Cardboard & Coins - the modern board game thread


I have a big old stack of boardgames that never get played because it is hard to coerce my pals into having fun these days. Cosmic Encounter remains the greatest thing committed to card, but Dead of Winter frequently gives it a run for its money nowadays.

In less “board” but no less analogue game business… I am a recent returnee to tabletop gaming, specifically the cold hard embrace of Games Workshop (who are actually not so bad now) with a foray into Age of Sigmar which I am going to rate as: quite good actually. Here is a (semi finished) picture of my latest model. Maybe we should have a separate thread for these kind of mini based shenanigans?


Nice mini! I really look the new look of the dwarves, but I hear some not so good things about Age of Sigmar.

In fact, I believe there is such a thread! This would be for painting minis, and This is for Mini gaming! . Hope that helps!


I have waaay too many board games, but my favourite genre is probably the social deduction games. There are so many to choose from right now and I just really enjoy the wild conversations that emerge from them. This weekend I’m hoping to get a game of Mafia de Cuba in, which is a social deduction game about the Mafia boss trying to figure out where all their diamonds went after a box gets passed around the group. Later this month I hope to take part in a game of Two Rooms and a Boom.

Apart from those, right now I’m really enjoying:
Pandemic: Legacy (We’re about 1/3 in)
Roll for the Galaxy
The new standalone expansion to Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective

And standouts of yore include:
Space Alert


Woohoo, thanks! I clearly didn’t snoop hard enough.


A little of both: Dice are pretty much stuck where you put them but there are different abilities that let you modify their values or swap them around. But you only get a limited number of turns to use these abilities, and some of the abilities require that you move your alignment marker (so if you’re trying to be evil and you keep using priest spells then you’re going to have a hard time).


I think a lot about Orientalism in games? Particularly in what I’m interested in with regards to how we form identities through play. One thing that bothers me is a trend to see representation in games as a stand-in for player diversity. I don’t know if that makes sense? I see this more in tabletop rpg communities right now. It’s easy to erase a community’s issues with race by saying “but we play games based on other cultures” and miss the point completely.


My group just finished September in Pandemic Legacy, and it just keeps getting better. I can’t believe what they’ve achieved with that game.


One game I’m really excited for is Spirit Island. One very valid criticisms to games like Puerto Rico and Settlers of Catan are that there are kind of gross imperialism undertones to the game narrative. However, Spirit Island turns it on its head, where you actually play the spirits of the island, driving the colonists away. I also like the design decision to make the colonist pieces out of plastic, and the island chits be made out of wood, both as a way to differentiate the pieces, but also as a thematic choice.

Has anybody played the print and play version? I have unfortunately not been able to, as I don’t have a printer.


Spirit Island is a fantastic game! I played a demo of it at GenCon last year and thought it was really excellent! I’m glad to hear someone else has heard about the game and is excited about it.


More and more I find myself appreciating material choice in board game components - even if it means going with cheaper stuff, it’s good to make the components appropriate for the gameplay. I played a round of Kingdomino today, and while the chipboard tiles feel nice and give the game a weighty look, it would be so much easier to shuffle the tiles for each round if they were simply cards. That, of course, changes how you can stack them together to form your kingdom, but we spent more time recollecting the tiles and randomizing them for the next game than we wanted to.


This is totally a thing I’ve thought about too.

Some days I find myself wanting to play a diverse experience through the safety of a game, and I find myself concerned that those safe experiences could actually be detrimental to my actual understanding of issues of diversity. Building pseudo-diverse experiences in a homogeneous group is likely to incorrectly represent the diverse experiences one is trying to emulate. So even if the intent of the activity is learning and understanding, I fear that it could be a net-harm to that end goal.


Agreed! While diversity in representation is very important, it should not be used as a smokescreen to discount lack of player diversity. I think it is vitally important to make sure there is neither gatekeeping nor toxic behavior in our playing spaces. I am really glad that influential members of the community are pushing this need For instance here (it’s rather long, but is important), but I am hoping that, at a local level, we can use board games as a connecting force, rather than a dividing one. What other tactics might work?


I’m so glad people are talking about safety and community in this thread! I work in a board game cafe, and I wrote (with lots of feedback) our code of conduct. It’s displayed prominently throughout the space. We also don’t hang posters or ads that objectify women or rely on stereotypes, things like that. Our staff are trained to meet people where they are. If players want to play Monopoly, we help with that. Only if they’re looking for something new do we try to push them to something…yknow…better. Like Camel Up! The ultimate gateway game for Monopoly fans.

My big goal with helping to shape the atmosphere and community there is to excavate the hobby from the basement and the connotations people sometimes have. I think a code of conduct really makes a difference, no matter what kind of space you’re building. Crucially, you have to be prepared to enforce it, so all our staff have trained on those steps and we document any and all incidents. We’ve had to ask disruptive people to leave a few times, and have banned regulars who refused to modify their behavior.

If it’s something you’re interested in, people can reach out to me and I’d be happy to pass along my documentation of it.


On the general topic, I also backed Vault Wars, but I haven’t been able to play it. I’m glad to see it’s a winner! I’m going to move it to the top of my to-play stack. :slight_smile:

Recently I played Quests of Valeria, Daily Magic Games’ third entry in the series. You’re playing guild masters, and you recruit adventurer cards from the tavern to match them up with quests. It’s kind of like a highly condensed version of Lords of Waterdeep, all the way down to the secret guild master card who gives you rewards at the end of the game. As with all the DMG games I’ve played, the systems are really tightly intertwined and satisfying, and each decision feels consequential because the only currency in the game is discarding cards from your hand to do actions.


I would be very interested in anything you can provide with this - toxicity is a real problem in certain board gaming spaces here in MN, and I would love to be able to point to a successful venue that enforces policies like that.


I backed Boss Monster back in 2012, and it’s still the best Kickstarter product I’ve ever backed. The setup is really quick and painless, and it’s a blast to play with friends. The core gameplay loop revolves around drawing “heroes” into a dungeon which you upgrade throughout the match and trying not to sustain any wounds (inflicted if a hero survives your dungeon). The feeling of progression you get as you upgrade your dungeon rooms is really satisfying, and the advanced room and epic hero cards add some interesting strategy to the late game.


I enjoy getting Boss Monster to the table, but I think it really came into its own with the expansion set. They added some more thematic rooms that I think do a lot for the feel of the game.


What are you doing to actively engage players of diversity? For instance, women are an underrepresented group in the tabletop community. When I ran my university’s board game club, we worked with campus women’s groups to hold “Ladies Nights”. We recruited women into our club as game experts to teach and organize. We advertised our weekly club nights as a safe space. These are just a few ideas that we implemented, but I’m always interested to hear what else could be done.


So I’ll be going to GenCon in Indianapolis in August and I was taking a look at the event calendar that was released today. I was curious if anyone else is going and, if so, there any events in particular that they are looking forward to or would like to suggest. For me, I’m super excited to try out One Deck Dungeon and the Mottainai expansion, Wutai Mountain. Thanks!


I finally convinced my game group to give the 18xx games a shot. They’re my favorite games in all of gamedom. They really struck a chord after literal years of eye-rolling about trains and stockmarkets. I feel both vindicated and excited that my best gaming buds will play these games with me, instead of having to seek out really specific spaces.