Games that don't require the center of the table
Jason Lott
United States
Cheverly
Maryland
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This is a unique geeklist that came to mind to me last night in a unique situation. As we were entering day 3 without power in our house thanks to Hurricane Irene, we had a neighbor coming over to commiserate and we wanted to try a game or two.

The problem - our table had a number of candles in the center to provide light. That ruled out the majority of our game collection - nowhere to put a board in the center! Also no draw piles, discard piles...

So we finally hit upon a couple games that we could reasonably play in these unusual conditions. Can you offer some other good suggestions for someone in a similar predicament?
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1. Board Game: Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:589]
Jason Lott
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Maryland
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This was the first thing that sprang to Scott's mind, and it's what we ended up playing. It worked well because you keep everything in front of you, and we could still see through the candles to watch each others' dice rolls.
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2. Board Game: Fairy Tale [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:776]
Jason Lott
United States
Cheverly
Maryland
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Our back-up option was our go-to game of Fairy Tale. The layout stays in front of you and doesn't require a huge amount of space. We ended up not picking this because we had a new player for whom reading the cards by candlelight might have been too challenging.
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3. Board Game: Citadels [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:332]
Jason Lott
United States
Cheverly
Maryland
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Our last option was Citadels. Granted there is a draw pile for this game, but cards can just as easily be handed out. In our situation you might have to crane your neck a bit around candles to see what other players are building, but all in all this should work fine.
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4. Board Game: FITS [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:1313]
Ben Lott
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Mason
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The only thing that sometimes goes in the middle of the table are the cards showing which piece should be placed next. However we have named every piece so it can just as easily be played like Bingo, having one player call out which piece to play next. We have even used this method in order to play with the players on opposite sides of the living room, using no central table at all.

Note: FITS works slightly better than BITS for this method because in BITS all players need to see the score cards so you know what shapes you are trying to make. This is possible without using the middle of the table, but not as easy.
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5. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:43]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
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Common money, markers etc. and the discard pile doesn't have to be in the center of the table.
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6. Board Game: Tutankhamen [Average Rating:6.12 Overall Rank:3121]
Laszlo Molnar
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It can go around the table if you like.
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7. Board Game: Bohnanza [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:379]
Kyle
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Wisconsin
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There are draw and discard piles, but you can put them off to the side somewhere or even pass them around as needed.
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8. Board Game: Bunte Runde [Average Rating:5.93 Overall Rank:8027]
Laszlo Molnar
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Common money doesn't have to be in the middle of the table.
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9. Board Game: U-Build Monopoly [Average Rating:5.31 Overall Rank:15134]
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Michigan
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You can build the board around the candles.
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10. Board Game: Graffiti [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:5560]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
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Just take care the candles don't burn the sheets.
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11. Board Game: Liar's Dice [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:583]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
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If you want to play something really fun...
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12. Board Game: Beowulf: The Legend [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:1907]
 
Laszlo Molnar
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If you have a thin candle you can take the useless shield from the middle and place the candle there.
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13. Board Game: Take it Easy! [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1423]
Lowell Kempf
United States
Chicago
Illinois
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Like FITS or BITS, a game where every player has their own board.

Cities, Don Quixote, and High Score are also games where each player has an independant board.
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14. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:47]
Andy
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Manchester
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I think this one fits... you need a common draw and discard pile, but not necessarily in the centre... otherwise everything is in front of the players.
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15. Board Game: King of Tokyo [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:233]
Guido Gloor
Switzerland
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Bern
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The only thing that the center board is good for: Keeping track of who currently is King of Tokyo. You can do that by moving the board around. There's a draw pile, too, but that can be put off-center.
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16. Board Game: Peloponnes [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:713]
Guido Gloor
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There's an auction each round, where the tiles must be visible by everyone, and disaster chips that should be in a commonly visible area, but other than that it's all in the player's own boards.
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17. Board Game: Aye, Dark Overlord! The Red Box [Average Rating:5.92 Overall Rank:3813] [Average Rating:5.92 Unranked]
Guido Gloor
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Hey, another one! No board here.
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18. Board Game: Zombie Dice [Average Rating:6.23 Overall Rank:1749]
Guido Gloor
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The games get lighter and lighter, but this one perfectly works like this, too. In fact, it might well be one I'd pull out with non-gamers.
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19. Board Game: Eat Poop You Cat [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:725]
Ted McManus
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Madison
Wisconsin
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Everybody has their own paper and pen.
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20. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:205]
Justin
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Kentucky
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i've been looking into buying this one. Doesn't seem to need the center of the table.
 
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21. Board Game: Time's Up! Title Recall! [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:302]
Ben Lott
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Now's your chance to convince everyone that this game rocks! Nothing ever needs to go in the middle of the table.
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22. Board Game: PitchCar [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:327]
Dwayne Wood
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Cabool
Missouri
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Although in the dark you want to becareful of wrecks on the floor.
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23. Board Game: Atlantis [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:1783]
Jason Lott
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Lazlo reminded me of another - although the instructions show this as a winding path, there's no reason you couldn't set this up in some sort of grand circular or oval path. Players could be handed their cards from the draw pile, and the discard pile is meaningless, so just play in front of you.
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24. Board Game: Betrayal at House on the Hill [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:442]
Dwayne Wood
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Cabool
Missouri
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Not only do you not have to use the center when building the three floors of the house...its a perfect theme for no electricity.


Oooooooooooooooo!!! devil
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25. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:34]
Dwayne Wood
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Cabool
Missouri
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Ok, yes there is a big board in the center. But there is always a section of the map you do not use. I would suggest some kind of wax protection.


A lot of irony needed to play this one in the dark.
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