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Subject: Board Game recommendation for my strategic husband rss

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Melissa Morrison
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Hi Guys,

I'm looking at buying a board game for my husband for Christmas. We enjoy playing board games with 4-6 people and for about 1-2 hours. We really enjoy Carcassonne, Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride and Resistance. Can anyone recommend any games that we would enjoy? All my research is just getting me confused. I was looking at Terra Mystic but I think there might just be too many things going on and it might take for ever because my hubby and other players overthink every move.

Thanks
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Blake Dixon
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Hi Melissa,

Welcome to BGG.

I would recommend checking.

Empires: Age of Discovery This is a good worker placement that is very strategic, but simple to play. However with 6 players it will push 2.5 hours, and your first plays can/will be slower.

Race for the Galaxy Would be another strategic game. Its rather quick, very strategic and fun. Though for 6 players you will need 2 expansions. So this one may not fill you need completely. You can also check out the dice version.

Lastly I would recommend 7 Wonders and would probably make this my top recommendation to you after reading your other games. Its very easy to learn, very strategic(though other players can mess this up), quickish to play and very easy to learn.

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David B
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I would look at Power Grid. I would describe it as Monopoly for adults that don't like Monopoly. It's about buying power plants and resources to operate the power plants and then receiving income based on the number of cities you supply power to. The rule book, though not hard, could have been organized a little better. There are plenty of videos on YouTube about how to play if the rule book leaves a few question marks. Though totally unnecessary, there is a newer deluxe edition Power Grid Deluxe: Europe/North America
. The older edition is still widely available and is cheaper. The new edition, however, has improved 2 player rules. Those rules are available online and can actually be played on the non deluxe edition.

Power Grid does play up to 6 players.


Another suggestion is Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King. It is a nice progression from Carcassonne. The difference is that there is a semi closed economy where players set prices on tiles before they are added to your kingdom. This games plays 2 to 5.
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Choubi Gogs
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Melski86 wrote:
Hi Guys,

I'm looking at buying a board game for my husband for Christmas. We enjoy playing board games with 4-6 people and for about 1-2 hours. We really enjoy Carcassonne, Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride and Resistance. Can anyone recommend any games that we would enjoy? All my research is just getting me confused. I was looking at Terra Mystic but I think there might just be too many things going on and it might take for ever because my hubby and other players overthink every move.

Thanks
Even thoug hI never played Terra Mystica, it does seem to me like it would be a bit too much.

Safe bets if you are looking for something more complex, but not too much, than the games you play would be Puerto Rico or Agricola. Other problem, both these games only go up to five players.

A game which is more in line with Carcassonne or Tocket to Ride in terms of complexity of gameplay would be 7 Wonders and this one goes up to 6 players. The rules will be a bit harder so expect a first play with some mistakes and lengthy rules explanation but once that hurdle, you'll see that the game really isn't that complicated.

If you still want to check by yourself, I suggest you look at the list of family games here:

https://boardgamegeek.com/familygames/browse/boardgame

All those games will be similar in difficulty as Carcassonne, Ticket to ride or settlers.

Have fun
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Jack
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Melissa, an important statistic to check on BGG pages is the average game weight, which is a rating from 1-5 indicating how long it takes to learn how to play the game, and how complex it is to play.

Terra Mystica is excellent, but it's weight is 3.9 which is quite a jump from the others you list:
1.6 The resistance
1.9 Ticket to ride
1.9 Carcassonne
2.4 Catan

Have a look at the list of highest ranked strategy games. From the top 100 strategy games I'd recommend you check out:
2.3 7 wonders, recommended for 3–7 players, best with 4, 30 minutes. I personally like the 2 player version, tho it's a bit heavier.
2.4 Pandemic, recommended for 1–4 players, best with 4, 45 minutes.
2.4 Dominion, recommended for 2–4 players, best with 3, 30 minutes.
2.5 Lords of Waterdeep, recommended for 2–5 players, best with 4-5, 60 minutes.
3.1 El Grande, recommended for 3–5 players, best with 5, 60-120 minutes.
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Ashley Kennedy
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Three things to check out briefly.

Dicetower's 12 Strategy games for Christmas
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dwndOF2siY

Dicetower's 12 Family games for Christmas
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5R_n1CyblM

Dicetower's 12 Thematic games for Christmas
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZGNZS1ok40

Aside from the Dicetower's recommendations, I would suggest
Five Tribes
Suburbia
Dominion
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Jared Voshall
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It sounds like you've got a pretty solid selection of the gateway games, so you'll want to stick to a lower Weight/complexity rating. Before I go with what I would recommend, a couple questions to help narrow things down.

Of the four games you've mentioned, which one does your husband like most? Is there anything that draws him to that game over the others (for example, the set collection of Ticket or the deduction in Resistance)?

Is there anything about the games you've mentioned that he doesn't like (for example, the unreliability of getting resources in Catan or the final scoring rules for Carcassonne)?

These can drastically alter what you would want to look at, and what he ultimately would enjoy most.

Now, for my recommendations:

Between Two Cities A bit between Carcassonne and Ticket to Ride, Between Two Cities has you drafting tiles to build two cities with the cooperation of two other players. Fun and very easy to learn, this game plays through in ~25 minutes (in other words, a touch short of what you're looking for, but a good length that doesn't outstay its welcome.

Steampunk Rally Another drafting game, this one with more of an engine building and racing theme. A few rules can be a bit confusing (particularly in terms of part activation and venting), but very much a fun and engaging game.

Formula D Though it may seem a dice-fest at first blush, there's actually a lot of thought to how you take each turn and, if you run multiple laps, when/if you take a pit stop.

In general, if you want to run your own search, you can go to Advanced Search and fill in Weight (in this case, 1-2), Number of Players (4-6, as stated), and Play Time, and that will pull up everything that fits what you're looking for. From there, you can sort by Ranking or Rating to see what people like best - though the best way to get a solid opinion on the game is either through reviews or the comments on each game's page.
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Bart
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I play more heavy games whit my group (Terra Mystica is a great game, however if you have players prone to analysis paralysis I would proceed with caution ). I have found some really enjoyable gateway games that I have had success playing with both heavy gamers and those who are new to the hobby. I would suggest the following:

Seeland - https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/63759/seeland
Mangrovia - https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/165948/mangrovia
Darjeeling - https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/32165/darjeeling
Milestones - https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/117914/milestones
Hoyuk - https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/24270/hoyuk
Murano - https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/163413/murano
La Isla - https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/154246/la-isla
Stone Age -https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/34635/stone-age

If you want to stay close to what you know, since you enjoy Carcassonne you may want to try the South Seas version https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/147303/carcassonne-south...

The south sea version changes the way in which you score. Instead of scoring points for completing the various landmarks/buildings etc you have to collect resources and use the resources to fulfill the requirements of ships (they require different resources).

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Paul Amala
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I'm also going to go with



but also take a look at

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Welcome to BGG !

+1 7 Wonders

Easy to learn, fast to play, no downtimes (even for 6 players !), great replay value, great components, great strategic depth.

If you enjoy the game, you can increase the depth gradually by adding expansions.

7 Wonders won the first Kennerspiel des Jahres award in 2011 and is currently ranked on BGG as board game #19, strategy game #17 and family game #1.



Melski86 wrote:
I was looking at Terra Mystic but I think there might just be too many things going on and it might take for ever because my hubby and other players overthink every move.
7 Wonders focusses heavily on card drafting, meaning: everyone starts with a hand of cards, picks one and passes the others to their neighbour. Finding the right balance of taking the card you personally want and don't want your opponents to get is the crux of this game.

Overthinking/analysis paralysis can still happpen, but because everyone is always involved thanks to the constant passing and selecting of cards, a group usually finds its own pace which will even increase once people become familiar with the cards.

The first game might feel a bit awkward at first, especially if players are not familiar with the card drafting mechanism, but after your first trial-and-error round (which should not take too long), you will very likely want play another game immediately.
 
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Mitch Willis
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Elfenroads: newly released, same designer as Ticket to Ride, plays from 2 to 6 (better with 4 to 6), and plays in under 2 hours; basically 2 games in 1 (Elfenland and Elfensea) and the original Elfenland won the Spiel des Jahres back in '98...
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Ben
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Although it only plays up to 5, Small World might be popular with your group. It is an area control game but ends in a timely manner (usually 1.5 hours) unlike another particular area control game *coughriskcough*. It also has variable powers for each race you play as.

If you really need games that play up to 6, I would look into Colt Express or Libertalia.

Colt Express is very chaotic with acting out a train robbery with a 3D cardboard train which helps with the theme. Libertalia is a pirate game where you are all competing for booty. It can get a little more cutthroat than the games you listed.

Also, as many have mentioned before, 7 Wonders is a great game to add to anyone's collection.
 
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Kasper Lauest
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Dominion would probably be my top pick for you, BUT it is best with 2 or 3 people.

7 Wonders is also a very solid choice.

If you are prepared to go a little heavier, well loved classics like Power Grid, Puerto Rico, El Grande and Agricola are all very very good games, that you will rarely go wrong with.

But really, there are many hundreds of great games out there. Happy exploring!

I would stay away from Terra Mystica for now. It is a GREAT game, but will seem VERY heavy compared to the games you are used to!
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Joe H
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I don't think you want to take too big of a step away from what you have already played so I'm not sure Terra Mystica is a good idea.

Istanbul has been a big hit with all the gaming groups that I play with. It plays up to 5 players, has easy rules to explain and has lots of variability.

Two other games you might consider are Lords of Waterdeep (or if you don't like the light fantasy them then Stone Age). These are worker placement which, roughly speaking, means each player has a limited number of workers and, taking turns, you place your workers out on the game board which will allow you to perform particular actions. Generally, once an action has been taken by a player, other players are excluded from taking that action.

Another fun game is Roll for the Galaxy which I enjoyed as a next step game. It plays up to 5 and has lots of dice.
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Joe
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Based on your criteria, and the recommendations so far, I think 7 Wonders is the best choice. However, I also agree that Isle of Skye and Power Grid are great recommendations. I think it depends on how simple/complex you'd like the game to be. I would rank them like this, from 'easiest' to 'hardest' in terms of overall game-play, ease of understanding the rules, and strategic depth:

Isle of Skye (simple rules, easy game-play, quick play time, but plenty of juicy decisions and lots of replay value)

7 Wonders (a fairly simple game, but a bit more complex than Isle of Skye, has great decisions, and lots of replay value)

Power Grid (much more complex than the previous two games, can be mathy, play time is much longer than the previous two games)

Also, another recommendation for a deeper, strategic game based on the player count criteria would be Caverna. However, at higher player counts Caverna will probably be longer than the play time in your criteria. It's a solid game though, it's fun and a good representation of a heavier, more strategic game.

EDIT: yes, also +1 for Roll for the Galaxy- fantastic, relatively short game that plays up to five players.
 
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Ian Kissell
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I'd recommend more of a medium weight Euro to transition from those heavier games.

Viticulture is a great game that plays 2-6, and works at all player counts. The Essential Edition will be out by Christmas.

Shogun is another great one for 4-5 players, and since most of the decisions are simultaneous, it doesn't get too bogged down. Really interesting Euro with some conflict mixed in.

Carson City is not my personal favorite, but may work for you too.
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CalicoDave
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I'll give another vote for 7 Wonders and Lords of Waterdeep. But I'll also suggest Concordia and Navegador. They both have fairly easy rules but a lot of strategy and the card play/rondel helps keep the turns moving.
 
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Ian Kissell
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CalicoDave wrote:
I'll give another vote for 7 Wonders and Lords of Waterdeep. But I'll also suggest Concordia and Navegador. They both have fairly easy rules but a lot of strategy and the card play/rondel helps keep the turns moving.
I personally feel like Navegaor should be a try before you buy game. I personally find it to feel too limited, and I know many Euro gamers who feel the same way. It is not bad to pull out every once in a while, but is not a heavy rotation game.
 
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Railways of the World is a step up from Ticket to Ride, but not too much more complex, and plays up to 6 players.

Power Grid as mentioned earlier also works well, but you could also go with Power Grid: The First Sparks for a more streamlined and quicker version which is still up to 6 players.

Scoville is a newer game that plays up to 6 as well. Pretty easy, but plenty of decisions throughout the game.
 
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Melissa Morrison
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Thank you everyone for your recommendations. I'm really happy I posted this otherwise I would have bought Terra Mystica and probably only tried to play it once. Thank you everyone so very much
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Kyle
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In my experience Agricola will cause a whole lot more overbooking l over thinking than Terra mystica by far. That one seems to flow very well, and interlocks so well you barely notice the amount of stuff.

Power grid is a math spreadsheet almost literally and is highly calculation driven.

7 wonders might work, not personally a fan, it isn't much game, just a card draft with very very low interaction.

Keyflower is an interactive, moderately strategic auction/worker placement gang that is also not as heavy as Agricola/Terra mystica. It might be a good fit, plays from 2-6 very well. All around great game.. Might still be a bit given you listed light games.

Knizia's samurai might be a good choice, decently strategic, you only have 5 tiles at a time to play from, you are surrounding tokens to capture them. More meat to it than Carcassonne, and great, but only played to 4 (if playing primarily 2 I'd probably pass, but is excellent with 3). The scoring is where this game shines, majorities get points (there are 3 toes of token), but how many other token you get matter in ties.
 
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Kate
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+1 Steampunk Rally

Evolution
Shadows over Camelot if you want to try co-op? Has a traitor element.
 
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Lords of Waterdeep (with Lords of Waterdeep: Scoundrels of Skullport expansion if you want to play with 6 people) is a great entry level worker placement game.

Keyflower is probably the next step up complexity wise that supports up to 6 players.
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