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Subject: Which should be my 12 first games? ... please HELP rss

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Thales Martins
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Hi guys, I want to start my collection, I love board games, but I have never played European games, so I made a list of the ones I think I will definitely buy, and a "May be" list, probably I wont have money to add many more games to the "Yes" list, so if you could help me to choose, or make some changes in my list, remembering that I would like to have a bigger variate in the games' mechanics, so I would like to avoid similar games, I prefer games for 4 or more players and I will probably buy the extentions.

Yes
Age of Steam
Agicola
Axis & Allies 1942
Battlestar Galactica
Diplomacy
Dominion
Pandemic
Power Grid
Puerto Rico
Race for The Galaxy
Tigris & Euphrates

Maybe
A Brief History of the World
Age of Empires III
Brass
Carcassonne
Conflict of Heroes
Le Havre
Mystery Rummy Case nº1
Shogun
The Settlers of Catan
Through The Ages

 
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T Guiles
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You really need an adventure game in the mix. Maybe Runebound, Tomb: Cryptmaster, Prophecy, or Talisman would fit the bill.

And personally, Runewars is an instant classic, and should be a staple in every library.

If it was me, I'd be adding Runebound and Runewars into that mix. Maybe even Descent in the future if I enjoyed the game world/theme (all three are the same IP).
 
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Daniel Rose
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I would recommend that you look before you leep especially with these two.Agricola&Puerto Rico Download the rules and read through them. Find someone in your area if you haven't already and play them before you buy them. Both games are unique and for most they are a big hit.
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Dave Lartigue
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Do NOT buy a bunch of games because people here say they're good and you should own them, or because there's some "gap" in your "collection" that needs to be filled. That is crazy for a few reasons.

1) You don't know what your tastes are yet. Puerto Rico and Agricola are the top games here and I dislike both of them. Buying either would be a waste for me, and there are "top" games that may be similar for you.

2) You don't yet know what will actually get played. I like Samurai, but it never got played. There was always something else I'd rather play more. The money I spent on it was wasted, as all it did was take up room on my shelf, and I traded it away. Also, you may love a certain game but the people you play with don't. Again, why buy it if that's the case?

You said you're new to boardgaming; play some games first, see what elements you and the people you are playing with like and don't like, and work from there.

3) Buying a huge stack of games at once will pretty much guarantee some of them will not get played. It seems like you're expanding your options, but you're going to end up gravitating to a few anyway.

Going at game purchases with a "collection" mindset is backwards. Buy games to play them, not to own them. Buy what you think you and your friends will enjoy, not what strangers on BGG think you "need" to own.

Remember: the goal is fun. Have a bunch of it!
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Michael J
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Many of the games you list are pretty dry. I would make sure you keep up the "fun factor" in your collection. I mean, how many games of T&E and Brass can you play in a row? I agree with suggestion to include some adventure. I'll expand that to say throw in the Ameritrash! Rolling dice is not evil. There are good laughs to be heard around the table. And if you want to have games for all seasons, throw in some party and/or ligh games too, like Bang, Sabateur, etc... Think about styles of games more than just general groups like "Eurogames". Find a good auction game. Find a good train game. Find a good economic game. Find a good adventure game. Find a good party game. Find a good humorous game. Etc...

Check out my collection and duplicate it. I rate it a 10!!!!!

But really, don't just go by rankings on BGG. As you spend more time here, you'll become more of a game snob, valuing mechanics and game length higher than theme and fun. That's what BGG's rankings represent; elegant designs and crisp mechanics, and many 3+ hour games. But that doesn't mean all are fun for everyone.

After you buy my entire collection (remember, it's a 10), browse the GeekLists as much as possible to get some good ideas as to what games are fun.
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p55carroll
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Legomancer wrote:
Do NOT buy a bunch of games because people here say they're good and you should own them, or because there's some "gap" in your "collection" that needs to be filled. That is crazy for a few reasons.

1) You don't know what your tastes are yet. Puerto Rico and Agricola are the top games here and I dislike both of them. Buying either would be a waste for me, and there are "top" games that may be similar for you.

2) You don't yet know what will actually get played. I like Samurai, but it never got played. There was always something else I'd rather play more. The money I spent on it was wasted, as all it did was take up room on my shelf, and I traded it away. Also, you may love a certain game but the people you play with don't. Again, why buy it if that's the case?

You said you're new to boardgaming; play some games first, see what elements you and the people you are playing with like and don't like, and work from there.

3) Buying a huge stack of games at once will pretty much guarantee some of them will not get played. It seems like you're expanding your options, but you're going to end up gravitating to a few anyway.

Going at game purchases with a "collection" mindset is backwards. Buy games to play them, not to own them. Buy what you think you and your friends will enjoy, not what strangers on BGG think you "need" to own.

Remember: the goal is fun. Have a bunch of it!

Hear, hear!

It's the same with any hobby, I think. Somebody gets hot for golf and just has to own a complete set of the best clubs and a lifetime membership at the local course. Or somebody decides photography would be a cool hobby and spends a fortune in the camera shop buying more equipment than a professional photographer would ever use.

And then, a short while later, buyer's remorse sets in. The hobbyist is saddled with all this "cool stuff" and wonders when he'll ever find time to put it to use. He may even say to himself, "Maybe this isn't a good hobby for me after all."

I've loved games all my life, and I've gone through a number of buying/selling/trading frenzies. Meanwhile, most of my games have rarely seen the light of day.

But I have something of an excuse: I've always been in search of my "grail game"--the one game that suits me so well that I can self-identify with it and suggest it anytime somebody wants to play a game, knowing that it's "my game" for life. All my buying has just been experimental; I plan to dump all the rejects once I discover The One.

In contrast, when a newcomer asks, "Which should be my 12 first games?" it's pretty obvious he's biting off more than he can chew. The only way that would make sense would be if (1) money is no object, (2) time isn't much of an issue, and (3) you have a group ready and willing to play games with you all the time.

Otherwise, you're better off asking which should be your one first game.

And to help with that, we need to know what games you've already played, which ones you liked best, and what you liked (and disliked) about them.

If you can't give that information, you might as well look at the BGG top fifty and investigate whatever catches your eye. Buy one and play it; give it time to sink in; then you'll have clues for your next purchase. And so on.

Happy gaming!
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Lo Ma
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From Your Lists
Age of Steam - I would go for Steam instead because you really get 2 games in one - the more forgiving Basic game which is more noob/family friendly + the Standard game whihc is very similar to Age of Steam in it's brutality.

Agicola - people seem to totally love this game, so probably a good choice. Personally, I don;t like Agricola - it makes me feel frustrated and somehow claustrophobic. Not fun.

Axis & Allies 1942 - not a wargamer, so don;t know.

Battlestar Galactica - never played it so can't comment, But I do like co-op games such as Shadows over Camelot, Lord of the Rings + Friends & Foes expansion, and even Castle Panic, which is a totally fun co-op game geared towards kids and families with a competitive component in the co-op mechancis - you have to decided to do waht's best for the team or what's best for yourself. If you are interested in going to the dark side, you could also try Ghost Stories which is a co-op game with some interesting and unique mecahnics. Keep it away from kids though - it will give them nightmares. The above are all different flavors of co-op and I dig them all. If you want to go totally dark and evil, you can try 2 horror games which don;t appeal to me, but they have strong advocates: Witch of Salem and Arkham Horror. One euro co-op I did not like though was Pandemic, which I found dry and boring.

Diplomacy - dunno

Dominion - people either love this one or dislike it. It doesn;t do it for me though. Dominion Intrigue offers you a little tacktical option because some of the cards give you choices. Dominion Seaside takes the game in a slightly different direction which is interesting, although not enough to save the game for me. Hopefully you'll dig the game like most folks seem to.

Pandemic - I really like co-op games, but I disliked this one - very abstract and dry and boring to me. But lotsa folks really like this game. Never played it with any of the expansions - maybe they would help.

Power Grid - I hear this is a great game but I never played it because the artwork is so ugly and unappealing to me. Hopefully aesthetics won't keep you away.

Puerto Rico - An excellent game which can become kinda scripted once you master a strategy for it, i.e., people tend to play it exactly the same way once they have found a competitive strategy for themselves. Definitely a good game, though it feels a little dated to me, probably because of the plainness of the bits. An alternative variable role selection game is Cuba, which is sort of a marriage of Puerto Rico and Caylus - you've got worker palcement, variable player role selections, building, shipping, buying and selling, and several avenues to victory. Very cool game! If I were to choose between Cuba and Puerto Rico, I'd choose Cuba.

Race for The Galaxy - this one never really worked for me, largely because I didn;t want to bother learning all the symbols - the learning curve didn;t seem to justify the gameplay for me. I prefer it's older sibling San Juan, and much prefer the new kid on the block for the lighter weight variable/simultaneous player role selection game: Havana. But lots of people really dig the theme of Race for the Galaxy.

Tigris & Euphrates - super abstract and very dry. This one was a total dud for me.

A Brief History of the World - dunno

Age of Empires III - really wanted to like this one but it fell flat for me.

Brass - dunno

Carcassonne - good "gateway" game that's the premiere tile-laying game of all probably. The Inns & Cathedrals + Traders & Builders expansions give the game a bit more tactical interest.

Conflict of Heroes - dunno

Le Havre - if you like Agricola, you'll be more inclined to like this one as it feels pretty similar in many ways. But I much much much prefer Caylus which was another inspiration for Le Havre. I've been playing Caylus for years and it is still in my top 10 games. In it you are a medieval real estate developer eyeing that long meandering road. It is the premiere worker placement/resource management game to which I judge all others!

Mystery Rummy Case nº1 - dunno

Shogun - dunno

The Settlers of Catan - I don;t get the appeal of Settlers. It feels like too much randomness and too long for what it is... For a gateway game I'd much prefer Ticket to Ride: Europe.

Through The Ages - a must have game, in my opinion! This is the closest to a civ game I've ever gotten and it only takes a couple of hours in a 2 player game. Interesting gameplay with lots of decisions. As in any civ-like game, there is certainly an element of luck, but you have many interesting and useful decisions points and several avenues toward victory. Very cool game if you like things on the heavier side.

Other Options to Consider
Dungeon Lords - designed by the same guy who did Through The Ages. Very differnt in feel though. The "I'm gonna be the best dungeon lord evah, and darn those pesky goody two-shoes who keep trying to destroy my beautiful ugly dungeon" theme meshes extremely well with the the mecahnics. This ain't no luck riddled Ameritrash romp through the dungeons however. This is a very heavy euro that takes a lot of thought and invites much analysis paralysis. Quite unforgiving, Very cool and fun, if you did the heavy.

Endeavor - very cleaver and fun medium weight game with a colonial exploration and exploitation theme that's very abstract. The gameplay is very absorbing and fun though.

Small World - lightweight area control game that can be a balst to play. Here you are building up civilizations with different attributes, conquering others, and putting your civilization into decline when it's no longer usefuel enough, and build up another civilization. Silly fantasy theme. I also like it's older sibling Vinci, which is a little more involved, and reminds me a lot of diceless Risk.

Yspahan - A boatload of dice, a bunch of camels, wooden gold coins, bunches of little colored wood cubes, action cards, souks, and caravans - what's not to like! The game uses its theme well and the game components are fun with a lot of visual and tactile appeal. It's a fun tactical game that's accessible for all, and the gameplay is fast with little downtime. You have to develop and deploy your resources to get those victory points, and face the problem of choosing which of the many options to take during your turn. As long as players don't agonize and take forever to make their choice of what to do, this is a totally fun game. The game does involve luck, but not as much as you'd think.

Roll Through the Ages - Everyone needs this filler game - civ game meets yahtzee, but many more and more compelling decisions points. Roll 'em, roll 'em, roll 'em keep them dice rolling...
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Ruairi O'Suilleabhain
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Hey, all good advice so far. One thing I would add is to make sure there's at least a couple of games in there that you can play two player (just in case - there's never anything worse than being stuck with only two players and 3+ player games!). Perhaps games of varying length in gameplay would be good too.

Good luck with your game choices! Of the games on your list that I own or have played, I can recommend Pandemic, Carcassonne (and its expansions) and Settlers of Catan. Relatively inexpensive, relatively quick, easy to pick up and great fun to play (the more players the better for all three games!) They play a role in my collection, they can be played to mix it up after a big three hour game of something like Arkham.
 
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Thales Martins
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I know that it is a little to much,to buy 12 in the first time, but the problem is, that here in Brazil we don´t have those games, and I don't know when I am going to have another oportunity to buy...
But I enjoy party and adventure games also, and probably some of my friends who don´t speak English very well are going to enjoy it more..
 
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David
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I have only played (own) a few in this group.

Agicola - Fun, but requires English for the cards. I enjoy this game and once I learned how to play, it didn't take too long to explain.

Dominion - We really enjoy this game in my apartment, but again, every card requires that you speak the language.

Pandemic - Lots of fun. Requires a little English to understand your roles but nothing that you can't explain at the start and remind. I would suggest this one as it's short, interactive, and requires strategy and a little luck.

Power Grid - This one is fun and doesn't require English. It's strategic, but takes quite awhile to play.

Puerto Rico - Another fun, long, fairly complicated game. Until last week, only myself and one roommate knew how to play. My other two roommates learned it and we've played it several times since.

Carcassonne - A great gateway game, doesn't require English after the explanation and is perfect for 4 players. 5 gets a little long. The Big Box is a great buy.

The Settlers of Catan - The first "serious" game I played (like many other players). Strategy is simple but the games are challenging.

I hope this helped. It'll be good to know that some good games are heading down to Brasil.

Bom jogo, cara. Vcs vao gostar.
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thalescnm wrote:
I know that it is a little to much,to buy 12 in the first time, but the problem is, that here in Brazil we don´t have those games, and I don't know when I am going to have another oportunity to buy...
But I enjoy party and adventure games also, and probably some of my friends who don´t speak English very well are going to enjoy it more..

Try to download and read the rules of any games you consider purchasing.

Ideally, you would play them before buying, but I know you said in another thread that is not very possible.
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My top vote for moving from your "mabye" to "yes" would be Settlers of Catan.

You have a lot of great games there. Enjoy them :)

Thoughthammer.com is a great place to buy games cheap, if you need a store
http://www.thoughthammer.com/

 
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Peter Sanderson
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thalescnm wrote:
I prefer games for 4 or more players[/u] and I will probably buy the extentions.



One very important consideration: If you haven't played Euro-games before, then it suggests you don't have an established group of gamers who will be willing to play. It's possible that the people you play casual boardgames with won't enjoy designer games.

I would definitely suggest getting some lighter games and 2 player games. Then you can still enjoy gaming, even if you only have one other person to play with, or if your friends will only play light games.

Another consideration: if some of your friends don't speak English very well, then you should go for games which don't rely on cards with a lot of text on them.

Also, if you want to avoid similar games, then you do have a few overlaps on your list (e.g. Agricola, Puerto Rico and Le Havre are all worker placement games).

Good luck!
 
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Jacob Jonsson
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Lighter, quicker games. In addition to Dominion and RftG I would suggest Citadels and Bohnanza, both comes in small boxes which makes them ideal to bring along for gaming outside your house. A filler like Slide 5 is also nice to have while you wait for the arrival of a late player.

No matter how great a game I think Diplomacy is I think it should be played on 7 and with player elimination and game-time of 4+ hours I just do not see this ever happening again. For 4-6 players Game of Thrones (+expansion) has slightly similar simultaneous order-giving and room for alliances and back-stabbing but in a shorter time span.

Do not forget Space Alert and Galaxy Trucker. I would definitely add one of those.

Maybe another worker placement game? Carson City, Caylus, or Dungeon Lords are just some (from a variety of themes). Stone age and Pillars of the Earth slightly lighter.

Racing game? Formula D, Snow Tails, Savanna Tails.

Fishing game? If wishes were fishes

I realize this got a bit out of hand trying to recommend a 12th game for your list.
 
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Aaron Mitchell
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As said in past posts, try before you buy. I bought Agricola without trying it first and it was a big mistake, I didn't like it at all. On the other hand, where's El Grande? Classic game that should be considered!
 
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Chris Ferejohn
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Diplomacy is awesome *but* you really really want to have exactly 7 players to play it. These 7 people need to have a) a good amount of time and b) a good perspective on the game - people are going to lie to them and betray them and they need to be able to allow that to stay within the game.

Dip is also a game that you can "mock up pretty easily with home made components, so I'd really advise doing so before deciding to invest in it.
 
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Thales Martins
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I was checking and I think that:

Formula D
Bohnanza
For Sale
Galaxy Trucker
Samurai
Zooloretto


Would be good options as well, for faster and lighter games.
And what do you think of Endeavor??
 
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I'd suggest bumping Battlestar Galactica & Diplomacy down. thumbsdown

I'd bump The Settlers of Catan & Shogun up. thumbsup

And I'd take a look at these beauties before you buy...

Acquire
Small World
El Grande
Tikal
Maharaja


Less Expensive Card Games...
Citadels
Bohnanza
Loot
Mamma Mia!
Coloretto

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p55carroll
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Some brief comments on specific games in the OP's list (the few I've tried):

thalescnm wrote:

Diplomacy

Not for everybody. You need 7 players, and they need to be thick-skinned (not too sensitive--willing to deceive and be deceived and have fun doing that).

Quote:
Pandemic

Ugly map IMO, terrible theme. The game play is OK. In cooperative games, you have to make sure a dominant player doesn't take over and spoil it for everybody else.

Quote:
Race for The Galaxy

Can take time to get used to, but the icons might help if some players can't read English. Cards are very dark. I keep trying to get into this game, but I haven't been able to so far.

Quote:
The Settlers of Catan

Very good 4-player game, and expansions make it good for 3 to 6 (there's a 2-player variant too, I believe--Fishermen of Catan). Pretty easy to learn; nice pace; balance of trading and light strategy, with some luck thrown in.
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Legomancer wrote:
Do NOT buy a bunch of games because people here say they're good and you should own them, or because there's some "gap" in your "collection" that needs to be filled. That is crazy for a few reasons.


He's asking for suggestions, so people are making suggestions. That is the intent of his post and the intent of this entire thread. Lighten up a bit, Biggest Loser.
 
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cferejohn wrote:
Diplomacy is awesome *but* you really really want to have exactly 7 players to play it.

I'd look at Intrigue as an alternative. It has the same lying, negotiating, and backstabbing, but plays in 30-60 minutes instead of a long evening. It's a much better intro into the backstabbing genre because of the shorter play-time. That said, I do enjoy Diplomacy when I have a group of dedicated opponents!
 
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Gary Bacchus
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Eidolon wrote:
Legomancer wrote:
Do NOT buy a bunch of games because people here say they're good and you should own them, or because there's some "gap" in your "collection" that needs to be filled. That is crazy for a few reasons.


He's asking for suggestions, so people are making suggestions. That is the intent of his post and the intent of this entire thread. Lighten up a bit, Biggest Loser.


I do know that we are all big boys and girls here. Speaking as a gamer that is just a touch under the demographic here, I thought that it was fairly sage advice. I don't think the comment should have been treated as a threadjack.

He also asked for a key bit of information. What has the OP played and enjoyed? We'd be able to make better suggestions that way.
 
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thalescnm wrote:
I was checking and I think that:

Formula D
Bohnanza
For Sale
Galaxy Trucker
Samurai
Zooloretto


Would be good options as well, for faster and lighter games.
And what do you think of Endeavor??


The games you have mentioned above are okay. Formula De (an older version of Formula D) and Galaxy Trucker are two of my favorite games. I'm not crazy about "For Sale", but I have a friend who is a hardcore gamer and thinks it a wonderful game.

There are a few things to consider here, like others have posted:

Try before you buy. It is easy to get caught up in the hype of a new game coming out. See if another gaming buddy has it and play it first.

All gamers do not like the same games. Given some time and enough game plays you will find what you like and don't like. You have to be the one to decide if a game is good or not. Because a game carries an award, like Spiel des Jahres, doesn't mean you will like the game.

This is a hobby, like most hobbies, that is easy to spend a lot of money on. The term, "a lot" is relative. But considering many games are 50+USD, it is easy to spend more than 100+USD on a couple new games each month.

Also consider that if you consistently game with the same people and someone else has the game, will your copy ever be played? Ask yourself do you need the game.

Another thing is you may like a game, but does the rest of your game group like it? If not, then it won't get played and it's wasted money.

And one last thing that no one has mentioned yet in this thread: before purchasing a game, look up the game and see how many fans it has. If it has few- or no fans, definitely put it on your, "Try before buy" list.

I, like the other posters on this thread, am not trying to discourage you from enjoying this fantastic hobby. What we are trying to do is help you avoid the pitfalls that many of us have fallen into. It's very easy to find yourself with a shelf full of games and many of them not being played.
 
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Dave Lartigue
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Eidolon wrote:
Legomancer wrote:
Do NOT buy a bunch of games because people here say they're good and you should own them, or because there's some "gap" in your "collection" that needs to be filled. That is crazy for a few reasons.


He's asking for suggestions, so people are making suggestions. That is the intent of his post and the intent of this entire thread. Lighten up a bit, Biggest Loser.


I gave him a suggestion that is far more useful to him than yet more games put on a shelf because someone at BGG told him he "needs" them.
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I think you'll get a lot of the 'play before you buy' advice, which I wholly endorse. However, I recognize that this is not always or even often possible.

A simple question then: what EXCITES you about gaming? Board games in particular. You'll get the phone book thrown at you but I really wish that I had asked myself this question when I first started out in the hobby. It's taken a while but now I only buy games that suite a particular criteria and this only happens after doing a bunch of research and if possible, a game play before I make a purchase. Sure, this can take a while, but I think you'll find that your collection grows with more 'quality' rather than 'quantity'.

I used to think that, 'well, if I've got a bunch of games, then I'm prepared for any gaming situation'. Unfortunately, gaming isn't like boy scouts; I can guarantee that your gaming group is going to latch onto a few games and pretty much do away with this rest. Sure, you'll try a few different types of games here and there but, overall, it'll be roughly the same type of gaming experience that your group will being craving. As an example, for my group: variable powers, Risk-esque type strategy games, heavy euros, abstract-strategy, heavier wargames, heavy interaction... these are pretty much the hallmarks of my personal gaming experience. It's taken a while for The Guild of Losers to narrow this list down to such a precise shake collection of expriences (please read the sarcasm in this sentence). My games shelf is still stocked with quite a few games that just never see any play and yet I know that bidding games, in general, don't suite my groups appitites. Games like Tikal which have bidding variants still go over very well and sure, the odd bidding game succeeds, but the 'bidding ultimate' games like Ra rarely see any table time.

Take your time in making each gaming decision. You'll save yourself a lot of shelf-space for games that you'll really get a lifetime of enjoyment out of.
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