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Paolo Pinkel
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Hello everyone this is my first post here . Over the holidays i played some Settlers of Catan with my cousins and it reinfused the fire. I went home and me and my girlfriend started watching some youtube reviews of games of the past years and then went on to spntaniously buy Kingdom Builder as it was on a discount and started playing.

So here is what i own - which is not a lot

Kingdom Builder - interesting game and i like that it can be explained while setting up and set up itself just takes 5 minutes. However i feel i need to buy at least one expansion because the interactions seem a bit limited.

Tzolkin + Expansion - Like this game a lot. Different ways to win with a very good mechanism. I did teach it to 6 people last year and half of them drifted away during the first game. I think it's rather hard to grasp all the concepts on the first playthrough.

Settlers of Catan / Dominion - technically my parents own them with the first 5 expansions each. Played them a ton and now i am kind of burned out on these two.

That's it! Lot's of room for improvement. I personally would love to try out games like Mage Knight but i'm not sure if i can convince other people around me to play it. I plan on buying 7 Wonders Duel to have some go-to game when i play alone with my girlfriend.

So this is what i'm looking for:

Players: 3-4

Difficulty: To me personally it doesn't really matter but if i explain a game for 30 minutes it should be at least a bit rewarding for new players as well so they don't regret it if they don't win.

Theme / Genre: Anything goes!

Thanks for everything!
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Challie Coppel
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The Castles of Burgundy
Blood Rage
7 Wonders
Istanbul
Ticket to Ride: Europe
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Denmark
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Yeah I would consider getting a few more games under my belt before tackling Mage Knight.
Co-op's(players team up vs a game ai) usually plays well with 2 if you want something to play with youre girlfriend:

Pandemic is a classic, though I prefer the Cthulhu version for the art and theme.

The Big Book of Madness is a light deckbuilder with a harry potter inspired theme.

Dead of Winter: The Long Night is an excellent zombie survival game, especially if you enjoy shows like the walking dead.
It's younger brother Dead of Winter is a little easier to grasp for a new gamer, but The Long Night are better for 2 players.

Really there's a ton of games you could get, but maybe consider getting a
game with a theme you're girlfriend would enjoy if you want her to warm up to the hobby.






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Alexandre Santos
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welcome to BGG!

I don't know where you live, but I would urge you to attend a club/meet up/games café in order to test games before you buy them. This will allow you to try loads of games before you actually decide on what to buy, leading to a more informed decision.

If none of that exists in your play, try to find fellow gamers, as they are likely to have extensive collections that you could play.

Happy gaming!
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Peter Knapp
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Every collection needs Carcassonne, not very heavy, but works with different groups...

Do you like any particular themes? There are a few good ones from Star Wars/LotR and the like which are deeper and fun too...
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baboon baboonov
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pedro_ak wrote:
Every collection needs Carcassonne, not very heavy, but works with different groups...

Nopeyuk
It is a nice gateway game, and that's about it.
Fell pretty flat with my friends- mostly because they already knew better games

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Peter Knapp
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baboonov wrote:
pedro_ak wrote:
Every collection needs Carcassonne, not very heavy, but works with different groups...

Nopeyuk
It is a nice gateway game, and that's about it.
Fell pretty flat with my friends- mostly because they already knew better games



Haha... it has fit well into the category of people who don't play games, people who wouldn't get much from a game with lots of reading, nice chilled game over in less than an hour, multi language groups... it ticks many boxes personally and I still enjoy playing it with different groups...


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Michael Schneider
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Cataras wrote:
I personally would love to try out games like Mage Knight but i'm not sure if i can convince other people around me to play it.

[...]

So this is what i'm looking for:

Players: 3-4


I wouldn't recommend Mage Knight with more than 2 players since it really starts to drag. Normally Mage Knight is played 1-2 players...at least that's what everybody says. I tried a 3 player game once and I won't do that again. Can't imagine somebody playing this with the max. count of 7 now...
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Daniel
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I would recommend:

Orléans
Istanbul
Mission: Red Planet
Pandemic
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Radu Stanculescu
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Challie Coppel gives a great list there. Pandemic has also been thrown around, I wholeheartedly agree with it.

A few more recommendations:

Light games:
- King of Tokyo - rolling dice and taking names. Fun and not much more than that. I got its "sequel", King of New York, but in the end I think I prefer King of Tokyo better.
- Camel Up - another game where dice play a big role, but it's very enjoyable and you don't worry that much about good or bad luck.
- Codenames was mentioned before, but I'd recommend Codenames: Pictures instead. No language dependence, people can make up whatever clues they want, you're not "blocked" if you don't know a certain word.

Medium games:
- Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King - works best with more players, I wouldn't play with 2. Very replayable due to having lots of scoring tiles, only 4 of which are used each game.
- Small World - Risk-like game, with more strategy, less luck, and variable powers. Lots of conflict though (that's all that it is), so if players hold grudges it's best to stay away from it. Great with more than 2 players, though I have played it with 2 a few times.
- Castles of Mad King Ludwig and/or Suburbia. Now that I think of it Isle of Skye is somewhat similar to these (building your own city), so you might want to see some reviews and get just one of them to start. Suburbia probably works best with 2 players out of these three.

Heavier games:
- Terraforming Mars - one of last year's great successes. Theme works quite well for a euro, there's quite a lot of interaction too though little of it is "take that". There are a couple of expansions already out, but even without them it is very replayable. Works well with 2 players too.
- The Voyages of Marco Polo - has dice, but since you roll them at the beginning of the round, you can plan ahead much better than in other older dice games. Larger numbers aren't always better either.
- Concordia - strategic with very little randomness involved (cards are added to a display the way new buildings appear in Tzolk'in). The mechanisms are pretty straightforward, the only thing that's not very obvious on first play is how to take advantage of the scoring system. If you end up wanting more variety, I suggest adding the Concordia: Salsa expansion.

Games that work well with 2:
- Targi - only for 2p. Neat little worker placement game, though not sure how replayable. (Have only played it once so far.)
- Agricola - with drafting it is IMO one of the best 2p games out there. It's pretty heavy and being blocked out of your actions can have catastrophic consequences, so if you like less stressful games maybe try Le Havre instead.
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Felipe Hernández
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I would suggest three things:
1. Start with the top ranked games [geekurl=https://boardgamegeek.com/browse/boardgame][/geekurl] (as those are the ones that statistically people like the most); then filter them by playing time, player count, weight, mechanics, theme, etc.; and then go to the numerous reviews, comments, etc.
2. You probably want to start with a good spread of game types, so that you have can have something for different situations. So try to come up with personalized categories (e.g., gateway, party, co-ops, multi-session/campaign-driven, heavy strategic conflict, 1v1, etc.).
3. Try at first not to choose several games that would fit the same category/niche as you might end up not providing enough diversity and, on the other hand, you might end up neglecting some. E.g., we have owned several dungeon crawlers (Mice and Mystics, Star Wars: Imperial Assault, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shadows of the Past, and Gloomhaven) and only one has received the attention it deserves due to our time constraints .
 
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Peter Norton
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My suggestion would be to actually not purchase any games , at least not in the short term, but try to find someone either in your circle of friends or at a FLGS who does have those games that you are talking about and see if they are willing to play those games with you to be sure that they are games that you would want to own yourself. I too have fallen victim to the thinking that "It ranks so high on BGG that it must be good!" and it ends up sitting on a shelf, or worse yet, opened and played and then sold later when I did not enjoy it.

If you do insist on just buying games, I would probably recommend buying one or two at a time, maybe every month or two and playing them multiple times to try and see if there is some style of game or mechanic that you feel like you are missing out on and searching out games that fill those voids.

and to add my .02, I don't own Carcassonne because the scoring is abhorrent to me and would much rather play a digital version that scored the game for me rather than struggle like a monkey doing a math problem after playing it myself.
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Ryan Freels
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Play Kingdom Builder a few more times before you judge it. It has so much variability that it does not need an expansion. I have one expansion and I do not use it much. You could get the Capital expansion from the geekstore if you want more fighting for locations.

Smallworld (or Underground) is great for 2-5, and works well at 2-4. You do not need any expansions.

Pandemic Cthulu is slightly easier than the regular due to trading in the region instead of the individual city. It plays well 2-4.

Roll for the Galaxy is fun for 2-4, though better with 3-4.

Dream Home is a very light drafting game that I played a lot during the year. It is quick enough that you can play it again if people want to. At the end of it you have a pretty home to look at, so it is enjoyable even if you don't win.

Sushi-go (or Party) is a great quick drafting game with such adorable sushi.

Terror in Meeple City is hand down the best monster smashing game. I wanted to like King of Tokyo (monster yahtzee), but TiMC destroys it!

For the puzzle/tetris itch I have 3 suggestions:
Patchwork for two (my wife loves this). Even better with the buttons in the geekstore to replace the cardboard ones in the box.

Barenpark for 3-4. It has a lot of replay with the boards and choosing 3 of 10 objectives.

Expo 1906 for 2-4 heavier planning. This one still surprises me each time I play it. It takes a lot of brain power the first few turns to get used to the idea of placing resources and projects, and then speeds up at the end when people try to end the game and win. One player went for the end game points and was in third when he ended the game, but then won after those end game points.
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Ahmet U
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As you have already experienced with Tzolkin, it is about finding the balance with what you like and what your game group can accommodate.

My suggestion is to check the gateway classics like Ticket to Ride, Lords of Waterdeep etc. rather than a heavy game which you might find no one to play with. Several popular games also have digital versions for cheap ($5 or so), so you can check those out before buying the actual game.
 
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Pier-Olivier
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Those are easy to teach and to play:

Century: spice road
Imhotep
Takenoko

 
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L B
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My best advice to you would be:

1) Read forums and watch reviews and game play throughs to get a feel for a game or ideas on what you like.

2) Try or buy what interests you.

Find gaming groups or board game cafes. See about trading, borrowing, or renting games. Look online at places like Yucata where you can try the game. Make use of phone, tablet and Steam implementations of the game as an inexpensive way to get a feel for things.

3) Note what mechanics/styles/themes you like and what gets played most. Focus on those. I can't emphasize this enough. Unless you have a lot of money and time, the best games for you are the ones that will hit the table. As much as I might be interested in deeply thematic, high strategy, heavy games with low luck that go on for hours, what hits the table most in my house are short, light, 2 player games. My collection reflects that. I have to make a conscious effort to not overbuy big epic games, but focus on the "under 60 minutes, 2-2.5 game weight" because that is a sweet spot for my husband and we don't have much time to play board games.

4) Go slow when building your collection. Play the games you have before buying more.


As for Carcassonne. Yes, I own it. No, I'm not a fan. However, my husband loves it. I'd tend to agree that Carc and/or Ticket to Ride are solid choices when building a collection, particularly if you will be playing with people new to the hobby.
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James Goldring
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+1 for the recommendation to visit your local game store, and / or local gaming group(s).

+1 too, for not buying anything right away.

The reality is that everyone has an opinion - but it's the impartial opinion that will best serve you. I can tell you too that I think Carcassonne should be a cornerstone of most collections. Inevitably, someone will come along to dispute it.

Instead, I'll leave you with 2 recommendations:
First, consider BGG's rankings. - Not the actual ranking in terms of where is stands vs other games, but its other rankings... Visit the page for any game & within its heading you'll see a community ranking (just below the # of players) that suggests the ideal number of players. For example, yes Love Letter plays with 2, but most within the community recognize it's best played with 3-4 players. The heading also offers a weight designation /5... I think that's a very important indicator of how difficult a game might be to teach, who might actually play with you, how often, and whether or not you might even like the game. I know 2 people who have Mage Knight Board Game, but as a heavier game, they don't play it very often, if at all.

Second, consider the purpose of the game - what niche will it fill in your collection? Maybe Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure is the only deck-building game you need... Maybe Lords of Waterdeep is the only worker placement game you need. Consider adding a filler to your collection - something quick like No Thanks! to play before a feature game. Consider a game best played with 2 players - like Jaipur, one for 5+ like Coup. Keep in mind that not everyone is a gamer... so having something accessible to non-gamers is essential - like Catan.

Regardless, the best game purchased is the game that gets played. Take your time, and buy what's right for you, when you know it's the right game for you.


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American in Chile
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I agree with the advice to play Kingdom Builder a few more times.

When we play, I mix the eight sectors together face down, then someone else chooses a sector a random, then location and orientation, and then flips it over. That way, the board is randomly different each time. Then I shuffle the goal cards and deal out three, determining the goals for that game, which sometimes conflict, giving us an opportunity to figure out how to maximize our points and/or block each other.

We have the Big Box, but we haven't yet needed to incorporate any of the expansions, except for the fifth set of pieces.
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Kenny Johnson
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Tullis wrote:

Yeah I would consider getting a few more games under my belt before tackling Mage Knight.
Co-op's(players team up vs a game ai) usually plays well with 2 if you want something to play with youre girlfriend:

Pandemic is a classic, though I prefer the Cthulhu version for the art and theme.

The Big Book of Madness is a light deckbuilder with a harry potter inspired theme.

Dead of Winter: The Long Night is an excellent zombie survival game, especially if you enjoy shows like the walking dead.
It's younger brother Dead of Winter is a little easier to grasp for a new gamer, but The Long Night are better for 2 players.

Really there's a ton of games you could get, but maybe consider getting a
game with a theme you're girlfriend would enjoy if you want her to warm up to the hobby.




I agree with Tullis that Mage Knight might be a little much for a new group at first. I always suggest Ticket to Ride and Splendor. The Long Night and Pandemic are both fantastic games. Also Qwixx and Forbidden Island get played a lot at my house, and the nice thing is that they're cheaper, too.
Best of luck!

 
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Kirk Roberts
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Socat82 wrote:
My suggestion would be to actually not purchase any games , at least not in the short term, but try to find someone either in your circle of friends or at a FLGS who does have those games that you are talking about and see if they are willing to play those games with you to be sure that they are games that you would want to own yourself. I too have fallen victim to the thinking that "It ranks so high on BGG that it must be good!" and it ends up sitting on a shelf, or worse yet, opened and played and then sold later when I did not enjoy it.

If you do insist on just buying games, I would probably recommend buying one or two at a time, maybe every month or two and playing them multiple times to try and see if there is some style of game or mechanic that you feel like you are missing out on and searching out games that fill those voids.

I wish I could upvote this one million times. Great advice that everyone new to hobby board games should consider.
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Paolo Pinkel
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First of all thanks for the overwhelming response and sorry for the late reply.

A lot of people suggested to look for a place to tryout the games too and i think i will do that.

Kingdom Builder will definitely be played more. I think the game has a lot of hidden tactics that need to be discovered.

As for now i guess i will just buy 7 Wonders Duel as i really like the theme. Through the Ages seems amazing, same as Blood Rage. However, will try to play/test these games somewhere before investing this much. These games are quite pricey in Germany.

Maybe Lords of Waterdeep is a lighter version of worker placement than Tzolkin? The objective appears to be a bit more straight forward. I really like the worker placement mechanic so it would be good to have something to win over more players when Tzolkin feels too complicated.

And after that Pandemic will be on the list. Never played any coop games before so this might be much better suited than Mage Knight as an introduction.
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Robin Banks
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Lords of Waterdeep, Stone Age, Viticulture and Champions of Midgard are all worker-placement games that are easier than Tzolkin. Personally I love Viticulture even though the theme isn't very exciting.

Pandemic is a solid recommendation. Everybody seems to love it, and it's how I managed to rope my SO in to board games.

Like people have said: do not play Mage Knight with more than two (unless everyone is SUPER experienced). Also, Mage Knight is about as far from an introduction you can get without steering into wargame country. It's a truly beautiful design but definitely NOT for everyone.

I'll just throw Scythe into the mix as well. I like it - and it's gorgeous
 
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