What “holy grail” games have you discovered? [continued]

Posted by Jim {Power Gamer} | 17-Feb-17 | 23 comments

[This is such a great discussion, I’m gonna keep it at the top for another week, then we’ll go back to “What are you playing” next week.]

I thought I’d switch up this weekend’s discussion a bit…

For me the board game hobby has always had an underlying quest of finding those “holy grail” games that me and those I play with look forward to playing over and over again. Those games aren’t the same for everyone, since each individual and group is unique. I’ll share a couple of mine, and look forward to reading what other games are shared in this discussion.

The Resistance
Probably the most enjoyment I’ve ever gotten out of $15. We don’t always know how many will show up on our game nights, and whenever we’ve got five or more, we always break this game out. Our group just can’t get enough of the craziness that ensues with everyone trying to get their points heard (whether truthful or not!).

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game
We were skeptical of this game at first. We thought it sounded like each game you play you’d be doing the same thing over and over (close locations, find & defeat the villain, rinse, repeat). What we discovered was a game where you’re working closely with your friends to make it through epic adventures. There is a perfect balance of risk/reward as well as being your own force in the game while also working together as a team. This is a game we’ll be playing for a long time!

What “holy grail” games have you discovered, and why did they end up being such great games for you and those you play with?

Comments (23)

Gamer Avatar
6
Sentinels of the Multiverse fan
Soccer Fan
Football Fan
Movie Lover

My holy grail list in chronological order:

Risk – I would pull all nighters playing this game solo using all the colors
Talisman 2nd edition – Childhood game that got me past Monopoly and Risk
Star Wars CCG – This became a lifestyle game for me in its heyday
Settlers of Catan – Of course! Grandfather of modern board games. First was introduced to this game in 1998.
Sentinels of the Multiverse – Reminded me of Star Wars CCG but easier
Legendary – My first deck building game, sorry Dominion, didn’t play you until later.
D&D Board game series – Wrath of Ashardalon, Legend of Drizzt, Ravenloft – For me, this is an updated version of Talisman.

Gamer Avatar
6
Count / Countess
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
BoardGaming.com Beta 2.0 Tester
Cryptozoic Entertainment fan

Not Alone (1 vs many)

Gamer Avatar
9
Canada
Sentinels of the Multiverse fan
Plaid Hat Games fan
Platinum Supporter

@Stargazer Twasn’t me – I didn’t do anything aside from be mouthy. Was probably some WordPress update on the backend throwing everything flipside for the past few months.

But…grading buttons seem to work, comment and discussion paging looks like it is back, and individual game chat starts on the most recent item and not circa Y2K.

YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A working BGdot is ‘grail’ enough for me.

Gamer Avatar
1

Burgle Bros, Pandemic Iberia, and last but not least FIREBALL ISLAND! God I miss my childhood. While Fireball Island may not have been the ultimate challenge in gaming history it sure is fun to lay with my kids! The other two I have been enjoying with friends over a glass of wine. Cheers!

Gamer Avatar
9
USA
I play blue
El Dorado
Paladin

@HaiKulture- Yes, your comment shows up! I don’t know what was done to get more than 15 comments to show, but keep doing it!!

Gamer Avatar
4
Private eye
Noble

I still LOVE King of Tokyo. Especially with the expansion packs. I will play that at every game night if people let me. I also just played the Game of Thrones Ed.2 board game for the first time and it was great!

Gamer Avatar
9
Canada
Sentinels of the Multiverse fan
Plaid Hat Games fan
Platinum Supporter

Does this comment show up?

Gamer Avatar
8
Sentinels of the Multiverse fan
Greater Than Games fan
El Dorado

For me, it was initially Pandemic and then Sentinels of the Multiverse. However, since the first time I played it (a couple of years ago), I will always choose Spirit Island over any other game. I can’t get enough.

Gamer Avatar
4
Treasure Map
Explorer - Level 2

It’s early days for me in board gaming — I only started buying and playing in October. So far, the only game that my friends and I are always into playing is Codenames. That’s across the board interested. I generally play different types of games with different groups of people, so aside from Codenames, there aren’t any games that I can get everyone excited to play.

For me personally, I’ve been excited about playing every game I’ve bought, which is now over 20 with more than a dozen pre-orders to come.

Gamer Avatar
7
Finland
Advanced Reviewer
Strategist

Without shadow of a doubt Battlestar Galactica. It runs extremely well with my diverse group, only one person dislikes it and he still agrees to play.

Other games divide the group more, but for me The Manhattan Project and Game of Thrones: Board game/Star Wars: Rebellion (shared) holds special place for me.

Gamer Avatar
8
Professional Reviewer
Canada
I play black
Silver Supporter

Fun question! My response is going to betray my thematic preference as both mine are LOTR-themed.

Lord of the Rings: Living Card Game because it provides endless variety (hence the Living) and a satisfying experience in a very tight 30-60 min timeframe. It is great as a solo and a group game and it allowed me to share my passion with my young son. I played it around 150 times over last year and it only makes me excited to play more.

Middle Earth Quest is a totally different beast. I played it a grand total of 5 times but it is such an epic and involved experience that I treasure every time I get to have it. Its many mechanics click so well together and it is so immersive and faithful to the world it brings to life that I can’t help but love it. The epic 3+ hr play time makes it hard to be a regular thing but every time it hits the table it’s like a little celebration for me.

I’m curious that Resistance is such a hit with folks. I own it and it is my favourite social deduction game, but the exhaustion I feel after most games preclude me from really loving it.

Gamer Avatar
5
I play blue
Zealot

For my gaming group, the most played game we keep coming back to is Battlestar Galactica. We were fans of the show and a friend bought it as a gift to another. We finally got it out one night, and that is what got us started in this hobby. Plenty of replay value with the different expansions and options within those expansions. Even though it’s many years later and our board game collections have grown tremendously, we still come back to this game quite often. It’s always a great time.

Gamer Avatar
9
Grand Master Grader
Movie Lover
Book Lover
I play blue

@Stargszer1-I do like fantasy themed games, and Defenders of the Realm is on my wish list. Thanks for the suggestion.

Gamer Avatar
9
USA
I play blue
El Dorado
Paladin

@Tom – Do you like fantasy themed games? if so, then give Defenders of the Realm a looksie. Plays similar to Pandemic but there’s more to it. It’s a very good game.

Gamer Avatar
5
AEG fan
Tasty Minstrel Games Fan
I Play This One a LOT

Elder Sign, Catan, and Ticket to Ride come off the shelf most often. Imperial Assault is my groups honorable mention. For me though, Talisman is what started it all and still gets the most requests from the group. It’s hard to beat with the multiple expansions and docs rolling fun.

Gamer Avatar
9
Grand Master Grader
Movie Lover
Book Lover
I play blue

For me it was Pandemic. I guess I have been looking for something to top it for two years or more. I got Flashpoint, and it is decent. I tried Ghost Stories, and it is also good. But I just don’t enjoy either as much as I do Pandemic… I am sure there is a Pandemic successor for me just over the horizon, as there are so many great titles available. But the hunt is half the fun.

Gamer Avatar
1

My preference has been towards dice games, but not exclusively. Machi Koro Roll Through The Ages and Ra: The Dice Game all appeal to me. My favorite has got to be Kingsburg (with the expansion). It has all the elements of most other games (resource management and area control) while heavily luck dependent.

Gamer Avatar
4
I Am What I Am
Comic Book Fan
Basketball Fan
Pet Lover

Some nice picks. Resistance would probably make my list if I still owned it 😛

The sad thing for me is I have a bunch of games that I haven’t even played yet and I’m sure probably WOULD make my “Holy Grail” list. It’s kinda hard for me to make this list b/c I DO have some Holy Grail games, but there are other games I own I feel SHOULD be on the list, but I just haven’t got enough play out of them. Basically games I absolutely loved after one play, but it’s been just that – one play (maybe two). I won’t include those games. =( I also won’t include games that are no longer in my collection (which really breaks my heart, too!)

Anyway, I suppose mine are Blood Rage, Deception: Murder in Hong Kong, Carcassonne, The Grizzled, and I’ll also throw in Imperial Settlers.

Gamer Avatar
9
USA
I play blue
El Dorado
Paladin

Two games immediately spring to mind as ‘Holy Grail’ games:

Arkham Horror: I always get many responses when I send out invites to play this, to the point now where I have too many players. I don’t like to play AH with more than four because it starts to get a bit long. However, my gaming group loves the rich theme, the on the edge feel of play, and the variety the expansions provide. This game always draws a huge crowd at our local con too.

Napoleonic Wars: My CDW group loves this game. Always get a ton of responses when I send out invites to play this one. My group loves the non-stop action, the big battles, and the fact that this game never plays the same way twice. Always draws a crowd when I host it at our local con and at the local gaming club monthly meets.

Gamer Avatar
6
Canada
I'm a Real Person
Treasure Map

I have a couple (or three) of games that I just want to play again and again. I guess you could call them my “go to” games.

– Fortune and Glory: the Cliffhanger Game – After I got this game, I found that I can play it again and again, and enjoy it every time. Winning or losing, I definitely want more.

– DungeonQuest – I like the chance to enter the Dungeon and hope to grab some loot and get back out. Sure I have died much more than I have escaped, and find myself cheering on others that have a chance to make it out alive once I have perished.

– Blood Bowl – This is my “chess”. I enjoy playing teams of against each other on the field. Moving your players up and down the field to score a touchdown or prevent one. Fantasy races against each other in a battle to win the day on the field.

I think those are my main go to games. I seem to fall back to those the most.

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