top of page
Rogue 5 straight_edited.png

My Favorite Board Games pt. 3!

After an exciting session of Catan last weekend, I can happily claim the title of Victor for the moment! I garnered the most resources for my cities and secured the longest road–Just call me Silk Road Ultimate! With that being said, I shall finally conclude my Top 12 Favorite Board Games.

9.) What Do You Meme?

Players 3-20

Another hilarious party game, What Do You Meme? Is one of my go-to games for family holidays and get-togethers with friends. In our prominent meme culture, just about anyone can muster a chuckle at an amusing picture with a witty caption, and the goal of What Do You Meme is to win the most hilarious captions for the procured picture cards. Following in the same vein as Cards Against Humanity and Apples to Apples, each player has a turn to be the judge and choose what they like best out of everyone’s pooled caption cards. Each player maintains a hand of seven cards at all times. The player whose turn it is chooses a card of their choice from an ample stack of well-known images from the internet, displays it on a tiny easel to showcase to the other players, and then chooses a winner from the caption cards given by the other players. The person with the winning caption is given that picture card, and the first player to obtain an agreed-upon set goal of picture cards wins the game. I can guarantee that this game never gets old with potential for hundreds of picture/caption combinations. Did I mention the expansions? What Do You Meme has a myriad of expansions to add to the collection, increasing your stock of images and captions tenfold. The base game is for ages 17+ because it does include adult content (let’s be honest though, just about anything can be spun to be raunchy, ya bunch of perverts), but as with many games there are family-oriented editions and expansions so you can play with your little ones. We own the base game, The Office expansion, Fresh Memes expansion, and Spongebob expansion, but there are many more to choose from. I can’t wait to add to our collection for even more meme hilarity.

10.) Runebound

Players 2-4

Want to play an epic RPG but don’t have a console or gaming PC? Runebound is the quintessential representation of a role-playing game in board game format, and you will definitely experience a great hours-long fantasy adventure when playing this game. Runebound takes place in the fictional realm of Terrinoth, a region beset with the looming threat of an ancient evil. The base game has two evils with corresponding scenarios from which to choose: The Ascendance of Margath (ahhhh, dragon!) or The Corpse King (ahhhh, necromancer!). Our heroes race against time (literally, the game is split into Acts I and II, with time counting down) and each other to grow in level and power in order to slay the dark force that threatens to decimate humanity. At least in the Third Edition, which is the one we own, there are six heroes from which to choose: Laurel of Bloodwood, with a Pathfinding ability: Lord Hawthorne, with a Reach ability; Lyssa (my fave!), with a Nine Lives ability; Elder Monk, with a Restore Spirit ability; Master Thorn, with a Teleport ability; and finally (what fantasy is complete without a token Dwarf character?) Corbin, with a Bounty Hunting ability. While players are hastening to meet the challenge, they travel across the land experiencing Terrinoth’s beautiful and vast landscape. Just imagine a jaunt in Skyrim and you’re pretty close. Spread across the game board are missions specializing in Combat, Exploration, or Social Event, and success of missions gains the players loot. Players encounter enemies and engage in battle to win skills and loot; head to hubs of society such as cities to purchase upgrades; rest and heal in sanctuaries such as shrines, towns, or strongholds favored by their hero; and can even engage with one another to trade or battle. Runebound is a good mix of cooperative play and competition. Even though there can only be one champion to slay the ancient evil, if the ancient evil prevails then everyone loses. Game over.

11.) Dark Souls the Board Game

Players 1-4

Okay, so when one of my favorite video game titles of all existence is turned into an immersive cooperative dungeon crawl roleplaying board game…then that cooperative dungeon crawl roleplaying board game headlines my game shelf. It’s the trophy in the showcase. It’s the game that makes all other board games rattle their pieces in fear–move over Sorry, or you’ll really be sorry.

Anyone familiar with Dark Souls and its affiliated titles knows of its notorious difficulty and challenge level. I can safely say that that has transferred into the board game version as players must search and clear rooms rife with undead peril, traversing their way to the final boss. The core game starts us off with four classes to play: Assassin, Herald, Knight, or Warrior; and the enemy base is made up of some of the common enemies from the video game as well as a few infamous mini bosses and main bosses. All classes and enemies are represented by detailed figurines, further enhancing the quality of setup and play. The game board is made up of one bonfire tile, for resting and leveling up, one mini boss tile (set aside until encounter), one main boss tile (set aside until encounter), and six exploration tiles–four of which will be used in one game session. The tiles can be aligned in any order, so long as the doorways are matched up for entering and exiting a chamber, and rooms are set up according to randomly chosen encounter cards to determine the number of enemies and environmental factors such as treasures, barrels, gravestones, etc. A radial dial is used to keep track of bonfire sparks used, and the number you are allowed in a game depends on the number of players present. A full group of players garners fewer sparks, a whopping two whole bonfires, and a solo player is granted five precious sparks. As you can probably guess, a spark is used if players are defeated in an enemy encounter or if players choose to rest at the bonfire. Players must strategize wisely and determine the best time to sit at the bonfire, and just like in the videogame, resting replenishes the previously cleared enemies. This is not an overly terrible thing because this gives players a chance to defeat the enemies again and gain even more souls, the currency used to purchase upgrades.

The goal is obviously to clear rooms of enemies while exploring for treasure and avoiding traps (oh yes, this wouldn’t be a proper dungeon crawl without lots of traps!), slash through a mini boss, and tackle the main boss of the session. Victory is won for the whole party when the main boss is defeated in combat. The challenge, however, is even surviving that far. Combat in DS the Board Game surpasses the typical turn-based hack and slash, and is highly multi-faceted. Position of player to enemy is a huge factor, as enemy special attacks could have a different range or hitbox. Players can even be pushed onto other nodes by boss attacks, which can sometimes be either a detriment or a boon depending. Status afflictions such as bleed, poison, or frostbite exist, dealing points of extra damage, and both players and enemies have the potential to stagger. Combat is no simple feat, and players learn very quickly how important it is to upgrade their gear as they traverse deeper into the dungeon. This is especially true if the party makes it to the main boss room and manages to beat up the nefarious monster waiting there, only to find out the boss has a “heat up” mode where it kind of goes berserk and acts out of the usual pattern. Oh yes, battle in Dark Souls the Board game is complex and challenging, as is the whole journey, but it’s much fun braving the unknown with a party of stoic heroes.

The core game costs a pretty penny, (trust me, I’m the ultimate miser and penny pincher, but I throw all my pennies at this board game) and the expansions are not cheap either, but IT IS WORTH IT. You get quality pieces and detail in every aspect of this game, from the figurines to character and enemy cards, to all the little delicious random tokens and pieces. And what about the time a Dark Souls fan spends playing this epic Dark Souls board game? Priceless.

12.) The Grimwood

Players 2-6

When I came across this little deck of cards on Amazon, my curiosity was piqued. For twenty bucks I found a brilliant and unobtrusive card game, and it is up there at the top of the list of my favorite Amazon purchases. The most beloved feature of this game for me is its art style, horror and fantasy mingling together in blocky inking and dark, muted colors–a lovely embrace and right up my alley. In my mind, the images represented on the cards recall the works of Edgar Allen Poe, or Mary Shelley, or Anne Rice, and The Grimwood is indeed full of dark, fantastical creatures.

The goal of the game? Be the player with the most points at the end, when the final card of the draw pile is drawn. Each player starts the game with three cards and can keep no more than seven cards in their hand. Each card and each combination of cards has a point value, hence trying to snag the highest points by the end of the game. For example, a trio of crows or a trio of owls is worth ten points. A trio of clearings, a trio of paths, or a trio of swamps is worth three points. The combo of one clearing, one path, and one swamp is worth five points. When players gain a combo in their hand, they can play down their cards on their turn to bank their points. Sounds easy enough, right? Well this is where the beasties come in. Supernaturals are special cards featuring beings with different powers. Combinations of 3, 4, or 5 Supernaturals gain a player 5, 10, or 15 points respectively, whereas laying down a single or a duo of Supernaturals gains one point each. Where it gets tricky is when players strategize with the Supernatural powers. For example, a Dwarf card allows a player to take the top card from the discard pile and top card of the draw pile, keeping one and discarding the other. The Shadow Queen card allows a player to look at every player’s hand and then choose a card blindly from one player’s hand. The Highwayman card allows a player to swap combos with another player. Why yes, I’ll trade my three-point swamp trio for your 15-point Supernatural combination, thank you and good day! Rune cards allow players to take an extra action, and amulet cards can block someone trying to steal one of your cards (access–denied!). I can honestly say this is one of the simpler and more practical (easy to pack for vacay!) games that I own that I truly can’t get enough of. I’ve had just as much of a blast playing this game with kids in my family as I have with my seventy year old mother in law. Let’s take a trip into The Grimwood–it’ll be fun.

#BoardGames #TabletopGames #WhatDoYouMeme #Runebound #DarkSoulstheBoardGame #TheGrimwood

8 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page