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Subject: Elysium good for new gamers? rss

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Matt Halowell

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I'm just getting into board games, and am looking for a game with great replay value that's scalable from 2 to more players, and has some depth of strategy.
My wife is not quite as enthusiastic about games as me, but she has been enjoying Carcassonne, King of Tokyo, and Forbidden Island.

I've been considering games like Dominion, Takenoko, Cyclades, and Elysium as a next step. I also personally enjoy 7 Wonders.

Do you guys think that Elysium would be a good mix of styles (as we haven't played very many games yet), and fairly easy to learn?

My wife would probably be turned off by a steep learning curve or game that requires excessive brain power.

Thanks!
 
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HenningK
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I like Elysium, but it can be a little complex at the start, especially because there are lots of cards with different texts coming up each turn. It is not a game I would teach non-gamers if I know they would be pit off by a game that might be too complex or brain-burny.

My advice would be Dominion. It is simpler and goes very well with most non- or casual gamers. It is also extremely replayable and simply one of the best games around (yes, better than Elysium in my mind).
 
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Matt Halowell

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Appreciate the advice! Dominion would probably be a good choice.
I definitely feel drawn to the nice artwork in Elysium though.
 
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ronald fraigun
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Get them into easier games first, this one too complicated for brand new gamers
 
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Bryan Arroyo
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Elysium is a good game, but I would definitely recommend NOT using Poseidon as one of the gods in your first game as suggested in the rules. Poseidon cards are very nasty and make for a combative game. I introduce many new players to the hobby and very aggressive games are a turn off unless you specifically go into the game knowing and wanting this.
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Gláucio Reis
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I don't think it's too bad for new gamers. Yes, there are many different cards, but all their powers are represented by good iconography, and the text is there just in case you don't understand the icons or forget what they do. The game rules are pretty straightforward. It's not much more complex than Dominion and is certainly simpler than Cyclades.
 
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Matt Halowell

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Thanks for the thoughts!
So if you had to decide between Dominion and Elysium, which would you choose?

If they're different enough, I feel like I'll probably end up getting both eventually, but I can only afford one right now.
 
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Vera P.
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I would go with Dominion between the two.
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Mindy Basi
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I agree, Elysium is complicated and might make new gamers go "huh?"

My first game we did play with Posiedon, and I agree, he's nasty. Your wife might like the theme and the artwork, though.

Takenoko is a good start, and completely different from what you have mentioned.

You might try Castles of Burgundy, great two player Euro that scales.

Also look into Arctic Scavengers for a deck builder, she might like the player interaction there, and it's similar to Dominion. However, the theme might be off-putting, it just depends.

Dominion has a lot of expansions ... Elysium at least is stand alone.
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Carl Frodge
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Nope. First of all, Dominion and Takenoko are significantly lighter games than Cyclades or Elysium.

Elysium is relatively complex. Lots of variable card powers. I enjoy it, and I think it's fairly easy to understand once you get the hang of it, but I don't think I'd recommend it for new players. I haven't played Cyclades, but I have played its sister, Kemet, which is also pretty complex. I wouldn't recommend them, just because I don't like direct conflict.

 
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Dave K
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Love 'em even if a few games get scuttled from time to time.
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Please consider this another vote for "Elysium is a good game but it's probably not a good choice for a group that is just getting into gaming."
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(ɹnʎʞ)
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Welcome to the hobby and BGG !

mhalowel wrote:
I've been considering games like Dominion, Takenoko, Cyclades, and Elysium as a next step. I also personally enjoy 7 Wonders.

mhalowel wrote:
My wife would probably be turned off by a steep learning curve or game that requires excessive brain power.

Trantor42 wrote:
My advice would be Dominion. It is simpler and goes very well with most non- or casual gamers. It is also extremely replayable and simply one of the best games around (yes, better than Elysium in my mind).

I'm not implying that you or your group are lacking any cognitive capacity, but be careful with Dominion when we are talking about real newcomers to the hobby and especially if they are not really that interested into hobby (so far).

Dominion won the Spiel des Jahres award 2008, and the jury got a lot of bad feedback for that, as the game was just too complex for that audience. Too many different cards with text, too many possible synergies, too many options -- too much depth.

Dominion ignited the spark which eventually lead to the introduction of the Kennerspiel des Jahres award in 2011, which since then targets more avid board game players (note: Elysium was a nominee for the Kennerspiel in 2015). In hindsight, Dominion would never be nominated as a Spiel des Jahres nowadays, but as a Kennerspiel des Jahres.

Again: I'm not saying that Dominion is not a good game, it's even one of my favourites. But it could really scare off people who are new to the hobby. A lot of different cards, all acting and interacting differently and players are required to recognise these card synergies in order to pull of good combos. There's also a lot of shuffling involved here (which even still annoys fans to this day) and people who are not quite sure what they are actually doing will be crushed by other players who are actually having a plan.

From all the games you listed, I would go with Takenoko. The components are great, the theme is cute, the rules are quite simple and it's more of a tactical decision-per-turn game, rather than requiring to have a bigger game-spanning strategy. The iconography is clear and easy to understand, no reading required, making it even language-independent. The atmosphere this game creates is also always uniquely relaxing for me and my groups, to the point at which it does not matter at all who actually won the game. Panda is happy, everyone is happy.
It scales very well with 2-4 players.

7 Wonders has also been mentioned by the OP, which is indeed a great game (family game #1 for quite some time now, wow), but also too complex for beginners. It's better to introduce new gamers into the drafting mechanism with Sushi Go!, which boils the whole concept really down to just drafting + set collecting.

Other games which fall into your search criteria of 2+ players, replay value, strategy:

Pandemic (or: the lighter Forbidden Island)
Stone Age
San Juan (second edition) (maybe not right away, but it's pretty much exactly what you are looking for)

Good luck and have fun !
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Ben Rubinstein

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It can be tricky finding games that are great with 2 and also great with more.

Dominion is a solid pick for 2 or 3, but I don't like it with any more.

On the other hand, Cyclades isn't fantastic with either 2 or 3, but with 4 or 5 it's my favorite game.

Get more games!
 
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Drew
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mhalowel wrote:
I'm just getting into board games, and am looking for a game with great replay value that's scalable from 2 to more players, and has some depth of strategy.
My wife is not quite as enthusiastic about games as me, but she has been enjoying Carcassonne, King of Tokyo, and Forbidden Island.

I've been considering games like Dominion, Takenoko, Cyclades, and Elysium as a next step. I also personally enjoy 7 Wonders.

Do you guys think that Elysium would be a good mix of styles (as we haven't played very many games yet), and fairly easy to learn?

My wife would probably be turned off by a steep learning curve or game that requires excessive brain power.

Thanks!


When Elysium was first released my wife was very new to gaming. At the time she had only played Ticket to Ride and a few other gateway games. It was a complete miss. She was confused on a number of the rules especially understanding when to move your cards.
She has been playing some medium weight games lately, so I am hoping to get it to the table again soon. I am hoping that I did not ruin the game for her by trying to play it too soon.
 
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Samo Oleami
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No.

Elysium is a mix or everything without being anything - very tactical (which means easier ot grasp), but also full of cards and rules and stuff. I don't think it justifies the effort by what it offers.

Dominion - yes. Learning curve exists. I'd rather recommend some other deckbuilders, but depends on your thematic preferences. Trains looks nicer. Thunderstone if fantasy is ok.

Cyclades - doesn't scale well. You really need 4-5 players, preferably 5.

Takenoko - would work, but why not Ticket to Ride which is somewhat similar mechanically and more accessible. TTR needs an expansion or Nordic version to play well with 2 though. If having a Panda is a must, then sure, go for Takenoko.

7 Wonders - learning curve is steep(er) than Elysium, but also the game is more rewarding in the end. If she can survive 3 games learning the icons and grasping the general strategy, then it could be ok.
 
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