J Holmes
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Assuming the person has only very really played Monopoly and you want to get them into the wide wide world of boardgame geekery do you start with Settlers or Powergrid?

(Ra might be a close contender but isnt)

zombie
 
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Ferran Solà
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In my opinion, from those two games, I would go with Settlers without any doubt.
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Ziegreich
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Settlers, no doubt.
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Jordan Booth
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Huh, that's weird. I say Power Grid no doubt, and here's why: few decisions, only really one strategy to follow. In Monopoly everyone is trying to do the same thing in the same way. The same is true for Power Grid where it is designed so that you can easily grow your cities and replace weak plants with new ones as your need increases. As long as the teacher is the one to take care of the market and step changes there is little "what should I do?" factor.

Settlers, on the other hand makes you choose where to set up before (a newb) has a feel for how the distribution of numbers will affect the game, they will need to decide what type of development strategy they want before they even try to con other players out of the cards they need.

Basically it comes down to the "what should I do?" factor. In Settlers you have to decide whether to build roads, cities, or buy cards. In Power Grid the strategy is almost painfully obvious; more cities is better, more efficient power is better, cheaper fuel is better. And the game does not make it difficult or frustrating to continuously develop. Power Grid is also on my list of games that everyone enjoys playing even when losing because even if you don't really get it the game makes it very easy to at least progress so that you feel good about how you played. I refer to this as the "Stone Age factor"(will think of a better name soon) because that was the first game that made me feel that way. To me, these two are the most important qualities in a gateway game.
 
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Kent Reuber
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If you try to start them on Power Grid, their eyes will glaze over and you'll see them again. I'd suggest starting slower. Settlers would be OK, but other games like Coloretto, Ticket to Ride, Thebes, and other games may be good choices.

Talk to them and see if there is a genre or theme that they'd like, the lead with a light-to-middleweight game in that area.
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Al Johnson
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Absolutely, positively, without a shadow of a doubt start them on Settlers. And that comes from someone who rates Power Grid a 10. My family started on Settlers and it hooked them.

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Alexander T
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Power Grid would not be a good idea -- it is essentially a numbers game that's slow and induces analysis paralysis, A single bad move in an early round can dump a player behind, leaving a bad taste in their mouths. Let alone that if you want to show them what the world beyond Monopoly is, you shouldn't make them play a game where the strategy is so linear.

Settlers is designed to keep everyone involved and engaged regardless of how close they are to winning. It gets my vote.
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Power Grid is quicker, better, and much more interesting & fun than Settlers... but I'd recommend a better gateway game - perhaps Carcasonne or Ticket to Ride.
 
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T. Nomad
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You have Pandemic, J. I think it's terribly dull, but it's still a softer gateway than either PG or SoC.

The below point about the familiarity of dice is a strong one, though.

"Where are the dice?"
"Here. But dice don't move you. Instead, the numbers you roll get you stuff. Check out these little numbers..."
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B C Z
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j_holmes wrote:
Assuming the person has only very really played Monopoly and you want to get them into the wide wide world of boardgame geekery do you start with Settlers or Powergrid?

(Ra might be a close contender but isnt)

zombie


Settlers, by far.

Powergrid has a polarized following. Half love it, half despise it as a three hour painful exercise in minutia and mathematics.

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Martin Manning
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To quote myself from another thread (which no doubt inspired this thread):

ludopoly wrote:
Both Settlers of Catan and Power Grid are a great next step if you enjoy Monopoly, but which one you try first will depend on what it is you like about Monopoly.

Catan has an element of luck through the rolling of dice, and it features trading between players, plus a strong building element. I think it's more strategic, but less cutthroat than Monopoly, so it makes for a friendlier but more satisfying social game. Personally, of all the times i've introduced Catan to someone, no one has ever not liked it.

On the other hand, Power Grid is much more of an economic game, so if you play Monopoly with a bunch of accountants, you might like the reduced luck factor in Power Grid, and the greater emphasis and planning and spending wisely. Power Grid is a bit tricker to learn than Catan (partly because of the poorly written rules), but it is a rewarding game.


I assume that it is implicit in the question you are asking that the game you want to use shares significant common ground with Monopoly, so that the learning curve for the newbie is reduced. With that in mind, Monopoly is a multifaceted game, so deciding which game is the next logical step for a player is really about working out which aspects of Monopoly - or any game - they find most appealing. Some people like a light game, with a bit of luck, that the whole family can play and enjoy - they should go for Catan. Other people like the cutthroat, economic aspects of Monopoly, and they would be better suited to Power Grid.

Of course, there's other games that build on some of the ideas in Monopoly quite well. Chicago Express uses play money, auctions, and monopolies, Le Havre has an interesting take on buying and selling properties in the context of a broader economic game, and even Sword & Skull, which is essentially Pirate Talisman Lite, uses lots of elements from Monopoly and could be a suitable next step if the newbie finds the theme appealing.
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Glenn Ironhat
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Not Power Grid. If they've only played Monopoly, they are going to want to roll dice. And Power Grid doesn't have any. Guaranteed they will ask "where are the dice?" if you open up PG.

With Settlers, they will have the dice and will ask how they move when they roll. That will be strange enough for them.

Another choice though could be Ticket To Ride. No dice there either, but a very simple game to play. Only three options when it's your turn.

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J Holmes
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Well I did pick Powergrid and Settlers because I like both games a lot, and can see that Settlers is "like monopoly" (get good properties, roll dice and hope that property produces stuff you can use to get more properties, and trade) and Powergrid has the "auction baby auction, I want that resource more than you and I'll pay for it" and "I'm gonna grab that address before you can".

Pandemic is a gooood game for sure, but its totally co-op which is against Monopoly/settlers/powergrid.

Also, Powergrid and Settlers are on BSW. I've heard Pandemic is as well but isnt as well implemented as possible.
 
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Mike Banks
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Quote:
Absolutely, positively, without a shadow of a doubt start them on Settlers. And that comes from someone who rates Power Grid a 10. My family started on Settlers and it hooked them.


I'll second all of this -- and go on to say that I now find Settlers to be pretty boring and tedious.

TTR:Europe, Carcassonne, Dominion, El Grande, & RRTycoon are all viable alternatives, too.
 
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Чебурашка, ты настоящий друг!
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Settlers without a doubt. A few people are saying that they find it dull. I can well understand this. However, you have to remember that a lot of us have played the game many, many times, and as a result many are a little sick of it due to over-familiarity. Nevertheless, don't underestimate how fresh and new it seems to non-gamers. I've introduced it to people who were dead set against gaming and they loved it, and with some I was even able to move them onto more complex games later, such as Agricola.
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Phil McDonald
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If you want a game that's easy to learn, go with Settlers.

But if you don't want to bore them to death, go with Power Grid

However, there are other games that are easy to learn AND fun, why not go with Kingsburg or Ticket to Ride?
 
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J Holmes
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Because Ticket to Ride shares pretty much no mechanics with Monopoly as far as I can tell.

 
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Henrik Lantz
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What you want to avoid are lengthy and complicated rules. On the other hand, I have done the mistake several times of introducing new gamers to gaming with too simple games that have not been interesting enough. So, a game with simple rules but reasonably complex game play would be best. I'd say Settlers is the better of the two you mention, the rules of Power Grid is probably a bit too much, but there are also other options. I would pick Thebes.
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Phil McDonald
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j_holmes wrote:
Because Ticket to Ride shares pretty much no mechanics with Monopoly as far as I can tell.



So what? It's REALLY easy to learn, which I thought was your criteria.
 
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Luke Morris
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When did Power Grid become a "gateway game" or is this just another case of "suggest the game that I like best"?
Hell, I love die Macher but I'd not dump it on an unsuspecting friend.


Basically Settlers is definitely the better choice and one of three things will happen:
a) Wooah, it's just too geeky and deep for them. They won't go deeper than Monopoly again (then find other things to do with them, no biggie)
b) Wow! It's amazing! They love it and never want to play anything else. It's Settler for breakfast, lunch and dinner (annoying for you but it's THEIR life and THEY can enjoy the games than THEY want to enjoy! They may invite others to play who then might come and play other games with you).
c) They love it and want to try other games (it happened to me and many people here. Chexcellent!)
 
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If it had to be between Settlers and Power Grid I'd go with the latter. I'm glad Settlers was not the first game I tried. What about Parthenon: Rise of the Aegean?
 
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J Holmes
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I'm waiting till I have played Parthenon a few times before throwing that into the mix.
 
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Byron Grimes
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I would start with Powergrid. You don't need to jump them into the full game; you can play to the end of phase 1 the first time. After that, you can take it to the end. Also has an equivalent economic theme, which will ease the transition.
Settlers doesn't have a shorter option, and new players won't have a way out without finishing the game.
 
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Jordan Booth
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MikeDowd wrote:
That is weird because that's the exact same argument I'd use for Settlers. It seems to me that if they wanted to keep playing games with few decisions and one strategy, they'd have no need to move from traditional games to euros. I thought the whole point of a gateway game was to introduce them to new experiences.

Yes, but the trick is making that introduction a success. Giving new players too many options all at once is what will scare them off more than it being boring. Believe me, if people are hesitant to sit down in the first place, they get mighty impatient if you can't just start playing right away. This reminds me of another reason Power Grid is a wonderful game to teach. The phases are set up so that everyone does the same action and then you move on. This means you can literally teach the game on the first few turns. Unlike other games, the player doesn't need to remember a list of ~5 phases and what order they are in. Instead, the teacher/mechanic will just tell everyone what action is being taken and what order it goes in. I printed the nifty reference cards that Mr. Espada made, they remind you about the market upkeep too.

The most crucial thing here is the comfort of the new player. You want them to feel the familiar ground of guided play, but also a taste of choices. You don't want to throw them in the pool just yet. Settlers may be the quintessential gateway game, but it shouldn't be surprising that after 9 years they came out with a game that does the job better.
 
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Tim Maloney
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j_holmes wrote:


Powergrid has a polarized following. Half love it, half despise it...


You could say the same thing about Settlers. Just sayin'.
 
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