Boardgaming in 2020: the year of the, uh, post-minis era? We can only hope!

Thematic games are ALWAYS 10x more fun when the people playing are willing to commit to the theme and have a good time with it. Sounds like your group had a blast!

My wife and I play Evolution: Climate. It’s extremely interesting and strategic as a two-player game.

Don’t play actions simultaneously. There’s a lot of fun and strategy in bluffing out those face-down cards, and order matters. It’s important to take turns.

“Oh of course it’s a Hard Shell for protection!” when it’s actually a greedy Foraging.

Or a Predator.

I’ve got Oceans pending - it’s got some pretty different gameplay elements, with much more back-and-forth. So I’m looking forward to it, but I’ve no idea yet if it will have the same appeal.

Got back to Tainted Grail: The Fall of Avalon post-holidays. It continues to be an extremely satisfying game - so many cool things to explore, great ways to upgrade characters, etc etc etc. We may have shifted a bit off our primary quest route at the moment as we’ve encountered very little that’s directly relevant to it and quite a few things that we apparently would have had to poke at during chapters 2 or 3 to be able to get into (suggesting a completely different primary quest emphasis for at least some portion of the game), but there’s still been some subsidiary quest progress and a few new acquisitions on the way. And we seem to be regular badasses in both diplomacy and combat at the moment. At least until I tried to help a Knight of the Round Table and was pitted against…well. That would be telling. Suffice it to say that difficulty four encounters are no joke, even with combos and cards that can potentially add 10+ cubes at once.

Tainted Grail sounds good.

HIVEMIND, help me.

I’m going off to Cyprus soon, as part of the UN peacekeeping mission.

Can anyone recommend games that fit the following criteria :

Small footprint (I have to carry it/them there and back)
Easy to explain (we’re Infantry, therefore stupid :p) and play
Quick to set up and take down
2 to 5 or 6 players.
Minimal downtime or analysis paralysis

Examples of things that will work :

Sushi go (from memory, quick to set up, play, easy to explain, bags of fun)
Phase ten (although this takes quite a while)
Uno (used when I was in Afghanistan, proven)

For self amusement I shall my switch for games (so building that library up. Mortal Kombat 11 rocks) and a laptop for shows.

Edit: I’m also looking at this:

  • Easy to pick up and play
  • Games last around 15 minutes
  • 2 to 8 Players
  • Beautiful game pieces

So if anyone has played it, thoughts welcome.

I’ve had Tsuro for years. Very light, but fun. Think I’ve only ever played with 2. Box is not very small. There’s also a new Tsuro game but I haven’t played that one.

I highly recommend the expanded version of Sushi Go, sushi go party. This lets you change up the menu and play a bunch of different variations to keep your sushi fresh.

I mean the answers likely circle to card based games. Any version of Love Letter (Lovecraft Letter or the Batman themed ones since infantry perhaps), Codenames for larger groups, Bohnanza and Citadels are games from my collection that fit your bill.

Usual disclaimer of I have no idea how one gets one’s hands on this game at the moment, but if you can find it, The Shipwreck Arcana is brilliant and should meet all your criteria.

Comes from Australia

Village Pillage for sure. Trust me on this

I enjoy Dale of Merchants, but that is max 5. Citadels supports up to 7, maybe check that out?

Max 5 is plenty good enough.


The sea based one?

The sea based Tsuro version is the worst expansion I have ever played for any game.

Imagine an elegant game like chess, only now on each turn you roll two dice to see if someone’s piece is destroyed.

Ouch. Good to know.

Oops, Dale of Merchants is max 4 players.

I once trusted someone about Village Pillage…

…turns out they knew what they were talking about! I love how it’s always everyone’s turn, how it’s super zippy, and how the different roles make for different kinds of interaction. It’s “just” a filler game, but it’s a solid filler game.

Okay, I’m imagining it! Where can I get such a game? I like games where dice get me off the hook for having to be good at them. So your proposed variant is the only way I would voluntarily play chess.


Imagine an elegant game like Village Pillage, where everyone rolls two dice every time they play a card, and anyone who gets a 6 though 8 has to trash all their turnips.


6 Nimmt would be a good option. Quick, easy to learn, rewards some thought. It’s just a pack of cards.

Hanabi is easy to pick up, but perhaps gets a bit thinky for your purposes if you want to play it well. A pack of cards plus a few tokens.

Codenames is a great suggestion from Craig. Scales really well to higher player counts, and people can drop in and out mid-game as they like.

Right on

Deja vu. I have already answered a similar question (though without as much emphasis on box size) back in December. :)

So keep those games in mind.

I have other small footprint (small boxes) games that I would recommend. Not all fit all criteria. But they should give you some variety.

Three Dragon Ante: Legendary Edition (2 to 6 players)

Imagine a poker type gambling game played in a fantasy world played over 3 rounds. Instead of the poker hands, you have dragons with values and suits. The goal is to get a player to 0 coins and then the player with the most coins wins. I highly recommend watching the video to get a feel for the game. I think it could be a good one to play in the evening.

Not Alone (2 to 7 players)

A crew crash lands on a planet and wants to escape. But one player plays the planet. And the planet has other ideas about whether to let the crew go… This is a tense game. But quite a bit of fun double guessing who is going to go to what location and what “the planet” is going to do this turn.

Port Royal (2 to 5 players)

A card drafting / push your luck little card game where you try to be the first to collect 12 influence. Lots of choices every turn, the ability to bust because you are overconfident. Easy to learn and play. I think it would fit well.

Dungeon Mayhem (2 to 4 players)

Players try to bring the life total of other players to 0 and be the last man/woman standing/tiefling. It’s very light, but also very easy to teach and the asymmetric powers for each class keep things interesting. A provisional recommendation as I think it could get old if played too often.

Fuji Flush (3 to 8 players)

Possibly too simple, but fun to bring out while chatting. The goal is to get rid of all your cards, but to do so, you must either temporarily team up with another player or play the highest number of the round. Really good for quick pick up and play games and accommodating on player count too.

And, finally, some quick but cool 2 player only games (for when you have fewer players, or when a couple of players are waiting to join in a game in progress).

Air, Land and Sea (2 players only)

This game has really clever, “lose a battle to win the war” mechanic that plays really well. Easy to learn: try and get a majority of points in 2 out of 3 areas on the table. But the twist is that the sooner you concede when you think you are going to lose a round, the fewer points you give your opponent. First player to 12 wins the whole game, so giving away fewer points on a loss matters. Highly, highly recommended. Everybody I play it with loves it. It’s clever, yet super easy to learn.

Fugitive (2 players only)

One player plays the marshall who tries to catch the fugitive before said fugitive gets to the jet and escapes. Love the art and the way it’s all about the mind games between the 2 players. Can the marshall correctly identify every location the fugitive has visited before they escape? Pretty cool. Not sure you can buy it anywhere except directly from Fowler’s site though. So might be too slow to arrive.

Hope this helps.

I’m happy to now know about Not Alone. Thank you!