Openers (or Countdown to Gaming)
Mark Goadrich
United States
Conway
Arkansas
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I'm looking for games that work well for the start of a gaming session, when people are still popping in. I'd like them to be able to add players anytime, and either stop anytime or go on for no more than 1/2 and hour. Here's what I've found so far, please add to this list if you know of others like this (or point me to an existing geeklist I should already know about..) Thanks!
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1. Board Game: Apples to Apples [Average Rating:5.90 Overall Rank:3152] [Average Rating:5.90 Unranked]
Mark Goadrich
United States
Conway
Arkansas
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We used this last time and it worked well, as you can start anytime by picking up 7 cards and joining in the next green apple.
 
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2. Board Game: Squint [Average Rating:6.02 Overall Rank:4188]
Mark Goadrich
United States
Conway
Arkansas
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Again, you can drop in anytime and start puzzling together pictures. You don't even need to keep score, just go until it feels like time to move on.
 
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3. Board Game: SET [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:1220]
Mark Goadrich
United States
Conway
Arkansas
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I remember playing this one in college with my Math professors. If only I wasn't partially color-blind I might have had a chance...
 
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4. Board Game: Zendo [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:706]
Mark Goadrich
United States
Conway
Arkansas
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I haven't played this one yet, but it seems to fit the bill...
 
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5. Board Game: Ricochet Robots [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:571] [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Mark Goadrich
United States
Conway
Arkansas
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Another one to burn your brain while people show up.
 
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6. Board Game: Fluxx [Average Rating:5.69 Overall Rank:6637]
Mark Goadrich
United States
Conway
Arkansas
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With the rules always changing, no one will notice adding an extra player to the mix. They might even be able to win.
 
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7. Board Game: Clans [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:1138]
Rami S
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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This can be a excellent filler while waiting for others, it's does not take too much time to finish and it's simple, the rules are to learn.
 
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8. Board Game: Modern Naval Battles [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:3665]
Daniel Harrison
Australia
Sydney
NSW
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This is a good one. A few rules but fast play and new players can join with few hassles.

Long out of print but there is a new version on it's way -
'Naval Battles Vol.I' by Phalanx Games
 
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9. Board Game: Nuclear War [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:2302] [Average Rating:6.21 Unranked]
Martin Munzel
Germany
Göttingen
Unspecified
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I like this one as an opener; I've never tried adding players in mid-game, but it's quick and usually a lot of fun in my group, ideal to get people into a gaming mood in case they weren't already!
 
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10. Board Game: Things... [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:2965] [Average Rating:6.14 Unranked]
Steve Bennett
United States
Grinnell
Iowa
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I won't be satisfied until I've added this game to every geeklist! Winning is irrelevant, so people can slide in and out of the game at will. It's perfect for that period before the serious gaming starts.
 
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11. Board Game: No Thanks! [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:391]
Mark Goadrich
United States
Conway
Arkansas
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It's quick, less than 10 minutes, and tense fun. Works for 3-5 players, if you have more than that, you shouldn't be playing an opener...
 
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12. Board Game: Coda [Average Rating:6.09 Overall Rank:2886]
Mark Goadrich
United States
Conway
Arkansas
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Another fast deduction game great for playing as people show up. The rounds are fast, and a good balance betweeen guessing and knowing the other player's code makes people talkative, where most deduction games are quiet affairs.
 
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