Monopoly, Cluedo, Risk.
All games that we have played in our past at one time or another around the family table or with friends. Now you’re all grown up and a hobbyist, you’ve noticed a group of people at your local hobby shop all sat down around a board game and the hairs on the back of your neck stand up as you feel all those fuzzy warm memories of board games of times past.
Gaming has evolved over the last 15 years and like war games and card games, times change and new products hit the shelves each and every year. But I digress, you’ve decided to read this article because you’re interested in joining that group of board gamers, you want to play some of the more “mainstream” board games that are currently being played by the board game crowd. So sit back, relax, and let me take you through what are currently considered to be, by most, the top 5 board games.
Set in a dystopian future filled with bio-tech, androids and megalomaniacal corporations all plotting for superiority in a world where money means everything, Netrunner is a two player LCG that plays in a very unique way to any other card game you’ve seen. ‘LCG?’ I hear you ask. Well a LCG is a Living Card Game, and it is the most amazing thing to be thought up for the card game community. Unlike blind booster card games like Magic the Gathering where you never know what you’re going to get, an LCG releases “chapter packs” which will always include the same cards. This ensures no card, no matter how powerful, will be harder to get than any other. The game itself focuses on two players where one player is the corporation player and the other players the runner. The idea of the runner’s game is to steal cards to score seven points and win the game. The corporation’s method of victory is to score seven points of kill the runner. The game is deep and enjoyable with a real tactical insight into the moves you need to make to ensure victory and not fall into the traps of the other player.
4) Puerto Rico
What people consider to be the defining euro game that set in motion the movement of the same name in the board game world. Puerto Rico is a role selection game that involves the purchase and working of farm land and the running of a thriving city all at the same time. A worker placement game that is deep and tactical with many different strategies that keep the game fresh with a high replay factor. The main aim of the game is to create resources with your farmland which you then sell to the many ships coming to port. You then use those funds to create buildings in your city and score victory points. As with most, if not all, euro games, after a set number of turns, the player with the most victory points will be declared the winner. This is a long running game that has been on the shelves for a long time and will always be a stalwart choice for new or veteran board gamers.
Through the ages has been a strong game since its introduction with a very interesting method of play that requires a strategic and calculating mind. The basic idea of the game is to create and run your own civilisation, helping it to grow and thrive through natural events of the world. This will test your endurance and reward your good work. While maintaining your civilisation you have to expand it, allowing you to grow which will further you along the track to victory. Does your empire require religion? Or should it take its time and make sure it has a foothold in philosophy first? Is it wise to make sure agriculture is attained early or can you afford to wait a few turns? These are the kinds of questions you will have to deal with when you are constructing your thriving civilisation.
A popular game mainly due to the interesting game pieces you get to use. The idea of this game is to create a farm, to grow produce, raise and sell animals and look after a family in the tough world of the farmyard empire. You buy pieces of fence and animals and create, on a small board, your own little farmstead. You grow your vegetables and you breed your animals, then sell them on to fund even more produce and even more animals, all while ensuring your crops don’t spoil and your animals don’t die or run away. Oh and to make things worse you have to keep your family alive so they can tend your land as well which isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Almost considered to be a war-game this game focuses on an almost risk style gaming experience where two players face off reliving the iconic cold war era. One player plays Russia while the other plays the U.S.A. With varying hands of cards, the idea of the game is to take control of areas of the globe in an attempt to ensure your influence in that part of the world keeping the area under your control. Cards are used to do everything from placing influence, attempting coups in opponents controlled areas, scoring and so on. With two different ways to win the game is both in- depth and tactical with a focus on smart decision making at the right time. If your interested in the cold war era the cards are also very flavourful in that each is some sort of historic event during the period and interacts with other cards in much the same way the events unfolded at the time.
So there you have it, what I and some of the board game community considers to be the top five games at this time. Now there are many different games out there for you to try from zombie survival games, dexterity and party games, all the way to memory games and backstabbing loyalty driven games. The board game community is so vast and diverse that I can assure you there will be a game out there for you to enjoy. So sit down, grab a drink and dive into the friendly board game community.
What would be on your top five board game list?
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