I'm looking for suggestions for games to buy in the future, or at least, put on my wishlist/check out. I primarily play with my girlfriend, though occasionally we have people over to play (up to around 5, altogether). I guess a target of 2-4 is ideal.
Games that have flopped:
Castles of Burgundy
The above two, mainly for thematic reasons. Nothing about farming, please, or manual labor in general. The SO didn't like how long these games felt, with little to no interaction.
Anything with super direct confrontation, e.g. Risk. Indirect confrontation is encouraged.
Games that have succeeded, and why:
Race for the Galaxy
These games seem to get better as you know the game, with great subtle interaction between players. I guess they all have a bit of aggression to them, as well.
Games that have been okay, and why:
Dominant Species -- with only one play, we love all the options and how many ways you have to substantially affect the game. On the other hand, the game might be a little too hard for us, right now. And in general, it might be too "area control" for my GF.
Summoner Wars -- this has clicked with me, but not with my GF. She says she never leaves this game feeling satisfied, win or loss. Perhaps too tactical.
Dominion-- We prefer Intrigue to the base game, and might like Dark Ages. I guess the best part for us is feeling out the "rush" for VPs at the end, and the tension to that point.
Samurai-- This was really great to us for a while, but has started to fizzle, as we generally go for the same patterns. We love playing it with other people though, and are pretty brutal with the stealing.
Games that I'm considering:
Ghost Stories -- super hard, GF loves tower defense games, and this reminds me of those...
Caylus -- looks like a really difficult worker placement, lots of fans of this game, we like the fact that you pay a cost for using others' building
Space Alert -- potentially difficult coop, different from other games we have due to timing mechanic, usable for groups
In The Year of the Dragon -- punishing Feld game, I've played this a few times, and I question how much depth the game has after you get a grasp on not dying/combating the prestige strategy/researching
Glen More -- GF loves the look of this game, simple to set up and play, perhaps medium depth is right in our range?, tension in tile selection even with the dice rolling
Hansa T -- I like this game due to the "tech tree," GF doesn't seem to be a huge fan of the actual cube placement in this game
Chicago Express -- Auction game masquerading as a train placement game. We have been +/- on auctions -- Ra did not work for us, nor did Modern Art, but we love Homesteaders/like Goa. We also question how much play this would get, without a 2p option?
Last Will -- Pretty new, old mechanics, but backwards in that you are losing money rapidly. Potentially good game for when gamers are bored of the same old.
In general, we are pretty happy with our collection, with lots of gateway games for our general friends and some nice games for ourselves + more gamer friends. We are looking for a little bit of diversification, as we will likely only buy a few more games per year.
Thank you so much for your opinions and thoughts!
There's quite a spread in your options in terms of difficulty, length and suitable player range so it's not that easy to give recommendations. but i'll try.
Caylus: Bit surprised that you like Puerto Rico but dislike Agricola and Stone Age, it doesn't strike me to have more interaction than those two - I doubt you'd enjoy Caylus that much based on your dislike criteria (even though you like Puerto Rico so it could swing either way). I wouldn't recommend it though based on what you seem to dislike - little or no interaction.
Chicago Express: Excellent game with more players, with 2 players it doesn't make much sense - as you say it's an "auction game", a game of economic speculation - if you like economic games it's a top 5 game. The Goa comparison is a bit off, more in common with the heavier 18xx series.
Last Will is another multiplayer solitaire game (but so is Puerto Rico)
In the Year of the Dragon - I wouldn't say the game looses depth after many plays - if you like it, you should go for it - it's quite accessible - plays well with the whole range of players, of course as with many other games on your list it's a multiplayer solitaire.
Ghost Stories - this is probably what I'd recommend to you the strongest of the games on your list, based on theme, length, difficulty, theme and player range. of course it's very different than any of the games you've liked insofar so perhaps better try before you buy.
- Last edited Wed Jan 9, 2013 10:42 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Wed Jan 9, 2013 8:30 pm
Vanuatu might give you that Euro-y conflict interaction you are looking for. Check it out.
It's awesome that your request is so detailed. The tricky thing with game recommendations is figuring out why a person likes or dislikes a given game or game experience.
It's interesting that Puerto Rico was a hit but Stone Age and Agricola were not. I find Agricola to be significantly dryer than Puerto Rico, but that doesn't explain Stone Age. That said, I'll assume you won't like anything in the Harvest Series as they're similar in feel to Agricola.
Caylus is a very dry heavy Euro. My wife loves it, but she also loved Agricola. It does have a strong interactive mechanic with the provost which might make the difference for you, but my gut would be to not recommend it. Instead, I suggest you take a look at Lords of Waterdeep which has the mechanic of using other players' buildings that you mentioned. It's also a lighter game, less dry, that feels a bit more engaging than some of the heavier Euros.
You enjoyed Homesteaders, so I'd highly suggest looking at the other medium weight Euros put out by Tasty Minstrel; specifically Belfort and Village. Both of these are light on randomness but also manage to incorporate a sense of humor into their design and theme. In Village you can actually kill off your villagers to score points which is, in my opinion, freaking awesome.
Some other Euro style games to check out that might offer a different feel but still fit your criteria include: Edo (Japanese theme with samurai who don't fight), Navegador (economic Euro with quick play due to a rondel system and an exploration theme) and Trajan (lots of options, quick turns and an interesting variation on the rondel system where you displace colored pieces to plan your move options).
- Last edited Wed Jan 9, 2013 9:24 pm (Total Number of Edits: 2)
- Posted Wed Jan 9, 2013 9:22 pm
Hansa Teutonica is great, but the interaction is not subtle... it can actually be pretty vicious.
Last Will is just great, all around.
Glen More and Caylus are very good games, but thematically they're very weak... certainly as weak or weaker than Agricola, Stone Age and Castles of Burgundy.
In my opinion, Space Alert is very difficult unless you can devote a ton of time to getting good at it. (I imagine that my all-male D&D gaming group from 25 years ago would have played this game a lot... but it's not great with players of different skill levels or anyone without quick thinking. I also doubt it would be good with just 2, but I never tried.)
Like you, I also really like In the Year of the Dragon.
Here are a few others that come to mind, based on your "successes":
Innovation (but I only recommend it with 2-3)
Navegador seems to fit everything you mention (love this game)
Vanuatu has indirect confrontation... in massive quantities!
Troyes is a euro/dice game, very interesting
Thanks for your comments! I tried to be as comprehensive as I could, to try to help people out.
Nico -- I suppose what I dislike about Gric and Stone Age is that you cannot really impact your opponents, outside of potentially denying them certain resources. With Puerto Rico, I feel more like I can impact the flow of the game, by picking roles at different times. An example might be the forced shipping, or alternatively, blocking off a ship. I hope that helps!
Ghost Stories is definitely my favorite of the bunch. I've tried it on Vassal alone, but of course it's not the same.
Nyn -- We do own and love Lords of Waterdeep! It's simple, and that is sort of where we discovered the using other people's building mechanic, and the associated tradeoffs.
Stone Age was a little less dry for us, theme-wise, but there were also other aspects we didn't like -- not a huge fan of that particular use of dice, did not like the end scoring cards, etc.
The Tasty Minstrel games you listed, as well as Edo and Trajan, are definitely on my radar, especially Belfort. The GF thinks Trajan's mancala use is a little kitschy, but I'm a sucker for stuff like that .
Rob -- I'm still a bit lukewarm about Hansa T. I feel like I'm missing a tech tree type of game, but it's hard to say if that will be the right one.
Note that I don't mind themelessness that much, but I'm sure my friends might. However, I'm not a fan of certain themes, which would push me away. For some reason, my girlfriend REALLY likes the look of Glen More, so..
We have looked at Innovation, but decided against it (too many card games already..). Troyes also used to be on my radar after I bought Macao, but fell off of it.
I will look into Navegador and Vanuatu, as I'm not familiar with either and they've been multi-suggested. Thanks again!
Have you tried Santiago de Cuba. You can play it on yucata.de. It is really fun and there are a lot of things to do to deny opponents what they need. Very fun. Also, the board set up changes every time, contributing to replayability.
Hawaii is another one that's has quite a bit of that same kind of interaction. It's a bit heavier though, IMO. Also random board set up. Lots of bits, too, made it seem fiddly at first but now that we are used to it and streamlined our storage, it has streamlined the set up. You can also try it on yucata.de.
Just trying to get a bit more feedback!
I've done some research, and based on comments, perhaps I will drop Caylus, Space Alert a peg or two, and lift Ghost Stories to a must buy. Glen More I will likely end up purchasing, to play with the SO.
I liked what I saw of both Navegador and Vanuatu. Both look very promising.
Kathy -- I have tried Hawaii in person, and I did not care for it much. I tried it again on BGA, and it enjoyed it more, so I might contain it to an online entertainment for now. I haven't tried Santiago de Cuba, but it seems like a fun little game. I will look into it a bit more.