What to buy for work?
Steven P
United States
Livermore
California
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I run a gaming group at work that plays at lunch on Thursdays. Today I was told by the diversity group that they might have some funds for me to buy some games for our group (we've been relying on what I and others bring from home).

I've tried to consider the following factors when coming up with a list:
* Reasonably playable at lunch (45-60 min)
* Getting something we know we enjoy (I can take 7 Wonders home now!) vs. chance to get something new
* Accessible to random people vs. meaty for the regular gamers
* A wide variety of different types of games and different numbers of players (fluctuates from 2-10+, but usually around 6 lately; often have people join at the last minute)
* Relatively inexpensive (so we can get more games) vs. something nice
* Things that can survive being in the public – fairly robust, few parts to lose
* Maybe playable outside during events or nice weather?

Help me out here, fellow geeks.

Assume a budget of $200-$250. Give me a list, in order of priority, of what games you would get, their current (approx) price on Amazon, and why you would get it.
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1. Board Game: Tsuro [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:777]
Steven P
United States
Livermore
California
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Here's my list:

* Tsuro, $25 – Extremely easy to learn, plays 2-8, and is quick for multiple plays.
* Great Dalmuti, $15 – Plays 4-8 and scales well, quick rounds, easy to add players
* Forbidden Desert, $20 – Co-op for 2-5; haven't played it, but it's supposed to have a bit more weight than Forbidden Island ($15), but cheaper than Pandemic ($30); torn among the three
* Hive Pocket: $20 – Fantastic 2-player game, pure strategy.
* Hanabi, $10 – Haven't played it, but have heard it's a fantastic, quick co-op; 2-5 players.
* Jaipur, $20 – Another one I haven't tried, but it's rated as one of the best 2-player games.
* Incan Gold, $20 – Great press-your-luck, simultaneous turns
* Ingenious (plastic tile version), $30 – Colorful abstract game to attract newbies, could be played outside
* Five Crowns, $10 – Good alternative for somebody looking for something more "traditional", but better than Uno, Phase 10, etc.
* Qwirkle, $20 – Another colorful abstract that could be played outside.
* Dixit, $25 – Light party game for 3-6, engaging artwork, easily accessible

That puts me at $215. Looks like I leaned pretty heavily toward games I don't already own (except the first two) but have either played or have other reason to think the'll be good. Here are my runner-ups and why they didn't make it higher on the list:
* Pandemic, $30 – Already have a couple of co-ops up there.
* Resistance Avalon, $15 – is said to improve on The Resistance. 5-10 players, hidden traitor. Downside is when people don't get sent on missions they can feel left out.
* 7 Wonders, $35 – We play it a lot because it scales well 3-7. I could take my copy home. But I think I'd rather get something new to try instead. Also, hard for random passers-by to pick up.
* King of Tokyo + Power Up + Halloween: $60 – Really needs the first expansion, and I'd like to try the second. A bit steep, and player elimination is a downside.
 
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2. Board Game: Bananagrams [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:1575] [Average Rating:6.34 Unranked]
Kathleen Nugent
United States
Tamworth
New Hampshire
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and


You need something to attract non-gamers or social gamers. These three aren't expensive and will be accessible to anyone.
 
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3. Board Game: The Little Prince: Make Me a Planet [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:891]
Kathleen Nugent
United States
Tamworth
New Hampshire
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10 Days in the USA $18.99 or one of the other 10 Days games. I'd rather play one where I didn't know the countries so well, like 10 Days in Africa, but it's up to you.

Airships $27.49
Blockers! $12.99 - reminds me of Blokus because of plastic pieces, but completely different - don't get the card game by accident
Cinque Terre $35.99
Kingsburg $33.49
Palazzo $18.99
Through the Desert $20.97

The Little Prince: Make Me a Planet $28.00

The advantages to all these games are:
- they all play at least 4 players
- explanations on how to play would be short and sweet, very easy to pick up
- fit your time frame
- are actual games, not just fillers

 
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4. Board Game: Port Royal [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:400] [Average Rating:7.16 Unranked]
Brian Boyle
Australia
Sydney
NSW
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You seem to have many of the inexpensive, wide-appeal, multi-player count, streamlined component games covered.

I have recently discovered Port Royal. Plays up to five. Just a deck of cards really. But combines the fun of push-your-luck with the multiple strategies for victory reminiscent of San Juan or Race for the Galaxy. No down time to speak of - since everyone has an interest in everyone else's turn. Turns are quick and the game is over within 30mins.
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