Digital Boardgaming opinions?

Okay, it’s mid-March 2020, and it looks like my weekly boardgaming group is shutting down for the foreseeable future due to coronavirus concerns. So we’re looking to keep things going online on the meantime. What are people’s opinions of the various digital boardgames? We probably prefer mobile versions to PC/Steam and about half of us are each on ios/android, so cross-play is ideal, but I’m sure this thread will be of interest to more than just me so if you’ve played anything in this realm, this is the thread for it. Also, bonus points for asynch play with notifications!

We were playing the old Avalon Hill Titan port on Android a few months back, but it seems like they just shut the servers down at one point? That was a bummer.

I just went looking and downloaded Castles of Burgundy, an older Stefan Feld point salad game. I took a read through the rules pdf and then the tutorial, and played a sample game against the AI. Seems solid, and supposedly supports crossplay, asynch, etc. Another friend grabbed it and we’ll try for a game later. Opinions?

Steam is actually your better option, I think. I am not sure how games like Ticket to Ride work from Android to iOS. But Mac and PC can interact just fine on Steam.

I have had good luck with these games:

  • Scythe,
  • Axis and Allies is pretty good (haven’t tried MP)
  • Lords of Waterdeep
  • Ticket to Ride

Some game require separate accounts. I am trying to wrangle my usual gaming group into taking. night this week just to get all of our accounts and games in order.

Through the Ages is really good on mobile. That’s easily the one I’ve played the most.

I’ve got a game of Sekigahara going on yucata that I suppose you could play on a mobile browser but it’s probably not a great idea. I’m the worst at that game but it’s so good.

I would recommend Chaos Reborn. Async notifications, relatively short games, and great gameplay.

Have you guys looked at Tabletop Simulator?

I’m going to try to get my weekly boardgaming group to meet online for the first time tonight. Don’t know how it’s going to go. But some options are to play a web-based board game implementation at:

or, as people have said above, playing a game on Steam. Many of the games (like Lords of Waterdeep) have cross-platform play, so people can also play from their tablets or whatever, but of course does require everyone to own the game.

There’s also Istanbul and Raiders of the North Sea. Epic the Card Game just launched, cross-platform play, and free. (Edit: I think Epic only allows two players, although the physical game plays more)

There are some Splotter Spellen games (e.g. Food Chain Magnate) free online at .

I strongly second the recommendation for Through the Ages, which offers full crossplay. Frankly, it obsoletes the tabletop version.

Well, I’ve gotten a few thousand hours out of it. Certainly worth the twenty bucks I spent on it.

How does it play? I am assuming it’s not doing any rules intelligence. All the screenshots I’ve seen of games it looks like they put more effort into to the room and how the board appears, instead of just giving a good top down view.

I just cancelled my monthly game night. This doesn’t work well for most the folks I’ve tried it with. It’s just not clean enough for them, sadly. It’s clunky, doesn’t play well with someone who isn’t very tech to begin with (which of course is not required for board gamers).

Every time I use it I just remember, it’s a board game simulation for gamers who like board games… doesn’t feel like it’s meant for the reverse.

Absolutely this. There is not a better digital adaptation of a board game than Through the Ages by CGE Digital. There are digital board game adaptations that take the physical version and merely translate it to the digital realm; plays just like the physical version, only in digital form. Perfect, right? Not so much.

So many devs ignore the essentials, some that, by now, should be standard in all adaptations, but aren’t, like turn notifications, replay of opponents’ turns, and asynchronous play. Even more, though, don’t take the time to implement QoL features that make a huge difference in one’s enjoyment. CGE Digital, though, has thought of damn near everything, and their adaptation of TtA is a gem.

No, you do your own rules-enforcement…though there is plenty of scripting of board setups and mechanics. There are some very clever scripted versions of setup-intensive games (the Arkham Horror family of games springs immediately to mind).

Great suggestions! Thanks, all. Let’s see…

  • Steam games. We’ll be looking at this, for sure. I particularly want to play Scythe, but the reviews are terrible, and I’m not sure my low-end SP5 can run it. Mostly, the big problem seems to be no asynch play, and trying to pause a multiplayer game in the middle is really bad. Mostly want to avoid pc stuff, though- as everyone always has their phone, no need to try to get together at the same time.

  • TTA. Thanks for the reminder! I know this actually went through our group last year or so, but I think everyone was playing solo. At least, several people have it already. Perhaps I can get them back into it, especially since it meets so many criteria.

  • Tabletop Simulator. See the Steam bit above.

  • In the middle of my first CoB game now. Definitely working as intended. Oh, it’s my turn!

I enjoy it quite a bit. I’ve run it on my original Alienware Alpha without any problems.

A collection of board game websites for asynchronous (or live) play that DO enforce rules (many of which are mentioned above.)

Similarly there’s for A Game of Thrones and for Legend of the Five Rings

Castles of Burgandy is good. I’ll second the recommendations for Scythe and Through the Ages. Also Twilight Struggle.

Labyrinth - The War Of Terror came out Thursday, but PC only. Plus it’s Early Access, so the bug hunt is still in progress, although one substantial patch has already come out, and the developers are very responsive. Definitely worth keeping an eye on.

I’ve never played Castles of Burgundy mobile, but I love the game.

Mobile board games I have – but haven’t tested MP on most of them.
Ticket to Ride
All Creatures (Agricola.)
Small World 2

I’m also seeing Love Letter and Smash Up and Talisman, but I haven’t played them.

I have played Carcassone MP. It works great. No AI on MP though which is sad, and i really hate that trend.

Is there a group of folks interested in setting up some games on these? I’ve been spending a fair bit of time on the various free online services (Food Chain Magnate, Through the Ages , etc) the past few months and they’re been great