Need co-op board game suggestions

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So I recently been really getting into board games with some of my friends. So far I've got and played Dominion, Dominion Intrigue, and Memoir 44 with them. I wanted to change things up from competitive games to a cooperative games. So does anybody have any coop board game suggestions?

My only request is that it needs to be simple and hopefully with some depth. Something that somebody can understand under a couple of turns and a good explanation from me (easy to learn, tough to master). My friends are not uber nerds so they will have very little patience with this stuff. Obviously Arkham Asylum will be off of the list! So far I was looking at Pandemic and Shadows Over Camelot. I would like a first hand experience with those games or any other games. Any help goodjers?

EDIT: Please keep suggestions under a 2 hours of play session. Thanks!

Bang! is a wild west style card game that's semi cooperative. You have 4 roles, Sheriff, Deputy, Outlaw, and Renegade. The roles (except for Sheriff) are hidden so the sheriff and deputy work together for instance, but pretending to be another role is a big part of the game.

We played a few rounds at the Austin party and it was great fun, you -sorta- play coop but there are definitely sides and some trickery and double-crossing going on. I was sheriff and fell for a renegade masquerading as a deputy. Luckily, we figured him out in time and gunned the sucka down.

polypusher wrote:
Bang! is a wild west style card game that's semi cooperative. You have 4 roles, Sheriff, Deputy, Outlaw, and Renegade. The roles (except for Sheriff) are hidden so the sheriff and deputy work together for instance, but pretending to be another role is a big part of the game.

We played a few rounds at the Austin party and it was great fun, you -sorta- play coop but there are definitely sides and some trickery and double-crossing going on. I was sheriff and fell for a renegade masquerading as a deputy. Luckily, we figured him out in time and gunned the sucka down.

Ya, I don't mind the whole everybody vs. somebody who is playing against them in secret. That seems to add more tension and yelling matches between players. I notice this has been very common in Co-op games.

I'm not sure if it might be too basic / mainstream but there was a LOTR tie in board game that came out around the time of the third movie, I think. I think it was co-op (you might have got individual score at the end or whoever was alive won) and you certainly had to work together throughout the game to get through it without getting obliterated on the last section. Sorry for vagueness, I didn't own the game and I only played it a couple of time a few years back.

pignoli wrote:
I'm not sure if it might be too basic / mainstream but there was a LOTR tie in board game that came out around the time of the third movie, I think. I think it was co-op (you might have got individual score at the end or whoever was alive won) and you certainly had to work together throughout the game to get through it without getting obliterated on the last section. Sorry for vagueness, I didn't own the game and I only played it a couple of time a few years back.

The Lord of The Rings co-op game I am thinking of is by no means basic or mainstream, though given your other list of games it should be no problem - http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardga...

In recent history a lot of good co-op titles have come out (sorta like video games, actually.)
Some co-op games to check out are Pandemic, Red November, Ghost Stories, Shadows over Camelot and Arkham Horror (though AH does not fit the "simple" category and is more like an RPG lite in a box). If they still want competition of some kind Shadows Over Camelot offers a traitor variant.

I'd say try Pandemic as the rules are not that complex and will not run too long.

Oh, and if you like the idea of everyone against somebody else gameplay, Fury of Dracula and Battlestar Galactica are great examples, though they both are big and fairly complex games.

Cash'n'Guns, if you have more 5-6 people and want a prisoner's-dilemma kind of co-op. Also, HUGELY fun.

Pandemic is good if you want real co-op.

Both Pandemic and Shadows are brilliant, wonderful games, and I am not a fan of coop in general. Between the two, I'd pick up Pandemic more often, as it's shorter, easier to teach, and less fiddly.

Arkham Horror is a great board game! It's a co-op RPG-like board game set in the Cthulu mythos. Very fun, we have been playing this alot at our game club lately.

I learned how to play Pandemic a couple weeks ago at my local coffee shop's board game night. Easy to learn and great fun for two to four players. Evidently there is an expansion in the works called Pandemic: On the Brink that will allow for a fifth player to join in.

Most RPGs are inherently co-operative, World of Darkness, D and D, Battletech, Shadowrun, Crimson Skies.

There is Battlestar Galactica, which ic a clone of some other game whose name escapes me.

My friends and I have played a bit of Last Night on Earth, which is zombie survival. I find it plays best with 5 or 6 people. You get several scenarios with different win conditions, heroes work to accomblish, zombies work against that.

Grab a copy of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on ebay. It's a great co-op game and easy to pick up. You don't even have to be a fan but it does help with the enjoyment.

Last Night on Earth (aka Scotch and Zombies) is another good co-op that's not too hard.

Note: both of these have one player as an adversary while the rest are working together.

imbiginjapan wrote:
pignoli wrote:
I'm not sure if it might be too basic / mainstream but there was a LOTR tie in board game that came out around the time of the third movie, I think. I think it was co-op (you might have got individual score at the end or whoever was alive won) and you certainly had to work together throughout the game to get through it without getting obliterated on the last section. Sorry for vagueness, I didn't own the game and I only played it a couple of time a few years back.

The Lord of The Rings co-op game I am thinking of is by no means basic or mainstream, though given your other list of games it should be no problem - http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardga...

Yeah, that looks like the one. Like I said it was a while ago that I played it and I remembered it was a movie tie-in so I thought it might be (basic or mainstream). Also I play very few boardgames so don't have much of a point of reference... Still, it's a good game, we used to play it through once (and lose) and then immediately again and blitz it once we were in the zone:)

Is Last Night On Earth fairly complicated or will it be pretty easy to learn for my friends?

Chumpy_McChump wrote:
Cash'n'Guns, if you have more 5-6 people and want a prisoner's-dilemma kind of co-op. Also, HUGELY fun.

Pandemic is good if you want real co-op.

What's with the people pointing foam guns at each other in the pictures I've been seeing at BGG? Is it part of the game or people screwing around?

Last Night scales in complexity depending on secnarios and which "advanced cards" you include. The basic "Die Zombies, Die" is simple and straight forward. Zombies win by killing 2 heroes or lasting 15 turns. Heroes win by killing 20 Zombies. There are 3 or 4 other scenarios in the box, also booster packs with new cards and scenarios, as well as a full expansion with new board pieces, characters, and red fast zombies. There is a Youtube video review that I found very helpful.

The basic rules of Last night are simple, and it has quick reference cards of the turn for everyone(a nice touch). Most of the strategy comes in movement, risk reward in card usage, and whether to search or run.

Strictly Cooperative

Pandemic is fantastic. The rules are pretty simple, the game plays fairly quickly (under an hour) and is extremely challenging. It also really nails the outbreak theme; I love how the diseases spread across the map and you do everything you can to keep them under control. The only issue some might have with the game is that it is purely cooperative, meaning it is really more of a big puzzle to try and solve. It can be easy for one person to sort of "take over" the game and tell everyone else what to do. So long as everyone either makes their own decisions or everyone just sort of solves it as a group puzzle it works out well. I've never had that problem with the game but I can see where certain personalities may clash with it.

Ghost Stories is another pure coop game. Players are monks fighting off ghosts and ultimately trying to defeat Wu-Feng, the big bad guy. I've only played once but the game was really clever and required a lot of teamwork and coordination. It wasn't nearly as intuitive as Pandemic, mostly because it takes awhile to understand all the icons. Once you have it down it plays pretty well, though. I'd like to spend more time with it but my initial impressions were positive. Maybe not quite as good as Pandemic but it seemed pretty solid.

Red November has all players on a sinking sub, trying to survive before it goes completely under. Everyone is a Russian gnome and there's some funny stuff like krakens attacking and alcohol giving you the courage to run into a burning room so don't worry about the theme being too dark While it sounds cool in theory I really haven't enjoyed the game all that much. My main problem is that the game is solely about you trying to survive. Bad thing after bad thing happens and you never feel like you are actually making any progress. In the other two games you are actually working towards some end-game goal and feel like you are achieving something but here you are just trying to get by which I just don't find as satisfying. There are some pretty clever mechanics, though, and the theme is fun. Just depends if the game play clicks for you or not.

Hidden Traitor

Shadows Over Camelot is sort of the defacto cooperative game. All players are knights of the round table trying to fight off the evil in Camelot. It's possible that one player is secretly a traitor and sabotaging their efforts. The rules are pretty simple (although the rule book is horrid) and I don't think I've met anyone who hasn't enjoyed playing the game. I do enjoy it but my main complaint is that generally you really don't have to do much as a traitor. The game is already challenging enough that you can just kind of waste time here and there and the game may destroy the heroes on its own. You don't always feel like you are actively sabotaging their efforts and I think that makes the traitor not all that exciting to play. Still, it is a good game but you will probably want 5 or more players for it to really work well.

Also, avoid the expansion. I felt like it pretty much ruined Shadows Over Camelot. Stick with the base game and enjoy it.

Battlestar Galactica has replaced Shadows Over Camelot for me, though. Yes, it takes much longer to play and is more complicated but good lord is it fun. You may have one or more traitors (depending on the number of players) and halfway through the game you get dealt another loyalty card so you may have started the game as a human but later found out you were a cylon... awesome stuff. There is much more of a game here for the traitors as you are trying to subtly mess with the humans whenever you can. I've found a major part of the game is watching everyone's card plays and trying to narrow down who could've played the cards that messed things up. It really has you watching each player's actions and over analyzing them which I think is great fun. BSG just nails the feel of the show and is a ton of fun. Shadows Over Camelot is easier and faster but I think BSG is the far more entertaining game.

Bang is a western gunfight where each player takes on a hidden role and is trying to figure out who is on their team and who is against them. One player is publicly known as the sheriff and everyone else is secretly assigned roles like deputy, outlaw, etc. You get cards that let you attack other players and you try to figure out who the right people to attack are. It's a cool theme and mechanic but ultimately I've found it very little fun to play. Players will get eliminated and the game can drag on for far too long if people just don't have the right cards, plus the symbols on the early versions are really confusing. Ultimately I've never had that much fun with Bang.

Saboteur has fully replaced Bang for me. Players are dwarves digging a mine to get to the treasure. There are three goals but only one is the treasure while the others are lumps of coal. One or more players may secretly be gnomes trying to sabotage the dwarves efforts, though. Each turn you play a tunnel card to get closer to a goal and the fun is trying to figure out if someone is helping, hurting or just has bad cards in their hand Plus you can play cards to "break" someone's equipment and you need to figure out if that person is someone you should help get up and running again or not. It's fast, really simple and always a lot of fun.

One Versus Many

Fury of Dracula is sort of a more advanced version of Scotland Yard which some people might remember from their youth. One player is Dracula secretly moving around the map and raising his army of baddies while everyone else is a vampire hunter trying to track him down. There's a really cool hidden movement mechanic where Dracula tracks his movement with face-down cards and if the heroes move onto a space Dracula was on recently he has to reveal that part of his trail, giving the heroes more information to try and track him down. It can be a long game and the battle mechanics are a little confusing at first but I've always had a fun with it.

Descent: Journeys in the Dark is sort of the ultimate one-versus-many game. It's basically the dungeon crawl portion of a roleplaying game. One person plays the overlord trying to actively destroy the heroes while the heroes try and finish the dungeon. It's fun because either side can win, unlike a roleplaying game. Descent uses a modular board and comes with a bunch of different scenarios to play through, plus you can design your own so there's a ton of replay value here. Also, the Road to Legend expansion adds on campaign play on top of the whole thing which is extremely awesome and really the way the game was meant to be played far as I'm concerned. It is huge, epic and long but also a ton of fun if it is the type of game your gamers would like.

Last Night on Earth is a fun little zombie game where one or two people play zombies and everyone else are humans fighting them off. The game has a bunch of different scenarios so you might just be killing zombies or you might be trying to get the truck started so you can leave town. It's easy to learn and plays quickly but is a lot of fun thanks to the theme, great production values and simple mechanics. If you like all things zombie then you won't want to pass it up.

KingGorilla wrote:
Last Night scales in complexity depending on secnarios and which "advanced cards" you include. The basic "Die Zombies, Die" is simple and straight forward. Zombies win by killing 2 heroes or lasting 15 turns. Heroes win by killing 20 Zombies. There are 3 or 4 other scenarios in the box, also booster packs with new cards and scenarios, as well as a full expansion with new board pieces, characters, and red fast zombies. There is a Youtube video review that I found very helpful.

The basic rules of Last night are simple, and it has quick reference cards of the turn for everyone(a nice touch). Most of the strategy comes in movement, risk reward in card usage, and whether to search or run.

I like that, different rules sets of complexity. I also like to build my up my friends to complexity for example Dominion has good simple cards to use for newbies and you can eventually introduce the more complicated cards in Intrigue once they get going.

imbiginjapan wrote:
pignoli wrote:
I'm not sure if it might be too basic / mainstream but there was a LOTR tie in board game that came out around the time of the third movie, I think. I think it was co-op (you might have got individual score at the end or whoever was alive won) and you certainly had to work together throughout the game to get through it without getting obliterated on the last section. Sorry for vagueness, I didn't own the game and I only played it a couple of time a few years back.

The Lord of The Rings co-op game I am thinking of is by no means basic or mainstream, though given your other list of games it should be no problem - http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardga...

My fiance and I have this game and she really likes playing it with her friends. I chose to get the Sauron expansion which puts me against everyone else. I don't think I can play the game anymore without being Sauron.

Also as a note, there is a Friends & Foes expansion that I recommend only if you are a masochist.

I don't have any new suggestions, but will toss a vote out for Pandemic and Last Night on Earth, both of which we play often. Both are easy to learn, with varied levels of difficulty.

misterglass wrote:
imbiginjapan wrote:
pignoli wrote:
I'm not sure if it might be too basic / mainstream but there was a LOTR tie in board game that came out around the time of the third movie, I think. I think it was co-op (you might have got individual score at the end or whoever was alive won) and you certainly had to work together throughout the game to get through it without getting obliterated on the last section. Sorry for vagueness, I didn't own the game and I only played it a couple of time a few years back.

The Lord of The Rings co-op game I am thinking of is by no means basic or mainstream, though given your other list of games it should be no problem - http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardga...

My fiance and I have this game and she really likes playing it with her friends. I chose to get the Sauron expansion which puts me against everyone else. I don't think I can play the game anymore without being Sauron.

Also as a note, there is a Friends & Foes expansion that I recommend only if you are a masochist.

My wife and I have played the LOTR boardgame many times and found it to be fun but after a dozen or so games we never touched it again. I never picked up any of the expansions and probably won't ever play it again. If you want it and are willing to pay shipping, PM me. I'll have to double check but I'm pretty sure no pieces were ever lost.

I'm not a big board gamer, but, does Axis & Allies work?

beeporama wrote:
I'm not a big board gamer, but, does Axis & Allies work?

I think that's competitive not cooperative. I haven't played it though.

A fun game with a cooperative group is "Betrayal at House on the Hill". Every game starts off as co-op, but depending on the scenario, it can end up all against one or could be co-op throughout. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/10547

Nevin73 wrote:
A fun game with a cooperative group is "Betrayal at House on the Hill". Every game starts off as co-op, but depending on the scenario, it can end up all against one or could be co-op throughout. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/10547

Betrayal at House on the Hill is interesting. The game doesn't even pretend to be balanced, but so long as you just play to have fun with the game and enjoy the theme you'll have a good time.

I didn't mention it on my list because it is out of print and extremely expensive. It regularly goes over $100 or more on eBay which is crazy because the game isn't that good. Very original though. I got my copy for like $15 a couple years back and have enjoyed it the few times I've played. You just have to be ready to deal with really vague and inconsistent rules.

As for Axis and Allies that is a team game, yeah. Depending on exactly what you want out of a cooperative game it could work as well. There are a few other interesting team-based games out there, too. For whatever reason team-based stuff doesn't usually fall into the "cooperative" category, while 1-versus-many stuff does.

Dreaded Gazebo wrote:
Nevin73 wrote:
A fun game with a cooperative group is "Betrayal at House on the Hill". Every game starts off as co-op, but depending on the scenario, it can end up all against one or could be co-op throughout. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/10547

Betrayal at House on the Hill is interesting. The game doesn't even pretend to be balanced, but so long as you just play to have fun with the game and enjoy the theme you'll have a good time.

I didn't mention it on my list because it is out of print and extremely expensive. It regularly goes over $100 or more on eBay which is crazy because the game isn't that good. Very original though. I got my copy for like $15 a couple years back and have enjoyed it the few times I've played. You just have to be ready to deal with really vague and inconsistent rules.

As for Axis and Allies that is a team game, yeah. Depending on exactly what you want out of a cooperative game it could work as well. There are a few other interesting team-based games out there, too. For whatever reason team-based stuff doesn't usually fall into the "cooperative" category, while 1-versus-many stuff does.

Wow, I didn't realize that Betrayal at House on the Hill was that expensive or out of print. I just played it over a friend's place. I may have to "borrow" it for a while.

Dreaded Gazebo wrote:
Nevin73 wrote:
A fun game with a cooperative group is "Betrayal at House on the Hill". Every game starts off as co-op, but depending on the scenario, it can end up all against one or could be co-op throughout. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/10547

Betrayal at House on the Hill is interesting. The game doesn't even pretend to be balanced, but so long as you just play to have fun with the game and enjoy the theme you'll have a good time.

I didn't mention it on my list because it is out of print and extremely expensive. It regularly goes over $100 or more on eBay which is crazy because the game isn't that good. Very original though. I got my copy for like $15 a couple years back and have enjoyed it the few times I've played. You just have to be ready to deal with really vague and inconsistent rules.

As for Axis and Allies that is a team game, yeah. Depending on exactly what you want out of a cooperative game it could work as well. There are a few other interesting team-based games out there, too. For whatever reason team-based stuff doesn't usually fall into the "cooperative" category, while 1-versus-many stuff does.

Ya I should have been more clear on what I was looking for but honestly I'll take suggestions for team based games (maybe another thread for another time) also but I'll probably be more interested in pure coop games, coop vs one guy, or coop with one hidden person working against everybody.

mrwynd wrote:
misterglass wrote:
imbiginjapan wrote:
pignoli wrote:
I'm not sure if it might be too basic / mainstream but there was a LOTR tie in board game that came out around the time of the third movie, I think. I think it was co-op (you might have got individual score at the end or whoever was alive won) and you certainly had to work together throughout the game to get through it without getting obliterated on the last section. Sorry for vagueness, I didn't own the game and I only played it a couple of time a few years back.

The Lord of The Rings co-op game I am thinking of is by no means basic or mainstream, though given your other list of games it should be no problem - http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardga...

My fiance and I have this game and she really likes playing it with her friends. I chose to get the Sauron expansion which puts me against everyone else. I don't think I can play the game anymore without being Sauron.

Also as a note, there is a Friends & Foes expansion that I recommend only if you are a masochist.

My wife and I have played the LOTR boardgame many times and found it to be fun but after a dozen or so games we never touched it again. I never picked up any of the expansions and probably won't ever play it again. If you want it and are willing to pay shipping, PM me. I'll have to double check but I'm pretty sure no pieces were ever lost.

I'll let you know if I'm interested, I'm doing extensive research on all my options.

Crockpot wrote:
Chumpy_McChump wrote:
Cash'n'Guns, if you have more 5-6 people and want a prisoner's-dilemma kind of co-op. Also, HUGELY fun.

Pandemic is good if you want real co-op.

What's with the people pointing foam guns at each other in the pictures I've been seeing at BGG? Is it part of the game or people screwing around?


That's the game. That's most of the game, and that's what makes it really entertaining.

Ummm- everything that Dreaded Gazebo said. That guy is like my mid-west doppleganger. We seem to sync a lot on boardgame tastes/thoughts.

I will add that Shadows Over Camelot can be a very long game indeed once you breach 4 players, especially if they're new. I've had and seen games go into the 5+ hour mark. Most games sit around 3 once people know how to play.

Also, one pseudo co-op game that we've been really digging lately is Cutthroat Caverns. 3-6 players; the players are an adventuring party who are looting the dungeon for the big score. The players need to work together to defeat the monsters, but greed is the better part of valor, so you want to be the one with the item when you get out (i.e. as you near the end, players look for opportunities to hurt each other and steal the kill). If you start backstabbing too early, it can result in a total player wipeout, too late and you might lose. It's a simple card game; easy to teach, fun to play and it plays around 90 minutes.

HedgeWizard wrote:
Ummm- everything that Dreaded Gazebo said. That guy is like my mid-west doppleganger. We seem to sync a lot on boardgame tastes/thoughts.

I will add that Shadows Over Camelot can be a very long game indeed once you breach 4 players, especially if they're new. I've had and seen games go into the 5+ hour mark. Most games sit around 3 once people know how to play.

Also, one pseudo co-op game that we've been really digging lately is Cutthroat Caverns. 3-6 players; the players are an adventuring party who are looting the dungeon for the big score. The players need to work together to defeat the monsters, but greed is the better part of valor, so you want to be the one with the item when you get out (i.e. as you near the end, players look for opportunities to hurt each other and steal the kill). If you start backstabbing too early, it can result in a total player wipeout, too late and you might lose. It's a simple card game; easy to teach, fun to play and it plays around 90 minutes.

Oh gosh, thanks for the warning about Shadows Over Camelot! I forgot to mention that I would like a game that is less than 2 hours. A hour is probably the optimal amount though. I always look at the suggested game time on the box but it always seems to go way over.

Crockpot wrote:
Chumpy_McChump wrote:
Cash'n'Guns, if you have more 5-6 people and want a prisoner's-dilemma kind of co-op. Also, HUGELY fun.

Pandemic is good if you want real co-op.

What's with the people pointing foam guns at each other in the pictures I've been seeing at BGG? Is it part of the game or people screwing around?

Each round is a standoff to see who splits the pot. I think the theme is that a couple gangs worked together on a heist, and things turned sour between them when they try to split the money afterward.

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