Board Games with Panda

A wonderful place where Amanda and Brad talk about all the wonderful games they've been playing and the amazing people that they've played with.

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Holding On: Am I a Nurse or an Interrogator

Brad Scaggs
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Origins 2018 was a pretty awesome experience even though I was only able to attend one day. I checked out lots of great games and was able to hang out with so many amazing people. Following the convention, you often see people starting their "best of origins" lists and talking about the games that had the most buzz. My favorite game that I saw/played at Origins has to be Holding On: The Troubled Life of Billy Kerr from Hub Games.

The main idea of the game is a patient has arrived at your hospital with heart complications. The doctors have said that he has about 2 weeks left to live before organ failure. The players, as nurses, are tasked with providing care to keep him alive as well as trying to figure out exactly who he is so that they can notify next of kin.

The core mechanisms in the game are resource management and a bit of set collection. Each round consists of 3 shifts that must be staffed with either the player's nurse pawns, assistants, or on-call staff. Each shift card can range between needing one pawn and up to four I believe. At four players, a rotating shift manager decides who handles the tasks for that day's shifts. The shift manager can have players "work a double" to help cover a following shift but that character will take a stress token. If a player or assistant acquires too many stress tokens, they'll have to be sent home and won't be able to be scheduled for work that day.

Players will use their care tokens to heal/maintain Billy but the second half of the game is what I found most interesting. Instead of providing care (which must be done once a day or a strike will occur), players are often given the option to get to know billy a bit better and talking about his past or stocking up on care tokens. To win the first scenario, you need a certain number of memories that are obtained from talking with Billy. These memories form a sort of grid on the middle of the table and piece together the story of who Billy is.

The Interrogation of Billy Kerr. This was mentioned quite a bit when people were discussing the game at the con. Billy has a health track that slowly drops as you fail to provide care. Some events can cause a massive dip if players aren't gaining the care tokens are a reasonable rate. You're constantly shifting importance between maintaining Billy's health, gaining care tokens, and acquiring memory cards. Knowing that the win condition for the scenario was to obtain a certain amount of those memory cards and to later get the matching piece, players found themselves "grilling" Billy for answers to his past.

If players focus too much on the memories though, events in the deck can cause roadblocks and hurdles. These events do various things based on Billy's health. The lower the health, the more trouble the events can cause. This is what caused our race to the finish. We had reached a point where Billy didn't have a lot of health left and we only needed one more clear memory to complete the scenario. It came down to a card draw that determined Billy's fate and luckily he was willing to share the last detail we needed.



Some really cool things this game does:
The player/nurse with the most seniority (left of the Shift Manager) decides what action is being done that day. This helps to reduce quarterbacking because that person make the choice.
The art on the panels is really interesting especially once you get to the clearer memories.
The constant struggle between gathering resources and gaining memories provides some tough choices.

Some things you may not like
This is a cooperative game. If you don't like co-ops, this may not be the game for you
There is some narrative here given through text on the memories, but there isn't a big story book that will be telling you a tale. You're going to be piecing things together one picture at a time. That isn't for everyone, but I enjoyed the slow drip of info.

I'm buying this when it hits retail. I'm excited to learn more about Billy and look forward to enjoying the process as we play.


If you want to hear us talk about the game, you can checkout our Origins 2018 Recap episode HERE.
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Fri Jun 22, 2018 4:01 pm
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Board Games with Panda Werewords Deluxe Edition Interview

Brad Scaggs
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Hey everyone! Amanda and I had the pleasure of interviewing Ted Alspach of Bézier Games about the upcoming kickstarter for Werewords Deluxe Edition

You can hear the episode here!.

or here: BGP BONUS: Werewords Deluxe Edition interview with Ted Alspach

or here:

or here:
.


I'm really excited about the new roles that will be added. I think it will definitely help for those cases where the Major is the Seer and you feel trapped.
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Fri Mar 2, 2018 6:38 pm
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We highlight what we've been playing and go over our favorite card games!

Brad Scaggs
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This week, Amanda and Brad are going over their favorite card games! Which ones did they miss? Let them know! Also, don't forget the Pairs giveaway!

Hear the episode here!.

or here: BGP 022: Our Favorite Card Games

or here:



What we’ve been playing

00:20 - Qwixx
03:55 - Eight-Minute Empire
06:00 - Anachrony
09:18 - Custom Heroes
12:05 - Imperius - Kolossal Games meet-up at Books and Brew

Game day with Andrew
17:06 - Byzanz
22:23 - Railroad Revolution
26:29 - Santa Maria
28:13 - Lucidity: Six-Sided Nightmares

31:53 - Favorite Card Based Games
32:18 - Diamonds
34:10 - Sushi Go / Sushi Go Party
35:28 - Dark Tales
37:27 - Arkham Horror TCG
39:12 - Lotus
41:41 - Trambahn
44:12 - Herbaceous
45:54 - Hanamikoji
47:37 - Oh my Goods
49:45 - Indulgence


52:39 - Pairs giveaway

CONTACT US
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Instagram: boardgameswithpanda
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BGG Guild: 2917
BGG Blog: Board Games with Panda
E-Mail: boardgameswithpanda@gmail.com
Website: boardgameswithpanda.com
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Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:38 pm
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Board Games with Panda interviews John Clair about Edge of Darkness

Brad Scaggs
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Hey everyone!

Amanda and I had the pleasure of interviewing John D. Clair about his upcoming title Edge of Darkness. We both are really excited about the game and even listed it on our 2018 anticipation list. This interview only solidified our desire to back the project.

Enjoy!




BGP BONUS: Edge of Darkness interview with John Clair
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Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:08 pm
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Imprints, Mergers, Acquisitions, and Having a Plan B

Brad Scaggs
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Let's start off by describing what exactly the term imprint means. Think of imprints as departments that you'd find in a store. You have sporting goods, women, men, teens etc.. Each of these departments has a distinct name as well as a distinct type of product they sell. You know exactly the type of goods that you're going to get from each of these departments. You go into the store knowing which areas you'll find the things you need as well as which departments you can avoid because they don't offer you what you need.

There's a simplicity to this design and that's why you'll find publishers doing similar things especially now when it comes to board games. This isn't something new. When [=Asmodee]Asmodee[/] and Fantasy Flight Games merged, you saw the brands become more defined in what they offered. FFG became the licensed IP branch of the company where your big IPs like Game of Thrones and Star Wars would find their home. They also handle most of the skirmish style games especially those with miniatures. This separation of game types mostly came from the merging of two different game companies that each produced different style of games. It made sense to keep each brand separate.

Today, we're seeing more companies going the imprint route while some seem to be moving away from it. The one making the biggest waves right now is Plan B Games. Plan B has some experience with mergers as well since they were F2Z Entertainment not many years ago that was running Z-Man games, Plaid Hat games, and Filosphia before the bank roll of Asmodee came in and acquired them right up as well. The leaders of Plan B decided to start up their own publishing line again after the acquisition and is now becoming known across the hobby as a premier publisher once again under their new name.




Teaming up with Pretzel Games, which was formed by F2Z, Plan B now had two main divisions. Pretzel would handle all of the dexterity style games and Plan B would focus on more traditional games. That wasn't going to be enough for Plan B. They were hungry for more. There are many great publishers/designer studios working on board games across the world right now and eggertspiele is definitely making a name for itself with fantastic releases like Great Western Trail. It's not much of a surprise that they'd be ripe for acquisitions, but they had a really strong licensing deal with Stronghold Games. I was shocked when I heard that Plan B had acquired eggertspiele. At this time Plan B had one game released and were already working on spreading their reach across a wide variety of game types.



Let's recap the different companies that are now a part of Plan B: Preztzel Games and eggertspiele. Pretzel would continue being their dexterity arm while eggertspiele would become their design studio of medium to lighter heavy euro style games. Each company would still be producing those games on their own brands. Plan B would fill the niche of lighter games that people could pick up and play easily. It felt like they had great coverage of each of the markets and then Azul released. Azul was a more strategic and more pure mechanic driven game. What line would that fit under? For now, it was going under Plan B.



Imprints. Imprints allow us to know exactly what we're getting when we go to a store. It works the same with board game publishers. Plan B wanted to create a line/department/imprint that would cover games with bare bones theme but have strategy that would keep players coming back to try and best their opponents through skilled play. The games would be releasing with a strange restriction of four letter titles. If that all sounds familiar, it's because **Azul** fits those requirements exactly. This is why Next Move Games was announced. It would design games exactly of that type and they'd be starting with Emerson Matsuuchi's game Reef.

It wasn't a surprise when the announcement came that Azul would be shifting lines and would now be produced under Next Move Games. It's all about keeping the games under labels that offer the same types of game experiences. For your average consumer, it won't make a difference that this one company has three or more lines under it. They'll find the one that makes the types of games that they like and most likely ignore those that don't. What these acquisitions mean for most gamers is that Plan B has a team with some of the most talented people in the industry from the ground up. Whether you're looking for light and simple to heavy and thinky, Plan B will probably have a game that interests you within the coming year.



Extra Reading from more knowledgeable people:

F2Z Team had a Plan B

Plan B Games Purchases Eggertspiele

Announcing Next Move Games
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Wed Feb 7, 2018 5:50 pm
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Kolossal goals in 2018 from new publisher Kolossal Games

Brad Scaggs
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Hello everyone! I attended the launch party from Kolossal Games' (KG) first game, Western Legends, and had a chance to sit down and interview Travis Chance. He's had his hands in plenty of games over the years including his time with Action Phase, Indie Boards and Cards, and now as the lead developer of KG.

What I really wanted to learn was what he planned to do to set KG apart from the large number of other publishers that had similar goals of designing games. He really stressed that he wants the company to function with a people first attitude. He wanted to be able to engage in the community in order to provide a better experience in the design and continued support of games even after release.

One of the ways he is going that is focusing on a strategy that involves heavily using Kickstarter. He said that Kickstarter is where the K comes from in Kolossal. I'll leave that for you to decide if he was being serious or not. I'm inclined to believe him because KG is releasing somewhere between 6-8 games THIS YEAR on kickstarter. That's a ton of games in a short time.

So how are they going to be able to do this? The secret is they've been working on these titles for nearly 8 months at this point. With much of the design, development, and art deep into the process already, that goal of 8 starts to seem feasible.



If that doesn't sound like quite the feat, what about KG's goal of having Western Legends being shipped to backers by the time of Gen Con. I did the math, it's going to have to be nearly flawless to have that done in time. Travis assured me that it was all in his timeline and stressed that it's important to him to deliver those games on time. He's been a part of some 16 projects and the latest he's delivered was 6 weeks after the estimated delivery date.

There's something about watching someone face a challenge you consider impossible. I can sit back with no bull in the fight and either be amazed he's pulled it off or laugh when it comes burning to the ground. How's Travis going to pull this off?

Well, he's already built a team up around him that's going to help face the challenge. He's brought in a full time staff that can handle the day to day business operations, the social media outreach, internal design, and he's even hired his own boss, Kira.

Will this team be able to accomplish the near impossible? I actually think they can. They've got the grit, experience, and passion to create amazing games. Definitely keep you eye on them this year. Train wreck or masterpiece, it's going to be interesting.




To hear the full interview including a lot of interesting info on Western Legends, check out the Board Games with Panda podcast at boardgameswithpanda.com or just search for it on whatever you listen to podcasts on.
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:17 pm
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BGP BONUS: Who is Kolossal Games and what is Western Legends?

Brad Scaggs
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We're back after a much needed holiday break. Sorry for the delay. We've both been under the weather. We're releasing two episodes this week to make up for it!



In this bonus episode, Amanda and I interview Travis R. Chance. We learn what makes Kolossal Games different that other small publishers, what the K stands for, and we learn more about Western Legends which is on Kickstarer right now!







Check out our podcast page for more content!.
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Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:15 pm
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Lignum - Heavy Woodcutting

Brad Scaggs
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My journey into board games started like many others. I grew up playing classics like Monopoly and Sorry! with the family. A lot of these games had players activating some sort of randomizer, dice normally, to determine what they were able to do on their turn. So you’d roll your dice and get to move however far those little pips told you to go. There isn’t much choice to be offered, but it was that social setting with family around the table that cemented those memories for me.

As I reached deeper and deeper into the vast options of board games, I slowly eased into what some consider to be “heavy euros”. “Heavy” meaning that the game is generally tougher to learn, has plenty of options that must be considered before choosing your actions, and usually involves some amount of planning for what will happen down the road. “Euro” is a board game term that is used to describe the style of games that Germany (and other countries in the geographical vicinity) was producing at the time. These days, the term is used more to describe games that don’t have a lot of theme and are very deterministic in their playstyle.

These games offered much more than the roll-and-move games of the past and allow players to actually make a choice about what happens on their turns. They open up the floodgates of opportunity to really allow great players to make strategic long term plans or leaving people like me to forget to get enough apples to keep my workers alive during the harsh and cold winters. Almost always, players that plan and play better are going to do better than those that don’t.

Lignum is the Latin word for wood, and that is the primary focus of this board game. Players will be cutting wood down from the forest, bringing it back to their shop, processing the wood, and fulfilling orders. The general theme and idea of how the game functions is rather simple on the surface. Players move their pawns around what I consider a Rhondel style board, stopping their movement at locations that will provide the player with what they need.

Each of the main locations along the board offer something that’s integral to the process. One of the stops allows players to hire woodcutters so that they’re able to cut down the trees. One of the stops allows players to hire workers to carry the wood from the forest back to the shop. One of the steps allows players to hire sawers that will be able to cut the wood. The final location is the forest where players will actually be choosing the different types of trees they need to cut down.

That process sounds rather simple, and it really is. Each of the jobs makes sense in the production flow. It’s up to the players to make sure that they’re getting the workers that they need for that turn while doing their best to only spend what’s needed. Money in this game can be incredibly tight and can often lead to production slow downs or even cause them to come to a screeching halt. Hiring workers is going to be costing a lot of money, but we haven’t gone over how players will be earning the income needed to recoup those costs.

Once wood has been brought back to the shop, players must decide if they’d like to cut the wood down into planks or if they want to sell the log whole. Most of the time, players will make more money selling the log in planks, but that’s going to cost money! Even after a player has hired a sawer to cut the wood, the sawer is going to need a saw! These can be purchased from the market or picked up along the board at different stops. It’s very important that players make sure to have the required number of saws at their shop if they’re planning on cutting the wood.

The best way to earn money in Lignum is completing orders. This is another location along the board that players can stop during the round. Orders require various amounts of logs or planks that have been aged a certain amount of time. Players store the wood at their workshop until the planks have aged to the appropriate level and then are able to fulfill the order for a big payday.

Lignum doesn’t stop there though. It’s a game all about optimizing your turns and planning ahead the best that you are able. Another stop along the road allows players to plan for bonuses several seasons in the future. As an example, there may be a planning card that allows my worker to cut twice as many logs on a turn as normal. I would want to make sure that I have plenty of wood at my shop as well as all the required tools. The better players can plan for the future, the more they will be rewarded by bonus actions or rewards from tasks.

The final thing I want to talk about is that the seasons have quite an effect on the game. During winter, you can’t use the river to float your logs down, so you’ll have to be prepared with sleds. There’s also different actions that happen in winter compared to the other seasons. A theme found in several euro style games is the need to feed the workers and family. Each winter, players will need to have acquired enough food and firewood from the forests to keep their workers healthy through the winter. Failure in terms of winter planning can be catastrophic. Luckily, players know the objectives needed for both winters that occur in the game at the start of the game.

Lignum is a simple game to understand the basic concepts and a rather deep game when it comes to how important it is to plan. The planning isn’t just for the current turn, it could be for three rounds later in the game. The beauty is that players must decide how important things on the board are on their turns. They can skip large sections just to pick up a wagon or sled to help bring more wood back. They could skip ahead to try and secure a free saw or even to find some free food.

This isn't a game for everyone. It's rated as a 4.33/5 in terms of weight and that may scare people away. At its heart, it's a simple game to explain but tough to appreciate until you've played a game or two. If you want to play a game where the economy is really tight and your ability to plan can give you that extra advantage, I definitely recommend you check out Lignum which was brought to the US by Capstone Games.
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Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:45 pm
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Our Top 10 Board Games Released in 2017 (BGP018)

Brad Scaggs
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Hello everyone! 2017 was a great year that saw many wonderful new board game releases. A few of my favorite games of all time were released this year. Let's get into the lists. Lists? That's right. My wife, Amanda, joined in and made her own top 10 list as well. We play a lot of games together, so I was surprised that we only had 5 games that appeared on both lists.

Here were our rules: The game has to be listed as a 2017 release on BGG. Otherwise, Word Slam would have probably made the list. Also, we had to have played it.


Let's start with Amanda's #10: Purrrlock Holmes Furriarty's Trail from IDW games. This is a semi-cooperative deduction game that we play fully co-operative. Players are tasked with solving a case by determining what their card is that's facing away from them. The clue process involves asking the other players if the card shares similar features to the one that's played. It's a fun puzzle style game that's worked really well for our group.

My number #10 is Rhino Hero: Super Battle from Haba. This is the only dexterity game that made my list and it's because of the awesome time that we have playing it with the family. We picked up two copies so that we could make giant structures and play at 6 players with the family. It's a light and easy game to play, but it's a blast as everyone helps to not be the one to knock everything over.


Amanda's #9 is Flip Ships from Renegade Games. This is another dexterity game but this one is a cooperative battle where players are trying to save the planet from invading aliens! Players flick disks from a launch platform at an array of cards that looks similar to Space Invaders. If the disk lands on an enemy ship, it does damage. Players are also trying to damage the mother ship my flicking the disks into the center of the standee. What's great about this game is that the ships have special powers and you unlock more ships with better powers as the planet takes more damage.

My #9 is Azul and is higher on Amanda's list.

Amanda's #8 is Werewords and is higher on my list.

My #8 is Downforce and is higher on Amanda's list.

Amanda's #7 is Downforce from Restoration Games. This racing game has players bidding on cars that they'll be owning in the race. The race uses cards that control the speed of all of the cars on the track. Players will play a card on their turn and move the cars listed in order their full speed value. What's really interesting is that you can block people in so that the movement on the card can't happen so it wastes that movement for them. I'm really excited to see the new maps for this one!

My #7 is 7th Continent from Serious Poulp. I've only had the chance to play this once and it persuaded me to go all in on the kickstarter especially with how interested Amanda was in playing it. We both love choose your own adventure and exploration style games so this one was perfect for us. I'm really excited to see what they're able to do with the expansions and can't wait to get my own copy!

Amanda's #6 is Azul from Plan B Games. This tile drafting abstract game has players trying to complete a wall of tiles following strict placement guidelines. The drafting uses the idea that players must take all of one color from a location even if they're not able to use all or any of the colors. It feels like you're doing your best to not get stuck at the end of lower player count games while there's a lot less cutthroat activity in higher player count games. It looks gorgeous and is well produced.

My #6 is Werewords by Bezier Games. Originally, we planned to just play insider because it was simpler and we really didn't need more werewolf games on our shelf. After hearing the buzz, we decided to give it a go and we instantly loved it. The game is basically 20 questions, but the player powers really kick it up a notch on the fun factory. In the game, there's the standard villagers, mayor, werewolf, seer, minion, and beholder. The Mayor knows the word and is giving the yes/no/maybe answers to the questions. The Seer knows the word and is trying to steer the questions toward the answer without being too obvious because they don't want to get eaten by the werewolf. The werewolf is trying to get the group to not answer the question while trying to figure out who the seer is. It's a lot of fun and really easy to each and play.

Amanda's #5 is the entire series of Exit: The Game from Kosmos. If she had to pick her favorite, it has to be Abandoned Cabin. We've played may of the escape room style games and the Exit series is our favorite by a pretty decent margin. We love the way the puzzles work especially the ones where you need to manipulate the components to make things work. So far, we've played four of the games and have two more on our shelf to be played.

My #5 is Sagrada and is higher on Amanda's list.

Amanda's #4 is Bärenpark from Mayfair Games. It was a great year for tile-placement games and this one was Amanda's favorite most likely because of the bears. I really love the way new tiles are acquired in this game by playing tiles over certain icons on the boards. I also really like the race to complete the individual squares so that you can build a bear statue.

My #4 is Clans of Caledonia by Karma Games. I really love how you're slowly building up this resource engine over the course of the game. The design is really simple when it comes to understanding your income each round thanks to the player boards telling you what you've played out on the map. I also love the varying price of imports based on how much of the good has been brought in by the end of the game. I think my favorite part of the game is the economy where prices of standard/produced goods fluctuates based on how often those goods are bought and sold.

Amanda's #3 is Near and Far from Red Raven Games. Ryan's art is so gorgeous and this game has plenty of it. The main campaign plays over the course of several maps that are found in a book. Each location has certain stories written for it and the terrain/environment shifts as the story grows. I love that there's quest lines that continue from one game to another as well. I really like that there's a campaign mode that can be played as well as individual character story arcs that can be experienced as well.

My #3 is Gloomhaven from Cephalofair Games. This is a tactical dungeon crawl style game that lives in a larger living world thanks to an amazing campaign of stories that splinter and diverge based on things the group does along the way. I love the character progression and the hand management aspect of the encounters. There is a ton of game in this box and that's probably why it weighs 22lbs. I still have barely scratched the surface of this game, and I'm excited to play it more.

Both Amanda and I had our #2 as Pandemic Legacy Season 2. This is a great continuation of the events unfolded in the first season. We really enjoyed the way that the game changed while still being the same at its heart. I won't get into spoilers because I don't want to ruin the experience for everyone. We really enjoyed it and we're ready for Season 3.


Amanda's #1 is Sagrada from Floodgate Games. Few games released in 2017 were as pretty in art and design as Sagrada. The dice are beautiful colors and the player boards have magnificent art of stained glass windows on them. The player boards are also nice and thick quality with insets where players will play their dice. Sagrada is a dice drafting game where players fill out a grid that has requirements that must be followed. There's also special scoring each game based on rows, columns, number of certain things, and even based on the color of the dice. This variety in scoring makes the game more interesting to us and it's just so nice to look at the completed board once the game is over.

My #1 is Spirit Island from Greater Than Games (Fabled Nexus) . I have to admit that I had my doubts about this game when I first saw it. It wasn't until I actually sat down with GTG at Origins that I saw the potential for the game. The board wasn't as busy, crowded, confusing as it appeared in the images I'd seen online. The art is fantastic and the individual spirits have really interesting powers that separate them from the others. There's so much variety in just the spirits that the variety from the enemies is just a really great bonus. I haven't had the chance to all of the spirits yet, but I'm looking forward to getting a group together again to play it.

That's our list! How does it compare to yours? Were there any games that you think we missed and should have added? Do you have games you'd think we'd like based on the list?


TLDR: If' you'd rather hear us talk about the list, check here
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Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:57 pm
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Our Top 10 High Player Count Games (6+)

Brad Scaggs
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BGP 009: Top 10 High Player Count Games (6+)



With so many people often requesting games that play at six or higher players, I wanted to dedicate a topic to our Top 10 High Player Count Games. We know how so many people have felt before. You invite people over and you hit that number where most of your games can only play up to 4 or 5. You first option would be to split the group up and have two games going at the same time. This is a great solution for many people.



What we decided to do was to look for games that would allow us all to play together. I mean, that’s the reason we all showed up in the first place. Some of our first games that we played like this were 7 Wonders, Tsuro, and games like Concept. These both worked pretty well, but we were wanting to add a wider variety. On Sunday Funday with the family, we have 3 couples including my wife and me, my wife’s parents, and my wife’s sister and brother-in-law.

Honorable Mentions

Vegas Wits & Wagers - The main reason that this in an Honorable Mention is that it hasn’t released yet. We really enjoy the betting aspect in this one mixed with the random trivial questions that seem to cover a pretty wide range of topics. We really like the extra betting options that this one has compared to the earlier versions of the game.



Between Two Cities - This made the honorable mention list because we’ve already mentioned it in our Favorite Tile Placement games and wanted to provide more variety. This plays great at especially at the higher player counts thanks to the simultaneous activations.

10. Happy Salmon - We absolutely love this simple game that has players trying to make it through their deck as fast as they can. Each card has an action on it that the player must find another player that has the same action. Once the action is completed, the players discard that card and continue on to the next. This is a standing and moving game so it can be a bit of a workout.



9. Celestia - The goal of the game is to collect the most points by traveling on an airship as far as you can and visiting strange lands. It’s all about risk management as captains must roll dice and be able to play matching symbols from their hand. If they’re unable to, the ship crashes and gets sent back to the beginning. It’s up to the passengers to decide if they think the captain will be able to continue along so they can get higher value cards or if they should abandon ship and take the card of their current city. It’s a really cute game with a pretty cool 3d ship that the meeples ride in.



8. Timeline/Timeline Challenge - This is a trivia game all about when certain events occurred in history. We really enjoy the simple play of Timeline where players must play a card in chronological order. If they’re right, the card stays. If they’re wrong, the card gets removed and the player has to take a new card. Play passes around until someone has placed all of their cards. What’s great about Timeline Challenge is that it has various different challenges all involving the time something occurs. At higher player counts, players work in teams (we use teams of 2) to answer the questions and attempt to score the most points. There’s a pretty fun catch-up mechanisms that keeps everyone in the game.

7. Captain Sonar - Have you ever wanted to play a more gamery version of Battleship? This is for you. Two teams work to successfully sink the other team’s submarine. I really love this game at the 6 and 8 player counts. The different roles on each sub are really fun: Captain, Radio Operator, First Mate, Engineer. They all have important jobs to keeping the vessel operating while they work on deducing the location of the enemy sub. There is a more puzzly turn based version and a crazy real-time version that both offer a really fun gaming experience.

6. Sushi Go Party - We love Sushi Go. When we heard their was going to be a version that allowed for more players, we knew we needed to pick it up. This takes everything from Sushi Go and makes it better. In this version, you can change up the card options that will be available in the deck and there’s a score tracker with cute soy sauce bottles as the player tokens. I love that changing the cards create much different game styles. One deck is designed for everyone to get a ton of points. One deck is desk is designed to try and give your opponents negative points.

5. Bang! The Dice Game - This western themed hidden role game is an absolute blast. I very much prefer the dice version to the card version thanks to the bit more randomness and run of rolling dice. Here, the Sheriff and their deputies are trying to rid their town of Outlaws and Renegades. The Outlaws are trying to rid the town of the Sheriff. The Renegade is trying to rid the town of everyone. It plays pretty quick so the player elimination isn’t too big of an issue. We really like playing with the expansion that adds some dice and has a new role for a player once they’ve been killed.

4. Colt Express - Two Western themed games back-to-back. I must really like the idea of having a six shooter out in the west. What makes this game special is that all of the players (in the base game) are bandits and trying to get as much loot as possible before the train reaches its destination. The game uses programmed movement as players will be playing cards face-up into a stack during each leg and then performing those actions at the end. What makes this exciting is the train often goes through tunnels causing players to have to place their card face down. So while you may have been hoping to punch someone and take their loot, they may have just left the train car you’re in. It’s silly fun especially with the 3d train cars and terrain that come with the game.

3. Deception Murder in Hong Kong - It wasn’t until Sam at the Dice Tower was raving about this game that we decided to check it out. This is our favorite hidden role game and a big reason is because the “traitor” in this game isn’t missing out on information like other games. Rolls are passed out randomly and the Forensic Scientist takes a roll similar to the ghost in Mysterium. They are to provide clues as to what murder weapon and evidence that the murderer has chosen for their assortment of cards. What’s great about this game are the extra roles of Witness and Accomplice that are used at higher player counts. It really makes the accusations and blame shifts that much more entertaining.



2. Word Slam - This is a new game that we just picked up from Origins and it’s on our list of titles we’re planning on doing a full review soon. Both teams have one player that each know the word that they need to get their team to guess. The word is the same for both teams. Each team will be seated on the long ends of the table facing each other. The clue givers will be placing clue cards onto opposed placards as hints to get their team to guess the word. Both teams are giving their guesses aloud so some of those guesses may clue the other team in on what the word may be. Some of the words the teams are guessing could be distractions to try and lure the enemy team away from the right word. The first team to guess the word correctly that card and the first team to win a certain number of rounds wins the game. We often just keep playing it over and over because it is so much fun.



1. Camel Up - Our family absolutely loves games where you can bet on things. It’s probably because we enjoy going to the horse track and betting on the ponies as well. It’s no surprise that they absolutely love Camel Up. In this game, the players are placing their bets on which camel they think will win each leg as well as the race as whole. What makes this game special is that when a camel enters the space of another camel, it climbs on it’s back. If a camel on the bottom has it’s dice drawn, then that camel and everything above it are moved forward. This can cause some crazy swings and hilarity as a slower camel may get carried toward victory. We really love playing this one with the Camel Up: Supercup expansion and using the catch-up dice and the longer board. It’s just a blast rooting for the camels and hoping luck is on your side.




That’s our 10 favorite games to play with larger player counts. What are some of your favorites? Which ones did we miss?

Note: Werewords didn’t make this list since Amanda hasn’t played it yet. It’s really good. Insider is a lot of fun too. I really like Resistance and Werewolf but Deception has replaced them for me. We recently picked up One Night Ultimate Alien and I really enjoy it. Amanda is less in love with it.
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Fri Aug 4, 2017 3:33 pm
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