10 games to start a board game collection with

10 games to start a board game collection with


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kyaa to everyone and welcome to 10 games
to build a collection around one
question I’ve been asked a few times is
if I’m getting into the Hobby what games
should I pick up to start with and I’ve
had to think about that for quite a
while and prepared a list of the games I
think would make a good starting
collection for anyone now this list is
designed around people just getting into
the Hobby so it’s not going to include a
bunch of Steven Feld games 18 X X’s
coins and heavy war games people can
pick those up later this is a list that
anyone can pick up pick these ten games
and have a pretty solid wee collection
to start themselves on the board gaming
hobby another thing with this list as
all the games will be of low to medium
complexity and reasonably affordable
before we get into the list let’s deal
with some honorable mentions first the
usual wisdom in these lists is to put
Catan Carcassonne and ticket to ride on
them I’m not personally a fan of any of
those games but you probably can’t go
wrong adding them to a starting
collection it’s not that they’re bad
games it’s just this is my listing
they’re not particular favorites of mine
if you want to check out solo gaming you
could also start off with hostage
negotiator which is a nice entry level
solo game however solo gaming’s not for
everyone so I didn’t include that in the
main list and if you’re a huge risk fan
I recommend spheres of influence which
is just better risk but it’s a bit hard
to get hold of and not everyone coming
to this is played risk before now we
have the honorable mentions out of the
way let’s get to the list the first game
is on here because I think no other game
does a better job of easing people into
the idea of what modern board gaming is
then between two cities and the reason I
like this game so much as a gateway game
or as a teaching game is because all the
interactions between players are
positive if you’re unfamiliar with the
game you work with the person to your
right and left to collaboratively build
a pair of cities and the winner of the
game is the person whose worst city is
best so it encourages teamwork
collaboration while still being a
competitive game and it also teaches the
mechanics of tile laying, drafting set
collection and scoring victory points
from multiple sources I’ve never played
a game of between two cities where
there’s been any kind of animosity in
the game and I think that’s a really
good start point for anyone building a
collection plus it’s really easy to
learn and once some people know the game
you can mix them up amongst the people
who don’t know how to play and they can
teach the others and are encouraged to
do so because of how the game works
next up is the exceedingly clever modern
art now modern art is an auction game
with the value of the paintings in the
game is based entirely on how often
they’re traded during the game so
players create the value of the art by
trading it it’s a really simple clever
and elegant design that’s really easy to
teach to people and you can have a hell
of a lot of fun with it
auctions are also an idea that people
are really familiar with so it’s not
like this is an esoteric out-there idea
if modern art is not quite the right fit
for you in this spot you can also
consider either for sale or high-society
both are easy to learn family-friendly
auction games another thing people muted
the Hobby
might not be familiar with our
cooperative games and conventional
wisdom says that pandemic should
probably be the first choice here but
I’m actually going to go with another
Matt Leacock design Forbidden Island
because it’s that much easier and
simpler to get on the table and set up
and it’s slightly cheaper forbidden
island teaches the basics of cooperative
gaming and can be used as a launching
point to other games in the Forbidden
series or into the pandemics or
Thunderbirds or any other type of
cooperative board gaming the next thing
I’d like to look at is deck builders and
there are a lot of deck builders on the
market some are very good some are not
so good but I think if you’re going to
start off of deck builders here might as
well start off at the beginning and
that’s with Dominion now dominion is
one of those games that is easy to learn
but very difficult to master and I think
people new to the Hobby can pick it up
see how it works and have a lot of fun
with it it might take a long time to get
mastery of the game but that’s half the
fun of picking up a game like the menu
and learning first with Dominion means
you’ll be able to step out into the big
world of deck builders with a real solid
grounding of how they work
alternatively if you’re a big fan of
eyepiece you might want to check out the
legendary series instead especially if
you love marvel or aliens or any of the
other franchises they’ve covered next up
is a party game now not every group will
want a party game but it’s probably good
to have one in your back pocket and it’s
a good part of any collection and you
might know I’m not a huge fan of party
games but I’m the ones I’ve played the
resistance is probably the best of them
players are secretly assigned as the
teams of resistance members or Imperial
spies and they go on a series of secret
missions and the goal is to figure out
who the real resistance members and who
are the spies and it can be a lot of fun
with a big group that buys into it as an
alternative to the slight you can also
pick up code names or probably one night
werewolf all three of those games are
solid party games and having one in your
collection would be a good idea now the
next game steps up the complexity a
little and it’s seven wonders and the
reason seven wonders is on this list is
it scales incredibly well from three to
seven players it is very easy to teach
rules and a lot of mechanics that are
used an awful lot of other games and
there’s a depth there as well you can’t
play this game very casually and have an
awful lot of fun but you can’t actually
dig into it and get some mastery of the
game and I think that’s important for
starting collection having those games
that you can learn with and you can
build up your skills and you can get to
understand how other games work a lot of
what happens in between two cities get
styled up in seven wonders so instead of
dealing in partnership with the people
on your right left you’re an active
competition with them and I feel that’s
a nice evolutionary step to have within
such a small collection of games mixed
up as a game I’ve had a lot of success
with casual gamers with and that’s as
all now as well as a Thailand game it’s
very very simple to learn as well but
again it has that depth in the game that
once you learn the basics of it you
start seeing bigger patterns and you see
how the game comes together
and it becomes a lot more clever and
that’s a recurring theme on this list
picking up games that easy to learn but
have that extra mastery that you can dig
into later as all is really popular with
people who like playing puzzle so
someone likes doing Sudoku or other
things online and you want to get them
into board gaming it’s a great game to
put on the table because they look at it
and go I get this as a puzzle you put
things here you do that and that’s how
you score points okay that makes sense
to me have someone new to the Hobby
those external points of experiences
they can latch on to to help them learn
the game are incredibly important other
games that could possibly fill the slot
a sagrada santorini century spice road
and splendor there are an awful lot of
worker placement games on the market and
awful lot of them and i feel any
starting list probably should include a
worker placement game one that’s
relatively easy to learn but also has
that depth i keep talking about and for
me I’m gonna pick raiders of the north
sea now there’s a few other games that
could have come here like Stone Age or
Lords of Waterdeep but if the Raiders
are such a clever load of medium
complexity worker placement
game that it just couldn’t get off my
list the place won’t worker take one
worker mechanic is an awful lot of fun
and the art and the theme are quite
evocative as well and again this is a
game that’s not super complex and that
people can dig into and learn and master
and take those skills on to other games
now a lot of you will know this I come
from a wargaming background I’ve played
a lot of war games over the years and in
a lot of ways that’s my first love of
them the hobby but there’s not an awful
lot of really good introductory war
games there is however memoir 44 any of
the commanding colors games could be on
here battle or battle cry commander
colors itself but I feel memoir 44 is
the most accessible of them mostly
because it feels like playing with toy
soldiers the order system in the game is
really interesting it’s a compelling
game to play and again it’s another one
of those games that’s simple to learn
there’s a lot more depth to it that
initially looks and if you’re not keen
on war games which I totally get I’d
recommend replacing this one on the list
with one of the games I mentioned when I
was talking about a sword so something
like segrada or splendor instead and
finally a pretty simple game that
combines variable player powers area
control and competitive play and that’s
small world small world looks really
dinky and inviting but it’s a mercenary
and brutal game but what makes it a
great game for a starting collection is
that it teaches you about area control
games it teaches you about the variable
powers you can have and this game’s
absolutely dripping in different
variable powers because each faction you
play has a combined race ability and
special ability that makes them unique
to play each time it’s also ultra
competitive and it’s good to get a taste
of that sort of game to see if it’s for
you and again another one of those games
that look simple when you start playing
there’s a heck of a lot more depth of
complexity within it so that’s my list
of 10 games to start a collection with I
hope you enjoyed it if you’ve got your
own list just put them down in the
comments below and if you enjoy this
video like it subscribe to the channel
and check out our patreon

100 thoughts on “10 games to start a board game collection with”

  1. From all the games we've introduced to people, these are our go tos:
    Sushi Party Go
    Codenames
    Bang!
    Splendor
    Steampunk Rally (my first boardgame outside of Catan)
    King of Tokyo
    Smallworld
    Azul (the concept is so easy we taught a 6 year old how to play it lol)
    Race for the Galaxy
    Terra-forming Mars (our favorite boardgame in general)
    These are all interesting enough to keep the hard core board gamers interested, but easy enough for more casual gamers to pick up

  2. Just got into board gaming so far the starting collection, is betrayal legacy, pandemic lecagy, ticket to ride, rummiecube, interested in dead of winter

  3. For me :dixit, carcasonne, sagrada, sheriff of nottingham, adventure land, potion explosion, sushi go, for sale, pictomania, quacks of quidlingbourg …

  4. Great list! Although Smallworld feels like it's a lot more complex than the others on the list. I'd think the games below could be great to start with as well:
    – Patchwork, a great 2-player game that's extremely easy to learn and tricky enough to master. And it's a fast game to setup and play.
    – Burgle Bros, a great cooperative game that I've found a lot more fun than Pandemic. We've brought it to various people and everyone loved it and most of them also bought it after playing it once or twice.
    – Elfenland, a very nice game of planning ahead and at the same time depending a little bit on others to mess up your plan or to help you. And easy to learn.
    – Mysterium, great cooperative game with a little bit of a competitive element (who get's the most clairvoyancy points?), easy to learn and everyone we played with loved it.
    – Istanbul, a fairly simple game with a very low luck factor and plenty of strategy!
    – I'd put Carcassonne on the list as a worked placement game. I believe it's more than just an honorable mention. It's a great game with 2 players and just as good with 6 (not many games have that). Plus, it's very easy to learn and has multiple nice expansions (don't combine too many of them!).

  5. I think Flash Point, D&D Adventure Series, Ghost Stories, some low tier dungeon crawlers should be on the list

  6. Century, Sagrada, Azul (Centris), Small World, 7 Wonder glad that I got them already thank for your review

  7. I agree. My friends got me Smallworld for my birthday… Just fell in love! It never ages! Always different and fun!

  8. Clue
    Risk
    Stratego
    Solarquest
    Trivial Pursuit

    and a hundred other classic games that are meant to be played, not bragged about being played. Games that were invented before the word "boardgame" was made a verb.

  9. Great list. I would have replaced Resistance with Codenames and replaced Smallworld with Kingdom Builder, But that’s because I absolutely hate those games.

  10. Party games for people who only met and games that work super well for casual gamers as well as "HARDCORE GEEKS":
    Just one
    Dobbles
    Zombie dice
    King of Tokyo
    Outburst Just picked up my THIRD version which is now really great as the game designers have finally published a plastic card holder with levers to mark the correct answers… SO MUCH FUN!!!

  11. Oof. Take that image of Legendary: Firefly off the video. I love deckbuilders. I love Firefly. I even love Legendary. I LOATHE Legendary: Firefly. Not just for the awful art – it feels poorly balanced and unplaytested. I'd hate for someone to pick up Legendary: Firefly and think they hate deckbuilders as a result. The game is just… utterly miserable.

  12. I'm a little surprised that Love Letter didn't get a mention. I'm not especially fond of the theme of the base game, but the Batman Edition is especially cool. It's also cheap, pocket sized and you can teach it in under a minute.

  13. Three really good games for beginners:

    King of Tokyo
    Jamaica
    Kingsburg

    All inexpensive, easy to teach and learn…no complaints from those new to the hobby.

  14. A few that I have found to be great introductory games:
    Dominion
    Azul
    Ticket to Ride
    King of Tokyo
    Bonanza
    Pandemic

  15. Games that are always a hit with my group and are pretty easy to teach new players that I use are Love Letter (seriously, what a great game to just jam through a few times anywhere) and Citadels (role switching, bluffing, set collection… What's not to love?).

  16. Which of these games are language-dependent (far too many games developed by English-speakers, especially from the US, are language-dependent), and which are not?

  17. The games I started out with were
    Risk, Axis and Allies, Settlers of Catan, and A Game of Thrones: the board game.

  18. I'm new to games, and I really enjoy easy to medium difficult games. For me, a list like this is not complete without Sushi Go and Queen/King domino. Thanks.

  19. I LOVE Small World. I love all 3 of your honorable mentions, and Pandemic is also my favorite cooperative, though Forbidden Island is pretty awesome. Also, Stone Age is just one of my favorite games in general. You mentioned a bunch I haven't played, and I've played hundreds of games! So, I'm excited to try them out!

  20. I dont understand how you can consider Splendor similar to Azul or Sagrada. Splendor is an engine building game. A game collection like this is not complete without an engine builder. Splendor is the one I would recommend. Since you have wargames covered with Smallworld, you could remove Memoir '44.

  21. My 'tried and true' list : checkers, chess, backgammon, Othello, Clue, Parcheesi Monopoly, Risk, Stratego, The Game of Life…

  22. If you have Catan and it doesn't teach the table anymore then you should look at Cities and Knights expansion for Catan… It changes the game in such a complete and strategic way that I can't play base Catan anymore.

  23. For me the game play of 7 wonders has always been kinda meh. I think I'd switch out with terraforming mars.

  24. Nice list! I think another great party game would be Scotland Yard where everyone (except one person) works together to capture the elusive Mister X.

  25. 1: Uno/Dos
    2: Werewolf
    3: Splendor
    4: Catan
    5: Pandemic
    6: Ticket to ride
    7: Clue (or Cludo)
    8: Exploding Kittens
    9: Monopoly
    10: I have no clue what to put here.

    Welp these are my first 10 boardgame that I played…

  26. I think some games like:

    – Machi Koro (Drafting and city Building)
    – Machiavelli (Citadels?) (Interaction and bit of RP)
    – Clank! (Deck Building)
    – Legend of Andor (Coorperative)

    Work out well to start with! 🙂

    Great video btw man, subbed also 🙂

  27. I’d have Dead of Winter on there somewhere. Best ‘co-op’ game I have played, the theme is awesome, and the mission and survivors are different every time.
    Elegant game with some interesting mechanics that are made infinitely more complex when you add in private objectives and human nature.

  28. I would also recommend Escape.

    It's not difficult to learn or to teach. It's a wonderful introduction to co-op gaming. And it also introduces players to real time gaming, as opposed to the usual turn-based gaming. It's also a very high energy game that tends to get people excited and loud, sort of like party games.

  29. Love that these are not the old hat suggestions. As a solo gamer I will say that Hostage Negotiator was a bit much thematically for me (unexpectedly) so I might suggest something like Arkham Horror TCG, Raiders of the North Sea or Viticulture instead.

  30. My very first board game a few years back, was Small World and thankfully I was spot on with the purchases cause I know the competitive nature of my friends. I want to find another game to capture the same feeling. At one point I got Eclipse but I had the fear it wouldn't be for everyone, but the main group loved it, at the same time it is a game that you need a lot of time to finish a game. I would like an option that has the competitiveness and depth that small world can provide but I'm not sure for some games if their mechanics will capture their interest. I have Kemet but we only played it 2 times, with negative impressions. I wonder for example if they didn't like Kemet, would they like Blood Rage? Any suggestions?
    The games that I have are :
    1. Small World
    2. Eclipse
    3 Kemet,
    4. Cyclades
    5. Dead of Winter
    6. Catan
    7. 7 Wonders
    8. Smash Up
    9. Munchkin
    10. Bang the dice game

    With the exception of kemet and smash up every other game has been played a lot with the least played I think Dead of Winter.

  31. Most excellent video and game recommendations my friend. For beginners I would recommend Munchkin, Bang or Sheriff of Nottingham. All relatively time efficient, affordable, non toxic and easy to teach/learn.

  32. Really Dominion? This has to be a joke as that game has less to do with teaching new players any usable skills in gaming and more about turn order. I consider myself an experienced gamer and found that Dominion too heavily favors the few players at the start of a round and dramatically handicaps those that come after them. We only had 6 players and those in rotation slots 4-6 never had a chance to compete. If I had been a novice it would have completely turned me off the hobby.

  33. naming the title "10 games to start a board game collection with" and then starts excluding items from the list because of personal taste :O.

  34. I started with betrayal at house on the hill, which isn't really complicated and is fun for the storytelling experience. It's just that there is quite some reading to do and the game difficulty and length tends to vary. Wingspan is another easy to learn game that has some potential for strategic play. However, these are rather expensive for someone who is just looking to have a taster of board games. I actually haven't played most of the games on this list because I don't own them but I know how to play some of them and I agree with your list.

  35. When Resistance Avalon came out it was the better choice of the Resistance line of games because of the additional game play options. But now that the Expansions for the original game are out they give you all the additional facets of Avalon plus much more. I would say that Resistence + Hidden Agenda + Plot Thickens is everything you need in a hidden roles party game. Luckily, I bought the full expansion set when it was first available on Kickstarter so I got both expansions in the same box for a great price.

  36. Great list, Thank you. I try to have a variety of different style games and some classics too, I don't like buying a game if its really similar to one I already own and I don't like games with too many rules! so heres my list>

    Otrio
    Camel Up
    Ticket to Ride
    Splendor
    Stratego
    Sorry
    Clue
    Monopoly
    Battleship
    Rummikub
    Qwirkle
    Mystery Date Game
    Rack-O
    The Duke or Onitama
    Carcassonne
    Yahtzee
    Scrabble
    Top Secret Spies
    Scattergories
    Enchanted Forest
    Tortoise and Hare
    Labyrinth
    Survive
    Pueblo
    and Jenga!

  37. Castle Panic, photosynthesis, Escape: curse of the temple, Dominion, Mideavel Academy, Colt Express, Downfall of Pompeii, Blokus, Small World, Tales & Games:The Hare & the Tortoise,

  38. Photosynthes is really pretty.
    Good looking is important if u cant get anyone to even try playing it, rest is irrelevant.
    Azul is likely also visually appealing to many

  39. Kudos for not putting Catan on the list. People need to move on. Maybe it was good 15 years ago. It's not now. If it was my first board game I would have never gotten into the hobby. Yet I always see it on these lists… still. When the fact is if it came out as a new design now, it would have done poorly against a sea of much better games.

  40. Small World did not scratch or replace Risk for me.

    I'd recommend Blood Rage or Cyclades (w/ the Titans expansion, although that makes the game more expensive) instead.

  41. For deckbuilder I would use Ascension. I'm not the biggest fan of it, but it's easier to tech and play. And instead of Smallworld, Citidels would work better.

  42. I'm glad that you didn't include Carcassonne! My GF & I tried it as one of our first games, and we were very underwhelmed—-dull, boring, too random/luck-based, not enough choices. We're both surprised that it's still so well-regarded.

  43. For a great co-operative game, Hanabi would be on the top of my list. Very simple game that anyone can get into. I took this on a study abroad trip and ended up playing almost every night.

    Unearthed is another great competitive game that is essentially a betting system for various ruins and gems.

  44. I've found Fluxx to be an excellent starter game for new collections. Anyone can play it and it's always a good time.

  45. My first games are Target for today, D-Day at Tarawa, Skies above the Reich,Fleet Commander Nimitz, Flatline and Less than 60 miles, I am grateful there are how to play videos or I would be lost. I like your channel!

  46. Quridor is one of my favorite simple but one mistake confessed yourself up. if you're both good it's probably best play with a timer though

  47. Zombies!!! (by twilight creations)
    Agricola (job/placement)
    Munchkin (steve jackson)

    I would DEFINITELY put these onto my list with the rest being prementioned in the vid. I love job placement games (scythe) but theyre not great for a first game. Munchkin seems to be a great start in our group if anybody new is coming, as well as zombies as its almost video game style. Move, roll to kill zombies, search for health and bullets.. Add in a huuuge collection of figures and itll have anyone coming back! Just make sure you have a big table, tiles spread out quick.

    The games mentioned, my favs and IN my collection, are smallworld, carcassone, catan, ticket to ride, deck collectors (mostly cryptozoic), .. Im forgetting them all now. Haha these are the top games that get played the most out of a WALL of games!

    Great vid!

  48. Love Modern Art. Not sure I’d put it on a beginner’s list but it’s on my shelf. M44 was a great choice; not my favorite C&C game (Ancients is #1 easily) but probably the most popular entry point.

  49. My top 3 I always say to people new to boardgames are:

    Pandemic
    King of Tokyo
    Sheriff of Nottingham

    It's hard to steer people who think of board games as cards against humanity or monopoly with 'childish' looking games like King of Tokyo so often it's Pandemic as my go to.
    I'm wanting to add Century Spice Road in there but I haven't played it enough to be sure.

  50. I have started with dead of winter, it's a good start. Betrayal at haunted house or hill? might be my next one.
    Gloomhaven and lord of the rings middle earth look intimidating yet interesting.

  51. I had great success getting ppl into the hobby with Concordia. Easy to teach, hard to master. Also for a german game not as "mean" 🙂

  52. 1. Dakota
    2. Carcassonne
    3. Takenoko
    4. Memoir'44
    5. Splendor
    6. Imperial Settlers
    7. Ticket to ride
    8. Catan
    9. Colt Express
    10. Tannhäuser

    This is a first 10. Now I have over 100 b-games.

  53. My favorite thing about your vids is how you always offer alternative options for each game. "Want the same game but without X, try Y." Love it.
    So many people on forums say, "oh, this has been done better" without giving examples or saying where.
    Thanks again – keep up the great work.

  54. 1) King of Tokyo
    2) Takenoko
    3) Forbidden Island
    4) Burgle Bros
    5) The Captain Is Dead
    6) Book It! Wrestling Promoter Game
    7) Smash Up
    8) Star Wars Epic Duels
    9) Flux
    10) Zombie Dice

    All super super simple, unintimdating games that look nice, have basic rules that can be taught quickly, are usually quick to set up, colorful, inviting and fun for all ages w/ that easy to teach but lots of hidden strategy involved if you choose to go deeper and gets them coming back for more.

  55. Good grief, I wouldn't use any of your list for a first 10 to buy. Well, maybe 7 wonders. Mad King Ludwig is better for auctions than the ones you listed, so on and so on. Raiders as a first wp game? Absolutely not. Coal Baron far easier to teach and grasp. Best intro deck builder? Clank. Dominion is obsolete. I like most of your vids but feel you are waaaaaay off the mark here.

  56. I would say
    Azul, Love Letter, One Night Werewolf, Carcassonne, Forbidden Island, Ganz schon clever, Coup, Between to Castles, Cash and Guns, and Ticket to Ride. These are all games I have learned easily and loved or that I played with non-gamers and they asked to play again.

  57. Absolutely great video that breaks all my cliche board game lists and provides a great rationale for each game selected in the collection, with alternative games to boot.

  58. Our faves so far are King of Tokyo, Sushi Go and Takenoko. Ticket to Ride is fun, but a bit bland (great for gaming nights with children). I’m so happy to be getting into this hobby!

  59. Mine would be:
    Sushi Go
    Lords of Waterdeep or Stone Age
    Fireball Island (reboot)
    Love Letter Premium
    Dungeon! (or Talisman)
    Escape the Dark Castle
    Flash Point Fire Rescue
    Jamaica
    Paperback
    Smack Talk Showdown

  60. I really agree with this list and statement that games like Catan, Carcassonne and Ticket to ride are a bit overrated. I have a question along these lines that maybe you can help me out with: Consider this exact same video, ten affordable and easy to learn games to start a collection, but also aimed at a non-english speaking community where the language barrier can be problematic, hence games that are text intensive like Bloodbowl: Team Manager and Arkham Horror would be out of the question while games like Alhambra and Power grid would be prefered.
    I appreciate your perspective on this, and thank you for considering taking on the challenge. Cheers.

  61. Smallworld is the worst board game ever.
    Every round you have to re-learn the rules of the game, every single time you play the game. And it's not just one different rule, like Flux, it's the rules for every player, which are all different, and all interact with each other. Why would anyone want to play a game that is impossible to learn?

  62. I just wanted to say, that you have made an excellent video for the following reasons.
    1) It's brief
    2) You categorize the games
    3) You mention your own biases (Note I still plan to get Carcassonne)
    4) You give alternatives

    I am new to gaming and while I probably wont get many of the games on your list, you have given me a good place to start and I confirmed some of my choices.
    Thanks

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