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Subject: Narrowing Down Six Varied Choices for a Picky Group rss

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Daniel Cucco
United States
Forest Hills
New York
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I recently purchased A Few Acres of Snow, but before it even arrived I got to try it, realized I didn't like it all. It happens to be a very desirable game right now, so I realized I could probably trade it .After taking a look at the wishlist there are six top contenders, but they are all rather different so deciding is going to be a challenge. Especially given the fact that my gaming group is rather picky, and I don't want to get something that won't ever make it to the table or be shelved after one play.

1. Dominant Species, 2. Chaos in the Old World, 3. Puzzlestrike, 4. Agricola, 5. Cyclades, 6. Hansa Teutonica.

You can factor in all expansions when talking about above games, since if my friends like something, we usually quickly purchase all the additions.

Helpful Information about my friends
A. Games I really enjoy that my friends will actually play: Puerto Rico, Game of Thrones Board Game, Caylus, Dominion w/ expansions, Bang!, Tigris and Euphrates, Citadels.
B. Game Group Size: 3-5 (most often 4)
C. Turn Length: Multiple players in my gaming group get incredibly ancy if they have to wait a long time between turns with nothing to do. Dominion is probably our most played game because of the incredibly small downtime between turns.
D. Luck is Bad: Everyone we play with hates luck. We like our games to be as based on solid mechanics/skill as possible. We permanently shelved Fluxx and Roborally after one play each.
E. Metagaming: Our group has a lot of meta-gaming that goes on. King-making, ganging-up on players, making illogical decisions out of a desire for revenge are not uncommon. This is a lot of fun for games that are "supposed" to have negotiation like Game of Thrones, but less fun in games where table-talk rules are less clear. In our group sometimes negotiation becomes far more important than strategy in games where that should not be the case.

My perspective

I think Dominant Species is an incredibly cool concept, and I've had my eye on it since before it came out. There are two reasons I haven't sealed the deal on it. The fact that it is a long complex game makes me wonder how much it would get to the table. I'm not sure how individual turn length is, but it seems like a game where people could suffer from AP, and hold up others. Out of the games I listed above, Caylus makes its to the table the least, because of the above reasons. I've also heard meta-gaming/negotiation can influence the game a lot, so I'm not sure how it would hold up with this group.

I'm not sure how I feel about Agricola. It's been insanely popular since it came out which keeps me very curious about it. I almost bought it a few times, but I'm just not sure why I would need another worker placement game with Puerto Rico and Caylus on my shelf. As much a I don't feel like I need another game with that mechanic, I can't stop wondering why this game is so insanely popular, and what I'm missing out on. Also I like that there are different decks available to keep replay-ability high a la Dominion.

Chaos in the Old World and Cyclades both seem like really fun non-luck based war games similar to Game of Thrones. Most importantly, they seem faster paced and better with variable player numbers. Game of Thrones is a few times a year only affair for us, because of how long it takes to play ( allow everyone to meet 1 on 1 in private rooms to discuss possible alliances/tactics every turn). I have no idea how to decide between CitOW and Cyclades though... they both seem fantastic.

I don't know much about Puzzle Strike and Hansa, other than I read some reviews on here and they both seem like a lot of fun. Dominion is the only card drafting game we have, so puzzle strike would provide a nice alternative. Hansa just seems like a really solid game, albeit I'm not sure how much replay-ability it has.

So there it is. I have six quite different games here, and because of the variety I really can't make up my mind at all!

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