Game Group Openers and Closers
Roger Fawcett
United Kingdom
Northwich
Cheshire
flag msg tools
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
badge
There's just one kind of favor I'll ask for you - you can see that my grave is kept clean
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Recommend
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
I am a pretty regular member of Shire Gamers, a group that meets at the FLGS that is Shire Games. As I'm sure most game groups do, we have to spill a bit of time at the beginning of evenings in order to wait for other people to turn up. So we play fillers. We often end the evening with a shorter 'crazier' game too.

As I was thinking of what to write for a review of Mascarade it occurred to me that it perfectly fits this category of Game Group opener. Games like this have to be able to play more than 3-4 (7-8 is ideal), be fairly short, have very little down time and, not necessarily but helpful, be quite interactive or even a little bit vicious.

Here are some of the games that we often use or have used in the past. Feel free to add to the list with favourite openers or closers.
Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
  • [+] Dice rolls
1. Board Game: Saboteur (compilation editions) [Average Rating:6.93 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.93 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.93 Unranked]
Roger Fawcett
United Kingdom
Northwich
Cheshire
flag msg tools
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
badge
There's just one kind of favor I'll ask for you - you can see that my grave is kept clean
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This is a long standing end of evening favourite and deserves to be number 1 on the list. Plays up to 10 and is full of backstabbing and chaos.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
2. Board Game: Mascarade [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:970]
 
Roger Fawcett
United Kingdom
Northwich
Cheshire
flag msg tools
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
badge
There's just one kind of favor I'll ask for you - you can see that my grave is kept clean
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Relatively new game but perfectly fits the bill and is already a standard opener at games evenings. Plays up to 14 (with the promo card - although it is madness with this number!) and always evokes general mayhem.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
3. Board Game: Nottingham [Average Rating:6.25 Overall Rank:2645]
Roger Fawcett
United Kingdom
Northwich
Cheshire
flag msg tools
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
badge
There's just one kind of favor I'll ask for you - you can see that my grave is kept clean
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
We used to play this for quite a while and it is a great little set collection game by none other than the designer of Agricola and Le Havre himself, Uwe Rosenerg. It plays up to 7 and is still good fun,
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
4. Board Game: Tsuro [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:837]
Roger Fawcett
United Kingdom
Northwich
Cheshire
flag msg tools
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
badge
There's just one kind of favor I'll ask for you - you can see that my grave is kept clean
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Games that play up to 8 and are over in ten minutes are few and far between. This is a classic example and a very elegant looking game as well. It is now accompanied/superseded by Tsuro of the Seas.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
5. Board Game: Shadow Hunters [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:798]
Roger Fawcett
United Kingdom
Northwich
Cheshire
flag msg tools
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
badge
There's just one kind of favor I'll ask for you - you can see that my grave is kept clean
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This plays up to 8 and is always a scream. Try not to die and try to kill other players if you have worked out which team they are on. It is a little bit longer than some of the other games on this list, but still a standard evening opener for us.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
6. Board Game: Excape [Average Rating:6.32 Overall Rank:2448]
Roger Fawcett
United Kingdom
Northwich
Cheshire
flag msg tools
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
badge
There's just one kind of favor I'll ask for you - you can see that my grave is kept clean
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
We played this one quite a lot a few years ago, but it seems to have disappeared for a while. It is a great little push your luck game with quite a lot of interactivity between players. Plays up to 6 and can be quite frustrating at times.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
7. Board Game: Hoppladi Hopplada! [Average Rating:6.31 Overall Rank:4169]
Roger Fawcett
United Kingdom
Northwich
Cheshire
flag msg tools
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
badge
There's just one kind of favor I'll ask for you - you can see that my grave is kept clean
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This is a crazy game and although it is about hares is known as 'The Bunny Game', 'The Crazy Bunny Game' or even 'The Stupid Bunny Game'. It's not stupid although it can be intensely frustrating. It is one of several push your luck games that we often start the evening with. Others include Pickomino and Sushizock im Gockelwok.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
8. Board Game: DC Comics Deck-Building Game [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:714] [Average Rating:7.03 Unranked]
Diz Hooper
Japan
Osaka
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It seems that I've been opening or closing game days with this one. It takes about 2 minutes to set up and 2 minutes to explain the rules. Since it's so quick to get a game going, even if no one else has played it before, it's easy to suggest when there's not much time.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
9. Board Game: Sushi Go! [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:379]
Alyssa McCain
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This one has only been around in my group for two weeks and is seeing a ton of play at the beginning of every gaming session. It's super easy to explain, the artwork is incredibly appealing, and it's fun!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
10. Board Game: The Looney Bin [Average Rating:6.27 Overall Rank:11273]
jack constance
United States
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This game teaches in 2 minutes and plays under an hour, so it fits the bill for us. Kind of a gang up on the leader type play keeps the games really close.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
11. Board Game: Family Business [Average Rating:6.09 Overall Rank:2644]
jack constance
United States
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Another American themed quickie, we find this pretty fun and easy to learn in 2 minutes.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
12. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:45]
Toms Leikums
Latvia
Jelgava
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This one works as a closer in our gaming group lately.
Everyone knows the rules and we can play it in the middle of the night.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
13. Board Game: Bohnanza [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:395]
Toms Leikums
Latvia
Jelgava
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Our second option for closing the game night.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
14. Board Game: Coloretto [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:502]
Toms Leikums
Latvia
Jelgava
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I personally think this one is one of the best openers - very quick, but makes people to start thinking a little bit.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
15. Board Game: Forbidden Island [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:636]
Richard Pickman
United States
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I like this as an opener. It only takes 30 minutes. It's easy to teach to any new players in the group. And since it ends on an exciting climax, it gets everyone warmed up for the main course. cool
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.