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Old 03-21-2014, 10:26 AM   #1
Kaylore
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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 10:42 AM..
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:30 AM   #2
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I don't think I've played a board game since Trivial Pursuit...

I'm glad to see board games still exist, in the Internet age...
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:37 AM   #3
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My two favorites are ones you already mentioned above, monopoly and risk. I love those two, especially risk. Haven't played just a ton of different games in my life though, and less and less as I get older. Oh and the NFL version of monopoly I especially enjoyed.
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:41 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crushaholic View Post
I don't think I've played a board game since Trivial Pursuit...

I'm glad to see board games still exist, in the Internet age...
They do. In fact they are an industry that benefited enormously from the kickstarter age as they are a perfect fit. As a result there is an over-saturation of new and existing board games flooding the market. I think also as people want to unplug, it affords "something to do with someone without electronics or cost." The internet has afforded us the ability to remind everyone that there are other options besides your 1977 version of Trivial Pursuit .
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:43 AM   #5
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Game of Thrones Board Game. Takes hours.
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:44 AM   #6
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Longer ones that are good are Axis and Allies and Risk.
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:45 AM   #7
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Junta, by a wide margin is the most entertaining board game.

Other good ones: Carcassone, RoboRally, Diplomacy, Formula De, Advanced Squad Leader, Settlers (with expansion packs).
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:46 AM   #8
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DENVERDUI55 View Post
Longer ones that are good are Axis and Allies and Risk.
Risk is classic. Settlers of Katan or whatever is similar and cool too.
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:47 AM   #10
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One of my favorite games as a kid was Survive! I played it again in college, and it was still fun. I had to relearn the rules, and I already forgot them again. lol

Basically, you try to save all your people and take them to safety in the corners. There's a lot more strategy involved though.

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Old 03-21-2014, 10:48 AM   #11
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Before anyone ever heard of fantasy leagues, there was Strat-O-Matic.
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DENVERDUI55 View Post
Longer ones that are good are Axis and Allies and Risk.
I don't agree. Risk has a player elimination element that is never fun, and Axis and Allies is the same set up every time.

Try Twilight Imperium, Twilight Struggle (these two aren't related to each other) or Memoir '44 if you want the WWII mechanic. They are both more balanced and more fun.

Last edited by Kaylore; 03-21-2014 at 11:07 AM..
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:49 AM   #13
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:51 AM   #14
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Neeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrd
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:54 AM   #15
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6 Nimmt- http://www.brettspielwelt.de/Spiele/6nimmt?nation=en

Arkie's pick Survive- I've played with the dolphin and squid expansion packs too.
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:55 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DENVERDUI55 View Post
Longer ones that are good are Axis and Allies and Risk.
This. LOVED Axis and Allies. Replaying WW2 over and over was great.

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Old 03-21-2014, 10:57 AM   #17
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I got invited to play settlers of katan this weekend.

I haven't really played board games in a long time (other than chutes and ladders with the kid), it should be interesting.

Good topic, and good timing!
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Old 03-21-2014, 11:03 AM   #18
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Quote:
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I got invited to play settlers of katan this weekend.

I haven't really played board games in a long time (other than chutes and ladders with the kid), it should be interesting.

Good topic, and good timing!
I'm pretty good at Catan. I win more than I lose and this is playing with several guys who do strategy as a living. Two work at classified jobs for the Government.

Here are some tips:

1. Play the hand you're dealt. If you can buy something now with the cards you have, but can also wait and hope you'll get something else, don't. Just buy what you can right then.

2. Try and trade with players, but make sure it is equitable. Don't sell the farm for one card unless it's really going to help you.

3. Avoid pissing matches for the longest road. Roads provide no resources. Towns and cities provide resources.

4. Buy development cards. Even if they are mostly knights, having the largest army is 2 points.

5. Early in the game either try to have a settlement touching all resources, or try and monopolize one resource and build a port for that resource. That will help you get what you want.
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Old 03-21-2014, 11:10 AM   #19
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My son and I have been getting into Settlers of Catan. Of course, he's recently earned Minecraft for having good grades, and so every waking moment is spent either there or on the Minecraft wiki. I have to say, Minecraft has been an excellent way to introduce a 7 year old to the glory of the internet. He spends hours on that wiki studying minecraft recipes and watching youtube minecraft tutorials.
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Old 03-21-2014, 11:43 AM   #20
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If you haven't played Dominion, you're wrong. It can be played as quickly as 30 minutes but probably averages 45 to 60. Easy to learn but enough strategy and variability to keep it interesting. I'd say its as easy to learn as Carcasonne. I play this the most.

My favorite, but doesn't quite meet your criteria as it is difficult to learn, is Puerto Rico. It can play in about 60-90 once you understand the rules and game mechanics. Agricola is a similar game that is probably a close second or third for me.

Power Grid can be fun if you have 3 or 4 playing and they are competitive and/or aggressive. If you play with people, such as my wife, who just want to keep the peace skip it.

A Few Acres of Snow is a fun strategy war game for two but may exceed your time limit by up to an hour. Hive is another fun strategy game for two. Plays quick and easy to learn.

Forbidden Island and Hey! That's My Fish are basic strategy games that are fun to play with children.

That's about it that I have played apart from those already mentioned.
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Old 03-21-2014, 11:44 AM   #21
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Quote:
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Before anyone ever heard of fantasy leagues, there was Strat-O-Matic.
Played that A LOT! Along with Stratego.
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Old 03-21-2014, 11:51 AM   #22
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Looks like I am not the only Katan guy, nice.

OM Katan Tournament at the next tailgate. Loser buys all the tickets to the game.
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Old 03-21-2014, 12:05 PM   #23
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Never got into board games beyond the classics: Scrabble, Monopoly, Clue, Risk, etc. Some of these sound fun though.
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Old 03-21-2014, 12:07 PM   #24
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I would love to play Jetmeck in Scrabble. . .

"Where are all the . . . . ?'s?"
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Old 03-21-2014, 12:20 PM   #25
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Orange Mane board game group, get it done Kaylore. My new favorite is Runewars but the time investment limits the amount of times it's going to hit the table. Eclipse, Descent, King of Tokyo, and Lords of Waterdeep are also great games.
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