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Subject: Best Abstract games currently available. rss

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J .M
United States
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I'm looking for some new abstract games that are currently available buy new online at a responsible price,that is to say not at crazy second hand prices like the GIPF Project games are.

Also I'm looking for suggestions in three broad categories.
Best Overall
Best with 4 or more players
Best Family/Easy to Teach

The games I have so far are: Hive,Some Looney Pyramids, Onitama, Shogi, Chess.

Some Games I'm considering are:
Neuroshima Hex!, Quantum, The Duke ,Dreamwell, Blokus,Indigo , Battle Sheep , Ninja Camp ,Android: Mainframe ,Bullfrogs

Any thoughts on the games I've listed? Any games I've missed?
 
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Lawn Gnome
United States
Gresham
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Our family really enjoys Qwirkle
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Jeremie Miller
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My son and I enjoy "Swords and Strongholds". It is the game the mice play in the mouseguard comics.

It uses pieces on a board like chess with some simple card play.
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Steve Lett
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Check out The Duke. Like Chess, but way more interesting and not as long.
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Feras H
Australia
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Out of my collection, id go Android: Mainframe
or Khet 2.0 (for a 2 player game)
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Henry Allen
United States
Longwood
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Glass_Chameleon wrote:
I'm looking for some new abstract games that are currently available buy new online at a responsible price,that is to say not at crazy second hand prices like the GIPF Project games are.

Also I'm looking for suggestions in three broad categories.
Best Overall
Best with 4 or more players
Best Family/Easy to Teach

The games I have so far are: Hive,Some Looney Pyramids, Onitama, Shogi, Chess.

Some Games I'm considering are:
Neuroshima Hex!, Quantum, The Duke ,Dreamwell, Blokus,Indigo , Battle Sheep , Ninja Camp ,Android: Mainframe ,Bullfrogs

Any thoughts on the games I've listed? Any games I've missed?


Indigo and Battlesheep are both fun, easy to teach and great with 2-4.

I'm not sure which are available but I enjoy all the versions of Blokus I've played: Duo for 2, Trigon for 3-4, regular Blokus for 4 (or two with a reduced play area) and especially Blokus 3D for a quick 3D take on the game that works great for 2-4.

Notable missing titles:
Samurai: great game for 2-4 though probably best at 2/3.
Ingenious: A classic that seems super straightforward and does have some luck but really rewards thoughtful play (2-4 players).
Tsuro: Some people say Indigo replaces this but I disagree. I like both. This one is faster, supports more people, and just one of the best fillers.
Taluva: I like this game more the more I play it. Great with 2-4.
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Sal
United States
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Neuroshima Hex is one of my favorite games, but I don't know if I'd call it abstract. It has a post-apocalyptic theme to it. The game isn't super thematic, but it's there. It's also probably best with 2 players because of the board size, although the newest version has a variant where you use a bigger board to accommodate up to 4 players.

But anyway, the game is fast-paced and the factions all play very differently and are fun to try out because of the different play styles. Might not be quite what you are looking for according to your criteria, but it's quite a good game.
 
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Sal
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KlydeFrog wrote:
Tsuro: Some people say Indigo replaces this but I disagree. I like both. This one is faster, supports more people, and just one of the best fillers.
I will agree, but IMO Tsuro of the Seas replaces regular Tsuro. It has a board with more spaces and has more mechanics that you can choose to include or not.
 
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Richard Sampson
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Ann Arbor
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I know you said you had Looney Pyramids, but definitely make sure you have enough (5 stashes in different colors) and some markers/stones so you can play Zendo.

Ricochet Robots is also a great game. More of a race to solve random puzzles, but works great for any number of players.
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Henry Allen
United States
Longwood
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zappshmeow94 wrote:
KlydeFrog wrote:
Tsuro: Some people say Indigo replaces this but I disagree. I like both. This one is faster, supports more people, and just one of the best fillers.
I will agree, but IMO Tsuro of the Seas replaces regular Tsuro. It has a board with more spaces and has more mechanics that you can choose to include or not.


I find Tsuro sublime. With dice and sea monsters added I can't imagine feeling the same but a larger board does sound fun.
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Julien K
Japan
Kyoto
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You should have a look at Gigamic games, especially Quoridor and Quarto! (but first Quoridor, it's really an excellent game).

I would also love to recommend Amoeba, Gyges, Kamon, but these are harder to find (though I heard you can get the first through the Nestor games website). I also like Siam, but it's an easier/shorter game.

About Battle Sheep, I prefer to play it 2p and hence like the original version Splits better. For more players, I would play Hey, That's My Fish!, which stratches a very similar itch.

Anyway, before anything, please have a look at Quoridor. Such a classic.
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David B
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artfuldodgr42 wrote:
Check out The Duke. Like Chess, but way more interesting and not as long.


Way more interesting? Uh. That would be a no. 100 years from now, there will still be news about who the world chess champion is. The Duke will be a footnote somewhere on a website.
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Jeromie Rand
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Littleton
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Best Abstract Game:
Go :p (Seriously, it's my favorite game, but it's probably not the best fit for what you're seeking.) My alternative vote is for Quoridor. It's super easy to teach, looks amazing in play, and is different from anything else out there. There are rules for four, but I think it's really best with two.

Best with four or more:
Blokus is a great four player game. Hey, That's My Fish! scales very well from two to four.

Best family / Easy to teach:
All of the above games are easy to teach. (Well, maybe not Go). Qwirkle is not my favorite, but it is my wife's favorite and it's good for when you don't want something quite so cutthroat.
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Sal
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pfctsqr wrote:
artfuldodgr42 wrote:
Check out The Duke. Like Chess, but way more interesting and not as long.


Way more interesting? Uh. That would be a no. 100 years from now, there will still be news about who the world chess champion is. The Duke will be a footnote somewhere on a website.
I see you all over bgg commenting in favor of chess over other abstracts. How do you find every single comment about chess? lol. It's fine that you like chess obviously, but just because one game is more popular than another does not make it a better game.
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Brian
United States
Garnet Valley
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Rondo
Ingenious
Tumblin-Dice

 
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Kurt
Canada
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You should definitely consider Barony, by the creator of Splendor. Barony is themed, but lightly, and it's a perfect information game in the same vein as Chess or Go.

The design is just so gosh darn clever.
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Alison Mandible
United States
Cambridge
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Battle Sheep may not be the best family game, depending on how well the kids deal with disappointment. The right move is generally to frustrate your opponent as much as possible.
 
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David B
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zappshmeow94 wrote:
pfctsqr wrote:
artfuldodgr42 wrote:
Check out The Duke. Like Chess, but way more interesting and not as long.


Way more interesting? Uh. That would be a no. 100 years from now, there will still be news about who the world chess champion is. The Duke will be a footnote somewhere on a website.
I see you all over bgg commenting in favor of chess over other abstracts. How do you find every single comment about chess? lol. It's fine that you like chess obviously, but just because one game is more popular than another does not make it a better game.


Well, if you see me all over BGG commenting about chess, then that must mean you are all over BGG looking for comments about chess. I'm not sure which is worse. But there is far more than a mere popularity argument in chess's favor over The Duke. And I am not a ravenous obsessed chessaholic. I play euros more than I play chess. But there is no way The Duke is a better game than Chess. Sure, you can prefer the Duke and not care for the other, but it does not change fact. And FWIW, I also believe Hive to be better than the Duke.
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J .M
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Thanks for all your comments.
I actually have Qwirkle as well,it just must have slipped my mind.

Swords and Strongholds:Looks delightful,I love the mouse guard theme.

Khet 2.0: Good Suggestion. I actually have the app version but it does deserve a place on my wishlist.

Samurai: I think this just looks to dull for me,my brain just kind of glosses over whenever I think about playing,Guilds of London does the same thing.

Ingenious: I have the app version and I always forget how to play it. Kind of like Samurai,I think this one is just not for me.

Tsuro/Of the Seas: I'm not sure why but I wrote these off my wishlist at some point. I can say I vastly prefer the aesthetics of plain Tsuro and think the sea monsters just seem why to random. I might consider this one again.

Taluva: Looks neat but doesn't seem readliy available.Edit: Apparently I was wrong this one is easy to get.

Ricochet Robots: Not quite what I'm looking for though I do love a good puzzle. Unfortunately availability for this in America seems poor.

Quoridor and Quarto!:I've seen this but never paid them much attention before. But both do look good,they go on my wishlist.

Amoeba, Gyges, Kamon and Siam :All seem not readily available. I have been wanting to try Gyges using Looney Pyramids though.

Hey, That's My Fish!:Just looks like Battle Sheep with longer set up.

Rondo: I think this might be too light for me. It looks like a lot of the game would just come down to being lucky enough to draw the right colors at the right time.

Tumblin-Dice: I think this is really more of a dexterity game. Also it's not really readily available.

Go: I know a bit of how to play this but I've never really sat down and learned well enough to play,though I have been wanting to.

Barony: Doesn't make my brain gloss over like Samurai does but also doesn't look very exiting to me.
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Morten K
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I'm surprise noone has mentioned the GIPF series yet. They are modern two-player abstract classics. My personal favourites are:

ZÈRTZ
YINSH
TZAAR

But everyone have their own faves so you'll hear many different opinions on that. The Duke and are also good but also for two players - tactility of both games is excellent. Perhaps Nika if you want more players. Samurai is really good too as well as Through the Desert, also by Knizia.

Have a look at Nestor Games, they almost exclusively produce abstracts. I have two: Murus Gallicus and Epaminondas and like both.

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Germany
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Another two-player game:
Patchwork
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Sonia Mitchell
Scotland
Renfrew
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GIPF and YINSH are available. At least they are in the UK. I believe they were republished? Both are fabulous games!
 
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Russ Williams
Poland
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Yay Shogi! Great game!

---

I'll add some slightly older classic modern abstracts which have passed a few decades' test of time and are both playable online at various sites too:

Trax - great clacky tiles, clever auto-fill mechanism, even has a published strategy book

Hex - unusually minimalist elegant ruleset, yet deep strategy and tactics, also has various literature about it

Also have a look at some nestorgames, e.g. my wife and I are really into SEVEN and Pent-Up lately (2 clever stacking games with nice laser-cut tiles) and (analogous to Looney Pyramids) a Shibumi set lets you play a variety of clever short abstract strategy games.

---

Tigrillo wrote:
I'm surprise noone has mentioned the GIPF series yet.

The OP did.
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Helmut Frey
Germany
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Blokus
Carnac
Cairo Corridor
Quarto!
90 Grad
ConHex

And if looking for the GIPF games, HUCH! & friends is reprinting them.
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Melody Klein
Israel
Tel Aviv
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Best overall: For the Crown (Second edition) (Available from the publisher, if not from retailers)
Best with 4 or more: Ricochet Robots, or its reimplementation (which is more widely available) Mutant Meeples. MM is easier, but you can play RR on MM easily, whereas the opposite requires more effort.
Best easy to teach: Mijnlieff (Available directly from the designer) -- Yinsh would be in this spot, but you say it's not available at reasonable prices where you are, but I got one copy for myself and one for a friend in the last few months.

Neuroshima Hex! is great, but better at 2 than at higher player counts. If you can, you should get the Z-Man edition, since it includes the Doomsday Machine Army, which is my most wanted expansion. The Portal edition doesn't have it.

The Duke is also great.

Battle Sheep is far too light for my taste. Had it and sold it.

Also check out Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends, which is great in 2 players, but I've yet to try it in higher player counts.

And Lagoon: Land of Druids, which is one of those that can make you feel like a genius when your plans work out.
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