Here at Fanpup, we love board games. Like... a lot. There is nothing better than gathering a group of friends, maybe some beers (if you're legal!), and playing games for hours on end. We don't want to brag, but some of us even consider ourselves tabletop connoisseurs. Lucky for you, we've decided to share a bit of our vast knowledge so that you can have fun playing some of the board games we love.
I, like most of you I’m sure, find it very difficult to choose just one game to be my favorite. That being said, it’s summertime and my brain has turned into a viscous jelly consistency where only the baser instincts of my brain stem have survived and indeed thrive. Arguably the most powerful urge is a need for smashing things against things with other things, and Cube Quest seems to fit that need nicely. The object of Cube Quest is to protect your King Cube (or whatever monarch title you choose to prescribe to a 6-sided piece of plastic) with your little army of soldier cubes, while at the same time using your army of soldier cubes to knock the enemy King off of the board. This is done by positioning your army in various strategic ways so your cubes get in the way of the attacking cubes, while making sure your cubes have a good shot at the enemy. It’s a very simple concept, with the capacity for deep, almost chess-like anticipation that would make even Sun Tzu tell you that you might be over-thinking it. Or you can just flick your cubes as hard as you can against the enemy cubes in a carnal explosion of flying plastic. Oh, did I mention the core concept of the game involves flicking the cubes at your enemy? Like, shooting them with your fingers. Give it a try!
My current favorite table top is the game Mage Knight. It is a figurine army-type of game, except instead of having a mountain of reference books for character stats and abilities, the figurines have click dials in their bases to show stats and health (with only a small brochure-sized sheet for reference). It's fairly easy quick to set up for an hour-long game, and just as easy to make into a week-long battle for title of "Lord of the Living Room". Every once and a while my brother and I still crack open the box of figurines, assemble our armies, and cast spells and die to see who stands victorious. Not to feel too old, but we picked it up a decade ago, and it is still just as fun!
While I have a special place in my heart for many different board games, I feel I must speak about the awesome friendship-destroying fun that is B-Movie! B-Movie is a card game where you lovingly set up your movie, including characters, props, and locations…and then mercilessly send monsters and special effects to destroy other movies. Each game has a B-movie theme, from Scurvy Musketeers of the Spanish Main to Bell Bottomed Badasses on the Mean Street of Funk. Games can be combined together to form such classics like Scurvy Bell-Bottomed Musketeers on the Main Street of Funk. With your hand, you can set down characters in your movie, give them props like cutlasses or afros, and set them in a location, all of which are worth points. Other players attack your movie with monsters or bad guys and the highest score wins. If a monster wins, they destroy a character. Special effects can be used at any time to attack or defend, skip turns, draw more cards, etc. The game ends when one player plays Roll the Credits or when enough yelling has occurred.
Picking a favorite board game is pretty much impossible, I know. I have trouble picking a favorite anything, and I really love board games, so when I say favorite here I really mean here is a game I love and would recommend to pretty much anyone. So here we go. Cosmic Encounter is a ridiculous game with crazy aliens and maxed-out powers (which I love), but it is based on an incredibly solid set of rules and mechanics. You are an alien species in a galaxy populated by a bunch of other alien species and your goal is basically to be the biggest, best space empire out there. You do this by battling your opponents and trying to get colonies on as many alien planets as possible. Each alien has one extremely overpowered ability that lets you crush your opponent (like warping an entire planet into battle alongside you)… unless they use their equally overpowered ability against you. One of my favorite parts is the constant making and breaking of alliances, as each player weighs the benefits of helping the attacker or defender in any given battle. And, since I like cooperative games, I like that more than one player can win the game at the same time. If you like science fiction, complicated (but totally manageable) rules, and having a crazy fun time, Cosmic Encounter might just be for you.
A couple weeks ago I was visiting some old roommates in my college town and while I was visiting there was time to kill between various activities (you know how VACATION is, SOOOO boring). That's where I got introduced to Munchkin Legends - a pretty fun card game that only takes an hour or two to play a round and is quick and easy to pick up. It's loosely patterned after any adventurer-style RPG, with classes, races, and items you equip to defeat monsters and gain levels and the first to level 10 (or less for shorter games) wins. Pretty simple stuff. The thing that really hooked me about the game was actually the terminology of the gameplay: you don't just "start your turn," you "kick the door down" as you might imagine in any labyrinth dungeon mission. When you lose a fight, there aren't "consequences" or anything boring like that; instead, the "Bad Stuff" happens and each monster has its Bad Stuff listed on the card, ranging from "The Boogie Man steps on your toes. Lose your footgear." to "You are roasted and eaten by the Plutonium Dragon. You are dead." This parody of adventure games is tonally similar to Kingdom Of Loathing (also worth checking out) and is hilarious to play and replay. There's lots of variants for Munchkin, Legends being the Greek Mythology styled version, and they're pretty cheap so worth picking your favorite and going to town with some friends!
Battlestar Galactica has been my favorite board game ever since I first played it in college. It seems so innocent on the surface, a standard cooperative game where everyone works together to try and survive as the crew on the titular ship. Until the group starts failing at their tasks, and you have to wonder – was fate just interfering, or is one of your friends secretly a Cylon and trying to sabotage your efforts? By the time you're halfway done the game is turning into a slightly more structured version of the classic Mafia party game, with everyone pointing fingers at everyone else and accusing them of being the traitor. There are few things more satisfying than convincing the group that someone else is the Cylon, only to finally get your chance to sabotage the ship and doom them all! ...not that I'm evil or anything.
What's your favorite board game? Let us know in the comments!