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Subject: In desperate need of recommendation - hope game type exists! rss

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Steve K.

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Hi everybody, I'm brand new to this forum - though I've been snooping around the website for some time now. The community here seems pretty strong and knowledgeable, so I figured that I'd make this the first place I go to for advice.

First, a little history of myself (to assist with recommendation): My experience with board games outside of the standard kiddie fare has been pretty much limited to one game - Hero Quest, which I enthusiastically played with friends for much of the early 90s. I was fairly young and impressionable, and it left me with many fond memories.

Since that time I've managed to graduate High School and College, begin a career, and even *eek* get engaged - more or less leaving gaming in the dust due to lack of interest from my friends. Though I've managed to keep my love of co-operative adventure gaming alive since 2002 thanks to Neverwinter Nights which I still play to this day, sadly online gaming leaves much to be desired - the camaraderie and social interaction with friends face to face, the late nights swigging caffeinated soda or beer and scarfing junk food while creating memorable stories... oh, my heart pangs for those nights!

*ahem*
Well, as of late I've become determined to try and suck some of my friends back into that world of fantasy and adventure gaming fun (since I feel like they'd really enjoy it as long as they could overcome some of their misconceptions of the genre). The issue is, that I'm probably going to have to build things up slowly - probably one friend at a time.

Here's what I'm looking for, and I'm not sure if it exists - a game that I can play cooperatively with 1 friend to start things off, something that isn't me as a DM vs. him/her. I'm sure something with an interesting backdrop would obviously help with immersion and interest as well. Lastly, as I mentioned - said friends, though smart and mature, would be new to this, so preferably something not completely overwhelming rules wise (though with my past experience with gaming and DnD I can probably help out in this dept).

Hopefully with the right gateway game, I can convince at least one friend to join me in this pastime and gain a foothold to ensnaring more.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated as I look to join your ranks once again!
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Barry Goldstein
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Welcome!


I have the perfect suggestion for you.

Oozing with theme, individual character powers, cooperative, cool looking, nifty weird tokens, and kung fu supernatural ass kicking!


Check out Ghost Stories.


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Kent Fletcher
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Second Ghost Stories.
It's a great co-op oozing with theme.

Also, although I've never played it myself. You may want to check out Arkham Horror. Another Co-op with strong thematic elemants. Seems to have a very strong following and is well supported by the publisher.
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Jim Cote
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If you are willing to learn them yourself ahead of time and be the expert for the group, Arkham Horror and Lord of the Rings should work nicely. The former is more RPG-like, while the latter is more puzzle-like (same with Ghost Stories).
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Dice bags!
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Welcome to BGG Nice username.

Take a look at Pandemic and Vanished Planet, and perhaps Prophecy (not coop, but has RPG flavor).
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Andrew L.
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I second Arkham!
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Tim Stellmach
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Ghost Stories, Arkham Horror, and Lord of the Rings are all excellent suggestions.

All could have been more approachable with better-presented rulebooks, Ghost Stories in particular. But Ghost Stories and LotR are not really all that complicated; you should just learn them solo first before springing them on friends. I would say that Arkham Horror is a step more complex, but does by far the best job of delivering the adventure theme.

Ghost stories will kick your tail at first, though. Badly. Be warned. As will LotR, though I'd say less so. Conversely, Arkham Horror does a good job of creating an illusion of impending doom without actually being nearly as terrible as it seems.

Pandemic is probably the most approachable suggestion, but the least adventuresome. It certainly has strong dramatic structure, but comparatively weak narrative elements. It's got one thematic note (though it does it well), whereas the other coops have more variety and character.
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.308 Jake
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Prophecy is exactly what you're looking for (although not co-op).
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Colin Clark
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Arkham Horror is the one that got me hooked on co-op gaming, I highly recommend it.

Runebound (First Edition) is also pretty good, although not completely co-op. Its somewhere between co-op and vs., but is neither of the two...interesting concept and you can get the first edition cheap online or in game/thrift stores.

Red November is a BLAST. Its a co-op game where you and your partners run around a sinking submarine trying to fix leaks, fires, and catastrophies, all while being hunted by the kracken!
My girlfriend and I play this constantly.
 
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Matt Thrower
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Fully co-op games in this genre are actually fairly rare. Warhammer Quest would be ideal if you can find/afford a copy. Alternatively you could try Return of the Heroes with the fan-made "Realm of the Heroes" variant (downloadable here on BGG) which can, I believe, be played co-operatively.
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David C
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Is Runebound DM-less, for sure?

I ask, because I have a 'little' for big brothers big sisters that's really into roleplaying boardgames, like...heroquest. However, I like the idea of a DM-less fantasy roleplaying experience, if I can get it.
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Bill Eldard
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Wandering Bard wrote:
. . . Here's what I'm looking for, and I'm not sure if it exists - a game that I can play cooperatively with 1 friend to start things off, something that isn't me as a DM vs. him/her. I'm sure something with an interesting backdrop would obviously help with immersion and interest as well. Lastly, as I mentioned - said friends, though smart and mature, would be new to this, so preferably something not completely overwhelming rules wise (though with my past experience with gaming and DnD I can probably help out in this dept).

Hopefully with the right gateway game, I can convince at least one friend to join me in this pastime and gain a foothold to ensnaring more.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated as I look to join your ranks once again!


In addition to Lord of the Rings, there's Shadows over Camelot

Both game are cooperative (players are a team against the game), and both have expansions. One of the LotR expansions allows one player to be the bad guy Sauron.

Additionally, Shadows Over Camelot has a secret traitor mechanism that works rather well. If the traitor is unidentified when the team loses the game, the traitor wins and the other players lose. Conversely, if the team wins, the traitor loses.
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Andreas
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One not mentioned that is a two player one against the other AND a multiplayer coop:

Scotland Yard

And in the new movie Scotland Yard meets the Amazing Labyrinth:

Pyramid of Pengqueen


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Joshua Peterson
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-----------------------------------------------------------------------
If you liked Heroquest,

Descent: Journeys in the Dark
or even
Doom: The Boardgame
would be GREAT choices.

Make sure you know the rules of any game before you teach it. Nothing kills the enthusiasm of new gamers like stalling in rules explanation.

ekted wrote:
If you are willing to learn them yourself ahead of time and be the expert for the group, Arkham Horror and Lord of the Rings should work nicely. The former is more RPG-like, while the latter is more puzzle-like (same with Ghost Stories).

Arkham Horror seems a little heavy as a "gateway game" IMHO. I think the Lord of the Rings game is a good choice, but, again, make sure you know how to play it yourself before teaching it as a gateway.

PS- zombieLast Night on Earth: The Zombie Game is a "lighter game" which is VERY easy to teach and learn and it just oozes theme.

::Edited Note:: these games are NOT 100% cooperative,(they can be coopertive in a "one player is gamemaster and the rest cooperate" sense) but are GREAT two player games and have the ability to be made 100% cooperative.
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Andreas
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Always those war games. A nice Euro would be fine wouldnt it?
 
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Travis Cooper
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I haven't played a ton of coop games, but I would strongly suggest not starting out with Arkham Horror. I love to play games and upon hearing how long it takes to play I am convinced I don't want to try it out. I'm sure it's a great game, but because of the time on it I don't think it would be the best option to get your friends into gaming with.

The only other one I can comment on is Pandemic. This is a great game, it was recommended for the spiel des jahres this year, it is pretty high up in the BGG rankings and it is simple enough for non-gamers to easily grasp what is going on. You can play this with 2-4 people, according to the box, but people have done it with 5, and with the expansion it official supports 5. I also think it is a good standalone game. You set out 3 or 4 roles and play them all yourself.
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Andreas
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SDJ is always a good recommendation. To quote the famous Tom Vasel "I have never played a bad one".
 
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Ed Browne
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bippi wrote:
Is Runebound DM-less, for sure?

I ask, because I have a 'little' for big brothers big sisters that's really into roleplaying boardgames, like...heroquest. However, I like the idea of a DM-less fantasy roleplaying experience, if I can get it.


Runebound 2nd Edition (I haven't played 1st ed) is absolutely DM-less! And my pick for a gateway game for the original poster.

I love Arkham Horror (see that it's one of my only two microbadges), but it is a bit complicated for the newcomer. Unless they are big HP Lovecraft fans, don't start with this one. But get it later when they are hooked... devil

Definitely Runebound is what I've been using for the sort of thing you are talking about for years. Simple to learn with lots of RPG goodness.
Knizia's Lord of the Rings is good too for those who are Tolkein fans. It's a little more abstract (no direct monster fighting like Runebound), but jsut a fun and fairly simple co-op game.

 
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Steve K.

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WayneSolo wrote:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Arkham Horror seems a little heavy as a "gateway game" IMHO. I think the Lord of the Rings game is a good choice, but, again, make sure you know how to play it yourself before teaching it as a gateway.

PS- zombieLast Night on Earth: The Zombie Game is a "lighter game" which is VERY easy to teach and learn and it just oozes theme.

::Edited Note:: these games are NOT 100% cooperative,(they can be coopertive in a "one player is gamemaster and the rest cooperate" sense, but are GREAT two player games and have the ability to be made 100% cooperative.


Just a note, I'd rather have a good, replayable game with legs than something that's watered down too much to be beginner friendly.

But anyways, thanks so much guys, thanks for all of the information, I definitely have a lot to think about - if anybody wants to help me start narrowing down the options I'd appreciate it!

Remember, my biggest request was for a game that could be played co-operatively by two people against the game - with no DM support needed, while at the same time not having it being player vs. player either. This is my reason for having to go to you guys in the know, with your knowledge of the gaming universe as a whole - I guessed that those types of games would be rare.

If I could get a few more people, I'd probably just play Hero Quest (or its contemporary equivalent) and be done with it. So I think that removes a few of the games listed above.

I'm definitely looking into Arkham and Ghost Stories, as well as Lord of the Rings. However, the quote about Arkham being a bit more RPGish than puzzle-ish like Ghost Stories and Lord of the Rings is a big deal for me - I definitely like the RPG side of things: really getting into a character in an alternate universe and playing. Would anybody else agree with that statement about puzzle-ness vs. RPG?

Would that affect any of your choices at all? So far the list is pretty long with those three in the lead.

You guys are the best though, I'm so glad that I looked for help here!
 
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Pete Lane
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Wandering Bard wrote:
I definitely like the RPG side of things: really getting into a character in an alternate universe and playing. Would anybody else agree with that statement about puzzle-ness vs. RPG?


Arkham Horror it is! It's a bit "big" and could be overwhelming for someone who hasn't gamed in a while, so give the rule book a read. If it seems like a bit much, I would say A Touch of Evil: The Supernatural Game is nearly identical with exception of the fiddly bits that give Arkham the confusion factor. It can also be turned into a competitive game once you guys tire of helping each other.

When you've decided that you might want to venture into GM territory, Descent: Journeys in the Dark is a great next step.
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Tim Stellmach
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WayneSolo wrote:

Descent: Journeys in the Dark
or even
Doom: The Boardgame
would be GREAT choices.

Descent is a great game (haven't played Doom, but I take it it's similar), but it's intensely adversarial. On that account, it doesn't seem to fit the bill.
 
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Steve K.

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Grimstax wrote:

Runebound 2nd Edition (I haven't played 1st ed) is absolutely DM-less! And my pick for a gateway game for the original poster.


I was looking into this as well, and it looks interesting, but it seems less co-op and more about independently accomplishing tasks. Maybe I've got the idea of the game wrong? I understand I'm being picky, I really do but I was hoping to find a game that I could team up with the other player and when the game is won, it's a victory for both/all gamers involved.

Something to look back on and say, damn we just kicked so and sos arse! High five!
 
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Ed Browne
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I really, really argue against starting with Arkham Horror. Almost to a person, anyone newer to gaming hates AH that I have tried it with unless they were already a huge HP Lovecraft fan. The only thing it fits in your description is that it is co-op.

As I stated before, I love the game. I even recommend you buy it, if you have the money, just to play it solo if you can't find anyone else. But just because I love it doesn't mean it fits the description I'm hearing you looking for. It has no similarities, in complexity or play, to HeroQuest.

The 2 player, replayable game with Heroquest-like qualities and no GM is Runebound. Really. Trust me on this. It's pretty simple to learn and you are both competing for the same prize, but there really isn't much player interaction. It's a race to beat the big boss or reach a certain power level. Great for 2 players and even solo.

In Runebound, you each have a character (working separately, yes, but on the same side) with its own skills and talents that you can upgrade with experience, weapons, armor, artifacts, spells, and allies. Go beat up random encounters generated by the game (with lots of expansions to add even more monsters, items, allies, endings, etc.) until someone is powerful enough to be declared the winner. All in a Fantasy setting with no GM.

I truly believe Runebound 2nd Edition is the closest thing to what you are asking for here.

And if you pay for it and your friends don't like it, you can still play solo as the game generates the encounters.
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Ryan Strand
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stagger lee wrote:


Arkham Horror it is! It's a bit "big" and could be overwhelming for someone who hasn't gamed in a while, so give the rule book a read. If it seems like a bit much, I would say A Touch of Evil: The Supernatural Game is nearly identical with exception of the fiddly bits that give Arkham the confusion factor. It can also be turned into a competitive game once you guys tire of helping each other.

When you've decided that you might want to venture into GM territory, Descent: Journeys in the Dark is a great next step.


I agree with the boxing kitty. Arkham Horror seems like the right game if you are into the Lovecraft theme and are willing to spend a few hours learning how to play. If that seems too much, Touch of Evil is often referred to as "Arkham Lite".
 
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Steve K.

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MattDP wrote:
Fully co-op games in this genre are actually fairly rare. Warhammer Quest would be ideal if you can find/afford a copy.


Gah! Why is this game so $@!# expensive?!? It looks pretty awesome!!!

Actually, I guess I just answered my own question.

I'm looking into touch of evil, though there doesn't seem to be many reviews of it, I also wonder a little bit about how replayable the game is.
 
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