The Big Board-Gaming Catch-All

Ticket to Ride is a classic for a reason. Central board of a familiar space. Putting pieces on a board. Cards. Short turns. Only three actions, but mostly just two.

Aristophan wrote:

Ticket to Ride is a classic for a reason. Central board of a familiar space. Putting pieces on a board. Cards. Short turns. Only three actions, but mostly just two.

This. TtR is such a great gateway game. And one of the things I love about this game is you know when the person ahead of you is done so the next person can just go.

-BEP

If I was giving a talk on modern board games I'd start with outlining some of the elements that distinguish them from classic kid's board games. For example:

Giving players meaningful decisions every turn. In the game of Life or Candy Land the games practically play themselves with spinners or roll to move. Compared to something like a deck builder where you are choosing how to play and buy cards every turn. You're looking for combos, card purging, denying the other player access to cards, etc.

Player elimination is much rarer. Most modern games aren't made so you can lose the game and have to sit around and wait for another hour for the game to be over. In fact they typically have catch up mechanics to help keep the game interesting and competitive if one player gets too far ahead or behind. In Dominion for example the big victory point cards also clog up your deck.

A huge variety of new themes and mechanics. Deck building, worker placement, variable player powers, realtime games, social deduction, legacy games, drafting, programmed movement, etc. On the theme side you have everything from managing a vineyard, to Terraforming Mars, to 2-mile tall psychedelic frogs eating a dead planet.

The best modern games have a strong connection between the two. For example in Battlestar Galactica players are assigned hidden allegiance cards (either human or cyclon) and all players are functionally human at the start of the game, those with cylon cards will be secretly trying to sabotage the players without being caught while the humans are just trying to survive. However halfway through the game another set of allegiance cards are dealt out so someone who started the game as a human might turn out to have been a sleeper agent all along. This all combines into making a super exciting, tense, paranoid game that closely mirrors the show itself.

mrwynd wrote:

I am going to give a presentation at work "Introduction to Modern Board Gaming" that's intended to get newcomers into the hobby. I have an hour to present and take Q&A. I expect an average of 300 attendees. I'd love some suggestions!

Good intro games?

Games that represent the genre well to newcomers?

What would you avoid talking about, other than the obvious NSFW stuff?

This is over a decade old now but you might get some ideas in style and presentation. In other news my word the SUSD style has changed over the years

Thank you everyone! This is all a great help!

I also just got my copy of 7th Citadel and spent an hour putting it all together only to have Tainted Grail: Kings of Ruin show up. I'm going to be playing 7th Citadel solo as well. Good to hear all these things! The game looks and feels amazing.

RE: Player elimination. I just cancelled a kickstarter for "The Presence" because it involves player elimination. That's a hard sell these days. My partner and my family won't play any games where people get eliminated.

Intro board games: Ticket to Ride and Catan have already been mentioned, and for good reasons. I would add Pandemic as it is a really good intro into cooperative gaming. While it's a bit crunchier, it really does reward playing together well. And co-op gaming is great for those who hate losing. My family is a bunch of sore losers, unfortunately, and I no longer play some games that I really love with them because they've lost more than once.

It might be worth mentioning solo board gaming as an alternative as well. I do about 50/50 with coop and solo board gaming. You can get some really good narrative gaming experiences (see 7th Citadel in the last few posts, Etherfields, Oathsworn, etc...) doing solo and coop.

Are we getting hot glamour shots of you and your 7th Citadel friend? :winkwink:

Or, you know, just regular shots of the board/card/item layout?

Toddland wrote:

I also just got my copy of 7th Citadel and spent an hour putting it all together only to have Tainted Grail: Kings of Ruin show up. I'm going to be playing 7th Citadel solo as well. Good to hear all these things! The game looks and feels amazing.

RE: Player elimination. I just cancelled a kickstarter for "The Presence" because it involves player elimination. That's a hard sell these days. My partner and my family won't play any games where people get eliminated.

Intro board games: Ticket to Ride and Catan have already been mentioned, and for good reasons. I would add Pandemic as it is a really good intro into cooperative gaming. While it's a bit crunchier, it really does reward playing together well. And co-op gaming is great for those who hate losing. My family is a bunch of sore losers, unfortunately, and I no longer play some games that I really love with them because they've lost more than once.

It might be worth mentioning solo board gaming as an alternative as well. I do about 50/50 with coop and solo board gaming. You can get some really good narrative gaming experiences (see 7th Citadel in the last few posts, Etherfields, Oathsworn, etc...) doing solo and coop.

Tell me more about Oathsworn. Been eying it for a bit.

Oathsworn is an interesting beast. The game goes big, story wise and literally. It's huge. It takes up twice the space on my shelves compared to everything else since I got the miniature version.

Gameplay wise, it's split into two different styles of play. The first is a narrative driven, chapter-based campaign played out on a large map of the deepwood. There is an app to help with the tracking and narrative stuff if you like. The choices you make in this side influence later chapters. The story starts out pretty straight forward, but later on has some twists and turns that impact the narrative in surprising ways.

The second half of the game is a push your luck style tactical boss battle that takes place on much smaller locations. I should point out that everything you battle is initially hidden. For the minis, they are all stored in separate boxes loaded into a much larger box. Some of them are bigger than my fist in size. The standee version is all in envelopes, so you don't get spoiled on what's coming. It's tactical combat on a map that changes depending on what you've done previously and where you are. In a weird move, you can either use tiles or dice to determine whether the things you do are successful. Dice are true random results, and the tiles are a little more forgiving. Up to you which you choose. The boss battles are really interesting, and each one has specific mechanics tied to it, so they all feel fairly different.

As for the characters, I think there are 12. Only 11 of them are initially available, with one becoming available over the narrative. You play with a team of 4 characters. You can either take on a full character or use a simplified version of it with fewer options. Again, up to you to choose which. I play this solo, currently, so I've got two full characters and two simplified.
versions.

If I were to buy it again, I would avoid the terrain miniatures box. It is huge (think slightly bigger than the 7th Citadel box for just the four 6-8 pieces of terrain), but unnecessary and the standees are fine. The monster minis are pretty rad, though.

I'm enjoying it quite a bit, and it seems fairly popular in the forums I frequent. I should take a picture of the shelf space required, because wow.

Thank you. Is the combat interesting or “move up to a monster and hit it until it goes away”? Gloomhaven did combat so well, it kinda spoiled me on other mini fig combat games

Here is a really good video that breaks down Oathsworn's tactical combat. It's decently crunchy with lots of character and enemy skill-based options:

I enjoy it quite a bit.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/Ioh2Dxt.jpg)

Re: Oathsworn - Here is a picture of the core box (one of four boxes). I put Gloomhaven next to it for size reference.

lol

I'm always on the lookout for a good 2 player game to play with my wife. I've heard good things about Cosmic Encounters Duel and there appears to be an exceptional offer on Amazon (14.99 +5 shipping) for a $39.99 MSRP game.

https://tinyurl.com/5yx4bfxs

I'm going to give it a try. Anyone have any experience with this game?

Thanks,
Chad

Didnt even know it existed. Let us know what you think if you do get it.

If you havent tried out 7 wonders duel or Targi I can heartily recommend both of them for excellent 2p game.

Thank you. Will do. I have 7 wonders duel and I like that one a lot. Targi has been in my shopping cart for some time.

Cosmic Encounters Duel…..what? 7W Duel is great (with both expansions!). Have seen but not played Splendor Duel.

Splendor Duel is also pretty great. Just different enough from OG Splendor to make it interesting, and the differences really emphasize the two-player-ness of it. Highly recommend.

I am thinking of getting pocket Hive to play with my 9 year old. Has anyone had any experience with playing it with that age group?

I really liked the macro mini crime city games. Basically where's Waldo murder mystery. And I think it's a good two person game. Only bad thing is that it has no replayability.

Another one that was great was the cold case games. Really fun mystery games that are very well done. Also lacks replayability and are a bit pricey.

Edit: Turns out Quote is still not Edit

+1 to MicroMacro. Lots of content in an inexpensive package

Not really replayable unless you can forget everything very effectively but you dont destroy it while playing it so you can pass it on

Targi is my favourite 2 player game to play with gamers who love beige euros. It is brilliant but be warned can be really mean and cutthroat.

Remember trying Hive with my lad when he was maybe 8, he got to grips with the gameplay but found it a bit dull. He preferred Skulk Hollow I think as a 2 player specific game at that age, more theme.

Comboing those two subjects my son is now 13 our favourite to play together is Summoner Wars 2nd edition and has been since it released and I'd recommend that as a fun 2 player game for anyone. Though dry euro lovers can be a bit snobby about it.... Heavy fantasy theme and dice etc.

gloat

IMAGE(https://i.ibb.co/W6KNmDW/BGA-Heat-slipsteam-11.jpg)

One of my best turns of any board game ever! Slipstream 11 let me take three corners instead of just one! No heat after = irrelevant.

Heat: Pedal to the Metal is SUCH an excellent game.

I'm that blue player being left in the dust!

Castles of Burgundy Special Edition is getting a reprint https://gamefound.com/en/projects/aw...

We don't own the game so I took this opportunity to get the $95 option. The fancier editions go all the way up to $255.

Keithustus wrote:

Heat: Pedal to the Metal is SUCH an excellent game.

Seconded

That's a pretty awesome turn! I wouldn't have put together how those slipstream cards would work, very cool.

This race series with carrying over upgrade cards from race to race is the most fun I've had playing Heat. For me the game is solidly okay and I enjoy playing on BGA with folks but I don't see myself ever picking it up in person. The Quest for El Dorado is still my go-to racing deck builder. And even though its not quite a racing game although it does somewhat feel like one at times, Super Motherload absolutely scratches that itch for me. That's one of those hidden gems for certain.