butting heads.  Lovely! The conflict can be resolved via negotiation, but that never works, so it usually comes down to a fiscal showdown and, just as in Highlander, there can be only one.  The actions include expanding your territories and adding knights to a territory. Why the need for knights? Well, eventually territories are going to butt up against each other and if she has more knights in her territory than you do, guess who’s gonna lose some hard earned acreage?  Along with some VPs?? Maybe a lot of VPs???  There’s also forced alliances, backstabs, and defections.  Suffice it to say, this is not a game for the faint of heart.  But if you like mixing it up in a superbly designed game of thrust and counter-thrust, where you need to plan so carefully, lest your mighty position crumble to dust from a single misplay, then this is the game for you.  It’s undoubtedly Klaus Teuber’s most atypical design, which might be why it’s easily my favorite of all his games.

Löwenherz – Ratings from the Opinionated Gamers

  • I love it!  Chris Wray, Larry
  • I like it.  Tery Noseworthy, John P, Fraser, Mark Jackson, Craig M.
  • Neutral.  
  • Not for me…

#7:  BATTLESTAR GALACTICA

Designed by Corey Konieczka, Released 2008

Mini Review by Chris Wray

Theme, theme, theme.  The Battlestar Galactica game smacks of it, and I consider this one of the best thematic implementations of a movie or TV show I’ve ever played.

For the uninitiated, in the TV show Battlestar Galactica, the planets on which humans lived have been destroyed by a race of robots called Cylons.  Humanity has escaped onto a fleet of space ship, but the Cylons now look like humans, so they aren’t safe from the threat.

“BSG” is a social deduction game that beautifully captures the intrigue and politics of the TV show.  On a player’s turn, he does something to (supposedly) help the fleet, but then at the end of the turn there may be a crisis.  Players contribute secretly to help out the fleet, so somebody may be conducting sabotage.

Designed by Corey Konieczka and released by Fantasy Flight, it is a game that has been revered in recent years, rising quite high in the BGG rankings.  (It is currently #64.) A reprint is seemingly being held back by the intellectual property rights.

Battlestar Galactica – Ratings from the Opinionated Gamers

  • I love it!  Chris Wray, Erik Arneson, Fraser, Jeff Lingwall
  • I like it.  Tery Noseworthy
  • Neutral.  James Nathan, Michael Weston, Mark Jackson
  • Not for me… Brandon Kempf, Larry, John P, Craig M., Matt Carlson

#6:  ADEL VERPFLICHTET (A.K.A. HOITY TOITY)

Designed by Klaus Teuber, Released 1990

Mini Review by Chris Wray

Adel Verpflichtet — which goes by a couple of other names as well — actually won the Spiel des Jahres in 1990.  We did a history of the game as part of our SdJ Re-Reviews series a few years ago.    

Players in Adel Verpflichtet are members of the “Antique Club.”  Their goals is to show the most valuable collection in several castles — by fair means or foul.  During the first phase of each round players must choose whether the are going to the Auction House or the Castle.  The Auction House is where Collection Cards are acquired. The Castle is where sets of Collection Cards are displayed to advance along the game board.  During the second phase, players must choose an action based on where they went in Phase I.  If at the Auction House, players may play either a Check Card (to buy a painting) or a thief card (to steal a check).  If at the Castle, players may play either a Thief Card (to steal a painting), their Detective Card (to stop a thief), or the Exhibit Card (to attempt to earn points).  The Castle is how Adel Verpflichtet earned its reputation as having a “rock, paper, scissors” mechanic, even though that analogy has its flaws.

I love Adel Verpflichtet, and I think it compares favorably to many of today’s bluffing games.  The game’s fast-paced play and clever use of bluffing have made it one of my favorites of the early SdJ winners.  Gamers seem to enjoy Adel Verpflichtet, yet it is streamlined and approachable enough for less experienced players.

Adel Verpflichtet – Ratings from the Opinionated Gamers

  • I love it!  Chris Wray, Erik Arneson, Tery Noseworthy, Fraser, Craig M.
  • I like it.  Michael Weston, Brandon Kempf, Mark Jackson
  • Neutral.  John P
  • Not for me… Larry

—–

Fraser: I haven’t heard of Schnapp, I would actually like a copy of the original cartoonish Glory to Rome and own the other three.  I would settle for an English language version of the newer Black Box Glory to Rome, but since that doesn’t exist it is probably slightly less likely than the chances of me getting a copy of the original.

Matt C.: I also had a copy of the clamshell edition of Glory to Rome. I loved the game, although its complexity made it a hard sell to get out for new players.  Unfortunately, it left my collection before spiking in value. I’d play again, but won’t pay a high price for it. Meanwhile, I love cooperative games and BSG is not.  The idea of a semi-cooperative game makes me think of someone being semi-pregnant. I understand the theme of BSG, and that theme is great for this traitor-genre, but it isn’t a type of game I enjoy.

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1 Response to Games That Deserve a Reprint: #10 to #6

  1. Eric Brosius says:

    Lowenherz isn’t hard to get. There are copies up for 20 Euros on BGG.

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