Ilan Vonderwalde
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've got quite a few heavy games that I really enjoy playing, but the problem is that they don't hit the table as often because they are either too tough to teach to new(er) gamers or they take too long.

Any suggestions for games that:
- Are easy to teach/have simple rules
- Offer some depth/complexity or meaningful choices/decisions
- Play in a short time (I'd say 90 minutes, but let's top it off at 120 minutes).
- Play well with 3 - 4 players.

Bonuses:
- Player interaction
- Good theme integration (though I don't really enjoy fantasy, sci-fi, horror, or zombies).
- Not ameritrashy (I find a lot of the time the rules slow down the gameplay)
- Can play more than 4 players (in case we get a bigger group out), and/or scale well to 2 players.
- Is easy to acquire/Preferably not OOP (or not crazy expensive)

Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

Edits: Added some bonuses and # of players.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin Eastwood
United States
Windham
New Hampshire
flag msg tools
badge
Chaos is a ladder
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My #1 game of all time fits in this description - The Great Zimbabwe. Be forewarned that it's OOP and not cheap, but since it's a Splotter game, it will likely always retain it's value. I paid around $110 for mine when it came out, so that should give you some idea as to the cost.

In terms of the gameplay, it plays 2-5 players, I find that it plays in about 90 minutes, takes only 10-15 minutes to explain (shorter with more experienced gamers), is very interactive, but not in a backstabblng kind of way, has major replayability because of the ability to select map tiles, and different strategies that will lead you to victory.

The best mechanic in the game though is the fact that everyone starts with the same winning condition (20VP), and depending on how you play, which powers you gain, which craftsmen you control, your winning condition VP increases. So you can't just run everyone over - instead it requires some planning and thought on how to interact with players and gives incentive NOT to take specific cards, even though those may make your paths to victory easier. For example, one god you can select will increase your VP requirements by +7, and on the opposite end of the spectrum there's one that gives you no abilities but gives you a -2VP winning condition.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James C
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
Keyflower
Glass Road
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Harv Veerman
Netherlands
Zoetermeer
Zuid-Holland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Not sure what "complexity" means to you, and Number of players might be of influence. How many players can you round up?

To at least give one recommendation, I'ld say Macao, which I find extremely pleasant with a low player count, i.e. two or three players.

Editing for # of players would be nice, though...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Panayiotis Zois
Greece
Athens
Attica
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Caylus
Luna
Troyes
Agricola
Tigris & Euphrates
Puerto Rico
Hansa Teutonica

All of them play in about 75-120 minutes and they have some interaction. Euro games with some theme in them I enjoy them all and I highly recommend them.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joel Oakley
United States
Brandon
Mississippi
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think Concordia could be a good candidate.

-The rule book for it is quite short (about 4 or 5 pages total if I recall).
-It definitely has some depth and meaningful choices.
-Should easily be playable in 90 to 120 minutes unless you are playing with 5 players perhaps.
-The player interaction is pretty good for a euro game (others may benefit from your actions and some small amount of blocking).
-Theme integration...well, at least it is not fantasy, sci-fi, horror, or zombies
-Definitely not ameritrashy.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Meunier
United States
Woodstock
Connecticut
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
7 Wonders
Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small (30 - 45 minutes)
Android: Netrunner (confrontational, lots of interaction, not the easiest on this list)
Belfort
Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game (confrontational)
Carcassonne
Citadels
Elder Sign (co-op, lots of interaction)
Forbidden Desert (co-op)
Forbidden Island (co-op)
Innovation (easier than it looks, plenty of complexity)
Love Letter (quick, easy, tons of interaction)
Mr. Jack Pocket (easy, fun, interactive)
Pandemic (co-op)
Smash Up (easy, fun)
Star Realms (confrontational)
Stone Age (classic traditional worker placement)
Suburbia
Summoner Wars (confrontational)
Valley of the Kings
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nes
Norway
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Tzolk'in

Really good rules
A lot of depth, with so many good choices and paths to get points - and pretty much no luck
The calendar wheel makes sure the game plays fairly quick (box says 90 min)
Plays 2-4 players

Bonuses:
Player interaction (competing over positions, buidlings etc. on the board)
Good theme integration (Well, it is a Euro, but the theme works)
Not ameritrashy
Can play more than 4 players (5 with expansion)
Is easy to acquire/Preferably not OOP (or not crazy expensive)
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Mcpherson
Canada
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
+1 Suburbia
+1 Innovation (Played my first game last night, I got destroyed by my 12 year old)

Some others might be Five Tribes and Alhambra.

I will also throw Dixit and Splendor into the mix. Not as deep but still fun.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Gustafson
United States
Warsaw
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
“The elements of good trading are: (1) cutting losses, (2) cutting losses, and (3) cutting losses. If you can follow these three rules, you may have a chance.” – Ed Seykota
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Chicago Express
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff
Canada
Ontario
flag msg tools
There's no simple explanation for anything important any of us do, and yeah the human tragedy consists of the necessity of living with the consequences, under pressure, under pressure. -Courage (For Hugh Maclennan): The Tragically Hip
badge
We're forced to bed, but we're free to dream. -Gift Shop: The Tragically Hip
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Here's my two cents...

1812: The Invasion of Canada - Light team-based wargame, plays up to five. It's excellent. You should have it done in two hours or less.

Airlines Europe - plays up to five. Think Ticket to Ride, but interesting. It has route building, but it's more of an economic game as you try to hold onto shares in the various airlines.

El Grande - really great area control game with lots of interaction, it's being re-released later this year.

Kemet - a war/skirmish game with minis, but the rules aren't dense at all. Plays up to five.

That should get you started. Hope it helps.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josh Dudley
United States
Simpsonville
SC
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Viticulture with Tuscany- worker placement style of interaction, but great theme implementation. 2-6

Dungeon Pets- see description of viticulture. 2-4

Lancaster- worked placement with an auction style mixed in the mechanic so the interaction is a little more interesting. Theme is there, but it's a bit dry I suppose. 2-5 better with 3-5 imo.

Yedo- see viticulture but you can also trade resources with your opponents and there is an auction every round. 2-5 but I don't think I'll play with 5 again because it'll run over your time frame.

Carson city- big box microstates kickstarter right now. Worker placement with dueling. 2-5

London- 2-4 card pool and board area enclosure interaction.

20th Century- 3-5 city building with a few auctions every round.

Spyrium- kinda dry steampunk theme but the player interaction that drives the market is interesting. 2-5. Also the cheapest game on this list. Great bang for the buck.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Carel Teijgeler
Netherlands
Vlaardingen
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Perhaps Petrograd 1917?

Simple rules, cards only, and PnP if that is not a problem.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
River Song
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
I love my cats!
badge
Spoilers!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'd recommend:

Zooloretto
Bora Bora
Evo
Downfall of Pompeii

+1 Airlines Europe
+1 Viticulture
+1 El Grande
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve Valladolid
United States
San Diego
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Another vote for Concordia
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Silver Robert
United States
Sunnyvale
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Lords of Waterdeep
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.