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Subject: Co-op Board Game Thoughts? rss

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Corey Pizza
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Hey i was just wondering how much replay value co-op games offer. I mean some have alot but like a video game once you finish it what is the point in re doing it all. Of course there would be different characters but for example dungeons and dragons board games once you finish most of the missions and have used most of the characters it gets lame. And im getting pandemic and once you have cured the disease a few times it would get old. Games where you must vs eachother have alot of replay value as its a test of luck/skill and the result would change alot co-op games once you beat it thats usually it?

What do you think about co-op board games.
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Scott Nelson
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They have to scale well. lighter-to-harder, and then if you add "nigh impossible" to the variants, you will always have a challenge, so you will keep coming back to beat it on the harder level. Pandemic has the levels. I have only won 1 time on the hardest level, and it was a fluke. So, I have more to explore with that level of difficulty.

My current prototype design has a money track, the more money you try to get, the harder the game. So, I just move the money goal higher and higher to see what is doable, and what hits the "nigh, impossible" level. 75k is really hard, but doable. 100k I have never come near. So I have a beginner level of 50k, mid-weight at 75k, and anything higher is up to the players how hard they want the game to be.
 
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Colin Dearborn
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I have tried alot of the co-ops once....the only ones that kept my interest where Yggdrasil and Forbidden Island.


They have alot of replayability if the theme works for you. If the theme sounds less than thrilling you likely won't play it more than once.
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Jonathan Powell
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Co-ops certainly have their place in my game collection. I have Pandemic, Forbidden Island, and Shadows over Camelot. Owning both Pandemic and Forbidden Island is unnecessary. I prefer Pandemic especially with the Pandemic: On the Brink expansion (which adds a lot of replay-ability through new roles and variants that can combined in different ways), but Forbidden Island is great with the kids and new gamers. I am looking forward to getting Sentinels of the Multiverse as well.

At least with the co-ops I own, I don't see replay value as a concern. You can always ratchet up the difficulty if the game and the number of players also affects the difficulty level. Pandemic seems much easier to solve with 2 players than with 4. My 6 year old daughter wanting to go off and do her own thing on the board may also make winning a little harder with 4 (when she is playing), but hey, that adds to the challenge as well when you are having to deal with a rogue operations expert.
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Roberto Vaccari
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Personally I hate all cooperative games, except for Kraków 1325 AD, that is a cooperative game but with individual victory condition.
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General Norris
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I haven't found the two coop games I have played (Pandemic and Arkham) to have poor replay value. They have enough replay value to get more than your money's worth in fun.
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Clare Cannon
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Ghost Stories has a lot of replay value because there are lots on incarnations of wu feng therefore as only one is used per game it has great variability.

Yggdrasil,Castle Panic and Forbidden Island were too simple for my game group and so there is not all that much replayability however we kept yggdrasil as it is beautiful.

Pandemic is quite replayable as you can vary the difficulty, the expansion allows for very different games as well and is well worth investing in.

011 is one of the newer co-operative type games and works quite well, you can play with or without the hidden traitor.

Elder Sign again has variable end bad guys and lots of missions to accomplish and so is very variable.

Lord of the Rings is an interesting co-op as it depends upon your game group as the game itself is very hard and pushes players to make sacrafices in order for the team to win.










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Gert Meyer
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Arkham Horror attempts to overcome the replay issue by simply having so many moving parts that there are next to infinite combinations of events and conditions, making two 100% identical games very unlikely.

You could argue that the game will feel kind of samey after a while once you have seen it all. But that is not until you have had your money's worth and then some out of it.
 
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Matt Riddle
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I play coop with the Riddlenettes nut not with my game group. LOTR LCG is hte exception, I play that weith a buddy and it rules.
 
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Garcian Smith
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I have the opinion that coop games have poor replay value. What it really is more so than how many doohickeys a game has, is the quality of your opponent. In versus games, you opponent is constantly thinking, adapting and improving. A coop game is ultimately going to be random and unpredictable with things happening everywhere. This makes some games tight, but the majority will be easy to beat once you figure out the patterns.

With that said, I got into the genre with Camelot. It was really interesting, but the novelty does wear off. Then the only real thing that gets you going is the traitor mechanic. I bought LotR later and component wise, I wasn't impressed. I could give that game more plays, but it feels the same, except that we have different cards. Pandemic has a "sick" theme to it, but it just got to the point of a virus appearing here, versus over here.

There's Battlestar Galactica which is one of my favorite games, but I would not really call it a coop. It's more of a hidden team experience.

But the thing about replay value in this hobby is that it is funny. Sure you could get more depth out of a thicker game like Twilight Struggle, but the question is, WILL you have a dedicated other player who you will play with to get to that level? Will you be able to play it consistently? I think not. I think more often than not boardgamers will play with relatively new or casual players. That means that the easy entrance level of Pandemic will be a boon in that situation. A high replay value does not guarantee you'll even get to play to the level of appreciating it.

So yes, the depth is not as much as you'll get in other games, but as light games, you'll be able to get it on the table more often, meaning it'll get more plays. Of course then you have Arkham Horror which has so many elements that are randomized and is so long that multiple plays aren't really a problem. It has variety. I am happy to replay this again and again as you can't uncover everything about it in a few plays.
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Christian Hardy
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Arkham Horror is one of the best when it comes to replay value. As others have said, there are enough things going on in the game that you're likely to never play the same game twice. Furthermore, the base game itself is basically perfect and doesn't require expansions, but there are enough big and small box expansions to keep making the game interesting for years.
 
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Josh M
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My two favourite co-op games are the already mentioned Arkham Horror and Defenders of the Realm (from the same designer, Richard Launius). It's kind of a hybrid between a fantasy themed Pandemic and Arkham Horror.
 
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Brook Gentlestream
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More than half the co-op games out there right now are HUGE games. They have a lot to keep track of, a lot of optional rules, a lot of cards and characters and other things to keep replays interesting and varied. Arkham Horror, for example, came with 16 different characters and about a dozen different Old Ones to use as an adversary.

Most of the replay value is derived from its randomness. Imagine a video game where the monsters and levels are random each time you play it. Now imagine you had about a dozen different characters, and each one can "level up" in several different upgrade paths. How much replay value would this game have?

The biggest obstacle to the replay value in co-op games is if you always play with the same people then I've found some people latch onto particular tactics or ideas about the game and stop experimenting after awhile, and that gets dull for me. But this same aspect can be true of competitive games as well, however, in competitive games your knowledge of the opponents tactics may force him to change.

So in general, I'd say so long as you are mixing up your group every so often, you don't have to worry about replay value of co-ops. If you are not, then it may definitely depend on which game you are trying.

As long as "time required to play" isn't an obstacle, Arkham Horror is a pretty safe bet.

Some of my favorite games are co-ops including Battlestar Galactica, Arkham Horror, and Flash Point: Fire Rescue.
 
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Philip Pack
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My favorite co-op is Gears of War: The Board Game. I find it highly re-playable. 7 provided scenarios... modular map that is placed in a random order each time... 1-4 players supported.

Only other co-op I own is Pandemic... and to be honest with you, it's almost never played. Flash Point is one I've considered, but is low on my list.
 
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Liam
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Pandemic's re-playability can be significantly increased by Pandemic: On the Brink
 
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Jonathan Warren
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Flash Point: Fire Rescue also has a great deal of re-playability. With multiple levels of difficulty allowing the player to tailor the game for casual gamers right up to experienced gamers. The expansion, Flash Point: Fire Rescue – Urban Structures, just increases the possibilities and difficulty levels. A great game, well worth picking up.
 
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GeekInsight
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I'm a big fan of Pandemic (with the on the brink expansion), Sentinels of the Multiverse, Arkham Horror, Elder Sign, and co-ops in general. I find that non-gamers and relatives are much more likely to play a co-op because they aren't worried about the experienced gamer smashing them.

The one thing all co-ops have in common is a healthy dose of luck. Much of it can be mitigated by good play, but there has to be random elements. Without them, you don't really have a co-op game. Just a puzzle to be solved. So you have to be comfortable with some level of luck in your games.
 
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