Shattered Rift

Tabletop Games

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It seems like quite a few people in our generation have been getting into board games (or tabletop games in general) during the past couple of years. Rex (and a few of my real life friends) have gotten into Dominion. Red brought The Resistance to my attention (a sort of Mafia/Werewolf-esque game). Several friends during the past year or two have recommended Twilight Imperium.

 

Before then, it seemed like there were only a few scattered games like Munchkin and Settlers of Catan and whatever else, but more recently it seems like a lot of other games are going around. Yesterday I played a couple of rounds of Chez Geek with Zen, Kit, and Ward. (The latter two have yet to recreate their accounts.) And then we continued our campaign in Descent.

 

It's Descent in particular that has me making this thread, but I'm curious what games people here are playing or have played or would recommend or the like?

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SPACE ALERT

 

SPACE ALERT

 

SPACE ALERT

 

Warning: this game is even more threatening sounding in German.

 

Its a collaborative game that makes you terribly aware of how terrible you are at managing the stack. Because some dingus always ends up taking the lift wen *you*'re in the lift and then you take the stairs, end up a turn behind, and find yourself firing missiles at empty space while an intergalactic octopus rips apart the red deck of the ship. 

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So many deck building games. Including a maid themed one I can't remember the name of.

I also have the distinct privilege of being able to say I defeated a lawyer and a physicist at Settlers of Catan.

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Settlers is such a terrible game. Its like the crappy pop band you first get into before you realized how much better music is out there.

 

Like, compared to Monopoly or Risk its great, but it just does so many things wrong (easy for players to get out of it early and just have to sit on their butt until the game finishes, way too luck dependent, allows for far too much king making...) its nice when it is use as a stepping stone for people to get into better games but going back and playing it now is generally just a painful experience.

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SPACE ALERT

How does Space Alert work?

 

So many deck building games. Including a maid themed one I can't remember the name of.

I also have the distinct privilege of being able to say I defeated a lawyer and a physicist at Settlers of Catan.

How many of the deck building games have you enjoyed? Despite my love of Yu-Gi-Oh, I've been pretty reluctant to touch the various deck building games out there. I enjoy stuff like the Chez series since it's super casual and more humor-based, but my brief foray into Dominion left me shying away from it.

 

Settlers is such a terrible game. Its like the crappy pop band you first get into before you realized how much better music is out there.

 

Like, compared to Monopoly or Risk its great, but it just does so many things wrong (easy for players to get out of it early and just have to sit on their butt until the game finishes, way too luck dependent, allows for far too much king making...) its nice when it is use as a stepping stone for people to get into better games but going back and playing it now is generally just a painful experience.

It deserves a pretty honorable mention for being the best of the "typical" board games, though. (Wait, did you just say it's great compared to Risk? Have at ye!) I also think quite a few of us have been semi-obsessed with it at one time or another. Marcus wrote at least one or two Settlers programs back in the day. It was probably a stepping-stone for me, and I haven't yet finished making the next step.

 

So what games do you enjoy? Or think are better than Settlers?

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Dominion wasn't very fun for me either.

Ascension was great but the expansion packs are a killer.

Tanto Cuore is the maid themed one. It was fun because it felt like it put the fun parts of Dominion into a lighter more casual game.

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I haven't played any in a few years now, not since leaving uni back in my youth *grumbles*

 

I remember liking Munchkin obviously.

I played dominion once or twice and never really got into it to be honest. Very little way of influencing the game.

Played the BSG game once which was pretty amazing. Had a touch of WW to it with trying to find the cylons. (sp)

Edited by Sinical

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I hate Settlers so so much. I've played twice, and the second time just because other people really wanted to and they needed another player. Miserably boring, too easy to run away with, trading required (the last is the worst of it. I hate Monopoly for the same reasons.)

 

I do like Ascencsion, though I probably shouldn't. Chrononauts is pretty fun if people will roleplay their actions rippling across time. Basically just a game of multiple time travelers messing with each other. Victory conditions include being able to rearrange time to return to your own timeline, collecting specific historical items to complete a mission, or obtaining enough cards through repairing paradoxes and maintaining time that you win by protecting the universe from destruction. Good after a few plays, though if you play a lot of times, you may want to randomize the objective criteria (specific items or events that constitute your timeline) due to knowing which triples exist on the included missions and timelines

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It deserves a pretty honorable mention for being the best of the "typical" board games, though. (Wait, did you just say it's great compared to Risk? Have at ye!) I also think quite a few of us have been semi-obsessed with it at one time or another. Marcus wrote at least one or two Settlers programs back in the day. It was probably a stepping-stone for me, and I haven't yet finished making the next step.

 

So what games do you enjoy? Or think are better than Settlers?

 

 

But its not a "typical" board game like Risk or Monopoly. Its still totally a designer game. Its a poorly designed designer game. Sure, people get hooked on it first but only until they start playing better designer games and then they realize how completely meh Settlers is. And now that there are games like Ticket To Ride that are far better intro board games the fact that Settlers is accessible doesn't really help it.

 

Note that this wasn't always the case. A lot of the good designer games out there (just take a look at the bgg top game list, its generally pretty accurate of whats good) wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for Settlers. It helped come a long and show people what board games could be, but its still just a step in the right direction and honestly not really needed as much anymore.

 

I'm probably being too hard on it but whatever. If you want a nice light intro board game play something like Ticket to Ride, Lords of Waterdeep or Stone Age don't torture yourself with Settlers.

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I suppose I also played axis and allies a few times and diplomacy a bunch. Diplomacy is much more skill based then Axis and for my habit of rolling 4-5-6 Axis makes me cry

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The only newer-style game I've played is Red Dragon Inn over Vassal.  It's pretty great.  I do have a copy of Mr. Card Game, the Kingdom of Loathing licensed deck game from Kickstarter, on order whenever international orders get shipped.  Not really anyone to play with though.

 

Speaking of the nearest game shop being 5 hours away, Tabletop Day is in a week.  Anyone planning to go to any events?

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Ascension was great but the expansion packs are a killer.

Tanto Cuore is the maid themed one. It was fun because it felt like it put the fun parts of Dominion into a lighter more casual game.

What do you mean they're a killer?

 

I remember liking Munchkin obviously.

I've never actually played Munchkin. I need to.

 

I hate Settlers so so much. I've played twice, and the second time just because other people really wanted to and they needed another player. Miserably boring, too easy to run away with, trading required (the last is the worst of it. I hate Monopoly for the same reasons.)

 

I do like Ascencsion, though I probably shouldn't. Chrononauts is pretty fun if people will roleplay their actions rippling across time. Basically just a game of multiple time travelers messing with each other. Victory conditions include being able to rearrange time to return to your own timeline, collecting specific historical items to complete a mission, or obtaining enough cards through repairing paradoxes and maintaining time that you win by protecting the universe from destruction. Good after a few plays, though if you play a lot of times, you may want to randomize the objective criteria (specific items or events that constitute your timeline) due to knowing which triples exist on the included missions and timelines

I'm surprised by all the Settlers hate. Maybe it's that I didn't hang with the hardcore board gamers while I was doing the Yu-Gi-Oh! thing, but everyone I've ever talked to Settlers about has a pretty positive opinion of it.

 

Chrononauts sounds cool.

 

Note that this wasn't always the case. A lot of the good designer games out there (just take a look at the bgg top game list, its generally pretty accurate of whats good) wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for Settlers. It helped come a long and show people what board games could be, but its still just a step in the right direction and honestly not really needed as much anymore.

 

I'm probably being too hard on it but whatever. If you want a nice light intro board game play something like Ticket to Ride, Lords of Waterdeep or Stone Age don't torture yourself with Settlers.

I assume most people are already familiar with BoardGameGeek, but if not, list: http://boardgamegeek.com/browse/boardgame

 

Is Ticket to Ride that good? I remember its placement in the store suggesting it was a big deal, but as I'm not a train person, I never gave a serious glance at it. Thanks for the recommendations on Lords of Waterdeep and Stone Age.

 

I suppose I also played axis and allies a few times and diplomacy a bunch. Diplomacy is much more skill based then Axis and for my habit of rolling 4-5-6 Axis makes me cry

 Somehow I don't think I ever played Axis and Allies. Diplomacy looks really familiar, but I can't place it in my mind.

 

There was this one Kickstarter from a (few) year(s?) ago. Lemme find it. It looks like the best fun ever.

 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/poots/kingdom-death-monster?ref=discovery

 

Took me like 20 minutes to find it.

 This looks really interesting.

 

The only newer-style game I've played is Red Dragon Inn over Vassal.  It's pretty great.  I do have a copy of Mr. Card Game, the Kingdom of Loathing licensed deck game from Kickstarter, on order whenever international orders get shipped.  Not really anyone to play with though.

 

Speaking of the nearest game shop being 5 hours away, Tabletop Day is in a week.  Anyone planning to go to any events?

Red Dragon Inn over Vassal?

 

Five hours away? That's harsh. I've got one just five or six minutes up the road (though I make a point not to get involved with them anymore), and then there's another about a half hour down the road. Both are pretty good stores, and both draw pretty large board game crowds. ... actually, I think I'm still blanking on one or two others that might be hiding somewhere in Portland.

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Vassal is a program with modules to play different board games on it.  Red Dragon Inn is a game where the conceit is you're a group of D&D adventurers that are done their dungeon crawling for the day and have retired to the Inn to gamble and drink until there's only one left at the table.  It's quite fun to play in character.  Ask Rex about his armour.

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That sounds promising Dyl.

And Rift what I meant by the expansions being killers is that there are so many and so expensive it I could never keep up.

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Traj needs to get in on this conversation. There for a while our group of friends were having what we called "board game nights" every week. He's the one that owns most of what we would play.

I was (kinda still am) partial to co-op board games myself. Mostly because our group was so competitive and certain board games were a strain on relationships and made playing stressful and unfun or everyone involved.

I personally prefer Ascension over Dominion, but almost strictly for aesthetic reasons.

I really like Castle Panic, but I have yet to beat it's expansion, Wizard's Tower. Been wanting to play Dead Panic, which is the same game but zombies instead if a fantasy setting.

Level Seven is amazing and has a blend of co-op to survive and screw your friends so you can make it out alive feel. You're escaping frim the depths of an alien research facility on earth up to the surface.

Elder Signs (Cthulhu lore based. Actual name for that genre escapes me) is great.

Mansions of Madness is really fun. (Another Cthulhian one) it implements a GM vs. players setting and solving a mystery elements.

Munchkins is one of those that I love and don't really like at the same time. The second person attempting to get to lvl 10 always wins because everybody threw their cards at the first person to stop them from getting there. There is a dungeon version of the game that I really like though.

Catan is not my favorite game really. I am terrible at picking starting settlements and am super unlucky with the rolling for materials.

Chaos in the Old World is tons of fun. Four Gods trying to complete their objectives and in the meantime lay waste to the world they are fighting for control over.

Shadow Hunters is a very WW-esque game where you start out not knowing who anyone's character is (including not knowing your teammate if you have one) and baddies and goodies attempting to kill the others while the nuetral characters go after their own unique objectives. It has a map that you roll a die to determine what area you end up in next.

I have not played Axis and Allies or Risk or Stratego in forever. Hate Monopoly. Dislike Life.

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Star, what are some of the best co-op games? My sister gets a bit over-emotional when we play as a family. This has ended in more than one game ending early as she storms upstairs in tears. Catan is a favorite because she's usually ok so long as she can get the longest road. A co-op game should really solve some of that. 

 

I enjoyed Munchkin. My roommate owned it and we would play it whenever she had friends over. The puns and the making fun of everything made it a really light-hearted game without being too silly.

 

And I wouldn't rank Ticket to Ride over Catan. They are different enough that I don't think one replaces the other, and honestly I didn't enjoy Ticket to Ride as much as I did Catan. It's a good game, but it felt like I was basically just racing to get the best track positions. There is definitely strategy involved, and maybe I just played with the wrong group of people, but the strategy seemed super rudimentary. 

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Vassal is a program with modules to play different board games on it.  Red Dragon Inn is a game where the conceit is you're a group of D&D adventurers that are done their dungeon crawling for the day and have retired to the Inn to gamble and drink until there's only one left at the table.  It's quite fun to play in character.  Ask Rex about his armour.

Ah, right, the program that we nearly used during Sparkbomb Hour. Okay.

 

And Rift what I meant by the expansions being killers is that there are so many and so expensive it I could never keep up.

Ah, yeah, I hear that. Board games always feel super expensive when you're buying them. It makes it hard to narrow in on something, and it makes it harder when you feel like you've bought one that wasn't worth the money. For example, Descent was $80, and I didn't end up liking it as much as I thought it would. On the other hand, I think our group has clocked something like 20 hours into it, so the cost will probably have been justified once we finish the campaign. But I'm not really sure I'll ever want to go back to it.

 

Traj needs to get in on this conversation. There for a while our group of friends were having what we called "board game nights" every week. He's the one that owns most of what we would play.

I was (kinda still am) partial to co-op board games myself. Mostly because our group was so competitive and certain board games were a strain on relationships and made playing stressful and unfun or everyone involved.

I personally prefer Ascension over Dominion, but almost strictly for aesthetic reasons.

I really like Castle Panic, but I have yet to beat it's expansion, Wizard's Tower. Been wanting to play Dead Panic, which is the same game but zombies instead if a fantasy setting.

Level Seven is amazing and has a blend of co-op to survive and screw your friends so you can make it out alive feel. You're escaping frim the depths of an alien research facility on earth up to the surface.

This thread probably came about as a result both of my gaming on Thursday along with Rex and I talking about the convention you're all at this weekend, so I was curious what you two would have to add to the conversation. And you didn't disappoint.

After mild Descent drama, a co-op game would be a nice change of pace. (It's awkward having the DM as another player instead of simply managing the environment.)

I'm glad to hear  recommendation for Level 7. It caught my eye before and I was curious about it.

 

Elder Signs (Cthulhu lore based. Actual name for that genre escapes me) is great.

Mansions of Madness is really fun. (Another Cthulhian one) it implements a GM vs. players setting and solving a mystery elements.

Horror. Or survival-horror. I'm a huge Cthulhu Mythos fan, but none of the board games have really impressed me because of the over-the-topness. It's possible to do horror games without facing cosmic horror at every turn. ::.Coughs.:: Anyway...

 

Elder Sign is the one with the turn clock, right? It was too much dice and randomness for me to really enjoy. I've played two or three rounds of it. Mansions of Madness, on the other hand, seemed a lot more interesting. If our group wasn't so busy with Descent, I would probably prod Kit about giving it another go.

 

Munchkins is one of those that I love and don't really like at the same time. The second person attempting to get to lvl 10 always wins because everybody threw their cards at the first person to stop them from getting there. There is a dungeon version of the game that I really like though.

Catan is not my favorite game really. I am terrible at picking starting settlements and am super unlucky with the rolling for materials.

Chaos in the Old World is tons of fun. Four Gods trying to complete their objectives and in the meantime lay waste to the world they are fighting for control over.

Shadow Hunters is a very WW-esque game where you start out not knowing who anyone's character is (including not knowing your teammate if you have one) and baddies and goodies attempting to kill the others while the nuetral characters go after their own unique objectives. It has a map that you roll a die to determine what area you end up in next.

I have not played Axis and Allies or Risk or Stratego in forever. Hate Monopoly. Dislike Life.

Another vote against Catan. How strange. Mental note to look into Shadow Hunters at some point.

 

Which games do you most recommend? It seemed like you were kind of just going through a list of everything.

 

Star, what are some of the best co-op games? My sister gets a bit over-emotional when we play as a family. This has ended in more than one game ending early as she storms upstairs in tears. Catan is a favorite because she's usually ok so long as she can get the longest road. A co-op game should really solve some of that.

I'd completely forgotten about that. If we end up doing a small group of us (four or five people), remind me to bring Chez Geek. It's "competitive" in the sense that it's players set against each other, but the main point (in my mind) is to make as many jokes along the way as possible. There are too many chances for humor with the game scenario and with the cards themselves.

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I am still at the convention, so I will answer to the best of my recollection (as my previous post was done), and when we get back I will be sure to answer more thoroughly where needed. (Meeting Rex and playing tabletop RPG with him was so cool btw)

@Cel: If your sister is into fantasy-settings, I might recommend Ascension, honestly. It isn't terribly competitive, and if you think she wouldn't be terribly hurt by someone choosing a card for their deck (it's a deck-building game) from those out on the table and thus robbing her of that card, that's about as bad as it gets. In the end, highest points win, but you don't attack each other and there is maybe one or two cards that adversely effect everyone else playing.

Castle Panic is a GREAT co-op game as all the players are working together to defend the castle (even so far as to everyone's "hand" of cards being face-up on the table for strategy-making). It's also super easy to pick up and learn.

Elder Signs is also another good one as you are all investigators at a museum, I believe, all working together towards the goal of preventing the summoning of an Elder God, typically within a time limit. Of course this game involves occult subjects and some of the cards can be fairly graphic as it is a horror-type game.

Those are just the ones I can name off the top of my head, which just so happen to be because they are ones that I mentioned in my previous post. There is actually a four-player deck-building game of fantasy-type setting that has different scenarios, most of which are co-op in nature. Can't recall the name, however. I am sure Traj and I have other co-op ones between us. I will get back to you once we get back to town.

@Rift: Highly recommend Lvl 7. There are seven different scenarios that when played in order create this over-arcing storyline, but can also be taken out of context. Obviously, the closer you get to the surface, the more difficult the scenarios are, but each scenario has rules for an easy mode and a hard mode. I could see the replay value not being high since there are only seven scenarios but at the same time it is a tile game where you build the "dungeon" you move around in by randomly drawing from the pile, and therefore each floor/level will be different every time.

Random side-note: Game I thought of while mentioning the tile aspect: Betrayal at House on the Hill. High replay value as the number of scenarios is vast. Basic premise: you all go into this house and start exploring, gaining items and encountering events, also collecting "omens." A Haunt Roll is made after every omen collected and if failed the Haunt starts. The Haunt, i.e scenario, is determined by what room the character who failed the roll is in and what omen they just collected. Typically in a scenario one player becomes the "Traitor" and is trying to accomplish one goal and the other players and typically trying to prevent that goal.

Back to Rift-responding: I haven't played Elder Signs in so long I can't dispute what you're saying about it, but I remember having lots of fun playing. Mansions of Madness is really neat, but the players will usually hate the GM, who tends to be trying to kill them as they are running around solving the mystery.

Side-note again mostly for my benefit: I need to look up the Super Dungeon or something or other game with the miniatures. That one was pretty fun, but is another GM vs. players and is just as unforgiving on the relationship between the two as MoM.

As far as what I recommend, tbh I only mentioned games I have enjoyed playing, save for the one or two that I specifically said I didn't like. It really depends on what you are looking for and what you are willing to try.

In regards to Catan: I just have terrible luck with that game with the die rolls. I'm sure if I had better luck I would like it but I seem to get the short end of the stick every dang game.

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Settlers is such a terrible game. Its like the crappy pop band you first get into before you realized how much better music is out there.

 

Like, compared to Monopoly or Risk its great, but it just does so many things wrong (easy for players to get out of it early and just have to sit on their butt until the game finishes, way too luck dependent, allows for far too much king making...) its nice when it is use as a stepping stone for people to get into better games but going back and playing it now is generally just a painful experience.

But its not a "typical" board game like Risk or Monopoly. Its still totally a designer game. Its a poorly designed designer game. Sure, people get hooked on it first but only until they start playing better designer games and then they realize how completely meh Settlers is. And now that there are games like Ticket To Ride that are far better intro board games the fact that Settlers is accessible doesn't really help it.

 

Note that this wasn't always the case. A lot of the good designer games out there (just take a look at the bgg top game list, its generally pretty accurate of whats good) wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for Settlers. It helped come a long and show people what board games could be, but its still just a step in the right direction and honestly not really needed as much anymore.

 

I'm probably being too hard on it but whatever. If you want a nice light intro board game play something like Ticket to Ride, Lords of Waterdeep or Stone Age don't torture yourself with Settlers.

You are definitely being too hard on Settlers. Player elimination is not a serious problem in Settlers. (Although the perception of it is... I see way too many people get discouraged and give up if they fall 3-4 VPs behind the others when the real break point is actually about 6-7 VPs. I win plenty of Settlers games from 3+ VPs behind simply because of strategy curving and because being behind makes it easier to get favorable trades, especially once the frontliner(s) get to 8 or 9 VP.) Luck dependency is not an issue, IMO, because nearly all board games use "luck" or "randomization" to create different play experience either through dice, deck randomization, or some similar mechanic. King Making, in my opinion, is the only serious problem with Catan mechanics. One flaw, however, does not a poorly designed game make, unless it renders the game unplayable. (And honestly, if every game of Catan you play is getting ruined by King Making, you should re-evaluate who you're playing games with.)

 

That being said, Catan is getting pretty dated. It's not the top of the pile it used to be because people came along and took certain aspects of Catan (or board games in general) and did them better. Ticket to Ride is a good example of one such game, and it's a very good "light" intro to "designer" board games that retains a significant level of strategic depth. However, comparing Catan to torture is definitely over the top, even for hyperbole. Honestly, badmouthing it that much won't do anything except make people who enjoy it feel bad for enjoying it, which is ridiculous because it's a perfectly fine game, even in comparison to more modern board games.

 

I hate Settlers so so much. I've played twice, and the second time just because other people really wanted to and they needed another player. Miserably boring, too easy to run away with, trading required (the last is the worst of it. I hate Monopoly for the same reasons.)

On the other hand, if you hate trading mechanics and/or resource management, you will hate Catan. It's definitely fine, in my opinion, to not enjoy playing Catan, just not fine to talk it down as a game, simply because in the past ten years other people have improved upon it.

How many of the deck building games have you enjoyed? Despite my love of Yu-Gi-Oh, I've been pretty reluctant to touch the various deck building games out there. I enjoy stuff like the Chez series since it's super casual and more humor-based, but my brief foray into Dominion left me shying away from it.

Deck-building games are nothing like TCGs/CCGs. If you go into Dominion or any other deck-building game expecting it to be like Yu-Gi-Oh! or any other TCG, you will be disappointed. I enjoy Dominion for a completely different reason than I enjoy deck-building in TCGs.

 

It's quite fun to play in character.  Ask Rex about his armour.

If it wasn't for your stupid familiar... *grumble grumble*

 

I've never actually played Munchkin. I need to.

 

Is Ticket to Ride that good? I remember its placement in the store suggesting it was a big deal, but as I'm not a train person, I never gave a serious glance at it. Thanks for the recommendations on Lords of Waterdeep and Stone Age.

Somehow I don't think I ever played Axis and Allies. Diplomacy looks really familiar, but I can't place it in my mind.

Munchkin is highly overrated, in my opinion, because the key strategy to winning is 1) completely luck dependent, 2) completely overbearing (i.e. if you use this strategy and someone else doesn't, it doesn't matter what else they do better than you, you'll probably win anyway), and 3) completely non-interactive (it's almost impossible to prevent or interfere with your opponent's utilization of this strategy). If your group is really laid back, the game can be enjoyable, and if your group is competitive, you can probably still enjoy Munchkin until the key strategy is discovered. I played a bunch of it for a while, but then I (and the rest of my group) learned the key strategy and after one or two games with it, I haven't touched Munchkin since.

Ticket to Ride is highly recommended for a reason. It is a very good game, and you don't have to have any particular like for trains in order to enjoy the game. As Clucky mentioned earlier, it's also a very good intro board game because it is pretty simple to learn.

Previously on SB, some people (I know Lixyl was involved in the organization at some point) organized a few online Diplomacy games for SB people. You may be recalling seeing the thread for that.

 

Star, what are some of the best co-op games? My sister gets a bit over-emotional when we play as a family. This has ended in more than one game ending early as she storms upstairs in tears. Catan is a favorite because she's usually ok so long as she can get the longest road. A co-op game should really solve some of that.

Both Pandemic and Forbidden Island deserve mentions here. Both are 2-4 player co-op games. The first is about trying to save the world from outbreaks of deadly diseases and the second is about trying to find and save some ancient artifacts from a rapidly sinking island. Neither game have a traitor mechanic, and both are purely players versus board. I haven't personally played Forbidden Island, but I've watched it played and it seems pretty fun. I got the opportunity to play Pandemic yesterday with Traj, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. (I have heard that quarterbacking can become a problem in Pandemic, so just be mindful of that if you choose to purchase.)

Flash Point is another co-op game I've heard of, and I've heard it compared favorably to Pandemic, but I have no experience with it myself, so I can't really recommend it. I just thought I'd throw it out there if you wanted to look into it.

 

Horror. Or survival-horror.

Actual (sub)genre name: Lovecraftian Horror.

 

Random side-note: Game I thought of while mentioning the tile aspect: Betrayal at House on the Hill. High replay value as the number of scenarios is vast. Basic premise: you all go into this house and start exploring, gaining items and encountering events, also collecting "omens." A Haunt Roll is made after every omen collected and if failed the Haunt starts. The Haunt, i.e scenario, is determined by what room the character who failed the roll is in and what omen they just collected. Typically in a scenario one player becomes the "Traitor" and is trying to accomplish one goal and the other players and typically trying to prevent that goal.

Betrayal at House on the Hill is probably my highest recommendation for co-op with traitor mechanic. I completely agree on replayability: it's absolutely ridiculous how much content the designers managed to include, and the way information hiding and inference comes into play once the traitor is revealed (assuming no meta-knowledge, of course) is really cool in my opinion (that is, each side doesn't know all of the other side's goals). Also, the mechanics of the game help all the players to buy into the theming (Omens, especially... it's rare that a game can make you curse for getting a potentially useful ability).

Additionally, I got the opportunity to try out 7 Wonders (in addition to Pandemic) at the convention with Traj, and had a blast playing it. I actually managed to win (mostly through luck, in my opinion, since I had no idea what I was doing and didn't fully understand the rules until the game was mostly over). The game seems pretty easy to get into if you have someone to help explain the rules to the group, but the depth of strategy seems to be pretty intense. Definitely would recommend to anyone interested in a game for a larger (5-7) group of players (you can go down to as few as 3 with standard rules, and a variant for 2 players is included, but I think the game is probably best with 4 or more players since adjacency is a mechanic).

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I DMed for a D&D group for a short time (which was a disaster because of the group and our inexperience as DM and players of the game itself).  Since, I've moved on to customized formats and two different groups of players.  Now, me and my fiance take turns DMing a pair of games--"The Journey" and "The Quest" respectively.  Both use a customized dice system and character sheets to play.  It's actually pretty fun...

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Castle Panic is a GREAT co-op game as all the players are working together to defend the castle (even so far as to everyone's "hand" of cards being face-up on the table for strategy-making). It's also super easy to pick up and learn.

@Rift: Highly recommend Lvl 7. There are seven different scenarios that when played in order create this over-arcing storyline, but can also be taken out of context. Obviously, the closer you get to the surface, the more difficult the scenarios are, but each scenario has rules for an easy mode and a hard mode. I could see the replay value not being high since there are only seven scenarios but at the same time it is a tile game where you build the "dungeon" you move around in by randomly drawing from the pile, and therefore each floor/level will be different every time.

Random side-note: Game I thought of while mentioning the tile aspect: Betrayal at House on the Hill. High replay value as the number of scenarios is vast. Basic premise: you all go into this house and start exploring, gaining items and encountering events, also collecting "omens." A Haunt Roll is made after every omen collected and if failed the Haunt starts. The Haunt, i.e scenario, is determined by what room the character who failed the roll is in and what omen they just collected. Typically in a scenario one player becomes the "Traitor" and is trying to accomplish one goal and the other players and typically trying to prevent that goal.

Back to Rift-responding: I haven't played Elder Signs in so long I can't dispute what you're saying about it, but I remember having lots of fun playing. Mansions of Madness is really neat, but the players will usually hate the GM, who tends to be trying to kill them as they are running around solving the mystery.

Side-note again mostly for my benefit: I need to look up the Super Dungeon or something or other game with the miniatures. That one was pretty fun, but is another GM vs. players and is just as unforgiving on the relationship between the two as MoM.

As far as what I recommend, tbh I only mentioned games I have enjoyed playing, save for the one or two that I specifically said I didn't like. It really depends on what you are looking for and what you are willing to try.

Off-hand, Castle Panic seems like the best of these to recommend for Celairiel's sister.

 

::.Adds Level 7 to his list of games to seriously consider.:: Thanks for the recommendations.

 

I've only done Mansions of Madness once, and Kit had me GM since I had the Lovecraft background. It's also very easy for me to think of a Cthulhu Mythos game in terms of running the game instead of playing against the players given that my first thoughts always go to the role playing game.

 

 

How many of the deck building games have you enjoyed? Despite my love of Yu-Gi-Oh, I've been pretty reluctant to touch the various deck building games out there. I enjoy stuff like the Chez series since it's super casual and more humor-based, but my brief foray into Dominion left me shying away from it.

Deck-building games are nothing like TCGs/CCGs. If you go into Dominion or any other deck-building game expecting it to be like Yu-Gi-Oh! or any other TCG, you will be disappointed. I enjoy Dominion for a completely different reason than I enjoy deck-building in TCGs.

 

I've never actually played Munchkin. I need to.

 

Is Ticket to Ride that good? I remember its placement in the store suggesting it was a big deal, but as I'm not a train person, I never gave a serious glance at it. Thanks for the recommendations on Lords of Waterdeep and Stone Age.

Somehow I don't think I ever played Axis and Allies. Diplomacy looks really familiar, but I can't place it in my mind.

Munchkin is highly overrated, in my opinion, because the key strategy to winning is 1) completely luck dependent, 2) completely overbearing (i.e. if you use this strategy and someone else doesn't, it doesn't matter what else they do better than you, you'll probably win anyway), and 3) completely non-interactive (it's almost impossible to prevent or interfere with your opponent's utilization of this strategy). If your group is really laid back, the game can be enjoyable, and if your group is competitive, you can probably still enjoy Munchkin until the key strategy is discovered. I played a bunch of it for a while, but then I (and the rest of my group) learned the key strategy and after one or two games with it, I haven't touched Munchkin since.

Ticket to Ride is highly recommended for a reason. It is a very good game, and you don't have to have any particular like for trains in order to enjoy the game. As Clucky mentioned earlier, it's also a very good intro board game because it is pretty simple to learn.

Previously on SB, some people (I know Lixyl was involved in the organization at some point) organized a few online Diplomacy games for SB people. You may be recalling seeing the thread for that.

Ah, yes, we've had this conversation before, and I always forget.

 

And we've had the Munchkin conversation before as well. Even if that's the case (and I don't doubt that it is), I'm still bothered that I've never even played Munchkin.

 

Yeah, that might be where I recognize Diplomacy. Hmm.

 

 

Horror. Or survival-horror.

Actual (sub)genre name: Lovecraftian Horror.

 

Random side-note: Game I thought of while mentioning the tile aspect: Betrayal at House on the Hill. High replay value as the number of scenarios is vast. Basic premise: you all go into this house and start exploring, gaining items and encountering events, also collecting "omens." A Haunt Roll is made after every omen collected and if failed the Haunt starts. The Haunt, i.e scenario, is determined by what room the character who failed the roll is in and what omen they just collected. Typically in a scenario one player becomes the "Traitor" and is trying to accomplish one goal and the other players and typically trying to prevent that goal.

Betrayal at House on the Hill is probably my highest recommendation for co-op with traitor mechanic. I completely agree on replayability: it's absolutely ridiculous how much content the designers managed to include, and the way information hiding and inference comes into play once the traitor is revealed (assuming no meta-knowledge, of course) is really cool in my opinion (that is, each side doesn't know all of the other side's goals). Also, the mechanics of the game help all the players to buy into the theming (Omens, especially... it's rare that a game can make you curse for getting a potentially useful ability).

Additionally, I got the opportunity to try out 7 Wonders (in addition to Pandemic) at the convention with Traj, and had a blast playing it. I actually managed to win (mostly through luck, in my opinion, since I had no idea what I was doing and didn't fully understand the rules until the game was mostly over). The game seems pretty easy to get into if you have someone to help explain the rules to the group, but the depth of strategy seems to be pretty intense. Definitely would recommend to anyone interested in a game for a larger (5-7) group of players (you can go down to as few as 3 with standard rules, and a variant for 2 players is included, but I think the game is probably best with 4 or more players since adjacency is a mechanic).

Doh! Letting you one-up me. :P

 

::.Adds Betrayal at House on the Hill to his list.::

 

Rexozord, a man ever graceful in victory. (I won't let them know that you borrowed my Heart of the Cards.)

 

Edit: Oh, hey, second page.

 

I DMed for a D&D group for a short time (which was a disaster because of the group and our inexperience as DM and players of the game itself).  Since, I've moved on to customized formats and two different groups of players.  Now, me and my fiance take turns DMing a pair of games--"The Journey" and "The Quest" respectively.  Both use a customized dice system and character sheets to play.  It's actually pretty fun...

Was it just the inexperience that was problematic? Or was the group a problem as well? (It sounds like you're saying the latter, but I just want to confirm.) I still remember how poorly I did with my first time running a Call of Cthulhu scenario. And with Zen as a player, you guys can imagine what that was like. The most memorable (and worst) moment was the following...

 

Zen: "I shoot." *Roll*

Rift: You miss.

Zen: "Does it richocet and hit LBZ?"

LBZ: ::.Glares at Zen.::

Rift: "Uh... roll for it?"

Zen: *Roll*

Rift: "It richochets and hits LBZ. Roll for damage."

 

It was a sad time. But I learned a lot from it and got a little bit better.

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It's quite fun to play in character.  Ask Rex about his armour.

If it wasn't for your stupid familiar... *grumble grumble*

 

Hey now, Pooky is the very model of innocence.  Personally, I blame the serving wench.

 

 

And a lot of these games have modules on Vassal.  Betrayal, Elder Sign, Pandemic, Red Dragon Inn.  Just saying, we could totally play the Legend of Zelda board game.

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Settlers is such a terrible game. Its like the crappy pop band you first get into before you realized how much better music is out there.

 

Like, compared to Monopoly or Risk its great, but it just does so many things wrong (easy for players to get out of it early and just have to sit on their butt until the game finishes, way too luck dependent, allows for far too much king making...) its nice when it is use as a stepping stone for people to get into better games but going back and playing it now is generally just a painful experience.

But its not a "typical" board game like Risk or Monopoly. Its still totally a designer game. Its a poorly designed designer game. Sure, people get hooked on it first but only until they start playing better designer games and then they realize how completely meh Settlers is. And now that there are games like Ticket To Ride that are far better intro board games the fact that Settlers is accessible doesn't really help it.

 

Note that this wasn't always the case. A lot of the good designer games out there (just take a look at the bgg top game list, its generally pretty accurate of whats good) wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for Settlers. It helped come a long and show people what board games could be, but its still just a step in the right direction and honestly not really needed as much anymore.

 

I'm probably being too hard on it but whatever. If you want a nice light intro board game play something like Ticket to Ride, Lords of Waterdeep or Stone Age don't torture yourself with Settlers.

You are definitely being too hard on Settlers. Player elimination is not a serious problem in Settlers. (Although the perception of it is... I see way too many people get discouraged and give up if they fall 3-4 VPs behind the others when the real break point is actually about 6-7 VPs. I win plenty of Settlers games from 3+ VPs behind simply because of strategy curving and because being behind makes it easier to get favorable trades, especially once the frontliner(s) get to 8 or 9 VP.) Luck dependency is not an issue, IMO, because nearly all board games use "luck" or "randomization" to create different play experience either through dice, deck randomization, or some similar mechanic. King Making, in my opinion, is the only serious problem with Catan mechanics. One flaw, however, does not a poorly designed game make, unless it renders the game unplayable. (And honestly, if every game of Catan you play is getting ruined by King Making, you should re-evaluate who you're playing games with.)

 

That being said, Catan is getting pretty dated. It's not the top of the pile it used to be because people came along and took certain aspects of Catan (or board games in general) and did them better. Ticket to Ride is a good example of one such game, and it's a very good "light" intro to "designer" board games that retains a significant level of strategic depth. However, comparing Catan to torture is definitely over the top, even for hyperbole. Honestly, badmouthing it that much won't do anything except make people who enjoy it feel bad for enjoying it, which is ridiculous because it's a perfectly fine game, even in comparison to more modern board games.

 

Just because most board games use a factor of luck doesn't mean they are all created equally. The problem with Catan isn't the luck dependency, its how swingy it makes the game. You can literally have turns where you get to do nothing because the dice didn't give you anything -- even in monopoly you at least get to move your piece a few squares. 

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Catan is meh, but not THAT bad. I just dislike slow games.
I play a lot of Resistance, Cards Against Humanity (if that counts), Legendary (Marvel themed deck building game), Resident Evil the Deck Building Game, Cosmis Encounter and Android Netrunner.

I also play D&D with sparkbomb peeps.

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