What are you playing? Board game edition!

Since we have one of these for video games, thought it would be fun to have one for board games! Even in these times of social distancing, I'm still finding ways to play, 2 player games with the wife occasionally, as well as online at Board Game Arena (https://boardgamearena.com/ - free to make an account and play, some games require the host to be a premium member at $24 a year or $4 a month) and Tabletop Simulator ($20 on steam, regularly goes on sale for $10, then most games are free mods made by the community with a few paid DLC's). Here's what I've been playing a fair amount of.

Voyages of Marco Polo - http://https//boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/171623/voyages-marco-polo - a great little worker placement game where your workers are dice! You play as one of 4 traders traveling the silk road and have to fulfill contracts, build trading posts, and generally do euro, workery-placement stuff. It's on Board Game Arena. 

7 wonders duel - https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/173346/7-wonders-duel - The best 2-player game I've ever played. Drafting game specifically designed for 2 players and even my wife, who is not into heavier games, likes this one. It uses what's called "quilt drafting" where the cards are laid out on the board in a specific pattern and you can only pick cards that have all 4 corners exposed, meaning in addition to normal drafting considerations you have to think about what cards you're opening up for your opponent to take as well. Also on Board Game Arena

Undaunted Normandy - https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/268864/undaunted-normandy - another 2 player game, this one takes a World War II skirmish game and distills it down to its purest elements for a game where scenarios take less than 30 minutes instead of 3+ hours. The initiative system is brilliant, as is the simple elegance of the combat system. This one's a free mod on Tabletop Sim

Keyflower - https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/122515/keyflower - If you like the most board gamey of board games (which I do), this is the one for you. It has bidding, it has worker placement, it has tile placement, it has upgrade systems, it has it all. Pretty heavy game, but I love it. Also on board game arena. I actually bought this one in real life after playing it on BGA. 
bizmarkiefaderGiovanniHatorian

Comments

  • bizmarkiefaderbizmarkiefader San Francisco
    edited February 3
    We've have a weekly board game night for years and built up a solid wall of random games because the default Christmas/birthday present became buying people board games. I miss being in person drinking beers and all that but if anything it's been more consistent during covid once we got a humble bundle that had a bunch of the digital versions of the games we regularly played. For whatever reason most of the digital versions of these games are buggy as hell but some are way better than others. Some of the more complicated games are waaaay easier to play in video game form where it is clear what you can or can't do rather than us flipping through the rule book for an hour arguing about how we interpret the way it's written.

    Scythe - This is our classic go to and the version on Steam works pretty well. It feels complicated initially but once you get used to the flow of a turn it's not that hard. Honestly I'm way better at this game when the game is keeping track of everything for me because in person I always miss the fucking recruitment bonuses.

    Terraforming Mars - The last few months we've played this almost exclusively because you can play it on pretty much anything, even your phone if you feel like scrolling around a lot. This one took me a while to understand when we used to play the physical version but like Scythe, it's way easier to learn in video game form. The game ends when there are enough oceans, o2, and temperature to fill up the three meters and you want to have the highest score when that happens. There's no combat but there's a huge variety of ways to approach it. It can swing wildly in the later turns when people who have focused on resource generation finally start spending, or they might get fucked if the people who got a lot of points in the early game decide to rush the end conditions. The main drawback to this game is depending on which rule set you choose they can be loooong. If you play with 5 people, corporate era rules, with the draft on, one game can easily run 2 and a half hours. When starting out I recommend playing the basic rules without the draft because you're not going to know when or why you'd play most of these cards until you play a few games anyway.

    Love Letter - This is a super simple, quick card game we would usually play while waiting for people to arrive. There are eight types of cards representing various types of royalty and each one has a specific effect when played. You want to be the one holding onto the highest card at the end of the game or eliminate the other players. The Steam version for this works great and is a nice change if people have less time or you don't feel like doing a 3 hour Terraforming marathon.

    Small World - This was my favorite game that we played in person. You pick from a rotating selection of races randomly combined with other cards and conquer a map until you go in decline and pick another race. It's another game with wild swings where people will get some wildly overpowered combo and wipe out a big chunk of the map, everyone gangs up on them, and then someone else becomes too powerful and you continue the cycle. It's awesome and the games usually only run a half an hour or so depending on how many people you have. The biggest problem with this game is the Steam version is completely unplayable. It was fine for years but sometime around August they pushed an update that completely broke it where it wont register moves other people are making and I get stuck and have to quit and rejoin the game every turn. It just doesn't work and it makes me really sad, the lobbies used to have like 10 or so randos in it but now its completely empty.

    Mysterium - If you've ever played Dixit this is kind of like a mix between that and Clue. It's a cooperative game where one person is a ghost trying to guide the other players with "visions" represented by cards with random paintings and trippy nonsense on them to point players to the people, weapon, and location they need to figure out. This is a great game to play with people you know really well. It's both hilarious and frustrating being the ghost and then listening to your dumbass players take the absolutely worst possible interpretations of why you gave them each card and what they mean. A lot of lively postgame discussions about what the ghost was actually trying to tell you. The Steam version of this is great and has a nice tutorial and I think it even has a campaign mode.

    Rising Sun - no online version of this but I love this game and it's the first one I want to play again if we ever get out of the pandemic. It also has some incredible miniatures you can paint if you're into that.
    asmallcatGiovanniAlkaid13Hatorian
  • Oooooo I love Scythe! It was actually the first kickstarter I ever backed. 

    I also can't believe I forgot to mention Root! It's a brutal asymmetric wargame disguised as a cute woodland adventure! It's also free on Tabletop Sim, although it's a game I really think people need to play in person because the components are just amazing. It was the last game I bought before the pandemic, got to play with my game group 3-4 times before we shut down, and 2 of the people I played with went out and bought their own copies after playing my copy. 
    bizmarkiefaderGiovanni
  • bizmarkiefaderbizmarkiefader San Francisco
    edited February 3
    asmallcat said:

    I also can't believe I forgot to mention Root! It's a brutal asymmetric wargame disguised as a cute woodland adventure! It's also free on Tabletop Sim, although it's a game I really think people need to play in person because the components are just amazing. It was the last game I bought before the pandemic, got to play with my game group 3-4 times before we shut down, and 2 of the people I played with went out and bought their own copies after playing my copy. 

    We're actually playing this for the first time tomorrow. It was on sale for a couple bucks during the winter Steam sale last year
    Giovanniasmallcat
  • asmallcat said:

    I also can't believe I forgot to mention Root! It's a brutal asymmetric wargame disguised as a cute woodland adventure! It's also free on Tabletop Sim, although it's a game I really think people need to play in person because the components are just amazing. It was the last game I bought before the pandemic, got to play with my game group 3-4 times before we shut down, and 2 of the people I played with went out and bought their own copies after playing my copy. 

    We're actually playing this for the first time tomorrow. It was on sale for a couple bucks during the winter Steam sale last year
    Oh yeah I forgot there was the steam version now. It will feel pretty rules heavy at first (although not much more than Scythe IMO) but it's totally worth it. 
  • Great list!
    Big fan of Scythe, Terraforming Mars and Love Letter. My go to games (since I’ve mostly been doing online board gaming lately due to COVID) are Quacks of Quedlinburg: A push your luck potion brewing game


    Wingspan: A bird themed card drafting game

    https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/266192/wingspan

    And Everdell: an animal themed tableau/card drafter

    https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/199792/everdell

    bizmarkiefaderHatorian
  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA
    I got Everdell for Christmas, but haven't broken into it yet. The art looks fantastic though. Have you tried the one-player version by any chance? I would like to play it on my own to get an idea of the mechanics before playing it with others.
  • Never tried it 1 player but the game is real fun so I imagine it plays fine 1 player. There’s also a bunch of expansions for it which is always a plus. 
  • Quick reminder.  We have a standing BM game night most Saturdays.  It's usually just 2 or 3 of us, but I'd love to have more!

    We usually use TTS, but have used BGA before too.  

    Tonight, I played "Ex Libris" in person with some friends. 

    Scythe and Terraforming Mars are two of my favorite games. 

    I've played Root once and enjoyed it.

    All the ones @Alkaid13 mentioned have been played at our Saturday games more than once recently. 

    I also really enjoy Century: Spice Road (or Golem edition, same game different skin).
  • Got in another game of Root yesterday, this time playing a bunch of the expansion factions. It remains great! 
  • Haven't had a chance to reply to this, but wanted to mention that humble bundle of running a tabletop bundle right now. You get Terraforming Mars, Splendor and a few other games for 10 dollars. Well worth it imo! 
    bizmarkiefader
  • A friend of mine from what used to be an IRL game night in Atlanta (before Covid) has launched a kickstarter for his game. He launched it last year and cancelled it a few days before it would have ended because a local Atlanta publisher (Giga Mech Games) had offered to help with publishing and running a better kickstarter.

    I playtested this game 2-3 times and I thought it was really fun. It's inspired by Risk and Scythe. If either of those games are up your alley, I would highly recommend it. Everyone in all of the groups I playtested with thoroughly enjoyed it as well. There is plenty of good info on the kickstarter page, as well as a trailer, a brief "How to Play" and an interview with the creator.

    I'd appreciate it if you guys would give it a look and see if it might fit your play style.  I really want this to fund so I can get my hands on a production copy!

    Link here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gigamechgames/elite-an-epic-tabletop-strategy-board-game-for-2-4-players/description
    bizmarkiefaderHatorian
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