Username: Password:

Author Topic: By popular demand - The Board Game thread  (Read 69233 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline feltmonkey

  • Empirical
  • ********
  • i'm a disgrace.
    • View Profile
By popular demand - The Board Game thread
« Topic Start: March 05, 2015, 05:32:54 PM »
here it is, because YOU have been demanding it - the board games thread! 

yes you have been demanding it - look!

BOARD GAME THREAD.

we need our own board game thread

we should have a board game thread.

okay, that last one was me, and i've taken Mart's quote completely out of context, but at least big mean bunny- what?

I am not really a board game fan.

dammit.

well, it's here anyway.  i think Hapi is a board game guy, Aniki plays Netrunner, which is sort of related, and Brian probably likes board games, as they have dice and stuff.  also, Argh Zombies is a former Twister champion at county level.  so we definitely need this thread.  besides, everyone plays Carcassone and Waterdeep on their phones, and that definitely counts.

first, a couple of useful links.

http://www.shutupandsitdown.com/ - Shut Up and Sit Down is a fantastic British board game site with reviews, plays, jokes, and recipes.  there's a big crossover with videogames, as the site is run by Quinton Smith, Matt Lees and Paul Dean, who are all videogame writers.  they generally communicate through the medium of videos, which are generally very entertaining.  very enthusiastic, frequently silly, and never dry.  if you're just trying the site out, i'd recommend watching the opener on Ladies and Gentlemen, the play of Space Cadets, and their top 25 games list.

https://boardgamegeek.com/ - a terribly-designed compendium of all of the games.  i don't use it much, as it's a pain to navigate, but it is a useful resource, and you can list every game by user score to see which is the best.  inevitably it's something terrible that has one 10/10 rating, probably from the guy who made it or his Mum.

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/nov/25/board-games-internet-playstation-xbox?CMP=fb_gu - a Guardian article about the rise of board games, with links to some other interesting articles.

feel free to add more links if you have any good ones.  i'll add them to this post.

so, enough about sites - what games would i recommend i hear you ask.  shut up, i'm just getting to that you prick.

Discworld: Ankh Morpork
this is probably an odd one to start with.  most people might go with Carcassone or Catan or something, but it was Discworld that got me interested in this weird new world of board games, and made me realise there was more to it than bloody Monopoly.  Discworld is a very clever game of hidden roles and misdirection, combined with a "worker placement" game.  everyone is trying to take control of areas of the board, and earn more gold.  or are they?  one person might be trying to cause trouble, another just to end the game as quickly as possible, another to gain a certain amount of gold.  you have to pretend you're doing something else though, because if someone realises what you're up to they can try to block you, probably enlisting the help of everyone else at the table.  it's a very funny game.  you're constantly watching everyone else, making wild guesses and accusations, while trying to subtly work towards your own goal.  it also only takes around half an hour to play, and is incredibly moreish. 



Game of Thrones - the board game
here's what i wrote at Christmas:
(click to show/hide)

The Resistance: Avalon
a very funny hidden roles bluffing game in the vein of Werewolf, but lighter and quicker.  you have a set number of good guys and bad guys, the bad guys know who the other bad guys are, the good guys don't know anything, so suspect everyone.  between you you must select players to go on quests, which they might then sabotage if they're a bad guy.  if by the end more quests were sabotaged than successful, the bad guys win, and vice-versa.  so the object of the game is for the good guys to root out the bad guys, or the bad guys to persuade the good guys that they are good by lying through their teeth and probably directing suspicion elsewhere.  throwing a spanner into the works is Merlin.  one good guy knows who the bad guys are.  however, he can't make it too clear, as if by the end the bad guys have worked out who Merlin is, they can win by identifying him, even if they didn't manage to sabotage enough quests.  it's hilarious.  we had one game where Merlin was so drunk she was selecting bad guys for quests and was generally no help to the fellow good guys.  another game began with one of the bad guys bursting out laughing when they revealed themself to the other bad guy, but somehow managed to lie so effectively their side still won.  again, it's a quick play, and moreish as hell.

Dead of Winter
jesus, this game is really something.  the players each control a group of survivors after zombies take over.  cold and starvation are, or course, as much of a threat as the zombies.  it's very narrative-lead.  each game has a specific scenario and objective.  also, there is a stack of "crossroads cards."  you draw one each turn, and if certain hidden conditions occur, it triggers this mini narrative within the game.  perhaps one of your group finds a plane and flies off to seek help, or perhaps a toddler wanders away from the group unnoticed and you have to decide whether to risk everyone by looking for them.  it's frequently grueling and nasty.  i've only played the two player variation, which is an excellent co-op game, but with more players everyone has a hidden objective on top of the group objective, and there's a chance that one person is trying to betray the others.  the group can vote to exile a player they feel is going to betray them.  this isn't the end for the exiled player, though - they get a new objective and spend their time rooting around outside of the group's compound.  overall, a fantastic, grim, evocative game.



Ghost Stories
this is another co-op game, based around Chinese ghost stories.  the players are monks, running around a village trying to exorcise ghosts before the village gets too haunted, or your monk is killed, or the incarnation of Wu Feng turns up and causes problems.  it's very thematic, but at the same time it's a huge, complicated interlocking puzzle.  at first it seems simple, but quickly gets very difficult to manage.  it's also a visual treat.  this is the most colourful board i've seen, and there are lovely little models of the monks and ghosts, and each ghost card is a lovely little bit of art.  ilweran and i have played a couple of games, but not managed to win yet.  we got close last time, but Wu Feng and his minions got the better of us in the end.  you can even play it single-player, which is nice.



so there you go.  board game thread.  let me know if the pictures don't work.  tell me what games you're playing.  <passes first player marker>

Offline big mean bunny

  • Monarch
  • *******
    • View Profile
Re: By popular demand - The Board Game thread
« Reply #1: March 05, 2015, 05:57:48 PM »
Excellent! I currently have a stack of work that needs doing for Monday, but once that is done I will get a review up of the as yet unopened XCOM board game I got. Sheffield has a very cool board game shop that I have found myself frequenting since I discovered it.

Our issue is that we only ever play 2 player, we got very into the game of thrones card game, although not had it out in a while, I made the mistake of buying an expansion that made no fucking sense to me and so kinda just stopped.

I have been thinking about Flash point, the fire man/crew game, like the idea of co-op against Versus, played a few games of Ticket to ride versus the missus and she got annoyed at me being a dick and working out what she was going for and blocking it.

Offline Luscan

  • Empirical
  • ********
    • MSN Messenger - getoffamycloud@hotmail.com
    • View Profile
Re: By popular demand - The Board Game thread
« Reply #2: March 05, 2015, 06:03:28 PM »
I'd just like to recommend Tabletop Simulator. It's great.

Offline Brian Bloodaxe

  • moderator
  • Legend
  • *
  • The natural enemy of giant insects.
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: By popular demand - The Board Game thread
« Reply #3: March 05, 2015, 07:09:24 PM »
I would just like to say that I approve of this threat thread. Especially the fact that it has too many words for me to read right now.

As for recommendations,

Pandemic is a fun co-operative game about saving the world from four viruses. I'm not sure how much variety it offers and thus how many times I will enjoy playing it through but it is good fun making a plan of action and that sitting back and watching it all go wrong.

Sentinels of the Multiverse is another co-op game, this time a card game where each player chooses a superhero and you all team up against a super villain. Fun, challenging and fairly hectic.

Chrononauts is a competitive game about time travellers trying to gather artefacts and/or fix/vreak history in interesting ways. Simpler than it sounds.

Small World is kind of like Risk but with all the boring bits taken out and ghost elves and flying trolls and undead goblins instead of red, blue and yellow armies. Simple to play but satisfying in it's tactics and plenty of opportunities to mess up other people's plans. A nice feature is that it comes with four different game boards so whether you have 2,3,4 ot 5 players you always have an appropriate arena.

Civilisation (the new one) is a board game based on the computer games based on the original board games. It is fairly bewildering and has all of the tech trees and troop upgrades and wonders of the world and famous people you would expect and it eats time. Try and play with people who understand the game as well as you do though because a little missmatch is a lot of unfair.

The Settlers of Catan is pretty much a household name now and has fallen out of favour with many geeks due to being over played and maybe a bot too random. I still love it though.

Zombie Dice! Roll some colourful dice, gather brains, try not to get blasted by too many shotguns. Perfect for those five or ten minutes when you are waiting fir the proper games to start.

Love Letter is currently my favourite game and it consists of nothing more than sixteen cards and a few counters to keep track of the score. I just tried to explain it and got myself confused, but it isnt that complicated really. It's a game about bluffing and logic and luck. And it's wonderful.

Dominoes Get a double six set and four people who can pay attention. Great game.

Offline Brian Bloodaxe

  • moderator
  • Legend
  • *
  • The natural enemy of giant insects.
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: By popular demand - The Board Game thread
« Reply #4: March 05, 2015, 08:12:56 PM »
Oh, you should also all read this three part blog by that Quinns guy about why board games are better than video games: https://videosgames.wordpress.com/

Offline aniki

  • Empirical
  • ********
  • never knows best
    • View Profile
    • the demon download
Re: By popular demand - The Board Game thread
« Reply #5: March 05, 2015, 08:17:34 PM »
Dead of Winter is amazing. It was the first board game I bought, really. It cost me about £80 including shipping as I bought it direct from Plaid Hat, but it's worth every penny.

For the other end of the spectrum, more of a party game, there's a lot to be said for Ca$h'n Guns (I think I've capitalised that right), a post-heist hold-em-up that sees players point foam guns at each other to split the loot following a robbery. If you survive the Mexican standoff you can grab cash, diamonds or paintings (with bonuses depending on how many of each you get), but if you're shot three times you're out of the game.

Offline Ninchilla

  • Empirical
  • ********
    • View Profile
    • Ninchilla
Re: By popular demand - The Board Game thread
« Reply #6: March 05, 2015, 08:29:52 PM »
I don't know if it qualifies, but does/has anyone else play(ed) X-Wing? It doesn't have a board, per se, just whatever 3'x3' space you can make to fly little plastic spaceships (or big ones) around and shoot each other down. It has standard dogfighting rules (kill all the other player's ships), plus special mission setups (varying win conditions, based on mission and whether you're Rebel or Imperial).



The base set is an X-Wing and two TIE Fighters, and is a lot of fun for about £30; you can buy additional ship expansions (we've stuck to the onscreen ones, but there's a range of ships from across the Original Trilogy and Expanded Universe) for anything between about a tenner and £60.

The only major downside (other than potentially crippling expense) is that it's really only 2-player - although there are rules for playing with more, and they recently introduced a third faction ("Scum and Villany" - essentially bounty hunters); don't know if it allows for a 3-team setup, though.

Offline Brian Bloodaxe

  • moderator
  • Legend
  • *
  • The natural enemy of giant insects.
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: By popular demand - The Board Game thread
« Reply #7: March 05, 2015, 09:26:36 PM »
I would love to get into X Wing but I can't justify the cost. I played the WW2 dogfighting game which I believe is more or less the same system and i really enjoyed it.

Offline Brian Bloodaxe

  • moderator
  • Legend
  • *
  • The natural enemy of giant insects.
    • View Profile
    • Email

Offline statusjones

  • moderator
  • Empirical
  • *
  • hipster tramp
    • View Profile
By popular demand - The Board Game thread
« Reply #9: March 06, 2015, 04:25:09 AM »
I like boardgames, but my wife isn't much of a fan so I'm currently on hiatus while I wait for the kids to grow up a bit - snakes and ladders is about where we're at right now

in the mean time http://yourturnmyturn.com is quite good for getting your fix of more traditional two player games (I mostly use it for their version of Carcassonne)

occasionally I also dip my toes into the world of Diplomacy online, but more often than not it all falls apart when people stop taking their turns and I give up on it for a couple of months/years - there was a pretty neat app for Android that I had, but last time I checked there wasn't anything similar on iOS (I probably ought to have another look really)

Offline Garwoofoo

  • Moderator
  • Legend
  • *
  • Not Welsh
    • View Profile
Re: By popular demand - The Board Game thread
« Reply #10: March 06, 2015, 04:45:12 AM »
I like boardgames, but my wife isn't much of a fan so I'm currently on hiatus while I wait for the kids to grow up a bit - snakes and ladders is about where we're at right now

My boy loves boardgames, but I've really struggled to find anything we can play together.  He's nearly six but very smart for his age, no problems reading etc but there seems to be nothing pitched at any sort of level between the endless branded versions of Monopoly and Scrabble that take up the shelves at Toys 'R' Us, and the kind of ferociously complex games aimed at adults described in this thread.  It's also tricky to find anything that's genuinely fun with two players.

We play Carcassonne occasionally (just the base set) but beyond that I've really struggled.  He adores Monopoly but I'm very fed up with it now.  If anyone has any suggestions I'd love to hear them.  I did find a box full of about a thousand Pokemon Trading Cards from years and years ago (just the cards, no pieces or instructions) so if I can work out how to play the game I might try him out on that.

Offline aniki

  • Empirical
  • ********
  • never knows best
    • View Profile
    • the demon download
Re: By popular demand - The Board Game thread
« Reply #11: March 06, 2015, 05:03:06 AM »
I don't know how your wife feels about playing games, but my main difficulty is finding stuff that works with just two people - Minx and I live far enough out of town that we don't really have more than the two of us to play games with regularly, so I'm always keeping an eye out for things that we don't need extra bodies for.

And a lot of "proper" board games have some kind of "screw people over mechanic" which is fine for adults but might be unfair for children. Or you have something like Munchkin, which is thematically fine and doesn't have to be about ruining people's lives, but which is mechanically unbalanced, relies massively on luck and has some borderline problematic artwork.

I'd maybe look at Sheriff of Nottingham? It needs three people, but it's about sneaking goods into your market stall. Each player gets a hand of cards and puts up to five in a bag before declaring what's in the bag - you have to tell the truth about how many cards are in it, but you've got to say they're all the same kind of good (even if they're not). You can send through legal goods like bread or cheese, but there are also contraband items like mead, pepper and crossbows which earn more points at the end but you get fined if the sheriff opens your bag (you can try to bribe him not to, using money or goods or even favours) and there's anything in there that doesn't match what you said. But if you were telling the truth, the sheriff has to pay you for your time. There's a lot of bluffing involved, and I'm not sure how much you want to be training your child to be a better liar, but it's not too heavily focused on meanness and I don't remember the theme being particularly unsuitable (you can always remove cards you don't want him to see).

Likewise, Ca$h'n Guns, which I mentioned upthread, is largely a bluffing game, but you or your wife might not want him pointing guns at you and shouting "BANZAI!" in an effort to make off with stolen goods.

Offline aniki

  • Empirical
  • ********
  • never knows best
    • View Profile
    • the demon download
Re: By popular demand - The Board Game thread
« Reply #12: March 06, 2015, 05:12:58 AM »
Or if you want to go more the side of traditional games, I'd recommend Quarto (which is also two-player).

You have a 4x4 grid and 16 pieces to fill it; each player chooses the piece that the other person has to place somewhere on that grid. Each piece is either tall or short, square or round, white or black, and filled or hollow. The goal is to get four pieces in a line (or in a 2x2 square, if you're playing the hard rules) that all share any of those attributes - so four short pieces, or four white pieces, or four hollow pieces.

As the number of pieces and spaces gets smaller, the choice of what you give the other person becomes as strategic as where they place it - you want to make sure you're not handing them an easy win that you've failed to spot because you forgot about those three diagonal hollow ones.

Offline cavalcade

  • Legend
  • *********
  • Popty Ping
    • View Profile
    • The doyouinverts
Re: By popular demand - The Board Game thread
« Reply #13: March 06, 2015, 06:12:41 AM »
Forbidden Island is quite good for 6 upwards. It's cooperative too, so no tantrums, and you can set the difficulty level.

Offline Brian Bloodaxe

  • moderator
  • Legend
  • *
  • The natural enemy of giant insects.
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: By popular demand - The Board Game thread
« Reply #14: March 06, 2015, 06:32:19 AM »
Quarto is one of my favourite games and I've never found anyone who didn't enjoy it. It's got a moreish quality about it that good puzzle video games do too as a game of Quarto only takes about five minutes.

For two player games Chrononauts is quite fun as is the Space Hulk card game Death Angel. Death Angel is a more abstracted version Space Hulk, it's co-op and you play against the card which give you goals to achieve and aliens to fight. It is a challenging game, you need tactics and luck to get through but it has good replayability.

Small World, Sentinels of the Multiverse and Pandemic are all good two player.

For six-year-olds try the Fluxx card games. They are silly and massively random but kids love them because they look complex and yet the kids win half the time. I like Martian Fluxx and Zombie Fluxx the best but they are all fine so if your kid wants Space Fluxx or Monty Python Fluxx go for it.

Also some of the Lego games are good. Lego Heroica is probably the simplest dungeon bash the world has ever seen and the microfigures are ace. Pirate Plank is a genuinely awesome game for adults and kids and it will teach your kids about probability and short-term gain vs long-term advantage. It does require three or four players though.