Board Games

[Cross-posted, originally posted on Canadian Geek]

I’m going to go off in a different direction for this post – I’m going to talk about Board Games.  I’m certainly no expert on the subject, but I find several different titles quite enjoyable.

 I don’t know alot about what goes into designing a board game (of course, by extension, one could argue that I don’t know anything about RPG design either, which isn’t stopping me).  What I do know is what I like – which is what I’m going to focus on in this post. 

Here’s a few board games you should check out.


Diplomacy was introduced to me by a very close friend.  The draw that Diplomacy has to me is that chance is not a factor to the outcome of the game (unlike Risk or Axis and Allies).  Personally, I really disliked Risk because of a few games that burned me due to die rolls screwing me over.  Axis and Allies had a bit more strategy involved, but it was still possible to watch a single infantry unit eliminate a vastly superior force.

Originally, Diplomacy was designed to simulate the dealings of the major powers prior to World War I.  The players take up the helm of one of: England, France, Germany, Italy, Austria-Hungry, Russia and Turkey.  Each turn, the nations confer with each other, looking to make alliances and determine strategy.  Orders are submitted and executed simultaneously.  This is where the fun begins.  Who kept their word?  Who didn’t?

Diplomacy is an excellent study of game theory, which in itself, is a very interesting subject.  This could be why I enjoy the game so much.

Players worldwide have developed many different variants.  Some simply modify the basic board (changing the starting units, modifying the layout of supply centers) and some develop entirely new boards to reflect different areas (and times) of the world.  Articles on strategy are abundant.

Diplomacy is an excellent game, especially when played with a number of skilled players.

 Settlers of Catan

I really don’t know what to say about Settlers.  I really like this game.  I’ve only played a few times and I’m sure that I haven’t even scratched the surface of the strategy and awesomeness of the game. 

Settlers also has several expansions that add new rules and change the experience.  I’ve yet to give any of these a try, but they look cool.

Just play it.  You’ll understand.

Arkham Horror

I had the opportunity to play Arkham Horror for the first time this past weekend.  I quite enjoyed how the game played, even though we lost.  It definately is a game for ‘gamers’.  It’s also co-operative, which is pretty different.

There’s several expansions available, which changes how the game plays, with more on the way, to make sure each play is vastly different than the previous play session.  I’d like to play again to get a better grasp on the rules, but overall, It was very fun.

 So, obviously, the recommendations this month are:

  • Diplomacy
  • Settlers of Catan
  • Arkham Horror

If you like board games, at least one of those games will suit you just fine.

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