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Subject: Recommend me a 5 player Board Game- *Details Inside* rss

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Andrew Virrelchi
Canada
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My friends and I (5 of us) have an appreciation for board games. However, we haven't exactly tried anything other than "World of Warcraft - the board game", "Monopoly City", "Risk", and "The Last Night on Earth - Zombie game".

A majority of us cannot stand the world of warcraft game as it takes a long duration of time to set up. When we do play it, games generally last under 2 hours due to the repetitive nature of the game itself:
1. Kill Monsters (minor variation)
2. Level up
3. Get New Weapon (maybe)
4. Repeat

Note: We've only played this 2 times. We unfortunately loath it at this point.

As for "The Last Night on Earth", due to the ambiguous nature of the rules (too many to list) and the overpowered zombies, 30 minutes tops our playing time.

Risk and Monopoly city are fun but only last for so long until they are left to collect dust.

I'm looking for a 5 player board game (price preferrably under $80) my friends and I can truely appreciate. I've been looking into "Pandemic" however I am still unsure if it would be a wise investment.

I suppose a list of parameters would help:

- 5 players *A Must*

- Under 3 hours playing time (Unless the game is particularly amazing)

- Rules Complexity: Doesn't matter as long as there is no ambiguity or odd loop holes in the rules.

- Replay Value: Very High (Enough to keep us entertained for many weeks)

- Gameplay Varation: High (A different experience every time we play would be highly preferred)

- Game Type: Survival, Co-op, Reach a certain area, complete "x" objectives. (As long as there is an end goal which must be completed. A game that never ends would bore us completely.)

- Board Type: Modular, plastic player pieces, detailed environments.

If anyone requires further clarification or details please ask away.
Thank you!
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Matt Robertson
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Here are some of our favourite 5 Player Games...

Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game - Great theme and a hoot to play.
Power Struggle - Good back-stabby fun in the corporate world
Modern Art - Great auction mechanic.
Himalaya - Fun game with programmed moves. (Caution: This is hard to get and requires the expansion to play with 5)
 
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Iffix Y Santaph
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NOTE: THERE ARE A LOT OF RULES IN THIS ONE!
Bear with it, if you try it, because it is awesome, and gives plenty to do:
Twilight Imperium (Third Edition)
 
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Steve B
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Descent: Journeys in the Dark is the first thing that came to mind. Can be found online for under $80 and plays in about 3 hours (or more, depending, but it's worth it!) 4 people play as heroes, the other person plays as the dungeon overlord trying to stop the heroes.
 
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Richard Sampson
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Pandemic is great but only goes up to 4. Expansion technically does 5, but not that great.

I would recommend Cosmic Encounter. Lots of variability, great with 5, and the meta gaming makes for very little down time.

If you want something kind of meaty, StarCraft: The Board Game is very good despite what you might think (don't let the WoW board game turn you off). Plays in a couple of hours once you know the rules, great with 5 and has a modular board.
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Andrew Virrelchi
Canada
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Descent: Journeys in the Dark seems interesting. The thought of delegating one of my friends as the dungeon master overlord is definitely appealing. Starcraft on a board game looks good, however I believe I'll stick to my PC for that.

I appreciate all of your help tremendously. I'm still open for more suggestions.

On a side Note: Any recommended legitimate online stores for purchasing well-priced board games online in Canada? I currently use Amazon but Descent: Journeys in the Dark is priced too high there.
 
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Kevin B. Smith
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Since you mentioned Pandemic, the first thing I thought of was Defenders of the Realm. Apparently you can play with 5 (or 6) players. Here is a thread discussing it: 5 players
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Steve B
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StarkP wrote:
Descent: Journeys in the Dark seems interesting. The thought of delegating one of my friends as the dungeon master overlord is definitely appealing. Starcraft on a board game looks good, however I believe I'll stick to my PC for that.

I appreciate all of your help tremendously. I'm still open for more suggestions.

On a side Note: Any recommended legitimate online stores for purchasing well-priced board games online in Canada? I currently use Amazon but Descent: Journeys in the Dark is priced too high there.


Check this geeklist link
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Jonathan Bailey-Jones
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I would say give Dominant Species a try, played it a few times and seems to really play well with 4+ players, I am hoping to get the game back to the table soon, I am sure someone with overwhelming experience can tell you more about the game.
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William Miller
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A very good economic/wargame hybrid that meets your criteria is 'Imperial'. Another good one that your group would probably enjoy is 'Struggle of Empires'.
 
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Brook Gentlestream
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My five-player games include Battlestar Galactica, Settlers of Catan, and Dominion.

You can easily buy Settlers of Catan with the 5-6 player expansion for under $80. However, based on the games you seem to enjoy, I think you would like a crunchier version that my friends and I play. This will require the purchase of the Cities & Knights expansion and the Cities & Knights 5-6 player expansion. This should just push $80 if you find some good online bundles. I also use a variant rule that I've posted up called Viscious Hordes.

Settlers of Catan includes a modular board. Players build settlements and cities to gather five types of resources from the board each turn. All the things you can build require a mix of resources, so there is a constant need to trade with other players. The trading aspect of this game is huge, and more fun with more players. The Cities & Knights expansion adds an "invasion" to the game. If the players haven't built up enough knights when the invaders come in, someone loses a city. I've added a variant rule on the Cities & Knights forum to make the invasion a bigger threat in the game. Cities & Knights includes three more resources, the possibility of playing knights strategically on the board, a new use for one of the resources, a new alternative to the simplistic development cards of the base game, and "developments" you can build to give you across-the-board benefits.

Battlestar Galactica (Co-op, with potential traitor)
Battlestar Galactica (with the Pegasus expansion) does not have a modular board, but it has a high replay value because of the different character roles you can select and the secret traitor that may or may not be among you. Each role has a different standard action available to it, and draws different types of cards which also have actions on them. The traitor can also reveal himself mid-way through the game and become an antagonist, augmenting the powers of the system you are all co-oping against. You must prevent the drain of the ship's resources, prevent the ship from being destroyed by alien spaceships, combat enemy troops if they board your ship, and handle the crises cards that come up every turn. You won't win everything, so its a balancing game of deciding when you can win, when you can lose, and whether or not the traitor will ruin everything.

Unlike the other two, Dominion is a game that doesn't have much direct interaction. There's no traitors, no voting, no trading. Dominion is a deck-building game where you purchase cards to add to your deck. These cards give you more actions per turn (to play cards), allow you to draw more cards, allow you to purchase more cards, give you more money to buy cards, or have other effects. The goal is to purchase the most victory cards, which unfortunately do not help you much during the game - so its a bit of a balancing act, deciding how many of each card you need, and exactly when to buy victory cards and when to buy more functional cards. Some attack cards let you interfere with the opponent's strategy. If your group enjoys card combos, coming up with new tactics, and such, they will like this game. Gameplay is fast, and easy to learn, but 5-players will require the Intrigue expansion and the base game (so that you have enough victory cards and such).

Of these three suggestions, I think you would enjoy Battlestar Galactica the most.
 
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Son of Burrito Bean III
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One more vote for Descent. It came to mind before I even got to the end of your post. Beware, though: your games will likely take longer than 3 hours, especially at first as well as the ones with the bigger dungeons. But this shouldn't matter, because the game is, in fact, particularly amazing. Have fun.
 
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JJ Belyeu
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XendoBreckett wrote:
NOTE: THERE ARE A LOT OF RULES IN THIS ONE!
Bear with it, if you try it, because it is awesome, and gives plenty to do:
Twilight Imperium (Third Edition)


+1. but be ready for more than 3 hours possibly. Most games I have played of this are at least 4 hours.
 
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Brook Gentlestream
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BeerMe wrote:
XendoBreckett wrote:
NOTE: THERE ARE A LOT OF RULES IN THIS ONE!
Bear with it, if you try it, because it is awesome, and gives plenty to do:
Twilight Imperium (Third Edition)


+1. but be ready for more than 3 hours possibly. Most games I have played of this are at least 4 hours.


It takes me and my friends a full night to play this, and it goes well into the morning. This is the longest game we own and have begun calling it "the gamer endurance challenge". We just got the expansions, so we're looking at scheduling a full weekend for our next game.
 
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JJ Belyeu
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BANG! The Bullet! - No plastic or modular boards, but this is a fantastic game.

Pandemic - you said you were already considering it, and its worth the purchase. just make sure to get the expansion also.

7 Wonders - probably one of the best games of 2010. absolutely amazing.

Small World - very fun (IMO) and simple area control game.

Risk 2210 A.D. - if you already like risk, this is the next step. just be sure to try and find a "big box" first edition as the components are far superior.

Thunderstone - can get lengthy with 5 players but a great deck-builder. there is also an official variant for co-op.

Power Grid - what can I say? its powergrid.
 
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Jeff Thompson
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I'll second Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game and Descent: Journeys in the Dark.
 
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Richard Morris
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JBAILEY1 wrote:
I would say give Dominant Species a try, played it a few times and seems to really play well with 4+ players, I am hoping to get the game back to the table soon, I am sure someone with overwhelming experience can tell you more about the game.


+1

And about the clearest set of rules you will ever see.
 
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Josh Morgan
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Chaos in the Old World with the Horned Rat expansion. It's a static game board, but the seeding of tokens is different every time. Each person has a unique path to victory in addition to the three alternate end conditions (win by points, win by having most points after 5 regions ruined, or game wins and everyone loses). You're constantly at each others throats. The need to be adaptive to other players moves is constant and having 5 powers that work and function very differently from one another gives constant replayability. Once you have the game down, you can bust out a game in 90 minutes or so (or at least that's what my group and I are averaging).

It's such a well thought out design, that other than the theme (fictional demonic gods destroying the world), I can't think of any other reasons this would not be a hit with your (or nearly any other) group that is looking for a variable, strategic experience.
 
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Kevin Shillinglaw
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Talisman (Revised 4th Edition) is one you should check out. It doesn't fill all your criteria, but I think it would totally work for you and your friends!
 
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Garcian Smith
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What you say about WoW is pretty much what you will find in ALL RPGs. I mean Runebound, Arkham Horror, Talisman, etc. all have it. I see it present in video games too: kill stuff, level up and get loot. That's all it really is.

Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game is definitely a game you should read about. It has lots of characters with different powers, great references from the show and one of the best recreations of paranoia and sabotage in games. However, it can take many hours.

A game I got my friend that he really likes is Chaos in the Old World. It's a cool game where you are a god who plays differently from others. It also plays in a good amount of time. However, you'll need to expansion to play with 5.

MY personal favorite though is Chicago Express. There's no guns, blood or shooting, but instead you get a game where strategy is subtle and only surfaces through repeatedly plays. It's a game about making profits through forming or breaking alliances, sabotaging companies and knowing when to end the game. It has no luck to it and it plays really fast like in one hour, so you can play repeatedly.
 
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Christopher Todesco
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If your time limit restriction is a must, I would recommend against both Twilight Imperium because it has a reputation of games going 5+ hours, and Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game because it can go over 3 hours and some people feel it gets repeatative near the end. However, I love both games and would recommend them heartily if you struck that parameter.

Another +1 to Descent: Journeys in the Dark, and given your interest, I would say that should be on the top of your "next to try" list.


But... I'm surprised by this sentence:
StarkP wrote:
As for "The Last Night on Earth", due to the ambiguous nature of the rules (too many to list) and the overpowered zombies, 30 minutes tops our playing time.


Pretty much any time my group has 5 and doesn't have enough time for BSG, our default is Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game. I'm puzzled by your statement of "ambiguous nature of the rules" because IMO this game has relatively little rules problems. That coupled with "over powered zombies" makes me think you're not playing something correctly... or you played with expansions-- some of the expansion material was specifically meant to beef up the zombies, and also introduced some rules conflicts. But my impression of the base game is that it is well written and well balanced, a lot more so than most games.

 
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Chris Ferejohn
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+1 on Last Night on Earth. I didn't find there to be many ambiguities at all. The zombies have maybe a slight edge, but hey, they're zombies...
 
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Curt Carpenter
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With so few games played, it's hard to do much better than Adv Search. If I filter out a few that I think don't work for you (like Tichu), the top candidates are:
Puerto Rico
Power Grid
El Grande
Steam (or Railroad Tycoon)
Battlestar Galactica
The Princes of Florence
Shogun
Age of Empires
Small World
Endeavor
Space Alert
In The Year of the Dragon
Amun Re
Taj Mahal
A Game of Thrones
Ticket to Ride: Märklin Edition
Chicago Express

Many of these are considered "Euros", which it sounds like is new territory for you. Check it out and see if you like it. They are, in some ways, the antithesis of "Ameritrash", which is what games like World of Warcraft are considered as.
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EuroPeon
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No one has mentioned Santiago.

It's very much a "Euro" game, but that's the kind of recommendation someone with my user name is going to give you.

I think you'd be pleasantly surprised just how confrontational the bidding and bribing mechanisms can be.
 
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Curt Carpenter
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EuroPeon wrote:
No one has mentioned Santiago.

Ok, here's the rest of my list that I cut off because I thought it was getting a little long:
Maharaja
Dream Factory
Santiago
Antike
Alhambra
 
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