18 Board Games to Start Your Collection

Sentinals of the multiverse

Lots of people have been asking me what games I would recommend to people looking to start getting into board games so I made this list. I would not say everyone should get all of these (except maybe Sentinels of the Multiverse) but they are a good place to start. Before buy any game you should do a google search to find out more about it. Most games you can find video reviews and rule books so you can see if it is the game for you. There are a lot of good board games but not everyone will like everything. This list covers a wide variety of different types of games so you can find one you and your game group will like. If one or more of these games looks interesting just like on the name and it will bring you to the BoardGameGeek page on it. BoardGameGeek.com is like the Wikipedia of board games.


  1. Sentinels of the Multiverse is a cooperative, fixed-deck card game with a comic book flavor. Each player plays as one of ten heroes, against one of four villains, and the battle takes place in one of four different dynamic environments. If you want to be a Super Hero this is the game for you.


  2. Cash and Guns In an abandoned warehouse a gangster band is splitting its loot, but they can’t agree on the split! It’s time to let the guns talk and soon everyone is aiming at everyone. The richest surviving gangster wins the game!

  3. Love Letter is a game of risk, deduction, and luck for 2–4 players. Your goal is to get your love letter into Princess Annette’s hands while deflecting the letters from competing suitors. Rely on weaker cards for too long, however, and your letter may be tossed in the fire!


  4. Resistance is a party game of social deduction. It’s inspired by Mafia/Werewolf. Players are either Resistance Operatives or Imperial Spies. They must depend on each other to carry out missions against the Empire. At the same time, they must try to deduce the other players’ identities and gain their trust.


  5. In King of Tokyo you play mutant monsters, gigantic robots, and strange aliens – all of whom are destroying Tokyo and whacking each other in order to become the one and only King of Tokyo. Need I say more?


  6. Flash Point Fire Rescue The call comes in… “911, what is your emergency?” On the other end is a panicked response of “FIRE!” Moments later you don the protective suits that will keep you alive, gather your equipment and rush to the scene of a blazing inferno. The team has only seconds to assess the situation and devise a plan of attack – then you spring into action like the trained professionals that you are. You must face your fears, never give up, and above all else work as a team because the fire is raging, the building is threatening to collapse, and lives are in danger. You must succeed. You are the brave men and women of fire rescue; people are depending on you. This is what you do every day


  7. In Pandemic, several virulent diseases have broken out simultaneously all over the world! The players are disease-fighting specialists whose mission is to treat disease hotspots while researching cures for each of four plagues before they get out of hand.

  8. Bang “The Outlaws hunt the Sheriff. The Sheriff hunts the Outlaws. The Renegade plots secretly, ready to take one side or the other. Bullets fly. Who among the gunmen is a Deputy, ready to sacrifice himself for the Sheriff? And who is a merciless Outlaw, willing to kill him? If you want to find out, just draw (your cards)!”

  9. Forbidden Island is a visually stunning ‘cooperative’ board game. Instead of winning by competing with other players like most games, everyone must work together to win the game. Players take turns moving their pawns around the ‘island’, which is built by arranging the many beautifully screen-printed tiles before play begins. As the game progresses, more and more island tiles sink, becoming unavailable, and the pace increases. Players use strategies to keep the island from sinking, while trying to collect treasures and items. As the water level rises, it gets more difficult- sacrifices must be made.


  10. Ticket to Ride With elegantly simple gameplay, Ticket to Ride can be learned in under 15 minutes, while providing players with intense strategic and tactical decisions every turn. Players collect cards of various types of train cars they then use to claim railway routes in North America. The longer the routes, the more points they earn. Additional points come to those who fulfill Destination Tickets – goal cards that connect distant cities; and to the player who builds the longest continuous route.


  11. Volt Robot Battle Arena is a tactical game of robotic combat. Be the first player to score five victory points. Players earn victory points by having their robot on the active control point at the end of the round or by destroying opposing robots. You must use your wits to out-think and out-maneuver your opponents to win!


  12. In Tokenoko, the players will cultivate land plots, irrigate them, and grow one of the three species of bamboo (Green, Yellow, and Pink) with the help of the Imperial gardener to maintain this bamboo garden. They will have to bear with the immoderate hunger of this sacred animal for the juicy and tender bamboo. The player who manages his land plots best, growing the most bamboo while feeding the delicate appetite of the panda, will win the game.


  13. Star Realms is a fast paced deck-building card game of outer space combat. It combines the fun of a deck-building game with the interactivity of Trading Card Game style combat. As you play, you make use of Trade to acquire new Ships and Bases from the cards being turned face up in the Trade Row from the Trade Deck. You use the Ships and Bases you acquire to either generate more Trade or to generate Combat to attack your opponent and their bases. When you reduce your opponent’s score (called Authority) to zero, you win!

  14. In Settlers of Catan, players try to be the dominant force on the island of Catan by building settlements, cities, and roads. On each turn dice are rolled to determine what resources the island produces. Players collect these resources (cards) – wood, grain, brick, sheep, or stone – to build up their civilizations to get to 10 victory points and win the game. This was the game that got me into board games.

  15. In Dead Panic, each player takes on the role of one of eight unique characters, which have special abilities. Players work together to survive in a remote cabin, at the center of the board, against waves of the undead that close in from the edges of the board. If the players can hold out, survivors bring pieces of the radio needed to call for rescue. Once rescue arrives, it’s up to each player to leave the safety of the cabin and make it out alive! I know the couple who made this game personally any they are really cool. I don’t always like Zombie games but when I do this is one of them.

  16. In Small world, players vie for conquest and control of a world that is simply too small to accommodate them all. Small World is inhabited by a zany cast of characters such as dwarves, wizards, amazons, giants, orcs, and even humans, who use their troops to occupy territory and conquer adjacent lands in order to push the other races off the face of the earth.

  17. Munchkin Go down in the dungeon. Kill everything you meet. Backstab your friends and steal their stuff. Grab the treasure and run. The essence of the dungeon experience… with none of that stupid roleplaying stuff. You and your friends compete to kill monsters and grab magic items. And what magic items! Don the Horny Helmet and the Boots of Butt-Kicking. Wield the Staff of Napalm… or maybe the Chainsaw of Bloody Dismemberment. Start by slaughtering the Potted Plant and the Drooling Slime, and work your way up to the Plutonium Dragon… Fast-playing and silly, Munchkin can reduce any roleplaying group to hysteria. And, while they’re laughing, you can steal their stuff.

  18. In Citadels, players take on new roles each round to represent characters they hire in order to help them acquire gold and erect buildings. The game ends at the close of a round in which a player erects his/her eighth building. Players then tally their points, and the player with the highest score wins.

 

Hope that gives you a starting place as you explore the exiting worlds in board games. To pick what game to play from this list just decide which story looks like it would be the most fun to spend an hour or two in. Your local board game stores should have many of these games in their demo library so you can try them out before you buy them. Enjoy!

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2 Responses to 18 Board Games to Start Your Collection

  1. Nathan Kraus says:

    While I would also recommend Sentinels, I’m not sure I would recommend it to someone just starting out in board games. There is a lot to keep track of and if you are not playing with someone who has played before can be quite confusing. Two other games to consider for this list might be Flux(any version) or Infiltration- both are easy to learn and to teach others.

    • William says:

      If you have one person who knows Sentinels well it can be a good first game but you do need that one person. I haven’t played flux but I hear it is good for first time players. Infiltration is also a good choice.

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