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Board Game Recommendations

Dark MoonDark Moon Registered User regular
edited December 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
So the Christmas season is rolling around and all the people clambering to buy me things have requested I supply them with some ideas. Unfortunately, aside from a nice Merkur safety razor, I had absolutely no ideas to furnish their shopping lists with. As luck would have it, however, I realized today how much fun I've had in the past weeks playing various friends' board games and how meager my own collection is. After placing one and one together and deliberating over several pots of coffee, I've figured that this would be a splendid opportunity to build my board game collection. A brief foray into boardgamegeek.com has made me quite sure quite sure that I haven't the foggiest clue what non-classic board games are available and fun to play these days, so I come to you noble forumgoers in the hopes that you can assist me in compiling a game list.

First, a brief list of games I know and love, in order of decreasing preference, with links to the boardgamewiki for less popular games.

Wise and Otherwise
Scrabble
Risk
Balderdash
Monopoly
Settlers of Catan
Masterpiece
Taboo

Now, consideration also has to be given to the pool of possible game players I have at my disposal. I regularly have access to 4 other board gamers capable and willing to learn complex rules and play through a longer game. More often, however, I'll be with a group of 6 or so folks who do not enjoy learning fancy rulesets and whose attentions will begin to wander after more than an hour or two at play. I am not adverse to games that cater only to the first set of players, but I would prefer a game playable with both groups.

Budget is roughly $60CAD. Thanks for sharing your experience!

Dark Moon on
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Posts

  • PolloDiabloPolloDiablo Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    There's a boardgames thread over in CF that has tons of recommendations for good games. It's worth a look.

    That said, some classics are Settlers of Catan, Carcasonne, Puerto Rico, and recently Agricola. None are particularly rules-heavy, although I'm not sure about the optimal numbers of players for those.

    A Game of Thrones and Shadows Over Camelot are good 5-player games. Last Night on Earth is great for getting that zombie fix. If you're looking at Risk, I think you'd do well to look at Axis and Allies. It's somewhat similar to Risk, but better in pretty much every way. The Fury of Dracula and Arkham Horror are both great games for your heavier group.

    Be excellent to each other you stupid cunts.
  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    The missus and I picked up Pirateology a while back and found it fairly enjoyable.

    PSN: allenquid
  • Pure DinPure Din Rhode Island Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    You should get Apples to Apples for the second group.

  • admanbadmanb the bored genie Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Could you explain your preference order? Particularly why Settlers is at the bottom, and why Wise-or-Otherwise at the top, because most of the people who frequent this forum are going to recommend games that appeal more to the Settlers style of gameplay than the WoO style, but I have some friends that trend towards WoO that I could grab some recs. from.

    twitter, github, resume/portfolio, if you like to play or host boardgames online, check out handtracker
  • nerdgaymernerdgaymer Registered User
    edited November 2008
    try Risk Godstorm. I bought it and loved it, basically a fantasy europe game of risk, with elements of Risk 2210 but with better balance.

  • radroadkillradroadkill MDRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Loaded Questions for the second group. It's HILARIOUS.

    Nerdgasmic wrote: »
    Like some sort of raptor or the Great panda, Rad cannot properly initiate egg preparation if she senses a disturbance within her environment.
  • Dark MoonDark Moon Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Excellent! Your suggestions are being investigated further and may very well make The List.

    admanb, I gave preference to WoO (and word/phrase games in general) as the rules are simpler, the gameplay much more fast-paced and due to a general preference for word games over strategy. I'm really quite interested in more games in the vein of WoO, if you have any suggestions.

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  • proXimityproXimity Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I would have to second Apple to Apple. Fantastic game.

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  • The_Glad_HatterThe_Glad_Hatter Rogue Jpeg Jockey Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    People at my house all love Jungle Speed.
    the website is ugly and sucks, but the game great fun. It's nothing like risk or settlers, but quite easy to explain and great as a casual game with non-hardcore gamers. (edit: it is a bit of a reflex-action game... but anyone can play really...)
    Lots of laughs to be had. really, tremendous fun.

    and for more complicated games.
    Carcassonne and Machiavelli seem to be pretty populair and pretty good games.

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  • ZyreZyre Registered User
    edited November 2008
    From my Personal Collection, these are my Recommendations;

    Blokus - 4 Players (Also Trigon version) http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/2453

    Acquire - 6 Players (My Favorite) http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/5

    A Game of Thrones - Up to 5 Players, Expansion allows a 6th. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/6472

    Settlers of Catan - 3/4 Players. (Lots of Expansions) http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/13

    Carcassone - 5 players. (6th allowed with a specifc expansion) There are I believe 6+ expansions for this, each adding new tiles and peices/rules. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/822

    Ticket to Ride - Up to 5 Players. (Loads of fun, very simple game. There are half a dozen different versions with slightly different rules. I recommend Europe version.) http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/9209

    Powergrid - Up to 5-6 players. Very balanced. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/2651

    Bohnanza - Up to 7 Players. (Bean Farming + Trading game) http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/11

    Citadels - Up to 7 players, very simple and lots of fun. (Cards + Tokens) http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/478

    Roborally - Up to 8 players. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/18 (Interesting Anecdote; Richard Garfields first game, created before Magic: The Gathering. He went to Wizards of the Coast with this but they weren't interested in it and told him they were looking for a CTCG, collectable trading card game. He went home and designed Magic: The Gathering for them, and a year later got Roborally published.)


    Have Played, do not yet own, but would recommend;

    Puerto Rico (5 Players) - http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/3076
    Amun-Re (5 Players) - http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/5404
    Ingenious (4 Players) - http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/9674
    Battlestar Galactica (6 Players) - http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/37111

  • GoodOmensGoodOmens Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Apples to Apples is lots of fun. Puerto Rico is pure awesome, takes a bit of time to learn but has tremendous strategy. I know I'll probably get mocked for this, but Cranium is very entertaining with the right group, and has essentially no rules. Fluxx (and its variants) is a fast, fun card game which has one rule, people can learn it instantly and it's fun for 15 minutes or so.

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  • WillethWilleth Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Munchkin.

    Munchkin munchkin munchkin.

    It's not a board game but it will definitely appeal to both groups.

    @vgreminders - Don't miss out on timed events in gaming!
    @gamefacts - Totally and utterly true gaming facts on the regular!
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I recommend Citadels which is a quick-paced, social game that's easy to learn. It's one part strategy game, one part poker (in that you need to keep a poker face and don't want other people "reading" what card you choose every turn), but doesn't involve a lot of time investment and can easily be played in a very social situation, so you don't have to worry about everyone going silent as they stare at their cards.

    "Well, look at this. Appears we got here just in the nick of time. What's that make us?"
    "Big Damn Heroes, Sir."
    "Ain't we just."
  • admanbadmanb the bored genie Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Dark Moon wrote: »
    Excellent! Your suggestions are being investigated further and may very well make The List.

    admanb, I gave preference to WoO (and word/phrase games in general) as the rules are simpler, the gameplay much more fast-paced and due to a general preference for word games over strategy. I'm really quite interested in more games in the vein of WoO, if you have any suggestions.

    Someone else mentioned Loaded Questions. I would second (and possibly third) that one at the very least.

    twitter, github, resume/portfolio, if you like to play or host boardgames online, check out handtracker
  • zhen_roguezhen_rogue Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Typically, I avoid 'name-brand' spinoffs of Risk like the plague.
    However, I've found "Lord of the Rings" Risk to be a really fun game.
    Good pace, tight ruleset, fun pieces/setting, lots of game variants.

    I'm a die-hard Settlers fan (and Risk/Axis and Allies) but still found this branded version of Risk to be well worth playing and owning.

  • fuelishfuelish Registered User
    edited November 2008
    As you like Scrabble, try UpWords. Similar game but you can alter the words by stacking letters.

    And I have to mention Rush Hour. It is single player but one of my favorite games. Could be played multi by letting each person make a move. My wife and I play that way sometimes.

    Another day in the bike shop Pretty much what it sounds like. The secret lifestyle, laid open.
  • DehumanizedDehumanized Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I've had a lot of fun lately with Betrayal at House on the Hill (might be out of print now :S), Arkham Horror, and Cosmic Encounter.

    Boardgamegeek links:
    Arkham Horror
    Cosmic Encounter
    Betrayal at House on the Hill

    A few quick descriptions of each game:

    Arkham Horror is a boardgame adaptation of the Call of Cthulhu tabletop RPG. It's played cooperatively, from anywhere from 1-8 players (I personally find more than 4 gets a bit boring). The players get to play investigators, who are attempting to stop an ancient evil from being unleashed, which will destroy the universe. There are like 5 expansions available as of now, so the base game can be made quite a bit more complex through them. Basically the game plays like a tabletop RPG lite.

    Cosmic Encounter is a little harder to describe. It's competitive with a good deal of randomness involved. Basically, the goal is galactic domination. There's an online version of it here where you can familizarize yourself with how it plays. I play on the 1990s printing of the game, there's a new reprint/remake of it that will be available soon. Ideally it's played with 4 people, but different pressings of the game support different numbers of players.

    Betrayal at House on the Hill follows a randomly generated storyline involving a group of people who have been lured into a haunted house controlled by a traitor. The game is played cooperatively from the start, until around halfway through the game where the traitor is revealed. Then, the game generally changes to be the other players working to thwart the traitor. There are around 30 different scenarios, and the layout of the house is also randomly generated, so there's a lot of variety with seperate playthroughs of the game. Some scenarios include:
    -The traitor sends the house into another dimension where the air is (slightly) poisonous to the humans in the house
    -The traitor raises an army of ghouls to capture the remaining players so he can sacrifice them for dark purposes
    -The traitor unleashes a world-devouring worm in the house
    -The house is alive! And wants to eat everyone inside it! (This scenario has no traitor)

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  • GoodOmensGoodOmens Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    I recommend Citadels which is a quick-paced, social game that's easy to learn.

    Yes. YES. I've always had fun playing Citadels.

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  • MunacraMunacra Registered User
    edited December 2008
    TWILIGHT IMPERIUM III

  • GrimmGrimm Registered User
    edited December 2008
    I'm not really sure if you would consider it a board game but i highly recommend Mind Trap.

    http://www.mindtrapgames.com/Framesets/ProductsFS.html

  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Another vote for Apples to Apples.

    Sidenote: No matter what group I play A2A with, "Helen Keller" is always an insta-win card.

  • WillethWilleth Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Oh, and there's always Khet.

    @vgreminders - Don't miss out on timed events in gaming!
    @gamefacts - Totally and utterly true gaming facts on the regular!
  • JWashkeJWashke Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Bang!

    Awesome card game, I have not found a person who did not enjoy this game, gamer or otherwise. Apples to Apples is also awesome.

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  • DeathPrawnDeathPrawn Registered User
    edited December 2008
    Pit is a real classic. It's not particularly complex, but I guarantee you that its hectic pace will grab your your casual group's attention. Ignore the mediocre BGG rating: I have seen this game devolve a group of intelligent, mild-mannered adults into a mob of shouting maniacs. In a good way.

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  • Hobbit0815Hobbit0815 Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scattegories

    I thought it was fun.

    Probably for the second group.

  • skyybahamutskyybahamut Registered User
    edited December 2008
    Also there is a Whole Thread about that in Critical Failures.

    This signature is for SCIENCE!
  • i n c u b u si n c u b u s Registered User
    edited December 2008
    I remember a game I played just about everyday at my High School's History club but can't recall the name. Your basically settlers expanding towards the west cost by building as much railroad as possible. Everyone has a different color railroad and I believe who ever has been able to expand or gain more railroad wins. Anyone know of such a boardgame?

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  • skyybahamutskyybahamut Registered User
    edited December 2008
    I remember a game I played just about everyday at my High School's History club but can't recall the name. Your basically settlers expanding towards the west cost by building as much railroad as possible. Everyone has a different color railroad and I believe who ever has been able to expand or gain more railroad wins. Anyone know of such a boardgame?

    From my previous post with a link...
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    But I'm surprised no one has mentioned one of the BEST non-political strategy games, Ticket to Ride, or my preference, Ticket to Ride: Europe.

    TicketToRide.jpg

    It's a basic resource strategy game that can be fun with 3 players (which is sometimes hard to find in board games) or more, and is still strategically deep enough to be really fulfilling in practice. Your basic goal is to complete certain, randomly assigned train lines using resource cards while competing for track space with the other players. Much, much fun.

    This signature is for SCIENCE!
  • El MuchoEl Mucho Colbchella God damn it!Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Munacra wrote: »
    TWILIGHT IMPERIUM III

    I second Twilight Imperium, though it probably wouldn't work well with your extended group. Very heavy on rules, and very time intensive. But it is an excellent game and lots of fun when the backstabbing and the wars on two fronts start.

    A sandwich is a sandwich, but a manwich is a mess.
  • i n c u b u si n c u b u s Registered User
    edited December 2008
    Sorry about that but despite my incompetence that game is amazing. I played it everyday and it never got old.

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  • HedgethornHedgethorn Associate Professor of Historical Hobby Horses In the Lions' DenRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    El Mucho wrote: »
    Munacra wrote: »
    TWILIGHT IMPERIUM III

    I second Twilight Imperium, though it probably wouldn't work well with your extended group. Very heavy on rules, and very time intensive. But it is an excellent game and lots of fun when the backstabbing and the wars on two fronts start.

    I tried to play this once with some experienced players. I had to go home after four hours...at which point, no player had yet gained any advantage over any other.

    They divided my assets equally and continued to play for another four hours.

  • oncelingonceling Registered User
    edited December 2008
    Hobbit0815 wrote: »
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scattegories

    I thought it was fun.

    Probably for the second group.

    This, my friendship group dies laughing. As long as you are willing to give points for hilarity, Scattergories *cannot* fail. You can also find lists of questions online that can customize the game for your friends. Such as video game questions, etc.

    You really just need a timer and the alphabet dice and you could do the rest of this with your home computer and printer (ie not really a need to buy it if you don't want to).

    Here's some of our recent answers that got passed for hilarity:

    Things made of Glass: Samuel L. Jackson in Unbreakable
    Excuse for being late for work: Penis slammed in door
    Things that are green: King Kong green palette swap
    Vacation spots: Come to Portugal
    Weekend Activities: Annoying Mr. Wilson
    Hobbies: Enter the Dragon
    Tools: Kull the Conqueror
    Athlete who does commercials: Kulk Hogan
    After dinner foods: Kracker Barrel

    (for the last two, we were really tired and K is a dififcult letter, things devolved into funny replacements).

    Anytime C or P comes up there are way too many penis jokes but that might just be my friends.

  • MunacraMunacra Registered User
    edited December 2008
    Descent: Journeys into the dark. plus all expansions.

  • El MuchoEl Mucho Colbchella God damn it!Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Hedgethorn wrote: »
    El Mucho wrote: »
    Munacra wrote: »
    TWILIGHT IMPERIUM III

    I second Twilight Imperium, though it probably wouldn't work well with your extended group. Very heavy on rules, and very time intensive. But it is an excellent game and lots of fun when the backstabbing and the wars on two fronts start.

    I tried to play this once with some experienced players. I had to go home after four hours...at which point, no player had yet gained any advantage over any other.

    They divided my assets equally and continued to play for another four hours.

    Yeah, the game takes an exceptionally long time to play and the more people you have playing the longer it takes. Usually when I play with my friends it is spread out over several sessions so that it doesn't turn into a 12 hour fiending session. Though to be honest I have done that as well...I am not proud.

    A sandwich is a sandwich, but a manwich is a mess.
  • MunacraMunacra Registered User
    edited December 2008
    The game is awesome, so it hardly matters how much time it takes to play.

  • Alistair HuttonAlistair Hutton Dr EdinburghRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I remember a game I played just about everyday at my High School's History club but can't recall the name. Your basically settlers expanding towards the west cost by building as much railroad as possible. Everyone has a different color railroad and I believe who ever has been able to expand or gain more railroad wins. Anyone know of such a boardgame?

    From my previous post with a link...
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    But I'm surprised no one has mentioned one of the BEST non-political strategy games, Ticket to Ride

    The game he's thinking of is almost certainly not Ticket To Ride. TTR does not have the expanding westwards mechanic. Frankly there's an almost unlimited number of train games that he could be thinking of. Maybe one of the 18XX series of games?

    This shouldn't, however, hide the fact that Ticket to Ride is an exceptionally good game for a mixed gaming group. Very easy to teach rules, plenty of replayability and plays well with 3, 4 or 5. To give some context I rank teaching TTR as a level easier than teaching Puerto Rico. PR is a pretty simple game in theory but it requires a lot of explanation of the special effects of each role and the effect that picking each role will have on the dynamic of the game.

    TTR is a great choice. Some of the other suggestions in this thread, not so much.

    I have a thoughtful and infrequently updated blog about games http://whatithinkaboutwhenithinkaboutgames.wordpress.com/

    I made a game, it has penguins in it. It's pay what you like on Gumroad.

    Currently Ebaying Nothing at all but I might do in the future.
  • Lindsey LohanLindsey Lohan Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    For a light strategy game that is very fun in teams, Sequence is worth a look. It's simply trying to get 5 in a row like Bingo on a board that has two decks of cards displayed on it with some wild cards thrown in to add/remove any space. It's very easy to pick up and play but insanely addictive in groups.

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  • skyybahamutskyybahamut Registered User
    edited December 2008
    I figured it was close enough, and hopefully I did not come like an ass in my previous post. TTR is a great game and I thought it sounded close to what i n c u b u s wanted. Just wanted to hilight Ticket to Ride really.

    This signature is for SCIENCE!
  • KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I have Coke's boardgame. It is an awesome piece of corporate propaganda

    Freedom for the Northern Isles!
  • LeptonLepton Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I didn't see Clue mentioned; people like that game. If you like Risk, you might like Axis and Allies. Othello and Backgammon are also good, and you can never go wrong with chess. Maybe you want to ask for a poker set.

    Edit: shout out to Trivial pursuit.

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