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silver pipper
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I was wondering what the most essential games were to own are, I am looking to create my own game room. I am a girl who is brand new to games, i have ben dating a man for a year who is very into games of all kinds especially rpg games. I enjoy dice games, but i do not know where to start. So what are your all time favorite games. I am looking for games that are a bit harder to find than the generic hasbro and games found in the basic toy isle.

Any game level would be appreciated
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Nancy Ann
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Settlers of Catan
Carcassonne

These are two great games that I was first introduced to when I started playing games and they are very different than your regular Hasbro type games and lots and lots of fun. Great for beginners I think.
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George Falconer
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Ticket to Ride (Europe is my favorite) Its a great starting gamekiss

Formula D is good, but it is better with more people.ninja

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Drew Gormley
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Ticket to Ride is sort of the go to Intro game, and can be found for $50 at Target or much cheaper anywhere that sells hobby games.

If either of you have ever played M:tG, then I'd rec. Dominion or Quarriors, which is along the same lines but uses dice.

Carcassonne is also a good one. Most of the games mentioned have iOS apps you can check out for cheap to see if you'd like them. Another often recommended game is Stone Age, which does incorporate dice and is a bit harder than the other games mentioned, but it is currently in a transition period, company wise, and is selling for $50 when it normally costs $30.

A Co-op game to look into would be Pandemic, which, similar to all other mentioned games, can be found on Amazon for pretty cheap and usually with free shipping.
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Craig.
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Good beginner games (in alphabetical order):

Airships (dice game)
Biblios (card game, auction)
Blokus (tile laying)
Carcassonne (tile laying)
Finca (beautiful game with nice bits, pickup-deliver)
For Sale (card game, auction)
Innovation (card game)
King of Tokyo (dice game)
Lost Cities (card game)
No Thanks! (card game)
PAX (card game)
Takenoko (tile laying, building)
Rattus (area control)
Ticket to Ride or Ticket to Ride: Europe (route building)
Yspahan (dice game)

I would recommend NOT starting with Catan despite it's popularity. It's not a bad game, but I have found that it actually repels more people from gaming than it attracts. I have had far better luck with the games listed above, especially Finca.
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Donnie Clark
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In this context, I think "essential" is too subjective for a definitive answer. Ask fifty gamers and get fifty different short-lists. There's such a variety of different themes, mechanics, and levels of game play - all of which come with an equal number of opinions and experiences.

Ask yourself what kind of games you think you might like. Browse the games in the top 100. Try before you buy so you don't waste time and money collecting your own game room full of trade fodder.

You mentioned that you like dice games. For me, that puts Quarriors! within easy reach as light and accessible. And I'm always willing to recommend The Castles of Burgundy as a great game which uses die rolls in an interesting way, but also contains heavier euro game choices. Also, it scales well to various numbers of players and is easy to teach. Troyes is a heavier game, and also a favorite which uses die pools to present your choices.

Hope this helps a little
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Ryan R
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sparkles9 wrote:
I was wondering what the most essential games were to own are, I am looking to create my own game room. I am a girl who is brand new to games, i have ben dating a man for a year who is very into games of all kinds especially rpg games. I enjoy dice games, but i do not know where to start. So what are your all time favorite games. I am looking for games that are a bit harder to find than the generic hasbro and games found in the basic toy isle.

Any game level would be appreciated


Good! You found a mechanic you like: dice rolling.

For me, I like card mechanics and deck building. My wife likes games with good art and good themes.

I would highly encourage you to go to your local game store and get some game demos. I am using them more BEFORE I buy. Saved myself from getting 4 games my wife and I would not like.
 
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Bill Eldard
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While it is not a hard game, I gotta recommend Can't Stop.

Complexity-wsie, it fits in with the Hasbro fare that you want to avoid, but it is a fine game.

Otherwise, I second the recommendations for King of Tokyo, Formula D, Airships, and Kingsburg.

Though I haven't played this one, you might check out Railroad Dice.

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Rich Charters
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I would take a look at the games that are "most owned"
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/browse/boardgame?sort=numowned&...

Then click on each game to watch a review video.

My personal recommendation for your first 6 purchases would be:
1) Ticket to Ride
2) Carcassonne
3) Stone Age
4) Dominion
5) Citadels
6) Kingsburg

Enjoy!
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I don't think you go and outfit your "games room" all at once. You will find some games others recommend "horrible" and some games "fun" to play. It really depends on your own interests in games.

I think what you should do is get a few different kinds of games to find out what you like to play.

Maybe buy one of a few different styles (3-4) and figure out what works best for you and then once you learn more you can seek out more games in areas that interest you.

You should also figure out how many people you plan to be playing with, because what works for 2 doesn't necessarily work so well for 3 or 4, and what works for 3 or 4 doesn't necessarily work so well for 5 or more. You should also decide how long a game you want to play. A few of the games recommended above can be multi-hour games, while some are quite short. I tend to prefer games that play under 1.5 hours myself so you should look to see the game time recommended on the box and add about 30 minutes or more to most estimates.

Start slow and enjoy the journey. You might also want to get some feedback from your partner so that the games work for both of you.
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Jason Hinchliffe
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jasss333 wrote:
I don't think you go and outfit your "games room" all at once. You will find some games others recommend "horrible" and some games "fun" to play. It really depends on your own interests in games.

I think what you should do is get a few different kinds of games to find out what you like to play.

Maybe buy one of a few different styles (3-4) and figure out what works best for you and then once you learn more you can seek out more games in areas that interest you.

You should also figure out how many people you plan to be playing with, because what works for 2 doesn't necessarily work so well for 3 or 4, and what works for 3 or 4 doesn't necessarily work so well for 5 or more.

Start slow and enjoy the journey. You might also want to get some feedback from your partner so that the games work for both of you.


I second this notion. Don't load yourself down with a bunch of games. First, it will take forever to get through them all. Second, as you're finding favourites, that will lead to other games you want to try, and then you'll have even more unplayed stuff on your shelves.

If I were to recommend a "Starting 4" considering what you've said you like, I recommend:

Catan- Be wary of what you are told about Settlers on here, it is very trendy to hate on SoC on this site. I have found it is easily my most successful game with non-gamers. It's highly interactive, has fantastic replay value, and plays in a reasonable amount of time.

Alien Frontiers - Once again, die rolling is the main mechanic, but used in a completely different way.

Dominion - Plays equally well with 2-4 players. No dice this time, but the deck building mechanic is fun and it plays fast.

And then your choice of...

Summoner Wars: Master Set - 2 player, grid based, fantasy themed war game (die rolling used for combat). Fantasy theme should appeal to people who like RPG's, great for when its just you and the BF. Sets up and tears down in about 2 minutes, super simple rules, but deep strategy.

Ticket to Ride - Set Collection game. I'm not a fan, but I know why lots of people are. Definitely worth considering.

Small World - Again, a game that scales perfectly for 2-5 players. Fantasy themed, and also sort of a war game with twist.

Alhambra - Kind of a mix of set collection and tile laying. This one is a huge hit with my family and friends. Seems to appeal to all ages very well, as again it is simple, but more involved than Carcassonne.

Most importantly though, read up on games before you buy them. There are many great reviews on each game.
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James
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sparkles9 wrote:
I was wondering what the most essential games were to own are, I am looking to create my own game room. I am a girl who is brand new to games, i have ben dating a man for a year who is very into games of all kinds especially rpg games. I enjoy dice games, but i do not know where to start. So what are your all time favorite games. I am looking for games that are a bit harder to find than the generic hasbro and games found in the basic toy isle.

Any game level would be appreciated

Welcome! As has been said (and you may have noticed), you're going to get lots of recommendations, most of them not overlapping and you may feel even more lost than before. I know you're still exploring your tastes, but, to narrow the field a bit, do you have some sense of the following: theme of the game, how many players, how long it should take to play, "social" games or quiet thinky games?

What exactly do you mean by "dice games;" Yahtzee, Risk or Monopoly (or something else)? If you could identify one board game in particular and why you liked it that would also help. Otherwise, it's possible that you'll get lists of every person's personal favorites on the one hand or a "gateway" game that is accessible but might not speak to you. If you can narrow things a bit, you might get results which have a better chance of appealing to you. Have fun on the site!
 
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Alicia Smith
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This has dice rolling and very nice pieces, and is a civilisation building game. Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age

And I'm very fond of Ticket To Ride Europe. No dice there though.

But as other fine people have said, go to your friendly local game store if they run demo sessions, or find your local gaming group and play before you buy. And play a couple of times if you can manage it.

This might be of help...http://boardgamegeek.com/forum/54/boardgamegeek/united-state... - I'm assuming you're in the US.
 
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Melissa
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A couple suggestions in no particular order;
Agricola
Catan
Zooloretto
Carcassonne
Granada
Alhambra
Through the Desert
Qwirkle
Pandemic
Ticket to Ride: Märklin
A Fistful of Penguins - Sort of like Yahtzee, but with animals
 
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I know it can be very overwhelming at first, there are so many games and it seems like every gamer has their favorite. I haven't played many games with heavy emphasis on dice, so I will just recommend what I think should be automatic:

Ticket to Ride
You should probably skip the original and go straight for TTR Europe, as that seems to be the most popular one. However, you really can't go wrong with any of the "base" games(TTR, TTR Europe, TTR Nordic Countries). This is probably the best family/gateway game ever made.

Alhambra
This game doesn't have quite the recognition of some other popular gateways, which is a real shame because I think it is actually the best out of the bunch. Many gamers will recommend Carcassone, but I strongly urge you to consider this as your first tile-laying game.

7 Wonders
Probably the best card game I have ever played, and extremely easy to learn even for non-gamers. Not only is this a better game than Dominion, it is cheaper to get into, it takes a fraction of the time to set up, and it plays up to seven people.

RA
This is my favorite game. It is arguably the best auction game ever, and it is very easy to learn, a real gem as far as gateway games. Great tension, short playtime and just plain fun. Only downside is that it is currently out of print, but you can find a copy if you look around(try the BGG marketplace).


I will echo the sentiments of others in that you should probably stick to a few games at first and not go crazy buying everything that looks good, because then you won't get to play the ones you like nearly enough.


Best of luck.
 
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Cardboard Hustle
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All good suggestions. When you check out new games on BGG make sure to check the video section. Video reviews are a great way to reinforce interest in a game. A video is worth 1000 words. Or is 1000 words. Or something like that.
 
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Cher
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Welcome to BGG! If you have time, dig around here and read about some of the games to see if they sound interesting to you. I wouldn't recommend running out and buying the games that are listed in the top ten here, as most of them are not for beginners. I tend to play mostly medium light games with my family, and I've found that the same games seem to go over well with everyone that I've introduced them to, including rpg video gamers, older kids, and pretty much everyone in my family, including my mother-in-law! The following have had the broadest appeal with my family and friends:

Settlers of Catan - this one has been the biggest hit for me when i introduce it to new players; it's fun, interactive, and relatively easy to learn. My family has been playing it for several years, and we still love it. Be aware that you need 3 or 4 players though (preferably 4).

Ticket to Ride - very easy to learn and a lot of fun to play, plays best with 3-5 players.

Dominion - strategy is more complex than the previous two, but it's easy to learn and very addictive! Very good game for two players, but also great for 3 or 4.

Lost Cities - fun little two player game that can be played multiple times in one sitting.

San Juan - takes a little longer to learn than Lost Cities, but an even better game, in my opinion. Plays very well for two players.

There are a number of online game stores that stock all of these titles, most of them offer free shipping if you buy in bulk, and they also offer their games substantially discounted.


Have fun picking out your new games!

 
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David B
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I also want to pitch in and say stay away from Settlers of Catan. Far too many rolls result in nothing which is not fun. May have been a good game 15 years ago, but not anymore. Someone above mentioned Kingsburg and Stone Age. I would not get both of these because they both scratch the same itch. I would get Kingsburg. I would also look into Homesteaders; a excellent auction game that includes resource management and building. The rules are very easy but the game offers a variety of strategies.
 
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Kay Lee
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Pentegarn76 wrote:
Quarriors! - Simple dice game that is fun despite the randomness
Kingsburg - Dice game with worker placement elements.
7 Wonders - Easy to play card game where you build a civilization.
Dice Town - I really like this as a 4-5 player dice game where you can be a corrupt bribe taking sheriff.
Lords of Waterdeep - simple worker placement game
Carnival - card game with dice mechanic mixed in, easy to learn is a bonus, can be played with partners when 4 players are present

I like this list
 
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Jason Hinchliffe
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pfctsqr wrote:
I also want to pitch in and say stay away from Settlers of Catan. Far too many rolls result in nothing which is not fun. May have been a good game 15 years ago, but not anymore.


See? This is what I'm talking about. Good 15 years ago but not anymore? What does that even mean? Technology passed it by? It went obsolete?

No. If it was fun for people 15 years ago, its fun for people now. Boardgames are timeless, its one of their great qualities.
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Steven Durst
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clockwerk76 wrote:
pfctsqr wrote:
I also want to pitch in and say stay away from Settlers of Catan. Far too many rolls result in nothing which is not fun. May have been a good game 15 years ago, but not anymore.


See? This is what I'm talking about. Good 15 years ago but not anymore? What does that even mean? Technology passed it by? It went obsolete?

No. If it was fun for people 15 years ago, its fun for people now. Boardgames are timeless, its one of their great qualities.


Perhaps what he means is that 15 years ago when there were fewer options SoC was good but judging it by the wide array of games now, it starts to wear thin. Sure the technology of board games doens't change per se, but mechanics are improved upon into better formats.

 
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clockwerk76 wrote:

See? This is what I'm talking about. Good 15 years ago but not anymore? What does that even mean? Technology passed it by? It went obsolete?

No. If it was fun for people 15 years ago, its fun for people now. Boardgames are timeless, its one of their great qualities.


Can't really agree with this. Perhaps some board games are timeless, but certainly not most of them. Monopoly has been incredibly popular for decades, but it's a terrible game and I would never play it now. It may have been fun 25 years ago when I was a kid, but there are so many better games now that it is indeed obsolete.

I am not saying this necessarily applies to Settlers, because I haven't played it, but it's not impossible. There have been so many quality board games produced in the last decade that it is entirely possible that Settlers is no longer as good when compared to those that have succeeded it.

Much the same happens with movies. Some films are timeless classics, others who might have been considered great in their day do not age nearly as well and can sometimes seem quite poor by today's standards.
 
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Adam Porter
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Dixit is a great simple party game for 4-6 players. Not so good with 3. But this is a brilliant introduction to a new world of gaming for the Cluedo crowd.
Thurn and Taxis is a better alternative to Ticket to Ride in my opinion. Maybe a touch more complex, but comparable, with more interesting decisions to make.
Kingdom Builder is a simple game to pick up, scales well from 2 to 4 players. It's current (just won the Spiel des Jahres award) and has great replayability due to its changing winning conditions and board.
Mr. Jack is just a great, short, two-player game about deduction, with great components and easy to pick up.
 
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Cher
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Well, I think that Settlers has become a classic because it's a great game.

I find it interesting how many people steer new people away from Settlers as well, particularly people who admit that they really enjoyed it when they first started gaming. (This hasn't happened in this thread, but I've seen it before.) It makes no sense to me at all. It was a great game when it came out and it remains a great game. It's popular for a reason.

I've brought out games like Stone Age (which I like a lot), and I've found that new players don't really get into them as much. They seem a little too complicated to learn and to score. Settlers seems just right in those areas.

I think the game has great mechanics as well. I haven't found any light-medium games that combine basic trading, set collection, and building with dice rolling, which, in my opinion, makes it a lot of fun. The trading aspect, in particular, isn't very common (and I do mean simple trading, not complex negotiation a la Genoa).
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David B
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Erratik wrote:
clockwerk76 wrote:

See? This is what I'm talking about. Good 15 years ago but not anymore? What does that even mean? Technology passed it by? It went obsolete?

No. If it was fun for people 15 years ago, its fun for people now. Boardgames are timeless, its one of their great qualities.


Can't really agree with this. Perhaps some board games are timeless, but certainly not most of them. Monopoly has been incredibly popular for decades, but it's a terrible game and I would never play it now. It may have been fun 25 years ago when I was a kid, but there are so many better games now that it is indeed obsolete.

I am not saying this necessarily applies to Settlers, because I haven't played it, but it's not impossible. There have been so many quality board games produced in the last decade that it is entirely possible that Settlers is no longer as good when compared to those that have succeeded it.

Much the same happens with movies. Some films are timeless classics, others who might have been considered great in their day do not age nearly as well and can sometimes seem quite poor by today's standards.



Well said. But I also just find the game boring. I cannot tell you how many times I have rolled dice that help everyone except me. And that is even if I have settlements on the "good" numbers (i.e. 6, 8, etc). I'm sorry, it's just not fun for me if I roll the dice and just sit there. I hear people say "but you can trade". Well that doesn't do any good if you don't have anything to trade. I just don't think Settlers is one of those games that do dice right. I have many dice games where there are options available regardless of the roll. What you do with the options determines how well you do in the game. In Settlers, if your numbers aren't coming up, there is very little for you to do, if anything. And again, to me, that is just plain boring.
 
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