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Subject: Newcomer with board game fever needs help rounding out collection rss

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Ike
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Hey everyone! First off, what an amazing community. BGG has become an invaluable resource...for my dwindling resources.

I share a story that I see a lot of lately: have developed a malaise for videogames over the past several years, probably due to working in the industry. Picked up TTR on my iPad on a whim, got hooked, turned to Ascension, which led to playing Dominion in person and that's when it all started! Amusingly, I've used Youtube more than I ever have just to watch reviews and playthroughs of boardgames.

These past couple of months I've picked up:
Galaxy Trucker
Hey, That's My Fish!
Dixit
Mr. Jack Pocket
The Resistance
Citadels
Roll Through the Ages
Flash Point: Fire Rescue
Escape: The Curse of the Temple
Time's Up! Title Recall

And am still waiting for Hive to come back in stock.

My aim is to try to cover all my bases (yeah, right), and I'd love some recommendations on how to round out my collection a bit more. I have read through the Board Game Gift Guide 2012 but the indecision is still crippling.

I mainly play with my significant other, so having a game that scales a bit would be great. Unfortunately I'm having trouble finding a group to play some heavier games, so light to medium would be great (despite how much I ache to play Eclipse).

Alright, here goes:

Worker Placement: I'd love to get an intro game to see if it's something we'd like. I've read through this this thread and am struggling to decide between Stone Age or Lords of Waterdeep, but I also see that Tzolk'in has been getting a lot of buzz. Is it significantly more complex? Or on a similar note, would I be somewhat covered by...

Settlers of Catan: Worth picking up if I don't have it? How language independent is it? I'm an expat in Germany with terrible to basic German skills, so that limits my choices quite a bit. Read a lot of negative things on the Star Trek version, but seems like a lot of that comes down to theme, which I don't mind.

Simultaneous Co-op: Escape has been a big hit, and we all love Spaceteam on iOS. I've read countless threads on Space Alert vs. Space Cadet. General impression is that both require a lot of time to learn everything and play sessions can also take a significant amount of time. Is there an alternative that someone could suggest?

For the Mrs.: She loves Star Wars and Tetris and has a birthday coming up. Are FITS and Star Wars: The Card Game my best bets? How complex is Star Wars?

Storytelling: Was looking at Agents of SMERSH and it looks hilarious, but will be quite the investment to try to get it here in Germany. Leaning now towards Tales of the Arabian Nights or Mice and Mystics, though Mice and Mystics is quite pricey.

Card Drafting: Haven't picked up Dominion myself, but I play it regularly enough with the same group that I don't feel the need to snag it. Seasons looks like it could be really great, though not sure how high the barrier of entry is. 7 Wonders also looks promising, but I feel like with Citadels and Roll Through the Ages in my collection already, perhaps having something differently themed would be better. An alternative could also be Thunderstone Advance: Towers of Ruin.

Dexterity: Catacombs looks like a great mix of dexterity and dungeon crawler. Does it require a lot of space? PitchCar looks like fun but is also hard to come by.

Party Games: Wits & Wagers Party or Say Anything both seem like the next obvious choices, but again, hard to come by here. Any other suggestions?

Survive: Escape from Atlantis!: Looks like it could be the next step up from Hey, That's My Fish! in a way. Recommended?

Most of all, which one next?! Phew. Did I miss anything?
Really, really sorry for the long post, but thanks so much in advance for any help! Any recommendations for any of the above would be super appreciated.
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Kendahl Johnson
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Lords of Waterdeep is more fun than Stone Age in my opinion. It plays quickly and is relative inexpensive. Scales well from 2-5. You can't go wrong with this one.
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Jay I
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Alright, here goes:

Worker Placement: ...am struggling to decide between Stone Age or Lords of Waterdeep... Either is a fine game, though I prefer Stone Age.

Settlers of Catan: Worth picking up if I don't have it? Yes/Maybe, but you'll need more to play than 2 people. How language independent is it? The main point of this game is the negotiation between players, so you'll have to be able to communicate with each other. As far as the components go, there are a few cards that you will need to read or memorize what they are.

Simultaneous Co-op: ...Space Alert vs. Space Cadets...Is there an alternative that someone could suggest? Hanabi It's not at all the same theme, but it is co-op and eliminates the alpha player syndrome. It's my favorite co-op at the moment, and is getting tons of play time.

For the Mrs.: She loves Star Wars and Tetris and has a birthday coming up. Are FITS and Star Wars: The Card Game my best bets? FITS is right on point with Tetris. It's an OK game. It gets old pretty fast in my opinion. How complex is Star Wars? Haven't played it, but I have heard a few people say that the theme is a bit pasted on. I can't speak to that. It's just what I've heard. There's also Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game, which is getting a good bit of attention. I own it, and it's pretty fun. It's a dog fighting minis game and isn't for everyone.

Storytelling: Leaning now towards Tales of the Arabian Nights or Mice and Mystics...I don't like Tales at all. Just not my thing. It's basically a choose your own adventure book as a board game. I like to have some control over my destiny, and in Tales, you are just along for the ride.

Card Drafting:Seasons looks like it could be really great, though not sure how high the barrier of entry is.Haven't played it. 7 Wonders also looks promising, but I feel like with Citadels and Roll Through the Ages in my collection already...It's a good game, but I wouldn't play it with 2 players, if that's important to you.

Dexterity: Also check out Bisikle and RoadZters

Party Games: ..Any other suggestions? Snake Oil & Pit

Survive: Escape from Atlantis!: It's a good game. I'd also look at Tobago. Not at all the same game, but about the same complexity level.

Most of all, which one next?! Of those? Stone Age. Phew. Did I miss anything? Maybe. Racing, pick up and deliver, war, direct conflict/fighting, negotiation, abstract, card game, and probably others.
Really, really sorry for the long post, but thanks so much in advance for any help! Any recommendations for any of the above would be super appreciated.[/q]
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tim thorson
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I have only been in the hobby a few years and I play mostly with my wife also. She got me eclipse for Christmas and was very worried it would be too complex. We have played like 8 times so far. It really isn't that bad to learn. The regular Mr Jack is great too

I haven't played lords of waterdeep but Stone Age is a very good game you could also try it on ios first. I think I got it on sale for pretty reasonable. Tzolk'in I looked at but I thought I read more than two players. I could be wrong on that.

Mice and mystics should be in my mailbox Wednesday. So I can write more later.

Seasons was a big hit with my wife. We play it often. She isn't really into card drafting but that is one of the few games she is ok doing it. Also have you looked at race for the galaxy? Awesome game steep learning curve strategy wise but to play isn't very hard especially if you have played Puerto Rico.

Survive is awesome too. Was a big hit. Also all the non gamers we play it with also love it. It is cut throat though so if she isn't into that don't get it. You will be eliminating each others people.

Hope that helps
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David B
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I second the recommendation for Tobago...though it is light. But fun.


IMO, if you are thinking about Catan, I STRONGLY recommend Kingdom Builder instead. It fills the same niche, but is quicker and far less frustrating than Catan. Kingdom Builder has more built in variety due to the different scoring cards that can come up and also due to the fact you only choose 4 of the 8 boards to use in any given game. Kingdom Builder plays really well from 2 to 4 players and a 4 player game is over in about an hour. Easy to teach and I have never introduced it to anyone that did not enjoy it. Another strong alternative to Catan is The Castles of Burgundy. Burgundy is also a dice to collect things game. But in Catan, you frequently get nothing when the dice are rolled. In Burgundy, you can always do something useful with your dice regardless of the roll.
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Ikehouserock wrote:
And am still waiting for Hive to come back in stock.

If you haven't ordered yet, I would highly recommend the Pocket version, as it is the exact same quality but travels better and comes with the expansion pieces included.

Quote:
Simultaneous Co-op: Escape has been a big hit, and we all love Spaceteam on iOS. I've read countless threads on Space Alert vs. Space Cadet. General impression is that both require a lot of time to learn everything and play sessions can also take a significant amount of time. Is there an alternative that someone could suggest?

If you like Flash Point, the other big one is Pandemic or Forbidden Island.

Quote:
For the Mrs.: She loves Star Wars and Tetris and has a birthday coming up. Are FITS and Star Wars: The Card Game my best bets? How complex is Star Wars?

Have you checked out Blokus or Tetris Link?

Quote:
Storytelling: Was looking at Agents of SMERSH and it looks hilarious, but will be quite the investment to try to get it here in Germany. Leaning now towards Tales of the Arabian Nights or Mice and Mystics, though Mice and Mystics is quite pricey.

Mice and Mystics is worth the price! Go to their website and download the first chapter of the story. You'll be hooked.

Quote:
Card Drafting: Haven't picked up Dominion myself, but I play it regularly enough with the same group that I don't feel the need to snag it. Seasons looks like it could be really great, though not sure how high the barrier of entry is. 7 Wonders also looks promising, but I feel like with Citadels and Roll Through the Ages in my collection already, perhaps having something differently themed would be better. An alternative could also be Thunderstone Advance: Towers of Ruin.

Honestly, I don't see a point when you already have Galaxy Trucker.

Quote:
Dexterity: Catacombs looks like a great mix of dexterity and dungeon crawler. Does it require a lot of space? PitchCar looks like fun but is also hard to come by.

A kids' game but Ghost Blitz is worth taking a look at.

Quote:
Party Games: Wits & Wagers Party or Say Anything both seem like the next obvious choices, but again, hard to come by here. Any other suggestions?

Standard silly party games: Cards Against Humanity and Eat Poop You Cat are nice because you can print your own.

Quote:
Most of all, which one next?! Phew. Did I miss anything?

Whatever doesn't scratch the same itch as the others...maybe stuff for the wife first? Tsuro is one of the most elegantly simple games I've run across. I'm not sure what category RoboRally, King of Tokyo, Family Business, Gloom, Munchkin and Red Dragon Inn are but they're pretty short, lighthearted, competitive and fun. They're what hit the table most at our house.
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Ike
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Wow! Thanks so much for the replies so far.

So 2-1 on Stone Age vs Lords of Waterdeep. Overlooked that Stone Age was on iOS, so will certainly give that a go.

+2 for Tobago, which looks like a blast. Is it more cutthroat than Survive!?

@destrop: The Hanabi recommendation looks really interesting and cheap to boot! Definitely helps my wallet so will for sure give that an order, cheers destro. As for the Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game, how fun is the base game? My concern with it was how much the purchase would come to with having to get all these extra bits and bobs.

@thor0298: Great to hear that Eclipse wasn't too daunting. I have looked at Race for the Galaxy, but exactly what you mentioned is what put me off of it, which is the steep learning curve. Is Eminent Domain a better alternative?

@pfctsqr: Really interesting recommendation that I hadn't seen before from my perusing. Amazon.de currently has a deal on Kingdom Builder with the Nomads expansion for 30 euros, so I might have to bite.

@Ellyria: I'm indeed waiting for the Pocket version of Hive to come back in stock. Tetris Links looks perfect, can't believe I missed that! I checked out the first chapter of Mice and Mystics...and it indeed looks fantastic. I am curious as to why I should pass on Card Drafting altogether if I have Galaxy Trucker. Could you elaborate a bit more? I'm probably just too daft to see the connection. The rest of your recommendations look great, as the more light-hearted the better. King of Tokyo looks like a lot of fun, but I've constantly read that it's not worth it for just 2. Would you agree with that?
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Whoops! I deleted the wrong paragraph/quote. I meant pass on Settlers if you already have a building game.

We have always played King of Tokyo with 3 so I can't give you a good answer about that.

I like Eminent Domain better than Dominion but I think that's just personal preference regarding the theme.

Also, for anything with a thick rule book or steep learning curve, watching tutorial videos online always works better than trying to read/walk yourself through the first game play.
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Kevin B. Smith
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Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar is substantially more complex than either Stone Age or Lords of Waterdeep. SA and LoW are both solid games, so it comes down to preference of theme, dice/no-dice, and other matters. Settlers of Catan is not very similar to either of them.

Survive: Escape from Atlantis! is highly cutthroat, unlike Tobago which merely has racing and jostling for position. At least, that's my impression after one play of each. From what I have read about Hey, That's My Fish!, it seems quite cutthroat--probably in the ballpark of Survive.

A possible future alternative real-time space co-op is Damage Report. I haven't played it.

Possible alternatives to your storytelling options would be Arkham Horror or Legends of Andor. Neither has true storytelling, but AH has a lot of flavor text, and Andor has a strong story arc within each scenario. I confess that I haven't played any of your options nor either of these yet, so you'll have to do your own research.

For a party game, my preference is Wits & Wagers (although I'm not sure which game in the series would be best). People say that Say Anything can be more fun with people you know well, but W&W is better with strangers. Lots of people also love Dixit, but I was unimpressed.
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Jay I
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Ikehouserock wrote:

+2 for Tobago, which looks like a blast. Is it more cutthroat than Survive!?

No, not really. It's not very cut throat at all, actually. Just a good game that I wanted to recommend.
Ikehouserock wrote:

As for the Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game, how fun is the base game?

I'd plan on adding another base set or a couple of expansion boxes.

As for Hive, there is also Hive, which comes with the expansion pieces.

Ikehouserock wrote:
King of Tokyo looks like a lot of fun, but I've constantly read that it's not worth it for just 2. Would you agree with that?

Yes. It's playable, but I wouldn't bother.
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Josh Lozano
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Ellyria wrote:
Also, for anything with a thick rule book or steep learning curve, watching tutorial videos online always works better than trying to read/walk yourself through the first game play.


This is exactly how I learned how to play Race for the Galaxy with my wife as well. It really will be so much easier and faster to watch a 20-30 minute video on it than struggling with a long rule book. I can also definitely suggest as a fellow new board gamer to get Race for the Galaxy because its so dang fun. If you watch a video, and have the rule book handy to reference, you should pretty much have the hang of it after a few rounds. My wife and I both love it!
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Kai Mölleken
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Ikehouserock wrote:
7 Wonders also looks promising, but I feel like with Citadels and Roll Through the Ages in my collection already, perhaps having something differently themed would be better.


If you are looking for a card drafting game with a different theme you could have a look at Among the Stars.
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Warren Adams
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You do know that you will never round out your collection, don't you?
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Des Lee
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I haven't played Stone Age yet, but I can definitely recommend Lords of Waterdeep. Simple to learn and a lot of fun.

Survive is a fantastic game, very very nasty and brutal game, which is why our gaming group loves it However, I don't feel it works particularly well 2-player. Part of the fun is deciding which short-term alliance you're going to make and then almost immediately break. Hey! That's my fish is also cutthroat, but a little gentler and with less sharks.

I was going to suggest Dixit and The Resistance for your party games, but it looks like you've got those covered already....
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Worker Placement - if my choice was between Stone Age and Lords of Waterdeep I would pick LoW only because I think it is a better 2 player game and it plays more than 4 which I always think is a bonus. Now if I had a choice of worker placement I would actually pick Village. I would much rather play Village over the other two.

Catan is Catan. My friends that owned Catan kind of stopped playing it after I introduced them to other games.

Co-ops I find are often over rated and never as much fun as other games. That said I do like Shadows over Camelot

For the MS, I do like FITS but since I don't own it I can't comment on how old it gets. I would say that Ubongo or Ingenious would be worth taking a look at. I really like Ingenious.

I would say that Ubongo could work for you with regards to a dexterity game.

Deck building you can't really go too wrong with 7 Wonders. I would play 7 Wonders over Citadels any time. The obvious deck building game would be Dominion. I would say if you do get into Dominion that you should start with Intrigue and Sea Side.

Party Games really depends on numbers and what you consider a "party" game. We will crack out Shadow Hunters when we have a group of people over. Other good games are The Resistance Avalon, Dixit (lots of versions), and depending on your friends Cards Against Humanity

Now as for other games worth looking into I would suggest:
Ticket to Ride Europe with the expansion
Endeavor
Power Grid
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Josiah Fiscus
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Ikehouserock wrote:

Simultaneous Co-op: Escape has been a big hit, and we all love Spaceteam on iOS. I've read countless threads on Space Alert vs. Space Cadet. General impression is that both require a lot of time to learn everything and play sessions can also take a significant amount of time. Is there an alternative that someone could suggest?


Yes, but you already own it. Escape is quite a bit like those ones, but easier to pick up and faster to play. If you are looking for something more complex than Escape, but you like the general mechanics, you will probably enjoy Space Alert/Cadet.
 
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Ike
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tallboy wrote:
You do know that you will never round out your collection, don't you?


Yes, but uh, a fella can delude himself for a little while at least, can't he? Ahem..

Seems like general feeling I get from the thread is to more or less skip on Catan, which is fine with me.

Worker Placement: I tried out Stone Age on iOS. Need to get a couple of games in, but I think if Lords of Waterdeep is a bit simpler then it might be a better choice, and I appreciated that monchichi pointed out that it's a better 2 player game as well. Theme also seems to be more appealing.

In terms of watching a 20-30 minute video to learn a game, still haven't quite gotten to the point where I can coax that kind of mutual viewing yet out of the other or the group, but will hopefully get there soon.

@peakhope: Thanks for the tip on Tzolk'in. Seemed like it would be. I've tried Arkham Horror on the iPad and have also watched a few videos and it hasn't really gelled. Gloom seems like it could be a fun way to scratch the itch until I have enough to plunk down on Mice and Mystics.

@monchichi: Ubongo looks also great! Tetris plus dexterity seems really appealing. Thanks! How much player interaction is there in 7 Wonders vs. Citadels?

A few of the suggestions, like King of Tokyo, I might hold off on until I can get a regular group of 3-4 going, though I'm already tempted to pick up both Survive and Tobago already.

This has been a really great help and again I appreciate it. Thank you lots!
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Andreas
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I know I am the advocate of the cheap SdJ game... but do i get this right that You are now in Germany? Home of the german games and the SdJ? If so You might consider getting a) those family games or two player games and b) getting the german version. Much cheaper, readily available and with some help from the geek well understandable too.

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Ikehouserock wrote:

Seems like general feeling I get from the thread is to more or less skip on Catan, which is fine with me.


I would recommend getting Catan, if you can spare the money. People will rightly complain that beside the luck of the dice, picking the wrong starting position can be a really frustrating experience.
The feeling of building your own small or big settlements and advancing on the map can make up for this though.
The negotiating on the resources contributes a lot to the game, if you play with people who are willing to trade.


If you are looking for one more coop game, I can definitely recommend Pandemic.
I introduced this game to 6 people so far and all of them loved it and wanted to continue playing.
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Matt Brown
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tallboy wrote:
You do know that you will never round out your collection, don't you?


There's a difference between rounding it out and adding to it.
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Xeenu wrote:
I know I am the advocate of the cheap SdJ game... but do i get this right that You are now in Germany? Home of the german games and the SdJ? If so You might consider getting a) those family games or two player games and b) getting the german version. Much cheaper, readily available and with some help from the geek well understandable too.



Indeed I am. Land of boardgames, and I've been without a clue all this time! Which in particular are you referring to?

WhiteWalker wrote:

I would recommend getting Catan, if you can spare the money.

If you are looking for one more coop game, I can definitely recommend Pandemic.
I introduced this game to 6 people so far and all of them loved it and wanted to continue playing.


I'm still uncertain with Catan in the sense that I'm not sure what space it would fill that might not be covered better by other games. I'm guessing it's as you mentioned, which is the negotiation, which sounds like an interesting mechanic. Is there additional value beyond that? You mentioned the building of settlements, which I think will be covered by the Kingdom Builder purchase.

And Pandemic is definitely on the list, but with Flash Point and Forbidden Island, I'm not in a rush yet to get it just yet. How necessary is the expansion?

matthean wrote:
tallboy wrote:
You do know that you will never round out your collection, don't you?


There's a difference between rounding it out and adding to it.


Indeed. Though it's still a bit of a trap..."Oh, I don't have this very particular type of such and such mechanic covered yet!"
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Max Lampinen
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"Oh yes I do have 21 worker placement games already but not one where you build 23rd century nursing home using die that jingle when you throw them"
and so on.
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Ike
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...I want my next game to have jingling die.
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Robert
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Just slam the dice on a glass table, creates a similar effect .
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Nevin Longardner
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7 Wonders is really good, especially with more players. Highly recommended.

I prefer LoW to Stone Age. Turns go faster and the game plays faster overall. Stone Age is a very good game in its own right.
 
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