Sunday, July 21, 2013

Board games!

Hello all,

I've kept my posts on this blog primarily focused on miniature gaming, but I would be remiss if I didn't include some posts about board games ... besides, is there a single miniature gamer out there that doesn't also play board games?

One of the shows I really enjoy watching is "Tabletop" - which if you are not familiar with you must be hiding under a rock somewhere (in that case, come join me because that is where I live).  Given the number of board games out there it is difficult to find the ones that you'll really enjoy sometimes.  I generally dislike board games that take hours upon hours to play and favor the either "short" (call it 15-45 minutes) games or "normal" (call it 1-3 hours) games.

Here are some of my favorite games to play currently (I certainly enjoy many, many others, but these are easy to play games that don't get in the way of my other projects):

Zombie Dice by Steve Jackson Games.  This game plays incredibly fast --- and is a total hoot!  You are a zombie and you are trying to eat some brains.  Rolling brains is good, rolling shotgun blasts is bad.  First to 13 brains triggers the final round.  There are several other dice games along the same lines ... I also have Cthulhu Dice which plays even faster than Zombie Dice (most of the games I've played are about 5 minutes long).  You can see Zombie Dice played on Tabletop (click here).

Fluxx by Looney Labs.  This is a card game where the rules are constantly in flux (including how to win the game).  You can see Star Fluxx played on Tabletop (click here).  I have the Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail version of Fluxx ... much singing is involved.

Gloom by Atlas Games. A game where you are attempting to make your family as miserable as possible while making other families happier than yours.  Points are only scored once your family members meet an untimely death.  When one players family is completely deceased the game ends and he/she with the most points wins.  This is a game that many can enjoy --- you know what they say, you can choose your friends but you can't choose your family!  You can see Gloom played on Tabletop (click here).

Castle Panic by Fireside Games.  This is a great cooperative game that sees you defending your castle against advancing hordes or goblins, trolls, and more.  The expansion for this game, Castle Panic: The Wizard's Tower, is a must have with this game.  Not only do you get a great monster bag (to pull tiles from) but it makes the game even better with lots of expansion bits (but it does not make the game over complicated like many expansions).  You can see Castle Panic played on Tabletop (click here).

Tsuro by Tom McMurchie.  I very much like this game since you have to truly think 3-4 turns ahead if you want to win.  The rules are very simple.  You are a dragon flying along a line.  You draw titles and place them to keep your dragon flying on the board.  Players get stuck and fly off the board and the last one standing is the winner.  Tsuro of the Seas is another version of this game.  Many recommend you buy this one since you can play both the original game and the new ship oriented game which is a little different.  You can see Tsuro played on Tabletop (click here).

And if you have kids --- aged 4-6, there are options for you too!  I hit a wall with my 37th game of Snakes and Ladders with my 4 year old ... since then I've reached out and found some games that both he and I can play, and that don't make me want to slip into a coma:

First off, believe it or not, my 5 year old absolutely loves to play Zombie Dice ... and he gets it.

Spot It by Denis Blanchot, Guillaume Gille-Naves, and Igor Polouchine.  This is a game where you have a card with some images on it and there is a deck of other cards with images on them.  You flip up a card and the first person to correctly call the image on the flipped up card that is also on their own card gets that card.  Rinse and repeat.  Great for teaching kids to think quickly.

Monster Factory by Rio Grande Games.  My son loves this game as well.  You have a big box of tiles with various monster parts on them.  You draw a tile from the box (they are face down) and start assembling your monster (and sometimes, minions).  When all players have completed their monsters, each tile used it worth 1 point ... he/she with the most points wins.

That's it for now ... I hope at least some of these games are new to you and inspire you to check them out.  If you already know about all of these games, you can make fun of me for living under a rock.  Lastly, if you have young kids (age 4-6), hopefully you can stop playing Snakes and Ladders now! :-)

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