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Subject: Abstract or semi-abstract games for casual players? rss

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I'm thinking about getting Yinsh, Dvonn and/or Tzarr, Arimaa, Quinamid (instead of Pentago), and Hive Carbon.

Go seems too daunting for my mom, who I'll play with.

Hey That's my Fish is my awesome. Tsuro/Tsuro of the Seas, Ingenious, Checkers, and Chess are great. Blokus is good.

What else should I get? Thanks.
 
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dennis bennett
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Mr_Saturn wrote:
I'm thinking about getting Yinsh, Dvonn and/or Tzarr, Arimaa, and Hive Carbon.

Go seems too daunting for my mom, who I'll play with.

Hey That's my Fish is my awesome. Ingenious, Checkers, and Chess are great. Blokus is good.

What else should I get? Thanks.


Only have Blokus and Hive from that list. You migth want to check out the other Blokus variants with tringles and hexagonal shapes.

If you want something uber-casual, try Qwirkle.

Check the abstracts lists here. I sadly can hardly get people to play abstracts with me...
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Doug Wacker
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Yinsh is great. Through the Desert would be good if you could find it.

Doug
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Toms Leikums
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Something from Gigamic. I recently had good success with Quoridor and Quixo.
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Score Four and Quoridor are the two I've always had the best luck with when playing with casual gamers. I think that's because the rules to both are so simple and intuitive that people can make the link to thinking about strategy instead of rules almost instantaneously.
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Jesse Bouvier
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It might actually be too similar to Hey That's My Fish, but if you're looking for something along the same lines, try Battle Sheep.
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Hive is fun for 2 players.

Blokus Trigon is in my opinion much better than Blokus, but it is out of print and seems not to be produced anymore. It works well with 3 players also (you leave the outer triangle pairs unused). You can use the same idea with Blokus (leave the outer squared unused in a 3-player game) and you don't need to play with the dummy color.

Gemblo is similar but different, and works well for 3, 4, and 6 (and less well for 5), so if you need an abstract for upto 6, check that out.

Enigma combines minigames/puzzles with tile-laying.

Maybe you might consider introducing something with a bit of theme, but still fundamentally abstract (like Carcassonne).
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Pente and Backgammon are two classics that would work very well for this.
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+1 Through the Desert
+1 Arkadia it does have abstract elements to it.

Can't go wrong with GIPF games. DVONN would be my first choice followed by ZÈRTZ

Torres is a very good abstract game.

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Chess & Draughts (Checkers) are instantly recognisable by non-gamers, so can be good for getting someone on the opposite side of a board.

+1 Backgammon - This is my most preferred of all the "Classic" AbStrat games.

+1 Hive - Chess is too busy for me; Hive is cleaner, but still a decent amount of strategy.
You mention you are thinking of getting Carbon (which does come with the first 2 expansions), and looks "Classic" in monochrome. However, in it's game page there are people who prefer Original Coloured over Carbon, as the colour-coding can aid piece recognition and speed threat-assessment of the 'board'.

+1 Gigamic Family - if I had to name one game it would be Quarto. The shared pool, rather than Me-Black, You-White, can be confusing at first.

Then if you are looking for more ideas 2P AbStrat Geeklist would be a good place to start.
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parapalooka wrote:
It might actually be too similar to Hey That's My Fish, but if you're looking for something along the same lines, try Battle Sheep.


Yeah, I was going to suggest Battle Sheep also. Bonus that it will play more than 2 players. Also, The Duke might be something to look at.
 
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James C
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I like Blokus and Qwirkle, but they are much better games with four people than two. We found Hey, That's My Fish! to be really dull when playing with two people.

To me Hive, with the Mosquito and Ladybug is a really great game. Our favorite abstract. We generally play best of 5. Played over 100 games this year so far.
 
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Bondgoldfinger wrote:


Torres is a very good abstract game.



Torres is fantastic; I completely forgot about that one. Sadly, it is currently out of print.
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Todd Gabriel
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If you liked Tsuro you would likely also enjoy Indigo.

YINSH is a very fun game. I wouldn't call it light but the rules are easy to get down. I would say the above may be better suited for casual players though.




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Mr_Saturn wrote:
I'm thinking about getting Yinsh, Dvonn and/or Tzarr, Arimaa, Quinamid (instead of Pentago), and Hive Carbon.

Go seems too daunting for my mom, who I'll play with.

Hey That's my Fish is my awesome. Tsuro/Tsuro of the Seas, Ingenious, Checkers, and Chess are great. Blokus is good.

What else should I get? Thanks.

Dvonn, Arimaa, Hive, Chess and Hex.

If you can play those games until they stop being interesting, you have deserved to buy whatever the heck you please...
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Several excellent suggestions in this thread. I'd like to add Kamisado and Trax; both are brilliant, in my humble opinion.
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Marc Gaudet
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Tzaar, Dvonn and Othello/Reversi are great starter ones because they have a very easy learning curve and they will feel fairly innovative and well designed if all you're familiar with is Chess and Backgammon. Few moves feel like they set you back and the rules are dirt simple (can be explained in under 3 minutes).

We almost always play these best out of 3 to give you an idea on the lenght.

Cheers good luck
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I sometimes get into arguments (with mostly video gamers/designers) that Pandemic is an abstract game.

I don't care, its a really good game - certainly fantastic for a casual group.
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I just typed this in another similar thread but:

Hanabi!
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I second most of the above. I love casual abstracts. I'd also throw in Jaipur. It's very straightforward and to me is in the same psychic space.

Possibly Billabong as well.

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a1bert wrote:
Hive is fun for 2 players.


I bought Hive Carbon a couple of months ago and it has worked well with a variety of people over the summer.
I'd recommend it to anyone as part of a game collection.

It's quick to learn and to get going (good movement summary card on the BGG game page for use during the first game).
Each game is quite short and fast paced.
It can be played anywhere, on a table and I have played it on grass outside too.
It's light and easily portable. I've carried it round all day in my bag, in the pouch provided - no need for the fiddly small Hive Pocket.
Usually after 1 game people ask to play again, and again, and again . . .

(The app is poor unfortunately - bad graphics and soon becomes too easy on the hardest setting. Stick with the Bakelite version).

Your Mum may like this. I find Othello works well with my Mum as a kind of lighter Go substitute.
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nickbolton wrote:
a1bert wrote:
Hive is fun for 2 players.


I bought Hive Carbon a couple of months ago and it has worked well with a variety of people over the summer.
I'd recommend it to anyone as part of a game collection.

It's quick to learn and to get going (good movement summary card on the BGG game page for use during the first game).
Each game is quite short and fast paced.
It can be played anywhere, on a table and I have played it on grass outside too.
It's light and easily portable. I've carried it round all day in my bag, in the pouch provided - no need for the fiddly small Hive Pocket.
Usually after 1 game people ask to play again, and again, and again . . .

(The app is poor unfortunately - bad graphics and soon becomes too easy on the hardest setting. Stick with the Bakelite version).

Your Mum may like this. I find Othello works well with my Mum as a kind of lighter Go substitute.


You can always play Hive on bga.
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+1 Battle Sheep. My wife and I find this different enough from Hey, That's My Fish! to be very enjoyable.

+1 Qin. Everyone I've introduced this to has picked it up very quickly and really enjoyed it.
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