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Subject: Games With Less Chance, Less Complexity, More Strategy rss

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H K
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I need some recommendations for board games that have less chance and complexity than so many of the popular ones, and more mind-numbing strategy.

I don't really know all that much about what's out there. Of all the board games I have played, I enjoy Acquire and EuroRails the most. With EuroRails, my friends and I have changed the rules of the game somewhat to eliminate chance, demanding even more strategy. I think the primary change we made is that we don't draw any of the "chance cards" (I forget what they are called) so about the only element of chance is what load cards we get. Yes, I know real life has lots of chance in it and I'm not arguing that.

I have a theory that Settlers of Catan (and very similar games) are very complex in their play and their rules, but really not that given to hard-core strategy. I'm looking for board games that really engage the mind and challenge ones logic and/or strategy skills. And the simpler (or fewer) the rules, the better.

Any recommendations?
 
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ys xxx
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Terra Mystica
Trajan
Puerto Rico
Caylus

These games would fit the criteria of less chance and more strategy. They dont fall into the category of "simpler/fewer rules" though. If you think that Settlers of Catan is complex in its rules, then the above games surely aren´t for you unfortunately.

Maybe try Torres ?
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Rob Robinson
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Michael Carter
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How many players?
 
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If you liked the railway theme, Railways of the World has a relatively simple rule set. And if you use one of the turn auction variants, it has very little chance in it. The only chance would be in your hidden goal, of which you select from two different ones, and accounts for a small percentage of your overall score. Otherwise, the game is pure strategy.
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David B
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aychekay wrote:
I need some recommendations for board games that have less chance and complexity than so many of the popular ones, and more mind-numbing strategy.

I don't really know all that much about what's out there. Of all the board games I have played, I enjoy Acquire and EuroRails the most. With EuroRails, my friends and I have changed the rules of the game somewhat to eliminate chance, demanding even more strategy. I think the primary change we made is that we don't draw any of the "chance cards" (I forget what they are called) so about the only element of chance is what load cards we get. Yes, I know real life has lots of chance in it and I'm not arguing that.

I have a theory that Settlers of Catan (and very similar games) are very complex in their play and their rules, but really not that given to hard-core strategy. I'm looking for board games that really engage the mind and challenge ones logic and/or strategy skills. And the simpler (or fewer) the rules, the better.

Any recommendations?


If the rules and gameplay of Settlers of Catan are very complex to you, it's going to be tough to find a game that meets the strategic threshold you are looking for. Settlers is quite simple.
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Chess. Chance isn't always a bad thing, and there can be a lot of strategy to managing chance.
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Shane Larsen
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stemcider wrote:


For rules-to-strategy ratio, this is the only answer.

But I have a feeling when you say "strategy", you're referring to something that's not pure abstract.

Would I be correct?

If I'm wrong, and you don't mind a pure, 2p abstract, then the thread is over. Go it is.

But if you're wanting something with theme, and a Euro-strategy feel. Well then, there would be others to recommend...
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Phil Hendrickson
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I agree with the above recommendation for Hive, and add Pentago. Both are two-player abstract games, so if you are looking for something more than that, these will not fit your needs.

If you are looking for something simpler than Catan but with engaging strategy, you could also consider Ticket to Ride.
 
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M M
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Check out games by Reiner Knizia.
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Mat628 wrote:
Check out games by Reiner Knizia.



A thousand times yes.
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Maybe Horus Heresy
 
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Eric Knauer
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Through the Desert
 
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Nice article on The L-Word
 
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Hard to make a suggestion that is less complex than Settlers of Catan but still offers deep strategy. It's also tough to recommend games when we don't know how many people will be sitting at the table.

tigrevasco_2003 wrote:


This, or Antike if you want to support more than 2 players, is a great suggestion. Simple rules, nice strategy required, essentially no randomness. Not everyone loves the game - some people don't like direct conflict, others prefer to have some randomness involved when there is conflict - but it fits your request perfectly.

Some abstract games you might consider:
* Chase - Great little game, and you could print out your own copy to try playing.
* Blokus or Blokus Trigon - Which one is better probably depends on how many players you have. Rules are very simple and there is no luck involved, but there is lots of strategy.

Have you tried older games like Scotland Yard? It's a classic for a reason. Great fun and virtually luck-free outside of starting positions.
 
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H K
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Thanks for all the great suggestions. It will probably take a few weeks to sort through them all since most of the titles are foreign to me.

Thanks to Scott for linking to that article on Luck. It is something I hadn't really thought of.

A couple clarifications. I was looking for games for as few as two players, as many as six players. And I was hoping for more than just one suggestion, which I got. I realize some of them are probably two players, others three or four, and that's OK.

My comment about Settlers of Catan was probably mostly made in ignorance. I'm not really so against complexity, as was indicated. I guess I'm just of the opinion that some games pit mind(s) against mind(s), while others offer less opportunity to do this. Some games help enhance one's mental abilities, skills such as logic and strategy, while other games take a long time to master because of complicated play and lots of rules, but logic and strategy are less necessary.

While chess has it's complexities of play and rules, I do view it as kind of the ultimate game for thinkers and thinking skills (although I suspect (without looking) that's probably been debated on the forums). But I guess I was looking for games that could possibly involve more people and might contain a little more "adventure" in them. And in that respect, I think I've been given some great suggestions.


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Ken Bush
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Caylus
LeHarve
Communi
El Grande
Tigris & Euphratis

El Grande is the simplest, but still strategic with little luck
Communi is minimal luck, not too complex
All the rest are heavys,
Caylus is the one I like the best.
 
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caleb G.
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How much less complexity? Do you mean in number of rules, or complexity in strategy?

If you want less rules than you could try dominion, Stone Age, or Medici. But if a longer game doesn't bother you than you could try city of iron, power grid, Puerto Rico, or Trajan.
 
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caleb G.
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aychekay wrote:
Thanks for all the great suggestions. It will probably take a few weeks to sort through them all since most of the titles are foreign to me.

Thanks to Scott for linking to that article on Luck. It is something I hadn't really thought of.

A couple clarifications. I was looking for games for as few as two players, as many as six players. And I was hoping for more than just one suggestion, which I got. I realize some of them are probably two players, others three or four, and that's OK.

My comment about Settlers of Catan was probably mostly made in ignorance. I'm not really so against complexity, as was indicated. I guess I'm just of the opinion that some games pit mind(s) against mind(s), while others offer less opportunity to do this. Some games help enhance one's mental abilities, skills such as logic and strategy, while other games take a long time to master because of complicated play and lots of rules, but logic and strategy are less necessary.

While chess has it's complexities of play and rules, I do view it as kind of the ultimate game for thinkers and thinking skills (although I suspect (without looking) that's probably been debated on the forums). But I guess I was looking for games that could possibly involve more people and might contain a little more "adventure" in them. And in that respect, I think I've been given some great suggestions.




It sounds like your looking for more of elegant game. Rules complexity isn't as much of a problem, but more so intuitiveness along with meaningful play and decisions.
 
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