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Lately I have come to realize that my wife tastes in board games are strongly tied to the quality/attraction of the board art.
I have recently played Samurai (old edition) and Deus, and while she appreciated the games themselves, she has no desire to play them again because she finds the art of the boards unappealing.
Deus - Beatrix Schilke
Samurai - Caitlin Prime
As counter-examples, she mentions Shogun and Java as games she would gladly play again, because of the nice/evocative art.
Shogun - Jesus A. Perez
Java - Jelle Van Camp
This kind of sucks for me, as I usually expect functionality and efficiency from a board, and am less sensitive to the art quality. So if I want to have a higher success rate with my wife I need to learn to take that aspect into account.
Which is the reason for this topic, art is a very subjective matter and you may not agree with the examples appreciation, but you catch my drift: what are games with stupendous boards? (without sacrificing too much functionality, and avoiding bad games with good art).
In order to better define my wife's tastes, I showed her a slideshow with suggested boards and here is her appreciation:
Pillars of the Earth
Lord of the Rings
Colonial: Europe’s Empires Overseas
World without End
A castle for all seasons
Vasco da Gama
Travels of Marco Polo
Conflict of heroes : awakening the bear 2nd edition
Lord of the Rings : Confrontation
Princes of Florence
Tigris & Euphrates
Above and Below
Lewis & Clarck
Kings of Air and Steam
Fury of Dracula
Raiders of the North Sea
Revolution: the dutch revolt 1568-1648
The Halls of Montezuma
Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game
No retreat! the italian front
So she likes boards whose art is detailed and evocative of the theme, enjoys historical settings, old maps and castles. She appreciates Menzel's art, and Lord of the Rings.
Trickerion was a board that she really appreciated.
So if you have other suggestions along the same lines, don't hesitate to post them!
- Last edited Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:10 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Tue Oct 11, 2016 12:06 am
Something like perhaps Inis ?
There are already topics on the subject but..
Legends of Andor
The Pillars of the Earth
I suppose it depends on what you find beutiful lol. I like oriental themes, like tokaido, tsuro, celestia, kodama tree spirits, takenoko etc
But I also think nice boards like mission red panet and jamaica are lovely and even tobago with the cute little statues.
Maybe legends of andor or even above and below?
I thought the abyss game looked stunning but just didn't look like a game that i would like?
Maybe you should say what games she finds beautiful and see what people suggest instead
- Last edited Tue Oct 11, 2016 1:00 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Tue Oct 11, 2016 12:58 am
In her defence, I am alittle the same but it's not because I want them just to look good, I have little imagination and I like a board and components to look nice and as they should as it helps me get into the game more rather than just doing unthematic pointless actions that don't seem quite so fun without lol.
I never liked chess/draughts etc as I just feel I'm moving objects but or moving things round the board but a nice thematic board makes me feel like I truly am being a pirate or a murderer or an explorer or an alien lol
I suppose a good example would be dungeons of dragons: lords of waterdeep - I feel like I am collecting cubes for the sake of collecting cubes and I don't really want to spend my evening collecting random cubes. Agricola/caverna on the other hand, I feel like I'm buliding a farm lol. Maybe if you are competitive enough, it's more about beating your opponent and maybe there's other aspects too???
- Last edited Tue Oct 11, 2016 1:10 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Tue Oct 11, 2016 1:05 am
Above and Below
Lewis & Clark
- Last edited Tue Oct 11, 2016 2:28 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Tue Oct 11, 2016 2:26 am
it's like an accident that we keep on knitting
and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting
Legends of Andor was the first thing that came to my mind. I was just admiring it yesterday!
Yes, yes and yes!
I also think Bruges has some fabulous art.
One day, someone will ban me from these forums for always answering Trickerion, no matter what the question is
Seriously though, it has some seriously beautiful art.
Although, it might not fit the bill anyway, because it's nothing like the examples you gave. It's a very heavy worker placement game, and there's no area control.
From your description, I assume your wife is somewhat new to boardgaming? While the need for a nice board will always differ from person to person, I think, if you manage to get her hooked on boardgames, using games that she likes both for the gameplay and for the aesthetics, there's a good chance that she will come to appreciate the gameplay more, and not require quite the same level of art in every game just to be able to play it. At least that's what happened with my wife
what are games with stupendous boards? (without sacrificing too much functionality, and avoiding bad games with good art).
Personally I have always admired Small World. Despite featuring a rich colour palette and "non-functional" artistic touches the game itself is very functional. All information is easy to read and you can assess the current situation with one quick look. And it is a good game.
Revolution: The Dutch Revolt 1568-1648 has a wonderful board.
Also really like The Halls of Montezuma.
High Frontier is an amazing piece.
I really like shadowrift 2.0's board
I suppose a good example would be dungeons of dragons: lords of waterdeep - I feel like I am collecting cubes for the sake of collecting cubes and I don't really want to spend my evening collecting random cubes.
Note, by the way, that you can get aftermarket meeples that make it at least a little less about collecting random cubes. Which still doesn't change the cards that all show little colored cubes on them, but should help some. (I'm constantly amazed at how stupid the decision to put colored cubes on the cards was. Just put more evocative images on the cards and players can easily make the connection to the colored cubes while not being pulled out of the theme so much.)
In any case, when I think of a beautiful board, the first game that comes to mind is Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar. Unfortunately, it doesn't really come that way out of the box. If you can paint the gears or know someone that can do it, though, it's a good one to consider.
1. Jamaica - possibly the best looking game I own. The fact that the cards can be laid out in a never-ending panorama is just wonderful!
2. Every single Red Raven game! (see: Above and Below)
Evolution - for the stunning card artwork
Also +1 for:
This can't be repeated enough times!
Also, I find Taluva to be gorgeous.
- Last edited Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:59 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:58 am
The box art might be the worst, but I really do enjoy the look and layout of the board in Concordia.
Can't believe no-one has mentioned Scythe yet! Gorgeous art
The fascinating bit about this is how subjective board art can be. On aesthetics alone, I would pick Samurai or Deus over the other two. Similarly, people are recommending Small World, which is a game that has such loud and objectionable art (to me) that I find it unplayable in that form... Even though I adore playing its older brother, Vinci, on Yucata.de.
Hah, I am somewhat like this too, and these ones that I have and love looking at. None of these are bad, in fact quite the opposite. I tend to get rid of mediocre games.
Scythe(last game spent 15mins with my girlfriend just examining all the awesome details on the board, and that§s after having played it 10+ times)
Taluva looks a lot like Java but prettier.
You could say boring, but it's in the theme and is well done
The Pillars of the Earth
Archipelago immerses you in the pacific islands paradise...
Small World if you enjoy comic style fun art
Fury of Dracula (second edition) has a board made in the style of old parchment maps and it really fits the game well
Ghost Stories personally I love the cards most of all but the board is awesome to look at too.
Also coop, also stunning, also damn difficult: Yggdrasil
Obviously Takenoko, the women-magnet :-)
Jamaica on a similar difficulty level
Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game
Shadows over Camelot
- Last edited Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:46 am (Total Number of Edits: 2)
- Posted Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:42 am
I just took a look at my shelf and I think the most visually appealing boards and pieces are:
(in no particular order)
Stone Age - I'm surprised nobody mentioned this one yet. I think it has some of the best board art ever. Five TribesThe GalleristBora BoraTaluvaVillageMedina (second edition)Dungeon Petz
I rank all of these games highly, but you'll have to judge by your own tastes. Good luck!
- Last edited Tue Oct 11, 2016 11:09 am (Total Number of Edits: 2)
- Posted Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:49 am
Thank you very much for all the suggestions, I will be investigating them!
I agree that part of the need for an attractive board stems for the help it provides in immersing oneself in the game experience, and that as you get more experienced you may become less reliant on it.
Still, at the moment that is a need she expresses. I don't really know much more about her tastes than what I have already mentioned, but overall I think that if you find that the art of a board really helps you get immersed in the experience/theme that the game invites you to explore, that's a winner.
So don't hesitate to offer more suggestion!
Ok, I am going to make a slideshow with the games you have bee suggesting, and have her feedback on them, so that I can provide some pointers.
The trouble is that I don't want to presume her tastes with what I think her tastes are.
+1 for Legends of Andor (gorgeous double-sided boards for the base game as well as for the expansions)
+1 for Stone Age
Istanbul plus expansions (beautiful variable board tiles)
- Last edited Tue Oct 11, 2016 12:59 pm (Total Number of Edits: 3)
- Posted Tue Oct 11, 2016 12:56 pm
Most Concordia maps (e.g. Britannia):
Stronghold (I prefer 1st edition):
Raiders of the Norrth Sea: