This is the final installment in our series called Games That Deserve a Reprint. In the first four article this week, we walked through 20 games that we think deserve a reprint. Here are the links:
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. This article is a sort of wrap up.
OTHER GAMES RECEIVING MORE THAN 1 VOTE (ALPHABETICAL ORDER)
- Ascending Empires
- Fische Fluppen Frikadellen
- Le Pâtissier
- Ra: The Dice Game
- Tal der Konig
- Thunder Road
- Viva Pamplona
REPRINTS COME ALL THE TIME!
During the course of writing the series, a couple of games that people were voting for actually received reprints! That’s how fast the game market moves in 2019, I suppose.
Those games were:
Additionally, very early in the process (meaning before most OG-ers had voted), a reprint was announced for Chinatown.
Additionally, rumors of a Ginkgopolis reprint have been swirling since it was teased last year. We haven’t heard anything official, nor do we have a release date, so we allowed it to remain in the voting.
THOUGHTS FROM THE OPINIONATED GAMERS
Chris Wray: The only games I voted for that didn’t make the list were Limes, which won the 2014 International Gamers Award in the 2-player category, and Hattrick, a trick-taking game by the designer of Sticheln that can be played with that deck.
Overall, I was surprised by how much consensus there was among the OG writers.
Every few months, a thread pops up on BGG that calls for great out-of-print games to be reprinted. One of the things I consider remarkable is how many of them get reprinted. About five years ago, I remember games like El Grande, St. Petersberg, and Neue Heimat all being tough to find. But they’ve been reprinted in the intervening period. So here’s hoping many of the games that made our list get another chance.
James Nathan: I voted for three of those two-vote games above (Kogge, Le Pâtissier, and Volltreffer), and three for which I was the lone vote (Age of Assassins, Packen Wir’s, and Masterplan). I have played 5 of those 6; own one of those 6; have local friends that own 3 of the 6; have distant friends that own an additional 2 of the 6. That leaves only Masterplan -unaccounted for in each of those tallies.
Masterplan is a 2011 release, and the final release, from Chili Spiele -Klaus Zoch’s boutique operation that brought forth Die Aufsteiger/The Climbers, Neue Heimat/The Estates, and Hinkel & Stein. Each of those I like or love. He also published Cobra, which I’m neutral on, and Waagemut -a balance beam expansion for Bamboleo- which I haven’t tried, but almost bought on a few occasions (And in a recent e-mail Klaus did not include in a complete listing of the Chili Spiele catalog). Again, that only leaves Masterplan unaccounted for.
Masterplan is a two-player abstract town building game from Bernhard Lach and Uwe Rapp. There is little information available on the game. There haven’t been any copies listed or sold in the BGG marketplace. I’ve been following Masterplan since before it came out and haven’t been able to sniff a copy to see or hold or play or own.
Masterplan and Um Reifenbreite were the only titles I voted for that I have not played. For me, the strength of the Chili Spiele catalog is sufficiently strong that it’s unfathomable to me that Masterplan simply never flew above community’s radar or even above the treeline. It’s like it never happened.
Tery Noseworthy: I voted for several of the games above. One is new to me, despite it being more than 20 years old – Voltreffer; I thought it was a clever trick-taking game with a few other game elements thrown in. I also recently played Quacksalbe for the first time, and while the game play itself was fairly random, it worked and it was a lot of fun. I am still holding on to my copy of Ta Yu; it doesn’t seem as much play as it used to, but I’d be sad if it wasn’t in my collection and the newer version’s components were not nearly as nice.
Larry: Only two of the games I voted for didn’t make the top 20. Limes (originally released as Cities) is a clever Bingo-style tile laying that deserves to be in print. But the title that I really think deserves a second chance is Tom Lehmann’s Phoenicia.
Phoenicia is a distillation and Eurofication of the classic auction game Outpost. Whereas Outpost has a fairly high luck factor and has a 2.5 hour duration, the luck in Phoenicia is greatly reduced and the game can easily be played in an hour and a half. But those 90 minutes are packed with difficult decisions and intricate money management. Tom boiled down all the goodness in Outpost to its essentials so that not an ounce of fat remains. Games are always challenging, immersive, and hotly contested and there’s quite a few paths to victory. The game was published in 2007, the same year as another one of his titles you may have heard of: Race for the Galaxy. But for me (and I acknowledge this is very much a minority view), the game from that year that I love, and that I feel is Lehmann’s masterpiece, is Phoenicia, not Race.
Unfortunately, the published game had many problems, including substandard graphics and poorly written rules. There were sufficient issues that many gamers didn’t give it a fair chance. I’d love to see this great game get another shot and be presented to the current generation of gamers in a form that matches the quality of the design.
Fraser: I only voted for one of the two vote games, Fische Fluppen Frikadellen. Since I have played or organised a three table game of this at least once a year for the last few years, I think it is something that more people should get a chance to enjoy. A one or two table game is good, but the three table game is quite an experience. Generally only available at conventions though.
Brandon: My Top Five picks all made the list. I learned about quite a few games that I had never tried through this process, even going as far as hunting down a copy of Basketboss, so thank you fellow OGers for that. A lot of these games are quite niche though, and I think that even we can see that reprints are often a huge risk for a company, especially with some of these older titles. Games come and go, it’s a natural process, the secondary market is a wonderful place to find them, but also an unreliable and sometimes expensive one.
Mark Jackson: I had a number of games that garnered some support but not enough:
- Ascending Empires (which I still think is one of the best 4x games out there)
- Ra: The Dice Game (which I still kick myself for not buying… one of the best dice implementations of a non-dice game)
- Thunder Road (which I still keep begging the team at Restoration Games to take a shot at)
- Viva Pamplona (which could use a slight polish, but otherwise is a splendid family game experience with older kids and adults)
Matt Carlson: My euro-gaming background only goes back to the mid-90s, and even then mostly hitting up the SdJ titles was most of my gaming budget. As such, I’ve not played most of the games listed here (or on the entire list.) However, even descriptions of the titles sound like middle-of-the-road titles to me. Having pared down my collection only slightly of late, I’ve no big interest in picking up any of the games mentioned – with the possible exception of the dexterity/party games listed.