Hey there, board gamers - let’s talk about the games you’re playing and what makes them great! I got into board gaming at work a few years back when my boss at the time invited me to a lunch gaming group. Previously, I’d only really played things like MtG, D&D, and then one round of Arkham Horror with a group at some university in St. Paul. I really had basically no idea that board gaming had taken off like it has.
Fast forward a few years, and my Ikea bookshelf is over capacity with board games. I went to Con of the North this year and came home with way too many games, and I’ll be at Gen Con this year with some friends, so if you’re attending, maybe come find us!
I want to kick us off talking about a game I picked up at Con of the North - Vault Wars.(I’m gonna use some images from their presskit so strap in)
This game is basically Storage Wars with a fantasy twist. You and the other players control some vaults filled with loot from a dead adventurer’s travels. Depending on the vault, the players have varying amounts of information on what’s inside, and you (as the vault “owner”) set the opening bid, but then back out and let them run. At the end, the winner claims the stuff inside, which can be fantastic loot, or can be literal junk.
The thing that makes this game interesting is the vaults themselves. Each vault has a different twist - the number of items, the number of items known to the whole table, the number of items that each player can “peek” at without anyone else’s knowledge, and even the way that the items are selected can all vary based on which vault is being auctioned off.
I got a brief demo of this from the publisher at CotN and I really liked the idea (partially because I had just listened to the Cool Games Inc episode where they talk about a VR storage wars) but I didn’t understand just how good the vaults would make the game until I sat down and played it. There is some strategy to the game - you have two Lords of Waterdeep-style heroes that you can reveal at the end of the game (choosing one of the two) to get bonuses - say, extra points for Elven items, extra points for weapons, points for having junk, or even points for having the least money. You can also choose to, instead of keeping the loot you get to the end of the game for points, equip some of the loot to give you bonuses, like digging through the discard pile for gems and such.
So there’s my board game recommendation for today - what have y’all been playing lately?