In Eight Games different board gamers share the eight games they’d select in eight different situations. The links are given to Board Game Geek listings for you to find out more. This month Adam Collins shares his eight games.
Adam is a board game enthusiast. He has a podcast, reviews games, and even creates his own games.
1: A game to play on an aeroplane:
Tiny tables and turbulence.
That’s Pretty Clever (Ganz Schon Clever)
Like Yahtzee but want more strategy? Look no further than Wolfgang Warsch’s Clever Trilogy. The down time between turns is eliminated as you get to play a die after everyone’s turn, maybe even more than one. With the clever mechanic of unlocking bonuses, you can strategize to maximize each die you choose to play and when. Needing nothing more than a place to roll the 6 included dice, this game is perfect for a small tray table, not in its upright and locked position!
As I mentioned, this is part of a trilogy. Twice as Clever and Clever Cubed round out the trio. Each game is different. Each one makes you think in different ways. There are even “Challenge Boards” for the first two games. These games are also very video conference friendly!
2: A game to play in a pub:
Murky lighting and plenty of noise
Heimlich & Co
Wolfgang Kramer is a solid game designer. This game debuted in 1984, and it still resonates to this day. In it, you are a secret spy for one of seven countries. You roll dice and strategically move all the spies around the board. Land in the same building as the safe, and the safe is cracked, giving each spy the number of points based on their building. At the end of the game, for each correct guess you make of who is which spy, bonus points are scored.
Every move you make is being watched and scrutinized by your opponents, and you are doing the same. Did he move the American to the graveyard as a decoy to hide that it is really him? Did she move only her spy to get in place for a big score? The local pub would be a great place to play this classic.
3: A game to play with a large group:
A captive audience for something big.
Social deduction games are not necessarily my cup of tea. For some reason, though, Bang is quite the exception. It might be that I love old westerns starring John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. It could be that it is just a darn-tootin good game. Each player of the 4-7 players is dealt a role for the game, facedown. You are either the sheriff or his deputies, or you are an outlaw or the renegade. Only the sheriff is known.
The object of the game is to root out who is not on your side and shoot them with the titular Bang! Cards. The sheriff and his deputies win if all the outlaws and the renegade are dispatched. The outlaws win if the sheriff is gunned down doing his job. The renegade can only win if it comes down to a mano a mano shootout with the sheriff and the sheriff perishes. There are multiple expansions that can add more variety to the gameplay, but the base game has plenty to it.
4: A game to play with four players from four different generations:
Fun for everyone from 4 to 104.
Chances are, grandma and grandpa might even have this game collecting dust in a closet, as was the case with my family. Mille Bornes came out in 1954. In this card game, you are trying to make it 1000 milestones, which is the approximate distance from Paris, France, to the border of Italy on the RN 7. You play cards with a distance on them, 25, 50, 75, 100, or the elusive 200. There are also hazard cards you can play against your opponents, remedies to counter said hazards, and safeties that protect you from future hazards. With the simple, fast, and fun gameplay, it is fun for the whole family!
Mille Bornes is loosely based on Touring by George Parker in 1906. This game originally had much lower mile cards and speed limits based on being in the city or the country. You could drive much faster in the country!
5: A game to play outdoors:
Wind, rain and seagulls won’t stop play.
I know this one sounds a little out of the ordinary, but Backgammon is perfect for the outdoors, the rain, the wind, and the occasional seagull. Backgammon seems to be the forgotten game. It is on the back of most cheap chess/checkers boards, and yet, many people do not know how to play. I only recently learned how to play this game, and The Son and I have had a lot of fun playing this classic (3000BC) game.
Math and strategy play a lot into winning backgammon. When do you hit your opponent to the bar? When do you fortify your points? Odds and math come into play later in the game as you must decide when to go for the win. There are plenty of nice backgammon sets out there, but a cheap one to learn on is easy enough to find. You may even google and find out there are other “versions” of backgammon. The Son and I love to play Army Man Backgammon.
6: A game to play in a library:
Rhino Hero is a great game that requires no talking. It can be played in complete silence. Trying to keep yourself quiet, however, might prove to be harder than first expected. The object of the game is to build a literal house of cards. Each roof has a floor plan for the next set of walls that your opponent must comply with. Place the walls, add a roof, and move Rhino Hero up the growing skyscraper. But beware, if your hands are not steady, or you breath too hard, it might all come tumbling down. The person who causes the inevitable collapse is the loser, unless someone is able to get rid of all their roof cards first!
If you want something similar with a little more strategy, there is Rhino Hero Super Battle, where you must set 1 or 2 walls of varying heights across your massive building structure. You then roll to see how many floors, or levels, you go up or down. If you go to the same floor as an opponent, you have a roll off, and the loser must go move their hero down a floor, which might cause another battle, and so on. The player with the hero on the highest level at the collapse is declared the winner!
7: A game to play with someone who claims to hate board games:
Can you convert a non-believer?
When it comes to non-believers, a large barrier is lack of knowledge of what is out there. Castle Panic offers a great gateway into cooperative gaming. You work together, as a team, to defend your castle from the onslaught of orcs, trolls, goblins, and more that are coming from all sides. You can trade your cards with fellow defenders as you try to prepare and brace for the attack.
No plan is perfect as the game fights back with making the monsters move more, shift sideways, or makes you draw more and more monsters. Even the best-laid plans are no match for the random drawing from the bag of monsters. Everyone working together takes away the “new to the game” feeling. Everyone can help everyone else understand. Winning and losing together is also a plus. Once your non-believer believes, you can add in the expansions!
8: A game to play with one other player:
A cosy game for two .
When it comes to a game for two, I wanted to pick one that was specifically designed for two players. Star Realms takes the cake. While other games can play two players, sometimes this can feel like an afterthought or just pasted on. Star Realms plays two players out of the box, and the 3 or 4 player editions feel like an afterthought. The game is a great example of a deck builder. Each player is the head of a fleet of ships that you are acquiring to defeat your opponent’s fleet. Each round you start with five cards, and through clever playing and strategy, you can draw more cards, set out bases and outposts to protect you while you attack. The first person to drain all the “authority” from the other is the winner.
Star Realms has had many additions to the base game along with two more base game editions. Each new pack of cards can be added to the game to make a unique experience each time. Since it is not a collectible card game, there is no such thing as a stronger deck. Your deck’s strength depends on your decisions.