Following my recent posts about board games, I decided to give Carcasonne (on my iPad) another try. When I first played it several months back, I didn’t bother reading the instructions and just tried to figure it out as I went along. As to be expected, I failed miserably. There were several things that I just didn’t get, such as the fact that you can get your Followers back when you score a feature (whether it be a road, a city or a cloister), nor did I understand that only one player can “own” a feature at a time (unless you manage to share the points through clever tile placement). Then, I watched the following video:

Now, I find some of the banter to be somewhat annoying in the Tabletop series of videos, but they are very useful to see how an actual game plays out. Watching the video made things click, so I tried the iPad version again. After many, many games I have gotten pretty good at it, and I ended up getting all the available expansions for it as in-app purchases.

I really like scoring a mega-field with a pig and the pig herd! I often come from behind and win that way.

So based on my experience with the iPad version, I took a look at the actual board game. We already have “The Kids of Carcassonne” for the boys, which is a much-simplified version of it, and it’s fun to play with them. The actual adult version, though, is more complicated and I don’t see my youngest playing it just yet, so it would likely be just me and wife playing it most of the time. Also, it turns out that there are a ton of expansions for it, way more than the few available for the iPad. So my question to you, dear readers, is the following: should I bother getting one or several of the expansions along with the base game? Which would be best for 2-player play? There are a few different box sets that come with several expansions, so I could consider getting one of those. Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

Board Games

Since I was a kid, I have played computer games. I really loved games like Civilization (Civ 4 is my favorite, after the classic Civ 1, of course), SimCity, Dune 2, and other strategy and 4X games. These days, I love Cities in Motion, which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who knows me, and about which I’ll write about another day. On my iPad, I really enjoy Ticket to Ride, which also shouldn’t surprise anyone, as well as San Juan (which I started playing while I was in Puerto Rico). However, I have never been into board games much, other than the occasional ultra-competitive games of Risk in my university days. I would guess that part of the reason that I never played many board games is that when I was in high school, the big thing at the time was Magic: The Gathering, and I’ve never been into Fantasy; I was always a science-fiction guy, Star Trek and so on, not Dungeons and Dragons. 

In any case, a few months ago we got The Kids of Carcassonne for the family, and we enjoy playing it together with the boys. As a consequence, I’ve started looking at other games that we could get, such as Catan Junior, which I plan on buying soon. I’d also love to try some of the other big games out there, such as 7 Wonders, Amerigo, or the Castles of Burgudy, but the problem is that most of the time, it’s just me and my wife and the boys here at home, so we don’t have anyone else that we can play with, and for many of these games, they recommend 3 or 4 players.

So with that in mind, I am asking you, my readers, for suggestions of board games (other than Hasbro-type games like Monopoly or Risk that I already own and know well) that would be good for the whole family (fun for my 4 year old and 7 year old boys, without boring the adults), as well as games that can play well with just 2 players (for me and my wife). For example, I’ve heard that Pandemic is a good one for 2 players. So, what say you? What games should I go out and buy?