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Subject: Deck Building Games - Easy to learn games that teach the mechanic rss

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Tom Bruno
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Hi Guys
My girlfriend is a huge Harry Potter fan and we both a enjoy our board games. So you can imagine her excitement to hear about a Harry Potter Deck Building Game. That is until I explained to her that the only deck builder she has ever played is one she could not get to grips with, namely Star Realms.
A lot of what we play together is not too complex. I totally get where she is coming from struggling with Star Realms. When you lay down five cards and have to keep track of how much money, attack, healing and other abilities they give you, it is really daunting and I have trouble at times working out all of it.

I don't want her to get turned off what could be a good game for us, so I am looking for some deck builders to get her started on.
Right now details of the Harry Potter game are sketchy, but if anyone can gleam how it might play from the info out so far and suggest similar games a beginner could get along with, we'd be grateful

TLDR please suggest games that are:
- Deck Builders
- Good intro to deck building
- Similar to Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle as best as you can tell from the info out so far
- Inprint/easy to find or cheap always appreciated
- Campaign based is OK, but short sessions preferred
 
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Mike Corradetti
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Re: Deck Building Practice ready for Harry Potter - Hogwarts Battle
I would think either Legendary Marvel, and/or Legendary Encounters (Aliens) would fit the bill. They are relatively straightforward deck-builders. Legendary Encounters is played co-op and Legendary Marvel can be played semi co-op. Straight-forward rules and can be played in 45 - 60 minutes. Also you may want consider the DC Comics Deckbuilder, different experience from Legendary in some of the mechanics, but another straight forward game that seems to fit your wants. Only concern may be the superhero theme if your significant other isn't into that. Hope this helps.
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Tom Bruno
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Re: Deck Building Practice ready for Harry Potter - Hogwarts Battle
MIKELIZELLA wrote:
Only concern may be the superhero theme if your significant other isn't into that. Hope this helps.


As luck would have it we are both into superhero stuff. the Teen Titans or batman/joker rival games look appealing

any more suggestions?

Just spied the Attack on Titan deck builder, I've been trying to get her into AoT, too bad it isn't out till Q4
 
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Huw
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I guess some will say that it isn't a 'deckbuilder' but is cheap and the games are short

Ascension: Apprentice Edition
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L B
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My recommendation would be to download Ascension for free on phone or tablet. It will handle all the details and she can focus on learning how to play a deckbuilder. Star Realms is also free, although the app is just okay. The Ascension app is just really incredibly well done.
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Ron Wood
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The Cryptozoic deck builders are simpler than Marvel Legendary True Marvel's game has more story, but if you are trying to teach Deck Building, The Cryptozoic, DC Comics, Etc. are far easier. There are also several other themes, The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Adventure Time, So, you should be able to find a theme she might enjoy.
As for Marvel Legendary, while they do replicate the theme of the movies quite well, they, in my opinion, are far more difficult.


(I am in no way affiliated with either game publisher, nor have I been compensated for my opinions, financially or with review copies of any of the aforementioned products.)
 
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Michael Coniff
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Do yourself a favor and check out DC: Deck Builder.

For me, it was the easiest deck builder to teach other people, and also your deck gets recycled and played over and over again so you really pick up on the cards and what they do quickly. Besides, who doesn't enjoy a good superhero theme?
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Josh J
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Paperback As long as the both of you can add and spell, Paperback is a good and simple deck builder.
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Nicole Bird
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I am going to agree with the recommendations for DC Deck Builder, it is a very straight forward deck builder, as simple as it gets. I disagree that Legendary Marvel has more story, to me they both lacked any story, and a are pure mechanics, but DC Deck Builder was shorter and simpler for us.
 
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H C
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Dominion is the first and purest. Its simple and streamlined and enjoyable.
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Kevin Jonas

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Looks like a co-op deck builder. Some good co-op ones mentioned already.

However, if you just want to learn the mechanic of deck building with a small simple game I would suggest Star Realms and Flip City. There is a two player Ascension that is a good starter.

The key to a deck builder is for a particular game what's the best ratio of cards. For example, in deck/pool builders like Automobiles, Trains, and Puzzle Strike where waste cards get added to your deck you need to focus heavily on hand management and deck thinning.

Then in games like Dice Masters where you can't thin your deck you may have to artificially get rid of useless cards/dice or get cards that make your useless cards more useful.

Also in games like Valley of the Kings economy is huge. If you don't keep up in economy you will be left in the dust and unable to afford the end level cards.

However, since the Harry Potter one is co-op I suspect it will be more similar to the Legendary games.
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Royce Calverley
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I'm going to echo the DC Deck Building Game, but I'm going to add the caveat, don't play with more than 3 players initially.

DC can get very long and a little frustrating with 4 players.

As far as Marvel goes, I would avoid this because the schemes and masterminds add complexity that will distract from the deck-building mechanic. Also I found Marvel to be a very un-fun experience, but that was my experience, other's may vary.
 
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Asher Kennedy
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NowOrNever88 wrote:
Dominion is the first and purest. Its simple and streamlined and enjoyable.


Yep, Dominion. It's the highway of all deck-builders. So popular that it is now popular NOT to like it.
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Simon Maynard
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Ha! When I saw the title of this thread, the first game I was going to suggest was Star Realms! whistle

To be honest, maybe deck building games just aren't for her? Several people have suggested "Dominion" but you also can get quite complex turns when you chain a lot of actions together and remembering how many more actions you have can get quite complex.

I guess one advantage of Dominion is that you can choose your kingdom cards and even avoid +Action cards entirely for the first few games. Then maybe start to add +1 Action cards (like Market and Laboratory) after a while before unleashing the +2 Action cards (like Festival and Village).

The thing about deck building games though is that there are two key elements to them; the strategic and the tactical. The strategic long term view is about choosing how you are going to build up your deck over time and getting a good balance of cards. The tactical short term aspect is about how you chain together actions (and in what order) to maximum effect on each turn. It sounds as if your girlfriend has a problem with the tactical aspect and a game that simplifies or removes it would be weakening one of the key aspects of the deckbuilding game in my opinion.

That said, there are deckbuilding games that do just that but make up for it by being strong in other areas. Games such as Concordia where you only ever play one card from your deck at a time on your turn. As a pure deckbuilder it is weak but it has a map and resource gathering so the deckbuilding aspect is just one part of the game.

But any pure deckbuilder is surely going to pose the same tactical complexity?
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You may want to look into The Big Book of Madness! It features some deckbuilding, but it also uses a board and is fully cooperative. It has a theme that should appeal to a Harry Potter fan and a 'support pool' of cards that is shared by all players, allowing you to help each other out, making it very interactive.
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Dave Dodson
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The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Deck-Building Game is worth a look, it introduced me to deck building. It sounds roughly similar to Harry Potter game in that it's cooperative and you each play a recognisable character but is probably simpler than HP will be, as it doesn't have any health to worry about.
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John
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Star... Oh...
cmdaltgamer wrote:
That is until I explained to her that the only deck builder she has ever played is one she could not get to grips with, namely Star Realms.


Right. Erm, that's the only deck builder I've played and what I was going to suggest.

cmdaltgamer wrote:
I totally get where she is coming from struggling with Star Realms. When you lay down five cards and have to keep track of how much money, attack, healing and other abilities they give you, it is really daunting and I have trouble at times working out all of it.


Ok, whilst I've not really found it a problem I can kinda see where you're coming from particularly later in the game when you can end up playing far more than 5 cards in a turn and can end up with 20+ combat, though at that stage the game is going to be over fairly quickly. I think the key is to do stuff in a consistent logical order. Here's what I (usually) do:

1. Play ships and use their primary abilities (playing any ships with abilities first)
2. Add up any authority gain and adjust my authority
3. Add up my trade and buy stuff
4. Add up my attack and attack my opponent

At some point during my turn I'll consider whether I want to use the abilities on bases & ally abilities.

I say "add up" I'd usually go through my cards on the table and count up whilst pointing at each card.
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John
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Edit - from other people's comments about Dominion I think that may be a better option. I'd still recommend give Star Realms another go if you didn't actually dislike it.

So my recommendation would be to try Star Realms again, particularly if you've only tried it once or twice. I don't think it's that hard and can't imagine any deck builders are significantly simpler. Of course you & your girlfriend might find another game that's I'd find hard easier to learn as everyone is different.
 
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Adelin Dumitru
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zabdiel wrote:
So my recommendation would be to try Star Realms again, particularly if you've only tried it once or twice. I don't think it's that hard and can't imagine any deck builders are significantly simpler. Of course you & your girlfriend might find another game that's I'd find hard easier to learn as everyone is different.


Gosh have you even read the OP? Not every game is for everyone. Since he specifically asked for OTHER deckbuilding games, why on earth would you recommend something that he and his girlfriend disliked? That person who created a seemingly peculiar thread against Mage Knight fans was right. Most of the users of BGG do not even read the OP and go on recommending any game they like, irrespective of what the person asking for recommendations desires.
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John
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AdelinDumitru wrote:
Gosh have you even read the OP? Not every game is for everyone. Since he specifically asked for OTHER deckbuilding games, why on earth would you recommend something that he and his girlfriend disliked?

Yes, obviously since I quoted it. The OP didn't say disliked it? He said they couldn't get to grips with it which is different. If someone dislikes a game I don't really care. If they can't get to grips with it and try another deck-builder and find that's as bad then they've wasted some money. I've no idea how many times they've tried it but it's possible they've tried it a couple of times and it might click if they played again. I could be wrong but the OP can easily ignore me if I am.
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Steffen Eichenberg
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Fried Egg wrote:

I guess one advantage of Dominion is that you can choose your kingdom cards and even avoid +Action cards entirely for the first few games. Then maybe start to add +1 Action cards (like Market and Laboratory) after a while before unleashing the +2 Action cards (like Festival and Village).


THIS!

If there is any chance that your girlfriend will start to like deckbuilding mechanics, then it is with Dominion.
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Nicholas Krause
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I'll have to agree with Dominion here. It's super easy to teach. Draw five cards, play an action card if you have it, resolve that action. If that card gives you more actions then you can play another action card. Once you're done with that show your money, buy a card that cost the same amount or less than the money you showed. If you have more than one buy you can purchase as many cards as you have buys +1, but you still have the same money to spend. When you're finished, discard all the cards from your hand including your new purchase(s). Draw five new cards. Repeat. The game ends when you someone has purchased all of the Provinces or if three of the piles of cards you can purchase run out.

While people hate on the game now, there's a real chance they're doing so because they've played it too many times. The game is super good, tailorable to all levels of play, and has a huge number of expansions. Sure, the game has no theme, but if Tom Vassel can look past that you should be able to as well.
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Nicholas Krause
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Fried Egg wrote:
Ha! When I saw the title of this thread, the first game I was going to suggest was Star Realms! whistle

To be honest, maybe deck building games just aren't for her? Several people have suggested "Dominion" but you also can get quite complex turns when you chain a lot of actions together and remembering how many more actions you have can get quite complex.

I guess one advantage of Dominion is that you can choose your kingdom cards and even avoid +Action cards entirely for the first few games. Then maybe start to add +1 Action cards (like Market and Laboratory) after a while before unleashing the +2 Action cards (like Festival and Village).

The thing about deck building games though is that there are two key elements to them; the strategic and the tactical. The strategic long term view is about choosing how you are going to build up your deck over time and getting a good balance of cards. The tactical short term aspect is about how you chain together actions (and in what order) to maximum effect on each turn. It sounds as if your girlfriend has a problem with the tactical aspect and a game that simplifies or removes it would be weakening one of the key aspects of the deckbuilding game in my opinion.

That said, there are deckbuilding games that do just that but make up for it by being strong in other areas. Games such as Concordia where you only ever play one card from your deck at a time on your turn. As a pure deckbuilder it is weak but it has a map and resource gathering so the deckbuilding aspect is just one part of the game.

But any pure deckbuilder is surely going to pose the same tactical complexity?


While I love Concordia, if his girl friend had a hard time coming to grips with Star Realms then Concordia is going to blow her mind in a bad way. Although seriously more people need to play that game.
 
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Simon Maynard
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krauseng wrote:
While I love Concordia, if his girl friend had a hard time coming to grips with Star Realms then Concordia is going to blow her mind in a bad way. Although seriously more people need to play that game.

I wasn't really suggesting Concordia, it was merely an example of a game that featured a deck building mechanic but where the tactical aspect of actually playing of cards from your deck was more simplified (than your average "pure" deckbuilder).

But I might have suggested other games that feature deckbuilding as one of the mechanics but where it isn't the main focus. Perhaps that's the way to get the OP's girlfriend used to deckbuilding?
 
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Dylan Posa
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I would also recommend Dominion or DC Comics Deck-Building Game, even though I love LOVE LOVE!!! Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game. They are both very easy to grasp, and the themes should satisfy both of you.
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