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Subject: Advice sought on best way to play games long-distance. rss

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Stuart Marsh
Australia
Melbourne
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Hi,

I'm due to move back to Australia from the UK soon, which is no bad thing , but since I have been back I have introduced my Dad to boardgaming, and he says he's really going to miss playing games with my Wife and I when we've gone. He lives on his own, so can't really play with anyone else. I have suggested a gaming group, but I'd love to be able to keep playing with him.

Time difference isn't a problem, but he's not amazingly computer literate, so I don't want anything too technical. If I can set something up for him before I go and/or demonstrate it, he'll be fine.

I constantly buy new games (who doesn't!) and introduce them to him, which I'd love to keep doing, but realistically I'd be happy just to be able to play games he likes.

I have considered the following, but wanted to get thoughts on your experience of using them for long-distance gaming, and if there's anything I've missed?

Skype
Tabletopia
Tabletop Simulator
Vassel
IPads

For reference, the games he would want to play are:

Viticulture EE
Puerto Rico
Dixit
Innovation
Jaipur
Ticket to Ride (any version)
Lewis & Clark
Terraforming Mars
Castles of Burgundy
Keyflower
anything Co-Op, in particular Pandemic and Spirit Island

Thanks!

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Cannon Wolf
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I can't speak for the other games, but Ticket to Ride on steam is excellent and goes for a great price when on sale, which is pretty regularly.
I don't think setting him up with a Steam account should be too hard; even better if you can do it in person.
 
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John B
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
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I would also suggest IPad or tablets since many popular games have apps. They keep them simple and you can connect to friends and other players for games.

I cannot speak for others but I have played the free Ticket to Ride app, on my kindle fire, into oblivion alone and with friends across the state.
 
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April W
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If you set up an account for him on https://en.boardgamearena.com/ and show him how to use it, it might be a viable option. They have several of the games you mentioned, such as: Puerto Rico, Jaipur, Lewis & Clark and Keyflower.

I have Ticket to Ride on steam and quite nice. I know there are also apps available and I'm sure you could set him up on the ipad or computer without much trouble.

Playing over the phone or Skype can be done for many games as well, it can just get a little tedious. I would think your best choices would be perfect information games (like Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small), where only one of you would have a copy and the other would explain what they wanted to do. Or if you both had copies you could mirror each other's actions. I once played a game of Firefly: The Game this way over the phone (we explained each move to each other, then mimicked it on our own board). I haven't played Dixit, but I think something visual like that would be pretty easy to play over Skype.
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Trevor Taylor
United Kingdom
FARINGDON
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Saintstu wrote:


Skype
Tabletopia
Tabletop Simulator
Vasseal
IPads

So of these. If he's not IT literate. Only Skype and Ipad are really viable options. Vassal is a bear to learn and not really 'user friendly'. TT and TS are both basically physics engines with game components in mind. None of the game rules are applied. So again teaching him how to use these will likely be frustrating and difficult.

Skype is absolutely the easiest (if he's got a reasonable sized screen and you have a good HD video camera/webcam. However, you are then limited to only games with no hidden information. So of the below, only Puerto Rico, CoB and Keyflower would apply. For the co-op games they would both work. But if he's remote on Skype for something like Pandemic, you'll find it's quite easy to almost play without him (makes becoming an alpha player even harder to resist if you're moving his piece for him!).

iPad, he would at least have to get used to each game app, but they will often have good tutorials and of cou

For these.

Viticulture EE - A digital version of this was mentioned by the Designer in the past. i don't know if this is still happening? Scythe is still going ahead.

Puerto Rico - https://en.boardgamearena.com/#!gamepanel?game=puertorico runs this well. The iPad app is of course very good.

Dixit - You can play the base game only here http://www.boiteajeux.net/index.php?p=regles

Innovation - I believe you CAN play this online here, but not sure how user friendly it is. https://innovation.isotropic.org/

Jaipur - http://www.yucata.de/en/GameInfo/Jaipur also the iPad app is good

Ticket to Ride (any version) - I would chose the app for this every time

Lewis & Clark - I've not tried it but all of the implementation of games on here I have tried have been great. https://en.boardgamearena.com/#!gamepanel?game=lewisclark

Terraforming Mars - Not possible yet, but Asmodee have announced they'll release an app next year.

Castles of Burgundy - On a couple of platforms, but I prefer it on http://www.yucata.de/en/GameInfo/CastlesOfBurgundy

Keyflower - I found the app a little hard to follow actions at times, but it is here. https://en.boardgamearena.com/#!gamepanel?game=keyflower

anything Co-Op, in particular Pandemic and Spirit Island - Certainly the iPad app for Pandemic
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Cameron Harris
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I've played Pandemic Legacy remotely. Used a NEST webcam above the board. Skype for seeing the other players. And set up my own version of the board at home.

It actually worked quite well!

However, games with hidden information would be damn near impossible to do remotely given how hard it would be to share what cards a person draws without potentially revealing them to the rest of the table!
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Stuart Marsh
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Thanks to everyone for your advice.
 
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Kate U
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Limes: just split the tiles before you go. You could do a text only tile number exchange, then even just do photos to total up the points.
 
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I'm not sure if this'll exceed the "not amazingly computer literate" barrier, but still worth a try none of the less....
if he can get onto a specific cloud server to access a spreadsheet (something you'll need to set up, like Google Office via Google Sheets, or Microsoft's One Drive), then you guys could get in on a game of Roll Roll Through the Ages: The Iron Age

The file is here...
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/149281/roll-through-a...

sample screenshot of an earlier version, with expansion...


Notes:
--if you use Google, you may lose some of the formatting. Plus, I've never tried this on Google Sheets
--The file is for the solitaire game. You'll have to make some changes for use in a 2p setting, but shouldn't be too bad

--ignore the expansion tab until you'd like to try that out


Alternatively, the actual game would lend itself well to the long distance gaming format. One of you with the copy can be in charge of filling out the sheet, updating the board, and rolling the dice. While we're at it... King Of Tokyo/New York, should be quite suitable as well!
 
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