4/28/2012 11:58:38 PM

Introducing people to the world of German-style board games is a lot of fun. But where to start? There are a lot of great games out there, some certainly more complicated than others. Today I'd like to give a quick overview of some great beginner games, and in the future I'll go into more detail about choosing games for beginners and mixed groups.

Gateway Gaming_5_1.jpg

As mentioned, there are probably easier ways to introduce players to this sport called Eurogaming than pulling out all 340 Agricola components. Even as an experienced gamer, that unboxing was a little overwhelming!

Some of my top "Gateway Games:"


Pandemic is a quick study, with all players playing against the game. This can foster feelings of friendship, as opposed to intense competition among friends. Sometimes a good start.

You get to fight disease, summon your inner doctor, and run away from impending doom.

1-4 players, expandable for up to 5.

Ticket to Ride:

A good old train game. Easy to explain, quick to conceptualize, and a nice game to socialize over. This still holds value for more seasoned gamers, as you can pull out your strategy and start doing some crazy blocking.

2-5 players, available in different versions (Europe, Scandanavia, Marklin)


The classic tile-laying game, Carcassonne's game dynamics are usually enough to turn the heads of those who insist "I don't like board games." They often try this one out and decide they aren't quite so bad.

Carcassonne can get mean -- it's easy to "steal" away pastures and easy enough to steal cities from other players, thereby taking or negating their points. With beginners, they are usually just excited to play, and that side of things comes later.

2-5 players. Many, many expansions available to alter gameplay.


In a bit of a shift, this is a card game rather than a board game. This game is not ranked in the top ten of BoardGameGeek's lists for nothing, though. Intriguing, fast gameplay that is easy enough to figure out and explain will leave them wanting more.

2-4 players, expansions available for further fun.

Stay tuned for further details on why I might pick these games. In the meantime, Happy Playing!