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Subject: How about a vicious, confrontational,medium-heavy game (euro or otherwise) rss

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Drew Hicks
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Medium-Heavy to heavy weight. I'm talking moreso about decisions than actual rules here. Realize that with respect to weight here, medium-heavy is something like Power Grid, Troyes, or the game that sparked this list, Imperial 2030. Not a lot of rules, but a lot of meat. I have Age of Steam and that definitely fits here but I'd say it's at the upper end of rules complexity, for the purposes of this recommendation.

Theme is good. The game shouldn't feel like an arbitrary points mill. In Power Grid you're building things that make sense. In Imperial, you feel like a power broker. In Troyes... well, I love Troyes anyway, but in general I'd say Troyes is the kind of "point mill" game I don't want for this role.

Components are... a concern. I don't own Dominant Species because it would be hard to convince people to play it. I have no such trouble convincing people to play Power Grid or El Grande or so on. I'd prefer bland "El Grande" to MS Paint Dominant Species. This isn't important to ME so much, but I probably need opponents.

Needs to be a "game night" game, not a "weekend" game. 3 hours playtime is probably the upper limit. I'd VASTLY prefer a lower playtime.

Learning curve will naturally be high, but I'd prefer something that CAN be played well by a skilled newbie without having to memorize a deck or a stack of tiles. Of course they won't likely WIN, but it'd be nice to not have to play multiple games before something clicks. This will likely exclude games with huge varieties of buildings/cards, unless they're simple enough (power plants in PG aren't such a barrier)

I don't care much about the presence of luck so long as it's unlikely for it to hurt one player more than the others, given good planning.

I want players to be able to do cool, confrontational, MEAN things in the game. Worker-placement blocking isn't enough. Auctioning isn't enough. I want to screw you out of a fortune. I want to take away control of a nation, draw out their money, then run them into the ground. Even better, I want you to be able to have planned for it, maybe you didn't need that nation anyway, and you tricked me into wasting my resources.

Games I'm Thinking Of Already, feel free to talk me into (or out of) these:
Dominant Species (despite the mention above)
Eclipse (is it as economical as people are saying?)
Hegemonic
Hansa Teutonica
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Ben Greig
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I'd recommend Exodus: Proxima Centauri over Eclipse, its much 'meaner' and combat focused, however you would be best to wait for the 2nd edition (due out any day now) as the 1st edition has a couple of wonky rules and pretty poor bits,

Tom Vasel's new one Nothing Personal is definitely a mean one, although it might be a tiny bit on the lighter side of what your after, components are fantastic though

Finally its likely not what your after but consider Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game as a meaty game with a lot of meanness in it (despite the fact most of you are meant to be working together).
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Derry Salewski
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I think when you see dominant species in person (it has a new edition anyway) people would be much less upset with it. It's colored tiles with hordes of wooden bits on it-- looks nice. But really it's the kind of game you guys should be playing if that's what you want.
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Drew Hicks
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Thanks for the suggestions! It's not NECESSARILY combat I'm looking for, just conflict that MATTERS and feels aggressive.

Dominant Species I'm more than willing to look at. It gets so many recommendations for this that I HAVE to consider it.

Is Exodus MEANER than Eclipse or just more fighty/combat-based? I'm fine with the conflict being largely economical, but I want it to hurt.
 
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Tigris & Euphrates might be the game you are looking for.
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Paul Davidson
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Tammany Hall definitely fits the bill. It is highly competitive and confrontational with a reasonable playing time and no luck aside from the randomness of the immigrant cube availability. The rules are fairly simple, and there are no tiles or cards to memorize.
 
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Nathan
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Tammany Hall, Primordial Soup, Mission Red Planet all come to mind.

I also hear Kremlin is like this which is why I kickstarted it.
 
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Nathan
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ninjaed on Tammany Hall, by someone from Japan no less! Although Paul Davidson is not a very ninja sounding name
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Markus
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Based on your criteria...

Eclipse is a strong choice, but depending on the players it can definitely be longer than 3 hours (if playing with more than 4).

Chicago Express might be worth a look.

Archipelago can be very mean, but is a controversial choice and success is very group dependant.

Intrigue is small and affordable as well as simple and not too long. It is still meaner than any other game in this thread so far. Your friends might not talk to you again.

Roads & Boats has a reprint coming soon. How about driving your truck to your opponents logistic empire and putting his valuable stocks into your trunk? Then speeding away? Sneering?

 
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Jacek Wieszaczewski
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AGoT is a great, vicious, confrontational game. But I'm not sure if even using DwD expansion scenario it will go below 3 hours mark - this scenario is significantly faster, but exact play time depends on the group.
 
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Justin R
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No experience with either, but perhaps it is worth looking at Kemet or Cyclades?
 
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river tam
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scifiantihero wrote:
I think when you see dominant species in person (it has a new edition anyway) people would be much less upset with it. It's colored tiles with hordes of wooden bits on it-- looks nice. But really it's the kind of game you guys should be playing if that's what you want.


I concur with this.

Also when you play the game, you start to appreciate how functional the graphic design is. It's important to be able to quickly see and track changes in somewhat complex game state which is pretty easy to do in this design. If it had fancier pieces, it would be harder to track things.


+1 for Tigris & Euphrates as well
 
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Victor Caminha
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+1 for Hansa Teutonica and Eclipse. Also I'd recommend Vanuatu - Not heavy, just medium, but MEAN as hell.


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Pasi Ojala
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Get the Imperial Assault Campaign module for Vassal from http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Star_Wars:_Imperial_Assault
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I echo some suggestions I gave in another thread:

Battlestar Galactica for 5 players, 2-3h, around 2h with practise, more when learning. Also ok with 6 and 4 players, can be learned with 3. 7 players is possible with any of the expansions. The latest Daybreak expansion also makes better 4p and 6p games. You don't need to be a fan or even have seen the show to like/love the game. Galactica is a co-operative resource management game first, a secret identity and traitor game a strong second, and allows some roleplaying as well.

Cosmic Encounter for 3-5 players, preferably 4+, around 1.5-2h. Each expansion adds a player, the first one Cosmic Incursion is highly recommended. The game includes variable player powers, wheeling and dealing, backstabbing and stealing cards.

The Resistance:Avalon (and the Resistance) is a very intensive distilled traitor game for 5-10 players, about 30 minutes. The Avalon roles do similar things than the plot cards of the original Resistance in an easier manner. (The theme is not really visible during the game. You can imagine the theme to be anything, I don't really understand some people putting so much emphasis on the theme.)

Also, Small World: Underground for 2-5 players. But is lighter than the previous ones.

(Edit: added links.)
 
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Gamer D

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I just got Dominant Species this week and am trying it out at home. Obviously I'm a total newbie at it so I can't comment much but I will say that once you sort the components the first time by color and bag them out it's not as bad as it looks. Also despite the game length the game itself is pretty straightforward rules wise but does have very deep strategy.

Looks great so far, with the only caveat being that recalculating who is dominant on a given tile constantly might be one of the things that drags the game out. Theoretically per the rules players only do that when they want to but obviously it's in everybody's best interest to keep it as accurate as possible.

Also a couple of alternate suggestions:

- Cosmic Encounter is on the light side rules wise but if you're looking for a cut throat game that is very approachable and has a lot of replay value it's terrific.

- If you're willing to look at cooperative games, Sentinels of the Multiverse is a great game with a lot of theme and a ton of interaction in the cards that makes it challenging to beat. Also although I don't own it Castaways is looking pretty awesome as well, lots of options and challenging with strong theme and a choose your own adventure type story.
 
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Andrew Meredith
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Funny, I read the header and came in here thinking only to type Dominant Species and leave. But you seem to be already giving it a fair shake.

I run two game groups of about 5-6 each. Only one guy out of twelve hates DS's aesthetics. (But I also have another guy who hates the way The Manhattan Project looks, so I'm not sure that's a good indicator...) The upgraded board and art on DS is actually quite beautiful, it's those darn euro wooden bits (which I love, actually) that may strike some as dull and can be rough on small imaginations.
 
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Sander De Bruyne
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JJRR_Esq wrote:
No experience with either, but perhaps it is worth looking at Kemet or Cyclades?


+1 on these 2! This really sounds what you're looking for: play in 2 hours, not complicated but enough meat, fantastic components, fun theme and very confrontational.
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Hardy
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what about Junta, Kremlin or Chicken Caesar?
 
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Thomas
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tzalwelaja wrote:
JJRR_Esq wrote:
No experience with either, but perhaps it is worth looking at Kemet or Cyclades?


+1 on these 2! This really sounds what you're looking for: play in 2 hours, not complicated but enough meat, fantastic components, fun theme and very confrontational.


Agreed, also check out Yedo and Alien Frontiers.
 
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Maarten Desmet
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+1 for Alien Frontiers and Kemet!
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Fernando Robert Yu
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You should include The Manhattan Project and Carson City into the mix.

Don't also forget Shogun or Wallenstein (second edition).

Otherwise +1 to Eclipse, Hansa Teutonica, Kemet and Alien Frontiers.
 
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tom dietl
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haha...all of my fvorites in here!
would add Santiago , Pax Porfiriana and Mob Ties: The Board Game !
 
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José San Miguel
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Chaos in the Old World
Through the Ages
some 18xx

I think those fit your definition.
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Jeff Hale
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Looking for a similar type game, I lucked into Kemet.

Low luck, area control, confrontational, tech trees to verying strategy victory about 2 hours for a 4 or 5 player game. Also plays decent with 2 or 3. Most people playing for the first time catch on about halfway through their first game. YMMV.

Since it is a textless game, I recommend printing out the fabulous crib sheets in the files section here on BGG.

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Shane Larsen
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A big +1 to Kemet

AnEvenWeirderMove wrote:
Medium-Heavy to heavy weight.

Check.
AnEvenWeirderMove wrote:
Theme is good.

Check.
AnEvenWeirderMove wrote:
Components are... a concern.

Check.
AnEvenWeirderMove wrote:
Needs to be a "game night" game, not a "weekend" game.

Check.
AnEvenWeirderMove wrote:
Learning curve will naturally be high, but I'd prefer something that CAN be played well by a skilled newbie without having to memorize a deck or a stack of tiles.

Check. There are a bunch of tiles in the game, but there's no need to memorize them because they're all face up the whole game--open information and available at all times (until someone takes one, obviously). And the rules in the game are so simple that the tiles are easy to digest. Print out a cheat sheet for each player from the files section and you'll be golden.
AnEvenWeirderMove wrote:
I don't care much about the presence of luck so long as it's unlikely for it to hurt one player more than the others, given good planning.

Check. There's almost zero luck in Kemet. Each player is randomly dealt a Divine Intervention card at the start of each round, and they give small bonuses. That's it.
AnEvenWeirderMove wrote:
I want players to be able to do cool, confrontational, MEAN things in the game.

Check. Attacking is the most common method for gaining VPs, but if you rely on that alone, you won't win. You have to be gaining VPs from the myriad of other ways to do it in the game. But everyone will still be attacking each other, while trying to maneuver around for other VPs.

It's a brilliant game, and seems to be exactly what you're looking for.
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