A lot of the games that I’ve gone with have been for gamers who might be into board gaming more casually. The games aren’t always simple but they aren’t the heavier games that require that extra time to set-up and tear down. If you want to see the list on the other end of the spectrum, check back to the Holiday Gift Guide: Intro Games article from a few days ago.
The poster child for the big box game, Gloomhaven has all the components and tons of hours of game play. The game mechanics are smart as the card play is clever and adds a lot of strategy to the game. It is a beast to take down and set-up, but if you can afford the game, for someone who is looking for that combination of a big game with a lot of strategy and story, Gloomhaven is amazing.
Near and Far
Another one that’s been mentioned before, this is a story driven campaign game, but they do a really good job of keeping part of it was a game and part of it as the story aspect. There are definitely a lot of decisions to be made as you go out and explore and as you spend time in the town trying to build up your party to explore. You can even technically win the game without doing any of the story part.
Mansions of Madness
This game again has a lot of story, but there is an epicness to the game as you explore through houses and other locations as you try and unravel the mysteries and madness of this Lovecraftian game. As compared to some of the other Lovecraft games, it tells a tight story and the app integration into the game works really well and makes the book keeping aspect of the game a whole lot easier. You get to feel like you’re investigating these mysteries.
Arkham Horror LCG
Another Lovecraft game on the list, this game is a whole lot smaller and faster than the rest of the games. In fact it’s just a card game. However, this card game still feels big because you are going through a cool story and the decisions you make and the level of difficulty you play the game at, makes the game tough. This is the epic Lovecraft game for when you don’t have as much time.
Shadows of Brimstone
This one you could argue borrows or Lovecraft adjacent, but really it’s trying to be its own thing as it’s a big box game with a lot of rules and you are trying to complete missions, role play your characters, and save the town of Brimstone from the dimension that is opening up around it. What I like about this game is that it is Weird West, which isn’t a theme that I’ve seen used that much before in board games or any media and I want to see more of. The game does, however, have a beast of a rule book, though the rule book is laid out pretty well.
Probably the easiest of all of the games on the list to set-up and get into. The rules for this game are probably the simplest of any of the games, but the story of this game gives it an epic feel. Now, it’s probably the game thus far on the list that you can get the fewest number of hours game play and only Arkham Horror LCG plays in as short a time, though with Arkham Horror LCG, there are more scenarios to play through. However, this game is epic, both seasons of it, and they are both definitely worth playing, especially as their prices are a bit lower now.
This asymmetric game is definitely an epic struggle between the factions with a lot of interesting decisions to be made by the players as you try and be the first to the victory point total. The fact that each factions in the game plays differently means that it’ll give the players a lot of different experiences as you play in different roles through multiple playthroughs of the game. And it’s pretty easy to teach all things considered because the basic actions for each faction end in the same result.
Star Wars: Rebellion
This game has been described as, by the Dice Tower, “Star Wars in a box”. I think that’s a very apt description. While Imperial Assault might be boots on the ground, Star Wars: Rebellion is the epic galactic struggle between the Rebels and the Empire. You get to try and complete missions, build troops up, defeat the enemy and if you’re the Empire, track down where the rebel base is hidden. The game play is fairly long, but the decisions and turn structure means that there isn’t much downtime. This game is only really a two player game though.
Now, there are ton more epic games out there. I have yet to play Twilight Imperium 4th Edition (or 3rd Edition) and those are some of the most epic space games. I also have games like The Reckoners and Scythe that I’ve picked up recently but haven’t gotten to the table yet. What are some other epic feeling games that I’ve missed?
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