10 games to start a board game collection with

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kyaa to everyone and welcome to 10 games
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
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