Top Three Board Games
Cat and Tomasino both recently phlogged about
their top three favorite board games. I have decided
to share my three favorites as well. So, without
1. Go (いご) / Baduk (바둑) / Weiqi (围棋)
Go is by far my favorite board game. In general I
tend to be a big fan of abstract strategy games.
Go is the grand-daddy of them all.
I have read no less than seven books filled with
strategy, tactics, common plays, etc. That is not
even to mention the books and websites filled
with go problems/puzzles. After all that I am a
fairly low ranking player. At this point, for
those familiar with the ranking system, I hover
around 12/13 kyu.
I have never played a game the can be so different
from play to play with such endless variation. I
always walk away from every game having felt like
I learned something or saw something new. It is a
slow patient game that is extremely brutal once you
know what you are doing (and I only just barely
In go two players take turns playing pieces on
the board. Once placed, pieces do not move. They
can be removed if captured, but otherwise remain
in place. However, capturing pieces is not the
goal of the game. The goal is to control the
largest amount of teritory. Final scores,
depending on the scoring system used, can also
incorporate the number of captives though. The
standard size board is 19 x 19. I tend to play
a lot on 13 x 13. 9 x 9 is also available as a
size on which to play quicker more tactically
The rules to go are very simple, but the
strategy is infinitely complex. It is said that
there are more legal board positions than atoms
in the known universe. My favorite go saying,
there are many, is: "Lose your first 100 games
quickly". The point being, you are going to lose
a lot at first as part of the learning process.
Get what you can out of them and then move on
to, hopefully, applying that knowledge and
defeating your opponents.
If you have not played and are on linux, most
systems have gnu-go installed. It is a decent
start to the game. I highly recommend reading the
wiki article about the game as it is a good
place to learn the rules and some basics of
strategy and tactics.
2. Ricochet Robots
Ricochet robots is another thinking game. This
one is more social... to a degree. It can support
any number of players.
In Ricochet Robots the game board is a grid. On
the grid are walls, open space, and target icons.
Four robot pieces are placed on the board in
random locations. These robots are four different
At the beginning of a round a marker token is
flipped over (or otherwise revealed). The token
will match one of the target icons on the board.
The icons have an image and are of a color. The
goal is to get the robot of that color to that
specific target icon.
To do so you move robots. Once a robot moves in
a direction it keeps moving in that direction
until it hits a wall or another robot. That
counts as one move. You repeat this until you
get the correct colored robot to the correct
target icon. You may move any and all of the
robots regardless of what color the goal is.
In doing so you can use robots to set up
blockades to get the correct robot to its
Now for the fun part: you do all of this in
your head. You do not actually move the robots.
Once someone thinks they have a solution. They
call out the number of moves they think it takes
to complete the round. If they are the first
person in the round to do so, they flip over
a sand timer that goes for one minute. Everyone
has that minute to figure out a path with fewer
moves to the goal than the one that was called
out. The original caller is also allowed to call
out new numbers if they have optimised their
route as well.
At the end of the timer, the person with the
lowest number of moves called shows everyone
their path. If it is valid, the robots are moved
and the next round is started with the robots
in that position. If it is not valid, then the
person with the next highest number goes.
At the end of the game, the player with the most
tokens (having received them for winning the round)
I have played this game with upwards of 20 players
at once and had a great time. I also play it with
my wife quite often on our own. It scales well
and is great fun... for the type of person that
enjoyes this sort of thing. My parents hate it.
3. Cosmic Wimpout
Cosmic Wimpout is a dice game created by deadheads.
The baords that I have, which are not required for
play, are screen printed cloth. The pieces are any
random markers a person has. My wife and I collect
little trinkets to use as pieces. Often stones,
computer parts, figurines, etc.
It is a simple game that is fun to play. You roll
dice and keep score based on various rules. You
are often presented with the ability to keep
rolling, and risk losing the points you accumulated
for that round, or bank your points.
This game can also support a large number of
players. I have played with around 15. It is a
good game to take with you on trips or camping
since it can fit in a small pouch and support as
many people as you have with you.
 cat: baud.baby:70/0/phlog/fs20190528.txt
 tomasino: gopher.black:70/1/phlog/20190529-board-games
 Go: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go_(game)
 Ricochet Robots: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ricochet_Robot
 Cosmic Wimpout: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmic_Wimpout