The Man Unmasked
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My fiancee and I regularly game with a friend of mine (we'll call him Wallace) and his girlfriend (Rhonda). About six months ago, they got introduced to Betrayal at House on the Hill. Shortly thereafter, we (fiancee and I) were introduced to the game. And we all liked it a lot. We were playing with a friend's copy. We borrowed his copy for a bit and as such, played it a good bit since we only had a limited time with the game. The game was returned, and it seemed maybe we could start playing other games. Nope. The won a copy off ebay. Still in shrink. And since then, that's just about all we ever play when we get together with them. For the past several months, when we get together, all we do is play Betrayal. We've done over half of the haunts. I show up to game night with a dozen or so games of a dozen or so varieties in hopes one will tickle her fancy. Nope. All we ever get is an excited, "Oh! Let's play Betrayal instead! It's the best board game EVER!"

Wallace will play other games. After much convincing Rhonda may agree to play another game, but if it "takes too much thinking," she won't play it. Or she will, and then complain the whole time to guilt us into playing Betrayal ("You made me play that stupid train game").

Games we've played once and never again with her:
Chez Geek
Munchkin
Hooplah
Ticket to Ride
Cranium

Games we used to play ALL THE TIME before discovering Betrayal:
Battle of the Sexes
Apples to Apples
Scattergories (I enjoy this one, but we've outplayed every list)

It's terrible. Without them, our gaming group is two, three people at best and I just don't have that many two player games.

So, without going on and on about how frustrating it is, can someone recommend a game that is similar to Betrayal (similar weight, theme, etc) that I might get her to play twice before I have to simply stop gaming with them to save my sanity?
 
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flakybiscuit
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What exactly is it that she likes about Betrayal at House on the Hill? Co-op play? Modular build of the board? Theme?

If she likes Co-op, you might consider Shadows over Camelot, which also has a 'traitor' mechanic.

If she likes the modular board aspect, consider Zombies!!!, or Dungeoneer: Tomb of the Lich Lord for games with simple rules.
 
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Try Shadow Hunters. I think it's a game right up your alley.
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Jason Tuttle
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Sounds like they may dig on the horror theme and the co-op play right off the top that suggests Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game to me. Not a complete co-op, one side is zombies, the other humans and there are a few different scenarios. It's a very good game that I highly recommend. Another game that's along the same lines is A Touch of Evil: The Supernatural Game, this is very new and still on pre-order for some distributors, but looks very good and can be played co-op or competitively. I've also heard that it's along the same lines as one of my personal favorites that you may be able to get them to play, but just make sure you play it first to get the rules down, Arkham Horror.

Best of luck, Betrayal is OK, but I feel your pain with it becoming old.
 
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Rhonda Bender
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Do you have some idea of why she's latched on to this game to this degree? From your post I suspect part of it is being someone who gets focused on one or two games at a time. It sounds as if she doesn't enjoy learning new rules, so anything will probably be a bit of an uphill battle as she's going to prefer the known and familiar.

I also wonder if the somewhat cooperative nature of the game is part of the appeal? That, or the theme, or the aspect of there being a bit of a story to it. Betrayal is both the only coop-ish game and the only horror game that you've mentioned the group trying. If it's either or both of those things floating her boat, Flying Frog's Last Night on Earth and A Touch of Evil are both games I'd recommend you looking into.

LNOE is a board game version of a zombie movie, with most of the players playing small town characters trying to survive the zombie hordes, and one or two other players playing the zombie hordes. It's got a modular board and several different scenarios, so if those are aspects she likes from Betrayal that gives it even more of a chance. I haven't yet played Touch of Evil (though hope to soon). That one is pure cooperative players against the board. The players are townsfolk working to defeat a classic monster villain (they aren't named so, but essentially Dracula, Headless Horsemen, werewolf, etc.) Although it sounds similar, I think the game play mechanics are different to LNOE. Both have cool minis and character cards in case part of the appeal for her is relating to a specific character.

Another option if you think it's the horror/story thing that grabs her is Gloom. Each player has a family of characters and you play cards on them to make their lives as tragic as possible before killing them off. You play happy cards on opponents' characters. It's got a cool clear card mechanic also. You'll need one of the expansions if you want to play it with five people. The base game has four families, each of the expansions adds an additional family. The art has a sort of cartoony Addams family vibe.

If you think it's the cooperative aspect she likes, Shadows Over Camelot is another to consider. Similarly to Betrayal, one player is a secret traitor working against the group. The theme is King Arthur and the Knights of the Round table, the game play is based on card sets like two pair and full house. Cool minis in this one, also. However it might be worth mentioning that all player characters are male knights, the only women in the game are on cards, and they almost all (if not all) have negative effects. Probably won't matter to a lot of people, but if she always plays one of the female characters in Betrayal she might be put off by not having a female character choice.
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Pete Grey
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Ya-pretty much what came to my mind is Shadows over Camelot and Last Night on Earth too. With both these you've got co-op factor and a good story. Decent production value in these games, too.

How does she feel about first person shooters like Doom? Or a light dungeon crawl? Maybe Doom: The Boardgame or Heroquest or something the like could be an option?
 
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The Man Unmasked
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Shadows over Camelot could be good, and I've been meaning to get it anyway. Same for LNoE. They do both have minis (which I think she likes) and a modular board. I considered Arkham horror, but I suspect it might be a little too much for her, rules-wise. From what I hear. I have a vague sense of asking about Zombies!!! once, though I can't remember why she shot it down without even a play. Doom, she's already said, would take too long. Her boyfriend would be interested, but... can't play without her. I have Gloom. Maybe she'll play that.

Either way, Rhonda (to whom I apologize for inadvertantly using her name to stand in for the girl's real name) is absolutely right. I need to find out EXACTLY what she likes about Betrayal.
 
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Ed Browne
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I would also suggest Last Night on Earth. A Touch of Evil might be good too, but it's brand new and I don't know how it is played.

Even though I am a huge Arkham Horror fan, I do NOT suggest that one. I think it would be too "heavy" for this group.

Unless you want to use this as an excuse to buy Arkham Horror so that when they reject it, you can then have a game that plays great solo...arrrh

 
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Ed Browne
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Other "non-horror" games that might be of interest to your group might be:

Fluxx (maybe Zombie Fluxx)
Quelf
Hoopla
Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot
Chrononauts

I see these as more social fun type games.

Good luck
 
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Alexander E. Stevens
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Wait; Munchkin requires too much thinking?
 
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BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER is a surprisingly good game. It's maybe a little more structured than some of the zombie games, but for some players that's a good thing. Female players seem to take to it better than to the zombie ones. There are several different scenarios for variety.
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Rhonda Bender
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dumwytgi wrote:
Either way, Rhonda (to whom I apologize for inadvertantly using her name to stand in for the girl's real name) is absolutely right. I need to find out EXACTLY what she likes about Betrayal.


lol, no worries. Any name you picked would have belonged to someone!

While I love Arkham Horror, and you can reduce the learning curve a lot by putting one person in charge of the 'evil' game actions, I think this one sounds too long and too involved to spring on this person.

It's also possible that part of her motivation in enjoying game nights is enjoying the social aspect more than being caught up in games and gaming as a hobby. What I mean as she might be looking at it as our friends come over and hang out and we play a game, so why not play a game we all already know and like instead of having to learn something new so we get straight to the hanging out and having fun. 'Regular' people who play games are often more about spending time with friends while we happen to play a game.

Which leads to the suggestion that if you like games for games' sake you might want to do a search on BGG for other gamers or groups in your area so you can get your games fix with like-minded folks and have more social time with these friends?
 
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Mark Gallardo
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The suggestions that have been posted by others are good but...
Let me try to state the obvious without sounding too much like an @$$hole.


dumwytgi wrote:
I have a vague sense of asking about Zombies!!! once, though I can't remember why she shot it down without even a play. Doom, she's already said, would take too long. Her boyfriend would be interested, but... can't play without her.


There are issues here that go WAY beyond gaming. If you think about it, you would have already resolved the situation if it was a restuarant, a flavor of ice cream, etc. instead of a boardgame. Same = dull. Freedom is yours, my friend, play want you want. IMO, meaty 2P games would be a much better alternative, if it comes to that.

I know it's a precarious situation dealing with friends & partners but allowing 1 person to dictate what 3 others do again & again is inexcusable. Don't continue to deny yourself the opportunity to enjoy this wonderful hobby. Keep searching for other gamers in your area.

I wish you the best of luck

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John W
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I agree -
this situation is not something that can be "solved" by finding the right game.

this is a social/psychological obstacle.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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He's not looking to solve the world's problems; he just wants to find a way to keep the group playing given the personalities involved. Nothing wrong with that.

Here are my suggestions:

Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game
Pandemic
Citadels
Minion Hunter
Chill: Black Morn Manor

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The Man Unmasked
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ced1106 wrote:
My asinine browser just ate my post, but, yeah, we gotta know why she likes the game *besides* theme and mechanics. It's obvious why Munchkin and Chez Geek are out -- both these games have *interactive* cards. Many party games are non-interactive mechanically (especially the ones she listed), until you get to the judging phase.

Out of left field, but if she likes social coop and doesn't like mechanics, the Call of Cthulhu Role-Playing Game might work. Someone in the group will need to have not only RPG experience, but be able to play an RPG without requiring players learn the mechanics (viz. The referee interprets the player's description into the game rules, makes the die roll, then describes what happened).

Free CoC RPG game:
http://www.chaosium.com/article.php?story_id=87


Under those guidelines, Paranoia could be good. It'd be social, though still let you (playfully) betray other players. Plus only the GM needs to know the rules.

In response to several posters, I'm focused on what sphere said. it's mostly a matter of finding a game to play that will break the group out of this six month long betrayal rut.

Oh, though you guys have reminded me: prior to Betrayal, we did get her to play Fluxx and Great Dalmuti. She plays in heroclix tournaments every saturday, if that helps.

I imagine she enjoys the social atmosphere (she often wins the fellowship award at the Heroclix tournaments).

Again, I need to try to find out what she likes so much about the game.
 
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Ed Browne
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It looks like she also likes pushing the little men around so maybe she'd like Tannhauser or Heroscape, although those are mostly 2 player games, I think.

What about Talisman? You get to move men around a board having adventures...

 
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David Winter
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Tomb might be worth a look,

variable player characters, exploration, dice combat and item collecting
 
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Gene Baker
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dumwytgi wrote:
Shadows over Camelot could be good, and I've been meaning to get it anyway. Same for LNoE.


Sean you might hold off on getting Shadows. I know of at least 4 of us, inc myself, at the Gulf Coast gamers that own it. Of course you're more than welcome to get LNoE and host it for us. laugh

Shadows is a great game and House on the Hill hit the table recently as well. Arkham has been played a couple times but its a longer game than we expected.
 
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