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Subject: Buying my first 10 games - with various mechanics and themes rss

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Wilkins Chow
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Hi everyone,

Usually I play games at some board game clubs or groups.
Recently I have chance to introduce my own friends to the board game world.
Though a little bit late, I am trying to build my own game collection.

I have 2 major groups of friend, one with some gaming experience (like Bang,I am the boss, Rummikub), and one without any but crazy about UNO.
I have spent several hours to read the posts and reviews on the site and come up with some attributes and games that I am looking for.
There are so many games new to me. I need your advice and recommendations and I am curious what the games that you first bought are.

Below are attributes that I considered:
1. Low to Medium complexity - Not difficult to teach and learn
Though my favorite games are Puerto Rico and Calyus, I don’t want to scare people away at the very beginning.
2. Replay-ability - Not losing interest to the game shortly
The games in my area are quite expensive actually, and I will be upset if a game can only be played once or twice.soblue
3. Various mechanics and themes
I want to let my friends to try games with different mechanics and themes first. So I can find out the type of game they like most and buy related games in the future.

Below are games that I am interested in:
1. Dixit & Dixit 2 - Storytelling
Great party game and should work well with both groups
2. Dominion & Dominion Prosperity - Deck building
My friends played this once and they simply become addicted to it.
The only question is whether I should order the big box version instead. But I don’t like Alchemy that much.
3. Geistesblitz - Action, Pattern Recognition
It is a light party game like Jungle Speed, but better.
I treat it as a substitute of UNO.
4. Citadels - Card Drafting, City Building
A game works best at 7 people. The Assassin and Thief are just great.devil
5. Betrayal at House on the Hill - Role Playing
A game has a great theme with some role-playing elements ...
But are the tiles fine now??
6. Ubongo - Puzzle
This game is for the right-brained friends.
7. Saboteur 2 - Hidden role selection, bluffing
Important thing is it can support up 12 players now!
8. Forbidden Island - Cooperative
I am looking for a cooperative game also. Forbidden island is good but it seems a bit too simple. I am not that familiar at this type of game so suggestions are welcome!
9. Carcassone/The Settlers of Catan/Ticket to Ride/Classic Game
Among these three, most likely I will pick Carcassone and Settlers. I don’t like TTR that much personally and I may choose the cheaper TransEuropa instead.
10. Small World/Stone Age/7 Wonder
Finally I choose a game for myself!modest These three games are new to me actually. I have read the rules briefly and the Small World attracts me the most. Which one you would suggest to me?

Thanks for reading this long passage! Let me know what you think!!
 
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Jason Weed
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Based on the others you have listed, I would say small world.
 
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Saboteur seems like a game someone that loves Uno might love... although I have never played it. You might also consider Bonhanza.

BOb
 
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Hoyle A
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My quick reviews

Dixit - yes, everyone loves this
Dominion - yes, easy win, won't get bored easily
Gistesblitz - no idea
Citadels - yes
betrayal - yes (cards are OK, or can be replaced by the mfr)
ubongo - dunno
saboteur dunno, but Race for the Galaxy is great and has hidden role selection too
Forbidden Island - get Pandemic instead IMO
Catan - yeah, great gateway game.
small world - I personally don't like it, but many do
stone age -yes, or some other worker placement game
7 wonders - sure, easy card drafting, handles larger groups

What about an auction game? Maybe work up to power grid?
Maybe another 2 player game?
 
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James 3
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I'm in a similar place, introducing non-gamers and playing mostly with my girlfriend and artist friends, not seasoned geeks. This is what I've been playing and enjoying in that capacity:

1) Dominion (base, seaside, prosperity) the base and prosperity would be my first 2 sets of this.
2) Ascension - another deckbuilding game, but with totally different mechanics and superfast setup time. As a former Magic Player, i like the streamlined elegance of this and my girlfriend enjoys this too.
3) Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers - a great version of carcassonne in a single box. We play this outside on a blanket often and replay this alot.
4) Jaipur - simple and elegant 2 player game with market economy and set matching aspects. Better than i expected and great components for a small card game.
5) Stone Age = not only is this an easy to teach and elegant worker placement game, the components and board are very nice. resources are shaped like the item, not just cubes! definitely more immersive than many other eurogames.
6) Metro (or SanFrancisco Cable Car) - plays well with 2 and up to 6! a very simple to teach tile laying game that is easy to bring out in many circumstances.
 
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Isaias Vallejo
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Dixit was not fun for me. It was pretty boring and we almost wanted to stop playing immediately.

I would definitely recommend Alien Frontiers!!! I just played this last weekend and had a great time. It has really simple rules and the icons on the game board make the learning curve pretty low.

I would also suggest Citadels because after a round, you'll be hooked on trying to read each others minds. Don't bother with the expansion unless you love it.
 
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tom alphin
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I would replace Stone age w/ Agricola. Expensive, but incredibly deep. If you have smart, analytical, and pleasently competitive friends it will get a lot of play.

Just start w/ basic Dominion. The expansions are great but your next choice will likely depend on the type of cards your group enjoys best from the basic deck.

also, don't buy all at once, but split it into ~150$ purchases. This is the amount where the online stores add free shipping.

---tom
 
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tom alphin
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isaiasvallejo42 wrote:

I would also suggest Citadels because after a round, you'll be hooked on trying to read each others minds. Don't bother with the expansion unless you love it.


The current edition includes the expansion, and comes in an easy to carry travel sized box. Boring game w/ 2 players though.
 
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Thomas H
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kinkin_chk wrote:

1. Dixit & Dixit 2 - Storytelling
2. Dominion & Dominion Prosperity - Deck building
3. Geistesblitz - Action, Pattern Recognition
4. Citadels - Card Drafting, City Building
5. Betrayal at House on the Hill - Role Playing
6. Ubongo - Puzzle
7. Saboteur 2 - Hidden role selection, bluffing
8. Forbidden Island - Cooperative
9. Carcassone/The Settlers of Catan/Ticket to Ride/Classic Game
10. Small World/Stone Age/7 Wonder


1. good choice
2. good choice
3. can't comment on that on
4. didn't play it so far, but heard a lot of good things about it
5. also got good reviews - as alternative you might want to have a look at Mansions of Madness
6. can't comment on that on
7. good choice
8. basically good choice and i relly like it, but as you already mentioned, it might be a bit too light - a meatier alternative would be the already mentioned Pandemic
9. whatever you take here won't disappoint you
10. i played Small World, but it's not my cup of tea. Stone Age is a beautiful and nice game. 7 Wonders has a very high priority on my wishlist...

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John Watts
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My four pennies worth is very similar to Thomas H.

3. Not familiar with this game but it seems oriented towards children and may be just too simple - is this appropriate? Substitute a Nimmt style game instead?
8. Forbidden Island is a better entry level game than Pandemic, BUT Pandemic is far more replayable especially if you get the expansion Beyond the Brink - lots more permutations.
10. Small World - conflict and area control but relatively simple
Stone Age - worker placement with dice (much more FUN than Agricola) although may suffer from replayability if constantly played? Still a good choice.
7 Wonders might be ideal since your friends like card orientated games and this takes it several steps further. A better entry level game than Dominion because of the simplicity - recommended.
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Samo Oleami
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some general thoughts - I'll comment each game as a part of a 10 games package.

1. Party game. Dixit should be a good pick.
alternatives: There's also werewolves-like games abound (you can play werewolves with normal cards, there's a good file in werewolves file page): The Castle of the Devil, Shadow Hunters, The Resistance. Also take a look at a free poublic domain game: Eat Poop You Cat (been published as Telestrations).

2. medium weight low interaction euro. Dominion should work, especially if you like it already.

3. Geistesblitz - Action, Pattern Recognition (jungle speed, uno). Not quite a fan of this genre and haven't played. You might want to check: Ligretto/Ligretto (you can find rules for "pouncing dragon" card game you can play with normal cards on pagat.com). In my country there's also an Uno variant with cards where players must switch hands or swap chairs.
Alternative light card games: Pit (real time set collecting, check undeadviking's video. (Chinatown is similar, but heavier (middle range weight) for 5 people, Also Bohnanza is fine light trading game).

4. cut throat game/interactive game - Citadels.
Citadels is my favourite game to play with nongamers. Very easy to learn (intuitive) and offers a lot of second guessing and figuring our what the other players will do, so interaction level is higher than the game makes you think. Don't play this with more than 5, AP prone people may ruin the game - make sure everybody plays fast or at a decent speed, no over analysing. Not sure the game works best at 7?

5. role playing. BatHotH is said to be a blast for some, mediocre by others, nevertheless it's an easy game to pick.
I would recommend something else however: Arkham Horror which is both role playing and a co-op game. There's a lot of text in the game, so I hope you can manage that. The game seems as a rules heavy - it is, but as it's a cooperative game only 1 player needs to know all the rules, while other players have to just know how to fight and move around. It's the best game as far as immersion in character goes and second to none in cooperative games area. Don't play with more than 4 though (5 might still work). If you can't be bothered to learn the rules before you play with other people, maybe something lighter would be in order, however if it's not a problem do try this.

6. puzzle game/abstract. well depends on your fancy. Ubongo is real time puzzle. Me, I'd like to get a hold of Blokus 3D as I love 3D aspect of puzzles, but can't find it in Europe. Check Blokus site where you play regular, triangular and 3D blokus (against computer or other players) so you'll get an idea. Some people also love Ingenious. Hard to comment this category as it's more non-gamers terizory than BGG regulars are used to.

7. for role selection and bluffing I already gave you a list under #1. Sabouteur is not said to be the best game in this genre - it all depends how many people you have to play this. So check again: werewolves, resistance, The Castle of the Devil, shadow hunters. Some of these are into 6-8 player range. If you have 12 players, just play werewolves and you don't have to even buy the game (play with normal cards).

8 & 9. classic family styled euros. We eliminated pick no. 8 (cooperative) so get Settlers of Catan and Carcassonne (alternative: Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers). Both are highly interactive social experiences (talkinag and trading in Catan, blocking in carc.)

10. another middle ranged euro: Small World/Stone Age/7 Wonder
Beware: all of these games are know to have problems in replayability (some people get tired of them quickly so If you're worried about your money...). I would say avoid Stone Age, as you have Dominion allready (low interaction engine type of euro).
7 wonder gets quite rave reviews and given you have a big group this is said to play 7 people really well and plays quick, but there's no real interaction to speak of. (So it kinda clashes with your Citadels spot, but far less interactive).
If you want an aggressive easy to pick game with plenty of replayabilty you should skip Small world and get Cosmic Encounter. Infinite replayabilty, ultimate chaos, a lot of negotiations and with expansions can support up to 7 players (6 player is said to work great, not sure about 7). There is a a bit more text if you have problems with that, though the FFG version is made to make everything as simple as possible. A bit heavier than Smallworld, but I'd say well worth the extra effort. I you want a loud game, go with Cosmic, if you want a quiet one take 7 wonders (guess which one I prefer )

Other stuff:
11. precision type of dexterity: PitchCar
12. alterantive for #10 - Condottiere 5-6 player game of aggressive military action and negotiations (I think, haven't played) that is very cheap. If you get FFG edition, check original rules as well (said to be better).
13. Light fillers: Sticheln, 6 nimmt!/6 nimmt! Plus (more players), No Thanks!
14. drinking game (whistle): Liar's Dice
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Wilkins Chow
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sgosaric wrote:
some general thoughts - I'll comment each game as a part of a 10 games package.

Special Thanks to Samo! A 10 games package is exactly what I mean!

I read all of your replies and suggestions.
Thank you so much as your comments are so helpful!

And now I have better idea about the games that I should keep in the list and the possible alternatives for the others.

1. Dixit - Storytelling
oeste wrote:
Artwork and interaction can win over reluctanct gamers.

Well said.
2. Dominion - Deck building
Ok. I will start with the basic first to see what my friends enjoy most.
3. Geistesblitz - Action, Pattern Recognition, Party Game
Seems this game is not popular here ...
But I want a game like this for the kids and the ladies whistle
Alternatives: Nimmt, Werewolf, Rock the beat ...
4. Citadels - Card Drafting, City Building, interactive
Many good comments for this!
And I will make sure they will pass the cards quickly!
5. Betrayal at House on the Hill - Role Playing
Having a look at the games Mansions of Madness and Arkham Horror now
6. Ubongo - Realtime Puzzle
For this category, I think Ingenious which also works great for 2 players.
3D puzzle are too complicated for a left-brained like me.
7. Saboteur 2 - Hidden role selection, bluffing
Checking games like The Castle of the Devil and the Lifeboatarrrh (voting, bluffing)
Between, werewolves rules printed cool
8. Forbidden Island - Cooperative
Checking Pandemic also at the moment.
Like the idea to merge this category with #5 so I can buy another game instead!
9. Carcassone/The Settlers of Catan/Ticket to Ride/Classic Game
I will choose Carcassone from these three as someone remind the nasty play to block the others.
If there are #5 & #8 merged, I will pick the Settlers of Catan instead.
10. Small World/Stone Age/7 Wonder
Still not decided for these 3 ...

 
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Kevin Garnica
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Do this and thank me later:

Dixit/Dixit 2
Dominion
Citadels
(or, even better - Mission: Red Planet)
Shadow Hunters (for your role-playing game)
Gonzaga or FITS (instead of Ubango - for your right-brained friends)
The Resistance or Ultimate Werewolf (for your hidden role selecting/bluffing game; although, Citadels is sort of that, too)
Pandemic + expansion On The Brink (for your cooperative)
Carcassonne (I'm personally not into Settlers, but if you want it, go for it; especially if you need a "trading" game.)
Small World (good choice)

Other essential categories that are missing:

Stone Age/Fresco/Egizia/Alien Frontiers (worker placement)
For Sale/High Society/Ra/Metropolys/The Speicherstadt/Cargo Noir (auction/bidding)
Cosmic Encounter (the only space game everyone should own)

Instead of Geistesblitz, get Set for your pattern recognition game, or Ricochet Robots


You're welcome.


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Mallory Dean
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Stone Age has been a great gateway game for myself, my wife, and other family members that we have introduced it to. I can't speak to long term re playability yet but since you will have several choices when deciding on a game, I don't think this would be an issue with Stone Age!
 
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Scott Manns
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There are Hundreds of great games out there. When I started the hobby I was amazed by the selection!!! The following List of games I own have really been enjoyed by Newbies and Gamers alike:

1) Settlers of Catan. There is a reason it is a classic. A great game to teach anyone. Easy to learn and very addicting. You can also explain to them that this is the game to really get the hobby going.

2) Carcassonne. The best tile game for new Gamers and still very fun for everyone. A Crowd Pleaser!!

3) Ticket to Ride. Everyone that I have introduced this game to really Really likes it. I mean really likes it!!! An incredible batting average on this one!!! Just Buy it!!!

4) Alhambra. Another game with a great batting average. People who play this are like "Wow this game certainly isn't like Mainstream American games!! They Love it!!! Always ask to play it!!

5) Thebes. They Love the Theme. They Love the digging artifacts from the bags. They Love the artwork and components. This game usually blows them out of the water!!! They just aren't used to a game like this!!

6) Stone Age. This game is so well received they will want to play another game right after it is done. The artwork, theme, and play value is outstanding. One of the very Best!!!

7) The Thief of Baghdad. It doesn't seem like an obvious choice but they appreciate the difference in the game play. They also love the theme and colorful board. Oh wow!! LOL

8) Samurai. The game almost has a Go, or Chesslike Quality to it. The theme is a little loose but noone seems to mind. A very different Euro with game play mechanics that they are somewhat familiar with. A good compromise!!

9) Cleopatra and the Sociey of Architects. Very nice graphics and components. They love to build the temple. They love the Egyptian Theme!!! A very good Adventure game that makes an impact!!!

10) Gang of Four. Hong Kong Poker Card Game. The best of the Euro-style card games I have played. Exciting and intense and a smart game. No Uno here!!! Works well with the Newbies!!!

All Great Games!!!
 
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Marcus Alyn

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I think this list is very very helpful to start...

http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/65075/the-popular-top-25-t...

They are popular to the general public for a reason, most are easy to learn, quicker with good re-playability.

Hope it helps!
 
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mike berk
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1 Stone Age worker placement - great for couples, casual to serious gamers and plays great from 2 to 4.

2 Dominion Not a favorite of mine, but if your group is addicted to it, then definately get it. getting playtime is what is important.

3 Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers tile placement game - again not my favorite but a fun game that everyone ive taught it to enjoys. this version seemed to be the best to get if you werent planning on not getting expansions

4 Railways of the World My personal favorite game to try and get out. Really easy to teach, fun gameplay, and seems more epic and thematic than the other ones to me. But this usually takes my group two hours to play.

5 For Sale filler game - I bring this out at family get togethers plays up to six, really simple but I feel like i am still making meaningful choices

6 Pandemic I chose this for my co-op I just purchased it, so I havent gotten to play yet. forbidden island is a good choice too, but it seems lighter to me, so I went with the original.

7 Small World eurowargame I dont own this, but I just purchased cyclades to fill this niche for me. Get the one you think you and your group would like the most. Small world seemed to samey to me.

8 Dixit party game - not my favorite genre, but Im planning on getting this one eventually too.

9 Ticket to Ride I know you said you didnt care for this much, but I find its great to have to play with the non-gamers. This gets playtime with me because of that.

10 Caylus I suggest getting one deep game that you might not get out much, but when you do youll savor the moment. I noticed you said you enjoyed this one I recently bought this as well and have already gotten two plays out of it. Go for puerto rico or agricola if you think youll enjoy those more.

Mainly know your gamegroup, which games will get played go from there.
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Samo Oleami
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Thinking about this thread - maybe OP should really avoid anything above the likes of settlers. I think he's after really easy games like fillers and party games for 50% of the order, and the other half can be filled with games up to 2.5 weight.

another thing is - if you come from idea to play with nongamers, do pick games which are very interactive. Of course passive interactive games are nice as people (ladies?) don't feel threatened, but I would limit 1 such game per order. (Dominions seems a fine choice).
 
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Tom Vassel and the Dice Tower have such a list too...

http://www.thedicetower.com/thedicetower/index.php/top_ten_l...

But, I do like the idea of buying games with different mechanics and themes.

There are so many awesome games... rather than 10 games here are recos for 10 theme/mechanics. Some games fit in more than one as you see:

Card Drafting - 7 Wonders (great, quick, plays up to 7 people)

Economic - Poseidon and Imperial on the short side, any 18xx game on the long side. Start with 18AL, it's print n play. Power Grid could be put here too.

Work Placement - Agricola do I have to say it. If you want something lighter and quicker Stone Age is great.

Civilization Building - Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game on the short side (3 hrs) or Advanced Civilization (this is an old game and hard to find at a decent price, that should tell you how awesome it is) on long side.

Engine Building - Puerto Rico, a staple in my group. Antics! also on the shorter side and quite fun, but MUST play with 3 or 4. The Scepter of Zavandor, probably not as popular but a great game.

Network Building - Steam, without a doubt. Antics! also has a networking building aspect to it. Power Grid also fits here.

Tile Laying - Vikings... the only tile game I've played that I've wanted to play again.

Co-op - Pandemic, make sure to get Pandemic: On the Brink as well.

Area Control - The grand daddy of them all IMNSHO is Dominant Species. This fits in many categories as a matter of fact. Fire & Axe: A Viking Saga is a brilliantly fun game. Cyclades could also fall here.

Auction - Cyclades is my favorite game with a continuous auction. Power Grid would also fit here.

BOb
 
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wayne r
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Quote:
9. Carcassone/The Settlers of Catan/Ticket to Ride/Classic Game
I will choose Carcassone from these three as someone remind the nasty play to block the others.


I've never had a problem of having a new player hate Settlers due to road blockage. It didn't effect their enjoyment of the overall game and in fact it whetted their appetite to try it again and/or be more willing to try other boardgames.

Carcassone left me flat. My friend likes the game and I will play it with him but I've never really felt any excitement while playing that game. I've never seen it garner the excitement new players feel when playing a Eurogame such as Settlers. The players seem more subdued...
 
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Ralph T
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Consider Chinatown in place of Settlers because it doesn't have dice and it can play 5 players without an expansion or taking up more time. Plus it's theme is cool. I'd have that replace Ubongo or Betrayal at the House, so you still have a place for Carcassonne.

And how about an auction game? Ra, Medici, Modern Art, High Society, For Sale, or Byzanz.
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John Watts
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ralpher wrote:
Consider Chinatown in place of Settlers because it doesn't have dice and it can play 5 players without an expansion or taking up more time. Plus it's theme is cool. I'd have that replace Ubongo or Betrayal at the House, so you still have a place for Carcassonne.

And how about an auction game? Ra, Medici, Modern Art, High Society, For Sale, or Byzanz.


Of course, Ra, I completely forgot about that one - a perfect choice for a simple but really nice collecting and push your luck game but is really easy to play. It's certainly been a hit with everyone i've played it with young and old.
 
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Marcus
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I like coop games and have a few but there are not a lot of choices. If you like FI you should consider Pandemic with the expansion Pandemic: On the Brink.

Personally I think The Settlers of Catan is much better than both Carcasonne and Ticket to Ride.

You indicate games for many players, which would make 7 Wonders a good game. I would also suggest Bohnanza. I also like Small World and Stone Age but IMO Stone Age is better with 2-3 people. Agricola is mentioned in this thread and I think it's great but it's more complex like Caylus.

Based on you list another game that you might look at is Last Night on Earth
 
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Kevin B. Smith
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hulksmashbonzo wrote:
I like coop games and have a few but there are not a lot of choices.

More than you would think. Here are about 150 (of which probably 20-40 are "mainstream"):
PeakHope's comprehensive list of purely cooperative games
 
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Marcus
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Nice list. Many I have never heard of. I'll have to take some time and go through them.

Thanks
 
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