Board Games for Big Groups - Part 1
By polkovnik, Oct 1 2016 07:16PM
In my weekly gaming group we regularly have six or seven players (there are eight of us in total but it is rare that everyone is present). This has grown over the last couple of years, mainly due to the addition of two of our players grown up children. Most of us are wargamers and we try to get some figure games in most weeks, but at our weekly gaming session we mainly play boardgames. This post will look at a few of the games we have been playing that cater for six or seven players.
First off, with a game we haven't played for some time, Memoir'44. This is a miniature wargame / boardgame hybrid by Days of Wonder. It is a relatively simple card driven game where each player plays one card on his turn to activate some units (normally in one sector of the battlefield, depending on the card played). It gives a quick, fun game and the rules are easy to pick up. The basic game is for two players, but the Overlord expansion allows for bigger battles and these work really well with six players. Each side has three players, each commanding one sector of the battlefield. One player on each side is designated as the commander-in-chief, and he has the extra role of managing the cards and allocating them to the generals in command of each sector.
Overlord scenarios can be found online (although you would need an extra board in addition to the basic set to play these) but there are also some special scenario packs available with a large double sided board with all the terrain printed on and the starting locations of the forces noted. These are obviously limited in flexibility but are much quicker to set up. We have two of these between us (which gives four scenarios), which gives us quite a lot of replayability as commanding each sector gives a different experience.
Next is one of the best known games of recent years for a large player count, and that is Seven Wonders. This is a civilisation building card game with a card drafting mechanic that means there is little down time as everyone is playing at the same time. Although it is the type of game I'm quite good at
(as most of the skill is analysing the relative pay-off from the choice of cards, either in terms of victory points or resources and hence determining the best card to keep and play, and as a mathematician I'm good at this sort of thing) I'm not actually that keen on it as it seems a bit dry in terms of theme. Maybe it's because it's all cards, with no pieces or board to make it feel like you are actually building something.
Coming up in Part 2 - Quartermaster General, Last Night on Earth, Shadows over Camelot.