In the absence of having a group of people to play with (in the same room) at the moment, I’ve got a little regular group now of my brother, his other half and a couple of other friends, and we play on Tabletop Simulator.
They’ve been pretty good in letting me pick the games so far, because they don’t really know of any, but what I’ve found is that some games work really well online, and others die a death. For example, I’ve had some fun games of Cartographers with a friend who’s into games, but with the newbie group it didn’t last two seasons. Being sat around a table scribbling on pads together just loses something when it’s disconnected and online I guess, each staring at their own board on their own screen.
By way of contrast, Mysterrium is loved. It’s talky, it’s deductive, it’s social, and everyone wants a turn as the ghost. They really like Cards Against Humanity to fill out the last half hour for the same reasons I guess. So while I really want to get everyone pushing cubes around in deliciously dry Euros, I think it’s going to have to wait until I have them
trapped captivated in a room.
So, wonderful hive-mind, what would you suggest to fill this void for me and keep my fledgling group interested? Mostly four players. We’ve played Wavelength and like it, but the TTS implementation is a little clunky, as as we often play with four, it loses something. Tiny Towns died a death, presumably for the same reasons Cartographers did. I’ve got Colt Express lined up, but again I’m not sure how much it’ll lose online.
Dixit and Condottiere are the first that come to mind.
Oh, and Pictomania! Best social game I own.
Five gets you The Resistance/Avalon which is a great starting point.
I’ve seen a Colt Express mod on TTS, but the basic problem of not being able to put things inside things makes it a pain to play with. On the other hand the Board Game Arena version seems pretty decent. (Voice comms are a premium feature there, but for a private game you can always talk through Mumble/Jitsi/Teamspeak/Discord while playing on BGA.)
We used to play The Resistance a lot, in person, and I think they burned out on it. Does Avalon add or change much? I’ve heard some about Coup too?
We’ve got a Discord server up we already use for voice too.
Sheriff of Nottingham if you want a nice set collection game to go with your fibbing.
I’m pretty eager to try out the Quacks TTS mod which may be suitable
The Quacks mod works well, but again I think it loses something for people who have never played, as you spend the majority of the time staring at your own board, drawing pieces quietly. We tried it but it got voted out halfway through.
Sheriff of Nottingham is one I’ve actually downloaded the mod for and have been teaching myself the rules, so we’ll see how that goes.
I had that impression about the Quacks mod as well; I was secretly hoping someone would chime in and say “or it’s actually great and unobtrusive, perfect for a social group!” Alas, that hasn’t happened
Avalon gives you roles. Traditionally you start with Merlin/Assassin: Merlin is a rebel who knows who all the spies are and can try to hint about it to fellow rebels, and the Assassin is a spy who is trying to identify Merlin. (If the rebels win on missions, the Assassin has one chance to identify Merlin, in which case the spies win instead.) Then you can add Percival/Morgana: Percival is a rebel who knows who Merlin is (and can therefore try to distract the Assassin by behaving Merlin-like), but normally he only knows that one of two people is Merlin; Morgana is the other one. (And there are lots more.) These roles all exist for The Resistance too.
If the group’s burned out on The Resistance, then yeah, I don’t think “The Resistance plus extra bits” will necessarily lure them back in. The core of choosing people to go out on missions is always there.
Coup is a solid game, and usually quite a quick one; playable from 3-6 (more with expansions).
Saboteur gives an actual goal and stuff to do to go with social deduction. I’m not a huge fan of Resistance because it’s all talking but love Saboteur because there’s actual game play, but it’s still really light.
Codenames supposedly has some excellent online implementation if they are word game type people.
Interacting rather than multi-player solitaire seems a plus from your description. Trying to bridge to more of what you want, I don’t know if drafting and looking at other players stuff would be enough interactivity. Are things like Sushi Go or Kingdomino available online? Maybe you could ease into those?
I don’t know how well it will play without the face to face, but Werewords has always been successful when I played with bigger groups (6 or so)
They are, and I’ll have a look at that and Saboteur, thank you.
I’ll have a look, thanks.
Letter Jam? There’s a TTS mod for it now.
For communal word games, Decrypto is my fav. Builds a meta very fast over the course of a couple of plays with beginners tending to use clues that become quite obvious all together and then learning to use more obtuse clues. It’s a lot more satisfying than codenames for me since it’s a team game (everyone comes up with clues, not just one person) and the way clues accumulate adds an extra layer of strategy. Works really well 4-6.
(Watch gameplay videos on YouTube for the rules. The rules are quite simple, but the rulebook is absolutely atrocious. Couldn’t make head nor tails of it!)
Libertalia and I’m The Boss! are the ones that spring to my mind although I’m not sure if the latter would work at all online given how reliant it is on timing.
Codenames? Brilliant game and works well with 4 players.