Saturday Morning Gaming: Board Games to Look Forward to
On top of the really big awful things that the pandemic has made happen, there have been a couple hundred of awful little things that the pandemic has caused but one of the ones that really sticks in my craw is the whole “board games with friends” thing. Even now that everybody has been vaccinated, there are still hits that come out of nowhere for people who have school-age children where the kids get put in lockdown due to an outbreak at school or they had direct contact with someone at work or something.
Maybe everything would be okay but erring on the side of caution and all that results in game nights getting cancelled (and even the ones that happen have fewer people show up).
But that just has me daydreaming about what is going to happen when we finally get together regularly again.
One of the great joys in life is opening a new board game and playing something that you’ve never played before (or a reskin of a much beloved game that is now set in a world with dragons… or computers… or set on a starship or something).
And so I read this Polygon post about upcoming board games with *GREAT* interest.
Of course, I remember back when I worked at the toy store in the old Bazaar Mall in Mount Kisco where I learned the secret of how board games were priced. We’d buy them for $5. The rule was double the price and then add 10%. So Monopoly sold for $11. These were 1989 dollars, of course. The inflation calculator tells me that that’d be worth about $25 today. (And, wouldn’t you know it, it’s selling for about 27 bucks on Amazon right now.)
And it’s with that in mind that I look at those prices and say “HOLY COW A HUNDERT BUCKS FOR A BOARD GAME?!?!?” and then realize that Monopoly is kind of a bummer to play and these games actually look really fun.
Unfortunately, most of the games max out at 4 players (Khora: Rise of an Empire looks *GORGEOUS*) but there are three games on there that play up to 5 or 6 and that’s the magic number for our gaming group.
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King is a reskin of Pandemic. Last time we sat around the table talking about games, Pandemic came up as a game that has pretty good mechanics but the theme is so depressing that it’s not particularly fun to play. Your group is all collaborating against the virus and you’re thinking you’ve got this, you’ve got this, you’ve got this and then, whammo, you’ve lost. Turning the game into a game that takes place in the Warcraft Universe, however, addresses the too-close-to-home problem of the theme of Pandemic. It plays five as well. Might be worth checking out.
Machi Koro 2 is a city builder that plays up to 5 people. Start out with a wheat field and a bakery, end up with an entire city. Rivalrous goods but you’re not really going to be messing with the other people at the table. Good, competitive fun that isn’t likely to result in bad blood.
The one that I asked Maribou to get me for my birthday, though, is Unfathomable. This is a reskin of Battlestar Galactica where, instead of one of the people at the table being a Cylon, one of the people at the table is a Cthulhu cultist. Everybody at the table is working together except for the one person who is there to mess everything up (but plausibly and perfectly deniably). Battlestar Galactica is one of the games that I have heard many good things about but never actually played. I’m looking forward to playing this one because, tah-dah, it plays up to *SIX*. (Oh, but I have heard stories about Battlestar Galactica that include stuff like “bad blood” that lasts longer than a gaming session. So we need to be careful, I guess. Maybe Cthulhu’s theme will blunt the risk of this particular hazard.)
But, mostly, I just want to get back to playing again.
So… what are you looking forward to playing again?