A Beginner’s Guide to Modern Board Games

So you’ve heard about the hobby of board gaming – maybe a friend mentioned that they go to a local gaming group, or you read something in the Sunday supplement about the growth of the board game industry. You’ve decided you want to know a bit more about it, but you’re not sure where to start.

If your experience of board games is limited to Monopoly, Cluedo and Risk, then there’s a lot to learn. There are 1000’s of games available, and there are new ones being published every week. It can be quite bewildering at first, so we’ve prepared this short guide for beginning gamers.

We’re going to introduce you to some games that we call Gateway Games. These are the games that we think are the best place to start, either because they’re easy to learn, or they’re great examples of how modern board games are very different from the ones you remember. These are the games that introduce new concepts, like modular boards, end game scoring, or co-operation. Try these out (possibly at one of our events) to see if you like them, and if you do, then there is a whole world of gaming waiting for you.

Pandemic

Pandemic is a hugely successful game that introduced the idea of cooperative games. In a cooperative game, the players are not playing against each other, they are playing as a team against the game itself. Either everyone wins, or everyone loses. In Pandemic, the...

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Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride looks more like what most people think of when they think about board games. It’s got a big colourful board for everyone to sit around and lots of little trains for each player. But there are no dice, and once again, no one is eliminated before the end...

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Carcassonne

Carcassonne is almost as well known as Catan. It was first published in 2000 and is still going strong. It’s like a modern take on dominoes, but with much more colour and charm. Inspired by the medieval walled town of Carcassonne in France, the game is about building...

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Catan (or Settlers of Catan)

Catan (formerly known as Settlers of Catan) is the most popular and well known of the new generation of board games. It came out in 1995 and has sold millions of copies across the world. The aim of the game is to build villages, roads and cities across the almost...

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