We think board games are for everyone. That’s why we’ve made our list of Games of Forever for Everyone over here. A part of us couldn’t help but make this list as well though – a list of our favourite games for the connoisseur.
Those games that do require strategy and some patience to learn. If you are someone that is willing to invest the time then these games will reward you with some of the best experiences you can have with cardboard and some friends.
5. Chaos in the old world
As good as this game is, it’s not a traditional Best Play game. It’s just not aesthetically accessible. Even Joel felt uneasy being caught playing something so very obviously in the ‘nerd’ family of gaming, such is its strong visual and thematic association with all things high fantasy. But he does agree that it’s a damn good game if you’re willing to get past that.
For many it represents the start of the Eric Lang Dynasty. A deeply strategic game of four “old gods” that each play in a unique way
Chaos involves a lot of long term planning and plenty of reactive tactics.
Every player’s turn opens and closes opportunities, as you scour the land to find ways to dominate the board – or corrupt it into oblivion. Alternatively you can just kill everything that moves.
Such is the delicately well-balanced nature of the mechanics, most games will come down to the wire. What’s more is that each round will be different, thanks to event cards that change how the game unfolds.
Sadly, it’s going out of print soon so get your copy before the price goes crazy.
Buy it here and support Best Play
Sometimes, an IP mashup throws up something far better than it has any right to be. GoldenEye is a good one. Average film, but genre-defining N64 videogame. Another might be Ecks vs Sever, if you remember that.
Well Spartacus is one such thing. It’s a decidedly average TV show, but genuinely one of the best board games ever made.
As houses of Ancient Rome, you’ll be scheming and plotting against everyone. You can barter, trade and auction for weapons and warriors, and eventually find build up your stable of gladiators, slaves and guards.
There are plenty of routes to success. You could aim to be the richest house, swinging your metaphorical wallet around to dominate the proceedings. Others might choose to pin it all on the arena, training up super fighters to settle things like men. It’s this flexibility that keeps the game competitive right down to the wire.
There are plenty of nice touches too, like the ability for whoever hosts the games to decide the mortal fate of losing gladiators, for example. It also practically demands that players form temporary alliances, and is almost impossible to win without backstabbing at least one other opponent.
Ultimately, Spartacus is a thematic game of swords and sandals that will probably see you losing all of your friends in just a couple of hours.
Read the full review here.
3. Dead of Winter
Zombies. They’ve been done, right? A million times, sure. Zombies in the snow? OK, that’s not been done quite so many times.
More importantly, this game isn’t really that much about the zombies.
It’s more about a story of survival, of trust and of betrayal, that places players all on the same team (for the most part).
The main story, which changes every time you play it, is revealed every turn based on what you do. Sometimes that can even be something you do in real life. This secretive and unpredictable mechanic keeps the suspension going and might (in rare circumstances) lead to a dog driving a truck into a horde of undead.
Just like with Archipelago (number 8 on our list), you are all working together to survive but each with a secret individual objective. Also just like Archipelago, one of you may or may not even have an objective that requires betrayal of everyone else in order to win.
You’ll feel like it’s a game where everyone is on the same side and close to victory, only to see it snatched away before your eyes from someone you thought you trusted. And then it’ll be you that’s out in the cold with the zombies.
Buy it here and support Best Play
2. Battlestar Galactica
Woh woh woh. Don’t leave. I know this sounds terrible, especially if sci-fi and the eponymous TV show sound like they’re not your kind of thing.
Seriously though, this is a truly fantastic board game. It’s also a pretty good TV show, if you’re wondering.
There’s no need to be familiar with the characters to enjoy it, but those that are will get an extra kick out of it. The game sees players all working together on the same team, with the main objective being to reach earth.
It begins with relative harmony, as all the systems on the ship will be functioning well and space will be largely free of enemies. A few rounds in, however, and things will start breaking and threats will start to emerge. Soon, the situation becomes an outright catastrophe, and you’ll have to work hard as a team to desperately cobble together solutions to keep everyone alive and hobble one step closer to earth.
Of course, the game is made more complicated by the fact that at least one of you is actually an undercover enemy, and attempting to disrupt things from the inside. If someone is seemingly not pulling their weight in the effort to resolve crises and get to earth, then perhaps the admiral will throw them in the brig. Or maybe the president will be overthrown and new laws will be voted in. But what if you’ve chucked the one person that could help into prison, where they can barely do anything to assist next time things turn sour?
Exposed enemies can reveal themselves as traitors if they like, when they’ll be given new powers to destroy the mission from the outside instead. It’s a genuinely brilliant game, and one that usually culminates in a heart-racing limp over the finish line as the enemy players do everything they can to avoid that happening. It’ll be a high risk endgame resting on a knife-edge.
It’s the Hollywood of board games, creating unique stories every time you play – and is exactly the kind of game you’ll be telling other people about after you finish.
1. Pandemic Legacy
If Netflix were a board game, this would be it. Pandemic Legacy is the bingable box set of gaming.
You are working as a team in trying to save the world from a deadly disease – but after that we can’t tell you what happens. That’s because it’s an episodic game that unfolds one episode at a time.
Even half way into the first episode everything will change. You’ll be ripping up cards, adding new rules, plastering stickers all over the board and even killing certain characters for good. Of course, this means you’ll only be playing the game once (10-20 rounds over ten unique episodes), but don’t be fooled into thinking that it makes Legacy poor value for money.
By the end, you’ll have journeyed through the game for hours, playing as a handful of now-familiar characters, which whom you’ll feel a real attachment to to. The story is dynamic, and you’ll be driving it forward with your actions. Collectively you’ll pain over difficult decisions, debating over the best move for the group and discussing which player might have to make the ultimate sacrifice for the greater good.
We really can’t describe it in much more detail, in case we start to reveal the secrets of a game that’s best enjoyed in total ignorance as it unfolds.
In our eyes its the best game money can buy for anyone who takes their games seriously.
Buy it here and support Best Play
And that’s your lot. Our best games of forever for the connoisseur. We also have a list of our favourite games of forever for everyone. Join us again in 2017 as we attempt to find the games that can break into these great lists.