Recommendations for Josh
Juan Medina
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Cedar Park
Texas
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Board games rule my life, and my wife's. That is a good thing, believe it or not ;)
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A few gateways for Josh to consider.
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1. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:45]
Juan Medina
United States
Cedar Park
Texas
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Board games rule my life, and my wife's. That is a good thing, believe it or not ;)
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Summary: Collect victory points by building the best wonder. Plays in 45 minute to one hour. Has some resource collection and some conflict, but overall you are building a point generation engine by passing cards around.

Mechanisms: Set collection, card drafting.

Advantages: Plays 2 thru 7. Good expansions. Easy to teach, but has some meat to it.

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2. Board Game: Airlines Europe [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:337]
Juan Medina
United States
Cedar Park
Texas
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Board games rule my life, and my wife's. That is a good thing, believe it or not ;)
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Summary: Invest in Airlines stock and improve them to improve your stock, but it is better if you mooch off others doing so. There is a payoff mechanic that happens at intervals in the game which is the speculation bit, where you need to make sure you hide your intentions to take over a company majority, but want to make sure you play that superiority before the scoring happens.

Mechanisms: Economic speculation, set collection.

Advantages: Awesome economic game with good combination of strategy and luck. Probably the best economic gateway out there.
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3. Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:51]
Juan Medina
United States
Cedar Park
Texas
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Board games rule my life, and my wife's. That is a good thing, believe it or not ;)
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Summary: Collect victory point by completing missions. Complete missions by recruting adventurers, mages, rogues (in reality cubes, so just resources) of the right type. Improve your collection capabilities by acquiring buildings. Acquire buildings and resouces with an action selection mechanism.

Mechanisms: Worker Placement / Action selection, resource collection.

Advantages: Good introduction to the most used mechanism in Euro style games, that is, Worker Placement. Also considered a great gateway.
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4. Board Game: Survive: Escape from Atlantis! [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:253]
Juan Medina
United States
Cedar Park
Texas
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Board games rule my life, and my wife's. That is a good thing, believe it or not ;)
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Summary: Save your people, which are different point value, by getting them to safe shores while escaping a sinking island. At the same time use helpful and harmful sea creatures to help yourself while messing up with others. Great game for those that like some interaction. Base game fits 4, expansion goes up to 6 (highly recommended).

Mechanisms: Dice movement, hidden goals, "take that".

Advantages: Easy to teach and play, cool looks, expansion allows for up to 6 players. I would get this for families/groups that like light games with some confrontation in the mix.
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5. Board Game: Small World [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:206] [Average Rating:7.30 Unranked]
Juan Medina
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Cedar Park
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Board games rule my life, and my wife's. That is a good thing, believe it or not ;)
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Summary: Control areas and collect points for them. To do so, pick a mix of a race with a trait, which will give you certain advantages. Use your race to its advantages to win, avoid being the guy everyone hates.

Mechanisms: Deterministic combat, Area control.

Advantages: Trivial to teach and play, lots of expansions if you want (though the base game is really all you need). A common favorite among entry level players.
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6. Board Game: Libertalia [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:340]
Juan Medina
United States
Cedar Park
Texas
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Board games rule my life, and my wife's. That is a good thing, believe it or not ;)
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Summary: Double-think and outsmart the other players to select the role that will provide you with the most treasure over three rounds. Each round the selection of characters is different, but every player will have those same characters.

Mechanisms: Simultaneous Role Selection, Set collection.

Advantages: Double think done well, with some long term meat.
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7. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:75]
Juan Medina
United States
Cedar Park
Texas
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Board games rule my life, and my wife's. That is a good thing, believe it or not ;)
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Summary: Save the world from dangerous epidemics. Do so by collecting specific cards to cure each strain. While that happens, also control the spread of the viruses or else you all lose.

Mechanisms: Point to point movement, set collection, cooperative.

Advantages: The cooperative game for gateway value. This is as tense as "Ghost Stories" but seems to fit almost every taste.
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8. Board Game: King of Tokyo [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:257]
Juan Medina
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Texas
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Board games rule my life, and my wife's. That is a good thing, believe it or not ;)
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Summary: This is Yahtzee combine with King of the Hill. Collect points by hurting other monsters and also by controlling Tokyo. Being in Tokyo, however, makes you the target of all other players. There are power cards that enhance monsters in different ways. Designed by Richard Garfield (of Magic fame).

Mechanisms: Die Rolling, Yahtzee style.

Advantages: Super easy to teach and play, one that I have never seen coming wrong.
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9. Board Game: Ca$h 'n Gun$ [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:984]
Juan Medina
United States
Cedar Park
Texas
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Board games rule my life, and my wife's. That is a good thing, believe it or not ;)
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Summary: Players have foam guns, and are splitting the loot. Simultaneously they will decide to point to one another. Sometimes they will be bluffing and be unable to fire, while sometimes they are actually have a bullet for their target. People have a chance to bow out, the people remaining will fire (or not if they have no bullets) their weapons. Survivors split the loot evenly. Anything that can't be split remains for the next pot. Do this until all the available money has been split.

Mechanisms: Simultaneous action selection, loot division.

Advantages: Great game to play with a few people (though probably best for 5). Quick and fun, kind of game to play over a few beers for laughs.
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10. Board Game: RoboRally [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:368]
Juan Medina
United States
Cedar Park
Texas
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Board games rule my life, and my wife's. That is a good thing, believe it or not ;)
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Summary: Move your robot to try and reach flags in order. Do so by "programming" your movement with randomly drawn cards. Movement then is executed by all robots, causing a lot of havoc. Furthermore, they do shot a laser at some point in the turn with the possibility of hurting each other. And there are conveyor belts. And holes. And traps. You get the idea. Everyone is racing through the same areas and your best programming will be hampered by what others do.

Mechanisms: Preprogrammed movement, race.

Advantages: Great for people to fool around, very chaotic.
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11. Board Game: Diamant [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:652]
Juan Medina
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Cedar Park
Texas
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Board games rule my life, and my wife's. That is a good thing, believe it or not ;)
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Summary: Keep going into the temple trying to find more and more treasures. However as you go in you will also find hazard cards. When enough hazard cards have been played, all those in are trapped. Do you play it safe and leave while you can, or do you keep going trying to collect more treasure than others?

Mechanisms: Push your luck, set collection.

Advantages: Easy to teach and play, it is all about knowing when to stop, or not.
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12. Board Game: Revolution! [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:1086]
Juan Medina
United States
Cedar Park
Texas
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Board games rule my life, and my wife's. That is a good thing, believe it or not ;)
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Summary: Add control cubes to areas in the board by influencing or bribing characters. However, all other players are doing the same, and the bribe phase is hidden and simultaneous. Whoever bribes higher will get the action. Cool and quick, requires people to play it light.

Mechanisms: Simultaneous Auction, area majority.

Advantages: Quick to play, easy to explain, lots of blockage between players.
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13. Board Game: Lords of Vegas [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:371]
Juan Medina
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Cedar Park
Texas
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Board games rule my life, and my wife's. That is a good thing, believe it or not ;)
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Summary: Control vegas casinos to get payouts at certain times. Muscle people out by attempting to improve your position on the casino. Lots of luck, but controlled luck.

Mechanisms: Die rolling, betting, area control, economic.

Advantages: Good for people that like controlled chaos, calculating odds, and fighting for territory.
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14. Board Game: Nexus Ops [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:373]
Juan Medina
United States
Cedar Park
Texas
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Board games rule my life, and my wife's. That is a good thing, believe it or not ;)
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Summary: Like Risk, but with a space theme. Plays fast and has neat mechanics. Very streamlined.

Mechanisms: Dudes on a map, area control.

Advantages: Ages better than playing Risk, teaches and plays in little time.
 
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15. Board Game: Batman: Gotham City Strategy Game [Average Rating:6.06 Overall Rank:4375]
Juan Medina
United States
Cedar Park
Texas
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Board games rule my life, and my wife's. That is a good thing, believe it or not ;)
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Mechanisms: Area control, area influence.

Advantages: Simple to explain, good thematic flavor (you play the villains, Batman kicks your butt).
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