New Board Gaming |OT2| On Tables, Off Topic


Welcome to the New Board Gaming |OT2|! We discuss all manner of tabletop games here.
If you're new, feel free to read on; as always, newcomers are welcome!

Monopoly. Clue. Jenga. Scrabble. Risk. Uno.

For ages now, these well-worn names have been the household standard in board games. Chances are that you've played at least one of these games in your life.

Whether you love 'em or hate 'em, or just think there's nothing different or new beyond them, the good news is that board games of the last two decades or so have
nuclear-exploded in quality and variety, and now offer some of the coolest and most unique gameplay experiences you can find on this side of your living room.

Modern board games are now coming from around the world with a designer flair. It's not unusual to find a personal touch in a lot of these creations, and some are so
nicely produced that it's as much of a joy to own these works as it is to play them.

There is truly something in this hobby for ANYONE to enjoy - whether it's for a party, you and your nemesis, or just yourself; whether it's co-op or competitive, casual
or hardcore, creative or scripted, cheap or expensive, serious or social, 10 minutes long or 10 hours short, new gamer or hardcore gamer, young or grown - you'll find
something here that you - and the people around you - will really like.

Also, perhaps the best thing about board gaming is getting together with people in person and enjoying a multiplayer experience without a lot of the trolling and asshattery
that happens in online videogames. Board games are a great way to socialize with other people, whether they're family members or just newly-met.​

So what kind of games are we talking about here?

With so many games available (and so many more new ones coming out all the time), it's pretty hard to give a definitive list of recommendations. So instead of that, here's
a look at many of the different types of experiences you might find in board gaming. If you want some specific titles to check out, feel free to ask in the thread!​

A number of board games are available for platforms like PC, MAC, iOS, Android, and web browsers. Although you wont get the tactile feeling of game pieces, nor the
social elements of being face-to-face with people, digital board games are a good way to check out some games without spending a lot of money, plus many of them have good
AI options if there isn't online multiplayer.​

Agricola | iOS
Alien Frontiers | iOS (iPad)
Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer | iOS (iPhone / iPad)
Bang! | iOS (iPhone / iPad)
Battle of the Bulge | iOS (iPhone / iPad)
Carcassonne | iOS (iPhone / iPad) | Android
Dominion Web (Free)
Elder Sign: Omens | iOS (iPad) (HD) | Android
Fluxx | iOS (iPhone / iPad)
Forbidden Island | iOS (iPad)
Hive | iOS (iPhone / iPad) | Android
Le Harve | iOS (iPhone / iPad)
Lords of Waterdeep | iOS (iPhone / iPad)
Mr. Jack Pocket | Android
Saboteur | Android
Settlers of Catan | iOS (iPhone / iPad) | Android
Small World 2iOS (iPad) | Android
Stone Age | iOS (iPhone / iPad)
Suburbia | iOS (iPad)
Summoner Wars | iOS (iPhone / iOS) | Android
Ticket to Ride | iOS (iPhone / iPad) | Android | Steam
Tigris & Euphrates | iOS (iPhone / iPad) | Android
Puerto Rico | iOS (iPad)
Zombie Dice | iOS (iPhone / iPad)

There are sites where you can learn and play quite a few popular board games online for free with others:

Board Game Arena - hosts real-time and turn-by-turn games; LOTS of excellent, popular games to try and an active worldwide community.
Yucata - hosts turn-by-turn games; has many lesser known games, but still quite fun (and works on tablets!)

BoardGameGeek | An enormous database of information about all board games ever. Has pretty much everything you need.
Shut Up & Sit Down | Funny, entertaining video reviews of board games
The Dice Tower | The most popular board game review site on the web; has a rather down-to-earth, homegrown feel to it.
Rahdo Runs Through | Super-animated, retired videogame developer Richard Ham gives you a first-person "runthrough" of games with his possibly-imaginary wife, Jen​

CoolStuffInc | Online | Locations
MinatureMarket | Online
Friendly Local Game Stores | USA Listings
Barnes & Noble​

Coming soon!​


God bless all my old friends/And god bless me too, why pretend?
Beautiful OP.

I recently got Robinson Crusoe. Really looking forward to playing this thing.


Stop shitting on my team. Start shitting on my finger.
Great OT, hi guys again

I didn't speak soon enough!

Looks lovely, love. <3

Also, it'd be neat to maybe get some boardgame GAF meet ups going in NYC since the Uncommons makes it so convenient!
You're still gonna come visit me in Philly in December, right? Let's play. :p
Love the OT. Very nice.

I just found some copies of Modern Art, Puerto Rico, and Stratego in storage yesterday. So awesome. But I haven't had much time to play yet. Terra Mystica is taunting me on my shelf :(


God bless all my old friends/And god bless me too, why pretend?
That game looks like a big, dynamic adventure game. You should play it and post about it here (with pictures)
I will! I just need to get through the rules quick.

I love stranded island settings in all forms of media, so I am really excited with the theme of this game.
Last summer I made three 2' x 4' panels for gaming. I bought three MDF boards, used spray adhesive to stick on some cotton batting, then wrapped it in felt and secured it using a staple gun. Cost about $100, and the felt was the most expensive part.

Can use a single 2' x 4' on the kitchen table for a raised center piece, or throw on another board or two for a 4' x 4' or 6' x 4' depending on the game size or number of players.

I like having it a bit padded for easily picking up cards or rolling dice without a dice tray.
Awesome OT!

What are your guys' ideal table set up for a board game night? How do you achieve that space?
We often split up onto a few tables (break out the fold outs) with a few different games at a time. That, or we play a big group game that doesn't require much table space in the living room (on couches, extra chairs), like Resistance.
The new OT looks pretty good. Hopefully the lack of real information doesn't keep people out though; the recommendations and explanations in the previous OT drew me into the thread and further into the hobby, without it I would still be wondering what the differences between Euros and Ameritrash are. Anyway, glad to see the new thread is here at least.

My disappointment over there not being a Three Kingdoms game that looks good to me has me thinking about creating one myself. I don't know that it will go anywhere, probably not. I've been emailing a bunch of ideas to a buddy and he has been letting me know what he thinks and adding some things and so far, it seems like it would be a pretty badass game about that time period. Better than any of them that are currently out anyway.

Should be playing my first game of Elder Sign tomorrow night. I should have sent the guy I will be playing with the link to the rules though, so he could be as spun-up as I am and cut down on explanation time. He and I have been reading the Eclipse and Rise of the Ancients rule books online in preparation of their arrival though. That one is more complex and needs more time devoted to it I suppose. I'll see if I can find a good video of Elder Sign tonight and then just let him watch that before we play tomorrow. I've been reading a ton of rules for the X-Wing minis game too, because I am thinking about getting it. I need to start playing some of these games though at some point.

Anyone been reading the small bits of news that came out about King of New York? My coworkers loved King of Tokyo last week and I am glad to see some info coming out about New York now. That and finding out what the final two classes in the Smash Up Monster Smash expansion would be have me really excited for the end of the year.
What are your guys' ideal table set up for a board game night? How do you achieve that space?
Short of a Geek Chic, this is the best table I've found for gaming:

-Extendable to seat 6 comfortably (or 8 if you put people on the ends)
-Can fit one or two games simultaneously when extended
-Easy to build, compatible with a bunch of different chair options
-MOST IMPORTANTLY: when extended, the legs stay at the corners, so there's no awkward overhanging leafs.
I had the pleasure of playing a few board games in the last 9 months, before that I was mostly unaware of anything besides the "regular" ones.
Got to play Pandemic in my game design class, and went to a gaming board convention where I played several games (Atlantis, Dominion, Battle Line, Lords of Waterdeep, and one or two more), and both were wonderful experiences.

Hoping to get more into the gaming board scene (already found out that there's some regular meetings around Lisbon) during this summer, so I'll be keeping an eye on this thread.
Since the last thread I have bought:

Small World

I'm not a big fantasy guy, but this was fun. Lots and lots of pieces so set up and break down is a bitch though. I really want to try it with 5 people, but I can imagine that won't happen often since we like to drink and play at bars.


Bought and waiting on:

Ultimate werewolf: one night
For Sale
Camel Up

I watched a few videos of werewolf online and it looks like a lot of fun. I think this will get busted out this weekend, since my friends really liked "Love Letters" this might be a big hit.
Recently bought seems cool, but a little more complex than I think my girlfriend would appreciate, and I don't really have anyone else to play against.

Saw and bought, "kittens in a blender". Bought it off the name alone. No idea if it is any good. Looking forward to trying it out though
Marvel: Dice Masters: worth the hype?
It's alright, worth the hype? Not for the inflated prices folks are asking or buying the high priced singles some of the better dice are going for. Like most collectible games, some of the better dice is shooting up in value. The starter and packs are well priced once they are readily available.
Over the past ten years or so I've read a lot about these new games and I've been really excited to play them. Will definitely be following this thread to see the ones I may have missed.

Used to love gaming with my friends when I was in grade school and high school. Risk and Hotels were were go to games, but we played many others. Since moving away to college and continuing until today I haven't found any friends that are into gaming. On top of that I work 70-80 hours per week, so I don't really have a lot of free time. Oh, well. Someday...
I have an Ikea kitchen table that extends out (not the one posted in this thread though) which has served us pretty well!

When it's not as expensive I'm just gonna buy a bunch of Magneto dice. For reasons.
Fwiw, the Shut Up and Sit Down guys also have that IKEA table. Those IKEA shelves are also popular in board gaming homes.

Also, those Magneto dice are common and cheap. Like Magneto.
New thread smell! The only better smell is new board game smell.

Beautiful OP man. Subscribed.

Currently Playing:

-Marvel Dice Masters
-Star Realms
-Star Wars X-wing
-Android Netrunner

Looking forward to:

-Dungeons and Dragons 5e
-Pathfinder ACG skulls and shackles

It would be neat if once a quarter or something we all voted for best of' kind of like the Comics! OT. Could be hard though because of all the genres.
Great OT! Nice job.

Girlfriend and I started playing more games recently with some of her friends and mine. Two of the big favorites that everyone has enjoyed is Betrayal at House on the Hill and The Resistance. It's a little harder to get some people involved with Betrayal but EVERYONE loves The Resistance. Are there anymore games like it that anyone would recommend?

Also, just curious what are the names of the games are under The Wall of Games? I know some of their names but not familiar with others. Thanks!

I really want Ikusa. It looks super cool to me.
I recently played Escape the Temple, Last Night on Earth, The Resistance: Avalon, and Forbidden Desert on the same day. Now i'm feeling all the wasted potential of only having played Catan up to this point.
Also, those Magneto dice are common and cheap. Like Magneto.
omg go home

Girlfriend and I started playing more games recently with some of her friends and mine. Two of the big favorites that everyone has enjoyed is Betrayal at House on the Hill and The Resistance. It's a little harder to get some people involved with Betrayal but EVERYONE loves The Resistance. Are there anymore games like it that anyone would recommend?
Shadow Hunters (I think it's called?) is similar to it in that you're on teams but don't know who is who. Masquerade has no teams but all secret identities trying to screw everyone over and make money. Lifeboat has teams of two (sometimes) trying to survive on... a lifeboat. I've had fun with them all.
Girlfriend and I started playing more games recently with some of her friends and mine. Two of the big favorites that everyone has enjoyed is Betrayal at House on the Hill and The Resistance. It's a little harder to get some people involved with Betrayal but EVERYONE loves The Resistance. Are there anymore games like it that anyone would recommend?
Yeah, the recurring thing I've heard from people who have played Betrayal is that you need to get into the B-movie feel of it and roleplay the characters/situations a bit. Playing that game dry doesn't seem like it would be fun for anyone.

The Resistance, though, is one of my favorite games, and it always seems to be a crowd-pleaser. There's another version of it (Resistance: Avalon) that is the same exact game, but incorporates some interesting new roles. You could try working it into your existing game, as well.

As for games similar to it, well, you have a few options because there are are quite a few hidden role games- either games that are purely about the hidden roles (like Resistance, Werewolf, Two Rooms and a Boom, Lifeboat, Shadow Hunters), or games that use hidden roles as a jumping-off point for a bigger, crazier game (so like Betrayal, Shadows Over Camelot, Room 25, A Study in Emerald, Battlestar Galactica). I love these types of games and I've had to play as a spy/traitor/etc. so many times, it's honed my performance quite a bit.

Also, just curious what are the names of the games are under The Wall of Games? I know some of their names but not familiar with others. Thanks!
Left to right, top to bottom: Ticket to Ride, Pandemic, Sekigahara, Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small, Coup, Skull & Roses, Railways of the World, Love Letter, Descent, Expedition: Northwest Passage, 7 Wonders, String Railway, Tales of the Arabian Nights, King of Tokyo, The Resistance

FYI, the Wall of Games is neither exhaustive nor complete; I chose them because they have an expressive look to them, or I took a good photo of them. If you want to see a game on the Wall of Games, tell me and I'll add it!

I recently played Escape the Temple, Last Night on Earth, The Resistance: Avalon, and Forbidden Desert on the same day. Now i'm feeling all the wasted potential of only having played Catan up to this point.
Welcome! Those are some fun games
This year I've played War of the Ring, 7 Wonders, Puerto Rico, and Lords of Waterdeep. I picked up the X-wing miniature game, Power Grid, and Twilight Struggle but haven't played them yet. I'm currently preparing to GM the Dragon Age P&P RPG.


Hail to the KING baby
Great stuff -- looks really nice!

Since the new baby a couple of months ago I've missed many game nights, so looking forward to getting back into the swing of things. Current favs are relatively quick (~60-70m) mediumweight fare like Marvel Legendary and Ghost Stories. But Netrunner is far and away my most-played game of the year.
I'm still addicted to Dominion, especially the expansions (pls no base set)

Though I've been dabbling in Seasons lately
Oh yeah! I've recently discovered Seasons, too. I've been playing it online (mental note: fill in info in the OT for playing online). I really like the way the dice rolling combines with optimizing your random draft of cards.


Hail to the KING baby
The art in Seasons is incredible. Really the best part of the game for me. Mechanically it's a bit too abstract for -- a Euro cube converter to the nth degree. But I will still play it a few times a year just because I love the art so damn much. I actually backed Tokkaido at the Shogun level so that the artist (Naiade) could do a picture of me, so I'll be in that game (or at least the KS versions, don't know how that all works). Too bad I'm pretty generic looking but oh well. :p
I discovered how awesome board games are a few years back. Started with Catan, then moved on to Agricola (which my circle of friends still plays a lot), and more recently Power Grid (which is cool but I'm not sure if I liked it as much as Agricola yet). They're really a great way to gather a group of friends together and do something fun for a few hours. The amount of strategy underlying a lot of these games makes them fun to play over and over again.
Is A Study in Emerald really as good as Rahdo would have me believe? It looks like an awful lot of fun with more players.
I first played it about four months ago (it was someone else's copy). The theme was very cool, the gameplay was pretty fun...but the layer of game on top of the game, the bizarre "players are on one of the two different teams, but no one is really working together" was confounding.

But I kept thinking about the game for months afterwards. I recently caved and bought it, and played it again, this time with my head around it a bit better. It is a game that has subtle nuance to it- nuance that probably many wont get their first time through, but damn it's a cool game. I can't wait to play again.
The OP looks fantastic, good job. Board games deserve more of a presence on this forum, and have rapidly overtaken videogames as my hobby of choice over the last couple of years.

In order of complexity, here are three of my favourite board games from my favourite genre: Traitor/Deception games!

One Night Ultimate Werewolf

A great place to start is a relatively new title called One Night Ultimate Werewolf, which is a very cheap game that can taught in five minutes and played in ten. The game also scales quite well with the player count, I had great fun with both 4 players and 8.

Each player is secretly given a role at random. Everyone then closes their eyes during the 'night' phase of the game, and one by one each role is called out to open their eyes and perform an action, after which they close their eyes. Once the day begins, villagers are tasked with finding out who the werewolves are, whereas the werewolves have to lie about who they are, and blend in with the crowd. Along with the regular villager and Werewolf roles, there are a bunch of unique roles that have special powers. Some roles get to peek at other players roles, some get to swap other players role cards around, some don't even get to see what their role is etc. Werewolves get to look at each other and silently use hand gestures to construct and collaborate on a lie. Once the 'night' phase is over, a heated discussion ensues, which culminates in the lynching of one of the players. Villagers win if a werewolf dies, and vice versa.

The best part is that every round ends in laughter, as either someone gets away with murder, or a hapless villager is unknowingly thrown under the bus. The aim of the game is to follow the thread of what happened during the 'night' by using scraps of information gleamed from the different roles, but the trick is that some of the information is untrustworthy, and some of the roles can interact in hilariously chaotic ways.

It's super simple, but has a surprising amount of depth. The game is like a packet of Doritos, each bite-sized experience leaves you hungry for more. I've played this game for consecutive hours with both a complete newbie group, as well as some slightly more experienced folk, and both loved it.

One of the great things about this game is that it is easy to start off playing with just the basic roles, and then layer in the complexity as everyone gets familiar with how the game plays. Each round takes about ten minutes tops, and even then you can adjust the discussion time to make it shorter if you want to.

The multitude of extra roles are all really interesting as well, and each game can be drastically different depending on which ones come out. For example, one of the roles is called the tanner, who unlike every other player, is suicidal and wants to be killed. If they do happen to be killed, they win and everyone else loses, werewolves and villagers alike. It's a great addition because when it is in play sometimes you are unsure if someone made a bad play by claiming a role that they obviously aren't, or if they are just pretending to make a mistake so that they will be targeted for execution. It is simply brilliant.

I've had a lot of success pulling this game out with multiple groups of friends, especially those with no prior experience with modern board games. The few people who weren't quite as enamoured with it were either uncomfortable with lying, or really bad at it. They were in the minority though.

Resistance: Avalon

A step up in complexity and play-time is Resistance and Resistance: Avalon. I can only speak from experience with regards to the Avalon version of the game, but the consensus seems to be that it is a superior game to the original.
In any case, Resistance Avalon is a popular 30-45 minute game that has similar mechanics to werewolf, in that the aim of the game is to either root out the traitors or hide amongst the innocent. The game is played in multiple rounds, where a sub-section of players are chosen to go on a mission. The success or failure of the mission can be used as information for deducing who is on which side. The twist with Avalon is that the team on the side of good have one player, Merlin, who knows exactly who the bad guys are. However, if the bad guys correctly guess who Merlin is at the end of the game, evil wins the game. Therefore the role of Merlin is to very subtly push your team towards choosing an all-good team, without being too obvious. It's a very interesting juggling act that adds a lot of depth and layers of deception to the game. It's a more complex game than One Night Ultimate Werewolf, and tends more towards the strategic side of the strategy/chaos spectrum. It's still fairly easy to teach, and is super fun to play, though it might not be have the wide-reaching appeal of One Night Ultimate Werewolf.

Battlestar Galactica

Finally, we have come to my favourite game of all time: Battlestar Galactica. Don't let the license fool you, this ain't your run of the mill cash-in garbage designed to rob fans of their hard-earned. This, my Ameritrash-loving friends, is legit.

BSG is a relatively complex game that takes around 3 hours to play, and works best with 5 players. I bought this game on the back of widespread critical acclaim, having not seen much of the source material. Despite this, the theme shines through in the mechanics so clearly that I consider myself well-versed in the characters of a television show I have never seen.

At the start of the game everyone picks a character to inhabit. Then they also secretly pick up a loyalty card which tells them if they really are a human player, or if they are in fact a Cylon traitor.

The aim of the game is for the humans to survive long enough to reach a new home planet. Resources are constantly being lost, and it is simply a matter of getting to the end of the journey without any of the resource bars hitting zero and with the ship intact. Cylons are given multiple ways in which to secretly sabotage, and correctly placed suspicion can make or break games.

What's special about this game is the stories that it generates, and the roleplaying it engenders in people who have no idea what roleplaying is. There is always shouting, and there is always laughter, it is as intense as it is unforgettable.

Who can forget the time that we wrongfully imprisoned the admiral based on dodgy advice given from Gaius Baltar, who has the once-per-game ability to look at other player's loyalty cards.

Or what about that time that my girlfriend swore up and down to my face that she was innocent, and that if we didn't let her out of the brig we would be run down by enemy raiders, as she was the only pilot left. Of course, we let her out, but you can guess how that one ended.

Each game generates a story like this, and the post-game chatter is fascinating as you learn who trusted who, and how decisions came about.

And the ending, by god the ENDING. The game doesn't end when you figure out who the Cylons are, it simply changes pace. The tone ramps up beautifully, from quiet suspicion at the beginning of the game, to apologise-to-the-neighbors yelling in the midgame, to a finish whereby every single dice roll or decision becomes immensely important. When you have one fuel left, your ship is in tatters and all you need to do is get the god-damn FTL room repaired so you can jump away to safety, it feels like an episode of Star Trek. Actually, maybe it's an episode of BSG, but what would I know.

There's so many moving parts to this game, but it all comes together smoothly, and the different mechanics interact in interesting ways. I don't know what else to say really, it's simply a source of endless surprise. Despite racking up a huge amount of plays, each game I discover new tactics and circumstances.

I could gush about this game all day. Needless to say, if any of this sounds interesting to you, I wholeheartedly recommend you picking it up. Just be prepared to spend a fair amount of time learning the rules, and don't you dare invite people over to play unless you have read the rule book cover-to-cover multiple times.

I own all three expansions, and would recommend the latest one, Daybreak, as your first choice after you have exhausted the (fully-featured) base game. Daybreak fixes a lot of the issues that the first two expansions introduced, and stands very well on its own.The expansions add new characters, new modules that you can mix and match, new ending conditions, new boards, new powers, and plastic model components instead of cardboard ones. The other two expansions are well worth getting if you play the game as much as my group does, but I wouldn't consider them essential.

So there you have it, these are my favourite games with a traitor mechanic. I have also purchase a copy of Archipelago after Shut Up and Sit Down gave it a glowing review, but have yet to get it to the table.