Recommend a Board Game

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ArchAngel
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Recommend a Board Game

Postby ArchAngel » Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:06 pm

Board games are just fantastic. From a gamer standpoint, they hold some of the greatest multiplayer experiences. Nothing quite like gathering family or friends around a game and having a great time, whether cooperative or competive, party game or hardcore.

Now, I love me some Monopoly and Risk, but I thought it'd be great if we took some time to recommend board games to each other that others might have not tried. Thanks to TableTop, I've been starting to branch out and try new board games and always looking for new ones recommended by friends and I found a couple that I think you guys might want to try out yourself.

So, starting out, I thought I'd recommend Pandemic. Seems to already be a pretty well known and reputable game, maybe not quite as much as Ticket to Ride or Settlers of Catan, but as a cooperative game, it's absolutely wonderful.

You team up with your fellow players, each given a role by the game with special abilities, trekking over the world to cure 4 deadly plagues and the save humanity. The rules are understandable enough for the casual gamer to grasp and the game fights hard enough that it'll take every ounce of tactics the players can collectively muster. Given the random roles assigned to players are potent and varied enough, each gameplay requires new and flexible tactical thinking giving a new game experience. I have both lost and won this game many times by the width of a hair. If I could play this game with you fine people, I would do so in an instant.

If you want to see a sample gameplay and a good run down of the rules, check out the Tabletop episode, which first introduced me to this game.
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Re: Recommend a Board Game

Postby ccgr » Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:28 pm

Although I haven't played it in a while, Stratego is a classic

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Re: Recommend a Board Game

Postby Sstavix » Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:54 am

I wonder if "Pandemic" is anything like the game that the Knights of the Dinner Table played in one of their comics a while back. Thanks to a loophole, they managed to save their patient and stop the virus by surgical decapitation. :lol:

One particular game that I've had for years and quite enjoy is Sharp Shooters. It's more of a dice game, but includes a nice backdrop to toss the dice against (and, in fact, one of the dice needs to bounce against the backstop in order to count).

For those who want a variation - and educational - variation to Monopoly might enjoy Solarquest. Instead of purchasing properties around Atlanta, players have to purchase moons and planets. They also have to build fuel stations and watch their fuel reserves or risk running out of gas - and being eliminated from the game! I think this one may be out of print, though, and the science may be a bit dated.

Another popular one in our house - and area - is The Farming Game. It's Monopoly-like, but much less cutthroat. Each player takes the role of a farmer and has to determine what crops to grow and how to expand their farm. There can be more profit in selling expensive goods like cattle and fruit, but more risks involved as well. First player to make it to $250,000 wins.

And, of course, the most popular game in our house tends to be Rummikub. It's a little like Rummy, but played with tiles and you are free to rearrange the board to try and get rid of all the tiles on your board before anyone else can.

Yes, we like games here. :) I'm sure I can think of more, but those are just the first ones that came to mind. Other than the favorite stand-bys like Scrabble, Risk, Cootie....

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Re: Recommend a Board Game

Postby Chozon1 » Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:35 am

Sadly, my family isn't into "complex" board games, very much. I have enough trouble getting a game of Catan going. And Monopoly has been banninated for, in my eyes, very worthy reasons. >_>

But, I do love me some Risk 2210. It's normal Risk, but it's been /Wizards if the Coast'd. There are ocean bases, the map has been completely revamped, and there's colonies on the moon you need to capture as well. Not to mention the impassable nuclear wastelands, special command characters (you get a d10 for their attack rolls) and command cards with special powers (I love me some missiles and/or deny cards, which prevent people from attacking that territory that turn).

Completely different game. Plus, the little soldiers are mechs.
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Re: Recommend a Board Game

Postby ArcticFox » Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:42 pm

Ah, Solarquest. I have a copy on my game shelf. I don't know if it's just because mine is a REALLY old edition, but in this one yuo can even fire lasers at your opponents and destroy their ship.

When we play, we ignore the rocketship tokens and use Micro Machines Star Trek or Star Wars ships. Nothing boosts your confidence in a game like being represented by an Imperial Star Destroyer...

A board game my wife and I recently discovered is Super Dungeon Explore. I recommend it highly!

And, of course, Axis & Allies.
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Re: Recommend a Board Game

Postby ArchAngel » Wed Feb 12, 2014 4:36 pm

I don't know if it's the one from the Knights of the Dinner Table, but that sounds awfully a lot like a certain Surgeon Simulator. After I removed his ribcage, lungs, liver, stomach, and who knows what else, I was able to successfully do a heart transplant and got a "he'll probably be fine." I also flipped him off more than a couple times during surgery, and got accidently got myself pretty high at one point.

Solar Quest looks pretty cool! I'll have to keep an eye out for it, especially if they do a reprint. Frankly, anything in space gets my attention, and using Star Trek and Star Wars figurines is just beautiful. I might have to pick some up for that purpose. I have been known to bust out LEGO Admiral Ackbar if we're in need of an extra token. Little known fact: Admiral Ackbar is not necessarily a great Loaded Questions player, but he's a Monopoly Mogul and a Cranium Genius.

Risk 2210 is great! I recently got Risk: Godstorm (also from Avalon Hill), too. It's pretty much Mythology Risk. And my sister has heard rumours of a "Time Travel" Risk which is done by combing Risk, Risk 2210, and Lord of the Rings Risk( here I substitute Godstorm). I'm going to try to find out how that works, or finagle some of Risk through Time by having players start out in Godstorm, progress to Risk, and finish up in 2210.

Super Dungeon Explore looks incredibly fun and also accessible for some players who are not quite so deep gaming. I might have to get this one.

I haven't actually played Axis & Allies. Which, being as foundational as it is, I probably should.

Another game I recommend is Smash Up. It's a "deck building" game done by taking the deck of cards of two teams and "smashing" them together, or in other terms, just shuffling them up. A shufflebuilding game. The teams are of the following: Pirates, Ninjas, Robots, Aliens, Dinosaurs, Tricksters, Zombies, and Wizards. So, the teams you choose can be Zombie Wizards, or Pirate Ninjas, or Robot Dinosaurs and so on. (there are also expansions to get more decks) A lot of great flavor and pretty accessible to those that might not consider, say, Magic the Gathering. I was able to get my family in on this and we all enjoyed it.
This game really stands out to me, on a design perspective, on having both a ton of depth to play while having an really great learning curve. The rules are relatively simple: there are "bases" on the table and you put cards down until the points of the total cards reaches the base limit, it "breaks" and players are scored based on how much they have down. The depth comes from the individual effects each card has. It's all pretty clearly printed on the cards and various decks interact in great ways.
Another thing that really just seals the deal for the game: Each "team" plays differently, and a bit like you'd expect. Ninjas rely more on sneaking in and out, assassinating characters. Pirates have a lot of roaming from base to base. Dinosaurs have cards with big point values. Wizards amass a ton of cards in their hands. Zombies are really interesting where they involve putting cards in the card graveyard and resurrecting them. A ton of fun to play, and the cards just keep coming. Literally an undead horde. And so on.


Also, since I mentioned it earlier, I recommend Loaded Questions as a great party/casual game for the family and close friends. We don't play to win so much, but we have a great time laughing over our various answers. The rules are pretty simple. On your turn, you draw a card and ask a question, and everybody writes their answer. For every person you can correctly match their answer to, you move forward. Just a load of jokes and trying to see how well you know each other.
Last edited by ArchAngel on Thu Feb 13, 2014 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Recommend a Board Game

Postby Sstavix » Thu Feb 13, 2014 7:23 am

Also, since I mentioned it earlier, I recommend Loaded Questions as a great party/casual game for the family and close friends. We don't play to win so much, but we have a great time laughing over our various answers. The rules are pretty simple. On your turn, you draw a card and ask a question, and everybody writes their answer. For every person you can correctly match their answer to, you move forward. Just a load of jokes and trying to see how well you know each other.
That sounds a little like Balderdash. Tip - don't play Balderdash against my wife. She's supernaturally good at it. Clue, too. She can't even explain why.

But that also made me think of another game that I have, but seldom play. It's called What Were You Thinking? Basically, everyone gets a question and they write down their answer. After they have their answers written down, then everyone compares their answers. The player whose answer is different from everyone else's answer gets to draw a card.

So here are the twists. First of all, the first person to get six cards loses the game. Everyone else wins. Secondly, the answer doesn't have to be the correct one in order to avoid drawing a card. For example, if the question is "What color is the sky?" and three people write down green and one person writes "blue," then the person who answered blue has to draw the card since they have the "wrong" answer.

You know, come to think of it, that game may be a minor social experiment in conformity and ostracism. You don't have to be right, just be the same as everyone else in order to be declared a winner. Maybe that's why we don't play it very often....

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Re: Recommend a Board Game

Postby ArchAngel » Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:55 pm

Haha, Consensus Fallacy: The Game.

The game Dixit is a little bit like that, except all the cards are pictures (wonderfully illustrated, I might add), and the player on their turn has to come up with a word or a small phrase to describe it. The other players then have to play a card from their hand that they think best matches the phrase. They shuffle all the cards and then they have to guess which was the original card. For every person that gets it right, they and the player move forward. If everybody gets it right, then everybody moves forward, except for the player because they made it too descriptive.
Alright, so maybe not so similar, but a couple similar mechanics but instead of Consensus Fallacy: The Game, it's Vague Descriptions: the Game.

My family doesn't play Clue anymore and nobody will play it with me. We had somewhat of an Arms race in my household, starting out when my dad pulled out a spreadsheet. Now, we all record each transaction that occurred and by the end of the game. we all know almost every single hand. It became Data Entry: The Game. But, I don't know, I kinda like it. Uses logic, some tactical questions, and it's pretty neck and neck at the end.


Anyhow, another recommendation: Gloom. This beautifully burtonesque macabre card game a quarter role playing with a pretty simple mission. Each player is given a family of five, and by place modifier cards on top of their family, they have to make each person as miserable as possible and then kill them off. Modifier cards come with negative points with bad outcomes, like "chased by rabid squirrels" or "locked in the broom closet" or positive points with "good" outcomes, like "found love at the lake" or "inherited a hefty fortune." On your turn, you play these either on your or another's family and have to come up with a small story on how it occurred. A family member is locked down when a death card is played on them (also accompanied by a story) and no more modifiers can be played on them. When the first player kills off their whole family, the points are tallied for all dead members and the player with the most negative points wins. Definitely a fun, light-hearted, flipped about romp on the darker side.

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Re: Recommend a Board Game

Postby ccgr » Thu Feb 13, 2014 5:19 pm

My friends and I sometimes play Triominos

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Re: Recommend a Board Game

Postby ArchAngel » Thu Feb 13, 2014 5:29 pm

That looks like a pretty fun abstract game.
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Re: Recommend a Board Game

Postby ccgr » Thu Feb 13, 2014 5:31 pm

It's fun until someone takes your next move on you ;)

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Re: Recommend a Board Game

Postby ArchAngel » Thu Feb 13, 2014 5:33 pm

Haha, not unlike scrabble-blocking?
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Re: Recommend a Board Game

Postby ccgr » Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:05 pm

haven't played Scrabble in ages :)

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Re: Recommend a Board Game

Postby ArchAngel » Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:50 pm

Your kids are probably getting old enough soon for a good scrabble game. That's one thing I really look forward to when having kids: I want to play family board games. Maybe even run a family D&D game, maybe start out with a Redwall/NIMH sort of world?
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Re: Recommend a Board Game

Postby ccgr » Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:19 pm

We've played Monopoly as a family we have the classic, ATM and Nintendo editions


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