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Subject: The "Saudi No Dice Small No Magic Cheap" game recommendation game rss

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WJ MacGuffin
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Hello everyone, and welcome to the Saudi No Dice No Magic Small and Cheap" game recommendation game! (SNDNMSaCGR Game) My name is WJ MacGuffin, and I'm a gamer who moved to Saudi Arabia a few months back. Now that I've finally settled in and figured out how the postal system works here, I'm ready to buy a few games and mail 'em here. (I had to leave my library at home.)

But ....

It's not that simple! You see, there are several problems with gaming in a highly-conservative Muslim desert nation. Hence, the SNDNMSaCGR Game!

Here's how to play. Make a game recommendation that falls within the following categories:

- Nothing with magic, as that's a real concern here. (Accusations of sorcery carry legal weight.)
- Nothing with dice, as it smacks of gambling, which is illegal.
- No CCGs. (Pokemon is illegal, as it's apparently part of the worldwide Zionist conspiracy. Therefore, all CCGs are illegal.)
- Something small. (Shipping a used 6x9 paperback from Amazon costs $17.00. Shipping Twilight Imperium would break my bank.)
- Something cheap. (Packages sometimes simply disappear in the Saudi postal system. Usually, it's because censors take offense at something and destroy the package, so I can't risk losing an expensive game.)

Bonus points for recommendations good for non-gamers, as my flatmates have never played anything beyond Cluedo.

Ready? Set? Go! (Please? It's rather boring over here.)
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Steve B
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Found this quite interesting, then found that someone else in a similar situation to yours got some pretty good replies here: http://videogamegeek.com/thread/991166/soon-to-be-expat-movi...

"Make sure the box(es) that include your board games mention "Games" or "kids Games" on the packing list", but then when the guy actually got to the country: "I packed several games in my luggage and got thru customs, no problem. They just x-rayed my bags. I also went to the mega mall in Dharan and toy stores there sell all the classic sorts of games: checkers, chess, backgammon, monopoly, scrabble, clue, etc. etc.. So, the no game thing, not so much. "

Hopefully you can get some good recommendations!
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Shane Larsen
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This is possibly the most interesting recommendation thread I've ever answered:

Based on your restrictions, you're going to get a fair amount of filler games:

For Sale - Auction game.
Modern Art - Auction game.
Hanabi - Co-op game.
Friday - Solo, deck-building game.
Battle Line - 2p, battle card game.
Piñata - 2p card game.
Unnamed Object - Press-your-luck game. No dice; no magic.

Games with a little more meat:

Sail to India
Spyrium - Shoe-box-sized box. Same designer as Caylus. Plays 2-5 players.
China - The box has big W-H dimensions, but its depth is shallow. So small box here is relative. There's a great game inside.
Glory to Rome - Card game for 2-5.
Innovation - Card game 2-4 (recommended with 2), same designer as Glory to Rome.
Pax Porfiriana - Very heavy card game. Quite possibly the heaviest game in a small box there is.
Carcassonne - This is a gateway game that scales well. It's more than a filler because it plays a little longer. But still very light.

I hope this helps. Good luck and have fun!
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S J
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So Fantasy is out (basically)... what about Sci-Fi? Cause Race For The Galaxy is both cheap and will scratch that CCG itch you can't have otherwise.
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Antti Karjalainen
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Hey, That's My Fish!
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S J
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sturner wrote:
Could you use a dice rolling app to get around the dice restriction?


Sounds dangerous. If they consider the mere presence of dice "gambling" then I don't think they're going to care if its digital or physical.
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Adam Brocker
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Having lived in Saudi for a number of years, I feel your pain. Games I would recommend are:

Lighter Games
Fleet - Very small package and the theme is shipping.
Coloretto - Gecko themed again with a small box.
Go - Abstract. Very simple pieces.
Innovation - You may want to seek out the earlier edition with this one. Not sure how the art is with the new edition.
Friday - Nice solo game where the art focuses on Robinson Crusoe.
Lost Cities - This may be a stretch, so I would recommend looking through the artwork.

Heavier Games
Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization - Very little art with this one. Game is compact thought it is a bit on the heavy side.
The Castles of Burgundy - Again minimal art and small box. Forgot that it has dice...
Hansa Teutonica - Another drab looking guy on the cover.
Winsome Games - If you like train games, most games by Winsome will work other than Locomotive Werks.

So, basically you need to seek out games with a bored looking guy on the cover. Never realized how many games have an alcohol or religious theme.
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Mary T.
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abrocker wrote:

The Castles of Burgundy - Again minimal art and small box.


This has dice.
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Chris
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Hanabi - 30 cards. 11 card tokens. no words, just abstract firework pictures.

Jaipur - 50ish cards, 30ish tokens, pictures of camels, leather and rubies. and a man in a turban.

Neither are very heavy but they are small to ship.

Not relevant in your timescales, but I jumped on my first Kickstarter today - Province, $7 delivered worldwide (in May this year) for a diceless euro on a beermat sized board. Can also be print and play... and hey...

PRINT AND PLAY. Zero shipping / inspection... right? They can't ALL suck...
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Thanee
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http://www.thebookdepository.co.uk/ has free shipping worldwide.
 
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Lard Head
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Hive or Hive Pocket

Carcassonne would probably work too so long as it is not a gigantic big box version (some of the smaller big boxes might be okay) and steer clear of certain expansions (Princess and the Dragon I'm looking at you).

EDIT:

Through the Desert could work too.
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Scott Hill
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Just buy a pack of cards and play poker...

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Drew Thomson
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I'm guessing Love Letter wouldn't fly in the Kingdom.
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Shane Larsen
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abrocker wrote:
thedacker wrote:
Glory to Rome - Card game for 2-5.


Make sure that this is the Black Box edition. The standard version would not be acceptable.


Why?:



I'm not doubting you, I'm just trying to wrap my head around the different restrictions here. I actually thought that because the original edition had such cartoony, childish-looking artwork that it would be acceptable.


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Aaron Morgan
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thedacker wrote:
Make sure that this is the Black Box edition. The standard version would not be acceptable.


Some of the non-English editions have mild cartoon nudity (butts, breasts concealed by long hair), but what's wrong with the standard edition?
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Mindy Basi
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Can anyone explain why Pokemon is associated with some kind of conspiracy? How did that come about?

Edit:
Quote:
In 2001, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, who is the highest religious authority in the kingdom, issued a fatwā banning the Pokémon franchise, claiming it encourages gambling and promotes Zionism. High Muslim authorities in Qatar and Egypt then joined the ban. As this happened during the second Intifada, a Jordanian newspaper printed a caricature of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon sitting in a tank and laughing at an Arab man chasing a Pokémon. This is meant to convey that Arabs are distracted from their conflict with the Israelis by popular franchises, with Pokémon as an example of such "distractions."
Despite the initial banning, which quickly wiped away Pokémon merchandise (especially the card game) from markets in Saudi Arabia, Pokémon video games quickly returned to be sold normally, but under much less demand from local consumers. Some Pokémon merchandise such as the Expedition Base Set reappeared in stores a few years later, but newer sets were never brought. Generation III and Generation IV games seem completely unaffected by the ban.


and ...
Quote:
"The religious edict issued over the weekend said the Pokemon video game and cards have symbols that include "the star of David, which everyone knows is connected to international Zionism and is Israel's national emblem".

The kingdom's senior cleric, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, protested that most of the cards figure symbols such as "crosses, sacred for Christians and triangles, significant for Freemasons".

And he charged that the worldwide phenomenon of Pokemon launced in Japan in 1996 was a bad influence.

"It resembles a game of gambling because of the competition which at times involves sums of money being exchanged between collectors of the cards" Sheikh Abdul Aziz said."


Other games that might be ok:

Asara, it's building towers, no dice
Pocket Hive

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Derek H
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abrocker wrote:

Innovation - You may want to seek out the earlier edition with this one. Not sure how the art is with the new edition.

Not sure what is meant by this? There is nothing "magical" or anything involving dice rolling or (AFAIR) alcohol in the base game. {goes off to look through cards...} ... and back. One card is for "Fermenting" with a picture of grapes. There is also a card for communism with a picture of Karl Marx. Not sure if either of these would cause problems.

Another game that is easy to play with non-gamers is 6 nimmt!. No card art; very light" and cheap to replace. A staple of mine with church groups.
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1 Lucky Texan
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No Thanks! (contains tokens, but they represent negative points, better alternative, see below)

6 nimmt! (goes by many names, download the rules for No Thanks shown above, pull e the required cards from the Cat 5 deck and play No Thanks using matchsticks or w'ever for the tokens)

Pacal also uses the take 6 deck


Cities inexpensive, maybe have someone repackage it smaller than the box (which isn't huge) plays solo or up to 4, can play 8 with another game. Multiple levels of difficulty. Would look like a kids puzzle to inspectors.

IOTA tiny, cheap, kinda like qwirkle.

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Steve B
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Kwill2 wrote:
Can anyone explain why Pokemon is associated with some kind of conspiracy? How did that come about?

Other games that might be ok:

Asara, it's building towers, no dice
Pocket Hive



This also interested me and so I looked it up. BBC news in 2001 report: Saudi Arabia's mufti, the highest religious authority in the conservative Muslim state, has banned the popular children's play of Pokemon, saying it promotes Zionism and involves gambling.

The religious edict issued over the weekend said the Pokemon video game and cards have symbols that include "the star of David, which everyone knows is connected to international Zionism and is Israel's national emblem".

The kingdom's senior cleric, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, protested that most of the cards figure symbols such as "crosses, sacred for Christians and triangles, significant for Freemasons".

And he charged that the worldwide phenomenon of Pokemon launced in Japan in 1996 was a bad influence.

"It resembles a game of gambling because of the competition which at times involves sums of money being exchanged between collectors of the cards" Sheikh Abdul Aziz said

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/1243307.stm
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Liam
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Kwill2 wrote:
Can anyone explain why Pokemon is associated with some kind of conspiracy? How did that come about?


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/1243307.stm
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Mindy Basi
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I would make sure none of the symbols on any game have religious connotations, after reading about the Pokemon incident. It's an interesting thread. I think it is going to depend on the local authorities and how they feel about things, as well as customs when you enter the country. That was dumb, you are already there ... but maybe they inspect packages in the mail? Ok, I need more coffee, stat ... obviously, they do.
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Jeff Hale
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Eight-Minute Empire: Legends would do the trick.
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if an otherwise acceptable card game has disallowed images, an ArtsCow retheme might be the answer.
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Tom Lee
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I would recommend you following games (a star for a game I would personally buy first):

Bohnanza
Hanabi
Such a Thing?
Jungle Speed
Love Letter
Ligretto
No Thanks!
Tichu (But play it wih a regular deck!)
6 nimmt!
Hive
Jaipur

Not sure because of the theme:
Coup
The Resistance
Citadels

A bit bigger box than requested
Chinatown

Hope they will fit your criterias!
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Warren Zdan
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Targi is a great game that meets all your requirements along with being thematically perfect for your location. Actually I'm pretty surprised it wasn't already mentioned. The only caveat is it's only a 2-player game, but I didn't see any requirements as to how many players you need to support.
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