When you think of board games, what comes to your mind? Twelve months ago I would have immediately thought of Monopoly, The Game of Life and Uno (not a traditional board game, but it comes to mind anyway). This list would have been followed by a groan of despair as I reminisced about growing bored three turns into a game of monopoly, or the fights that would erupt amongst my family whenever we tried to play Jenga.
Board games are boring…or so I thought.
Turns out there is a big wide world of board games out there for you to explore, and that’s precisely what I’ve been doing for the past 18 months. So much so in fact, that I did not realise that I crossed this bucket list goal off my list a while ago.
One of my good friends introduced me to the joy of board games when we played Pandemic together for the first time. And from this moment on I was hooked. This was nothing like any of the board games I’d played in the past. In Pandemic you had to work together to stop the world from being taken over by four different diseases hell-bent on the complete destruction of the human population. It was this experience that prompted me to put play 5 new board games on my bucket list in the first place. And I am proud to say that while I was watching the news last night, my eyes lingered over the board game collection in my lounge room and I realized with a start that this bucket list item had been achieved!
So I thought I’d spread the joy of my newest hobby with you by sharing what games I have played with a quick little summary to give you an idea of what it’s like, and maybe inspire you to give it a try.
Memoir ’44 – This game is a two play game set during World War II. Basically, you play as the Allies and Axis powers to try and take over a set scene. The instruction manual provides you with a range of layouts including forest and beach scenes based on real battled during World War II. It’s a pretty quick game lasting around 45 minutes.
Zombicide: Black Plague – Set in medieval times in an alternative reality where the world has been overrun by zombies, the objective is to work together to achieve a series of missions while destroying some zombies. While this can be two player game, I would recommend doing it with more players because it would really throw a spanner in the works and up the suspense.
Pandemic – I’ve already talked about this one, but it is one of my favourites. This is probably because it’s the game that got me hooked into this new hobby. I have started taking this one into school with me so I can share the joy with my students.
Sythe – This one involves collecting resources, gaining combat skills, and unlocking accomplishments all while remaining likeable. While it sounds rather complicated, once you’ve played a couple of rounds you get the hang of it pretty quickly. I recently purchased an expansion to the initial game, but I confess that I’m yet to play it.
Fog of Love – Straight up, I LOVE this game. It’s so much fun. It’s a two player game where you ‘role play’ a relationship between two characters. The purpose of the game is to achieve your ‘destinies,’ which are kept hidden from the other player. I always have a lot of fun playing this game because your character is never the same.
These two aren’t strictly board games per say, but I’d lump them in the same category.
Artic Scavengers – This is a card game rather than a board game, but I’m including it here in the same category. In this game, you work to build the biggest tribe possible by gaining special items through skirmishes against other tribe groups. This is also a pretty quick game, lasting around 30-45 minutes depending and would make a nice introductory game if you’re new to this.
Coup – By far one of my, and my students, favourite game. My friends and I stumbled across this game and decided to play a couple of rounds to warm us up before attempting a bigger, more in-depth game since it only takes around 10 minutes, and before we knew it, half the day had passed us by. This card game is all about deception and manipulation. The objective is to not lose both of your character cards, which harder than it sounds, and required you to brush up on your poker face.
It is a common myth that you need a lot of people to play a board game, and depending on the game this can be true, but most games are designed for a minimum of two players. And if you’re ever stuck for a friend to play with, I suggest you look up board game cafes in your area. They often host event nights, and provide a great environment for introducing your friends to this great hobby.
Now go out there and get your game on!