It all started with an innocent game of Settlers of Catan over the Christmas break. I had not played a board game in years and had certainly never played anything like these excellent new games. We immediately expanded Catan, dove into Dominion, and grabbed Carcassonne. Subsequently, I've order more Dominion versions, more Carcassonne, Lords of Waterdeep and 7 Wonders. And I discovered Kickstarter. Count me in on the Fresco Big Box, Tiny Epic Kingdoms, and This Town Ain't Big Enough....
Being an accounting type, I convert all my passions into spreadsheets. So, I've started keeping track of games and their costs on several different sites. I like to be thorough so I'm asking for your help in identifying games that should be on my radar (and spreadsheet).
For the record, I have high school aged boys (and older) who are also into these games. Its cool when they come home to play a board game with mom & dad. My wife is also enjoying playing. I have had this type of conversation with our local game store, but I could not keep up with him without my keyboard.
I'm also interested in your recommendation about which online sellers I should be following. Currently, I have Amazon, Miniature Market, CoolStuff, Gamesurplus, and my current favorite, Cardhaus.
So what do you think? What are your favorites? Thanks so much!
Welcome to the hobby. And congratulations to you that your whole family is on board. Well, normally I would ask what in particular you have liked about the games you've played so far but more than likely you are just getting a feel for what's out there. You'll get a ton of recommendations momentarily. I play mainly two or three player so my ideas might be a little off. But off the top of my head, these might be good additions that are a bit different from what you've played so far:
There are so many. I let everyone chime in so I can say "oh, yeah, that's a good one too".
As far as online game stores, I think you've zeroed in on a great bunch. I mainly use CSI (I'm halfway to my full discount!) or Amazon but I'd rather throw money at a store specializing in the hobby so I try to limit my Amazon buys, but that's just me.
Best of luck in your acquisitions and I wish you and your family many years of fun exploring the hobby.
My wife is a High School math teacher and numbers games play to her strengths. Heavily thematic games and space control games are her weaknesses. It's funny how she enjoys the games she is good at more than the ones she is not. She likes...
- King of Tokyo - Lost Cities - Ticket to Ride
You might want to check these out. Do you watch The Dice Tower on YouTube? They do great reviews on all of these games plus hundreds more. I would also watch this episode where they recommend their top 10 games every gamer should own.
Flash Point: Fire Rescue a good place to begin for co-op games, in which you all work together (Pandemic would also be a safe choice though not my cup of tea personally but most folks seem to enjoy it).
Get the Imperial Assault Campaign module for Vassal from http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Star_Wars:_Imperial_Assault
The next Total Solar Eclipse holiday in 2024 in USA? See you there!
So what do you think? What are your favorites? Thanks so much!
That is the wrong thing to ask, if you want games that you will like!
But it is a question with an easy answer. Click my profile, click games, and sort them according to ratings. And there you have it. It is more or less useless to you unless you already know you like the same games, but there it is anyway.
You should also rate your games, that helps people have some idea of what you might like.
It is also important to find out/know/be able to say what you don't like. That helps much more in recommending games. Also, remember the people you're going to play with. If you can't get a game played, don't buy it.
(Edit: Ok, two recommendations to find out where your gaming preferences lie: Innovation for management of chaos, Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game - can be played casually or very 'deeply', but be prepared to spend more if you like the game.)
Warning: only buy a maximum of 2-3 games at a time. Every game you play gives you more information what you and the group loves and hates in a game.
WOW! This is great feedback! I'm sorry that you can't tell much about our tastes from my profile. We just have not run into a game that we'd rate poorly. Oh, I'm sure we will. Right now, we play something just about every night. We seem to play one title for 3 or 4 days in a row then switch it up. But nothing has been shelved. Seems like we play each of the three games I mentioned at least once a week.
Unbeknownst to me, I work with some younger guys that knew all about the games when I casually mentioned them. That has turned into us playing during our lunches at least once a week. This week they brought Kingsburg. I enjoyed it immensely, but wonder about whether this will be popular with the wife.
Is it taboo to borrow games from each other? I can see how it would be given the large number of pieces. I'm sure they'd let me borrow it if I asked...I'm just not sure if that is something that is done in the hobby or not.
Finally, just a comment. I'm surprised at how many seemingly popular games are not readily available. I'd appreciate it if someone could fill me in on how there is demand for games but they are not available. Seems silly to me.
Again, thanks so much for taking the time to share your thoughts. I really appreciate it.
Wow. Talk about similarities. We too got hooked into the by Settlers, followed by Carcassonne, and never looked back. We love the hobby and I am pretty sure I border on addiction - playing AND buying I couldn't help but chuckle about your spreadsheet. That's been my approach for a few years now and is itself a source of enjoyment. The tweaking, the endless tweaking....ok I said it. It includes my ever-growing wishlist, merchants and prices, and my own rankings based on reviews I have come to trust and my family's own gaming interests.
As others have pointed out you are going to get a whole lot of recommendations. Before I offer mine I will provide a bit of context. We too have high school age kids who very much enjoy the hobby and over the years have come to prefer (most of the time) board games over video games. My spreadsheet serves several purposes such as keeping merchants/prices and family rankings for every game we own. Each member of our family evaluates a game individually. Criteria? Score out of 10 for each of: components, design and mechanics, theme, multiple paths to victory, randomness, player interaction, replayability. From the four indvidual rankings I calculate the family average. These rankings play a major role in developing our wishlist. We have our own personla favourites (which are not always everyone else's top choices). However, we have found common ground on many games. These are games that we never have to try and convince each other to play and that make it to our tabletop frequently.
Over the past few years I have found http://www.fairplaygames.com/ and http://www.timewellspentgames.com to have the best prices, particularly when the free shipping kicks in. However, I live in Canada and since our dollar has been tumbling over the past few months Canadian retailer prices look better now. In particular, http://www.thecultofthenew.com/ They offer free shipping to the U.S. if you spend at least $150. Because their pricing is in CDN $ you may find them worth checking-out.
Last edited Fri Feb 7, 2014 9:24 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
@ Goldfinger. Lol. Yep, I think I have a similar addiction. I can't believe I've missed all these years with all of these great games around. Just finished playing Carcassonne with my wife and 15-year-old son. We just added the first expansion and it was great. We had such a good time! We're reading up on Lords of Waterdeep tonight anticipating tacking it tomorrow.
It is hard to beat Cardhaus on pricing when they have what you want available. They will seek out anything you have an interest in, so be sure to call if they don't have something in stock hat you desire. Lately they have been beefing up their Euro catalogue, and now take preorders.
Some games I consider essential and that will likely remain in your collection forever:
El Grande is the essential area-control game. Kemet is the essential conflict game. Finca is the essential rondel and set-collection game. China is the essential route-building/filler game (with strong elements of area control). Ra: The Dice Game is the essential Yahtzee-style dice game. (Note: I think King of Tokyo is way overrated, and at least a lot more fun with a variant I created.) Chinatown is the essential trading/negotiation game. The Resistance: Avalon is the essential hidden-identity and social-deduction game. Lords of Waterdeep is the essential worker-placement game. For Sale is the essential pure auction game. Tinners' Trail is the essential economic game. Battle Line is the essential 2-player card game. Samurai is the essential tile-laying game. Friday is the essential solo card game. Escape: The Curse of the Temple is the essential co-op, dice-chucking game. Lifeboats is the essential how-to-ruin-your-relationships-in-two-hours game. Loopin' Louie is the essential this-is-supposed-to-be-for-kids? game.
Waterdeep reminded me of a really watered (har har) down version of Caylus with the buildings and how those become available new spaces to place your workers (at a cost paid to the owner). Only Caylus is leagues better... just don't play it with 5.
I was in a similar position not so many months ago, and definitely had the same 'bug'. I too started with Settlers and TTR.
Just a word of warning, there are so many games available and all will have a lot of people telling you how good they are. This is good in that you can be reasonably sure the game is a good one, but it also leaves a lot of room for many purchases that may not necessarily see a lot of table time.
It's important to realise what the likes/dislikes and limitations of your gaming group are. Some games are absolutely brilliant, but also take 4+ hours to play - so just aren't practical for a lot of people (myself included).
I've bought a few games and sold them after only one (or no) plays. I realise everything is clear in hindsight, and it's difficult to know whether a game is right for you and your group without having the opportunity to play it (which is a real problem if you're the primary gaming enthusiast amongst your friends and family).
One thing I've come to find very helpful is reading 'negative' reviews on games. These will often highlight aspects of a game that may seem small to most, but are a deal breaker to others (I stress play-time here).
Anyway, if you stick with popular opinion on these forums it's pretty hard to go horrendously wrong. The popular games are generally popular for good reasons, so even if it may not be for you, you'll at least be able to appreciate the game for what it is. Just pay attention to the average game weight and play-times, whilst trying to identify what else is important to your group.
That's probably not overly helpful to your request, but hope it helps on some other level.
Given that you live in Edmond (I'm in Norman, but go to Edmond regularly), I'd be willing to let you and your family borrow some of my games for an extended period of time -- there are a few I own that I think you would like and I no longer play, so this would be no trouble at all.
@Michael. Wow, that is cool of you. I may reach out to you at some point. Thanks a bunch.
Today, we tried 7 Wonders and the reviews are mixed. We may have made things more difficult than it should be. We scored everything at the end but that seemed super complicated. I'm going to watch some videos to see what we did wrong. If we did it correct, we won't be playing this as much.