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Subject: My mom loves mah jongg; she might also like _____ rss

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Alison Mandible
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The last time I visited my mom (a year ago), she had gotten heavily into mah jongg. There's obviously a social element to it for her, but from knowing her, I was thinking that a game which offers a similar type of fun might be a nice gift for her.

So: similar mechanics and/or vibe to mah jongg, relatively approachable for someone who hasn't played modern hobby games.

Big bonus points if it's good for 2 or 3.

Medium bonus points if it has attractive pieces or a gently quirky theme. (Bohnanza is probably too goofy, in addition to wanting more players. Ticket To Ride is too dry.)

Minor bonus points if it's something her Vlaada-and-Dominion-loving gamer son (that's me) would enjoy but would not consistently trounce her at if we play a handful of times while I'm home.

Many thanks for any suggestions you have!
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Kyle
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I'd recommend Tsuro or Carcassonne.
 
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Ralph T
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Rummikub. My in-laws who enjoy Mah-Jongg love Rummikub. It's easier to play and has the same tactile pleasure. Note it is best with four but still playable with 2-3.
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Chris Jeris
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Slightly off the wall suggestion: Ra.

Mah-jongg, like all other games of the rummy family, is essentially a game of set collection. But in mah-jongg, the sets to be collected and the points you score for them follow rather more complicated rules than in most rummy-type games -- enough so that I don't think the scoring rules for Ra are out of reach. The "press your luck" and competitive valuation aspects of mah-jongg are also there in the tile draw and auction mechanics.

(For what it's worth, my wife's family traditionally plays mah-jongg at family gatherings, and Ra was a big hit with a number of them.)
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Rich Charters
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+1 Rummikub We picked it up at Goodwill recently, and we had a blast playing. It's a low key game.....by that I mean you can easily carry on a good conversation while playing......yet it's surprisingly competitive. Because it's similar to Rummy, it's very easy to explain. You don't even need a rules explanation.....just have them draw their tiles and begin. You explain more as you are playing.

Also, consider Sequence To me it has a similar feel to Rummikub in that it facilitates conversation as you play. Both are great family reunion games....although Rummikub is limited to 4.

+1 Carcassonne. If you want to have her broaden her view of board games, this would be a good game to introduce.

 
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CHAPEL
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Tichu...I love Mah Jongg, and Tichu is a good contender.

For outside the normal box...Maybe 7 Wonders,Frank's Zoo,Ingenious,PAX,Raj,Saboteur,Taj Mahal.
 
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Roni Worley
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Two of my favorite games are Mahjong and Tichu. Another game I love because it feels like a combination of the two is Lectio. It has chunky tiles like Mahjong does and it also uses money chips similar to Mahjong. Maybe she'd like that.

Unfortunately I don't think it's readly available yet, though I think it's supposed to be reprinted soon.
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Sturv Tafvherd
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grasa_total wrote:
The last time I visited my mom (a year ago), she had gotten heavily into mah jongg. There's obviously a social element to it for her, but from knowing her, I was thinking that a game which offers a similar type of fun might be a nice gift for her.

So: similar mechanics and/or vibe to mah jongg, relatively approachable for someone who hasn't played modern hobby games.

Big bonus points if it's good for 2 or 3.

Medium bonus points if it has attractive pieces or a gently quirky theme. (Bohnanza is probably too goofy, in addition to wanting more players. Ticket To Ride is too dry.)

Minor bonus points if it's something her Vlaada-and-Dominion-loving gamer son (that's me) would enjoy but would not consistently trounce her at if we play a handful of times while I'm home.

Many thanks for any suggestions you have!


Like someone else said, the best match to Mahjong would be a set collection game.

+1 to the Sequence suggestion. It's relatively cheap, too; so if nothing else, you have a game that you can bring out during a party and still have a regular conversation while playing.

I was actually going to suggest Ticket To Ride. I'm not sure why you think it's too dry ... I'd say that Mahjong is the same level of "dryness" ... unless your mom plays it with the money and betting aspect.


Now ... the real question is : "Who does your mom play Mahjong with?" More than likely, the enjoyment your mom is going to get out of playing a game will also depend on whether the other player(s) enjoy it too.
 
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Alison Mandible
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Stormtower wrote:
I was actually going to suggest Ticket To Ride. I'm not sure why you think it's too dry ... I'd say that Mahjong is the same level of "dryness" ... unless your mom plays it with the money and betting aspect.


Fair question! I meant specifically the theme... but even then, I suppose I was thinking more of my mom's particular personality than anything inherent in the game.

Mah Jongg has no real theme as such, but there's dragons and bamboo and the four winds. I suspect these are pleasingly outside of the range of things my mom normally thinks about, while trains are familiar enough that the game would seem kind of bland to her. But I'm kind of guessing here.
 
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David B
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いい竹やぶだ!

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grasa_total wrote:
My mom loves mah jongg; she might also like _____

The Lifetime channel?

Yes, Rummikub is a good bet. Also, the card game Canasta.
 
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Laura Creighton
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Have you tried Dominion with your mother?

Around here you can sometimes find the members of the Mahjong society playing Dominion with the board gaming society as they wait for the other mahjong society members to show up. Set is also popular.
 
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Kim Williams
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What about getting her Mhing which is a card version of mah jong but that plays 2-6.

I realize that you were probably wishing to get her something more 'different' but if she really likes mah jong, but doesn't always have the right player numbers, this might be really appreciated. You can pick up copies on ebay, and I've also seen a few copies in charity shops.
 
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Clive Lovett
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entwife wrote:
What about getting her Mhing which is a card version of mah jong but that plays 2-6.

I realize that you were probably wishing to get her something more 'different' but if she really likes mah jong, but doesn't always have the right player numbers, this might be really appreciated. You can pick up copies on ebay, and I've also seen a few copies in charity shops.


Apparently you can play it in bed too!
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Alison Mandible
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Thanks for the ideas, everyone! I will be looking into all of these (and Rummikub in particular seems striking).
 
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Alison Mandible
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lacreighton wrote:
Have you tried Dominion with your mother?


No, she lives quite a distance away and the fact that Mah Jongg is in fact a board game only struck me after the last time I was there.

I have a sense that the variable setup would be frustratingly unintuitive to her. "Can I buy a Village? Those were really useful. Why not? Not even if I pay extra?"

Interesting to hear it's such a crossover hit in your experience, though! I certainly wouldn't have guessed that.
 
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George C.
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This might be good for light plays but I would suggest Plato 3000. It is basically a rummy/set collection card game so it has a mah jong like feel. I have had three copies and had all three taken by or given to three women I know who are light or non gamers. A coworker for her and her friends "Hen Parties", her words, not mine, A mom who sounds similar to yours and a woman just turning 30. All liked it enough to keep the copy I had at the time .

I like it too and need to get another copy (I also grew up playing mah jong)...that I'll hold onto this time.
 
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Sturv Tafvherd
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grasa_total wrote:
lacreighton wrote:
Have you tried Dominion with your mother?


No, she lives quite a distance away and the fact that Mah Jongg is in fact a board game only struck me after the last time I was there.

I have a sense that the variable setup would be frustratingly unintuitive to her. "Can I buy a Village? Those were really useful. Why not? Not even if I pay extra?"

Interesting to hear it's such a crossover hit in your experience, though! I certainly wouldn't have guessed that.


I would certainly introduce the game with just the "basic" set first. My family and I have played the game about 10 times over the past 2 years, and all 10-or-so games have used just the basic set. They haven't gotten tired of those cards yet!

 
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David Janik-Jones
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Tichu. And a way-out-of-left-field suggestion would be Hive.
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David S
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DaveyJJ wrote:
Tichu. And a way-out-of-left-field suggestion would be Hive.


+1

I was going to suggest Hive as well.
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Jennifer Derrick
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I'll toss out Qwirkle or Qwirkle Cubes. Colorful pieces that are easy to grasp, and simple rules. Despite it's simplicity, every game is different.
 
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Vivienne Raper
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Left-field: Taluva or Carcassonne.

I like computer Mahjong because I like puzzling out which bits to remove off a 3D structure. Taluva is 3D. Carcassonne has that 'puzzling an object into place' feeling in spades.
 
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Sturv Tafvherd
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veemonroe wrote:
Left-field: Taluva or Carcassonne.

I like computer Mahjong because I like puzzling out which bits to remove off a 3D structure. Taluva is 3D. Carcassonne has that 'puzzling an object into place' feeling in spades.


I'm not sure what version of Mahjong the OP has, but the traditional version is not the "match up tiles" video version. Best western analog to Mahjong is Rummy
 
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M Hellyer
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I was in a golf club bar in Vermont a couple months ago, and I saw 5 or 6 silver-haired ladies playing a tile game. I asked them what it was and they said it was the Mexican Train Game. They were having a great time playing it. So, for another tile game, you might want to check it out.

Speaking of tile games, Hive is a real good one, but it's just two-person and pretty intense.

Edit: sorry about all the typos above. IPad is a pain in the butt to type on.

2nd edit: I fixed all the IPad typos -- I hope.
 
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