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Subject: My group loves this game. What game should be our next step up? rss

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Clint Walker
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My discovery of Puerto Rico game in a roundabout way. I've known about the game for years, but never thought about it just because it sounded dreadful.

Some friends of mine asked me one day what the "hot board game" was..in terms of what board game was everyone talking about. All I could think of was Puerto Rico, just because I remembered those days of the early 2000's when it was at the top of the top games list here for a very long time.

Little did I know that they were secretly fishing for gift ideas for my then-upcoming surprise graduation party.

So boom...there I was with Puerto Rico. I broke it out a week later amongst those same friends and it was a big hit. Truth be told, it's one of the only games i have in my modest collection that's been a hit with EVERYONE who's played it. Most people I introduce it to even ask to play it twice, back to back. Cool by me.

Without getting into the whole Euro vs. "Not-Euro" thing, I don't know if I'd want an entire collection of games like this..but...we've played Puerto Rico so much that I'm looking to find a game that might be the next "step," just to keep things interesting.

I was just wondering if people had suggestions about what game I might want to look into.

Keep in mind..here's what we all seem to like about Puerto Rico.

It's long enough to make it feel worth your while, but not TOO long.
There's plenty of interaction between the players.
There's hardly any downtime, since people generally get to do things even when it's someone else's turn.
The complexity level won't overwhelm new or non-gamer players.

Thanks for all the suggestions!
 
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Drew Thomson
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Maybe Caylus?

It seems to meet all of your requirements and it feels more "complicated" than Puerto Rico. Personally I like PR a lot more though. Caylus kind of fell flat for me. But others swear by it.
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Joshua Hammack
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I would suggest El Grande, Wallenstein, or Age of Empires III or whatever it is called at the moment.

Hope that helps.
 
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sdrewthomson wrote:
Maybe Caylus?

It seems to meet all of your requirements and it feels more "complicated" than Puerto Rico. Personally I like PR a lot more though. Caylus kind of fell flat for me. But others swear by it.


I swear by it!

Also recommend you having a look at Goa, although this one is for 4 players, so if you play often with 5, Caylus would be better. I do prefer Caylus.

Also Agricola might suit your needs.

EDIT: rereading your post... I think Agricola might be more down your alley.
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Clint Walker
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Thanks for the suggestions everyone. Keep em coming.

Agricola is the one I've looked at the most. The only thing that's kept me from pulling the trigger is the 100-some pages of rule questions on the form. That's usually (but not always) a sign of trouble in my eyes.

Although my group loves Arkham Horror, and it's not like there aren't hordes of rule questions on that one too.

I've just started to look at Caylus, but one review I watched seemed to indicate that it was a bit overly complex as well.

Keep in mind that I personally don't mind a complex game. It's just that my group are mostly "non-gamers" who (thankfully) put up with the games I have, and while they've shown themselves to be quite adept at handeling some relativly complex games (Battlestar/Arkham), I like to keep things at a managable level.

I was looking at that game where you own the vineyard, but my friends kyboshed the theme. ha ha.
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Curt Carpenter
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Caylus is a great game. But not the game you're looking for. In fact it fails virtually each of your "what I like about Puerto Rico" metrics.

You say you wnat the next "step", but I think you wnat a step sideways for something different, not necessarily a step "up" (which is what Caylus is).

Try:
Lancaster
El Grande
Domaine
Agricola
Power Grid
Alhambra
Dream Factory
Goa
Blue Moon City
Shipyard (slightly long)
Assyria (slightly abstract)
Village
Endeavor
Vasco da Gama
Amun Re
Taj Mahal
Princes of Florence
Troyes
In The Year of the Dragon
Castles of Burgundy
Santiago

Or if you feel a little bold: (will be too long on first play for sure, speed might be in range depending on group)
Reef Encounter
Dominant Species
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Clint Walker
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That's actually a good point about the stepping. I'll check some of these out. Thanks!

I can't believe there's a game just called "Village."
Oh man, that's practically textbook.
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Gert Meyer
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Yib-Yab wrote:
Agricola is the one I've looked at the most. The only thing that's kept me from pulling the trigger is the 100-some pages of rule questions on the form. That's usually (but not always) a sign of trouble in my eyes.


Don't let that deter you. I think it is partially a function of the game's popularity.

Most questions will be regarding how some of the (many, many) different cards interact. Just download the compendium and refer to that if any questions come up during the game.
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Dale Moore
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I understand if you don't want a closet full of Euros.

I would suggest a strong represtitve of each type however.

Kind of like a greatest hits album.

I see you have a strong tile laying game. and a variable phase order now.

Look at the diffrent Euro Mechanics and slowly get a stong repsentative of each type.

Euro's Greatest hits by Ronco Records.


 
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Robert Zaleski
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Our group tends to love Puerto Rico and a few of the games below in the same style.. The downtime is a hard one to get around though, and depends largely on your group. Here's some favorites that hit the length and interest/depth category. I think interaction is about the same, though none are highly interactive. Sometimes how interactive a game is is very subtle as you don't always realize how you can stop certain moves at first.

The Princes of Florence - Lots of auction and needing to get stuff before others
Tikal - We only like the Auction variant of this one
Goa - Recently Reprinted too.
Saint Petersburg - One of my favorites, I'm too good at it to play it often though
Troyes - Very different in feel, but my wife and I love it.

Agricola - This may feel to long or solo for you tastes, but I think it bears mentioning as a possibility.
 
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John Fisher
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I took a look at your collection. My suggestions were already mentioned:

Power Grid is a big winner with my group and also my wife.

Santiago is a light hearted theme but is enjoyed by everyone as well.

If you are interested in a negotiation games, both I'm the Boss! and Chinatown are fun with the right crowd.

Hope this helps. Enjoy

 
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Bryan Thunkd
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I'd agree with Power Grid. If your group loved Puerto Rico, then I could see them loving Power Grid too.
 
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Clint Walker
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Thanks for all the continued suggestions. Some of these I've taken a look at before, others not so much. Power Grid is one of those games I've heard of, but never taken a look at. I'll definitely do some invesitigating on that one.

Agricola looks like a great game, but I am wondering if it has that sense of everyone getting to affect everyone else every turn like Puerto Rico, or if it's everyone just tending to their own boards and just trying to outrace everyone else for points. I have a feeling I'll pull the trigger on Agricola eventually for sure, it's just a question of when that's going to be.

Tikal I've been looking at too even though it doesn't look anything like Puerto Rico; mostly I'm a sucker for archeology themes and I liked the pieces.
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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Yib-Yab wrote:
Agricola looks like a great game, but I am wondering if it has that sense of everyone getting to affect everyone else every turn like Puerto Rico, or if it's everyone just tending to their own boards and just trying to outrace everyone else for points. I have a feeling I'll pull the trigger on Agricola eventually for sure, it's just a question of when that's going to be.


While there isn't direct interaction per se, excepting of course the interactive deck, the competition for action spaces and actively working to deny your opponents the actions they need exactly when they need them is very interactive for me. It's a constant calculation of what do I need, what do my opponents need, who is going to screw me if I don't take this right now, who can I screw by taking something they need right now, what will the situation be if I leave those actions open this turn, what will be available next turn and how will that play out, what changes if someone takes start player, who's likely to do that, etc. I love the hard choices of this game. Can't recommend it enough.
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Ethan Larson
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I would say Caylus, except for "The complexity level won't overwhelm new or non-gamer players."

Caylus really scares people at first. It's something you have to want. But once you get there, it's great.

I'd say you should try Chicago Express and Power Grid. Others' recommendations of Agricola is spot on. You can play the family version first for a less-complex introduction that is still a great game.
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I might add Carson City. Loads of fun, fairly deep strategically, lots of decisions, lots of replay value.

Basically a good game with legs.
 
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Mil Myman
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Others that deserve mention:

Le Havre
Ora et Labora

And maybe even Advanced Civilization, which has may actually be more like two steps up.
 
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Robert Zaleski
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Troyes, Princes, and Petersburg all have a fixed number of resources mostly available to everyone. So that is the main interaction. Princes adds in bidding on half of those resources, so I think it would make everything feel even more interactive since you're constantly trying to get something cheap, or figure out how much is too much to buy a few pieces.

Santiago is very interactive with some bribing going on.

If you want a lot of interaction you could go with something like Bohnanza which is pretty much all trading, and queue management (Your cards in your hands form a queue). But it's a lot lighter in style than Puerto Rico.

I think Princes would really fit the bill for what you want. And it tends to go fast unless you start a game at 1 AM
 
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Kwentn
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I'm not sure Caylus is harder to learn than Puerto Rico, and I recommend it, as well as Tigris & Euphrates.
 
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Streetsmart Dan
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2 games that are quite popular in my groups:

Cargo Noir
Lords of Waterdeep
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