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Subject: Help me pick the next game! rss

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James
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Fort Worth
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Hello All. I am the unofficial game leader in a regular group of 4 in north DFW. We really have enjoyed some of the "lighter fare" of gaming (Settlers, Seafarers, Cities & Knights, TTR:Europe, Carcassonne+Expansions, etc.), but now I am looking to start moving towards the meatier side of life. Ideally I want to bring in Caylus and possibly Euphrates & Tigris into the circle but I just don't know if we should attempt going straight there. Please understand that I am teaching as we go because my own playing experience is fairly limited too, at least until this November

Are these games too much of a jump? I have also thought about trying RoboRally, San Juan, Santiago, Tikal, Citadels or Basari to keep pushing them in the right direction and exploring new types of play concepts. Suggestions and ideas are most welcome, but I would like to look mainly at games that are easily available both at the FLGS and online. Thanks to everyone!!!
 
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Jim Cote
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Perhaps: Through the Desert, Ra, Samurai.
 
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Dean Conrad
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Hessle
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Euphrates and Tigris gets my vote - always.

Have you considered 'Old Town'? It's not as heavy as E&T, but it does make you think.

D.
 
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David G.
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It might lighten the impact of going to heavier games if you also bring in some even lighter stuff. I'm not sure where your co-gamers are at, but people can resent being forced down a path. Get some fun "filler" games like Diamant or Can't Stop. Bohnanza, which I don't think can be called "filler" because of its play length, is a real fun game.

You could see Diamant and T&E as a "one-two punch".
 
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Robert Washington
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ghost604 wrote:


I have also thought about trying RoboRally, San Juan, Santiago, Tikal, Citadels or Basari to keep pushing them in the right direction and exploring new types of play concepts. Suggestions and ideas are most welcome, but I would like to look mainly at games that are easily available both at the FLGS and online. Thanks to everyone!!!


ghost604 wrote:
Hello All. I am the unofficial game leader in a regular group of 4 in north DFW...Are these games too much of a jump?


"How much of a jump?" is a question that can be very tricky, and I'd say you should judge by your group. I know some groups familiar with SETTLERS and/or TTR that would be absolutely lost with CAYLUS or T&E, but I know some people who just got started and dove right into PUERTO RICO with no problem.

Personally, I'd err in favor of caution, especially if you're enjoying what you're into now - there are many, many, many fine games between TTR and T&E in terms of complexity. I'm only familiar with CITADELS and ROBORALLY on your list, but I'd second the vote for RA as well - your group is already familiar with complex scoring methods with CARCASSONE, so you should get it pretty smoothly.

I'd also consider FIST OF DRAGONSTONES - despite it's low rating, I really think its solid combination of CITADELS-style special characters with powers and RA-style auctioning works well, is easy to pick up, and moves quickly.

I also want to recommend KEYTHEDRAL, even though I just played it for the first time last night - it's very similar to SETTLERS in just enough ways to feel somewhat familiar for fans of that game, but has its own flavor and is just a bit above it in complexity.
 
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michael dorazio
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James,

We have Settlers, Ticket to Ride, and Carcassonne, as far as games you mentioned. So I have some idea of where you're coming from. We have a few of the games that you are thinking about buying, so hopefully I can help in that area.

It looks like you're asking about two different factors:

More Diversity
More Challenge

For diversity without added complexity, Axis and Allies Europe (light war game that really requires exactly four players), Robo Rally (interesting movement/race game), Modern Art (bidding), Heroscape (fun toy/battle game - big hit with our group), St. Petersburg (money management), Trias (ever-changing board game), Shadows Over Camelot (cooperative), and Mystery of the Abbey (Clue-esque/party-esque game) make fine choices. These all feature different elements than the games you said you're currently playing without raising the challenge bar.

On the other hand, I'll list some great games that are slightly deeper but don't necessarily deviate from the styles you now employ:

Torres
Tikal
Power Grid
Maharaja

I would hold off on Tigris and Euphrates. I'd suggest hitting one of the four above games to test the waters. While I love Tigris, it is fairly dry with a good amount of conflict, and it's difficult to wrap your head around right away. Reading the rules was slow-going for sure. Although it's not rocket science, it's more of a mental workout for us (which we enjoy) than it is a "game" like Settlers.

And if you're looking to grab another game that doesn't really shake up your current set, definitely acquire Through the Desert. It's very gamey, fun to look at, scales extremely well, easy to teach (on your turn, you simply place two camels on the board - that's it), full of strategy, and inexpensive.

Above all, make sure your group has input. Maybe pick out several options that would satisfy you, and let them choose the final product. If they aren't looking for meatier games, stick with what works. And definitely downplay the "meat factor" should you acquire a heavier game. It's all in the presentation - don't scare anyone off with talk of heaviness and such. Try to draw paralles between it and a game you already play. Feel free to omit some rules to start, and add them on after a few plays.

Through the Desert, Maharaja, Robo Rally, and Dungeon Twister are my four favorites currently, by the way. I'd suggest Dungeon Twister, but you would need the 3-4 player expansion to play it with your group, and that would require another thirty bucks or so.

Good luck.

 
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