If You Like San Juan, You Might Also Like...
kat costa
United States
Paradise
California
flag msg tools
badge
Who dares disturb the Hobnob Goblin?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
I love San Juan! Often when I find another game I really enjoy, I find myself relating it back to San Juan in some way. So here are some game recommendations for you if you enjoy San Juan.
Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
  • [+] Dice rolls
1. Board Game: San Juan [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:228]
kat costa
United States
Paradise
California
flag msg tools
badge
Who dares disturb the Hobnob Goblin?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Here's San Juan, the game that started it all. (Okay, Puerto Rico did came first, but San Juan has more replay value because the cards are random and each session feels different.)

What I Love About It:
I love the versatility of San Juan. Building cards and factory cards are also money. So it's impossible to draw a "bad card" -- if you don't like it, you can spend it. San Juan keeps all players engaged on anyone's turn because all players take the action selected by the current player.

I enjoy the opportunity San Juan offers me to build something up from nothing. It's just a fun, satisfying game.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
2. Board Game: Bruges [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:195]
kat costa
United States
Paradise
California
flag msg tools
badge
Who dares disturb the Hobnob Goblin?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Players: 2-4
Duration: 45 minutes



I love Bruges! Unlike San Juan, Bruges does have a traditional board in the center of the table. But the board is really just a big tracking chart with beautiful artwork. The meat of Bruges' play happens with the cards in your hand. As with San Juan, the same card can be used for many different purposes depending on your choice: build a house, hire an employee, collect money, defend your town from rats, engineer a canal...


Each card features a townsperson who can be hired to help you with his/her special abilities, much like the Building/Factory cards work in San Juan. And just like in San Juan, if you don't like that character, you can spend the card itself to collect money or resources instead.


Bruges has a random card draw, so there is chance in the game, but you're not at the mercy of it since each card can be used in so many different ways.

Bruges is very much like San Juan, but with better artwork and a little more complexity.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
3. Board Game: Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:568]
kat costa
United States
Paradise
California
flag msg tools
badge
Who dares disturb the Hobnob Goblin?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Players: 1-4
Duration: 15-45 minutes



Roll Through the Ages is a die-rolling game played with pen and paper. There aren't even any cards. So how is this game similar to San Juan? A little aspect I like to call the Arc of Improvement.

You know how when you first start out in a game of San Juan, you are in an utterly pathetic and impoverished position with your one measly indigo plant? And then how satisfying it is to be able to build up, little by little, to the point that you're raking in the dough and getting victory points every time anybody ships because of your awesome Harbor that chains off of your Office?

Roll Through the Ages is like that. You start out rolling only three dice and just hoping to gather enough food to feed your three humble cities, but you gradually build up your little world by building more cities, buying permanent abilities and bonuses, and assigning your workers to build pyramids and great monuments. By the end of the game, you've gone from basic survival to rocking this whole running-a-civilization thing.

This is a satisfying arc of play, and both San Juan and Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age have it.



There are also real choices concerning whether to re-roll and then how to assign the resources the dice give you. Near game-end, you and your opponent will likely have diverged significantly.

I really enjoy Roll Through the Ages; if you're open to pen-and-pencil games and you like San Juan, you will probably like this.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
4. Board Game: Enemy Chocolatier [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:3544]
kat costa
United States
Paradise
California
flag msg tools
badge
Who dares disturb the Hobnob Goblin?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Players: 2-6
Duration: 30 minutes



Enemy Chocolatier: The game where you work at a chocolate factory and are secretly trying to challenge the supremacy of the current factory owner by forming your own upstart candy factory.

Enemy Chocolatier seems at first glance very different from San Juan. All the action takes place on the board, there is a big area-control aspect, and each player gets only one card.

But Enemy Chocolatier follows the same Arc of Improvement as San Juan. You start out as a poor schmuck with no property and a $2 salary, and end up owning a good portion of the confection-producing world. You win either by acquiring 20 victory points, or by being the first player to complete your personal secret recipe.

Instead of playing down cards to improve your lot, you place your tokens on little houses. Each house gets you closer to meeting the ingredient requirements on your secret recipe. Buy up all the houses in a block, and you've got yourself an increased salary and often a special ability that stays with you for the rest of the game.



The replayability factor with Enemy Chocolatier is similar to San Juan's because of Enemy Chocolatier's modular board. The whole board is made up of eight panels, all of which can be rotated individually and then positioned in one of eight places around the central panel. So each game starts out fresh. But other than the one secret recipe card everyone is dealt at the beginning of the game, the initial setup provides the only randomness there is. All the other information is out in the open.

Each game takes maybe half an hour. You can tell when a game is well-balanced by waiting for someone to announce a win and then watching to see how many players gasp and pipe up that they were only one turn away from winning themselves. This happens all the time in Enemy Chocolatier. It's a nice, light game that you would probably enjoy if you're a San Juan player in the mood for chocolate.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
5. Board Game: Targi [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:149]
kat costa
United States
Paradise
California
flag msg tools
badge
Who dares disturb the Hobnob Goblin?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Players: 2
Duration: 60 minutes

If you enjoy 2-player San Juan, you might enjoy 2-player Targi. Like San Juan, Targi makes a big, table-filling game out of a small box of cards.



Like in San Juan, you have a little tableau on your side of the table, and the cards you add to it can combine for extra points at the end. Certain cards give you immediate benefits, such as collecting two goods of your choice, and certain cards give you smaller benefits that last for the whole game, such as getting an extra salt token every time you collect salt.

The corner of someone's tableau


At the beginning of each round, you and your opponent each take turns placing your markers on the edges of the board. The place where your markers cross determines the cards in the middle that you will interact with that turn. Some of the cards can be purchased to add to your tableau, and some cards allow you to draw from the goods deck. There's tension over who will get that coveted collect-a-gold card, or whether your opponent will see that you need one last camel card to complete your camel row and will try to block you out of that spot. After each round, the empty spaces in the middle of the board are replaced with a random draw, so there is enough chance to keep things interesting.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
6. Board Game: Catan Card Game [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:736]
kat costa
United States
Paradise
California
flag msg tools
badge
Who dares disturb the Hobnob Goblin?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Players: 2
Duration: 60 minutes



Catan Card Game is a completely different experience than Settlers of Catan.

Catan Card Game takes you on the same kind of city-building ride that San Juan does, but with a few twists of its own. Resource collection is done not by a player's choosing that phase, but every round by die roll. Both games make clever use of the physical properties of their cards to include a goods collection mechanism without actually including separate bits for those goods. In San Juan, you produce resources by placing a face-down card on top of your factory card. In Catan Card Game, you rotate your goods card to indicate the increase:



The dice determine which resources you both (potentially) collect and what event happens to both players at once. While most phases in San Juan are a boon of some kind, events in Catan Card Game are more likely to be an attack of brigands or a country-wide famine than a plentiful harvest year. There is a lot of emphasis on military stuff, with players constantly outdoing each other in knights and fighting power to take control of the Windmill token for bonus points.



If you're not bothered by the negative events, you'll probably enjoy Catan Card Game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.