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Subject: Need a new game, help! rss

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Drake Storm
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I'm looking to buy a few new board games and am having a hard time figuring out what to buy.

I'm looking for 3 types of games:

1.) 2 player game for long time gamers.
Not looking for a game like Squad Leader (too involved and complicated as I recall), nor games like Go, Chess, or Magic the Gathering (which are great games, but if one player is alot better than the other than it isn't much fun for the better player). I'm thinking on the level of Axis and Allies (some strategy, some luck) or preferrably slightly more complicated/skill involved. Playing time about 1-3 hours.

2.) 2 player game for non-hard core gamers (i.e. game should be fairly easy to explain). Should have some feature that will give the non gamer a chance to beat the gamer (say 25-35% of the time) whether that feature be luck/randomness like die rolling, it doesn't matter. Don't want a completely random game though. Difficulty/Strategy level should be on par with Acquire (too bad Acquire is a sucky 2 player game) and probably slightly less than Axis and Allies. Playing time 1-3 hours.

3.) 3-6 player game for cut throat gamers.
Ideally something that plays in 4-5 hours, but shorter games are alright too (since that seems to be the trend). Game needs strategic depth and have few if any flaws (our play group will find them, exploit them, and determine the game is dumb - assuming some modifications can't be made to correct the problems). Has to have a 'fun' factor too! Favorite game is Age of Renassiance (with a bunch of home brewed modifications to it). Also like the concept of Twilight Imperium, but the game had problems and we didn't feel like making the many adjustments needed to make the game better, faster, balanced, etc.

Of the European Style Games, I'd say the best is Euphrates & Tigris, then Puerto Rico and Princes of Florence. I don't like Settlers of Catan! My problem with the European games is they all seem to end just when you are about to follow through on some strategy you planned earlier in the game.

So any suggestions? And if so, what category does it fall in 1, 2, or 3. Hopefully something that I can get from a retailer and not an out of print game I have to dredge up on e-bay.

Right now I'm looking at: Lost Cities, Torres, DVONN, Memoir'44, Ticket to Ride, Roborally, Vegas Showdown, Colossal Arena, Powergrid (but seems just like Medieval Merchant), and Capitol (though can't find it in stock anywhere).

Going to try to list as many games as I can think of that I already own or have access to. Probably gonna be long with spelling mistakes..lol.

Advanced Civilization
Acquire
Age of Renassaince
Axis and Allies
Diplomacy
Risk
Titan
Aladdin's Dragon
Andromeda
Attika
El Grande
Empire Builder
Euphrates & Tigris
Medici
Modern Art
Naval Battles
Puerto Rico
Settlers of Catan
A Game of Thrones
Age of Mythology
Civiliation Boardgame
Evo
Formula De
I'm the Boss
Serenissima
Tikal
Twilight Imperium
Wildlife Game
War of the Ring
Princes of Florance
Ra
Taj Mahal
Traders of Genoa
Manifest Destiny
Mideval Merchant
Nuclear War

 
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Dustin Miller
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I would recommend Carcassonne, Lost Cities, Memoir'44, Ticket to Ride, San Juan, St. Petersburg, Candamir, and Alhambra. You can't go wrong with any of these games. They're a few of my favorites and they all play well with 2 players. Check them out and if you have any questions about them feel free to ask.
 
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Michel Condoroussis
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Hello,
Ok, so here is my opinion:

1.) Two players is often a problem if you don't want to play Go/Chess type games (btw, Yinsh and Gipf are amazing if you are willing to try them, 20 minutes only though, back to your question). El Grande is great, but like many games, just because it says 2 can play, does not mean it is very good at two. Puerto Rico can be played at two, again still better at three, just get the variant from this site. Better again, like stated above Memoir'44, Ticket to Ride, San Juan and St. Petersburg. Best of all, I would go with Goa, amazing at 2-4.

2.) This one, I would go with Ticket to Ride, a good game for non-gamers, takes about one hour to play. Louis XIV is also very good, but a little more for gamers and Torres is great, but again tilted towards gamers.

3.) With your time constraint, wanting to play a long time and the games you have listed (Twighlight), you may want to check out Conquest of the Empire (never played it myself, but hear good things) also, maybe Descent if you like dungeon master type games. Personally, I would play (more of a Puerto Rico, Goa player myself) the following: Caylus, El Grande and Princes of Florence. But these are the Euro games you mentioned, that may end early.

Finally, here is, from your list, games that are amazing in my opinion (so you can see that we may have different tastes):


Torres
DVONN
Ticket to Ride
El Grande
Euphrates & Tigris
Modern Art
Puerto Rico
Settlers of Catan
Princes of Florence
Ra
Traders of Genoa

Michel, aka Pezpimp
 
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Mike Daneman
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Quote:
1.) 2 player game for long time gamers.
Not looking for a game like Squad Leader (too involved and complicated as I recall), nor games like Go, Chess, or Magic the Gathering (which are great games, but if one player is alot better than the other than it isn't much fun for the better player). I'm thinking on the level of Axis and Allies (some strategy, some luck) or preferrably slightly more complicated/skill involved. Playing time about 1-3 hours.


From what you're describing for this one, I would recommend War of the Ring hands down. Is has shades of Axis & Allies, but is a bit more complex and involving, incorporates the theme really well, and is by far best with 2.

Quote:

2.) 2 player game for non-hard core gamers (i.e. game should be fairly easy to explain). Should have some feature that will give the non gamer a chance to beat the gamer (say 25-35% of the time) whether that feature be luck/randomness like die rolling, it doesn't matter. Don't want a completely random game though. Difficulty/Strategy level should be on par with Acquire (too bad Acquire is a sucky 2 player game) and probably slightly less than Axis and Allies. Playing time 1-3 hours.

Carcassone is great for this category. Also, my wife and I like Odin's Ravens as a quick and light but fun game.

Quote:

3.) 3-6 player game for cut throat gamers.
Ideally something that plays in 4-5 hours, but shorter games are alright too (since that seems to be the trend). Game needs strategic depth and have few if any flaws (our play group will find them, exploit them, and determine the game is dumb - assuming some modifications can't be made to correct the problems). Has to have a 'fun' factor too! Favorite game is Age of Renassiance (with a bunch of home brewed modifications to it). Also like the concept of Twilight Imperium, but the game had problems and we didn't feel like making the many adjustments needed to make the game better, faster, balanced, etc.

Lots of games in this category: El Grande, Domaine (max. 4), Starfarers of Catan, Amun Re (one of my favorites, best wtih 5 players), Vinci.
 
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jbrier
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I think Caylus fits the bill for both requirements #1 and #3. Unfortunately it is unavailable at this moment but the reprint will be available soon. With 2 players it will run a little over an hour and with 4-5 it will run a little over 2 hours. It is definitely a Euro game, but it has an added level of interactivity and with more than 2 players diplomacy) that is lacking from other Euro favorites like PR and PoF.

Bonaparte at Marengo is a game I think would fit requirement #1. It is technically a war game but it has a relatively simple and elegant ruleset and doesn't have any luck beyond stratego-like hidden strengths and the initial placement of a couple units. It is a 2 hour game
 
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Stephen Sekela
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Sounds like you folks have a very diverse interest in games, and I think that's fantastic!

There were several that I would have suggested, but it seems you have those already.

Here are a few more that might be worth looking into:

Star Wars - The Queen's Gambit. This is a PERFECT catagory 2 game for you, and could even fit into catagory 1.

Heroes Incorporated. A great catagory 2 game.

Nexus Ops. Possible Catagory 3. Although play time is shorter than what you're looking for, this game can be VERY cut throat, and is a lot of fun. I've only played a few times, though, so I don't know if it's got flaws...

Monsters Menace America. A possible bastard hybrid of your Catagory 2 and Catagory 3 gaming criteria. In my opinion, the game CAN be played on a deeper level than it appears...

Blood Feud New York City. I haven't played this yet, but I'm planning on getting it in the very near future (a little present to me when I get my income tax refund...) We're usually into sci-fi or fantasy themes, but this game looks great! Probably a good Catagory 3 game (but shorter than the 4-5 hours you're looking for).

Battleball. GREAT Catagory 2 game, if you're looking for some beer and pretzels, sports-themed fun! (I don't care much for sports, but this game is FUN!)

Assault on Hoth. Catagory 2. This breaks your rule of still being in print. You can find it on ebay from time to time, but it could get expensive. It's an old game and the components aren't that great (by today's standards), but this is the MOST TOTALLY AWESOME head-to-head Star Wars action game. Oh yeah, it also is WAY luck dependent. Had to add it in here, though, just to pay it hommage...

Conquest of the Empire. I don't have the new version (not out of protest or anything, it's more of a funding issue...), but I am a
big fan of the original. Between the classic rules and the added game facets I've read about, this could be a good Catagory 1 or 3 choice.

Hope this helps. Good luck with the game hunting!
 
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Philip Thomas
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I would recommend Twilight Struggle for Category 1. It is more complex than Axis and Allies, but its still acessible and had plenty of depth and interest (both for gamers and amateur historians).

For Category 2 I have had some success with Lord of the Rings:The Confrontation. The Stratego principle is easy enough, and the special rules are all written on the cards/pieces. Note the Deluxe edition has just come out, you may want to get that rather than the basic set. (It contains the basic set).

Category 3 I recommend Mare Nostrum+Mythology Expansion. Play using the long game variant from the expansion, to get up to your preferred duration (or with my Longest Sea Variant from the forums if you really want to be there for hours and hours). The original is a bit unbalanced but the expansion fixes most of that. It is important everybody pays attention to everyone else though, otherwise someone can sneak a quick victory past you.


 
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nate ben-porat
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Quote:
2.) 2 player game for non-hard core gamers (i.e. game should be fairly easy to explain). Should have some feature that will give the non gamer a chance to beat the gamer (say 25-35% of the time) whether that feature be luck/randomness like die rolling, it doesn't matter. Don't want a completely random game though. Difficulty/Strategy level should be on par with Acquire (too bad Acquire is a sucky 2 player game) and probably slightly less than Axis and Allies. Playing time 1-3 hours.


i think Nexus Ops will fit good here.
 
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Leo Zappa
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I believe the following would fit your criteria...

Cat 1: A House Divided (Phalanx version) - US Civil War, point to point movement.

Cat 2: Axis and Allies D-Day - 2 to 3 player (2 best) - just covers D-Day and breakout. Changes some of the old A&A rules. Shorter playing time than standard A&A.

Cat 3: Conquest of the Empire (Eagle version) - Roman civil war - Eagle version fixes original's broken battle system. 2 - 6 players. Simple rules allow players to concentrate on strategy and diplomacy.
 
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Drake Storm
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Thanks for the replies! Of course now my decision is even harder - instead of looking at a few hundred dollars of games, I'm looking at over 700!!

I should have made category #2 more clear - basically a game for non-gamers. People were suggesting stuff that I thought was really more category #1.

My list started as:
Axis & Allies
Capitol
Colossal Arena
DVONN
Euphrates & Tigris Card Game
Lost Cities
Memoir'44
Power Grid
RoboRally
Ticket to Ride
Torres
Vegas Showdown
World of Warcraft:Boardgame

Added from your suggestions:
Alhambra
Amun Re
Candamir
Carcassone
Caylus
Conquest of the Empire
Goa
Loius XIV
Mare Nostrum
Nexus Op
Odin's Ravens
St. Petersburg
San Juan
Twilight Struggle

Capitol, Caylus and Goa seem to be out of stock for now so that narrows it down a bit.

I knocked off San Juan and Euphrates & Tigris Card Game, since I can just play Puerto Rico and Euphrates & Tigris Board Game.

I axed Amun Re and St. Petersburg since I read that it has similar mechanics to Vegas Showdown and I kinda like the Gambling theme.

I'm hesitant to get Conquest of the Empire because Eagle Games alway seem decent and nice looking, but have fatal flaws in the actual game. But since it is just a reprint with revised rules, maybe it would be worth getting. Especially since I seem to be lacking category 3 games.

Skipping Candamir merely on the fact that it is related to or based on Settlers of Catan which I don't think is a very good game (with expansions it is better, but I still would rather play a different game). Plus it has a lower rating on this site than all the other games on my list. So should I still consider this game?

Alhambra feels like it is just another Euro-game. Not sure what its selling point is over other games, but seems popular since it has expansions. Why would I play it over something like Purto Rico, Taj Mahal, Euphrates & Tigirs, Attika, etc.??

Mare Nostrum seems like it would fit my category 3 requirements, but looking at the pictures (I know, not a great way to pick a game), the board seems so dull! My friend played the game once and said it had promise, but recalls it suffered from the ability to King Maker too easily. Add in a lower rating than the other games and it gets left behind for now. Of course I'm still hesitant since my favoite game, Age of Renassaince, has a fairly low rating on this site, so I really can't go by just that.

Power Grid - like I said, it seems like a slighty more complicated version of Medieval Merchant which our play group liked at first, but now we never play it. So I'm wondering if Power Grid has something to it that would take it over the edge and be more replayable for our play group.

I like the idea behind the World of Warcraft Boardgame (or similar games), but from reviews I'm worried about downtime and little interaction between players. Seems like a different type of game than I'm used to playing, but for how expensive it is, I could get 2 other games instead!

So for Category #1 I'm leaning toward:
1.) Axis & Allies - I know there are better games out there, but I have fond memories of the game when I was younger, so gonna buy just to have it.
2.) Memoir'44 - This seems like the right level of complexity I'm looking for in this category.
3.) Twilight Struggle - looks interesting and not too complicated.

For Category #2:
1.) Ticket to Ride - complexity looks about right, but does it play ok with 2 players?
2.) Odin's Ravens - sounds like the type of game that fits in this category.
3.) Lost Cities - I can't tell the complexity, but it looks simple from the pictures..lol. Either way it fits category 1 or 2.
4.) Roborally - seems like mindless fun.

For Category #3:
1.) Vegas Showdown - reminds me of Princes of Florance from the description, but hopefully it has something interesting to add, otherwise I should just stick to playing Princes of Florence.

Not sure what category they fit:
1.) DVONN
2.) Torres



 
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Michel Condoroussis
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My opinion on the games you are left with

So for Category #1 I'm leaning toward:
1.) Axis & Allies - I am a fan, but it is long. Best when there is one player for each country.
2.) Memoir'44 - Plays best at two. Not as complex as Axis.
3.) Twilight Struggle - no idea.

For Category #2:
1.) Ticket to Ride - Amazing game, simple to explain, fun, strategy, plays great at 2, 3, 4 and 5
2.) Odin's Ravens - no idea
3.) Lost Cities - Hear great things from most people, on my to buy list.
4.) Roborally - mindless fun is right. better with more people on a small board.

For Category #3:
1.) Vegas Showdown - no idea.

Not sure what category they fit:
1.) DVONN - great 2 play, 20 minute, abstract strategy game. Chess like, but much shorter, the whole Gipf series is great
2.) Torres - good at 2 - 4, a bunch of variants in the instructions depending on how much strategy you want. Worth the purchase. About 1 hour to play

Good luck on your decision. Let us know how it turns out.

Michel, aka Pezpimp
 
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RJJ Zwiers
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I'm also an Age of Renaissance addict, and I can totally relate to your category #3 games. I like my games to take a little longer than the standard 90 minutes as well, and 4-hour-games are no problem at all.

Some games I will recommend:

Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage (cat 1, but OOP)
18xx (cat 3, I only playe 1856 once, but liked it!)
Princes of the Renaissance (cat 3. My second best game, takes about 3 hours)
Struggle of Empires (cat 3, also a favorite)
Antiquity (cat 3, but a totally different game than anything you played before. Might be hard to get and will be expensive.)
Die Macher (cat 3, I was surprised nobody suggested this. Clocks in at about 3-4 hours)

BTW: If you ever find a game with the same game experience as Age of Renaissance, let me know. I tried Manifest Destiny, but it didn't live up to the expectations! I am wondering if there will be a game like Age of Renaissance
 
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Drake Storm
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more choices...

Princes of the Renaissance seems out of stock too so I can wait on that choice, BUT

which is a better buy - Struggle of Empires or Conquest of the Empire II (given that Age of Renaissance is my favorite game, and like Advanced Civ, Twilight Imperium, etc.). I'm leaning toward SoE, but don't have a specific reason why.
 
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Ed
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I'd say Torres is Category 2, except luck factor is close to zero. New players can learn the game easily, but experienced gamers will be rewarded for superior tactics. If you like the action point allowance system in Tikal, you'll feel right at home with Torres (same designers).

I adore Power Grid -- this is a solid Category 3 game that plays in about 2 hours that rewards superior strategy. Several strategic variables at work in this game. Unforgiving -- if you make bad choices, you will get killed. Just wonderful.
 
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Drake Storm
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Well I decided on my first round of games and we will see how it goes.

Category 1:
Memoir'44
Twilight Struggle

Category 2:
Buy Word
Lost Cities
Odin's Ravens

Category 3:
Age of Steam (should I have gotten Railroad Tycoon??)
Vegas Showdown

No Category:
Colossal Arena
RoboRally

Games I would have gotten, but were either out of stock for now or out of print:
Capitol (OOP)
Caylus (OOS)
Goa (OOS)
Struggle of Empires (OOS) (should I be looking at Conquest of the Empire II instead??)
Princes of the Renaissance (OOP?, OOS)

Games I wanted, but cut at the last minute:
Torres
DVONN (and others in the series)
Axis & Allies
Mare Nostrum

Finally games people recommended and looked good, but my friend said weren't great so I didn't get:
Power Grid
Ticket to Ride
 
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