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Subject: Specific group of non-gamer dudes: Life after Ticket to Ride... rss

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Michael Barker

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This is going to be long but please help me if you can!

I've got this group of friends who are currently obsessed with Ticket to Ride. They are playing it over and over. I've seen this similar scenario at least 5 times with various groups of non-gamers and have never seemed to catch their attention after they've gotten hooked on Ticket. It's almost as if they've got, "Ticket to Ride syndrome" and everything else pales in comparison. These specific guys have played Catan in the past, but it never stuck and the "Trading in the Mediterranean" theme and art is a bit too bland and nerdy for them. They're open to something new, but I know it's gotta be just right.

What game after Ticket to Ride? Not one that is more complex or a "Next Step", but about the same weight. These guys aren't really gamers, but love the quickness, ease of play/rules, strategic depth, hidden points, plays well with 2-4, and slightly cut throat player interaction of T2R. They are obsessed with T2R so I want to be able to show them the next game. Not really looking for a team game, coop, filler, space, fantasy, war game, role playing, or party game. Thinking of buying games like Steam Park, Cinque Terre, Zooloretto, Carcassonne and Alhambra.

Games that come to mind first are 7 wonders and Stone Age, but some newbs to those games get confused until the 2nd play around and won't give them a full shot.

I already own and am thinking about using:
Stone Age, Africana, Splendor, Takenoko, 7 Wonders, Small World (even though fantasy), and Fist of Dragonstones (even though fantasy, "fillerish", and OOP- because I like it!)

Own and Slightly Considering:
-Airlines Europe (maybe a little too complex and "next steppy" and confusing if you're expexting the board play to be similar to T2R)

-Lords of Waterdeep (D&D theme may ruin it's chances even though a perfect game mechanically...?)

Some deeper fillers I'm not considering as heavily:
-Biblios, For Sale, Sushi Go, Hanabi (even though coop)

Other thoughts:
-Played King of Tokyo, they liked it but didn't love it like I do. Maybe a little too Ameritrash with the player elimination, for them.

-Played No Thanks, they loved it, but it's a little too simple

I love Last Will, but it may be too "Next Stepish" as well

-I've seen Dominion go well with some groups of non-gamers, but I'm not personally a huge fan and enjoy Trains much more. I also think the art in Dominion may be a little too "Trading in the Med." for this group, though I am considering Carcassone

Any Suggestions either from my list or just off the top of your head would be wonderful, especially if you have had experience with this type of scenario, specifically with the T2R people. Sorry this was so detailed and long!

Help me in my not so hidden agenda.
 
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Andrew Shegda
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Dice Town !





Also, there is no theme in waterdeep. You pick up cubes and put them in your supply until you have enough to turn in to complete a quest. It's really bland/non-existent.
 
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Joe Salamone
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How about The Manhattan Project (possibly with The Manhattan Project: Second Stage and The Manhattan Project: Nations Expansion)? It has the worker-placement aspect of Lords of Waterdeep. Each player tries to build atomic bombs and load them onto bombers. Players compete to place their workers on action spaces on the main board and their personal board. Players can use espionage to use action spaces on each other's personal boards. And the best "take that" aspect is that you can shoot down your opponent's bombers and fighters and bomb their buildings.
 
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D S
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Based on your description I think you're taking a chance with Lords of Waterdeep, with the theme (edit: as you say, but disagreeing with what others have said). Otherwise it would be perfect. I think you may want to offer them something that is light, but also plays noticeably *different* from TtR, so they will feel like they can go back and forth for two different game experiences. Hence:

Suburbia?
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Michael Barker

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Dice Town: an awesome game, Faidutti may be one of my favorite designers of all time next to Bauza and Cathala. Maybe a sliiiiight bit too luck driven? But great, great suggestion. Love the art and theme. Think it's got the, "let's play that again" appeal?

LOWD: I own it. Love it. Think it mechanically works perfectly, but knowing these guys, it may (though I think it fits the bill in every other way) simply scare them off because of the name on the box.
I didn't think of Manhattan Project but that's an awesome one for Worker Placement. I'll keep it on my Radar!

Suburbia: I owned this and then sold it without ever having played it. Played it again last week, loved it and will own it soon (tangent: but I'm waiting to try Castles of Mad King Ludwig)
Great idea, has that hidden objectives, it's different mechanically than TTR, and is strategically awesome. My gut feeling says it could be a winner, but it's also just 1 tiny notch in the "mathy"/spreadsheet direction away from TTR and scares me.

Any other ideas?

 
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James C
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You are probably right about Suburbia. I think it's great but you might lose them on the first play. I think Castles might be the way to go. Sounds like they'll like the setting up the prices aspect of it. Seems to me, while I haven't played it, that it's better with 3-4 than Suburbia.

Why not Trains?

If you could find a copy of Through the Desert for cheap I think that could work.

Your suggestion of For Sale is probably spot on. Much shorter than TTR, but fun to play multiple rounds at a go.
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Tomello Visello
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Some selected quotes
habanero86 wrote:
It's almost as if they've got, "Ticket to Ride syndrome" and everything else pales in comparison.

These guys aren't really gamers, but ...

...but some newbs to those games get confused until the 2nd play around and won't give them a full shot.

Help me in my not so hidden agenda.
The problem with the agenda stated in the last clip is the state in the second clip.

They're content where they are and perhaps not well matched to what you want. Regardless of titles that might be recommended here.

Exploring wider horizons does not appear to be on their horizon.


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Zoe M
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Your best chance at getting them to enjoy another game is by waiting a bit until the Ticket to Ride excitement dies down. It will happen eventually.
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Alison Mandible
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habanero86 wrote:
Dice Town: an awesome game, Faidutti may be one of my favorite designers of all time next to Bauza and Cathala.


I fear you've given the wrong Bruno credit here. Dice Town is by Cathala!

It features his trademark interest in using mechanisms other than worker placement for "each action happens only once per round". (Auctions in Cyclades, drafting in Mr. Jack Pocket, poker dice in Dice Town...)
 
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Mark Raciborski
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Airlines Europe, it isn't complex, just more deeper in thought then TtR. The only thing that is slightly complex, aka messy, isthe end of round scoring. It takes you out of the game a bit with the bookkeeping. This would be my pick from a step up from TtR.

Lords of Waterdeep! The poster child of gateway worker placement games. Whip this thing out on your Monopoly friends too. It is worth owning just for that. That D&D theme will immediately turn them off, but it is a D&D themed worker placement, no battles, no killings, no dice rolls.

Bohnanza A card game, looks like a whole lot of nothing reading the rules, great little game.

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Mike Jaquette
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Why not introduce them to a deeper ticket to ride experience?

Europe and many of the expansion boards introduce new rules and stratagy. That might be the next step they are looking for. They'll have the ease and comfort of TTR theme while being introduced to much deeper and more interesting decisions.

It's just one step closer to deeper stratagy and mechanics that we've come to love.
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Mindy Basi
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Five Tribes?

Camel Up might appeal, too. Might be too light but it does have some strategy.

Cult of the New I guess, but those are two games people seem to like well.
 
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Krawhitham B
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You could mention the that show Tabletop is available over YouTube and then let them get excited about a game.

You can try to use logic with them all you want, but until they have decided to try something new then it is a lost cause.
 
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Zoe M
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Krawhitham wrote:
You could mention the that show Tabletop is available over YouTube and then let them get excited about a game.

You can try to use logic with them all you want, but until they have decided to try something new then it is a lost cause.


Actually, I think logic is on the side of the friends. If they're perfectly satisfied with their current thing, and continuing to have a lot of fun with it, why should they do something else?
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Adria D
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Might they be interested in building casinos on the Las Vegas Strip? If so, try Lords of Vegas.

This game has been a hit with everyone we've taught it to, regardless of gaming experience. It's not a geeky theme, there's some randomness in the dice, but there's also some strategy in expanding your casinos. There are plenty of opportunities to be cutthroat (taking over your neighbor's casino), and - as you would expect in a game about Vegas casinos - there's a little gambling.
 
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Michael Barker

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You're totally right, I did give credit to the wrong Bruno... ahhh, those stinking awesome Brunos'. I was thinking of Poney Express with Faidutti and Bauza. This one is totally Cathala, still equally as good.

As for the comment about waiting for the TTR excitement to die down, I knew that someone would say that, probably not helpful to what I'm looking for in this thread. They like games and are willing to try the next thing. I think that they could eventually end up as gamers, but they need a proper introduction to open them up. I've seen this scenario so many times where people go crazy about TTR and, though I love TTR and see its elegance and appeal, I think that many get stuck on TTR. I also think that these guys would be stoked to learn about the greater world of games as well.

One of the guys mentioned Europe and Netherlands, I think this could be a good option, but I also want to think about a step towards diversity if possible. A game that would expand their horizons, so to speak. If I was to grab another expansion/stand alone for TTR, which one would be preferable so that it wasn't too similar to the original and worth the investment to own both?

Power Grid is probably my favorite game of all time. This is an option, but I see it as definitely a "next stepper". I think the length and mathiness keeps it in that range. Great suggestion though and I'll keep it in mind for this group. It has that route building aspect, but adds in the whole auctioning and economic stuff too.

Lords of Vegas gets me curious. I've never played it, but I've heard good things and watched a brief overview of it on TableTop. I'll check it out.

Any other suggestions?
 
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Tomello Visello
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habanero86 wrote:
If I was to grab another expansion/stand alone for TTR, which one would be preferable so that it wasn't too similar to the original and worth the investment to own both?
Airlines Europe has already been mentioned, but I'd like to lead you a bit further toward Jet Set. Routes work a bit differently (you can rent from others), money management is involved, and tickets are claimed from a set visible to everyone.

 
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Eric Phillips
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+1 to Five Tribes. It's got a similar "light" feel at first like TtR, but then the interesting strategies and depth come as you play it a bit more similar to TtR.

Another option would be to embrace their love of TtR and get some additional maps. I have and love Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 1 – Team Asia & Legendary Asia. The team version sucks, imo, but Legendary Asia is a little more cutthroat and has a nice additional mechanic I think and also having the limited number of Long Routes gives you a little more idea of what other people are doing once you memorize the long routes.

Finally, if this group is consistent, have you thought about Risk Legacy? Sure, it's Ameritrash, but the game would definitely broaden their horizons and could ease them into a "next step" game.
 
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Craig Liken
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I have a friend who is a little like this - likes TTR and Settlers but anything a bit more complex he won't bother (frustratingly his wife will readily play more complex stuff - currently obsessed with Agricola).

He did really like Airlines Europe though, so I would have thought that worth a go - it is a bit more complex but not too bad. It is an attractive looking game as well (like TTR) and there is something about collecting those little chits that is compelling (at least for me). Small World might also work from that perspective.

I played Camel Up the other night. That might also work as more of a fun longish filler.
 
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Andreas Krüger
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I would try Small World. It is not too difficult to learn and has the right amount of cut throat interaction. The fantasy theme is there, true, but it is not much more thematic than TTR in my opinion, so they may not notice it ;-).
 
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Goldfinger
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+1 Bohnanza, Africana, Carcassonne, Alhambra

Isla Dorada

Thebes

Survive: Escape from Atlantis!
 
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Virginia M.P.
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TVis wrote:
They're content where they are and perhaps not well matched to what you want. Regardless of titles that might be recommended here.

Exploring wider horizons does not appear to be on their horizon.
I agree 100% and there's nothing wrong with that.
That said, I'd go with other TTR versions or maps* for additional challenge and variety, and/or I'd give Airlines Europe a shot since you own it already and it's a logical choice.

*TTR Europe (separate base game) is a little more complex.
Expansion maps: Asia, Africa, India, etc. I don't have them all but I believe each adds something different.
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Kevin Ryan
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Airlines Europe is the one! Same kind of feel as TTR, but it is a real strategy game.

Africana

Dark Horse

All are light fare, dripping with theme and very fun.
 
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Scott Sims
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habanero86 wrote:

I've seen Dominion go well with some groups of non-gamers, but I'm not personally a huge fan and enjoy Trains much more. I also think the art in Dominion may be a little too "Trading in the Med."


In the realm of deck builders I think DC Comics Deck-Building Game has the potential to be a hit.

Fast, simple to learn,appealing theme, interactive, and fun.
 
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pete truss
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Lords of waterdeep. just plonk it on the table and tell them they're playing it. The theme is not important to the game, once they play it they won't notice. I know because I was the same, with that as well as ttr.
Something else they would enjoy is love letter. Again the theme isn't very desirable but plays like a gem.
Gravwell is also a little beaut. Very addictive
 
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