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Subject: Games for non gamers? rss

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Jesse Franks
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I'm in a pickle. I love board games, but most of the games that I own have a bit of a learning curve, so when I invite people over, they never want to take much time so we end up playing the same, easy to learn games. Dixit comes up a lot, Ticket to Ride sometimes, but that's about it.

My real question is, what are some games that are quick to learn?

Thanks all
 
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Byron Campbell
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It really depends on the players and what they find easy to pick up. I think The Castles of Burgundy is more complex than a gateway game, but still easy to comprehend (the reminders on the player board really help). Works best with fewer players.
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Hardy
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some that are easy to learn and accessible to non-gamers, but that still offer some interesting choices:

Zooloretto
You're Bluffing!
Condottiere
Fast Flowing Forest Fellers
Thebes
Maori
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Rick Weckermann
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Not many may agree but Bootleggers has been a great gateway game for me to present. Many people who are not into games have been tweaked and interested in this game when i mention it. "Oh our latest game we have been playing is bootleggers, we run whiskey in our old trucks extort money from other players ..." Game play learning curve is low people catch on right away no problem. Presented game to My Son and his Wife while down for Christmas, she was behind the whole game yet managed to win by 1 K in the end. Both agreed it was a blast and easy game to catch onto. They too have a gaming group that likes simple games and felt this would be a good fit for them.
 
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Goldfinger
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You are in luck. There are quite a few good games to choose from.

+1 Dixit
+1 Ticket to Ride

Others that are pretty easy to learn

Bohnanza
Survive: Escape from Atlantis!
Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age
Carcassonne
Cartagena
Metropolys
Finca
 
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Nathaniel Chambers
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Carcassonne to be sure.

Alhambra isn't bad either, though a little dry, but I think that one is good for adults who don't like 'fantasy' or normal board game theme stuff.

If they like fantasy themes, I think Dominion or Ascension are pretty easy, though definitely less 'fun' than Carcassonne for non gamers.

I just got Galaxy Trucker because I thought it might make a nice intro game that I could also enjoy, but I have yet to really field test it.

Then there's Settler's Of Catan, but I'm at the point where I don't really like that game anymore.
 
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Jay Gordon
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My wife is definitely not a gamer and constantly makes fun of me for playing board games. However she loves to play
Buccaneer Bones
King of Tokyo
Ticket to Ride: Europe I say this version because that's what I have, but any ticket to ride would work.
DC Comics Deck-Building Game

These are all really easy to teach and fast games.

Hope this helps!
 
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r0t1 prata
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King of Tokyo
7 Wonders
Dixit
Citadels
Kakerlakenpoker
Augustus
Elder Sign
 
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Fernando Robert Yu
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The "new" generation of gateway games for me are:

Rise of Augustus
Love Letter
King of Tokyo

All are fast playing, easy to teach, fun to play games.

I also just played Click Clack Lumberjack. A dexterity game like this is also a great gateway game and is good to get the attention of non-gamers.
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Kevin Garnica
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Forbidden "_______"
Hanabi
Tokaido
Coup
Takenoko
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Adam Jones
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Twilight Imperium (Third Edition)! I'm just kidding. I've actually given a few people heart attacks by trying to get them to play that game. Honestly I consider a game "easy to learn" if my Mom or Dad can play it. Some people already mentioned a few of those: Zooloretto, Carcassonne, King of Toyko.

A few others: Evo (second edition)
7 Wonders
Stone Age
and believe it or not Power Grid.
Oh and Blue Moon City is a pretty good gateway game too.
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Alex Matusiak
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You know what my days used to be like? I just tested. Nobody murdered me. Or put me in a potato. Or fed me to birds. I had a pretty good life. And then you showed up. You dangerous, mute lunatic. So you know what? You win. Just go. Don't come back.
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I apologize if this is TL;DR territory but I hope I can offer a few good tips along the way.

In my experience, try to see what kind of games people enjoy from the known classic (ie Monopoly etc) and go from there.

For example if I find a lot of people enjoy Scrabble, I'll bring out Word on the Street (which I did earlier today with my in-laws and they had a great time). Word on the Street is also a great game because it has a team atmosphere, which allows people to group together and doesn't single people out. Chaotic games like Bananagrams and Pit (especially with the bell!) also fit this bill of letting people engage in the game without feeling like all eyes are on them.

I've found that people are apprehensive about new games because they're afraid they'll mess up on their turn, so any number of team or co-operative games are top choices. Pandemic (just the vanilla version), or Forbidden Desert were mentioned above and always go over well with non-gamers BUT you really have to play the puppet master with these games. Doing so is tricky but rewarding. The two best tips I can give are to never dictate what people should do, and try to build a story. Non-gamers are always more interested in a story than cool mechanics.

For family who enjoy Yahtzee, King of Tokyo is a no-brainer, and is a good gateway to euro games (getting cubes, buying cards, trying to get points). Monopoly lovers can be easily sold on For Sale or Power Grid depending how casual the setting is, and how patient the players are. Game length is a very important factor. If you have family members who are more creative, then Dixit reigns supreme. While not a group game, The Duke is excellent for the same person you'd consider buying a chess set for. If you have friends who play Poker then Dice Town should go over well. For people who enjoy other classic card games, The Dwarf King and Dutch Blitz should be well received. People who still have fond memories of Clue should find Mystery Express a wonderful step up.

All of these are fairly easy to learn. But you'll find that people's patience is extended when you build up the experience or tie it to something they already know. IE Power Grid is not a simple game to teach really, but people familiar with monopoly and auctions should already have a general knowledge of the flow of the game, and minutiae can be expanded on as you go.

I believe 'non-gamer' is too broad a term. What you really need to figure out is what interests the people you're with and find a game that will be a good match, and you'll have a great time and it will make it much easier for people to grasp the details if the broader ideas are familiar. Theme is very important here. For example I had a wonderful game of A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition) with non-gamers because a) I knew they all loved the HBO series and/or novels, and b) they would have a good laugh at stabbing each other in the back.

Best of luck!

EDIT: hit Submit instead of Preview before I was finished
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Jesse Franks
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Thank you for your recommendations! These are exactly what I'm looking for, something a little more complex than a gateway game.
 
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