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Subject: Recommendation for a Light or Gateway Co-operation Board Game rss

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Jeff
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Hi everyone!

I have good collection of board games with easy rules-sets of light/gateway complexity. I generally play board games with my family with an age range of 9 years to 60+ years. I have a reasonable amount of variety in my collection but I'm lacking in co-operative board games in the games that I have (apologies to readers who have read the preceding text in my other posts!).

So, I'm looking for recommendations for co-operative-based board games (doesn't matter whether the theme is light or heavy) which can handle more than two or more players.

N.B. I already have Lord of the Rings (untried) but I'm considering Shadows over Camelot, Pandemic, A Touch of Evil: The Supernatural Game and (if we ever get it in the UK!) Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game.

Would anyone like to comment on the games I've mentioned or suggest others that would be appropriate?
 
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Captain Spaulding
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Not that familiar with the others, but Pandemic seems tailor fit for your criteria.
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Blue (She/her)
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Pandemic is what you're looking for. Once you're familiar with it, it takes about 5 minutes to teach and has a very addictive "one more game" feel to it--perfect for a gateway.

Shadows is a good game, but takes a bit longer to teach (which is a point against if you're looking for light/gateway). Also, new players can get overwhelmed with it, particularly if they're assigned the traitor role. Finally, it only seems to work well with bigger groups, and tends to take a long time for that reason. I find that the best gateways only take about 30 minutes-ish, so that people don't feel stuck in a game longer than they enjoy it.

I haven't played BSG, so no comments on that. Touch of Evil isn't really a co-op game; it has co-op rules, but it is meant to be played competitively and doesn't work as well when done co-op.
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Ian Klinck
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I've got to add to the Pandemic list...
 
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Larry Welborn
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Pandemic
 
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Yours Truly,
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Pandemic is a proven great.

You could also consider a new one that is just hitting the stores now: Red November. Which has quite a unique theme.
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The Inquisitive Meeple
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I agree with those above - Pandemic is the way to go.
 
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Edy Ferreira
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Pandemic
 
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Have faith
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Pandemic.

The new game Ghost Stories is also getting a lot of buzz.

Shadows Over Camelot is also liked by many people, but it plays with 3+. I enjoyed Pandemic more.


This list may give you more ideas: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/32994
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Driver 8
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I have to disagree with Pandemic and vote for Shadows over Camelot. It just seems to have gateway appeal to it. Great theme, beautiful components, and the inclusion of the traitor adds so much depth to the game.

And the main thing, I feel that Shadows over Camelot does a better job at "hidden information" within a co-op. Pandemic is a nice game, but it's sooo hard to keep what you're doing separate from what the others are doing. Pandemic seems to come down to everyone sharing exactly what cards they have and someone telling the others what they should be doing. At least with SoC, your hand of cards and actions are relatively separate from the others (like placing certain black cards face down).

I just think SoC is a better game to get people excited about gaming.
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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I disagree with Chris above... My wife and I have introduced Pandemic to many different friends and family members we've met during our travels this year and every one of them has picked it up very quickly and really enjoyed it, often insisting on another game. While we tend to coach for the first couple of turns, by that point everyone is usually able to add their own valuable input and fully become a part of the game.

I really like Shadows Over Camelot, too, but I do think it is a little harder to teach and usually much longer, and not necessarily as exciting or involving as Pandemic.

I also love Lord of the Rings, but it's a little more abstract and more difficult to teach, though I wouldn't say that either that or Shadows are difficult to teach, just moreso than Pandemic.
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Lucy M
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Jeff_B wrote:

(if we ever get it in the UK!) Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game.


Just as a point of interest: BSG is being released in the UK on Wednesday but is *heavily* limited in number so if you're after it I would order it ASAP.

Ghost Stories is also out this week and I think there are more of those available.

This list sounds like my ideal gaming night at the moment! The one that I am picking up straight away though is BSG. If I get the chance it will be followed by Ghost Stories and Pandemic. I haven't played Ghost Stories or BSG though so this is all based on what I have read about them online.
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Robert Washington

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I too would put PANDEMIC just ahead of SHADOWS - it's just a bit simpler and much shorter, and I believe it's cheaper too.

But I think Vanished Planet is a game that doesn't get the consideration it should, though it's just a bit too involved to recommend as a gateway game.
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Jeff
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Thanks for your reply Lucy and your Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game tip-off!

I have now pre-ordered BSG and its hopefully winging its way (by Viper or Cylon Raider presumably ) as I write this.

In the context of this forum post the purchase is probably on the more self-indulgent end of the scale, as I don't know how straightforward it'll be to introduce to various members of the family. However, as a big fan of the TV series and with the game getting rave reviews, I couldn't resist!

Cheers again,

Jeff.
 
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Lucy M
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Jeff_B wrote:
Thanks for your reply Lucy and your Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game tip-off!

I have now pre-ordered BSG and its hopefully winging its way (by Viper or Cylon Raider presumably ) as I write this.

In the context of this forum post the purchase is probably on the more self-indulgent end of the scale, as I don't know how straightforward it'll be to introduce to various members of the family. However, as a big fan of the TV series and with the game getting rave reviews, I couldn't resist!

Cheers again,

Jeff.


No problem! I grabbed my copy yesterday and spent the day pouring through the rules and playing with the bits. I did make a bit of a fool out of myself though. Couldn't find the plastic pieces including the ships and was getting quite worked up before someone pointed out they were underneath the insert!

Lucy
 
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Jeff
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Hi Ben and thanks for your comments.

Quote:
Also, new players can get overwhelmed with it, particularly if they're assigned the traitor role.


Do the rules suggest playing without the traitor character for the first couple of games? I just wonder if playing this way would ease new players into the game and then the traitor could be introduced once players have a feel for the mechanics.

Quote:
Touch of Evil isn't really a co-op game; it has co-op rules, but it is meant to be played competitively and doesn't work as well when done co-op.


A Touch of Evil: The Supernatural Game is quite high on my want list and your comments on the co-op rules were appreciated. Do those comments extend to "team play" which appears to be a combination of co-operative and competitive play?

Thanks again!
 
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Jeff
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Thanks for your contribution Johnny and your Red November suggestion. I'll check that one out too.

Cheers
 
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Jeff
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Thanks for the Ghost Stories suggestion cull and the inclusion of a helpful geeklist
 
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Jeff
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Quote:
I feel that Shadows over Camelot does a better job at "hidden information" within a co-op.


Thanks Chris for your insight on this game mechanic and the comparison between the two games
 
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Jeff
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Cheers Eric

Quote:
I also love Lord of the Rings, but it's a little more abstract and more difficult to teach, though I wouldn't say that either that or Shadows are difficult to teach, just moreso than Pandemic.


I've steered clear of introducing Lord of the Rings for the very reasons you've suggested (although I don't doubt its a good game). In fact its part of the reason I decided to post this thread, looking for a more accessible game.
 
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Jeff
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Quote:
But I think Vanished Planet is a game that doesn't get the consideration it should, though it's just a bit too involved to recommend as a gateway game.


Thanks for the recommendation Paul. Its one I won't immediately seek but I'll keep an eye on it!
 
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Jeff
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A big thanks to Kevin, Ian, Larry, Sanders, Edy and everyone else for your contributions. At the moment I'm still tempted by no less than three games (probably in this order):

1. Pandemic - sounds like not only a great game but probably the easiest to teach too. Just really hard to get a copy at the moment!

2. A Touch of Evil: The Supernatural Game - Not recommended as a co-operative game I know but the "team play" may work and it would offer the other option of competitive play between individuals

3. Shadows over Camelot - trickier to teach maybe but still highly thought of

Barring any more suggestions, I'll post a mini session report on any of the above games I end up bringing to the table!
 
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Bela's dead and Vampira won't talk
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Jeff_B wrote:

Quote:
Touch of Evil isn't really a co-op game; it has co-op rules, but it is meant to be played competitively and doesn't work as well when done co-op.


A Touch of Evil: The Supernatural Game is quite high on my want list and your comments on the co-op rules were appreciated. Do those comments extend to "team play" which appears to be a combination of co-operative and competitive play?

Thanks again!


I enjoy Touch of Evil and would recommend it, but I agree that the co-op addition is more of an afterthought than a reason to buy the game (unless, I guess, you feel you need a game that's both competitive and cooperative).

The main co-op mode is really, really easy (much easier than even base Arkham Horror), not that much fun except as a novelty or teaching tool, and there are a few combinations that are very easy to achieve and very close to outright broken.

The team play is basically the competitive version of the game with multiple characters per team (and a few minor balance tweaks to go with that element). It should fix the ease and near-brokenness of the pure co-op game (since you have actual opponents to deal with, who can win and who can use key game elements like accusations), but it's not really a co-op game at that point.
 
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James R
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To join in with everyone here, pandemic is great. I would also suggest LOTR since you already have it. It can get very intense at the end and although it is somewhat abstracted it is still very easy to teach because all the symbols you need are on the board. It drags too much with 5 players though so play it with less. My favorite co-op game is heroquest but good luck finding a copy of that.
 
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Jeff
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Quote:
I enjoy Touch of Evil and would recommend it, but I agree that the co-op addition is more of an afterthought than a reason to buy the game (unless, I guess, you feel you need a game that's both competitive and cooperative).

The main co-op mode is really, really easy (much easier than even base Arkham Horror), not that much fun except as a novelty or teaching tool, and there are a few combinations that are very easy to achieve and very close to outright broken.

The team play is basically the competitive version of the game with multiple characters per team (and a few minor balance tweaks to go with that element). It should fix the ease and near-brokenness of the pure co-op game (since you have actual opponents to deal with, who can win and who can use key game elements like accusations), but it's not really a co-op game at that point.


Thanks for your comments le cygne. I don't need a game that's both competitve and cooperative as such, I just thought it would be nice if it could cover different types of play if you fancied a bit of a change.

Funny you should mention Arkham Horror as its a game I'd like to get but I can only envisage myself playing this one solo.
 
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