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Subject: Favorite warm-up game for game night rss

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Eric
United States
Illinois
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I was curious if people have any favorite games they use as a "warm-up" for their game nights or game marathons.

It does not necessarily have to be the first game you play but maybe something you play early on to set the tone. I imagine a lot of people start with a filler but I definitely dont think it would have to be.

If you have any favorite warm-up games, why are they your favorites?

Do you have different favorite warm-up games depending on the experience of the gamers or the whether it is a night of multiple games vs mainly one marathon game?

For example, I am newer to hosting game nights for family and friends but King of Tokyo has seemed like a good option for us to play early on as we can be silly and loosen up.

Thanks for any recommendations!
 
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Dan Mansfield
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Poway
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If I'm playing with experienced gamers, we just jump right in and play the game we've been taking about. We will save fillers for after the main event if we have time left over.

For gaming with more casual gamers, I like Labyrinth because it is easy to teach, plays fairly quickly, and isn't too thinky. Sometimes a simple card game such as Love Letter will hit the spot, too. Machi Koro is another fun option.
 
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Ryan Keane
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We don't really play warm-up games if we are planning to play a meaty game - just get into the meat while you're fully awake. But when we're waiting for people to arrive (and the game we're planning doesn't need much set-up time), then we'll break out a pre-meat filler. Key features include short game time (ideally under 15 minutes) and the ability for players to join mid-game and still have fun, if not with a great chance of winning.

Qwixx seems to be our current go-to.
Others the fit this niche well but we don't play much anymore are Love Letter and Martian Dice. FlowerFall works too.
 
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George P.E., PMP, DM
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Austin
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Lately we've started with PnP games from here on BGG. That way we get our creative juices flowing and give some feedback to the designers. If non-gamers are in the group, we'll use Exploding Kittens.
 
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R Russell
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For my group we often will use Citadels, and I recently got Eight-Minute Empire as a play-while-late-comes-arrive game.
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John
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rjr1968 wrote:
For my group we often will use Citadels

If we attempted Citadels it would almost certainly be the only game we play - which is why we don't play it often. (When people come over for games there are usually 5-6 of us and usually only have about 90 mins)

When I have people round to play games we usually play our first choice game first, often we play the "what shall we play" game first but we try to decide beforehand. Occasionally we have played something while we decide, but we don't have anything in the very quick 5-6p category.
 
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Peter Mulholland
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In our Monday night game group people tend to arrive over 30 minutes or so, so while we wait for everyone we tend to play the "filler of the moment". This tends to change periodically.

Most recently it was Codenames then Deception: Murder in Hong Kong and Hauler comes out occasionally.

Normally a game that can accommodate a varied number of players, plays in around 15 minutes and (ideally) people can jump in to on arrival. And normally it'll be a case of someone has bought a new game and wants to get it to the table.
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Space Trucker
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Usually we start with a big game unless we still have to wait for a player and play the fillers at the end of the evening. But this shouldn't really be important for your question.

Some of those games <1 hour we enjoy:
Rent a Hero
Love Letter
No Thanks!
Skull King
Port Royal
Kingdom Builder
Han


 
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Kevin Anderson
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Though not deliberately intended to be so, Coup seems to be the one played most often.
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Matt Weber
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my group likes stuff like Simpatico. It's a good brain-stretcher that gets everyone focused from small-talk and snacks to games and strategy. King of Tokyo has also been a favorite. A few quick rounds with a "first player to 10" goal is a nice active way to get the group moving in the right direction.
 
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Simona Dostalova
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I have a few, which one I choose depends on the player count and mood They are all fillers, I play the serious games, not warm up with them for other serious games

Hey, That's My Fish!
Sushi Go!
Red7
Love Letter
Battle Sheep
6 nimmt!
Nyet!
Codenames
Beasty Bar
King of Tokyo
 
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Canada
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I like to get right into the main event.
 
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Kirk Roberts
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Ryan Keane wrote:
We don't really play warm-up games if we are planning to play a meaty game - just get into the meat while you're fully awake. But when we're waiting for people to arrive (and the game we're planning doesn't need much set-up time), then we'll break out a pre-meat filler. Key features include short game time (ideally under 15 minutes) and the ability for players to join mid-game and still have fun, if not with a great chance of winning.

I agree with this. For games to play as people are arriving I like dexterity games like Click Clack Lumberjack and Suspend. Anyone can jump in and have a try... we often don't even keep score (especially with Suspend, it's more fun as an activity than as a game). I have my eye on Rhino Hero and Push It for the same reasons.
 
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