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Subject: Competitive interaction - not too long, not too heavy rss

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Sven Fritzsche
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Hey folks,
Im looking for the next great game to add to my collection.
I like competitive interaction and dislike multiplayer solitaire games. The game can be cut-throat, that is fine for us. The theme, length and weight needs to be accessible for non and casual gamers, as I often play with these people. That would mean, the game cannot take longer than 2 hours. 60-90 minutes is probably perfect. BGG weight wise the game should not be heavier than 3.5. Player count doesnt really matter as long as I dont need very big groups to play it.

Games I like:
Power grid - great interaction and excellent complexity/depth ratio
Bohnanza - negotiation in games is just awesome :-)
Ticket to ride - awesome gateway that gets player very often!
For sale - the best filler ever! great interaction and very fun yet very simple

Games I dislike:
Basically just anything multiplayer solitaire... I think Dominion, Agricola and Carcassonne are good games, but they just don't see much play time because of their lack of interaction.
Anything too abstract - most Knizia games fall in this category for me.
Kingdom builder - it was just a boring game without many interesting decisions.
Smallworld - even though very interactive, the gameplay is not that deep, yet the rules can be complicated and confusing.

Thanks a lot in advance
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Kyle
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El Grande - 90 minutes, competition through bidding for action draft phase, and then direct manipulation of the board during the action phase. Best with 4 or 5. Very fun.

If your list were not so Euro-centric, I would toss in Cosmic encounter, because it is amazing fun and highly accessible.
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Sven Fritzsche
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Thanks! I have El Grande lying around here. It only had one play yet with two players and that fell flat... however I blame this to the player count. I'll definitely need to give it a second try.
I already looked into cosmic encounter. It looks great but I'm hesitating because of the theme... I'm not sure if it can appeal to my non and casual gamer friends.
 
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David Gibbs
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SvenF wrote:
Thanks! I have El Grande lying around here. It only had one play yet with two players and that fell flat... however I blame this to the player count. I'll definitely need to give it a second try.
I already looked into cosmic encounter. It looks great but I'm hesitating because of the theme... I'm not sure if it can appeal to my non and casual gamer friends.


El Grande really isn't worth playing at 2-player. It is best at 5, good at 4, and ok for a learning game at 3.

Tigris & Euphrates is another excellent high-player-interaction game. And, similarly, I wouldn't attempt it 2-player, best with 4, acceptable with 3.

Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery is also another good candidate.
 
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Chris
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Just play Bohnanza again!

Theme might be a dud, but Tinners' Trail is ace. Something akin to "power grid light". Or rather "Power Grid Short"
 
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Krawhitham B
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Glass Road looks like multi-player solitaire because of individual boards but it has some great non-conflict player interaction.
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Kyle
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dagibbs wrote:
[q="SvenF"]
Tigris & Euphrates is another excellent high-player-interaction game. And, similarly, I wouldn't attempt it 2-player, best with 4, acceptable with 3.


Tigris is excellent, but it would be pretty heavy for non-gamers / casuals. A lot of thought goes into that one.
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David Gibbs
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darthain wrote:
dagibbs wrote:
[q="SvenF"]
Tigris & Euphrates is another excellent high-player-interaction game. And, similarly, I wouldn't attempt it 2-player, best with 4, acceptable with 3.


Tigris is excellent, but it would be pretty heavy for non-gamers / casuals. A lot of thought goes into that one.


Power Grid was on the OP's list of excellent games -- I wouldn't say T&E is any heavier (at least rule-set wise) than Power Grid.
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Jay Sachs
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Hansa Teutonica
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American Rails or Chicago Express but you'll definitely want 4p for those.

May be harder to find:

Helvetia
Endeavor
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Nona de Koning
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Castles of Mad King Ludwig?
Tobago?
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David B
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Mexica
 
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Steffen Eichenberg
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SvenF wrote:

I already looked into cosmic encounter. It looks great but I'm hesitating because of the theme... I'm not sure if it can appeal to my non and casual gamer friends.


I had the best experiences with CE and people completely new to the hobby, men and women alike. Cosmic Encounter is very light rule wise. People can be very good at it without being experienced gamers, just by using basic life skills: bargaining and backstabbing. But be warned, this game will fall flat with some people, because of bargaining and backstabbing.
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Gabriel Cohn
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A bunch of the ones mentioned are great. El Grande, Hansa Teutonica, etc. I'd add Tikal, Puerto Rico, Aladdins Dragons, and especially Keyflower. Keyflower has tons of cutthroat interaction and is great at anywhere from 2 to 6 players. Finally, I think you'll enjoy my game, The Exodus Fleet, when it comes out this fall (from TMG).
 
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Eric Chiriboga
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Maybe Inca Empire. It's a route building game with lots of player interaction and take-that mechanics. It's pretty mean, actually.
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Jay I
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Chinatown has a lot of negotiation and can be cut-throat.
 
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Sven Fritzsche
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Thank you all for the replies!

dagibbs wrote:

Tigris & Euphrates is another excellent high-player-interaction game. And, similarly, I wouldn't attempt it 2-player, best with 4, acceptable with 3.
Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery is also another good candidate.

Regarding Tigris & Euphrates: another thing that I unfortunately didn't mention in the OP and I'm not a big fan of is abstracts. Knizia games usually have a slightly too abstract feel to look appealing to me.

Regarding Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery: It looks nice, but is unfortunately not very available...

pfctsqr wrote:

Never heard of this one. At first glance it also looks pretty abstract. Pictures remind me of Torres, which I hated

TheRocketSurgeon wrote:
Theme might be a dud, but Tinners' Trail is ace. Something akin to "power grid light". Or rather "Power Grid Short"

Tinners' Trail really does look great. Thanks!

Krawhitham wrote:
Glass Road looks like multi-player solitaire because of individual boards but it has some great non-conflict player interaction.

Never thought of Glass Road as a very interactive game. Usually the Rosenberg Harvest Series is pretty low on player interaction and more like multiplayer solitaire. I might have to look at it again.

YourLoveOnly wrote:

I always had suburbia on my list since I played it on the iPad and really liked it. I'm wondering how this compares to Castles of Mad King Ludwig especially in term of player interaction.

destro wrote:
Chinatown has a lot of negotiation and can be cut-throat.

Already on my list. Looks great, though also not very available here in germany...

I have also looked into Concordia, Evolution, Imperial Settlers, Deus, Dark Moon, Machi Koro and Specter Ops. How do you think I would enjoy any of these? Especially regarding Specter Ops I'm not sure how it can theme-wise appeal to non-gamers, because of these minis... However I love the idea of the game
 
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Morten K
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destro wrote:
Chinatown has a lot of negotiation and can be cut-throat.


This is a must in your collection. Along with Samurai and perhaps some of the simpler old-fashioned bidding games like Ra or Amun-Re which will see a reprint later this year.

If you think Carcassonne is multiplayer solitaire, you're playing it wrong.
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Sven Fritzsche
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Tigrillo wrote:

Along with Samurai and perhaps some of the simpler old-fashioned bidding games like Ra or Amun-Re which will see a reprint later this year.

If you think Carcassonne is multiplayer solitaire, you're playing it wrong.


Thanks for the comment. Like I said Knizia games often appear a bit too abstract to me to look like fun... Ra has so far been the only one that looked interesting enough to put it on my list. I might have to look into the other more. Maybe I can get a chance to play them.

Regarding Carcassonne it might have also been the general lightness of the game that didn't appeal to us. We just thought it wasn't a very tense game with interesting descisions and ways to screw other players. It's been a long time since we played it though so I'm not exactly sure what the problem was...
 
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Morten K
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I can understand that about Knizia games even though I like them myself. Chinatown is not by him though and feels very thematic. Fresh Fish could be another option.
 
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John
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SvenF wrote:
Regarding Carcassonne it might have also been the general lightness of the game that didn't appeal to us. We just thought it wasn't a very tense game with interesting descisions and ways to screw other players. It's been a long time since we played it though so I'm not exactly sure what the problem was...


It certainly has some interesting decisions and should have ways to screw other players by making it impossible (or difficult) for them to finish their features if you have a reasonable idea what tiles exist. It's more interesting with 2-3 players than with more though - with more people you don't get to play so many tiles which increases luck, decreases the interesting decisions (the answer to "do I play a meeple?" is more likely to be "yes, obviously"), and decreases the benefit of actions that harm an opponent. I played Carcassonne too much for a while and stopped enjoying it (partly thinking that it didn't have that many interesting decisions) then didn't play it for ages. I've played it again recently and found I enjoyed it more. If you didn't like it though don't play it!
 
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John
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How about something like The Resistance? I think this can have a similar appeal to Bohnanza though the games are fairly different both get everyone talking. (Edit - I see you have it, if you like it then Hidden Agenda could be worth adding which has the roles that originally appeared in Avalon)
 
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Jay I
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SvenF wrote:

I have also looked into ....Dark Moon....


Great game. I checked your list and you like a couple of the hidden role games, so this might be a good fit.
 
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Gabriel Cohn
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SvenF wrote:


I have also looked into Concordia, Evolution, Imperial Settlers, Deus, Dark Moon, Machi Koro and Specter Ops. How do you think I would enjoy any of these? Especially regarding Specter Ops I'm not sure how it can theme-wise appeal to non-gamers, because of these minis... However I love the idea of the game


Concordia is excellent. Definitely belongs on this list. I just played Evolution for the first time the other day, and, while I like it and it is interactive, I think the level of thoughtfulness is lower and luck is higher than most of the other games on this list. It's a solid game, but seems less exciting to replay multiple times than the others...
 
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Jordan S.
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Well, I don't know your group but based on some of the requirements you've given (and the fact that it's a game ranked high on your wishlist), I always have to pitch a vote for Cosmic Encounter.

-Very interactive (card-play, alliances, negotiation)

-Medium complexity/newcomer-friendly (the core design is rather simple, the complexity only really comes from the interaction of special cards and powers, which can be easily toned down if necessary)

-Good for mid-range group size (4-5 players, more if you buy expansions)

-Not too long (60-90 minutes is a good average)

-Very high replay value (dozens of alien powers with thousands of combinations, variant options)
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Sven Fritzsche
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Thank you all very much. So Cosmic Encounter and Chinatown are on my must have list.
Even though I'm still not sure about the appeal (theme-wise) of Cosmic Encounter to my non and casual gamer friends but I feel it is well worth a shot.

Chinatown has no doubts at all!

Are there any more good games around similar to these?
 
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