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Subject: A short holiday for four. Wet weather likely. rss

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John McD
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So I'm off to see my wife's family in Ireland this Easter which will be fun.

I'd quite like to bring over a new game to play with them. They aren't gamers, and my wife has a willingness to play but is definitely very theme, length and complexity sensitive. The basic requirements are:

- complete in absolutely no more than four hours with slow players. We both have little children that mean the evening finishes early and things can't be left out.
- no direct confrontation. My sister in law is much more into everyone helping everyone, an aggressive game will not work.
- no modern war theme, I think we could get away with orcs and elves but anything involving WWI technology is not going to be a sale to either of the ladies.
- The rules have to be short and easily explained.
- Something that allows several short sessions might work very well.

We've all played Pandemic before with some success. I think Agricola might fly. I'm going to table King of Siam.

But what should I buy for the trip?
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Jay Levy
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I'm a big fan of Space Alert, the game only takes about 30 minutes a round and most people I've played with have wanted to play 3 or 4 times. You end up laughing a lot at the outcome, and you really have to work together to succeed.

As far as non-confrontational competitive, what about something like Through the Desert?
 
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Bruce Padget
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Is theme-less okay? If so, Tantrix and Army of Frogs could work. But do read the online rules. While they are not complex, they each have tweaks that some people have trouble with. (I know people who find the "forced space" rules of Tantrix particularly hard to grok.)

TransAmerica would probably suit your group, too. The way players make use of others' rail networks will likely suit their dislike of confrontation. If they find they feel taken advantage of, try the "Vexation" rules.
 
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John Cabral
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I would try out Tichu. It plays with only four players and it's great. It's a partnership trick taking game. It's a regular deck of cards with 4 "special" cards. Most people will feel pretty comfortable with how to play. Check it out.
 
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Jason Gong
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I second Space Alert as it is great laughs and gaming every time(i've probably had more laughs in the sessions that we lost). Although its learning curve is a bit high, the training tutorial eases it a little at a time.

Another game that I would recommend is San Juan. Its easy to learn, easy to teach, and plays in about a hour. Simple, yet strategic and elegant.

 
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Richard Maurer
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Shadows over Camelot is a fun one for gamers and non-gamers alike. The only conflict is the traitor element, but I doubt that it will cause too much trouble.
 
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whistler
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Ricomaurer wrote:
Shadows over Camelot is a fun one for gamers and non-gamers alike. The only conflict is the traitor element, but I doubt that it will cause too much trouble.


And you don't have to play with a traitor at all, if you don't want to.
 
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Dan Miller
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Depending upon the acceptance of Agricola, I would consider Stone Age as a lighter version with some great end game results. It is a favorite of ours.

Otherwise I definitely would support a vote for Tichu!
 
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John McD
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jayntampa wrote:
I'm a big fan of Space Alert, the game only takes about 30 minutes a round and most people I've played with have wanted to play 3 or 4 times. You end up laughing a lot at the outcome, and you really have to work together to succeed.

As far as non-confrontational competitive, what about something like Through the Desert?


I have Space Alert, and I even packed it once ahead of playing a game with them but it never came to the table.

The reason being that the time pressure is maybe a little too much. The game creates quite a lot of stress (which is why I like it) but I think if I pack it I need a Plan B. Luggage space is at a premium too, so it maybe just too big a box if it doesn't come out.

I wish it would work though!
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John McD
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absurdjohnny wrote:
I would try out Tichu. It plays with only four players and it's great. It's a partnership trick taking game. It's a regular deck of cards with 4 "special" cards. Most people will feel pretty comfortable with how to play. Check it out.


I think Tichu is such a weak game I really struggle to want to play it. I have it, and it's certainly small enough to pack but I would always rather play contract bridge or even hearts. I know Tichu gets a lot of love, and it's a good suggestion, even one of my best friends bought me it as a gift as he thought it such a natural fit for me. But it just doesn't work for me.

I used to play bridge very seriously, representing my country at a junior level. I find card games that aren't played seriously very aggravating and I know that I wouldn't get a card game played seriously with
this company..
 
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John McD
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native_son wrote:
Ricomaurer wrote:
Shadows over Camelot is a fun one for gamers and non-gamers alike. The only conflict is the traitor element, but I doubt that it will cause too much trouble.


And you don't have to play with a traitor at all, if you don't want to.


I've looked at Shadows over Camelot and I had thought about it buying it in the past. How does it play without the traitor, is it actually any good that way or is that the necessary spice?
 
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John McD
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klaron wrote:
Depending upon the acceptance of Agricola, I would consider Stone Age as a lighter version with some great end game results. It is a favorite of ours.

Otherwise I definitely would support a vote for Tichu!


I like the look of Stone Age, I'll read up on it.

I have limited shelf space so it will need to be different enough in play time or mechanic to justify a purchase. Looks fun though.
 
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whistler
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BlackSpy wrote:
I've looked at Shadows over Camelot and I had thought about it buying it in the past. How does it play without the traitor, is it actually any good that way or is that the necessary spice?


I've only played it once, and that was without the traitor element, so I'm the wrong person to give a comparison. I thought that the one game I played was fine, but you should also know that my only co-op experiences are without the traitor element in general. I've played Arkham Horror several times, and I absolutely love Pandemic.

Sorry that I couldn't be more helpful. You might find better information (e.g. comparisons) in the reviews section of the games's forums. I just wanted to be sure you knew that you DO have an option when it comes to the traitor element of the game.
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"Every Board Game I Reach Is Dead"
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I'd have to disagree with both Shadows Over Camelot AND Space Alert.

When you're trying to get non/light-gamers into playing something games like these that can seem overwhelming due to learning curbs, pressure or anything else don't always work very well.

I'd stick to filler/short games that have minimal back stabbing and very simple rules. Size can also be a factor too (you don't exactly want to be hefting Starcraft or Descent around with you everywhere!).

My recommendations are It's Alive! and Incan Gold- both are cheap (usually between £10-20), compact and very simple to learn and play (but highly addictive). They also play in around 30 minutes. Incan Gold is one of a series of small compact games- many of which I have sadly not tried yet but many of which may also be good as small gateway games that may suit your situation.

Last year I just took my gamers with me and played Arkham Horror!
Good Luck with whatever you go for! goo
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Rick Kimmel
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Waconia
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I'd stick with some of the classic gateway games. Ticket, Settlers, T&T, Stone Age, or maybe something new and light like Finca or Tobago. I think Agricola and Space Alert are too heavy to introduce to new gamers.
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Geoff Hall
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Blue Moon City

Ingenious

Tobago

Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers

Biblios

The Pillars of the Earth (if you think Agricola might fly this should)

Notre Dame
 
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Jay Levy
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Blue Moon City is fun, I agree with that one. What about Tales of the Arabian Nights? We enjoy that one quite a bit just for the storytelling - winning definitely isn't what it's about lol
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