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Chris L
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Hi everyone,

I hope this thread can be of use to others, but here's the situation. Me (newly obsessed boardgamer), my girlfriend (going along for the ride, really likes Airlines Europe and Lost Cities), my work friend and his wife (both smart and competitive) and an old friend (who's extremely smart, scheming and competitive) have started playing Cosmic Encounter together, and they all love it! We've had some brutal & dramatic games and everyone is getting addicted. We also played The Resistance once which was a big hit as well. They all are close friends so there is no political correctness or tip-toeing around feelings: lying, cheating and backstabbing have all been good fun.


Need to get the next game prepped so when the Cosmic Encounter honeymoon wears off and they are ready for some more variety I have a game on the shelf. I would like a worker placement like Pillars of the Earth but it's only 4-players. I want something mid-weight (heavier than Cosmic but they have had trouble getting overwhelmed with rules, want to build complexity in stages,) fun for both genders, something different from the lying/mind-games and randomness that Cosmic has, etc. but mainly just the best possible game if you had to chose one to introduce a gaming group into the hobby with who's ready to go up a level from Cosmic (must play good specifically with 5.)

I'm thinking, in rough order:
Scythe
El Grande
Shogun (based on Wallenstein)
Cyclades with Expansion
7 Wonders
Caverna
Francis Drake
Mission Red Planet
Fury of Dracula
Dead of Winter
Age of Empires III
Power Grid
BattleStar Galactica
Dark Moon
Libertalia
Colosseum
Eldritch Horror
Carson City
Kingsburg
Lords of Waterdeep
Terra Mystica
Exodus: Proxima Centauri
Forbidden Desert



I haven't played any of these games though and don't know what to do. Please, suggest some games not on my list with your reasons why or choose a game on my list for us to get and tell why.

I know BGG is the place to ask: What's the best 5player game group game to get as a next step from Cosmic Encounter??
 
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Stephen Aslett

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it entirely depends on the type of game you're looking for. Based on my read of your group, I suggest:

El Grande (great area control - thinky and tense)
Mission: Red Planet (good area control, more thematic, less thinkier/more luck than El Grande)
Through the Desert (lovely light but thinky area control)

Coup (awesome bluffing / social deduction)
One Night Ultimate Werewolf (another awesome bluffing / social deduction)
Good Cop, Bad Cop (another great social deduction)
Skull (the greatest bluffing game imho)
Sheriff of Nottingham (fun bluffing, but this one lost its luster far faster than the others)

7 Wonders (good card drafting but symbology is tough on new players)
Sushi Go / Sushi Go Party (the best intro to card drafting)

Lords of Waterdeep (good first worker placement though certain cards are overpowered)
Viticulture (excellent mid weight worker placement)

Ra (amazing auction game)
Game of 49 (another good auction game simpler than Ra but fun too)

Evolution (fun, take that constantly shifting animal tableau game)
Some base ticket to ride (I'd recommend starting with USA or Marklin depending on how deep you want to dive in--Matklin is more interesting).

Scythe will be too overwhelming for your group. Caverna the same. Agricola is a good tough worker placement and simpler than Caverna but can drag with five. Dead of Winter probably a bit too rules heavy for your group.

Cosmic is kind of in its own category. Most similar games to it are in the social deduction / bluffing category. Hard to tell how your group would react to a solid euro or worker placement until you play one, and five players limits your options as many great euros cap at four.
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Greg
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Power Grid and El Grande are great if you want something a little different. They're both a step up in complexity from Cosmic Encounter, but they can get pretty heady.

For something not on your list, I would check out Kemet. A lot of strategy, but still pretty aggressive. If you want a worker placement that goes to 5, you can also check out Viticulture. Keyflower is another darling of the recommendations forum.

Honestly though, I don't think you can go wrong with any of the games on your list. They're all great games. The list though is kind of all over the map in terms of game type. It really depends on what kind of game you are looking for. Do you want direct conflict? Does play time matter? Some of the games you have listed there will go 3 hours at 5 player. Does theme matter? Do you prefer a game where each person is concentrating on their own thing or one where you get up in each other's faces? You said you don't want the head games of Cosmic, but you list games that have traitor mechanisms.
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Chris L
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Utah
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Wow thanks for the detailed fast responses.

Yes, my list is all over the place. I included BSG and Dark Moon because I think the group will like them, but not as the NEXT game, because I want to get something different, less luck/social deduction and more strategy/scheming/puzzling/engine-building kind of thing.

I actually have Kemet+expansion! I bought it last week for myself and two aggressive war-loving guys, wasn't thinking of it for this 5p crowd. My girlfriend looked at it and declined to play, but maybe I can try getting it back on the table.

Thanks for feedback on Scythe, that was really my first choice, but if it's too big of a jump in complexity and rules it may overwhelm this group.

Viticulture looks like a good fit, although none of my friends nor I drink alcohol haha so the theme might be a bit boring..

I don't know why Keyflower doesn't appeal to me, looks like a kind of themeless generic euro at first impression (I'm sure I don't know what I'm talking about here.)

Player interaction is a definite plus, don't want to all be in our own little worlds.

Playtime wise, Cosmic Encounter is about the most length they can handle at this point. It says up to 120min on BGG so I'll use that as my approximate cut off. (although we go to 3+ hours, lot of Analysis Paralysis going on.)

Based on your feedback these are sounding like top pics for me..

El Grande
Mission: Red Planet
7 Wonders
Lords of Waterdeep
Viticulture
Ra
 
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Antonia Browne
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My friends from college were very like your group. Smart people, very intelectual, since we all study philosophy together. All your options are pretty safe, but with my group Power Grid was a blast. A very thinky eurogame, deep, engaging. It has long and short time strategy. Another one it may work is Concordia,Dungeon Lords, and as someone said Keyflower. On the mid side you should check the pillars of the earth with the expansion for 5 and 6 (hard to find), viticulture, suburbia with fifth player exp., LoW.
For bluffing games i recomend you The resistance: Avalon. Since there is kind of a deduction aspect (besides the bluff).
If they like some storytelling aspects and puzzles you should try Sherlock Holmes: Consulting detective.
Good luck!
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Stephen Aslett

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Keyflower does look boring but it is fantastic. I would never recommend it as a first worker placement game, however, because of the following:

1) Your workers are your currency (newbies have a hard time not overbidding)
2) You can place workers on your own, central pool, and opponent's tiles (this is AP inducing for some)
3) You bid for turn order, additional workers, additional tiles, and end game scoring tiles
4) You use workers to move resources around to scoring tiles on your board
5) You use workers to upgrade tiles on your board to make your resouce/worker engine more efficient
6) You need to be careful to construct your board, Carcassone style, to make things able to move around efficiently

I'd wouldn't recommend Keyflower to anyone not already a ways into the hobby, but if you're experienced and looking for a new spin on worker placement, it is amazing.

Come to think of it, Carcassone is a great tile laying intro but I can't remember the last time I played it with 5 players.
 
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Norman Hedden
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El Grande no question. One of the best 5 player games.
Dominant Species high interaction game of domination.
Age of Steam brutal game of train pick up and deliver.
 
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Adam P
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Satyaki wrote:

El Grande
Mission: Red Planet
7 Wonders
Lords of Waterdeep
Viticulture
Ra

Excellent choices. Also
Airlines Europe
Broom Service
Stone Age + Expansion to play 5

For your group, I would recommend: Mission Red Planet. It's is superb if people are ok with a little treachery. It can be quite thinky: role cards, area majority, and secret mission cards. Great presentation on the table, too.

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Eldritch Horror might be a bit too heavy, not the game itself, but it has so many components and rules that it could be overwhelming.

For a start on cooperative games I suggest Pandemic with at least one of the expansions. Pandemic: On the Brink brings the playability for up to 5 players and Pandemic: In the Lab can be played with up to 6 players.

Istanbul is usually a hit with new players, it also has a good expansion: Istanbul: Mocha & Baksheesh
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Mark Myers

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Mondkalb123 wrote:
Istanbul is usually a hit with new players, it also has a good expansion: Istanbul: Mocha & Baksheesh

I was going to suggest Instanbul as well. I think it perfectly fits the bill for a worker placement game which isn't too heavy. With all of the bits you'd see during setup, it can look daunting, but it's really pretty simple to play with plenty of strategy and thinking on the fly. Here are a couple reasons why I think it's a great choice:

1) Each players turn is very quick and completed in four easy steps (usually only two steps)...Move, (maybe encounter other player), carry out action for tile landed on, (maybe encounter other token type).

2) The instructions for each action is detailed on the tile the player is using.

3) There is a fantastic player aid for each player which details how the turn works plus explains the iconography of the bonus cards.

4) The win condition is clearly delineated. While there are different paths to get there, it's not in question where you stand. It's right there on your player board.

Strong recommendation for 7 Wonders, as well!
 
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Zee Deveel
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Cyclades (plays fine without expansion)
7 Wonders
Evolution: Climate
King of New York
Codenames
Coup
Mare Nostrum: Empires

Fury of Dracula is quite rules heavy, I'd park that for a while.
 
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Jason
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Concordia is great - easy to teach, plays up to five, and the game play rewards repeated play with the same group. I've never played Cosmic, so I can't compare the two regarding weight.
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Dan
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El Grande is fantastic for 5. And plays in 2 hours or less.
Glory to Rome is fantastic for 5, but sadly oop and really expensive. One of the guys in my group has done his own pnp, but at 120 cards, it would be a lot of work.

Santiago is a great 4-5 player game of bribery and backstabbing.


And if you are interested in novel approaches to racing games, check out Snow Tails or Steampunk Rally
 
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chris thatcher
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+1 El Grande, Cyclades

Also Amun-Re is great at 5

Lancaster is a good worker placement game that plays up to 5
 
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Kevin D.
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I'm not sure Scythe would be too complex. There are some details to remember but overall it's a simple worker placement game where you have 1 worker and 4 (or 5) spaces to place that worker. Maybe check out the Watch It Played video and see for yourself.

Power Grid is great but it can be a little mathy.

Broom Service, suggested above, is a fantastic game and it's best with 4 or 5.

Terra Mystica is still a few steps away I think, more complex than Scythe for sure.
 
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El Grande Big Box for sure with 5 players. don't even blink on this. great game!

strongly recommend Power Grid Deluxe: Europe/North America if you have mathematical minds.
 
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Pasi Ojala
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Get the Imperial Assault Campaign module for Vassal from http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Star_Wars:_Imperial_Assault
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Satyaki wrote:
I know BGG is the place to ask: What's the best 5player game group game to get as a next step from Cosmic Encounter??

With almost 200 plays (142 logged since the beginning of 2013) I would say give Battlestar Galactica a try. It is best with 5, and by picking the right modules from the expansions you can adjust the game to suit your group the best. (But start with the base game and play it enough before introducing expansions.)

Some notes:
- You don't need to be a fan of the show (or even seen it) to love the game.
- You need a dedicated group to learn the game, because there is a relatively big time commitment (for the first plays from 90min of total human failure to 3-4 hours depending on your group). But your play will get quicker (we generally play a 4/5-player game with all expansions to Kobol in 2-2.5 hours).
- Although it looks like there's much going on, the mechanisms are quite simple and repetitive.
- It will take a few plays to not blush from overexcitement when you are dealt the cylon loyalty card.
- A good game for players that like to "explore" games.
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Stephen Cooper
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Satyaki wrote:
Viticulture looks like a good fit, although none of my friends nor I drink alcohol haha so the theme might be a bit boring.
Take it from a fellow abstainer, do not let your no alcohol ways steer you from Viticulture. The theme here is not of drinking but of planting, harvesting, and wine making, blending, maturing and sales.
 
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Josh Worley
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Scooperman wrote:
Satyaki wrote:
Viticulture looks like a good fit, although none of my friends nor I drink alcohol haha so the theme might be a bit boring.
Take it from a fellow abstainer, do not let your no alcohol ways steer you from Viticulture. The theme here is not of drinking but of planting, harvesting, and wine making, blending, maturing and sales.


And if you add some of the expansion modules from Tuscany, you also farm cheese!
 
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I forgot one: Citadels.

Every round, players draft a secret role. This role gives you a special ability. Build the biggest buildings for points. Once someone reaches 8 buildings, the game is over.

Some of the roles are:
King
Thief
Asssasin
Merchant
Architect
etc.
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-Coup is a quicker, dirtier companion of The Resistance with none of The Resistance's cooperative aspects. It is purely competitive and totally worth the humble purchase price. Its for 2-6 players and each game is over in under 15 minutes. It's a great filler game although we tend to find it interesting enough to play it over and over in the same evening. The only draw-back is the card quality. I've chosen to sleeve my cards to protect them from splitting.

-Citadels also has a nice price point and comes in compact packaging but it is made with better materials than Coup. This one is for 2-8 players and lasts a little longer- from 20 minutes to an hour. Like Coup, players will get a chance to do some bluffing. I love games that require you to manage your resources wisely and make purchases to win the game. Super fun.

 
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The role mechanic in Citadels is very nice, but there's very little else to the game, I personally find it extremely dull.
 
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saslett wrote:
Keyflower does look boring but it is fantastic. I would never recommend it as a first worker placement game, however, because of the following:

1) Your workers are your currency (newbies have a hard time not overbidding)
2) You can place workers on your own, central pool, and opponent's tiles (this is AP inducing for some)
3) You bid for turn order, additional workers, additional tiles, and end game scoring tiles
4) You use workers to move resources around to scoring tiles on your board
5) You use workers to upgrade tiles on your board to make your resouce/worker engine more efficient
6) You need to be careful to construct your board, Carcassone style, to make things able to move around efficiently

I'd wouldn't recommend Keyflower to anyone not already a ways into the hobby, but if you're experienced and looking for a new spin on worker placement, it is amazing.

Come to think of it, Carcassone is a great tile laying intro but I can't remember the last time I played it with 5 players.


If you are recommending Keyflower as a worker placement game, you are in the wrong Genre, as Keyflower is an auction game. Think of the colours as currencies and it makes for a lot better flow (replace every time you said workers with currency, they are not workers, it does not have the traits of a worker placement game, even in terms of building activation).

I've gatewayed people on Keyflower, it is pretty simple, but the mother of all 5p games is, and will always be.

El Grande.
 
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