Board Games

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thacon
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Board Games

Post by thacon » Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:38 am

I would like to get my wife a game for Christmas and I'm looking for recommendations. Personally, I'm more of a fan of the Risk or Settlers of Catan style games, but anything with too much PvP strategy tends to threaten our relationship. (Even Monopoly once caused a great schism) Does anyone have any recommendations of games that are more fun than strategic? Something that works for 2 players would be ideal, although we'll often play with 4.

ETA: I spent the last hour looking into games and Ticket to Ride, Chez Geek, and Lost Cities all look promising. Anyone have experience with these? Although these are still strategy games...

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Re: Board Games

Post by lotsofphil » Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:07 am

thacon wrote:...anything with too much PvP strategy tends to threaten our relationship. (Even Monopoly once caused a great schism)
My strategy here is to always win. Crush the spirit and there can be no angst in loss.

edit: No actual suggestions. I like Uno.

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Re: Board Games

Post by thacon » Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:34 am

lotsofphil wrote:My strategy here is to always win. Crush the spirit and there can be no angst in loss.
That strategy has a habit of backfiring. Even looking at my backgammon set tends to raise her blood pressure.

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Re: Board Games

Post by Sleeping Beast » Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:11 pm

I was going to recommend UNO, but Phil already did.
Yet, my GF takes this game as a PVP. And she's vicious!
Why so serious? A smile tastes better! =^..^= d:
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Re: Board Games

Post by Ceirdwyn » Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:25 pm

As someone who nearly always loses (Bru has a knack for winning) and hates losing I really like Alhambra and Carcassonne - while both are PVP you really only notice that you have lost when the points are tallied up in the end instead of feeling like being beaten slowly and surely. No idea if those are availlable in the US though.

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Re: Board Games

Post by thacon » Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:33 pm

I kept coming across Carcassonne during my searches, but I can't remember why I passed on it. I'll take another look.

ETA: I like the user pictures for that game on amazon. I've always been frustrated that I can't compare my potential purchase to the size of a baby.

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Re: Board Games

Post by lostcalpolydude » Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:58 pm

Yeah, Carcassonne is fun. Even if you can tell that you are objectively losing, things can always change suddenly in your favor.
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Re: Board Games

Post by Raccoon » Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:04 pm

On the topic of games and crushing the spirit of your opponent, my little son (4 years old) is learning to play Checkers, and he wanted to play against me the other night. During game 1, I took it easy on him, let him take back moves, tried to teach him about bad consequences ("What's going to happen if you move there?" "Won't I be able to jump your piece?" etc.). He wanted to play again after losing, but it was very near bathtime. So I didn't help him out much.

Mrs. Raccoon (who was playing Blokus with our older son) looked over and remarked, "Boy, you are ruthless with him."
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Re: Board Games

Post by slaphappy snark » Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:20 pm

Lost Cities and Ticket to Ride are both really fun and seem to appeal to less gamer-y people.
Betrayal at House on the Hill is technically for 3+ people, but Stu and I have played a 2-player variant that worked pretty well (basically each play two people, then the player who doesn't control the traitor controls all three of the others). Stu is not a huge fan of board games, so I thought this one is worth mentioning--the way it's put together just makes it really fun to play out, no matter who ends up winning.

One other possibly totally off option is Agricola. It has a lot of strategy, but something about building farms can make it really lighthearted. You can keep a pet wild boar in your house! But that game can get a little cutthroat, especially with two people (since the limited resources end up going to one or the other of you), so I guess it is more a suggestion to keep in mind for game #3 or #4, if some other games work out well.

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Re: Board Games

Post by top1214 » Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:16 pm

Maybe my experience was atypical. I also wasn't playing with just 2 people. Ticket to Ride can be a bitch of a game in a group, when it is clear that you can no longer win (i.e. to complete your route you need this one key junction, which someone else also needed, and already has). Now, your only goal is to fuck up everyone else.

I really liked San Juan/ Peurto Rico, but that's (I think) deeper strategically than you are looking (Peurto Rico is simplified San Juan, iirc). We only have 2 games at home that we ever (infrequently) play: Scrabble and Chronology. Chronology is a very simple, but fun and quick card game.

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Re: Board Games

Post by Eigenbasis » Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:09 pm

I am a big Carcassonne fan, so I will recommend that.
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Re: Board Games

Post by Lord Stefano » Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:43 pm

2 words- Candy Land :thumbs:


If not I just bought this for my brother today--> http://www.play.com/Gadgets/Gadgets/-/4 ... oduct.html
Im looking forward to seeing the reaction as well as beating his ass at it :twisted:
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Re: Board Games

Post by Sambal » Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:19 pm

Are you mostly looking for a 2 player game or something to play with multiple people? If the latter I think Twilight Imperium is a great game. It is an obvious "1 player wins" game but it is very interesting and dynamic due to multiple routes to victory and a need to both progress yourself as well as slow others which adds some interesting layers.

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Re: Board Games

Post by thacon » Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:06 pm

Sambal wrote:Are you mostly looking for a 2 player game or something to play with multiple people?
Preferably both. We have a bunch of basic board games now, but most of them aren't fun with only two people. I was hoping to find games that we could play just the two of us, but also be able to include friends when they're over.

Since I don't have a lot of time, I went ahead and ordered Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride, and Lost Cities. I've come to the conclusion that two player games that don't require a lot of strategy tend to lack in replay value. These three games sound like fun, but I just have to hope that she doesn't get frustrated with them.

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Re: Board Games

Post by transplanted_entwife » Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:38 pm

I'm late to the party (so to speak) but I'll throw in Talisman as a suggestion (which is my favorite board game of all time). I'm not sure if your wife will appreciate being turned into a slimy toad, though.
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Re: Board Games

Post by maddsurgeon » Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:50 pm

There are some great cooperative strategy boardgames, such as Pandemic or Defenders of the Realm, where you work together to avoid getting crushed by the game itself. I've only played DotR as much, but I have a copy of Pandemic. It has some interesting mechanics and has three difficulty levels, and the whole family seems to love it.

On the topic of teaching kids games, I make a point to be ruthless, and encourage them to try again when they're frustrated by losing. My girlfriend's oldest is getting pretty good at chess because she's learned which mistakes not to make. For the most part. :P
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Re: Board Games

Post by Sambal » Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:55 pm

Mind if I hijack this thread a bit as well btw, I am still thinking about a family gift and the main issue we always run into is that the gap between complexity that a 5 y/o and an 8 y/o can handle essentially results in us not being able to play a game with both of them together without it ending up in a fight. Any suggestions on boardgames where they can both use their brain and not terribly outplay/outbore each other?

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Re: Board Games

Post by maddsurgeon » Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:06 pm

Sambal wrote:Mind if I hijack this thread a bit as well btw, I am still thinking about a family gift and the main issue we always run into is that the gap between complexity that a 5 y/o and an 8 y/o can handle essentially results in us not being able to play a game with both of them together without it ending up in a fight. Any suggestions on boardgames where they can both use their brain and not terribly outplay/outbore each other?
We've had a very similar problem, though less so now that they're 7 and 9. It kind of depends on the reading level of the 5 y/o (DC is a really advanced reader), but Carcassonne is very visual, so that helps. Something like Dominion is great if you keep it to a really simple build, but it could manage to be frustrating. Getting something with varying levels of complexity (you can choose which cards to use out of a larger pool) is one way to get a handle on the skill gap, though.

On a more traditional tack, Parker Bros. makes card-game versions of their classics, such as Monopoly Deal, Scrabble Slam, Clue Suspect, etc., that are really good for younger kids.
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Re: Board Games

Post by Eevilcat » Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:36 pm

I'll add to the votes for Carcassone and we also have a copy of Carcassone the City which is a 2-player only variant. Flux is a great card game for groups and comes in lots of different flavours, Family Business and the Munchkin card games are also good. Attika is another board game we like and that works well with 2, 3 or 4 players.

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Re: Board Games

Post by Kevlar » Sun Dec 18, 2011 4:30 pm

I love the Ticket to Ride series, never played the original American version, but play European and Scandinavian versions. Scandinavian version has a great Christmassy feel to it but only goes up to 3 players.

I'd throw Zooloretto out there as a sugegstion if you haven't already seen that. I find older games like Rummikub fun too.

Sambal / Madd - Try a game called Hey That's My Fish.
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Re: Board Games

Post by thacon » Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:55 pm

I had Rummikub growing up and loved that game. I had completely forgotten about it!

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Re: Board Games

Post by snarkypants » Fri Dec 23, 2011 12:35 am

Missed my chance to influence your decision, but Pandemic has been a favorite at the Snax household for over a year. We have the expansion set and play it frequently with friends. Lost Cities is quite fun, but two-player only; something like Bananagrams might be better as a 2-player or more-player game. (Ticket to Ride is fun, but I burnt out on it.) Dominion and 7 Wonders are the current favorites among my game nerd friends.

Are you familiar with the Morning News Good Gift Guide?

http://defectiveyeti.com/gggs/

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Re: Board Games

Post by maddsurgeon » Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:30 am

snarkypants wrote:Dominion and 7 Wonders are the current favorites among my game nerd friends.
I only played 7 Wonders once or twice, but I had a lot of fun with it. Quick learning curve, interesting mechanics, great art.
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Re: Board Games

Post by Whym » Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:50 pm

Little late to the party, but if your wife doesn't like the competitive games, Forbidden Island is a fairly fun pure co-op with adjustable difficulty. It's not terribly deep strategically, but I think it's a great intro board game.

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Re: Board Games

Post by Verdigris97 » Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:47 pm

Sambal wrote:Mind if I hijack this thread a bit as well btw, I am still thinking about a family gift and the main issue we always run into is that the gap between complexity that a 5 y/o and an 8 y/o can handle essentially results in us not being able to play a game with both of them together without it ending up in a fight. Any suggestions on boardgames where they can both use their brain and not terribly outplay/outbore each other?
snarkypants wrote:something like Bananagrams might be better as a 2-player or more-player game./
We love bananagrams; our 9yo and 7yo play pretty well with each other, and with even moderately verbal kids it can be a great "team" game, where the adults make sure no kid falls too far behind. (And then once the kids go to bed the gloves can come off!)

Kids also love Yahtzee. Seriously. There is just enough strategy to make it interesting for adults, but kids just love throwing the dice and trying to figure out what they can get, and age gaps don't make too much of a difference.

Obligatory UNO reference.

Um, I just realized that none of these are board games. Let's see. Once you get past the tipping point Monopoly is more boring than watching paint dry, Chutes (Snakes, for our friends in the UK) and Ladders is just a pure markov chain simulator, Sorry! is so freaking frustrating it isn't funny, Risk actually caused fistfights among my friends and family, Clue is bad with kids, ("I have Col. Mustard! What does that mean?"), and Stratego is unnecessarily complicated (but great for the OCD kid who will take an hour just to set it up, and then, surprise!, it's already time for dinner!). Oh, and Mousetrap NEVER works.

That leaves cribbage (a bit math-y, which is good, and technically a board game!), Othello (surprisingly fun and simple), Checkers (great for kids or adults, but not both at the same time) and Chess (NEEEERRRRRRRDSSSSS!).

I'm tapped out. That's all I know.

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Re: Board Games

Post by Eigenbasis » Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:24 am

Sorry is basically a simplified Parcheesi game. Parcheesi is pretty fun and has some minor strategy to it at least.
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Re: Board Games

Post by maddsurgeon » Sat Dec 24, 2011 1:08 pm

Verdigris97 wrote:Clue is bad with kids, ("I have Col. Mustard! What does that mean?")
Clue is my absolute favorite among the more traditional boardgames, but it's so frustrating with my gf's 7-year-old. I pay very close attention and take note of everything, and whenever we play with the youngest, I inevitably get to the point of making accusation based on my very precise notes and am wrong, whereupon we have this conversation:

"It's not the knife."

"Nope, it's the rope."

"Does that mean you have the knife?"

"Yep!"

"So when I asked you if you had Miss Scarlett, the knife, or the Ballroom and you said no..."

"Oops."

:roll:

I think the solution is just to wait a while before playing games that inaccurate information can completely derail, but it's frustrating. I think games, even hard games, where information is more open, like Dominion, Carcassone or Pandemic, are helpful here, because a young child can rely on others instead of making decisions based on vital information only s/he has.
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Re: Board Games

Post by thacon » Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:22 am

We've played Ticket To Ride Europe a few times and it's fun, but it seems like it would be better with more than two people. We tried Carscassonne for the first time last night and both really enjoyed it. Since it was our first time through, neither one of us had any idea about strategy, so it was kind of a random play style, but I can see both games getting very strategic. Next time you're in New York, let me know if you want to come over for game night :)

Also, when I first heard about Pandemic, I figured it was the board game version of the flash game. My first thought was, "well, whoever draws the Madagascar card to start is surely going to win"

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Re: Board Games

Post by Omri » Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:59 pm

I encountered the board game before the flash game, so I was sorely disappointed when I found out that the flash game was not an online version of the board game :(

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Re: Board Games

Post by Curbludgeon » Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:40 pm

I got a copy of Pandemic as a gift this year, and after the first couple of games have really come to enjoy it. It seems to work well enough as a 2 player cooperative game. I haven't tried the expansion yet, but I will say the best synergy of roles for a 2 player game seem to be the Dispatcher and Medic, which we've redubbed 'Jesus and his Travel Agent'. Forbidden Island is generally seen as a simplified version of Pandemic, so it might be good depending on one's tolerance for complicated rules. One might also consider Arkham Horror, although it's really meant for 4 players.

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Re: Board Games

Post by JennyUnderpants » Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:07 pm

How did I miss this thread?

I really like 7 Wonders and Pandemic! Of the games that I've played recently, I like Perry Rhodan, Dominant Species (especially if you're a huge dork and replace all the animal pieces with actual tiny little animal figurines!! <3), Eketorp, a horse racing game called Long Shot, and um....shit. It was a good game but I can't recall the name now. OH! It was Colosseum. And there's always Bang! And Bohnanza. And the very best card game in the universe, Cards Against Humanity.

I'll probably remember more later.
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Re: Board Games

Post by JennyUnderpants » Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:08 pm

Agricola!
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Re: Board Games

Post by JennyUnderpants » Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:10 pm

I'm in ur forums, triple-posting.

I'm just now noticing that the original question was for non-combative 2-player games for Christmas. So yeah. Nothing I said applies, except maybe Bohnanza and Perry Rhodan :D
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Re: Board Games

Post by slaphappy snark » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:17 pm

JennyUnderpants wrote:Agricola!
<3!

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Re: Board Games

Post by reverkiller » Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:11 pm

My brother and his fiance have been playing a lot of board games, and I'm glad to see most of them mentioned on the list.
I really like Dominion and Settlers, but I think Ticket to Ride takes the cake for me. I call it the representation of all of my stress, especially if you get more people playing. You are worried every turn that someone is going to steal what you've spent the whole game working on... But its so much fun. I really recommend it.

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Re: Board Games

Post by thacon » Wed May 16, 2012 11:56 am

If anyone is a fan of San Juan and has an android device, check out Condado. This app has been my only exposure to San Juan, so I don't know how it compares to the actual game, but it's pretty fun and seems to work well. Oh, and it's free.

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Re: Board Games

Post by thacon » Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:14 am

It's not a board game, but last weekend we played Cards Against Humanity with a group of friends. I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard. If you haven't already, I'd recommend checking it out. You can also download the pdf version of all the cards if you want to make your own version or just want to read them without buying the game. It's really offensive and inappropriate, but if you like KoL humor, you'll probably like cards against humanity humor.

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Re: Board Games

Post by Eigenbasis » Thu Aug 09, 2012 6:00 pm

I have also played it and it was very funny. Gameplay is just like Apples to Apples, but the most offensive thing in Apples to Apples is probably the least offensive thing in Cards Against Humanity. I don't think it has quite as much replay value, though.
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Re: Board Games

Post by Raccoon » Thu Aug 09, 2012 7:07 pm

This thread reminded me of my favorite board/card games from college and law school. Do any of you remember "Illuminati" by SJG, or "Nuclear War"/"Nuclear Proliferation" by Flying Buffalo?

I still crack up when I think about "Nuclear War." The currency of exchange is people, so you end up saying things like, "Um, does anyone have change for 25 million people?" I loved the space platform that you could load up with a bunch of warheads and launch into orbit, allowing to rain nuclear death on your enemies. Or the deadly biological virus -- "the gift that keeps on giving." There was a cure for it, but sometimes a population-rich bastard would discard it so that every turn, every player would keep losing people to the virus. . . .

Fun times.
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Re: Board Games

Post by JennyUnderpants » Thu Aug 09, 2012 7:15 pm

thacon wrote:Cards Against Humanity
I just want to know what nipple blades are.
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Re: Board Games

Post by NardoLoopa » Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:08 pm

I've recently been looking into ASL (Advanced Squad Leader). Anyone played this game? Friends were talking about it and it sounded like a lot of fun.
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Re: Board Games

Post by Lord Stefano » Fri Aug 10, 2012 2:06 am

thacon wrote:It's not a board game, but last weekend we played Cards Against Humanity with a group of friends. I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard. If you haven't already, I'd recommend checking it out. You can also download the pdf version of all the cards if you want to make your own version or just want to read them without buying the game. It's really offensive and inappropriate, but if you like KoL humor, you'll probably like cards against humanity humor.
http://pyz.socialgamer.net/game.jsp

I. LOVE. This game.
Sometimes the crowd sucks online, but other times they have the same twisted sense of humor i do and those are great games.

We should play sometime ;D
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Re: Board Games

Post by Suendenbock » Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:06 am

We have dubbed the game, "Assholes to Assholes" since it plays like "Apples to Apples" but well you know when you read the cards what I mean. Besides that I know we have played the game so much we have turned it into a drinking game, and have totally made our own cards as well as, developing inside jokes about the more boring cards. Great buy and lots of fun to play at social gatherings.

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Re: Board Games

Post by Raccoon » Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:11 pm

NardoLoopa wrote:I've recently been looking into ASL (Advanced Squad Leader). Anyone played this game? Friends were talking about it and it sounded like a lot of fun.
Was this one of those Avalon Hill hex-based games? I think I tried Squad Leader and found it really complicated and slow-moving.
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Re: Board Games

Post by NardoLoopa » Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:39 pm

Raccoon wrote:
NardoLoopa wrote:I've recently been looking into ASL (Advanced Squad Leader). Anyone played this game? Friends were talking about it and it sounded like a lot of fun.
Was this one of those Avalon Hill hex-based games? I think I tried Squad Leader and found it really complicated and slow-moving.
Yes. I haven't played it yet, but by other accounts, SL is "faster but longer" than ASL. Apparently, ASL is more popular online, though. 2hr games of "6" turns. I guess. (each player getting a half-turn) each round. Still, people seem to be very passionate about it.

The damn intro kit is out of print . . . which is a weird business model for a game you'd like to keep alive and growing.
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Re: Board Games

Post by Eigenbasis » Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:37 am

After enjoying it so much at Con, I finally got Race for the Galaxy! :) unfortunately I keep mercilessly crushing my friends... need some better competition
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Re: Board Games

Post by NardoLoopa » Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:17 pm

Have you guys discovered "VASSAL" yet? It's a generic Java UI that supports many (like 200 or so) board-games. Typically Vassal doesn't actually "understand" the rules of the game, but it represents the boards and the pieces, provides dice etc. It can be used to play games like Axis & Allies over skype or over email.

My buddies and I play ASL (starter-kit) over email through it because we can't get enough of it in our face-to-face time.

It might support Race to the Galaxy.
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Re: Board Games

Post by Raccoon » Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:20 pm

Has anyone played the new Steve Jackson "card" game, MUNCHKIN? It's supposed to be like Dungeons & Dragons without the boring role-playing stuff, just nothing but hack and slash in dungeons and leveling up.
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Re: Board Games

Post by Eevilcat » Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:50 pm

I've played lots of Munchkin but it's not new, my first set must be at least 10 years old. Plenty of different flavours to suit your taste, the original is the D&D analogue but there is also Star Munchkin, Munchkin Fu and Cthulhu Munchkin as well as the WoD piss take. The original is still fun, especially if you've played tabletop RPGs. Once in a while it can take forever to complete a game but that's unusual in my experience.

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Re: Board Games

Post by Verdigris97 » Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:46 am

Raccoon wrote:Has anyone played the new Steve Jackson "card" game, MUNCHKIN? It's supposed to be like Dungeons & Dragons without the boring role-playing stuff, just nothing but hack and slash in dungeons and leveling up.
If you want to see gameplay, (played by its creator):
http://tabletop.geekandsundry.com/episo ... episode-5/

Happy New Year everybody!

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Re: Board Games

Post by NardoLoopa » Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:56 am

Ha, thanks for this. Never knew about this webcast.

Wesley Crusher is such a tool.
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Re: Board Games

Post by thacon » Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:08 pm

We've come a long way in the 18 months since I made this thread. Mrs. Thacon has gotten over her boycott of PvP games, although she's still not as ruthless as the rest of the group. (And she does get mad at me when I refuse to discard the second guild hall in San Juan)

We've expanded our Carcassonne experience with Traders and Builders and I really like the additional mechanics that it adds. We used to play a lot of San Juan, but it grew a bit stale. I want the expansion, but I don't want to have to buy the treasure chest with a bunch of expansions I can't use. We've played Risk with our group a few times, but I bought a cheap, crappy version without missions and poor card implementation. Ticket to Ride has seen a lot more action that Lost Cities, but both are in the rotation. We also now have all the expansions to Cards Against Humanity, but I much prefer playing it as Charades Against Humanity.

Our latest addition and current favorite is Tammany Hall. We've probably played 10 times and haven't yet figured out the best strategies.

I also just ordered Dominion and Small World and am eagerly awaiting their arrival.

So... what are you playing these days?

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Re: Board Games

Post by lostcalpolydude » Wed Jun 12, 2013 3:18 pm

One game that I've played several times recently is Power Grid. The goal is to build houses and provide power to them, which require balancing money between power plants, houses, and fuel to run the power plants. The worse you are doing, the better your spot in turn order for future steps, helping to keep things balanced.
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Re: Board Games

Post by thacon » Wed Jun 12, 2013 4:28 pm

I actually just watched a couple of video reviews of power grid today and it was briefly in my cart. It's on my short list for the future.

ETA: Ultimately what made me decide against it was one of the reviews that said a large part of the game ends up being math, and somewhat ugly math at that. I don't see my friends enjoying that. Have you found that to be the case?

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Re: Board Games

Post by maddsurgeon » Wed Jun 12, 2013 5:25 pm

I love Power Grid; don't have a copy but have played it with friends and it's a lot of fun.

We've been mainly playing Pandemic lately. Though one of the kids wanted to try Gloom, which is a card game where you get points for making your characters miserable and then killing them. It's pretty simple, but kind of fun.
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Re: Board Games

Post by Verdigris97 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:26 pm

Power Grid is fantastic. There is a lot of arithmetic, but it isn't hard, just detailed. You spend ttime figuring out the most you'd be willing to bid for a power plant based on its projected fuel costs, which are laid out in a table, and how many cities you will power with it and your other plants, and how much new cities will cost based on their connections. There is no multiplication, just a lot of addition and some subtraction, but you do it (and love it!) because you don't want to be caught one elektro short when buying your 17th city.

It is awesome if you sometimes like your strategy with just a little randomness (Brass, Steam, Agricola, Puerto Rico, etc.).

It is terrible if you only like randomness with very little strategy (Zombie Dice, Munchkin, King of Tokyo, etc.).

Oh, and hi, all! Long time no see :) Guess what I've been doing in my (very little) spare time?

(Hint: my kids are old enough to beat me at Dominion now, but they're not really old enough for KoL...)

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Re: Board Games

Post by thacon » Fri Aug 30, 2013 8:51 am

I've been playing a ton of Dominion on my phone recently. If anyone is interested, there's a free to play version for Android called Androminion. If you want support for Guilds, you need to use this forked build because they've stopped updating the market version at Rio Grande's request.

The best part is that when used in conjunction with the Dominion Shuffle app, you can generate any kingdom combination you want.

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Re: Board Games

Post by Serra725 » Mon Oct 07, 2013 3:22 pm

Hey all! :)

After over two years, we are still in full swing with Dominion at my house. We have all the expansions except Alchemy, and my son wrote a randomizer program with options for us to use. (After a while of wrestling with all the boxes, we put the cards into baseball card boxes with plastic dividers. Much better, both to use and to store! )

Another that we really like and that has lasted a good while is Race for the Galaxy. I was a bit drowned in complexity the first time, but it actually plays out pretty fast, and, like Dominion, is pretty different each time. (We have one expansion pack for that one.)

We have Power Grid and enjoyed it at first, but we don't play it much now. For me, it's one of those where I know I'm going to lose for too long before the end of the game. Others just think it's too long.

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Re: Board Games

Post by thacon » Tue Oct 08, 2013 7:45 am

Serra725 wrote:We have all the expansions except Alchemy
Which expansion is your favorite?

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Re: Board Games

Post by starwed » Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:05 pm

I think I like Seaside best out of the Dominion expansions I've played. My sister swears by Intrigue.
Another that we really like and that has lasted a good while is Race for the Galaxy. I was a bit drowned in complexity the first time, but it actually plays out pretty fast, and, like Dominion, is pretty different each time. (We have one expansion pack for that one.)
This game is really fun. It does seem incredibly complex the first time, but then you realize that it's giving you lots of redundant information on the cards -- it only takes one playthrough to get the hang of. Which expansion do you have?

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Re: Board Games

Post by Suendenbock » Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:43 pm

I have played Dominion so much I literally have no idea which set the cards are from.

Next time you play try and draft/ban! We usually play with 3-4 people so it works out a little different but the idea is that everyone gets 6 cards picks one to play with and selects one that you won't play with. After that you pass the remaining four cards to the person next to you(the way you pass can be switched up). You repeat this until there are no cards left.
With 3 people this will leave you with 9 piles and then we just flip a random one to play with. With 4 people this will leave you with 12 piles, so usually the first and second person from the last game get to select another card to not play with.

In this whole process we usually eliminate the alchemy cards, and after the game is over (since who can just play one game of Dominion?) we set the cards that we played with aside and shuffle the cards that were banned from the drafting process back in the giant pile. When it comes to playing with Platinum or not we usually got for an odd/even die role.

This process has made for some really broken games, some really fun ones, and games in which the game ended and people won with 3 points and other even had negative points. Mostly this is thanks to the picks and bans with which you can manipulate what cards you play with since you get to see what as been picked and banned already.

I am sure other people have had their own success at switching up how to play, if you love Dominion give this a shot sometime. I don't think you will be disappointed.

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Re: Board Games

Post by Serra725 » Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:45 am

We're going to have to try that, Sue!

My teens are saying Guilds and Dark Ages are their favorite EPs. I do like Guilds a lot... but it's our newest, too.
When we randomize the cards, we quite often pick from only two or three sets, so that we have some of the synergies intact maybe. We've also done our share of putting together weird combos- all the cards that give you a curse, or some crazy things like that. One son wrote a randomizer program that makes all that stuff easy.

For Race For the Galaxy, we have the first expansion, "Gathering Storm." It definitely added to the game in a good way. It has fun new cards, and it also has a collection of mini-goals, from which you choose a few for each game.

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Re: Board Games

Post by Suendenbock » Sat Oct 12, 2013 12:36 pm

I have never played, Race for the Galaxy. But if it has even half the replay value ofDominion I will have to check it out ;)

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Re: Board Games

Post by ungawa » Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:11 am

I got Hive for Christmas, and it's been a lot of fun. Both players have hexagonal tiles with an insect (or arachnid) on each. Each insect has its own rules about how it's allowed to move, and the goal is to completely surround your opponent's queen bee tile with 6 other touching tiles.
It's only 2 player, but it's been interesting seeing our strategies evolve over multiple games. It may turn out the player that goes first has an unbeatable advantage once both players are highly skilled, but the learning process has kept it fresh so far.
There is a Hive app in the iTunes store for a dollar (US). The AI opponents aren't great, but it does have 2 player as well.

Edit: Also, I don't know if this is something other folks do, by my bf and I like a house rule for Carcasonne where you have a hand of 3 tiles to choose from, and you draw at the end of the turn to replace the one you played. It may slow things down a bit since there's more to think about so we don't usually do it with a group, but it ups the strategy when we play 2 player.

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Re: Board Games

Post by lostcalpolydude » Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:05 am

After playing a lot more Power Grid, it got to the point where everyone sat at 6 houses waiting for someone else to start Step 2, and by then everyone had so much money that the game was nearly over. Making Step 2 start at 6 houses and using one more area than the number of players did a lot to eliminate that issue, since the transition in expansion cost was a lot smoother.

I also recently picked up a game I hadn't played in years called Evo. Each player controls a group of dinosaurs. The climate changes every turn, and that determines which spots on the board are good, which ones will kill you unless you have an upgrade, and which ones will kill you even with upgrades. In the rush to reach tolerable climates, you have to fight with other players. Every turn, players bid for upgrades to help survive the climate, win combat, move more or make more dinosaurs, and bidding uses your points. The upgrades available are picked randomly, making every game a bit different.
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Re: Board Games

Post by thacon » Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:05 pm

ungawa wrote:It may turn out the player that goes first has an unbeatable advantage once both players are highly skilled, but the learning process has kept it fresh so far.
We've become convinced that Hive is a solved game, but apparently there are Hive strategy books out there, so I feel like I have to be missing something. There's also a hive expansion that adds a ladybug (I think it's two around the hive and one over the hive) and a mosquito (takes on the ability of that which is touches first) but I haven't tried using them yet to see how much they change the strategy.

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Re: Board Games

Post by ungawa » Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:22 pm

thacon wrote:
ungawa wrote:It may turn out the player that goes first has an unbeatable advantage once both players are highly skilled, but the learning process has kept it fresh so far.
We've become convinced that Hive is a solved game, but apparently there are Hive strategy books out there, so I feel like I have to be missing something. There's also a hive expansion that adds a ladybug (I think it's two around the hive and one over the hive) and a mosquito (takes on the ability of that which is touches first) but I haven't tried using them yet to see how much they change the strategy.
Yea, I have the Hive: Carbon set that comes with the Ladybug and Mosquito. We haven't used those yet since we're still kinda fumbling around and the instructions recommend waiting to use them till you have a better feel for the rest. I also read there's another expansion that adds a Pillbug (http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgameexpan ... he-pillbug) that can move neighboring insects, including pulling your own queen out of a cluster she couldn't move out of on her own. Seems like that could help add some variety.

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Re: Board Games

Post by thacon » Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:36 pm

The pillbug sounds like it could really change things up. I may repurpose the mosquito as a pillbug and try it out.

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Re: Board Games

Post by deusnoctum » Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:52 pm

Agricola is $43 on Amazon right now (and Prime-eligible), which is apparently significantly cheaper than usual.

http://www.amazon.com/Z-Man-Games-7026Z ... 001C7617Q/

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Re: Board Games

Post by thacon » Wed Jan 22, 2014 3:09 pm

Cheaper, but not significantly so. Still, thanks for the heads up. I sent this along to a friend of mine who has been eying agricola.

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