The Big Board-Gaming Catch-All

Gravey wrote:

San Juan and Lost Cities showed up on almost every list, so they should be the front runners.

If you've got an iOS device, there are good ports of both of these available. Makes for a nice cheap way to test them out. Lost Cities is iPhone only, but it works on the iPad in 2x mode really well.

MonoCheli wrote:
1Dgaf wrote:

I'd be a bit wary about Forbidden Island depending on how often you'll play it. I've had it for a while; I bought it as a gateway game. It's decent enough and there are some nice discussions to be had about plans, but I've never quite felt it had enough meat to entertain me in the long run.

I would highly recommend looking in to the pnp fan expansion from BGG they add a bunch of roles as well as different island layouts that add a bunch more replayability to the game.

Artscow link

My wife and I have enjoyed the added roles and different map layouts quite a bit and they make the game have some nice legs and add difficulty after you get better at the game.

Thanks for the suggestion. Without something like that I could totally see the game running it's course fairly quickly, though I think it would still have value as a quick filler. Are those cards from Artscow reasonably nice (as in worth ordering)?

So...speaking of card games, how do you shuffle?

I ask because I was watching a video of someone playing Lord of the Rings card game with his son. He was trying to show the audience how to play, and he starts off by saying to shuffle the deck. He then proceeds to do a bridge shuffle and I just cringed!!! Even his son said "Don't bend the cards".

When I shuffle I do a rifle shuffle, I only do a bridge shuffle if I'm playing with regular cards ( like Cribbage or Poker, etc. ).

Gunner wrote:

Thanks for the suggestion. Without something like that I could totally see the game running it's course fairly quickly, though I think it would still have value as a quick filler. Are those cards from Artscow reasonably nice (as in worth ordering)?

They are good, I have used them in my print and play games multiple times and they are better then I can make myself for sure. I would suggest getting on their mailing list as they send out coupons bi-weekly and the cards can be pricey to buy at normal prices. I have never bought them at full price I always wait for the right deal.

Cragmyre wrote:

So...speaking of card games, how do you shuffle?

When I shuffle I do a rifle shuffle, I only do a bridge shuffle if I'm playing with regular cards ( like Cribbage or Poker, etc. ).

If it is a game I don't care about then I just shuffle. If I do care about it or if there is inconsistent use across all of the cards (deck builders) I sleeve and just slide the cards together as the sleeves make them fit together nicely.

Cragmyre wrote:

So...speaking of card games, how do you shuffle?

I ask because I was watching a video of someone playing Lord of the Rings card game with his son. He was trying to show the audience how to play, and he starts off by saying to shuffle the deck. He then proceeds to do a bridge shuffle and I just cringed!!! Even his son said "Don't bend the cards".

When I shuffle I do a rifle shuffle, I only do a bridge shuffle if I'm playing with regular cards ( like Cribbage or Poker, etc. ).

I'm a heathen, I almost always bend the cards when shuffling. Then again, I feel like board games should have a lived-in look, like a well-loved paperback.

I don't know how to "properly" shuffle and don't even know what a rifle shuffle is. However, my Resident Evil game has gotten enough use that the cards are already starting to slightly fray at the edges, which has me worried.

Are there perhaps any good tutorials on how to properly shuffle cards without damaging them?

I sleeve pretty much all my game cards and stick to a weave/slide shuffling combination.

MTG habits die hard.

on that topic... anyone ever come across some kind of deck box(or an idea for an easy DIY version) for the smaller card formats?

Chaz wrote:

I'm a heathen, I almost always bend the cards when shuffling. Then again, I feel like board games should have a lived-in look, like a well-loved paperback.

That makes me cringe too LOL - when I see someone reading a book and they fold the corner of the page - ARGH!!

seriously, if it was well-loved, it would be kept as pristine as possible.

id rather buy new games/books than have to re-buy classics I love because they're falling apart.

Cragmyre wrote:
Chaz wrote:

I'm a heathen, I almost always bend the cards when shuffling. Then again, I feel like board games should have a lived-in look, like a well-loved paperback.

That makes me cringe too LOL - when I see someone reading a book and they fold the corner of the page - ARGH!! :shock:

I do that to paperbacks. I do not fold them over though, but I'm not against them getting good, old-fashioned wear and tear.

I have a few hardcover collector's edition kinda books, and those I take very good care of. Everything else is made to be used, and if it's something that's used often, I feel like it should look like it. It's one of the reasons I'm interested in Risk: Legacy, which kind of turns that idea up to 11.

Then again, these days, it's almost unheard of for me to play any single game enough times that it wears out to the point of needing to be replaced.

Chaz wrote:
Cragmyre wrote:
Chaz wrote:

I'm a heathen, I almost always bend the cards when shuffling. Then again, I feel like board games should have a lived-in look, like a well-loved paperback.

That makes me cringe too LOL - when I see someone reading a book and they fold the corner of the page - ARGH!! :shock:

I do that to paperbacks. I do not fold them over though, but I'm not against them getting good, old-fashioned wear and tear.

I have a few hardcover collector's edition kinda books, and those I take very good care of. Everything else is made to be used, and if it's something that's used often, I feel like it should look like it. It's one of the reasons I'm interested in Risk: Legacy, which kind of turns that idea up to 11.

Then again, these days, it's almost unheard of for me to play any single game enough times that it wears out to the point of needing to be replaced.

Started writing my response, then read this one, and realized you nailed it.

Games are designed to be played. If they look like they've been played then good!

GrandmaFunk wrote:

seriously, if it was well-loved, it would be kept as pristine as possible.

id rather buy new games/books than have to re-buy classics I love because they're falling apart.

I hope no one talks about your grandma like that.

Im pretty sure my grandma would appreciate and approve the sentiment of taking the best possible care of her, so as to not have a need to replace her.

I'll give a deck a riffle shuffle at least once a game, I can do it without bending the cards too much. Or I'll just do some overhand shuffling if I want to be quick and the game isn't the type that would lead to a sorted deck. If the game does tend to sort the deck a lot (Lost Cities for example) I might do a pile shuffle as well.

As for preserving my cards, the main issue is that I just really hate handling cards in sleeves. The deck is all puffy and squishy, the cards slide around inside the sleeves, there's the little plastic corners that catch on my fingers, the friction against the table and the other cards is all wrong, etc. This may be my own personal form of anal retentiveness showing, but just thinking about it is making me feel all icky. I've yet to wear a game out to the point where it was an issue, but if it did happen, if I loved playing the game that much I would likely just replace it.

Oops, I mixed up my terms, what is known as a Riffle shuffle, I was calling a bridge, and I was thinking that the Stripping or Overhand shuffle was what I was mistakingly calling a rifle shuffle ( note the one F )

So, usually when I shuffle, I do the stripping version.

Every day I'm riffle shuffling.

I try to do it as gently as possible, three or four times, then some overhand shuffling. To me, it's more important for the game that the cards be randomized, than kept pristine.

My copy of Citadels is "well-loved", but it's probably been shuffled more than all other games' decks of cards have been, combined.

fleabagmatt wrote:
El-Producto wrote:

How reasonable is it to think I can teach and play Battlelore with my 11 year old daughter who has very little strategy gaming experience? She seems keen, and lord knows I can't get anyone else to play.

I wouldn't think that it would be out of the question. I'm not familiar with Battlelore specifically, but Memoir '44 and Battle Cry are pretty straight forward. I would think you could simplify things to make it easier. Remove cards that might cause confusion, that sort of thing.

And if it's any help (though I assume you own BL), I vastly prefer C&C: A, Memoir '44, and Battle Cry to BL. Battle Cry is the most accessible for kids, and then Memoir. I just taught Memoir to an almost six-year-old, a seven-year-old, an eleven-year-old, and a wizened adult, and all seemed to pick it up relatively quickly. But I think your daughter will do great at any of the versions.

DanyBoy wrote:

As for preserving my cards, the main issue is that I just really hate handling cards in sleeves. The deck is all puffy and squishy, the cards slide around inside the sleeves, there's the little plastic corners that catch on my fingers, the friction against the table and the other cards is all wrong, etc. This may be my own personal form of anal retentiveness showing..

Well there are varying levels of quality in card sleeves.. sadly the sharp corners are something I've never found a work-around for, but everything else isn't much of an issue with the better sleeves, imho.

On the "a little wear&tear isn't the end of the world" tip.. to me it's more about peace of mind towards greasy fingers and potential spilled drinks

So played Here I Stand yesterday and had an overall terrible experience overall from a few different things. First off, I ended up my a crushing headache for the last three hours which ruined things a lot. Second, the players for the Hapsburgs, Protestands, Catholics and English all would never plan out their turn during the off time while other people went. That and none of them ever seemed to grasp the rules so after ten minutes of hemming and hawing each impulse they would play a card, get halfway through the action, then realize the card didn't do what they thought it did so would take it back and start hemming and hawing about what to do again. Those things can make a 9 hour game kind frustrating, especially when we only got through 5 turns in 9 hours.

Put me in the "refuse to sleeve" camp.

I get the anal retentive thing-- I had a friend spill his effing beer on top of my Carcassonne set once -- but I always bridge shuffle my cards (Dominion having taken the most use/abuse). For me, I don't play my games enough to justify spending nearly the entire cost of the game itself on buying sleeves. I own every Dominion expansion, a set of Ascension, Thunderstone Advance, 7 Wonders, and a few other card-based games, and the time, effort, and cost it would take to sleeve them all simply isn't worth it. If I play a game enough to wear out a set of cards, I'll just buy a new copy.

Gravey wrote:

Browed a hojillion two-player/card game Geeklists (like the most appropriate She's Asleep! - Games for time poor couples with infant(s)) and came up with this short list of ten light quick two-player card(-ish) games:

Balloon Cup
Battle Line
Biblios
Eminent Domain
En Garde
Jaipur
Jambo
Lost Cities
San Juan
Scarab Lords/Minotaur Lords

Some didn't make the cut cos of theme (me interested, wife probably not: Cold War: CIA vs KGB, Manoeuvre), table space (Camelot Legends), complexity (Glory to Rome, Race for the Galaxy), or not actually being card games (Agricola, Stone Age, Thurn & Taxis).

San Juan and Lost Cities showed up on almost every list, so they should be the front runners. Additional good news there is that San Juan can lead to Race for the Galaxy and Glory to Rome—not that I know much about any of things other than that some of them look much more appealing to me than others (Eminent Domain and En Garde for sure).

In any case, next step is submitting them to the wife for her consideration, and in the meantime of course soliciting comments from you fine folks.

I've played a handful of two-player games on the list--

LOST CITIES is often cited as a consumate "wife/husband/GF/relax-at-the-end-of-the-day" type of game. I've introduced it to at least 3-4 people, and all of them seem to like it. The mechanics are simple enough to understand, and while some people have a problem with scoring, it's really not that big of a deal. I'd say it's worth it. The art on the cards is pretty cool, but it's mostly themeless.

I haven't played it, personally, but many people suggest checking out Knizia's BATTLE LINE as a deeper, more complex version of LC.

JAIPUR is newer to me, and I've introduced it to 2-3 people. It's is a rummy-style game, where you collect similar cards and then "sell" them to earn victory points. At least in my play-throughs, the intensity level is really low... you don't really agonize over your decisions. All the people I have introduced it to understood it well enough, but when given a choice my most recent gaming partner opted to go back to LOST CITIES. It's often sold out, but I think it's worthwhile to have in a collection if you're looking for something light.

SAN JUAN and RACE FOR THE GALAXY both use similar mechanics -- you choose from a group of roles each turn, and then must use only those roles. The person who selects the role gets some sort of bonus. I haven't put any effort into learning SAN JUAN yet, but I spent a few days trying to wrap my head around RFTG... the iconography *IS* daunting, and I never quite figured out how to build a successful enough "engine" to earn points. Only try this if your partner has a lot of patience.

I own a copy of JAMBO, but haven't gotten to it yet.

Another really "hot" game from 2012 is MORELS. The theme might seem a bit weird -- you're walking through the woods looking for mushrooms (which you then fry and eat to gain points) -- but it's gotten mostly rave reviews from anyone on BGG who reviewed it. It's also published by a small, upstart gaming company and ONLY available through their website. The original edition came with really cool components which have been abandoned for the subsequent printings.

Looks like they only have a few "ding and dent" versions available right now, with the next printing not being available until March. Worth keeping an eye on, though.

I did sleeve my Mage Knight cards, and when I get the expansion will sleeve those too. I found that the cards in that game are very cheaply made compared to pretty much any other game I own.

I've only played San Juan once. I found it a bit dry. I prefer RFTG, but maybe that's because of the theme, artwork and familiarity.

A few others off the top of my head--

Have you ever played SUMMONER WARS? More of a miniatures game in card form, but... still. Might qualify. Buying one of the starter sets gives you two decks/armies, and is less than $20.

If you have any experience playing SETTLERS OF CATAN, you should check out the two-player card game version called THE RIVALS FOR CATAN. I haven't yet brought it to the table, but it seems to capture the Settlers flavor while allowing various expansions and "scenarios" to be added. It's also relatively cheap.

SommerMatt wrote:

I haven't played it, personally, but many people suggest checking out Knizia's BATTLE LINE as a deeper, more complex version of LC.

There is definitely more to think about in Battle Line. To us, Lost Cities seemed to be more about waiting as long as possible to start playing cards so the other player doesn't hold on to the good ones you're looking for, then it's a race to draw the right cards and get everything down. Battle Line isn't much more complicated, but it took us a game or two before we knew what we ought to be doing.

Looks like there are a handful of Dominion expansions on the Amazon Gold Box deal for the next few hours.

Battle Line is simply AMAZING! My wife and I have played countless games of it together. Highly recommended.

Speaking of Catan, Starship Catan is the best 2-player Catan system I've played. Surprisingly good, and I think still in print.

If you can find Scarab Lords/Minotaur Lords for cheap, GET THEM! They are Knizia riffing on M:tG, and they are great games. But then, I'm a Kniziaphile.

Personally, I wouldn't play RftG or San Juan 2-player, as there are better options (see above).

Did any of you find Battle Line confusing? I was quite tired when I played it and couldn't get my head around it. I couldn't see what all the fuss was about.

1Dgaf wrote:

Did any of you find Battle Line confusing? I was quite tired when I played it and couldn't get my head around it. I couldn't see what all the fuss was about.

Here's a dirty Euro secret: ALL Knizia games have at least one rule that you cannot wrap your head around. There isn't a game of his where I'm not furiously reviewing the rules before we play, even if I've played the games a score of times or more. So printing out the sheet of BL errata from BGG will really help you make sense of all the card combos. I hope you give it another chance or three. I'm still astonished by it.