Complex strategy board game with easy rules.
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United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
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Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future. H.G. Wells
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Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect. Chief Seattle
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I am not bad at reading and comprehending board game rules, quite the contrary.

Almost every time I have been taught a board game I went on to purchase myself after reading the rules I find out that I was taught incorrectly, or that rules were missed or misinterpreted or misapplied.

What I do know is that the more rules a game has, and the more complex or obtuse they are, the less likely the game is to be played correctly.

I'm the kind of guy who prefers to play games correctly, but even I make mistakes playing games I am very familiar with and even in game groups with players who are very familiar with the game.

This is a list of games that have easy to remember and intuitive rules, with a strong preference toward games that don't have rules which are applied sporadically. I like rules that are applied the same way in all cases so I don't have to try and remember when and where to apply which rule.
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1. Board Game: Hansa Teutonica [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:108]
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United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
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Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future. H.G. Wells
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Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect. Chief Seattle
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The rules are easy to teach and intuitive.

Rules likely to be forgotten

-Moving the filled cities cube
Consequences little, I have never heard of a game ending for filling ten cities.

-Refilling a bonus chip
Consequences medium, This will be a drawback for the latter players who won't have access to that chip for later rounds.

-Not scoring when someone claims a route adjacent to a city you control
Consequences medium, obviously no one wants to leave points on the table.

-When to score a certain section
Consequences high, this should be checked in the rulebook if uncertain. Since the game ends at 20 points you will want to make sure whether the points are scored in game or after if you aren't sure.
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2. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:15]
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United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
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Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future. H.G. Wells
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Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect. Chief Seattle
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While you will probably have to refer to the rulebook for setup, after that you should be good to go. The interaction of some buildings can cause uncertainty.

Rules likely to be forgotten

-Filling the colonist ship
Conequences medium, This will benefit someone and hinder most likely the next to take the colonist ship. But missing this is easily rectified as you simply refill the ship to the minimum level refilling the ship after the Mayor role was missed.
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3. Board Game: Caylus [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:45]
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United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
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Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future. H.G. Wells
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Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect. Chief Seattle
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One of the best worker placement games has pretty easy to remember rules.

Rules likely to be forgotten

-Taking points from an opponent using your building
Consequences medium, obviously no one wants to leave points on the table.

-Not having access to King's privilege section before the associated scoring section is complete.
Consequences high, if someone is concentrating on a certain Kings privilege and getting access to a stage before they should have access to it will give them a sizable advantage.

Rules misunderstood

-A lot of people think they can advance in one section of the Kings privilege while taking the reward from another. You will have to watch those you are playing with.
 
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4. Board Game: Homesteaders [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:490]
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United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
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Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future. H.G. Wells
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Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect. Chief Seattle
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There is a lot going on here to remember with all the buildings abilities and the huge number of trading and selling options. But the rules are pretty straight forward.

Rules likely to be forgotten

-Set up
Consequences high, It is very easy to set up the auction cards incorrectly. Taking the time to go over the set up with the rule book is worth it.
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5. Board Game: Il Vecchio [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:1230]
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United States
Wurtsboro
NY
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6. Board Game: Dungeon Petz [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:137]
Zigi Hogan
United States
The Ozarks
Missouri
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Due to the theme this is actually a relatively easy game (for some) but what makes this complex is the mutitude of things you can do and choices to make and how those choices affect your pets.

There are many choices on the board and each one has a totally different strategic timing of when to take those actions. Then when caring for you pet there is the drawing of cards, assignment of imps, which pet to place needs cards on, which "bad" thing you want to happen to which pet, etc, etc, etc.

I have taught this game to several people who were not experienced boardgamers and they would usually pick it up pretty quickly. I think the theme is the strongest point on teaching this game because the actions you take are intuitive to taking care of your pets.

I took someone else's advice on BGG and play one dummy round to get people used to game flow and the myriad of choices they will be making and it rarely turns into a night of "what can I do now?" questions.
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7. Board Game: Lancaster [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:250]
Rob Steward
United States
Meridian
Idaho
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Played this for the first time recently.

Easy rules to pick up, then quite a bit of complexity in the actual gameplay. Enjoyed this one quite a bit.
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8. Board Game: Dominant Species [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:52]
Michael J
United States
Folsom
California
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Dominant Species has very simple rules, but plays as complex as any game on this list. The available actions are very simple, and there are no special cases or exceptions to note.
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9. Board Game: Trajan [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:71]
Ian Noble
United States
El Dorado Hills
California
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Once you learn the Kalah mechanic, everything is pretty straightforward. There are just a ton of choices to make throughout the game...that is what makes it great.
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10. Board Game: Go [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:121]
Chris Wilczewski
United States
Folsom
California
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Really any abstract falls into this category, but the basics of Go can be taught in a few minutes, and I don't think anyone would complain that it lacks in strategy.
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11. Board Game: Imperial 2030 [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:167]
Stefano Di Silvio
Austria
Wien
Wien
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I'm still new in the boardgaming hobby, but between the few games that I own or that I played I cannot find a game so strategically intense and so simple in the rules as Imperial.

The rondel and the other mechanics are so logical and easy to understand and still the game is really hard to master, because it gives you a lot of options and so many paths for a strategy.
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12. Board Game: In the Year of the Dragon [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:220]
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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The rules to this game can be taught in a couple minutes, but it is a very deep game. There are no complicated exceptions, and the uses for the resources and the effects of the disasters are both intuitive (you need to feed your people during drought, healers each protect a person during contagion, you must pay money during taxes, etc). Each round a player only takes two actions-- placing their dragon on an action space and playing a person card from their hand. However, the game is very deep with many paths to victory and requires long-term planning in order to be successful.
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13. Board Game: Chess [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:415] [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked]
Max DuBoff
United States
New Brunswick
New Jersey
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Habeo in animo vivere in perpetuum aut mori dum conor.
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Need I say more?
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