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Subject: Loved Ra!!! Looking for similar game types! rss

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Theodore Moffett
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So, I just ordered the new version of Ra and played for the first time tonight and really enjoyed it a lot!

Let me explain why I think it was so fun: The game was really fun because it had great mechanisms and in general is just very well designed! However, it got me thinking and I really respect the game because in a way, strategy techniques don't really carry over from game to game. Knowing the rules and having played a few times might give you a slight advantage over a new player because they are not yet familiar with the game but otherwise all players are on equal footing. I like strategy games where you can become better at the game over time but I think those games with the greatest replay value are the games that are similar to Ra (in the manner I am talking about) where strategy doesn't trump all.

A common example of a game that is kind of on the other end of the spectrum (you play it lots and you will win more and more often) is 7 wonders. I still really enjoy the game but because I have seen what strategies have worked for me in the previous games, I pretty much go straight for those and generally lay waste to my opponents. This isn't because I'm so good or a gaming guru but I just have lots more experience than the other players.

Maybe I'm just talking about a push your luck game in general but I felt that Ra was more than that. I am looking for games that like this; strategic and have serious longevity!!

I hope this explanation is sufficient. If you understand what I'm saying give me a Yay! and even better give me a game recommendation based on this criteria
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Daniel West
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sounds like you want a game where a savvy newbie can rely on tactics to compete with an experienced player if that sums it up?

The obvious suggestion is another auction game from the same designer, Medici

I'd also suggest games with simultaneous action selection like Revolution! or Libertalia

Perhaps a game with a variable setup where spatial manipulation is the challenge, like Five Tribes

I hope you find some great new games. Happy gaming!
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David B
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Medici
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Simon Maynard
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moffettt wrote:
A common example of a game that is kind of on the other end of the spectrum (you play it lots and you will win more and more often) is 7 wonders. I still really enjoy the game but because I have seen what strategies have worked for me in the previous games, I pretty much go straight for those and generally lay waste to my opponents. This isn't because I'm so good or a gaming guru but I just have lots more experience than the other players.

I haven't played Ra myself but it was interesting because I was trying to think of a good example of a game that rewarded tactical play over strategy, that gave newbies a good chance against more experienced players and "7 Wonders" sprung to mind. I mean wow, if you think "7 Wonders" is a game is at the other end of the scale, where would you place a game like "Agricola" (that I notice you have a copy of)?

As for what I would suggest that are quite forgiving for newbies: Red7, For Sale, Star Realms and The Castles of Burgundy.
 
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M M
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Other Knizia games. Samurai. Modern Art. Tigris & Euphrates.

Ra is a little trickier than it looks. You have to understand the values of tiles and how they change.
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upandawaygames.com
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Yes, look for other games by Reiner Knizia and also, I would suggest games by Michael Schacht.
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Theodore Moffett
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Well I guess another way I am trying to say it is I almost feel like lots of games have like 75% of the strategy carved into the game itself, meaning there is still some variability but three quarters of the decisions are gimmes and if you want to score the highest points or build the most robust engine, you should take these certain steps and it is semi-obvious which steps those are.

Maybe I am wrong in stating that there are lots of games like that, but I feel that if I just have a very slight edge over someone new instead of babying them through the first couple of games before they learn a good strategy (and in the meantime, kill them) then I think that is a favorable quality.

Medici and other Knizia games have been suggested, are there any others?
 
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Kevin Shillinglaw
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If you want to stay with auctions, then Medici is the way to go.

If you mean games in general without specific themes, mechanics or genres, then some of my favourite games may work:

La Granja
Dungeon Petz
Inhabit the Earth
Russian Railroads with Russian Railroads: German Railroads
Arkadia
Trajan

I have lots more (almost all of my games are my favourites), but I'll leave the list as is.

Good luck with your search!
 
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Daniel West
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I think I get what the OP is saying about 7 Wonders. As tactical as drafting is, a new player won't realize until the game is over just how powerful things like science can be. Meanwhile, in Ra, they can figure out the value of what they are getting as they are playing, so they have a chance to be competitive from the get go.

One more I thought of where new players can just start doing something and then see new options show up that work with what they've done is Glen More, which is unfortunately out of print. If you are willing to get the German edition though and do paste ups for the very few building tiles that have text on them, then I find this is a good one to teach new players in addition to my suggestions above.
 
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John
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Fried Egg wrote:
As for what I would suggest that are quite forgiving for newbies: Red7, For Sale, Star Realms and The Castles of Burgundy.


Star Realms is easy for a new player to learn but not that easy for a new player to win. Knowing the cards is an advantage.
 
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John
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I wonder if a key feature of games that are strategic but new players don't have a big disadvantage is games where a you have to react to other players strategies? (Other than obvious features like the game actually being strategic and relatively easy to learn).

How about?

Bohnanza
Hey, That's My Fish! (with 3-4 players, 2p I think a more experienced player would have a bigger advantage)
Lost Cities 2p also Reiner Knizia (personally I don't enjoy this that much, but I know lots of people who do)
 
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John
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Mat628 wrote:
Ra is a little trickier than it looks. You have to understand the values of tiles and how they change.

This. I wouldn't be surprised if you found there was a bigger advantage for experienced players than you think once you've played it more (or if you play with some experienced players). I'm a fan of Priests of Ra, I've never played the original. I'm not sure it's totally true that "strategy techniques don't really carry over from game to game" though I haven't played enough really. Perhaps it takes more games to get to grips with strategy techniques? I think Ra is supposed to be a bit more complex than Priests.
 
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Jordan Fraser
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Dream Factory would be a good choice. It's also a Reiner Knizia auction game with a comparable level of complexity. But it doesn't feel so similar to Ra that it's redundant to own both.
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Kevin Sussman
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Chinatown
 
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chris thatcher
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Taj Mahal. Same designer.
 
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Traig Born
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High Society Another great auction game from the same designer. It has some interesting twists that make understanding the value of a thing difficult.
 
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Theodore Moffett
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Thanks for all the suggestions everyone!! Are Reiner Knizia's games too similar to one another? If any of them are as good as Ra (it doesn't even need to be in the same way) I would certainly consider getting them
 
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Jordan Fraser
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moffettt wrote:
Thanks for all the suggestions everyone!! Are Reiner Knizia's games too similar to one another? If any of them are as good as Ra (it doesn't even need to be in the same way) I would certainly consider getting them


His games tend to have a distinct feel, but I wouldn't say they're too similar. I probably own 30 of his games, and I do not find any of them completely redundant. And while Ra is great, he has many other games that are just as good (and some that are better). I don't think you would regret buying any of the previously recommended Knizia games from this thread.
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Theodore Moffett
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What are his 5 best games? I'm really impressed if Ra isn't one of them...
 
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Jeromie Rand
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Going by rank here on boardgamegeek, his top games are Tigris & Euphrates, Ra, Samurai,Battle Line, and Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation. There are several other games in the top 500 that are also considered classics. (I just wrote a session report of my first time playing Modern Art, for instance.) You can see all of his games on his designer page: Reiner Knizia.
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Theodore Moffett
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Thanks, this is a huge help!
 
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Samo Oleami
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moffettt wrote:
really respect the game because in a way, strategy techniques don't really carry over from game to game. Knowing the rules and having played a few times might give you a slight advantage over a new player because they are not yet familiar with the game but otherwise all players are on equal footing. I like strategy games where you can become better at the game over time but I think those games with the greatest replay value are the games that are similar to Ra (in the manner I am talking about) where strategy doesn't trump all.

...

I am looking for games that like this; strategic and have serious longevity!!


I'll understand this as "games which are player driven - players shape the experience. Psychology, risk taking, double-think and also negotiation and trading.

The most similar game to Ra, I've heard, is Metropolys. It's out of print, but technically it's said to be close.

Check these types of games:

Trading - Bohnanza, Chinatown (both relatively simple), Genoa (a bit more complex).
Double-think - Citadels, Libertalia, Revolution! (bling bidding in this case), Havana, Meuterer. Can be a bit backstabby if you're okay with that (I find them timid, but ymmv)
Auction - Ra, For Sale, No thanks, Modern Art (my favorite, but if you want to get serious, there's some groupthink and a learning curve. I play it more casually and don't have an issue with it, but again ymmv). Haven't played Medici.
Area majority: El Grande, Smallworld
stock market games: Acquire (a classic), Chicago Express, Paris Connenction (haven't played this one). What's common in stock market games is "shared incentives" - temporary alliances motivated by shared economic benefit. Usually players would shape the economy of the game. There are also non-stock market games with this dynamic - Modern Art (auction game), Indigo (very simple abstract, but with this interesting dynamic on top).
other games worth notice: Tigris and Euphrates (you either get this or not. it's unique and feels kinda like a cross between a traditional card game and an abstract), Container (out of print - player generated economy, might be a bit heavyish for you. I haven't played).

moffettt wrote:
Well I guess another way I am trying to say it is I almost feel like lots of games have like 75% of the strategy carved into the game itself, meaning there is still some variability but three quarters of the decisions are gimmes and if you want to score the highest points or build the most robust engine, you should take these certain steps and it is semi-obvious which steps those are.

Mhm, yeah, definetely check the games I've listed above.

Also:

"fillers"
- Kakerlakenpoker Royal / Cockroach poker - a simple game of lying.
- Coup - as above, gamier, player elimination (I like kakerlakenpoker better)

Negotiation games:
- Intrigue (said to be really nasty, haven't played yet)
- Lifeboat (see above, Intrigue still having a nastier reputation).
- Cosmic Encounter - being ameritrash it's a bit more complex rules wise, but actually quite simple. Combines negotiation, bluffing and pure chaos. (oh and hand management).

light ameritrash (conflict driven, ride matters more than the result):
- Wiz War (take that romp on a map. silly fun)
- Survive! - family game for evil families.
- King of Tokyo - dice rolling with player elimination.
- If you're fine with no strategy then also Betrayal at House on the Hill and Tales of Arabian Nights (this one has zero strategy, if that's ok).

push your luck games (estimate odds)
- Incan Gold/Diamant. Really really simple.
- Celestia - similar to above, a bit more rules. kinda.
- Can't Stop (haven't played, but a classic)

Knizia in general is a good idea. My favorites are Modern Art, Tigris and Euphrates, Indigo. Battle Line is said to be a good 2 player game of his.
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