User registration set to invite-only because of spam. Email for an invite.

Victory Points (the card and board game thread)

Talk about card and board games.

Here are the games I've been playing recently that I think you should play.
No Thanks! - a super awesome game which takes about 2 minutes to learn and 5-10 minutes to play. It also lends itself to risk-taking, bad decision-making, and playfully being a dick to the other players. :D

Guildhall - this is a medieval-village themed set-making game. It takes about 10-30 minutes to play (depending on whether or not the players are experienced), and I don't think I've ever played it less than twice in a single sitting. It is vaguely "Dominion-esque" in that the cards have effects as you play them.

The Resistance - this is one of those "everybody is working together but there are traitors afoot" kind of games. It takes about 20-30 minutes to play - not as annoyingly long as certain board games with the same feature. Another good game for winding up your friends and getting them pissed at you. Downside: you need at least 4 other friends if you want to play it.

Are you the traitor? - very similar to The Resistance, but more like Werewolf, with a fantasy theme. It takes about 10 minutes to play a game. You only need at least 3 other friends for this one.

Bohnanza - a strategic resource management card game in which you trade, cultivate, and harvest beans. Yeah, it's about bean farming. I've never been able to put together a good elevator pitch for this one, but it's really fun for what it is. Oh, wait! It's a Rio Grande game: that's an automatic +1!

San Juan - I've gushed about this one enough. It's like Puerto Rico, but without the achingly long game time.

Dominion - even the bad games I've had with Dominion were pretty good. If you've ever played Magic the Gathering (and enjoyed it), you should check it out.

Honorable mention:
DC Comics Deck Building Games - it's a deck building game where you play a member of the Justice League. I've only played it once, but that one time was really fun.

Nomination for official FKftG card game:
Hanabi - I've never played the game, the only thing I know about it is the name, which I think makes it a shoo-in.


  • No Thanks quickly became a favorite for getting my non-gamey relatives to play, I second it's recommendation.
  • Im kinda obsessed over the Pokemon TCG since I got introduced to it a while ago. I have had multitudes of fun on that than the game experiences of Magic The Gathering. Every time I have played Magic, I got bored within 5 minutes and completely zone out because I get in these games of 6 or so people and they will debate over what one card power does for 15 minutes at a time. I don't understand how Magic is fun.

    Pokemon, I have won against people on my last card in my deck in a "down to the wire" type of game.
  • I played that DC deck building game once. It was pretty fun. Xeno thinks Puerto Rico is a lame version of San Juan but I still enjoy it.

    Bohnanza is another good game for the uninitiated.

    I recently played Revolution which I thought was a lot of fun.
  • Wise and Otherwise is another good one. It's a party game similar to Balderdash, save that you are trying to finish weird folk sayings instead of coming up with definitions for cryptic words.

    Luck of the Draw is one that I haven't played in a while, but it's another good party game. It's a game for artistically challenged people. The players get 30 seconds to draw something (each person drawing their interpretation of whatever the subject is), and then the results are anonymously submitted to a judging process whereby they are awarded titles like "Artist had too much sugar this morning" or "Rejected from Rorschach Test" and you get points when your image earns those. It's all pretty arbitrary, but the results are usually hilarious.

    For what it's worth, I've had really good games of Puerto Rico. BUT. I also have had interminably long games of Puerto Rico. So, it's a good game, specifically when you are playing with people who don't take forever on their turn. If you have a good group of people, it is an excellent game.
  • Dominion is top-notch stuff - short and practically infinite in its replayability.

    Space Alert is possibly my favorite board game of all time. 4-5 players (it can go down to 3, 2, or 1 players, but I'm not familiar with the rules) have to run around a spaceship as it hurtles through a deadly sector of space, trying to fend off threats and keep the ship intact - it's kind of like FTL, but without a pause button. You play it in real time (a randomized audio track tells you to draw threat cards every so often, or awards bonus cards, or cuts everyone off with a burst of static during which no one can talk to anyone else) and lay down cards to plot out your actions over the 12 rounds of the game, all while shouting at everyone else to make sure you're not doing silly things like "using the same one-person elevator" or ""not firing guns at the same time". Once time is up, you play back all of the actions in sequence and see what caused you to fail catastrophically this time.

    Disclaimer: I love the base game, but the expansion pack The New Frontier is what catapulted it into "favorite" status, mostly by adding character sheets you could advance through successive games, giving the whole thing a sense of progression as you worked your way up to new and better "special move" cards.

    Eclipse - I've only played once, but I really liked it. Space 4X game, very Master of Orion-like (heck, it even has an ancient star system with an implacable automated guardian you can plunder) with customizable ships and a super-clever way of making your board do all of the number calculations for you. And it doesn't take more than an hour or two to play!
  • I'll have to buy San Juan, I love Puerto Rico but have a hard time getting anyone to play with me because it's intimidating.

    No love for Blokus? It's like competitive tetris with four players each trying to make land grab. There isn't that much complexity to it, but it's a fun party game. I had a pretty easy time convincing non-gamers to play it, my grandparents are better at it than I am now after they won a copy at bingo.
  • I fucking love Blokus.
  • edited May 2013
    Tzolk'in, been preaching that one for a while.

    Other than that, taught my friend to play Koi Koi. Also, I refuse to play werewolf games with my friends, mainly since half of them conspire to take out the other half regardless of who's who.
  • Blokus is pretty cool.
  • edited June 2013
    I'm partial to Fantasy Flight Games reboot of Netrunner, called Android: Netrunner. It's a "living card game", which means when you buy an expansion block everyone gets the same cards to work with, so there's none of this Yugi-Oh / MtG "rarest cards win" bullshit.

    The game is exquisitely designed and it features asymmetrical gameplay. There are also rules for deck building based on a limited point-spending system, which prevents people from just dumping the most powerful cards into the mix to make the ultimate twink deck. It's great stuff. I highly recommend it.
  • How do you guys feel about "fiddly bits?"

    Too much fiddly-ness in a game definitely puts me off. With that said, I love me some Dominion, and some people may consider having multiple stacks of cards to which you pay attention a bit too fiddly.
  • AkuAku
    edited June 2013
    As long as the bits are serving a good mechanic, the more the better. For example, I think that Dungeon Twister makes you spin a lot of plates, but is more engaging than games with similar amounts of bits to jigger.

    Where on the spectrum would a drafting game like 7 Wonders land?
  • edited June 2013
    To me, 7 Wonders seems to be at the point just beyond which more fiddly bits would hurt the game. With that said, what the fiddly bits do in that game is usually pretty clear. Cards will tell you what they will let you build or they show you clearly what bonus or material they provide. I was in one game that had 6 or 7 players in it (almost all were new, including me) in which there was only a couple times when we needed to pause the game to check if someone had made a mistake.

    On the other hand, even with seasoned players, I don't believe I have ever played a game of Puerto Rico without someone forgetting (if only temporarily) how to calculate how many colonists to put on the colonist ship or just forgetting to put colonists on the ship altogether. It may not seem like much, but that is one of three pacing mechanisms of the game. Either it's important or it isn't, and if it isn't, it shouldn't be a pacing mechanic.

    I guess it could be reasonably argued that good game design should make the function of the fiddly bits clear enough that the rulebook doesn't need to be consulted frequently, making any amount of fiddly bits acceptable as long as their function in the game is clear. Though, there must be a limit to the number of fiddly bits to which the average player can pay attention at a single time.

    Ultimately, when I look at the back of a game box, and I see 10 different kinds of pieces strewn meaninglessly (to a new player) across the demo space, I'm probably not going to try to play it without someone who has played it before.
  • One of the genius things about Eclipse is that it has a ton of fiddly bits, but the board and game is designed impeccably to make it so that you can understand what they all mean instantly. All of the complicated values (how many resources do I get this turn? How much upkeep do I pay, given that I took 3 more actions than usual and have colonized 4 systems? How much firepower and shields do my ships have?) are instantly visible on the board, based on what your tokens cover up or expose as you shuffle them around.
  • edited June 2013
    Eclipse sounds so hot, but can't justify buying more board games. There's an IOS version now but it's iPad only. :(

    Obviously the solution is to spend $600 to save the $80 the boardgame would cost.
  • ^^ Yeah, my favorite part is how all the instructions and actions for each race is legibly symbolized on their sheet. The only real downside is the 30 minute setup/clean up time. (because helping friends set up is for nerds) Also, have you had any experience with laminating the character sheets? I've been considering that for a while.

  • edited June 2013
    they will debate over what one card power does for 15 minutes at a time. I don't understand how Magic is fun.
    I feel like if you have to argue for 15 minutes about what a card does you don't actually know how to play Magic.

    Also I am against playing any non-video game with more than 3 other people unless that game is 7 Wonders (which is an awesome card drafting game).
  • edited June 2013
    If I recall correctly, 7 Wonders scales (in numbers of players) so well since everybody takes their turn at the same time. There's something to be said for game design which avoids player downtime.
  • Blokus is pretty cool.
    Blokus is brilliant and we played it all through the last Christmas Holidays - until SOMEONE decided to sabotage everyone else.

    Recently we picked up Story Cubes, which isn't a game per se but still family fun and you get to use your imagination. Every story ends up featuring poo. which is what happens when you play with 9-12 year olds
  • To be fair, that would happen with my group, and we're 28-30 year olds. If your family likes story games, check out Happy Birthday, Robot or Tales of the Arabian Nights.

    Finally got around to playing Power Grid. It is the best.
  • Happy Birthday, Robot is pretty fun/cute; though I have never played it outside of a game convention. I think I might bring it to my next camping trip.
  • Played a lot of Smash Up today. It was a lot of fun but robots were a bit unbalanced.
  • edited June 2013
    Uhh, let's go through the old game closet. Pentago is fun for travel, because it's so small. I've had a lot of fun playing it camping at MTB races. Zombies!!! is kinda neat, even though it's not super original. Scrabble is still a top pick for game night, along with Dominion, Munchkin, and Ticket to Ride. TTR is my favorite game. I have the original, Europe, and the Switzerland expansion.
  • I also seem to remember playing a lot of Space Hulk...
  • Last night I played Space Cadets for the first time -

    It meets my roommate's criteria for a successful co-op game, which is to say we died horribly on our first attempt. Also it was hysterical - shields facing the wrong direction, shots pinging ineffectually off the enemy shields, a terrible mix-up involving the tractor beam station that I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT, and an accidental joyride that kicked us up to max speed and send us shooting all the way across the map into uncharted and obstacle-ridden territory. If at all possible we're going to try to play again this weekend.
  • edited June 2013
    I just played some Qwirkle and Love Letter last night.

    Qwirkle is a fun little tile placement / pattern recognition game akin to Bananagrams, save that it uses colors and shapes as opposed to letters.

    Love Letter is a really fun game of deduction. The players are suitors in the royal court trying to use connections to other members of the court to sneak a letter to the princess while interfering with the other players' attempts to do the same. There are only 16 cards in the deck, and each player has a hand of only one card. Everyone knows how many cards of each type are in the game, and deducing which card the other person has could help you knock them out of the round.
  • edited June 2013
    I played Goblins Drool, Fairies Rule! tonight. It was a Kickstarter game that I backed as it looked like an educational game that might interest my son when he starts reading. It was an okay game, but not great.
  • Aw man, I played some No Thanks with coworkers at lunch today, and after one person pushed us a little too far by passing around a card to get more chips, another guy took the card saying something about "screwing him in the greed-hole." I'm pretty sure we all cried a bit. I love this game.
  • I've been looking for someone to try loveletter with, it looks like a fun game of bluffs.

    Unfortunately, everyone in my group is interested in CCGs exclusively and the one person I taught koi koi to is now consistently scoring 30 points over me per game.
  • I think I might pick up the 'Original Japanese Editon' of Love Letter that is coming out, I really like the art.
  • Got to try out Kingdom Builder and Hive yesterday. Wasn't too impressed by Kingdom Builder after playing two games of it, but maybe it's better with three or four players. Hive was a lot of fun though and I may have to pick it up for my dueling games quick fix.
  • ^I have only played Kingdom Builder with 3 people. I thought it was pretty good, but I don't think I'll buy it. For what it's worth, we had the Nomad expansion. There is definitely more chance to screw people over (or getting screwed over) the more people you play with.

    ^^Those cards do look pretty cool.
  • edited June 2013
    @ThatGent, Love Letter is a good 2-4 player game. If you have 3-5 players on occasion, definitely try No Thanks. Bohnanza (2-7 players) might be worth trying out too, if you don't mind playing a 45 minute game.

    Edit: Also, maybe check out Wizard (same thing, different skin, 3-6 players) or Coloretto (2-5 players).
  • I ordered that limited edition of Love Letter along with a trick-taking game by the same designer and artist team that sounds interesting
  • Can you link to the limited edition Love Letter?
  • I wanted to be able to teach other people how to play Tigris & Euphrates, so I sat down and walked through a 3-player game (by myself) trying to engage in all the mechanics. It is such an awesome game. It's a long one (1-2 hours), but it seems worth the time.
  • I've heard of that, but never played it. What's it like?
  • 1-2 hours isn't a long game, that's average. 2+ hours is long.
  • edited June 2013
    ^As someone who is averse to games over 1 hour, it is long. ;) Most of the games I've played in the past 6 months lasted 45 minutes or less. One exception would be Iron Dragon.

    @Aku, it's an area-control, tile-laying game. Each player has a dynasty (Pottery, Archer, Lion, or Bull) that represents them in the game. Each dynasty has four leaders that correspond to a color (King [black], Priest [red], Farmer [blue], and Trader [green]). When a tile is placed, if there is a leader of the corresponding color in that region/kingdom (a contiguous set of tiles), then the owner of that leader scores a victory point of that color. There are also ways to have conflicts: internal (when one leader comes into an existing kingdom and tries to oust a leader of the same type from a different dynasty) and external (when a player attempts to unite to kingdoms with a tile, and there are leaders of the same type in the resulting mega kingdom). In the end, your score is determined by the lowest number of victory points of the four colors (so 5 red, 6 blue, 10 green, and 10 black would mean a score of 5).

    I first played this several years ago, and the guy who was explaining it didn't do a very good job, and I was summarily trounced. That left me wary of the game. Now that I have read the rules for myself and have experience teaching other people different games, I'm feeling pretty good about introducing other people to it.
  • 1-2 hours is still 2/3 of a game of Eclipse, and I've heard it's more solvable in the sense that there isn't much randomness. I like that in a game.
  • Play Space Alert! It is borderline impossible for a single session of that to take more than half an hour.

    In comparison, Space Cadets is probably a 2-3 hour time investment.
  • I've heard good things about Eclipse (and it has an awesome BGG score), but... dice rolling? Really?

    I don't want to come across as a game mechanic snob, but getting screwed by dice is my least favorite way to lose a game. I'm looking at you, Settlers of Catan games in which 6's and 8's come up less frequently then 4's and 10's, or everyone at the table rolls 7's, and nothing happens for 5 minutes.

    Randomness I am okay with: pulling tiles from bags, pulling cards from a shuffled deck, card/tile drafting, card/tile bidding. For some reason, I am really averse to games that use Craps as a game mechanic.
  • edited June 2013
    I can agree with you there, I hate the dice most of all in Eclipse, especially considering that combat the only way to resolve direct conflict. However, the upgrade mini game heavily mitigates that. It turns fights against the AI to guaranteed victories. Losing fights with throwaway ships is also a viable strategy, since it still nets you an engagement VP token and can pin enemy ships from swarming your territory. The upgrades add a bit of strategy/counter-strategy and controllable risk management into the dice game.

    That said, Plasma Missiles OP, Riot plz nerf.
  • I had some games that I was looking at, and my wife - in respect to the upcoming father's day - encouraged me to go ahead and buy a couple for myself. So, I just ordered Jaipur (a 2 player Indian themed trading game) and Ticket to Ride: Europe.
  • I just got my first win in Love Letter at lunch today. That's one game that I enjoy despite my horrible record at it.
  • edited June 2013
    I think the game I get the most enjoyment out of despite losing might be Scattergories. Probably helps that it's short so I don't get too invested in keeping track of how much everyone else is doing compared to me.
  • Stop it, stop having all the fun. The rest of us want some fun too. Specifically some Descent 2 fun.

    I've been running a campaign for a bit and those dice games just sway so quickly in one sides favor almost instantly. Since it's primarily a dice game, things get borderline unfun at times. Heck, getting a lone hero downed basically means he's either a free overlord card or out for the rest of the map. I've had to pull punches so many times just so that the rest of the players would have fun, generally a turn before I turn one player into a monkey and then squish him with an ettin just because animal cruelty.
  • If you guys are ever in the Philly area, let me know. I'll get you hooked up with some gaming.
  • Yeah? You've got their fix?
Sign In or Register to comment.