Continuing from my previous post about my journey from digital to analog-gaming, I figured the best way to introduce fellow geeks to board games would be to have a list of games you can get into.
Board games have sometimes been called “bored games”. And they have been the source of arguments and break downs.
But look pass this stereotype and what you might find are colourful pre-packaged boxes providing hours upon hours of glorious fun.
Your opinion of board games may have been coloured by your experiences with Monopoly, Risk, Cluedo and Game of Life. I assure you, there are tonnes of games out there that trump the mind-numbing experience of a 3-hour game of Risk where you are eliminated 30 minutes into the game.
Here we go!
1. Ticket To Ride
Why is it awesome? You need to compete for scarce train cards and routes. Like as if you are not having to compete enough for scarce space on the train already.
Why is it addictive? Ticket to Ride has been billed as the ‘Monopoly of this generation’. Sounds ominous, no? Well, it’s different. Players connect railroad routes via collecting train cards. Players score points by completing routes and having the longest route. The winner is determined by points.
And that’s a big deal. Because there’s actually a winner.
2. 7 Wonders
Why is it awesome? Choose resource cards from a limited pool to build your Wonder while trying to deny your opponents of those resources. Prettiest Wonder with most points wins. I Wonder why anyone will play this?
Why is it addictive? Build a structure/monument that would eventually qualify as a fictional wonder of the modern world. This board game is unique as there is no direct interaction between players as they go about building their own Wonder. But players’ actions will influence the outcome of the game. It’s a fast-paced game and you can squeeze one in about 30 minutes or so.
3. Battlestar Galactica
Why is it awesome? Steer the Battlestar Galactica to Earth whilst trying to stop traitors on board the ship.
Why is it addictive? Expect lying and backstabbing fun. Based on the sci-fi series of the same name, this is a co-operative board game. Players try to fly the space ship to Earth. Of course, to make things exciting, a player or two will always try to be the Cylons/saboteurs trying to mess things up. We all have a friend who is naturally like that.
Why is it awesome? Guess who your allies are and try to eliminate your foes without killing your own team mates. Wouldn’t it be more fun to kill your own team mates?
Why is it addictive? Bang! is a card game. It is easy. A player plays as the sheriff and he’s supposed to kill the bandits and renegade played by other players. The point is, he does not know who’s who. He’s got a deputy trying to help him, but he doesn’t know who his deputy is. A game of double-guessing and outright stupid decisions. Sounds like a night of love-making for the first time, doesn’t it?
Why is it awesome? Dixit is a game of beautifully drawn cards where you have to describe the cards using a phrase or a word and players have to guess which card you’ve just described. Imagination and story-telling are pre-requisites.
Why is it addictive? The catch is, you only score points if someone doesn’t guess the right card. It’s also a game of empathy and knowing your friends well. Basically, describe cards trying to get the most votes while making sure not everyone guesses it correctly. Tricky and stretches your creativity and imagination.
6. A Game Of Thrones
Why is it awesome? Destroy your friends and sit on the Iron Throne.
Why is it addictive? You might have watched the series. Or heard about it. Now it’s time to play as one of the major Houses in Westeros in the bid to hold the Iron Throne and fight back the Wildlings and White Walkers.
7. The Resistance
Why is it awesome? Back-stab, lie, trust no one, complete/ sabotage missions. As if there wasn’t enough of that in the office.
Why is it addictive? Perfect for easing non-board gamers into the flow of things. The goal is for the good guys to win missions, while bad guys — who are pretending to be good guys — are trying to sabotage the missions. This game can potentially break friendships and destroy mutual trust among friends. Fun.
8. Star Wars X-Wing Miniature Game
Why is it awesome? Fly your Star Wars ships around the table. Blast your opponents to smithereens. Fly?
Why is it addictive? Move around pre-painted models of dog-fighting spaceships from the Star Wars universe designed based on actual Lucas Film production blueprints.
This game is tactically-rich, yet short enough to be completed under an hour. It is the quickie of board games.
9. Risk Legacy
Why is it awesome? Risk Legacy is Risk on steroids. Risk Legacy is meant to be a 15-game long campaign for 3-5 players, where the game changes according to the outcomes of each game. You’ll be writing words onto the board itself to mark the changes each game and even tearing up some cards so you’ll never use them again. Ever.
The game comes with sealed envelopes with missions inside them so players will be in for major shocks and surprises as the campaign progresses.
Why is it addictive? Conquer countries with your armies, respond to surprising changes after each game and become the ultimate winner after 15 games. Or win when the other players have passed out.
10. The Settlers of Catan
Why is it awesome? Out-strategise your opponents by picking the right territories and building the right structures.
Why is it addictive? As settlers, you collect points by controlling territories and resources to build structures. You win when you have the most points. Best part? The board can be re-arranged every game. That means more randomness. And your friends will think you are very hipster for playing this type of game.
This article originally appeared on Mothership.sg and has been adapted for Geek Culture.
I can’t tell if I’m a fan of Valve, or I just love Half-Life, Counter-Strike, Day of Defeat, Left 4 Dead, Team Fortress and Dota 2. But I’d trade any of those games for a good ol’ session of Real Life Face-Offs ala board games!