I thought I’d try starting a new topic, where people could talk about their favourite game and then talk about why they love it so much.
My answer is ‘because I’ve played it a zillion times, and I still want to play it all the time’. In practice, this only applies to games I play online, weirdly. Specifically Chess and Through the Ages
There are a couple of games that I’d rate a 10; Times Up and Great Western Trail are the ones that stand out.
Times Up is just a hoot whenever we play and whoever we play it with, but I thought I’d talk about Great Western Trail.
One thing I always wonder about with games is what grabs you after your first play and makes you keep wanting to come back to it. With GWT, after our first play it seemed like Cowboys and buying lots of cows was the only way to win. There was something there though that made me think there was more to it.
Although the box is dull, I really like the art style. The board ‘pops’ out (to me anyway). I know there are some complaints, but I find the iconography clear and simple. The player boards are terrible quality, but everything else has a nice feel to it.
The theme doesn’t bother me, but I’m not a huge fan of fantasy or sci fi so it’s a bit different from a lot of stuff that is on the market.
I like games that have lots of paths to victory, and I feel like GWT has that in spades. There are the 3 main routes, governed by what workers you buy, but there is flexibility within that as well. The random setup of the neutral buildings and the personal buildings changes the game a huge amount as well.
I like that scoring all happens at the end. I hate medium/ heavy long games when scoring runs through the game and I know I’m doing badly (or if someone else is doing badly - I hate to think someone is having a bad time). Point salad isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but with multiple paths to victory and many different opportunities to score meaningful points I love how GWT doesn’t reveal a winner until everyone has been scored.
My wife has acquired the nickname of ‘Dream Crusher’ by how good she is at games, it’s like being married to Sun Tzu! I am so bad at so many games that I love, that GWT really stands out to me. I think it is the only game where I can look at the board, look at the buildings and I know a good way to play that game. It’s also the game where I can best plan my actions 3,4 or 5 turns ahead. This also allows me to ‘play’ with the game. When we teach it to new players, or if I just want to twiddle with the systems I feel I can do that.
Part of that is a lack of player interaction (although I think there is more than is often suggested). However, I don’t really like mean games or big ‘take that’ mechanisms. Part of that is that I’m often on the wrong end of them, but also playing a lot as a family, and having had my kids grow up as part of our group means, to us at least that picking on people isn’t fun because they don’t enjoy it.
Set up and tear down is a bear, although we play it enough to come up with some solutions of bagging all of a player’s pieces and cards together which helps. It’s a long teach with lots of fiddly mechanisms, but I don’t find the rule book to be a scary or hard read.
Now I own it, price is less important, but GWT retails at about 40 quid in the UK. IMO, most medium/ heavy games seem to be £50-60 or more these days, so I think there is a lot of game for the money.
I think we’d like Through the Ages. Board Game Barrage and SUSD make me think it might be fiddly to upkeep, but we also love Terraforming Mars and that requires a lot of in game upkeep.
Which edition do you play, I think there are 2 in BGG’s top 100?
Firefly is still one of my favourite games.
If you tell me it’s too large, too long, too random, then I can’t argue with you. But I love the experience I get while playing it.
And I’m not even particularly a fan of the series.
I play 2nd Edition with real people on http://www.boardgaming-online.com/ and 2nd Edition with the expansion on the Android app - which is fantastic by the way - against the AI doing the challenges (and collecting fake internet points in the form of achievements). My app play has gone to zero recently, but there are still achievements out there waiting for me so I’ll be back.
Any reason you don’t play online on the app?
My answer to the OP is probably either Twilight Struggle or Innovation. Very different games.
They both have very high skill ceilings. They both feature alternative win conditions that ensure you never know you are going to win, even if you get a strong lead in the primary win condition. They both have a lot of rules on cards and just the right amount of randomness. I think I could happily play these two games every week for the rest of my life.
Through the Ages is definitely on the shortlist, but just falls below these two for me because it lacks an alternative win condition and seems, perhaps, a touch too deterministic for my liking (which seems like a silly thing to say about a game with ample random elements, but there it is).
I find learning a game via an app is much harder than learning a game IRL. So app implementations of games that we already know how to play are much better for us…
I was just asking chrislear why he preferred boardgaming-online to the app when playing online. I have used both, and prefer the app, so I’m just curious.
We play three player, and one of the players does not have the app. It’s a tragedy. The app is simply better. I only have it on a phone, though, so the one draw-back is that it has a tiny-screen problem for me.
Ah, sorry. It would make sense for us to try the app though
We should get an expansion game going. I still haven’t tried it!
My favourite game at the moment is Root. It’s charming, mean, and thematic, and it lets you tell a story even if you’re as terrible at roleplaying as I am.
It’s a beast to teach and I can understand why some people don’t want to learn four different games just to play one, but I still love it… Even though people won’t stop murdering my poor innocent lizards!
I’m tempted, but I’m actually maxed at the moment. Lockdown has made domestic life much busier, and I need to avoid the risk of adding to the things that obsess me, for everyone else’s sake. Sorry.
I think a year ago, I would have proudly said that Concordia was my favorite game. It gives a “grand” feeling but delivered in bite-size pieces; you never feel that there’s an insurmountable challenge ahead of you. Turns tend to be quick and due to how production and diplomats work, everybody stays engaged. I’ve played the game once at 5 and I would probably never want to play that count again (but would if asked!) - at 3 and 4 it’s fast and by the time it comes back around to your turn, things have changed but, chances are, the plans you already made are likely to go unchanged (sure, you may need to pay 1 or 2 extra spacebucks to build in that city, but you probably have it).
Over the last year, my gaming has gone significantly down and my purchasing has gone significantly up: this is a bad combination! I have so many games that I want to shine. I haven’t played Concordia in about a year or so; but a few things I have played are definitely contending for the “favorite game” status:
- Wavelength - Got 3 or more friends and 15 minutes? This is the perfect game for a friendly, casual group. As soon as we got 3 turns in the first time we played, “modern classic” was already bouncing around my head as a way to describe this game.
- Wingspan - Look: is this the best card-based tableau-builder? No, it’s not. It is beautiful and are the production values off the chart? Yes, yes they are. It’s charming and it can appeal to just about anybody (except maybe the grizzled old gamers, who might feel insulted by the lightness and lack of real strategic depth)
Oh man… I can go on and on… This’ll start looking like a Top 10 or maybe Top 15 list if I’m not careful. Moral of the story: I don’t know if I’ll ever have a single most favoritest game ever again… I’ll have a variety of games to suit the crowd and the mood - and after all, that’s the goal of how I’m curating my collection.
I really enjoy Concordia. Like my other favourites, GWT and Terraforming Mars I think it is better at 3 or 4 than 2. I taught it to 3 new players in January. My teach wasn’t great and it dragged on for ages. It’s very elegant.
I think I am not very entitled to answer, as there are so many games that I am looking forward to play when all this chaos is over, but so far… sorry about this… Advanced Hero Quest has to be my favorite.
I am probably biased by my teenage gears endorphin fueled love, but that was The Game for me. I haven’t played it for over two decades, I know it has been well overcome technically by new games, but that feeling of getting together with my brother and friends around that table killing orcs and evil skeletons, the fear of the unexpected monsters behind that next door… nothing has reached it yet. Plus how you could modify it and create new adventures. It had it all.
Oh man, this is a hard question for someone as indecisive as me!
I don’t think I can pick just one, but I’ll narrow it down to my current favorites as of right now, today, at this time! Lol
Favorite skirmish; Mythic Battles Pantheon. Sure, I love the scale and table presence, but I genuinely love the gameplay. The draft system of building your focus, and the card activation system are fantastic. It also has one of the best dice resolution combat systems I’ve played (imo).
Favorite coop; Cthulhu Death May Die. I enjoy the over the top theme, but the gameplay is so streamlined for this type of game. It’s not the deepest game ever, but it’s easy to get into, moves quick, and there are actual decisions you need to make.
Favorite small game; Schotten Tooten. So quick and fun, and the art is adorable. I’m still shocked by how big of a hit this one was!
3 hours means it’s less likely to get to the table.
Yes. More if you have 4 players. I’ve read that people who know it well can confidently play it at around 1 hour per player on a table (it’s faster real-time on the app), but realistically you’ll need plenty of time, especially when learning. And there are quite a lot of little exceptions like leader powers that need to be checked for/remembered all the time… so the experience investment before you can play fast is quite high. It’s amazing, but it’s also demanding.