Eric Jome
United States
Franklin
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mb
larrydavid wrote:
Some games I have heard of that I thought might be appropriate are Balloon Cup (I know hard to find), Lost Cities and Bohnanza. None of these thrill me, but the idea of possibly converting my girlfriend or just having something fairly fun to play with family or friends appeals to me.


Those are what you need, even if they aren't what you want. Other ideas include Citadels, Ticket To Ride, or Settlers of Catan.

Remember, you are gaming with non-gamers. They don't have refined tastes in games, distinguishing between good and bad... that's a game geek's thing. Non-gamers just want something diverting and easy to waste time on, not something interesting to invest time in.

Don't forget that there are a lot of classic parlor games like Chess, Backgammon, Cribbage, Go, Poker and the like that they may enjoy a great deal more than gamer games.
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Rice
United States
New Hampshire
flag msg tools
Blah Blah Blah
badge
I didn't know what else to do with the GG
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I would suggest Lord of the Rings:Confrontation. It is a good two player game that is simple to learn. Its kind of like a smaller scale Stratego with a lot of tension thrown in.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
'Bernard Wingrave'
United States
Wyoming
Ohio
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Simple group games for at least 3 players:
Bananagrams
Unnamed Object
No Thanks!
TransAmerica
For Sale

Sorry! Sliders is good with 2-4 players.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Knauer
United States
Heathrow
Florida
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age has gone over well with non-gamers I've played it with.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Maloney
United States
Van Nuys
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J. Atkinson
United States
Grant
AL
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Bohnanza
Ingenious
Blokus

These are fairly easy games to pick up and learn.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Vanja Grujic
Serbia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
BANG! for a group of 4 and more. It's pretty simple, light, and you can wrap up a few games in short amount of time. Only bad side is that you need 4 to play, though, there are some additional rules somewhere with 3 (and 2?) players.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Ferejohn
United States
Mountain View
California
flag msg tools
badge
Pitying fools as hard as I can...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ticket to Ride is almost certainly a winner here. My sister has very little tolerance for long game explanations and she loves it. One of the "10 Days In..." games would probably work.

For when you have 4-6 people instead of 2, check out Dixit.

Good luck.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Ferejohn
United States
Mountain View
California
flag msg tools
badge
Pitying fools as hard as I can...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Grujah wrote:
BANG! for a group of 4 and more. It's pretty simple, light, and you can wrap up a few games in short amount of time. Only bad side is that you need 4 to play, though, there are some additional rules somewhere with 3 (and 2?) players.


If they aren't groking San Juan, I'd be pretty reluctant to introduce Bang. While it is simple, all of their cards are hidden and they all have special powers and information they can't share (which makes it hard to ask questions). I've definitely experienced people giving up on this one before they figure out what they are supposed to be doing.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Patrick Hanley
Canada
Dorval
Quebec
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Try short, simple games like For Sale, Blokus, Coloretto, or Diamant.

If you can get them to have fun playing shorter games, they'll be more open to playing the longer ones. Be careful not to push too hard and too fast. Let them play the same game a few times before introducing a new one. With a little luck, you might get 'em playing Catan, or even Power Grid before too long.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Martin Wulf

Springfield
Illinois
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I will 2nd (or is it 3rd?) Ticket to Ride to meet all your criteria…if you're willing to focus just on you and your GF, I might suggest Stone Age; it seems to be big hits with many non-gamer wives and girlfriends…it’s the game the “hooked” my non-gamer wife…
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jill C.
United States
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
It may be that they're not ready to read through all the additional benefits of the cards yet, which change with each person. I can see how it might be difficult to keep track of really. That's one reason why I didn't particularly care for either San Juan or Race for the Galaxy, and I've been playing board games for years.

Try them with its original cousin game Puerto Rico instead; it's a lot simpler and easier to grasp in my opinion. The role cards are an important game component to many other Euro games, so that makes it a good introduction game too. The setup is not too long if you keep the buildings in a consistent order, but it might turn them off if they're not used to such things.

Modern Art's also a possibility and a fun bidding game I enjoy that is quite different.

If you think they might like deduction/puzzle/"whodunnit" games, try something like Sleuth! (I love this game.)

For simple games, there's always Jambo (2-player), or Bananagrams. And if you like games like San Juan, maybe Citadels would be more up your family's alley. And there's always the best cooperative game I've ever tried, Pandemic, if your family is less competitive. Pandemic also plays well two-player.

Agricola is a great game. Takes up a lot of space, but I love it-- however I'd say wait on it until you have a good number of smaller games that are cheaper for the cost of one big game. Setup takes a while, though, and there's lots of fiddly things between rounds. Settlers is a good intro game as well--not one of my favorites, though-- but I'd just stick with the base game to start out with and decide on the expansions later. (Ditto for Agricola, or any other board game.)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Freelance Police
United States
Palo Alto
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Are you up for a party game? Wits and Wagers, and Say Anything are incredibly fun, but no Axis and Allies.

Look for Meetup.com boardgame meetups in your area. If you post your location, maybe someone will tell you of a game convention near you!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeremy Frank
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
Space, the final frontier...
badge
The sun is a mass of incandescent gas, a gigantic nuclear furnace, where hydrogen is built into helium, at a temperature of millions of degrees.
Avatar
mbmbmb
Games that are both good and easier to grasp than San Juan:
Hey! That's My Fish
Cartagena
Blokus 3D (formerly Rumis)
TransAmerica
Sorry Sliders

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason Allen
United States
Madison Heights
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If any of them are into poker and know how to play it I would highly recommend Dice Town. I recently brought this game to a friends house who was having some family over for a bbq. I figured it would just be him and I playing the game, but it ended up being a huge hit with the whole family! We had 5 players every game and could have set up a second game with how many people were interested in playing it! Basically, if you can play poker and can roll dice, you can play this game!

This is now my go to game for non-gamers. I think it's the perfect gateway game! Check it out!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Domenic
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
badge
Would you ever really want to see an angel?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
cosine wrote:
larrydavid wrote:
Some games I have heard of that I thought might be appropriate are Balloon Cup (I know hard to find), Lost Cities and Bohnanza. None of these thrill me, but the idea of possibly converting my girlfriend or just having something fairly fun to play with family or friends appeals to me.


Those are what you need, even if they aren't what you want. Other ideas include Citadels, Ticket To Ride, or Settlers of Catan.

Remember, you are gaming with non-gamers. They don't have refined tastes in games, distinguishing between good and bad... that's a game geek's thing. Non-gamers just want something diverting and easy to waste time on, not something interesting to invest time in.


Well stated.

If you have a game that you would like to play with them, but it's too complicated, try stripping it down. For experienced gamers, what makes a game interesting is having a variety of paths to victory and trying them out. For non-gamers, that's overwhelming. Strip a game down to a single victory condition, or reduce the number of commodities/roles/whatever, just to make it simpler to learn.

I'm not very familiar with Carcassone or San Juan, but to take Settlers of Catan as an example, you could remove cities, ports, the robber, development cards, the longest road and largest army bonuses, and then set a lower VP target for victory. Obviously that would change game balance, but you would still have probabilistic production, trading, and building. Really, that's plenty for a first game with someone who doesn't want to sit and listen to rules being explained.

With any luck, they'll start to want more options, and then cities and development cards and the rest of it will drop right into place. This approach can affect game balance, but the trade-off is probably worthwhile. Good luck!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Judy Davis
United States
Sanford
32771
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I second Jambo for with your girlfriend. Fun easy two player game.

A couple for either two players or a larger group would be:
Forbidden Island (same designer as Pandemic) a light but tense co-op. Very easy to understand and explain. Great for two to four players.

Also Alhambra. Great with two or more. I sent this game to my in laws as a present, and they figured it out and love playing it. They play lots of cards but weren't your classic "gamers".
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Markus Hagenauer jr.
Germany
Surheim
Germany
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I second the mentioned aboye Blokus.
The rules are explained in a minute, it is tactical but not to heavy, great with 4 players, but also good for two.

Further I´d recommend Topology.



The rules are verry short too. It is not too deep, but still challanging to find out the best way to place your tiles each turn. It´s best with 2 players but can be played with more too.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bess A.
United States
Euclid
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Lots of other great suggestions here, I'll certainly second Ticket to Ride, Stone Age and Dice town, with the caveat that even these might be beyond some players.

I'll throw out one for you that I haven't seen here too: Forbidden Island. It's a co-op but the rules are much simpler than Pandemic. It plays well with 2-4, and the difficulty of the challenge is scalable, so even gamers will be challenged at higher difficulties. The price-point is awesome, I got it for $15 at a FLGS and it's in a nice tin with massively thick tiles and beautiful rubber/plastic models for the 4 treasures you are searching for. The Indiana-Jones-esque treasure hunting theme is almost guaranteed not to be too geeky or weird for anyone.

Don't forget press-your-luck games, they are satisfying to most everyone, but usually have simpler rules. In addition to Incan Gold which someone else mentioned, try Pickomino or Can't Stop. They are all great games for getting everyone into the spirit, and they all lend themselves to chanting home-grown catch-phrases such as "the dice love you, baby", and "burn the worm!" as everyone tries to goad other player into taking unnecessary risks.

My final thought here is that it can be extremely hit-or-miss with non-gamers. My father-in-law is a brilliant guy and a great sport to put up with our games, but although he can play some rather complicated ones, some of the simpler ones are sometimes inexplicably beyond his ability, and we never know until we give it a try.

Best of luck!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gary Heidenreich
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
MilwaukeeTEG
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
No Thanks!
For Sale
Can't Stop
Pickomino

3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ron Pfeiffer
United States
Surfside Beach
South Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I know that you say that Carc bores you, even with a pretty board but you are trying to get your GF and others to play games. Carcassonne with its pretty board and pretty simple rules, which can be taught and learned in a couple of minutes, is a much better choice than SAN JUAN, where the people you were trying to teach wound up being burned out before they even got to play. If you have to, explain and use fields after you have played a game without them, if that makes the learning process easier.

IMHO, Sometimes you have to start with BABY steps when trying to convert people to playing boardgames. More difficult ones can be tried later on after you have a convert or two. Try easy and move on from there!


And I would agree with cferejohn about his suggestion on Ticket To Ride. The easier the explanation of a pretty good game the better chance you will have of finding a gamer somewhere in the group.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
EGG Head
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Jaipur nice little trading card game
Qwirkle nice wooden pieces, like Scrabble!
Valdora attractive pick and deliver game
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wade Campbell
United States
Virginia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm a newer gamer myself, but I'll throw my two cents in.

I've seen Blokus has already made the group. I find it's a good one across age groups.

One of my favorites is Guillotine ... the theme may be a little questionable to some, and it's pretty much all about giving your opponent the short stick, but the art and the fun make it feel much less "backstabbity" than it actually is.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
euronoob

Texas
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Lots of good suggestions here. The "10 Days in" Series, especially. (oh, the Ticket to Ride, also.)

larrydavid wrote:

1) Less complicated than San Juan (honestly, Carcassonne was too much for some people I tried playing with); 2) Minimal set up; 3) Shorter play time; 4) Preferably not abstract.


Cartagena fits right in the pocket of these criteria, too.

edit: thread grew when I wasn't looking blush

Alhambra might be a good stepping stone after Carc, also.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
euronoob

Texas
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
dommer2029 wrote:

If you have a game that you would like to play with them, but it's too complicated, try stripping it down. For experienced gamers, what makes a game interesting is having a variety of paths to victory and trying them out. For non-gamers, that's overwhelming. Strip a game down to a single victory condition, or reduce the number of commodities/roles/whatever, just to make it simpler to learn.


this is a great suggestion. When introducing nongamers to Carc, I usually start with the "no farmers" variant.

Two other games to try (these may already be in the thread, I seem to be overlooking lots of them):

Dixit and Dominion

With Dominion, it would probably be worth trying the gradual-learning approach...there are some threads of success with this in the Dominion forums using this same stripped-down approach. For example, for Dominion, play a game (or at least the first part of a game) using only the coin & victory point cards. then, slowly add in the simple action cards, one at a time.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.