Today we’re wrapping up our look at the games to be played in Season 3 of TableTop, just in time for the premiere! If you want to check out the other board games, make sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2.
So let’s take a look at the final games in the rundown, shall we?
Anyone who’s played the old HeroQuest game or other dungeon crawlers should be familiar with Mice & Mystics. However, this game puts a twist on the genre by scaling everything down. Instead of battling trolls and ogre and other giant beasties, the players become mice who must battle cockroaches, spiders, rats, and more to save the kingdom. Mice & Mystics is a cooperative game, and players collect crumbs of cheese to help them in their mission.
If you’re a frequent player of RPGs (role-playing games) but your luck with the dice is pretty terrible, you might consider playing Dread. This game of horror and suspense is entirely number free: it replaces all dice and cards that you would normally find in RPGs with a tower of Jenga blocks. Yes, that Jenga. To determine success or failure, you pull a block from the tower. If the tower falls, your character dies or is otherwise removed from the game in a horrific manner (insanity, imprisonment, etc). However, you always have the option of martyrdom by deliberately knocking over the tower.
Dread is a bit different than other RPGs in that your character creation is based on answering questions and your character is refined as the game — and the eerie story — progresses. There’s no character stats (no numbers, remember?) There’s no set recommendation for players or play time, though the stories aren’t designed for an ongoing campaign.
I’m not a huge fan of Settlers of Catan. It’s long, it’s easy to get bored with once you’ve fallen into a bad situation (like interference from the Robber or getting stuck with bad places for settlements, or someone blocking all your roads…). And let’s face it, with so many expansions, unless you’re a regular, it can be really complicated to get the hang of. If I’m going to play a long game with tons of expansions, I think I’ll stick to Killer Bunnies, because well….what’s not to love about colorful homicidal bunnies?
But if you do like Catan and have kiddos, or just want a simplified version of the game, there’s Catan Junior, a pirate-themed riff on Settlers of Catan. The rules are simplified, the trading is child-friendly, and that pesky Robber becomes the less-harmful Ghost Captain. There’s no more wood for sheep; instead, players collect either wood, goats, molasses or swords (and can acquire gold), and try to control a mass of pirate hideouts.
Apparently keeping with the pirate theme, also on Tabletop’s season 3 list is Libertalia. It’s mostly a card game, with a few tokens and board, of course. Players play as pirate captains who try to outwit each other over the course of three rounds. Players must amass the most riches while avoiding cursed objects. The trick is that every player has the same 9 crewmen to choose from, and so they must try to guess which crewman the other players will play and think strategically about the next rounds.
Kingdom Builder is a bit in line with games like Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, and even Carcassonne. Each turn you draw a territory card and place three settlements on the corresponding territory. You have to place your settlements on the same hex, and if you can build adjacent to other settlements, you must. Beyond that, the goal is to build according to the criteria on three Kingdom Cards, which gives players more gold to enrich their kingdoms.
Dead of Winter is the first in a new game series, called Crossroads. Players must work together to stay alive in a small settlement when the rest of the world is either dead or diseased. However, each player has his or her own objectives in addition the group survival goal, and some of those objectives are at odds with the overarching goal. Players lead small factions of characters and must work together to find food, fight off threats, and make it to the end of the game. Dead of Winter is story-centric, forcing players to choose between what is best for them and best for the group.
Legendary is the perfect choice for fans of Marvel comics and deck-building games. It works like other deck-building games (such as Dominion). The game is cooperative, with everyone working together to stop an evil Mastermind while assembling their own teams. Players start out with a deck of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and add superheroes and their special abilities to their deck as they advance. If the Mastermind is defeated, all the players win, but then they tally up their victory points to see who came out on top, ultimately.
This season we’re getting a “Tabletop After Dark” episode featuring everyone’s favorite party game for horrible people. I’m going to say it right here: I’m probably most excited about this one. I’ve got all the expansions of the game and it’s part of our regular rotation of things to do when my friends get together.
That said, THIS IS NOT A GAME FOR PEOPLE WITH DELICATE SENSIBILITIES. If anyone is easily offended or has certain topics that trigger bad reactions, this is not the game you want to play. However, if you and your friends have a twisted sense of humor and decent pop culture knowledge, this can be loads of fun. Just…don’t play it with your family.
Will you be watching TableTop? Which of these games are already in your collection and which ones are you planning on adding?