Board Games

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#1 Edited by Captain_Insano (3523 posts) -

I know we're all gamers - but I wonder how many people on here actively play board games (if you don't, you should).

I think the hardest part about getting in to board games is finding other people to share that hobby with. I've only recently gotten properly in to board games and am just discovering how amazing and fun they can be. For the past 8 or so years my household has just been myself and my wife. Due to a family tragedy, my 16 year old sister has had to move in with us. As part of us forming a family, we've instituted a weekly family game night (which has become much more regular than just weekly).

The real curiosity I have is: Did board games only get good during the 2000s??

Growing up I remember playing Monopoly, Cluedo (Clue), The Game of Life, Scrabble, Payday, Risk. Some of these I still really like (Risk), but most games were your typical roll a die, move around the board, draw some cards, get money etc...

Now games seem to have amped up how much strategy you can use.

Games we've played lately include:

- Jackbox Party Pack (YDKJ, Fibbage, Drawful) - not board games I know, but that's how our family game nights got started

- The Resistance: Avalon (there's a couple of premium videos of this here on GB, great as a part game)

- Ticket to Ride (our first purchase other than the ones we already owned from a long time ago - what a great game to introduce people to modern board games)

- Scotland Yard

- Catan (holy shit this game is great, I know why it's pretty much most people's number 1)

- Tokaido

- Attika

- Pandemic (this has been a lot of fun co-operating as a group)

Recent purchases include:

- Takenoko

- Dominion

- Hanabi

- Eldritch Horror

- 7 Wonders

Plus I want to get some expansions for games I already have (Just picked up Pandemic: On the Brink)

I'm finding myself researching lots of board games, going to shops and wanting to buy heaps of them. I feel like board games have bit me deep at the moment, though I'm concerned about 'burning out' on them with my family.


Any favourite board games here on GB?

I'd love to talk about some of the games I've already played - I think it'd be awesome to discuss various strategies to these games and I think there is a natural cross over between board games and video games - while selling my wife on video games is tough (she supports me and buys heaps of video game stuff for me, but has little interest herself other than Lego LOTR and Jurassic) but board games have been accessible for all.

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#2 Posted by butano (1999 posts) -

Betrayal at House on the Hill. Basically, you explore around a haunted house together finding items and omens and such, and at one point in the game one of the players becomes the betrayer, and the story that plays out is dictated by what room the player is in and what omen he/she found. The gameplay is then altered to that story so the betrayer has a specific goal and the survivors have a specific goal. There's like 50 different stories so it's a blast every time it's played since it's rather rare to play the same scenario.

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#3 Posted by Captain_Insano (3523 posts) -

@butano: I've heard of Betrayal...

Hoping to get my wife into Eldritch Horror first as she hates the concept of horror. The idea that part way through a game a player has to turn and become a 'betrayer' sounds like a cool mechanic.

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#4 Posted by hugh_jazz (473 posts) -

I've thought about this as well recently, how old board games tend to be extremely luck-based and not very balanced, maybe even by design. Of all the old board games we have in my parents' house, Scotland Yard is the one we've gone back to, mostly because it has an interesting metagame with plenty of discussions as well as being asynchronously competitive/cooperative. When I bought my first board game in around 2011, it was after having played Arkham Horror and wanting something cooperative that didn't suck(sorry). So I got Shadows over Camelot, and that has been the most fun I've had playing a board game, because it has that same mix of cooperative play with the added tension of a possible traitor that needs to be managed. If you're into Pandemic, I'd say this needs looking into.

Since then I've bought quite a few games, first and foremost being the number one game on BGG, Twilight Struggle. I actually bought this game when visiting my at the time very new girlfriend for the first time, and it was her first experience of a board game(maybe not the best idea ever). If you're interested in a two-player epic conflict game, look this up. It's also fantastic if you're a history buff, since it gives a lot of concrete and practical understanding of the dynamics of the Cold War.

I'll mention the Tempest games, of which Love Letter might be the most well known, but we also have Courtier(small-scale court intrigue, fast and interesting) and Dominare(large-scale city conquest, maybe a bit bloated in rule-set, but could be enjoyable). These have a nice consistent art-style with some flavour-story to tie all the games together since they follow a chronological story in the world.

In no other particular order:

  • Eclipse
  • Splendor
  • Tsuro
  • Qin(Reiner Knizia fuck yeah)
  • Fresco
  • Eminent Domain
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#5 Posted by WrinklyDinosaur (542 posts) -

Hey man! I really enjoy playing Munchkin - it is super enjoyable once you have the basics down. There are also like a zillion expansions. Between us, my friends and I have the base set and the Adventure Time set and they can be played by themselves or mixed up together - lots of fun!

For a more mature audience, I also love Cards Against Humanity. It isn't so much a board game, but it is also endless and ultra entertaining. There are the base set from the makers that you can buy, but they have also released their templates. If you do a brief web search, you will find HEAPS of decks.

My buddies LOVE Smallworld, but I haven't gotten into it so much.

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#6 Edited by Captain_Insano (3523 posts) -

@hugh_jazz: Love Letter sounds interesting - I've read a bit about it - wife likes the concept. I think I'm banned from buying more than the 4 or so games I mentioned I want to purchase though.

Discovered Lord of the Rings by Reiner Knizia at my wife's old house - she'd bought it when she was buying pretty much everything LOTR. I don't think she's ever actually played the board game - I want to play it but it seems pretty dense.

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#7 Posted by butano (1999 posts) -
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#8 Posted by Geralt (484 posts) -

I, on the contrary, just got it to it but I got in deep and dragging my extended family into this hole with me.

My first game was Avalon which is introduced by an unlikely board games evangelist, Dan Ryckert. Since Pathfinder seems a little too needy for my taste. But I love "Acquisition Incorporated" though, both podcasts and live sessions.

A few hundred dollars (exchange rates as of today) later we all addicted to "Ticket to Ride", "Catan", "Pandemic" & "Dixit".

Next on the list is "Lords of Waterdeep" & "King of Tokyo".

P.S. I highly recommend "TableTop" series on YouTube and "Acquisition Incorporated" for fun times alone...all by yourself.

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#9 Posted by wadtomaton (608 posts) -

I love Twilight Imperium but it's a pretty significant commitment to play. If you guys like Lord of the Rings, there is a great LotR Co-op game (also designed by Reiner Knizia, I second Hugh_Jazz's 'fuck yeah' for Reiner) published by Fantasy Flight. Mag Blast is a fun game for something more casual and laid back (plus you get to make all kinds of space ship noises! :D ). King of Tokyo is also a really fun game.

Betrayal is great if you can find a copy, and it's a game with a lot of replayability. If you are interested in board games and haven't already checked it out, Wil Wheaton has a show on the Geek & Sundry Youtube channel called 'Tabletop' where guessed it...plays tabletop games! (I'm sure that premise was very shocking given the title lol). Not only is it entertaining but you get to watch people play games and you can tell if it's something you may like.

Board games have been awesome for a long time, but around 2000 I would say is when they started to get more mainstream (as someone who grew up playing things like Magic and Star Wars CCG, I was constantly at gaming shops that would carry that sort of stuff). I think Carcassone was one of the first if not the first big 'European' style games to come over that made a big splash and paved the way for it to appear outside of your local game shop.

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#10 Posted by 2HeadedNinja (2321 posts) -

I play board game at least twice a month. Right now I would recommend "Pathfinder the Adventure Card Game" ... it's a really elegant way to translate a classic pen&paper rpg into a card game, really nice mechanics and lots and lots of replay value.

Others would be:

  • Shadows over Camelot
  • Battlestar Galactica
  • X-Wing Miniature Game
  • Pandemic
  • Sheriff of Nottingham
  • Resistance

... and too many more for my old brain to remember

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#11 Posted by FrodoBaggins (2083 posts) -

Here's a couple of my favourites.

Descent and it's many expansions - fantasy board game where one player plays as the monsters and the other players, upto 4 of them, play as a hero character, each with unique abilities. You play through a campaign of different missions each with different board layouts and objectives, both heros and monsters getting stronger and acquiring equipment as the campaign goes on.

Small World - Risk like board control game. Only you play as a host of fantasy races, from Trolls to Dwarves to Ratmen, each with its own properties. You stick with a race until you feel the time is right, once it's resources are stretched too thinly, then you ditch them in favor of another race and continue your War for world control.

Dead of Winter - really really cool zombie apocalypse game. Upto 5 people play as survives in a colonie, working together to complete the games various main objectives, whilst also trying to fulfill a secret objective. Will one of the players be a betrayer? Probably my favourite game right now.

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#12 Posted by Captain_Insano (3523 posts) -

Yeah I've been watching a lot of Tabletop - I personally find Wil Wheaton and his schtick pretty irritating but I like the fact that he is quite genuine and the 'quick look' at the games are pretty informative.

Board Game Geek is good for a more wiki like view at games.

I've found the blog Board Game Quest to have really good reviews and lists of games.

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#13 Edited by Top8Gamer (214 posts) -

Yea Board Game Geek is the go to website for all your board game info. I've played board games for at least the past 15 years. If you are having trouble finding people to play with you can usually do a little searching online and find play groups where people get together to play board games. I know maybe playing with strangers might seem like it could be weird or awkward but board games are a great social event and I've met a ton of great people and made lifetime long friends through board games. I know at least here in St. Louis there is a very active board game community and you can usually find somewhere to go play any day of the week.

Also conventions like PAX or Gencon have huge board game sections. And there have been complex board games for a long time. It's just that they weren't distributed in the US widely till late 90s early 2000s. There just wasn't really a place to sell them as they are generally focused towards older audiences and adult toy stores weren't really a thing like they are now. That's why all you really remember are children's games that they would sell in normal toy stores.

As for favorite board games my favorite is Through the Ages, it's a board game based on civilization and it is awesome. The great thing about the game is you can scale it to 3 different game length/game complexity so you can kind of take is slowly and not get overwhelmed with a bunch of rules at once.

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#14 Posted by hugh_jazz (473 posts) -

@captain_insano: Love Letter is only a 10€ thing so maybe you'd be able to squeeze it in somewhere. It's perfect for when you're somewhere out of the house and want to spend some low-impact time playing a game. It takes up almost no space and is easy to focus on.

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#15 Posted by 2HeadedNinja (2321 posts) -

Yea Board Game Geek is the go to website for all your board game info.

Hey, could you elaborate on why? Is it the ammount of data they have? Because from a visual and usability-perspective it seems terrible to me. Genuine curiosity here.

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#16 Posted by jsgr93 (92 posts) -

I've actually been wanting to try to get into board games again, but kept on forgetting to look for ideas. Now I have no excuse. Thanks for the awesome recommendations duders.

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#17 Edited by FrodoBaggins (2083 posts) -

@2headedninja: it has absolutely everything you could need to know about any board game ever.

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#18 Edited by Top8Gamer (214 posts) -

@2headedninja said:
@top8gamer said:

Yea Board Game Geek is the go to website for all your board game info.

Hey, could you elaborate on why? Is it the ammount of data they have? Because from a visual and usability-perspective it seems terrible to me. Genuine curiosity here.

Yea it has the most data, and it's the site everyone uses. Visually it can be a little confusing, but a lot of that is because it's trying to give you a lot of information so it can look a little cluttered. The main feature if your just looking for some good games to play is to hover over the browse section at the top and just go to games. That page will list pretty much every board game ever made all the way down to tic tac toe ranked in order based on user data. Then if you click on an individual games page you will get a ton of data. From what ages are recommended to average game length to how many players it plays best with etc. Then just like Giantbomb is setup, each game has it's own forums also which is towards the bottom of the games page.

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#19 Posted by Captain_Insano (3523 posts) -

How is Shut Up and Sit Down (? not sure if I got the name right) - I like GB because of the personalities, and knowing pretty much what the guys like and how they play helps to inform my ideas of their opinions on games - Tabletop has been okay but Wil Wheaton really annoys me and so do many of his guests - all these Youtube stars are just so over the top

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#20 Edited by Zelyre (1901 posts) -

I enjoy Descent as well. What I really enjoy about the game though, is that it has a campaign, so you're getting levels and loot and you carry it over from game to game. There's no game over mechanic. Only a fail/win state that changes the flow/story. If fantasy isn't your thing, there's a Star Wars game, Imperial Assault by the same publisher that is in the same genre of game.

Mice and Mystics is great if you like the idea of Descent, but don't want the dungeonmaster vs heroes gameplay. Its very narrative driven and I'm not sure how well it'd hold up to repeated playings, but the game is easy to pick up and the mice miniatures are, so I've been told, "really cute. Aren't they cute? They're CUTE!".

I enjoy Zombicide, but we play with a lot of house rules as the base rules can be a little harsh and "anti-fun".

Dead of Winter or Battlestar Galactica are fun, but with only three players, I think it might be easy for a player to feel like they're getting ganged up on.

Pathfinder Adventures is fun, but it can also be a huge money sink. That big box has a lot of stuff, but only a handful of quests. Want to continue the story? You'll need to buy the next chapter. Each big box has 6 chapters of story. By Amazon pricing, each big campaign is going to cost around a hundred bucks.

Are there specific themes/genres that you're looking to avoid? I know my GF dislikes modern/sci-fi stuff, so she really doesn't get much into Zombicide. But, when she saw the Zombicide Black Plague kickstarter, she was all about us getting in on it. People recommended Super Dungeon Explore to us, but we can't get into it because of the art style and humor.

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#21 Posted by Captain_Insano (3523 posts) -

I'm just happy to chat about games. My wife hates zombies so that leaves things like Dead of Winter out

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#22 Posted by AShottInTheDark (5 posts) -

@captain_insano: Shut Up and Sit Down is my favorite website for board game reviews and news for many of the same reasons Giant Bomb is my favorite site for video games. The hosts of the site have entertaining personalities where their passion for board games come through in almost everything they do and the communities there are friendly and just enjoy sharing why they like the hobby. Their video reviews are the best part because they do a good job of keeping things on point of who the game is for, what works and doesn't work, and inject it with British wit. Don't expect the reviews to teach you to play the game to the point you'll know how to fully play after watching, but they let know enough to understand why you will either like or dislike the game as well as make comparisons to similar games to see how it stacks up in comparison when appropriate. If you want a good example I'd recommend watching their review for the XCOM board game here.

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#23 Posted by facktion (71 posts) -

@captain_insano: Shut Up and Sit Down is my favorite website for board game reviews and news for many of the same reasons Giant Bomb is my favorite site for video games. The hosts of the site have entertaining personalities where their passion for board games come through in almost everything they do and the communities there are friendly and just enjoy sharing why they like the hobby. Their video reviews are the best part because they do a good job of keeping things on point of who the game is for, what works and doesn't work, and inject it with British wit. Don't expect the reviews to teach you to play the game to the point you'll know how to fully play after watching, but they let know enough to understand why you will either like or dislike the game as well as make comparisons to similar games to see how it stacks up in comparison when appropriate. If you want a good example I'd recommend watching their review for the XCOM board game here.

I second this endorsement of "Shut up and Sit Down". Thanks for reminding me of that XCOM review, holy shit that was hilarious :)

My personal favourites are Pandemic, 7 Wonders (nice since it plays well with 3 people), and Eldritch Horror. Also check out Alien Frontiers; an under-appreciated but brilliant worker placement came.

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#24 Edited by Honkalot (1042 posts) -

There is a Game of Thrones boardgame that is surprisingly astoundingly complicated and also greatly fun.

Full games take 8 hours easily if it's even.

Citadels is another great one that doesn't take too long per game. Very much involves heavy tactical thinking.

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#25 Posted by deactivated-58ca104190dca (324 posts) -

Good to see Betrayal mentioned already, that's one of the best games I've played. I've also played Quarriors a few times & I'm really getting into that as well.

Since you mentioned Jackbox have you tried out any of the digitial versions of boardgames on Steam? I picked up the Witcher boardgame along with a Humble Bundle pack with the intention to buy the boardgame versions of the ones that should out.

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#26 Posted by TooSweet (525 posts) -

Cyclades - Not difficult to learn and very fun. You petition the greek gods to help you built your armies, call legendary monsters etc... your end goal is to build a metropolis. Very Clash of the Titans like.

Ascension - Anyone that's gone to a PAX con has probably seen these guys. The game is legit fun. Also very easy to learn.

Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game - Takes long to start up but once you get going this game is fun. Play cooperatively to defeat scenarios by specific super villains and their henchmen. (There is a new Legendary game based on Alien. I'm assuming its the same thing)

Resident Evil - Another deck building game. The first one I played. We still play it if my buddy brings it over.

Games on my list to pick up: Pandemic and Tokaido

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#27 Posted by phrosen (183 posts) -

Archipelago - 5player game where you all explore and settle a set of islands coop-petetively, Everyone at the beginning of the game gets a different secret victory condition and condition for the game to end. When one of those endings is reached, all conditions are tallied up and the person who has the most points wins the most, seeing as surviving is already winning. That's where the cooperative part comes into play. The natives don't much care if it's the green player or the yellow player exploiting their lands. You'll have to work together to strike a balance and not upset them too much, because should they revolt, all players lose.

Die Macher - As far as I'm concerned boardgaming peaked in 1986 with this in depth game about the German national election. Takes easily 5 hours to play and there's a lot going on with different systems, party alliances, joint victories, secret opinion polls and shifting interest in political issues both locally and nationally. There's a reason it has the #1 game id on bgg.

Netrunner - It's a 2player card game with a ton of expansions, but the hook is its asymmetric design - meaning both sides play entirely differently - but also how well the theme matches the design. One player plays one of basically four future corps, setting up servers and protecting those with different hurdles and gates and things while the other player is a futuristic cyber hacker, a Netrunner. Their task is to get all the way to the bottom of those servers and stealing valuable agendas from the corp before the corp can score them.

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#28 Edited by Kidavenger (4417 posts) -
@toosweet said:

Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game - Takes long to start up but once you get going this game is fun. Play cooperatively to defeat scenarios by specific super villains and their henchmen. (There is a new Legendary game based on Alien. I'm assuming its the same thing)

I picked up legendary for a birthday present for my brother a few weeks ago, I've only played it once, but it was very disappointing.

-It's very expensive

-The card tray makes no sense so it sucks for storing the game after you are done playing, and it makes the game very hard to setup.

-It's too easy, we played with red skull, so we weren't expecting it to be hard, but after only a few rounds everyone had enough cards that we could easily defeat the boss whenever we wanted; when it takes longer to setup a game than to actually play it, that is a big problem.

-There is an extreme lack of variety in the cards, just seemed like all the cards were very basic and lacked any interesting gameplay mechanics.

-The DC universe deckbuilder game is so much better, and Dominion is better still.

I've bought a lot of new games over the last year since I got back into boardgames, Legendary is honestly the only one that I've been disappointed by.


Dominion and Pandemic would be the two I start with, they are both very different from traditional games, and each other, and they are both just great games.

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#29 Posted by Sin4profit (3501 posts) -

Board Games; now we're talkin! So i've been getting into board games more and more over the year and have been designing a few of them as well (too lazy to learn to code but hopeful what i learn can carry over into videogame design).

  • Deckbuilders: Dominion is definitely a good one and can easily draw new people in. I've heard Ascention and/or Thunderstone build onto the Dominion foundation and are considered, "better". I haven't played those two but i think Dominion is the best place to start for deckbuilders to see if you'll like them. If you do like the deck building concept, the Legendary series is a good one, i've only played Legendary: Encounters ( the Alien movie variant ) but from what i've seen the Legendary Marvel games are conceptually the same but play very differently so you're good to buy either one. I'm also looking forward to the Predator version which will allow you to play from the human side,the predator side, and also mix in the Alien version, from what i've heard.
  • Dicebuilders?: So i haven't tried these yet but i've heard them described as being "Like Dominion, but with dice"; Quarriors (standalone game) & Dice Masters (collector game) I'm looking forward to checking those out and will probably start with Quarriors.
  • Co-Op Games: Recently i've played Dead of Winter and i screwed up the rules making the "Crisis" impossible but even then the game was too easy, i liked it but the starter scenario played on easy mode ( the scenario cards are two sided with "hardcore mode" on the other side) was a little too easy. Flash Point is a co-op game that i've had a lot of fun with as well and you've already played Pandemic which i could recommend to others as well.
  • Racing games: I've played, and liked Formula D more in theory than in practice. Once i finish one lap i'm kinda done with it and want to move on to something else. In fact, the game i'm designing is a more combat focused variant of Formula D that i'm trying to get to play faster while becoming more interesting as the laps go on.
  • Filler Games: Zombie Dice is a pretty good "press your luck" filler game, and i find it's good to have a filler game for everyone to play while you set up the next "main event" game. I should be getting Bang! The Dice Game in a few days.
  • Miniature Wargame: I bought SW: X-wing but didn't care too much for it, though, i've heard you have to expand on it to get much out of it. i also own Wings of Glory but haven't played it yet.
  • Social Deduction: You've played all the ones i've played, The Resistance series (i haven't played Coup, though) Worth noting that other games, like Legendary Encounters & Dead of Winter have "hidden agenda" rule variants that can add a social deduction element to these other game types. A new one has come out that i'm interested in trying called Two Rooms and a Boom but looks like it requires a large group to play.

Anyway, that's all i can think of at the moment, been thinking of going to and checking out the local board game groups to get a chance to play games i'm curious about.

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#30 Posted by Captain_Insano (3523 posts) -

Went out to the shops yesterday just to 'have a look' at some games.

Came home with:

- Takenoko

- Splendor

- Eldritch Horror

Also found a couple of local-ish meet up groups that I might look in to.

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#31 Posted by AShottInTheDark (5 posts) -

I agree with the general consensus of Dominion being a good game to get as it's the one that got me into the hobby about 5 years ago and to this day remains the "purest" and one of the leanest of the deck-builder genre that it started. The reason it remains one of those games I still go back to is due to its short setup time (~5 min), short play time (~10 min per player), and the fact that you can play with a different combination of cards every time makes it so every game forces the players to "figure out" the best strategy. Now this doesn't mean it's the end all be all of the genre, there are definitely flaws. The theme is thin, but that's something fairly common across the genre, and a lot of the time you can feel like you're just playing against yourself trying to come up with be most efficient deck and you don't really interact with the other players. Some of the cards with cause more interaction and conflict, but it's never the focus.

If you end up liking Dominion or the mostly solitary experience doesn't sound appealing there are other games in the genre that I've played that have taken the original concept and evolved it interesting ways without bogging the game down with too many mechanics. Trains (review) very much plays like Dominion but adds a board where people are trying to decide if they need to focus more on building wealth or focus on expansion. Most of the points people score come from connecting your train network to cities and building stations in those cities, but doing this clutters your deck with trash that will need to be disposed of and you can bankrupt your deck. So you need to make sure you keep an efficient deck, but at the same time out maneuver your opponents and beat them to those valuable cities.

If Trains doesn't sound like it has enough conflict then I would recommend also checking out Puzzle Strike (review), but only if you plan on playing with 2 players (it works with 3-4 players, but it's best with 2). The game is like Puzzle Fighter (the video game) mixed with Dominion. Rather than trying to score points, you're trying to overwhelm your opponent's board with garbage while managing your own. Also, the game is a bit more expensive because it uses cardboard chips rather than cards, but this is a nice touch to make the game feel different and reduces playtime because you aren't reshuffling a deck every couple minutes. Instead you collect your chips into a bag, shake it around if you want, and pull out your next hand.

Finally a couple of games I've regretted buying are Ascension and Thunderstone. Ascension has less theme than Dominion in my opinion and I'm not a fan of the art. All I feel like doing is managing numbers and collecting "things" that can combo on each other that make different numbers go up. I know this basically sums up Dominion as well, but the strategy of the game never clicked with me and I didn't like how the piles of cards you buy from are randomized. If you are curious about the game I recommend trying the phone version first just in case. Thunderstone on the other hand I quite like and it has the most theme of any deck-builder I've played but the setup time (~20 min) and game time (~45 min) always feels like it takes too long and drags. I understand this won't matter to most, but its enough for me to pick other games that are similar over it when it comes time to sit down and play something.

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#32 Posted by tikimorpher (75 posts) -

I love the absolute shit out of War of the Ring and Space Hulk. Marvel Legendary is also quite good too. Eagerly anticipating the release of the new Conan game sometime early next year. The one time I played Whitechappel I had a blast.

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#33 Posted by Top8Gamer (214 posts) -

@captain_insano: That's great to hear. Meet-up groups can be a lot of fun. Also a good way to try out other games you haven't bought yourself as usually people bring up there own games so there's usually a big selection of games to play. Let us know how it goes if you decide to go to one.

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#34 Posted by Sin4profit (3501 posts) -

@captain_insano: I wasn't too hot on Splendor..other than having a thing for poker chips, the game seemed a little over hyped...maybe i have to give it a few more play troughs.

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#35 Edited by Kiemoe (1094 posts) -

@phrosen: Cool to see another Netrunner player around! I would definitely recommend it as well. The amount of choice you have in every turn of the game and the general affordability is really refreshing for someone who may have a stigma regarding card games. Maybe if a bunch of duders were into it we could have a tourney like they did with Magic!

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#36 Posted by Pierre42 (454 posts) -

Firefly the board game is a pretty good "Space Trucking Simulator" if you have the time to play it. Most folks I play with say that the adventure and journey is fun enough that it's not such a big deal if they are winning.

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#37 Posted by Captain_Insano (3523 posts) -

@sin4profit: We've only played a few rounds of Splendor. What we've played has been fun but I can see it running thin a bit quickly so we might only play it every now and then.

It's fun because with my wife and sister, they're not as heavily in to 'hardcore' games (I mean, they've played every game we have so far, but some more in depth ones are a bit of a harder sell - we got Eldritch Horror but haven't played that yet, will see how it goes) it's an easy concept and a decent starting idea of 'deck building'

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#38 Posted by Captain_Insano (3523 posts) -

Also just played a couple of rounds of Dominion for the first game - I can understand the high praises it gets - pretty fun.

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#39 Edited by Sin4profit (3501 posts) -

@captain_insano: I played Bang! The Dice Game, i'm not sure i fully understood the rules or if the official rules just kinda suck but the way we played it it had an Avalon bluffing game element to it where Outlaws/Renegades were trying to convince the Sheriff they were Deputies but that inspired everyone to go back and play more Avalon which we did for the remainder of the night. I want to figure out what the official rules actually are to see if i'm missing something but i liked what i played of it.

I got three more games coming my way in this Saturday and they're all based on bluffing mechanics.

I've also been watching a lot of Shut Up & Sit Down videos so i've linked a few videos for anyone who wants to get an idea of what these games are.

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#40 Posted by NickyDubz (365 posts) -

I love board games I think scottland yard came out way earlier than the 2000's though I remember that game from kindergarten where I had no Idea what was going on but the map was so cool to me. Anyone here from Indy? id love to start a GB game night haha

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#41 Posted by buttle826 (282 posts) -

I looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooove board games. I have a sizable collection of them. Some favorites:

Lords of Vegas: This is, in my opinion, the natural step up from Settlers of Catan, but I never hear anyone talk about it. Deep enough strategy without being terrifying to newbies, and let's you bet millions of dollars at your friend's casino without the life-crushing real-world consequences.

Pandemic: The quintessential co-op boardgame. I actually really love playing this two-player with my girlfriend. It's fun to sit back and work out a puzzle together.

Shadows Over Camelot: I think this game is fucking dope, and I never hear anyone talking about it ever. It's one of the best games with a traitor mechanic I've ever played. The problem is that it's been supplanted by the simplicity of the Resistance, and the thematic beauty of Dead of Winter. Both of those games are great too, but I've got way more stories about Game-of-Thrones-level betrayal from this game than from either of those combined.

Love Letter: It's like $10, and my mom can understand it. Fun little game, I actually keep a copy in my bag at all times.

Coup: This has become a favorite with my home-town friends. It's a little like poker, in that you're all staring at each desperately trying to figure out if you're best friend of 10 years is lying to you. Lots of fun.

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#42 Posted by jaycrockett (860 posts) -

There's always been more complex board games than the Monopoly types. In the 80's and 90's I played a lot of big wargames like Axis and Allies, Fortress America and Shogun, as well as a lot of Avalon Hill "bookcase" games like Titan, Britannia, and History of the World.

These games were great fun, but they did suffer some of the problems that the modern wave of games have overcome. They took a long time to set up and play, and had early player elimination. Not much fun to get knocked out two hours into a four hour board game.

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#43 Posted by Sin4profit (3501 posts) -

I played a bunch more Splendor today and i've come to the conclusion it's the, "button mashing" equivalent of board games. Just throwing yourself at it with wreckless abandon seems to be a viable strategy.

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#44 Posted by MeMonk (324 posts) -

I just got Xenoshyft: Onslaught, it is a co-op deck building game. In it up to 4 people defend a base against waves of aliens, it is a fun not too complicated game. It is also very hard so it requires teamwork, which makes the game a lot of fun.

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#45 Posted by Sergio (3625 posts) -
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#46 Posted by imsh_pl (4208 posts) -

@captain_insano: I cannot recommend Dominion and Eldritch Horror enough. They are extremely fun and challenging.

The best way to play them though is to have a pretty regular playerbase. In the case of Dominion it takes a few games to get into and it's pretty important that the players learn it together, otherwise you'll have veterans who simply know the strategies and novices who are still learning the rope. Three people is the perfect number for that game and weekly sessions are absolutely enough so you should be set! As you play you will gradually be getting better and better, and the game definitely has the complexity to not let you be bored no matter how often you play it. It's a pretty good idea to invest in expansions if you find it hooks you, just take the time to read up on which ones are the best to get (I recommend Seaside, Prosperity, and Dark Ages).

Eldritch is really great if you are on the intermediate+ level (sounds like you are) since the mechanics are pretty complex and you have to keep track of many things at once, but it is still pretty streamlined (especially compared to Arkham Horror, the previous title). Your wife can also rest easy since the horror in the game is to the extent that you want to make it. You can set up a cool atmosphere with ambient music and all, and it's great if you have some knowledge of the Lovecraft lore; but it's not like the game itself is scary or anything, the atmosphere just adds an element of tension and kinda ups the perceived stakes outside of the actual gameplay. With all that being said, the game is extremely competent on its own, its mechanics are solid and challenging, and even if you lose it's still a lot of fun. Just be prepared that it will be 'the' game you play a given afternoon; it consistently takes upwards of 4 hours (my record was 7 hours I think lol) so definitely start it on a saturday afternoon instead of a tuesday evening. Scheduling a meal break is a pretty good idea as well since you will be getting pretty hungry fighting all those demons and you won't want to stop in the heat of the game :p

The thing with board games is that they had their inception in the early 20th century, and the ones that got popular then are pretty much the only ones known in popular culture. The thing is... they are often pretty shitty. From a game design standpoint, Monopoly is a terrible game: it's extremely random, there's nothing to do on others' turns, there are little to no options to get out of the ditch if you're losing, and the winner is most often decided well before it actually ends. From my experience most Monopoly games actually end up being a miserable display of attrition and the players (except the winning one or two) gradually having their will to live sucked out of them, often straight up conceding to spare themselves the inevitable. Unfortunately, people often start with Monopoly, and after dreadful games they never want to pick up another board game again.

Only the last decade or two has actually seen board games be legitimately fun. Board game design has come a long way and it's just such a fun hobby if you get into it. It's a shame that few people want to give it a chance.

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#47 Posted by Captain_Insano (3523 posts) -

@imsh_pl: Thanks for the cool run down man

We've really enjoyed Dominion so far - we've only used the basic recommended Kingdom Cards (the beginner's 10 in the manual) at the moment as my wife and I played twice the first night we got it, and then we played with the same deck with my sister twice so that she could learn the basics of the game as well - at the moment I've won pretty much all of the games as I've been the only one of the group to (so far) focus on converting my copper into silver into gold into provinces - they've noticed and started doing this though so should be more competitive from now on - looking forward to using some different cards too to mix things up a bit.

Eldritch Horror is still sitting untouched - I'm itching to play it but the long set up time and perceived complexity means we haven't played it yet. I have a 6 month old son so it's tricky to find a large amount of time where he's not up to set aside to play games (other than during the night when my wife is usually sleeping anyway). We'll definitely set aside some time to play it though - I really want to get in to it - it's just really different to anything else we have, I've kind of had a bit of buyers remorse (especially because we really want some other games like 7 wonders, so I wonder if we should have spent our money there first). That said, I know we'll get to it eventually, so I'm not too concerned.

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#48 Edited by imsh_pl (4208 posts) -

@captain_insano: I love Dominion specifically since you literally cannot have a dominant strategy. If you win a game by a wide margin everyone will remember that and attempt to use it the next time the opportunity arises. There's a high chance they will actually improve on it by either adding new cards, substracting the unnecessary ones, having different card saturation, etc. Everyone has the access to the same cards and you can always stick to a strategy that won the previous games.

I'd definitely recommend going with randomized cards if you've already got the basics covered. The basic cards are all relatively simple and it really adds a huge strategy factor since you have to make up your deck composition on the spot and only loosly focusing on familiar concepts (such as buying Gold and having few powerful cards or having a lot of them and drawing half your deck every turn). That way no two games are the same but they all have hints of familiar strategies.

Elrdritch is usually pretty forgiving in not having to play it frequently. Once you play it once or twice the rules are pretty easy to remember. The first time is the hardest because of the multitude of the rules, but they all boil down to 'move this tracker at end of turn' or 'reveal this card at the beginning of turn'. All you have to do is follow the turn summary pamphlet which is like 2 pages and you pretty much cannot screw up. The designers learned a lot from Arkham Horror, the predecessor, which is infamous for having a lot of cards that require upkeep.

If you feel like wasting some (okay, a lot) time watching other people (okay, a guy) play board games then you might want to give this series a shot :p

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#49 Posted by BambamCZ (163 posts) -

I try to get people together to play at least something small once in two weeks. I've got a small, still growing collection of games. I started playing board games about four or five years ago. When I was at university and dorms were always full of people. I got into them through playing big games like Axis and Allies and Shogun with that weird but fun battle tower.

Right now my collection consists of:

Mansions of Madness (including every expansion so far, my favourite)



Paranoia Station

Space Alert (plus the expansion)

Axis and Allies 1942

Once Upon a Time

Resident Evil The Deckbuilding Game (including some of the expansions)



Gonna pick up more as I come across more intersting stuff right now thinking about Room 25, Caverna and Middle-Earth Conquest.

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#50 Posted by GerbilsInSpace (140 posts) -

The only way to get my wife into games at all is to play board games with her, and our current favourite is Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective. It is the only form of media which made me feel like I was on an equal playing field when it came down to solving the mystery, as all of the information is given to you from the start, and you have to use sherlock like deduction to pick out clues that lead you to the correct result.

The game Her Story has been compared to this game, in that you have to sift through information to find clues. Sherlock practically requires the use of note taking, to keep hold of the red herrings, and valuable information.

Check out the Shut Up and Sit Down review. And buy this game.