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Subject: For a new player: Imperial 2030 or Steam over Holland rss

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Rom tos
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I'm going to introduce a friend to a heavier boardgame this Saturday. He has experience with Dominion, Werewolves and Munchkin. We'll be with 3 players. I'm doubting between Imperial 2030 and Steam over Holland.

This reason I want to have opinions is that I lost perspective on what is a reasonable 'gateway' game. I have a tendency of dropping players in the deep and see if they can swim, but I really don't want to intimidate this player.

I think Imperial 2030 will be a tad lighter, but Steam over Holland delivers a deeper experience (and it's my 18xx intro game of choice), imho. Which one of these games is more likely to hook him, without intimidating him?

Feel free to check out my collection for other alternatives. I don't have much to choose from though. And it needs to feel quite a few hours on its own.
 
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Eugene van der Pijll
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The games he has previous experience with are much lighter and shorter than Imperial or Steam over Holland. Werewolves and Munchkin are more like party games than gamers games. I would first try an intermediate step: a shorter medium-heavy economic game; Power Grid, Brass, and the like. The only game in your collection that satisfies that criterium seems to be Age of Steam. Even that one could be too heavy, but at least he won't spend an entire evening finding that out.

The main problem with Imperial 2030 and SoH is length. The games are not really complex, and the rules aren't too hard to explain. If you're sure that he's ready for a long game a long game, both Imperial and SoH are fine. Which one is best probably depends on his interests. Has he played Risk? Does he like trains? Of course SoH has a more familiar setting (the Netherlands).

If you're trying to get people interested in 18xx, then:
1) Me too! Where do you live?
2) just try SoH. If that can't
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Rune Berge
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I must disagree with Eugene. Imperial 2030 is easier to get into than Age of Steam. And it usually takes around 2-3 hours to play, not an entire evening.

Haven't played Steam over Holland but if it is of similar complexity and length as 1830 I agree that it might be a good idea to try something less "intimidating" first.
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You, sir, have a bizarre collection.

Imperial is probably more accessible, but is actually probably a little less strategically intuitive than 18XX. It's hard to say which would be a better fit.

I say you just let him see them and choose.
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Blorb Plorbst
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I'd say it sort of depends on how comfortable you feel explaining rules.

Imperial is pretty simple to teach though the strategy is not terribly obvious.

However, since it looks like you have a bunch of 18XX games, SoH would be a good way to see if there's a future there. Or even 1830. People have a bias that the games are complicated -- they aren't.

Stock round: buy stock, sell stock
Operating round: lay track, stations, run trains, buy trains

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Rom tos
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pijll wrote:
The games he has previous experience with are much lighter and shorter than Imperial or Steam over Holland. Werewolves and Munchkin are more like party games than gamers games. I would first try an intermediate step: a shorter medium-heavy economic game; Power Grid, Brass, and the like. The only game in your collection that satisfies that criterium seems to be Age of Steam. Even that one could be too heavy, but at least he won't spend an entire evening finding that out.

The main problem with Imperial 2030 and SoH is length. The games are not really complex, and the rules aren't too hard to explain. If you're sure that he's ready for a long game a long game, both Imperial and SoH are fine. Which one is best probably depends on his interests. Has he played Risk? Does he like trains? Of course SoH has a more familiar setting (the Netherlands).

I told him what he was getting into (long and heavy), and he thought it should be fine. I do think he'll manage, he's an intelligent fellow. I wasn't worried so much about the length, as the relative weight of SoH and Imperial. I'm considering just letting him choose.

I was considering Age of Steam, but since it's relatively unforgiving compared to Imperial 2030 and SoH, I thought it would less safe than the latter two.
Quote:

If you're trying to get people interested in 18xx, then:
1) Me too! Where do you live?
2) just try SoH. If that can't


I live near Den Bosch, so a bit out of the way compared to Den Haag. You have a nice selection of 18xx. I'm slowly building up to the heavy 18xx stuff. These games need to be put to the table delicately.
 
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Jimmy Okolica
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Very interesting collection of games. Three factors I'd consider in choosing a game is how good it is as a 2er, how forgiving it is, and how much player interaction/screwage there is.

I've never tried Imperial 2er so I can't say, but I just finished my 2nd play of SoH and it was a 2er. It played well and I'd agree the rules explanation wasn't that hard to get although I don't think either my gf or I have any idea of how to play it well yet.

I've played Imperial with more than 2 and I'd agree the rules explanation is significantly easier than SoH. It's also more forgiving and has somewhat less player screwage, (a good reason against AoS and 1830)..

A third game in your collection is Antiquity. That may be even more intimidating than Imperial and SoH. However, it has the advantages that: it is built for 2 and interaction is relatively minor so screwage is less of an issue while learning how to play. The only person I've taught Antiquity to is my gf who has played lots of Agricola; so, I can't say how tough it would be to teach to a noob or how difficult it would be to grasp.
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Rom tos
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Rune wrote:
I must disagree with Eugene. Imperial 2030 is easier to get into than Age of Steam. And it usually takes around 2-3 hours to play, not an entire evening.

Haven't played Steam over Holland but if it is of similar complexity and length as 1830 I agree that it might be a good idea to try something less "intimidating" first.


Steam over Holland is considerably lighter than 1830. It's a common 18xx introduction game, since it boils to game down to a more bare system, and it includes a fixed number of Stock and Operating rounds, limiting the game's length. I found it of similar weight as Dominant Species, for example. We can finish each within 4 hours, not including rules explanation.
 
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Jimmy Okolica
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Off topic question: how many plays of SoH would you say we should have before tackling 2er 1860?
 
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NateStraight wrote:
You, sir, have a bizarre collection.

How so?

Quote:

Imperial is probably more accessible, but is actually probably a little less strategically intuitive than 18XX. It's hard to say which would be a better fit.

I say you just let him see them and choose.


I'm quite tempted towards the 'choosing' part.


CrankyPants wrote:
I'd say it sort of depends on how comfortable you feel explaining rules.

Imperial is pretty simple to teach though the strategy is not terribly obvious.

However, since it looks like you have a bunch of 18XX games, SoH would be a good way to see if there's a future there. Or even 1830. People have a bias that the games are complicated -- they aren't.

Stock round: buy stock, sell stock
Operating round: lay track, stations, run trains, buy trains



I think that 18xx games are complex in the sense the system is very opaque for beginning players (I include myself among those ). It's difficult to see how the game is developing, initially, despite the fact you're right in the middle of it.
 
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Butterfly0038 wrote:
Very interesting collection of games.
It does appear so.
Quote:
Three factors I'd consider in choosing a game is how good it is as a 2er, how forgiving it is, and how much player interaction/screwage there is.
Small note: we'll be with 3, not 2.

Quote:
I've never tried Imperial 2er so I can't say, but I just finished my 2nd play of SoH and it was a 2er. It played well and I'd agree the rules explanation wasn't that hard to get although I don't think either my gf or I have any idea of how to play it well yet.
I played both Imperial 2030 and SoH 2P with my GF, and she grasped both well, though she thought Imperial 2030 really wasn't as engaging as SoH.

Quote:
A third game in your collection is Antiquity. That may be even more intimidating than Imperial and SoH. However, it has the advantages that: it is built for 2 and interaction is relatively minor so screwage is less of an issue while learning how to play. The only person I've taught Antiquity to is my gf who has played lots of Agricola; so, I can't say how tough it would be to teach to a noob or how difficult it would be to grasp.
I think Antiquity is quite overkill. I'm personally quite intimidated by it, where I found 1860 'cozy'.

Butterfly0038 wrote:
Off topic question: how many plays of SoH would you say we should have before tackling 2er 1860?
I played 4 of 5 times SoH before tackling 1860, and think that was plenty. I recommend at least 2 SoH games to feel comfortable with the next step.
 
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Lacombe
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Romtos wrote:
NateStraight wrote:
You, sir, have a bizarre collection.

How so?


Scrolling through and seeing 9 18XX titles in a collection of 29 games accompanied by ASL and SFB made sense... until I saw Munchkin, Werewolf, and Forbidden Island.
 
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Rom tos
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NateStraight wrote:
Romtos wrote:
NateStraight wrote:
You, sir, have a bizarre collection.

How so?


Scrolling through and seeing 9 18XX titles in a collection of 29 games accompanied by ASL and SFB made sense... until I saw Munchkin, Werewolf, and Forbidden Island.


Munchkin lead to Catan lead to Dominion, then I discovered BGG. That lead to Senji to Dominant Species to Essen 2011 (where I picked up like a third of my current collection). That lead to a fascination with 18xx.

Werewolf is just my preferred party game. It never comes out during game night.
 
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Eugene van der Pijll
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Romtos wrote:
I wasn't worried so much about the length, as the relative weight of SoH and Imperial. I'm considering just letting him choose.

Neither of the games is that heavy, really. Letting him choose is probably best.

Quote:
I was considering Age of Steam, but since it's relatively unforgiving compared to Imperial 2030 and SoH, I thought it would less safe than the latter two.

possibly. I based my comment on a single play of Steam, which was not very demanding. Never played Age of Steam. I just didn't see any other medium-length medium-heavy games in your collection.

"just try SoH. If that can't"
What I was trying to say here: if you want to cultivate some interest in 18xx, just play SoH with him, and if that doesn't work, there probably isn't any other game that would work.
 
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Eugene van der Pijll
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Butterfly0038 wrote:
Off topic question: how many plays of SoH would you say we should have before tackling 2er 1860?

1860 has a lot more rules than SoH. Many exceptions, and a number of rules that change during the game (especially in the end phase).

If at least one of the players in the game is an experienced 18xx player, who has studied the rules beforehand and so can keep the game on the rails, the other players just need to have a basic understanding of the system, so 1 play of SoH is enough.

If none of the players has played any other games in the genre, keep playing SoH until you all feel that you know the rules by heart. Four or five plays seems reasonable. Learning a new game is much easier if you can compare the rules to a game you're familiar with.
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pijll wrote:
Quote:
I was considering Age of Steam, but since it's relatively unforgiving compared to Imperial 2030 and SoH, I thought it would less safe than the latter two.

possibly. I based my comment on a single play of Steam, which was not very demanding. Never played Age of Steam. I just didn't see any other medium-length medium-heavy games in your collection.


Steam is known, and designed, to be a more friendly experience than Age of Steam. Though I must say I only played AoS.
 
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Robert Washington

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I DK SoH but I'd swear 2 player IMPERIAL (either flavor) will feel a little pointless and/or empty - it's really the multiplayer competition for territory and controlling interest that makes it great - I admit I've never tried 2 player but again, it feels to me like it would take some time before you've taken up enough space to want/need to really compete.
 
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