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Subject: Catan like game for casuals...description below rss

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Gergely Papp
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Hello,

I am looking for some recommendations for games.

My family likes to play games on family gathering with parents girlfriends etc. We have Settlers of Catan and all the expansions as well. But I am looking to buy some new games as well.

I figured what I really like in Catan that it is enjoable for everyone. I usually do ok in it, but I still don't have the feel that i don't wanna finish the game when I am losing. Also I haven't played much other games yet, but I love that luck is not a big factor in it. You can somewhat calculate your chances, and plan your strategy accordingly. And even wven when you are behind you have chances to recover as you can win by collecting points in many way.

Also as mentioned we usually play at family gatherings so the game should not be extremely hardcore. It can be a bit more complex than Catan as long as it can be learned in a few test games and it is enjoyable afterwards.

So long story short, can you guys recommend some games that are:
1. strategic
2. not luck based
3. you can still enjoy it when you are behind
4. you can win the game in many aspects that fit your style the most
5. can be learned in a few trial games and it is enjoyable afterwards

As you see I am not really describing the genre or the theme of the game, but the feeling I am expecting from a boardgame that makes it "good" for me. i appreciate all recommendations and will search for reviews based on that.

Thanks for your effort if you've read it.
 
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Andrew Johnson
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Derby
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How many players do you want to accommodate?
 
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Julien
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Not very original but Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride: Europe, Fresco
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Ravage Board Gaming
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Bristol
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Takenoko

Awww, look at the widdle panda!

Play with the variant where you get points for sets of different objectives met to stop everyone just taking Panda objectives.
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Where's The Board?
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Lords of Waterdeep

Just casually use your arm to cover up the words Dungeons & Dragons as you're opening the box.

Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure
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James C
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Here's a few you might look into.

Stockpile
Gold West
Quadropolis
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Robert Zorko
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Maybe you could spice thinks up a bit with a coop game.

I realize you didn't ask for them, but in my experience people (non gameras) are usually shocked by the idea of playing together against the game and I had tons of positive experiences that way.

The usual choise would be Pandemic (if you want the best experience with only one box Pandemic: Iberia is best in my opinion, but it'll probably never get any expansions, while regular pandemic already has a lot of them...). Pandemic is very easy to learn, but you can certainly become much better at it with experience, so it does reward strategic play and it has different difficulty settings, so it can alway provide a challange meeple


But if you would want a completely different experience check out Mysterium. This one isn't really strategic, but still great fun and can play up to 7 (though those games can be caotic and the ghost player is a bit under presssure to prepare hints for all investigators, so they shouldn't overthink it...)

EDIT: a probably big plus for coops is that noone is behind, so everyone is involved untill the end
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Gergely Papp
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4-6 usually
 
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Challie Coppel
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Ticket to Ride: Europe
Royals
The Castles of Burgundy
Karuba
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Dan
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For 4-6 players, I would recommend:

Alhambra build your own little city
Diamant push your luck game for 4-8 players. Really fun :)
TransAmerica - fun railroad themed game. Try to be the first person to connect your 5 cities. Much quicker than TTR.
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Germany
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P3G3 wrote:
1. strategic
2. not luck based
3. you can still enjoy it when you are behind
4. you can win the game in many aspects that fit your style the most
5. can be learned in a few trial games and it is enjoyable afterwards

I think Agricola: Family Edition checks all these bullet points.
 
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Momo Momo
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I admit it's been a while since I last played, but has Catan changed in the last few years? How is luck not a big factor in the game?
 
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Gergely Papp
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Luck is still a factor in Catan but compared to other games i have played such as Risk, it is way less. And I found that pretty enjoyable. That is why i am looking for a game where luck is even less of a factor.

Also i visited a local gameshop yesterday. I have talked a bit with the guy there and he suggested me 7 Wonders and Smallworld to check out. What do you guys think about these? To be honest 7 Wonders seems like a fun family game to me that fulfill most of my criteria.
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Dan
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7 wonders is a great choice :-)

And because everyone is drafting simultaneously, very little downtime.
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Dutch

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Ethnos - Set collecting/drafting similar to Ticket to Ride with some area control thrown in. It can play extremely fast once everyone gets used to it.
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Gergely Papp
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Thank you guys for all the recommendations.

After all the suggestions and reviews I have purchased both 7 Wonders and Ethnos. So everything is ready for some boardgaming
 
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Jesse
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Glad you found some games to buy. I would have given a +1 to Royals. It sounds just like what you are looking for. My next recommendation would have been Concordia.
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Phil Hendrickson
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Another +1 to Royals and Stockpile.

Also take a look at Downforce. Even people who don't like racing enjoy how this simple game works. It is so much fun manipulating everyone else's cars and betting on who will win.
 
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Thomas M
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While it appears to be a lot heavier than Catan I have successfully moved casual players to Power Grid.

For me the key element of not feeling the urge to give up is fulfilled by giving all the advantages to the last player. At the very least it gives you the feeling of options to catch up. Going first can be a great mood-booster.

Another game to consider is Camel Up.
In that game you never really "get behind", and if you do you never know as the scoring is kept secret until the end. If you are good at keeping scores you can sort of know how you stand, but you can then just play to end the game quickly and stress the others that way.
 
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