Ludi et Veritas’ Choice Award, AKA Golden Avocado, for the 2015 Best Game goes to:
The Resistance/Avalon (2009). There is no doubt that this was and is the most consistently played game in our Friday night sessions at OISS. Even after we finish the session, some continue playing in other locations. Secret roles and social deductions games are favorites for our Friday night meetings. Thus, there is not much surprised that our members selected it as their favorite in 2015. Will it still a favorite in 2016?
For those who are not familiar with the game, The Resistance is Sci-Fi themed game in which players are secretly divided into Resistants (the good guys) and evil government moles. Each turn of the game, all players will vote, discuss, and argue to select a small group of players to send on an important (virtual) mission. While resistance fighters will work towards making the missions succeed, government spies will attempt to sabotage them. This game is highly discursive and is maybe the most interactive one among the whole list. Often, while playing, we lighten up the game by pretending the resistance is working to takedown a universally hated corporation (e.g., Comcast) or a political figure who might be terrorizing the world in the near future (think: Trump). Alternatively, if you prefer fantasy over Sci-Fi, this game is also available under the name “Avalon,” where the good guys are loyal servants of Arthur and the bad guys are Mordred’s minions.
We could not finish this article without mentioning the 2nd and 3rd most voted games in 2015.
2nd place was for Coup (2013). Coup is a simple strategic game, where talking and influencing the other players (even making ephemeral alliances!) will lead you to the victory. With each player drawing two ally cards representing 5 different political figures, each with its own unique abilities, you will need to bluff, deceive, and “assassinate” other players’ allies to win the game and install your supremacy over the corrupted government.
3rd place was for Codenames (2015). Two teams compete to guess their team’s secret “codenames” from among 25 randomly selected words on the board. A Spymaster for each team gives one-word clues, which may point to one or several words on the board, aiming to help her team find all their words first. But be careful! By choosing unwisely, the Spymaster can help the opposite team… or lead the team to defeat at the hands of the hidden Assassin card.
Codenames has been nominated to 2016 Spiel des Jahres – one of the most if not the most prestigious awards in board gaming. The other two nominees have been IMHOTEP and Karuba, that we soon will play ;-). More info here.
All 3 games are simple but amazing and we have featured them as great games to introduce to newcomers to the hobby. Check our previous article for more great games to introduce to your non-gamer friends.