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Subject: Best light game and why or pros/cons rss

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Destrio Dai
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Quick question for you all, as a new user who is interested in playing lighter board games with non-gamers, which would you choose for a 3-4 player game if you had to choose one?

1. Small World
2. King of Tokyo
3. Smash Up
4. (your other idea)

Thanks!
 
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Tony Pullen
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Augustus.
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William Bowers
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I think King of Tokyo would be the best choice of those. I have (or more correctly had,) all three and for me KoT was the easiest to teach and flowed the best. It really shines with more players. I love Smash Up, but the card mechanisms can be confusing to non-gamers. Small world might be fine, but it bored everyone I played it with to tears (hence I no longer own it).
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marc lecours
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I haven't played smash up.

Small world: I find it a bit like puzzle solving. A lot of point counting and maximizing your points. The endgame is about estimating who is in the lead and reducing their score. There are lots of species and abilities which keeps the game variable and fresh. Newbies are at a big disadvantage when playing experienced players. Lots of people really like this game but I don't find it that fun. It is not light enough to be a fun filler game. It is not heavy enough for when I am in the mood for thinking.

King of Tokyo: There is a lot of dice rolling in this game. The winner is mostly decided by luck (there is a little bit of skill). But the game is fun. There are lots of decisions to make. Mostly about whether to push your luck and whether to concentrate on attacking, defending, getting points or buying power cards. The cards with special powers keep the game fresh. There is some player elimination but that usually occurs near the end of the game. This game works with beginners. I like the game but expect the winner to be decided by dice rolls.
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Thomas
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Ticket to Ride

Survive: Escape from Atlantis!

Pandemic
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Matt Brown
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Okemos
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Ticket to Ride: Europe or Hanabi.
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Tom Keaten
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If you're looking to go really quick and really simple - The Resistance. Lurve this game.
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Chris Smith
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Smash Up - Very fun game, and easy to teach to people. I'd read here or there that people can get confused by it but I don't really understand why - The only time I've had someone too confused to play it was a housemate who'd had 3 glasses of wine beforehand =P

Small World - Risky, this is a 50/50 game...Half of people will say it's great and they liked it and the other half will say it's crap and won't want to play any more. Don't say I didn't warn you

+1 Pandemic

Fluxx - Base or a relevant version, I find this goes down well with people as it's nice and simple..Just draw 1 and play 1 (Heh).
 
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Sam Cook
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Love Letter is the game that unites all my friends, gamers and non-gamers alike. It plays best with 4, but 3 is also good. There is some light strategy, luck, and bluffing. Very simple, fast, and portable.


My personal take on the 3 in the OP:

1. Small World
Not a bad choice, but there is a lot of downtime and it gets kind of number crunchy at times. The goofy fantasy theme helps it a lot, if your people would be into it.

2. King of Tokyo
Would really only play with 4 or more. An excellent choice for non gamers.

3. Smash Up
Only played it once, and with more players than the game should have allowed. It was way too much. I could see it being fun for 3-4 players, although make sure everyone would be into the goofy ninja vs pirate vs wizards vs etc theme.
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Adria D
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I'd have to go with Escape: The Curse of the Temple

Everyone's involved, everyone has to do something, and it's pretty easy to teach. Even just the fact that is has dice helps, as it's something non-gamers will generally recognize.

It's always gone over well, and a second play always follows right after the first.
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Destrio Dai
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Thanks everyone, for your input. My casual group would mostly consist of 3 players but may have a 4th once in a while so a 3 player game would be best and therefore sounds like KoT would be out.

Of Catan and 7 Wonders, we actually had the most success with the latter.

It does seem that SW would be too light to have longevity (i.e. Catan) but I still think it was laid out to be simple enough to teach nongamers. Smash Up seems the same but in card format. Themes on both are equally compelling to me.

There seems to be a lot of love for Ticket to ride and pandemic but I'm not a fan of building rail (aka Catan dry theme) and pandemic seems like it could be too difficult for nongamers.

I should also say a heavy math game is a negative for this particular group.

Maybe I should just expand 7 wonders...hmm...
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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If you've had success with 7 Wonders then I think Ticket to Ride is probably too light for your group. They might enjoy it for a few plays, but it's likely to grow old quickly.
 
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Sam Cook
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I wouldn't worry about Pandemic being too difficult for non-gamers. It was one of my first gateway games along with Catan, and I didn't really think it was all that complicated. You can adjust the challenge level on it as well to meet your group's tastes too.
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Pasi Ojala
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Tampere
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Get the Imperial Assault Campaign module for Vassal from http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Star_Wars:_Imperial_Assault
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Do you like player interaction, and guessing what other players are going to do?

If you had fun with 7 Wonders, then maybe you can take a look into something with a little bit more interaction between players: Innovation (deeper, sometimes crazy, direct player interaction) and Core Worlds (drafting troops, conquering worlds and optimizing the use of your resources, indirect interaction). These are not yet "gamer's games", but raise the complexity a bit.
 
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Chris Wood
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A big +1 to Augustus
 
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Liam
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Kasper Lauest
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Personally, I like Small World better, but for non-gamers I would most definitely pick King Of Tokyo.
 
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Kevin Garnica
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Out of the ones you listed KoT. Also:

Tokaido
Cartagena
Forbidden Island
Hey, That's My Fish!
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Jacob Ossar
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KoT would be my pick among the ones you list. I have recently gotten a copy of Pirate Dice: Voyage on the Rolling Seas and have found that non-gamers have really grooved on it. It has a very accessible theme and dice-rolling, but there is enough strategy that things don't feel too random. The game plays pretty quickly, and there are enough variations to try (just get to the treasure vs. return with the treasure vs. cannonball regatta) that it should stay fresh for some time. The main drawback is that it can be tricky for players (kids, say) who have trouble telling right from left.
 
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David B
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I would NOT recommend KoT because I do not like player elimination. Sometimes KoT can drag to 45 minutes to over an hour and that is a bad experience for players eliminated early.

My recommendation is a couple of lighter games with interesting or engaging themes:

Stone Age

or

Ninjato
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Pasi Ojala
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Get the Imperial Assault Campaign module for Vassal from http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Star_Wars:_Imperial_Assault
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pfctsqr wrote:
Sometimes KoT can drag to 44 minutes to over an hour and that is a bad experience for players eliminated early.
If you don't like when the game is played like that, then don't play it like that. Attack, attack, attack! devil
 
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Matt Brown
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matthean wrote:
To clarify why, TtR: Europe is the best version of the higher player count games from the series. I honestly can't think of a safer pick for introducing modern board games to new gamers. Hanabi is actually up for a German award for games best at spreading the hobby. It is a co-op game that has been a hit whenever we have played it. The only downside is people being a little more liberal with hints than I would prefer.
 
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Rabid Schnauzer
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Dixit and Ticket to Ride are my go to games for light into games for non gamers.
 
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zombie homer
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Takenoko

Pros: has a panda in it, perfect for 3-4, interesting theme with excellent components, plays in less than an hour, easy to learn, fun mechanics, and did I mention, there's a panda in it.

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Bill Hartman
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I'm going to recommend Smash Up, if you want a game decided slightly less by luck and more by smart play, but still wrapped in a fun, mostly light game. There is a deceptive amount of strategy there.

Small World is fun, but I dont know about it being all that "light". It's kind of in-between. It's certainly not a brain-burner like Through the Ages or something, but it can be a lot for newcomers/non-gamers to take in at first (at least that's been my experience).

I'm not a big fan of King of Tokyo, so can't really recommend it. If you like making monster noises and rolling big chunky dice around, I guess it's "fun". Don't expect a lot of strategy, and depending on players it can either be over fast, or just feel like a chore (to me and my wife, at least). My wife (a mostly non-gamer) won't touch King of Tokyo, but plays Smash Up on occasion and likes it.

A game that is kind of in the light-medium range, is Seasons. If you want a game with a great synergy between dice and cards (I don't feel King of Tokyo pulls that off well at all), with enough strategy to keep games fresh and interesting, you can't go wrong with Seasons IMO. That's been a HUGE hit with gamer friends and the family.

Ticket to Ride: Europe is always a hit. Haven't played that with anyone yet who disliked it.

Another one to check out, is Red Dragon Inn. I just got Red Dragon Inn 1 and 3, and had a BLAST playing it. It's a pretty simple card game (especially the first 2 releases, RDI3 adds an additional deck/mechanic that is a little more to follow, but still nowhere near "complex" or complicated). Red Dragon Inn has to be the most fun I've had from a simple, light card game. Even the wife plays it.
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