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Subject: Suggestions wanted for a game that will repay long term study rss

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Keith Scholes
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I have been collecting games for a few years now but I am feeling that I am accumulating games that I am playing a few times and then moving on. I am increasingly coming to the conclusion that I would be more satisfied by concentrating on one or a few games that I can really get to know in depth and will repay learning and studying over many years (as I am getting on a bit possibly a lifetime). I am of course aware of the standards such as Chess, Go, Bridge, etc. and have played some of those to a reasonable standard but I thought that I would try to see what else is out there. I am also aware that most games can to varying extents repay an in depth study but here I am looking for something that really stands out as a 'deep' game. My taste is quite eclectic although looking at my collection I do seem to be drawn to exploration and wargames but please do not let that limit suggestions I would be happy to explore a game from any genre. I also spend a fair bit of time alone, so any games that play well solitaire would be particularly welcome. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
 
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'Bernard Wingrave'
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You might check out Magic Realm, which has an exploration aspect. I hear it takes a long time to learn how to play.
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Darrell Hanning
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As far as Euro-style, I'd go with Food Chain Magnate, Arkwright, Indonesia, and Antiquity.

As far as a wargame, Dean Essig's Last Blitzkrieg, is hands-down my favorite wargame in over a decade, with one-map scenarios, high replay value, and nothing getting in the way of solo play.
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Shawn Harriman
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Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar

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Chris
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Deep-stack Pot-limit Omaha.

I avoid it like the plague ...
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Marina SC
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I'll toss in Tigris & Euphrates: the wargamer's Euro It's somewhat abstract (though I think the mechanics are fairly tied to the theme), high-conflict, a good mix between tactics and strategy, and hidden information (and yes, some luck-of-the-draw) makes the game play out differently every time. There's also an app for it, so you'll be able to play solo.

However, if you want to go super in-depth, the old standbys of Go, Chess, etc. will probably be your best bet, as you're more likely to find opponents who will also have studied the game, and can push you further.
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Advanced Squad Leader
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Russ Williams
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keitharchaeologist wrote:
I am of course aware of the standards such as Chess, Go, Bridge, etc.

I'm not sure if "etc" includes Shogi; if not, I highly recommend it. I used to study Go; now I study Shogi (and often play with my wife - we both find that Shogi's drop rule makes it more interesting for us than Chess). Analogous to Chess and Go, there is a huge amount of literature about Shogi available for study, including many great endgame problems which I find very interesting and fun to solve for their own sake, even if I wasn't also into playing the game itself. (Most of the Shogi literature is still in Japanese, but more and more is appearing in English too, and there are over a dozen good strategy books currently in print in English and easily ordered. And for endgame problem books, all you really need is the diagrams anyway - I have a bunch of them in Japanese.)

---

For more conventional modern euros and wargames, maybe Concordia (or probably many other euros) and Combat Commander: Europe (especially when playing with the random scenario generator - lots of start-of-game strategic decisions to make, and lots of tactical stuff including use/knowledge of different nationalities' decks).

Modern abstracts worth study include Trax & Hive & Arimaa & Hex (which all have one or more strategy books published).
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Richard Sampson
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Dominant Species and previously mentioned Food Chain Magnate. Neither has good solo option though.
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J C Lawrence
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The 18xx.
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Starla Lester
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Given the themes in your collection, the deep game that rewards study and replay is Terra Mystica.
You're welcome!


Also, an exploration game that is set up to reward playing multiple times with characters that grow or mutate over time might work for you, even though this one isn't what I would call deep. Shadows of Brimstone: City of the Ancients
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Ole Richard Tuft
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Brass: Lancashire is a quite deep game where experience and some study is rewarded. It can also be played online, for free, without any stress (turn-based) or fear of eyestrain (which is a problem for me with many games at online sites, everything is just so darn small).
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Brett McLay
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There are numerous Martin Wallace designs that could fit your solo-criteria with depth. These incorporate history as well: A Few Acres of Snow, Brass: Lancashire. Check out reviews to match your taste.

For a different kind of depth, you must consider Vital Lacerda. I personally like the theme of CO₂ and simulate 2-player and 3-player matches. The game varies endlessly.

Finally, the GMT COIN Series is worth a look if you have a partner or two. The reprint of Cuba Libre has a solo option. I understand it is a good intro to the genre and accommodates two players (best with four factions represented); the other COIN designs are, again, a matter of your preference. ~ Happy trails!

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P Poon
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World in Flames Deluxe Edition
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Bob Zurunkel
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The Campaign for North Africa.
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John Prewitt
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bwingrave wrote:
You might check out Magic Realm, which has an exploration aspect. I hear it takes a long time to learn how to play.


The time it takes to learn Magic Realm is nowhere near the reward, IMO. I found it to be nothing but a dice chucking luck fest, which doesn't quite fit the bill for me if you have to read literally hundreds of pages to be able to play.
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Gianluca Casu
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I think Tak could fit your bill.
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chris thatcher
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Twilight Struggle
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Chris May
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There are so many possible answers to this. I think what you are looking for in a game is similar to what I do. I love a game with tons of replayability and that helps me to tell a story while I'm playing and after I'm done.


Here are my choices that I think fit your bill and you would like in my order of preference. By the way if I could only keep 5 games it would be these 5.

1) Mage Wars: If you have a couple of different opponents for this you would have a great amount of depth to study here. You can play both arena 1v1 kill the other mage style or battlegrounds area control style. Both have a lot of depth of strategy and spell book building


2) Duel of ages II: This game has so much replay ability with 200 different characters. Modular board with different game modes and hundreds of items to acquire. There is an exploration aspect of this game as you challenge unknown adventures.

3) Battlecon: fantastic, deep game that shines at 1v1. You will never fully explore the different characters (around 70 right now), modes, styles, etc of this game. It also has a good 1 player dungeon mode that is fun. Every game is different when you play with different characters. Lots of depth that will give you 1000's of hours of fun.


4) Combat Commander (Europe/Mediteranean/Pacific) this game is great. You have so much replayability just in the base scenarios but it also has a fantastic scenario generator. The story driven nature of this game makes it different everytime you play it.

5) Agricola: The replayability is very high with the cards. If you add the farmers of the moor expansion this game provides 5 totally different ways to play that all feel very different: 1) the family game (easy, gateway game) 2) regular with all cards (more advanced game) 3) farmers of the moor basic (with the expansion and no cards) 4) farmers with improvement cards (advanced play) 5) farmers with all cards (this is super advanced and very heavy game). Plus you can draft the cards, play a solo series, any player count 2-5 is good, and you can get more decks of card cheaply.



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John Prewitt
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I think Mage Knight may fit the bill too. ~7 characters with the expansions, all of which play differently, literal huge stacks of cards that you can try different combos with every game, extremely variable difficulty and ~10 scenarios with all the expansions. You always have a score/time limit to beat. I get better every single time I play and it's rather rewarding.
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Look on my works ye mighty and despair
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I find new things to explore in The Republic of Rome every time I play it.

Start with the basic game and branch out into the advanced rules when you're ready.

(The only big issue with it when it comes to your requirements is that the solitaire game isn't up to much. In fact, I wouldn't recommend it with less than four players).
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Richard Sampson
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Another option that you might not have considered is instead of looking for games you will play over and over, investing a game system like Looney Pyramids or Decktet, especially since you enjoy card games and abstract games and because you feel that you tend to move from one game to the next.

Both options are well-established and offer a lot of great games, some with a surprising amount of depth, some solitaire options, and even some lighter fare for when the occasion calls for it.
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Colin K.
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Twilight Imperium, if you don't mind playing a game that takes hours to finish.
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Chris in Kansai
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It really depends on whether you have regular opponents who are interested in exploring the same games. If you do, sit down with them, pick a game, set your schedules and have at it.

Your Arkham Horror collection plays great solo too.
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Wim van Gruisen
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Eclipse definitely has a learning curve. Race for the Galaxy likewise, especially since you can get expansions to increase the complexity.

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