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Subject: 5 player games for newish group rss

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Dave Baxter
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New Jersey
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I recently got back into gaming thanks to Carcassonne and Settlers (natch) and have finally put together a group of my own which quickly swelled to 5 players. So far all we have are Citadels and Bohnanza, both of which go well but we're looking to move onto the next thing.

From what I've researched El Grande sounds like a perfect 5 player and adds a little meat (and a board!) to what we've been playing. I'm interested in Puerto Rico as well but I read different things about how well it plays with five.

Looking to keep it Euro, btw...not really interested in massive games with a million little bitty pieces...at least not yet!

Other suggestions, obviously, are welcome! Thanks in advance.
 
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Ryan Langewisch
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I think you would be thrilled with either Puerto Rico or El Grande, and I would add Power Grid to the list as well. Can't really go wrong with any of those!
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Jeff G
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+1 to El Grande, Power Grid and Puerto Rico

I'd also add 7 Wonders for something lighter and quicker and scales nicely up to 7 (though, I'm not a fan of the 2p game). Also, Genoa was a huge hit when I played it a few times with 5, and is a solid game that doesn't get recommended enough IMO.
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    7 Wonders will bring nothing new to your table. Very light, not terribly immersive.

    El Grande is exquisite with five. Not to be missed, leave the expansions in the box.

    Consider Imperial 2030 as well. I've just discovered it and I don't think I'll go back to Power Grid.

             S.


 
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Steven Backues
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Power Grid and El Grande are both excellent ideas.

I love Puerto Rico, and it plays okay with 5, but I think it is a little better with 4 or 3.

I also think Imperial (or its 2030 version) is a good suggestion.

Also consider Santiago, a recent favorite of mine, or In the Year of the Dragon. Both are best with 5 players. Santiago has the advantage of being easy to learn and fairly short (similar to Settlers in both length and complexity), and quite interactive, with auctioning, bribing and on-board play. In the Year of the Dragon is sort of a standard Euro (and probably many others could be suggested); a tight and brutal optimization game.

In fact, there are many, many games that play well with 5, so you might get a lot of suggestions. Two things to think about:
1) How much flexibility in number do you want? Do you usually play with exactly 5 people, or is it sometimes only 3 or 4? (The latter might strengthen the case for Puerto Rico). What are the chances that you will add a 6th, and regret getting things that max out at 5?
2) How much interaction do you like? Do you like to play against the game, without having to worry too much about someone messing with your plans, or do you like to play against the players? Or play the players themselves, with the game only as a backdrop?

Best of luck!
 
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Dave Baxter
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1. We love interaction. We're all good friends so with games like Bohnanza and Citadels, all the yelling and fighting and haggling is perfect for us.

2. Our group does have the potential to swell to 6 or even 7, and it's always possible someone can't make it so 4 is possible too, although it seems like it's going to be 5 steady for a while.

 
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Kevin B. Smith
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Elendil wrote:
2) How much interaction do you like? Do you like to play against the game, without having to worry too much about someone messing with your plans, or do you like to play against the players? Or play the players themselves, with the game only as a backdrop?

This is really important.

Another thing to consider is the level of chaos. I disliked El Grande for a variety of reasons, but one of them was that it felt very chaotic. I like to plan my turns in advance, but I couldn't because until the player immediately before me started his or her turn, I didn't even know which of the actions would be available to me. You have to be very reactive and responsive, but for me it activated my rarely-seen AP (Analysis Paralysis), and I ended up effectively making random moves at times, just to keep the game moving.

I'm not saying that EG is a bad game. Just that like every other game out there, it may or may not be a good fit for any particular person or group.

If I were you, I would look for a game with a weight around 2.8 as your next move. That's enough of a step up from the games you have now, without being such a large jump that it might be overly complex. The "weight" of a game is voted by BGG users, and appears in the "Statistics" section of each game page. They are not a precise measure, but are helpful as a rough guideline.

Without knowing what level of interaction you want, I'm not ready to recommend any specific games yet.

EDIT: Ok, while I was writing that, you said you love lots of interaction. That's not my forte, so I'll leave the recommendations to other folks.
 
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Eugene
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A contrary voice here. Liberté kills El Grande.
 
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Patrick OLeary
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One of my favorite games for 5 players: Shogun
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Kirk Thomas
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El Grande is a blast, even after all these years. If you like interaction, it's a near perfect next step. Relatively easy to learn, play well in 90 mins once you have it down. Really works best with 5.

PG and PR are both excellent as well. I'd rather play PG with a group of 5, but both will play well with fewer. PG is the least intuitive of the 3, IMO.

Princes of Florence is another popular one that really works best at it's max of 5 players.

I love Imperial, but I'd play a few other games before venturing there.
 
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Steven Backues
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Streaky wrote:
1. We love interaction. We're all good friends so with games like Bohnanza and Citadels, all the yelling and fighting and haggling is perfect for us.


I thought that might be the case, from some hints that you had left in your original post. I'm glad I asked. Scratch Year of the Dragon, then. Puerto Rico might still be okay - I myself consider it plenty interactive, but it is a slightly more subtle, mostly quiet sort of interaction. Definitely consider Santiago, and El Grande and Power Grid. Imperial also has quite a bit of interaction, and I understand that Genoa does, too.

Also check out this thread, Games that Require Strategy and Social Skills, for ideas on medium to high interaction games like Bohnanza and Citadels. There are lots of good suggestions in here, many of which work with 5.

 
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Matt Drown
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Streaky wrote:
2. Our group does have the potential to swell to 6 or even 7


Check out Chicago Express. Mentioned in the thread referenced above also.

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Geoff Hall
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If you can find it I think that you guys will really dig Mission: Red Planet. It's kind of a steampunk collision between Citadels and El Grande and it works very well. It will also play in about an hour, even with 5.

If you like Settlers I'd also recommend Ad Astra, which (to me) takes the interesting parts of Settlers and vastly improves on them whilst ditching the poorer parts. It's a very good game.
 
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