As the title suggests, today I am going to discuss four themes, or types of games, I would love to play more often. Some of these themes already have some good entries in the board game world, although I either haven’t been able to explore them yet and want to or else they don’t play well with 2 players. These are four types of games I am anxious to find more of to investigate, so if you have any suggestions of some gems to check out (that play well with 2), please let me know!
4. Asymmetrical Conquest/Conflict games
This is one of my favorite things about War of the Ring: the two sides play differently. Essentially they can do the same things, rally the same types of figures and use cards in combat, but their paths to victory almost ensure a different approach. One side is mustering large, impressive armies to try and squash enough settlements and strongholds to subdue Middle-Earth; or else they are pouring resources into finding Frodo and Sam in order to corrupt them. The other side is rushing the ringbearers along to Mount Doom while trying to muster enough force to hold on long enough for the ring to be destroyed. This is the reason why Stronghold is a game high on my wish list, because of the asymmetrical approach. Not only do the sides have different power/abilities, their paths to victory are very different. “First to X points” or “Wipe all other armies out” are fine game objectives, but I love it when the game feels radically different when I choose to play as one of the other sides. Not just with what they can do, but with the strategies I need to utilize in order to accomplish my objectives.
3. Space-themed Civilization-type games
I love playing Civilization. I grew up playing it on the computer, and now I have the Fantasy Flight version of the board game. It is great to take a small settlement and watch it expand, develop, and grow. It is fun to explore and to decide how to focus your energy and resources. It is a blast to play a game with such scope and growth, and I know there are some great ones that take this mechanism and revolves it around civilizations on earth and progression through history. I’d love to play ones that feel like a Civ-style board game but takes place in space, with expansion through the systems and development of better technology, faster and stronger ships, and the discovery of new colonies. I think that Eclipse might be a game that fits this bill, and it certainly is on my wish list. I just downloaded the app for that game last night to test it out and find out for sure. But I’d love to have a range of light, medium, and heavy games in this theme.
2. Games with a King Arthur theme
Yes, I know that the Holy Grail of Arthurian-themed games is probably still Shadows Over Camelot, a game I would love to play but will not be able to feasibly own until my son gets about 8-10 years older. There is so much excellent story fodder out there, so it baffles me that there isn’t an abundance of current, solid Arthurian board games. I plan on picking up Albion’s Legacy very, very soon because my wife actually expressed a willingness to give co-ops another try. It was hard to justify it based solely upon the prospect of playing it as a solo game. Any solid Arthurian game that plays will with 1-2 is certainly going to be on my radar for years to come, so bring them on!
1. Games with a Viking theme
I know, I know: Blood Rage. Yes, it is already on my list of targets. As is Vikings, even though it is a tile-laying worker placement with a rondel. I would love Fire & Axe, but it has the same issues as Shadows over Camelot: 3+ players. There are many games suddenly coming out with this theme, one of the most interesting being 878: Vikings the Invasion of England. I’m a huge fan of the Vikings historically, as well as Anglo-Saxon England (the two are fairly entwined). Plus, there is all kinds of idea fodder out there in the Sagas of the Icelanders. Bring on the Viking themes…I’ll bring my wallet.
So there you have it, these are the games I’d like to play more of. Again, these may not be underrepresented in the board game world but they simply haven’t hit my shelves or my table often enough for me to get my fill yet.
What are some themes you’d like to play more of in board games?