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Subject: Next game after Agricola and Puerto Rico? rss

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Markus Eriksson
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I like both games. Puerto Rico a bit more because it's faster. What game should I buy next?

Le Havre? Is it longer than Agricola?, then i pass.
Stone age? Is it too simple or will I like it?
Power Grid? How long is this game?

What games do you think I'll like? Just give suggestions so I can look them up!


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Rob Leveille
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Buy them all. Games are good.
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Le Harve, I can't speak on, as I haven't played it.

Stone Age is my favorite worker placement game. I've never had a bad game of this - it scales well between 2 and 4, and while you can get locked out of certain actions by others, the 'screwage' isn't as pronounced, as there are many opportinities for points and resources each round.

Power Grid is an interesting game, but I always found the auction mechanic to be lacking - it's like Colosseum, in that there is very little counterbidding except in extreme circumstances, since you generally trend away from ever wanting the same factory layout as any opponent, else you'll be paying too much for your resources.

Of the three, I have to vote for Stone Age.
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Brad N
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I also like both games and prefer Puerto Rico. Play time also tends to be an important consideration for me. I've never played Le Havre, but know that it plays long. I like Stone Age a lot, but consider it a definite step down complexity-wise from PR and Agricola. I love Power Grid, but know that it plays long. Of the three you mentioned, I'd recommend Power Grid.

Other games I like that I think you should check out and might fit well for you are...
- The Princes of Florence (my second favorite game after Puerto Rico)
- Hamburgum (my third favorite game; there is complexity and a good number of rules, but it moves fast)
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How many people are you going to play with?

Le Havre is longer than Agricola, especially at the start. Our 2p games run close to 2 hours (which could go down with practice), and most people don't recommend it with more than 3.

Stone Age is a little lighter, but still interesting - it probably matters if you'll be bothered by the luck elements more than anything.

You could look at Cuba and At the Gates of Loyang.
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Le Havre is significantly longer than Agricola. Now that being said it is an outstanding game.

Power Grid is also wonderful. It generally plays a little longer than Agricola but doesn't have to if all players are well versed. This game is not as favorable within my game group but I love it.

I moved to Race for the Galaxy. This game has absolutely captured my group and is still getting requests (50+ games). The play is shorter than both Agricola and Puerto Rico.
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Gary Bacchus
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There are a lot of answers for this question.

Le Havre can be a bit slower to start up than Agricola. On the other hand, the decision tree is very interesting. I would suggest as above (3 or less players and be prepared for a longer first run through).

I don't think Stone Age is *too* simple if you like Agricola. I like both games for different reasons. Because there are dice (gasp!) involved, it has a quasi "push your luck" feel to it (i.e. I may commit half my tribe to this one spot but still get very little for it).

Power Grid can take 3+ hours, but I've play it with 4 or more on a regular basis. YMMV. I would recommend it as well.

You can't really go wrong with any of these that you've looked at.

Now, for a game more like Puerto Rico, I may suggest Race for the Galaxy. It's a shorter game with very interesting decisions and less of a "the dummy next to me messed the game up" factor.
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I say dive in head first and get yourself a copy of Case Blue. arrrh
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Sean Todd
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markuse82 wrote:
I like both games. Puerto Rico a bit more because it's faster. What game should I buy next?

Le Havre? Is it longer than Agricola?, then i pass.
Stone age? Is it too simple or will I like it?
Power Grid? How long is this game?

What games do you think I'll like? Just give suggestions so I can look them up!


Lets see, if you started with Agricola and Puerto Rico...hmmm. Next would be Twilight Struggle, then Power Grid, Through the Ages, and Dominion. Then Le Havre, Tigris & Euphrates, El Grande, Caylus, Brass, and Race for the Galaxy. Stone Age? Let's not get ahead of ourselves. After these, we have another 13 games before we get to Stone Age.

Ok, ok, if you weren't trying to go through the games in order, I'd recommend Power Grid or Tigris & Euphrates. You seem to have an appetite for Gamer's Games and both are good games that are significantly different from Agricola and Puerto Rico. If you'd like a shorter game I like Tichu, Stone Age, or Dominion. I think if you approach Stone Age as a Gamer's Game, you might be disappointed. It's one of my favorites, but I look at it as a great filler with some fun cutthroat strategy and a fair share of luck.
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Gary Bacchus
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- The Optimum Game Selection Tool
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Chris Ferejohn
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I'll add Steam to the list. If you play the base game, it's about as long as Puerto Rico (i.e. around 90 minutes once everyone knows what they're doing), it's significantly different than what you've already played, and you can choose between the basic and standard game depending on how cutthroat of a game you prefer.

If Agricola feels to long, Le Havre is probably not a good idea. Someone said power grid is longer than Agricola, but I disagree with that. If you play with the same number of players, it's probably close, and in my experience Agricola is a bit longer. Otoh, you'll usually want to play Power Grid with 4 or more, so the games will tend to be longer than if you are playing a 2-3 person game of Agricola.
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Of the games you're thinking about, my suggestion would have to be to go with Le Havre.

I love playing Agricola, and I was in a similar situation to you recently where I was wondering what I should get next. Since most of my gaming is 2-player with my girlfriend I wanted to find something that would appeal to her as well, especially since she wasn't very fond of Agricola. After consulting this site, I picked up Stone Age.

Now, I was hoping for something that had some of the decisions that Agricola offers, and Stone Age left me sadly underwhelmed. That's not to say it's a bad game in the slightest, but as Sean Todd pointed out above, you will probably be disappointed if you come at it expecting something like I did. The more I play it though, the more I like Stone Age. I just had to adjust my expectations of the game.

Power Grid is really only good if you're playing it with more than two players (though I hear one of the expansions... France, I think, is decent with two). While I enjoy the depth of Power Grid, I found it felt more like work than a game quite often due to all of the math involved. Still, if you don't mind that it might be a good choice for you.

For me though, Le Havre is a game that offers exactly what I was looking for. An abundance of strategic depth with little luck. Every turn offers a plethora of difficult decisions, and at the end of the game I always feel quite fulfilled. In fact, if I had to pick my top two games right now, it would be Agricola and Le Havre. It is definitely longer than Agricola, which might be a turn off, but my suggestion is to at least give it a try before writing it off. If you like Puerto Rico and Agricola, I think you're almost sure to like Le Havre.

Good luck!
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Stone Age is very light and gets old pretty fast, in my experience. There's so much luck involved that you'd find a major departure from Puerto Rico and Agricola. I've never played Power Grid because I think the artwork is super ugly and dull (I know I'm probably missing a great game, but it looks so unapplealing I just don;t want to play it). Le Havre is a good game, but feels too long and fiddly for what it is. It's a longer game than Agricola. Note that Im not a fan of Agricola either, which tends to feel tedios and somehow calustrophobic to me... Anyway, I don;t feel the need to play Le Havre again.

Here's what I'd recommend:

1. I'd recommend Caylus next. It is still one of my favorite worker placement/resource management games. In it you are a medieval real estate developer eyeing that long meandering road. It has perfect information so there are no surprises except for what's in your opponent's head. It has a strong sense of game progression, feels thematic to me, and two experienced players can play it in about 45 minutes, or maybe an hour if you're more prone to analysis paralysis. The multiple paths to victory and the wiles of your opponent give you lots of strategic and tactical decisions that feel interesating and important. Best as a 2 player game, in my opinion, okay with 3, but way too long and too much chaos with 4. Oncwe you understand the rules, the game flows beautifully and intuitively.

2. You also might want to check out Cuba, which is a perfect marriage between Puerto Rico and Caylus, with a very up to date and fresh feel. You've got the cool buildings, resource development and management, shipping, and variable player role selection. It takes familar mecahnics and integrates them wonderfully well. This one has shoved Puerto Rico off my table.

3. If you want to try a very different theme, then Dungeon Lords might be the ticket. Very cool and humorous theme about trying to become the best dungeon ever and trying to foil the destructiveness of the terrible good adventurers. It is a meaty game indeed by the same guy who did Through the Ages. Dungeon Lords is very immersive, but also very very prone to analysis paralysis (but this is mitigated somewhat because everyone can do combat simultaneously, and this is where most of the AP comes) - the play isn't too long once you get a feel for the game and keep the AP at bay. Cool theme that does not feel pasted on - it is remarkably well integrated into the mechanics, even though Vlaada at some point said maybe he should have used a different theme because of the expectations raised among Ameritrashers from the dungeon theme. This is a fun meaty and thoughtful game and not a light romp though the dungeons. Note that the dungeon theme is cute rather than gross or scary.

One of the wonderful things about this game is the timing - unlike so many dungeon and fantasy themed games I've played, players aren't running around in circles for forever trying to get their stats up before facing the big baddie. In Dungeon Lords there's a time and place for everything on a schedule. You know you have this much time to build up your dungeon and your work force and defenses, as well as somewhat of a production machine. And you know who the terrible good guys are gonna be ahead of time, and you know where you are on the evilometer, which you can manipulate to your advantage. And then of course, comes the diceless combat, right on schedule. I very much appreciate that after playing too many endless, and often mindless, games in this thematic genre. Dungeon Lords is by no means a short game, but there is a solid sense of progression.

The combat involves using the stats of the monters, traps, and ghosts you have against those of the destructive goodies - it's a bit of a puzzle I suppose that you try to solve by imprisoning the good guys and leaving as much of your dungeon intact as possible. You can play the combat by winging it too if you don't want to be stung with Analysis Paralysis, but you'll probably see rather more destruction to you dungeon that way - and mind you, destruction can be pretty fun even when it's your own stuff!

The rulebook is also remarkably well written and fun to read - gets you in the mood and adds to the theme. Good artwork and bits also add a lot. Note that the graphics, including the monsters and ghosts, are on the cute side rather than the gross or dark side.

The downside to this game is that it's really a 4 player game, although there are 2 and 3 player vairants in which you are using "dummy" players. But honestly it needs 4 players to really shine.

LOVE this game!!!

4. If you want to try a lighter, very portable game, that's still got some meat to it, you might want to try Cuba's little sibling: Havana. Havana is to Cuba what San Juan is to Puerto Rico, except that Havana has some real guts to it, and doesn't have so much luck of the draw taht San Juan suffers from. Havan has shoved San Juan off the table in our household.

5. If you're looking for a train game that plays with 3 or 4 players, then Steam may be your answer. It's a very tight game that can be played two ways - the basic game which is more forgiving but still interesting and fun, and the Standard game which is a tough one. I tend to like heavier games, but with Steam, I actually prefer the Basic game, because we fly along and have a ton of fun with it. The downside, from my point of view, is that it's not a 2-player game, so it sees the table less oten in my household. Anyway, cool economic engine/network building game with the typical pick up and deliver mechanism commom to this genre. A good taste of Martin Wallace design!
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Michael Snedeker

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I would add Vasco da Gama. Complex, tight, excellent player interaction.

Stone Age: Fastest game of those you mentioned. Always brought to our weekly game night.

Power Grid: Usually is our "tournament game" using different maps.

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If those are your only options... having not played stone age I can't say but I LOOOVE le havre and my gaming group now considers it over Agricola, however since picking up the expansion for Agricola that one is climbing back up that exp adds quite a bit to it.

Power grid has weighed on me, it is fun at first but the mechanic ages quick, you need to get all the expansion boards to keep it fresh and new.

BUT one I'd REALLY recommend is Power Grid: Factory Manager. It has a couple elements of Power Grid and simplifies it while adding a really cool way to strategize your victory. I've got like 5 games under my belt and have tried at least 3-4 different strategies winning about half the time but the nice thing about this game is you can fall behind early and catchup and in the case of the last game I played SCREAM ahead. The game balances out so quite often games all end up close (within 5-10 $ which is how you win).

OH lastly, you can play a game of Factory Manager with 4 players and one+ newbies in under an hour. all experienced half hour - 45 min
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Ethan Frazier
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I would second the suggestions and reasons for Race for the Galaxy (excellent decisions, fast pace) and Caylus (the first heavy worker-placement game I ever played). Personally, I love Power Grid, as well, but it can run long.

I am currently pretty taken by Power Grid: Factory Manager, however. Pretty fast pace -- as long as you don't get too overwhelmed by analysis paralysis -- brutal money and optimization tradeoffs. I haven't yet figured out my basic strategy on how to approach the game, despite four 2-player games and one 4-player game. That, of itself, is fascinating to me. I don't know how to win yet!
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markuse82 wrote:
Puerto Rico a bit more because it's faster.


Have you looked at Endeavor? If you like these kind of games but want it to feel quick, it's a strong contender. The game only lasts seven rounds, but you start getting more actions per round as your population and number of buildings increases.
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markuse82 wrote:
I like both games. Puerto Rico a bit more because it's faster. What game should I buy next?

Le Havre? Is it longer than Agricola?, then i pass.
Stone age? Is it too simple or will I like it?
Power Grid? How long is this game?

What games do you think I'll like? Just give suggestions so I can look them up!




Which did you like more, Peurto Rico or Agricola? La Havre us longer but I wouldn't play with more than three players. If you liked Agricola more get La Havre. If you liked Agricola but it was too heavy get Stone Age. If you liked Peurto Rico more get Power Grid. Power grid is all about optimizing your turn which is similar to PR.
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You need to mix it up a bit.
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If you like that Puerto Rico is faster, Stone Age will be a good game for you. But you might consider branching out to games that have more differences. Endeavor is good, though if it were more available, I'd suggest Hansa Teutonica. We have just reached 45,000 games in the database, so at least 500 are well worth playing.

Consider joining a gaming group in your area so you can try games without buying them. Or if you set your country, state, and city (or county) in your profile, you'll get a spiffy flag in your avatar box, and maybe someone will suggest a gaming group for you. (Mouse over my US flag to see what I mean.)
 
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Alex Rockwell
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My recommendation would be the only game thats better than Puerto Rico: Race for the Galaxy.

Of the games you mentioned, Power Grid is best. Its not longer than Agricola.


Le Havre is interesting and good, but is both too long and also too dominated by the coal strategy.
Stone age is pretty good but is a bit too simple. there isnt nearly the depth of strategy that is present in all the other games mentioned.
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Myok wrote:
markuse82 wrote:
Puerto Rico a bit more because it's faster.


Have you looked at Endeavor? If you like these kind of games but want it to feel quick, it's a strong contender. The game only lasts seven rounds, but you start getting more actions per round as your population and number of buildings increases.


This is my recommendation as well. Excellent game that packs a huge amount of gaming punch in a short playing time. Much better than Puerto Rico in my opinion.
 
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You're probably getting more opinions than you ever asked for, but if I rewrote my personal history so that I was starting from Agricola and Puerto Rico, and wanted games of similar weight, and not significantly longer in duration (as Le Havre is) I'd say:

- Caylus - As deep and replayable as Puerto Rico, and appeals largely to the same kinds of gamers, but is a very different game. Agricola was largely inspired by it. I think you'll love it.
- Power Grid: Factory Manager - Shorter than Power Grid (~ 1 hr), and feels much tighter. I think this is the Power Grid / Puerto Rico hybrid other people were struggling to find.
- The Princes of Florence - Also a good "similar but different" progression from PR and Agricola. I never get tired of PR or PoF, and multiple plays just make my appreciation grow. There are very few games like this.

Honourable mentions:
- Stone Age is a great game, and I'm pretty sure you'll also like it, but it does feel a little lighter than PR or Agricola. If you have friends or family members who are non-gamers, it's a much easier one to teach to them, so that might make it worth it. I find that I grow weary of it from time to time though, unlike the games mentioned above.
- Endeavor was an interesting suggestion above. I liked it the 2 or 3 times I've played it, but compared to PR it feels a little dumbed down, and I suspect that would start to show after multiple plays, and it's too new to have really stood the test of time. Your mileage may vary -- there are certainly people out there who really love it, and my Factory Manager recommendation admittedly is subject to the same criticism, I guess.
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What other games do you own? What do you like about those games? Who do you regularly play with? Do you want something even weightier or something lighter?

It's kind of hard to make a recommendation at this point. It's possible you are new to this hobby and didn't know where else to start so you went out and bought a couple top rated games (I know that's what I did). If that's true the hungry hippos idea, while obviously a joke, has the right sentiment. Go buy a variety of games to see what you like and so that you have games for a variety of situations (ie. fillers, party games, light games, heavy games etc) Find out what games work best for you and your group. For instance, yes I liked Agricola and Puerto Rico when I played them, but I found once I played some quicker, lighter games I went from enjoying this hobby to loving it.

So if you are new I suggest the following:

Stone Age - Quicker, lighter than Agricola. Honestly I never play Agricola because I much prefer this and so does my gaming group. Agricola feels like a math puzzle to us, Stone Age feels like a game. As someone that owns Agricola but doesn't seem sold on it I strongly recommend playing or buying this to see what direction to go as a gamer.

Dominion - You owe it to yourself to play this. Everyone I show it to enjoys it.

Try those. Even if you find you enjoy heavier games they are great games, easy to trade or sell, but most likely you will still want to keep them in your collection since they are great in certain situations. Not a big loss. Now if you find you enjoyed these lighter games, try even lighter games next like For Sale, try a game like Citadels or try Wits & Wagers. Like I said I don't know your game story yet so this could be way off but if you are new you should really try a whole range of games. Find out what type of gamer you are, what games will get more playing time etc. Sounds like you don't want long, heavy game sessions and like me you may find that as much as you want to be playing games like Agricola and Puerto Rico, you and your game group have a better time playing lighter games.
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Alex, is being modest but you should also definitely check out Homesteaders. It is a development game that packs a lot of interesting decisions into a short timespan (90 minutes or less). Even better you can get it for a fairly low price from www.coolstuffinc.com. Only $26!
 
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