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Subject: Looking for recommendations on the "classics"! rss

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Dianne N.
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Hello all! I've been in the hobby for about a year, and one thing I notice here on BGG are many discussions about "cult of the new" vs those who prefer the older, "classic" games. While I do enjoy all the new, shiny games I've hoarded acquired over the last year, I'm looking for recommendations on some games that are classics, or first of their kind in some way.

I currently have Dominion, Tigris & Euphrates, and Puerto Rico. Two of those I'd say fit into the "classic" category, and one is a "first of its kind." I'd also include Carcassonne and Settlers of Catan in this bunch as games that have held up over time (and ones that I own).

I'm interested in getting Caylus and El Grande as well. El Grande because I like area control and this is supposed to be one of the best, and Caylus because it's supposedly one of the best worker placement games, and the one that really put worker placement on the map.

While these aren't the oldest games out there (certainly not Avalon Hill 70's games), they seem to be games that are still mentioned as having withstood the test of time for whatever reason.

So my request from the community is: If you're one of the people that prefers the older "classics," recommend this newbie young'un a game that you think has withstood the test of time, and provide an explanation of why you feel it's a classic.


[PS, "Classics" is in quotes because it seems like anything over 10 years old is "old" in the board game world. Heck, it sometimes seems like anything over 2 years old is "old" in the board game world!]
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Under the paving stones, the beach
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Considering that the games you list are Eurogames, these would be quite a big depature for you. But my games:

The Republic of Rome. Made by a designer who felt Diplomacy was too tame, it's long, it's complex and there's still nothing else quite like it. (Apart from maybe Founding Fathers which is openly inspired by RoR). It's one of the best backstabbing games around and the "everyone loses" condition is better implemented than I've seen in any other game.

Tales of the Arabian Nights. Massively divides people on here. But the whole meshing of the choose your own adventure format with a board game still feels fresh and it was the first game to really do that from what I recall.

Dragon Rage. A light wargame and the first wargame I ever played as a teenager. Accessible and fun, it probably wasn't the first fantasy wargame but it does what it does well.

Blackbeard. Only bother with the first edition, the second isn't as good. While there's other games that evoke the feeling of being a pirate, only Blackbeard actually simulates what it's like being a pirate.
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Oliver Dienz
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One personal favorite of mine and IMHO not improved upon by another game is Roads & Boats. It is a puzzle-like mix of resource engine and logistics with mostly intuitive rules in a very thematic package. The only two knocks on it are that there is no real player interaction and it is fiddly with many small counters. If you like to optimize your play and adjust strategies the next time you will probably like R&B.

If trading/bartering are your thing, there is a reason Bohnanza is continuously being reprinted and has many expansions. It is surprising how much fun can be had with a rather simple card game.

Ra is probably one of the purest auction games out there with lots of tension. A typical Knizia design.

And for the "action-point-allowance" mechanic I would suggest either Tikal if you want it to be a bit simpler or Java for a real brain-burner.

I also suggest to take a look at Die Macher and Power Grid.
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Olaf Slomp
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If you sort the BGG databse by "number of voters"' you get a pretty good idea of what "the classics" are, I'd say (games that everybody has played and deemed worthy of rating, the latter seems to have prevented games like Chess, Risk and Monopoly from being on top of this ranking).

The top 10 Games when sorting this way:
The Settlers of Catan
Carcassonne
Pandemic
Dominion
7 Wonders
Ticket to Ride
Agricola
Puerto Rico
Small World
Power Grid

I would call all of these classics (and four of the first five you mention are part of this top 10 - only Tigris & Euphrates is not in there, it is rated 46th by this ranking, right behind chess). Of course there are more, but this is a great start.

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Joe Salamone
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Conquest of the Empire is a good game (not a great game) but might be considered a classic. The version I have has 2 sets of rules: classic version and revised rules. I went to an island camping resort with my girlfriend and her family in the mid 1980s. One of the other campers brought this and I walked in near the end of the game. I looked at the cool board and miniatures and had an "Oooh . . . ahhh" moment. I ended up buying the reprint many years later.
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T. Dauphin
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Abiezer Coppe wrote:
The Republic of Rome. Made by a designer who felt Diplomacy was too tame, it's long, it's complex and there's still nothing else quite like it. (Apart from maybe Founding Fathers which is openly inspired by RoR). It's one of the best backstabbing games around and the "everyone loses" condition is better implemented than I've seen in any other game.


Well said! Yes, this one is simply awesome!

I would suggest Kingmaker and Kremlin, though if you do decide to give the latter a try, look for an AH version. Jolly Roger kinda messed up on this one.

edit:
The details:
Kingmaker is a multi-player, back and forth struggle to crown the next king. The ups and downs of this game keep you engaged all time.

Kremlin is an irreverent look at the subject, and offers a good laugh at numerous points throughout the game, but it requires some attention to strategy at the same time, in order to be successful. Great fun.

And, silly me, I forgot Civilization/Advanced Civilization. You never stop in this game. You're building and trading and building again. It's a long haul, but you'll look up at some point and realize that a few hours have passed and you didn't even notice.

edit: filled in some gaps

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Edmund Cheow
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How about Agricola? It's one of the games in my collection that I deem as a classic
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Samo Oleami
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PerpetualFX wrote:
So my request from the community is: If you're one of the people that prefers the older "classics," recommend this newbie young'un a game that you think has withstood the test of time, and provide an explanation of why you feel it's a classic.

Everything pre-2005 still in print. (yeah, even Risk and Monopoly)

ameritrash:
- Cosmic Encounter
- Tales of the Arabian Nights
- Wiz War
- Survive!
- Roborally
- Titan

euros/german games:
- Kramer's action point trilogy in 4 parts (one of these games usually suffices: Tikal, Torres, Java, Mexica). Also El Grande and 6 Nimmt.
- Knizia's stuff: T&E, Through the Desert, Samurai, Modern Art, Ra, Medici, Battle Line, Lost Cities, Colossal Arena, Taj Mahal
- Faidutti's stuff: Citadels, Incan Gold/Diamant, Mission Red Planet
- Catan
- Uwe's pre-Agricola games: Bohnanza, Mamma Mia (also Klunker they say)
- evil euros: Intrigue, Lifeboats, Condottiere.
- other stuff: Tichu, For Sale, Vinci/Smallworld

older than dust (in boardgame context):
- Pit
- Can't Stop
- Acquire
- Diplomacy

other:
- 1830
- Blokus
- Werewolf
- Jungle Speed

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Dan
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A couple of older games that are really great:
El Grande - best with 5
Santiago - best with 4-5 players
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Marc Hawkins
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sgosaric wrote:

- Uwe's pre-Agricola games: Bohnanza, Mamma Mia (also Klunker they say)


Also Babel, I say! It's a vicious card game which requires creative improvisation and a bit of spatial play.
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Matt Brown
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Samo's list covers just about all I would offer, so I will add Acquire.
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Kevin Shillinglaw
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I'll add Yspahan and Amyitis.
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Morten K
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matthean wrote:
Samo's list covers just about all I would offer, so I will add Acquire.


And:

Santiago if you need a game for 5 players
Chinatown
Medina (second edition)
Goa

The first two are very good if you like negotiation games which means they are also better at higher player counts. Medina is wonderful almost abstract game of co-creation and playing chicken. Goa a good auction game to go with the Knizia classics.


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Ludvig Stigsson
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I got into the hobby of modern boardgames some 3-4 years ago, and like you I wanted to track down some of the classics. And I dig up some of my today favorite games. Some of my favorites, ten years or more, are;
El grande (1995)
For sale (1997)
Citadells (2000)
Puerto Rico (2002)
No thanks!(2004)
Betrayal at house on the hill (2004)
Caylus (2005)
Twilight imperium 3ed (2005)
Shadows over Camelot (2005)
Incan gold (2006)
Kingsburg (2007)
Race for the galaxy (2007)
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Alex G

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Reef Encounter is a definite classic, from 2004. Richard Breese still makes popular games (the Keyflower series, etc), but this is my favorite Breese design. It has a unique theme, and play that generally does not resemble most modern games (not in being clunky, but simply in being different), though you could argue it somewhat resembles Tigris and Euphrates. Tile placement and "stock market" manipulation where the manipulation also affects valid tile play.
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Marcus
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You've built quite a collection within a year!

Of games not yet mentioned, I'd recommend:

In the Year of the Dragon: 10th Anniversary, Notre Dame: 10th Anniversary: Both games have just been reprinted as 10th Anniversary editions.

The Princes of Florence by Kramer and Amun-Re by Knizia.

Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage and Container. Both games to be reprinted later this year.

Perhaps a block wargame?
Crusader Rex or Julius Caesar

And a grail game: Dune



Of the other games mentioned above, I like many of the Knizia and Kramer titles, particularly: El Grande Big Box, Top Race, Modern Art, Ra, Samurai, Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation, Taj Mahal, High Society, Colossal Arena, and Tigris & Euphrates.

Other older games I think worth checking out: Condottiere, Medina (second edition), For Sale, Aladdin's Dragons, Acquire and Antike II (update of Antike from 2005).
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Arkham Horror A true classic , the original is from 1987.

Merchant of Venus (second edition) Another classic, originated in 1988. The new edition contains a revised version of the original game as well as a modernized Version.

Talisman (Revised 4th Edition) originated from 1983. Has undergone several revisions and is likely to see an upcoming fifth edition.

You will need a large table for each of the above games.
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Timothy Martin
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Must speak up for Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases which, despite many recent printings and substantial linguistic kerfuffles around its being translated from English into French and back into English again (?!), dates from 1981. Amazing game of reasoning and deduction for a group or a couple, in which unequalled atmosphere and a surprisingly intricate structure of play arise out of a heap of unassuming papers and a map. Worth a shot.
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chris schott
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Acquire, but not the most recent one with the 10 x 10 grid
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chris thatcher
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El Grande
Amun-Re
Priests of Ra
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Just looked it up to confirm it fit the criteria and I can't believe that the original Munchkin is from 2001! Of course it is available in multiple new incarnations but the basic game hasn't changed from the original, 'classic.'
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Dianne N.
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Wow, thanks for all of the recommendations everyone. I already have a few of the games mentioned, but you've given me a lot to look into - much of which I had never heard of, which I was hoping for! I'm also glad to see some trends showing up as well.

If anyone else has some suggestions of their favorite "classics", keep them coming!


(@adm1 - Munchkin was the first game that got me interested in the hobby, around 2002! I still have it as well as the expansions I picked up back then, and we still play it from time to time!)
 
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Samo Oleami
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spacerx wrote:
Acquire, but not the most recent one with the 10 x 10 grid

Why not? (curious)
 
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Chris Smith
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Quo Vadis? - Knizia
I think this is one of the best negotiation games around. At five players it's brutal and ruthless. The game isn't good with three and decent with four.

1830: Railways & Robber Barons
You should have one of the older 18xx games on the list if talking about classics. These games aren't for everyone, but I think they're some of the most enjoyable out there.

GIPF
Start of the GIPF series. A series of two player abstract games with ridiculous names. I'd put YINSH as the best in the series, but this is the start.

Roads & Boats
Splotter's first major selling game. It's an economic engine building game that's very unforgiving. At first the interaction between players is subtle at best until they steamroll right over you.


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James C
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If you are into card games check out Wildlife Safari and High Society. Lots of interesting meta gaming if you play multiple rounds like you should.
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