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Subject: What was your Gateway Game? rss

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Mike Mullen
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I've searched for something like this and came up with nothing, so I'm sorry if thread has already been made.

I have a couple of friends who play some games like Avalon, Werewolf, and the like and I was wondering what games I could use as a transition from that to something more... well... "hardcore." I know I can't force them to play something they don't want to and all that jazz, but what might appeal to them?

Pretty much, I want to know what has worked. What was your gateway game? What game do you use as a gateway with new players? Anything is welcome.

Edit: I have a small set of games now, and the ones I consider gateway are Room 25, Takenoko, and Dominion.
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Boaty McBoatface
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My gateway game was big and complex, and would have been crap for any noraml person.

The games I use are

Original Fury of Dracula
History of the world
Thunderoad
Masterpiece
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Paul DeStefano
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Mine was Starship Troopers
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Andrei Koenig
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Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game for me.
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War of the Ring (First Edition)
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Arkham Horror.
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Andy Holt
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Rayleigh
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It's too long ago for me to remember which game (might even have been Diplomacy.
Nowadays I would use Lords of Waterdeep - it seems to work for 90%.
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Christopher Boat
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Ankeny
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Depends how far back you go, I guess. The game that got me hooked on board games, and I imagine this is the case for a lot of people, was Catan, specifically with the Cities & Knights expansion.

That being said, I'd like to think the two games that started it all were HeroQuest and Omega Virus.
 
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Tyler Harris
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Carcassonne was the gateway for me... and then the gateway for my wife... and then the gateway for several of our friends. Those little meeples are impossible to resist, I guess.

Since we are talking "gateway" here, I'd recommend just the base game, but the other cool thing is that the expansions can slowly ramp the complexity up over time.
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Denise Lockard
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It was Catan - but only for a very short time (a few plays). I then went straight into games like Targi, Stone Age and Castles of Burgundy. I only spent $5 for Catan so it wasn't a huge loss Still love Carcassonne though.
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Nate Edwards
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Mechanicsburg
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Growing up, I'd enjoyed games like Stratego, but the game that really started me in hobby was Carcassonne
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Bart R.
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I used Carcassonne and Via Romana to introduce the members of my game group. I might use Alhambra or Qin now, although I'd let the newbie choose from a selection of games. People are more likely to appreciate something new if they have made the choice themselves.
 
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Chad Steward
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Every game I play is a gateway game leading me deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole...

These are some of the games I use for other people to get them into the hobby:

- The Resistance: Avalon
- Bang! The Dice Game
- Say Anything
- Wits and Wagers
- Saboteur
- Flash Point
- Dixit
- Pandemic
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Brad Faber
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grew up playing Catan in high school, but what really got me into the hobby was Dominion on a poker night where we had a small crowd

That group also introduced me to Ticket To Ride, Forbidden Island, and Incan Gold... a great introduction to a number of different board game genres
 
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Adam
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I played Magic the Gathering a lot, but I would consider my "Gateway Game" to be Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game
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David Janik-Jones
Canada
Waterloo
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William Korner
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Tomah
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For as long as I can remember I have loved gaming, but I would say Dungeons and Dragons opened up a world of gaming I didn't know existed. I had only played the normal family board games(Monopoly/Sorry etc) up until then and I got the basic red box for Christmas(saw it in big Sears Christmas catalog and it called to me). This lead me to hobby stores where I still remember buying miniatures and eventually Talisman.
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Craig McRoberts
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Small World was mine, right around the time it was published. And I still play it!
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Steph Hodge
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Ha kinda funny you should ask.

It was Arkham Horror that first got me into gaming. Crazy now since I can't stand the game or anything co-op.

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Chris Gallo
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I started with Pandemic. I've always had a soft spot for coops and I think working together eased me into being able to finally move on to a traitor game where it was still kinda coop which was BSG. Then I moved into games that were competitive and I believe my first one of those was Carcassonne.
 
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Pete K
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It was Dominion and Lost Cities for me,
Carcassonne for my son, and
Citadels for my daughter.

All of these games still get played. Of the widely-used gateways, Ticket to Ride has been a disappointment.
 
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N R
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Munchkin and Arkham Horror were my gateway games. I do not play either much more. Munchkin gets too vicious with my group and Akrham Horror has been replaced by Eldritch Horror.
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I think the main thing is to find a game with an interesting theme, and a game where the rules are easy to remember due to good integration with the theme. The actual (perceived) complexity should be less important. Does the group have some common interest or hobby?

Carcassonne and Blokus Trigon were the games that reintroduced me to gaming as an 'adult'. Carcassonne was/is a good game to hold conversations over, and in both games everyone is involved also on other players' turns.

Next of the more complex games was Arkham Horror, but it was played only a few times before Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game hit the table. We played BSG twice a week and usually two games in a session, with 3 players and 5 players (best with 5), also with 4 players with the Exodus expansion. We have a lot of different games now, and we have moved away from abstracts to more thematic games, but we still play BSG with all of its 3 current expansions regularly (34 games since I started logging at the beginning of 2013).

Now we added the Game of Thrones boardgame to the mix, although only time will tell what kind of staying power it has. It is quite a mean game, but ah, the great smell of victory!

Most of our group like hidden identities and traitor games, so we are tilted towards those. When you look at my collection, you'll see games from Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game, Citadels, Discworld: Ankh-Morpork, One Night Ultimate Werewolf, Panic Station and The Resistance: Avalon to Room 25, Shadow Hunters and Saboteur. (SoC was not that good for us.) All fit a certain number of players, certain players, situation, mood, and playtime. Some require the mentality to have a fun and epic game instead of winning at all costs.

Also, a honorable mention goes to Cosmic Encounter. It is not exactly a hidden identity game (although we have always played with the hidden power variant), but the bluffing and mindgames are very strong in this one too. Some games have very fun interactions between alien powers and cards, and no two games are alike.
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Leonard Moses II
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Hixson
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Battle Line
Carcassonne (with no extras)

A bit too dull for me in the long run. I am not that serious and do not value solidity more than fun.
 
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Vinz Clortho
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My friends tried several games in an attempt to get me hooked, including Munchkin (enjoyable, but not addictive), Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game (never saw the tv show, so didn't connect with it at all), and Arkham Horror (liked the theme, but not the mechanisms).

The two that finally awakened a passion for craft gaming were Pandemic (though I mostly played it solo, since it turns out I'm a bit of an alpha gamer), and Lords of Waterdeep (the first game I felt like I HAD to buy as soon as we finished our initial playthrough).

So it turns out I'm way more into Eurogames than Ameritrash. I suggest you try an array of styles and genres and see what sticks. Every group is unique.

Edit: forgot about Dominion. They tried that on me too. Once was enough - dull!
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