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Christmas Cheer Entertainment Games

2004 Board Games Gift Guide 489

The Morning News has come out with a nice guide to good gift boardgames, while Funagain Games has the list of the 2004 Board and Card Games of the Year (and the runners-up). Like a bowling ball with your name engraved upon it, these make great gifts for your significant other. Any other suggestions for good adult boardgames?
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2004 Board Games Gift Guide

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  • Do not pass "Go" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SIGALRM ( 784769 ) * on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @04:23PM (#11022908) Journal
    The last time you played a board game you got the Adam's apple caught in the funny-bone slot and then you couldn't pass GO or collect $200
    Speaking of Go []... now there's a fantastic game of strategy; one I've only recently discovered. The potential for complex and intricate maneuvering seem (like chess) to be limitless. I've heard there are Go masters who have played for fifty years and still consider themselves to be serious students of the game.

    Me: still a Go newbie but loving every minute of it.
    • by entrager ( 567758 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @04:29PM (#11023017)
      Want a headache? Look into the current state of "Go" in the computing world.

      It's amazing how simple the game is, yet the best computer programs in the world only play at an intermediate level at best.
      • Re:Do not pass "Go" (Score:3, Informative)

        by pcraven ( 191172 )
        My understanding is that "Go" has a huge branching factor. Chess has a fewer number of moves. And many of these are obviously poor choices. "Go" has a larger number of possible good moves. This makes it harder for the computer to 'look ahead' at the different possibilities.

        It has been a while since my AI class. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong here.
        • Re:Do not pass "Go" (Score:5, Informative)

          by entrager ( 567758 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @05:17PM (#11023750)
          You're both wrong and right...

          Before I go on, I have to point out that I only have a deep interest in AI, I haven't actually started my post-grad coursework in it yet (hopefully next year). So my information might not be 100% correct (I look forward to someone correcting/supplementing my post). I should also add that I play Go on occasion, but I suck at it...

          Go does have a very large branch factor, so brute-force techniques to playing well are nearly impossible (or take WAY too long to compute). Chess doesn't have a large amount of branching (relative to Go), so brute-force is actually somewhat effective. But the real problem comes when trying to actually write an AI that makes decisions instead of exhausting all possibilities.

          In Go, there is a very large amount of information to process. The relative strengths of each player in each position of the board, the aggressiveness of the other player, common move patterns, and of course the number of possible outcomes of an action. Simply put, Go is simply too complex to represent and analyze in a simple manner.

          It's my understanding that successful Go programs work by simply looking up common scenarios in a large database of pre-programmed moves, supplementing that with some basic neural network pattern recognition, and then narrowing down decisions with a brute force attack on a reduced set.
          • Re:Do not pass "Go" (Score:3, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            It's my understanding that successful Go programs work by simply looking up common scenarios in a large database of pre-programmed moves, supplementing that with some basic neural network pattern recognition, and then narrowing down decisions with a brute force attack on a reduced set.

            Um.. no.

            Computer Go is very much in its infancy, and pretty much all computer go programs operate by using hand-coded heuristics to suggest moves, and then doing lots of old-fashioned local search. While there are some p
          • by xenocide2 ( 231786 )
            It is indeed true that Go has a large space of possible board positions, and that it also has a huge number of possible moves for each player. But that alone doesn't make Go a difficult problem. The critical element is how one measures success.

            Most people measure the success of an AI by its comparability to humans, especially in games. It's important to note that not every AI researcher agrees; some feel that the state of the art is what matters more than material success. That aside, there is a game that
    • After playing Go for a bit, I found this book at a local game store The Second Book of Go []. I remember being pretty excited about it at the time--it seemed to be exactly the sort of "just past beginner" book that I needed.

      Shortly after studying it, most of the people I played Go with ended up leaving town for various reasons, so I haven't played much since and I bet I'm a pretty awful player at this point. Hopefully your mileage will vary.
  • Slashdot account (Score:2, Interesting)

    by fembots ( 753724 )
    Last year I signed up a Slashdot account for my better half, what a mistake! We've been fighting for the first to open door, switch on the TV and whatnot ever since.

    But seriously, how about a set of Mahjong [], it's something different and provides endless hours of fun. They now come in travel size that you can bring along in trips.

    And are there any ethnic-based board games that you can learn about other cultures (not Indians being shot at).
  • by bigtallmofo ( 695287 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @04:25PM (#11022937)
    Bart: B6! Homer: You sunk my Scrabble-ship! Lisa: This game makes no sense. Homer: Tell that to the good men that just lost their lives. SEMPER FI!
  • Trivial Pursuit []! Fun for all ages.

    You must have at least three different flavors in your collection to be classified a geek.
    • Unless you only know useful information?
    • I'm from Canada you insensitive clod! The American History category is crappy enough to make us take hours upon end to find one that's easy enough to answer :)
      • Re:Trivial Pursuit (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Lev13than ( 581686 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @04:35PM (#11023123) Homepage
        I'm from Canada you insensitive clod! The American History category is crappy enough to make us take hours upon end to find one that's easy enough to answer :)

        Ironically, Trivial Pursuit is a Canadian invention. Chris Haney worked as a photo editor at the Montreal Gazette, and Scott Abbott was a sports journalist for The Canadian Press. A good history of the game can be found here []
      • I'm from Canada you insensitive clod! The American History category is crappy enough to make us take hours upon end to find one that's easy enough to answer :)

        Most Americans would say the same thing.
    • Re:Trivial Pursuit (Score:3, Interesting)

      by eln ( 21727 )
      It used to be that you could buy one edition, then buy different card packs of other editions for cheaper than buying a whole game. My family used to have like 5 or 6 different card packs, and one board. Now, they don't seem to do that anymore, and 30 bucks a pop seems a little steep for different questions, and a bunch of pieces that are exact duplicates of the crap I already have (except with different pictures on the board).
    • by Pxtl ( 151020 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @04:35PM (#11023121) Homepage
      While the questions are excellent, the actual game in Trivial Pursuit is moronic. The board game is horribly chance-oriented "Oh, missed the pie. Missed it again. Missed it again."
    • Trivial Pursuit! Fun for all ages.

      Trivial Pursuit has been ruined. I played the Genus 6 edition a few months back and the game has been dumbed down considerably. If the question was on a president, the answer was Clinton. Every time. Geography has been replaced with People & Places and the entertainment questions often involved the likes of Marilyn Manson.

      I won the game pretty easily by just thinking of then-current (late 90s) pop crap most appropriate. And I am NOT talking about the 90s editi

  • Apples to Apples (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheAngryArmadillo ( 158896 ) * on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @04:25PM (#11022942)
    If you want a game everyone can enjoy, pick up Apples to Apples. It's easy and a game only lasts 30 minutes or so. A perfect party game length if you ask me. Whenever we get together with friends that's the first game to come out.
    • Yes, a very good game. They have a few expansion packs too. The secret to this game is knowing if the judge will go for the most accurate or the most funny.
    • Re:Apples to Apples (Score:4, Informative)

      by zx75 ( 304335 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @04:50PM (#11023368) Homepage
      Settlers of Catan! Quick to pick up, 30-45 minutes for a 4 player game (6 with the expansion tiles) great fun and addictive, no game is complete without loud good-natured badgering of your fellows and monty python quotes.

      Works best after a case or two when the phrase "Pressing wood into sheep" takes on whole new meanings.
  • by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @04:25PM (#11022944)
    > Like a bowling ball with your name engraved upon it, these make great gifts for your significant other. Any other suggestions for good adult boardgames?


    But for the love of God, put away the engraved bowling ball before you start. (Trust me on this.)

    • I used to play this a lot in college, but I don't have enough room in my refrigerator for all that Jell-O anymore.

      Or did you mean the kind you play with your clothes on?
    • Re:Adult Boardgames? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by gosand ( 234100 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @05:06PM (#11023608)
      But for the love of God, put away the engraved bowling ball before you start. (Trust me on this.)

      That would be the "goatse game". I think I'll pass.

      For our wedding, my wife and I registered for, and received, Rock'em Sock'em Robots, Operation, Connect Four, Mastermind, and a few other classic games. They are still fun. We are planning on having a party where you have different game stations, and everyone visits various stations. If you win, you stay at that station (and do a shot). If you lose, you have to go to a different station. (and probably do a shot) Games are much more fun when there is drinking involved.

  • What! No Risk? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <> on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @04:26PM (#11022973) Journal
    Risk isn't there? Heathen SOBs :-)
    • Re:What! No Risk? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jellomizer ( 103300 ) *
      Risk can be a very long game especially when you get people like myself even if I going to loose I will hold on to the last guy because who knows I might get lucky. A couple of times I did. My last little Guy held off an army of 80. After they saw that they gave up figuring that God was on my side. (that and it was late and they wanted to go to bed.)
  • by Zorilla ( 791636 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @04:26PM (#11022974)
    Bart: B6!
    Homer: You sunk my Scrabble-ship!
    Lisa: This game makes no sense.
    Homer: Tell that to the good men that just lost their lives.
    • I was reminded of the classic Simpsons episode [] referred to by the original poster:

      Bowler: Your fingers are so slender, so feminine. They're far too tapered for the ball you are using. You need something lighter, more delicate. Here, use my ball.
      Marge: No, no thank you Mister... [looking at his bowling ball] Brunswick.

      (For those who don't bowl, "Brunswick" is the manufacturer of the bowling ball.)
  • Heroscape (Score:4, Informative)

    by Shadow Wrought ( 586631 ) <shadow,wrought&gmail,com> on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @04:26PM (#11022976) Homepage Journal
    Missing from the list, but a really fun game, is Heroscape [] It is a good blend of luck and strategy and can be played by various levels of expertise. I played it with the kids and they loved it. They actually turned OFF Halo 2 to play!
  • Any other suggestions for good adult boardgames?

    Twister? (with some modifications, of course)
  • Settlers of Catan! (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheVoice900 ( 467327 ) <> on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @04:27PM (#11022994)
    Discovered this one over the summer and played with some friends online. Would love an actual board game version. Great strategy game, especially since you're forced to barter with other players to succeed, there's lots of strategy involved. 13 []
    • You know, for some reasion I really just don't like Settlers. Love carcassone, Puerto Rico, Torres but can't stand that one. I really don't know why either.

      Check out my current latest JE for a good online site for playing board games.
    • Very modifiable, hackable, and completey different each time you play. You can make up your own rules, like only moving the robber a certain number of spaces, or using other players' ports. Try mixing the land tiles in with the water for extra randomness.

      And the Cities And Knights expansion for the true hardcore player is a great gift. Of course, the true hardcore player probably already has this. And the Seafarers. Plus the 5-6 player expansions for all 3...
    • Settlers is a great game; I've converted most of our circle of friends to it and we've played about 10 matches total (most with the 5-6 player expansion). Almost all of the games have been balanced and tight until the very end.

      There's a java version with AI bots at []. Although sometimes the servers get clogged and you cannot get on, there's also a mirror linked at that site.

  • Would be nice except the questions get pretty old after only a couple of times of playing.
    • We've started playing the older versions where we give the player is given the answer and has to come up with the question. That makes things more interesting for the questions we already know. For example if I gave "Warren Beatty", the correct answer would be something along the lines of "The Carly Simon song 'You're so Vain' is based on what Hollywood actor?"
  • by StupidEngineer ( 102134 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @04:29PM (#11023023)
    My suggestion is Betrayal at House on the Hill [] from WotC. My friends went to GenCon in Anaheim last weekend and picked up the last copy they had. (It was selling like hot cakes). I can see why. The board changes every game giving players get that haunted house feeling. But the coolest part is that the game objectives aren't revealed until midway through the game (about 50 different game objectives, all unknown) when one of the players becomes the 'traitor' and plays against everyone else. It's fun.
  • Lord of the Rings (Score:5, Informative)

    by th1ckasabr1ck ( 752151 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @04:30PM (#11023025)
    The Lord of the Rings board game [] that came out a while back was fairly decent. I played it with four players and it was very fun. Everyone plays as one of five Hobbits, and your goal (of course) is to throw the ring into Mt. Doom. It's a cooperative game that is actually fun. You all have to work together and actually play as a team, often giving up some of your valuable swag for the good of the team. There is a secondary board which shows how close Sauron is to you. When certain things happen in the game he moves a bit closer. If he touches you it's lights out.

    Graphically, the game is gorgeous. The boards, cards, etc. are all extremely well done.

    • Re:Lord of the Rings (Score:3, Informative)

      by chialea ( 8009 )
      I have to agree, it's a very good game. Then again, I'm a real fan of Kniza's games (the designer). Like most of his games, I found this one to have a small number of rules which seem rather strange when you're reading them, but which make perfect sense when you start to play.

      Other Kniza games I'd reccomend:
      * Through the Desert (think multiplayer Go, but this may be quite hard to find, as I don't believe it's been reprinted yet)
      * Samurai
      * Schotten Totten/Battle Line (two player card games, and quite portab
  • by 93,000 ( 150453 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @04:30PM (#11023028)

    Past winners of the Mensa Select seal can be browsed by year here []. Have some fun while exercising your brain.

    Previous winners include Taboo and Magic-The Gathering.

  • Balderdash (Score:3, Informative)

    by willith ( 218835 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @04:30PM (#11023034) Homepage
    Balderdash. Balderdash is perhaps the greatest board game ever created. It's provided more hilarity and riot to my friends and I than anything else I've ever encountered.

    Without Balderdash, I never would have known that vagitis means "what my wife is going to do to me when I get home" and that a shittah is "a ghetto toilet".
    • "Balderdash. Balderdash is perhaps the greatest board game ever created. It's provided more hilarity and riot to my friends and I than anything else I've ever encountered."

      I've gotta agree with this one. I've found that it needs at least 6 people to be fun, but some of my happiest family moments have been around the balderdash board. (We usually play it with extended family visiting, thus giving us a goodly number of players.)

  • by Boone^ ( 151057 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @04:31PM (#11023062)
    It's like Risk, but targeted for adults and mature teenagers. You still vie for control of Europe, but there's no dice, you have to sign secret (or not so secret) pacts with your opponents, and there's no battles. Moving into an unoccupied territory makes it yours, but if the territory has a supply depot you could increase your armies (and decrease the armies of the opponent who was just on that square). During the moving phase if 2 armies attempt to occupy the same land they bounce. I could go on and on. Oh, and reserve 4-5 hours to complete a game. diplomacy+board+game&btnG=Search []

    • I just played "Attack!" the other day for the first time, with a friend who -- like me -- finds Risk too easy and Axis and Allies too tedious. I like the game and think we'll enjoy playing it more. The combat rules are a bit like Axis and Allies, but the rules for conducting turns are more open and flexible, placing and moving units requires less planning ahead, and naval control is much simplified. So the game goes a lot faster. The object is global conquest, and it's more pure-strategy like Risk in that y
      • Just want to drop another vote for Attack!. It's a lot of fun even for folks who haven't played any battle strategy board game before. The rules were pretty easy once we walked through a couple turns step by step.
    • by kscguru ( 551278 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @04:44PM (#11023271)
      4-5 hours? My dorm's been playing the past four WEEKS!!!

      And the Evil Turkish Empire is about to learn what happens when he crosses both Russia and Austria every turn for two game years... we finally got him flanked!

    • Diplomacy requires at least 5 players to really work, though. With its large player requirement and long playtime is it quite difficult to actually get a game finished. Civilization (the board game) has a similar problem. Still, it is one of the best games ever.
    • favorite game that I refuse to play. I last played it 16 years ago. We played 1 turn per week. We never finished the game, but after all the back stabbing, I had trouble reconsiling with some of the people playing the game.

      My other big complaint with the game is that it takes too long to play.
  • I strongly suggest making a Go board. Take a piece of wood 20' by 20' and draw 19x19 lines on it. Add whatever personalizing touched you want to it and lacquer the sucker. I did this in a weekend and the board is absolutely wonderful.

    Then go to Wal-Mart or some other bargain store and get in 200 of each color glass drops. They make great stones until you can afford a real set. Plastic stones are available online for $20 or so. Real shell Go stones will reach into the $200 range.

    Google, of course, has more
  • Settlers of Catan (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BobBoyken ( 572211 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @04:35PM (#11023128)
    ...continues to satisfy. Even after several years, the original remains the best. I have the 5/6 player expansion and the gameplay is good, but the original version, played with exactly four people provides the most consistently fun and even gameplay of any game I have ever played. I like the fact that we can complete a game in an hour or so, but my favorite "feature" is that the games are almost always extremely close, so everyone feels like they have a chance to win.
  • by linzeal ( 197905 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @04:37PM (#11023146) Homepage Journal
    I live in a house with 2 other college juniors and we are constantly entertaining with a fully stocked mame unit and board games but one still stands out as a way to get people to "loosen up". Twister [], and before you laugh I would estimate that at least half the time when we bring it out someone gets laid in the house.
  • Extensive list (Score:5, Informative)

    by gopher_hunt ( 574487 ) <> on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @04:37PM (#11023154) Homepage Journal ng=45#45 []

    Pretty much lists everything you won't find at a local wal-mart.
  • Spycraft CCG []. First CCG I've ever gotten into enough to build a deck that is semi-feared. There's even an agent for the hacker faction, Banshee Net, named Slashdot.

  • cheapass games (Score:5, Informative)

    by johnjay ( 230559 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @04:40PM (#11023195)
    None of the games mentioned are from the eponymous Cheap Ass Games [] company. I just found out about this company a few weeks ago, when I was looking for cheap ass Christmas presents. I can't vouch for their products but they seem like a good deal for 2 reasons.
    a) The games sound like fun. Sure, who's going to advertise their games as totally boring and stupid? No one. But, Kill Doctor Lucky [] and Deadwood [] to name two I remember, have funny concepts and sound interesting to play.
    b) They are CHEAP. And, seeing as to how most board games I've owned have been played about 3 times, max, the money spent seems much closer to the value derived than the $50 it costs for a lavishly wood-crafted board game.

    Again, I don't know much about the product so don't come crying to me if they suck, but I'm probably going to risk a few bucks on them this year.
    • I missed your comment - I'm a huge fan of Cheapass games - they got the attitude and the sense of fun down. Kill Doctor Lucky is pretty good - a spin on Clue where you have to commit the murder rather than solve it - I put some other recommendations in my comment below.

      at like, $4 a pop, you can afford to get some duds too, not that I've found any.
    • Re:cheapass games (Score:3, Informative)

      by dvdeug ( 5033 )
      Those that I've played have been pretty good. Give Me the Brain is a nice cute game; I doubt anyone would play it regularly, like some people play spades or euchre, but it's good for a few plays. Agora is an interesting strategy game; it probably has more replay value that Give Me the Brain, but it doesn't have the party value of playing fast-food worker zombies who need the brain to finish their shifts.

      I love One False Step for Man... It's a 3-4 hour long board game that takes a lot of strategy, so I'd pl
  • I'm going to be buying 11.5g poker chips for some people who fancy themselves afficianados and watch World Poker Tour and the World Series of Poker.
  • Fluxx (Score:5, Informative)

    by Shadow Wrought ( 586631 ) <shadow,wrought&gmail,com> on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @04:40PM (#11023208) Homepage Journal
    Another great game is Fluxx []. If you have not heard about it, its a card game in which the rules are constantly changing. I've played rounds that last close to an hour, and some that lasted less than two minutes.

    In the latter category was in which the player who won, wasn't even there! I played a card which basically caused everyone to play all the cards in their hand. One of the guys got up to answer the phone right before it became his turn. We played for him (since he had to play everything anyway;-) and the *&$*#&*&#*($&%**#&$^%*@&$ won.

  • Mindtrap (Score:5, Interesting)

    by echocharlie ( 715022 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @04:40PM (#11023213) Homepage
    I'm partial to Mind Trap []. It's like Trivial Pursuit with Riddles. Here's a sample question:

    A black dog stands in the middle of an intersection in a town painted black. None of the street lights are working due to a power failure caused by a local storm. A car with two broken headlights drives towards the dog but turns in time to avoid hitting him. How could the driver have seen the dog in time?

  • Some of my favorites are Goa, Puerto Rico, Bang!, Bohnanza, Acquire, and so many more.

    Check out as that is where I buy most of mine -- usually each game is about $1 more, but they usually ship same-day and shipping costs are very reasonable.
  • by RobotRunAmok ( 595286 ) * on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @04:41PM (#11023215)
    Classic Battletech. []

    Okay, so technically, it's not so much a boardgame as it is a religion and a Way of Life, but is there any geekier reason to throw dice and push things about a tabletop?
  • Scrabble cards are an excellent substitute for the board game and are actually just as fun in thier own way.

    Find out more about them here :-
  • Be a Cheapass... (Score:5, Informative)

    by rilister ( 316428 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @04:41PM (#11023228)
    my favorite find of the last few years has been Cheapass Games: []

    All their games are imaginative, fun and, best of all, cost next to f-all. It's refreshing to see someone trying to be fresh about game styles.

    Personal favorites:
    Unexploded Cow - a poker-style game involving incinerating BSE infected cattle in French minefields...

    The Great Brain Robbery - Get your Zombie out of the runaway train by stealing brains with special abilities.

    Bitin Off Hedz - even works for kids - a standard-ish board game where dinosaurs race to extinction.

    They're so cheap you can afford to take a risk anyway.
  • Settlers of Catan (Score:3, Informative)

    by JavaSavant ( 579820 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @04:42PM (#11023237) Homepage
    Probably already mentioned, but Settlers of Catan oc.html [](as well as many of it's expansion sets) never seem to get old, particularly "Cities and Knights"
  • Aspiring grognards may be interested in the Advanced Squad Leader Starter Kit [] from Multiman Publishing. MMP has run out of it's first production run, though, but will be doing another run soon.

    Yes, Squad Leader is still alive and kicking, and this is a very good way to learn it w/o reading the entire Big Damned Binder O' ASL Rules or taking a semester course in ASL.

  • No Nuke War []?
    No Illuminati []?
    No Hackers []?

    I pronounce you all BLASPHEMERS and revoke your geek status, ALL OF YOU!

    And after all, who can forget doing combinations?

    "OK, I'll see your Bavarian Gnomes, and I'll sic Skippy on your servers at No Such Agency!"
  • while some are not really board games (rather being card games), if you are into playing board games, you should try these [].

    These games are generally fast, fun and require more strategy than is readily apparent from the shipping package. I highly recommend Kill Dr. Lucky. It's fun. You are a guy who hates Dr. Lucky (a rich philanthropist), and you want to kill him while at his mansion for a dinner party. Only thing is, everyone else wants to kill him too, but you don't realize that. So you have to get h
  • by biglig2 ( 89374 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @04:48PM (#11023344) Homepage Journal
    ... Mornington Crescent! 29 5/qid=1102452478/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl/026-2652614 -5252413
  • by Anonymous Coward
    1000 Blank White Cards [] is the Best game of all time!

    The game is totally self-adjusting to the playing environment, creative, fun and good for all kinds of times.

    Plus it's the best game ever invented for getting women naked and doing nasty things!

    -posted anonymously to protect the identities of women ive gotten naked-
  • by AltGrendel ( 175092 ) <ag-slashdot.exit0@us> on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @04:53PM (#11023411) Homepage
    Mille Bornes [].

    It's a great game and you never get the same play out of a round twice.

  • My favorites (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Komi ( 89040 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @04:53PM (#11023418) Homepage
    I'm an avid board game player. I love to play games with big groups, and I love one's with just my wife.

    Here's a list of games that I play a lot (in order that I think of them):

    • Settlers of Cataan (and Seafarers expansino)
    • Carcassonne (and many expansions)
    • Game of Thrones (with Clash of Kings Expansion)
    • Risk: Godstorm
    • Ticket to Ride (great for people new to gaming)
    • Bang (great for large groups of 6-8)
    • St. Petersburg
    • Diplomacy (can cause you to hate your friends!)
    Here's a few games that are good for 2 players:
    • Carcassonne
    • Knightmare Chess (1 and 2)
    • Settlers of Cataan: Card Game (with expansions)
    • St. Petersburg
    • Ticket to Ride
    • Balloon Cup
    • Battle Cry


  • Cashflow 101 (Score:2, Informative)

    by hojo ( 94118 )
    For those of you who enjoyed/enjoy Monopoly or other financial-type games, give this one a look: Cashflow []. My wife and I have loved playing it. It's expensive, but you can consider it to be an education in a box. It can carry some real-world lessons on finances.

    We got ours through eBay, not the link I provided, and it was cheaper. It was this game that got us started in real investing, not just 401(k) stuff.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    This weekly updated (as needed) list of the top 100 games (countless more in the full list) complete with total votes and standard deviation scores :

    voted on by thousands of board gamers!

    bookmark it.

    All your favorite baord games are in it (sometimes under german original release spelings)

    Most of my favorites still in publication made it to the top 100 in THAT LIST.

    I'd compare it fully to the other list in the news link but it was slashdotted instantly. Please avoid sl
  • I've been buying Cheapass Games [] lately, and I've been very pleased with them. They're cheap (duh), they put original game mechanics ahead of fancy packaging or gimmicks, and they incorporate a healthy amount of humor.
  • by Grabble ( 91256 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @05:07PM (#11023612)
    Puero Rico is the #1 ranked game on []. That's why I bought it.

    Then, I discovered why. Every person that I've introduced Puerto Rico to gets hooked. Here's a list of reasons why I'm a fanboy about it...

    --) No waiting: When other people take their turns, all players must make decisions.

    --) Creepily well-balanced. There is no (to my knowledge) "power move" or "race for a certain card" that lames out the game.

    --) Incredible replayability: each time you play is different

    --) Minimized randomness: Randomness exists in only a SINGLE aspect of the game. Everything is else is based on seating and "what are my opponents likely to do".

    --) Fast games: You can play it three times in an evening. Crucial.
  • Zillions of Games (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SeanDuggan ( 732224 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @05:09PM (#11023649) Homepage Journal
    Yes, I know that, as a computer game, it's strictly not a board game, but Zillions of Games [] is one of the best generic board game simulators available on the computer, at least for discrete non-math-based, non-card-based games. About 30 games and their variants are included with the default installation and users can modify these files or create their own to create new games. The best part of it is that ZoG has an AI such that you can input the rules of a game and the computer can generally play competently enough to beat you a large amount of the time by brute force. This is an especially excellent program for people who are fond of chess variants [] and want to see how an invented variant might play out. It allowed me to implement a chess variant I wrote in middle school []. ^_^ And showed me that the variant was hideously unbalanced, but that's another matter entirely...
  • Munchkin! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Masker ( 25119 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @05:23PM (#11023877)
    Munchkin [] is a great tongue-in-cheek board game for the RPGer in your social circle or family. It's a card game (not CCG) with quite a lot of expansion packs. Basically, you try to clear a dungeon & if a friend gets in the way or is going to win first, you screw them over.

    Very fun, quick game.
  • Days of Wonder (Score:4, Informative)

    by Obiwan Kenobi ( 32807 ) <evan@misteroBALD ... com minus author> on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @05:31PM (#11023981) Homepage
    Days of Wonder [] just produce some amazing stuff, including the heralded Memoir '44, which was recently released, along with a bunch of others that me and my wife can't get enough of.

    Mystery of the Abbey is like a thinking man's/geek's version of Clue. Instead of that boring ole rag of a board game, you get an intricate and well designed whodunit that has strategy and tactics involved as to who finds out what and how to play the game to win. This is a favorite in our household and whenever we have a gettogether it's the first board game pulled out.

    Ticket to Ride is another Days of Wonder production, designed by a frenchman I believe, who ironically created a game about US train lines around the early 1900's. You have a set # of trains and must build them in tandem across the country. You must connect certain cities according to your "tickets" you recieve at the beginning of the game, always giving you a goal and with multiple paths to each city there is strategy involved as far as how you connect them and by what color (each route is defined by color). It gets more in-depth and is very fun/interesting and fast paced to boot. The younger kids in the family really like this one as its color-based, easily followed, and easy to learn.

    As far as other games, we love card games. Bang! [] is hands down the best multi-player card game I've ever played. Take that as you may, but I've played my share and it is awesome stuff. When a friend/family memeber asks us what we want to play, it's always Bang! Great mechanics, interesting roles to play, fun and funny to boot. There are some expansions to it (about a dozen cards each) to throw some variety to the game, but we've not needed those just yet. This is an absolute must-buy.

    Queen's Necklace is another Days of Wonder production and is very cool. I know, a guy saying that playing a card game based on jewelry is cool, but it's a blast and is still fun with just 2 players (me and my wife play it occassionally). Easy to learn, hard to master, plenty of strategy and lots of enjoyment to be had.

    Lastly I'll mention that Cheap Ass Games [] is a treasure trove of goodness, particularly Kill Dr. Lucky. This is a game that happens -before- Clue. Instead of figuring out who died and how, you actually get to kill that person! Of course, he's the luckiest guy ever, so it takes awhile and each person chases the good Doc around the mansion in an attempt to finally kill him in a variety of ways.

    I think my favorite "Foiled!" card that showed up as I tried to Kill Dr. Lucky said something like "And felt not so fresh."

    Hilarious, fun, and cheap!

    Hope this helps :)
  • Carcassonne (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kraegar ( 565221 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @05:40PM (#11024105)
    The first game I've played that I enjoy more then the Settlers of Catan. (Both Settlers and Carcassonne are incredibly fun, go get them now if you've never played it)
  • The Dot (Box) Game (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dman123 ( 115218 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @06:59PM (#11025392) Journal
    So this isn't an actual board game unless you count a piece of paper as a board. At least it is free.

    Take a large piece of paper and make a grid of dots that leaves enough room for a single legible letter inside the confines of each square (3/8" x 3/8"?). Make sure the paper is at least 20" x 30" to get enough of a grid. There is only a minor peanalty for trying to use equivalent metric units.

    Everyone knows how to play this one, right? Connect two vertically or horizontally adjacent dots and write in your initial if you happen to complete a 1 x 1 square. Repeat until you cannot complete a square with just one line. The winner is the one with the most initialed squares when the grid is 100% filled in with squares.

    The game works best when you see your opponent almost every day for just a few minutes at a time. Perfect for killing time in between (or during) school classes.

    Reid Strand, if you are out there, I demand a rematch from our game in Ms. Moran's french class!
  • by Bifurcati ( 699683 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @09:29PM (#11027204) Homepage
    A fabulous game is Scruples [] (or "A Question of Scruples" formally.) It poses moral dilemmas such as
    You scrape a car on the way out of the carpark. No-one sees you. Do you leave a note?
    A magazine offers you $10,000 for a nude photo you have of your ex-lover. Do you accept?
    You have to ask these questions of your friends, and predict what they would do. You can also challenge them if you think they're bluffing, and argue your case to the rest of the players who must decide who they believe. (We actually play it where everyone tells the truth; we find it makes for more interesting after dinner conversations.) The Millenium edition is great, or you can pick up older editions on Ebay for very little (most questions still fine, although occasionally one is a little outdated.)

    "Psychologzier" is another game in a similar vein, and is great fun too, but is out of print. You can still pick it up on Ebay every couple of weeks or so, though. Well worth it! Oh, and "ImagineIff" is great too. (Even if my mathematician friends call it "Imagine if and only if"...)

    Articulate [] is another fabulous game, a sort of verbal Pictionary somewhat akin to Taboo and is absolutely hilarious. Great fun!

    Finally, you should try Killer Bunnies []. Hilarious when you've got a group of friends, and the designers have put a lot of work into making this quirky game fun. Lots of expansion packs, too!

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson