Author: Jacob Hall
Welcome to Chairman of the Board, a board gaming column that will attempt to educate, illuminate and get you excited about this world of cardboard and tokens and dice. It’s a world that may seem daunting at first — games can be expensive, there are dozens of types and genres, everyone’s ideal gateway is different, etc. — but I’m going to do my damnedest to tell you why it’s all worth the trouble. By the time I’m through with you, your wallet will be empty, but you’ll be completely and totally satisfied.
Follow Jacob on Twitter: @JacobSHall
Someone at the table is lying to me.This week on Chairman of the Board, Mr. Hall wades through the treacherous waters of Shadows Over Camelot & Battlestar Galactica.
Both are about the same thing: trying to work together with your friends to achieve a greater goal…or lying to their faces while dismantling everything and blaming someone else when they suspect you.
(Welcome to The Pantheon, Chairman of the Board’s irregular series about the best games of all time. If it’s in the pantheon, you should own it.)
Let’s forgo any fluffy opening statements and get right to the point because I respect you and don’t want to waste your time: Cosmic Encounter is the greatest board game of all time.
There’s no denying it: you feel like an outright bastard when you play Archipelago.
Rather than be the hero of your own personal tabletop story, you feel like the villain. If you create too much chaos and too much unhappiness, the figure on the chart rises, sowing revolution.
If revolution ignites, the colonists are run out and everyone at the table loses.
If you want to join me up on a high horse, zombies actually feel more at home on your table than on AMC. At one time, the walking dead appealed to horror geeks and horror geeks alone, so it makes sense that this subject would be the peanut butter to tabletop gaming’s chocolate. Sure, there are bunch of posers who say they love zombies and have seen every episode of The Walking Dead, but folks like you and me can make Fulci references while killing armies of zombies on our kitchen tables with Goblin’s greatest hits blasting in the background.
In short, it was safe to call the whole thing a fiasco. Which is really appropriate since we we were playing a game of Fiasco, the brilliant and endlessly repayable indie role playing game that just-so-happens to be one of the greatest things to ever hit my table. It’s the perfect RPG for people tired of hack-and-slash fantasy. More importantly, it’s the perfect RPG for people who are completely new to this type of game.
My table buckles underneath the weight of an entire galaxy.
Supernovas. Nebulas. Ion storms. Dozens of planets. And spaceships. Lots of spaceships. Whole ﬂeets of them, each of them in a shaky alliance with their neighbors…or at total war.