Games I Cannot Get to the Table

Board games are great, and are incredibly varied.  My own collection is pretty big and encompasses light social deduction and card games that take 15 minutes to play through euro-style games that are a bit more challenging (yet very approachable) which take an hour or two, all the way through to big, sweeping, thematic games that take three, four, five or more hours to play.

Needless to say, different types of game appeal to different groups.  I have four groups that I play with regularly and each appreciates slightly different sets of games.

The first of these sets is an after-school group I run for a group of children.  Generally speaking, we play mostly euro games, deckbuilders, some social games and some lighter thematic games.  Language is a big limiting factor at the moment, as not all members have English as their first language.  Some favourites from this group are:

  • Ticket to Ride
  • Settlers of Catan
  • The Resistance
  • Coup
  • Dominion
  • Pokemon Master Trainer
  • Specter Ops
  • Super Dungeon Explore
  • Bandu


My second group is just myself and my wife.  We tend to play light games, deckbuilding games and euro games, but she’s also really taken to a couple of heavier games – most notably Star Wars: Rebellion, which we play regularly.  Some of our favourites have been:

  • Star Wars: Rebellion
  • Ticket to Ride (Nordic)
  • Hive
  • Patchwork
  • Dominion
  • Clank
  • DC Comics Deckbuilding Game
  • Harry Potter: Hogwarts battle
  • Paperback

ticket to ride board

The third of my regular groups consists of a group of friends back in Falkirk.  Generally, we play in the evenings when I’m south visiting family.  As with all of these groups, euro games go down really well, as do social games.  Some regularly featured titles are:

  • Ticket to Ride
  • Dominion
  • Cards Against Humanity
  • Shadows Over Camelot
  • Onitama
  • Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle
  • Settlers of Catan
  • Exploding Kittens

Finally, there’s our local gaming group, the Northern Knights.  I’ve been going along to their Thursday night sessions for a few years now and consistently have a great time.  I’ve introduced a lot of people to some great games and been introduced to many fantastic titles myself.  Generally, this is where I can get some of my heavier titles onto the table.  We even got Twilight Imperium (3rd ed.) to the table a couple of times.  Generally, as you can see in the pictures above, we’ll turn our hands to anything, but some of our regularly played games are:

  • Warhammer (AoS and 40K)
  • Relic
  • The Resistance
  • Arcadia Quest
  • Super Dungeon Explore
  • Eldritch Horror
  • Pandemic
  • Specter Ops
  • Dead of Winter
  • Twilight Struggle
  • Star Wars: Rebellion


There’s a lot of overlap from group to group.  Social games and gateway games are well-received across all the groups and get played a lot.  This is great, as I love those games.  They’re fantastic, accessible and a lot of fun.  The problem is that other games just don’t make it to the table.  Some of this is my own fault for not putting in enough time to learn new games in order then to teach them to new players.

Other games have themes that are not as appealing to people.  I can get Star Wars: Rebellion to the table because, as big and complex as it is, the theme is one that people love and the game looks really cool.  This can generally be said of most Fantasy Flight Games titles.  Compare this to games like Churchill, Pericles, Cuba Libre and A Distant Plain from GMT Games, and the theme tends to be that little more serious and presentation that little less flashy.  All of that is fine, once you’re into the game, but for relatively casual players, I understand that it can be a barrier.  Other games can be difficult due to their weight and time commitment.

A big chunk of my collection is unplayed and I don’t like that.  I’m going to have to make a good effort to learn to play these games on my own before bringing them to the table and in finding players for each game.  I’m not going to try to play every unplayed game on the shelf, but instead choose a few to target first.  The first unplayed games I intend to get to the table will be:

  • Inis
  • 51st State
  • Churchill
  • Millennium Blades
  • Quadropolis
  • War of the Ring
  • Terraforming Mars

I didn’t do a set of resolutions this year, but in previous years I’ve always set a target of playing through my ‘pile of shame’.  I’ve shifted some titles recently, with Onitama and Eldritch Horror.  After playing the latter, I was gutted that I’d left it on the shelf for so long – I’d been missing out on a top quality game!  I’m sure that this is the same with many of the games on my shelves.  Onwards into gaming!

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