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Subject: Novice enthusiast looking for some new recommendations and advice. rss

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bill kiall
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Here is a quick breakdown of my likes and experience.
Old School Favorite Games
1. Settlers: I particularly enjoy the seafarers variant in which you flip over random water/land tiles while building towards the gold mines.
2. Chess
3. Texas Holdem
4. Risk
5. A bit of table top RPG's
6. Magic the Gathering

A couple months back I started watching Wil Wheatons' Table Top, and that lead me to BGG. I've been browsing BBG and watching review videos obsessively since. My interest is bigger then my wallet I'm afraid, but so far I've managed to buy these in this order.
1. Munchkin 1+2
2. SmallWorld
3. Summoner Wars Master Set

I've been enjoying each game more then the last. It's probably pretty clear how my new games tie in with my old interests.

Next on my list to buy I thought I might go for a couple of cheap classics that get away from the all fantasy theme I got so far.
1. Carcassonne 10 Year Special Edition
2. Citadals
3. Forbidden Island maybe?(Damn it's cheap.)

Also partly considering:
1. Dominion
2. Ascension
3. Thunderstone (played online, not bad)
4. 7 Wonders
5. Game of Thrones Board Game

Can't afford but looks sweet.
1. Mage Knight: Board Game
2. Eclipse

I've yet to play a deep Euro game. They don't look that interesting to be honest, but then again neither did Settlers. I want to try one to see if I like it, but I'm apprehensive about wasting money.

I've yet to play a deep Thematic game, either. They look a little more interesting by tend to be really expensive.

That about sums it up. So where do i go from here? Any thoughts or suggestions would be highly appreciated. Thanks!



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Alexis Perez
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At this point I would look in your local community for other people who play.

The best way to branch out and try games without having to buy them is play them with other people.

Check with the local game stores and see if they do any demo's/game days. Post in the group meetup forums here to find local players.

Dominion is a great game but you don't need all three of those card games. Of the three I would pick one of the Dominion sets and use that over the other 3. I hear really good things about Prosperity, but I get by on Intrigue most of the time.

I have not played Mage Knight but I do like Eclipse. I would recommend trying it though. That is a meaty game with a lot of new mechanics for someone new to the hobby.

Just my 2 cents. I believe in researching as much as possible before buying. Read the review. Watch the videos. Look at a designer's other games if possible. I also do the impulse buy, but with money tight you need to focus on try before buying if you can.
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Shanthi Gonzales
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If you have rated your games, you may be able to get some good recommendations here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/theorum/recommendations

Happy hunting.
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bill kiall
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Great ideas so far guys, thanks a lot.
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James
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Welcome, Bill! First, I'd recommend exploring and enjoying this terrific site. You'll see ranked lists (general top 100 or by genre; you can join the arguments as to their validity), reviews (you'll find certain reviewers with whom you share tastes) and lots of other fun threads (musing on this geeky, wonderful hobby). Beware the "cult of the new," getting the latest thing for its own sake and know that a high ranking doesn't guarantee that you'd necessarily enjoy that kind of game.

I agree with the earlier advice; try to get an opportunity to try a variety of games without buying if you can (didn't follow my own advice). You can use BGG's search feature to look up gamers in your area, actually, many of whom would welcome a new player to join them for a night or ten. As I said, too, have fun reading all the reviews and learning, too. I thought of myself as a solid thematic player (Arkham Horror, Battlestar Galactica) but I've learned to embrace Euros of late (Puerto Rico). If you come to get a sense of why you really like certain games, you can always make a forum post asking for the best game meeting those criteria (mechanics, theme, number of players, heaviness of the game, length of play) and you'll get lots of helpful answers.

Have fun!
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David Horm
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I too started getting into boardgames kinda recently. Not only do you have to worry about prices, but also how much room you have to store randomly sized boxes. So now before I look into buying a new game, I have to see if I already have something similar.

One thing to look for specifically is to see if there are any reviews that are titled "This Game vs That Game" or something to that affect. That's how I found out that Forbidden Island is very similar to Pandemic (reviews convinced me that Pandemic was better for adults). Later I found out that Flash Point: Fire Rescue is also very similar, but I wouldn't want to own both.

I like to search for games by categories and mechanics. I like the idea of co-op games because it's so new to me. And even though the aforementioned games are very similar, Space Alert is another co-op game I own that feels very different than the others.

Also another series I follow besides TableTop is Watch It Played, which shows the full footage of a game session.
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Matt Brown
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Theorum wrote:

3. Forbidden Island maybe?(Damn it's cheap.)
1. Mage Knight: Board Game


Complete plays shown here:
http://www.youtube.com/user/rickkcroyal

He's done two playthroughs for Mage Knight so you might want to watch the first one first.
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Jeremiah Lee
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I fully support the get-a-group-and-try approach. If you start off buying, you'll likely end up with a lot of games you don't want to play, because you'll start to figure out which games you -really- want to play. I still have some games I bought in 2008, back from before I knew that all I really wanted to play was The Resistance, Dune, Werewolf, and Glory to Rome.
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Hey there!

A lot of our favorite/initial games align, so perhaps I can offer some help here. I am really very new to games as well, so I'll bet people with more diverse gaming experience can give more advice, but I'll take a shot at it.

I've never tried SmallWorld or Summoner Wars, so I can't really attest to those, but I do own Carcassonne, Citadels, Forbidden Island, Dominion and 7 Wonders, and have considered the others you mentioned.

If you are looking to diversify your collection, FI is a good little co-op game to own. New people generally like it/find it fun, as long as no one person tried to take control. It's fairly simple to learn/play/master, but you will definitely get your money's worth.

Dominion reminds me of MTG, and thus, warranted a purchase. You will probably think so, too. I have held off on buying an expansion for many months, but will probably break down and do so, soon. IMO, the base set will get stale for you eventually, but if you have a partner/couple of consistent people to play with, it will last a while.

Carcassonne and Citadels are also fun, cheapish starter games. They don't get much play with my friends, though. Carcassonne because it is fairly basic (you will get bored quickly, but good for beginners) and Citadels because of the occasional lagtime while everyone is choosing cards (especially if someone suffers from Analysis Paralysis).

7 Wonders and Lords of Waterdeep have both been hits for me. They have added a new element to my collection (card drafting from 7 Wonders -- again, like MTG, and worker placement from LoW). Both are really simple to learn/teach if your friends are intro gamers like me, have decent depth/replayability.

Oh, and The Resistance.
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Looking at your list of games you are considering, there are quite a few card games, which is not surprising given you like Poker and MtG. My favorite card games are 7 Wonders, San Juan, and Saint Petersburg. Deck building games are fun, but I prefer my card games not to involve a lot of setup and takedown time.

Also, since you enjoy Poker, I might suggest you check out some auction games. Ra and The Speicherstadt are currently two of my favorite games and both are very easy to teach/learn, as well as playing pretty fast.

I hope this helps, happy gaming.
 
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bill kiall
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Wow, BGG might be the most helpful and friendly forum I've ever posted on. I learned something from each and every post. I really have a much better idea of what direction to head in now. Thanks so much everyone. For real.
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Daniel Geuss
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I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that you must own Cosmic Encounter.
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Agent J
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Theorum wrote:
Wow, BGG might be the most helpful and friendly forum I've ever posted on. I learned something from each and every post. I really have a much better idea of what direction to head in now. Thanks so much everyone. For real.


We save the flames for when you give a negative opinion on a certain game.

Anyway, welcome to the gamer community... it's hard to look at the vast array of games before us and wonder how anyone can categorically not like games... but anyway, that means that you most likely like some things and don't like other things, which will be helpful to know.

I would suggest trying as many games as possible through whatever group you can find in your area, and then NOT BUYING those games. No, don't just rush out and buy whatever the first thing you like is, unless you're going to play it with someone apart from that group. The best thing to do is to come away with an idea of what you liked about the game. Then, bring that back to BGG and we'll help you find a game like it that you can ask about next time - if nobody else has it and they're interested in it, THEN you can buy it. You would not believe (or maybe you would) the collections some people have, filled with lonely, unplayed games...
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Theorum wrote:
Wow, BGG might be the most helpful and friendly forum I've ever posted on. I learned something from each and every post. I really have a much better idea of what direction to head in now. Thanks so much everyone. For real.


You're very welcome, Bill. One thing to note is that most games have different "sweet spots" for player count. If you tell us how many players are in your regular gaming group, it would be helpful for those recommending. For example, there are games I have purchased that say they play with 2-5 players, but really should never be played with less than 3(and preferably 4).

A perfect example is 7 Wonders, which is a game I absolutely love, but we never play it with less than 4 people because its just not as good.
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Indeed. Having come into the fold 6 months ago, I've bought and sold a bunch of games that were poor impulse choices. Stone Age and Thunderstone Advance come immediately to mind.

Do your research.

There are some games out there that are only good until you play others (in the Venn diagram of games, there is large crossover with "Gateway" games). San Juan, which was suggested, comes to mind. A very popular great game until Race for the Galaxy came out and most of the good folks here all but abandoned SJ (Erratik may be one of the exceptions). I hesitate to recommend games like this unless you never end up touching RftG. Hang out here enough and that may be unlikely.

With that in mind, my recommendation is Innovation. It's a tough game to explain, but here's my review: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/814809/this-game-is-a-jerk

I recommend it because money is clearly an issue for you and this game may be the best bang for my buck I've ever received. The best part is, it was a half-hearted impulse buy about a game I knew little about and my gut was telling me not to. It may have been a foolish choice but I totally kicked butt in that round of Russian Roulette. It's a game I can take along anywhere, teach it quickly, and I've never had a bad or boring game. In fact, the more you play it, the less boring it becomes. Even my wife liked it (a lot) after a couple turns, and she's a bit of a sore loser (I won ).

 
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Moe45673 wrote:
Indeed. Having come into the fold 6 months ago, I've bought and sold a bunch of games that were poor impulse choices. Stone Age and Thunderstone Advance come immediately to mind.

Do your research.

There are some games out there that are only good until you play others (in the Venn diagram of games, there is large crossover with "Gateway" games). San Juan, which was suggested, comes to mind. A very popular great game until Race for the Galaxy came out and most of the good folks here all but abandoned SJ (Erratik may be one of the exceptions). I hesitate to recommend games like this unless you never end up touching RftG. Hang out here enough and that may be unlikely.

With that in mind, my recommendation is Innovation. It's a tough game to explain, but here's my review: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/814809/this-game-is-a-jerk

I recommend it because money is clearly an issue for you and this game may be the best bang for my buck I've ever received. The best part is, it was a half-hearted impulse buy about a game I knew little about and my gut was telling me not to. It may have been a foolish choice but I totally kicked butt in that round of Russian Roulette. It's a game I can take along anywhere, teach it quickly, and I've never had a bad or boring game. In fact, the more you play it, the less boring it becomes. Even my wife liked it (a lot) after a couple turns, and she's a bit of a sore loser (I won ).




There are quite a few people, both on BGG and in real life, who prefer San Juan to Race due to it being about 100x more accessible for newer players. Race is a fine game, but if you put it away for a while and then take it out again, you have to relearn all the icons. SJ does not suffer from this problem.
 
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Agent J
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Erratik wrote:
Moe45673 wrote:
Indeed. Having come into the fold 6 months ago, I've bought and sold a bunch of games that were poor impulse choices. Stone Age and Thunderstone Advance come immediately to mind.

Do your research.

There are some games out there that are only good until you play others (in the Venn diagram of games, there is large crossover with "Gateway" games). San Juan, which was suggested, comes to mind. A very popular great game until Race for the Galaxy came out and most of the good folks here all but abandoned SJ (Erratik may be one of the exceptions). I hesitate to recommend games like this unless you never end up touching RftG. Hang out here enough and that may be unlikely.

With that in mind, my recommendation is Innovation. It's a tough game to explain, but here's my review: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/814809/this-game-is-a-jerk

I recommend it because money is clearly an issue for you and this game may be the best bang for my buck I've ever received. The best part is, it was a half-hearted impulse buy about a game I knew little about and my gut was telling me not to. It may have been a foolish choice but I totally kicked butt in that round of Russian Roulette. It's a game I can take along anywhere, teach it quickly, and I've never had a bad or boring game. In fact, the more you play it, the less boring it becomes. Even my wife liked it (a lot) after a couple turns, and she's a bit of a sore loser (I won ).




There are quite a few people, both on BGG and in real life, who prefer San Juan to Race due to it being about 100x more accessible for newer players. Race is a fine game, but if you put it away for a while and then take it out again, you have to relearn all the icons. SJ does not suffer from this problem.


In both of them I just read the name of the card and I have a good idea of what it does. Being able to get the symbols makes it so much easier to read than San Juan, with the 6-10 words to say the same thing a symbol would. That being said, I also don't forget what a hand holding a card means. Or very much at all, when it comes to games. So I'm probably not the best person to compare...
 
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I'd definitely go for Carcassonne if you add Carcassonne: Expansion 1 – Inns & Cathedrals and Carcassonne: Expansion 2 – Traders & Builders you get one of the best 2 player games I've played. My wife and I really enjoy it.

Dominion is also a fine game. Plenty of replay value.
 
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Jythier wrote:
Erratik wrote:
Moe45673 wrote:
Indeed. Having come into the fold 6 months ago, I've bought and sold a bunch of games that were poor impulse choices. Stone Age and Thunderstone Advance come immediately to mind.

Do your research.

There are some games out there that are only good until you play others (in the Venn diagram of games, there is large crossover with "Gateway" games). San Juan, which was suggested, comes to mind. A very popular great game until Race for the Galaxy came out and most of the good folks here all but abandoned SJ (Erratik may be one of the exceptions). I hesitate to recommend games like this unless you never end up touching RftG. Hang out here enough and that may be unlikely.

With that in mind, my recommendation is Innovation. It's a tough game to explain, but here's my review: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/814809/this-game-is-a-jerk

I recommend it because money is clearly an issue for you and this game may be the best bang for my buck I've ever received. The best part is, it was a half-hearted impulse buy about a game I knew little about and my gut was telling me not to. It may have been a foolish choice but I totally kicked butt in that round of Russian Roulette. It's a game I can take along anywhere, teach it quickly, and I've never had a bad or boring game. In fact, the more you play it, the less boring it becomes. Even my wife liked it (a lot) after a couple turns, and she's a bit of a sore loser (I won ).




There are quite a few people, both on BGG and in real life, who prefer San Juan to Race due to it being about 100x more accessible for newer players. Race is a fine game, but if you put it away for a while and then take it out again, you have to relearn all the icons. SJ does not suffer from this problem.


In both of them I just read the name of the card and I have a good idea of what it does. Being able to get the symbols makes it so much easier to read than San Juan, with the 6-10 words to say the same thing a symbol would. That being said, I also don't forget what a hand holding a card means. Or very much at all, when it comes to games. So I'm probably not the best person to compare...


I personally haven't had too much trouble remembering the icons, but the same can't be said for others in my group, which means the game doesn't get to the table as often. Also, we are all fairly seasoned gamers, but for a casual/non-gamer, good luck getting them to play Race over SJ. It doesn't mean one game is inherently better than the other, they just fit better with certain groups of people.
 
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Johan Haglert
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I think you can afford more expensive games if you buy less cheap ones ...

Carcassonne is nice. I also like Citadels.

Instead of the deck building games you already know about you may be interested in checking out Shadowrift.
(Also Mage Knight got some "deck building" in it and A Few Acres of Snow is popular.)

For the money I don't think you will go wrong with A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition), it is rather heavy though. Or at least I thought so my first game. Another risk-like alternative for you would be Fortress America.

I haven't watched all about Shadowrift myself and haven't played all the games (I think I prefer Ascension over both Dominion and Thunderstone simply because the cards you get to pick from vary over the course of the game. But then there's Race for the galaxy to..)
 
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Alternatives to Carcassonne is Neuroshima Hex! 3.0 which would also be about "scoring from laying tiles" but maybe slightly more advanced and not as approachable for others and then Tigris & Euphrates which I never get through a whole review of but which also got "tiles", but that one may be very different. But it's a tile laying game at least. And maybe you find it interesting to compare your options
 
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RFTG icons are dead easy to get so I don't see the problem with that one at all.

Here's my own explanation of the rules:
http://boardgamegeek.com/article/9382745#9382745
http://boardgamegeek.com/article/9382900#9382900
 
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aliquis wrote:
RFTG icons are dead easy to get so I don't see the problem with that one at all.

Here's my own explanation of the rules:
http://boardgamegeek.com/article/9382745#9382745
http://boardgamegeek.com/article/9382900#9382900


Not to beat a dead horse, but once again, this varies wildly from person to person. Just because you think it's "dead easy" does not mean that is the case for others.

The very fact that there has been so much written about this subject on the forums proves that there is indeed a group of people who have trouble with the icons. If you and your group had zero problems then that is great, but it's worth mentioning for potential buyers.
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Erratik wrote:
aliquis wrote:
RFTG icons are dead easy to get so I don't see the problem with that one at all.

Here's my own explanation of the rules:
http://boardgamegeek.com/article/9382745#9382745
http://boardgamegeek.com/article/9382900#9382900


Not to beat a dead horse, but once again, this varies wildly from person to person. Just because you think it's "dead easy" does not mean that is the case for others.

The very fact that there has been so much written about this subject on the forums proves that there is indeed a group of people who have trouble with the icons. If you and your group had zero problems then that is great, but it's worth mentioning for potential buyers.
But it's also worth knowing for them that I have no problem with it (and while some may have (problem with it) my first game with real people was played with one person who knew the game and two persons who have never played it and they at least managed to play it though they didn't score the most points (not knowing what cards existed and especially in combination with the 6 cost developments most likely limited their chances quite a bit) so they must have got it. Or thought that they had got it.

If everyone talked about how much of an obstacle the icons was and how hard the game was to learn than that would be one-sided and wrong also. It likely help to have both opinions.

Now I've never played Innovation but I've watched the reviews and ATM I'm totally lost on how to play that game. But I assume that if you have played and understand that game you could probably play RFTG to.

What I found harder to remember was probably what kind of phase each number represented and hence what the effects would be for the role I picked. Also that trade can always be played with no trade power in your tableau but only once (and followed by consume) and that all the powers stacks there whereas they don't for consume.
 
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Welcome to BGG, Bill!
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