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Subject: Branching out into new areas of gaming! rss

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Judit Szepessy
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I am planning to buy about four games in the near future. I am asking you to give me recommendations based on the following critera. We either play as a family of four (I have two sons aged 10 and 12), or I with my sons or only with one of them or four adults when we have couples over. At times I and my husband play together as well.

1. The games do not last longer than an hour. (I know it depends on the number of players). We do have games that last longer than an hour, but this time I would like to invest in quicker but still fun games.

2. To expand my collection I would like to buy a civilization game, an auction game and an economy game as I lack these kinds of games. Also, I think, with these games our family will be introduced to new mechanics.

3. Preferably the games should scale well with 2, 3 or 4 players.

4. You can include a clever filler as well.

5. Some luck is OK but not too much.

Thanks for your help!

Edited: I realize that in the case of civilization games (and maybe the same goes for the economic games) the one hour criteria is not going to work and it is fine if you want to recommend a civilization or an econimic game that plays longer than an hour.
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whistler
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Looking at your wishlist, I would recommend Medici, Ra, Carcassonne, and Antike.
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Damien
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For Sale, Chinatown
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Nico Solitander
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judoka wrote:


1. The games do not last longer than an hour. (I know it depends on the number of players). We do have games that last longer than an hour, but this time I would like to invest in quicker but still fun games.

2. To expand my collection I would like to buy a civic game, an auction game and an economy game as I lack these kinds of games. Also, I think, with these games our family will be introduced to new mechanics.

3. Preferably the games should scale well with 2, 3 or 4 players.

4. You can include a clever filler as well.

5. Some luck is OK but not too much.

Thanks for your help!



Great auction games do not work very well with two. I think that a game that comes close to your criteria 1,2 (economic and auction), 3 (playable with two) is Chicago Express. Goa also comes close. If you can discard the two-player issue, you cannot go wrong with Modern Art or For Sale.

For civic (civilization?) playing time is an issue - the one hour mark is not hit by Antike etc., by a long-shot... For a civ-game fulfilling your criteria look at:'
Peloponnes - auction-based Civ-light.
Uruk: Wiege der Zivilisation - resource-man/economic card game with civ theme.

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Judit Szepessy
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Thanks, yes , I meant civilization game.
 
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John H
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Three recommendations that I hope help.

Power Grid - This has most of what you are looking for in your list of requirements and is well supported with official and unofficial maps.

Seafarers of Catan - I see that you own Catan already and this will make a wonderful addition to the base game. We do not play Catan without.

Monopoly Deal - I see you own but do not like Monopoly. That is okay, you have to trust me on this one. I see you like various card games already by those posted in your collection. You will love the familiarity of the classic game components (in card form), but none of the long, drawn out, borring, mind numbing, 'please let it end' mechanics of the original. 2 player games take about 15 minutes once you get the hang of it, 3 player about 25 minutes and 4 player just over a half hour.

Good luck with whatever you choose!

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Jon
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I recently got Tobago for my family and it has been a big hit. It might meet your "clever filler" criteria. It's pretty quick and works well with three and four. Haven't tried only with two yet.
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Martin G
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Civilisation game - it's going to be tough to find a true civilisation game in under an hour, but Endeavor might come close. It plays best with 4 or 5 though, and not at all with 2.

Auction game - definitely Ra. Plays in 45 mins, scales very well from 2-4, and it's all about managing luck.

Economic game - again, most of these tend to be longer than an hour. How about Race for the Galaxy? It has a steep learning curve but it fits the time and player number requirements really well and is amazingly replayable once you get it figured out.

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Judit Szepessy
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Thank you for all the recommendations!
 
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Kevin Shillinglaw
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Fast and fun games: Citadels and Tsuro.

Tsuro is an excellent filler. Citadels is just plain excellent.

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Auction - Ra is a good auction game.

There is also Cash-a-Catch as an auction game with a bell and ruckus behavior

Economic - I'd go with Acquire which is the economic stable that plays pretty quick (probably 1.5 hours)

or Chicago Express if you want to take it to the next level plays in about the same amount of time

Civilization - With boys of that age I'd go with Small World (though its not really a civilization game) or for the next level another one that's gold for 4-player is Tigris & Euphrates (though it is a bit more abstract)
*small world is the longest game here but you can reduce the # of rounds

Fillers
Citadels is an excellent choice
Tsuro also an excellent fast choice (plays 2-8)
Can't Stop push your luck dice game
Blockers! great abstract with 2 4 or 5 (not tight enough with 3) you can get it for $10.50
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Max
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A few of the recommendations from SFGate about the 2009 crop of games might work. Steam is an option if you don't mind going over an hour, and Maori is a contender if you don't mind something simpler (perhaps too simple?).

Chicago Express (Queen, $59.95; 2-6 players; age 12+; 60 min.) This game offers a wrinkle on the traditional train-game format. The main play still involves creating rail routes - in this case from the East Coast to Chicago - across mountains, forests and open countryside. But instead of concentrating on the shipping of goods, Chicago Express is a financier's game; players compete to own stock in the railroad companies, funding expansion with their own investment capital and hoping to reap monetary rewards. Some of the resulting play can be counterintuitive (it's not always smart, for instance, to buy stock too cheaply if it leaves the railroad underfunded), and there are plenty of surprise twists along the way. Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/11/27/...

Steam: Rails to Riches (Mayfair, $55; 3-5 players; age 12+; 90 min.) This is the latest installment in the long series of train games by the English designer Martin Wallace, and for those who like this category it's a solid winner. As in other games, the goal is to build up a network of rail lines that can ship goods across your connections to the markets that need them; the placement of towns and cities, and the differences in terrain, complicate the process. A handsome two-sided board allows for a scenario in the Northeastern United States or Germany's Ruhr Valley, depending on the number of players. Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/11/27/...

Maori (Rio Grande, $34.95; 2-5 players; age 8+; 30-45 min.) Part of the delight of this short and rewarding game is seeing how much variety and tactical subtlety can be wrung out of an uncomplicated set of rules. Your goal is to complete an island map using printed tiles, with bonuses for things like palm trees and flower garlands. Players take turns moving a ship around a layout of tiles, trying to maneuver into position to get the tiles they want; you can spend clam shells for greater mobility, but they're hard to come by and need to be used sparingly. The whole thing sounds too simple to work, but in fact it rewards many repeated plays. Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/11/27/...

Finca (Rio Grande, $39.95; 2-4 players; age 10+; 45 min.) Out of all of this year's excellent crop of new board games, this is the one I keep returning to most eagerly for its blend of simplicity, beauty and unpredictability. The premise is that the players are farmers on Majorca, reaping various bounties of six crops and delivering them to whatever part of the island requires, say, figs and oranges. That part is fairly conventional, but what sets Finca apart is the mechanism for acquiring the crops in the first place. It's a brilliantly straightforward scheme in which each move is determined by the position of every other playing piece, and the result is a chaos theorist's dream. The game would be enjoyable in any case, but the gorgeous physical design only adds to the pleasure. Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/11/27/...
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Judit Szepessy
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Thank you for all of these recommendations. I do appreciate all your feedback. These are all a great resource for me. I do not mind too simple if this "too simple" is fun, like Maori seems.
Also, it does not matter if the game goes over an hour. I am just beginning to build up our collection and I would like to have a great variety as time goes by. A variety in mechanics, level of difficulty, scalability.
 
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