First of all, welcome to BoardGameGuru and welcome to the world of board games!
Board games have so much to offer everyone. Unlike many other modern pastimes, they encourage face to face social interaction as well as helping to teach valuable lessons in planning, numeracy and teamwork to players of all ages.
Above all, though, they are FUN!
For those new to any hobby, the sheer amount of choice may well be intimidating. How can you have any idea where to start?
Well, this page is designed to give you that idea.
All of the games we sell offer a balance of social interaction, escapism and a mental work-out.
You will find on all our pages a short description of each game, and - just as important - information on their lengths and how many players you'll need.
Below are some of our suggestions for your first games with an introduction written with those new to gaming in mind.
If you will be playing for most of the time with just one other person, for example your partner or child, you will be best served by either a game especially designed for two players or, if others may join in sometimes, a game that can play with at least two.
For 2 Players
An excellent, deceptively addictive, game designed specifically for two players is Lost Cities, a card game in which you are starting expeditions to remote locations, but must ensure you take care not to lose money on the venture. It is very easy to learn, but with practice you will find yourself using all kinds of tricks and tactics to not only make your expeditions successful, but also to hamper your opponent’s efforts.
For those with more than just two players, a great choice is the game that kicked off the European game revolution in 1995, the modern classic: Settlers of Catan. Before '95, the German strategy games we now call Euros were largely underground, but Settlers introduced a level of strategy and series of mechanics that have inspired thousands of other games, directly or indirectly. It's easy to learn, hard to master, and there's no describing it - you just have to play it.
Legions of fans say you really cannot go wrong with the multiple award winning Ticket To Ride series. These games can support two to five players and make for some really fun and memorable gaming experiences, as you, your friends and your family try to beat each other to the best railway routes across continents, completing challenges and gaining the most points along the way. Ideal for players new to board games due to their simple, yet rewarding rules, they still have enough depth of strategy to reward players who gain more experience. Highly recommended.
On a similar level of complexity, but with added cuteness is Zooloretto, a game of nerves where animals are placed onto trucks waiting to be claimed for your own zoo, but should you wait for more animals and risk getting the wrong types? This and many other decisions will need making. Do you have what it takes to run the best zoo?
For sports fans
Chariot racing is the order of the day in Ave Caesar, in which 2-6 players gain renown across the Roman world by racing around a series of looping chariot tracks. Ancient chariot races had most of the same ingredients as modern Forumula One, and the simple card play allows players to cut their opponents off, forcing them to take longer to get around a curve than they might like. The game comes with two tracks and some optional routes which only increase replayability. Great fun, and superb value for a game purchase.
Looking for something more relaxing?
For many, their journey into the board gaming world began with the award-winning modern classic, Carcassonne. Over the course of this game, you and up to four friends will build a stunning landscape of cities, roads and rivers scoring points as you go. A great combination of games and puzzles. Once you've experienced the original game, you'll be sorely tempted to see what its multiple expansion sets have to offer, which add all new tiles, an extra player and new ways of playing to the mix.
What about wargames?
Wargames can offer some of the most atmospheric experiences on the gaming table. As a start to your exploration of wargames, Memoir '44 has been recommended by players the world over. In the basic set, you have over a dozen historical battles to re-enact, using accessible rules and exciting tactics. You also get two full armies to use, one German and one Allied, sculpted in miniature form. You also have the option to expand your theatre of operations with the Eastern Front, North Africa or Pacific Theatre expansions, or design your own conflicts with the Terrain Pack. With the Memoir '44 range, you have all you need to experience wargaming at its best.
Where can I get more information?
One outstanding resource for board game information is the weekly podcast The Dice Tower (also available on iTunes). Tom Vasel and a host of guests and other gamers provide accessible information like top 10s and reviews alongside in-depth analysis of the industry and new games. Mr Vasel himself makes a fantastic guide to the hobby; even after upwards of 200 episodes, the release of a new podcast is a weekly source of celebration here at BoardGameGuru headquarters.
These are just a few of the games we at BoardGameGuru recommend to those new to the hobby. If you have any questions or would like a tailored recommendation, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone the Gurus at 0208 674 4811.
Thank you for visiting the site, and good gaming!
Paul and all at BoardGameGuru