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Top Board Games Recommendations and Buyer's Guide

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I completely forgot to add Star Wars: Rebellion! It's shot to near the top, naturally. Scythe could still beat it but I think it will take a few more plays.

 

EDIT: and added Seasons!

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10 hours ago, scottcr said:

I think I'm going to have to add Warhammer Quest Card Game to my list now - it's brilliant.  Played it loads... it's absolutely brutal though.

 

 

Is that one of those ones that can be done single player?

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I thought for a second you meant Conquest. That's a very good game but I never really got on with it - plus I have to spend more money on cards for Netrunner now. Yes, have.

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Updated!

 

Added Dead of Winter which I've played recently and is utterly brilliant and has gone straight up to my number 10.

 

EDIT:

 

The game is just a great machine for generating stories - in the game I played I needed medicine as my secret objective, but also had a character that could filter the crisis deck, so I kept putting the medicine tasks further down. Only trouble was, I had to say 2 words to say about the cards, but if I said Food, Medicine I thought people would start going to places with medicine to prepare for the next one as it's useful to have anyway, so I just said stuff like: bad, worse. Of course this instantly raised suspicions and I was accused of being a dick or a terrible player when I did it a second time, so had to stop, especially when I started rummaging and making noise in the Hospital... I couldn't say anything in my defense for the entire game!

 

Also a great thing about the game is that the secret objectives avoids a lot of the problems with experienced players trying to dictate the game as everyone has their own agenda and isn't necessarily going to be swayed by one other person.

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Dead of Winter is incredibly group dependant. I've had some great experiences playing it and some... less than great ones. It does foster paranoia like no other game though (apart from perhaps Resistance). 

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Got Scythe to the table at the weekend, albeit with only 2 players. It is a lovely thing, and definitely one that would benefit from an increased player count - in our inexperience, we both tried to do all of the things, which is not advisable...or indeed, advised by the game itself, as the quickstart cards specifically warn you not to do this. Even so, it was a great experience, and my opponent's more peaceful approach eventually won out over my strategy of trying to goad him into combat at every opportunity. Very keen to try this with 3 or more.

 

Finished up with a few games of Hive (Hive Pocket, technically, but they're the same game), and were both pleasantly surprised by how much depth there is to it. Each player has only 13 hexagonal tiles (ignoring expansions), with each tile depicting a creepy-crawly of some kind (Spider, Ant, Queen Bee, Beetle, Grasshopper), and each creepy-crawly has its own ruleset for moving; a player wins by surrounding their opponent's queen while protecting their own. It was surprisingly simple to remember the moveset for each tile, and games lasted anywhere from 5 mins (our first game) to 20 (our last) - a great "filler" game, without the caveats that usually go with that label.

 

EDIT: To my great shame, I posted this in the wrong thread; should have been in What Are You Playing. Apologies!

 

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37 minutes ago, Windowlicker said:

I can live with £10 games, it's when the buggers sell you on Mansions of Madness it starts to hurt.

 

 

I came dangerously close to that tonight.....

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To make things worst - I did a solo run of the first quest in MoM last night and it was excellent. It felt completely different to the first time I did it even though some of the main plot points were the same. Absolutely the best game for playing solo I've ever played. The app means all your thinking about are your own characters and it does the rest.  Setup is complete in minutes and your gaming away pretty much instantly. Absolutely can't recommend this game enough.

 

best setup is to use a laptop with a wireless mouse.

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8 hours ago, sdmilne said:

 

 

I came dangerously close to that tonight.....

 

I went for it after reading some reviews on BGG and the far too tempting price at Chaos Cards. I'll try to knock up a top 10 later to keep the thread on track, hopefully, MoM can work its way in.

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I adore the COIN games so I can see how it's ended up in your top spot. I just wish they'd sub license it somehow like how Stronghold operate. They're a bugger to find at retail. 

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Yeah with Falling Sky I think there were only a few places selling it as most places all seemed to be sold out of most of the series. I think it probably doesn't help that it's a more niche series in an already niche board game genre within a (less so these days) niche hobby.

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I got mine for boardgameguru and got three in one go. Now they're all out of stock. I'd sign up for the p500 lists but I'd get hosed on the exchange rate and import duty. 

 

Because they're a bugger to find I might talk myself round and just take the hit. :( especially now they're doing expansions which will probably never turn up here. 

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On 05/01/2016 at 23:08, LaParka said:

- Love Letter

- Notre Dame

- Tash-Kalar

- Arctic Scavengers

- Agricola

- Splendor

- Arkham Horror

- Friday

- Twilight Struggle

- Mage Knight

- Lord of the Rings LCG 

 

This was my top 11 last year and its interesting how tastes change. Quick list of the top of my head I would now say 

 

Top 10 

 

- Labyrinth War on Terror (plus expansion) 

- COIN games (cheating, but whatever) 

- Splendor 

- Carcassonne (all expansions and the stand alone variants) 

- Snowdonia 

- Agricola/Caverna (similar, but different) 

- Lord of the rings lcg (still love it) 

- Mage Knight 

- Hive 

- 7 wonders (and duel) 

 

Only picking ten is bloody hard. I've still got some games on my to play pile (Troyes!) and some I've not played enough to commit to an opinion. I've definitely veered towards Euros and solotaire games overall but I have too much fun playing Splendor with my kids also. 

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My top ten, in no particular order:

 

7 Wonders

The first "proper" board game I ever bought. I was recommended it by some random chap who noticed I was looking a little overwhelmed by the choice when browsing the local game store, and it started a collection which is rapidly filling up my shelves. I've got all the expansions and it's probably my most-played non-filler, non-social game. Will never turn a game down.

 

Pandemic Legacy

We just played July tonight, and won by the skin of our teeth. It's like nothing else in board gaming, and I always look forward to those evenings I'm able to get the four of us together.

 

Scythe

The "combat" may feel a little empty, but I love this game of efficient exploration and resource gathering. I love the artwork and the components, it's a joy to look at as well as play.

 

Through the Ages

I don't get to play this nearly as often as I'd like, but it really is like they captured Sid Meier's Civilization and made it a board game. You've got to set aside the best part of a day to get through a four-player game, but I'll never finish feeling unsatisfied.

 

Caverna

I love worker placement games, and this is perhaps my favourite. A massive box full of chunky cardboard tiles and colourful wooden pieces. Excited that we're finally getting an expansion for it!

 

Skull

Pure game. Almost perfect? Impossible to improve by adding or removing anything. I can't see myself ever getting tired of it.

 

Jaipur

The first game my wife and I were able to enjoy together, so I'm especially fond of this. A smart little set-collection game for two players only, with a lot of charm.

 

Splendor

Another game my wife enjoys. Whoever decided to use poker chips instead of cardboard tokens was a genius.

 

La Granja

I sold Agricola to make room for Caverna, and with La Granja in my collection I'm convinced I don't need both Rosenberg games. The multi-use cards mean that every game will give me the variability I miss from Agricola.

 

For Sale

Perhaps the most-played game in our group. It's often the game that'll start an evening, or wrap it up. Nice and comfy, yet not without its interesting moments.

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Played for sale a few weeks ago and really enjoyed it. Normally don't enjoy auction games but it plays quickly enough and the two types of auctions keep it interesting. 

 

Love La Granja. I've got a soft spot for multi use cards. It made me purchase Mottainai but I can't get past the rules :)

 

 

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On 2016-1-5 at 22:10, Jackson said:

Tried this same thread a year ago and got 2 replies, let's do better this time mukkers!

Updated my old post:

1) Game of thrones (2nd edition) - A wonderful theme, with diplomacy and intrigue in abundance. Love the combat resolution and the possibilities for grand strategy/backstabbing.

2) Dead of Winter - zombie survival with possible hidden traitor twist. So much suspicion, so many good stories from this.

3) Cosmic Encounter - social, funny, sci fi, simple, ticks all the boxes!

4) The Resistance: Avalon / Spyfall - great party games. Work with everyone I've introduced it to. Supposedly 'filler' but we end up playing over and over again for hours.

5) 7 wonders - Completely hooked me and my family, beautiful design.

6) Galaxy trucker - fun to create ships and laugh at each other's.

7) Codenames / Mysterium - yes I'm cheating but the mechanic I enjoy is the same in both. Being a leader with severely limited communication trying to guide the group is agonising, its a great feeling!

8) Caverna / Castles of Burgundy - Cheating again, but they're my perfect couples games. Both so satisfying creating and growing your family/estate. Both full of options, but not overwhelming or too complex.

9) Fiasco RPG - only played once but it was the most I've laughed in my entire gaming life. Its basically the tools to create and roleplay your own movie, so simple. Watch a video on it I implore you. Only reason it's in 9th is that I would only play with very particular friends.

10) Survive: Escape from Atlantis - Death, destruction, take-that! Great light game. (Beautiful components too).

Honourable mentions: Puerto Rico, Witness, Pandemic, Pitch Car

Update, changed a fair amount in 1 year..

 

1) Cosmic Encounter - Funny, breezy, lots of betrayals and take that


2) X-Wing Miniatures Game - Flawless design, tense and satisfying, I am not the kind of guy to get into tournament scenes but this game is too good not to get involved


3) Codenames - Engages all of my friends, entertains a crowd of 6-10 people easily for hours


4) Game of Thrones Board Game (2nd Edition) - Best "Dudes on a Map" game, theme and mechanics are perfect.


5) Castles of Burgundy - My favourite game to play with my other half


6) Secret Hitler - Best social deduction game I have, it has usurped Avalon


7) Dead of Winter - Love the tension and constant suspicion this game creates


8) Karuba - light, satisfying, fun, I love pulling this game out.


9) Formula D - Only played a couple of times so may get bored but this is just great fun, everyone gets it immediately and has a blast


10) Mysterium - Can play with anyone, being the ghost is stressful, being an investigator is chilled and it invites a really nice cooperative atmosphere.

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List in OP updated!

 

It's been a great year for boardgames so it's bloated to a top 30, but that's fine as I'm treating this more as a buyers guide. See what you think of the new entries...

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Thinking about my top ten, with a bit of cheating i'd currently go for

 

- Labyrinth War on Terror (plus expansion). 

- COIN system. Not decided on favourite but easiest to run currently is Colonial Twilight as two player

- Age of Steam. Not quite the full 18XX treatment, but still enough cash flow worry to give you a headache for the first portion of the game. Need to play more maps but fell in love instantly.

- Carcassonne (all expansions and the stand alone variants). Love this game

- Feast for Odin > Caverna > Agricola (similar, but different) 

- Colonists. Resources taken to its logical conclusion. More a logistics puzzle but oh so satsifying when you get some nice combos working. Length works against it though.

- Lord of the rings LCG

- Mage Knight 

- Castles of Burgundy (and most Feld games. Year of the Dragon, La Isla, Notre Dame etc) 

- Mage Knight

 

Dropped off from previous are Splendor, Hive, Snowdonia and 7 Wonders. 

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