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Subject: New to Euro Board Games, Looking for Gateway rss

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Mike Giro
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With the goal of eventually learning and playing Puerto Rico, which I think looks absolutely fascinating, with my family; my question is what are some good gateway games to introduce the family to.

Me: 38m (extensive geek game background specializing in wargaming)
Wife: 34f (not really into American games, finds them dull)
Daughter: 13f (not very skilled at strategy games in general)
Son: 9m (skilled in basic strategy and resource management)

Although son being the youngest, he is very intelligent and plays strategy games online so he is familiar with basic resource management skills and such.

I was thinking firstly Ticket to Ride then perhaps Settlers of Catan. Wouls San Juan be a good starter for concepts for the goal of Puerto Rico? Any other suggestions for good family gateway games?

Thoughts on jumping straight into Puerto Rico?
 
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I think your plan is quite sound. TtR, Settlers, San Juan. You certainly get the ideas about buildings leading on from each over (increasing benefits against your choices) and the different occupations. I wouldn't leap straight into PR, if they don't like SJ they won't like PR. Settlers should teach that there are multiple ways to victory and you have to go with what is available.
 
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David G.
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First off, welcome to the world of gaming! I think you'll like it.

Where about in California do you live? I'm in Ventura County.

My boy is also 9. By far his favorite game is HeroScape. He plays San Juan no problem, but it's not his favorite. Colossal Arena is also a good one, it's a very deductive game. He wasn't too thrilled with SoC, I think it's just a bit long. We played a lot of Carc; I think he got burned out.

TtR is a family pleaser. I think I made the mistake of jumping into too "heavy" games too early with the family. I should have done more to find real light games they might find fun. Apples To Apples, Electronic Catch Phrase, that kinda stuff. Can't Stop, which is out of print but readily available on EBay, is an easy to understand game that has enough skill involved to keep gamers interested.

giroml wrote:
With the goal of eventually learning and playing Puerto Rico, which I think looks absolutely fascinating, with my family; my question is what are some good gateway games to introduce the family to.

Me: 38m (extensive geek game background specializing in wargaming)
Wife: 34f (not really into American games, finds them dull)
Daughter: 13f (not very skilled at strategy games in general)
Son: 9m (skilled in basic strategy and resource management)

Although son being the youngest, he is very intelligent and plays strategy games online so he is familiar with basic resource management skills and such.

I was thinking firstly Ticket to Ride then perhaps Settlers of Catan. Wouls San Juan be a good starter for concepts for the goal of Puerto Rico? Any other suggestions for good family gateway games?

Thoughts on jumping straight into Puerto Rico?


 
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Robert Martin
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Try Carcassonne and Settlers. After they've played those they should be ready for Puerto Rico. My advice is to skip San Juan. It's not a whole lot simpler than Puerto Rico and it's kinda boring. Wouldn't want to psyche your kids out for Puerto Rico would you?
 
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Kane Klenko
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I think the Ticket to Ride -> Settlers of Catan plan is great, but I think you could jump right to Puerto Rico from there. The role choosing is simple to learn, so you don't really need the stepping stone of San Juan to get there. San Juan has a lot of text and plays very differently from PR (other than role selection), so I don't think it's a necessary step. Personally, I love both games, but I'd choose PR over SJ any day (unless I only had 30 minutes for a game that day )

 
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Mike Giro
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I'm in Sacramento area. We have Heroscape and Apples to Apples and like both. THough the girls don't get into Heroscape too much.

Thanks for the tips all, I'll stick with TtR -> Settlers -> Puerto Rico.

The boy and I like fantasy, might pick up Runebound too.
 
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David G.
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giroml wrote:
I'm in Sacramento area. We have Heroscape and Apples to Apples and like both. THough the girls don't get into Heroscape too much.

The boy and I like fantasy, might pick up Runebound too.


You should definitely look into Colossal Arena then. Nice fantasy theme, but a nice logical challenge.

Something my boys really enjoy is making new characters for HS. I bought a bunch of HeroClix characters, and we create cards for them. It's fun to make a card for a hero they know, like Batman or Spiderman. There are also Star Wars miniatures you can buy. It's fun to have Darth Vader fight The Thing.
 
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Karl Deckard
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I think your initial plan is solid; Ticket to Ride, then Settlers of Catan. Maybe play Carcassonne in between those two. I wouldn't jump right into Puerto Rico, because it might scare people off. Whereas, later after your family has played some other titles, Puerto Rico will likely generate more interest.

Have fun!
 
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davebo wrote:
I think I made the mistake of jumping into too "heavy" games too early with the family. I should have done more to find real light games they might find fun. Apples To Apples, Electronic Catch Phrase, that kinda stuff.


If you are going to mix in a few simple games to keep the spirit light and fun, I would suggest trying Wits & Wagers and Liar's Dice. They are both party games but they also have an element of light strategy (as opposed to Apples to Apples and Electronic Catch Phrase). You should know that, as the designer of Wits & Wagers, I am biased so you should make sure to look at what others think about the game.

Also, if your goal is to get your family to play Puerto Rico, then I suggest going from Carcassonne or TicketTo Ride directly to Puerto Rico. If you stop to teach Settlers of Catan in between, your family will never want to stop playing it. I know this from experience. It is not necessarily a bad thing, but its something to keep in mind.
 
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domcrap wrote:
Also, if your goal is to get your family to play Puerto Rico, then I suggest going from Carcassonne or TicketTo Ride directly to Puerto Rico. If you stop to teach Settlers of Catan in between, your family will never want to stop playing it. I know this from experience. It is not necessarily a bad thing, but its something to keep in mind.
I'd say that's a great reason to stop at SoC. That way if people don't like PR so much, you still have a fun game to play with them.

If you skip SoC and go straight to PR, and people don't like it, it may be hard to convince them to give SoC a fair try, and then you're stuck with monopoly. And nobody wants to be stuck with monopoly. zombie
 
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Tim K.
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Search Geeklists for the word 'gateway':

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist.php3?action=search&sea...

There are many such lists.
 
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Hi. I made two such lists, one for Gateway games and the other for recommendations to bring significant others into the hobby. Both are based on previous Geeklists recommendations. Hope they help!

The Quintessential Gateway Games Recommendation Geeklist
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist.php3?action=view&listi...

The Quintessential Wife, Girlfriend and Spouse Recommendation GeekList
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist.php3?action=view&listi...

 
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generalpf wrote:
Skip Ticket to Ride and get Ticket to Ride: Europe. It's not much more difficult to learn and has more depth. Plus, the cards are bigger.


I disagree, for introduction to nongamers I think the original Ticket to Ride is better. Especially with kids as they will have trouble finding the cities on the European map. The bigger cards are better though, I think you can buy those seperately.
 
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I think Ticket to Ride (the normal version) and Settlers of Catan are great games to start with. Puerto Rico is heavy enough that it may never really be right for the family. Ingenious might be a good one to try also.
 
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Dennis Kreba
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I agree with Citadels as a great gateway game. I've got my family hooked on board games now and Citadels was one of the first games we played.

I've also found lighter card games to be a good gateway into non-gamers such as: Bohnanza, Bang, FBI and Coleretto.

After owning 50-60 games, and trying 10-20 with my family, they really enjoy the following games:
1. Ra
2. China
3. Citadels
4. Card games mentioned above

Puerto Rico tends to be a heavier game. You need to understand much more about gaming before jumping into PR and enjoy it.
 
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Gerald McDaniel
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giroml wrote:

I was thinking firstly Ticket to Ride then perhaps Settlers of Catan. Any other suggestions for good family gateway games?


Our grandson is 8 and has been holding his own or beating us at Settlers for the past year. But, I would suggest TtR and/or Carcassonne (or Hunters & Gatherers) as the first game to introduce, only because there is not quite so much to grasp for a first Euro, in comparison with Settlers. Two more that are easy to learn and fun for a family are Mississippi Queen and Royal Turf, among many others.
 
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Mike Giro
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Citadels looks wonderful! I like the idea of role changing each turn, what intrigued me about Puerto Rico. I am going to pick this up! Card games are a good one for us as well, the universal appeal of cards. They look simple, they feel simple and are a great way to introduce new game concepts in my opinion. There are some great suggestions here, overwhelmingly so in fact. I have some hard purchase decisions to make now. Thanks all.
 
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phil v
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Regarding SoC vs Carc, take Carc. I find that SoC is ridiculously simple. I mean Carc isn't brain surgery, but SoC could be played by proxy. And you can play Carc with 2 players.

duckncover,
Phil
 
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Jeff Coon
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I think your original plan was well-researched, and generally solid. Ticket to Ride is a great first game, and Settlers of Catan is one of the best gateway games around. Let your family have fun with those two for a few months, and then see if they are interested in playing something meatier. I agree with another poster who said you could probably just skip San Juan altogether. Rather than it being an introduction to Puerto Rico, I tend to think of it as a game for Puerto Rico players to play when there isn't time for a full game of PR. (plus, I don't generally care for the game)

Good luck!
 
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Kevin McF
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generalpf wrote:
Skip Ticket to Ride and get Ticket to Ride: Europe. It's not much more difficult to learn and has more depth. Plus, the cards are bigger.


I'll second that notion. What has been added to Europe can easily be removed to play in the exact same way as the original if you so desired (although I would just play with the extras that Europe has). However, not quite so going from the original to Europe (unless you want to mark your own board and come up with your own train stations).
 
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Rod Spade
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giroml wrote:
Me: 38m (extensive geek game background specializing in wargaming)
Wife: 34f (not really into American games, finds them dull)
Daughter: 13f (not very skilled at strategy games in general)
Son: 9m (skilled in basic strategy and resource management)


I think the key will be to find a game that your wife likes. If she finds a game dull, you'll have difficulty getting it to the table. Show her some suggested games, and ask her to pick the one that sounds most interesting.

It might be hard to transition your daughter to PR; a teenager who generally doesn't dig gaming will not be interested in trying "those games" with her old man.

Your son is already a gamer. Don't worry about him. meeple
 
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Jody Ludwick
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Welcome to boardgaming Mike!

My gateway games to suggest for your family of 4 would be:

Der Untergang von Pompeji (my personal favorite!)
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/13004

RA
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/12

Acquire
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/5

Settlers of Catan
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/13

Ticket to Ride
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/9209

Enjoy!meeple



 
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Mike Giro
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I might pick up Carc: H&G but Carc and that farmer rule is out of control. I can't even wrap my head around it reading the forums and descriptions.
 
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Mike Giro
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You're right Rod, I'm worried more about the girls having fun and enjoying this than us guys. We will like all of these.
 
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Quote:
Try Carcassonne and Settlers. After they've played those they should be ready for Puerto Rico.

It's a pretty big jump from Carc and Settlers to Puerto Rico, IMO. I would say your youngest may even be too young for PR, but who knows.

Quote:
My advice is to skip San Juan. It's not a whole lot simpler than Puerto Rico and it's kinda boring. Wouldn't want to psyche your kids out for Puerto Rico would you?

I diagree with this. San Juan is significantly simpler and shorter than Puerto Rico.

If your goal is to play Puerto Rico, then I would definitely start with a few lighter games like Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne, etc.
Then do San Juan. If you like San Juan, move up to Puerto Rico.

Of course there is nothing to prevent you from just getting Puerto Rico and seeing if you like it first. But unless you are all really excited about boardgames and motivated to spend 2+ hours playing a game that requires serious concentration and planning, the PR first would be a bad choice.

Let me just say that not everyone agrees that PR is the best game out there. Tastes vary. I thing PR is a great game, but it's not my #1 game - probably in my top 20 though.

Regarding Citadels, just be aware that it's very cutthroat, which some people don't enjoy.

Regarding Carc, don't be scared off by the farmer rule. It's not hard to figure out, it's just that people don't like it. The farmer rule in Carc is much simpler than many of the rules in heavier games, like PR.

To see what people actually play versus merely say they like:
http://boardgamegeek.com/playstats.php3?action=docustomquery...
 
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