Don’t you know what to do at home? Play a modern board game with your family. Here are 10 tips from the best.
1. SETTLERS FROM CATAN
In The Settlers of Catan, players try to be the dominant force on the island of Catan by building settlements, cities, and roads. On each turn, dice are rolled to determine what resources the island produces. Players collect these resources (cards)—wood, grain, brick, sheep, or stone—to build up their civilizations to get to 10 victory points and win the game.
Carcassonne is a tile-placement game in which the players draw and place a tile with a piece of southern French landscape on it. The tile might feature a city, a road, a cloister, grassland or some combination thereof, and it must be placed adjacent to tiles that have already been played, in such a way that cities are connected to cities, roads to roads, etcetera. Having placed a tile, the player can then decide to place one of their meeples on one of the areas on it: on the city as a knight, on the road as a robber, on a cloister as a monk, or on the grass as a farmer.
Cluedo (a portmanteau of Clue and Ludo) was designed by Anthony E. Pratt in 1946 and published by Waddingtons Games in 1948. The basic principle is that through deductive reasoning each player must figure out which character, weapon, and location are in the secret file.
Alias is played in teams, usually in teams of 2, but more people are also allowed. The “explainer” must change every turn. Each team gets a figure representing them on the board. Their goal is to get through the board. Each time a figure stops one team member must take cards from the pack (not showing it to the other team member(s)) and explain the words on every card that have the same number as the space their figure landed on. The hourglass (also included) is set just before the team member starts explaining the word.
Two rival spymasters know the secret identities of 25 agents. In Codenames, two teams compete to see who can make contact with all of their agents first. Spymasters give one-word clues that can point to multiple words on the board. Their teammates try to guess words of the right color while avoiding those that belong to the opposing team. And everyone wants to avoid the assassin.
One player is the storyteller for the turn and looks at the images on the 6 cards in her hand. From one of these, she makes up a sentence and says it out loud (without showing the card to the other players). Each other player selects the card in their hands which best matches the sentence and gives the selected card to the storyteller, without showing it to the others. The storyteller shuffles her card with all the received cards. All pictures are shown face up and every player has to bet upon which picture was the storyteller’s.
In Citadels, players take on new roles each round to represent characters they hire in order to help them acquire gold and erect buildings. The game ends at the close of a round in which a player erects his/her eighth building. Players then tally their points, and the player with the highest score wins. Players start with a number of building cards in their hand; buildings come in five colors, with the purple buildings typically having a special ability and the other colored buildings providing a benefit when you play particular characters.
Go down in the dungeon. Kill everything you meet. Backstab your friends and steal their stuff. Grab the treasure and run. Admit it. You love it. This award-winning card game captures the essence of the dungeon experience… with none of that stupid roleplaying stuff. You and your friends compete to kill monsters and grab magic items. And what magic items!
This is a party game from Piatnik played in 2-4 teams with at least 2 players each. The teams’ meeples move over the board, the goal is to reach the finish. Depending on the sort of field they are currently standing at, one player has to act (pantomime) or to describe or to paint a phrase given on a card and the other members of his team have to find out what that should be. If they manage to do so, their meeple moves forward.
The card game BANG! recreates an old-fashioned spaghetti western shoot-out, with each player randomly receiving a Character card to determine special abilities, and a secret Role card to determine their goal. Four different Roles are available, each with a unique victory condition: Sheriff, Deputy, Outlaw and Renegade. A player’s Role is kept secret, except for the Sheriff. Character cards are placed face-up on the table, and also track strength (hand limit) in addition to special ability.
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