(Re)Discovering Board Game Classics

I’ve been on a nostalgia kick lately with my board gaming. I’d forgotten my love of board games for years because PC games were as deep and as complex and much more visceral, i just stopped playing the board game counter parts for many years.

Now with the market moving away from my style of PC games I’m drawn to. I’ve started to rediscover my love of board games. I’ve picked up some old favorites still and suprised how well they hold up, and even found some old classics I had missed!

So I thought I would create a thread to talk about the classics, the 10 plus year old games that hold the test of time. What are yours?

Ambush http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/1608/ambush this solitaire paragraph based war game still holds up amazingly well. I lost some of the components and now frantically trying to find replacements or a replacement copy.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/805/buffy-the-vampire-slayer-the-game-us This one is so thematic I still play it. I bought a second copy to ensure I had replacement parts I created/modified the game so I could play all the Scooby gang (such as Cordillia and Finn) and added villains and some new cards so you can play all the seasons of the show. I should at sometime upload these to board game geek I suppose.

Bug Eyed Monsters http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/4379/bug-eyed-monsters I have a real soft spot for b movies, variable abilities, and unique mechanic. I love the LUST mechanic her very campy and thematic, a little fiddly but love to see this one modernized

Gunslinger http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/1044/gunslinger I love the old west setting, but not a lot of great choices out there. There are several card games and lesser board games of the old west but this one still leads the pack In my opinion.

Kung Fu 2100 http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/3036/kung-fu-2100 still great game, the best kung fu lite wargame I’ve found, and available for $3 for Print and play.

Roadkill http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/1578/roadkill I love me some Car Wars, but something less fiddly, less playtime while still being very faithful to the theme is tough to find today. This one has a special place in my heart.

Swashbuckler http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/623/swashbuckler I’ve always love the Pirates theme, this one is still my favorite despite the recent Merchants and Marauders

The Creature That Ate Sheboygan http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/1783/the-creature-that-ate-sheboygan I still love this one. I’ve been updating this with a updated board, painted wooden buildings and minatures from Monster Menace America and a few other games to recreate the greatness of this one. Ive added random card events every turn to spice things up, turned out pretty well, but still work in progress….missing good miniatures for the police and firetrucks/men.

Aliens http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/1770/aliens I love this one as well. I was playing the flash game of this from time to time till I managed to snag the expansion and the miniatures for a decent price.

Star Trek The Adventure Game http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/3095/star-trek-the-adventure-game Recently discovered this one. My wife and I played it on our honeymoon think Arabain nights where the paragraph system is used when exploring a new planet and your crew’s abilities effects your outcomes. An amazing game I can’t believe I missed. I’m in the process of updating this one as well, adding new planets and encounters and adding more robust combat system.

I also just found the Combat Command Series. A paragraph wargame/choose your own adventure type book. The wargame part is that your fleet/forces actually deplete over time and has a dice based combat system with combat tables you use depening on your choices. It also has morale and several other factors depending on the book. Some of my favorite all time sci-fi books have been converted into solo games. How did I miss this??

Combat Command: Bio of A Space Tyrant, Cut by Emerald
Combat Command: Starship Troopers, Shines the Name
Combat Command: Star Colony, The Omega Rebellion
Combat Command The Legion of Space, The Legion at War
Combat Command Nine Princes of Amber, The Black Road War

I also still love Car Wars, but its fiddly and can’t find anyone willing to play it. So I’ve been picking up the solo adventures like Convoy and the paragraph books that let you build your own character and car and been having a blast with those.

I liked my time with Ambush but eventually decided the constant look ups made the experience to stop/start for me and I chose to go with just straight soloing games.

I still think the original Squad Leader is a good one to keep around (have Cross of Iron as well, never went further than that).

I love Car Wars and hope it gets some of the same love that Ogre recently got.

I still dig the old Avalon Hill Civilization.

I know a lot of people are all up in Battletech’s business, but I always preferred Centurion from FASA. Played it last summer and had a blast.

I have some older Columbia block games. Played Eastfront and loved it, own the whole Eurofront package and hope to get it to the table. Pacific Victory and Rommel in the Desert are also in that pile.

Currently in the middle of a solo game of Totaler Krieg, which I know has a new edition but the core game has been around since the mid-90s. it’s been a blast so far.

My son loves playing Uno. Not sure if that technically qualifies, but that’s another one we have fun with as a family.

The Combat Command series came up in a Choose Your Own Adventure thread a few years back.

As I said in that thread, I own this edition, based on the Pournelle book.

I think I found it in a used book store and was curious.

Its worth repeating the back cover blurb, its a gem:

“You are Paul Nelson. Once a CIA mercenary, you took your orders from Rick Galloway. Then an operation went bad. Outgunned. You faced certain death, until the alien spaceship appeared. But it wasn’t a rescue.”


“Combat Command… a science fiction fan’s dream come true.”

Wasnt aware there were more, Ill have to find them. I’m not a choose your own adventure fan per se. I do however love the depth of play Combat Command and a few others (car wars) manage to create. I love sci-fi so I may collect all of these. :)

Star Trek The Adventure game is the best combo board game/story telling game I can think of. It could be a truly legendary board game if it had a more robust strategic mechanic and may be a few more planet encounters (the last I’ve already done a few already). Hmmm, I havent broken the seal on my Star Trek Captain’s yet, maybe those could compliment each other? :)

Lone Wolf, yo. Lone Wolf.

Bringing us back to topic, though:

Can’t Stop
The Big Idea (Easily the best Cheapass Games)
Citadels (Can’t believe this is 12 years old!)
Illuminati (Might be a stretch calling this a classic; flawed but many great ideas)

Maybe Junta? I haven’t ever finished a game of it!

Gotta say, there are a lot of games I liked back in the 80s and 90s but so few of them still stand up.



I have a few 3M bookshelf games but these two stand out. As kids my friends and I played these constantly. The 4 player aspect was what kept us coming back. All the diplomacy (lying, backstabbing). Great times.

The Russian Campaign, Squad Leader, 2nd Fleet all are games I have played recently that stand up today.

I have Victory Games Korea and Vietnam in the hopper, my hunch is they will hold up as well.

Honestly, most of the classics I have actually played tend to have been either released recently in an updated and modernized format that’s as good or better (Tales of the Arabian Nights, Talisman, Cosmic Encounter, Arkham Horror (yes, that was an 80s game. Fantasy Flight -really- reworked it, though)) or don’t -really- hold up in the face of recent forays into similar content (a lot of Games Workshop’s non-Talisman board games, Minion Hunter, etc).

I hear Dune’s a classic, though, and while Fantasy Flight did recently release a reskin (they had the rights to the boardgame but not the Dune license), I hear the retheme hurts the experience.

Yes, the original Dune is great; the design was way ahead of its time. The unique set of actions attached to each house feels like a perfect thematic match. Sadly, the components are lacking in this day and age of sturdy cardboard and shiny plastic.

The game for me that still stands the test of time is Battletech. I like to play with Mech-clix miniatures on Heroscape terrain. Speaking of Heroscape, that’s my favorite game of all time and will qualify for entry into this thread two years from now in 2014.

A good 6 player game of original dune is my favorite gaming experience. The intrigue, subtle treachery and manipulation is just chilling and brilliant. Such perfect rock/paper scissors and brutal costs for sucess and failures.

Ambush (and all of its expansions) desperately needs a reprint. I haven’t played it since I was a kid, but looking back on how well it did its event and paragraph system, I’m a little in awe in what Victory Games accomplished there.

Best old school game (IMHO) = Acquire!

I think Victory Games as a whole were an amazing company. So many great games.