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Subject: Please save me from another game of Catan rss

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Melody
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I really need to find another game my Mom will like, 2 out of every 3 games we play is this & quite frankly I don't know if I can take it much longer. Mom has a serious case of analysis paralysis which makes this game excruciatingly long. I like long games just not this one. What she likes about it is the physical road/city building, the length of the game & the dice. I tried her on Dominion but she doesn't like that the cards you work so hard to get mean nothing in the end, that they're only to acquire the real victory cards. Carcassonne didn't go over too well either, if I remember well I think her husband found it too complicated. Mainly she just wants to build, any suggestions. Thanks.
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Captain Spaulding
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San Juan: Easy to teach. The cards are all points at the end. They are all buildings that you build. Analysis paralysis is minimal. And... it's one of the best card games ever.
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Clem Fandango
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Games I've found that might work with few bits (not all building)

Carcassonne
Palazzo
California
Forbidden Island
Hotel Samoa
Long Shot
Nefarious
Taj Mahal


and Illuminati: Deluxe Edition is a lot of fun.
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r0t1 prata
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If she likes placing routes, Ticket to Ride sounds just right.
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Adrian Iordache
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Airlines Europe - where you expand airlines network, with share holding component
Power Grid - where you create your own network of power plants, with a bidding component
Steam or Railways of the World - where you develop a network of railroads, with a pick-up and deliver component
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Joao Pedro
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Perhaps Puerto Rico?
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David
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sunshiny wrote:
Mainly she just wants to build, any suggestions.

How about Ticket to Ride? Should be easy enough for her husband, you collect cards and then build something from it like in Settlers.

Other "building" games that come to mind are:
+1 San Juan
Sunrise City - You build a 3 dimensional city together.
Agricola (Might be a bit difficult but perhaps the family version would work)
Walnut Grove (Never played it myself but seems simpler and faster than Agricola)
Alhambra - basically a cross between Ticket to Ride and Carcassonne
Indigo - beautiful network building and very easy to explain.

Another game I generally recommend to people coming from Settlers is Bohnanza. It basically takes the trading aspect from settlers and runs with it.
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Thomas Bass
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Do you think she'd like Kingdom Builder?
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James Champagne
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I played Catan with my mother (a retired high school English teacher), and she thought it was basically okay.

She preferred Forbidden Island, as the game was accessible without needing to memorize many rules, and she never felt like she was at some kind of disadvantage relative to others at the table.

However, the game she actually REQUESTS? That would be King of Tokyo. Maybe it's the simple dice-rolling mechanics. Maybe it's the fact that you get to play as a giant Kung Fu panda or 60-foot mechanical pink bunny rabbit. Maybe it's the simple, cathartic glee of destroying a major metropolitan area and laying waste to friends and family. Whatever it is, my mom can't get enough King of Tokyo.

When playing games with a parent, particularly if you are an adult, I find it's best to steer clear of traditionally "gamer" games. Instead, look for games that you enjoy that are marketed more to lower age groups.

Keep in mind, although my mother is one of the most intelligent women I have ever met, if not THE most intelligent, she approaches board games from with the assumption that this is too complicated for her. To my mother, she is an outsider to a world that is vast and alien. In my experience, many adults (older adults in particular) are the same way. They basically have three assumptions when they see a new game:

1) This is too complicated and I won't be able to understand it.
2) If I do understand it, I won't be able to play competitively.
3) I'm going to make a ton of mistakes and look stupid.

The easiest way to combat this kind of thinking is to either pick a game where the rules are so simple they CAN'T make a lot of mistakes, or to know the rules so well that you can teach them in a way that makes the game seem simpler than it really is. Also, make sure to point out and celebrate good plays early on and praise them for demonstrating a good understanding of the rules, as this will help cement their learning of rules while also building the confidence they need to have a good time playing. Last, but not least, keep a running commentary of what's going on in the game to keep them engaged in other people's turn and on your turn explain what you can do, what you are doing, and why you are doing it.
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Thanee
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Maybe Stone Age or Kingsburg?

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Thanee
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Hardy
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Maori should probabyl work.
Only about 45 min though.
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James
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Ticket to Ride: Europe for family fun.
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Jon M
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moujamou wrote:
Ticket to Ride: Europe for family fun.


I would stick with the original (ie USA map) as there are less rules - no tunnels or stations.
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Jon M
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Add Catan: Cities & Knights?

Might freshen up the game for you and let her build even more things. Having said that if Settlers is going too long then perhaps adding something that makes it longer may not be the way to go!

What about Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age. It has rolling dice and building.
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Bill Eldard
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sunshiny wrote:
Carcassonne didn't go over too well either, if I remember well I think her husband found it too complicated.


If Carcassonne is too complicated, that rules out about 95% of the good Euro games. Seriously, they don't come much simpler than Caracassonne, and most of the recommendations offered so far, while they are great games, are more complicated.

Perhaps Manhattan will work.

Another possibility is Cityscape
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Jordan Booth
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Trans Europa or TransAmerica are light route building with cards, no dice. I think what I like most about this game is that each round feels like a mini game, so everyone can have a chance at winning. Short play time too, your first play probably wont take more than an hour.

My mom is really into Kingdom Builder. She likes the simplicity of being told (by card draw) what type of terrain to play on, then just plop down 3 houses to grow your cities, everything else is extra.
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J. M.
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+1 ticket to ride
+1 Roll through the ages

both are really simple and seem to go well with non-gamers too.
Agricola not so much, even the family version nobody wants to play, just because you have to feed your people and all the scoring rules are too much.

7 wonders perhaps? Although I feel ticket to ride is your best bet.
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Alex Despres
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Eldard wrote:

Perhaps Manhattan will work.


Agreed, this probably fits in perfectly with the OP's needs.

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torontoraptors
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Definitely Ticket to Ride for the building part=) and it's also a nice game and easy to play.

The others I don't know but building in San Juan is just cards and in Alhambra just tiles. That may not appeal to her, even though I like those games.

I would go with Ticket to Ride
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Shane Larsen
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TtR is a good idea, but you're going to run into more frustration from her AP. That game is already longer than it should be, and with an AP-proned player, it will be painful, just like SoC.

I recommend a quicker--and more appropriately-timed--alternative to TtR:

China

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Melody
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I think I'll try Ticket To Ride, Stone Age, or Puerto Rico. I'd try San Juan but my husband isn't too keen on it. The game has to be fairly simple as her husband has a touch of geezerdom & is not too up on learning new stuff. It can't be a coop as both of them like to shark it out. I'll have to reread the rules for Sunrise City maybe that would work. I have to be careful about the reading in the games, my Mom's husband while speaking english very well, reading it is another matter. Agricola would probably be perfect for her but he would most likely tune out, he tends to like total luck fests while she's somewhat more strategy minded. Thanks for all the suggestions.
 
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Captain Spaulding
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sunshiny wrote:
I think I'll try Ticket To Ride, Stone Age, or Puerto Rico. I'd try San Juan but my husband isn't too keen on it. The game has to be fairly simple as her husband has a touch of geezerdom & is not too up on learning new stuff. It can't be a coop as both of them like to shark it out. I'll have to reread the rules for Sunrise City maybe that would work. I have to be careful about the reading in the games, my Mom's husband while speaking english very well, reading it is another matter. Agricola would probably be perfect for her but he would most likely tune out, he tends to like total luck fests while she's somewhat more strategy minded. Thanks for all the suggestions.


If he thought Carcassonne was too complex, just skip Puerto Rico - it's a bigger, more complex version of San Juan.
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Melody
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I might be dreaming on PR but I find the game quite easy. I'm pretty much leaning towards Stone Age, Ticket To Ride or maybe Finca, it's so pretty my Mom would probably go for it. I just finished reading Sunrise City & that's out.
 
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Carthoris Pyramidos
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Survive: Escape from Atlantis! is sort of the anti-Catan. You don't settle the island; you evacuate it! It's got some of the same physical aesthetics (modular tiles, wooden pieces in player colors, dice), but very different mechanisms, and the play is faster and funnier.

If it's the building thing your mom likes, you might actually consider The Castles of Burgundy. It's really not very complicated, and it has a similar luck element without the Settlers-style feelings of deprivation. Still, you mention serious AP issues, and I don't think Castles will improve on Settlers in that way.
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Shane Larsen
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sunshiny wrote:
I might be dreaming on PR but I find the game quite easy. I'm pretty much leaning towards Stone Age, Ticket To Ride or maybe Finca, it's so pretty my Mom would probably go for it. I just finished reading Sunrise City & that's out.


Finca is a fantastic idea. I thought about it for you, but since it doesn't technically have "building", I skipped it.

If you're open to more of a set-collection/pick-up-and-deliver using a rondel mechanic, then Finca is your game.
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