The big one is Terra Mystica. After enough of my friends have told me how much they like it, I decided that I really needed to give it a go. And fortunately, there is a fan site online that will let me try playing the game.
That said, learning Terra Mystica through turn-based games on an unofficial site is probably going to be one of the hardest ways to learn how to play the game. Looking through the rulebooks and instructional videos, Terra Mystica looks like the love child of Small World and Settlers of Catan on after a heavy dose of steroids and getting sent off to college.
But that's not too different than how I powered through learning Reef Encounter last year and that was totally worth it.
I have a feeling that I am really going to like the game but I also have a feeling that, for people who know how to play the game, my first several games are going to look like I've suffered a severe head injury.
I have also slowly been playing through some learning games of Marco Polo on Yucata. It is a dice placement game, where you use your dice to gather resources and money in order to travel and fulfill contracts. Oh, and everyone gets a really amazing special power.
I think a major mistakes that I've made in my first few games is that I have obsessed too much about travel and not enough about everything else. I've ended up stranded in cities that I can't get out of.
I'm closer to understanding Marco Polo than I am to Terra Mystica but I still have a ways to go. I'm still waiting for the switch to flip and for the game to really click in my head.
Finally, 7 Steps was just added to Yucata and I've been getting several learning games in. One of the designers is Michael Kiesling, long time collaborator with Wolfgang Kramer, which is a pretty good pedigree.
It's an abstract about placing and stacking discs for fun and points with cards for special placements and bonus points. It is a metric ton lighter than the other two games and I'm already getting a good idea not just what the rules are but how to actually play the game.
Reminds me a little bit of Ingenious, which is one of my favorite games. And it's fast enough that I can see myself playing it a lot on Yucata. However, there's no denying that it is not going to be the experience that Marco Polo or Terra Mystica are going to be.
Both Marco Polo and Terra Mystica routinely show up on peoples best of lists and 7 Steps isn't going to do that. Simply put, it's just not as good a game. However, its light and easy play does mean I'm going to get quite a few games of it in.
Oh, As long as I'm rambling about boardgames, I've also come very close to buying Machi Koro. I've seen it for sale at a number of places and, unlike Terra Mystica, which I've also been tempted to buy, it's one that I can see us being able to play after the toddler goes to bed.
However, on the one hand, we have plenty of games that we are struggling to find a time to play. And, I am tempted to get the deluxe edition so that I get the expansions all in one go. So, even though it's tempting, Machi Koro is not likely to be picked up anytime soon.