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Subject: Euro Games with High Levels of Unique and Interesting Interactions rss

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Daniel West
United States
Springfield
OR
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So I and my group recently discovered the absolutely wonderful and underrated Scoville. The reason the game stood out was that it had a level of unique interaction that was just a breath of fresh air.

Now really quickly, I should pause and mention that I have enjoyed many euros that are mostly multi-player solitaire where the only interaction is simply blocking an opponent via taking what they wanted. Yet, since that seems to be the extent of the majority of euros nowadays, I'm feeling the need for more diversity and interaction in my euros.

Now to give some examples, I'll first go back to Scoville. I love the way the game is all about community planting and harvesting. Players can only harvest based on the combinations that have been planted. The designers were smart enough to reward players for making higher and higher contributions to this agricultural engine that everyone is feeding off of, so everyone is motivated to be the first to plant that really good pepper, even if an opponent uses it first. The game simply shines in this category.

Another prime example of what I've been looking for is Helvetia, a game about building your village. Of course, in order to build your population to make your village effective, you need to have couples that can make babies. Well, in order to make those couples, you have to have your opponents send their young bachelors and bachelorettes into your village to marry your eligible members. Why would they send one of their young people into your village knowing it would give you the chance to reproduce and have a higher population of workers? Well, because that young person they sent now has access to the resource you previously had a monopoly on and their young lad or maiden is still loyal to them and will send that resource home when it is requested. This creates a mutual synergy that powers both players' engines.

While those are arguably the two main standouts, I also already have role selection in Glass Road, drafting in Ginkgopolis, auctions in Ra, network building over a shared map in Power Grid, shared tile laying in Carcassonne, and area majority in Tikal.

Yet, despite having all of those, I've determined that I can fit on my shelf at least one more game. So what are some euros I haven't discovered yet where the whole game is very interactive in a way other games haven't figured out how to emulate? Once again, please don't just suggest games in which the only interaction is that due to shared resources player A takes the thing player B wanted. Show me some creativity with your suggestions.

EDIT: I forgot to mention I also already have investment in shared companies with Airlines Europe
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Ian Noble
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Carson City is one of the most interactive worker placement games out there. From the placement of buildings on the map to the dueling for a single space on the worker placement track, you are in each other's face the entire game.
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Francisco Longobardi
Brazil
Mogi das Cruzes
São Paulo
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Check out CO₂.
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chris lake
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Hewitt
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The game that came to mind for me is The Speicherstadt
Being first to bid gets you first opportunity, but depending on market pressures what you want to buy may become very expensive.

Not as good as the examples posted by OP. I will need to take a look at those games as these are the types of games I enjoy.
 
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Mark Jackson
United States
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Keyflower is extremely interactive in various unique ways. You use meeples to bid on tiles to build up your village, but you also use meeples to activate tiles and gather resources (either in your own village or other players villages, or even the tiles that are up for auction). Also the color of the meeples restricts further bids/placements (ie if I bid red you can only outbid me with red).
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Daniel West
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Great suggestions so far guys.

I do have Keyflower, Mark and agree with everything you said. It has severa of the interaction types I described above.

Chris, I'll have to take a closer look at that game. Thanks for suggesting it.

Francisco, I have actually played CO2 and while it is interactive in a unique way, I personally didn't find that style of interaction overly enjoyable. It was a game where players got lots of points for building on the foundations that other players had laid, so everyone basically waited for others to lay foundations first. in Scoville, the reward for planting peppers is so high that even if others then can use that planted pepper to harvest one or two more peppers toward a recipe, it is still worth it. Good suggestion though.

Ian, that interaction you describes kinda sounds like blocking/resource denial. Is that all the interaction is, taking spots or things other players want? Or is there more to it that maybe I'm missing? If there is more, I'd love to know. Western is one of my favorite themes.
 
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Ian Noble
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Team D20 wrote:
Ian, that interaction you describes kinda sounds like blocking/resource denial. Is that all the interaction is, taking spots or things other players want? Or is there more to it that maybe I'm missing? If there is more, I'd love to know. Western is one of my favorite themes.


You're basically fighting for the chance to use that space. It could be the ability to buy a building, collect guns/money or score victory points. It's not the typical blocking a space mechanic though. All players can go to a space where another player is. During the resolution phase, each spot with multiple players has a duel. Players spend gun tokens and roll a die. A winner is determined. That player can perform the action on the space, the loser gets their meeple back (it can be used as a "gun" for any other duels in the same round).

Fighting for locations on the map works the same. But you can also steal half of another player's income by placing your meeple on their building and winning a duel.

Tons of interaction!
 
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Daniel West
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ianoble wrote:
Team D20 wrote:
Ian, that interaction you describes kinda sounds like blocking/resource denial. Is that all the interaction is, taking spots or things other players want? Or is there more to it that maybe I'm missing? If there is more, I'd love to know. Western is one of my favorite themes.


You're basically fighting for the chance to use that space. It could be the ability to buy a building, collect guns/money or score victory points. It's not the typical blocking a space mechanic though. All players can go to a space where another player is. During the resolution phase, each spot with multiple players has a duel. Players spend gun tokens and roll a die. A winner is determined. That player can perform the action on the space, the loser gets their meeple back (it can be used as a "gun" for any other duels in the same round).

Fighting for locations on the map works the same. But you can also steal half of another player's income by placing your meeple on their building and winning a duel.

Tons of interaction!
Those ideas sounds cool, but I think my group would not be too fond of them unfortunately. They didn't like how cutthroat Imperial Settlers was.
 
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Aaron Yoder
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Team D20 wrote:
Those ideas sounds cool, but I think my group would not be too fond of them unfortunately. They didn't like how cutthroat Imperial Settlers was.


What?

I was going to suggest 1714: The Case of the Catalans, as it is a super unique game that is pretty new. Heck, I still am. Basically the Hapsburgs are falling apart in Spain and the players are the other major powers in Europe, hoping to get a big piece of the pie as they crumble. The thing is, you're all allies. So you don't attack one another. There's some worker placement-esque action drafting, and a ton of historicity and ins-and-outs, but the game isn't too hard and plays super fast and fun. And while everybody's messing with one another, they're doing so indirectly. It is a great game.

I also just got Alchemists, which is excessively brilliant. Basic worker placement game, except that while you're trying to sell your potions, you're simultaneously trying to discover things about your ingredients. Then you publish that information. But are you right? Or are you just looking for easy Reputation? Worker Placement, Bluffing, Logic & Deduction. Very unique, and that's before you realize you need to use your phone for it (seemlessly integrated). Honestly the game is stellar.
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Goldfinger
Canada
Burnaby
British Columbia
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Santiago
Dos Rios
Troyes
Catan: Cities & Knights or Catan: Traders & Barbarians
El Grande

P.S. just added Scoville to my own wishlist.
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Matt Brown
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Okemos
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If Imperial Settlers is too cutthroat, then how are you going to have "interesting interactions?" I find Imperial Settlers to be pretty mild.
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Samo Oleami
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Team D20 wrote:
Now really quickly, I should pause and mention that I have enjoyed many euros that are mostly . Yet, since that seems to be the extent of the majority of euros nowadays, I'm feeling the need for more diversity and interaction in my euros.

It's simple - just pick euros from the time before they became multi-player solitaire where the only interaction is simply blocking an opponent via taking what they wanted. Yeah, this trait wasn't at all crucial for a game being euro.

Knizia - well, duh.
Check these: Tigris and Euphrates, Modern Art, Ra, Samurai, Battle Line.

Area majority games: El Grande, Dominant Species, Age of Empires III (these two are combined with worker placement), Small world (area control).

Auction and bidding games;
Some are pure (like Modern Art and Ra) and For Sale, No thanks, Condontierre (well it is mostly bidding even if it feels like war). Taj Mahal.
Some are combined with engine building as Power Grid, Goa, Princes of Florence.

Trading games - in order of weight: Bohnanza, Chinatown, Genoa

Stock market games with shared incentives (not sure how much of this is fully fledged in Airlines Europe): Acquire (pre-euro), Chicago Express, Imperial. These games do have a lineage somewhat distinct to euros. But for all normal purposes they are fairly euroey.

Double think games: Citadels, Havana, Libertalia

Anything Faidutti's. The guy is a chaos incarnate. And yeah what he designs are certainly euros, but highly chaotic. And pretty interactive.

Cooperative games. (mostly euros)
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Peter Bowie
United Kingdom
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Dominant Species (Practically a war game, but ostensibly a euro)
Hansa Teutonica (One of the most unique and unusual route-building games ever, very high interaction)
Alien Frontiers (Dice placement, stealing)
Five Tribes (Opponent's moves radically change your own, tactical game)
Power Grid (Auctions, route-building)
Madeira (City track, forcing your opponent to receive negative points, limited dice placement)
Bora Bora (God track, cutthroat dice placement, building timing)
Archipelago (Semi co-op, heavy on trading)
Argent: The Consortium (Epic Worker Placement where certain Worker types can displace other workers)
Bohnanza (Trading in a nutshell)
Brass (Route-building, almost a semi co-op feel by using your opponent's resources when they wanted to)
Imperial (Economics/war-themed game in a euro package)
Shogun (Build up your empire, but also squash your opponents)
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Peter Cox
New Zealand
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Santiago

A forgotten gem.
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Troy Winfrey
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Aaagh! Where's the love for Splotter Spellen?!?

Jeroen and Joris are uniquely interested in what happens when players (in the theoretical sense) interact within an economic sphere. It may be time for you to make the jump to some seriously awesome games.

Roads and Boats--Build a network of producers (e.g., a Mine or a Sawmill) in order to produce goods that will further your cause. But any other player can use anything you've built...and even take goods from you if you haven't figured out a way to incorporate them into your logistics chain.

The Great Zimbabwe--Not as popular as some other Splotter titles, but one of the most deeply interesting ones. Produce goods using other people's producers in a brilliant "frenemy" "co-opetition" environment. Buy serious advantages over others by paying in points. Take first player, a very powerful position, by paying the other players for it in cattle, a base marker of wealth in the game.

Indonesia--Technically a railroad game, although it's not about tracks and engines. Rely on others to ship your goods; hopefully you won't have to pay more than you receive in sales. Or save your money and merge their company with yours...of course, that leaves them with a huge pile of cash...

These games are expensive and yet legendary for a reason. Honestly, there are a lot of good recommendations on this list, but Splotter titles are the granddaddy of many, many modern Euros.
 
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Dandelion
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I would say Vanuatu or Tammany Hall, but if Imperial Settlers is too nasty, then stay away from both.
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Andrew VanSpronsen
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How about a Glen More, Francis Drake, or Kraftwagen for the time track mechanic?
 
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Freelance Police
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I'm an Ameritrash gamer, so here're two games I find interesting.

Roll for the Galaxy: You need to optimize random dice results away from sub-optimal play, as well as guess what phases your opponents will select so you can leech off of them.

Evolution: Direct interaction. Hybrid of Euro and AT? Add the Carnivore trait to your species and chow down on an opponent who didn't build of their defenses.
 
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Jesse Bouvier
Canada
Montreal
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+1 for Keyflower, Troyes and Evolution
 
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Phil Hendrickson
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If Helvetia is a good fit, you might consider some other titles by the same designer, Matthias Cramer.

Someone above mentioned Kraftwagen for the time track. Players also have the ability to affect the market, both in cars being sold and buyers looking for cars.

Also consider Cramer's Lancaster. Knight displacement is a step up from simple worker placement. And the group voting in scoring laws is a unique mechanism that always generates tension and laughter.

Have fun exploring!
 
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Matt Gustafson
United States
Warsaw
Indiana
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“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
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Pax Porfiriana
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Simona Dostalova
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How about Battle Merchants?
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Patrick
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Seconding Tigris and Euphrates and Hansa Teutonica. T&E is definitely confrontational, but it's so different than anything else. You need to read some reviews/watch some videos because it's way too much for my little comment. HT's confrontation/interaction is smoothed by the mutual benefit concept you brought up. People can kick you out of a spot where you have a piece, but they lose a piece and you gain one. So there are constant interesting decisions about when it is important enough to eject another player's piece or how long to leave one of your pieces blocking someone else's route--sacrificing opportunities to use it elsewhere--hoping to be ejected and gain another piece.
 
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HenningK
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Another vote for Hansa Teutonica. Very strong interaction for a Euro.
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Markus Hagenauer jr.
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Yunnan is a great euro fit a lot of interaction.
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