Jump to content


Photo

Favorite Board Games


  • Please log in to reply
163 replies to this topic

#141 M. Leary

M. Leary

    Member

  • Member
  • 5,528 posts

Posted 10 December 2009 - 12:01 PM

Maybe too late, but title suggestion: Review Board.

#142 Jason Panella

Jason Panella

    "I like the quiet."

  • Member
  • 3,723 posts

Posted 10 December 2009 - 05:22 PM

Alas, it's too late: I settled on Little Wooden Houses (which, despite some reservation, I've gotten a lot of compliments on...the title, at least).

Another game to add to my favorites list: Pandemic.

Here's what it's got:

-Four player co-op

-Everyone plays CDC employees trying to stop four plagues ravishing the globe.

-Each player has a unique power that helps others. For instance, one role can cure diseases easier than everyone else, one player can give location cards to players easier than everyone else (which are needed to cure diseases), and another player can help players move around easier. The latter can help the middle move to the first guy to help him cure stuff faster. VERY well-made, in this regard.

-Innovative infection system. At the end of every player's turn, they flip over player cards (which help you potentially move around or cure diseases), and then they flip over a few infection cards to see what cities get infected. There are a few Epidemic cards shuffled into the player card pile, though, that make you heavily infect one city, reshuffle the cities you've already infected, and then put those cards BACK on top of the infection draw pile.

-As you could imagine, this makes the game pretty difficult.

It's not hard to lose: there are way more losing conditions (run out of player cards to draw, eight or more Outbreaks, run out of any single type of disease cubes) than winning conditions (cure all four diseases). So there's basically a ticking clock from the first move on, and the players REALLY have to work together.

Pandemic is also very beautiful; the board might be the most sturdy and colorful I've seen. It's jaw-dropping. There's lots of info on each city card too, giving you a breakdown of a city's population, population density, national location/flag, and so on. I've played it maybe six times now and won three times, and that was only because we played on the introductory difficultly.

Still, very impressive game. I'm excited to check the expansion out (which adds a fifth disease, mutation variants, and a bio-terrorist option...he or she works against the other players secretly.)

#143 Jason Panella

Jason Panella

    "I like the quiet."

  • Member
  • 3,723 posts

Posted 17 December 2009 - 01:17 PM

To follow up on my last post, I picked up Pandemic's expansion, On the Brink. And it makes a great game even better:

-It tweaks the rules so you can now play with five people (instead of just four).

-You get a set of Petri dishes (with stickers!) to put all of the game pieces in. It's a little thing, but it really adds a lot of atmosphere (and organization).

-There are lots of new added roles for the players (instead of just five), and one of the weaker ones from the base game was reworked. There are also more player special event cards, which is a Very Good Thing.

-The meat, though, comes from some of the variants the expansion provides: it gives a "Legendary" difficulty (my friends and I still have a hard time winning on Average, so....); it gives an option fifth Mutation disease, which changes how it spreads as you play; there are now virulent diseases, another modification of the original system; and finally, a bioterrorist option, where one play squares off against the other and secretly infects cities (the rules even tell you the best way to taunt the other players).

So it's a fairly inexpensive expansion, and has a lot going for it. No wonder this game is selling out at game stores around the US.

#144 yank_eh

yank_eh

    Member

  • Member
  • 388 posts

Posted 21 December 2009 - 05:26 AM

Two games I want to plug:

-Race to the Galaxy, from Rio Grande. It's basically a card-based game with little scoring chits. It has a steep first-five-minute learning curve until you realize that, hey, it's actually kind of easy. Players try to create the first big galactic civilization, and try to gather resources and so on as you go. There are five main actions, and you're only able to play one per turn (one lets you add some cards to your hand, another will let various colonies or planets produce resources). What's neat is, you only go through the actions picked; if one player decides to settle a planet, the other players can also settle a planet that turn then too, but the player that actually CHOSE the action gets a bonus. So the game requires some tactics, since have to weigh your benefits against how that action will benefit (or, in a few cases, hinder) your opponent. Very well-designed, with tons and tons of cards in the basic set (there are two expansions as of now, too, that also raise the number of allowable players from 4 to 6). I believe it's currently ranked at #11 on Board Game Geek (kind of like the Metacritic of board games).

...

There's also a game called Dominion that I want to check out. It's been winning tons, and TONS of awards over the past year. Anyone played it?


Jason, I only played Race FOR the Galaxy once. But it was a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to playing it again.

As for Dominion, I mentioned it earlier in this thread. I've played it a lot since then and still haven't tired of it. I highly, HIGHLY recommend it. Maybe my only complaint about it is the amount of shuffling required.

Another game to add to my favorites list: Pandemic.


I haven't played the expansion yet but I have thoroughly enjoyed the original. I have enjoyed a few other cooperative games lately too although their names escape me at the moment (one involved a CD that set the pace of the game and let you know when to do what!). My biggest beef with cooperative games, and Pandemic in particular, is that if you've got a group of, say, 4 playing and 3 players have played before and 1 hasn't, it is very likely that the newbie won't be contributing--or learning--much. The rule that you can't show other team members your cards seems like a pretty superficial way to guard against this shortcoming.


Has the subject of target age come up yet? I'm sure no one will be shocked to learn I'm most interested in games for up to five or six players, ideally accessible to younger children as well as interesting and engaging to older ones. Any highlights from the thread spring to mind?


SDG, if the younger ones (how young are we talking?) are okay with losing I think Carcassonne might be a good fit. It's fairly simple to learn. Lots of strategy for the older ones but enough pleasure in just putting the tiles together and building your own roads and castles etc. for the little ones to enjoy the sheer agency and decision-making of it.

***

One more game I'm loving: Robo Rally. I don't have time at the moment to describe it but I'm curious if anyone else has played it.

Edited by yank_eh, 21 December 2009 - 05:27 AM.


#145 Jason Panella

Jason Panella

    "I like the quiet."

  • Member
  • 3,723 posts

Posted 21 December 2009 - 09:29 AM

I haven't played the expansion yet but I have thoroughly enjoyed the original. I have enjoyed a few other cooperative games lately too although their names escape me at the moment (one involved a CD that set the pace of the game and let you know when to do what!). My biggest beef with cooperative games, and Pandemic in particular, is that if you've got a group of, say, 4 playing and 3 players have played before and 1 hasn't, it is very likely that the newbie won't be contributing--or learning--much. The rule that you can't show other team members your cards seems like a pretty superficial way to guard against this shortcoming.


Well, I've been playing the game with a lot of new players (since I just got the game and none of my friends have played it, ever). For the few of us that have played the game before, we always discuss before moves, and always make sure to ask new players thoughts and so on. My game-playing friends are pretty lively, thankfully, so this hasn't been a problem. We always try not to let the quoted situation happen.

As for the rule about showing your hand to other players, we're still tackling the Introductory phase (during which you don't have to guard your hand from team members)! Maybe eventually we can make it a harder difficulty.

#146 Jason Panella

Jason Panella

    "I like the quiet."

  • Member
  • 3,723 posts

Posted 25 December 2009 - 12:07 PM

Not to toot my own horn more than I usually do, but Comment magazine's Christmas issue (out on...Christmas) has an article I wrote about the joys of European-style boardgames.

http://bit.ly/90QK4i

(As usual, everything there is worth reading!)

#147 Anders

Anders

    Globe-trotting special agent

  • Member
  • 2,965 posts

Posted 03 January 2010 - 10:31 AM

I started out 2010 right by winning a game of Settler's of Catan for the first time!

#148 Jason Panella

Jason Panella

    "I like the quiet."

  • Member
  • 3,723 posts

Posted 05 January 2010 - 11:17 AM

Woo hoo! I should make my 2010 resolution "win at Settlers at least once," but then I'll feel bad next December 31 because I will have failed.

#149 yank_eh

yank_eh

    Member

  • Member
  • 388 posts

Posted 03 January 2011 - 02:12 AM

Have we really not talked about board games for a whole year??!

Was just wondering if anyone learned or got any new good ones over the holidays. I received Dominion, which I've already plugged here. I don't know if I'd argue that it is a better game than Catan but. maybe due to overuse of the latter, it has certainly replaced it as my favorite. It now has 3 expansions or equivalents and they are all good and they don't get old. I can't recommend it highly enough.

Also, not exactly a board game--more like a cross between Uno, Speed and Spoons--but for a quicker, less involved, even easier to learn game, check out Jungle Speed. Players take turns flipping the top card on their stack and when two players' shapes match a duel is initiated and the players must be the first to grab the totem in the middle. There are a few other twists but that's the gist. Lots of fun.

#150 CrimsonLine

CrimsonLine

    Man of Yesterday

  • Member
  • 1,994 posts

Posted 03 January 2011 - 08:02 AM

We bought Carcassonne for my brother-in-law's family, and then played that all through our week-long vacation. Quite fun! A friend got Dominion and loves it; I'll have to check it out.

Oh, and for what it's worth - I play Carcassonne on the iPhone, (which is AWESOME) and would love to play against human opponents, if you want to join me.

#151 Jason Panella

Jason Panella

    "I like the quiet."

  • Member
  • 3,723 posts

Posted 03 January 2011 - 12:49 PM

Thanks for reviving the thread!

In the past year, I've shifted much of my hobby focus to board games. I think I finally got Dominion...I owned it a played it a few times, but some friends and I finally got to a point where we could blaze through an intense, knuckle-biting game in 15 minutes. I only own the Alchemy expansion, but enjoy it a lot.

I finally got to play the Battlestar Galactica game, after having owned it for a year. Wow. It's fantastic — all of the players work together to survive until they make it to Kobol (win the game, basically), but one of the players might be a Cylon traitor. That my non-BSG fan, non-gamer wife enjoyed the game...that's something!


We also played Wits and Wagers a good bit New Years Eve. It's a great party game, especially when you approach it from a crafty, flubbing angle.

In the past few months, I also picked up: 1960 - the Making of a President; Twilight Struggle; Louis XIV; Forbidden Island and some expansions for other games. Anyone play any of these?

#152 Anders

Anders

    Globe-trotting special agent

  • Member
  • 2,965 posts

Posted 04 January 2011 - 01:59 PM

More card game than board games, but we got BOHNANZA (trading and planting beans) and BANG! (an Italian Spaghetti Western card game) for Christmas. Good fun.

#153 Jason Panella

Jason Panella

    "I like the quiet."

  • Member
  • 3,723 posts

Posted 04 January 2011 - 02:29 PM

More card game than board games, but we got BOHNANZA (trading and planting beans) and BANG! (an Italian Spaghetti Western card game) for Christmas. Good fun.


Bonhanza is one of my favorites. I actually wrote a review about it here. (That's not me in the photo.) Bang! used to be one of my favorites — quite easy to suffer from Bang! burnout. (I actually just traded my big bullet edition for Twilight Struggle.)

#154 Tyler

Tyler

    (Credit Only)

  • Member
  • 6,370 posts

Posted 20 December 2011 - 08:33 AM

Paste's top 5 board games of the year.

#155 Jason Panella

Jason Panella

    "I like the quiet."

  • Member
  • 3,723 posts

Posted 20 December 2011 - 10:14 AM

Paste's top 5 board games of the year.


Looks like someone at Paste has been paying attention to the new board game hotness. I haven't played Quarriors, but I've heard from many people that — like Dominion — it's easy to burn out quickly and lose interest. And also like Dominion, it seems like there's a fairly simple, unbeatable strategy that bypasses most of the game's flavor.

Glad they included A Few Acres of Snow, which looks really neat. Board Game Geek announced their annual Golden Geek award winners not too long ago. (link) You have to scroll down a little to see the list. A Few Acres is on there, as is 7 Wonders (which I enjoy a lot) and a few other interesting games.

#156 Jason Panella

Jason Panella

    "I like the quiet."

  • Member
  • 3,723 posts

Posted 11 May 2012 - 09:36 AM

Netrunner, the critically acclaimed card game by Magic designer Richard Garfield, is getting a reprint.

This is big news in the gaming world. Netrunner might not have the broad popularity that Magic had, but it has both a great reputation and a devoted fanbase. Sets of the old game still go for hundreds of bucks on eBay. Yesterday's announcement has been met with a ton of attention (most of it rapturous). If anything, I'm interested in it because Fantasy Flight is folding the game into its own Android setting, which I adore. If you like cyberpunk and future noir themes, and you like card games, it might be worth checking out.

#157 Jason Panella

Jason Panella

    "I like the quiet."

  • Member
  • 3,723 posts

Posted 06 July 2012 - 08:08 AM

Here's an article I wrote for The Curator on how Kickstarter has become a big deal in the board gaming world.

#158 metalfoot

metalfoot

    Member

  • Member
  • 120 posts

Posted 07 July 2012 - 08:29 PM

I had kind of wondered if board games might not be one of the more ideal niches for Kickstarter,

#159 Andrew

Andrew

    And a good day to you, sir!

  • Member
  • 2,242 posts

Posted 07 July 2012 - 10:12 PM

My kids and I are loving the Munchkin card game series. For those not familiar with it, it's sorta like D&D in a deck of cards, with monsters and player enhancers (and accompanying illustrations) that are often hilarious: battling a Gummi Golem with the Cheese Grater of Peace, for instance. Games are relatively short (1-2 hours), so it's perfect for a lazy weekend afternoon or weekday evening.

#160 Jason Panella

Jason Panella

    "I like the quiet."

  • Member
  • 3,723 posts

Posted 07 July 2012 - 10:42 PM

My kids and I are loving the Munchkin card game series. For those not familiar with it, it's sorta like D&D in a deck of cards, with monsters and player enhancers (and accompanying illustrations) that are often hilarious: battling a Gummi Golem with the Cheese Grater of Peace, for instance. Games are relatively short (1-2 hours), so it's perfect for a lazy weekend afternoon or weekday evening.


Wil Wheaton's TableTop show actually covered Munchkin a few weeks ago. Felicia Day and Steve Jackson (who designed the game, among many, many others) are playing with Wheaton. Here's the video:


Edited by Jason Panella, 07 July 2012 - 10:42 PM.