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Subject: Starting a Game Night - Recommendations before I purchase... rss

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Victor Garret
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Lately it seems that all we do is play the card game golf (http://www.pagat.com/draw/golf.html) with 4 people. While the game is easy/fun to pick up, after the 100th time playing I need a break. There's normally 3 to 4 of us playing at a time, rarely will we have 5 people and we've never played a game with more than 5 (perhaps we need more friends!). Most of us are between the ages of 25 and 35.

Here is the list of games I'm considering and why I'm considering them:

1. For Sale (looks to be simple, quick, a good starter game for the night)
2. Ticket to Ride (we found this on XBox Live and played it several times already) w/ 1910 Expansion
3. Pandemic (Have never played a co-op game before, looks to be highly recommended)
4. Puerto Rico (The girlfriend and I both like games like Civilization on the PC)

5. Arimaa (this is for when it's just the two of us or if we want to start a game at work during a lunch break)

The people we'd be playing with have only played games like Monopoly and Life. I tried to get them to play Flux one evening and it really didn't go over well to the point that we didn't finish the first game.

Would this be a good starting point for a few months?

Thanks!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
New List after feedback

Yes
For Sale
Ticket to Ride w/ 1910 Expansion
Pandemic

Should Consider
Settlers of Catan +5
Dominion +3 (Thunderstone)
Coloretto +2
Carcassonne +3/-1
7 Wonders +2
Stone Age +2
Tichu +1
Forbidden Island +1


No
Puerto Rico (might be too complex) I'll hold off on this one -2
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Daniel Geuss
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Carcassonne is a great gateway game. This is what I use with newer players. Its easy to learn and scales well to the group size.
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Douglas Damron
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I vote Tichu and Forbidden Island. They only play four, though. You've got some good choices in your original post as well.
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Gordon Berg
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Those are a very good starting point.

Also add these to your list:

Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne, Dominion, Stone Age, and Coloretto.

That should keep your covered for awhile and provides a decent variety of play that will let you figure out what kind of game you enjoy the most.

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Frank Feldmann SoFrankly
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Not Puerto Rico - it might scare some people off. I would suggest looking at the Family Games ranking from the front page of BGG.
 
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Frank Feldmann SoFrankly
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One more thing - a civ game, or many other games, may not translate from PC to board game as well. Remember that a PC does all your bookkeeping for you, whereas in a board game you have to do that yourself. That's part of the reason they become more complex as a board game.

 
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Alberto Segura
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Deroche wrote:

Also add these to your list:

Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne, Dominion, Stone Age, and Coloretto.

I've got all of them and I agree, they fits perfectly for that you're looking for. And my fave is Stone Age.
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Brad N
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kllian wrote:
Yes
For Sale
Ticket to Ride w/ 1910 Expansion
Pandemic
This looks like the perfect "Yes" list to me for getting started based on how you described your group.

kllian wrote:
Should Consider
Carcassonne +2
Stone Age +1
Tichu +1
Forbidden Island +1
Settlers of Catan +1
Dominion +1
Coloretto +1
All of these are worth considering. Coloretto and No Thanks! are good "filler" games like For Sale. Carcassonne and Stone Age are good steps up from Ticket to Ride. In my opinion, Carcassonne is much simpler but Stone Age would be a great way to start getting into a little more meat with the games. Forbidden Island is good, but Pandemic is better. Though, Forbidden Island is a bit easier to play so depending on how important that is, it's still a really good game. Dominion is another step up. Good game, but I'd hold off for a bit.

kllian wrote:
No
Puerto Rico (might be too complex) I'll hold off on this one
Finally, Puerto Rico is my favorite game and if everyone starts getting into it then it may be a game to buy some day... not yet. Belongs on the "no" list for now.
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Kai Poon
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Another vote for Settlers.
It's an excellent game that allows people to interact with others through trading of resources. You also get occasions where people are trying to persuade the other person not to place the robber on them, which just creates a fun gaming atmosphere. The scoring system is easy to see.

I'll vote against carcassonne. It fell flat with my girlfriend and another friend. Not to mention thatI didn't really enjoy it.

We found that there was very limited social interaction (We were effectively sitting in silence while playing this game) and while there is strategy behind the game in terms of blocking and optimal placements. We found it to be quite boring, drawing tiles, placing, repeat - repeat action till all tiles are placed.

But I do realise that carcassonne is a highly rated game. I'm just not sure why it fell completely flat with our group. It might have something to do with the fact that my group tends to prefer games where players can interact conversational due to the game. So things like deduction/bluffing/trading are fun ways to do so.

A fantastic game that can be played without the actual game itself is "The resistance" - it's very short. Lasts only 10 minutes per round. It's basically a game of trying to deduce who is the spy amongst your group, and trying to stop them from sabotaging your mission when you form a team.


 
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Mitch Willis
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I definitely agree with TtR w/1910 & For Sale...since y'all seem to enjoy card games, you might want to consider some of these as well:

Gang of Four
The Bottle Imp
Wizard
Fairy Tale
PalastgeflĆ¼ster
Lords of Scotland
7 Wonders

I like Arimaa...some other 2-player games you might consider:

TZAAR
DVONN
YINSH
Dragonheart
Court of the Medici
The Battle for Hill 218
 
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Gordon Berg
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Another possible reference source is the current BGG gift guide. You'll notice many of the games on this list have also come up as recommendations in this thread.

Theres a good reason for that.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/Board_Game_Gift_Guide...

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kllian wrote:
Lately it seems that all we do is play the card game golf (http://www.pagat.com/draw/golf.html) with 4 people. While the game is easy/fun to pick up, after the 100th time playing I need a break. There's normally 3 to 4 of us playing at a time, rarely will we have 5 people and we've never played a game with more than 5 (perhaps we need more friends!). Most of us are between the ages of 25 and 35.

Here is the list of games I'm considering and why I'm considering them:

1. For Sale (looks to be simple, quick, a good starter game for the night)
2. Ticket to Ride (we found this on XBox Live and played it several times already) w/ 1910 Expansion
3. Pandemic (Have never played a co-op game before, looks to be highly recommended)
4. Puerto Rico (The girlfriend and I both like games like Civilization on the PC)

5. Arimaa (this is for when it's just the two of us or if we want to start a game at work during a lunch break)

The people we'd be playing with have only played games like Monopoly and Life. I tried to get them to play Flux one evening and it really didn't go over well to the point that we didn't finish the first game.

Would this be a good starting point for a few months?

Thanks!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
New List after feedback

Yes
For Sale
Ticket to Ride w/ 1910 Expansion
Pandemic

Should Consider
Coloretto +2
Settlers of Catan +2
Carcassonne +2/-1
Stone Age +1
Tichu +1
Forbidden Island +1
Dominion +1
The resistance
No Thanks

No
Puerto Rico (might be too complex) I'll hold off on this one -2
I agree with most of this. I'd also suggest a couple not on your list that I have had success with:

Sorry! Sliders
Sushizock im Gockelwok
Tiki Topple
Water Lily

Oops! I forgot:
Dominion and
Dixit
 
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Wilkins Chow
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I just bought/ordered my first 10 games a while ago.

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/630392/buying-my-first-10-ga...

At the end I picked the games below.

1. Dixit
2. Dominion
3. The Settlers of Catan
4. Citadels
5. Ra
6. Carcassonne
7. Cosmic Encounter
8. Pancemic
9. Small World

Opps ... Only 9 as I have not decided for my 10th game yet
 
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Gabriele Pezzato
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Ticket to Ride is mandatory arrrh
 
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Sounds like Ticket to Ride is the right choice for you guys. If you've already played it on XBox and like it, all the better. Your friends will pick up the rules in like 30 seconds, and its a nice way of getting into boardgames.
 
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Ben R
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Catan is the most obvious choice.

I think you guys might also like Alhambra: Big Box. It's a nice little mix of set collection and tiles placement. The Big Box is good value with the expansions. I think I prefer it to Ticket to Ride if I want a light game about set collection.

Ingenious is a fantastic abstract. Blokus is also good that is cheaper.

If you are looking at Dominion you should consider Thunderstone. I prefer the latter.

7 Wonders is also great. Finding a copy right now should be too hard.

London actually is quite a simple game. I would consider getting it next if you are looking for something slightly more complex, but not quite ready for Puerto Rico. If you guys like card games it is a good choice.

Good luck getting started!
 
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David Wilcox
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There are two games that are great to introduce non-gamers into the community with: Settlers of Catan & Ticket to Ride. There is a reason these games are in places like Barnes & Noble & Target.
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Mark Johnston
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I've had a lot of luck with monopoly deal as a gateway game. It the bonus of being a recognizable brand and a really cheap, fun game.I give a +1 vote to battle for hill 218 as a great, quick two player game. There is a demo for it on the publishers website.
 
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Zooloretto
 
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I wouldn't say there's a reason to avoid Puerto Rico unless these people are expected to resist playing, which doesn't seem to be the case. It's an amazing game and not very complex. I could understand it more if people said to hold off games with stock auctions or programmed instruction until the next batch of purchases, but if people actually want to get into gaming, there's no reason why they should need TtR as a stepping-stone to Steam.
 
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Tristan Dyer
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Tales of the Arabian Nights would add something unique to your list of games. It's almost like a choose your own adventure book and is always an experience to remember. I've also found it very easy to teach to new gamers. I wouldn't recommend with more than 4 though as the more players, the longer it takes. 3 is excellent as everyone has something do do even when it's not their turn.

Betrayal at House on the Hill is another game that oozes theme and I've found really draws in new players. It starts with all players exploring a haunted mansion and after some time a "haunt" begins and one player turns on the others becoming the traitor. At this point the 2 groups read from a secret book what their goals are for that particular "haunt". While sometime unbalanced it is always interesting and an experience. I've had some success with 3 players, but would recommend more with this game.

If your friends are less interested in winning and would prefer a memorable experience I would recommend either of the above games. Personally I wouldn't recommend Catan, while I recognize it has some interesting mechanics, it just seems a little plain and dated compared to so many games published after it.

EDIT: Forgot to mention +1 for Stone Age. Easy to pick up the mechanics and stratergies for new players. Only recently acquired this and think it's an excellent starting place for introducing friends into more strategic games. Seems to work great with 2,3 or 4 players.
 
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Victor Garret
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Update:

I bought
For Sale
Ticket to Ride w/ 1910 Expansion
Pandemic
Settlers of Catan

Played For Sale with two sets of friends and overall it was a hit, everyone gave the game an 8. Next was Ticket to Ride. This game had less interaction with each other, everyone was quiet staring at the board plotting strategies. Everyone enjoyed this game and gave it a 7. We finished the night with Pandemic. This really should be played with at least 1 person who has played before. This brought out all the chatter and strategy and while it was the least favorite game of the night, everyone said they'd like to play again since we now know how to play.
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Kai Poon
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Pandemic was also a strange game since my friends didn't like it initially. But after they played it with another group, and understood more about the strategic aspect part. It suddenly became more fun.

Having said that, it was much better for us when we played open hand. But that's mostly to do with the fact that we don't feel the need to push each other completely and dominate the strategy.

How'd settlers go?
 
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Robert Forrest
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Ticket To Ride and Pandemic were two of our first three purchases and they are excellent beginner games. So I recommend picking those up for sure.

Do NOT buy Forbidden Island if you're getting Pandemic - it is a lighter version of the game and plays very similarly. It's good, but go one or the other (at least in your first purchase - you don't want to buy two games that are the same at the same time)

Stone Age is also a really excellent starter which will probably have a longer life than the other two as well.

EDIT: Oops, I missed the post where you'd actually purchased games.
 
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Victor Garret
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KeroKai wrote:
How'd settlers go?
Haven't had a chance for settlers yet, I'm thinking another go at Pandemic is in order first but we did play Ticket to Ride with the same friends again.
 
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