Squishy Mu

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What do you thinks works best?

Here is the scenario. I would like to introduce a few couples/small families into boardgames. Therefore, would like to have a dinner and then play a game after. My experience is co-ops almost instantly peak interest in newbies as they have never played a game like that before. But is it better to have a game that could handle 3 couples (an therefore provide some extra conversation and non-gaming interaction) or is it better to keep it "tight".


Other games can be suggested and if you really feel that co-ops are not as good of introductory I will go with that. I have had some positive experiences with Ticket to Ride but usually in a younger audience.

Thanks,
Spattz
 
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Moe45673
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If the group likes the idea of Monopoly (making money, tycooning, negotiating, etc) but hate the usual negatives associated with that game (too long, too much luck, etc), look at Lords of Vegas which is amazing. For 6p, you'd need the expansion (which works well).

Otherwise, go for Pandemic. It's tried and true and a great pseudo-puzzle. I really like that "shuffle the discard on top of the draw deck" thing, which Flash Point lacks. However, both games have their pros and cons.

If you're really at a loss, look into Forbidden Desert, which plays up to 5. I found it really engaging and it sets up much quicker than Pandemic
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Byron Campbell
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If you already have 6 people at your game meetup, then I'd say choosing a good 6-player game is the way to go. They are newbie gamers, and you want to be able to make sure they are all adjusting and grokking the rules--you don't want to send them off to a separate table by themselves. If you can, though, i would suggest separate, smaller gaming nights to introduce them to the hobby, since there are more games that work better as a 4-player.

As for Pandemic versus Flash Point...they are both strong, noob-friendly co-ops with an accessible theme. Pandemic offers an experience that's more familiar to casual gamers (collecting sets of cards), but Flash Point is probably simpler overall to learn the ins and outs. The only difficulty would be that some new gamers might have trouble with the concept of managing so many action points.

If your players are at all interested in the show and you think they could handle the slightly more complex mechanics, you really can't go wrong with Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game as an intro to board gaming (it was mine, and I got hooked instantly). The traitor mechanic ensures that players will be fully immersed in the game no matter whose turn it is, shouting accusations or trying to be sneaky.
 
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Larry L
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Unlike others here, I haven't found Pandemic very new player friendly. There's a lot of "what do I do?" and strange abstractions around the card trading/cures. Having one player lead everyone by the hand makes for less fun a co-op. I haven't tried playing Flashpoint with new players, but I expect there will be a lot of paralysis there too. Forbidden Island is much easier for most people to grasp quickly, as most of the actions are pretty intuitive.

Of course if your new players "get" the game right away you are fine, but I feel there is a risk there.

The nice thing about Ticket to Ride is the number of decisions on a turn is relatively small
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Kevin
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It sounds like you're looking for a cooperative game? I haven't played Flash Point, but I've found Pandemic can be a bit much right out of the gate for really new gamers since it goes from "this isn't so bad" to "what just happened, everything was going so well, how did we lose?" Of course there have been exceptions to that.

I also echo Forbidden Island if you have a smaller number of players. It's basically Pandemic's mechanics, but I found it easier to teach to new people.

I found Shadows Over Camelot is an excellent introduction to gaming. Although the use of "poker hands" is non-thematic to gamers, it is a very familiar "mechanic" to many non-gamers and easy to grasp so they can focus more on overall strategy. The story and theme are mainstream enough that many are able to connect with it immediately. The downside with SOC is that there are many places to "go" each turn--Grail, Lancelot, Black Knight, etc.--and that can overwhelm people initially. I find that after two or three turns, they realize that they only do two things each turn: one bad action and one good action. After that, things roll along smoothly. I usually skip the traitor mechanic for the first few games, no matter how many players there are. I've used this game to introduce several new people to gaming and it's never been poorly received. If the group is even remotely familiar with Monty Python and the Hold Grail that adds to the appeal.
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Ray
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I 2nd Shadows over Camelot, but I'd go with the possibility of a traitor. During the game, I d drop hints on what a traitor could do at any specific moment.

I think traitor coopsrreally set the stage for how different board games can be
 
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Nathan Bergom
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Gonna have to disagree with some of the opinions here. Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game for new gamers? No, no, a thousand times no. Several of them will never give gaming another chance. BSG is strictly varsity-level.

Flash Point: Fire Rescue is a fantastic game, but with six players, it gets to be very frustrating. You'll work your way towards a victim, but by the time the fire-spreading stage goes through five other players, your route may be completely cut off. It's great with three or four, but not with six.

Ticket to Ride, Pandemic, and Forbidden Island are all great, but none go up to six.

Shadows Over Camelot is decent, and works well with six, but it can go 2-3 hours, which can be long for new gamers. Just make sure they know about the length beforehand. It's incredibly frustrating when somebody realizes an hour in that there's still another hour and a half to go and basically shuts down because they're done.

I love co-ops, but I do feel that they get bogged down when you have more than four people playing. The only exception I've seen is Shadows of Malice, but that's way too complex and messy for your purposes.

I think the best game for this event would be 7 Wonders. It scales perfectly up to six, the downtime is minimal, there's good strategy to be had, and it's fairly easy to explain and understand.

If you really want a co-op, I'd go for Elder Sign. It's got a fun theme, it's not terribly complex, and scaling it up to six isn't quite as clunky as it is with other co-ops. It will go over an hour with six, though, so again, be forewarned about the time.
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You already own Castle Panic (1-6 Player Co-Op) and is probably more than light enough for new players.

If you are thinking of teaming the couples up then you also have Forbidden Island - which other forums sometimes recommended as a gateway game to Flash Point and/or Pandemic.
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Doug Wacker
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I'd suggest Flash Point, and perhaps let each couple play a single role if they want to. I've played the experienced game with a three and six year old and they understood most things and had fun. Even set up is cool, as it's like watching a fire break out.

I like Pandemic, but the theme might be less accessible to some.

7 Wonders isn't as simple and obviously not cooperative, but I've never introduced this to a newbie who didn't like it. Plus, it plays 6.
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Flashpoint > Pandemic in this context.
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Dave K
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Both FP:FR and Pandemic are fun games, although I personally find Pandemic more enjoyable. Both will suffer a little from an alpha gamer trying to make decisions for everyone else.

Note that Pandemic only officially plays up to 4 and it sounds like you need a game for 6. I think FP:FR will kind of drag with that many players but it does officially support that amount.
 
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Matt Brown
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Scottgun wrote:
Flashpoint > Pandemic in this context.


Or just in general. FP is more fun while Pandemic is the better designed game although not by much.
 
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Ray
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nbergom wrote:
Gonna have to disagree with some of the opinions here. Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game for new gamers? No, no, a thousand times no. Several of them will never give gaming another chance. BSG is strictly varsity-level.

Flash Point: Fire Rescue is a fantastic game, but with six players, it gets to be very frustrating. You'll work your way towards a victim, but by the time the fire-spreading stage goes through five other players, your route may be completely cut off. It's great with three or four, but not with six.

Ticket to Ride, Pandemic, and Forbidden Island are all great, but none go up to six.

Shadows Over Camelot is decent, and works well with six, but it can go 2-3 hours, which can be long for new gamers. Just make sure they know about the length beforehand. It's incredibly frustrating when somebody realizes an hour in that there's still another hour and a half to go and basically shuts down because they're done.

I love co-ops, but I do feel that they get bogged down when you have more than four people playing. The only exception I've seen is Shadows of Malice, but that's way too complex and messy for your purposes.

I think the best game for this event would be 7 Wonders. It scales perfectly up to six, the downtime is minimal, there's good strategy to be had, and it's fairly easy to explain and understand.

If you really want a co-op, I'd go for Elder Sign. It's got a fun theme, it's not terribly complex, and scaling it up to six isn't quite as clunky as it is with other co-ops. It will go over an hour with six, though, so again, be forewarned about the time.


Thank you for that statement on Shadow Over Camelot. I'm about to take some new people through it and this could have killed it without me letting them know ahead of time.
 
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Shawn George
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Flash Point is the way to go in this scenario. It's easy to learn for beginners, it goes up to 6 players (while Pandemic only goes up to 5 and requires the expansion to do so), and the strategies are a bit more obvious. Pandemic takes a couple of games to get figured out, and while experience is certainly helpful in Flash Point, it's also easier to look at the board and say "oh, there's a good place for me to go to help out the team!"
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J M
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If you have three couples, get Dixit.
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Andy Guest
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A little late to the party here but here's my tuppence worth.

I love both Pandemic and Flashpoint. There's something about Flashpoint though that made losing a downer for our group when we played it, in a way that Pandemic never has done. It might just have been because we played it as the last game of the night and we were getting tired but the smaller, personal scale of Flashpoint kinda hits home more than Pandemic does.

When you lose at Pandemic it is game over (heh) for the world, the story is over and done. When you lose at Flashpoint then you might find yourself thinking about the fire fighters going home having lost colleagues and failing to save people and thinking about those people you did save who have lost family.

It is kinda silly to take a game so seriously but the intimate, personal level of the game gets to you in a way that Pandemic doesn't. That is a good thing generally, it engages you in the game more but it might mean that losing stings more too.

So my advice would be not to plan on ending the night by playing the game. Have another game to play afterwards. You don't want people leaving thinking "sheesh, why would anyone chose to play something so depressing".
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Mark Nicosia
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For complete newbies to gaming, I wouldn't start with Pandemic or Flash Point. It's just too much to learn for a very first time, imo.

Go with the quick, easy party games anyone can play... start with Diamant, then move on to the great Dixit. Then Las Vegas and King of Tokyo.
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Janne
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zenpunk wrote:
Go with the quick, easy party games anyone can play... start with Diamant, then move on to the great Dixit. Then Las Vegas and King of Tokyo.


I'd add One Night Ultimate Werewolf and The Resistance/The Resistance: Avalon.

Simple rules (depending on ONUWW roleset), quick to teach/learn, takes a bit longer to master.
 
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dwacker wrote:
I'd suggest Flash Point, and perhaps let each couple play a single role if they want to.


I've not played Flashpoint but I think the idea of teaming up inexperienced players for a single role in a coop game is a very good tip. It encourages discussion and argument. Before long they will forget they were intimidated by the rules.
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Andy Guest
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Flashpoint isn't that tricky. If you are worried you could always play with the family/introductory rules.
 
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Squishy Mu

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Thank you everyone for your input so far. Next week is going to be the first try. Will update you on how it goes. Currently looking at Pandemic but if I try something else I will update this thread.

Thanks,
Spattz
 
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