10 games to start a board game collection with

10 games to start a board game collection with


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to build a collection around one question I’ve been asked a few times is
if I’m getting into the Hobby what games should I pick up to start with and I’ve
had to think about that for quite a while and prepared a list of the games I
think would make a good starting collection for anyone now this list is
designed around people just getting into the Hobby so it’s not going to include a
bunch of Steven Feld games 18 X X’s coins and heavy war games people can
pick those up later this is a list that anyone can pick up pick these ten games
and have a pretty solid wee collection to start themselves on the board gaming
hobby another thing with this list as all the games will be of low to medium
complexity and reasonably affordable before we get into the list let’s deal
with some honorable mentions first the usual wisdom in these lists is to put
Catan Carcassonne and ticket to ride on them I’m not personally a fan of any of
those games but you probably can’t go wrong adding them to a starting
collection it’s not that they’re bad games it’s just this is my listing
they’re not particular favorites of mine if you want to check out solo gaming you
could also start off with hostage negotiator which is a nice entry level
solo game however solo gaming’s not for everyone so I didn’t include that in the
main list and if you’re a huge risk fan I recommend spheres of influence which
is just better risk but it’s a bit hard to get hold of and not everyone coming
to this is played risk before now we have the honorable mentions out of the
way let’s get to the list the first game is on here because I think no other game
does a better job of easing people into the idea of what modern board gaming is
then between two cities and the reason I like this game so much as a gateway game
or as a teaching game is because all the interactions between players are
positive if you’re unfamiliar with the game you work with the person to your
right and left to collaboratively build a pair of cities and the winner of the
game is the person whose worst city is best so it encourages teamwork
collaboration while still being a competitive game and it also teaches the
mechanics of tile laying, drafting set collection and scoring victory points
from multiple sources I’ve never played a game of between two cities where
there’s been any kind of animosity in the game and I think that’s a really
good start point for anyone building a collection plus it’s really easy to
learn and once some people know the game you can mix them up amongst the people
who don’t know how to play and they can teach the others and are encouraged to
do so because of how the game works next up is the exceedingly clever modern
art now modern art is an auction game with the value of the paintings in the
game is based entirely on how often they’re traded during the game so
players create the value of the art by trading it it’s a really simple clever
and elegant design that’s really easy to teach to people and you can have a hell
of a lot of fun with it auctions are also an idea that people
are really familiar with so it’s not like this is an esoteric out-there idea
if modern art is not quite the right fit for you in this spot you can also
consider either for sale or high-society both are easy to learn family-friendly
auction games another thing people muted the Hobby
might not be familiar with our cooperative games and conventional
wisdom says that pandemic should probably be the first choice here but
I’m actually going to go with another Matt Leacock design Forbidden Island
because it’s that much easier and simpler to get on the table and set up
and it’s slightly cheaper forbidden island teaches the basics of cooperative
gaming and can be used as a launching point to other games in the Forbidden
series or into the pandemics or Thunderbirds or any other type of
cooperative board gaming the next thing I’d like to look at is deck builders and
there are a lot of deck builders on the market some are very good some are not
so good but I think if you’re going to start off of deck builders here might as
well start off at the beginning and that’s with Dominion now dominion is
one of those games that is easy to learn but very difficult to master and I think
people new to the Hobby can pick it up see how it works and have a lot of fun
with it it might take a long time to get mastery of the game but that’s half the
fun of picking up a game like the menu and learning first with Dominion means
you’ll be able to step out into the big world of deck builders with a real solid
grounding of how they work alternatively if you’re a big fan of
eyepiece you might want to check out the legendary series instead especially if
you love marvel or aliens or any of the other franchises they’ve covered next up
is a party game now not every group will want a party game but it’s probably good
to have one in your back pocket and it’s a good part of any collection and you
might know I’m not a huge fan of party games but I’m the ones I’ve played the
resistance is probably the best of them players are secretly assigned as the
teams of resistance members or Imperial spies and they go on a series of secret
missions and the goal is to figure out who the real resistance members and who
are the spies and it can be a lot of fun with a big group that buys into it as an
alternative to the slight you can also pick up code names or probably one night
werewolf all three of those games are solid party games and having one in your
collection would be a good idea now the next game steps up the complexity a
little and it’s seven wonders and the reason seven wonders is on this list is
it scales incredibly well from three to seven players it is very easy to teach
rules and a lot of mechanics that are used an awful lot of other games and
there’s a depth there as well you can’t play this game very casually and have an
awful lot of fun but you can’t actually dig into it and get some mastery of the
game and I think that’s important for starting collection having those games
that you can learn with and you can build up your skills and you can get to
understand how other games work a lot of what happens in between two cities get
styled up in seven wonders so instead of dealing in partnership with the people
on your right left you’re an active competition with them and I feel that’s
a nice evolutionary step to have within such a small collection of games mixed
up as a game I’ve had a lot of success with casual gamers with and that’s as
all now as well as a Thailand game it’s very very simple to learn as well but
again it has that depth in the game that once you learn the basics of it you
start seeing bigger patterns and you see how the game comes together
and it becomes a lot more clever and that’s a recurring theme on this list
picking up games that easy to learn but have that extra mastery that you can dig
into later as all is really popular with people who like playing puzzle so
someone likes doing Sudoku or other things online and you want to get them
into board gaming it’s a great game to put on the table because they look at it
and go I get this as a puzzle you put things here you do that and that’s how
you score points okay that makes sense to me have someone new to the Hobby
those external points of experiences they can latch on to to help them learn
the game are incredibly important other games that could possibly fill the slot
a sagrada santorini century spice road and splendor there are an awful lot of
worker placement games on the market and awful lot of them and i feel any
starting list probably should include a worker placement game one that’s
relatively easy to learn but also has that depth i keep talking about and for
me I’m gonna pick raiders of the north sea now there’s a few other games that
could have come here like Stone Age or Lords of Waterdeep but if the Raiders
are such a clever load of medium complexity worker placement
game that it just couldn’t get off my list the place won’t worker take one
worker mechanic is an awful lot of fun and the art and the theme are quite
evocative as well and again this is a game that’s not super complex and that
people can dig into and learn and master and take those skills on to other games
now a lot of you will know this I come from a wargaming background I’ve played
a lot of war games over the years and in a lot of ways that’s my first love of
them the hobby but there’s not an awful lot of really good introductory war
games there is however memoir 44 any of the commanding colors games could be on
here battle or battle cry commander colors itself but I feel memoir 44 is
the most accessible of them mostly because it feels like playing with toy
soldiers the order system in the game is really interesting it’s a compelling
game to play and again it’s another one of those games that’s simple to learn
there’s a lot more depth to it that initially looks and if you’re not keen
on war games which I totally get I’d recommend replacing this one on the list
with one of the games I mentioned when I was talking about a sword so something
like segrada or splendor instead and finally a pretty simple game that
combines variable player powers area control and competitive play and that’s
small world small world looks really dinky and inviting but it’s a mercenary
and brutal game but what makes it a great game for a starting collection is
that it teaches you about area control games it teaches you about the variable
powers you can have and this game’s absolutely dripping in different
variable powers because each faction you play has a combined race ability and
special ability that makes them unique to play each time it’s also ultra
competitive and it’s good to get a taste of that sort of game to see if it’s for
you and again another one of those games that look simple when you start playing
there’s a heck of a lot more depth of complexity within it so that’s my list
of 10 games to start a collection with I hope you enjoyed it if you’ve got your
own list just put them down in the comments below and if you enjoy this
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