Tag: Captain Sonar

Board Game Mechanics – Real Time

Board Game Mechanics – Real Time

We’re back with another mechanic for a board game, not one that you see all that often, but one that covers what is really quite a breath of board games. If you are looking for fast paced tension, real time games are going to give 

Top 10 – Games with Unique Mechanics

Top 10 – Games with Unique Mechanics

There are a lot of games out there that are based off of other games that feel pretty similar to them. Ascension and Dominion are both Deck Building games, and they really don’t do that much mechanically unique from a lot of other deck building 

My Top 100 Board Games: 60 to 51

My Top 100 Board Games: 60 to 51

We’re done with the bottom half of my top 100 after today’s post. That’s awesome, there are some games that I really enjoy on this section of the list, I feel like some of them should be higher, then I see what is coming up, and there are so many tough choices.

***Disclaimer***
These rankings are the opinion of yours truly, and if you don’t like them, that’s okay. We all have different tastes in games and that is great. There are some games that I’ve only played as a demo, and I felt like I got enough of a feel to put them on the list, thanks GenCon for all the demos. These are living rankings so next year I’m sure that things will change, so I’ll probably be doing another one next year. Thanks to Board Game Geek for letting me enter/rate my collection and games I’ve played. Thanks to Pub Meeple for creating a tool that pulls in those games that I’ve rated and creating a ranking tool. Again, the numbers and names will be linked to Cool Stuff Inc and Amazon if you’re interested in the games.

Image Source: Gatherer

60 – Magic: The Gathering
Magic: The Gathering is the only collectible card game on the list (CCG), and one of the oldest and definitely the most well known. In this game you are playing one of several formats, but in each of them, your opponent(s) have a life total and you are trying to get that to zero before they get yours to zero. You do this by putting creatures into play that can attack them, use enchantments to make their creatures worse or to improve yours or cast spells that temporarily buff your characters, stop your opponent, or many other things. There is so much Magic to dig into that it can feel overwhelming, but the prebuilt decks are fun and a good spot to jump in. Once you jump in there, the deckbuilding aspect, setting up your deck with certain combinations or things that you want to do is a ton of fun. I could write a whole lot more about it, but that would be several articles by itself.

59 – Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle
Another deck building game, but this one is different. In Magic: The Gathering, you build your deck ahead of time, that’s not what most people mean by deck builders. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle, you start with a small deck, and you buy things to improve your deck while dealing with something else, mainly the villains from the Harry Potter series. You play as some of the main characters and cast spells, use items, and call on allies to defeat the various book villains all the while, darkness is building up, and that’s the timer that you have to beat all the villains. The game starts out as a simple deck builder, but as you go along, you add in more things that makes the game trickier and make your characters feel more unique, like they do in the books. It’s a very fun game with a fun theme that a lot of people are going to enjoy because of the theme. I’d say it’s a good introductory deck builder, because it is cooperative.

Image Source: Board Game Geek

58 – Captain Sonar
Captain Sonar is not a deck builder, in fact there are no cards at all in Captain Sonar. You take on various roles on two different submarines and in real time (though you can play turn based which isn’t as good), you navigate around, try and keep your ship running, all while your sonar operator is trying to figure out where the enemy is going so that you can sink them before they can sink you. This game is fun because it plays up to eight players, but it isn’t a party game. Sometimes you want something that’s a bit more meaty, and Captain Sonar does a great job of that with a lot of people. The real time aspect isn’t going to be something that everyone loves, but I do think the game shines best as that. Are you going to rush across the board or are you going to stay in a smaller area to make it harder to find. This is going to be a different sort of game for a lot of people, so it’s fun to introduce people to it.

57 – Roll Player
Now, I love D&D, and I love rolling up characters. Roll Player is a game that I didn’t love at first, because it seemed like it was only rolling up characters and the mechanics weren’t all that thrilling. But as I’ve gotten to see more of it and realized a rule we made a mistake on, it’s been a game that has grown on me. Yes, in the base game, you are only rolling up a character, but it’s fun to see if you can manipulate the dice in such as way that you get an awesome character who is clearly way to good to be an actual D&D character or a first level character. I haven’t played the expansions yet, but I like the idea of fighting with that character, or stacking them up against a monster in some way, which the first expansion adds. I don’t think it’ll ever stop me from wanting to play D&D and instead, but it is a lot of fun.

56 – Galaxy Trucker
Sometimes you just need to get goods from one side of the galaxy to another and you just don’t have the right ship for it. In Galaxy Trucker you throw together a ship by flipping tiles and if you want them putting them into your ship, but eventually, everyone is going to have a ship that is hopefully connected well and defended, because the next part you fly across the galaxy, and you’re taking the fastest route, which means that you hope your ship is good enough to deal with asteroids and space pirates and whatever else might show up. This game has to be looked at as silly fun, because that’s what it is. Your ship is probably going to get blown apart and you’ll come in with half the ship that you had when you started out, but that might be enough to win a round. The game plays quickly for being something that looks large, so that’s nice and while there are a lot of expansions, just the base game is a lot of fun.

55 – Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game
When BSG was redone, I watched a good chunk of it, before it started to feel like it was repeating itself and I gave up on it. Then apparently the last season was good, but I was out at that point and I haven’t gone back to it. In the show there are Cylons, some of them just look like robots, but some look like you and me and might not even realize that they are Cylons. The game takes this and makes it into a massive social deduction game where the humans are trying to find Earth, but there are Cylons on the ship and sleeper agent Cylons possibly. So they are trying to stop your giant ship, the Battlestar Galactica and the humans are trying to deduce who the Cylons are and get them off the ship prior to things going too poorly. This is a big game that offers some interesting choices, and unlike so many games with a traitor or social deduction aspect to it which are pretty fast, BSG takes a long time to get through. And you feel like what you are doing matters and you can start to figure out if someone might be a Cylon through what they choose to do. It’s really fun, but a hard game to get to the table all the time because of set-up and because of how long the game is. Also, it’s out of print and it isn’t cheap.

Image Source: Board Game Geek

54 – Cat Cafe
This is the first roll and write game on the list, and it’s one that I wanted to check out just because of the theme. Now, I will say, the theme doesn’t make a ton of sense when you think about it, you are basically creating your ideal set of cat towers to get the cats to come and visit you in a cat cafe, seems like that would already be set, but the game itself is a good time. In it you are trying to complete towers, which give you points. But you can also get points depending on what you’ve put on the towers. Maybe you have a lot of mouse shaped toys or food dishes, you decide. This decision is made based off of what dice are rolled. But, be careful that you can place the die, because the one you draft is either the item that you get or the level of the cat tree you put it on, and there is one die left over that determines the other part. If you aren’t careful, you might end up filling up only the middle of rows of trees. The game offers a good amount of luck and a good amount of strategy that makes it easy enough for most people to play. The dice in the game are terrible, but you can find thematic dice with cats on them if you want, like I did, and they are offering to replace dice at the conventions that they are at, which is good of them.

53 – Dice Forge
This game has an awesome toy factor to it, because you are building better dice. Everyone starts out with the same dice, that you roll on every turn, but as time goes by and you get money and gems, you use those to get better faces on your dice as well as cards that give you points. The game goes a number of rounds, and the person with the most points from card and other things wins. This game should play fast, but there are a lot of options, so analysis paralysis players, please realize you could slow down this game and try and play fast with it. The strategy in this game can be varied which is nice, because it could easily just come down only getting money or only getting gems. Both options can be very strong depending on the set of cards available. The game works well, and while it isn’t in my collection, I’ve considered it because it’s a nice mid weight game with a little bit of strategy through the options you have, but depending on what you roll and what you add to your dice can really help focus down your strategy onto a few things. This game looks cool and is definitely a lot of fun.

52 – Cry Havoc
An asymmetrical game where players take on different factions who want to get crystals on an alien planet. This game has some very interesting things going on with it. Some factions want to grow as many crystals are possible, many want to harvest them to get as many crystals or have more territories or many other things that will give them points. Cry Havoc is definitely an area control game with some interesting ways of getting points and how much area you need to control and be determined by your faction. One thing that is very unique about this game is the combat where you have three different areas, one for controlling the area, one is for taking prisoners, and one is for killing the enemy and you can split up your troops between that and then manipulate that. The combat will not be for everyone because of that combat, but I really enjoyed it, and I like how different every faction felt. The game has a bit of a lead in for teaching it because the factions are different, so learning how to play them all can take a bit of time, or getting good at them can do that. The game is also surprisingly fast, though, once you start playing. You want another round or two to really get everything working.

Image Source: Board Game Geek

51 – Ice Cool 2
No, 50 is not Ice Cool. Ice Cool 2 is just basically the same game as Ice Cool. In it, you are flicking penguins around a school. If you have the first, you don’t need this one, if you have this one, you don’t need the first. But the game is a lot of silly fun as one person is the hall monitor who is trying to catch penguins who are playing hooky from class because they got hungry and wanted a fish snack. This game offers so many great moments as you get an amazing shot or a shot that just misses or maybe you bounce through an extra door that you hadn’t planned on going through. The main reason that I even have Ice Cool 2 is that you can play 8 players when you combine both sets, so an eight player game is just crazy fun as you go around this massive board. Also, one last cool thing (I’ll talk more about it with Ice Cool as well), is that the box itself is the board, you have five different parts that all piece together that you can shoot your penguins around, banking them off the walls and through doors cut in the boxes. This is just so much fun.

Alright, there are the next 10 games on my list. It’s an interesting collection from massive games like Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game to a small roll and write to two games with real time in them to the biggest card game ever in Magic, and then you can flick penguins around. Hopefully there is something that looks cool, but I really enjoy all of these games, and after writing about them, I want to play them again. That’s one thing that this list keeps making me think, that I need to play more of these gain.

What is a game that stands out to you as a game that you want to play? Or is there one on the list that you already love?

Share questions, ideas for articles, or comments with us!

Email us at nerdologists@gmail.com
Message me directly on Twitter at @TheScando
Visit us on Facebook here.

Board Game Mechanics: Real Time

Board Game Mechanics: Real Time

Let’s get under the hood of some board games again and talk about board game mechanics. These are the things that make the board game go. This time we’re talking about Real Time games. Real Time games have been around for a little while, but 

TableTopTakes: Captain Sonar

TableTopTakes: Captain Sonar

Go down into the depths as you face off against another team to pilot your sub and get into position to take out your opponents. Captain Sonar is a fast moving real time team game where everyone takes roles on two submarines as they try 

Gaming in a Big Group – Part 3

Gaming in a Big Group – Part 3

I won’t promise that this the last part of the post because I thought that part 2 was going to wrap everything up, but I do think this will likely wrap it up. I mainly want to go outside of the party and social deduction games and look at some higher player count games. While those are two of the most common categories, I think there are other games ranging from very simple to a bit more complex that can work.

Tsuro
Image Credit: Amazon

Part 1

Part 2

Zombie Dice is one of the simplest games on the list, but it works well because you can be gaming while you are talking. There’s every little involvement by people in the game when it’s not your turn and that works out just fine. Even when it is your turn you don’t have to pay that much attention as you are just grabbing dice, rolling them, and then deciding when to stop and cash your brains in. It’s a simple die rolling game of push your luck where you are trying to be the first player to 13 or 15 or whatever number people pick, by collecting brains, because that’s what zombies do. But you got to be careful, because if you get shot three times,  you don’t cash any brains for the round. Once someone has passed the end game total, then everyone has one turn to try and beat them. It’s very much Farkle like, but simpler and less math.

Tsuro is another game that falls into the simple and fast games. You can plan out your turn in advance, but normally that’s a pretty simple process. Tsuro, the game of the path, is about staying on the board the longest and can play up to eight people. You play a tile in front of your pawn and move it each round and you can only use the tiles you have in your hand. It’s not a highly interactive game between players until later in the game when you have to put your pawns fate into someone else hands. A nice thing about this game too is that you have a limited number of tiles, so if you have two people or if you have eight people, the game is going to take basically the same length. Just with more people the game is more interactive earlier on in the game. It’s also a game where when you get knocked out, you know you aren’t going to be sitting there long. This can be an issue with some of the social deduction games that eliminate players.

Image Source: Gamewright

We Didn’t Playtest This At All! Legacy also falls into the category of very simple games. It’s a draw a card play a card game and be the last one standing. There are several versions of this game, but I prefer the legacy version. It adds to fun of the game which is extremely simple otherwise. We just got rid of our non-legacy version, so just We Didn’t Playtest This At All!, because it’s a little too simple.  However, I do think for some groups there is a good spot for this on their shelves. It’s a good game for when people are showing up, because a single game lasts only a few minutes before everyone is eliminated. It’s also a goofy game, so it’s a good ice breaking game as well for people to interact a little bit.

Sushi Go! Party falls into a different category of game with the card drafting mechanic and is a bit more complex. It also lasts longer than most of the others that I’ve mentioned in social deduction and in this post (the party games can last a long time if you want). As players you are drafting a card in three rounds, each round is a full hand of cards, and then passing the cards to the next person. It’s a fun game with a lot of variability in it if you have the party edition. I highly recommend that. It’s also a game that is a bit thinkier, and people can form strategies, but because the artwork is very cute, people who haven’t gotten all the strategy with a particular set of scoring food items will still enjoy it because of the artwork. It’s a game that is quite aesthetically pleasing, and for all the cards and options you get for the game, it’s quite cheap as well. This is the first game where I’d say there’s less luck involved with it than a lot of others.

Say Bye to the Villains is one of my favorite resent purchase games that I think works well on this list. It has a maximum of eight players and is a cooperative game. You play a group of samurai who all have their own powers trying to defeat a bunch of villains. You have ten days per character to get your samurai ready to fight. You can do this by increasing your stats, speed, health, and power, or by finding out information on the villains. It’s a very tricky game to win, I think in three games I haven’t won, though it’s been close a couple of times. But it’s cooperative, so even if one person finishes up their days sooner, they can still be part of the strategizing. This game plays as a puzzle but you never know if you’ve cracked it, because you don’t know if you have all the information that you need, which inevitably you won’t.

Magic Maze and Captain Sonar are two games that fall into the same category in some ways. They are both real time games that can handle a large number of players. I’m not sure what the max is for Magic Maze, but Captain Sonar can play eight, and I think Magic Maze is similar. In Magic Maze you, as a group, are trying to get an adventuring party through a mall and out after they have stolen the adventuring goods that they need. Yes, it’s actually that and actually that silly. Each player has a specific action or two that they can do which is moving the adventurer meeples (small wooden pieces representing the characters) on the board. So someone can only move them north, someone can only move them east, and so on. There is some overlap on things, but not that much. It’s a timed game and everyone is in there, trying to work together to get them on the gear and  then get them out.

Captain Sonar is also real time, though can be done turn by turn, where there are two teams out trying to sink the others submarine. The captains are barking out orders, the first mate is trying to keep the systems prepped and ready to go, the engineer is trying to keep systems in working order, and the radar operator is listening to the opposing teams captain trying to figure out where they are on the board. This game is stressful and hectic, as is Magic Maze, but a ton of fun. There’s some strategy that can be employed and there’s some luck that goes into it as well. There’s also an expansion for this game, but I don’t know what it adds.

Both of these games are a lot of fun as they get the blood pumping for people, however, because they are stressful for some people, you have to know your group. In the case of Captain Sonar, there is also fairly high lower bound limit as while the Captain and First Mates jobs can be combined, you are going to want to have at least six people to really get the full experience of the game without it becoming too confusing. There’s also the issue with these two games that they are a bit more complex than some of the others on the list. They have good themes for the games so good ways to explain what is going on without it seeming like too much, but be careful not to over explain it.

This isn’t a comprehensive list of all the games that you could play with larger groups and each group is going to have their own sweet spot for games. Try and branch out and try a number of these games and see what works the best for your group. With these games it also helps keep you from getting stale. And if you want to play something heavier, like I said before, split into smaller groups, but a lot of these games are great for kicking off a game night before jumping into heavier games, or closing down a game night as people slowly leave.

One game or type of game you’ll see that I left off of the list is Escape Room Games. While these games can technically have an infinite number of players, they say that six is the max. I would say that is a pretty good maximum otherwise people won’t be able to see the cards being played. Id’ recommend splitting into groups if you have more than six for games like Unlock and Exit.

What are some larger player count games that I haven’t mentioned that you enjoy?


Share questions, ideas for articles, or comments with us!

Email us at nerdologists@gmail.com
Follow us on Twitter at @NerdologistCast
Message me directly on Twitter at @TheScando
Visit us on Facebook here.