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Subject: My Path and where to go next? Getting to know mechanics. rss

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Peter Weidner
Germany
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Good evening my fellow gamers,

as a long time lurker first time poster I already made my introduction in the new user forum.

My passion for board games was rekindled anew this year and - I guess - for the short period of time I dedicated to my hobby I already found a decent way through the jungle of different mechanics and styles.

Right now I am wondering if the path I layed out for the next couple of month is the right one, so I wanted to hear a couple of recommendations and tipps from people who are better informed than me.
I get easily excited to try out new and different things which lead me to believe I should give many different mechanics a go and get a general overview about what the industry has to offer.

I know you all could just look into my collection but for convenience I will write down what I currently own, have played and will buy soon, and consider for the future, as well as a short explanation of some of my board games to show you my genreal preference and brief opinion about games.

I own: Carcassonne, Catan Card Game, Chess, Dominion, Forbidden Desert, Ghost Stories, Hive, Merchants & Marauders, Pandemic, Power Grid, Railways of the World, Risk, Stone Age, Tsuro of the Seas, Ubongo Extreme
(Ghost Stories and Railways of the World are new and sadly didn’t get a chance to be played yet)

I will buy soon and have played before: Ticket to ride, Settlers of Catan, Small World, Dixit

I already made up my mind to buy these in the future: Bausack, Bohnanza, Castle Panic, Clue, Get Bit, Lost Cities, Mr. Jack, Munchkin, Quirkle, Tokaido

Games I know exist but have to read up on and try to play: Serenissima, Auf Achse, Keyflower, Tikal, Tzolkin, Pillars of the Earth, House on Haunted Hill, Space Alert, Bang, Roborally, Fresko, Puerto Rico.

Played and did not like / did not keep: Monopoly, Keltis, Phase 10

A very short and possibly superficial review to show you my taste:
Power Grid - Quite possibly my favourite so far. I like the auction mechanic combined with different turn orders each round. I know it’s different but my hope lies in Railways of the World to expand on these features that I like and exceed because of the train theme and pickup and delivery mechanic.
Merchants and Marauders - Never properly played, again I like the pickup and delivery mechanic. Rules are already too complex / Maybe it’s only a rocky start based on poor motivation to learn the game.
Pandemic - I love the cooperative play. The theme itself is not doing it for me though. I hope Ghost Stories will remedy this as soon as I get a chance to play.
Stone Age - Worker placement is my wives favourite so far. I would like to exchange the randomness of the dice rolling with another interesting mechanic.
Dominion - Very interesting deck builder which will stay my only one for a while. I don’t see the allure of getting a different deck builder.

Sorry if some of my thoughts seem pretty random.
With all this information and so many new games to choose from my head is spinning a little bit.

My games should be:
- Not too heavy: Arkham Horror, Twilight struggle, Agricola. I don’t want to study the rule book for an extended period of time and prefer at least a little bit more of the pick up and play trait.
- Pretty: High quality components and artwork. I will be honest, I can be suckered in very easily by the appearance of a game as long as the gameplay is not impaired because of it.
- Playable by two people: Not a must but most of my playtime is spend with my wife, although I occasionally get together with a group of four.

I am not only looking for somebody to shout out one or two games that fit my bill, although even this would be great. Much more I would like for somebody who remembers being in a similar situation a few years back to give me some helpful tipps on where to go from here.

Every response is greatly appreciated and I hope that in the near future I can already start giving back to the community,

Thank you,
P
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Joe Salamone
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Billerica
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I just received Myrmes for Christmas. I haven't played yet, but I have read the rules, examined the components, and watched some video reviews on BGG. So far, it looks like a very interesting worker placement game and seems to fit the theme perfectly (ant colonies!) It might be worthwhile for you to take a look at it.

 
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Peter Weidner
Germany
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Thank you so much, joe.

I wasn't sure if my request was already asking too much at once from the BGG community, seeing as I am a new member.
But the first answer, your answer, already provided me with new input and an very interesting game that was not even remotely on my radar before.

This game looks good. You are absolutely right about the theme and I would love to hear from you again after you got to try it out.
Right next to my computer is a long handwritten list with possible buys for the future and games I have to read up on more.
This one made my list.

Now I am even more excited about future responses.
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KemKat K
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Welcome!

Looks like you have a good spread of mechanics and themes already in your collection. Here are a few of the forums that I found useful when looking for new games

I am a huge fan of cooperative games and find that they are great for playing with your spouse.
PeakHope's comprehensive list of purely cooperative games


Another page with good suggestions for 2 player games
Re: 2 player games that also play well with groups?

One more list since you said you are drawn to games with great visuals. Included are several other links so you can look a wide selection of visually appealing games.
Thematic games with visual appeal (no card games)


Once you find something you are looking for (or identify something you are missing) the advanced search feature is great. You can search by category, mechanic, and subdomain

Enjoy exploring all the wonderful games out there!
 
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Denise Lavely
United States
Carmel
Indiana
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Welcome to BGG, Peter! Best website on the entire internet, I hope you'll like it here

Here are some suggestions for not too heavy, pretty, plays well with two, AND easily available right now -

Takenoko
Africana
Rise of Augustus
Asara
Kingdom Builder


All of these are what I would consider light to medium weight Euros.

Since you mention that you also like co-op play, may I also suggest Forbidden Island and/or Forbidden Desert? Both are by the same designer as Pandemic, Forbidden Island is VERY similar, but with a very different theme. More complex co-op games that I have enjoyed include Mice and Mystics and Castaways, but these ARE more complex. I personally did not care for Ghost Stories, although a lot of people do, because it seemed a little too abstract, I didn't really get a good sense of the theme. I mention this because many of the games you like seem to have strong theme, so if that is important to you, you might want to see if you can try this before you buy it.

As far as where to go from here - find a couple other gamers in your area to get together with! It sometimes works to try to recruit family and friends, but seeking out other gamers is more reliable. Find a local game con if you can, that's a great way to try new games and meet people in your area. Then I'd suggest you start trying the heavier Euros - if you like Power Grid, there's a whole WORLD out there! Finally, when you find a game you like, seek out the other games by that designer, same as you would looks for new books by a favorite author. Hope that helps!!

EDIT - edited for spelling, how does it work?
 
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Kathleen Nugent
United States
Tamworth
New Hampshire
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NakamuraDT wrote:


I will buy soon and have played before: Ticket to ride, Settlers of Catan, Small World, Dixit


Only my opinion, but I don't think you need to own the above games just because they're the backbone of the Euro games resurgence. I think some of the games in your other lists would be more fun and would better enhance your collection. For instance:

Bohnanza, Qwirkle, Keyflower, Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar - not great with two, but super with 4, RoboRally, Fresco, and Puerto Rico.

The links that KemKat K gave you will help a lot.

You're going to make buying mistakes in the beginning. Be VERY sure about a game before you bring it into your house. Don't buy too quickly.

 
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Keith Sink
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I would also recommend Myrmes. I've played it twice now with people and online a few times. There are alot of things to do and lots of strategy. You won't get everything on your first game; it takes a few, but well worth it if you push through.
 
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Peter Weidner
Germany
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Wow. Already so many great responses.
All of your help is very much appreciated.

Thank you KemKat.
And thank you Denise for your information regarding cooperative games which helped me a lot.

It will take some time (1-2 days) for me to read through most of the recommended links.
After that I will reply all of you in more details. I think a proper response is the least I can do and what all of you deserve.

I really liked your statement EllenCaroline, that I will make mistakes and buy a game I won't be happy with at some point. My choices are usually made after reading up and trying out as much as I can. I will be careful.
Once in a while my spontaneous side will come forth and when this happens the next buy is a complete wildcard. Which is not always a bad choice.

My next post will be up as soon as I can manage.
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Joe Salamone
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Denise wrote:
Welcome to BGG, Peter! Best website on the entire internet, I hope you'll like it here

Here are some suggestions for not too heavy, pretty, plays well with two, AND easily available right now -

Takenoko
Africana
Rise of Augustus
Asara
Kingdom Builder


All of these are what I would consider light to medium weight Euros.


I own all of these and I support these recommendations!

 
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Scot Duvall
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If you have not already done so, try watching Rahdo Runs Through on You Tube. He specializes in games that can be played with two. It has saved me from purchases that would not have done well for me, and also resulted in more purchases overall that I am confident about.
 
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Kai Mölleken
Germany
45147 Essen
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Welcome to the active BGG Community, Peter!

First of all: If you ever look for recommendations again, just do it like you did now. You are giving a lot of information about what you own, like and dislike and that is really, really helpful.

The most important piece of advice is the most difficult one to adhere to: Don't buy too many games too fast. Otherwise you will end up with stacks of unplayed games. It's easy to get excited about all those great games out there but try to keep it slow. Get one or two at a time and play them at least a couple of times before thinking about the next purchase.

But now enough of the hypocritical preaching and on to the recommendations!

Freedom: The Underground Railroad is another great cooperative game. Of all the cooperative games out there this one has easily the best theme for me. In this game you are part of the abolitionist movement in America in the 19th century. You try to help slaves escape from the plantations in the south to saftey across the Canadian border. In the meantime you also have to rally support for the movement so that slavery finally will get abolished. A great historical theme, very well implemented. I think this may become on of my favourite games of 2013.

If you are looking for another worker placement game, you already have one excellent game on your wishlist which is The Pillars of the Earth. I really like it a lot. But there's also a new one which has just been released in Essen this year and that is Russian Railroads. First I ignored this game because... to me trains and railroads are a pretty boring theme. But after the fair it was brought to the table in one of my gaming groups and I liked it. I liked it a lot! The gameplay is very smooth and elegant. It's pretty easy to pick up for anyone who has played a worker placement game before. But there's so much strategy in there! Great game!
 
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pete truss
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I'm in a similar position to yourself, I much prefer lighter, pretty, thematic games that are good with only 2 people. If you play 90% of the time with your partner then i would recommend the Nordic countries version of ticket to ride. Munchkin is better with 4 people, and tzolkin can be abit of a brain burner. As for recommendations, well, iv never had a bad game of revolver, lords of waterdeep or death angel.
 
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pete truss
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I would also recommend finding a gaming group or shop, somewhere you could try before you buy
 
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Peter Weidner
Germany
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Phew… I’m back.

It took me a bit longer than expected to sort through all the great information you guys have given me.
Granted, my wife and work shifted my focus away for a few days, but I’m not complaining.

What was I up to regarding boardgames?
Reading up on almost all the recommended topics here on the geek, watching Rahdo Runs Through and dice tower videos, scouting mechanics and comparing new games until my brain started hurting.
After all that I took a break and later started compiling a more extensive wish list.

This post is meant as feedback for everyone who helped me with my initial request and I hope it’s interesting for you to see where I am at right now.
In the following text I will break down some of my choices and thoughts behind making them.
Feel free to comment and tell me if our opinions go in different directions or maybe you see a false statement from my part.

Looking back on my choices I think it’s save to say that my desired criteria for my collection are:
- Diversity (different themes, mechanics)
- Appeal (high quality components, beauty in design, fitting and well rounded theme)
- Pick up and (almost) play (Easy or moderate to teach to new players, no twenty-plus page rule book I have to pull out every time we play)
- Two players (Focus on playing with my spouse, but sometimes with up to 4 people)

One more piece of information before I finally start talking about the games itself;
My wife and I made a deal that we will get one new board game each month. Slowly working through my wish list. I sorted the priority a little bit in places 1,2 and 3 here at the geek, but places 4 and 5 can come and go very easily depending on my mood and newfound experience when it comes to choosing the game for each month.

My first quest was finding more worker placement games, since my wife loves stone age so much.
For a while my next choice was Pillars of the Earth, which is a highly ranked and beautiful game, which - at the end - lost the race against several others because I fear that the theme and gameplay is a little bit too dry for my taste.
Winner: Tzolk’in - because of the interesting gear mechanic and variable player powers introduced in the expansion.
Second Winner: Le Havre - I loved the theme the first time I layed eyes on it and a more complex game will broaden my strategic horizon quite a bit.
On my wish list for way later: Russian Railroads - My wife is from russia, I work with trains, the game is supposed to be very elegant, that’s enough for me to validate a buy.

Next up was the area control mechanic. Risk has a place in my collection only because I owned it from an early age on, not because I like it all too much.
Winner: El Grande - Caballeros, set in spain, and a auction/bidding mechanic for the turns. I was sold on this immediately.
Second Winner: Small World - I enjoyed the iPad Version a while back and, although the theme is too much Fantasy for my taste, the every changing strategy of the game and replayability makes more than up for it.

After these I went for new pickup and delivery games. A mechanic that has the potential to be my favourite.
Winner: Africana - I spend a year in africa, Sounds like a not too heavy entry.
Second Winner: Thurn and Taxis - No reason. I want to try it.

After I choose Qwirkle over the newer Qwirkle Cubes I knew I need a new dice rolling game to press my luck a little bit.
Winner: King of Tokyo - Funny theme, definitely more interesting that yahtzee and I like the expansions.
Second Winner: Castles of Burgundy - It was a hard sell for me but now it starts growing on me

Some mixed games I also want to own:
Kingdom Builder - It’s a game of the year with a modular board. Two reasons = buy.
RoboRally - It’s just enough of a “different” game to justify me owning it. And I have a friend who will probably love it.
PitchCar - Dexterity game, it will grace my collection at some point, I am sure.
Tokaido - A very zen like game for peaceful moments around the table.
Mr. Jack - Two player deduction. Buy!
Lost Cities - Two player card game. Not expensive. Buy!

I know I will need something quick to play in between sessions.
Winner: For Sale - Quick game and good auction mechanic
Second Winner: Get Bit! - I am still unsure about this one. One day I love the idea, another day I hate it. But for the cheap price I should just try it out.

More cooperative Games will definitely grace my collection.
Winner: Space alert - It will be my first real time game of this type
Second Winner: Robinson Crusoe - Great theme, different scenarios, but I am still afraid it’s too rule heavy.

Paaarty-Games! There is not much to say about these. I think they won’t get all too much play in our house but I feel good having them as backup and trying to establish a fun new game evening between my wife, me and other couples.
Bausack, Bang!, Apples to Apples, Wits and Wagers (which will be tricky to get in German), Dixit.

There are more games on my wish list that I am certain are good and appeal to me in some way but will stay out of my collection for a long time. But it’s nice to know that if my demand for some specific type of game grows, I already have a few to consider.
These games are: Keyflower, Lords of Waterdeep, Bohnanza.
There are a few more on my wish list but I did not feel like mentioning them all. If you are interested, have a look for yourself.

And at some point I want to buy the following because I think they should be in everyones collection, make for perfect gateway games and because they are fun to play: Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride: Europe.

A thing that is still missing from my collection and very obvious to me is an adventure game with a modular board (tiles). Similar but “better” for me than House on haunted hill or the cave.

Now I have taken you through the board game part of my mind and hope it was a interesting short journey.
What do you all think? Sounds like some reasonably choices?

Last but not least I want to say thank you one more time for your replies.
Thank you to Joe Salamone, KemKat K, Denise Patterson-Monroe, Kathleen Nugent, Keith Sink, ScottNotSteve, Pete Truss and Kai Mölleken.
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