Jenn C
United States
New York
New York
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I’m looking for one or two games to bring on longer trips (2 weeks to 2 months). Smaller is better, though we’ll mostly be playing at the destination, so it’s okay if it requires some table space.

My “twist” is the realization that since we’ll be playing the same game(s) over a relatively short period of time, it’d be nice if they respond well to repeated play - i.e., some kind of groupthink develops over the course of multiple games, and/or they have enough depth to evolve over time. (This might also be a good way of thinking about a minimalist collection…)

Ideally I’d like one “lighter” game that we can introduce to nongamers (3-6p), and one heavier game (2-3). But I’m flexible re: number of players.


Lighter games we like: Parade, Coloretto, Biblios, Mysterium, Patchwork

Heavier games we like: Innovation, Glory to Rome, Agricola, Brass, Tigris & Euphrates


tldr;
1. compact packed size
2. rewards multiple plays with the same group
3. lighter game (3-6p) should be easy to teach and low language dependency
 
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D N
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For 2p Schotten Totten/Battleline is solid.
Also Hanamikoji perhaps?

For more players I would go for Acquire and Broom Service (not the card game). Also Samurai could be a good choice.
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Chris F
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When travelling for 2 players we find the following compact, light and challenging enough:

- 7 wonders duel
- Rivals of Catan (plus expansions)


More players:
- Carcassonne (we remove the score board and put everything in a bag)
- Citadels
- Port royal

- Jorvik: can be played without the all the boards so could be a good option
- Caylus Magna Carta: Good card adaptation of the full game
- San Juan (plays well with 2 or more)

We also try and pack a number of games into one box.

If we have a little more room we take Bora Bora or Castles of Burgundy as they work well 2-4.

Hope this helps
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Robert Zorko
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For 2 players Star Realms is great and really small, since it is only one box of cards. And you can even play with up to 4 players if you either get two copies of the base game or you could buy one copy of the original and one copy of Star Realms: Colony Wars, since they can be mixed together (otherwise colony wars is a stand alone expansion). Theoretically you can play up to 6 players with 3 copies (there are even official rules for variants), but I've never tried that so I can't comment how good it is.

It is easy to learn so it is also a good choise to play with non-gamers meeple

And as a bonus you can try it as an app (if I'm not mistaken it is free to play against the easy AI) to decide if you like it or not before you buy the actual game (though if I remmeber correctly it is quite cheap)
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lampeter
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Lighter: Friday the 13th (or Poison or Baker's Dozen)
Deeper: Isle of Trains
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Charlie Sundt
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A lighter many-player game: Dixit.
A heavy 2-3 player game in a tiny box: Pax Porfiriana.
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Rod Bauer
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Salem 1662
The Grizzled
Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper
Love Letter: The Hobbit – The Battle of the Five Armies
2 de Mayo(2 player game)

All great games and small packages
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Steven Beringer
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I recommend Bohnanza for decent length/depth for up to 7, alongside the prior recommendation of Citadels; both you essentially need just the deck of cards. I don't yet have Mint Works, but I'm planning on getting it for travel and it may appeal to you if you like Agricola. Hanabi if you want something cooperative, Codenames for more of a party game slant, and SET for something more puzzle-like.

For two my strongest recommendation is Hive Pocket as it allows lots of development as a player. I'd look at everything in the Kosmos two-player series in addition to Battleline, as above.

Some of those recommendations might seem obvious (based on your experience), but I encourage you to look at the ones you don't know.
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Matt Drown
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Race for the Galaxy - 2-4 players varying strategies, plays well with two, and plays differently (and well) with 3-4. You can pick up expansions for more players.

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Dead Man's Draw - great intro game with press your luck and take that. Lot's of replay value in the box with included variants and optional player powers.

Rocky Road à la Modej - Want to scratch that Splendor itch in a small box with a time track similar to Patchwork?

Tiny Epic Galaxies - So much game in a small box. Very teachable. There's a reason it's the most popular in the Tiny Epic series of games.


 
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I'll also add Sail to India. It's a true euro game in such a small package, 3-4 players. I think it's often overlooked because the box is so small, which is such a shame.
 
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Jenn C
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Thanks for the replies so far! I especially appreciate the recommendations that have included some details about why the games are replayable. They helped me realize that I'm looking specifically for games where the psychology of the group can help the game evolve (as opposed to games with lots of variable powers or variants). I was inspired by sgosaric's user comments about Kakerlaken Poker:

sgosaric wrote:
Was not much impressed with first play, but subsequent plays proven this is a great game of bluffing and double think. Plenty of lying. The beauty of this game shows when you play it with the same crowd over and over again, then it gains tremendous depth. Metagame and how people evaluate lies and bluffs constantly changes.


Of the recommendations so far, I'm guessing Pax Porfiriana and 2 de Mayo would be good candidates, as well as Citadels. Definitely Hive for sure. Would love to hear more!

 
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Matt Drown
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GIPF & YINSH if you are willing to deal with a board. 2 player abstracts, really well done. I like the self-handicapping of yinsh more, but each is quite good. You could probably get a few more and just combine parts to form a nice abstract 2 player package.

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Geoffrey Burrell
United States
Cedar Rapids
Iowa
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Red7 may fit what you are looking for.
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Eric
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I put together a travel kit for similar purposes. It is compact enough to bring in carry-on luggage. If you take games out of their original boxes you can pack a ton of gaming in a very small package. This game has numerous games that go anywhere from 1-8 players. You could of course change out any games that are primarily deck based. I can always bring this with me and then grab a few bigger box games as I desire.


Top

Front

Bottom




It contains:

Mint Works

Mini poker chips

Scoring sheets, dice, and dry erase markers for
Qwixx
Qwinto
30 Rails
Reiner Knizia's Decathlon
Yahtzee

Decks for:
Hanamikoji
Love Letter
Coup
Hanabi
Tides of Time
6 nimmt!
Rage
Red7
Standard deck of cards

A custom made rules list for all the games including numerous games I can play with the rage deck, 6 nimmt deck, and a standard deck of cards (For Sale, Arboretum, Parade, Lost Cities, The Game, Okey Dokey, Scotten Totten, Haggis, Get Bit, numerous trick taking games, gin rummy, etc).
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Jenn C
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overhaul wrote:
I put together a travel kit for similar purposes. It is compact enough to bring in carry-on luggage. ..


Wow, this is a sweet setup! Thank you for sharing. Do you have any go-to big box games, or do you choose whatever is exciting at the moment?
 
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Eric
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Some other compact games on my shelf that travel well:

Pandemic: The Cure without the box
Splendor without the box
Tiny Epic ________: I have not played them all but personally like Tiny Epic Galaxies
The Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game
Valley of the Kings or Valley of the Kings: Afterlife
Star Realms
Anomia: and if you have the party edition you can trade out one of the other decks.
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Tim Tix
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Check the Pack O Game series.
 
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Fredrik
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Pocket Mars
Mint Works
Fleet
Splendor
Suburbia
7 Wonders
Dominion
Codenames
The Resistance: Avalon
 
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Grant Rodiek
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A game for 3-6, easy to learn, light to pack, with MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF GROUP THINK AND META is Cockroach Poker. We love it. I just crossed my 100th play, and we played over 40 times alone in June.
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Trent Boardgamer
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Perth
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Hive Pocket FTW!
 
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james napoli
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I've travelled quite a bit and often use my vacations as an excuse to buy new games.

This has been my experience.

I tried doing a travel box like that which was posted above without as much luck. i tend to midsized box and pack with games who's components can all be bagged.

Let me get the negatives out of the way first.
PackOGames i thought were all a waste of time, albeit i have not yet played BUS, which actually seems like it could be legit.
Hive/Hive pocket is a good abstract game, but i find it too heavy to lug around, and thus often wouldnt bring it on 'out' while i was on VK. But i've lent it to other friends who had a great experience with it on VK.
Don't mess with Cthulhu, i bought this recently and it didnt go over that well with 4 people, in two different groups.


What has worked well for me:
Gamer games:
innovation is a go to for me, plays well with 2 and decent with 3, not sure about 4, seems like it would be chaotic.
Race for the Galaxy, all around great game, a bit too many components for some forums.
Neuroshima Hex: Again this works well for different player counts and i think has a good amount of replayability.

Good Cross Over games:
Coup (milage may vary, it's worked great for some groups, less so for others)
Tichu, you need 4, but i've taught this to a lot of non-gamers and it's a fun distraction while out at a pub.
Deep Sea Adventure: I havent played this a ton, but it's small footprint is a no brainer for travel game.
Sushi Go: Easy to break out, easy to teach and enough push your luck to fun for gamers.
CodeNames: instant hit with everyone i've played with, but you need 4+


Other thoughts:
I like really like Jaipur for two, but some people may think it's too light. I also think No Thanks can be fun while out and drinking, but again that might be too lite, but it is easy to teach. Mint Works and CoinAge are but perfect in size but remain to be seen if they are worth it.
For two players, All Creatures ia great if u have it, albeit you probably would want to play that in a refined area, ie not out at a pub, as well as 7 wonders duel. I personally don't enjoy Patchwork, but it does seem ripe for your ask.
One Deck Dungeon can played solo, and with 2 if you think you may have solo downtime.


Let us know what you decide on.
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Jenn C
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HerrohGrant wrote:
A game for 3-6, easy to learn, light to pack, with MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF GROUP THINK AND META is Cockroach Poker. We love it. I just crossed my 100th play, and we played over 40 times alone in June.


Another strong vote for Cockroach Poker! I'm definitely going to have to check this out as an option for the lighter game.
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Jenn C
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darlok wrote:
What has worked well for me:
Gamer games:
innovation is a go to for me, plays well with 2 and decent with 3, not sure about 4, seems like it would be chaotic.
Race for the Galaxy, all around great game, a bit too many components for some forums.
Neuroshima Hex: Again this works well for different player counts and i think has a good amount of replayability.

Good Cross Over games:
Coup (milage may vary, it's worked great for some groups, less so for others)
Tichu, you need 4, but i've taught this to a lot of non-gamers and it's a fun distraction while out at a pub.
Deep Sea Adventure: I havent played this a ton, but it's small footprint is a no brainer for travel game.
Sushi Go: Easy to break out, easy to teach and enough push your luck to fun for gamers.
CodeNames: instant hit with everyone i've played with, but you need 4+


Other thoughts:
I like really like Jaipur for two, but some people may think it's too light. I also think No Thanks can be fun while out and drinking, but again that might be too lite, but it is easy to teach. Mint Works and CoinAge are but perfect in size but remain to be seen if they are worth it.
For two players, All Creatures ia great if u have it, albeit you probably would want to play that in a refined area, ie not out at a pub, as well as 7 wonders duel. I personally don't enjoy Patchwork, but it does seem ripe for your ask.
One Deck Dungeon can played solo, and with 2 if you think you may have solo downtime.


Let us know what you decide on.


Thank you for your entire reply, the details are super helpful. I have Innovation and love it, and I think that is probably my preference for the 2p heavier game. (Just fyi, I have heard good things about the 4p partnership game)

We also have Glory to Rome, which I prefer over RftG, but they're both a little hard to teach - so probably not ideal for the multi-player option. One game that I bought after some digging around is Potato Man - will need some time to see if it's a keeper, but has a silly-appealing theme, is easy to explain, and apparently plays excellently at both 2 and 4 (and accommodates 2-5). I'm interested in learning Tichu, but in this situation I think some flexibility around number of players is ideal.

I never really liked Jaipur, to my boyfriend's disappointment, and I think ACBaS and Patchwork are both a little too component-heavy for me to want to carry around.

I think my ideal travel kit would probably be centered around three types of games, with some possible options listed below:

1. Gamer game with some crunchiness (primarily 2p)
- Innovation

2. Spatial game, 2p (I would like a game that could accommodate more, but portability is tricky here)
- Hive Pocket
- Go (travel size)
- Clans (which would be a multiplayer option)
- König von Siam (another mp option)

3. Super-filler, 2-4p or more
- Potato Man
- Biblios
- Cockroach Poker
- Parade
- Haggis (only 2-3p)

I think a good "core" would be Innovation, Go (travel), and Potato Man or Biblios - and then on longer vacations we usually take one additional "big" game, like Brass or Glory to Rome.



 
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