non-CCG cards-with-rules-printed-on-them
Mark Hudson
United States
Los Angeles
California
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I am interested in getting a couple of small (as-in-portable) games for travel next month, so I immediately thought of Fluxx or Chrononauts, with which I've started the list. I've played neither and would appreciate your input. Thirdly, I listed "Girl Genius: The Works" which I own, but have never actually played with anyone [yet?].

Fourthly, I list Mü as an example of a small, highly-rated game, but of the kind I DON't want on this list due to it small-print rule-book.

Basically I am looking for light/filler games that strike a balance between 52-card known-quantity abstracts (which, though sometimes fun, my visually-oriented mind doesn't thrill to) on the one hand, and the way-complex gotta-invest-lots-of-time&money collectibles with hundreds of possible cards like Magic:TG and cohorts.

Finally, no meeples or other bits allowed for this list. I like them at home, but don't want to lose them while travelling.

Thanks for your input and recommendations.
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1. Board Game: Chrononauts [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:1944] [Average Rating:6.22 Unranked]
Mark Hudson
United States
Los Angeles
California
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Modular board time travel theme by Looney Labs. This one gets extra points since it also has a single-player mode.

I do not currently own this, but am seriously considering it.
 
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2. Board Game: Fluxx [Average Rating:5.69 Overall Rank:6614] [Average Rating:5.69 Unranked]
Mark Hudson
United States
Los Angeles
California
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Fluxx is the ever-changing-rules light group fun game from what I hear.

I do not currently own this. Maybe someday.
 
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3. Board Game: Girl Genius: The Works [Average Rating:6.05 Overall Rank:4207]
Mark Hudson
United States
Los Angeles
California
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Own but haven't played. Honestly it doesn't seem that great just by reading the rules. Why did I buy this? Oh yeah, I have a soft spot for James Earnest's CheapAss line.
 
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4. Board Game: Mü & More [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:824]
Mark Hudson
United States
Los Angeles
California
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I actually bought "MÜ & More" yesterday, and am looking forward to trying it...in a certain sense. The one deterrent is that the rulebook seems so dry and scoring so complex--we may just end up playing the Lost Cities rules. This was the one that made me think, "I want a colorful game with rules printed on the fronts of the cards."
(The Mü deck art is "nice" but so small.)
 
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5. Board Game: Blue Moon [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:877]
David Boeren
United States
Marietta
Georgia
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If you want a non-C CCG, Blue Moon is a great pick
 
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6. Board Game: Castle [Average Rating:6.11 Overall Rank:2829]
bruno faidutti
France
PARIS
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Serge and I designed Castle when we were mostly playing MtG. There's no deck construction on it, but it's a game of card combos just like most CCGs, with each card havng its special power. And I also think it's one of the most underrated of my own games...
 
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7. Board Game: Camelot Legends [Average Rating:6.13 Overall Rank:3234]
Dane Peacock
United States
Stansbury Park
Utah
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This May be a little heavier that what you are looking for, but a good game nevertheless.

The cards are text heavy, but it is easy to grasp.


 
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8. Board Game: Hex Hex [Average Rating:5.89 Overall Rank:5034]
The root of all evil... but you can call me cookie.
United States
Gainesville
Florida
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Hex Hex has quickly become one of my favorite games of this style. Such a great game that changes with each win. Read the review by Tom Vasel then if you are interested I reviewed it and added a little blurb in as well. I did a session report too (it wont SR of the week last week.) SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION OVER. I did these things because...I love Hex Hex.
 
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9. Board Game: Labyrinth: The Card Game [Average Rating:5.57 Overall Rank:10751]
The root of all evil... but you can call me cookie.
United States
Gainesville
Florida
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A very good card adaptation of the board game. Works very well in this fashion.
 
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10. Board Game: Spite & Malice [Average Rating:5.85 Overall Rank:6229]
The root of all evil... but you can call me cookie.
United States
Gainesville
Florida
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Wal-Mart has this game for $4.99. Can't beat that as it's actually a very fun little game with fantastic artwork.
 
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11. Board Game: Fairy Tale [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:743]
J
United States
Lexington
Kentucky
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Fairy Tale is a really good game. Only takes about 15 min. to play and scales well from 2 - 5.
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12. Board Game: Lightning: Midway – June 4th to June 6th, 1942 [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:4008]
Tim Deagan
United States
Austin
Texas
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The Lightning war series (Midway and D-day) are good choices. The game is just two decks of cards, but the play is strong and the art is cool. 30 minutish game with good replayability (by tweaking the victory conditions.)
 
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13. Board Game: Pimp: The Backhanding [Average Rating:5.18 Overall Rank:15041]
Jesse Acosta
United States
Spokane
Washington
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This is a fun little game. I play it with my friends whenever we have a few minutes for a short game.
 
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14. Board Game: Lunch Money [Average Rating:5.64 Overall Rank:9990] [Average Rating:5.64 Unranked]
Geoff King
United States
Annandale
Virginia
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My game can beat up your game.
 
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15. Board Game: Queen's Necklace [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:1698]
Eric Hautemont
United States
Los Altos
California
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Another of Bruno's game, with rules on the cards. Best with 3 players, imo.
 
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16. Board Game: Kung Fu Fighting [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:3400]
Ed Sherman
United States
Colorado Springs
Colorado
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This is a fun little fighting game, especially if you like Kung Fu cheesiness. There are player mats and counters pictures, but the game works just as well without them.

Added bonus: each card explains how it works right on the card -- no cheat sheets necessary!
 
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17. Board Game: Gloom [Average Rating:6.36 Overall Rank:1443] [Average Rating:6.36 Unranked]
George Kinney
United States
Bellefontaine
Ohio
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Many of the cards have side effects, some are completely so.

My wife and I love this game, and everyone we've introduced it too has went on to buy it as well. It becomes very tense when you add a third or fourth player.

 
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18. Board Game: Pirates of the Spanish Main [Average Rating:6.02 Overall Rank:3312] [Average Rating:6.02 Unranked]
Max Coffey
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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Had a look at this in play at the local comic and game store. You can play small, go big, or go home. It does seem like fun.
 
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19. Board Game: Guillotine [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:1001]
Lea Kissner
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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This game has such a large proportion of the rules on the cards that my mother will even play it. No more "what does this do" questions -- it says right there on the card!

(Granted, she was a bit hesitant about cards like "Fountain of Blood", but the gore-factor is essentially nil, with the funny cartoon art.)
 
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20. Board Game: Kupferkessel Co. [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:1456]
Mark Hudson
United States
Los Angeles
California
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I must have this game.
The rules are simple enough, and each card has symbols on it that remind you what to do.
 
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21. Board Game: Tower Siege [Average Rating:5.31 Overall Rank:12962]
Ender Wiggins
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A CCG type game very much like MTG but without being collectible. The base game has two decks, but there are also three 15 card expansions.

.


Tower Siege Expansion: Elemental Adversaries
Tower Siege Expansion: Fiendish Foes
Tower Siege Expansion: Thaylen's Rogues

 
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22. Board Game: Splat! [Average Rating:4.14 Unranked]
Ed Carter
United States
Groton
Massachusetts
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Three six sided dice and each player needs a token to show what they've eaten--we provide poker chips, but coins would do fine.

 
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23. Board Game: Blue vs. Gray [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:2858]
Ian Cooper
United States
Silver Spring
Maryland
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Surprised no one else thought of this one - a Civil War card-wargame with all the rules printed on the cards, and some of the cards even stood in for a board (until they wimped out and made a board for the second edition).
 
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24. Board Game: Hera and Zeus [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:1406]
Ender Wiggins
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Portable? Yes. Two-player? Yes. CCG-like with unique abilities and interaction? Yes.
 
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25. Board Game: Nature of the Beast: Farm vs. Forest [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:6718]
Ender Wiggins
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I'd recommend taking a look at this one.



A "battlebox" consists of two different decks, and most of the cards have special abilities and text. Each deck consists of Troops cards (animals) and Tricks cards, and each has a different theme (eg Farm, Forest, City, Suburbs). There's lots of room for strategic and tactical play, with just enough luck of the draw to give weaker players a chance. Simplified forms of the game work well for children too.
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