"Entry level" tabletop games?

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So I've been thinking about buying some sort of tabletop game for me and my friends so we have something new and different to do every now and again. None of us really have any experience of them though, and I don't really want to buy the most complex of games to start off. Could anybody suggest any fun and easy to pick up tabletop games (if you can even class them like this - I'm just guessing) to introduce us to them?

(just want to add that I'm not afraid of any complexity, it makes it way more fun for me, but I don't want to scare anybody away from tabletop gaming by starting off with something that takes a lot of time to get into, I just want something that we can get out 1 night and instantly have a blast as it were)


Warhammer 40K; in my opinion the coolest tabletop game out there. The rules are simple to learn, and just look at those mini's. Assault on Black Reach is the starter set for two players, coming with a SPACE MARINE and Ork army, the rule book, and everything else you need to start playing. I think there's going to be a new edition of the rules very soon, with a new starter set, but I am not sure about this.


Warhammer fantasy! Elves, dragons, evil ratmen, oh boy. This starter set is like the 40K one in that you can pick it up and play it right away (Some assembly required).


Dystopian Wars is a rather new game from Spartan Games, and it rocks. It's a.. steampunk setting, with big battleships, airships, aircraft and little resin tanks. It does not have a starter set, but it's cheaper to get into then a Games Workshop game, and the rules are really easy to learn.

Midgeamoo:
So I've been thinking about buying some sort of tabletop game for me and my friends so we have something new and different to do every now and again. None of us really have any experience of them though, and I don't really want to buy the most complex of games to start off. Could anybody suggest any fun and easy to pick up tabletop games (if you can even class them like this - I'm just guessing) to introduce us to them?

(just want to add that I'm not afraid of any complexity, it makes it way more fun for me, but I don't want to scare anybody away from tabletop gaming by starting off with something that takes a lot of time to get into, I just want something that we can get out 1 night and instantly have a blast as it were)

Dungeons and Dragons 4.0 is very easy to get into.
A little too easy for my taste, by my DnD group, who, like yours, had no experience with it at all, seem to really prefer these over the 3.5 rules I proposed a few days ago.

while character creation still takes some time ( too much to just hop into and have a go) you could use some pre-made character just to see if you like the game itself, and invest time in character creation later.

Ranorak:
Dungeons and Dragons 4.0 is very easy to get into.
A little too easy for my taste, by my DnD group, who, like yours, had no experience with it at all, seem to really prefer these over the 3.5 rules I proposed a few days ago.

while character creation still takes some time ( too much to just hop into and have a go) you could use some pre-made character just to see if you like the game itself, and invest time in character creation later.

I'd second that - 4e is really newbie friendly. Just use the Character Builder (I hope it's still around) to make the characters and you'd save yourself some hassle. You'd need three books - the Player's Handbook (PHB), the Dungeon Master's Guide (DMG), and the Monster Manual (MM). You can might find them bundled cheap. If you have a choice, you can swap the MM for the Monster Vault, which I've heard is better organised and (slightly) rebalanced. But both work. PHB 2 and 3 add more races and classes but aren't really essential, especially if you use the Character Builder which includes them. You still need PHB 1 for basic playing rules.

I'd like to pitch a game I really really love because it's so awesome - Ninja Burger. I'm talking about first edition here. It's really simple - you can get a bunch of new players, and start a game in 15 minutes. That includes explanation of the rules and character creation. The premise is also simple - the characters are ninjas. They work in a fast food restaurant called Ninja Burger. They need to deliver orders to people - without being seen and it doesn't matter where the customer is (a board meeting on the top floor of a building, the Pentagon, a locked vault - whatever). Delivery within less than 30 minutes or they commit seppuku.

It's a fun little game but it's really about shortish games. The second edition makes it suitable for longer running games but the rules are more complex. More complex, as in, you need more than 5 minutes to read them

I see others are recommending miniatures games and role playing games, but I'm not convinced any of those are that easy to get into, especially the miniatures ones. (Seriously, Warhammer 40K and D&D, entry level?) I don't know if it's those that you're looking for or board games, but I only really know about board games, so here goes:

There's the three games that everyone usually recommends: Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne and Ticket to Ride. They're the standard recommendations for a reason, even though I'm not a huge fan of any of them myself (Ticket to Ride is the best one)

You could also try some of the co-op board games. Pandemic is a pretty good one, but my personal favourite is Ghost Stories. It has a kind of B-movie kungfu & ghosts theme. You play as monks trying to defend a town from the attacking ghosts. It's also pretty difficult to win, especially on the harder difficulties.

The Battlestar Galactica boardgame is a really good semi co-op game (some players are secretly Cylons), but it might be a bit too much on the complex side (and it's best played with exactly 5 players).

Then there's the Wings of War series (newer versions are called Wings of Glory, I think). They're kind of light miniatures games, except with cards. You fly around the table in either WWI or WWII planes (depending on the version), using cards to manoeuvre, and try to shoot each other down. The WWII version has more optional rules and a bit more complex movement system, which is why I like it more.

One more: Cosmic Encounter. It's one of my favourite games. The basic rules are really simple, but all the cards and special powers break those rules, which makes it interesting. It has fighting and negotiating with other players, but it can be a little chaotic at times. I don't know if it's too complex to start with, but really, all of the cards explain exactly what they do, so I don't think it should be that difficult.

Llil:

There's the three games that everyone usually recommends: Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne and Ticket to Ride. They're the standard recommendations for a reason, even though I'm not a huge fan of any of them myself (Ticket to Ride is the best one)

I should have said board games as well as stuff like D&D, maybe more to the board game side than the other. Maybe tabletop games was the wrong thing to call them.

I've heard a lot of good stuff about the ones you've said, I've also heard dominion/ascension are pretty fun card games and are quite easy to pick up, can anybody vouch for this?

(Also thanks for suggestions so far guys)

Midgeamoo:
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FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU I typed up a fairly long message then my internet crapped out. Darn. Oh well.

If you're looking at table-top RPGs D&D 4e will be one of the easiest ways in. It's geared towards newer players and is also a good way to get into more complex variants.

I personally wouldn't touch WH40k with a ten-foot pole as it is quite the money sink. (Then again this is coming from a guy who was playing the Yu-Gi-Oh meta, more on that later)

I don't know much about other board games aside from the staples, RISK, Monopoly, Scrabble, Life, etc.

I do know a fair bit about competitive card games though. The two I've played the most, and the two I'd recommend are Yu-Gi-Oh and Magic. YGO is a fair bit easier and cheaper to get into, but harder and more expensive to stay up-to-date in. Magic while harder and a bit more expensive to start, unless you have some knowledgeable friends, is cheap and easy to stay up-to-date in.

YGO starter decks run about $10 at retail stores, but after a cursory glance at google go for as little as $1 online. (You could buy 10 and have a great variety) Magic starter decks seem to run about $40 on and offline. The other problem with Magic decks is that I've never seen them at a walmart or any other retail store, but there's always some YGO.

YGO starter decks are cool because they're good decks that will be a fair bit better than anything you could build yourself, unless you're already steeped in the meta. The other cool thing is they offer a lot of versatility. While a fair number of cards in any theme/starter deck will be superfluous the core of the deck is good and it can be pretty cheap to beef up your theme deck to tournament standards. YGO also offers a lot of complexity when you get to deck building because there are so many cards that seem to work well together, but when you play a game just give you dead hands. It can be fun and rewarding to put together a deck for fun and then see it decimate others, and if you're just playing with some friends you can try out proxying. (Printing out cards, and slipping the printed-out ones over a real card in a card sleeve, saves money and time, and if you're just playing with friends its generally a lot of fun. You can pop out new decks to try out every week.)

The biggest problem with YGO is the metagame. Because they change the official ban-lists every six months that means tournament-level decks are only viable for that long. (Ban-lists are every March and September) This means if you're trying to stay ahead of the meta you can expect to be dropping hundreds of dollars every few months. Though the cost can be avoided if you get really into deck building. (I used to just buy and build decks then sell them for huge amounts of money)

Magic on the other hand, while I don't have first hand experience with, I hear has a very stable meta. There is no ban list in standard. Magic also offers the complexity of YGO in the different game-types. People have come up with incredibly creative ways to play the game.

More on Magic later, I'm tired of retyping.

Hafrael:

I personally wouldn't touch WH40k with a ten-foot pole as it is quite the money sink.

That's what it may appear like, but in reality, you get so much bang for your buck it doesn't really matter. You get the awesome miniature, you construct it, you paint it, you play with it against your friends, and you gain a whole new setting with background material to obsess over. Still a cheaper hobby then videogames, and I suspect everyone on this forum plays videogames.

I don't really like Magic: the gathering at all. This game is also a lot more expensive then miniature wargaming, even though it seems very cheap.
But since the cards are thrown randomly in a pack, making a working deck involves buying a lot of cards, and most people want more then one deck. Then the next batch of cards comes along, giving you a real risk of making your expensive decks obsolete, so you got to keep buying if you want to compete.
In our gaming club, the best players were the ones who always bought a whole box of blisters when a new set came out and spend endless hours building their ridiculously overpowered decks. Casual players like me and my friends just stopped playing it, unable to compete in some stupid arms race because we wanted to buy miniatures instead of stupid cardboard bully.

Magic sucks.
(In my opinion, off course)

The Dungeons & Dragons boardgames actually sound to be just what you are looking for. There are currently two sets Castle Ravenloft and the Legend of Drizzt, but each one can be played independently and has everything in one box. It's really easy to run and play even for people without pen and paper RPG experience, and no one needs to step out into the DM role. And if you really like it, it's got just enough mechanics and feel of a full game to make it easier to transition into any d20 system.

Slycne:
The Dungeons & Dragons boardgames actually sound to be just what you are looking for. There are currently two sets Castle Ravenloft and the Legend of Drizzt, but each one can be played independently and has everything in one box. It's really easy to run and play even for people without pen and paper RPG experience, and no one needs to step out into the DM role. And if you really like it, it's got just enough mechanics and feel of a full game to make it easier to transition into any d20 system.

I want to second this post, you should really look into these boardgames if you want to get into the whole tabletop thing. They are great to start, and we occasionally pull them out of the closet to have another go.

I can't vouch for D&D or a lot of other games in here, having never played them myself, but I can vouch for Magic and suggest a new game: GURPS.
For Magic, my suggestion is to do what Loading Ready Run suggested, being that, if you're just playing with friends, buy a starter deck each, they run you about $13 US, which comes with a single booster pack, and then every week, or whenever you all decide, you all get together and each buy a pack or two. I recommend a minor change to these rules to ensure you all get better cards however: When you get your groups packs, you basically draft for your cards, where each of you opens the pack, takes one card, and passes it along. The land and token go in the center. With that, you all should be getting good, fun decks easily and relatively cheaply, if you don't mind dropping $4 every week or whenever.
The other option is GURPS. Generic Universal Role Playing System. I play it with a group of my friends and it is pretty easy to get into. What you do is get the starter book and the GM book for whoever is going to be the GM, and build your characters from the way the book takes you through it. It may take a while for the GM to get a campaign together if he is just starting out, so maybe ask around at your local game shop if someone else wouldn't mind GMing. The appeal of GURPS is that it can fit basically any campaign you want. I've run 3 campaigns so far, though one was cut short quickly, and they were very different. One was a modern superhero game, and the other two were final fantasy style magic style adventures, and they were really fun. You basically pick what you want your guy to be and look for advantages and skills that help your guy, pick disadvantages that define his personality, and then spend those points on more advantages and skills. It's... pretty easy to get into. Good luck.

Midgeamoo:

I've heard a lot of good stuff about the ones you've said, I've also heard dominion/ascension are pretty fun card games and are quite easy to pick up, can anybody vouch for this?

(Also thanks for suggestions so far guys)

I can vouch for dominion, it was pretty easy for me to pick up and I really enjoyed it.

If you're into card games I'd suggest Munchkin , it's extremely simple but there is a ton of replay value, plus it never gets old to screw over your friends (and steal their loot).

I'd also suggest picking up the game Descent it's a very basic version of dungeons and dragons essentially. You choose a pre-made character and as a team you work to defeat the 'dungeon master' The difference is in the set-up time. Descent is more of a 'pick-up-and-play' version of D&D and it won't take you 6 hours to roll character stats.

I'd agree with Magic being a good place to start, providing you learn either from the company itself or via the PC/Xbox/whatever else it's on game. My friends and I play usually once a week and are considering going to a Friday Night Magic sometime in the future when we all have the cash and feel like getting our brains smashed against the wall. (we play for fun, and only one of the guys I know probably has the ability to play competitively)

Recently however we've had a co-worker joining us and it's been....well, he's been on information overload. having five people trying to explain the same concept in different ways doesn't help. In the end he just read the foldouts that one gets with every Magic preconstructed deck. The decks I know actually aren't that expensive. They tend to go for 13, 14 bucks and that comes with a deck and a single booster-pack. There's other variations such as the 'Duel' packs that pit one of Magic's characters against another, there being two decks in that pack, themed on the two combatants. There's also other variations such as the Knights and Dragons business, but all of that is just side-stuff. It's not horribly money-intensive to buy a pre-con provided you know a place where you can get one.

What IS tiring is what I tend to call 'Conditional Modifiers'. For a new person it's tough enough learning basic mechanics of mana, combat, creatures, and spell-types. Then you throw in things like...

Infect, Flash, Ninjitsu, Proliferate, Clash, Trample, Lifelink, Shroud, Morph, Phyrexian Mana (my favorite kind of mana), Kinship, Exalted, Soulshift, Landfall, Affinity, Fear, Vigilance, Bushido, Landwalk....the list goes on and you get the point.

It's not that these things are difficult in and of themselves, it's just....look at that list. That's a small fraction of the modifiers that are just ones that I can think of off the top of my head. That doesn't count all the old ones that are lost to time, or now called something else. It can be a lot to keep track of even for a veteran player, and for a new person to waltz into it....I can easily see where frustration can set in. There's nothing wrong with looking at cards or asking to look at cards or for an explanation, but some people are loathe to do that. They'd rather throw their hands up in defeat than try and understand and learn over time.

It's fun, and the lowest of basics can be learned in a single sitting, but trying to learn everything is essentially a fool's errand.

I recommend starting with some board game style stuff.

Order of the Stick
Arkham Horror
Zombies!!!
Kobolds Ate My Baby

Table-Top games like Warhammer (very miniatures heavy), D&D and most of the other popular stuff represent a significant sink in both time and money.

I don't know much about the D&D boardgames, but if they are anything like the original D&D box sets, they'll probably be a good start. You get some rules, a dungeon map to play on and some miniatures to represent the players.

for actual "entry level" games, you want Settlers of Catan or Seven Wonders...they have simple rule sets but still introduce you to common boardgame mechanics and their themes are very nooby friendly.

these are the games that countless gamers have used to successfully introduce non-gaming family members and significant others to the world of nerdy board and tabletop games.

if they've played those, liked them and are open to dive further into the rabbit hole...the next level is probably Puerto Rico/Dominion.

If you want an entry level tabletop game, look less at Warhammer and more at Mageknight and other click-based systems. I'm honestly not sure if the original Mageknight is still in producton (it definitely came and went pretty fast in my area), but there ought to be something similar still in production -- Marvel Heroclix, for example. They're basically beer and pretzel miniature based wargames. The figures come pre-painted, and their hitpoints and abilities are tracked by turning a knob on the base of the figure, which has numbers and symbols marking the abilities of the unit. I was pretty heavily into Mageknight when I was in middle school, I only quit because everyone else did and I suddenly had nobody to play with.

Edit: although if you /really/ want entry level, you could pick up a couple packs of plastic army men from your local dollar store and go to town with the ruleset at this link. The one brain cell rules have all of the basic concepts of a larger wargame, but stripped down to their essence -- for example, no hitpoints. A unit is either alive or dead. If army men don't suit your fancy, I'm pretty sure there's also variations for fantasy and sci-fi, but this is a dirt cheap way to get started.

It kind of depends on a variety of factors:

If you and your friends are willing to spend around $75, give or take, and are willing to play miniature war games(along with all that entails), then WarmaHordes is a good start (Warmachine and Hordes) the models are fantastic, the rules, while a bit more complicated that 40k, are pretty easy to pick up, and the system, in my experience, is pretty solid and balanced in terms of how the rules can be exploited. It's a pretty small size game too,in terms of model count, so the 75 bucks you shell out for it will get you around...twenty, thirty models? Somewhere around there, and you can use them for almost anything else.

I second Arkham Horror and Munchkin if you're into board games and pick up and play, shit your pants laughing games, or if you just enjoy screwing over each other for the hell of it. Illuminati is a good game if you can find one in good condition, and almost anything by Avalon board games, though if I remember right, their stuff is a bit hard to find anymore.

Now, while I would say that Magic is a good game(with friends and casual players, or even with competitive players just looking for a good time) it is a huge money sink, simply because you either have to buy around 100 bucks worth of cards to get a decent deck going, or borrow one from a friend. The cards are almost constantly changing though, which is why I gave up trying to stay with the times about ten years ago and just kept the few decks I did have.

Now, for RPG-ish recommendation, I'd say if you can find Toon and Fuzzy Heroes, then get it, I don't remember if they're still in publication or not, but all you need for Toon is an imagination, knowledge of basic cartoon physics, and the like. For Fuzzy Heroes, you just need stuffed animals, yes I know, get over it, it's fun.

a good start to tabletop/roleplaying games are always boardgames, my personal favourites for this is dungeonquest, were you play as heroes walkin in a randomly generated maze to steal treasure from a dragon (you die a lot)

And Tšnnhauser a cross between a stratagy game and an rpg, 2-10 players control a squad of five premade characters, and battle, both are really fun to play and takes no longer then an hour to play,

getting more advanced Mansions of madness in an incredible game were one player plays against the rest, trying to stop their investigators from winning, and it is set in the cthulhu mythos, so tommygunning shoggoths is a thing.

if you enjoy RTS games Tide of iron is a pretty good miniatures game, it comes prepacked with maps, models and scenarios to play,

While I am still a 3.x fan....

DoPo:

Ranorak:
Dungeons and Dragons 4.0 is very easy to get into.
A little too easy for my taste, by my DnD group, who, like yours, had no experience with it at all, seem to really prefer these over the 3.5 rules I proposed a few days ago.

while character creation still takes some time ( too much to just hop into and have a go) you could use some pre-made character just to see if you like the game itself, and invest time in character creation later.

I'd second that - 4e is really newbie friendly. Just use the Character Builder (I hope it's still around) to make the characters and you'd save yourself some hassle. You'd need three books - the Player's Handbook (PHB), the Dungeon Master's Guide (DMG), and the Monster Manual (MM). You can might find them bundled cheap. If you have a choice, you can swap the MM for the Monster Vault, which I've heard is better organised and (slightly) rebalanced. But both work. PHB 2 and 3 add more races and classes but aren't really essential, especially if you use the Character Builder which includes them. You still need PHB 1 for basic playing rules

Actually for new players its even easier now.

Look for a 4E "Essentials" boxed set. It gives a simplified 100-200 page manual that contains the basics from the other books, a slightly simplified set of rules and character sheets, and the first adventure. It's a great kit for a newbie and an easy way to kick off. To give you a complexity level, my friend's 9 year old has been playing weekly for a year with a group of 8-9 year olds and a daddy playing DM. She loves it, and the rules are straight forward enough that when our group tried out 4e, she was helping explain the rules to us when we stopped and said "hey, what do we do with XXXX situation?"

For a fairly small amount you can also get a subscription to the online tools now. You only need 1 sub for the group really, and you can use it to build your character sheets (fully automatically if you want), look up rules/items/monsters, create new monsters, etc.

Quarriors is pretty awesome.....though, if I had to choose one game that's the perfect game for fun times and easy access, Talisman is pretty tops. I've yet to play a single game of it that went down the same way as the prior playthrough.

Midgeamoo:
I just want something that we can get out 1 night and instantly have a blast as it were)

In which case I'd avoid D&D (or any any Role Playing Game), Warhammer, Magic, or Descent. These are not pick up and play games.

The Settlers of Catan, I think, is the quintessential gateway game into tabletop games. There's enough randomness in it to keep it unpredictable and fun, whilst still allowing strategic play. There's very little down time for players, because each player can receive resources and trade in every other player's turn. The game only progresses forwards (you can't destroy anything that another player had built) so there's very little 'politics' involved. And it speeds up towards it's conclusion rather than getting bogged down with complexity and slowing down.

I'd be remiss if I didn't recommend Puzzle Strike and Yomi:

http://www.sirlingames.com/collections/puzzle-strike
http://www.sirlingames.com/collections/yomi

Both are quite simple to learn compared to a lot of stuff out there, have tremendous competitive depth as well as being very well balanced, and they aren't a significant money sink. When you buy them, they come with everything you need to start playing (unless you don't buy the Yomi package with all of the decks). Puzzle Strike is coming out with a 3rd edition and expansion that doubles the number of playable characters in a few months so I'd probably hold off on that for a bit, but I'd definitely recommend Yomi right now. Being a competitive card game that doesn't rely on the business model of selling booster packs with random assortments of cards of varying rarity is a big plus from the consumer end.

These are the games I've had the most fun with.

Board games: Settlers of Catan, Munchkin, or Forbidden Island.

RPGs: I'd suggest Pathfinder. It's the ultimate evolution of classic D&D. Nothing wrong with 4th edition, but I've been playing D&D since Red Box, so I prefer the old school feel. If you can get hold of second or third edition White Wolf rulebooks (also known as "the version just before they fucked everything up") for Vampire, Werewolf, or Mage, their Storyteller system is great. I'm also a longtime devotee of 3rd edition Shadowrun, don't know any of the later editions.

Wargames: I prefer Warmachine. I played Warhammer 40,000 for a while, it's good. Warmachine plays better but the universe of 40k is several times more awesome than it has any right to be. Beware, this shit gets expensive. You can chip away at it, buying models a few at a time, but getting into model wargames is like adding another cable bill (or two) to your monthly cost of living.

Johnny Impact:

RPGs: I'd suggest Pathfinder. It's the ultimate evolution of classic D&D. Nothing wrong with 4th edition, but I've been playing D&D since Red Box, so I prefer the old school feel. If you can get hold of second or third edition White Wolf rulebooks (also known as "the version just before they fucked everything up") for Vampire, Werewolf, or Mage, their Storyteller system is great. I'm also a longtime devotee of 3rd edition Shadowrun, don't know any of the later editions.

As much as I love Old World of Darkness, I would suggest avoiding that for starters unless you can find yourself an experienced GM for them. For both a beginner party, and a GM, I would highly recommend against starting with those, especially Mage, as it'd just overwhelm them.

That said, I would suggest looking up a standard, plain core book for New World of Darkness. While I know some call me out on heresy for suggesting them, let's face it, New World of Darkness has a number of advantages here.

1) The system is less complicated. I can normally run a new player through it in 15-20 minutes and have them have a full understanding of the mechanics and a good idea of what to expect. To date I haven't found a system that's as good for simply a pick up and play game as this.

2) You can acquire the books far more easy. The books you're suggesting there are over a decade old and long since out of print. Simply getting an actual book for any of those will be one of your biggest problems. At my club in school, because of this, the only system we could actually acquire books for was New World. If we wanted Old World, we'd be stuck to the PDF's we had obtained, which did work fine, but there was something to be said about having the book in your hand. On top of that, you can have a couple players buy books, that way there's always an extra copy or two circulating around the table which people can refer to when they need it.

3) The expansion books work like actual expansions. Again, as much as I loved Old World, especially Vampire, one of the biggest problems was the books never really meshed the best with one another. New World ones do feel like they could have been tacked on to the end and still work decently enough with one another. Also going with the 'still in print' reasons again, it'd be far easier to obtain a copy of whichever one you'd like to branch off into (Whether it be Vampire, Werewolf, Mage, Promethean, etc. etc.) then it would be then have to attempt to hunt down specific copies of Old World books.

So, I'd recommend starting with New World of Darkness for you and your friends if you want a table top game to start out with. Once you play it for a while, get used to the idea of table top games rpgs and want to branch out more, immediately turn around and hunt down a copy of Old World Vampire, PDF or Book, and play that instead so you can realize how much more awesome everything is when you can take 5 actions a turn or grow shadow tentacles.

Llil:

The Battlestar Galactica boardgame is a really good semi co-op game (some players are secretly Cylons), but it might be a bit too much on the complex side (and it's best played with exactly 5 players).

I cannot second BSG enough. It's not THAT complex, especially if you start out with just the game itself. It gets a bit more confusing when you include some of the expansion pieces (particularly Trauma because the rules section for it is VERY poorly written), but you can decide if you like the premise before picking up the more intricate twists. If you can manage to figure the game out, it's by far my favorite board game.

In fact, there is a small community of online Battlestar players on this thing called Vassal. If you want to download the board game and look at all of its pieces and learn the basic premise on your own, just visit the Vassal website (which has everything you need) and start an offline game so that way you can play around with it.

But our community is always looking for more players if you're interested in that.

Midgeamoo:
So I've been thinking about buying some sort of tabletop game for me and my friends so we have something new and different to do every now and again. None of us really have any experience of them though, and I don't really want to buy the most complex of games to start off. Could anybody suggest any fun and easy to pick up tabletop games (if you can even class them like this - I'm just guessing) to introduce us to them?

(just want to add that I'm not afraid of any complexity, it makes it way more fun for me, but I don't want to scare anybody away from tabletop gaming by starting off with something that takes a lot of time to get into, I just want something that we can get out 1 night and instantly have a blast as it were)

Kobolds Ate My Baby! the Game. It's hysterical, REALLY simple, and will teach you the ropes.

Skratt:
I recommend starting with some board game style stuff.

Order of the Stick

They have a board game? Can I have a link to look it up?

Kendarik:
-Essentials-

Truth be told, I am not a very intrigued by Essentials. With that said, my experience with the line is pretty much holding the red box for a while - I bought it as a gift for a friend, so I don't really know how it plays. And I don't even play that much D&D, so I suppose it's wiser to to listen to you.

Chicago Ted:
-snip-

Yeah, I agree with that. As awesome as oWoD is, the new one is vastly superior in terms of accessibility and comfort. Besides, at the end of the day you're still playing the same games. Does it matter if you roll Willpower or Resolve? And if you want something from oWoD, porting it over takes no actual time - just do it. Want Antediluvians? Do it. Want centuries old conspiracies? Do it. Want the Traditions and the Spheres in the game? Do it. I shudder at the thought that any WoD player would not be able to port cool ideas from one setting to the other. I mean, people have already done so much, like converted VtM to use Blood Potency[1] or ported Demon the Fallen into nWoD. Mechanics are a non-issue, which leaves only story elements and plot. And if you can't find use for plot outside of what's readily available for the setting, then I'd suggest finding a new hobby. I hear fishing is popular. Seriously, plot is plot, since it's mechanics neutral, so it's extremely easy to port over. Especially between new and old WoD, since it carries the same overall feel to itself - urban legends, local myths, actual weird stuff happening - does it need an exact "edition" to fit in? Let's see - you have a creepy ritualistic serial killer who has been running around lately and evidence suggests (to those "in the know") that there is something supernatural about them. Is that new or old WoD? Is he corrupted by the Wyrm or the Abyss? Is he a ghoul or perhaps something different? See, it's not only setting neutral but it's gameline neutral.

With that said, Vampire the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition is really awesome and if anybody ever want a vampire game, I'd recommend that. It has all the important information about VtM collected together - including more in-depth information on the Sabbat, on the antitribu, on other bloodlines, even extinct ones, pretty much all the Disciplines (not all all but all the major ones from even outside the core book) and more. It's probably the most useful oWoD book ever, I'd even drop the "o" and go for any World of Darkness, since it brings numerous supplements into itself and presents them nicely.

[1] because it fucking makes more sense

Bassik:


Warhammer 40K; in my opinion the coolest tabletop game out there. The rules are simple to learn, and just look at those mini's. Assault on Black Reach is the starter set for two players, coming with a SPACE MARINE and Ork army, the rule book, and everything else you need to start playing. I think there's going to be a new edition of the rules very soon, with a new starter set, but I am not sure about this.


Warhammer fantasy! Elves, dragons, evil ratmen, oh boy. This starter set is like the 40K one in that you can pick it up and play it right away (Some assembly required).

i love playing warhammer it is one of my favourite things to do, but dear got i hate the building and painting of the models, it's SO BORING
i wish i had a friend who liked painting so i could pay them to do it

Keep in mind with Warhammer (40k and fantasy) Games Workshop raises their prices annually. They DID announce another hike next month or so i believe. Beasts of War reported on it.

Chicago Ted:

Johnny Impact:
snip

snip

Gotta dive into the deep end, man.

I'd love to see a group of all rookies playing Mage. I might cringe, but I'd still love to see it. I've never encountered a game that cracks players' skulls open anywhere near as often or as effectively as Mage.

Any game where players can be attacked by robot bears, get stuck in a pocket dimension where Asshole Them is the resident deity, accidentally become temporarily immune to the force of gravity (NOT as cool as it sounds), and speak with the ghost of Jimi Hendrix, all in a single session, is all right by me.

Also, I don't like to recommend products I've never used, hence editions I've actually played instead of glossy new stuff.

Bassik:


Warhammer 40K; in my opinion the coolest tabletop game out there. The rules are simple to learn, and just look at those mini's. Assault on Black Reach is the starter set for two players, coming with a SPACE MARINE and Ork army, the rule book, and everything else you need to start playing. I think there's going to be a new edition of the rules very soon, with a new starter set, but I am not sure about this.


Warhammer fantasy! Elves, dragons, evil ratmen, oh boy. This starter set is like the 40K one in that you can pick it up and play it right away (Some assembly required).


Dystopian Wars is a rather new game from Spartan Games, and it rocks. It's a.. steampunk setting, with big battleships, airships, aircraft and little resin tanks. It does not have a starter set, but it's cheaper to get into then a Games Workshop game, and the rules are really easy to learn.

Are you insane, sir? Your Number 6 avatar says otherwise, but... really, entry level? Those are all VERY complex, very advanced, and very expensive games to play. You can't even play Warhammer (either one) without dropping at least 500 dollars on miniatures.

Anyway...

OT: I'd say D&D 4E is good for entry level, particularly if you get it with some paper miniatures.

However, since that's been said, and since I prefer Pathfinder, I'll take that route.

Pathfinder RPG offers some printable paper miniatures and a great basic starter kit. They also offer pre-made adventures (really, really good ones) with pre-made characters to make getting started easier. Once you get used to the rules, you can try creating your own, but for learning the rules there is nothing better than pre-gen characters to run.

Also, the Pathfinder SRD (google it) provides ALL of the Pathfinder rules, for free, online, and is officially supported by paizo. If you want to try a game with no cost upfront, then Pathfinder is the best option.

Midgeamoo:
(just want to add that I'm not afraid of any complexity, it makes it way more fun for me, but I don't want to scare anybody away from tabletop gaming by starting off with something that takes a lot of time to get into, I just want something that we can get out 1 night and instantly have a blast as it were)

One night? Then get one of the Pathfinder one-shot adventures. They come with pre-made characters so you don't need to spend any time on character generation. You can just sit down and play. All you'll need is dice and the adventure itself (which will run you between 10 and 20 bucks). You can reference all of the books and monsters online with the Pathfinder SRD.

Conect 4x4

Its extra panel adds a lot of strategy and fun, really don't dissmis it if you don't like the regular one, It's a lot of fun for up to four players, with its block pieces and because players can't tell each other where to put their pieces even if they haven't realized another player is about to win.

I would contest that the Warhammer starter sets contain everything you need to start playing.
You also need the Army Books and Codex' for both armies in both sets. Adding at least £40 to each box for both books.

However; I do agree that the starter boxes are relativly good value. I priced it up once a while ago, and I think the total for buying all the contents seperatly comes to about £160. Although I can't be sure of that number. It was ages ago and I didn't write it down. So £70 for each is pretty good.
However again; The army selections are limiting. (Not that it matters to new players).
Space Marines are good all rounders that tend to have the flexibility to work in most situations.
Orks... You should just charge everything forwards... All the time. Anything Else and you might as well not play Orks.
High Elves are just brilliant. Fast and Accurate with superiour numbers of attacks, with some of the best Magical support in the game. Only weakness: IF you can hit them, they tend to go squish.
Skaven have tonnes of personality and superior amounts of troops than most of the game. But lack quality. Not a great match against High Elves in my opinion. But then again, I am a bit of a rubbish Skaven player and my best mate is a brilliant High Elf player.

Personally I would recommend the game Atmosfear.
It's a really fun game that's easy to understand since you the DVD will explain the rules to you and everything before you start. The game is 1 hour or less long, and you can easily set it up for just one evening. Me and my friends love to play it, and with the lights off it gives the game a really creepy atmosfear.
Unluckily, the game costs a bit, and you will need 3 or more players to play it. But I still strongly recommend it if you have the cash for it.

DoPo:

They have a board game? Can I have a link to look it up?

Order of The Stick Adventure Game: The Dungeon of Durokan Deluxe Edition

It's a board game that you build with cards. I've played it a few times and we've had a blast every time. It really follows in the vein of the comic, which is why the single review on amazon surprised me. The heroes in the comic bicker and back stab each other constantly even though they are supposed to be adventuring together. In the board game they can help each other but in the end the winner is the character with the highest score.

Check out http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/24157/order-of-the-stick-adventure-game-the-dungeon-of-d for a more accurate review. Looks like the opinions are mixed.

The one bad thing is that the Order of the Stick comic is essentially a big inside joke for D&D geeks. That can be a bad thing if you aren't one.

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