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Subject: Help! Please, for the love of God, HELP! rss

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W M
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Hi, all -

Hope my post subject didn't sound more urgent than it really is, but I've got a question: I'm a relatively new boardgamer, but I tend to enjoy strategy/wargames the most (I grew up suckling on the teat of RISK). Please tell me what would be the most accessible game for me and my friends to get into here. By accessible, I mean least demanding (or in my case, "mind-melting") rules, etc...I realize these games are all probably quite different. I'm mostly interested in how easily I could get friends who don't boardgame up-and-running in the quickest amount of time. Thanks in advance!

1) Twilight Imperium (3rd Edition)

2) A Game of Thrones (2nd Edition)

3) Eclipse (forthcoming, I know)

4) Sturm Europa (also forthcoming)

I'm willing to bet these are all beyond my - and my friends' - depth, but any information you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

W
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Sam London
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My personal recommendation would be for Game of Thrones. Eclipse is great but I wouldn't count on it being here when they are saying it will be. Twilight Imperium is one of my favorite games but I don't think you can get much further from rules lite. My two cents.
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W M
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Thanks so much, HorrorFan - I really appreciate your feedback. So, you think our feeble little minds can handle Game of Thrones best? Or were you suggesting that Eclipse would be fine for our tastes/abilities, but it probably won't be here in time? I'm open time-wise. I just want the game that'll best suit our (lack of) skill-sets. Any more info you could provide with this in mind would be great...and, again, I really appreciate your input here. This helps...a lot.
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Samo Oleami
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I think you're correct - these are beyond your depth.

Game of Thrones doesn't sound a bad idea.

lighter stuff:
Nexus Ops - 90 min, 3-4 players. The Risk done right (you get bonuses for attacking)
Risk Legacy - Risk the campaign. through 15 games you write and put stickers on the board creating your own world. One game 60 min. Best for 5 players who'll stay through the whole campaign.
Cyclades - 90 minutes. 4-5 players. It's auctions + Risk. Game starts slowly and errupts suddenly in a violent rage. Best with repeated plays. (As people start to notice who has an option to win and stop them).
Chaos in the Old World - 4 players, 1 hour, or 5 player with the Horneed rat expansion. It's area control (you sit in an area), but combat is included. Unlike similar games it has asymmetrical powers. This one is of medium weight.

You might also want to look at Runewars - similar weight as twilight imperium, but a tad shorter and in fantasy setting.
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Gary Clarkson
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I have recently really thrown myself into board gaming with friends and more importantly my kids. If you want to get your friends into board games you might "cut their teeth" on one of these great games:

1. Pandemic(coop)
2. Dominion (deck builder)
3. Thunderstone advance(deck builder and quasi dungeon crawl)
4. Lords of Waterdeep(GREAT GAME)
5. Battle Cry (A great Two player game Me and the family are playing)
6. Small World
7. Ticket to Ride.

Good Luck!! Sorry if I didn't address any of the games you actually asked about. Twilight Imperium is epic but maybe not the best for new initiates into games.

Doc
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W M
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Let me begin by saying: man, you guys are the frackin' BOMB! Thanks so much for understanding my question and answering it in a civil and respectful manner. After all my time out here on the Interwebz, it seems almost sad that I'm genuinely surprised by such, well, "genuine" comments - no flaming here or anything. I'm impressed. Seriously! I think you guys have all put your heads together and suggested that "Game of Thrones" might be my best pick overall. I really appreciate your comments - all you guys - you don't know how much time it took for me to actually write my initial question without fearing getting "lit up" by flamers. Thanks again.
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TTorres
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Hi WM,

First of all, welcome to the geek.

Secondly, I'd like to encourage you to refrain from bashing your capacity to play these games. Yes, it may be a challenge to understand fully on first, second, or third play, but you are more than capable of learning nearly anything you'll find in publication. Many times the challenge will be learning from a less-than-optimal rulebook (which is also very subjective). And as you get stuck, jump on the Geek and search for answers.

Out of curiosity, is there any reason you've restricted yourself to those 4 games?

And finally, whenever you do sit and open this new game, I would strongly recommend it not be the same moment when your friends are all seated to play. One of the simplest truths regarding more complex games is to learn the game alone before you sit to play with others.

This one simple piece of advice may be the most important factor, regardless of what you choose. Also, make sure everyone is clear that the first game they play (which is often their first play experience) can be considered The Learning Game. It might take the pressure off of everyone as you begin to wrap your heads around the new rules.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!



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W M
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Hey, TonMan!

Thanks for your reply...I guess I'm most concerned about the fact that I get to see my friends once-in-a-blue-moon and that I really need a game that will seize onto their interest levels rather than bog them down. I've chosen several games of types that I think would interest both me and them: strategy, mostly - but I've always been interested in "Cosmic Strategy" type games like Twilight Imperium and Eclipse which is why I threw those in there.

I already have Memoir '44 and Twilight Struggle and Pandemic...and Risk, of course. I was just looking for something in the strategic realm like I tend to prefer but a bit different in theme (i.e., fantasy or sci-fi/space).

-Will
 
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Jonathan "Spartan Spawn, Sworn, Raised for Warring!"
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I would tend to agree with the other folks, I can definitely say TI rules wise wont be the one to cut your teeth on. Also for TI you have to ask yourself, are you prepared to spend 8 hours on a 4 player game? The time it takes to play goes up exponentially based on the number of players from what Im told (by fans). Ive only played one game of it, and it took our group of 4, 8 hours to play (None of us were game slouches in terms of playing or understanding, I was the only one who had not played before and we didnt dilly dally.)

Some folks feel the time is worth it, I personally do not (Id much rather play Cosmic Encounter. To each their own.

Personally from your description I dont think your group will enjoy Dominion, the base game is pretty much multiplayer solitaire to me (Some dont see it that way again your mileage will vary). Not much in the way of strategy in the way youve described in my opinion.

From your description I would definitely echo:
Nexus Ops
Cyclades
Small World
Pandemic (and its expansion for added difficulty and the chance to have one of your group play actively against you).
Pandemic: On the Brink

Would also add:
Ascending Empires
Light strategy game with a fun flicking element if you enjoy dexterity type games. We enjoyed it quite alot.

Gears of War: The Board Game
I do not enjoy the video game this is based off of, I quite enjoy the boardgame though. The rules arent hard to comprehend (On top of that its got a great player aid by Universal Head for it, if your not familiar with him you should be, his player aids are phenomonal at teaching and playing new games), and its a co-op. Your team plays against the AI controlled enemies.
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Aurelio Agustin
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I would recommend Conquest Of Nerath as a step up from Risk with a fantasy theme
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Stuart Roberts

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Hey mate,

To give an even better recommendation it'd be helpful to know a little bit about your friends and what they generally enjoy. Without knowing this my suggested games would be as follows:

Small World - I'm not a massive fan of this game but I'm aware I'm in the minority. Want to play Risk with slightly simplified rules and halflings running across the known world with a pet dragon?... This is the game for you. You can even watch it being played [geekurl=http://www.boardgamegeek.com/video/15770/small-world/tabletop-episode-1-small-world]here[/geekurl].

Beyond this I'd mainly be suggesting the classical gateway games. They're classics for a reason. Ticket to Ride, Settlers, Dominion, Carcassonne, any of these will usually go down well. Importantly, these have simple rules to learn but nuanced strategies to employ.

Whilst you could choose something more complex / heavy and quite possibly have a good time playing it, I think your mates will have the best chance of a fun day if you stay with something simple that they can play in 60-90 minutes, go 'that was cool', and play again immediately with new strategies in mind. I think this is much better than trying to wade your way through a 240 minute game with a coke in one hand and the rulebook in the other.
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Victoria Osborne
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+1 for Small World

Think as well about Catan it is easy to play has soldier snd robbers and is such a gateway game.

of the list you gave us A Game of Thrones (first edition) is probably the least intimidating.

welcome to BBG and we are not a generally flamey group most of us remember being new good luck and i hope you find your bliss however, beware, board gaming is an expensive hobby shudders, look carefully at everythign watch the videos and read the reviews. there are videos that actually take you through the game.

Wil Wheaton's first episode of tabletop was about small world and it is geared for people like you. have fun
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Mike Hoyt

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martiwa0 wrote:
Hey, TonMan!

Thanks for your reply...I guess I'm most concerned about the fact that I get to see my friends once-in-a-blue-moon and that I really need a game that will seize onto their interest levels rather than bog them down. I've chosen several games of types that I think would interest both me and them: strategy, mostly - but I've always been interested in "Cosmic Strategy" type games like Twilight Imperium and Eclipse which is why I threw those in there.

I already have Memoir '44 and Twilight Struggle and Pandemic...and Risk, of course. I was just looking for something in the strategic realm like I tend to prefer but a bit different in theme (i.e., fantasy or sci-fi/space).

-Will


I like to recommend Dust as the next logical step from Risk. World Conquest with unit differentiation and a slightly twisted future story. It strikes me as a good step up, and is in fact a good in and of itself.

Another good game of conqust (in this case Gotham) that will open some eyes to creative mechanics and thus even more creative strategies is Blood Feud in New York
 
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Jack Smith
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The fact you are new does not mean you won't like more complex games but as suggested it may be best to cut your teeth on easier ones until you are sure you want to go deeper. To do otherwise may end up boring or frustrating your friends. However you say you have Twilight Struggle which is quite a deep game.

I can't add much except:

1) Twilight Imperium (3rd Edition) - My kids play this but you need to learn the rules and be prepared to teach in a way that does not bore anyone to death. That means teaching as you play is best. As long as you are not tempted to add optional rules the game is quite easy but it can take 4-5 hours for the base game although we used to do it in 3 with the Imperial Card that gave 2VP. The rules are bloated and badly laid out which makes the game seem a lot more complex and intimidating than it is.

2) A Game of Thrones (2nd Edition)

I don't know anything about this game except I know it's quite popular.

3) Eclipse (forthcoming, I know)

Not a hard game, comparable to Twilight Struggle in difficulty and very well designed so the hard bits are made easy. Go for that if your willing to wait and want space combat. Some like to call it a cut down Twilight Imperium but it's not, the mechanics are totally different.

4) Sturm Europa (also forthcoming)

Likely to be a heavy game lasting several hours. A bit like Risk on crack, whisky and a crate of bear. So not like risk I suppose. I would avoid this until you are sure you can all commit to it. Also, it won't be in print in the near future last time I looked.


 
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Shawn Fox
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Add another vote for Small World, so long as the fantasy theme is not a problem as it has elves, dwarves, orcs, etc. I'm not a fan of the Game of Thrones boardgame myself (although the book & HBO series are fantastic).

Twilight Imperium is a very long game and has a billion rules... probably not a good way to introduce new players into the hobby.

Eclipse is a pretty solid game and based on your preferences it would be my #2 recommendation but only as a 4 or 6 player game. The 3 player game is a pure Mexican standoff. By contrast Small World works well for 2 to 5 players.

[EDIT] I'd also throw El Grande onto the list. It is *the* classic area control game. You don't (usually) kill other players units, but whoever has the most units in each area scores more points. Rules are also quite simple.
 
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RJD
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martiwa0 wrote:

I already have Memoir '44 and Twilight Struggle and Pandemic...and Risk, of course. I was just looking for something in the strategic realm like I tend to prefer but a bit different in theme (i.e., fantasy or sci-fi/space).

-Will


I was going to suggest Axis & Allies: 1942 until you posted this. Actually, I still do. A&A is similar to Risk but on WWII flavored mega-super steroids of goodness. If you definitely want a fantasy/sci-fi theme though, I'd have to agree with Aurelio's suggestion for Conquest of Nerath. It's definitely fantasy and has that Risk look going on in a big way, but, like A&A, it has soooo much more added on too.

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Eric Foldenauer
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A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition) is a decent game and not super complex in rules. The mechanic that fans generally appreciate the most is the negotiations and loose alliances. If you aren't interested in backstabbing free formed alliances (ie, very little structure to how alliances are made or broken) then I would avoid this one. Also, this game shines at 5-6 players, although it is still playable at less.

I have not played Eclipse or Twilight Imperium (Third Edition). Twilight I have not played because my attention span isn't built to last 8 hours. I have friends who feel that they no longer need to play Twilight Emperium because Eclipse gives them a similar experience (not the same mechanics, mind you) in half of the time.

A game that is sci-fi themed, set in the Twilight Emperium world and has a similar mechanic to Game of Thrones to consider would be Rex: Final Days of an Empire. It rethemes one of my all time favorite games (Dune). Despite not wanting to like it because of the retheme, I feel they doid a great job with this game.

I give a big +1 to Cyclades. The rules are straightforward, and the game ends before it wears out its welcome. It also has an expansion that adds tremendous replayability to the game.

Here are some other space themed games you might want to take a look at:
+1 for Ascending Empires - I have not played, but it seems well tailored to your desires.

Race for the Galaxy - the symbols are famously hard to understand, but the rules themselves are not difficult by any stretch. This is a card game with no board, however.

Core Worlds - another space themed card game. I have not played, but it is one I am eager to look at.

Eminent Domain - space themed card game again.
 
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Dave VanderArk
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Given the games mentioned in your introduction, 1812: The Invasion of Canada is PERFECT for you. Seriously, you need to check it out, you will not be disappointed.
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Mike Hoyt

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David Vander Ark wrote:
Given the games mentioned in your introduction, 1812: The Invasion of Canada is PERFECT for you. Seriously, you need to check it out, you will not be disappointed.


OH! Yes, good recommendation!
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W M
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Wow! You guys really are The Best (Capital "B")!!! I'm really, really impressed by how informed and involved your replies have been. I think I'll really consider "Small Worlds" and "Game of Thrones" a considerable degree here. Again, I can't say how much I appreciate your input here enough - it isn't often that I get to compliment people on their 2 cents over Internet forum communiques: all the best to you all for your civil and respectful backs-and-forths. Something I'm not accustomed to on this Internet thingamedohickey.
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Clare Cannon
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Eclipse is not a strategy war game ... its much more euro... I would recommemd trying this one before you buy since it is very very different from the others on the list and at that price you wouldn't want to be stung

I love TI: 3
 
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Jason Waeber
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I've always been of the mind that simply jumping in the deep end is really the way to go, as long as everyone is really committed to it. If your friends are leery about this whole gaming thing, by all means go for the lighter stuff like Small World or Nexus Ops, but if they're as excited about it as you are, go for the big nasties like Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) or Here I Stand (both of which are awesome, btw). If the enthusiasm is there, ride it while you can.

On the topic of TI, make sure you at least get the first expansion, Twilight Imperium (Third Edition): Shattered Empire. The second expansion is really solid, but the first expansion fixes quite a few real problems with the original, primarily the objective cards.
 
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Neil Blaiberg
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martiwa0 wrote:
Wow! You guys really are The Best (Capital "B")!!! I'm really, really impressed by how informed and involved your replies have been. I think I'll really consider "Small Worlds"


If you are looking at Small World and are unsure if it's for you, can I recommend you chekc out Rodney Smith's Watch it Played series.

It's a great little series to watch, basically he plays against his two children, with help from the audience - it's a great insight to how the game works and whether it's something you'll like.

Not sure this link will work, but if not just go to YouTube and type Watch it Played Small World:

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLD6DFE9F98AB54DBD&feat...

 
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