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Subject: How to go from poker to euro-games? rss

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Mo
Germany
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Hi,

some of my colleagues are playing Poker from time to time. I really don't like playing poker, but this group looks like a new potential euro-game group to me devil So how could I lead them to the dark side of board gaming? My idea is to go there once or twice to play poker with them and then start bringing other games for them to try.

The question is now, which games are most suitable to start the transformation? Here are some criteria:

Group size will be 4 and up.
Ages are 25 and up.
I think non of them has any euro-game experience.
They work in the field of software engineering.
They are all into Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Computer-Games.
The initial game(s) should be very easy to teach.
Game setup should be quite fast as well.
Card games seem quite appropriate.
Maybe some bluffing elements (to set up a connection to poker).
Playtime: 60 minutes max
Language: The game should not contain too much text, as the group is quite international and the level of english varies a lot. So it would be nice to have it almost language-independent.

My initial idea is: Citadels
My goal: Robo Rally

Cheers,
Mo.

EDIT: added criteria for language
 
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Bart Sims
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Cold War: CIA vs KGB - It's only a 2-player game, but will interest your friends for sure (bluffing, risk, kind of 'blackjack')

You could try Citadels also
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Håkan König
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Not sure what I'd use as first game, but game number two or three down the road should be Vegas Showdown. I've found it to be a great game about building a hotel-casino. Buy your rooms, and make people come in and spend money. You may even use a few Monopoly references in order to get them started - build a hotel, only this time we're trying to build what's inside the hotel etc.
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Laszlo Molnar
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If they like Poker I'd recommend Taj Mahal. I know it is not really a beginners' game but needs lots of "poker-playing abilities" (The game is about bluffing, bidding and knowing when to quit bidding), also you mostly play it with cards of 4 colour. If they can grasp the rules (it's not the most simple but really not so hard to understand; even my non-gamer friends did like the game) I think poker players could really like Taj Mahal.
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Laszlo Molnar
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...but if you really want an easy game first, I'd say Keltis. Basically a card game, some bluffing, fast to learn, fast to play, you can combine a bit... Ideal transition to board games. And THEN you can teach them Taj Mahal
 
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Dustin Gervais
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I'd agree Citadels is a good choice, but I might also try Felicity: The Cat in the Sack. The theme may not be gang-busters for your group, but it is a game of steadily increasing information, bluffing and it introduces a basic auction mechanic.
Your first game will be much shorter than an hour and you can then go in a lot of different directions from there.
Good luck!
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Keith Anderson
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For 4 I would consider Dominion or Race for the Galaxy as they might like the complexity of the card interactions. Dominion is easier to teach if the shuffling won't bother them.

For 5 I would consider Power Grid or Ra.

For 6 Power Grid
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Keith Anderson
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Maksimov wrote:
GamePlayer wrote:
For 4 I would consider Dominion or Race for the Galaxy as they might like the complexity of the card interactions. Dominion is easier to teach if the shuffling won't bother them.

For 5 I would consider Power Grid or Ra.

For 6 Power Grid


I'm not sure it's wise to throw them right into the deep end, possibly freak them out and turn them off from boardgaming at the first try. It COULD be a risk well worth taking, but we're talking about people who have never played Eurogames before(right?), so maybe something simpler might be a better choice. Ease them into the world of modern boardgaming, and then gradually bring in the "heavy hitters", so to speak. Some of the heavier games might be a bit overwhelming to people who are not used to playing these type of games.


We are talking software engineers right? Those types that tend to pick up rules, languages, logic, if A then B relationships quickly? Dumbing down too much would be my concern. Of the games I listed, only RftG has some learning difficulty for some due to the symbols although the computer/math types I know seem to pick it up easily.

I just noticed that the original poster listed Robo Rally as the goal. If the theme is not a turnoff than that could be the starting place since it is very much like programming.

My only caution would be to choose a game that you can teach well but have not mastered. You don't want to stumble through the rules or crush everyone in the game.
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Mark Crocker
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Ave Caesar I love my poker pals, but not a single one of them has the patience for a board game. A major reason would be that in my case, adult beverages flow like a river, when we play poker. If you guys play poker "dry", your chances of success increases darn near exponentially.
However, I was able to introduce 1 board game successfully to my hard drinkin' card shark buddies. Ave Caesar. The trick is that you have to play for money. You can find a "payout" chart in the files section of the game. The other key is that the rules of Ave Caesar are actually less complicated than poker.
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Ryan Strand
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Quote:
They are all into Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Computer-Games.


I would focus on that statement. Hooking them with a theme is probably the best way to get them interested. I don't have a specific suggestion at the moment, but as long as the theme appeals to them and it's not too complex.

As far as mechanics go...No Thanks! can be taught in a minute and has sort of a gambling feel to it. Battle Line is only 2 player but is reminiscent to Chinese Poker, if your friends are familiar with that.
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ŁṲÎS̈
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I'd probably go with Dominion. They're already playing card games and Dominion is easy to pick up.

After several hundred games of Dominion, bring in Race for the Galaxy
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Keith Anderson
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Crockerdile wrote:
Ave Caesar I love my poker pals, but not a single one of them has the patience for a board game. A major reason would be that in my case, adult beverages flow like a river, when we play poker. If you guys play poker "dry", your chances of success increases darn near exponentially.
However, I was able to introduce 1 board game successfully to my hard drinkin' card shark buddies. Ave Caesar. The trick is that you have to play for money. You can find a "payout" chart in the files section of the game. The other key is that the rules of Ave Caesar are actually less complicated than poker.


Ah yes, now if the original poster's group drinks heavily then that would change things. I would then suggest staying with poker and being the one to not drink devil
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darren williams
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Have a look at Buccaneer, clear simple to use and no writing apart from the rules. I t may look a little childish but it's far from a childish game and who can resist a game about piratesarrrh? For an even simpler idea try For Sale.
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Mo
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Thanks for all your responses so far!!

Meuterer or Verraeter sounds nice, I heard a lot about them, but never had a chance to play them, yet. Unfortunately both are only up to 4 players.

Felix: The cat in the sack, No thanks and Ave Ceasar sound very interesting as well. I have to check them out.

Dominion is one that is on the top of my want list, but I am not sure how gateway-friendly it is and it is only up to 4 players.

Vegas Showdown, Keltis, Taj Mahal, etc. are definetly interesting for a later stage. First I will probably have to choose something that makes them interested at all in trying something else than poker. And I think the best way is probably either theme, or artwork. At a later stage I would probably bring good old Settlers and Carcassonne to the table as well.

I am also considering Mag Blast, but I haven't played it yet and it might be a bit risky, as I have read that it can drag on for quite a bit.

For the 2nd or probaly more the 3rd step I was thinking about Robo Rally or maybe Space Alert. I think the programming aspect in both games could appeal to them.

@Mark/GamePlayer: No heavy drinking involved, as the sessions take place in the office and everybody has to drive home afterward by car.
 
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Alex Bove
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First off, I don't understand why so many people want to "convert" non-gamers into gamers. Unless they express an interest in board games, they're probably not interested. It's a poker game, and every poker game I've ever been to is an all-night affair. People are there to play poker. If you don't like poker, don't play. Find a group of people who actually want to play board games and play with them.

Having said all that, you might have some success with players who've been eliminated from the poker game with something like Can't Stop. It's incredibly quick and simple, yet it has a gambling feel and is even fun to watch other people play. There's no bluffing element, but not everyone bluffs when playing poker anyway (only good poker players do).
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Paul Franklin
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I can highly recommend Three-Dragon Ante. It's fairly inexpensive, has a gambling element, but a fantasy theme and enough of a different flavor to start bringing them into other games. This has been a huge hit with our RPG group.
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ŁṲÎS̈
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montu wrote:
First off, I don't understand why so many people want to "convert" non-gamers into gamers. Unless they express an interest in board games, they're probably not interested. It's a poker game, and every poker game I've ever been to is an all-night affair. People are there to play poker. If you don't like poker, don't play. Find a group of people who actually want to play board games and play with them...


I didn't know I liked boardgames until I stumbled across catan.

I thought all boargames were monopoly-like and I thought I hated them.

Now, I'm buying a new one almost every week.
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Mo
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montu wrote:
First off, I don't understand why so many people want to "convert" non-gamers into gamers. Unless they express an interest in board games, they're probably not interested.


That is actually what I try to find out. I am not planning to force them into the hobby. That wouldn't work anyway. I think more along the lines of what monteslu and Maksimov have written. I have met a lot of people that didn't even know that there were other games than e.g. Poker or Monoploy.
 
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Russell InGA
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My first thought also was Ra. Felix for a "childish" theme is actually an interesting game. (You just have to get your poker buddies past the "cutesy" nature of the theme.)

What I would recommend is that you schedule a night to invite the guys over to play poker. Let them know that there is going to be a short boardgame trial before the game starts.

I would have a couple of fairly easy games in your back pocket. Ra for 3 - 5. ??? for 3 - 5 in case you have to break into two tables. Think in terms of running the game and not playing the game.
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Russ Williams
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Card games might appeal to them. Some I've enjoyed which can handle more than 4 players:
Frank's Zoo
The Great Dalmuti
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David Whitcher
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So they are not put off with something entirely foreign try easing them into euro gaming with Chicago Poker. As poker players they should enjoy it and you might like it much better then Poker. It’s easy to lean, plays in under an hour and supports up to 6.

In the game you take over businesses by playing poker hands on them one card at a time. Some cards get played face up and other face down allowing for some interesting bluffing situations to arise. There are also affect cards to mix things up a bit.
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Sean Ross
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I would probably try Chicago Poker or Havoc: The Hundred Years War. Both games are Poker-like, so they could be sold as variations on that which the players are already familiar. If you have a Sticheln deck, you could play both of those games, plus a bunch of other games (Schotten Totten, for instance).


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staffan t
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My suggestions are Bluff or Modern art !
Both work well with 5-6 players.

Blokus is loved by most people and can be a good gateway game, but only works on 4.

Formula de works with plenty of people as well.


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Liar's Dice works great with poker players.
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Laszlo Molnar
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Quote:
First off, I don't understand why so many people want to "convert" non-gamers into gamers. Unless they express an interest in board games, they're probably not interested.


I think there are lots of poker chess etc. players who think there are these "adult" games while board games=monopoly; I think still there are lots of people who simply don't know how many great and 'serious' board games were published in the last decade.



... and to Drew: as for Keltis, that's really a gateway game, so you should not hesitate to try that with them...
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