Number Three on the Meeple Like Us Ten Top Best Board Games 2018 Edition!
Thank God, we’re finally here at the real winners. The medalists. The best board games that made it to the podium. Sure, at #3 it’s just third place and a bronze medal. And yeah, you need to stand there while the winner gets its national anthem belted out in front of a cheering crowd. You can’t just slink off to the showers to have a little cry. You’ve got to keep those tears in. Keep them all in. Don’t let it show. Look happy for the winner.
Why are we doing this to you? This is a cruel punishment to inflict on a wonderful game – to add the pantomime of good sporting behaviour to the sting of a vicious loss.
You’re good games. Don’t let this break you.
Michael Picks: Lords of Waterdeep (with the Scoundrels of Skullport Expansion – still at #3)
|Lords of Waterdeep (2012)
|Medium Light [2.45]
To be fair, Lords of Waterdeep making it this far on the list should genuinely trigger a doping scandal – it gets here purely on the strength of its expansion. Lords of Waterdeep by itself is a great game, but it takes Scoundrels of Skullport to turn it into something genuinely wonderful. I’m not a great lover of the theme, but that’s for the best – if they reskinned this for Game of Thrones and made it Lords of Kings Landing I’d probably never see the sun ever again. All the intrigue and conspiracy and Machiavellian plotting you could ever want is to be found in this box, and after hundreds of plays (in real life and on the excellent app) I’m still nowhere near tired of it.
Pauline: I’m quite surprised this is so high up your list given that it gets so little play. I’m not sure that you’ve even really tried to get a group of people ot play it. I think it’s always just me.
Michael: You have no idea how many completed games I have of it on the app. Seriously, if you look at my phone you can see traces of corruption burnt into the screen.
Pauline: But that’s not the same as playing it with real people.
Michael: It’s better. if I could replace all human contact with a cold, disspassionate algorithm I’d never again have to look up from a computer screen.
Pauline Picks: Telestrations (In with a bullet)
|Player Count (recommended)
Telestrations is absolutely amazing – so much fun for so little setup. When Michael was running his game nights at RGU, it was easily the game that got the most play. We literally wore out a full set of pens and are a good way through the next pack. The genius of the design is that you don’t need to be able to draw – in fact, that’s a drawback if anything. The worse you are at the game, the better – that’s why you might end up with a clue like ‘ghost’ and end up with someone drawing a Ku Klux Shrimp. Those hilarious misunderstandings lead to a game that’s massive amounts of fun. It’s also an amazing ice-breaker – I’ve used it with my students at Dundee and Angus college and it’s gone down incredibly well.
Michael: I dunno – I have a review of this in the buffer that is somewhat lukewarm in its praise. Yet it’s impossible to deny that it generated so much laughter during the RGU game sessions that I worried people might just be sniffing the pens.
Pauline: You’re maybe just too much of an elitist to have included it on your list. Maybe you just don’t like fun. Why are you so down on games that are just pure fun?
Michael: It’s maybe just bitterness. I had to spend so much time hosting at the game nights that I didn’t really get a chance to play anything much. Plus, the sound of enjoyment and laughter cuts through me like a dentist drill.
Pauline: You haven’t been to a dentist in over a decade, how would you know what a dentist’s drill sounds like?
Michael: I have my own.
Michael: There’s a reason we got the basement sound-proofed. I’m learning a new trade.