Christmas present advice

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Christmas present advice

Post  Andy S on Thu 10 Dec 2015, 14:04

I looking to buy a game for some friends for Christmas and I was sure you lovely SBGC people would have some suggestions, as your experience of games is much more more expansive than mine. They enjoy and play board games quite a bit, and have a fair few, but nothing super hardcore (no Twilight Imperium or Eclipse for instance). I'm looking to spend £25 or less and I was looking at the following to start with:

Exploding kittens (they like cats and humour)
Codenames
One Night Ultimate Werewolf

Any opinions on these? Please recommend anything, all suggestions welcome! Thanks for the help.

-Andy
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Re: Christmas present advice

Post  Jamie on Thu 10 Dec 2015, 14:08

Colonial Andy wrote:I looking to buy a game for some friends for Christmas and I was sure you lovely SBGC people would have some suggestions, as your experience of games is much more more expansive than mine.  They enjoy and play board games quite a bit, and have a fair few, but nothing super hardcore (no Twilight Imperium or Eclipse for instance).  I'm looking to spend £25 or less and I was looking at the following to start with:

Exploding kittens (they like cats and humour)
Codenames
One Night Ultimate Werewolf

Any opinions on these?  Please recommend anything, all suggestions welcome!  Thanks for the help.

-Andy

I'll recommend 'Avalon'! Unless your friends have any kind of moral objection to lying and being deceitful, it's awesome fun, and has a LOT of reply value!
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Re: Christmas present advice

Post  paulyg on Thu 10 Dec 2015, 14:08

Colonial Andy wrote:I looking to buy a game for some friends for Christmas and I was sure you lovely SBGC people would have some suggestions, as your experience of games is much more more expansive than mine.  They enjoy and play board games quite a bit, and have a fair few, but nothing super hardcore (no Twilight Imperium or Eclipse for instance).  I'm looking to spend £25 or less and I was looking at the following to start with:

Exploding kittens (they like cats and humour)
Codenames
One Night Ultimate Werewolf

Any opinions on these?  Please recommend anything, all suggestions welcome!  Thanks for the help.

-Andy

I guess it depends on what they like :-)

Having said that, I'd say that both Exploding Kittens and ONUW split opinion depending on the sort of things people like (Exploding Kittens is very light so gamers who like more meat and less luck don't enjoy it so much, ONUW is a hidden role game that some people find stressful or not fun). However, I don't think I've met anyone who didn't enjoy Codenames (go on, someone prove me wrong!). So that would be my choice out of those three. Only downside is that you really need at least 4 people to play it.
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Re: Christmas present advice

Post  PaulC on Thu 10 Dec 2015, 14:29

PaulG wrote:
Colonial Andy wrote:I looking to buy a game for some friends for Christmas and I was sure you lovely SBGC people would have some suggestions, as your experience of games is much more more expansive than mine.  They enjoy and play board games quite a bit, and have a fair few, but nothing super hardcore (no Twilight Imperium or Eclipse for instance).  I'm looking to spend £25 or less and I was looking at the following to start with:

Exploding kittens (they like cats and humour)
Codenames
One Night Ultimate Werewolf

Any opinions on these?  Please recommend anything, all suggestions welcome!  Thanks for the help.

-Andy

I guess it depends on what they like :-)

Having said that, I'd say that both Exploding Kittens and ONUW split opinion depending on the sort of things people like (Exploding Kittens is very light so gamers who like more meat and less luck don't enjoy it so much, ONUW is a hidden role game that some people find stressful or not fun). However, I don't think I've met anyone who didn't enjoy Codenames (go on, someone prove me wrong!). So that would be my choice out of those three. Only downside is that you really need at least 4 people to play it.

What he said ^^^

ONUW and Exploding Kittens can be divisive, Codenames seems to be universally enjoyed. However, it really needs at least 4 players for the best experience. If they're more likely to be playing with a smaller group, it might not be the right game for them.

As for other suggestions within the budget, I'd recommend - Splendour and Sheriff of Nottingham.
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Re: Christmas present advice

Post  Andy S on Thu 10 Dec 2015, 15:54

Thanks for the tips, gentlemen.

Avalon requires too many players, unfortunately (5 to 10 apparently?). Sometimes there are 6 of us gathered to play, but usually it's just 4 - we seem to have trouble rounding up 6+ people all at the same time. It would be cool if it was something they could play with just the 2 of them. According to Amazon, Codenames can be played with 2, but it sounds like that is incorrect.

I was considering ONUW because I've heard good things about it, but it is clearly not ideal if it requires so many players. I like the sound of Splendour, I've read good reviews, and it is just the right number of players (Amazon says 2-4). I'm unfamiliar with Sheriff of Nottingham, but I like the style of it. Still considering Exploding Kittens, but how graphic are the pictures? If there are any drawings of kitten innards, they'll not be keen!

Thanks so much for the suggestions, keep 'em coming!
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Re: Christmas present advice

Post  PaulC on Thu 10 Dec 2015, 15:57

Colonial Andy wrote:Thanks for the tips, gentlemen.

Avalon requires too many players, unfortunately (5 to 10 apparently?).  Sometimes there are 6 of us gathered to play, but usually it's just 4 - we seem to have trouble rounding up 6+ people all at the same time.  It would be cool if it was something they could play with just the 2 of them.  According to Amazon, Codenames can be played with 2, but it sounds like that is incorrect.

I was considering ONUW because I've heard good things about it, but it is clearly not ideal if it requires so many players.  I like the sound of Splendour, I've read good reviews, and it is just the right number of players (Amazon says 2-4).  I'm unfamiliar with Sheriff of Nottingham, but I like the style of it.  Still considering Exploding Kittens, but how graphic are the pictures?  If there are any drawings of kitten innards, they'll not be keen!

Thanks so much for the suggestions, keep 'em coming!
There are two versions, the standard and the NSFW version. Presumably the standard version is quite benign.
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Re: Christmas present advice

Post  Jamie on Thu 10 Dec 2015, 16:26

Colonial Andy wrote:Avalon requires too many players, unfortunately (5 to 10 apparently?).  Sometimes there are 6 of us gathered to play, but usually it's just 4 - we seem to have trouble rounding up 6+ people all at the same time.  It would be cool if it was something they could play with just the 2 of them.  According to Amazon, Codenames can be played with 2, but it sounds like that is incorrect.

I was considering ONUW because I've heard good things about it, but it is clearly not ideal if it requires so many players.  I like the sound of Splendour, I've read good reviews, and it is just the right number of players (Amazon says 2-4).  I'm unfamiliar with Sheriff of Nottingham, but I like the style of it.  Still considering Exploding Kittens, but how graphic are the pictures?  If there are any drawings of kitten innards, they'll not be keen!

With Avalon being off the table (probably avoid ONUW too, if you have a low player count), I'd guess Splendour, Codenames or Exploding Kittens would work. I'd think Exploding Kittens would be a good entry game, if you're group are new to gaming.

Other than that, maybe consider something like Settlers of Catan? (max 4 players though, with the base set)
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Re: Christmas present advice

Post  BeardyTom on Thu 10 Dec 2015, 17:31

I'll just throw another idea into the mix. Have you tried the storytelling game, 'Once Upon A Time'?

I've had some good times with this game both in larger groups and just as a two-player but its success depends on the particular group quite heavily. Also, it's barely a game at all, so if you're looking for something more game-y then go for something else.
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Re: Christmas present advice

Post  SamVS on Thu 10 Dec 2015, 19:27

What other games do they play and like?

Mysterium, 2-7 players, is a better work-out-what-a-teamate-is-thinking-as-you-decipher-their-obscure-clues game than Codenames in my opinion, though Codenames has been reliably good also.

Lord of Vegas, for 2-4, is a medium-weight area control and trading game. Lots of striking deals with other players but also rolling off to gamble for control of areas or make some money at another player's casino. Lots of funny and exciting dice situations as a result, but with a good amount of strategy too. Like great Monopoly.

Cyclades is a medium-weight and engrossing area-control/war and bidding game, 2-5 players, where which god you win in the bidding determines what actions you can do on the map. Beautiful looking game and balanced so that any player can be a threat at any point in the game if you let them, so it can be quite intense.
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Re: Christmas present advice

Post  Andy S on Fri 11 Dec 2015, 10:57

As you lovely gents have pointed out, knowing what my pals like is key to providing a useful recommendation, so I had a long think about it and realized that most of the games we play with them are co-op and relatively lightweight, eg Pandemic, Betrayal at House on the Hill, X-Com, Forbidden Desert, Samurai Spirit.

Mrs Colonial (who isn't colonial at all) nixed the idea of Exploding Kittens. Once Upon a Time (which I'd never heard of) isn't really their kind of game, but it has jumped to the top of my personal most-wanted list. Mysterium looks very cool, and Cyclades and Lords of Vegas appeal as well, but those are all a bit out of my price range. (I'm a bit skint-tastic at the moment.) Settlers of Catan is a good idea, I think my male friend would enjoy it, but not so sure about his significant other.

If there are any other suggestions, please let me know, otherwise I'll probably plump for Splendor or Codenames (even though neither of those are co-op, they still sound good).

Thanks!
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Re: Christmas present advice

Post  Kes on Fri 11 Dec 2015, 11:01

King of Tokyo and come on, everyone loves catan, right?
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Re: Christmas present advice

Post  Jamie on Fri 11 Dec 2015, 11:25

Kes wrote:everyone loves catan, right?

Yup. We both like the same game! When does that ever happen?! Shocked
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Re: Christmas present advice

Post  Lizzy on Fri 11 Dec 2015, 11:42

When it's a game everyone likes? Wink

If you're looking at Splendor I'd consider Blueprints as well. Fits a similar bill and everyone seems to like it.

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective is a great game for a couple to play through together and also cooperative.

Or if you think they'd like a two player only game, I'd recommend Jaipur.
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Re: Christmas present advice

Post  Andy S on Fri 11 Dec 2015, 14:01

If I was just buying for him, rather than the two of them as a couple, I'd go for SoC. I just think it's a bit too serious in tone for her tastes.

Mrs Colonial would not be impressed if I purchased Sherlock Holmes for them instead of us - but it's a great gift idea for her - thanks Lizzy!

A few questions...

Is King of Tokyo superior to King of New York (which apparently came after)? I haven't played either of them.

Blueprints is about stacking dice I gathered - so does it take a steady hand? Maybe not the best game to play with a few drinks?

And does anyone know anything about a game called Gloom? It sounds intriguing.

I think I'm nearing a final decision. Thanks again.
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Re: Christmas present advice

Post  PaulC on Fri 11 Dec 2015, 14:09

Colonial Andy wrote:If I was just buying for him, rather than the two of them as a couple, I'd go for SoC.  I just think it's a bit too serious in tone for her tastes.

Mrs Colonial would not be impressed if I purchased Sherlock Holmes for them instead of us - but it's a great gift idea for her - thanks Lizzy!

A few questions...

Is King of Tokyo superior to King of New York (which apparently came after)?  I haven't played either of them.

Blueprints is about stacking dice I gathered - so does it take a steady hand?  Maybe not the best game to play with a few drinks?

And does anyone know anything about a game called Gloom?  It sounds intriguing.

I think I'm nearing a final decision.  Thanks again.

I don't think SoC is too serious - as soon as someone utters the immortal "I've got wood for sheep!" no one will take it seriously again!

King of New York adds a little to the King of Tokyo premise. If I were going to choose, I'd pick New York.

Gloom is fun - it's great for gamers who like to add flavourful narrative to their games but, since it doesn't require the narrative, it's appealing for those without a rich imagination too. It's very light though, more of a filler game in my opinion.

Blueprints isn't really a dexterity game, though stacking dice is a part of it - you could play it whilst tipsy, though I'm unsure how successful you would be! Smile
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Re: Christmas present advice

Post  SamVS on Fri 11 Dec 2015, 15:00

Yeah, I didn't notice your price and good-with-two-players requirements.

Ticket to Ride is a safe bet. I think the the USA map is good for a range of player numbers.

Just noticed Settlers of Catan and Shadows Over Camelot have the same initials, and Shadows would be a great choice if you could play it with 2.
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Re: Christmas present advice

Post  Andy S on Fri 11 Dec 2015, 15:50

Sam wrote:Just noticed Settlers of Catan and Shadows Over Camelot have the same initials, and Shadows would be a great choice if you could play it with 2.

Oops, sorry to confuse with my acronyms. Shadows of Camelot looks cool, but looks quite complex, probably beyond my friends' particular tastes.

Leaning toward King of Tokyo/NY now...PaulC favors NY - does anyone else have a preference? Anyone want to fight Tokyo's corner?
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Re: Christmas present advice

Post  Lizzy on Fri 11 Dec 2015, 15:57

I love both Tokyo and New York, but, personally, I would go with Tokyo as it's just cooler somehow and a bit more straight forward.

Both games would be really crap with just two players though. And they involve player elimination, which some people don't like.
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Re: Christmas present advice

Post  Jamie on Fri 11 Dec 2015, 16:47

Not a fan of King of Tokyo / NY. Just noticed Sam's suggestion of Ticket to Ride; I think that's another good game with wide appeal.
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Re: Christmas present advice

Post  Pete_M on Fri 11 Dec 2015, 17:18

Colonial Andy wrote:I looking to buy a game for some friends for Christmas and I was sure you lovely SBGC people would have some suggestions, as your experience of games is much more more expansive than mine.  They enjoy and play board games quite a bit, and have a fair few, but nothing super hardcore (no Twilight Imperium or Eclipse for instance).  I'm looking to spend £25 or less and I was looking at the following to start with:

Exploding kittens (they like cats and humour)
Codenames
One Night Ultimate Werewolf

Any opinions on these?  Please recommend anything, all suggestions welcome!  Thanks for the help.

-Andy

I played Exploding Kittens and thought it was appalling, and I'm speaking as someone who likes the Oatmeal. A really boring game once the "vaguely funny first time you see them" cards lose their novelty.

I've got quite a few good ones in that price range and lower that aren't too hardcore - Eight Minute Empire, Gloom, Tsuro, Sushi Go, Fungi (EDIT - Missed the good for two thing first time too and have deleted the hidden roles ones!).
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Re: Christmas present advice

Post  Andy S on Wed 16 Dec 2015, 07:02

Hello again, SBGC.  I hope everyone who was able to make it to the University Arms last night had a lovely time.  Did PaulG sing?  Who won Pitchcar?

Anyway, I've narrowed my ideas for a Christmas gift for my friends down to 6 choices.  Colt Express was never mentioned in this thread, but I came across it as I browsed and thought it looked good.  I would appreciate it if people would cast their vote, which will help my final decision.  Thank you very much for all your advice.

1. Codenames
2. Blueprints
3. Gloom
4. Colt Express
5. King of Tokyo
6. Splendor

I really was wanting to go for Ticket to Ride, but I just can't afford it at the moment.  Thanks again, ladies and gents!
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Re: Christmas present advice

Post  DaveB on Wed 16 Dec 2015, 07:51

I've never played Blueprints so can't comment on that one but for my personal preferences I'd split the remainder into two tiers:

1, Codenames, Colt Express, Splendor

2, Gloom, King of Tokyo

In all honesty I should imagine your friends will enjoy any of them, its a very solid shortlist of games Smile
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Re: Christmas present advice

Post  karl_b on Wed 16 Dec 2015, 08:35

I'd go with Splendor, just over KoT, bearing in mind the 2 playerability (new word).
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Re: Christmas present advice

Post  PaulC on Wed 16 Dec 2015, 10:00

If it needs to be a 2 player game, go with Splendor.

That said, Chaos Cards have Ticket to Ride: Europe at a temptingly-just-over-your-budget price of £26.85...
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Re: Christmas present advice

Post  DaveB on Wed 16 Dec 2015, 10:01

karl_b wrote:I'd go with Splendor, just over KoT, bearing in mind the 2 playerability (new word).

I didn't notice a requirement for 2 playerability, if so Splendor is definitely the best choice from the list above Smile
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