Life after Puerto Rico...what's next?
Ken
United States
Portland
Oregon
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May I pass along my congratulations for your great interdimensional breakthrough. I am sure, in the miserable annals of the Earth, you will be duly enshrined. -- Lord John Whorfin
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Puerto Rico is my gaming group's current addiction. We all love it. But it's my turn to pick up the next "heavy"game in the not-so-distant future. What should I get?

Some may disagree, but I think the bar has been set pretty high. What else is out there that I can buy that's going to get folks as excited? What will engage us the most and generate the kind of post game discussion and desire to play again and again that seems to mark a top tier game like PR?

Based on our enjoyment of PR - what else would you recommend? We're more or less pretty open to the type of game we play - we're too new to many of these games to have developed hard core preferences. If it helps, other games that have been received well are:

WoTR
Traumfabrik
Samurai
Mare Nostrum (the others liked this one, I did not)

Is PR the "King of all Euros"? Will we get the same level of enjoyment from La Citta, Princes of Florence or Traders of Genoa?

What worked for you and your group? If you had a similar reaction to PR, what was the next game that you loved?

I humbly await your sage opinions...
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1. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:15]
Ken
United States
Portland
Oregon
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May I pass along my congratulations for your great interdimensional breakthrough. I am sure, in the miserable annals of the Earth, you will be duly enshrined. -- Lord John Whorfin
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My regular game group was recently introduced to Puerto Rico. I know, I know - we're a bit behind the times. And like many, many here on BGG - we love it. The theme works for us, the constant thinking about what choice benefits you the most and your opponents the least, the tension of what choice to make at the right time - all of it leaves us with good post game discussion and a desire to play it again and again.
 
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2. Board Game: Goa [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:107]
Red Moss
United States
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I really like this game. Although it is (AFAIK) OOP, you can still find it occasionally at a game shop. My game group has a great time playing it, and I heartily recommend it.
 
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3. Board Game: El Grande [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:54]
John Reiners
United States
New York
New York
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Currently OOP though I have heard rumors that it will be reprinted soon.
But, at any rate, great gamers game. Very well balanced and a lot of fun.
 
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4. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:28]
 
Glenn Ironhat
United States
Syracuse
Utah
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This is a good one. Well balanced with a good balancing mechanism built in. If you play poorly, it will be clear that you can't win. If everyone plays poorly except one player, it will be clear who will win. Otherwise, you won't see anyone running away with it. ( There are a few exceptions of course, but very rare).
 
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5. Board Game: The Patrons of Venice [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:8647]
Fran F G
Spain
Barcelona
Barcelona
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Café Race is a race game set in a business office. The players take the role of office workers going upstairs to the first floor to get a cup of coffee who then improvise a race while they are going back downstairs… with a cup full of coffee.
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Someone you trust is one of us. Fnord. - Ich bin ein Spielfreak, aber ich spiele sehr selten
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I haven't play it, and it's expensive (self-producted by the autor) but seems similar to Puerto Rico but interesting.
 
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6. Board Game: Genoa [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:497]
Thomas Emil Hansen
Denmark
Copenhagen
Unspecified
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This is worth considering if you like a high degree of interaction and negotiation. It may take a few games to get used to and in the beginning you might think "what the h*** is this" - but after a while you'll realize that it's actually a gem of an overlooked game ... or not that overlooked, because it's placed at number 70 on the rating list and for a reason, too.
 
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7. Board Game: The Princes of Florence [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:116]
Have faith
United States
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The perfect game.
 
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8. Board Game: Vinci [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:596]
Eric Clark
United States
Holyoke
Massachusetts
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Vinci is my regular gaming group's most frequently played game. It scales well, can be learned with little difficulty, lasts about two hours, and ain't over 'til the fat lady sings; late-game comebacks by straggling players are not uncommon.
 
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9. Board Game: Maharaja: The Game of Palace Building in India [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:506]
Miguel de la Casa
Spain
Madrid
Madrid
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Perfect if you like PR and you are up for another heavy Eurogame. This one is more dynamical and chaotic and the critical point is to know when you can't win (always a painful decision for me). Highly recommended.
 
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10. Board Game: Die Macher [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:185]
John Richert
United States
Springboro
Ohio
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Let's see:

Heavy Game: check
Negotiation: check
Play Time: 3-4 hours
Players: 4-5

You need to check this out. It is very language independent (heck we refer to one of the issues as square tomatoes Pro or Con! Yes, we MUST have square tomatoes!). The price may be a little steep, but this is a great great game.
 
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11. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:70]
Darren M
Canada
Fort Vermilion
AB
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I just have to add Euphrat & Tigris to the list as it deserves to be on any list of top games. It is as simple to learn as PR and plays quickly and scales well from 2-4 players. The gameplay is interesting and confrontational enough that players used to PR style games should find good replayability here.

I also 2nd the picks of Power Grid, Princes of Florence, El Grande and Goa. They are 4 other very good medium/heavy games that would be good additions to any gaming library.

The one caveat I'd have is that even though all these games are good...there is always the chance that a group won't like them for any number of reasons...E&T...too luck influenced. PoF...too much like tetris-solitaire. Power Grid...too fiddly. El Grande...too gamey and abstract so it feels like you're just moving wooden cubes around on a board. Goa...a long solitaire-like game with too many cluttered mechanisms crammed in with very little player interaction.

There's always a downside to every good game and chances are at least 1 of these WILL NOT be good choices even though they are all ranked high and are favorites of the "gamer" crowd.

It's almost impossible to know which game will be as big a hit as PR and which will flop completely until the group gives them several plays as most of these deep games only show their greatness with repeat plays.

It almost sounds like a copout but you'd really have to get them all and give them a go to see which would be most suitable.
 
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12. Board Game: The Scepter of Zavandor [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:841]
Alan Kaiser
United States
Aurora
Colorado
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This one has been closely compared to Puerto Rico but has only generated a mild amount of buzz so far. It's not available in English (yet, hopefully) and was released at the last Essen fair. It's an economics type game with lots of pieces and lots going on. There's lots of German text but there are English paste-ups available here. Now to find a copy! Boulder Games is out of stock for maybe a month, Nothing at Game Surplus, Fair Play Games or Thought Hammer. If you're placing an order to Germany this might be one to throw on the pile!
 
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13. Board Game: Union Pacific [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:468]
David Bogaert
United States
Austin
Texas
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Our group loves this game. I picked it up from Funagain games for $30. More indepth game then ticket to ride.
 
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14. Board Game: Taj Mahal [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:306]
Vincent de Wildt
Netherlands
Beverwijk
Noord-Holland
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Strange that this one hasn't been added yet. Its a very nice game and not hard to get by. Also not quite expensive!
 
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15. Board Game: Wallenstein (first edition) [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:342]
R.T. Sloan
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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My groups latest obsession has been Wallenstein. We just can't seem to stop playing this game. So far the replayablity has been spectacular. No one has worked out a dominant strategy. We are really enjoying the direct confrontation aspect. Heck, we have people just watching the game when they aren't playing trying to work out strategies for the next time they do play. The only draw back to Wallenstein would be that it's only available in German, but with the resources here on The Geek we've hardly even noticed.
 
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16. Board Game: Amun-Re [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:260]
Robert Hostland
Norway
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This list is missing Knizia's best game in my opinion, Amun-Re. A fantastic game, which I think is underrated (it belongs in the top 10 on BGG..)

If you like PR, there are great chances you will love this.
 
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17. Board Game: Age of Steam [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:114]
Ray
United States
Carpentersville
Illinois
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More Cutthroat to beginners than PR but very meaty.

 
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