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Board Game Crazy and Other Ramblings

I think I might have gone a little overboard on the board games lately. What started as a passing interest is quickly becoming a full on hobby. Keen and I received Mice And Mystics + Expansion for Christmas and I acquired the Mage Knight Board Game + Expansions. Since then I’ve gone on to pick up the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game + Character and Adventure Packs and just recently ordered Eldritch Horror and Robinson Crusoe: Adventure on the Cursed Island. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) I don’t really plan on stopping there.

Robinson Crusoe Board Game

I think over the years I’ve started to slowly lose interest in video games. I don’t know why but they just don’t do it for me anymore. It seems that the more graphically impressive things get the more the gameplay suffers. You can totally see it when you start looking backward through games and notice how everything ends up getting “streamlined” or straight up removed if they can’t be bothered to implement it. I’ve been raving about this correlation between visuals and complex gameplay to Keen for years. I haven’t completely lost my mind yet. You’ll know when that happens.

Eldritch Horror Board GameThis is probably why I really like board games and (the idea of) tabletop RPGs (Since I can’t play any by myself). You can do so much more and get so much more out of them. You just need to be imaginative. I do still enjoy video/computer games from time to time, like with The Banner Saga recently, but it seems the more interesting and unique ones are few and far between.

Though my current board game acquisition phase is going to slow while I dig in and play, I still plan to pick up:

- Arkham Horror and it’s bajillion (more like 8) expansions. Maybe one day if I win the lottery.

- Caverna: The Cave Farmers because the idea of farming and mining as a family of dwarves seems strangling compelling. Too bad it seems to be in dire need of a reprint before I can find a decent priced copy.

- Space Hulk, which seems like it might get a new edition within the next 12 years.

- The Witcher Adventure Game was recently announced and looks pretty awesome.

And that’s just the stuff I could think of off the top of my head. I’m sure if I made an actual wishlist it would go on.  For now I’m going to enjoy what I have before I overextend. I also might have to formally institute a set weekly game night/day and make Keen show up. Maybe we could podcast it or something. That sounds fun, actually. Miles away I can already hear Keen mutter, “Fun for who…?”

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  1. Boardgames can be so addicting…not the playing of them but the buying of boardgames. The fact that there are really good rare boardgames that are hard to get is mind boggling. You cant just go into any random store and pick up whatever boardgame you desire. For some games, only 1000-2000 copies were ever made and getting one of these is tough/expensive. For some, you get a small window of opportunity to purchase them and that window closes again…so you start buying boardgames “for the future”. Fortunately, they do hold their value. Anyway, good luch with the new addiction!!! :)

  2. einhander says:

    I know what you mean, when I look over my game collection you can clearly see that the newer titles are getting slimmer and slimmer.
    AAA games just mean great graphics and a 12 hour game.
    In fact my next game purchase is probably going to be “Thousand Arms” for ps1 lol.
    I’d prefer them to keep simpler graphics and improve the story/gameplay.

    on topic! Have you seen dungeon dicey? It was a kick starter card game last year, it’s actually pretty fun!

  3. Which Space Hulk are you considering? The board game or Space Hulk: Death Angel the card game?

    I cant say much on the board game as I haven’t been able to play it but Death Angel is a pretty solid game. Quick to play and a lot of fun Solo as well. Only downside is the manual is not all that great, I ended up just watching a few game play guides on youtube which helped clear up any questions I had.

    Also I would definitely subscribe to a podcast of you guys playing.

  4. einhander says:

    *Dungeon Dice

  5. Horrorshow says:

    I and my friends love Arkham Horror. We play the Arkham Horror base game every couple of months. We make a night out of it because the time it takes to complete it can vary. Mostly 5 – 6 hours we have got it down to. The main reason is that time passes and we have to look up the rules.
    A great game and when we finish the base game we plan to move on to the expansions.

  6. @Argorius There are so many out of print games that I want. DungeonQuest, RuneBound, Magic Realm, etc. The prices get super high though and I’m really iffy on buying anything second-hand.

    @einhander I don’t think I’ve seen Dungeon Dice before but I have seen Dungeon Roll. I loved the treasure chest box on the latter.

    @Raistiff Both, actually. I’d love to get my hands on the board game but it just wont happen. It’s going for like $300 or so right now. The other day I was one click away from buying the Death Angel card game but I decided to to drop a little more and get Eldritch Horror instead. Death Angel is still on my radar, though.

  7. Horrorshow says:

    Another game, if you can afford it, is to get Zombicide. That is an expensive game, overall, when you include all the expansions and add-ons. However, just get the base game for now and try to get through the hardest mission which is the introductory mission. It took my friends and I almost 7 tries over the course of 5 months to meet the mission requirements to win.
    Also, people will die in the game. Sometimes we only have one survivor make it out.

  8. Horrorshow says:

    I would think twice about getting Diplomacy.
    It is known and actually has killed friendships.

  9. @Horrorshow I’ve seen Zombicide and it LOOKS really cool. The miniatures are really neat. What’s made me uneasy about it is there seems to be a lot of people who don’t like it or who were really disappointed with it. Or something like that. I haven’t done a whole lot of research into the game but it definitely put it on the back burner for me. I’ll have to give it another look.

  10. Wow, there are a lot of typos in this article. Keen is supposed to proof read these for me. -_-

  11. “Boardgames can be so addicting…not the playing of them but the buying of boardgames.”

    Hehe, too true. My problem is getting people to play them. I have the original pre-market release of Cosmic Encounter that the devs premiered at Princecon (a D&D convention) in the 80′s, but it has only been played a handful of times, whereas Supremacy and a number of expansions still sits in my closet unplayed after a decade (although I recently saw a website dedicated to playing it online http://game.asup.co.uk/login.php).

  12. @Gankatron That’s why I’ve only purchased games that support solitaire play. Unfortunately it means I miss out on some really cool stuff but at least I can play them by myself if it’s my only option.

  13. Yeah, I suppose I should check out one of the local game shops around here to see what session may be going on, but I am at the age where I don’t want to be some creepy older guy playing with the kids in the corner.

  14. …although I suppose I might be popular given that I could buy beer for them.

  15. Ive really been getting into boardgames recently as well, do you or anyone else have suggestions for ones that are really fun 2 players ones that can also be played with more people? I usually play with my gf but sometimes family joins in on game nights.

    I do agree that they are catching my attention more than newer games are. I think my top games for 2013 were probably all handheld games, simply because they haven’t reached the same point as console/PC games in giving up graphics for gameplay. Fire Emblem: Awakening being an example, it is the newest game in the series and yet it is one of the best, and I have a sneaking susipicion it’s because of the fact that it is a handheld game.

  16. Here’s a funny thing. I haven’t played board games in over 15 years and even back then, it was nothing sophisticated. I’ve played plenty of RPGs back in the day too, but actual board games, almost nothing at all.

    So, I believe I’m in the same boat as you, Graev. Video games are not doing it for me anymore. MMOs were always my addiction but lately they are stripping social aspects from this genre and most of the new ones that came out is mostly played solo until the end where you have to grind for better gear. I miss that social aspect and more complex gameplay.

    So the other day I read your post about Pathfinder Card Game. It sounded too interesting and it felt like a mini RPG game without a GM that I could enjoy with my wife and my young kid. Because of that post, I started researching board games and I decided to purchase Eldritch Horror. We received the box yesterday and the 3 of us were having a blast playing from early evening until 2am! We had so much fun as a family and time flew by!

    We are now hooked. We are probably buying Pathfinder next and I have a few others that I’m already lining up for purchase, so thanks to you we found a new hobby for the family. :)

  17. Oh I just noticed you mentioned most of the ones you purchased can be played alone! Would you care to point me in the direction of some good ones there as well as that seems great as well

  18. OOP! Dungeon Roll, that’s the one…

  19. @Drathmar All the games listed in the first paragraph support solitaire play. I think Mage Knight is great for solo play. Something like Eldritch Horror might be good for 2 players and even more if they show up but can also be played solo.

  20. To echo what others have said I to have also been buying more and more board games as of late. Mansions of Madness, Eldritch Horror, Last Night on Earth, Castle Ravenloft and just recently Zombicide.

    I think Zombicide receives some negative opinions due to the very high price… which I can not argue with. I would never have bought it if not for an Amazon flash sale where I got it for something silly like $40. As a game overall though I enjoy it.

    I love the new momentum that board gaming is seeming to enjoy. In my city of Baltimore there are now at least 3 stable weekly gatherings that attract no less then 15 people each night. Granted I do not attend these gatherings due to conflicts with my schedule but still great to see. We also have a new board game cafe opening up near us and another board game focused store opening soon. Pretty good time to be into the hobby.

    Overall I still spend much more time on my pc gaming but have found a laid but board game session here and there is a nice change of pace.

  21. “I think over the years I’ve started to slowly lose interest in video games.” Graev

    Blasphemy on this site!!! Keen strike down this man and stone him for eternal ages!!! (or at least a good noogie or wedgy!!)

  22. @romble Board gaming is still gaming! :)

  23. Horrorshow says:

    @Gankatron what about the kids who play chess in New York park with adults?

    It is not unusual in game stores to have communities where people of different ages play a board game or some other table top game together. In fact it is a healthy sign that the game store has an inclusive community willing to teach new people and not cliquey.

    I go to a game store that is very protective of each other for the most part with only a bad apple or two. However, everyone alerts anyone new and old about the bad apples. Thus, we have a great thing going on.

  24. If you haven’t tried it yet, Pandemic is a fantastic game. It’s a co-op game (also playable solo) where you and the other players zip around the world trying to stop the spread of nasty diseases. I really love the idea of co-op board games, and this is one of my favourites.

  25. Gankatron says:


    Yeah, as usual a fair amount of what I say is laced in jest. If it is fun and not involving popsicles in a dark basement then one shouldn’t feel embarrassed.

    Of course chess is seen as an intellectual’s game where children are admired if they can compete against their elders, as opposed to potentially arguing with a bunch of high school kids who got to the treasure chest first. :P

  26. I’ve been playing Talisman with a small group of late, solid game with a ton of expansions (playing the base game now). Talisman recently got an iPhone version, which has a free demo, and it’s a very solid representation of the boardgame.

    We also play a fair amount of Risk 2210 AD. IMO it’s a much better version of Risk.

  27. You should pick up Mansions of Madness before Arkham Horror. It’s what every Cthulhu game strives to be and much more user friendly.


  28. ok you’ve twisted my arm. I’ve never played board games and these posts have got me interested. Would you say mice and mystics is a good place to start for myself and a 7year old?

  29. @Raex Of all the games I’ve played, which isn’t a whole lot, Mice And Mystics seems like it would be best for kids. There might be better games out there for playing with your kids, though. It really depends on what kind of experience you are looking for. There are thematic cooperative games, worker placement games, etc. I’ve barely scratched the surface.

    One game that I have heard great things about is King of Tokyo. Apparently it was designed by the creator of Magic the Gathering. Each player controls some giant monster reminiscent of Godzilla or King Kong and they all fight it out to see who becomes King of Tokyo. That looks incredibly fun and kid friendly. You might want to check it out as well.