Like many others here I have been bitten by the board game bug, and like many others here I am in search of games to play with my girlfriend. This blog will serve as a record of my experiences playing games with her.
I don't have as rich a history with board games as most people here, as a kid I had the 1993 version of Risk which was a miserable experience and was only played once, we also had the mid 90's version of Electronic Battleship which was only played a few times, and I'll never forget the absolutely abysmal game of Monopoly: Star Wars I played in highschool that left me with a lasting hatred of the game.
Throughout the years I've played various party games with my friends, such as Apples to Apples, Scattergories, Taboo and Wits & Wagers. These games were great at the time, but my friends never wanted to play anything else. Over time I grew tired of playing the same games over and over again, and the arbitrary/pointless/random elements of a lot of these games left me very dissatisfied.
The first designer board game I ever played (before I even knew such a thing existed) was Arkham Horror. I first encountered Arkham Horror back in 2008, this game was pretty important in my nascent board gaming career because it showed me exactly what I don't want in a game. I am a huge fan of H.P. Lovecraft and was immediately drawn into the theme of the game. I had a blast reading all the info on the cards and looking at the illustrations, being able to pick out the different Lovecraft references really made this game a lot of fun to look at, but playing it was another matter.
It took over an hour to set up, there were over a billion pieces to the game, at times there were so many things going on at once that we would forget to apply different area effects or modifiers, the game was extremely fiddly and involved way too much number crunching for my tastes, it took us two days to finish it, the ending was anticlimactic and I got the sense that the game was playing itself.
All in all not a very entertaining experience, this game would've been better served in video game form than as an actual physical game, at least then the computer could do all the math for you and set up the monsters automatically.
So looking back upon my brief history with board games I've come up with a list of stuff that I am looking for in a potential game, but I am willing to be flexable:
- Doesn't take forever to set up
- Doesn't take forever to play
- Doesn't have ten trillion pieces
- Isn't entirely random or arbitrary
- Can work with only 2 people
It may sound like I've got nothing but abstracts in my future, but I won't be confining myself to just that genre. In my next post I'll discuss which game initially gave me board game fever and sent me on this quest, and it might surprise you to hear that it isn't Catan.