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Ruben Noronha
Portugal
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Hi everyone!! For the last few months I’ve been trying to introduce a couple of friends to board gaming. Very simple ones like Carcassonne or Catan. But they still seem not to enjoy it. They’ve been telling me they would like to know more about board games but they seem not to enjoy these simple ones. All they like is about chess, dominoes, checkers, poker, dice and regular decks of cards. So I was wondering... and this is where I need your help... do you guys know any good strategy game that may actually combine some of these elements? Maybe cards and dice, or dice and dominoes, or maybe all of them together? It would be great to have some ideas. Maybe I could even buy some tokens or miniatures, pawns, meeples to go along and make everything more interesting. Maybe I can start from there... and then maybe introduce them to some simple strategy games using cards and dice... don’t know if I made myself clear. Anyways thanks so much in advance for all your suggestions
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James Clarke
United Kingdom
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Poker Dice sort of strategy game - Dice Town.
Dominoes sort of strategy game - Kingdomino.
Abstract strategy game (excellent, but has none of the elements you list) - Azul.
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Russ Williams
Poland
Wrocław
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Tile Chess (clever boardless chess (like Hive) for 2-6 players)
Knightmare Chess (third edition) (chess with special action cards, but it's only 2-player)
 
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Ruben Noronha
Portugal
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Ok thank you for your suggestions. Is Azul a really good game?i have read reviews but never spoke to anyone who has played it
 
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Antonie van der Tweel
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I can understand why someone would not like Catan...., and Carcasonne I would not recommend as an introductory game. But for chessplayers, try 4-handed chess, like Vendetta; also I had quite some success with Tile Chess (mentioned above); less so with Knight Mare. Dominoplayers: try Cartagena. Cardplayers: Sherlock Holmes, the Card Game (re-issued (I Think) as I say Holmes, by VP games?) There are tons of introductory card games; ask them what theme they'd like.
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Harv Veerman
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Zoetermeer
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Favor of the Pharaoh

Dice, lots of them.
Basically Yahtzee-like gameplay, but allows you to purchase power-up cards.
 
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BagOTricks
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Maybe try something like The Duke. It is very chess-like and might bridge the gap somewhat for someone used to more traditional gaming.
 
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James Clarke
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rubzn852 wrote:
Ok thank you for your suggestions. Is Azul a really good game?i have read reviews but never spoke to anyone who has played it


Azul is currently ranked #1 Family Game and #1 Abstract Game on Boardgamegeek, but I assume you already noticed that. I suppose this confirms Azul to be 'really good'.
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Dan
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+1 kingdomino

If they like the push your luck element of poker, try Incan gold

Bluffing and deduction: the boss card game

Liar's dice is another good one

And betting on trivia: wits and wagers
 
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Chris F
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+1 Favor of the Pharaoh- not one of my personal favourites but if they like lots of dice then this is perfect
+1 Liar Dice (Perudo) - great fun filler game. Always goes do well with any one we play with.


 
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Mrs. "I pity the fool" T
United States
Jefferson County (close enough)
Wisconsin
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Maybe they just prefer abstracts.

You could always get some Looney Pyramids. Then you can play a lot of different abstracts and then slowly work your way into the more thematic Pyramid games.
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Klaus Gunther Herzog
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Torrance
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Here are some awesome games you can get right into with standard bits & pieces...

Euronimoes (dominoes)

Flower Power (two sets of double-nine dominoes and a drawn grid/board)

Arimaa (a chess set)

Lines of Action (checkers & board)

Chase (some dice and a hex grid board)

Amazons (technically chess queens but pawns will do, some coins or pucks, and officially a 10x10 grid board, but playing 9x9 on the intersections not spaces of a chess board works too.)

Then of course there's the quasi famous dicefest that I never particularly cared for (but it's worth looking at for Yahtzee fans), the ONLY "freebie" by Reiner Knizia, Decathlon
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Tomer Mlynarsky
Israel
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Samurai Spirit is a fantasy co-op version Black Jack.

If they are into Poker they might like that.

EDIT : Oops, linked to the wrong game
 
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David op De Beeck
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Try Tulip Bubble. It's very easy to teach and it's pretty deep with a lot to concider. It's a cardgame with speculation on a tulip market (auction) where prices fluctuate both in predictable and unpredicatble ways so it has both push your luck as well as reading and tracking your opponents and playing a good investment game. Some set collection too and getting there before others snatch it away.
Takes little bit over an hour to play with 3 to 5 players. Very interesting game and given the games they like they might enjoy it as it is very interactive.
It's a totally different experience from games like Catan and Carcassonne.
 
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Thomas M
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Chess, dominoes, and poker...

Those are not light games at all (except maybe dominoes). What they have in common though is that most adults know them.

Could it be that they just dislike having to "learn a new game"?
If that is the case that could explain their response of referring to "known games".

I have the same thing with my parents and sister+family. My sister have probably gifted me the most games of all my family members over the years, but we have never played any of them together. She (and my brother in law) simply do not have any interest in themed games whatsoever. They play mainstream social and quiz games and the oldies (Yahtzee, etc.) so they like games, but do not want to learn complex rules or relate to tons of game components.

You should look at some of the many articles on "gateway games". Most of these have the property of building on known game concepts and introducing very few new things compared to what people are used to from mainstream games. Or they are extremely simple and fun so that explaining the rules takes 10 seconds and the reward is quick.

The deeper board games, be it euros or ameritrash, is an acquired taste. Learning to love them takes some effort, and some people are just not willing to spend it.
 
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KB Shimmyo
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Seconding avdtweel's response, I can see why people might not like Catan and Carcassonne without necessarily disliking the unfamiliar components. Here are a couple questions/suggestions first:

1) Can you take them to a boardgame cafe or someplace you can try a bunch of games with different mechanics/themes/art without purchasing them? They may even browse and find something appealing themselves.

This would also give them a sense of the broad spectrum of boardgames that exist. Without a boardgame cafe, I suppose you could go to a boardgame store and have them browse the box backs to get that awareness.

2) How are you explaining the game rules to them? You can tie some aspects of modern boardgames in with phenomena in classic boardgames. For example, frequently there's player interaction analogous to that in Chinese checkers - blocking another player without doing damage.

I'd go for giving them a taste of many different games, so a lot of these suggestions have cards that aren't standard playing cards. I second the suggestions of Kingdomino and Perudo.

- Drafting games -
Roll Player
Sagrada - pretty, and adjacency restrictions
7 Wonders

- Take-that -
The Red Dragon Inn and the many stand-alone expansions

- Abstract strategy
Onitama - 2p, closest to chess
Hive
Blokus - polyominoes with the Chinese-checkers blocking dynamic.

- Co-operative
Forbidden Desert

- Another really nice quick gateway game is Tsuro
 
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