I’m fairly new to the EuroGames fun that is sweeping the world. But the minute I played, I was HOOKED. I need more hours in my week (and honestly more friends with more hours in their weeks!) so I can play more than a few a month. Being new to the craze some of the more intricate “fight” to the death or resources strategy heavy games seem daunting to me. Not to mention that I’m REALLY competitive! Here are three somewhat older games that are easy to learn to play and don’t have a knock ’em down element… so your friends will still want to play with you. All three are favorites of mine and rate an A from me.
Kingdom Builder– In this game you are building a kingdom (in the form of cute little wooden houses). The board is made up of 4 tiles which you randomly chose and link together. Then you draw 3 “mission” cards that determine how your kingdom will be scored. For example you may get extra points for having the largest kingdom that connects all 4 tiles, AND/OR points for having the kingdom that crosses the most horizontal lines. You building you kingdom by drawing a random terrain card. You have to lay down 3 houses in that terrain, and if you have houses that already touch that terrain you have to lay them down there. One each tile there are also some bonus settlement areas and if you build next to one you get additional actions or ways to build. Because the goals and tiles are randomly drawn each time, no 2 games will play the same. The directions are very easy for new players and with the random draw of terrain cards your strategy changes with each turn. (and there are 4 expansions!)
Tsuro of the Seas– This is a great game for a game night with friends because up to 8 can play. You are essentially sailing the seas…. very dangerous seas with dragons. You chose a starting point on the outside of the board and each turn you lay down a tile that has your sailing pattern on it. Easy.. right? AHA before you lay down your tile you have to roll the dice to see if the dragons wake up.. and if they do they move around the board based on numbers and symbols on the dragon tiles. Roll a certain number and MORE dragons appear. But wait… there’s more! If another player lays a tile next to your ship you HAVE to follow that line… and just find yourself floating off the edge of the world!
Concept– My husband HATES “pictionary” and charades… but loves Concept, which is basically a board game version of the aforementioned hated old school games. You have a board with rows of pictures. Each picture CAN represent a certain things (like the skull representing- evil or dead). You draw a card, select an 1, 2, or 3 point item and then use plastic exclamation points and cubes to get players to guess what you are trying to describe by placing things ON the pictures… you can’t talk, you’re not supposed to gesture. It’s a game that can be played 4-40, in teams or as a group with a goal score to reach. Again, a good game to play with a large group of friends who don’t want to spend hours playing a heavy strategy game but are too old for those old “party games”