Need board game recommendations

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Xmann
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Need board game recommendations

Post by Xmann » Fri Nov 18, 2016 6:55 pm

Been scanning this forum and I'm needing some specific board ideas.

Playing will be myself, the wife, and my 14 year old son. Game length doesn't really matter. 30 minutes or 2-3 hours doesn't matter. We'll probably play 2-3 nights a week.

On a whim, I bought The Walking Dead Risk last week and after a few games, none of us really like it. For one, we are all really competitive and it loses its fun when we are all trying so hard to beat each other... especially me and my son. The game just doesn't click with any of us.

So I was thinking about something more cooperative. I enjoy strategy and taking time to learn. But there is so much out there, I don't know where to start.

Zombicied? Robinson Crusoe? Scythe? Food Chain Magnate?

I know some of those aren't co-op, I'm just looking for suggestions. Maybe narrow it down to 2 or 3 ideas.

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Re: Need board game recommendations

Post by Blackhawk » Fri Nov 18, 2016 6:58 pm

When my kids were younger, we played mostly cooperative games (although we never played 'kids' games.) My recommendations would be:

~Pandemic
~Star Trek Panic (I've only played once, but liked it a lot better than Castle Panic)
~Mice & Mystics
~Temple of Elemental Evil (the best of the D&D Adventures series board games.)
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Re: Need board game recommendations

Post by gilraen » Fri Nov 18, 2016 7:18 pm

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Re: Need board game recommendations

Post by Anonymous Bosch » Fri Nov 18, 2016 7:21 pm

Indisputably Pandemic Legacy: Season 1. It has the top overall ranking on BoardGameGeek for very good reason. Avoid all spoilers, just tear off the cellophane and dive in, and I guarantee you'll be in for a fantastic gaming experience.

I'd also thoroughly recommend XCOM: The Board Game, and T.I.M.E Stories, both of which are wonderfully thematic co-op games.

All of these games are almost effortless to learn (XCOM does require a free tablet, smartphone or PC app to play, but that includes an excellent tutorial that walks everyone through how to play). If you enjoy any of the aforementioned games, I'd suggest waiting for First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet, which is built on the core of Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island. Last I heard/read, it'll be out sometime next year.
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Re: Need board game recommendations

Post by Blackhawk » Fri Nov 18, 2016 8:00 pm

Anonymous Bosch wrote:Indisputably Pandemic Legacy: Season 1. It has the top overall ranking on BoardGameGeek for very good reason. Avoid all spoilers, just tear off the cellophane and dive in, and I guarantee you'll be in for a fantastic gaming experience.
You've also piqued my curiosity. I see both Red and Blue. Which witch is which?
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Re: Need board game recommendations

Post by Isgrimnur » Fri Nov 18, 2016 8:02 pm

There is no difference, it's merely a way to keep two running campaigns separate.
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Re: Need board game recommendations

Post by Xmann » Fri Nov 18, 2016 8:34 pm

Anonymous Bosch wrote:Indisputably Pandemic Legacy: Season 1. It has the top overall ranking on BoardGameGeek for very good reason. Avoid all spoilers, just tear off the cellophane and dive in, and I guarantee you'll be in for a fantastic gaming experience.

I'd also thoroughly recommend XCOM: The Board Game, and T.I.M.E Stories, both of which are wonderfully thematic co-op games.

All of these games are almost effortless to learn (XCOM does require a free tablet, smartphone or PC app to play, but that includes an excellent tutorial that walks everyone through how to play). If you enjoy any of the aforementioned games, I'd suggest waiting for First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet, which is built on the core of Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island. Last I heard/read, it'll be out sometime next year.
How about Robinson Crusoe?

We've been browsing games and watching YouTube videos and she likes the premise.

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Re: Need board game recommendations

Post by Isgrimnur » Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:01 pm

Obligatory Letters from Whitechapel recommendation.

One person played Jack, the others control a team of five investigators attempting to track him down.
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Re: Need board game recommendations

Post by hepcat » Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:05 pm

I would hold on the Robinson Crusoe until the new edition comes out soon. The original, while great, does have some issues with the rulebook.

I would suggest starting out with the "gateway" games and working your way up once you find out what kind of gamers you and your family are. Pandemic (the vanilla version...you can get it at Target even), Settlers of Catan, Forbidden Island, and maybe Dominion. They're easy to learn and you'll get a feel for what works and what doesn't for you folks.
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Re: Need board game recommendations

Post by Anonymous Bosch » Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:44 pm

Xmann wrote:How about Robinson Crusoe?

We've been browsing games and watching YouTube videos and she likes the premise.
I still think Pandemic Legacy would be a much better option.

Hepcat raises a valid point, too. I suggested holding off for First Martians, which is a reimplementation of the Robinson Crusoe game with more of a hard sci-fi theme, thinking it may hold more appeal for your son. But even if your wife prefers the theme of the latter, it would likely behoove you to at least hold off until the new edition of Robinson Crusoe is released. But I'd still prioritise Pandemic Legacy ahead of all else; I promise you, it really is that good. But all the games I mentioned serve as effective gateway games, IMHO.
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Re: Need board game recommendations

Post by hepcat » Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:49 pm

After a couple of days of gaming, go ahead and get Advanced Squad Leader. :twisted:
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Re: Need board game recommendations

Post by Xmann » Fri Nov 18, 2016 10:06 pm

Got it.

Pandemic it is.

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Re: Need board game recommendations

Post by Blackhawk » Fri Nov 18, 2016 10:11 pm

hepcat wrote:I would hold on the Robinson Crusoe until the new edition comes out soon. The original, while great, does have some issues with the rulebook.

I would suggest starting out with the "gateway" games and working your way up once you find out what kind of gamers you and your family are. Pandemic (the vanilla version...you can get it at Target even), Settlers of Catan, Forbidden Island, and maybe Dominion. They're easy to learn and you'll get a feel for what works and what doesn't for you folks.
Good suggestions, although Dominion is very competitive, and often backstabby-cutthroat (although it is one of my favorites.)
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Re: Need board game recommendations

Post by Isgrimnur » Fri Nov 18, 2016 10:28 pm

If Dominion causes conflict, stay away from Nightfall.
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Re: Need board game recommendations

Post by Anonymous Bosch » Fri Nov 18, 2016 11:35 pm

hepcat wrote:After a couple of days of gaming, go ahead and get Advanced Squad Leader. :twisted:
Hepcat's knotted-knickers aside, Pandemic Legacy is not even remotely analogous to ASL -- the Weight/Complexity ratings on BGG bear this out: the original Pandemic has a Weight/Complexity rating of 2.43 (their Weight/Complexity scale ranges from 1 to 5, and lower ratings translate to easier-to-learn games with less complexity), while Pandemic Legacy has a slightly higher rating of 2.8, reflecting its additional bells and whistles that play out much like mini-expansions.

Even if you have never, ever played the original Pandemic, you can easily jump into Pandemic Legacy and play "vanilla" many times over if necessary (the manual even contains specific guidance on doing this), prior to stickering the board or making any permanent changes to the game. Rest assured, Pandemic Legacy in the initial "vanilla" mode is very nearly identical to traditional Pandemic. I speak from experience, and have actually played the game with complete newbs; I can only assume Hepcat has not, if he's implying it's in any way comparable to the complexity of ASL.

Anyway, here's a great spoiler-free review of Pandemic Legacy courtesy of Shut Up & Sit Down.

EDIT: I just realised I may've mistakenly read too much into Hepcat's earlier reply mentioning ASL. If that wasn't intended as a snarky response for my recommendation of Pandemic Legacy, I do apologise.
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Re: Need board game recommendations

Post by Lordnine » Sat Nov 19, 2016 12:27 am

Competitive with high conflict
Blood Rage – This game is all about conflict but it never feels vindictive because attacking is always beneficial. Also, it is possible to lose every fight and still win the game; in fact it’s one of the more reliable strategies.

Competitive with low conflict
Scythe – A great game if you like more of a complex thinker. You can probably think of this best as a competitive puzzle. You CAN go to war with your neighbors but more of the game is spent optimizing your infrastructure than fighting battles.

Terra Mistica – This might be a good alternative to Scythe. It is quite different but has a very similar feel. Both of these are a bit on the heavy side, FYI.

Caverna – Build a dwarf empire, raise some animals and crops, and mine some rubies. You are technically competing for actions but this is a pretty mellow game.


Semi Cooperative

Dead of Winter – This game offers up a good mix of cooperation and paranoia. There is a chance that one of your party is a traitor but you have to work together or everyone loses. Picking out the traitor can be difficult because everyone has a secret goal to accomplish in order to win. I think this game is best with 4 people but I have had good luck with 3 players games as well.

Cooperative
Mechs vs Minions – This has only just come out but having now played 4 missions, I have to say it’s a winner. Super high production values for the price and a fun cooperative experience that is almost impossible to alpha gamer your way through. Only downside to this one is I think it will have limited replayability.

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Re: Need board game recommendations

Post by Chrisoc13 » Sat Nov 19, 2016 6:47 am

I agree with the pandemic legacy recommendation. Robinson Crusoe is a very good game but... I would pass based on what you stated you wanted. Plus pandemic legacy is just more fun.

Xcom was mentioned at some point- great game but incredibly tense. It is not relaxing at all. I'm stressed out the whole time I'm playing it.

I don't love time stories, doesn't feel like a game to me but rather an activity.

For some nice short competitive games I would look at the data of wonder line. Five tribes especially.

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Re: Need board game recommendations

Post by hepcat » Sat Nov 19, 2016 8:26 am

Isgrimnur wrote:If Dominion causes conflict, stay away from Nightfall.

:lol:
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Re: Need board game recommendations

Post by hepcat » Sat Nov 19, 2016 8:31 am

Anonymous Bosch wrote:
hepcat wrote:After a couple of days of gaming, go ahead and get Advanced Squad Leader. :twisted:
Hepcat's knotted-knickers aside, Pandemic Legacy is not even remotely analogous to ASL
My reply had absolutely nothing to do with your recommendation whatsoever. It was just a joke about what is considered one of the hardest games around being introduced to new board gamers. We have had our differences in the past in other sections of OO, so I can understand your misinterpretation though.
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Re: Need board game recommendations

Post by Smoove_B » Sat Nov 19, 2016 10:47 am

I'm going to go against the grain and suggest Forbidden Island, mainly because it's a low-cost, low-time coop strategy game.If you like playing this game (and more importantly, like the idea of playing these types of games with your family and they feel the same),then the world opens up to much more detailed (and expensive) games. It's not that Pandemic isn't a fun game, it just might be too much - it's hard to say and when other family members are involved, I always like to set the initial bar much, much lower.

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Re: Need board game recommendations

Post by hentzau » Sat Nov 19, 2016 2:04 pm

I'm going to throw in for Pandemic: Legacy as well. One of the best gaming experiences I've ever had.

And, despite the controversy and cost, I'm going to throw Shadows of Brimstone out there too. It's a great thematic co-op dungeon crawl set in the old west. Still a favorite game in spite of the messed up kickstarter.
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Re: Need board game recommendations

Post by Anonymous Bosch » Sat Nov 19, 2016 2:59 pm

hepcat wrote:
Anonymous Bosch wrote:
hepcat wrote:After a couple of days of gaming, go ahead and get Advanced Squad Leader. :twisted:
Hepcat's knotted-knickers aside, Pandemic Legacy is not even remotely analogous to ASL
My reply had absolutely nothing to do with your recommendation whatsoever. It was just a joke about what is considered one of the hardest games around being introduced to new board gamers. We have had our differences in the past in other sections of OO, so I can understand your misinterpretation though.
Yeah, that's what I suspected upon further reflection (hence my edit). Rest assured, I certainly don't harbour any grudges for any prior disagreements we may have had; mea culpa!
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Re: Need board game recommendations

Post by TheMix » Sat Nov 19, 2016 4:06 pm

hentzau wrote:And, despite the controversy and cost, I'm going to throw Shadows of Brimstone out there too. It's a great thematic co-op dungeon crawl set in the old west. Still a favorite game in spite of the messed up kickstarter.
If you just go with the base game, the cost isn't too bad. I've seen it on sale a number of times already (I think it made one of the recent Amazon sales). If you watch, you can probably grab it for <$75.
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Re: Need board game recommendations

Post by Smoove_B » Sat Nov 19, 2016 4:08 pm

I'm not sure I would recommend Shadows of Brimstone to someone new to board gaming unless I was willing to assemble (at a minimum) and then paint the minis for them. :wink: It is a fun game, though I can also see it getting really old if you play it all the time. The combat engine is rather...simplistic.

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Re: Need board game recommendations

Post by hentzau » Sat Nov 19, 2016 4:18 pm

Smoove_B wrote:I'm not sure I would recommend Shadows of Brimstone to someone new to board gaming unless I was willing to assemble (at a minimum) and then paint the minis for them. :wink: It is a fun game, though I can also see it getting really old if you play it all the time. The combat engine is rather...simplistic.
Eh. Assembling isn't too rough. Matter of fact, I'm putting some figs together right now. But yeah, "some assembly required". That's why he has a 14 year old kid.
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Re: Need board game recommendations

Post by Smoove_B » Sat Nov 19, 2016 4:20 pm

We clearly have different skills as I'd list the Brimstone figures as the most difficult miniatures I've ever assembled. I'm absolutely not an expert but I found them to be extremely difficult. I think if they could open the box and start playing, it might be great, but there's going to be some advanced preparation.

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Re: Need board game recommendations

Post by Xmann » Sat Nov 19, 2016 4:41 pm

Just bought the OG Pandemic from Walmart Mart (along with a nice craft beer 6 pack, although that wasn't from Wal)

Giving it a go tonight. I was tempted to buy Ticket to Ride as well. But I stuck with Pandemic for now.

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Re: Need board game recommendations

Post by hepcat » Sat Nov 19, 2016 6:10 pm

Yeah, some of the shadows of brimstone minis were an exercise in frustration to assemble.

By the way, the expansions add a decent amount of depth to the admittedly simplistic combat mechanics found in the base game. I just put the latest expansion on my Amazon wish list for the holidays as it adds a cover system for gunfights...or should I say FUNfights!

...yeah, I'll keep my day job.
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Re: Need board game recommendations

Post by Chrisoc13 » Sat Nov 19, 2016 6:10 pm

Xmann wrote:Just bought the OG Pandemic from Walmart Mart (along with a nice craft beer 6 pack, although that wasn't from Wal)

Giving it a go tonight. I was tempted to buy Ticket to Ride as well. But I stuck with Pandemic for now.

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Awesome! I love some pandemic. Pandemic legacy is one of my favorite gaming experiences of all time but the original pandemic is one of my favorite cooperatives.

Ticket to ride is an excellent choice in the future. I would recommend getting Europe though not the united states (the plain base game is America). Or if you do get the base game pick up the expansion so you can get normal sized cards. The original base game comes with tiny Trump sized cards. Ticket to ride is easy to teach, fun to play, and somehow doesn't get old for me. The ticket to rise series is one of the most played games in my collection. It's popular for a reason. So yeah that's a great next game. It's competitive without being mean spirited.

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Re: Need board game recommendations

Post by Anonymous Bosch » Sat Nov 19, 2016 9:13 pm

Chrisoc13 wrote:
Xmann wrote:Just bought the OG Pandemic from Walmart Mart (along with a nice craft beer 6 pack, although that wasn't from Wal)

Giving it a go tonight. I was tempted to buy Ticket to Ride as well. But I stuck with Pandemic for now.

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Awesome! I love some pandemic. Pandemic legacy is one of my favorite gaming experiences of all time but the original pandemic is one of my favorite cooperatives.

Ticket to ride is an excellent choice in the future. I would recommend getting Europe though not the united states (the plain base game is America). Or if you do get the base game pick up the expansion so you can get normal sized cards. The original base game comes with tiny Trump sized cards. Ticket to ride is easy to teach, fun to play, and somehow doesn't get old for me. The ticket to rise series is one of the most played games in my collection. It's popular for a reason. So yeah that's a great next game. It's competitive without being mean spirited.
Coincidentally, Amazon is currently offering Ticket to Ride: Europe for an all-time low price of $23.09.
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Re: Need board game recommendations

Post by gilraen » Sat Nov 19, 2016 9:29 pm

Oooh...I'm all over that :D

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Re: Need board game recommendations

Post by Xmann » Sat Nov 19, 2016 10:38 pm

gilraen wrote:
Oooh...I'm all over that :D
Is Ticket to Ride cooperative?

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Re: Need board game recommendations

Post by Xmann » Sat Nov 19, 2016 10:44 pm

We just finished our first Pandemic playthrough!

Love love loved it! This is exactly the type of game we were looking for!

Taking a break and then going back at it.

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Re: Need board game recommendations

Post by Isgrimnur » Sat Nov 19, 2016 10:46 pm

Xmann wrote:
gilraen wrote:
Oooh...I'm all over that :D
Is Ticket to Ride cooperative?
No.
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Re: Need board game recommendations

Post by hepcat » Sat Nov 19, 2016 10:59 pm

Xmann wrote:We just finished our first Pandemic playthrough!

Love love loved it! This is exactly the type of game we were looking for!

Taking a break and then going back at it.
Excellent! Welcome aboard the gaming wagon. :wink:
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Re: Need board game recommendations

Post by Xmann » Sun Nov 20, 2016 12:18 am

Question, is there a set amount of time you guys use between moves?

Sort of like a shot clock.

I would think there might be a time limit on making moves. Keeps the game flowing and the intensity of making a move without taking extensive amounts of time.

Anyone have any suggestions?

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Re: Need board game recommendations

Post by Isgrimnur » Sun Nov 20, 2016 12:19 am

It's all about coordinating. Putting a time limit on Pandemic would make a difficult game even harder.
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Re: Need board game recommendations

Post by Anonymous Bosch » Sun Nov 20, 2016 1:14 am

Yeah, adding a time limit is likely asking for trouble. Since you're new to modern board gaming, I suggest you always keep in mind the Golden Rule: whatever you do, your priority should always be to ensure that the other people playing the game have a good time. So if that means some additional patience on your part while they're still learning the ropes, that's a small price to pay to keep 'em coming back for more. Turn length will likely improve over time anyway, as their tactics improve and they become more familiar with the interactions of the various roles and such.

Also, co-op games like Pandemic can give rise to "Alpha Players" or "Quarterbacking". That's when one player tends to take the lead, and bosses others around, instructing them how best to play. So don't allow your frustration with the turn length to tempt you down that road, either. Pandemic definitely works best with thoughts and input from all members of the team.
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Re: Need board game recommendations

Post by Xmann » Sun Nov 20, 2016 2:15 am

Thanks for the suggestions.

2 more games of Pandemic and we are 0-3.

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Re: Need board game recommendations

Post by Chrisoc13 » Sun Nov 20, 2016 6:06 am

Xmann wrote:Thanks for the suggestions.

2 more games of Pandemic and we are 0-3.
That's the thing with most cooperatives, everyone loses a lot until you figure the puzzle out, and even then you need a touch of luck to win (generalizing here).

I agree with the thoughts posted above. Especially when it comes to cooperatives my main goal is for everyone to just have a good time, that way I get to game more in the long run.

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