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Subject: 'Ameritrasher' wants a Euro rss

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Tristan Hall
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Manchester
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Google 'NinjaDorg Fantasy Quest'
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Google 'NinjaDorg Fantasy Quest'
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I'm bored and rambling so skip to the end for actual question...


As a kid I used to play tons of board games like Escape From Colditz, Escape From Atlantis and Lost Valley of the Dinosaurs - the latter I once spent many hours of my ten year old life drawing the entire box image including the logo and copy. The image of the explorer in the jungle is indelibly ingrained in my mind:



Although why he hadn't noticed that mahoosive dinosaur is beyond me.

Then HeroQuest came and changed my life forever.



A Brit-trasher was born. Best Christmas ever. Didn't know what to do with myself. Played the thing to death.

Then it was D&D. Found this for about 50p at a school fair and bought it solely because of the picture:



RPG'd and Games Workshop board-gamed through my teens till I realised it didn't help you get girls then abandoned both hobbies altogether and went to college then uni.

Fast Forward 10 years and Arkham Horror segues its inexorable way into my subconscious somehow via the power of internets. Just look at the bloody thing:



To this day I genuinely don't know how I stumbled upon it, what I was looking for, or why my wife let me buy it, but before I knew it I owned the game and I was playing it it was playing me daily for years before it outgrew my house and table and scuttled on millions of tentacles up the stairs and through the loft to where it now inhabits a non-Euclidian impossible corner of our attic to slumber fitfully, before returning some day when the stars are right. And when we have a bigger living room table.

These days I still generally prefer theme-driven games where you can beat things up, blow things up and grab things' treasure. My friends also prefer themed games with zombies and Cthulhu and dragons and all that palaver.

But every time I go in my FLGS I'm struck by the starkly beautiful cover images of the Eurogames like Isla Dorada:



Tikkal:



Catan:



Even Agricola:



They all seem so ripe with the promise of all the fun of those games from my youth. I own the LOTR Knizier coop board game and have played it many times:



I love it, but my friends mostly don't. Maybe if it had hobbits instead of cones...

In any case, if anyone is still reading, remotely understands my plight, and cares to comment, what Euro game could you recommend to me that maybe includes any or all of the following:

pretty components
great gameplay
2 player mode (or even coop or solo mode)
maybe exploration
maybe resource management (I don't know what I'm talking about here - resources are things you beat other things up with, right??)
maybe an outdoor map or tile feel

???

Cheers for reading or ignoring or ranting or flaming or just being you. cool
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Markus
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So this is my new overtext ? Hmmm...
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A bit on the expensive side, but StarCraft: The Board Game matches most of your requirements. And yes, although it might not look that way (at first glance), it has a very strong 'euro' feel to it. It combines the best of both worlds in my opinion. Can be played with 2 but becomes even better if you can gather 4+.
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Rob Doupe
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Age of Empires III is a good crossover choice. Has a nice map on a big board, miniatures, genuine conflict, but it plays like a euro.

For even more thematic oomph, Chaos in the Old World is a good choice. Lots of minis, conflict, and cards with cool powers.

However, neither is really suitable to 2-player or solo play.
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Jeremy Heilman
United States
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CA - California
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A few games come to mind... how about Shogun, Cave Troll, Cyclades or Fire & Axe: A Viking Saga. Each of them feels pretty thematic, has a lot of conflict, and some unique Euro mechanics.
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Jeremy Heilman
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That being said, of the games you listed in your post, I think Tikal would work the best for you. It feels very thematic, has great components, is directly competitive and has a great sense of exploration.
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Markus
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So this is my new overtext ? Hmmm...
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One more vore for Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery. How could i forget that game ?
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Geoff Hall
United Kingdom
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+1 for Cyclades and Chaos in the Old World.

Also check out Galactic Emperor.
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Jeff G
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You want Stone Age

If you like the excitement of throwing a hand-full of dice to resolve something, this is the Euro-resource management for you. Plus it's generally very well reviewed, has pretty components, plays 2 very well, has resource management (no beating people, though there is a love hut) and is outdoorsy.




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Chris Palmarozzi
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If 2 players is a must, then clearly Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery. It scales very well, showcases a good theme, includes combat, and is truly a Euro at heart. You also get a ton of minis!

A lot of the above suggestions ignore the '2 player' bit.
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As a fellow gamer that also started out on HeroQuest and then re-entered the board game scene with Arkham Horror, and also shares your love of Defenders of the Realm, Descent, and the D&D Adventure games, I have 2 recommendations for you.

The first, which was mentioned above, is Cyclades. It still has the minis, the battles, and some luck with the creature cards, but it also has the Euro-type mechanics of auctions, and area control. Kind of a hybrid.

But if you really want to jump into a Euro, then Dungeon Lords is what you want. It is a worker placement with simultaneous placement, resource management, and when it comes time to defend your dungeon from the good guys, you use the traps and monsters you (hopefully) acquired in a sort of logic puzzle. The theme is great, the rulebook is even amusing, it's kind of like a fantasy Agricola. If you are only going to get one, I definitely think this is the one to get!

Edit: I just noticed the 2-player requirement, thanks to the poster above me. Cyclades is not a bad game with only two players, the game board has three different sizes depending on the number of players, so the game will still be tight.

Dungeon Lords, however, is made to play with four. If you have less, than you have to have dummy players make up for who is missing. I haven't played it with 2, but have played with 3, which isn't bad, but this game definitely shines with 4. Although, since the game is kind of multi-player solitaire (the interaction is from choosing the worker placements and trying not to get blocked by other players) having to have dummy players may not be such a bad thing. And if you do want more interaction, the game comes with a set of expansion tiles, you just need to print off the rules to use them.
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Paul
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While I'm not high on Agricola, it does sound like something you'd enjoy (from the list of things you're looking for).

I'll recommend my personal favorite, Endeavor. I'll also +1 for Stone Age.

One game that I have not played yet (but it's on my wishlist), but it seems to match a lot of your requirements is Navegador.
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Pete Lane
United States
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I would say El Grande. Why? It was taught to me by game designers from FFG (because they found inspiration from it)... it ended up being my full on gateway into Euros from AT.

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Grant Gibson
United States
South Glens Falls
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I would recommend Cyclades. It has great components, gorgeous board, auction element with euro strategy feel, all the while maintaining battles and dice.
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Geoff Hall
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-1 for Stone Age.

If you want a dice allocation Euro that as an AT fan you'll appreciate then you want Alien Frontiers. More interaction, more choices and you can blow up other peoples dice with your plasma cannon!
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Rauli Kettunen
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Medic! Man down!!!

Looks like we're about lose one from our ranks cry .
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Seth Brown
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Yet another nod for Age of Empires III. Great figs (especially the ships!), the ability to use soldiers to shoot enemy men, some exploration, works totally fine 2-player, pretty much everything you want.
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Ben R
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Tigris & Euphrates has the cutthroat gameplay some Ameritrash gamers enjoy. However if you are after beautiful artwork and what not Tigris may not be for you since you are essentially just looking at a thematic grid.
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Kevin B. Smith
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Conquest of Planet Earth: The Space Alien Game is a solo OR competitive OR cooperative game where each player gets some cool plastic spaceships. I think it might fit your LotR slot. I only played once (missing a significant rule), so I can't say whether it has great gameplay or not. I also won't claim to be an authority on whether or not it qualifies as a "Euro".
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Stefan Olofsson
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I would have to give another -1 to Stone Age. A rather dry and abstract euro imho. I am no expert on Ameritrash, but I guess that Stone Age would be a dull first Euro to try for a trasher. Then a again, all players are individuals, could be wrong of course..

I have Cyclades and it's a fun game, so I say +1. It has eurostuff (a nice bidding mechanic, building and set collection) but also fighting, drama in combat with dice roling, monsters with various special powers and really nice components. Not sure how this plays on 2 though..

I lurch often around at Fortress Ameritrash (lots of good reading there btw), and there seems to be quite a few ameritrashers who enyoys Cyclades.

I really like AOEIII, it's one of my favourite games. It's a euro that meets almost all that you ask for (well almost, no solo-play I guess) +1

And why not Navegador? It has pretty components (if you like wood, that is), have great gameplay, exploration, an outdoor map and a really cool market mechanic. Have not played it on 2, though..
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Alex C
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Some great recommendations so far. I'd check out Small World. Conflict, outdoor map, 2 player mode (has four separate maps for 2, 3, 4, and 5 players), great game play, and generally no two games play the same. Its a Euro trying to be a light Wargame trying to be a Euro.
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Patrick Dillon
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I concur with those above that recommended Cyclades & Small World. Either would likely do well for you. Also agree with the -1 on Stone Age. You may like it, but is not exactly what your looking for.

I also would not recommend Navegador. A new gamer I know, with definite Ameritrash tastes, did not enjoy his game of that. He does really like Cyclades and Small World. He also loves Galaxy Trucker, though it doesn't have the direct conflict typically enjoyed by ATers.

Edit: Some others that haven't been suggested yet:

Jamaica - Euro-y Conflict, some resource management
Tribune - Hand Management, Auctions, with some conflict (takeovers)
Lords of Vegas - Dice rolling, Gambling, Conflict via Mergers and Reorgs
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Mitch Willis
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Kathleen
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Antike (while it plays from 2 to 6, for 2 many prefer the half-map variant here on BGG)
+1 Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery
+1 Endeavor (there are 2 good 2-player variants posted here on BGG; one which is the "official" one from the designers)
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B Mendez
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nyfilmfest wrote:
That being said, of the games you listed in your post, I think Tikal would work the best for you. It feels very thematic, has great components, is directly competitive and has a great sense of exploration.


...And there is a great Tikal variant here in bgg that you can use!

Stone Age would be my other recommendation. Scales excellent between 2 and 4, Is great fun and beautiful!

You might not regret taking a look at Puerto Rico.
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James Fallows
United Kingdom
Penrith
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Peloponnes plays very well solo, is a good fast civ-themed, resource gathering/auction game for up to 5 players. Not stupendously pretty though.

I agree with everybody else about AoE III.

How about Carcassonne? Excellent with 2, solo variants exist, and can be combined with your copies of Ravenloft and Ashardalon for outdoor wilderness and city adventures... (you could also make some Yellow Meeple and Green Meeple etc monster cards...)
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Marcus
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+1 to Cyclades
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