Continuing on from last weeks article; this week we will look at the Cooperative and Tabletop genre of board game.
For those new to board games the cooperative game may seem like a strange idea. In this style of game the players often have to work together to beat the game, this makes these games more akin to a computer game. Examples would be Pandemic, Forbidden Island/Desert and Zombicide.
The advantage of a cooperative game is that it encourages teamwork. They are great games for families to play as children can still be actively involved in decision-making whilst the adults can control some of the more complicated game mechanics and strategy. I find that a cooperative game is particularly fun with my partner as we can enjoy something together rather than fighting to be the best.
The cooperative game is a growing market, but a new one so the themes are limited to the more traditional Sci-fi, horror and fantasy. It is probably the largest growing sector of board games however and a few excellent companies and developers solely focus on the cooperative game.
The disadvantage of this style of game is that once you understand the mechanics and the way to beat the game they often become too easy. The games often utilise different difficulty levels but these can be a bit forced and unfair, you can also have problems if you play with a particularly dominant personality as the Alpha player can take over.
Pandemic – Board game of the year winner 2015. A game where teams work together to stop diseases from infecting the world.
Zombicide – Want to live a Zombie movie? this game has it all including weapons, character upgrades and a huge amount of missions for good replay value.
Table top gaming is seen as the most niche style of board game, it often requires a large amount of setup and knowledge of the rules can be incredibly complex. The most known example would be Dungeons and Dragons.
The actor Vin Diesel is a huge D&D fan and turned his gaming character into a film character in the movie “The Last Witchhunter”.
Table top gaming can be something that takes over people’s gaming lives. For many the ability to create a character from scratch and role play their lives is the biggest draw to this style of game. Many people enjoy the huge scope of the games with some campaigns going for many days to some taking months or even years to complete. The games are also played with the same group of people so you build a great bond with friends over a shared love.
The disadvantages are almost all the complete opposite of the advantages. For many the idea of a game played over multiple days is too hard. It can often be difficult to get the same group together regularly. Lastly a table top game requires a character known as the games master, the job of this person is to manage the game. They are not an active player but more of a manager; a good table top experience will come down to how good your games master is.
Unfortunately table top is not as popular as it was in the 1980’s and early 90’s this is partly due to the rules being moved into video games which alleviates the issues of getting a group together and the ability to save helps with session lengths. But for those active in the community no computer will ever be as good as their imaginations.
Dungeonworld – A simplified version of Dungeons and Dragons with all the same fantasy role-playing trimmings
Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition – The most definitive version of the game, although quite complex for newcomers once you are invested in the rule set you will never look back.