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Subject: Top budget games rss

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Lyle Freijo
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I’d like to start by saying I enjoy your podcast. Thank you for your contributions to the hobby. Also thank you for mentioning the podcast “Forgot my dice.” I listen to both podcast on a regular basis. I’m a guy on a tight budget and I’ve come back into the board game scene recently. I cant keep up with all the new games coming out all the time. Christmas is coming and I would like to add a few games to play with my family. What would be your top picks for each type of genre? Abstract, euro, deck builder, party game, etc. Feel free to pick as many or as few genres as you would like.

Thank you for your help!
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Chris Graves
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I'll give you my .02.

Abstract - Not my thing, but I have heard a ton of good about Azul. It's really popular at my FLGS monthly gaming days.

Euro - Brendon and I and a few others have been playing online and I am discovering true joy from these 6, 7, 8 year old Euros. The Castles of Burgundy is one of my favorites of all time. There is a new version that's coming out, which I pre-ordered. If you pay for shipping, I will send you my copy of the original game when the new one arrives...it's so fun. Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar, Troyes, and Trajan are also turning out to be very fun.

Deck Builder - Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game is my favorite. Not sure the ages of your family members, but there is some violent art on these cards. I also LOVE Clank! In! Space!. I think it gave more variety to the original game.

Looking forward to other's suggestions, and welcome back to the hobby!
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Brendan Riley
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Thanks, Lyle! I appreciate the kind words. I'll do an episode on this in the next week or so.

Do you have a decent community of gamers around you? The best approach is to go for cult of the "new two years ago," as you'll find lots of great games being sold gently used by fellow gamers who chase the new shiny.
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Lyle Freijo
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I live in a very rural portion of central Florida. No FLGS within 30 miles of my home. Have a few friends that like very light casual mass market games but no hobby games I play with other than my family. We have 3 kids aged 19, 15 and 11. My oldest is my only real board gamer.
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Lyle Freijo
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Thanks for the suggestions. I bought clank! recently but haven’t got it to the table yet.
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Douglas Klipfel
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Interested to see what you come up with Brendan. I thought I would quickly come up with a list and found it much more difficult than I anticipated.

I think the best value in games for the price will be often found in card games.

The Mind and No Thanks! are $10 card games that give you intense decisions and stand up moments. There are many more games in this category.

Decrypto is my favorite party game.


Our family is over 30 plays of Azul. It is still hitting the table. I have noticed the price fluctuating a lot with this game, so wait for the right moment.


Have to give some love to Whitehall Mystery. Works with family and gets you immediately into the meat of the game. Great hidden movement game for families. (Fury of Dracula (Third/Fourth Edition) is my pick for heavy gamers)

Camel Up (Second Edition) is just a great family game. We have even used it in a party setting. I don't imagine it ever leaves my collection.

The way to get into an area control game is probably Ethnos The theme doesn't work for my wife, but all my kids enjoy it.

2 player game for the wife and you after kids are in bed is Lost Cities

Just tossing some quick ideas out... But enjoyed the question
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Jason Keglovitz
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A number of good budget recs above (Azul, Castles of Burgundy, Decrypto). Here's a few others I'd offer:
* Sprawlopolis - solo/co-op wallet game of tile/card laying to build a city. The variable scoring goals provide endless replayability with 18 cards.
* Quadropolis - 2-4p family friendly city builder with very nice production from Days of Wonder
* Targi - 2p-only Euro that looks pretty dry, but is a very, very good game
* Biblios - Auction/set collection super-filler. Plays 2-4
* Just One - If you're really on a budget, you could arguably play this with pen/paper and downloading the Werewords app for a word list. This has been a hit every time I've had a group to play it.

Edit: Also wanted to add Fabled Fruit. If you have a regular group of 4 or 5, this is just easy fun. You can pick this up used for $15 probably. Cute art and an ever-evolving deck of worker placement choices keep this fresh for awhile.
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Chris Graves
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Ooh, Biblios is really fun! I like that one.
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Douglas Klipfel
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Targi is a game I probably need to get.
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Chris Graves
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Something I'd like to bring up, because I am a salesman, I use the word "value" quite a lot when talking to potential customers. Sometimes you may spend a few extra bucks, but what you get in return makes is worth it. I'd say replayability would be a factor when it comes to games. Which games do you fine folks think have a lot of replayability? Maybe Lyle can start with one more expensive game that can be played multiple, multiple times and keep them discovering more with each play.

I'd say Terraforming Mars would be a great option. Plus, there are many expansions available.
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Douglas Klipfel
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voodoochyl wrote:
Something I'd like to bring up, because I am a salesman, I use the word "value" quite a lot when talking to potential customers. Sometimes you may spend a few extra bucks, but what you get in return makes is worth it. I'd say replayability would be a factor when it comes to games. Which games do you fine folks think have a lot of replayability? Maybe Lyle can start with one more expensive game that can be played multiple, multiple times and keep them discovering more with each play.

I'd say Terraforming Mars would be a great option. Plus, there are many expansions available.
I think you are on the money Chris.

Gloomhaven is worth every penny if its a game your family would enjoy with you.
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Lyle Freijo
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Anybody have a suggestion about castles of burgundy? How do y’all feel about the board game versus the card game versus the dice game? Does anyone have all three? Anybody have the pros and cons of each?
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Douglas Klipfel
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star_trek_guy wrote:
Anybody have a suggestion about castles of burgundy? How do y’all feel about the board game versus the card game versus the dice game? Does anyone have all three? Anybody have the pros and cons of each?
My brother bought the dice game and I found it to be fine. With so many roll and writes it didn't do anything special for me.

I own Castles of Burgundy the card game. Sat down a couple times to play it in solo mode. But never got it played.

As for The Castles of Burgundy. I think its a great game. I believe there is a new printing coming out soon that has upgraded components.
 
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Chris Graves
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I think the board game has the most depth. Again, if you pay shipping, I will send you my copy when my new edition comes in. The benefit of getting the new edition is that it comes with all the expansion, so you may want to have a look. You can get it for a pretty good discount on pre-order, and with all the expansion, it's a good "value" like I spoke about before. Many people think the new version is ugly because they turned up the color saturation...really turned it up. Here's some pics:





To be honest, I don't mind it at all.
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Brendan Riley
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voodoochyl wrote:
I think the board game has the most depth. Again, if you pay shipping, I will send you my copy when my new edition comes in. The benefit of getting the new edition is that it comes with all the expansion, so you may want to have a look. You can get it for a pretty good discount on pre-order, and with all the expansion, it's a good "value" like I spoke about before. Many people think the new version is ugly because they turned up the color saturation...really turned it up. Here's some pics:





To be honest, I don't mind it at all.
I love it!
 
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Brendan Riley
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My episode about this is up here:

https://rattleboxgames.com/2019/11/16/pick-up-deliver-191-bu...

My recommendations break down as follows:
- Bohnanza: great, replayable game with strange, unique experience and lots of player interaction.
- Love Letter: Excellent "keep in your car" game, emminently replayable
- Dead Man’s Draw: fun push your luck game, good for chatty groups.
- Lost Cities: Strong two player game (though a blowout can feel a bit mean)
- Patchwork: Fantastic two player game, good for cup of coffee and casual morning play.
- Dale of Merchants: Unusual deck deconstruction play, two expansions if you want variety
- Vault Wars: Neat auction game, runs a bit long though
- Avalon: The best social deduction game
- Burke’s Gambit: A lighter Social deduction game that plays in about 20 minutes
- Innovation: Very good heavy/heavy game with tons of replayability
- Mottainai: Another very good heavy/heavy game, though a bit harder to find.
- Incan Gold: Really great push your luck game to play with groups
- Fleet: contract fulfillment game I've heard is really good
- Ticket to Ride: very replayable, lots of expansion boards available
- Dominion: Very replayable, lots of expansions available
 
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Francesco Giovo
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No one mentioned Star realms/Hero realms about deck building games... With something like 15$ you can buy a very smart and simple game very re-playable...
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Lyle Freijo
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voodoochyl wrote:
I think the board game has the most depth. Again, if you pay shipping, I will send you my copy when my new edition comes in. The benefit of getting the new edition is that it comes with all the expansion, so you may want to have a look. You can get it for a pretty good discount on pre-order, and with all the expansion, it's a good "value" like I spoke about before. Many people think the new version is ugly because they turned up the color saturation...really turned it up. Here's some pics:





To be honest, I don't mind it at all.
I would be glad to take you up on your offer!
Send me a message when you’re ready to send the old version. Thanks again!
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Lyle Freijo
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Thank you Brendan! I appreciate all the info from you and the guild!
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Lyle Freijo
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I have played hero realms and I really like it! I have played star realms on the app and it’s good but seems to go longer that a card game of hero realms.
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Lyle Freijo
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The only game on this list that I’ve played is love letter. My family enjoys it.



wombat929 wrote:
My episode about this is up here:

https://rattleboxgames.com/2019/11/16/pick-up-deliver-191-bu...

My recommendations break down as follows:
- Bohnanza: great, replayable game with strange, unique experience and lots of player interaction.
- Love Letter: Excellent "keep in your car" game, emminently replayable
- Dead Man’s Draw: fun push your luck game, good for chatty groups.
- Lost Cities: Strong two player game (though a blowout can feel a bit mean)
- Patchwork: Fantastic two player game, good for cup of coffee and casual morning play.
- Dale of Merchants: Unusual deck deconstruction play, two expansions if you want variety
- Vault Wars: Neat auction game, runs a bit long though
- Avalon: The best social deduction game
- Burke’s Gambit: A lighter Social deduction game that plays in about 20 minutes
- Innovation: Very good heavy/heavy game with tons of replayability
- Mottainai: Another very good heavy/heavy game, though a bit harder to find.
- Incan Gold: Really great push your luck game to play with groups
- Fleet: contract fulfillment game I've heard is really good
- Ticket to Ride: very replayable, lots of expansion boards available
- Dominion: Very replayable, lots of expansions available
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Brendan Riley
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KooriNecros wrote:
No one mentioned Star realms/Hero realms about deck building games... With something like 15$ you can buy a very smart and simple game very re-playable...
I'm pretty cool on Star Realms myself -- I just don't understand all the hype.
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Francesco Giovo
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Here in Italy there isn't so much hype. I mean many people have them, it is pretty famous but is still Dominion the leader of "light" deck building...
Actually I prefer Hero Realms too... Easy and very quick in two people...thumbsup
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Brendan Riley
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KooriNecros wrote:
Here in Italy there isn't so much hype. I mean many people have them, it is pretty famous but is still Dominion the leader of "light" deck building...
Actually I prefer Hero Realms too... Easy and very quick in two people...thumbsup
I don't hear people talking about it much any more, but it was all the rage when it first came out. I tried it and was pretty luke-warm on it.
 
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Kristopher Hickman
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Whoa! Excellent question and excellent podcast Brendan!

I've not posted on these forums in quite some time, so let's dive in.

I recently have cut back on my acquisitions and its provided a lot of perspective to me in terms of my collection, culling it, and what games (if any) should be added.

The question from Lyle posed that there are a number of categories that games can be categorized into. This can mean many things as humans love to categorize things and create lists. I am such a human. So I will try and create a list that would include my best picks for player count, depth/complexity (don't get me started @wombat929) mechanisms, and themes.

In order to help curate this list, I checked out my BG stats app to see what games have come back to table the most over the past four years (my time in the hobby. This is the result:

Games Played
1. Coup 97 Plays
2. Azul 85 Plays
3. Lords of Waterdeep 65 Plays
4. Insider 60 Plays
5. Codenames 59 Plays
6. Skull 48 Plays
7. Gorus Maximus 47 Plays
8. Lost Cities 42 Plays
9. The Mind 37 Plays
10. Splendor 33 Plays


The vast majority of these games are quick, social games that can accommodate a variety of player counts and often encourage multiple plays in a single setting. While I would recommend any of them, I would push either Skull or Codenames as my large group games of choice, especially with folks who do not fit the typical gamer profile. Both are easily accessible and had at a reasonable cost.

If I remove these types of games from the list however, I find that we get a clearer picture of what games routinely hit the table for me. That's going to become a better picture of what titles are the best investment for your collection.

Adjusted Top Played (Removing Social Games)
1. Azul 85 Plays
2. Lords of Waterdeep 65 Plays
3. Lost Cities 42 Plays
4. Splendor 33 Plays
5. Blood Rage 30 Plays
6. The Castles of Burgundy 30 Plays
7. Terraforming Mars 26 Plays
8. Sagrada 25 Plays
9. Ethnos 24 Plays
10T. Dominion 23 Plays
10T. Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition 23 Plays
10T. Potion Explosion 23 Plays
10T. Zombicide: Black Plague 23 Plays

These games that remain can basically be separated into two camps: those that I play primarily with my non-gamer wife and those that my game group and I enjoy together. Both are important for the question at hand, as Lyle has a relatively small group from which he can currently draw from.

2 Player Games
Azul
Lords of Waterdeep
Lost Cities
Splendor
The Castles of Burgundy
Sagrada
Dominion
Potion Explosion

While only Lost Cities is a true 2 player game, the majority of plays for each of these games have come to the table accompanied by mugs of coffee or glasses of wine on weekends, vacations and the like. Of this list, the titles that I would list as "essential" would be (in this order): Azul, Lost Cities, Splendor and Lords of Waterdeep. The Castles of Burgundy is a Top 10 game for me, but if I am picking a game to share with a spouse, I cannot deny the ridiculous amount of plays and hours of enjoyment these titles have brought us. As much as it pains me, I'm cutting it from the chopping block. It should be noted that Lords of Waterdeep is an amazing title at higher player counts also and is much beloved by everyone I've introduced it to. For purposes of creating a Christmas wish list, it could really be added to either grouping. We primarily play it at two, and for that reason I've decided to leave it in that group.

Eliminating the two player (for me) titles leaves the following Top 10 games in terms of plays.

Adjusted Top Played (Excluding Social/Filler and 2p Games)

1. Blood Rage 30 Plays
2. Terraforming Mars 26 Plays
3. Ethnos 24 Plays
4T. Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition 23 Plays
4T. Zombicide: Black Plague 23 Plays
6. Scythe 20 Plays
7. Heaven & Ale 19 Plays
8T. 7 Wonders 17 Plays
8T. Gloomhaven 17 Plays
10T. Carcassonne 16 Plays
10T. Massive Darkness 16 Plays
10T. Pandemic 16 Plays
10T. Ticket to Ride: Europe 16 Plays

At these point in the list, I have skipped over a number of addition 2p and Social/Filler games. Some solid titles missed that I would like to make mention of here before we move on are BANG! The Dice Game, Kingdom Builder, Kingdomino, King of Tokyo, 5-Minute Dungeon, Rhino Hero, High Society, & Santorini. All are solid, and out of this group I would be happy to see any of them join a collection.

Back to the list, the point of this entirely too long response to a question that has likely already been answered better by my peers. The remainder of games found fall into two categories: "Gateway/Entry-Level/Family-Weight" games and "Hobbyist/Gamer" Games. Lets break it down.

Family Weight/Gateway Games
1. 7 Wonders 17 Plays
2T. Carcassonne 16 Plays
2T. Pandemic 16 Plays
2T. Ticket to Ride: Europe 16 Plays
5. Camel Up 15 Plays
6T. Century: Golem Edition 14 Plays
6T. Forbidden Island 14 Plays
6T. Sushi Go! 14 Plays
6T. Tuki 14 Plays
10. KLASK 13 Plays

If I had to pick two from this list, Ticket to Ride and Camel Up are my choices for tried and true choices. That said, if you are looking for something new, Tuki is a phenomenal puzzle game. Now that we have whittled it down, here's what is best by the numbers for our group.

"Gamer's" Games

1. Blood Rage 30 Plays
2. Terraforming Mars 26 Plays
3. Ethnos 24 Plays
4T. Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition 23 Plays
4T. Zombicide: Black Plague 23 Plays
6. Scythe 20 Plays
7. Heaven & Ale 19 Plays
8. Gloomhaven 17 Plays
9. Massive Darkness 16 Plays
10T. Dinosaur Island 13 Plays
10T. Rising Sun 13 Plays
10T. Terra Mistica 13 Plays

I love these games. Of the 10, 6 make my top 10 games of all time. If I could only take 2, I'd snag Blood Rage and Scythe. They are show stoppers, bring great table presence and have been phenomenal for me in use to bring new people into the hobby.

I hope this helps!

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