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Awesome: '[EAST] Tabletop and Board Game Recommendations?' by Nullzone

NullzoneNullzone Registered User regular
edited February 2012 in [2008-2012] Awesome Posts?
This comes up often in my circles...I should probably boilerplate a recommendation list. No better time than the present...

I've never picked up a card or die before in my life
Ticket To Ride
Carcassonne
Mille Bornes
No Thanks
Bazaar
Blokus
Zombie Dice
Cthulhu Dice
Dixit

These are all very simple to learn and provide a lot of fun and replay value without dealing with too much abstract concept or creating too many diverging strategies to play from.


I've played Monopoly or Uno
Settlers of Catan
Citadels
Dominion
Lost Cities
Bang!
Fluxx
Munchkin
Risk*
Forbidden Island
TransAmerica

These games have more depth, but the strategies diverge, the rules are a bit more procedural, and the concept starts to become more abstract. Still high fun and replay values though, and if you're already acclimated to playing any variety at all of card or board game, you shouldn't have much trouble learning these.


I love <insert game here, probably from the list above> but want more
Ascension
Pandemic
Power Grid
Puerto Rico
Agricola
Quarriors
Thurn and Taxis
7 Wonders

These games are either high abstraction, lots of decision making, or create a potentially intimidating experience for a new player, either due to game difficulty or the way the players interact. I don't recommend them for first timers but they're all a lot of fun, and if you've played any of the games further up on the list then you should have no problem getting into these.


One question I always ask anytime someone wants recommendations though: What is your favorite game (that you've played, of course) and what did you like about it? With that information I can usually point toward one or two dead ringers that can hit the high notes that you enjoyed from what you've already experienced.

Posts

  • CaedwyrCaedwyr Registered User regular
    This is a very useful list.

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  • RiemannLivesRiemannLives Registered User regular
    Munchkin is a terrible game and should never be recomended to anyone. And that goes even more so for Fluxx.

    To the last list I would add the brand new Ora & Labora (from the designer of Agricola / Le Havre).

    Kingsburg and Formula D would be a good addition to the first list. Race for the Galaxy or the extremely excellent Caylus for the last one.

    Also Ascension is a much lighter, more casual friendly (but much less deep) game than dominion. Might want to flip those two.

  • NullzoneNullzone Registered User regular
    We'll have to agree to disagree on Munchkin and Fluxx. They're not as compelling as some of the others in terms of competition and strategy, but that doesn't make them poor choices. I've taught Fluxx to probably 30 people, and played with many more than that; the only ones who didn't like it were the ones who were all "I have to WIN" which I think kind of misses the point.

    I am loathe to recommend RftG on any newbie list. Once people get more in-depth, they're welcome to seek it out, but there is an enormous cognitive burden with that game. I haven't played some of the others you mention so I can't comment on them. :(

    Ascension is harder to learn, even if easier to play. It also involves a lot more cognitive effort as your options every turn change drastically, often even in the middle of the turn. I'm not really concerned with whether a newbie can play the game well; just that they can fully grok what they're doing as they play. Dominion is a much deeper rabbit hole but is extremely approachable on the surface, because everything you can do is up front on the card with very little in the way of conditional effects.

  • CanadianWolverineCanadianWolverine Registered User regular
    Munchkin is a terrible game and should never be recomended to anyone. And that goes even more so for Fluxx.

    To the last list I would add the brand new Ora & Labora (from the designer of Agricola / Le Havre).

    Kingsburg and Formula D would be a good addition to the first list. Race for the Galaxy or the extremely excellent Caylus for the last one.

    Also Ascension is a much lighter, more casual friendly (but much less deep) game than dominion. Might want to flip those two.

    Damn it, this is supposed to be about how a post is awesome and it is awesome - then you come in here shitting on it. Right off the bat, I know you are on some sort of only your opinion matters trip because you couldn't be more wrong about Munchkin.

    Anyways... Nullzone, have you played the Talisman, Betrayal at House on the Hill, Order of the Stick and Zombies! games? My guess is that end up in your last list, because I have had far more success with Munchkin as a fun experience for people who pretty much never play board games.

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  • NullzoneNullzone Registered User regular
    I've played all of those except OotS, but I wouldn't put them on a beginner's list. Talisman is a very long form game, Betrayal requires a lot of maintenance, and Zombies is just not enough of a good game on its own merits to recommend to someone starting out.

    I put Munchkin in the middle category because the very concept of it may be hard for some people to grasp; explore/kill monsters/get loot/level up is elementary to people who have played adventure games, but escapes those who have not. Odds are good that if you've at least played some form of game before then you'll have a much better chance at fully grasping what's going on. I realize that on this forum they probably have played enough games of some sort to get it, but I wanted to recycle the post elsewhere so I tried to keep it contextually neutral and focused on the real beginners.

  • ThroThro Registered User regular
    *This is now where that asterisk leads.
    Munchkin is a terrible game and should never be recomended to anyone.
    What? Do you hate fun or something?

  • ToxTox I kill threads Pharezon's human garbage heapRegistered User regular
    Hey folks? This isn't a debate forum, so, can we not do this here?

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  • admanbadmanb the bored genie Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Tox wrote:
    Hey folks? This isn't a debate forum, so, can we not do this here?

    It's kind of the inevitable result of marking a nerd opinion piece as Awesome.

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  • ThroThro Registered User regular
    admanb wrote:
    Tox wrote:
    Hey folks? This isn't a debate forum, so, can we not do this here?

    It's kind of the inevitable result of marking a nerd opinion piece as Awesome.
    I will agree that it is Awesome and a good list though!

  • LexiconGrrlLexiconGrrl Registered User regular
    admanb wrote:
    It's kind of the inevitable result of marking a nerd opinion piece as Awesome.

    I wouldn't consider it a nerd opinion piece. Nothing in the post says that these are the greatest games, it's just a game list with an explanation of how hard or easy they are, and why. People are so hung up on their own favorites that they don't necessarily notice that right away. Nerds? Contentious? Never!

    The debate actually illustrates that perfectly. He hasn't compiled a list of his favorite games, he's organized a list of games into intelligent categories so players can pick their own favorites and it's super useful.

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