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Subject: What to try next? rss

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Sharon Adamson
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We are a gaming family of three, and I'm--unusually--out of ideas about what to try next. We pretty much need games that work well with 2-3 players (more or fewer is OK too, as long as they work with 2 or 3).

To give you an idea of what we like and don't like, our games shelf contains things like:

Power Grid
Puerto Rico
Settlers of Catan
Race for the Galaxy plus first two expansions
Mission: Red Planet
Wrath of Ashardalon
Bohnanza and Bohnaparte
Through the Ages
One False Step for Mankind
Dragon Dice (still working this one out)
Risk and Axis and Allies (husband and son love these, I don't!)
Risk Express, Battleship Express
La Citta (recent purchase, finding it kind of "meh")
Empire Builder (doesn't see the table much)
King of Tokyo (son's birthday present request)
Battlestations (hasn't really worked with three of us)

There's probably more, but that's what comes to mind. I'd love to hear some recomendations about what to try next, but none of the usual well-known and well-rated games have really captured my imagination. Or maybe it's just that our experience with La Citta (highly ranked but didn't do it for us) is colouring my views at the moment.

Bright ideas ?
 
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Mark Johnston
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Glory to Rome
Innovation but don't play with more than three unless you play the teams variant.
Boomtown was surprisingly fun and can be purchased at a discount. It felt kind of like settlers except that properties and cards are acquired through a very clever bidding mechanism(at least I hadn't played a bidding mechanism quite like it)

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Shane Larsen
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You already have the greatest 2/3-player game ever created: Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization, so that gives you an idea of the kinds of games I'll recommend.

Take a look at these:

Brass - You have to print a 2-player map for this one, but it's totally worth it.
Age of Industry - I only propose this one because it's a re-implementation of Brass that accomodates 2 players out of the box. There's an ongoing debate about which is better, but I personally think Wallace did it right the first time.
Agricola - Part of what makes the Gric so great is how incredibly well it scales. It's equally great at all play counts 2-5.
Metropolys - Spectacular game of spacial bidding in a tight cityscape. It feels totally different with 2 than it does with more, but it's still very good at all play counts 2-4.
Stone Age - Stone Age is a classic for a reason. It plays very smoothly, is tense, and scales well at all play counts 2-4 (5 w/ expansion).
Trajan - This is currently the Euro hotness at my house. So interesting. So unique. So thought-provoking. So puzzling. So great with 2, 3, or 4.
Troyes - Many people say it's no so great with 2 players, but I disagree. I think it's great at all play counts 2-4.

I hope this helps. Good luck and have fun. If you have any questions, please ask away!
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Seth DeCato

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for commerce games I suggest:
Owner's choice - nice bidding game that can play in 30 min
Acquire - a stock market game that requires good investments.
Easy Money - a simple game of just amassing money. I like this one as a good filler game that people can just relax and not worry too much about thinking.

for worker placement I suggest:
Lords of Waterdeep - D&D themed with lots of strategies to play.
Prêt-à-Porter - very cut throat game based in fashion. (Originally didn't want to play because of the fashion theme but this is a very good game that will punish the players if they make bad financial decisions)
Bootleggers - really a mix between commerce and worker placement where you try to run boozes to various speak-easies during the 1920s

for co-op I suggest:
Yggdrasil - themed on Thor and the gods of that culture - tough game
Descent: Journeys in the dark - co-op with one player against them all
Betrayal at House on the Hill - starts co-op then ends with an unknown twist each game.

for miniatures/army/RPG I suggest:
Thunderstone Advance - D&D themed again but you use cards to represent monsters and warriors, provides for many different strategies and options during play.
Cave Troll - like small world.
Risk Legacy - you modify the game board with each game played. I know you mention that you don't like the game much but this is definitely a different take on the game that I have found much more enjoyable then regular risk.

for fighting I suggest:
Yomi - street fighter on cards that implements a rock-paper-scissors mechanic.
Frag - a first person shooter board game.

for card games I suggest:
Rook - you bid how many points your team can make that round and then try to play cards to win hands.
Munchkin - Steve Jackson game that makes fun of D&D and other RPGs, luck based but you can get some strategy setup.
Killer Bunnies - chaotic game that depends a lot on luck and a good sense of humor.
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Matt Bowles
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Nice collection.
I'd try
Macao with 2 or 3
and
Tigris & Euphrates with 3.

ever tried a co-op like
Pandemic
or
Shadows over Camelot ??

hope that helps.
It's hard to know what you mean by well-known and well-rated.
Should we be looking outside the BGG top 100?
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s m t
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Le Havre
+ 1 Innovation
Cuba
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Navegador
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+1 for Navegador

I bought this game recently and i like it a lot. It is a rondel game about colonisation. Every player can make one mini move per turn so that you only have to wait 20-30 seconds until its your turn again. Producing and selling goods change the price at the dynamic market but it is not all about the market, you have several ways to victory (discover new lands/establish colonies/build factories, shipyards or churches)
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Laura Creighton
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Ticket To Ride: Nordic Countries and TTR:Switzerland are designed for 2 and 3 players. They are also much, much more interesting than the original TTR.

Alien Frontiers plays well with 2-4. With the new expansion you can fit 5 in, but I haven't tried that yet.

+1 Pandemic
+1 Macao
+1 Tigris and Euphrates
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John F.
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You should give Survive: Escape from Atlantis! a shot. VERY fun game!
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Dominion? Plays best with 2 or 3.
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Shane Larsen
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TwinPiiks wrote:
+1 for Navegador

I bought this game recently and i like it a lot. It is a rondel game about colonisation. Every player can make one mini move per turn so that you only have to wait 20-30 seconds until its your turn again. Producing and selling goods change the price at the dynamic market but it is not all about the market, you have several ways to victory (discover new lands/establish colonies/build factories, shipyards or churches)


+1 from me too. That's a good one I forgot. It scales excellently.
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Sharon Adamson
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Hi all, thanks for the fantastic suggestions! I don't think I'm set against top 100 games, it was just that all the ones I'd heard of already (and repeatedly) weren't really exciting me.

Of the suggestions here, the two that I was already considering were Glory to Rome (still undecided; I don't really want a game that competes with Race for the Galaxy, which is my current favorite) and Pandemic (potentially too hard to win--my son is still young (an advanced gamer for his age) and can find it too frustrating to lose co-op games, which are usually designed to to try make everyone lose). So I'm still not sure about those two.

Of the rest, the ones that caught my attention were Boomtown and either Alien Frontiers or Lords of Waterdeep.

I'll do a bit more research on these and see how I go.

Thanks again !
 
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Brian Franzman
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No Carcassonne? I'm shocked. Simply, shocked. If you get it, also pick up Inns & Cathedrals (or get a Big Box with it included). Great for 2-4, still pretty fun with 5 or 6.
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Kevin B. Smith
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snookums wrote:
and Pandemic (potentially too hard to win--my son is still young (an advanced gamer for his age) and can find it too frustrating to lose co-op games, which are usually designed to to try make everyone lose). So I'm still not sure about those two.

I find it amusing that someone who doesn't like losing would stay away from co-ops. It's usually the other way around!

The difficulty level of Pandemic can easily be adjusted. For a walk in the park, just don't have any Epidemic cards at all. For an easy time, I think 3 epidemic cards would work.

You could also adjust the difficulty of Flash Point: Fire Rescue, another great co-op. The mechanics are a bit less abstract than Pandemic, and the theme is more appealing for some people.

If you wish Empire Builder were hitting the table more, but the length is working against it, you might try Empire Express. With the smaller map, faster default trains, lower winning dollar amount, and revised turn sequence, it's a really nice streamlining.
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Christine Biancheria
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What about Shadowrift? We have been having a lot of fun with that one with 2 and 3 players, and it's not as hard to win as some of the harder co-ops out there.
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Shane Larsen
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snookums wrote:
Pandemic (potentially too hard to win--my son is still young (an advanced gamer for his age).


Ehhh, no. Pandemic is not hard to win. It's actually pretty easy.

How old is he? A good co-op for a younger audience is Castle Panic.

But if you want a real good time, go with Gears of War: The Board Game. I've played it with adults, teenagers, and children down to 8 years old and they all love it. It's a dice-chucker's dream come true.
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Adam Kazimierczak
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Scaling for 3, there's the rub. The best of the best for you after looking at your list:

Agricola- hands down, you NEED this game. Forget the rating. Forget the hype. It's a wonderful game that plays differently than everything you have. Worth investing in the animeeples and veggimeeples too! I can't imagine playing without them.

Carcassone- great simple game. A classic. Get the Big Box.

Biblios is a fun set collection card game for when you don't have time for a meatier game.

Hansa Teutonica- great euro, but I like it better with 4.

7 Wonders- actually best to play with 3 (least random). I prefer it to King of Tokyo by far and it is a little more interactive than your average city building game (and much faster).


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Mark Johnston
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snookums wrote:
Hi all, thanks for the fantastic suggestions! I don't think I'm set against top 100 games, it was just that all the ones I'd heard of already (and repeatedly) weren't really exciting me.

Of the suggestions here, the two that I was already considering were Glory to Rome (still undecided; I don't really want a game that competes with Race for the Galaxy, which is my current favorite) and Pandemic (potentially too hard to win--my son is still young (an advanced gamer for his age) and can find it too frustrating to lose co-op games, which are usually designed to to try make everyone lose). So I'm still not sure about those two.

Of the rest, the ones that caught my attention were Boomtown and either Alien Frontiers or Lords of Waterdeep.

I'll do a bit more research on these and see how I go.

Thanks again !


Glory to Rome really is a blast to play and from what I've heard, the black box edition may be going out of print soon, but that's just speculation I heard on the secret cabal gaming podcast. It does have a bit of a learning curve, but if you have a group willing to learn the rftg icons then you should be set. I think I saw a comparative review between race for the galaxy and glory to rome if you search for it. I really do recommend boomtown. Tom Vasal wrote a glowing review about it too if you value his opinion. It seemed to be a bit of a sleeper. I can't help but feel that maybe the box art hurt its sales. I really enjoy the art on the cards though. You can't go wrong for how cheaply it can be acquired these days.
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Kevin Shillinglaw
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Pergamon, Two by Two and Sultan may work for you.

Edit: The Hanging Gardens as well.
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Jerry Wilkinson
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I see where you have a Scientist Microbadge.

So I will suggest Nefarious and Wrong Chemistry.
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Laura Creighton
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Despite the opinions of numerous BGGers who like Lords of Waterdeep with 2, I have found that it is unplayable with that number. See http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/825134/lords-of-watered-down... for somebody who had the same experience we had.
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jjfalzone wrote:
You should give Survive: Escape from Atlantis! a shot. VERY fun game!


Agreed. A family favorite.

I would also suggest Carcassone the City. We really like this carc version. Tom Vasel of The Dice Tower has a good review.

Ticket to Ride is quite fun and I agree with the Switzerland map. If you get the map expansion you get India on the back which is played more often at our house.

To round off my list I would suggest
Kingdom Builder
Kingsburg (not a fan of alien frontiers but similar mechanic)
Quandary (OOP but it has been remade with a diff theme)
Takenoko-might be a little "cutesy" but it is a good game.
Smallworld
Pandemic- high recommendation.

If you can find it The Downfall of Pompeii is excellent.

Happy gaming.
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Sharon Adamson
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peakhope wrote:
snookums wrote:
and Pandemic (potentially too hard to win--my son is still young (an advanced gamer for his age) and can find it too frustrating to lose co-op games, which are usually designed to to try make everyone lose). So I'm still not sure about those two.

I find it amusing that someone who doesn't like losing would stay away from co-ops. It's usually the other way around!


Yeah, he's only 7 and it's all very complicated . He usually prefers things closer to a zero-sum game, so that he can always root for the winner (even if it's not him). This breaks down if nobody is winning! Plus, he gets upset if the game changes or ends abruptly, and he is caught off-guard. When we play Race for the Galaxy or Puerto Rico, we need to warn him a round or two in advance if we're going to end the game soon, and from time to time if there is something he desperately wants to accomplish, we need to add an extra round or two to prevent meltdown.

Anyway, I like the sound of Pandemic, but the problem is my son likes to play co-ops stuck in "easy" mode to ensure we all win, and my hubby in particular gets bored. I think in several years we may be looking at Pandemic or Space Alert though.
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Sharon Adamson
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Jrtolf wrote:
I see where you have a Scientist Microbadge.

So I will suggest Nefarious and Wrong Chemistry.

Love the themes, but I think I'm looking for something more substantial. That probably doesn't help though--despite laying out all of my wants, parameters and requirements, I almost always end up making a judgment based on gut feeling, which may be completely different from what I said I thought I'd like!
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Jerry Wilkinson
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+1 for Ticket to Ride

I also will further recommend:

Labyrinth
Mamma Mia!
TransAmerica or Trans Europa

Good luck!
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