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Subject: Best co-op game? rss

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Mark McCaffery
United Kingdom
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I've never played a co-op game before and the idea of people pulling in the same direction rather than being in direct competition interests me. Which co-op game do you guys think is the best? I generally play with between 2 and 5 people but any recommendations are welcome thanks
 
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Bruce
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Shadows over Camelot is a lot of fun, largely due to the presence of the Traitor.

Lord of the Rings is good for coop or solo play, especially if you really like Tolkien.
 
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Eric Knauer
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Lord of the Rings and Shadows over Camelot (play with the traitor) are highly regarded cooperative games.
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Steve Barker
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Lord of the Rings is my favourite game ever but that may be because I've only ever played it two-player with my best friend

As Bruce says it's especially good if you're a fan of the story.
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Hunga Dunga
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Arkham Horror

Betrayal at House on the Hill
 
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James Davis
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Vanished Planet for the space inclined, a very hard game too apparantly.
 
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Darin Shaw
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I highly recommend Arkham Horror. My friends and I really enjoy the difficulty of this one. It can get desperate at times, which forces you to work together. Great game.
 
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Tim Deagan
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There are three general divisions within 'co-op' games;
- Games that have one player who acts as a 'referee'
- Games that have one player who is opposed to all other players
- Games where all players play against the game itself

Shadows over Camelot is an 'all against one' type game with a secret traitor. Lord of the Rings is a 'all against the game' adventure as is 'Vanished Planet.'

The right kind of co-op game depends on the game group you're playing with. If you like screwage and keeping secrets then an all against one game like SOC can be great fun. If you'd like to try something that isn't about competition, then play against the game. Many solitaire wargames play very well as co-op games by dividing up the units among players.

What themes does your group like? That's often very helpful in picking the right game since the competition is generally refocused away from interpersonal conflict.

Here's a thread from sometime back about co-op game mechanics that is probably more than you want, but might be helpful in choosing;
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/812516#812516



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J Cale
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Edmonton
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I would also say Arkham Horror.
 
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John Woods
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Warhammer Quest if you can find it. Lots of diff characters to chose from, and you have to work together as a team or you are toast.
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J.L. Robert
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Also in the "hard to find, but excellent" category is The Republic of Rome.

Fury of Dracula (second edition) also would be a fine selection for everyone (except Drac) working together towards a common goal.
 
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Lori
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Something to note about Shadows Over Camelot is that you can play it 3 different ways. I believe the official rules call for the situation in which there MAY be a traitor (one person who is secretly playing with the game against the rest of the team), but you don't know who it is and can't be positive there is one. This is accomplished by dealing out Loyalty cards that show if you're loyal or a traitor; you use one card more than the number of players, so there's always a low-percentage chance that the Traitor card could be the one that got left out.

But if you want to eliminate the whole Traitor thing and make it purely cooperative, just don't use the traitor card. I think the game rules actually suggest this for first-time play. You can judge for yourself whether there will still be enough challenge to make the game fun; I think so.

And finally, of course, you could choose to not use the extra card, so that you'd KNOW for sure there was a traitor.
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Colin Hunter
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All the Games mentioned so far are excellent. If your looking for a game where a team of players plays against one player check out.
Battle Stations! this one is fantastic, I love playing it.
Descent: Journeys in the Dark I like this too.
 
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Richard Adkins
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Heya

Gonna pitch me 2 cents into the fountain here.

Your profile being totally blank gives no clue as to your tastes or preferred complexity of game. So....


Shadows over Camelot is a great all around option. Readily available, looks nice, has nifty mechanic for players leaving or joining mid stream, plays best with 5 or more, easy to learn and teach and has a few options already mentioned.

Arkham Horror is also an attractive option. Readily available, looks nice, plays best with 5 or less, several nice expansions and has a higher learning curve than Shadows.

Betrayal at House on the Hill could be an ok pick. Pretty easy to get a hold of cheap, looks nice, plays best with 4 to 5, pretty easy to learn the base rules,someone will become the bad guy, rules are really buggy once the "haunt" begins. Updated rules can be downloaded from Hasbro, they help alot.

Descent: Journeys in the Dark is a hit or miss based on your tolerance for 3 -4 hour dungeon crawls. Readily available, looks great, plays best with 4 but 3 or 5 is ok, several expansions, one person needs to play the bad guys, higher learning curve. The expansions help the base game but the sticker shock might scare you off when you add it all up.

Fury of Dracula (second edition) looks like a great game. Owned but unplayed. The learning curve seems to be about on par with Arkham Horror. 4 hunters chasing down the Dracula player who uses hidden movement.

Battle Stations! has a great feel and neat balance between board game and RPG. Character balance and usefulness is cool, highest learning curve, rules are very clunky. Havent played enough to give more info.

Mutant Chronicles: Siege of the Citadel is a really fun light wargame. Availability is poor, plays best with 3-5, players take turns playing the bad guys in mission based shoot'em up fun. Characters progress a little with experience and equipment.

Vanished Planet was a sleeper hit in my group. Very tense. The first game was really akward and almost depressing with "this game is too hard", the difficulty is scaleable and plays just fine with 1 to 6 players. The bits are a tad subpar and it can only be ordered off their web page. However, if you are looking for the pulling for a common goal theme this is the one.

Best of luck finding the one that is right for you and yours.

Rick
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Jon Cormier
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What about Beowulf: The Legend? As two English lit masters me and my wife are quite interested in this game where you're essentially one of Beowulf's posse. You go through the events of the epic poem, so if you know it and enjoy it the reward is higher. However, having never played it I've read contradictory reviews. Some like it as a simpe cooperative game, others think it's too easy and pointless.

As for Fury of Dracula (second edition) it's a lot of fun about halfway through the first game. Until then, you're learning it so expect to like this more on your second play. I highly recommend you watch the Board Game with Scott episode about The Fury of Dracula and send it to others who want to play. The only warning I'd give here is that Dracula is the fox in a fox hunt, so let whoever enjoys that type of role take it, and be ready for one hunter to possibly never be involved if Dracula is on the opposite side of the map. It happens but isn't the end of the world unless that player whines about it - they have to sort of head him off at the pass but the "pass" may change and that person is still stuck in limbo.
 
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Ryan Newell
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Of the co-op games I've played, I think Fury of Dracula is head-and-shoulders above Lord of the Rings, Arkham Horror, and Shadows Over Camelot.
 
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Ken B.
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The two obvious sweet spots for hitting the co-op itch are Shadows Over Camelot and Knizia's Lord of the Rings. Neither are terribly complex but are just meaty enough to appeal to most gamers. Both are appealing visually; Shadows is chock full of miniatures for the knights, the siege engines, the Picts and Saxons, even Excalibur and the Holy Grail. Lord of the Rings has some of the most gorgeous artwork I've seen decorating each and every board.

As stated above, with your profile blank it's hard to guess what else might appeal; I can recommend the two above regardless of your gaming background. If you're a "meatier" gamer you'll want to look into Fury of Dracula, for certain...and if you like games with plastic figures, the out-of-print Mutant Chronicles: Siege of the Citadel is a great game that blends co-op and competitiveness quite nicely.
 
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Michael Turner
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For 2-4 players and acknowledging that you are playing with paper and pencil instead of spiffy bits, Beyond Competition has some wonderful cooperative games.
 
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Marco Grubert
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Vanished Planet is a good co-op game and easy to explain. The only downside is that it can basically be played by a single player devising the strategy for everybody else. It can be scaled from easy to impossible by adding a number of negative events in the event card stack.
 
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Paul Bryant
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I enjoy both Fury of Dracula as well as Betrayal on the House on the Hill. Fury is the better game for gamers and is longer. Betrayal is fun as long as you let yourself enjoy the setting and scenario.

It would be nice if there were more cooperative board games. It seems like there are far to few. I know there have to be others like myself who have Sig others who can get .. difficult with confrontation so it would be nice to get to work with them and not just against them more often.
 
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Mark McCaffery
United Kingdom
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thank you all for your suggestions.....i think lord of the rings and shadows over camelot seem most likely to fit the bill but im gonna have a tough time deciding between the two....my group do like the LoTR theme but I'm not sure which is the better game
 
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Bill Eldard
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franklincobb wrote:
The two obvious sweet spots for hitting the co-op itch are Shadows Over Camelot and Knizia's Lord of the Rings. Neither are terribly complex but are just meaty enough to appeal to most gamers. Both are appealing visually; Shadows is chock full of miniatures for the knights, the siege engines, the Picts and Saxons, even Excalibur and the Holy Grail. Lord of the Rings has some of the most gorgeous artwork I've seen decorating each and every board.


Both are great games that stick close to theme. I like the Traitor rules in Shadows Over Camelot. And remember that Lord Of The Rings has several expansions --- Friends & Foes; Sauron; Warriors --- that can add more meat to the game if desired.

Co-operative games are a great way of introducing non-gamers to boardgaming, because they don't have to learn any rules to start. They're also great for families, because young children are playing as teammates of the adults, and not competing with them.
 
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Vinay Chandrasekhar
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Only 2 I have played are Shadows of Camelot and Lord of the Rings. Shadows over camelot for me was just OK mainly because of the traitor. I like cooperative games to be purely a group of people against the game system. The traitor introduces a competitive/bluffing element which takes away from the cooperative nature I think.

Lord of the rings is one of my favorite games(2-5 players). A lot of that has to do with the fact that I have played this only with my wife and brother who are both tolkien fans and get into the game very deeply. So, the people you play with and how well you relate to the theme will shape your experience a lot.

In general I like cooperative games because they tend to be more social and friendly. Depends on what you are looking for when gaming.
 
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james napoli
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I've played

Shadows Over Camelot
I used to love Shadows, but i've over played. When your NOT the traitor, it's def not as interesting. It can be very formuliac after a while, and ultimately you are really only picking up a card, playing a card...really not much to it.


LOTR (sans expansions)
This is similiar to SoC, but it's newer to me and i really like it. I feel i have some choices when it's my turn and i enjoy the LOTR theme. I understand that adding Sauron as well as friends and foes adds a lot as well.


Fury of Dracula (both as the count and as a hunter)
Well Fury comes with a lot of pieces, has a decent amount of setup time, and a lot of explaining to get it started. Unfortunately there isnt much game here. This like SoC, is really only fun when you are Drac(again just my opinion). On a hunters turn, they can move, and depending if they end up in a city/town they can either turn over a (event?)card and/or take an item. If the count is not there(typically he is not), that's it for the turn. If the count ends up on the other side of the map, you may not ever encounter them during an entire game...which can make it a really long boring game. If you play a game where the Count just Runs and Runs, you can be in for a long night. However, i will say, that the combat portion of the game is pretty fun, but it's often a pretty rare occurence.

-
James
 
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Danielle Anner
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I love co-op games.

Don't forget Doom: The Boardgame!

It plays co-op as well as in teams. It isnt the *best* coop, but you do get more plays out of it for your dollar since it plays in many different scenarios. Plus, there is a gun in there called the BFG, which I translated to mean 'big fun gun'

For purity, my favorites have been said, BaHotH and LoTR.
 
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