Tannhauser
Table Top

What Are Grail Board Games

This might seem confusing to start. There is a company out there called Grail Games, I have a game of theirs, Criss Cross, and I might have more, I don’t remember for sure. But I’m not talking about that game company. What we’re talking about today are those board games that might be hard to find and are out of print, possibly, or not distributed in the country you live in.

What Are Grail Games?

I kind of talk about that already in the first paragraph, but let’s dive into the concept more so. A grail game is a game that is out of print, or hard to find for some reason. It is also a game that you really want to get your hands on. Why you want it so badly could be a number of reasons. For some people, the game just sounds fun, so they really want it, or it might be one that they played growing up, so they want to own it because of that. But for whatever reason, it’s a game that the person really wants and is very hard to find.

So How Do You Find Them?

Now, this completely depends on how quickly the person wants to get a grail game. For me, I have a few games that I’d consider grail games. I’ll talk about them shortly. But I won’t go out of my way to get them. For a lot of people, they want to get them faster, so they will go on ebay or other sites, Board Game Geek has a market place that often has most games for sale, and they will buy them or bid on them at those locations. That’s going to be a great way to focus on buying what they want.

I, on the other hand, am waiting for them to come to me for lack of a better term. One that was previously a grail game for me was Tannhauser which I talked about in the Point of Order article yesterday. I found that one at a used book store. I have some other games that I’m keeping an eye out for at my FLGS, All Systems Go!, to see if they ever show up used, or I’m keeping an eye for a local seller who is selling it on Facebook Marketplace via the board game selling group there. If it pops up, I will get some of my grail games.

What Are Some Of My Grail Games?

Battlestar Galactica
Battlestar Glactica
Image Source: Fantasy Flight

Let’s start with a big game. It oddly enough is in a genre of games, or around one, that I don’t love too much. It often gets lumped in with social deduction games, though this is closer to a Dead of Winter than something like The Resistance. Battlestar Galactica was a big game put out by Fantasy Flight Games, you are trying to get to Earth, but there are Cylons aboard your ship and chasing you who are going to try and stop you. The game always has that one goal, but you are dealing with issues that come up and adding things to help secretly. This game definitely blends both being a board game and a social deduction game, but gives you a little more to go on, and gives you a lot of game to play. However, it’s been out of print for quite a while without any indication that it’ll come back into print. Battlestar Galactica is a grail game for a lot of people as well, which makes it hard to find without paying a lot for it.

Solomon Kane

Now, this game is a newer game. But I failed to mention one way a board game can end up being a grail game. And that is if it’s a Kickstarter game. There are often games that are Kickstarter exclusives because they would be too big to go to retail, or the retail version will have less. Solomon Kane by Mythic Games is one that I am bummed I missed on Kickstarter. It seems to have a really unique concept to it. In the game you are controlling, kind of, Solomon Kane as he goes on adventures and deals with mysteries and monsters. It’s a campaign based, or at least story based game. I love that type of game, but you are only kind of controlling him, you play different virtues. You are prudence, courage, temperance, and justice, and using those things, you control where he goes and what he does. I like that it gives all the players at the table a communal character that they control. That is a unique concept that I haven’t seen before. However, this one is just fulfilling now or will be shortly, and it costs $200 for just the base game, and bundles are being sold for $500 or more on Ebay, so it’s a grail game that I’ll be waiting on and hoping for a second Kickstarter for.

Mechs vs Minions

Mechs vs Minions might be the easiest of these games to find. Originally put out by the same company that has been extremely successful with the video game League of Legends, this game comes with a ton of stuff. They sold it at a reasonable price point and it came with more minis than a lot of spendier games do on Kickstarter. The programming aspect of this game, creating basically a plan of what your characters are going to do was an interesting idea as well. Now we have more programming games, and there were even a few back then, Robo Rally, but Mechs vs Minions put it into a really big box. It’s one of those games that to play it, I know that I’ll have to buy it, because right now I don’t know anyone who has the game. But I want to give it a whirl and program my way through scenarios and play the campaign that they created for the game.

That’s what a grail game is and what my grail games are. What board games would you consider a grail game that you really want to get into your collection? Is there any overlap with mine?

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