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Subject: Newbie Gamer needs Recommendations rss

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Sam E.
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South Dakota
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First of all, hi! I'm brand new to this site/forum. I've loved board games for as long as I can remember, but until recently I've mainly only been playing classic games and party games. We got Ticket to Ride and Settlers of Catan a few months ago, and I liked them a lot, but what really got me into it was getting Carcassonne for my birthday a few days ago. The game was fantastic, better than anything I had played before.

Anyways, I need recommendations for other games because I'm a newbie and have no idea where to start. Agricola looks a little too crazy for me just yet. I'd like 2-3 player games that are strategic and captivating, but still not too insane. I really like the tile-laying style of Carcassonne, but any kind of game is fine. I'm thinking of getting Pandemic and Power Grid next, since they both look like something I'd enjoy. I'll go for just about any kind of game within reason, really (besides maybe the really complex war games and such ).

So... recommend away! I'd love to hear your input.
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Rick Weckermann
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Sheesh you make it tough you already picked the two i would suggest to buy. Add a multiplayer war game to that and your set. Other than that only you know your and your groups playing style and desires. Read the reviews people write on games, and do not just pick within the top 100, look in the top 600 or 1200 would be a better idea.

edit added word just
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The Honorable Mayor McCheese
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Welcome! Even though you say any kind of game is fine, I would recommend trying to find a local gaming group to play with when you can so you get: 1. Experienced players who can help teach you new games. 2. The chance to learn new games to see what you like before buying (some board games can get rather spendy, no sence in spending too much for a game you may not even like) 3. New friends! I think my favorite aspect of gaming is the social aspect, and 99% of gamers I have met are good people.
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Sam E.
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Thanks for your replies

And Sorrelbo, I would do that, but I live in a very small town and sadly there aren't any gaming groups here that I'm aware of.
 
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Hi Sophie,
At this stage I'd recommend looking at the top ranked games. I started off my interest in games with Catan and Carcassonne, then headed to the BGG top 100 to look at what other great games were available. To help, here's a brief summary of some of the top games that I'd recommend for a starter:

Powergrid: An auction game where players bid for powerplants, buy the fuel for their powerplant, buy connections to cities, and then power as many cities as they can to collect cash.

Tigris & Euphrates: A tile-laying game where you collect points in four different colours. At the end of the game the person with the most number of points in their 'worst colour' (ie: their lowest colour) wins...there is just no simple way to explain that...

El Grande: This is an 'area control game' where you move your little people/cubes around to control certain areas of Spain; you gain points by controlling areas and hope to gain the most points.

Pandemic: A cooperative game where you play a character (Medic, Scientist, etc) trying to race around the world, treat diseases, whilst also trying to collect a set of matching colour cards to find a cure.

Ra: A great little auction game where you bid to collect 'sets' of Ancient Egyptian tiles. It's quick, fun, tense, and easily recommendable.

1960 - The making of the President: Probably a little heavier, but not too heavy. It's a great two player 'card driven game' where you use a hand of cards to dictate a range of actions that your presidential candidate can perform.

Age of Empires III - a 'worker placement game' where each player takes turns to place a handful of colonists onto certain actions. The aim of the game is to build up a series of colonies, explore new land, and develop a trading operation in the 'new world'.

Stone Age: another fun 'worker placement game' where you play a Stone Age tribe. You need to populate ('make babies'), feed your people, collect resources, and construct buildings. It's easy, it's fun, and also easily recommendable for a newcomer.

Samurai: Umm...you place tiles to try to gain control of three 'resources'. This is similar in many abstract ways to Carcassonne. My wife and I both love it, it's easy, fun, and also recommended to newcomers.


There's a lot more out there, a LOT more, but that's just a brief glimpse of some of the games that I would personally recommend.
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The Honorable Mayor McCheese
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I see, well that makes things a bit tougher. Try meetup.com, you may have luck finding a group that way. Do you have a FLGS (friendly local gaming store) near you? If so, inquire if they host gaming nights/groups. It is hard for me to make recommendations because while still fairly new to this, I enjoy a wide variety of games. I also went from playing Settlers at a friends house to joining a gaming group and playing Die Macher my first session. I would suggest Stone Age as it has a good mix of strategy and luck as the next game you may want to consider.
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nastycleavage wrote:
and do not pick within the top 100, look in the top 600 or 1200 would be a better idea.


I don't know where nastycleavage was getting this. Certainly go beyond the top 100 but don't exclude them. Some of them are not heavy at all.

Congratulations Sophie!!! thumbsup laugh

You've got the top 3 starters with Ticket to Ride, Settlers and Carcassonne.

If you haven't already i'd suggest picking up the two best expansions to Carcassonne...
Carcassonne: Expansion 1 – Inns & Cathedrals & Carcassonne: Expansion 2 – Traders & Builders

Then I'd get into the light to medium games...
Pandemic
Blockers!

and don't forget about a few filler/quick games...
Tsuro
TransAmerica

and some quick card games...
Loot
Mamma Mia!
Coloretto

Before going to heavy. Power Grid is great but still weighted around 3.5. I might hold up on that for now. You've got time and a ton of games to get through before you roll up your sleeves and really get down and dirty.
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Sam E.
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South Dakota
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Sorrellbo wrote:
I see, well that makes things a bit tougher. Try meetup.com, you may have luck finding a group that way. Do you have a FLGS (friendly local gaming store) near you? If so, inquire if they host gaming nights/groups. It is hard for me to make recommendations because while still fairly new to this, I enjoy a wide variety of games. I also went from playing Settlers at a friends house to joining a gaming group and playing Die Macher my first session. I would suggest Stone Age as it has a good mix of strategy and luck as the next game you may want to consider.


Nope, no gaming store or anything similar. :/ I could try looking, but I don't think I'll have much luck considering the area.

kevintlee wrote:
You've got the top 3 starters with Ticket to Ride, Settlers and Carcassonne.

If you haven't already i'd suggest picking up the two best expansions to Carcassonne...
Carcassonne - Inns & Cathedrals & Carcassonne - Traders & Builders

Then I'd get into the light to medium games...
Pandemic
Uptown

and don't forget about a few filler/quick games...
Tsuro
TransAmerica

and some quick card games...
Loot
Mamma Mia!
Coloretto

Before going to heavy. Power Grid is great but still weighted around 3.5. I might hold up on that for now. You've got time and a ton of games to get through before you roll up your sleeves and really get down and dirty.


Thanks for the tips. I'll be sure to check those out. I'm already thinking of getting the expansions to Carcassonne to feed my addiction to it.

And really about Power Grid? I wasn't sure, it doesn't seem too crazy from what I've seen but again, I don't know, I'm just basing it on what I've read.
 
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Alex
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I'd recommend:
Galaxy Trucker. This game is just FUN. The satisfaction of building your own spaceship plus the thrill of watching it move through an obstacle course is fantastic.
Dominion. A simple but deep card game with tons of replayability and a short playtime.
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Sophie, if you're interested in finding out more about any games, the best few things you can do are:
- Read reviews and session reports
- Look at photos
- Read personal comments on what they think of the game (available on the bgg site for the game)
- Download and read a copy of the rules if possible
- Try before you buy.
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Josh P.
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If you like Carcassonne, you might want to try Tongiaki: Journey into the Unknown or Taluva.

Power Grid seems like a logical progression as well, since you like Ticket to Ride. Power Grid is a fun game, but the phases and resource replenishment make it a little too fiddly for my tastes.

I would also recommend looking into worker placement games like The Pillars of the Earth or Stone Age.

Most of the games you have are the kind that are easy to learn, but have a lot of hidden strategy that starts to reveal itself after several games. If that sounds like what you like, I would seriously consider Cosmic Encounter.

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sockmonk wrote:
And really about Power Grid? I wasn't sure, it doesn't seem too crazy from what I've seen but again, I don't know, I'm just basing it on what I've read.


Oh, I don't want to discourage playing or buying Power Grid but I wouldn't pick it from our groups collective games if someone new came into the group.

Its easier to get into than Agricola but you'll be glued to the rules for the first couple of games. Granted all of my recommendations fell on the light side.

If you were to go heavier I might go with...
Tikal
Santiago
Acquire

These hover between 2.5 and 3.0 in game weight.

Power Grid is 3.35 - its just heavier.

As far as the heavy games go its the one I'd choose first but theres no hurry, ya know.
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Powergrid isn't too crazy. You just follow the steps one at a time and they're fairly basic steps. There's just a big difference between 'new players' and those who have played before. Some of the first few games we played there were bids of over 100 for some of the mid-range powerplants (which are worth 20-40). It takes a few games to know how much things are worth, but it's a fun learning process.
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Sam E.
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Thanks everyone for the recommendations :D This site is fantastic. I'll be sure to look into all of those!
 
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Walt
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For Carcassonne expansions, I suggest Carcassonne: Expansion 1 – Inns & Cathedrals and Carcassonne: Expansion 2 – Traders & Builders. These are considered most in keeping with the style of the original.

Alhambra is an excellent game with some tile laying in it, but the two player rules are a little odd. It plays up to 6 which can be handy,

Keltis is based on Lost Cities, a very popular game for couples. The board game is refined and plays up to 4.

I agree with the suggestion to get TransAmerica (or Trans Europa), and I suggest you get Vexation with it: it's a very inexpensive expansion.

I agree with the suggestions for Ra and Dominion.

One thing to remember about BoardGameGeek ratings is that we tend to favor more complex ("heavier") games. Don't put too much weight on them. We also tend to underestimate how difficult games will be for beginners, and this is especially true when you don't have someone to teach you the game. Carcasonne is easy to learn; Power Grid, not so much.
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Mike Frantz
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I'm going to try and focus on the most important part of the OP...2-3 players. I like Power Grid, but it really does not play well with 2 players.

So, here you go:

Ra is my favorite 3 player game (ignoring the OOP Web of Power). Lovely tension and the bidding strategies are just great. Constrained auction makes it newbie friendly.

Samurai - is a great game for 2 or 3 players. It can feel a little dry to some, but this is a great game to see if you are a "Knizia Fanboy."

Alhambra - has some Carcassonne like tile laying, but it is mostly a set-collection/majorities game. The 2 player variant is really quite good, and 3 is its sweet spot.

Vikings, Dominion, Through the Desert, St. Petersberg would also be worth looking at.

Good luck.
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Sam E.
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Thanks guys. I will mostly be playing with 3 players, so keep that in mind.
 
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J S
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I personally don't think moving to Power Grid would be too tough a move considering i did that myself. I went from Catan straight to Power Grid and I'm glad i did. It still stands as my favorite game to date, although i'm also relatively new to the hobby.

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Teri Zevallos
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Sophie
Welcome to this great community and beautiful addiction.

Try Manila is very fun and easy to learn.

Good luck!!

laugh

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opks22 wrote:
I personally don't think moving to Power Grid would be too tough a move considering i did that myself. I went from Catan straight to Power Grid and I'm glad i did. It still stands as my favorite game to date, although i'm also relatively new to the hobby.



opks22, you've got some great games sitting in your collection with no rating or plays. You've got some work to do.

Blockers! was one of my favorite finds last year. Try that 2-player with each having 2 colors but not being able to steal from your own. That's tense but also goes really quick. 3-player with that one doesn't really work though, too much room on the board.
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Wade Broadhead
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Ra has been a continual hit for 3 players and new players. A very easy set collecting game and most people are drawn to the pretty egyptian theme.
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Russell InGA
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Alhambra - Similar feel to Carc.
RA

The next level of complexity:
Yspahan
Stone Age

By the way... I want to disagree with the suggestion for Power Grid. The game has some counterintuitive strategies that put me off and might not work for you. Play this if you get the chance with experienced players so they can explain how to interact in the game. Disclaimer: I don't like Power Grid very much.
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Jimmy Okolica
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Not too much to add to the great suggestions already posted but...

Power Grid: my first time playing was 3 players and it played well although it has a very different feel than 4+. Also, it was one of my early plays and I didn't feel overwhelmed by it.

Attika: a good light tile-laying game that plays well from 2 to 4. Personally, I prefer Tigris and Euphrates and Samurai. Though they are a little heavier, if everyone in your group is at the same level, I don't see a problem with any of them. The rules are simple (especially Attika and Samurai); it is the strategy that makes T&E and Samurai heavy.

Tikal: this is a great light game with some decent strategic depth -- it is all about logistics, well except for the Indiana Jones feel.

Dominion: my personal favorite. This scales well from 2 - 4, is quick to teach, plays in 30 minutes to an hour (depending on the players); has great replayability; and is an absolute blast to play (IMHO).

San Juan: it's a step up from Settlers but not too far up. This was my gateway game. It's quick to teach, quick to play and scales well from 3 - 5. Also, the fact that it is a card game means it is very portable.

Great Wall of China or Loot - while I'm not crazy about Loot, every non-gamer I introduce it to loves it. I've just gotten Great Wall of China and it looks like it fixes some of the unbalanced feeling of Loot. Loot does not play well with 2 but does play well from 3 - 5 (not sure about GWOC yet).
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Butterfly0038 wrote:
Loot does not play well with 2 but does play well from 3 - 5


I know Loot has a bad rep for 2 but there is a 2-player variant that is absolutely superior to the group game (and the group game is totaly awesome too).



I added a photo with the rules but you can also print the rules for the 2-player variant from this link.

http://files.boardgamegeek.com/geekfile_view.php?fileid=3452...
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