I grew up playing many, many hours of the typical late 20th century board games with my family. Games like Chess, Cribbage, Monopoly, Risk and Trivial Pursuit filled the down time that my had when we spent time in our cabin in the Alaskan wilderness, shut off from the modern annoyances like telephones, electricity and running water (My father is a bit of an isolationist/wilderness entusiast so moving the family to Alaska wasn't enough, he had to make sure we had a weekend "get away" that was totally off the grid). We moved from Alaska to New York when I was entering adolesence, and while my family stopped playing games I branched out in to more "serious" games like Games Workshop franchises, Axis and Allies and Magic.
Once I got out of college though, I stopped playing board games (with some small dabbling in poker) until recently when I discovered this website when I was looking for some good boardgames for my young sons, ages 2 and 4. Suffice it to say, I have rekindled my passion for games, and in addition to some wonderful games for my sons, I have also gotten a bit a collection for myself together.
Now, My situation is such that most of my play time is with my long time friend who I went to high school with, and have played games with for about 20 years. So for the most part it is 2 player games. Our wives resist our attempts to include them, but I think they will both come around when our boys get older (in about 5 years). In the mean time it is mostly just the 2 of us with a six pack of beer on Saturday night. About once a month we can expect to get 1 or 2 more "serious" gamers to join us. So, I have been giving some thought categorizing games by play opportunities and I have been buying games so we have something to play on every ocassion, and while the categories are subjective I wonder if anyone can recommend some games for any of these categories:
Here "short" means short enough for us to play on a week night, probably less than 2 hours, and "long" means longer than short, but less than about 5 hours, because between pets and toddlers, we just can leave games set up and walk away from them.
2 player short co-op: I have pandemic
2 player short strategy: I have the Alhambra Big Box
2 player short wargame: He has everything we need for the Memior '44 campaign book
2 player long co-op: I have Arkham Horror
2 player long strategy: ????
2 player long wargame: I have Horus Heresy and he has Twilight Struggle
2 player filler: I have Battle Line.
Multiplayer short co-op: Pandemic
Multiplayer long co-op: Arkham
Multiplayer short strategy: Power Grid
Multiplayer long strategy: I have Twilight Imperium 3rd Ed., but I can't see us ever getting it played and he has Chaos in the Old World
Multiplayer short wargame: ???? (i am not sure this category really exists)
Multiplayer long wargame: I have Axis and Allies
Multiplayer filler: ?????
I have tried to focus on getting a game for each number of players we are likely to have, and whether we are likely to have a week night or a weekend night to play and on whether we are in the mood for cooperative or confrontational play. Did I miss anything obvious here, and are there any games that people would recommend for any category in particular?
Nothing to see here
2 player long strategy: Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42 (bonus, can be played by four players). Plays in about two hours.
Multiplayer Filler: I would go for an abstract like Ingenious
I'm sort of curious how strategy gets its own label, when it seems that all of the games mentioned require strategy. I guess I would point at... Yomi or YINSH? They are not long however, if that's what you really want.
I like playing The Resistance for this one. It does only fit 5-10, but it's an excellent game. It's fast, easy to learn, and nobody gets eliminated. I also like Liar's Dice, a game where you simply need 5 dice per player and you get a cool poker-ish bluffing game.
2 player long strategy: War of the Ring.