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PhiNotPi's avatar

If I were to improve my board game collection, which board games would I add?

Asked by PhiNotPi (12647points) June 20th, 2014

Over the past year or so, I’ve taken up a greater interest in board games. I don’t own much of a collection of games, however, as I play with my friends using their copies of games.

I want to find board games that are more in-depth than the “mass-market” games (Monopoly, Clue, etc.) but that are still appealing to a wider audience.

In terms of game complexity/depth, the most complicated game I’ve ever played is Twilight Imperium III, which is pretty massive. My family sticks to games such as Clue or Trivial Pursuit.

What board games would you recommend?

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38 Answers

janbb's avatar

I’ve never played “Risk” but I’ve heard it is very involving.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Axis and Allies is good if you like that sort of thing. Talisman is another good one if you are into that type of thing. I also really enjoy Carcassonne, though it is not an actual “board game”.

tedibear's avatar

Pandemic would be a good start. If you want card games, any of the versions of Gloom and Fluxx are fun.

CWMcCall's avatar

Trouble was always fun to play, so is Chutes and Ladders, Clue and Sorry. It’s not a board game but Apples to Apples is a family favorite to play. Risk is a classic board game if you have a few spare hours to play.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Seaofclouds I came here to recommend Axis and Allies as well. It’s like Risk on steroids :P

cazzie's avatar

Ticket to Ride has been a huge favourite in our house. I have fun with Smallworld as well, but it doesn’t play well for a group of three or smaller. It really wants a minimum of 4 players for the dynamics to work right. We taught Awele to our youngest when he was really little and that kept him happy and interacting with us and it still does. His father brought it home from a trip to Africa.

If you want good reviews and demonstrations of table top games, have a look at a You Tube channel produced by Felicia Day and the show is hosted by Wil Wheaton, (of the Wesley Crusher, Star Trek Nex Gen fame.)

wildpotato's avatar

Robo Rally – discontinued but still available used
Settlers of Catan

My favorite version of Risk is Castle Risk because you can make the game go faster if you wish, plus it adds another layer of complexity – but it’s a hard version to find, last I checked.

Berserker's avatar

Not actually a board game but… Cards Against Humanity is awesome. You can play it online, or get a physical copy of the cards. It’s a great party game to play while your friends are over.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Settlers of Catan
Cards Against Humanity
Ticket to Ride
Apples to Apples
Pandemic (a cooperative board game – you all try to win together)
You would probably also enjoy Pente and Backgammon (2-player games)

El_Cadejo's avatar

Speaking of Risk, my friends and I started playing Risk with some different rules that really add a lot to the game IMO. Instead of it going in turns like normal A,B,C,D we all write down what we plan to do on our turn on a piece of paper and all reveal at once. An army can only attack 1 nation per turn as well. This eliminates one player just sweeping right across Europe in a single turn and makes it a bit more realistic. The defender now has time to move troops into place over several turns. I’ve also found playing this way, backstabbing happens a lot more often and in a much more devious manner. I like that :P

Seek's avatar

Nine Men’s Morris has caused more than its fair share of barfights over the last thousand years or so.'s_Morris

Terribly easy to set up. I’m thinking about wood-burning a few boards to keep about. Maybe put a Hnefatafl board on the other side.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

You need to get the game Go. It is over 3000 years old. I have a couple one is from the 1950’s.

dappled_leaves's avatar

If you like cooperative board games, Red November is also fun.

gailcalled's avatar

This is the beautiful new board game, Primo, just invented by Ben’s brother Dan and his wife, using the premise of prime numbers. They have raised triple the amount they planned to on kickstarter and are getting really good press in the math and IT world. (I am the aunt but am getting no kickbacks.)

LuckyGuy's avatar


keobooks's avatar

A great website that can help you decide which games are right for you is BoardGameGeek Just about every game ever made is in their database and ranked by players from around the world.

How many people do I generally play with? If you just play with your spouse most of the time, many great games will not get played very often, Many games technically can be played as two player, but much of their strategy is gone when you do this. There are, however lots of games specifically made for two players that give plenty of challenge.

Great 2 player games

Do you host or attend a lot of parties? If so, you need lighthearted quick paced games that can accommodate a lot of people and be fun for a variety of skill levels and interests.

Great Party Games

There are other questions to ask yourself. What sort of themes interest you? You can get hundreds of board games with themes—futuristic space travel, fantasy and history are just a few. Or you may be more interested in abstract games with no theme but are all strategy like chess or go. Do you want more “serious” games or do you want lighthearted fun games? Are you super competitive or want more cooperative games?

I think games are like books. What one person may like, another may hate. It really depends on your playing setup, style and personal interests.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Oh, and I can’t believe I forgot to mention Quelf. It’s insane.

Blondesjon's avatar

Backgammon and cribbage (technically a board game) are a couple of classics.

dxs's avatar

I love board games!
I don’t know if all of these count as “board games”, but here are some that I like:
Boggle (Favorite)
Word Thief is a less-popular word game that uses cards.

wildpotato's avatar

@Blondesjon Good call – it’s funny I forgot to mention backgammon, given that I devote about an hour every day to it. PM me if you play online; I always love a challenge.

@PhiNotPi You might really like backgammon. It is far more complex that it appears at first, and involves a lot of math to play well. The player with the better grasp of the game’s probabilities and sureties has the advantage. If you’re interested, I highly recommend that you first check out Chris Bray’s excellent text Backgammon for Blood for a great overview of game strategy. As for the AIs, I use gnubg but snowie is also good.

jerv's avatar

I enjoy map-based strategy games technically fall under the heading “Board game”, like BattleTech. My all-time favorite is Car Wars, though that’s been out of print for ~20 years. (I still have my old mapsheets and books, and a surprising number of people still play.)

But sometimes I want something a little less militaristic. That is where Chez Geek, Hacker, and Illuminati come in. All fun, all have a bit of depth (something Munckin lacks), and all are different enough from mainstream to be intriguing.

And yes, I am a fan of Steve Jackson Games :p

talljasperman's avatar

Blood bowl. A dungeons and dragons football game.

filmfann's avatar

I love Monopoly, but my friends loved Rail Barons and Risk.

talljasperman's avatar

Dungeons and Dragons counts as a board game. It is just a bit more complex on the rules.

flutherother's avatar

My grandfather had a Halma set which I used to like but I don’t think anyone plays it anymore.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Chess. The only board game one needs.

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longgone's avatar

^ Link doesn’t work.

longgone's avatar

Settlers of Catan, definitely. Also, if you’d like a fun game, Cranium or Quelf. Wizzard, a card game, is good as well.

@gailcalled Thanks!

jerv's avatar

@talljasperman Dungeons and Dragons barely qualifies as a game. If you want to go that route, try a system that has actual rules, like Shadowrun, or GURPS.

Berserker's avatar

@jerv I’ve been checking out all the GURPS stuff since that time you linked me to it, I do have to say that D&D pales in comparison to what I’m pretty sure you can do with GURPS. and you told me that 4th edition is even worse than 3 hahaha

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