The tabletop games just keep on coming. I had a weird revelation the other day — I used to play tons of co-op and competitive video games with my group of friends, but lately it’s been more about the board and card games, both at work and at home. But I’m not complaining! Here are some of the latest games I’ve played.
Cards Against Humanity
I’m sure you’ve played, or at least heard of, Apples to Apples. One person asks a question while the other players answer with a card and try to be the one chosen for being correct/funny/etc. Cards Against Humanity follows the same principle of one person asking a question and everyone else answering, but the answers are far more disgusting. The cards in the picture above aren’t even close to some of the nastiest ones. It’s my kind of game, really.
The game comes with a set of rules and suggested ways to play, but you can ignore them if you choose. Simply going around a circle is all you need to do. I recommend playing with a “ditch your whole hand” rule, though. There are plenty of seemingly useless cards and when you have a whole set of them, you feel out of the game until you get a good one.
Cards Against Humanity is a blast to play as long as everyone gets in the right mindset. I’ve found that the perfect way to play is with a big group of friends, drinking beer and watching a game. But don’t completely stay away from playing this with your family. I played with my mom, dad, and sisters and my parents ended up winning by a landslide.
King of New York
I wrote about King of Tokyo in a previous article. It’s probably my favorite tabletop game so far. I was hesitant about King of New York, fearing it may simply be the same game in a different setting. But, King of New York has enough differences to warrant being it’s own game.
The base system is the same — victory points and health, dice rolling with up to two rerolls, buying power ups, etc. Instead of being in Tokyo, the special area is Manhattan which is separated into three sections: lower, middle, and upper. The longer you stay in Manhattan, the farther you move up, gaining you more stars and energy cubes than the lower areas. Manhattan also has two tracks, if you’re playing with enough people, so you can have up to two monsters in at the same time.
One of the biggest changes is that other players aren’t simply “outside of Manhattan” — they are in the other boroughs of the city and can move between them. Each borough has stacks of buildings that, if destroyed, net you stars, health, or energy cubes. Destroyed buildings turn into military units, though, which can attack the monsters. These military units can also be destroyed, typically for bigger bonuses than buildings. The dice have had the 1-2-3 victory point markers replaced with building destruction, military attack, and fame. Rolling enough fame makes you the superstar of New York and gives you some bonuses, but that can be stolen easily by someone else’s roll.
King of New York is super fun, but I wouldn’t recommend it if you haven’t played King of Tokyo before. It’s definitely a separate game, but there’s enough going on that having a background in the base game helps.
The Resistance is a secret role game where a team of Resistance members try to complete missions while the Imperial Spies try to stop them. Roles are given out face down and the Spies are made known to each other, but the Resistance members don’t know who they are, just how many of them exist. If the majority of missions pass, the Resistance wins, otherwise the Spies win.
Missions are broken up into two phases. Players rotate being the Leader who chooses the players that will go on a mission. Once the members of a mission are chosen by the Leader, all players vote on if the mission is approved or rejected. These votes are made public, so who the Leader picks and who approves/rejects can give insight into who is on which team. If a mission is approved, the players on the mission vote a second time whether or not the mission is a success or a failure. These votes are private and a single failure means the entire mission is failed. There are also power up cards that let players move the leadership token around, see private votes, and more.
Finger pointing and meta gaming are the important pieces of The Resistance. It’s a fun game that takes a few rounds to really get the hang of. The more people you can play with, the better.
Ticket to Ride
Ever wondered what it was like to build the Transcontinental Railroad back in the 1860s? Probably not, but Ticket to Ride tasks players with building train routes that criss-cross America (and parts of Canada). Victory points are earned by placing trains on the board and completing secret route cards.
On each turn, players can either draw train cards, place trains, or take more route cards. Train cards come in multiple colors and a set of the same color card is required to play on that color’s line. Most routes require a certain color card to place trains on it, but some are grey and allow for any color set. Where you play your trains is completely up to you, but at the start of the game you are given route cards that only you can see. Any route you complete is worth victory points at the end of the game, but any route you don’t complete is a negative to your point total. If you decide to take more route cards, it’s important to remember the negative point factor.
You can place trains wherever you want, not just along your planned routes. If you see that a player is building a long route and there’s only one way through, you may want to play defensive and block that route. Of course, that player can then come back to screw you over, or you may have wasted your train because his route might have been complete. It’s painful to see your five turn plan come to a screeching halt on turn five when another player messes you up.
I like Ticket to Ride quite a bit even though my one coworker (you know who you are) always beats me by like three points. But, be aware that it takes around an hour to play.