New Gaming Family Party: Games for the non-gamers that they will love.
J. David Koch
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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Just joined BGG and I want to thank you all for the wonderful suggestions you made on games to play for the non-gaming friends and family.

Before the holidays, I got all of the following games on this list and we have been having a blast ever since!

On Christmas we had 18 people over and everyone from my in laws, to my kids, and their kids had a great time. We also had some of the neighbors and everywhere you looked around the house, everyone was laughing, talking, and gaming.

It was a wonderful sight.

All of these games were very easy to teach and get people up and going quickly.

After this experience, my wife is now a confirmed gamer and can not wait to see what we pick up next.

Here is my list of can't miss games that can turn your next get together into a great party.

We have another game night set up in a couple of days and most everyone is coming back again.

Again thank you all for the wonderful site and suggestions for games that would work for non gaming people. I believe we now have a good starting library that will always guarantee that there will be fun and laughter in our home no matter who might drop by.

If you have any other suggestions as to other games that might fill the bill for introducing new friends and family to this wonderful hobby, please let me know.

It's a pleasure to be a new member of your BGG family.
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1. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:130] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
J. David Koch
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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This is the first game I picked up last month and I can confirm that it is the perfect "entry" game for those folks that have never played a non-traditionl board game.
The game was full all night. I kept hearing "chugga, chugga, chugga" from my father in law as he was placing his cars. And this from a guy that never wanted to play anything other than Euchre.
 
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2. Board Game: Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:294]
J. David Koch
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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We had quite a few card games going that night. I spent a lot of time going around and helping new players figure out how to play them. Once I showed one person, they would explain it to someone else. This game got a lot of play. My youngest son (17) was a big fan of it.
 
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3. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:139] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
J. David Koch
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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Another game that got a lot of play. My neighbor and his wife were at this table most of the evening. He told me today that he was going out and getting it for his family. A new gaming family is born.
 
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4. Board Game: Jambo [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:513] [Average Rating:7.04 Unranked]
J. David Koch
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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My new favorite 2 player. The more I play this, the deeper it gets. Very easy to explain to a newbie and the strategy just seems to come naturally after a few rounds.
 
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5. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:292] [Average Rating:7.21 Unranked]
J. David Koch
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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Of course no library would be complete without this exceptional game. Picked it up with the 5-6 player expansion and I spent some time rotating people in and out of this one all night. Everyone just loved it and all six seats were filled the entire party. What can I say? People just loved it.
Easy to pick up and folks just kept coming back for more.
 
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6. Board Game: Bohnanza [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:379]
J. David Koch
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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My suggestion is that you make sure that the table you set up with Bohnanza is far away from the Settlers table. The hooting and hollering that goes on with this one will just make you smile. Of course the expansion that lets more people play is a must. At least 4 folks are picking up their own copy of this one.
 
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7. Board Game: Ra [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:136]
J. David Koch
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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Another wonderful acquisition. Never thought an auction game could be so much fun. Took a little while for everyone to get the hang of it, but once they did, it just got better and better.
 
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8. Board Game: Carcassonne: The Castle [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:517]
J. David Koch
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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My oldest son and his wife just hung out all night playing this one. She loved it and he could not convince her to try another one. Needless to say, he was picking it up for her the next day.
 
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9. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.05 Overall Rank:15]
 
J. David Koch
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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We did not get to play this one that night since it was under the Christmas tree for me and I had not had the chance to read the rules yet. But, you can bet that we will have it up and going for the next game night.
 
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10. Board Game: Saboteur [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:880] [Average Rating:6.61 Unranked]
Matthew Wills
Australia
Panania
NSW
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Saboteur has been a surprise hit with my non-gamer friends.

Plays with 3-10 with a very simple ruleset. The Saboteur (traitor) aspect is lots of fun and results in many accusations flying around the table.

There is not a massive amount of strategy and depth to the game (although there is some), but the interaction within the game (especially with more players) is great for non-gamers.
 
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11. Board Game: San Juan [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:234]
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This went over really big with my 16 year-old sister-in-law.
 
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12. Board Game: For Sale [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:260]
Stephen Roney
United States
Ladera Ranch
California
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This game was a hit with my wife and daughter (who quickly dismissed Carcassonne). In fact, they probably liked it better than I did.......
 
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13. Board Game: Blokus 3D [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:924] [Average Rating:6.81 Unranked]
Ryan Stich
United States
Warner Robins
Georgia
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This was a huge hit for a very large family at Thanksgiving. The family got into it so much that there ended up being a lot of board games under christmas trees this year.
 
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14. Board Game: Apples to Apples [Average Rating:5.88 Overall Rank:3383] [Average Rating:5.88 Unranked]
Jason Birzer
United States
Burke
Virginia
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Wow, this list is this long already, and no Apples To Apples? For me, it is probably the ultimate party game. Pretty simple and non-competitive, with a low embarrisment factor. It is especially good to play with people you know.
 
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15. Board Game: Rage [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:2761]
J. David Koch
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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Forgot this and the next addition on list when I did the first listing. For those folks that wanted something closer to a traditional card game. We had both this and "Wizard" available, but this is the one that got more plays.
 
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16. Board Game: Marry, Date or Dump? [Average Rating:4.36 Overall Rank:15108]
J. David Koch
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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I bought this one for my wife for Christmas. She played it at a friends house a couple of months ago and she asked me to get it for her. A number of her friends played today and they seemed to have a good time, but frankly, this was not something I found at all interesting.
 
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17. Board Game: Werewolf [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:1251]
Bryan Johnson
United States
Salem
Massachusetts
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Perhaps the ultimate party game.
 
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18. Board Game: Fluxx [Average Rating:5.69 Overall Rank:6914]
William Hostman
United States
Alsea
OR
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Took this to the wife's work Christmas Party. (Local McDonald's - Managers party at store manager's home.) 6 people, much laughter after the first hand... It nicely filled the time between dinner and desert.

Had one person ask me where to get it.
 
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19. Board Game: Mystery of the Abbey [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1110]
Wim Vanherle
Belgium
Sint-Gillis-Dendermonde
O-Vlaanderen
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Mystery of the Abbey is perfect for people who like Clue (aka Cluedo), and are not afraid of a little extra, or who like murder mysteries in general.

This is a game that is quickly understood, even by non-Geeks and provides lots of fun and interactivity with a very interesting theme. A real party-blesser!
 
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20. Board Game: Vegas Showdown [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:432]
Lyman Hurd
United States
Cupertino
California
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This was a surprise hit with my non-gaming sister. The fact that she won two games in a row did not hurt the cause!
 
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21. Board Game: BANG! [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:1055]
Scott M
United States
Lake Hiawatha
New Jersey
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Plays 4-7 out of the box, more with expansions. Inexpensive, light and fairly quick playing this one is a hit and has become a staple with our group.
 
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22. Board Game: Blokus [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:546]
Loren P
United States
Winston-Salem
North Carolina
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Although I thought this game would be way too abstract and brainy for your non-gamer, I was very surprised when my entire family loved it. It is incredibly easy to learn. It takes about 30 seconds to explain how to play and another minute and a half to give some good starting strategy tips. Yet the fun value and the replay value are high.
 
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23. Board Game: Family Business [Average Rating:6.10 Overall Rank:2500]
Loren P
United States
Winston-Salem
North Carolina
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I believe this game is out of print, but it's definitely worth trading or Ebaying to try to get it. This is a hit with my gaming friends and with my non-gaming family - it always gets requests. However, it's not that good with fewer than 4 people and it's not good for ultra-competitive or ultra-sensitive groups. Definitely number one on my list of games to recommend for the non-gamer groups.
 
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