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Subject: 1 semi-experienced gamer, 2 to 4 newbies (library building) rss

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Shane B
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I am a semi-experienced euro/deeper American gamer. Through high school I played a lot of Avalon Hill games and Euro games, such as Acquire, Settlers (with expansions), Tikal, Civilization, 1842, etc. I also have played Ticket To Ride, Carcassones, Bohnanza, Princes of Florence, and a few others. I haven't played games regularly for about 5 years, however.

I have a regular card game gambling night with a group of friends, and I'd like to start playing some board games again with some who are interested. I think I could get between 3-5 people involved. I'd simultaneously like to build my library of the essentials/classics, and get games that are enjoyable for intelligent gaming newbies.

I'm initially leaning towards what I consider the Big Three: Settlers, Tigris + Euphrates, and Puerto Rico. Although it sounds as if Caylus is quickly replacing PR as the game of choice in that style. I'd like to get different "types" of games - tile laying, civilization expansion/resource production, maybe a good card game, perhaps even a good dungeon-crawler in the Heroquest/Descent/etc style.

I'd like to have games that don't take more than a few hours for 4 people to play, to avoid boredom of newbies who may not really appreciate the deep strategy that some of these games can have. I'd like to have games that are fun to play even if you don't know exactly why certain people are winning, but allow for strategy development over time.

Other games that seem to be popular in general with different levels of gamers that I am eyeballing: Ticket To Ride, Carcassones.

Thanks for any advice.
 
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Ryan Olson
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Re: 1 semi-experienced gamer, 2 to 4 newbies (library buildi
Tigris & Euphrates is not a good idea for newbies. I haven't played either, but I doubt Caylus or Puerto Rico are either (I may be wrong).

You'll get alot of suggestions, but of the games you mentioned, Carc & TTR are both pretty good for newbies.

Lots of card games should be great for newbies. I would suggest Poison or Category 5, but there are lots of other good ones. Maybe something like San Juan would work for the PR type game.

Look at the Days of Wonder games. They tend to be very easy to learn, and are good looking games too.

Don't try to rush the newbies into something they aren't ready for. Start a little slower, and break out some of the bigger games (T&E and Caylus) after you hook them.
 
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Shane B
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Re: 1 semi-experienced gamer, 2 to 4 newbies (library buildi
How is Power Grid for newbs? It seems kind of Ticket-To-Ride'y, but I like the aesthetics more. It also seems like it could be a bit deeper.
 
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David Tolin
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Re: 1 semi-experienced gamer, 2 to 4 newbies (library buildi
Yollege wrote:
Tigris & Euphrates is not a good idea for newbies.


I disagree. T&E was the second game our group bought--when we were *all* newbies--and some of us really liked it. It's not a difficult game to teach and newbies don't feel especially swamped with choices, initially. Of course, the deep strategy wasn't evident for a while, and newbies will be slaughtered by an experienced player, but it has a straightforward turn structure and strikes most new gamers as really elegant and approachable.

That said, I *do* agree that Carcassonne and TtR would be good choices for people with absolutely no predisposition towards games.
 
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David Tolin
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Re: 1 semi-experienced gamer, 2 to 4 newbies (library buildi
telix wrote:
How is Power Grid for newbs? It seems kind of Ticket-To-Ride'y, but I like the aesthetics more. It also seems like it could be a bit deeper.


Power Grid and TtR are completely different from one another. I've never had a hard time teaching PG to interested gamers, but it's a lot more complex than TtR. It's deeper, more strategic, and far more satisfying. TtR is quick fun, but Power Grid is a really great game.

I would certainly go with Power Grid over Caylus or Puerto Rico, which you've mentioned above. It's easier to teach to newbies, and it has a more accessible theme, I think.
 
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Shane B
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Re: 1 semi-experienced gamer, 2 to 4 newbies (library buildi
So if I were to buy, say, two games right now to simultaneous build a library of "classics" and get my friends into deeper games, would Carcassones and Power Grid be excellent choices?
 
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Trenton
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Re: 1 semi-experienced gamer, 2 to 4 newbies (library buildi
To throw a monkey-wrench into your plans, think about Railroad Tycoon. It has gone over very well with everyone I have introduced it to. The last time I played, it took nearly 3 hours including a rules explanation. The game plays very well from 2-6 players.
 
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Have faith
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telix wrote:
So if I were to buy, say, two games right now to simultaneous build a library of "classics" and get my friends into deeper games, would Carcassones and Power Grid be excellent choices?

It all depends on your newbies. On one end of the spectrum, you have people who like mental challenge and are excited about starting to play boardgames. Most any game would work with this kind.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have people who don't like much mental challenge and aren't necessarily very excited about boardgames. For this group, lighter games like Carc and TtR would be better.

Where are your newbies on this spectrum?


Power Grid is lighter than Tigris and Euphrates but heavier than Ticket to Ride. It is a great game, but in general a little too much for most newbies I would say.

Caracassone is a good choice for a lighter newbie game. Try the Carcasonne: Hunters and Gatheres or Ark of the Covenant versions. Both are a little less confusing - no farmers.
 
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Ryan Olson
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Re: 1 semi-experienced gamer, 2 to 4 newbies (library buildi
DavidT wrote:
Yollege wrote:
Tigris & Euphrates is not a good idea for newbies.


I disagree. T&E was the second game our group bought--when we were *all* newbies--and some of us really liked it.



The "some" part of your statement means it may not work either though.

I do like that somebody asked what type of newbies we are dealing with here. That might make a big difference.

Being a newbie to T&E (but not to games) I felt like I had no idea what i was supposed to be doing. I liked the game, but felt confused. But I was expecting that from reading about the game here on BGG. If your newbies are fine with that, then feel free to try T&E. I wasn't putting the game down in any way.

I'm also new to Power Grid, and I felt I had a strategy for it, not that it was a good one, but it was easier to see what I could do to get to where i wanted to go. but this was only a 2 player game. i am sure with more it gets more difficult, but the strategies seemed more obvious to me.

 
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Have faith
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Light/Medium "classics":

Ticket to Ride
Memoir '44
Samurai
Alhambra
St. Petersburg
San Juan
Carcassonne
Carcassonne - Hunters and Gatherers
Modern Art
Through the Desert
Settlers of Catan
Citadels
For Sale
Blokus
Modern Art
Attika
RoboRally
Power Grid
Ra
Samurai


Medium/Heavy "classics":

Age of Steam
Tigris and Euphrates
Puerto Rico


[Edited - added Samurai - excellent game]
 
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Eddy Bee
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I've hosted a weekly game night for many years, made up of both gamers and total non-gamers. In terms of introducing folks to the hobby, the following games have been very successful in my experience:

- TransAmerica
- Pick Picknick
- Carcassonne
- 6 Nimmt!
- Ticket to Ride
- Shadows Over Camelot
- I'm the Boss (only if folks like to negotiate)
- Settlers of Catan
- Diamant
- Bohnanza

Initially, I would steer clear of heavy thinking games, like Tigris & Euphrates, Tikal, or Power Grid. The most important thing for people new to board games is to have fun and feel competent. Once they get comfortable with the idea of playing board games, you can nudge them into deeper waters.
 
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Have faith
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Eddy Bee wrote:
I've hosted a weekly game night for many years, made up of both gamers and total non-gamers. In terms of introducing folks to the hobby, the following games have been very successful in my experience:

- TransAmerica
- Pick Picknick
- Carcassonne
- 6 Nimmt!
- Ticket to Ride
- Shadows Over Camelot
- I'm the Boss (only if folks like to negotiate)
- Settlers of Catan
- Diamant
- Bohnanza

Initially, I would steer clear of heavy thinking games, like Tigris & Euphrates, Tikal, or Power Grid. The most important thing for people new to board games is to have fun and feel competent. Once they get comfortable with the idea of playing board games, you can nudge them into deeper waters.
I agree with everything you said.
 
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Angus the Bull
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Ther are some excellent suggestions above. A quick scan of the provided lists did not turn up RK's Samurai, which I think is a fine choice for any game group or collection.

Happy Gaming!
 
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Clark Rodeffer
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Re: 1 semi-experienced gamer, 2 to 4 newbies (library buildi
telix wrote:
I have a regular card game gambling night with a group of friends, and I'd like to start playing some board games again with some who are interested. I think I could get between 3-5 people involved. I'd simultaneously like to build my library of the essentials/classics, and get games that are enjoyable for intelligent gaming newbies.
For your criteria, I would recommend the following games (and my picks for optimum numbers of players):

Alhambra (3)
Bang! (5-6)
Bohnanza (5)
Bootleggers (6)
Crokinole (4)
San Juan (4)
Through the Desert (3-5)
Vanished Planet (3-4)
Zendo (4-6)

Clark
 
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Nancy Williams
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I'm pretty new to the gaming--only been doing it for three years--and here are a few that I've really liked. I've also found the rules simple to understand and game-play smooth. Generally playing with three or four people; five is not a number I've played with much and so I can't be sure how these scale.

--Ticket to Ride. I prefer Europe to the original board, but not by that much.

--Ingenious is my favorite abstract. Only plays with up to four, though.

--San Juan is pretty nifty and can be picked up for less than $20, usually. It may also ease the transition into Puerto Rico I hope your group makes; the various roles and some of the terminology are directly translatable.

--Alhambra is of my favorite game type, city building. Now, Princes of Florence is my favorite game of the type, but Alhambra's pretty close behind. I've taught it to my mother with no trouble and there's enough weight to it for it to keep you entertained while not burying the new folks.

I hope all have fun (thereby giving you the justification to add more and more to your library)!
 
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Snooze Fest
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Re: 1 semi-experienced gamer, 2 to 4 newbies (library buildi
You have a lot of good suggestions above! Here are some of mine, by type:

- Abstract: Through the Desert?
- Adventure: Runebound
- Area-influence: China or El Grande (Conquest of the Empire may work here, too - at least, Struggle of Empires does)
- Auction: Ra
- Cooperative: Shadows Over Camelot
- Exploration: Entdecker
- Filler: For Sale, Pick Picknick
- Negotiation: Settlers, Bohnanza
- Resource management: Caylus?
- Trading: Traders of Genoa
- Trains: Ticket to Ride Europe
- Wargame-ish: Conquest of the Empire (I haven't actually played the current Eagle version, but it has 2 rule sets: from what I remember, the original rules are pretty straightforward; the Struggle-of-Empires-based rules are also present for when your group of newbies is looking for something a lot deeper)
 
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Jeff Coon
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Re: 1 semi-experienced gamer, 2 to 4 newbies (library buildi
I started slowly introducing euros to some guys at work. One night we wound up with 5 players and I had no choice but to pull out El Grande. I was worried it would be too much for them, but they all liked it and have asked for it again on a couple of occasions.

Citadels was also a lot of fun when we had 6 players, although make sure you don't have any "turn-agnsty" players, or it can really bog down.
 
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Robert .
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Re: 1 semi-experienced gamer, 2 to 4 newbies (library buildi
Der Untergang von Pompeji
Dog's Life, A
Gang of Four
Geschenkt
Igel Ärgern
Katzenjammer Blues
Phoenix
Turn The Tide
Diamant
Guillotine
Lost Cities
Oh Pharaoh
Razzia (Dorra)
 
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Phyll
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I don't have an extensive library, and am myself in the slow process of building it into something worthy of putting in a glass cabinet with sexy lighting, but apart from what you've already identified in Carcassone(s) and TtR (which I think would be must's), from the games I've played I have to agree with a couple of others and say ninjaSamuraininja. I'd also give serious consideration to Citadels. And then Through the Desert.

 
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Robert .
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Re: 1 semi-experienced gamer, 2 to 4 newbies (library buildi
I wouldn't even consider Carcassonne and TTR to be remotely "Musts" in a library.. So much out there that is better.
 
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phil v
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Re: 1 semi-experienced gamer, 2 to 4 newbies (library buildi
It seems like the situation is taylor-made for a specific game: RA.

1 - 2-4 players + you = 3-5 = # of players for RA
2 - other players are gaming newbies and need something simpler, like RA
3 - other players gamble and play cards, quite like 'building hands' in RA
4 - what's a classic game, ranked in the top 20?: RA

RA RA RA RA!!!!
 
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Shane B
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Re: 1 semi-experienced gamer, 2 to 4 newbies (library buildi
Kobra1 wrote:
I wouldn't even consider Carcassonne and TTR to be remotely "Musts" in a library.. So much out there that is better.


I'm all for hearing what they are! With all the suggestions for both games, I would think they are considered musts.
 
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Shane B
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Re: 1 semi-experienced gamer, 2 to 4 newbies (library buildi
I'm about to do a giant order from Thought Hammer, someone stop me if I am choosing games too close in mechanics, or better versions of similar games exist!

Settlers of Catan
Carcassonne
San Juan
Ticket To Ride
Through The Desert
Ra

Thanks for the help so far!
 
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Re: 1 semi-experienced gamer, 2 to 4 newbies (library buildi
That sounds like a pretty solid order to me. I note that earlier cull recommended Carcassonne Hunters and Gatherers, and I'd second that recommendation. The game was originally recommended to me instead of plan Carcassonne because the scoring was easier and it didn't need any expansions. I haven't played regular Carcassonne, so I can't make a fair comparison, but Hunters and Gatherers is definitely a great game all by itself, and is very easy to pick up and play.
 
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telix wrote:

Settlers of Catan
Carcassonne
San Juan
Ticket To Ride
Through The Desert
Ra


That's a good list! You might consider:
1. Settlers expansion, if you will be playing 5-player games.
2. Ark of the Covenant instead of Carcassone. I think it is one of the best stand-alone versions of the game. Others here prefer Carcassone: the City.
3. Ticket to Ride Europe. It adds only a few new rules but I think it's a better game. Of course, the next version (Marklin, I think) is coming soon.
 
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