Patha
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There's a small gaming group at work that occasionally gets together to play Settlers of Catan. People like it because it's easy to pick up yet very strategic, and it usually runs between 1.5 to 2 hours long. With the expansion we can play up to 6 and if there are more folks we break into 2 games. We're looking for another game with similar characteristics that won't go over 2 hours (more than 2 hours and I think we'd start losing people). Any suggestions? Thanks.
 
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Hedyn Brand
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Since I can't get it out of my head or The Hotness bar on the left, I'll just recommend Scythe. It's the easy choice nowadays :P

-5 players out of the box
-7 players with the first expansion
-A few minutes setup time, but faction selections are randomised (no fighting over who gets to play what!)
-Sticks fairly closely within its promised play time range when all know the rules
-Optional AI player for solo play or possibly to time-limit the game further (gains stars automatically on specific turns, ends game no matter how much a human player tries to delay it after a specific number of turns)
-The second half of a player's turn is actually done while the next player begins the first half, saving some time
-Strategically meaningful choices
-Nice components
-Easier to learn than it looks
-Less violent than you'd think
-It's actually fun

With 7 players it may get crowded around the map, but they thought of that too. You can buy an add-on which is used with the backside of the map for a larger version. Pretty efficient.
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Kevin Garnica
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No disrespect to the first responder, but Scythe is a terrible option. It has a lot of moving parts despite them being simple, it's still a lot to ponder on your turn, which will add to the playtime for people who are accustomed to the depth/complexity ratio of Catan.

I'd recommend Small World instead. It does similar things to Catan AND Scythe, but in a manageable amount of time, and without the complexity, and fiddly setup time.
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Carel Teijgeler
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Perhaps Veritas: no cards, no dice, mankala type of movement, simple rules, plays up to 6.
 
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Mark McGee
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Elfenroads is a similar complexity as Catan, but is completely different. Plays up to 6 and the latest edition has a bunch of expansions included (which I recommend skipping until everyone is familiar with the basic game).
 
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Eric Matthews
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5-6 is my favorite player count, and because my group can be chatty I'm constantly looking for that 5-6 player game that is actually under two hours.

Role selection games tend to do this well:
Citadels - classic role selection game, can be very mean
Libertalia -pirate game with role selection, a bit of set collection)
Mission Red Planet - area control and role selection with pretty light space theme

Some light but not quite party games that work at 6 and are about an hour for when you want it light
Jamaica- light pirate racing game
Camel up- super silly and light
King of Tokyo/ or New York - essentially Kaiju Yahtzee so lotsa dice, and pretty light
Skulls (or even liars dice for that matter)

Worker placement games that hit 6 well (these will run you awfully close to 2 hours and can easily tip over that time if you have AP players or chatty players)- these are in order or real expected playtime
Lords of Waterdeep-- I think you need the expansion to play 6 with this
Viticulture --highly recommend either essential version or with Tuscany eleven for your first play
Carson City- western worker P - this one will absolutely go over 2 hours the first time you play, but it can get down to under 2

Deception: Murder in Hong Kong - great deduction/1 vs many game that SHOULD be done well within 1 hour especially if someone actually manages the time as they should

Code Names - really falls into the party game category, but since it absolutely plays best at 6, it needs to be mentioned

Bohnanza- classic trading beans card game- it can feel a bit long at 6 as ANY game with negotiations can drag on if players drag out the negotiation part. But then again so can settlers for that same reason.

Cosmic Encounter is great at 6- but depending on set-up and players 6 can get real close to 2 and run over.





While scythe can certainly be played in under 2 hours I suspect it's a little above the weight and time in real life for 6 players for your group. We can ALMOST get it in under 2 hours when there are 5 of us, when we make a real effort to keep everything moving, but like I said we're chatty.
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Patha
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Thanks for the replies - some good ideas and many games I haven't heard of. What about Ticket to Ride or New York 1901?
 
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Hedyn Brand
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pathagobi wrote:
What about Ticket to Ride

You either love it or hate it. My extended family never tires though. Study its forum carefully for recommended sets to start with!
 
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Jason Kelly
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My family started with catan. We then moved to ticket to ride and Jamaica. We love them both.
 
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Karan R
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Tammany Hall is a favorite low-complexity, sufficiently deep, interactive, 90minute 4-5p game for my group
 
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