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Subject: Sushi Go, Fairy Tale, Harbour, or Cheaty Mages? rss

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Karefa Kargbo
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McLean
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Was going to grab Netrunner on clearance at B&N and was too late. Making myself feel better by buying a smaller game. Any suggestions on which of these four?
 
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Karefa Kargbo
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Also any suggestions on other $20 or less games is appreciated.
 
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Jeff
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I've only played (and own) Sushi Go, and Fairy Tale. I like them both quite a bit. If you've never played a card drafting game before maybe Sushi Go is better to get the hang of it. Fairy Tale has iconography that takes a bit of getting used to. However, they are both very good as I said.
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Jacob Schoberg
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Elkhorn
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I have Cheaty Mages and Fairy Tale, and Fairy Tale gets a lot more play. Both are good, though.
 
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Matthew Percival
Australia
Bendigo
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I have only played Sushi Go! and Fairy Tale from that list. Personally, I much prefer Fairy Tale. With the basic rules it is fairly comparable to Sushi Go!, but once you had in the expert cards it has a lot more depth without increasing the play time.
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Michael J
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Fairy Tale is the only one of those games that sees semi-regular play in our group. It comes out when we have 30 minutes left and don't know what to play. The others don't. It's a fun game.
 
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Other suggestions could be:

Love Letter
Machi Koro
6 nimmt!
Citadels
Port Royal
Camel Up
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MURRUMBEENA
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I have played all four

Sushi Go! is a simple 20 minute affair with nice art. It is very easy to pick-up, highly suitable for kids and designed by a Australian (so it must be good).

Fairy Tale is more complex and challenging to teach. There are card effects to understand, so it takes longer to explore its nuances. It is probably a better pick for teenagers or adults.

Harbour is not a drafting game at all - it is a small scale tableau builder. I think of it as Le Havre's baby brother. I like it a great deal and think it has greater replay potential than any of the others, but it is also the most complex. Note that Harbour takes roughly an hour with 4 players - the others are all 30 minutes or less.

Cheaty Mages! is a sibling of Colossal Arena, and I found it least interesting of all of these. There are a lot of random elements for such a small game. It is easy to teach though, and the "battle" theme is appealing.

I second the suggestion of Port Royal or 6 nimmt! - both are cheap, excellent games. Port Royal features an excellent push-your-luck card draw element and Cat-5 feels like an evolved game of Whist or Euchre. Both take about 45 minutes to play and are straightforward to teach - neither is as complex as Harbour.

It looks like you own Citadels and Love Letter... Machi Koro really needs the expansion to shine and might be more costly than you intend. Camel Up is not universally loved - it is the only one of these I have not played, but nevertheless, try before buying.

I would add Coloretto to your list. It is quick to teach, takes 25 minutes to play and players get a nice sense of tension while playing: Will I get what I want, or will my options be spoiled? Should I take what I have available, or gamble for something even better?
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Sebastien Zander
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Dixit expansion? You only need dice and a score track.
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Carl Frodge
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Sushi Go! and Fairy Tale are both drafting/set-collection games, Harbour is Worker Placement, and Cheaty Mages is...harder to explain.

The only one I haven't played is Harbour. I like Fairy Tale and Sushi Go! (I think Fairy Tale is better, but Sushi Go! is better with people who don't play games much.

Cheaty Mages is all about guessing what cards people will be going for, and betting on the best options. It's a weird game, but I enjoy it.
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