About a month ago, he asked me for recommendations for his monthly pornographer's board game night, which, being a good Christian, I promptly ignored. He has since threatened my life, and so I am acquiescing to his demands and posting my board game round up. Without further preamble:
BEST CLASSIC BOARD GAME: ROBORALLYBy Richard "Motherfucking" Garfield, currently published by Avalon Hill
Roborally is a game about terrible robots trying not to die. Your objective is to stumble through a hellaciously deadly factory floor full of high powered lasers, bottomless pits, crushing devices and rapid conveyor belts to reach the rally markers in the correct order. The other players are all assholes, and you should push them into pits or shoot lasers at them as often as possible.
Mechanics: Players draw cards which represent programming orders, things like "rotate 90 degrees" and "move forward two squares." You then place cards in front of you to determine your movement each round. The more damage you take, the fewer cards you draw, meaning the fewer movement options. This results in a chaotic, tipsy turvey race with lots of bumping into things. Periodically you get the option to upgrade your robot with parts that add additional weapons or modify certain programming cards.
Why it's best while blotto: It is much more complicated to program your robots while drunk. As such, alcohol is the great equalizer and you should encourage your more analytically inclined friends to drink more so you can roast them. This game is also pretty great for drinking games: drink when you take damage, everyone drinks when someone reaches a checkpoint, finish your glass if your robot is completely destroyed. Addendum: My dear friend Oat Bran has insisted that I add a note here, which is that at a big 8-player RoboRally game I hosted a few years back, he took 2nd place while completely stoned out of his gourd, while another girl who was similarly high took 1st. They beat out two engineers and a pair of academics. I cannot explain this phenomena, but it's worth noting that inebriation may have some sort of mental boost for games about robots.
|These robots are all about to die|
BEST TRAITOR GAME: BANG!
By some Italian guy
Remember that stupid Mafia game you played at summer camp? Bang! is kind of like that, only fun and not stupid. Objectives are based on randomly drawn positions. The Sheriff wins of all the Bandits are dead, the Deputies win of the Bandits die AND the Sheriff is alive. The Bandits, of course, need to kill the Sheriff, while the Renegades need everyone but Renegades to be dead. Oh, and these positions are all secret, except for the Sheriff, who gets to wear a little gold star badge.
Mechanics: Pretty cute. You can shoot other players to lower their health, with the range of your gun being the number of seats away the player you are shooting can be. So, like, a short range gun shoots on the players next to you, while a long range gun might shoot three seats away. You can ride a horse, which effectively gives you bonus chairs between you and the other person. You drink alcohol to heal. Everything else is just bluffing and trying not to die.
Why it's best when sloshed: Traitor games rely on careful strategy, which you will quickly forget as you become more and more intoxicated. Before too long, you'll be tripping over your own lies, and taking actions based entirely out of spite. Sure, you might be the Deputy, but that asshole Sheriff shot you last turn and like hell you aren't going to plant a bullet right between his eyes. Also, you drink to recover health. How is that not a drinking game?
|Bullets not included, but suggested|
BEST CARD GAME: EPIC SPELL WARS OF THE BATTLE WIZARDS: DUEL ON MOUNT SKULLFYRE
by Rob Heinsoo, Mathmagician
THIS GAME IS FOR STRAIGHT BADASSES. You are a wizard in hell, and your goal is to straight murder other wizards with your sick ass spells to win the prize belt. Why do you want a prize belt? WHO GIVES A FUCK. Super easy to pick up, hella strategic, games run only about 20 minutes once your dumb friend who takes a long time to learn games finally catches up.
Mechanics: First of all, it's got Heinsoo's name on it, so you know it's a good as game. You have a hand full of spells, and you want to reduce your enemies health to 0. Last man standing wins. You assemble cards with ridiculous names to make even ridiculous-er spells like "Midnight Merlin's Ballsy Meatier Swarm" or "Pew & Pew's Explodifying Cone Of Acid". Each card has all the rules governing it's effects listed, so you just need to read the cards to see what happens. The strategy comes in several parts. First, playing fewer cards means you go first. If it's down to two wizards standing, you might cross your fingers and hope a one-card spell can kill them before their slower two-card spell goes off. You also can't chose your targets. Each card will list the target, like "the foe with the highest hit points" or "the foe to your left." This adds a really chaotic element with spells flying all over the table, and making it difficult to gang up on a single player.
Why it's best while tipsy: The game encourages players to shout the name of their spell, so being drunk helps. Also, the game has a built in handicap, in which the earlier you die in a given round, the more Dead Wizard cards you draw, letting you start the next round with more hit points, free treasure, or more cards in your hand. This way, even if you're completely smashed, the game compensates and gives you a little help!
|Best. Fucking. Game.|
BEST IMPOSSIBLE TO FUCK UP ONE-SHOT PARTY RPG: OLD SCHOOL HACKBy confirmed cool dude Kirin Robinson
Free! (You will also need some d10s and a printer)
I think that, in certain circumstances, with certain groups, and RPG can be a fun party game. Old School Hack is my go to game for such situations. It's super simple, easy to learn, encourages player participation and creativity, and reduces they GM prep work to, like, 5 minutes scribbling down notes about a half remembered early 90s fantasy cartoon plot. It's my go-to game for introducing people to RPGs, and it's a blast for new comers and experience role players.
Mechanics: I won't bother explaining what an RPG is, because if you're reading this you already know. I will, however, harp on about how simple OSH is to play. There's minimal math, with all actions being a simple d10 roll + modifier, with mods capping out at +5 in the absolute best case scenario. Character creation can be done in about 5 minutes, and that includes teaching people how to play. None of the time consuming or daunting-for-new-players lists of skills and feats and powers to chose from, simple selecting a single power from a list of five. Combat is fast paced and easy to run, using a lot of abstractions for locations, and with simple monster statblocks so you can whip up a monster on the spot in about 4 seconds. The entire game is perfect for new players, since it lets them have input in the story, and players can gain Awesome Points from other players by making the game more fun.
Why it's better while shitfaced: While drunk, the dwarf player will invariably start using a heavy Scottish accent. It's simple enough that even drunk people can keep playing, and being drunk makes people easily impressed, so Awesome Points will be flowing freely.
|You get to be one of these guys in OSH.|
BEST BOARD GAME FOR SERIOUS BOARD GAME NERDS: SPACE ALERT
By Vlaada Chvatil, dirty foreigner and genius game designer
Space Alert is the coop game to end all coops. It takes place over 10 minutes real time, during which time an audio track functions as the ships computer. During these 10 minutes, everyone will be running all over the ship desperately trying to work together to stop the ship from blowing up for a thousand different reasons, ranging from enemy ships, meteors, xenomorphs, giant space octopi, sabotage, crossed wires, and engine meltdowns The players plan a course of action and absolutely need to work together, because no single person can do even half the work required to deal with a threat, let alone the multiple threats that pop up at once. Space Alert turns board game night from "let's sit around the table, drink beer, and make small talk" to "let's freak out and experience the most stressful half hour of our lives littered with cold sweats and elevated heart rates." If you're not convinced, here's a review over at Rock, Paper, Shotgun.
Why it's better while hammered: Unlike nearly any other board game, being too drunk will just get your friends mad at you for fucking up and not hitting the right button on turn 4, because it means that the corrosive alien slime in the ships reactor room just spread into the starboard engine room on turn 5 and suddenly the extra power you thought was going into your shields isn't there on turn 6 so a big ass meteor is going to punch a hole through your ship on turn 7 and god dammit Luke I thought you said you had this shit handled, you horses ass!!! Have a beer, but don't drink too much.
|The game comes with like 12 pounds of cardboard chits and plastic doodads.|
BOARD GAMES ARE HELLA SICK, BRO