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Subject: Your unusual gateway game rss

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I have just been reading about somebody asking about twilight imperium as a beginner game and wondered what unusual games people have used as a gateway into modern gaming.
My own personal game that got me back after a long absence was Eldritch Horror which I taught myself with the rulebook and videos, not a usual gateway game but I am sure people have started or returned with more complex games.
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Laura Creighton
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I didn't even know about boardgaming until somebody at the chess club introduced me to this new thing called Panzer Leader. Wow! Fun in a completely different way than chess was!
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Kirk K

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I introduced a large group of staunch non-gamers to the hobby with Cosmic Encounter. I never thought it would work but they loved it.
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Chris Smith
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The game I usually use is Chicago Express without expansions.

1 - I love the game.
2 - It's a perfect information, complete game. I've had more success getting people to stick to the hobby when they can clearly see when and why they lost the game, and you explain how to avoid that same predicament in future games.
3 - There are only four actions you can do, all simple in their rules.
4 - It teaches people about shared incentives and betrayals.
5 - I'm hoping they love this kind of game to move onto other Winsome titles or 18xx games.

I've used other train games as well for similar reasons.
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Alex
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Mine was Agricola
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Thomas M
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I have used both Power Grid and Caylus as gateway games for people with great success.
The themes are "normal" enough for them not to be too rough on non-geeks and while somewhat deep the initial rules introduction is pretty simple.

There is also a huge difference between introducing young techie/geeky people to board games, compared to people of an older generation who has only ever played card or dice games. Some people handle complexity easy while others just want to spend some hours tossing dice and moving pieces. Picking the right gateway game is a lot more about understanding the new players than it is to pick specific "easy gateway" games.
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Chris Mcpherson
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I got my non-gamer neighbour to play Amerigo with us and she did really well.

She is now a full fledged gamer and has a nice little collection of her own.
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Marina SC
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Eclipse was my personal gateway game
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Tim
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For me it was Puerto Rico
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Doug Hook
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Lansing
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lacreighton wrote:
I didn't even know about boardgaming until somebody at the chess club introduced me to this new thing called Panzer Leader. Wow! Fun in a completely different way than chess was!

Quite similar pattern via Chess, but my entry was Gettysburg.

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While I first played Samurai at a Meetup, my first large, bg-ing get together, I played a 3 hour game of Diplomacy, followed by a 3 hour game of Perikles... both didn't finish!
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Alison Mandible
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For me the real gateway was Space Alert.

I had gotten into Dominion a few years before that. But it didn't make me want to play other games-- it just made me want to play more Dominion! Many people tried to get me to enjoy their favorite game and failed.

Whereas I loved Space Alert but it also made me wonder what else I was missing.
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Chris F
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After many years of playing Risk and MTG I was introduced to proper gaming via Catan and Puerto Rico (which still remains one of my favourite games).

With my Kids its been Carcassonne and Munchkin (Definitely not one of my favourites) followed by Catan and Dominion
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Maarten D. de Jong
Netherlands
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Avalon Hill's Civilization. A great game to play and more to teach.
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Dianne N.
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Not necessarily a gateway game, but my first board game purchase after a lull of over 5 years, one that reminded me of why I prefer board games to video games, was Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game.
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No One
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At this point I try to tailor games to what I know about the person, this way their engagement comes from their interests and not the cardboard and plastic in front of them.

Gateway is a stupid concept belittling the intelligence of the people you're playing with, and the fact that it alludes to drugs makes it distasteful.

If the person wants to learn a game, they'll invest the time and effort to learn the game, and it won't matter how complex it is.

/endrant

~V
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Mark Iradian
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Veero wrote:

At this point I try to tailor games to what I know about the person, this way their engagement comes from their interests and not the cardboard and plastic in front of them.

Gateway is a stupid concept belittling the intelligence of the people you're playing with, and the fact that it alludes to drugs makes it distasteful.

If the person wants to learn a game, they'll invest the time and effort to learn the game, and it won't matter how complex it is.

/endrant

~V


To me, Gateway games are like coffee dates: Short to get to know the other person and see if it's worth going any further.

For example, I have "Deception" as a gateway game. However, if the person doesn't like the game after playing it because they don't find lying to be fun, all we did was spent 20 minutes on it as opposed to several hours of Dead of Winter or BSG.

Gateway games are good intro to variety of different mechanics that someone new to boardgaming might like within a reasonable timeframe. If they like a certain game because of the mechanics, then you can throw in something more meatier for them.


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Lazy Mountain

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Veero wrote:
...

Gateway is a stupid concept belittling the intelligence of the people you're playing with, and the fact that it alludes to drugs makes it distasteful.


Drugs neither originated nor hold a Monopoly vis-a-vis "gateway".

Quote:
a means of achieving a state or condition


A gateway to geekdom, to appreciation of games, to willingness to diversify and disconnect some time, understanding of a novel social interaction.

Don't let your bias towards drugs influence your acceptance of simple, common terminology. Gateway is an acceptance that change and new experiences are often difficult, a common human trait hardly tied to intelligence any more than hair length.
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Pete Lane
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Jorath wrote:
I have just been reading about somebody asking about twilight imperium as a beginner game and wondered what unusual games people have used as a gateway into modern gaming.


Actually that was the game for me. I went to college with this guy who was on the playtest team for TI3 and asked if I wanted to sit in on a couple of sessions. I agreed and while I didn't enjoy THAT game, it opened the door to the broader world of games. Ended up becoming a hardcore eurogamer after I was taught Puerto Rico and El Grande soon afterward.
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France
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Veero wrote:

At this point I try to tailor games to what I know about the person, this way their engagement comes from their interests and not the cardboard and plastic in front of them.

Gateway is a stupid concept belittling the intelligence of the people you're playing with, and the fact that it alludes to drugs makes it distasteful.

If the person wants to learn a game, they'll invest the time and effort to learn the game, and it won't matter how complex it is.

/endrant

~V


I was using gateway as means by which people get back into or into modern games and at no point mentioned they had to be simple games, in fact just the opposite I am interested in who has tried and succeeded with the most complex or unusual gateway.
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Mark Iradian
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Back on topic..

I used Viticulture and Scythe as "gateway" games before. These were against people who played computer games like Civilization or World of Warcraft, so "complex" rules were second nature to them.
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Glenn Massey
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Acquire. I played it for a hundred years since I was a kid and continued to play as an adult. It prepared me when I got back into the hobby after a long hiatus.

My re-introductions was Agricola!
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Finn Again
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I've had success introducing friends to Discworld: Ankh-Morpork.

Worth noting that I'm the only Discworld fan of the friends I've played with and yet everyone has praised the experience. It's a game of balance (and occasional chaos), and has a balanced measure of features. Requires consideration of other players but in a light and exciting accusatory way (You MUST be the Dragon King. You MUST!) Fun puzzle every time. Just don't take it too seriously, as with most games.

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Adrian Walker
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Mine was Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game, and I had, and still have no interest in the TV series or any of it's associated paraphernalia. Make of that what you will.
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Michael Edwards
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I was first introduced to the hobby when a friend of mine picked up Dungeon Run for his own introduction to gaming.
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