Henrik Lantz
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Well, the title says it. I am looking for american style games (preferrably themed) with pretty bits and/or illustrations that play under two hours. I especially like plastic bits and beautifully illustrated cards. Interaction is a must, Runebound is one game that fell pretty flat due to lack of player interaction. The number of players is not that important. I have a gamer wife so two player games are fine as well as games for more players when my friends join.

My preference is usually american style games, I find most eurogames to be a bit dry. However, this type of game I am looking for seems almost impossible to find! The only one I know of that fits is Memoir'44. Most other pretty american style games all seem to play longer, i.e., War of the ring, Railroad Tycoon, Arkham Horror, Descent etc.

And by the way, don't feel too restricted by the american style comment, feel free to suggest any kind of game you feel would fit, even euros. I just wanted to tell you what type of game I usually enjoy the most. Some favorites are Descent, Blood Bowl, and Railroad Tycoon.

Tough one?
 
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Hejsan Henrik!
Everybody seems to love Ticket to Ride... And European as you are, I think you should get TtR Europe. Stockholm is on the board too...
Cleopatra and the society of architects has VERY pretty bits and art.
None of the games have direct interaction, in the form of trading or cooperation, but since you are trying to acomplish similar goals, both games have a lot of "trying-to-do-stuff-before-someone-else-does-it" action. They don´t take too much concentration either, so there can be a lot of talking around the table. And they both play in less than an hour.
Both games have nice colourfull bits and artwork, and they have that wow-factor, that seems to draw in peoples attention.
If you´re in the mood for something different, Shadows over Camelot is a lot of fun! It is co-op and takes a little longer to play, but the game has a lot of player interaction, made all the more fun by the fact that you can´t tell anyone exactly what cards you have/want/need, so that you have to guess/gamble what is the best course of action.

In the Euro style type of game thing... I think you should really try out Carcassonne! It looks good, plays fast and is fun!
 
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Ivica Crljenica
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Re: Pretty but short(er) american style games with interacti
Bootleggers
 
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Henrik Lantz
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Thanks for the answers so far, very helpful! A few comments.

I have played Ticket to Ride and for some reason did not like it that much. I definitely prefer Railroad Tycoon. I own Carcassonne: H&G and while I think it is a good game, that type of game is not what I am looking for just now.

Cleopatra sounds like a perfect fit, many thanks for that suggestion! Shadows over Camelot and Bootleggers are games I have been thinking about, but I thought they would play over two hours?
 
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Zach Toups
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Re: Pretty but short(er) american style games with interacti
Yeah, you might look at Days of Wonder in general. Personally, I've only recently discovered board games and so only have a couple, but based on what I've been reading about / listening to, you might specifically look up (besides what's already been mentioned):

Mystery of the Abbey - from what I can tell, it's vaguely like Clue (though people who have actually played it are probably now shunning me) and Guess Who. All I know is that it's a mystery-solving game in which you narrow down the suspects based on their physical attributes. It's supposed to be quite good, though I think it's a 3-5 player game.

Fist of Dragonstones - a bidding game from Days of Wonder...looks gorgeous...I suspect it has more than a little player interaction.

Okay...I haven't finished my coffee yet, but that's what I have so far. You might also check out the top ten lists at www.thedicetower.com...I personally find their recommendations to be really great. They even have a top ten two player games list, and a top ten games with plastic bits list!

Oh...and about TTR, I have the Marklin edition, and compared with the others, I think it's the best...
 
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Antonio Chavez
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Re: Pretty but short(er) american style games with interacti
Nexus Ops
Mystery of the Abbey
Colossal Arena
Blood Feud in New York

All are good. All have lots of player interaction. All play under 2 hours (maybe not the last one, but it's still good).
 
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It looks like you already have Descent and love it, what more do you want?

There's not a lot of great American-style games with pretty bits that are very good for serious play. All of the good ones are actually from British designers!

History of the World might be pushing it a little too long for you, but it is a wonderful 'build-then-up-then-knock-them-down' empire game.

Space Hulk or the recent Nexus Ops are both awesome sci-fi themes with giant bugs marauding around, though in totally different ways.

Escape from Atlantis is gorgeous and fast. You are immediately thrown you to the sharks and have to sink or swim. Or be eaten by a sea monster.

Good luck, have fun!
 
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Phillip Heaton
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Re: Pretty but short(er) american style games with interacti
You might want to concentrate of Eagle Games. They recently died, but some of their games are still available. The were the "bits masters" of American-style gaming. You already have their Railroad Tycoon, so you know what I mean. Quite a few of their games are excellent - check them out while there is still time.
 
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J. Green
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I would suggest some of the newer Fantasy Flight games: Drakon 3rd Edition is coming out soon and it has plastic figures, shorter play time, fun mechanics and great art. I also like Fury of Dracula very much, using various colored counters to mark possible locations when you uncover part of Drac's trail. Finally, my group also really likes the new Warrior Knights, which also has nice art and figures.
 
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Walt
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Re: Pretty but short(er) american style games with interacti
I like Days of Wonder in general, but I was very disappointed in Mystery at the Abbey. If you want some real deductive reasoning, play Timbuktu (aka Tombouctou). Cleopatra and the Society of Architects is a lot of fun.

For short rail games, if you don't like Ticket to Ride, you might still like Ticket to Ride Europe, which is slightly heavier but much more forgiving. (I find Marklin fiddly: my group of nearly 200 played Marklin when it first came out, but not recently, so it's not just me.) Still shorter are TransAmerica or Trans Europa.
 
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Henrik Lantz
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Thanks for all the help people, much appreciated.

Mr. Skeletor, thanks for the suggestion about the class decks, a friend owns the game and I will FORCE him to buy those expansions! I really want to like the game and it would be great if the expansions help.

Drakon 3d ed, Cleopatra, and Escape from Atlantis are great suggestions, all should play under two hours. Perhaps the new edition of Cave Troll as well?

There are a lot of other good suggestions here, but some I feel probably would play longer than two hours. How about these games, that have been suggested and I am interested in, how long are they?

Bootleggers
Shadows over Camelot
Mystery of the Abbey

I bow before your wisdom, o wise ones!!!
 
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Jeremy Kalgreen
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Re: Pretty but short(er) American style games with interaction
I have to second the recommendation for Nexus Ops. Very American feel, very pretty (well, maybe Garish) while still being sleek enough to keep from dragging on forever fiddling around with the bits. And most of all, it's just plain fun!
 
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Giles Pritchard
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Shepparton
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Nexus Ops
Bang!
Fist of Dragonstones
Castle
Citadels
Dragon's Gold
(esp. as an old time RPGer)
Cleopatra and the Society of Architects
Any Fantasy Flight, Eagle Games or Days of Wonder (except TTR obviously)

Longer games:

Shadows over Camelot (very entertaining)
Prophesy
Valley of the Mammoths
(hilarious game)
Starfarers of Catan (I think it's quite thematic - especially with the right music)

Quite Longer Games:

Warrior Knights
Fury of Dracula
World of Warcraft
Robo Rally
(Very amusing when played with a timer)

There are quite a few Faidutti games on this list, his website is a good place to read about them if you want to:

http://www.faidutti.com

But there are also some excellent games from other great designers. All these games are quite thematic and very enjoyable.

Good luck!

Giles.
 
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Brian J. Hotovec
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I think we have similar game interests. I would also recommend Cleopatra and the Society of Architects. I also recommend Pirate's Cove which works well for two people if you each play two ships. Both of these games have great eye candy and play right at about an hour and work well with two people. The SoA has less interaction than PC.

I also recommend Arkham Horror. I know some people have very long play times with this game (in the 4+ hr range). My wife and I play it with two players each and after a few games, when we had the rules well understood, we could pound out a game in about 2-2/12 hrs. It is a very fun co-op game for us with excellent quality bits and artwork. If you like that type of game, I think you'll find it is a winner.

Have fun!
 
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Stephen Sekela
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Bolger,

I'll cast yet another vote for NEXUS OPS! I think that many Avalon Hill games fit perfectly into what you're looking for. They do some of the best shorter, lite, and visually impressive "U.S. style" games. Other great AH titles you may be interested in:

SWORD AND SKULL - pirates, player interaction/conflict (but not a "wargame" like Nexus Ops or Risk variants), cool bits/board/cards.

BETRAYAL ON HOUSE ON THE HILL - cooperative game, with one player being the "bad guy". A pretty cool theme - kind of a mystery/horror/action game.

RISK - pick your favorite theme (LotR, Ancient Mythology, Star Wars, etc). Very cool cards/boards/etc. Good confrontation games that you can finish in under 2 hours. If you've never tried any of these, and are reluctant to because you loathe the original RISK so much, I'd suggest you give them a chance.

Just to prove that I'm not a sales rep for Avalon Hill, I'll suggest a one other:

HEROES, INCORPORATED - pick a team of superhero-crimefighters and compete against other teams to be the city's best! Quick, fun, and although you don't directly "fight" your opponents, you can try to "steal" their fame and play cards against them to hinder their efforts.

Good Luck!
 
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Henrik Lantz
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Wow! I big thank you to all of you. I can sense my economy getting much worse in the near future. Hmmmm, must be getting psychic in my old age...

Nexus Ops keeps coming up. However,I don't like Risk, and from what I understand the two games are pretty similar. Or? I NEVER win at Risk, that is probably why I don't like it, but perhaps Nexus Ops is different enough so I should give it a shot?
 
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Ryan Newell
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Re: Pretty but short(er) american style games with interacti
Mall of Horror seems to fit your criteria to a tee. Lots of player interaction, a very strong theme, perhaps the best looking cards and board I've played with, cool zombie figurines, and a typical game takes about an hour.

The only knock against it (as far as I'm concerned) is the poorly translated rulebook. But pretty much any question you might need to ask has already been answered in the Mall of Horror forums at BGG so that should really only frustrate you in your first game (if at all).
 
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Stephen Sekela
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Yeah, NEXUS OPS is totally different than RISK. If you're that sour on Risk, then buy Nexus Ops. But, make no mistake about it, Nexus Ops is a game that's 100% about battles. No auctions, no cooperative crap, not much in the way of resource management (aside from deciding what to spend your money on). It's quick (90-120 min once you get the hang of it) and tactical. Cool cards and special unit abilities that make the game interesting, though. Also, it's a great game to introduce "non-gamers" into the world of board games. Another interesting thing, too - even though it's very tactical and all about battles, it's designed to keep people in the game. Even if you appear to be getting your butt kicked, you can still come back to win the game.
 
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Alex Rockwell
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Lynnwood
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Re: Pretty but short(er) american style games with interacti
Hunting Party definitely fits the description. I just started playing it a few weeks ago and its very good.
 
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Jason Nachtrab
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St. Charles
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Bolger wrote:
How about these games, that have been suggested and I am interested in, how long are they?

Bootleggers
Shadows over Camelot
Mystery of the Abbey


Bootleggers depends a lot on the number of players. For four, it can easily be done in 2 hours. With a full game of six, it may occasionally take up to 3. This is a game that is different each time, so play times vary.

Shadows Over Camelot also runs around 2 hours, depending on the number of people. I personally think this is best with all 7 players, and declines with the number of participants. I would hesitate to play with less than five - SoC is all about the social interactions, and really demands a lot of players to shine.

Mystery of the Abbey can be completed easily within 90 minutes. My initial impression of this game was not that great but after a few more plays it's really growing on me.

I would add my recommendation to those who mentioned Fury of Dracula - it's a longer game, more like 3-3.5 hours, but well worth it. One of the most tension-filled, interactive, fun games to come along in awhile.
 
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