Tell Us Dammit: Favourite Board/Tabletop Games

For the last week or so, there's been a copy of Boss Monster sitting on the living room table at home. It's a card/tabletop game where you build a dungeon and fight off adventures who wander through, laying traps and using items to stymie their gold-hunting ways.

There's so many board and tabletop games released these days, and there's never enough time to play them all. But it got me thinking: what are your favourites?

I discovered quite a few last year. I finally played Seven Wonders for the first time - what a game, minus the arcane calculations at the end - and discovered the pleasant Machi Koro. Sushi Go has been a surprisingly solid staple, and having received Sushi Go Party at Christmas I can confirm it's an excellent expansion to the main mechanics.

Plus, Scythe is truly fantastic. Haven't played the expansion yet - although I wouldn't mind a day where I get to play a bit more Scythe. Australia Day is coming up, after all.

What are your favourite board and tabletop games?


    One typo Alex; it's 'Straya Day. k? :P
    Does Drunken Jenga count as a tabletop game? That's about as close as I get to the topic - actually, can anyone recommend a few to get me started? I like the idea of not doing all of my gaming electronically.

      Sushi Go is a solid game to get you started. Nice and easy to play in about 30 minutes.

      If you want something a bit more difficult but not too long, Pandemic is always a good game even when it occasionally screws you over.

      And for a true classic, I recommend Settlers of Catan. It's a nice building game with a lot of trading between players so there's also a healthy amount of competition.

        Sushi Go is a top recommendation. I got a bunch of non gaming family members playing that on Christmas day.

        Settlers of Catan is fine, but I feel like it's kind of the designer games equivalent of Monopoly - it's the first thing everyone plays because it was the first thing that everyone else played. Let's be clear, though it's heck of a lot better than Monopoly.

        Of the really well known designer titles, I think I'd suggest Carcassonne as both a starting point and an enjoyable game well before Catan. Though if you like the look of that I'd suggest taking a look at Isle of Skye. It's a more recent game that takes a more interesting spin on the Carcassonne building a map out of tiles and scoring points mechanics,

        What I'd actually recommend though is Codenames
        Simple, elegant, fun, easy to teach and learn as well as being cheap and easy to find. It's another that my non gaming family loved.

        Last edited 12/01/17 8:14 pm

      7 wonders is a pretty good place to start, will need to play a game to work out the mechanics but after one game it is fairly understandable
      Ticket to ride is also a go to recommendation for getting into gaming, easy to learn, fun with huge replayability
      Castle panic is a favourite of mine if you are looking for something more cooperative

        Thanks guys! I'll check them out :)

          Catan is fantastic on mobiles/iPads as really. A lot of board gaming apps have really crappy UX, but Catan is nicely done.

      I recommend Splendor as a place to start. Not too heavy, not too light, and a tonne of replayability. I agree with the other recommendations too. Settlers of Catan, ticket to ride and pandemic were some of my first games and they all still make the table from time to time.

        Splendor is great. I play it with my 8-year-old daughter and just taught it to my parents. They love it.

        Other recommendation - At The Gates of Loyang. It is the game that was the precursor to Agricola. Involves growing vegetables and supplying customers. Can be played solo but best with 2-3 players.

    Favourites: XCOM: TBG and Warhammer 40,000 Relic
    Outliers - Machi Koro and Betrayal at the House on a Hill

    XCOM I've taken away so many great war stories about how we fought off the alien invasion with an epic success roll (I've got a picture saved where we finished the final mission with one continent at full panic and every other continent one space away from getting to full panic, for those that don't know, 2 continents in full panic means you lose the game), or how I somehow rolled a 1 on the alien die multiple times in a round, destroying our entire air defense force... twice! The Real-Time gameplay just adds so much tension and the need for fast decision making and if your team is not coordinated, you'll destroy yourselves by overbudgeting. I just got the expansion, really looking forward to trying that out, but from what I read, oh geez it'll be so much pain and misery xD

    Warhammer 40,000 Relic is just laughing at misfortune of yourself and others, but unlike Talisman (Which this is based off) you can use limited use items you earn as you play to mitigate the risks if you really need this specific kill. I've only just scratched the surface of the expansions but so far I love it all, since I love 40k stuff and what they add in for each expansion is awesome with the new missions, characters and Sol system board. I've played Forbidden Stars too, that's pretty fun though that can sometimes become a stalemate if everyone's too cautious.

    Last edited 12/01/17 11:35 am

    I recently started playing Catan, late to the party but it's fun as hell.

    More importantly I bought Tyrants of the Underdark and the GoT Netrunner game which are both sensational games. Tyrants is great fun because it's like a bunch of different game styles (like deck building and map/resource control) in one and it actually works!

    Dead of Winter: The Long Night. Great stand alone expansion and can be combined with the original game.

    Also; I highly recommend Pandemic Legacy if you can get your hands on it. Such a good game!!

    Last edited 12/01/17 1:07 pm

    Battlestar, I just love the social meta game behind, the lying, the accusations, boning people over its great.

    Lords of waterdeep is one of our other go to games as well. Mostly because it has depth, but is simple enough to explain to beginners.

    Coup 54 is getting a resurgence at our place as well.

    Love me Seasons, which I've only played through a handful of times but keen to try again. It's basically part deck-building part strategic card-game which is a bag of fun to play.

    I also adore 7 wonders and want to pick it up. I don't seem to have many boardgames that currently go beyond 4 players!

    Boss Monster is always fun and I hadn't played it for ages so was great to play that again recently.

    Other than that I want to have a proper crack at Super Dungeon Explore as it is still waiting patiently for me to crack it out and play with mate. Betrayal at house on the hill is always good fun, despite some people telling me the game is broken :P And space truckers was hilarious fun with a bunch of mates recently. Relatively easy to understand, very difficult to master!!

    EDIT: Double posted randomly O_o;

    Last edited 12/01/17 11:43 am

    Me and my friends have gotten into Eldritch Horror recently.

    we are big fans of Co-op boardgames and this one has the right amount of RNG and skill that makes it both super fun and extremely challenging.

    It's also endlessly replayable, and if you decide to grab some of the expansions you are just adding more and more replayability with extra cards and mechanics.

    The basic gist of the game is you are investigators trying to solve the Mystery of an Ancient God before it comes to life and destroys the world. You have to travel around the world finding clues, gathering items, closing portals from another world and fight monsters all the while trying to make sure that you don't awaken the Ancient One and then have to possibly fight them (which is extremely hard to do unless you have bulk items).

    the best part is that you have a choice of which ancient one you want to verse, with each ancient one having unique affects on the game (Spawning monsters, dragging you towards certain areas, causing impairments).

    overall a great game to play with people who both like co-op boardgames, and don't mind doing a bit of rules reading and setting up.

    Came here to mention Sushi Go Party. Excellent game, and good for kids working on their basic numeracy skills.

    Concordia - so much fun for all
    Karmaka- lots of fun and draws people in
    Tickets to ride - always need tickets handy

    Awaiting TMNT to arrive!

    Playing Scythe tonight-can't wait

      Scythe is great. Make sure you play as Wojtek

      Last edited 12/01/17 8:27 pm

    I've been a little obsessed with Lords of Waterdeep of late.

    For Co-op Pandemic is good and I hear Pandemic Legacy is better.

    For party games The Resistance is great (5-10 players)

    And for a little fun you could try Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Duel at Mt. Skullzfyre

    As far as short games go, Love Letter is simple and neat.

      Can second Love Letter as a good short game, also consider No Thanks! for that slot, purely because it's fun watching people agonising over the tipping point of when a bad deal becomes a good one.

      Last edited 12/01/17 12:34 pm

    I don't get to play boardgames as often as I want so I don't really have a favourite
    Would prefer to play something new and learn that than rehash the same game over and over
    I have game that I really like, 7 wonders, robo rally and galaxy truckers come to mind but also enjoy doing something new like just telling stories in a game of Gloom.
    It is very rare to play a game i won't enjoy although it has been know to happen

    At the moment Arkham Horror lcg is my game. Played solo and with 2 players and excellent with both. Very brutal game but doesn't feel cheap when you lose. Getting carnivale pack this weekend :D
    Party game is codenames, great for non gamers and can be hilarious.
    Game I played and wanted to buy instantly but can't find : pillars of eternity, really cool dungeon game. And thunderstone, dominion like system but fighting monsters.
    With the kids, dungeon and Tokaido.
    And mage knight, me old mage knight.

      Carnevale is good. Dunwich Legacy came out today havent picked it up yet but have been LOVING Arkham LCG

    Seven Wonders - what a game, minus the arcane calculations at the end

    Grab an app and the calculations are taken care of for you! I personally use "7 Wonders Scorer" (available on iOS, not sure about Android but I assume so), which also keeps track of historical games so you can see how often your friends beat you. Can also suggest the best wildcard science to take so you're not guessing.

    7 Wonders (and its expansions) is our all-time favourite, for its simplistic nature and complex nuances. Some new additions may overtake it though; Evolution (think SPORE as a tabletop board game) and Castles of Mad King Ludwig (interactive, tile-laying Castle-making game).

    Carcassonne! It's great. And for card games, Gloom. Gloom is so much fun, it's a storytelling game where the object is to kill off your characters in sad and depressing ways. You make up stories about the cards you play and it's all very... gloomy. But fun!

      Gloom is the kinda game where you will target a player that is less score beneficial because you have a better story that way

    King of New York
    Lords of Waterdeep
    Kingdom Death Monster
    Robo Rally

    Heroes Quest - game that stopped production back in '92 that I loved playing as a kid. Through the power of the internet and my savings jar I now have an american and european version with all its units. I run a session with some mates every month or so.
    Its a really basic game but still thoroughly enjoyable.

    Last edited 12/01/17 12:09 pm

      It actually holds up pretty well. I was fortunate enough to still have mine from when I was a kid (as well as the Return of the Witch Lord and Kellars Keep expansions) and made a custom map for friends to play through. They had a blast playing it. You can add a lot more D&D in your custom maps than those that come with the game itself.
      It's a shame that some of the other expansions sell for insane amounts on Ebay.

    Deception: Murder in Hong Kong. Awesome, awesome game that can be played in 30 minutes. Great party game, even better with 5 or more people. It's great trying to pick who is the murderer based on their body language and "clues".

    Fuse. 10 minute frantic co-op dice game. Defuse the bomb before the timer goes off! Lots of fun.

    Time Stories. Long game, allocate at least 3 hours + but well worth it. Start with the original before trying any expansions. Its like Quantum Leap in board game format.

      Deception is brilliant. Simple and super compelling in a similar way to Codenames. I think we went through 8 full games the first time it made an appearance at my gaming group.

      Last edited 12/01/17 8:32 pm

    I heavily favour Euro games. between eliminating the randomness of dice and giving every player multiple pathways to win, each having their own benefits makes a much more interesting game. Orleans, Bruxelles 1893 and Agricola are high up on this list. These games can be a little rules heavy for people just starting out though.

    For favourite lighter (more casual) games. Patchwork, where you are buying different shaped tiles to stitch together the best quilt is an amazing game for two players only. Dixit is a great all-ages family friendly game based around describing pictures to the group that can be played with three, but works best with four to six. Carcassonne is a tile laying game where you build a city that works equally well with two and it does with five.

    Also, cooperative games such as Pandemic (curing world diseases), Dead of Winter (zombie survival) and Legendary (Marvel super hero team ups) work great when there's a mixture of different skill levels at the table that allow newbies to ask questions openly and plan with more experienced players.

    Zombicide has been a surprise hit with my friends. Pandemic and ticket to ride are always around.

      I bought Zombicide: Black Plague through KS as my first modern day board game. I enjoy it, the minis are nice (originally got it for my tabletop rpg) but I admit it feels a little loose. It can get tense but I admit it hasn't grabbed me yet as much as i though it would. Maybe we are playing it wrong.

      I played Zombicide with my mate but there are some missions that are insanely imbalanced such that it takes a specific party composition and really good luck to succeed. It's a cool game though.

    Sheriff of Nottingham, and Escape The Curse of the Temple.

    We are playing loads of Panic Station at the moment which is basically like playing the movie The Thing (John Carpenter version). It's Co-op traitor awesomeness, and you even avoid infection by giving Gasoline!

    7 Wonders, Dominion, and Citadels are pretty much staples... oh and code names.

      I've had Panic Station for years now and I still havent played the bloody thing. I also printed off the card game of The Thing that someone made

      Last edited 12/01/17 1:12 pm

        We actually had it for 2+ years before we played it too! Its great fun and worth a go. I recommend 5-6 players though.

    Board game: Settler

    Card game: Monopoly Deal

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now