Alishah Novin
United States
Franklin
Tennessee
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I'm looking for a new game to bring to the table. The key items, as mentioned in my title, are as follows:

1) 30-45 minutes long (Shorter is acceptable... we like to play a few short games, because the 2 hour games don't always get completed, or are interrupted)

2) Thematically rich. Normally I don't concern myself too much with theme - and while it's not my main requirement, I would like something that you "feel" as you play. I understand it could be hard to achieve this, but I'm curious to see what's out there.

3) I like economy games (Power Grid, Shark, Black Friday) but those require a lot of number crunching and can lead to analysis paralysis, or just slower playing. I'm also really into the idea of having some kind of Spying game. Agents, Double-Agents, Triple Agents, etc... bring it on... Which leads me to the last point - cut-throat is a-okay.

Games I have really come to like in recent history:

Panic Station,
Resistance,
Resistance: Avalon,
Coup

I don't mind Love Letter though it's not "rich" enough for my tastes, and the strategy isn't as deep as I'd wish.

Other games/mechanics I really have enjoyed: Buccaneer and Manhattan Project are both fun. En Garde! is enjoyable for it's mathematics. Fluxx for its wackiness (though, it makes it real hard to develop a working strategy)

I'm really curious to see what else is out there...
 
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Pasi Ojala
Finland
Tampere
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Get the Imperial Assault Campaign module for Vassal from http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Star_Wars:_Imperial_Assault
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One Night Ultimate Werewolf for more, but different hidden identities, deduction, bluffing (3-10 players, 5 minutes).

You can play Discworld: Ankh-Morpork always in about 60 minutes. The confrontation feels less personal, because it is just how things work in Ankh-Morpork (highly thematic). The game scales well from 2 to 4 players.

On the lighter side you have Room 25 for 1-6 players. The game has a nice programming mechanic, and contains multiple game modes, including suspicion mode, which contains one or more guards that try to work secretly to prevent the prisoners from escaping. (Think of Cube.)

A fairly random hidden identity game (due to dice) for 4-8 players (6-8 recommended): Shadow Hunters.
 
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Brian Schwartz
United States
Holbrook
New York
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This is definitely not super rich nor economic, but it is definitely cutthroat and short to play. I've played it on my lunch hour.
It is...The Downfall of Pompeii


 
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Eric Johnson
United States
Cottage Grove
Oregon
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Lifeboat and The Castle of the Devil are along those lines.

I'd also suggest BANG! The Dice Game and Space Cadets: Dice Duel as games that can be very thematic with the right group... but they are not dark by any stretch.

The Agents might also be something to consider. I have not played this yet (hesitate to recommend), but I am looking forward to trying it out, and it fits the description of what you are looking for.
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Andy E
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Bohnanza is a fairly good, quick economic game, which can be as backstabbing as you want it to be. (In our gaming group, people frequently make trades of the form "I'll give you X right now if you agree not to trade Y to player A on your next turn.")

7 Wonders, while having a theme that you can somewhat ignore, is a very quick, fun game that I like in particular because it scales well with more players. (The actions are simultaneous, so it doesn't take much more time with a full 7 players as it does with 3.)

Puerto Rico takes a bit of time to set up and take down, but if you're playing a couple of games in a row then it's about the right length.
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Paul S
United Kingdom
Leeds
West Yorks
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DARK IN HERE, ISN'T IT?
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I'll second Discworld: Ankh-Morpork.

Also perhaps: Android: Infiltration - thematic, quick, nasty sci-fi fun.

And maybe The Cave (but might be a little long).
 
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Robert Sell
United States
Stevens Point
Wisconsin
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Revolution! could be the game you're looking for. Blind bidding and you lose the money no mater what. It plays in 45. In the game you are trying to gain influence on the board and there are special action that you are bidding to get, at the same time as everyone else. Can be taught in 2 min.
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Clinton Sattler
United States
Knoxville
Tennessee
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For real economic games, you choices are limited.

Consider Paris Connection, Northern Pacific, For Sale, Modern Art, Die Fugger or Biblios. However, none of these are very thematic.

For double agent, triple agents, etc, take a look at Cold War: CIA vs KGB, Cockroach Poker, Council of Verona (with Council of Verona: Poison Expansion) or even Liar's Dice. Again, the theming tends to run a little (to a lot) thin on these selections, but that's the price to pay for a short play time.

+1 for One Night Ultimate Werewolf
 
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Richard Mullet
United Kingdom
Exeter
Devon
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Hanabi doesn't fit all those criteria but given the games you say you've liked recently are all social deduction games I'd highly recommend it as a very different game of that kind. Maybe have a look at "Cold War CIA vs KGB" for two
 
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Lacombe
Louisiana
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Sneaks & Snitches perhaps.
 
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Alishah Novin
United States
Franklin
Tennessee
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I forgot why I hate asking for recommendations... So many more games that I will want to own and play!
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Lane Taylor
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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otiose321 wrote:
I forgot why I hate asking for recommendations... So many more games that I will want to own and play!

Medici is pretty cutthroat, but not so much infiltration. All the backstabbing comes in driving up bid prices and/or forcing players to take less than optimal cargo. Very ruthless, though. I need to add this to my games.....
 
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Greame Johnston
United Kingdom
East Grinstead
West Sussex
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Try Cash n Guns with the undercover cop option. Best with 6. Great fun for no more than 30 mins. One of those games where you can learn as you play and there is no down time.
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Moe45673
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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Lords of Vegas - economic, negotiation (anything can be traded, even actions), thematic, fun, tons of interaction and hostile takeovers. Once all players are familiar, can lay in under an hour. Expansion coming out very soon allows up to 6 players (it shouldn't increase playtime as the game ends when the "Game Over" card is turned at the start of someone's turn)

DO NOT watch the tabletop episode. I did and thought they did a horrible job of selling the game. A guy I met at my FLGS said his interest in the game disappeared after watching that episode (I tried to convince him otherwise). Tom Vasel does a great job explaining the game.

 
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