My favorite card and board games – Part II

In the post My favorite card and board games – Part I you could read the numbers 10 to 6 of my top 10. This is my top 5.

5) Avalon/Resistance
Avalon and Resistance are two variations of the same game, only the setting is different. These games are played with a group (the more the merrier in my opinion). The identities of everyone in the group are kept secret. From the group three people are chosen to go on missions for a good cause, but there are spies (or minions of Mordred) who want to fail these missions. It is of the utmost importance to keep the spies out of the missions. But who is to be trusted?

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Why I like it: Avalon/Resistance is a variation of deception games that I talked about in the previous blog post, like Saboteur and Blood Bound. It takes some time to figure out who the bad guys are, and a lot of times you don’t even find out at all!

4) Deus
Deus is the perfect game for people who like Settlers of Catan and 7 Wonders. In this game the players each build their own civilization on the board. To build your civilization you have to build temples, production buildings, scientific buildings, ships et cetera. For this you need resources and money. One important way of getting these is by sacrificing cards to the gods.

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Why I like it: I’m someone who likes both Settlers of Catan and 7 Wonders. I like games in which you focus on your own projects, building your own little world, and Deus is one of those. Warfare is one aspect of the game, but it’s not the most important. The board, cards and different pieces look very nice as well.

3) Flash Point
In Flash Point (‘Pandemic with fire’ as some call it) you play as a team of fire fighters. In this cooperative game every fire fighter has his own special ability. A building is on fire, and you have to go in to put the fires out, prevent explosions and rescue the people (and animals) that are still inside.

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Why I like it: This is a fun cooperative game. I like working together towards a clear goal. The different role cards are balanced and complement each other. The heroic theme of the game helps as well.

2) 7 Wonders
In 7 Wonders you play as the leader of one of the seven great cities of the Ancient World. You build your city throughout three ages. In each age players get to choose cards that enable them to develop their city. Will your city flourish based on science, warfare, culture, wealth or perhaps a combination of these?

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Why I like it: I mentioned it before, I like games in which players are focused on their own building and developing projects. 7 Wonders is therefore the perfect game for me. There is no downtime in this game because all players play simultaneously, which is a big plus too. Warfare is an element of the game, but most exchanges are peaceful.

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1) Pandemic
What a surprise, Pandemic is my number one! Yes, this game has been my favorite for a long time. In Pandemic the world is rapidly getting infected by virulent diseases. You’re part of a team of specialists whose mission it is to save humanity from certain death!

Pandemic has several expansions and I have On the Brink and In the Lab. Both expansions are exciting!

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Why I like it: First of all I like it because it’s a cooperative game. As with Flash Point, the different roles complement each other. You really need each other’s special abilities in order to win the game. Everybody has to pay attention to what’s happening, because things might spiral out of control quickly. Pandemic is quite difficult, so each time it offers a true challenge. The different role cards, event cards and viruses provide almost endless variations.

(It’s also possible to play as the virus in a game called Pandemic Contagion. Even though it’s a fun game it’s not part of this top 10.)

Hmm, all this writing about Pandemic makes me want to play it again!

roles

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My favorite card and board games – Part I

I’ve been going to board game clubs all my life. When I was a teenager I mostly attended to socialize. A fun group of people met every month in the club house of a community garden in Haarlem. Sometimes I didn’t even play games and only talked. For a long time I wasn’t that interested in board games to be honest. This changed on New Year’s Eve 2012-2013 with the introduction to Pandemic. I was never introduced to the concept of cooperative games before. But with this genre my interest in board games got a boost. In Reykjavik I attend board game evenings every Wednesday. What follows is my top 10 of the games we play.

10) Colonial
My number 10 is Colonial. Colonial is a board game about the colonial times, from the Renaissance to the Industrial Revolution. You play as a ruler of a European state (for instance the Netherlands). You send your people around the world to explore new grounds, find good trade opportunities, acquire and maintain monopolies, and occasionally start a war with competitors.

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Why I like it: Even though the gameplay seems difficult at first, it is quite easy to keep track of. You can follow different strategies which make it interesting. I personally like it best if I can focus on my own exploring and expanding projects. The theme can be a bit painful though, as you can monopolize slaves as one of the resources too …

9) Munchkin
Munckin has been around for quite some time, first published in 2001. It’s basically just a simple and fun card game. In this game you walk through dungeons and kick in doors. Behind the doors you will find either monsters or treasure. If there’s a monster you have to defeat it or try to run away. Other players may come to your aid … but the chances that they will backstab you are equally high.

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Why I like it: Munchkin is just a silly game. I love the funny and cute style of the game.

8) You’re Bluffing!
You’re Bluffing! is my number 8, in the Netherlands better known as Koehandel. This is a typical bidding and bluffing game. In this game you auction animals and try to get the best price for them. The goal is to get as many sets of four animals as possible. The most exciting part is the trading with other players, because this happens with blind bidding and this is where the bluffing part comes in.

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Why I like it: As mentioned above, I especially like the blind bidding part. It’s important to bid just enough money, but also make sure you don’t lose too much.

7) Blood Bound
In Blood Bound two clans of vampires battle each other. All identities are secret and the goal of the game is to find and kill the Elder (highest rank) of the opposing clan. During the game you slowly find out who belongs to what clan. When the Elder is found, lower ranks can defend him to keep him alive as long as possible.

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Why I like it: This game reminds me a bit of Capture the Flag, but it’s a simpler version and you don’t have to run around to play it. I like mystery games like this, in which it takes some time to find out who is who.

6) Saboteur
In this game you play as a group of gnomes who are building tunnels to find gold. However, in this group there are a couple of saboteur gnomes. Their goal is to prevent the other gnomes from reaching the gold. They will build tunnels with dead-ends and force the other gnomes to start all over again! Luckily there are some cards that stop the saboteurs from building tunnels. But are you sure who the bad guys are?

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Why I like it:  I think it’s a lot of fun finding out who the saboteur gnomes are, waiting for people to show their true colors. I also think it’s a fun challenge to hide it when I’m a saboteur, it’s definitely a good way to practice deception skills.

Stay tuned for the next blog, in which I will cover the top 5.