Matthew Peckham
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Quite simply, if someone was looking to get interested in board games, but didn't really know which type of game they would like the most, which one game would you recommend they pick up to dip their toes in the water with?

Something reasonably simple to learn, stands out as one of the better games in it's genre, and something that is still in print and reasonably priced? Of course, as they're entry-level games, we're going to want a reasonably strong theme too, OR outstanding gameplay for newbies so disinteresting theme fades away (Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan, etc.)

Types of Game:

Resource Management
Co-Operative
Party
Abstract
Auction
Tile Laying/Modular
Set Collection
Area Control
Dice
Card
Miniatures
Worker Placement
Deck Building

This could work well for someone who has a few games, and enjoys board games, but has certain holes in their collection.

Also, am I missing any primary categories?
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Kārlis Jēriņš
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Deck building is a major category, and Dominion is what you want there. Yes, there's been tons of deck builders after Dominion and most of them have stronger themes, but you can't really get purer deck building than in Dominion.

My recommendation for the entry-level co-op is Pandemic - it's quick to play, has simple rules and a very appealing theme.

For worker placement I'd probably suggest Lords of Waterdeep - you can't really get much simpler than that and still have an interesting game left. It doesn't take too long to play, too.

Abstract - your best bet is probably one of the project GIPF games. Being abstracts, they all have fairly simple rules and zero theme and are all about strategy. For your first one, I'd recommend TZAAR or ZÈRTZ, as they play the quickest of the lot.

Set collection - I'm pretty sure Ticket to Ride is the way to go there. As an added bonus, you get an example of route building as well.
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Daniel Hill
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Hi,
Whilst I have attempted to provide some options for you, I would take with a pinch of salt.

I personally find games to be like my preferences with alcohol, sometimes I want 1 or 2 hoppy ales; other times I want a glass of strong red wine. My point is tastes change and will be very different from one person to the next. It is hard for me to recommend games without knowing your tastes in genres / intended group size / age range (kids or adults.) etc.

However I hope the below helps and acts as a starting point.

Co-Operative
Pandemic

Party
Jungle Speed

Tile Laying/Modular
Carcassonne

Card
Bonanza

Worker Placement
Oregon
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Party - Wits and Wagers
Abstract - Ingenious or Hey, That's My Fish
Auction - Modern Art or For Sale
Tile Laying - Alhambra
Set Collection - Morels or Finca
Area Control - El Grande or Eight Minute Empire
Dice - Las Vegas or Blueprints or Can't Stop
Card - Sushi Go or Coloretto
Worker Placement - Deadwood (even though I don't love the game it illustrates the concept well)
Pick Up and Deliver - The Great Heartland Hauling Company
Hand Management - Lost Cities
Network Building - Thurn and Taxis
Resource Management - Splendor
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Silver Robert
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Resource Management - Catan
Co-Operative - Pandemic
Party - The Resistance
Abstract - Hive
Auction - Panic on Wall Street
Tile Laying/Modular - Carcassonne
Set Collection - Jaipur
Area Control - 8 minute empire
Dice - King of Tokyo
Card - Abluxxen
Miniatures - X-Wing
Worker Placement - Stone Age
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Justin Fuhrmann
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velvetvoulge wrote:
Quite simply, if someone was looking to get interested in board games, but didn't really know which type of game they would like the most, which one game would you recommend they pick up to dip their toes in the water with?

Something reasonably simple to learn, stands out as one of the better games in it's genre, and something that is still in print and reasonably priced? Of course, as they're entry-level games, we're going to want a reasonably strong theme too, OR outstanding gameplay for newbies so disinteresting theme fades away (Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan, etc.)

Types of Game:

Resource Management
Co-Operative
Party
Abstract
Auction
Tile Laying/Modular
Set Collection
Area Control
Dice
Card
Miniatures
Worker Placement

This could work well for someone who has a few games, and enjoys board games, but has certain holes in their collection.

Also, am I missing any primary categories?


Resource Management - Core Worlds, plus this also gives you deckbuilding
Co-Operative - probably Flash Point: Fire Rescue
Party - Wits & Wagers
Auction - Goa
Tile Laying/Modular - Carcassonne
Set Collection - Ticket to Ride
Area Control
Dice - The Castles of Burgundy
Card - Core Worlds again, although Dominion is a good choice, too
 
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Jondi Soper
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Oh so many great "gateway" games! Not enough time! Let's see...

All the above suggestions are great, I will try to add to them.

Resource Management: Agricola is an easy game to learn and is rather popular. I would definitely say it is a good Gateway Resource Management game.

Co-Operative: Ghost Stories Players take the role of Monks and you work together to exercise ghosts from the town. The theme of this game definitely stands out and it is a lot of fun.

Party: So many good party games and which one to choose DEFINITELY depends on the group of people you are playing with. For example, I LOVE Cards Against Humanity, but this is not a game for everyone and definitely not for kiddos. Other great "party games" include Telestrations and ROFL.

Dice: Ninja: Legend of the Scorpion Clan is a fun little game and it comes in a case that looks like a little Ninja. It is compact and easy to carry around with you and even non-gamers seem to enjoy it...making it a perfect "gateway" game.

Deck-Building: I love deck-building games and there are a lot of great ones. Depending on the group you are trying to introduce to the genre, one suggestion may be Tanto Coure. This game plays similarly to Dominion, but imo the mechanics are better and the art is adorable! But this one isn't for everyone either. Other deck-builders I like would be Star Trek The Deck-Building Game, Marvel: Legendary, and Eaten By Zombies. All of these, as you can imagine, are very theme-heavy, but also very well balanced and very enjoyable. It really depends on the preferences of the people you are playing with.

Hope this helps!
 
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Mitch Willis
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Resource Management: Jambo
Co-Operative: Hanabi
Party: Dixit: Odyssey
Abstract: ZÈRTZ
Auction: Ra
Tile Laying/Modular: Carcassonne
Set Collection: Ticket to Ride
Area Control: Sun Tzu (aka Dynasties)
Dice: Kingsburg
Card: Love Letter
Miniatures: Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game
Worker Placement: Lords of Waterdeep
Deck Building: Star Realms
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velvetvoulge wrote:
Quite simply, if someone was looking to get interested in board games, but didn't really know which type of game they would like the most, which one game would you recommend they pick up to dip their toes in the water with?

Something reasonably simple to learn, stands out as one of the better games in it's genre, and something that is still in print and reasonably priced? Of course, as they're entry-level games, we're going to want a reasonably strong theme too, OR outstanding gameplay for newbies so disinteresting theme fades away (Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan, etc.)


Resource Management - Santiago de Cuba
Co-Operative - Pandemic w/Pandemic: On the Brink, or Hanabi
Party - Say Anything
Abstract - Hive Pocket or Backgammon
Auction - ?
Tile Laying/Modular - ?
Set Collection - Jaipur, Lost Cities, Finca, or Africana
Area Control - ?
Dice - Steam Park, or Formula D
Card - Elevenses, or K2
Miniatures - ?
Worker Placement - Lords of Waterdeep
Deck Building - Splendor (edit: whoops, was thinking of engine building gulp)
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velvetvoulge wrote:
Quite simply, if someone was looking to get interested in board games, but didn't really know which type of game they would like the most, which one game would you recommend they pick up to dip their toes in the water with?

Something reasonably simple to learn, stands out as one of the better games in it's genre, and something that is still in print and reasonably priced? Of course, as they're entry-level games, we're going to want a reasonably strong theme too, OR outstanding gameplay for newbies so disinteresting theme fades away (Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan, etc.)


My recommendations:

Resource Management: Aren't the overwhelming majority of games resource management? I'll just say Settlers even though the complexity is at the high end for entry-level games.

Co-Operative: Hanabi

Party: I'm not exactly sure what this category means, but Dixit is a great entry game for non-gamers.

Abstract: Quanzy

Auction: Intrigue upon reconsideration Bohnanza is probably more fun for new players, although less directly an auction game

Tile Laying/Modular: Starbase Jeff

Set Collection: Sushi Go! Same core play as 7 Wonders, but most players can actually understand the strategy in first game.

Area Control: Hey, That's My Fish!

Dice:King of Tokyo

Card: Love Letter is about as pure and minimalist card-tracking player elimination game as you can find. It's also dirt cheap.

Miniatures: I'm gonna get crotchety here and say that if you want to play a miniatures game, you probably want to go with whatever is already popular at your FLGS or gaming club, because otherwise you'll have a game without opponents.

Worker Placement: Honestly, I have yet to see a worker placement game that I'd consider entry level. Most of them are high complexity and take all day to play -- especially if you're trying to teach new players.

Deck Building: Star Realms is both cheaper and more rules-lite than any other option, so it's the go to entry point. It's not the best deckbuilder, but it is the best choice for brand new players.


Quote:
Also, am I missing any primary categories?


Of the top of my head:

Bluffing

Social Deduction

Word Games

I'm also not sure if trick-taking should be its own category or just a subset of card games.
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Patrik Ahvenainen
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Co-operative: Pandemic
Auction: Modern Art
Tile Laying/Modular: Carcassonne
Set Collection: Ticket to Ride
Area Control: Small World
Dice: King of Tokyo
Miniatures: X-Wing
Deck Building: Dominion
Real-time: Space Alert
 
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For what it's worth (and without reading other lists):

Resource Management - Le Havre
Co-Operative - Pandemic
Party - Dixit
Abstract - Go
Auction - Keyflower
Tile Laying/Modular - Carcassonne
Set Collection - Ticket to Ride
Area Control - ?
Dice - ?
Card - BattleCON
Miniatures - Zombicide
Worker Placement -
Deck Building - Dominion
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holgerd wrote:
velvetvoulge wrote:
Quite simply, if someone was looking to get interested in board games, but didn't really know which type of game they would like the most, which one game would you recommend they pick up to dip their toes in the water with?

Something reasonably simple to learn, stands out as one of the better games in it's genre, and something that is still in print and reasonably priced? Of course, as they're entry-level games, we're going to want a reasonably strong theme too, OR outstanding gameplay for newbies so disinteresting theme fades away (Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan, etc.)


Resource Management - Santiago de Cuba
Co-Operative - Pandemic w/Pandemic: On the Brink, or Hanabi
Party - Say Anything
Abstract - Hive Pocket or Backgammon
Auction - ?
Tile Laying/Modular - ?
Set Collection - Jaipur, Lost Cities, Finca, or Africana
Area Control - ?
Dice - Steam Park, or Formula D
Card - Elevenses, or K2
Miniatures - ?
Worker Placement - Lords of Waterdeep
Deck Building - Splendor


Splendor for Deck Building?
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Brook Gentlestream
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Resource Management:

Co-Operative: Flash Point: Fire Rescue or Space Cadets: Dice Duel

Party: Off Your Rocker

Abstract: Chess or Hexxagon

Auction: Modern Art

Tile Laying/Modular: Infinite City

Set Collection:

Area Control: Eight-Minute Empire or Mission: Red Planet

Dice: God Dice

Card:

Miniatures:

Worker Placement: Carson City

Deck Building:

Quote:
Also, am I missing any primary categories?


Card Drafting: 7 Wonders or Eight-Minute Empire

Role Selection: Puerto Rico or Race for the Galaxy

Mystery/Deduction: Citadels and Love Letter

4x: Twilight Imperium (Third Edition)

Trade/Negotiation: Catan and Cosmic Encounter

Dueling: Android: Netrunner or Marvel Dice Masters: Avengers vs. X-Men




Also, I would add Blood Bowl: Team Manager – The Card Game, BattleCON: War of Indines, and Chaosmos. They are unique games that don't fit well into the above genres, but I would recommend them if I wanted to get someone hooked on gaming.
 
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Abstract
Yinsh

Tile Laying/Modular
Carcassonne

Set Collection
Ticket To Ride

Area Control
Carcassonne or Troyes or Amyitis

Dice
Troyes or Seasons

Card
Battle Line

Worker Placement
Lords of Waterdeep
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Jana Wazowski
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These games I would consider gateway:

Resource Management. settlers of Cataan
Co-Operative forbidden Desert
Party Wits and Wagers/Dixit
Abstract ingenious
Auction. Modern Art
Tile Laying/Modular. Carcassonne
Set Collection. Ticket to Ride
Area Control. Eight minute empire:Legends
Dice king of Toyko
Card. Abluxxen/Wizard
Miniatures. ??????
Worker Placement. .???????
Deck Building. smash-up
 
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velvetvoulge wrote:
Quite simply, if someone was looking to get interested in board games, but didn't really know which type of game they would like the most, which one game would you recommend they pick up to dip their toes in the water with?

Something reasonably simple to learn, stands out as one of the better games in it's genre, and something that is still in print and reasonably priced? Of course, as they're entry-level games, we're going to want a reasonably strong theme too, OR outstanding gameplay for newbies so disinteresting theme fades away (Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan, etc.)

Types of Game:

Resource Management
-Catan
Co-Operative
-Forbidden Island
Party
-Taboo
Abstract
-Blokus or Callisto: The Game
Auction
-Haven't played any myself yet
Tile Laying/Modular
-Carcassonne
Set Collection
-Splendor
Area Control
-Not a fan of this genre
Dice
-King of Tokyo I guess, or if we're going really simple, Liar's Dice
Card
-Dutch Blitz.
Miniatures
-Don't have one. Maybe The Classic Dungeon, if that counts.
Worker Placement
-Haven't played any yet.
Deck Building
-Resident Evil Deck Building Game

This could work well for someone who has a few games, and enjoys board games, but has certain holes in their collection.

Also, am I missing any primary categories?

Maybe. I don't think "card" is specific enough.
 
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Kārlis Jēriņš
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Neontek wrote:
TheNameWasTaken wrote:
Deck building is a major category, and Dominion is what you want there.


I don't like Dominion. Better get Ascension SOS.


What advantages would you say Ascension has over Dominion?
 
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Resource Management E Stone Age (because Catan is already mentioned by the original poster)
Co-Operative E Pandemic
Party E The Resistance: Avalon
Abstract E Quarto
Auction E Pergamon
Tile Laying/Modular E Alhambra
Set Collection E Jaipur
Area Control E Battle Line (2 players) or El Grande (2-5 players)
Dice E Elder Sign
Card E 7 Wonders
Miniatures E Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition)
Worker Placement E Lords of Waterdeep
Deck Building E Dominion

velvetvoulge wrote:
Also, am I missing any primary categories?

Consider these:

Deduction E Le Fantôme de l'Opéra (2 players) or Letters from Whitechapel (2-6 players)
Storytelling (passive) E Tales of the Arabian Nights
Storytelling (active) E Once Upon a Time: The Storytelling Card Game
Drafting E Already mentioned 7 Wonders, so I will add the super simple Sushi Go!
Variable powers E Mascarade
Engine-building E San Juan
Dexterity E Terror in Meeple City
Bluffing E Sheriff of Nottingham (becoming available - hopefully - soon)
Puzzle E Ubongo
Push your luck E Zombie Dice
Real time E Escape: The Curse of the Temple
Creativity E Barbarossa
Hidden traitor E Shadows over Camelot
Quiz E Concept
Wargame E Memoir '44
Dungeon crawler E Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) (already mentioned for "miniatures", but oh well)
Stock holding E Airlines Europe


Of course there is some overlapping with most games, as San Juan features variable players and engine-building at the same time, or Escape: The Curse of the Temple is a real-time game but also cooperative and very heavy on dice-rolling.

Takenoko deserves to be mentioned seperately, as it is a great gateway game with beautiful components and features a nice mix of tile laying/pattern building/set collecting/action points.


Hope this helps, have fun !
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Brook Gentlestream
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TheNameWasTaken wrote:
Neontek wrote:
TheNameWasTaken wrote:
Deck building is a major category, and Dominion is what you want there.


I don't like Dominion. Better get Ascension SOS.


What advantages would you say Ascension has over Dominion?


Deck-builders come in basically two varieties (and a third hybrid variety): There are Dominion-style games and there are Ascension-style games.

In Dominion-style games, you choose which cards you will play with when setting up the game. It is a modular setup process, so each time you play, you may use different cards. These cards are arranged in piles of identical cards and placed in the center of the board (usually). Players can buy cards from these piles over the course of the game, which is usually only a small percentage of the total cards in your collection. By looking at what's available, you can plan out a long-term strategy. Dominion-style games include Dominion, Nightfall, Eminent Domain, and (arguably) Rune Age.

In Ascension-style games, all the cards in your collection are mixed together. A few cards are randomly drawn from the top to make a "row" of random cards. Over the course of the game players can buy cards from this row. Each time a card is purchased, it is replaced by a random card from the deck. Each turn players are confronted with choices about what cards to purchase from the available set, making the game focus on tactical choices in a changing environment rather than planning out long-term strategies. Ascension style games include Ascension, Star Realms, and the DC Deckbuilding Game.

There are also hybrid games that combine aspects of the two. For example, Thunderstone has a "row" of monsters to attack from a random monster deck (Ascension-style) and a "village" of card stacks to buy cards from (Dominion-style). Legendary is mostly Ascension-based, but the "randomized deck" are chosen from a limited selection of card stacks instead of all your cards, so gameplay is Ascension-style but setup is Dominion-style.

My personal preference is toward Ascension-stlye games for four reasons:

1) Interaction. Having a row of cards instead of piles means its easier for me to deny cards from my opponent, either by purchasing the card or by somehow trashing it with a card effect. Once a card is removed from the row, it is replaced by a random card and my opponent can't buy it anymore.

2) Value. Each time I buy a Dominion-style game, I'm adding maybe 20 unique cards to the game. All the others are just duplicates, so my game isn't expanding that much. Further, of those 20 cards, maybe a couple will be used in any given game, if any. During setup, if we don't purposefully use cards from every expansion, some expansions may go unused. Ascension-style games don't really have that problem because your whole collection is used together and shuffled together. Also, since each card doesn't need an identical amount, it's possible to load more varieties of cards into each expansion.

3) Card Variety. Instead of selecting maybe 10 cards to play the whole game with, I can play with every card in my game at once. We don't know what the next card will be - it could be anything. This lends itself to a wider variety of effects and combo possibilities.

4) Fast setup. There's really nothing to setup in Ascension-style games. Ideally, everything should already be seperated from the last time you played. There are no cards to select, no decisions to make. Give everyone a starting deck, shuffle the main deck, deal out five cards, and start playing.
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Resource Management - Catan
Co-Operative ------------- Forbidden Island
Party ----------------------- The Resistance: Avalon or Dixit
Abstract ------------------ Ingenious
Auction ------------------- For Sale
Tile Laying/Modular ---- Carcassonne
Set Collection ----------- Ticket to Ride
Area Control ------------ Small World
Dice ----------------------- King of Tokyo
Card ---------------------- 7 Wonders
Miniatures ---------------- Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game
Worker Placement ------ Lords of Waterdeep
Deck Building ------------ Dominion
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Nevin Longardner
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Test
Ticket to Ride
 
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I guess for some of these the player count would matter. 2-player deck builder is Star Realms. Dominion can be for 3+ player.
 
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Wanted to answer this without referencing anything and going off the top of my head...

Resource Management - Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small
Co-Operative - Shadows Over Camelot
Party - Dixit
Abstract - Tsuro
Auction - Ra
Tile Laying/Modular - Carcassonne
Set Collection - Ticket to Ride
Area Control - Smallworld
Miniatures - Heroscape
Worker Placement - Stone Age
Deck Building - Dominion
 
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Resource Management Burger Joint

Co-Operative Forbidden Island

Party Bohnanza

Abstract Origin

Auction Sultan

Tile Laying/Modular Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers

Set Collection Finca

Area Control Origin

Dice Arena: Roma II

Card Lost Cities

Miniatures Drako

Worker Placement Stone Age

Deck Building Dominion

Takenoko
 
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