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Subject: Hive- gateway abstract? rss

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George Wong
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Starting from about a year ago, after finding BGG, I've really started to introduce myself to the world of gaming. I've always been an avid Chess and Poker player, but I've only recently found out about the thrilling variety of games that actually exist. Unfortunately, not many of my friends share my new-found interest, and it's been quite a task to have boardgames become a staple of our social activities.

Most of my friends have been into party games, but I have a hard time making them fall in love with abstracts and even gateway games (Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride, etc). That is, with the exception of Hive. I find the game to be a Chess type game with simpler rules but still with enough strategically depth to satisfy. There are enough options available on each turn where the better player will win with a very high frequency. I find the simple rules, short game duration (15-20 mins), non-intimidating theme to facilitate interest in non-gamers. I have friends that would never have been interested in playing me in Chess, but have decided to give Hive a try for the aforementioned reasons. Most found themselves to really enjoy the game.

Most nongamer friends I have tend to resent the direct confrontation and manipulation in games. They can't appreciate the "art" behind the deception. In Hive, I feel like the confrontational aspect of the game is masked by the mechanics of the gameplay. For example, instead of killing, capturing, or directly blocking an enemy piece, in Hive, you are "merely" attaching your own piece to an opponent piece as a defensive measure. This act of attack through unity actually lessens the feel of conflict.

I will be using this game as a gateway game for nongaming friends for quite some time, and I will enjoy every minute of it.
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Jon
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I find Hive to be far less forgiving than some other abstracts being producded these days. It seems you can really have lost the game in the first 5 or so moves and have to wait out the approaching doom. Oddly tho, I have little problem getting people to play it repeatedly.

The short play time and relatively limited number of reasonable moves seems to mitigate this. Coupled with the fact that there is no setup time and no take down time, people I have shown the game to say "I lost? Let's play again."

Chess, Go and Gipf games don't seem to provoke that reaction. For those games the reaction is more along the lines of "It's over? I don't understand why I lost. Let's never play this again."

Using Hive to build into other abstracts might be exactly what I need to do get more opponents for my prefered games.
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Eric Dodd
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How about Hey, That's My Fish!? A game with interesting decisions and forward planning, disguised with a cute theme. It can be played without difficulty by kids but rewards strategic thinking.
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Hunga Dunga
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airxmoa wrote:
I find the...non-intimidating theme to facilitate interest in non-gamers.

Why the designer decided to use beetles and ants instead of Orcs and dragons is beyond me.




I just tried this game a couple of weeks ago, and it definitely has it's subtleties. It's going to be a while before I get tired of this one.
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Laszlo Molnar
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Hungadunga wrote:

I just tried this game a couple of weeks ago, and it definitely has it's subtleties. It's going to be a while before I get tired of this one.

And then you still can add The mosquito to stir things up...
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Thijs Lauwbierkoffie
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It was a gateway game for me from euro games to abstracts. There are new gates you will find after you entered the world of boardgames
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tom moughan
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Red Wine Pie wrote:
How about Hey, That's My Fish!? A game with interesting decisions and forward planning, disguised with a cute theme. It can be played without difficulty by kids but rewards strategic thinking.


'Hive' is an excellent game, in my opinion, and is one I have never tired of pulling out and showing to folks, especially with only one other person hanging around! It was one of the games that really got me into Board games...

I will have to agree that 'Hey, that's my fish' makes a better gateway game for abstracts due to theme and even simpler mechanics.
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Richard Hutnik
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Just curious what kind of gateway people see Hive as. Is it a gateway for non-gamers into abstract strategy games, or hobbyist games? Or is it a gateway for non-abstract strategy gamers into abstract strategy games? Or is it a gateway for abstract strategy gamers into another genre?
 
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tom moughan
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Gateway in general I was assuming...I hate the term "gateway" because that in itself is dependent on the audience (er person you are introducing the game/gaming to).

I think Hive is a great fit for showing to a chess player who has never played much else..and is a good introduction to abstracts for anyone.
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George Wong
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Quoridor is definitely up there for me in terms of a simple abstract with tremendous depth in strategy. I can't compliment that game enough.

IMO I would say that Hive is probably a bit more accessible to complete nongamers merely for the bug theme. Quoridor has the feel of an abstract abstract where the theme is pretty much general geometric.

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Craig Duncan
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In the gateway abstract category, Blokus and Blokus 3D also come to mind.
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