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Subject: New to boardgames, whats my next purchase? rss

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First time poster, short time lurker here, hoping to get some advie for my next board game purchase....

I randomly decided a month ago to get into playing board games. Not sure why, think the fact winter is starting helped my decision. Also the main factor was I have been trying miserably for years to get my missus into pc gaming which has never really worked apart from the occasional casual title like peggle or sims.

My first two purchases were Takenoko and Small World. Takenoko is nice but already getting boring after 5+ games. Small World is a hit and we have already had many nights with friends playing. The following week I purchased Small World Realms and Great Dames expansions. Small World is infinitely better with the realms boards, so much easier to see whats going on and obviously much more variety!

I decided to try some co-op next up so brought Arkham Horror and Pandemic.
Arkham is great, I've started a couple of solo games, and last night played first proper game - 3 hours with a friend. Got bored before finishing it but it was a bunch of fun regardless.
Pandemic seems OK, very easy to learn, but doesn't seem to be much strategy. It's always pretty obvious what the best move for each player is each turn and the theme is not really my thing. I can't see Pandemic being busted out too much.

So whats next? I plan to buy a game every two weeks and there are plenty of choices.
I like games that look nice - hence being attracted to small world and Takenoko initially.
I definitely wouldn't want anything more complicated than Arkham.

Currently I'm looking at:
7 wonders - I like the look of this but would want to mainly play 2 player with the missus.
How hard is it to learn the 2 player varient and is it worth it?

Eclipse - Looks awesome but is it more intensive than say Arkham?

Ticket to Ride - Looks fun and simple to play but does it have lasting appeal?

Dixit - Definitely picking this up at some time for when people are drinking at mine

Jamiaca - Quality and theme looks awesome but read that its not very exciting

Am open to all suggestions.
Thanks
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Thomas
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Ghost Stories > Pandemic
Merchants & Marauders > Jamaica
Clash of Cultures > Eclipse
Mage Knight Board Game > Arkham Horror

Other must have games IMHO:

Elder Sign
Cyclades
Seasons
Survive: Escape from Atlantis!
Lords of Waterdeep
Conquest of Planet Earth: The Space Alien Game
 
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Josh Chen
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Welcome to BGG! Based on what you said I am guessing you are from either Australia, New Zealand or South America! I can see why winter can get you into board gaming. I got into it myself in November of last year playing during the holidays.

Anyhow, let me chime in on 7 Wonders. It is a great game, but I find the 2 player variant annoying. I have played with 3 players, 4 players, and 6 players before I try the 2 player variant. Lets simplify things by saying I prefer to play it 3 players+.

As for Ticket to Ride, I think I've ruined myself by playing the IOS version of it on my iPad. Its so much better digital than sitting there playing a game that lasts an hour versus 15mins on iPad. It's a good gateway game to get people into the hobby, but I don't find a lasting appeal due to the fact that I've found more and better games to play.

These are based on my experience. Have a great time gaming!
 
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Thanks for quick reply's. I actually downloaded the ticket to ride app to see if I would like the game, and can probably beat the computer in 5 - 10 mins. Its seems okay, probably will skip on the physical game.

7 wonders I may wait and get that one further down the line.

Both merchant & marauders and seasons look pretty inviting. Might grab both of those next week and go from there.....

So many nice choices....

edit: and yes, I live in New Zealand
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7 Wonders: I don't care for the two player variant, though I have played it a few times to teach the basic concept of the game to people. I think it's too clunky and fiddly with only two players. Excellent card games that have similar mechanics include
San Juan or Race for the Galaxy or Glory to Rome for tableau building and hand management.
Fairy Tale or Sushi Go! or Biblios for card drafting.
Morels, Jambo, or Jaipur are just spectacular two player card games in general. Oh, and Summoner Wars! Definitely check out Summoner Wars!

Ticket to Ride is a modern classic and IMHO a must have. A great fit in any collection. This is really THE game everyone should have instead of Monopoly. For two players I really like the 2nd map pack expansion, India and Switzerland.

Dixit is a fantastic party game, but it's surprisingly cerebral for a party game. I think the must have party games include Time's Up! Title Recall!, The Resistance, and Telestrations. I would get all of these before getting Dixit, but still definitely get Dixit.

Jamaica is a very light racing game. It's really a children's game, which is fine! But just be aware it may not have enough to keep adults engaged, unless they know what they're in for and have fun with the theme. It really is a beautiful, well-produced game. For a slightly heavier racing game try Rallyman and Snow Tails. For pure fun, I don't think any racing game is better than PitchCar.

 
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Thomas
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slammers wrote:
Thanks for quick reply's. I actually downloaded the ticket to ride app to see if I would like the game, and can probably beat the computer in 5 - 10 mins. Its seems okay, probably will skip on the physical game.

7 wonders I may wait and get that one further down the line.

Both merchant & marauders and seasons look pretty inviting. Might grab both of those next week and go from there.....

So many nice choices....

edit: and yes, I live in New Zealand


Both good choices. Be warned M&M is not an easy game to digest, it was our first "heavier" game. There are a lot of rules but they all make thematic sense so they get easier with time. Combat is the hardest to master but we just held off on it in out first game and figured out all the other aspects first. Took us about three games to get everything down pat. Also you can figure about 45 minutes per player maybe an hour when first learning. You can always shorten a game by playing for less points but it still takes around 2 hours at best.

Good luck and welcome.
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Michael F
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+1 for Fairy Tale. I think if you're just playing with your wife, it will be an overall better experience than 7 Wonders.

Carcassone is one game I would recommend if you're new to board games. It's on the simpler side, but it's one of the few games my wife loves to play with me. I have it on my phone and play it when I get bored at work all the time.

Tales of the Arabian Nights is another one that's a big hit with my wife, and pretty much anyone else I introduce it to. I'd highly recommend it if you love the storytelling from Arkham Horror. I'm not sure how easy it is to get a hold of these days though. A good substitute for this is Agents of Smersh. I haven't played it myself, though I've heard it has a more streamlined Arkham Horror-feel to it, and the storytelling is still there.

If you want some good co-op games and don't mind that they're card games, I would highly recommend both Sentinels of the Multiverse and Lord of the Rings: The Living Card Game. My wife doesn't really enjoy either, but I suppose you have to be a fan of the themes. Sentinels is a lighter but fun game while LOTR is something you can really sink a lot of time into, if that's your thing.

Hope these help
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My best advice would be to not worrying about getting TOO into it. It's sort of a broken hobby in many ways (imho).

Too many similar games these days with little to differentiate themselves. Not enough human players with actual time available to play games (big problem for board gaming). Having to figure out rules for several games and then remembering them well enough to be able to pull some random game out a few years later and still know how to play it on a moment's notice (ugh). Storage and maintenance issues. And then there's the issue that (especially) Euro games grow fairly routine right away and even predictable, while the deeper Euros are stupidly over-complicated in a desperate effort to fend off predictability.

It's just kind of a mess, imho. Your best bet is to find 2-4 good games that have some sort of built-in variability that makes them less prone to predictability and/or boredom (CCGs, LCGs, games like Settlers of Cataan where the board is always different, etc..these are all good choices). And make sure that you have guaranteed friends to game with, otherwise all those board game are just so much wasted space.

That's another reason why I found myself driven the other way, back towards my beloved videogames - they address many of my key issues with board gaming.
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We didn't care for 7 Wonders with 2, but we enjoy it with 4.

If you found Pandemic too simple and obvious, likely you will feel the same way about Ticket to Ride.

I second Elder Sign for a somewhat shorter game. We enjoy it with 2.

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Eclipse is a great game. It's a bit more intensive than Arkham Horror, but in a different way. It has resource management built in, so the number of actions you take a turn isn't limited outside of your own choice and your economy (if you take in more money, you can afford to do more stuff a turn, but it starts costing a lot more). It's a pretty good balance system, and I quite enjoy it. It's not a short game, though, (a bit longer than box playtime)... I'd shoot for 45 min per player once you all know what you're doing (it's not a 12 hour epic or anything, unless you are really prone to analysis paralysis).

I like Pandemic, but I can see how the choices tend to be a bit "obvious", though the expansion really adds a lot to the game (though it probably won't change your opinion of it if you don't care for it).

I quite like Race for the Galaxy, with the expansions. There's a lot of variability in it, and it's a great deal of fun. Plus there are a ton of different strategies to try out, all depending on your starting world and hand. Because it's driven by iconography, it can be offputting to non-gamers though (your wife might not enjoy it, though she might...).

Mage Knight Board Game is a great game, though I feel it plays better solitaire than with others (only because it adds a great deal of playtime, it's a long game solitaire, but veerrryy good).

I'm also a huge fan of Agricola. The theme is kind of uninteresting, but there's a lot going on in the game, and the cards keep the gameplay from getting stale and predictable.

 
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wytefang wrote:
My best advice would be to not worrying about getting TOO into it. It's sort of a broken hobby in many ways (imho).

Too many similar games these days with little to differentiate themselves. Not enough human players with actual time available to play games (big problem for board gaming). Having to figure out rules for several games and then remembering them well enough to be able to pull some random game out a few years later and still know how to play it on a moment's notice (ugh). Storage and maintenance issues. And then there's the issue that (especially) Euro games grow fairly routine right away and even predictable, while the deeper Euros are stupidly over-complicated in a desperate effort to fend off predictability.

It's just kind of a mess, imho. Your best bet is to find 2-4 good games that have some sort of built-in variability that makes them less prone to predictability and/or boredom (CCGs, LCGs, games like Settlers of Cataan where the board is always different, etc..these are all good choices). And make sure that you have guaranteed friends to game with, otherwise all those board game are just so much wasted space.

That's another reason why I found myself driven the other way, back towards my beloved videogames - they address many of my key issues with board gaming.


I agree that a lot of games may be redundant but one can easily say the same thing about video games. How many Call of Duty clones or games come out in that series? I think the value is inherent to the individuals personal enjoyment. As long as one doesn't get sucked into the "collecting" aspect and actually playes their games then one could easily have a modest collections of well rounded 15-25 games that are all unique and varying.

My problem with video games is the lack of interaction with other people and the fact they demand so much of your time otherwise if I don't play for a while I forget where I was at or how the controls work. I also got sucked into thinking I had to have the latest and greatest or all the good "insert theme or type" games. Same things happen with board games, or any hobby for that matter.
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I hear ya, Thomas. Video games have their share of issues - though you can easily find people to interact with online for multiplayer fun. But like any interactive hobby, you just have to be selective to find a good, polite, fun group.

While videogaming has its genres, I find that there is a better variety of genre and genre-altering blends in videogaming compared to board gaming right now. Zombie theme, anyone? Yikes! Worker placement, anyone?!

In fairness to board gaming, it's still growing and improving, so hopefully as it matures as a hobby, it will start providing a better variety of genre and games.

I think we differ on what might be a reasonable amount of board games to own and manage. I'd say that 4-10 is the top number someone could own and expect to get played regularly while still (mostly) remembering their rules. Any more and some games will tend to just sit there, forever unplayed. I think the secret is, in fact, to not get foolishly caught up in board game collecting (especially board games) but to focus in on a few key games that provide genuine replayability and guaranteed fun and play those games a bunch, when possible.
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My "Must-Haves"

Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization - May be too heavy for you at this time. I had someone teach it to me, I could not imagine learning it from the rules. Perhaps watch some videos that describe how it's played? Plays great with 2!

Agricola - Buy this damned game. The theme is dull but the gameplay is intense and satisfying as hell. One of the most perfect Euros ever made, because on top of everything else it's fun! Plays great 2-5. Heck, some even like it solitaire (never tried it by myself)

Clash of Cultures - Another Civilization game by the same designer as Merchants and Marauders. Plays great 2-4, about 60 minutes per player. The best part is, this may be the most accessible full-fledged civilization game ever made. The rules are straightforward and easy to learn

Puzzle Strike (Third Edition) (and/or Puzzle Strike Shadows) - Lots of folks will probably recommend you buy Dominion. 95% of them never played the latest edition of Puzzle Strike and therefore are missing out on the greatest deckbuilder out there. Also, I hate anime yet still love this game.

The Castles of Burgundy - by Stefan Feld. Feld is one of the most respected euro designers of all time and this game is arguably his best. Again, a boring theme and not great looking components, but the gameplay shines.

Innovation - A civilization-themed cardgame with endless replayability. There are two expansions out: ignore them. Just get the base game, it rocks. Best with 2 players

Hive - Chess in 20 minutes. The pocket edition is the one to buy, IMO

And that's not even going into the solitaire games I own and want
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wytefang wrote:

While videogaming has its genres, I find that there is a better variety of genre and genre-altering blends in videogaming compared to board gaming right now. Zombie theme, anyone? Yikes! Worker placement, anyone?!


I actually got out of video gaming because I felt this way about it. Every game wants to be Call of Duty anymore. That or have zombies tacked on in some way. Plus with the market suffering, companies are rushing out games that are too much like other games, or are so filled with bugs that they're not even worth playing.

You could say that board games have fallen into the same trend, but I would argue that I would much rather have 10 board games than 10 video games that I could go to when I felt like playing something. There may be a bunch of worker placement, deck-building, etc. games out there, but if you come on here and do your research, you can make sure you're getting something you really want. And you don't have to have the right console to play certain games either.

I think what it comes down to is that video games are more of a business whereas board games are seen as a labor of love. People who create board games aren't doing it for the money, they're doing it because they enjoy it. I feel like video game designers have lost their way in that respect, but I do hope that someday we can see some games that can stand the test of time like we saw in the 90's
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The indie videogame market is fantastic, nowadays.

Also, I'm finding games like Company of Heroes (first one), Total War (Empire with Darth Mod), Civilization, and looking into Crusader Kings II are giving me plenty of boardgame-like gaming goodness, without the setup and tear down of a solitaire game (how I'm mostly gaming nowadays)
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Moe45673 wrote:
The indie videogame market is fantastic, nowadays.


I'm sorry, but it seems like 90% of indie games are platformers, and there again lies a problem. And I didn't understand the hype behind Journey at all. Then again I own a PS3 and not a 360, which seems to be the central hub for all the great indie games, so maybe I'm missing out...

Moe45673 wrote:
Also, I'm finding games like Company of Heroes (first one), Total War (Empire with Darth Mod), Civilization, and looking into Crusader Kings II are giving me plenty of boardgame-like gaming goodness, without the setup and tear down of a solitaire game (how I'm mostly gaming nowadays)


True, but those are computer games. I'm mainly talking about console gaming. If I still had a working computer, I would play Civilization constantly. It's in my top two or three games of all time. I'm just saying that console gaming is heading downhill fast because everyone just wants mindless shoot-fests, and it gets old when most games that come out are the same thing over and over again. Getting a PC again is something I'd really like to do though, because those games you mentioned are all ones I'd like to try (haven't tried Civ V yet, but I played IV constantly).
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Might be a problem... What about Civilization Revolution? It's enjoyable enough, but might be too light for a Civ veteran like yourself.

Also, plenty of indie games play well on not-great computers. Frozen Synapse (fantastic), Spacechem (fantastic), Revenge of the Titans (fantastic), Atom Zombie Smasher (Fantastic), etc etc. Lots of these games play like boardgames.
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newkillerstar27 wrote:
wytefang wrote:

While videogaming has its genres, I find that there is a better variety of genre and genre-altering blends in videogaming compared to board gaming right now. Zombie theme, anyone? Yikes! Worker placement, anyone?!


I actually got out of video gaming because I felt this way about it. Every game wants to be Call of Duty anymore. That or have zombies tacked on in some way. Plus with the market suffering, companies are rushing out games that are too much like other games, or are so filled with bugs that they're not even worth playing.

You could say that board games have fallen into the same trend, but I would argue that I would much rather have 10 board games than 10 video games that I could go to when I felt like playing something. There may be a bunch of worker placement, deck-building, etc. games out there, but if you come on here and do your research, you can make sure you're getting something you really want. And you don't have to have the right console to play certain games either.

I think what it comes down to is that video games are more of a business whereas board games are seen as a labor of love. People who create board games aren't doing it for the money, they're doing it because they enjoy it. I feel like video game designers have lost their way in that respect, but I do hope that someday we can see some games that can stand the test of time like we saw in the 90's


I love board games and video games equally and obsessively think a out my favorite ones quite literally EVERY second of every day. I also spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about what games are out there that I haven't played yet, and am constantly searching for that wonderful new gaming experience. I can't wait for the next MMO that can keep my full attention. I can't wait for the next Minecraft-type experience that offers all the things I found to be lacking for me in Minecraft. I can't wait for the next board/ card game that gets me thinking in exciting and new creative ways. I csnt wait for the next gsme that gets me socializing and helps to build strong new friendships. I can't wait for the next game that I get so involved in that I can actually compete with it on a tournament level. I can't wait for me to finally design a game that I can actually share with and offer to the world.

It saddens me that the video game industry is hurting. That gsming experiences are becoming too familiar and uninteresting. Big companies release to much buggy content. Console porting to PC is mostly horrible. Things like DRM, "always online", overpriced DLCs, half-finished products, and cash shops are mostly horrible. Needing to own ALL consoles to be able to play the 1 or 2 great new exclusive games is horrible. The Kickstarters you looked forward to, but failed are horrible (board timing, too).

Board gaming has its own fair share of problems. The friend that got too upset at a bad beat or play and ended up ruining the night. The rule that got missed two turns ago and is now breaking the game because its too late to really go back and fix it. The game you personally love but noone in your area ever wants to play so it just sits there on your shelf so every once in a while you take it to bed with you to cuddle with at night so you can maybe have some awesome dreams about it.. (Wait, you've never done that??! Oh, uh. Just kidding. Lol!) but seriously, everyone once in a while you take it off the shelf to look through those awesome components and read the rules you already know just to feel like you might get to play it some day soon. EDIT: and then you visit the BGG forum for the game to see if there are people that play it, but then you see they live absolutely NOWHERE near you and more often than not are in a completely different country than you. Lol...

Whatever you decide, OP. I wish you well on your journey and may you have many great new experiences!!!
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Moe45673 wrote:
What about Civilization Revolution?


Yeah...wasn't as great as playing the PC version, unfortunately. Hoping to pick up the Civilization game from Fantasy Flight soon, and maybe that can hold me over until I get a computer again
 
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newkillerstar27 wrote:
Moe45673 wrote:
What about Civilization Revolution?


Yeah...wasn't as great as playing the PC version, unfortunately. Hoping to pick up the Civilization game from Fantasy Flight soon, and maybe that can hold me over until I get a computer again


Look at Clash of Cultures
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slammers wrote:
Thanks for quick reply's. I actually downloaded the ticket to ride app to see if I would like the game, and can probably beat the computer in 5 - 10 mins. Its seems okay, probably will skip on the physical game.


Just a side note and not a part of the main discussion: The different computer players have different strategies/ways-of-playing, so that might add a bit of bite to the digital version of the game. Also, playing against more than one computer opponent at a time can also add difficulty.

Just offering those observations in case you hadn't tried them yet.

(I've only played the digital version of Ticket to Ride, never the physical version. But it does seem to me that the digital version would be sufficient for you.)
 
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Agricola.
 
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slammers wrote:
I decided to try some co-op next up so brought Arkham Horror and Pandemic.
Arkham is great, I've started a couple of solo games, and last night played first proper game - 3 hours with a friend. Got bored before finishing it but it was a bunch of fun regardless.
Pandemic seems OK, very easy to learn, but doesn't seem to be much strategy. It's always pretty obvious what the best move for each player is each turn and the theme is not really my thing. I can't see Pandemic being busted out too much.


And now for a reply to the main question.

I'd recommend you check out Ghost Stories. To me, it feels like the 3 hours worth of tension of Arkham Horror condensed into less than an hour. As for next moves being obvious, helpful strategies definitely develop over time, but you might need to change your plan at any given moment due to a bad dice roll or the appearance of a particular ghost.

There is a fair amount of chance involved, but (1) part of the game is learning to work with that, and (2) if you had fun with Arkham Horror and all the chance involved there, I'm guessing you won't mind Ghost Stories on that front.

There is quite a learning curve, but checking out the Rules discussion threads here on BGG can be very helpful.

EDIT: You might also want to check out Yggdrasil for another coop option. I've not played it, but a lot of people do enjoy it.
 
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LunarSoundDesign wrote:
newkillerstar27 wrote:
Moe45673 wrote:
What about Civilization Revolution?


Yeah...wasn't as great as playing the PC version, unfortunately. Hoping to pick up the Civilization game from Fantasy Flight soon, and maybe that can hold me over until I get a computer again


Look at Clash of Cultures


Thanks for pointing this one out to me, I haven't heard of it before I was almost certain someone was going to chime in about how Through the Ages is better, lol. I'll have to research it a bit because I'm not a big fan of Merchants and Marauders, but this does look promising.
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Welcome!

If you got bored with Takenoko and Pandemic pretty quickly, then you would probably not find Jamaica or Ticket to Ride very interesting for very long. I can't speak for the 2P variant of 7 Wonders, but I'd take the collective advice of my fellow geeks. Eclipse is pretty good, I hear, but I don't know about 2P or how it compares to AH.

As far as 2P games go, do look into Summoner Wars or Mage Wars. Also, check out Twilight Struggle or 1960: The Making of the President.

+1 to Jaipur and Hive for short 2P games.

For a good "combat" game look at Cyclades or Kemet.

Another game I think you might enjoy is Chicago Express.
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