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Subject: I Want a Set of Bookshelf Games rss

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elementary
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The title says it all. Right now my modest collection of games is relegated to the top shelf of a small closet. I have some built in shelving in my living room, and I'd like a set of fun approachable games that will look good lined up on a shelf. The type of games I can casually pull out when people are over and say, "hey let's give this a try."

I know box aesthetics isn't a typical recommendation criterion, but I want the uniformity. Right now I've got my eye on the Gryphon Games Bookshelf Series, is there anything else I should be considering?
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I want a hamburger, no I want a cheeseburger. I want a milkshake.
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The Tak
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The Puerto Rico and Agricola boxes stacked side by side make a lovely bookshelf set. You don't even have to really dig Agricola to notice that about it

Sure not a series, but meh. Most of the good games won't be. Fantasy Flight Games boxes are uniform size and label-pattern.
 
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Peter Loop
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Go with the Original Bookshelf - line



Some of the greatest games of all time - Aquire, Twixt...etc, some of the best designers Sackson, Randolf....etc
And they look so good.... Best with wood bits

got'em if you need em.

Peter
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John Kovacs
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How about these?



Yes, they are all wargames - and most of them are out-of-print. Oh well.
 
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Larry Rice
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if you are looking for games to pull out for casual play, the Gryphon lineup is likely your best bet.

The Alea lineup is nice as well, but some of those are really hard to find/expensive and those games tend to be a bit more complex than the casual gamer would likely want (not all though).

Is it QWG that has the expensive but nice looking deluxe bookshelf version too of about 5 games? Again - most of those are not for the casual gamer but they do look pretty sweet on the bookshelf.

The original bookshelf line isn't bad either but will look aged and out of date. Appeal may vary widely depending on your average casual gamer.

Valley Games has several different bookshelf lines, but there are, er, other issues there.
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Joe Wyka
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Well, let's see:

The 3M line has some good games (Acquire, Twixt, Bazaar, and so on), but they are old and that might be a turn off to casual players. They will look the best on your bookshelf, though, as they are designed to look like books.

The Treefrog Line looks excellent on my shelf and Wallace is a favorite designer of mine, but some are out of print and the entire line is expensive. Also the game mechanics might be a bit alien for casual players. It looks as if the reprints won't look as uniform as the originals.

Valley Games is producing a couple different lines of games (Classic, Modern) and they are designing them to line up well on a shelf. While there are some excellent classics and some decent new games included, most of them are not light and the reviews are a bit mixed. Still, it should not be hard to fill your shelf and games continue to be added.

The perfect line would probably be the original Alea games, both large and small box. Although, while excellent games continue to be produced in the line, earlier editions are hard to get and VERY expensive. Most have been reprinted, but they won't match the uniformity of the original prints. If you have the money and the inclination to hunt, this is probably the best bookshelf line with a mix of lighter and more strategic games.

Old Avalon Hill bookcase games are sort of modeled after the 3M approach. Again, though, the games are old and are of a mixed bag, and many are wargames. Still, there are enough of them out there that you might be able to construct of mix of games to your liking.

If you want go in a totally abstract direction, then there are a few more options: Gipf series, Jactalea games, Gigamec - but abstracts aren't to everyone's liking.

Ah, that's all that springs to mind at the moment, although I'm sure there's more....
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Mad Scientist Philip von Doomula
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PoGFan wrote:
I want a hamburger, no I want a cheeseburger. I want a milkshake.


You'll get nothing and like it!
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Christopher DeFrisco
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Here are some of the Wiki pages for those mentioned above.

Gryphon Games: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/Gryphon_Games_bookshe...

3M Bookshelf Series: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/3M_Bookshelf_Series

Alea Series...
Big Box: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/Alea_big_box_series
Medium Box: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/Alea_medium_box_serie...
Small Box: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/Alea_small_box_series

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Joe Wyka
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cdefrisco wrote:
Here are some of the Wiki pages for those mentioned above.

Gryphon Games: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/Gryphon_Games_bookshe...



I hadn't seen all of the Gryphon games lined up like that. They look good. There are some decent lighter titles in there, and they are all in print!
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The Gigamic games:





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Ed
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Are you sure you really want to buy games based on how they look together on your shelf? That seems like a formula for disappointment.
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Ben Smith
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You could just get some games because they're good games, and then spray paint one side of each of them gray. Gray matches anything!

I recommend Gray Pandemic, Gray Dominion, Gray Ingenious, Gray Battleline, and Gray Stone Age.
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Jeff Khoury
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theTak wrote:
Sure not a series, but meh. Most of the good games won't be. Fantasy Flight Games boxes are uniform size and label-pattern.


Yes, the FFG games look very nice filed vertically. Days of Wonder games are also exactly the same size, and those games are much, much simpler, so if you want to play casual, I'd go with DoW.

Some people hate storing games vertically, but I think it's far easier than horizontally (easier to pull out/put away, no fear of crushing weight for the ones on the bottom).
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Scott A. Reed
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I have several bookshelf sets going, and there are games that look great together that aren't even part of the same series that line up nicely on a shelf. A couple of recommendations:

Goldsieber - The Goldsieber big-box games have some solid titles included, such as Big City, Entdecker, Africa, New England, Lowenherz, Mississippi Queen, et al. The added bonus that the box-sides and box-ends all have a corner with artwork related to the game, the game's title, and the Goldsieber logo (or Rio Grande in the case of some US releases). Sadly, it appears that Goldsieber has stepped away from doing uniform box sizes and is publishing games in a wide variety of boxes lately, messing up the whole uniformity angle.

Queen -- Queen generally sticks to four basic boxes -- Very Large (Wallenstein, Shogun), Large (Chicago Express, Thebes, Aqua Romana, Dschunke), Medium (Alhambra, Atlantic Star, Airships, Metro, Industria, Cash-a-Catch, Gardens of Alhambra), and Small (Roma, Robber Knights, Rat Hot, Inka). Some solid games, and the boxes line up uniformly.

The Hans-im-Gluck/Rio Grande/Alea/et al. shelf-box size -- Not as much graphical uniformity, but the boxes are the same size and look pretty good lined up with each other. All the big-box games in the Alea line, as well as Goa, Torres, Carcassonne Limited Edition (Gold Box), Attika, Amun-Re, Agricola, The End of the Triumvirate, The Scepter of Zavandor. Age of Steam (Winsome/Warfrog 2nd ed.)

The Kosmos/Days of Wonder/et al. square boxes -- Another group of items that come in somewhat uniform box sizes, though lacking some uniformity in artwork. Ticket to Ride games, Kosmos Settlers games, Around the World in 80 Days, Niagara, Manila, Silk Road, Ubongo, Giganten, Domaine, Uberplay's Hollywood Blockbuster, Kingsburg, Entdecker: Exploring New Horizons, Dominion.
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elementary
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Lots of good recomendations here. A lot to consider. I didn't realize there is a fair amount of box standardization outside of designated series.

So, if I may further my recomendation query, lets say I want three or four games to line up on my shelf. The only requirements are that the boxes are of uniform size, and that the games lean towards the "pick-up-and-play" level of simplicity.

I'd probably want to grow the collection at some point, but if we ignore that for now, which three or four games should I invest in?
 
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Joe Wyka
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elementary wrote:
Lots of good recomendations here. A lot to consider. I didn't realize there is a fair amount of box standardization outside of designated series.

So, if I may further my recomendation query, lets say I want three or four games to line up on my shelf. The only requirements are that the boxes are of uniform size, and that the games lean towards the "pick-up-and-play" level of simplicity.

I'd probably want to grow the collection at some point, but if we ignore that for now, which three or four games should I invest in?


I'd go the square box route if that, playability and broad appeal are the criteria.

Ticket to Ride. Dominion. Blue Moon City. Zooloretto.
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Bookshelves where all the books line up perfectly look fake. A game shelf with the same characteristics would also look fake, as well as not allowing a good selection of games.
What's wrong with having a shelf of games whose boxes are about the same size - with some slight variations?
 
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Larry Rice
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Quote:
Lots of good recomendations here. A lot to consider. I didn't realize there is a fair amount of box standardization outside of designated series.

So, if I may further my recomendation query, lets say I want three or four games to line up on my shelf. The only requirements are that the boxes are of uniform size, and that the games lean towards the "pick-up-and-play" level of simplicity.

I'd probably want to grow the collection at some point, but if we ignore that for now, which three or four games should I invest in?


For ease of pick up and play, I'd go with the following Gryphon Games. All very enjoyable and very easy to pick up and play:

Roll Through the Ages
For Sale
Incan Gold
High Society

All can be explained in 5 minutes or less and played in 10-30 minutes...and are enjoyable as well. I've found great success introducing both For Sale and Incan Gold to casual gamers.
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Christopher DeFrisco
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larryjrice wrote:
For ease of pick up and play, I'd go with the following Gryphon Games. All very enjoyable and very easy to pick up and play:
Roll Through the Ages
For Sale
Incan Gold
High Society
All can be explained in 5 minutes or less and played in 10-30 minutes...and are enjoyable as well. I've found great success introducing both For Sale and Incan Gold to casual gamers.

I second this list. But I would include Gem Dealer. I played this for the first time recently and it's definitely been added to my want list. Also an easy to learn, quick to play game (and fun).
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Darren Dew
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Personally, I'd begin acquiring the GW series from the 80s; they like sharp together and play well, and are pretty easy to absorb.

The original Blood Bowl, Curse of the Mummy's Tomb, Fury of Dracula, Talisman and Rogue Trooper are a good start.
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Joe Wyka
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Zelif wrote:
Personally, I'd begin acquiring the GW series from the 80s; they like sharp together and play well, and are pretty easy to absorb.

The original Blood Bowl, Curse of the Mummy's Tomb, Fury of Dracula, Talisman and Rogue Trooper are a good start.


And these would appeal to non-geek casual gamers... how?
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Jeff Khoury
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elementary wrote:
Lots of good recomendations here. A lot to consider. I didn't realize there is a fair amount of box standardization outside of designated series.

So, if I may further my recomendation query, lets say I want three or four games to line up on my shelf. The only requirements are that the boxes are of uniform size, and that the games lean towards the "pick-up-and-play" level of simplicity.

I'd probably want to grow the collection at some point, but if we ignore that for now, which three or four games should I invest in?


So, you'd want something like this:


Pic is from my DoW shelf area. Sorry, my cam and photography are both lacking, but you get the idea. (You'll also note that I originally built those shelves to store 4 of those size games horizontally until I decided that vertically was much less of a headache.)

Of the games pictures, I would recommend them for ease of play in this order:

Ticket To Ride
Cleopatra & the Society of Architects
(I consider both of these games to be excellent gateway games. My extended family--mostly non-gamers--has played both of these multiple times and really enjoy them.)

Mystery of the Abbey
Shadows Over Camelot
(Mystery is an easy one because it's like an advanced version of clue. Shadows requires a bit more group strategy, but is one of the easiest to play cooperative games around.)

Colosseum
Small World
(Colosseum is more involved in organizing your own setup than any of the previous games, but has great set-collecting and trading, both easy enough for most players to grasp. Small World is more like a wargame/conquest game than anything else so far, and while pretty easy as far as those games go, can be a hard sell to casual gamers--unless they love risk.)

Memoir 44
Battlelore
(Both of these are excellent games, but generally require a little more rules-wise and strategy wise--especially Battlelore--than the rest. They are also wargames, which, again, can sometimes be a hard sell.)
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elementary
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Arghhh.. you people have me torn! You're arguments are too good! I have Ticket to Ride, so maybe I should start on the DoW games.. and now that JVKhory has posted the pic of how nice they look on a shelf I'm starting to wonder if the artwork variation is a preferable look.

But then the Gryphon games... the modest box size just makes them seem so approachable. Plus, they won't dominate the shelving, as right now it's mostly decorative pieces and a few scattered sets of books that adorn the shelves. But they do seem a little overpriced for what they are.

Oh well.. unless I put it up for a vote I guess I'm going to have to make the call myself now. Either way I go, I'm sure I'll have instant buyer's remorse for not going the other direction.
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