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Prison library games

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25 Jun 2018 14:57 #276165 by edulis
Prison library games was created by edulis
I work as a librarian at a correctional facility (aka prison). Two years ago I picked up a few board games for the library and they saw enough use to justify buying a few more this year.

One of the games I purchased was Thunder & Lightning, as I own Hera and Zeus and thought this newer version might be appreciated among the offenders. Holy Thunder! This game has become so popular and not just among the nerds and bookworms, but the Asatru guys and even some hardcore criminals.

I think the level of deceit and bluffing mixed with some aggression, attached to the Norse God theme has hit some sort of sweet spot. I added this game to the collection on 4/12 and it has 75 separate check-outs, multiple plays per check-out. Games have to stay in the library and are stored in my office and it gets used multiple times per day. So in less than 3 months Thunder & Lightning has become my second most used game. Only trailing behind the chess set with a 138 and I've owned chess for 2 years.

So my question is can you all give me some more recommendations? There are some rules :
  1. no D6s (gambling concern)
  2. Plays in less than an hour
  3. Not a ton of pieces
  4. Can be taught fairly quickly

Other games we own : Escape the Aliens from Outer Space, Tak, The Duke, Love letter, Kinddomino, Cardline, Timeline, Hive, Prime climb (math game), Set, Quoridor, Pandemic (sort of breaks some of the above rules),and Ingenious.
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25 Jun 2018 15:04 - 25 Jun 2018 15:04 #276167 by charlest
Replied by charlest on topic Prison library games
Skull
Cockroach Poker
Last edit: 25 Jun 2018 15:04 by charlest.
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25 Jun 2018 15:33 #276170 by Gregarius
Replied by Gregarius on topic Prison library games
Onitama
En Garde
Schotten-Totten
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25 Jun 2018 15:39 #276171 by hotseatgames
Replied by hotseatgames on topic Prison library games
Duhr: The Lesser Houses
Cosmic Encounter
Survive!
Neuroshima Hex!
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25 Jun 2018 15:43 #276172 by Shellhead
Replied by Shellhead on topic Prison library games
Room 25 is easy to teach, doesn't use dice, and easily plays in less than 30 minutes. It doesn't have a ton of pieces, but there are 8 minis and 50 cardboard room tiles. It scales nicely from 1 to 8 players, and the default mode is co-op. If you have at least four or five players, you can play it in traitor mode. Even better, in traitor mode, most players are "prisoners" but the hidden traitors are "guards" who are trying to sabotage the escape.

Battle for Rokugan is easy to teach, doesn't use dice, and plays in an hour. However, it does have quite a few pieces. It's a DOAM game for 2 to 5 players, and each player is going to be using about 50 cardboard chits. There is also a deck of cards, but not the kind of cards that could ever be used for gambling. A few of the cards are used to determine the first player each turn, and the secret victory condition for each player. Most of the rest of the cards are one-time rewards for taking over territories. It's basically the Game of Thrones boardgame, but very streamlined and accessible.

Cash 'n Gun$ would probably be a big hit, but probably not at all suitable for the setting. Easy to teach, no dice, plays in less than a half hour, and has few pieces.

Secret Hitler also fits your parameters, but might be thematically wrong for your players. Easy to teach, no dice, plays in about a half hour, and has few components.

Might be hard to obtain, but the old Nuclear War card game could work. Easy to teach, no dice, plays in an about an hour, and the only pieces are a two decks of cards and a spinner. One deck is population cards, expressed in millions, and the other is a mixture of propaganda, spies, secrets, nukes, and delivery systems. Neither deck could be used for gambling.
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26 Jun 2018 11:06 #276243 by Smeagol
Replied by Smeagol on topic Prison library games
Can you mod Escape from Colditz to get rid of the d6?
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26 Jun 2018 11:09 #276244 by SuperflyPete
Replied by SuperflyPete on topic Prison library games
Escape from Colditz with A,2,3,4,5,6 of Hearts from a standard deck.
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26 Jun 2018 11:21 #276246 by quozl
Replied by quozl on topic Prison library games
There are tons of good card games, of course, but I'll suggest other fare.

Catacombs
Cosmic Encounter
Dungeon Command
High Society
Hive
I'm The Boss
Jungle Speed
Niagara
Puzzle Strike
Tigris & Euphrates
Wiz-War
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26 Jun 2018 12:25 #276251 by the_jake_1973
Replied by the_jake_1973 on topic Prison library games
I think Karuba would be a worthy addition. You may have to find a replacement for the gold/diamond bits. The game really grabbed me.

Targi could also be interesting to include.
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26 Jun 2018 12:31 #276253 by Jexik
Replied by Jexik on topic Prison library games
Is it mostly 2 player games, or would something like Codenames fit?

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26 Jun 2018 12:59 #276255 by Michael Barnes
Replied by Michael Barnes on topic Prison library games
You need to consider why T&L is such a big hit here.

It’s a highly competitive 2 player game with minimal rules, traditional card game concepts and it balances skill with luck.

Lost Cities, Battleline, Star Wars: Empire vs. Rebellion, Omen: Reign of War, Caesar & Cleopatra, And other games in that vein would likely go over well.

I bet Ivanhoe would do well too with 3-5.
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26 Jun 2018 13:18 #276257 by jeb
Replied by jeb on topic Prison library games
  • CITADELS? Would that work? I think that hits most of the good points.
  • SAN JUAN is good too and scales well.
  • I second EN GARDE or even nudge to FLASH DUEL, which can go deeper.
  • JAMBO is a good 2P title, no dice, competitive, some take that.
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26 Jun 2018 15:00 #276264 by edulis
Replied by edulis on topic Prison library games
Thanks all for the great suggestions. Now I need to research the titles, as many of them I have not heard of.

Mostly 2 player but not always. I am not sure how well something like code names would work... teamwork is not these guys strong point. Pandemic has fallen pretty flat.

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26 Jun 2018 15:03 - 26 Jun 2018 15:03 #276265 by edulis
Replied by edulis on topic Prison library games
Shellhead-

I think I would get fired for bringing in cash and guns! I don't think the warden would like the foam guns :).!

I'd like to try out room 25 sometime. Nuclear war is a good idea.
Last edit: 26 Jun 2018 15:03 by edulis.

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26 Jun 2018 16:31 #276273 by WadeMonnig
Replied by WadeMonnig on topic Prison library games
Coup
Sushi go
Pyramids
Tournament at Camelot
The fox in the forest

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