Board Games

As much as Jim and A.Ron talk about board games I was surprised there wasn't a thread for them. 
I forgot, what were the games you played during ByPax? I know Secret Hitler, which I can't find anywhere.

Some great party games we have enjoyed playing lately are:
Code Names
Code Names: Deep Undercover - an "adult" version of Codenames
Code Names: Pictures - no words, only pictures. 
Telestrations: After Dark - adult themed version of the popular drawing game. 

I just bought Sheriff of Nottingham after you guys talked it up. 


  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    There are actually a fair amount of threads on board games over the years.  Maybe we need a devoted sub-forum?  Or a working search function.  Anyway...

    Secret Hitler, Istanbul, Splendor, Cosmic Encounters, Terra Mystica, and SW: Rebellion was most of what we played during ByPax.  Eric has crazy good taste in board games, and each was exquisite in their own way, but especially Istanbul, man that game was tight.  It's one of those games where the mechanics and the way they fit the flavor of what you're doing just delights.  

    We just played a great 8 person Secret Hitler game over the weekend with some friends.  It really seems to shine the bigger the group you play with.  I also played Camel Up!  which involves essentially fake betting on stylized camel racing.  It was so much fun there is talk of having dedicated Camel Up! nights where we play with real money for a pot.  

    We usually get a game night in once a month, and Cecily and I always bring board games to family get togethers.  I really can't wait for Secret Hitler to hit the table over the holidays, it's going to be a riot. 
  • MichaelGMichaelG Seattle
    edited November 2016
    Can't wait for the Secret Alt-Right expansion...
  • Vasilnate1Vasilnate1 Salem, MA
    edited November 2016
    MichaelG said:

    Can't wait for the Secret Alt-Right expansion...

    "Secret Trump"
  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA
    I'm down for the sub-forum. It seems like when these new ones pop up someone ends up just linking to the older ones. ( ) . With that said I played two games that were new (to me) over the week. 

    Smash Up: I really can't say enough great things about this card game. You pick two decks of cards, each with a pretty geeky theme (zombies, ghosts, steampunk, Cthulu, etc) and attack a base for whatever damage your minion cards can do. You then supplement these minions with "special" cards to do more damage. It is kind of a race to beat your opponents to do the most damage on the locations. It was super easy to pick-up, set-up, and play. The art on the cards is fantastic to look at. Its one of those games that is really easy to teach, but I'd imagine pretty hard to master. It really reminded me of King of New York / King of Tokyo for some reason. Probably because it is a quick race-to-win sort of game. Give it a whirl!

    Ticket to Ride: This isn't a new game by any stretch of the imagination. There are countless variations at this point. But it is new for me. What an excellent family game that also isn't too simplistic to make it boring for more veteran gamers. I probably wouldn't play it all the time like I would Dead of Winter , Zombicide , or Pandemic. But it is an excellent palette cleanser. Essentially, you are creating railways to different locations over the world. You get certain points for stringing together locations and then more points for actually completing specific location-tasks that are given. So fun, but very hectic the more people you have. I only played it with one friend of mine, but I can imagine it getting really nuts if you have 4-5 folks. 

    Dicemasters: I've actually played this game a bunch of times. Strangely enough every time I pick it up, I need a real refresher. And I don't mean like, a quick look at the rules which jogs my memory. Usually I need a playthrough for things to snap into place. The good news is that they are really quick (10 minutes tops usually) plays. I am really torn on how I feel about this game. On one hand it is very cheap ($15 or so for the starter and $1.99 for add-ons). Its awesome that it is such a quick-hit of a game. Set-up almost takes more time than the game itself. Here you are "buying" dice which represent comic book superheroes to fight your opponent, then throwing these dice into a satchel and trying to recruit various heroes that you want. Its kind of the perfect pick-up-and-play game from a certain perspective. I just never think it will be my go-to game when other games have more strategy involved. Also, I am not sure why the rules don't stick in my brain better than they do. That may be a Garth problem and not a game problem. But for me its indistinguishable. Regardless, once it gets popping and you have the rules down, you could easily knock out 6-7 games in an hour. 
  • Anybody have any recommendations for novice to intermediate board games that are well suited to 2-3 players? 

    My gf and I like to play games a lot, but all we've been playing so far is Ticket to Ride, cribbage, and Scrabble.
  • JoshTheBlackJoshTheBlack Atlanta, GA
    edited November 2016
    Splendor works great 2-4.  It's absolutely lovely.  It requires a lot of attention to what everyone else is doing, and its really easy to have your plans stepped all over by another player.  If you are playing 2 or 3 players, you have to remove a certain number of the gems (currency) from the game to keep the balance.  It's laid out plainly in the rules.

    Time Stories is fantastic.  It is designed for 4, but can be played 2 or 3 player.  It really shines with 4 though.  This game is all about the experience, and it has almost no replayability.  There are several expansions though that take you through another journey.  I've played the base journey (Asylum) and the first expansion (The Marcy Case).  I have purchased the second expansion (Prophecy of Dragons) but haven't played it yet.

    Dominion is one of my favorites.  It plays great with 2-4 players.  It is a deck-building card game where you play a card, then use whatever money cards you have to buy a card.  The goal is to buy enough of the victory cards.  Sounds boring, but it's always a blast.  The base game comes with so many locations, but you only use 10 of them in a game.  You can pick 10 at random, or decide on what you want to use.  It has infinite replayability, and there are several expansions available if the game ever starts to get old. 

    Most cooperative games like Pandemic (Get the legacy version, it changes each time you play it and takes about 15-20 games to complete the storyline), Dead of Winter, Hanabi, etc. work well with 2 players.  I hear the new fantasy flight living card game Arkham Horror The Card Game plays well with 2 players.  Haven't picked it up yet.

    Coup is one of the coolest small games in my collection.  It really does not work with two players at all, but it works pretty well with three.  It plays up to 7 or 8 I think, and really shines with 4-6 players.

    Finally, I cannot recommend enough Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn.  It is a wizard-battle card game.  Kind of similar to Magic the Gathering, but without all the millions of cards.  You get the base set for around $35-$60, and you can play up to 4 players.  It is really designed for 2 though.  There are 6 different wizards (Phoenixborn) you can play as, and recommended decks for each one.  You can also build your own decks if you want to try a certain strategy.  You roll 10 dice for your mana pool, and cast your cards by spending that mana.  You can also discard cards to change some of those dice to faces you want them to be.  The base set comes with 6 phoenixborn, cards for all 6 decks, 40 dice (10 each of 4 different magic types), and all the little chits to make up status' like health and exhaustion.  It is exceedingly fun, and the strategy is constantly evolving.  There are 4 new phoenixborn expansions with complete decks, each running around $15 if you can find them.  There are also 3 phoenixborn mini expansions that only come with the character card and the character exclusively usable cards.  These are meant for building your own deck with.  There is another expansion that should be out in December that is supposed to include 4 new phoenixborn with complete decks, AND 20 new dice.  (10 each of 2 new types.) 
    I would literally play this game every day if I could find people to play it with.

    Anybody have any recommendations for novice to intermediate board games that are well suited to 2-3 players? 

    My gf and I like to play games a lot, but all we've been playing so far is Ticket to Ride, cribbage, and Scrabble.

  • darwinfeeshy  I don't know many of these new board games, but there is a podcast, Tabletop for Two, where the hosts talk about tabletop games in general.

    I've only played it once and it was used as a ploy to be a real estate investor, but Cashflow, for the little I played it was pretty fun.  Honestly if you could fuse Monpoly, Life & Cashflow into one game, it would be pretty good. 

  • Lost Cities is a fun 2-player game. My wife and I really enjoy that. She also got me Battle Line over Christmas, but we have yet to play. I've heard great things though.
  • Secret Hitler is in stock on Amazon right now (North American Amazon at least) but you can also just print it out yourself:

    I like Forbidden Island a lot and is 2-player friendly. If you've played Pandemic then you're already familiar with half of the game mechanics. If you like it there's a more in-depth follow-up called Forbidden Desert. I'd start with Island though, it's a bit more straightforward. 

    I also like Ticket to Ride, Lost Cities, King of Tokyo, Bang! The Dice Game, and Mechs vs. Minions. All are 2-player friendly except for Bang! which is 3 players minimum. 2-player compatibility is really important to me because it's really difficult to get 4+ people together that would want to play anything.
  • DaveyMac said:

    Lost Cities is a fun 2-player game. My wife and I really enjoy that. She also got me Battle Line over Christmas, but we have yet to play. I've heard great things though.

    Battle Line is excellent. Just played with a friend yesterday, and it's such an easy game to teach but has some really great depth to it. Give it a try, you're first game even learning the rules shouldn't take too much more than an hour, and then once you've got the rules down it should go fairly quick. 
  • Kingdom Death Monster and Secret Hitler on Tabletop Simulator (via steam) are my go-to games right now.

    Several friends moved from CO (why I will never know) or are deployed overseas, so Tabletop is our best option.  It's actually pretty awesome if you haven't tried it.  It's probably the best $20 value I've ever made, considering the majority of games are free via the Workshop, very few are purchased via DLC.
  • Alkaid13Alkaid13 Georgia
    Secret Hitler is real fun, just picked up Betrayal at House on the Hill which is cool if you like Horror movies.
  • So the guys always talk about board games and I’m a huge fan as well. Plus the D&D talk made me want to respark this thread.

    has anyone here ever thought of creating their own board game? Now a days with Kickstarter and the explosion of indie board games it just really seems like you need a great idea and be able to build out the mechanics that are fun, challenging, fair and properly work. Obviously much easier said than done but not impossible. 

    Besides video games and family stuff really don’t have a big hobby that takes up my time so was thinking of trying to build something out. Anyone else ever try this and give it a go? 
  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA
    My best friend is always coming up with board games. He has never gone so far as to try and Kickstart one. But he is definitely a task-oriented guy and loves coming up with mechanics and art and gameplay ideas. Its worth a go, I'd say! 
  • Two of my FAVORITE games right now are Scythe and Mansions of Madness.

    Scythe - - Scythe's kind of a mix between a euro-style game and an american strategy game. 2.5 hours at most for a game in my experience. 

    Mansions of Madness - - this is a Lovecraft (minus the really upsetting racism) themed RPG for 2-5 players, where it's co-op and a REALLY well designed companion app runs the game for you - telling you where to put map tiles, what monsters spawn, what they do, what interacting with certain objects does, and even giving you puzzles to solve. I normally am completely disinterested in co-op games, so this is a ringing endorsement from me. 
  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA
    I have been having Mansions of Madness sitting on my shelf for ages. I keep meaning to play it, but haven't got around to it. 
  • April_May_JuneApril_May_June California
    edited February 2018
    I *love* board games, but sadly don't get to play them very often.  I haven't played any of the new ones mentioned above, but I'm going to try, because they sound like fun!  I have played Cards Against Humanity though, and really like it.

    One of my favorite board games is an old one, but I can't help but love it: Monopoly.
    Although that game apparently turns me into a bit of a competitive monster, lol.  I had no idea until my brother's dad was like 'Oh no, you're playing Monopoly with April_May_June??!  She's *evil* when she plays that game!'.  I hadn't played Monopoly anywhere around him since I was maybe like 16, 17? 
    So ... yeah.  I guess I had a bit of a bad reputation when it comes to that game even from way back then.
     :D  :D :D
  • I have been having Mansions of Madness sitting on my shelf for ages. I keep meaning to play it, but haven't got around to it. 
    It's fun even with 2 people, so next time you have a couple hours and at least one other person, give it a go.

    Do you have the 2nd edition or the 1st? The 1st has no app, so a person has to DM, and I understand it's very fiddly and not nearly as fun because of that. 
  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA
    I have the 2nd edition because I had heard the same thing. 
  • Here's a few I've been really enjoying lately:

    1. Gloomhaven: currently #1 on, and for good reason.  It is a giant game weighing almost 23 lbs.  There are a lot of rules, but the rule book is very well organized and the game play is very streamlined.  It's kind of a strategic dungeon crawl kind of game.  Essentially you have a small supply of action cards.  Each turn you play two cards face down simultaneously with other players.  Reveal 1 to determine when you act, and on your turn you do the top half of one card and the bottom half of another.  It has legacy-style mechanics where you can level up and become more powerful; purchase equipment, etc.  There is an ongoing story-line and a ton of side quests.  When you create a character, you get a life-goal.  Once you complete that goal, you retire that character and make a new one.  There's LOTS of sealed stuff in the box that you will open along the way.  Retailing at $130, its a steep asking price but it is worth every penny and more.  Running a scenario will take 1.5-3 hours depending on your play style.  There are about 100 scenarios in the game.  Some will be blocked off by your actions/choices, but even if you only ever play half of them you'll be playing for more than 130 hours combined.  The game is very well balanced, leading to a lot of very skin-of-the-teeth victories.  The biggest downside to this game is there is so much in the box that you need to find a good way to organize it in order to cut down on setup/teardown time.  I went for the very expensive box organizer from BrokenToken, however the BGG forums have a pretty nice cheap solution utilizing plano storage boxes.  This is my current #1 of all time!

    2.  Terraforming Mars:  currently #5 on BGG, and #4 on strategy.  You play a corporation trying to help terraform Mars.  The goal is to get the temperature and oxygen level raised to sufficient levels for human settlement, and to create enough water on the planet.  Once these three conditions are met, you add up the scores and see who has the highest.  Each corporation has it's own starting capital and ongoing ability that makes them all play differently from one another.  The game is played mostly through cards.  Each generation (Terraforming a planet takes a long time!) you draft cards, choose which ones to purchase, and then take turns implementing them or funding standard projects.  There are a lot of different strategies to maximize score and every time I've played, I've used a very different strategy than the previous game.  Play time is around 2-2.5 hours.

    3.  Power Grid: Currently #26 on BGG.  You auction a power plant, buy resources to power it, and build your grid out to different cities.  The more you successfully power in a round, the more money you earn.  It's kind of like Ticket to Ride with the route-building, but also has a very strong economic engine built in.  One of the most interesting aspects of the game is the player order.  Whoever is in the lead becomes first player, however first player is the worst place to be.  You auction a plant first, which means you have everyone bidding against you and you can't bid on anything that comes out after you purchase.  Buying resources and building happen in reverse order, so you pay more for the resources and have less options on where to build.  At the end of each round, player order is reassigned based on who has the most cities in their network.  Power Grid has dozens of different maps available to purchase, some of which add new mechanics and concepts to the game.  Play time is around 1.5-2 hours.

    4. Sagrada:  Currently # 199 on BGG, and #7 in abstract games.  This is a lighter game with a play time around 30-45 minutes.  It's a game of dice drafting and window crafting.  Each player gets a stained glass window board and a card that fits inside it that shows some requirements.  Then the first player draws dice from a bag and rolls them.  There are 5 colors of dice.  You each draft 1 clockwise, then 1 counterclockwise and place them on your windows.  You can't have two dice of the same color or same value orthogonally adjacent to each other.  After 10 rounds, if you have played well you will have each slot of your window filled.  The scoring is different every game because at the beginning you draw 3 public objectives and 1 private objective that detail how to earn points.  It's not super complex, but there is still a lot of strategy there.  

    I'm waiting on 7th Continent to come in from the second printing kickstarter.  It's a large exploration game that looks really cool.  Jeff Cannata of the DLC podcast has raved about it a few times and Rahdo on YouTube has spoken very highly of it as a 2 player game.  

    These are only a few of my favorite games.
  • MichelleMichelle California
    I love board games!  My friends and I used to do a regular board game night, but that fell to the wayside.  I’d love to start it up again.  There are a lot of great recommendations/reviews in this thread.  I’ll have to check some of these out.
  • Gloomhaven, pandemic legacy season 2, Charterstone, and dinosaur island are what I’ve been running lately. I’m with Josh on Gloomhaven thoughts. Biggest gripe is simply organizing everything. I find it’s best if you have a room with a spare table you can leave it on as I find setup and cleanup take nearly the same time as playing a scenario. Love the game though. 

    Waiting on Who Goes There (game based on the Thing IP) and 7th Continent on Kickstarter. 
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