Between my adolescence and some point in my late 20s, I held a very negative perception of board games. Scarred by the old mainstays that relied heavily on randomness and player elimination, I wrote them off as a kids activity. Then one fateful night, Steff tricked me into joining her friends for a game of Dominion and my life was changed forever. For years after that, board games consumed almost all of my hobby time to the point where board game content became the majority of my output for this site.
Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time talking about how awesome it was that friends introduced me to the board gaming hobby. Since then, I’ve made it a point to pay it forward and introduce others to the wonders of the medium ever since. I even made a guide on how to do just that.
However, a post I found on Reddit made me realize that my guide was missing a very important aspect of that process. What if they’re not interested?
A while back, The Dice Tower put out a video of Jason Levine’s board game collection. Featuring thousands of board games, it might actually prove to be the largest personal board game collection in the world. While the video received a lot of praise, it also received criticism from those who took offense to him having a large stash of board games. It reminded me of a similar backlash that video game YouTuber 8-Bit Eric received for posting a video of his Nintendo Switch game collection. I get the sense that if I were to seek out people showing off their collections of anything, there’s going to be hate.
My big question is, “Why?”
My current obsession with board games started in the early 2010s when my now-wife tricked me into joining her and her friends for a few games of Dominion. However, my history with the medium starts well before then.
A Game of Thrones: The Board Game is a fantastic strategy game that puts each player at the helm of one of the major houses in the franchise. Despite my love for it, that game is collecting dust on our shelf. Just because I own it and because it’s good doesn’t mean I’m going to play it into the ground. The reality is, there are factors about that and other board games in my collection that make it very difficult for them to make it on the table. Here’s a couple of reasons why games I enjoy struggle to get played.
In the late 2000s, Dominion took the board gaming world by storm. It essentially invented the deck-building genre of game, which has since been riffed on countless times. For those wanting to put on a deck-building game night, finding games is easy. Throw a rock into and game store and it’ll hit three deck builders before touching the ground.
With this edition of the Board Game Night Playlist, we’re going to build the perfect deck of cards within three different deck-building games. Let’s see what made the list this month!
Not every board game is going to meet your expectations. This is true with all things in life. However, it sucks more when you buy a big box board game and it’s a bust. With a physical copy of a disappointing video game, you can easily sell it back to the store for credit. With no easy way of unloading a disappointing board game, it’ll either take up space and collect dust on your shelf, or you’re going to have to actively move it through Kijiji or Board Game Geek.
As hard as we try to avoid it, there will be times when we add lemons to our collection. The best we can do is to try and avoid them. Here’s some tips on how to minimize your losses.
Video games owe a lot of its success to board games. Dungeons & Dragons alone has had elements of its gameplay cribbed by countless video games, such as the concepts of quests, health points, item usage, combat and more. If you dig far enough into the history of video games, you can probably find a theme or gameplay concept rooted in a board game. Video games have also innovated within its own space. From Super Mario to Call of Duty, there are a ton of unique experiences that have their roots in this digital medium.
Nowadays, you’ll see those video game specific concepts appear in board games. Whether they’re board games based on video game properties or digital gameplay mechanics that have gone analog, they feed off one one-another to push each other forward.
In this edition of the Board Game Night Playlist, we embark on an adventure that marries the best of both worlds. This list should be particularly interesting for video game fans looking for a smooth transition into the analog side of things. Time to press start on this playlist!
Whether its reviews from the major sites like IGN or Gamespot, or aggregate sites like GameRankings or Metacritic, there are a lot of different places you can go to find a ranking of the best video games. With so many different options to view, there isn’t really any consensus as to which list is the definitive list.
Board games are certainly different in this regard. There’s only one list that matters, and it’s the list on Board Game Geek. Ranked based on a countless number of user reviews, this is as close to a definitive list of the best board games as there is on the internet. The movers and shakers on the list are hotly debated, especially since Pandemic Legacy ousted the 5-year champ Twilight Struggle from the #1 spot at the beginning of this year. How does having this centralized ranking system impact my purchase decisions?