Digital Adventures

Notes on programmable logic, tabletop games & other stuff

Tabletop Night, or How I Managed to Play Ticket to Ride Three Times in a Month

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Partially inspired by Wil Wheaton’s Tabletop series, Hannah and I host a (almost) weekly tabletop game night. The players and games vary, but the underestimation of the game time does not. Oh yes, and it’s pretty consistently entertaining as well.

Some notes on the games that we’ve played:

  • Ticket to Ride: My go-to game for new players. Why? I like trains, so the theme never gets old, the game is for ages 8+, so it works well for my similarly aged peers, and the rule book is just two pages in length. The only drawback is the player count (2 to 5); it doesn’t work out well for two people due to not enough competition, and has a hard limit of 5 players, which prevents pulling it out when we invite two people and they each bring +1s.
  • Formula D: Is a game that desperately needs a catch-up mechanic. While I’m not a fan of rubber-banding in racing video games, Formula D isn’t much fun when you mess up the first long corner on the first lap and then have to spend the rest of the game limping along trying to not have your tires catch on fire. Bonus points for realism, I suppose.
  • Power Grid: Boy, these rules are lengthy.
  • Eldar Elder Sign: Likely the oldest game in our collection and my second favorite. Requires careful adherence to the rules or else the challenge disappears.
  • Betrayal at House on the Hill: Hooray, multiple endings with one or more betrayers. A good game, though not terribly engaging when it isn’t your turn. Not very much fun if the betrayal happens in less than four or so turns or when the room pile is nearly empty.
  • Munchkin (Adventure Time theme optional): The longest card game I’ve ever played.
  • Coup: I will steal from you and then I will use that money to assassinate you. Requires careful wording which may be challenging for some (I can’t remember how many times there was confusion about having/not an assassin or having/not a contessa to block it).
  • Battlelore: Bought it, then realized I just wanted to play Warhammer 40k. More on that later.
  • Mille Bornes: Coup fourré! Semi-abstract card based driving with retro-fabulous 70s artwork. Was fun when I played it when I was 10, still fun now.