Welcome to the first instalment in a new series where we will be asking the guest bloggers of Zatu some difficult game-related questions! I didn't feel it would be fair to submit my fellow bloggers to this level of questioning without first setting out my answers.
So, do you want recommendations for board games to get people into the hobby? Or, like me, do you like to know what games make people tick? If you follow this series of blogs you will get to do both.
Here goes with the questions…
What Is Your Favourite Board Game?
I know this might be tricky for some people whose favourite game might change each week. Luckily, I am not one of those people. I am an unashamed fan of the amazing Paladins of the West Kingdom from Garphil games.
I knew from the first time I played Paladins it was something special. I had enjoyed worker placement games such as Viticulture previously. Also, I knew that I liked games that presented me with my own puzzle to try and solve. Although, defending your town in Medieval France isn’t exactly a theme I would pick for myself. But, whilst it may bother some, the theme doesn’t really come through. Instead, Paladins is a different worker placement efficiency puzzle. All of the things I have come to discover, I love in a game. My board gaming friends will attest that I do go on about how great Paladins is!
Paladins is different from a lot of worker placement games. You don’t have workers of your own colour. Instead, there are workers of different colours. You pick workers based on what certain cards show. Some spaces can only have workers of a particular colour on. Each turn you want to deploy your workers in the best way, to squeeze as much as you can out of each of the seven rounds. Paladins plays differently each time thanks to the variability of the cards. It is clever and makes my brain hurt in all the right ways.
I could continue to wax lyrical about Paladins but I have more questions to get into. I did get to review Paladins though so if you want to read more about this great game, check out my review.
What Board Game Would You Recommend To Get Someone Into Gaming?
There are a lot of good games out there to introduce people to the world of modern hobby board games. I would have to pick my entry game into the hobby - Ticket to Ride: Europe. There are lots of good entry-level cooperative games out there, but Ticket to Ride: Europe gives players a chance to experience competitive modern gaming.
I think it's a great game for everyone, having played it well over 100 times myself. I have taught this game several times myself and it has always gone down well. In fact, it was the first game I taught to my husband! There is something about the game which works so well for people new to the hobby.
The board pops on the table with the brightly coloured routes. It feels satisfying seeing your trains snake across the board. All the pieces are nice, from the well-moulded trains and stations to the linen feel cards. It is easy to pick up what you need to do - collect sets of coloured cards and play them to claim routes. There is also a sense of achievement at regular intervals during the game when you claim each route card. This all helps to build a great fun and engaging game for new gamers.
You Can Only Pick Three Board Games To Play For The Rest Of Your Life, What Are They?
This is such a hard question! I could find an argument for keeping most of my collection as one of my three games.
My first choice would have to be Paladins of the West Kingdom for all the reasons I answered the first question. It is such a great game. It has enough replayability, especially with the City of Crowns expansion, that I could play forever. Paladins has a great solo mode too. So it could fill both the heavier game niche and a solo niche too.
My second choice, as the game I can play with bigger groups, would be Just One. Just One is so clever as anyone, even my 84 year old definite non-board gamer nan, can play it! The concept is simple. Each card has five words on it. The guesser picks a number between one and five which determines the word they have to guess. Everyone else then has to pick one word which will help the guesser to guess the secret word.
But if you pick the same word as someone else, those clues are removed. This leads to much hilarity when the guesser has to try and guess “Chair” and the only clue available, out of four possible clues, is “Arm”. The rules suggest that you play a set number of cards. We keep playing for as long as we want and don’t keep any kind of score. Just One is a great, fun party game, which I would have to pick.
My third choice would be Race for the Galaxy, a classic but with good reason. This is a game that I have only discovered recently. I have already played it a lot though. In Race for the Galaxy, you are building up a tableau of planets in front of you to try and get the most victory points. Each round you pick one of the action cards from your hand, that is the action you will do this round. You also get to carry out an action if one of the other players picks that card.
But you don’t get the associated bonus if you didn’t pick the card. Race for the Galaxy has a huge deck of cards. Depending on what you draw, when, can influence your strategy. There is a lot of replayability on top of a solid design, so I would have to pick Race for the Galaxy.
So there it is, I survived the three tough questions. Keep your eyes peeled for next month’s instalment when I will be quizzing the wonderful Northern Dice.