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Subject: Good games with interesting themes rss

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Mr. Boardgame
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What recommendations do you have for board/card games that have a strong theme but are easy to learn and yet have interesting or unique mechanics?
I had about 9 different games for my initial fundamentals of game design unit I am now wrapping up and found that I need more with clear themes, like Battleship and Clue, but not abstract like Connect 4 or Yahtzee. I know there are some games that game designers seem to love, like Settlers of Catan, but I don't want anything too difficult to learn, like Hanabi or Carcassone.

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L W
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Pandemic?
 
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Greg Darcy
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Carcasonne difficult to learn?
You must have a different version to mine.

Pick up a tile. Put it down so it touches another and the features that cross the edge match. Optionally claim a feature on the tile you have put down. Score points if you complete a feature you have claimed based on the number of tiles in the feature. Oh and you cannot claim a feature if someone else already has.

So easier to learn than Carcasonne, but with a theme...
Arboretum? Just don't score.
Snakes & Ladders
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Kevin D.
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Deep Sea Adventure
Go Cuckoo!
Ice Cool
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Charles Waterman
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Hi Greg. Good point about the *play* of Carcassonne being simple to explain. However, have you tried explaining the farmer scoring one on one (npt digitally) to somebody who has never played a spacial board game? I can understand the OP's feeling here.
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Charles Waterman
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Apples to Apples (each red apple card has it's own theme!) - granddaddy of the judge chooses the beat answer of modern games

Ticket to Ride (Ticket to Ride: First Journey if the kids are young)

Castle Panic

Splendor (bit of an abstract, really - but the physicality of the jewel chips might make up for that)



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Michael Z
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Hey, That's My Fish!

It is a bit hard when you've set Carcassone as the "too hard" example. But game about duelling penguins is fiddly to set up, but pretty simple.
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David Larson
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To find your true identity within the will of Tze Yo Tzuh...that is the highest of all freedoms.
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There's Carcassonne without the farmer. Buildings and roads are much easier to understand, just don't don't mention the farmer.

Tsuro is a good and simple game.

Chicken Cha Cha Cha is simple and a good short term memory workout. Kids rock at it.
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Charles Waterman
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You're right David! (hitting myself in the forehead) Carcassonne without farmers would be a very easy game to teach and play, and it's another granddaddy - this time of the tile laying games!
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Michael Young
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I'm a big fan of Imhotep. Theme is pasted on, but it comes through in its mechanisms. Very fun and clever!
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Robbert Vervuurt
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montebanc wrote:
Hi Greg. Good point about the *play* of Carcassonne being simple to explain. However, have you tried explaining the farmer scoring one on one (npt digitally) to somebody who has never played a spacial board game? I can understand the OP's feeling here.


If you have a farmer, every town that touches his meadow (bordered by the board game's edge and roads) adds 3 points.

Simple.

Edit: And just as with cities and roads, you can't place a farmer on a meadow that's already taken.
 
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Charles Waterman
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OOPS! Simple just got complex. Namely, because the players have to spatially keep in mind where other players might interfere with their fields by clever placement.

If you tell me it's still simple, picture me saying "Let's agree to disagree".
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Ryan Keane
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What grade levels are we talking about? I think most gateway designer board games can be played by kids 10+ pretty easily, and 8+ with some teacher support and experience gaming.

Best choices for great theme (where the mechanics more closely match what thematically you would be doing):
Ticket to Ride
King of Tokyo
Survive
Flash Point Fire Rescue
Bang! The Dice Game
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David Larson
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What's your timeframe? What duration of gameplay can you allow?

Martian Dice has a fun theme, short play time, and it's easy to learn. There are variations on the game involving zombies, etc. that would scratch the same itch.
 
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Julien Regnard
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Recently I stumbled upon Kemet
It has this ancient Egypt theme with a stargate twist (obelisks allow teleportation), with 5 gods. Nice miniatures.
Everything fits with the theme (battle cards are military tactics, power tiles are gifts/skills given by gods as a reward for praying).

The game is all about fighting, but at the same time you do not feel any negative agressivity because you can come back easily after loosing a fight and the winner can't hold a position very long. Very interactive, unique mix of euro tableau building, worker placement, and fighting.
 
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