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Subject: Looking for abstract games with no luck. rss

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Dennis Hansen
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I REALLY like abstract games. My favorite is Hive haven’t been in this Great World very long so i don’t Know if there is better alternatives for me it’s really important that the game looks good/beautiful. I really want to try Blooms but can’t find anyone to make a board for me

What other games with no luck is great out there?

I know there is Chess and Go
 
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Néstor Romeral Andrés
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Combinatorial
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David Ploog
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Nestor: a reply without context, linking to a list with more than 800 games?

Abundance of Abstracts, I say.

OP: your question is way too unspecific. Do you have any preferences: placement/movement? Squares/tiles/other grid? Classic/modern classic/really new? Capture/connection/pattern/other win condition?

Your question is a bit like asking for "good classical music" with "Für Elise" and "Satisfaction" as reference points.
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Russ Williams
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dpeggie wrote:
Nestor: a reply without context, linking to a list with more than 800 games?
That useful list of many combinatorial games can be sorted by rank, by rating, by number of ratings, number of owners, etc. It's thus easy to see what combinatorial games are more often liked or recommended.

Quote:
OP: your question is way too unspecific. Do you have any preferences: placement/movement? Squares/tiles/other grid? Classic/modern classic/really new? Capture/connection/pattern/other win condition?

Your question is a bit like asking for "good classical music" with "Für Elise" and "Satisfaction" as reference points.
And thus providing a way to see all combinatorial games, sorted by rank/popularity, seems a reasonable answer!

Similarly if someone asked generally for some good classical music recommendations, it seems reasonable to give them a list sorted by rating/popularity.


---

That said, if you want some personal recommendations & thoughts from specific individuals, FWIW I most highly recommend Go and Shogi, and here are some of my curated geeklists with many combinatorial games:

Nestorgames explored by russ
Icehouse / Looney pyramid games explored by russ
Shibumi games explored by russ
Shogi variants explored by russ
2x6 Mancala games explored by russ

And here are combinatorial games which I've played 100 times or more:

Shogi
Go
Hive
Trax
Rumis = Blokus 3D
Pentago
Blokus Duo
Volcano
Fano330-R-Morris
Hex
Lines of Action
Mini Shogi
Pylos
Catchup
Yavalath
Palago
RED
Tic Tac Doh!
DVONN
TZAAR
Havannah
SEVEN
Arimaa
Homeworlds
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Andy Leighton
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Remember you can also try out many games on online game servers or using Stephen Tavener's AiAi program. That way you can choose which games are right for you to spend money on (or time and effort making if oop).

Blooms is just a hexhex board (is a 5hexhex the recommend size?) so the board should be easy to make or find. You just need 61 wooden hexes cut out, or just print out a board at a large size and mount it to cardboard. You could also buy one of the many games that also use a 5hexhex board - which includes many of the games Nestor sells but the boards are fairly small (but totally usable). If you get hold of a copy of Einfach Genial / Ingenious that gives you a choice of 3 hexhex grids - sizes 6, 7, and 8. If you need a smaller size then you can block bits off using the Einfach Genial game pieces.
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TPoG
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Plenty of geeklists about abstract strategy games around.
I made an alphabetical list some time ago: ABC of amazing abstract strategy games
I should update it when I get more time on my hands.
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marc lecours
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I remember reading about a Japanese go master who was counting on luck to win a go tournament game. He was facing an opponent that he considered stronger that himself. He felt that he would only have a chance of winning if he drew black and could play first. So leading up to the game he studied the games in which his opponent had been playing white.

When the day of the tournament game arrived, he was nervous as the whole game depended on luck. He ended up drawing black and winning the game.

So even "go" is a luck dependent game.
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Christian K
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My favorites are
Hex (very easy to get into)
Boxes (a bit more difficult to get into but an amazing games once you get there)
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Stephen Tavener
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andyl wrote:
Remember you can also try out many games on online game serves or using Stephen Tavener's AiAi program. That way you can choose which games are right for you to spend money on (or time and effort making if oop).
Thanks for the mention. Here's the Ai Ai homepage:
http://mrraow.com/index.php/aiai-home/

There is also Zillions of Games:
http://www.zillions-of-games.com/

Online servers (I'm sure folks will add more):
http://www.gamerz.net/pbmserv/
http://boardspace.net/english/index.shtml
http://superdupergames.org/




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Bill Eldard
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ZÈRTZ

Twixt (I've seen a number of inexpensive used copies)

Cathedral (recently republished)



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Luiz Flavio Ribeiro
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Hive is my favorite game too.

I also like Arimaa a lot. Pieces of the Z-man edition are really beautiful, but you can play it with a Chess set.

Santorini is a good game too, but lighter. I made two sets of it, one in the old white style for me and the other with a smurf theme for my daughter (green tiles, blue pieces and mushroom domes).

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Herb
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I went through the "Abstract Games" subdomain here at BGG as was trying to find the 2 player games for which there was no luck factor. Almost 1500 of them. The best single word to describe the games would probable be to say that they are fully deterministic once setup. So no dice, no cards, no hidden information.

BGG "Abstract Strategy" Games That Are 2-Player "Combinatorial Game" Like
 
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Dennis Hansen
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dpeggie wrote:
Nestor: a reply without context, linking to a list with more than 800 games?

Abundance of Abstracts, I say.

OP: your question is way too unspecific. Do you have any preferences: placement/movement? Squares/tiles/other grid? Classic/modern classic/really new? Capture/connection/pattern/other win condition?

Your question is a bit like asking for "good classical music" with "Für Elise" and "Satisfaction" as reference points.

Sorry but i can’t be more specific. I’m still very new in the board game World so i don’t know all the terms and so on. Just know what i like
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David Ploog
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Dummiz wrote:
Sorry but i can’t be more specific.
Fair enough!

I thought a bit about this, and it's an interesting situation. For a comparison: what would I do if someone approaches me with "Hey, what is good metal music?" (I listen to some metal.) That's a *huge* question, and it doesn't really have an answer. I think there are three possible options: (a) I keep asking questions until I can provide a somewhat informed answer. (b) The questioner tries songs/bands at random. (This works better with access to terminology: if you know that band A plays "raw black metal", then that'll help you, no matter whether you like or dislike what you heard.) And (c), start with the classics, ideally through subgenres, and work from there.

So back to games: You're new to the genre, and there's a list with 1500 or so entries. (a) is out because it requires one-on-one feedback and communication. (You can opt in to this by coming back and saying "I've liked games A and B, and I really didn't like C." By the way, music forums are full of threads like this.)
For (b): well, go ahead
And for (c): posters already gave you classics. I think it's important to know that many people stick with *one* game, especially if it is a classical one, such as a Chess variant or Go. These games are really good, have proven their worth, you'll find players in real life, and there's lot of offline and online sources to learn, at all levels. So it'd be good to know if that sounds appealing or not!
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Steven Meyers
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Dummiz wrote:
I REALLY like abstract games. My favorite is Hive haven’t been in this Great World very long so i don’t Know if there is better alternatives for me it’s really important that the game looks good/beautiful. I really want to try Blooms but can’t find anyone to make a board for me

What other games with no luck is great out there?

I know there is Chess and Go

I'm not sure that I can help you much, except to recommend a few games among many that I admire: Amazons, shogi, Dameo and Twixt. Mostly I'm just glad to hear that a young person is interested in exploring the realm of abstract games. Lately I've been feeling like an obsolete dinosaur, a relic from the ancient past.

Steve
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christian freeling
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swshogimeyers wrote:
Lately I've been feeling like an obsolete dinosaur, a relic from the ancient past.

Steve
Obsolete maybe, but not quite extinct!
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David Buckley
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How a game looks is low on my list of priorities, which probably doesn't make me the best person to ask. Onitama, Tak, Through the Desert and Urbino are four examples of luckless abstracts that combine good gameplay with nice aesthetics in my opinion. I also recommend checking out Arimaa. It is out of print but designed to be playable with a Chess set.
 
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TPoG
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Buckersuk wrote:
How a game looks is low on my list of priorities, which probably doesn't make me the best person to ask. Onitama, Tak, Through the Desert and Urbino are four examples of luckless abstracts that combine good gameplay with nice aesthetics in my opinion. I also recommend checking out Arimaa. It is out of print but designed to be playable with a Chess set.
I like great looking playing material. That is why I bought Superschaak which I use as a very nice chess variant system.
 
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Cody Kunka
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My favorites:

01. Hive is easily my favorite. It’s basically boardless Chess in which you add or move chunky hexagonal pieces to surround a single oponnent’s piece. The World Championship is starting soon on BoardSpace, and a community regularly plays on BoardGameArena.

02. Western Chess was my first longtime game. I like that the special powers lead you into strategies. Just don’t get discouraged by all the study and skill on the game. Grow at your own pace. I think the main negative is the high draw rate at super high levels. If that bothers you, I know Russ highly recommends Shogi (Japanese Chess), which has reentry.

03. In contrast to the guidance of special powers, Go distills everything into super simple rules. You must work hard to develop strategy, but there’s an elegance to this game. You only place a stone on your turn... but the patterns are complicated. You have to think in a new way. Start on a 9x9 board. If you want a more complicated but neat Go alternative, try Blooms, which is Go with 2 colors per player and a score tracker.

04. Thrive was just on Kickstarter, is available on AiAi, and may come to BoardGameArena. It’s like a hybrid of Checkers and Chess. All your pieces start the same at the beginning, but you customize their movement throughout the game. Clever design. Side note: don’t write off something that “seems” too simple. Lots of people celebrate the depth of Checkers, for example.

05. LYNGK is my favorite of the popular GIPF project. I’m definitely in the minority though as more prefer the older YINSH and TZAAR. LYNGK has all 5 colors (very satisfying pucks) as neutral at the start, and then you must carefully draft a color twice during the game to score stacks you build together with your opponent. Drafting too early will let your opponent target you and plan around your optimal moves. Drafting too late won’t let you harness the special abilities of your drafted colors. All GIPF games are on BoardSpace.

Notes:
- These are all combinatorial games.
- Another thing you can try is looking at the Collection of a BGG member you think you may be similar to or just like. See if you two rate similar games highly. Just click on a player’s name... (side note: that’s why I want to try Shogi... thanks, Russ).
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Russ Williams
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Coincidentally, big_buddha just posted this geeklist:
Top 10 Luckless Abstract Games

(FWIW I've played 9 of them (not Shashki, though I've played many other Checkers variants) and I too enjoy them.)
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Andy Leighton
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russ wrote:
Coincidentally, big_buddha just posted this geeklist:
Top 10 Luckless Abstract Games

(FWIW I've played 9 of them (not Shashki, though I've played many other Checkers variants) and I too enjoy them.)

It is Kulami for me which I haven't played. I would probably also remove Othello from his list and replace it with Lines of Action.

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Cody Kunka
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russ wrote:
Coincidentally, big_buddha just posted this geeklist:
Top 10 Luckless Abstract Games
I'm intrigued by the components in Kulami. Do any of you have opinions on the game?

Note: I'm usually nervous about games with low complexity ratings. Kulami only has a 1.7... though I think complexity a strange concept. Consider that Go, which has super simple rules, has a 4.0. Hence, I imagine the concept is related to complexity in strategy... but I don't know how you could know that. You could have super complex strategy in many abstracts. Checkers, for example, only has a 1.8 complexity score (and strangely a 4.9 overall score) yet is commonly praised in the abstract forums...

I digress though... I want to hear what you think about Kulami.
 
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Russ Williams
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Kunkasaurus wrote:
russ wrote:
Coincidentally, big_buddha just posted this geeklist:
Top 10 Luckless Abstract Games
I'm intrigued by the components in Kulami. Do any of you have opinions on the game?

Note: I'm usually nervous about games with low complexity ratings.
There is no complexity rating; I guess you mean weight, which is completely undefined by BGG and means different things to different people... So I don't read much into it.

Quote:
I digress though... I want to hear what you think about Kulami.
FWIW I played it multiple times at Essen long ago and enjoyed it. I was tempted to buy it, but my wife convinced me that we'd already bought too much stuff, heh. I remember it being good fun. I see I logged 7 plays, rated it 7, and commented:
me in 2011 wrote:
Neat modular board that you can set up differently each time, pretty red and black marbles.

Area control (most marbles on a board claims points equal to number of holes on the board).

Each move determines the row or column in which the following move must be made. Neat elegant little game. Didn't read the rules, but looks like it has various variants.

If it had been cheaper, we'd have probably bought it at Essen 2011.
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Carlos Luna
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Kunkasaurus wrote:
I'm intrigued by the components in Kulami. Do any of you have opinions on the game?

Great game for several reasons:

1) High replayability: random setup guarantees new challenges every game.

2) Outstanding components: It is a pleasure to play with them.

3) Many battles: You can loose the "war" (= the game) but still feel satisfied because you won many of the "battles" (= each individual tile) that arise during the game.

4) Good entry point for abstracts: It has been always a hit with less experienced players. The rules are simple enough, the components catch their eye and the game length is not excesive.

5) Not overwhelming: You have many options every turn... but not that many.

6) Deeper variants for experienced players: You can increase the depth of the game by trying some of the scoring variants suggested in the rules. I never felt the need to use them, though.
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Carlos Luna
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Dummiz wrote:
What other games with no luck is great out there?

There are many great abstract games out there so any attempt to list them all will be futile... but I can provide a list of games that you should check out to get an idea of the different trends that exists in abstract game design arena so you can explore further the ones that better suit your taste:

Connectiong games: Hex, Slither, Tak, Lines of Action, Ayu, Xodd, Gonnect, Cairo Corridor...

Crossing games: Breakthrough, Murus Gallicus, Gyges, Epaminondas, Vault, Cannon, Tablut...

Pattern building games: Connect6, Six, Yavalath, Trax, LOT, Nine Men's Morris, Quarto, Traffic Lights...

Area control games: Boxes, Flume, Amazons, Othello, Margo, Stop-Gate, SNORT...

Anihilation games: Dameo, Emergo, Fanorona, Surakarta, Yoté, Seega...

There are other families of games but this small list should give you a general idea of what is out there so you can formulate a more specific question next time
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