|Klaus van der Kroft|
My roleplaying group has been getting into board games, and we are looking for a big, dense, complex, 6+ player board game with lots of strategic thinking involved and different ways of playing.
Hopefully fantasy, but other genres are alright.
We're not particularly picky when it comes to random/not-random styles, so regardless of the system using dice, cards, spinning wheels, throwing darts, or beer barrels rolling down the hill, it works for us.
We're mostly looking for a game that can keep the 6 of us playing for many long hours and cracking our heads open with ellaborate stuff.
What can you good lads recommend?
My thanks beforehand.
- Arkham Horror (Cooperative, Lovecraft theme, best board game ever, will keep the group busy for many hours)
- Smallworld (Competitive, fun and breezy fantasy theme, easy to pick up fun to play)
- Runebound (Slightly competitive, RPG on a board, will keep you group busy for many many hours, fun and fiddly)
- Fire and Axe (Competitive, historical trade and war viking theme, unique game play)
- A Game of Thrones (Competitive, strategy war game based on the books from Fantasy Flight, fun and with a time limit)
- Elder Sign (Cooperative, dice based game similar to Ark ham Horror but less fiddly, fast paced)
Just Google all of them. I think they all meet your criteria. I regularly play all of them with groups of 5.
Battlestar Galactica is a great game for larger groups that will keep you occupied for hours. Playing it with an rpg group is especially fun as people who can get into the mindset of desperation and paranoia enhance the game experience.
Last night on earth is a great zombie survival game that can field 6 players and is a ton of fun (particualrly if you add in the expansions). It pits 4 human players against 2 zombie players in the 6 player configuration.
The Castle Ravenloft (and its sequels/expansions) board game by wizards can be an enjoyable board game for large groups, and can often be a nice change of pace from intense roleplay sessions (since this is with your rpg group)
Dixit - A more casual game where you try to get into other people's heads. Fills a similar role to Apples to Apples but IMO is more fun and has amasing art (which is important in a game based arround art) With the expansion holds up to 12.
Citadel - A card-based economic game where players try to figure out what other people are trying to do and interfere in a myrad of different ways while building up their town.
Formula De - A really well done racing game where your risk assessments and luck decide if you crash and burn.
If you're looking for something that allows lots of players, lots of strategy, and can last many hours, check out Advanced Civilization.
Sid Meier's Civilization series is based on this. Each player is a Mediterranean power who has to grow, trade, and advance throughout the course of the game. A game can easily last 10+ hours at a stretch, though, so be prepared.
What can you good lads recommend?
* Elder Sign - good, cooperative game with evolving strategies* Apples to Apples - fun when you need a break
* Flux - shifting rules with deeply embedded strategy
* Gladiator - old Avalon Hill game; you can obtain copies of the rules off of numerous sites on the Internet. It is especially fun if you run it in the tourney mode
* Wizard - solid, fun card game
* Wizard Kings - board, war game using the blind system facilitated by blocks from Columbia Games
That should be enough to get you started.
Plays 2-6, best with 5-6
Playtime: 2 hours
It's an odd game. The players are investors in the major world powers (US, Europe, India, China, Russia and Brazil). You invest in a country and at the end of the game, you compare your investments to the countries worth (plus money in hand) and whoever has the most wins.
Initially, you'll have control of one country and it'll kind of feel like an area control game (risk, or axis and allies). But then an opportunity to invest in another country presents itself. Suddenly you're making decisions for two countries, and maybe they used to be hostile, but now it's in your interest that they get along. Then your enemy across the table invests in one of your countries and uses it against you.
Eventually you realize you don't care about the countries and just want your own wealth to be higher and the countries you invested in to do better.
Best with: 3-7
Playtime: 30 min
It's a card driven game. There are a number of hands equal to the players per round. Each turn, a player selects a card, then passes the remaining cards to the player on their left. Repeat until only one card is remaining. You go through 3 rounds like this. Cards earn you points in different ways, count up points at the end for the winner.
The cool thing is that the game plays remarkably similar no matter how many people you have and takes about the same amount of time.
Plays 2-6, Best with 4-6
Playtime: 2-3 hours
A game about evolution. You play a class of animals (mammals, birds, insects, etc) and compete for territory before the coming ice age. Takes a bit of strategy and foresight to do really well at the game (or luck).
Empires in Arms
Playtime: 6000 minutes
You read that right, 6000 minutes, or 100 hours (though it's estimated to go up to 150 hours to complete). That's a specific scenario in the game, requires exactly 7 players and can take months to finish. I haven't played it, but I've heard that if you have a good group it can be a lot of fun. It can start to occupy your life with those people, as politiking can start to happen whenever you see someone outside of the game.
Oh, one other game:
It's exactly like Apples to Apples, but the cards are offensive (seriously, there are some you might want to pull out if someone in the group has a trigger word). A good game of CAH means everyone at the table was slightly offended at some point. It's all done with an eye towards humor though.
The game is always sold out (the second print run was sold out within a couple days of release), but you can download the PDF and make your own.
I would add another recommendation for Battlestar Galatica - really REALLY good game, especially for roleplayers. Part of the fun is that some people have to be traitors, and have to act to convince everyone that THEY are not the traitor - it MUST be that guy over there...
There are a couple of add-ons, but the basic game is plenty good fun. Be warned - it is an involved and complex game, more so if you are not familiar with the TV series, but it is really worth the effort. Veryhighly recommended
Citadels plays great at 6+
Battlestar and Shadows over Camelot rocks.
Power Grid is an oldie but a goodie as is the 5-6 player settlers of catan expansion. Diplomacy is also an oldie but a goodie - beware - that game can ruin friendships.
Arkam Horror rocks. Race for the Galaxy can be played at 5 players with expansions. Lords of Waterdeep is EXCELLENT at 5 players.
Bang! Is a fun card game at 6-7 players. Good times there.
Talisman is not a great game but it can be played as a throw away game for an evening at 6+
Last night on earth can be played at 6 players with 2 zombie players and 4 players.
"a big, dense, complex, 6+ player board game with lots of strategic thinking involved and different ways of playing."
I immediately thought of Twilight Imperium, which is kind of a beast of a game (teaching a group of people to play the first time through can take a LONG time), but it hits all of the points you're looking for - it's a sci-fi game that takes place in the aftermath of a huge intergalactic civil war - the reigning civilization was overthrown, and now a variety of alien societies (each one with different powers, advantages, and resources) vie for control over the empire. There's a TON of strategic depth - victory points are acquired through achieving disparate objectives (some economic, some scientific, some military, etc.) and the unique turn mechanics allow players to pursue a variety of different strategies (some players might focus on trade, others on tech, still others on military dominance, etc).
Like I said, it's a bit of a beast, but it's a magnificent one, and it has some really stellar pieces to boot.
Conquest of the Empire is another cool game - the current edition actually has two sets of rules: one for a more "traditional" Risk-style domination game, and one for a more intricate game based on alliances and negotiation. The board and pieces are beautiful, and there are some really neat mechanics (though it's MUCH simpler than Twilight Imperium). I would caution you, though, that the rulebook is not as well organized or clearly written as it could be, so you might find a few things hard to figure out without consulting the web.
I would also totally ditto on Battlestar, especially if you're a fan of the series. It's been a longtime favorite for my group, and though I'm not personally as enamored of it as my buddies, it's a solid play.
I would caution against Bang! with so many people, though - I find that once you get past 4 or 5 players, you run into situations where people get knocked out before they can even take a turn, and that's not very fun.
I've run into a number of positive reviews for Game of Thrones, though I've not had a chance to play it yet. If you want complexity, Die Macher is an option, though it only goes up to 5. It's a German game about German politics. ... Those who love it, love it. Those who don't stare at the ruleset with @.@
If you're looking to pick up Die Macher, Boardgamegeek has some printable aids: over this way, as well as links to different magizine articles discussing more strategic opening moves ...again, those who get into it really do enjoy it.