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Subject: Coop games: low RNG, highly fun, mid-high complexity? rss

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Argentina
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Hi there!

1. I'm looking for cooperative games with:
- Little to no randomness apart from setup and events (no dice!)
- Games that aren't frustrating (like Eldrith Horror hahaha) and are exciting to play.
- Preferrably for experienced players (mid to high complexity rating)
- Bonus track: if they look really good, it's a +

2. Games I already played: Eldrith Horror, Combate de San Lorenzo, Mansions of Madness.

3. Pandemic and Mage Knight are not what I'm looking for (I hate the randomness of dice ¬¬)

4. I'm thinking of Flashpoint or maybe Dead men tell no tales (haven't played them)

What do you guys think ? Recommendations?
 
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Ryan Morency
United States
Waterford
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I doubt that many co-ops fit your little to no randomness desire. Co-ops avoid becoming solvable by using randomized events. However, I mainly wanted to point out that Pandemic doesn't use dice. The randomness is purely driven by the cards. Moreover, I personally feel that the randomness of Pandemic can almost always be mitigated...at least I feel that way after the game beats us soundly. It always feels like you could have won if you had tried a different strategy.

I would also check out The Big Book of Madness. It might have just what you are looking for.
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Julien K
Japan
Kyoto
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There is some randomness (I don't think you can eliminate it completely), but Burgle Bros. is a nice co-op which ticks your other boxes. There are dice in the box, but they are only used to count pips laugh
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Ben Asher
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Michigan
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Space alert. You're welcome.
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Argentina
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Would you say pandemic is not as frustrating as Eldritch Horror? I love Eldritch but cards that basically say "f@#% your decision, you lose anyway" really piss me off haha.
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HenningK
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What about Legends of Andor? It does have dice for combat, but you usually pick your fights so that you have a 95% chance of instant winning anyway. The gameplay itself requires a lot of optimization of actions and time management. It's also beautiful.
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Ryan Morency
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Nekrocow wrote:
Would you say pandemic is not as frustrating as Eldritch Horror? I love Eldritch but cards that basically say "f@#% your decision, you lose anyway" really piss me off haha.


I really enjoy playing Eldritch Horror from time to time, but for some reason in that game I can roll two fists full of dice and still fail.

Pandemic can be frustrating as well, but for me it doesn't come anywhere near the way that Eldritch Horror can kick you down to the ground and just keep kicking you while you are down there.
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Andy
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Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases !
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Thanee
Germany
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Mistfall

Bye
Thanee
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Tobias R.
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Nekrocow wrote:
4. I'm thinking of Flashpoint


Does not fit the No-Randomness-requirement. The fire spreads quite random.

+1 for Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective. No randomness at all, but I'm not sure if this is what you are looking for.

Another coop with very little randomness is Mysterium, but it's medium light.
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corum irsei
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Nekrocow wrote:
3. Pandemic and Mage Knight are not what I'm looking for (I hate the randomness of dice ¬¬)
?!
Does Pandemic use dice? I don't seem to recall using dice.

And Mage Knight only uses dice to determine mana resources available in the common pool. Apart from your own deck of action cards, all sources of randomness in the game can be considered part of the setup. And since you draw your hand before starting your turn, you can usually plan your turn with little to no hidden information.

In both games randomness comes from using card decks, not dice, and I don't think you'll find a better, high-complexity co-operative board game with low randomness than Mage Knight.
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Chris Blackford
United States
Huber Heights
Ohio
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beelzeben wrote:
Space alert. You're welcome.


+1 to what Ben said, excellent choice considering the criteria listed.

Edit: The game is frustrating, although in a fun way (I swear!). Not in the "you lose because the dice said so" sort of way, but you and your crew watch as your ship gets blown apart from YOUR decisions.
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Josh Bodah
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Mage Knight barely uses dice, and they are only there to create a draft at the beginning of each turn (keep in mind that turns have many phases, so this isn't a huge deal). There is randomness in setup, but that is more like variability than randomness. Mage Knight is very strategic. The only "randomness" I can think of is getting screwed by a bad draw (but my response to that would be you should plan accordingly for it)

Pandemic fits the bill pretty well but it's on the light-medium side. There is very little variance once the game is setup and generally what's on the board is where the action will happen all game. There is some "randomness" in when certain cards come up, but the deck is seeded a particular way each game to make it predictable

I would say Space Alert is what you want, but keep in mind it is way, way different than any other game. It's more social and memory (?) based. You have to plan out actions with team mates in real-time and there is no randomness after the game starts and everyone gets their action cards.

Quote:
4. I'm thinking of Flashpoint or maybe Dead men tell no tales (haven't played them)


Both of these have dice AFAIK. I haven't played Dead Men, only Flashpoint. I like Flashpoint a lot (I'm looking to add it back to my collection), but it is an experience game, not a strategic one. These are more random than Pandemic or Mage Knight
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Cameron Pluim
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Kentwood
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Aeon's End Is going to be in retail in December, and after playing the print and play many times, it fits quite a few of your points.

- Randomness is there in what player goes next (there's a turn order deck that gets shuffled), but the deck that your character builds doesn't get shuffled. When you go from discard back to your deck, you simply flip your discard pile over.

-With the turn order deck, you never know who's turn is next, so you're constantly thinking "If it's my turn next I'm going to do this...but if it's your turn you might be able to do this...Oh crap the boss hasn't had his second turn this round we might be screwed". The tension is always there, and everyone is able to participate and work together

-Complexity is set at 3.14, but the difficulty varies based on the different bosses you choose to fight.

-Take a look at the art yourself to judge on visuals

All in all, a very great game that I think will fit your criteria very well.
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Sally O
United Kingdom
Hook
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Dead Men Tell no Tales is really enjoyable but I couldn't say it doesn't have random elements. It is similar to Pandemic in that it relies on card draw to spark off random bad things on the board at the end of each turn. However, like with pandemic you can work around this and it is very exciting to play!

The Ravens of Thri Sahashri is a neat two player co op game with high complexity and added twists to the game when you beat it the first time. It is all card based so once again there is a certain amount of randomness due to draw but the game is all about solving the puzzle really. The nice thing about it is that you cannot directly communicate about what you want the other person to do.

Otherwise maybe cooperative deck builders could be your jam: Xenoshyft (fighting off the oncoming aliens), Legendary: Marvel(recruiting superheroes to help you beat the villains but has a few other flavours outside Marvel), Attack on Titan (based on the anime and is extremely engaging and exciting in my opinion)


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Thanee
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jhaelen wrote:
Does Pandemic use dice? I don't seem to recall using dice.


Maybe he was thinking about Pandemic: The Cure?

Bye
Thanee
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Josh
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Sentinels of the Multiverse might work for you. Randomness is in card draw, but evks are fixed so you know what possabilities are in each draw, just nit the results. There are normal and advanced modes for each villain, and villains themselves vary in difficulty. The myriad hero/villain combinations offer huge variety as well, and for myself I love the art.
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Joe H
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1989: Dawn of Freedom is a a terrific coop.
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Eric Edens
United States
Tennessee
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Orleans with the invasion expansion. The random is the event cards and your bag. But you build the bag so it is your fault.
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Milki Kaplanski
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Hamburg
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Nekrocow wrote:
Hi there!
3. Pandemic and Mage Knight are not what I'm looking for (I hate the randomness of dice ¬¬)

The only dice you roll in Mage Knight are the dice that tell you which mana is available for everyone to use to boost an action card, but your turn isn't exactly screwed if you don't get the one mana colour you were hoping for, you just have to get creative and think up another way to use your hand of cards to get what you want. That being said, I would rather recommend The Big Book of Madness for co-op instead of Mage Knight.

Mage Knight can be super long and it's quite complex, it takes some hours to learn and a couple of test plays to get used to it - but it's worth it. Definitely my number one solo-game so far and I do love it when my partner agrees to do a co-op play with me, but since he is less of a (board) gamer than me it usually takes some real convincing. And we usually just play BBM instead.

Maybe you could check out Star Trek: Frontiers, if you like the Star Trek theme, which is a little more streamlined / less fiddly compared to Mage Knight from what I've seen & heard.

Star Realms & Hero Realms both have a co-op mode that I enjoy lots, the latter will even get a fully co-operative campaign add-on early next year. These two also don't drag on too long, you can finish a 2 player game in less than an hour. They also take the least table space compared to all other games I suggested. ;)

There's also Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game, if you're into the Alien movies, or varies other themed Legendary Encounter games that are fully co-op.

But co-op without any randomness is hard to find, you'll either have randomness forced due to not knowing what cards you'll draw (Mage Knight, Realms, Legendary, Big Book of Madness) or you get dice. I personally don't mind dice rolling as long as there are ways to manipulate the dice (like in Elder Sign or Bravest Warriors).
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Argentina
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WOW thanks for all these recommendations !
 
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Tony Go
United States
New York
NY
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Mark T
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Gloomhaven - Coming by the end of this year or early next year. Co-op dungeon crawl with very little randomness.

Perdition's Mouth: Abyssal Rift - Out now, though limited distribution. Co-op horror-themed dungeon crawl. Uses rondeles instead of dice or cards. Again, very little randomness.
 
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Steven P
United States
Livermore
California
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Shadrach wrote:
Sentinels of the Multiverse might work for you. Randomness is in card draw, but evks are fixed so you know what possabilities are in each draw, just nit the results. There are normal and advanced modes for each villain, and villains themselves vary in difficulty. The myriad hero/villain combinations offer huge variety as well, and for myself I love the art.


I second SOTM. Also, Hanabi
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