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 Post Posted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 4:19 pm 
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Rourke wrote:
As the host of 2 weekly game nights, with a continually shifting group of people with different levels of experience; I wholeheartedly recommend Betrayal at House on the Hill

It's a very simple to learn game, that is completely different every time you play. You're a group of explorers wandering through an old haunted house, when all of a sudden it all goes wrong. It does an incredible job of being easy to get into (The entire first half is literally just "Explore the house, and see what happens") then getting really interesting once the "Haunt" begins.

I've played this game as well, and can whole-heartedly recommend it.

Another game I've also had a lot of fun times with is Small World. It's easy to learn and pretty fast-paced. Thanks to some randomisation of race/leader combinations, it never goes completely "stale".

Then there's Junta, but that game may wreck friendships because of all the backstabbing, so approach with caution. The Wiki page claims a duration of 3-7 hours per game, but in my experience we never went over 2.5 hours.

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     Post Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 5:24 pm 
    Print Book 2 & Draw Book 3 Supporter This user is a Tool! This user was a Tool before it was cool Pin-up Calendar and New Art Team Supporter Here for the 10th Anniversary Has collected at least one unit Erfworld Bicycle® Playing Cards supporter
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    Saw on the front page that you have been getting into Co-operative Board games. That is pretty much all my friends and I play these days so I figured I'd give some suggestions.

    Like you said Flashpoint is a great game, the expansions are well worth it as well. I've gotten to play it with a long time and retired firefighter/paramedic. I highly suggest it, it brings something extra to the experience, and he was surprised at how well the mechanics could mirror reality.

    If you enjoy Cooperative Games, like Shadows over Camelot, Pandemic, and Flashpoint then here are my recommendations for other Co-ops.

    I would echo the previous post about Betrayal at the House on the Hill. It is a fantastic game, but make sure you get the newest version as the old one had some issues with un-winnable missions.

    Pandemic Legacy, basically a campaign version of Pandemic, is a lot of fun, has a lot of twists, and lets you play Pandemic a lot without it getting bland.

    Fury of Dracula. Up to four people play Van Helsing, Lord Goldaming, and the Harkers in attempting to stop one person who is playing Dracula. The Dracula player moves around Europe in secret, making new vampires and setting traps while the Hunters desperately attempt to find him. It is a lot of fun, although the combat system is a little labored.

    Arkham Horror and Eldritch Horror are both great games with a similar theme but different scales. In Arkham Horror you play investigators in the city of Arkham trying to stop a Lovecraftian Great Old One from awakening and devouring the Earth. The players all play against the game, which constantly makes Arkham worse by opening gates to other worlds and spawning eldritch monsters into the streets. It can be a lot of fun and lends itself to really fun stories. But it is a complex game, can take an afternoon or evening, and has a million expansions. That being said, we've played it so many times that it probably is still at the top of my "most played board games" list. Eldritch Horror is similar except the board is the whole world and not just the city of Arkham. Eldritch Horror is a recent release so it had benefited greatly form Arkham Horror and basically incorporates most of the really good stuff from that game.

    Mansions of Madness is similar to the above two, but a lot smaller in scale and a little more twisted. Think of it as a combination of Arkham Horror and Betrayal at House on the Hill. The players all play investigators who are trying to unravel a mystery entombed in the house or mansion they find themselves in. One player plays The Keeper, who drives the mystery forward and represents the eldritch and horrific elements opposed to the investigators efforts.

    I have more, but I gotta run.

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     Post Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 10:34 am 
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    Okay...where was I....

    Mansions of Madness is a lot of fun like I said before.

    If you want some new hotness then I highly, HIGHLY, suggest T.I.M.E. Stories. You play a time traveling agent attempting to stop villainous altering of the space-time continuum. The twist is you have no idea what you need to do to stop it. You get sent back in time to inhabit a body from that era and unravel the mystery to stop the altering. It's the closest thing to an easy to learn and easy to play board game mimicking a roleplaying game I've seen. The stories are a lot of fun and the characters are as well. For instance, the story you get with the game is set in the early 1900's in an asylum and everyone gets to play as a patient. The only drawback to the game is that you have to purchase more missions separately.

    Speaking of board games as RPGs there are the following:

    Castle Ravenloft. Basically canned 4th edition D&D, but a lot of fun in general. You all play pre-made characters with slightly simpler rules than 4th Ed. For some reason, dependent on the mission, you all want to explore Castle Ravenloft and face the horrors there-in.

    Wrath of Ashardalon is basically the same thing as Ravenloft but in a different setting.

    Descent and its 2nd edition are like a D&D board game hybrid. As a one-off it is similar to a one-off D&D game with pre-made characters. But there is a campaign mode as well, where you grow the pre-mades over missions. It's all dungeon crawling, diving, and hack and slash, with some cognitive puzzles thrown in for flavor here and there. One player does play The Overlord and is trying to kill off the party as they dungeon dive. My suggestion is not to let the PhD Mathematician play as The Overlord.

    And that's about all I've played.

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     Post Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 8:06 pm 
    Here for the 10th Anniversary Has collected at least one unit Erfworld Bicycle® Playing Cards supporter
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    I'm surprised no one has mentioned Red Dragon Inn yet. I think you'd like it; you play as a fantasy adventuring paty, but it's not about adventuring - it's about hanging out in the bar after the adventure, drinking, gambling on cards, and smacking the fool who made a chainmail bikini joke in front of the swordswoman. Each playable character has a separate deck of frequently hilarious cards. Don't go broke or unconscious; last player standing wins.

    For the gaming group that wants something you can play without the rulebook at your elbow, I recently discovered and highly recommend Splendor. The theme is the Renaissance gem market, which mainly serves as an excuse to put shiny jewels on the cards and tokens. Gameplay is about building up resources to gain better resources which come with victory points. Fast to set up, fast to play, the rules can be described in a single paragraph. People we've played with also comment on the quality feel of the gem tokens. My usual gaming groups frequently prefer more complicated games, but we'll toss in a round of Splendor while waiting for the pizza to arrive, or play several rounds when we're in the mood for something more casual.

    Finally, for cooperative games, I have to recommend Red November. You and your allies are gnomes on a gnomish submarine. Is it any surprise the thing is sinking? You win by staying alive until rescue gets to you, but of course every minute you spend fixing things is a minute in which other things might be breaking. It's recommended for 3-8 players, but can be played solitaire and still feel satisfying. Includes the opportunity to harpoon a cracken.

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     Post Posted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 6:34 pm 
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    How about Mysterium?

    It's a fully coop game that combines Clue and Dixit. One player is trying to communicate the who-what-where of a murder to the other players by playing cards with fantastical art on them. It's quite fun and interesting.

    (One wonky note: I'd recommend playing without the betting mechanism that was introduced in the North American release of the game...it adds complexity without fun and encourages some counterintuitive behaviors.)

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     Post Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 8:45 pm 
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    Dead of Winter is an AWESOME co-op zombie survival game. It looks really complicated, but it's actually pretty simple, just has a lot of pieces. You can play the game both with and without a hidden traitor in your group.

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     Post Posted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 2:28 pm 
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    If you don't mind a card game, I'd recommend Codex.

    Quick summary: Think non-collectable (you get all the cards) Magic the Gathering, with a deckbuilder aspect (think Dominion), with the "co-operative" twist that the game ends when the first person dies, so anyone that is not in the lead wants to help the weakest player.

    _________________
    (Bet limit: -180, Aug '16. Bal: 0.)
    "We will fire the unhappy until morale improves!"
    It really speaks to how awful RVC's plan is that immolating himself first would improve the odds of success.

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     Post Posted: Tue Oct 04, 2016 11:10 am 
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    One to add to the list of cooperative games: Unknown.

    Post-apocalyptic cooperative survival. You work together as survivors exploring tunnels around your underground base, finding resources, finding enemies and environmental hazards and trying not to die to them, all while keeping your base fed and working on your mission.

    It does a good job of giving you lots of team and individual strategic choices without being overly complex. It also does a good job of making you feel like you're about to lose for almost the whole game, which makes the wins feel pretty heroic.

    It was a kickstarter awhile back, but you can get it online now.

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     Post Posted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 7:32 am 
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    Pandemic has been mentioned, but there are a couple of co-op games by the same designer which are slightly lighter in theme but nicely teasing in gameplay and very accessible for general gaming with hard-core and light gamers alike:
    Forbidden Island and Forbidden Desert. The former is considerably easier to beat than the latter, though each can be adjusted to greater or lesser difficulty.

    Pseudo co-op games, where there may be one or more traitors (anonymous or identified) are also good kicks. Rob mentioned Shadows, and Betrayal at the House on the Hill is a great one for the Halloween season.

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     Post Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:56 am 
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    I would recommend Firefly. It has the flavor of the show, find a crew, find a job, keep flying. There is not much player interaction unless someone is trying to board you ship to steal your stuff or a wanted crew member. There are quite a number of scenarios and setup cards for the game with the expansions and a ton of fan based stuff out there. The biggest drawback is the size of the number of decks and the space they take up.

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     Post Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:19 am 
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    Website: http://www.overdroid.com
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    If you like BSG, you'll love Dark Moon
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    https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/111124/dark-moon[/url]

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     Post Posted: Sun May 21, 2017 3:40 pm 
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    I really had a blast with Zombicide, a co-operative zombie slaying game. Bonus points for the fact I got to play "Wanda" :wanda: even if she was a rollerderby girl with a chainsaw.

    Somehow the game worked, we really felt we were in deep excrement together, and an unstoppable amount of zombies were storming towards us, and we were quite easy to kill (though more survivors could be rescued). Beautifully crafted figurines added to the atmosphere.

    Some tips for those interested:
    - Have one person study the rules well in advance, and explain them simply. It's a co-op game, so no problems with competition. Also, forget about the rules for noise, that just slows the game down, players will usually group together while fighting.
    - Games can take quite a while, I think our first game took over 2 hours, the next game took even longer.

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     Post Posted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 4:24 pm 
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    An easy game that I find very engaging is Medici.

    It's a very simple bidding game where you try to fill your boat with commodities to sell, which are drawn from a deck one person at a time. You draw one, two or three cards and then everyone can bid in order, only once, with the person who drew being the last one to bid. You make points depending on the size of the boat (the cards have numbers) or by stacking multiple cards of the same commodity (the board has pyramids where you raise yourself as many as you got). You can be nice to each other with low bids or be dicks and overbid when you know someone else wants a particular lot. The progress of the game depends a lot on how the players choose to bid, which makes every game different from the last.

    I also vouch for Seven Wonders being pretty good for casual play. However, in my experience Seven Wonders shouldn't be played with 7 players, as one side of the board will be completely independent from the other side, as if they weren't even playing together. 5 players is probably the best.

    I do not agree that Lords of Waterdeep is appropiate for casuals though. The rules are not very complex, but in my opinion work-placement type of games are not very straightforward when it comes down to winning strategies. It's the kind of game where not knowing what you're doing makes your play suck, while playing correctly will get you a snowball effect, and you might already know the winner halfway through the game. If you consider Shadows over Camelot to be complicated, then Waterdeep will be hard.

    If you ever want to try something more intense one of my favorites is Power Grid. It's a bit similar to Settlers of Catan, but with a much more intense resource management, bidding, and a few more rules regarding how the game progresses. I just point it out because it's a great game, but I don't actually recommend it for casual players.

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     Post Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:13 pm 
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    I just played Tales of the Arabian Nights and it immediately became, like, my most, big, favoriterest board game. It's basically D&D, Aladdin and Give Yourself Goosebumps rolled together. The game is super simple to learn, I ended up wishing we had set the points threshold to win much higher, because now I have to go buy it myself with my own dollars. :P

    Real talk, though: This game is dope and low-stress for new players. You could even have a dedicated reader who acts as a GM, instead of the normal rotation, if you've got players who aren't strong or confident readers. I got a chance to do voices and stuff when I was the reader and that was maybe my favorite part, so... Use this game if you need a break from your main table-top campaigns.

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     Post Posted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 12:16 pm 
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    I would recommend Vast. It's a dungeon crawl but with a twist - one player gets to play the dungeon. His goal is to make rocks fall so everybody dies. I bet that never happens in AD&D! Three of the other roles chase each other in a murder triangle. The dragon needs to wake up by smelling the goblins (and eating them) and adding to its treasure horde etc and finally exiting the cave. The knight needs to heroically kill the dragon by throwing bombs at it. And the goblins need to kill that trespassing knight. There is also a thief role.

    The game is a little complicated but if Rob could spend a few days at my house, I could teach it to him, and I am sure he would appreciate it.

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     Post Posted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 5:11 am 
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    I'd like to suggest Hanabi, a co-op game where everyone else knows exactly what you should do, but have to pay a hint token to tell you.

    TransAmerica and TransEuropa are nice games where everyone helps building a rail network together, but the player who gets her cities connected first wins the round.

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     Post Posted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:34 pm 
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    If you are at all a fan of the Sherlock Universe, any of these are great for either solo or group play:

    Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases:
    https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/2511/sherlock-holmes-consulting-detective-thames-murder

    Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Jack the Ripper & West End Adventures:
    https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/204305/sherlock-holmes-consulting-detective-jack-ripper-w

    Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Queen's Park Affair:
    https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgameexpansion/3225/sherlock-holmes-consulting-detective-queens-park-a

    Best part is that all of them have or are in the process of getting reprints this year, so they are quite available!

    Also for more of a competitive suggestion:

    Watson & Holmes:
    https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/182694/watson-holmes

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