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Oldest wants a board game for Christmas so we're doing research. We've already got a ton but more isn't a bad thing. :;): Was wondering what people's favourites were. Thinking more for a lighter game with shorter playing times. We have a ton of the old classics like Life, Risk, Monopoly, etc and a lot of newer ones like Carcassonne, Catan, Tsuro, Pandemic. It'd take me longer than I want to spend to write up the whole catalogue right now so.will leave it to you all to tell me a bit about your favourites. 

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  • Clank! (all the different versions. Just tried Clank Legacy on Sunday, and it was lots of fun, though a bit expensive.) — Easy to teach, strong replayability, quick play (especially after the first game), excellent theming.
  • Tiny Epic Galaxies — Moderately easy to teach, quick to play, interesting tactics, not too expensive, and ... tiny.
  • San Juan – Older game, but quick to play, fairly easy to teach, good replayability.
  • Ticket to Ride, of course, though you probably have at least one version.
  • St. Petersburg — Another older game. Really prefers exactly four players though can be played with two or three, fairly easy to teach, good replayability. Mediocre theming.
  • Citadels — Hidden role game per turn. Plays up to 8 (?), good replayability, fairly cutthroat.
  • Seven Wonders — Card drafting game with excellent game play. Not especially difficult to teach, though a bit susceptible to one player being much less skilled than the rest. Mediocre theming, good speed, good replayability.
  • Medieval Merchant — Older, good replayability, easy to teach, very different game play depending on number of players. Subtle play can make differences in skill level more apparent than in some games.

I would be willing to use (and have used) any of these with people who aren't serious gamers, but I'm still willing to play any of them.

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Clank! is definitely a favourite of mine and hubby's!  We also rather enjoy Scythe, but that can get complex and take a while (although the "My Little Pony" variant I forgot the name of is quick, and fun) 

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Not a true board game, but Heroclix is a game that can be plyed well by kids 10 or so on up. Yes including big kids that are technically adults...

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Card games rather than board games:

The Impossible Machine - building rube-goldburg type machines using cards, aim is to get the most cards of your colour down in the machine before it starts running.

 

Quiddler - Word game, you have a hand of cards that increases every round and you need to create words from those cards. Each round you score points for the cards used

 

Board game:

Well, haven't had a chance to play that many recently, but I do enjoy the game Compounded, which is about getting the necessary elements to build chemical compounds

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@Doug Sundseth already has most of my own recommendations.

 

To add a few:

  • Catan : Cities and Knights. There's a lot more variety in the strategies you can use.
  • Lords of Waterdeep (especially with the expansions). Build up your faction by controlling different buildings in town and accomplish quests. Though complex looking, it is surprisingly simple to grasp.
  • Smash Up (plus any number of expansions): Each player picks two thematically different factions to mash'em together into an comically unlikely combination and defeat your adversaries. Very simple mechanics, but tons of variety.
  • Betrayal at House on the Hill. Explore the ever expanding house with randomly picked tiles. Discover clues until you find the big baddy (the Haunt). But in this case, the big baddy is one of dozens of classic horror tropes (vampire, mummy, creeping plant, blob, living house, etc), each with their winning condition, and one of the players is suddenly its ally (thus the enemy of the other players). Lots of replayability. Down side of the game is that there can be lots of little parts associated with each scenario.
Edited by Cranky Dog
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Clank! - It is ALMOST always a big hit with us.  Occasionally it falls flat but I love playing it.  It is a deckbuilder (which I don't see on your list) but also a dungeon crawl.  The base game is a good introduction and if you like it you can get more (including a legacy version)

Wingspan is the new darling this year.  I've gotten one play of it in and I found it to be very enjoyable.  

Terraforming Mars may be a bit on the longer/heavier side, but is still immensely enjoyable.  You get to drop asteroids and moons on people, what's not to love?

 

Honestly though, I find that people enjoy games more and become more invested in games when they enjoy the theme.  What does your oldest like outside of board games?  Science Fiction?  Fantasy? Star Wars?  Racing? Geology?  There is probably a good board game out there in a theme they enjoy.  

 

Also Clank! 

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Thanks for the ideas everyone. I gave him the assignment of going on Boardgame Geek and reading up on games. He gave me 3 games he thought would be interesting (Azul, Quacks of Quedlinburg and Mysterium) and I bought Quacks because it looks fun and was cheaper than the others! ::P: He doesn't know which one I got him.

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All three of those are solid games. Quacks has an expansion or two that I have heard good things about. Good choice!

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I recently introduced the grandkidlets to the Dungeon Boardgame.

It's almost as old as D&D [was actually developed by one of Dave Arneson's regular players when Blackmoor was new and still being discovered] and captures the flavor of a low level game pretty well for an easy to learn board game.

GEM

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