Fun Board Games

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Melf, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. Melf

    Melf Administrator Staff Member

    Hi All,

    My gaming group decided to play some board games in between RPGing. I introduced them to Dragon Lairds last week and they really liked it. If you haven't tried it- you should give it a go. It is fairly easy to learn and is about 1 hour long (2-5 players). Plus if you buy it and bring it to Gary Con II- I will get it signed for you for $20 :p Seriously Jim Ward and Tom Wham will be at Gary Con again and I am sure they will autograph it for you.

    So- Tell me about a gem that you and your group discovered so we here at the gary Con Forum can check it out too. :)

    On the flip-side, I was really disappointed with Talisman. recently I hadn't played it since 1987. I remembered it as fun and exciting. I played it last week and it was dry and boring. Anybody have a similar experience with an old favorite game?

  2. francisca

    francisca Troubadour

    I really like Fire and Axe: A Viking Saga ( ).
    You run a viking ship, sailing around Europe. You can trade, settle, or sack the towns along the way. You have to decide how to provision your boat (with warriors or trade goods), and along the way you have the opportunity to complete Sagas, which entail trading, sacking, a group of cities, etc... I consider it to be a moderately complex game, definitely more complex than something like Risk, but not as complex as say, Caylus.

    Picked up Ticket to Ride (finally), and I really enjoy it. ( )
    It is a mechanically simple game, but with a fair amount of depth, which can enjoyed by kids and adults alike.

    While not strictly a boardgame, I'm a sucker for the original Crimson Skies by FASA. ( ). It is certainly derivative of Blue Max and features a damage tracking chart similar to Car Wars for your plane. Plus, the setting is great, and there is an experience system for campaign play. I picked up the clicky base planes for dirt freaking cheap and rebased them on fender washers, so I even have good looking minis. (here is some of my handi-work: )

    Full Thrust is a free set of rules for space combat. ( ) I picked up a couple boxes of the WizKids RocketMen CSG (similar to pirates of the spanish main in construction) and use them for ships. We usually play on 4 card tables assemble in a square, covered with black felt. We use the vector physics rules, so you have to take your current speed and heading when plotting your moves.

    I haven't really been too disappointed in too many games from the past, fortunately. I've been able to keep them in perspective.
  3. Ector

    Ector Level 0 Character

    I'm a big fan of Galactic Emperor. I discovered it at a playtest game at GenCon and loved it. It has elements of Puerto Rico and (I'm told) Twilight Imperium. It's a fast-paced game that requires very different strategy depending on the number of players. It's a great way to fill two to three hours.

    Another game my group has played recently is Agricola. The number one thing I like about it is that there are very few random elements. Don't get me wrong, randomness adds a lot of fun to a lot of games, but every now and then you want to play a game that is almost pure strategy. Agricola is a good one for that.
  4. falconer

    falconer Level 0 Character

    My group has been playing Mare Nostrum all year, about once a week. It’s such a fantastic game that nobody wants to play anything else! Designed as a “Civilization Lite,” the game pits Rome, Carthage, Egypt, Babylon, and Greece against each other. You want to expand your civilization by cultivating more resources (à la The Settlers of Catan), attacking your neighbors (à la Risk), and building Wonders (The Pyramids, etc.) and Heroes (Hannibal, Helen of Troy, etc.). Each civilization has different advantages and plays a different strategy. For example, Caesar builds legions at a -1 cost, Pericles builds triremes faster and has a +1 to naval combat, Cleopatra collects more taxes, etc. When you buy more Wonders or Heroes you get more advantages like that.

    You need all 5 players to play. If you have 3 players there’s a variant called Triumvirate which is about Caesar, Crassus, and Pompey fending off barbarian invasions, buying senators, and ultimately trying to conquer Rome. It does a great job at portraying how they had to work in concert and forward their own ambitions at the same time.

    When you tire of the base game, there is an expansion which adds Atlantis (a 6th player), gods, legendary monsters, and mythical heroes. (Nothing that would interest you guys!)

    So, I highly recommend it!
  5. francisca

    francisca Troubadour


    I forgot Cosmic Encounter! Love that game. Haven't played the new FFG version, but I hear good things about it.
    I've got the original (but no expansions), and Mayfair's version + Mayfair's More Cosmic Encounter.
  6. shalaban

    shalaban Chevalier

    I just bought a board game called Italia from Phalanx Games. I have yet to read the rules but it looks cool. Any one else heard of this game? :?:

    I would sure like to check out Mare Nostrum that Falconer speaks of though.
  7. Melf

    Melf Administrator Staff Member

    Wow! It was about 1979 the last time I played cosmic encounter. I couldn't tell you much about it but I do remember having lots of fun playing it. It was popular with Tom Wham, Ernie and I believe Will Neibling and Jake Jacquet (probably unknown names to most). I would sit down and play a game next year for sure!

  8. the keeper

    the keeper Spellbinder

    Okay, I'll add it to the "Bring to Garycon' list, BACK to the gaming closet!
  9. mordrin

    mordrin Spellbinder Staff Member

    I've only played once, but Dune was a good game. Different powers+victory conditions for each group, nicely balanced.

    I like Citadels and Dominion a lot. Both are card games with medieval themes, but very different mechanics.
    In Citadels, there are 9 character cards, and each round each player secretly selects a different character to be, giving them different powers for that round. You try to build a group of buildings in your citadel.
    In Dominion, you try and have the most 'land/estates' by a certain endpoint, by playing certain cards, which earn you money, which you use to buy estates or money or powers. The mechanic of what cards you have available to use each turn works very well.

    The Bridges of Shangri-Lai has you moving pieces from location to location, with bridges collapsing behind you, cutting off movement options as you go. You try and have more pieces of certain types in each area than your 3 opponents, earning you control of that area.
  10. sir jon

    sir jon Spellbinder

    The original Avalon Hill History of the World was a fine game, changing up the warfare a bit by having the winner based on points accrued during all seven epochs instead of domination of the board. The way the chits worked out made for some amusing historical abominations, such as the Scottish Chou Dynastic Clan (aka the Highland Chou's) or the African Vikings. Unfortunately, you lose some of that in the newer, Hasbro/AH version, although the board is pretty and the figures are nice. The cards in the original are FAR superior, though.

    Anyway, the game is lengthy but not overbearing like a domination game of Risk or Advanced Civilization. Seven epochs seem long but it's such a great game you don't even notice.

  11. Melf

    Melf Administrator Staff Member

    Citadel sounds a bit like San Juan card game- also very fun and fairly quick. You should check it out. I bought Munchkin Cthulu at GenCon 2007 and I still haven't played a full game of it yet! So maybe I should make that my goal for Gary Con II. I also picked up Chez Geek- which is a decent pick up game.

    Since I am talking off topic on card games, I really had fun Sunday night after Gary Con playing the old Nuclear War cardgame (I think it was 1967 printing). Dropping the bomb and flicking the spinner- good times!
  12. geekpreacher

    geekpreacher Spellbinder

    A good beer and pretzels game is "The Great Space Race" by Kenzer & Co. You basically try and run your ship around the board while avoiding obstacles and other ships. There are giant space amoebas that can attack you plus your fellow players can try and blow you up and do all other sorts of mean and cruel stuff to you. A good game, with enough players, can last an 1.5 to 2 hours. It's very easy to pick up and the strategy varies depending on player number and the ship you're using.

    And, so you guys don't think I only support Kenzer products, there is a great game by Avalon Hill called Betrayal at House on the Hill. It has horror elements and changes each time you play it. It's tile based and has a scenario book that works really well to keep the game random. Pretty much all the players are exploring this house and when certain conditions are met the scenario book comes out and it generally means that one player becomes the BBEG while the other players have to try and take that person out. The BBEG has certain victory conditions and so do the other players and the randomness of it gives this game great replayability.

    Apples to Apples is also a fun game that can be used for people of all ages. It's funny and hilarious. I don't have time for a review but I'm sure you can find one around the net. It's a great pick up game and you can kill time in between other games with it.

    When I get time, I'll also mention some other board games. While I'm a big RPG fan, it's often easier to get my ladies to play a board game with me than an RPG.


  13. the keeper

    the keeper Spellbinder

    Time for The Keeper to list his favorites; My recently acquired Battue, by Red Juggernaut, I just like how it plays. Something about razing a city gets my blood boiling. Uwe Rosenberg/ Uberplay's, Nottingham, great little screw you neighbor card game, and lastly anything made by Avalanche Press. As an older boardgamer anything this company makes is fine by me. I particularly like Defiant Russia. A good little operation barbarrosa game. You can check out all Avalanche Press has at Go on! You know you want to. Type it in, check 'em out.

    P.S. Forgot to mention AP's, Imperium, excellent two player game!! It goes on & on & on ............
  14. Melf

    Melf Administrator Staff Member

    Imperium! Ernie used to play that when TSR was on 756 Williams St in LK G about 1976 or so. Another game I'd like to play- but probably won't get the chance to do at Gary Con!
  15. the keeper

    the keeper Spellbinder

    756 Williams St, YEP! And I was probably one of his first customers. Bought way too many S.P.I. games there. Second game I ever purchased as a wargamer was 'Wolfpack'. Wish I still had those games now. If Garycon 2 is three days this coming year maybe we can make time to squeeze in a game, of Imperium, that is.
  16. Druvas

    Druvas Spellbinder

    May I suggest Dora Chutes and Ladders? :shock: If someone ran that, my 4 year old daughter could come to GaryCon II too. :lol:
  17. dndgeek

    dndgeek Troubadour

    Hear hear! Just don't buy the new version and set aside at least 4 hours to play it. Civilization, Settlers of Catan and Attack! are all fun too, but HotW is my fave. Heard good things about Age of Steam, Dungeon Twister and Arkham Horror sounds like a good time. That'll be my next purchase. If it's good and not too long, I'll bring it to GC2.
  18. Melf

    Melf Administrator Staff Member

    Whoa! There is a Dora chutes and ladders? My daughter (2) loves Dora anything and everything. I will have to buy it for her.
  19. Druvas

    Druvas Spellbinder

    Oh, yeah. I am an expert player of that one now. :) While she still likes Dora and Diego, she is in full swing with Yo Gabba Gabba now. If you haven't seen it, that is one freaky show. I actually kinda like it myself... :oops: Have fun with your 2 year old now, in about 6-12 months all hell is gonna break loose!
  20. the keeper

    the keeper Spellbinder

    More like in 6-12 years. :lol: Trust me, I know :!:

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