This idea came from a Twitter friend, @Mundangerous, one of the hosts of the ENnie nominated podcast, Total Party Thrill. Since both The RPG Academy and Nerdologists have gone away from using the name Table Topics, which you can read about in the Five Tribes post, he suggested that we go with Table Top Picks. That doesn’t make great sense for a review series, but it was too good not to use. So the next two posts are going to be Kristen and my favorite board games.*
* For this article board games can mean card/dice games as well but not RPG’s.
7. Elder Signs
Why: Elder Signs has a theme that I really like. Lovecraft and his world of horror is very interesting. It takes some ideas from games like Arkham Horror, where you are trying to defeat a great old one, but it takes less thinking to play Elder Signs. As compared to high strategy and traveling through Arkham, you are just in the museum, and different scenarios happen which you need to roll various symbols on the dice. It combines enough strategy with luck though to keep it very interesting and moving. And one of my favorite parts is that fact that you play different unique characters.
6. Lord of the Rings: Board Game
Why: This is Lord of the Rings. You go through the parts of the story that everyone knows which are so great. And you play the characters that everyone knows, Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, and Fatty Bolger. Yes, this is from prior to the movies. This is another game where I can play a unique character. And we have an expansion where someone can play the bad guys, which adds a new level of stress to a game that always makes you feel like you are doing well, and then all of a sudden you are within danger of losing.
Why: Smallworld if a world of slaughter and laughter. An area control game that mixes unique races and abilities, it s a blast to play. I really like the fact that with the different map sizes, the maps are never so large that you can just sit there, people will always be going after another player, and because it is so inherent in the game, And the combinations are great, dwarves who can fly, giants who pillage, or merchant elves, the game plays out differently every time.
4. Betrayal at House on the Hill
Why: It’s another horror based game and it is semi-cooperative. There will almost always be a traitor in the game, and there is always an end game. But who knows who it is going to be, and who knows what horrors the house will reveal. This game is good because, while there is a traitor, no one is actively playing against the group in the first part of the game. This means that you don’t end up with hurt feelings, and it is just a fun game.
Why: Another cooperative game, you can see what I play most often, where you are part of the CDC fighting against diseases that are spreading around the world. It is one of those games, like Lord of the Rings, where you feel like you are doing well, and then all of a sudden, things start to go poorly, and you don’t know what to do, and are scrambling to keep up. It’s a blast to play and one that I would highly recommend that people buy.
2. Pandemic Legacy
Why: A lot of it can be summed up with – see above. However, it is a Legacy game. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Legacy games, how it sets up is that whatever you do in previous games affects the board and how things will work in future games on the board. It also tells more of a story. So you gain more abilities, and there are other things to escalate and it is always stressful and a ton of fun.
1. Dead of Winter
Why: This game potentially has a hidden traitor, it has high stress situations as you look to feed your colony of survivors, keep the zombies from getting in, and complete an objective. The fact that their may or may not be a traitor means that it is questionable if someone is working against you. It is a subtle game, and a high stress game trying to figure out what is going on with helping the colony and trying to find the traitor.
What are some of your favorite board games, or your person Table Top Picks?
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