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Subject: Tichu alternative for 4p? rss

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Pasta Batman
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Tustin
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My lunch mates and I play Tichu nearly every day. I'd like to mix it up with another game that shares certain qualities with Tichu:

1. Easily interrupted and continued later (or easily finished in the 45m-60m range, including setup/tear-down).
2. Similar complexity and depth.
3. Plays best with 4p.
4. Lots of re-playability.

Completely different mechanics and feel are fine. It doesn't necessarily have to be partnership-based or even card-based. We're open to old-school traditional card games too. We enjoy short Euros occasionally (St. Petersburg, Glenn More, 7 Wonders, ...), but nothing has come as close as Tichu as the perfect lunchtime game.

Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!
 
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Chris Long
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State College
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I have the opposite problem. My co-workers and I play Tichu everyday at lunch and I can't generate any interest in anything else. Anytime we used to play another game, most were saying they'd rather be playing Tichu.
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Gillum the Stoor
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Our group has also been all Tichu all the time for quite a while.

Before that, we had had bouts of Coloretto and Fairy Tale. They're both fun, but they don't necessarily have the depth and replayability for which you're hoping.

We were also looking for something other than Tichu, in part because we'd sometimes have 5-7 players (and occasionally only 3).

In the last few weeks, we started switching to ebbes, and we've been enjoying it. It works for 3-5, and is just fine with 4.

It's a trick-taking game (exactly one card per player per trick - more like Bridge than Tichu). You have hands of 10 cards, so each hand doesn't take too long. The game is nominally 5 hands, but if you can fit only 3-4 in at lunch, it still feels fine.

What is special is that each hand is dynamic because the trump and point-scoring suits are determined during play (rather than by an auction beforehand). As a result, a successful strategy will be one that is flexible and can react to how players cause the suits to be identified.

It felt quite chaotic at first, but I think that we are starting to figure it out and appreciate the possibility of deeper strategy.

The game is brand new and available only by mail order from Germany. I thought that the shipping cost was reasonable (5.95 Euros, I think), and it didn't take too long to arrive.
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Paul Beasi
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Easthampton
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Wizard! Good for 4-6 (3 takes too long).
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Pasta Batman
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seqiro wrote:
Wizard! Good for 4-6 (3 takes too long).

Looks like a bargain at Amazon Prime, $5.40 - I'll give it a whirl. I saw in Amazon's Wizard reviews a recommendation for a game called 'Elbows Up!', for which I cannot find a BGG entry. Looks interesting.
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Mark McEvoy
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Mu and Was Sticht both fit the bill excellently, and as luck would have it they were both included in Mü & Lots More (way-back-when, I bought them separately).
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Kevin Cachia
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That's funny, there are a bumch of 4-player partnership games I'd like to play once in a while (or even try), but on those rare occasions we've got a 4some that would be a good fit, we play Tichu. And I still don't get to play enough Tichu. But then I don't get to game at lunch. cry
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Pasta Batman
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thatmarkguy wrote:
Mu and Was Sticht both fit the bill excellently, and as luck would have it they were both included in Mü & Lots More (way-back-when, I bought them separately).

I just ordered Mu and Lots More off Ebay, looking forward to trying both games!
 
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Dave Daley
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pastabatman wrote:
I just ordered Mu and Lots More off Ebay, looking forward to trying both games!

Man, I hope you have a good time with Mu. I tried Mu with my tichu group (just one Tichu group, sadly), and one of the players simply hates it, while the other 3 love it.

It is a really great take on a trick-taking game - it's really hardly about the tricks at all - it's all about the bidding.

Another game you can play with poker chips (or pennies) and a deck of cards is Doh Dhizou (although I'm sure I spelled this wrong). It's only for 3 players though, but it's quite similar to Tichu, with a sort of "poker bet" mechanic added in. Instead of counting points, you are basically betting coins, hoping to be the first one to go out. Dho Dhizou and Tichu actually have the same lineage - an Asian game called BIG TWO.
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Justin
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Creve Coeur
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I love Die Sieben Siegel, and so does my Tichu-loving group. Hard to find, though.
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Pee di Moor
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What about these climbing card games:
Lectio
Frank's Zoo
Clubs [try crazy clubs!]
 
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Pasta Batman
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I just wanted to report back that Mu and Wizard are great card games!

Wizard is great for when a smaller learning curve is desired for occasional players and non-gamers. I enjoyed many games, but am pretty sick of it at the moment. It just happened to click really well with my group - we must have played 30+ games over the last few months.

Thankfully Mu was waiting in the wings, and we've begun playing it again after the Wizard interruption. Mu is wonderfully tense, and has some really interesting 'edges', just as Tichu did. Like Tichu, there is a significant learning curve. Everyone is still being too conservative with their bids, but the light bulbs are starting to turn on. I can already see that Mu is more than worth the effort, and encourage all Tichu players looking for a new challenge to check it out!

I'm still looking forward to trying the 'lots more' in Mü & Lots More, starting with Was sticht?. Thanks again everyone for the great suggestions!
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