Board Game Night Playlist: Large Groups

Playing board games at my family gatherings is hard. With so many cousins to account for, most of my collection can’t handle player counts to support us all. For moments like this, I turn to a few quality games that shine with many people in the same room.

The Resistance

5-10 players
Ages 13 and up
30 minutes

Set in a dystopian future where a corrupt government rules supreme, you and a group of fellow freedom fighters attempt to overthrow them in a series of missions. The problem is that government spies have infiltrated your group and are attempting to dismantle you from the inside. The first faction to win three out of five missions wins the game.

This one works really well in large groups. It’s easy to to teach or learn while being very thrilling from the outset. Over the course of the game, the intrigue surrounding each event will rise until a victor is ultimately declared. For the drama it creates each time you play it, this is a must-have for big parties.


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Bang: The Dice Game

3-8 players
Ages 8 and up
15 minutes

Caught in a wild shootout, players fire wildly at each other in an attempt to make it out alive. The problem is, as bullets fly in all directions, players don’t really know if they’re shooting at friends or foes. This is the setup for Bang!: The Dice Game, one of my favourite games to play with a large group.

Before play begins, each player is assigned one of four roles: sheriff, deputy, outlaw or renegade. These roles are kept secret until you die. Your objective will vary based on the role you have. As a sheriff or deputy, you want all of the outlaws and renegades killed before the sheriff dies. As an outlaw, you win by killing the sheriff. As the lone renegade, you only win if you’re the last person standing.

Besides supporting a large player count, Bang!: The Dice Game is fun from beginning to end. As players die off, it’s cool to see who they were and try to piece together which roles are still left in the fight. The game is also one that is very quick to play. After you’ve completed your first match, it’s hard to say no to another game.


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Geek Out! Pop Culture Party

2-99 players
ages 10 and up
20 minutes

Geek Out! Pop Culture Party challenges players to flex their muscles on all things related to film, television, books, music and more. Unlike a traditional trivia game, players are challenged to “out-geek” each other by providing as many answers as they can to more open-ended questions. For instance, how many Taylor Swift songs can you name? In my case, the answer is too many.

There are many reasons why this game works so well. By breaking players into teams, you can have virtually any number of players participate. With the subject matter being very mainstream, just about anyone can contribute to scoring points. Best of all, since each challenge doesn’t have a fixed answer, the shelf life of this game is extended greatly. This one has been a hit every time it’s been played with my large groups. If you have a large group of comic book, fantasy, gaming and sci-fi fans, also consider the original Geek Out! for your next party.


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4 thoughts on “Board Game Night Playlist: Large Groups

  1. Kyle Blomgren September 2, 2015 / 11:57 AM

    I think large group games require a few key features to be successful: The rules need to be simple, the game needs to be fast, and the experience should enhance socialization rather than detract from it. All of these games seem to fit those categories! We tried playing Arkham Horror on Halloween with a group of 8 of us (which the game supports). We only got through one round of play before we all decided to put the board away and call it a night. It was a fun game, but teaching it to 6 other players and trying to maintain everyone’s interest in the game was impossible to do. Not to mention all of the wives in our group just wanted to talk and catch up since they hadn’t seen each other in four days.

    I don’t typically enjoy group or party games, but I guess I should invest in some for such occasions, huh?

    • Jett September 2, 2015 / 4:05 PM

      Thanks for the comment!

      Have never played Arkham Horror, though its reputation as a long and meaty game have made it my way. Unless I was with 7 other grizzled gamers who were ready for that kind of commitment, then I’d shelve it for something else.

      As far as adding those types of games to your collection, it totally depends on how often you partake in large gatherings, what people’s experience levels are, and your interest to game in one big group. Some may like it better if the group is split up to play smaller games. Or some would just prefer to sit around and talk over some drinks.

      No need to buy board games you probably won’t play enough of, which we’re all guilty of anyway 🙂 don’t make it worse!

      • Kyle Blomgren September 2, 2015 / 5:43 PM

        Right? Yeah, I don’t have large groups around often, but enough so that one or two options isn’t a bad idea. My housemates have The Resistance (have yet to play it, though), and I want to pick up my own copy at some point. As I rule, I generally don’t like party games, but I feel like The Resistance may be a good compromise.

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