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Advice Wanted: What Is Your Favourite Board Game?

BOARD GAMERS ASSEMBLE!!

What’s this? Two posts on a day when there is usually only one every other day? What craziness is this? What witchcraft is at work?

Well, dear reader, this is me asking you for your help. As you may or may not know, the UK Games Expo is coming up in just under two weeks time. Every year myself and my gaming group attend all three days, and this year is no different.

Each year, myself and my girlfriend end up doing research beforehand to generate a list of games we want to test and potentially buy. We don’t buy or test everything on the list, but it gives us a starting point for where to begin. We also end up buying a lot of games off the list, swap games in and out (etc.), as well as do our traditional “£10 challenge”, but more about that in a later post.

Over the past year, I have recommended a lot of games on this blog. I have also bought a lot of games to write about. This is where you, dear reader, can help influence the future of this blog by recommending me games that you love because, ultimately, I write about the games we own. So, here is the question:

What is your favourite game, and why?

————

Of course, I have to give you some context. We have started generating draft lists of games we want to look at. These are currently in three piles – Beth (my girlfriend), Paul (my Dad) and me.

BETH
Dinosaur Island
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Cooperative Board Game
New Angeles
Azul

PAUL
Jaipur
Kemet

LUKE (ME)
Spirit Island
This War of Mine
Walking Dead: All Out War
Trickerion
The Thing
Battle for Rokugan
Photosynthesis
Fallout the Board Game

This is the very first draft of the list, so please feel free to comment. If you recommend any specific game on the list, or really think we should stay away from a game in particular, then please let me know.

I can’t promise we will buy every game you recommend (I mean, we do have a limited budget after all), but we will research every game on BGG/Youtube to see if it will be a good fit for us.

Thanks in advance for your recommendations –

Luke

69 Comments »

  1. I emailed you a little while back and I’ll recommend a couple of those again – Evolution and Castles of Mad King Ludwig.

    In addition to those, Santorini and Raptor area couple that have captured my attention recently.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahh yes, that email was much appreciated. Mad King Ludwig is one I am actually discussing with my gaming group to see if I can stir up enough interest following your recommendation. Santorini is one that I’ve mentioned this afternoon to Beth to see if I can get her interested enough.

      Raptor – now that was one I thought about last year. Good shout! That will definitely be back on the list if I can get it at a decent price 🙂 I seem to remember there was only one copy I could find last year at the UKGE, and it sold out before I could get there. Thanks for reminding me again.

      After your email, I looked up Evolution. Am I sensing you like Dinosaur games? (My girlfriend loves them too) 🙂

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      • Yes, I love dino games (Jurassic Park is my favorite movie, so the theme is in my blood). I jumped on the recent Dinosaur Island kickstarter, and my wife bought me the new Jurassic Park: Danger game. That’s one I’d recommend if you have a way to get to a Target in the US – it’s exclusive to that right now unfortunately.

        Liked by 1 person

        • A trip to the US for a Target may be a bit out of my budget, but I like the thinking 😛

          What’s Dinosaur Island like? I can imagine you got a whole host of Kickstarter exclusives!

          Okay, I have run everything by she who is obsessed by dinosaur games, and she has said that both Raptor and Evolution seem great. Depending on price, the 6 players of Evolution tip it slightly into the lead, but we will keep an eye out for both.

          I’ll keep you up to speed with the Mad King verdict! (Now there is a weird sentence!)

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          • Haha yeah, it drives the price of the game up quite a bit😆

            Dino Island is a worker placement game – I haven’t actually played it yet, but a lot of the reviewers I trust gave it high marks. And the theme again haha. I don’t remember if a lot of it is Kickstarter exclusive, but I do know that when they sold it at retail after the initial campaign it sold out in like a day.

            Raptor is limited as a 2p only game, but it’s quick and tense. Evolution offers the larger player count, a ton of variability and choices, and the art is absolutely gorgeous – like worth putting up on the walls. I would have to place it higher on my list, but there can never be too many dino games!

            Liked by 1 person

            • You sound just like my girlfriend right now. All it needs is a vague dinosaur type thing on the front and it’s on her list 😂

              Ohhh, I did not realise Dinosaur Island was a worker placement. I know it sold out really fast post Kickstarter because I kept trying to buy it. It just kept going and then was getting offered at 3x the price on eBay. If it’s a worker placement game that just makes me want it even more!

              I always have room for two player games. We love games like Onitama, Hive, and Tash-Kalar. Raptor has a place if we can find a well priced version – just with us rather than the group 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

            • I would second Evolution. Was really tempted to buy for home, but wouldn’t be very good as a two-player game. Was still really tempted after playing it though. Another Dinosaur game is “Great Dinosaur Hunt”. You play archaeologists collecting dinosaur bones for your museum and then competing to build the best dinosaur with the bones. I backed the Kickstarter, but it didn’t get a lot of traction sadly. Still, I find it a pretty fun game.

              Liked by 1 person

            • We like it. I wouldn’t say it’s perfect, but if you like dinosaurs or are a. bit of a history buff, it’s fun. I think the main that throws people is that 1) it’s a bit more competitive than the cutesy graphics suggest 2) It’s phases are a bit weird to some people. The main game is running around collecting bone pieces, which is more strategic and sometimes competitive. Then in a later phase you get to be creative and build a dinosaur. I’ve found most people are really only interested in being creative or being strategic. I happen to like both, so the game appeals to me.

              Liked by 1 person

            • It’s a bit of both, which is why people don’t seem to get it. If you ignore opportunities to exploit points (or prevent others from doing the same), you’re going to lose. Even if you build the coolest looking dinosaur. Which was what I thought the point of the game was, the first time I played.

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  2. You’ve already got and/or reviewed my favourites – certainly the games I’ve spent the most time with – and you know my review request. So good luck and have fun at the Expo!

    Liked by 2 people

    • This is what I like about you Azazel – you’re ahead of the game (no pun intended) 😛

      I have a Star Wars: Imperial Assault breakdown incoming, am going to take Car Wars out for a spin (pun intended), and have added The Walking Dead: All Out War to the list already 🙂

      Blood Bowl and Necromunda may take me a while longer – however, I have been toying with an AOS unit calculator where you put in the core stats and your unit size plus modifiers/rerolls, and it will tell you how many will hit on average per turn 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • I love the fact that Five Tribes is a four player game. We have it in our gaming group and I bought one of the Dead of Winters at the last expo. Apparently you can put both DoW games together and get a 12 player game. Worth trying. Which version do you have?

      I haven’t heard of Bargain Quest – but will make sure I look it up!

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        • Ahh that is the version we have! But were chatting earlier about the possibility of the other one. We don’t play the Long Night nearly as much as we should do because it is such an awesome game.

          Reading up on Bargain Quest as we speak 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Ticket to Ride is my absolute favorite game! It’s easy to learn and quick to play, and I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t like it. Or, if you’re up for something more complex, then Arkham Horror is great and has a bunch of expansions!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Which version of Ticket to Ride do you have? We have Ticket to Ride: Europe in our gaming group – however, I’m open to new ones.

      On a side note, have you seen the news about Ticket to Ride New York? (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/253284/ticket-ride-new-york) It’s meant to be a 15 minute version of the game, could be worth looking at!

      So, I bought Arkham Horror at the last expo and have only played it once. We keep meaning to go back to it. Are there any specific expansions you would recommend?

      Liked by 1 person

      • We have the original and the Europe version of Ticket to Ride. Personally I like the Europe version better than the original, but am dying to try Rails & Sails! I’d be curious to try New York as well, actually. The map is so tiny! But 15 minutes might be just a bit too short.

        For Arkham Horror, I have only played two of the expansions: Dunwich Horror and Miskatonic Horror. I particularly liked Dunwich. They add an entire extra section to the board so you can take a train from Arkham to Dunwich, as well as additional cards, characters, and monsters.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Firstly, welcome!
      Secondly, yeah, I’ve heard good things about both of those. Sagrada was on my list before I saw the price in the UK at the moment (£60.10, which is currently $81.01) and that feels a lot for a dice game; however, I may be fundamentally misunderstanding what the game is about. I’ve heard great things about Imperial Settlers, but again, don’t really know what it is about. Why do you recommend it?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sagrada is basically a dice drafting game but with some good depth and replability but that seems way overpriced for it. I’ve only played Imperial Settlers 2 player but my wife and I both enjoy it. Its a card based engine building game that plays differently each time depending on which faction and cards you draw. Each time I play it I find a new strategy to try or way to build my faction up. Also, asthetically it is a great game to look at. Fun art and great components.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Imperial Settlers sounds really interesting. I love engine building games (random fact – I am currently in the UK top 10 for Splendor and will be until the UKGE this year) so that really appeals. I like the idea of different strategies each time – that definitely appeals. It’s making its way to the research list. Time to watch some Youtube videos!

          Liked by 1 person

  4. If they’re there and you get the chance to have a look, I’d recommend
    a) Hunt for the Ring by Ares, a sort of prequel to War of the Ring using hidden movement a la Letters from Whitechapel (they actually got the designer of Whitechapel to help out with the project) and
    b) Empires of the Void II by Red Raven, a space empire building, area control game that’s full of fantastic artwork and great story elements/flavour text that’s kind of baked into the game play.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have heard of neither of those, but I like the idea of a hidden movement LOTR game, also who doesn’t like space empire building. If you were to choose one of those two to recommend the most, which would you recommend? (I’m going to look into both of them, I’m just curious!)

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      • I’d go with Empires of the Void II. Hunt for the Ring is actually divided into two parts, which you can either play back-to-back (taking about 3 hours or so) or you can save in between and come back to it later. Empires is a complete game in one session, taking about half an hour per player, so it’s perhaps a little more manageable. I love the LOTR theme, and the fact it’s very much rooted in Tolkien’s book as opposed to the movies is great for me (being a Tolkien purist!), but it’s a long play time with quite a few fiddly rules so it can be a bit unwieldy.

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        • Also, be aware that while Empires looks like a 4X game, it’s really not. It’s about area control, savvy action selection and hand/resource management. Just thought I’d better let you know so you don’t go in expecting one thing and then find it’s quite different.

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  5. I think I’ve seen you review most of what I’ve played. Maybe these: Belfort, Jamaica, Great Western Trail, and Seven Wonders Duel (2p only). Belfort is a worker placement that we’ve had for quite awhile, but we always find it fun to play. Jamaica is a pirate ship racing game, that gets pretty crazy around 3+ players. GWT, another fun WP, but long.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahh I have become addicted to 7 Wonders Duel recently and am planning some articles around it having seen it at the Expo last year. I’ve borrowed it off a friend for the past couple of months. Great Western Trail was one our gaming group got at the last expo that, due to the Star Wars Destiny regionals/nationals, we never got around to play. We’re actually having a “playing games we haven’t played yet” gaming day this Saturday where GWT is on the list (Viticulture and The Village are also on the list).

      Now, Jamaica – there’s an idea! I’ve had it on the Amazon gaming list for a while, but never got round to buying it. I’ll have to revisit that. Thanks for reminding me 🙂 Belfont I haven’t heard of, but am curious about. What’s the theme? (I do love a good Worker Placement game)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Here’s a link to Belfort: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/50750/belfort

        Essentially fantasy creatures playing construction worker. Your job is to score the most points across several districts while building stuff. Nothing really revolutionary game mechanics wise (maybe that was more true back in its day), but it’s one we just find fun and challenging. It replaced Lord of Waterdeep for us, though that one is still good in its own way.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Cheers man – I’ll take a look. It’s interesting it replaced Lords of Waterdeep. That’s always been a firm favourite of ours. Saying Belfort replaced it sounds like high praise indeed!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Well, we did play about 50 million games of Lords of Waterdeep before that. Then a friend introduced me to the app, and we played games asynchronously, one after another. Non-stop for months. Lords of Waterdeep will likely always have a place in my collection, because it’s a solid worker placement and because I understand some of the references having played a lot of D&D.

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    • I’ve heard good things about both of those games. Axis & Allies is somewhat of an epic, isn’t it? Whereas, if memory serves correct, Heroscape is more a fantasy based wargame type game? I may be completely wrong there. Which do you prefer?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, Axis & Allies is a classic game. Based on World War II. When I grew up me and my friends played this religiously over 10 years. I remember one of my friends would have all these plans and had this really bad luck rolling the dice. Good times. Half of the time the game ended with somebody flipping the board, lol. It was a fun historical game and not to hard to learn.

        As for Heroscape is also a fun game that you can expand with new units and change the board of the game. It is a fantasy battle game, like a modern type chess game. It has tiles that connect to form the board game. It also does not take to much time to learn. I used to play this with my step children.

        When I retire I will have more time to play a few different games with family and friends. I know that one day I will get together with some old friends and get the “Axis & Allies” out to play. There also was a guy that made a custom map that was about 8 feet long and then used toy soldiers as the pieces. I take one or two of these games out this summer and do a post on it. I was thinking on painting the figures on day. Take Care for now.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Game isn’t out yet, but as one that participated in the testing, look up Quest for Glory, scheduled for September. I had another suggestion too, but sadly, checking out, ‘Chateau aventure’ hasn’t been released in English, as a mix on boardgame and point’n click

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My wife and I really like Azul. It’s nice to look at and simple yet strategic game play. You’ll notice if you mess up. Also, if you count the tiles and what turns are left towards the end of a round you can really screw up your opponents. It’s easier to do in a two person game. But it’s a game I’d suggest.

    I was going to suggest Sagrada as well, but price sound horrendous.

    You might be able to consider it a dinosaur game, but Rampage or Terror in Meeple City. It’s a dexterity game where your flicking a disc around the board, dropping a large monster Meeple on top of buildings and collecting the most meeples.

    Then last suggestion is Harbour by TMG. It’s a worker placement with a changing market. You’re looking to collect goods, sell them at the right price, and buy buildings to add to your pier. There’s different player abilities you can use based on what character you pick. It’s a small box game, but I’ve found the game play is fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cheers mate – Azul is definitely staying on the list now. So many people have said it is good, it won a Golden Geek and (I believe) has been nominated for a UKGE award.

      I’ll look up both Rampage and Terror in Meeple City. I think the latter deserves some kind of award for the name. Terror in Meeple City just sounds amazing 😛

      I haven’t heard of Harbour, but it sounds right up my street. Thanks for the recommendation. A Worker Placement small box game sounds really interesting, and it sounds like there is some scope there as well. Is it one you play regularly?

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      • Terror in Meeple City is a reprint of Rampage. So if you can find either used, both are the same game.

        Harbour has a fantasy theme to it. There’s a series of games that happen in the same universe from TMG. Harbour was the first one. Harvest is the next game. It’s a gardening worker placement game. Next game in the universe is called Embark. It hasn’t come out yet, but sounds like a pick up a delivery game.

        I really like the artwork for the games. Harbour I don’t play enough. My game group don’t get into the worker placement games as much as I would like. It’s a simple game, but what I like about it is the changing market. If someone sells anything in the market, then the price changes as demand has changed.

        Liked by 1 person

        • So a whole host of worker placement. Have you played Harvest? If so, did you enjoy it?

          Looking at Harbour, it looks really interesting on BGG, and well rated as well 🙂 I’m going to add it to the list to research pre-Expo 🙂

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          • I haven’t played Harvest yet. It’s on my to purchase list. I might have to move it up since there’s another one coming out in the series.

            There’s some stuff in Harvest that’s peaked my interest. First was the same universe as a previous game I like. Second is the who goes first mechanic. Players draw an initiative card, and lowest gets the pick an initiative card first. Lower the initiative, earlier you go but less of resources you get that round. So initiative changes every round. The next thing that intrigues me is the components. I’ll admit, this cracks me up and there’s no shame. They have poop meeples to represent fertilizer. I find that funny and think it looks fun.

            I’ve heard this a a little heavier than Harbour, but both are good worker placement games that are also gateway games to worker placement. So not taking too long to play, but more of a filler type game. Think 30-40 minutes if everyone know what they’re doing.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Ace – cheers for the rundown man. I’m going to do some research into both games and see what can be put on the list 🙂

              They make poop Meeples?? That’s amazing!

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    • That’s high praise, and coming from you David, I know it must be good!

      Do you know if there are any expansions? At the moment my only reservation is that it is only four player. Our gaming group is usually five players plus. The only real time we ever have only four now is when we’re playing Gloomhaven!

      Is there anything else you would recommend in particular mate? I’ve scoured your blog, but what’s your second favourite game of this year if Spirit Island is your first? 🙂

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      • Ummm there is an expansion but I don’t think it adds players. Also I think it’s a better two player game, as it’s pretty intellectual and four players could blow your mind!

        I’ve been enjoying Dale of Merchants recently, which is a great deck builder. Check out Junk Art if you haven’t played it. Also been playing a bit of The Bloody Inn, which is a really good engine builder, slower than jump drive, but more interactive.

        Oh, and since you like Pandemic, you should check out Iberia. It adds a rail mechanic which is really fun.

        Though ask me again in a week’s time just got Whistle Stop and Palace’s of the Mad King Ludwig. 😛

        Liked by 1 person

        • So…Iberia is Pandemic meets Ticket to Ride? 😛

          Alex recommended Mad King Ludwig earlier on in this comments section. I am seriously going to need to research that game!
          I’ve never heard of Dale of Merchants or Junk Art – although I have just received a text from the girlfriend who has been reading this comments section and said that, and I quote: “Love the look of Terror in Meeple City and Junk Art” haha.

          I’ll have a look at Dale of Merchants, and I’ve been looking at The Bloody Inn for quite a while. I actually looked at it last Expo, I just didn’t get around to buying it. Since then though I have kind of recognised the mistake of not having bought it as reviews are great. It’s on the Amazon list if not the Expo list 🙂

          What’s Whistle Stop?

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          • There are 2 different games with “Mad King Ludwig” in the title – and they’re not really related haha. Castles, the one I recommended, has each player building their own castle, while Palace, which David mentioned, has all the players building on the same structure. They’re from the same designer and share some elements, but it was really a bad choice to name them so similar haha.

            Liked by 1 person

  8. Have fun at the expo. Azul and Sagrada are both great. We’ve played them both repeatedly. Azul is slightly more elegant in my opinion. Both look great. It’s just a shame the production runs on Sagrada are so small it’s hard to get it at a reasonable price. Dinosaur Island is also a favourite of the last year. We love worker placement and dinosaurs. It’s got a great table presence even with the non-blinged out retail version which is what we have. I would advise against playing the short game though. That’s just demo length and the game can be over before anyone has built anything significant in their parks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awesome advice – you’re right on Sagrada. The price is insane at the moment. I’m struggling to find a copy for under £60. I have no idea what the base price is meant to be so I’m going to need to do some research to find out!

      I’m hoping there will be copies of Dinosaur Island at the Expo, but again, the print runs seem small. It always seems sold out!

      Liked by 1 person

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