Great Games Made Simple
Jon Grey
United States
Los Angeles
California
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My group has been in this hobby for over 2 years now, and we're slightly closer to trying heavier games. Progress is slow. Perhaps there are lighter and less time consuming games to play that simplify their heavier counterparts?

So basically, what games are, in your opinion, simplified/streamlined versions of heavier games? E.g. Memoir 44 may be viewed as a simplified Tide of Iron. Or one might view Betrayal at House on the Hill as a lighter version of Mansions of Madness.

Like in Games that FIRED other Games..., list the "simpler" game in the title, then the heavier game it simplifies in the body of the text.

Lastly, the term "simple" in this case is intentionally ambiguous. It's just relative to whatever games you're comparing. E.g. A game with an average weight of 4 is "simple" relative to that with a weight of 5; perhaps two similar games with truncated/substituted mechanics can be interpreted as "simpler" than the other. I don't want this to turn into a semantics debate; I'm desperately looking for games like Twilight Imperium, wargames, 4x games, and such that are simply easier and faster to play/learn. Also do not worry about chronological order; it doesn't matter which game was released first.


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26. Board Game: Campaign Trail [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:4526]
Enrico Viglino
United States
Phoenix, AZ
Arizona
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Is a simpler version of


It takes all the fun stuff out.
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27. Board Game: Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:402]
J. Atkinson
United States
Grant
AL
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A simplified, much cheaper, and available version of this:

Space Hulk (third edition)




Has the same characters, too!

Note: Different mechanics, entirely!
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28. Board Game: RoboDerby: Express [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:2689]
Guido Gloor
Switzerland
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Bern
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This is a greatly simplified version of RoboRally.



It uses dice instead of cards, has a much smaller map, less different kinds of obstacles, doesn't use bot modifications (but gives them some powers that only come with modifications in the older game from the start) and generally plays a lot faster and more cutthroat.

A wonderful design.
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29. Board Game: Stone Age [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:48]
Guido Gloor
Switzerland
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Bern
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I must admit that when I played this game, it totally felt like a slimmed-down version of Dungeon Lords (without the combat phase, obviously).



You place workers in order to a) obtain different resources, b) gain stuff that you need for VPs with those resources (monsters and traps in one case, cards in the other), c) build your home base (with rooms and corridors, or huts) which you then place on your player board. Regularly, there's an interlude where you have to feed your minions. Both games even have a very magical hut with limited access that produces additional workers!

Personally, I prefer Dungeon Lords, but I see where the attraction to Stone Age comes from.
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30. Board Game: 18AL [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:1054]
Philip von Doomula
United States
Gray
ME
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I got in everyone's hostile little face. Yes, these are wooden cubes from boardgaming. Yes, I'm comfortable with that. I am enlightened.
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Is a simplified version of:

1830: Railways & Robber Barons


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31. Board Game: Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:258]
Jan Ozimek
Denmark
Aalborg
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Must resist M:tG. Boardgames are my methadone :)
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EDIT: This was posted earlier. Sorry. blush

Is a simpler version of Battle line:

 
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32. Board Game: Endeavor [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:122]
Jan Ozimek
Denmark
Aalborg
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Must resist M:tG. Boardgames are my methadone :)
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Is a simpler version of Struggle of Empires:

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33. Board Game: History of the World [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:375]
Jan Ozimek
Denmark
Aalborg
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Must resist M:tG. Boardgames are my methadone :)
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Is a simpler version of 7 Ages:


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34. Board Game: A Brief History of the World [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:1055]
Andrew
United States
San Francisco
California
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Is a simpler version of History of the World.


It eliminates the card gifting, gives bonuses to compensate for failed attacks, and plays more quickly.
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35. Board Game: Thurn and Taxis [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:248]
Dave Hamrick
United States
Moore
OK
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Is like a simpler version of

Hansa Teutonica



Thurn and Taxis removes a lot of the complicated strategies and ability to build your business from basic to advanced that makes Hansa so interesting.
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36. Board Game: Are You the Traitor? [Average Rating:5.20 Overall Rank:10532]
Josh Bailey
United States
Hendersonville
North Carolina
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is a simpler version of Werewolf.

Key similarities:
-Both involve deduction of hidden-roles.
-Both depend primarily on the "reading" of other people
-Both involve bluffing of roles

Key differences:
-Are You The Traitor? cannot accommodate as many people as Werewolf.
-Traitor does not use a moderator (so everyone is playing)
-Traitor does not feature player elimination
-Players in Traitor have no actions to take other than guessing somebody else's role (WW players may be able to night-kill, seer-view, etc)
-Traitor plays over the course of quick rounds where players change teams constantly and play for individual points.
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37. Board Game: Escalation! [Average Rating:5.68 Overall Rank:5227]
Ben Bateson
United Kingdom
Ross-on-Wye
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...is a simplified version of

Haggis


which is a simplified version of

Tichu


If you ask me, simpler is better in this case.
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38. Board Game: Simply Cosmic [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:3038]
Gerry Baygents
United States
Kansas City
Missouri
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. . . is a simplified version of

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39. Board Game: 1960: The Making of the President [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:104]
adebisi
Finland
Espoo
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1960: The Making of the President is a lighter version of



It's faster, cards are plyed in a more straightforward manner, less things to keep eye on, taking over enemy territory is simpler. Nonetheless both are great games.
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40. Board Game: Junta: Viva el Presidente! [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:1534]
Christian Link
United States
Snowmass Village
Colorado
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Is a true simplified version of Junta...



...but adds sunglasses for the president.
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41. Board Game: Railways of the World [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:52]
Aaron
United States
Huntington Beach
California
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...is a simplified version of


Which is a simplified version of
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42. Board Game: Cannes: Stars, Scripts and Screens [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:3333]
Spinach Fell Nimh
United States
Fountain Valley
California
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Should I stop doing the whole anagram thing?
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...is a simplified version of
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43. Board Game: Bios: Megafauna [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:1174]
Wulf Corbett
Scotland
Shotts
Lanarkshire
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Pretty obvious, and entirely deliberately, Bios Megafauna is a streamlined & faster play new edition of
.

Still not simple but certainly simpler...

I prefer the original...
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44. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:109] [Average Rating:7.44 Unranked]
Andrew MacLeod
Canada
London
Ontario
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...is a simplified version of:



They both involve the random drawing (well, mainly random, in Entdecker's case) of tiles to build up a map. Entdecker has the complications of financial management, "meeples" of differing value and expense, and (almost always) multiple ownership of a feature.
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45. Board Game: Battle Line [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:128]
Andrew MacLeod
Canada
London
Ontario
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.....is a much, MUCH, MUCH simpler version of:



They're both forms of poker. In Twilight Struggle, you can play a card as an event, rather than for its ops value; in Battleline, you can play a tactical card, rather than a value card. In Twilight Struggle, you score for regions; in Battleline, you score for flags. In Twilight Struggle, the game can end abruptly due to DefCon; in Battleline, the game can end abruptly due to.....well, because of.....uhh, a nuclear warhead just exploded over your city?shake
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46. Board Game: 1955: The War of Espionage [Average Rating:6.30 Overall Rank:3131]
Joel Eddy
United States
Coeur d'Alene
ID
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is a much simpler (but still similar in theme AND mechanics) than...

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47. Board Game: Age of Industry [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:238]
Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington
United States
Tampa
Florida
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Is a streamlined version of:

Brass


And two folks in my group say this liked this one better than Brass as well..
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48. Board Game: Founding Fathers [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:665]
Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington
United States
Tampa
Florida
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Is a simple version of:

Die Macher


Granted, I've only seen a how to play video of Founding Fathers and read the rules.. but I have played Die Macher 3 times and read the rules about 10 times.

And Die Macher is not a great game, but an awesome one!

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49. Board Game: Railways of the World [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:52]
Joel Eddy
United States
Coeur d'Alene
ID
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is simpler than

Steam


is simpler than

Age of Steam


is simpler than

18AL


is simpler than

1830: Railways & Robber Barons
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50. Board Game: Days of Steam [Average Rating:6.01 Overall Rank:3018]
ian o
Canada
Saskatchewan
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is a simplified version of...
Steam
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