If you’re the kind of person who thinks of Rams as a resource in a Uwe Rosenberg game, or Patriots as a faction in a wargame, you can still have your own Sunday filled with rip-roaring excitement, tense moments, and last-second victories. Call up your gaming buddies, put together a potluck, and settle in for an epic day of gaming!
No matter how many players show up or even if you decide to ride solo this Sunday there’s an epic gaming experience for any player count, from battling it out in the sprawling space opera Twilight Imperium to playing a full campaign of Pandemic Legacy in a single day.
Here are five epic board games that’ll make your first Sunday in February a memorable one.
Mage Knight: Ultimate Edition
With the new WizKids Mage Knight: Ultimate Edition, you can now experience the deep gameplay that’s made it a fantasy fan favorite since the original’s release in 2011. You’re a Mage Knight exploring the Atlantean Empire, improving your spell skills and building your army to eventually conquer the great cities of the land. It’s like an RPG with deck-building built into it. While Mage Knight can accommodate up to five players for an all-day game, it’s best for a solo adventure. Even with the sheer amount of rules for the various locations and tiles, a one-player game still provides hours of entertainment.
USA. USSR. The Cold War. This tense, head-to-head battle is a history lesson and card-driven board game in one. It’s a two-player fight for world domination as you deal with the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam, the Space Race, and dozens of other real-life scenarios that happened under the threat of nuclear war. Every card played can be the one that swings the momentum to your side. Will history repeat itself or will you alter the course of history? Pro tip: to ease the tension, play the soundtrack for Rocky IV to remind you and your opponent that Rocky Balboa helped stop the Cold War.
Taking the Pandemic cooperative formula to the next level with each game affecting subsequent plays, Pandemic: Legacy is a campaign-style game with an engaging narrative. Your team of up to four players is trying to save the world from impending biological doom, curing diseases and trying to save humankind. Each game takes about an hour to play and represents one month and since you’re trying to survive through 12 months, this can take up most of your gaming day. With two seasons available you can play one campaign now and save the other for next year’s Super Bowl.
Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game
Fans of the rebooted show or the cooperative-game-with-a-traitor mechanism that works so well in Dead of Winter will find a lot to like in Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game. The show’s theme is found throughout its art and components, and with a full-player count of six the paranoia increases with every turn. Who’s the Cylon among the group, sabotaging plans for Galactica to survive? And even if you figured out the traitor(s), can you still do enough to win? Victory is only achieved by reaching Earth. So say we all.
I’ve talked about my love for this space-opera-in-a-box before. The newest edition streamlines the clunkier aspects of previous versions, with six-player games playable in “only” six hours. It’s best to start early and plan for an all-day affair: throw on your favorite sci-fi music, have food delivered, and begin negotiating truces and alliances with your neighbors. As I wrote, “During our modern golden age of board gaming, there are great games, there are epic games, but there is only one great, epic game. Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition stands alone in the debate of the greatest games ever, beckoning players to set aside a day for its unique, unforgettable, and one-of-a-kind gaming experience.”
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Image Credits: Ruel Gaviola
Ruel Gaviola loves board games, books, food, travel, Star Wars, and date nights with his wife. He writes about games for iSlaytheDragon and tabletop-test.com, podcasts about games for The Five By, and his name rhymes with Superman’s Kryptonian name. Follow him on Twitter and read his blog here.