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Introductory Board Games

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Sometimes the people you talk to think that the only board games that exist are Monopoly, Sorry, and Trouble. Because of this, it can be hard to get people interested in board games. I've been lucky enough to work with people who have relatively large game collections, so we've found games that work for our group. We've also tried getting other coworkers interested in gaming with us. A good way to do that is to start off with some quicker, lighter games. Since we typically play at work, the only real time we have is our lunch break. We're blessed with a full hour, but we still try to find games that can be played in 30-45 minutes. That gives us time to get food, eat, set up the game, play it, and then tear it down. Sometimes, the games are short enough that we can play multiple rounds. Here are some (quick) games that I'd recommend to get others interested in games even when you don't have much time:

 

Celestia

A fairly simple push-your-luck game. The premise is that you're going through a series of adventures and the more fulfilling (read: longer) your adventure, the more points you can get. Everyone gets to take a shot at being captain and passenger, and it's a good time all around.

 

Codnames / Codenames: Pictures

Another simple game where you can work in teams. Each team has a Code Master that is trying to get them to guess the correct cards and reveal all of their agents. The Code Master is only allowed to give a one-word clue followed by a number, which is the number of cards that the clue can point to. The first team to correctly guess the location of all of their agents without accidentally picking the Assassin wins.


Saboteur / Saboteur 2

This game is one of my favorites. Everyone is a mining dwarf trying to get to some hidden gold. There are also some Saboteurs in your midst that are trying to prevent you from reaching that very gold. Everyone plays a card, then draws a card, ideally building a path to the other side of the board. I highly recommend picking up Saboteur 2, which is actually an expansion, because it adds teams and several new roles.


Good Cop, Bad Cop

Everyone in this game is either an Honest cop or a Crooked cop. Two players are the Agent and Kingpin respectively. This is a deduction game where players are trying to find and kill either the Agent or Kingpin, depending on your allegiance. The game gets fun when either one is found and suddenly cards come out to alter the allegiance of the other players. I recommend picking up the Undercover expansion as well.


BANG!

One person is the Sheriff, several players are Deputies, one person is a Renegade, and several people are Outlaws. Another deduction game that we love to play. This game involves shooting first and asking questions later while you try and figure out who is on your team. The Sheriff and Deputies are trying to get rid of the Outlaws, the Outlaws are trying to get rid of the Sheriff, and the Renegade is trying to get rid of everyone except the Sheriff until the very end.


Tsuro / Tsuro of the Seas

This is a very casual board game. Everyone has their own piece and all you do is play a card and follow the path. The goal is to stay on the board as long as possible. If you run off the edge of the board or crash into another player, you're out.


Love Letter / Love Letter Premium

This is a personal favorite. The idea is that you're trying to get your letter to the princess by having it passed along through the many people she interacts with. Each card has a special ability such as making you immune to other effects for the round or comparing your hand to another player's hand. If two (or more) players are left when the deck runs out, the player with the highest value card in their hand wins. I recommend the Premium edition because it adds support for four more players and adds a lot of exciting new cards.


Mascarade

This is another deduction game, but it's not quite the same as games like The Resistance or Werewolf. Everyone has a card that has an ability on it. Throughout the game, you will be swapping cards with other players and trying to keep track of who has what ability. Some abilities give you gold, while others let you add some chaos by moving other cards around. The first person to 13 gold wins.


Spyfall / Spyfall 2

Spyfall is a good game if you're looking for something you can play in 5-10 minutes. A bag of cards is picked, and all but one of the cards in that bag has a location (each card has the same location) as well as a role on it. For example, you might have a set of cards that say Bank and one of the roles could be Banker or Thief. You go around asking each other questions, but you don't want to give too much information away. Ideally, you get answers that let you know who else knows where everyone is located. If the Spy, who does not have the location on their card, figures out the location, they win. 

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