We’re counting down the days International Tabletop Day 2018, happening this year on April 28th! As we get closer to the big day, we’ll be looking at the gamut of tabletop gaming, from the stories of the games we play to remarkable people who love them. Be sure to join in on the fun on April 28th on our official ITTD Twitch Stream, hosted by Ivan van Norman and donate to charity:water, the worthy cause we’re supporting this year.
No matter where International Tabletop Day is celebrated—at a Friendly Local Game Store, at a board game pub or even at a home—it’s a great opportunity to play games with friends or make new friends by playing games. It’s also a chance for fans who have massive board game collections to dig deep and set aside some time to play those massive, sprawling games that take up an entire table (or two) and definitely an afternoon. Playing a big, complex board game is the tabletop equivalent of a slow-cooked meal. We’ve chosen a few to try out for those folks who want to stay at the same table all day rather than sample a little bit of everything from the board game buffet.
When many tabletop fans think of massive board games, this beast of a game is often at the top of the list. The original edition was one of the board games that put Fantasy Flight Games on the map as a board game manufacturer. To celebrate the game’s 20th-anniversary last year, they put out a fourth edition that added in elements from expansions while also streamlining gameplay with years of fan feedback. The new edition still feels like a sprawling sci-fi novel with each player playing an alien species trying to climb to the top of a new galactic empire. The game is full of epic star battles, tense negotiations, intrigue, betrayal and War Suns. This is a game that will fill up your Tabletop day…and maybe even stretch into next year’s event if you can keep the table preserved that long.
Mayfair Games is often credited with helping the board game boom thanks to behind the US release of Settlers of Catan. The company sadly ceased to be early this year, but one of its last releases was a mirror image of the Catan many of us know and love. The Colonists is also a critically acclaimed eurogame featuring resource management and building. But while Catan compressed these elements into a manageable timeframe, The Colonists offers players to customize their experience by deciding how many eras the game will last at the top. Each era offers slightly different rules and pieces, but more importantly, the different eras give the game the weight of history as each player watches their colony survive through the decades.
Too Many Bones
Tabletop Day is a good day to put together an RPG session, of course, but some players are still a little gun-shy about the idea. There are several great board games that try to simulate the dungeon crawling experience, but Too Many Bones does so in a slightly different way. It’s a deck builder with dice that tells a story. The players choose Gearlocs, which are goblin/gremlin style protagonists, who must fight their way to a Tyrant and save the day. The twist is that characters are built with types of dice that lock into each character’s playmat. Each character also plays differently, so much of the fun is stacking a different story, switching characters and heading back out onto the path to figure out the best way to play another character. Add in a fun tactical playmat that offers challenging choices every turn and you’ve got a good way to have a fantasy adventure without breaking out the d20.
What games are on you planning on playing for International Tabletop Day? Tell us in the comments! And be sure to join us on April 28th on Twitch for our International Tabletop Day stream hosted by Ivan van Norman, and help us support charity:water to raise money for a project to get water to a community of people who currently lack access to clean water.
Want more board gaming goodness?
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- Want to play the best games of 2017? Here are our picks!
Images Credits: Fantasy Flight Games, Mayfair Games, Chip Theory Games
Rob Wieland is an author, game designer and professional nerd. He’s worked on dozens of different tabletop games ranging from Star Wars and Firefly to his own creations like CAMELOT Trigger. He can be hired as a professional Dungeon Master for in-person or remote games. His Twitter is here. His meat body can be found in scenic Milwaukee, WI.