How I boredgames'd your mother



  • [spoiler]In the pooper, she LOOOOOOOVED IT![/spoiler]

    Remember when boardgames was a thing that was monopoly and fucking shitty ass trivial pursuit and fucking shitty motherfucking snakes and shitty cunting ladders?

    Now it's different! there are board games that are actually fun!

    lets talk about them!

    I'll start.

    Over the last year or so I have been rapidly acquiring board games, and found that many are very very good, and some are good but not AS good as others. Here are my findings on a small but not exhaustive list of games:

    Carcassone

    one that you are reasonably likely to have heard of, since it's one of the most main stream non-mainstream boardgames. It's very good, lots of strategy and the indirect competition of expanding features makes for a very interesting dichotomy on placement between expanding your own features or aggressively making other's features more difficult to complete.

    Better with farms, impossible to play with farms unless everyone has played a number of times before. My wife hates playing with farms, because I am a dick with farms.

    Arbitrary Score: 8/10

    Settlers of Catan

    Another almost mainstream board game, the aim is to accrue resources to build more capabilities to accrue resources until you win. I find this game is fun, but we might play it a little too randomly. Each turn a player rolls dice to establish which resources are generated, the game has random tiles which can be shuffled and places anywhere, and dice roll values which can be shuffled and places on any tile, we do both, however I think the game is probably better when you only shuffle the tiles, not the dice roll values.

    The game is excellent, but suffers from overcrowding with 4 players, making for a very adversarial game at times. My wife hates playing this with me because I'm a dick when I get fucked over by the other people.

    Arbitrary score: 7/10

    Pandemic, Forbidden Island

    These are grouped together as they are very similar games, but Forbidden island is the "light, quick, more kid friendly" game of the 2. Co-Operative game where all players collect cards and trade them amongst each other, while trying to stop a progressively growing tide of bad stuff happening (rapidly spreading diseases/rapidly sinking island), and being unable to effectively do both for long.

    Both games present an excellent challenge, with varying difficulty levels to keep it challenging as you learn the game better. Tons of depth and replayability with different roles having vastly different impacts on how the goals are achieved, and becoming more or less effective based on the random elements of each game (e.g. tightly grouped problems suit some roles while widespread issues suit others).

    Excellent game, but my wife hates playing it with me because I'm a dick and tell everyone exactly how to play their turns, because I have thought 5-6-7+ turns ahead, a common problem for this sort of game. There is a theme here.

    8/10

    Space Cadets
    A co-operative game that makes it very hard for me to be a dick.

    Basically, you pick a star trek character, and then you get to do their accent and job for 2 hours. Want to be blind-o? Get your backside to the engineering station! Want to be a badass like cornish pasty head (who took over from annoying moron everyone hates)? Take the weapons! Want to be an annoying know it all, or a robot? take the helm! want to be one of those guys who kept getting really badly burned when things exploded? Take the shields! There's a role for everyone, and each one is genuinely challenging with it's own set of skills required.

    Each role has a set of tasks to be completed each turn, and those tasks are completed in various ways against the clock: engineering build up pictures out of tiles to power the rest of the ship, sensors use their sense of touch to match shapes and lock on to enemy vessels or explore new areas of space, helm plots a course made up of several random maneuvers and attempts to put the ship in the best position possible, shields tries to build 4 separate hold 'em style poker hands from numbered tiles, one for each shield region, weapons completes puzzles to load torpedo bays and then launches them by flicking a wooden disk down a scoring track to calculate damage.

    All the massively varied roles are running simultaneously, making it very difficult for people like me to be cunts and ruin the game for everyone else. An excellent, if massively complicated game.

    8/10

    Qwirkle

    It's like scrabble, but more fun. Match shapes or colours in a line to score points, get a full set in a row (all 6 colours or all 6 shapes) for a Qwirkle! destroy your friends without ever having to memorize every 2 letter word in the english language.

    6/10

    Ticket To Ride (Europe)

    BUILD TRAINS! From paris to berlin, or any other routes around europe you want to build, grow your rail network accross the greatest and most best lands our planet has to offer, from the shores of Poltava to the cliffs of Gallipoli, from the beaches of Normandy to the Hot Gates of Thermopylae, your plastic trains can unite what centuries of wars have torn assunder. Build for the future of our great nations, for the love of our people, and for the honour of our history.

    A fabulous game with excellent mechanics, lots of options for effective strategies, and excellent ways to make players scared of each other without knowing if they really should be scared.

    9/10

    Betrayal at house on the hill

    Everyone goes to a house, then it turns out one of you literally wants to murder the others. Then things get REALLY funky. Every game of betrayal is different, as the house grows as you explore it, the betrayal of one of your number becomes more and more likely, it could come at any time, and it could be any one (no one knows till it happens), players explore and equip themselves, without knowing if it's to work together to defeat the traitor, or to kill everyone else as quickly as possible. Eventually, the betrayal begins, and everyone splits into 2 groups, betrayed and betrayer. The rules for every game are different (based on which room and trigger the betrayal occurs in) and both teams have hidden information, be that how much health a monster has, or what the secret weapon for defeating the traitor is.

    An excellent, fun game, that has a ton of replay value (at least 50 games worth of unique combinations), Over the course of the last year the game has been as high as $200-400 while waiting for new print runs. Thanks Wizards of the Coast!

    8/10

    Love Letter

    ever wanted to have sex with a princess? now you can! In card form! love letter is all about getting your dirty filth leaflet to the princess, so she knows exactly what nastiness you have in store for her if she wants some red hot action. Love letter is the adult friend finder of card games. Work your way around the court, passing your smut from hand to hand, trying to get it as close to the princess as possible before the end of the round, if you end up closest, you get a red cube representing that hot sexy princess minge, Otherwise you are back home in a cold bed with nothing but your hand and some goose fat.

    Excellent quick game for playing while something else is happening.

    6/10

    I could talk about more games I have bought, but I have typed a lot at this point.

    Now lets get sidetracked and talk about how this one time, having just survived an attempt to murder us in a house, we caught an STI off a princess on a train on the way to a french village which was to be the launchpad of a new star-ship we were to be stationed on, which was being launched as a direct result of a failure to contain the rampant spread of disease accross the globe. And there was an island with resources on it in there somewhere too.


  • area_deu

    This is actually really good if you can tolerate the overly overpronounced animeness.
    (WTF, we can't onebox steam here?)

    Basically, the goal is to get stars and kill people by throwing dice. And you have cards and special abilities to kill them more easily or get more stars!



  • @algorythmics said:

    Ticket To Ride

    We got this for my 8yo son for Christmas (America or whatever, though, not Europe). Haven't had a chance to play it yet.

    My favorite train game is 1830: Railroads and Robber Barrons, but that's a little too advanced for him (though he loved playing it). If you like being a dick to other people, this is the game for you. Although, you probably can't buy it any more. There's also an old computer version (runs in dosbox), which I have and is pretty good.

    My all time favorite board game is Advanced Civilization (I also have a computer version that's pretty good and runs in dosbox), though this is the sort of game that takes 8+ hours to play properly. And is a good game for dickweedery. Recently, we figured out that we were Doing It Wrong on trading. Basically, our rules were a little bit looser than they should have been, so it was easier to screw people by trading Calamity cards to them. Plus, we had some blank cards and made up some calamaties of our own (Butt PIracy, Severe Faggotry -- these do stuff like reduce your population growth). We usually drink while we play.



  • @boomzilla said:

    Advanced Civilization

    +1 I've been playing this (or the original) since the 80's. Getting harder to convince people to play it in recent years. I'm a big fan of the old Avalon Hill board games in general...



  • The american version is still really good, but the european version adds a few cool extras that make the game a lot less adversarial (routes that can be claimed twice in 4+ player games, stations to piggyback routes and help complete tickets), but since no meaningful history has ever happened in america, you can't do any good roleplaying.

    I still need to find a friend who will roleplay as a nazi building railroads to concentration camps, I havent found one yet, but that roleplaying needs to happen dagnabbit.



  • @algorythmics said:

    but the european version adds a few cool extras that make the game a lot less adversarial

    That sounds like the opposite of cool.



  • Don't get me wrong, it's still adversarial, but it's a lot harder to just shut someone out based on slightly better draws.



  • Ah. Stuff that makes player strategy more important than random is something that's good. I've only read the outside of the box, so all of this makes little sense in context of the game at this point.



  • strongly recommend playing it, if you are anything like us you will play it a second time straight after, and then play it with anyone else who turns up and has an hour spare.

    If more boardgames are desired, forbidden island is probably perfect for an 8 year old.



  • @algorythmics said:

    strongly recommend playing it,

    Yeah, we just haven't had time yet. Maybe this weekend...

    @algorythmics said:

    If more boardgames are desired, forbidden island is probably perfect for an 8 year old.

    I will add it to the list...We also got him Robot Turtles. I think he's on the edge of being too old for it, but he really likes it for now, so that's good.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @aliceif said:

    This is actually really good if you can tolerate the overly overpronounced animeness.

    Whoever thought white text on a white background was a good idea, though, deserves a punch in the throat.



  • @aliceif said:

    kill people by throwing dice

    sounds.... illegal.


  • SockDev

    huh.... well that's going on my list to buy...

    both becaus i think i'll enjoy it but also because there are some people i know that would get annoyed as hell at the animeness... (which really is a bit over the top)



  • I don't play a lot of board games any more (well, other than Dominion, which we play during lunch at work), but Wil Wheaton's TableTop videos on Youtube seems to have a good introduction to a number of them.

    Its also how I found out that there's a variation of Forbidden Island named Forbidden Desert, even if they did play it wrong on the show.

    Forbidden Desert: Felicia Day, Alan Tudyk, and Jon Heder join Wil Wheaton on TableTop S03E02 – 39:27
    — Geek & Sundry


  • area_deu

    Well, you need to play it with friends in order to fully appreciate it.
    Mainly because Singleplayer is EVIL.


  • SockDev

    get the multip pack then. got it. 👿



  • Many of my purchases are directly driven by watching tabletop. You'll note there's an episode on every game I mentioned except space cadets, and it wouldn't surprise me if the only reason space cadets isn't on there is the real time elements don't lend themselves to the format.



  • I have spent many days playing Settlers of Catan. Get the expansion pack, it makes the board bigger and allows up to 6 players. We usually use that even if there are only 4, there's just a lot more room.

    There are several variations I've wanted to try out, but never felt like paying $50 a pop for board games I've never played.



  • I have the expansion, may well use it for 4 player games to see how it is!


  • area_deu

    I really enjoy this one, in terms of physical games.

    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verflixxt!

    I FOUND A BUG!
    Yes, the URL is actually http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verflixxt!. With !. It breaks oneboxes.



  • A friend recently introduced me to Firestorm Armada. It's a space-based naval combat tabletop. I've always been a BattleTech fan but could never get everyone together for the eleventy-billion hours it takes for a single game, especially since we now live scattered across four different states or so. Our last BattleTech session ended after 12 hours and there was no clear winner yet...

    Firestorm Armada doesn't use a hex board, measurements are done with rulers. We use a piece of plywood painted black. Also, a game only takes 1 - 1.5 hours which isn't too bad for a tabletop. There are different factions and fleets with different strengths and weaknesses, you have to deal with momentum, and I hilariously lost a game when all my ships failed their navigation rolls in an asteroid field and crashed.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Some friends and I regularly go to the bar on slow nights and play.

    Fluxx, Cards Against Humanity and Munchkin are all excellent low intensity background games.

    A favorite is Pandemic, because, let's face it, the game is a dick. At the bar we play with a used first edition copy because the pieces are bigger and more drunk friendly. It's also hella cheap that way.



  • A cooperative game that I've enjoyed that can be suitable for kids is Mice and Mystics. It is a tactical fantasy game that you can play a one shot of, or play through chapters (each a game) in a continuing story with carry over between the chapters. The different mice that make up the group playing through a chapter can gain new abilities and gear so playing in the continuous way would be suggested (at least till players get a better idea on tactics).

    Basically each game you get a set of 4 "mice" (6 options in base game, expansions add more (and some aren't technically mice)) for the players to use and some kind of end goal for the chapter. As you play through fighting enemies (rules for how they work, but I guess you could give them to a 5th player instead) there is a timer that will slowly tick up. If you don't complete the goal by the time it hits the limit you lose (as it climbs more/tougher enemies spawn).

    Each of the different mice have different base stats and abilities they can gain (some overlap on those). So you can do different options and combinations which change what is good tactics. Like if you take several ranged characters then you are probably going to be kiting enemies or maybe taking another to tank and hold the enemies in place.



  • @algorythmics said:

    Ticket To Ride (Europe)

    I haven't played the Europe version, but the US version was a favorite of our family — probably still would be if we were in one place to play it together.



  • @boomzilla said:

    Stuff that makes player strategy more important than random is something that's good.

    The randomness is the only thing I don't like about Ticket to Ride. You have a card that gives you a bonus for claiming a route from A to B, and all the cards you draw are only useful elsewhere on the board. Claiming the route from Q to Z helps your final score, but doesn't earn you the A-B bonus. A railroad that's trying to build a line along the West Coast doesn't suddenly run off build one in Maine just because they can, but the luck of the draw in Ticket to Ride results in a lot of that.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    I've played, of the ones listed, Settlers of Catan, and I have a copy of Forbidden Island. The problem I have is we only have 3 people in the house, and Catan's kind of rough with three people. Has anyone played FI that way? I assume you won't run into the same problem, since the game is cooperative, not competitive, but I"m curious from people who have played it 3-player. We haven't gotten around to actually sitting down yet to play, although I've read the rules.



  • Ive never found catan bad with 3, but FI is definitely fine!


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @algorythmics said:

    Ive never found catan bad with 3, but FI is definitely fine!

    With three people, IME two wind up ganging up on the third. I don't want to do that to a teenager, but I also don't want to hold back like he's a little kid. A fourth player would be easier, but failing that, a game that works well for 3 players would work too.



  • @mott555 said:

    I have spent many days playing Settlers of Catan. Get the expansion pack, it makes the board bigger and allows up to 6 players. We usually use that even if there are only 4, there's just a lot more room.

    Yeah, that's true. Though there's less of a tactical element of cutting other players out with your roads, so I think it makes for a bit less interactive game.

    Still, Catan is simple and fun, though just a little too random for my liking (three 2's in a row, what the f**k?)


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Maciejasjmj said:

    (three 2's in a row, what the f**k?)

    In a game of Car Wars I once rolled about a dozen sequential 1s.


  • Notification Spam Recipient

    A few more reviews on boardgames I have played

    Me and my friend have a kind of "boardgame club", where we (try to) get together once a week to play a boardgame or two, and buy a new one every few months or so. Most of these games are aimed towards more hardcore gamers, so don't get these for your younger children (except if noted otherwise).

    I am also not going to rate them (as I like them all about the same), but rather give an indication of the target market for the game. I am also excluding any games covered by @Algorythmics, as his reviews are pretty decent (Settlers, Pandemic, Ticket to Ride).

    Gears of War
    I haven't played the video game, so I can't compare the two. It is a co-op game for 2 to 4 players, where each player controls a marine and tries to accomplish a mission. It is a very tactical game, with a rather high difficulty level and focus on teamwork. There are various missions to choose from, as well as a "survival" mode, so the replay value is good. Recommended for serious gamers who like a challenge.

    Merchants and Marauders
    You control a ship in the Caribbean, and you can decide to be either a merchant (make gold by trading) or a pirate (make gold by plundering other ships). The first player to reach a certain amount of gold (can't remember how much), wins. This is for your more casual type of gamer, and fun to play with your friends. For 2 to 4 players

    Game of Thrones
    Like Risk (if you don't know Risk: the board is divided into territories, you have to conquer them), but on steroids. There are a lot of rules. This is one of my favourite games, as it focuses on diplomacy. There are really lots of potential for alliances and backstabbery that was not possible with Risk. The only issue with the game is that it takes about 4 to 5 hours when playing with 6 people, so you can't just decide "hey, let's play a quick game". Highly recommended if you have a few competitive gaming friends. 3 to 6 players

    Lord of the Rings (The Card Game)
    This is actually a card game, not a boardgame. It falls under a new (at least to me) type of genre, Living Card Game. This is different from Trading Card Games, where each new expansion contains a pre-determined set of cards, instead of a set number of random cards. It is a co-op game for 1 to 4 players, where you try to defeat missions. You (and your allies, if any) build a deck beforehand, and take on a deck of enemies, determined by the mission you chose. Each expansion contains new cards for your deck, as well as new missions.

    Android Netrunner
    The same type of game as Lord of the Rings, except a versus game for 2 players. One player is a corporation, and the other player is a hacker. The interesting thing about the game is the fact that the corporation player and the hacker uses completely different sets of rules. The hacker theme is why we got the game, and it is quite fun.

    Takenoko
    The only game in this list I would recommend for children. The board is a Japanese garden. There is a gardener that grows bamboo, and a panda that eats it. You have to complete your objectives by moving the panda and the gardener around, and manipulating the board. Easy to understand and quite a cute game. Quite a good family game for 2 to 4 players

    Release!
    Included to impress @apapadimoulis and get instant TL4 privileges (just joking, except if works, in which case I'm not). I have actually played to print-and-play version (twice), and it is fun if you have a few friends around and time to spare



  • Re: Forbidden Island

    A game we love, but that we have not figured out how to beat. A lot of laughter as every plan we have is destroyed one by one.

    Tsuro of the Sea

    You have boats and sea monsters!

    Easy game for kids, once you get the hang of the mechanics - there's like three things to do for your turn instead of just "roll the dice and move your mice".

    There's a good mix of your own choice and randomness that when (my) kids lose they don't feel like the world is cheating them. Also the game is pretty fast, so you can always play again right away.

    Like Settlers, each game starts off a little different.



  • @Vault_Dweller said:

    Game of ThronesLike Risk (if you don't know Risk: the board is divided into territories, you have to conquer them), but on steroids. There are a lot of rules. This is one of my favourite games, as it focuses on diplomacy. There are really lots of potential for alliances and backstabbery that was not possible with Risk. The only issue with the game is that it takes about 4 to 5 hours when playing with 6 people, so you can't just decide "hey, let's play a quick game". Highly recommended if you have a few competitive gaming friends. 3 to 6 players

    Like Risk, but focuses on diplomacy? Lots of alliances and backstabbing? Did they just .... did they just rip-off Diplomacy and shove a TV show's name on it?



  • I've been wondering about Release! I supported the Kickstarter but haven't got my game yet.


  • SockDev

    @mott555 said:

    I supported the Kickstarter but haven't got my game yet.

    ditto.

    looking forward to getting the game actually



  • @FrostCat said:

    With three people, IME two wind up ganging up on the third. I don't want to do that to a teenager, but I also don't want to hold back like he's a little kid.

    This sounds more like domestic problems than a gameplay issue.

    @FrostCat said:

    A fourth player would be easier, but failing that, a game that works well for 3 players would work too.

    I'm not sure why a 4th player would solve the ganging up issue.


  • Notification Spam Recipient

    I have never heard of Diplomacy, so can't comment



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Like Risk, but focuses on diplomacy? Lots of alliances and backstabbing? Did they just .... did they just rip-off Diplomacy and shove a TV show's name on it?

    Not really. I have Diplomacy, and have tried to play it, though we've never gotten far (other people just aren't as interested). There are some similarities, but there's a lot more to the GoT boardgame that seems to be from the books / show (I've neither read nor watched...I've only played the game, though with others who had done both).

    The orders style of play is similar, though you're limited in number of types of orders, there is some capability for removing some orders from opponents and they aren't resolved simultaneously.

    EDIT: There is some similarity to Risk, too, though. So, a combination of Risk, Diplomacy and other stuff.


  • Notification Spam Recipient

    I will probably but a copy when the second wave is release[spoiler]![/spoiler]d


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @boomzilla said:

    I'm not sure why a 4th player would solve the ganging up issue.

    Because you can also wind up with 2-1-1 and 2-2 alliances.

    I haven't actually experienced the ganging up much, but I've been warned by other people. Perhaps "alliance" would have been a better term.



  • @FrostCat said:

    Because you can also wind up with 2-1-1 and 2-2 alliances.

    IME, the alliances are usually the weaker / behind players vs the stronger / leading players. Which is to say, they make the game more interesting usually. But if people always ally with each other against other players regardless...sounds like an interpersonal problem, not a game problem.



  • Two favourites of mine:

    Citadels
    For 3+ players. You get to build a city by buying various buildings. Each turn you pick the character you want to play as for that turn - different characters give different benefits and opportunities to screw over you opponents. Lot's of mind games, backstabbing and second guessing.

    Condottiere
    For 3+ players. Fight over different districts of Italy. You have a random set of troops (represented by cards) at your disposal, plus a few special effects cards. Committing troops to a battle means that they will no longer be available to you (regardless of whether you win or lose) in the following rounds - so there's some strategy and planning involved in deciding when to play what. Also, the special effects cards have a huge potential to really change battles (and screw over your friends).

    Lot's of fun to play, and relatively simple to explain (i.e., after a 5-min dry-run with some explanations new people can join in). Lot's of depth and you really have to adjust your play style to whoever you're playing with.



  • I haven't played Game of Thrones, or read any of the books, or watched the show, or even vaguely like fantasy bullshit. Vault_Dweller's description could easily have been of Diplomacy, though.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Vault_Dweller's description [of GoT] could easily have been of Diplomacy, though.

    Except for stuff about "a lot of rules." Diplomacy is relatively simple, rules-wise. I've only played GoT once, though I may play again this weekend. Most of the way through the game, we realized that we'd gotten one very important part of the game wrong (bidding every round on the throne, sword and the other thing, for those who know the game).


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @boomzilla said:

    But if people always ally with each other against other players regardless...sounds like an interpersonal problem, not a game problem.

    We haven't played just the three of us much, and it hasn't been a problem. Like I said I'd heard it tends to work that way, and I was looking for opinions.



  • @accalia said:

    @mott555 said:
    I supported the Kickstarter but haven't got my game yet.

    ditto.

    looking forward to getting the game actually

    FYI -- we had our Release! release party on Sunday...

    ... and now everything is ready for the postman to pick up on Tuesday...


  • SockDev

    @apapadimoulis said:

    ... and now everything is ready for the postman to pick up on Tuesday...

    thats a lot of boxen.... i hope your post man brings the big truck for pickup!

    also i apparently need to start planning my own celebration for receiving the game. 😃


  • Notification Spam Recipient

    Do you know when the second wave will be launched? I am quite keen to order it after having fun with the print-and-play version



  • Actually, we’re just about ready to roll (we have some extra Kickstarter editions we can sell for now).

    Any suggestions on how to sell them?

    My ideal system: a simple page where you pick the item from a Drop Down list, enter your credit card, address, then hid submit. Then, we an email notification of the successful order, along with a pdf shipping label. Of course, it could be a page that has a queue of orders… but the idea is, trivially easy to generate the shipping labels.

    We could throw something together with Stripe and Encindia, but I feel that’s a wheel we’re re-inventing.



  • Finally got around to playing Ticket to Ride. Very good family game, though my 8 year old has trouble grasping the strategy behind completing destinations.

    My 14yo won our first game. She and my wife managed to block me out of Santa Fe before I realized what was going on, so I missed one of my routes. Obviously, my son playing somewhat randomly made it a bit easier on us all.

    He may play as a team for a bit. At a minimum, I think not subtracting missed routes will help, though not enough to make him competitive (yet). He's a pretty quick learner, so I think he'll catch on.


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