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Why Board Games? Part Three

Updated: Nov 13, 2019

As I mentioned previously, there are a number of games that got me hooked on the world of designer board games. In no particular order, here are some of the titles that got their hooks into me early on:

Ticket to Ride



Perhaps the perfect gateway game: a simple set of rules, but almost unlimited variety and strategy. This is one of the top-selling games of all time, and for good reason. This is still my go-to title when I want to introduce new players to modern board gaming.

Dominion



Generally acknowledged to be the first deck-builder, Dominion is still one of my most-played games, and continues to be one of the most popular games in the world. Sure, other deck-builders have built upon and in some cases improved the ideas that Dominion brought to the table, but it is still an immensely playable and enjoyable game to this day (and with the ridiculous number of expansions available, I don’t see myself getting tired of it any time soon).

Lords of Waterdeep



This was my first foray into the world of worker placement games, and boy, what an introduction it was! While not the first of its genre, it is one of the purest and easiest to understand worker placement games out there. While the base game is great, it really shines with the addition of the “Scoundrels of Skullport” expansion.

Memoir ‘44



A fantastic light wargame, this is probably the most popular of Richard Borg’s “Command and Colors” games. Set in World War II, this game brilliantly simulates the uncertainty and chaos of war. There have been a myriad of expansions covering pretty much all theaters of war, but the base game alone is almost infinitely replayable, especially considering the number of fan-created scenarios that can be found on the Internet.

Shadows Over Camelot



My first cooperative game, and one that I still find ridiculously fun to play to this day. This was the first game I ever played in which players had to work together to try to beat the game rather than each other. Add in the possibility of one of the players being a traitor, and you have one of the most insanely entertaining games you can ever play. This is the single game that piqued my interest in cooperative games, one of my favorite genres.

Zombicide



Another cooperative game, this one involving one of gaming’s most popular themes: zombies! I thought that this was going to be fast paced action game, but it turned out to be one of the most brain-burning puzzles imaginable. Working together to try to defeat the growing hordes of zombies is one of the most compelling gaming experiences of my life. While there are numerous expansions, the base game alone has almost unlimited replayability (again, helped by the fact that there are numerous fan-created scenarios to try out).

Fury of Dracula



This one-against-many game of a group of vampire hunters chasing Dracula around Europe was one of my earliest gaming experiences, and remains one of my favorite games to this day. There are few experiences more compelling than the cat-and-mouse game of trying to stop Dracula before he can create enough vampires to win the game.

What games got you hooked on the hobby? Feel free to leave your comments below!

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