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The Christmas Board Game Challenge….Light and Dark Edition!

Paul Gothard is the Chairman of the Solent TableTop Club in Portsmouth and plays a vast array of board games, wargames and if you can play it, he’ll play it.  Luke Hector is a vastly experience gamer and run his own blog website brokenmeeple . Both of them in live and play in Portsmouth, they have never met and never played together!

The Family Game to Play at Christmas……Easy, Right?

Luke – That game has to be Carcassonne Winter Edition. Well any version of Carcassonne will do – it’s a great light game that is easy to teach even to children, but at Christmas you want to get that theme into the game you’re playing if possible and the Winter Edition has that in spades. All of the tiles have a snowy landscape plastered all over them with little snowmen and Xmas trees dotted around the place and as an added mechanic, you have the Gingerbread Man tiles as well.

Carcassonne Winter Edition Board Game - GamesQuest

Carcassonne Winter Edition Board Game

Paul – What would be my Family Game to play at Christmas, well I would have to say Ticket to ride. As most of my family think board games are just Cludo, Risk, Monopoly and Snakes & ladders. I needed an easy game to pick up, fairly quick to play and not much back stabbing either (It is a time to be with your loved ones, not fight with them!). Ticket to Ride does this well and still at the same time allows for a bit of strategy to come into the game.

Ticket to Ride - GamesQuest

Ticket to Ride

If you have a younger audience who’s attention span is more geared to what’s the next computer game then Escape: The Cursed Temple would be my recommendation. It plays in 10 minutes, it really does! You have a 10 minute soundtrack which plays and if it finishes before everyone has escaped the temple you lose! So it’s a 1-5 player co-operative game where you have to work together to explore the temple and find the exit, by putting gem stones on locations making the exit easier to leave from. However, it’s not your normal game, where each player take their turn one by one, no everyone is rolling dice at the same time. This means it’s a short fast and furious game which draws you right in for every second. Its great too that it is for 1 to 5 players because one family member can start a game and if anyone wants to join in, they don’t have to wait long for a game to finish before they can jump in on the next game.

Escape The Cursed Temple - GamesQuest

Escape The Cursed Temple

The Best Board Game to Play at Christmas…..Light verses Dark!

Luke Dixit.  At Xmas everyone is more in the mood for a party game and from personal experience, no game at Xmas gets more plays than Dixit. After one game is finished, we’re playing another one or two that evening at least and that gets repeated the next day! The game brings a lot of laughter and banter within the group, as you sit there debating over all the storyboard cards and mocking others for their less than obscure choices! Grab some of the expansions and there are too many cards to count for ultimate re-playability.

Dixit The Abstract Bluffing Family Game - GamesQuest

Dixit The Abstract Bluffing Family Game

Paul – This is difficult as I’m happy playing any board game, but at this moment it is the latest game I have picked up that I want to just sit down and play more of, Eldritch Horror (a 1 to 8 player Co-operative game). With its obvious Christmas theme…… Well at least it can be play with one player. So once we’ve put my daughter to bed and the rest of the family have decided they just want to veg out in front of the TV for the night. I can dive into the fast flowing adventure across the whole world, in a desperate race to stop the Old One awakening and destroying the world. And there you have it, because at this time of the year with all the love of the family being around, you know the world is worth saving (who said I couldn’t find a Christmas time link to any game). Besides you never know, after teaching them that the world of board games is not so dull with Ticket to ride. They may decide that this fresh new adventure is worth taking, instead of that repeat they have seen a hundred times before on TV.

Eldritch Horror Cooperative Strategy Board Game - GamesQuest

Eldritch Horror Cooperative Strategy Board Game

The Best Game of 2013….You Knew it Would Be!!

Luke – When I think of the Game of the Year, I’m considering all factors: – components, game play, depth, fun factor, originality, price. Spyrium was the biggest surprise to me in this year in just how much depth and variety can be packed tightly into a small game with relatively few components that are high quality for around £20.

The market mechanic is unique and brings interactivity into a Euro game which is an achievement in itself. With you positioning your Meeples, both to acquire cards/services, but also to make life more expensive for other players or to grab some extra cash. There are many paths to victory for the player to take, you can’t ignore a particular resource, as they’re all important. Every game is different, due to the placement of the market cards and event cards each turn. And yet with all this in consideration, it is incredibly easy to teach, even to players who don’t play Euro games.

It scales well with any number of players and contains enough strategic and tactical depth to make it a steal at the £20 mark, compared to other quality games of 2013 that cost £20-£40 more.

Spyrium Card Game - GamesQuest

Spyrium Card Game

Paul – Well my Game of the Year would have to be Lords of Waterdeep. I haven’t played Dungeons and Dragons since I was at school, so it was great to revisit this world from a new angle. Instead of being the adventurers going on quests, you are the Lords, who get heroes to go on quests and each play is trying to complete as many quests as possible. The beauty of this game is you don’t need to know anything of D&D to play this game and have fun. The D&D aspect is just a great flavour text added to the game. I taught my wife to play the game and starting on turn one she was of the mind that there was too much to understand. By turn two she understood the rules, by turn three she was flying along needing no help. At the end of the game she said she wanted to play again! That does not happen often. The whole game is wonderfully designed from the playing pieces to the box itself.

Lords of Waterdeep Strategy Board Game - GamesQuest

Lords of Waterdeep Strategy Board Game

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Luke Hector

I'm known as The Broken Meeple, a blog, podcast and YouTube channel devoted to board and card games. I live in Portsmouth, UK, working as a Chartered Tax Advisor and I enjoy playing games of many genres and varieties with as many people as possible.