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Subject: If you have a couple over that's new to gaming... rss

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Ken
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We're having a couple over that is fairly new to gaming, at least some of the less main-stream type games. They want game that scale well starting with 2 players so they can play. I have some games in mind but need help with the order of which to introduce first then next and so on.

I was thinking:
1) Azul - Simple rules but has strategy
2) Splendor - Teaches engine building but keeps it light and a little random. I nice break after the more dry/serious Azul
3) Ticket to Ride - A classic bridge/intro game
4) Dinosaur Island - This caught the wife's eye. Play it while the interest is there
5) Carcasssone - Just not sure. It is back to something easier, strategy wise, if you don't have or play with the expansion.

Of course since she showed an interest in Dinosaur Island we could start there. They are smart people, we're just not sure of their level of gaming?

What are your thoughts?
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Mike Vande Ven Jr.
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Dinosaur Island is quite complex. It's not even in the ballpark of the other games you mention. My core group of gamers struggled through the first game, had an ok grasp in the second. Still not really comfortable.

The others are all good options. I would probably do

1 - Splendor. I think it's the easiest of your bunch.
2 - Azul. Great abstract that everyone we have played with picks up well.
3 - Carcassone. Introduction to meeples and more long term strategies.
4 - Ticket to Ride. A bit more complex than the first three since there are a number of things going on.
...
Way later - Dinosaur Island.

Alternatively, just play Dinos with yourself and your wife for now.
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Jimmy Smith
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Personally, I would skip TtR and Carcassonne.

Maybe try Codenames and show them the Duet version as well? Santorini and Tales of Arabian Nights would be interesting to consider as well, depending what they like in a game.
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Ian S
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If they have a preference, then go with that first - they'll already have a degree of investment in the experience. That said I would be a little concerned if it was exceptionally complex, so do pre-warn them & if they are still keen, take it easy until they are up to speed.

Then for afters, have a simple thought for each of the other games:
e.g. that one's simpler, this more complex, the one over there is more interactive and the final one is ....
 
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Chris Kelley
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I would suggest Splendor or Ticket to Ride. TtR is what got my wife and I into board games, and from there we were able to pick and choose other games that interested us/felt fun to play.

We tried Carc at a friend's house when we were still new to board games....neither I nor my wife found it fun. It seemed confusing on where/when to place our meeples.
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John McD
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Social deduction can be good. Something like Coup that plays fast, has some decision making/ resource management on the side. Establishes that it's fun and nobody is playing too seriously.

What are they interested in, how it did happen they are coming round to play a board game? Depending on how the situation arose and their other interests you might decide some things are better than others.
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Me Notyou
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I couldn't say which from that list would be best to start with. But I would recommend that you play something you know well enough to teach without the game flow being ruined by digging through the rule book BUT not so well they feel trounced afterwards.
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Ken
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I agree, I'm not familiar with Coup; I'd like to stick to something I already own and have some experience with. It might not be as much fun trying to learn and teach a new game to people thinking of getting into gaming.

Splendor and/or Ticket to Ride for the first night does sound good. Maybe Azul, though easy, is more of a thinking game and a little more dry and not the best start?
 
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James Clarke
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My money's on them bringing their Monopoly.
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Carol Carpenter
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I see you don't own it, but it's about $15 on Amazon--Las Vegas. It plays up to 5, and it's very easy to explain.
 
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James Deignan
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Ken at Sunrise wrote:
I agree, I'm not familiar with Coup; I'd like to stick to something I already own and have some experience with. It might not be as much fun trying to learn and teach a new game to people thinking of getting into gaming.

Splendor and/or Ticket to Ride for the first night does sound good. Maybe Azul, though easy, is more of a thinking game and a little more dry and not the best start?
Azul also has a fairly minor take that element with the tiles falling to the floor. That could easily spoil a novice gamer’s impression of the game. The player interaction in Splendor and TtR are more evident and easier to see after the first instance is brought to their attention.

“If you want that red card you might want to buy it now. Remember that even though none of us have the gems to buy it currently, any of us could take it in hand before your next turn.” That’s easier to see than “next time around you could get stuck with six tiles you can’t use unless you take yellow from the middle right now.”
 
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Jim Q
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It depends on the company, but if they're into wine, Viticulture (Essential Edition, of course) will grab their attention. It's fun to play and not overly complicated. Maybe not a gateway game, but once you describe it & break out a few bottles, it usually leads to a good time!
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Timothy Young
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A Co-op game is good for showing off the mechanics of board gaming, while allowing for open discussion over the table.

You also don't have to worry about humiliating them with a blinding victory.
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Mystery McMysteryface
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From your collection I'd say:
Forbidden Island
Acquire

Both are easy to understand and play well on the first try.
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Jason Wiebe
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Century: Golem is similar to Splendor and has pretty nice graphics - might be worth a look....
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Thomas M
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I never understood what the fuzz about Splendor is. For this I would go with Carcassonne.

It has three elements that are important to new players:
1) Not a whole lot of choices in your turn
2) Short turns
3) Open play

By open play I mean that apart from a bigger strategy when you play your turn there is nothing preventing you from explaining what you do and why as it will not really blow your game. This makes it very easy to catch on.

Compared to splendor it is very different. There you have waaay too many options in a turn and because of the engine-building element the choices are not just sub-optimized for a turn, but directly important for future turns. I do not know why it is tooted as a good gateway game, it is a crazy brain-burner if you want to "figure it out". Perhaps if you play more casually it becomes fun, but that require that you look at it as a casual game and just play whatever. Personally I never really grew a fancy for games that appear casual, but where the line to "optimal choice" in your turn is there, but difficult to figure out. Makes a simple game too complex if you ask me.

Another advantage of Carcassonne is that it does not have a board. Which instantly transforms it to something other than what many people consider board games.
Which also means that if you want an alternative I would look for something that is providing a board and centered around it.
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Matt Brown
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jmsmith2434 wrote:
Tales of Arabian Nights
I don't think a game with sex changes would be the one to bring out to start. Chronicles of Crime would be much better.
 
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Val
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I think your list is fine. With unknown quantities (new gamers), I start with no more than 3-4 rules to remember and 45-90 minutes to play.

Only if I know them well (gauging intellect, temperament, tolerance towards learning new info and dealing with frustration, and something of their learning style or communication patterns) would I take on a more complex game from the start.

In other words, put getting to know them ahead of the game choice.
 
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Ryan Morency
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I think you should go with the tried and true Ticket to Ride. Even though I am not a huge fan of it, it always seems to serve its purpose well for new gamers.
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Ken
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SpaceAlien wrote:
I think your list is fine. With unknown quantities (new gamers), I start with no more than 3-4 rules to remember and 45-90 minutes to play.

Only if I know them well (gauging intellect, temperament, tolerance towards learning new info and dealing with frustration, and something of their learning style or communication patterns) would I take on a more complex game from the start.

In other words, put getting to know them ahead of the game choice.
Really the wife is the one looking for games, and some that she can play with her husband. The husband is bored by most games and prefers something fast and attention getting. Ticket to Ride has, for a long time, been a good gate-way game. But I don't want him to get bored. So??? Shorter might be a better introduction with turn planning when it isn't his turn.
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Me Notyou
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Ken, it is great that you have put their preferences in mind as the deciding factor. Kudos! and I hope we get an update to the degree of success you end up having.

Odinsfury wrote:
I think you should go with the tried and true Ticket to Ride. Even though I am not a huge fan of it, it always seems to serve its purpose well for new gamers.
Ticket To Ride is exactly the game I had in mind with an earlier post. It is often an amazing game as an introduction beyond the department store fare... except once I viewed a game (good thing I was only watching and could then refuse a seat when the next round came) where, for the teaching player, this was "their game". He had memorized all the routes and the new players never were given a chance to build anything of consequence in the game. In the end it was okay as they had been introduced, somewhat, to gaming before and they followed this train-wreck of a game with a much more enjoyable group experience.

Thankfully, it seems clear the OP has no such inclinations. Showing, to me at least, that the best part of gaming is often the people.
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Historic B
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Like many people already said, I really recommend Splendor.

Another enjoyable small little game is Machi Koro.

It is a neat little engine building game where you purchase various buildings which give you several benefits and advantages, you roll a die to determine which building gets activated. It's not complex but can be neat with the right group.
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beachgirl pcola

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Looking through your collection, I would say Catan....easily Catan.

You did say a game the wife could play at home two player, which is why I didn’t recommend Ticket to Ride.

Second choice would be Splendor.
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Nate T
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Ken at Sunrise wrote:
SpaceAlien wrote:
I think your list is fine. With unknown quantities (new gamers), I start with no more than 3-4 rules to remember and 45-90 minutes to play.

Only if I know them well (gauging intellect, temperament, tolerance towards learning new info and dealing with frustration, and something of their learning style or communication patterns) would I take on a more complex game from the start.

In other words, put getting to know them ahead of the game choice.
Really the wife is the one looking for games, and some that she can play with her husband. The husband is bored by most games and prefers something fast and attention getting. Ticket to Ride has, for a long time, been a good gate-way game. But I don't want him to get bored. So??? Shorter might be a better introduction with turn planning when it isn't his turn.
I know it is not in your list, but I see you have Sushi Go Party! in your collection. I usually find that works well with the type of personality you describe. King of Tokyo might work too in keeping someone engaged.

As a side note, do you have anything that might be a hit with the husband theme-wise. I keep Marrying Mr. Darcy in my collection specifically to engage guests that are into that theme. It has been a hit for people that otherwise would not be too interested in playing a game.
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Chris Laudermilk
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TtR and Carcassonne are solid choices. While Splendor is on the lighter side for the crowd around here, the strategy is probably a little opaque for those new to hobby games.

I'm actually having some guests over this weekend and am going to suggest both to try and move them on from Fluxx. I harbor dreams of graduating at least one up to Railways of the World or 18XX (hey, there's interest and I'm optimistic).
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