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Thread: Board Games

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Seattle, WA

    Board Games

    We are in the market for good board game options, on a few different fronts. First, we have an almost 6-y.o. and a 3-y.o. who we want to do more board gaming with. They have and enjoy (at least the older one does, the little one is still catching up) Sorry, Guess Who, Outfoxed, Connect 4, and a few versions of Zingo, as well as some card-based games like Hiss and Anomia (kids version), plus manipulables like Animal Upon Animal and Zimbbos. But would love additional recommendations, especially things that will be a little more challenging to the older one (for example, I'm considering whether he's ready for Mastermind). Card-based games that are easy to travel with also a plus.

    Second, my wife and I are interested in good options for two adults to play, but that could also be good for group play as the boys get older. We're relative novices, so the hyper-detailed world-building strategy type games may not be the right place for us to start, but would prefer things that make us think as opposed to games that are random luck.

    And third, party-style games (again that can be fun as just adults but that will be fun to include kids in as they get older).

    But, basically, open board game thread - what are you playing, what have you loved, what do you want to play?
    Just be you. You is enough. - K, 4/5/10, 0:13.8 to play, 60-59 Duke.

    You're all jealous hypocrites. - Titus on Laettner

    You see those guys? Animals. They're animals. - SIU Coach Chris Lowery, on Duke

  2. #2
    Shadows in the Forest is a great game you get to play at night! highly recommend.

    The old standards of Go Fish, Old Maid, etc are standards for a reason.

    I spy are also fun.

    Ticket to Ride Jr is good.

    One that is fun for older kids is Flux (the rules change every turn), so it's super random but also a blast.

  3. #3
    For Adults Group Play, I cant recommend Cards Against Humanity enough. It is so much fun (and easy) to play.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
    The two card based that immediately spring to mind would be apples to apples and milles bournes(or however that’s spelled). Catan is always an option, as is dominion.

    Just some thoughts

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!
    We like UNO and various Trivial Pursuit editions. Card games like Rummy or Gin Rummy can be fun. Cards against Humanity can be lots of fun depending on your tolerance to dirty humor so be careful who you play with and I would not wish to play it with my kids no matter how old. Of course all of these games are played for the comradery and a few good beers, glasses of wine or spirits only enhance the experience.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    A note on a great social card game is Superfight. You randomly draw characters with abilities and then argue about which would win in a fight. Really entertaining.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN.
    Villainous is a wonderful game that will work for adults or children (probably 6ish and up).

    For adults: Catan, Betrayal at House Hill, Secret Hitler, Ticket to Ride, Pandemic.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Texas
    Two that I have been playing with my 4.5 yo almost daily since Christmas are Skip-Bo Jr and My First Castle Panic. My First Castle Panic is collaborative, so you either all win or all lose.

    Outfoxed and Ticket to Ride - First Journey have both been purchased, but are still in the closet (I bought too many things for Christmas as these got moved to the "later" pile )

    For adults - I purchased Pandemic based on reviews, etc. but haven't had a chance to play yet. This one is also collaborative.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Chesapeake, VA.
    Maybe not for young kids but my two favorite games are these:

    Wise and Otherwise. This is the best game ever! It has the first half of "old sayings" from many countries on one side of the card, and the rest of the saying on the back. The reader chooses from 5 or 6 choices without looking at the back of the card to see the rest of it. Everybody writes down what they think the rest of the saying is, the reader writes the real one, then everybody hands their cards to the reader. He/she shuffles the answers and reads them, then everybody guesses which one is the real one. You get two points for guessing the right answer and two points everytime somebody chooses your answer as the real one. It is so.much.fun! You can play to win, of course, but sometimes you just have to play a funny answer.

    I'll give you an example. One time we were playing, and the stem was "There is an old Chinese saying, 'Keep your broken arm...." My son, who is really good at the game, finished the saying with "hidden from your enemy." Perfect. I thought it was the real thing. One of my son's friends wrote, "give me your broken leg." It was hilarious! (By the way, I don't remember what the real saying was.) Anyway, for a group of adolescents to adults, this game is absolutely fantastic.


    Wits and Wagers. This game is a trivia game, but it's also a betting game. The way it works is that the cards are all loaded up with trivia questions that have numerical answers. They are obscure stuff that typically nobody actually knows. Everybody writes down what they think the answer is and puts the numbers down. They are arranged from lowest to highest. Then everybody bets on which answer is closest without going over. Bets near the middle pay a little bit; bets on the extreme ends pay a lot but are more risky. It's fun because although it is a trivia game, the focus is on the betting, and you don't necessarily have to be a trivia buff to win the game. That and the fact that people don't know the answers makes it less likely that your local know-it-all will spoil everybody's fun by lording his/her trivia knowledge over everybody else. Faster moving than Wise and Otherwise.
    A plane takes off from Baltimore and touches down on Bourbon Street

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Another recommendation for Ticket to Ride.

    For strategy games, we really like Carcasonne as a faster-paced game that still incorporates some of the strategic dimensions of more complex ones like Risk or Settlers of Catan.

    I also really like Scotland Yard and Stratego as relatively fast-paced, yet still satisfyingly challenging strategy games.

    Lastly, Cranium is great for thought-provoking group play.

  11. #11
    Honest suggestion: teach them to play poker

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Wilmington, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by BLPOG View Post
    Honest suggestion: teach them to play poker
    I'm doing this with my tweens now. I think it teaches them value of making informed decisions, reading other's behavior, and when to take risks based on the odds of the outcome. They have really taken to it and my oldest has even started reading a poker book so she'll probably be able to clean me out soon. 😂


    We love playing battle of the sexes at family holidays and when guests come over. It can be a hoot with the right group of people.

    One of the hardest times I've ever laughed in my life was watching my uncle try to name 5 famous female fashion designers. Pretty sure most of his guesses we're from The Sopranos. 😂

    Good clean fun.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Hot'Lanta... home of the Falcons!
    Quote Originally Posted by luburch View Post
    For adults: Catan, Betrayal at House Hill, Secret Hitler, Ticket to Ride, Pandemic.
    Huge gaming household here. When my two sons are home we routinely play two or three hours of games a night.

    I find Ticket to Ride pretty simplistic and sorta random ("did I get a good destination card or not?"). It can be good for folks who are early on in strategy kinda gaming, but the advanced will get bored quickly. My wife loves it though, so maybe it is just me.

    Catan is great but you need to get the Cities and Knights expansion to make it really strategic and even then there is a lot that is simply dependent upon if a certain number gets to be "hot" or "cold." I have seen games where there were twice as many 4s rolled as 6s or 8s and that can suck.

    My college-aged sons swear by Secret Hitler. I have not played it with them yet but they say it is the best.

    Carcasonne is a nice one too that goes quicker than other strategy games. Has anyone tried playing a version off that game where you always have 3 tiles in your hand and pick one then play one? I think that would add an element of strategy and eliminate some of the randomness of which tile you draw.

    Allow me to also recommend Puerto Rico and its cousin San Juan. Both are fun strategy games that rely a lot lot lot less on luck (especially Puerto Rico).

    For kids, Apples to Apples is a wonderful game that will force them to think a bit about words and meanings.

    Quote Originally Posted by BLPOG View Post
    Honest suggestion: teach them to play poker
    Stakes are super important to make poker work. There needs to be a consequence for making a call or attempting a bluff or you lose a lot of what makes the game work. I have tried betting dessert on the game... so if you lose, I get your dessert. I find the promise of a piece of pie is worth a lot lot lot more than the 50-cents it actually cost
    Last edited by JasonEvans; 01-15-2020 at 11:49 AM.
    I don't know what you are doing right now, but if you aren't listening to the DBR Podcast, you're doing it wrong.

  14. #14
    Might be a bit much for a 3 and 6 year old.

    Telestrations is a great game for 8 players.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    Stakes are super important to make poker work. There needs to be a consequence for making a call or attempting a bluff or you lose a lot of what makes the game work. I have tried betting dessert on the game... so if you lose, I get your dessert. I find the promise of a piece of pie is worth a lot lot lot more than the 50-cents it actually cost
    When I was first learning, we used to place bets with Lucky Charms marshmallows.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Hot'Lanta... home of the Falcons!
    Quote Originally Posted by rsvman View Post
    I'll give you an example. One time we were playing, and the stem was "There is an old Chinese saying, 'Keep your broken arm..." My son, who is really good at the game, finished the saying with "hidden from your enemy." Perfect. I thought it was the real thing. One of my son's friends wrote, "give me your broken leg." It was hilarious! (By the way, I don't remember what the real saying was.) Anyway, for a group of adolescents to adults, this game is absolutely fantastic.
    "Keep your broken arm... inside your sleeve where the maggots cannot feed upon it."
    https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/...inese-proverbs

    Your son's answer is better.
    I don't know what you are doing right now, but if you aren't listening to the DBR Podcast, you're doing it wrong.

  17. #17
    For adults young and old (i.e. teens) Code Names. A lot of fun, we usually play best of three and takes about an hour.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    The 6yo is probably not quite ready for most of the strategy games mentioned, though he might be in a couple years. Carcassonne and Ticket to Ride are quite good.

    A few to add to that pile that my kids like: Santorini (bonus that the games are quick), Labyrinth (prob play the "for younger players" variant, otherwise it can get frustrating). My son (9) has also enjoyed Stratego for several years - he seemed to like the idea of it even early on when he had no conception of strategy. Uno is also popular - that's an easy one for kids to pick up.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Durham, NC
    The rail games family (Empire Builder, British Rails, India Rails, Iron Dragon, etc.) are pretty fun. They do tend to take a long time to play (~3 hours), so not appropriate for younger kids, but will keep the 10-and-up crowd happy for a whole afternoon. Good for 2-6 players.

    If you can find a copy of History of the World, that's another one that takes a 3 hours or so to play, but requires long-term strategy while not using too complex a rule set.

    For teens-and-up, I second the suggestion of Code Names. That's a very challenging game requiring finding nuance in specific words. It's very good as a party game that will keep everyone thinking, and fuels conversation long after the game is over.

    For 5-and-up kids, don't overlook good old fashioned cribbage as an excellent game to learn. Pegs to keep the scoring fun, and there is lots of practice adding, especially finding ways to make fifteen. There is some strategy, but it's at the easy-to-teach level and can be taught progressively (and also is just effective enough to allow adults to avoid dominating while still appearing to be fair).

    500 is a simple Euchre variant and is a good game for teaching trick-based card play. It uses an ordinary card deck that you doctor a little, but is very fast and easy to play. I've played it since I was eight.

  20. #20
    My 7 and 9 year-old like Ravensbuger's Labyrinth. The board is a maze. Each player needs to find 4 treasures that are randomly drawn from a stack of cards. The strategy comes from the fact that each player uses their turn to move the maze by pushing a row with the free piece of the maze. The piece that falls off the other side becomes the free piece for the next player. It's a fun game with lots of strategy.

    They also like Ticket to Ride Jr and although not a board game, they also enjoy Suspend.

    I also taught them to play Blackjack and Poker. The 9 year old really enjoys Blackjack.

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