Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Rediscovering The Classics

Steph's birthday was just a few moths ago, and I always struggle with What To Get Her. Because she's super-important to me, and a bad gift shows that I have not put thought into it.

She'll tell you that she'll love whatever I get her, but I've noticed that some gifts get used and some get shelved.

Her all-time favorite game is El Grande. It's a good game. It won a ton of awards in the mid-Nineties and is still a Top 100 game on the BoardGameGeek Rankings. Our copy was a bit long in the tooth, and has seen a lot of love, so I figured replacing it would be a decent gift.  Then Tabletop Gaming Deals on Twitter shared that the Big Box edition (which includes all the expansions) was cheaper than the core game alone (it still is).  So I bit.  And it was a good decision.

I've gotten to play the core game a couple of times since, and it reminded me of how much I love this game.  It's area control with drafting. Two things I'm terrible at.  But I'm ... okay at El Grande. And it's one of those games that I honestly don't mind losing at, because the gameplay is so much fun.

Then, a few days later, I was looking for something to play on Board Game Arena (which - again - is amazing), and I decided to play Can't Stop. Because it's easy to teach, light, fast, and fun.

But these two outcomes have me digging back into (recent) classics, looking for more fun things that I haven't played.  Carcassonne, for example, is a ton of fun in moderation. As long as you are not using more than the base game and maybe one or two expansions.  Catan is ... hit-or-miss. It depends on who you're playing with. Ticket To Ride is fun, but it gets super-repetitive super-fast.

So what twentieth-century games should I be looking into? What games are fun and good and short enough to be played in an evening with a mix of hardcore and casual gamers? What recent classics need more play than they get?

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