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Subject: Looking to buy 2 games rss

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David P
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2 player: Summoner Wars. All the other games on your list are way more complicated. Twilight Struggle might even be the second simplest on your list, and while I love the game, I wouldn't recommend it to someone just starting out. Mage Knight is an insane suggestion in that context.

4 player: Of those, I'd suggest Chaos in the Old World, but only if the theme isn't a dealbreaker for your group, or Agricola. But Ra and Tigris & Euphrates would be good choices too. And there's always Cosmic Encounter.
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torontoraptors
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While I haven't played most of the games the one I have (King of Tokyo) seems like a good chance for a group of 4(and more) and I think it will be fun for gateway games.
Other than that I think, for someone who is new to this games, you have some hard picks there: Mage Knight,Twilight Struggle, Eclipse. I haven't played them but the idea I get is they are neither easy to learn nor short on time it takes to play.
Based on your choices I am not the best person to make recomendations, I will leave that to someone else but try not to over do it in the first games, otherwise you may be put off due to overcomplication or time needed.
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Scott Douglass
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Claustrophobia is not that complicated. I prefer Summoner Wars, but Claustrophobia's simple enough that someone new to hobby board gaming can still pick it up without being intimidated. Both are short, and don't have particularly complicated rules, although Summoner Wars has simpler rules. I agree that Mage Knight might intimidate someone new to the hobby, and Earth Reborn is probably worse. Both are quite long games, especially with inexperienced players. I haven't played Robinson Crusoe, so I can't comment on that one. Twilight Struggle can feel a little dry, and has enough of a learning curve that it can easily intimidate new players. It's also pretty long with inexperienced players. My games took maybe 2-3 hours.

In terms of 4 players, I'd go with Lords of Waterdeep or Chaos in the Old World from your list. Lords of Waterdeep is a bit more accessible, and people are less likely to object to the theme, but I'm not sure which is the better game. Both are fairly fast playing, without really involved rules.
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Bryan Low
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I'm surprised you have not hear of your own game, Jackie Chan Adventures Game, good for 2-4 players.

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James Deignan
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lx____ wrote:


I'm looking to purchase 2 games; 1 for 2 players (though viability for solo play or bigger groups would be a plus) and one for 3-4 players (viability for more/less would be a plus of course).

Combat is a plus though not required.
Something that isn't too complicated but at the same time has some depth.
Replay value, I'd rather not get bored of it after a few plays.
Something that isn't too long; I'm not sure if my friends would be interested in 4+ hour games.
Nothing that is too luck based; rolling is OK though some games value luck significantly more than strategy.
I'd prefer having something with a board/pieces as opposed to just cards (though I'm open to any suggestions).


Any other recommendations would also be appreciated.


Some obvious snippage above in the quote...

First to address what I can from your list of potential games in regards to your requirements:

Claustrophobia is a very good two player game and probably fits all of your requirements. It's short and scenario based so you should get plenty of replays out of it. There is some serious dice rolling though, so the potential for outright random screwage exists, but it's tempered in the game by the rule design. Note that this is an asymmetrical game and early on (before you have a firm grasp on strategy and tactics from some plays), the player controlling the demons tends to have the advantage, so it requires some commitment.

Twilight Struggle is the highest rated game on the site for a reason, but like claustrophobia, there's an investment. You have to play it several times before you'll start getting a firmer grip on the strategy required for the game, and while you're doing this the USSR will have a slight advantage. As regards your requirements, this is a rather complex game for someone new to the hobby, otherwise, it fits (as long as you consider a cold war simulation to be combat...I do, but some probably wouldn't. You're definitely messing with each other though.)

The downside to both of these options is both of these are 2 player only.

For a 2 player game, you might want to take a look at The Castles of Burgundy. The only thing lacking here would be combat as it's a straight euro-type game, but it's got some depth and strategy there. Replay value shouldn't be a problem and it has the bonus of playing equally well (in my opinion) with 2, 3, or 4, although lower player counts are probably better because of reduced downtime.

Another one you might consider as it also plays well with 2 or more is Core Worlds. The downside there is that there isn't much of a board in this game. It's a strategic deckbuilding game. It also has no true combat between players, but does focus on conquering planets with the military power created by your deck.

I'm familiar with a good deal more of your 4 player options:

Lords of Waterdeep is a great gateway worker placement game and probably fits your requirements. It's quick and easy to learn. There is some very minor "take that" in the game, so combat could be considered lacking. There's virtually no luck except in card drawing and the bits are pretty good. Particularly if the fellows you'll be playing with are very new, this is one of your best options of the ones I know on your list.

Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) is a good choice if you and your buddies are old tabletop role-playing game players or perhaps if you were ever into MMOs like World of Warcraft. It's a one vs. rest game and can be played with 2-5 players. Plenty of combat. Plenty of replay value. There is some serious luck. Replayability considering how many expansions are destined to come out shouldn't be a problem. This one could, however, run into some serious cash.

Agricola. How I loathe thee. I'll refrain from any analysis other than to say if you're new to boardgames, make sure you're okay with the theme here before you pull the trigger. The people who like it tend to love it, but for new players theme could be a big turn off. I just don't particularly like the game myself.

Eclipse, unfortunately, violates several of your requirements. It's rather complicated (although the rulebook is fabulous, mitigating this problem) and it can run VERY long, particularly the first few times you play it. Most people say one hour per player or more the first go. We're down to about 45 minutes per player when we play. The other downside is that it's a waste with 2 in my opinion and is sub-optimal with 3, so you'd have to have all your players to get the best experience. Throw in the price tag and I recommend you pass even though it's one of my favorite games.

Arkham Horror is definitely not for you. It violates almost all of your requirements. If you love HP Lovecraft and you get into the hobby, buy it then, but it's not the game you're looking for....again in spite of the fact that I love the game and rate it a 10.

Mansions of Madness is another game I love but that I'd recommend you stay away from for your initial foray into the hobby with your friends. If you want a game along this line (haunted house type theme), I'd suggest you look at Betrayal at House on the Hill instead. If you play that and like it, then maybe pull the trigger on Mansions. The Mansions game has some design issues and house ruling some things is almost de rigueur.

King of Tokyo is a very cute game that's more of a party game than a strategy game. You might want to consider it as a third option because it's pretty darn fun while you play it, but it isn't exactly dripping with strategy...and the whole game is dice rolling which sorta kills the "nothing that is too luck based" part of your list.

Merchants & Marauders is a game I love. (Interesting that of the six games I rate a 10, you have three on your list. Too bad you don't live in northern California or you could try before you buy.) There's some luck involved in combat in MnM, but it's not overwhelming and is tempered by strategy. Additionally, this is a beautiful game. The length could be a problem your first time or two through, but it would speed up in short order. Given the theme of the game and what you're looking for, this might fit the bill. Only other potential downside is that the game system is a bit fiddly rules-wise so you'd be likely to foul a few things up the first couple of times through. Not a disaster by any means, but warn everyone before hand that there are likely to be a couple of mistakes made.

Chaos in the Old World probably fits all of your requirements, but it is DEEPLY asymmetrical...moreso than anything else on your list. For that reason alone, I'd go with something else first and maybe move onto this later unless you are a big fan of the games workshop setting. It's a good game, but as with some of the others mention it takes a good number of plays to really get a grasp on how to play each of the characters which can result in some disappointing gameplay for those who get stuck with the harder characters the first couple of times through.

As for recommendations, I'm going to go off the reservation of what you have listed here and suggest that, given what's listed in your requirements, you take a look at Carson City. It meets all of your requirements and is a bit deeper than traditional entry level games like Ticket to Ride and Settlers of Catan. I think you really might enjoy that one.
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sechzger
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All your 2player games are quite complex and most are very long.
If you want sth. from that group take TS.

AS4 player Agricola is great.
 
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Our group started out with Agricola. If we were starting out again, I would choose Lords of Waterdeep in a heartbeat. It is the only semi-deep game I have seen that can literally be started with only 5 minutes of rules explanation, yet still give good replay value.

Another suggestion that would fit your 2 player criteria is chess.
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Charlie Theel
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Claustrophobia is a great choice, phenomenal 2 player game.
 
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