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Subject: Good, fun game for a night with non-gamers rss

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Jonathan Simpson
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Massachusetts
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This Saturday, I am going to have a group of 6 people (including myself) at my place, and there's been some interest in some gaming. As both the host and the biggest game fan, I've taken it on myself to find the perfect game, but I am a little stumped. Hoping the forums can provide some help.

Of the 6 (3 couples), I am pretty much the only gamer, although my wife has had some fun playing Puerto Rico in the past. So, I am hoping for some recommendations that are:

1. Fun
2. Relatively quick to learn
3. Takes less than 2 hours

Other than that, the field is wide open.

Any help is very much appreciated.

Thanks!
Jonathan
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Denis de Maat
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Always good for fun is King of Tokyo.

Easy to learn and is a quick game with a lot of humor
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Charlie Theel
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King of Tokyo could be fun, it's a little geeky though.

For non-gamers, I would recommend:

Dixit - most everyone enjoys this game. Fun and unique.

Wits and Wagers - Excellent trivia game that's not really about trivia.

The Resistance - This can be hit or miss depending on the group, a completely social game.

Catch Phrase - Not at all a gamer's game but one I greatly enjoy with a group of non-gamers.
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David B
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Wow...needs to play 6, huh? That makes it tough.

If you want something thinky:

Power Grid plays up to 6 very well.


If you want something a tad lighter:

Saboteur plays 3 to 10 and seems to fit your bill quite well. It involves partnerships, bluffing, and hand managament. Its considered a party game with some strategy involved.

King of Tokyo might work, but some adults might deem it too silly when they see the attacking monsters. My wife won't play it becuase she thinks its too childish (note however I am totally geeky enough to play it).
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Mike Fox
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+1 Catch Phrase (especially the electronic one; lots of explosive laughter in this one)
+1 Saboteur
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Alan Gaskell
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Boomtown
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Ticket to Ride: Europe
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Dave Dubin
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nojsonofthan wrote:
Of the 6 (3 couples), I am pretty much the only gamer, although my wife has had some fun playing Puerto Rico in the past. So, I am hoping for some recommendations that are:

1. Fun
2. Relatively quick to learn
3. Takes less than 2 hours


Consider Liar's Dice.
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Laura Creighton
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Citadels
RoboRally
7 Wonders

If you want something heavier than Saboteur but not in the Puerto Rico range.
Something to consider is how impatient people are. With 6 people, Citadels has a fair bit of wait time, as people decide what to play. The other two go faster, depending on how quickly people can get their brains around the concept of programming their robot, and why should I select any particular card rather than another. They can still play too slowly for people with low tolerance for downtime, though once people get up to speed 7 wonders has very little of it.
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Paul Amala
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Give Fluxx a try; $10 at Target.
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Jon Cormier
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Citadels can work if you're up to teaching it. There's almost always resistance (oooh, The Resistance can work) when teaching a new game. For Sale is a great way to start an evening since people will get it, then jump to another one after a few rounds and everyone sees how easy it is to learn a new game.

+1 Wits and Wagers. I love that game!
+1 Dixit.

Also, depends on alcohol intake. Games can get harder or much better with it.
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Mark Langford
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Lords of Waterdeep, 7 Wonders
 
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Kārlis Jēriņš
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I'd say no on Saboteur, but +1 Resistance (or Resistance: Avalon, preferably) - there's no need to have and play both, and Resistance is, IMHO, a far superior game.
Dixit should also work very well. I'd recommend Dixit: Odyssey, because in my mind the original game's scoring board is terrible, but other than that there's not much difference.
Also, consider Cheating Moth. I know, the BGG entry says it only plays up to 5, but there's no real reason for it. Six works just fine.
+1 Kakerlakenpoker.
Carcassonne with Inns & Cathedrals should also work pretty well.
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Val Teixeira
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I would agree with Dixit, Resistance and Saboteur(2). Ticket to Ride is also a good starter game - but not possible with 6 players (although it can do 5) - Zooloretto has the same issue. 7 Wonders & Citadels are decent, but not ideal. Panic Station and Unnamed Object have also been successful for some.

Good luck!

EDIT: Oops, forgot to mention BANG! too.
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Graham Smith
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I'm surprised Bohnanza hasn't been mentioned yet. It's a great game that can accommodate up to 7 players. It is a very non-gamer friendly trading set collection game.

+1 The Resistance. So fun, if you have the right group!
+1 Wits & Wagers

Yahtzee Free For All is another fun option.

and don't forget about Pit. Crazy chaos with a bell!
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Adam Porter
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Agreed on Dixit, For Sale, Fluxx and Incan Gold. I prefer Saboteur 2 to The Resistance, but both would work. 7 Wonders would be a good option if looking for something a little heavier for this size group. 6 is a tough number to find good medium-weight games for, rather than fillers/party games. I have enjoyed Dominion with 6 non-gamers - it needs combining with another set to have enough cards, Dominion: Intrigue or the "base cards" expansion - it's not at its best with this number due to increased down-time, but still seems to really entice newcomers.

Timeline is an extremely attractive and very accessible trivia game which would work well.
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Donnie Clark
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Definitely BANG!.

Edit: Although I have seen games of this go on for 3 hours, but that was a full 10-player table and is certainly not the norm.
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Mark Aldridge
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+1 The Resistance although its a game that can definitely be hit or miss with a group. It requires a certain... suspension of logical thinking. At the beginning of the game, you have to make wild accusations under almost no pretense. Some groups will handle this with aplomb and have a good chuckle, others definitely do not. What's more, some people have a hard time lying. Know your group.

+1 For Sale Great game. Plays quick, so if it isn't working out you aren't stuck with it for long. Fun for non-gamers, intuitive concept, not a lot of rules. Great pick.

+1 Unnamed Object. Another game that's easy to teach, concepts are intuitive and not overlong.

I want to disagree with a few picks above. 7 Wonders is a great game, but I would be cautious about selecting this for the group you described. I think it's an awesome filler weight game for gamers, but I think it could end up being over much for non-gamers. A little fiddly, a lot of rules for what it is (this is okay w/ gamers since we understand a lot of the concepts already... non gamers have to have a lot of the little stuff explained). By all means, great for a group of people already sold on gaming and familiar with it... but I wouldn't want to use it as a show piece for non-gamers. Just me!

Citadels is another one I disagree with. I personally don't care for the game, but it's biggest fault is the length + frustration factor. If someone isn't having fun because the game isn't going their way, they can be stuck with it for a while. You don't want to create a sour taste in anyone's mouth over gaming. Keep it light and simple.

Stay away from Power Grid. I think this suggestion was either made in jest or without understanding the context. Power Grid has a ton of rules, its very fiddly, it will take a long time to explain (even to gamers).

I'd like to add Time's Up! Title Recall! to the list. It's a fun party style game and it's perfectly suited to couples (i.e you play the game in multiple teams of 2). Lots of fun!
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Geert Vinaskov
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Non-gamer girls/women at the table? -> Dixit
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Mark Campo
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i'm gunning my work group with:-

Perudo/liars dice big hit I take to training days and work nights out!
New untested by me to try Dixit
New untested by me The Resistance
New untested by me Wits and Wagers

not that portable for nights out but good in the office Blockus

also considering things like Zombie/Martian Dice.. Incan gold

if only a small group like 4.. keltis stones, bucket king, story cubes
no thanks, loco, colloertto, Vegas

the above a
For a couple evening in order of light card games to gateway board games:-
Light cards:-

No thanks big hit
Dixit big hit
catagory 5
Bohnazza
cartagina
citadels big hit
possibly Bang

Boardagmes:-

Power grid.. is a big hit
Carcasone
Stone age
San Juan generally well liked







 
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Linda Baldwin
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If they're social types and/or into word games, Train of Thought is short, simple, and much fun -- kind of multi-player Password with some interesting clue construction.
 
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Jose Huerta
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+10 for Dixit...

+9 for 7 Wonders if they like cards...

+8 for Resistance if you want to have some fun group interaction

+6 for Wits and Wagers ...Just fun

+5 for Robo Rally...It's just plain fun with 6-8

+1 to Fluxx...

ADD:
Bohnanza

Formula D if you want a fun roll and move

Pitch Car races

Tsuro for some great exciting tension and player jousting...

or
FINALLY,

LAST NIGHT ON EARTH...ZOMBIES..plays well with 6...if the ladies like ZOmbies or at least killing them....



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Tobias
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Believe it or not, I had a lot of success with Alien Frontiers over Thanksgiving holiday. My girlfriend's non-geeky aunt (55+) and mother (60+) had a ball with it. These two mahjong players were not the target audience of the science fiction theme and they really liked it, so much so that I have been asked to bring it when we visit for Christmas.

Edit: I am not recommending AF due to the 6 player requirement. I am just saying don't be afraid to wander outside a comfort zone.

 
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Matthew Reed
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Dixit, Wits and Wagers, Ticket to Ride, and Merchants and Marauders are all games that I don't hezitate to pull out with non-gamers.

Until recently Munchkin was also on this list but after a 5 player game with two couples I have gone back to my rules of never more than 4 and now never with a couple playing against each other.

I've also had success playing The Walking Dead (Graphic Novel Version) with non-gamers and that one is best with 4 or 5 players. Generally by the second turn everyone has it down.

Recently I played Suburbia and i think this would be a great game to introduce to a non-gamer group. Its lots of fun and very easy to understand. The only drawback is there isn't a whole lot of interaction between the other players in my opinion. Hope this gives you some ideas.
 
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Steve McClure
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I think your best bets are Saboteur, maybe with saboteur 2, or Dixit.

I'm not a big Dixit fan, but its popularity speaks for itself. The Saboteur games are very accessible and instantly engaging for most folks.

King of Tokyo might work. It is a lot of fun, and everyone I've played it with has liked it. I think the problem here is six. Six is a lot for King of Tokyo. The game can drag on between turns. In a crowd of non-gamers, you may lose people to that lull.

Resistance, is fun, but as people have pointed out it is hit and miss. Also, I think it is is very unbalanced with a larger group. The "werewolves" almost have too easy of a time with it. I understand that the expansion alleviates this some.

If the people are somewhat gaming inclined, I've found Shadows over Camelot to be pretty accessible and successful as well. A quick explanation and a round or two around the table, and most should have a grasp of things.
 
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Andre Lucato
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+1 vote for Bohnanza

There's also I'm the Boss! which is pure negotiation, trash talk and backstabbing (though it works better based on players not taking it too seriously).
 
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