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Old 03-21-2014, 09:26 AM   #1
Three Lombardis
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This one's for Pat

Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ceti Alpha V
Posts: 54,481

Pat Bowlen
Default The Board Games Thread

So I am a huge nerd. If there is something with the word "game" in it, I'll probably play it; Video games, computer games, role playing games and board games. When you ask most people about board games, they will say something old like Monopoly (which objectively isn't even that great of a game) or long, like Risk. For whatever reason, most people just play what their parents played. In the last decade alone there have been a lot of really good games that have come out that are way better than connect four or whatever old crap you've been playing just because you always do.

People often say they don't like games. Well it could be because the games you've tried to play all suck and they've made better stuff. Have you ever thought about what you are really looking for when you sit down? Like what would make a game good? I have.

I have a few criteria for what makes a good game for me.
  1. The game has to finish between 20-60 minutes. This means multiple plays and if someone loses they don't have to feel like they wasted their day.
  2. The game has to be relatively easy to learn but difficult to master. This ensures replayability and it makes it easy for others to learn.
  3. The game has to have some amount of player interaction. I think games are best when working with, and sometimes manipulating an opponent is a part of the process. This makes it more fun.
  4. The theme has to be interesting . There are some really well designed games that I can't get into because the theme is too boring for me.
  5. The game needs to be well made. Like have decent quality components and good artwork.
  6. Not a must have, but my preference is games where players have unique abilities from each other. It adds flavor.

Now obviously not every game has all these elements, and some of my favorite games break some of these rules. But this list is what works for myself and the group I play with.

With that said, here's a list of five games I like that I think everyone could enjoy:

1. Cosmic Encounter - The premise is each player is an alien race trying to do battle with other races and invade each other's planets to build colonies. There's a few versions of this floating around, but the most recent iteration by Fantasy Flight is absolutely the best. The artwork is fantastic. The components are well made and the theme is awesome. It's incredibly simple, too; It's basically a card game repackaged as an alien war strategy game. And with all the different cards and alien powers, the permutations of the dynamics of each game change every single time you play. It's one of the best games out there.

2. Pandemic - This is a cooperative game (meaning everyone wins or everyone loses) and it is very difficult. The premise is the world has been infected by four major diseases that threaten humanity and each player is a disease control specialist with an ability to stop the disease from spreading and work towards a cure. You have to work together. Cooperative games aren't for everyone, but even people that don't like them enjoy this because it's so intense. There's a time element at work and enough randomization to keep things fresh.

3. Carcassone - This is a tile-laying game where the players take turns laying plots of land around a medieval community and assign workers to earn points. The turn-taking approach makes it especially interesting, and a child can play. It's a fun game that you can learn in a few minutes but the strategy is pretty complex.

4. Bohnanza - This is a card game about beans. I know, right? When one of the members of our gaming group busted this out, we all rolled our eyes. And then we played it the entire night. It's a game where you grow beans and the mechanic forces you to trade with other players. Great for the whole family.

5. No Thanks - This is a simple card game where you use chips to bid on cards that can hurt, or if you play it right, help your score. Easy to learn and great for people who think they don't like games.

Popular* games that missed my cut:

1. Ticket to Ride - This is a train car connecting game. It's very addictive (for people besides me) and easy to learn. I don't care for trains.

2. Settlers of Catan - I actually like this game, but it's kind of broken. You have to use some kind welfare rule for if someone's resource never gets rolled or a player or two will never be in it.

3. Duel of Ages II - takes too long and only two player.

* Popular among board game geeks.

So what about all of you? Any board games you enjoy?

Last edited by Kaylore; 03-21-2014 at 09:42 AM..
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