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Subject: Something different (no standard euros and no thematic games) rss

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Joel Oakley
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I am looking to purchase a new game, but I am growing weary of trying out new euro games (my usual favorite style of game). For example, I tried out Yokohama and Lorenzo il Magnifico recently. Both games are very good, but I believe I am a little fatigued of playing new games of this weight/style. An obvious solution is simply to play the games I already have and love, but I am wondering what other styles are out there that I should be playing.

1) I am not a fan of social deduction games.
2) I do not typically appreciate "ameritrash" or "thematic" games.
3) I love heavy games (ZhanGuo, The Gallerist, and Tramways are some favorites).
4) I really prefer indirect interaction rather than direct conflict (no war games or even war themed probably).

I currently have The Great Zimbabwe on my radar as something that looks kind of unique from a gameplay perspective/feel, but I wonder if there might be other games that are better suited for me (and hopefully cheaper). Suggestions welcome!
 
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Curt Frantz
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Arkwright?
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Laura Creighton
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Try a game by Carl Chudyk. Innovation or Mottainai for example.

Get other Splotter titles -- Indonesia or Food Chain Magnate
as examples.

Try some games by Vlaada Chvátil. Galaxy Trucker or Space Alert for instance.

Try some economic games.
https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/49875/what-best-most-real...

Neuroshima Hex! 3.0 is different.

so is Tragedy Looper

Want something in the 'influenced by wargames' end? Churchill or Nemo's War (second edition) or Here I Stand (new reprint this fall) or Triumph & Tragedy







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Laura Creighton
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Also, I don't see you as owning a game with a Rondel.

Navegador or Imperial perhaps?
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Joel Oakley
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tribefan07 wrote:
Arkwright?

I owned it and ended up selling it because the game is just too long for most of the folks I play with (thus I could never play it). Definitely on the right track!
 
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Joel Oakley
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lacreighton wrote:
Try a game by Carl Chudyk. Innovation or Mottainai for example.

I enjoyed Mottainai pretty well for a while, but I am really looking for something bigger than Chudyk games (though I have considered Impulse).

Get other Splotter titles -- Indonesia or Food Chain Magnate
as examples.

I am considering their other titles in addition to TGZ, but the expense makes it a little hard for me to convince myself to buy one.

Try some games by Vlaada Chvátil. Galaxy Trucker or Space Alert for instance.

What about Mage Knight? It seems more appealing to me than the others you mentioned, but I will definitely give his games some consideration.

Try some economic games.
https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/49875/what-best-most-real...

Economic games are good. Thanks for the link!

Neuroshima Hex! 3.0 is different. Pass for me (fighting theme).

so is Tragedy Looper Pass for me.

Want something in the 'influenced by wargames' end? Not really interested, but thanks for all the ideas!


Also, regarding the rondel games, I do have and like Antike Duellum. Navegador is also great, but I have not played Imperial.
 
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Laura Creighton
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Mage Knight Board Game is good. I just like games that don't have a fantasy theme better. But that's me.

Maybe something in the Android: Netrunner line?

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Joel Oakley
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lacreighton wrote:
Mage Knight Board Game is good. I just like games that don't have a fantasy theme better. But that's me. Me too...generally, the more grounded the theme, the better. I am only thinking about Mage Knight for the game play.

Maybe something in the Android: Netrunnerline? Is there something other than the card game?

 
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Laura Creighton
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Android is the non-card-game version. We've had bad experiences when people who are strangers play this game, I think a certain amount of either 'I trust you' or 'I understand you, at least a little bit' are needed. And there is no getting around the fact that there is a whole lot of theme there. There's a game, too, it's not just an excuse to have an adventure with a certain theme, but if you pretty much don't want theme at all, this is not the one for you.
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Laura Creighton
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If you like economic games there is the world of 18xx games to choose from -- pick an economic one, not route-building one. But I am not qualified to say anything more about this, I don't know anybody who has them.
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Laura Creighton
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....and I walk over to my solo setup for Leaving Earth ... and think HOW DID I FORGET THAT?! Boy, is this ever different. And fun. And a real game, not a thematic adventure game.
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Daniel Blumentritt
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What about Robo Rally?
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Michael Dillenbeck
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Joakley815 wrote:
I am looking to purchase a new game, but I am growing weary of trying out new euro games (my usual favorite style of game). . .
1) I am not a fan of social deduction games.
2) I do not typically appreciate "ameritrash" or "thematic" games.
3) I love heavy games (ZhanGuo, The Gallerist, and Tramways are some favorites).
4) I really prefer indirect interaction rather than direct conflict (no war games or even war themed probably). . .


I wish I knew what burned you out on eurogames right now, that detail would have helped. Anyway...

RECOMMENDATION 1 - LEAVING EARTH


Like Laura Creighton, I would recommend going to Luminaris Group's website and looking into ordering a copy of Leaving Earth (and maybe the Outer Planets expansion, and the soon-to-be-released Stations expansion).

Why do I recommend this? First:

1) There is no social deduction element and 3 modes of play: competitive, cooperative, and team-based.

2) This one has theme (early space race 1956-1976, expanded to 1986 with Outer Planets), but it is not a dice rolling thematic game. In fact, there is no dice rolling at all - but there are success cards which add a random element.

3) It really isn't a heavy game in terms of rule complexity, but with basic math and hard logistical planning it is heavy in the decision space. Thus its more along the lines of Roads & Boats - so rules light, game play heavy.

4) The competitive game has no warfare, only a race to complete a set of randomly selected missions for VP. If you get over 50% of the available VP you win, else most as the end of the game wins.

How is play? You have a fixed 25 million per year to spend at the start of every year (your government budget), with a bonus 10 million if someone completed a mission. You research technology at a cost of 10 and put 1 or 3 success/failure cards on it; you spend a variable amount of money to build the actual equipment; when you use the equipment, you shuffle the technology cards and reveal one; Minor or major failures have an effect and can be discarded for 5 million; successes cost 10 million to discard; if you don't pay to discard, they go back on the technology; built technology will have mass for the rocket; rockets provide thrust once and then are discarded; moving from location to location has a difficulty number; to successfully move you need thrust equal to or greater than the rocket mass (before discarding the rocket) * difficulty; you can hire astronauts, buy supplies, build capsules and probes, build rockets, build ion engines, collect samples, develop reentry gear, develop landing gear, develop sensors, create rendezvous technology (to dock ships), and so on; missions are often probe somewhere, keep an astronaut in space for a year somewhere, collect a sample from somewhere, and so on. Each player is provided 4 laser cut and painted wooden rocket markers and rocket cards, 1 extra is in the Outer Planets box - but those aren't limits, you can have more (just use makeshift counters) if you can afford them.

A player aid lets you quick calculate (if I use an Atlas rocket, each rocket at this difficulty level can carry a payload of some mass - if I know I need to carry Y mass, I divide that by the rocket to see how many I need), but planning gets complex (I can fire straight to earth orbit at difficulty 8, or I can go sub-orbit then orbit in two maneuvers for 3 and 5 using 2 different rockets - thus shedding mass... but maybe I need to boost several different things into orbit, have them rendezvous, then head off to your Mars or Venus mission). It takes a lot to successfully coordinate a mission, hence the team game divides up the work.

---------------------------------------

RECCOMENDATION 2 - HIGH FRONTIER

A bit expensive, but it doesn't sound like you shy away from costly games. This is my second favorite Phil Eklund/Sierra Madre Games title and probably the one he is best known for. Near future solar system exploration, the 3rd edition comes with an impressive two mounted double sided boards of 6 panels that are 12" x 12" per panel - so one side is a giant 3' x 4' map of the standard game, while the other side is a 2' x 3' map of the standard game and a 2' x 3' map of the Interstellar game (where you leave our solar system). Some day this game will link into Bios: Genesis to Bios: Megafauna 2nd Edition to Bios Origins to High Frontier (my dream set of games). The first two are already out, Origins How We Became Human exists also and will be reworked for inclusion into the series (tentative release plans for 2018), and how that works into High Frontier is unknown. Phil Eklund is a literal Rocket Scientist, so this game is his crown jewel in his "deep experience" games.

1) There is no social deduction. However, as a legacy from his earlier games, there is an auction mechanic in the game when buying patent cards.
2) I think this game is deeply thematic (as is all his games), but in a good way. There is dice rolling that can spell doom, but all this can be mitigated (water tanks are currency - if you spend 4 water tanks for a hazard, instead of rolling a d6 and blowing up on a 1 you automatically succeed).
3) This game is definitely heavy - both in terms of rule complexity, game decisions, and for 3rd edition the physical weight of the massive box.
4) Indirect actions can be added, but they are fairly minimal. Direct actions is the "war" module of the full colonization game, and can easily be dropped.

So how does the game work? You have a large set of actions you get to choose from, you build up water tanks as money, you spend it at auction to buy various cards (thruster/robonaut/refinery), you go out into space and roll dice as you scout out areas, you finally get a claim and then need to get a robonaut and refinery out there to build a factory, the basic mode of play ends the game after a certain number of factories are build. Variant games include solo modes and a race to Titan and back. Patent cards are also tech cards, so you boost them into low earth orbit and assemble a rocket. You only get 1 rocket per player, but can have multiple other types of card stacks (a low earth orbit stack, two outpost stacks, a freighter stack eventually, two bernal sphere stacks eventually). Tons of modules in the game (colonists for extra actions, freighters for more interesting transport options, warfare and politics, bernal sphere spacestations, auxiliary components of 3 types that the main components need, etc). Oh, and the black backsides of the cards are space manufactured techs - make a space refinery on the right place and you'll get some really awesome tech.

So, a little bit of dice and chance in a near future solar system colonization game. Definitely check it out, someone made a nice set of videos on High Frontier 3rd edition on YouTube.

I won't recommend other SMG titles, the direct interaction might be too much. I will say my wife prefers cooperative games then indirect interaction, and she actually really liked Pax Pamir. Honestly, its a bit 18xx like in that there are 3 great powers players ally with and indirectly influence (British Empire, Russian Empire, Afghan Nationalists), and their goal is to be the most loyal of the faction they support at the end. It was the first SMG title that played in about 1 hour (okay, 1-2, but I'm a novice so 1 hour is normal), had wonderfully clean graphic design elements that facilitated play, and a great mixture of pieces on a map (well, the map is made of cards or is a board if you have the deluxe version) and tableau building (but your tableau is a "map" that spies move along). It really is a simple and solid game, and probably the one SMG title I recommend most people try. Well worth paying a premium now that it is out of print (in my humble opinion).

Another aside - maybe look into Brass. This was the game that made me realize my wife doesn't mind conflict, she dislikes having "her stuff" attacked by other players. She tolerates Agricola because its not her stuff on the board until she claims it, but once she takes it then no one should be able to touch it. Brass isn't quite like that, as you can use other players stuff - but unlike many other games, both players may benefit when using another player's stuff. Sure you use up the coal they wanted to use, but you flipped their coal mine and increased their income. Some prefer Age of Industry, but Brass is the better game in my eyes. A wonderful balancing act between short term goals (income, getting a desired location first, taking out a loan for fast cash, etc) and long term goals (victory points, developing industries to a tech level so they stick around and make permanent presence, etc). I highly recommend this game if you haven't played it yet. The reprint is coming soon, but I think I like the look and feel of the original. You can buy it for Android (and I think iOS) if you want to try before you buy the physical game. The implementation is solid.
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Mike
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A couple of suggestions that might break you out of a rut.

Innovation: It's a card game but it's surprisingly deep. So you'd get the depth of heavy Euro-game but without the usual mechanics. There's supposedly a big new deluxe re-issue on the horizon but its release has been pushed back a few times.

Loop Inc: This is another game that can surprise you. The theme is time travel and game play simulates the creation of paradoxes. So this game starts out relatively easy and then gets pretty complex as you have to deal with the ongoing consequences of the actions you took earlier. I like it because I feel it reverses the flow of many other games, where you work hard at the beginning and then reap the rewards at the end of the game. In this game, you'll find yourself struggling the most in the final round.
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Dom B.
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A few more paths to explore (some of these are OOP, though):
Container is a very good economic game
• among the classics which do not appear in your collection, I would steer you towards Troyes and Brass (still euros but interesting player interactions in both cases)
Reef Encounter (maybe too confrontational for your taste)
• someone mentioned High Frontier. Have a look at other games by Phil Eklund (e.g. Pax Porfiriana, Neanderthal)
• the upcoming John Company

Edit: just noticed that Brass and the Sierra Madre Games are among Verbosity's recommandations
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Whenever i see "something different" and see that complexity isnt an issue i think of sierra madre games... the request for not too much interaction puts a spanner in the works, a bit, but pax pamir is a good suggestion.
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In the Year of the Dragon
Reef Encounter
The New Era + Winter expansion
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Alexandre Santos
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I would recommend Chicago Express, a game of shared incentives with surprising depth that seems to be available for 15$ on Amazon at the moment.

The Great Zimbabwe is awesome, I would recommend it.

Otherwise, why not going for Pax Renaissance, it's quite different from the usual euro fare.
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Derry Salewski
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Get TGZ and then look at any other splotter. Antiquity comes out soon. Indonesia is around. Roads and Boats is OOP sadly . . . you can come play mine if you want. Food Chain Magnate is reprinted soon.

Sounds like the heavy, non-standard euro, indirect action break you need.

Or just play games you own: They're pretty good
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Joel Oakley
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scifiantihero wrote:
Get TGZ and then look at any other splotter. Antiquity comes out soon. Indonesia is around. Roads and Boats is OOP sadly . . . you can come play mine if you want. Food Chain Magnate is reprinted soon.

Sounds like the heavy, non-standard euro, indirect action break you need.

Or just play games you own: They're pretty good

Definitely considering some Splotter games. I'll have to send you a message to set up a Roads and Boats game next time I'm heading up to Maine (which is probably not for a few years at least, but I am interested in visiting Acadia sometime).
 
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Laura Creighton
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Another one I am having fun with -- Wings for the Baron (second edition).
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Joel Oakley
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Verbosity wrote:
lots of awesome info...I won't recommend other SMG titles, the direct interaction might be too much. I will say my wife prefers cooperative games then indirect interaction, and she actually really liked Pax Pamir. Honestly, its a bit 18xx like in that there are 3 great powers players ally with and indirectly influence (British Empire, Russian Empire, Afghan Nationalists), and their goal is to be the most loyal of the faction they support at the end. It was the first SMG title that played in about 1 hour (okay, 1-2, but I'm a novice so 1 hour is normal), had wonderfully clean graphic design elements that facilitated play, and a great mixture of pieces on a map (well, the map is made of cards or is a board if you have the deluxe version) and tableau building (but your tableau is a "map" that spies move along). It really is a simple and solid game, and probably the one SMG title I recommend most people try. Well worth paying a premium now that it is out of print (in my humble opinion).

Another aside - maybe look into Brass. This was the game that made me realize my wife doesn't mind conflict, she dislikes having "her stuff" attacked by other players. She tolerates Agricola because its not her stuff on the board until she claims it, but once she takes it then no one should be able to touch it. Brass isn't quite like that, as you can use other players stuff - but unlike many other games, both players may benefit when using another player's stuff. Sure you use up the coal they wanted to use, but you flipped their coal mine and increased their income. Some prefer Age of Industry, but Brass is the better game in my eyes. A wonderful balancing act between short term goals (income, getting a desired location first, taking out a loan for fast cash, etc) and long term goals (victory points, developing industries to a tech level so they stick around and make permanent presence, etc). I highly recommend this game if you haven't played it yet. The reprint is coming soon, but I think I like the look and feel of the original. You can buy it for Android (and I think iOS) if you want to try before you buy the physical game. The implementation is solid.


I really appreciate the detailed information! Also, I am very much in agreement with your wife in my interaction preferences. I always thought it was silly when folks would play Scrabble and complain that someone "took their spot" on the board. It's not anyone's spot until it's claimed! However, like your wife, once I have made my legitimate claim on something, I really prefer others keep their paws off of my stuff!

Leaving Earth and High Frontier are definitely intriguing to me since I have long been a bit of a space geek (solo play is also a great plus for me). I am also interested in learning more about Pax Pamir and maybe Pax Renaissance.
 
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Laura Creighton
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Note that even though Wings for the Baron (second edition) can be said to be war themed it has been a big hit with my relatives who generally prefer coops and whom I thought would find the theme off-putting. Lots of indirect interaction, and no direct conflict.
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Rob Crosby
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Also check out Heavy Cardboard Guild - it's really their wheelhouse.

You'll find folks in the forums there more than happy to work out which aspects of games you currently enjoy are available in other games and give you other suggestions (although most of the ones above are great laugh)
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Kelley Wolatz
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I would recommend power grid
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