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Sara Van Landegem
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So, my wife(we married a month ago) is a non-gamer, or so used to be till a few weeks ago. She never understood my addiction with videogames and even despised the sort of games I owned.

Since a year now that addiction migrated towards the field of boardgames and I've been immersing myself thoroughly :-) Roamed conventions, joined a club and even started a club in my school, I'm a teacher.

Well the last convention I went to was 'Spellenspektakel' at Eindhoven, the Netherlands, and with enormous persuasionskills, I managed to convince her to come along. Who would've known, she enjoyed herself! She liked the airyness of Munchkin and we bought Seasons what she really liked.

Since then, we've been playing Seasons whenever we can and dammit...most of the time she wins....grmbl...

But I want to continue on this elan and want to pull her in even further, who can blame me right? ;-) But I'm also scared that by introducing her to another game, I'll put her off...

What game can I offer her next, that's not too difficult yet challenging enough, that has an interesting gamemechanic that would intrigue her, and also something nice to look at cuz yeah, she's still a woman and esthetics mean a lot to most of those :-)

I really don't want to send her screaming to the hills, so what would be a safe bet?
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Laura Creighton
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At our gaming society there is enormous overlap between 'people whose favourite game is Dominion' and 'people whose second favourite game is Seasons'. They are nearly all hot on Innovation, as well. edit: ooops, remembered one person who loves Seasons and Dominion but isn't all that fond of Innovation.
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Ian O'Toole
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Innovation is excellent with two, just be prepared for a much higher level of Interaction than with Seasons or Dominion.
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David B
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You might want to take a look at Garden Dice. Its a strategic game using dice to determine what actions you are taking (like Seasons). You use dice to collect seeds, plant them, water them, and harvest them. There is also a bird/rabbit tile on the board that can be moved to destroy seeds/vegetables. There are also tiles that can be used to get re-rolls. Its actually a step up from seasons in that once you roll the dice, you have to decide what to do with them, whereas in seasons, once you draft your die, your turn is pretty much on auto pilot. Also, several of Stefan Feld's games may be a hit because of the way they use dice/card drafting in a way she may like given her tastes so far. Two of those titles:

1) Notre Dame ( plays 2 to 5, 2 player is very good)

2) The Castles of Burgundy (plays 2 to 4, and again the 2 player is very good)


Castles uses dice and Notre Dame has card drafting. Notre Dame is easier to get up and running.
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Geoff King
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Finca: Best with two players.
Race for the Galaxy: I'm hesitant too recommend RftG. All the weird icons seem to put some people off, but it works great with two and if your wife likes Seasons it shouldn't be too big a step.
Hive: If you think she'd like a two-player abstract this is the one to get.
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David B
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Venton wrote:
Finca: Best with two players.
Race for the Galaxy: I'm hesitant too recommend RftG. All the weird icons seem to put some people off, but it works great with two and if your wife likes Seasons it shouldn't be too big a step.
Hive: If you think she'd like a two-player abstract this is the one to get.



Yes, Hive is a very good 2 player abstract. But there are two other 2 players abstracts that I think are just as good:

Blokus Duo

and

Ingenious: Travel Edition
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David
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First of all I'd like to say that I don't exactly consider Seasons to be a simple game. Easy to learn yes, but in order to regularly beat a seasoned gamer you need a pretty good understanding of the cards and their interactions. I think she definitely qualifies for more than gateway games.

If she likes that drafting game style she might also enjoy 7 Wonders. You neglected to mention if you'll be playing mostly as a couple or with others. 7 Wonders has a 2 player variant but I'm not sure how good it is.

As for beautiful games, Libertalia comes to mind. It's also very simple to explain but interesting to play. I've heard that the more player you add the more chaotic it becomes. So far I've had no chance to test that but I believe it. Less players puts more emphasis on out-thinking your opponents while more players means it's more about "statistics".

Also great fun in a light package is Bohnanza (3 or more players). On the surface it doesn't look that competitive because it's less a matter of strategic thinking than of skillful negotiation.
 
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Jess
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I haven't played Seasons (and I'm not a fan of Munchkin) so I can't really offer suggestions based on that.

However I'm fairly sure that you won't put her off the hobby entirely if you introduce a game she doesn't like - it's much more likely that if she doesn't like the new game, she'll just want to play Seasons and not the new game.

Asthetically pleasing games - Hawaii, Stone Age, Tzolk'in The Mayan Calender (don't know what the last one is like 2 player though). These are all worker placement, so that's a bit of a different mechanic to try.

I'd also consider trying Jambo, and/or Dominion with the Seaside expansion.

Or just persuade her to come along to the next 'Spellenspektakel' or similiar - which will probably be easier to do now since she enjoyed the last time - and let her try a couple then buy whatever she likes.
 
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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I'd recommend Mondo. So far I've played it with my wife, my mother-in-law, and my daughter-in-law, none of whom are really gamers and with whom I"m very careful about what games I suggest. They all liked it. I also got a very positive reaction from my four grown children (two sons and two daughters), who are gamers but whose tastes vary quite a bit. One of the guys from my local gaming group tried it too, and he told me he was going to buy it to play with his girlfriend. I haven't seen a single negative reaction.
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EXTRA AVOCADO! Sonderegger
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Sphere wrote:
I'd recommend Mondo. So far I've played it with my wife, my mother-in-law, and my daughter-in-law, none of whom are really gamers and with whom I"m very careful about what games I suggest. They all liked it. I also got a very positive reaction from my four grown children (two sons and two daughters), who are gamers but whose tastes vary quite a bit. One of the guys from my local gaming group tried it too, and he told me he was going to buy it to play with his girlfriend. I haven't seen a single negative reaction.


Yes. This recommendation is correct. So easy to teach, so hard to master. The only person who didn't like it was my wife, but we already know about her aversion to real-time.
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Alison Mandible
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lacreighton wrote:
At our gaming society there is enormous overlap between 'people whose favourite game is Dominion' and 'people whose second favourite game is Seasons'. They are nearly all hot on Innovation, as well. edit: ooops, remembered one person who loves Seasons and Dominion but isn't all that fond of Innovation.


Dominion got me into seriously playing board games and is still a favorite. And I don't just dislike Innovation, I'm *infuriated* by it. So, to the OP, I would proceed with caution there.

(To someone like me who doesn't 'get' Innovation, it feels like a contest over who has memorized the cards in upcoming ages the best. I know, I know, I'm missing out. My point is that this might be a more aggravating game to not click with than some others.)
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Josh
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If you're likely to play more than 2, go for Dungeon Petz(I don't know how it plays with 2) it's a serious euro under a really silly/fun theme. The overall idas are easy to grasp but the execution is ever challenging. It's along the same lines as Prêt-à-Porter. Too much to do and too little time/resources to do it all.

Very much a logical progression from Seasons.
 
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Josh
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grasa_total wrote:
lacreighton wrote:
At our gaming society there is enormous overlap between 'people whose favourite game is Dominion' and 'people whose second favourite game is Seasons'. They are nearly all hot on Innovation, as well. edit: ooops, remembered one person who loves Seasons and Dominion but isn't all that fond of Innovation.


Dominion got me into seriously playing board games and is still a favorite. And I don't just dislike Innovation, I'm *infuriated* by it. So, to the OP, I would proceed with caution there.

(To someone like me who doesn't 'get' Innovation, it feels like a contest over who has memorized the cards in upcoming ages the best. I know, I know, I'm missing out. My point is that this might be a more aggravating game to not click with than some others.)


Just as an aside to address the Innovation question here. I think the 'get' problem is that you feel you need to memorize the cards. Innovation isn't about memorization and perfection. The game is inherently chaotic. It is about doing the best you can with what you get. It is an intuitive game rather than a logical game. By contrast your favorite game Dominion, is entirely logical(and annoys me to no end because of it) My own take on Dominion is every set of 10 cards has a 'best combo' and once that's discerned by the players you simply hope your hand gives you the actions/money to get there first. For me, I'd just flip a coin at that point and use the time to play more Innovation

I think this could be expanded beyond these two games into more broad terms. I find a lot of 'OMG it's AP!' games are only so when someone tries to approach a game with inherent chaos from a logical PoV and no sense of 'cutting your losses.' That said, people who love to intuit games will be sorely put out when they lose a game and the victor explains how their approach had an 87.5% efficiency rating, or dropped 2 points of production every three turns, and so they obviously didn't have a chance in the first place. Different strokes
 
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Alison Mandible
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Shadrach wrote:
Just as an aside to address the Innovation question here. I think the 'get' problem is that you feel you need to memorize the cards. Innovation isn't about memorization and perfection. The game is inherently chaotic. It is about doing the best you can with what you get. It is an intuitive game rather than a logical game.


Huh. I find this comment confusing-- I wonder if there's a huge difference in our gaming groups, or our terminology, or what.

What I love about Dominion, as I've played it, is that you *have* to wing it (maybe there's a best combo for any given set of 10 cards, but you're never going to play the same set of 10 cards! that's the whole point!) and then playing the game out reveals whose suspicions were the closest to accuracy. And that's the sort of gameplay I think of when someone says "intuition". Likewise, I think of "cutting your losses" as a crucial skill in Dominion, and part of the fun.

But now that I think about it... The friends who tell me I'd like Innovation more if I played more of it (probably true! it's true for most games) specifically mentioned getting to know the cards better. I've been taking their word for this. But the thing is, I won my share of those games! So maybe I misunderstood-- perhaps they weren't saying "the way to win more is to learn the cards", but rather "win or lose, the way to enjoy seeing the chaos play out is to see a *little* more pattern in it".

So I take back my comment about why Innovation isn't fun for me. I don't know why it's not fun for me! I just know it's really, really not.

(I feel like you assumed a lot about me based on that one sentence, and hey, maybe you shouldn't do that?)
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Laura Creighton
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Possibly you feel more in control, or less threatened when playing Dominion?
 
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Scott Wheelock
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Whether or not you try to introduce your wife to new games, I'd also recommend learning to be okay with a wife who likes one or two games, but possibly no more.
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Sicaria Occaeco
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Don't push too hard or too fast. Keep playing what she currently likes while also bringing her to more gaming conventions and group meet-ups. Let her likes naturally expose themselves rather than trying to find them.
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Buddha Meeple
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pfctsqr wrote:

Two of those titles:

1) Notre Dame ( plays 2 to 5, 2 player is very good)

2) The Castles of Burgundy (plays 2 to 4, and again the 2 player is very good)



This man sees the Truth! A beer for him!
 
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Craig.
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Finca
The Castles of Burgundy
 
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August Larson
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My wife does not enjoy or seem to understand Dominion, yet she will often happily play Innovation with me, and has beaten me every time! She is not a gamer, but I wonder, would she enjoy Seasons?

I think the thing about Dominion, for her, is that there are too many choices (16 cards to buy) every turn and that overwhelms her. In Innovation, she will rarely have many cards in her hand at once. And the cards only come one or two per turn, giving her enough time to read and process the cards. Hmmm, but one of her favorite games is 7 Wonders, which presents you with up to 7 cards all at once. Maybe it's a tableau thing she likes...
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