Board games

I recently became hooked on Carcassonne on XBLA. Since then, I've really gotten back into board games. I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions for some good games? I'm looking for something easy to set up (Love Axis and Allies but hate the hour long set up), easy for anyone to learn, but with enough strategy and depth to keep the game continuously interesting. I just ordered Settlers of Catan, so any other suggestions would be appreciated.

Settlers of Catan and Carcassonne are two biggies that are easy to get into and easy to set up.

Puerto Rico is hard to get a grasp on, but once you do most people put it in their top games of all times.

Vegas Showdown is like sim-casino. You have your own hotel to set up and create while you bid against your competitors for upgrades.

I've also recently gotten into Oasis... it's a fun little bidding game with a tile/piece laying scoring tool

All these are award winners.

I hear a lot of good things about Ticket to Ride from the Catan and Carcassonne fans.

I don't know if you tried searching, but I know there's been at least 2-3 board game threads here over the last few months... I know that search usually can't find its own asshole with both hands, though.

Search has improved since GWJ 3.0!

Check out powergrid. Its board only, no electronic versions that I know of but really great.

Powergrid is a fun game. It seems like the rules on that one are set up to prevent players from running away with it, which could be a positive or negative, depending on your preference. Over the last few months I've played a few games of Shadows Over Camelot and Fury of Dracula (where all players, save one, work cooperatively), both of which are a lot of fun. Our group also played a lot of Railroad Tycoon: The Boardgame last year and that's been one of my absolute favorites.

Check out It's *the* site for boardgame fanatics. In general you have board games in several different "genres" to choose from like:

- Euros (Settlers, Puerto Rico, Carcasonne etc.)
- "Ameritrash" (Risk, Monopoly etc.)
- Wargames (ASL, and the like)

There are sub-genres based on mechanics and whether something is rules-heavy or light, theme-heavy or light and so on. If you are a light player who enjoys games similar to Settlers and Carcasonne, then try Ticket to Ride (KingGorilla mentioned) and similar titles on the site. Look up Reiner Knizia stuff too. If you want to get deeper dip your toes into Princes of Florence, Thurn and Taxis, Notre Dame and go from there.

I third the mentions for Ticket to Ride, played it earlier this evening as a matter of fact.

Another game that my son and i have been enjoying lately is Battlelore. Great fun!

Here are many useful threads about boardgames. Not trying to be snarky or anything but these are good reads.

Suggest me a board game

Boardgames - Any recommendations

Boardgames - the non-XBLA thread

Yeah yeah, but I'm always game for a NEW thread to pimp my babes.

Powergrid: excellent, best 4 people, or 5.
Settlers: essential classic. Knights and Cities best version, 3 players is best.
Bohnanza: Euro card game, best 4+
Ticket to Ride: get the marklin edition. It's VASTLy superior. Pretty easy to pick up.
Puerto Rico: LOTS going on here, I don't recommend it for initiations.

Easy break in games:
Transamerica: Like a lightweight Ticket to Ride.
Memoir 44: Simple, excellent 2 player WW2 game. Battlelore if you want fantasy, Battlecry if you want Civil War. All from Richard Borg. All very very similar.
Risk 2210 (and the new Risk, which is Black Ops at the moment and will be regular risk this summer).

Battlelore, although an excellent game, has a fairly significant setup/breakdown time.


Game of Thrones.
Twice as good if you've read the book series. Which you should anyways.

No excuses now, just go read/play it. You'll thank me later.

KingGorilla wrote:

I hear a lot of good things about Ticket to Ride from the Catan and Carcassonne fans.

Yes. It's very fun. It's also two-player friendly, which is becoming a new criteria for me. Meaning my wife and I can play it on our own without having to get friends together. Ticket to Ride is really fun and has some surprising depth to it. It's supplanted Carcassonne as our Sunday ritual game of the night. If only because we'd played Carcassonne a ton.

For a lighter Carcossonne type game for 2, try Fjords.

Concerning the Game of Thrones game. Anyone willing to divulge how it plays out? What's the layout of the game? I've looked at it a number of times at the local board game store, but don't quite have a grasp on how exactly it plays.

Star Wars - Epic Duels is a fantastically fun board game, if you can find it. Highly recommended.

More votes for Bohnanza (interestingly playable with 2-7 players), Puerto Rico (if you can get the rules, this is the deepest and most rewarding one I've played). Lost Cities is also a great two player game. The man Knizia really knows how to turn simple rules into deep gameplay. I also really like the auction mechanic games like Power Grid, Ra and Goa.

A more recent game we've been playing is Last Night on Earth. Quick and fun zombie survival game which does a great job of setting a horror movie vibe.

rabbit wrote:

Easy break in games:
Transamerica: Like a lightweight Ticket to Ride.

I was looking at this last week and almost picked it up. But I'm not sure I want something lighter than TTR is already.........

rabbit wrote:

Risk 2210 (and the new Risk, which is Black Ops at the moment and will be regular risk this summer).

I had played that only once. All of my friends and I had just finished High School, 2002. It was the middle of the NHL playoffs, Detroit-Colorado. For 6 of us it took over 13 hours to play this game. It was wickedly fun, combining classic Risk with some lite RPG and CCG elements. It was really fun. If you are an experienced Risk player who has also delved into Magic; The Gathering or D and D, or the like, you will pick up this game very fast.

I highly recommend this if you and your friends have a large chunk of time or a whole weekend to dedicate to this game. I also recommend that you take breaks to do other things while doing it. Like, the NHL playoffs, which are coming up.

I love Solarquest, but you'll probably have to hit eBay or the like to find it. It's basically Monopoly in space with some interesting variations; I like the fact it uses the 'real world' solar system for its setting. It is a board game from the mid/late 80's. I ended up adding almost 80 pages of additional rules for weaponry/smuggling/asteroid colonization until the thing collapsed under its own weight.

Plenty of suggestions here and in the mentioned threads, so I'll just help fuel the conspicuous consumption:

DotD sites: - if it ever actually goes live for normal online retail




Ugh, that brought to mind awful imagery of Rue Paul Gone Wild.

On the newish front, I've been hearing great things about Pandemic, a co-op game. Hoping to try it this week. I'm coming out of semi gaming retirement to try as many of the new Essen and Nuremberg releases I can in 5 days. Will report back.

Well it's always more fun to actually play the boardgame. Don't recall any boardgame that's been more fun on the pc or console compared to the real game but at least you don't have to mess around with pieces! I'm looking forward to Talisman coming out on the Marketplace. Not heard news on it for a while but was due out at the end of last year if I remember rightly but it's been delayed I think (hopefully not cancelled) Talisman is a firm favourite of mine (in REAL boardgame terms) along with Riddle of the Ring, Kingmaker, Warrior Knights and Blood Royale. Kingmaker was brought out for the computer a long time ago. Think it was on the Amiga originally but I may be wrong. It was available on the PC but think it was through an emulator.

There's a program called Vassal (version 3 now I think) that is able to recreate boardgames as well. I've seen a few old classic political/wargames released on Vassal like Warrior Knights.

Arkham Horror
We have fun with Betrayal at the House on the Hill.

Arkham Horror and Last Night on Earth aren't exactly linear extensions of learning Carcassonne (grin). Bit step from complex storytelling games to Carc. (OK, LNOE isn't that complex, but Arkhan DEFINATELY is).

As for Risk 2210 - another great game from the guys who brought you heroscape, Epic Duels and Black Ops. But it's only 5 turns long, it definately shouldn't be an all day thing - its not diplomacy! We can easily crank a game out in three hours, less for 3 player once you know what you're doing.

Okay, I ordered Settlers of Catan and Ticket to Ride. I also ordered Bohnanza. Thanks for the help!