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Subject: Best of Alea rss

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I'm interested in the alea big/medium/small box series but I'm not willing to buy them all. Let's say I can buy three games.

I understand these games fall into several categories: auction/negotation games, area control games, resource management games. Some are tight and complex, others are random and simple.

Which three of the alea series would you advise so I end up with a good mix of different yet enjoyable games?

Which are the best in their own category? Which are best suited for non-gamers?

Which games are related so I don't buy a similar concept twice.
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Scott Nelson
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Fan of Feld? Stick with his.
Otherwise Taj Mahal, Chinatown, Puerto Rico, and GOA it should've been an alea. Most of the good aleas got reprinted and are easier to find as non-alea box game.


edit: throw up a poll with your best bets.
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PS: I only played san juan and after many games I feel like we've played the game to its limits. Therefore, I'm hesitant of buying puerto rico, a game everyone suggests.


Which of these games are best suited for non-gamers?
 
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Scott Nelson
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-xXx- wrote:
PS: I only played san juan and after many games I feel like we've played the game to its limits. Therefore, I'm hesitant of buying puerto rico, a game everyone suggests.


Which of these games are best suited for non-gamers?


Chinatown and Taj Mahal has the base set of mechanisms in the non-gamer category, namely, negotiation and poker cards, respectively. Either of those two I have jumped in light gamers within minutes.
 
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Scott Nelson
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Vegas might be a good one for non-gamers, or a few of the medium box like Wyatt Erp.
 
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Gary Heidenreich
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Vegas is excellent for non-gamers. It has went over well with everyone I taught.

Puerto Rico is, in my opinion, the best of the group. I never found SJ a durable replacement for it.

Feld. I personally would get Macao.

So, you have Vegas, Puerto Rico and Macao.

...side note, I'm a big fan of Fifth Avenue, too, but not everyone is.
 
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David B
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My vote goes to The Castles of Burgundy and Taj Mahal.
 
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Eddie the Cranky Gamer
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Unless you know your gaming companions and can pick your Feld based on their likings, I'd pick La Isla as the single Feld in a "best of Alea" collection. It is the most accessible and has most of the good stuff.

Castles of Burgundy is probably strictly his best in the set.
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Eddie the Cranky Gamer
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-xXx- wrote:
PS: I only played san juan and after many games I feel like we've played the game to its limits. Therefore, I'm hesitant of buying puerto rico, a game everyone suggests.


I can see how you built up this theory, but you really don't want to be doing this. Puerto Rico is a much richer game.
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Eddie the Cranky Gamer
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So to round out a top 4 list (3 is impossible)

1) Puerto Rico
2) Taj Mahal
3) La Isla
4) Adel Verplicht (yeah I'm going there)
5) Glen More
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Scott Nelson
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A lot of people like Ra. It might be to your taste.
If you want some meat, Bora Bora is the only game I kept of Feld's besides Rum and Pirates which is a nice pick up and deliver game if you can overcome the wonky fight for the bunks. If it weren't for the bonus points you get in the wonky bunk fight, I'd say it could be removed. But, like most Feld games, it has many ways to get points, and that is one more that can help out a person who is going that strategy.
But I regress, Bora Bora for some meat, not chicken nuggets: this is the full on steak.
 
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Pasvik -
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1. Macao
2. Macao
3. Macao

If you want some variety:

Small-Box-Series: San Juan
Medium-Box-Series: Augsburg 1520 (a brilliant piece of a game)
Big-Box-Series: So many; Macao, Castles of Burgundy, Princes of Florence, Puerto Rico and Bora Bora are my favorites, though!
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miklos kuti
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Very much depends on how many players are in the game.
Here are my recommendations (most are suitable for non-gamers):
For 5 player games Princes of Florence (shorter, strategic), In the year of the dragon (shorter, strategic, only for gamers) and The Traders of Genoa (long, strategic)
For 4 players Taj Mahal(strategic), Ra(tactical) and Notre Dame(tactical) (the latter two plays also well with 3 players)(all shorter games). Puerto Rico(tactical) is a much better game than San Juan, it is relatively short and plays very well with 3 or 4 players.
For two players Bora Bora(tactical) and Macao(strategic)(only for gamers) are excellent, and The Castle of Burgundy(tactical) is not a bad choice. (These games work with more players, but the downtime gets longer, and 4 player games can even last 3 hours)
From the small and medium box series (lighter, tactical games) Luis XIV and Edel, Stein und Reich is good for 4 players,
Palazzo for 3 players and Witch's brew for 5 players.

For non-gamers specifically I would pick edel stein und reich, taj mahal, and ra. (if you don't mind a bit more rule complexity and long play time then traders of genoa)
 
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Geert
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I want to add a vote for Medium Box #9 Saint Malo.

This game is a Yathzee-style dice game. You throw dice and use the results to build buildings and persons in your city for victory points, and to build walls to protect against pirate attacks. Fairly simple, but there is some strategy and tactics involved. Plus, you draw your city on erasable playing boards.

Since it uses the Yathzee mechanics (roll your dice three times and lock dice results that you need), it is often easy to teach to non-gamers (because who has never played Yathzee?). The erasable boards add a wow-factor that could entice non-gamers and family gamers. It also plays rather quickly, and the medium box is a good size to take with you on holiday. It is relatively cheap as well.

Last family holiday, I successfully introduced this game to several family members that don't like learning new games. It has become one of our favourite games from the Alea series. Of course, not as deep as games like Macao or Castles of Burgundy, but it hits a sweet spot for us as a light weight family game.

Since you are not necessarily looking for the (arguably) *best* three games from the series, but rather for a good mix of games, I would definitely consider this one.
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