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Subject: Beginners looking for some help! rss

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KJax Jackson
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Hey all! So a few of my gaming buddies and I are looking to expand our table top horizons and could use some suggestions. Keep in mind we are VERY new to this and currently only play Munchkin (with many of the boxed sets). So here's the (somewhat) lengthy criteria that I think will work best for us:

Should be able to handle 4 players, but can scale down to 2 or 3 people as well.
We prefer a Fantasy theme, but any good Sci-Fi or Superhero themed suggestions are also welcome!
Nothing with a HUGE learning curve. We aren't simpletons, but we would like a game we can learn to play in 1 or 2 runs and have it down after 3 or 4.
Absolutely nothing with a GM/DM/Overlord or anything of that nature.
This game will NOT be played solitaire and anything that feels like multi-solitaire is also a put off. We like lots of interaction between players
Also, I would love to only spend 40-50$, but I understand that many great games are not currently in print. Would just prefer NOT to have to drop 70-80....
We also don't shy away from strategy!

I know this is getting lengthy, but here are some games I have looked into and seem interesting and feedback would also be nice on
Runebound - seems solitaireish?
Talisman - looks like it could be for us
Mage Knight board game - Looks AWESOME, but the price and learning curve do not...
Defenders of the Realm - also looks good, but finding a copy could be hard
Legends of Andor - eh, maybe
Sentinels of the Multiverse
Magewars or Summoner Wars?

I know this was a read, but any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
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Moe45673
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Cyclades should work for you guys
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Thomas
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From your list Defenders of the Realm is the best choice, Definitely not Mage Knight. I also back the suggestion for Cyclades as well as the following:

Kemet
Lords of Waterdeep
Merchants & Marauders
Alien Frontiers
Spartacus: A Game of Blood & Treachery
King of Tokyo
Relic

Check out this geeklist, it may be of some help:

Thematic games with top notch components
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Most of the games on your list are either too long, too complicated, or don't scale well from 2-4 players. I have tons of suggestions, but honestly it is VERY hard to find games that scale well and meet your other criteria.

If we consider only games that are really good with two players I would say Seasons might work for you, but apparently it really drags with four people.

For three or more, King of Tokyo is great fun and plays very quickly so you could get multiple games in one session.


Good luck.
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Pasi Ojala
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A close to perfect fit would be Discworld:Ankh-Morpork. It is a fun game with plenty of unexpected turns. Has cards, minions, money and buildings, and random events, that do not overpower strategy. Your secret winning condition needs to be filled at the beginning of your turn to win. Works well with all of the advertised number of players (2 to 4). Plays always just under an hour, has quite simple rules, so is quick to learn, but harder to win.

A Discworld fan will get more out of the game (by knowing the characters and why they have the specific effects), but you don't need to have read any of the Discworld novels to enjoy playing it.

You get a more scifi setting with Cosmic Encounter. 3-5 players, each expansion adds one player to that. (Three expansions are available.) Has great replayability because of the asymmetric alien character powers.

Perhaps Panic Station (4-6p) could go well with your group with the Alien/The Thing vibes. Although it looks like a co-op, you end up hitting and shooting each other as the game progresses.

Possibly Room 25 for a bit shorter game. It plays with 1-6 players. You try to find the exit room and escape before it is too late, but beware of the traps and lethal rooms. Contains co-op (or solo), team, competition, and suspicion modes, so is quite versatile. The difficulty level can also be adjusted.

If you get a 5th player occasionally, then Battlestar Galactica. The game is best with 5 players, but works well enough for 6 and 4 players. It can also be played with 3 players, but is not that great anymore.

 
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George Ramos
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Plenty of games for you to look into. I'll recommend these games for you:

1) Chaos in the Old World
2) Cosmic Encounter
3) Dungeons and Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon (or Castle Ravenloft or Legend of Drizzt, they're practically the same)
4) Alien Frontiers
5) Escape: The Curse of the Temple (plays in 10 minutes)
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KJax Jackson
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Wow, thanks for some awesome suggestions so quickly! I'm liking the look of Kemet or Cyclades..

Brian, you said you had some great suggestions, but none that would meet the scaling criteria. Is there any games you would suggest that are great for 2-player as well as games that work well with 3 or more? Sometimes It is just myself and one other friend, not the whole group. So maybe purchasing a game for just 2 is also in order?
 
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Thomas
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HamHash wrote:
Wow, thanks for some awesome suggestions so quickly! I'm liking the look of Kemet or Cyclades..

Brian, you said you had some great suggestions, but none that would meet the scaling criteria. Is there any games you would suggest that are great for 2-player as well as games that work well with 3 or more? Sometimes It is just myself and one other friend, not the whole group. So maybe purchasing a game for just 2 is also in order?


Lords of water deep is perfect for 2-4, Seasons is best with 2. Kemet, Cyclades, Alien Frontiers all scale well also.
 
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HamHash wrote:
Wow, thanks for some awesome suggestions so quickly! I'm liking the look of Kemet or Cyclades..

Brian, you said you had some great suggestions, but none that would meet the scaling criteria. Is there any games you would suggest that are great for 2-player as well as games that work well with 3 or more? Sometimes It is just myself and one other friend, not the whole group. So maybe purchasing a game for just 2 is also in order?


I have found that most games are either built for two players or built for 3 or more. I have some games that I feel scale very well, but these are generally more euro games without much interaction.

For just two players, I think Seasons or Summoner Wars would work well. If you are feeling courageous you could even go for Mage Wars, but be warned there are a lot of rules so the learning curve would be high.

In terms of games that would be best with three or more, here are some of my personal favorites: Hansa Teutonica, Endeavor, Lords of Waterdeep, The Speicherstadt. These are all euros, so the theme is secondary, but all of them have a good amount of interaction.

Hansa Teutonica has a ton of direct conflict, even though it is about trade routes, you are constantly blocking, taking over, fighting for certain cities. You can upgrade all your different actions and win with varied strategies, and it amazing.

Endeavor also has you fighting for certain trade routes, but is not has confrontational. You also can upgrade your civilzation in different ways, but the strategies aren't as varied as in HT. Still highly recommended and surprisingly quick to play as well as easy to learn.

Lords of Waterdeep is worker placement, so most of the conflict comes from taking spots your opponents might need before they do. However, it also has cards which can directly affect your opponents by stealing their resources or forcing them to complete less valuable mandatory quests. Very easy rules and quick playing as well as being the only game on this list that scales decently to 2 players.

The Speicherstadt is a hidden gem of a game that my friends and I really enjoy. It is an auction game where you bid for types of goods in order to fulfill contracts. The real joy is that the bidding is done through worker placement which leads to a lot of screwing with your opponents. Driving the price up on cards your opponents need, faking people out by making them think you want one thing when you really don't, the worker placment mechanic makes misdirection an essential part of the game and is a ton of fun.
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Scott Moore
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Sentinels is a great game and very easy to learn so that's a good choice.

Lords is also easy to grasp and lots of fun so +1

I love Alien Frontiers easy to learn too very cool looking and plays great so another +1 there

I'm interested in Cyclades myself but havent played it but from what I can gather you would enjoy.

King of Tokyo is better with more than 2

If you want a thematic 2 player maybe an lcg Fantasy Flight do several
 
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Jerry Martin
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Not talisman. Hours of choiceless dice rolling.
 
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I have to say that even though Lords of Waterdeep is decent with 2 players, it is far from my first choice. Even though you get more workers, the game is much easier with two and also a lot more swingy thanks to the luck of the cards.

If one player gets lucky with quests and intrigues at the same time, he can really destroy his opponent. Of course this is true of almost any game with cards, but I feel like the more players there are the less luck affects the outcome in this game, and I generally prefer games with lower levels of luck. Still recommended for 3 or more though.
 
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KJax Jackson
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Thank you so much everyone! So far from the games suggested, Cyclades, Kemet and LoWD seem like they would be for us. And maybe picking up one of the deck dueling games for 2-player only somewhere down the road.
My next question would be, if you had to choose one of the 3 mentioned above, which one would you prefer? Obviously I would like to own them all, but I can only afford one at this time! Thanks
 
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Kemet and Cyclades are area control games with direct conflict. Lords of Waterdeep is really a euro worker placement with a fantasy theme, so the conflict is less in your face. It really depends what you want.

Please note that opinion varies greatly on how good Cyclades is across different player counts. The 3 player game especially has its detractors though I can't remember why exactly, but I recall that it put me off getting the game since I play mainly with two friends. If you search in the Cyclades forum you should easily find some posts about it.
 
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Rob Steward
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Innovation is definitely worth a look for you, it's got a technology theme and isn't very hard to learn. It also has a ton of interaction.

(But I'd recommend only bringing it out for 2 or 3 players... it doesn't quite click with 4 players.)

It's much less than your $40-$50 range, too!
 
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Gregg Saruwatari
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Maybe start with Lords of Waterdeep, El Grande or 7 Wonders with the goal of getting to Race for the Galaxy or Eclipse as gaming rules become more intuitive. I also highly recommend Magic: The Gathering.
 
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Thomas
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HamHash wrote:
Thank you so much everyone! So far from the games suggested, Cyclades, Kemet and LoWD seem like they would be for us. And maybe picking up one of the deck dueling games for 2-player only somewhere down the road.
My next question would be, if you had to choose one of the 3 mentioned above, which one would you prefer? Obviously I would like to own them all, but I can only afford one at this time! Thanks


Tough call but I would get them in this order:

d10-1 Lords of Waterdeep

d10-2 Cyclades

d10-3 Kemet
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KJax Jackson
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So it looks like I've got a lot of options next time I stop at my local shop! Just to make my decision even harder, how does everyone feel about Agricola, Village or Belfort..??? They look very interesting, just unsure how well they would fit to my groups preferences.
 
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HamHash wrote:
So it looks like I've got a lot of options next time I stop at my local shop! Just to make my decision even harder, how does everyone feel about Agricola, Village or Belfort..??? They look very interesting, just unsure how well they would fit to my groups preferences.


For a group that prefers Fantasy theme. Lord of Waterdeep is a great choice, with solid fantasy art. However, the game play itself is a bit of a tacked-on theme. Try to be sure to call the cubes by their class instead of their color, if your group can help it.

Agricola, Village or Belfort are certainly solid games, too, but Lords of Waterdeep is a stand-out gateway game if this will be your groups first Worker Placement game.
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Kevin Garnica
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HamHash wrote:
Just to make my decision even harder, how does everyone feel about Agricola, Village or Belfort..??? They look very interesting, just unsure how well they would fit to my groups preferences.


Just because you asked: I am a seasoned gamer and do not enjoy Agricola. There are a ton of rules in that game, even if you play the easier "family" style version.

Belfort is a very good game, but it is going to take a long time to play; there is just a lot you can do. Granted, it's all very intuitive enough, but you will have many options, potentially leading to analysis paralysis, which would only lengthen the play time.

Honestly - of the three - Village is probably the most noob friendly. But even then, the strategies might seem a little backwards, and I don't know how you would feel about that, given the fact that your group is rather green to this hobby.It's certainly the "easiest" of the three (I would say). But I keep going back to your header which states you'd like to learn a game in 1 or 2 rules...

Without insulting your intelligence, I'm trying to infer how complex you want your games to be. Are we talking, like, Ticket to Ride complexity? If you don't mind your game doesn't have an actual board, I might say Citadels is a good choice. Or maybe even something like Mission: Red Planet.
 
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HamHash wrote:
So it looks like I've got a lot of options next time I stop at my local shop! Just to make my decision even harder, how does everyone feel about Agricola, Village or Belfort..??? They look very interesting, just unsure how well they would fit to my groups preferences.


Honestly... I think those are not what you are looking for. If there is player interaction in those games, its mostly indirect.

Lords of Waterdeep, Cyclades and Kemet seem to be a much better fit for your group.

I'd also like to add Runewars. Granted, the rulebook is not the shortest one out there, but nevertheless I think this one could be a match. If it looks like a bit too much at this point, then you might want to keep it in mind for a later purchase.
 
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I would not recommend any of the games on your list. They do not fit your criteria for one reason or another.

Suggest:
Return of the Heroes: Fantasy game which plays in about 1.5 hours. Scales well 4 or less players. Easy to learn and play. Unfortunately game is out of print and may be difficult to find.

Kingsburg: Middle ages themed game which plays in about an hour. Best with 4. Easy to learn & play.

Nexus Ops: Scifi wargame which plays in about 2 hours. Easy to learn & play.

Shadows over Camelot: Middle ages co-op game which plays in 2 hours. Easy to learn and play but plays best with 4 or more players.

Axis & Allies 1941: Easy to learn and play wargame for 2 to 5 players. Plays in about 2 hours.

Wallenstein: Eurogame style wargame. Easy to learn and play. 3-5 players, but best with 4 or 5. Plays in about 2 hours.


+1 Hansa Teutonica, Cyclades, Cosmic Encounter & King of Toyko.







 
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Jumping on the bandwagon:

+1 Kingsburg and Cosmic Encounter.

Also look into Kingdoms and Infinite City, and Blokus.
 
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KJax Jackson
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Again, thank you all for the awesome responses! After some more research and debate, along with the suggestions posted, we will probably end up grabbing LoW. Even though we really like the look of Cosmic Encounters and some other great games listed, it seems the price for LoW can't be beat. Also, I have to say the Runewars suggestion threw a wrench back into our decision (looks like a friggin' cool game!), but unfortunately price will be the overall deciding factor on that one soblue
 
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Kai Mölleken
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You're welcome!

Surely Runewars is more expensive than Lords of Waterdeep. But it's available in some stores like CSI or MM for 52$ which is very close to your price limit.

So if I were you I wouldn't write it off for that particular reason. If you want something easier to begin with then Lords of Waterdeep is the way to go. But if you want the full epic-battles-with-lots-of-plastic-awesomeness of great Ameritrash games and aren't intimidated by the rules... well then it's definitely Runewars
 
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