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Subject: Looking for a "one level higher" eurogame for my collection rss

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Raymond Wibisono
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Hi all!

I'm not sure what to put in the subject, but I'm looking for a eurogame that can be considered one level higher than what I had in my collection in term of complexity, depth of strategy, etc. Since most of my collection are considered gateways/light-mid eurogame (Stone Age, Endeavor, Chicago express, Small World), i need something more heavier...

I prefer a game that can be played less than 2 hours and not too much text involved in the game that can cause some people to keep asking "what is this card for?" because he/she just too lazy to read the long text on the card.

If its possible i want a game that can be played with 2 players as well as with more players, but this is not necessary so any suggestion are welcome

Currently I'm interested in Troyes and Fresco, but I'm not sure if those two games are too light or too heavy for me.

So what game should i consider getting?

Thanks in advance!



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Clyde W
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Fresco is way too light. I'm going to say Imperial (playable with two, best with 4), Brass (recommended 2-4 with 2p variant), and Tigris and Euphrates. These mainly don't suffer from "what does this card do" questions.

Depending on players and experience with the game, budget 2-4 hours for heavier games just in case. 6p Settlers which is medium light can on occasion take 2.5 hours even, so this isn't too much to expect for something more thinky.
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David Debien
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If you like Stone Age -> Agricola

If you like Small World -> El Grande

If you like Endeavor -> Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery

Caylus is my usual response for someone asking for a higher weight Euro. It is language independent, so that is a plus for you.

Troyes is a pretty good game, but your players will be referring to the reference aids constantly to see what the cards do.

I have not played Fresco, but the BGG weight of 2.5 makes it fairly light fair.

Finally, why not consider Puerto Rico? There is a reason why it has remained near the top of the rankings for so long.

Edited for grammar and puncuation.

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Shayne Gray
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Another couple that you might want to look into are,

Macao
Hansa Teutonica
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Clyde W
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Agricola, as awesome as it is, can definitely suffer from the "what does this card do" problem, even if you do read the massive block of text on it.
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Kevin B. Smith
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It looks like the heaviest games you have rated so far are about 2.9 (according to the BGG-voted weight in the statistics section of each game page). So you're probably looking to move up to the low 3's. Note that these rating combine both rules complexity and strategic depth, so they are only rough guidelines. For me, the weight ratings of most games are within .5 of my own vote, but they can be higher or lower. They are a great guide, but don't take them too literally.

Since you like Stone Age (2.5), one obvious option might be Agricola (3.6). (Rightly or wrongly, those two games are often paired as an easier/harder combination). Other popular games would be Puerto Rico (3.3) and Caylus (3.8).

I'm sure there are "train games" that are a step up from Chicago Express (2.8), but that's not my thing so I'll let others make those suggestions.

Fresco (2.6) probably wouldn't be a step up, but Troyes (3.5) would.

What specifically attracts you to Fresco and Troyes? Are there specific themes or mechanics that you find most appealing? Would you prefer a timeless classic, or a new hotness? Also note that some games (like Fresco) require a neutral/shared/dummy when played with only 2, and others (like Puerto Rico) rely on a 2-player variant. Some people still love those with 2, but others prefer a "pure" 2-player game.


NOTE: Of all those games, I have only played Stone Age, so consider all of this to be general advice, not specific recommendations.
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Darrell Hanning
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I'll second all of CasualGod's recommendations, but I lean towards Age of Industry over Brass, simply because it isn't quite as idiosyncratic, and already has expansion maps. I'd also highly recommend Steam, as it has no text at all (Age of Steam had a little), and is a pretty "clean" system while retaining substantial strategic depth. Similarly (and more fitting with 2-hour requirement), I'd also recommend Martin Wallace's Tinners' Trail, Steel Driver, and First Train to Nuremberg (or Last Train to Wensleydale, as they are essentially the same game).
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Gary Bacchus
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casualgod wrote:
If you like Stone Age -> Agricola

If you like Small World -> El Grande

If you like Endeavor -> Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery

Caylus is my usual response for someone asking for a higher weight Euro. It is language independent, so that is a plus for you.

Troyes is a pretty good game, but your players will be referring to the reference aids constantly to see what the cards do.

I have not played Fresco, but the BGG weight of 2.5 makes it fairly light fair.

Finally, why not consider Puerto Rico? There is a reason why it has remained near the top of the rankings for so long.

Edited for grammar and puncuation.



This is a pretty good summary.

I may suggest Le Havre as an alternative to Agricola, but that's personal preference. I'd say look at both and grab what seems good.
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Charlie Theel
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I'm going to second Glenn Drover's Empires: The Age of Discovery

Excellent game playable 2-5.
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Gary Bacchus
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Also saw your copy of Chicago Express. Consider looking at the 18xx series of games. The first game you play in this system will be longer than 2 hours. Guaranteed. The good thing about it is that the basic ruleset transfers from one 18xx game to another (just have to learn local variants most of the time), so you're not learning an entirely new game everytime. As your group gets more comfortable with the system, the game times will fall.

Tips:

1) Get poker chips. It takes time out of the gameplay alone.
2) Encourage pre-turn planning.
3) Encourage people who have a stake in the operating companies to talk amongst themselves so that the president knows what the best play is when it comes around.
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David Larkin
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I'd agree with Le Harve over Agricola if you don't like text on cards, but play Agricola at some point not everyone likes it but for those that do it is one of the best games.

Also Steam. There are lots of expansion boards you can get, or ven ones you can print off yourself. These tend to all have minor tweaks to the ruules that keeps the game fresh.
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Ed
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Agricola (the family rules remove most of the cards from the game)
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Shane Larsen
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Troyes
Agricola
Puerto Rico


You can't go wrong with any of these three in my opinion. Don't do Fresco, it's too light to call it a "step up".

Puerto Rico isn't advertised as a two-player game, but there's a two-player variant that gamers say works well--I haven't tried it. The other games both work well with two. Agricola is slightly better with two than Troyes. All three are excellent with all other player counts. They are three of my favorite mid-weights.

El Grande is another good light-mid weight (I actually treat it as a gateway in my collection--I have an easier time teaching this than I do teaching Stone Age). But it plays best with four and five players. It won't work with two.

Other options to consider:

Tigris & Euphrates - It's a bit more abstracted, but there is deep strategy here as people learn more. Players all at the same experience level will enjoy this game for a long time because learn ways to get better every time you play. Widely considered Knizia's masterpiece.

Dominion - Simply because so many games and game systems are utilizing the deck-building mechanic these days, you should consider Dominion. Your group/family should know how deck building works if you are trying to court them into the hobby. Also, it's a very good card game that plays quickly...did I mention it's fun?

I hope this helps. Good luck and have fun!
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Carl Garber
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Many good games suggested. I own Puerto Rico, El Grande, and Macao out of all that was mentioned. I found Macao was understood a bit faster than the others and it plays quite well with two! The other two play better with 4 or 5. I must admit that I love Macao and am definitely biased towards it, but I will say that I haven't really had much trouble explaining it to even nongamers which might be important depending on who you game with.
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Raymond Wibisono
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Wow thanks for the fast reply guys, really appreciate that...
From all above recommendations i think i have to choose between:
Troyes, Age of Industry and Glenn Drover's Empire.

I don't really have specific mechanic that i like except i dont really like tile laying mechanic but a game with great artwork always attracts me maybe thats why i chose troyes and fresco.

Actually i've been putting my radar on agricola and puerto rico before and yup i think those two are great games, but too many people own that game, well at least some of my friends do, thats why i want to look at something else.

Once again thanks guys, still accepting suggestions tho and i think i prefer latest/new game than a classic one and no abstract game for me....
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Chris Wood
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what about power grid?
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DigitalMan
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raydep wrote:
a game with great artwork always attracts me


This made me think of A Castle for All Seasons, which would be a step up in complexity from Stone Age. (And it's a beautiful game.)
 
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Mark Ellis
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I would second Caylus, Le Havre, Troyes, Tigris and Puerto Rico.

Other games I would add to this list are Princes of Florence (great production values and theme, also introduces an auction mechanic which might be something different), Lancaster (also a lovely looking game that has plenty of depth) or Assyria (very deep and rewarding, but perhaps more than one step on in complexity).

Finally, if you like Small World, I would also recommend Chaos in the Old World. Neither of these games is a Euro, but Chaos gives you more of the player v player combat and tactics you probably appreciate in Small World, with more depth and scope for cunning manoeuvres.

None of the ones I've added are very good 2 player to my knowledge, but they will give you a fantastic return on your time in 2 hours (maybe 2.5 hours for Assyria).
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David Larkin
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Myoman wrote:
what about power grid?

Power Grid: The First Sparks?
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HenningK
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Power Grid would be a half-step in terms of complexity and weight. The game is good, but I wouldn't recommend it with 2 or 6 players.

I'll second the mention of Caylus. There is no luck involved, it offers multiple strategies, and it is excellent with 2 players. It might break the 2 hour limit on your first one or two games, but that's the only point of criticism I can come up with.

And even though Dominion isn't exactly heavier than the games you mentioned, I still recommend it because of its depth and pure fun. Casual gamers and non-gamers can easily get into the game, but mastering it is difficult. To be fair, the base game isn't quite as deep, but if you add the expansions, you can spend months of playing and you will still discover new tactics and strategies.
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Kathy Sheets
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I have to +1 Macao! It's just so much fun and we often play it 2-player. Play is intuitive once you go through a turn and the different mechanics come together to make for very fun gameplay.
 
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Adam
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peakhope wrote:

NOTE: Of all those games, I have only played Stone Age, so consider all of this to be general advice, not specific recommendations.


Those are some pretty sweet recommendations from someone who hasn't played them!

+1 Agricola (My wife's favorite)
+1 Puerto Rico
+1 Caylus
+1 Power Grid
+1 Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery

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Gabriele Pezzato
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Fresco is on par with Stone Age as far as complexity (and, partially, mechanics) go.

As a step up, but not that big, I'd recommend Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery any time!
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Jason Carlough
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+1 Steam (or Age of Steam if you like auctions)
+1 Power Grid
+1 Caylus
 
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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GabrielGeek wrote:
As a step up, but not that big, I'd recommend Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery any time!

There have been a number of good games mentioned here, but I'd rather play this than any of the others, and by a wide margin.
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