Open Thread: Board games

(written by chris the cynic)

Do you have a favorite board game?  General thoughts on board games?  [Sentence that includes “board” and “game” and ends in a question mark]

[As a reminder, open thread prompts are meant to inspire conversation, not stifle it. Have no fear of going off topic for there is no off topic here.]

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11 thoughts on “Open Thread: Board games

  1. alexseanchai March 7, 2015 at 10:49 am

    Noncompetitive board games!

    My favorite board game is Clue. We’ve got one of the old versions–I know for a fact there’s been at least one redesign–but in the version we’ve got, I always play Mrs. Peacock. She’s the only character who makes any strategic sense, unless you think going first has strategic value (in which case you want Miss Scarlet). She’s the only character with a better than nil chance of getting into a room on the first turn! And of course you can’t get a peek at anybody else’s cards without making a suggestion, and you can’t make a suggestion if you’re not in a room…

  2. froborr March 7, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    Given how much I love the movie, I really ought to learn to play Clue some time. I’ve never played it.

    I’m quite fond of Ticket to Ride.

  3. lonespark42 March 7, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    I love board games but I tend to get emotionally involved with the storyline rather than thinking strategically. I start loving the idea of my people as fabric merchants or wallbuilders or sailors or whatever. Also I have made some spectacular bad starting placements in Settlers of Cataan, probably for similar reasons. OTOH, that can be fine and cool, since I enjoy playing rather than winning and a lot of games encourage role playing and have cool art and pieces and whatnot. I just need to not play on teams, or in games with people who demand that you be logical and efficient all the time.

  4. lonespark42 March 7, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    Ticket it ride is fun. And I enjoy Risk. Statistically speaking, you should never, ever get involved in a land war in Asia, but the few times you pull it off you totally feel like the emperor of everything.

  5. lonespark42 March 7, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    And I’m always on the hunt for games that can be played with kids. Mine can handle pretty complex mechanics, but not slow play or hours sitting in one place.

  6. christhecynic March 7, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    I’ve tended to be drawn to more abstract board games (chess and variants, for example) but I never really developed whatever insight or intuition it is that allows people to be good at such a game.

    My family played Clue all the time when I was growing up (nothing brings a family together like sitting around a table and accusing each other of murder) and Monopoly … existed.

    More recently I bought Night of the Grand Octopus for someone for Christmas, but we haven’t had a chance to play it yet.

    Statistically speaking, you should never, ever get involved in a land war in Asia, but the few times you pull it off you totally feel like the emperor of everything.

    I never really paid attention before, but when I was writing the post on Khan’s casting I looked up where he and his empire were from. Maybe the reason that we’re not all enslaved to him is that he never played risk as a kid, and thus didn’t see the problem with building his empire close to home.

    I am now imagining Eddie Izzard describing the Eugenics Wars (the way he describes the rest of history.)

  7. DawnM March 7, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    Trivial Pursuit (original) was very popular in my family when it was new. It seemed to hit a sweet spot of things my parent’s generation knew and things my generation knew, in order to be a fairly competitive game for all.

    Another family favourite is Scrabble. Spouse and I just recently got a copy of that and we were playing it last night. I tried to play the word “asnore” but I was shouted down. If it’s not a word, it should be – that’s my opinion. “I was lying on the couch, all asnore, when the phone rang…”

    Back when Mom and Dad and I used to play Scrabble, Dad used to act all helpless, so that we would all help him with his letters. The end result is that he would win the game. Which proves that Scrabble is all about strategy. 😉

    These memories are somewhat bittersweet for me. My dad has recently and rapidly acquired some sort of advanced memory loss and/or dementia. So his days of whipping my ass at Trivial Pursuit are behind us now. He was trying to tell someone on the phone what we were up to: “They’re playing some sort of card game – what is it you’re playing?” us: “Scrabble” five minute later, Dad tells the phone” “They’re playing some sort of card game – what is it you are playing?” Sigh.

  8. Only Some Stardust March 7, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    I played Life a few times, and liked Connect 4, but my childhood favorite was a pokemon board game where you rolled dice to move and catch pokemon and challenge the elite four to win, if I remember correctly. It seemed a lot more boring once I got older, though. Kinda like the main pokemon games that have slowly lost their shine to me, although one of these days I want to finish the last round of Pokemon Stadium for completion’s sake.

    I also played, ugh, what was it called… Warriors of Cannan or something? Herders of? Some fantasy beat-up-monsters games.

    One Gurps sci-fi RPG game with minis and a map board to move around from planet to planet. Some D&D games with temporary usage of minis and maps for individual dungeons, sorta counts as a board I guess. I would play nonhumans at every opportunity, especially gnolls (upright walking hyenas / wolves) because they are cool. Had a dragon campaign when I was around 7 years old and was told I role-played ‘an impatient wyrmling baby dragon very well’. 😛

    My parents are big pen and paper and board game geeks, or used to be.

  9. Firedrake March 7, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    For cooperative games I’m a fan of Flash Point Fire Rescue. It’s very thematic (the stuff you do in the game feels like what a firefighter might do in real life), the rules are relatively simple, and it’s satisfying when you pull off a win. As with many cooperative games you need to make sure you don’t get someone taking over and telling everyone what to do, but I see this as a social problem more than a game design one.

    For competitive games I’m playing a bit of Firefly at the moment (not as much as I’d like as it tends to take a while), some Quantum, some Splendor, lots of The Resistance. Smaller games I like include Tsuro, Love Letter, and Hanabi.

    And lots and lots of GURPS, my RPG system of choice.

  10. Silver Adept March 8, 2015 at 8:02 am

    There were a lot of games growing up – Life, Payday, Careers, Trivial Pursuit (Genuses III and IV), Big Boggle, and lots of cards in one form or another. Now I have Dominion and Catan, and have played some good ones like Space Trucker, 7 Wonders, and Ticket To Ride (Which I have as an app, along with Small World 2).

    I wrote a bit about games on my own blog – basically, games that primarily rely on chance get a pass from me, because my dice rolls tend to end up flat at crucial moments. So I end up in situations where I’m not getting many points, and that’s not much fun. I tend to like games where every turn lets you do something of strategic importance.

  11. depizan March 8, 2015 at 11:19 am

    My parents and I used to play Trivial Pursuit, but it’s a very long game, none of us were good at the sports and leisure questions, and we all find competition kind of…boring. So it drifted to us asking Trivial Pursuit questions after dinner for a bit.

    SImilarly, my mom and I would play Scrabble…with the goal of using up all the letters.

    Nowadays, the closest I get to boardgames are tabletop roleplaying games.

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