Al Grimes - Games to Start a Collection


How do you start a board game collection? If you are new to board-gaming, it might seem overwhelming to choose a few games which can serve as a solid base from which to build. The following games, in our experience, are strong candidates to start a collection (although by no means is this an exhaustive list). Overall, these games are easier to learn but represent a variety of standard game mechanics and themes. Once you learn these, you will feel comfortable with a variety of more advanced games.

Last Updated: Thursday, March 12, 2020

1) Space Base
Space Base
In Space Base, players assume the roles of Commodores of a small fleet of ships. Ships begin docked at their stations and are then deployed to sectors as new ships are commissioned under your command. Use cargo vessels to engage in trade and commerce; mining vessels to build reoccurring base income; and carriers to spread your influence. Establish new colonies for a new Commodore in a sector to gain even more influence. Gain enough influence and you can be promoted to Admiral! Space Base is a quick-to-learn, quick-to-play dice game using the core "I roll, everyone gets stuff" mechanism seen in ...

2) Aeon's End
Aeon's End
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The survivors of a long-ago invasion have taken refuge in the forgotten underground city of Gravehold. There, the desperate remnants of society have learned that the energy of the very breaches the beings use to attack them can be repurposed through various gems, transforming the malign energies within into beneficial spells and weapons to aid their last line of defense: the breach mages. Aeon's End is a cooperative game that explores the deckbuilding genre with a number of innovative mechanisms, including a variable turn order system that simulates the chaos of an attack, and deck management rules that require careful planning ...

3) Cyclades
Cyclades
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In this latest collaboration between Bruno Cathala and Ludovic Maublanc, players must buy the favor of the gods in their race to be the first player to build two cities in the Ancient Greek island group known as the Cyclades. Victory requires respect for all the gods - players cannot afford to sacrifice to only one god, but must pay homage to each of five gods in turn. Each turn, the players bid for the favors of the gods, as only one player can have the favor of each god per turn - and each player is also limited to ...

4) Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure
Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure
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Description from the publisher: Burgle your way to adventure in the deck-building board game Clank! Sneak into an angry dragon's mountain lair to steal precious artifacts. Delve deeper to find more valuable loot. Acquire cards for your deck and watch your thievish abilities grow. Be quick and be quiet. One false step and CLANK! Each careless sound draws the attention of the dragon, and each artifact stolen increases its rage. You can enjoy your plunder only if you make it out of the depths alive! Clank! is a deck-building game. Each player has their own deck, and building yours up is part of ...

5) Dominion (Second Edition)
Dominion (Second Edition)
"You are a monarch, like your parents before you, a ruler of a small pleasant kingdom of rivers and evergreens. Unlike your parents, however, you have hopes and dreams! You want a bigger and more pleasant kingdom, with more rivers and a wider variety of trees. You want a Dominion! In all directions lie fiefs, freeholds, and feodums. All are small bits of land, controlled by petty lords and verging on anarchy. You will bring civilization to these people, uniting them under your banner. "But wait! It must be something in the air; several other monarchs have had the exact same ...

6) 7 Wonders
7 Wonders
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You are the leader of one of the 7 great cities of the Ancient World. Gather resources, develop commercial routes, and affirm your military supremacy. Build your city and erect an architectural wonder which will transcend future times. 7 Wonders lasts three ages. In each age, players receive seven cards from a particular deck, choose one of those cards, then pass the remainder to an adjacent player. Players reveal their cards simultaneously, paying resources if needed or collecting resources or interacting with other players in various ways. (Players have individual boards with special powers on which to organize their cards, and ...

7) Mission: Red Planet (Second Edition)
Mission: Red Planet (Second Edition)
With technology rapidly developing and the human population growing, Victorian-era Earth is in dire need of fuel, land, and other natural resources. Fortunately, automated probes sent to Mars have discovered celerium, an ore that can be combusted to produce ten thousand times more power than a steam engine, and sylvanite, the densest substance ever found. More incredibly, the probes found ice that could be used in terraforming the planet, bringing the idea of colonizing Mars even closer to becoming a reality. As the head of a mining corporation, these minerals and ice found on Mars could make you unfathomably wealthy – ...

8) Codenames
Codenames
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Two rival spymasters know the secret identities of 25 agents. Their teammates know the agents only by their CODENAMES. In Codenames, two teams compete to see who can make contact with all of their agents first. Spymasters give one-word clues that can point to multiple words on the board. Their teammates try to guess words of the right color while avoiding those that belong to the opposing team. And everyone wants to avoid the assassin. Codenames: Win or lose, it's fun to figure out the clues. ...

9) The Resistance
The Resistance
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The Empire must fall. Our mission must succeed. By destroying their key bases, we will shatter Imperial strength and liberate our people. Yet spies have infiltrated our ranks, ready for sabotage. We must unmask them. In five nights we reshape destiny or die trying. We are the Resistance! The Resistance is a party game of social deduction. It is designed for five to ten players, lasts about 30 minutes, and has no player elimination. The Resistance is inspired by Mafia/Werewolf, yet it is unique in its core mechanics, which increase the resources for informed decisions, intensify player interaction, and eliminate player ...

10) Lords of Waterdeep
Lords of Waterdeep
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Game description from the publisher: Waterdeep, the City of Splendors – the most resplendent jewel in the Forgotten Realms, and a den of political intrigue and shady back-alley dealings. In this game, the players are powerful lords vying for control of this great city. Its treasures and resources are ripe for the taking, and that which cannot be gained through trickery and negotiation must be taken by force! In Lords of Waterdeep, a strategy board game for 2-5 players, you take on the role of one of the masked Lords of Waterdeep, secret rulers of the city. Through your agents, you recruit ...

11) Gloomhaven
Gloomhaven
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Gloomhaven is a game of Euro-inspired tactical combat in a persistent world of shifting motives. Players will take on the role of a wandering adventurer with their own special set of skills and their own reasons for traveling to this dark corner of the world. Players must work together out of necessity to clear out menacing dungeons and forgotten ruins. In the process, they will enhance their abilities with experience and loot, discover new locations to explore and plunder, and expand an ever-branching story fueled by the decisions they make. This is a game with a persistent and changing world ...

12) Race for the Galaxy
Race for the Galaxy
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2018 UPDATE: The second edition of the game is improved for color-blindness and includes 5 revised cards from the original version and 6 New Worlds promo homeworlds. The promo homeworlds and first edition compatible Revised Cards are both available for purchase through the BGG store. In the card game Race for the Galaxy, players build galactic civilizations by playing game cards in front of them that represent worlds or technical and social developments. Some worlds allow players to produce goods, which can be consumed later to gain either card draws or victory points when the appropriate technologies are available to them. ...



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