I bought a few new games. I wanted to try a few different styles of board games and I certainly found some that are totally different from my other games. In this post, I am going to list all of my board games with a short comment about each one. These are in alphabetical order – the numbering is here just so I can see how many games are in the list.
7 Wonders – This is a card set collection game that requires at least three players. It’s fun but requires trying to remember what was in a hand of cards as hands are traded from one player to the next. I enjoy this game although the strategy of sometimes taking a useless card to keep someone else from getting it, is tricky due to the passing around of the hands.
7 Wonders Dual – This is a set collection card game similar to 7 Wonders but cards are picked/drafted from a common set on the table that is available to both players. Only supports two players. I like this a little better than the original 7 Wonders since there is no requirement to remember what was in a hand that got passed to another player. Strategies are about the same otherwise, except for some differences that only work for two players, like the military strength mechanisms.
Agricola – This is a resource collection game where players choices affect the available choices of the other players. Players try to collect resources that are used to build/buy/use other resources. This is a fun strategic game with lots of strategy choices. The theme works really well with the gameplay.
Asking for Trobils – The game takes place in the O-Renj planetary system. Say it out loud a few times and you will get the joke. The same is true for the name of the game. I have yet to play it but it looks like a fun worker-placement game that is all about placement, collection, and scoring. Pieces are never moved, just placed on the board or removed.
Castle Panic – This is a cooperative game that we played at home for a while then lost interest in it. Fun but cooperative games always lead to all players losing. The add-on pack didn’t’ change the game much and I would play it again without the add-on if I play it again sometime.
Castles of Mad King Ludwig – This is a construction game where players build a room map of a castle. A master builder player sets prices for the rooms and the other players pay to build. Rooms yield various scores and bonuses and help players achieve end-of-game bonuses. The master builder changes each round.
Dead of Winter – This semi-cooperative game is based on the zombie apocalypse, a tired theme after years of zombie movies and TV shows. But the game is not tiring and the theme helps the game more than it hiders it.
Dominion – This is a deck building game that seems a bit like a solitaire game. It’s interesting and sometimes complicated due to some cards letting you draw more cards in the same turn. There seems to be almost no player interaction with the cards that come with the basic game.
The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game – this is a cooperative strategy game where cards are used for various actions and the choice of action on each turn is critical to winning. Simple after the first game and interesting so far. I played it solo (three player hands get played by one person) and it was certainly interesting. It’s hard to win, like all cooperative games.
Explorers of the North Sea – This is a tile placement game combined with a resource collection game. The “board” is built as the game progresses and players sail the seas trying to collect things (or claim territory) that count as points in the end. And if your Vikings die in battle, you get points for that too!
Fiasco – This is a DM-less RPG of some sort. I just got it. it is the weirdest game in my collection so far. It looks like a book and I had to buy some dice and index cards to make it playable. I love the cover; although you could line up a few of these and each guy is shooting the next, I see it as the guy shooting himself because he doesn’t realize that the pictures wraps from one side to the other.
Firefly the Game – This is a do-a-job board game where you use the proceeds from a job (moving resources around the board) to get more resources in order to complete more complicated/difficult/dangerous jobs. It’s a long game with a lot of decks of cards but it a fun family game if not taken too seriously. There’s a bit of randomness that can sometimes be frustrating. It needs a lot of table space.
Fury of Dracula Third Edition – This is a one vs. many game where players cooperate to find the location of the Dracula player. Cooperation is very important and there is a bit of deduction needed whenever there’s a clue as to Dracula’s whereabouts. Played once and it was fun; I was not Dracula.
Get Lucky – This is a card game based on the Kill Doctor Lucky board game. The game involves collecting small sets of cards to use for attack while also using the same set for defense (of Doctor Lucky). Easy, fun, and easy to forget to keep cards for defense!
Harbour – This is a card-based worker placement and resource collection game. It’s in a small box and uses a small number of player and resource pieces to go with a bunch of cards. I only played a few solo turns so far and it’s sort of fun.
Gloom – This is a weird card game where transparent cards are used to stack “abilities” onto a family of cards on the table. Whoever kills off their family first wins! Fun but a little hard to manage the cards and to also play quickly. Some of the story-like stuff on the cards is funny.
Hive – A tile placement and movement game with bugs on the tiles! Fun but my daughter doesn’t like bugs so we don’t play much :) Maybe a bit of a checkers-chess combination. The lack of a board makes it easy to carry around the game in a bag.
Kill Doctor Lucky – This is a strategy board game where players positions on the board (in a house) affect the possible actions of other players. Try to kill Doctor Lucky first to win. Fun easy game. This is the first game and one of the only games that I’ve played where an NPC (Non-Player Character) moves automatically.
Love Letter – this is a quick easy card game with very few cards. Hands never have more than two cards in them so decision making is quick and easy. This is a fun game and our go-to game when nothing else seems interesting. A round of play takes only a few minutes so players usually play to get the best 7 out of 13 wins (if I remember correctly).
One Night Ultimate Werewolf – This is a party game where players discuss which player is a werewolf to kill (because werewolfs need to be killed for the non-werewolfs to win). There is some lying and some not-lying-and-trying-to-convince-everyone-that-you-are-truthful in the game because the werewolf players want to stay alive to win.
Orléans is a deck building game using tokens instead of cards. It is also a resource collection game. Strategies and tactics can be complex and subtle and this is a really fun game to play. Player interaction is fairly minimal in the first few rounds of the game but competition heats up as the game progresses due to various resources running out and also because there are some prizes that get claimed by the first player to reach various milestones. At the end of the game, competition is fierce as players try to get a few remaining high-scoring items. The game is more competitive with four players than three and we have not tried with two yet.
Pandemic – Cooperative board game. Like all cooperative games, it’s hard to win. It’s fun but frustrating to always lose. The premise is cool and the gameplay works well with players moving around the world trying to cure and eradicate diseases.
Set – A card set identification game where players try to find sets of three cards that have something in common without that same set also having something almost but not quite entirely in common. If the set has just two of the same shape, color, shading, or count, it’s not a set!
Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective – This turned out to be less of a strategy game and more of a story telling game. We don’t play this because there is no obvious way to do better at the game. Scoring high requires luck or genius. So much circumstantial evidence is needed to solve a case that we could never get enough of it for a solution without losing tons of points getting it. But maybe it’s just that we are not good at the game that made it un-fun for us.
Spy Alley – Item collection and bluffing game. Always fun and doesn’t take too long to play. Players try to gather resources that let them win while also gathering resources that keep other players from guessing their identity.
Sushi Go – Card collection game involving trading hands around the table and trying to collect cards based on what will be available in other hands. Fun family game. This is sort like like a super-simple version of 7 Wonders because after the players all take a card from their hand and play it, the hands are passed around the table.
Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization – This is a complicated game of civilization building. I interpret this as a game where many aspects of civilization building must be kept in balance throughout the game while increasing everything to gain the most points. Have too much resource production and nothing to spend those resources on? If so then you are punished. Decide to build a wonder before having resource production capacity to build it? If so then you are punished. Not building your military strength to match the rest of your civilization growth? You’re going to lose a war. After playing the iPad version a few times and board game version, this is how it seems to work for me. But alas, it is a complicated game and I still suck at it.
T.I.M.E. Stories – This is a cooperative story game that involves making decisions that seem to alter the order of the story elements but doesn’t seem to help get through the game more quickly (with a better score). Like Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, this game seems to not have a way to play strategically to score higher; players can only accidentally stumble onto more effective paths to the end of the game. It was interesting the first time but just frustrating the second time (we never finished The Marcy Case). Interactive stories are just not that much fun, except maybe on a computer where the story is more rich and vivid and there’s no pieces to move around constantly.
Takenoko – This is tile placement combined with taking actions to achieve semi-random goals. You can pick the type of goal you want but you can’t know what the exact goal will be until you pick the card. This is fun and fairly easy but still takes some strategy and work to win.
Ticket to Ride – This is a strategy game where taking more risk can lead to a bigger win or a bigger loss. Lots of card drafting is done to get sets of colors in order to claim routes on the map. This is a fun easy game. It takes a bit of luck and a lot of strategy to win. We have played this game a lot, especially back when we only had a few board games at home.
Tiffin – It’s been a while but what I remember is that this game is a card collection game where sets of cards are collected and then used to claim resources (lunches). It had a Ticket-to-Ride vibe to it. The two-player variant that required a fake third player, sort of sucked, But all games that can’t be played normally with two players suck a little when you have just two players. I am a friend of a friend of one of the guys who designed the game, so I had to get it! And it was good enough that I would play it again.
Tokaido – This is a set collection game with only a little ability to pick a winning path through the game. This game is fun because strategy is subtle and it’s hard to win big. Making a very beneficial move often leads to losing a turn or even two. This is also a very pretty game and the deluxe edition is super nice to look at!
Tortuga – A 2 to 9 player game of card handling, pawn positioning, and deception. We played it with two players and the game was less about deception and more about timing moves in order to be in a good scoring position at the end of the game. It comes in this cool book/box with a roll-out “board”. It is one of the best looking games that I own.
Unfair – This is a recent Kickstarter game that is mostly card collection and some amount of card playing game. I really like this game with two players and even playing in a way that minimizes player interactions, the game is still very fun. The amusement park theme, the quality of the game and instructions, and the interesting mix of possible actions, makes this game one of my favorites.